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File 164135903753.png - (14.86KB , 550x500 , dontbelate.png )
1019580 No. 1019580 ID: 676f44

“ALL ABOARD! LAST CALLLLL!”

Oh dear! I can’t believe I’m such a static-brain!

Oh dear, oh dear, almost there! You can’t miss this train! Hurry, Emma!

Aha! Here! Here’s my ticket! My luggage is safe, as you can see!

“Cuttin’ it close, ma’am. But, all looks well. Welcome aboard!”

Thank you! Finally…I made it!

The Sea Sharp Express! The finest luxury train to grace the continent! Full of wondrous and splendid activities for the refined robot, 5 gear meals, and a plethora of top-of-the-line resting facilities! Any bot with any taste would want to take a ride!

Which… makes it all the more unfortunate that I’m here more on work than pleasure. After all- I have this briefcase I really need to return to my latest patient. Mr. Earl Sparks.
Expand all images
>>
No. 1019581 ID: 676f44
File 164135908759.png - (13.60KB , 550x500 , quitethefellow.png )
1019581

A rather pleasant fellow- though perhaps a bit rushed in life! I treated him just yesterday evening for a small knee joint issue; he was rather happy to have it fixed, though I did warn him to not put too much stress on it, and to come back on the morrow for a proper check up. He very much needs one, by my records! And it’s rather good fortune that his friend Mister Jay was able to provide me with a ticket after coming to pick him up, though he wasn’t there! Perhaps he’s just as forgetful as I- I’d not have realized that he took my own briefcase by accident the other day if Mister Jay hadn’t pointed it out and given me the proper one! Now it’s simply a matter of finding him. And I must do it before he leaves the train- after all, my briefcase has a great deal of private data he shouldn’t have access to!

Fortunately, there is a very particular lock on it I doubt he can access without help. I should be cautious that he doesn’t obtain such help regardless. It would be embarrassing as a professional! Now then…

This trip is intended to allow one to bask in luxury, so it is taking extra long- a 6 day trip! I’ve only got so much energy in the day to search before I must eat and power down for rest. Rest is important for health, after all! I will have to be very careful how I decide to spend my time each day.

So the first question is…where should I start? The entranceway is rather plain, but there is at least directions! To my right, or rather the back of the train- ah. That would contain the latter half of the passenger cabins, as well as the Game Car, Nightclub Car, and Theater Car. There’s also Cargo for any oversized luggage, of course.

Towards the front of the train is the first half of the passenger cabins- where my own cabin is located!- as well as the Dining Car, the Aquarium, and the General Store. Of course, the Boilers, the Engine, and any other big fancy important cars are up there, too.
>>
No. 1019584 ID: 8483cf

Nightclub car! Let's see some robot burlesque!
>>
No. 1019585 ID: afe7de

Nightclub robo-burlesque bayby!
>>
No. 1019586 ID: c92a02

Go to your cabin to see where it is you'll be inviting all those robots back for shared recharge sessions.
>>
No. 1019587 ID: e51896

To the nightclub! he had his knee joints fixed, so it's logically means he's going to test them out by dancing at the nightclub...

Wait, we'll need to be a member to join a club, right? Lets find out.
>>
No. 1019597 ID: 094652

Have internal dialogue about the local cult plaguing your country with some disgusting 'gospel' about something called 'robot boobies'.
Seriously, what the heck is a robot? And why do they have to make those stupid grasping motions at their chests as if they're having engine explosions?
>>
No. 1019598 ID: 81ba28

Try the theater car, he looks like he enjoys film
>>
No. 1019614 ID: ce39da

It isn't likely the theatre, at least not right now - it'd be poor form to have a show starting so soon after boarding when passengers are still getting situated.

I imagine that, right now, your quarry is getting settled in his cabin and making sure everything is where it should be. However, we can't just knock on random cabin doors.

What we do need to do is secure our end of the briefcase swap in our own cabin and get ourselves generally situated - losing Mr. Sparks's briefcase would be an absolute disastuh!
>>
No. 1019618 ID: 2aa5f0

well this is day 1 of a 6 day trip and the ride did just start. I'd say start at your cabin and see if he also isn't roomed nearby. Doubt the guess will start going to the rest of the cabins until after they've unpacked their luggage.
>>
No. 1019788 ID: 676f44
File 164151683137.png - (10.14KB , 550x500 , niceroom.png )
1019788

Welllll…I suppose I really should check in and see what my cabin is like, and make sure I’ve got a decent base of operations. Perhaps querying around the place such a jet-setting gentleman might patron, such as the nightclub, would be apt later on, but I doubt that the nightclub is open yet. It’s not even night yet! Right, now let’s see…

Car D, room 16. Hmm hmm…aha! Here we are!

…oh my! This is really nice! That’s a rather big bed, even a nice table for any work I would need to do or private entertainment like puzzles or other such things! There’s a cleansing station as well, oh- and even complementary oil for lubing and a small travel buffer and wax! Wow, that’s very kind of them! And a small complementary chest for the purposes of exchanging aesthetic shell pieces, along with other small luggage completes the room. Very nice! Hmmm. I COULD safely secure this briefcase as well. It’d be good to make sure this one wasn’t stolen, either. Rather light, though- I suspect little is in it. I wonder what was so important about it. Then again, I don’t quite recall what was in mine, either…but I do know that it’s important private data.

‘Attention passengers- we are about to embark on our journey. Please make sure that you are properly secured as the train proceeds to begin movement.’ Oh! How lovely.

A few moments to get myself settled…ah! There we are. The train is underway! My, that was smooth. Now then…

There’s also a small brochure; it’s mostly general information, it seems. But it DOES mention that the Nightclub Car is open to all in the Evening, that the Dining Car has specific breakfast, lunch, and dinner times, and that viewing in the Theater Car requires buying tickets before the show starts. So I have some time to use.

I estimate that with my current power reserves…I will have enough energy to perform five major acts- anything that isn’t simply talking to people or moving from car to car, such as taking part in one of the train’s many entertainment features. Normally, I would be able to do more, but I spent energy getting to the train on time. A meal and rest should allow me to recharge properly.

But, that’s in the future. For now, it appears that the Shopping Car, Aquarium, and Game Room are open if I wish to begin my search immediately in a place other individuals are likely to be. I could also spend a bit of time doing a self-affirmation diagnostic, as everyone has ailments- including myself. There’s…well, there’s also that briefcase. It’s a horrible breach of privacy, but learning what’s in it may give a clue to where he may prefer to go. Or I could just conserve energy for later. Or even rest now. It’s currently Midday, and will progress to Evening at the minimum for two acts worth of energy.
>>
No. 1019795 ID: 2aa5f0

well before you decide whether or not to search his briefcase maybe you could tell us a bit about the gentlemen so we can try to piece together an idea on where we might be able to find him.
>>
No. 1019799 ID: c92a02

Snoop the case and leave it here.
>>
No. 1019806 ID: 96c896

Snoop in the case!
>>
No. 1019807 ID: 8483cf

Snoop!
>>
No. 1019847 ID: ce39da

Snooping the case while we have privacy is a benefit of coming here first. If it isn't something untoward, we can just resolve not to bring it up to anyone or use the info to our advantage (beyond better locating Mr. Sparks). Take your knowledge of its contents to the scrapheap, swear on your manufacturer! Also, if that alone doesn't count as a major action, run that self-diagnostic.
>>
No. 1019848 ID: 629f2e

Snooooooooop

And also self-diagnose
>>
No. 1019963 ID: 676f44
File 164168804114.png - (9.19KB , 550x500 , Itsme.png )
1019963

Mmmmm…well, I suppose I really should take some time to myself, shouldn’t I? There’s a few things I should be certain of- namely in regards to my own well-being. It’s not something I’m very eager to admit, but…

…I have memory recall problems. Severe ones.

That is, I can remember basic information. My name is Emma. I am a fully qualified nurse, complete with general doctor functions and knowledge. I have been a nurse for several years. I am a citizen of the city of Lokstep, where my practice is located. However…other things? My past beyond those generalities? I am unsure. Whenever I try to recall them, it is as though a great wall in my mind interferes with my recollection. I have yet to find a way past it. However, the important aspects of my life are still with me. As is all of the knowledge needed for my profession. So I’m fine! I can recall my medical functions just fine:

Diagnostic Capability: I can diagnose when a fellow bot has a malfunction within 30 seconds of investigation. This is an unusual function and tends to garner impressed looks and curiosity when done in public. However, it is very useful!
Suture: I am capable of an extremely short range (approximately .5 inch) superheated flame intended to solder together gashes in unfortunate bots. This takes a deal of energy however, and has obvious reactions if used outside a medical purpose. The Suture function emits from my LEFT INDEX FINGER. It also takes approximately a half-bar of ENERGY.
Undent: I am capable of a high-intensity vacuum function intended to fix minor denting in patients. The Undent function is done via my RIGHT PALM.
Screwdriver: I have a built in screwdriver in my RIGHT RING FINGER. For obvious reasons.

These are all the primary and most important functions any good nurse needs! Alongside general repair knowledge, of course!
>>
No. 1019964 ID: 676f44
File 164168809741.png - (9.57KB , 550x500 , fewcontents.png )
1019964

…it is…unpleasant to recall such errors, but I must keep this in mind. I will be unlikely to remember things that are important if I do not dedicate myself to doing so. And speaking of things that are important…

This briefcase. Snooping is…unpleasant to think of, but there are VERY important things at stake! Perhaps…if I am exceedingly careful…

…Oh. This is less than I thought. The briefcase currently has little in it aside from a buffer (likely for self-care), some bowties and shirts, a photograph of a very…sensually constructed fembot with a rather excessive head piece customization (it reminds me of a spider’s legs! Why such elaboration?), and a piece of paper with three notes:

-No drinks after 4.
-Remember the score: 32-21, on the 5th match.
-Stay off of the hook.

How odd. I wonder why such things are present? And more importantly, will this actually help me find him?
>>
No. 1019966 ID: 7a655c

well it does tell us that we shouldn't go to places that sell alcohol after 4 since he's not suppose to drink then.
>>
No. 1020000 ID: e51896

Game Car, it said remember the score 32-21, on the 5th match. Sounds like he's in the middle of a game, but is putting it on hold for the next game session. We should investigate that place and look for games that keeps score against two players.
>>
No. 1020128 ID: c92a02

If it's any consolation, you'll probably forget what was in the case in a few weeks.
You won't find him gambling, but if it's before 4 you might catch him drinking. Otherwise look in the game car.
>>
No. 1020184 ID: 676f44
File 164187405718.png - (15.83KB , 550x500 , razzledazzle.png )
1020184

Hmmm…according to this, yes. It seems as though he is careful to not drink after 4 PM. That doesn’t preclude him from drinking BEFORE 4 PM, but it’s good to have a confirmation of where he’s unlikely to be for a period of time.

The photo of the lady, I’m uncertain has any real significance, so I’ll leave that be for now. As for the other information…

Aside from that warning, the score is the most interesting. It seems he’s in the middle of a competition? Perhaps he intended to play the game to completion here. The Game Car should be where I head next if I want to investigate this.

How exciting! I kind of feel like a Detective. Snooping for clues, and solving…well, it’s not a crime, really. Just an accident. Oh dear, I think I’ve spoiled the fantasy a bit. Moving on!

The train is quite opulent, I must admit. Even walking throughout the cars evokes a feeling of majesty. Oop! Some younger bots are here too, it seems. I’ll have to watch my step. My my.

It seems like there’s a number of people that have the same idea- there’s already a bit of foot traffic. So many different models and makes and fancy sorts! It makes me a bit…hm. I’m not sure what this feeling is. It’s not as though I want to be like them, but…I wonder how much it cost them. I’m not exactly awash in funds. I could’ve never afforded this by myself!

Ah, here we are! The Game Room is…oh. It’s very stylish. Like a casino, I believe. There are a number of slot machines on the wall to the left, some tables in the back hosting a variety of card games, it seems- oh! Including Rogue’s Gambit. I actually know that one! Then there is a set of games off to the left involving some rather colorful stones. It seems like there’s a bit of a commotion going on, too…although it doesn’t seem to be very negative. The desk-workers at the counter don’t seem very pleased, however. It rather ruins the aesthetic appeal their design implies.

