Accidentally Ducking The 200 Question Survey

<Jaito> The software loads almost instantly, flashing software agreements in a nice, neat ledgered stack floating in the air in front of Shousei. How professional? A second agreement floats off to the side, waiting patiently.
<Shousei_Yamazaki> Shousei closes his eyes for a moment. How do people do this for such a long time? Maybe the disorientation goes away. Maybe I just need to eat something. …Anyway, these terms of service need to be signed. Let's do that first.
<Jaito> After the signature, a registration screen comes up, blinks a few times, and then flashes straight forward to…er…why is there a buxom woman floating on Shousei's ceiling. Strips of leather or electrical tape are NOT clothing…and that looks like a chain around her neck…and WINGS?
<Jaito> "Greetings, child of GOD. Am I here to take you away to Paradise…?"
<Shousei_Yamazaki> …He narrows his eyes in disapproval.
<Shousei_Yamazaki> "I don't know, is that the game?" he says softly. Does it even- of course it understands complex sentence structure. They wouldn't have spent so much money on the thing and not get the AI working properly.
<Jaito> "Is the quest for answers ever truly a game, child of man?" She floats down to look him face-to-face…except that she's upside down and arching more than is truly necessary. "But in a more serious tone, are you aware of the travails that face man in these dark days?"
<Shousei_Yamazaki> He pauses for a moment and thinks. "I can think of several, but I couldn't tell you if it's the same as what you're talking about."
<Jaito> "A wise, considered answer. I think I favor you, mortal. I'll keep you safe until you are quite ready for the darkness." She floats a little lower…is she looking at his lips now? The blindfold doesn't help matters.
<Jaito> "Man, in his hubris, raised a tower of Babel once again…and just as surely, the world was punished and thrown into a great confusion. Demons now walk the world and the sinful souls of Tokyo stand as an eternal testament to God's divine justice…"
<Jaito> "But that's neither here nor there….this is about the path YOU choose to take. And I'm here to answer your many, many questions."
<Shousei_Yamazaki> Shousei still looks mildly uncomfortable at this entire business, but nods. "I… thank you for your help, then, I suppose." Tower of Babel? He thinks he knows what she's talking about.
<Shousei_Yamazaki> "What happens next?"
<Jaito> "Every journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step…but before even that, you must choose a path to walk." She flips around, yawning. "Do you know the paths ahead of you? A handsome man like you, I suspect you possess the gift of foreknowledge…"
<Shousei_Yamazaki> …Okay, he's beginning to think the game is doing this deliberately. He sighs and tries to stop letting it bother him. It's still just a game. "I did read the instruction manual, but I would be fine with going over it again. Perhaps you have additional information."
<Jaito> "Perhaps I do. You can't trust anything you read these days…" She laughs to herself. "You could become a Devil Summoner and master creatures such as myself. Wouldn't that be nice? Though, if you sense the taint of sin…perhaps you could embrace your corruption and unleash your inner demon?"
<Jaito> "You could learn the ways of craft like Solomon and become an Occult Specialist…or, for the truly unafraid…you could discover the weight of your soul. Are you ready to know if Heaven or Hell await?"
<Jaito> She giggles like a schoolgirl at the mention of Hell.
<Shousei_Yamazaki> Why did they have to give me the creepy fetish angel? They have little demons and pixies and… and all sorts of things, and they give me the creepy schoolgirl fetish angel.
<Shousei_Yamazaki> Devil Summoning doesn't sound too bad. That's a pretty interesting class, at least, from what he's seen. Very technical, but not so much as the Occult Specialist, which seems to be what most of the real otaku are going for. He doesn't want to be a demon, that's just stupid, he wouldn't even be really good as a fighting type, he doesn't think.
<Shousei_Yamazaki> "What's the last one, and what do you mean 'truly unafraid'?"
<Jaito> "Isn't it obvious?" She rises to a somewhat standing position and spreads her arms. For once, she takes on a properly divine demeanor. "Only the brave can look into their own soul and accept what they find there. Tell me, Yamazaki Shousei…do you have any idea who you truly are?"
<Shousei_Yamazaki> He glances away for a moment, trying to think of how to respond to that. What a stupid question… no one ever asks that question and doesn't have some kind of weird, pointless answer to it. But it's a /game/… and she must just be talking about the Manifest Potential path. Hmm.
<Shousei_Yamazaki> Ah, right. I should still answer. It's polite. "I would think so, but again, you might mean something different."
