In the year 1986, crime in the United States is at an all-time high. Criminals, drugs, and guns flow in and out of the country from everywhere in the world, and the gateway to it all is the coastal paradise, Heat City. On the neon-soaked streets of this beating heart of scum and villany, you can get whatever you want -- if you can pay the price.You are Johnny the thug, and ever since you agreed to take one small job for the Bratva, your life has gone sideways. One thing led to another as you made enemies of one half of the city's underworld, and then the other half. With the help of some new friends -- Alex the enforcer, Nick the thief, and the Yamada family -- you went all-in and led a daring heist on the Triad's skyscraper fortress, Dragon's Nest. It went great until you got shot and fell off the roof, twenty-five stories down.With luck or fate, and the help of your friends, you survived to tell the tale. But you haven't forgotten that someone out there has been playing games with you, pitting the city's criminal syndicates against each other, with you caught in the middle. You're going to find out who it is, and make them pay.Updates: http://twitter.com/ravenkingquestsPrevious Threads: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Thug%20QuestDiscord: https://discord.gg/3HegtNU
"-- a crazy motherfucker, Johnny. I should have realized--""--some kind of fucking cowboy here to save the town?""--doesn't speak much English. Please take care of him--""--might make an exception for you.""--you must protect her now!""--won't let anything happen to you. I promise.""--another scorching day here in Heat City, where the fishermen catch more Cubans than fish. Temperatures will be in the high 90s, so stay in the shade and keep hydrated. No better excuse than to hit your favorite bar and start drinking, am I right? You definitely don't want to be on the street these days, although if you ask Eugene Johnson, staying indoors might not be any safer! The Councilman is expected to make a full recovery, although you can't say the same for his leg. Or his house that burned down. The police, having examined the murder victims at the scene, are blaming this on a "terrorist cell from a rogue nation." That's a real quote from the Commisioner, fellas. Scary stuff."You slowly open your eyes. A brown blur gradually resolves in the wooden ceiling of your room in the manor. You're lying on your back in bed, looking up."Thing is, with the world like it is, who knows what that even means? We got so many people from so many places in this city, it could be anybody. We got the Cubans, the Haitians, Colombians, Russians, Vietnamese, Japanese. Next it'll be the Martians! "We got some sponsors coming up, but make sure to stay tuned right here to RK-1 Radio, the city's source for news and the hottest hits of the 80s. Stay cool out there, Heat City people."Something happened, recently. There's some reason you're lying here. You can't really remember what. At least you remember who you are this time. No weird visions of ranches or detective offices. Just good old Johnny the thug, for better or worse.What happened?You experiment with flexing your limbs. Ouch. Bad idea.You look to your left. A portable radio's tinny speaker plays raucous advertisements.You look to your right, feeling an odd warmth on your arm in that direction. Catherine is slumped against the bed, kneeling beside it while resting her head and arms on the quilt, her dark hair spread out on its surface. The warmth is her cheek resting against your bare arm. Her eyes are closed, her mouth open slightly. You can just hear the sound of her quietly snoring.>Wake her up.>Look around.>Try to remember what happened.
>Try to remember what happened.
>>1281120> snuggle and go back to bed.
>>1281296>snuggleIf I didn't know any better I'd say you were trying to waifu Cat.
>>1281299We're not? But it's just what you do in bed dude. Either we already boned her or she's here because she's been traumatized and needs comfortHonestly I kind of see us as taking on a paternalistic or older brother role for Cat. More protective than sexual. Oni-chan instead of just Onii-chan as it were.
>>1281130>>1281140>>1281164Your eyes are starting to focus a little better now, so you look around the room. You see an empty IV stand next to your bed on the left side. It's not attached to anyone right now, but there's a bandage on your left arm. Next to the stand is a small, portable refridgerator plugged into the wall, humming quietly, with three blood bags on the bottom shelf. There's a red stain on the carpet beside it.You vaguely remember losing blood. A lot of blood. That's probably what this is about. There are some chairs in the room, all set up facing the bed. You see Catherine's jacket on the back of one, and someone else's suit jacket you don't recognize next to it.You look down at Catherine. Black hair tumbles over her pale skin and onto the weathered, scarred muscles of your arm. Her face is clean of makeup. Even in her sleep, she looks troubled. Still, you've never seen her quite this ... disarmed before. Behind the facade of the operator, controlling, capricious, powerful, you see a glimpse of the woman underneath.You look at the door, and just as you're realizing it's wide open, a shadow approaches it from the hallway. Your battle instinct stirs to life, and you look for a weapon, but as the person nears, you hear a familiar voice."Cat, my dear, are you still sleeping?" Ken appears in the door, one arm in a sling, the other holding a plastic grocery bag. "I convinced the girls to -- oh! Johnny! You're awake!" He drops the food bag on the floor and sits down in one of the nearby chairs. "How do you feel?" >Like my head is a church full of ringing bells.>Like I spent the night inside a concrete mixer.>Like about a dozen knives are stabbing me in different places.>Fine. How are you?
