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File 145763610483.png - (2.59MB , 1134x1134 , camera.png )
708145 No. 708145 ID: c5e0c4

Fucking hell.
Expand all images
No. 708147 ID: 2067a4
File 145763747168.png - (1.62MB , 900x900 , 2016-03-10 20_10_34.png )

I fucking hate this fucking job.
No. 708149 ID: 2067a4
File 145763819427.png - (1.55MB , 850x850 , 2016-03-10 20_23_51.png )

Goddamn angsty kids running off in the middle of the night in the fucking pouring rain.

... Fuck. Honestly, I'm just scared.
No. 708158 ID: 2067a4
File 145763911287.png - (1.48MB , 850x849 , 2016-03-10 20_36_21.png )

I mean, it's not like we don't get this kinda stuff often, it just...it's usually not like this.
"Oi! Vee! Errything alright?" A heavily accented voice jarrs me back to reality with a painful jolt.
"...Uh. I guess?"
Angelica jogs over to me, umbrella set over one shoulder. "Ya looked worried, y'know."
No. 708159 ID: 2a7417

I'm worried that the cops will find those children I kidnapped before I do. My dogs can't track anything in this rain. Stupid safety latches, stupid flat tire, stupid rain. Arrrrgh.
No. 708160 ID: f2461f

I usually look like this anyway, but let's skip the pleasantries. I have something I need to take care of so I really must be going.
No. 708161 ID: 2067a4
File 145764010004.png - (1.39MB , 849x849 , 2016-03-10 20_50_23.png )

Of course I'm fucking worried.
"We're looking for a missing child, Angie," I try to keep back an irritated growl. "No fucking surprise I'm on edge."
She shakes her head, beads of rain rolling off her ears like pearls. "I meant you don't normally let cases get to ya like this. You'll grump and complain, but you don't get scared or anythin'. What happened?"
I kind of want to tell her to fuck off, but...she's nice. She makes an effort. And god knows I can't afford to lose any more friends.
"Sorry, An. It's just...it frustrates me, you know?"
No. 708164 ID: 2a7417

It's frustrating that I can't have kids, and people who *can* keep losing them like left socks.
No. 708167 ID: 2067a4
File 145764150641.png - (1.37MB , 849x849 , 2016-03-10 21_06_25.png )

"How the fuck did this even happen? You can't just lose a child! And this one too- she had no reason to disappear!" I can feel my anger and frustration and a day full of wandering around in the rain overflowing into a growl. "This girl had good parents, a good support system, satisfying hobbies, whatever- and then she just- just leaves! Why the hell would anyone do that, An?!"
We've considered this being a kidnapping, but no. Just a twelve-year-old girl from a happy home that left in the middle of the night, went off god knows where. I mean, looking for missing kids is always tough, but this case just doesn't make any sense. Even if the girl just wanted to go on an adventure, why leave alone, at night, in the pouring early-march rain?
No. 708175 ID: 2067a4
File 145764252810.png - (1.11MB , 849x849 , 2016-03-10 21_33_09.png )

"I wish I knew." Angelica sighs then goes silent, letting the patter of rain fill the silence between us for a moment.
Eventually she takes a deep breath and turns back to me with a smile that looks more than a little forced. "We're not gonna learn anything like this, that's for sure. You wanna keep going?"
We've still got a few miles to sweep before we're done here. I'm not looking forward to it. "Any alternatives?"
Angelica smiles, this time for real. "Lunch break?" She suggests.
No. 708177 ID: 15a025

How could you eat lunch at a time like this, there's some poor little girl lost in the cold crummy rain. We must go onward and find her before it's too late.
No. 708178 ID: 2067a4
File 145764388913.png - (1.40MB , 849x849 , 2016-03-10 21_52_01.png )

As much as we'd both love to break, it's probably not the best idea.
Around an hour later, Randy comes by in a patrol car to drop off sandwiches and a thermos of hot tea, much to our delight. We eat in the car- despite his griping about wet seats, he understands the need for some reprieve from the endless rain. It's nice to feel relatively warm and dry again.
I consider initiating a conversation, feeling significantly less grumpy now that I'm no longer hungry. I don't really know what to ask about, though.
No. 708182 ID: 34dbe0

ask if there have been any relevant calls back at the station (?) - people reporting kids wandering, anyone found, etc.
No. 708195 ID: 95c676

No. 708202 ID: 15a025

Seems like a solid plan to me, let's do this.
No. 708263 ID: 96b139

are we sure she left on her own terms? maybe she hurt herself, got on the wrong train, etc.

how long has she been missing?
No. 709131 ID: 77eebd
File 145795948670.png - (835.83KB , 717x717 , 2015-10-10 10_42_36.png )

