You are a Construct, an autonomous creature built from steel, and given life by ancient magic and modern ingenuity. Unlike most, you have mistakenly achieved sentience, and have received civil rights. You are also a detective with the city police.
Today is a big day. Rather, it's a big night. As you return home from a long shift, beat and ready to sit down with some music and just think, you recall your prior engagement. You drag yourself through the front door of your studio apartment, and shut the door with all the enthusiasm of a child being told to clean their room. After removing your work clothes, you move to the small closet across from the kitchen and sigh as you pull open the door.
Tonight is the Policeman's Ball. A tired and ancient tradition perpetuated by self-congratulatory business owners and entrepreneurs who gather annually to empty out their change jars into a bucket in the name of supporting the local law enforcement. If they put half as much cash into funding the cops as they did throwing this bloated shindig, you might actually get some decent equipment and supplies for the precinct. Hell, you might even get half-decent coffee. At any rate, attendance is mandatory for all officers and employees of the police force who aren't on duty. The Chief, Russo, Sutherland, even Davis will all be there in their Sunday best. You on the other hand, have no real desire to squeeze yourself into a suit, at least not for the entertainment of a bunch of rich snobs. Still, it might be fun this year.
You reach a hand into the closet
>Pull out some clean casual clothes
>Pull out the suit you wore to Ferris' funeral
>Pull out the tuxedo Samson forced on you last year for the ball
Previous thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/44879336/
You are surprised to find some sort of multicolored jumpsuit buried beneath all of your clothes. You're unsure where you got it, but it seems festive enough to keep people off your back for being a party pooper. You pull it on and check to make sure all your things fit inside. It'll be tricky to pull your gun and badge, but it should do so long as no assassins come at you.
You are about to head out the door when you check the invitation on your phone one last time. It seems you're encouraged to bring a guest. Should have thought of that earlier, but oh well.
>Call Daisy, the waitress from the Rivet Club
>Call Ella, your mechanic
>Bring a callgirl, really give it to those rich jerks
>Go stag, you might get lucky
>>Call Ella, your mechanic
You dial up Ella, and wait in the doorway as the phone rings. You can see the street through the window beside the door. There are a few kids playing hockey on the asphalt, dodging cars as they come rolling along. Makes you wonder what being a kid might have been like, if you ever had the chance.
When Ella picks up, you're taken slightly by surprise. You ask if she'd be willing to go with you to the party, quoting the free refreshments and buffet for all attendees. She seems oddly enthusiastic.
"Well, heck yeah! I mean, if ya don't mind. Ah, garsh I don't even have my hair done today. Better have the ol' girl close up early too. What's the dress code like? Formal? Sh-should I put on somethin' fancy? Shoes?" You've never heard her nervous. It's a little amusing. You think she might actually wear whatever you tell her too.
>"It's black tie, go all out."
>"It's just a little get together, wear something comfortable."
>"It's costume, throw something together."
>"Anything is fine, you'll be with me and nobody'd mess with you as long as I'm on your arm."
>then start laughing.
You can sense Ella getting nervous on the other end. She only replies "ok", before hanging up and allowing you to leave the house.
You call a cab, and ask him to bring you up to Silver Sands to swing by Ella's shop. He snickers a bit at your outfit, but it's not the first time a driver's been fresh with you. As you ride, you receive a message from Russo.
"Already at the ball, Sir. Brought my sister as my date, maybe I'll hook you guys up lol. The Chief looks great, but things are dead since it's early. Hurry up and let's dance together!"
Russo's pretty excited about this thing. You wish you could summon half of that cheer.
>"I'm picking up my date, be there soon."
>"You won't be this happy after the speeches"
>"Calm down, we're still cops and this isn't a prom
>"I'm on my way. Don't worry I'll leave you speechless."
>Does our nose honk when pressed?
Russo doesn't respond, but you sense the curiosity like a bee senses a flower.
As you pull up to Ella's shop, you notice her Con isn't outside or near the front. She's up front handling all the real business so often, you'd almost think she's glued to the ground. You tell the driver to wait up, and head around the side door.
You enter Ella's shop, located beneath her loft and behind her storefront. The smell of grease and steel is soothing. Shortly after you enter, her Con steps down from the staircase, seemingly in a hurry. When she sees you, she stops to greet you kindly.
