TAKE X (6-5-17: The End)

TAKE X (6-5-17: The End)
TAKE X (6-5-17: The End)
PART ONE: Take Ten
PART TWO: The Normal Place
CREDITS: Talksprites by Doodley; everything else by me


Howdy! NonAnalogue here, and I run an adventure called Take X. It's the finale to Take Ten and The Normal Place, both of which are linked above. The general idea is that after a lot of maneuvering and manipulation, a vengeful mage has ascended to godhood, and therefore it's up to our intrepid band of heroes to figure out how to set things right.

If you're interested, I'd suggest at the very least reading through the Take X mirror; there's a recap at the beginning that briefly summarizes the events of Take Ten and The Normal Place. But hey, if you want to read all of them, be my guest! For those of you that were already following, it's great to be back! What follows is what starts on page 304 on the mirror - the April 10 update.



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The way they're staring at me is kind of... kind of...

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What's all of...

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These...! These are...!

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My name is Ione Raptis, and I remember!

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And I remember... them. Us. The shades. This is our home... our realm.

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After that red-headed mage pulled that stunt, I must have ended up here.

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As soon as I get back there, there's going to be a reckoning.

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Your character select screen currently shows the following:

Giovanni Abategiovanni and Makram Amjad, partners in crime; and
Justice Steele, conspiracy theorist.
RE: TAKE X (4-10-16: The return)
Let's go with Giovanni
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RE: TAKE X (4-10-16: The return)
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Adun Toridas, Space Ninja...
RE: TAKE X (4-10-16: The return)
Justice, for GREAT JUSTICE
RE: TAKE X (4-10-16: The return)
(04-11-2016, 12:24 AM)Schazer Wrote: »Justice, for GREAT JUSTICE

You just took me back to 2007
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RE: TAKE X (4-10-16: The return)
to author:
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RE: TAKE X (4-11-16: Playing defense)
> Select Giovanni Abategiovanni and Makram Amjad.

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Your name is Makram Amjad, and to put it bluntly, the past couple of days have been a nightmare. Giovanni getting arrested came completely out of the blue. His trial is tomorrow, and they tried to stick him with some church official as his defense. You weren't having any of that - the church is as corrupt as it is giant and horrifying.

Which is to say 'very'.

You signed on as his defense as soon as you found out because, hey, it's Gio. You know he'd do the same for you. Come to think of it, you kind of want to see Gio defend someone in court now. He'd narrate everything. It'd be hilarious.

Anyway, you hear that the prosecutor for Gio's trial is someone fresh to the courtroom, which suits you just fine, since your knowledge of the law could be described as 'roughly enough to not get arrested.' The church's police force have determined that Gio is guilty of the murder of some old woman on the north side of town, but you suspect that they were looking to nail Gio anyway; he's been a rabble-rouser against the church for a while. The stakes are high - the penalty for being found guilty of murder is death, after all - and the odds are stacked against you.

You smile slightly, despite it all. This is your element.

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You decide to get down to business. The trial's tomorrow, so you don't have much time to investigate, and you doubt very much that the church's police force are going to share any information with you.

You look at your map of the city. You could go see Gio in the jail cells under the church, or you could go to the scene of the crime - the deceased's home. You could also go to Gio's place and see if there's anything useful there. Maybe you should go to the legal arm of the church and plead Gio's case. Or perhaps there's another place you should go that you're forgetting.

RE: TAKE X (4-11-16: Playing defense)
Recall Gio's testimony/alibi from the day of the murder. If you don't Have that, then visiting him in jail is first.
RE: TAKE X (4-12-16: Apples and eyes)
> Recall Gio's alibi.

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You take a seat on the side of the (non-functional) fountain and pull out your notebook, as well as an apple. It's been a busy morning and you're kind of hungry, after all. Starving yourself won't help anyone. Anyway, when you visited Gio earlier, you made a point of writing down what he told you. Seems like a good time to review his alibi.

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He walked down through the cells wearing his confidence like a fitted suit. He looked like he owned the place, and the smile on his face would almost convince you that was true.

...Gio continued like that for a while, before you told him to knock it off and get on with telling you what happened.

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Oh... right. Sorry. Apparently an elderly woman on the north side of town got stabbed to death. The police said that they've got solid evidence I did it. Something about how she was stabbed 37 times.

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Hold on, how did they make the jump from there to assuming you did it?

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I asked them the same thing, and then they laughed at me. Then the lawyers showed up and told me to submit to them any evidence that proved my alibi so that it could be presented in court.

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You're about to tell me that you gave them all the evidence proving your innocence, aren't you.