"Any news from the station?" I lean forwards to talk to Randy.
He sighs. "Not really. She's been gone around twenty-seven hours now, so she'll be all over the news by afternoon. You know the drill- 'Mia Fisherman, disappeared from her home around eleven P.M last night'..." Randy shakes his head. "I just worry we'll never find out what happened."
"So nothing in terms of motive?" Angelica finishes her tea with a gulp.
"Nothing. No suspicious behavior, no mentions of meeting strange people, just...nothing." Randy says. "We're pretty sure she ran away, the investigation team found nothing to indicate otherwise."
"Are you sure she wanted to leave?" Something in this just won't sit well with me. "Maybe she hurt herself? Or just went out for some fresh air and then got lost?"
Randy doesn't reply for a long time. "I hope so," he finally says.
No. 710062 ID: 2067a4
File 145828693650.png - (1.18MB , 849x849 , 2016-03-16 17_25_35.png )

"...Hey." An idea strikes me and I cling to it desperately- it's absurd and fucking impossible and just maybe it could work. Just maybe it could make sense. "Randy, I'm gonna need to talk to the girl's parents."
"What?" Randy turns to face me. "What is it?"
" I... I have an idea, but I need to talk to them. C'mon, please?"
He sighs in response. "Vee, you're on search and rescue. How many times do we need to go over this? It's not even something I can authorise anyway."
I try to look as trustworthy as possible. "Yeah but you could like...Talk to Xavier, right? Buy him, shit, like, coffee or something? Put in a good word for me?"
Randy hides his face in his hands. "Vee, what the hell. Why do you keep doing this?"
No. 710065 ID: 2067a4
File 145828818940.png - (1.17MB , 850x850 , 2016-03-16 17_26_19.png )

Angelica goes for being the voice of reason. "Someone is going in to talk to them this afternoon, right? You could just pass along any questions you want asked to them."
"If that would work, I wouldn't have fuckin' asked to go myself!" With each second my idea seems less and less reasonable, but that makes me all the more determined to go through with it.
"Why not?" An is genuinely confused, and I feel a twinge of guilt for yelling.
"It's...look, it just doesn't make sense when you-"
"Aand there we have it." Randy slaps a hand down on the steering wheel. "It doesn't make sense."
"You didn't fucking let me finish!"
"Vee, we work as a team here. That means you do your part of the work. Not someone else's."
"This isn't like last time!" Great. My mood is ruined again. I mean, I've gotten in trouble before, not being a team worker or whatever. Just some stupid crap. But this really is different! It's- it's not, is it.
"Forget it." The car door slams behind me when I leave. The rain is coming down even harder than before.
No. 710070 ID: 2067a4
File 145828938081.png - (1.49MB , 850x850 , 2016-03-16 17_26_46.png )

The sun has fallen below the horizon by the time we finish our sweep- by then, even Angelica is in a sour mood. Once again it's Randy who comes to collect us, though he's driving a different patrol car this time. Angelica murmurs thanks as she gets in, but other than that it's just awkward silence. Nobody on the force has found anything today, even the folks monitoring things from the dry and warm of the police station are in low spirits. Nobody likes having to look for missing kids.
There's a half-hour ride back to the station in front of me, and then I'm off duty for the day. A lot of time to kill, and I have no idea how to spend it. I wonder idly if I should apologise for my outburst.
No. 710118 ID: eaa2f5

Fuck no. Being a team member doesn't mean just filling a role and nothing else, being part of a team is about helping the other team members and doing all you can with help from them. And besides its not like you asking questions is going to make the case any harder, more information is always good regardless of how weirdly it was obtained.
No. 710136 ID: 34dbe0

hmm.. maybe if not an apology per say, just like ... try again, more gently this time, to explain where you were coming from? it's worth trying to smooth things over just in the sense of making sure everyone's on the same page.
No. 710137 ID: 34dbe0

also: what was your idea, anyway?
No. 710798 ID: 02422f

What were you thinking of asking them, and why wouldn't it work if someone else did it? Normally these kinds of investigations send detectives or people who are otherwise trained to talk to people in these situations.
No. 710828 ID: f6595e

If you tell us what your idea was, maybe we can help you phrase it in a way that makes sense.

Also, I get the impression this has happened before? What was the outcome last time?
No. 711205 ID: 2067a4
File 145884365496.png - (1.19MB , 849x849 , 2016-03-23 22_28_48_20160324190447383.png )

...Okay. So. This is going to sound fucking absurd- but hell if this isn't weird enough already. So, you know who disappears without a trace? Who can be gone for years and few even seem to notice? Who seem to have no reason to have gone? Chosen ones. Heroes. Kids destined to save the world who just poof out of their own lives and nobody seems to care. I'm- this is why I didn't want to suggest this, okay?- I'm not saying we're dealing with magic or superheroes or any weird shit but... It feels plausible that... Maybe she thought she was meant for something special like that. Maybe someone convinced her. I can't just come out with an idea like this, though- it's hardly logical. Fairytale crimes aren't something that actually happens. Still, this feels like a part of something bigger. Something different. Though I should know by now not to trust my instincts.
...And you want to know what happened last time, too. Well. The short version is I was on a team looking into the murder of this one girl, insisted on talking to her brother myself, accidentally scared the everloving shit out of him and...things kinda escalated. I may or may not have put someone in the hospital.
... It wasn't as bad as it sounds, if you can believe that. They didn't fire me, after all.
No. 711207 ID: 2067a4
File 145884416432.png - (1.28MB , 849x850 , 2016-03-23 22_29_14.png )

God. That sounds even weirder when you say it out loud.