>>1281344Nah, we're waifuing Alex. Been the inclination of the anons since thread 1.And yeah, big brother role is good, but Cat is still thirsty, and snuggling would encourage that. >>1281368>Like I spent the night inside a concrete mixer.
>>1281368>Like my head is a church full of ringing bellsThat made me laugh a bit
>>1281375> Not Waifuing Cleaver-sanOne true love.And personally I think we could get away with taking the fatherly role. We're older, masculine, and we DID kill her last one so I mean right of ascension and all.> Cat, call me DaddyWell technically it was Cleaver-san.
>>1281368> Like I desperately need food and coffee like.
>>1281408It's Cleaver-chan, get it right.
>>1281368>Like I spent the night inside a concrete mixer.
>Like my head is a church full of ringing bells.
>>1281368>Like I spent the night inside a concrete mixer.>Never mind that, what happened to you?!
>>1281417Johnny is bold enough to love a male cleaver in my mind.Besides it's Cats current father.
>>1281368"Like I spent the night inside a cement mixer," you groan. "Or like my head is a church full of bells that won't stop ringing. Take your pick. Maybe a cement mixer full of bells." You look at the grocery bag on the floor. "Please tell me you have something in there I can eat right this minute.""Calzones," he says, producing them."Oh god yes," you say, reaching out for it. "You really are the best, Ken."You take a minute to rapidly wolf down half the calzone in a few bites, enjoying the taste of pepperoni and cheese and the sensation of actual food getting into your stomach. You use just your left arm, managing to keep still enough not to wake Catherine."Okay, so ... what happened?" you say after satisfying your immediate hunger. You look down at Catherine. Memories are starting to come back to life. "I was with her at Enigma, she asked me to be her bodyguard. Some Yakuza showed up. I -- I had to go after her, and leave--"Holy shit. You throw off the quilt and sheets. "Ryuji. What happened? Where is he?" You start to push yourself out of the bed. "I've got to help him, I've got to -- oh fuck!" You try to stand but, jelly legs buckling, you fail completely and crash to the ground.Ken bends down and tries to helps you up as best he can with one arm. "Take it easy, Johnny. Everything's all right. Ryuji's alive. It's been two days since then.""Two days?" You wince as the bells in your head ring again. "Wait, why is your arm in a sling? What the hell happened to you?""I'll explain everything, but first you need to get back in the bed. You might not remember, but you were shot six times -- at least six times -- stabbed, struck, and to cap it all off, you crashed a car at high speed. Your leg hasn't even fully healed from falling off that building!"You realize, as you gradually stand up, that you leaping out of bed like that might've been a rather rude awakening for Catherine. She doesn't seem to realize what happened, though, still kneeling on the ground next to the bed, rubbing the sleep out of her eyes with one hand. She looks at the empty bed with a puzzled frown, then looks over at you and gasps in shock."Johnny! You're awake! I-- uh--" She realizes her compromising position and bolts up to her feet, attempts to smooth out her skirt. "I-it's nice to see you up and about. I-I was just--"Ken chuckles. "Catherine has hardly left your side ever since your doctor friend brought you back here."Her cheeks flare red. "Uncle!" she hisses in protest.>You look cute in your sleep, you know that, Catherine?>Ken, what happened to your arm?>Where's Ryuji now? Is he okay?>I'm just glad everyone is safe.
>>1281516>>Where's Ryuji now? Is he okay?RYUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUJIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII
>>1281516>>Ken, what happened to your arm?>>Where's Ryuji now? Is he okay?
>>1281516>You look cute in your sleep, you know that, Catherine?Give. Headpat. As an American we are in aware of the significance of this.
>>1281516>I'm just glad everyone is safe.>... Ryuji is safe right?Then after confirmation maybe tease Catherine.But if Ryuji was in trouble he probably wouldn't....I SWEAR TO GOD KEN IF YOU'RE JUST TRYING TO KEEP ME FROM PANICKING
>>1281516>You look cute in your sleep, you know that, Catherine?>Where's Ryuji now? Is he okay?
