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Choose Your Own Adventure: Bike Quest

Houseman

Zealot
Sanctuary legend
Messages
1,112
This is all in-character, btw

Arnox said:
Question to Houseman. Why is the protagonist such a little bitch? XD Yeah this new world's weird, but he doesn't need to wet his pants about it. No one's threatening him.
You've lived a sheltered life, where, previously, your only troubles were a set of mischievous twins.

You hear a far-away voice from across the table, Someone is standing up and cupping their mouths to their hands in order to project. They appear to be yelling as loud as they can. You can hardly hear them. That's how big this table is.

The pirate lady groans loudly, and slams her book closed. With a wave of her hand, as if brushing off a fly, a hologram appears.
You can now clearly see and hear the person who is standing up, as if he is being magnified by a projector. The other figures sitting around the table are magnified as well. It's a guy with a blond buzz-cut, wearing a similar jacket. This guy's jacket looks more motorcycle than pirate.

The lady, irritated, asks him what he wants.

"Let us help with this! He's going to be joining our team, so we should all be interviewing him, right?"

"This isn't an interview. All he has to do is eat a pill and sit in the hairdryer. Trying to reason with him before that is useless, just like the last guy"

What's this about a hairdryer? What happened to the last guy? Also, is this projector magic, or what?

The lady seems to have an idea.

"Actually, you know what? Fine. Have it your way. You guys deal with this."

And then she walks out of the room. Except that before she reaches the door, a purple hole appears in the air and swallows her. The hole shrinks into nothingness afterwards. Before you can ask what that was, the blond guy explains.

"That was a portal. Everything is based on portals. Inter-dimensionals come here, and then to Earth, through portals, and our powers are based on them too. It's like weaponized space. And she told you about portal-sickness, right? That's a portal that opened up in your brain. It'll keep growing until it eats your brain out from the inside. Taking either of those pills will stop the growth, and the hairdryer, we call it that, will beam knowledge straight into your head, so that you can do what she just did, and more!"


Signa said:
C
Why you need different pills for the same function of getting through a portal is one question.
"No, it's not about getting through a portal. It's about staying alive AFTER you go through a portal. 'Cause you're dying. The pill will stop that."

Anyway. I'm going to instead ask why I should believe any word they say. For all I know, this is just a reality TV show or something. Also how do I know you all aren't actually malicious/misguided? You can't just shove me into an entirely new world and not expect me to question... Pretty much everything.
Someone sitting at the table clears his throat and sits up. He had previously been tuned out, with his feet up on the table, reading from a similar tome. He has messy, dark hair, and his coat looks similar to the lady's, but more tattered.

"Here, sit still".

After a moment, you and your chair fall through the floor. The next thing you see is the ceiling, which you instinctively try to grab for. You land in the same spot where you previously sat, the chair striking the floor with a tremendous sound, and you falling over it, landing wrong. The chair is apparently indestructible, as it's still in one piece. You, however, are not, and seem to have broken your tibia. You can see it, trying to poke out through your skin. You stare at it with curiosity, the adrenaline dulling the pain for the time being.

One of the others that you saw sitting around the table, a girl, one of two twins, exits from a portal to your side. Her jacket resembles a frilly dress, like a French maid's uniform. She carefully kneels at your side and holds your hands over you, as if trying to warm herself at a fire. You are levitated away from your position, crumpled upon the fallen chair. When you are laid safely on the floor, only your leg remains levitated, and is then mended. You feel no pain during this process, only a slight tingling. The twin disappears back to her seat.

You hear the voice of the messy-haired man ask you if that seems like reality TV to you. As for being malicious or misguided, he tells you that it doesn't work that way. The blond-haired guy continues the thought.

"We're kind of on our own out here. It's just us that run the school. We make the rules, and enforce them. We're Enforcers. That's how it is out in the real world too. Every Enforcer is part of a territory that is as large or as small as they can manage. They make their own rules and set their own punishments. Once we graduate, we go somewhere on Earth and then just manage things from there. It's only us and HQ"

HQ?

"They handle stuff like trading between currencies and making these pills. They also clean up, if we happen to make a mess. Nothing major. For example, if we say that an inter-dimensional is ready to graduate, we all sign a paper and send it off to them, and then they figure out where on Earth they can live and get them a house and a job, or something. But they don't really do anything but what Enforcers ask them to do, so we call them "Helper Quadrant" sometimes, for fun.

So, yeah, you pretty much do what you want. So can everyone else, though, so it balances out. It's like a wild west film, but in real life!"


gaijinkaiju said:
Yeah, i'l be going with more questions. what powers do i get? do the pills have different powers? Am i becoming a magical girl? These are things i need to know
One of the twins fields this one while looking down, as if it would be unseemly to look you in the eyes.