"Good evening detective. Miss Dubois has informed me that you two will be going out for a night on the town. She is currently finishing her ensemble, but please make yourself at home." Without another word, the girl grabs a box of bobby pins from a table and runs back up the staircase. You lean on one of the benches as you wait. Finally, Ella calls down and approaches, preceded by her Con.
She is wearing a long gown, black and shimmering even in the low light of the garage. Her hair is pulled up into a fashionable bun, and she has her feet slid into cork wedge heels. Her face is almost as red as her shoulders beneath a modest amount of makeup, and she seems to be holding back a fit of giggles.
"This is the best thing I had hanging in my ol' linen closet. My mama got it for me for my sister's weddin'. Is it too much?" Ella does a half-twirl to give you a decent view.
>"Doesn't suit you, honestly."
>"You look great, but we gotta get moving."
>"This really isn't a formal thing, but I'm sure you'll turn heads."
>"It'd look better on the ground." (5%)
>Honk your nose
>>You look great
At first, Ella is all smiles, then as she truly absorbs the surreal humor of a honked nose, her face turns to horror.
"Oh, gawd is it supposed to be some kinda costume thing? Ah, I must look right fubar!" ella turns on her heel and runs back up the steps as quickly as her shoes will allow, covering her face with her hands. Her con follows just as quickly.
You approach the steps, and hear Ella tossing things around her room while shouting obscenities. She's taking this harder than you'd think. You think of calling up after her, but just when you're trying to find good words, your phone goes off. It's Russo.
>Answer the phone
>Talk to Ella
>yell to Ella
>"I want you to wear that dress"
>then answer phone
The noise upstairs seems to lower, but you turn your attention to the phone regardless.
"Sir? The Chief is really getting impatient. The Mayor just got here, and they're having some kind of stare down. Dean is also hitting the open bar pretty hard, and we're getting a little worried about not having you here in case things get messy. Please hurry."
You tell Russo you're on your way. She seems relieved, and you hang up just as Ella is coming back down. She seems considerably more calm, but you do detect just the slightest hint of running mascara, which you ignore. She bids her Con goodbye, and makes her way out to the cab with her face still red and her eyes on the ground.
The two of you slide in, and instruct the driver to make his way to the Crescent Moon Ballroom, the location of the ball. Ella says nothing on the way, but she doesn't seem cold as she does nervous. Now that you think of it, this will probably be the first time she's meeting so many of your acquaintances, especially ones with guns.
You arrive without incident, and help Ella out of the cab before paying the driver's painful fare. As he pulls away, you ascend the stone steps of the venue together, and pass through the great glass doorway.
The entrance way of the ballroom is decorated in a roman style, with busts of uncertain figures and plush carpets, as well as a large oil painting of a field of flowers in the moonlight. There is no greeter, so you assume it's fine to simply pass through. When you enter the main ballroom, you are astounded by the number of guests this year. People you recognize mingle in with rich do-gooders, movers and shakers alike. Some of the men and women on the force are in their dress uniforms, but you don't see many. It isn't until Russo approaches you out of the crowd that you realize what's wrong with this scene.
Russo appears glittering, and quite literally. She wears her auburn hair in luxurious curls, topped with a plastic but very shiny tiara. Her dress is a bright blue, and is puffier than a french pastry. She has long gloves that cover her arms to her elbows, and loud but quite fitting makeup. Tagging along behind her is a young girl, maybe ten years at most, in a green dress with translucent wings clipped to her back. She seems happy as a clam, hopping around in her green slippers and striped tights.
"Evening, Sir. This is my sister, Annette. I'm really relieved you remembered the theme, Davis was worried you wouldn't know because we didn't include it in the invitation. Thank god you pay attention in meetings! And this must be your date, right?" Russo extends her hand, fingers perpendicular to the floor, and bows. Her sister curtsies for fun. Ella reaches out awkwardly and grabs it, laughing as Russo does.
"Ella, Ella Dubois." Her voice seems a bit weak suddenly.
