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/qst/ - Quests

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"You might be a smart girl, but you aren't a lucky one"

You play as Delilah, an unfortunate young girl going through tough times.

=Links and Information=


Thanks to an anon, here is the pastebin of just the text. With threads purposely being misarchived, this should be available and accessible instead:
Melancholic Quest Collection 1 (1-4): http://pastebin.com/hTK0fQmd
Melancholic Quest Collection 2: http://pastebin.com/cX4HC6Q9
Melancholic Quest Collection 3: http://pastebin.com/sTuR8xJv
Melancholic Quest Collection 4: http://pastebin.com/RPwa7nEt
Melancholic Quest Collection 5: http://pastebin.com/DJ71TtFc
Melancholic Quest Collection 6: http://pastebin.com/xxCdZfx6
Melancholic Quest Collection 7: http://pastebin.com/7skcyeX0

Quick Glance (SPOILERS) The quick Who is Who and what Delilah has. Mostly accurate.:


Twitter; @Cowboy_Sue
Discord; https://discord.gg/8CCdcQ3 <--updated to be working
Chat room with me and other players. I answer questions, post sketches, and act cheeky.
In the low light of the room your eyes remain fixated on the blonde roots pushing through the mess of black hair. In today's boredom you've resorted to checking yourself out in the mirror, trying to determine whether or not the color is growing out quicker than it should.

Not that it's usually something that you would take so much time on but it's slightly better than just sitting around bored.

"What do you think, does my hair look longer?" you look over to where the stuffed rabbit sits on the other end of the vanity. It feels silly talking to a toy, especially since your birthday was just a couple days ago, but with a lack of steady companionship you find it better than nothing. The button eyes look back at you with a shiny newness, one of a couple reminders that this isn't your original Ms. Buttons.

You stare at this rabbit's face for a bit, like you're waiting for an answer but really you are just looking it over. The craftsmanship is your grandmother's- you can even recognize the way she stitches the fabric together. But there are little differences, small little details you notice in the way the thread weaves in and out through the cloth and how it's not quite as neat and tidy as the usual work she would do. Her health must have been declining already when she put this together, and though it's not your real Ms. Buttons you appreciate her all the same.

As nice as she is it would be so much better to have someone else here. Somehow you managed to wake up at just the right time this morning to catch Lawrence at the tail end of breakfast Not that it was long enough- you had to say goodbye to him after only a few minutes. After your birthday you've managed to spend time with him here and there, mostly whenever he gets back from the errands he's running for Crockett.

It seems that man also has Camilla running around for him too and between that and taking care of your grandmother you've also seen her around less. You've mostly been able to catch her around lunch though, so you usually don't have to eat alone.

Your grandmother never has the strength for long conversations, though she has mentioned to you that she doesn't mind you coming in to visit. It makes you feel bad to arrive and find her resting so you try not to be too bothersome. It's especially awkward the few times you've come in to find her talking with Dr. Rizzo. They haven't scolded you for barging in yet but it still doesn't feel okay for you to do. The doctor is someone you really don't want to bother. His perpetually grumpy face is more than enough to deter you from any unnecessary questions, not that he has much time for chitchat anyways. He hasn't made you come visit him for another check up yet and despite waking up with a headache every morning now you haven't tried going to him.
As for Crockett, he's been hanging around here on and off and has reminded you a few times that his door is always open if you need it. It's hard for you to accept the offer, though you always keep polite when he brings it up. The offer has started to become more tempting the longer you're alone, but you always fill the loneliness with busywork. Which isn't actually work, you've just got a few books to thumb through and- as a recent gift from Camilla- a pair of knitting needles and some yarn. You've already spent time today practicing them, trying to remember what you've already known and trying to pick up on new techniques listed in a guide she also brought.

It can only keep your attention for so long though, especially when you're just aching to not be inside this building anymore. You were promised another shooting lesson but that's not going to happen till tomorrow, though this time you're going to be learning from Officer Palmer. It's something you actually look forward too. Going out to shoot is so much more interesting than exploring around your room for the hundredth time. Hopefully the pounding in your head will start to slow down by then. The severity seems to come and go throughout the day and right now it's easy enough to ignore. That or you've started to grown used to the sensation but you try not to think about it too much. Thinking about how its been days since you've taken care of the problem only makes your mouth taste funny and a weird urge rise from your stomach, followed usually by a few minutes of terrible pain in your head.

Distracting yourself right now is the best option you have, as hard as it might be.

"I hope no one thinks I'll look silly with blonde again..." you mumble, pulling sections of hair so you can see just how far it's grown. When you look over at Ms. Buttons again you feel a wave of embarrassment for standing here looking at and talking to yourself. Ruffling your hair back into its messy state you back away from the vanity with the rabbit at hand. Rather than finding something to do in the room you decide to step out into the hallway and figure out what to do from there.

It's been snowing outside from what you can tell and even just stepping out in it for a bit sounds amazing. You doubt that anyone would appreciate you going outside alone though, even if it is just right out of the building.
You can't help but pout about the confinement, meandering down towards your grandmother's room. Already you can see that the lamps are on inside, their light seeping through the bottom of the door. That almost always means that someone else is with her and you instantly become deterred from entering.

When you think about it though you realize that she must be talking to Crockett in there. He's the only other one here right now- even Dr. Rizzo went out with Camilla for something today. You'd only heard them leaving while you were in the kitchen but it sounded urgent, not that anyone would tell you what it was for. As much as they want to help no one likes to tell you things and it only leaves you feeling more useless and in the dark.
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Just to be sure you come up to the door and press your ear against the wood. It's difficult but if you remain absolutely still then you can make out Crockett's half of the conversation and snippets of your grandmother occasionally. It doesn't sound like he's helping her with medication or anything important like that, something that you were present for yesterday when Camilla came in while you two were trying to chat. Not that you two have talked about anything really important recently, it's usually the standard small talk to see how each other are doing, yet those never last too long. To be honest you feel a little jealous that Crockett is getting to sit down and have a real talk with her, but you rationalize it as them discussing important things.

But no matter how important it might be it still leaves you out here alone, free to wander about in this cold open space with nothing to do. Even room exploring isn't an option, not when anything that looks like it could be interesting is locked up tight.

You're tempted to just sneak outside for a little bit, to get some fresh air and see how much snow there is. Going outside should be rather easy, you could slip in and out through the kitchen and no one would ever be the wiser.

Or, if Crockett is here, his office is unattended. It feels like he would have important information around somewhere in there, or at least information that's been kept secret from you. Sneaking around in there might be a bit more difficult though, and if you take too long then he's bound to return and then you'll have to pretend that you wanted to spend some time with him.

Dr. Rizzo's office isn't one that you've really explored yet, you've only been inside when he's asked you to come over. There might be some interesting things in there, but you also remember what kind of supplies he keeps for you in there and suddenly you're not sure if you could trust yourself with that kind of temptation.

You're so tired of being bored and alone right now you almost feel tempted to pretend that you didn't notice he was in there and just walk right into whatever conversation Crockett and your grandmother are having.

"What should I do?" you whisper to Ms. Buttons, who rests in your arms.
It... probably would be prudent to feed soon, both for our own sake and everyone else's.

Let's hit up Rizzo's, it's not like we can track down all the alcohol in the place.
The pain in your head is annoying and at this point you consider fixing it the better option.

You slink away from the door, giving it cautionary looks back as you walk away. In the short trip over to Dr. Rizzo's office your heart begins to pound like crazy, now terrified to look behind and see someone else walking around. The stuffed rabbit squishes in your tight hold as you approach the office, checking several times over to ensure that you really are alone right now before you even place a hand on the handle.

It's a sneaky thing to do, making your stomach turn when you discover that the door is unlocked. The doctor trusts you enough to leave it like this and here you are, walking into the place while he's gone just for the sole purpose of stealing. The desire you've been feeling for the past few days has been driving you crazy yet it doesn't keep you from feeling guilty.

The door closes and leaves you standing in the dark but safe from anyone passing by. Your hold on Ms. buttons tightens as your hand searches for the light switch, traveling blindly across the wall till you find and flip it on.

The same gray, bleak walls greet you in here. The big heavy wooden desk on the side, a thousand times more neat and tidy than Crockett's. The examination table that you had to sit on before waits empty and its nice knowing you don't have to sit there right now. You walk along the counter lining the wall, eyeing the bottles and glass sitting on top. Most of it are the same kind of things you'd find at a regular doctor's office, it would almost be a comforting, familiar sight. But your chest seizes up at the sight of the gray machine way in the back. It sits along side a locked up cabinet, one that you can spot several types of medications and containers on. The square machine though, the one that comes up almost to your height, is the thing you're interested the most in.

The hum from inside gives off the fact that it's working hard to keep whatever is inside it chilled. You place Ms. Buttons on the counter for safety as you approach it, barely noticing the fact that your hands are starting to shake.

You wait a moment and take a few deep breaths in order to calm down. It's not too late to turn back, you think to yourself, but your arms move before your body can react otherwise.

The door swings open and your face is met with a rush of cold air. At eye level you are greeted by two shelves. More glass bottles rest on these but none of them are what you want. Looking down you see the layers of drawers and kneel down to dig into them.
As soon as you pull open the first drawer and meet the sea of dark red hidden below the intense rush of pain hits your head. It's enough to make you keel over for a moment, your fingers gripping the cold metal for support. When the pain passes you're left with a numb throbbing and a growing thirst.

You still have control of your actions for now but the motions are jittery and clumsy. There's a drop in your stomach as you lift up the first bag and realize just how heavy and full it feels. It would be so easy to just get a little bit from these, to just steal a sip from the different bags and Rizzo would never notice. There's almost a smile on your face from the thought but it quickly fades when you remember what exactly you're doing in the first place.

The square shaped package has a tube sticking out of the end, looking ready to be hooked up to whatever machine it needs. As you try to figure out how the contraption works you also catch eye of the small white label plastered against the top.

In that moment you can't help but feel watched, a creeping itch crawling up your neck. When you look back and only see your rabbit watching back from the spot on the counter you feel stupid about feeling so scared in the first place. Somehow though it feels like she's sad to watch you do this, looking down at you in disappointment.

"Y-you're right Ms. Buttons, it would be smart if I read these first..." You'd rather imagine she's acting concerned for your safety, then quickly remind yourself that it's just a stuffed toy.

The tremor in your hands makes reading the label impossible and you're forced to steady the bag against the door of the machine.

"Um...so it says that it's blood type A." You sort of know what that means from school and from previous doctor visits that you have the type AB. "And that it expires in um, it e-expires in 3 weeks. And it's...it's volunteer b-blood. Oh I think the p-person's name is on there, a uh, a McCullen, Sam and he's 25. Oh he's a little younger than Lawrence-"

Once again you start to feel guilty, this time for different reason that you don't quite understand. Hurting Lawrence like you've done in the past when he's been kind enough to give you the opportunity, but looking at this now makes you think of him and it hurts.
"I-, um... I th-think that I should look through the o-others to make sure there's n-nothing bad in them." You hadn't noticed anything on the label mentioning if the blood would be bad or if there was something strange about it, but you also really aren't thinking too right. It's like something in your head snapped as soon as you saw the blood packets inside, which must be true seeing as you're willing to sift through bags of volunteer blood.

