You are Tsukuda Ryouta, a Shinigami of the 12th Division holding the unique position of an investigator of abnormal occurrences.
You've learned several important things. The name of the human Kido user you're searching for in Germany is apparently 'Shinji'. As unique as that name is for the locale, it might not be enough to find him with that alone. Fortunately, that's not all that you've discovered.
You now have more than enough reason to look into the Kramer family, a family that owns a pharmaceutical company that has benefitted from the recent 'misfortune' of a rival business - a streak of convenient bad luck that you have reason to believe was actually organized, through Hollow attacks, by the human you're looking for. This Shinji could be a member of that family, or somehow otherwise related to them, trying to bolster the business by removing competition. If that was the intention, it seems to have worked.
You leave the house of the suspect you've gotten that information from. Hisakawa Yasu was not willing to cooperate, but you've found and figured out a lot on your own even without his assistance. Standing up on a lamppost alongside your Shinigami partner, Kirino Moeka, you're trying to figure out what to do next. The red haired girl looks a little disgruntled, so you ask her if something is wrong. From what you understand, she used to be on friendly terms with that old man.
She shakes her head. "Huh? Don't worry about it, Ryouta-kun. Not like I was best friends with the guy, I just thought he was nice. If I knew that old guy was hiding so much stuff about this, I'd have gotten it out of him myself, whatever it took." The girl squats down and stares off in the direction of the Hisakawa house. Even after saying that, she still looks conflicted.
"You know..." She finally speaks up after a while. "He mentioned having grandchildren to me before. That Shinji guy could be his grandkid."
That could very well be the case, which might explain his vehement refusal to say anything about him. Either way, the list of potential has been narrowed down from anyone living in Berlin to 'relatives of Kramers'. Because Yasu's daughter was the one to marry into that family, it's likely that her surname and the surnames of her children have been changed from their Japanese ones. Perhaps first names as well.
Along with the progress you've made, you've also found a need to hurry. Hisakawa Yasu is still alive and aware that Shinji is being searched for, and if he tips him off, you might be in for a lot of trouble. If the magician is still hiding controlled Hollows somewhere... It's going to be really hard to deal with more than one. You cut the man's phone lines, but something like that wouldn't hold him off indefinitely.
It seems that the thought hasn't crossed Moeka's mind yet. She stands up.
"So, it's all up to that reporter now, is it?" She asks. You'd like to check the address of that garage you've found the caged Hollow in - perhaps it's worth asking your human contact to find something out about that - but that's not difficult and shouldn't take much time.
>"Let's rest until our meeting with Melanie."
>"We need to keep a constant surveillance on Hisakawa Yasu."
>Ask Moeka something. (Write-in).
Current Character Sheet: http://pastebin.com/JpBL1B5n
If you have any questions related to the investigation, don't hesitate to ask me! I'll do my best to mitigate the delays between threads!
Everything's good! Sorry for the delay!
>"We need to keep a constant surveillance on Hisakawa Yasu."
Either he acts irrationally and tries to contact him or he frets the whole night about what may happen.
I'm going to recommend out little red head keeps an eye on the old man hidden away while we go hit up a pay phone and call the reporter then check the house the caged hollow was in.
If anything happens, our temporary partner should be able to contact us on the ghost cell phone or stop him using kido if things escalate.
If it his his grandson or son, and we take him to /SS/ (i.e., kill him) we'lol need to off the old man too less he study up and come for revenge.
Look at it this way: it comes out, and it's no longer holed up in a house filled with its hidey webs where it's had time to prepare. If it doesn't come out then at best we can send someone else to take care of it once we deal with Shinji, and at worst we end up having to take care of it later. In that scenario we aren't much worse off tactically than we are now, but what we learn investigating gives us the full strategic picture and possibly a bit of leverage.
Pretty much. Yes he will need to be dealt with and may still be a good lead source should we provide a victim, but he is not critical to the mission. Just an easy way out. All he ever was.
As for the human, she is non mission critical and thus of little concern at the moment.
