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Tia Marie St. Cloud

LSP Operations. 23. Alive.

0 · 693 views · located in Earth 2075

a character in “Lumaire Nights”, as played by VindicatedPurpose




"Drinks? Yeah hold on, let me just finish this... Okay, this place better be good."

Name: Tia Marie St.Cloud (Tee-ah Muh-ree Sayn-t Kl-owd)
Aliases: T, Tango, Tia Marie
Age: 23 (At start)
Gender: Female
Date of Birth: May 30, 2051
Racial Identification: Asian

Place of Birth: Goa, India
Current Residence: Lumaire
Places Traveled: Goa, Kathmandu, Bangkok, Brisbane, New Edo, Lumaire, nearly everywhere on the Net
Names of Family and Relatives:
Jonas St. Cloud – Biological Father (Unknown)
Roald Livingston – Stepfather (Alive)
Sharescha Livingston née Kandel - Biological Mother (Alive)

Physical Description/General Appearance:
Tia is an unofficial member of the Lumaire Special Police in a sense that she never had to become a field officer to work her desk job at LSP. As a result she dresses the way a civilian should because she technically is a civilian. Her wardrobe on duty consists of anything that does not show too much skin above her knees. Mainly because it’s against protocol. Shirts, jackets, long pants or jeans are the norm for her. Boots are her general footwear as they’re quite multipurpose and comfortable. She likes to change her hairstyle every so often, unbound by protocol. Curly one day, straight one day, wavy one day, or even short pixie one day.

Her exotic complexion is the result of mixed ancestry from her Caucasian father and her Asian mother. Her almond shaped eyes are a bit narrower than the average person’s. They rest on her diamond shaped countenance where her soft cheekbones rise to a mid-high level. When she was a child, she was very active and quick on her feet as a dancer and student of Muay Thai.

Eventually, as she progressed through her teenage years, she became more plugged in. Her mother often cites that her current height was the result of her bad posture and many hours spent logged on instead of out in the sun. Tia doesn’t complain because she knows her mind compensates for her small frame, which packs a few surprises for the unsuspecting street thug.

Eye Color: Hazel
Hair Color: Blonde as her natural hair color, but she changes often
Skin Tone/Complexion: Tan Olive
Body Type: Slim
Height: 5 ft. 3 in.
Weight: 110 lbs.
Tia has a neural implant with direct access to the net. She bought this implant with a portion of the money she stole from Livingston. It allows her to manage or run multiple tasks simultaneously, from running sweeps of the city, sifting through forensics logs, assessing LSP archives, or just simply ordering pizza for the night crew.

Personality Dossier:

She may be small physically, but Tia is a firecracker. Unfiltered. Socially awkward at times. She can even pack a punch if need be. She likes to make noise whenever she can. She can be quite talkative and liberal in her views. Although, perhaps liberal would be better off rephrased as premature. Despite being an analyst for the LSP, she isn’t on their payroll, but she still respects protocol and authority at least up to Captain Paris as Tia has developed respect for the woman. This is saying much for a young woman who rebelled against her step-father, a figure of authority in her life, and spent a majority of her young adult life as a hacktivist.

Her background of opulence came later in life, so she never became too spoiled. She straddled a position in society between the wealthy and the struggling, but she’s tried to live mostly as a working person because she empathizes. Mostly it’s because life was simpler when her real father was around. Though her childhood was characterized with a lot of mobility, Tia has tried her to best to just plant her feet in Lumaire where she’s found friends and dependable people. She appreciates Detective Brekke's frankness and ability to talk free and openly. She holds him in higher esteem than Livingston probably because of his integrity. Normally, she tries to stay as professional as Sergeant Yoon when on duty, but these facets of her life become more transparent off duty.

Sexual Orientation:

Religious Beliefs:
Her mother was a Nepalese Buddhist while her biological father was a Roman Catholic, but those were merely affiliations. In truth, her parents weren’t really attentive to such doctrine, though one could say they kept in touch with their spirituality. They mainly tried to instill good values in their daughter, to be a person of compassion and charity as her mother would want. To be a person of integrity as her father would want. Spiritually, Tia does meditate from time to time, but that’s only off duty.

