logs: Mr. Bass Man

<gumbal1> -Hey Mr. Bass Man, you're on all the songs…-
<gumbal1> This time, when Madeline's summoned to the dreamvoid, things are a lot more…different. It's still a hell of a lot mistier than the waking world, as expected, but she doesn't find herself waking up inside a blank white void this time. Rather, Madeline finds herself waking up in some kind of swanky apartment, overlooking a bright, shining city. The furniture is nice, with a peculiar art-deco 1920s Parisian feel to it, but a cursory glance tells you
<gumbal1> that it's less from that era and more made in an attempt to replicate it. Standing at the window, looking towards the soft, queen-sized bed you woke up on, is Miriam's projection. "Dreamweaver Maddox. I trust you do not mind that I have…modified your accomodations. I apologize I could not have you sooner to talk this over, but that is not the heart of the matter at hand."
<Nemi> * "No, it's-" Madeline sits up on the comfy art-deco-styled couch and rubs at her face. ".. it's fine. It's um- it's been a while, but like- it's okay. What's um- what's going on?"
<gumbal1> "You are do for another mission, Dreamweaver Maddox. Given the progress you have made in your training, I have seen fit to place you upon the universal list of trainees, in hopes that you may prove the deservedness of your future teachings." Miriam turns to the window, though you have to wonder if she could even see anything out of that gold dove's mask in the first place. "As it happens, a client has selected you to help an…assosciate."
<Nemi> "Okay…" Madeline settles in a little, sitting up, and rubs at her eyes.
<gumbal1> Miriam turns once more. "Your client, or rather, the party they represent, resides inside one of your…human entertainment venues. Knowing the client, I would expect the presence of other spirits, though I suppose that, if you cannot survive a simple ambush, you are unfit for further teachings." Miriam extends a gloved han, upon which an image is produced. It's…a Showbiz Pizza. Are those things even still around? From the general area, probably..
<gumbal1> .Florida or California? Whatever, getting there shouldn't be a problem with an image of it. "Your target is human. As always, do not disappoint me."
<Nemi> "What can you tell me, um, about the client or- what's affecting them or am I um, going to have to run with it?"
<gumbal1> "My client did not offer details, beyond telling me that said third-party found themselves harassed by a remnant. I suspect they may possess ulterior motives, in that case. In which case, this is a different kind of test, Dreamweaver Maddox. In either case, report back to me regarding whatever occurs in this situation."
<Nemi> ".. okay. I will." Madeline blinks a moment, and then focuses on the pictured location, willing herself to skip a little montage on .. to bring herself there.
<gumbal1> The place…well, it's definitely appears as it looks in the image…though, with being here in person, it's clear the image wasn't in a good enough quality. The place is, like most Showbiz Pizza's that didn't get concept unified the shit out of, is abandoned, and has been for probably almost thirty-something odd years. The buildings around it don't look in much better shape, though at least there's a vibrant community of possums munching down on so
<gumbal1> me garbage a few feet away from where you spawned in. A few play dead, while others scatter. Oh well.

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<Nemi> Madeline is thoroughly bemused. Apparently those things AREN'T still around. So, there's a person in there- remnant troubles, indeed, there's few places as depressing as a Showbiz Pizza long-abandoned. She gently bends her perspective to peek through the windows and inside the establishment.
<gumbal1> The place is fucked, and it's not even falling apart, yet. Machines are busted, tickets and tokens spilt everywhere, a child's dream if they hadn't gone bunk on the whims of Aaron Fetcher. The kitchen is fully stocked, and exactly as mess as a fully-stocked kitchen ketp in situ for that long might be. The actual stage floor is fucking wrecked, and it's a miracle that the curtains, still drawn, are in as good of a condition as they currently are. Non
<gumbal1> e of the doors are locked, though some are blocked by random furniture. In the back sits a haggard young man, apparently being consoled by…well, it's hard to see from this angle, but considering angles don't seem to matter here, that's…kinda worrying.
<Nemi> Madeline can't help but get some Five Nights at Freddy's vibes here- rundown busted old pizza place for kids? Oh yeah. She attempts to bend space to place herself in the b uilding, now, trying to get a better eye on the man and the.. whatever it is.
