Grace Cyanide's Questionnaire

1. What town or city do you live in? Why do you live there instead of anywhere else? Describe your home.

Link Answered after Contract 29, A Maelstrom of Typhoons

"Oh, this is something you ask everyone, isn't it? So, you are asking everyone these? Can I see other people's answers after I answer? Okay, I thought not, but if you're gonna ask me a bunch of questions I can at least try to ask you some.


I grew up between Penns Grove and Pennsville in New Jersey. I went to Central Park Elementary School, and I could ride my bike to the dollar tree for snacks sometimes, and the library, and back up home. I met Obedience next to Riverview Beach. And I lived there cause that's where my parents lived, but then y'know, I had to move cause they didn't like Obedience." Grace shifts in her chair, slightly uncomfortable, avoiding the rest of the subject. But Obedience speaks for her regardless,


"Pennsville, or Lower Penn's Neck when I lived and died there... I don't really remember how it treated me before it killed me, and if that wasn't enough, showing myself as the reason Grace's life was sustained had her and I both violently outcast, bloodcurdling screams and thrown objects, invoking Christ... Grace, say what you're thinking. You know they betrayed you."


Grace looks even more uncomfortable in her chair as her jaw snaps shut from its puppet-like movements. "We went back a few times before we had to move to Surrey Hills because I went into a coma cause we got poisoned on a job and Mister Doc and I had to ask Mister Talent to move us cause neither of us could drive, so he said he could bring us to London, bug not back, but I liked it better there. And Surrey Hills was really nice for awhile. It was a really big national park that we found a sorta hill with a cave we dug out more... Mister Cham helped for awhile, too. He gave us a green door and string lights and some stuffed animals for helping him fix his head with the songs. And then we had to leave Surrey Hills too, because I opened the box, and I've been travelling since then. The Red Door, the Wanderer's Library, Texas, Nebraska, Taiwan, San Francisco...

I need to leave San Francisco next. So I guess I don't have a home. Surrey Hills might be nice again one day, or somewhere more hidden? There were a lot of tourists to worry about even that far out. But I would have to go back to get my stuff, and hope it's not stolen. But that's been my favorite so far."

2. How do you get your money right now? What do you spend it on?

Link Answered after Contract 29, A Maelstrom of Typhoons

Grace gives a confused laugh. "I find it, mostly. It's not a lot. I can't really sell things because I don't have an ID or papers for antiques or whatever. One time I found $50 in a random container in a tree, other times it's coins or cash on the ground outside or in stores, or tip jars, or purses in bathrooms. I don't need to spend a lot, I don't eat much, and when I do I don't really need to pay for it. Mister Jules gave me a phone. Libraries are free. Busses are free if you sneak into the back of the busy ones, and people don't wanna talk to me anyway, or don't know how, cause I'm in a burqa. So the coins and cash are easy to hold onto."

Grace empties her pockets to show what she has- among dirty coins and crumpled bills is a magpie's stash of rocks, star shaped sequins, bolts, the sticks of apples, and torn candy wrappers.

3. Describe your Ambition. What are you striving for? How far would you go to achieve this? Would you kill for it? How close to death would you come for it?

Link Answered after Contract 29, A Maelstrom of Typhoons

"We've gotten pretty far with it. Maybe far enough, but it never really feels like enough, and I don't really think it ever will. Honestly, I don't think that even if we got it perfect, we'd stop. What else are we gonna do? Sit in the woods and go crazy?"

"I don't know about that- we probably wouldn't go completely crazy. I think we would be fine."

Grace giggles, but Obedience seems serious. 

"Our ambition is to stay together. If she dies, I die, if I die, she dies, all the way dead, and neither of us want to do that, and we're much more protected together. That's why we kept the dead man's hair belt from Aberdeen, even if he was trying to use it to keep us. I think the best thing that's ever happened to us was after that horrible job with Sara where our eye exploded, how we could make Obedience's eye line up with where mine was and replace it. She's also joined up at the finger we lost on the tower, and probably our guts from the job in Canada or maybe Alaska. At this point we kinda wanna keep getting hurt just to make that happen, but we're not gonna like... go cut my arms off for fun. Does that make sense?"

4. What was the most defining event of your life (before signing The Contract), and how did it change you?

Link Answered after Contract 29, A Maelstrom of Typhoons

"Well, wouldn't everyone have the same answer? When they started doing Contracts? Even if we didn't know what they were called or what was really going on, I always kinda thought that you start when you need to start, the way we did. When you don't have another option that's... what's the word, 'viable'? And they're what give us the ability to progress. Of course mine was when I died, or I got really close to it, and Obedience saved me. The afternoon we went home and the night we met the man in the top hat with his streamers in the woods. We would be dead, like in the ground dead, not dead like Mister Connor made us, by now if I didn't have help from the job's payments to let me steal food. I'd like to hear if someone else has a different answer, can you tell me that, please?"

