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In memory of Flyin' Black Jackson
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510067 No. 510067 ID: 7562ac

>Hello, everyone. Fairly new to the whole tgchan deal, so I apologize in advance if I make any kinds of mistakes. I came here because I felt like running a quest without causing any sort of uproar or negativity on /tg/. I am kind of ill experienced as far as quests go but I'll do my best. Comments, criticisms, questions, etc. all completely welcome. I simply want to get better at this while providing entertainment to you all at the same time. Cheers.

It's another morning. Stale coffee lurks on your breath and the stench of cigarettes seeps into your clothes. Another day. Another day of trying to find the bastards that got your partner killed. You used to be on the force, yeah. In a better time. A time before the corruption went clean all the way up the brass. You left the force under less than amicable terms. Now you can't stand to look at those power-hungry boars you once called your allies, and your company these days is often a little less scrupulous.

The years haven't been kind to you. All you've got left from your glory days is the leads you scrounged up and your old service pistol. It's a classic style revolver, no ID chip crammed into it, just the way you like it. That way if things go south, your biometrics won't lock you out of using it. You were never a fan of that ID system they put into place, seemed a little too Orwellian for your tastes. Not like you had a choice, though. Everything is on the grid these days. You can't even buy a fuckin' can of soda without an ID chip.

It's gonna be a long day. What do you check out first?
Expand all images
No. 510068 ID: d6ef5d

Check your messages for anything new, I suppose.

And mentally review your situation. What were the particulars of your partner's murder? What leads or information do you have? You seem to have at least something pinned up on the wall behind you there.

How much ammo you got in that old-fashioned shooter?

I note, despite the smell of cigs, you don't have any in inventory. Not even a trusty lighter! Are you out, or is there a box somewhere you could scrounge up in the room?
No. 510080 ID: 7562ac
File 136839912857.png - (29.98KB , 640x480 , phone.png )

You check your phone. The ominous Netlink logo flashes on the screen, reminding you once again that they own your soul. You'd smash this thing right now if it wasn't your only means of interacting with this digital hellhole. 'Since 2019', the screen says. 2019. The year the federal government adopted the Biometric Signature program. Since then, everything has gotten more and more under Netlink's thumb. No new messages. Not that you talk to too many people on the phone, but a fine howdy do once in a while wouldn't be unappreciated. I guess that's the life of someone who has less friends than bullets.

You check your revolver. Six shots. Hollowpoint. They won't do much against some chrome junkie, but they'll put the regular street trash down just fine. You tend not to keep a lot of ammo on you, since any more than a handful of rounds could get you some serious jailtime if they aren't tagged to your biometric Assets. Every single thing you own is registered with Netlink so they can track it all and keep things under control easier. Of course, you do a lot of your ammo buying off the street these days. A little riskier, but it's better than some computer nerd working for Netlink seeing you just bought a hundred rounds of incendiary ammo and matching that up with your search history to see that you've got a bone to pick with their company. Well, less a bone and more a whole skeleton. Once that's taken care of you pull your trusty cigarettes out from the dresser. All you can get these days is synth-tobacco, the natural stuff is just too expensive and hard to find.
No. 510081 ID: 7562ac

You take a look at your list of leads. It doesn't have much, since a good number of potential leads have gone dark and any case relevant police information became classified once you unceremoniously removed yourself from the force. From what you can put together, your partner's death may have been an inside job. He had been doing a good deal of research into a missing persons' case that was supposed to be closed. After a while your superiors caught wind of this, and it all went downhill from there. All information about the missing persons' case disappeared not long after his death. Your former associates originally told you it was just a bunch of conspiracy theory nonsense, but since then you've felt pretty validated.

The news article about his death contains an unfortunately slim amount of info, but that's to be expected. The police would never have let anything important hit the media. Comparing the date of his death with the roster of active officers at the time gave you a handful of suspects, all of which have since moved quickly up the chain of command. So either they're in on it, or they've got enough dirt that they can't just 'disappear'.

