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/qst/ - Quests

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It’s as if the universe was still. The silent black that stretches before you, a sea of shadows, breathes as a tide of invisible waves. A late captain and a partner to his last endeavour flank your sides. Their bloated bodies float next to you and hang still like models strung up from the ceiling for display. The weightless night. A darkness, still and quiet, sits across the spanning rivers of light. You’re standing on the bridge of that familiar ship, peering through that broken glass window. The shards a frozen snow fall stuck in between the invisible black that holds them in their place.

The sound of your own boot against the plated floor reverberates through your padded suit. You had taken a step forward before you realized it. Though, it doesn’t feel like you took a step, rather that you floated forward. Guided. There was a call, a sound of a harmonic voice that beckons you forward through the static chattering of the machines around you. The stillness of the ship is quickly disturbed as the black mass before you suddenly shudder and shift.

Like a condensed ball of black and red, it appears miniscule. Before you can stare too long, the pinhole expands rapidly like a tear in space and time. Red light rolls off the ball like a ripple in a pond. It opens up into a fleshy maw.

Tendrils spew out in strands of red light before collapsing into itself. Rising and falling, expanding and shrinking like a chest breathing. Opening and closing without sound, the bright red glow pours light into the dark interior of the ship. Like a seizuring mass of red light, It shifts, constantly changing and growing before shrinking and shifting again and again. The mass trembles before loudly spitting forth a sound similar to crumbling rocks from deep within it. The sound is of continents shuddering and shifting, like stone grinding against stone. Loud and dense. A vibrato, a staccato.

The voice of time.

It was a voice-- no, it was a choir of voices. The sound of endless languages speaking in confused cohesion. A praise of time itself yet you understand none of it. The mass of red light shifts from voice to voice as you feel its gaze on you. Eyeless, yet it watches. A being-- a hand reaches out from within it. The red tendril mass surrounding the hand cling onto it like wet dough as the hand draws closer to you.

You raise your arm, bare flesh. Muscle and sinew. Bone. The black shifting machinery of humanity. Clockwork and wires, your arm itself is pollution.

You reach out toward it.
Shedding away the cocoon of metal, the machines fall off to the side of your arm and soon become inert. You reach out. The other hand draws closer. Your feet no longer finding purchase or comfort of the faux ground below you yet you still march forward. A form begins to shape and pull itself out of the red fleshy mass. Endless amounts of hands cling onto this emerging form, tugging down against the newly-born red skin. A form, enchanting, finally surfaces. Across their skin is a living script of black ink. Shifting and changing in the endless litany of languages.

The face and form feels fuzzy. As if the physical form itself was unsure it existed, shifting in and out of view with red flashes of light. Clean reflective pieces of mirror-like flesh show your own grotesque merging of machine and flesh. Your face is a stitched-together union of familiar faces. Brother, Father, Friend.

The voice of the form carries over, it’s soft. The voice is welcoming, comforting. The sound of purity spoken through something you can’t identify. It’s familiar. It’s strange.

The tips of your fingers touch theirs. The black ink coils around their arm as your hands join together before the letters flow onto your own arm. It comes with a sudden and searing pain. You try to break your hand away but their grip tightens and pulls you in closer. Like a fire, it burns the letters onto your skin while slowly crawling across your body, breaking away the machine and metal as it melts itself into you. Branded. Marked. Reborn.

A gift.

“Language,” the voice speaks and their grip loosens. It releases you and you fall. You stare up as it turns away, walking slowly back into the red light. The red mass expands rapidly before collapsing entirely in on itself and disappearing.

The black consumes you, falling faster and faster. You feel the pressure as thunderous wind rushes past your face, a long sharp whistle. Your body shifts as you turn around to see where you’re falling to.

The fire below is a bright orange at the end of a metal torch. The sounds of screams, that tears of cries, the pleads pour into your mind as you fall faster and faster. Flailing your arms, you try to stable yourself while you look around. Your hand clenches into a fist as you see the blazing fireball but you notice that the roof of the train is getting frighteningly closer as your body continues to hurtle downward toward it.

You fearfully raise your arms and brace for the impact of the metal roof but instead of slamming into the train, you pass through it entirely. Your eyes can only register the red stains and black scorch marks on the walls before you’re spat out the other side and continue to fall through the floor.
-- A sharp breath and a surge upward, you sit still for a moment. You feel a blanket fall off of your shoulders as you quickly and suddenly rise and stare out into space. A wave of emotions crash into, breaking your trance as it took you a moment to adjust back to reality. You’re confused, conflicted, but more importantly… exhausted.

You fell asleep before you were able to take an actual look at the folders scattered around you. Remembering something, you quickly turn to see Naomi nowhere near you. She’s probably long asleep by now though, it seems she had left out a lot of her work including a notebook with a few pages already filled out. Seems like she, unlike you, had actually spent her night being productive.

You yawn and return to stare back at the wall in front of you. Your dreams have become increasingly strange, though you’ve never really paid any attention to them. This one, however, was the most vivid of them. The feeling, the sounds, the pain. They all felt… real --well, as real as any dream could be. Pulling yourself together, you reach for the mug in front of you and peer into it. You stare longingly at the white ceramic bottom of the mug, black dots mark what was once held in it. Probably shouldn’t drink cal before falling asleep.

Placing the mug down, you stretch your back and arms and yawn again. You return the blanket that fell off to the back of the chair before you stand up and make you way to the cal machine for a fresh cup. You eye the time from the machine, it’s pretty late -- or early -- so you have time to continue what you were doing before you fell asleep. With the strange dream still haunting you, you press one of the buttons and watch as the familiar bitter, and sorely welcomed, liquid comes sputteringly pouring out into the mug once again. The steam of the black viscous liquid fills you with the strength to return to your project.

Leaning against the counter, you take in the first of the thick, nearly void-like black liquid. The warmth and general energy of it fills you and quickly spreads throughout your body as you stand, staring out from the kitchen. Coraline lays still, sleeping on the soft couch while the TV whispers songs and speeches of characters you’ve never seen before. The quiet mechanical rumblings and the pnuematic hisses of pipes fills in the empty spaces. The entire station, as if asleep like Coraline, breathes quietly and in the distance. You’re inside a beast, one you’ve known for quite some time.

With a soft clink against the counter, you set down the ceramic mug before stepping outside of the kitchen. The quiet stillness that surrounds you isn’t the same as home. Home was silent, it was a quiet that let you in on the distant going ons if you listened closely.
Here is different, here the pollution permeates throughout every crevice, sound included. It’s mechanical, but it would be against you if you said it was without life. It’s a different experience, a wholesale that comes bundled with deeper realizations. Like natural biospheres, man-made ones too hold predators.

Beasts that feed and live off the consumption of what they deep lesser. Predators hold no qualms for those they destroy. To them, they are just food to help them grow. Fuel for the machine. You, now, know this all too well.

You eyes land on the sleeping form of Coraline. With each breath the blanket surrounding her rises and falls. It’s conviction that makes a man. His dedication to hold himself to his beliefs. You were raised to help those that you could and punish those who sought evil intentions. Black and white. You came all this way to…

You turn away to look toward the door that leads into Naomi’s room. She’s asleep. You haven’t had a lot of time to yourself, from between the entire journey here to everything leading up to this point. It’s something you lamented for a while, that you had no privacy. But now… it feels too quiet. Despite the constant ambience, it feels misplaced.

You’re glad but it still feels off-putting, though this does give you some much needed space. Naomi always being present for nearly thirty days can leave you with little time to process everything. It’s something you haven’t had. Time… You run your hands through your hair and take a deep breath. The still-present feeling of just waking up leaves a thin shroud of sleepiness. You’re kind of glad Naomi isn’t awake, so she doesn’t have to see you with oily hair. Though, you’re pretty sure that she’s seen you like this regardless.

Turning around, you make your way back into the garage. The door creaking as the metal rubs against cracked rubber while you try to carefully close it behind you. Your bed, or rather cot, has most of your clothes gathered near it. Taking a glance at the personal body armor you bought just yesterday. The black sheen paired with the engraved letterings mark out the word “Martyr”.

You stare at it for a moment, the reflection of your face staring back. Your blond hair making the striking difference in images. It’s clear that you had little time to process everything. A constant silent march. A beat of the heart. An unheard rhythm. The understood silent mechanisms that keep you in check. Your eyes dart away, staring at the luggage scattered around before quickly opening one up.

A warm jacket and an exchange of clothes follows you through the door as you make your way back into the kitchen. Shouldering a towel and slinging the rest of your clothes around one arm, you take another gulp from the mug that waited for you on the counter. Conviction makes a man, you remember.
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You push open the door as quietly as you can to Naomi’s room but still, you can hear her rustle about before calling to you. “Hmm? Na...n” she mumbles while looking up at you with half-open eyes. “Oh… -hayo... goz…”

“Taking a shower,” you say, thumbing to the bathroom connected to her room. Honestly however convenient for the person living in the room, it’s not so convenient for you to walk through one of the two bedrooms to take a shower. Naomi waves lazily before plopping back into her bed, the blankets claiming her again and obscuring her once more. She probably didn’t even register anything with her being half-asleep. You nod to yourself and turn heel, the door to the bathroom already open.

You watch as the door blocks the light and traces itself over the entirety of Naomi’s room before banishing it into darkness. You’re surprised that Naomi slept with lights on but there was no real way to turn off all the lights on the ship either. Maybe she just got used to sleeping with some light on. You turn to the mirror as you slough off the clothes and towel, folding them carefully before placing them on the counter near the sink.

The stubble covering your makes a sharp static as you run your palm across it. Making your way down to your neck, you rub the sides before scratching your shoulder. You look like a mess, though it’s not the worst you’ve been. You certainly look better now than whenever you got in a fight. Adam placated your father whenever you returned home bruised and busted.

He’d always say that it’s proof that you’re a man. Your mother wasn’t so happy but your dad was far more disappointed than old Adam was. Turning the faucet on, you splash some water on your face, letting it soak for a moment longer in before reaching for a hand towel.

Setting the towel down, hanging it over the lip of the sink, you turn to the shower. It’s far from anything luxurious that you know of but in comparison, this shower is a castle if your own is a shed. It’s wide enough and large enough to allow for at least three of you to stand comfortably within.

The faux stone-like tiles covers most of the shower floor before meeting in the center with a metal mesh drain cover. Placing a bare foot inside, the soles of your feet feel the texture of each of the small stones. The floor’s details come as you get situate yourself. You can feel the grainy cracks between the cold rock along with the slight conical shape in elevation that keeps the water flowing toward the center. It’s simply better than the shower you had been using for all these weeks.
You take a breath and turn the metal control handle. The rush of water beats upon your bare skin as a river broken from dam. The warm but refreshing waters cascade down like a liquid veil that covers you, obscuring you behind the misting fog of the quickly heating shower. This is a luxury. It’s something that, like being alone, you haven’t had the pleasure to indulge in for a long time. The shower on your ship is the far lesser of the two experiences, one of which makes you remember the way that guy in the store got around it.

The ship, you temple, needs renovations. Badly. Something you’ve been meaning to get around to eventually but as it stands, there’s nothing you can do about it. You’re worried about a lot of things and the ship isn’t at the forefront of that list. At the top, probably, is Adam seconded only by Naomi and the missing girls with Coraline coming in at a strong third. Everything else falls after that. It’s not that anything there is necessarily mutually exclusive but you need at least some structure to go off of. Mental lists are one thing.

You reach out a hand to cover your face slightly as you look up with closed eyes, allowing the water to fall down through the splits of your fingers. It’s been hectic. First learning of Adam’s death was a series blow to everything you’ve had planned. Your future was to be simple. You father always wanted you to lead a simple and happy life, avoiding problems that most everyone face. Just to be happy was his wish. Just to live quietly and away from harm.

That was probably why he was so against your brother leaving to join the force. You never did hear back from your brother after all these years. You wonder for a moment where he leads his life. Is he happy? Is he living a simple life? Probably not. You’re certainly not. Both failures in the eyes of your father if that’s the only standard to go by. Your dad probably would have wanted you to return home immediately after finding out that Adam died… after finding out he was murdered.

There’s nothing concrete in saying that he was murdered when you first found out, sure. But that’s no reason to tuck your tail and run back home. You were looking forward to getting out, to getting away, and this… they ruined that for you. They murdered your friend… your family. Adam was just as much a part of family as your brother was. If you found out your brother was killed off, you’d probably run off to go find his murderer too. Hell…

You move your hand off to the side, taking the full force of the water with your face. It crashes and drips off the side aimlessly falling before gathering at the tempestuous center. A swirling storm at the core, each drop only adding to the mass before it too sinks down below. Hidden away from the surface.
Justice is one word, family is another. You were always taught to make right. Doing nothing in the face of all that you know would only make you a coward. Your brother isn’t a coward, he’s serving the military like a hero. He’s always been a hero, coating it in justice. He was a shield and… he was your hero. Your dad had to with you argue for hours to keep you from following in your brother’s footsteps. He would always say that you shouldn’t throw your life away, that you should be smart and live your life as well as you can.

Adam, however, encouraged you. Adam would always come back with stories of great and noble men fighting a good fight. He would always tell the best stories, second only to your own father. While your dad wanted you to live a simple life, Adam always talked about living a good life. A life worth living. A life worth… something more than yourself than the sum of its parts.

You sigh as you run the shampoo through your hair. The torrent of water masking the disappointment. You’re at the crossroads of your life, a step in either direction means you’re unable to return to this spot. Everything leading up to this point is small, the train, Moreh, everything happening now is by far the strangest experiences you’ve ever had to grapple with. Back home the most you had to worry about was failing tests or pulling punches. Now, you’re taking on something far beyond you -- Arcady.

The more you think about the last few days, the more things feel scattered. Certain things seem unclear, other things feel sharp and pointed. You’re not sure who is behind everything, honestly you’re not positive you can find out, let alone do something about it. But you really won’t know unless you try.

The shower water ends with a squeak of the control handle, the last bits of water dripping down. The water drips off of your soaked body as soap suds and other cleaning residue collects at your feet. It’s not that you have been thinking that you would ever back out and do something else. It’s just that the train just… shook you in a way you can’t really describe. You’ve only really been thinking more deeply about your reasoning for doing this because of it. It’s only further solidified you instead of making you want to run.

Of course you’re scared. Of course you would love to wipe your hands with all of this, but you can’t allow yourself to do that. You have to find out… if only for closures sake.

You take the towel set aside from your clothes and dry yourself before partially slipping on your clothes. Your toothbrush sit beside Naomi’s and Coraline’s. The three distinctly different and colorful toothbrushes mark each of you. It’s strange, sharing the same bathroom as them. You’ve been thinking a lot of things have been strange, though you rarely give them much thought. You’ve rarely had time to give any of it much thought.
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Except for now. Except for when you have a shower or have some time alone while others are sleeping. This is your sanctuary. Moreh can piss off with his sanctuary, that smug little… You look at yourself in the mirror. The fog making it difficult to see the lines and definitions of your face, blurring everything into a single mass of tan, pink, and yellow.

While lazily brushing your teeth, you find your display and look at the time. Surprisingly, not a lot of time has passed since last you checked though it’s still significantly more than you have to spare. Pocketing it in your new pair of pants, you switch to the razor sitting a bit ways away from the toothbrushes. The red handle marking as your own and you begin to remove the slowly growing facial hair before it’s too noticeable. Even though you shaved recently, it’s still growing as fast as your hair is -- something you’ve been needing to get cut.

Putting everything back in its own place, you don the rest of your attire and gather everything you brought in. Pushing the door open, you tiptoe-step your way across Naomi’s room and exit her room without her stirring like last time. Passing by the kitchen table, you listen to the same quiet sounds of the TV before making your way to your impromptu room. Tossing the dirty clothes into a hamper, you return to your chair and sit down. The blanket being used as a cushion for the back and the table being the playing field of dozens of files.

Though you notice something was missing, something very important -- the mug of cal. Nearly jumping up, you make your way to the kitchen counter and fiddle with the cal machine before watching as it spews out more of the black gold. The strong smell filling the air as you shuffle your socked feet back across to the chair. Placing the mug down, you settle yourself and place your display to the side and reach for one of the files.

Adam wasn’t particularly meticulous with anything he did, but he was always mindful of the state of his ship. Your father would help him with some of the more serious repairs but Adam usually took care of it well enough on his own. It would have been impossible for him to be so careless to let something catastrophic occur. Certainly nothing so major as to lead to an explosion. Adam was careful in that aspect. You knew Adam and you know him to be always straight-edged with most things he did.

That’s why when you heard that he died from a so-called accident, you knew something was up. The Zachary guy seemed strange but it’s not like he was particularly in control of anything there. He seemed scattered. Abigaile, his assistant, was helpful though. She told you to be careful and a few important notes like that Arcady is doing something on the planet of Leo -- something big.
The only lead you had would somehow be retrieving the black box to see if anything was different or trying to find something in Adam’s apartment. But now, though, now, you have files. Moreh mentioned four people that he thought might be connected. Something about they were all Arcady members and they were all somehow…

You open the first file. A series of tabs on the right show important pieces of information but the first page is a list of names with several marked out. Four names remain, Gregor, Malik, Madalene, and Niro. These are the four names with some connection. Flipping back to the front of the file, you read the name of Malik M. Burns.

The picture stapled to the first page shows a short dark skinned man, his deep-set eyes seemingly ever-tired with dark circles. His uniform, or what you assume to be his uniform, is marked with red bands around his forearms. Lifting the picture, the page below gives some reference. He’s a manager-- well, he’s quality control. He works slightly outside the organizational structure, mostly there to check to make sure contraband isn’t passing through and to keep tabs on goods.

Looking through just the first file feels like a mountain of information. Moreh even listed some things that Malik likes to do in his free time, noting that Malik enjoys making appearances near known dens. All in all, he seems shady but Moreh even noted that he’s very well liked by his managers. The picture itself shows him standing near a corner of the hangar where Adam’s ship was last docked at.