There's been so few threads, why did you miss that concern from the hostage is the only reason we didn't burn the house down, so showing no concern for her now is contradictory behavior.
Yes, have you not fucking read the op or the follow up or the commands anons have input?
Why are you so concerned with this random woman? We straight up let and watched a comrade be killed by a hollow our first mission. Why is this one life so valuable to you especially when she has no transit value to the case.
"We need to keep Hisakawa Yasu under constant surveillance." You say. Moeka spends several seconds in thought and sighs.
"Oh, right... He could give us away..." So she really didn't think of that.
"Is there anything else that you could tell me about Hisakawa Yasu?" You ask, forcing Moeka to think some more. It seems like a redundant question, but from your experience with her so far, perhaps a necessary one. She eventually shrugs and shakes her head. Well, if she can't think of anything, then there's no helping it.
"This is gonna be a looong night. I wanted to go crash in a comfy bed somewhere..." The short girl whines, sitting back down on the lamppost. Some time passes in silence. You decide to ask her something about a subject you've made no particular progress in so far.
"Moeka, what do you think about the Hollow in the Kramer mansion?"
"What do I think about him? I... dunno. I guess we'll have to get rid of him some time... We should come up with a name for him so that we don't have to call him the 'that Hollow from the mansion', though..." Moeka doesn't seem to think he's important, but he has a clear link to that magician; perhaps the key here is figuring out just what kind of link it is. Of course, the true face of the Hollow lies behind that mask of his, but... the face alone is probably not enough to figure anything out, and it might be out of the reach of your abilities.
Moeka suddenly springs up to her feet, smiling. "I'll go get us something to eat! I won't be long!" She darts off before you can put a word in. It's probably alright - you can keep an eye on a single human yourself.
The girl returns shortly, a small grocery bag in her hand. She tries to set it on the thin lamppost that you're using as your footing, but it keeps threatening to fall down, so she eventually places it on her lap. Two bottles of beer and two large bags of chips are the contents; not much for nutrition, but enough for a snack. Though, you don't know if alcohol is a good idea right now...
"Well, we gotta pass the time somehow!" Moeka laughs and tries to open a bottle. Her spirits suddenly droop again. "...I don't have a bottle opener..."
The hours go by out in the frosty wind. The curtains in the old man's house fluttered occasionally, probably looking out for stalkers like yourselves, but nobody leaves or enters the apartment until the arrival of morning - people have jobs to go to, but the old couple stays where they are. Moeka keeps yawning constantly, probably still awake only because of her frequent shop raids for snacks, the covers and remains of which litter the snow covered ground down below. The pair of unopened beer bottles is still by her side, completely untouched and probably frozen by now.
"What time is it..?" She mutters. The sun has been up for a while now. Checking your Denreishinki, you realize that it's almost time for your meeting with Melanie.
Yasu hasn't made any moves throughout the night. Should you leave Moeka here to keep watch, or could it be beneficial to have her around with you? Having more heads thinking over this should be good, but in this girl's case... she might be better off just doing this.
>Take Moeka with you to talk to Melanie.
>Leave Moeka to watch Yasu.
My assumption is that the former CEO-turned-hollow targeted people somehow related to shinji, who is the stranger in the pictures. He can't directly attack shinji due to his hollow slaves, so he goes after people shinji knows, like his wife.
The woman at the mansion, probly dead by now, most likely knows a great deal about shinji
That is an assumption. While that may be the case, there is no evidence that states he is simply here to retrieve him or that he does not know his location. We requested information from the old man, and he clammed up about him which to me indicates that he does know something or at least has an idea.
Therefor it is not a stretch to assume that he would attempt to communicate with him in one way or the other if the situation becomes dire enough.
He knows he is being watched and is powerless against us, however he is protecting Shinji by not saying anything.
We lose nothing by keeping an eye on him. If we abandon the post and both leave and he escapes and finds Shinji and warns him they will escape and we will fail or he will have prep time when we finally locate him.
As such, it is in our best interests and the missions, to keep one of us on that house while the other does the legwork and seeing as how we're the ghost detective, it's up to us to connect the dots while she acts as a glorified security camera.