<gumbal1> Actually stepping in, it feels…madeline might've expected it to feel a hell of a lot colder inside, but actually, all thing's considered, it's slightly…warmer. Maybe it's the lack of wind, but who knows! Either way, Madeline finds herself in a foyer of sorts, busted help desk abandoned, littered with a smattering of tokens, coins, you name it. The door behind it is busted open, and the door to the actual play place is…well, someone tried to bl
<gumbal1> ock it, but that appears to have gone to shit. The actual play area awaits, with an order stand/ticket booth directly straight.
<Nemi> And Madeline advances on to the play area. Why not?
<gumbal1> As before, it's absolutely fucked. Shit's everywhere. Not a lot of graffiti, but a surprising amount of needles, suspicious specks, and a lingering smell of THC and…pizza. The former is everywhere, but the latter is coming from a bit further in, a bit to the left of the general area…the stage floor. Perhaps the kitchen, too, seemingly located behind the counter, though if it is pizza, then it's pizza that you can sell to scientists to advanc
<gumbal1> e the school of Mycology.
<Nemi> People are STILL makin- oh. Oh. No. Not pizza. Not really. The MEMORY of pizza, perhaps, corrupted with time. Madeline peers around, now trying to use her locational knowledge to track down the man.
<gumbal1> One of the backrooms, most likely. Place with lots of parts, some of which hasn't been completely cannibalized in the pursuit of getting high. There might be a way in through the kitchen, or somewhere behind the stage. Perhaps the room behinds the help desk may hold the path towards it. Or maybe some combination of the three. That's for Madeline to decide for herself.
<Nemi> Madeline.. Always wondered what it was like behind the stage at one of these places. She steps one step, across the entire junk-filled space and places herself on the stage proper. She can almost imagine the time when this place was.. alive. Pizza parties, summer camp trips, filling the place with light and laughter. Now, just drugs and human despair. Classic Remnant breeding grounds.
<Nemi> After a moment's consideration, she turns back to root about backstage.
<gumbal1> The animatronics, rather surprisingly, are in a surprisingly good condition. Hey, you survive a Creative Engineering gas leak, you survive a lot of things. The animatronics don't see to be following you with their eyes, but still, rooting around a junk-filled stage, standing around those former superstars of the youth…well, it was something. Classically, Showbiz had three stages. One housed the original four of the Rockafire Explosion, set dead in
<gumbal1> the center. Rolfe might've talked big, and Billy Bob might've had a marketable face, but when it came down to it, the Rockafire Explosion was primarily comrpised of those four. The one to the right had Billy Bob and his pet bird. Tragic, that the star of the show to many children found himself scrapped during Concept Unification. The left stage typically had Rolfe DeWolfe. But, as, inexplicably, the curtains find themselves drawn open, you find tha
<gumbal1> t this building is one of those sites; the testing grounds for Uncle Klunk himself. The speakers have long since busted, but you hear something all the same, burrowing into the back of your mind: "LADIES AND GENTLEMAN…DESPITE MANY A COMPLAINT FROM PARENT AFTER PARENT, SPONSORED BY THE HAND OF QTOR, IT'S THE UNCLE KLUNK ABOMINATION!" …and then it begins moving. No light shines upon it, but that advanced old animatrionic waves just the same. "
<gumbal1> Thank you, thank you, I'm beautiful!"…the voice isn't right. Uncle Klunk never had an accent like a New Orleans stockbroker.

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<Nemi> No. No he didn't have that accent. Nor was he there at all. And this sounded- very, very bad. Very bad. Madeline stops, staring, waiting to see if she can feel.. anything.
<gumbal1> How typical, it's possessed by a powerful undead spirit. One that…doesn't feel all that human. "Darlin', I can feel that probing from across the stage. You hanging with that failure, Billy Bob? Come on, take a seat. Let's talk your future, Maddy." Klunk's stage typically had a phone, along with some fruit. 'Klunk' choses the latter, taking a banana to its ear.