"Jones, Gracie. G- um.. Gutierrez, Alex. Smith, Tessa... they're all A types." You force yourself to place the last bag up, knowing you need to be careful to not allow any of them to leak. "There's another drawer though, maybe I should check those too..." Talking out loud makes it feel less sneaky, makes you feel a bit better about rummaging through the office you've broken in to.

You pull open the next drawer down to find a similar but smaller pool of deep dark red waiting below, a single square of yellow paper breaking it up. Leaning down to read the letters it takes a few tries, the cursive words hard enough to read without also having your attention grabbed away by the tempting crimson.

If you must, please only take from the drawer above this one.
One or two should be fine, it is difficult to clean up so please do not make a mess
There is a lock in the left drawer of my desk, please secure the handle if you come through

Breathing feels harder all of a sudden. It's not quite that, you know it, but this note feels like some kind of permission for what you're doing.

Trying to pretend like you still have this all under control you take a peek at the bags in this drawer, instantly noticing they are in a different packaging from the ones above.

"Ah... this one is grandma's." You notice the big A marking her type, but you don't really understand the rest of the information written down. That bag goes back down very carefully and you give a quick look through the others. Camilla's and Dr. Rizzo's both have a small bag in there, along with a few smaller containers. "It um, looks like Ms. Camilla and the doctor are B-types. And I found Mr. Crockett's... his says type O. Ah! Even Lawrence's!"

You pick that one up, the small sample size having a tag hanging off of it with information instead. Talbot, Lawrence lines the type, followed by the same kind of information you couldn't understand from before. Instead you look for his blood type, curious and trying to keep your eyes away from the precious color. Where there should be a letter down there's just a dash instead, something you really don't understand. Holding his jar for too long might give you the wrong ideas though, as you can just remember how nice he tastes. It might keep you from having such a knot in your stomach too but you're already stealing from Rizzo, you shouldn't go against the one thing he asked of you.
Lawrence's blood returns to the drawer, shoved far away from you as possible. There's only one small sample left and out of habit you pick it up, taking a look at its label too.

"Esposito, Del- Oh, this one's mine." You gaze over the rest of the tag, a little upset that you can only guess what they mean. Putting it back you catch a look at the blood type listed.


That's not right, you know it's not. There must have been a mistake, surely this is something easy to mess up. It's something you can think about correcting Dr. Rizzo on later, but for now you've only got one goal in mind.

The second drawer closes and leaves its contents in safety. The bags resting in the top drawer though, those are for you to choose from.

It's difficult though. They're all the same but you just know that they're all going to taste different, and none of them are going to come close to Lawrence's.

You eventually just settle on a random one, not even taking the time to notice the name. Ever since you read the note your heart beat started to rise and hasn't stopped, thumping painfully against your chest. The cold plastic of the bag barely registers in your hands- all you can think about it doing what Rizzo requested and then running to the privacy of your room.

The packet of blood goes beneath your shirt, the coolness resting against your skin as you hurrying over to his desk. There's no time for you to even think about him not trusting you to not go crazy after getting some, you have what you've been craving for days.

It barely registers to you when the lights go off in the office and your return out to the hallway. It's hard to think about anything aside from getting to your room and not getting caught. Getting to your room is mostly a blur. It's only when you let the door slam shut behind that you briefly come out of the fevered haze.

"Open...needs to open." You try messing with the tube again, leaning against your door and slowly sliding to the floor as you realize how close you are. When messing with the plastic bits finally allows the red to travel down through the clear tube it feels like your heart jumps into your throat.

The growing thirst continues as the blood slowly travels to the end of the plastic, welling up in drops that you touch with your fingers. They travel to your mouth soon after, sending a wonderful spark from your brain and down your spine. It leaves behind a tart flavor, leaving your tongue feeling tingly in a good way. The temperature is a bit strange, something you discover when you try sipping it slowly from the tube. The lack of a person's warmth doesn't stop it from feeling good, though the experience feels strange and wrong in a way you can't explain.
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It's hard to keep from downing it all at once. There's a time or two when you drink faster than you should but you force a pace. It becomes increasingly difficult to keep that steady pace up as you begin to slip up more and more. Eventually you just pull the bag away, choosing to sit there against the door and bask in the terribly great feeling left behind in your chest and head. There's still plenty left for you in the bag and you consider this moment a quick breather. Whether you should finish the whole thing or not is something you hadn't considered, after all you were content with just a few sips before. If you indulge this once and then stay on your toes afterward it might be fine-

A knock from behind sends a vibration down the door. "Delilah? Are you in there?" Crockett's voice travels easily and brings you up to your feet, blood packet carefully in hand.

"Um...um yes I'm here..." it's hard to think now and even harder to talk. All of a sudden you feel scared. This isn't something a normal person should be doing, you're about to get caught. It's a shameful thing that tries to fight past the buzz, leaving you feeling conflicted and afraid.

"Is everything okay? I heard the door slam?"

"I'm um, I'm okay I was um..." The longer time passes without you coming up with a decent excuse the more scrambled your thoughts become. It's hard to think and you'd rather just continue what you were doing than deal with this right now.

"Ah well, if you weren't too busy here in a bit I wanted to know if you were up for a little trip into town. Wouldn't be for too long but I figured you might be feeling a little stir crazy." He waits for a few seconds, speaking up again when there's no response. "Or if there's anything you need, you don't have to go out if you don't want."

It's hard getting hard to breathe right now. It's tempting to just ask him to go away and leave you alone to deal with this- you never like anyone seeing you like this.

Going outside might do you good though, even if that means you'd need to go out all fuddled up.

You look around for Ms. Buttons, hoping to somehow find the answer with her. She's still in the office though, in your selfishness you had left her behind. The bag clutches to your chest now, drops of red falling to the concrete floor. It's hard to tell what you want. Being seen like this is terrible and yet being alone sounds terrible too.

What do you tell Crockett?
Tell him to give us five so we can get 'presentable'.
We gotta powder our nose real quick. 10 min tops.
"J-...just a m-minute!" you call out, rising up on shaky legs. "I n-...I need to get d-dressed."

"Ah, alright." Crockett's voice is already further from the door now, "Well take your time. If you don't find me out here then just check my office."

You nod only to remember that he can't see that, "...yes sir."

For a few moments you remain against the door, listening carefully to make sure his footsteps are walking away from the room. Even after that you wait a while longer just to be sure, trying to listen for signs of him returning through the fog in your head. It appears that he has left you alone as requested but that thought isn't enough to make you feel better.

There's still plenty of red left inside the bag, your finger coming up to stop its tube from dripping the contents onto the concrete floor. It's a disgusting mess and if you watched anyone else doing the same thing then you'd feel revolted for their actions.

As you lick your fingertips clean again you get a rejuvenated wave of tingles traveling from your mouth and you try to focus only on those feelings. Those nice happy bright ones that you get from this, the waves of warm bliss that should be the best part about this.

You take a few more tastes of the blood, trying to keep yourself in check while thinking of what to do with the rest. There's too much for you to simply leave the bag laying somewhere, not that you would have if it was empty anyways. It's a tempting idea to try and finish it all but you're scared that drinking this much at once will make you throw up. There's no way for you to put it back in the fridge in Rizzo's office now and you're not very keen on the idea of laying it as is in the kitchen's.

There's only one thing that you can think to do with it right now, as unpleasant as it might be.

It's hard to sneak over to the bathroom, hard to concentrate on being quiet when your thoughts are going a thousand different directions and you keep getting the occasional whiff of the enticing smell coming from your hands.
You allow yourself just a little more to drink before allowing the left over to pour into the sink. When the dark red against the white porcelain of the sink looks too nice you put the water on high, diluting the color and smell and making it go away much quicker. The bag is still something for you to deal with but you hide it at the bottom of the trash, burying it far away beneath the crumpled up paper already inside. Now you've just got to clean yourself up, what should be the easiest part of the whole ordeal.

As you wipe away the color from your hands you refuse to look in the mirror, scared to see the reflection that would look back. The cold water comes to drench your face next, focussing mostly on your lips and chin. For good measure you swish some of the water around in your mouth, grimacing when you notice that it comes back pink tinted.

The walk back to your room feels less urgent. You take your time going back, watching the passing pattern of the uneven walls that leaves you feeling the strange but wonderful lightheadedness. When you get back to the bedroom you immediately begin to get dressed for the day, changing out of your pajamas with slow, automated kind of motions. It's only when you begin to button up your shirt that you remember why you were getting dressed in the first place.

"Outside..." you mummer, looking for your boots next. Being in this state alone is a strange one. It feels like you've always had someone right by your side during these times and being alone now is a bit of a strange thing. It's almost overwhelming and you quickly kick your shoes on in an effort to hurry out and meet Crockett. In the jumbled up haze of your thinking you still somehow remember what's kept in the top drawer of your dresser.

You go over to take a look inside, greeted by the silver of the gun.

Take it with you?
Better safe than sorry, plus it'll help us get used to carrying.
Putting on the holster in this state is rather difficult, but you manage to secure the gun securely around your side. Feeling it so close to your chest isn't a scary one right now, it's just something that your arm brushes up against. Maybe when your little trip comes down in a few hours then you can freak out about holding it so close but for now you barely even think about it. The thing vanishes out of sight when you place on the jacket you got for your birthday and it might as well not be there anymore. Out of sight, out of mind. It's time for you to go see Crockett now and try to keep everything together.

“I’m coming...” you call out, trying too hard to pretend everything is fine. It’s not long before you find Crockett, who is sitting in the living room no doubt waiting on you.

He’s occupied himself in the mean time with cleaning his gun, setting down one of the tools so he can look over his work.

“I’m ready to go.” It’s announced a little louder than it should be and you feel stupid, just hoping now that he doesn’t notice that you’re off.

“Hey there-“ Crockett glanced over, picking up a box next. “Just give me a moment.”

You nod with the idea that everything will go smoother if you remain quiet. As you stand by trying to keep from bouncing on your toes too much Crockett picks up a small box, revealing a row of bullets inside.

He takes out the first and slips it into the chamber. The glint of the metal before it slips into the gun catches your eyes and doom your following the movement of his hand, from the table to the gun a few more times before the action is interrupted by the click of the closed chamber.

“Alright, good to go.” He stands and slips the gun away behind his back- his first and bigger gun resting at his hip. “You good?”

It takes you a second longer to answer than it should have and when you do speak to it’s with too much enthusiasm.

“Me? I’m fine, very fine. I mean I’m good, I’m um...” while you try to think about how to talk without sounding stupid you begin to worry that Crockett can smell what’s on your breath. You bring an arm up to your mouth in an attempt to hide it away, only realizing after that this makes you look even stranger. “...I’m ready to go outside.”