"Your powers are based on portals. Like my associate said, it's similar to weaponized space. For example, you could form a portal in the shape of a sword, and cut things by sending parts of them to another dimension. Or you could open a portal to the deepest parts of the ocean and attack with the force of the pressurized water"

The other twin chimes in, similarly:

"It's not just violence, though. You can also heal, as I did to your leg, through the subtle manipulation of forces. I levitated by opening up many millions of portals against your body, each exuding a small force of pressure. Combined, this pressure was enough to move you."

The messy-haired guy interrupts.

"And no, the pills only give you different side-effects. The guys at HQ were trying to think of a way to prevent the headaches and came up with a second variant that gave you a stomach-ache instead. Trust me, you're going to want the stomach-ache one. They had to hold me down to keep me from putting a power-drill to my head just to get away from the pain."

The blond-haired guy contradicts:

"Dude, no, the stomach-ache pill is the WORST! The whole time you're doubled over and sweating bullets. You won't be able to eat for days, just based on the memory of how bad it hurts. I actually tried to give myself an enema, just to see if it would help! I ended up stuck with a-

"Don't remind us. My sister still has nightmares about that. I've never seen so much blood."

An awkward silence, broken by the messy-haired guy, grinning.

"So, now that you're looking forward to it... what's it going to be?"

A) Stomach-ache
B) Headache
 

Arnox

Master
Staff member
Founder
Messages
5,440
*giving them a very stony look*

"I don't like this. I don't like any of this at all. I don't like how anyone here can do almost whatever they want with barely any oversight. I don't like how you forced me into taking random pills. I don't appreciate you randomly abducting me and erasing my former life. And I certainly don't appreciate you opening a fucking portal into my mind without my permission, which BTW, doesn't make any sense, but whatever. Let's just go with it for now. Honestly though, I'm debating whether I should actually take ANY pills, regardless of the consequences. I'm already dead in a way anyway as you said. Yes, you probably don't want to kill me but who knows. Maybe you want to control my mind. At this point, literally anything is possible. Maybe my death will be one less weapon some tyrannical organization I know absolutely nothing about can use."

"Perhaps what I'm really trying to get at is, you should have eased me into it. Let me find things at my own pace. Let me decide how I enter this world instead of so incredibly rudely shoving me into it."
 

gaijinkaiju

Lord Inquisitor
Sanctuary legend
Sanctuary contributor
Messages
618
not sure how i feel about these powers, they seem kinda lame but also kinda interesting at the same time, maybe i'm just not thinking with portals yet though.
Either way I'll take a stomach-ache any day
 

Signa

Libertarian Contrarian
Sanctuary legend
Messages
789
Well, if I have to take the pill, a stomach ache is going to be better than a migraine any day.
 

Houseman

Zealot
Sanctuary legend
Messages
1,112
STOMACHACHE

Fine, you'll take the purple one. That's the one that makes your stomach hurt, right? Yeah, you think so. But you tell them that you don't like this. You swallow the purple capsule dry. Speaking of dry, you haven't eaten or drank anything since you got here, and you've been unconscious twice so who knows how long that's been. You ask if you could have some food, and maybe some normal clothes to wear. Do those things cost money? Do you need money here? You still don't really know how this all works.

The blond guy offers to show you to your room, where you'll be staying. Once you get changed, you can meet them back here for Chinese food, which he seems really excited about.

He leads you out into the hallway, the aesthetic of which is different from that of the regular school, with a giant, plush, purple carpet spanning the hall. A few doors away from the table-room is yours. It even has your name on it. You're told that you should have everything you need in there.

You open the door and find yourself staring into your own house.

"While you were out we took snapshots from your memories and replicated wherever you lived before. Don't crawl out the windows, or anything, but you should have running water and all your clothes. Oh, and the stomachaches should start in about 8 hours, and after they're over, you can get your powers."

Thoroughly unnerved for several reasons, you shower, dress, and make your way back to the room with the big table. You eat some okay orange chicken, but everyone else there is acting like it's the best thing ever. They aren't all spread out around the room anymore, but they're all eating at the edge closest to the door. Like a big group of friends. Except the pirate-lady. You would say that she's clearly the boss, followed by the guy with the messy hair, who seems to be older than the others. You have a feeling that the twins outrank the blond guy. And then there's you.

After you eat, the messy-haired guy gives you four envelopes. Instead of addresses, on them are stamped either a blue circle, a red square, a green triangle, or a black diamond. He also gives you a coat that he grabbed from somewhere.

"Here, wear this coat so people know that it's official. As your first task, you can deliver these letters. You'll get to know your way around."

The coat is purple, like theirs, but more plain. It's doesn't look like a pirate's, or like a French maid outfit. It's just a normal, purple jacket.

"Once you get your powers, you'll learn how to shape it into something that you like. It should be fine for now, but just don't lose it or else people will start mistaking you for an inter-dimensional. That jacket equals authority. You're an Enforcer now.