Hmm…where to even start? I suppose if I wanted to actually play any games, I’d need to go to the service counter, but if I didn’t, there seems to be no-one stopping me from wandering around. There's not even a bouncer!
>>
No. 1020187 ID: c92a02

No need to play games, just speak with the clerks and ask if they have seen this old man. Or this lady in the picture!
>>
No. 1020188 ID: 894419

>>1020184
Wander about and do some visual inspection! See if you can spot him, if not, it wouldn't hurt to settle down and keep an eye out while playing a hand or two of your favorite card game,
>>
No. 1020191 ID: 2aa5f0

check out the commotion, maybe you'll luck out and find your target right off the bat.
>>
No. 1020205 ID: e51896

Look for a game that goes on for multiple matches spread out through multiple days, and keeps score for two teams or two players and goes up to at least the double digits. This is based off the letter we just read. Ask if they've seen the person youre looking for and if they have, tell them youre looking for him to give his stuff back and to meet him at your room.
>>
No. 1020350 ID: 676f44
File 164204880303.png - (10.96KB , 550x500 , this nerdette.png )
1020350

Hmm…there’s no reason to rush things. Perhaps it might be good to see what’s going on in the more high energy points in this car. Perhaps let’s see what’s going on in those areas…

First is that there seems to be a number of bots enjoying Rogue’s Gambit, as noticed earlier. However, it doesn’t seem as though any of them are Mr. Spark. Or even the lady in the picture. There is one fellow who seems to be rather irate. He’s got a rather nice tophat and a rounder body, but his luck seems particularly poor. He shakes his left hand- oh. It rattled a bit. I wonder if maybe he’s having a loose joint issue? That tends to happen in the older sorts.

“I ain’t no second-rate player!” My, he is indeed man. “Deal me in again- I’ll whoop anyone what comes to me!” If I understand his prior card hand correct- and I am sure I do- I must say that sounds very unlikely.

Now, perhaps it might be best to see what’s happening over with all this commotion…

“Oh! Er, ah, ‘scuse m-me, miss!” Oh dear! I nearly got tackled! Who- oh. That’s an interesting top style. Pockmark head design is uncommon.

“It’s no problem!” I insist. “Are you alright?”

“J-j-jus’ fine, fer sure!” She responds quite happily. My, but those are impressive eyebrows. “Uh, s-sorry about all that, need t-to get the best spot for my-my research. I-If you could please move j-ju-just a bit over to the left?”

Strange… “Like this?” That stuttering…

“Yup-yup! T-this is a great scene for my story.” Story? “Ah, I’m a writer- well, u-up and coming writer. I-it’s for m-my second book!”

“Oh?” Well, I DO read. Couldn’t hurt to be a bit polite. “What was your first?”
“A-a tale of mystery and romance a-a-and intrigue! T-t-the title is ‘Lonely Steel Road’! T-they’re actually-actually selling it on the train!”

“Oh, that’s very nice…” Suddenly, I hear cheers.

“H-he’s still at it…” she says, and I must admit I’m a bit stumped. Really, I’m more concerned about her stuttering. It doesn’t sound like a natural voice box inflection…

“Who is?” Oh dear, please don’t look at me like that. I have no interest in overzealous fandom.

“O-o-oh! You don’t know about Z-Z-Zachariah West? H-h-he’s only one of the most prolific stage actors of t-the day!” Ah. “B-b-but then again, I guess it k-k-kinda makes sense. I t-t-try to keep tabs on most important people. Y-you never know when they’re g-gonna do something story worthy!”

Another cheer, and I can hear someone make a pronouncement: “And that’s twelve! Final score, seven to twelve! Mr. West takes the pot!” Oh! That’s a lot of cheering. Although…I wonder if I might be able to get closer and talk to him. Alternatively, it seems like this author knows a fair bit about who’s who. I could stick closer to her and see what she knows, maybe? But then again, there might be important peoples about otherwise, still. I could see answers elsewhere.
>>
No. 1020351 ID: c92a02

Those studs aren't contagious, are they?
>>
No. 1020353 ID: 2aa5f0

stick closer to her and see what she knows, mostly because she doesn't sound well and you're a doctor. Use your Diagnostic Capability her to make sure she's operating at an acceptable level.
>>
No. 1020376 ID: ce39da

> "That's 7 to 12!"
> 2 scores, capable of reaching double-digits.
That sounds like the game Mr. Sparks is keeping tabs on! We should ask the writer how that game he's playing works if she's been keeping tabs on it. (Maybe get her name while we're at it, also run a diagnostic.)
>>
No. 1020377 ID: 2f68c3

>>1020376
This. If she is keeping tabs, cross reference the scores she has on different games with the one on our note. If a game score is similar, ask when the next match for that game session is.
>>
No. 1020408 ID: 35f98c

Is Diagnostics blatantly noticeable, or considered invasive? If so, you should probably get permission before running a scan.
>>
No. 1020483 ID: 676f44
File 164227822795.png - (14.21KB , 550x500 , neckinjuries.png )
1020483

Welllll…really, although this perhaps might be the game that was hinted at in the paper, this individual seems…unwell. It’d go against my duties as a nurse to ignore her!

At least, those studs seem less of an indication of illness or disrepair and more of…unfortunate taste. No, the truly concerning part is her voice box. Stuttering on random words and in an uneven cadance like that is often an indicator of damage done to it. And I have the perfect way to check! My Diagnostic Capability is quite up to such a task. It is usually utterly harmless, though it has been known to cause feelings of discomfort when witnessed due to my eyes obtaining a slight glow. However, that should be largely unidentifiable in this mass…

Ah! She’s focused on the game! Or, rather, the player, at least, as he’s talking to several admirers. Let me just move slightly behind her…here we are. This allows me a clear line of sight to her, and should keep me out of view…she’s rather enamored with him.

Hmmm…

….oh! My! According to my diagnostics, this is…intentional damage. It has to be. The dents are too uniform to not be a robot’s grip. Something or someone tried to crush her voice box, I think. They likely were unsuccessful, and she managed to get her outer shell undented…but the actual damage remains. I wonder why? Perhaps she didn’t have enough money to afford it?

“Pardon me, I just realized. I never got your name.”

“Oh! S-s-sorry about that! M’name’s Geargoose Greasly! It’s a bit funny, I-I know. But it’s mi-mine!” Ah. Well, now I know.

Oh! There Mr. West goes, followed by a gaggle of groupies. “It’s okay. I am Emma. A pleasure to meet you!" There we are! It feels much better to have social cues followed. "How IS that game played?”

“O-oh! Well, it has to do with making several ma-matches while taking as m-m-many colored stones from your op-p-p-ponent as possible. There’s different values, and the scores can get pretty hi-high!” She continues to explain the game, and…well, it sounds like perhaps this is the game mentioned in the notes. So then…now what to do. Perhaps I should ask around about any long term games being played. The desk staff might know, and this would likely get me closer to finding him. Although…I don’t see him here, so I may have time. Ms. Greasley’s voice box is damaged, but I am confident I could repair it if she wanted me to; though it would take the better part of the evening and three units of energy. It’s a nurse’s duty, however, and good deeds are rewarding in their own ways. Otherwise, I could take a different approach. Perhaps leave this all be and try another source of information.
>>
No. 1020484 ID: 629f2e

You should offer your aid in repairing her voicebox. It's your duty to care for others, and whether you do it now or later you'll have to use up a fair bit of energy. Help her now, and you can get back to returning this briefcase later.
>>
No. 1020487 ID: 2aa5f0

well you did take the Hippocratic oath, you should at least offer to fix her voice box should she want you to.
>>
No. 1020592 ID: 676f44
File 164243727530.png - (7.81KB , 550x500 , fingerdriver.png )
1020592

Well…it IS my duty! And I cannot say I wouldn’t feel better talking to her if her voice box was better repaired. “Excuse me, and I apologize if this is a bit personal, but I couldn’t help but notice you have a bit of a speech impediment…”

She shakes a bit, as though dismayed to be reminded. That is understandable, I think. “Oh, i-it’s fine. It’s j-just something that happened re-recently, but it hasn’t stopped me any. I’m n-n-not really up for di-discussing it, though…”

“Oh, not at all!” Oftentimes, patients would rather not disclose such; at least, not unless it was critical in how the injury occured. “However, if you hadn’t noticed, I am a fully registered and licensed nurse, and I have surgical experience. I would like to perhaps take a look at your voice box, if possible, and attempt to fix it.”

She seems worried. “D-d-don’t you need a bunch of specialized tools for that? And wouldn’t it c-c-c-cost a lot?”

“Normally, yes. However, it is also my duty to help heal the injured whenever I am able. This would be no charge. And I have enough inbuilt tools to assist me with this particular issue..”

She seems quite surprised at that, judging by the high raising of her significant eyebrows. “You me-me-mean that? No cost at-at all?”

I’m quite glad to reassure her, given her hopeful look. “None. And I assure you, it won’t take so long as to remove you from the festivities for long.”

“I…well…I-I’d really like this little pr-pr-problem gone. And if it’s for fre-e-e-e, then I guess I probably should say y-y-yes, huh?” She nods in agreement, and I’m quite glad for it!

“Please, follow me to my room. I’ll work in private.” You hold out your hand, and she gingerly accepts.

She lays down on the bed, and I have to mention to her to make sure to not talk for the duration. Alright…now, to work!

My Screwdriver is necessary here- fortunately, it’s easy enough to see her connecting bolts, her spinal access ports, and more importantly, her voicebox. Yes…very much an attempt at crushing. I wonder what was the cause…she must have really angered someone. The dents are larger than what my hands could impress.

Now, I carefully need to use my Undent tool. I’m glad it’s capable of multiple sizes… “Please, you may feel a tingling. That’s normal, so don’t panic.”

(1/2)
>>
No. 1020593 ID: 676f44
File 164243754774.png - (8.81KB , 550x500 , kindatired.png )
1020593



…strange. I haven’t done a repair like this for quite some time, I believe. The last time was…was…hm. I feel like I almost remembered something, there! I did…something special. To gain access to whoever it was. I can’t quite remember who or what I did, though. Curious.

-ah! What am I doing? I need to focus! Alright, there’s the first dent…

…oop, need to be careful around here. Watch her wires...

No need to be in a rush, Emma. You're experienced!

“…aaaaaand done!” I finally close her up, and lean back, confident that the voice box is in good order once again. At least, as good as it can be. “I should notify you that I found signs of…well, your voice box should be clear, but there are some signs of disturbed wiring. I cannot fix that with what I have on hand, and it is nothing critical by any means, but I would suggest getting that looked at as soon as possible once your trip is complete.”

“Really? You fixed me up, mostly?” Oho, her voice already sounds much more steady, and I’m quite happy for it. “Oh…oh wow! It’s like it never happened!” She sighs happily. “Such a relief…now I just gotta make sure it don’t happen again.” Oh? Is she still at risk, then? That’s…worrisome. But it’s also not really my business. Although, if it DID happen again- or to anyone else- maybe I'll fully remember whatever it was that I did.

It’s late out, and I’m starting to get down energy. Generally I’d prefer to have her stay for observation, but I also need to recharge soon. Perhaps it’s better to have her leave so I can get more energy back, and format my experiences today. Or, well. It’s a touch risky, but I could at least try to venture out to see what’s on offer during the nighttime.
>>
No. 1020598 ID: 629f2e

Let's have her stay and talk to her about the people in the game car. We can observe her and have a pleasant informative conversation at the same time.
>>
No. 1020599 ID: c92a02

See what's on offer during the night time. We've come up a little short on information.
>>
No. 1020600 ID: 2aa5f0

well have her stick around and ask her about the people at the game. Might as well ask if she knows about the guy you're looking for since she seemed to have a good idea of all the people at the table and it did sound like that table was where our target was planning to stop by.
>>
No. 1020611 ID: 0764c5

Tell her about who you're looking for and the game you suspect him of playing. Ask if she can keep an eye our for him and if she can help you figure out where he might be next.
>>
No. 1020693 ID: 676f44
File 164256589411.png - (11.40KB , 550x500 , girlbottalk.png )
1020693

>>1020593
Hmm…it would be more beneficial to her health to have her stay here. Perhaps I can inquire about any potential leads she may have! We can do ‘girl talk’ or the sort!