In fact, the rest of the files read the same. Each picture is supposed to be the last known image of the person before the camera feed cuts out. The next person you see is Gregor, full name Gregor Laviz, an older man. The file shows the age sixty-two and he looks all the part. His quickly whitening hair and thin frame all gives into the look of some decrepit old man. He’s apparently a scientist that works for Arcady. Moreh has it that Gregor is working on something that mixes something called Ardent, what you know to be akin to painkillers, and Ephihedral Codeine which you have no idea what it means.

Moreh remarked to the side that this could also mean that he has access to volatile chemicals which you agree with, to your displeasure. Sifting through a lot of the pages on Gregor shows you that there’s some back and forth between him and his managers. He apparently doesn’t like a lot of his co-workers and he specifically notes that he dislikes general management coming into his work station.
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This obviously could mean Adam since he worked as a general manager, recruitment really. Moreh also shows something else interesting, Gregor bought a Peacekeeper Steward -- a small handgun. Gregor was last seen heading to the hangar with a duffle bag.

Setting the file off to the side, you pick up the next -- Niro. He actually works within the hangar like Malik but Niro is more hands on. Niro is a mechanic, who apparently keeps to himself. Moreh noted that emails between his managers say that Niro tends to ask for overtime to stay behind to work on ships. His main job is to fix up and repair any freighters coming in if needed but he’s apparently a hobbyist who works on his own personal ship. Probably the easiest for you to approach too. On the day of he’s pictured waving off two of his coworkers, he’s staying behind again.

You pull the ceramic mug from the corner of the table and gulp down a bit more of the warm drink. Each of these people seem to have a means and a reason to do this, though you’re not too sure who would really be capable of killing Adam, or really why they would. Gregor, Malik, Niro…

Niro himself looks fairly strong, though that’s most likely due to his job and his own personal endeavours. The last person also works in the hangar, Madalene Cox. A fairly interesting person, Moreh notes that she is a manager and that she regularly goes on outings with other managers. She has a group of friends who are all managers and if that doesn’t smell fishy, you’re not sure what would.

Madalene herself looks like a nice person enough, her brown hair and strong features could even be claimed as attractive by a few. But she doesn’t seem like someone that you would want to know. She is a manager of cargo, as it states, and that she oversees most operations of the hangar. Madalene has a family, two daughters and a husband and Moreh noted that she recently bought a fairly expensive freighter.

The picture shows her stepping out of her office, which the door to seems to be flanked by two men in blue vests -- CV guards. In fact, several CV guards are placed around the hangar and if you look closely, you can find one in almost every picture. She has obvious connections to Ryen, or at least Ross -- the owner of CV -- but the next line only solidifies it. A member of her manager friend group was seen talking with Ryen and almost everyone in the group has some connection to him.

Ryen seems to be a big figure throughout the station.
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You sigh as you set the folders in a row. Each of them contain someone suspicious, Moreh was right to pick these ones out. He did, however, provide other people in the list but they’re more or less people passing by or people who have no connection to anything relevant as all of the mechanics went home and it was late at that time.

They all seem like they could do it. They all seem like they’re connected… It’s not going to be just as easy as picking one at random and assigning blame, you guess. You reach for you mug and drink leisurely from the quickly cooling cal as you stare at the files in front of you.

“Who are they?” a voice calls from behind you, startling you and nearly making you spill the cal all over said files. You quickly turn around to see Coraline looking over your shoulder with her hands in her oversized coat pockets. She stands there staring at the folders, not noticing your scowling.

“They’re people who could of killed Adam,” you say turning back around, checking your own person if you got any stains from your surprise.

“All of them?” she asks, still looking at a distance.

“No, well,” you pause, “one of them probably killed him. Not sure who yet.”

She remains as silent as she remains still while you pat your chest to clean yourself up. Wiping the bottom of the mug and any drops of cal away, you place it down on the table before placing your hands behind your head. The two of you remain silent for some time as she stands stoically behind you before you decide to speak up, “What?”

“Nothing,” she replies as she steps forward and leans to look at one of the pictures, eyeing the person in it. She mumbles something as she looks at the picture of the manager and the she turns to you, “How will you decide?”

“Well…” you trail off and straighten yourself, leaning forward to point at one of the files, “I’ll just have to figure that out I guess. Find one of them somehow. Moreh, the creep, got their houses down too so it ain’t hard to… well, find them.”

She remains silent as she turns back to look at the folders for a moment. The quiet ambience once again fills the air as the two of you stare at the files. “Do you think he knows?”

“What do you mean?” you ask.

“Does he know about me?” she turns to look at you, “How are you sure?”

“How am I…” you trail off, “Uh, well I don’t know… but he’s the best we got though so it’s at least worth a shot. Might as well have a few extra eyes looking out for anything related, you know?” You sit forward and motion to a chair.

“Yeah,” she says, taking the seat near you. The conversation dies at that point as she sits quietly beside you. Another moment passes in silence before she talks again, “Ward was a better name.”

“Was it?” You ask somewhat confused and then joke, “What you don’t like my new name?”
“She’s still Naomi even if she, what, says her name is Sam or whatever like she did when I first met her,” you continue, “Naomi is still Naomi. I’m still me, changing my name isn’t going to suddenly make me different.”

She remains silent. You’re not sure what brought this on but you’re positive it’s not something you have to worry about too much. You know that even if Naomi lies about her being Sam or whatever, that it doesn’t change the end goal. The two of you are trying to save Sumi, you’re trying to find out who killed Adam, and you’re trying to get some sort of revenge-- no --some sort of justice for his murder.

Coraline continues to stare at you before slowly turning away to look back at the files. Of course you have no idea what she’s thinking about or how she could be feeling. Hell, you’re not even sure how it would feel to be her. Coraline herself has pretty much only been conscious of her surroundings for the past month or so, her memories stretching only so far. You’d probably be at a loss on how to process anything like this. Coraline, for one, is handling this probably the best way you could imagine anyone could.

She stands, stepping away and pushing her chair in without speaking before she turns to you. She shrugs her shoulders, adjusting her coat while keeping her hands in her pockets, “Right…” she trails off before mumbling, “the same.”

She stands for a moment, watching you as you watch her as if the two of you were waiting for the other to start talking but neither willing to begin. This stays like this for a moment before you clear your throat but before you’re about to turn and away, she speaks back up, “When will you be heading to…” she trails off for a moment before looking away, “I will be going with you when you deliver the chip.”

The two of you stare at each other for a moment as you try to gauge her. You’re not sure why she would want to come along, honestly you’re kind of worried about what happened last time. It’s not that any lack of planning on your part or worrying could have prepared you for something entirely unpredictable. Putting Coraline in danger again so soon after it is just… it’s not something you want to do. If she gets harmed in accordance to something that you ask her to do, you’re not sure how you could live with yourself.

She’s close to being able to figure out her past, at least you believe she’s close. Moreh screwed you over once and if it happens again you’d rather keep the damage to a minimum. “Why?”

She shrugs and then states plainly, “Repayment.”
Repayment? Repayment for what? It’s not like you’ve done anything specifically needing to be repaid back for. Just as she’s about to turn around, you clear your throat, “Wa- wait, what? No,” you wave your hands as you lean forward, “no, no. It’s too dangerous too. I wouldn’t...”

Coraline stops mid stride and faces you again, “I was not asking. I will go with you.”

“No, I can handl--”

“It is my decision,” she cuts you off, asserting herself, “You do not…” she trails off and turns away for a second before turning back to face your eyes, “I want to… help.”

She doesn’t let you respond as she passes you, shutting the door to Naomi’s room behind her. The sound of the shower running soon follows after another soft closing of a door. Of course her helping would be helpful to you, her being in danger is something you’d be worried about the entire time throughout the job. It’s not that you think she couldn’t handle herself just fine… because you’re fairly sure she could. It’s just…

Coraline being… you’re not sure what to think. You… promised her that you would help her but with how everything has lined up, you haven’t been able to give any time into helping her officially. Taking her to the store helped you know that she didn’t need the drug but you were half convinced she didn’t need it before then.

You sigh. Of course it is her decision, one that she made herself. Even if you tried arguing with her, you’re not sure you could. Partly because she probably wouldn’t really understand where you’re coming from and partly because you agree with her. You lean back into your chair, the old wooden thing creaks in protest under the shifting of your weight. You’re not even sure where to start.

Adam, the girls, the case Moreh gave you. Hell, you probably don’t even have enough time to find an actual job if you work everything like this. It’s not like you’d need a job either, your eyes shift to look at the new number sitting in your account. Three thousand isn’t a lot of standards, you could probably sell your ship for six times that amount and still be underpaid for it but three thousand is certainly more than anything you’ve had before. It could last you a few weeks or months if you stretched it.

Adam comes first, the girls second, Coraline third. That’s how you’ve prioritized things for a while now. You have also always thought of Coraline as more of a liability than anything else, sidelining her in your mind before she has a chance to prove herself. You’re pressed for time, either way.

If the girls are still-- you’re going to need to hurry up if you want to keep any of the promises you made to either of them, or even to yourself for that matter. You turn your thoughts back to the files sitting in front of you.

The jobs just keep piling up.
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Taking things one at a time, one step forward. You have a lot of leads, parsing through them would be something that would take a whole week in it self.

You clear your throat as you look back to the couch Coraline was just asleep in moments ago. The soft blue of the TV illuminating the room, marking the outlines of several pieces of furniture set within. In contrast, the table is shown like a spotlit stage and the light holds back the shadows at the edge. A line itself being a stark contrast.

You sigh, the draw of breath disturbing the dust drifting around ambiently and springs up several more specks of shimmering silver. Searching your person, your hands rest on your display before pulling it out and pressing into the flat side of it. The screen flashes through a series of bright white screens before settling on the default operating system’s green and black interface.

The number at the top of the screen shows the time. It would probably still be dark out around this time if you were back home. It’s not like it’s much different here, everyone is still asleep, save for you and Coraline. It’s quiet, a sort of calmness.

The screen switches to the files Moreh sent you. You’re going to have to get through this one before the others. That’s what you’ve decided. You’re going to get the help from Moreh so you can quickly find the girls. The boon of having the Argus system, or whatever he called it, will make searching for anything suspicious that much smoother.

Even if you’re not too sure about Moreh, you still need his help. He’s just someone you’re going to have to deal with for a while. Even if you don’t like him, even if you don’t like how he operates, even if he puts you off, he’s still the most useful person that you could have met.

It makes you annoyed just thinking about that he pretty much just set you up to screw over the last group of people who helped him. It’s not right, not in any measure that you would know. Sure, eye for an eye, that’s something you know but it’s… something else coming from him.

You sift through the files on your display, the screen shifting from image of one strange man to another before landing onto something that you could probably use. The leader of the outfit Moreh hired, a guy named Arken. He’s well-built and intimidating enough to scare off school kids but from what the file reads, he’s level headed but tends to be straight-forward. A veteran in deals, he’s the one you’re probably going to have to make contact with. Either through one of the guys around him or by meeting up with him in one of the places that he stays around.
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Moreh knows where all of them stay at, their daily habits, and how they handle themselves in conversation. Even if you don’t like the guy, you have to give him props for being thorough with everything he does. It’s a frightening level of detail that you’ve rarely came into contact with. Mostly just reminds you of how a teacher of yours was always specific with his essays.

Always particular, always exact, but Moreh just likes to leave out things that he thinks isn’t necessary… even if that was the truth. You shake your head as you flip through another file. Some of these guys are ex-military, but all of them have criminal records. They’re all people who have been in and out of the system a few times and they all know their way around it. Approaching them with anything less than a perfect disguise and you bet they’d probably smell something was up.

You lean into the back of the chair as you scroll through, from what you know they’ll probably only stay for another week. Moreh wants to clear them out but he also wants to protect himself by clearing out their drives. That’s the whole reason for getting you to buy it off them. Technically still having paid the thugs for the item, just putting you as the middleman.

It’s probably going to be tough, but all you have to do is talk to them, really. The files show where they’re going to be. You just have to pick a day and go find them. Hell, you could probably go today and check things out for a little bit. Or you can go in a few days after they’ve already gotten a bit nervous and buy it off of them without them asking too many questions. They’d probably just be happy to get it off of their hands.

Scrolling through the files of Arken, you notice that the main place he visits is an old bar not too far from where Moreh believes he lives at. It’s an old military veteran bar but it’s been refurbished and changed hands so much that it’s mostly unrecognizable from what it used to be. Moreh has noted that the bar, Stonewall’s Saint, is mostly used by drug dealers, men in hiding, and men for hire like Arken is.

From the looks of it, the bar itself is nestled in the back alleyway of a not-so-busy street so the only people who show up show up deliberately. Looking through the three-dimensional map that Moreh provided of the bar, you notice it’s mostly plain layout but there’s several built-in escape routes that lead to the adjacent streets but there’s only one main door. You’d guess something like that since it’s pretty convenient for those sort of types to come and go in different places.
There’s not even any cameras and from the way it reads, it seems like most of the dealings are through sticks. The whole reason seems to just be that there’s not any real way to trace the patrons of the bar. Seems an appropriate hide-out.

Turning back to Arken, he seems like the type to lead that kind of group. From what it says, he served a five years in the military before serving five more in prison. The reason was that he refused orders from a superior officer. Something about striking and assaulting an officer. His whole team was sent to the same place but he had the longest time served. Each of his men are from that same team, each in for the same thing.

Arken himself has average marks for everything but it’s strange that the sentence wasn’t clear on why he went to prison other than the vague reason given. Nothing about why or what the cause for hitting the officer was, just that he assaulted him. You take a look through the rest of his file, parts of it seemed pretty mundane. He went to school, came out and went straight through military, nothing much after that. Moreh started dealing with him a few months prior before he turned tail.

The reason Moreh gave you was that Arken found a new guy to sell to but it didn’t fall through after the buyer caught wind of Arcady on the hunt for it. No information on the other buyer other than he seems skittish and that he’s out of the picture. A single note that says that he left the system last week. Seems like he was scared pretty badly, you kind of have to think that Moreh was a part of it too.

Arken himself seems to be preparing to leave the system, he has been recently getting in touch with various freight smugglers, most likely the reason why he’s in that bar often too. Seems he’s been pretty vocal about wanting passage off station with a few of the patrons of other bars. He even had been in a fight two nights prior but he got away without Arcady arriving any time near him.

The rest of the information seems to be about how he tends to keep things professional, clear cut, and direct with Moreh. Never really asks too many questions and that was the reason why he dealt with him for so long. Guess turning back on him after accepting the job really screws you over. After that, the rest is about mundane things like some food he bought, a few beers he paid for, or whatever else Moreh could find. Arken stayed near his hideout.

His hideout itself, isn’t far from Stonewall’s Saint, only two blocks over. A warehouse that doesn’t connect to anything and is as empty as the other ten or so around it. Seems he’s been the only one who leaves the base, buys stuff, then returns back for the rest of his team.
You take a deep breath, the faint smell of cal and soap fills your lungs as you stare out. The rest of the world seems to be slowly waking up. It would probably be a bit past sunrise if you were back home. You’re glad you took this time to think and lay things out, but you have a feeling that this only really brings up more questions. Questions you’re not sure you can answer.

Keep things simple, one step at a time… one step at a time… one step at a time. You repeat to yourself as you put things in order mentally. From where things stand, you have a few options to go from and since it’s almost time to get to doing things, you think it would be best to plan a bit.

Standing up, you stretch your arms above your head and hold it for just a moment longer to hear the light pops and cracks from your back. You feel like you, for once, have something to go off of. Something you can get and take apart. The only problem is the starting part…

>Wait for Naomi to wake up and discuss with her about your findings or sit down and have a much-needed talk.

>Take a look over the notes for Naomi’s sister. You’ve looked over the files for your own needs but Sumi is still out there. It’s going to be a while before you can finally get her to safety.

>You need supplies. You have the coin now so buying a few things for the next step will be a necessity. You’re thinking or either a gun, drone, or a few specialty items to get you to where you need.

>You want to get out of the house. Even though you just got here, you’ve been on the ship for a long time. Stretching your legs, stretching your thoughts. You’re going to go scout out the bar that you read about. Talk to a few people, but you’re not thinking about talking to the main man just yet.

>You’re going to go straight to the next part. No need for much deliberation on your part and you’re not up to waste much more time.

>You’ve been putting off visiting Adam’s old apartment. You’re curious and you want to at least take a look. Even if you probably wouldn’t find anything directly connected to his death, you could probably find something.



Welcome back to For Hire! Yes! YES! So it seems this fucking thread will start with a shitfest of posts, sorry about that. Mostly due to my shitty planning and even worse ability to keep consistency. Last "thread" died long before I'd like it to so I'm going to do the same fucking thing that I did last time it happened this way, and post it like this.

Yep, last thread I ran during finals week for me so I hadn't had the time to actually dedicate to questing so I dropped the thread. Though, unless you haven't been keeping up, it might be really fucking long. The general gist of it is...

TLDR. Story so far: Freaky Dream, shower thoughts, and then information on a few guys that could have killed or known about Adam. Then we looked at how the job Moreh wanted done, pretty simple.

Twitter: Kov_QM
Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=FHQ
Discord: https://discord.gg/QznmEus

>>Take a look over the notes for Naomi’s sister. You’ve looked over the files for your own needs but Sumi is still out there. It’s going to be a while before you can finally get her to safety.
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God, I'm fucking retarded, missed an entire post.

“No,” she says bluntly and turns to face you, her expressionless face staring at you for a moment, “You should change it back.”

“I’ll do that once I do what I need to do…” you say somewhat quietly. You never thought about it before -- changing your family name. Has to be some sort of ironic fate that you changed your family name to avenge family. Kind of funny if you think about it. “It’s fine.”

“It is not you,” she says while still staring at you. Relentless.

“Well… no it ain’t but I’m still me,” you reply. “I mean, I’m doing it for a cause. If I have to change my name… well, you know, it don’t really matter if I change what I call myself. I mean, your legs aren’t yours but you’re still you, right?”

She turns away and back to the folders as you finish, seemingly unhappy with your answer. You probably shouldn’t have said that, though it’s not like you have anything else you could have said. It makes sense that you would try to hide yourself to protect yourself. Maybe she--

“You should not and it does matter. It is not you,” she says after a pause. “Because you do not lie.”

