Lumaire Nights

Toggle Rules

The GM of this roleplay hasn't created any rules! You can do whatever you like!

Taking place in...

Earth 2075 our primary setting

Earth 2075. Set 60 years from our present day, this is a marred dystopian future with a few glimpses of hope.

The Story So Far... Write a Post » as written by 3 authors

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Coen Kejong Yoon Character Portrait: Tia Marie St. Cloud Character Portrait: Emmett Tigron Character Portrait: Eliz Nasso Character Portrait: Viktor Romanovich Ivanov Character Portrait: John-Olav Brekke Character Portrait: Tyran Bulgari Character Portrait: Jennifer Trent

0.00 INK

[Co-written with El_Gringo]

03/20/2075
0700 Hours
LSP Headquarters


"Jesus. The coffee's cold."

He had only realized it once it had touched his lips, his right hand no longer felt sensation. Coen Yoon forced what he believed to be last night's coffee down his esophagus, emptying the plastic cyclinder it came in. The temperature affected the flavor, and this particular brew did not deserve to be cold. It probably wasn't worth drinking. Coffee was coffee though, and he couldn't complain as he rarely got around to making it.

"Wasn't my turn," replied one of the patrolmen loitering in the break room.

The officer didn't seem to mind the cold coffee, but he seemed barely enthused to quaff it himself. The news feed playing on his terminal kept him distracted. The device was a screen slightly bigger than the man's hand, and it was completely transparent when turned off. It had full access to the Net and was mainly a communication tool.

Coen's own terminal chimed. At this early in the morning, he had no doubt as to who it was.

"C.K., I need you in my office ASAP."

Captain Alexandra Paris' British colonial accent remained ever fresh from the beginning of the day to the waning hours of the shift. She was Nigerian by nationality, but she took it up as a result of socializing with colonials in her younger years. Her voice never hinted at decay or weariness from the veteran in all of Coen's years as a detective in her unit.

"Yes ma'am," Coen dumped the cup in one of the recycle units and headed down the hall.

Normally he would have had a chance to sit down at his desk with a good fifteen minutes to himself to try and write a half-decent report. Paperwork was never his forte. On this particular morning, it could have been to enjoy what would have been a nice hot cup of coffee. The routine had taken a detour, and it seemed distressing.

Coen could only wonder.

-

Captain Alexandra Paris was nobility, or perhaps gentry. Neither existed officially in this part of the world, but her family's wealth had earned her the right to walk around the office with such an implicit air.

As Coen stepped into the office, he could see her patiently reviewing her files. Her lashes flickered as she looked up, she quickly swiped away the files on her monitor and turned to him.

"Morning C.K. How have things been so far?" her hands clasped in front of her like the headmistress of a prep school.

"Morning Cap', nothing too exciting going on," Coen would reply with about as much brevity as the captain's own crisp words.

The remnants of the coffee's taste had started to turn bitter in his throat a bit early in the morning. Coen was neither an augur nor an actuary, he could not divine from this what path the day would take.

"Ma'am if you wanted to know about John, you would have called him in. What's this about?"

She nodded, paused, and then spoke.

"Pope is breathing down my neck. The last few years haven't been exactly golden ever since Bamako."

"That's what you get when half the force is cut down."

"Politicians overreacting more like it."

"They make a PR stunt out of anything," Coen shrugged, "If it makes you feel better, I'm on your side."

"So is Pope, but that's all a mystery," the captain inhaled a deep breath and stood up, "I'm assigning you and John to a couple of transfers coming in from several other units."

"FCU and Narcotics seeing extinction pretty soon?"

Paris remained motionless, "It's only a matter of time before the entire LSP merges with one of the corporate outfits."

She shifted her gaze to Coen, body turned away toward the skyline outside her window.

He responded, "No more traffic duty would be a plus at least."

Her gaze remained unchanged, but then again Coen's jokes were never really jokes.

Coen with a cocked brow, "So...how fresh are they?"

"You'll see for yourself."

Coen was about to leave when the captain uttered, "Look sharp. Be sharp. Make this work. Understand, Sergeant Yoon?"

He nodded and left.

-

0711
Brekke's Desk


John-Olav Brekke sat at his desk, feet propped up on the table. His eyes had found a particularly interesting part of the ceiling to stare at. There was a little, off-white splotch on the white material above him. John was entranced by it.

His door opened, though his eyes stayed put. It had to be Coen, no one else would bother him this early. Eliz generally left him alone until 1000 if he wasn't in the field.

"Hard at work John?"

John couldn't help but put a smile on for the man. "Of course. Thinking about how much of a drain this third child is going to be on my wallet." Coen chuckled softly.

"You and I both know it is a welcome burden, hell, you wanted to get that son. Wasn't Vanessa fine with two kids?" John's brow creased a little, he tore his eyes from the ceiling; giving his attention to Coen.

"What's really up? You aren't one for idle chit chat in the morning."

"We've got some new blood coming in."

The creased brown morphed into a raised eyebrow, "Newbs?" John put his chin in his hand, rubbing two days worth of stubble he had yet to shave. "We could do with a little fresh meat." The shadow of Bamoko still hung over the department. A bit of guilt stayed with John to this day, he was on vacation in Oslo with his family when it all went down. A few in the department resented the fact that his hands had been kept entirely clean of the thing. The thought reminded him of Coen's hand, lost in the series of explosions in the school.

"I wanted to let you know John, didn't want it to be a surprise." He appreciated the respect Coen gave him, when he could easily throw his weight around insted. "Paris made it sound as if they're on the way here now."

Coen walked out as John rummaged in his chest pocket, pulling out the old sonogram photo of his son-to-be. He was playing it safer on the street lately. Being propped up in the hospital with gunshot wounds while his baby was being delivered was not the ideal vantage point.

Lumaire was a great city, but there were plenty of stupid people out there on the streets looking to kill a cop. John had a fourth person about to depend on him.

-

0718
St. Cloud's Desk



Tia Marie St.Cloud tapped away at her panels blissfully ignorant of a real world. Until Coen approached. At which point she obligated a smile, not that she wouldn't smile to him anyway. Tia opened up a new file tree with information regarding the new team. It immediately appeared on her terminal.

"Alright size 'em up for me." Coen folded his arms leaning against the desk behind them and watched as she brought up the names and faces on the screen.

"Emmett Tigron, Philly boy, his uncle was a dirty cop. He came here, was a beat cop at LSP until he passed the exam. Off duty during Bamako. Survived the cuts and admin had him working in Homicide for several months," Tia said.

"Not bad," Coen said with no change in facial expression.

She would add a snide comment, but she felt it was better placed with a more colorful new assignee.

Tia spoke, "Viktor Ivanov, born in southern Russia, parents were government workers. He immigrated here. Worked in CPU until it was folded, transferred to Financial Crimes, then went back to CPU during their little stint for some earmarks."

"That didn't work out, otherwise he wouldn't be here," Coen nodded.

"Tyran Bulgari, born in some backwater place called The Mud Narrows, ever heard?"

"No."

She chuckled, "Neither have I, was a patrolman for several years like his daddy, Erik Bulgari."

"Ah, good man. We worked a few shifts together. Didn't know his son was already..."

"If they came from a place called The Mud Narrows, did you really think you knew anything...?"

"Fair point."

"Decent cop, he's got a temper though. Let's hope he understands what it takes to get to senior detective.

"You'd be surprised as to how many prefer their personality over their paycheck."

"Would you be one of them?"

"Never had a personality. So no conflict of interest."

"Right..." Tia wanted to chalk that up under bullshit, but she had to admit he was right.

Getting to his position required a certain ingredient. In his case, it was probably luck, which was nothing special. He was just in the right place at the right time.

"It also says here that he wanted to join Narcotics."

Tia glanced at Coen with a mild grin, the latter responded with an absent shrug, "Must be luck that he landed here, he would have gotten the axe pretty soon. I was lucky, I know that."

She nodded in agreement.

"Last but not least, Jennifer Trent. Born in England. Got a bachelor's in chemistry and forensic science. Worked in forensics, then switched...for obvious reasons."

Tia felt it was necessary to add, "She's one of the lucky ones then. Her country wasn't bombed to hell..."

"The pay isn't what it used to be, she could have done something else with her bachelor's in chemistry."

"Probably. Maybe work for one of the giant pharmaceuticals or manufacturers, but that's totally none of my business. That's all of 'em."

Coen stood up, "I guess we should get started then."

-

0730
Briefing Room



The assembled group of major crimes detectives sat in their seats bleary eyed. Some were long time cops who had seen much, others were fresh to the business of being a detective. However, they all shared the same awestruck look that fresh academy recruits had painted on their faces as they recgonized that they had new jobs, offices, and superiors. It would take them some time to get used to the pace of things.

Sergeant Yoon took his seat nearest the main screen which, due to its dimensions, practically doubled as a wall and a digital water fountain whenever not used for briefings.

The other veterans casually shuffled in, unbemused by protocol. These guys could have been doing it in their sleep. Brekke took his seat on the far end behind the recruits, trying to observe each of them before he got to know them in the field. Some gave nods and exchanged handshakes with familiars before the briefing started.

The analysts, Tia and Eliz remained at their desks. They were going to be on-call the entire day while they monitored their feeds.

Then Captain Paris strode in with heels clicking on each step, she buttoned up her jacket before she took everyone in by a couple of glances.

Paris paused and smiled for a split second before she began introducing the senior members that would oversee the group closely while she managed them from afar.

"I am Captain Paris. This is Sergeant Yoon, that's Detective Brekke, and those two ladies are Eliz Nasso and Tia Marie St. Cloud, civilian analysts assigned to help you on your cases."

"I thought we were past the whole "civilian" thing," Eliz chirped.

"If you want to get technical, we're all civilians here," Paris continued unfazed by the upstart remark that she had grown accustomed to.

"Unfortunately, that's all the time we have for formalities. You'll get to know each other better eventually," she took several steps over to the main screen.

"The last 24 hours haven't reported any serious cases, so most of you might be on some form of beat duty until further notice. You've all been assigned a patrolman, but due to the fact that we're undermanned at the moment, they'll probably be doing the same thing you're doing."

Paris took the time to lean against a free railing before continuing in a more relaxed posture, "Be on the lookout for gang activity. It's been quiet, but I'm sure all of you are familiar with how quickly things can change in this city."

"Dismissed." Paris strode out with the same air she came in with.

-

Missions.


Suspicious Activity Report #1

Area- Corner of Laxmi and Hanover streets

Objective - Investigate the area, talk with the locals.

Details - The city's been relatively quiet aside from the occasional mugging. We're all sorry, Sergeant Yoon in particular, that we couldn't put you on a murder case. Maybe you should consider yourself lucky though. Anyway, we got a report of suspicious activity down at Laxmi and Hanover. Need someone to go check it out, it's probably not much but you never know. Also, there's a nice little coffee shop down there called "The Old Man's," and they sell these things called ""beignets". Pick me up a few.

- St. Cloud

Subpoenas Not Necessary

Area- Finley's on the south east side of town.

Objective - Oversee the contractors and make sure nobody gets hurt.

