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/qst/ - Quests

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Show them you don't need luck

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
Thread 29 (Misarchived as Gorgon Child) http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/700562/

(if archives are missing from this list let me know)
You’re still playing as Lawrence for the time being, in the last thread you
>Saw your parents and promised that you will come back to see them one day
>Remembered those painful days when you lost Michele, your voice, and gave up on a normal life
>Took a little something something to get you through the night
>Stalked and brought back your target--a familiar face that you roughed up before
> You took your anger out on the man only a little bit
>Cammy has that man in the shed while you talk with Delilah in the kitchen
“I can’t let anything happen to you…” Delilah whimpers into her hands, “You c-can’t leave me alone.”

She’s been practicing with her gun, you know that. Even before Camilla began to teach her, you’re not afraid to say Delilah was a better shot than you. And somehow, she’s far more comfortable handling that kind of weapon, while you can barely stand to hold one. Skill might be able to help where she lacks strength or force otherwise.

That’s what you can tell her anyways, and pray that she never has to prove it.

“You are...so good.” You make the motions of a finger gun and try to smile for her. “If had...to. You could...save me. I know.”

“You think so?” she asks, a small glimmer of hope coming across her gray eyes.

You tell her, of course. If she keeps practicing then she’ll end up better than Camilla. That you trust her with your life completely. No one else can even come close.

You tell Delilah whatever it takes to make her stop crying. To make everything feel safe and sound and secure again.

“I can do it,” she nods as a smile manages to peek out, “I’ll make sure to k-keep practicing. I’ll keep you safe. No matter what happens.”

The more promises she makes the bigger her grin gets. The sleeves of her dress come to dry her cheeks as her face brightens up.

“You’ll be fine. As long as you stay with me, you’ll be okay,”

You just nod along, agreeing with her on instinct. The itchy, gray clouds that have followed you since leaving this morning are gone now. Clearer thoughts and the world around you seems less irritating. No urge for a cigarette. Now there’s regret for taking something so strong earlier, but even that feeling doesn’t stick around for long.
It doesn’t even bother you when Crockett storms into the kitchen. His face isn’t the only thing that’s red, as you can spot red flecks staining his shoes and hands.

“The car is empty.” The words come forced between his snarled teeth as he avoids looking at Delilah, “Except for the fucking mess left behind. Where is it?”

He panicked and pissed off. Not a very good combination from what you’ve heard. His balled up hands shake as he shoves them away into his coat pockets. Unable to think straight, he doesn’t think this won’t scare Delilah anyways.

You pull her to the chair, motioning for her to sit down and stay there. Then you pull Crockettby the shoulder and out of the kitchen. The moment you step past the door he shoves your hand off but remains nearly face to face with you.

“Where the fuck is he?” Crockett’s words hiss.

You point behind and mouth the word ‘shed’.

“By himself?” he asks just as concerned.

“Cammy...with him.”

Crockett gives a sigh of relief, but one look at his hands and the tension rises again.
“And what the fuck is this? Did you do this to him?” He holds up his sleeve, showing the cuff dotted in red. A flash of anger goes across his face when you nod. “You swore you could take care of this! It needed to be clean! God, did you do this all in that trailer?!”

You nod again and he looks ready to choke you.

“Goddammit Lawrence! Might as well have burnt down the whole damned trailer while you were at it!” Crockett gnashes his teeth together as he grabs at his own hair in pent up frustration. “Burning down the damn thing would have been the better option! Oh god, did the neighbors hear you? Are the police there already?!”

The place had been scoped out and a specific time picked for a reason. Fewer neighbors around and the others would have been asleep. This is all stuff he knew, he’s the one who planned it.

What he doesn’t know is you did take the time to rough him up. But you managed to contain yourself. Enough to make him walk to the car through the back way anyways. Barefoot through snow that would get covered up by morning. And he remained far too frightened to make more than a whimper the whole way back.

You relay this back to Crockett. He doesn’t look any happier, but he finally takes a step back from you. Smart of him to give you space again. You can understand why he would be all shook up, but always snapping at you hasn’t been helping. And while you had the willpower not to throw him back, you’re unsure of how much longer that could last.

“Goddammit okay, let me think…” he begins to pace the floors, thinking out loud. “I think we have until tomorrow before anyone comes to pick up the product… Well, maybe we will be fine. Just have to cover up any evidence leading to us…”

He seems to come up with something, but the man is still pissed. And that anger renews when he catches sight of you again.

“This is extra work I have to do because of you though! Why couldn’t you just follow through like we planned? Did you even bring the guy back alive?”

It was supposed to be just enough force to get the guy here. He needed to be in good shape to answer questions, and Crockett expected a man merely sporting bruises. It’s going to be a shock when he actually goes to the shed, but you held back. You showed enough restraint to keep him alive and capable of talking.
You wanted to kill the guy though. Even now you want to squeeze the life out of him. How you managed to hold back at the trailer or his store is a miracle.

Crockett doesn’t know it though. He doesn’t know how dirty this man’s hands really are. Nothing about what happened to Delilah in his store and the unfair trade he made with her. You kept it a secret in fear that he wouldn’t let you go otherwise. No doubt he would feel the same way as you do. But then he would know what you would do, and he wouldn’t have let you go.

“Why did you have to fuck this up? So help me, if you really did fuck this up for us…!”

Crockett is really struggling to hold himself back now. He likes to pretend he doesn’t, but that man gets the same volatile anger as you do.

> It’s better if he hears it from you. Let Crockett know how that man hurt Delilah before
> Tell him to save it for later, you don’t want Delilah to see you two fighting
> He can go talk to Camilla in the shed and get the details you told her
> ….
>> He can go talk to Camilla in the shed and get the details you told her

The story is too long for law to explain before Crockett loses his temper completely and law's voice gives out. Bring him to the shed though, don't just send him off.


Welcome back Sue. It's been a while
> He can go talk to Camilla in the shed and get the details you told her
Neither time nor place for this. Haven't the temper or patience for it, and Ace seems to at least have a healthy respect for Cammy.
>He can go talk to Camilla in the shed and get the details you told her
While Crockett continues to bitch, you take several deep breaths and start counting.

He’s stressed out and scared.

You’re stressed out and scared.

And while you’re obviously on his shit list, you can keep everything civil. You’re not someone who can storm away in a fit. No longer can you just act on those red hot flashes of anger that come. Now you have to think about the consequences that come out of those rash actions.

If only you could always think this clearly. How much trouble would it have saved you before? But not just the violent urges. You’ve been acting less on impulses lately. When you can think about it anyways. These times when you can think clearer, then you can think of the long term. You can consider the outcome of your actions, the trouble you could get it for not refraining--

“Pay attention!”

Crockett snaps his fingers inches from your face. You look down to meet his glare and the man is already studying you.