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So I gave them all the evidence proving my innocence. But it's okay! The lawyers said they'd make copies for whoever my defense turned out to be. I bet if you drop by, they'll give it to you! All it is is some receipts from the place I was eating at the time the murder happened.

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So there's that. You finish your apple and put your notebook away. It was a good apple. Not great, but then as far as exports are concerned, Vezretti's more well-known for grapes and existential terror, anyway.
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RE: TAKE X (4-12-16: Apples and eyes)
You're going to need those receipts before they get doctored, misfiled, or otherwise vanished into the void which consumes arbitrarily-designated enemies of the state.
RE: TAKE X (4-12-16: Apples and eyes)
Yeah, step one is to make an effort to get those receipts. Sure, it's probably too late, but if it's not then things will get easier.

Step two is to head to the place he was eating. If you can't get the receipts, maybe you can find some other evidence he was there.
RE: TAKE X (4-12-16: Apples and eyes)
Go to the place he ate at, maybe they have records of the transaction on their books. Better to try at the source than at the church, first thing.
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RE: TAKE X (4-13-16: Retrieve legs)
> Locate the receipt.

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You stand back up. Time to get to work. The first thing you think of is to go to the place Gio was eating and ask them directly about Gio's alibi... but it's occurring to you now that he never actually told you which place it was. You were too angry about him turning over the receipts to the church what in the world is wrong with you Gio you're smarter than that--


You didn't get around to asking him where he ate. Looks like you might need to head down to the legal offices. They're down the road from the church, which is not nearly far enough away from the church for your tastes, but what can you do, right?

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You kick in the door to the legal offices. Always have to make a solid first impression, and you want these guys to know that you're not someone to mess with.


You have to admit you've never been to the legal offices before, but... these guys are kind of creepy, even for the church.

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One of them approaches you and hands you a small slip of paper before you can say anything. It's... a receipt. One that clearly identifies Gio by name and includes the time he was there. Looks like he had lunch that day at A Better Place, the local steakhouse that got its name for being, well, a better place. You have to admit, you're a little annoyed; you told Gio that you wanted to try that place out with him - you've been looking for a good steak place ever since Big Mis-Steak closed down for having just a horrible name.

Oh well.

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The receipt looks to be in order, at least from your limited experience.

You have to admit that was easier than you thought it was going to be.

You stash it in your inventory and consider if there's anything else you need to ask these guys before you continue with your investigation.
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RE: TAKE X (4-13-16: Retrieve legs)
Ask if they'll tell you why your client is a suspect in this investigation
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RE: TAKE X (4-14-16: Blast)
>Ask why they suspect Gio

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"Hey, so, my client. Guy by the name of Giovanni Abategiovanni. You mighta heard of him."

The lawyers give you blank stares.

"Anyway, he's under charges of murder. And I gotta tell you, we could really do without that whole arrest thing. It's a little too heavy."

The lawyers continue to give you blank stares.

"So here's the million-gold question: why'd you all come down on poor Gio like that? A good guy like Gio, he doesn't need this. So what sort of evidence you got on him?"

The lawyers' blank stares continue unabated.

"Boy, talkative guys, aren't you? I bet you just liven up all the church parties."

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"The church does not throw parties," one lawyer says, getting right up in your face zone. You're pretty sure you smell blastbacon on his breath, but for all you know it might be souls. You're not one to judge.

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You're relatively certain you're not going to get anything more useful from them. You also kind of wanted to get out of there before one of them started talking about how much he liked carving small ornamental turnips out of wood and had gotten to 6,023 of them so far. You're not proud that you bolted, but you are in one piece, and that tips the scales a little.
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RE: TAKE X (4-14-16: Blast)
At this rate, proving Gio's innocence might not actually be enough to make these bozos drop the charges. Looks like you're going to have to go find yourself a murderer!
RE: TAKE X (4-14-16: Blast)
To the house of the victim!
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RE: TAKE X (4-14-16: Blast)
> Go to the victim's house.

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You head up to the north side of town. You have to admit, the architecture in Vezretti is really dull. You grew up in Alzabata, so you're used to buildings being ancient and decrepit, and at the very least the buildings here are well-kept, but they don't have much in the way of heart. You've lived here a few years, so it's not like you're not used to it, but it still strikes you every now and again.

Once you're done ruminating, you realize that there are police surrounding the house.

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You sidle up to one of them. "So hey, I don't suppose I could get into this house, huh?"

"Why?" the cop responds, eyeing you suspiciously.

