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For your amusement and mine.

Nightmare 1: Red Alert

(At the combat deck) Lloyd: "Are they together, or being cute?"
Eloise: Er, regarding who?  ...Oh!  You mean the aliens!
''Lloyd: Yes. You know, the reason we came down here in the first place!

ElliottBelser: Right, after you activate your SQUIDs, a clamshell cradle drops and the ANIMa begin filling up with "I Can't Beleive It's Not LCL."
SoylentWhite: Wait, I have a baby Cthulhu on my head now?
ChessyPig: Superconducting Quantum User Interface Device.
ElliottBelser: That sounds right.  Also, I have no orange juice and I must snort fluids through my nose.

ChessyPig: "Alice looks at the Anchor console, regarding it like a personal enemy."

(Alice uses the abort button to electroshock Lloyd awake, ejecting him from the dreamscape)
Lloyd: "Where would I be without your tender ministrations?"
Alice (smiles in admiration): "You'd die?"



SoylentWhite: Clean minds don't let clean minds play Bliss Stage.

ElliottBelser:  Where would she take you after missions anyway?
SoylentWhite: I'm thinking 'back to the fields'. (unintended innendo ahoy!)

SoylentWhite: Animal always needing attention.  There's ALWAYS *some* chore that can be done by two people. Alone.
ElliottBelser: A bigger beastie. Cows are actually uncomfortable if they're unmilked.  ...I mentioned the triple entendres, yes? I think we're going to quadruple. Tell me when we reach icosal.

(Regarding the day the Bliss hit:)
ElliottBelser: "...I was at school when it happened..."
SoylentWhite: (Thomas is a tru-ant, Thomas is a Tru-ant)

ElliottBelser: Okay, if they don't kiss during this scene, I'm going to smack Ben Lehman with a copy of KareKano.

ElliottBelser: She more "murfles" than speaks to respond.
SoylentWhite: (murfle: *awesome* word)
ElliottBelser: (brought to you by Something Positive, which isn't)

The interlude resolves, with Eve and Thomas utterly failing to kiss.
ElliottBelser: (I think that's scene.)
SoylentWhite: (KareKano at the ready for beatdown?)



SoylentWhite (Lloyd): "I've got something here that will wake you up" he gestures to the bottle he is carrying.
ChessyPig (Jessica): "Lloyd, that's just going to send me straight to sleep. That's not going to help."
SoylentWhite: (Alcohol. That well-known stimulant)

SoylentWhite: Lloyd looks slightly human for a moment.
ElliottBelser: (as opposed to mostly alien?)

ChessyPig: Eventually Jessica reopens the door with a mulish expression on her face, as if to say 'yes, it did take me that long to get dressed, why do you ask?'. Also her t-shirt is on backwards. (This appears to be deliberate, rather than a mistake.)

ChessyPig: Jessica is kind of defusing and calming down gradually.
SoylentWhite: "Good, then it's just point 2. Have you ever kissed a guy?"
SoylentWhite: (I'm sorry, you were saying something about 'calming down'?)

SoylentWhite: "Look . . . kissing. It's kind of blah when you begin, but trust me when I say it can be spectacular later on.  You learn to like the act, and you get to like the person you do it with.  And that *like* is what will make your ANIMa more powerful."
ChessyPig: "I don't think kissing people is going to make them like me more. More kind of scream and run away."

Lloyd: "Tarragon's a fine human, but the only thing he would know to do with a Wolf is domesticate it, and a domesticated Wolf is a pathetic thing, living between two worlds, belonging in neither and destined to die a dog's death."  (Not *funny*, but I like it a lot.  Note that 'The Wolves' is the name of the ANIMa squad.)

Lloyd: "To protect takes sacrifice.  To protect eternally requires total sacrifice." (again, Lloyd waxing Philisophical)

The text of a letter from Lloyd to Jason, on the subject of a romance with Jessica:
Dear Jason,
You should have just been asked to tutor Jessica. Given that the only real alternative is Julian, I appeal to your sense to accept the task. If that fails, consider that I will bash your head in if you don't accept, and I'm sure the right choice will become clear. Abuse the trust I have given you, and I'll rip your balls off, so be polite and gentle, and make sure she *likes* it.
Regards,
Lloyd.
P.S. Not kidding about the 'balls' part. Seriously.