“Great, we’ll be back soon enough.” As Crockett walks towards the door he ushers you along with. It’s honestly a good thing for you, being led is easier right now.

Between your thoughts of how the snow will look outside and where you might be going it strikes you that your grandmother is going to be here all alone.

“Is umm... is my granny going to be okay?” The words come out slow and a bit slurred together but his bothered expression tells you it was clear enough.
“For a little bit yes. She’s got a way to reach us if something goes bad, but I wouldn’t worry about it.” The grin on his face looks painfully forced, you can tell even now. “Mrs. Esposito is still rather capable of taking care of herself, she-“

“What were you two talking about earlier?” The usual reserve you keep is gone at this moment and if you’re head wasn’t still reeling then you might have been shocked at your own bluntness.

“Ah, just now?” The fake grin droops on his face as it becomes harder for him to keep up the easy facade. “Your grandmother requested that I take a look at her own gun to ensure it was in tip-top condition, better safe than sorry. She’s rather good at using one at her age.”

“You don’t want to leave me alone with her.” There should be a pain in your chest from that statement but it gets drowned out by your fleeting intoxication.

Crockett shakes his head. “It’s not that, really. Her top priority is to keep you safe now, then her health. I have to go in town and that would leave just the two of you here. She really pushed for me to take you along.”

“What if I had said no?”

“Wouldn’t have gone in, so I’m really glad you agreed.”

Crockett opens the passenger for you, closing it once you’re inside the interior of the car is chilly, enough that you can feel the tip of your nose turn red. The heaters take a few minutes of driving to kick on, making you wait by rubbing your hands together in the meantime.

“Why did you need to come in town?” The motion of the car is a strange one right now, the passing white scenery outside adding to the rushing movement you feel. Your head starts bopping along with the movements of the car.

“Just picking up something I requested from a colleague, nothing too major. Don’t worry though, you get to watch us old guys fill up this trunk.”

You nod, just wondering if he noticed that you’re acting weird.

“When we’re done we can go get you ice cream. Er, if that’s not too childish of a suggestion. Something to make it worth tagging along.”

“Ice cream sounds amazing.”

You, thankfully, don’t have to carry along the conversation for much longer. Once Crockett notices that you’re content with staring out the window he lets you do just that, not even complaining once as you hum along poorly to the radio.
Whereas you had been expecting an office building or house of some sort it’s surprising when Crockett drives to the warehouses by the bridge, the blocks of concrete just reminding you of where you just were.

Plenty of cars and trucks pass through, compared to the time you and Lawrence had been down here. You can remember his greasy friend who had made rude comments before and stick your tongue out at the memory.

Crockett pulls into the parking lot of relatively busy building. Mixed in with the usual work vehicles are ones that look more personal- you vaguely remember he sign at the fence mentioning ‘wholesale’.

“Will we be fine here?” you mummer, glancing through the window at the various cars outside.

“Very. Only one person knows we’re coming, well I should say only one person knows I’m coming down here. You though,” Crockett gestures at you, “you’re my visiting niece who I suddenly had to watch over for a few hours if anyone asks. Got it, Giovanna?”

“Gio- oh that’s the fake name. I remember.”

“Yep. And thinking about it, while you’re with me there’s one more errand I should run...”

“We can still get ice cream later though, right?” The thought of that has been on the back of your mind ever since it was first brought up and Crockett nods.

“Yeah, just try to not run off too far alright? This is a store and there’s plenty of people inside, I’m not too worried about anyone trying any funny business but don’t make me worry about you.” When Crockett pulls out the keys he takes a look at them and hold them out towards you. “Unless you wanted to stay in the car. If you don’t want to be around a lot of people then that might be easier.”

>You look at the keys and then over to the store. It’s looks pretty good in size, which could mean a lot for you to look around. If this place sold newspapers then maybe you could finally look for some clues for your list. Being stuck the way you have been you’ve done nothing more but accomplish some names on a list, you aren’t getting anywhere with this.

>If you stick right by Crockett’s side then he’s not going to say anything too juicy, he’s good at keeping you in the dark. But if you’re there then it might be hard for him to cover up what exactly he’s picking up and his friend might not be so tight lipped.

>Going out with your head all buzzed up might be difficult, if you decide to just stick back at least then you’ll have uninterrupted use of the radio- and a look for whatever might be hiding around in this car.

>What’s your plan for the visit?
>What’s your plan for the visit?
go out on the street and suck cocks for money
Seduce and schmooze Crocky
Stick to the car for now.
You reach out for the keys. “I’ll stay in here.”

Crockett pulls them back, patting his own holster. “You got something to defend yourself?”

Pulling open your jacket just enough to give him a peek you answer the question silently and the keys find their way into your hands.

“Keep it locked till I tell you to. There’s a button over here for the trunk, if you see me carrying back stuff then go ahead and pop that.” Crockett steps out of the car, peeping down to speak through the open door. “It won’t be too long, I promise.”

You nod and watch him walk away from the car, passing through the occasional people going in and out of the warehouse. Leaning across the seats you place the key back into the ignition and make the car partially turn on. Warm air pumps through the vents and the radio turns back on in the middle of a song. The tune continues as you hum it and flip through stations.

Though you try hard to find something boring, some station that would repeat back news that you might need to hear there’s little luck. The most you find is a station listing upcoming events for some of the local schools. You leave it there for now, not wanting to waste your time flipping through stations.

Right now you’re going to scrounge the car and see what you can come up with.

It’s not nearly as dirty as the car Crockett first met you in but it’s slowly becoming that way. Unfortunately this means that most of what you find is trash and useless items. And some point you find yourself distracted by counting spare change found in the backseat, snapping out of the moment to remember that you have a duty right now.

“Something in here, anything...” you mutter as the two goes on the radio station continue talking.

>...and finally, Finch Middle School will be hosting a stranger safety seminar this upcoming Wednesday. Principal Steele mentioned that he wanted to teach students safety in response to parent concerns..<

>Should have be something that parents already taught their kids, no?<

>That would be nice wouldn’t it? Guess I can’t blame them for being scared though.<

>Sounds like you’ve been listening to those rumors lately.<

>It’s not often that there’s so many young teens going missing all of a sudden.<

It’s hard right now for you to listen and search at the same time. You can really only focus on one thing and the radio is winning your attention.

>You have read that study explaining that the trend of runaways are growing right? Teenagers are like that, give it a few more weeks and I’m sure a lot of them are going to find their way home.<

Not all of them, you think bitterly as you finally check the glovebox.
>Sure, but you did hear about what they found in the river right?<

>Course but if it was a kid I’m sure they’d have plastered that news everywhere by now. Why wouldn’t they? My bet is that it was a drunk bum who fell in.<

>Rather harsh, isn’t that?<

>Wouldn’t that be the better outcome over the alternative?<

>I suppose you’re right...<

>Besides if it really was a teenager I’m sure it would be plastered all over the news. Why would they keep it a secret if it turned out to be a missing kid?<

The glovebox proves useless to you and in a huff you slam it shut. This search has turned up fruitless and that is very upsetting for you. As the hosts begin to announce a commercial break you decide to use the last few minutes you must have left to search the voids that are between the seats.

The driver’s side brings you up only with crumbled papers and wrappings that offer nothing.

You settle back into your seat and fish your hand in the space between it and the middle console, catching sight of looks to be Crockett and another man approaching the vehicle with a dolly. Some heavy sacks rest on its stand and Crockett appears to be carrying a large box, the top of bottles poking out.

The feeling of disappointmemt begins to settle in till your fingers brush against the spine of a notebook. The spiral metal that holds the pages together sends a jolt through your hand and you rush to pull it out.

After a few careful tries you manage to drag it out from where it had been stuck between the seat and seatbelt mechanism, deep indents bore into the slightly ripped cover. Already the handwriting on the front stands out from Crockett’s, the name ‘Sutton’ scribbled in the bottom corner.

>If you take the notebook without telling Crockett it may be hard to return it to him, but you might learn something from it.

>Or maybe if you’re nice enough and hand it over as saying you happened to find it then maybe Crockett will trust you with information more.

>Yet like usual it feels like you’re sneaking around again and that you should try to just look through the book before Crockett comes back and then return it to its place.

>What do you do with the notebook?
Hand it over.

After flipping through it right quick of course.
keep it. read it. draw some shit in the back. if he asks tell him we needed paper.
Stealing twice in the same day doesn't feel right. You'll be nice and hand it back over, it could be important after all.

Which just means you're going to have to do some impressive speed reading, beginning as soon you pop the trunk open. Crockett, thankfully, seems to be in conversation with the man he walked out with. You assume it's his friend that he mentioned and hope that means a little extra time for you.

Reading with your head and eyes feeling fuzzy makes the whole process slow. At first you try to read over the first page but when the tight, small writing makes you frustrated you opt for skimming through the whole thing and hoping to that something will pop out instead.

One of the first things you notice is that there are dates written on the top of different sections, with only a few days between each one at most. Some days only have a short paragraph written between them and then you find some that go on for a few pages. Those longer sections you attempt to look over more carefully, but the names and places listed aren't things that you recognize. All you can tell is that whoever wrote this really liked keeping tabs on other people and seems really concerned about video tapes.

The car shifts as the back is loaded down, the man helping outside laughing loudly at whatever their conversation is about. They seem to be finished placing everything in the trunk but their talk isn't quite over yet, you still have a few moments to try and find anything interesting in this.
You barely look over a particularly short entry, but it only takes one word to make you stop.

March 19
Meeting at a residence a mile out of town. Belongs to Parker(?) but will need to confirm later
Five cars parked outside. Four confirmed to belonging to Parker, Santos, Lambart, Bowers. Fifth car unknown owner- out of state plate from California. Need to confirm identity of owner.
Lambart car left at 17:35, five hours after arriving.
Leaving from my spot at 21:45, other four cars still remain at residence and none of the people inside have left house. Unsure of number inside, house looks to have little activity apart from 3 lights on. One room in particular looks well lit, but can not tell if people inside of there due to its location on the second floor.

"It's j-just a name..." you try to tell yourself as you flip through to the next page. His name doesn't pop up again, though you sometimes see some of the others. It doesn't last too long though, as soon you start to see that awful name slowly start to pop up more and more.

"Anything you need from me Ace?" The man outside asks Crockett as he slams the trunk closed.

"No, but are you sure this is all I can get?"

"If you're trying to lay low then yeah, this is the best I can do. But, if you're willing to get some 'after hours' then I know a guy you can talk to..."

Their voices drop down low to discuss whatever details it might be, Crockett writing down whatever information he's being told.

