that which knows no boundary
it taunts you
threatens to visit the same shame upon your chosen weed
now what will you do?
bemoan what has been lost?
or will you try to regain what was stolen from you
not that it matters to me either way
>Branches known thus far:
>Game production blog:
First he steals from me, then he rubs it in my face with this retarded "calling card," and now he's threatening Charlotte too!? I swear to God, if he was right here, I'd just-
I jump at the sensation of a hand touching my shoulder.
"...oh," I breathe a sigh of relief. "Theresa."
"Yeah, it's not like I went anywhere," she replies.
"Sorry," I shake my head, "reading this stupid card has me all pissed off."
Out of fear that I'll end up lasering it to death, I shove the card at Theresa and then head for the door. With her hurrying after me, I stomp down the stairs and return to the living room where I left Charlotte... and it looks like she's made herself more comfortable since I left her a few minutes ago.
Seeing her all sprawled out on the couch like this without a care in the world almost makes me forget my foul mood for a few seconds.
>time to wake the charlotte up
>get the irene first
>>time to wake the charlotte up
This involves her too now and if we don't wake her up first, there'll be huge jealousy to deal with.
I do suggest waking Irene up afterwards as she has information on whats-his-face.
I kneel down and brush my hand against her cheek.
"Charlotte, wake up."
"Mmmmmmh..." She holds her cheek where my hand just was and smiles.
Since the gentle approach clearly isn't working, I lean in, place my hands into the proper position, and commence shaking.
She jumps awake right after the first shake, much to my relief. But now that smile on her face is gone and she's glaring at me like I'm the last person she wants to see right now.
"What the hell, Cecile!?" she groans, rubbing the sleep from her eyes. "If you wanted to-"
Charlotte cuts herself off once she realizes who's standing behind me and lets out a long, annoyed groan.
"Good morning, Theresa," Charlotte says, not even bothering to try not to roll her eyes at her.
"Hi, Charlotte," Theresa replies nonchalantly.
"Don't tell me, I'm in the way of you and Cecile's morning workout."
>she'd probably take it better if I told her before showing the card
>she'd probably take it better if I handed her the card before telling her where I found it
"No," Theresa shakes her head, "I'm pretty sure that's been canceled."
"If that's not the case," Charlotte yawns, "then why'd you wake me up?" she asks, turning back to me.
Before Theresa can hold up Faceless's calling card, I speak up and tell Charlotte about it myself. As I recount the events of a few minutes ago, that anger that I've been feeling since that piece of shit broke into my room last night comes back in full force...
...but Charlotte looks even more pissed-off than I am.
"I can't BELIEVE that he managed to sneak back in here without me noticing," Charlotte growls. "I didn't even get so much as a Synapse!"
"Yeah, but that's not the worst of it," I reply.
I motion for Theresa to finally hand the card over to Charlotte. After poring over the front side, Charlotte's deep green eyes scan the tiny writing on the back.
And once she reaches the end of his little message, it falls out of her hands, fluttering in the air until it hits the floor.
"That man..." Charlotte clenches her fists so tightly that blood begins to pool in her hands. "I swear to God, if he lays a single finger on my sister..."
>I think you're the "mlle gauthier" who he's going to target
>he's going to target gabrielle?
2015 passed and there was no PGVN. I will predict 2016 will be the same thing as well.
As long as the quest was, I don't know why you'd even think that I'd have ever been able to finish it before the end of 2015.
I'm gunning for 2017, either April (anniversary of the end of the quest) or September (anniversary of the start of the quest).
"What?" Charlotte replies, getting up from the couch and gathering up her things. "I need to hurry up and get ready so I can-"
"I think -you're- the 'Mademoiselle Gauthier' that he said he's going to be targeting," I say. "Not Gabrielle."
"Eh?" she stares at me.
"Well, I mean..." I shrug, "he said he was getting 'revenge' and I can't even think of anything that Gabrielle could've done to make that guy target her."