Details- We got a report that a group of squatters took up residence in a bar about to be demolished called Finley's. I mean a sleeping pod in one of the hovels is only three credits a night, so this shouldn't be a big deal. Unfortunately, they've barricaded themselves and the owner of the property reported that they are heavily armed. He decided it was best to call in Paragon Security Services to deal with the matter. PSS has dispatched a team, but these corporate security types can get a bit out of hand without proper oversight. We need one of you guys down there to be a liaison for LSP and the city to make sure we don't have unnecessary casualties. Make it clear that they need to rely on non-lethal methods. Don't be afraid to put your foot down when you feel they're crossing a line.

- Yoon

Bombs Are Machines Too

Area- Vance, Landover, & Hyde Law Office South Park Location

Objective- Investigate.

Details- A bomb threat was called in at the Vance, Landover, & Hyde law office at South Park. The firm is like any other firm, but they've been in the spotlight in recent years for trying to break down the limitation to mass producing AI units in the city. We're not quite sure if this is a true threat, a disgruntled employee, or an attempt to get the place swatted. But any bomb threat will always warrant a second look if I've learned anything as a cop.

- Brekke

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tia Marie St. Cloud Character Portrait: Emmett Tigron Character Portrait: Eliz Nasso

0.00 INK

Image






03/20/2075
0500 Hours
Apartment #35, Corner of Luxington and Kale.


A shrill cry pierced the silence that once permeated the room. A lazy hand reached up from it’s once prone position, slapping at the holographic display several times in an attempt to make the incredibly annoying machine shut up. Finally the man sat up, hitting the alarm probably a bit more forcibly than he needed to, propping his back up against his bed rest as he rubbed his face. It was 5 in the morning, March 20th. His first day with the Major Crimes Unit within LSPD. Homicide had been good to him, excluding the dead bodies and horribly grotesque areas he had been forced to go to. At the very least, he could say he wasn’t going to be easily surprised by anything anymore. Emmett sat in his bed for a moment, forcing himself to wake up through sheer force of will and failing horribly as his eyelids felt like someone had tied dumbbells to them. He slapped himself a couple times as he threw off the covers and wandered over to his washroom.

A quick shower and freshening up later, Emmett was back in his room sorting through his closet and dresser. His room was a fairly white and sterile looking place lacking a properly lived in look. That was mainly due to the cause of Emmett rarely spending time there other than grabbing supper or sleeping. His job was his life, so much so that not even dust had warranted to settle in the place. There was a dresser off to the side with an interactive mirror which doubled as a infographic monitor. He grabbed a couple vests from the closet and held them up in front of the mirror over top of him. In the upper corner of the mirror sat a real time display of the time, weather, current traffic conditions, and a scrolling report about stock options. Normally he wasn’t so concerned about his outward appearance, but the first day on the job was always the most crucial. He wanted to make sure he had a good impression on them, if only so that he would be allowed more slack later on.

In the end, he settled with a black vest and white dress shirt. Just for today, he also donned a red tie which he fastened into place with a clip underneath his vest. It was a bit stuffy, true, but the first impressions rule stood strong. He slipped into a pair of black work pants, not exactly formal but just sophisticated enough to work with his attire and be comfortable in. Once he was fully clothed, he spent a moment in the mirror to make sure that everything looked relatively crisp and clean, save for his somewhat scraggly beard. He had contemplated shaving it off, but it worked well enough. Along with the fact that no one took baby faced detectives seriously.

He walked out of his room into the rest of his apartment. Much like his bedroom, it was a sterile white and once again lacking in the ‘home’ department. Clean, precise, and utterly devoid of personality. A half kitchen was placed against one side of the wall leading into a living room complete with a couple of black leather couches facing a couple of black thin strips on the wall. He made his way to the kitchen, pressing a button on his coffee maker and placing a plastic cup underneath in order to get the much needed caffeine through his veins. He didn’t believe in having many dishes, and as such his garbage was already half filled with plastic utensils, cups, and plates. “TV on.” Emmett said, clearing his throat afterwards as the morning grogginess hadn’t fully passed.

A light flickered on the wall bridging the two black strips, broadcasting the local news to Emmett as he peered into his fridge and pulled out a carton of eggs. Grabbing a frying pan he quickly started cooking himself up some scrambled eggs as his coffee simmered and the news talked about some corporate asshole forcing his way up the legislative chain. Some days he didn’t know why he bothered staying in the know, when the know was filled with all sorts of shit.

It didn’t take long for his breakfast of champions to be finished and he splayed the eggs across yet another plastic plate. The coffee finished at roughly the same time, and he grabbed them both before heading to the opposite wall and hitting a button with his pinky from his coffee holding hand. A small table split horizontally from the wall, and four of the tiles raised from the floor to form a chair for Emmett to sit down on. He watched the TV with all the interest of a dying man as he munched on his eggs. The story about the corporate business man seemed to be the thing happening today as a fairly attractive blonde haired reporter forced her way through a crowd. “Way too early for you to be that chipper.” Emmett said to no one in particular as she thrust a microphone into his face.

“Mr. Leeren! Mr. Leeren! How are you facing the allegations that your company, Tomorrow’s Robotics, is involved in a conspiracy to enforce invasive robotic security measures on subsidiary companies? Do you plan to make this mandatory for any company that Tomorrow’s Robotics absorbs? What happens in the event of a hostile takeover?”

“No comment.” Mr. Leeren stated quite briskly as he forced his way into a waiting limousine. A couple of robotic security guards stepped in front of the pressing crowd, preventing them further access as the vehicle drove away. Leeren was a brick of a man who looked more at home in a trench fighting a war than in a suit fighting a lawsuit. They had been under fire for some time from pro-humanist lobbying. Several lawsuits had been issued against them, all of them being dropped naturally but they were a leading corporation in the field of advanced robotics. Anything that pushed the boundaries of what was and wasn’t acceptable was going to come under some extreme flak. That being said, Emmett couldn’t agree with Tomorrow’s Robotics stance on their security. Sure, install scanners and maybe an android or two, but they wanted to implant a chip into each and every employee to ensure company loyalty. Invasive was not a strong enough word.

“TV Off.” Emmett stated as he finished his eggs and dumped the plastic into the garbage. He cleaned up his face and took a moment to enjoy the view from his fifth floor apartment in the middle of downtown Lumaire City. He grimaced as he could see Carolin Road was completely blocked up already. A major arterial street that never seemed to move any quicker than a snail, and yet was still his fastest way to the LSPD headquarters. He walked back to his room for a moment, slipping on his underarm pistol holster and weapon before returning to the door to slip on his jacket and shoes. If he wanted to make it to the briefing in time, he would have to hurry.




0720 Hours
LSP Headquarters


Emmett wandered into the LSP building, tugging slightly at the sleeves of his black jacket. He was slightly agitated, his commute taking longer than he had anticipated due to a detour about halfway past ‘too late to take a side street’. As he looked up from his mind-distracting task of fixing a non-existent problem with his jacket, he saw the numerous secretaries and officers already busy with their jobs. If it weren’t for the fact that he didn’t have a desk and was to report in for a meeting in ten minutes, he might have assumed he was late. Being back here in the LSPD Headquarters was no big deal for Emmett. When he had been transferred to Homicide, he had spent a fraction of his time reporting to superiors who had offices in place of their guns, and were more concerned with political fallout than the fact that there was yet another murder. Life was cheap, one such detective told him upon his report. A very cynical and horrible mindset for someone who was supposed to protect the general populace. After the Bamako incident however, Emmett couldn’t say he blamed them.

He made his way through the building, taking a couple minutes to find the correct briefing room that he was supposed to be in, and ended up taking a seat somewhere in the middle of the room. Not too close, not too far. The perfect place to blend in and observe. Even though he wasn’t on a case yet, he still couldn’t stop himself from absent-mindedly doing things that had been ingrained into his training. Some people had been there by the time he showed up, and some were still entering the room right up until Captain Paris strode in, her heels clicking as she went.

The briefing started, Emmett learned the names of his immediate superiors and support personnel, and that was essentially it. Waste of a perfectly good tie. Emmett thought to himself as he stood from the seat, giving a slight roll of the shoulders and stretching. He took a glance around the room at the other detectives that had been brought into the Major Crime Unit like himself, but didn’t see anyone he immediately recognized. For the moment, he was partially lost. He didn’t have an active assignment, or even a desk...so he thought. As he walked out and peered at the open space containing several desks, he saw his name broadcast from a holographic display on the top of one. He walked over, seeing that it was the standard fare for a low ranking detective. A computer with a touch screen and keyboard, a small filing system for dealing with paperwork, and the drawers were filled with all sorts of amenities ranging from pens and paper to even tissues. Apparently they were already ready for the grieving widows of murder victims.

He sat down, allowing a moment to get used to his sleek black desk and chair thanking the almighty LSP Gods who be that his chair was actually comfortable. It was only a couple short minutes later that his phone gave a quick ‘ding’, and he pulled it out from the inside pocket of his jacket. He tapped a button and a small display hovered in front of him. He had his first assignment by the looks of it. Suspicious activity at the corner of Laxmi and Hanover? They really weren’t kidding when they said they were going to be put on some kind of beat duty for the first little bit. Granted, after running after murderers for the past several months, it might be nice to kick back on an easy little gig such as this, so long as it didn’t last forever. With a flick of his wrist the display disappeared and Emmett was on his way out the door.




0749 Hours
Corner of Laxmi and Hanover


At the very least the drive to the zone in question wasn’t nearly as bad as the drive to the precinct from his apartment. The traffic had been relatively light and he had made good time. He parked his car on the street, making sure that there was a barcode in the window in case some tow happy hippy tried to take his car under some false pretense of legal theft. If scanned, it would be recognized as an LSPD vehicle, and any damage intentional or otherwise was punishable by a fine or even jail time. Having his personal vehicle classified as such was one of the things Emmett loved about this job, it was practically a free parking pass to anywhere in the city.

He paused for a moment to look around at the surrounding area that was Laxmi and Hanover. It was average on nearly all accounts. people walked to and fro, street merchants peddled their wares and neon signs hung from buildings waiting for the sun to fall once more in order to shine in the darkness that was Lumaire’s nightlife. Granted, there was more than a few shady individuals. Several people hung around the alleys, a couple buildings looked shut down and condemned, and more than a few others glared at him with all the intent of a killer. He rubbed his face a bit, walking across the street once it was all clear. He was supposed to meet a beat cop here by the name of Officer Isaac Teeson. More specifically, he was supposed to be Emmett’s info dump for the area.

In fact, as Emmett got across the street, he saw an officer walking to meet him with two sandwiches in his hand. Young, early twenties, clean shaven. Baby blue eyes, baby skinned, baby features. He had to be nearly brand new to the force, filled with a youthful enthusiasm that would slowly be sucked from him like a thick milkshake. He was wearing the standard black uniform of the LSPD patrol officers, offering limited protection but made mainly for presence. He gave a slight smile as he finally got within talking distance. “Detective Tigron?” Emmett gave a simple nod. “Officer Teeson. Hope you like roast beef!” The man thrust forward a sandwich towards Emmett, who took it without hesitation. It seemed like it was too early to be partaking in a rather hearty sandwich, but he wasn’t about to turn down the Officer’s obvious gesture to get on his good side. Chances are he was trying to build bridges in order to get himself up through the ranks, and what better way to do that than to have a MCU detective speaking on your behalf.