And about the letters, this school is divided up into five living spaces. There's ours, which is in the central administration building, and then everything else is for the inter-dimensionals. They're divided into how dangerous they are. Blue Circle is for harmless types, like your humaniods, or your small creatures. Red Square is for things that could eat us, mostly carnivores with sharp teeth. Green Triangle is where all the toxic creatures go, like acidic goo-creatures. Black Diamond is where we put all the really dangerous ones that don't fit anywhere else.

Deliver these four envelopes to those four places. Just don't shake hands with anyone made of plutonium or broken glass."


Sounds simple enough. Where to first?

A) Blue Circle
B) Red Square
C) Green Triangle
D) Black Diamond
 

Arnox

Master
Staff member
Founder
Messages
5,440
gaijinkaiju said:
not sure how i feel about these powers, they seem kinda lame but also kinda interesting at the same time, maybe i'm just not thinking with portals yet though.
Either way I'll take a stomach-ache any day
Signa said:
Well, if I have to take the pill, a stomach ache is going to be better than a migraine any day.
You let the government turn us into a tool. What have you done? :frown:
 

Signa

Libertarian Contrarian
Sanctuary legend
Messages
789
Red Square. Whatever wants to bite you can bite back.
 

Houseman

Zealot
Sanctuary legend
Messages
1,112
The Red Square might be my favorite

CARNIVORE

The layout of the place is explained to you. The school and the living quarters are arranged in one big square, with the administration building at the center. The four areas take up four quadrants of the square. In the North-East quadrant is the Red square. North doesn't really exist here, but it works well enough to orient yourself, or to give directions.

You follow a road made of red brick on top of slightly darker red earth. It would be easy for you to lose the path if you stop paying attention, but you keep yourself focused. Occasionally you look up and see structures which you guess are buildings. They're actually just brick walls and clay arches. Very few structures have roofs. Some of them aren't even enclosed. Occasionally you see a creature of some sort roaming around in what you assume to be their living space, gazing out at you through breeze-gaps in the brick.

You suppose the purple jacket keeps them from eating you. Though, if they tried it, you still don't have any powers with which to defend yourself, so it's more of a bluff than anything.

The path leads to what you suppose is the center of this quadrant. It looks like a fairly modern building. It has a roof, glass windows, even a wooden fence. You go inside, and there's even air conditioning. It looks like a rec center. There's a pool table, some couches, and even a TV. A glass door leads back outside to a pool. The place is deserted, but the water looks agitated, like someone is swimming out there, so you head towards that direction.

In the pool, you can barely make out a form, almost the same color as the water, flitting back and forth across the length of the pool with a speed that seems supernaturally quick. This must actually be a fish, because it's not coming up for air. There's something that looks like over-sized fish food, as big as potato chips, next to a lounge chair. You pick up a few and inspect them. It looks and smells a little like jerky. Out of curiosity you toss some into the water.

The thing stops swimming around and focuses on the food, which floats on the surface of the pool. Instead of eating the food like you'd expect, the thing surfaces. It appears to be some kind of female shark/squid thing. She looks at her chips, back at you, and bursts out laughing. If she didn't already breathe water, she probably would have drowned, since she apparently is in such a laughing fit that she stops treading water and begins to sink in her hysterics.

You sure feel dumb.

When she regains enough of her composure to surface again, she speaks to you, revealing at least three rows of shark teeth.

"You're new here, right?"

There's no denying that. About a thousand things give that away.

She pulls herself out of the edge of the pool, and your first instinct is to look away out of politeness, for she doesn't seem to be wearing anything. But then, she's not human. She is humanoid, and has a female form. There are breasts, but no nipples. You don't look close enough to see any other details, because that should definitely be impolite, human or not. You just don't go around inspecting the genitalia of intelligent creatures, right?

She slicks back a few tentacles out of the way of her eyes, which she has in the place of hair and approaches you. She's intimidatingly beautiful, and a head taller than you. You stammer out an apology about her chips while you back up towards the door that leads back inside.

When you put your hand on the door, she vomits out some goo, which binds your hand fast to the door, and the door to the frame. The more you struggle against it, the more it constricts. She laughs and hugs your other arm playfully. Her teeth, and her tentacle-like tongue, are terrifying. You're pretty sure she can unhinge her jaw, assuming it has a hinge.

"Where do you think you're going? First you spoil my snack, and now you've seen me naked? You're not going to leave without giving me a little recompense in return, are you?"

She just got out of the water, but she feels dry. Her tongue, however, is not. You find this out as it actually wraps around your throat.

You're going to be brave this time. You're not going to pass out again. You've got this jacket. Time to bluff. As best you can, you say something about being capable of biting back.

She bursts out laughing in your face, again. She releases her holds on you and collapses on the floor, inky tears steaming down her face. For the second time in about two minutes, you sure feel dumb. You kind of wish she would have just chomped your head off.

You've dropped the envelopes you were carrying, which she is now rolling around on. Once she collects herself, she notices the one addressed to the Red Square.

"You're honestly hilarious. I love you. Seriously, lay your eggs and I will fertilize your babies. Our children will be the greatest comedians ever. Hey, is this envelope for me?"