"Pleased to meet you. I'm gonna go check on Dean, make sure he hasn't thrown a stool at someone, but meet me and the Chief by the stage later." Russo waves as she and her sister walk away hand in hand. You turn to Ella to see a face red as a strawberry, and wrinkled as an old bedsheet. Before either of you can say anything, she gives you a cold turn and stomps away toward the bar.
>Find the chief
>Follow her, try to keep her from getting drunk to the point she'll embarrass herself.
You follow after Ella, weaving through a crowd of oversized condiment bottles. sexy animals, clowns, sexy civic servants, zombies, and sexy zombies. By the time you catch up, she is already seated at the bar between Dean and Samson. Samson seems content to tip a wine glass into his boney mouth, while Dean and Ella take turns pouring from an expensive looking bottle of whiskey. You come close, and Dean notices you first.
"Hey, Johnny Five. What's shaking?"
>"Your brain in that big empty case it's got."
>Not my bolts.
>Anson what are the odds that I wore this as a gag to make everyone laugh. I had no clue it was actually a costume party.
Dean turns to Ella, but she throws back a shot of whiskey before saying anything.
"I dunno. Part of me wants to think you really did jes wanna pull a fast one on me. But the other part says yer not like that. Yer a sweetheart, unlike all the ratcatchers I run into uptown. Did I really fall for another jackass with a pretty face?" You want to convince her, but you don't think you can. You turn to Dean, in his striped jumpsuit reminiscent of an old timey prison chain ganger. He shrugs and sips his drink. You turn to Samson, in his zoot suit complete with feathered hat, which may or may not actually be a costume.
>Ask Dean to vouch for you
>Ask Samson to vouch for you
>Try to convince her yourself (Solidify trust) (30%)
Honestly, do we really want her to fall for us? We wanted to show her a good time, but a con like us is going to end up in the junk heap after a while, not that we mind that.
If we can invite some good looking girls to a ball or two and show them a good time while on the way there, nothing wrong with that.
>Ask Samson to vouch for you
You turn back to Samson and give him a knowing look, or at least as close as two nonhumans can come. He sets down his wineglass and straightens his tie.
"Miss, I understand that past experiences are harsh lessons, and solemn are forgotten. But my man here is nothing if not honest. He may be slow, and he may be violent, but a trickster he has never been." Samson does his best, but Ella doesn't seem to respond.
After a minute, she sighs, and sets her glass down as she stands. She turns around, wipes her cheeks, and puts on her best smile. You feel relieved.
"Sorry. I get emotional when I drink." You both have a short laugh, and make small talk with Dean and Samson until you remember the Chief's summons. You excuse yourself and go toward the stage, an elevated platform with a podium to address the crowd in the ballroom.
Up near the front, you find Russo, Annette, the Chief in her witch robes, and Davis in his dress uniform, lined up across from Mayor Dunwich, a portly man with slick hair and a a perpetual grin, and his advisers. None of them seem very happy.
"Ah, good to see you my boy! I've heard so much about you!" The mayor reaches out and tugs you to his side, patting you on the shoulder. "To think such a loyal man has been on the force for so long and hasn't even once thought of asking for a reward. That is the dedication we need in our public servants!"
His breath reeks of beef and cheese, and every moment he's speaking the Chief's face seems to go more sour.
>"Nice to meet you too, sir."
>"Hands off, burgermeister."
>Nice to meet you too, Sir.
>Wouldn't have gotten this far without my partners and the Chief.
>think back to our previous partner. And the ones before that, too.
>robot meets girl
>robot buys weapon implant from girl
>weapon implant blows up robot's arm
>robot takes her out on a prom date
Seems about right.
>Nice to meet you too sir
>Wouldn't have fotten this far without my partners and the Chief.
The Mayor laughs softly, and you detect a thick layer of condescension.
"Of course, my boy, of course." You're not sure you're a fan of the way he says boy. "At any rate, welcome to the party. I'm sure you can find something to entertain yourself if it isn't the drinks or the music. I know how you fellas love your rock and roll music." He shoves you back over to your side of the lineup, ever so gently.
"I must be going. Very important people to speak with, see you in just a few!" He laughs as he strides away, and you hear the striking of steel on flint. When you turn, the Chief has lit one of her smokes and is taking a long drag from it.
