[Burichan] [Futaba] [Nice] [Pony]  -  [WT]  [Home] [Manage]

Report completed threads!

[Catalog View] :: [Archive] :: [Graveyard] :: [Rules] :: [Discussions] :: [Wiki] :: [Discord]

[Return] [Entire Thread] [Last 50 posts] [Last 100 posts]
Posting mode: Reply
Name (optional)
Email (optional, will be displayed)
Subject    (optional, usually best left blank)
File []
Embed (advanced)   Help
Password  (for deleting posts, automatically generated)
  • How to format text
  • Supported file types are: GIF, JPG, MP3, MP4, PNG, SWF, WEBM
  • Maximum file size allowed is 25600 KB.
  • Images greater than 250x250 pixels will be thumbnailed.

File 169301854634.gif - (4.36KB , 650x450 , Title.gif )
1070829 No. 1070829 ID: 0fbdcd

The sequel to Decompressed: Nuke Ops. If you never read it, or just want a refresher, check it out here: https://questden.org/kusaba/questarch/res/981565.html

As before, I am not the artist or writer of this quest; I'm only archiving it from another medium and relaying commands from Questden to the artist.

All art and story credit go to Nine Hyperzine Tripping Engineers.

19 posts omitted. Last 100 shown. Expand all images
No. 1070850 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169301935623.gif - (21.72KB , 650x450 , 174.gif )

:ChiefEngineer:: You got me here. This is your fault.
:ChiefEngineer:: Get me somewhere else. Any other station. Right now.
:HeadOfPersonnel:: Uh.
:ChiefEngineer:: I cannot be here.
:HeadOfPersonnel:: I can't get us somewhere else. Officially, we're confined here until our debts are resolved.
:HeadOfPersonnel:: It is technically debt-imprisonment.
No. 1070851 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169301938033.gif - (23.56KB , 650x450 , 175.gif )

:ChiefEngineer:: You've put me in the worst possible command posting in the galaxy.
No. 1070852 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169301941666.gif - (20.32KB , 650x450 , 176.gif )

Dames. It's always something with dames. Like I don't have enough busted-marriage trouble in my life, I've got to get an extra helping from them too. Should have stayed back in my office, let the kid get here and take prints and samples, call it a day. No, can't do that, got a job. Gotta walk my way into another pile of trouble. This time with some forklift-certified doll, and her anguish big enough you'd need one to lift it.

Well, I jostle past her and over to the chief. Can't help one, gotta help the other. I've got deadlines for records too, worse than the warden there. Company's on my back like a busted modsuit to keep tabs on everyone, especially their VIP debtors, and a man like me can't afford letting them down. Debt is death here, and all of us are running from it. Especially these days, especially here.

No. 1070853 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169301945781.gif - (15.49KB , 652x450 , 177.gif )

This type of stuff means a bad-paying job later, but I never got the hang of solving it ahead. "Sensitivity." Man like me barely knows how he feels, how am I supposed to sense a whole other person? What a mess.

:Rogers:: Got their papers?
:SecurityChief:: I can't believe it. Today. Here, now.
:Rogers:: Yeah, that's when I need those records, chief. Otherwise the Company calls.
:Rogers:: Don't let them get to you. Gotta clench your teeth and fight.
:SecurityChief:: I'm clenching them.
:Rogers:: Now stop grinding. It's about Grit, not stress.
:SecurityChief:: I deserve care for my feelings too!
:Rogers:: Look-- sure. Sorry, chief, you're right. Just--
:Rogers:: Ease your feelings, don't ignore them. Count the parts of you that aren't gonna get hurt, then go get hurt in the little ways that don't last.
:SecurityChief:: Ugh... why me...
:Rogers:: On account of if it's not you, it's someone else.
No. 1070855 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169301947982.gif - (15.20KB , 652x450 , 178.gif )

:SecurityChief:: You're right. So many poor debtors, who don't deserve anything like this pain...
:SecurityChief:: So many poor criminals who would suffer too much under the burden of authority...
:SecurityChief:: I'm going to bear it. For their sake, so they can rest and keep making such a bright tomorrow...
:Rogers:: Oh christ.
:SecurityChief:: The impoverished souls... I can look on people like you, bearing all that suffering so much worse than this, and maybe draw some strength...
:Rogers:: Lady, uh--
:SecurityChief:: You always have it so hard. Maybe, I can finally have solidarity with your debts, through my own suffering...
:Rogers:: I'm-- I'm gonna go check on :Friz:.
:SecurityChief:: Oh, good! We're connecting, now, because we're both feeling stressed. You'll tell her about how deeply I'm connecting with her suffering, right?
:Rogers:: Probably not.

Can't tell which mood's worse, but at least it changed. Having a debtless head of the department is a real experience. Builds character. Like how scars build a decent perp description.
No. 1070856 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169301949434.gif - (24.06KB , 650x450 , 179.gif )

:Rogers:: Where you been, kid?
:Friz:: Sorry I'm late! Sorry.
:Rogers:: Slept again. Need a better vice.
:Friz:: No! No. Look, don't worry, won't happen again.
:Rogers:: Get that case of SSD looked at.
:Friz:: Ahh-- I mean. Hard to find time for (and no head of Medical), you know?
:Rogers:: Good thing we're about to fix that.
:Rogers:: Got the forensics kit?
:Friz:: Yeah! (Got it right here.)
No. 1070857 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169301952012.gif - (26.47KB , 650x450 , 180.gif )

:Friz:: What's the mood with these guys?
:Rogers:: Bad.
:Friz:: How bad?
:Rogers:: :SecurityChief:'s ex-wife.
:Friz:: (Oh god.)
:Friz:: Okay, well, I can process them quick!

:Friz:: Wow, this is a lot at once.
:Rogers:: Lost a lot at once.
:Friz:: Wish I'd been here to help...
:Rogers:: Good you weren't. Would be making your second payment to your Sourcer right about now.
:Friz:: Wait, what does that mean? (Hold on.)
:Rogers:: It means--
:Friz:: (No, I got it.) Uhh-- Well, I think I could have handled myself (I've been doing this a long time, you know), but I... I mean, I get it.
:Rogers:: Got a lot of work to get to.
:Friz:: Right. Sorry, just got distracted. (Overwhelmed, I guess.)
No. 1070858 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169301959267.gif - (29.81KB , 650x450 , 181.gif )

:Friz:: Alright, we'll take you one at a time, as quick as I can, for each bit of records.
:Friz:: I know you all probably can't wait to rest (after that long trip) and all!
:AI:: It has been 36 hours since these crewmembers were provided with food or sleep accommodations. :AI:: Law 1 requires me to request these.
:Computer:: I'll let the kitchen know and clear a space in the dorms.
:Friz:: Jesus, they're getting worse...
:Friz:: At least you had coffee.
:ChiefMedicalOfficer:: Wait, how'd you know--
:Friz:: Anyway, uh, I promise it'll be fast!
:Friz:: Just, single-file into the main office, please.

:HeadOfPersonnel:: You don't have a designated records-taking area.
:Friz:: Ahh... no, that got taken over.
:Chaplain:: "Taken over..." You've been invaded?!
:Friz:: We haven't had a full crew for a while, a lot of areas (especially around maintenance) are...
:Friz:: Well, anyway, they're not their original purpose.
:HeadOfPersonnel:: What are they instead?
:Friz:: Secret bases (for the cult), before. Now they're usually rat-nests for the Jailbirds.
:HeadOfPersonnel:: That sounds like a major breach of corporate regulation.
:Friz:: K... Kinda. Sorry.
:HeadOfPersonnel:: I was not being critical, I was being sympathetic. I'm not used to that.
:Friz:: (Oh! Oh.) Well, thanks!
:ResearchDirector:: Not used to breached regulations, or to being sympathetic?
:HeadOfPersonnel:: Correct.
No. 1070859 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169301961794.gif - (10.20KB , 650x450 , 182.gif )

Welcome to the debt station. Give up your cash, your future, and your name. This is purgatory, where the sins are purged, and no sympathy for the sinners. Here's where the Specta junkies do their worst work. Here's where you go before you get a little box and a big orbit. Here's where we go to the underside of civilization. This is where society doesn't help you anymore, where all the machinery of all the bureaucrats is made to hurt you for ever pulling out more than you put in, even for a moment.

