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Man and Machine (TWS)
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GreyGabe
 Man and Machine (TWS)
#1
A Shady Character

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Orbiting A Distant Star
Spoiler :
For The Write Stuff
Genre is Post-Cyberpunk Buddy Cop

It is the year 2525. Our cities cover the earth nearly from pole to pole, our buildings rise so high that the light of the sun can no longer reach the lowest levels. Our societies are sustained by massive factories and purification plants, which produce the food, water, and air we need to survive. Nations have gradually merged into a mere handful of conglomerate nations, that keep their populations in check through propaganda and rampant consumerism. There are whispers, however, that it is the corporations that have the real power, simply using our national governments as convenient figureheads while they go about their business...

Either way, it doesn't really matter. Between work, the advertisements, the political propaganda, whatever's on EnterNet this week, and the fantastical virtual world of the Simulacrum, nobody has a whole lot of time (or any real reason) to complain. And yet there are some who still find the time to commit crimes.

That's where you come in. You, Detective William Case, and your partner, Detective Evan 5-715, have both been with the North American Sprawl Bureau for the Enforcement of Lawful Behavior (sponsored by Bubble-Up! Soda company, Hardcorps Computing Solutions, and GUN brand guns) for going on twenty years. You've been partners for only a few years of that time, but you've grown to trust each other implicitly, even though you were reluctant, at first, to work with an android... and he was almost equally reluctant to work with any partner at all.
But now, back to the matter at hand...

"I'm just saying, I can't eat that crudge."

"Oh?" Evan glances sidelong at you, reddish eyes glinting in the hover-lites as you drive past. "Here I thought you would eat just about anything."

"Har har. It's just... weird, okay?"

"Why, because it's cloned?"

"Well, kind of... I mean, not exactly. It's just... okay, so they just clone parts of it, right?"

"Yes."

"That's what higs me. If they were like, cloning the whole cow and butchering it, that would somehow be better, to me anyway. As it is though, it's just this... chunk of meat, growing by itself until they decide it's the right size. Creeps me out."

"I see."

"Don't give me that tone. I know it's not rational, I just don't like it."

"Hmm." Evan seems about to say something more when your car's communicator begins to buzz. A second later, a small screen appears, inset into the center of the windshield. A young blonde woman in a drab grey uniform nods and begins speaking.

"Case, E5-715. There's been an incident at the West Central Hopper Port, #3347. Your presence is requested as soon as possible."

Evan nods, and says, "We're on our way."

You wave off the communicator and start to think. Right now you are in East Central. West central is (obviously) to the west. There are a number of routes you could take, the fastest probably being--

"Fastest way there is via the express tunnel." Evan gestures vaguely below you.

"It's only fastest," you say, "if traffic isn't bad, or if they haven't had another mudge-up with the traffic controls." Lately there have been some infrastructure problems in some of the older thoroughfares, the Express Tunnels especially. Signals going blinked, hover-lites falling out of the air, etc. The city assures everyone that they're "working on it" but you tend to have your doubts. In the meantime, a traffic signal deciding to malfunction can result in a fifty-or-sixty car pileup that can take hours to clean up.

"Anyway, it would be faster to take Eon Airway down to LeetBeats Square, circle around there, then it's just a matter of a few back avenues to west central."

"Sure, if LeetBeats isn't having one of their promotional free concerts and taking up the whole square. Which they are, today."

"What? No, that's not til tomorrow."

"It's today." Evan sounds completely sure of himself. "And if we try to get through there, it'll take forever to try and navigate our way through the teenagers and statyk-heads that will be clustering there like flies on ointment."

"I don't think that's how that expression goes."

"I don't care. I'm still right."

You grumble under your breath. Either way, you could end up delayed. Evan did sound pretty sure that that concert was today, but this is the same guy who cleans everyone out on poker night four times out of five. But if you take the tunnel, you could end up being stuck even longer than that if something goes wrong. Of course if you do take his advice, and it works out, he won't say he told you so. He'll just think it. Smugly.

Grunting, you push the steering wheel forward, your hover-car smoothly cutting through the air towards the lower levels. Evan smiles, faintly.

Other cars quickly make room for you, noting your flashing red-and-whites and your total disregard for the speed limit. You plunge towards a wide opening in the ground, helpfully marked "EXPRESS TUNNEL."
You fly in... and find it almost completely empty. Odd for this time of day. Maybe everyone else had the same idea you did. You're able to push your car to over a hundred kilometers an hour. You carefully ignore Evan's self-satisfied smile.

Within fifteen minutes you're out of the Express Tunnel and into the West Central Sprawl. It only takes a few minutes to find the Hopper station... and the cluster of Enforcer vehicles hovering around it. You navigate your way through them, and are signaled to move to level 18. You dock your hovercar in an empty charging station and get out. The entrance is cordoned off, but one of the grey-clad officers standing by the doors knows you by sight and lets you through. He looks pretty shaken... you're beginning to get a bad feeling in the pit of your stomach.

The first thing that hits you is the smell. Blood. It hangs thick in the air, over the normal hopper port smells of economy-brand floor wax and overpriced food-court fare. A couple dozen people are sitting on the floor near the entrance, looking dazed and terrified. More than a few of them are splattered with gore. Across the floor, another officer notices you and waves you over.
You walk normally, trying to give off an aura of professional calm. Evan follows you, his expression impossible to read.

"Detectives," The officer says by way of greeting. His forehead is beaded with sweat, you notice, and he looks pale. "The, uh... body is right over there... most of it, anyway."

Well, that sounds promising.

Before you can enter, the officer speaks up again, this time specifically addressing Evan. "You, um, might want to leave the coat out here, sir. You wouldn't want to get blood on the hem..."

Evan glances down at his dark grey duster, which doesn't quite sweep the ground when he's standing up straight. Shrugging, he shucks it off, tossing it onto a nearby bench. This is why you usually just wear a suit.

You continue into the lounge, which is filled with the kind of cushioned chairs designed to be sat in for long periods of time whilst you wait for your flight. The fabric is light red, and the blood shows on it quite clearly. The smell is much worse in here, and mingles with something even less pleasant. On the opposite side of the room, windows look out over the passenger hoppers that wait to ferry their passengers all over the world. They're just going to have to wait, though. There is quite a lot of blood, but you think the officer outside was being a tad melodramatic when he advised Evan to leave his coat outside. A few other officers are searching the room for any useful evidence.

A medical examiner kneels next to the body, waving a small scanning device over it. She glances up at you, but doesn't interrupt her work to greet you.

The first thing that you notice about the body is that it's missing a head, which you cunningly deduce is somehow related to the blood and gore spattering the room. You also notice that, aside from the head and upper torso, the body is mostly intact. The victim is male, and from what you can tell probably not very old, though it's hard to estimate with any accuracy with just his body shape and his hands. Speaking of hands, these are pretty well manicured, and one hand is adorned with what looks to be a class ring. His outfit was neat and well tailored. All in all, it seems he was fairly well off, but probably not anyone in the upper class.

"Obviously not pulse-gun wounds," Evan remarks. "Far too much blood, and the wrong type of tissue damage. Perhaps some sort of antique projectile weapon?"

