The A-78xD United Eidolonic Collective were a reasonable lot. Or one. They/it/we didn't really understand human languages. Always hung up on "nouns" and "adjectives" and "tenses" and whatnot. A-78xD didn't speak; it/we/they had no method of vocalisation, so typically relied on purely mental methodologies of communication. This resulted in a very strong understanding of legal procedures, since there is no "fine print" if the agreement is conferred by mutual comprehension. Unfortunately, due to the rather dismal construction of the human brain, psionic communication was impossible - human brains were criss-crossed by structural faults called "blood vessels", which would invariably burst upon first contact with A-78xD's overmind. The actual mechanical purpose of "blood vessels" escaped A-78xD; we/it/they thought it was some kind of backup communication system, just in case the neurons got destroyed. That was how Ruprecht always used them, anyway.
Regardless, A-78xD was/were/are/is a reasonable lot/one/us/we/them. And as such, they had prepared some convenient flash cards for ease of communication with the new inheritors; the inheritors presently seated in front of one of A-78xD's many bodies/friends/allies/servitors.
That particular instance raised the first card.
greetings for Claimwise, subjective forthwith grain.
statistical Contemplation? valid, inviolate
Claimwise to be swift prompt
(blood) vessels Comfortable? sustenance available
The inheritors looked uncomfortable. Skitter Marshall shifted slightly on his seat.
"Could I get some water?"
On the morning of the 26th, Skitter awoke in an unfamiliar bed.
He was expecting something strange and unusual to happen on the 26th, and given the nature in which the letter was delivered, he didn't know what to expect. Skitter had been busy in the days leading up to this one. His mind went wild with possibilities; what was the "A-78xD United Eidolonic Collective"? Why had he never heard of "MARSHALL, CARTER AND DARKE LTD.", and why didn't a web search return anything about them? Why was the letter so incomprehensible? He was braced for surprise.
Waking up in a different bed, then, was not especially astonishing for him.
It astonished him a little when he sat up and was surrounded by twenty faceless nightmares in identical business suits.
And it astonished him even more when one of them entered the room, a pink and flowery apron worn over the same style suit as the others, and delicately placed a tray with eggs, bacon, coffee, and buttered toast onto his lap.
His eyes narrowed, surveying A-78xD one instance at a time. He deemed it was probably rude to express verbal thanks to things which didn't seem to be able to vocalise in return; though, since they all seemed to be staring at him (despite the lack of eyes), he surmised that they could probably see. He gave them a thumbs up, and at once the twenty-one A-78xD instances in the room gave forty-two upwards-pointing thumbs in return.
The breakfast was delicious.
Skitter sipped his water while the instance in front of him continued flipping through cards. It stopped, then pulled one from its stack and spun it around.
some rational Inheritance of the company
MARSHALL, CARTER AND DARKE LTD.
is am wish to many.
Robert Carter sighed.
"Well, good. I'd hate to accidentally inherit anything irrationally."
Skitter smirked a bit. The instance flipped up another card, holding it purposefully towards Robert.
deepness for incomprehensible
"Yes, yes, we've been over that."
On the morning of the 26th, Robert awoke in an unfamiliar bed.
His first observation, strange though it was, was that the room didn't smell like Vegas. It smelled a touch more like… ozone? And his tongue was a bit numb.
First conclusion, before even raising his head from the pillow: Gas leak. Evacuate.
He jumped from the bed and stood up before noticing that the room was not the one he went to sleep in, which he noticed shortly after coming face to not-face with an A-78xD instance.
His eyes widened, he turned, and saw the other nineteen instances in the room.
He wasn't screaming, nor especially scared. It was more of a dull groan of confusion. A dream? He bit the inside of his cheek, slightly drawing blood. Still, given the evidence of twenty faceless things sharing a room with him, his assessment of the world was erring more on the side of dream than reality. He looked at the suited things, then looked down at himself, dressed in nothing but the underwear he slept in. He shook his head a little. When faced with the extance of these impossible horrors, his biggest concern was that he was underdressed.
They brought him the most comfortable suit he'd ever worn.
manytimes Isn't the asking.
factreel plane of MARSHALL, CARTER AND DARKE LTD.
abundance with verve
The instance flipped over the card.
planesource Library for supplement?
if confusion, Phone local and support
The instance flipped over the same card.
twist assistance from subnanoscale
trivialities engender regret
fortunatewise fork tines chewstyle
The instance flipped over the same card.
