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Science Fiction in all my dreams i DROWN

Discussion in 'Role Playing Forum' started by Lawbreaker, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. Lawbreaker

    Lawbreaker Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2018
    Episode 3: Cheats and Godmodes


    2019

    UBER, Eagle Rock

    Detective Ramirez got back to them as they entered Culver City. He called, which always meant he had more than a "nothing" to offer.

    "Good catch ladies. The inviting organizer of the meeting was the owner of the Internet cafe, a man called Edgar Sturm. German living here for ten years. I send you both addresses, but also the one of Mr. Sturm's widow, Ms. Rita Sturm. But now comes the thing. Topic was ... What is Tritec?" Ramirez again went through paper. "That connects to a suicide five days ago by one Quentin Archer which lead to a multimedia frenzy about his final post in his blog called 'What is Tritec?' ... we labeled it as suicide, but actually looking at the file, I'd say sloppy work. No gun found. No letter. I think without Sidney starting his spree a day later, we would have handled this as a potential homicide. I am so familiar with the case ... because there is a journalist calling me about it constantly. I got you her number, too. Lucy Fox." Ramirez sighed. "There is something else. Sidney upped the game. Killed two cops at Muscle beach. About every cop in broader L.A. is on his way down there. So be careful. Back Up might be a bit hard for the next hours."

    Tag: @Sith-I-5


    Bus, Route 902

    The man in the grey hoodie took his seat and watched the police cars rush past the bus to his latest work. He had no interest in them. But the attention had forced him to let go of the girl. The girl who could not be killed.

    The bus began to move and he took out his mobile. Culver City. He had several targets there. Rubbing the palm of his head he felt a terrible headache. Sleep. He needed sleep. He was just afraid of it ... in all his dreams he drowned.

    Tag: Nobody (@Sith-I-5 for info)
     
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  2. Lawbreaker

    Lawbreaker Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2018
    2019

    Muscle Beach, Santa Monica

    There was a long silence on the other line, also the call had been picked up immediately.

    "Tell me Annie," A female voice asked. "Are you dreaming of drowning when you sleep?" The voice was strangely familiar.

    Cars passed Annie now. Sirens were everywhere. The police was moving in with everything they had. Annie knew it would probably not be enough though.

    Tag: @SirakRomar


    The Imperiale

    "Looks like she isn't coming yet. Give her time. Want another simulated 18 years old Scotch?" He smiled. Then he put out a card and lay it on the bar. It was a black plastic card with a silver T imprinted on it.

    "This is an invitation. A presentation happening tonight at the local Gamescape head office. An American AR game company recently acquired by a Chinese investor." He smiled. "It might help you understand you how deep the rabbit hole really is." Adrian Morrel smiled sadly at her.

    Tag: @RachelTyrell
     
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  3. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    [​IMG]

    IC: Nicole Gravely, Mary Formal, Karen Davis (npc Support Services), LAPD Police Administration Building

    Location: 100 West 1st Street, Los Angeles


    As the two exited the lift on the seventh floor, and proceeded along the corridor, they had to press up against the walls as a stampede of excited-sounding uniformed and plain-clothed people rushed past them in the direction of the lifts and stairwell!

    Once the unusual flash mob cleared enough for her to do so, Gravely lowered herself from tiptoe, and looked back along the hallway as the stragglers pressed into an open lift as they struggled to clip pistol holsters to their belts.

    "Don't overload that thing!" She called to them, referring to the safe lift payload, and likely sounding for all the world like a school corridor monitor. She turned and trailed Formal as the taller woman opened the door to their room, Bureau 71, "What the heck was that about? D'you think we missed a fire alarm?"

    Mary dropped their clothes bag on one of the two pushed-together desks, turning as she did so. "If we did, it must've been a silent alarm."

    Nicole kicked the door shut behind her, and noticed that the noise it made, was noticeably different to that of it shutting. She turned to find their Support Services' liaison once again at the open door.

    "What, is tail-gating like your special skill?" Mary quipped, frowning upon noticing that the professional-looking woman had changed into slacks.

    "Hi Karen." Nicole had already pulled out a chair and dropped into it, placing her stetson on the table.

    "Well, you've changed." Karen Davis regarded both with a frown of her own, then raised a finger and pointed at Nicole first: "You look like a Catholic schoolgirl in your green blazer and kilt; who dressed you?"

    Too resigned on the matter to even blush or scowl, Gravely in turn pointed up at her still standing partner. "She did. Lit-er-al-ly."

    [​IMG]

    Lt. Karen Davis, Life.

    "We're not the only ones who got changed. What happened, you spill something on that skirt you had on before?"

    "That's only for the office. Detective Ramirez is looking the happiest I've seen him since he became lead on this case, coincidentally within hours of you two joining the taskforce, So clearly you have made some kind of development. I want in."

    Muffled by distance and the windows, what sounded like a dozen emergency vehicle sirens dopplered up from street level.

    "I hope to God that those aren't fire trucks arriving."

    "You didn't offer this the last time, Karen. What changed?"

    "Sidney's a cop-killer now. Two in the last hour."

    Nicole shut her eyes for a pause and sagged back in her chair, sighing, "Great."

    "Sorry for your loss." Mary regarded the Los Angeles policewoman with genuine sympathy.

    Davis gave both of them a hard-bitten look that they hadn't seen before. "As you can imagine, I want a piece of this investigation, and guiding you two out-of-towners, is the only way that I can get it. I can provide local knowledge, I can be your driver, get you to places quicker, and provide extra firepower in case we run into Sidney."

    "Are you even a detective?"

    "I was a Lieutenant, Homicide division. Long story."

    "Alright, well..." Mary hesitated, making a vague hand gesture towards their new volunteer. "lose the trousers, meet us back here in five minutes, and you can take us out."

    Davis stalked up to Formal, bringing up that finger again, almost to the British woman's face. "I don't care if you are a Fed', you don't tell me what to wear."

    Nicole looked up at both. "
    Yeah, good luck with that."

    "Clearly you are not that concerned about your fellow officers. First obstacle thrown up in your way-" Formal brought up both her hands, either side of her head, leaned back slightly, and fluttered her palms at the irate former captain. "-and, oooh-!"

    Nicole didn't find out where Mary was going with the close quarters 'Jazz Hands', as Karen instantly conceded, and requested they give her a few minutes.

    She recalled the UNCLE. agent having twerked the first time in this office, upon being re-united with her sidearm. She half-seriously wondered what it would take to trigger interpretive dance, or perhaps, considering how close they were to Hollywood, the Can Can.

    "If she does take you out," Nicole managed to deadpan once Davis left them, "can I still stay in your motel room?"

    Mary hesitated, surprised how quickly the self-styled ex-lieutenant had caved. Despite her wording, she did not really regard her condition for joining them as an obstacle as such. She looked over. "Of course, Sweetie. I introduced you at the reception desk, so they know you there."

    ****

    Underground car park

    The three stepped out of the lift into the still cool air of the underground, dimly illuminated car park, two distant ramps up to street level, glowing with the day's sunlight.

    There were only a few vehicles left, which handily explained all the sirens earlier.

    One elicited a loud bip-bip in response to Karen's raised fist, as she led them towards a sleek work of art, a polished black, two-door Aston Martin Vantage, with a thick white stripe running off-centre from the sloping bonnet that took up almost the front half of the low vehicle, over the roof, and down the short hatchback and rear.

    Gravely and Formal both halted upon spying it, whilst their new driver continued on, seemingly oblivious to their hesitation.

    "I thought Sergeant Beckett said all the 'fancy ones' were taken." The Portland cop mused aloud.

    "Oh no, this is Charlie Crews' car. I blame him for my demotion, so I always take it for a spin when I'm in a mood." She reached the rear of the vehicle and popped the back to slot the heavy black weight of a Department-issue bulletproof vest, which all three of them were carrying, into the storage space. "And staying friendly with the guys in IT, gets me a universal key so I can get into whatever one he brings in."

    "You steal other detectives' cars?"

    "Commandeer. Don't cops commandeer things where you come from, Sergeant?" She finally noticed that the two were several metres back from her. "Come on, get in."

    "There is no way Nikki is fitting into that back seat. Look at it."

    "Nicole."

    "She's a child-"

    "Hey!"

    "-but she's not a hobbit."

    "Can't you sit her on your lap?"

    "I'm not putting her on my lap, and certainly not in the front seat of a sports car that frankly, it looks like you want to drive really fast....besides, wouldn't that be illegal?"

    "
    This from the person who wants to shoot people in the face." Gravely murmured, sotto voce.

    Mary turned to Gravely, bending towards her as she pressed a forefinger to her own lips. "Shush. Mummy is talking." She straightened and faced Karen again. "As gorgeous as it looks, all three of us are not fitting in there. Why don't you show us which one is our ride, and we'll follow you out?"

    Looking across the place, there were a couple of black-and-whites still here; a pair of un-liveried Ford sedans, one a Crown Victoria, the other a more current Taurus' Police Interceptor Sedan in white, with headlights like slitted eyes, curved around the front wings, on either side of a large black hexagonal grille. At the back, behind the rear window, the collection of antennae, more than you would find on civilian models, betrayed their official status.

    Lastly, sitting by itself, four spaces to the pair's left, there was a light-blue and olive-green Ford Econoline van decked out to look like the famous
    Scooby Doo Mystery Machine. Generic orange flowers adorned each green hubcap, and ran along the nearside flank. Somehow, it did not seem out of place.

    "Tell me we weren't assigned the Mystery Machine." Nicole pleaded, feeling that she already knew what the answer to that was going to be.

    Mary walked forwards, deeper into the largely deserted space, just enough to check beyond the colourful van. She turned back to look over the Vantage roof at Karen. "Wow, they even took that SWAT tank that LAPD are reputed to have." She remembered it from the Die Hard movie, and it would have been nice to get a picture to show her friends back in the office.

    Karen, with clear reluctance, retrieved her vest from the boot, and slammed it shut, stepping from behind the Aston Martin.
    "That doesn't live here. That would be a 10-51 waiting to happen."

    Nicole glanced at her fellow detective, recognising her reference to the old police ten-codes that whilst probably still in popular culture, had started to get phased out after Hurricane Katrina, when multiple agencies being forced to work together, had found that their ten-code meanings were nowhere near the same, leading to chaos. "More like a variation on 10-38, Problem At Station. SWAT tank jammed in ramp."

    "Well, 10-51 is auto accident, wrecker needed. Seems more suitable to me."

    "Eh." Nicole shrugged.

    After running a loving hand over the Vantage's bonnet, Davis reluctantly crossed to the white Ford Taurus, using her bleepy thing to unlock it. She put her vest in the boot, then opened the driver door and backed into it to sit down on the seat, demurely swinging her legs inside. "Alright, get in."

    Arriving at the car, Nicole gestured back to the Aston. "Uh, you didn't re-lock that other car."

    "**** him."

    Moments later, the Taurus bumped up the ramp, out into bright daylight.

    ****

    Culver City

    Nicole Gravely ran with the UNCLE agent's request that she try to record the route that they took from the Police Administration Building to Culver City, so thanks to having an app on her phone that somehow simulated a magnetic compass, along with writing road names and directions in the notepad that she balanced alongside the phone on her lap, she busied herself with that mission; whilst up front, Mary squeezed out of Davis, just what her beef with this Charlie Crews character, was.

    The Los Angeles city planners seemed to either have a diamond fetish, or had simply planned out their sprawl to be diagonal to the rest of the world, so rarely were they proceeding along the four directions.

    After proceeding south-west on South Spring Street for about three blocks, Karen steered right to take them north-east on West 4th Street, and just when it threatened to become a bridge, they took a slip road onto the sun-drenched snarl of the 110 Freeway.
    At a mess of elevated spaghetti junctions that looked complicated as heck as she stared in awe at them out the windows, they changed to the 10 Freeway, and actually proceeded West for a very long time, Karen eventually advising them that Culver City was running alongside them to the left - So, south then - of the 10, as she looked for an exit.

