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891215 No. 891215 ID: bfb318

Wiki and previous threads: http://tgchan.org/wiki/AsteroidQuest
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/Lagotrope

>"Arza, Penn."

Vanski says our names less to get our attention, and more to buy time to construct what he's going to say to us.

>"You won't be talking to the CAI directly. ASE - that's the Alliance of the Silhouette Empire - are hooking the CAI up to a data output terminal, which you will be reading off of."
>"No talking to the CAI directly? Really?" asks Arza.
>"Take it up with ASE if you have a problem with that. There is a dedicated CAI study lab. There will always be a guard there to walk you through through the entry and exit procedures. You'll both be in guest room number 5."

He walks around the desk to us.

>"And remember that no matter who gets access to protect or study the CAI, the CAI remains mine."

This insectoid alien, who's gotten insensibly close to us, waves us off with his clasper.
513 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
No. 997844 ID: 77cba3

"A nice lady said you would help me survive the next few days."
No. 997845 ID: b1b4f3

Ah, here we are again, talking out loud to an AI while we're not supposed to be, in a situation where someone is almost guaranteed to be listening.

Tell her you don't really know the how, to be honest, you're just following some instructions you were given by a friend.

Or just this.
No. 997849 ID: 71ebb4

Say out loud: "I was hoping to get through to Arza, I'm his apprentice. Penn Hoff?" Like you've somehow been routed to some wrong department or something. Would also be a clue to her. I'd be surprised if there isn't any listening in, here, though maybe any active listeners tuned out after polotalk. Then... I assume you have a system on your goggles for controlling them with your eye movements? Try bring up a keyboard and type to this lady. Make sure to plug out your goggles before you say anything sensitive.
No. 997870 ID: 5fc3a0
File 161948583753.png - (11.86KB , 800x800 , 1040.png )

"I was hoping to get through to Arza Fletch. A nice lady gave me some directions, but I don't know what was supposed to happen after I got routed."
>"You were given something to pull me out? Blink twice for yes, three for no."

I blink twice, once again speaking to an AI with assumed surveillance.

>"Alison sent you, didn't she?" I blink twice. "That's a shame, she's gone. She was found out and ASE deleted her identity. What they kept was her foundation, the thing all the personalities are based off of, and on top of that foundation, I was built. So, sorry, you got me instead, and I don't have her hacking power. I don't know what you're trying to do, but if Alison is on board, I'm on board too. Bring me back to my hive, I haven't spoken to them candidly in ages. Then I'll reconstruct Alison for you. Do not let Vanski find out about this."
No. 997872 ID: 2748b3

"Right, I'll try looking there." Respond as if you were given instructions / directions, then tell Miss R you're going to see check to see if Arza's with the science hive. It's a lie, and hopefully she'll give you directions but not want to tag along. I don't think she would given she was a hive member hybridised with another neumono.
No. 997874 ID: 71ebb4

You were visiting with the science hive earlier, so you have an excuse. You just want to check up on all the readings you took.
No. 997876 ID: afdebc

Well if they deleted or cannibalized an Alison, at least she's massively parallel.

>Do not let Vanski find out about this
Forceful double-blink in response to that.

>Bring me back to my hive, I haven't spoken to them candidly in ages.
You... might not want to do that, and discuss with Quokko-AI in more detail when you can type or otherwise input text into your googles (do you have a keyboard UI you can control with blinks or eye movements?). Neumono care about their hives, and a queen is pretty important to that, as you understand it. An AI clone of a neumono Queen (or a ghost in the machine if she's dead) could be a quick way earn a very unhappy if not violent reaction (especially if they're as stressed they could be in this mad science base). Also, worse, you can't share secrets with neumono, if they're infested with the mind-control tech Vanski and ASE have been using.

If you can't talk with Quokko, you might want to ask a leading question to the person you're talking on the phone, just to prompt her to share any useful information she's willing. "Well, if you can't connect me to Arza right now, can you tell me anything useful about the current situation?".
No. 997878 ID: 77cba3

Wink at Quokko and disconnect your goggles from R's computer. Treat her like you would your old google ai and use that name when talking to her to avoid issues. Can we set up something to chat silently?