And since he stole my cactus instead of my expensive phone or my expensive game console or my expensive clothes, it's clear that he's targeting things that have sentimental value. The only thing I can think of that would apply when it comes to Gabrielle is Shary, and she'd probably murder him the second he even -tried- to touch her.
I'd like to see that.
"........." Charlotte takes a deep breath. "Theresa, what do -you- think?"
"Eh?" she flinches. "Why me?"
>captcha: cactus pictures
"I figured that you'd have a better grasp on what he'd do next, seeing as how you're both in the same 'vocation,'" Charlotte says.
"Very funny," Theresa groans.
"It wasn't a joke."
"sure it wasn't," she sighs. "I guess I'd be more worried about you being targeted than Gabrielle. From what Mina told me, her favorite thing is that doll of hers and it'd just eat anyone who tried to steal it, right?"
"Plus, it's heavy as hell. WOuldn't surprise me if it weighed as much as Gabrielle herself."
I'd forgotten about that.
"His other options with her would probably be a game console or her computer, and both of those involve a bunch of wires that would slow him down a lot if he actually went for them," Theresa explains. "Unless her computer's a laptop, I guess."
"No," Charlotte shakes her head, "it's definitely a desktop."
>so let's focus on charlotte
>let's make sure gabrielle's things are secure anyways
>>let's make sure gabrielle's things are secure anyways
Um, thought. If he goes for Gabby her most valuable is Shary.
If he goes for Charlotte, her most valuable is probably Cecile or Gabby.
If thats the case we should probably check on Gabby herself rather than her stuff.
"Okay," I say, "then let's focus on Charlotte for now."
"If you two are absolutely sure..." Charlotte replies, her eyes filled with resentment. "But I still want to make sure Gabrielle's okay before we rule her out."
"I'll give her a call while you're in the shower," I reply.
"Assuming she's even awake," she grumbles.
>have the charlotte take a shower and all that now, strategery later
>discuss strategery first, shower later
After Charlotte finishes gathering up her things, she stomps out of the living room... and quickly skids to a halt immediately after stepping into the hallway.
"Excuse me," Charlotte says, her voice dripping with venom.
"Er, sorry," Irene mumbles in a half-whisper. "didn't mean to bump into you."
"You really ought to watch where you're going," she replies. "And now, if you don't mind..."
Charlotte walks around Irene, but stops once again before moving on to the stairs.
"And before I forget," Charlotte says, "you have yet to explain yourself about what that man mentioned last night."
"Oh yeah," Irene mumbles. "That."
"By the way, Theresa's also here to hear all about it."
>it can wait until later
>might as well get it over with now
"Huh?" Theresa steps out into the hall. "That Faceless guy did something to you too?"
"That's one way you could put it," Charlotte says, cutting Irene a sharp glance.
"Dammit," Irene groans.
"Might as well get it over with now," I chime in
"I guess you're right," Irene sighs as she walks past Charlotte. "No sense in having my personal crap tripping us up while Faceless is afoot."
While Irene makes her way into the living room, Charlotte resumes walking towards the stairs.
>wait, you should probably hear her out too
>let the charlotte go, we can fill her in later
I consider calling Charlotte back to hear what Irene has to say, but quickly give up on that idea. She's in a bad enough mood as it is, and even if whatever Irene's explanation of her being a "vine" or whatever is a hundred percent reasonable and frees her of all suspicion (and I really hope it is) it's unlikely that it'll change Charlotte's already low opinion of her. So instead, I turn back around and rejoin the others in the living room.
"Okay, uh..." Theresa turns to either of us, "...mind explaining what else is going on now?"
"It's all yours," I say, pointing to Irene."
"Great," Irene replies.
Letting out another long, reluctant sigh, Irene takes a seat on the couch and looks up at the ceiling.
"That's not very reassuring, you know," Theresa says with a forced smile. "You're not about to break up with me because those people you work for found out that you're hiding out here, are they?" she asks.