>>1281516>Where's Ryuji now? Is he okay?
>>1281542I don't want to waifu Cat.Just blue-box her.
>>1281516"Where's Ryuji now? Is he okay? He's safe, right? Ken, if you're just trying to keep me from panicking--""I assure you he's fine," says Ken. "He's just in the other room, actually. The three of us have, er, taken the liberty of occupying your guest wing. Someone had to take care of you, and as our own homes are targets for retribution from the Yakuza, it seemed like a fair compromise. You weren't exactly available to ask, but still, my apologies.""It's fine, Ken. Got plenty of room here. I'm just glad he's safe." You start to crawl back in the bed. "Ugh. I'd like to talk to him now, but I don't think my legs are going to work for a bit here.""I'm sure he would like to see you," Ken says. "Shall I go and ask him to join us?""Yeah, thanks."Ken leaves the room, leaving you alone with Catherine. You lying on the bed, her standing next to you. You look up at her with a grin. "You look cute in your sleep, you know that?""I-I was exhausted after everything that's happened," she says, defensive."That and playing my nurse, it looks like."She looks away and folds her arms. "S-someone had to take care of you. I wasn't about to entrust the twins with a blood transfusion."You stifle a laugh at her embarassment. "Thanks, Catherine. I appreciate it. Really.""It's the least I could do." She pulls up her chair next to the bed. "Do you remember what happened?"You look up at the ceiling, trying to sort through your jumbled memories. "Sort of. There was a fight at the nightclub. You got grabbed. And I ... " You look at her. "Did I ...?""You came after me," she says. "You saved me, even though you had to--" she stops herself. "You did what you had to do. I said things -- things I shouldn't have -- but I want you to know that I'm grateful." You feel her take your right hand in her graceful fingers and squeeze it gently. "For everything.""No problem, Catherine."A small laugh escapes her. "You can call me Cat if you'd like, Johnny. It seems fair after everything we've been through together in such a short time.">Cat. It's cute. Okay.>I still like Catherine.
Cat, It's cute.
>>1281654> How about Kitten?
>>1281654>Cat. Alright.Raven pushing Cat confirmed.
>>1281667First Girl = Worst Girl
>>1281691First girl was the waitressFirst girl in our group was Alex
>Cat. It's cute. Okay.
>>1281654"How about Kitten?" you ask her, teasing."Don't push your luck, mister.""Yeah, all right. Cat it is, then. It's cute. I like it." Catherine -- Cat -- smiles. She still hasn't let go of your hand. "You know, Johnny, I was thinking. When you've recovered, maybe we can--"Ken's footsteps approach the door. Cat quickly removes her hands from yours and folds them primly in her lap. Dammit."I'm afraid Ryuji is resting at the moment," Ken says, re-entering the room. "While he is safe with us, he has been through a trial, and must regain his strength. Much like you, Johnny. None of our enemies know we are here, and if we remain careful, it will stay that way. This shall be a time of healing for both you and my nephew. And myself, I suppose," he admits, looking down at his arm sling."Right, I forgot to ask, what happened to you?"Ken makes an evasive gesture with his good arm. "A little demon-slaying.""Shit, do you mean that guy in the red mask with the horns? The huge guy?""The very same.""Did you kill him?"Ken nods."Damn," you say. "I kind of wanted to kill him myself. Still, I have to hand it to you. Nice work, old-timer." You lean back against the pillow and look up at the ceiling. "So I've got bullet holes, a bashed skull, and my leg is still broken. At least I have blood in my body. I assume that's what the IV is about? Where did you guys get that stuff?""Your friend, Doctor Inch," says Ken. "He's the one who sewed you back together like Frankenstein's monster, and sold us the spare blood bags.""I'll have to send him a thank-you card. Did he say when I'll be in fighting shape again?""He guessed that, in two or three weeks, you should be walking without crutches. Fighting shape? I mean, for a normal man it might take months, even years, to recover. For you?" Ken shrugs. "Who can say?""Two weeks, then," you say, settling back in the bed. "I'll rest like a sane person for two weeks. Then it's back to business."(Continued)
>>1281872Ken and Cat leave you alone soon after, and you fall asleep for a while. Could use the extra rest. Turns out losing almost two liters of blood is bad for you.When you wake up, it's dark. You can just see the stars in the night sky through the half-open blinds in the window over there.You hear a creaking sound nearby, like a door squeaking as it opens. This hallway, the one leading to the guest rooms, has a door leading outside into the backyard. You think that's the door that just opened.>Investigate.>Investigate and bring a weapon.>Forget it. Back to bed.