Skitter turned to Robert.
"How much of that did you follow?"
"I can conclude that piece of paper has at least four sides. Beyond that, I've got nothing."
"I think I might know what it means about the Library? No idea past that."
"If we have any questions, full records of the company are on file, and we don't need to ask to visit. They're kept in the planesource library, which I imagine is the same Library that Mister Marshall is familiar with. We should be sure to fully review those records and be familiar with them as soon as we can. I assume it likens the consumption of information to the consumption of food, meaning that we should chew that data as much as possible."
Robert raised an eyebrow; Skitter shrugged; the instance flipped its card again.
On the morning of the 26th, IT WAS THE MOTHERFUCKING SLENDERMAN.
Iris' first instinct: run like hell.
Iris' next thought: you can't outrun him, kill the bastard.
She patted the pockets of her pants. Keys. Screwdriver. Box cutter.
She pulled out the box cutter, extended the blade, gritted and bared her teeth, swung open the door, then drove it deep into the torso of the entirely unsuspecting A-78xD instance.
It popped like a balloon.
Its internals were pressurised, off-yellow, bubbling foam, the consistency of pus, which splattered all over the hallway. Iris immediately regretted having bared her teeth while stabbing, as quite a lot made its way into her mouth.
She spat and coughed, clearing her nostrils, wiping it out of her eyes, getting it out of her hair and just generally shuddering with the repulsion one would expect when coated with eidolon innards. She blindly staggered backwards, slipped in the goo, and fell back inside her apartment. As she put her hand to the floor to raise herself, she felt paper against her slime-coated fingers.
Iris picked the papers up, put them on the nearby table, closed the door, wiped the last of the gunk from her eyes, had a long, long shower, got dressed in far cleaner clothes, put the clothes she'd been wearing into a pile to burn, and then read the letters. Then she understood what had happened.
"Oh. Oh shit."
She felt exceptionally embarrassed when the next instance showed up, holding a placard in front of it:
apologetics for fearmake
letter Consumption idealised
appreciation; please Follow
Iris packed a small satchel of essentials, slung it over her shoulder, locked her front door, and joined the instance in the hallway. The two of them tracked eidolon muck down the corridor; the instance stopped at the steel-fronted elevator, pushed a red, metallic key into the security lock, and twisted.
The elevator opened as usual, but behind its doors was a long passageway, lined with shiny black stone that Iris couldn't identify. She followed the instance through, the door automatically closing behind them. They walked into what Iris knew, if the universe were playing fair, should have been empty space a few stories from the ground.
ink talking Requisite per. gonefolk want.
insertion flickways at Perforate indicative;
sapient servitor remainder guide
Skitter and Robert blankly stared at the sheet, then turned to Iris in near-unison. She sighed.
"Ink talking. It wants us to sign something."
The suited instance pulled a thick suitcase seemingly from nowhere, passing on three large sealed yellow envelopes addressed to each inheritor, along with three weighty silver pens.
They read their documents. This took some time. There were intermittent hmmms and ahhhs and chuckles as they realised what they were to be receiving. They didn't know it at the time, but not all the documents were the same. Iris signed first, then Skitter, and finally Robert put his pen to the paper.
They had used green ink.
compliance appreciative -
remediate dullness to stateful representative
"A guy from the estate should be here soon."
The instance nodded, then pulled the papers together, briefly tapped them against the table to align them, then slid them into a single envelope, then placed the envelope back into the suitcase, then closed and locked the suitcase, and then put the suitcase back wherever it had been holding it, though nobody could quite tell where that was.
reiterative of thankmake
goodfutures desirable of subject!
The other instances slowly shuffled out the door, leaving only the one seated in front of them. It stood, then shook the hand of each inheritor carefully (which each of them would recall not unlike a massage from a sock full of jelly). The instance paused at the door, and consulted a card it didn't feel the need to show them.
watch for tickermen
The A-78xD United Eidolonic Collective left the room.
Iris, Robert, and Skitter had a lot to discuss. Iris talked for a time, then Robert, then Skitter interrupted, then Robert re-interrupted, Iris mediated, and then she talked uninterrupted for a long time. When she stopped talking, the other two agreed with her, though wanted to go over a few small points. Iris clarified for them and wryly smiled.
"That's if you're up for it, at least."
Robert smirked. Skitter grinned and replied.
"I think I can live with that."
There was a knock on the door.
It was the representative.