…not that I’m certain what that entails. I cannot recall if I’ve ever done such before. “Excuse me, but, as your current medical practitioner, I have to say, I think it would be beneficial if you were to stay overnight with me so that I can observe your state. Should there be any unexpected errors with your voicebox, I can be on hand to treat them.”

Ah, that seems to have taken her by surprise. “Oh, well then…I…guess so? I mean, if you really think so…”

Well, she has no real NEED for it, so maybe we can work- “It’s standard procedure, generally. I insist.”

Eh? That.

I did not intend to say that.

“Oh…well, sure!” Her response is good, but.

I was going to consider alternate ways to keep us together, as opposed to trying to coerce her to stay here. But…this IS a good result, so perhaps it was my internal calculations performing better than expected. I cannot even say I feel dismayed at the action.

Perhaps something to think on later!

“Okaaay, uh…so…” She seems confused, I see. “...you, uh, wanna talk about something?”

Ah. Yes, yes I do! Although…how would I go about this…oh! “Well, you seem to be knowledgeable about a great many people. I am…not so much.”

“Oooh, yeah, kinda got that hint. You’re new money, kinda like me!” Well. Not technically, but I suppose she can continue to believe that. “It’s all really scary when you start brushing up against the fancy sorts, right?”

“Yes, it’s rather daunting…” Well, it’s not, but it also seems like I can feign such well. This is useful! “Like before in the game car. Was there anyone there besides Mr. West that I should know?”

“Ohhh…well, of everyone I could recognize, there was Mr. Richter Tapp. He’s a really big luxury goods businessbot. Loves his Carbonium Smoothies. And his ascot.” She giggles, and I do so as well unconsciously. “I think it kinda looks silly. Oh! Didja see a really tall lady with the flowing headpieces and red dress?”

Huh. That sounds as though she’d stand out, but… “No, I cannot say I did.”

“Oh, dang. You must’ve just missed her. She’s Latice Laroux, and she’s really big in the modeling scene! She’s probably going to be around…well, somewhere.”

I think this is my opportunity! “I see…I’m afraid I’m often busy enough that I don’t know much in the way of socially popular people.” Now to see if I can get anything from her. “I DO know about a Mr. Earl Sparks, but-”

“Oh, the business mogul?” Excellent. “Yeah, I guess that’s fair. Most people would know HIM. All those vehicles, and the construction, and the sports teams, and the exploration videos…shame I didn’t see him yet.” Eh? “I’d love to pick his brain. He’d probably have some great stories!” Drat.

“Yes, I can imagine that seeing a mustache and big hat like his would be quite noticeable.” Well, it seems I’ll have to- hm?

…why’s she looking at me like that?

“Whaddya mean mustache? Mr. Sparks doesn’t have a mustache. Or a big hat. Are you sure you aren’t mistaking him for someone else? I mean, he has a smaller hat, sure, but…”

…EH?

That…can’t be right? He introduced himself as such! Even showed me his card! How would that not be him?

“...hello? Ms. Emma? Hellooooo?” Oh! Right, yes. I must respond. But…how? If I say too much, she might be repelled by what I'm trying to do. Or, perhaps she'll be interested... Oh dear. I didn't think girl talk would be so stressful!
>>
No. 1020699 ID: 96c896

>>1020693
All you're trying to do is return his briefcase, and recover yours. Perfectly legitimate. Also admitting you've met the man doesn't contradict what you just said. Anything else can be held back via doctor-patient confidentiality, right?

So, basically, admit that you briefly met someone claiming to be Earl Sparks, and he seems to have accidentally swapped briefcases with you.
Describe him to her.

(also I wonder if her voicebox was damaged during some rough... interfacing. It would explain why she thinks she can prevent it, but also doesn't want to talk about it)
>>
No. 1020701 ID: ca51e4

You have a picture of him right, maybe show that to her and tell her he claimed to be the gentlebot you were referring to. Ask if she would know who the individual is if not the bot he claimed to be. Admit you are very confused right now and wonder why someone would lie to their doctor about who they were.
>>
No. 1020888 ID: 676f44
File 164280894029.png - (9.11KB , 550x500 , actualsparks.png )
1020888

Well, I suppose there’s no reason I can’t just TELL her. It’s not like I’m doing anything wrong, correct? In fact, maybe she can help me, somehow! “I’m terribly sorry about that. However, I do have to admit something- I’m looking for Mr. Sparks, you see. Or at least…someone claiming to BE him.”

She seems surprised at that. “Wait, really? What for?”

“I need to return something- and get something of mine back.” I quickly explain the mix up, much to her surprise and understanding.

“Oh, goodness! Wow, that’s terrible! And he called himself Earl Sparks, but yeah, that’s not how Mr. Earl Sparks looks. Mr. Sparks is very well known for his distinguished, sharp chin and impeccable monocle!” Ahhh! See, that is very useful! “I’m honestly surprised if the real him would ever be seen without it!”

But that’s not enough information. “Is it special in some way?”

“It’s gold-rimmed, but that’s it.” Drat. But, it’s still something. “Still, though, I wonder why would anyone try to impersonate him- and so badly, too!”

“I wish I knew,” I have to admit. “I thought the briefcase was oddly devoid of personal effects…”

“...well, this might make for a great story! Tell you what, we can spend tomorrow looking for him!” Ah, that might be useful! We’ll rest for now, then, and tomorrow we can engage in planning for the search!”

Now, where’s my recharge plug…aha! And here we are, and plugging in…ah, it seems like she has one, too. No having to waste energy for her to go get it.

Lovely. Now, tonight, I can recharge fairly well. I’ll be busy passively observing her, so I won’t be able to format my experiences- but that’s alright! I don’t really do it that often anyway, and I’m fine regardless.

In the morning, however… I should probably go to the dining car. I wasn’t hungry today, but I’ll need some additional energy in the morning. However, there are different breakfast times, so I’ll need to decide whether to try for an early breakfast, mid-morning breakfast, or late breakfast. Perhaps I should ask for Geargoose’s opinion…

“Oh? I’ve heard that you can meet a lot of different people depending on when you go. The older and more tucked away rich folk tend to try for early breakfast, so they can do other stuff. Your socialites and public sorts try to go for mid-morning, and your newer money and lazier types generally try for late breakfast. If you’re looking for folks to talk to about that weird Not-Mr-Sparks, then I figure you’ll wanna choose what kinda sort you think might know about him best. If you want to at all, that is. Heck, maybe you’ll get lucky and find him at breakfast yourself!”

Hmmm…
>>
No. 1020922 ID: 2aa5f0

so we can't go asking people about your patient by name since he gave you a false one... or just somehow has the same name as someone far more popular and well know them him. Least we still have that picture of him to try and find him.

Though the real mister sparks might actually be a help here. Is he old money or new money? Because if our patient is pretending to be him he'd probably want to avoid him.
>>
No. 1020926 ID: 629f2e

I think our best bet at finding clues is with Early Breakfast. The note in the briefcase sounded like secret instructions, meaning whoever we're looking for may be performing a job for someone. Best to try finding him meeting with old money. New Money has too many people who have just stumbled into fortune, old money is more likely to have people who inherited it and are dealing with shady people on the side to maintain their fortune.

Plus, if you get it out of the way early, you won't have to interrupt something later to go eat.
>>
No. 1020968 ID: e7c7d3

Go for mid-morning. The connections of the socialites could help us find our mark
>>
No. 1021079 ID: c92a02

Mid-morning is most likely where you'll find his marks.
>>
No. 1021080 ID: afe7de

Early breakfast!
>>
No. 1021091 ID: 12b116

Early breakfast!
>>
No. 1021093 ID: e51896

you know what they say in your robot community, an early breakfast prevents an early break fast.
>>
No. 1021099 ID: 8483cf

Early breakfast! It jump-starts your day!
>>
No. 1021111 ID: 7dee71

Going with early here.
>>
No. 1021155 ID: 676f44
File 164300140301.png - (12.02KB , 550x500 , slep.png )
1021155

As we reduce power for the night, I find myself…dreaming. This is not a common thing.

Awash in a see of colors, but without rust or loss of direction. I know where to go and how to get there. I need to go deeper. Into the depths. It’s…confusing. New to me. More importantly, I feel as though there’s something- or someone waiting for me at the bottom.

I have to keep going.


When I boot up properly, it’s clear Geargoose is an early riser. “G’morning!” She practically honks. “We’re going bot-watching today, right?” She seems rather eager.

“Yes…I think we might want to catch an early breakfast for this,” I decide. “Better to see what the more experienced individuals might say or do.” It’s, admittedly a slim idea, but it’s better than nothing.

When we reach the dining room, it’s rather quiet- but that’s not due to lack of individuals. All we need to do is show our tickets, and that’s confirmation enough. “Alright. Anyone in here that looks interesting to you?” I whisper to Geargood. She’d know better than me. “Perhaps one with an open seat near them?”

(1/2)
>>
No. 1021156 ID: 676f44
File 164300142373.png - (8.13KB , 550x500 , bfast.png )
1021156

“Ooh, yeah!” She quickly responds. “Over on your far left, near the back? The bot with the large lumpy top piece? (it’s an afro) That’s Ms. Jellicer , the owner and president of Jeller’s Jump Houses- the play places? She’s supposed to be pretty weird, though. Like, speaks in puzzles weird. Doesn’t do many interviews. Uhhh…about two tables to the right of her- yeah, the dude with some rust on his arms and that weird military look on him? That’s Geoffrey Sunter - he’s really big in the entertainment sector. There’s hot rumors that he’s involved with organized crime, though. Maybe be careful?” Huh. He seems docile enough, but…appearances can be deceiving, I suppose. “What of anyone else?”

By now, we’re starting to walk again. Can’t look too suspicious. “To the right, looking out the window. The slim one with the prominent nasal section? That’s Nathan Cross. He owns a chain of vehicle dealerships.”

“That sounds like it could be useful,” you note. “Wasn’t Mr. Sparks in vehicles?”

“Yeah, but they hate each other,” she notes right back. “He might be glad someone’s up to something.” True. But would he really let something like this go? That seems…unlikely. “There’s also Mr. Greer, in the front there with the dented jaw and round face. He works in sports as well; they both have investments in Superdisk teams.” Ah. That sport of trying to toss a disk past each other in elaborate ways. “Maybe…I mean, that’s all I can see who I know and are open that we can sit near.”

Hm…we need to make a decision now before we get too many eyes on us. No ‘Mr. Sparks’ himself though, unfortunately.
>>
No. 1021179 ID: ce39da

> Superdisk
Oh, how's that played and scored? If it lines up with the note we found, we may want to talk to Mr. Greer about it. I think looking for people related to Earl Sparks directly is a red herring because...

> Deduction
I highly doubt our quarry is using Earl Sparks's name anymore, especially if the real one is on the same train, considering they look nothing alike. You'd think he'd put more effort into a disguise, even just doing basic research into the real Mr. Sparks's appearance, but no; you're the only robot he was trying to fool.

I'm thinking this was never about Earl Sparks, to begin with. This is entirely about something you kept in your briefcase.

Also, if Earl Sparks wasn't Earl Sparks, then that casts "Mr. Jay's" actions in an entirely new light. For all we know, the Sea Sharp Express trip itself was just a ruse to send you off on a wild gear chase... Though the briefcase did contain something of relevance to the involved parties, we know that; ergo, we can't lose hope yet, as I imagine that recovering the briefcase not belonging to you is also a priority for someone on this train.
>>
No. 1021201 ID: 96c896

I can't help but consider the possibility that you're a sleeper agent, sent to assassinate this man. Or the briefcase he has isn't yours. Your brain, hacked, your memories a cover story.

It also occurs to me you could just stay in the food car and wait. He's bound to show up eventually.
>>
No. 1021218 ID: c92a02

Talk to Mr. Greer. It doesn't matter if the Sparks we met wasn't the real one, that's the name we have and we're sticking to our search.
>>
No. 1021258 ID: 208931

Greer, no need to make it complicated.
>>
No. 1021268 ID: 676f44
File 164313343938.png - (8.50KB , 550x500 , mrgreer.png )
1021268

“Perhaps Mr. Greer might afford us some conversation?” I ask. They’re both into sports teams, so maybe there’s something there we can use to ask where ‘Mr. Sparks’ is.