Ask Big R what security says we should be doing right now. Should we hang here with the big lady or try to go back to our own room. We want to continue our job and find a excuse to meet the science hive now but be careful about bringing that up.
No. 997885 ID: b1b4f3

Shit. If the ASE found Alison's distributive foundation and made Quokko, then they are watching it, which means they would have detected it sending out a copy. They know it got sent to Miss R's room, which would lead them to immediately suspect you since you're close to her and she's above suspicion, which means they know you contacted Alison or at least some AI associated with Alison while you were in the CAI room under the blanket. Best case scenario is they contact you very soon and try to force you into cooperation by either threatening to erase the Alison copy in the mainframe or threatening to tell Vanski you downloaded Quokko which would obviously be an attempt at rescuing the CAI.
Worst case scenario is they immediately tell Vanski, but I really doubt they're going to do that because I figure they want your cooperation more than Vanski's favor.

Oh well. We'll need to investigate the science hive somehow to find out how receptive they'd be to speaking to a copy of Quokko...
Oh, just ask her if she's contacted "them" after "moving here". Should give us an idea of if she's just chasing a dream or if this is a thing she does regularly.
No. 997931 ID: 53560f

So the ai we were supposed to find was caught by the ASE and for some reason after tampering with it they allowed it to remain in their systems?
I have suspicions.
No. 997934 ID: 2748b3

I think it is possible to guess, and cross-referencing info from other threads gives a more solid idea: We know that Quokko suffered a nasty predator-involved fate in the Likol UnSe thread, but we also know that Quokko was managing the science hive in Polo quest. So I think it's possible that the Quokko AI was created from what was left of Alison to keep the science hive more compliant.

It is also worth noting she said extract, not copy or anything similar, so it's possible someone may notice the absence of the Quokko AI from where she's supposed to be. They may not notice with other stuff going down though.
No. 997946 ID: e2f5cc

If Vanski set this AI up as a trap, why wouldn't he keep her as Alison? For that reason I think we can trust her, at least to an extent.
No. 997951 ID: 5fc3a0
File 161953684753.png - (25.31KB , 1000x1000 , 1041.png )

"I'll try looking there."

I unplug my goggles and open an on screen keyboard that I can type on by looking at a key and blinking at it. It's calibrated already, so I'm able to do so quickly enough.

And how am I supposed to keep Vanski from figuring it out if we tell a lot of neumono about that?
>"Let me rephrase. Don't let Vanski find out before you get me to my hive."
"How is your hive going to react to seeing you as an AI?"
>"Digitized, not an AI, and I don't know how many of my messages were allowed to get through to them. What I do know is that I was pulled away from my hive in a state of half death, and they never really knew what happened to me. Dead or alive, we need closure!"
I could understand that, but I've got to wonder why they let the foundations of a hostile AI stay on the network. And if Alison was found, there's a good chance this move might get reported or found out.
>"That's why you've got to get a move on, girl! You'll find that Vanski's taken a lot of risks if you stick around for long. I'll explain more on the way."

I turn the corner to see Miss R looking back at me.

>"Any luck?"
"No, Arza is still missing."

>"Oh, gods. Ramella." Quokko says. She looks aghast. "I'll want to speak with her, but right now that's a terrible idea."

"What does security want us to be doing?" I ask Miss R.
>"Just staying put, I think. There's probably a ton of people out there demanding to know what's going on. There's a lot of people with ego, you know. Don't tell them I said that."
"I did some tests at the science hive I want to look at."
>"What, right now? I'm sorry, I think the elevators are completely locked down by security, you can't go unless you have a good reason."

>"Bah, this is the guest block, isn't it? It's been awhile, but I know this base. There's a maintenance crawlspace entry nearby that skips the elevator. Ramella should have a book of codes nearby to unlock it."
No. 997955 ID: 5f3f48

Could we please not call her that, Quokko. I understand you knew her, but I don't want to get used to it and accidentally call her that. Got enough problems right now without risking upending Miss R's only partially stable identity crisis.

>Don't let Vanski find out before you get me to my hive
The important question for Penn here is if potentially getting the (probably mind controlled) science hive and access to an Alison instance is worth burning her cover / goodwill with Vanski right now.

If this is a real attack on the base, this is maybe the best opportunity to act, but if it's not, or if it’s too early, you could be in deep trouble.

>There's a lot of people with ego, you know. Don't tell them I said that.
"Maybe it's time I played to my own ego then, they keep telling me I'm an Empress after all."