<Shousei_Yamazaki> "I'm not certain. Is there something you'd suggest?"
<Jaito> "I am prepared to offer guidance to the lost lambs of God." She smiles, all pouting lips and kind tone. "Do you want a path of difficulty in knowledge…or difficulty in truth? Do you want…" The screen flickers. "Truth or satisfaction?"
<Shousei_Yamazaki> Shousei makes a face again. "The fact that those things are different… no, I see what you mean, if you're trying to make this philosophical, about bravery…"
<Shousei_Yamazaki> "…What would happen if I just flipped a coin between them? Can I do that?"
<Jaito> …for someone with blindfolded eyes, the Angel can definitely blink. "What kind of thing is that to say? Are you saying the choice is…unimportant?"
<Shousei_Yamazaki> "I'm sure it's very important. I just don't think it's possible to make a choice like that, rationally, without somehow having the information beforehand."
<Jaito> "Then what do you do when the path ahead of you is shrouded in mystery? Have you no faith?"
<Shousei_Yamazaki> "I… haven't really thought about it. I suppose I just keep going and see what happens?"
<Jaito> "Then perhaps a more natural path better suits you. Devil Summoning requires…agency. Hard choices. Maybe being corrupted or seeking your soul might suit you better." Is there a hint of mild disapproval there?
<Shousei_Yamazaki> Shousei glares. "You are very good at mimicking sapience."
<Jaito> "So are you, mortal." Wide, seductive smile.
<Shousei_Yamazaki> I am not getting my dander up over a game. I am not. "I am perfectly capable of making hard- oh, forget this. Which one gives me the thing to summon that lets me shoot ice bolts or whatever? I just want to get into this so I can make some friends so my father stops making irritated faces at me."
<Jaito> "…listen. Do you want to take part on a lovely evaluation…or do you want to eat demons and people like snack food?" She pouts.
<Shousei_Yamazaki> "The first one. The second sounds disgusting."
<Jaito> "It grows on you…" She licks her lips. "But very well. Let's have a more…intimate discussion." She disappears, then re-appears floating over Shousei's shoulder. "Describe yourself…Shousei Yamazaki."
<Shousei_Yamazaki> He twitches. "Do you-" Damnit. I am. Not. Letting it get to me. "I'm a high school student at Victoria Junior College. I'm seventeen, and I think you can see what I look like fine enough."
<Shousei_Yamazaki> "I… get decent grades. I like… math and literature fine enough. I don't really get along well with people, and I like music." He hesitates. "And I dance. Sort of."
<Jaito> "Those are traits. I was asking about your hopes and feelings! Should I lower the game difficulty?" She smiles.
<Shousei_Yamazaki> You can go toast your wings in a bonfire, you disturbing piece of clip art. He puts on a strained smile. "Hopes. Feelings. That's very interesting. Perhaps you should- no. Let's go with this."
<Shousei_Yamazaki> Besides, I thought the last couple of sentences described my feelings just fine. "I… would like to get into a decent college one day. I'm not really sure what I'm going to do after that. Do you have any specific questions? I'm not really someone who's used to being open about his innermost feelings with imaginary creatures.""
<Jaito> "Hmm…I'm going to have to dig a little deeper. Take of your shirt, mortal-" "That's…quite enough." A softer feminine voice cuts in.
<Jaito> There's the sound of pages turning and the Angel gets a stricken look. "Oh, sh-" And then in a poof of blue light, she's gone…and a woman in a blue trenchcoat with a rather large book is standing behind where she was.
<Shousei_Yamazaki> Shousei looks deeply uncomfortable.
<Shousei_Yamazaki> What did anything just do.
<Jaito> And at her side…is a rather disturbing-looking old man. A nose more like a plague mask…bug eyes that could never have fit properly inside his head…and the most serene of grins. He sits at a small, round table…just raptly fascinated.
<Shousei_Yamazaki> "If this continues turning towards the obscene, I'm just going to turn the game off," Shousei states coldly.
<Jaito>"Greetings, and welcome to…well, your room for now. Perhaps a welcome is a bit ahead of things. Nonetheless, my greetings are quite sincere. My name is Igor, and this my associate Margaret. We…are here to offer our assistance."
<Shousei_Yamazaki> Did I fuck up the tutorial? God, this happens every time I try to talk to people, I just end up in some ridiculous mess with no conception of what I did wrong. How is that even happening /here/?