Knowing that you don't have much more time left you flip near the end of the book, unsure now of what you should be looking for. The entries start to steadily become longer and Bowers name begins to litter the pages more, leaving you with a sinking feeling in the middle of your buzz. Whereas you had trouble looking at the letters before you now can't turn away, your eyes bouncing between the lines written down. It's not like you are really getting the chance to comprehend a lot like this, it would be something you would need to sit down when your head feels right and take your time with. Most of you see seems to be places that Bowers has been, many of them being places you don't know. When the dates start getting closer to October and there are streets mentioned that were near the apartment it really leaves your head spinning.
Sutton, whoever they are, barely mentioned Bowers in the beginning. Or at least you hadn't noticed, there might have been a few brief mentions that you had missed in the beginning. But the closer you get to the end of the journal the more dedicated they become on following that disgusting man around. It's getting too hard for you to read right now- this is a bit too much for you to handle in this moment. Still you force your hands to move, wanting to get through the last few pages so you don't have to look anymore.

It makes your breath stop when Esposito comes up. You're not even sure if that's what it says, your eyes have started to water up and become blurry. From outside you can hear Crockett saying his goodbyes and you act out the first plan that comes to your scattered mind.

With a quick tug you pull out a short handful of paper from the journal- the last three pages or so of writing and then some of the blank papers from the back. With your heart beating so quick it hurts you flip the notebook shut and slip the written on pages between the blank ones. There might be a lot more in this journal but you can at least read what was said about your name, not that you're sure you really want to.

You start to look around the console now for a pen, instead finding half of a pencil and deciding it will have to work. Now it's time for you to look busy, that you weren't in fact just snooping around and taking pages out of things to read later. Crockett is finally coming over to the door and you need to start putting something on these pages so he doesn't notice yet your thoughts are panicking over Bower. The pencil moves on its own as you try to keep your cool. Suddenly the golden haze you usually get to enjoy feels frightening and you start wishing it would stop.

When Crockett knocks on the window you almost let out a yelp, the lead on the pencil snapping off. He waves at you from the driver's side and waits for you to reach across and open his door.
"Thanks, hope I didn't make you wait too long." He says while stepping in. You pray that he doesn't notice how worked up you are right now, though it must be impossible to miss the tremble in your hands.

You remember that he's probably waiting for a response and quickly blurt out the words. "No! no no, e-everything is fine. I mean, I'm fine."

"Always gotta be careful when I come by here, he'd talk to me all day if I let him." As he buckles Crockett notices the pages in your lap and motions at them. "What you got there?"

"Oh! Um well a-actually I did get a little bit bored, it's fine though it wasn't that b-bad. Ah but I just kinda w-wanted to draw so I looked around to s-see if there was anything I could use and so I took some b-blank pages from this thing-" You look down to see what Crockett is staring at. The page has plenty of pencil marks covering it but it is all angry, furious and dark scribbling. It's something he's bound to notice, but Crockett doesn't bring it up so you don't even attempt to defend it. Instead you pass over the journal, hoping he doesn't flip through it. You're already kicking yourself over the plan, he's going to look through this and notice that pages are missing.

"This was under my seat. I um, I took some of the p-pages from the back. I'm r-really sorry though, I should have asked first."

Crockett takes the journal, looking over it with a raised eye and then the realization washing over his face. "You found this?"

"Yeah, it was between the seat kind of weird. And umm, I did look at the first page but his handwriting is really hard to read."

"Hm, yeah." There's a hint of a grin on Crockett's face when he looks at the name written on the front. "Ross always got complaints but I didn't think it was that bad. Just gotta get used to it... So you promise this was really under the seat?"

"Well wedged on the side, b-but yes. I didn't mean to go looking through y-...your things."
"It's fine, I'm actually really glad you found this." Crockett flips through the pages briefly, merely eyeing the pages unlike what you had been trying to do. "Great. I appreciate you showing me this, really sorry about the wait."

You slip the pages into the jacket pocket and shake your head. "It's okay. Did you um, did you get what you needed?" It's time to calm down now, it might not feel like you've got this but nothing bad has happened yet. It's going fine and you need to stop worrying, which is much easier to think than do.

"Alright, next stop. Then we can get you that ice cream and then we'll head back, how's that sound?" You just nod and the car pulls away from the parking lot and leads back out to the normal looking streets, where you pass by store fronts and trees rather than just concrete.

It's not quite cold enough to keep people from walking outside and you can't help but peer at their faces as the car passes by. You wonder if any of the people walking around outside are people that you know or if any of them would recognize you passing by.

"Where are we going?" you ask when your concentration from the window is broken.

"Ah, going to stop by another good friend of mine. We're just going to get you an ID card to carry around, just to be safe."

"Oh." You hope that he'll explain his reasoning later but you want to keep things going fine right now.

You are really curious who Ross Sutton is, not that you wouldn't mind knowing what Crockett bought from the store back there or why he has to get it secretly. Asking too many questions may tip him off that you're snooping around, but one shouldn't be too bad..."
Ask who Ross is.
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I don't know why I made this now when it should have been posted earlier but oh well
"So um, Ross is someone you know?" you hope the question doesn't appear too prying though you are curious to know who the man behind the pages is.

"Yeah, guy was a private investigator. We've worked together in the past before, back when I was a cop too. Went out for drinks a few times, he really was a good guy who got super dedicated to his work. Don't really know how he ever got any sleep like that but something about his strategy worked." Crockett feels for the notebook, patting it in place to ensure that it's still where it needs to be.


"Well..." he glances over at you and tries to clear his throat, quickly coming to regret his choice of words. "He had been giving me a hand with one of the cases I was working on and Ross was always the type to return a message. We met up in this car a few weeks ago to discuss some things and ah, that must have been when he lost his notebook. But since then I haven't been able to get in contact with him, there's been no sign of him at home. I don't know where he is to be quite honest. But that's how it is sometimes. Ross might just be trying to keep a low profile right now, I've had to do something extreme like that a few times before. I'm sure he'll call me up again once he finishes whatever investigation he's currently on."

You can already guess what Sutton would have been helping Crockett with but you remember to keep the appearance of being clueless.

Already you can feel your body start to come back down from it's high. It's a slow decent and you hope that the worst of it can be spent back in your bed.

"Do you um, think it just fell out of his pocket?" you ask, "It kinda looked um, stuffed in there."

"Did it?" This seems to make Crockett ponder the idea, quietly thinking it over to himself while he leaves you to sit there.

"Um, maybe he put it down there." You stop to think about it too and come to the conclusion, "Maybe that's a s-stupid idea though. Why would he do that, right?"

"No, you might be right." He speaks through a grimace. This is something Crockett doesn't want to tell you but it comes out anyways. "That night that we were driving around he thought that the folks he had been investigating were following the car around. Dropped him off at the location he asked me to take him to, he could have shoved it away in here for safe keeping."

You're supposed to keep up the appearance of not knowing any better but it's difficult to and you turn towards the window so Crockett can't see your face. "I hope he's okay..." you say, trying to ignore the gut wrenching feeling that comes with those words.

"I do too."
In the window you can see Crockett's reflection. You watch as he stares at the road in front of him, his own face etched with concern. It's in these quiet moments that you remember that you're completely alone with him and in an instant fear catches in your throat. The gun against your chest presses against your body with each breath, reminding you that there's something you can do about it. You start to reach for the gun, gripping the handle and reminding yourself that everything is fine. Things are just a bit overwhelming right now but that doesn't mean you're not okay right now. The journal just got you worked up, you just need to take a moment to-

"We're here."

Crockett's voice makes you jump and pull your hold away from the gun. It feels like you've been caught red handed but Crockett is only trying to let you know this part of the drive is over.

Once the car comes to a stop near a small but tall brick building he turns to look at you. "You holding up okay?"

"Yes sir, I'm fine."

"Alright, that's good. Have to say you're handling this rather well."

"Handling...?" you question, searching all over the car trying to remember if something had happened.

"Being in the car right now. I was a little worried that a car ride would freak you out." You're still not entirely sure what Crockett is talking about and your silence tells him this. "You stopped by Rizzo's office, right? He said he left a note for you in there."

"Huh?" You cover up any gasp with your hands. "Did you know that I...?" you whisper, Crockett nodding.

"You let your toy in there," he chuckles to your embarrassment, "and when you came out of the bedroom your pupils were huge, wide saucers. Wouldn't really be too good at my job if I didn't pick up on the little things, would I?"

It really makes you feel stupid for trying to hide it so long now and in humiliation you end up biting down on your bottom lip hard. You aren't left to dwell with it for long as Crockett ushers you out of the car.

"You're doing fine, just keep calm and I'll do all the talking, 'kay?"

All you can do is nod bitterly, thinking about how dumb you must have been acting before.

The elevator ride up to the fourth floor gives you a new rush, the movement offering you a new and exciting sensation right now when it wouldn't have been anything special otherwise. You almost want to ask Crockett if you can ride it back up one more time but he leaves you no opportunity to do so, instead leading you through hallways with plenty of men and women bustling around. It takes a bit for you to realize that this floor is for a newspaper, something you pick up on when he leads you past a room with several people typing away.

The place you two end up in is small and a bit cramped with various light stands and tripods, most of what little space is left being used up by a long table covered in photos, negatives, glue- all sorts of equipment for photos. Shortly after arriving you are greeted by a man arriving with a camera around his neck, striding over immeditly to shake Crockett's hand.

"Good to see you Simon."

"You too Ace," the man greets with a professional tone, "didn't expect you to drop by today. What can I do you for?"

"Remember when I was asking you about maybe getting a couple of ID's?"

"What, can't use any of the ones I already made you?"

Crockett shakes his head and points back at you. "Not for me, for her."

Simon looks past him and at you, looking rather surprised. "...and you mean 'unofficial' ones, right? What's a kid need that for?"

"Promise, I'll explain it to you later. I've got the cash for it right now though, if you could do this today." Crockett pulls out the money and hands it over, Simon instantly looking through the bills with a close eye.

"Okay, just cause it's you Ace." With a gesture back to the door Simon continues, "but you gotta make sure no one comes in here while I'm doing it. If I get caught again I'm fired, got it?"

Crockett looks down at you. "Are you okay with that?"

"Um, yes sir." That's a lie but this is a packed office building and more importantly you still have your gun.

"This isn't going to take long, is it?" he asks Simon.

"Just gotta set up the backdrop and camera, you'll be able to pick up the card tomorrow."

"That's fine, thanks for this."
Crockett goes to take guard outside, leaving you in this room with Simon. It might be scarier if he tried talking to you, but the man is more focused with getting everything set up. Lights and camera stands are moved out of the way so he can pull out a large white sheet, stretching it out against one of the walls. While he works you take a look around the room. The photos range from standard head shots to to more exciting subjects such as sports and events. One of the pictures shows a large group of people by the bridge at night, the bright lights in the sky telling you it was taken during New Years. It might have been fun to have been down there with everyone during that time but you remember exactly what you were doing during that time and you're fine with how it turned out.

You move on from the table and try to look around the rest of the room. Lined against a wall are boxes and boxes full of previous newspaper editions, all folded neat and tidy and packed in tight. They look to go back to weeks prior, as far back as a few months into the previous year.

With Crockett having to stand guard outside you have a rather free range in here. There are boxes and boxes of newspaper that you can try to look through while Simon sets up, you might even be able to snag a few to take home with if needed.