“Oooh, good call!” Ms. Geargoose agrees. “In fact, I got the perfect reason for goin’ up to him!” My, she seems rather confident all of the sudden. “You just watch an’ follow!”

Well, if she insists.

While her confidence doesn’t exactly translate to a, er, robust gait, she does seem rather eager for whatever reason. Ah, the space across from him is open. Excellent. “Pardon me, sir. Are you Mr. Greer, part owner of the Gwenton Redlines?” Gwenton…that’s quite the team name.

Mr. Greer, despite his rough countenance, doesn’t seem too distraught at seeing us, at least. Not judging by his grin, anyway. “That I am.” Oh, what a deep voice. “Whatcher business?”

“Name’s Geargoose; I’m a bit of an author, y’see, an I’m hoping to do a bit of a story what involves a sports mogul. Was thinking I could pick the brain of someone in the know. This here’s a friend of mine, Emma. She’s a well-to-do nurse. Big clients and all.” Oh! Well, technically I suppose that’s true. Best keep quiet for now, though.

…the way he’s looking at me, though. A touch intimidating. “Author, ‘eh? Siddown, both of you. No sense in not makin’ connections.” Ah, excellent. “Still waitin’ on my order, so you both get yourselves somethin’ good.” Well, I HAD intended to sample the wares…

“Thank you, sir.” The waiter’s quick to notice our sitting down, and we quickly give our orders- Geargoose orders a breakfast burrito, while I’m more of a crystal cakes individual.

“So, whatcha need ta know about the world o’ Superdisks?” he inquires. “‘Cause if yer tryin’ to get insider info on the trade season, yer outta luck.”

“Naw, nothing like that!” My, she seems so much more than the person I met yesterday. “Just lookin’ for experiences. The scoop on the day to day, y’know?”

“Ha!” Strange, that didn’t sound like he was amused. “Day to day, huh? Used ta be that the day to day was arranging coaches, makin’ sure arena leases didn’t lapse. Stuff like that. Lately nowadays it’s tryin’ to make sure our heads don’t come unscrewed.” Oh dear! That sounds…really rather frightening.

(1/2)
>>
No. 1021269 ID: 676f44
File 164313346899.png - (11.07KB , 550x500 , uwhat.png )
1021269

Ms. Geargoose seems alarmed, too. “Wait, what? Where’d that come from?”

He chuckles. “Truth is, Ms. Author, there’s a reason I letcha sit with me. I know yer book, heck, my secretary got a copy in her desk. But I figure a lass like you might have proper connections.” And then he’s looking at me? “Mebbe her, too. If’n she’s a good nurse, might be able to answer a couple questions o’ mine…”

This seems more serious than I thought. “...what…kinda connections?”

“And what kind of questions?” I find myself asking.

“Fer the first? Connections to tha news, and whatnot.” And here he lowers his voice, and now I’m worried. “There’s some skullduggery goin’ on in Superdisk games these days, and it ain’t the normal kind.” Oh dear. “Couple folks what gone missin’. Some others what suddenly gone missin’ limbs. Problem is, news ain’t sayin’ much o’ nothing about it. Like someone went an’ paid ‘em off ta keep quiet!”

W-what? That’s…not what I was expecting! Ms. Geargoos seems rather alarmed, too. “Wait, how?”

“That’s just it! I can’t dig up nothin’, and no one else is sayin’ much! It’s startin’ to cut inta business, though! I ain’t the only owner what’s been hit by this scrap! Hells, Grey Liston just was found the other day.” He grimaces. ”Disassembled.”

That causes Ms. Geargoose to clutch her voice box- understandable, given I just fixed it. “No way…”

He nods. “Yup. The former owner of the Iron Knights, gone in what they’re callin’ a ‘muggin’ gone wrong’. An’ they just glossed over it! Ol’ Spider-head’s been livid about it. No one’s come up with anythin’ regardin’ who might’ve did it or why. Me, though?” and he looks back to me again. “Me, I got one of my boys in the morgue in time. He got a picture or two. Keepin’ it safe, though. But you…you’re a nurse. Done surgeries an’ whatnot, yeah?” I nod. “This weren’t no back alley hackjob. This were professional. If’n you’re any good, think you can see if anythin’ in those pictures stick out? I sent this to anyone on the outside, I’m worried my head’s next.”

Geargoose looks to me in alarm. I can understand why; if we reveal we’re asking after Mr. Sparks- or something who claimed to be him, at any rate- then things could get…perilous for us. Quickly. However, this might involve us in something rather harrowing. Still…if this is about Superdisk teams, and Mr. Sparks is an investor, then…does this even have to do with me? I’m not after Mr. Sparks. Am I?

Our food is brought to us, and I have to consider just what’s my best response here…

What do I even say to that? Should I refuse his offer? Or accept it? What’s more, should I mention our attempts to locale the individual that called himself Mr. Sparks?
>>
No. 1021271 ID: 629f2e

Well, no harm in helping him out. Take a look at his pictures and see what you can figure out about them. As for our inquiry, perhaps you could just leave the fake name out of it? Give a description of the fake Sparks and say that you're trying to return their briefcase after you sqw them leave it at a restaurant or something. If he knows, he knows, and if her doesn't, then it's probably fine. If you can't even claim to know his fake name, you won't seem involved enough to get targeted.
>>
No. 1021276 ID: ce39da

> RESPONSE
"Huh... The parts of athletes are going missing, are they? That doesn't sound like your usual sabotage - at the very least, the fact that they're gone instead of smashed means something is being done with them on the side, and that's even assumin' that chop-shoppin' ain't the main reason athletes are bein' assaulted. If there's a chance this means there's jiggery-pokery goin' on in the medical sector, then sure, I'd be morose not to take a look."

> DEDUCTION
Technically, it's the truth; there's a chance above 0% that the contents of your briefcase are relevant to these attackers somehow.

> CONVERSATION
While you're all doing this, you can ask after the description of the man whose briefcase you're trying to return - again, we definitely don't know if he's still using "Earl Sparks" - as well as who "ol' Spider-Head" is, since we know she's important somehow, judging by her photo.

... We should also bring up the scorecard reminder we found, since confirming with Mr. Greer what it could mean is mostly why we approached him in the first place.
>>
No. 1021278 ID: 36a3f1

Yeah, take a look. Afterward, ask if he’s heard if anything befell Mr. Sparks.
>>
No. 1021295 ID: 96c896

>>1021269
>skullduggery in the sports games
The briefcase had something about a score. Game five. Match fixing?

>Ol’ Spider-head
Wait, that... he's referring to the woman in the photo, isn't he?

I think it might be very useful to reveal the contents of the briefcase. Yes, you're supposedly looking for Mr. Sparks, but now you know the man you're looking for is an impostor. Likely, you are already caught up in things. Best to get the correct allies sooner than later, and this man is someone who seems like a good ally.

Look at the photos first though. If they spark a memory, then you might have to bug out.
>>
No. 1021444 ID: 676f44
File 164329871913.png - (8.75KB , 550x500 , considerations.png )
1021444

Well…it’s a risk, but…I may get caught up in this anyway. If I’m not already. “Sure. I’ll take a look.” We take a moment to eat. The food’s good, and I feel as though I’m rather ready for the day ahead! Ms. Geargoose is a bit of a sloppy eater, however…

There’s a pause after he finishes. “Thank you,” he says finally. “I’ll- no, I got it in my cabin. Probably for the best you come there, we can take a look at this in private.”

“Understood.” I turn to Ms. Geargoose, who seems just as confused, so I keep going. “Aside from that, then…is Superdisk a high scoring game?”

“Eh, if you’re good,” he explains. “Generally the point values go up the more defenses ya make, so you can usually get into high double digits. Why do ya ask?”

Perhaps it’s best I keep this vague. “Well, I’m…looking for someone. Tall, top hat, wide chin, large mustache,” I describe. “Very…dapper looking gentlebot.”

“Hmmm…nothing coming up.” Oh, drat. “But, I’ll keep a lookout for ‘em. Any particular reason?”

“Well, I’m trying to return something of theirs…a briefcase. In it was a notice. ‘Remember the score: 32-21, on the 5th match.’ I thought perhaps it was in reference to a-”

“Scrap…” Oh? That seemed to have disquieted him. “32-21, on 5th match? That right?” I nod in confirmation. “Not a chance that’s coincidence.”

“How not?” Oh, dear. So it WAS important!

“That was the score for last week’s Game 4 of the series between the Largo Bay Shredders and the San Rustino Sharks,” he explains quietly. “If’n you’re not big inta sports, there was a big to-do about it ‘cause at least three interferences didn’t get called- all of ‘em what could’ve been scores for the Sharks. Folks ‘r callin’ it the most blatant cheatin’ they’ve seen in years, and everyone's wonderin' what's happenin' for Game 5. Weren’t my team involved, mind, but it’s pretty hot talking right now.” How concerning…so then why was that note here? “Look, let’s you lot finish up your food, and we can talk more in my suite.”
>>
No. 1021445 ID: 676f44
File 164329874072.png - (10.06KB , 550x500 , autopsyneeded.png )
1021445

Afterwards, he leads us to his suite indeed- and it’s quite a deal better than mine! He has a full-body mirror, a large dresser, and a canopy bed! Quite luxurious- if perhaps a bit ostentatious, to me.

He wastes no time in going to his dresser and pulling out a photo, which he then puts in my hands. “Whaddya make of this, Ms. Nurse?”

It’s…very precise work, clearly. Almost like an anatomy position, even. The arm and hand limbs are cleanly disconnected from their sockets, and all internal pieces removed from them. It’s only shell. The faceplate is stripped bare, and optics have been crushed and rendered inoperable wholly. The leg pieces do not seem to have been tampered with, however. The voice box is missing entirely, and…oh. Their memory unit has been entirely removed, judging by this gap in the cranial area! Utterly gruesome! Mr. Geargoose seems to be similarly repulsed, but she’s writing down a number of things in a small notepad of hers. Where’d she get that?

At any rate, I cannot say that anything about this former individual makes me recall anything in particular, but the methodology is incredibly thorough. No way to glean any method of identifying the victim remains. Which means… “Someone is trying very hard to remain unknown. Presumably because any identification in itself would be damning.”

“Question is, though, why him, then?” Geargoose asks. “If it was one of the owners of the teams involved in that score, wouldn’t it make more sense to go after them? Why the Iron Knights team owner?” I look at Mr. Greer, but he shakes his head.

“Nothin’ about the Iron Knights I can think of aside from the usual occasional team drama. Trades and bad playing. Nothing I can think of what’d deserve this.”

“Maybe it’s got somethin’ to do with whoever this ‘spider-head’ lady you talked about earlier?” Geargoose asks. A good question!

“Vellanova?” Mr. Greer considers it. “Possibly. That’s Vellanova Staten, model and owner of the Gear City Novas,” he explains to me. “Real out there sort. Heard she’s on the train, too. Rather not meet up with her, she’s a heckuva handful.”

Hmm…the question now, then, is: What can I do with this information? Thinking about it. Talking to Ms. Staten might be important, as she might be a person of interest. However, if she’s involved negatively, then I’d just be putting a target on my forgetful back. It might be better to just observe her as quietly as I can. On the other hand, I shouldn’t forget my primary goal of finding my briefcase. Perhaps someone else can point me in a better direction.
>>
No. 1021446 ID: ce39da

It does seem like this guy is related to the stuff you talked with Mr. Greer about. You're right, in that talking to Ms. Vellanova wouldn't yield anything - not right now, anyway. If she's among the guilty, she'll deny knowing your guy, and if she's innocent, she probably doesn't know the man who got a photo with which to look for her... However, finding her in the first place has just taken a similar priority to finding your guy, because she's either going to meet with your guy, or she might be in danger from him.