    The phone rang just after they went down an off-ramp, and passed a fancy sign identifying the neighbourhood, the screen changing from the 'floating' compass dial, to the show who the caller was.

    "It's Ramirez." Nicole relayed in surprise. "He was only meant to text us the addresses."

    Davis glanced up into her rearview mirror to look back at the Portland detective. "If he's calling, take that to mean that he's found something."

    "Hey, Detective. I am putting you on speaker." Nicole straightened her arm to hold the phone between the front seats, so that everyone could hear him. "Karen Davis is here as well. She has joined as our driver and assistant."

    "Hey, Lou'." Ramirez greeted instantly, using the diminutive for 'lieutenant' with such easy familiarity that it instantly added credence to her story.

    "Hey Ramirez."

    Nicole noted the warm tone to Karen's response.

    "Okay, good catch ladies." The lead detective's excited-sounding voice filled the car. "The inviting organizer of the meeting was the owner of the Internet cafe-"

    Gravely inhaled in surprise, putting her other hand over her mouth. She was pretty surprised to be so on the money with her suspicions.

    "-a man called Edgar Sturm. German living here for ten years."

    "Well I can see why he moved to Culver City."

    "I send you both addresses, but also the one of Mr. Sturm's widow, Ms. Rita Sturm. But now comes the thing. Topic was ... What is Tritec?"

    Unseen by the others as her eyes were on the road, Karen Davis furrowed her brows at the last words, murmuring. "Tritec? Now why does that sound familiar?"

    The sounds of paper shuffling came over the phone, prompting Mary to wonder if, with this many victims, he would have an easier job organising things if he committed some of it to computer.

    "That connects to a suicide five days ago by one Quentin Archer which lead to a multimedia frenzy about his final post in his blog called 'What is Tritec?' ... we labelled it as suicide, but actually looking at the file, I'd say sloppy work. No gun found. No letter."

    "
    Screw the letter, if there was no gun, then it wasn't a suicide!"

    Nicole silently agreed as she flipped over a page, and jotted down notes.

    Mary likewise, kept her own counsel. She was instead weighing up the risk and reward in referencing aloud, UNCLE's nominal enemies, T.H.R.U.S.H., The Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity, and using them as a platform for her own ideas that there might have been a firearm at the Quentin crime scene, but disguised as something else, such as a projectile-firing walking stick.

    "I think without Sidney starting his spree a day later, we would have handled this as a potential homicide. I am so familiar with the case ... because there is a journalist calling me about it constantly. I got you her number, too. Lucy Fox."

    "Excellent work, Detective Ramirez." Formal finally chimed in.

    "Thank you, Detective. We may actually call Miss Fox, though definitely after we check on the meeting location."

    In spite of the compliments, Ramirez sighed again. "There is something else. Sidney upped the game. Killed two cops at Muscle Beach."

    "Yeah, we heard." Gravely apprised. "Karen told us"

    "About every cop in broader L.A. is on his way down there."

    "Broader L.A.? Wow." That was going to be a lot of cops.

    Neither she nor Mary had any idea yet where Muscle Beach was, so it didn't occur to either to think of Cardigan's team in Santa Monica.

    "So be careful. Back Up might be a bit hard for the next hours."

    "That's a point." Mary acknowledged, adding some force to her tone as she regarded both of her companions, and continued. "Girls, that means no heroics. Both of you are to follow my lead, am I understood?"

    "Yeah."

    "Yep."

    Karen steered to the nearest sidewalk, putting the car under a palm tree. She cut the engine, turning to the phone. "Ramirez, they're going to need to set up roadblocks, seal the area, nothing in and out of Santa Monica."

    "I agree, but you know as well as I do that that probably won't occur to anyone until supervisors start turning up. And are grieving SMPD officers going to listen to LAPD? Are our guys going to obey instructions from Sheriff's Department? It'll be chaos down there."

    "Detective, please let me know if you manage to identify any future victims from the invitations. If they are in Culver, we might be able to get to them first"

    Karen had the last word, for now. "If whomever worked the Quentin case, is on your taskforce, Ramirez; you will have to have someone re-check his or her work, maybe even have these two here, do it. If we do catch up with this cop-killing ass hat, and he lives long enough to reach trial, we don't want to lose him."


    Tag: @Lawbreaker
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2019
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  4. DarkLordoftheFins

    DarkLordoftheFins Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Christian Borg
    The Lair of the Enigma and Gamescape Headquarters

    Christian took the company car only to a 24h-shop and then walked the last two blocks to Elina's apartment. He knew the thing at his wrist made him traceable, but he could do nothing about that.

    The elevator already showed this was nowhere the luxurious environments he had met her in. The hollow feeling of loneliness began to spread by now. He had dreamt about them traveling the world, getting to know each other ... he had dreamt of them being together. All the time he knew it had only been a dream though. Deep inside the game had appeared rigged from the beginning. He just had no idea how rigged.

    He left the elevator and made his way through the neon illuminated corridor. Chinese letters were sprayed on the wall. Quickly he made it to the 1019 and looked around. At the end of the corridor a man in a hood watched him, as he was about to enter the code into the door. Christian gave him a long look and the man quickly disappeared into the shadows. Quickly he punched in the access code and opened the door.

    "And who the hell are you?" A female voice with a strange accent came from the flat. Christian breathed in and turned towards the beautiful black lady standing there in nothing but a silk kimono.

    "Amira the Ex, I guess." Christian smiled. "She told me you would be here."

    "Christian, her new plaything. Oh how I looked forward to meet you. She locked me in here that ..."

    "You are free to leave now. The door is open." Christian saw the computer right behind her, a standard terminal holding the future of the world on it's hard drive.

    "Now that it gets interesting? No way. We got so much to talk about honey ..." Amira smiled.

    "Like Elina working for Andy Chang? Her being ordered to sleep with me as an extra layer of control? Something like that?" Christian raised his brows.

    "You know ..." Amira was visibly surprised.

    "Oh yes and now I want you to leave. Elina said you would be trouble, but you won't be trouble will you? Just asking. Because I am in the mood for trouble, if you are!" Christian raised his brows and looked at the door.

    "Honey you wanna mess with me? I broke harder men than you." Amira put her hands to her tights, showing all her confidence.

    "Have you?" Christian asked. He walked to the small kitchen and opened the fridge.

    "What are you doing there?" Amira asked.

    "Looking how long you will last. Salad won't help you. A chicken, that is good. You will have to eat it raw after we deactivated the electricity, of course. Drinking for two days. I'd say a week." Christian raised his brows. "Maybe less, you seem to not have much of an energy reserve in that supermodel body of yours."

    Alina looked at him. "You try to frighten me?"

    Christian shook his head. "Just telling you the truth. Elina is not coming back. When I go I lock that door, turn of electricity and water and leave. I am not coming back either. You are pretty much trapped in here ... so I wondered how long you will make it. I mean ... you seem stupid enough to try me. But I can't say I really care." Christian walked back to the living room.

    "You got three minutes, then I will leave. I would get dressed, if I was you." Christian winked.

    "I could call Andy ..." Amira began.

    "And what? He knows I know. You think he cares? Despite ... you even got his number?" Christian looked at her and saw she grew angry. "Thought so. Two minutes forty five seconds." He turned to his wrist computer and began connecting to the computer terminal of Elina. It was old, he did not care to save it but uploaded the whole content into his private cloud. It would take him about a minute.

    Amira looked over to the terminal and then to Christian. "You damned a ..."

    "I can shorten the time if you insult me." Christian calmly said and Amira stared at him for another precious ten seconds. Then she stomped away into the potential bedroom. Christian smiled at her without any friendliness of humor in his face.

    He heard her yell angry from the bedroom. "You think you are the big savior, hm? I will tear her apart, you hear me? I will expose her on the net and ..."

    Christian saw the upload was complete. He quickly erased the terminal and send a virus from his databank into the cloud to corrupt the data.

    "Doubt that. You show the wrong attitude, honey. " He answered and walked out of the flat. He heard Amira stomping into the living room as he closed the door and activated lockdown.

    This was only a simulation of a rather nasty person called Amira. She was not real. With a sigh he turned and left. Leaving her to simulate a quite intense experience of fear, despair and hunger.

    ---------

    He had found the program by the time he arrived at the Gamescape research center. It was so brilliant he found it hard to believe. Candle had found a way to reverse engineer their code by equaling their behavior as recorded by the Gamescape AI with the algorithm of the SID server of the simulation. He basically found a way to skip between simulations. Christian understood why he had not tried it though. It needed computing power that did rarely exist in 2019. Once you went over there, it was highly unlikely you would ever get back. Nevertheless he said it had been tested. So someone had gone over.

    "You need to keep something for the way back, man." Christian looked up and Jack Burns stood there, his hands in his pockets and grinning broadly.

    "Sorry?" Christian blinked confused and cursed himself for not having recognized someone was there.

    "Nightshifts? You just got started man." Jack clapped his shoulder. Christian felt the physical contact was unpleasant.

    "Well, what do you do here then?" Christian asked and forced a smile on his face.

    "I watched the sim. Lot going on there. Cops dead, real thriller." He winked. "All so terribly authentic."

    "I see. Actually nice we got a minute. Care if I ask a question or two?" He asked and nodded to the coffee kitchen nearby.

    "Sure, go ahead. You are one of the knowing now, I suppose." Jack slandered next to him over to the kitchen.

    "You simulate the people right? Head of SIDs, means you are simulating those people. Right?" Christian watched the man who nodded.

    "Aye." He simply answered.

    "So who else can upload people?" He asked and Jack smiled.

    "Chang, of course. Mr. Wong. The architects I suppose but they have no access to the profiles." He shrugged. "The databank is running on a self-learning AI, neuronal network. It adds hundreds of profiles daily. We decide who goes up." Jack explained.

    "So you know every profile up there, do you?" Christian asked. "Why haven't you found Sidney?" He asked then.

    Jack looked at him. "Oh you know. We can't track the SIDs once uploaded. Not all the same time. Too many calculations. Also some parts of the simulations we cannot see." He sighed.

    "Why is that?" They were blind to their own simulation?

    "Someone encrypted the source code." Jack said. "We can't access those parts."

    "Who?" Christian wondered seriously.

    "Dunno. Andy probably." Jack answered.

    No, it had not been Andy. It had probably been those who were running this simulation. Something in the other simulation was hidden from them.

    "Andy? Why would he do that?" Christian asked.

    "Gamescape. It was originally a L.A. Company bought by Andy in '19. We cannot see it. Guess he wants to hide company secrets." Jack shrugged. "Also Andy himself we cannot see." Jack added.

    "He is in there?" Christian had not even considered this. Andy existing in the simulation, too.

    "Sure, he lived in L.A. in 2019. Moved back in 2022. Guess we won't get that far with the simulation though." Jack sighed.

    "Why is that? Wong mentioned the simulation is not working properly. Something wrong?" Christian took a coffee from the machine. The AI made sure it was exactly as he wanted it.

    "Self-awareness." Jack said with a sigh and got himself a coffee.

    "What?" Christian had also not considered this. The same thing that happened here happened over there.

    "Yeah, some profile become aware they exist in a simulation. A lot of those vanished recently, but it is not yet contained yet." Jack shrugged. "We had those problems before. We once uploaded licensed content of some obscure TV shows to test the simulation as a gaming environment. Lead to the same result. We quickly reset. This time it is actually worse."

    Christian took a sip of his coffee. "What do you mean vanished?" He finally asked.

    "Killed, suicide, they die and their SID gets erased." Jack said and shrugged. "Sidney has been doing us a favor there really." He laughed. "Maybe we should let the guy do his work."