<Nemi> That. Wasn't right either. This is definitely a- no, it's not human /enough/ to be familiar… Madeline purses her lips and tries to be strong. So she sits- maybe it'd tell her what exactly it is?
<gumbal1> "Not scared off, are you? Good. Qtor knows your Auntie woulda jumped at me, first thing." Klunk slams down the banana with enough force to crack the plastic cornucopia it sat upon. "You're wondering who I am, ain't you? Don't worry; I'm just a Stranger on the road you're walking, askin' if you wouldn't consider taking the road less traveled on your next fork." The pizza smell…it's stronger now, somehow. The room feels just a bit warmer, even. Not
<gumbal1> to mention, utter darkness seemed to get just a little less darker.
<Nemi> "Who's Qtor? And um, my auntie..?" Madelin tilts her head, peering at Klunk in confusion. ".. Okay, um.. This is sounding like some kind of Tom Waits song now.. Um."
<gumbal1> "Ah, that old hog. Nah, she's a former boss lady, bring her up sometimes…" Some children laugh at your quip, Madeline. Or at least, their memories do. "No offense intended, but you don't seem like you're in the best of shape right about now. Friendless, depressed, at the whims of a false prophet." More chuckles, this time from the adults in the utterly empty audience. "Lord knows anything that gets its powers from the stars is trouble."
<Nemi> "I.. Okay, I'll- ask about my auntie? I guess?" Madeline blinks at the giggling, turning to peer at the empty audience a moment, before back to Klunk. ".. yeah I'm- not. .. I'm really not. I haven't been for- for a long time. I um. Normally I'd be questioning um, all this but I think I just- don't care enough to be scared or worried or freaked out or anything an' I really like- I just
<Nemi> like talking instead of having to kill somebody like I usually had to." Madeline sighs a moment before her big brown eyes pivot back to the rusted old animatronic.
<gumbal1> "Not everyone can be a savage brute, I guess. Not like Marcelyn." Klunk shakes its head. "Get one order wrong, and suddenly the family's after you like a shark smelling blood. Either way…you hungry?" The sound Uncle Klunk makes as it snaps its fingers is odd, at first. Like a machine being broken and reformed. Perhaps it didn't have it in it to do so during vanilla performances. Still, Madeline finds what looks like a note before her, along with a
<gumbal1> quill and ink well. Above the dotted line on the note…"LET ME HELP YOU MAKE A PIZZA."

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<Nemi> ".. auntie Marcelyn? I um… I guess I could eat something-" Madeline stares at Uncle Klunk for a moment. "You're not used to being in a machine, are you?" She asks, voice quiet, and glances the note. ".. I don't sign contracts."
<gumbal1> "What a shame." Another snap, and the contract burns to the tune of a CEI worker's scream. "No, not at all. Damn, I miss the days of corporeality. I could secure a thousand deals a day and have time to kill whatever inane assassin the Unseelie sent my way. Nowadays, well…" Klunk picks up the phone on the table besides them. "I gotta use a channel."
<Nemi> "… so um- Sssstranger, I guess.. What do you want- err..?"
<Nemi> ".. with me, I Mean?"
<gumbal1> "Well? I was wondering if you really, truly, were satisfied with the way your life was going. Or if maybe, perhaps," Klunk points to you. "you wanted to take it in a different direction. But I guess, you 'don't sign contracts', so that's off the market, isn't it?"
<Nemi> ".. since every contract I signed fucked me, um. No. Not really." Madeline gives Klunk a bland, bland look.

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<gumbal1> "So then, I guess there's nothing I can do to convince you. Not even, well…tell me something, darlin'. Would you like to see somethin' special?"
<Nemi> Madeline still seems.. it's uncanny how empty she seems at this. Just bland, tired more than anything. ".. Sure. Okay."
<gumbal1> Another snap, and Madeline's not there anymore. Rather, she's outside, ready to head in…and then she's back at the apartment. Then, the school. Time's going back a bit now, but Madeline can see it all, in third person. Things that should be blurry, indistinct. Things she'd rather not remember. Things she'd rather not have that Stranger be there for. They're there, too, no longer Uncle Klunk, but a tall humanoid in a glittery pink suit, bandage
<gumbal1> d from head to toe, manacles and spikes jammed through their forearms. "Don't mind me. I knew much of this here hot mess already, darlin'. I can look away when you tell me."