Your list of contacts contains every bridge you haven't burned yet. You keep them on paper; you're not about to trust your friends' lives to the security of a phone. First on the list is Hux. He's your go-to guy for anything dubious and of questionable legality. Sports a giant pink mohawk the likes of which haven't been seen since the punk rebirth of the early 2020's and subsequent punk redeath of the middle 2020's. Guy thinks he's some kind of warrior-poet or freedom fighter or something, and he gets you all kinds of word off the street. Next up is Vivian. Sharper than a knife and about as friendly, but when it comes to anything computerized she's your go-to source. Finally, there's Nathan. Probably the last guy alive on the force who doesn't hate your guts. That isn't to say there hasn't been any 'disagreements' in the past, but you two keep it on the level most of the time. Whenever you need inside info, he's got your back, as long as nobody's watching.
No. 510084 ID: 7562ac
File 136839932592.png - (37.62KB , 640x480 , leads.png )

>Posted wrong image, forgot to add cigarettes to inventory.
No. 510085 ID: 7562ac

>Also I apologize if these first couple posts are word-heavy, just trying to establish a bit of setting before anything major comes into play. Please forgive me.
No. 510088 ID: d6ef5d

>reminding you once again that they own your soul
Goddamn user agreements. They had to slip that in there, no one ever reads them.

>what do
Well, if it's an inside job, best place to start is the information that the police aren't letting you have. The case files your partner was working on, and whatever they may have covered up about the investigation into his death.

Unless your black market buddy trades in that kind of stuff, seems to me that's the kind of thing you might want to reach out to your hacker friend for.

Unless the files are kept on a local network (not web connected) or the cops keep things ultra secure by sticking to paper files. In which case we're going to need some kind of a scheme to get in and get physical access.

I wouldn't worry about it, at all.
No. 510093 ID: 7562ac
File 136840159648.png - (21.51KB , 640x480 , case.png )

You flip through some old copies you made of some of his research in the missing persons' case. Over a period of three weeks, about half a dozen college age kids ended up disappearing. A month later, one of their bodies was found, covered in strange burns and scars. The heart had been removed from the body and the wrists were slashed. It was a really gruesome scene; the media was shut out so that it wouldn't cause a panic. The brass wanted to keep the lid on this shut, they said to “preserve the peace”. And so the case was closed. Your partner, abrasive bastard that he was, got into a fight with the Chief over it and kept working off the books to get to the bottom of it. Everything past that is history.

You blamed the Chief for his death, and left the force. You wouldn't be sticking with a force so corrupt it won't investigate murders and let its own officers die for the sake of a cover-up. You don't have access to the case file about your partner's death, but Nathan might. He might be a little reluctant to hand it over, though. Who can blame him? Nobody wants to end up dead in a ditch in the middle of the night.

You bust into a coughing fit, hacking up black pulp with a splash of blood. You really need to quit smoking, this synth-tobacco is fucking up your lungs. Or maybe it was the stray bullet a few years back. Who knows. You've never been much of a health nut. This shitty apartment isn't really helping, either. The air is perpetually stale, the heat never works, and you're pretty sure you've seen bugs not even native to America crawling around here. You would complain if it wasn't the cheapest rent in the whole damn city. Not to mention you don't even know if your landlord speaks English. The sounds of horns honking and gunshots in the distance keeps you awake most nights. A nice restful night of sleep could really do you wonders. But that's a luxury ex-cops with killers to find and vengeance to be had can't afford.
No. 510101 ID: f2c20c

What programs are on your phone? Assets?

I say we should investigate the missing people that didn't have their bodies found. It's possible they aren't victims, and they disappeared to form a cult of some sort. Where was the one body found, anyway?
No. 510109 ID: d6ef5d

>bad lungs
Pfff. You're investigating some kind of institutionally corrupt multi-murder coverup, alone. You really think your life expectancy is long enough to be worrying about that now?

Maybe after you expose the bad guys, get 'em al locked up, and retire as a rich hero you can think about quitting. Till then, it's not worth the bother.