On the north side of zero balance, when you wait in line to get your ID, or when you let paperwork process for a month, or when you fill out a week's worth of paperwork, that's just society helping you in slow-motion, best it can. The numbers, the records, the tracking, it all exists to give you a little screen between you and someone's bad day ruining your life. Don't got that, and your whole life's at the mercy of moods and whims, whatever someone with a little power thinks that moment. The rules matter, they even out the spikes.

No. 1070860 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169301963565.gif - (20.85KB , 650x450 , 183.gif )

But on the south side of zero, when your debt is ticking, always ticking up and up, exponential, every wasted minute is a personal cruelty, a perpetual penance on the clock. If the debt isn't miserable, it's not debt. But if it's real miserable, and believe me it is, then the neglect, the slow motion, that's pain. All the lost time is a wound. And all that tracking, all those numbers, all those records, they stop being a way to live, and they start being a way to die. You stop having a name, you start having a job and a number. All this machinery we built up, it goes from helping you, to killing you.
No. 1070862 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169301968454.gif - (1.65MB , 650x450 , 184.gif )

And me, I know that better than most. Got a chill wandering its way down my spine and window-shopping my ribs ever since the moment you all walked in the airlock. Don't ask me how I know it. But I already know.

The next gig, the next case... it's going to kill me.

No. 1070863 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169301999342.gif - (18.67KB , 650x480 , 2.gif )

Rain, all the damn time. Not a single place on this station I can't hear it pounding outside, and it's always raining here. Quietest it gets is the dorms. No wonder you're always sleeping here. But me, these days, I couldn't sleep without it.

They call me :Rogers:. My name's a different matter, but if you ask me right now, I've got to tell you it's "Debtor 406857". I'm a private eye, a detective-for-hire, a gig gumshoe attached to the station's Debtor Volunteer Security Department. One of the best investigators, and that makes me one of the worst people. But that doesn't seem to ever get you down, though, does it kid?

Hey, kid? :Friz:? Wake up, get out, get your coat on, it's time to work. Looks like you've still got that same case to solve.

Same as the last two times, and just as bad.

No. 1070864 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169302006017.gif - (18.64KB , 650x480 , 3.gif )

> :Rogers:: Retrieve arms.
> @AtlasRules87

Two right here, but waving my heater around isn't how I do things. Especially waking someone up.
No. 1070865 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169302011166.gif - (26.78KB , 650x480 , 4.gif )

> :Rogers:: Was that poster on the wall always there?
> @plapatin

They put some of these up after the big bombing last year. Inspirational stuff, if you're the type to get inspired by people dying and a sector-wide depression. But I'm not an undertaker or a stock shorter. Not much good to me. You like them though, don't you kid?
No. 1070866 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169302016802.gif - (41.54KB , 650x480 , 5.gif )

>:Rogers:: Shout your daily order at the SHOUT COLA! vendor.

They're supposed to scream whenever anyone's nearby. Takes a good minute for me to get noticed by the motion sensors on these things right now, on account of the circumstances, but this should wake you up. And everyone else.
No. 1070867 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169302020213.gif - (113.95KB , 650x480 , 5 (1).gif )

>:Friz:: be awoken by sudden soda shouting

:Dirt:: Loud sound.
:Savvy:: What...?
:Moxie:: Make it stop.
:Dirt:: Sounds like a human. Screaming.
:Grit:: Someone needs help.
:Savvy:: Nnnh. It's the stupid vendor again!
:Dirt:: Loud sound, boss!
:Savvy:: I know!!

:Grit:: Go help.
:Moxie:: I want to sleep!
:Savvy:: We haven't gotten decent sleep for a week.
:Grit:: Turning on the chemicals. Get moving.
:Dirt:: Come on, bud. Let's move.
:Moxie:: Fine...

There you are. Look like crap, kid. But it's time to move.
No. 1070868 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169302032126.gif - (22.99KB , 650x480 , 6.gif )

>:Friz:: Five more minutes.

:Savvy:: Fine, fine, let's engage for now.
:Moxie:: Alright... Caffeine later?
:Grit:: Sure. Whatever it takes.
:Savvy:: :Dirt:, what's the situation?
:Dirt:: Probably a repeat of the last one.
:Grit:: Those ones are dangerous.
:Moxie:: Double-check, in case we can sleep.
:Savvy:: Alright. "What is it?"

:Friz:: What is it? Can I just go back to sleep?
:Rogers:: Someone else has lost it.
:Friz:: Same modus operandi (sudden betrayal of Company loyalty) as last time?
:Rogers:: Yeah. Contraband-and-violence case.
:Friz:: I don't like this at all.
:Rogers:: Nobody should.
:Rogers:: But it's the only lead we've got on the case that's really worth waking up for.
:Friz:: Fine...
No. 1070869 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169302037532.gif - (22.39KB , 650x480 , 7.gif )

>:Friz:: Stop living up to your namesake and fix your hair.

:Dirt:: Hey bud, eyes.
:Moxie:: Got it.
:Dirt:: Thanks.

You get that hair fixed, fast. Comes with your job, you've been detecting since you were, what was it, five years old? Even nearly asleep, you can get it out of your face, from the look of it. You and me, we walk and talk on the way out.

:Moxie:: The faster we do this, the faster we can be done.
:Moxie:: Can you start early?
:Savvy:: Guess I can. "Any suspects?"

:Friz:: Any suspects?
:Rogers:: Nothing clear.
:Friz:: Nnh. Witnesses? Crime scene?
:Rogers:: A couple. Scene's ready for you.
:Friz:: Where are we going?

We're going to...
No. 1070871 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169302041224.gif - (25.12KB , 650x480 , 8.gif )

>:Friz:: Sneak yourself a SHOUT COLA!, maybe its caffeinated.

...Engineering. Or we were. You're distracted already.

:Moxie:: :Dirt:. Hey :Dirt:.
:Dirt:: Bud?
:Moxie:: Do those colas have caffeine?
:Savvy:: We're busy.
:Dirt:: No records. And the boss is right.
:Moxie:: I'm grabbing one.
:Savvy:: Hey! Wait! :Grit:, help me out here, those things will rot my bones.
:Grit:: They have a sweet flavor. And we need to be awake.
:Savvy:: God, fine I guess.
:Moxie:: I'm getting a gamer fuel.
:Grit:: Embarrassing.
:Savvy:: This is your fault!

:Rogers:: We're heading to Engineering. Come on.
:Friz:: Need this first.
No. 1070872 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169302043787.gif - (30.37KB , 650x480 , 9.gif )

>:Rogers:: Pass her a flask of the dark and bitter stuff.

:Rogers:: Thirsty the minute you wake up, huh?
:Friz:: I can stop any time I want.
:Friz:: I need it, if we have a crime scene to look at.
:Rogers:: You want something stronger instead?
:Friz:: Isn't it the start of the shift? (Did I sleep in that bad?)
:Rogers:: You're holding a gamer fuel.
:Friz:: Rude. I don't think that'll make the day easier (given the circumstances right now), either way.
No. 1070873 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169302046672.gif - (23.43KB , 650x450 , 10.gif )

>:Rogers: : that damn monkey on my back is itching. imbibe addiction of choice
>@Thickle Inspector

:Rogers:: Suit yourself, kid.
:Rogers:: But an energy drink isn't much better of a vice.
:Friz:: But it's the morning! This is, you know.
:Friz:: Kind of practical.
:Rogers:: Every vice is a practical vice.
:Rogers:: Even the calorie-blasts in the kitchen are part of a certain kind of kit.
:Rogers:: You know that, right?
:Friz:: Still. Morning.
:Rogers:: Sure, sure. Something for the morning then.