"I'm defending the guy you got locked up for the murder here, and it'd be helpful if I knew the basics before--"


You blink. You knew these guys didn't play around, but you were at least expecting to finish your appeal. "No? I can't look around the crime scene?"

The cop nods slightly. "That's right. By order of the prosecutor on this case. He wants to keep the crime scene pristine. His words."

You think for a moment. "Yeah, I think I heard a little about that prosecutor. He's new or something. Anything else you can tell me about him?"

"We..." The cop stops for a moment, whispers something to her colleague, then turns back to you. "We don't know much about Mr. Mugg. He keeps to himself."

"Excuse me, did you say Mr. Mugg?"

"Yeah. Westley Mugg. He doesn't talk about himself much." The cop seems to have dropped her guard somewhat. Maybe this is your chance.

"Well, how do you know that he meant for the defense to be kept out of the crime scene too, if he doesn't say much?" You cross your fingers hopefully.

"Nice try. Mr. Mugg explicitly said 'and keep the defense out of here too.'"

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RE: TAKE X (4-16-16: Chums)
Well, can they at least TELL us what's inside? Seeing as we can't go inside what with them here
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RE: TAKE X (4-18-16: Making the moves)
> Ask for details.

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"Well, can you at least tell me anything interesting about the crime scene?" you ask, laying on the signature Amjad charm.

The cop hands you a few sheets of paper. "Here. Knock yourself out. It's a copy of our crime scene notes. Mr. Mugg said it was okay to give you this much."

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You glance through the documents. The victim, one Allie Dyle, was stabbed to death in her sitting room. 37 times, even, so it looks like Gio's information wasn't wrong. The knife was found next to the body and matches the stab wounds; there's a note next to it that says that the knife is similar to one that Gio was on record as buying recently. Looks like the murder happened around lunchtime, which means it contradicts nicely with the receipts you got from the law office.

You scratch your head. It sounds like the only evidence they have on Gio is this knife - and from the sketch of the knife that's included, it looks your typical filet knife. Plus, they have evidence that Gio can't have been there at the time of the murder. You knew the church was corrupt, but this still seems odd for them - if they wanted to convict Gio, they certainly are going above and beyond to provide him with plausible deniability. It's overall confusing, is what you mean; it feels like there's something going on here that you haven't yet caught on to.

You stash the notes in your inventory.

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It's getting late. You should take care of any last-minute things you need to do, then get some food and sleep. It wouldn't do to show up to court tomorrow morning half-dead.
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RE: TAKE X (4-18-16: Making the moves)
You should break into the house at night
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RE: TAKE X (4-18-16: Making the moves)
Get ye to the knife shoppe
RE: TAKE X (4-18-16: Making the moves)
Locate the crime scene. It's detective time.
RE: TAKE X (4-19-16: Breaking and entering)
> Locate the knife shop.

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You consider heading to the knife shop to double-check what's in the crime scene notes, but there're a few problems with that. One, there's a ridiculous number of knife shops in Vezretti. Like, a scary amount. No one city should need that many knife shops, but there you are. Two, you happen to know that the knife shops around here are doing very well, business-wise - seems like every time you've been in one, it's been packed. Everyone and their mother wants to buy knives around here, it seems.

Boy, you didn't really stop to think about it before, but that's really unsettling.

Anyway, your point is that finding out who bought a specific type of knife from a specific store around here still wouldn't do much towards narrowing the field of suspects.

> Investigate the scene of the crime.

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You, however, have a different plan. You want to at least sneak a peek at the crime scene, so you hang around the house out of sight until night falls. Just as you thought, the cops swap out for the night shift, leaving you with the briefest of moments to slip in through an open window.

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Though... you have to admit, there's not much here. Either this Ms. Dyle lived very frugally, or the police already cleaned the place out of anything that might be remotely considered evidence.

At least they left the chalk outline so you can see where the body was.

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You hear the front door open. You're pretty certain that if you're found here, it won't be good news. You slip out the window and scarper. It's getting late, though - you're pretty sure nobody saw you, but you don't want to push your luck, so you head home to get some sleep. You're not happy with how little you know about the situation, but it's not like this would be the first time you and Gio were up against dire straits.

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When the next morning rolls around, you head over to the courthouse. Gio is there in the waiting area, under guard. He beams when he sees you walk in.

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The clouds had parted, as had the doors--

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Hey, good morning to you too, Gio. Glad to see you're doing all right.

There's not much time before court begins. Is there anything you need to talk to Gio about before you go in?
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RE: TAKE X (4-19-16: Breaking and entering)
"Go easy on the narration, at least until we've got you acquitted, yeah?"