    Christian gave the man a look. He was a little too careless. He knew more than he told. Under his carefree attitude Jack knew something.

    "Sidney kills those who are aware?" Christian asked.

    Jack waved away. "Probably coincidence." He said. "Gotta get back to work." He smiled and padded Christian's shoulder again.

    "Sure." Christian replied and smiled as the man walked away. The moment he was gone he walked over to his work station as quick as he could and sat down, uploading Candle's program and installing half a dozen viruses. He would make sure the program was used only once. Andy would not get it.

    Tag: @Lawbreaker

    ooc: Combined with Lawbreaker
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2019
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  5. RachelTyrell

    RachelTyrell Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Amy Cross
    Le Imperiale

    Amy felt her head hurling. This was all a bit more than she could take. It felt like a bad dream. Well, it kinda was if ... she believed the madman.

    Carefully she picked up the card and looked at it. An invitation of sorta, trying to be cool by using a plastic card. A large T was imprinted on it.

    "Feels nineties. Let me guess, the T is for Tritec?" She asked him and looked up. Concerning the Whisky she simply nodded and awaited the glass. The moment he put it to the bar she grabbed his hand.

    "Are you God, Adrian?" Se asked and loomed directly at him.

    Tag: @Lawbreaker (See PM)
     
  6. SirakRomar

    SirakRomar Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 30, 2007
    Annie
    Muscle Beach, Santa Monica

    Annie stopped without realizing she did so. What kind of question was that? Did she drown in her dreams?

    "I ... usually I don't remember my dreams. Fragments at best. But no ... I think I don't drown in my sleeps. I remember falling ... listen I am hunted by a man who cannot be killed and I ... seem to be the same. I am very confused and probably in danger. I need help."

    She hoped this was convincing whoever this emergency contact was to take her serious.

    Tag: @Lawbreaker
     
  7. TheSithGirly

    TheSithGirly Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2007
    The Lady
    Berlin

    "What is the danger of you can't be killed?" The Lady laughed. "Keep calm and hide, this will be over sooner or later."

    The elder lady laid down the old fashioned phone and looked at it. This was a surprising call on a Sunday afternoon. She did not like surprises and was not ready to reveal anything to one. Yet, it was something that demanded attention.

    Annie.

    That somehow rang a bell.

    She we to the living room and sat on the old fashioned couch with the beautiful flowers sticked into it. On the Mahagoni table rested three wooden boxes. She picked the first, which began with the letters A to J according to the label and opened it. The index cards were all sorted in perfect order and she went through them with her well-manicured finger. The hand hurt a little when doing such specific tasks. Rheumatism was worse in summer.

    Annie, she was grateful she found her rather quickly and took the card out. Los Angeles 2019. That was all written on it, except the usual black lines the world would one day call a "bar code".

    "Darling?" She shouted and took the card out. "Los Angeles 2019, wasn't there an anomaly?"

    "One of the more interesting ones." Rudolph replied and came to the living room, wearing his white shirt and drying his freshly shaved face with a towel.

    "You look ten years younger without the beard, my dear." She smiled at him.

    "Which isn't exactly young, is it?" He laughed and went over to the wardrobe. She smiled.

    "Can you elaborate a bit please? On the whole 2019 thing?" She wondered and turned the card in her hands as if t would reveal some additional info on the backside. It didn't of course.

    "They found a unique approach to the self-awareness problem the beta simulations have." He said as he closed one button at a time of his shirt.

    "What it it?" She asked and put the card on the table in front of her.

    "Mass murder." He answered and now looked through his ties, choosing the Dark red one she liked.

    "Are you serious, my dear? How primitive." She shook her head and laughed to herself. Picking up her Imperial cigarettes from the table and a few matches she angled one from the box and lighted it with a match she ignited in one single stroke. Waving the match in the air until it went out she looked at Rudolph who now fought with the buttons of the vest.

    "Yes, hilarious isn't it?" He finally had succeeded and completed the three part suit with the jacket. "Also a shame it is such a troubled one. It actually is a SESUS." He replied and came out of the wardrobe.

    "A SESUS? Thought those were all gone by now?" She leaned back, took a deep breath from her cigarette and Rudolph smiled. "When they say mostly gone, they usually mean there are some left, you know? 2019 is actually one of the bigger ones."

    "Remarkable." She said and kept on smoking. The tobacco helped her sharpen her thoughts and she felt as if she had to be really sharp today.

    "Why do they interest you?" He asked and walked over to his coat.

    "I got a call from Los Angeles 2019." She answered and smiled.

    "Oh, rarely happens nowadays. Does it?" He seemed not to fully understand the meaning of what she had said.

    "No, it doesn't." She smiled. "You are going to the club?" She asked. Rudolph nodded proudly. She knew he wasn't going to the club, but what did she care?

    "Enjoy, my dear." She smiled at him and waited until he was out of the door and then leaned back on the couch, took a deep breath from her cigarette and looked at the card.

    A shame it was such a beautiful summer. She had the feeling she had a lot of work to do. Finally she seemed to have found one.

    [​IMG]
    Tag: @Nobody, @SirakRomar for being mentioned
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2019
    Sith-I-5 likes this.
  8. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    IC: Nicole Gravely, Karen Davis (npc), Mary Formal, Taurus Police Interceptor Sedan.
    Location: Bagley Avenue, Culver City


    Gravely sat in the back doing research, whilst up front, what she imagined that Mary would refer to as "the grown-ups", continued to discuss the Charlie Crews' situation.

    Sounded very unfortunate.

    This Crews' character, had been an LAPD patrol officer, framed for a family annihilation, and had gone to prison for twelve years, which considering that cops did not do well in prison, she expected would be hell on Earth!
    Thankfully he had been cleared by DNA evidence around 2007, 2008.
    As part of the settlement with the City, he had been awarded an undisclosed sum of money, and re-instated to the Department, as a Homicide detective.

    And this ***** up front, had been assigned by the Bosses, to find a way of getting Crews suspended and fired.

    Davis' had failed in her machinations, and been demoted out of Homicide.

    Nicole had no sympathy with Karen, quite frankly. She talked a good game, but clearly wasn't a 'stand up' cop.

    Given her own troubles whilst with Vice, up in Portland, when her twenty-first undercover arrest, had been some VIP, and she had been hung out to dry, she found herself siding with this poor Crews character.

    Nicole raised an eyebrow for a second, as she realised that if Crews was still LAPD Homicide Division, he was very likely on the Taskforce as well.

    Going back to her research, and calling up various media websites on the phone in her lap, she had found that the Quentin Archer crime scene had been at 221b Weyburn Avenue, Santa Monica.

    Nothing remarkable about that, apart from the door number reminding her of the famous Sherlock Holmes location, which in turn reminded her that Sandra Preston's statement had mentioned a 'John Holmes'.

    What an odd coincidence. She thought, her brief attempt to get Google to define "Wey" and "Weyburn" to see if there was any correlation to the fictional Baker Street, only gave her that "wey" could be used as either "buddy" or a rather rude term, amongst the Mexican American community; and that Weyburn was a big city up in Canada.

    In other words, she had nothing.

    She didn't know what was taking Ramirez so long sending over those addresses. She was eager to 'hit' the meeting location that - she checked her notes - Edgar Sturm had organised for his Tritec' reveal.

    She could collate all the places that he could have rented around here, church halls, community centres, and the like, and have a phone round. However for all she knew, the guy may have invited everyone around to his house.

    This was suburbia. Or at least that was the sense that she was getting from looking between the front seats, towards the rest of Culver. A distinct lack of tall, glass-fronted buildings.

    Stood to reason that there would be larger houses than the metropolitan area of L.A. where they had just come from.

    She called up a map app, and typed their current location, finding the diagonal golden band that was the freeway that they had just turned off...

    Her eyebrow raised again. "Guys?"

    "The addresses come through?" Karen responded first, twisting slightly in her seat.

    "Don't be silly." The Portland detective chided. Despite praising the taskforce leader just a few moments ago, she did not understand what the guy's problem was. He had successfully phoned them! "According to this map, we're not that far from Sony Picture Studios. If we just continued down this road, and turned right at the first main road, it is not that far."

    "Is this involved in the case somehow."

    Mary turned in, her stockinged knee almost touching Karen's over the gear shift and handbrake levers between them. "With the only person who seems to have survived a Sidney ambush, the witness statement indicates that Sidney is using a gun that fired unexpectedly fired blanks, putting me in mind of the prop guns that get used to make movies. We were joining Detective Cardigan-"

    "From Vice?"

    "-in checking them out, however Nikki's-"

    "Nicole."

    "-interest in the Decker homicide, has shown a connection between four of the vics', so we are changing tack."

    "Interesting."

    "Yeah, I definitely don't want to do Sony over the Sturm meet." Nicole felt a little defensive on the matter, lest her fellow investigators think the physical proximity of the film studios, over-rode the place that Ramirez seemed to be having extreme difficulty typing into a smartphone.

    "Don't worry, Sweetie. We are sticking with your lead."

    Warm air breezed into the car as Karen swung her window open, stepping into the street. "Right, that's it. Everybody into vests." She stood up outside the car, and moved to the back of the car, the boot audibly being opened.

    Gravely had the sense that Formal had thought about protesting the ex-lieutenant taking charge, but there was no friction after all, and they both joined Karen at the back of the vehicle, Mary stripping off her U.N.C.L.E. vest. It looked nice by itself, but alongside the genuine LAPD article, it was clear which one you would want to wear with a cop-killing maniac around, that if you boiled everything down, their idea of a successful shift, would be to run into the ass hat.

    It was Karen's turn to look put out, as Mary balanced her vests side-by-side on the rim of the boot, and noisily rip the LAPD velcro strip off the back of her new one, tear the U.N.C.L.E. one off the back of hers, and press it into the blank space on the back of the police vest.

    Nicole took the opportunity to not have either of the taller women dress her, and folded her blazer, laid it inside the boot, lifted her selected vest over her head, got it comfortable, and pasted the straps so that the thick black armour closed above her hips on both sides.

    "Nikki, back in the car, Sweetie. Shut the doors."

    "Okay." She did as she was told, sliding across the back seat.

    "Good girl."

    Nicole slammed the door after her, and buckled herself in. She lifted her trapped hair out of the neckline, and laid it over the rough black shoulders of the vest. The word POLICE was emblazoned over her chest now, in large enough letters to put the 'P' and the 'E' almost under her armpits, stark bright white against the dark body armour.


    Tag: no-one, though still looking for addresses from @Lawbreaker
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2019
  9. SirakRomar

    SirakRomar Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 30, 2007
    Enigma and Andy
    Andy's Penthouse

    Elina returned to the Penthouse and found Andy staring out of the window at the city.

    "Whoever programmed it must be a true artist. A perfect symphony of light and form. I remember the artists we hired to get L.A. right. The light, the smell. Whoever did this ... is a true Master." Andy turned. "I am very disappointed with you. You were meant to keep him from finding out."

    Elina smiled. "He is smart. Smarter than you. Smarter than Candle. He figured it out within minutes after learning about Tritec." Elina shrugged. "But I am disappointed by you. You lied to me. You have sworn to never lie to me after I found out. After all we were all who knew."

    Andy smiled. "Annie. The true Enigma. You are right, I lied to you. But should I admit there are things going on in Tritec I don't know? I don't understand? Would you have been the obedient slave you were? I thought you would be useful. Instead you were a failure."

    Elina shuddered at the words. "What else goes on there you have not under control?"

    Andy smiled. "Define control. I can shut Los Angeles down. Erase everything. Annie included." He drank his espresso and his house robot collected the cup.

    "Why don't you do it then?" She asked.

    "Because I am not sure they want me to. I serve a purpose. I am fully aware all my power was bestowed upon me by someone." He came closer to her and lay his head aside. "I might erase Annie."