"Uh. Hey." I nudge Angelica lightly. "I, um, wanted to, shit, kinda apologise? I sort of overreacted back there, I didn't mean to yell at you. I'm sorry. It was kind of a terrible idea anyway." I trail off awkwardly. She doesn't reply- I feel like she doesn't really know what to say. The landscape passing outside is blurred by speed and darkness.
No. 711210 ID: 2067a4
File 145884651079.png - (1.17MB , 849x849 , 2016-03-24 19_52_45.png )

The patrol car is just leaving the interstate when Angie leans forward to talk to Randy. "Can you drop me off over here?" She gestures to a nearby bus stop. "I just realised I still need to buy some stuff for dinner."
Randy protests mildly, but pulls over anyway. I want to explain myself to them, but it doesn't feel like a good time to press the matter. Even if today had been better than it was, we're still all tired and grumpy and discouraged. There'll be time to talk tomorrow, especially with the new info from the girl's parents. Maybe things will look better in the morning.
No. 711213 ID: 2067a4
File 145884696842.png - (1.18MB , 849x849 , 2016-03-24 19_53_10.png )

By the time Randy drops me off at the station, it's nearly eight P.M. It turns out I'm off duty tomorrow until someone calls me, so I'll hopefully get to sleep in a little. The station is almost exactly in the center of the city, so it's close to everywhere from here. I can go straight home now, or spend some time in the city- I have around two hours until most shops close. So, what now?
No. 711346 ID: 02422f

Are chosen ones / heroes something that actually happens here, or are you just worried that someone put the idea in the kid's head?
No. 711421 ID: 34dbe0

who's your lockscreen?

let's grab a drink at a quiet bar to unwind and then head home.
No. 711422 ID: 00e9d6

Does it actually matter where it originated the end result was her choice
No. 711435 ID: 2067a4
File 145894006725.png - (1.27MB , 849x850 , 2016-03-25 21_39_15.png )

> Who's your lockscreen?
Uhhhehe... That'd be Lily. She works at one of the local clinics and is probably one of the coolest people I know. If not the coolest. I've... been meaning to ask her out for a while now, but uh...I'm not that good at all this dating stuff. Um. Anyway.
I decide to go to grab a drink- the nearest good bar is called the Red Herring, funnily enough. It always feels strangely ironic whenever I go there, considering my line of work. They serve the greatest food, though.
No. 711437 ID: 2067a4
File 145894106143.png - (1.35MB , 849x849 , 2016-03-25 22_08_55.png )

I order a beer and some nachos. The lady running the bar today is new, but she seems pretty confident in her job. I pick a seat in the quietest part of the bar, where I have some room to think.
No. 711440 ID: 2067a4
File 145894213306.png - (1.50MB , 850x850 , 2016-03-25 22_16_33.png )

Everything tastes great, as usual. I'm glad to finally unwind a bit, but I can't seem to keep work off my mind.
Chosen ones aren't really something that happens here, at least not that I know of. We do have people who do like...magic and stuff, but nothing that could open portals to other worlds or anything. I'm worried it's more a case of someone manipulating the girl to run away from home... If I prayed, I'd be praying this isn't a kidnapping. As such, hope will have to suffice.
I'll be heading home once I finish my food, but I'm not in any rush- there's time enough to puzzle over another thing or two.
No. 711442 ID: 668515

why is ther such a delay between posts? id draw/write it all in a big batch, this way the audience isnt sure when the update actually ends
What kinda magic stuff?
No. 711444 ID: 2067a4

I had some people over and couldn't post things all at once because of that! Sorry! Thanks for the tip though haha
No. 711590 ID: 02422f

Yes, mull over the magic stuff.
No. 711767 ID: 2067a4
File 145910436578.png - (1.40MB , 849x852 , 2016-03-26 13_30_55.png )

Magic...Isn't really my area of expertise. I understand why people find it appealing, but I guess I just don't have much faith in that kinda stuff. I've dealt with a few different kinds of magic over my time in the police, some more effective than others.
Of course there's all that hippie love-and-light shit, which I think is pretty popular- y'know, flowers and crystals and dancing or whatever. I'm not sure how it works, if it even does work. I'm sceptical, but whatever makes people happy.
And then there's the other kind. The fucked up kind. It's stuff like that that makes me question my firm belief in the science and logic of the world. I've only seen it happen twice, and I hope never to see it again. And one beer is hardly enough for anyone to ask me about that.
No. 711768 ID: 2067a4
File 145910440543.png - (1.36MB , 849x851 , 2016-03-26 13_31_08.png )