“Jesus.” His voice is louder than he thinks it is, or perhaps he’s forgotten who is in the other room. “No wonder you aren’t listening to a damn thing I’ve said. I can see your pupils--” his fingers motion at how big they are and he manages to take a step away from you. “--can you at least tell me what the fuck happened. You obviously won whatever fight happened.”


You get to see the white of his teeth as a sigh gets forced through them. “Of course. Hopefully she hasn’t had trouble out there by herself while you sit in here high as a kite...”

He stops himself short. There’s things more important to do right now.

“I’m going to go check out Camilla, and everything in there better be okay. That guy better be alive,” he threatens, “If he is then you’ll survive the night while I go clean up your mess. But in the morning you’re getting your ass out there to get our answers.”

All you do is nod. He scoffs and starts walking past you to get outside. Passing by, he grabs your shoulder and stops.

“And don’t you think about doing whatever that shit is around Delilah,” he scowls up at you, “and if I hear anything about you giving her any...”
As you look down at Crockett, you stop thin red lines leading out from the back of his neck. Four thin, ladylike scratches. You’ve heard about his past with Delilah’s mother and how he often visits her at the hospital. And you’ve certainly seen how defensive he gets about it, how he insists that he’s doing this for a close friend and not a lost love.

“Don’t let--” you make the scratching motion at your own neck, “--her see.”

Instantly, Crockett reaches up to cover the marks. “It’s not from-... Don’t you dare tell her a thing--”

The kitchen door creaks open and he freezes in place. Delilah stands in the crack, looking at the floor and holding tightly to the door.

“Is everything okay…?” her voice squeaks out from where she’s half hidden, “I um, p-please don’t fight…”

And just like that, it’s as if Crockett was never getting ready to lunge for you. His voice becomes soft and warm again as he approaches her.

“We’re not fighting,” he says while carefully hiding his stained sleeve, “Just going over plans for tomorrow. Been a long day for us, tends to make people a bit crabby.”

Her eyes dart up, looking past Crockett and towards you. You nod at Delilah, letting her know that everything is okay. She takes that as an invitation to step into the room with you two, though it might be out of fear of what might happen should she leave.

“It’s awfully late right now,” Crockett pretends to look at his watch, “Wouldn’t it be better for you to try to sleep?”

“Oh uh, I guess so…” she nods slowly, “What are you going to do…?”

“Ah ha well, I’m afraid I need to go outside and take care of some ah, unsavory business.” Crockett looks towards you, a smile on his face and malice in his eyes, “Law here is staying the night though. I’ll be borrowing him in the morning.”

Delilah nods and he turns to her again, the glare in his eyes gone now.

“Is there anything you need before I go?” Crockett asks.

She shakes her head and it leaves him no other reason to stay. Crockett gives her a goodnight before leaving to go see how bad the damages are.

You encourage his idea for going to bed and Delilah agrees. She leads the way, talking a bit more excitedly now that Crockett has left.

“You’ll never guess what I found today,” she tells you with a bit of a smile, “I was bored and poking around the place and found this… it’s super old like everything else here.”

Inside your bedroom, Delilah goes to the dresser she must have been using as a hiding spot. From inside she pulls out;

>A note written to her grandfather by one of his friends As Delilah, you found this note in the room under the floors

>A concerned letter written by her grandmother to a friend

>A journal written by her father when he was a child
||Welcome Back Sue, sorry I didn't catch the thread earlier. For some reason or another These threads are so hard to find when they first appear!||
>A concerned letter written by her grandmother to a friend
Oh fuck...
>A concerned letter written by her grandmother to a friend
Delilah brings out an envelope, the once white paper dotted with old water stains. As she comes to sit on the bed you can see that the front has already been filled with an address and name.

“Look, my granny wrote it,” she points to name written in the top left corner, “I don’t know who she was writing to though. I think it’s a friend of hers though, that’s what it sounded like.”

She turns over the envelope, showing where she pried away the glued down fold. Carefully, she slips out the folded page from inside.

“I found this stuffed away in one of the books,” she explains, “Right in between the pages of a sewing guide. I guess she wrote this while they were hiding here. The return address on the front isn’t their house and I don’t think this place is on any street.”

The newly unfolded letter shows off rows and rows of tight, neat cursive writing.

She shows off the page to you, “I don’t know if she didn’t want to send this out or just didn’t get the chance to.”

You nod, unsure if there’s anything specific you’re supposed to be looking for. It is a letter from her grandma though, so you can’t blame her for being excited. The least you can do is share her enthusiasm, even if nothing in the letter means anything to you.

As Delilah sits on the edge of the bed you take the chance to stretch out. It actually feels like you can relax a bit and melt into the sheets. Every so often Delilah looks back, making sure you’re still awake as she talks.

“It’s actually kind of sad,” she gives a little smile, “It starts with ‘Dear Elise’ and Grandma asking if her family is doing okay.” As Delilah rereads over the page her smile begins to soften more, “...then she starts to talk about how they’ve been stuck here for a few weeks. She talks about how much she hated being stuck here. And how cold and dark it was and how awful it made her feel.”

A silence follows and you prop up on one elbow to watch as she stares at the writing.

“She um, she wrote this bit here about how she hated Grandpa for making her and Dad hide like this…” her finger follows along with the section she’s reading now, “I don’t think she meant that she actually hated him. Like I’m sure she still loved him and was just upset when she wrote this.”

Delilah fumbles with her words for a while longer, her face becoming a bright red before she makes herself move on from the troubling section.

“... I think she really hated getting locked up in here. It doesn’t really sound like she was ready for the type of life Grandpa gave her.”
She glances over at you and quickly back to the letter. A troubled shadow drifts over her face.

“And it sounds like Grandpa kinda did a bad thing to get them stuck here for so long. Granny wrote about being scared of this place getting raided and how she couldn’t sleep because of it.” Nearing the bottom of the page now, Delilah reads the writing out loud.

The last few days I have spent begging and begging Daniele, that’s my grandpa,” she explains before continuing, “I told him that if he couldn’t get us out, then I would take Don and leave. I have even gone so far as to have fake identities ready if needed. Daniele finally agreed to take up the offer from the police, but I worry that he won’t be able to go through it. I know he doesn’t want to throw his friends under the bus. But Daniele has a family to take care of now, and he has put us in this position. I didn’t want it to come to this, but he has to choose between us and them.

With a dampened demeanor, Delilah folds up the letter again and slips it into the envelope. Holding it close to her chest she falls back against the empty space at the foot of the bed.

“It’s kind of nice to know that this place bothered her too,” she sighs, “I didn't want to be the only one who felt crazy in here.”

You shake your head. Being here by yourself would drive you nuts too. No windows or anything of the sort to show signs of life outside. The cold and dark walls that all look the same and the lack of sound-- keeping Delilah here so much feels like a punishment.

“Won’t be...here long.”

