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/jacky/ IF Scenario L: Loser's Club

By BlondieAnon
Created: 28th March 2022 03:50:12 AM
25th June 2022 02:48:06 PM

  1. >"Hey, love birds. Get up already, it's past noon."
  2. >You didn't want to wake up
  3. >Your lion's yawn is proof of that
  4. >Motel beds aren't the worst thing in the world
  5. >The beds are comfy enough
  6. >There's usually internet
  7. >And, of course, solid electricity
  8. "Yeah... it's a Sunday though."
  9. >"And I'm hungry."
  10. >Sparking Shine is as greedy as ever
  11. >When you and Jacky got her, she was quick to go to work
  12. >"Mmm... I'm hungry too Anon."
  13. >Even Jack isn't above letting you know that you've done poorly lately
  14. >Money isn't tight, per say
  15. >But you've been saving up again
  16. >Or trying to
  17. >You finally open your eyes
  18. >Jack is right on top of you
  19. >Thankfully the bed sheets have hidden any late night activities
  20. >There are still handheld games
  21. >Your laptop
  22. >All of the movies and things you've downloaded
  23. >...
  24. >But some things are just preferable to help stave off boredom and to pass time
  25. "Where's Prism?"
  26. >"Where do you think? She's still at that food bank."
  27. >Another yawn
  28. "Come on, man. Aren't they fine with paying a talking pony in a few cans of shit?"
  29. >"It takes time. And it takes more time, the more we move around."
  30. "Alright... what sounds good?"
  31. >"Wanna do pancakes?"
  32. >Jack, no matter the situation, is the brightest light for you
  33. "Pancakes it is."
  34. >"You know it costs money to eat out, right?"
  35. >Jack stretches and slithers off of you
  36. >"Oh come on Sparky. We always get the best free sides and whenever we leave we have enough to eat for at least another full day."
  37. >"Yeah, and I can at least cook."
  38. >It's true
  39. >She can effectively grill, boil, and even bake with her magic
  40. >It's mind numbing as all from how much it puts a drain on her mood but it is appreciated
  41. >But it's because of that, that you want to treat her too
  42. >At least it means that you don't need a full kitchen, just some of the basic utensils
  43. >You sit up, stretching your arms out
  44. >You could never hold a job
  45. >Between the economy, your lack of a true skillset, and the dorks...
  46. >Well, at least you have your van
  47. >You sold your car for what you lovingly call your Mystery Machine
  48. >Granted, it's a solid dark green and not at all decked out like you want it to be
  49. >But you do have ambition to turn it into a little mobile home
  50. >Or, at least, you want to furnish it
  51. >A pair of mattresses and a pair of cheap old World War II footlockers do not furnish a van
  52. >But it means that you can all travel and sleep easy
  53. >That said, a motel is still nice
  54. "I guess you're right... well, make sure you go return the keys when we head out."
  55. >You were iffy beforehand but Shine has become a pretty reliable right hand
  56. >She nods, used to handling some of the smaller details of daily life
  57. >As much as Jack tried, she just couldn't keep up with everything
  58. >From what you've been told, even as a filly she was more a follower than a leader
  59. >Given how curt and lonesome Prism is when it comes to "volunteering", you don't doubt it
  60. >You take your time in the shower
  61. >Sometimes, you can take a shower daily
  62. >Not always
  63. >A local gym membership helps with that, as do trucker stops
  64. >As soon as you get out of the shower, Jacky hops in
  65. >You had the passing temptation to interrupt her with something but decided otherwise
  66. >With a towel around your waist and your fresh clothes in a plastic bag on the nearby nighstand, you sit at the foot of the bed
  67. >"Anon... what's our next move?"
  68. "Well... we have around ten grand. The van's pretty fine. Gas tank is around three quarters. There's a possible gig tomorrow that I-"
  69. >"No, I mean... what are we doing? I thought we were supposed to find a home."
  70. >You did say that a while back, didn't you?