>>1281901>>Investigate and bring a weapon.
>>1281901>Investigate and bring a weapon.Fucking raise the alarm.
>>1281921Calm down bruv. It's most likely Ryuji
>>1281929Then he shouldn't be making creepy things.Investigate + Weapon
>>1281901You struggle to your feet. Someone thoughtfully left your crutches by the bedside. You look around for something to use as a weapon, but there are no guns to be seen. You could use the IV stand? Not really an improvement over your crutches as a weapon. Those will have to do.You hobble out of the room, and see starlight illuminating the hall, the door to the backyard open. Part of you wants to sound the alarm, grab your guns, we're under attack! But acting on a hunch, instead you creep forward and take a look outside.Ryuji is out there, leaning against the wall, looking up at the sky.You crutch-walk out onto the patio. He turns to his left to greet you, and at first he looks unharmed, but then you see the right side of his face--"Good evening, Johnny. I am glad you are recovering.""Jesus, Ryuji," you say. "Your eye. Is it ...?""I still have one. As long as I can see the stars, I am happy." He gestures at the door. "Sorry for the noise. It may take some time before I reacquire the art of silence." He stands up straight, then offers you a respectful bow, hands at his sides. "Thank you for rescuing my sister.">I left you to die! You lost your eye because of me! Don't thank me!>I should have stayed to help you fight. >I just did what you wanted.>I'm sorry about your eye.>You're welcome.>(Don't say anything, just hug it out)
>>1281965>(Don't say anything, just hug it out)Squeeze his butt
>>1281965>Just hug it out
>I'm sorry about your eye.>You're welcome.
>>1281965>(Don't say anything, just hug it out)
>>1281965>(Don't say anything, just hug it out)After that bit, then>I'm sorry about your eye.
>>1281965You try to figure out what to say to that. How do you reply to a guy who thanks you for abandoning him to his death, even if he was shouting at you to do it?In the end you're too overcome with emotion to get any words out. Dropping your crutches on the patio with a clattering sound, you reach out to grab Ryuji in a big bear hug, pulling him close and, in the process, up off his feet.He laughs, puzzled, not sure how to respond. You think maybe he's not used to physical affection. In the end he awkwardly pats you on the shoulder. "Thank you, Johnny. Put me down now, please?""You son of a bitch," you say, putting him down. You wipe away something stinging at the corner of your eye. "Don't scare me like that again. When I left you back there with that huge guy, I thought -- I don't know. I thought I might never see you again.""Fortunately for us, their objective was not revenge, but money. They knew that my sister was the only person with all the information about the bank accounts holding our Dragon's Nest money. She was their target, and through her, the money. I was merely -- what would be the English word, Johnny?""Something to use against her? Leverage, I guess.""Leverage," he says, trying out the word with difficulty. L's and R's are still a little tough for him. He'll figure it out eventually. "Yes. I was leverage against her. They did not kill me, but instead, took me prisoner. But with my uncle's help, I escaped." He looks up at the starlit sky. "I was prepared to die to save Catherine, but I am also glad to live to see another day.">I'm glad to see you've still got your positive attitude.>Your sister means a lot to you, huh?>You can stay here as long as you want.>Once you're healed up, what are you going to do?
>>1282066>>You can stay here as long as you want.>>Also, could you help me with that miniature tree you gave me while you're here? I never really worked with plants before...
>>1282066>You can stay here as long as you want.>Also, could you help me with that miniature tree you gave me while you're here? I never really worked with plants before...>Your sister means a lot to you, huh?
>>1282066>Retrieve Crutches>I'm glad to see you've still got your positive attitude>You can stay as long as you need.
"Ken tells me the three of you have been crashing in the guest rooms down the hall? That's okay with me. You can stay here as long as you want. We're safe from the Yakuza and everyone else here, at least for now. Consider this your home while it lasts."Your stomach growls. "Damn. Still hungry. What do you say to a midnight snack, pal?" Ryuji grins. "Something suitably greasy and American?""You know it." You try to bend down to pick up your crutches, but your bones and muscles protest loudly. "Shit. I probably shouldn't have dropped those. Uh, Ryuji, buddy, could you help me out here?"Ryuji aids you in getting back on your crutches. The two of you walk back inside. "Also, while you're here, can you help me with that little tree you gave me? Never really worked with plants before.""I would be happy to," he says. "But you musn't think of it as merely a plant. A bonsai is a teacher.""A teacher? Not sure what I've got to learn from a plant, but I admit I'm curious."The two of you -- warriors, bloodied but unbowed -- make your way to the kitchen as Ryuji discusses the virtues of patience and foresight required in the keeper of a bonsai tree.