She spits again on your stuck hand, the goop on which begins to dissolve as she opens and reads the letter. After a few seconds of reading, she looks at you with that terrifying smile of hers and leaps on to you, hugging you fully, this time. She's screaming 'thank you's at you and lifting you off the ground. You don't know why. You don't know what was even in that letter. You weren't even necessarily supposed to deliver it to her, specifically, just to this quadrant.

She puts you down, not listening to you, and explains that she needs to tell her parents. She dives back into the pool, letter in hand, and disappears through an underwater hatch.

You have no idea what just happened.

You have about a half of a day left, and three letters left to deliver. You have enough time to make one more delivery today before you need to start preparing for the worst stomach pain you've ever felt in your life. yay.

You look at the remains of the goop on your hand. Do you even dare to have another experience like that?

A) Blue Circle
B) Green Triangle
C) Black Diamond
D) Do this later, when you have powers.
 

Signa

Libertarian Contrarian
Sanctuary legend
Messages
789
That was intense. Let's make the next one easy. Blue circle.
 

gaijinkaiju

Lord Inquisitor
Sanctuary legend
Sanctuary contributor
Messages
618
Yeah, how about blue circle, we dont' want to die (again) on our first day on the job
 

Vendor-Lazarus

Arch Disciple
Sanctuary legend
Messages
973
Blue circle is the logical next choice.
That way, we can use the pain to keep a calm outward appearance amidst all the danger and act with an untouchable indifference.
 

Houseman

Zealot
Sanctuary legend
Messages
1,112
RELAX

You decide to take it easy with your next delivery and go somewhere without things that could eat you: the Blue Circle.

From the central building, you head South-East. As before, there's one road that leads the way. The houses here all look like small red cubes, about six feet in width, height, and depth, with what looks like a door on one face. Some are stacked two or three high. They look like portable prison cells. You bet there's only a bed and a toilet inside. The carnivores over at the Red Square seem to have it better.

You wonder who, if anyone, builds these accommodations. Maybe they build it themselves? Did your human classmates build these? HQ? Why does each quadrant seem to have a different housing theme? Is this what someone thought humanoids would like?

Your pondering is interrupted when the road ends at the center of the neighborhood. There's a cube here, larger than the rest, so that it looks like an actual building. Instead of a door, there's just a flat blackness. Out of curiosity, you touch it, expecting it to be paint, but your hand doesn't stop moving where it should. Your finger disappears into the darkness, as if it had been cut off. It occurs to you that this is just a portal. You cautiously enter with your foot first, making sure that you have somewhere solid to stand on wherever you end up.

You end up in what looks like the lobby of a fancy hotel. There's a large counter that looks like it was carved from a solid chunk of marble. There's a fountain, a chandelier, a spiral staircase, a bearskin rug next to a fire, and an auto-piano playing a tune.

You can see out the windows, and perceive that the sky is blue here.

The lobby is deserted, but you can see that there's an area in the back that leads outside.

You head in that direction, and see that it's a horse-racing track, with stands and everything. This too, is completely deserted, except that you can see what looks like a human, running laps on the track. You also notice a small, childlike figure sitting in the first row of the stands. You make your way towards the figure.

You stop and raise your voice with a greeting from a safe distance, so you don't get too close and startle them by your approach. The figure is startled all the same. It appears to be feminine, but not quite human. Actually, she looks like an obvious fabrication of a human. She's literally a living doll.

You didn't know they made dolls that big, which is creepy, and what's even creepier is that this doll is clearly alive. She's looking right at you, with glass eyes and an unchanging expression. Her body language signifies distrust, alarm, and uncomfort. She speaks without moving her lips

"What are you doing here? Who are you?"

You tell her that you're here to deliver something, and that you're a new, human, student.

This doesn't seem to relax her any. She asks what it is, and you tell her that you actually don't know, but that the last person who received one of these envelopes was really happy about it. You realize that sounded suspicious, and she evidently thinks so too, because she stands up and takes a step backward.

The doll is dressed in a sporty outfit, made for exercising. A leotard, with neon purple leggings. Not made for running around a horse track, but for the dancing, aerobic kind of exercise. Speaking of which, you remember the runner on the track. You turn around just soon enough to see a sweat-covered, dark-skinned fist collide with your eye socket.




You're really getting sick of this. This now counts as the third time today that you've been unconscious. You awake with a start, and glance around, looking for somebody to yell at. At first you don't see anybody, but then you remember that dolls are people too. There's doll in this room, but it's a different doll than the other one. This one looks more traditional, and of a size that a child might play with. All the same, it speaks to you in the same voice as before:

"Please don't be mad. I was scared. I doubted your intentions, so I had her hit you. Are you alright now?"

You feel your face where you were struck, gingerly at first, expecting it to be swollen, but it isn't. It feels fine.