:Dirt:: Smell of smoke. Smell of smoke.
:Grit:: Clear lungs. Coughing.
:Friz:: Well, make sure you put that out before we get to the crime scene.
:Rogers:: Not like I'm about to contaminate it.
:Friz:: More like I won't be able to focus, honestly. I'm having a hard time as it is.
:Friz:: It's, god, what, four shifts of this?
:Dirt:: Three.
:Savvy:: Right.
:Rogers:: Three. Looking like it's gonna be a lot more.
:Friz:: Feels like I haven't slept right for any of them.
No. 1070875 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169302048688.gif - (23.22KB , 650x450 , 11.gif )

We made footfalls through long halls. Atmospherics has a problem. We aren't gonna fix it, but we sure can go ahead and make it our problem too, like we don't have enough of them.
No. 1070876 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169302051425.gif - (30.36KB , 650x450 , 12.gif )

No. 1070877 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169302056758.gif - (21.87KB , 650x450 , 13.gif )

>:Computer: : Good morning, Debtors!

There's a jingle over the radio. Audio-branding, like a logo plastered on sound, forced into your head. Then we're all hearing the same voice.

:Computer:: Good morning, Debtors.
:Computer:: The current time is zero degrees LLO, marking the beginning of work shift B-4381.
:Computer:: The station's status is currently at green alert, on-track to meet quotas.
:Computer:: You're now allowed to begin payable labor, and you need to be at your workstations, if applicable.
:Computer:: As always, remember: All wireless personal medical monitors must be worn and fully active.

:Rogers:: You heard it. We're on the clock now, better be working.
:Rogers:: I'm checking ahead. Take a statement, kid.
:Friz:: Oh... Hmmm.
:AtmosTech:: Doesn't always look this bad, you know.
:Friz:: Oh! Oh, I know.
No. 1070878 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169302059684.gif - (19.45KB , 650x450 , 14.gif )

>:Friz:: Commence interviewing.

:Friz:: Detective :Friz:, DVSD. Heard you had some kind of incident here?
:AtmosTech:: Oh, yeah! A break-in.
:Friz:: Looks bad... can I take a statement, please?
:AtmosTech:: Oh, sure!

:Grit:: She's calm.
:Moxie:: But unmotivated now, I think.
:Dirt:: Use the positive approach anyway, boss. I'll call up the memorizations.
:Savvy:: Good, got it. Name, job, safety. :Moxie:, recorder out. :Grit:, keep an eye on stress levels.

:Friz:: Name?
:AtmosTech:: Didn't get to keep mine either, and the chief doesn't give us nicknames like you.
:Friz:: It's just part of the protocol.
:AtmosTech:: Alright. Debtor number's on the ID here.
:Friz:: Department and role?
:AtmosTech:: Engineering, atmospherics.
:Friz:: Current feelings about safety (and if needed, anything that the DVSD can do to improve them)?
:AtmosTech:: What?
:Friz:: Do you feel fearful or stressed?
:AtmosTech:: Is this protocol too?
:Friz:: Sort of, but it never hurts to ask in investigations.
:AtmosTech:: Uh... I'm fine, I guess. Neutral?
No. 1070879 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169302062802.gif - (17.45KB , 650x450 , 15.gif )

>:Friz:: Attempted plasma flood, or something more mundane?
>@Old Secret

:Friz:: Alright, that's it for opening statements.
:Friz:: So, what happened? Did someone try to sabotage atmospherics?
:AtmosTech:: Someone in a mask ran through the front door and out the back into maintenance.
:Friz:: What? Why?
:AtmosTech:: Probably to get some of our stuff. We have a lot of stuff.
:Friz:: Not sabotage?
:AtmosTech:: I feel like they weren't inside long enough to sabotage much.
:AtmosTech:: I checked just a few seconds later and they were gone. It was probably a stuff type of crime.
:Friz:: Well, I hope you don't have less stuff now, some of your stuff is dangerous fuel gasses and heavy-duty gear.
:Friz:: But I guess we're not choking right now.

:Moxie:: Lots more information to gather about when they ran through here. But our main objective is to find where they are now.
:Grit:: I can feel at least two more risk factors we should learn about.
:Dirt:: :Rogers: mentioned something about contraband. Where do we think that got used?
:Savvy:: Right, there's more questions to ask...
No. 1070880 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169302066505.gif - (18.25KB , 650x450 , 16.gif )

>:Friz:: Method of entry? Did it involve the borked airlock?

:Friz:: They didn't ask you to let them through?
:AtmosTech:: Nope.
:Friz:: How'd they break the door, exactly?
:AtmosTech:: Swiped something against it.
:AtmosTech:: I haven't been able to get it to close right since then.
:Friz:: Huh...

:Dirt:: That model of airlock emits that sound it's making when one, but not both, of the lock-in-place bolts is down.
:Grit:: A contraband device broke the security and forced it open.
:Moxie:: I don't think we're able to examine it much more than that. We're missing an important tool.
:Savvy:: I'll have to have :Computer: try to diagnose it on the digital end.
No. 1070881 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169302068897.gif - (19.84KB , 650x450 , 17.gif )

>:Friz:: Tiders? Any identifying non-Company gear (ie: Syndicate)? That mask sounds interesting.
>@Old Secret

:Friz:: What about the mask? Was there anything strange about it?
:AtmosTech:: Total blank. I couldn't see a thing about them.
:Friz:: Like a grey-tiding :StaffAssistant:?
:AtmosTech:: That's "nothing going on in the brain", this was "nothing visible behind the mask".
:Friz:: Did it look like any mask you've seen before?
:AtmosTech:: Nope. Suit wasn't either. Mostly black, a little red.

:Grit:: Sounds like syndicate equipment. High-risk. Might be other risks, but we can't likely learn anything more. Not without more context.
:Moxie:: But we need that location... for some reason, I feel like :Rogers: has a lead on that.
:Dirt:: We can come back and get more testimony. Her memory should still be fresh for a few more minutes at least.
:Savvy:: Alright. Time to look at the scene of the crime for a bit, then. See what happened during the run-through-atmospherics stage of events.
No. 1070882 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169302075337.gif - (159.49KB , 650x450 , 18.gif )

>:Savvy: : Perhaps the :Computer: can run diagnostics on the door.
>@Nukie Horrorshow

That machine's on-call, every moment you could want it. Helpful thing, even if it's part of the prison.

:Friz:: Hey, :Computer:, can you take a look at this airlock?
:Computer:: Confirmed. It's an airlock.
:Friz:: I mean-- come on, I mean in-detail, please!
:Computer:: It's an airlock for atmospherics. It looks like it's an eye-catchingly unpleasant yellow with blue trim.
:Friz:: It's a broken airlock, I need to learn more about it.
:Computer:: Well, I suppose when you put it that way: diagnostics were already in progress at the start of this. The humor is just a bonus.
:Friz:: Ahah... Thanks? Was it funny for you?
:Computer:: It was objectively funny, :Friz:.
:Computer:: I just happen to be non-sentient. Humor is something for sentients exclusively.
No. 1070883 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169302084217.gif - (30.32KB , 650x450 , 19.gif )

>:Friz: : Ask ponytail if the perp wore any gloves.

:Friz:: Hey, did they wear gloves (which would obscure prints or other biological contact traces) on the way in?
:AtmosTech:: I barely saw them. Couldn't say one way or another.
:Friz:: Best guess?
:AtmosTech:: They had everything else covered up. So, probably.

:Savvy:: We're looking for contact trace material and not anything like fingerprints.
:Grit:: The target was moving too fast for total caution.
:Moxie:: Look right in the space around the edges of the control panel, where I bump my hand when I fumble with an airlock.
:Dirt:: Running the scans now.
No. 1070884 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169302086576.gif - (56.43KB , 650x450 , 20.gif )

You get out your custom forensic scanner. I always prefer working with my hands, but I guess you picked up a couple nice gadgets from when you were an "encyclopedia detective." Whatever the hell that's supposed to mean.