I leave a tip and go, crumpling the paper I've been staring at into my pocket. It's this kind of stuff that makes me feel so weird about my job- when you hear about tragedies on the news, it's just plain sad. But give those people a name, a face, an identity? It hurts . You think you'd get used to it, but you don't. Sometimes I wish I was as callous and unfeeling as people seem to think I am.
I walk home through the back streets, taking the shortest route. The rain has paused for a moment, and the lights of the city color the clouded sky an uneasy, rusty orange. When I finally unlock the door to my apartament and slip inside, I release a breath I hadn't realised I was holding. It's good to be home.
No. 711773 ID: 2067a4
File 145910899945.png - (1.26MB , 849x850 , 2016-03-27 20_19_16.png )

I live alone and there's not much I want to do anyway, so I just take a quick shower and get ready for bed.
No. 711775 ID: 2067a4
File 145910938502.png - (1.42MB , 849x851 , 2016-03-27 20_19_25.png )

Just as I start to doze off, my phone buzzes. I roll over to check it- looks like I've got two new messages.
One is from Angelica, and the other from Lily.
No. 711786 ID: 5ad4a7

Business before pleasure.
No. 711803 ID: f36501

Fuck that!! See what your lady friend is up to.
No. 711858 ID: 09eda1
File 145916632973.png - (1.18MB , 849x849 , 2016-03-27 20_47_51.png )

Work comes first, I suppose. It wouldn't be good if I ignored an emergency.
Angelica S. 9:45 PM 19/3/2012
hey sorry for giving you the cold shoulder today, ive had a lot on my mind. anyway there will be three patrols going out tomorrow around 8, youll be searching the city ok? have a good night. angelica

...huh. That's a lot better than I expected.
No. 711860 ID: 09eda1
File 145916637129.png - (1.12MB , 849x851 , 2016-03-27 20_48_03.png )

I open the message from Lily.

Lily ♡ 9:56 PM 19/3/2012
Hey!!! Hope this message doesn't wake you up but I heard you mentioned on the radio!! It must really suck doing a search in weather like this, how do you stay dry?? ('^')" Oh that reminds me, I'm off work this week- do you want to grab a drink sometime? Sleep well!! ☆ Lily

...she's so nice.
No. 711886 ID: 5ad4a7

>do you want to grab a drink sometime?
Dude she's into you! Accept the invitation if you've got any possible timeslot to do it.
No. 712016 ID: f873b3

On the topic of your hunches, the way you've phrased them is not entirely unreasonable - it seems like you could maybe get somebody to ask related questions. Like, if you explain it from the point of view of "The kids had everything going for them; there's nothing for them to run from. What if they were instead running *to* something illusory? Delusions of grandeur, possible fame or fortune." Is magic a publicly acknowledged thing? If so, kids having an idea of being "the chosen one" might not be completely unreasonable. "And heaven forbid it was instigated or encouraged by a 3rd party."
No. 712694 ID: 15a025

>do you want to grab a drink sometime
Having your mind on something else might do you good. Go out and grab a few drinks.
No. 712698 ID: b1d719

also yes grab a drink
consider doing some scandalous handholding while youre at it
No. 716565 ID: 02422f

Text back, acknowledging and thanking her.

Say yeah, you'd like that.
No. 719264 ID: 5fe984
File 146165367949.png - (1.29MB , 849x849 , 2016-03-23 22_29_27.png )

I send Angie a reply, short and civil, if a bit curt. My response to the other message takes a bit longer to write- I'm not really sure gow to reply without sounding weird.
Hey Lily! Thanks so much for writing, and yes- I'd love to go get a drink sometime! I'm not sure what my week will look like yet, but maybe we could meet tomorrow after I finish work? Good night and see you soon!
...It sounds okay, I think.

The morning finds me already dressed, cup of coffee in hand. A second message from Angelica notifies me that a one "R. Willows" will be here to pick me up in fifteen minutes, so I still have a moment before I leave. I've never met officer Willows, so I'm not sure what to expect, but I don't feel too worried. I sit down at the kitchen table and check my phone one last time.
> Check the news?
> Look at a map of the city?
> Something else?
> Nothing for now.
No. 719270 ID: 34dbe0

news for sure!
No. 720751 ID: 15a025

We should check the news.
No. 720920 ID: 3641d4

Grab some more coffee and check the news. Maybe they've got some new info?
No. 720940 ID: cd90cb

Take a look at the map of the city and start thinking of good places you haven't looked yet.
No. 722920 ID: 2067a4
File 146312753960.png - (1.09MB , 849x849 , 2016-05-13 08_30_33.png )

I pour myself some more coffee and open the news. Hm... there's a piece on a new fantasy game coming out, some political scandal, and an article on using dragonfruit to promote healthy hair. What the fuck.
I switch to the local news, since that looks to be the only chance of getting actual information. Seems there was some sort of fire last night way over in the industrial quarter, though thankfully free of casualties. Poor Mia's all over the news too, and the article is pulling the whole "the police have no leads" thing. Okay, can't really blame them. It's kinda true.
The maps on my phone won't load, but thankfully I know most of the city by heart. If I remember right, I'll be checking the south-east part of the city; that's clubs, alleys, seedy little shops... I'd rather be on the patrol that goes through the main part of the city. Marketplaces and parks really sound more appealing. It's kind of a selfish way to think about this though, I suppose.
No. 722921 ID: 2067a4
File 146312758006.png - (1.15MB , 849x849 , 2016-05-13 08_31_20.png )