"I don't think so." The medical examiner doesn't look up from her gadgets. "Granted, those things could cause some serious damage. But this is looking more like... an explosion of some type. I'm still taking readings, though."

Evan nods. "I see." He turns to you. "While she's doing that, perhaps we should take a better look around?"

You nod. While the medical examiner is finishing her preliminary scans, you should probably do some detective work, that being your job and all. But where should you start?

Spoiler :
Over 1500 words later, I think I may have gone a bit overboard with this first post

(Oh well)

Fun fact! I was originally going to let you choose which of the two routes to take as the end to the first post, but that didn't strike me as a great way to introduce thrilling buddy cop action. (Choose wisely adventurer, lest ye encounter... TRAFFIC! dun dun duuuuuuun)

[Image: j5xngn.jpg]
(This post was last modified: 01-13-2012, 06:36 PM by GreyGabe.)
12-01-2011, 06:00 AM
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Dragon Fogel
 Re: Man and Machine (TWS)
#2
The Goddamn Pacman

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Hmm. Maybe he had some kind of cybernetic internal organ that exploded.

>Ask if his head's turned up. If not, maybe you can start by looking for that.
12-01-2011, 06:06 AM
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Iriri
 Re: Man and Machine (TWS)
#3
I haven't heard that name in years . . .

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Got any witnesses ready to give statements? Anyway, it's a prime time to start taking a look at what you've got. Scan the vic's perso-feed, give you a basic readout of his identity and activities if the access chip is intact. If not, take a tissue sample for the geneboys down at the station to do a readup on. Maybe you'll even find something by searching the scene!
12-01-2011, 06:08 AM
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btp
 Re: Man and Machine (TWS)
#4
word juggleryer

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Texas
Blame cloned body parts. Solve case.

Alternatively, hit on medical examiner. Ask her about her "gadgets"
12-01-2011, 06:53 AM
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AgentBlue
 Re: Man and Machine (TWS)
#5
that escalated quickly

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Sunshine, Lollipops and Diabetes
If the victim's identity can be ascertained, find out what hopper he was supposed to be on, and where it was meant to go (or maybe has already gone). Then look around the lounge for clues. Maybe under the chairs?
12-01-2011, 09:04 AM
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Ixcaliber
 Re: Man and Machine (TWS)
#6
Myrchynt Qyyyn yf thy Spycy Cynsyrtyym

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trysh myyntyyn
> First up you should try to establish the victim's identity; check his pockets for any belongings that could help with this. Check whatever equivalent to a wallet you have in crazy future times to see whether he is missing any money. Have Evan analyse the position he's lying in, assuming he hasn't been moved. You might be able to work out where he was standing and thus perhaps where the killer was standing. Actually you need to establish a cause of death first before you can assume that this was a homicide. Maybe Evan has some cool functions to do that? Oh and don't forget to check for security cameras.

fyck phytybyckyt
12-01-2011, 03:26 PM
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MaxieSatan
 Re: Man and Machine (TWS)
#7
WHERE'S MY FANGS OBAMA

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The Frigid Northlands
Search the room for any evidence. Under furniture and cushions, and in the carpeting. For that matter, you might want to give neighboring rooms a cursory glance as well.
12-01-2011, 04:58 PM
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GreyGabe
 Re: Man and Machine (TWS)
#8
A Shady Character

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Orbiting A Distant Star
btp Wrote:Blame cloned body parts. Solve case.

Cloned body-parts? In a person? You've never heard of such a thing, and you've been around. Sounds like something out of a sci-fi vid. Besides, human cloning is illegal.

btp Wrote:Alternatively, hit on medical examiner. Ask her about her "gadgets"

You don't think your wife would find that notion terribly amusing.

Dragon Fogel Wrote:Hmm. Maybe he had some kind of cybernetic internal organ that exploded.

>Ask if his head's turned up. If not, maybe you can start by looking for that.

Now there's a disturbing thought. You rather hope it's incorrect. Just thinking about it makes your eyes itch... which is quite a trick, since they're made of metal. You'll keep that to yourself for now.

"Where's the victim's head?" You ask instead.
The medical indicates a smallish lump a few feet away with a tilt of her head.
The reason you probably didn't notice it before is because it rolled partway under a chair. Whatever took it off must have hit pretty hard. The lower jaw is pretty much gone, and he's missing several teeth, too. You pull on a pair of gloves and lean down for a better look. Blonde hair, blue eyes. No jewelry, no headset.

Ixcaliber Wrote:> First up you should try to establish the victim's identity; check his pockets for any belongings that could help with this. Check whatever equivalent to a wallet you have in crazy future times to see whether he is missing any money. Have Evan analyse the position he's lying in, assuming he hasn't been moved. You might be able to work out where he was standing and thus perhaps where the killer was standing. Actually you need to establish a cause of death first before you can assume that this was a homicide. Maybe Evan has some cool functions to do that? Oh and don't forget to check for security cameras.

"Evan, would you do a thorough check of the body? See if you can find out his identity, and if you can figure out where he was standing, and where our killer was. I'm going to see if I can get my hands on some security footage."

Evan nods, and steps back over to the body, and begins talking quietly with the medical examiner. You leave the room to see if you can find any Hport personnel. There is one standing not too far away, smoking nervously and staring at the still-huddled passengers by the exit. Looks like a security guard. You walk over to him and introduce yourself, and segue directly into asking for the security cam footage from the room.

"Uh, yeah... okay. I can... I can get that for you.""

He pulls out his NetCom and spends a few seconds fiddling with it, before looking at you expectantly. You pull back your sleeve from your watch and bring up the haptic display. You link your NetComs and he transfers the video files from today over to you. It'll probably be a good idea to peruse them back at headquarters, where you can view them on a full-size display rather than the small one in your watch, or maybe you can find some displays to use here instead. That can wait for now, though. You thank him and move on.

Iriri Wrote:Got any witnesses ready to give statements? Anyway, it's a prime time to start taking a look at what you've got. Scan the vic's perso-feed, give you a basic readout of his identity and activities if the access chip is intact. If not, take a tissue sample for the geneboys down at the station to do a readup on. Maybe you'll even find something by searching the scene!

The uniforms are taking witness statements. They'll give you the info and let you know if they find anyone who merits further questioning in a while. In the meantime, you go to see how Evan's doing with the body.

As you kneel down next to him, he nods to you and begins to speak.
"We couldn't find a NetCom, which is passing odd, but fingerprint and retinal scans identify our victim as Dirk Anderson, age twenty-seven. He was a repair technician, specializing in prosthetics, especially arms, legs, hands and feet. Specific cause of death is still unknown, but I agree with the ME's theory that it was some sort of explosion. The strange thing is that there's no explosive residue that we can identify. We'll send him back to the lab for a better look, but--"

"Hold up a second," you cut in. "Did he have any implants in his neck or upper chest?"

Evan raises an eyebrow. "One of your... hunches?"

"Maybe."

Evan pulls up his NetCom watch's browser and types something in roughly ten times faster than you ever could.
"Let me just access his medical records... this may take a second."

The medical examiner clears her throat. "I don't see what his implants would have to do with anything. They're designed to be highly stable, since, you know, they're meant to be implanted into a human body. Though, I really shouldn't need to tell you that, detective."