“Lie? Where’s this coming from?” you ask. Sure, you changing your name means you’re lying but compared to other things this is minor. Nothing that should really be a problem.

“I was asked not to tell,” she answers.

“Tell about what?”

“Naomi--” she pauses and her brows furrow. “She lies. Would you still believe her if she is not who she says she is? What if tomorrow she wakes up and is a different person?”

You’re a bit shocked. Confused even. You’re not sure what Coraline means by this but you have a few guesses at hand. You furrow your brow as you sit silently for a moment.

“She won’t be some different person, come one,” you finally assure her, studying her face as she stares back at you. You’re not exactly sure where this is coming from. It’s not like this is some particularly surprising news either, Naomi has always been… distant or something… you can’t really put a finger on it but she did lie to you the first time you met. She lied to protect herself, just like she’s lying to protect herself now.

You don’t see a difference between the two plus, you’re doing the same thing. To protect the ones you love as well as protect yourself, you must hide your identity. Like a… like a superhero. Yeah, like how superheroes have to wear masks to hide their identity, you have to hide your name to keep those who want to do you, and the ones around you, harm away. Naomi is doing this for family first and foremost so it would only make sense that she’d try to keep her identity hidden.


>Take a look over the notes for Naomi’s sister. You’ve looked over the files for your own needs but Sumi is still out there. It’s going to be a while before you can finally get her to safety.

Later we should take everyone to buy guns
Theories incomming

I think this Arken guy, seeing he is professional and serious, wouldn't want to seel his thing to another buyer, there's something wrong here, because doing that he put everyone on his team at danger.
Moreh is hiding some "unnecessary" information again.
after we make the deal we should warn him to leave before Arcady gets him, we don't want them interrogated and things leading back to us

>You want to get out of the house. Even though you just got here, you’ve been on the ship for a long time. Stretching your legs, stretching your thoughts. You’re going to go scout out the bar that you read about. Talk to a few people, but you’re not thinking about talking to the main man just yet.
The only thing I would consider is making sure he doesn't speak our name, since arcady will definitely tortu- ask him questions.
>Two for taking a look

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Your eyes hover back to the stack of files on the other side of the table. Naomi was working harder than you had thought but it seems she fell asleep without getting too far into the files. You sure wish you had one of those machines that could take in all of the information and files here to put into a single digital landscape. Something like that would probably make this whole ordeal of reading through piles of files.

Yellow file here, yellow file there. Most of them are marked with names and dates, titles and codewords. Moreh’s diligence is more of an annoyance when trying to sift through everything he obtained. It’s the irony that gets you, really. Moreh likes to provide everything he deems important yet still manages to not give something as important as ‘oh maybe someone might bomb the train.’

You sigh internally as you push away your complaints, for now at least. Sumi’s name floats to the surface of the files that are stacked where Naomi was sitting. The names directly below them seem to be the names of the other missing girls. You idly flip through to find the picture of Sumi. Naomi’s sister.

Long black hair and delicate features make up the most striking details of her. She seems to be wearing one of Arcady’s uniforms, though you’re not able to make out any of the icons or words on it. Flanking both of her sides are two strong looking men in blue suits. The train had men in vests though these guys seem to be either higher up the chain or just more specialized units. Scribbled on the back are two names. Brenden D. Watrous and Domenic C. Blackford.

Brenden and Domenic, two names. It’s a lead, though you’re not sure if it’s much. Seems that Naomi wrote their names here in red ink but nothing else is there. You put the picture down before looking at the file. Born in Montaway, same as Naomi. There’s nothing about the parents but there’s a school called “Montaway University” which seems just about as normal as anyone else. She’s got a degree in business administration and she’s worked a few jobs before this.

It doesn’t say much else, though you’re not sure about what exactly Arcady would have wanted. From what you know it’s not like it’s a genetic thing, since Moreh has so happily provided that she suffers from no genetic defects or abnormalities. You’d suppose that would be pretty important to a company like Arcady but it seems like she’s just as normal as anyone else.

You sigh, turning to the next folder. A normal looking girl, she seems to be about the same age as Sumi if you had to guess. The black print on the front of the folder reads Chelsea F. Dougeman, and she too seems to be about as nice as Sumi. Bright and vibrate blond hair, tied up in a bun at the back. She also went to a system university, her own degree was in agricultural biotechnology and she, too, has no genetic abnormalities.


The next girl, Sarah S. Widdich. Born on a core world, and even went to a private school but she apparently never finished, dropped out. She looks as normal as the rest, the two men flanking her have their faces protected behind a blue helmet and she too is wearing an Arcady uniform. Normal. Every single one of them. It’s not like you expected there to be something abnormal, but the only real thing connecting them is that their files are in front of you.

Normal girls with arcady uniforms and men in blue following them. That pretty much sums most of it. There’s nothing that really sticks out to you, though you do have two names. The men in blue that are with Sumi. Brenden and Domenic.

You rub the bridge of your nose as you lean back into your seat. The cushioned back provides little comfort from the edge that pokes out from the sides. “Hey.”

“Hey,” you reply absently, it’s Coraline. The faint but present wisp of something vaguely flowery, something vanilla or lavender, makes its way through the air. You look to Coraline, her hair still wet and slightly dripping. She didn’t dry her hair again, you think. She never really does.

Her hands are stuck in the pockets of her coat as she steps around you to sit down at the table. Her right arm props up her head as she traces the wood grain with a finger from her left. She looks as if she wants to ask something but she doesn’t.

You decide to ignore her and return to what you were doing, though it’s not like you know what to do next. Naomi probably has an idea on what to do but she’s asleep. You sigh, Coraline mimics you, as you look over the folders in front of you.

“I’m bored,” Coraline says, breaking the silence. You look to her and she meets your eyes slowly before looking back down to the table before sighing again.

“You’re bored?” you ask.


“Weren’t you watching some show?”


“Are you… going to finish watching it?”

“I do not want to,” she replies, looking back up to you and pulling back her left hand. “I want…”

Her words fade. “You want to what?”

“I want to go shopping,” she answers.

“Shopping? Why? Didn’t you get what you needed before?” you ask.

“Yes,” she answers dully, looking away.

>”uhh, later.” You’re busy, Domenic and Brenden are still people you don’t know about. Maybe if you wait until Naomi gets up she’ll know something.
>”Yeah, uh, sure. Needed to go shopping today anyways,” tools, guns, clothes. Things you need to protect yourself and get to where you need to go. You’re not sure what all you need but you have an idea.
>”Why don’t you go by yourself? Need some money… or?” You’re not her guardian. She doesn’t need permission from you to go anywhere. You’re busy.
>”Actually, I’ll go but I want to stop by a place real quick before we go shopping.” You’ll bring Coraline along with you to see about Adam’s place.
>”Yeah, we can go shopping, grab some food before then though,” You’ll bring Coraline with you to scout the bar for your job. She wanted to come along before anyways.

Sorry about the long wait. Didn't mean to take so long.

>”uhh, later.” You’re busy, Domenic and Brenden are still people you don’t know about. Maybe if you wait until Naomi gets up she’ll know something.

Let's wait until the other one wakes up, we will all need equipment for what is to come and that will save us a trip
>what do you need to buy?
after she says
>can it wait? I want to take the two of you shopping since we will need some equipment for the next job and what we need to do

after that

>Do you have something to tell me? tell me now while we wait, or else I'll go back to reading.

Let's get these people talking, what's that secret she wants so desperatly to talk about
I guess this works too, she obviously has something to say and this is an excuse

The important part is that we get those guns for everyone later.
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It's getting a bit late, I wanted to get another update out today but it's what it is. Haven't been sleeping right for the past week but I'll be able to run all day tomorrow.

If you don't know, I've been working on the firearms and dice system during the break between last time I ran and now. I got a few things that I hope you guys will like but I'll wait until we get there. It's nothing too complicated so it'll be easy to get into. I hope.
>>”Yeah, uh, sure. Needed to go shopping today anyways,” tools, guns, clothes. Things you need to protect yourself and get to where you need to go. You’re not sure what all you need but you have an idea.
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“...yes?” you ask.

“Yes?” she replies and looks back to you.”Then we can--”

“No, no, I mean,” you cut her off, “I mean, you got what you wanted before so… ?”

“So?” she asks.

“So, why would you want to go back to the store?”

“I’m bored,” she answers.

“Bored?” you repeat, “Well, you got anything in mind that you want?”

“No, I just… ” she says, looking back to the screen in the living room. The quiet music and inaudible voices of whatever’s on drown out the silence that follows. She takes a breath, holds it, then lets it go slowly. It’s clear, she wants to say something but she either doesn’t know how to approach it or she doesn’t know how you’ll react when she says whatever it is.

Your brother used to do this a lot. He’d just sit and sigh whenever he wanted to talk but he’d never actually start up the conversation. In a lot of ways, Benjamin is like Coraline… or the other way around? “Alright, whatever,” you say putting away the folders, “why don’t you tell me what you wanted to tell me earlier?”

“I already told you,” she turns to face you. She raises her brow and she tilts her head slightly forward, water drips from the edges, “I can’t tell you.”

“You already told me that you can’t tell me, but isn’t telling me that you can’t tell me sort of telling me already?” you ask.

“Telling… tell,” she repeats quietly, her brow scrunches up and her eyes narrow. “Uh… huh?”

“Just say whatever you wanted to say, alright?”

“Samuel, I can’t.”

“Then why’d you bring it up in the first place? I mean there ain’t any reason to bring something up if you’re not gunna talk about it, I just don’t get that,” you say and lean back. Her face softens and returns to her default expression.

Honestly you’re either getting better at reading her or she’s getting better at communicating her emotions through her face. Though, she doesn’t really communicate her emotions that well either, it’s still better than her staring at you with a blank face all the time. Actually-- it’s not like she’s moving her face around all that much, just minor differences.

First time you met her, she smiled. It’s not like she doesn’t know how to move her face… you’re probably just overthinking it anyways. She just communicates a lot more with her eyes, you notice, than most people. Direction, mainly. It’s not like you’ve been the best at reading people anyways, Jessica would tell you that. You were never really able to feel like how she felt. Connection, probably.
“Ah…” you sigh, resigning, “well, we can go shopping later if you still want to go.”

“You want to?” she says, turning back to look at you in the eyes. Ice.

“Not right now though, just gotta wait for sleeping beauty over there to wake up, alright?” you clarify, “Got a few things on my list that I want to pick up before we do anything else. Didn’t really like how things went down last time…”

Your last sentence was mumbled and quiet but Coraline most likely heard you. You’re just glad that everyone is safe but that dream you had last night isn’t helping anything. And now, with this new job, you’re feeling like Moreh isn’t telling you all there is -- the whole deal with the stick kind of solidifies it. That feeling, the one you had right before you got onto the train, resurfaces. That sort of paranoia that something could go wrong.

Last time something did go wrong. God forbid it happens again.

“Need some weapons, Arcady aren’t nice people,” you say finally with Coraline already staring at you for a moment while you were thinking. “One even shot at me.”

“Shot at you?”

“Yeah, didn’t I tell you? Some bald guy with raptor legs or whatever crawled on top of the train and shot at me,” you say somewhat exasperated, “Really, I didn’t think he’d try to shoot at me when all I did was… I mean… ah, well, still. He shot at me,” you cross your arms.

At that moment you hear the door behind you creak open. “Up early?”

It’s Naomi. She steps through the doorway, her oversized tee-shirt and baggy pajama pants shift loosely as she makes her way to the kitchen. She reminds you of someone, though you’re not too sure who. She hastily ties up bed head hair behind her before reaching for a mug, she’s getting a cup of Cal. She looks tired.

“Yeah, up early, you stay up late?” you ask, answering her.

“Yep,” she answers while lazily waving her offhand behind her while she takes a long draw from her newly-poured cup of cal. “Not much to say, though really.”

“Ah…” you reply, “didn’t find anything really useful?”

“Nothing really,” she says and makes her way back around to sit back at the table. “Why? You find anything in this mess? Really, Moreh out done himself with all the useless stuff he gave us. Look at this one,” she reaches from a folder, “this is literally just ship blueprint, like, okay… thanks I guess? It’s not like this can help me find anything on those two guys escorting my sister.”

“A blueprint?” you ask.

“Yeah, look,” she hands it to you. It’s a thrust-shuttle, like yours, one of the cheaper ones. It’s Chelsea’s ship, says so at the top of the page. It’s not like it’s super useful… but it’s not entirely useless. It has the ship pin and everything. Something like a Polyhedral Dynamic Geronimo isn’t uncommon but this should narrow it down.
“Well, I mean…” you trail off, looking at the blueprint.

“Right? Moreh has a ton of stuff like that. It has a use but it’s almost entirely… I don’t know, what-- uh… Situational!” she shouts, “It’s mostly situational!”

“Yeah…” you say, handing the blueprint back to her. “Well…” you trail off, “oh right, Coraline wants to go shopping in a bit. Thinking we can pick up some equipment, you know, to defend ourselves. Want to come along?”

“Want-- I mean, yeah, I want to come along,” she says while holding the cup of cal close to her face with both hands, “It’s not like I don’t… but… you know, I got to finish going through these folders. I think I got something, maybe not. Can’t tell you yet though, so…”

“No spoilers then?”

“No spoilers.”

“Right,” you say, turning to Coraline, “well, just us then?”

“Yes,” she answers. “I will get ready.”

“Yeah… we’ll go in a--” you trail off, Coraline already went into the bathroom again. “In a little bit…”

>”Hey Naomi, got a second before you start?” You got a question you want to ask. “You’re not hiding anything from me, are you?” That’s the question. The million standard question.
>”You think Coraline’s been acting weird lately? Suddenly wants to go shopping, talking about things… oh, you know she doesn’t even need that zaxawhatever? You know anything about that?”
>”I got a lead for Adam. Moreh had some footage of a few people, narrowed it down a little. Got four names on a shortlist, I’ll probably do that after I deal with that pickup job he’s having me do.”
>”Going to buy a gun. Don’t think Arcady will second guess taking a shot at me, might as well.”
>”Going to buy a gun. Don’t think Arcady will second guess taking a shot at me, might as well.
Ask if she wants us to pick something for her too
we won't have time to get into the heavier stuff while Coraline gets ready so I don't think this is the time for the big question, but say

"Hey, I wanted to discuss somethings with you when we get back, is that ok for you? I shouldn't be long."

and ask her about a gun too
I'm reading your quest.
>”Going to buy a gun. Don’t think Arcady will second guess taking a shot at me, might as well.”
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Casual picture of Sam circa 2054
>four for Guns and Goodbyes

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You watch as Coraline’s back disappears into the shadows of Naomi’s room and wait for the sound of a door close. You’re not sure where she got it from but Coraline had said some strange things this morning. You’re not sure if you understand what she means, or believe for that matter.

Your shoulders loosen as you relax and sink into the chair. Naomi’s hands hover over several of the folders before picking up one to read at an arm’s distance. The pages held within the vanilla folder shake under the soft and constant pressure of the air vents. Your eyes drift and follow up from Naomi’s outstretched arm to her face. Pink hair obscures some of her features, a cup of cal obscures the rest, but her jade eyes keep focused on the paper in front of her.

You’ve known for a while that Naomi could get pretty serious when she wanted to. It’s not that it’s off-putting or some kind of juxtaposition of her character, rather it’s… endearing. You’ve already confessed to her but… you’re not even sure she remembers it. You’ve kissed, even. Something like that…

Something like that is…

Your thoughts have been muddled about what to do since, though. Honestly this only complicates things, especially if it continues like this. With what Coraline said, the stuff about Naomi lying, only makes you want to talk to Naomi more. Figure things out.

Jade eyes. Her brow raises as she returns your gaze from behind the mug, “What?”


“Why are you staring at me so hard?” she asks. Putting down the mug, she uses her hand to rub the corners of her mouth, “Do I have something on my face?”

“No, I just--”

“No? Well why are you staring so much?” she says while crossing her arms, “If you’re going to stare then you might as well take a picture too. Lasts longer that way.”

“Really?” you narrow your eyes, taken aback.

“Yeah… I mean… uh--” she says, brushing away strand of hair.

“No, I meant ‘really’ cus I really haven’t heard that one in a looong time,” you clarify, “And I wasn’t staring.”

“Oh… and, oh? You weren’t staring? Really? What do you call it then? Looking for a while? Man, I mean not only are you a cheapskate but also you’re a per--”

“No, no, I was just thinking and--”

“Yeah, thinking about what, I wonder,” she says smiling before raising her mug. You’re about to reply before she raises her finger to stop you. Swallowing, she lowers the mug again, “No, I’m just messing with you, Sammy. Besides, I do that too, sometimes. Like on a train ride or something and you just stare out into space but accidentally stare at someone’s face, you know? I get that.”

Yeah, accidentally. You nod quickly, “Yeah…”
“What were you thinking about anyways? You said you had some ideas or a lead for Adam, right? What did you find out?”

“Oh, just…” you trail off as you see Coraline emerge from Naomi’s room. “I was just thinking about some other stuff, and hey, can we talk tonight?”

“Yeah sure, I guess,” Naomi answers turning to see Coraline, “Oh I like that shirt on you, white looks good, and the skirt? Nice,” Naomi turns back to you, “Where are you guys going?”

Coraline looks at Naomi before meeting your eyes. She’s wearing a white shirt, like Naomi had said, though you’re not sure when she got it-- probably when the two of you went to the store. The shirt itself is a button-up, the shoulders and sleeves are a thin see-through like material with white lilies dotting it occasionally. A black skirt and thigh-highs hide the mechanical half of her legs.

“Uhh, I was just thinking about buying a gun,” you answer, flicking your eyes between the accusatory gaze of Naomi and the blank stare of Coraline. “I-- Uh, got enough from Moreh, and uh, it’s about time…”

“Yeah?” Naomi agrees while nodding, “A gun would be good.”

“You know, Arcady’s not going to hold back…”

“Yeah, yeah… Arcady…” She says with a grin creeping across her face.

“Did… did you want one too?”

“A gun?”

“Yeah, a gun.”

“No, I’ve never fired a gun before.”