The doorbell rings and I get up to answer it.
"Officer Willows here, great to see you!" A wolf pushes through the doorway with a wide smile. "You're Vee, right?"
"Uh. Yeah." Suddenly I'm not feeling too chatty. I pull out a chair at the kitchen table. "Um. Coffee?" I offer.
Willows shakes their head empathetically, plopping down in the chair. "I'm good, thanks! I had a mocha on my way here." They drum their fingers against the tabletop. "Oh! Great to see you're in civilian too!" They laugh sincerely. "I was worried I'd forgotten we should be in uniform, hah."
I take a gulp of coffee, wincing slightly at the bitterness beneath the sugar. "Nah. The memo said civilian clothes."
No. 722922 ID: 2067a4
File 146312761153.png - (1.23MB , 849x849 , 2016-05-13 08_31_36.png )

"We should probably get going.." I check my phone, it's already past eight. I do a last sweet of the room, making sure I have everything I need. Wallet, check. Phone, check. ID, check. I grab my keys off the counter. "Are you ready, officer Willows?"
Willows gives me a cheerful thumbs-up. "Just call me Rye. Let's go!"
I shut the door behind us and follow Rye down the stairs. As we reach the exit, I take a deep breath. Okay. I can do this. I steady myself and step out into the early-morning light.
No. 723057 ID: 15a025

Hit up the seedy shops first. Maybe they've got some kind of child slave trade ring going on you could expose.
No. 723912 ID: 20e274

Whoops just noticed spelling error, that should be sweep not sweet! Anyway, I got some neat markers yesterday so! The next updates might be in color if you guys want!
No. 732573 ID: 13e5d4

Not sure how I'd feel about color in this quest. I kind of like the style you're using right now. btw, amazing story!
No. 732617 ID: 2ec50f

Any stores or people in that shady area that you know have bad records, maybe with stuff involving kids? If not, could you get that information from the station? Or maybe Rye knows.
No. 732618 ID: 2ec50f


Oh yeah, forgot to put this in my reply. The color vibe it has now actually is pretty fitting to your story, its nice. :) Good job on getting a nice cool atmosphere! If you want to try out color, I don't see why not, you do you!
No. 739837 ID: b68e42
File 147000257748.png - (1.29MB , 850x850 , 2016-07-31 20_12_49.png )

"Are you sure this is the place?" The door is heavy, the clunky metal kind that's always a pain in the ass to pull open. "It doesn't look like...Well. Much of anything, really."
Rye shakes their head. "Wait 'til you see the inside- this is totally the place to be!"
"We're working," I remind them, following them down cement stairs into the building's basement.
"Doesn't mean this can't be fun..." Rye waves a hand. "And don't worry. If there's any information on our missing girl, it'll be here."
I bite back a sharp remark. Am I the only person that actually cares about this? This isn't a fucking game!
"You're optimistic," I finally say, doing my best not to sound bitter.
"Well, somebody should!" Rye stops in front of a door set in the corridor's wall, the same type as the entrance one. It's an old habit, but I knock quietly- first knuckles, then just fingertips. Reinforced steel, soundproofed from the other side. You'd probably need dynamite to crack this one open.
Rye pushes against it- for better or for worse, the door is unlocked.
No. 739838 ID: b68e42
File 147000265947.png - (1.32MB , 850x850 , 2016-07-31 20_12_58.png )

I'm struck with a multitude of sensations- flashing lights and velvet and choking, lavender smoke. I've barely stepped inside when I bump into a waitress- she stumbles but doesn't drop her tray, somehow not spilling a single drop of the drinks she's carrying. "Sorry!" I can barely hear myself over the music, bass so low I can feel it in my chest.
The waitress waves her free hand dismissively. "S'alright, honey, happens all the time." She looks me up and down, raises a single, perfect eyebrow. "You new here, love?"
"I think we'll skip the tour today, Cass." Rye interrupts, suddenly standing beside me again. "Sorry." They smile apologetically at the waitress- Cass, I correct myself- and rub the back of their neck. "We're here to see mister Ziggy, actually."
"Are you really." Cass raises her other eyebrow, but doesn't seem particularly moved. "You got an appointment, starshine?"
"Wait-" I take advantage of the momentary lull to face Rye. "Mister Ziggy? As in the Ziggy? As in g-"
"Later." Willows' peppyness is suddenly gone, as if I've said something wrong. The hand they're rubbing their neck with tightens for a second, but then the moment is over, almost unnoticeable.
"We have important business to discuss with Mister Ziggy, Cass. Could you please tell him Willows and guest are here to see him?"
Cass glances around, eyes flickering over the club- or at least what resembles a club, because I've never seen a place quite like this. The room is largely empty right now, though- probably because it's still so early.
"Yeah," she finally says. "You two better wait here, then."
No. 739852 ID: 15a025