Jessica: "Ll... Lloyd wanted you to... to read this." (about letter, above)
Jason: "Sure. Just leave it on the side and I'll read it when I'm done with this."
Jessica: "Oh, and when he says tutor," she says, in a kind of forced casual voice that she doesn't feel, "he means kiss."
Jason: "The H**L!"
Jason: "Kiss? Kiss who? Tell Lloyd I don't swing that way!"


Nightmare 2: Fever Dreams

During a discussion of plans about interludes:
SoylentWhite: I'm trying to get into the mind of a cynical, traumatised, manipulative, near-death 17 year old. Forgive me if sleeping with more than 1 woman doesn't seem that big a deal.

SoylentWhite: Which is why Lloyd wants to speak with Alice first. That, and an allergy to being murdered in his sleep.

ElliottBelser: Ahem, discussing the ethics of being a slut for the purposes of this game.
SoylentWhite: To which I was saying Lloyd's general reaction was: 'Ethics? *pfhhht*'


Fun At Lunch for the Briefing Action
SoylentWhite: (Oh c**p. Jason's told [Tarragon and Dr. Schwartzchild] about the tutoring!)
ElliottBelser: (Oh you bet your ass she knows)
SoylentWhite: (I think I already have.)

Regarding an alien attack:
ChessyPig: Jessica just kind of vaguely assumes that the world is ending, like it ought to be right now.

Jessica's lost it:
ChessyPig: Jessica is almost completely unresponsive. She makes eye contact, but other than that she just lays there like a lump of meat.  (Her eyes say 'Help me, I'm drowning')

"Albtraumhafter ausländischer Abschaum! Essen Sie Scheißer!" - Dr. Schwartzchild describes the invaders, courtesy of BabelFish.

Regarding a terrible Pilot's Nightmare check involving a sensor buoy
ElliottBelser: Trauma ahoy, yes.  Terror resets to 0.
SoylentWhite: It's a *very* scary sensor buoy.

On the surprising discovery that they have flightsuits
SoylentWhite: Uniform? How on earth did we scavenge one of those? Army surplus shop? (or worse.  must . . . clean . . . brain)
ChessyPig: No, it's part of the ANIMa design, so it's lame and probably made out of the remains of someone's fetish gear after Eloise absent-mindedly said she needed some latex clothing.  (having looked up 'plugsuit' on Google)
SoylentWhite: That's what I was thinking when I said 'worse'.

Post-second point of Trauma for Jess mission
Dr. Schwartzchild: "Lloyd, you are currently an arrogant, manipulative bastard in addition to being a star pilot. And you're treading on ice that's VERY thin indeed."
Lloyd: "So you're saying a pilot is less important than a- I'm sorry, what *is* it that you do, nowadays?"

The rant of Dr. Schwartzchild continues
"...do not misunderstand. Ah... Sex education... let's put it that way, yes... especially regarding the emotions involved, is vital.  I just rather disapprove of your requiring PRACTICALS WITH UNWILLING TUTORS."

On a serious note:
Lloyd: "I had no choice but to make the only suitable candidate would volunteer."
Dr. Schwartzchild: "Ah. I see we reach the point of this entire discussion, then, Lloyd.  It's not your choice.  And don't you DARE forget that.  It's *HERS.*"
Lloyd: "Even if her choice would doom us all to death?"
Dr. Schwartzchild: "Who the HELL are you to decide that it will?"

Tarragon, with ulterior motives, discusses the workings of the ANIMa with Jessica
Tarragon: Now, if I understand it, which I don't...

Tarragon: A... kiss... wouldn't matter so much as the intent behind it, which is why I don't understand Lloyd's ...request.
SoylentWhite: (And this is the part Lloyd will never understand.)

Christ, Tarragon, just kiss her already!
ChessyPig: Jessica was about to lean forwards and try to nervously kiss him, but checked herself when he seemed startled.  Very gently, she leans forwards and touches noses with him.
SoylentWhite: (KareKano at the ready!)
ElliottBelser: He gives you a peck on the forehead.  He seems a little embarrased even by this. (KareKano abort!)

Jessica: "Alice wouldn't suggest *tennis*. Or a *walk*." She sounds contemptuous of the activities, as if they are below her status as a pilot.
Thomas sighs. "No, but I wouldn't suggest to you what Alice would suggest to Lloyd."
Note that Alice has 5 Intimacy with Lloyd, meaning...!!  ...Let's not go there.