You're still in the same place where the sky is blue. From your position on the bed, a quite nice bed with a real fur blanket, you can see the racetrack, but you're higher up, in a bedroom above the lobby, you guess.

A dark-skinned figure, the runner, enters. You recognize that fist. It appears to be a human girl, but two heads taller than you, and buff like a bodybuilder, with crude, jagged scars crisscrossing her abdomen, which you can see, thanks to her running outfit. You don't care how big or scarred she is, you're giving this amazonian a piece of your mind. You throw aside the blanket and demand an explanation.

She doesn't answer, but instead points to the doll.

"Don't get mad a her, she didn't do it, I did. I'm controlling her, like I control this doll"

Well then you demand an explanation from her, then. You realize that you've already gotten one, but you demand another one anyway.

"You're right, I'm terribly sorry. You were honest, and I doubted you. I read your letter, and you were right! This is good news, and I am eternally in your debt for bringing this to me."

Your curiosity cools your anger a little, and you ask what the good news is. You don't know what you're even delivering.

"I've been chosen to be an Ambassador! You've chosen me!"

The doll's voice seems elated, but her face is unchanging, which is creepy. You don't know what she's talking about. You didn't choose anybody. The Amazonian brings the doll the letter.

"You said that you were new. I guess you don't know yet? Ambassadors serve the Enforcers and assist them in carrying out their duties. They enjoy special protections and salaries. It's an honor that every inter-dimensional strives for. An honor that I thank you for, from the bottom of my heart."

Wait, but you still didn't choose her or anybody else. You were just told to deliver these envelopes to locations, not necessarily people. It was just random chance that she was even here.

"I believe that fate brought you to me. If not you, I have been chosen by another. Regardless, the contract is signed."

The Amazonian turns the letter toward you, so that you can read it. A holographic image of the doll's face floats in space next to the paper.

"I always thought humans hated me. They would always try to lock me up or get rid of me, unless I didn't move or speak. Until I met this poor girl. I was all she had. One day... But what am I saying, you don't want to hear our life stories. It's almost curfew, and I've more than inconvenienced you already. We can see you out, if you'd like?"

There's a clock in this room. You have about two hours until the pain should start.

A) Stay and hear their life stories, maybe ask more questions from maybe the least-suspicious person you've met so far. You can leave in time.
B) Go and get ready for the pain early, so this time you can be unconscious in your own bed
 

gaijinkaiju

Lord Inquisitor
Sanctuary legend
Sanctuary contributor
Messages
618
Lets hear the life story, surely it won't take two hours
 

Houseman

Zealot
Sanctuary legend
Messages
1,112
LISTEN

You have some time. It would be nice to hear the stories of these two. You ask her to continue.

"I'm a life form that must bond to inanimate objects in order to survive. I like the dolls that Earth has, so I inhabit their bodies. Sometimes I would stay quiet, but then I would get the urge to talk to someone. It's awfully boring, and humans are ever-so interesting. Most of the time they didn't like it, despite treating the dolls as if they were real, otherwise. Do you know why humans act that way?"

You guess it's just play. Sometimes it's fun to imagine that a doll is a child, or to act out situations with them. You remember that you used to play with action figures, and pretend that they were fighting. But you never expect them to actually come to life. Humans don't like it when unexpected things like that happen. It makes humans feel... unsafe.

"Interesting. Back on Earth, before I came to this school, I was inhabiting a home-made doll that a mother had made for her daughter. They were traveling, somewhere. They were on a boat. There were three of them, two adults, and a child. The adults seemed sad and scared most of the time, but the girl was always happy. She always clung to me, and I enjoyed being so loved.

When the boat reached land, the male adult was separated from the two females. All the females were grouped together into a big camp. The only males there had guns, and didn't live with us. There were other children for the girl to play with, but she was afraid, and only played with me.

The mother was taken away in the evenings, and returned in the mornings. Her body became more and more inanimate each day, and she eventually died. After that, the girl was taken away too. She always took care to hide me before the men with guns came, and she would always find me again, when she returned. She began to die too.

On the last day, she was too weak to hide me, but she never let me go. They carried her out, and when they saw that she was dying, they tossed her to the dogs. I was there. She couldn't move. I watched them rip her open. I could feel her body becoming inanimate, as her mother's did. That's when I got an idea. I could save her. I inhabited the parts of her body that were dead, and made them move. I gave her strength. We killed the dogs. We killed the men. We escaped.

After that I fixed her body as much as I could. There were men fighting each-other in that place. When they saw us, they tried to take us again, so we had to keep fighting. Eventually they grew scared of us, and stopped coming near. We traveled across the country to a place where there was no fighting, and men and women lived together. It was there that an Enforcer found us, and brought us here.

She can't talk. Most of her internal organs are gone, but her skin, muscles, bones, and brain are in good shape. At first they were afraid of us. They wanted to let her die. To put me in the Black Diamond. But since her brain is still alive, and since she's fully human, they decided to put us here. They argued about it a lot. They said we killed a lot of humans. We could tell they didn't like us.