I guess what I figured is Moeka stays over more or less at random right? And yet she never ran into anyone but the old man and his wife, despite there still being extra bedrolls.
"I'll go meet with Melanie. Keep an eye on Yasu, Moeka." You say, flipping the cellphone to a close. "Can you handle it?"
"Of course I can handle it! It'd hurt a lot if I fell asleep here, ahaha!" Moeka laughs. Is the situation really that dire for her? You still feel fine.
"If you needed to sleep, we could have kept watch in shifts."
"No way! I've gotta work for my share. Seriously, don't worry about me, I can handle it. We haven't even been awake for that long! I could go on for another day or three! It's just... you know, this is boring as heck, so I can't help it." The redhead laughs, shrugging off your concern. You nod, leaving her be. You probably won't be out for long.
The reporter's house isn't far from here, but before going there, you revisit the garages where you've found the caged Hollow and memorize the address. After that, you head directly to Melanie's house.
You phase in through a window and look around her apartment, quickly finding her in the living room. She's wearing a red sweater and a pair of black jeans; she's probably heading out after this meeting. You manage to startle her even though she should know about the arranged meeting. You get straight to the point.
"Have you found anything?" You ask. The shaky reporter nods nervously, gesturing towards an armchair.
"P-please, uh, make yourself at home." She reaches for her handbag as you take your seat. "Y-yeah, I found some things, but... I could only find so much in just a day..." She still seems to be afraid of you. "Um... Where is your scary-looking partner?"
"She's not here. Please tell me what you've found." You say. The fact that Moeka isn't here seems to calm her down a little bit.
Melanie begins. "So... First of all, to answer that question you've asked me before - it's still called the Kramer mansion because the owner, Anna Klein, is a relative of Martin Kramer, who sold the house to her, so it still sort of belongs to the Kramers... I guess. She's his aunt. I think he sold the house because he didn't need a big one like that all for himself, but it could be because his company wasn't doing well enough to support that lifestyle, either." Melanie explains with a small smile.
"So, Martin Kramer... His parents both died a few years ago, so he inherited the business pretty suddenly - might not be surprising that it's doing poorly. He's not an only child, but I couldn't find anything out about his siblings yet." The reporter rummages through her handbag, taking out that photo of the Fausts and a young man in the background, the one you've asked her to look into. "Please bring this back to their house. I've made some copies, so... I'd rather not get found with something like this on me. I'm having someone look into the identity of that boy on the photo, but I don't really know how long it'll take. Sorry..."
"Please continue." You say. The woman gulps and nods.
"T-the Kramers' company has gotten better recently, but that's because their competitors went under. You can't talk about Kramers anymore without bringing that up. Everybody seems to think that it's some kinda conspiracy theory, like, planned sabotages instead of just bad luck. I'm willing to bet that it was the supernatural, though!.. Uh, not that it matters, I guess... The thing is, nobody knows what happened, so I couldn't figure anything out about that..."
The room descends into silence. You keep expecting her to continue, but her nervousness seems to keep getting the better of her, her eyes darting around the room meaninglessly, trying to stay away from yours. She speaks up just as you're about to.
"Um... was all of that clear?"
>"...Is that all?"
>Ask Melanie a question. (Write-in).
"Do you know Martin Kramer's address?" You ask. The reporter nods and writes it down for you. You can't really carry the note around, but you memorize what's written on it and move on to your next question. "Has a Japanese family been involved with the Kramers?"
"Yeah, sort of. Martin's father married an asian woman. Her name was, uh..." Melanie scratches the back of her head, pondering.
"Hisakawa Chizuru?" You suggest. The reporter shrugs.
"...That was probably it. Yes, I think it was..." She rummages through her bag again, taking out and looking into a notebook. She nods firmly this time.
You take the note she passed you previously and write an address down on it. You ask her about the garage with the escaped Hollow, but the reporter shakes her head. "Please look into it." You say, and she nods a few times, securing the slip of paper in her pocket. You also ask her about Nordlingen, the town in which your first mission took place, but it, too, yields no useful reply. "Could you figure out who owns the property?" Melanie nods again.