You just give her The Look. You could do this even before your eyes were replaced with these prosthetics, but it works even better now that your eyes are two silver spheres with tiny black dots for pupils. The ME can't handle your gaze long before she has to avert her eyes.

"Ah, here we go." Evan seems to have ignored the by-play entirely. "He did in fact have an implant in his throat, an artificial voice box. Miracle Medical Solutions brand, installed nearly ten years ago. High-end model."

The ME snorts. "This is interesting and all, but I'm telling you, these things don't just blow up!"

"No, they don't. Not on their own." Evan flicks off his watch and looks at you. "Even a catastrophic malfunction would not cause the unit to explode."

You wait a beat. "But?"

"But... theoretically... it is possible that the power source could be detonated, if the unit was reconfigured in such a way as to cause a positive feedback loop, resulting in thermal runaway of the power supply, causing eventual detonation. However, the power source has safeguards to prevent such a situation from arising, and even if it didn't, the changes required to cause the loop would need to be physically implemented."

"How long would it take, after the changes were made, for the detonation to occur?"

"Well, it would depend on the type of power supply and how much output it produced, but I would say no longer than a few minutes, for a device of this type."

You scratch at your eyebrow. Hmm.

Evan shrugs. "This is all conjecture, of course. The explosion may be completely unrelated to his implant."

You nod, but you still can't shake your gut feeling that you're on the right track.

MrGuy Wrote:Search the room for any evidence. Under furniture and cushions, and in the carpeting. For that matter, you might want to give neighboring rooms a cursory glance as well.

"Okay. Let's give the room a good once over. Get some fresh eyes on it." You demonstrate by tapping one of your eyes gently with the tip of a fingernail. One of the uniforms chuckles weakly.

(Your eyes aren't actually much more effective than ordinary organic eyes. You have slightly better vision, perhaps, but anything really snazzy like 20X zoom, or NetCom functionality, or integrated computerized targeting was a little above your paygrade, at the time. Your night vision is excellent, however, as good as Evan's.)

You and Evan begin to aid the other officers hunting for any evidence you can find. You leave no cushion unturned, no chair un-searched-under. Wait... something high up on the wall catches your eye. A red dot, somewhat removed from the rest of the blood splatter, with just a glimmer of metal in the center."

You call Evan over, and he gives you a boost, his android strength easily letting him hold you up. With a pair of tweezers, you pluck out a small piece of metal, which you're willing to bet is part of that implant. You put it in a baggy and step down from Evan's hands.

"Shrapnel, I'd say." You hand the baggy to Evan, who studies it closely before handing it off to a uniform.

"We should check with the paramedics, too, to see if anyone else was hurt in the incident."

That's a pretty good idea. You should also probably check in on the witnesses. You mention this to Evan.

"Good idea. While you're doing that, I'll go find out what hopper our victim was boarding. It should still be docked."

"Right."

You head back out towards the entrance, where you walk over to one of the paramedics giving the witnesses a look over for injury. His crisp white shirt is emblazoned with a red cross, and a number of patches adorn his short sleeves. They seem to be advertising various soft-drinks, restaurants, and pharmaceuticals. What a combination.

"Is anyone hurt?"

The paramedic glances up at you. "Only one was seriously injured. She was apparently standing right next to your victim when he... did I hear that right, now? Did a guy explode?"

You scowl at him.

"Well, crudge, pardon me for wanting to get my facts straight. Anyway, she had a bunch of little wounds all over her face and chest. She was taken to the West Central franchise of Our Lady."

You nod. Mostly known simply as Our Lady, Our Lady of Low Low Prices (formerly Our Lady of Xtreme Refreshment (Wholly Owned Subsidiary of FizzXtreme Soda Company), formerly formerly Our Lady of Infinite Lives (In partnership with Atcon Games), even more formerly than that Our Lady of Infinite Mercy) is the most popular hospital/shopping experience franchised company in the North American Sprawl. There's at least one in every sector of the city.

"Otherwise, there are a few scrapes and bruises from when everyone was in a hurry to get out of there, and I'm not even going to conjecture on these people's mental condition, but overall, nothing too bad."

You consult with the officer in charge of questioning the witnesses. According to him, the witnesses all agree that the man seemed perfectly fine until he suddenly began clawing at his neck and collapsed. The girl who was with him (the same one who is now in the hospital) was leaning over him and trying to find out what was wrong as several others were calling for an ambulance. Before the paramedics could arrive, though, there was a loud boom, the girl was knocked back, and the man's head had seemingly exploded. After that, of course, there was a lot of panic and disorder until the Enforcers arrived.

Hmm. You thank him and let him get back to work. You suppose that if you wanted to, you could talk to some of the witnesses yourself, though somehow you doubt you'd get much more out of them than the uniforms did.

You're so lost in thought that hardly hear Evan approach. "I was right. The victim's hopper was still in the dock. I've procured a full passenger list, destination, and have some officers searching the hopper and retrieving the victim's luggage."

You tell him what you've learned, and advise him to take the girl's luggage, as well. Just in case.
He checks the passenger list, and finds that the girl's name is Marie Whitaker. You show her picture to the paramedic, just to be sure that you have the right girl, before you send for her luggage.
That done, you must decide what to do next.

Spoiler :
Yay probably technically incorrect technobabble! It's fun making that stuff up, though. A reverse pulse feedback loop in the neutrino chamber is causing quantum destabilization of the flux capacitor!

Fun Fact: Evan was originally going to be a clone (which made the conversation about cloned meat in the first post far more relevant). However, I decided that was leaning a bit too far into biopunk territory. Cloning still exists, but it is far less widespread than cybernetics, and is very highly regulated.

Also yes I'll probably put a fun fact at the end of most posts. Because I wasn't being wordy enough already! Happymelon

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(This post was last modified: 01-13-2012, 06:53 PM by GreyGabe.)
12-02-2011, 05:40 AM
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Iriri
 Re: Man and Machine (TWS)
#9
I haven't heard that name in years . . .

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Check for local registered owners on the type of gear that could cause that kind of explosive malfunction. See if the Whitaker girl is a match.

Oh, and see if your engineers can rig up a playback on the voicebox. Maybe the vic said something interesting before he went pop.
12-02-2011, 06:36 AM
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Dragon Fogel
 Re: Man and Machine (TWS)
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The Goddamn Pacman

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Hmm. Okay, two possible theories come to mind.

Scenario 1: When the implant was put in ten years ago, it was rigged to detonate on command. Somebody on the medical staff either switched out the implant or kept quiet about the modifications. This is a bit far-fetched and suggests a larger conspiracy, but it's a starting point. We can probably check records to find out who was involved in this operation and start looking into them.
Scenario 2: There's probably a black market for cybernetics. Maybe this guy wanted his implant replaced, but he didn't want there to be a record of it for some reason. So he goes to a black market doctor, gets his implant replaced or modified, and the doctor puts a bomb in there as a little surprise. If this is the case, it probably happened a lot more recently, and looking at the victim's activities over the last few days could put you on the right track.
12-02-2011, 07:18 AM
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GreyGabe
 Re: Man and Machine (TWS)
#11
A Shady Character

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Orbiting A Distant Star
Dragon Fogel Wrote:Hmm. Okay, two possible theories come to mind.