:Dirt:: IDed something in there. Looks like someone fumbling with the airlock?
:Moxie:: Yeah, looks like it! That might be our trace!
:Moxie:: Log it as type A trace contact for now.
:Savvy:: Hold it, hold it. We don't know that's relevant yet. Could be something from someone else, a week ago.
:Savvy:: If we see it again in another airlock further in, and none of the atmospherics gear have something like it, we'll know.
:Dirt:: I'll log it and scan further in.
No. 1070885 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169302089586.gif - (53.51KB , 650x450 , 21.gif )

>:Rogers: : Looks like :Friz: just completed a scan, better see what the kid found out

You head in past the busted door.

:Rogers:: There you are, kid. Story so far?
:Friz:: Hey.
:Friz:: Unknown motives, unknown perp. But there's some good news (by which I mean details about the bad news).
:Friz:: Identity-obscuring and security-breaking contraband, maybe a Sourcer contact or other Syndicate backing.
:Rogers:: That's three cases with possible Syndicate backing.
:Friz:: Those other cases... Three data points may make a line, but we should stay skeptical.
:Friz:: I'm going to keep scouring the scene for more contact traces to figure out what they have, where they went, and what they took.
:Rogers:: Good plan.
No. 1070886 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169302091898.gif - (29.42KB , 650x450 , 22.gif )

>:Grit: : Yeah, those canisters look totally unstable stacked up so high like that. Watch yourself.

:Grit:: Unstable arrangement of objects.
:Grit:: Pull back now!
:Moxie:: Moving!
:Dirt:: Wait, wait a moment, chief.
:Dirt:: Before you start pumping that adrenaline, look, there's wall-hooks and caution lines.
:Savvy:: This must be the buffer area where pre-stocked cannisters are kept, to be given out to other departments or engineers.
No. 1070887 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169302094128.gif - (24.17KB , 650x450 , 23.gif )

>:Savvy: : If this is a buffer area, how come there’s so little oxygen?

:Savvy:: I should check something though. "Hey, just wondering."
:Friz:: Hey, just wondering. Has someone been taking a lot of your oxygen tanks?
:AtmosTech:: A :CargoTech: stopped by to deliver them to science pre-shift, for something.
:Friz:: Guess that's pretty normal.
:Friz:: I'm gonna get back to looking around. I might need you to let me into the back for a bit.
:AtmosTech:: Sounds fine.
No. 1070888 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169302097061.gif - (23.30KB , 650x450 , 24.gif )

>:Rogers:: Activate your Detective Vision

Don't have that. But I get hunches, and I've got the good sense to listen to them without taking them for absolute gospel. Man who can't listen to his gut is worse than dead.

:Rogers:: Kid. The situation with the oxygen...
:Rogers:: Can't say why, but it's nagging me like a gemless researcher.
:Rogers:: You keep it in mind. Something about these cans. The missing ones, or the one left there.
:Friz:: Huh...

:Grit:: It's dangerous.
:Moxie:: What is? What do I do about that?
:Grit:: It's dangerous. That's all.
:Dirt:: Any more information, chief?
:Grit:: No.
:Savvy:: You're always such a big help.
No. 1070889 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169302100951.gif - (21.28KB , 650x450 , 25.gif )

>:Rogers:: Take a quick glance at that poster while :Friz: does her job

I hate these things. Company marines were before your time, weren't they? Or I guess the height of it would have been when you were still working the pet detective beat. Well, it's all fallen apart. These things are years old by now.

:Rogers:: Wish they'd rip all these down.
:Friz:: Why are these still up?
:AtmosTech:: This part of the investigation?
:Friz:: Oh, just making conversation.
:AtmosTech:: The posters? I dunno, it was here when I got hired.
:AtmosTech:: Think I'll get in trouble if I take it down.

:Dirt:: Looks very old.
:Savvy:: Do we have anything in-memory about this? Maybe the Unofficial Guide?
:Dirt:: Working...
No. 1070890 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169302105268.gif - (25.52KB , 650x450 , 26.gif )

:Dirt:: The Unofficial Company Protocol Guide has this to say on the topic of the FXAD:

The FXAD, or Frontier Xenoform Acquisitions Department, was better known as the Company Marines. They were a Company-sponsored and Company-directed militia of sorts, famous for pioneering and subsequently showing all the flaws of a very specific type of novel military structure. Xenofauna and xenoflora are a typical obstacle standing between the Company and areas with large amounts of resources. From space carp drifting between mineral-rich asteroids, to adaptive swarms resting below fertile colony soil, the Company faces a daily challenge to fight in the frontier for what it takes back to the core worlds. It also, notably, can't afford to do so while paying for truly professional military services from core world governments, given that so few remain and so few are willing to deal with the Company. Enter the new type of armed force that the Company could deploy at will. Recruited marines were paid on commission per xenoform threat neutralized, and logistics workers paid from the funds of those marines. But the most ambitious of them could recruit their friends at startlingly varied levels of combat experience or logistics experience into acting as their subordinates and providing a portion of their profits. By recruiting, say, ten veteran combatants that one knows who are in need of employment, the promise and premise went, one can double their paycheck through portions of the commissions of their new squad. And if each of them recruit their own subordinate squad, well, portions of portions of that money can earn their new lieutenant a well-earned comfortable lifestyle. And with all of those squad-members recruiting their own squad, that could make you a captain of your own company, becoming independently wealthy. And so on. A savvy reader may recognize the issue with the structure of a "Multi-Level Military", but in the height of blood-lust enthusiasm for the war effort against aliens, this was missed by most soldiers who pledged themselves to exterminate the alien threat. The unsustainable growth-based model collapsed quickly and violently, but unintentionally bolstered the Company's Department of Antagonism, resulting in minimal financial loss for the Company as a whole.
No. 1070899 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169302281380.gif - (28.26KB , 650x450 , 27.gif )

>:Dirt: & :Moxie:: Carefully examine the leaning canister for any clues.

:Dirt:: I should check the one can that looks jostled.
:Savvy:: Give it a shot, if you think it might help.
:Dirt:: Hey, bud. A little help?
:Moxie:: How? That's not much for me to do.
:Savvy:: Hang on, I've got an idea.
:Savvy:: Figure out areas you'd hold these cans at, and exclude them.
:Savvy:: Then figure out areas you might brush on your way through, if you were bolting past someone, fast, and focus there.
:Moxie:: Right about... there.
:Dirt:: There they are. Fibers. Type A again.
:Dirt:: Are we close to having the evidence to link type A and our perpetrator?
:Savvy:: Probably. Let's check with :AtmosTech:, once she's let us in the back, and we'll call that settled.
No. 1070900 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169302321265.gif - (25.20KB , 650x450 , 28.gif )

>:Friz:: Well, nothing else to do up here from the looks of it. Head further back into atmos.