“Well, we should go down to a range sometime and shoot. Besides… Rather be prepared than not.”

“Yeah…” Naomi says while taking a sip from her mug, “Well, don’t let me stop you too long. Go have fun.”

“Oh, don’t think it’ll take too long, just picking up a few things.”

“Oh? It doesn’t take that long? Well, you’re pretty quick then?” She asks while hiding a grin from behind her mug. You’re not too sure what she means by that exactly but you’re probably not going to like it. For some reason, it feels like she’s insulting you. Before too long, she waves her hand dismissively, “Go, go, It’s going to take some time for me to get through these files anyways. If you need anything then you can message or call me or whatever.”

“Right…” you say while nodding. Your eyes narrow before looking to Coraline who looks like she had nothing to do with what just happened. “Alright, well, we’re gunna go. Talk to you later.”


>Gun store first. You’re going to get something that you can use to protect yourself at least half way.
>Make a visit to Moreh. You have a few questions and you’re going to ask them. Moreh is hiding something from you about this job of his, just like he had before.
>You’re going to go to Adam’s house. You need to investigate the place, clean it up some maybe. Adam is family, might as well pay respects when you can. Been a long time coming.
>Go to the Bar that was described in your Job files. Might as well scout out the place, become a familiar face and ask around for a little bit. Not to stand out or anything, just to make yourself not suspicious.

>Gun store first. You’re going to get something that you can use to protect yourself at least half way.

Gun store than back home, we have research to do

>Gun store first. You’re going to get something that you can use to protect yourself at least half way.

Does coraline have a license to buy guns? Or we will have to buy it on ours and Naomi's name, the store owners already know the "couple" so maybe there will be no problem.
Go get breakfast. A fancy crepeé
Guys... guns... really? Coraline > Guns
Breakfast, then take coraline with us so she can get a gun too.
SOMEONE gets it
If she's already going with us, lets just grab a hearty meal on the go.
Coraline does not have a license as far as you know and you're not able to buy guns using someone else's name. Also, the two at the store you went to previously does not sell firearms other than the Vigil that was mentioned
A meal to go on the way to the gun shop doesn't sound bad
So, all the guns we buy will have to be registered in our name?
yes, unless you guys want to swing by Moreh's place to get him to give Coraline or Naomi a license too
No, let's avoid any more favors while we can, we can register them all on our name, it's a fake anyway.
I do not mind that too.

What kind of guns does our license covers? Concealed carry or open carry?
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You currently have the [Personal Defense Firearms License] which basically means pistols, and somewhat limited at that. There's several other licenses you can apply for that would unlock other things like rifles, shotguns and some of the "heavy" weapons like grenade launchers and other specialty items like that.

This license also allows for the discharge of the firearm under some pretty specific circumstances but we're probably just going to ignore those
Alright! Seems like it's
>four for coffee cakes and brass shells

>>Make a visit to Moreh. You have a few questions and you’re going to ask them. Moreh is hiding something from you about this job of his, just like he had before.
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“Right, catch you later,” Naomi calls after as you leave and you return with a wave of your hand. With a mechanical squeal and a sound of grinding metal, the door budges with a rush of air pushing past your face.

You take a deep breath of the stale yet oddly brisk station air as you step outside the house. Coraline’s footfalls follow you as the two of you make your way down the dimly lit corridor that glows with a faux-morning light. The strange light mimics daytime cycles, you’ve read about it a while back. Mechanically simple but it serves a similar purpose as mirrors in a thrust-shuttle. Keeps people sane out in the dark.

“Any place you wanted to go to?” you ask while continuing to walk.

“No,” she replies and the conversation ends. The only sound the two of you hear are your own footsteps and the sound of vents pushing air. Pausing for a moment at one of the various station crossroads, you pull out your display. It’s not that you’ve been walking long but the station is built like a maze. It would be more difficult to just follow the signs if you’re trying to go anywhere.

The station map, separated into multiple layers, looks like a spiderweb of straight edges and large sections cutting into the well-crafted strands. Most of those empty sections are for ship travel, some seem to just be things like the blackout zone or the maintenance area. As you scroll through the map, you mentally mark down the location of the place you’re looking for. It’s not far, you’re actually pretty close by a somewhat large shopping district given Ryo’s job.

Pocketing the thing, you turn back to see Coraline watching a gathering of a small group. Red robes and wooden crosses. They’re standing near a podium while giving their sermon. You’ve seen these guys a few days ago, well, not these guys specifically. Naomi said they’re a bunch of crazies-- a doomsday cult.

Coraline seems about as disinterested in them as most things yet she’s still keeping an eye on them, so you follow her gaze. There are around four or five of these cultists, red robes with long, deep hoods covering all but the bottom of their chin. One of these cultists stands out from their group, he doesn’t have a hood, rather he sports a red blindfold and several scars and tattoos of written words on a bald head. Fanatic.

“--simmering from the bottom, they rise up!” you listen in half way, “Those chosen and challenged for the hardship of purity will be gifted with God’s grace. Rapture is coming! These are the days, the chosen are tested and their bodies are brought bare before the lord. He judges their sins and as his judgement is cast, the bodies are born anew within the realm of he, king of kings! Penitent are they! Sinful are us! Sinful shall we remain if we do not return! Leave your riches, leave your worldly wealth! These are the trappings of the fallen, these are the trappings of the impure!”
His voice booms across the small crowd of people, none of them seem any more interested as you are. A man in the front of the crowd raises his arm before shouting back, “So you want to steal from us? You said the ‘end times’ are coming? When’s that exactly? I’ve got a meeting at eight I’d rather miss so if you’d hurry it up, that’d be great,” a small group laughing at the man’s joke.

“A heckler!” the man, the blind man, shouts back before laughing too, “No… no, no, We do not desire wealth. The opposite! Wealth is the downfall of man, decadence is the bed he lay in and the one he sinks to the bottom of. The end has already come and God has already started choosing,” the man points to a hooded man who then promptly removes it. White hair and a sickly skeletal figure is revealed, “Witness! The penitent! This man was gifted with the chance to become one of the chosen!”

The cultist pauses before his hand waves across the crowd the crowd, stopping at the two of you standing in the distance. “Look!” the bald man points at Coraline. Several faces from the crowd turns to fix their eyes on the two of you. Your expression turns sour but when you turn to look at Coraline she just crossed her arms, still staring blanking at the cultists, “Another child of God walks among us! God chose these men and women! Another has found their way to us and another is tested by God! An explosion of light will release their souls as they return to Heaven’s gate! God’s children are graced with this chance to prove themselves to receive everlasting life.”

“Yeah, that’s great and all but that didn’t answer the question, mate. When’s doomsday coming?” another man asks.

“The date tells us,” the cultist answers, “The beast’s number! The gears of the end are turning! It is only a matter of time before we will all bow! Rapture falls upon us! We will walk the path the lord has laid before us! Humble ourselves before the lord for he sees avarice as sin, to bury ourselves in silver and gold, to mock a city of light! We only blaspheme with such luxury! Cast aside your worldly chains and see the truth as I have! Repent now, throw away your worldly desires! Wealth! Greed! They’re all tools of the Devil to persuade you into--”

You’ve stopped listening. You stopped listening when the man’s hair was revealed-- white hair. It didn’t help when he pointed Coraline out. What does white hair even have to do with this cult? You’re not sure but -- “Hey kid, how’s it been?”

“Kid?” you repeat, looking around for whoever asked it. The preacher. He’s here and he was there before at the train. Your face gets cold.
“Yeah,” the priest says as he turns to look to the crowd, “These guys don’t know what they’re talking about… say, I was kind of worried yesterday. With all that crazy stuff happening, the explosion and all.”

“The train… yeah, man, yeah… You said your name was… uh, David, right?” you try to assemble a sort of sentence. “Coming to watch the surmon, preacher?”

“Daniel and yeah…” he turns back to look at you, eyes dot between you and Coraline, “Oh uh, no I just heard him shouting again, wanted to tell him to shut the fuck up. Using the lord’s words like that. They’ve got it wrong anyways. Like what he said about your lady there.”

“Ah,” you say, looking back to Coraline who’s watching from the side of her face. A pause sets in for a moment before you hear the gurble of an empty stomach. You turn back to Coraline who quickly looks away, “Yeah… we were just passing through.”

“Right, hey kid, you two want to go get some food? I’ll pay. Been a while since I had a good conversation partner, what’d you say?” He offers.

>”Ah… Nah, we’re kind of busy right now and it’s a pretty tight schedule today, sorry man.” You’re not sure about this new guy. People don’t just start conversation with strangers, do they? You’ll still get food, you’re kind of hungry too but without Daniel.
>”I guess, that’s fine with me.” Why not? He seems to know something about Coraline that you don’t. This whole white hair thing might lead to something useful. You have some time today, Naomi doesn’t expect you home until later anyways.
>”Actually, we’re headed to go buy some stuff. … uh… raincheck? How about later tonight? I’ll give you my information.” you’re busy but you’re curious. You can follow up on it later.

>”I guess, that’s fine with me.” Why not? He seems to know something about Coraline that you don’t. This whole white hair thing might lead to something useful. You have some time today, Naomi doesn’t expect you home until later anyways.

But tell him we can't take long, choose a well lit and crowded restaurant

>”I guess, that’s fine with me.” Why not? He seems to know something about Coraline that you don’t. This whole white hair thing might lead to something useful. You have some time today, Naomi doesn’t expect you home until later anyways.

Cut the bullshit tho, what does he want with us? It's the second time he comes looking.
If he knows something about white hairs we can ask about that white hair dude we saw with the smugglers too
>Two for dinner date with Daniel

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First, he finds you in a crowd for the second time. Now, he asks you if you want to go get something to eat. He either knows something or he’s some kind of saint. You’re not sure which one is shadier, though. Instead of backing away from it, you decide to take him up on his offer. Besides, you can’t just ignore that noise from Coraline, “Sure, fine with me.”

You’re not comfortable with him, though. You’re more curious about what he knows, about the white hair or about the train, something that you suspect he might have a few answers to. He nods and pats your back with a force unbefitting his stature, “Right, good! I know a pretty good place, just a few doors down.”

“Right, right, any free food is good food,” you reply jokingly before looking back to Coraline who just nods in return. The preacher waves for you to follow him. The three of you make your way through the corridors towards some of the more active restaurants. Daniel stops before a glass door; several empty bar stools line a counter with booths lining the walls. A red neon sign glows the name ‘Sharell’s Diner’.

“Welcome back Dan, brought us a few more customers?”

“Yep, Miss Janice, this Mister is Joshua, and this is his lady,” he answers before making his way to one of the booths, you and Coraline follow, “I’ll have the usual.”

“Omelet with ham and cheese?”

“Yes please.”

“My, Dan, you sure do seem to be friendly with everyone you meet? Almost every day since last Tuesday you come in here with a new friend,” she pulls out a notepad and pen from her cleavage. She then turns to look at the two of you, “Why hello Mister Joshua, my name’s Janice and I’ll be serving you today, what might you like?”

“I’ll uhm,” you look to Daniel before returning to Janice, “well, I guess I’ll just like some eggs and a, uh, bowl of oatmeal… maybe some toast too.”

“Maybe some toast… alright, well what would…” she implies Coraline who just replies with staring blankly at her.

“Uh--” you start and answer for her, “she’ll just have the same.”

“Right, right,” she says writing on her notepad, “I’ll go tell the chef and it’ll be right out. Is water fine? Juice machine is broken. Bob decided to strap together some nonsense a week ago, hasn’t worked since.”

“Yeah, that’s fine as always,” the preacher replies while holding up a hand, “Don’t come here for the juice anyways.”

Janice smiles and with a nod she turns away. You watch as she disappears behind the counter, shouting quickly starts but you’re half sure it’s mostly about food.
“Ah well… anyways, I shouldn’t be rude, my name’s Daniel,” the preacher starts, extending his hand toward Coraline for a shake, “Nice to meet you miss…?”

You look between Coraline and Daniel, her arms are still crossed. She seems disinterested, more so than usual. She’s about as welcoming as the first time you met her. “Her name’s--”

“Coraline,” she monotonously answers for herself.

“Coraline? That’s a unique name,” he replies before taking his hand back with Coraline not continuing, “Ah… well,” he turns back to you, “So, the train?”

“Yeah… the train.”

“Several dead, I heard,” he says, “Never has it been so common to hear that sentence than it has been now. Almost every day you hear about someone bombing something.”

“Yeah,” you pick up, “Just the other day, heard about the senators.”

“Yeah, the whole bill thing. Not that I agree with the bill either but bombing someone like that, it’s just… cowardly,” he says as Janice comes with the water. Three glasses take up the moment before she leaves. Daniel quickly drinks most of his glass before continuing, “The world doesn’t seem so quiet as it was.”

“Like how those red guys are saying? World is crazy, right?”

“Nah, those guys bastardize the word to make it easier for them. They like to pick up people and talk them into giving over their money,” he leans back, taking a breath and crossing his arms, “They don’t really care for them. I guess for some people it’s nice to be a part of something like that but it’s not right. Actually, they’re a part of that job I was talking to you about.”

“The job?” you’ve mostly forgotten him since last you’ve talked.

“Yeah, they’re starting to harass the local church,” he says, “no one likes that.”

“Right…” you take a long draw from the glass, “oh, yeah, what was he saying about Coraline? And how did he see her, isn’t he blind?”

“Ah, blind? Aren’t we all blind? How can you say you see better than me or I saw the same of you? ... It’s a scam. He has people tell him.” he answers, “You know that sickness that the guy up front had, right? The aged hair, looks like he’s half-dead?”

“Uh, no?”

“You don’t? Well, it’s not that common anyways. Some sickness they’re obsessed about. Started happening a few years ago. People got sick. Don’t last longer than a few weeks though. Two… three at most.”

“What happens to them?” you ask, looking back to Coraline.

“They burn up.”

“Burn up?”

“Yeah, they glow and, poof, they go up in flames. They call it rapture, but it’s just the body destroying itself. Nothing special,” he waves it off as Janice returns with the food. “Children of God is what they call them but what they really are is heading to the grave-- and fast. They don’t last for more than a few weeks before their bodies burn up in a golden light- kind of like a fire.”
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“Ah? Talking about that? Strange stuff that is…” Janice says as she begins placing the plates around the table, “Omelet, two eggs and two oatmeal’s. Maybe some toast… Yeah, that thing? Don’t worry about it, never happens.”

“Right…” you reply as Janice leaves, “What about cybernetics? Does that do something with the body?”

“Cybernetics? Now, son, that’s a bit out of my expertise,” he replies, and a moment passes before he comes back, “Your lady there isn’t some chosen one, she’s not someone sick like what he says. It’s obviously because she dyed it or got surgery or whatever. She’s not sick like the rest of them.”

“Right, right,” you say, taking a spoonful of oatmeal. The three of you sit in silence for the next few moments as you finish your plate. Janice comes by with another pitcher of water to fill up Daniel’s glass, but she doesn’t say anything.

“Yeah…” Daniel says as he begins to stand. “Well, it’s been nice talking with you. I probably won’t see you again but if we do, I’d love to have another chat like this with you, Mister Joshua. Now, take care,” he turns away, “Miss Janice! I’ll pay for the two of them as well!”

Right. Daniel leaves, the brass bell chimes as the door shuts behind him. Probably won’t see you again. Sounds suspicious as hell. What does he even do? Talk with people? Even with this chat, you only really come out of it with more questions. You turn back to Coraline. She props up against an arm as she stares back at you with a blank expression.

“I did not like him,” she says.

“Yeah… me neither…” you agree and nod as you turn away back to the empty plate. Your brow scrunches up and you quickly turn back to Coraline, “Wait, what? Why?”

“He had a gun,” she answers nonchalantly.

“A-- wait, why didn’t you tell me?”

“He put it away,” she replies, turning away and propping herself with her hand under her chin.

“That doesn’t… wait, he put it away? You mean he had it out?”

“Yes,” she says, “He pointed at you but then he put it away after he noticed I noticed.”

“You… well… I-- I mean I guess, thanks? I--” you stumble through your words. You’re not sure what to say. You were almost killed again, second time in a row.

“You’re welcome,” she says, “We’re even. Now.”

“Even?” you ask absentmindedly. Daniel was hiding something, though you’re not sure what. Might never know but you’re glad he didn’t try to shoot you, well, that he didn’t shoot you. To be able to have a normal conversation with a gun under the table. It’s not the first time he did this. You doubt he’s even really named Daniel, that’s probably why Coraline was so standoffish with him.
He knew something about this sickness that you never heard of. People dying and… exploding? The news is almost enough for you to forget that you were almost assassinated by a stranger. Did he think you were one of those Sons? Did he suspect you were the one who bombed the train? When did he pull out his gun? What… why?

Nothing of it really adds up, strange man with a strange tale. Probably won’t meet again? You hope you’ll never meet him again. A gun? A gun.

You need a gun.

This’ll be the last time you’re caught off guard. If you just get a gun, then maybe you won’t be so defenseless when it comes to something like this. Maybe you’ll be the one protecting instead of the one being protected. Like a hero. A hero.

You push yourself up and exit the booth. Your eyes narrow and you scan the remainder of the diner. The booths are mainly empty but Janice flashes you a smile, one which you don’t return. ’Must be friendly’ my ass. You accuse mentally. The man just pointed a gun at you, it’s not like he came to have peaceful negotiations. He was probably bringing up the train because he was going to make sure that you did it.

He probably started the whole conversation on station under that pretense. How would he know that there would be some kind of explosion on the train by then though? Wait, that doesn’t make sense, maybe he knew that Joshua wasn’t your name? That’s more likely since Coraline can do that, but does that make whatever she does pretty common? You sure hope that’s not common.

You’ve met three people who could do that. Three people…

No use thinking too much about that right now. That’s the last of the preacher you’ll hopefully see so you just tuck away his name and face into your memory for now. It’s not like you could do anything, you couldn’t do anything anyways.

You turn back to Coraline who’s already started to follow you, “Let’s go, no need sticking around,” you turn to wave to the lady behind the counter, this time with a slightly more relaxed face, “Thanks uhm… Miss Janice, loved breakfast!”