>Nathan might
>but reluctant to hand it over
Well, do you have any better options? Cause I'm not seeing any at the moment. Does he owe you anything? Or is there anything you can potentially do or acquire that will make him more cooperative?

>What programs are on your phone? Assets?
Also good to know, even if they will be watched (or watchable, at least).
No. 510114 ID: 7562ac
File 136840641051.png - (18.84KB , 640x480 , map.png )

You scroll through your Assets to make sure everything is how it's supposed to be. Listed in the Residence section is your crappy apartment. Whoopee. Then under Vehicles you've got your old motorcycle. Hux hooked you up with it a while back when you needed to chase down some cybered-out thug with motorized skate-feet. You couldn't make this shit up if you tried. In your Currency zone you've got about $400 left in the bank. You barely scrape by these days; working with a bunch of corrupt power-freaks is hell, but at least the pay was nice. Crime is so bad in this city that half the tax money goes straight to the police. Good for you back then, not so good for you right now. Finally, the Miscellaneous area. Here you have your various not-so-important items, such as groceries, furniture, etc.

You check Programs to see what's going on with that. There's the classic AssetSwap, the main transaction application. It's what makes other people's stuff yours and vice versa. Synchro keeps you updated with all the latest news and important information that who am I kidding it's just a bunch of gossip and opinion pieces. NeoNav hooks you up to the Netlink GPS grid and tells you exactly where you are at all times and how to get to where you need to go. Nothing creepy about that. Then finally there's...Damnit, Vivian. You make a mental note to tell her to quit using you as a guinea pig for her random hacking programs. It looks like it lets you hijack someone's biometrics and fool scanners into thinking they're your own. Could be useful later on, but if you get caught with something like that it's over.

You close your phone and begin compiling a list of addresses of the families of the missing people. You also mark down the location where the body was found. It's been a while, but maybe there are still some clues lurking around. As far as locations go you've got two houses in Downtown Residential not too far from where you live, three in Highlands Residential where the upper-class business types live, and the City Park. You also mark down your contacts so you can try to call in a few favors. You try to think if you have anything that might make Nathan more cooperative. Let's see...The guy keeps his nose clean, for the most part, so blackmail might not be much of an option. You know he has a pretty strong conscience, so morally he'll be pretty likely to help you out if he thinks he won't get caught for it. Maybe Vivian can set up a secure connection he can transfer files over, or maybe Hux has some kind of method for creating a distraction long enough for you to sneak around and get inside the department.
No. 510122 ID: d6ef5d

>Maybe Vivian can set up a secure connection he can transfer files over
I like the sound of that, combined with appealing to his apparent guilt / morality to get him to help. Plus the opportunity to talk about hacker stuff.

The problem with a distraction and getting in is, even if you get away with it, they'll know someone created a distraction and got away with something later. Better to let the corrupt bastards believe you're spinning your wheels than making actual progress.
No. 510135 ID: 7562ac
File 136841035331.gif - (372.76KB , 640x480 , agog.gif )

You hop on the motorcycle and ride off. It's daytime, yeah. The sky is as dark as night. Yeah. That's what thirty years of unchecked pollution will do to a city. People around here don't even remember what the sun looks like. It's the little things like that that rekindled your love for the noir genre. You're kind of a pulp and film noir buff, but other than your outfit you keep that kind of thing under wraps. It's embarrassing for someone as cool and collected as you to be envisioned sitting around watching old movies while eating offbrand childrens' breakfast cereal. It's a good thing this monologue is internal.

The night sky and the artificial air pumped out constantly feels cool on your face as your bike sears through the streets. The pain in your lungs recedes slightly as you breathe in the blizzard of slightly less noxious than usual fumes. Your revolver jostles against your hip slightly, its weight reminding you that it's still there. It's time to pay Vivian a visit. First, to slap her for messing with your phone. Next, to beg for her help.