Take a moment to think of some good questions. Maybe you could ask your partner here a little bit more about this place as well.
No. 740300 ID: 35a83f

Bust out some dance moves and enjoy the music.
No. 740546 ID: c14752
File 147040006050.png - (1.25MB , 849x849 , 2016-07-31 21_19_18.png )

As soon as Cass disappears behind a pair of double doors at the far end of the room, I whip around to face Rye.
"Now, tell me, Willows," I can feel a snarl creeping into my voice, but I choke it down. "Why the fuck have you brought us here?"
Rye shrugs, but doesn't look away. "These are the only people who can help us. You know that, Officer, right?"
We're unprepared- Rye should know that. I rub my arm, slowing my breath to match the rythm of the music. Ba-bump, ba-bump, ba-bump. In, out. In, out. "We can't hold our own against a gang," I say.
They shrug again. "You wanna find the kid or not?"
"Look, it's-" I lower my voice. "The job has its risks, but this is unnecesary- You could've at least mentioned where we were going, anything-"
I break off. Cass is back, leaning against the bar- she sees me looking and gives a little wave. "Hey," she says mildly.
"Cass! You said we had visitors?" The double doors swing out, the draft filling the room with the cloying, fruity smell of pipe-smoke. In a cloud of purple, Ziggy steps into the room.
No. 740547 ID: 330e69
File 147040156546.png - (1.23MB , 850x850 , 2016-07-31 20_13_17.png )

"Ah, there they are!" The poodle swings around, voice low and lilting, outspread arms marking a circle in the air. "What business brings visitors to our humble establishment?"

Ziggy takes a puff off his pipe, exhales a slow stream of smoke. I can't help but follow his every motion as he walks towards us- he moves with the grace of a dancer, the lithe lightness of his walk almost unfitting for someone powerful. I've never seen him in person before, but he is instantly recognisable, an artificial beauty bordering on grotesqueness. Cass moves aside to let him pass, and he gives her a slight nod, the motion almost mechanical in contrast. He turns to Rye, the easy smile on his face unchanging, but it doesn't reach his eyes. "You are aware you were warned not to enter these premises, no?"
No. 740551 ID: 15a025

Oh boy... Rye, what did you do to get banned from a gang's club?
No. 740562 ID: 2ec50f

Straight-up say that you are here for a missing kid, any attempts to stop you from investigation will put them in immediate suspicion.

Does any gang want to get the reputation of being a kiddy-snatcher?
No. 740686 ID: cbedfa
File 147050379007.png - (1.15MB , 850x849 , 2016-07-31 20_13_28.png )

"This isn't a personal visit- we're looking for a missing kid." I don't give Rye a chance to say anything and push forward to hand Ziggy a photo of Mia. "This is an investigation, sir, so I'd take it kindly if you were to answer my questions properly." It's not a threat, as much as I'd like it to be- all of us know who holds power here. I'm fucking seething, but I can't afford that right now. "Have you seen this child?"
Ziggy's face is impassive as he looks over the flyer, eyes narrowed ever-so-slightly as he reads. "Niet," he finally says. "You will have to ask around." He exhales, wreathing us in smoke. "Cassandra, she will take you to our watchman, if you wish. If you would not mind, I would remain here with your friend for a few moments...We have, ah, matters to discuss."
"I'm not sure we want to split up..." Rye meets my gaze and gestures vaguely, unreadable.
"You will come of no harm, if that is your worry," Ziggy takes another puff off his pipe, pearl-white teeth cracking into a grin. "Not yet."
No. 740718 ID: 398fe1

Does that extend to both of you? If so, okay.
No. 740791 ID: 2ec50f

Who is here to ask? What information can u get from these looooooooooooooooosers
No. 741118 ID: 4562ec
File 147067911485.png - (1.26MB , 850x850 , 2016-07-31 21_19_27.png )

Well that sure wasn't the least fucking bit ominous.
"So, is that 'we both get to leave safely', or? I'm not really digging the whole 'plural "you"' today." I fold my arms across my chest. "Sorry, I think I'm getting a headache and I really don't feel like going through cryptic gang procedure."
Ziggy stares at me for a while, long enough for me to start doubting the sense behind my outburst. "You're odd," he says mildly. "I would speak to your friend, now- no harm shall come to either of you."

"Okay," I concede. "I can work with that. So, who here can I ask?"