"So was that all you've found?" You ask, a question that makes the young woman tremble.
"T-that's... yes. B-but look, there's only so much I could do in one day! I, uh, I'll keep looking, but..." The reporter swallows heavily. "I-I need to help Steward Faust, too. The police are still sitting on his neck, and I want to stop them... I think the detective there might not even care about the true culprit anymore, she just wants to get someone convicted."
That's the man who was accused of killing his own wife. The police obviously won't take Hollows as a suitable explanation, so proving his innocence must be a tricky affair.
>Pressure her to work harder on your case.
>Let her handle her affairs.
"By all means, collect any mundane information you find that could potentially clear Steward Faust. But any supernatural evidence comes straight to me, since the local police would just laugh you off anyway."
Need to make a mental note to figure out why so many people around here can see us.
Tell her the truth about there being a very powerful evil spirit in the Kramer mansion right now, with a human victim that may or may not be alive, and the evil spirit is probably that if one of the victims of the incident we're investigating. Ask her what she would have us do?
>Pressure her to work harder on your case
Get her to make an anonymous call to the police to have them investigate the mansion
They'll find the girl randomly suspended in the air and either free her giving us another witness(maybe) or the cops will die
Either way the suspect is freed. In theory.
Describe why it's retarded.
There is no way to link our involvement and at best it would give us someone else to talk to and at worst it would free up our little agent moulder to work harder.
It's win win
First of all it's Mulder, you twit. Second, it's a bad idea to get even MORE humans involved with an enemy they can neither see nor harm. Third, we have a mission to consider. If we jerk around trying to save one person at risk, that's time we're not spending taking care of something that may be vastly more dangerous in the long run.
Any seated officer should be able to fuck that spider sideways. But so far we've proven to be the only shinigami capable of ferreting out and dealing with the human sorcerer. Our time is best spent there.
The point being, as stated, it absolves the imprisoned man making this reporter feel better and thus able to better focus on our task. And the best case scenerio, as stated, is that they DO free the captured girl and we get another potential lead.
We, and this case, lose nothing by sacrificing a few non essential humans.
The hollow has avoided human detection for a long time while the mansion has been under observation by the police. He's not gonna reveal himself by slaughtering people that can't even see him. And he can probably hide the woman very easily.
That's why I think Mushroom messed up a bit because he seems to expect us to be as smart as the character we're playing.
But, for starters did we learn what Moeka's Zanpakuto does? On the rare chance it's useful, maybe we could make a plan around it.
Also we never bothered to verify whether or not the hollow moves via the sewers, if not, a surprise attack from beneath could be a viable means of gaining entry. Also even though he seems like a cool customer, he's still a hollow, and thus driven by extreme negative emotion. If we remind him of who killed him in the first place, or even bluff and act like we already know everything, we might get him ranting into spilling more.
The point is I don't fucking know, anon, just like you. But unlike you, I don't think that means we shouldn't even attempt to try anything.
There is actually not much that you can do to help Faust - odds are that he can't see or hear you. Deploying a gigai would take time, and then having to convince the police to let you meet with him would take even longer. Speaking through Melanie would be unwieldy in addition to making her face similar problems. If proving Steward's innocence is of any concern, it's probably best left to Melanie; and even if it's not, human-to-human information gathering is still her 'specialty'.
"If you get the chance to, could you ask Faust about the man in the photo?"
"It's going to be hard to get a chance to do something like that, but... I'll try." The reporter nods. You'll let her handle it.
Now that you think about it, you have two leads left that you could pursue on your own. The first one - and probably the most apparent one - is Martin Kramer, the current owner of the Kramer pharmaceutical company, and apparently Hisakawa Yasu's grandson... or one of them, at least. Whichever one is named Shinji is obviously your target. So is it just a question of learning their names..?
The other lead has been up in the air for a while - that Hollow hiding out in the mansion. Why does he know Shinji? Just who is he?