You turn without looking back, leave without looking back, and continue walking without looking back. You knew this guy just smelled like bad news, straight from the moment he started talking. If you had woke up with a good mood this morning then by now, it’s gone. Definitely ruined the morning for you already. Daniel. That’s just something.
>He either knows something or he’s some kind of saint.
Or he's into your ass.
You decide to head straight to the store you marked earlier – before you met with Daniel again. It’s a simple shop, though, you didn’t read much past than that it’s close. That’s honestly the extent of the information you need, so it’s not much of a difference. Gun stores sell guns and that’s all you need.

You don’t need to take a train there either. Mainly, you’d want to get back home pretty easily so the less you must travel, the better. You have some things you need to look through too. Adam, the missing girls, all those files still needing to be sifted through… not to mention a much needed coming-to-Jesus with Naomi.

The map blinks and the arrows point straight to the store in front of you. You ignore the name and push past the door. A man with thick glasses stands behind the counter while several other customers browses the store’s inventory. Rifles and other firearms line the back of the wall while most of the store floor are accessories. Handguns are placed under a thick glass display counter. Revolvers, pistols, and knives make up most of what’s stored in there.

The man presses his glasses up the ridge of his nose as you approach the counter, “Anything catch your eye?”

“Yeah…” you answer, looking back at him, “Can I get a list?”

“Sure thing, boss,” he says while bringing up a display screen. “Just swipe your display here and you can look through it.”

You run your display across and wait a few moments for it to register. “Thanks.”

“Personal Defense License? You can buy everything in…” his voice trails as he points from the top of the list before stopping at a certain point, “this area.”

“Thanks again.”

“Yeah, no problem,” he says, “oh and if you’re trying to get the most bang for your buck, I’d think about one of G&H’s pistols, the G-H ninety-one is a pretty solid all-rounder. Fairly accurate too.”

“Kinda expensive, though isn’t it? A thousand?”

“Yeah, a thousand, but with the license you got, I’d get it,” he shrugs. “We don’t carry many of the Peacekeeper’s kit since they’re sold to specific vendors, but we have… their ‘Ardent.’ It’s cheaper… but it definitely shows.”

“Yeah alright, I’ll take a look through it,” you say while scrolling through the available handguns.

[Options in Next post]
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>[Store List]
>[You have (Limited) knowledge on firearms. Information is simplified.]

> <[ BF9 – A Standard within the Bryant Frontier line of firearms, built cheaply but made to last. (10 damage, 30% accuracy, short range and uses FS-P9, 7 rounds per magazine) [Reliability-Superior] [Quality-Shoddy] [500 ▲]>

> <[ BF9a1 – A variation of the BF9, the BF9a1 is slightly more accurate and comes with a range-finder. (8 damage, 40% accuracy, short range and uses FS-P9, 7 rounds per magazine) [Reliability-Superior] [Quality-Shoddy] [550 ▲]>

> <[ BF914 – Using a weaker caliber, the BF914 sacrifices some things but gains an edge for what it’s worth. (8 damage, 30% accuracy, short range and uses FS-P14, 14 rounds per magazine) [Reliability-Superior] [Quality-Standard] [500 ▲]>

> <[ Ardent – The only Peacekeeper handgun sold here but it’s almost a classic at this point. The Ardent is a great firearm and a honest choice for the police force. (10 damage, 50% accuracy, short range and uses FS-P9, 7 rounds per magazine) [Reliability-shoddy] [Quality- Standard] [600 ▲]>

> <[ GH91 – G&H manufactured handgun, average build, slightly higher than average damage but with superior accuracy. (12 damage, 70% accuracy, Short range and uses FS-P9, 7 rounds per magazine) [Reliability-Standard] [Quality-Standard] [1000 ▲]>

> <[ GH141 – A FS-P14 variation of the GH91, the GH141 uses a slightly lower caliber to increase their capacity. (10 damage, 60% accuracy, Short range and uses FS-P14, 22 rounds per magazine.) [Reliability-Standard] [Quality-Standard] [1000 ▲]>

> <[ GH144 – A variation on the GH141, the GH144 uses a sophisticated system to deliver a three-round burst fire as well as a switch to semi-auto. (10 damage, 60%/50% accuracy, Short range and uses FS-P14, 22 rounds per magazine.) [Reliability-Standard] [Quality-Standard] [1200 ▲]>

> <[ Comet – GH4 The G&H titan within the revolver market, though not as accessible as the Peacekeeper revolver, Satyr, the Comet provides high damage and penetration – (24 damage + 10AP, 70% accuracy, Short range and uses FS-P4, 4 rounds.) [Reliability-Standard] [Quality-Standard] [1800 ▲]>

> “Thanks, I was just browsing. I’ll come back later.” You’re not sure on what to choose, but you’re going t need one.
> “I’ll take the…”
> “Is there any way to test any of these out? Like a range or something?” You’d rather take a look at what you’re buying before you buy it.
This update was supposed to have happened last night but my wifi shit itself and I wasn't able to post. Sorry about the delay, but here it is!
>> <[ Ardent – The only Peacekeeper handgun sold here but it’s almost a classic at this point. The Ardent is a great firearm and a honest choice for the police force. (10 damage, 50% accuracy, short range and uses FS-P9, 7 rounds per magazine) [Reliability-shoddy] [Quality- Standard] [600 ▲]>
Gonna go with this, also purchase extra ammo so we can try it out before we need to use it.
Oh, ask if they have a gun range here.
> <[ BF914 – Using a weaker caliber, the BF914 sacrifices some things but gains an edge for what it’s worth. (8 damage, 30% accuracy, short range and uses FS-P14, 14 rounds per magazine) [Reliability-Superior] [Quality-Standard] [500 ▲]>

Why would Daniel wants us dead. Ruining our morning date and shit too...
Are there accessories we could also purchase, like new iron sights or trigger springs?
uhhhh yes? there are accessories but I haven't completely finished them-- I mean Sam wouldn't know what to look for :d
Coraline won't need no gun. She should buy throwing stars. ¡¡Ninja ninja!!

>> <[ GH91 – G&H manufactured handgun, average build, slightly higher than average damage but with superior accuracy. (12 damage, 70% accuracy, Short range and uses FS-P9, 7 rounds per magazine) [Reliability-Standard] [Quality-Standard] [1000 ▲]>

buy two of these, one for Sam one for Naomi
and tell Coraline to pick something so we can register it in our name
>Two for Taking a note from the professionals
& I heard something about going to the range so I'll add that too ;d

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Several firearms populate the screen; GH144, GH141, Ardent, BF914… you’re not sure what to make of it. Most of the numbers seem abstract to you with them talking about muzzle velocity, hit probability, averages in penetration, etc. The list of specs goes on and on. Of course, with you being an engineer, you understand most of the terms but it’s not something that you could wrap your head around the first time you read through it.

At the forefront of your mind isn’t exactly the miniscule differences between any of them, what you want is something that you can use to protect yourself. Being able to hit something with it is pretty important. Though Bryant Frontier carries several inexpensive ones, it’s the problem of their notorious inaccuracy.

The Ardent is also a fairly competent firearm in its own respect. It’s definitely good enough for several police divisions to equip themselves with it, but you’re not sure how it would handle with you at the helm. You’ve only fired a few rounds back home, mostly vermin and other pests-- no actual practice with one.

Although the big-ticket item like the Comet is attractive, you’re half-sure it’ll take your arm off if you fired it. It’s the one with the most kick-back and the most damage… at least within the list you have. The rifles, shotguns, and even other pistols have been locked out with your limited license. You were hoping for some kind of shotgun or possibly a machine pistol but that’s a no-can-do. The closest you could get would probably be the GH144, from the looks of it, but it’s only a three-round-burst and not a fully automatic machine pistol.

The best bet for you…

Obviously, it was the first choice too. GH91. The very same one the store owner recommended and the very same you put your eyes on. One thousand standards, it’s not a cheap thing by any stretch of the imagination but it’s certainly worth it. Out of the list, it’s the only one with high enough damage and accuracy so it’s the wisest choice. It’s of an average size, for pistols that is, so it could fit in a holster or be kept close by but it’s not really an entirely concealable weapon.

Not like you were able to have a concealable weapon; you don’t have the license for that. So, you’ll just have to settle. The GH91 is by far the best bet for you. Only problem is… if Coraline or Naomi needs one. You want to get Naomi one, that’s a given, but in Coraline’s hands it would probably do some magic. Probably. You’ve never really seen what Coraline is capable of but, if you had to guess, it’d be spectacular.

You take your time before turning around and looking for Coraline. You spot her. She’s squatting near an accessory stand; her knees are pressed against her chest with her arms wrapped around them. She’s looking intensely at a small… something.

“Hey,” you call out to her, “What’cha looking at?”
“Nothing,” she replies, standing back up and dusting her skirt off, “Are we leaving?”

“Not yet, did you want anything? We’ll just have it signed under my name so, uhhh,” you say, “if you wanted anything then you’d have to choose from that list.”

She nods in reply, but she doesn’t say anything.

“I’m probably going to buy two guns, one for me and for Naomi if—”

“Yes, I will take the same then,” she answers, cutting you off.

“Fine with me, but do you mind paying for yourself? It’s a thousand standard so… I don’t know how much you got anyways and--”

“It is fine,” she assures.

“Alright, well…” you say and take a step toward the man behind the counter. He perks up and pushes his glasses back up the ridge of his nose.

“Done browsing?” he asks, “Got anything in mind?”

“Yeah, actually…” you answer, “I was thinking about the GH ninety-one, the one you recommended.”

“Ah, right on, boss,” he says, “First box of thirty rounds comes with so… all you got to do is sign here…”

He pulls up another screen from behind the counter. Several words flash and scroll through before landing on the dotted line. He also takes out one of the GH91s from behind the counter and sets it on top. It looks just like the image from the screen. It’s rounded on top, square bottom with a comfortable-looking grip. From what you can tell, it’s about five centimeters longer than your outstretched palm.

“Actually,” you start, taking your eyes off of the weapon for a moment, ”I was thinking about buying two of them.”

“Oh?” he says with a raised brow, “nice, nice… good choice.” He pulls out another, identical, GH91 and places it on the counter, “You also get another box of thirty rounds for the second handgun. Total price is around… two thousand. That includes tax and the bundle price. If you want an extra box or two of rounds, then they cost around fifty per box.”

“Fifty? That’s nearly, what, one and a half standard per bullet?”

“Yep.” He says with a shrug, “shooting is expensive, most try to make it count.”

“yeah, yeah… “you resign. “Oh and also, she’ll be buying one too, under my name. She’s a uhh…”

“Cousin?” he asks.

“Yeah, she’s a close relative,” you answer.

>”Alright, sounds good. I’ll pay the two thousand.” And there goes all your hard work, two thousand down the drain. It’ll be the first of many many sacrifices to come.
>”I’ll take [Enter Number Here] boxes of that ammo too.” Stocking up.
>”Yeah… on second thought…” you’re going to back out of this. You have a few other things you need to buy, utility items like drones, ship parts, etc.
>”Do you have a gun range I can test these out by any chance? Or know of any at least?” You need some practice. You’re rusty as all hell and it’ll be better if you don’t accidentally shoot someone you know.

>”I’ll take [Enter Number Here] boxes of that ammo too.” Stocking up.
2 more boxes for practice later, Naomi will probably pay us back, and if she doesn't want the gun we have a backup weapon
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Dunno... can't we rent a gun at a Space firing range to practice instead of spending to much for bullets? Also... we assume that the station has a space firing range...

ALSO CAN'T SAM BE ASSERTIVE??? Bet Coraline was looking at something cute again!! She is feeling left out... we are isolating her!!
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Reach Flami-Coraline's heart!!


>”Alright, sounds good. I’ll pay the two thousand.” And there goes all your hard work, two thousand down the drain. It’ll be the first of many many sacrifices to come.

Is there any attachments fpr the weapon? Better sights, laser aim, suppressor, flashlight and so on?
renting probably is more expensive than using our own, and the cost of the rounds it's probably the same
hmm.. true. Okay.
>plus two packets of bullets.
wait, before buying let's call Naomi to make sure she wants a weapon that big or if we grab a smaller one
she specifically said we should call or message if we need anything, and this is big money, better call first
Right... let's get her the smol one. She will hurt her wrist with the revolver
Mention they have the range too for practice
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“Close relative?” He repeats and looks between the two of you. He takes a moment before shaking his head which motions into a nod, “yeah, yeah, Alright… so the total’s gunna cost you around two thousand. You said these two are for you, correct? And the missus there will be paying for her own… under your name?”

“Right,” you nod.

“Alright, boss, sounds good… good,” he says while bringing up a different screen on the same display, “You’ll have to sign off on it for loaning weapons and such. Technically… you’ll be buying the firearm and then it will be loaned off to her. Did the same for my son’s birthday… I take it uhh, different situation here.”

“Yeah…” you say, “So two thousand for the two of those and she can pay for her own, right?”

“Yep yep,” he says and then leans in forward, putting a hand to the side of his mouth as if to whisper a secret, “I take it you two heard about the train, right? Had a few customers come in for the same. Dunno about the two of you but I’d do the same if I hadn’t had a few myself. Doubt it would do most here any good but I think a more well-armed and well-informed population would be for the best. That and between the whole—”

“Yeah, yeah, I know.” You cut him off with a raised palm to stop him from continuing. A moment passes in silence before you shake your head, “The guns, alright, here for the guns…”

“Yeah…” he says, nodding, “right… well, just sign right here.”

He points to a specific line and then two more. The screen glows for a moment, green lines trace from the top to the bottom. You over your display across the screen and it registers it as your digital signature. It’s the first time you’ve purchased something like this. A large step forward but you can’t help but feel like it’s also a step you can’t take back. Pour out your heart and you’ll never put it back in—you can’t un-shoot someone.

Pull the trigger and it’s done.

The clerk behind the counter nods and with a sigh he says, “Right, that’s for the gun she’ll be having and for the two in your pocket…”

“Oh,” you say suddenly. Of course… you’ve been feeling like you’ve forgotten something. “Right, I need to make a call real quick.”

“Sure,” the clerk waves before pushing his glasses back.

Right. Quickly, you search for the one person you should have talked to before making the decision.

“Hey Sammy,” her voice comes across from the display. Her pink hair is hidden under a wet towel, “Didn’t think you’d call me this earl—"

“Hey, yeah, sorry about that. You just got out of the shower, yeah right?” You quickly say, “I’m here at the gun store, did you say you wanted a gun or not? I’m about to buy them right now so if you wanted one then here’s the chance to get one.”
“Did I… hold on Sa—”

“Did you want a gun, I asked you earlier and you didn’t give me much of an answer and I’m bout to buy two. Don’t worry about never shooting one either, they got a range,” you look up from your display to the clerk, “Ya’ll got a range, right?”

“Yeah, well, not us but we’re partnered with one,” he answers.

“Yeah, see?” you say to Naomi, “They got a range, you can practice if you want to so there’s no real worry there and--”

“Sammy, you okay?” Naomi asks.

“Yeah, no, I’m fine. Just fine, why?” your brow furrows as you turn away from the counter. You’re fine. It’s only been a few minutes since you left the bar, a day since you left the train, two days since you left the auction house, a little over a week since you left Unity but you’re fine. You just need a gun. Something to put between you and the bad guys— the guys who are out to get you. You need a gun…

“You sure?” she asks again while leaning into the display, “you…”

The only thing these events showed you is that you’re far from being prepared to face anyone seriously. The feeling that took hold of you, that pressuring beating of drums, that feeling of not being able to breathe, they all made you remember that sole fact. The same feeling you had before the train, the same feeling you had when you saw the guy in white hair, the same feeling you had when you saw the vultures… the feeling of not being able to do anything.

But with a gun…with a gun you have a chance.

“I’m good, alright? I’m good.” You assure her, trying to pace yourself. Though you’re pretty sure she doesn’t buy it, not with that face she’s giving you, “I can handle it. Just with the preacher, kinda…”

“The preacher? What preacher,” she asks.

“No, it’s nothing,” you quickly correct yourself before turning back to the counter, “Did you want one or not?”

“I mean… did you buy it already?”

“No, it’s on the counter though,” you answer, “I can pay for it, just wondering if you wanted one or not.”

“Did…” she stops herself. She looks as if she adjusts herself, pushing against the towel a bit before clearing her throat, “Right, well if you want to get one then sure. I don’t know if I’ll ever use it though, since it’s not like I’m going to be fighting my way through.”

>”Self-defense,” you’re not asking her to shoot at anyone. Just when worse comes to worse, you’d rather have everyone prepared.
>”If you don’t want one then that’s fine,” it’ll save you a few standards in the long run and you’ll be able to focus on something else.
>”Well, I’ll still buy it then. Already have it on the counter anyways,” use it as a back-up, dual-wield it, give it to Naomi, whatever. Two guns are better than one anyways.

>”Self-defense,” you’re not asking her to shoot at anyone. Just when worse comes to worse, you’d rather have everyone prepared.
I'm not planning on shooting my way inside of anywhere either

>”Self-defense,” you’re not asking her to shoot at anyone. Just when worse comes to worse, you’d rather have everyone prepared.

Sam is not ok.
>two for self defense
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“Right, and yeah,” you say, “I’m not saying…” you lower your voice, “I’m not saying that’s what I’m gunna do. It’s just… I don’t know, more of a safety measure.”

“Yeah, I mean, if you want to get me one then I’ll learn how to shoot too, I guess,” she replies.

“It’s just… I’d rather have it than not.” You take a moment to breathe. Turning back to the man behind the counter, you nod, “yeah, we’ll take both of them,” you look back to Naomi and give her a quick smile, “I’ll see you later, talk then, alright?”

“See you, Sammy,” she says, and then the display goes dark. You take another deep breath, you’re fine. Naomi is probably just worried about you since you just seemed a bit off. Admittedly you were a bit more agitated than you’re normally, you’re not sure why though. You were feeling fine this morning, just… the preacher.

You didn’t even notice it when he did it. He pulled a gun on you and you didn’t even know. You could have been dead by now. The only thing between you and that was Coraline. It’s not good enough.