I'll have to wrap up here for tonight, but I'll be back tomorrow.When I return: information on Z; a report on the Russian's construction company; and visitors, some expected, some otherwise.
>>1282149See you around, Boss. Don't forget about us, what with your fancy Overwatch quest and whatnot.
>tfw slowly shifting from Alex to CatSorry Alex
I'll be resuming this thread in about 1 hour.>>1282159No way, jose. Thug Quest fans are my OGs>>1283804(pic)Surely you wouldn't forget about me anon?
>>1282149The next morning, you groggily awake to the sound of enthusiastic knocking on the door of your room. "Come in," you mumble. Knockknockknockknockknock-- "Open the door already!" you shout.The door bursts open and the twins spill into the room."Did you really get into a huge gunfight in Cat's club?!" "Did you really steal a car and crash it into another car?!""Did you really stab a woman in a mask who was trying to kill you with a scythe?!"One of them leaps onto your bed and starts bouncing up and down. "How many people didya kill this time huh? Huh?!""It was a lot, but first, shoes off the bed!" you order, and she retreats to the floor, pouting.The other twin, you realize, is holding a tray with breakfast on it. A plate heaped with bacon and scrambled eggs, a glass of fruit juice, and a mug of steaming coffee."For me?" you ask."Nah, it's for us," she says. "We just thought--" "--we'd eat it in front of you--" "-- to piss you off." She puts the tray down on the bed for you. "Go at it, champ."The other girl, the one who was jumping on your bed, fidgets urgently. "But first, tell us how many people you killed!""Let's see. Three or four getting downstairs to the basement, and then in the basement ..." You have blurred visions of firing an SMG into a crowded hallway, throwing people into walls, cracking their skulls against the ground. "Ten? Twenty? Let's call it fifteen. And then another two in the car. So that's, uh, about twenty. Maybe twenty-five." You take a bit of the eggs, thinking, it could be more, but you don't need to brag.The twins giggle at each other. "Kills twenty-five people--" "--so casual--" "--pretty awesome--" "--have to admit--" "--maybe we can--" "--someday when we--" "--better at shooting--""Don't even think about it, girls," you warn them. "I'm not some kind of role model. I'm teaching you to shoot for self-defense, not so you can be little versions of me. This isn't a life you want, okay?""Why not?" they ask you simultaneously."Because ...">It's dangerous.>It's wrong.>It can mess you up on the inside.>Fuck it, never mind. Do what you want.
>>1284844>>It's wrong.>>It can mess you up on the inside.You think I don't see the people I've killed at night? I hear the Charlies screaming at me, sometimes.
>>1284844>It can mess you up on the inside.>It's too late for me but you girls shouldn't lead this kind of life
>>1284844"This kind of life will mess you up. Not just physically, I mean, getting hurt like this. On the inside. You start to see things. Things you can't forget. Things you did that you can't ever do over. Mistakes that can't be fixed."It's too late me. I've been a killer for a long time. Ever since Vietnam. Fifteen years ago, now. I still see some of those Vietnamese kids I killed, the looks on their faces when they realized they were dying."You look down at your hands. "I've done a lot of bad things. Really bad. I know that what I'm doing is wrong. But I've been through too much to change now. War, prison, and now all this. The only thing I can do is keep moving forward, one step at a time."But it's not too late for you two." You look at each twin in turn. "Listen to me, all right? You've still got a chance. I can tell you two have been through some fucked-up stuff. I'm not going to ask about it. I just think you still have time to find something else. Isn't there anything that interests you other than violence? Can't you think of another life for yourself than ending up like me?"The twins look at each other. They shrug.You sigh. You have no idea if you're getting through to them. "Fine. Let me eat my breakfast before it gets cold, then. Thanks for bringing it to me.""You're welcome, shithead," one of them says as they leave the room. "Hope you're on your feet soon," adds the other before closing the door.You look at the closed door, thinking about what you just said.Is it really too late for you to change?That idea you had about the ranch in Montana. Can that even happen? Is that even possible?Even assuming, just for a moment, that you could actually escape your past. Your sins wouldn't follow you out west. No-one would come looking for revenge. You could actually find a new life out there ...... would you even give this up? Could you?The bacon and eggs doesn't taste as good as it should, now.(Continued)
>>1284972A while after breakfast, someone knocks softly on the door twice, then stops. Probably not the twins, then. "Come on in," you say.Catherine enters, holding a file. "Good morning, Johnny. Enjoy your breakfast?""I did, actually," you say. Once you got all that killing and stuff off your mind, it wasn't so bad. "Who made it? You?""Actually, the girls did," she says, shrugging. "Apparently they've been experimenting with learning the basics of cooking. In your kitchen. When you're not at home.""I see," you say. Those little punks. You wondered why eggs were mysteriously disappearing from your fridge."I know it doesn't seem especially relevant, considering all that's happened recently, but I finally received a report from my university contact about Zeta analysis. I thought I'd at least let you know I had it. We can discuss it at your leisure.">Let's look at it now.>Some other time.>How are you holding up?>What were you going to say to me, yesterday?