Education: She attended a variety of prep schools as a child. While they stayed in Thailand, Tia’s after school activity consisted mostly of Muay Thai sessions with several professional practitioners. She was physically gifted, capable on her feet even at a young age. However, she spent most of her teenage years jacked in.

Ranking: Civilian Employee

Equipment: As a non-field officer, and merely an analyst, Tia is technically not allowed to carry a firearm. However, she is authorized to have one on her body as a means of self-defense if she were ever brought into the field. Most of her equipment is usually screens, lots and lots of screens and keys. On top of that is her neural implant which helps her juggle various digital tasks.

Items: She has a communication terminal that carries her identification, unlike LSP officers who actually need badges.


Sharescha Kandel was a Nepalese nurse from Kathmandu who was assisting the non-profit Medecins Sans Frontieres as they helped the sick and wounded in a refugee camp in Goa, India in 2050. It was there that she met Jonas St. Cloud, an Australian soldier part of Guardian’s ANZAC. They were deployed to the Indian subcontinent to deal with several reemerging NLF insurgent cells that were disrupting the region’s political stability.

The situation deteriorated as the Mukherjee regime could not prevent the fragmentation of Western India. By that point the land had become divided amongst warlords vying to establish their own rump states, tribal groups seeking autonomy, and NLF cells continually sowing chaos.

Guardian was occupied with eliminating the NLF alongside whatever cooperative anti-NLF groups. St. Cloud was among the wounded in an infirmary where Kandel met him. Chemistry soon became apparent among the two, and a single night of passion was all it took.

Eventually Sharescha gave birth to their child, which Jonas later named Tia. Jonas’ tour however was not completed and he was re-assigned to Jammu and Kashmir. Sharescha to Kathmandu with Tia, sending word to Jonas of their whereabouts.

Jonas completed his tour and came back in time for Tia’s first birthday. They lived in Kathmandu in relative comfort for four years until they were forced to migrate eastward to Thailand after a magnitude 8.7 earthquake rocked the capital of Nepal and destroyed their home. After that they traveled to Brisbane, one of the few places unscathed by the major conflicts. They stayed there for four years with her father’s relatives. Unfortunately, his term of service had been extended because the NLF had re-emerged once more. Sharescha and Tia chose to travel with Jonas and stay where he was stationed, Thailand.

The next four years, Tia went to school in Thailand and her father’s military background convinced him that it was a good idea to enroll his daughter in Muay Thai lessons with professional instructors as an after school program. During one sortie against insurgents operating on the Thailand-Myanmar border, Jonas did not return. He was listed as MIA. It was very unlikely that he was still alive. Sharescha and Tia grieved and waited for a year to two years for his return.

Though her mother moved on, Tia had not. She had not moved on even though they moved to New Edo. She had not moved on even though her mother had remarried. Her stepfather, Roald Livingston was an English business mogul seeking to expand his business on the Pacific Rim.

Tia’s relationship with Livingston was between neutral and hostile. Tense would be a mildly appropriate term. She was never fond of him, and Livingston himself wasn’t exactly the fatherly sort. He’d even expressed shipping her off to some academy.

She did not appreciate her mother’s quick remarriage to another man, she was very close with Jonas as a child. This only led to her teenage years being spent jacked in with little to no contact with her parents. She would speak to her mother, but she would only address Livingston by his first name.

In the day she would go to private school. By night she would be painting the lights of New Edo red with money she had taken from Livingston’s account, exposing corrupt business practices, or protesting against social injustice halfway across the world via an invisible hand in the net.

Her relationship with Livingston began to decline around the age of seventeen, at the waning moments of her adolescence. With one stroke she stole the man’s money, bought an advanced neural implant, bid her mother farewell, and placed herself on a first class seat toward the West Coast. Her eyes were set on Lumaire, a city on a hill. The rest was history.

So begins...

Tia Marie St. Cloud's Story


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Coen Kejong Yoon Character Portrait: Tia Marie St. Cloud Character Portrait: John-Olav Brekke Character Portrait: Eliz Nasso Character Portrait: Jennifer Trent Character Portrait: Viktor Romanovich Ivanov
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

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[Co-written with El_Gringo]

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, " 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.


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.


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?"


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."


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.



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


Characters Present

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