5. Name and briefly describe three people in your life. One must be the person you are closest to.

Link Answered after Contract 29, A Maelstrom of Typhoons

"Is it cheating if I say Obedience?"

"We're supposed to cheat, Grace."

"I guess."

"You should answer before they tell you that it's cheating."

"Oh, right! You're better at that than I am. Obedience is my best friend and she likes cats and birds and helps me figure out what people are bad people. She knows a lot because she watched the world grow around her when she was a tree. Her favorite color is navy and her last name is Bratcher and her middle name is..."

"I didn't receive a middle name."

"She doesn't have a middle name. Next would probably be Mister Edgar cause I've known him so long. He saved me from an older evil version of myself when I was still nine but he thinks she's my mom or sister even though I keep telling him she's not. I can't tell if he believes me now even though he said he did. He's a ghoul and he can turn into people he eats and sometimes he does it on accident and it's really annoying. I don't know if he can die, so I don't get worried about him. He's saved me a couple times, and I hope I can return the favor eventually.

"Edgar Stokes is a rude and crass man who ignores what's right in front of him. But, he has saved Grace more than once, and once from uncertain death very recently due to our own mistakes."



"What about it?"


"Okay. Who else do we see a lot... I dreamt Mister Connor killed me with a pack of wolves he made out of clay and blood, that was weird. He kinda got more weird every time I've seen him, but he does tattoos and I have a bunch from him and he was there when I threw my books at those pumpkins and he has like, an angel and a demon that come out of his arms. He also killed me in real life, so I guess that's where the dream came from. Some special tattoo ink made of lich bones apparently? That doesn't sound right, but it did work. Give me your hand- feel, see? No heartbeat."

6. How was your childhood? Who were your parents? What were they like? Did you attend school? If so, did you fit in? If not, why not?

Link Answered after Contract 29, A Maelstrom of Typhoons

A sort of subtle tenseness comes over them both. 

"We talked about it with the first question. I guess I could say this is my childhood? My parents names were... are? Delilah and Keith. I think my mom's middle name was Penelope. She liked hot dogs, and smoking, and makeup, and weird romance shows. My dad liked football and told me one time that he liked puzzles but I never really saw him do any and I had a bunch. Living with them was quiet most of the time. I don't know them like I know the people I work with, if that makes any sense? I went to school... what do you mean about fitting in? I don't know what that means." Grace waits to be prompted, "Did I have friends? Kinda? I knew a girl named Reese who really liked horses, and her and I would draw together sometimes, but she was kinda weird about me liking unicorns cause she said they weren't real like real horses are." 

"I had the same childhood as everyone else my age. I attended catechism, which covered everything they needed to teach us. I 'fit in' well, if you would consider it that, with none of the children in my town really hanging out much in the first place. Everyone was as distant with each other as I was with them. I don't remember my parents names. I remember my grandmother, who helped raise me, was named Blanche."

7. Have you ever been in love? With who? What happened? If not, why not?

Link Answered after Contract 29, A Maelstrom of Typhoons

"What? No. I don't think that makes sense," Grace is blushing slightly, flustered, while Obedience looks mildly disgusted. "Viper." "No. Viper was our friend for awhile when we did those awful jobs with the people acting like Peter Pan and Tinkerbell. Viper had sparkly freckles that we thought were pretty. That's not being in love. I don't know what being in love is like, but I think it would feel, I don't know, heavier? We stopped talking to Viper when the jobs stopped, and haven't seen them since. Viper might be dead-" her foot kicks and fidgets at the bar on the front end of her chair as her blush fades- "and we wouldn't know, unless we sent Horatio to find them and he couldn't, cause Horatio can always find people. There's probably a lot of people we met that're dead now."

"It may be that neither Grace nor myself will ever be old enough to be in love with someone. As we understand, it's for adults. We probably won't ever be able to tell, since we won't get that old."

8. What are your worst fears? Why?

Link Answered after Contract 29, A Maelstrom of Typhoons

The girls consider the question for a long time, the barest hint of flames licking at the ragged hem of Obedience's dress every once in awhile, though their faces stay neutral. Obedience answers first.

"The most obvious answer is fire. We have a complicated relationship with our fears- they fuel most of the abilities that were unlocked by the potential that succeeding at jobs gives us. Our fears, and what soothes them, and how we can extend that to others' minds and bodies. My... 'traumatic' experiences are easily conjured, replicated, directed. They are the reason I remain as I am, never put to rest. I feel like my fear will always keep me as I am; I am bound to Grace tightly enough that our separation would likely weaken me, but I feel like I would remain some sort of voiceless wisp, and never be strong enough to bind to anyone or anything again, a whisper of pure fear on the wind. I am scared of that." Obedience's eyes flash and seem to glaze over in a deep red, closer to blood than the usual apple. She blinks a few times, and the gesture, though it pulls the other girl's face confusingly, looks more human than Obedience usually does. 