<Nemi> ".. if you know it already just- I don't care. Keep watching." Madeline watches.
<gumbal1> There's a point where they stop it, of course. It's a bit blurry, indistinct, but it's there. It's Mads and…Kiefer, just sort of hanging out together. Nothing special…at least, not at the time. "I'm sorry to dig up something so…tragic, but you remember this sunuva bitch, don't you?"
<Nemi> "Of course I do. He was my first friend. My best friend.."
<gumbal1> Another snap. "Two days later, not that you'dve expected it, you recieved a tiny little MP3 file, right? Something from those good ol' folks at the GWU."
<Nemi> ".. yeah."
<gumbal1> "…I know your kind. There's two kinds of people in the world, and you're the one that gets screwed over by the other one. Betrayed. Abandoned. Violated." The Stranger walks over, to lean beside the door Kiefer's about to open. "But it wasn't until that point that your place in the world was sealed, wasn't it? Maddy Maddox coulda been someone…more respectable, couldn't she?"
<Nemi> ".. nobody calls me Maddy," Madeline, still in third person, says. She's watching. Of course. "… but when he was gone I didn't have anyone to.. I wanted something and- Pom and Pasket were happy to and.."
<gumbal1> "…and what if I told you that could be fixed?" The stranger takes a finger to poke at the currently motionless Kiefer…who proceeds to fall over. "The lynchpin in your life? Someone could put that riiiiiiiight back in. Kiefer never leaves. Katlyn never strays. Pomeline, Pasket, Leah…none of them ever profit off the back of your misery. And Miriam…do you like her, Madeline? Is that the thing you want to be serving for the rest of your existenc
<gumbal1> e?"
<Nemi> "No," Madeline says, blandly, as she stares at the tottering Kiefer.
<gumbal1> "The secrets to time travel may forever remain a mystery, Madeline. Entropy reversal?" As Kiefer hits the floor, he crumbles into a million cubes…which begin to reform instantly. "Well, that's almost certainly in our grasp, don't you think?"
<Nemi> Madeline looks at the Stranger, and stares at him from her t hird-person position. "Why?"
<gumbal1> "…what if I told you I was doing a sort of…talent raid, on the dreamweavers, hrm? Hire a few, here and there. What's a few years off the clock to a bright, young pupil like yourself?" The Stranger snaps, and sheaf of papers floats before Madeline. "Is this the sort of contract you'd be willing to sign?"
<Nemi> Madeline just stares intently at him. ".. if you were so powerful to .. change all that.. why wouldn't you just- make it so I agreed anyway?"
<gumbal1> "Of course, schools of magic don't mix, darlin'. Had it my way, I'd still have kept my devilishly handsome form."
<Nemi> Madeline sighs. ".. it wouldn't matter. I made- I made dreams where he didn't leave, where nobody left me alone and… I always wake up from them.. so- no."
<gumbal1> "…spineless coward." And suddenly, the illusion ends. Madeline's back on the stage, dead animatronics her only companions. One of the backdoors is slightly ajar, to the maintenance hallways.
<Nemi> "Eat a dick," Madeline snrfs as the illusion passes, and she stalks on to the backdoor on to the maintenance hall. She hugs herself. She had the opportunity, certainly, but- an illusion is an illusion. You can't change what's past.
<gumbal1> There's a few rooms, here. Lockers, a break room, and of course, the animatronic storage and repair.
<Nemi> Why not check storage and repair? That's where the real juicy horrors were in all the games…
<gumbal1> Surprisingly, upon opening the door, there's little in the way of robotic horror. There is, however, a severly broken man, along with a somewhat out of place woman, consoling him as he quivers. She seems…comforting. Loving. Positive…too much so.
<Nemi> Madeline was told to check the place out and figure out what's going on. Not necessarily solve it. She peers at the two and steps just inside, turning her attention on the woman.. And she attempts a simple expression of dream logic, to pivot the camera dramatically at whatever the out-of-place woman might be hiding.