>>1285019>>Let's look at it now.
>>1285019Catherine describes getting in touch with a member of the university board who passed on the contact information for a pre-eminent researcher in biological chemistry.You say, "You didn't talk to anyone at Horizon Biotech, did you? Just the university?""No, why?""Never mind." You have a hunch they're involved in this somehow, but without evidence, you don't want to go around spreading that theory. "Go on."Catherine opens the file. "Once she was able to isolate the organic components from the synthetic, she was able to match the species. Some kind of plant. "Black Lotus?""She hands you the file. You glance at the words -- a lot of long scientific stuff you don't understand. Then you see the photograph, attached with a paper clip. A flower of shadow-colored petals, black and dark violet.You say, "I've seen this before.""You mean this file? How did you--""No, I mean, this plant. I've seen it before, with my own eyes.""Where?"You hesitate before answering, "Vietnam."It's all coming back to you now. Regiment's boondoggle once again found your company alone in enemy territory. Sixty klicks upriver, deep into the jungle. Three men already lost from tiger traps, punji sticks, and the Two-Step Charlie, a poisonous snake trap. The two lieutenants going at it again. Their rivalry might get the unit killed, if Charlie didn't kill you first.Then, by a small village hidden in a mountain valley, you found it. That field of black leaves, waving gently in the breeze, shining violet in the striped sunlight. What was it the Sarge said? "Looks like a bunch of aliens took a shit here. Don't touch that stuff, Private, or you might end up with tentacles for a hand." Good old Sarge.You remember what the field looked like when it burned.(Continued)
>>1285073Realizing that Catherine is calling your name, you snap back to reality. "Sorry, what?""I was saying, this must be the link between the Triads and the South Harbor dock gangs. The lotus is shipped in from southern China and Vietnam. The dock-workers make sure the shipments come in without trouble, while the Triads provide the distribution network -- and the muscle to defend against their rivals.""Yeah, that sounds about right. Must be how your old friends in the Yakuza are involved. You said they had political connections, right? They must have ensured that the law had better things to do than investigate the shipments at the South Harbor docks, now matter how suspicious they got." Looks like you've figured out how this Triad-Yakuza-Docks alliance is working. The Triads are the muscle and distribution. The South Asian dock gangs ensure transports from the Pacific arrive smoothly, and the Yakuza keep the politicians in line. That ties everything together. No loose ends.Right?>Right.>Wrong.
>>1285121>>Wrong.This seems like it works. But it's too clean. Something else is at play here.
>>1285121>>Wrong.That's the Triad-Yakuza-Docks bit. From what Zero heard when we got our leg broken, the head of the Triads was contacted by someone else. We don't know if its Horizon Biotech related, but there's still someone working with the Triads.
>>1285121Wrong.That seems like it works, and maybe for the Triad-Yakuza-Docks group, it does. But it's too clean. There's something else going on here. Something bigger.Zero told you that the Triads were contacted by someone with a message to the Dragon. Who that someone was, you're not sure. Zero wasn't able to trace the call. He was busy, you know, saving your life and all, so you find it hard to fault him for that.If your hunch about Horizon Biotech is true, that someone might have been a corporate stooge for the real boss behind all of this. Maybe that guy on TV, the CEO -- what was his name? Kevin Key? -- will turn out to be a real-life criminal mastermind. Or maybe he has no idea what's happening in his own company, and someone else, someone hidden, is using their resources to help, or control, this criminal alliance.Or maybe you're totally wrong about Horizon. Hell, they could be working on a vaccine for Z addicts for all you know. Maybe their work will help people like Roxie who can't seem to escape it.Well, you've got plenty of time to think about it. You probably shouldn't be going anywhere for a few days. The last time you casually strolled out onto the town, expecting a peaceful night, things turned pretty bad.You laugh at yourself as you think back to getting ready to go out to Enigma. Looking at yourself in the mirror, wondering if your suit fit right, if Catherine would notice that you were wearing the watch she gave you. You were looking forward to a night free of violence, just a boring evening standing behind Catherine as she hobnobbed with the rich and famous. Definitely didn't expect the gunfights, the bombs, the car chase ...Yeah, a few days in bed is probably a good idea.(Continued)
>>1285201Later on in the morning, the twins bring a spare phone into your room, place it on your bedside table, and get it plugged in. They seem subdued, like they're thinking about something. Odd. Introspection doesn't seem to be high on their list of priorities.A short time later, the phone rings, and you pick it up. "Hello?""Hey, Johnny. It's me. Alex.""Alex. Shit. Have you heard about all this--""Yeah, I heard," she says. "Ken filled me in the other night. I wish you had done the same before you went and nearly got yourself killed. Again.">I didn't expect anything to go wrong.>Yeah, I should've. I wish you had been there.>Get off my case, all right?