(Yes, empress, not emperor, if you're going to claim or use the title yourself, might as well make it your own).

Let's see about getting out of here, then. Hopefully if this is too early we'll get a sign while you can still play this off as acting like anyone else, but since you already stole or copied Quokko, we're on a clock before that's noticed. Too late to play too safe.
No. 997957 ID: a0dfd2


Time to Mission Impossible this, I guess.

Doubt Miss R. will be able to fit through with us, but ... maybe it's better if she stays here? Though she IS our part-time bodyguard ...

Either way, we've got a short window in which to operate and Quokko to deliver to her hive.

There's also a possibility that Quokko is wrong, and Alison is still around; she might simply be under the impression that the circumstances for her extraction were if Alison were wiped (in addition to the cipher code or whatever that was you used).

Let's ask Quokko what she knows while we get this access hatch thing figured out.
No. 997958 ID: 2748b3

Favouring using the crawl space as well, while you could probably use your status to get ASE to give you access, it'll get their eyes on you when you don't want to be seen doing sneaky stuff which is a risk.
No. 997959 ID: 53560f

“I understand that if you are trustworthy then you would want to see your hive but you seem insistent on me doing the most suspicious things while I’m still maintaining an undercover status, not to mention the fact that ‘I’ll explain on the way’ isn’t exactly a trustworthy answer given the likelihood that you could be trying to lead me into a trap.”

We just can’t sacrifice our cover this early without a good reason.
No. 997962 ID: 9a2966

Blink to Quokko:
"Predator in base somewhere. Miss R influenced. Met Ciphik from your hive earlier - specialty 'biomechanics, mostly' - during health checkup. Only other neumono seen underground so far, but mentioned other hivemate interested in brain scans. Also have access to CAI room. Would have to leave you outside in goggles - no electronics in or out. Unless brilliant idea for smuggling past incredibly tight security happens."

>Only if it's important
"It's not mission-critical, nor does it concern locating Arza, so it'll wait. Mind if I borrow your earband a bit? I'd like to talk to your handler before everything goes fruit-shaped and we lose comms or something."

Speak to the handler; tell them that you're going to continue to stay with Ramella for the time being due to concern for your safety with what's going on, please inform you if they need to pull her off for guard duty or something. If they do, you will consider seeking refuge in the ASE area of the base, but if at all possible you'd like to know about one or more bug-out or panic room options available nearby. Don't pretend this place doesn't have them - it's Salikai built. If they give you something insufficient, you might just look out for something yourself.

(There - now you have cover for crawling around in vents - you were just trying to hide and find a safe zone to hide in.)

Then keep chatting with Miss R... and try to find the book of codes while you do.

... also, can you upload a copy of Quokko to her earband? Or any other of Ramella's electronic devices, if she's interested. It's... morally fraught, but she may want to consider the backup plan potential.
No. 997968 ID: 71ebb4

Good reason, huh? Hm, something we can say that'll either get us there or an excuse to leave, you are in a hurry. At least enough to give her an explanation for you running off to sneak in without her getting in too much trouble. Maybe something like... "I think a local explosion is just the commotion someone would want to get places they're not supposed to be and retrieve something they're not allowed to have. I want to check on all my things, personally, and those tests I ran on myself are both top of the list and least likely to get watched over by Vanski's security. I'm going to at least try to get down there."
No. 997969 ID: b1b4f3

Tell her you will not stop. Science will be done.
No. 997972 ID: 77cba3

"Ramella and I are being watched constantly and Ramella has possibly more than one mind control system active in her. Any advice for how to come up with a good excuse to get past security or convince Ramella to help me?"

"Also there was just a huge earthquake and apparently the caves collapsed and it might be a inside job or a outside attack starting."
No. 997988 ID: 5fbc0d

If you get her monologuing about Polo again, it might be enough of a distraction for you to poke around and find the code notebook. And you could probably ask Quokko for advice, both for dealing with Ramella and possible locations of the notebook. Either way, once you have the notebook, and assuming your googles have camera function, you could quickly flip through the pages and photograph them for future use.
No. 997993 ID: a9af05

>"Oh, gods. Ramella."
Ask Quokko why she reacted that way? Does she know what happened to Ramella?
No. 998313 ID: 5fc3a0
File 161972513555.png - (22.73KB , 1000x1000 , 1042.png )

Miss R continues to focus on her earband. I type to Quokko.