“I hope not,” she stares at the ceiling, “I’ve not really kept track of how long I’ve been here. Even if I went outside it’s a whole lot of nothing.” Delilah holds up the envelope towards the light, “I’m pretty sure my grandpa took whatever deal she was talking about. I don’t think they would have stayed together otherwise…”
She covers her eyes, a frown on her face now. “Maybe if she was still here I could ask her what he ended up doing. She didn’t write about what the deal with the police was. I’ll have to wait until I see her again. If I get to see her again.”

You give her the time to be sad about that. As she struggles for her composure you rescue the letter from her, setting it aside for safety. When ready she sits back up, her eyes tinted red as she rubs them clear.

“So um, you’re going to be busy in the morning…” Delilah sniffs. She must be ready to talk about anything but her grandma right now. You wish she would bring up anything else. “You and Mr. Crockett have to do something in the morning, right?”

You nod and Delilah hugs her knees to her chest.

“He sounded pretty mad earlier,” she mumbles, “Is everything going okay? It feels like he’s been getting mad a lot easier lately...:”

> Be honest and tell her you’re part of the problem. Being extra irritable around everyone

> Tell her that it’s only because Crockett has been extra stressed lately. He seems to really care about Delilah and her mom, to the point of running himself ragged

> Take this time to figure out a plan for Delilah in the morning, you absolutely do not want to risk her coming out to the shed for any reason

Ctrl+S is there your friend there
But also I don't make these threads easy to find, I never announce them ahead of time or really when they do happen. it's really poor form and I should fix that really
> Tell her that it’s only because Crockett has been extra stressed lately. He seems to really care about Delilah and her mom, to the point of running himself ragged
> Be honest and tell her you’re part of the problem. Being extra irritable around everyone
>Be honest and tell her you’re part of the problem. Being extra irritable around everyone

I know how to spoil my text. I had just gotten finished doing some stuff on Discord and my brain wasn't ready for the switch.
Didn't you used to have a twitter or discord? You could always go back to using those.
>> Be honest and tell her you’re part of the problem. Being extra irritable around everyone

>Crockett had the same anger issues as law and the stress is fucking him up

Everyone is a prisoner here. Does law even know what the fuck Crockett is doing, what the goal is? Or even how close they are to a breakthrough?
“Working...hard.” You try to smile, “For you. And...your mom.”

A sour pucker pulls on her face. “Yeah. I think he’s only taking care of me because he was friends with my mom.”

You have to keep quiet on what Crockett confessed to you before. How much he hoped that he was the father of Delilah and how hard it hurt to find out he wasn’t. It’s not the sort of heavy information she needs right now.

“Working...hard.” The textures in the blanket start to slow as you come down from earlier. By morning you should be sober enough to deal with the shed. “Makes him...frazzled.”

“I hope that changes,” she says with a slow sigh, “He feels like a different person when I first met him. Not that he isn’t nice to me. But it feels like he’s hiding how he really feels around me and then takes it out on everyone else later.”

You point at your chest, a tired smirk peeking up on your face.

“My fault… too.”

“You’ve been doing your best!” Delilah is quick to come to your defense. It warms your heart, even though you don’t deserve it.

Your head shakes ‘no’ as she moves right beside you. “I’ve been...awful. Too mean.”

Her mouth opens quickly, probably to defend you again, but this time she hesitates.

“Do you mean during those times I’m not around?” she asks and you nod. It’s not behavior that you’re new to, but saying it aloud brings the more than deserved shame.

“Problem...child.” You give dry chuckle while Delilah remains silent. And as you fall back down onto the bed a rush follows through your head. Moving so quickly you close your eyes to try and make the room stop spinning.

“Need to...be nice.”

“But you are nice…”

“Nicer,” you can't help but answer with a stupid smile, “Be nicer. Act less… pissed off. And less...scary.”

“You aren’t scary,” she almost scolds you in response. It’s just to be nice though, you know it is.

Closing your eyes, you can remember the first time you saw Delilah. Back when you got into the filthy apartment that took too long to track down. You can clearly remember opening the door and finding that poor girl there alone and clutching that shitty knife.

But the first thing you saw of her was that look of pure fear in her eyes. The same kind of fear that made her run from you afterwards.

Maybe you can’t stop giving such an intimidating first impression, but you can at least stop acting like such an irritable asshole. It’ll help once you no longer have to play errand boy. And having to return to the compound of all places…

You hate this place too.
Being here reminds you of prison. You even get reminded of the wardens, except you chose this. From the moment you opened that apartment door, you were slowly handing over more and more of your freedom. Can’t go where you want. Have to listen to someone’s orders. And while you have been more than willing to snap at them, you still have the fear of being watched. Making sure you’re doing what you’re supposed to do, what they’ve told you to do, and the constant threat to keep on your best behavior. And you have to stay on constant alert, no matter how tired you are. So much to do at once yet you chose to let it become this—

“Please calm down…”

You hear Delilah’s voice from above as her hand moves sweat slick hair from your forehead.

“You’re okay,” she whispers, “it looked like you were just having a bad dream.”

You closed your eyes for only a moment yet so much more time seems to have passed. The lights have already been shut off by Delilah and your limbs feel limp against the bed. It takes time to realize how much your heart is racing in a quickened panic or the cold sweat you’ve broken into.

“Everything is okay,” Delilah yawns, “you can go back to sleep.”

You nod, unsure if you could really call that sleep. And for the next few hours you lay in place, eyes closed again as you listen to the slow rhythm of her breathing. As relaxed as you can be, you don’t manage to sleep. The best that happens are those long minutes where you manage not to think or anything at all. And at the worst you’re lying there, worrying about the morning and everything after that.

You’ll have to go deal with the mess in the shed soon. And while you handle the business outside, Delilah must stay in. Her knowing that you’re interrogating someone is bad enough. But if she were to know who you brought here…

Even if this place is a prison, you want her to feel safe.

>If you go out and come back before Delilah wakes up, she won’t even know what happened

>She mentioned talking to the other woman here, Brandi, a few times. You could ask her to keep an eye on Delilah in the morning

>Figure out something for Delilah to do to help keep her occupied until you're done

So so so sorry about the wait, it’s been a rough couple of days anon. I’m going to try to keep up at least the bare minimum of one update per day again. Sorry about it
||It's cool Sue. Rough days like that happen.||
>Figure out something for Delilah to do to help keep her occupied until you're done.
>>Figure out something for Delilah to do to help keep her occupied until you're done

Ask her to bake a chocolate cake or something, and a fruit salad, and we'll eat it together with everyone later. She'll be in charge of the surprise dessert at dinner
You waited for Delilah to start stirring in her sleep. She would often have moments of tossing and turning before reaching out. And like many times before, her hands would find and hold to your arm. It would often be accompanied by her mumbling in her sleep, either about being cold or being glad you were still there.

This time, you took the moment to coax her half-awake, enough to get a sleepy response.

“Listen?” you ask and receive a slow nod, “Have...favor.”

“Hmm…? What is it?”