It’s not going to be good enough. Not with how and who you’re going up against. Arcady this Arcady that. Preacher didn’t even seem like Arcady, but it’s not like he seemed like anyone good. Not to mention Moreh and then those men in Unity or the guys in the auction house. They keep saying you worry too much but you’re half sure that you’re not worrying enough. You’re not careful enough. You feel as if you’re not doing enough. It’s not enough.

You swipe your display across the screen on the counter. The light from the screen grows before fading for a moment as a loading bar registers the transaction. You certainly felt like you were onto something this morning, the girls, the case with Adam, Arcady at a whole. You’re onto something but you’re not sure you can do it.

The display slides back into your pocket and the warmth bleeds through the thin fabric. “Right,” the clerk says, “well, let me get these all in a case and I’ll get them right out for you… and if you will, miss, sign here.”

“Mm,” Coraline gives her non-verbal response as she waves her hand across the screen. It blinks, registering her purchase and the man turns it around to inspect whatever documents you signed. You probably should have read over them but it’s not really any consequence to you. All you’re worried about is the pair of handguns sitting across from you. That blackish-gray metal.

The man nods before disappearing into some back room. He mentioned something. The train. He mentioned that the train made a lot of people buy guns. You didn’t hear anything about it from the news, then again, you weren’t listening. Seems like it was more serious than you had even imagined.
Your eyes drift across the room. Except for Coraline standing beside you, there’s several people browsing. The man said that they’re worried about the train explosion. You know for a fact that nothing short of a few feet of steel would help them, a weapon isn’t going to change that. You’ve seen it with your own eyes—the fire.

“Alright boss,” the man says as he emerges from the backroom, “I have everything here. Thanks for shopping and if you wanted to go down to that range, then I’ll hand you a card for it too.”

“Yeah, thanks a lot,” you say as you take a look at the crate-looking thing he set on the counter. In fact, it’s a stand for several other suitcase-looking storage cases. Three of them sit neatly locked inside the stand, one for each gun bought. One for you, one for Naomi, one for Coraline. Each as lethal as the last.

You take hold of two of the cases, the two that you bought, while Coraline takes the last. The rough texture of the matte black case feels as if like wash stones, though it’s not an uncomfortable feeling. The smooth grooves and the small bumps press against your hand as you squeeze them tightly.

Only now have you noticed the wetness; under your pits, your hands, the edges of your hair. You’re sweating— and it’s not because you were buying a gun. That pressure, the uncomfortable warmth, the rhythmic beating… you squeeze even tighter.

You jerk your head to the door, and with white knuckles, you leave. It took a little less than an hour and a half, but now you’re prepared.

>Head back home. You’re done here, you just want to get back.
>Make a visit to Moreh. You have a few questions and you’re going to ask them. Moreh is hiding something from you about this job of his, just like he had before.
>You’re going to go to Adam’s house. You need to investigate the place, clean it up some maybe. Adam is family, might as well pay respects when you can. Been a long time coming.
>Go to the Bar that was described in your Job files. Might as well scout out the place, become a familiar face and ask around for a little bit. Not to stand out or anything, just to make yourself not suspicious.

>Make a visit to Moreh. You have a few questions and you’re going to ask them. Moreh is hiding something from you about this job of his, just like he had before.
We are kind of fucked but I want to interrogate him

That or head back home and take a nap, Sam is loosing it.

>Make a visit to Moreh. You have a few questions and you’re going to ask them. Moreh is hiding something from you about this job of his, just like he had before.
>You’re going to go to Adam’s house. You need to investigate the place, clean it up some maybe. Adam is family, might as well pay respects when you can. Been a long time coming.

It's time for feel
Rolled 2, 1, 1, 1, 3, 2 = 10 (6d3)

Alright, let me do some maintenance with a small post and then I'll write with the Moreh Vote being the strongest contender here. There's also the issue with the ammo I forgot to count up in the price total earlier but I'll just ignore that and give you the 2 boxes as well. so you currently have 120 bullets to fire off. Try not to kill anyone you don't mean to.

GH91 Reliability & Quality Rolls. [Reliability-Standard] [Quality-Standard]


Roll table: [Quality] & [Reliability]

Scrap 0-2 1d3
Shoddy 2-4 1d3
Standard 3-5 1d3
Superior 5-7 1d3
Masterwork 8-10 1d3


1&2 for the first gun 3&4 for the second gun 5&6 for the third gun. I'll explain everything in due time, currently putting together an info chart for the firearms so the entire thing should run smoothly by the time you guys go to the range or start shooting/getting shot at.

Despite being Coraline's gun we'll still roll for it and then mark it as Coraline's gun in our inventory.


Coincidentally, I've been debating on a few things for the inventory system as well so there's a chance you'll be able to see Naomi's and Coraline's inventory system. Though the information displayed will be fairly limited due to you not knowing much about them anyways.
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Outcome: [Condition/ Reliability/ Quality]

<[ GH91 ]> 10/4/3
<[ GH91 N ]> 10/3/3
<[ GH91 C ]> 10/5/4


>Two for Moreh Meandering

While you wait, there's a calendar I've made for the quest. While i've posted it in the discord, it would be best to be put in here as well. I'm thinking of putting it in imgur or a similar image sharing site later though and putting it in with the rest of the links.
oh and quick correction, Coraline also purchased the same weapon so she too has the same package deal, 30 rounds bonus. So, instead of 120 rounds, it should be 150 in total.
Will you be running today?
I should be able to put out a few updates. I'm writing right now though so expect an update in 30~ or so minutes.
You feel the full weight of the newly purchased firearms. Tools for safety, tools for insurance, tools for war. This will be the last time you get caught off-guard. Everything up to now has been you being carried by the flow, the rhythm, of everyone around you. Now, however is different. Now you have the tools to change it.

You heart pounds against your chest as thoughts drift in and out in no fashionable manner. Each idea comes as fast as it leaves. Some violent, some doubt, and most are replays of the last few days.

Your hands have long been strained under your grip. Your knuckles are whiter than a Christmas morning and your palms are enough to use for a waterslide. Under the unsteady breathing, under the quiet cursing, lies… your determination.

The difference between people who do and do not -- the difference between taking action and not – is the ability to do so. It’s not your intention to storm the gates of Arcady and demand answers. You would be sooner silence than called upon, no… you will play their game. That is your determination.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me Twice, shame on me.

This is the last time. You have to pull yourself together. If not for the sake of yourself then the sake of the others. Naomi, Sumi, Adam, Coraline even. A gun. Your attention turns to the two cases securely set within your iron grip. You’ve always wanted one. Though, back then, you never knew what you would have done if you ever got one. Now that question seems all too clear.

It’s not as if you’re delusional though, you know your ability and you know a single gun between you and Arcady won’t be enough. A few stray bullets and a few more dead Arcady personnel and management won’t be enough. No, you know that hurting people isn’t right. You were worried on the train about hurting those men… those men in blue vests.

Blue vests, Dr. Baker, Weston Ryen, Auction House, the damn vultures even, there’s a lot on the list of things you don’t know. There’s only so many things you can look into, in the case with the girls, the men in the blue vests are obvi—“Samuel.”

A hand takes hold of your shoulder as a voice pulls you out of your thoughts. You’re standing in the middle of an intersection. Several men and women pass you by as a large clock ticks rhythmically behind you. Your eyes follow the hand, from the hand to the arm, the arm to the shoulder, an shoulder to face. Coraline.
You’ve been standing there for a moment – you’re not sure how long it’s been. Your hands ache and your heart beats unsteadily but as your eyes meet back to Coraline’s it feels… cold. Not an unwelcoming cold, but something like a breeze in the summer. It’s calming. Those blue, mechanical eyes. “Uh, yeah?”

She stares at you for a moment before releasing you from her grasp. She looks off to the side, “You stopped walking.”

“Right,” you reply. You’re not sure when you left the gun shop. “yeah… I was just… uhm, yeah, no, I was just thinking about what direction it was.”

“What was?”

“We’re heading to Moreh’s…” you say. You decided it earlier. You’ve had some questions for him, though you’re not sure if showing up with guns in tow will be smart. From where you stand, you’re only a train ride away from his house. “I got, ahem,” you clear your throat, “I got something to talk to him about.”

Yesterday you were very adamant about Moreh and your apprehension about him. You don’t trust him, but he seems like the only guy to have any answers worth listening to. If you want answers then… there’s a guy for that, you guess.

Your legs feel heavier than they did this morning. Each step takes double the time it did before; like walking under water. Your feet still carry you, even if your mind wanders. The train cart’s doors open, close, then open again. In what feels like one single motion, you arrive.

The two of you find your way through the dwindling crowds. Each footfall sounds out, from Coraline’s clicking of what sounds like metal against metal, and your rubber against steel. It feels as if the only two sounds in existence are those. It was that until you arrived. Metal shrieks. It screams in discomfort as steel grinds against steel. A great maw opens before you and hisses.

“Moreh,” you call out into the abating clouds of mist and fog. The two dots of golden light mark his arrival. He takes his time as the fog slowly pours from his front gate. The bulkhead all but stopped now that it’s open. The two of you stare at each other, his golden mask hides any expression of disappointment, shock, or amusement that you could tell.

“Thief,” he says plainly, “Moreh was not expecting a thief to arrive so early, is it news?”

“No,” you say with a shrug and a shake of your head, “here for—”

“Oh?” he cuts you off, “Moreh sees that the guests have brought their tools home with them.” He puts a hand under his chin and assumes a faux inquisitive stance as he looks between the two of you, “Moreh wonders… Does the thief know how to use one?”

“A gun,” you scoff, “of course, I shot one. It ain’t hard. Bu—”
“Ah… Moreh certainly wishes the thief the best of luck in that matter then,” he shifts to look to Coraline, “Moreh is also curious… the thief certainly doesn’t intend to initiate the lost girl into such… hmm… savagery?

“Lost girl—wha—you mean Coraline?” you turn to look at her, “No, I’m pretty sure she can handle herself. Probably can use a gun better than me, what with her being a super soldier and all…” you mumble before turning back to Moreh, “Hey man, look I ain’t here to play twenty questions with a robot, alri—”

“A super soldier, the thief thinks? The girl? Ha ha…” he laughs, “No… no, if anything the girl is but a… well, a victim.”

“A victim? What, did you find something out about her? A victim of what exactly?”

“Well, kidnapping Moreh supposes,” he taps a finger on the bottom of his lip, “The thief said the girl was lost, no? The thief seems to have a knack for stealing things. Moreh is glad for that, usefulness is always—”

“Look, I didn’t steal her. Alright? She practically thrusted herself on me—”

“Oh?” he voices.

“No, it ain’t like I kidnapped her, you hear?”

“Ha ha…” he laughs, looking between the two of you, “Certainly… no… ha ha… interesting, interesting. No, Moreh, thinks that the thief has stolen more from the girl than he may realize.”

“Look I ain’t—”

“Right,” he says dryly, cutting you off again, “So, Moreh believes the thief had a question? Some pressing matter Moreh hopes. Something… that could have been easily mentioned beforehand? No… it is of no consequence… what is the question?”

>[options in next post]

>” The stick you’re giving me to hand off to those guys. I don’t like it. Why don’t we use them to help us. Running them off won’t do us any good.” You’re going to try to persuade Moreh into forgiving Arken and his group. You have a plan for them.

>” I need to know about those men in the Blue Vests. What’s the deal with those guys? Why are they all over Arcady?” You need some information on the guys you’ll eventually run up against. They’re dangerous, just need to know how dangerous.

>” Have you heard of a preacher named Daniel?” You want to know what kind of hornet’s nest you just kicked. Daniel doesn’t seem like the kind of guy that wouldn’t be known. To pull a gun so casually must mean he’s in some kind of business.

>” What does Baker want with the girls?” Baker is the number one suspect, he’s the guy who runs the whole show. Might as well ask about this guy. He seems like nasty business.

>” The auction house, they’re human trafficking. Why? Who runs that place and why’s Arcady managers and other major players bidding there?” This place stinks like high heaven. Human trafficking, experiments, messing with genes and people’s lives.

>” Know anything on a guy named Faceless Finn? A vulture out in unity, what’s he doing meeting with Arcady?” you heard about him from Naomi while on the ship. A vulture king, hunts out in Unity-Point.

Ha ha fucking 30 minutes... yeah... sorry about that.
In order of importance

>” What does Baker want with the girls?” Baker is the number one suspect, he’s the guy who runs the whole show. Might as well ask about this guy. He seems like nasty business.

>” The stick you’re giving me to hand off to those guys. I don’t like it. Why don’t we use them to help us. Running them off won’t do us any good.” You’re going to try to persuade Moreh into forgiving Arken and his group. You have a plan for them.

>” Have you heard of a preacher named Daniel?” You want to know what kind of hornet’s nest you just kicked. Daniel doesn’t seem like the kind of guy that wouldn’t be known. To pull a gun so casually must mean he’s in some kind of business.
The calendar ended up cute :3
sure, why not

but the real question I have about Arken is what exacly he did, he didn't seem like the guy who would betray an employer based on the files Moreh gave us, so something happened, and that something Moreh is not telling us, so I' like to know that
>two for questioning Moreh

Nice to see you back.
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“Yes, yeah, I got a question,” you say while straightening up and adjusting your weight.

“Which is?” Moreh waves his hand for you to continue.

“Baker, I want to know what Baker might want with the girls,” you say, “Ryen and his lackies are all picking them up so they’re--”

“Right, yes,” Moreh says while placing a hand on his chin. “There are several reasons as to why Doctor Baker would want these girls. Though Moreh believes that the real reason is something as simple as needing volunteers for something that the good doctor is working on. There’s not really much to go off of though, Moreh must lament, but Moreh hopes that the three of you will help with that.”

“What do you think he’s using them for?”

“Moreh must first note that Doctor Baker is not a cruel man. The good doctor is not doing something so sinister as harvesting organs. Moreh believes the women selected are, however, genetically linked to some experiment he has prepared. Moreh knows that the sum of money was quite large for something like this. Previously, the volunteers were selected by certain genetic markers but Moreh has yet to find anything he knows that would link any of them together.”

“Right, ‘volunteers’ kind of a stretch…” you mumble as you turn to look at Coraline, “Well I got another ques—”

“Yes, volunteers,” he cuts you off, “There were forty-eight volunteers over the past five years. Moreh speculates that—”

“Wait, you said forty-eight? I thought there were only three, who are the other forty-something?”

“Yes, the ‘three missing’ women are the only of the forty-eight that were reported. The other forty-five volunteers, however, were not. Have you read the files Moreh sent you? All of this is there,” he says and then takes a step backwards, “Yes, well, Moreh speculates the reason for this is because out of the forty-eight, the three who have been reported missing failed to tell their family members of their whereabouts.”

“So Sumi didn’t—”

“No, the girl with you before had known of her sisters reasoning in leaving. The girl, however, said that her sister failed to return mail. That was the reason why she had filed a missing report,” Moreh corrects you, “As for the other two, Moreh does not know.”


“You said you had another question?” Moreh takes another step back.

“Yeah, it was about the job you gave me.”

“Oh, well” he holds an open palm up, “Before Moreh continues with your question, Moreh dislikes talking business in a less than suitable place. Outside of Moreh’s front door is one of them. So, if one would… follow me.”
You stand, staring at Moreh’s back as he begins to retreat into his house. This will be the third time you went into his house, the first time going through the front door. The last time you came here left you with a bitter aftertaste. It’s not like you wanted to come back any time soon but…

The mechanical locks spin and release with a hiss. Moreh turns back around, bowing as he points to the door, “Moreh must first attend to another client, one that had an appointment. The thief, however, did not and must wait. It should only be for a moment so worry not.”

“Right…” You lean your head over to see inside. The room is the same one from the last, books line the walls and the center holds the two sofas and table. “Well don’t let me keep you.”

“Moreh will return shortly,” he says before turning away. You watch as the large door closes behind him, but it quickly swings back open, “Oh, well, Moreh wishes to ask the thief a question before Moreh leaves. Moreh’s other client is currently working for Moreh and Moreh has spoken lightly of another client, the thief, which is currently in the same position as he is. Moreh’s other client, the prince, was hired to investigate the missing report of a miss Widdich. Would the thief wish to hold a meeting with a prince? If the thief wishes, then it is possible.”

>” The prince? Why does he get a cooler name?” You’ll meet with him. Another person in the crusade of finding the girls. Another hand to help is always welcome.
>” Rather not get caught up in another person’s problems today too.” Moreh and his clients… you’d rather keep things clean. Another person would just mean more problems; besides you don’t know anything about this other guy.
thanks man, always glad to be back posting. Sorry about the last few days of being inactive, I was a bit busy at the bank the other day and I was doing some background cleanup for the setting. If everything goes well, I should be able to run all day if anyone is around for it.

I'll also say that the mechanics for the firearms is pretty much complete. The inforchart, that is.

>” The prince? Why does he get a cooler name?” You’ll meet with him. Another person in the crusade of finding the girls. Another hand to help is always welcome.

I would, he may have important info, but if I'm a "thief" I need one of your masks borrowed for a while, thiefs can't show their identities.
>>” Rather not get caught up in another person’s problems today too.” Moreh and his clients… you’d rather keep things clean. Another person would just mean more problems; besides you don’t know anything about this other guy.

Not... This time. We didn't came here to be distracted even more.
>>” The prince? Why does he get a cooler name?” You’ll meet with him. Another person in the crusade of finding the girls. Another hand to help is always welcome.

More leads, and a possible ally

I like the mask too>>3574890
This is not a distraction, this is potential information for our mission, to waste this opportunity would be a terrible mistake anon.
>” The prince? Why does he get a cooler name?” You’ll meet with him. Another person in the crusade of finding the girls. Another hand to help is always welcome.
>three for meeting royalty

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“Prince?” you repeat, “Didn’t know there was others working the same case.”

“Naturally there would be others,” Moreh says, “Would the thief like to know one?”

“Well…” you pause. More hands, more eyes, generally more people on the same case would make things go by faster. The only problem is who you’re working with. Information is the name of the game here, anything that you don’t know would make it a liability. If he isn’t trustworthy or if he doesn’t work well with you or… any number of things can go wrong.