But that's a lot to have to look through and it was hard enough with the journal earlier. Simon works here at the paper though, it might be quicker to just ask if he's heard anything about the girls that have been going missing. So long as you can try and keep it together while talking to him.

Or maybe you shouldn't try to push your luck today and work on keeping to yourself right now, it was already an ordeal to take the pages that you've got.

What do you do?
Let's just try and take it easy for now. Wouldn't want to look too spooked and out of it for the ID photo.
Try to keep calm,and ask the newman about any recent events.
Nothing specific though, we might not find anything about the girls, but keepinh informed is important either way.
Other than that, just think of smiley thoughts for the picture.
"So um, you work for the paper right?" You already feel stupid for that question and hope he didn't hear it.

"Hm?" Simon looks back from where he is turning on lamps and putting them in place facing the backdrop. "Oh, yeah. I'm one of the photographers, I go out and interview people and other kind of field work too. Could you bring that stool over here?" He points to it and you comply, backing away as soon as he takes it from your hands. Simon looks like an okay man but he's still very much foreign to you and the more space you can keep the better.

"That sounds very um, very exciting." Walking back to the photo of tables in order to put something between him and you the laid out photos catch your eyes again. "Do you get to go out and see that kind of stuff? Are these all your pictures over here?"

"Only the ones from New Years are mine. Well that and a few of the negatives but I haven't gotten them printed out on anything yet since they're recent."

"Is it okay if I take a look at them? It's f-fine if not."

"Just make sure your hands are clean and touch just the edges there." The lights slowly light up and he grabs a tripod, setting in place before attaching the camera on. "Gonna trust you to not go leaking my story out early either, got it?"

You nod and pick up the first reel of negatives, holding them up to the celling so you can see the images. It's hard to tell at first but they look to take place outside some kind of doctor's office, large panes of glass broken at the front. Crossing tape blocks off anyone from really going in, but the next reel looks to contain zoomed in shots trying to get a peek as people in uniform walk around a destoryed office.

"What happened...?"

"Need you to come sit on the stool now." Simon motions for you to come over and then returns his attention to the camera. "Isn't that something though? Happened just a few nights ago, this little family clinic got hit hard by some thieves. Apparently they had a rather good turn up for their blood drive and that made them a target- sit up straight for me real quick."

You follow Simon's orders, feeling very shy upon seeing the camera start to focus on you. "...is that what got stolen?"

"Yep, along with a bunch of medical supplies of course. Security guard they had is still in the hospital, they found him beaten unconscious at the scene and they're waiting for him to come around to tell them what happened. If you ask me though we all already know what happened, they just don't want to do anything about it."

"Wait, what happened then?"

"I know Ace doesn't like kids hearing this kind of stuff but- you can relax now, we just need to wait for the lights to finish warming up now- but you look like you can handle it. Did you notice how the store was all busted up?"
You nod at his question and start to tense up when he walks over to you. Right away your hand darts beneath the jacket but all Simon does is come over to adjust the backdrop behind you, pulling it taut and flat.

"Well they obviously didn't need to do that, it would have been much quicker to just get in and out. I think that whoever went in there and robbed them was trying to send a message. Maybe that clinic didn't pay out some kind of protection money or stepped on some toes, but whatever group did that to them really wanted to make sure they hurt." All the while Simon readjusts the frame right your hand remains resting on the holster- just to be safe.

"A group? You mean like a um, a gang right?"

"Exactly. Isn't the first clinic to get hit like that either. There was another location and one of them blood donation buses that got robbed within the past few weeks, seems the shortage has really been hitting everyone hard." The white backdrop behind you if finally in place and Simon returns to adjust the lights once more before returning to his camera. "Gives an incentive for this kind of thing to happen anyways, it's a shame. Alright, sit up nice and straight and look into the camera so I can get the lens focused."

Once again you sit up right and look straight into the camera, trying not to feel too antsy in knowing the man is watching you through the lens.

Simon motions down at you. "Hands on your lap please."

"Ah- Sorry!" Your hand finally withdraws from its secret hold on the gun and rests in a balled up first in your lap. Things haven't been going bad yet, you've been able to sit here in a room with a man you don't know and it has been fine. You'd really like to meet up with someone you're more familiar with soon but it doesn't feel like you're just going to fall over and die.

That is, till the first burst of light hits your eyes and blinds you for a moment. It sounds a prickling feeling through your head and leaves you feeling disoriented as you try to rub your eyes back into focus.

"That was my fault, didn't need the flash on. When you're ready I need you to look back up and then we'll snap a few more."

"It feels like getting my picture taken for school..." you mumble and squint at the camera.

"So what grade are you in?"

"I'm um, sixth..."

"Ah, so two grades behind my son. You go to school around here?" You nod at the question but worry that he will end up asking questions that you really don't want to answer.

"If these are uh, special ID's though that means I can be like twenty on there, right?" When he gets ready for the next snapshot you remain quiet and still in place, listening to the camera clicking several times in succession.
"Sure, I could make it say you're twenty," Simon says while taking a couple more photos, "but I sure as hell can't make people believe it. Not like you can buy alcohol at twenty either, so it'd be a bit useless in my opinion."

"I could get married that way-" you start to explain under your breath. Crockett running in to the room nearly sends you jumping off the seat and the somber look on his face doesn't make you feel any better.

"Ace, what's up?" he looks up from the camera, "What- shit, is one of the supervisors coming down this way?"

Crockett shakes his head and in his hand you can see the small little pager gripped tightly. "Where's a phone I can use?"

"Is it for this or...?"

"It's an emergency." Crockett responds bluntly and you get a sinking feeling in your gut.


Simon takes you both to a payphone out front of the building. He assures Crockett that he has enough photos for the project and that he will call when they're ready, giving you a quick goodbye too before leaving Crockett to his urgent phone call.

You stand by him in an attempt to block off some of the chilly wind, heart thumping hard as you wonder what the problem could be. Immediately you think to Lawrence being in trouble somewhere or your grandmother needing help and it makes you feel sick.

Crockett doesn't explain anything either, instead hurrying to call the number listed across his pager. It takes him two tries but finally whoever it is he's trying to reach. You get to hear his side of the conversation easy enough but the voice on the other end is near impossible for you to pick up.

"...can you hear me? Cammy, I need you to speak up, what's the-..." Crockett goes quiet as he listens to the other end, his eyebrows scrunching down closer together and his grip on the phone tightening the more he hears. "Counterfeit? You've gotta be fucking kidding me! How much do we owe then? ...no, I can get that. I'm in town but I've got- er, listen. I'll be there and I'll bring the money, give me about thirty minutes to gather it and head down there okay? If anything happens... yeah, you know what to do. I'll see you soon."

Slamming the phone down Crockett doesn't try to explain any of the situation to you. He instead grabs you by the hand and starts leading you briskly back to the car.

"W-wait!" you don't try to pull him off, as much as you'd like to right now, and just try to keep pace instead. "What's wrong? What's going on?"

"Cammy and doc are in trouble, and- dammit, I've only got a little bit of time to pull out cash and get over there..." he looks over at you and stops in place, his free hand coming to pull at his hair. "Shit, I don't want to drag you along to this but I don't have time to take you back to the compound. Maybe if I page Palmer to get you but she's on duty and that's going to take some time..."
"Would I need to wait for her somewhere? A-...alone?"

"I don't want to make you do that but... shit, maybe the hospital would be fine. Go in there and visit with Denise for a bit till you can get picked up..." Crockett really doesn't like the sound of that plan but time is obviously of the essence right now.

The hospital is a busy place and if you're lucky that nice nurse will be there, but that really means being stuck with your mother during that time. And even if it is a busy place you can't hel;p but fear going there alone, it's not something you would ever chose to do. Whatever is going down with Camilla and Dr. Rizzo has got Crockett on edge though and you're stuck in the middle of it.

Tell Crockett that you're fine with the hospital or request to stay with him?
Request to stay with him, the hospital seems like an ideal place to get... spotted if we're alone and everything.
Stay with him, can't be too careful.
You grab at his hand, "Wait, I want to go with you!"

Crockett looks hesitant to agree to this idea so you plant your feet firmly in the ground and pull him back.

"Don't leave me alone, please! I promise I won't get in the way, I don't w-want to be left alone-"

"Fine yes, okay." His voice is harsh and makes you recoil back, your hand still trapped in his. Crockett lets you go and looks back at you with a softer expression, instead opting to lead you over with a gentle push on the shoulder. "I need you to follow everything that I say, got it?"

"Yes sir." You get into the front seat but Crockett is quick to correct this.

"In the back, behind my seat."

Without a word you scramble into the backseats, falling into them right as the car turns on. There's no usual wait for you to put on a seatbelt before you're out on the street and pushing the speed limits.

"Listen to me carefully Delilah," he calls your attention to the front and gives the occasional look back in the rearview mirror, "If I had the time I would never think about taking you with me. But this is an emergency and- well really I still don't feel okay with dragging you into this."

"I want Ms. Camilla and Dr. Rizzo to be safe." The streets outside look to be racing by nauseatingly quick but you're unsure if that's how they really look or if you're having trouble handling everything in this moment. The latter seems likely though you do fear the possibility of getting pulled over in such a dire time.

"First thing I need to do is get the rest of the cash they need, then we're going to drive out to where they are. I don't want you stepping outside of this car unless I say otherwise, do I make myself clear?" Crockett's eyes stare at you in the mirror till you confirm what he says with a nod. "You have your gun with?"

You pat at where it's at on your body, "Yes sir."

"If you needed to, are you okay enough to use it?"

With a dry mouth you nod again. "I think so."

A deep sigh escapes Crockett as he looks back on the road again. "I'm going to do everything that I can to make sure it doesn't have to come to that." he says in a low voice and you're not entirely sure if he was promising that to you or himself.

You remained in the backseat when Crockett stopped at one of the banks nestled off near the quieter streets of nicer residential. An older brick building that feels far, far nicer than many of the places you've seen around town it is undoubtedly one your grandmother uses.

Waiting for his return and wondering if he's taking too much time it nerveracking enough but your panic doesn't settle any once he returns back to the car. With a new briefcase sitting in the passenger seat both you and Crockett remain somber and quiet during the majority of the ride. The change between the streets with warm red brick houses to the unkept and pothole filled roads leading by shops closed down or close to closing down sends a chill down your spine.

The graffiti lining the boarded up store fronts and the rough looking people hanging around them makes you sink down in the seat as you try to remind yourself that things will be okay, the adults can handle this.

Buildings start to become more scarce and spread out, allowing them to grow larger in size. The older and unkept side of town makes everything feel isolated. There's little going on this way, there's no reason for there to be. A shifty Motel 8 and a gas station look to be one of the few remaining reasons to come out this way, neither of them looking appealing in the slightest. But Crockett drives right past both of them, going straight for a parking garage connected to what was once a nice hotel. The large sign on top once lit up the words Westview manages to stand tall but the rest of the building looks to be barely holding together yet it's two level garage looks to be in better shape, at least a few years newer.