We've been here for over 15 years. We've passed all the classes, but we've never gotten an opportunity to graduate. The original Enforcers that brought us here are all gone, but nobody wants to let us go back to Earth. It would be fine if it were just me, but I want her to see her home planet. I want her to experience the real Earth, and the real sky. To eat real human food. I've learned how to make her body grow, and we've been training it. I want her to live the best life that she can. I want to make her happy, like how she made me happy.

But now we're Ambassadors! We'll graduate with you, and go back to Earth together! To see that they finally trust us is wonderful beyond belief. It still doesn't feel real. Thank you"


You look at the Amazonian. At her scars.
You hope you won't have nightmares tonight.


---

You lie in bed, awaiting the pain that is scheduled to come. You anxiously eye the clock. Two minutes now. One minute now. Any second now. Nothing happens. The anticipation is killing you.

You get up to go to the bathroom, and it hits you unexpectedly in the hallway. You double over in pain. Your legs give out. A sweat breaks out over your entire body. Your feet hurt. Your ears hurt. Your arms hurt. Your whole body is a factory of pain, starting from your abdomen, and spreading out across your entire body. You writhe to the bathroom in the fetal position, this being the least painful position, and manage to start a cold shower.

You spend the night there, shaking from pain and shivering from cold, contemplating ways to disembowel yourself.


---

The next morning, the shaggy-haired man has to come and find you. The pain is gone, and you've since come out of the bathroom, but you're traumatized, curled up in bed. He tells you to get dressed, or else he'll drag you out in your undies. He leads you to the room with the table, and then to an adjacent room. In the room sits nothing but one of those hair-dryer-chairs that women sit in after they get their hair done. The pirate lady joins the two of you.

"Now that the pill has done its work, you're ready to learn how to use your powers. This machine will teach you. There are hundreds of, what we call, "formulas" contained in his chair. Each formula teaches you how to use portals in complex ways. There are formulas for flight, for invisibility, for super-strength, all the powers you'd read about in comic books, and of course the basic opening of a portal. We'll just start you off with the basics for now, and a weaker formula to play around with. We don't want you blowing up the school on your first day. We'll let you learn more, once you've gotten the hang of it.

So here's what you can have for now:

A) Flight
B) Bulletproof-ness
C) Moderate super-strength
D) Out-of-body projection.
 

Vendor-Lazarus

Arch Disciple
Sanctuary legend
Messages
973
Only 15 years, and all the Enforcers are new ones? Short life-span due to work/danger/powers?

I'll go with C.
I was thinking A first, but since you will almost only be working on Earth, that's a dangerous slip-up to be caught in.
B would only be relevant if you are going into dangerous places on Earth, which I'm hoping the refugees Aren't going to.
D would only really be useful for "looking around the corner", but it will leave your original body helpless.
 

Houseman

Zealot
Sanctuary legend
Messages
1,112
Strength

The lady presses some buttons on the chair, and motions for you to sit. You sit in the chair. The dome sits loosely over your head.

The process is surprisingly painless. You hear a little buzz, and then two seconds later, a ding.

"Okay, that was it. Fun, huh?"

You know. You somehow just know how to open a portal. How to summon your moderate super-strength. To test it out, you open a small portal in both of your hands, like tiny purple mirrors. You look through one, and see your own face reflected back at you. You also know that portals are always purple.

You also know how to summon your super-strength. You know that you're actually opening up portals to various solid or empty dimensions. They provide resistance, or a lack of resistance, depending on whether you are being pushed, or are pushing. Instead of punching a wall, for instance, you'll actually be punching empty space. The space that you'd displace would then exit from these portals into your dimension, pushing against whatever is in way of your fist. Super-strength is actually just the redirection of space itself.

"And here's your Tome."

The lady drops a huge book on your lap, like the kind she's always reading. It's covered with a thick, ornate metal mesh covering a purple fabric.

"The Tome is an encyclopedia that contains all the knowledge in the universe. Millions of intelligent species contribute to it every hour of the day. You should know how to turn the pages."

You do. The book feels alive. You can sort of sense portals swimming about in it. Each portal goes to a section of the book, and each section contains hundreds more. You drill down far enough to get to a page, and read about the soil composition of a patch of farming land on a distant planet. There are apparently more elements than you thought.

"Keep the Tome with you always. You'll need it in order to deal with inter-dimensionals. If they have a weakness, you can read about it, and exploit it. If they have an allergy, you can poison them with it. If you find out where their nervous system is centralized, you can rip it out. Keep it in your own pocket dimension."

You aren't quite on board with the ripping out of nervous systems, but you know what she means by "pocket dimension". You open a portal to nowhere and heave it off your legs. If you don't know, or can't conceive of, where the exit to your portal will be, it goes to a pocket dimension unique to you. It floats around in non-space until you open it up again, and the space becomes real. It's like a purse that can hold anything.

The blond guy enters.