>>1285244>>I didn't expect anything to go wrong.>>Yeah, I should've. I wish you had been there.
>>1285244>>Yeah, I should've. I wish you had been there.
>>1285244"Yeah. I should've." You look down at your bruised and battered body. "I wish you had been there."Maybe if you hadn't just assumed that everything would be fine, if you'd called Alex and had her meet you there, things might have turned out differently. The two of you could have fought off the Yakuza together. You wouldn't have had to go rushing off into the night and slammed your car into a truck. Ryuji would still have his eye.Of course, Alex might've just taken a bullet in the head. You can't know for sure. Maybe you should just be glad that everything turned out more or less all right."I'm trying my best to keep you alive," says Alex. "Don't make it any harder than it has to be. Because it's already pretty damn hard.""You're right, Alex. I'm sorry. At least we're all alive, just banged up a little. What about you, are you all right?""Fine. A little bored watching Ken's pet fox here.""His what? A fox?""He didn't tell you? Ken dropped off a captive here at my place while he was on his little rampage. Some Yakuza girl called Akane. Wears a fox mask, like your friends the demon and weasel.""A prisoner? Why didn't he just, you know ...""Kill her? I was asking myself that same question. Ken said it was because we might be able to get information from her about her boss, this Masamune guy. I think it's because Ken's soft on her." Alex hesitates. "I was calling to talk to him, see what he wanted to do. But maybe you'd have a more objective opinion. What do you think we should do with her?">Keep her alive and unharmed. Maybe we can get her on our side.>Keep her alive. We'll beat the information out of her if we have to.>Keep her alive. She might make a good hostage.>Kill her. No loose ends.
>>1285420>>Keep her alive. She might make a good hostage.I mean, Ken brought her back, I think he'd be pissed if we killed her. However, she does make a good hostage.
>>1285420>>Keep her alive. She might make a good hostage.I'm probably going to need to talk to her to figure out what assets the Yakuza have brought with them, and how they made their deal with the Triads. I'll talk with him about it later.
>>1285420>>Keep her alive. She might make a good hostage.
>>1285420>Keep her alive. She might make a good hostage.Hopefully she has information but if she doesn't she still has to be worth something
"I think we should keep her alive," you say. "She might give up some information about the Yakuza's assets, or their deal with the Triads. Failing that, she'll make a good hostage. She has to be worth something, right? So yeah, keep her alive, but you don't have to be too nice to her. She's friends with the asshole who almost killed Ryuji, after all. Give her a good smack if you have to.""Good, because I've already had to go there," she says. "Bitch had some kind of chemical bomb stashed in a place I'd only describe to another lady, if you take my meaning. She seems like a real freak when it comes to bombs. On the plus side, I think I'm learning some Japanese swear words.""What a pleasant person for Ken to be friends with," you say.>Can you bring her over to my place?>Me and Ken will head over there.>I'm not supposed to move for a while, but Ken will help out.>I'll come over by myself. Ken might get emotional if he's attached to her.
>>1285524>>Can you bring her over to my place?Forgive me if I'm a bit paranoid about leaving the house now.
>>1285524>>Me and Ken will head over there.We'll pick her up for you so you don't have to drop her off. She might not be willing to put too much hurt on Ken if she gets any ideas.