"Delilah, I will be leaving the keys in the car," Crockett starts to explain, "If anything happens then you can- wait, do you have any idea how to drive?"

"I um, I h-haven't done it before but it's um... it's just the gas and brake and um, and putting it in uh...the D position right?"

"Remind me to give you a lesson when this is all over, got it? Like before just keep the doors locked and don't open it unless I say so, got it?"

"I got it."
"Keep your head down, keep quiet, and most importantly keep calm. I have all their money here so it should be an easy, quick thing." Crockett doesn't even sound too sure of this but he has already begun pulling up into the garage.

A car rests right by the entrance with a man sitting on the trunk waiting as a guard of sorts. The car slows down in front of him and after a bit he waves Crockett in. The entire time you keep your head down, trying your best not to freak out anymore than you have been. You were sure that guy had a gun at his hip and you're really sure that anyone else you meet will be the same.

Crockett drives up to the second story, arriving to a small handful of cars parked and scattered about. Right at the end you can see a group of people standing and while you'd like to see if Camilla and Rizzo are there you don't dare a peek.

"If anything happens..." he speaks in a whisper now, parking as far from the group as he can without looking too suspicious. "If anything happens and you can't get out then tell them who your grandmother is and that she will pay a large, large reward to have you back. Anything like that to stall them, I gave Palmer a heads up. These guys are assholes but they're greedy as hell too, there's no way they would pass up on an opportunity like that. Only use your gun if you have to- shit, I have to go now. Stay put."

He would love to give you more warnings and advice put the time has come for him to pay up. The briefcase goes in hand and the doors lock with a click. You're left behind as Crockett goes to face the men waiting for him, they're few numbers still more than enough to overpower him if it comes to it.

"Heeeey, Crockett! You made it!" The voice of a younger man echoes against the concrete ceiling and floor, carrying his Boston accent just enough for you to hear. "Was starting to get a lil' worried there but I 'suppose ya still had five minutes left. How you been?"

The kindness he tries to convey is some bullshit and even you can tell that. This is something fun for them yet you and your group are going through it scared out of your mind.

At least, you hope there still are four of you here.
"To be honest I'm a bit confused over what the problem seems to be here. Mind explaining it to me, Grant?" Crockett is barely managing to keep polite in this moment and you can't blame him. In the corner of your eye you can see a man wandering over, slowly and taking his time. You keep your chin down and try to keep listening.

"Some of your cash ain't no good. Fake bills, and a lot of them." This time a woman's voice chimes in, no one that you recognize.

"You heard her, Brandi has an eye for catching that kind of thing. It's a good thing too, don't you want to pay us for all the hard work we did to get this to you?" Grant sounds like a stupid kid acting tough but he has the advantage right now, a very very unfortunate fact right now.

"Really? I was unaware of that, does you father know?"

"This is my gig, got it? You aren't dealing with my old man right now, you're talkin' to me. You've got my money, right?"

"Of course," Crockett says, "but I would still like to see those fakes you were talking about. If you'd like to tell me how you knew they were counterfeit then I would love to know, might help us from having this kind of problem in the future."

"Why don't we finish our lil' transaction here and then we can talk about it, how 'bout that?"

The man that had strayed away from the group is slowly making his way towards the car. If you had to guess he's trying to get a look inside with Crockett noticing and you begin to panic again.

You aren't sure if the better plan would be to try and hide somewhere in the car, and while there's little for you to go you might be able to scrunch up small enough against the floorboard to avoid being seen.

Or maybe it would be better if you just sat up, if you didn't try to hide and look shady. If you act too shifty then he might think something is up, but if you're just sitting here just trying to wait for all of this to end he might not mess with you.

If you're really careful though you might even be able to open the door on the other side of the car and sneak out to hide from the man, though that would go against what was asked of you. Still you can't help but feel the urge to run away as the man grows slowly closer, keeping his eyes set on the conversation going on in front of him in the meantime. It might be from your clouded judgement but you're sure that you could get the door open and closed without him taking notice- especially if you time it to the men talking.

What do you do?
Assume the form of garbage on the floor. Coat over us and we'll look like a whole pile of trash.

Ace the Slob.
hmmm this is more troublesome than I thought it would be.
Prep Gun (don't reveal gun, just keep a hand on it) and wait like you were told.
You slink down to the floor, trying to hold your breath and not make too much noise with the shuffling trash. Once you settle down the gun comes out next, held tightly between your shaking hands.

Eventually you have no choice but to breathe again, each breath painfully slow in order to keep quiet. Your back presses against the door, head just tucked in beneath the window and doing everything you can to remain small.

"I've got the 30 here. I need to know for sure that we're getting our package." Hearing Crockett's voice might be comforting if you could see what was going on right now. The only thing that you know for sure is that man is heading towards the car and you start to pray that the darkness of the garage is enough to conceal you. The occasional footstep is the only thing alerting you of his presence yet you still can't tell how close he is yet.

"Understandable. But doc here already checked it out, isn't that right?" Grant goes quiet now and is, you're guessing, finally allowing Rizzo to speak.

You can barely hear Dr. Rizzo speak but it sounds like he's agreeing to the statement, if begrudgingly. This whole thing feels slimy and you hope that Crockett is as untrustworthy of it as you are.

"Where is it?" Crockett asks. The footsteps outside get louder and the man has to be standing only a few feet away now. Your hand comes up to cover your mouth and further muffle any noise you could make. The gun in your other hand is gripped so painfully tight your knuckles turn white and you fear your ability to aim.

This time the woman speaks up, "Safe in the back of the truck."

"Let's take a look at what you brought first," Grant orders, "Leave it in the middle right there and we'll go ahead and take a look through."

"It's all there, I swear."

"That's not what I'm concerned about. Doc and nursey here swore they brought it all too and look where we are now."

"I told you," Camilla's voice pipes up and you feel a little better in knowing they're both okay, "We had nothing to do with the fakes, that was not part of the plan."
"Sure thing sweet cheeks." A chuckle and the echo of far away footsteps trail behind Grant's words. "I'm sure gonna believe that from a buncha people who come out this way to buy a hea-"

"Look it's right here, just count it so we can go." Crockett's voice travels with his movements and you imagine he's backing away from the money.

"Alright babe, go ahead and check it out for me. Make sure they aren't tryna pull a fast one."

You almost don't notice the reflection of the man in the window across from where you sit. It certainly scares the hell out of you but any gasp is kept hidden beneath your palm. The man seems to be looking between the scene going on and the car, but after a little while he seems focused on the car again. Again you press against the door, hoping to hide yourself away as much as possible. The trash clings around you and helps to hide the site of your shoes and leggings and for once you start to feel grateful for the black hair.

The man takes a look through the driver's window, pressing his hand against the glass and looking in. The seat keeps you hidden out of sight from his view, at least up there. When he starts to move to the window you're hidden under everything starts to spin. You have no idea what will happen if he will find you, if hiding would just get him mad and what being mad would entail-

"These look fine Grant, I can't spot anything wrong with them."

"Great. Jason stop dicking around over there and come put this with the rest."

The reflection in the window begins to back away. "Just trying to make sure he wasn't hiding anything in the car."

You don't allow your body to relax even an inch till you are positive that the man is far away from the car and even then you do everything you can to prevent even the tiniest of noise.

"Alright you have the money. I'd like you to allow Rizzo and Camilla to go back to their vehicle now with our package-"

"Now hold on a moment," Grant interrupts him, "I didn't say that we were done yet. We already know you guys aren't above trying to scam people trying to help you, now I have to go and take these extra steps to make sure that isn't happening again. We'll take the money back with us and if it does turn out to be honest money then you can receive your part."

"Bullshit that's going to happen."

"You do know that there is a time limit on these things, do you not?" Rizzo is getting irritated, you now know what he sounds like angry.

The man laughs, "Won't take too long, no big deal."
"Figlio di troia..." It's Camilla's voice again and you dare to try and take a peek at what is happening. Without venturing too far as to be seen you can just make out where Crockett stands mostly alone, the man you think is named Jason standing a bit behind him. One of the cars that you recognize from the compound is parked over by him and must be the one Camilla and the doctor took down here. "It is a big deal, if we waste more time here then it does not even matter! Besides, how do we know that you will not simply run off with our money?"

"If you'd like to make all this go smoother then why not come with us while we check out the money? Come down with us to the nice little motel room again, and once we're sure we have all the money then you can leave with the package you bought. If it turns out short again... we can figure that out when the time comes."


"Camilla!" Rizzo scolds her, "I'll go, you stay with Mr. Ace-"

"It's fine. I'll go with, but only if the girl watches me." Camilla speaks in a firmer tone than you're used to either, her accent coming out thick and heavy now. "I did not appreciate the pat down you gave me."

Brandi speaks up this time, "It's fine Grant, I can handle her. Should we untie them both, or...?"

"Doc can go back over to Ace with his hands tied, his lil' helper here can have hers free since she agreed to go with us. I'd watch your langue this time, I know if he was here for this my father wouldn't put up with the bad language. Unless you want me to call you puttana-"

"Watch it Grant." The grit in Brandi's voice clues you in that maybe this kind of behavior is normal for him, at least some of the time. He gives a halfhearted apology and then all you can hear are footsteps and shuffling around in what you can only guess is them freeing Camilla and Rizzo in whatever restraint they're in.
The first gunshot that goes off makes you shriek in surprise but no one notices. Three more shots fire out and while you have no idea who they came from all you know is that the car was hit with at least one bullet. The front passenger side of the car begins to sink down with its now rapidly deflating tire and there's little you can do right now but listen for the damage done outside.

"Grant...!!!" Brandi's voice squeaks out first, or at least is the first comprehensible thing you hear.

"If you come over this way I will shoot." The bite in Camilla's voice is unlike any you've heard from her before. In fact you start to doubt that she's even the one speaking, or you would if peeking out the front window didn't give you a view of her having an arm wrapped around the neck of a very scared woman and her other hand holding out a gun.

There appears to be two men standing in front of her, their own guns raised but looking unable to shoot. One of those men must be Grant and looking past you can see that Rizzo took cover behind a dinky black truck.

Crockett emerges out from behind the car he took cover behind, arm reaching in to pull out his gun. Before he can attempt to do or say anything he's flanked by the man Jason, who too comes out from the cover of a column with his own weapon drawn. Taken from behind Crockett is forced to throw his hands in the air, his gun coming to a clatter on the ground in front of him.

"I thought you checked her for weapons?!" Brandi cries out, grabbing hold of the arm keeping her in place.

"And you were the fuckin' one who got mad at me for taking so long!" Grant shouts back, aiming his gun at the two but not looking prepared to shoot. "Hugh if you hit my chick then I swear to god I'm gonna toss your body in the frickin' river."

The man next to him lowers his gun a bit at the threat but it still very much looks like Camilla has two men aiming guns at her and the hostage she's taken. Rizzo must have been searched clean as you're sure he would have taken out his own weapon but being empty handed means there's little attention on him. Or, at least, most of it is focused on Camilla right now.