"No," Irene shakes her head, "that's not it."
Irene claps her hands and folds her fingers together, then closes her eyes.
"You know that voice you hear that came with your Branch?" Irene asks.
"What about her?" Theresa shrugs.
"That's what Faceless is," she replies.
Theresa stumbles backwards a few steps.
"Wait, so there's someone else who he's-"
"No," Irene cuts her off. "He overtook his host, devoured their soul , and claimed that body for himself."
"Oh Christ..." she grimaces. "He seemed kinda off when I saw him the other day, but I didn't know THAT was why."
"Yeah," Irene closes her eyes. "It's a phenomenon called 'Overgrowth.' Once a Branch reaches the point of Full Bloom, it's the risk for any Branch Holder with an intact Vine."
"Like how I can erase..." Theresa's face goes pale as she stares at her hand.
"Wait, what's a 'Vine?'" Theresa asks. "Is that what the other me is?"
"Yes," Irene nods. "To continue with that line of terminology, you and Cecile would be 'trees.' But to a Vine, you're nothing more than a weed to be supplanted and removed so that the Vine can take full control over the body and become a 'tree' in its own right."
"So that's what that gibberish nightmare when I first read the book was about..."
Clearly troubled by what we've just been told, Theresa walks over to a nearby chair and takes a seat.
"So you're saying that she wants to devour my soul so she can have my body for herself?" Theresa asks, her eyes with fear.
"That's how it usually goes at some point," Irene replies. "But sometimes a Vine is happy with just coexisting with their host... that's how it is for a friend of mine, as well as with Charlotte's little sister."
"So like," Theresa takes a deep breath, "what happened with you?" she asks, pointing at Irene. "Did your Vine try to take you over or was she nice or-"
"About that," Irene pauses for a few seconds. "I -am- a Vine."
With her eyes wide with terror, Theresa rises to her feet and points at her girlfriend.
"Yyyyyyyou're just fucking with me, right?" she says with a forced smile. "There's no way that you'd tell me all that scary shit only to spring THAT on me! Right, Cecile?"
>how do I respond?
>>how do I respond?
"There are, uh, 'special' circumstances in Irene's case. Please just hear the rest?"
Maybe we could offer that she can listen while in inviso mode if she wanted to?
Though I'm not in much of a mood to be consoling anyone, I take her hand anyways.
"Last night she said that there were some sort of 'special' circumstances in her case," I say. "So maybe we can hear her out first?"
"......" Theresa lowers her head. "I really hope it's not as bad as it sounds," she mumbles.
Both of us turn back to Irene.
"What I did is still horrible," Irene sighs. "And I can completely understand if you never wanted to talk to me again for deceiving you."
"We'll be the judge of that," I reply.
Irene takes a deep breath.
"Like I said, I'm a Vine," Irene says. "When I first came to, I only existed in Katrine's mind..." she trails off. "I was absolutely horrible back then and took advantage of her sadness after having lost her twin sister to make things easier for myself."
"Like how?" I ask.
"Katrine asked me if I was her sister's ghost and I ran with it," she replies. "That was the original 'Irene Lindegaard,' whose name and place I appropriated for myself. All because it was convenient for me to do so," she says, her head bowed.
"So you're not really..." Theresa points at her.
"No," Irene shakes her head, "I'm not the -real- Irene Lindegaard. But that's still the only name that I've ever known."
"When Katrine's Branch reached the point of Full Bloom, I immediately understood what this meant for me- that I could finally get out of this girl's mind and live a life for myself, free of having to constantly listen to her constant whining about every little thing," she scowls. "I had no sense of empathy back then."
I glance over at Theresa, and she's just staring at Irene without a hint of emotion in her eyes.
"So you ate her soul and pretended to be her sister who died?" Theresa asks.
"No," Irene shakes her head, "Not quite. That's probably what I -would- have done if the power granted by the Full Bloom wasn't what it was."
"And what -was- this power?"