  71. >A permanent home
  72. >A safe home
  73. >Consistent work
  74. >But it never came
  75. >It hasn't come yet, anyway
  76. >But it can still be
  77. "I... I don't know. Between having to get new tires, that cold that went through us and the weather... and the motel stays. We're kinda exactly where we were six months ago."
  78. >"And we aren't any closer."
  79. "I know."
  80. >You run your hand through your hair
  81. >You could use a bit of a haircut, it's been almost a year since you got snipped
  82.  
  83. "I guess... I'm still trying to figure it out. But we are getting better, aren't we? We have three of those solar panel chargers now. The cell and 3DS are always charged up."
  84. >"...and I guess you have bought more stuff for us too."
  85. >Grooming items, mostly
  86. >With how often they're outside, you would rather they get taken care of than yourself
  87. >A squeaky-clean Jack is also one of the best ways to boost morale
  88. "Yeah. I don't like that we're treading water. But we're doing good enough."
  89. >That may be true
  90. >But for how long?
  91. >After getting dressed and bidding adieu to the temporary home, you all pile back into the van
  92. >Shine usually rides shotgun since she's far more eagle-eyed
  93. >Depending on traffic, Jack will usually hop onto your lap
  94. >It has led to a few photo opportunities through other drivers so that has been pretty fun
  95. "Where's that place again?"
  96. >"Right turn past the light."
  97. >"Dashie said if she can talk her way into it, she'll get us at least twenty cans!
  98. >Prism really is the unsung hero of the group
  99. >One of the footlockers is almost purely food storage
  100. >You aren't off in a really bad way, through any definition
  101. >You always have bread
  102. >You usually have a few dozen cans of various things at any given time
  103. >Not counting bulk supplies of toilet paper, paper towels, plasticware and more
  104. >For being a homeless man with three mares... you could be doing worse
  105. >Her score is less than ideal, only ten cans
  106. >But after you bring up a few things you secure a dozen on your own
  107. >Mostly vegetables and fruit but your tolerance levels for the evil healthy greens has improved over the years
  108. >At least there's that
  109. >To celebrate, pancakes are on the menu
  110. >Jack still gets...
  111. >Squirrely... when it comes to waitresses
  112. >But you just chalk it up to some sort of territorial thing
  113. >Personally, you haven't had eyes for anyone or anything else in so long that you don't really feel bad when she gets weird
  114. >You're all weird in one way or another anyway
  115. >Because of the "all you can eat" aspect, not a single pony is left feeling less than completely full
  116. >For a little extra, you have four five-stacks that will easily satisfy the next day
  117. >The rest of the day is spent... doing largely nothing
  118. >You parked at a park and just bummed around with the dorks
  119. >Sometimes their antics and light bickering attracts attention
  120. >Sometimes you can get a crowd and get a little exhibition going of how awesome talking ponies are
  121. >Sometimes no one is around and you can just nap in the sun
  122. >Amazing how a picnic blanket and an ice chest can bring legitimacy to loitering
  123. >You hate how aimless you are
  124. >You absolutely hate how every day is more or less it's own adventure
  125. >You used to be so good at planning things out
  126. >You used to have a nice apartment
  127. >Higher job prospects
  128. >Then the noise complaints and a surprise inspection happened
  129. >Turns out that three talking ponies both count as occupants and pets
  130. >Either way, things turn a bit of a low turn
  131. >You never explained all of it to them
  132. >A personal sin you can't ever escape from
  133. >But you get the feeling that they know
  134. >Maybe that's why they don't complain about the life you've led them into
  135. >It isn't as bad as what they had to deal with
  136. >But it isn't nearly as good as you wanted it to be
  137.  
  138. >By the time the sun goes down, everyone is comfortable
  139. >What started as idle conversation and scenario contemplation led to random scheme planning
  140. >It's not like they steal anymore
  141. >Mostly
  142. >Prism sticks with more genuine efforts
  143. >Shine will sometimes lift things
  144. >Small things, of course
  145. >Snacks, drinks, idle pleasantries
  146. >You aren't criminals
  147. >That's what you like to tell yourself, anyway
  148. >"Hey Anon, why don't we just... go out and homestead?"