Crockett is kept in place by the gun held behind him, preventing him from doing anything but watch as the scene unfolding before him.
You've got your gun at hand and no idea about what you should do.

No one but Crockett knows you are in here, which would be great if you didn't have to worry about the car getting hit. Not that you know how well it would protect you from stray bullets but it also is something you fear to test out. It might be the safest spot for you, though you wouldn't be able to do anything to help from in here. You'd be useless as usual but at least you'd be safe- hopefully.

The brave, stupid part of you says to sneak out and help. You've got a gun and Jason has his back to you. It's something you're sure a competent, less cowardly person could pull off in this moment. All you need to do is go up behind him, aim your gun at his back like he's doing to Crockett and demand he drop his weapon- just like in the movies. Sure you might be a little girl, but maybe with a gun that doesn't matter.

Getting the gun to someone who could use it better might be more helpful though. The only one you could really do that to is Rizzo, who appears to be inching his way to one of the vehicles slowly. He seems to be pushing along something on the ground with his foot, it doesn't look to be important but you can't say for sure. It'd be one of the worst things you'd willingly put yourself through but with enough patience, speed, and a lot of luck you might be able to sneak over to where he is. If he has a plan then you might be able to help with it, at the very least offer your weapon to him.

Slinking back down to the floor you know that there's only a little bit of time for you to decide on what to do...
Stay put and trust that things will work out. If Del goes down then all their hard work would be for nothing.
Best plan is to just remain here you decide. You just need to stay composes and patient, whatever is happening outside will get taken care of and then you guys can leave. Everyone can leave safe and it won't even matter that you didn't get the ice-cream. All you ask for is everyone to make it back safe and for this whole thing to be over now, maybe then your hands will stop shaking.

It's nerveracking but you unlock the door your pressed up again, popping it open just enough to come unlatched. If things do get bad and the car ends up in the middle of it you don't want to end up trapped in here. From the new space to peek through you can see Crockett and his captor better, looking through the front window lets you see Camilla and her hostage.

"I want our package." Camilla demands, nodding towards the truck. "I want you to put that in our car. We will take back the thirty thousand and then we can all leave from here."

"It's not a negotiable price." Daring a look over the seat you take a look the the men pointing their guns at her. Grant looks to be rubbing at his nose frantically, eventually just pressing it up against his face as he holds the gun with one hand.

"It does not look like you are in the advantage right now." This time she motions at Brandi who looks to be shaking.

"What about Ace over there?" Grant is struggling for breath and the man next to him looks conflicted between holding his position or helping him.

"I am holding her for the package," she states bluntly, "I will only hold her till we have what we came for."

"Yeah right, but I'm calling your bluff. Pretty sneaky for a lady though, I'll give ya that." The arm pulls away from his face and you can see something dripping down his chin.

"Jesus Christ Grant your nose is friggin' bleed-" Brandi's words choke out with a small movement in Camilla's arm.

"I need you to remain quiet," she warns her in a low voice. Only chokes and cries leave Brandi now and you begin to wonder if that's the same Camilla you know out there.

"Grant-" Crockett calls out all while remaining wary of the gun behind him, "come on bud, this has gotten out of hand. Mariano wouldn't approve-"

"I told you this was my thing!" His voice cracks like a child having a tantrum and for a moment his gun pulls away from Camilla. Grant glares across the room at Crockett, the blood streaming down his face freely now. Hugh, the man next to him, hesitantly begins to lower his own gun. It's obvious to everyone who is making this all harder than it has to be yet the man does nothing to stop it early. "And don't you fuckers try to pin this on us, you were the ones trying to cheat us first! You were the ones who brought shitty counterfeits, you are the ones messing this all up for me-!"
Too much anger building up and no way for him to deal with it Grant is left pacing frantically with his gun still held firmly in his hand. In fear of him pulling the trigger you end up ducking down, hands covering your head and prepared to run out if needed to.

"-and you! What the fuck do you think you're doing?!"

His shout makes you cower in fear even when you realize it wasn't for you. Exposing yourself as little as possible to get a look you watch in horror as Rizzo is dragged out by Grant. "Don't think you can you can sneak out of this! The fuck you think you doin' sneaking around my stuff anyways-"

"Let him go." Camilla's words come out in a stern yet frightened tone. "Do not hurt him."

"No, you wanted to play this way so we're friggin' playing this way!"

"Man, this is going to far-" Hugh tries to talk him down to no avail.

Rizzo gets dragged back by his neck, Grant staring down the nurse right on. "No, we're going to get this done and this is going to go however I say it is. Now you're gonna give me a minute here to-"

"This is your last warning, let go of the doctor."

"What did I just s-"

Camilla's gun puts towards the ground and Brandi begins to struggle against her grasp. "She's gonna do it Grant she's gonna friggin' do it! Please just give them the stupid-"

"Brandi shut up! Nothing's gonna frriggin' happen, just shut up and stay calm!"

Losing faith in her man to help Brandi turns up to Camilla instead, pleading with mascara running down her face. "Please don't, I'm pregnant-"

Grant decides in that moment to choke the doctor and Camilla pulls the trigger.

The shot rings through and leaves a shock of silence, though that quickly comes to an end as Brandi's cries turn into screams.

"She shot me!" Brandi gasps, "Mother friggin' Mary she shot me! You bitch you fuckin'...Christ you bitch! I'm pregnant does that m-mean anythin' to you?"

"That's not my concern right now." The chill in Camilla's voice sends you hiding back down again. If anything you don't like seeing her this way and wonder if this is how she always is away from you. "My concern right now is for Grant to let go of the doctor."

In the commotion Crockett makes his move, attacking the man holding him up during the moment of confusion. Him and Jason wrestle for the gun the man holds firmly in his hand, their scuffle dragging both to the floor. You fear having the burden of coming out to lend a hand, unsure of how one would even approach such a thing. Pinning the other man to the concrete and knocking his head back into it with a swift punch in the face Crockett manages to stand the victor, his newly acquired weapon at hand.

Grant stares in shock at the scene and at first attempts to keep up the tough appearance. As the cries turn into sobs and then whimpers any confidence he might have still had washes away. Hugh is quick to surrender his gun and put his hands up.
"Not dealing with this bullshit, sorry man." he apologizes to Grant, who can barely keep his own weapon steady. It comes to point at Camilla again, shaking violently back and forth before as he stares her down the barrel. With absolutely no chance of keeping his girl safe now Grant starts pulling the trigger with furor, throwing his last tantrum. Most of the bullets land on the far wall of concrete, though one manages to go straight through the windshield and shatter it. The glass comes flying into the cab and leaves light scrapes against your hands and part of your forehead. It scares you far more than it hurts, though small streaks of blood are left behind on your skin.

"Hey-!" Crockett shouts over the echoes, "Don't be an idiot! Camilla don't let him hit that car any more!"

She must answer silently, probably confused as to why it's so important but not choosing to question it now.

You wait huddled down in the car, trying not to cut yourself further as the commotion outside finally comes to an end. From what you can hear the men are gathered up and forced to wait on their knees while Crockett holds them at gun point. You're not sure what is currently happening with Brandi but she seems to have quieted down, though you can still hear the occasional curse and cry from her.

The sound of a car engine soon echoes in the dark space and several doors open and close in the meantime. They take extra sure that whatever package that causes all this to happen is loaded up, though none of them sound hopefully over such an apparently important item. All the while your head spins and you don't know if everything is okay or not. It certainly doesn't feel that way, that's for sure.

More discursion is being made too far away for you to hear when a knock against the passenger window makes you look up. Your greeted with he sight of Palmer, who waves and waits patiently for you to unlock the car. You're more than ready to escape the space and you've given a hand stepping out by the officer. The gun remains in the backseat as she gives you a hug. It's greatly appreciated right now and you reciprocate the gesture.

"How did you know I was in there?" you ask when Palmer lets you go. Her uniform and badge stand out right away, she must be on the clock right now.
"I got sent a warning, don't worry." She waits for you to put away the gun, glancing occasionally at the others with a frown. "What a mess..." she mutters, putting a hand on your shoulder to take you over to the running car. Camilla takes over watching the men at gunpoint, her face remaining stoic till she looks over at you in schock.

"She was here?!" she hisses under her breath to Crockett, who doesn't bother answering. He rushes over to meet Palmer halfway and keep you far away from the scene.

"You really owe me big for this one Ace."

"I know..." he sighs, "How long do we have here?"

"Maybe ten minutes before someone shows up. If that happens then there's not much I can do to help." Palmer speaks grimly.

"Not enough time to get that tire changed, huh?"

"Not to mention that windshield is going to get you pulled over," she shakes her head, "Be better to switch out the plates, you got some with?"

"Yeah, I'll go ahead-"

"No, I'll do that." With a gentle push Palmer hands you over to Crockett. "You take her and get her home, ASAP."

Crockett nods at her scolding, "I got it."

You look between the two grownups and then back over to the scene. Camilla had been looking over but quickly diverted her eyes back to the men kneeling in front of her. From the other side you hear the hum of the engine and the occasional sob, a short trail of blood leading to where the crying is coming from.

So much has happened and you have no idea what any of it was, yet you just know that the reaction around you is to just pretend nothing bad happened.

Demand an explanation from Crockett?
Eh we don't need to know the specifics. Just ask what's in the box, and don't take no for an answer.
"I've got to go check outside real quick, you get ready to go and I'll see you off." The frown doesn't leave Palmer's face as she backs away and to the stairs leading down. You look up at Crockett and hope to mimic the same stern look Palmer had on her face.

"Mr. Crockett," you speak up in a tired voice, "what did you guys buy?"

"Don't worry about it-" he tries to lead you away but your heels dig into the ground to remain in place.

"Uh uh," you shake your head and look over to where Camilla and the men are, "you can't tell me to not worry about this. I just want to know what the 'package' is, please." You stare up at him all while trying to figure out if you should be begging with big puppy eyes or trying to hold your ground.

"Del-" he starts to say but remembers better than to just let your name slip in public, "...this has been a long day for us I know. I'll make it up to you later but lets get back home first okay?"

Crockett is ignoring your question completely and you start to feel annoyed. Even if you were completely useless just now that doesn't mean he can just go and pretend you're easy to fool like this.

"I'm not going anywhere till you tell me what that is." There's no softness in your face now- just an annoyed scowl.

From around the vehicle Brandi's voice picks up, "What the hell, is there a friggin' kid here?" She's quickly hushed up by Rizzo who warms her to hold still. It makes your gut twist to know that Camilla was the one to shoot her but you've got other priorities at the moment.

Looking lost from your defiance Crockett ends up turning away from you to contemplate silently. The entire time you stare him down with your arms crossed and a stern grimace on your face. He looks back at you with a sigh and displeasure. "Okay, but then you have to do exactly what I say so we can get out of here, understood?"
You finally begin to relax your pose, "Yes sir."