“Appreciated.” Emmett said flatly as he unwrapped the foil around it and gave a good look at it. He had to admit that it did look pretty damn good.

“Billy the Butcher makes some of the best damn sandwiches you have sir.” Teeson said, taking a bite out of his. He had to have been out here since very early this morning.

“Drop the sir.” Emmett stated bluntly as he gave a quick look around the place. “We got reports of suspicious activity around this area, have you noticed anything out of the ordinary.” Teeson seemed to contemplate the question for a moment before giving a slight shrug.

“Can’t say I have. I mean, there’s a couple people around here always stirring up some sort of trouble, but that’s normal. I’d be more concerned if they somehow disappeared from my radar. Aside that, I can only tell you the rumors I happen to hear in passing. Not many people want to talk to the guy in black.” Emmett took a bite out of his sandwich, he had to admit, Teeson wasn’t wrong.

“So...say them.” Emmett said as he started walking down the street like he was on the beat again. Teeson moved in sync with him.

“Well...there’s talk of a new drug hitting town, more specifically the poorer districts but it’s supposedly making its way up here.” Teeson said as he took another bite. “Haven’t been able to discern a name from what people are saying, but if I were to take an educated guess, it would seem it’s some kind of powerful hallucinogenic.”

“Like acid? Or BM20?” BM20, an illegal drug used by many drug addled wannabes wanting to escape reality in a more visceral imaginative landscape. It was capable of making a person’s dreams become so tangible that they might as well have been real...but it worked with nightmares as well. Emmett had never been in narcotics, but even he had heard of several busts made by that department to combat the outbreak of the drug distribution. Mass hallucinations ending in violent episodes was enough to warrant a legitimized task force against it.

“From what I can gather, it’s more powerful. Yet people don’t seem to know what it’s called, what exactly it does, or who distributes it. It seems like it’s the holy grail of dream drugs.” Teeson said as he devoured his sandwich like it was going to disappear if he blinked. “But like I said, it’s only a rumor and without any kind of...well anything to be honest, it’s hard to act upon.” Emmett gave a nod.

“What else?”

“Well the local crime families have been pretty quiet so far. This little stretch of territory isn’t really worth much to them, but they’re going to expand however they want. The Cavallis and Mortegas are closest, but both seem content to simply snarl at each other across the fence for the time being. They have more important areas to gobble up it seems.” Teeson said, tossing his wrapper into a garbage can like a basketball shot. He was way too comfortable for his posting. He was either a lot smarter with his information than he was letting on, of the ‘folly of youth’ rule was applying itself dramatically.

“Aside from that, we have the occasional mugging and beating like anywhere else in the city. There’s been a couple of disappearances, but nobody of note or worth going after. Dogs have been barking like crazy, old lady Dubar yells at them and people alike, and generally everyone keeps existing.” Emmett slowly finished his sandwich, almost regretting eating it now as he felt slightly bloated.

“So who called in the suspicious activity report?” Teeson paused once more in thought, a habit he would have to break if he expected to act quickly and on the fly.

“There’s a few nutjobs around here, could have been anyone of them…” Teeson snapped his fingers lightly. “But I will bet money that if it was called, it had to do with the old 45th Apartment building.” Emmett looked over at him, luckily he got the hint to continue without Emmett having to ask him.

“It was condemned a few years ago, unfit for a dog to live there let alone a human being...doesn’t stop people from trying though. There’s been a work order on hold ‘forever’ if you ask the locals about it. No one seems to get the time to properly come by and demolish the old bird, so squatters and the homeless end up shacking up in the abandoned apartments.” Teeson waved to a couple people as he passed by them. “It would be hell to get them out of there now, there’s enough nooks and crannies in that place to hide a small army. But, if there’s suspicious activity anywhere in this area, that’s where it would be.”

“Let’s take a walk then.” Emmett stated, motioning for Teeson to lead the way.




It was only a short distance to the abandoned apartment complex, but just looking at the building Emmett could understand why they would want to tear it down. First of all, it was ugly even without the decrepit outer structure, failing infrastructure and rust covering nearly every inch of it. It looked lopsided, the horrible color choice of blue and purple, whoever had built this structure was obviously out of their mind when they had done so. The windows were all boarded up, the doors, which had been previously locked by electronic padlock had been broken into and now swung open and shut with the breeze. 7 floors of utter shit, and 7 floors of investigation that Emmett and Teeson would have to conduct in a building that looked ready to fall over at a moment’s notice. “Not the prettiest thing I’ve seen…” Emmett stated as Teeson gave a single sharp ‘Hah’.

“I’ve seen hookers down in the poorest section of the red light district that look better than that.” There was a brief moment of silence before Teeson seemed to realize what he said. “Not...that I go down there.”

“Prostitution isn't illegal anymore Teeson, what you do in your spare time is your business.” Emmett flatly stated as he made his way towards the door. Teeson gave a cough as he followed behind him.

“Anyways...I don’t really know the people in this building. I’ve found it a...better alternative to let them stay here rather than force them out and into a holding cell somewhere.” Teeson stated as Emmett pushed open the front door. This revealed a hallway crawling with all kinds of insects, dirt, and mold. Emmett held a hand up to his nose, the stench was enough to make anyone gag. How could people live here?

“So you decide that having them live in a death trap is better than putting them in a safe cell for a night?” Emmett asked, his voice raising unseen questions as to the officer’s integrity. Teeson seemed to pick up on it.

“If I go in there and pull them out, first I would have to do it one by one since dispatch won’t send anyone else out to help. Second, they would only be in the cell for a night, maybe two at best. Three, once they get out they’re going to go straight back in. It was a waste of effort and time.” Emmett got what he wanted out of that subtle jab he had put forth. Teeson had indeed tried to evict the tenants of the 45th Apartment building but nothing he tried had ever worked. Aside from demolishing this building, which it so desperately needed to happen, nothing was going to keep these people out.

“Anything you can tell me about what to expect in there?” Emmett asked, proceeding down the hall and doing his best not to touch the walls or...anything really.

“Nothing that you can’t already guess.” Teeson said, holding an arm up to his nose as well. “Bunch of squatters on a rickety pile of metal and wood. Incredibly low tech, no power.” Emmett nodded as he found his way to the stairs, which surprisingly were in even worse shape than the hallway. Several dead rats were displayed across the steps as insects devoured their carcasses. There was even remnants of blood sprayed across the wallpaper like a half-assed paintjob. Emmett was very forcibly reminded why he got out of beat duty in the first place. Emmett gave a sigh as he looked up at the stairs, afraid that his foot was going to go through them at any second.

“Dear Diary, today as my first job with MCU I proceeded to question hobos in a death trap.” Emmett whispered to himself.

“What was that Detective?”

“I said let’s get started.”




3 floors…

3 floors of nothing but incomprehensible speech, angry shouting, paranoid delusions, and more than enough shit, piss, blood and disease to make even Emmett question his job decision. How the hell were these people even surviving? How had they not died from the plague already? His initial appraisal of the neighborhood had dropped drastically once he realized this building was part of it. Maybe it was the sickly child of the block no one like to associate with, but it was still there and you simply couldn’t ignore it. Some of the stench was so bad it caused Teeson’s and Emmett’s eyes to water, yet they pushed on. Emmett was nothing if not dedicated to his job. He couldn’t leave until he confirmed that there was no suspicious activity in the area.

“Fourth floor…” Teeson said, immediately coughing a bit more. “And somehow the stench is worse up here! What are they eating that makes them smell like that!”

“Rats, paneling, rotten food from dumpsters, dead people.” Emmett responded.

“Dead people?!” Teeson exclaimed.

“Relax, I was just kidding.” Emmett stated. I hope. As they finished climbing the stairs they set about continuing their routine. This time it was slightly different. Emmett tapped his hand on the door to the apartment immediately on his left. “LSPD, I need to ask you a few qu-” The door gently slid open from the force of his touch. Not unusual, but Emmett saw that someone was slumped against the wall on the far side. He gave a low whistle to Teeson, grabbing his pistol from its holster and pushing the door open. He gave a quick sweep, and found that the rest of the room was empty...save for the forever permeating stench. His clothes were going to be ruined...the one day he decided to wear a tie.

Teeson came in close behind Emmett, his pistol also in his hands as he saw what Emmett had called him over for. Emmett holstered his pistol once he deemed it safe as Teeson slowly did the same. “Seems like a druggie to me.” He stated, Emmett gave a nod but wandered closer and knelt down next to him. “He’s probably hopped up so hard right now he can’t even register our presence.”

“Maybe…” Emmett stated, snapping a couple fingers in front of the man’s face before gently lifting the man’s chin up. The man was limp, but a quick pulse check revealed that he was indeed alive. There was still something off with him. Aside from BM20, he didn’t know about any drug that would make someone react this way, to the point of practically being catatonic. “Search the room, see if there’s anything out of the ordinary.” Teeson gave a nod, although Emmett could tell he was wondering what Emmett expected to find. Emmett took out an electronic notepad from another one of his breast pockets, giving it a moment to connect to the server back at LSPD. Once done, he started writing down notes.

Location: 45th Apartment Building, Corner of Laxmi and Hanover, floor 4, apartment 41.
Time: 0811
Notes of value:
+Male, mid 30’s, roughly 5’11, 140-160 lbs.
+Brown eyes, Brown hair, stained clothing ripped in several areas. Ungroomed, unkept, desperately needing a shower.
+No Id, no identifying items, no scars or birthmarks visible from initial inspection.
+Person of Interest is alive, although pulse is weak and unsteady.
+POI appears to be in some sort of paralytic catatonic state, unable or unwilling to acknowledge any other presence in the room.
+No obvious puncture wounds or coating around the nose, mouth, ears or eyes to suggest drug ingestion.

Emmett paused in his notes long enough to take a closer look at the man. HIs eyes were closed, and slowly forced them open. He gave a frown as the eyes were lacking completely in an iris. The entirety of it was white, which was more than a little disturbing for the detective as he returned to his notes.

+Eyes completely white, cause unknown.

“Detective.” Teeson stated. Emmett looked back at him to see Teeson kneeling down and handing him something. It was a small cylinder type object, about the size of his pinky. One end was flat, and on one side there was glass siding to see inside the object. Emmett took it in his hand, turning it around and inspecting it. There was no longer a need for gloves of sorts when handling evidence anymore. Their machines could easily find and eliminate Emmet’s fingerprints and DNA in mere seconds.

“Any ideas?” Emmett asked. He had his own, but he wanted to hear what the Officer said first before stating any of them. Grab all the facts and knowledge you could before making a decision or saying something.

“If I had to take a guess, I would assume some sort of drug delivery capsule. It’s the only one I’ve found though, and the dose would have to be pretty concentrated to do something like that to someone.” Teeson stated, motioning towards the man.