“Oh,” she yawns, “Is that it? I don’t mind doing that, you don’t have to call it a favor.”

“Cake,” you clarify, “Chocolate...cake.”

Delilah lifts her head up now, “I can do that! Er, I think I can…”

“Will need,” you smile at her, “For...dinner.”

“You want it for tonight? That’s fine, I can try.” She settles back down as she starts thinking about it, “I don’t think there’s any cake mix here… Maybe I can find enough flour and sugar.”

Listening to her fret about the ingredients for a cake is a nice change. And more importantly, it should keep her preoccupied until you’re back. You doubt it will take all day to make that man spit out the names you need.

“Just don’t get too excited for it,” Delilah warns, “If it doesn’t come in a box with instructions then I don’t really know what I’m doing…”

You grin, “It’ll...be fine.”

“I’ll do my best,” she answers quietly. Maybe she’s figured out that this is busy work, but keeping her inside is all that matters.

You have no idea how much time passes between Delilah falling asleep again and you getting out of bed. All you had done was lay there. Never really asleep and just waiting in anticipation.

The knock that you were waiting for finally comes. You get out of bed carefully, leaving her asleep in a nest of still warm blankets. By the time you get to the door, Crockett is already trying to come inside.

“Oh good,” he greets stiffly, “You’re dressed. Hope you’re ready to not have a heater for the next couple of hours.”

You don’t bother to respond. The bags under Crockett’s eyes are darker and deeper than usual. The lines of his face stick out more with his sickly pale skin and you swear he stumbles more than once while walking.

“Kept spinning on the damn ice on the roads,” he explains while leading the way, “Lucky me, I only had to push the car out of the shoulder once.”

It sounds like he’s too tired to be angry at you. Or tired enough to keep it out of his voice at least. Not that you can’t still feel bad for the guy, especially now that you aren’t getting chastised.

“And lucky for you, I covered up those bloody tracks of yours better.”
You can see that the skin on his face is still red from the biting cold. He hasn’t removed his gloves either, despite how wet they are. With how exhausted he must be, you don’t doubt that he’s just working on autopilot now.

Crockett walks you outside where it’s still dark. No sign of the sun coming up yet, though you know it must be close.

“I talked to Camilla before leaving.”

The snow crunches as you two make your way over to the shed. Prior intentions in the snow shows that Camilla had brought the man out here.

“I couldn’t believe it, when she told me what you said about the guy…” his lip raises in a disgusted sneer, “It was a good thing she was there. I might have put a bullet in him right there.”

Maybe that’s why he isn’t so mad at you anymore. Finding out what that man did to Delilah must have forgiven any mistakes you made while getting him here.

Crockett stops a few feet from the shed.

“She probably won’t like it, but it’d be best for one of us to get rested up properly,” he turns back to look at you, “I told her it might be good to have a third person help with our interrogation. But she’s already spent hours making sure this guy wasn’t going to die on us yet. I’m sure just the two of us could get the answers we need.”

> Agree to have Camilla go inside to rest

> You would rather keep her around in case you get too rough

> ...
>You would rather keep her around in case you get too rough.
Better safe than sorry.
Poor Camille finna work overtime.
But I'm sure she wouldn't mind.
“Better if...she stays.”

Crockett looks back at you surprised and you explain.

“Nurse,” you answer with lungs burning from the cold air, “Make sure… he’s alive.”

He stares at you, and then a smirk cracks across his face. A chuckle and then a laugh follows. Not another word from him as you’re led to the shed.

Crockett knocks on the door and waits briefly before walking in. You follow, passing by the same stacks of outdoor supplies kept here. A few days ago you had gone through, moving enough of it out of the way to make room at the back. Just enough open space to set up a chair and work light.

The only difference now is the man tied to the chair, and the pissed off woman sitting on a box opposite of him.

While his face has been cleaned of the blood and dirt, it seems like there are new cuts and bruises.

“Took you long enough…” Camilla grumbles, her eyes never once leaving the man in the chair. His head slumps forward as the rest of his body remains immobile, and you can imagine he’s passed out from sheer exhaustion at this point.

Crockett takes a closer look at his face, turning back to Camilla with a smirk. “Looks like the devil nurse couldn’t hold her temper.”

“I was cleaning him up and he thought he could sweet talk me,” she glares up at Crockett, “and when I ignored that he started spitting out some rather… uncouth statements. I swear, it is like he wanted me to kill him.”

“I’m glad you could hold back that temper for now,” Crockett nods and backs up from the bound man, “but keeping him alive certainly doesn’t mean we have to keep him happy.”

“And what about after we’re done?” Camilla stands, also woozy on her feet.

“I hate to have to ask Rizzo for that sort of favor,” he sighs, “but I’m sure the doctor has the kind of connections we need to keep this guy under our lock and key. Away from here but ready to serve his purpose when it’s time.”

The hint of a disgusted sneer comes across Camilla’s face. From how she’s talked about her past before, you can tell that these sorts of events aren’t new to her. And you remember distinctly how she’s mentioned hating it. Despite that, she shows no hesitation in following through.

“Can you make sure we aren’t roughing him up too much?” Crockett asks while finally removing his soaked gloves and letting them fall to the floor.

“What is too much?”

“Need to keep him breathing and talking,” he answers, “And I’d rather have keep him able to walk. Getting carried around is too much of a luxury for him.”
Camilla nods and pats the first-aid kit by her feet. “I gave him a sedative earlier so I wouldn’t have to listen to his sniveling. Not much, just enough to give some peace and quiet. Go ahead and wake him up if you’re ready.”

“Would you like the honor?” Crockett looks back at you, “I’m sure your face is exactly what he wants to see when he wakes up.”

You step up to the sleeping man, Alex if you remember correctly. His hands are bound behind his back and the torso of his body to the chair. There’s no way he’s getting out of here.

> A firm slap or five should wake him up

> A bucket of cold water in this freezing weather should do the trick

> You should do this slow and calm, even if being ‘nice’ kills you inside

> ….
A few good slaps while we choke his throat with the other hand. Get all up in his face too
>A bucket of cold water in this freezing weather should do the trick
>> You should do this slow and calm, even if being ‘nice’ kills you inside
>A bucket of cold water in this freezing weather should do the trick
> You should do this slow and calm, even if being ‘nice’ kills you inside
He's already experienced our... almost-worst. He knows the consequences of denying an olive branch.
It’s not long before you are carrying over a bucket of cold, mostly clean water. The moment it splashes on his face Alex’s body jolts up and seizes in place.

“Wh-what’s g-g-going…” His teeth chatter too much to let the words out. Immediately he starts to struggle against the restraints, thrashing around violently. It manages to get on your nerves and you grab his face. Your fingers sink into his cheeks as you force him to look forward.

The man had been trembling from the cold before. But now, as his eyes come to focus on you, a new tremble goes down his spine.

“Oh, [i]f-fuck[/i],” he whimpers, “Not again, p-please…”

Camilla snarls from her corner, “I told you. This would get worse.”