Cass steps forward, stands on her toes to whisper something to Ziggy. After a moment, he straightens up. "Our watchman is up on the roof right now- you can go speak to her, if you wish. Cassandra will walk you to our records room when you're ready." He waves a hand. "You may go."
No. 742036 ID: 685e8b

That turned out better than expected. Thank them and check with the watchman.
No. 742042 ID: 2ec50f

Alrighty, go to that watchman, but be careful. Always be prepared for a jump or a fight in this sorta place.
No. 742043 ID: 2ec50f

Let's think of questions to ask, like: Did you see a little girl of this description on so-and-so time? Do little girls come through here often? Who would we ask for more info? Where can u get a good coffee around here?
No. 746046 ID: b68e42
File 147301441983.png - (1.22MB , 850x850 , 2016-07-31 21_19_03.png )

Cass is quiet while we walk, hard-soled shoes clack-clack-clacking on the linoleum floor. The hall is badly lit, light fixtures that could use replacing. It smells like hand sanitizer.
I consider asking Cassandra something, but the silence doesn't seem forced, just thoughtful. I let it go. I prepare myself for talking to the watchman, whoever they are. I wonder why Willows knows about this place.
The building reminds me of a highschool I used to go to- metal staircases and dark halls and that pervasive, weird chemical smell. I trail my fingers along the walls as we walk, trying to memorise our path. Left. Right. Left. Stairs, stairs, stairs. Left again, locked door. More stairs. Just in case.
Cass stops abruptly in front of yet another door, and I nearly run into her. There's a window a little ways past the stairwell and I can see a sliver of sky between the buildings outside, a thin stripe of cornflower grey.
"You're okay with heights, right?" She says.
"Sure," I say. It's not a lie.
Cass pulls a ring of keys out of her pocket, and they jangle as she fits one of them into the door's lock. "Be careful," she tells me. "There aren't any barriers up here, so don't go too close to the edge."
No. 746047 ID: b68e42
File 147301450066.png - (815.76KB , 849x849 , 2016-09-04 17_44_43.png )

I inhale deeply, wind pulling at my hair as I step outside. Pale, thin clouds scud by overhead, carrying away the wet old leaves that have come up from under the melting snow. The air tastes of rain and fresh earth, almost enough to hide the oil and rust of the city below.
"Over here." Cassandra points to a sort of small shed standing beside the entrance we just passed through. She rubs her arms, kneading out the goosebumps rising on her skin. She's dressed even lighter than I am, chilled by the crisp spring air. "Wait here a moment, mm'kay? I'll go explain the situation." She mutters something and walks off.
As I lean out to look over the edge of the roof, I'm thankful the surface is flat and even. It doesn't look that high from the ground, but I really wouldn't want to fall from up here.
No. 746048 ID: b68e42
File 147301455381.png - (1.12MB , 850x849 , 2016-09-04 17_45_19.png )

There's a commotion from the shed, and the sound of something slamming against a table. The door swings back open and Cassandra walks out, followed closely by a short, pale-haired rabbit.
"Officer Vee, this is Yuri, Yuri, this is officer Vee," Cass introduces us. Yuri looks me up and down, and doesn't shake my extended hand. She shoves her hands into her cargos' pockets instead, scuffing at the ground with the toes of her combat boots. "Mhm," she grunts.
"Pleased to meet you," I say. I lower my hand, unsure of what to do with it, then reach into my pockets to pull out my ID. Yuri stares at me the whole time, unblinking and unwelcoming.
"As Ms Cassandra said, I'm officer Vee," I say. "I'm here to look at the records and surveillance footage from the last few days." I resist the urge to squirm under her gaze- I'm uncomfortable, but I can't afford to show it. "We're looking for a missing kid," I add, lamely.
"...Ohhh." The rabbit's eyes flash with what appears to be the barest amount of recognition. "So you're with that cunt downstairs," she finally says.
"Um." I shrug, at a loss. "I guess? Yeah. I am. Right."
"Mhm." Yuri turns to spit over the edge of the roof, silent as she watches the saliva spatter on the pavement below, and I follow her gaze. She's quiet for a long, long time, long enough for me to worry she's forgotten I'm here. Cass stirs, next to me, and moves off to wait inside, in the warmth.
"You got any smokes?"
I look up with a start to meet Yuri's cool gaze. "Sorry?"
"I said, you got any smokes?" She snaps her fingers, irritably. "I can't work without a smoke break."
No. 746049 ID: 15a025

Do we? If so, I suppose we could share.
No. 746208 ID: 34dbe0

yyyyes? i mean, i hope we do. this is a good sign, though, she might be open to talking as long as we move at her pace.
No. 746230 ID: b68e42
File 147309559758.jpg - (219.58KB , 850x852 , 2016-09-04 17_46_04.jpg )