Irene reaches into her mouth and yanks out one of her teeth with about as much regard as I do a hair with split ends. And though I'm used to seeing her do this, Theresa stares on in abject horror.
"If I pull out a tooth like this and plant it in the ground, a new 'me' is grown the next morning. That's actually the entire reason I'm here at all right now, Cecile planted the tooth that sprouted this instance of myself so that I could meet you."
"Wasn't my secret to give away," I say, shrugging when Theresa shoots me an accusatory glare.
>"Wasn't my secret to give away," I say, shrugging when Theresa shoots me an accusatory glare.
......... That's not the best word choice to use on Theresa. We did just that with her and Charlotte.
though I voted against it
"I figured that this was a way that I could gain my freedom without having to end Katrine's existence," Irene says. "Not that I actually -cared- about her back then, but it seemed like a waste of effort to follow my original instincts and consume her soul when I could get what I wanted some other way."
After licking off the blood from the tooth that she just pulled, Irene holds it up to her eye.
"But when I asked Katrine to pull out one of her own teeth, naturally she reacted as any sane person would and refused. Especially since our teeth were 'normal' back then..." Irene trails off.
"What do you mean?" I ask.
"These shape ones," she points in her mouth," only came in after all the 'normal' set was removed."
"If she refused to do it," Theresa says, "then how'd you-"
"I forced her to," she replies. "I assumed direct control of her body for the first and only time, forcibly pulling out one of her canine teeth and planting it in the forest. She fought me all the way, but the sheer shock of what I was making her do was enough to lessen her control."
"Christ," Theresa winces.
"Mind, just because our teeth grow back, that doesn't mean that it doesn't still hurt just as much as having one of yours puled out would," Irene says. "This one included."
Irene tosses the tooth that she just pulled out in the air and catches it like you'd do with a quarter.
"Forcing Katrine to do what I wanted was really mentally tiring," Irene says, "so I had her walk back home and go to sleep after I finished planting the tooth. And the following morning, I crawled out of the ground for the first time."
"So that's how you got to be... you?" Theresa asks.
"Not quite," she shakes her head. "I had a body, but even this one was still shared with Katrine due to the way that her Branch works. And I wanted FULL independence, not a loaner body."
Irene takes another deep breath and closes her eyes.
"So I did what came naturally," she continues, "and attacked the bit of her soul that was present in the body that I'd gone through such massive pains to prepare for myself."
"Wait," Theresa stammers, "so you still-"
"I only needed to get rid of enough to fully sever Katrine's influence on 'my' body," she replies. "But even that was enough to put her in a coma for several days. And while she slept, I changed into some clothes that I stole from someone's clothesline and stumbled into our parents' house while our mother was cooking dinner."
"and you pretended to be the real Irene," I say.
"That's exactly what I did," she replies.
"Wait, but I thought you said that she died," Theresa interjects.
"But her body was never found, and I took advantage of that fact. I declared that I got swept into the sea and wandered the land until I finally made my miraculous return home... and since the body I was in was an exact copy of Katrine's and the original Irene was her -identical- twin, they accepted me readily."
>body never found
>identical twin just HAPPENED to get a split personality around the same time
Something fishy (well, fishier than regular murder or accident) probably happened to original Irene.
>Katrine kills her sister and buries her.
>Gets a voice in her head that says its her sister.
>Voice takes over her body.
>Put into coma.
>Sister has popped out of the ground to see her upon waking up.
"By the time Katrine finally came to, I'd become fully situated in my new place," Irene says.
"So that's how you got your own body and identity without killing Katrine?" Theresa asks.
"More or less," she sighs. "Of course, Katrine knew what I really was the entire time. And though she does accept me as her sister, she's made no attempt to hide that she still hates me for everything that I did to her. She even started cutting her hair short and maintaining her 'standard' instances about a decade older than I do just so that she doesn't look exactly like me anymore."
Theresa just stands there, dumbfounded.