Some of the first suspects to spring to mind are Shinji's victims. They all have an obvious motive to hate him. The Hollow used 'business' to describe its attitude, so the owner of that collapsed company seems like a reasonable choice to settle on. But if it was Shinji's actions that caused that person's death... could he have ended up as a Hollow?
Is there something you could do to get that monster to spit something out? It's not hard to provoke a Hollow - the bigger question is whether that's a good idea or not. Going in there without a plan isn't going to end well: it's his territory, and to add to that, he still probably has that hostage.
The other option is to investigate Martin Kramer directly, look through his things, try to identify the other siblings. Though... what if he is Shinji? Other than the name, he fits quite well under the role of 'Shinji'. He has a clear motive - advancing his decaying company. Whether he has the means to do so in the same way as the magician... finding that out might get dangerous.
>Visit Martin Kramer alone.
>Reunite with Moeka, investigate Martin Kramer.
>Go to the mansion alone.
>Reunite with Moeka, head to the mansion.
>Tear Moeka's clothes to fake a struggle
>Pretend her arms are bound from behind
>Present her to the hollow
>Demand info before he does anything
>Moeka attacks him while you grab the woman
>Burn the house down
>Reunite with Moeka, head to the mansion.
Yeah okay, he might be dumb enough to fall for that. And even if he isn't, that just means we can kill him before getting the info out of him. Which we might as well, because I can't think of any better plans than that.
I don't really think absurdly intelligent is appropriate at all! Plenty of hollows can make rudimentary plans, especially if they lucked out with a special ability.
The fact that the hollow thought we would agree to its deal shows it's not that smart.
Is that part of the problem, everyone's been overestimating the hollow?
what do you guys think of cutting a deal with the hollow? He tells us who he is and we deliver him to the hollow to do with as he pleases.
After all we were ordered to execute the human correct?
Reread our interaction with him and tell me he isn't absurdly intelligent.
We've already got a deal set up with him. He won't agree to another one after we don't follow through on giving him Moeka.
I just did, and you're still wrong. He's not smarter than us, he just already knows who killed him and still has his memories of being a cutthroat businessman. That's literally it.
A soul reaper may be tasty, but the man responsible for his current situation and death? I think the primal instinct for vengeance is more palpable to hollows, but I could be wrong.
Just saw we're having trouble convincing her to come, but offer this alternative that would be beneficial to us both.
"We'll meet again tomorrow, then." You declare, the reporter nodding fervently after a slight delay. There's probably not much more that she'll be able to find in just one day, but it's still helpful.
You take your leave and return to Moeka, only to find her squatting on the same lamppost you've left her on, her eyes closed. Both of the beer bottles have been opened, though you don't see an opener anywhere.
"Moeka?" You call out to her. The girl opens her eyes.
"Oh... Hey, Ryouta-kun. How'd it go?" She asks. When she doesn't get her answer immediately, she adds. "I wasn't sleeping. Just closed my eyes for a second."
"Did you drink?"
"No... It's frozen." The girl picks a bottle up and flips it upside down. She's right. It is frozen. ...Or already empty. "The old guy's still in his house... not doing anything... Pretty boring."
You explain the situation to Moeka. She smiles, nods, and stretches, looking pretty excited at the idea of working in a less passive manner. "Lead the way!"
Martin Kramer's apartment is spacious and stylish, totaling six rooms, each conforming to the latest trends in modern room design, some with an emphasis on art over just pleasing the eye; you never understood art, so the purpose is lost on you here as well. It's no mansion, but it was probably a poor way to 'save money', regardless. Looking at all of this, one wouldn't think that the owner of this was also the CEO of a company that's under the threat of going under. Well, perhaps Martin simply isn't good at managing money.
That's not really important, either way.
Nobody is here. It's afternoon, so he's probably out working.