Maybe ask Mr. Greer if he knows where we might find her?
>>
No. 1021455 ID: 37aea3

You should talk to this lady and mention being a doctor again. The last rich guy you talked to asked for help identifying a body, maybe she’ll ask you for help disposing of one.
>>
No. 1021462 ID: 96c896

>>1021445
>faceplate removed, voicebox removed, memory removed, arm contents removed
Hold on, we already know the identity of the victim. The memory chip removed is obviously because it could be read to see the moment of the murder, right? Why remove the faceplate and voicebox though?
Would it be possible to use the removed items to disguise a robot as someone they're not? Or to transfer the robot's memories into another body? Maybe the victim isn't dead, but faked their death and is planning on coming back to life using the removed items. Would you be able to do that? Disassemble someone without killing them?
What would happen if you put a memory chip in someone's head when there's already another one in there? Would it cause, perhaps... memory problems? Maybe that outburst you had earlier was the victim exerting control. Maybe they're the sleeper agent here. Or maybe you're a willing participant and locked away your memories so that you couldn't accidentally reveal it?

How can you confirm that you're carrying a passenger? Have someone restrain you and open up your head to check to see if you have two memory chips, maybe?

Talking to Vellanova could be dangerous, because she could be involved in the match fixing scheme. Why not just find out where she is, and loiter around her to see if our target shows up?
>>
No. 1021471 ID: c92a02

>>1021462
Hmm, modular parts, interesting. Can we see a picture of this guy while he was still intact?
>>
No. 1021587 ID: 676f44
File 164342737384.png - (10.96KB , 550x500 , Vellanova.png )
1021587

It’s…very disturbing, but I cannot ignore the possibility that this Ms. Vellanova Staten might be connected to whoever claimed themselves to be Mr. Sparks. If she is indeed the individual in question, it would be best to find her. I’m not sure if I should actually talk to her, however…I’d rather stay on the fringes of whatever this whole thing might be if so. Perhaps, then, I could at least find her, but maybe not talk to her? If she’s a possible target for whomever it is that I’m after or in league with them, that’s bad for me. But maybe there’s an opportunity there! “Pardon, but this Ms. Vellanova Staten…I know you’re not interested in talking to her, but perhaps you might know where…”

“Darn right I’m not getting involved with her. Not me.” I wonder why he’s so opposed. “Look, I dunno much about Staten, just that she’s easy to heat up, and she’s real about the nightlife. You wanna talk to her, I s’pect she’ll be hanging around the Nightclub Car, but even if she ain’t there, likely someone there what’s seen her.” Oh! Well, that’s good. Although it’s morning, so that’s a while to wait… "You just be careful, huh? I don’t want anyone else endin’ up like Liston.”

…huh. Well, that’s concerning. Only further proof that there’s no Earl Sparks on this train. So, then, who exactly am I after? The memory bank removal is obvious. We could use certain devices to identify them from the last memories of the dead. The memory unit itself? Impossible to install elsewhere- at least, seamlessly. It’d cause a great deal of conflict with the original memory data, and likely result in a situation that would make my issues look downright pedestrian. Eugh.

The faceplate and voicebox, though…

Although gruesome and requiring a deal of surgery, I can see the possibility of a rather morbid ‘disguise’ or identify theft attempt. I could probably perform such an operation if I had all the proper tools, but that is a complicated procedure, and very much one way. Even just starting with the separation and insertions would require a precise and i-incredibly high pressure surgical device…which I…



…do not have. “Hey!” Hm!? Ah, it seems I lost a couple of seconds, there…how odd. “You okay there?” Ah. Ms. Geargoose is giving me a look.

“Just fine,” I reassure her. “Merely going over some considerations.” It wouldn’t do to give her cause to worry over some silly memory issues.

“You sure?” Oh dear. I might have worried her. “Looked like you froze for a moment.

Observing both of them, it seems like they’re both concerned. “No, I’m fine.” Moving on. “Mr. Greer, any suggestions?”

Why is he giving me a look? “ Thinkin' about it, another place I might suggest pallin’ ‘round is the Aquarium car. I know a couple of her model friend sorts should be hanging around there today an’ tomorrow- somethin’ about a photo shoot. Not sure when, though. Oh, and if you’re gonna try to approach her...” He digs through his luggage, and there’s a book? He picks something out of it, and hands me what appears to be a photo. “Don’t ask why I have that. Just ask for an autograph or somethin’. Easy in.”

Ah. Excellent! Alright. Then I have some options…I have the rest of the day to search, hopefully. I can look for a train attendant and see if they’re willing to divulge the number of her personal room, or, if I’m less inclined to do that, I can head to the Aquarium to see what’s going on there, and maybe run into these models. Alternatively, I could likely bide my time elsewhere until the Nightclub Car is open, where I’m extremely likely to see her myself. I HAVE been interested in seeing what might be playing in the Theater Car…
>>
No. 1021593 ID: ce39da

> MEMORY ISSUES
... I'm starting to think there's nothing "silly" or "pedestrian" about your condition, ma'am, especially if you're freezing up in response to case-related thoughts.

With such severe memory issues, you could consider the basic premise of your presence here to be in doubt. You dream, for cog's sake! You say stuff without thinking to. Something in your memory is executing without your conscious say-so. Are you sure this memory storage transfer scenario didn't literally happen to you?

> WHAT DO
But I suppose there isn't much use in worrying about whether our self-perception is reliable or not; we know that there is (probably) a man who once claimed to be Earl Sparks, who has your briefcase. Everything else can come after that.

Let's head to the AQUARIUM: it's as good a place to check for the false Sparks as any while we wait for Ms. Staten's usual haunt to open up, and we can talk to the models if he isn't there.
>>
No. 1021669 ID: c92a02

Let's go to the photoshoot!
>>
No. 1021693 ID: 3df1ee

>>1021587
Voting for the aquarium.
>>
No. 1021976 ID: 676f44
File 164369196148.png - (11.98KB , 550x500 , prettysea.png )
1021976

Well, I suppose the logical thing to do here would be to head to the aquarium car. I’m not so much a fan of models, I think…but it’s something I can certainly deal with. I just hope they’re not too haughty. “Well, then. I think it’s best if we get going sooner than later,” I decide.

He seems worried for me. “Just watch yourself, huh?” I can appreciate the concern! Safety always comes first!

Ms. Geargoose seems awfully excited, at least. She can’t stop talking about how pretty this one model is- Olena Springs? I have no idea who that is, but she seems to be a rather big fan. There’s also something about a video, though I don’t know if I care much to- eep!

“Oh, goodness, sorry there!” Oh my, that nearly caused me to fall! I look to Ms. Geargoos, who was also accidentally shoved; it seems like she’s okay, if a bit disoriented. I hope nothing’s dented- on either of us. Terribly sorry, my apologies.” At least he’s polite about it. “Have a good day!”

I turn around to return the farewell, but it would be awkward now. Oh, but he does have an impressively ridged cranium, at least. I wonder what manifested the fold- no no, time for that later, Emma.

“Such a hurry…” Ms. Geargose grumbles. I suppose I can’t blame her.

The Aquarium car, when we reach it, is…well, astounding, to say the least! The path is hardly wide enough to fit three bots side to side, but the sides of the cars, and even above it, are clear windows to a beautifully crafted artificial undersea domain, in which all manner of sea life swim and frolic. It’s honestly rather mesmerizing. It also makes me quite glad I am waterproof.

Ah- and those trio of rather glamorous lady bots up ahead must be our models! Although, they seem to be crowded around someone…a fourth member of their group? None of them are Vellanova, however. And what’s more, the fourth member seems to be…down? Oh dear!

“Excuse me!” I say quickly as I jog up to them. Ms. Geargoose isn’t far behind. “Is something wrong here?! I’m a licensed medical practitioner!”

“Oh, thank goodness,” one of them says hurriedly. “Juli here was practicing poses with us and I think something twisted wrong because she went for a harder one and then she collapsed and-”

(1/2)
>>
No. 1021977 ID: 676f44
File 164369198132.png - (9.57KB , 550x500 , unfortunate.png )
1021977

“Something’s not…twisting right,” the one on the ground finishes with a grimace. She’s rather svelte, and with an interesting two piece outfit that’s both…well, perhaps provocative? And yet tasteful. A cocktail dress but with some rather…excessive cuts. “I think…I think something tore.”

They gasps, as well as myself. That’s…extremely unpleasant. “Do you have a dedicated doctor?”

“Not one here,” she admits. “We might have to make an emergency stop…” another grimace.

“Where is the damage, you think?” I ask, and she points to the side of her abdomen. “That could be very bad indeed, if it’s what I think it is,” I say after a moment of checking and feeling the area. It’s clear that she’s had some…er, ‘aesthetic work’ done in the area, if this solder outline is any indicator. “If it’s a misaligned torso actuator, then if it’s not repaired quickly, the continuous stress damage could inhibit her movement long-term!”

“B-but she can’t!” One of them cries. “You can help fix it, right? You’re a doctor here, you’ve gotta be some sort of super surgeon, right?”

What?

“Y-yeah! We’ll pay you whatever! Just help her!” Oh dear, that’s rather sudden!

“Well, I…could, I think!” Could I? I’m just talking, right now! “I’d need some way to get beyond her chassis!” I admit. This already feels like deja vu. “It would take some- some method of insertion that-”

“Please!” one of them cries, and it is…difficult to look her in the eyes. “You’ve gotta have some idea!” I mean, I know what it’d take, but I’d be better off calling for security and letting them handle it, right? I-I don’t have anything that can do that...quickly…

…but…I.

It’s obvious.

That I have been acting oddly. I have for a while. My memory issues…I have always been confident of who I am.

Can I be confident of what I can do? What if there is something that I forgot? Trying to remember costs me significant time, and it might not work. But if there’s something… then why not, right?

But even regardless, maybe I can force something. My grip and hydraulic strength is rated rather high for my profession. A natural talent, and useful.

Ohhh, I can’t waste much time on this, really!
>>
No. 1021980 ID: c92a02

What is a hydraulic grip going to do in this situation? Tear away the soldered plate? Crease some wrinkles in your cyberbrain? No, you need the Suture tool to un-suture some shoddy craftsmanship.
>>
No. 1021983 ID: 8483cf

Call security! This is a job for professionals.
>>
No. 1021984 ID: a2493c

>>1021977
Force it. We are a medic, and doing nothing in this situation would be doing harm.
>>
No. 1021986 ID: 96c896

You have Suture and Undent. Weaken the plate with Suture, pull it off with Undent.
You were talking about a high pressure, precision surgical device. Isn't that what Undent is?
>>
No. 1021999 ID: 629f2e

>>1021986
This.

Or >>1021984 if our memory issues block that rn.
>>
No. 1022195 ID: 676f44
File 164386252566.png - (11.16KB , 550x500 , Decisions.png )
1022195

I’m already moving, even as I consider the pros and cons. The truth is, above all else, right now? I am a nurse. And there is someone in pain. I cannot simply let that last if they’re right in front of me!

The soldering isn’t the best, to be honest. I could probably do a superior job, but at the moment, her doctor’s incompetence is my own fortune. I should be able to remove this via a combination of my own Suturing function, perhaps…well, that combined with my Undent. It’s a bit unorthodox, but I should be able to remove it- though it’ll be a bit uncomfortable for her, and perhaps a touch…well.

“I’m going to be removing a portion of your outer shell,” I say as they back up to give me space. Good. Don’t want any accidental injuries. “This may get a touch invasive, so I apologize.”

“I-it’s fine,” she says with some effort. “Not like I haven’t had docs touch me everywhere already.” Fair point.

Even just getting her open is a bit of a messy procedure; my Suture function operates at the minimum melting point, meaning that it doesn’t take any melted metal very long for it to begin hardening up again. I have to essentially pry and tear the piece away from her, and while I hate to tell her this, I would likely recommend her to never showcase this part of her chassis openly in any model shoots going forwards. At least, not unless she gets a MUCH better practitioner. If I had something less messy and more direct this would be less of an issue, but as it stands, I’ll make do.

It’s careful work, and a bit tiring, but I do manage to pry the area away. Again, I’ll REALLY have to recommend a metal grafting or some sort, and I can practically detect the looks of disgust from her fellow models. Ignoring that now.