Scenario 1: When the implant was put in ten years ago, it was rigged to detonate on command. Somebody on the medical staff either switched out the implant or kept quiet about the modifications. This is a bit far-fetched and suggests a larger conspiracy, but it's a starting point. We can probably check records to find out who was involved in this operation and start looking into them.

It is a little far-fetched, but it's a possible starting point.

"Who installed his implant?"

Evan blinks. "It was installed at Our Lady, South Sector. The lead surgeon was... Doctor Anser A. Chase. Do you think that someone may have tampered with the implant before it was even installed?"

You shrug. "It's unlikely, but possible. Let's just keep it in mind, maybe swing by later to have a little talk with the doc."

"That will be quite a drive, all the way in South."

"It'll only be a few hours."

"Both ways..."

"Part of the job."

Evan makes the odd, modulated noise he uses for a sigh. "I suppose so."

Dragon Fogel Wrote:Scenario 2: There's probably a black market for cybernetics. Maybe this guy wanted his implant replaced, but he didn't want there to be a record of it for some reason. So he goes to a black market doctor, gets his implant replaced or modified, and the doctor puts a bomb in there as a little surprise. If this is the case, it probably happened a lot more recently, and looking at the victim's activities over the last few days could put you on the right track.

There is a pretty big black market in cybernetics, especially the military grade that's banned for civilian use. It's not likely that someone who maintained and repaired implants and prosthetics for a living, and who probably knew other people who did so too, would go to the black market if he needed a replacement or a mod, but it's not impossible. And black market technicians might come up with any number of reasons to put a bomb in somebody's neck... Amusement probably rating pretty high on the list.

"Let's check on the possibility that he might have had some... less than legal work done on his implant."

Evan pulls up his sleeve and brings up his watch's display. "I'll request some help looking into his activities for the last couple of months."

Iriri Wrote:Check for local registered owners on the type of gear that could cause that kind of explosive malfunction. See if the Whitaker girl is a match.

"Assuming this was a murder and not some freak accident, what kind of equipment would be needed to cause that feedback loop?"

"Besides the surgical tools required to open up his neck and stitch him back up without killing him?" Evan frowns. "Well, medical-grade implant and prosthesis repair tools and replacement parts would be ideal, but in a pinch it could be done using a soldering iron and a few other common tools and easily purchased substitutes. It wouldn't be pretty, but it would work."

"That doesn't really narrow down any suspect lists we might be making."

"No. However, our victim would almost certainly have at least one set of medical-grade tools, considering his profession. It's also worth noting that not only do witness reports seem to indicate that Whitaker knew him, but her seat on the hopper was right next to his."

"So she might be a friend, or maybe even something more intimate. And if that's true, she might have access to his tools, and to him..."

Evan grimaces. "Plausible on both counts. But as I mentioned earlier, the power source would detonate within a matter of minutes. And before that it would heat up significantly. His pain would be quite excruciating. So..."

"So it would have to be done on the premises, and it's pretty likely at least one of our witnesses would have noticed someone performing surgery in the middle of the lounge."

"And I tend to doubt that our victim would consent to having his voice box turned into an improvised explosive, regardless."

Ugh. The more you think about this the less sense it makes.

Iriri Wrote:Oh, and see if your engineers can rig up a playback on the voicebox. Maybe the vic said something interesting before he went pop.

You're not sure that would be possible, even if there's enough left of the voice box to attempt such a thing. You'll make a note to ask about it at the lab when you get back to headquarters.

Speaking of notes. Now, let's see...

Possible leads to follow up on:

Review security footage obtained from the West Central Hopper Port waiting lounge (Saved to your NetCom).

Victim's luggage, obtained from the passenger hopper he was scheduled to board (being taken back to NASBELB Central Headquarters).

Marie Whitaker's luggage, obtained from the passenger hopper she was scheduled to board with the victim (being taken back to NASBELB Central Headquarters.

Review the victim's recent activities for any sign of unusual behavior or spending.

The lab techs at HQ will perform a more in-depth autopsy and scan of the body. Maybe they'll turn up some new material for you.

Check with the lab techs to see if any info can be extracted from the voice box.


Possible Witnesses/Suspects to interview:

Marie Whitaker (Suspect), currently in West Central franchise of Our Lady.

Doctor Chase (Suspect), Inquire about him at South Sector franchise of Our Lady.

Hopper Port Witnesses, doubtful they have any more useful information, though.

Spoiler :
There was a typo in the last post, I accidentally said Whitaker was taken to East Central, but I meant West Central. It's been rectified, now.

Fun Fact: A couple of years ago (in-universe) a major entertainment corporation dug up some positively ancient movies, from before the North American Union even existed! Many of the old copies had deteriorated to the point of being unwatchable, but some of them were still mostly intact. This company realized that, aside from the cost of restoring and translating them, any money they made from these movies would be pure profit. So that's what they did! They were quite a hit, and sparked off a number of fads and memes, such as Retrospeak (The use of old figures of speech and slang. The slang, especially, remained untranslated. (And this is in no way a blank check for the author to cash if he slips up and forgets to use his made-up future slang occasionally)) and certain items of fashion. Evan decided to get his duster after seeing Blade Runner. Sixteen times. He managed to persuade Case to see it with him once, but the premise of the movie made Case somewhat uncomfortable at the time, a fact which Evan found highly amusing.

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(This post was last modified: 01-13-2012, 07:01 PM by GreyGabe.)
12-03-2011, 06:38 AM
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Iriri
 Re: Man and Machine (TWS)
#12
I haven't heard that name in years . . .

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Remote-controlled detonation seems like the more probable option. More probable than performing surgery in the middle of the lounge. What's the most recent surveillance we have of the victim? Any odd behavior before he got to the lounge?

Is there any method to cause an untampered voice box to overheat and detonate?
12-03-2011, 07:16 AM
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Dragon Fogel
 Re: Man and Machine (TWS)
#13
The Goddamn Pacman

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>I suggest checking out the luggage, then a quick talk with the witnesses just in case. After that, ask Marie Whittaker some questions.
12-03-2011, 07:59 AM
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AgentBlue
 Re: Man and Machine (TWS)
#14
that escalated quickly

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Sunshine, Lollipops and Diabetes
Maybe it was supposed to happen later, on the hopper. It's entirely possible that the detonation could have damaged something on the hopper's route.
12-03-2011, 08:56 AM
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goggleman64
 Re: Man and Machine (TWS)
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Definitely check out the two sets of luggage, then find a display to review the security camera footage.

In any case, talking to the doctor should probably be the last thing we do since it'll take upwards of four hours to finish.

12-04-2011, 01:53 AM
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GreyGabe
 Re: Man and Machine (TWS)
#16
A Shady Character

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AgentBlue Wrote:Maybe it was supposed to happen later, on the hopper. It's entirely possible that the detonation could have damaged something on the hopper's route.

