[Fury] False Home (Vignette 4.2)

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Vignette,

You head downstairs into Yellowhouse's cafe. It's a quaint little place where the owners fry up food caught nearby with the scant vegetables they can grow away from the rain. There's a half dozen round tables with chairs and a few nice booths that have been hand-painted with care. Suquamish is sitting sideways on a bench at the corner booth, an arm on the table, a bottle of wine near her, an empty glass beside that.

Suquamish
"Come here, Vignette. Let us come Home." She offers a sultry smile, eager for you to experience the drug.

What do you do?

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I sit down across from Suquamish, smile and pat the breast pocket of my coat. I feign a little nervous anticipation, drawing upon my genuine nervousness about pulling this off.

"How long will I feel the effects? What can I expect?"

I send my mind out to Suquamish's, sifting through her surface thoughts for unspoken reaction to my questions. I want to be able to play the part of someone who has taken Home.

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Casual thought receptivity: (Rolled: 2d6+2. Rolls: 5, 1. Total: 8)

Marking XP (1)

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Vignette,

Suquamish
"The first time," Suquamish purrs, her normally cold tone lightening with anticipation as she sees the vial and knows the moment is coming soon. "The first time is deliciously long, Vignette. My first trip Home lasted for a whole day. Floating on bliss and free from cares or woe. All the world slides into place when you're Home, Vignette. The universal puzzle is solved" She sighs after waxing poetic, adding, "You should expect visions, a slightly elevated heart rate, maybe some sexual stimulation... Boeing would jump a split-rail fence when he went Home." She smiles at that, a little joke that sounds like it's been said many times.

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I smile as she describes the bliss of Home. "That sounds like just what I need." I put the vial to my lips, hold it just a second to really sell it, really convince her that she saw it before I took it, without lingering so long as to invite close inspection. Then, I down it in one gulp.

"How soon will it hit?" I flutter my eyes a bit, take a deep breath, going for something that could be taken as anticipation or the beginnings of the drug taking hold.

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Vignette,

Suquamish
"With your, ah, size," Suquamish says with surprising diplomacy, "It should some on soon. Relax, darling," she says, reaching a hand over the table to touch yours. "I will make sure it's a good trip. I promise it's worth it." She watches you closely, clearly expected something soon.

What do you do?

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I try to remember everything I can about the times I have seen Hope or Suquamish on Home. I let out a long breath, flutter my eyelids again as a draw in a deep breath, as if suddenly savoring the air.

"Oh..." I say as I imagine a wave of peace and pleasure washing over me. I...think...soon is now," I say with my best untethered-from-the-world Hope smile. I squirm in my seat a bit, like I am leaning in the caresses of many unseen hands.

Not untethered from Suquamish's mind, though. What is she feeling?

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Vignette,

Suquamish is excited to see how this "trip" affects you. She's eager to get this long job over with so she can return to Home herself. And she's a little jealous that you're taking it and she isn't.

Why don't you give me an Act Under Fire to pull off this ruse? I'm giving you a +1 Forward on this roll since you are "reading" Suquamish and have set this up rather well.

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"Act Under Fire: (Rolled: 2d6. Rolls: 2, 3. Total: 5)

Comments

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    Vignette,

    The concoction that Shy brewed up for you is potent, Vignette. You feel your tension slip away, and a sense of calm, waves of pleasure flow over your skin and settle in your tummy. For a moment, you feel lighter, like you might float away.

    Focused on Suquamish like you are, you feel her pull. She's like gravity, Vignette, like a big planet pulling on you as if you're a tiny moon. Your pleasure neurons firing wash away the resistance to her, even your distaste you have for her drains away, leaving only warmth and connection. Suquamish looks into your dark eyes with her brown ones and accepts you. Her mind opens to you and draws you in.

    Your psyche enters hers. You're no longer Vignette, and she's no longer Suquamish. For a moment, you become her, and she feels you inside her, and it is incredible. And it is horrifying. And it is undeniable.

    Suquamish was raised by a cruel father and a vicious brother. Beaten until she learned to be their supplicant, her spirit was broken. Harbormaster is the only person who hasn't tried to use her up, He has given her the closest thing she's known to affection, and she's utterly devoted to him. She doesn't understand the concept of love, Vignette, but you see that she craves HM's approval. As much as Home. That's why she's hated you, pure jealousy for how HM treats you.

    Vignette, you have +2 Ongoing on all Brainer moves on Suquamish.

    However, you now know that the two of you aren't that different. She has 3 Hold on you, like the Hypnotic Move from the Skinner playbook. You can spend that hold, 1 for 1, by:
    • giving her something she wants
    • acting as her eyes and ears
    • Fighting to protect her
    • doing something she tells you


    The connection lasts for a while. You can, if you wish, speak directly in Suquamish's mind. Ask her any question and she will answer truthfully. But then, she'll ask one in return.

    Or, you can break contact, and your ruse is broken. She knows you aren't on Home.

    What do you do?
  • edited October 2015

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    I sway a little. I think there is a light breeze in here. It is a good thing I remembered to strap myself to my chair…except…I am never the one strapped in, right? And…this…this is not an interrogation. I do not do that anymore. Not on people strapped to chairs. Anymore. The breeze…it is so…nice…warm.