  149. >"Jacky, do you even know what homesteading is?"
  150. >"Do you?"
  151. >While they bicker, Prism is usually the silent one
  152. >Homesteading...
  153. >That sounds nice
  154. >But it requires land
  155. >Land requires money
  156. >Far more than you have
  157. >And it requires a building
  158. >What good would it be, to just live out of a tent?
  159. >...
  160. >But depending on the land, couldn't you do some sort of old-school log cabin thing?
  161. >You have Shine and her magic
  162. >That can handle a lot of things
  163. >But you don't like asking big things of her
  164. >You know her price
  165. >Jack knows her price
  166. >It's unfair to keep asking things of her with no...
  167. >Personal reward
  168. "If we did, it would take a lot of work. And it would mean we'd have to start from pretty much nothing."
  169. >"How is that different from where we are now?"
  170. >Finally the pegasus speaks up
  171. "Well... once we buy land. Or rather, before we do. We'll have to see if it has good dirt. Trees. A river or lake or something. Maybe even animals for hunting."
  172. >"If we get a river, we can take baths in it!"
  173. "Yeah, and you can live out your days as a fabled Jackfish."
  174. >It sounds...
  175. >It's a possibility
  176. >Isn't it?
  177. >"Speaking of rivers... Anon, the food bank manager."
  178. "Yeah?"
  179. >"She said that her daughter is having a birthday Tuesday."
  180. "Congrats to the kid."
  181. >"She said that she'll give us a thousand dollars to show up and put on a show."
  182. "A show? What do we know about entertaining others?"
  183. >Prism sighs
  184. >"Well, you have three talking ponies. One has wings. One has a horn and can do real magic. And Jacky's by and far the most sociable of us."
  185. >That's true
  186. >...
  187. >That's very true
  188. "...so a thousand, huh..."
  189. >"And she may have hinted that if things go well, her friends might also have need of our services."
  190. >You feel silly for even contemplating the idea
  191. >But even the Ghostbusters attended birthday parties, right?
  192. "I guess we have to practice some sort of routine."
  193. >Shine snorts
  194. >"And what about that "gig" tomorrow?"
  195. >Her tone is just annoyed enough
  196. >Just concerned enough
  197. "That doesn't pay a grand. And we really need to get some sort of game plan down. If that works, we can really get something going."
  198. >"Plus we get to eat cake."
  199. "Exactly. See? Jack gets the big picture."
  200. >You really do wonder if Jack really doesn't care much about what's going on, or if she just finds the right ways to deflect your woes
  201. >One day you want to ask her
  202. "Alright. Welp, I'm ready to head back to the van."
  203. >You sit up, breaking the ever-present tension that comes with job prospects
  204. "Gonna put on some music and spread out on the beds. Don't stay out too late, alright?"
  205. >"Yup."
  206. >Shine doesn't seem bothered by your leave
  207. >You've caught her a few times staring up at the sky
  208. >You wonder what she truly thinks about all of this
  209. >"Good night, Anon."
  210. >Prism has her own stoicism
  211. >You bet that even in the best of times she's just as tightly coiled
  212. >But you know that she has the best intentions at heart
  213. >"Right behind ya!"
  214. >Jack rolls from her side to her hooves and trots behind you
  215. >Of course, no one says anything about the fact that whenever you go, she tends to go with you
  216. >Shine will sometimes glare at you
  217. >Whether out of jealousy or disdain for being so carefree, you don't know
  218. >Prism doesn't bring anything up about it
  219. >You once overheard her talking to Jacky about it
  220. >Back when both of you were still a little more... awkward with each other
  221. >Apparently she at least used to worry that you were using her
  222. >You don't know if she still worries about that
  223. >Maybe that birthday party will go well
  224.  
  225. >That homesteading option sounds like a nightmare waiting to happen
  226. >But it sounds better than anything else
  227. >Better than chasing short term employment
  228. >Maybe it could lead to a home
  229. >Your Home

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