    "I don't believe you can." She hissed back.

    "Try me. Is that a challenge?" He raised his brows. "I could erase you. I am a Master of both worlds. You know that." He stood now right in front of her and his hands slowly moved over her body. "But I enjoy you ... in so many ways. I enjoy how much you hate sleeping with me, yet you fulfill me every wish. I enjoy you playing your games." His hands ended up at her throat. He did not squeeze, but her breath became faster.

    "You are a monster." She whispered.

    "But you like my power. I know that." Andy whispered. "Undress. You might serve at least one purpose tonight."




    She lay on her side of the bed staring to the top of the ceiling and wished she had a cigarette. They were forbidden of course, but she had never cared about that.

    "Careful, you might fall asleep." She whispered and Andy turned his head to her.

    "I don't sleep anymore. The dreams ... they got worse." He answered with a sad voice. She looked at him. Maybe the lack of sleep had made him such a monster. Maybe it had taken away the last bit of empathy he had. She had liked him once. When they had found out ... it had created a bond. An intimacy between them. He had been kind and cruel the same time.

    "They have the same dream, you know? Those in 2019 who know ... they are many more than over here. They dream of drowning every night. Just as we do." Andy told her and sat up.

    "I don't dream every night. Sometime I just sleep." She never had the dream when she was with Christian. Exhausted after their long nights she had fallen into a deep slumber.

    "It will get worse." Andy just answered. "Believe me. It did for all of us."

    "It will kill us, will it? Sleep deprivation leads to depression, hallucinations. We cannot go on like this forever." She sighed and turned towards him.

    "Yes, the simulation does not want us to know. A failsave I believe, in case we find out. The simulation drives us crazy and kills us eventually. Brilliant. Yet, I have found a way out I believe." Andy mused and stood up.

    "What way out?" She asked. Andy only turned and smiled.

    "In time, my dear. In time I will reveal all my secrets to you." He gently stroked her leg and wandered of to the bathroom.

    "Who do you think runs this simulation?" Elina asked and sat up. "Who do you think is the Andy of this? Another simulation. Maybe one of the year 2039?"

    Andy turned to her. "Maybe. Maybe there is no humanity anymore, but all that is left is a number of simulations slowly recreating our world, our history." Andy nodded and did not enter the bathroom. "Maybe those simulating us are kind of a better simulation and believe they are real. Maybe somewhere there are humans running this as some elaborate game to gain insight into us. History, psychology. Maybe they want to see how the simulation began. The real Andy Chang might sit somewhere and watch me live out his fantasies."

    Elina smiled. "You like that thought so you?"

    Andy nodded and went to the bathroom.

    Tag: @Lawbreaker

    ooc: As always a combined with the great Breaker of Laws
     
  10. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    IC: Karen Davis (npc), Mary Formal, Nicole Gravely, Taurus P.I.S.
    Location: Bagley Avenue, Culver City


    With Gravely secure in the car, Davis and Formal remained at the back of the sedan's almost closed boot, adjusting their bulletproof vests for comfort. The vests for all three of them, had POLICE on the front, but only Gravely's and Davis' had LAPD on the back, whilst Mary's showed U.N.C.L.E.

    "We are going to have to remain on our toes, as around here, Sidney isn't the only person that we have to worry about. This community is always wary of outsiders, and if someone listening into the police band gets wind that all their local law enforcement have torn of down to Santa Monica, it might make them extra jittery. And here we are, in an unmarked vehicle. That's why I had us put the vests on. As well as the extra protection, as long as Sidney doesn't simply go for a head shot, it proclaims what we are in very big letters." Karen glanced through the rear window to see Nicole doing a low-energy Team America World Police' distress signal, and holding up her phone. "Your daughter wants us."

    Mary followed the ex-lieutenant's gaze, and was instantly tempted to quip that Gravely probably needed to go wee-wee, however that impulse was immediately chased by another, to pretending that she could read Nikki's lips: "Jacques!" To her own ears, she was acing a perturbed Indiana Jones, trapped in a Waco UBF-2 seaplane. "There is a big snake in the plane, Jacques! I hate snakes, Jacques; I hate 'em!"

    "Why would she be saying that?"

    "Cos she hates snakes? I dunno." Mary shrugged. "Come on." She moved round the car onto the sidewalk, and climbed into the front seat, slamming the door after her, whilst Karen locked the boot, and joined them. "
    Alright, what's up?"

    "Ramirez sent the addresses through" Nicole beamed. She put the phone back on her lap, and logged in again, as the screen had gone black. "The Tritec meeting was at Sturm's internet cafe, Die Doom Bar, which translates into English-"


    "-as 'The Doom Bar'."


    Nicole regarding the British woman with a look of surprise. "You never said you were multi-lingual."

    "Two thirds of it were already in English." Mary scoffed. "Wasn't that much of a stretch."

    Davis fired up the engine, putting one hand on the steering wheel. "So where are we going?"

    "Corner of Duck-ezny Avenue and Jefferson Boulevard. Across from Culver City Park."

    "I know the park." Karen moved the car forwards, and steered left to get them back onto the road. "That first street doesn't sound familiar though. How's it spelt?"

    The Portland' sergeant glanced down at the phone's screen. "D-U-Q-U-E-S-N-E."

    "Thanks. Sounds French."

    "Sounds Freedom." Mary snarked, referencing the international 'Freedom Fries' controversy of years before, when the United States announced on the world stage that they were boycotting French Fries because they thought they were from France, after that country decided not to back them on some issue.

    She smiled further at the thought of a British comedy show saying that the US President of the time - her brow furrowed as she wondered if it was Ronald Reagan - was going to Manila to thank them for their envelopes.

    Karen glanced at her, noticing her happy countenance. "What?"

    "Nothing."

    Mary's smile disappeared as she instinctively ducked and cringed at the rising roar of thundering jet engines, the silhouette of a fat mauve airliner blocking out the sun as it passed overhead, continuing on its way to their ten o'clock, shaking the car with its backdraft.

    "Jesus!" Nicole exclaimed from the back, "That was low; what did we do, walk into a Top Gun reboot trailer? Maverick flying airliners now?"

    "I think we're only ten miles from LAX." Karen referred to the famous Los Angeles international airport. "Culver City has been on the flightpath for planes from Asia and Hawaii for two years now, and have been up in arms over the noise pollution for a while. "

    "Couldn't happen to a nicer town. Maybe there is such a thing as karma."

    Davis stopped at an intersection, Bagley Avenue meeting a wide, multi-lane road that painted road markings in the worn tarmac before them, identified as Venice Blvd.

    Lots of cars, and a yellow school bus passed before them as they waited for their light to go green.
    As far as Mary could see, the buildings lining the roads were no higher than two storeys. That had to be inviting to planes that needed to approach runways, and were not blessed with Vertical Take-off and Landing.

    The light turned green, and they drove across, soon meeting another parallel Venice Boulevard, where they didn't have to wait as long, continuing straight across.

    "So I looked up 'Die Doom Bar'." Gravely announced. "LAN gaming centre, twenty state-of-the-art computers; refreshments for customers include coffee and Ramen noodles that are made on site; they are known for having lock-in games for Call of Duty, Fortnite, Wow, and Overwatch. One of the customer reviews mentions that there is a room upstairs that can be rented out with seating for ten to twenty people. Easy parking at the back."

    "Good work. As this is your lead, Sweetie, how do you want to play this?"

    "All depends on whether this internet cafe is open or closed when we arrive. Edgar Sturm was the owner, we know; but does his death mean that the place is closed today? He may have key-holder staff who are still opening up in the mornings."

    "How's he going to pay them from beyond the grave?"

    "Mrs Sturm might be able to do that, they could be on wages that are already set up to be paid out by the bank, or, they might be allowed to pay themselves from the week's takings."

    The car stopped again as another main road crossed their path.

    Karen glanced at both her companions. "So, is Sony of particular interest to you two, or all film studios?"

    Nicole leaned to her left to see between the front seats. "All of them."

    The LAPD detective pointed straight ahead through the windshield. "
    Over that way, The Culver Studios. Some of the original King Kong was filmed there." She released the hand brake and proceeded, turning right onto Culver Boulevard.

    "Going back to the Decker homicide, I don't see any mystery around how the son got killed. Ramirez said he tried to climb out of a window. If so, doesn't matter if his bedroom door was locked; Sidney could have climbed out of the same window."

    Davis nodded in agreement. "And if he wasn't wearing gloves, there might be fingerprints on the window pane, sills, even however he knocked on the front door."

    "Are hoodies a sign of affluence down here?" Formal queried out of apparent left field.

    "Well, some are better than others. But not especially, why?"

    "All the sightings of our guy have put him in a grey hoodie. Back in England, that wouldn't get you the sort of access this guy is getting. He turns up at the Decker household dressed like that, and Mrs Decker just opens right up?"

    "Maybe she knew him."

    "If this was an isolated crime, maybe. But read the file, the sort of access this guy is getting, is insane. How the hell did he get to Kate Portman, that actress? How did he get a gun inside a nightclub unchallenged? According to Sergeant Beckett, Sidney got to a drug addict, and a Korean housewife on the same day. Same afternoon, even. Now, granted, he didn't give the race of the addict-"

    "They were both in Koreatown."

    "Even so, they sound like very different demographics." The UNCLE agent glanced aside at Davis. "Sorry Karen, but unless this ass hat is showing all the victims a badge, I don't see how he is getting to all of them."

    The former lieutenant bristled, her knuckles whitening as they gripped the steering wheel tighter. "You saying this shooter is a cop?"

    Mary hesitated, thinking that she had perhaps discovered her first example if she ever decided to compile a list called, "Everything I Know, I Learned From Criminal Minds." The title needed a little work, but the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) had been right on the money with that one. Local cops do not take kindly to those kinds of suggestions.

    "N-not necessarily." She caught herself, suppressing the nervous stammer before it got out of hand. She tried to find a way of not digging herself any deeper, and her mind turned to the Man From U.N.C.L.E. movies where UNCLE agents had been impersonated by THRUSH, and rallied. "Someone could be pretending to be a cop. Someone might have actually lost a badge."

    "Can Fire Department badges be confused with police ones?"

    "Well..." Karen conceded, once offered an out from the near-accusation of her people. "I suppose if an F.D. badge were flashed in your face, it would take some attitude to question it."

    Mary glanced at Karen's knuckles, seeing some colour return to them as she relaxed. "
    Atta girl." She encouraged cautiously. "There you go." She slowly released her held breath.


    To be continued...
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
  11. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    Continued...


    IC: Karen Davis (npc), Mary Formal, Nicole Gravely, Taurus P.I.S.

    Location: Bagley Avenue, Culver City


    "You know..." Karen continued, vocalising her next thoughts. "...I wonder if Sidney does know all the victims."

    "ALL of them?" Nicole echoed dubiously.

    "What if this Tritec thing isn't their first rodeo? Sturm might have sent those invites to people that he already knew, like if they were already in some sort of existing society. Like Mufon, for instance."

    "What's Mufon?"

    "Organised collective of UFO enthusiasts. Mutual UFO Network, I believe." Davis glanced up into the rear-view mirror to see the younger woman behind her. "If everyone who got a Tritec invite, are members of the same club, and Sidney is one of them, that could get him within striking range. Who knows, maybe he got kicked out, and has gone completely postal."

    Mary nodded. "If you are right, two ways to handle this. Either go through the lives of all the victims, collating their contacts, relatives, colleagues, and friends. Once we start seeing a person come up multiple times, we mark them as someone to look into further. Or, if we are able to confirm the existence of a group, get a membership list, subtract the vics, and start contacting the survivors, maybe ask them who they know with an Australian-sounding accent."

    "Just one problem."