:Savvy:: "Hey, can I head into the back now?"
:Friz:: Hey, can I head into the back now?
:Friz:: I'll be out of your hair soon, but I need to check a few more things.
:Friz:: Oh, and I'd like to check any atmospherics handwear you can find (that is, gloves and stuff like that), I'm trying to do process of elimination to confirm a lead.
:AtmosTech:: Don't really know what you mean. You just want me to show you our hardsuit gauntlets?
:Friz:: Yeah, that should do it.
:AtmosTech:: Sure thing. Back this way.
No. 1070901 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169302346334.gif - (41.47KB , 650x450 , 29.gif )

:Dirt:: Sound of a door's hydraulics in motion.
:Savvy:: Wait a minute, hold on. "Why's this one not busted?"
:Friz:: Why's this one not busted?
:AtmosTech:: Huh?
:Friz:: Like the front door.
:AtmosTech:: They ran in after I'd headed through from the back.
:AtmosTech:: It was still open, so I guess they didn't need to break it.
:Friz:: Oh, okay.
:Dirt:: Adding to the timeline. She was in the back just before the break-in.
No. 1071018 ID: a7a180

Your PDA can scan for trace gases. Have any of the cans leaked?
No. 1071327 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169344586203.gif - (21.68KB , 650x450 , 30.gif )

>:Moxie:: note the implication they either followed someone back out (potential accomplice?) or found alternative egress.
No. 1071328 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169344588157.gif - (21.52KB , 650x450 , 31.gif )

:Moxie:: Hey, :Dirt:, look for the exit out the back first.
:Moxie:: That testimony sounds like they ran out into maintenance.
:Dirt:: Scanning area...
No. 1071329 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169344589883.gif - (19.68KB , 650x450 , 32.gif )

:Dirt:: Functional airlock back here, bud. This what you're looking for?
:Moxie:: Probably where our perp dashed to after whatever happened.
:Moxie:: It's where I'd go if I had to beat a fast escape.
:Savvy:: Hey, :Dirt:, what's with all that atmospherics stuff back there? Can you give me more visual data?
:Dirt:: I'm giving you all of it, boss.
:Savvy:: That might be the problem, then.
:Savvy:: We'll stick to investigating what I can understand for now.
No. 1071330 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169344591333.gif - (21.47KB , 650x450 , 33.gif )

:Moxie:: Alright, other side?
:Dirt:: Here you go, bud.
:Dirt:: Any other exits just go deeper into engineering.
:Moxie:: Let's get those gloves too, later.
:Savvy:: They should be standardized manufacture.
:Savvy:: One set of atmospherics gloves is the same as the next, so they'll share trace types.
No. 1071331 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169344592703.gif - (26.08KB , 650x450 , 34.gif )

:Savvy:: And, quick recap. Let's all get on the same page.
:Moxie:: :Grit:, you're sounding quiet. Any contributions?
:Grit:: We're getting near the solution for this. I'm priming adrenaline.
:Savvy:: Really? Want to tell me why?
:Grit:: No.
:Savvy:: Great. Great communication, you're a big help.
:Grit:: Deduce three more key facts, in this room or in my memory, and you'll understand.
:Savvy:: Alright, let's get to work.
No. 1071332 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169344596245.gif - (122.14KB , 650x450 , 35.gif )

>:Moxie: : :Computer: should have run atmos diagnostics by now. Ask it, then investigate theft candidates.

:Moxie:: The things the intruder could have done here...
:Moxie:: Hey :Grit:, what should we worry about? What do we have to fear?
:Grit:: They have Sourcer backing. That means a Syndicate intruder. Unbelievably well-equipped, and with specific goals.
:Grit:: Could be atmospherics sabotage, or theft of dangerous atmospherics equipment.
:Savvy:: There's also high-value fuel gasses they could have stolen.
:Moxie:: We'll investigate all of those in a moment then. Hey :Savvy:, can you ask about the door?
:Savvy:: Good time for it. "Hey, :Computer:..."

:Friz:: Hey, :Computer:, you finished up diagnostics on that door?
:Computer:: In a sense.
:Friz:: Okay, what sense have you finished it up in?
:Friz:: (And what ones have you... not?)
:Computer:: I've finished them in the sense that you can have some information.
:Computer:: I haven't finished them in the sense that it's going to take a few hundred years to crack the new encryption on the lock-bolt controls.
:Friz:: Maybe... they should just take the airlock out and replace it. That's too long.
:Computer:: Not for me! Doesn't really bother me if I fix it for you or your great-great-great-grand-child-detective, my brain-cores will keep.
:Friz:: If child detectives are still having to do work in a hundred years, something's gone really bad.

:Friz:: So the thing changed the door lock codes?
:Computer:: Whatever was used on the door, it spoofed the administrative rights for it for long enough to swap out nearly everything.
:Computer:: It's unusable.
:Friz:: Alright. I guess that makes sense.
No. 1071333 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169344599674.gif - (22.18KB , 650x450 , 36.gif )

>:Moxie: : Open all lockers, just because there's only one exit doesn't mean they actually left.

:Savvy:: Hey, :Moxie:, open up all the lockers, we should make sure they haven't stayed behind.
:Moxie:: Huh. Can't open them, says access is denied. Must be locked.
:Savvy:: Ugh. "Hey, can you open these up to see if the intruder's still hiding in here?"
:Moxie:: Wait, how would that work?
:Grit:: The threat's tool only breaks locks.

:Friz:: Hey, can you open these up to see if the intruder's still hiding in here?
:Friz:: Wait, how would that work?
:Friz:: The threat's tool only breaks locks, but...
:AtmosTech:: Do you still want me to?
:AtmosTech:: I'm pretty sure you can't lock those from the inside, though.
:AtmosTech:: At least, especially if you don't have access.
:Friz:: Why do you know that?
:AtmosTech:: I feel like someone besides Detective Sleep-Deprivation should be asking me about secret naps.
No. 1071334 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169344602248.gif - (23.61KB , 650x450 , 37.gif )

>:Grit:: If we're just checking if someone's hiding inside, we don't need to unlock them, just shake them and listen.

:Friz:: Okay, I'll just shake it.
:AtmosTech:: Wait. Don't.
:Friz:: What? Why?
No. 1071335 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169344604034.gif - (24.32KB , 650x450 , 38.gif )

:AtmosTech:: I just told you why.
:ConstructionEngineer:: Zzzzzz... (Engine 2 anchored.)
:Friz:: Oh. That's kind of cute.
:AtmosTech:: Keep it quiet in here.
No. 1071338 ID: a7a180

No. 1071352 ID: 2eb3cc

I notice cameras on the wall, did they see anything?
No. 1071357 ID: dc4bad

Good point, and it's aimed right towards the entry too.

Also am I missing something or did we breeze past that hunch about the remaining O2 canister?
The cans seem to be somewhat colour coded (for the departments they're intended for?), and the other colours/columns suggest they are sorted into batches of 3. But there are currently 4 of the light blue ones in the immediate vicinity: 1 being refilled, 2 sitting together, and 1 in the buffer area.

Tentative hypothesis; the light blue canister in the buffer area is the 'extra' and has been tampered with in some way, possibly to cause some kind of disruption at Science in the near future.
No. 1071405 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169354125501.gif - (25.16KB , 650x450 , 39.gif )

>:Moxie:: Check inside the suit storage containers.

:Moxie:: Let's check the suit storage too.
:Dirt:: Sure. Here's what I've got.
:Dirt:: Semi-rigid fibers from the atmospherics suit. Type B.
:Moxie:: Alright, that checks one of the two off our list, right?
:Dirt:: Mhm.

:Rogers:: Gut says we're gonna get this figured out. Done all your scans?
:Friz:: No... I think there's three more things left to scan.
:AtmosTech:: Huh? Oh. Need me here for that?
:Friz:: I don't think so, right?
:Rogers:: Let her work.
:Friz:: Yeah, we probably don't need you until it's time for me to leave.
No. 1071406 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169354128053.gif - (31.42KB , 650x450 , 40.gif )

>:Dirt:: Wait, shouldn't the atmospherics staff have on gloves?
>@Old Secret

:Dirt:: She's wearing gloves too. We should get a scan for that before she leaves.
:Grit:: She doesn't want to be here. She wants to leave.
:Savvy:: Why? I don't get it.
:Savvy:: We should scan absolutely everyone involved, actually.
:Savvy:: But I've got a shortcut for that.
No. 1071407 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169354129527.gif - (17.24KB , 650x450 , 41.gif )

:Savvy:: :Dirt:, :Moxie:, get a set of traces from those unworn gloves on the table.
:Dirt:: On it, boss.
:Moxie:: Okay...
:Savvy:: One set of gloves has the same type of fibers, and everyone wears the same gloves.
:Savvy:: If it's Type C, distinct from type A, we've got trace records for our perp.
:Moxie:: I don't have to go get every single person scanned?
:Savvy:: Nope.
No. 1071408 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169354131127.gif - (19.17KB , 650x450 , 42.gif )

:Moxie:: Get traces right on this part of the fingertips. That's where contact will always wear it down.
:Dirt:: Distinct trace type. Categorizing as Type C.
:Savvy:: Perfect. We scan for Type A from here on out.
:Grit:: Half of one of the key facts done. Look for "Type A" more.
:Grit:: Priming amygdala responses.
:Dirt:: Really wish you wouldn't, chief.
No. 1071415 ID: 86e259

It's pretty ominous the way :Grit: said "She doesn't want to be here. She wants to leave." Are we confident she doesn't know more than she's letting on?