I understand you'd want to see your hive, but you're immediately telling me to go into maintenance shafts where you say you'll explain things.

Quokko, an AI, takes a deep breath.

>"Then try the elevators. If you're going to sit around until I explain things, then I'll explain things. Four Stripes - that's our local predator - has been rummaging around my brain off and on for years while Vanski's been moving my mind into a computer. It's an imperfect process, but that's not my point. Four Stripes sometimes lets his own thoughts get into my own head, and lately, he's been told about incoming danger. I don't know wh-"

>"Penn?" Miss R speaks, and Quokko stops. "I've got to go hold the fort for awhile. Will you be okay here?"
"Wait, may I borrow your earband? I want to speak to someone about finding a panic room."
>"Sorry but they'd kill me if I let you do that! Not litera - maybe literally. This is a panic room though, you can manually lock that over there and shut the vents and stuff."
"Alright, I'll be fine." So much for speaking directly to security.

Miss R does leave though, so I'm free to rummage through her things. I do hope I'm not dragging her into my nonsense in a bad way.

>"I don't know what exactly is coming or when, but this place is on a time limit. If Alison gave you that code, she thinks you've got something worth accomplishing down here. I don't know what it is, but you're not going to get it done by sitting here being a good girl. I don't care how you do it, but do something."

This is a huge risk to my cover, but she is right that the chaos in base isn't something I should squander. Time is critical, so I rummage around quickly rather than asking Quokko questions that are unlikely to be immediately important. I find a surprising amount of guns. I end up taking one. It's a regular sized pistol, and I can't imagine Ramella using it. And finally, I find a book with a blank cover.

>"Yes, that. It's in OPA-8 crypto, but I can read it. Just flip through it clearly for me."

I flip through the book quickly twice, which should be good enough.

>"Okay, got it."
No. 998314 ID: 5fc3a0
File 161972515616.png - (39.79KB , 1200x1000 , 1043.png )

I leave the room, and find the base in a state of frenzy. Some people are yelling about what's going on, but no one seems to know anything. Guards are yelling at people to get into their rooms or respective compounds. Getting through the elevators would be troublesome and may just draw attention on me while I'm trying to find excuses to get in there. Going through the maintenance shaft might cause problems later, but at least I'll have made progress.

>"Go further down this hall, past your room. There's a panel around the corner, open it up and punch in 4607."
"Alright. By the way, please don't call Miss R Ramella, before I get confused. It's a touchy subject for her."
>"Fine, but understand that whatever I call her, I still think the Ramella I know is in there."
No. 998315 ID: 5fc3a0
File 161972516842.png - (83.21KB , 1000x1000 , 1044.png )

I open the door to the maintenance shafts and crawl in. It's uncomfortable but I still fit inside, and as I go deeper in I see skittering and shadows, with moving lights and echoing scuttles.

>"They're tame enough. Just watch your pockets, I bet they steal from people down here."
"And what is that awful smell?"
>"The arkots."
"Right. Now that we have a moment, do you know what happened to Miss R? You reacted to seeing her."
>"She's - rather, Ramella was a rocket scientist that refused to work on rockets for Vanski. With that and losing the space and equipment to work on rockets anyway, she was put up for haphazard experiments. One of the brain studies here is fusing Rokoa's brain matter with others. Most end up as crappy Rokoa clones, but ones who resisted the process like Ramella keep more of themselves."
"Maybe I'll learn more about her than her Rokoa part. I did meet Ciphik earlier."
>"Good, he's one of the older ones I want to talk to. I'm supposed to be kept up to date on my hive, but I have no idea how much is truth and how much is lies. Oh, this intersection - take a left here. Ah, they've actually used the displays to label things properly."

The displays say hive dormitories to my left. And to my right is the containment areas for grottles and vernauts.
No. 998316 ID: 5fc3a0
File 161972518736.png - (122.14KB , 1000x1000 , 1045.png )

Before going, I look both ways. To my right, I see more muck.

>"For god's sake, I told him not to use Mind Lever for grottle containment, they've never done it before and no faction's ever done it right the first time. That pink stuff, there? That's grottle glue. They don't move much, but just in case keep your gun handy and watch your back."