That’s why you’re hesitant in working with someone new. You might have jumped at the opportunity a few days ago but… you know it’s worth more being cautious than not. Not being able to know who you’re working with or if you’re not familiar with them will only make it more difficult.

Coraline. Your eyes meet, she doesn’t seem like she minds much. Of course, if there were more people capable and willing to help then it’s better for all of you. You didn’t know her or Naomi a few months ago but now it feels like you’re relying on them even more. Hold them up, hold you up.

“Sure,” you say finally, “but…”

“Then yes?”

“Yeah I’ll meet him, but I’d rather…” you look around the room before locking eyes on his mask. “Why don’t you give me one of those masks?”

“One of the masks?” Moreh pauses for a moment before laughing, “Ha ha… yes, well, that certainly makes sense. A mask, though Moreh will not be able to give you one of these masks. The thief only wishes to protect his identity then, yes?”


“Thieves wear masks… it’s very suiting of the thief,” Moreh says before turning around and pulling something out from behind the door, “Well then, thief, a mask for you. The prince will also be receiving a mask.”

With outstretched arms, Moreh presents two masks. One white, one black. Coraline takes the white mask while you take the offered black mask. Putting it on, only your eyes show through the now featureless face.

Moreh nods quietly as he watches over the two of you, black and white masks affixed to your faces. “Well then, preparations are complete. Moreh will guide you to the other room.”

Without another word the three of you leave the room. The sound of your steps and the electric humming from the walls fill the blank space as you follow Moreh deeper into his maze of machinery and light. You’re not too sure who this prince is but you’re positive if he’s working the same thing then it can only help to at least meet him. Even if it doesn’t end up being a good thing, it would be as clean as not seeing him.
It doesn’t take long for the three of you to arrive at whatever room Moreh had brought you to as he almost abruptly stops at a specific door and turns around. The door itself is identical to every other door you’ve passed by but this one has a line of gold running through the center. “Moreh wishes to invite the thief into Moreh’s meeting with the prince. Please, follow Moreh.”

With that, the door opens. The room before you looks similar to the first room you’ve seen. Several pillars of black metal rise from the ground to hold the shadowy ceiling. The pillars are dotted with runes of golden light that shifts in a strangely familiar fashion. The room is so dark that you’re unable to see the sides nor the end but a figure in the distance is lit by a single dot of red light. A cigarette illuminates his mask, before dying down.

“Moreh presents the thief,” he says as the three of you approach the other man. “Moreh hopes the three of you will place nicely.”

“That was fast… thought you…” the man mumbles, looking behind him before looking between Coraline and you, “Ah, likewise…” the man says from behind his mask, “So, you’re the other guy.”

“Yeah… well, it’s not just me,” you reply.

“Yeah, the girl in white…” he says before taking a long draw from his cigarette. He sighs, a plum of smoke follows, “Moreh, what’s with these masks?”

“Well, the thief thought it would be best to meet the prince disguised. The thief must know that infor—”

“Yeah,” Prince cuts Moreh off. Pausing, the prince takes a moment to look at you -- studying you. “I’m the one who asked for the meet and I don’t see a reason why I would have to wear the mask.”

“But the prince put it on,” Moreh says with a wave of his hand.

“And I’m taking it off too,” the Prince says as his hand reaches up and pulls the golden mask he was given. Long strands of black hair flow down to replace the mask before he quickly brushes them away. Deep, piercing eyes -- a hawk. Several piercings line his ears including a golden cross which glimmer from within his long hair. He sighs before smiling, “Better… I guess I’m prince, well, I suppose I should say ‘the fallen prince’ since that would make more sense. Moreh says you’re after the same thing as me. You want to know where the girls are, right?”

“Yeah…” you reply, “You know where they are?”

“No,” he says, taking another lungful of smoke in before exhaling, “but I’m looking for them just the same as you. Widdich, rich family but they went under hard times and then their kid disappeared. Moreh says you’re looking for Sumi. I’m thinking if we can work together then we can get this over with faster. If you have any questions, I can probably answer them.”

>What all do you know about the girls?
>what did the girls volunteer for?
>Who are you, what do you mean you’re looking for them?
>what did the girls volunteer for?

>What all do you know about the girls?
>what did the girls volunteer for?
>what did the girls volunteer for?
>three for volunteer work

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“Come,” Moreh says, “Moreh has seats deeper within, please follow Moreh.”

The prince shrugs as Moreh walks past toward a smaller light in the distance. After a moment of hesitation, the prince grinds the burnt ends of his cigarette before he follows. You’re not sure what the prince all knows, the girls or Arcady, but he said he’s working for the Widdich family. You remember that the files you read this morning that the girl came from one of the core worlds and seemed pretty well off. It’s not like he’s wrong about them being rich, at least.

You exchange a look with Coraline who just nods her head, seemingly waiting for you to follow. You return the nod, though it’s more for your sake. You’ve been all too willing with following people today and even remembering it makes your grip on the handles that much tighter. Not to mention, the cross he wears makes it even more so. You’re not sure who he is, but you’re already tired from dealing with one preacher today.

Making your way through the dark and strangely clouded room, you find Moreh and the prince seated at a round table. A small light in the center illuminates their faces and a bottle of wine set nearby. Four glasses sit across from four seats and you take yours opposite of the prince.

“The thief and the prince,” Moreh starts, “It’s wonderful to have met both. Moreh is proud to have this happen within his own house. Now…” he takes the bottle of wine that had been resting before pouring out the four glasses, “business should always be conducted comfortably. Professionally, but comfortable.”

“Right… Moreh,” the prince says as he lights another cigarette, “well, thief, what are you thinking? Kind of hard to tell with your mask still on.”

You pause for a moment, looking between the prince and Moreh. Despite Moreh saying it’s better to be comfortable, this setting doesn’t feel comfortable. It’s familiar—strange. Your grip tightens before you release the cases entirely, setting them lightly on the ground near your feet. You take a deep breath then, you pause.

“What did you do?” it wasn’t you who spoke, but Coraline.

“What do you mean?” Moreh replies.

“I cannot read him,” she says.

“Read?” The prince repeats, looking between the two for clarification.

“Oh,” Moreh says, “you mean that. No… lost girl, no information is free in my house. You’ve already paid for what you’ve gained so far. This meeting and the information before it. Anything further… well, that should be up to the prince, my client, to decide.”

“Mm,” Coraline leans forward, propping her head up with an arm. She must have meant that she was trying to find out who he was by doing whatever she does. That ‘read’ was blocked, if you could guess what she was saying.
“Ah… well,” you start after a moment of silence, “Moreh said something earlier.”

“Did he,” Prince looks between the two, a puff of white smoke comes with, “well?”

“He was talking about the girls, he said they’re volunteers. You know what they volunteered for?” you ask. It’s been eating at you since he had said it. Moreh’s not the most direct kind of person and tends to hide things with his words from your very short exposure with him. If the girls are volunteers, then what did they sign up for?

“Money,” Prince says.


“Yeah, Widdich family went bankrupt a few years back. They liked to gamble,” he pauses, breathing in before exhaling a cloud of smoke, “Their daughter, however, was working to get a degree. When money stopped flowing in from mother dearest and the good father, she had to look for other ways to pay for her schooling. They don’t know how she met them but… she eventually went to Arcady and a large sum of money was deposited in their accounts. Most families would be happy at the end of that, most were. But the Widdich family? They wanted their daughter back. So, they hired me.”

“Yes, yes,” Moreh nods, dramatically moving his glass of wine, “Each volunteer was paid quite a bit. The only problem is that those who did volunteer…”

“They were never heard of again,” Prince ends.

“What did they sign up for though, the offer or flier or whatever, what’d it say they would be doing?” you ask. It would make sense; most people would have probably signed up for something if they were going to be paid well for it. The train taught you that.

“Dunno,” Prince answers, “could be anything. My first guess would have been the pain killer Leo produces but since it was the good Doctor… anything really.”

“The good doctor? Doctor Baker?”

“Yeah, Doctor Baker.”

“That’s what I thought too. Weston Ryen, Baker… what else do you know about them or the girls?” you ask, leaning forward.

“Not too much. Baker graduated form some core planet and had his degree in genetechnology before he disappeared into the ranks of Arcady. He worked for fifty years before he was at the head of the research team in Innsmouth. You know,” he pauses to exhale another puff of smoke, “they say he’s really bright in his field. He was one of the people in the project to help expand genetic modification. He apparently was able to put together some of the early muscular replacers like ‘Myocygere’. “


>” Muscular replacers? Myocygere? So he was able to make super soldiers or something?” Baker must have some sort of genius to start anything like that, but you’re not sure what that would have to do with the girls.
>” What about the girls? What have you heard about them then?” he answered a few of the other questions but you’re hoping to try to get something solid on what they are doing and where they might be held.
[(And these two will be directed to Moreh after the conversation) (You can choose to turn your questions to Moreh if you wish.)]

>” Have you heard of a preacher named Daniel?” You want to know what kind of hornet’s nest you just kicked. Daniel doesn’t seem like the kind of guy that wouldn’t be known. To pull a gun so casually must mean he’s in some kind of business.
>” The stick you’re giving me to hand off to those guys. I don’t like it. Why don’t we use them to help us. Running them off won’t do us any good.” You’re going to try to persuade Moreh into forgiving Arken and his group. You have a plan for them.

>” What about the girls? What have you heard about them then?” he answered a few of the other questions but you’re hoping to try to get something solid on what they are doing and where they might be held.

Ask for a way to contact him if we can find anything we can both use
>>” What about the girls? What have you heard about them then?” he answered a few of the other questions but you’re hoping to try to get something solid on what they are doing and where they might be held.

Do you know whats cookin' at the surface? I think investigating whatever is going on will get us what we want.

>” Have you heard of a preacher named Daniel?” You want to know what kind of hornet’s nest you just kicked. Daniel doesn’t seem like the kind of guy that wouldn’t be known. To pull a gun so casually must mean he’s in some kind of business.
adding another question to Prince and Moreh

if they volunteered why were their ships intercepted midway? we even passed by an abandoned ship on the way here if I remember right
It was a "fake" abandoned ship since the vultures had it there in order to drag in tasty prey. It is unrealted to the missing girls... hopefully.

The catgirls maaaan. Those women are pumpin' catgiiiirls
>>3575539 >>3575591
>Three for question gumbo

writing! might be a while
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just lost half the update due to my laptop crashing. FUCKING NICE
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“So, Baker’s some sort of prodigy then?” you say while looking around the table, “ain’t that somethin’.”

“Yes, well, it’s to be expected,” Moreh says before swirling his glass of wine. It’s not like anyone can drink it since everyone has a mask on except for Prince. “The doctor has done a lot, that is just one thing he has done, though. Other achievements include minor work on synthetic wombs, production of various enhancements to the methods of genetic alteration, and some minor work on genetic compatibility.”

“Exactly, he’s a genius in his field,” Prince says between clouds of smoke, “After Baker moved to Leo it meant he’s became trusted within Arcady. And there’s not a lot of ways to do that. Significant work is one of them.”

“Okay okay,” you say leaning back. “Baker came from Innsmouth to Leo, but what is he doing on Leo. I found out one of his people started hiring for on-planet jobs. Lots of construction work, lots of freight.”

“On planet? Well, he moved here because he’d get access to more support and resources here even if he had more freedom in Innsmouth,” Prince says then pauses to put out a cigarette, “On planet they’re building something that they’re advertising as a ‘habitat research facility’. Heard it from the grapevine but it’s not a habitat like the other one there.”

“What is it then?” you ask.

“Dunno,” he says, “But, I do know that C.V. is heading security there.”

“C.V?” you repeat.

“Yeah, blue vests, you about know them, right?” Prince nods, looking to Moreh for confirmation to which he nods as well.

“Yeah, no, I was just saying… C.V. is pretty much everywhere with them. Who are they exactly anyways?” you say, “I know they’re a private military group or whatever but they’re pretty much with every Arcady member as far as I can tell.”

“C.V. is, yeah, military group.” Prince says before leaning back and taking a deep breath before continuing, “They’re just hired muscle for Doctor Baker. They’re not Arcady personnel either. Arcady security apparently had a falling out with Baker – well, Ryen – and he decided to build his own security force”

“Falling out?” you ask, “About what?”

“No idea, but that’s how the cards fall,” prince says. There’s no telling why Baker would have to replace his entire security but that only brings up another problem.

“So, you’re saying even Arcady doesn’t really know what Baker is doing?” you say after a moment of silence.

“Hmm,” Moreh taps his mask with a finger, “Well, yes, actually. Moreh has found this to be a problem when looking into the doctor.”

“So now he has the freedom of Innsmouth too, right?” you follow up.
“Yeah, now,” Prince says. That means that Baker can do what he wants. Resources, freedom, and the ability to make things happen always means something dangerous. “Baker being severed from Arcady’s security means he can do what he wants.”

The table falls silent. This time it wasn’t an uncomfortable silence, but a silence of thinking. The four of you sit quietly as the sound of mechanical clicks and ambient electrical humming sound around you. A choir of machines. Even if prince doesn’t know why Arcady’s security and Baker broke up for, it doesn’t mean good news. It’s certainly not bad news either.

It means that Arcady is having some kind of internal conflict over something. Something big enough for Baker to be forced to buy an army for himself. It’s sort of funny, while this means that Baker has a personal army at his beck and call, it also means that your enemies narrow. It’s no longer ‘Arcady’, now it’s just ‘Baker’. He’s the real culprit. He’s the one to steal girls…

“So now he has pretty much Leo under his control and he had a perfectly legal way to just bring the girls in for their volunteer work, why’d he go and put them through Unity-Point? Couldn’t’ve just flown in through New Arizona? Ain’t much reason to take them from their ships, especially if it’ll only lead to them being picked up as missing.”

“Yeah,” Prince says while lighting another cigarette.

“Moreh believes that someone disagreed with the doctor,” Moreh answers for Prince who points and shrugs at Moreh.

“Basically,” Prince says, “It’s like this, Baker has been cutting ties with a few people and I’m pretty sure that he got someone else mad. Originally going through New-Arizona would take longer, a few more months if you’re from the core. That’s a lot of time. So, I think he made a deal with the vultures and then someone broke it. Just the other day on the news there was something about the military, C.I.T.F., being deployed in Unity. I’m thinking that—”

“ C.I.T.F. ?” You repeat, “No, that’s uhh, that’s not related to the girls.”

“Oh, really?” Prince leans back before taking another draw, “Still, Baker’s cut ties. Someone got burned, any of the girls lost in Unity -- must be why they’re up in arms this month,” checks his wrist watch for a moment before looking up, “Well, it’s been great meeting with you, thief, but I have something I need to take care of soon.”

>Time to leave, you got some more information now you just need to act on it.
>You want to keep in contact with Prince. Ask if you can have a way to get into contact with him later if something else comes up.
>You think you can trust Prince; he seems like a guy who knows things too. Getting him to help you would be a great boon to the team. Take off your mask and maybe answer some of the questions he has too.
>[Write-in] (Do you have any more questions you’d want to ask?)
>>You want to keep in contact with Prince. Ask if you can have a way to get into contact with him later if something else comes up.
and ask if he has any questions
>Two for contacting information

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“Ah yes,” Moreh nods and raises his glass of wine, “Moreh wishes for the prince’s safety then. The prince, if he desires, may enjoy another session as Moreh predicts the prince will eventually need more information.”

“Yep,” Prince snuffs out the dying flame of his cigarette in the ashtray. “Well, it’s been a pleasure.”

“Hey, wait,” you reach out an open palm, stopping him midway through standing up. “Don’t you have any questions for me?”

“Well, not really,” the prince shrugs before pushing his hair out of his eyes, “Got something you had up your sleeve?”

“Ah, no, well…” you trail off.

“The thief is actually in the process of commandeering a certain item that will help him track ships. The prince must have heard of it? ARGUS system.”

You shoot a glare at Moreh to which he just gives you a sly wink. Thought you just said that information isn’t free here? What is Moreh getting at?

The prince gives a shrill whistle, “The ARGUS system, huh? Well, I hadn’t thought of that one… Now that really makes me want to work with you. It’s not like getting to hijack a system like that. Might be fun.”

“Fun?” you repeat.

“Yeah, fun,” he replies, “You’re thinking the ones missing aren’t around here, right? It’ll be easy to find out anyone being shady by tracking people coming and going from Unity-Point. Plus, you know, tracking C.V. ships just became ten times easier. Informants like Moreh can only get someone so far but hardware like that will make it so someone could just look up the travel data. Plug that into an analysis program and you just bought yourself a catalog of every ship that comes and goes through Leo. So this is why Moreh said something…”

“Moreh tries,” he raises his glass again in thanks, “The thief was the one who had came up with the plan, Moreh is actually in the process of helping the thief… ah… let’s say requisition the proper items needed to secure the ARGUS system. The girl in white will be also an essential part of this plan.”

“Wow, and to think,” Prince glances between the two of you before completely sitting down in the chair. He pulls out another cigarette, lights it, and puts it between his lips, “In all honesty, I was just glad we’ve been able to meet. It’s not very often that you’re able to sit down and talk with someone doing the same thing you’re doing. But now… you’ve got my full attention.”
Is it really that important? It ain’t like I’m taking control of the entire station now… you think as you scrunch your brow up, it’s not like you wouldn’t want someone else to help. The only issue is Prince himself, you’re not sure who he is or if you can trust him. Then again, it’s not like you regret letting two total strangers on your ship after finding out that someone murdered Adam. You weren’t thinking back then, but now you know to at least be cautious of who you sit down with.

“It ain’t like I was going to bring it up, Prince,” you say finally, “it’s just…” you sigh, sharing a look with Coraline before returning to the smoke-veiled face of Prince, “Look, I think it’d be best to share some contact info first, alright?”

“Yeah,” Prince leans back, arms lifted in surrender, “of course, yeah, that’s sensible. Did you want to share like messages or…?”

“Moreh can set something up between the prince and thief,” Moreh says, “Moreh foresees a strong bond along with something coming in the future…. Change. Moreh is… ah, excited, and glad. A strange feeling, Moreh must confess.”