Hmm. Well, look at the scene; there's plenty of blood and gore, and a little shrapnel, but the explosion wasn't really powerful enough to do much damage to the surrounding area. Most of the witnesses weren't even injured. It wouldn't do much to a passenger hopper's tough ultiplast hull. You suppose it might have been intended as some sort of preposterous assassination device, but it's hard to say. You mention this to Evan.

"Possibly. I'll see if there was anyone important scheduled to be on board."

Dragon Fogel Wrote:>I suggest checking out the luggage, then a quick talk with the witnesses just in case. After that, ask Marie Whittaker some questions.
goggleman64 Wrote:Definitely check out the two sets of luggage, then find a display to review the security camera footage.

You let Evan know that you're going to take a look at the luggage before the uniforms take it to the station. You're just in time, as two of them were just about to load it into the trunk of a car for transport.

"Oh, hello detective!" One of them chirps as you stride over.

"Officer. I'd like to take a look at the luggage belonging to the vic and the young lady before you take it back to HQ."

"Oh! Yes sir, right away," he says with a smile. You notice the other officer roll her eyes.

"Here you go, sir! Anything else I can do for you?"

"No... thank you. Carry on." That was a little odd.

You pop open the first suitcase, not worried about any bombs or booby traps. The hopper port's security would have scanned it on the way in, and the uniforms would have scanned it again twice before even considering picking it up.

There's... not much of interest in the victim's luggage. Toothbrush, clothes, razor, toiletries, a... um. You're just going to call this a... personal effect. Very personal effect. Ahem. You're glad you're wearing gloves. Anyway, let's see... hmm, there's a NetCom in here. Odd. Most people carry these on their person. Maybe this one's a spare? You put it in an evidence bag and set it aside for now. That's pretty much it for the victim's luggage. You move on to Whitaker's.

It's mostly the same as the first. Mostly normal stuff you would expect someone to have in their luggage. In fact, it's entirely normal stuff you would expect someone to have in their luggage. You neatly pack everything back in and take it back out to the brown nosing uniform and his no-doubt long-suffering partner. You hold on to the vic's NetCom, though.

The uniforms will take the luggage back to headquarters and give it an even more thorough searching. If there's anything else of interest in either of those suitcases, they'll find it.


You next decide to look for a display to review the security footage on. Evan joins you as you go to the security office. According to him, the other passengers were mostly just vacationers. There were a couple of businessmen, and a family heading back home, but nobody that seemed like a target for an assassination attempt.

A quick talk with the security guard on duty gets you access to the security office's monitors.
You pull up the footage from the incident.

---

Dirk and Marie entered the lounge, holding hands, talking quietly to one another. They sat next to each other, scooched in close together. She whispered something in his ear, made him laugh. He leaned closer to her and muttered something back. She giggled, and maybe blushed.
Dirk rubbed at his throat. Almost unconsciously. A few seconds later, he did it again, this time saying something to Marie. She smiled, but shook her head. He shrugged.
He cleared his throat, rubbed at it again. Shook his head. She put a hand on his shoulder, said something. She was beginning to look concerned now.
He tilted his head back and pushed at his throat, as if trying to activate something... or deactivate it. He stood up, obviously having trouble breathing. Several people were watching now, wondering what to do. Did he need help? Was he on something? Was he crazy?
He fell to his knees, clawing at his throat. Marie was right beside him, alternately yelling for help and trying to find out what was wrong. People were on their NetComs now, calling for medical assistance. A few moved over to see if there was anything they could do (or perhaps just to get a better look at the action).
Dirk put his hand on her shoulder, almost as if to ask for help standing up... when...


---

Oh. The explosion was even messier than you expected it to be. And you saw the aftermath of it. The rest of the video shows the witnesses running out, except for Whitaker, who was knocked onto her back, clutching her face. You can't tell how much of the blood on her face is hers. You fast-forward to a few minutes later, when the paramedics arrive. One leaves almost immediately, a hand rushing up to clamp over his mouth as he stumbles out of the room. The others rush to help Whitaker.

"Hold on."

You jump. You had forgotten Evan was watching over your shoulder.

"Cycle back a bit. Back to the witnesses fleeing the scene."

You do so, and freeze the video.

"Cycle forward a few frames... There!" Evan points to someone, a nondescript sort of guy. Brown hair. Tan skin. Maybe a little gangly.

"He wasn't one of the witnesses! Or rather, he wasn't still here with the other witnesses when we got here."

You think back, but you don't recognize him either. And the paramedic said that the only one who had been taken to the hospital was Whitaker...

"See if you can match this guy to any of the passengers who had booked a flight on that hopper. I'm going to talk to our witnesses and see if any of them remember him, or know where he ran off to."

You interview each of the witnesses. You show them the man's image. Of all seventeen of them, only three remember seeing the man, and none of them know where he went after the incident.
Looks like you might have a new #1 suspect.

Evan couldn't find the man's information in the passenger information obtained from the hopper port. He sent a few stills to headquarters to see if they can dig up who he is.

Iriri Wrote:Remote-controlled detonation seems like the more probable option. More probable than performing surgery in the middle of the lounge. What's the most recent surveillance we have of the victim? Any odd behavior before he got to the lounge?

Is there any method to cause an untampered voice box to overheat and detonate?

Evan also took the liberty of scanning surveillance footage of the victim from before he reached the lounge. The victim and his companion didn't seem to be acting unusual, but that man showed up several times. Every time he was looking anywhere but at the victim. Definitely suspicious.

"Is it possible that an un-tampered with power source could be detonated like that? Perhaps remotely?"

Evan shrugs. "A few hours ago, I would have said no. Keep in mind, though, I'm not an expert. I just read a lot. I recommend that we ask someone more knowledgeable about implants."

"Right. First, though, I want to talk to Miss Whitaker, see what she knows."


Our Lady isn't too far from the hopper port. It takes only a few minutes to get there, and fifteen minutes more to find a parking space. From the outside, the building doesn't really look like a place of healing. It's actually somewhat imposing. The hundred-story tall duracrete structure is dark grey, the windows small and dark. The only sign that this is a hospital/shopping complex is the large display, showing a tall woman in robes holding a large red cross. Various products that are on sale are pictured in insets surrounding her.

As you get out of your car, you are accosted by a small swarm of higs. They shout marketing slogans and urge you to act on these AMAZING OFFERS before TIME RUNS OUT. You swat at them with one hand while you walk towards the entrance. Evan seems not to even notice them.

"Don't those bother you?" You ask, once you are safely inside (where most higs are prohibited).

Evan smirks. "I just, ah, mute my audio sensors. Being an android has its perks."

"Oh, that must be nice. Hey, wait. You don't ever mute me, do you?"

Evan just smiles and walks on ahead.


You are escorted to Marie Whitaker's hospital room by a nurse. She tells you that Marie had to have a number of metal and bone shards (and most of a tooth) removed from her face and chest, and she suffered from some burns and bruising, mostly minor. She's on some decent pain killers, though, and her doctor says you can speak to her as long as you keep it brief. The nurse also tells you that there's a great sale on Tas-T-Bits down on floor ten, but you should hurry if you want any because they always sell very fast on sale. You thank her and she tells you she'll be right down the hall if you need her.