It’s fairly quick to diagnose exactly what the issue is once I get a good look at it. Unfortunately, it’s even worse than I feared. The torso actuator is misaligned in SEVERAL places, as I thought, but it’s already worsened a bit- I can see the beginnings of some stripping some of her in her lower spinal bars; if those were to end up stripped fully, she’d lose most major hip motor function from the waist up until the neck.. Bending, tilting, and all such movement would be rendered impossible. Even arm movement would be grossly inaccurate. And spinal bars are NOT easy to repair, much less replace, since they’re so unique to the individual.

Furthermore, there’s another area I can just spy that’s also showing signs of disrepair. I can easily see the LPP (left position piston) showing potential signs of what we call a ‘silkline’ fracture- a thin fracture in the shape of a gentle sine wave. It’s usually caused by unnecessary stress to the hip motors, of course. As is, it should cause any significant issues, but the problem with such fractures is that they can potentially widen.

Unfortunately, I do not have the tools on me to repair her entirely- I can realign the actuator, and perhaps do something about the silkline fracture. The spinal bars are something that is, sadly, beyond me without a proper medical facility. I have to tell them all this. But as soon as I do- “How long will it take? We have a major photo shoot that starts in an hour!”

The question no nurse ever wants to hear. Health is paramount, and it makes little sense to not do everything in my power. But these are very important individuals, and, well…the simple truth is that the most important issue IS fixable in that hour. But beyond that is the question. I could just tell them an hour, and focus purely on the torso actuator. If I really wanted to try to fix everything, I could say two hours, and while she’d lose her photo shoot, she’d not be at risk for a piston break for a while. If I really wanted to go for the gusto, so to speak, I could recommend a three hour work time to attempt alloy transplanting as well, which would use miniscule pieces of the slag of her torso earlier, to help any rough issues. But that might be far too much for them…
>>
No. 1022196 ID: 96c896

>>1022195
You're here to work on the primary injury. You were not given permission to work on the piston, but you can inform them of it.
Tell them it's an hour to fix the torso actuator, and another hour to fix the damaged piston, if they elect for you to do that.
Recommend she visits a full spec maintenance/repair shop later, for a more thorough examination and also to touch up her damaged frame.

After the job, try to remember if you're forgetting a tool. A saw, perhaps? High pressure... some kind of jaws of life? Or shears?
>>
No. 1022197 ID: c92a02

Two hours. Tell her one photoshoot is not worth her entire career, and even if it is, is it worth her full range of movement?
>>
No. 1022200 ID: a2493c

>>1022197
this. The hollywood types are very work-driven, so be prepared to be firm about this if she puts up a stink. She'd be trading one shoot for a hundred potential shoots. Bad math.
>>
No. 1022218 ID: f2320a

>>1022200
Have too really tell them to postepone it or her carrier will be over
>>
No. 1022476 ID: 676f44
File 164409515135.png - (11.97KB , 550x500 , overheat.png )
1022476

No. I need to be strict. “I can restore her as best I can in two hours. Otherwise-”

“What?!” they all say- even the injured one. I can’t say that I’m too surprised. “You can’t get it done in like, thirty minutes or something?”

Thirty- what? “I’m afraid that’s impossible,” I say as politely as I can. “Otherwise I’d simply be hurting her more with a partially done job. “With the injuries as they are, if she aggravates anything much further, she might be able to get through the photo shoot once and never be able to pose properly again.”

They gasp as one. Actually rather impressive. “Is it that bad?” one of them asks. “Her surgeon was able to get her in and out in like, forty minutes!” Ah. That explains so much. Still, I can only nod, and as frustrated as they are, they seem to raise no further complaint. “Fine. See if we invite you to the afterparty,” one of them grouses.

I can’t say I’m too disheartened. The individual herself just groans in frustration. “Fine, fine. Whatever the bill’s gonna be, send it to ‘A-Star Modeling and Talent’.

“Noted. Now, if you’d please remain still. Do any of you have a room nearby? I’d rather not do this out in the open.” I can already see some robots gawking and wondering what the issue is.

“Oh! Yeah, mine, hold on,” one of them says as she covers her friend up with…some sort of cloth. Right, then, time to move fast. But carefully.

“Whoa. You’re strong for a little thing,” she says as I pick her up. I suppose that is true.

“Follow me,” the one from earlier says, and I do so.

…yet again, their room’s opulence is…impressive. But! No time for gawking. I have a patient, and now it’s time to do what I can do best.

This is careful work. It takes delicate maneuverings to get her actuators back into place. Tighten the bolts. Make certain the bar alignments are correct, a few other things. Caution. Not too tight, not too stiff.

The piston. Fixing this is careful work as well. I cannot let go of it for too long as I apply the suture, and I cannot allow this to unbalance her. The slag is…useful, if not optimal. I wish I had some proper lubricant, too, or maybe something other than general slag to fill in the holes here. Inj0jjection…if- I



If I had som
Whazzzzzzzsomeeeeeeth

...



>Error detected. File ‘FluidInjec122’ missing.
>Attempting to restore from last known full memory backup.
>...
>Full memory backup not found. Attempting to restore from obsolete files.
>...
>...compatible file found. ‘FluidInjec09’ executing.

“Hello?” What? “HEY!”

Yipe! “Y-yes what is it?” Oh, dear me! I- what? The girls, the repair, the…

“Wow, are YOU okay?” Ms. Geargoose asks me. “They left a while ago. I’ve just been in here writing,” she admits. I spare a glance down at my patient, who apparently has resigned herself to sleep mode at the moment… "What happened there? You finished up and then kinda just went...stiff. Next thing I know, your eyes flash from blue to pink for a second, and then you're out of it." She shivers. "That was straight out of a thriller book."

“...I’ll be fine. Is she?” I can’t believe it, but. “I just remembered something important, that’s all.”

And I very much did. Another function that I have. But I’d…forgotten. My Fluid Insertion. I forgot. I have injection points in my LEFT AND RIGHT PINKY FINGERS, to allow for fluid insertion in case of overheating robots, fillings, or other such issues. I have…Coolant right now, and…a bit of Mercury?! Why? Though I have room for two more vials worth of fluids, I can sense. What's more, it'll cost energy. About three units worth.

And how did I recall that? There's fuzzy images. I remember using it on...someone. Recently, I think. And what to do now, considering that from what I can tell, I didn’t even fail in my operation while clearly spaced out?
>>
No. 1022497 ID: 96c896

>>1022476
Try to remember more about your forgotten tools. You had some kind of direct high pressure device, one that could be used to pierce hull or... remove a faceplate.
>>
No. 1022660 ID: 5221ca

>>1022476
Focus more and tell gg about your current condition.
Proceed to find Vellanova.
>>
No. 1022749 ID: 676f44
File 164429465466.png - (12.42KB , 550x500 , tallandlank.png )
1022749

Haaaaa…something isn’t right. Here, or with me. But I’ll have to approach it one thing at a time, I think.

First thing’s first, though. “I…well, I remember a skill I have,” I mention. Geargoose seems interested and worried all the same as I explain my newfound, yet old ability. Naturally, she’s rather surprised at the contents when I admit to them.

“Wait, how’d you ‘just’ remember that?! And mercury!?” Her surprise is understandable. Mercury is…well, to put it bluntly. It’s poisonous. Scant milligrams of mercury in the wrong part of a robot’s body here can permanently shut down a robot, and cause…rather disturbing effects. Ingesting it, of course, is suicide. “Why would you have mercury- please tell me it’s a nurse thing.”

“Yes.” It’s not entirely UNTRUE. I suppose. “I won’t be using it here.” Although…considering the fact that I can sense that the containment unit is 8/10ths empty, I can’t help but wonder.

What DID I use it on? …who?

“Wow. Uh, anything else you might wanna remember?” She asks that in a joking manner, but it’s not an unreasonable question. What ELSE have I forgotten? What skills? What events?

…no. I refuse to entertain such thoughts further. At least for now. “I’m guessing the photo shoot is done?” She shrugs. “Well, it doesn’t matter too much. We still should find Ms. Vellanova.” What we’re going to do once we find her is still in question.

“Uhh…sure. If you say so. It’s the early afternoon, though.” Well…at least she’s still with me. “Maybe we should check back near the Aquarium?”

Fair enough. I don’t like leaving a patient here, but…well, I can’t just sit around. And she’s fixed. I even managed to reweld her plate there. Although the area is extremely thin, clearly. I’ll at least write a note about it…there.

Now, let’s head back.



…Hm. Drat. As I expected, the shoot’s over. But it seems like they’re still putting up some of the equipment! “Excuse me?”

One of the employees- no, this is a train steward. Seems like he’s looking over things. “Yeah?” My, he’s thin. Also curt.

“Pardon me, but I was wondering if the photo shoot in this area was finished, though it clearly is. May I ask where the models went?” If I recall correctly, Miss Vellanova was supposed to be with them, so asking after them should lead me to her.

He shrugs, oddly slowly. “Not sure. Think they said somethin’ about catchin’ a movie.” Hm. Well, that’s good to know. I wonder if I could go in myself and follow them.

He glances back at the cameramen, still tearing down the backlights. “...could go for a lie-down, m’self. Just here to make sure they don’t cause a mess. ‘parently I’m s’pose to check for a leak or somethin’ in one of those model chick’s rooms an’ fix it.” He leans down closer to me, grinning. “‘Tween you an’ me, prolly gonna take a nap once I’m finished. They got the SWANK beds, and right now’s a double-feature.”

“Really, dude?” Geargoose says in shock- and obvious disgust.

He just shrugs. “Ey, she told me ta do it. Er, go in, that is. ‘Sides, I’ll be settin’ an alarm an’ everything. That fancy-chassis Vichysaw ain’t even gonna know I was there. Ain’t every day ya sleep in a noble’s bed!”

Wait…did he mean Vellanova? That’s…a bit off, and I don’t think she’s noble. Still, I might be wrong, but if he’s correct, then… If I follow him, I could gain access to her room. Maybe even discover if there’s a connection between her and this Not Sparks.

Then again,if neither of those options, I should at least make my way elsewhere and see if there’s something that maybe can jog my memory. I confess I’m a bit worried now…
>>
No. 1022772 ID: 12b116

follow him. Be a snoop
>>
No. 1022777 ID: 629f2e

Follow after him!
>>
No. 1022803 ID: 208931

We just got out of a malfunction, just go to the model group instead to cool off.
>>
No. 1022804 ID: 208931

We just got out of a malfunction, just go to the model group instead to cool off.
>>
No. 1022809 ID: c92a02

Follow him.
>>
No. 1022975 ID: 676f44
File 164446667325.png - (8.69KB , 550x500 , enteringbutnotbreaking.png )
1022975

Hmmmm…it’s…well, it’s not very polite, thinking about it.

And yet for whatever reason, that doesn’t disturb me. Now that I’m thinking about it more, I wonder if that has anything to do with my missing memories. Perhaps not, but…I don’t imagine that most would be fine with intrusion into another room. Maybe it’s because this Ms. Vellanova might be at risk- or this risk herself. I don’t know.

But I DO need to find out, I suppose. And a good way of that is seeing if there IS anything incriminating in her room…

So the thing to do here, I suppose, is wait. Wait until they finish packing up. Unsurprisingly, he doesn’t follow, simply grinning and nodding to me. “Welp. I’m off. You ladies have a great trip.”

He walks off. Four seconds. That’s the optimum time before attention wanders.

“Uhhh…so what are we doing now?” Geargoose asks. Just enough time for me to begin to follow in his direction. “Hello? Uhhh…you okay? Where’re we going?”

“We need to investigate.” This feels right, I think. Well, it’s NOT right, but I mean this strategy almost feels familiar. Like when I prep for a basic cut repair. “Ms. Vellanova might be a potential victim. Or a suspect in whatever’s happening. Including the issue with my briefcase.”

“...uhhh, are you sure you’re a nurse and not a detective?” she asks. I’m fairly certain that’s sarcasm. “And isn’t this illegal? Or at least rude? I mean, it’d make a great story, but Iunno if I wanna be arrested…but it’d make a REALLY nice story…” That last bit is mumbled to herself, but she doesn’t stop following me.

There he is. Found it. Car E, Room 23. This must be Vellanova’s room. I make a signal to be quiet, as we take a casual position nearby. I can hear him humming. Geargoose is looking confused. “...are we staking out?” she asks me in a low volume. Perceptive. “Oh man, this is so cool but so scary at the same time…how are you so calm?!”