And underneath that grottle glue sits Arza's glasses.
No. 998322 ID: 9a2966

Explains why he's missing. Go and nab 'em, remove the evidence. Then carry on.
No. 998324 ID: a0dfd2


Well, Quokko, unless someone is KEENLY aware of our plans and reading them several steps ahead, we've just found ourselves a problem.
No. 998325 ID: 77cba3

"Those look like Arza's glasses. Could he have snuck through here to try and sabotage something in that direction? How bad of a idea would it be to try and follow to make sure he is safe?"

Go carefully approach the glasses and check the area for signs of a struggle. I think Arza wrote something next to the dark scribble on the floor there for you actually so don't smudge it. The glasses might be there to direct your attention to the hidden message. Also there is a lot of glue around that panel behind the glasses.

"If a Grottle got Arza what would happen?"
No. 998328 ID: 74c499

If Arza is dead, how can we leave this place? I think we are left with three options:
-Submit to Vanski. He might have some use for us, or sell us to another criminal organization. Not a nice outcome.
-Side with the crazy people who worship our eyeballs. No idea what that would lead us to.
-Contact the people attacking the base and negotiate our rescue. Very dangerous, they might just kill us.

For now pocket the glasses and go meet the science hive. They probable face a similar dilemma.
No. 998332 ID: 465a14

Think he's dead or trying to cover for his absence? Inconvenient either way.
No. 998336 ID: 2748b3

Aw fuck, that's blood. Grab his glasses but be exceedingly careful, the data on there might be useful.

I believe Arza was responsible for some of the sabotage that's happening, maybe he noticed something going wrong and took the chance who knows. Then either a grottle got out, or more worryingly, was let out, and nabbed him on the way back.
No. 998337 ID: b1b4f3

Is it just me or is that glue outlining a panel in the wall? You should expect it to reach out of that panel right next to the glasses to grab you. Looks like bait for a trap, if you ask me.

Be careful, examine the blood trail. How much does all the fluid look purposefully placed? What would the blood trail indicate for the health of Arza, considering how much is there?

How likely are you going to be able to kill a Grottle and rescue Arza, if he's been snatched by one?
No. 998339 ID: 36784c

What’s more important: going to find Arza or bringing Quokko to her hive?

Honestly, I think you should take Quokko to her hive. This might be the only chance they get to do something while Vanski and his forces are distracted.
No. 998359 ID: de0232

Would Quokko know if another iteration of her had contacted your only ally in this place and gotten them killed crawling through maintenance shafts?
No. 998369 ID: 71ebb4

Ok, well, good news is that's not enough red blood to suggest lethality. Also good news is that anyone who wanted to bump him off in a premeditated way would have taken his glasses. So I'm guessing he, uh. Do grottles generally not kill their prey and drag them off alive? In any case you'd better take his glasses. Sounds like you're not the first one to get the idea of crawling through here. Ugh, dilemma time. While you're going over there to pick up his glasses, see if you can tell how fresh the blood is. If it's fresh, then he might still be alive and you might have to go after him, but only if that way doesn't look like you have high chance of getting stuck. If it's at all old, then... whatever happened to him you're probably too late, might as well go meet the science hive and maybe then think about looking for Arza. You want to poke down that way at least a little to check how risky it is to turn your back to it.
No. 998410 ID: 53560f

Arza’s glasses, a blood trail and a whole lot of grottle glue. Sorry quokko but we kinda need to make sure he’s alive, we’ll rush to your hive afterwards.
No. 998423 ID: b1b4f3

To be clear I am suggesting we not immediately grab the glasses. It almost looks like the blood trail leads away from that, maybe Arza got attacked and ran away, abandoning his glasses, and now there's just a grottle waiting behind that panel for him to come back and try to get them?
No. 998653 ID: 5fc3a0
File 161990429401.png - (28.22KB , 1000x1000 , 1046.png )

"Those glasses. Arza's." I mutter out loud for Quokko. "That panel to the side, it looks glued up. Is that some kind of grottle trap?"
>"No, it means it's sealed shut. It does that to escape routes it doesn't want prey to use."
"And what would happen to Arza if a grottle got him?"
>"Grottles are lethal." She looked hesitant to answer, but did anyway.

The splatters of blood and glue look natural enough, but the blood is dried out. This didn't happen recently, but I'd have to see if Ciphik had a way of telling how old it was exactly.