You and Moeka look around. It seems that Martin doesn't live alone, but you really doubt that his roommate is a sibling. There are photos of him with a woman you don't recognize; probably a lover. The wardrobes are chock full of fashionable clothes, cabinets are filled with jewelry. No paper tags or occult-related books. There are some work-related documents here and there, the ones dating further back confirming the dire situation of Kramer Pharmaceuticals; judging by the calendar, he has plenty of scheduled meetings.
Tracking him down is possible even right now.
You find a couple of picture albums. One of them depicts Martin and his lover spending time together, generally on vacations or on parties. The second one, a clearly seldom opened tome with most of its pages empty, seems to be a family album. Here, familiar faces crop up immediately.
The young man you'd seen on the Faust family photo, as well as the girl dragging the boy into the frame in the photo of the youngest victim. The girl's eyes are closed in most of the photos. Judging by the date on some of them, she's probably around 20 now. The boy is a few years younger. Martin seems to be somewhere inbetween when it comes to age. You find the names Chizuru and Matthias, the latter no doubt the father, going by his interactions with Chizuru in the photos.
Chizuru, Matthias, Martin, Erwin and Maria. But no Shinji.
Does this mean that you're on the wrong track?
Maria's eyes are closed in most of pictures. Her eyes were closed in the first photo you've seen her in as well, but you assumed that it was because she struggled to get her brother into the frame. She might be blind.
You find a phone number dubbed 'Erwin', but not one for Maria. You could find the address using a phonebook. Do those two live together?
...There is the possibility of them having changed their names, but you don't know why any of them would do that. Even with your list of suspects narrowed down to three people like this, you don't have the proof you need to figure this out.
Going carelessly from here on out is a bad idea. The wrong impression could turn the initiative right around on you and result in your or your partner's death. Even surveillance is potentially dangerous on the off-chance that you don't manage to catch up to the fact that you're the one being observed instead. You need that final bit of info to proceed safely.
"I don't get this at all..." Moeka mutters, grasping her head in an exaggerated manner. "Let's just let that weird reporter figure everything out for us, Ryouta-kun. She seems to be doing a good job, right?"
The latest photo has been taken about two years ago. ...Could that be the time the parents died? If you go with that assumption, then they've died maybe a few months before your first mission. But what does that mean?
It feels like you're just one piece away from the full picture.
>Head to the mansion.
>Check out the other siblings.
>Request permission to kill all three siblings.
>Wait for Melanie; continue keeping an eye on Yasu.
Mansion means sacrifice shinigami for info. This will not go well for inter division relations
Check out other siblings means we put about and elongate the task while they have a chance to get away
Kill all three and papa urahara is disappointed in us for jumping the gun without a core culprit
Wait means we risk a confrontation with "blind" girl who is probably the one responsible as it would potentially explain why they were so sloppily drawn.
Fuck it, rolling the dice.
>Wait for Melanie; continue keeping an eye on Yasu.
Alright! Ending thread for tonight, it's getting really late! Voting will stay up for 10 more minutes, and then the next thread will begin with the most voted action!
Next thread will be tomorrow! And that is probably when this mission will end! Keep an eye out on twitter in case of emergencies:
If you have any feedback or questions, shoot them my way!
Thanks for reading!
Maybe making a pastebin with a short entry for each bit of evidence we've collected as a summary would be helpful for future cases? It's a pain to switch between like 5 different archived threads to review all the evidence.
Rolled 3 (1d6)
Rolling to break the tie!
>Check out the other siblings.
>Wait for Melanie; continue keeping an eye on Yasu.
Thanks for the suggestion! I'll keep it in mind, but I don't think I'll bug you guys any more than this. After this is over, let's focus on Ryouta instead!
I think you're doing a pretty good job with the mysteries, it seems a little complex though. I'm sure it's hard to make us feel like we're making progress in the investigation without giving us the answer too easily. Sorry some people keep getting frustrated though.
thanks for running. Actively solving mysteries is tough and running mysteries in a quest is even harder if you're not spelling things out. Without seeing the crime scene or being able to go through your own mental check list it becomes pretty difficult to figure out how to proceed appropriately if you're not there physically. At least for me.
another vacation? I feel like we'll need a lot of debriefing after this