    “Oh hey…heyyya…there you are…Su…Suqui…ish… Ssquish. Squish!” I laugh. “I never noticed how funny your name is. Fffflood…did you know how pretty your eyes are? Kind of…deep…full of old hurt…like Cujo’s…like mine.” I trail off suddenly serious. “I understand why,” I say, taking her hand. A far away part of me is screaming, Kill her! You cannot let her tell Harbormaster. But it is just a small part, and not so important, not after we have shared so much. “Your childhood was worse than mine. I am sorry. Mine was mostly…just lonely. Other than the stuff about being forced to experiment on people.”

    We are connected…like I have never wanted to be with her. I cannot help but ask. “Are you going to tell Harbormaster? About my not making the trip Home? He would be so proud. His broken little spy girl, doing just as she is told.” I feel the meanness dripping from my words. I know just what to say, just what hurts. We are the same, Squish and I.

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    Vignette,

    Suquamish
    When you take her hand, she looks at where you're joined and her mouth opens slightly. You feel that she wants to snatch her hand away from you, to keep hating you, but there's too much sensory input, you're in her head and she is lost in that moment. She looks up into your eyes. "I am. I want him to be proud. He won't scrog me, so I don't know what else to do for him, Vign... Vinny." She licks her lips, thinking, "He doesn't hit me. He gives me my Home. It's good, Vinny," Her voice has slowed somewhat, like she's thinking through cotton or something. "You're missing out. I know you're scared. I'll help you. Really help you. Come back with me. I'll get more for you. Then I don't have to tell him what you did."

    Since you asked her if she's going to tell on you, Suquamish wants to know... why do you care for Cujo, Vignette? Because she's hurt like you?
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    Having her in my head is unpleasant. I hate her because she reminds me of what I was. I hate her because she reminds me of a part of me that I have locked away and try to forget about, though it lives on. I will check the locks on that door for the rest of my life.

    But I also pity her. She did not or could not overcome that need to please, that devaluing of herself. I could end her servitude in an instant...though not preserve her life. I wonder what I would want in her place. I almost ask if she would like me to free her, but I know the answer--Home has set her free. She does not despise herself enough. Maybe Home is her locked room. I heave a sigh, no longer a danger to her.

    "You are right that I am afraid of Home. If you tell him I dumped the vial of Home, he will be upset with me," I say. And it is true...which is all I dare think about that statement while she is in my head.

    "Would you lie to him? To get his approval? Would you tell him that Home is not safe for me because of...this?" I ask, mentally gesturing at our shared mind.

    "Would you tell him that I went Home and you had to save me? I would tell him this too. He would be grateful to you, proud of you. And..." I continue with a smile. "And...he will disappointed in me. Home would be something he and I would never share. You know I am manipulating you, but how can you resist? It is everything you want--Him proud of you and disappointed in me. Is it really manipulation if I am giving you what you want?"

    In parallel with this mental conversation is another. The two conversations flow between us at the same time, but they are kept distinct without any expenditure of effort on our part, like the 'channels' of that picture-story box Zeus talks about.

    "Why do I care for Cujo?" I repeat the question. It is safer to repeat it than to answer it. "Do not mistake that for more than it is," I answer us quickly. Just as quickly, we wonder which of us I am talking to.

    "Cujo has overcome her own demons, and it has left her powerful and fragile. She is fierce and breathtaking and terrifying. She has never feared me, though she knows I could kill her without lifting a finger. She accepted me, fought for me, and would have killed me if I meant the Arrows harm."

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    Vignette,

    That feels like a Manipulation on Suquamish to me. Let's see some dice.
  • Manipulate: (Rolled: 2d6+1. Rolls: 3, 5. Total: 9)
    Marking XP(2)
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    Vignette,

    Suquamish
    She licks her lips, thinking and plotting. "He might favor me, true. I know he won't hate you, unfortunately. I will lie for you, Vignette. But in exchange, I want something more. Either do Home with me, just you and me, nobody else will know. Or..." She smiles devilishly, "Give me a night with Cujo. She's so very pretty. And who knows? She might like me best. I have my own kind of... sign language."

    What do you do?
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    I was feeling clever, cornering her against her own need and envy like that. When she pulls Home back in as a condition, I am dismayed. Still, the extent and suddenness of my rage takes me by surprise, as does the sudden punch-to-the-gut feeling I have when she proposes a night with Cujo as part of the deal. I pull back sharply, both physically and mentally, wrenching my mind from hers so abruptly that it leaves me momentarily disoriented.

    "Cujo is not a thing to be owned or given to anyone!" I snarl at her.

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    Vignette,

    Suquamish
    Suquamish gives a low, throaty chuckle, "Home with me it is, then. I'll lie for you for that. I can't wait to see you blissed out. This, whatever you're on, it feels nice. But it isn't Home."

    Jax is hovering nearby, not close enough to listen, but it seems like it's been a while. The music from the roof is loud and it sounds like the Arrows have their bikes up there, it's thunderous from all the dancing.

    I bet Cujo would dance with you if you asked.

    What do you do?
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    “No. You go back to Harbormaster and explain to him how you failed to get me to take Home. I am going back to the party.” I get up to make my way back upstairs.

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    Vignette,

    Suquamish remains seated, it's obvious you two are done and she's not pushing her limits any further. Jax seems relieved to see you walking, although Jax seems to be a bit blurry. He takes your arm to help you manage the stairs, which keep moving under your feet. So weird.

    Please head back to the party scene.
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