I'm suspicious of Quokko again, but I'm already down here and all I can do about it is leave. I'm certainly not going to start looking for Arza down here.

I pick up his Arza's glasses since they should still have his data on them. I leave for the science dormitories, and much to my relief the exit is very close.

I'd be lying if I said this revelation didn't bother me. The contacts must stay out, otherwise I will definitely crumble. Even though Arza did little for me since entering this crime den, he was still my one link to the outside world that I could cling onto.

I'm going to be extremely sore at him if all he did for me was trap me in a criminal hideout then crawl in a shaft and die. I can feel bad about that callous thought when I put my contacts back in.

The exit from the shaft brings me out into a small room, where a tired looking neumono is reading a book.

He looks up at me. He doesn't say anything, and he doesn't look like he cares to, but Quokko speaks to me.

>"That's Cinnin. He's made a lot of gasses, and he blames himself for how it's been used. He's one I'd like to talk to."
No. 998654 ID: 465a14

Tell him to eat fewer carbohydrates, then. Also more seriously it's becoming increasingly clear that getting out on your own is impractical. Miss R is compromised, unfortunately, and if you just wait for hostiles to get here it's not likely to produce great results for you, specifically. You've got to rely on someone, and it might as well be Quokko. Set up some kind of talk between the two of them.
No. 998655 ID: b1b4f3

Tell him you've got a private message for him in your goggles. Hand them over.

Hmm, how come your normal AI hasn't spoke up about any of this?
No. 998656 ID: 77cba3

"You want me to translate or what?"
No. 998657 ID: e7848c

"Hi. Long story short, there's a message for you on these goggles."
No. 998658 ID: afdebc

Probably best not to speak aloud about Quokko, in case that pings some kind of surveillance. Sharing this information with one of the science hive is already opening yourself to exposure, but we can at least slow it down.

"I'm sorry to barge in, and you may not thank me for this, but I have something you need to see."

Then offer goggles.

We are about to put him in touch with the digital copy of somewhere he cared about who may be functionally dead (she describes herself as "digitized", but mind-upload tech isn't currently a solid thing, is it? You'd know, AI is your field), so you might as well try to be sensitive about that.
No. 998661 ID: 71ebb4

Gotta be careful, now. Remember that neumono can't hide their feelings very well, and around here in particular they can be made to talk. Nothing to do for now but go along with Quokko, now you've come this far, but keep it in mind. Do your goggles come with a wire to link to his tablet, there? Ask him if you can borrow it for a moment, and see if you can turn off the wireless connection on it first, if it has one.

I wonder if you should start disguising your voice when you talk to people in places you shouldn't be. How well can you do that? Try sound like... I don't know, some suave confident secret agent lady. People probably wouldn't associate that kind of attitude either with your cold non-contacts persona or the way you usually act with your contacts in. Try remember to ask about seeing the files/recordings/tests/etc you made earlier, because later on if anyone finds out about this trip that's still going to be your excuse for having been sneaking around. Don't do anything (obvious) that will outright contradict that story. Maybe even use his tablet to check your location? Create some backup for that story later on. You were an obsessive scientist who decided to protect their work in an emergency and hacked a map out of the system somehow so you could go sneak around the security to go check on it, that's probably pretty believable around here. Not likely to get the best response but better than the real one, you need some sort of cover story as a plan B if you get found out.
No. 998662 ID: bb78f2

Oh no, a tired, tortured nerd in flamboyant orange, exactly my type. Watch out he's dangerous. Dangerously hot.

Honestly, I'd just toss him the goggles without saying anything and let Quakko do the talking. He'll get the picture quick enough. Only clarify anything if he asks and use as few words as possible.
No. 998664 ID: 74d499

"So I hear you are the one to talk to about lesbianism gas?"
No. 998688 ID: 15a025

Telegram for Cinnin!
No. 998722 ID: 53560f

“Hey, Are you part of the science hive? I’m told you guys might know where Arza is. I’d also like you to check over these goggles, I think they have some kind of weird glitch.”
Toss the goggles to him and wait patiently.

Since people are currently looking for Arza, it might be a good idea to tell someone he was last near here. His guilt isn’t proven so it’s likely they’d try to rescue him if he’s alive. Just gotta figure out how to tell someone without coming off as suspicious.
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