You make Alex fear having his jaw broken for only a moment before shoving away from him. It’s killing you inside to show him this much humanity, but it’s a necessary evil.
“You look pretty chilly,” Crockett comes to crouch in front of him. He holds a manilla envelope in hand, opening it as he talks. “How about you help us and we can see about getting a change of clothes, maybe put you in a room with a heater.”

Terrified, Alex’s eyes dart to the envelope and back up to Crockett.

“W-what are y-y-you going to do to me?”

“That depends on how good you are at answering questions.” A short stack of papers and photos emerge from the envelope and Crockett begins thinning through them. “Be quick, be to the point, and we can get done here.”

“And then y-you’re going to kill m-me!” Alex cries out.

Crockett just looks up at him, the smirk growing under his unkempt mustache. All he does is chuckle as he organizes the papers in his hands. You look over at Camilla, who refuses to take her glare off of the hypervenelating man.

“No, there isn’t a need for that. Not yet” How Crockett manages to keep so calm right now baffles you. You’re almost too distracted by the fact you’re trying to keep your hands at your side. And Camilla, she looks ready to snap his neck at any moment.

Alex flinches when Crockett raises his hand at him. The terrified man slowly opens his eyes and looks at the paper being held up to him.
Crockett taps at the image of the man printed on the page. You can see the blurry mugshot of a ratty looking man. “All you have to do is tell me what I need to know about these guys,” he explains, “Do that and you might actually get to sleep in a bed tonight. Pretty easy, huh?”

Alex stares at the image, the troubled look on his face giving away to a facade of confidence.

“If I’m s-so important then, shouldn’t y-you let me get comfortable?” The grin that grows across his pale face makes you see red.

The amiable demeanor Crockett kept finally falls. His hand twitches as he resists the urge to crumple the page in frustration.

“Well, if you don’t like it...” he says in a jerring tone, “We can try burying you under the snow for a few hours and see how you feel then.”

Alex’s brave face falls quickly and Crockett points at the mugshot again.

“Now, if you’re done fucking around. You’ve seen this guy before, haven’t you?”

He nods hesitantly, “Y-...yeah.”

“And he stops by that trailer of yours, doesn’t he?” Crockett waits for him to nod again. You know that he already has a lot of the information he needs already. You brought this man here to confirm what he already knows and to fill in the gaps he doesn’t.

“He does--”

“How often?”

“He uh...u-usally once a week,” Alex answers.

“Right,” nods Crockett, “He goes straight from the porno store to your trailer. And is he picking up or dropping shit off with you?”
“B-...he just drops off e-extra videos he can’t sell--”

“Lying isn’t going to get you anywhere but a cold grave.” Crockett says firmly, “Don’t try to sneak any bullshit past me. What’s he really dropping off at your place?”

Alex looks around the room in hopes of a miracle. All he receives are stares of animosity from people who want to see him dead. Shaking even harder than before, he squeaks out the answer.

“B-blank v-v-video tapes,” he stares at the ground, “There’s n-nothing wrong with that.”

“But what do you copy to the tapes?” Crockett barely keeps his tone even, “He’s not coming back for blank tapes and I don’t think you’re recording a hundred copies of Sunday football every week.”

It’s hard to wait for him to give the answers. It’s obvious that Alex would rather find a way to escape rather than answer. Even if he were to free himself of the ropes, there’s three of you to get past.

“Th-...the kind of shit he s-sells behind the counter…” he shivers harder now, “The h-homemade shit and the… the kind of shit n-normal customers wouldn’t want to see.”

“Greasy bastards,” Camilla spits, “Being so sleazy even the porno customers would look down on you.”

Crockett shuffles through and pulls out a photo, this time of a judge. “And I don’t suppose you’d recognize this face too?”

When Alex nods again Crockett asks, “He’s a frequent customer, isn’t he? Doesn’t need to visit a smut store when he can get it directly from the source.”

“If they f-find out I’m a narc they’ll kill me!”

“Not while we still need you alive,” Crockett responds calmly. “Stay focused and tell me more about Judge Steele here. I’m sure you know exactly which tapes he likes the best or if he ever brings buddies along…”

Knowing the kind of videos this man has been peddling makes your blood boil. It makes you forget about coming out without a coat. A few times you have to turn around, kicking at a metal toolbox to vent your frustration.

Crockett continues to ask questions about various people he brought pictures of. Some of them little fish, make deliveries of content they’re unaware of. And some, like the judge, know exactly what they’re doing.
You listen as Alex continues to answer. From mere delivery boys of the tapes to customers and even the bastards behind and on camera. He ends up connecting the dots between people that would shock most. What should be respectable folks dipping their hand in more than just shady business. Hearing about how some of these people are able to pay to have their specific and sick desires filled just for them…

It makes you nauseous listening to it.

“Looks like we’re almost done for now,” Crockett gives an exhausted sigh, “now we just have the big one left. I want you to tell me everything and anything you know about this man.”

You have to look away as he pulls out the last photo. The worst of the worst, the reason you’re all here in the first place. The man with the intent to hunt down Delilah to the ends of the earth.

The toolbox goes flying back as you give it another swift kick.

As you stare at the tools that go rolling out, you can’t help but notice the silence. When you look back, Alex’s face has gone green and his mouth agape.

“I can’t—… I d-dont know that man—“

“You do,” Crockett interrupts, “I know he’s the one who gave you this fucked job in the first place.”

Alex shakes his head, “If I say a-anything he’ll find me and s-string me up…!”

“And you think we would be any kinder?” Camilla snaps at him, her fists balled up tight.

“I can’t. K-kill me now if you have to.” His voice shakes with renewed fear, “Better to be b-buried out here than to let h-him get me…”

The photo in Crockett’s hand begins to crumple. “Why are you so scared of this fucker?” he demands, “I thought we got over this tough guy act with you.”

“He’s batshit c-crazy…” Alex shakes his head wildly, “They took me to his hideout and… He’s loony. Completely off his fucking r-rocker. But he still knows how to u-use that fucking scapel.”
He’s starting to hyperventilate again, struggling against the ropes across his chest.

“I always heard he was a weirdo but he’s fucked in the head!” Alex is nearly shouting now, “That whole place smells like d-death but he doesn’t notice. And he’s so obsessed with her he doesn’t even notice those goddamned m-maggots on the floor.”

For now, Crockett seems intent to let him speak freely. It’ll take some work to get the information out of him, but for now he’s taking in what Alex is willing to give.

“I don’t understand why he’s so fucking obsessed with her!” he continues with more vitriol than before, “He was so jealous that we had her for an afternoon. She might have been cute but that little bitch wasn’t worth it, not by a long shot!”

You look over in time to see that Camilla has cracked. Upon hearing how he’s talking about Delilah now, she rushes at him.