“I agree.” Emmett stated, spinning it around and feeling along the sides. He heard something click, and three tiny needles slid out the flat end of the cylinder. Definitely a drug delivery system, but unusually high grade for a vagrant to be using. They were used to dirty needles, or inhalation. “What types of drugs use a needle injection?” Teeson shook his head.

“None that I know of that give those symptoms. I mean, BM20 could possibly do that but the dose would have to be much larger than this. He would have to practically drink a jug of the stuff, and even then he would more than likely be bouncing off the walls either fighting off monsters or thinking he was going to the prom with Stephanie Scopez.”

“Stephanie Scopez?” Emmett asked. Teeson looked at him as if he had grown a third arm.

“You don’t know who Stephanie Scopez is? The Lingerie model who’s been topping the charts for overall sexiness for the past couple of years now? Really?” Emmett shrugged.

“Guess I’ve never really paid attention to that stuff”. Emmett said rather flatly. Teeson gave a scoff.

“Man, you need to look her up once you get off duty she’s...well she’s just...damn.” Emmett gave a glance over at the man, who coughed slightly. “Anyways, yeah, I don’t think BM20 could have done this and that’s the closest one I can think of. You’re probably better off asking someone in narcotics.” Emmett gave a nod, tapping his earpiece. An automated voice came through.

“LSPD Dispatch. Please state your name and badge number.”

“Detective Tigron. Badge number 4653.” There was a brief pause.

“What is your inquiry?”

“Patch me through to Tia St. Cloud.” Emmett said, taking his phone out of his pocket and saving her number so he could call her directly next time.

“St. Cloud. What can I do for you Detective?”

“I’m investigating the suspicious activity report on the corner of Laxmi and Hanover. I’ve found a drug delivery system of some kind that neither I nor Officer Teeson has seen before. I’m sending you a picture now.” Emmett took his phone and snapped a picture of the small tube. Within moments it would be on Tia’s computer.

“Alright, let’s see…” There was a pause...one that was a lot longer than he expected. “Where did you say you found this?”

“A condemned apartment building, it looks like a squatter may have overdosed on whatever was inside.”

“Well, sorry to burst your bubble detective but I don’t have anything in the database regarding this particular injection model. Is there any of the substance still left in the tube?” Emmett moved around, hoping to see something but finding nothing.

“No. Not even a drop or particle of whatever could have been in here.”

“Highly efficient…” Tia stated. “Not something you usually see among the lower class. Could be commercial grade, I’ll try scouring through hospital and medical research records to see if I can find something relating to this injector.”

“Appreciate it St. Cloud.” Emmett ended the call with a little bit of deflation. If this kept going the way it was, they were looking at yet another new drug hitting the streets. By the looks of it it was going to be a dangerous one. This straggler in front of them was most likely a test subject, used as a way to gauge the side effects before mass production could take place. If Tia didn’t have anything on the injection device, that meant he had managed to stumble upon it during its preliminary phase...which was dangerous for everyone involved. If whoever was making this drug spent this much money and time on a highly efficient delivery system, you could only imagine the money and work put into the actual drug itself.

“What do we do with him?” Emmett stood up from his crouched position.

“Call it in, get him to a hospital have a drug test prioritized before any other work is done on him. We need a sample of whatever it was he was dosed with above all else.”

“Even his life?” Emmett looked over at Teeson with a confused stare.

“He’s alive and stable at the moment Officer Teeson, and unless some act of God decides to come out of nowhere and smite him, I don’t see that changing anytime soon.” Emmett shrugged. “And even if he were in danger of dying, my order would remain the same. We can’t protect other people if we have no idea what we’re fighting.” Teeson gave a sigh.

“Alright Detective, point taken.” Emmett walked back out into the hallway as Teeson called for an ambulance through his radio. He stretched slightly, trying to get the numb feeling out of his legs from kneeling for so long when a door down the hall opened. Two people stepped out of an apartment, talking to each other in hushed whispers. Emmett stared at them for a moment, before realizing that they were both masked and obviously better clothed and geared than anyone else here. He reached for his pistol.

“LSPD! Put your hands on your head!” The two men whipped their heads towards him, revealing that the masks were made to resemble the face of a tarantula. One of the men stepped in front, raising his arm as the other one reached for a weapon. Emmett fired two shots and watched as a shimmering blue force appeared before them, stopping the bullets dead in their tracks as they crumpled to the ground. The other one pulled out a pistol and fired several rounds, obviously not hampered by the shield. Emmett ducked back into the cover of the doorway as the metal ricochet sound echoed in his ears. He tapped the comm. on his ear.

“Dispatch, this is Detective Tigron! I have two armed individuals at the corner of Laxmi and Hanover. Requesting armed support! Be warned that they seem to have a directional kinetic barrier!”

“Affirmative Detective, officers have been rerouted to your position.” Teeson stood behind Emmett, smart enough to not ask questions as the bullets were flying. Suddenly the rounds stopped, and Emmett peeking around the corner. The one with the gun was heading towards the window. They were on the fourth floor, a drop like would at the very least cripple him, if not kill him outright. Regardless, he dropped without a second thought. The second one backpedalled to mimic his compatriot as both Emmett and Teeson rounded the corner and unloaded round after round into the shield.

The shield flickered with each impact, losing energy at the onslaught but it wasn’t enough as he fell backwards out the window. Emmett sprinted to the window and saw the criminal enveloped in a blue sphere. More kinetic technology, used to slow one’s descent. These guys were highly equipped. The first one came speeding around the corner on a hover bike to which the second one quickly hopped on. Without hesitation they quickly sped off. “Dispatch, Officer Tigron! Two targets heading northbound on...on…” Emmett looked back to Teeson, snapping his fingers.

“Morow!”

“Morow street!” Emmett finished. “Black hover bike, unknown make or model, no license plate. Individuals are wearing masks which resemble spiders. Also be aware, they are utilizing more kinetic technology in the way of inertia dampening devices.”

“Affirmative Detective, rerouting detachment.” Emmett ended the call and let his hands fall to his side. He doubted they would catch them, but he had to try anyways. He rubbed a hand against his stubble as he turned back to Teeson.

“Check the other rooms, they may have left something behind.” Teeson gave a nod, running off to one of the other rooms and not wasting any time as he forcibly kicked it open. Emmett meanwhile went into the room that he saw the two armed men exit. There was a woman sprawled on the floor this time, equally as trashy looking as the others were. The difference with her though, was a hole in the middle of her forehead. Emmett wandered over to her, finding another vial next to her that was the same as before. Picking it up, he was starting to wonder if it was more a calling card. They were highly equipped and possibly even trained with the way they didn’t hesitate when they saw him. He palmed the injection device and checked the woman’s eyes. Like the man, they were milky white.

“Detective!” Emmett perked up immediately, running around the corner and quickly getting to Teeson who was standing over another body. This one had the same symptoms. Dazed, confused, unresponsive with milk white eyes. Granted, he was also dead. Foam sprouted from his mouth as rivulets of blood ran freely from his eyes, ears, and nose.. They didn’t shoot him, he died from an overdose of the drug...which meant…

Emmett turned around, sprinting through the hall to the first doorway. When he entered he saw the man convulsing rapidly with foam coming out of his mouth. “Where’s that fucking ambulance!” Emmett yelled at Teeson as he rounded the corner. He got back onto his radio, calling dispatch and yelling at the automated voice that returned his call. Emmett ripped off his tie, scrunched it into a ball and shoved it in the man’s mouth. He held down his arms as best he could, but he didn’t know what to do. There was nothing he could do as the convulsions slowed, and eventually stopped. Blood ran from his eyes, ears, and nose. Teeson wandered back in.

“They’ll be here in just a cou-” He stopped short as he realized it was too late. Emmett rubbed his face for a moment before standing up from his position on top of the man.

“I actually liked that tie.” Emmett stated, looking down at it but making no attempt to retrieve it. Teeson simply looked at the body with regret and guilt. Emmett stared at the kid but didn’t say anything. “Better get used to the sight Officer Teeson...this class of people tend not to live very long, you’ll be seeing a lot more of this before your time is done.”

“Is that supposed to make it better?” Teeson said with a slight amount of aggravation in his voice.

“No, it’s supposed to prepare you.” Emmett stated as he walked by him back out into the hallway. “Place a call to dispatch, tell them to send the coroner instead. Once you’re done with that...we still have the rest of the building to check out.”




1200 Hours
LSPD Headquarters


The rest of the cleanup at the 45th Apartment complex and the surrounding area had taken up the rest of Emmett’s morning. Searching the remaining floors of the apartment building revealed more of the same. Every other apartment, exactly one dead occupant, exact same symptoms. Total death count was 12. 12 Squatters practically mass murdered with no discernable reason as to how but Emmett had his guesses as to why. Teeson had been shocked from the ordeal, his green blood not yet used to the sight of a dead body, let alone several. To his defense, he handled himself admirably in Emmett’s eyes, and should he ever feel the inclination to try and make the jump to detective, Emmett would do what he could to help him.

Each body was accompanied with the new type of syringe that, despite Tia’s best efforts even with the assistance of some off the books inspections through some of the higher class medical research companies due to Eliz, there was nothing. No comparisons, no model number, not even a brand name. It was a ghost. This ‘suspicious activity’ gig had turned out to be larger than Emmett would have liked for his first day, and on something that was only partially in his field. He had turned to his Narcotic contacts for any information on it, but they told him practically the same thing as Teeson. Something new was coming down the pipe, but that’s all they knew. Whoever these people were, the ones in the masks, they were playing it quite tight to the chest. If he hadn’t responded to that suspicious activity request, and had Teeson’s intuition been off even slightly they never would have even got a glimpse of them.

The elevator dinged, opening to reveal a white corridor wiped completely clean and sterile. If Emmett didn’t know better, he would have thought he was back home. He stepped out of the box, walking down the hallway until he came to a pair of sliding glass doors. The parted to reveal several bodies covered with blankets laying on metal slabs. A man stood over top of one of them, who was completely naked and currently trying to convey all it’s secrets to the man. “Have a little humility Hub, it’s his first time.” Emmett stated, causing the man to glance up. A blue little mask covered the bottom half of his face while a transparent shielding attached to his skull offered protection from blood spray. His grey eyes inspected Emmett before squinting back at the corpse.

“Well they say you always remember your first, I just want it to be as memorable as it can be.” Hubert Sarenal stated, finishing up what he was doing before leaving the body and placing his gloves in a box to be evaporated later. He removed his mask and helmet, revealing a man in his late 40’s. Thick hair greying at the temples with noticeable wrinkle lines on his face. A small grey goatee adorned his chin, complimenting his leathery skin. In short, he looked more like a war veteran rather than a medical examiner. Not overly built, but still in great shape. “I assume you’re here for the 45th overdoses?”

“Are they actual overdoses?” Emmett asked as he wandered over to the body in progress. His internal organs were displayed for the world to see, looking at his skull showed suture lines where Hub had already examined.

“As far as I can tell...well, I want to say yes but at the same time no.” Emmett looked up at the man with a raised eyebrow. Hub walked over to his desk, picking up a tablet and bringing it over. “Per your suggestion, I started with the head and got into several cadavers before stopping to actually finish one autopsy.” Hub handed the tablet over to Emmett who stared at it for a second.