“Right…” Prince nods, “if you can get that done then that would be great. Just uh, don’t do anything weird.”

“Weird? Ha ha,” More laughs, “Moreh would never dare do anything… weird.”

“Ha ha…” Prince gives a nervous laugh and a slow nod before turning back to face you, “Well, uh, thief? I hope we can work together.”

The cigarette flares before Prince exhales a cloud of white. “Oh, wait, uh,” you say. “quick question.”

“Yeah?” Prince replies, his brow raised.

“You know of a preacher? Goes by the name Daniel.”

“Preacher named Daniel…” Prince repeats slowly, “Don’t think I’ve had many run-ins with preachers…” he turns to look a Moreh, “Think there’s a lot of preachers named Daniel, I’d supposed I know of a preacher named Daniel. Wouldn’t know of anyone specific unless you mean…”

“Well,” Moreh starts, “A preacher? Correct? The thief’s preacher Daniel is not a preacher, Moreh believes.”

“Yeah, a preacher, he had a job here. Says he travels a lot,” you give them some more context.

“Ah,” Prince says, “Those kinds of preachers. Well, they ain’t preachers is what I can say. They dress like them but it’s not really what they are.”

“What are they then?”

“Something like what I am, the solve problems. Only thing is, they work for the church.” Prince says.
“Moreh knows of those Preachers. They are named Arbiters. They, as the prince has adequately said, solve problems for the church. Moreh does not work with such… zealots. Moreh dislikes them greatly… Daniel is the name the thief has given. If an arbiter is here, then the church has eyes here. Ha ha… Moreh is even more interested,” he says. You’re not sure if your eyes are playing tricks on you, but you feel as if his mask rose from a stagnant and stoic expression to a smile. It hadn’t changed, however, but it certainly feels as if Moreh is smiling.

“I’ve ran into a few on a job or two. Not the kind of people who you would want to meet…” Prince says and his cigarette flares again, “Well, I’ll keep my eyes open then. Send me a message if you want to talk again but I must leave now. Take care, thief.”

“Take care,” you say while watching the princes back disappear into the darkness. Arbiter? That sounds like bad news. The church? What would they want? Arcady had already kicked a hornet nest yet you’re not sure why. Only thing that comes to mind is… well, the genetic engineering. You don’t know if the church is finicky with something like that but it would only stand to reason.

It is now Evening (been about ~4 hours from when you left the house. Noon was spent at lunch with the preacher.)

>” The stick you’re giving me to hand off to those guys. I don’t like it. Why don’t we use them to help us. Running them off won’t do us any good.” You’re going to try to persuade Moreh into forgiving Arken and his group. You have a plan for them.

>” Thanks for the meeting. Got some more to think over. I’ll make an appointment next time we meet,” You’re going back to the house. Time to have a talk with Naomi.

>” Thought you said no information is free in this house? What was that?” Moreh just told your plans to some guy you’re not sure you can trust. What is he playing at?

>” The auction house, they’re human trafficking. Why? Who runs that place and why’s Arcady managers and other major players bidding there?” This place stinks like high heaven. Human trafficking, experiments, messing with genes and people’s lives.

>” I need to know about those men in the Blue Vests. What’s the deal with those guys? Why are they all over Arcady?” You need some information on the guys you’ll eventually run up against. They’re dangerous, just need to know how dangerous.

>” Know anything on a guy named Faceless Finn? A vulture out in unity, what’s he doing meeting with Arcady?” you heard about him from Naomi while on the ship. A vulture king hunts out in Unity-Point.


>” The stick you’re giving me to hand off to those guys. I don’t like it. Why don’t we use them to help us. Running them off won’t do us any good.” You’re going to try to persuade Moreh into forgiving Arken and his group. You have a plan for them.

>” Thanks for the meeting. Got some more to think over. I’ll make an appointment next time we meet,” You’re going back to the house. Time to have a talk with Naomi.

>” The stick you’re giving me to hand off to those guys. I don’t like it. Why don’t we use them to help us. Running them off won’t do us any good.” You’re going to try to persuade Moreh into forgiving Arken and his group. You have a plan for them

>” Know anything on a guy named Faceless Finn? A vulture out in unity, what’s he doing meeting with Arcady?” you heard about him from Naomi while on the ship. A vulture king hunts out in Unity-Point

Then we go home
>two for straight to business

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I don’t like it. You had guessed old preacher wasn’t a normal kind of preacher. Not with how he pulled a gun without even batting an eye. Arbiter. Seems like Moreh has business with those people. You’re not sure what he’s cooking up but he apparently knows a lot more than what he’s telling you. You’d probably actually have to pay for more information about them but it’s not the thing at forefront of your mind.

Preacher Daniel, while he is someone that you’d rather not cross, he’s not even the main course. You’re worried about a few things but a wandering arbiter isn’t the worst of your issues. You’re not even sure if he is an issue. Not now at least. Just another person out there.

“The job you gave me,” you say after waiting to be sure that the prince had completely left, “I don’t like it.”

“The thief doesn’t like the job?” Moreh says turning to you with his eyes only, “There is no other way. The thief must acquire the encryption key. Without it, the thief will be unable to access the ARGUS system.”

“Not that part,” you correct.

“Then do say,” Moreh says, waving the glass of wine.

“The stick,” you answer.

“What of it? Is the thief so virtuous that he has some misgivings about what his own profession is? Is the thief perhaps considering a career change?” Moreh says, placing the glass down and facing you completely.

“No, I’m tryna say that I don’t like the tracker and I was thinking about a plan,” you follow up. The mask’s buckles click as you pull it off and set it to the side.

“A plan?” he says, “Well, Moreh was beginning to think the thief had became boring.”

“We can use them instead,” you say, ignoring his comment, “They have combat experience I don’t.”

“That is true,” Moreh agrees, “But they are untrustworthy. The prince has plenty of experience in that specific… field.”

“Yeah but Prince is just one guy. Arken has eleven, it’d be better if we just work with him instead,” you argue. “Arken was in the military, his whole team is.”

“While Arken may be a convincingly respectable veteran, his actions after show otherwise. Arken is not a wise man. Moreh has done an extensive background check, Arken is simply muscle for whoever bids highest. Though, his jobs are taken with caution and his actions do state that he is of some moral code, Moreh has nothing but annoyances of the man,” he retorts.

“So, you’re saying that he’s just some other thief? I don’t buy that,” you say. “And I ain’t sure you’re really an authority on morals here, chief.”

“Ha ha…” Moreh laughs, “Yes, well, Moreh will refuse to work with a man who has failed to make do on his words. Moreh believes in one thing, words are meaningless until they are followed by action. Without action, words are empty and lack any… faith. Without words, action lacks honor.”
“Ha, faith and honor? You know that just doesn’t sound right coming from you, right?”

“Then… the thief must have lost faith in Moreh,” he answers, “Do you see? Though Moreh has apologized for Moreh’s previous actions, it is the actions that speak more than the words spoken.”

“N- no, wait, hold on,” you say, “You can’t just use yourself as an example here.”

“There’s nothing wrong in it,” Moreh says while picking up the glass again. “Moreh will not work with Arken…. But, the thief may if he truly wishes. Moreh does not like messy things so if the thief does decide to somehow cooperate with this Arken then Moreh will pay higher. An additional five hundred. But, if the thief does decide that Arken is untrustworthy then the option remains to lead Arcady to them. Moreh already knows what you will, in the end, decide but the option is there.”

“Change of heart?” you ask.

“Certainly not, no,” Moreh answers quickly, “Moreh only wishes to show that the thief is wrong. The thief lacks faith, and this is the fault of Moreh. So, instead of listening to Moreh, it is simpler to show.”

“Well, I got some more questions for you the—”

“No,” Moreh stops you, “Any more questions and Moreh will be in the negative for the daily quota. Information is not free; the thief must understand. Moreh will be glad to explain anything else the thief wishes to discuss, that is, if the thief makes an appointment properly this time. This impromptu meeting was simply a flight of fancy as well as penitence for the train.”

“Mm,” you grunt, leaning back in your chair lazily. You look to Coraline, the white mask now on the table. “Then what about Coraline, when will you start, uh, training her?”

“When the thief has gathered the proper equipment,” Moreh answers.

“Right, the key,” you mumble before clearing your throat, “Well, Moreh, guess I’ll make an appointment next time. Till then…”

“Until then,” he replies as you stand. He reaches out and the two of you shake hands in a farewell, “and Coraline, before you leave, Moreh must tell you this one thing. It is rude to try to do that. Please refrain from trying to gather information of Moreh’s clients.”

Coraline doesn’t answer, she only nods. Moreh turns back to you and places his other hand over the back of yours, “Well, Moreh has became this much more interested in the thief’s situation. Remember, Moreh is not the one you will have to convince when dealing with Arken. Moreh is not so short-sighted to have revenge be blinding.”

“Right,” you say and he releases you from his hands before turning and walking away to wherever; disappearing in the shadows. You look back to Coraline and gather your things. He used her name, but he still calls me a thief. What a guy. you sigh in your heart.
You’re tired, not a physical exhaustion but a tiredness that clings to your skin long after you’ve been awake. Too much for today. Too much for a week, if you’re being honest. You’re just hoping the next few days will go smoothly, not like how today or yesterday was. It’s not something you’re excited about dealing with.

Moreh is strange, and you don’t like him. It’s not like you hate him, but he’s just not right in the head. His own peculiarities define his strange logic. Everything he does is meticulous yet that’s the issue. It’s not that he’s clever, it’s the fact that he’s too clever for his own good. Too sly. He’s a fox.

Today has been a long day. There’s only so much someone could digest in the span of a few hours -- but you know one thing. You’re not qualified to deal with this.

The two of you stop at the door, you’ve been walking for a while in silence. You’re already back at Ryo’s place. It’s not home, but it’s at least a place you can sleep at. You turn to look at Coraline before pushing the door open. Naomi’s sitting at the table with multiple folders stacked around her like a fort. From the time you left and now has been a few hours. She must have been working the entire time.

“Hey,” she says without turning around. “Been gone for a while.”

“Yep,” you answer while approaching. Coraline shuts the door behind as you put the black cases in an empty spot between the files of C.V.’s operations in the past two years and the files on various Splicers. Naomi raises from her work and looks to you. A smile forms on her lips as she holds her head up with an arm.

“Went shopping I see.”


“You know that call got me worried, you didn’t look too well,” she says, somewhat quietly.

“Sorry about that,” you say, “just uh… I got back from talking with Moreh.”

“oh?” She says, picking herself up and leaning back, “what did he say.”

“Bunch of nonsense,” you sigh and give a meek laugh, “You know, I don’t really understand that guy…”

>” He said the girls were all volunteers.” You don’t know if there was a reason to keep this away from you but Naomi hasn’t said anything about it before. She obviously knew.

>” He introduced me to a ‘Prince’. Seems like a guy we can talk with.” Prince was probably the biggest news. Another person on the team means another head and set of eyes looking at things. Only thing now is to introduce him.

>” C.V. Is apparently Baker’s personal army. Found out that Arcady’s house security cut ties with him. Seems like in-fighting.” This is major news. Cutting down the number of enemies means less people to worry about. Maybe even more allies.

>” I’m tired. I’m probably just going to go to sleep early.” You’ve been up longer than most. You woke up early and the entire day has been draining. There’s not so much you can really do being as tired as you are.

>” You want to order some food?” you’re getting hungry. You haven’t eaten anything since Preacher. You’d rather not remember anything about that though.

>>” He said the girls were all volunteers.” You don’t know if there was a reason to keep this away from you but Naomi hasn’t said anything about it before. She obviously knew.
>>” He introduced me to a ‘Prince’. Seems like a guy we can talk with.” Prince was probably the biggest news. Another person on the team means another head and set of eyes looking at things. Only thing now is to introduce him.

these are very important

>” He said the girls were all volunteers.” You don’t know if there was a reason to keep this away from you but Naomi hasn’t said anything about it before. She obviously knew.

>” He introduced me to a ‘Prince’. Seems like a guy we can talk with.” Prince was probably the biggest news. Another person on the team means another head and set of eyes looking at things. Only thing now is to introduce him.
>” C.V. Is apparently Baker’s personal army. Found out that Arcady’s house security cut ties with him. Seems like in-fighting.” This is major news. Cutting down the number of enemies means less people to worry about. Maybe even more allies.

>” You want to order some food?” you’re getting hungry. You haven’t eaten anything since Preacher. You’d rather not remember anything about that though.

Let Coraline decide what to eat!!
>two for cutting to the good stuff first.


This is probably going to be the last update of the thread due to it being on the last page right now. Don't worry, directly after this update I'll go and make a new thread.
“Met a guy named prince there,” you begin while looking over to what she was reading. You’re not really paying attention to anything written but you do recognize the two men in the photos. “What about you, what’cha reading?”

“Ah… “ she says, waving you away as if it was some diary, she was embarrassed about you reading, “I’m just trying to figure something out. The two C.V. guys, it doesn’t say where they live or where they usually go to or anything.”

“Moreh’s usually more… uh, particular with the stuff he gives, isn’t he?” you ask.

“It’s like they…” Naomi trails off.

“Do not exist,” Coraline follows up before setting her own case on the table and then walking off to the couch.

“Huh? Well, I mean, that’s what I was going to say but,” Naomi says quickly, looking up between you and Coraline.

“What’s that supposed to mean? They dead or something?” you ask, stepping away from the table a bit.

“No,” Coraline replies, “They are clean, like Moreh and the prince.”

“So, they ain’t, like, uh, so you can’t find them is what you’re saying,” you ask.

“Yes.” She replies.

“Oh, well, that’s probably why Moreh can’t find anything on them too,” you point with an open palm, letting your hand drop to your side, “guess that’s the answer…”

“Ah…” Naomi says, turning back to her files, “You said something about a prince you met?”

“Yeah, what about him?”

“Nothing, well, actually anything. You’re the one who brought him up, who is he?” she says, turning to you as you sit down.

“He’s some client of Moreh’s.”

“Another client? Did Moreh call him prince or is that his real name?”

“No, prince is just some title he gave him, like how I’m ‘the thief’ and, what are you? ‘the girl’?” you ask.

“Guess Moreh doesn’t get that many female clients…” she shrugs. “I mean, I don’t see him as someone who would

“Yeah, I would think he would either…” you really would rather not think about Moreh’s relationships. “Anyways, prince is another guy looking for the missing girls. He’s working for one of the families… uh, Widdich.”

“Oh, yeah, I’ve heard that name. She’s the girl from the core world, right?” Naomi says, half returning to the files, half listening. “Widdich… Widdich…”

“Yeah, that’s the one. Apparently… her family went bankrupt, that’s the reason why she didn’t finish her degree,” you repeat what the prince told you while watching Naomi look through the Widdich file, “He’s, I don’t know, like some kind of bounty hunter or something for them. He didn’t say.”

“Yeah, here it is, Sarah,” she points to a picture of a red-haired girl. The same one you saw this morning. She, just like the other girls taken – or rather the ones that ‘volunteered’ – seem so normal.
“Yep, Sarah Widdich, that’s the one,” you nod.

“They went bankrupt?” she asks, looking back up to you, “Do you know why?”

“Gambling problem.”

“Oh… that’s a shame,” she mumbles, “And so Prince is here to find Sarah? Did he say when he arrived or what he knows or anything?”

“I asked him a few questions,” you say looking over to Coraline sitting on the couch. The pale blue light of the tv outlines her like a silhouette, “He talked for a while before he left. He didn’t say much that we didn’t already know. Dr. Baker is some kinda genius, C.V. is under his control, and the stuff being built on Leo ain’t something just for the splicers there.”

“ah…” she says.

You turn back to her and pull out your display, “I got his contact information – or, well, I got a way to contact him.”

“Oh, you did?”

“Yeah, he wanted to work together but—”

“That’s good news,” she says while perking up, “Yeah, yeah, no, we can always use more people. If this Prince can help, then it’s even better. He sounds like a professional so we can find Sumi even faster.”

“Yeah… that’s what I was thinking,” you place the display facedown on the table, sliding down in your seat. Sumi. You wonder why she volunteered. Why she would go. Prince said that the girls signed up because they needed money. Naomi even… she had money when you first met her. It must have been the money from Arcady.

“You know, if we can get some more people then we can probably be able to build a network that can help search for Sumi and the other girls. I was thinking about trying to contact the underground… but I, you know, I wouldn’t really want to make any kind of deal with them or anything. Dangerous and…” she says. You’re not really listening.

It’s not like Naomi was lying to you about the volunteers. She just said there were three missing girls, one of them was her sister. It’s true. There are three missing girls. Three reported missing. There’s just forty-five more that hasn’t been reported missing. Forty-five still unknown girls.

Moreh said that Naomi knew why Sumi left and that Sumi failed to return mail. You’re not sure if Sumi was one of the ones that Baker messed up with – since Prince said someone got mad at Baker. Sumi was recent, same for the Widdich girl. Vulture or Arcady proper…

“…if there are other clients Moreh knows that can help us the new can probably find some more people to help through him,” she continues, “There’s probably plenty of people that he knows that can help. Prince was a—”

“Hey,” you interject, “Uhm… so, ah…”
“What?” she says quickly, turning back to you from her files.

“So… “ you start, “Moreh said something else. The prince couldn’t really answer anything about it, but Moreh said that you might know.”

“I might know what?” she urges you to continue.

“About the…” you trail off. You’ve been wanting to talk with her for a while. With Coraline saying that Naomi was lying about something. You wanted to talk to Naomi about the guy with white hair that she met the other day too. You wanted to talk to Naomi about… about the two of you. “He said that you’d knew why Sumi volunteered.”


This is the end of Episode 9 for For Hire.

Thank you for reading. I’ll get the next thread up as soon as possible. Trying to progress the story as much as I can for the next few weeks since I’m free. I would want to try to post more than just a single update a day, so I’ll try to speed things up, post wise, during the next thread.

Twitter: Kov_QM
Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=FHQ
Discord: https://discord.gg/QznmEus
Thanks for running.

Good thing we had some time to calm down, and now we can solve things and get on the same page.

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