Marie Whitaker is laying in a hospital bed, her face covered with bandages. She's a rather small girl; shorter than you by quite a bit, and thin. The hair poking out from behind her head is bubblegum pink. She turns her head towards you as you walk in, but doesn't say anything. She seems pretty dazed; you're not sure how coherent she'll be. Still, you've got to try.

You pull over a chair to sit beside her bed. She watches impassively. Evan remains standing by the door.

"Miss Whitaker? I'm Detective Case. This is my partner Detective E5-715. We're here to talk to you about the incident at the hopper port."

She continues to stare at you.

"I just need you to answer a few questions. I'll try to keep it--"

"He's dead, isn't he?" You only barely hear her, she whispers it so quietly.

"...I'm sorry." There's not much else you can say.

She turns her face away from you. Though she doesn't make any noise, but her body shakes and her hands clutch at the thin, light blue hospital sheets.

You stay quiet, give her space.

It seems like a very long time, but her crying slows, and finally stops. She looks up at the ceiling.

"I know this is hard. But I need you to answer some questions, so we can find whoever's responsible for this."

She glances at you and nods imperceptibly.


What should you ask first?

Spoiler :
Fun Fact: A hig is a small, hovering drone, usually spherical and less than four inches in diameter. There are actual a number of different models and manufacturers, but hig is the generic, all encompassing term. Their primary purpose is accosting pedestrians with advertisements. Some models are audio only, others are equipped with holographic projectors, or even "censers" filled with various scents (such as perfume samples or perhaps the good ol'-fashion scent of Big Buddy's Homestyle Deep Fried Ostrich). The hig is named for its original inventor, one David Higgleston. The term hig has also become synonymous with being annoying or irksome (as in, "That really higs me.").

[Image: j5xngn.jpg]
(This post was last modified: 02-06-2012, 03:29 AM by GreyGabe.)
12-04-2011, 05:40 AM
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Dragon Fogel
 Re: Man and Machine (TWS)
#17
The Goddamn Pacman

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"How long have you known Dirk?"
"Did he have any enemies you knew about?"
"What about other close friends?"
"Has he done anything lately that you found unusual?"
12-04-2011, 06:01 AM
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btp
 Re: Man and Machine (TWS)
#18
word juggleryer

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"Can you tell me what happened, up to the accident?"
12-04-2011, 08:34 AM
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GreyGabe
 Re: Man and Machine (TWS)
#19
A Shady Character

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Dragon Fogel Wrote:"How long have you known Dirk?"

"Almost two years, now... We met when I went in to have some maintenance on my hand." She lifts her right hand, which was obscured by her body. You hadn't noticed that it was artificial before, mostly because its external casing is flesh-toned. She lets her hand drop.

"We hit it off, I guess. I kept going back to him whenever I needed a tune-up. One day, he just asked me out, out of the blue. I said yes." She begins to sniffle a bit. You push on, hoping to head off a fresh outburst of tears.

Dragon Fogel Wrote:"Did he have any enemies you knew about?"

"Enemies? Not really, I mean, not anyone who knows... knew him personally. Those freaky Bioticist people started to stage protests outside the clinic where he worked every once in a while... You don't think that one of them..."

Hmm. Bioticism is a new movement that's been gaining momentum over the last year or so. Basically, it boils down to the belief that the use of implants and prosthetics is unnatural and abominable, for different reasons depending on who you talk to, ranging from religious answers to ones that boil down to, "because it's weird." There are even some extremists who are against modern medicine in a more general sense, refusing vaccines and medications. They tend to be an unruly bunch, too. You make a note to look into it.

Dragon Fogel Wrote:"What about other close friends?"

"Not really... I mean, he was friendly with the some other people who worked at the clinic with him, but I don't think they were really friend friends. And there was a guy he used to hang out with in the Simulacrum... I don't know his real name, but his Sim name was King. Which I thought was kind of weird, just King. Most people have like, numbers and stuff after their name..."

You ask how Dirk knew King.

"They were roommates in college, I guess. I think Dirk said he was a programming major?"

"Had Dirk and King had any arguments that you know of? Disagreements?"

"Not that Dirk mentioned."

You ask about the clinic where Dirk worked, before you both forget what you were talking about.

"Oh, right... It's the Bol Munroe Cybernetics Clinic, North Central sector, right off of Fifty Seventh Airway, level 25. You can't miss the building. It'll be the one whose walkway is clogged by assholes with signs."

Dragon Fogel Wrote:"Has he done anything lately that you found unusual?"

"No, not really. I mean, he was excited about our vacation. We both were... It was our first one as a couple, and it was going to be my first time out of the city. We were going to Italy. Pretty romantic, huh?"

You wisely decide to interpret that as a rhetorical question, and get back to the subject at hand. "So you wouldn't say he was acting distracted, or nervous, maybe?"

She shakes her head.

btp Wrote:"Can you tell me what happened, up to the accident?"

"Nothing, major, really. We checked our luggage, got scanned, had one of those sticky bun things they sell in the food court, and then went to wait in... well, you know. Although some guy did run right into us."

Your ears perk up.

"Knocked Dirk flat on his butt. I probly would have punched him in his stupid nose, but Dirk just laughed it off. He was like that... Anyway, the guy helped him up and said sorry, and that was it."

Evan pipes up from his place by the door. "What did the man look like?"

"Huh? I don't know... kind of tall? And he was pretty tan. Dark hair, I guess? And a stupid beaky nose, like I said."

You narrow your eyes and pull back your sleeve, revealing your watch. You pull up a picture of the man from the surveillance footage.

"Was this the man you're talking about?"

"Yeah. That's him. Why are you so... do you think he had something to do with... what happened?"

You glance at Evan, who simply quirks an eyebrow.

"We're just following any leads we can, Miss Whitaker. We still haven't ruled out that this might be just a horrible accident." Best to be noncommittal in these situations.

She nods and slumps down a bit.

"That said, have you ever seen this man before today?"

She takes a deep breath and stares up at the ceiling for a moment.

"No. I'm pretty sure that I've never seen him. I think I'd remember him."

The nurse from earlier walks in, and smiles apologetically at you.
"Hello again, detectives. I'm very sorry, but the doctor says that Miss Whitaker needs to rest, now. Today has been very stressful for her."

"Of course." It's probably best not to ruffle any feathers, in case you need to come back for anything.

The nurse moves over to Marie, straightening her sheets slightly. She then adds something to Marie's IV.

"There you go, Miss. That should help you sleep for a bit. Before you nod off, would you like to subscribe to the Our Lady rewards program? For every night you spend with us, you earn points which can be spent on--"

"No thank you."

"But it's really very--"

"No."

It's pretty impressive how forceful she can be without raising her voice at all.
If you have anything else to ask, you might be able to fit in one more before you go. You also need to figure out what you'll do next.


Possible leads to follow up on:

Netcom found in Victim's Luggage, (Saved to your pocket.)

Review the victim's recent activities for any sign of unusual behavior or spending.

The lab techs at HQ will perform a more in-depth autopsy and scan of the body. Maybe they'll turn up some new material for you.

The lab techs at HQ will perform a more thorough check of the luggage belonging to the Victim and Whitaker. Maybe they'll turn up some new material for you.

Check with the lab techs to see if any info can be extracted from the voice box.