...sigh...
Thomas starts. "I don't know what to do, Jess. Every time I let you get in that pod, and every time you come out more distant than before. And I don't know what to do!"
Jessica's face twists in an agony of not knowing what to say. "I don't want to be angry because then you'll run away," she manages, choked, her eyes fierce.

...deeper sigh...
Thomas nods. "Yes. I'm weak. I know that now. But I don't want to lose you, Jess."

...deepest sigh...
"What *do* you want to do tomorrow?"
"Maybe we *could* go for a walk," she conceded. "After all, it's a lot like the real world in the dream, it's good to keep track of landmarks," she added, spoiling it rather.
Thomas smiles, slightly. "A walk it is, then."




On discussing the possibility of Alice -> Lloyd <- Amanda with either of the girls:
SoylentWhite:  Does being disembowelled count as a negative to a seduction check?

Amanda grins. "Tommy and Wonder Girl are kissing and making up. You know, I really don't talk to anyone much but Dr. S, and that's because she's looking for a sign to put me on crazy pills."

So... much... innuendo...
Lloyd: "You scare people off, and most people won't care enough to look below the surface."
Amanda: "You seperate the wheat from the chaff by beating it senseless, right?" She shakes her head slightly.
Lloyd: "Awful lot of chaff around, and not much wheat."
Amanda:  "So would you slap me for saying you go against the grain?" She sips her water.
Lloyd: "I certainly seem to rub some people up the wrong way, I'll give you that." he says half-smiling.
Amanda: "And Alice the RIGHT way, apparently," she says with a rather vicious smile.
Lloyd: "It's a talent. Want me to show you?" A smile shows he's half-joking.
Amanda: "Dear me, does Alice know?" Half joking herself.
Lloyd: "Oh, she knows how I rub her, alright." (deliberately misunderstanding)
Amanda: Amanda shrugs. "I could stand some lessons, assuming that this won't result in our murder."
Lloyd: "Understand, my lessons are heavily subscribed, but for a favoured customer, I could fit you in a few days after you stop hearing Alice scream at me."

On the actual subject
Amanda suddenly sobers up a bit. "...I wonder what would happen if we outright asked?"
Lloyd finally looks serious. "I was intending to, but there's no 'we'. This is my burden."

The seriousness of the subject sinks in.
Amanda: She slumps back in her chair.  "Mental note: get Julian to raid the market for more gin."
Lloyd nods. "Yeah.  I have a stash already - want some?"

Amanda almost, but not quite, loses faith in him.
Lloyd:  "I don't want to hurt anyone. Not you, not Alice. But I *need* both of you."
Amanda: "Presumably for reasons other than an arms race," she mutters.
Lloyd: "It doesn't work like that. False emotions are useless. Your manifestation is so powerful *because* my feelings for you are so strong."
Amanda is silent for a long second, before she sighs: "...I know, Lloyd." She puts her hand on the table.

Unusual honesty:
Lloyd looks down. "Look, I don't just want your body, I want *you*. Do I love Alice? Yes. Do I believe I also love you? Yes.  I know what kind of a man that makes me, but I can't change my feelings."
"I'm guessing it makes you normal..." Amanda seems to be thinking of something to add.
Lloyd laughs. "Yeah, probably. But what about you?"
Amanda blinks.  "That's odd. I honestly don't feel jealous."
Lloyd: "You don't? I'm honestly surprised. Far be it from me to look a gift horse in the mouth, but would you mind telling me why?"
Amanda has to think about it.  "As soon as I find out, I'll let you know. Promise."



A far from innocent misunderstanding.
Alice: "Then what am I meant to do about your robot gun size problems?"
Lloyd: "Because I can only come up with one solution."
Alice: "....you really are going to kiss Julian?"

Ecchi...
Lloyd smiles. "Get your mind out of the gutter."
"Oh, I'm sorry," Alice purrs, "where would you rather my mind was?"  She breathes over her fingernails again, trying to work out if they're dry enough to use yet.
Lloyd smile changes. "good point. Stay in the gutter, we'll need it there soon enough."