>Kind of a short one since I spent too much time on that shitty pixel art animation. Gotta love it when an appcrash causes you to start over. Also, opinion: Should I stick with the sketchier style primarily or branch more into the pixel art? It's something I've dabbled in a bit but it is more time consuming overall.
No. 510141 ID: f2c20c

Art style? Whichever.

What is Chrome? Also, how common are cybernetic implants? Do you have any?
No. 510144 ID: d6ef5d

>First, to slap her for messing with your phone.
Eh, seems a little harsh! I wouldn't smack her around so much as bitch about it, and then use her putting you at risk with illegal software unasked as part of your appeal for help.

>sketches or pixels
Whatever you feel is appropriate for the scene, I guess. Although I'm kind of surprised the pixels are more time consuming!
No. 510170 ID: 7562ac
File 136841414999.png - (23.72KB , 640x480 , vivian.png )

You approach the place Vivian calls home. You can tell which apartment is hers because it's the one with all the fucking neon lights blaring out the window. You feel a slight discharge of oxygen supplement release from your lung support cybernetic. It's the only piece of metal you've got in you, to replace the chunk of lung another piece of metal tore out. Thank god they didn't have to put you on chrome. A lot of peoples' bodies can't handle excessive cybernetics so they have to take a drug called chrome to balance it out. That stuff can rot your brain after a while and can turn you into some kind of cyberpsycho. You wish you could say you've never seen a guy with muscles bigger than your head and literal chainsaw arms running down the street cleaving everyone and everything into bits. You wish. Took half a dozen cops armed with EMPs and anti-armor railguns just to put a dent in him.

Vivian pokes her head out the window and signals for you to come upstairs. Once you get up there you remember why you try to avoid it. Her apartment has nothing in it but a couch, a few posters, and piles of hardware. You're not completely sure where she sleeps, if she even does. She certainly sticks out in a crowd with her strange purple hair and her neon cybergoggles. You decide it's time to get to business.

Vivian asks in a slightly patronizing tone, “What can I do for you, old buddy?” You tell her to cut the crap and inform you why you suddenly have an illegal program on your phone with your name written all over it. “Oh, that old thing? I wouldn't worry about that. I knocked all the bugs out in the last version. Some poor fool got nabbed using the thing, but these kinds of sacrifices must be made in the name of science, no?” Her condescending, holier-than-thou sort of attitude always did get on your nerves. “But that isn't really why you're here now, is it? You need a favor that only someone with my expertise can provide. What is it, did you finally grow some balls and decide to go for the big leagues, like a virtual bank robbery? Or maybe you wanted something more mundane, like dirt on an old ex-lover?” You tell her it's nothing like that, you just need an untraceable file transfer. “How mundane of you, but I guess that is to be expected from someone so straight-and-narrow as yourself. What kind of files are we talking here?”

You illustrate to her the nature of the issue. You need to get some police case files without getting caught. If anyone traces the connection, then not just you but your informant could die as well. “Tricky, tricky...Just kidding, it's simple as hell. However, there is the matter of my payment. What do you have to offer such a brilliant specimen as myself?”

>Yeah, pixels are more difficult than people seem to think. Whereas with a sketch, you can mask mistakes with additional detail. However, if one pixel is incorrect then the entire piece looks off. It's quite the balance to strike, but it has a certain purity to it!
No. 510194 ID: d6ef5d

Well, we don't have much in the way of cash at the moment, and she probably has better access to getting more than we do. We don't have nay information that would be of value to her at the moment, and again, she probably has better means of access than we do.

Which leaves some kind of favor or procurement, I suppose.
No. 510245 ID: 7562ac
File 136842182326.png - (33.82KB , 640x480 , bitch.png )

Vivian has you in a bit of a bind here. You're broke as can be, and you're sure she knows it. She gives a laugh as you rifle through your pockets. “For someone so into your whole 'film noir' motif, you sure don't play the part very well. Come now, our deals have never been about money, they've always played off each others' strong suits. Here's the thing, I'm going to do the transfer for you, no problem. But I need one extra little thing from the police department. I need the firmware for their biometric administration and identification system. I get that and I can finally get my new version of the ID hack in the works. To put it in layman's terms, I can spoof their system into thinking your biometrics are in the police database. That'd put you on an even playing field and probably help your little scavenger hunt.” You mull that over. That sounds less like a favor for her and more like another favor for you, you mention. “Yes, well, call it a win/win situation. I can be a bitch sometimes, but you know I'm always looking out for you.” She gives you a smile that almost makes you want to believe her. Almost.