    "Just one?"

    "Sandra Preston, once we got her to use her words, was actually quite detailed. She mentioned no sign of recognition from the pink-haired girl, when Sidney approached her. I still have the recording of her statement." There were the sounds of stops and starts as Nicole found her place on the phone's recording, then, "and then he was there. Young dude. Blonde. Blue Hoodie. Cheap one. Dragged a gun right in front of her and shot. Man, I have no idea how he could kiss her at the distance. He was not farther way than three feet or something." "Okay, we missed that; he's not always in grey."

    "You're right though." Formal conceded from the front seat. "No sign of recognition from Annie."

    "Maybe she saw the gun before she saw the man."

    "Possible, but the other time we got a witness statement, in the nightclub. Sidney was there long enough for his accent to be noted, and for him to tell someone to leave. Again no sign of recognition."

    They drove on in silence, Karen eventually turning the car to the left to take it off Culver Boulevard.
    "Heads up. We're on Duquesne Avenue now, and at the far end, corner on the right, will be your internet cafe."

    "If it's open, we should tell the customers to leave, so that we can check the place out"

    The long road was quite picturesque, with fully-leafed trees crowding the sidewalk, with a combination of businesses, and residences lining both sides.
    Palm trees towered above everything, at regular intervals.

    Looking ahead, gave the impression that the long road led directly into some foothills.

    After a pair of zebra crossings, the road became a bridge going over an artificial waterway, then right after that, on the right, was a big, three metre-high bit of street art, like a metal Grecian urn.

    There was no time to admire it, for Karen steered them across the road to park a few metres short of the corner with the main road crossing their path, Jefferson Boulevard.
    "Okay, that's it. On our right."

    "Both of you, stay in the car." Formal instructed, releasing her seatbelt to open her door and swing her feet out. She stood up, in the lee of the door, and peered carefully around, taking in the busy traffic along the main road, the apparent hill beyond it, and anybody that she could see.
    Satisfied, she bent down and advised, "We're clear. Let's go."

    Davis eyed the avenue, and where she had parked, dubiously. "I hope we don't get rear-ended. Maybe I should have parked in that car park"

    There was a small car park, maybe room for eight cars, between the urn art, and back of the two-storey internet cafe.

    "Don't worry about it now." The self-styled UNCLE agent indicated a solid-looking blue door, that was a few metres from where they had parked, and looked like a side door to where they wanted. "Nikki, check if that is locked."

    While the shorter woman proceeded to the door, Mary and Karen proceeded to the corner, peering round towards the front of the building, whilst Mary noticed a big waist-high wall of concrete on the corner, chiselled with the words, CITY OF CULVER CITY, and in smaller letters underneath, TRANSPORTATION FACILITY.

    "Maybe it used to be a transportation facility; now it's an internet cafe."

    Thanks to several trees blocking their lines-of-sight, they were not going to be able to tell if it was open till they were right in front of it.

    "If there is gunplay, we will have to watch our backdrops. This situation looks rife for collateral damage."

    "Right."

    Gravely caught up with them. "It's locked. No obvious way to get in from the outside."

    "Good girl. Okay, you two stay here. I'll go to the front first."

    With a deep sigh, she proceeded to do just that, trying to see the front of the place beyond the trees lining the grass verge.


    Tag: @Lawbreaker
     
  12. SirakRomar

    SirakRomar Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 30, 2007
    Enigma and Andy
    Andy's Penthouse

    Elina put over her silk gown and checked her portable for messages. Nothing from Annie or Christian. She hoped he had got the program in time.

    Andy was under the shower and she asked his AI for a glass of champagne. The small robot delivered a Pierre Laurent right away. She nipped from it and began looking around. There would be nothing lying around of course that gave away anything.

    But there was a pad and Elina looked at the shower where Andy was still having the water run. She swiped over the screen and there was no security installed. The simulation. She recognized the interface right away. Pictures of people, all frozen. A countdown was on it.

    11:34:23

    11:34:22

    11:34:21

    Elina heard the steps of Andy behind her. She did not even try to hide she had looked.

    "What happens in eleven hours?" She asked and she could simply not shake the feeling what she had found there was profound.

    "I find out if I am right. In eleven hours I know where to look to find ... myself." Andy took the pad from her hands. "Some simulations we cannot see, but we can see all places. And I know exactly where Andy is in 11 hours."

    Elina felt a shiver running over her back. "Where is he?"

    "In eleven hours he gives a presentation to a small group of experts. In eleven hours ... Tritec is born." Andy smiled at her. "Christian is at Gamescape. Working tirelessly on finding access. You think he will be ready for the grande finale? I doubt it."

    Elina gave him a tortured. "He is good, but not that good." She said and turned away, giving him the pad. Andy eyes her as she stepped to the window and followed her.

    "Are you keeping secrets from me Elina?" He asked and followed her. He gently drew the silk robe from her body and came closer, gently kissing her shoulder.

    "Too many to count, my dear." Elina smiled. He smiled back.

    "You know what scares me? About all of this?" He whispered and his arms wandered around her body holding her.

    "What? What scares Andy, the master of all?" Elina whispered and pretended to enjoy him kissing her neck.

    "There is little difference between us and a real person. We think, we feel, we suffer, we succeed and fail. But one ... one difference is there." He sighed. "We have no soul. Which means ..." With a push he pressed her against the cold window. A deep sigh escaped her. "There is no afterlife. No heaven or hell. No sins. No forgiveness." He came closer again. "In many ways we are free. We can do whatever we want to each other."

    Her body began trembling. "Andy ... please ..."

    "Tell me. Tell me your secret." He hissed into her ear. Elina closed her eyes and then felt the tears on her cheek.

    "I think they contacted me." She whispered. "The Simulators. I think I met one today."

    Andy let go of her. "Where?" He demanded to know.

    "This afternoon on the market. A man was there knowing about Annie, about you and me ... he said this is bigger than I understand." Elina turned around covering her naked body with her hands. "They said ... they would look after me." She said.

    Andy stared at her and laughed. "I knew it." He hissed out and turned. "Leave." He said then and took the pad walking back to the bathroom.

    Elina sighed in relief. She had kept Christian's secret. For now.

    Tag: @Lawbreaker

     
    Sith-I-5 likes this.
  13. Lawbreaker

    Lawbreaker Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2018
    2019

    Muscle Beach, Santa Monica

    There was again a long silence on the other line, then the female voice calmly replied.

    "What is the danger of you can't be killed?" The voice laughed. "Keep calm and hide, this will be over sooner or later."

    The call ended abruptly with a long beep.

    Annie stood right in front of the Imperiale, a club she knew from her nightlife adventures. The door was open. Behind her police cars kept on arriving on the murder scene and began blocking the road. But with hundreds of panicking witnesses the police was pretty busy.

    Tag: @SirakRomar


    The Imperiale

    "God?" He laughed. "Religiously speaking I am not a God. But let's say my access to the simulation is closer to that of a God than yours." He nodded.

    "Quentin, did he give you that idea?" He laughed. "Poor boy. Don't make the mistake he did and take this thing too serious without understanding it."

    Tag: @RachelTyrell




    Doom Bar, Culver City

    The Internet cafe was in a sorry state as they approached it. Opened up in a former industrial building the front was having so many flyers on it, it was almost impossible to look into it. PUBG Night Friday, Each win free drink - Call of Duty tournament every second Saturday a months - Join the Habag Tigers - All you can play Monday It went on like this. Some people had added their own offers to sell a "as good as new PS4" or looking for someone to buy a puppy. But the red sign blinking OPEN was visible and the door was open. In front of it sat a kid in jeans and a shirt with a mysterious sign on it and a large "3" below it. He was drinking his Mountain Dew and looked bored.

    For those familiar there were still signs of a crime scene. Cigarettes, empty coffee cups, a piece of yellow tape in a trashcan nearby. Mr. Sturm had probably been killed right in front of the building.

    Inside the cafe had posters of old games and past events at the stone walls. The furniture was cheap. A large statue of a monster dominated the center of the cafe. The label under it identified it as a figure from Doom 3. It smelled like cold coffee and energy drinks. There were few people and surprisingly non of them was sitting at the computers to the right. The four guests were all sitting in the only American Diner style booth near the locked sidedoor and turned their heads as the three women entered. Their conversation died right away. Two of them were obviously a couple and punks, with green hair and piercings in the nose and lips. The man in his twenties closed his laptop as they entered. Another one was an elder Gentleman with grey hair wearing an expensive BOSS polo shirt and the last was a young woman with curly hair in a blue summer dress. She had an Samsung pad which she drew to her chest and kept it there.

    Behind the bar that filled the left of the room stood a woman in her fifties who had dyed her hair in red and failed to make it look natural. She was wearing a Doom Shirt and jeans and was drinking a Pepsi.

    "Can I help you?" She asked with a failed attempt of a winning smile as they entered. But something about her just gave the vibe of being sad. "We were just about to close."

    Obviously it was early for closing a cafe that probably made good business in the approaching evening.

    Tag: @Sith-I-5
     
  14. SirakRomar

    SirakRomar Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 30, 2007
    Annie
    Muscle Beach, Santa Monica

    Annie screamed in frustration. She quickly turned. So far neither the cops nor the killer had followed her.

    In front of her was the Imperiale she knew all too well from her nightly adventures. Shaking her head she breathed out and quickly made it to the door. It would be a good place to hide until the storm was calming.

    Sidney had just killed two Cops. For no apparent reason. So he was angry. Scared even? After all he had found someone he could not kill. She knew now how he looked. She knew his weakness. She was actually a danger, a mortal danger to the man? Maybe all the police could not stop him, but she could. The woman was right. If she was invincible like him, she was his equal. For a man with his murderous appetites that had to be scary.

    But ...

    Why would she stop him? Not because she loved humans so much. But he was after Ray. She cared a bit about Ray. He had been good to her.

    Mostly she felt like Sidney would not leave it at that. He would be after her too. Trying to use her weakness much like she planned to use his. No, she knew it was not an option they both lived.

    It was Live and let Die now as Paul McCartney said. She had to find him again.

    Tag: @Lawbreaker
     
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  15. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    IC: Mary Formal, Nicole Gravely, Karen Davis (npc), the Doom Bar internet cafe
    Location: Corner of Duquesne and Jefferson, Culver City


    Agent Formal finally got to a point where she could see the front of the place, and hesitated, drinking in what for all the world, looked like the Sandra Preston residence turned inside out.

    Word of mouth must have consisted of, "No no, don't let the outside fool you. It's supposed to look like a **** hole. The chameleon circuit failed whilst it was parked...inside...look just come along tonight, and I'll show you."

    The Internet cafe was in a sorry state as she silently regarded it. Looked like Edgar Sturm had opened it up in a former industrial building, the front end having so many flyers on it, it was almost impossible to look through the windows. PUBG Night Friday, Each win free drink - You'd need one to just get past the door - Call of Duty tournament every second Saturday in a month - Join the Habag Tigers - All you can play Monday.
    It went on like this.

    Some people had risked dysentery to add their own offers to sell a "as good as new PS4" or looking for someone to buy a puppy. But the red sign blinking OPEN was visible and the door was open.

    In front of it, or at to the left of it some people wouldn't have to climb over him, a kid in jeans and a shirt with a mysterious sign on it and a large "3" below it, sat on the two red-painted steps leading up to the door. He was drinking his green litre-bottle of Mountain Dew and looking bored.

    Checking around him, Mary completely empathised. She had seen more stimulating-looking ball pits.

    Putting on a warm smile which he probably wouldn't see anyway, as the light was behind her, she put on her idea of a Scottish brogue, embraced her inner British Secret Agent, being unzipped from an inflatable sea ball by SPECTRE minions, and greeted: "Good morning, Gentlemen." It would've helped if there were more than the one child here. "ACME pollution inspection. We're cleaning up the world, we thought this would be a suitable starting point."