"Hey, so you got a power? What'd you get?"

You tell him.

"Awesome! I chose flight for my first power. Broke my face coming in too hot on a landing. Traded that in, and never looked back. It's overrated. Anyway, wanna test out your powers, try a little combat training?"

A) Sure, why not
B) Nah, you've got some deliveries to make.
Ba) Green Triangle
Bb) Black Diamond
C) Nah, you'd like to study from this tome for a while.
 

Houseman

Zealot
Sanctuary legend
Messages
1,112
TRAIN

You are eager to test out your newfound powers.

You and the blond guy walk into a portal he opens, which is in the same dimension of the school, but is so far away that no buildings can be seen. It's just a flat mass of red earth as far as the eye can see. You could drop an atomic bomb here, and nobody would notice.

"Go ahead, punch me. See if you can knock me down"

Your heart isn't entirely in it yet, so you give a half-hearted jab using your normal strength. Before it connects, you get slapped in the face.

"If I was an enemy, you'd be dead"

You try again, this time taking a proper stance, or what you think is a proper stance, based on what you've seen on TV, since you have no formal training in martial arts. You throw what you think is a proper punch at his chest. You succeed in hurting your hand. You think he might have super-strength too, but probably not the handicapped kind that you have. He slaps you again and pushes you down.

"Use your powers, c'mon. You won't hurt me."

This time your anger blazes, and you summon your super-strength for a mighty blow. You charge him as you get up and even add two running steps to your punch. Instead of connecting with his face, your fist goes through a portal that wasn't there before. You can see the side of your own head for a split-second, right before you punch yourself in the ear.

You aren't angry anymore. You're resigned to your fate. You should have guessed something like that was going to happen. In hindsight, it was obvious really. You're sure it's the oldest trick in the book to these guys.

You've slid some distance, and he saunters up to you, and helps you up.

"Super-strength alone isn't really worth much, unless you're fighting someone without powers. Even if you get in a scuffle with an inter-dimensional, you don't want to punch a guy made a broken glass, or anything. You gotta get creative with it. Throw something at him. Let me show you what I do"

You see a ghostly outline stretch from his hands, into the earth, and return with a watermelon-sized lump of clay. This lump is then compressed until it's about the size of an orange. He floats it over to you, so that you can hold it. It's heavy, like a shot put. Without your moderate super-strength, you would probably need both hands just to hold it.

"I launch these at people. Here, I'll throw a few at you. Try and catch them in a portal and throw them back"


He teleports about 30 feet away, makes a few more of these spheres, and punches one, literally makes a fist and punches it, up into the air in a ballistic arc.

At first you open a small portal, about the size of a catcher's mitt, but then you think about what would happen if you misjudge it and miss. That projectile, if it were to hit you, would probably cause instant death. You make your portal big enough so that it covers your whole body, leaving just enough space for you to peek out over it.

You think you caught it, but you don't know where it went. You realize that you didn't make an "exit" portal, so you only succeeded in trapping the projectile in your pocket dimension, where you put the book.

Another projectile comes at you, and this time you make two portals about the size of a shield, one on each arm. You catch it with one, and it instantly flies out the other, which you have failed to aim anywhere. It forms a trench in the ground.

A third comes at you, and instead of anchoring the portals to your arms, you take care to float the exit portal in midair, and carefully angle it so that it will go where you want. It works. It lands somewhere near the blond guy.

With the next shot, the blond guy doesn't arc it, he shoots it in a straight line. Instead of coming toward you, it disappears into a portal. The exit of that portal was behind you, and a lump of clay explodes against your back. It didn't kill you like it you thought it would. He probably made that one intentionally weaker, knowing that it would catch you off guard.

He continues this strategy, launching weak projectiles through portals that exit at your sides, your legs, and your back. They'll probably cause welts. He is relentless in this assault. He probably expects you to do something about it.

You'd like to open a portal behind him, jump through it, and punch him, catching him by surprise. You try that, but every time a clod of clay explodes against you, you lose your focus. You should maybe move first.

You open a portal that exits ten feet to the right, and jump through it. You have about three seconds of rest before the clods start again. You jump to the left. This time the clods readjust in two seconds.

You get an idea. You open a portal which exits in the air, and jump through it. You immediately regret that decision. You're about five stories up, free-falling to your death. You want to make another portal that brings you closer to the ground, but you also don't want to hit the ground at terminal velocity. You create a portal to catch yourself, exiting at a slight angle upwards. You're now falling sideways, flying across the ground. The thought occurs to you of the blond guy trying to fly and breaking his face.

You land on your feet somewhat and tumble across the ground. You'd like to keep this momentum going, so you run through a succession of portals, in a serpentine pattern, with the ultimate goal being the blond guy's position. He's launching projectiles straight at you, now that you aren't a stationary target. You don't get hit.

When you get close enough, you try the air trick again. You open a portal above him, this time not so high up, and come down on him from above. You summon your super-strength. You raise both hands over your head like a club. Now all you have to do is fall.