“It says I should have gone to med school.” Hub grunted and grabbed the tablet back.

“An aneurysm of the primary visual cortex leading to acute cranial hemorrhaging, the cause of death.”

“That sounds...oddly specific for a drug.” Emmett said said as he looked at the body. Hub shrugged.

“The primary visual cortex is a prime target for hallucinogens, it’s how everyone claims they’re seeing mutant from mars, or the very tiny heart of my ex wife.” Hub said with a slight huff.

“Does that explain the white eyes? I don’t remember hallucinogens doing that.” Emmett stated, and Hub snapped his fingers quickly.

“I don’t have a solid answer for you, whatever was in their system managed to flush itself before I got a hold of anything, but I do have a theory.” Emmett shrugged and waved him on. “Well, this drug, whatever it is seems to be creating its images by attacking or...or...or...syncing up with the optic nerve, for lack of a better term. From there, it influences what the person in question can and cannot see, effectively ‘shutting off’ the lens of the eyeball and instead sending images directly to the person’s brain.” Emmett furrowed his brow slightly.

“Wait, are you saying this drug doesn’t just make you see things...it controls what you see as well?” Hub nodded his head with excitement. “Is that even possible?”

“I have no idea, like I said it’s a theory, but imagine the ramifications. People doped up on this drug wouldn’t need to go anywhere at all in order to explore the literal world. They could sit there for days on end believing their on a magical journey…”

“Don’t hallucinogens do that to some degree anyways?”

“Sure, but not to the extent I’m talking about. Regardless of how much you’ve ingested of the other common drugs out there...like Acid, Ecstasy, Illium, or even Tristy, your mind always manages to somehow base itself in some sort of reality. There’s always a tangible thread that it will pull on until it gets out...this drug would eliminate that thread…”

“If what you’re saying is true…”

“It’s a potential full blown insanity drug Emmitt. You’re lucky that these people were more or less unresponsive when you found them, there’s no telling what they might have done in that state.” Emmett rubbed his face again, wondering just how he was going to break the habit of wanting to feel his beard when he was thinking. An insanity drug...if this got out into the general populace the repercussions could be catastrophic. “There’s only one thing I can’t seem to place.” Hub said, tapping a finger on the skull. “The Jane Doe over there, the one they shot...why waste a bullet if the drug was going to kill her anyways?”

“Most likely because they had just dosed her, didn’t want the drug being detected in her system and analyzed would be my guess.” Emmett stated as he looked at the woman on another slab. Hub gave a smile.

“That tells me two things.” Hub stated. “One...the drug has an incubation period. It kills after a specific time period. Whether or not this is what they wanted or if it was accidental, I couldn’t tell you.”

“Any guesses on time.” Hub gave a shrug, opened and closed his mouth once before giving a frown.

“Without any information as to the time of dosage no, not a clue. The aneurysm was sudden, no blood pooling to indicate there was a problem so I can’t even go off of ToD.” Emmett sighed.

“Alright, and point two?”

“The drug evaporates or is absorbed into the body the moment the host dies.” Hub stated, and Emmett simply squinted at him. “Listen, why else shoot her? They were leaving the vials so it’s not like evidence was a big factor for them. They left the other people alive who all then roughly died at the same time, but they shot her. At the very least, without the blood flowing, there should have been traces of whatever it was, but it was gone. When the host dies, so does the drug.” Emmett gave a nod.

“It makes sense from a crazy point of view, even if we can’t really prove it. In fact, we can’t really prove anything aside from a cause of death that may or may not have been made by a drug overdose, an injection cylinder no one has ever seen before, two men in spider masks with enough gear to take on a small army, and no leads.” Emmett reached into his pocket, his hand finding that silver little cross, and rubbing it between his fingers.

“I wish I had more for you Tiger, I really do…” Emmett shook his head.

“At the very least you’ve given me your medically induced ideas as to what could have happened, and that’s more than some of the M.D’s out there. I appreciate it.” Hub nodded.

“If I find anything else, you’ll be the first to know.” He stated as he wandered over and put his gear back on. Emmett exited the room, still holding the cross in his pocket as he got to the elevator and entered. A mystery drug that left 12 people dead and who knows how many more considering this was the first time they had found them. It was going to be a long night.




0530 Hours
LSPD Headquarters


Emmett climbed out of his car with a bag of food in each hand and one in his mouth. It was getting late and yet he felt like he simply couldn’t leave. He had been bashing his head against wall after wall, trying to find something to go off of, anything. He had even driven back to the scene of the crime and scoured every last inch of the building, although he did bring a gas mask that time. The place was so filthy and grungy that even if there was something to find he wouldn’t be able to discern it from the rest of the trash. The two targets, which he had simply nicknamed ‘The Spiders’ in his report left no traces aside from what they wanted to leave. That bloody fucking injector. It wasn’t anything overly fancy about it, it didn’t shoot lasers or spawn unicorns from rainbows, but it was highly efficient and worst of all...untraceable. Emmett wandered into the building, stopping off at Tia’s desk and dropping a bag for her.

“What’s this?” She asked as she opened it up.

“It’s a burger from the Fry Guy just down the street. I wouldn’t recommend the salad, but they can cook up a pretty mean patty.” Emmett stated as she pulled the carton out.

“Thanks! But what is this for?” Emmett shrugged.

“I know we didn’t catch a break, but I know you and Eliz spent several hours trying to help me today. This is me saying thank you.” Tia took a bite of the hamburger and nodded, holding out her hand for one of the other bags.

“In that case, I’ll take two thank yous!” Emmett gave a smile before pulling them away from her.

“Other people have to eat too.” Emmett said, dropping one off at Eliz’s desk as well. “And no, you can’t be jealous of each other, I got you the same thing.” Eliz seemed to pout, like she was hoping she would be able to hold something over Tia.

“Thanks Emmett.” Eliz stated as he walked away to his own desk, sitting down and enjoying his own dinner. Several tablets lay sprawled across his desk displaying differing information regarding drug overdose victims of the past two years, along with any and all hallucinogenic drugs he could find. Several also held searches for anything and everything regarding ‘spiders’ in hopes that someone or anything could lead him to the men he was looking for. Even more had images of different types of syringes on them, a couple with kinetic technology brochures and memos to remind himself to get records for any and all sales of kinetic technology. A daunting task considering how many companies manufactured different brands of it, not to mention he had no name to cross reference to even if he could get it. Add on top of that all the victims. The ones that had been identified had no tangible connection to each other aside from vagrancy. Their families were either non-existent or might as well have been. Regardless, Emmett wasn’t getting any information from them.

Every fiber in his being wanted him to faceplant his head into the desk. First day, first job, first failure. Without any leads, without any evidence aside from the painfully unuseful, and without any kind of possible guess as to where they’ll strike next this could quite easily become an open case for quite some time. Chances are they wouldn’t be able to narrow anything down until their attacks became more widespread and the Spiders became more well known. Hell, without even a formal name they couldn’t even start spreading word on the street to be careful for the drug.

Despite this, he stayed a couple hours longer, realizing at one point he had actually been dozing for several minutes. Deciding there was nothing more to be done, at least until there was another lead to go off of, he finished writing his report with a recommendation to keep scouring the streets for overdose victims suffering from internal cranial hemorrhaging as the CoD and for mentions of ‘Spiders’. With nothing left to do, he submitted it to Sergeant Yoon for review.

First day down, lets hope my luck doesn’t remain like this. Emmett thought to himself as he grabbed his jacket and shut off his station. With a bit of hope and luck, the Spiders would show up sooner rather than later. From there he would be able to continue his investigation. With a last look at his station he wandered out of the building and back to his car, looking up at the streets above him as he went.

Lumaire was about to get a lot deadlier.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Viktor Romanovich Ivanov Character Portrait: Jennifer Trent

0.00 INK

[Co-written with FrontierKnight]

05:55, Royal Street “Russian Quarter”

“... Now on to the sports the latest soccer results, Lone Star: 2 J-Street Tigers: 0, United Russia: 3, Crazy Horses: 2…”.

A buzzing alarm clock application came to life, rendering any further comments made by the old and technologically inferior radio incomprehensible mutterings. Such was fate, the avid soccer fan was deprived of any extensive mainstream programing dedicated to their chosen sport. It wasn’t the same for football fans or even followers of that obscene fouled profanity called basketball, they could satisfy their hobby to their heart’s content; the city council made sure the local leagues of those sports where well funded after all.

And here was Viktor, missing yet another morning update just because the radio service insisted on delaying it until five to six yet again. Was it his fault or the fault of any soccer fan that the football report went beyond its allotted time-frame? Why did they have to suffer?

Even after the nuclear apocalypse, North America still refused to join civilized sporting society.

Putting his petty grumblings into the back of his mind with a short knowing pessimistic smile, Viktor picked up his dirty plate into the sink. He opened the tap and let the water sweep away the faded marks of eggs, toast and tomatoes - his breakfast for the morning. Viktor finally turned off the buzzer and the radio, knowing that the time had come for him to leave.

A few moments, and clicking locking mechanisms later; Viktor departed his modest flat at the top of 32, Royal Street. The name did seem like a bad joke really, the Russian quarter of Lumaire was hardly something people would pay to look at, considering the entire street consisted of some 40 copies of the same ugly grey building. Viktor sometimes wondered why he paid to live here but the answer was easily found; it was cheap.

So was life, after years in the force Viktor had come to understand that fact as well. Life was cheap, so investing in it wasn’t really an economically sound idea. Realizing he was still being pessimistic, Viktor’s face brightened once again to a knowing smile as he climbed down the last of the stairs, walked past the “Elevator out of commission” sign on the wall and onto the building's parking lot.

Before him lay a wondrous green beast, glittering against the walls like a golden nugget. The machine’s two wheels graced the dirty road as if they were the magical shoes of Cinderella; for should any of them fall out of place one day, Viktor knew that only this Augsburg Messer would be the perfect fit. Viktor mounted his precious mechanical steed and knew at once that all his woes were now but a faded memory as the engine’s ignition symphony broke off into one steady roar.

...

Jen's Apartment, several minutes later

Early morning was never a problem for Jen, getting up early meant using the time that most people spent groggily hitting snooze for actually getting ready in the morning. Jen surely needed the time, great effort was spent so that as soon as the day started she not only looked ready to overcome any goal before her but felt it too. In fact, Jennifer Trent was up even earlier than usual today, as she exited the shower five minutes before the piercing electronic sound of her alarm shocked the previously quiet nature of her apartment.

Barefoot, Jen hurried across her bedroom to silence the unnatural chime, fearful that she would wake the Troll. Thumping her feet across the soft beige carpet towards her bed, she slammed her hand against her alarm, fumbling to hit the switch. The sound cut out, the tension of the room slowly dissipating as the electronic device displayed the flashing time of 6:00, along with a graphic of a smiling character. However Jen was not smiling, however this unusual, asian influenced design choice was meant to relax a crankily awoken user, it was not working on her. She was waiting, motionless as she stared anxiously at the pale blue wall inches from her face.