>>1285531>>1285558"Me and Ken will come over and get her, bring her over to my place. I'm hoping she'll be less likely to try something along the way if it's him." You're a little paranoid about leaving the house right now, but you're not actually going anywhere, right? Just over to Alex's apartment and back.What could go wrong?As it turns out, nothing. Neither you or Ken are in much shape to drive, so you get one of the twins -- Adeline, she claims, but you think she's lying -- take you over there. You take a nondescript car with a fake registration that Ken has kept in reserve for occasions such as these. The drive is uneventful.Alex meets you on the bottom floor of the back stairway in her apartment building. The fox girl, Akane, has her hands tied behind her back and the sleeves pulled over."Thanks," you say to Alex. "We shouldn't hang around, but we'll talk soon, okay?"She nods. "Okay."You walk back to Ken's car, one hand on your crutch, the other guiding Akane's bound hands -- to an observer, it might look like she's just helping a man with a bad leg walk across the parking lot. You get her into the backseat with Ken, and take the passenger's seat."Alex is pretty great, huh?" you say to Ken. "A lot of people would've kicked up a fuss over all this. She just does what needs to be done. No bullshit.""She is quite a woman," Ken agrees.Akane spits and says something spiteful in Japanese.You turn around in your seat to look at her. "What did you she say?" you ask Ken."She did not appreciate Alex's hospitality," he replies.You notice the bruises on the girl's cheeks. "Yeah, I bet she didn't.">What is this I'm hearing about a "rampage", Ken?>What's your relationship with this girl?>What information do you think we can get out of her?>You think she'll be a useful hostage against this Masamune guy?>What do you think Masamune will do next?
>>1285740>What is this I'm hearing about a "rampage", Ken?>What information do you think we can get out of her?"Just going to ask it straight; can she understand English? Don't want to give her too much information if she can."
>>1285740>>What is this I'm hearing about a "rampage", Ken?>>What's your relationship with this girl?Need to get an Idea on how he'll react in her presence
>>1285740>>What is this I'm hearing about a "rampage", Ken?>>What's your relationship with this girl?
"So you still haven't explained just what happened that night. What is this I'm hearing about a "rampage", Ken? Just what did you do to get Ryuji back?""What I had to," he says."Come on, spill the beans. We're all one variety of murderer or another.""Yeah, spill the beans," encourages Adeline (?) from the driver's seat."I'm afraid not." Ken looks out the window as the city passes by. "That's a chapter of my life I tried to leave behind. I am not happy I had to revisit that part of myself. The tiger keeper never knows how many times he will succesfully re-cage the tiger.""All right, I get what you're saying," you say. You look over at the girl. "What about her? Can she speak English?""America pig," she mutters, glaring at you."Only a little," says Ken."All right, I just don't want to give her too much information. What do you think we can get out of her? Masamune's location? Accounts? A weakness?""I'm not sure, exactly," says Ken. "It will be up to her to prove her usefulness.""Right, okay." You look back and forth between the two. "She might need a little convincing. Is that going to be okay with you? I don't know what your relationship with this girl is.""I will manage," he says."Do you want to tell me what she means to you? Or am I going to have to figure it out?""A gentleman doesn't kiss and tell," he says, smiling."Oh ho! Ken, you sly dog. First Edna, now her? How old was she at the time, eighteen?""Fuck you," Akane says defiantly."Feisty one, isn't she?" you say, turning back to face the front. "I can't tell if I want to punch her or if I'm starting to like her."
When you arrive back at your house, you get Adeline to help Ken take the girl inside. "I'll let you take the first crack at her," you say to Ken. "Play "good cop." If it doesn't work, I'll be bad cop."Left alone outside the front of your house, you sit down on the bench you had put out here. Taking a moment to rest your weary limbs and enjoy the weather. The sky is a clear blue, and the afternoon has reached that perfect point where it's hot but not too hot. This is nice. Maybe you should get one of the girls to bring you some beers out here.You're still contemplating the idea when a car pulls up to your driveway. One you don't recognize. Out of the driver's seat gets a man in sunglasses and a pastel blue suit, who strides confidently up the gravel path towards the front of your house.Okay, you think. No assassin would just brazenly walk up to my house like this, would they? You brought the Ruger Redhawk with you on the trip, just in case. Your hand moves towards the holster, but you stay cool for now."Help you with something?" you ask the man as he approaches."I think maybe you can," he says. "You Johnny?""Who wants to know?"The man flips open his wallet, revealing his police badge. "Detective Martin, HCPD. You seem to be connected to all kinds of things happening around the city lately, Mr. Johnny. Thought you and I should have a little talk about that."
(I think that's all for tonight fellas. Sorry for the short session, I've got a cold + headache which is making concentrating pretty difficult.)
>>1286203No problem Boss, health comes first.Hope to see you again soon.