"Oh. Uh." I dig half a pack of cigarettes and a lighter out of my jeans. "Here."
Yuri takes a cigarette and sticks one end in her mouth, then lights it with a click of the Zippo. She nods stiffly, hands back the lighter and exhales a slow stream of grey. She's quiet again, sucking on the cigarette hard enough for the tip to flare.
I light a smoke for myself and offer Yuri the pack again- she takes one and lights it on the end of the first, steady fingers. There's a bunch of tiny scars on her wrists, little patches of raised white skin. She catches me looking and stuffs her hands back into her pockets, dropping what's left of the old cigarette onto the gravel covering the roof. She stubs it out with a boot, eyes fixed on the ground. "You wanted to see security footage," she says flatly.
"Yeah." I extinguish my cigarette (barely half burned, she smokes so fast compared to me) and stick it back in the box. "That would be nice."
"I don't wanna get arrested," Yuri shrugs. "Over here."
She opens the door to the shed with a half-hearted kick and I follow her inside. Yuri pushes aside a stack of papers and sits down in the only available seat, a plastic chair set in front of a table covered in computer monitors and food wrappers. She turns on the screens one by one, watching them flicker to life.
"Date," she prompts.
"Right. So." I double-check my notes. "The day before yesterday, that's-"
"March fourteenth."
"Yeah. From, uhh, eleven P.M. on march fourteenth to seven A.M. this morning, all outside cameras." I rub my nose. "You got all that?"
"3/14 (23:00) - 3/16 (7:00), all outside cameras," Yuri says. "32 H of footage per camera." She raises an eyebrow, managing to look vaguely more interested than before. "32 x 6 H total. That's gonna take a while."
No. 746232 ID: 34dbe0

"i can wait."

she's being surprisingly cooperative, given her initial attitude - make sure to thank her for doing this
No. 746235 ID: b68e42
File 147309742646.gif - (4.08MB , 845x847 , www_GIFCreator_me_jrLYM7-1.gif )

Content warning for flashing colors and images in the attached file this time around! Please be careful!

"I can wait," I say.
Yuri shrugs.
"Oh, uh." I scratch the back of my neck. "Yuri, right?"
"Yeah?" Her eyes narrow slightly.
"I wanted to say. Um. Thanks."
She tilts her head suspiciously. "?"
"I wanted to say thanks," I repeat. "For helping me out, I mean. It means a lot."
"It's not like I have much to do around here anyway," Yuri shrugs, but her expression softens slightly. "You got a photo of the kid?"
"Right." I hand her the flyer.
She studies it carefully, drinking in the image, then hands it back. "Okay," she says, stretching as she turns back to face her desk. "You might wanna close your eyes for a second now..." Her fingers touch the screens, and then the monitors explode into color.
No. 746236 ID: b68e42
File 147309746138.png - (1.11MB , 849x849 , 2016-09-04 17_46_13.png )

No. 746237 ID: b68e42
File 147309749887.png - (1.12MB , 849x851 , 2016-09-04 17_52_49.png )

No. 746240 ID: 8d5347

.... magic? maybe? or something else? what WAS that
No. 746243 ID: e3f896

Did you get any information out of those colors, or did it seem like gibberish to you? And hey, most importantly, did Yuri get chu what you was all looking for?

Also was that forehead eye always there
No. 746271 ID: b68e42
File 147310319424.png - (1.31MB , 850x849 , 2016-09-04 17_52_07.png )

What... what the eveRLOVING FUCK.

Yuri blinks slowly, unfreezing as she removes her hands from the computer screens. The colors die down and wink out one by one, leaving the monitors blank save for a set of barely-visible fingerprints. She takes a step back in a badly-concealed stagger and sinks back into the chair. Yuri reaches under the desk and pulls out a six pack of beer, pops one open and takes a really long drink.
"Pissface," she says, faintly.
"Wha- how did you do that?" I try not to look too closely at the third eye folding itself back into her forehead, clear discharge leaking into her fur as layers of skin knit themselves back together.
"I'm fucking awesome," Yuri says.
"Oh," I say mildly. "That makes sense." I'm totally definitely not freaking out at all. I take a deep breath. "So. Um. Did you, uh, see anything?"
Yuri leans back in the chair, and I fall silent as I wait for her to finish her beer. "Sure," she finally confirms. "Brat went through here around 2:24 A.M. yesterday morning. Short, round glasses, ugly sweater. Gotta be her." She rolls her sholders. "You still got those cigarettes?"
I toss her the pack- she takes three and puffs them one after another, chain-smoking, nicotine-hungry. I tell her she can keep the rest, too.
Just as I'm beginning to doubt she has any more to add, Yuri speaks up again. "You'll wanna check out the Rust Houses," she finally says. She stubs out a cigarette against the side of one of her computers with the hiss of burning plastic, already losing interest in me. "So. Yeah. Watch your back or whatever, I guess." She falls silent for a beat. "...I really think you should go now."
"Oh. Right." I turn in the doorway, the draft swirling through layers of cigarette smoke, mixing old and new. "Yuri?"
She twists to look at me over her shoulder. "Hm?"
"Thank you. I mean it."
I step out, cross the roof in three long steps, and head back into the main building. It looks like I'm done here for now.
No. 747113 ID: f30b99

Since there's nothing else, go back and check to see if your friend is finished talking. Then both you can follow the lead you just got.
No. 747861 ID: 3e79eb

Hmmm, it would have been nice to get a copy of that footage, but maybe we have the lead we need for now.
No. 757044 ID: 9af702

Chapter Two: http://tgchan.org/kusaba/quest/res/757043.html
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