Another sigh leaves Crockett as he faces away from you again, staring at the bumps and cracks of the column next to him. "In the car over there, in the back inside of a cooler is a heart we were trying to buy. It's illegal, black market. It was supposed to cost us 100 thousand dollars and after buying it your grandmother was supposed to go into surgery for it. But the plans all went to shit and now we've got to try and clean up the mess before any more people show up. Do you understand why I'm trying to keep you separate from all this? These are bad people we're dealing with and dragging you along isn't something I like to do."

When Crockett turns back to meet your stare it suddenly becomes too much, it feels far too uncomfortable beneath it. You were trying to put up a tough act but now you're dodging your eyes away and almost feel bad for asking in the first place. Knowing just what they were fighting over suddenly makes the whole thing feel all the more shadier and you really, really want nothing more than to get back home and crawl in bed.

"Thanks..." you mutter without knowing if that is the appropriate response. It's the honest answer you wanted but it really doesn't make you feel all that better. It's a relief to see Palmer return and head right over to where you two stand. She comes over ready to speak but Camilla suddenly calls Crockett over with a dire urgency in her voice. You don't look up at him as he leaves, instead trying to step closer to Palmer in hopes that she can make you feel better about all this.

"Are they still not ready?" Palmer asks you, something you regretfully have to answer no to.

"Shit, we're going to be cutting it close..." Palmer looks over to where Camilla and Crocket are speaking. In a few short seconds he goes from speaking with her to grabbing Grant by the collar.

"...you're gonna have to pry it from my dead hands!" Grant yells at some point with blood still streaked down his face. You can see now that he's been carefully guarding a suitcase and now seems unwilling to let it go.

"Then you know what that means." responds Crockett before he walks back over to where you two stand. He leans in close to Palmer and speaks under his breath, "we're going to have to keep the girl with us for a while."

"That woman?" she asks while pointing back over to the car. There's no doubt that Palmer spots the blood on the concrete too and it only serves to worry her more. "Why? What's going on?"
"I'll explain later. You'll be able to get these guys out of here, right?"

"Yes but don't do anything else stupid," she warns, "but that has me thinking. Are you sure you should all be driving back with her with you?" Palmer gestures at you and places a hand on your shoulder, "Especially if you've got wounded in there with you."

"Well we certainly can't take my car back now."

"No, but I think I could let her ride around with me for a bit. Take a while longer for her to get back out to the country but it might make this all a bit easier for you." With a squeeze on your shoulder Palmer looks down at you with a small smile. "Ah, but I guess I shouldn't be rude and ask you. I understand if you want to get home right away but I promise if you go with me we won't be out forever and the car won't be nearly as cramped."

You think about who all has to ride back with Crockett now. Him, Camilla, Rizzo, and now apparently this Brandi woman for whatever reason. Them and a cooler in the back, a cooler that's supposed to contain a heart for your grandmother's surgery. It makes your stomach flip to be honest, despite wanting nothing more than to go home right now.

"What are you going to do with her?" he questions, "You're not just going to make her ride around in the back are you?"

"Why not? It's safe, I'll give her something to do back there and then I'll take her back. Gives you a chance to do whatever you need over there too. It's just an idea." Palmer shrugs.

Crockett looks down at you, "What do you prefer?"

Do you want to get back as soon as possible and ride with Crockett and the rest of the group or ride with Palmer and step away from the craziness for a bit?
Go with Crockett
Maybe Law with be back home by the time we get there.
I miss Law so much. It will all be worth if we can just relax with him for a bit and destress.
Going back now seems like it'd get super cramped, not to mention Brandi would be reeking up the car with blood.

Maybe Palmer can tell us if doing nothing was the right choice...
"I want to go home right now," you mutter, "...I don't mind going with them."

"If you're sure." Palmer looks down at you with softer, sorry eyes. You nod in confirmation and she accepts it, no one looking particularly happy with any of this.

From around the car Brandi's cries become angry shouts and she clings to hood to hold herself up and hobble around. "Grant, what the fuck am I hearing?! Give them the money! I'm not about to friggin' go with these... Grant they fuckin' shot me I just want to go home!"

Her pleas are met with a terrible silence, making you feel sorry for the woman.

"What the fuck do you think you're doin' Grant?" she leans against the car, quickly losing the energy to keep herself up. "Is this how you treat the m-mother of your child? You asshole, fuck you Grant. Always throwin' me under the friggin' bus like this, fuck you! I hate you! I h-hate you...!" Any remaining part of Brandi's tough demeanor slips away as she starts to fall to the ground and sobbing violently.

Rizzo comes back over to pick her up, handling her gentle but forcing her to come with all the same. "Everything will be easier if you wait in the car."

"No, no...!" Brandi is made to rise to her feet but fights against Rizzo all the same. "Don't let them t-take me! Please Grant, d-don't let them take me away!"

Grant continues to hold on to the briefcase tightly. You can see now that he's attached it to his wrist with a handcuff, preventing it from just being pulled away. Though his body says otherwise Grant's face shows regret, yet all he does is shout back. "Hey, don't go h-hurting her again! You h-hear me? Don't you-"

"All cause you had to act like a big man..." mutters Hugh next to him. With how disjointed their little group feels you can't help but wonder if this is how they usually are or if this is even a thing they do often. The idea that people can just buy organs like this makes your stomach flip, especially when thinking about how they must go about getting them. If there really is a human heart in the cooler then that means someone is dead and you can't help but wonder how far someone would go for something as precious as that. With how greasy this already is you can't put out the idea that the 'package' was taken from someone still using it.

"What a lovely couple they are," scoffs Palmer as she watches Brandi get led into the backseat, "at least his friends there are behaving themselves. I'll get them out of here and then, what?"

"We can start negotiations then. Wish we could have dealt with Mariano today, never would have gotten this bad." Crockett pulls out a handkerchief and hands it to you before pointing over to the car. "Go wait over by the passenger side, don't talk to those men no matter what. Cammy's got an eye on them so I just need you to wait there till we're ready to go."

You feel a squeeze on your shoulder. "You'll be home soon, don't worry." Palmer assures you.
Crockett starts to back off, pointing to the now busted up car. "Shit, let me go grab the cargo from my car real quick-"

"You don't have much time."

"I know." He goes anyways to carry the heavy backs from the trunk of his car, heaving their heavy weight on his shoulders in his haste.

"Come on, you should get ready to go." You feel the gentle push of Palmer's hand against your back as she starts to lead you over to where you're supposed to be waiting. On the walk over you catch sight of the red and smeared foot steps on the ground and Camilla seems intent on not looking at you at all right now. It leaves an incredible weight on your chest.

"All I did was hide," you mumble, "was that the right thing to do?"

"During all this?" she looks back at the mess, a low whistle leaving her lips. "You shouldn't have been here in the first place, that was the big mistake."

"But I was here!" you exclaim louder than intended, catching the gaze of Grant. You quickly talk again in a whisper, "I was here and didn't try to do anything but hide..."

"I don't blame you. But you're okay- you are okay, right?" Palmer waits for your nod, "That's the only thing I want you to focus on. If, god forbid, you ever find yourself in something like this again. Do what you need to to protect yourself, don't think you need to be a hero. It's not your fault this happened and you shouldn't be expected to help fix the damage. Let people like me and Ace deal with this kind of stuff, alright?"

You swallow hard and nod, unable to look in the direction of Camilla and the men or at the ground any longer. Instead you look at the crying, hunched over shape of Brandi in the backseat of the car. She peers over when you approach. Her mascara stained eyes look confused at the sight of you, mouthing something to herself. Rizzo stands at the open trunk, pulling off slightly bloodied gloves and putting away his medical bag. You just know the cooler rest back there too and you try not to linger on the thought too long.

"Sheesh, cuffed to the seat?" asks Palmer upon looking in through the window, ignoring whatever curses and pleas Brandi must be throwing her.

"She is unarmed and can not walk very far," Rizzo explains, "but that does not mean I am going to take any chances. Even cutting the head off a snake does not mean you will not get bit."
Palmer stares at the woman inside for a while longer before standing up right again, tall and professional in her uniform and badge. "And she's going to be okay?"

"I have already stopped the bleeding and I will continue to keep an eye on it while she is with us."

You look through the window too while already holding the handkerchief to your nose. Brandi must be slowly coming to realize that the officer outside isn't here to help her, that a cop is allowing her to be taken away by force like this. Despite the circumstances leading up to this you can't help but feel bad for her. This woman has had to fear for her life today, been shot at and now has no idea where she is about to go. At this point you don't really know what is going to happen to her either and that is honestly a frightening thought. All of this might have been slightly less scary if Lawrence had been around to protect you. It doesn't matter how boring it might be when you get back, you just want to see him now and feel safe again.

"Here Camilla, let me handle this. You get ready to go." Palmer comes up to take her position with gun at hand. The offer is quietly accepted and looking distraught with herself Camilla walks right past you to go and meet Crockett with the sacks. Whatever they're carrying over is still a mystery to you, but they must be really important if he's taking the time to load them in here.

Looking back into the car you can see that, with no one to listen or help her, Brandi has started sobbing to herself. Palmer, with her gun held up for persuasion, starts to move the men to where she wants them to stand instead. Grant gives looks back to the car but gets ushered along all the same, away from where he has abandoned his girl for money. You can just imagine how scared and alone the woman must feel right now and you really can't imagine how scary it must be for her if she really is pregnant.
Crockett mentioned not talking to the men but he never mentioned Brandi, you wonder how bad it would be for you to talk to her from the passenger seat right now. Rizzo secured her in place behind the driver's seat and you really doubt she would be able to pull anything right now. Not that you're really sure what you should say to someone like this but you just feel so much pity when looking at her right now. Talking might not help her calm down any but trying feels better than just standing by while she cries.

Rizzo stands at the wide open trunk, making room for everything that must go back there. You consider offering him a hand in this if because you might then get a chance to see what else they might be carrying along right now. With all the secrets so far you can only imagine what else they might be keeping from you and you're only go to find any of this out by uncovering them yourself.

Today has been a rather taxing day though. You hardly did anything in all of this yet you feel tired, ready to go take a long long nap. How someone like Crockett can keep this up is a mystery but maybe that means he knows best. Maybe you should just stand here and wait to go home, to think about how you're going to force Lawrence to let you hang around him after everything that happened today. Besides, you remember while feeling the crinkle of paper in your pocket, it's not like today might have been totally fruitless.

It won't be long before you are going to leave, what do you do in the meantime?
>Team Peanut Butter
Too bad about that but don't worry I still love you.

As for the actual quest.
No need to feel obligated to help (or maybe hinder) the proceedings. Just sit back, relax, maybe take a nap.
If i wasn't playing Del I would bully the shit outta that Brandi girl for causing us trouble. But don't wanna ruin Del with outta character actions.
Chat Brandi up, Ace should've been more specific. Try reassuring her everything's gonna be fine.
okay but Team Peanut butter won so who is the real champions here

Page 10, will post new thread tomorrow
Win or Lose
New thread or old
ill be here

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