<gumbal1> Nothing much. Just the fact that her hand, nails bright blue and perfectly cut, are clipping slightly through a cardboard box.
<Nemi> Mads is tired and unhappy and doesn't relaly care, so she walks up and attempts to poke the woman in the side.
<Nemi> .. Moreover, she tries to feel out if there's anything there besides the man that can possibly dream.
<gumbal1> Which she surprisingly manages…though, unhappy as she is given her energy, it burns a hole in the 'woman''s form. Perhaps this place brought just too much joy to children.
<Nemi> ".. hi. Sorry. You're like an anti-Remnant or something, aren't you?"
<gumbal1> Nothing besides the man. Despite the woman's efforts, he's tripping bad.
<gumbal1> Polarized differently, maybe. The woman, silently, brings a hand to Madeline's face, not even trying to acknowledge the hole…but that burns away too, and Tunnels is too positive to even react properly. "Heh…I guess that's something knew to learn."
<Nemi> Madelin gives a wan smile. ".. sorry. I'm sorry. Um- um, who're you?"
<gumbal1> The Remnant stands up, to the same height as Madeline, though such a thing means little. "…I'm Tunnels. I guess…well, whatever you are, it's nice to meet you. I would like it if you…didn't hurt me anymore."

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<Nemi> ".. I'll try. I'm Madeline. Um. I was… Asked to look at this man, and um, see what was wrong with him and.. you probably know better." Madeline turns to look at the scraggly guy, sadly. ".. you probably know him better. Since you were trying to help."
<gumbal1> "…when he's with me, he's happy. I help him be happy. It's nice. I like it when he's happy." Tunnel's apperance shifts, to one vaguely like that of Athene.
<Nemi> "He looks kind of.. drugged? Or … Dead? I don't know.. he looks sad." But not as sad as Madeline, apparently. Madeline does a doubeltake as Tunnel changes.
<gumbal1> Perhaps. Perhaps Madeline, being made of pure dreamstuff, is just a more potent form of sadness. Madeline can sense that the distress is…irrational. Volatile. But it may be over, in a bit.
<Nemi> "… what made him so upset?"
<gumbal1> "I….guess I don't understand." A bad trip, perhaps. The realization that he's being kept alive and along by unseen forces. Whatever. There's little room in the world for a man like him, so perhaps that's why.
<Nemi> "… okay. .. why do you look like my friend Athene?"
<Nemi> Madeline stands awkwardly, like a lemon, near Tunnels.
<gumbal1> "…well, you like her, don't you? I thought it would make you feel…better."
<Nemi> ".. it kinda does but like- … I don't know. I should probably get back.. um."
<gumbal1> "If that's what you think?" Tunnels doesn't go back to watching the man, as it always was. Its form does, however.
<Nemi> "… yeah. I don't know. .. bye." Madeline flickers out, retreating back to the dreamspace where Miriam left her. Or where she left Miriam.
<gumbal1> Back in the dreamvoid, then. It's still as it was, as is Miriam, looking out the window.
<Nemi> ".. so I found our man who's… mentally affected somehow. Somebody calling itself the Stranger tried to um, make me jump ship from you? I guess. I said no." Because she's so miserable that even offerings of hope are hollow. "… aaaand there was a like, positive emotion Remnant there that was comforting our guy."
<gumbal1> "…" Miriam says nothing, continuing to stare out the Dreamvoid Apartment window.
<Nemi> * Madeline steps in to stand beside Miriam, momentarily forgetting she sometimes needs to pretend to obey space. She peeks up at Miriam. ".. that's what I found."
<gumbal1> "…I do not like being tricked. You failed the mission, but considering the client, I would consider this a success." Miriam turns. A thin stream or rust is present, trickling down from the blank eyeholes of her golden mask. "You will hear from me soon, regarding the next step of your training. For now, go."
<Nemi> ".. okay." Madeline doesn't even react to the news of her failing the mission. ".. bye." And like that, Madeline's gone, back to her cold and empty room, too large for her alone.

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