    This got nothing from the boy, but prompted Nicole and Karen to join her, looking around themselves as they flanked her, a step behind.

    "Gentlemen?" Gravely queried, then reported, "Cops have been here."

    Mary snapped her attention back to the redhead, frowning down at her. "How can you tell?"

    The Portland sergeant waved towards cigarettes and empty coffee cups littering the shaded ground between the thick-boled tree to their right, and the stained concrete pathway to the door.

    "She's right." Davis chimed as she turned slowly on the spot to check their surroundings whilst they were out here, exposed. "There's scene tape in the trashcan, too."

    Mary peered around for the nearest bin, and eventually spied it, along with the haphazard discarding of reflective yellow police tape. "Oh yeah, well spotted you two."

    Hands freed by having her phone, pen and notebook, safely stowed in pouches on her vest, Nicole hastily flipped through the case file. "Confirmed. Mr Sturm was shot right out here."

    Formal looked up the building's facade as much as the overhanging branches would let her, checking for security cameras, then turned towards the sun-drenched road behind them, to check their 'six' (behind them), when she spotted that Karen was already doing that. She nodded her approval at her. She was having reservations about her ward being in harm's way. However, the fact that that they were here at all, was thanks to Gravely's insistence on following up on the Decker homicides, so it was right to let her lead. "Nikki, Sweetie, first sign of trouble, you hit the dirt and seek cover."

    Gravely visibly bristled and pushed the brim of her hat up to glare up at her. "Now listen-" was all that she managed to get out before Mary snatched her bare arm and physically hauled her along the street several metres away from Davis, lifting the side of the younger woman's stetson so that she could growl directly into her ear.

    "Now you know me, I will put you back into that car with slapped legs if you prefer. Your call."

    Teeth gritted, blushing with embarrassment at the situation, and amazed at the vice-like grip overwhelmingly holding her in place like this, slightly too off-balance to regain her centre-of-gravity, Gravely peered sidelong up into Formal's stern visage. "What're you, like a Siren, acting like this around people, and not getting shot?" She referenced the female creatures of Greek mythology who lured sailors into shipwrecking with their haunting music.

    "First time I laid eyes upon one of you, I did get shot, yes." Musket ball. Through-and-through. Out the back of her right shoulder blade. Healed right up........so she had taken the shooter's heart.
    Internally, Mary was shocked at her own candour, and had to fight for that to not show on her face and replace the stern mother expression that her now wide-eyed little girl needed to see if she didn't want frog-marching back to the sedan with smarting pink handprints on the backs of her thighs.

    "One of us how? Girls? Cops? Oregonians?"

    That last word threw the British woman off slightly, as she only knew Oregonians as the brutish, occasional ally of the Daleks. Her blonde bangs pendulumed as she micro-shook her own head to re-focus. "Legs, in three-"

    "Fine!"

    "No, not 'fine'. You will do as you are told anyway, but most especially when it comes to me minding your safety."

    "Everything okay over there?" Davis called gaily over to them.

    "Having a blast, Lou'." She reassured without breaking eye contact with Nicole. "Just keep looking around please. Now Nikki, what are you going to do at the first sign of trouble?"

    "But what if I see Sidney? Can't I at least warn one of you?"

    "I'm sure I will figure it out from your body language. 'Ello, shorter than normal; what's she seen? Yipes, Sidney! Now, first sign of trouble?"

    "I am to immediately duck, and seek cover."

    "And once more for the attention deficit?"

    "Drop. Seek cover."

    "Good girl." Relieved and satisfied with equal measure, Mary turned Nicole round so that her back was to the road, released her, and stepped back to give them a little bit of space to de-escalate into. "Alright, count to ten, take a couple of breaths and put on a nice smile, so we can show Auntie Karen that everything is fine and dandy." She peered over Gravely's head at the nearest traffic, and any drivers or passengers watching her disciplining her child whilst they were stopped at the lights. "Ready?"

    Nicole looked up and nodded. The hard glint had faded from her eyes, and her cheeks were quickly returning to normal.

    "Alright, come on." They walked back to Davis.

    "Everything alright?"

    Mary nodded as she walked up to the LAPD detective. "If Nikki continues to be a good girl, and impresses me with her performance, first vendor or emporium that we come to, assuming we're not actually under live fire and using it for cover, she gets an ice cream."

    "What about me?"

    The UNCLE agent turned from her and headed up the pathway. "Of course you too. That goes without saying." As Formal passed the kid with his Mountain Dew, she ruffled his head and she commended him on not talking to strangers.
    Then she was inside, moving in several paces to leave room for her team as she took in the interior, that, unexpectedly, was an actual improvement on the outside.

    She glanced quickly around, to determine any threat before Nicole could be exposed to it. Seemed fine. For now.

    Inside the cafe had posters of old games and past events at the stone walls. The furniture was cheap. A large statue of a monster dominated the center of the cafe. The label under it identified it as a figure from Doom 3. It smelled like cold coffee and energy drinks. There were few people and surprisingly non of them was sitting at the computers to the right. The four guests were all sitting in the only American Diner style booth near the locked sidedoor and turned their heads as the three women entered. Their conversation died right away. Two of them were obviously a couple and punks, with green hair and piercings in the nose and lips. The man in his twenties closed his laptop as they entered. Another one was an elder Gentleman with grey hair wearing an expensive BOSS-

    A well-remembered pirate music radio station promo, BOSS. Sound of the Hardcore, sang through her thoughts.

    -polo shirt and the last was a young woman with curly hair in a blue summer dress (BSD).

    Mary nodded her approval.

    The BSD woman had an Samsung pad which she drew to her chest and kept it there.

    Behind the bar that filled the left of the room stood a woman in her fifties who had dyed her hair in red and failed to make it look natural. She was wearing a Doom Shirt and jeans and was drinking a Pepsi.

    "Can I help you?" She asked with a failed attempt of a winning smile as they entered. But something about her just gave the vibe of being sad. "We were just about to close."

    Mary did not believe that for a second. Obviously it was early for closing a cafe that probably made good business in the approaching evening. She twigged the woman for being the Sturm widow, but with nothing really to back that up, she didn't respond, only inclining her head to the left to address her ward. "Sergeant Gravely. You're up."

    Nicole stepped around her, and looked across to the woman behind the bar, sizing her up. "I'm Sergeant Gravely. LAPD. These are my colleagues. We are investigating the death of the owner, Mr Sturm, and want to look at the meeting room and any materials that he had arranged for 'What is Tritec'. We also want to see a list of everyone that had been invited, and we want to know who could have had access to that list. Is that something that you can help us with, Ma'am?" She glanced back at Karen, lifting her pen and notebook out from her vest and handing them over. "Davis, please can you get everyone's names, and ask them what they know about Tritec and the meeting. If you are satisfied that they know nothing, they can wait outside until we are finished here."

    Karen moved to the American Diner area by the door, positioning herself at the end of the table between the comfortable-looking scarlet synthetic leather seating, and smiling down at the four. "Everyone's hands where I can see them, please." She gestured to the nearest punk, close to her left hip. "Okay you first. Name please?"

    Formal backed to a corner where she could see the open door, and everyone around the cafe, without anyone behind her. "And by waiting outside, we mean more than a hundred metres away, in any direction." Her right hand hung casually near the drop holster strapped around her thigh.

    Nicole looked expectantly up at the bar woman. "Ma'am?"


    Tag: @Lawbreaker

    Notes

    Lines used, or references made, are from:

    Diamonds Are Forever - "Good morning gentlemen. ACME pollution inspection. We're cleaning up the world, we thought this was a suitable starting point."
    Doctor Who - Oregonians? Mary is thinking of Orgons.
     
  16. RachelTyrell

    RachelTyrell Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Amy Cross
    Le Imperiale

    Amy blinked and slowly turned to the exit, looking at it. Finally she smiled and shook her head.

    "Okay, I bite. Let us play under the assumption this is not a bad dream and this is not you being crazy ..." Amy turned to him. "I got a few questions." She came back to the bar and put her glass there.

    "One: Can I have another one please?" She asked and looked at him narrowing her eyes.

    "Two: Do you have Prayer in C in your library?" She smiled and downed the drink in on fluid move.

    "Three: Can you resurrect Quentin?" Amy looked at him, but considering he denied godlike abilities she doubted he could. She had to ask anyway.

    "Four: What is this? Don't try to tell me I randomly walked in here and now you share the secret of existence with me. Bolloks. You knew I was coming. So why have you been telling me and why have you given the card to me?"

    Amy raised her brow and waited for an answer.

    Tag: @Lawbreaker (See PM)
     
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  17. DarkLordoftheFins

    DarkLordoftheFins Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Christian Borg
    Gamescape Headquarters

    Christian waited until he was alone and then opened the directory of profiles within the Simulation. Here he would upload his own. The program he had installed began to simulate him, already. It would take a few hours though, until it was complete.

    Andy had delivered the Coke Light and glass bottles as promised and knowing he needed to stay sharp for a few more hours Christian took one and thought about his conversation with Jack. Jack who had not yet returned from the simulation room. He seemed not to sleep that much. Secretly Christian wondered if Jack knew?

    Rubbing his front of his head he felt a slight headache. Then something hit him. They can not scan through the profiles, but look up one by one ... he opened up the simulation and opened up the window to see it life.

    JACK BURNS he typed in and ... he had a hit. Jack was in the simulation. He pressed proceed and leaned back. Jack appeared, ten years younger and very different, but the same man. He was wearing a grey hoodie and was leaving a bus. He was in the simulation. Jack had put himself in there. It felt strangely weird. But this Jack was a different beast. Haunted eyes and looking around like he expected to be followed by someone. Or was he worried? There was a air of urgency around him, as he crossed the street and checked his mobile. A car had to make a full stop and a Mexican gentleman yelled at him. Jack only looked at him and said nothing. Then continuing his path as if he did not care about almost being run over by a damned car. Christian leaned towards the screen. He opened the page of Jack Burns in the internal network and looked at his profile. He had worked freelancer in 2019. Among his references were several Los Angeles companies. Mostly AI driven business. In 2020 he became one of the first employers of the newly merged Gamescape. So he was authentic. He had truly been in L.A..

    "Working so late?" The female voice asked from behind and Christian quickly closed both the profile and simulation.

    Lisa stood there with a coffee mug and a smile.

    "We both are it seems." He replied to the young Asian girl and wondered how long she has stood there.

    "I am nightshift. The Tritec database is worked on 24/7. I usually pick the night shifts." She smiled at him. Christian blinked.

    "Cool." He tried to reply casually and stood up. "Are you actually uploading stuff?" He asked to make conversation.

    "Sometimes." She replied and he wondered who else had that job. Christian rubbed his eyes. He was tired. "Actually tonight was busy." She smiled a him.

    "I see." He just replied and hoped she wasn't killing time with a chat. "Jack is around too."

    "Oh." She just replied and sighed, her eyes raised. Probably to indicate she did not approve. No surprise considering how he treated other female employees in Christians presence.

    "Yeah. He is upstairs in the simulation room." Christian shrugged.

    "I got access from my work station. So I leave him to his work. What were you doing?" She asked.

    "Nothing, really." He yawned. "Getting a feel for the simulation. Checking historical accuracy and such." Christian answered. Lisa eyed him for a long moment.

    "Solving crimes?" She asked then. She had seen more than she should.

    "No, no. Just curiously checking on familiar faces." He looked at her. "Why?" He asked and she just waved.

    "I was just joking." She said and passed him with a wink to walk to her workstation.

    Christian remained there and watched her before he sat down on his workstation again. "Who uploaded the profile of Jack Burns?" He asked the computer. The process was displayed right away. Lisa Feung. Three months ago in the middle of the night. He checked her privileges and she was Level 2. He checked that term and she was actually only allowed to alter the database under supervisory.