Multiple creaks and an irritable groan came from behind the wall, Jen sighed in frustration. She had yet again woken the Troll. By this point Jen was mostly dressed and had already eaten, so she made the choice to leave for work as soon as possible. Quickly snatching her shoes from beside the door and grabbing her bag, Jen hastily swerved to the mirror on the other side of the door, correcting her path and swinging her entire body in front of it. A quick inspection of her fringe and she swung the door open, in a quick motion stepping through, throwing her bag across her shoulder and locking the flaking brown apartment door with her keys. Her school gymnastics teacher would be proud.

Or not. As she was halfway down the hall, the door behind her’s thudded open as a portly, slovenly dressed man peered out. “Aw shit” Jen muttered as she quickly rounded the corner to the stairs, the voice of her neighbour Mr Rust shouting after her. “You woke me again Trent! I value my beauty sleep unlike you!” the shouting fading as he continued his barrage of complaints, no doubt woke the rest of the tenants on the floor in the progress.

As it turned out since moving to the big city many years ago, Jen found that most people in this technologically swamped metropolis have the same attitude at Rust, quick to snap at others for the slightest misdeed, as to distract them from the daunting universal problems too insurmountable to even contemplate dealing with in a time and place such as this. Luckily Jen had no time for these people today, her first day as a Lumaire special police detective was at hand, and she would kick herself before she screwed it up by being late.

07:45, Lumaire Special Police Briefing room, shortly after debriefing

“Short, informal and to the point”... Concluded Viktor as he stepped out of the briefing room, looking over his pad over the details of his patrol area. CPU was much the same as the serious crimes department, though with less of a defined hierarchy. His patrol area was unique only for being in the undeveloped area of the city center, where most of Early Lumaire’s original buildings where located. The case itself involving the PSS seemed pretty straightforward though with a serious blast off potential if the squatters refused to disarm or the PSS did something stupid.

Viktor scratched the back of his neck as he brought the file on his pad to a close. Truthly he was a bit nervous about this new job; he had handled serious cases during his time in both the CPU and the financial crimes unit, however in the latter he had worked alone while in the former a team had been involved. At least for his first mission in the serious crimes unit, Viktor would have to work with a single companion with whom he would have to communicate.

Jen was eager to begin her first assignment as a detective, but she was apprehensive to undertake it with a partner. Stepping out of the briefing room and recognising Viktor as who she would be working with, she briskly strolled over, getting unusually nervous as she did. She cleared her throat as she approached “Hey, ‘scuse me, you’re Viktor right?”. She got annoyed that her hands were clamming up slightly as she thought over in her head how this guy was supposed to be “babysitting” her or something, maybe the higher ups just hated her already, well she’d show them. “We seem to be working together on this one” she followed up with, attempting to remain as professional as possible.

Viktor looked up from his pad, summarizing the latest reports about the latest Greek debt crisis - what could he say? The other stuff got boring after a while.

Staring at his newest comrade, two things came to his mind: A) She seemed to be just as nervous as he was about this job, B) She was quite female in gender . Viktor sighed at the first and grinned at the latter, maybe this wouldn’t be so bad.

“Jennifer Trent?” asked Viktor, knowing already the woman’s identity figuring he would ask anyway, social interactions where funny like that sometimes. “Yea, I am Viktor Ivanov, at your service”. He continued, honoring his fellow detective with a short playful mock bow. “Since this is our first patrol together, I suggest we introduce ourselves a bit. Since I proposed the idea II will begin: I am Viktor Ivanov, as I said earlier and I have been an operative of the LSP for several years. I worked in Cyber-crime and the financial crimes sections before this and likewise this is my first day here”.

“Great, well i’ve got plenty of experience as well” she replied fighting the urge to roll her eyes, usually she would have retorted with a laundry list of her accomplishments and accolades but she rather wanted to start the assignment but also not wanting to let on that she was basically a rookie at detective work, at least this guy was courteous though.“We should probably get going, this armed squatters business looks pretty serious”. With that there was limited conversation as the two picked up a car graciously supplied by the LSP and drove to the location on the assignment brief.


8:28 South East Lumaire, Finley’s Bar

“Okay I think we’re here”, Jen said as they pulled into the neighbourhood, scouring the surroundings to spot the eponymous “Finley’s”. That’s when they saw it, they’d arrived too late and it appeared as if the Paragon security team had already got into a standoff with whoever was inside. Screeching to a halt on the roadside in front of the bar, the two detectives quickly exited the vehicle as a group of heavily armoured soldier types pointed their guns at the entrance, various windows, and with others ready to flank the sides of the building.

Paragon was known for its competence in security and general “peacekeeping”, often employed by companies for defence of restricted areas, dealing with problems in the city or even in war zones to assist in holding of potentially hostile territory. The iconic white and bronze uniforms of members of the security teams standing out against the usual downtrodden and gloomy areas they often protected was common, highlighting to many the disparity between the wealthy companies that could afford them and the less fortunate they were supposed to be protecting. Needless to say, they’d had incidents of violence in the past, leaving Jen and Viktor to ensure that this altercation went smoothly. By the looks of things, it certainly wasn’t going smoothly.

Viktor nodded as he examined the situation, the Paragon people certainly took to heart the company slogan “Always the best”. The rundown bar was surrounded on all four sides by armored cars and the jolly infantry armed in full combat armor. It was a far cry from the usual riot gear of old, ever since the old US police started to buy military class hardware in the early 21st Century most security forces even the civilian operations followed the model.

He walked to a group of the security people, asking simply who was in charge flashing his LSP badge. Grudgingly pointing in the right direction, Viktor identified the force’s commander near one of the armored cars seemingly already planning his attack strategy; a deduction largely based on the large screen behind his displaying various entry points into the building.

“Nothing to see here civilian”. said the man, a stereotypical giant towering over Viktor armed with the sleek (and annoyingly superior to LSP issue) MP98 assault rifle. Viktor flashed again his badge and gestured for Jen to do the same, as she hurriedly did so as if she didn’t even need the instruction. “We have come to represent the LSP in the situation, care to fill us in Mr…?”

“Sherraden, Captain David Sherraden. I am responsible for this operation”. Gesturing towards the screen Sherraden flicked through the entry points, marking the disposition of his men and the assumed locations of the armed squatters. “As you can see we have the situation well under control, the squatters have refused our demands that they vacate the establishment so we are preparing to remove them by force if need be”.

Viktor whistled, appreciating the fine details of the attack plan. It was ambitious, with half a dozen diversionary actions intending to confuse the squatters before the main assault from the rear. It could work, but considering the reported firepower the squatters had it could just as easily end in a blood bath. “You sure about this?” Jen piped up as she shot a concerned glance to Viktor. “Haven’t you tried talking to them? What to they want?”

“No offence, but I’ve been part of plenty of these operations, there’s no talking people like this out of places like that” Sherraden said as he motioned to the bar. All of a sudden, a voice was heard from inside the structure. “You know what we want, we’re not giving up our neighbourhood to the corporations!” A man shouted from inside, followed by various rallying cries and cheers from other men and women presumably inside. Jen looked at the captain, “And that was?”

The Captain sighed. “They must be delusional or something, they think there’s some sort of conspiracy to take their neighbourhood away from them”. Jen folded her arms and shot an icy stare at the Sherraden, believing that she had the upper hand in the conversation.

“You don’t think that’s important?”

Sherraden gave a quick laugh “I’m just here to do a job alright, to get these low lives out of this bar” he retorted as he pointed to the building. “Listen, it’s non lethal procedure, I appreciate you being here but I don’t need two cops breathing down my neck” He touched the radio on his earpiece signalling his team, “Move in people, follow the plan and no one has to get hurt”


Viktor chuckled lightly, somewhat forcibly with an intent to convey his doubts blatantly to the mercenary commander.

“None lethal, how can you be so sure about that? Your plan isn’t anything special, multiple attacks from several entry points using speed, shock and surprise have been in the police tactics books for more than a century. Any criminal or terrorist with half a brain knows what to expect”.

“It didn’t stop your lot from using the same methods in the Bamako Incident”. Countered Sherraden somewhat underhandedly and clearly agitated by Viktor’s tone.

If any of Viktor’s social deficiencies could put people on edge, his pessimistic grin was a prime applicant often unnerving both friends and opponents when they thought they had the edge. Viktor produced one of these smiles for the benefit of his paragon adversary.

“Touche, but that is besides the point unless you want a repetition of that unfortunate event. My colleague and I are here to facilitate communications and terminate hostilities. Shall we postpone unilateral actions and find a way to resolve the situation without too much distaste? Or will you carry on with your little adventure, I am sure your employers will be pleased to see the results of your work in the nightly news show.”

Sherraden seemed ready to argue, however the words of the obnoxious policeman seemed to have struck a chord with the ruffian, who muttered several commands into the radio.

“Alright, I”ll pull my people out for now, you have one hour and then I will go forward with the attack in accordance with my contract”.

Viktor noded, acknowledging the ultimatum and took a few steps towards the building with his hands raised up to warrant restraint on the part of the squatters. Jen trepidatiously followed, yet staying a ways back as to not appear a threat, she may have been relatively inexperienced, but she wasn’t an idiot. ”Bloody hell, what are we doing?” Jen pondered as she slowly moved forwards, wondering about Viktor’s brash actions.

Viktor gazed impassively at his coworker as he tried to figure out the right words to say to her without sounding slightly off his rocker. “These people have no reason to trust us, Paragon have seen to that by now though their preparations for the armed assault. To make someone trust you, give them something to prove that you are serious - your life on a platter is not something they can dismiss away as a ploy quite so easily”. Viktor smiled at Jen as and put his hands back over his head, giving her the unspoken option to stay back if she wanted to play it safe as he continued on towards the building. Jen gave an uneasy look as she backed down, joining Sherraden again, unsure if she liked how her companion did his job.

“Citizens currently occupying the establishment, you are in violation of private property. These people outside are armed and ready to remove you forcibly from the premises. As the representatives of the LSP in this affair and in the interest of preventing tragic consequences, I ask that you open a channel for negotiations”.

Several minutes passed before one of the squatters shot her head up from a window, careful not to reveal anything else to snipers and prevent the paragon operatives from putting her down with a morally acceptable tranquilizer shot. Though obscured by the blacked out room behind her, Viktor guessed the squatters age at around 20 despite the obviously painted white strains along an otherwise chocolate colored hair. The squatter seemed to gain confidence by Viktor’s conciliatory gesture, and slowly as if testing his truthfulness the youth’s upper body came into view… as well as the concerning sight of a particularly vicious looking heavy machine gun by her side. The young woman gazed defiantly at Viktor and the other security people, but seemed to be willing to avoid fighting… for now.

“Private property? this ain't no private property of nobody, other than the good people of this here neighborhood. Ya say you come from the law, what fukin law? The law of the people, of some corporate pigs who run the whole lot of you coppers or a buncha’ know nothin lawyers tellin the working people what they can or can’t do?”.


Viktor could have almost laughed, Karl Marx still giving people a headache after two centuries. Whereas Jen almost immediately pegged her as stupid or mislead, maybe a bit of both.