"Pompous ass. Called me over just to tell me they're cutting our budget again. At this rate we're gonna need to start letting people go in a year or two." She inhales, then puffs out a ring of smoke that gently floats up as it disperses. "But we have more important things to worry about. The Covenant is moving lately. Our boys in intel are certain some of their higher ups are here tonight."
>"And you want us to keep an ear to the ground?"
>"Come on, Chief. It's our night off."
>"Rather work than rub elbows anyway."
>>"Come on, Chief. It's our night off."
>>You really think they're going to try anything at a damn police ball?
"No idea, but we need to at least keep an eye out. Come on, they want us all lined up nice and neat for the toast." Russo and Davis begin following the Chief toward a long table where the other officers seem to be gathering.
>Bring Ella over
>Let Ella be alone for a while
>>Let Ella be alone for a while.
And so fate was decided
You follow your coworkers toward the table set aside for the police force. As you line up, you notice servers carrying glasses of champagne around the room, handing one to each guest capable of drinking the stuff. Before too long, people are a bit more organized, and finally the Mayor himself climbs the stage and stands before the podium. A microphone sits atop it, and he gives it a tap to make sure it's powered on before speaking in earnest.
"Ladies and gentlemen! Thank you for taking the time to attend this most beloved annual event! We're happy to report that thanks to the generosity of our kind donators, we have accumulated neatly eight-hundred thousand dollars for our local police force!" The crowd cheers and applauds themselves. You know that the money is less than what you'd need to run the precinct for a quarter of the year, but it would be rude to bring that up now.
"To honor this occasion, let us all raise a glass! To a brighter tomorrow, brought to us by our stalwart sentinels of justice!" The mayor raises his glass, and the crowd follows. You turn to the side. Davis was never a drinker, and merely hides his still full glass on the table behind him. The Chief is too busy taking another drag from her cigarette. Russo is adjusting her sister's costume, and doesn't have a chance to take a sip of her drink before the coughing begins.
At first, it's just one or two people. Old geezers. Then, the Mayor began. More and more attendees began violently and uncontrollably hacking up their lungs. Nobody even moved until the Mayor himself began spitting blood, and collapsed on the floor. Then there was screaming.
People began falling over left, right and center. Anyone who had more than a sip collapsed, and still others began choking on their own spit, turning beet red and then blue before they could breath again.
You and Russo weaved through the crowd, urging people to remain calm or suffer the consequences. As you moved, you were horrified to see how many people were affected. Old folks lay on the ground, blood spilling from their mouth and nose, clutching at their throats in pain. When at last you reach the bar, you look up to see the friends you left their in dire shape.
Samson looms over Ella, shaking her and begging her to wake up. Dean is crawling on all fours, coughing and pounding the ground with his fist in a mixture of rage and fear. His face is dark red, and he seems to be struggling to inhale, and failing quite magnificently.
There is a gunshot, from somewhere you can't be sure off, and more screaming. People begin running for the door. Someone caused this, and they're going to get away.
>Run to Ella
>Run to Dean
>Block the exits
>Block the exits
You pull your piece as Russo escorts her sister to a safe place behind the stage. You rush toward the doors of the building, noticing a few other officers who were quick enough to do the same. The few of you who make it are too slow to keep every attendee from getting through the doors, but when you do arrive and lineup, it's not too hard to contain them, especially with weapons.
The Chief wastes no time separating people into less dense groups, and pulling all the staff from other rooms into the ballroom. Davis secures a breakroom for interrogation, and Russo calls the precinct for a perimeter and a search for anybody who fled the scene.
EMTs arrive in a few minutes, but many are long since dead. Among them are Ella and Dean, who spent his last moments clawing out his own trachea, as evidenced by the deep wound and his bloody fingers.
When things finally settle down some, Samson approaches you.
"This is one hell of a mess. Worst of it is, so many people died, and the only connection is they were either rich or cops. We've got no suspects."
>"Could be a random psycho."
>"Chief says the Covenant was getting antsy."
>"You really don't have anyone?"
>Chief says the Covenant was getting antsy.
"Taking out the city elite, her politicians, and cops? Someone's gonna pay for this, Sam, and it's going to get real ugly before the end."
"Someone's going to have to tell Rosie..."