Track down the unknown suspect from the surveillance footage.

Speak to someone knowledgeable about cybernetics.


Possible Witnesses/Suspects to interview:

Marie Whitaker (Witness, Victim's Girlfriend), currently in West Central franchise of Our Lady. Unknown if she'll have any more useful information.

Doctor Chase (Suspect), Inquire about him at South Sector franchise of Our Lady.

King (Real name unknown, Suspect), Must find real location by cross-referencing with Simulacrum address (or you could just log on and talk to him, you guess).

Unknown Suspect (Suspect), Location and identity unknown. HQ is working on finding out his identity.

Bitoticist Protestors, Probably protesting outside of Bol Munroe Cybernetics Clinic in North Central

Victim's Coworkers, At Bol Munroe Cybernetics Clinic in North Central

Spoiler :
Fun Fact: I forgot to put a Fun Fact down here.

(Real) Fun Fact(s): Evan's full designation (VM-E 5-715) refers to the android manufacturing process. Androids are produced in small batches (typically no more than 1000 in any given generation for most manufacturers). Earlier models were not sentient, and were simply used as servants/laborers/"companions." As programming methods became more refined, androids became more intelligent until eventually they were declared sentient. Earlier generations were still pretty dull, though.
Evan's name refers to his manufacturer (Vita Mechanica), model (E-class), his generation (fifth), and his place in the order of production (715th produced).
Evan is rather clever, for a fifth-gen E-class. He can't really pass as human, though, as his eyes are a reddish hue, his "skin" doesn't have the complex wrinkles and markings expected from a human (knuckles, fingerprints, etc.), and he doesn't simulate breathing or have any "idle movements" that some of the later generations have been given. However, his build is a bit more rugged and durable, and he's quite a bit stronger than a human.

[Image: j5xngn.jpg]
(This post was last modified: 02-06-2012, 03:44 AM by GreyGabe.)
12-06-2011, 03:24 AM
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Dragon Fogel
 Re: Man and Machine (TWS)
#20
The Goddamn Pacman

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>An exploding implant is the sort of thing that could stir up the Bioticists. Which might have been the whole point of the murder.

I don't think questioning them is going to get you very far, but you might want someone keeping an eye on them. If the goal is to stir them up, then somebody's got to start talking about it, after all.
12-06-2011, 03:42 AM
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MaxieSatan
 Re: Man and Machine (TWS)
#21
WHERE'S MY FANGS OBAMA

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The Frigid Northlands
Dragon Fogel Wrote:>An exploding implant is the sort of thing that could stir up the Bioticists. Which might have been the whole point of the murder.

I don't think questioning them is going to get you very far, but you might want someone keeping an eye on them. If the goal is to stir them up, then somebody's got to start talking about it, after all.
Once you've alerted the department, head over to the victim's former place of employment. His co-workers might be willing to share some information that only those close to him would know.
12-06-2011, 02:55 PM
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btp
 Re: Man and Machine (TWS)
#22
word juggleryer

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> It may also be worth checking out the Dr.'s client list, and ask around if there's anyone who would have reason to want him dead.

but, meanwhile

> Have the lab guys find out King's real name and address. If he's a good programmer, that may give him the means to have rigged the implant to explode. Interviewing him could be worthwhile.

Also, what exactly is Simulacrum? Could you take a look at the victims most recent chat logs on it?
12-06-2011, 06:05 PM
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Fabricati
 Re: Man and Machine (TWS)
#23
On went the Five...

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> It's probably best to see to someone knowledgeable about cybernetics. You can clearly see that you are not an expert in these matters and expert testimony/evidence should be useful.
12-07-2011, 11:29 PM
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GreyGabe
 Re: Man and Machine (TWS)
#24
A Shady Character

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Dragon Fogel Wrote:>An exploding implant is the sort of thing that could stir up the Bioticists. Which might have been the whole point of the murder.

I don't think questioning them is going to get you very far, but you might want someone keeping an eye on them. If the goal is to stir them up, then somebody's got to start talking about it, after all.
Okay yeah, you kinda put those under the wrong category. Mental category. You shift the bioticists, (Mentally!) to the Possible Leads to Follow Up On category. In your head.

You should check with HQ to see if you already have someone watching them. It's possible.

You call it in...
...
Apparently, they are under surveillance, as much as possible. The bioticists, though not outright violent, do like to cause disturbances, and they are well organized at the top level (though most of the protesters and troublemakers are just people who have bought into their ideology). More than a few of your higher-ups think that it's just a matter of time before they begin acting out in more disruptive fashions, perhaps to the point of violence.

There have been a few attempts to infiltrate their inner circle, but so far to no avail. They're apparently rather crafty, and after the first couple of attempts have become very paranoid when evaluating key members. However, most of their known gathering places are under constant surveillance. Not that it's done much good. The B.E.L.B hasn't had a whole lot of luck tracking down the members of their inner circle, except for a couple of fairly minor players. However, if anything turns up that may be relevant to your case, you will be informed. The lead on the investigation into bioticist activites is Detective Walden Olivera. You know him, slightly. He's fairly well liked around the Bureau for his easy-going nature and his good sense of humor. Maybe you should find him and talk to him later, to get some insight into how the bioticists might react to the incident you're investigating.

btp Wrote:> Have the lab guys find out King's real name and address. If he's a good programmer, that may give him the means to have rigged the implant to explode. Interviewing him could be worthwhile.

Also, what exactly is Simulacrum? Could you take a look at the victims most recent chat logs on it?
You also send in a request to find the real identity of the man known as King. This probably won't take too long, since you have to provide credit information and such to access the Simulacrum.

The Simulacrum is an advanced virtual world, encompassing everything from magical forests to ancient cities, to the depths of the sea. You create your avatar, customize it, and use it to explore, talk to people, etc. You need a visor to log in, but once you have that it's apparently very life like. You have trouble using it, because of your eyes, but your son is a fan, even if he's only allowed to log in on weekends. And only allowed on the general audience servers. And only allowed to buy anything with explicit parental permission.
As far as you know, the Simulacrum doesn't record conversations, which are vocalized rather than exchanges of text. HQ confirms this for you.

MrGuy Wrote:Once you've alerted the department, head over to the victim's former place of employment. His co-workers might be willing to share some information that only those close to him would know.
That done, you decide to head down to the clinic, to see the vic's coworkers. Maybe they'll have some information that will help you out.

---

Well. There sure are a lot of people with signs down there. You are trying to figure out how to get down there without flattening someone. Unfortunately, they're all over the walkway, and several are standing close enough to the charger docks to make you nervous. Eventually, you decide to park one level up and just walk down.

You briefly consider the elevator, but decide the stairs are probably safer. It'll be easier to retreat if they decide to be stupid in addition to unruly today. Evan agrees with your reasoning.

At the bottom of the stairs, you are met with a large cluster of people. They seem to come from all different walks of life, richer and poorer, blue collar and white collar, men and women, all united in their hate for people different than them. It's kind of inspiring... in that it inspires you to want to hit all of them around the head and shoulders with a riot baton for a while.
Some of them have spotted you and Evan, and are headed your way with snarls on their faces.