"Don't get me wrong," she says with a pained smile. "I'm not trying to fish for sympathy here. Even though I'm no longer an opportunistic monster thanks to our parents' love, I -am- still a wretched abomination that deserves every bit of misfortune that comes my way. And if you two hate me after what I've just told you, I completely understand."
>how do I respond?
>Uhm, so if you weren't exactly her biggest fan back then, why are you still working with her instead of doing your own thing? Or vise versa I guess, she doesn't sound too stoked about dealing with you either...
So, both she and Irene have basically separated versions of the same branch? So her forcing Katrine out of the body she took over meant Katrine could never get into the ones she created later?
She sure sounds a lot more appreciative of Katrine these days despite the fact Katrine can't have treated her very nicely after all that, what made her change her views?
OOC question here.
Was there a chance of Irene leaving a piece of herself in Katrine unwittingly? i.e. not all of Irene was transfered over / a copy was left over but since she severed the link she didn't know?
And that's all for the first thread of the year, folks. I hope it was fun for you guys.
Finally got to explain why Irene is Irene, with any luck it went over well enough and her actions thus far are understandable.
The next thread will be Thursday night.
and now questions
1. CALLED IT
2. Irene a good girl she dindu nuffin
And remember, an indistinguishable fake is objectively superior to the original object.
What you did was horrible, and Katrine has all rights to hate you, but you've always been kind to me and I'll never forget how much you've helped me.
I believe you're not the same person now as you were then.
>So, both she and Irene have basically separated versions of the same branch?
Yup. Same Branch, same DNA, same everything. They're essentially the same person, which is the main reason why Katrine recalled Irene and Archibald when Noelle showed up. She wasn't about to risk the off chance of her Branch affecting her through Irene.
>So her forcing Katrine out of the body she took over meant Katrine could never get into the ones she created later?
Yup, they're completely separate now.
>Was there a chance of Irene leaving a piece of herself in Katrine unwittingly? i.e. not all of Irene was transfered over / a copy was left over but since she severed the link she didn't know?
Nope, it was a total severance.
>Are Katrine's Katrines as bouncy as Irene's Irenes?
Identical size, shape, firmness and bounciness.
>How does Irene feel about other people's vine personalities nowadays?
She generally believes in leaving them alone as long as they're not causing trouble. However, Overgrowth is unforgivable.
>How old was Katrine when original Irene disappeared?
The original Irene went missing when they were eleven, Katrine got her Branch when she was twelve and the separation was when she was thirteen.
>How long did it take for Katrine to accept Irene?
About two years, around which time Irene had finally progressed into being a Real Girl instead of a monster simply going through the motions of one.
And now it is time for me to go to sleep. Thanks for playing!
For further questioning:
Game production blog:
>What you did was horrible
Was it? Was it really?
She just wanted a body of her own, and she deliberately went out of her way to avoid murdering Katrine when doing so would have been a quicker and less complicated way of getting one.
Katrine should have thanked her, Irene saved them both the trouble of the otherwise inevitable PSYCHIC DEATH BATTLE TWO MINDS ENTER ONE MIND LEAVES FINAL DESTINATION.
Well I'd say the whole 'impersonating her dead sister to her family' afterwards could be what really ticked Katrine off. The previous stuff would probably be enough to make her uncomfortable around Irene but I agree it wouldn't be much to hate her for so much as dislike/feel creeped out by her.
The way I see it, that was necessary to prevent everyone from flipping their shit when an identical Katrine clone came stumbling out of the forest.
And can you even imagine how the parents must have felt, having their lost and presumed dead daughter miraculously return to them? Sure it wasn't REALLY her, but to everyone but Irene and Katrine she may as well have been.
Basically it's all positives right down the line except for a little SAN loss from Katrine.
>You've had healthy teeth pulled out
Well about half of the exposed tooth cracked.
>entirety without anesthesia?
Yeah, dentists are expensive.
>You've had worse? On a scale of 1 to 10, how Katawa Shoujo are you?
I have one load bearing leg.