“It’s not worse than performing time-sensitive surgery,” I whisper back. “Maybe take notes on this while we wait.”

“...uhhh…okay!” Out comes the notepad and paper. Hopefully that’ll distract her.

Approximately 11.56 minutes later, while occasionally looking over Geargoose’s shoulder should a passenger crosses our path, the humming stops. 3 minutes after that, silence. Hmmm. I think it’s worth a risk, now.

A peek in…excellent. He’s asleep on the bed. And there’s a small timer next to him. The bed itself…well, it’s clearly just as opulent as the other lady’s. Canopy style with sheer drapes, though the elegant image is marred by his sprawled position on it. As I move in, with Geargoose behind me, I have to take quick stock of the room as I gently close the door behind us. A free-standing dresser that has several pictures on it. A full-length mirror, slightly ajar. A personal desk, with several locks. A storage chest. Off to the left, there’s what looks to be a private touchup and waxing station. That’s likely where the steward was fixing whatever Ms. Vellanova wanted. My, she’s got a lot here.

“...yeah, I feel like this is getting very illegal...” Geargoose whispers. “I’m getting bad vibes being here, Ms. Emma!”

I suppose that’s fair. I’ve been dragging her along, but I will also admit I am…hesitant in wanting her to leave. Maybe I’ll ask later. But for now…where to start?
>>
No. 1022984 ID: 96c896

>>1022975
Check the photos, then the mirror. It's slightly ajar... might there be something behind it?
>>
No. 1023075 ID: 208931

>>1022975
Photos and mirror.
>>
No. 1023227 ID: 676f44
File 164468909080.png - (13.05KB , 550x500 , Picshow.png )
1023227

The photos on the dresser seem to be the obvious choice, really. Ms. Geargoose seems to be quite uncertain, but I won’t force her to do any more than this. I just need to make sure to step lightly. It seems as though Ms. Geargoose is…less light, but the steward remains asleep.

Let’s see here…oh! These all seem to be pictures of her with various men. I’m not sure what to think about that. Let’s see, though…is there anyone here familiar…? No…no…no…

“Wha…?” I turn to see Ms. Geargoose looking at one photo in particular. “That’s weird.” She doesn’t need me to ask for elaboration as she picks up one particular photo. I notice that it’s just an individual; Ms. Vellanova isn’t in it. “That’s Reynold Raster. Majority owner of the Statland Pit Vipers.”

“Why is that weird?” I have to ask. It seems harmless enough…

“Because they just had a big to-do recently. Their teams are rivals, so whenever they meet up there’s a bunch of trash talk,” she explains. “Oh!” Another one is picked up and she nearly shoves it in my face. It’s of Ms. Vellanova- and another bot, with a monocle, a small top hat… “This! This is Earl Sparks! The actual one!”

Oh! So this is what he truly looks like? Huh. He looks well put together, true. So then. Whomever this was was only trying to fool me. But why? “Can you continue to look at these pictures?” I ask. “I want to check something, just in case.”

“Uh, sure.” We have to keep quiet. Now, I noticed that the mirror was ajar earlier. The question is, why? Was there a reason, or simple misalignment?

It takes a bit of finagling to get the mirror enough space to spin it around, but…hm? There’s something on the wooden lining, written in lipstick…

‘Trust the Eye’

What does that mean? I suppose I’ll ask about it later. “Ms. Geargoose?” Gotta remember to be quiet. “Anything?”

“Y-yeah.” Oh dear, her stutter’s back? “These pictures; most of them are just her with friends, but a couple of them…” She flips back a picture, of Vellanova and another bot. He seems young. Energetic. Also they seem to be posing with each other a touch provocatively, considering how draped over her he is… “This was Mr. Liston before…what happened.” It seems they were…close. “And yeah, I guess it makes sense,” she continues quietly. “But then…”

And here she steps over, showing me a quartet of pictures with only one bot in them. They’re of a spiky cranium’d man, a rather thin one with a mean look and very well-tailored suit, one with a rounder frame to him that resembles the gentleman we spoke to earlier, and another, somewhat burly chested man in a suit, though he also looks familiar…wait.

She points to them in sequence as I look at them. “That’s…Reynold Raster, who’s an arch rival of hers. Leads the Lipton Dredge team. That one is Mortimer Shel, he’s a co-owner of the Largo Bay Shredders.” You remember that team. “I think the third guy is Mr. Drape, who’s the co-owner of the Redlines with Mr. Greer. “And I-I’m pretty sure that’s Gregorio Pax. He’s the Commissioner of the Superdisk Champion’s League. Pretty much the guy who runs the sport.” She looks through them again. “Why does she have pictures of them?”

I’d like to know that, too.

Gregorio Pax. Take off the top hat, the mustache, and the bowtie…that’s him. That has to be him.

Why is that him?

This…this could lead to grave consequences if I don’t stay calm. I have to think this through. Why would he deceive me? Why the picture of Ms. Vellanova? What do I do to resolve this? I…I still need my briefcase back! Should I go to Ms. Vellanova? She might get rather irritated, and who knows what’d she do. The train stewards aren’t legal officers, and this was expected to be a direct trip, so no stops are planned…I still could likely inform them, but if word gets out, then I may be in danger. I suppose I could continue my investigations privately, but where to go from here, then?
>>
No. 1023282 ID: e7c7d3

The most direct path is back to Ms. Vellanova
>>
No. 1023300 ID: 894419

>>1023282
Agreed!
>>
No. 1023502 ID: 676f44
File 164489907289.png - (12.17KB , 550x500 , Ohdearsheshere.png )
1023502

…I think it’s time to go directly to the source of the situation. Well, almost the source.

“Come on,” I mention to Ms. Geargoose quietly. “We need to talk to Ms. Vellanova directly.”

“W-what?!” Oh dear. For a moment I thought she would forget to be quiet. “We’re going straight to her?”

“Yes,” I confirm. There’s no time to waste. I need to get going. Now. She might still be in the theater.

I have to get to her. That’s my goal for now- oh dear, there’s quite a number of people- excuse me? Did someone- nevermind.

Ah, here we are. I’m impressed they managed to make such a train car. Seems that the viewing area is on the upper half to allow for passengers to move about the bottom half, or buy a ticket. Makes sense. Now, it was mentioned that they were watching a double-feature…aha. “Pardon me, could I get a ticket for the Red Eye Sky/No Clear Roads double feature?”

“Really? They’re halfway through.” Yes, I suppose this is a bit confusing for them.

“Would it be a problem?” Ah, there’s Ms. Geargoose. Took her a moment, but that does remind me. “Make that two, in fact.”

“...sure. As for the price…” …oh. That’s expensive. I’m…rather glad I didn’t have to pay for the ticket, now.

Well, there we are. “Well, at least it’s a movie I’ve wanted to see…” Ms. Geargoose grumbles. It’s fine- everyone wins, I suppose.

Now, I just need to see where Miss Vellanova is- ow!

“Tch. Terribly sorry.” Who is…!? Oh!

Well. Here she is. Although this perhaps isn’t the best of meetings, colliding like this.

Right. Time to make up for it. Service bow engaged! “Terribly sorry. Miss Vellanova Staten, correct?”

“The one and only.” My, her voice is impressively alluring. Perfect for a model. “And who might I be speaking to?”

“Ah. My name is Emma. A pleasure to meet you!” Right. Now…I’m here. how to engage in discussion with her?
>>
No. 1023505 ID: c92a02

Come to her with concern as to the scandal going around the league. You hope she doesn't run afoul of an early disassembly. Show her your picture of Earl Sparks and ask if she's seen him.
>>
No. 1023512 ID: e7c7d3

>>1023505
I'll back this
>>
No. 1023517 ID: 4351bc

Hey, did you know a hack doctor is doing a hack job on your models? You can trust me, a random doctor, who knows better.
>>
No. 1023636 ID: 676f44
File 164505662044.png - (12.07KB , 550x500 , maldbot.png )
1023636

Well…I suppose the best option is to simply be direct! “I beg your pardon-”

“Is this for an autograph?” Oh dear, that was rude. “I’m not giving any right now.”

…right. Trying again. “Actually, I’m a nurse and I was hoping for a moment of your-”

“Wait, nurse?” Oh, did that get her attention? “Are you the one that was operating on Tori?”

Oh. Was that her name? Oh dear, I never got it… “I believe so, if you’re referring to the individual with the, ah…unique work done in the torso region?” Probably for the best I kept that bit quieter than normal.

She sighs, though I’m not sure what she’s annoyed at. “That’d be her. I suppose you’re here about her payment, then?” She looks around- why, I don’t know. “Come on, then, and bring your...assistant.” That’s a rather unpleasant look she’s giving Ms. Geargoose. I don’t think she noticed, however- the poor dear seems rather starstruck! “The cleaning stations should be quiet enough at this time of day.” Oh? Hm. Well, if she insists.

Ah, yes, here we are- my these are impressive. Private oiling stations, buffing units, gracious…oh, right. Not why I’m here.

Though maybe Ms. Geargo-

“Well? What is it? Speak up, and quickly. I doubt Tori wants the gory details out in the open.” Ah, yes. Right, then.

Here I go! “This isn’t about Ms. Tori, I’m afraid. It’s about you.” I can see her face beginning to ask the question- best to get in front of it. “I believe I’ve come into some knowledge about the…incidents going around the league. Such as what befell your friend, Mr. Liston.”

Oh dear, that gets a reaction out of her- eep! Too close, too close! “Who are you!? What’s your-”

“This man!” I exclaim, holding the picture of Mr. Earl Sparks up as I speak quickly. “There’s a fellow on the train claiming Mr. Earl Sparks’ name!”

“Wait, that’s MY photo! How did you get it, you little thief?!” Oooh dear, that is a good question I’m not inclined to answer.

“I’m sorry! But a man calling himself Earl Sparks has something of mine and I’ve been trying to get it back!” Oh dear oh dear oh dear…

“Seriously!” Mr. Geargoose chimes in. “There’s a briefcase she got that’s his, and it had your picture in it! And we know the guy isn’t Earl Sparks, so we got worried! Whatever’s going on, you might be next on this creepy hitlist!”

“Wait, what?” Oh, thank goodness for you, Ms. Geargoose. “Who- hold on. You’re saying that someone’s got it out for me? I mean, I suppose that isn’t surprising, but…I really WOULD like to know why you have that picture.” Oh. Oh she seems annoyed. Possibly angry. “Not to mention that’s not exactly news unless you actually have a picture of the would-be culprit.”

Oh. Yes, right, that. “Well…he bore some resemblance to Gregorio Pax! With a top hat, and a mustache!” I shouldn’t make the direct accusation just yet, but-

-wait, why does she look like she’s taking that seriously for a moment? “Look, dear, I appreciate the notification, but it’s not exactly like I can do anything about it right now. Although…what’s this about you stealing his briefcase?”

“I didn’t steal it, it was mistakenly given to me! And I had his!” I explain. “And it has valuable data in it! I really shouldn’t be without it! I just need to know if you’ve seen him.”

“Not recently,” is the blithe reply. “I was in the theater, remember? I know he was fretting about his cargo when we came aboard; so likely there’s something fragile or valuable he’s bringing with him. That and some talk about his stupid souviner shopping habit.”

Hm. Well, that gives me at least a couple of options. I could seek if anyone in the Shopping Car has seen him recently. Or, if not that, then perhaps it might be possible to see what’s in the cargo car? Of course, if worse comes to worst, I can simply figure out a place to stake out and hope he passes. And even then I’m sure there’s some other plan I can think of.
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No. 1023638 ID: c92a02

Let's go to the shopping car(t). What was that about payment? It would be appreciated, now...
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No. 1023801 ID: e51896

go check that shopping cart
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No. 1023899 ID: 676f44
File 164524795181.png - (12.10KB , 550x500 , clothesshoppi.png )
1023899

The Shopping Car’s probably the quickest bet. Even so, this is a lot of running around… “T-thank you, then! I’ll- we’ll be off!”

Ms. Geargoose gives me a look. “W-wait, that quickly?”