“How very nice for you, now can I please have a serious answer to a serious question?”

The woman seemed to think for a few moments, Viktor could hear muffled raised voices behind her apparently discussing his proposal but could not make out any of their words. After several minutes the woman returned her gaze to Viktor and spoke her terms.

“We’ll agree to talk only through a Trade Union rep’, you and the paragon asshole will come with dem union guy into the building, unarmed, and the media will be brought here so ya don’t get up to any funny business. Those are our terms, take em or leave em!”.

Sherraden, who had listened in on the conversation through the listening devices he had scattered around the building decided that enough was enough and walked towards Viktor dispensing with any of the trust building measures the former had taken. Jen, noticing the movement, awkwardly stretched a hand towards him as he moved away, “Oh shit no, wait a second” she managed, failing to quell the captain’s determination.

“That’s completely unacceptable! I will not negotiate with a bunch of disorganized squatters, stand down or face the consequences.

Weapons inside and outside the building were raised by both sides, but the woman talking for the squatters remained unimpressed. Viktor glared at Sherraden, daring to take one more step but thanked the powers of enlightened self interest and common sense that the bullets hadn’t started firing then and there!

The woman suddenly started to laugh, leaning on her machine gun as she did so but safe in the knowledge that dozens of other weapons were covering her from her side of the building.

“Boys! let it fly!”. Shouted the woman, as a large crimson banner fell from the building's roof until it reached her window, suspended in the air from the flat building top. Four Latin letters in thick black were illuminated by the search lights of the Paragon security vans, letters which immediately changed Viktor’s entire approach to the standoff.

WSDI - or “Workers Self Defense Initiative”.

Viktor immediately recognized the logo, Sheridan's unrestrained swearing indicated that even the grunt was not without knowledge of his most dangerous possible foes. WSDI was the answer of modern trade unionism to the Neo-fordist brutality. Companies like Paragon and even mercs of less repute where paid millions to rough up organized workers and prevent strikes in an age where the economy of third world labour and the exportation of industries abroad was no longer possible.

The WSDI represented an unofficial branch in the city’s Trade Union Organization responsible for protecting the workers from capitalist mercs. Officially the branch had no live weapons and relied on blackjacks,crowbars and discipline to cause trouble. Unofficially the WSDI was a secret army, funded and supplied by the TUO to field deadly weapons should the capitalist ever try to crack down on organized labor. Splinter groups from the WSDI were not uncommon but generally restrained by the larger organization, though this time it seemed that the parent organization had failed.

Not everyone had had the same fortunate education or upbringing as Jen, so she often found it difficult to empathise with people like this, despite her natural viewpoint however, she could see where these people were coming from. Or more objectively, see where their viewpoints logically stemmed from, the Bamako incident had certainly showered the police force in a little too much bureaucratic oversight so Jen knew first hand the pressures of having your work controlled by a bigger organisation. So much so it caused her to entirely switch professions. However in Jen’s eyes, radicals were exactly that, and she would do her job if needs be as going in it was armed squatters, but an organised threat like this could prove to be a little more dangerous.

The woman snickered at the Paragon’s mercenaries newly discovered restraint as they and their commander backed off. “I see our name precedes us, yu should know that this building is armed to the teeth, if ya try to storm us you will pay dearly”. Said the woman, bringing up her machine gun to reinforce her spoken threat.

A single gunshot, fired from the Paragon sniper team’s position and the fall of the revolutionary made it clear that the threat had been taken all too seriously.

The squatter’s and their militia allies opened up with dozens of assault rifles and machine guns, forcing Viktor, Jen and Sheridan to take cover behind the security company’s armored cars. Dual machine guns mounted on the vehicles returned fire, but neither side seemed to be doing serious damage thanks to the protection of the building’s reinforced walls and Paragon’s cars. A missile fired from the building hit one of the armored cars, setting it ablaze, the security company disregarding their orders to prevent use of explosive ordnance answered the missile with several shots of their armored vehicles light cannons; smashing the left wing of the bar in the process.

The shots came steady at first, but were now severely diminished by Paragon’s vastly superior firepower, the last shot had taken a number of the worker’s machine guns out of commission. Paragon, acting according to their training didn’t let up, with smoke grenades fired into the building almost immediately. Sherraden, a veteran at this sort of operation stayed cool throughout despite his previous outburst, ordering his men to breach. Jen climbed out from behind the car clutching her pistol ready to follow the team in, although she appeared visually shaken up by the ordeal somewhat, nodding to Viktor with an uncomfortable yet determined face. The two then quickly fetched bulletproof jackets from the car and headed back to the battle.

Like a train into a tunnel, the team quickly stormed the front entrance, the detectives closely behind as the grey smoke enveloped them.

BANG. Someone dropped with a crash. A member of the WSDI had rushed toward them aiming an assault rifle and was quickly dispatched by Paragon, followed by gunfire from across the room forcing everyone into cover again. Jen rushed behind an overturned table, across from the downed man, unsure whether he was still among the living or not. She thought she was ready for this but it still was incredibly taxing on her, in the three years she spent as a cop there had been shots fired before, but this was no less intense. Luckily the man on the floor began to groan and clutch his leg, putting her a little more at ease.

A few more shots and a couple of flashbangs and the WSDI and a group of workers had barricaded themselves in two rooms, Paragon making quick work of the situation. The smoke cleared and the building grew quiet. Composing herself and finally piping up to the workers, Jen shouted to the two groups through the doors and damaged walls they hid behind.

“Okay guys and girls”
her voice somewhat hoarse, “This is Special Police and you idiots have gone and cornered yourselves”, she paused so that they could all start listening.
“Now my partner has already said that we want to negotiate, and our friends in white would rather not, you’ve got two choices...”

“Fuck off!” shouted one of the militiamen, firing several blind shots towards the cops. As suddenly as the militia opened fire, the shooting stopped and a different voice could be heard across from the room. “Don’t shoot! This is Joe Johnson, former owner of this bar, we have forced the WSDI militia people to refrain from further violence. We are willing to negotiate”.

Sherraden, who had led the main assault into the bar’s lobby finally caught up with the LSP cops. The man was clearly angry, he had lost five men - two in the armored car hit by the missile and three in the assault. “Hell no! No more negotiations! Your people will hand over your weapons and turn yourselves in immediately!”.


Viktor sensing that the two parties were seconds away from resuming the fighting stepped in deciding that enough was enough.

“Settle down Sherraden, you already lost several people, at least a dozen more will get hurt fighting in these rooms, do you really want that?”.

Sherraden regained what little control he had on his anger and realized that the LSP agent was right, further fighting would cost him more people and piss off his employers.

“No, I don’t want it but I will not allow those WSDI people to get away with this, they crossed the line this time.”. answered the mercenary sincerely, relenting a little but declaring his “red lines” for any negotiated terms.

Viktor nodded, partially forgiving the man for his earlier stupidity by his conversion to common sense. “I agree, WSDI affiliates are not permitted to carry firearms and have grossly violated the law leading to the deaths of many people who would have lived had they not involved themselves in this crisis. The LSP will conduct an investigation of this affair, Mr. Johnson, you and your people will be taken into our custody with the proper trade union representation. WSDI affiliates are suspects of terrorism and armed insurrection, they shall not receive any trade union support and Paragon will be allowed to claim the bounty for the capture of terrorist suspects”.

Johnson agreed, despite the protests of the WSDI militia; but with half of their people dead or wounded they could not fight both their squatter comrades and the security forces and agreed to surrender their weapons.

By the time everything had calmed down, the media had swarmed the area, the so called “squatters” had got what they wanted. Reporters, news crews and everything in between were all fighting for a spot in front of Finley’s, like a pack of predators scrambling over a fresh kill. The beleaguered PSS team couldn’t even bring the Finley’s group from the bar to their van without a bombardment of questions from the press. One of the “squatters”, a member of the WSDI, wrestled against his transporter in an attempt to get close to the reporters. “We need to be heard! The companies are taking our homes!” he managed before the security officer holding him pulled him away, followed by numerous questions from the news crews, while the actual homeowners walked quietly in shame that they had been talked into this. Jen stood in the doorway to Finley’s holstering her pistol, “This shouldn’t be a problem right?” attempting to sound professional, turning to Viktor as the rest of the people hold up in Finley’s were taken away. Viktor smiled, secretly pleased with the unintended results of the fiasco as far as the media’s interest was concerned. “Even if it is, it’s not our problem”. answered the Russian emigre.

10:28 Lumaire Special Police Interrogation room

It was obvious that the situation at Finley’s was only part of the story, many of the men and women, presented initially as squatters, were arrested for firing on the PSS team, not to mention two police detectives. John Briggs, one of those who were in Finley’s bar and unaffiliated with the WSDI, sat in the LSP interrogation room, it was time for answers from someone less radical than they had previously dealt with. Viktor let the man rot for an hour in the detention room before he walked in by the prisoners clearly uncomfortable seating arrangements before pulling over a padded chair borrowed from operations.

“Mr. Briggs, I could list all the charges against you but I will save us both some time and effort and tell you the ones most likely to land you in jail for a very long time. Partaking in armed insurrection, murder, illegal possession of firearms suspected affiliation in a terrorist organization…”

“The WSDI isn’t in the black list, you can’t hang me up on that one mister!” Shouted Briggs, desperate for any means to escape his present situation”.

Viktor had hoped the man would point out his “mistake”, he passed a PAD to his captive and told him what it contained just in case he found the PAD too difficult to read. “The WSDI disowned your little gang the moment the media started running stories about the shootout, they are too busy enough fighting to keep out of the black list themselves to watch out for your people. Shall I carry on with the charges?”.

“No, I get it, so what do you want from me? If you want me to sell out my people then don’t waste your time, tell me what you want me to do and I will do it so long as I get guarantees - I want to be a registered witness in the case”.

Viktor was somewhat surprised by how easily the man was willing to sell out, this did not sound like any radical Viktor was familiar with.

“Unfortunately for you we are not looking for a witness, we have more then enough of those among the squatters your people exploited for your own ends. I want to know why your people where there, why did you make a scene? I can’t make any promises but cooperated with the investigation always looks good on someone's file - especially when that someone’s compatriots are too busy quoting Anarcho-Syndicalism and how the days of the international bourgeoisie are numbered".

The man shut down for a moment, considering his options. “I got out of the WSDI last year, too many loonies where getting into the organization. We are supposed to watch out for working people, protect them to all the shit the corporate bosses get up to destroying organized labor. This new generation wants a revolution, some of them even fought in Spain and Italy against the EU during the financial catastrophe. Fighting for workers rights is one thing, fighting to pull down the system is another. I only went on this opp because I live in the neighborhood. You might not know this, but us second generation citizens in the city center have been pushed around by corporate dogs for years. They want our land for malls, shops, office space and high-roller flats and they have been doing everything to get their hands on it. We thought if we got the WSDI onboard we could negotiate from a position of strength, we didn’t think they would actually want to start a fight!”.