You strike him, and the earth below you crumbles. You both fall into a crater, half-buried by clay. The blond guy laughs as he crawls out of the pit.

"That was a good plan, making the earth cave in like that. I got so caught up in it, I forgot that I was using up all the earth underneath me."

That had actually never occurred to you. You just wanted to hit him.

"Well, that was fun. Let's call it a tie"

It clearly wasn't a tie. You never even hurt him, not even with that overhead blow. You have the feeling he could have decapitated you without even trying.

"Wanna get some food?"

A) Yes.
B) No, you have some deliveries to make
C) No, you have some reading to do
D) Isn't this a school? Shouldn't you be going to class or something? How do you graduate?
 

Houseman

Zealot
Sanctuary legend
Messages
1,112
DUTY


You have that one job that the messy-haired man gave to you, which you guess is to choose your Ambassadors. But on the way out, you ask if there's anything else you should be doing, like attending classes or something.

"You can graduate whenever you feel that you and your Ambassadors are ready. You already know how to be human, so this school can't teach you anything in that regard."

Oh, is that all? You'd think there would be more to it than that. Since you'd theoretically be capable of either starting or preventing inter-dimensional war.

"Nah, you probably wouldn't be in charge of anything once you graduate. All territory on Earth is already carved up and divided to existing Enforcers. You'd be joining one of the territories, probably wherever you used to live, and then you'd be under their rules instead."

You see.

He opens a portal out of the flatland, and back to civilization. The portal exits at the top of the steps to the Administration building.

You're about to set off on another delivery, but you hear a voice coming from the collar of your jacket. It's the lady. Her voice is urgent, but professional

"All Enforcers, gather in the War Room immediately"

You think that means the room with the table in it. The blond guy opens a portal for you both, and you step in.

You're near the door, and the lady is too. Everyone else has either arrived, or arrives within seconds. One of the twins isn't here, though. You don't ask why you're gathered here. For all you know, this might be a regular occurrence, something routine and normal. It turns out not to be.

Metal shutters fall over the door behind you, which is the only way out of this room that you know of. Of course, you can always open a portal and walk out, so you don't think that this is meant to keep you in, but to keep others out, as long as those others don't also have powers.

The lady's hand is wrapped in a peculiar purple flame, which she shoots onto the floor. It spreads rapidly, as if being blown by the force of her palm. You jump over it as it reaches you, but everyone else seems to merely flinch. As you land, you find that it isn't hot. The walls, the shuttered door, and even the ceiling are now covered in this purple flame.

"The doors are locked, and I've created a disruption zone. Nobody can leave, and nobody can use their powers. Nobody is leaving this room until we get to the bottom of this: There's been a murder"

She turns and points across the room. In a chair sits a figure. You can guess it's the other twin, apparently deceased, though since the room is so large, you'd need to get closer to confirm that.

Everyone runs over there to see what happened, except the lady, who walks.

The body is slumped backwards, elbows propped on the armrest, head rolled over onto a shoulder, blood coming from the mouth and staining the chin, the front of her jacket, and gathering in a coagulating pool on her lap. Nobody speaks. The other twin doesn't even cry. You're surprised that you aren't vomiting, screaming, or otherwise freaking out. The lady approaches.

"Naturally, I suspect one of us, since inter-dimensionals could never have done this, especially not to her."

Nobody seems to challenge this conclusion. You certainly aren't going to, being the new kid. The messy-haired man speaks.

"It's all up to us to resolve this. We're in charge, there's no one else. If we can't figure out something like this, we have no business going out into the real world. Alibis."

These two seem to be on the same page. The blond guy speaks first. He says that you and him were doing combat training after his turn in the hair dryer.

Nobody else has an alibi. The lady was reading, in her room, alone. The surviving twin was sleeping. The messy-haired man was out training with his Ambassadors. It was mentioned that the Ambassadors could confirm his alibi, but that idea was rejected, as the Ambassadors would be willing to lie for him.

So everyone else is currently a suspect except for you two.

"Here's what we'll do. Everyone will be placed under house-arrest while the only two who have alibis investigate. Once they've figured out who's guilty, they'll kill them, and that'll be the end of it."

Everyone is in agreement with this plan. They all empty their pockets onto the table, which consists of various knickknacks, handfuls of sand, and strips of cloth. The blond guy explains to you that these are tokens, used to open portals to remote areas. The lady explains that if any of them are seen outside of their rooms, then you and the blond guy would have authorization to kill them on sight. One by one they all enter their rooms, and you two close the portals that lead to their own customized dimensions. Without tokens, they can't come back. The portals would need to be opened from the 'outside', that is, from where you are.

So now it's just you and him, and a dead body in the War Room.

What do you do now?

A) Inspect the body for clues
B) Question someone
Ba) The lady
Bb) The twin
Bc) The messy-haired man
C) Ask the blonde guy for help
 
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