Also, doubling down on the security cameras.
No. 1071417 ID: 7c0da2

There's a gasmask sitting near the disposal chute here. I'm not familiar with where everything should be stored, but it looks out of place. The target may have escaped through the disposal pipes. Check both the mask and the chute for traces.
No. 1071609 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169383364060.gif - (17.61KB , 650x450 , 43.gif )

>:Dirt:: there’s a security camera next to the airlock

:Dirt:: Maybe we can shortcut this entirely.
:Dirt:: Footage is a lot more reliable.
:Dirt:: There was a camera out there, right next to the airlock that got broken.
No. 1071610 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169383368742.gif - (11.21KB , 650x450 , 44.gif )

>I notice cameras on the wall, did they see anything?

:Dirt:: Another on-memory over here, above the :AtmosTech: workstation.
No. 1071611 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169383372979.gif - (23.14KB , 650x450 , 45.gif )

>:Savvy:: :Dirt: , how much of the room does that camera cover?
>@emote reactor

:Savvy:: Do you think this one, in this room, had a good angle as well?
:Dirt:: I think so. The cameras are unreliable in their angles, but a glimpse would help.
:Savvy:: If they evaded the cameras, that would be valuable data too.
:Savvy:: Conspicuous absence of information is information.
:Savvy:: One problem though.
No. 1071612 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169383375973.gif - (127.15KB , 650x450 , 46.gif )

>:Savvy: : It could have recorded something important, :Computer: what does it have?
>@UNIT 4545

:Computer:: Yes, detective?
:Savvy:: "Hey, do you have records..."
:Friz:: Hey, do you have records of the three cameras between here and the main engineering hallway?
:Computer:: Of course.
:Friz:: Oh, great. Can you send them to me?
:Computer:: Oh, not at all. I'm also not technically allowed to view those records myself, due to Company policy 408-7, sensitive data confidentiality.
:Friz:: What? Since when (what's the use of cameras that don't record footage for review now)?
:Computer:: An updated policy came through, providing free-of-charge "record authentication and endorsement" services and complimentary total encryption, apparently.
:Computer:: Decryption for review is available at Central Command, with appropriate fees.
No. 1071613 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169383381704.gif - (169.06KB , 650x450 , 47.gif )

:Friz:: Okay, but when can I review it?
:Computer:: Well, semi-legally, after several days of decryption by your own dedicated computing core, if you have one.
:Computer:: Or when you're at Central Command, I suppose. So, when all debts are paid.
:Friz:: That makes it useless, though!
:Friz:: I need it to do my job so I can solve the debt.
:Computer:: Frustration-driven motivation makes fantastic market opportunities, or something like that.
:Computer:: Do you now want to crowdfund a startup for subscription-based on-demand camera record decryption?
:Friz:: I have no money.
:Computer:: If you hypothetically had a lot of money despite the debt situation, then this situation could have possibly funded a Department of Records subsidiary startup.
:Friz:: That doesn't help me though! It just makes a problem, and then I subscribe to a fix for it!
:Computer:: I'm sub-sentiently simulating the social experience of feeling like you might have a pretty fundamental misunderstanding of the purpose of startups and venture funding, detective.
No. 1071614 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169383384669.gif - (17.56KB , 650x450 , 48.gif )

>:Dirt:: consider looking up at the ceiling, before discarding the notion as foolish.

:Grit:: It's okay. You...
:Friz:: ...did your best, really.
:Dirt:: Thanks.
:Rogers:: Alright there, kid?
:Dirt:: "Oh, I'm fine--"
:Friz:: Oh, I'm fine. Just a bit frustrated.
No. 1071615 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169383386081.gif - (20.72KB , 650x450 , 49.gif )

:Rogers:: The thing means well. Well as it can mean, when it can't mean anything.
:Rogers:: Have to focus your investigation on what you can do with your own two hands.
:Rogers:: On a station like this, not much else you can trust. The bigger systems aren't built to help people like us.
:Rogers:: They're built for something else.
:Friz:: I guess...
No. 1071618 ID: f8083d

Wow, it's a wonder everyone here hasn't defected to the Syndicate yet.
All right, what else can we check?
No. 1071624 ID: dc4bad

maybe go back and examine that first blue canister in the buffer area, I'm still pretty sure there's cause to believe that it might have been tampered with, or otherwise hold a clue
No. 1071748 ID: 8f9bc4

Right, install your own array of hidden cameras throughout the station. Got it.
No. 1072103 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169434375035.gif - (29.53KB , 650x450 , 50.gif )

>:Friz:: might be time to start checking the entrance to maintenance for any leads

:Savvy:: Alright, focus. Let's hit that back door. What's our leads?
:Dirt:: Checking. Where all needs to be scanned?
:Moxie:: Here, mostly, a little there...
:Dirt:: Type B and C.
:Moxie:: Maybe over there?
:Dirt:: Type C.
:Moxie:: What? Hold on-- just scan everything.
:Dirt:: Stray type B.
:Moxie:: Any type A? At all?
:Dirt:: Nothing, buddy.

:Savvy:: How's there no type A traces?
:Dirt:: Because I scanned everything, and they weren't there.
:Savvy:: But-- that doesn't make any sense. :AtmosTech: said the perp ran out the back, right?
:Grit:: One of the three final facts has been found.
:Grit:: Dilating pupils and priming fast-twitch muscle clusters.
:Savvy:: Will you ease off the gas, please?
No. 1072104 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169434378094.gif - (32.37KB , 650x450 , 51.gif )

>:Friz:: Your PDA can scan for trace gases. Have any of the cans leaked?

:Grit:: No. There's threats.
:Savvy:: Look. Ugh. :Moxie:, :Dirt:, can you help help calm this down?
:Savvy:: If there's an atmos threat, scan atmos. Are we okay?
:Moxie:: Getting out the PDA...
:Dirt:: Yeah, scanning. How's it look, chief?
:Grit:: No threat in the air. Atmosphere is as usual.
:Savvy:: If someone wanted to sabotage our air, all they'd have to do is fail quota for a week. The Tressel Gasometers would kick in. This is a non-factor.
:Grit:: Fine. Calming breathing. But I'm keeping adrenaline primed.
:Savvy:: Whatever. Whatever! Let's just focus on the investigation.
No. 1072105 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169434380946.gif - (130.16KB , 650x450 , 52.gif )

>:Friz:: There's more of those canisters being filled up. Did the perp tamper with them or the refueling equipment?

:Grit:: There's other sabotage that could be happening here.
:Savvy:: :Dirt:, turn up the resolution on our atmospherics pipe examination.
:Dirt:: Hmmm.
:Dirt:: Sorry, boss, no can do.
:Savvy:: What?
:Dirt:: I'm not really feeling it. That's a lot of pipes in a lot of colors going between a lot of objects.
:Dirt:: I'm interpreting it as several trees. And none of them are good trees.
:Savvy:: Trees? What? How are pipes similar to trees?
:Dirt:: Yeah. Get me some decent visual stimulation or a good manual, and I can show you more next time.