There has to be a catch to this. “Oh, there's no catch. I scratch your back, you scratch mine, I scratch yours again because I'm just so nice. Except, there is one thing. You might need to rip the firmware off a cop directly. As in by hand.” Welp, you found the catch, alright. How does she expect you to do that without getting a cranial lead injection? “That's for you to know, and you to find out, my dear. Now, I believe my terms are set. It would likely be best for us not to see each other for a bit until you're ready for the transaction. Ta ta.”

This is why you try not to make deals with Vivian very often.

>Sorry about the slow response, I momentarily forgot I was running a quest and took a break to play Dreamcast. I apologize!
No. 510246 ID: 935792

ok so we have to knock out a cop and nab his firmware...I guess it's lucky most of em are corrupt. Now where can we find easily distracted cops wandering around alone?
No. 510249 ID: d6ef5d

>less like a favor for her and more like another favor for you,
Oh, don't worry, I'm sure there are other uses she can turn that firmware to, further down the road.

>What next?
Probably should get our other contact ready to make the transfer as soon as we have a line. Then we see about securing Vivian's 'payment'.

>slow response
Pfff-hahaha. XD This isn't tg. You're actually moving at a pretty good clip by our standards.
No. 510258 ID: 935792

Your art is wonderful. And while your story is quite wordy, it fits with the narrative style and is engaging. Im sure you will do well!

NOW, I guess we have to go chat with nathan then find a low ranking cop who isn't paying attention.
No. 510262 ID: 935792

Nothin wrong with making a discussion thread for more information. It probably won't get used much until your quest picks up some readers, But it is never a bad idea to have the information out there in the first place.

If im on tomorrow Ill check out the quest for sure.
No. 510263 ID: bf54a8

quests here are notoriously hard to destroy. to go to the graveyard requires about a month (30 days) with no activity. and even then you can ask a mod to bring it out. we also have a built in archive system. when a thread is as longs you want (preferably under 1000 posts though) check mark the first post an report it with the reason 'complete' and a mod will move it to the archive.
No. 510264 ID: bf54a8

also we are constantly advertising on /tg/ but they all stick their fingers in their ears and go LALALALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU, it's pretty annoying sometimes when they keep moaning about how quests had their own place to go and yet decide to ignore the place built for their exact problem
No. 510267 ID: bf54a8

this is exactly what the discussion thread is for. if it's not an update or a suggestion it PROBABLY belongs there.
No. 510349 ID: 2f4b71

Suitably Noir option: rip off our buddy Nathan. Gives him plausible deniability for both the firmware and the files (the old "he hit me from behind, I never saw it coming" routine) and lower risk for you. Of course, he might not see it that way. Such is the life of the hardboiled PI.
No. 511219 ID: 7562ac
File 136874654577.png - (21.42KB , 640x480 , nathans office.png )

>Sorry about my absence, unexpected illness besieged me. But I'm back on track now.

It takes a little while, but eventually you make your way to Nathan's place. Looks like he's home He runs a legal consultation office out of his apartment where he spends his off-duty time helping people avoid getting busted for shit people didn't even know was illegal. You've never been able to decide if he's doing it because he wants to keep good people out of prison for fairly inconsequential misdeeds or if he's just trying to make some quick cash off of the average paranoid street scum. Knowing Mr. Truth-and-Justice himself it's probably the former, but you can never tell in this city.

The moment you get close to his door, your phone's signal goes dead. You suspect he keeps a little frequency jammer running to prevent any kind of bugs from peering in on his consultations. Maybe he has something bigger to hide. In any case, that's a big no-no. Netlink doesn't like it when there's a hole in their web. Not that you care either way. You've got business to take care of.