"I'm scared of losing her. Even before that weird tattoo Mister Connor gave us, I never felt alive the way that I did before that man stabbed me. If we got torn apart, I think I'd just die. I'm still just as scared of dying as I was back then. Not as worried about dying, but scared of it. And Obedience is my best friend... I would miss her and everyone else so much." Grace's voice breaks a bit, her thin arms trembling as her dirty nails dig into her knees. They take a moment or two to calm down.

"I'm scared of old ladies, I guess, too. An old lady killed Obedience and the first person we ever really killed was an old lady. I was scared of heights for awhile but got over it. I'm scared of getting trapped, but mostly that's the kind of scared that makes me angry. Most things that scare me make me angry." 

9. What is (are) your most prized possession(s)? What makes it (them) so special?

Link Answered after Contract 29, A Maelstrom of Typhoons

Grace's hands splay out from their tense position for the previous question, and her eyes light up. "I have a lot!! They're mostly in Surrey like I said earlier. I guess if I gotta choose one thing then that's Sally's doll, but that's also kind of Sally, and Sally's not a thing, she's a person. It's not a possession, it's a... possession." She giggles. "But other stuff isss my rock collection, the one I keep in the top of my backpack instead of my pockets, and then I have a bunch of stuff from different jobs like the Zuni statue from Aberdeen and that one guy's tooth and a rabbit bone and my unicorn Cherry from my first game, and oh! My key! From the Foundation, the Jailers? It opens all the doors I ask it to. It's really really useful." 


Grace drops her bag in front of her and rummages through it and her pockets as she speaks, procuring the key and unicorn, and then rocks. "I have some anthracite and a fossil and a red button and my burqa counts I guess and a dog tag and..."

10. What is the biggest problem in your life right now?

Link Answered after Contract 29, A Maelstrom of Typhoons

"and a silver button and a little pocket watch and a teaspoon and... oh." Grace hastily gathers up her stash from the last question and sighs.

"The Keres, easy. I know that I shouldn't have opened the box, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. I wanted to go back to Gabby with an answer better than 'It was creepy', cause she would have asked what I saw, and then what was in the box, and I would have had to say I didn't look cause I was scared, and that's stupid. But now I have to go and find all these people that wanna kill me and are super annoying and don't let me sleep when I needa sleep cause they're like 'Bitch!'," and she yelps the word, "'Break things!' or 'Grace! You won't wake up if you go to sleep now!' and it sucks. And I have like, five more of these. Ugh."

11. Describe a typical morning. How do you get ready to face the world?

Link Answered after Contract 29, A Maelstrom of Typhoons

"I don't know, I get up like everyone else does? I guess I sleep in the trees and stuff if I can find one with sturdy branches, cause I can't sleep under the bridges or people are weird and then I gotta act like, normal, or scary if I don't think they'll tell, and figure out which one to do. So sometimes I wake up when people are trying to sneak up on me even if I'm in the woods, and I guess I just kinda look like a big black blanket. But that's only when I need to sleep in the first place, and I'll usually save that for when I can find safer places, and I've gotten good at that. So I wake up, or I don't wake up, and when I do wake up I check for cops or my stuff being stolen, and lately I just have travelling to do all the time. Bikes or busses or just walking, whatever. I'm always moving, and usually just start when I start the day or sometimes I start at night. It's not as tiring as it used to be or as tiring as it sounds; I got used to it."

12. If you were going somewhere special that you wanted to look your best for, what would you do to prepare? What would you wear? How long would it take you to get ready?

Link Answered after Contract 29, A Maelstrom of Typhoons

"I... don't know? I don't really need to know that I don't think. I don't go anywhere fancy. I told that man with the golden eyes that I couldn't go to a job even cause I can't really do fancy normal person parties. When I went to that place with the flying ships, they gave me fancy clothes, and hid Obedience, and it felt weird and I don't wanna do that again. Those clothes are still in my bag and I made them easier to wear and less flashy on purpose cause that's better to have than fancy clothes." Grace fidgets with the hem of her shirt- faded, faded pink, stained softly in brown, stretched out. 

"Before I started doing Contracts, my mom dressed me up a few times for like... my first day of school, and my grandpa's funeral, and my aunt's wedding. She did my makeup and I kinda hated it cause it hurt my eyes to take it off and I couldn't rub my face if I got food on it. Makeup is dumb."