> Before Camilla does anything rash you stop her

> You knock out a tooth or two of his, he can still talk without them

> Let Camilla do as she wants and teach him a lesson
> You knock out a tooth or two of his, he can still talk without them
(Some) blood for the blood gods.
> You knock out a tooth or two of his, he can still talk without them
> You knock out a tooth or two of his, he can still talk without them
Better yet, backhand him to the floor and grab a pair of pliers. Make an excruciating spectacle of it.
Camilla doesn’t get the chance to lay a hand on him. You’ve already swung at Alex and the crack that echoes through the shed makes her stop in place. The thought about holding back doesn’t even cross your mind. And as far as you’re concerned, it’s no longer a possibility.

You yank your fist free from his mouth. The teeth embedded into your knuckles rips the skin but you don’t notice at all. He draws in several quick, pained gasps for air as he tries to breathe around the blood draining down his throat.

The audacity he had to say that. Despite being in the very belly of the beast, this prick somehow didn’t learn anything. Running his fucking mouth. Acting like it’s somehow [i]her[/i] fault this is happening to him. Red static fills your head as you grab him by the collar and swing again.

It might be a mangled mess now, but all you can see is that smirk.

He ends up on the floor. Maybe you threw him down. Maybe you just hit him hard enough to knock the chair over. It doesn’t stop you. The moment his head strikes the floor your boot makes contact with him. A gurgling shriek tries to come out. You just kick him again. And again and again and again.

His noises are just a droning buzz in your ears. You paint the floor red. Your clothes catch more and more of the blood flecks that go flying. Out of breath. Heart beating so fast it doesn’t feel like it’s moving at all. Can’t think. Just have to do what your body tells you.

Your boot graces his face several times. It feels like forever and not long enough by the time Camilla tries to pull you back. She has to dodge your attempts to push her away. You start stomping on the filth beneath your shoe instead.

“Lawrence!” she calls out to you. Camilla comes up from behind and hookes her arms under yours in order to drag you away. In the meantime you don’t stop. You continue to kick and pummel [i]it[/i] for as long as you can reach.

“You will kill him at this rate!” Camilla shouts in your ear. Somehow, fucking somehow, you have just enough sense to listen to her. Otherwise you could have pulled from her grasp easily.

Your chest hurts now. Static still swims around your head. Every inch of your body feels like burning fire. The waste of breath on the floor remains quite aside from choking on his breath.

As you try to suppress the violent instinct, Crockett stares at the new mess you have made. He drops the screwdriver he gripped ready in his hand. There’s no look of shock or anger on his face as he pulls the chair and man upright again.

“You asked for this.” Crockett says to his wrecked face, “Cammy, you want to take a look and tell me if this guy can continue right now?”
Camilla gives a wayward glance at you, tightening her hold on you just to be safe.

Gritting your teeth until the taste of iron comes, you nod for her to do what she needs to do.

You stand away as she checks out the damage you did to Alex. A cloud of dust erupts from the crate you’ve chosen to take out the rest of your anger on. The wood starts to crack under your foot before she announces his condition.

“It looks like he might have a concussion,” Camilla steps back with a disgusted scowl on her lips, “I’m going to have to stop his bleeding too. His nose is broken, big lacerations over his eyes…”

Camilla goes over to her first-aid kit, digging through it for gauze and disinfectant.

“One of you are going to have to deal with his mouth though,” she announces more tired than anything, “I can’t work on him with it looking like that.”

“What do you mean?” Crockett asks, grabbing and roughly pulling open his jaw. Immediately, he winces at the sight. “Get over here,” he motions at you to come over, “You started this job, you get to finish it.”

You come over without really listening to what he said. As ready as you are to rough him up more, you aren’t as prepared for what’s waiting.

“If we leave that in there he’s just going to whine about it the whole time.” Crockett holds open the man’s mouth, displaying stained teeth. More specifically, the new gap you made on the top row. And then you spot the tooth next to the spot. The problem isn’t the missing one, but rather the one only halfway hanging in there.

“Go ahead and pull that out,” Crockett steps away from him, “then Cammy can clean him up and we can figure out where to go from here.”

Seeing it makes your stomach lurch. It’s funny how squeamish you are until you’re actually in the middle of knocking out someone’s tooth.

“One good tug should do it. Let me look to see if there’s a pair of pliers to make this easier…”

It’s nerve wracking how calm he and Camilla are right now. People who experience your outbrises don’t usually stick around afterwards. But these two, it’s like they’ve gone through this sort of thing before.

You swallow back any hesitation you have. Alex is still conscious, just barely, though he must have trouble seeing through swollen eyes. His dilated pupils fall on you as you grab his jaw.

There’s no strength left in him to struggle against your trip. He does flinch as you take hold of the front tooth holding on by half its roots.

He does have the energy to scream when you rip it from his mouth.

The tooth joins the other on the floor. With it out of the way, Camilla finally went to work patching up what you did. Meanwhile you pace the cramped floor with the pent up energy left over. Crockett stands by the work light, busy updating his notes while he waits.

“Oh, looks like he’s passed out,” Camilla steps back as dirtied gauze and wrappings fall to the floor. She took the time to stop the bleeding and not much else for him.

Crockett doesn’t even look up from his notes, “Can we wake him up?”

“We should actually let him rest for a bit,” she sighs, “at least, we should if you want to get all your answers.”

“I can be patient,” Crockett nods, “but how long are we looking at waiting for?”

Camilla leans against a wall to catch her breath, “Just a few hours. And we should probably keep him warm in the meantime. It is a courtesy he doesn’t deserve, but necessary to keep him useful.”

“Which means someone is going to have to play babysitter for this asshole again…” Crockett bites at the end of his pen. You’re all exhausted, but you know Camilla shouldn’t do another guard shift. Neither you or Crockett would let her if she offered to.

Which really means the responsibility lies between you two…

> Let Crockett keep an eye on him

> You’re more than awake and alert enough to keep watch now

> He won’t be able to run away in his condition. It’ll be fine to keep him locked up alone

> ...
> You’re more than awake and alert enough to keep watch now
> You’re more than awake and alert enough to keep watch now
> You’re more than awake and alert enough to keep watch now
Knowing our luck, we'd bump into Del if we went back inside. Reeking of the same fucking blood as last night.
>> You’re more than awake and alert enough to keep watch now

Crockett needs to calm down. He should get out and spend some time with Del. Remind both that she can smell blood
You point at yourself right away.

Crockett raises an eyebrow, “Are you going to kill him the second we step out?”

“Don’t try antagonize him,” Camilla sighs, looking back over her shoulder. “If he wants to do it, let him.”

“I just want to know what to expect when I come back, that’s all.” Crockett walks over to the lamp on the floor, giving it a quick feel from his hand. “This isn’t going to keep the place warm,” he says, “He’s going to be freezing in those clothes, won’t he?”

Camilla answers in a blunt tone, “I refuse to change them.”