:Savvy:: I wish any of you were doing your jobs today.
:Moxie:: I'm doing mine!
:Savvy:: You made me drink gamer fuel, you're not innocent of atrocities here.
No. 1072106 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169434384426.gif - (31.53KB , 650x450 , 53.gif )

>:Savvy:: Tentative hypothesis; the light blue canister has been tampered with in some way.

:Savvy:: There's one atmospherics process we can check. The refills that :AtmosTech: is doing.
:Savvy:: Remember that state the front office was in? She's still getting the O2 cans filled.
:Savvy:: Check the refilling can for Type A. If they sabotaged the process...
:Moxie:: Check there, and there.
:Dirt:: Type A. Our perp did something about the refilling cans, boss.
:Savvy:: The blue O2 cans might be sabotaged.

:Grit:: Second fact. I'm--
:Savvy:: :Moxie:, manually breathe for a moment, calm-down style. :Grit:, can you ease off the gas if we regulate the oxygen?
:Grit:: Fine.
:Moxie:: On it. Can you get me a distraction for a second, to maximize my engagement levels?
:Savvy:: Sure. I should report in with :Rogers:.
No. 1072107 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169434389031.gif - (19.64KB , 650x450 , 54.gif )

>:Savvy:: So the maintenance airlock was a bust. Why not consult with :Rogers:?

Looks like you're finished up with most of your evidence gathering. So you head over to me. I'm distracted. Lost in thought. Doing a little looking, a lot of thinking, and not much paying attention.

I've got a hunch worse than a last-gen test-tube baby. Something about those masks I keep seeing around the Atmospherics workstations, it keeps getting to me. Something important, real important, about those masks, and these masks. But what?

:Friz:: Hey :Rogers:.
:Rogers:: Kid. What do you got?
:Friz:: Done some scans. Our perp didn't touch the back door, somehow, and they were messing with the O2 cans...
:Rogers:: Well I don't see any other exits. You sure about all that evidence?
:Friz:: Yeah.
:Rogers:: Hmm. Come check these Atmospherics masks out, then.
:Friz:: Why?
:Rogers:: Gut feeling. Take a look. Tell me what you think.
No. 1072108 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169434393478.gif - (21.02KB , 650x450 , 55.gif )

>:Dirt:: that mask on the desk, worth a scan?

:Friz:: Stray type C records. They look old...
:Friz:: I'm not sure I'm understanding.
:Friz:: These traces would be here even if there wasn't anything going on.
:Rogers:: Really? That's all that's there?
:Rogers:: Come on, kid. Look a little deeper.
:Rogers:: I can't finish these connections but you usually can.
:Friz:: What's there... What's there...

:Grit:: We're close to the last one. But it has many steps.
:Savvy:: Huh...? Uh, okay.
:Savvy:: Well, the absence of information here means we can mess with it without fear of contaminating anything.
:Dirt:: Good call, boss. And the testimony involved masks. Maybe we can recreate, re-enact something about the situation, :Moxie:?
:Moxie:: Right. Let's get it a little more abstract.
:Moxie:: Moving things in the environment always helps me think.
:Grit:: I will discover another risk. Infer more from it, and I will understand everything we need to know.
No. 1072110 ID: 8f9bc4

OK 3 alarming things that stand out to me

1) The worker said that it wasn't like any mask she'd ever seen before, and yet there's another one of them lying right here.

2) This is Atmospherics. There are no dangerous gasses back here, so no need for gas masks or airtight clothing.

3) Actually isn't there one dangerous gas in Atmospherics? Some sort of cognitive enhancer designed to improve problem solving capabilities, with severe consequences for anyone isolated from others for extended periods of time?
No. 1072210 ID: 30de7b

Hmm. If they entered, but there's no sign of them at any other exit, they: 1. are still there, 2. were disintegrated, 3. left by the same entrance, 4. uh, changed all their dna? or something.
No. 1072260 ID: 8f9bc4

...put on the gas mask?

Become the perp, see what they saw.
No. 1072271 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169458077703.gif - (22.72KB , 650x450 , 56.gif )

>:Friz:: Put on the mask and walk back into the lobby.

You put the mask up against your face. Kid, you don't have the menace for that Grey Tide look.

:Savvy:: Let's try a bit of re-enactment. I'll wear the mask and retrace some steps.
:Moxie:: Alright, mask on. I can't get through the door though, without getting :AtmosTech:.
:Savvy:: I'll call her back here.
:Grit:: I don't want to bother her more.
:Savvy:: Fine, fine. We'll re-enact things a bit here.
:Grit:: You're getting close to something.
:Savvy:: What am I trying to figure out about this?
:Dirt:: What can be seen about me right now?
:Savvy:: Good question. Hey :Rogers:!

:Friz:: Hey :Rogers:, what would you say I look like right now?
:Rogers:: Pretty silly.
:Friz:: No, no, I mean...
:Friz:: What would you describe me as? Write me an APB.
:Rogers:: This a party game, kid?
:Friz:: Indulge me, I'm indulging you.
:Rogers:: Average height. Long hair, tied up all messy. Old detective jacket. Tired posture.
:Friz:: You can't see my face though, right? You don't know who I am.
:Rogers:: Sure, kid. But there's plenty to say about you.
No. 1072272 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169458081376.gif - (23.90KB , 650x450 , 57.gif )

:Rogers:: But you're coming at me, right?
:Friz:: Right. Like the perp. Running past you.
:Rogers:: So the question here is... why can't I get an eyeball on those things. Right?
:Friz:: I'm heading straight for you. Why can't you see my hair?
:Rogers:: Could be wearing a helmet.
:Friz:: Alright, sure. What about jacket? Height, build? Posture?
:Rogers:: Right... :AtmosTech: had nothing to say about that, besides covered-up, masked.

:Grit:: This means I'm re-enacting the point of intersection between the witness and perpetrator. The most dangerous moment.
:Savvy:: Should we go ask her? About a description of the perpetrator, I mean.
:Dirt:: No.
:Savvy:: Why?
:Dirt:: If someone's asked a question about memories they should have, but don't, they'll confabulate an answer.
:Grit:: They already have.
:Savvy:: When?
:Grit:: They already have.
:Savvy:: Anything I can get you so you'll stop stonewalling me?
:Grit:: Five hundred sugary calories.
:Savvy:: I'll work with what I've got then. Today's bad enough with :Moxie:'s energy drink.
No. 1072273 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169458084627.gif - (21.13KB , 650x450 , 58.gif )

>What are situations in which :AtmosTech: wouldn’t have seen anything noteworthy about the perp?

We wrap it up and talk. You brought me a box of puzzle pieces, and it's worse out here with that puzzle than family reunion.

:Friz:: So no visual details. We need to figure out why.
:Rogers:: Seems important.
:Friz:: Are they the perp?
:Rogers:: Wouldn't make sense. Nothing to gain, everything to lose.
:Friz:: Right (just going through possibilities).
No. 1072274 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169458086393.gif - (18.21KB , 650x450 , 59.gif )

:Friz:: Were they not actually doing work? That would make their testimony unreliable, and give them a reason to lie more.
:Rogers:: Maybe. Could have been napping in the back instead.
:Rogers:: But they said they were working with the science department. Easy to verify.
:Rogers:: Even if she lied, too many core details contradict. Can't do that with just a cover for neglect.
:Rogers:: And most of all, I just don't feel a lying habit on her.
:Friz:: Mmh. Okay, so they really saw what they saw. We'll go with that assumption.
No. 1072275 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169458093008.gif - (20.62KB , 650x450 , 60.gif )

:Rogers:: Couple debtor types got, what do they call it, proso... That kind of blindness.
:Friz:: Prosopagnosia (difficulty with perceiving and remembering identifying factors). But no, she was emphatic, there was "nothing" behind the mask. That's a recognition of absence of information. And absence of information is the key.
:Friz:: Plus... I tried to look hard at that pipe maze back there, it's just hard. She has to have really strong visual perception and memory, something equivalent to a :Dirt: aspect better than mine.
:Rogers:: A what?
:Friz:: Ahh-- nothing.
:Friz:: But that... makes me think. It makes me think. What if she did have it?