This is the point where my and I'm guessing Soylent's jaws hit the floor:
"You wanted to fuck other girls behind my back?"  Alice appears to be shocked and outraged that you'd think of doing it any other way (than all at once).
Lloyd: "It's hardly behind your back if I get permission from you first, is it?"
Alice: "It totally is. Even if I didn't mind, I'd want to keep an eye on you."  (It's obvious that's not quite the real reason, but she doesn't want to share the real reason now you've reacted like that)
Lloyd: "In case I do what? You *know* I'd be f**king them, what could I do that's *worse* than that... And can I do it to you?"
"In case you get... attached!" Alice waves her arms around. "And..." she looks kind of upset, "and I don't want to lose you, Lloyd."

Are YOU yaoi enough?
Lloyd: "I understand you don't like her, and I'm sorry about that."
"You sure I can't tempt you into kissing Julian?" teases Alice, mostly not serious. "I mean, Jason would be my first choice, but it sounds like he's out of the running already."
Lloyd looks slightly unhappy, though trying to hide it. "If the war gets bad enough, I may have to."



ElliottBelser: Amanda x Alice?
SoylentWhite: That one should be *fun*.  Lloyd's entire world could fall apart and there's nothing he can do about it.  (Good chance for me to get some ironing done, as well.)



You should see the other guy . . .
After the mission, Lloyd seeks out Amanda's medical expertise for mysterious bruising & slight bleeding on the knuckes of his right hand.
"The wall offended me." Lloyd explains.
Amanda: "Yeah? How did it look when you were done with it?"
"It had blood all over it." Totally deadpan.
Amanda: "Must have beat it up pretty good than." She's running your hand under cold water, holding it very gently.
"I'm sure it won't give me any lip *ever* again."



Discussing Alice's views on what she and Amanda had just agreed on.
SoylentWhite:  A lawyer's mind, so young. She is clearly evil.



I'm not sure if it's Jess or Tarra needs to get out more...
"The stars are nice." Tarragon casts around for something less fatuous to say next.
Jessica looks up at the sky. The stars are nice... She guesses.

Major points for honesty:
"What's in the box?" she asks, indicating the basket.
"Cornish pasties," Tarragon replied.  "...And a crib sheet. Amanda's better at those than Lloyd."

In sterophonic sound where available:
"Want to try again?" -- Tarragon and Jessica, at the same time, regarding a botched kiss



Do not meddle in the affairs of Anchors:
SoylentWhite: Lloyd became a pilot first because he wanted to do her, then sought to improve in order to be her.
ChessyPig: Julian would, when he found out, congratulate Lloyd and then beat him up under the disguise of 'sparring'.

...I cannot imagine how fucked up he became on becoming a Pilot...
"So, it wasn't because you understood her reasons?" Lloyd asked.  "The practicality of the arrangement?"
"Fuck no. You don't do something like that cold-hearted." Julian's nose wrinkled. "Well, maybe you do," he admitted, distastefully. "But she wouldn't've."
Lloyd is silent for a few moments. "So, even in the *beginning*, it was . . . ?" almost to himself.



See, it's funny because it's true:
SoylentWhite:  I am not an a******e. I am not an a******e. I am not an a******e. (getting into non-Lloyd mindset)

Apparently a movie reference, but still heartbreakingly accurate... in both cases:
"Jess, look at this." Thomas holds a twig in front of their faces. "This is me." Just place a little pressure and . . . the twig snaps. He then holds up the bundle of twigs tied together. "This is us. You, me, Tarragon, even Lloyd. All working together."

He tries to break the twigs. They bend, but don't break.

"But that's not how they take us," explained Jessica sadly, holding out her hands as if she wants to hold the bundle of twigs.

Thomas, reluctantly, hands her the bundle.

"They takes us two," she grabs two twigs and bends them out from the bundle, until they break, "or three," and she has more difficulty, one popping out of the bundle instead of breaking over, "and four, and they don't stop bending back," she cracks one of the four, "and forth," another, "until we're all gone." She throws the sticks on the floor and smears them across the ground with her foot.  "And maybe if we were more tightly bound," she continues, almost choking on coming tears, "then it would be harder for them."

"It's not the aliens seperating you from the bundle, Jess. It's just you," Thomas replied.



Not an ideal way of breaking the tension, but effective
Alice sighs. "Amanda, Lloyd, you have too many clothes on. There is a bed over there. Please just go and have sex already," she says with a slight edge.

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