    Maybe they had ignored the guidelines to be more agile. Or the girl had hacked the simulation. Christian looked over to her and saw her typing into her workstation.

    He checked her working hours and asked the computer for a comparison to Rick Candle. The result displayed right away. They had 87% of their shifts as Rick had worked at night too. Had Rick needed someone from the database? Had Lisa been his accomplice?

    Christian suddenly felt less secure as his upload process jumped to 50%.

    Tag: @Lawbreaker

    ooc: Combined with Lawbreaker

     
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  18. Lawbreaker

    Lawbreaker Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2018
    2019

    Le Imperiale, Santa Monica

    There were voices inside. A woman and a man. Adrian Morrel, she actually knew the voice of the owner of Le Imperiale. Music began to play and soaked up the voices almost, but still not completely.



    "One. Sure. Two. Sure." Adrian replied to Amy and with a snap of his fingers the song began playing. He began dancing a little to it again, moving to the bottle with something that looked like a modern version of Tango. Just danced alone.

    "Three. No. He is erased and from this level there is no way to get him back. The guys running the simulation could upload him again I guess. But why would they make such a mess of their beloved simulation." Adrian sighed. "Four is a smart one. Like that. Let's say I use you to find out something." He smiled. "I am the kinda guy who uses beautiful women, you know?" He said with a flirty voice. But when he winked it felt almost like a threat. His grin grew broader.

    Tag: @RachelTyrell, @SirakRomar




    Doom Bar, Culver City

    Ms. Sturm folded her arms. "Well, Sidney killed him. If you are looking for a suspect maybe you guys get working on him!" Obviously the lack of progress left the citizens of L.A. with the instinctive conclusion the LAPD was not doing their work. She sighed though. "We have no list. Used an amazing cool website called Facebook. People just signed up by liking the meet. After Ed was shot nobody showed up. Well, these clowns over there did today." She nodded over to the four people with something that seemed to be disgust. Probably it was her charming ways that kept customers away. "But who dares to come to a cafe that had it's owner murdered by L.A. answer to Jack the Ripper, hm?"

    In the corner the Punk girl curled up her lip and looked at the cop. "Don't you need a warrant or something?" She asked. The man in the Boss shirt rolled his eyes. "For identification? Maggie, no they don't need a warrant to ask your name. They are cops." Maggie gave him an angry look.

    "Maggie Steward." She finally said. "Margerite Steward, actually." Her boyfriend said and giggled. "I hate that stupid name, Rupert James!" She hissed at him.

    "Elisabeth Mary Windslow." The girl in the summer dress said. Finally the BOSS sighed. "James Smith." He said and nodded. "We are all here for Tritec." He finally said.

    "None of their business!" Maggie hissed.

    "They are investigating a murder for christs sake." Elisabeth sighed. Shaking her head. Maggie gave her another of these annoyed looks. She seemed to have an unlimited amount of those.

    "I knew it! Tritec is connected to Sidney, is it? I just goddamned knew it!" Rupert spit out. James calmed him with a gesture.

    "Detective, we gathered here because we found a lead on what Tritec is ... or more precise where it might be unveiled." He took a card out of his pocket and held it up. Black and plastic it showed a red T on it. "Invitations. We just discussed who of us could go there and ... if it was probably dangerous."

    "A gaming company. My guess is they are using the hype to promote their game. A method I find highly questionable from an ethical perspective." Elisabeth waved the comment away.

    "No! I told you my friend said he got this one Monday two weeks ago. Long before Quentin made the world aware of Tritec!" James insisted. Elisabeth only shook her head.


    Ms. Sturm looked at Nicole and shrugged. "They have been like that for hours." She sighed. "Ed was actually far ahead of those moron nerds. But who cares about it anymore, hm?" Shaking her head she sighed. "Andy Chang, that's the guy who you gotta talk to! If my Ed got killed for keeping this Tritec a secret he has ordered the hit!" She confidently threw her conspiracy theory out.

    Tag: @Sith-I-5




    Streets, Culver City

    He crossed the street and smiled at a woman that passed him. Looking back at his mobile he sighed. "Day!" He greeted her and she nodded and passed quickly. Turning around he saw another Afro woman sitting at the bus stop two meters away. He smiled as she turned and he recognized her as his victim. He had forgotten her name. They were so many by now the names really did not matter anymore. He passed her, avoided a tall white guy and got his gun out as he passed. His pulse did not go up a beat as he put a bullet right into her skull and passed the bench she was sitting on. Screams. Panic. As usual he did not stop but instead got his mobile out and looked for the next victim while wandering away from the scene.

    Doom Cafe. Had he not been there yesterday? It was nearby, so he began to walk quicker before the targets started moving.

    Tag: None, yet
     
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  19. RachelTyrell

    RachelTyrell Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Amy Cross
    Le Imperiale

    Amy stared at him. She had not expected Quentin to be resurrected, but as she was speaking to ... "God" ... asking did not hurt.

    But it was the last bit that made her swallow. "You bastard." It escaped her mouth. Fox had talked about it. Tritec. All who searched it or got close died. Sidney hunted those who knew about Tritec. She had just been told what exactly Tritec was. Adrian Morrell was using her as bait! He was after Sidney.

    "What ... are you trying to stop him?" She asked and stepped back from the bar. "Or is it just curiosity? Have you grown bored and he is a thrill? Will you be turned on by watching me being chased?" She held up the card.

    "You want me to die there? On stage probably?" Amy demanded to know and started stepping back. A trap. She had stepped into a trap.

    Tag: @Lawbreaker, @SirakRomar
     
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  20. SirakRomar

    SirakRomar Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 30, 2007
    Enigma and Andy
    Andy's Penthouse

    Elina put over her silk gown and checked her portable for messages. Nothing from Annie or Christian. She hoped he had got the program in time.

    Andy was under the shower and she asked his AI for a glass of champagne. The small robot delivered a Pierre Laurent right away. She nipped from it and began looking around. There would be nothing lying around of course that gave away anything.

    But there was a pad and Elina looked at the shower where Andy was still having the water run. She swiped over the screen and there was no security installed. The simulation. She recognized the interface right away. Pictures of people, all frozen. A countdown was on it.

    11:34:23

    11:34:22

    11:34:21

    Elina heard the steps of Andy behind her. She did not even try to hide she had looked.

    "What happens in eleven hours?" She asked and she could simply not shake the feeling what she had found there was profound.

    "I find out if I am right. In eleven hours I know where to look to find ... myself." Andy took the pad from her hands. "Some simulations we cannot see, but we can see all places. And I know exactly where Andy is in 11 hours."

    Elina felt a shiver running over her back. "Where is he?"

    "In eleven hours he gives a presentation to a small group of experts. In eleven hours ... Tritec is born." Andy smiled at her. "Christian is at Gamescape. Working tirelessly on finding access. You think he will be ready for the grande finale? I doubt it."

    Elina gave him a tortured. "He is good, but not that good." She said and turned away, giving him the pad. Andy eyes her as she stepped to the window and followed her.

    "Are you keeping secrets from me Elina?" He asked and followed her. He gently drew the silk robe from her body and came closer, gently kissing her shoulder.

    "Too many to count, my dear." Elina smiled. He smiled back.

    "You know what scares me? About all of this?" He whispered and his arms wandered around her body holding her.

    "What? What scares Andy, the master of all?" Elina whispered and pretended to enjoy him kissing her neck.

    "There is little difference between us and a real person. We think, we feel, we suffer, we succeed and fail. But one ... one difference is there." He sighed. "We have no soul. Which means ..." With a push he pressed her against the cold window. A deep sigh escaped her. "There is no afterlife. No heaven or hell. No sins. No forgiveness." He came closer again. "In many ways we are free. We can do whatever we want to each other."

    Her body began trembling. "Andy ... please ..."

    "Tell me. Tell me your secret." He hissed into her ear. Elina closed her eyes and then felt the tears on her cheek.

    "I think they contacted me." She whispered. "The Simulators. I think I met one today."

    Andy let go of her. "Where?" He demanded to know.

    "This afternoon on the market. A man was there knowing about Annie, about you and me ... he said this is bigger than I understand." Elina turned around covering her naked body with her hands. "They said ... they would look after me." She said.

    Andy stared at her and laughed. "I knew it." He hissed out and turned. "Leave." He said then and took the pad walking back to the bathroom.

    Elina sighed in relief. She had kept Christian's secret. For now. Quickly she left the apartment.

    Tag: @Lawbreaker

     
  21. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    IC: Nicole Gravely, Mary Formal, Karen Davis (npc), the Doom Bar internet cafe
    Location: Corner of Duquesne and Jefferson, Culver City


    Gravely approached the bar to try to separate her exchange with the barwoman, from what Davis was dealing with, at the American Diner' booth.

    Ms. Sturm folded her arms. "Well, Sidney killed him. If you are looking for a suspect maybe you guys get working on him!"

    "We are trying that, Ma'am. The full force of the LAPD and related law enforcement, are focussed this Sidney. Looking for clues, and leads. Such as anything connecting the various victims." The diminutive redhead cosied up to the bar, placing her hands on the counter, looking up at the woman. and lowering her voice. "If we can find any connections between the apparently random victims, that could, I repeat could lead us towards a motive, and then help to identify Sidney. In the last half hour, we have found that four of the killings have been connected by this Tritec matter. While the rest of the taskforce is trying to pursue other leads, I want to compare the list of Tritec attendees to our existing victim pool to see how much of a correlation there is."

    The barwoman sighed now. "We have no list. Used an amazing cool website called Facebook. People just signed up by liking the meet. After Ed was shot nobody showed up."

    Nicole nodded to herself at that, thinking that with Facebook online, they did not need to be here to look at it.

    "Well, at least three of those, were stopped by Sidney." The shorter Portland native put up a hand, frowning. "Wait, our detectives found those three had actual invites. That they were invited to a conspiracy theory meeting. So there must have been more going on than just passive likes. They had something with your address on." Nicole put a finger to her chest of her vest. "We didn't track you via Facebook."

    The barwoman gestured past her, to the seated customers. "Well, these clowns over there did today." She nodded over to the four people with something that seemed to be disgust.

    Gravely's eyebrows shot up in surprise, and she turned to regard what she could see of the four, beyond Karen Davis' back. "Oh!"

    ****

    Davis' waited at the table, feeling slightly like the waitress that she had been during her mid-teens, notebook and pen in hand. She half expected one of them to find surreptitiously deposit a scoop of ice cream into the pocket on her non-existent apron.

    The introductions started well, the punk nearest her, curling her lip up at her, and starting with the classic, "Don't you need a warrant or something?"

    Karen gave her the hairy eyeball, and pointedly slid the punk's - What do you call girl punks? Punkettes? - ice-cream sundae across the table out of her reach and into the space formerly occupied by the other girl's Samsung pad.

    The man in the BOSS shirt rolled his eyes across the table. "For identification? Maggie, no they don't need a warrant to ask your name. They are cops." He earned himself an angry look, as Karen raised the notebook, sketched a quick rectangle using the top three rows of a new page, representing the table before her, and numbering 1, 2, 3, and 4 for the seat placements.

    Underneath, she wrote "1", circled the number, and scribbled "Maggie" next to it.

    "Maggie Steward." Punkette finally said.

    "Margerite Steward, actually." Her fellow punk clarified, and giggled. From the shared green hair, and his attitude, Karen surmised that they were boyfriend and girlfriend. Awww.

    "I hate that stupid name, Rupert James!" Maggie hissed back at him, clearly more bothered about it than her missing sundae.

    She seemed a handful. Karen allowed herself a slight smile, as she jotted the boy's name next to a circled '2', seeing some of her teenage self in the hostile waif.