Viktor nodded, he knew all about the rising prices in the old quarter - now quickly transforming town center. Viktor really wanted to get the cooperations once on his job, years in economic crimes only handed him over the small fish. In this case, Paragon had ironically come off as the good guys fighting the vices of trade unionism, the actions of the WSDI had seen to that.

Putting on a separate recorder on his personal pad rather the official investigation which he now conveniently shut down Viktor decided he would file as many of the claimed cooperate transgression as he could, he could not do anything about it now but who knew what tomorrow would bring?

“Tell me what you know about this corporate land grab, I can’t really investigate it… not officially but this information could come in useful on future cases”.


12:16 Lumaire Special Police Precinct

As far as Jen could tell, the investigation had yielded few results, a lot of what Briggs said could be boiled down to hatred and fear of corporate takeover of the city. It had given leads however, and Jen had spent the next few hours, with the assistance of the two in operations, digging into what she could regarding the buyouts of properties on the southeast side of Lumaire. She wasn’t sure if the help was something she should be thanking them for, they were just doing their jobs but the custom of a lot of officers was to buy food for people they owed a favour. Jen would have to think about that.

A couple of purchase records with the city, some witness statements and a number of what Jen would happily describe as examples of real detective work later seemed to identify a pattern. While Viktor finishing up with the interrogation, Jen attempted to put all the pieces together. Back in forensics it all made sense to her, evidence here, chemical tests there, and before you know it you’ve got a reason behind a crime scene, a picture to put everything into context. What aggravated her this time however was the absence of a crime scene, no one had been murdered or injured, the situation at Finley’s had nothing to do with any companies, and Jen felt completely out of her depth.

She gathered the leads again, hoping to find something she missed, maybe Viktor had had better luck. There was a pattern, all these properties had been quickly bought up within a short time of each other, but no single company’s name was attached to the purchase, and a lot of the leads turned out to be smoke. Jen’s head fell heavy into her hand’s, groaning as she couldn’t find any link. There’s just no evidence of violence! There’s no way we can show that a single entity took all these homes!, “And it all seems completely legal…” She said, her barely audible words muffled through her hands.

Her head raised up and she squinted across the room as other detectives and officers carried out their work. Jen needed to focus on this, she needed to do what she did best and examine some evidence, like the old days. Some of Joe Johnson’s records had been found among the scene at Finley’s, some data files detailing accounts, and an actual paper copy of Johnson’s financial dealings. Jen didn’t think people still used those. Reaching into her desk and retrieving a small black rectangle, she opened the book of numbers and notes, holding the device above it. Shining out an electronic blue light, Jen scanned the contents of the pages, directly printing the values onto the computer next to her, while occasionally making a “bleep” every time one of Johnson’s handwritten scrawls was scanned and highlighted.

Compiling the documents, the previous bar owner had noted multiple dealings with a company named Gaslight Financial Holdings. Apparently they’d been contacting Mr Johnson unsolicited multiple times a week. Jen realised that this company name had been mentioned before, in a newspaper article fairly recently. Furiously tapping at her keyboard, Jen frantically searched for the article on the internet as if there was a time limit to how long she could stay at her desk.

There, she’d found it. “Gaslight Financial Holdings, one of the many smaller companies expressing interest in a recent move to modernise the old districts of the city” The article read. “The move, proposed by the Reynold’s group, aims to push Lumaire to the forefront of commercial power...”. She’d found a link, but it wasn’t concrete, with time it may point to a genuine lead, but as it stood the case was all but closed, Jen could do no more.


19:49 New Brussels Street - “Le Candide” bar & restaurant.

“...GOAL! what a fantastic shot from Erwin Kessler! Lone Star 2, United Russia 0; Lone Star has once again won the city championship and will go on to represent Lumaire in the North American League…”

Several shouts of approval of various western european languages could be heard by the bar’s large TV screen, accompanied by toasts and Russian swearing from the few members of that ethnic minority present in the bar.

Viktor was indeed one of those Russians, but he hadn’t been swearing. United Russia had played badly, they barely survived the last game so he wasn’t surprised his team had lost.

The Russian ordered another beer and distracted his thoughts from the defeat, admiring the 20th century Parisian theme of the establishment and the attractive waitresses. The beer arrived promptly, and Viktor woffed it down in minutes intent on ordering another later on; unlike his vodka drinking peers, Viktor liked taking his time getting drunk - It was after all the journey that had him interested and not the destination.

Coincidentally, the same bar that Jen had wandered into, burnt out after her first day, was the same one Viktor sat in. “Beer, thanks” She said at the bar, not noticing her partner sat nearby until she took a swig and turned around, almost appearing as if she had been caught doing something she shouldn’t have.

Viktor noticed his newest comrade the moment she ordered her beer. Though the bar was home to a legion of foreign languages his coworker’s accent was distinct enough for him to identify.The Russian though no further action however, preferring to see how long it would take for Jen to identify him.

Lazily strolling over to the table Jen pulled up a chair and sat her bottle down, “alright? I assumed after you left that the case didn’t go anywhere” she asked, managing perhaps her first smile of the day.

Viktor sighed and produced a small data chip from his pad. “The case will always go somewhere, sometimes to court and sometimes to a pretty blue folder in the LSP basement. I have here some unofficial records from several of the squatters and that militia member I had brought in, useless now but tomorrow - who knows?”. Viktor ordered another beer, feeling a little dry from all the talking already. Jen simply nodded, taking another sip. “I dredged up a couple things too” she replied, even now not being outdone, “I don’t know how far they can get us though”. As if the case was still on, let alone would be theirs to continue with.

“Only public opinion can force the City Council to investigate these issues, The WSDI made sure that at least for the time being they became the main news item while the issue they tried to push into the spotlight was ignored”. Looking around the bar, Viktor wondered how many machine guns the worker militia could have pushed into this place. “We will probably have to wait until the next bar is sold to a land development firm with questionable business practices ”.

Jen nodded once again, holding out her hand for a shake. Although she wasn’t one for making friends easily, she couldn’t deny that her career as a detective was off to a good start and that she had VIktor, in part, to thank.

Viktor took up Jen on the offer and shaked her hand, he didn’t have too many friends but today had been interesting and having a friend in his new department seemed liked a good idea.

“Paging Detectives Ivanov and Trent, a group of off duty Paragon Security people have been trying to break into the Trade Union headquarters. Are you in a position to assist?”.

View All »Arcs

Arcs are bundles of posts that you can organize on your own. They're useful for telling a story that might span long periods of time or space.

There are no arcs in this roleplay.

View All » Create New » Quests

There are no quests in this roleplay.

Events

Soon™.

Game Master Controls

Welcome home, Promethean. Here, you can manage your universe.

Arcs

Arcs are bundles of posts from any location, allowing you to easily capture sub-plots which might be spread out across multiple locations.

Quests

You can create Quests with various rewards, encouraging your players to engage with specific plot lines.

Add Setting » 1 Settings for your players to play in

Settings are the backdrop for the characters in your universe, giving meaning and context to their existence. By creating a number of well-written locations, you can organize your universe into areas and regions.

Navigation

While not required, locations can be organized onto a map. More information soon!

Earth 2075

Earth 2075 by VindicatedPurpose

Earth 2075. Set 60 years from our present day, this is a marred dystopian future with a few glimpses of hope.

Add Group » 0 Factions to align with

There are no groups in this roleplay!

Collectibles

By creating Collectibles, you can reward your players with unique items that accentuate their character sheets.

Events

You can schedule events for your players to create notifications and schedule times for everyone to plan around.

The Forge

Use your INK to craft new artifacts in Lumaire Nights. Once created, Items cannot be changed, but they can be bought and sold in the marketplace.

Notable Items

No items have been created yet!

The Market

Buy, sell, and even craft your own items in this universe.

Market Data

Market conditions are unknown. Use caution when trading.

Quick Buy (Items Most Recently Listed for Sale)

Open Stores

View All » Add Character » 11 Characters to follow in this universe

Character Portrait: Coen Kejong Yoon
Character Portrait: Tia Marie St. Cloud
Character Portrait: Eliz Nasso
Character Portrait: Viktor Romanovich Ivanov
Character Portrait: John-Olav Brekke
Character Portrait: Tyran Bulgari
Character Portrait: Jennifer Trent

Newest

Character Portrait: Jennifer Trent
Jennifer Trent

LSP Officer. Detective. 26. Alive

Character Portrait: Tyran Bulgari
Tyran Bulgari

LSP Officer. Detective. 30. Alive

Character Portrait: John-Olav Brekke
John-Olav Brekke

LSP Officer. Detective. 33. Alive.

Character Portrait: Viktor Romanovich Ivanov
Viktor Romanovich Ivanov

LSP Officer. Dectective. 28. Alive.

Character Portrait: Eliz Nasso
Eliz Nasso

LSP Operations. 23. Alive.

Character Portrait: Tia Marie St. Cloud
Tia Marie St. Cloud

LSP Operations. 23. Alive.

Character Portrait: Coen Kejong Yoon
Coen Kejong Yoon

LSP Officer. Sergeant. 29. Alive.

Trending

Character Portrait: Jennifer Trent
Jennifer Trent

LSP Officer. Detective. 26. Alive

Character Portrait: Tia Marie St. Cloud
Tia Marie St. Cloud

LSP Operations. 23. Alive.

Character Portrait: Coen Kejong Yoon
Coen Kejong Yoon

LSP Officer. Sergeant. 29. Alive.

Character Portrait: Viktor Romanovich Ivanov
Viktor Romanovich Ivanov

LSP Officer. Dectective. 28. Alive.

Character Portrait: Tyran Bulgari
Tyran Bulgari

LSP Officer. Detective. 30. Alive

Character Portrait: John-Olav Brekke
John-Olav Brekke

LSP Officer. Detective. 33. Alive.

Character Portrait: Eliz Nasso
Eliz Nasso

LSP Operations. 23. Alive.

Most Followed

Character Portrait: Tyran Bulgari
Tyran Bulgari

LSP Officer. Detective. 30. Alive

Character Portrait: Viktor Romanovich Ivanov
Viktor Romanovich Ivanov

LSP Officer. Dectective. 28. Alive.

Character Portrait: Jennifer Trent
Jennifer Trent

LSP Officer. Detective. 26. Alive

Character Portrait: Coen Kejong Yoon
Coen Kejong Yoon

LSP Officer. Sergeant. 29. Alive.

Character Portrait: Tia Marie St. Cloud
Tia Marie St. Cloud

LSP Operations. 23. Alive.

Character Portrait: John-Olav Brekke
John-Olav Brekke

LSP Officer. Detective. 33. Alive.

Character Portrait: Eliz Nasso
Eliz Nasso

LSP Operations. 23. Alive.


View All » Places

Earth 2075

Earth 2075 by VindicatedPurpose

Earth 2075. Set 60 years from our present day, this is a marred dystopian future with a few glimpses of hope.

Earth 2075

Earth 2075. Set 60 years from our present day, this is a marred dystopian future with a few glimpses of hope.

Fullscreen Chat » Create Topic » Lumaire Nights: Out of Character

Discussions

  • Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Most recent OOC posts in Lumaire Nights

There have been no posts in the OOC topic for this roleplay!