Get the bodies, and run them to toxicology, get all the foods and drinks sampled, find who produced and transported the wine and from where, kitchen staff, waiters, complete guest list alive and dead. Is the mayor dead?
Anything! Come on!
"We've got CSI collecting samples now, but tests take time. Far as we know, the wine was poisoned plan and simple, but until we try everything we can't know for sure. Could have been something activated by the drink, could have been some sort of curse on the glasses, who knows. For now though, we need to question everybody here, and that's going to take a long time with so many guests. The Chief wants you to help, but Russo told her you were close to one of the deceased. If you think your judgment will be compromised..."
>"I'll do it.'
>"I'd rather stand guard."
>>"I'll do it."
Samson leads you to the back of the building, where people are being lined up and brought in with detectives, the few available, and given the usual battery of questions. You pick a room, and begin the long process.
With nearly three hundred people to question, the whole affair takes hours, late into the night. Most of them say the same thing. They saw nothing, they heard nothing, they have no connection. A spark of hope only comes near the end, when a particularly pale man with particularly expensive taste in clothing and hair pomade enters your space, sitting confidently across from you. His eyes settle on you with all the assurance of a man guilty on every count, but the power to avoid a verdict. If you had to guess, you'd say he was a gangster, and a good one.
"Hey, officer. Let's get this done, my kids miss me by now."
>"Shut up. You talk when I ask you a question."
>"No problem sir, just some simple questions."
>"Oh, I'm sorry, are these murders a bit inconvenient for you?"
>"No problem sir, just some simple questions."
You begin with the usual. Where were you? What were you doing? Who were you with? He gives reasonable answers to all. You then ask about what he saw.
"Mayor McCheese took a sip of bubbly and then started hacking up blood. After that, the crowd starts keeling over."
He seems a little upset that you'd bring it up, but only for a moment.
"Yeah, sure, a bunch of other chucklefucks hacked up a lung too, big deal." You think for a moment before proceeding. You ask why he didn't have a drink. "I had a sip, but mine must have been clean." You tell him none of the glasses were confirmed clean by tests. "Well mine was, fuck you."
>"Sir, if you lie we won't be able to solve this case."
>"Tell me the truth, or I'll cave in your pretty little teeth."
>"I don't think you're being honest with me"
I am tempted to go grab a glass and threaten to make him drink it but it wouldn't solve anything. This guy won't give us anything, but he'll have links to the real murderers. Tailing him later might be a good idea.
>Let him go
Ask Russo or someone to get an ID on that one, and put him under survillance, by ourselves if we have to.
If he is some bigshot gangster, then we will have to catch him red handed
As he opens the door, you shout at the officers outside, and they come around to grab him and shove him back in. One of them is kind enough to come in and shut the door behind himself, blocking the only exit. The man looks visibly angered, but picks up the chair and sits back down.
"Fuck you, pig. You can't hold me here without evidence."
>"We've got evidence. We just need to crack your alibi." (Lie)
>"I've got all night, buddy."
>"If you have nothing to do with this, then just tell me what you know and you can leave."
Now let's start from the beginning...
Just keep going over the same shit over and over for as long as possible. at some point he either manages to get a lawyer in here somehow or he cracks.
You press him hard for an hour. You go over the same questions over, and over, and over, and over until he is physically sweating from anger. Around the thirteenth cycle, he slips.
"Fine! Holy shit fine! I'll tell you why I was here! not like it matters. Mr Valentino's got all of you fucking pigs in his pocket."
Have to wrap here for the night, but I'll try to be back tomorrow, around the same time.
I hope this arc makes everyone happy, because it might be the end of the quest considering my schedule in the future.
I really hope everyone had some fun, and I hope you'll all come back for the next one!
If anyone would be so kind as to archive the thread, I'd be very grateful
Thanks for running, very few quests let you play as a detective.
I can't fucking believe we just spontaniously decided to take out a nice date for a good time, and that simply got her brutally murdered.
Yes but the maddening part was that we dragged her in the way, as something really unnecessary. Don't get me wrong, taking her to the party was a fine idea, but she would be alive if not for that.
Btw, how will we end this? Try to play by the law, or terminator style?
By the law. This is just another case and she was just another casualty of this rotten city. The only thing to do for everyone killed is do this right and get whoever was behind it in chains.