The one in the lead is holding a sign which reads, "Assimilate This!" with a rather crude (in both meanings of the word) drawing beneath it. Another is wearing a shirt that says, "100% Grade A Human: Accept No Substitute." Several others have shirts with slogans or signs or both. Most of their attention is focused on you, since you're more obviously "different" than Evan, at least at a distance. Maybe you should have worn some sunglasses or something.

"Hey, asshole!"

Ahh, the old classics never go out of style, do they?

"Maybe you're having trouble seeing, but you're not getting anywhere near that crudge-hole! You wanna get a tune-up, maybe you oughta go to a mechanic! And take the robot with you!"

This is met with a general shouting of approval. You're not so impressed. Quite frankly, his rhetoric needs work. And you love how they assume that you just happened to decide, one day, that you were tired of your old eyes and wanted to get some new ones. It doesn't seem to occur to them that it wasn't an entirely voluntary act.

You and Evan glance at each other, Evan smiling slightly. You both reach into your coats and pull out your badges.

"B.E.L.B!" You shout. "Make a path, or we will not hesitate to take you all in for Disturbance of the Peace and Obstruction of Justice!"

"And anything else we can think of on the drive back!" Evan adds.

Several faces blanch in the audience as they realize exactly who they were yelling expletives at. Several... but not all. You walk in, your badge extended before you like a holy talisman, Evan right beside you. The bioticist protesters pull away as you advance. You are surrounded by a mass of sneers and muttered complaints as you make your way through. A few look like they are close to breaking away from the group to do something phenomenally stupid, but none do, for now. You're not particularly worried about this eventuality. You're no slouch in a fight, and you've seen Evan break through a three-inch thick ultiplast door. Bare handed. You would not want to be on the wrong side of that punch.

You make it to the door and walk in, and are confronted by two uniformed enforcers. Seeing your badges, they relax slightly. The more senior of the two looks out past you and shakes her head.

"You guys are lucky those sligs didn't decide to swarm you! Are you crazy?"

Evan quirks an eyebrow. "Have they done anything violent thus far?"

"Well... no," she concedes. "But they look like they might. They've been getting wound up ever since this stoop protest started a couple of weeks ago. If it weren't for me and Lorenzo, here," she gestures at her partner, who nods, "who knows what they'd do? As it is, they yell at anyone nearby, and block the entrance, and spit and throw things at anyone who gets too close. We've had to start sneaking the docs and patients in through the back way."

"...There's a back way?"

You can feel Evan giving you a look. You ignore him.

"Yes sir."Lorenzo points vaguely towards the back of the building. "There were some protesters sneaking around there, too, but I uh... persuaded them to back off."

Evan looks around. "Why don't you have any backup?"

The first officer sighs. "There are a couple of other enforcers out back, keeping it secure, but otherwise..." she shrugs. "We didn't think it would get this bad. The last couple of days have been getting worse. We put in a call to HQ for more people, but they said they couldn't spare it right now."

Which probably means that HQ considers this place small and unimportant enough not to warrant a larger contingent of enforcers.

"Well," you say quietly, "If they do start acting violent, round up the doctors and the patients and get the hell out. This place isn't worth getting killed over."

Lorenzo snorts. "Preaching to the preacher, sir."

btp Wrote:> It may also be worth checking out the Dr.'s client list, and ask around if there's anyone who would have reason to want him dead.
You take the time to look around. The clinic looks like... well, a clinic. Off-white walls, light grey carpet, some beaten up chairs and tables. There are a couple of Net consoles on the tables, probably so people can surf the net while they wait if they don't have a NetCom. A few people sit around the room, one or two watching you curiously. A receptionist sits behind the desk up ahead, shifting nervously and trying not to stare.

You walk over and introduce yourself, and break the news to her, that her coworker is dead. You leave out the details, though. She opens her mouth, closes it. Opens it again.

"Doctor Anderson is... he... how...?"

"That's what we're trying to figure out. Will you help us?"

She nods, still trying to compose herself.

"We'd like to talk to everyone here, see if they have any information that can help us in the investigation. And, I'd like a list of his patients, too."

"I... um, I don't know if I can just give you... I'll have to clear it with Doctor Munroe."

"That's fine. In the meantime..."

"Oh, yes. Let me just... I think Doctor Paine is on break right now... He'll be in the break room, just follow me."

She leads you down a hallway and gestures towards a door, before continuing on and knocking at an office door. You enter the break room.

It's not much of a break room. There are a few chairs here, and a table, all even more beat up than the ones out front. A small counter and sink line one wall, where there's a coffee maker, some cups, and a small fridge. There's a small, older man in a white coat sitting at the table, sipping at a cup of coffee and reading something on his NetCom. He glances up as you enter, and clears his throat.

"I believe you have the wrong door, son. Try down the hall a bit, on your left. Unless you're looking for a bathroom, that's--"

You hold up a hand and stop him.
"Doctor Paine? I'm Detective William Case, this is my partner Evan 5-715. We need to ask you some questions."

The doctor blinks. "Oh, my apologies. What do you need to know?"

You explain the situation, still omitting the details. His face falls as you deliver the news.

"...That's... that's very unfortunate. Young Doctor Anderson was a clever boy, one of the better limb specialists I've met. How is his girl, Molly, was it? How is she taking it?"

"It's Marie. And she's not taking it well. She was there when it happened."

The doctor grimaces. "The poor girl. How did it happen?"

"We're not entirely sure. We think it may have had something to do with his artificial voice box."

"His voice box...? I don't see how! We just ran a diagnostic a few weeks ago!"

You and Evan glance at each other. "We?" You prompt.

"Yes, we. Aside from Doctor Munroe, I'm the top specialist in internal implants we have, especially in ear, nose, and throat. I'd help him administer his diagnostics once every three months or so, and take care of any problems we found. Which were few. The MMS Choir-2200 was a very well-built device."

"And were there any problems during his last diagnostic?" You ask, levelly.

"No. Everything was fine. As I said, the Choir was an excellent model."

Hmm.

Well, Doctor Paine seems to be an expert in implants of the type your victim had. Do you think you can trust him? He said Doctor Munroe was a specialist, too, if you'd prefer to wait. Otherwise, there's also a doctor who works directly for the Bureau back at HQ you could talk to.

For now though, is there anything else you want to ask Doctor Paine?

Spoiler :
This would have been updated yesterday, but my power was out for several hours last night...

Fun Fact: The Simulacrum is (loosely) based on The Metaverse from Snow Crash. Which is a good book! You should read it, if you haven't. Or if you have.

[Image: j5xngn.jpg]
(This post was last modified: 06-16-2014, 05:11 AM by GreyGabe.)
12-09-2011, 07:17 AM
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Dragon Fogel
 Re: Man and Machine (TWS)
#25
The Goddamn Pacman

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Posts: 8,651
Joined: Jul 2011
Okay, here are my thoughts.

You want more details on the checkup procedure. If there's a chance somewhere in there for one of the doctors to hide something from the other, you want to know about it, even if it's unlikely.
You want to know about possible enemies; maybe somebody here was jealous of him, for instance, or maybe he had a patient who was particularly dissatisfied.
And you want to know if there was anything special about his implant in particular.
12-09-2011, 07:42 AM
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