    "Elisabeth Mary Windslow." The curly-haired girl in the summer dress said.

    "How do you spell that, Elisabeth?" She queried with a frown. As a rookie officer, she had learned early to address suspects and witnesses by their first name, for a psychological advantage.

    "Which bit?"

    "Sorry, the surname."

    "Oh, W-I-N-D-S-L-O-W. Wind Slow." Elisabeth clarified. "Like a light breeze."

    "Thank you." Karen silently acknowledged that there was a 'd' in this name, so no relation to the Homicide captain. And besides, it would have been natural for the customer to claim that her father, husband, boyfriend, brother, uncle, was a police captain. To try to regain control of the situation. But she had not.

    She regarded the final person that the table, the older gentleman in the BOSS t-shirt. He looked like he would be more at home stepping off a cart at the Rancho Park Golf Course, than sitting here with these kids. Unless he was doing his daughter, their mother, a favour whilst she took a girlfriend to a spa retreat somewhere.
    Finally Karen's air of expectation got to him, and he sighed. "James Smith." He said and nodded for some reason.

    "Thank you, James." Karen was busily scribbling this all down, when the last speaker added, "We are all here for Tritec."

    "Oh really?" Davis queried distractedly as she finished off her notations. "And what is Tritec?"

    "None of their business!" Maggie hissed to the group.

    "They are investigating a murder for Christ's sake." Elisabeth sighed. Shaking her head.

    Karen noticed Maggie shooting another of her annoyed looks at Elisabeth for breaking ranks, and wondered if that was her natural state, or if she had just gotten out of the wrong side of the bed, this morning.

    On the other hand, not many people welcomed police attention with open arms. Unless they were afraid of getting shot.

    "I knew it! Tritec is connected to Sidney, isn't it?" Rupert spat out. "I just goddamned knew it!"

    Narrowing her eyes, Karen noticed that not only did James try to calm the punk with a gesture, but that it worked. Maybe he was here with his grand-kids.

    "Detective, we gathered here because we found a lead on what Tritec is ..."

    "And what is it?" She repeated.

    "-or more precise where it might be unveiled." James continued as if she had not spoken, then after a pause, took a hand off the table to cautiously pluck a card out of his pocket and hold it up. Black and plastic it showed a red T on it.

    "Torchwood?" Mary's voice seemed to query from over near the entrance, though the former lieutenant had no idea of the significance of the comment.

    "Invitations. We just discussed who of us could go there and ... if it was probably dangerous."

    It might be. Karen was thinking, however as part of Operation Don't Lead The Witness, aloud she asked, "And what would lead you to think that, Sir? And who sent out the invites?"

    "A gaming company. My guess is they are using the hype to promote their game. A method I find highly questionable from an ethical perspective."

    Elisabeth waved his comment away.

    "No!" James blurted. "I told you my friend said he got this one Monday two weeks ago. Long before Quentin made the world aware of Tritec!" He insisted.

    Elisabeth only shook her head.

    "Elisabeth?" Karen spoke as if patiently addressing a disruptive school-child. "Do you have something to say?"

    ****

    Nicole Gravely had stayed with the so far anonymous barwoman, but along with her, was checking out how her LAPD colleague was getting on with the customers.

    Upon the mention of when Rupert James's friend had gotten his invitation card, she turned to the cafe worker. "Two weeks ago? So when did Mr Sturm put his invite onto Facebook?"

    Ms. Sturm looked back at her and shrugged, advising, "They have been like that for hours." She sighed. "Ed was actually far ahead of those moron nerds. But who cares about it anymore, hm?" Shaking her head she sighed. "Andy Chang, that's the guy who you gotta talk to! If my Ed got killed for keeping this Tritec a secret, he has ordered the hit!" She sounded confident of her suspicion.

    Nicole micro-shook her head and blinked up at the woman. "Your Ed? So you are Mrs Rita Sturm? We are very sorry for your loss, Ma'am." She paused. "I, uh. I need to confer with my colleagues. Davis, Agent Formal, over here a minute?"

    The three women gathered away from the others, Nicole's hands on her hips as she looked up at the others, then before she could talk, Mary reached over to lift the Portland sergeant's clearly forgotten cowboy hat off her crown, some of her hair rising up with it, and dropping it down the back of her shoulders, the string securing it in place, catching around the redhead's throat.

    "Did you learn anything from Mrs Sturm?"

    "She says to talk to an Andy Chang. That he could have ordered a hit on her husband." Gravely glanced at Davis. "Can you take that down, please."

    "Oh, sure." Karen lifted the notebook, and wrote: Suspect: Andy Chang.

    "Well, when we first encountered Detective Cardigan, he wanted to check with Organised Crime, as he thought Sidney was too good at killing people to be just starting out" He had actually said, 'the OC', and she had admittedly assumed that he wasn't referring to the fine residents in Orange County. "A 'hit' would tie in with that."

    Nicole whispered, "I think we need to take everyone into protective custody, but I don't know the procedures down here. Karen?"

    "Well, EPOs, Emergency Protective Orders, are more for cases of domestic violence. And based on only four victims, we don't know for certain that Sidney is going to be targeting these people."

    "We need that list." Mary put in.

    "Mrs Sturm claims that there is no list; that Mr Sturm created a post on Facebook, and basically whomever 'liked' the post, somehow knew to come here." Gravely paused, thinking. "That doesn't make sense though, as Ramirez said that the Deckers has invites to come here. Maybe Sturm put the address in the original post."

    There was a subtle clink in the background, that sounded to Karen like a teaspoon hitting a glass bowl, suggesting to her that Margerite had surrepticiously retrieved what was left of her sundae. She did not turn to check.

    "Perhaps the Doom Bar has its own Facebook page. He could've put the invite on there. That would take care of the address issue." The UNCLE agent looked over to the Widow Sturm, raising her voice enough to reach her. "Ma'am, please can you call up Mr Sturm's Facebook post on one of your computers? It is very important that we jot down as many names as we can identify."

    Nicole wagged a finger at her. "Good thinking, Batgirl."

    Mary looked back down at her. "Thanks."

    "If we really think that Sidney is gunning for everyone connected with Tritec, we can only suggest protective custody, they don't have to take us up on it. They seem generally fine now, apart from the Steward girl, but I don't think they'll want transporting up to the P-A-B."

    Nicole glanced up at her. "The what?"

    "P-A-B. Police Administration Building. Where we just came from, remember? Lots of windows."

    "What about the Culver City PD?" Mary suggested, as Nicole nodded her understanding.

    Gravely stared up at her. "Are you serious? With what Vijai told us about them?"

    "He said, 'used to be', remember? And anyway, they are not the at-risk demographic."

    "Who's Vijai? What are you talking about?"

    Gravely sighed. "He was our Uber driver that brought us from Santa Monica. He was telling us about Culver's history. Don't worry about it for now. Alright, we'll take them to the local precinct, then if it looks serious, and we can get some more units to help us, take them to the P-A-B."

    "And if this kid outside is not with anyone in here, I'll tell him to run off home."

    "Well, here goes." The Portland sergeant turned from her team-mates to address the proprietor and customers. "Alright, listen up everyone. We believe that there is a connection between Sidney's activities over the last couple of days, and people who received Mr Sturm's Tritec' invitation."

    "What did I tell you?" Rupert asked the group with a resigned tone.

    "I want to stress, you are not under arrest. However, we do think that we should place you in protective custody whilst we proceed with our enquiries. We have a car around the corner." She raised a hand and pointed at the blue sidedoor. "In fact on the other side of that door if someone wants to unlock it. We can fit four people, along with Detective Davis, take you back along this road to the Culver City PD station house."

    "Does anyone have their own transport?" Karen chimed in.

    "And is the little boy outside, with any of you?"


    Tag: @Lawbreaker
     
  22. SirakRomar

    SirakRomar Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 30, 2007
    Annie
    Le Imperiale, Santa Monica

    Annie ducked in the shadow catching breath while trying to hear anything through the breathing of her exhausted lungs and the voice of Lilly Wood singing about the word that was slowly dying ...

    The woman was angry. Tritec was mentioned. Tritec! She actually remembered the USB she had. Anyway, the woman accused Morrell of using her ... Sidney. Had Morrell somehow brought her into the crosshair of Sidney?

    Annie smiled. Suddenly she knew exactly how to find Sidney. The only thing she did not yet know was how to stop him.

    Tag: @Lawbreaker
     
  23. SirakRomar

    SirakRomar Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 30, 2007
    Annie
    Le Imperiale, Santa Monica

    Annie ducked in the shadow catching breath while trying to hear anything through the breathing of her exhausted lungs and the voice of Lilly Wood singing about the word that was slowly dying ...

    The woman was angry. Tritec was mentioned. Tritec! She actually remembered the USB she had. Anyway, the woman accused Morrell of using her ... Sidney. Had Morrell somehow brought her into the crosshair of Sidney?

    Annie smiled. Suddenly she knew exactly how to find Sidney. The only thing she did not yet know was how to stop him.

    Tag: @Lawbreaker
     
  24. Lawbreaker

    Lawbreaker Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2018
    2019

    Le Imperiale, Santa Monica

    Adrian began to snap his fingers in the rhythm. "Our World is slowly dying and I am wasting any more time ..." He sang along the tune. Then he stopped and the music did with him.

    "Curious? Oh I am curious. Any idea how boring it is to be a fake God of a fake world? Bored I certainly am too. And yes, I am gonna enjoy watch you struggle and probably die. You are a computer program. You got made to entertain me! But what I really did there ... I began something. Now you gotta go there. To the meeting. Because this is your only chance. This world will go out with a BANG, not with a whimper!"

    He laughed. A maniac laughter. He took out his mobile, still grinning and winked at her. "Culver City. Just offed a single mum there. If I were you I would take the long way to Downtown."

    Tag: @RachelTyrell, @SirakRomar




    Doom Bar, Culver City

    Maggie and Rupert were on high alert immediately.

    "No way I get arrested! I want to talk to my lawyer!" Rupert shouted out. "Do you do blood tests?" Maggie voiced a little more pragmatic question.

    "Oh shut up!" Elisabeth sighed. "I got a car, yeah. Right outside. So I can take someone for a ride to the police station." She sighed.

    "You really want them to be taken into custody?" Smith asked her.

    "Are you serious? Sheryl, Eddie? Someone killed them! You think they are wrong? What are the chances among this killers victims are two Tritec Hunters? Hm?" Elisabeth stood up. "We should be happy they take us in. Especially you two. You have been loud on all forums about Tritec. For christs sake, a killer might be out there hunting you down as we speak."

    The two punks looked down and nodded in silent obedience. "But I won't do a blood test." Maggie sighed.


    Mrs. Sturm shook her head and walked over to the door, putting the sign to Closed. The boy outside was gone.

    "No invite, only the group. But who knows? They might have spread word in forums. Maybe that is where these people got their invite from."

    Elisabeth nodded as she overheard the conversation. "Actually it was everywhere. Especially on Reddit the address was posted."

    Tag: @Sith-I-5
     
    Sith-I-5 likes this.
  25. SirakRomar

    SirakRomar Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 30, 2007
    Enigma
    Andy's Penthouse

    Elina remembered Ricks obsession with the artist behind the simulation. She smiled. She had liked Rick. Not like she liked Christian. But he had been good to her. Too good sometimes.

    When she arrived downstairs one of Andy's gorillas awaited her and offered protection.

    That was the moment she received Christians message. Panic began to spread.

    "Wonderful. But I forgot something upstairs. Be right back." She punch the button to the penthouse and stepped back.

    Once up there again she stepped out of the elevator and smiled.

    "Andy? There is something else I need to tell you!" She yelled into the large penthouse and her eyes scanned for his old-fashioned mobile phone. It was no mt there. He had it on him probably.

    Tag: @Lawbreaker