“I’m not going to make you,” he shakes his head, “but cold and wet doesn’t sound good. We can spare a heater out here for now.”

“Whatever you say.” It wouldn’t be surprising if Camilla was okay with letting him die right there. It must be excruciating to have to have to bandage him up right now, when moments ago she was prepared to snap his neck.

You force the words as loud as you can, “Clean up.”

“We can do that after we’re all done here,” Crockett answers.

Rougher than you should, you step to him and grab his wrist.

“This,” you enunciate as you bring up his dirty hand, “She can...smell it.”

“What-...[i]oh[/i].” He doesn’t do a good job hiding the sickened expression that flashes across his face. It’s something Crockett hasn’t really had to deal with while taking care of Delilah. Not that you can blame him for the reaction, it’s how you felt originally.

Camilla finally gets to step away from her half-patched up patient, wiping her hands over her pants. “We won’t let her see a drop,” she says while eyeing you, “but you might be better off with a change of clothes.”

“This will give me time to secure him a place to stay tonight…” Crockett walks over to you, a glum look pulling across his face. “Just wait here with him until he starts coming to. Or if he takes a turn for the worse, either way I want to be here.”

You just nod along while your eyes stay glued to the chair. A groan of pain comes out of his swollen, red mouth. It might take a while, but you’re ready for the wait.

Camilla lists off a handful of signs to look out for. She looks ready to drop at any moment. Her voice sways between bored and exhausted, yet you can still see a murderous glint in her eyes. If she was the one to stay here, there’s no doubt that you would return to a dead man.
She and Crockett leave together, assuring you that Delilah will be fine inside. As you await a heater and fresh set of clothes, you sit where Camilla was before.

Already, you can tell this wait is going to be agonizing. Alex is completely unrecognizable now, yet looking at him makes your blood rush. Your hands are itching to go at it again.

Crockett returns to the shed just as you pocket a knife from the spilt toolbox. A space heater in 0ne arm and a bag of your clothes in the other, he prepares to leave you alone again.

“Cammy is trying to sleep this off now,” he explains as the heater begins to glow orange, “Luckily uh, [i]she[/i] seems to be busy working on something in the kitchen.”

Even if he’s passed out, even saying Delilah’s name in this man’s presence feels wrong.

You set the spare clothes aside. Better safe than sorry, you’ll change once you’re completely done in here.

“Keep her...busy.”

“Eh?” Crockett looks up from where his hands are warming at the heater, “I doubt she would come walking outside for no reason…” He thinks about it a bit and a smile tugs in his face, “But I guess I can make sure she stays out of trouble. If I don’t come check on you in a few hours then Cammy should.”

Soon you’re left alone with Alex again. A heater faces him and an old blanket is wrapped around his bound body.

You stare at his occasionally twitching body and pull the knife from your pocket.

… A pile of wood shavings has started to gather at your feet. Keeping track of the time is hard. To keep your hands and mind busy you’ve gone around looking for scrap bits of wood. Most of them you pull from half rotted crates, and you sit there whittling away mindless.

There have been a few times you’ve come close to nicking your own hand. And as you work another piece of damp wood into nothing more than a splinter, you find a new piece and start the again. All while you listen to the wheezes, grunts and sighs of pain.

You don’t even look up this time. The mumbling comes occasionally but always ends with his head slumping forward again.

“Who… who’s there..?”

The knife continues to glide over the rough wood as you glance up this time. Alex can’t really hold up his head but is trying his best to look around.

The blade moves faster as his groaning becomes louder. He stop soon and then there will be peace and quiet again.


You finally pause the slicing to look up at him. Alex is trying again and again to keep his head up now, and his attempts at speaking are only getting louder.

“Please…” he begs on the verge of tears, “I’m so t-tired. I… can I get something to drink? Whatever it t-takes. I’m so thirsty…”

You doubt he would be trying to ask a favor if he knew it was you in here.

> Make him earn the water by answering a question or two first

> Give him a drink, he might feel inclined to talk afterwards

> Make it clear that you aren’t going to give him any, he can beg Crockett for it

> ...
> Make him earn the water by answering a question or two first
We have to at least try to be above his level, as much as it kills us.
>> Make him earn the water by answering a question or two first

Or he can drink his own blood again
The block of wood you were hacking into clatters to the floor. Along with the delivery of fresh clothes you were also given a thermos of coffee to keep you awake. The metal is still warm to the touch as you pick it up.

You look elsewhere but his mauled face. It’s the only thing to keep you from throwing the hot liquid right at him.

“Who i-is it?”

Alex might not be able to see a damn thing right now, but he sure as hell can feel your approach.

“F-fuck…” his body tenses up in preperation of being knocked around again, “Just g-get it over with…!”

As tempting as it is, you don’t strike him. Instead you kneel down next to him and unscrew the thermos. He waits in blind fear, reeling back at the slightest noise.

You hold the half full thermos right up to his nose. Once he figures out that you aren’t going to send him flying again, he starts sniffing at the air.

“Coffee…?” he licks his swollen, cracked lips. “H-hell, I’d even take spit at this point-”

He leans in to take a drink. You pull the thermos away, the coffee inside sloshing around as he’s left without a sip.

“If you...can beg,” you screw the lid back on, “you can...answer.”

A glare contorts the broken features of his face. He sits there, wanting to spit hateful words at you. But he finally makes the right decision and swallows back his remaining pride.

“Until my voice finally gives out…” He tries the last attempt at pity, knowing fully well that you aren’t going to budge.

“When we...last met-”

“Couldn’t y-you have brought that woman back to do the talking...” Alex groans, “It’s like l-listening to Lurch being strangled.”

Your hand balls up tightly as you keep from grabbing him. There’s not much more abuse he can take and you have to remember that.

“Who… took you?”

There’s no doubt that he remembers exactly what happened that day. The look of past dread pulls through his bruised face. There’s no need to recount the events back to him. It was obvious from the moment he saw you at the trailer, he still clearly remembers when you broke into his store and held him there.
But you didn’t get the opportunity to hurt him like this. He was dragged away by men you know have been following Delilah and that’s as much as you saw that day. He just needs to connect the dots from that day to how he started working from that stinking trailer.

Alex shows his hesitation to answer like he did before. You let the coffee slosh around in the container to remind him what he’s trying to earn right now.

“...he sure as hell w-wasn’t in the van when they pulled me in.”

He struggles against the ropes as the memory brings out his flight response.

“No one said shit to me until I got there,” he grits his remaining teeth, “then they drug me out to this place out in the country--”

“His house?”

Alex stops to think about it and shakes his head. “I don’t know shit about the guy. Sure as hell don’t pay attention to h-him or the other guys that flash their cash around town. Best I know is that he’s some k-kind of doctor and he’s married, right?”

He pauses, holding his breath as a shudder travels through his body. “The house sure as hell didn’t look like some married rich guy’s place. H-huge tall fence around this tiny house. Bars on all the windows. Wasn’t any place you’d live with a wife.”