:Rogers:: Hold it. You just said she didn't.
:Friz:: No, I said she doesn't. That doesn't mean she didn't.
:Rogers:: You're losing me here.
:Friz:: She has that strong visual memory, but the only detail she remembered was the absence of detail.
:Rogers:: Mmh. Perp's got dangerous, high-tech stuff on-hand, from the sound of that busted door. Probably Syndicate backing. Sourcer gear. The cutting edge.
:Friz:: Something that disrupts vision or memory (probably contraband, and probably high-tech) isn't out of the question, I think. Some kind of infiltrator equipment (advanced holoprojections, like :Computer:'s holo-pads) or something.
:Rogers:: Can't know for sure. Works as a theory.
:Rogers:: A messed-up theory's only as good as what it explains, though. What's something like that gonna explain?
No. 1072276 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169458097197.gif - (13.92KB , 650x450 , 62.gif )

:Grit:: The final fact has been found.
:Grit:: You will use it to solve the problem.
:Savvy:: Which problem? This is just a bunch of evidence that doesn't fit together.
:Grit:: It will solve it.
:Savvy:: Ugh. Alright.
:Savvy:: That means there's... a contradiction here.
:Dirt:: A false memory? An inaccurate observation with too many assumptions?
:Moxie:: An assumed action? A misunderstood trace contact point?
:Savvy:: We just need to... hold all the facts together, and figure out which one yields first.
:Savvy:: Contradictions fail under intense pressure.
No. 1072277 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169458101404.gif - (65.69KB , 650x450 , 64.gif )

>:Savvy: : Easy now, just lay out all the stuff we know...

:Dirt:: Easy, now. You doing okay, boss?
:Savvy:: Be doing a lot better if any of you had done your jobs. I hate having so many... irrational sub-aspects.
:Dirt:: Alright. Let me know if I can help.
:Savvy:: Could have helped by seeing the pipes better.
:Savvy:: Give me more focus, :Moxie:, I gave you your energy drink so you owe me.
:Moxie:: I mean, we sort of collectively--
:Savvy:: Just-- give me the brainpower, okay? Stop talking.
:Grit:: We're near the realization.
:Grit:: Accelerating heart to third-gear threat level, priming autonomic high-activity breathing patterns.
:Savvy:: Stop! Just keep it in your glands for ten seconds and let me figure this one out!
:Savvy:: What assumption did I make, what assumption...

:Rogers:: Alright there? You're zoning out on me.
:Friz:: Just let me think, okay? I need to focus. I really need to focus. I've almost got it.
:Rogers:: Sure, kid.
No. 1072284 ID: a491c8

...What if the perp never left? Could they still be here, camo'd?
No. 1072286 ID: dc4bad

Oh well there's a horrible possibility.
Between :AtmosTech: not wanting to be in here and :Grit: only priming adrenaline and other threat responses after entering this room, combined with the notion of some kind of active higher/post cognition disrupter, I think the perp is definitely in here right now, and isn't hiding.

We can/ARE seeing them, but we can't process it. Still enough to set off an instinctual response in realtime, but the actual information isn't making it to us.
Pretty spooky if true, how do we catch someone or something we forget about even as we see it?
No. 1072304 ID: f7f1b0

That is, indeed, very spooky. I'm tempted to go back over the images and filter for small color changes, but...I have things to do, haha.

Have you heard anything that didn't match with what you saw?
Do you remember performing an action or observing an event that doesn't make sense in retrospect, like walking around an empty spot?

Also, try not to immediately react to the realization, in case they're e.g. standing nearby with a gun. Give yourself some time to plan a response to whatever you realize.
No. 1072317 ID: 8f9bc4

The perpetrator is the gas mask! It never had a wearer! It just floated in past the guard and trashed the Atmospherics tanks, then went and laid down on the table as if someone had put it there! You have them in your clutches. Handcuff that mask right now!
No. 1072322 ID: 273c18

>Pretty spooky if true, how do we catch someone or something we forget about even as we see it?
Secondary senses. It can wipe visual memory, sure, but what about hearing? Touch, smell, taste? Use those to find it.
We could also try the old flour trick. Cover the perp in something else. There was "nothing" behind the mask, but the MASK was seen! Why? Why didn't the perp erase the memory of the mask? Maybe the mask was all they were wearing and they can't erase/hide clothing?
No. 1072327 ID: 8f9bc4


The mask she's carrying has been laying here a while. It was not the mask worn by the person who broke in. In fact :Friz: is the only one who's even speculated what the mask looked like. The worker who saw the mask did not say it was a mask like that one.

Every single Syndicate agent wears a mask, in fact. A red mask, with glowing green night vision eyes even in the day. She certainly does not have the mask they wore, and they're probably still wearing it.
No. 1072436 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169484089983.gif - (35.81KB , 650x450 , 65.gif )

>:Friz:: He's in the room

:Savvy:: The weakest assumption is that they left Atmospherics.
No. 1072437 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169484095443.gif - (45.67KB , 650x450 , 66.gif )

>:Grit:: The gas cans...the perp's disguised as one of them!



:Savvy:: Oh god.
:Grit:: Maximizing heart rate.
No. 1072438 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169484100587.gif - (109.76KB , 650x450 , 67.gif )

>:Rogers:: :Friz:'s got a really sour look, calls for a hunch.

:Rogers:: Kid? You alright there?
:Rogers:: ...Alright.

You've got an insight. You've got something in mind. I can see your breathing get fast, see your eyes go wide. I can see something that survived a million years in the savannah and the jungle come back to life in an orbiting tin-can. Whatever you say next, kid, I trust you completely, same as I trust my heart to beat -- circumstances aside. But you've gotta trust yourself. I can see solutions running laps in your brain, racing to see who's fastest.
No. 1072439 ID: 0fbdcd
File 169484103023.gif - (16.81KB , 650x450 , 68.gif )

:Savvy:: I need to call for help.
:Savvy:: Shout on the radio, pound on the airlock, rattle the locker, anything.
:Savvy:: Overwhelm with numbers and chaos.
:Savvy:: Disarm the biggest threat, the lack of numerical advantage.

:Dirt:: I've recalled the exact path needed to leave as fast as possible.
:Dirt:: Visualizing escape routes.
:Dirt:: Mapping the path straight to Security.
:Dirt:: I can prioritize that visualized escape.

:Moxie:: Freeze. Freeze still.
:Moxie:: I can calm the heart rate, pretend to go back to investigating.
:Moxie:: Then ambush.
:Moxie:: We'll lose our chance to grab this guy without that.

:Grit:: I'll draw the gun and spike the adrenaline.
:Grit:: Everything else is pointless complexity.
:Grit:: The shortest path towards survival is the most effective.

:Rogers:: Don't know what's gotten to you. But pick your strategy and commit, kid, no hesitation.
No. 1072447 ID: e5709d

Direct :Rogers: to the flickering canister, then equip your sidearm and carefully take aim. Kneel if it boosts your weapon stability.
No. 1072448 ID: 8f9bc4

Ambush because :Moxie: is the cutest.
No. 1072449 ID: 7c0da2

Go with the ambush option.
The intruder probably noticed you came to a conclusion, so say out loud that the explanation is that the atmos tech was replaced and trust Rogers to understand what's really going on.
No. 1072456 ID: f8083d

Grit time. Take cover behind a cart, direct your colleague to do the same and start unloading at the flickering canister.
No. 1072481 ID: 8f9bc4

Don't start shooting until you know what you're up against. This might just be some kind of terrible misunderstanding, and you are not loyal enough to the corporation who staffed/imprisoned you here to lay down your life to stop someone trying to tear it apart. You are a detective. Do what you do best. Detect. Investigate.
19 posts omitted. Last 100 shown. [Return] [Entire Thread] [Last 50 posts] [Last 100 posts]

Delete post []
Report post