You stub out one of your cigarettes and knock on the door. You hear some slight shuffling and a reply of “Just a minute!” You take this time to glance around. Typical apartment complex. Loud party upstairs. Garbage in the halls, accompanied by your typical wayward junkies. An old school mailbox? Don't see those too often. Must be to keep things discrete.
No. 511224 ID: d6ef5d

>Netlink doesn't like it when there's a hole in their web.
...won't they know? If they track phone's locations, they'll know where they've been going dead.
No. 511227 ID: bf54a8

OP, there isn't much obvious to do other then suggest 'wait' and no one really wants to suggest that
No. 511234 ID: 7562ac

>Sorry about that brief little interlude, I get caught up in a lot of things at once. I will try significantly harder to streamline the quest.

A slightly disheveled man opens the door, one who has seen far too much stress for his age. This man is Nathan Johnson. He greets you as he opens the door with a “Who is i-oh sweet Jesus it's you.” You can't decipher if his tone of voice is relieved or frightened. “L-Listen, I have a lot going on right now, so...” You ignore his dissuasion of your presence and enter his apartment. You head for his kitchen and go ahead and pour yourself a cup of coffee. You let him know that that frequency jammer is going to get him killed if he keeps using it. “Oh, god, I can't deal with all this.” He starts to fall apart. “I'm in it deep, I'm only running that thing because I've got no choice. If Netlink finds out about this, I'm...” You cut him off. Finds out what? “Y-you know I've got this little legal counsel deal. W-well, a few guys came by looking for one of my clients. T-they told me I'd better tell them where this guy is, or they're going to kill me. Jesus, this is just too much for me. You've gotta help me.”

You take a drink of the coffee and look his way. Couldn't he just bust these guys? He is a cop, after all. “Oh, I wish. I'd do it in a heartbeat if I could. The problem is the guy they're looking for, one of my clients, turns out he was one of those cyberterrorists that knocked out Netlink service for the whole block a few weeks back. Word gets out that I've been helping a terrorist, and it's all over for me...” So there it is. Good-hearted Nathan wrapped up in a terrorist plot. Who'd have thought. You suppose you could be persuaded to help, as long as he provided something in return. “Oh god, please, anything. I'll do whatever you need.” You let him know about the file transfer. You've got it all worked out with a safe transfer and everything. Nathan can't agree fast enough. You also slip in the bit about the firmware. “Um...It can't be traced back to me, can it?” You assure him, of course it can't. Not that you know either way, but it put his mind at ease a little. “Oh, okay. Go ahead, then...And thanks...I don't know where I'd be without you.” Probably still stuck doing shitty labor for the Netlink Peace Force Cooperative over in that shitty destroyed village in New Rhodesia.

A quick run of the idH#CK app on Nathan's phone and you've got yourself the Police Firmware. You also have his assurance that he'll get you the files. All you have to do is get some shady fuckers to stop hounding him about some random hacker.
No. 511237 ID: 7562ac
File 136875482559.png - (26.16KB , 640x480 , nathan in trouble.png )

>It's the little things that bug you the most.
No. 511239 ID: d6ef5d

Alright. Let's hear what her knows about the guys bothering him. We need information if we're going to do anything about them in a timely fashion. You know, unless you just want us wandering door to door asking for terrorists.

'Beat' updates don't necessarily mean the only thing to do is wait. Sometimes they're fakeouts before a trap or danger- trying to give you the chance to react before tripping them. (Like, I considered maybe leaving our phone outside the jamming field so not as to tip off big brother. Or the possibility that there was an ambush waiting inside we were supposed to see). And traps like don't work if there aren't ever real lulls in the action for you to confuse a fake one with. That, or it's more time to grill the character for information.

One thing you can do, if you feel you need multiple images or updates before the action reaches a place for us to suggest, is to do a cutscene, or number posts (1/n, 2/n, etc) so we know to wait till you're done.
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