“Yes.” I can understand her distress, but Ms. Vellanova really doesn’t seem of a mind to entertain our company for very long. “While I suppose there’s a matter of payment to concern ourselves with, we’ve already been told where to send the bill for the seven hundred and fifty notes that the surgery costs, so-”

“Oh, no you don’t.” Uh oh. “You INVADE my room and expect me to just forgive and forget? I get your little ‘warning’, but that alone doesn’t make it up.” Ohhhhh no. “I’ll be letting the authorities know about this once we’ve arrived. Unless…” And here she gives a small smile that I’m not certain is at all sincere. “Tell you what. You two and I are going to take a little trip to the Shopping Car. I’m going to be going on a little shopping spree. And you’re footing the bill.”

…Eh?! “Er, what do-”

“And by that, I mean that everything I ‘supposedly’ owe is going to be taken off of your billing. Seven hundred and fifty, was it?” Oh, dear. I do not like that smile. “That’ll allow me to get a few lovely souvenirs. Come along!”

I get the sense Ms. Geargoose is less than impressed with me. At least she’s still coming with.

…and so here we are. It’s honestly surprisingly extensive, being another double-floored car. There’s a number of jeweled goods, and several paintings and portraits to purchase, as well as of course, shirts- designer crafted, judging from the price tag- and various small knickknacks. Seems that even the rich and affluent can’t resist simple tacky souvenirs. There’s a few curious bots here, too. The lady at the counter seems…less than enthused. She’s got that ‘hip’ new sawblade top style. I’m not a fan, it seems a bit dangerous to me. But, I have to imagine she’s the one who I talk to if I want to know about Gregorio Pax. “Excuse me?”

I’m unsure if she has an issue, or if she merely disdains me that much, but she takes several moments to look my way. “Yes? Welcome to…” she pauses, seemingly having to think about it. “...they never gave me the name for this place.” Ah. “Got a question?”

I’m surprised someone more…professional…wasn’t chosen. “Er, yes. I was hoping perhaps you’ve seen a rather large bot- rather wide chested, that is, perhaps with a powerful jaw and looking important? If the name Gregorio Pax rings a bell, that’d be appreciated!”

For a moment, I think she’s not paying attention- then I realize that, oh, she’s trying to keep an eye on everyone. Including Ms. Vellanova, who’s already off on her ‘shopping spree’.

“Pax?” She takes a moment to consider. “...actually, th’ name sounds familiar. Some big guy came through late last night. Bought some pictures an’ knickknacks. Mighta been him.”

Oh! Excellent.



“...okay, so what do we do with that?” Ms. Geargoose asks.

Excellent question. How to continue this line of questioning? I’m no investigator. What do I ask her?
>>
No. 1023906 ID: 96c896

>>1023899
How much do you value your money? Trespassing and petty theft isn't that big a deal; those are the only charges she could make stick. How much would the police fine be for those crimes?
I guess it was only a couple hours' impromptu work, not a big deal. Might as well pay the bribe to keep your police record clean.

>Pax was here late last night
What did he buy exactly, and which direction did he go afterwards? What was he wearing at the time? (he might have switched disguises)
Did he make any conversation?
Warn the shopkeep that this man may be dangerous, you believe he is connected to a murder case. Even if you don't have any evidence to give her on this front, that should help convince her to give up information.
>>
No. 1024245 ID: 629f2e

What did he buy? Could you describe his appearance (he could be wearing a different disguise here on the train)? Did anything stand out about him? And can you tell me anything more about him?
>>
No. 1024246 ID: c92a02

Pictures of who? Was he with anyone?
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No. 1024256 ID: 676f44
File 164550314271.png - (10.39KB , 550x500 , exhustabot.png )
1024256

I suppose it might be best to just go with what comes to me… “Er, what, exactly, did he buy?”

She just…shrugs? As she looks away in disinterest. “I don’t remember. Not like I pay that much attention. Mmm…pretty sure at least one was a portrait of the conductor. Was hard to handle, and I had to struggle with his ugly mug.” Ah, I don’t like that look she’s giving me. “Heeey, why the third-degree, anywho?”

Ah, dear, this IS a bit suspect, isn’t it? “Oh, well, I-”

“She’s asking for my sake,” Ms. Vellanova? “I’m looking around for a few gifts, and I’d rather not get something he or his associates have already gotten. It’d be terribly gauche, wouldn’t you say?” That seems to be all, as she turns back to her shopping.

“As she says,” I confirm. Though I’m rather surprised. Why would she cover for me? But I won’t let this opportunity go! “On that topic, WAS anyone else with him?”

“Ah. Uhh…Iunno.” She shakes her head. “Jus’ him what got anything. Came in. Bought some stuff, aaaand left out.”

“Which way did he go?” Ms. Geargoose asks. That seems a bit silly, but when I look at her, she grins. “Sorry. Always wanted to say that in a situation like this.”

The cashier just groans, and I can’t say I blame her. “Iunno…went back to his cabin, I guess? Ooor…maybe he went further up front? I forget.”

So, either no accomplices, or they didn’t come with, and…unsure of his next location. “Then…what did he look like?”

She shrugs. “Iunno. Big, broad, bald? Not much else. Oh!” She brightens up, if only for a moment. “He bought some funky giant glasses, I think. Wonder if he’s wearin’ em. That’d be funny…

Oh. Well that doesn’t help much. “I see.”

“Yeeeah, I ain’t got a whole lotta energy today,” she admits, and I can see it. “Was great in the daytime, but last night… suuuuuper brutal. Might’ve conked out if I had any more customers.”

Shame, that. I don’t think I have much in the way of energizing ability... “Have you had any rest?”

“Just what I get here…” she laments. “I’d strip my arm off for a red crystal smoothie right now.”

Great…I’m not sure what to- oh? Why’s Ms. Geargoose dragging me away?

“Hmm…this reminds me of a bit in a mystery story I read,” Ms. Geargoose mutters. I’m a bit surprised, as she’s more serious now than she’s been so far. I wonder what got into her? “More than one, in fact. A witness usually has more information than they think they do. There’s usually a couple of ways to get it.”

I have to admit, I’m curious as to her logic. “And those are?”

“Well, we can either get her what she wants, and it might be able to jog her memory a bit. Red crystal smoothies are supposed to be energetic, so maybe that’ll help a bit. Otherwise, we could try to convince her that something really bad’s gonna happen if she doesn’t help as much as we can. Ms. Vellanova might have to help with that now, though…”

Wow. I’m impressed at the level of thought that’s going into this. “And the next option?”

“Well, the last one I can think of is getting info by trade. Offering her something only we can provide in exchange, to maybe look through something like purchase records or the sort.”

Wait… “You mean a bribe?” Why is that not as shocking as it should be to me…?

“...uhhh…kinda sorta?” Of course.
>>
No. 1024259 ID: c92a02

Well, the bit about the conductor and heading for the front of the train already has me worried... If that was a while ago he might have already performed a switcheroo.
If the dining car is forward of us, perhaps we can get that smoothie.
>>
No. 1024269 ID: 629f2e

Let's try to trade with her first. Whatever Vellanova doesn't spend of the $750 can be this cashiers for the low price of searching through some customer records, also please Vellanova leave something for her we are nurse we don't have much else.

And if that doesn't work, then bring her a smoothie in exchange for info.
>>
No. 1024505 ID: 676f44
File 164573900635.png - (10.86KB , 550x500 , sleep.png )
1024505

It’s not really my preferred method of compromise, but I suppose in this case, there’s potentially a great deal to lose and little to gain if I refuse… “...alright. I GUESS we can try something like that.”

Going back to her, I try to put on my nicest, most affable face. “Terribly sorry about that! But, I was wondering now, if you’re of a mind to. Is there perhaps any way we could look at a few customer records? Not for nothing, of course, and nothing particularly detailed!” She gives me a look I suppose I’d have to call ‘tiredly bewildered’, at a guess. “But this might be particularly important- this I swear on my honor as a nurse. So, er…please? We’d be willing to…perhaps do something in exchange for such a favor?” I don’t want to come off as immediately offering a bribe, but-

“Aaaaaactually.” Oh? “A nurse, huh?”

Oho? Perhaps this might be what I think it is? “Y-yes! I’m a fully licensed nurse with extensive medical kno-”

“Yeeaah yep yep don’t care. Soooo, yeah. I’ve been havin’ a real funny feeling out in my, uh…” she leans in close as she whispers. “Aft plates.” Oh dear. “And it legit SUCKS. Makes standing up so long horrible. Got any idea how to fix that?” Hm. Well, there could be a number of issues for that…

I’ll need to ask some questions. “Is the grinding audible?”

“Nope.”

“How long does it take before you feel this grinding?”

“Like, an hour tops. It super bites.” She grimaces, and my, but I sympathize.

“Does the feeling run up and down your spinal bars?”

“Nah. It’s like my back end just starts buzzing, and not in a fun way.” Didn’t need to know that- well, I did, but not that last bit.

Still, it’s enough for me to draw an initial prognosis. “I think what may be happening, considering your profession, is that you’re not giving your, ah…’aft plates’ enough time to relax their workload near your hip area. You’re lacking fluid input for that area that would normally be generated and given during rest functions to keep yourself running at optimum capacity.”

She just stares at me for a moment, and I’m a bit confused. Is she approving? Disapproving? Or- “Soooo, you’re saying I need sleep.” Ah.

“Yes,” I confirm. “Yes, you need sleep.”

“Can you write me a doctor’s note or something?” she asks. Actually…couldn’t I?

“I…suppose?” Far too quickly she offers me a pen and blank paper. “R-right then.” It’s nothing abnormal; I’ve written more than a few before…I think. Blasted memory issues. But, this looks right. Formally excusing her from work related duties for the duration of 24 hours minimum for critical health related purposes regarding continued hip usage. “Here you are.”

As I give her the note, however, I notice she has a strange booklet out…ah! Of customers. This must be the records! “I’m just gonna…take a quick 30 second nap. Don’t mind me.”

Oh, how gracious. I and Ms. Geargoose are quick to look through the tome. Let’s see…last night…aha!

Mr. Pax WAS here indeed; he bought a portrait…two pairs of novelty glasses, three wooden carvings of snakes, a model car, and a replica arrowhead. Such a strange assortment. Oh! But there’s a…second transaction from Mr. Pax several minutes later. A single replica Superdisk? How odd. And there’s no one else until this morning.

Alright, then. In that case, we either need to see the conductor somehow, or we need to perhaps check in the cargo car, if we can get in there. Confronting Mr. Pax might be an option now, but it would be…well, risky. I don’t know his car number, but I could likely ask Ms. Vellanova, if I wanted to. Mind, if I still wanted to get some more proof or otherwise speak to someone else about it, I could try and think of another tactic.
>>
No. 1024507 ID: 96c896

>>1024505
Those strange purchases could be some kind of code, which would signal to another person nearby to plant the superdisk so it could be acquired in a non-suspicious manner... or the items are intended to be used in combination with one pair of the novelty glasses to disguise an accomplice as Vellanova, so that witnesses could see her departing the train alive. Cut the snakes in half and you have six squiggly lines, which could be disguised with paint... or metal from the model car or arrowhead to resemble Vellanova's spider leg design.

We need to warn her, first and foremost. She is not to be alone, until we find our quarry and... well, I don't know what we'll do actually. We have enough evidence to give an indication that he's up to no good, but not enough for proof.

I wonder if you're a secondary target? The arrowhead and model car platings could be used to approximate your head accessories as well. It would not surprise me if he knows you're on the train by now.
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No. 1024556 ID: 629f2e

>>1024507

Y'know what, I'll back up the disguise idea. We don't have any details on who the portrait was of, but Vellanova is a famous model. The second pair of novelty glasses is also weird, but she does have circles on the side of her head the same size of her eyes. Honestly, the details really do add up if you look at it this way. Warn Vellanova, it may give her a real reason to support your investigation.
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No. 1024565 ID: 34f2f0

>>1024507
Plausible enough.
>>
No. 1024568 ID: 96c896

>>1024556
Oh I was just thinking the impostors would be wearing the glasses, to obscure most of their faces.
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No. 1024595 ID: c92a02

Check in the cargo car. Say there was a mixup with your luggage - it's true after all.
>>
No. 1024868 ID: e51896

Supporting the disguise idea
>>
No. 1030024 ID: f2320a

>>1024595
The best lie is true


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