13. What will you do for your next birthday?

Link Answered after Contract 29, A Maelstrom of Typhoons

"Oh, I kinda forgot about my birthday. It's September... uh... 26th, no, 24th. Hmm... I haven't really done anything for my birthday for awhile, and I can kinda do whatever I want anyway. I can get Snickers ice cream bars, and that's something I really really want. I can buy myself stuff if I have money and steal it if I want either way. I don't know, what do people usually do for birthdays? I remember going to a sleepover and watching movies. I don't have anyone I'd ask to watch a movie or something with me. So for my next birthday I'll probably just forget again and... wait, it's the 26th today?" Grace does actually look a little sad, but mostly surprised. "... Yeah, I guess I'll forget again. I'll go get a snickers ice cream bar later."

Grace goes into a somber reflection, creating an awkward silence. If you look closely, her eyes may flash a bit; after a moment, she pipes up, deadpan. "Obedience says she forgot her birthday a long time ago."

14. What is your greatest regret?

Link Answered after Contract 29, A Maelstrom of Typhoons

Grace swings her legs, considering, taking quite awhile to figure out what regret might actually even mean to someone like her. 

"I probably should have killed Xyster, but I didn't really have the ability to at the time. I don't know if maybe he's in a different world and can't get to me, but I haven't seen him since Scotland. I get kinda nervous sometimes when I move between places like the Red Door that he can notice me easier. I don't think he would have died either, I'm not sure how that would happen. I don't know, I guess I just don't like being paranoid about it. Other than that... I wish I hadn't taken the Tinkerbell jobs, I guess. I wish I had figured out sooner that I can't walk around looking like I do. I wish I had stolen funnel cake from that fundraiser cause those people sucked."

15. What is the nature of your Gifts? Are they inherent potential? Do harbingers just grant your wishes?

Link Answered after Contract 29, A Maelstrom of Typhoons

"Do people just get granted wishes? That's weird, does that mean I can ask for stuff? Harbingers kinda suck most times too, who are they asking for stuff from?" Her head tilts, genuinely confused.

"As far as we can tell, the gifts sort of give us potential energy, make us feel all buzzy. But it's more like they give us the ability to channel our energy into what it would already be. Like it gives us more space to fill, but we're the ones actually filling the space? Like Horatio. He didn't come from the Harbingers or anyone else. We thought at first that he was just waiting to come back to Obedience until she was out of the tree and ready, but now we're pretty sure it was from the first job we did, the 'Gifts' making like... room for Horatio. Sometimes it's what we need, sometimes it's not, and it's surprising, but it always sorta makes sense. Like the one after the job with Sara made sense and worked out great, but it did kind of make the one I used at Mister Jules' mansion not super helpful anymore. I don't think we have any control over it."

16. How do you feel about spirituality? Are you religious? What do you believe?

Link Answered after Contract 29, A Maelstrom of Typhoons

"That's a weird question- things exist and don't, maybe. I've run into all sorts of stuff, so I don't think anything can't exist. People think I don't exist all the time- or people think Obedience doesn't. I think Mister Edgar is lying about it though, just trying to make us mad for a joke." She shrugs. "It might be pretty easy to make a god. People did it over and over again. And just like how we have room to grow into from the 'gifts', like we just talked about, there's probably lots of things that filled up space that needed to be grown into, and that's where everything else comes from." 

Grace maintains her airy, childish tone as she speaks of these things with a casual confidence- like she figured it out in school. Two times two is four, all the land in the world used to be in one big chunk, and demons and fairies came into creation to fill pockets in the spiritual fabric of the world. She keeps swinging her legs.

"Ghosts fill the space that gets scooped out when people die the wrong way. Nature spirits fill the space that things make when they grow and sorta-" She puts her hands together and bends her fingers out, then spreads them apart like a tree- "stretch the world out when they push to make their own space. Cause stuff has to be pushed to grow up, but most stuff isn't that dense. At least not natural stuff. So there's gaps in trees and rivers and stuff, but not like, concrete? And you can make more gaps if you put your mind to it, and that's how a lot of magic and religion works I think. And maybe the gaps follow patterns based on how people get ideas in their head, and that's where religions and stuff based on places and groups of people work..."

17. How do the events of the Contracts conflict with your worldview? How do you react when everything you thought was true is put in doubt?

Link Answered after Contract 29, A Maelstrom of Typhoons

"I think it might be easier for me than adults. I don't really have ideas to be broken, I thought about it before. Nothing big surprises me a whole bunch anymore. Adults get so scared so easy and it's probably because they're used to things being a certain way, but all of this is what I'm used to. I think that's why I get along better with 'scary' people. They don't freak out at stuff so easy cause they're used to weird stuff, like us I guess. Its easier to be around weird people because I don't have to wonder how much of myself I can be around them."

"Grace's ability to adjust is remarkable. Though I may push her occasionally, I should admit that I have more difficulty taking things as... calmly as she does. She would have made a good friend for me even when I was alive."