You scramble for your notebook in an attempt to write down what he’s saying.

“Whole place was dark as h-hell,” Alex continues, “Smelt like a… like a goddamn morgue. Bunch of picture frames on the wall, way t-too many. Rest of the place was like someone was decorating it on crack.”

You try not to break the lead point against the page, “He was… there?”

“That weird f-fucker came waltzing out like he didn’t even know I w-was there…” his body begins to shiver harder, “guess one of his guys t-told him something about me. Went from singing to getting ready to murder me on the spot.”

A sentiment you still have, though for far different reasons than that Bowers man.

“I think he was r-ready to do that too. Kept talking to himself like a freak. Kept walking around the place moving weird like some kind of m-meth head.” Alex stops, gathering his thoughts and wincing as he continues.

“He uh, he kept m-mentioning a girl’s name. The pictures I could see were of uh, I think they were all that same g-girl…”
You nearly snap the pencil at the thought. Need to stay focused, you can’t let yourself get too bothered yet.

“What about...tapes?”

“There? I don’t think so. M-maybe there was a TV. It looked like he was in the middle of moving a bunch of shit in—“ Alex coughs dryly, licking his chapped lips. “Whole place was off. I swear he was going to skin me alive right there.”

You almost wish he had.

“I don’t know what m-made him change his mind,” he shakes his head, “Said he wouldn’t kill me if I helped with a, with a side gig of his. I’ve been making copies of whatever v-videos they’ve brought in to me since then.” Through gritted teeth he adds, “Guy has some f-fucked up tastes.”

Bold statement for him to say. But if it’s enough to bother a heartless man like Alex...

> Get more details about the house Bowers was in
> Ask about the contents of the videos he was copying for Bowers
> Ask what Bowers said about of Delilah
> ...
Give him a drink first, then

>> Get more details about the house Bowers was in

This is most important, if he can tell which way he left the city or anything. Distance/time estimate, direction.

The other questions won't lead us much closer I think and will just make Law angry
You grant him the privilege of a drink. He flinches when the steam hits his lips but is otherwise quick to accept it. Plenty of coffee drips from the corners of his mouth but he doesn’t notice.

Alex attempts to follow the thermos when you pull it away.

“Wait, I n-need more!”

“The house,” you say firmly, “Where… was it?”

“You think I could p-point it out on a map?” he gives an exasperated sigh, “They drove me down the h-highway out of town for a couple minutes. That f-fucker built a place in the middle of nowhere. At one point they turned off the road and drove through a bunch of unpaved shit. Threw me all over the backseat cause of it…”


“Neighbors? I just s-said it was in the middle of nowhere! Not that I really got to look around much. I was scared for my f-fucking life!”

“No one?” you try to keep your cool as he starts to push the limits again, “Didn’t pass.. Any?”

“I’m telling you, there was n-no one else around! I don’t remember seeing any house or farm or nothing!” The chair squeaks as he shakes his head in response, “That freak put up that shit house so that there wouldn’t be anyone around ever. Who the fuck d-doesn’t even put a dirt road to get to their house?”

So it’s secluded like the compound. Or, from how he talks about it, even moreso. While the compound certainly isn’t advertised from the road, one could take an unmarked exit and find the place with enough driving. Besides, you pass by country houses and farms to get here, even if they are sparse and few between. Tucked away, but not out right hidden.

Even if Bowers hasn’t planned to have his hideout found, there has to be a way to locate it. There has to be a way for his goons to know how to drive to it, some sort of marker to lead the way.

“How did...you leave?”

Alex groans, “That hellhole? They drove me to that fucking t-trailer afterwards and I haven’t been allowed to l-leave since! And right after that pig faced fucker threatened to keep me awake while he cut me open and took my organs. And he w-would, he fucking would, I could see it on his face.”

You’re head isn’t as cloudy as the day before but the fuzz starts creeping in as you try to process this. There’s got to be a way for you to figure this out. All you have to do is think—

“Let me have a-another drink,” Alex demands.

“Tell me...more.” You hold the thermos tight in hand, “How to...get there.”

“How should I know? I didn’t make a map when they took me!” he whines, “I d-didn’t think I was going to walk out alive. Come on, a-stop holding out on me!”
You try to drown out the rest of his moaning bitching and moaning. Talking was never a skill fo yours, you should have gotten Crockett as soon as he started talking again—

“W-wait a second!” he calls out for you attention, desperate and weak again. “I d-don’t know where it is, honest. But when I got d-dropped off at that trailer, this guy came over. Owns a huge e-electronics shop. Came over to show me how to copy the tapes…”

When his words stop you shake the thermos in front of him as a reminder of what he’s trying to earn.

“Real weirdo,” he’s quick to add, “Guy is almost as much of a freak as his buddy.”

As if he has the right to call anyone else that. Unfortunately, you have to let him. And you can’t help but feel he is a little bit sincere with that claim.

You ask, “Worked for… Bowers?”

“They got some kind of d-deal going on, yeah. Enough for this guy to get invited over to put in cameras or s-something.” His one half visible eye scans the room in desperation of recalling further details. “Bragged about being close enough to get invited out for uh, for s-special private parties. Now that’s the guy you should go b-beat the shit out of—“

Alex chokes on the next words when you reach out and grab his face. All you do is squeeze just hard enough to shut him up as you try to think.

If you can get the location of this guy out of Alex, you might be able to find this hideout of Bowers. Who knows what kind of evidence he has there.

Besides, the chances of him fleeing there sound high. Soon, Crockett will have all the evidence he needs secured. Everyone shady from witnesses to police officers and even judges themselves will either be bribed or blackmailed. Whatever it takes to get Bowers to face the full force of punishment. Once he finds out that this won’t be just a slap on the wrist, there’s no doubt he will try to hide.

“Tell me...where.”

“Uh, I only know his s-store I think. Give me a second to remember, or m-maybe another drink…”

This time you give in to his request and hold the thermos up for him to drink.

From the sounds of it, you’re going to have to find this guy at his store. And somehow, you’re going to have to get the location of this hideout.

> Working alone is the easiest, you can force the address out of the guy quickly
> Take Camilla with you, she might make it easier to lower his guard
> If you go with Crockett, he might make it easier to intimidate the guy into giving an answer
> ...
This guy is trapped by monsters, even if he's a total piece is shit he's a victim too. If his info is good enough to let us find the big shots we can promise not to kill him. (Won't save him from the police but he doesn't need to know that). He's a witness and is very useful alive if he cooperates

Bower is ruining the life of all kinds of people, not only children.
> Take Camilla with you, she might make it easier to lower his guard

Try to not sympathise with him. He wasn't Bower's chattel when he hurt Delilah.
> Take Camilla with you, she might make it easier to lower his guard
I know, we're not going to stop the police from prosecuting him for that and whatever else he's done. But he needs a thread of hope, it's not like we can't lie to him

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