<Jaito> Margaret smiles. "I'm afraid any obscene materials will require you to change your default parental controls. Isn't it lovely to be in control of your personal equation…." She looks at the old man, who's looking straight ahead in a very obvious way.
<Jaito> She clears her throat. "I seem to have forgotten to calculate part of my own controls." She bows.
<Jaito> Igor continues, ignoring her for the moment. "A great journey lies ahead of you…and some paths are less obvious than others. Tell me, have you ever had your fortune told? Would you like to?"
<Shousei_Yamazaki> He tilts his head. "I don't really believe in things like that, but I suppose it couldn't hurt. …Did I foul up the path selection thing? I don't want to be stuck as an Atma Corrupted because I pushed the wrong button, or whatever the equivalent is. I noticed there isn't a section on deleting your character so you can make a new one."
<Shousei_Yamazaki> An obnoxious oversight, in his opinion.
<Shousei_Yamazaki> …Er, also. He remembers: "And… nice to meet you, I think."
<Jaito> "Hmm…" Igor watches him, clearly amused. "Yes, isn't it quite the error in design when we cannot easily undo our mistakes?" He draws a deck of cards from his pocket and they start shuffling themselves. With a swipe of his hands, they form a spread.
<Jaito> "I sense…a great crossroads before you." He lifts a finger and a card appears.
<Shousei_Yamazaki> Shousei watches with curiosity.
<Jaito> "Your current path has been set by another…a powerful, dominant force…which, perhaps, explains your current confusion. And yet you are prepared for nearly anything. How excellent."
<Jaito> "However…I sense that your current path will have a great and storied impact. Though the road is unclear, it is not one you will walk alone. Quite the contrary. You…must walk blindly, but without hesitation, if you are to get ahead of the past."
<Jaito> A second card lifts as he speaks:
<Shousei_Yamazaki> His confusion is about the game, not the… hmm. That's not entirely useless advice, though he doesn't know anything about what it /means/.
<Shousei_Yamazaki> At least this one isn't trying to get him to stare at its chest. "I see."
<Jaito> "However…your path is not without travails. You are, of course, far from alone. The burdens of this world will try to shape you in ways you can only begin to imagine, the dominant force one of many…"
<Jaito> "…or did…hmm…" A second card appears stuck to the back of this one.
<Shousei_Yamazaki> That's weird.
<Jaito> "But in the end…the final destination of your path is your to chart. Let not the winds of fate decide for you…You, of course, make your own decisions…and when you are ready to accept the price? We will be at hand."
<Jaito> The last card…
<Jaito> "Destiny awaits. But you need not follow. And with that, your personality profile is complete. Isn't that more pleasant than a 200-hundred question survey?"
<Shousei_Yamazaki> He tries not to get impatient as the fortune-telling keeps on, unsure what any of that really meant. "…Yes. Yes it is- two hundred- why the hell didn't she just give me the questions?" He shakes his head. "Ah… anyway. So there's going to be some point in the future in which I should contact you again, you mean? You two specifically?"
<Jaito> "Don't worry. We'll be in touch!" His soft tone and enthusiasm is…off-putting, to say the least. Margaret hasn't stopped staring at him this entire time. "But it's been a pleasure. Truly, I look forward to watching you as you travel down your most unique path."
<Jaito> Their images flicker, and then disappear.
<Jaito> STARTING PACKAGE acquired.
<Shousei_Yamazaki> Shousei frowns. "That's nice…" he says to the air. Hm. What's in here?
<Jaito> And the angel's nearly pressed into his back. "Could I trouble you for a favor, mortal? Some of my…terrestrial friends are in a bind, including some of my own race!"
<Shousei_Yamazaki> …That looks far too fluttery to be armor. The sword is nice, though- "Gah!"
<Jaito> "I can…make it worth your while.
<Shousei_Yamazaki> Shousei stands up and turns towards her, clearly irritated. "And what could you /possibly/ give me that I would actually want, hm?"
<Shousei_Yamazaki> …Granted "XP" is on the table as "things he'd actually want".
<Jaito> "Experience. Macca. My friendship~"
<Shousei_Yamazaki> "How about experience, macca, and you stop perving at me or I'll find a way to use these things to harvest you for parts?"
<Jaito>"…my. You really ARE a sinner! I was simply being friendly." She floats a bit away. "Nevertheless, I accept, mortal."
<Jaito> And with that…
<Shousei_Yamazaki> "I'm sure we can come to some agreement about the… tutorial fight, or whatever you're referring to…" He rubs his eyes.
<Jaito> ~To Be Continued