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Die Shize

[The Cyberpunk City] Tears in the Rain

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This is an open roleplay based on The Cyberpunk City roleplay project.

The thread begins in the Martial Town Police Department Headquarters and will move on from there.

This is a serial killer investigation primary plot that is completely collaborative so feel free to join and work with me in any capacity, or we can work on a secondary story at your leisure!


Hub in Use

The Buffer



MTPD Headquarters
(Martial Town Police Department)




Detective Parean Parean





Sound Presence: OOC

The Drain Detective

It had taken a sloshing crater of a puddle to convince Parean to put his cigarette out beneath his umbrella. The latter had done enough to shield the flame but getting his shoe soaked had ruined his appetite to smoke. It was pouring out, the night cold, with the stars a hazy overhead amid the city’s smog and sure to remain that way these few hours past evening. Reaching the sidewalk after crossing the street, he checked his watch: just past nine o’clock. I’m on time. At least that’s something. On time, the first time, and the first night in Martial Town. It was every bit as vibrant and lethargic, dead and lively, as he had heard. A paradox. Just like me.


The city’s suburbs had been quite a contrast to its central areas. All of Martial Town was walled on the outside, some parts in, while the outer wall was as much to protect the people inside as the people outside, though which one was more than the other Parean didn’t know. There was a lot to hear and a lot to say about this city, most of it not great. The settlement’s small handful of gates at the wall were guarded checkpoints. Tunnels in their own way, they posed a kind of duality between these access points into the city proper and the surrounding districts and neighborhoods that were clearly suffering the worst; neglected, abandoned, the residents left to ‘police’ themselves. As a visitor, Parean was still working out what to make of it all. Amid all of it, though, it was a night like tonight that the Neon City really shined. Lights of its nicknamesake were lit up everywhere, from the outer limits to the inner. A giant, flickering lightbulb.


Those peripheral areas were simply and collectively referred to as the Peripherals. They led deeper into the city—a ring of blocks called the Buffer, an evident shorthand for “Buffer Zone”. It was a fitting name. This area was largely neutral, serving as a wedge between the Peripherals and the heart of Martial Town: the Core. The latter was its own walled district, militarized and policed by the city government’s own armed force. That left the majority policing of the Buffer to the Martial Town Police Department. There was much and more to learn about this city that never sleeps, but Parean only really needed to know that which pertained to his being here.


Standing beneath the roof of the MTPD Headquarters, a complex of drenched buildings, he lowered his umbrella, content that the rest of his outfit, including his best friend of a brown trenchcoat, was hardly hit by a drop. Debating with himself whether to light up his cigarette then and there, Parean grumbled over his own refusal. A few hoodlums were looking his way as he pocketed the unlit cigarette between his lips, but they weren’t worth any effort either. On his way into town, he had learned that the crime rate of the Buffer rested somewhere in the middle between the high end of the Peripherals and the low end of the Core—it was certainly still there, a deal more so than in other settlements, but no idiot was going to start a fight outside of a police station. Of which I better waste no more time and head inside.



Sound Presence: IC and OOC



Through the doors, Parean was greeted by the hustle and bustle of police hands just like one would be in any law enforcement station in a big city like Martial Town. Unintelligible conversations were strung together like split wires, phones were ringing like a symphony out of sync and keyboards were going tap-tap-tap amid the click-click-clack of unpolished shoes. If the lobby was this busy, the offices on all floors that exceeded ten were likely no different.


“Hey, hey hey!” Parean’s brow perked at the voice of a man coming his way with rolled sleeves and a tie as loose as his own. “What’re you trying to do, drown the building!? Ezmo, get this guy a towel, will ya!?”


Parean could only blink as a lobby hand, some twenty-year-old named Ezmo, chucked a towel at his face. He caught it before it hit his face but still felt confused. The speaker just stood there waiting, shaking his head, then nodding in the way that one wants to hurry someone else up. Finally, it all clicked.


“Oh. Right. Sorry about that. Damn puddles.” With that, Parean went about drying off his left lower leg and the dress shoe at the base of it, though his sock would have to suffer. “Thanks. Here you go.” He chucked the wet towel back toward Ezmo. It hit his face.




Parean shrugged in apology.


“All right, all right, knock it off!” The first man spoke, still standing there with his hands on his hips. Must be the bouncer around here. “Ezmo, go get those files I asked about twenty minutes ago! And make sure that pot is brewing, damn it!” He looked Parean’s way.


“The hell you doing still standing there!? This is a police station. Either make a police case, or go station yourself back in the rain. I got work to do! Sheesh!

The man walked away and that was that. Parean just stood standing, his umbrella in one hand, his free hand slick with rainwater. Well, guess I better find the captain who decided that it was a smart idea to hire me as a private investigator. He had caught a job through his PI connections of a serial killer on the loose in the Buffer. It was a rainy season, and this particular animal liked to drown his victims, or so recent reports went. Parean would find out soon enough as he made his way throughout the lobby and headed toward the elevators, smelling coffee along the way. One cup. It won't hurt. No more than a wet sock.

Edited by Die Shize

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The nightlife of Martial Town was filled with a vicious mix of light and sound. Whether it was storming or the sky was crystal clear, the contrast would always persist. The shimmering lights... and occasional flashes of dump fires. Never-stopping cacophony of top-3 dance tracks and ads broadcasting from sky-scraping buildings... and deafened, barely audible gun blast down the corner. The polarized atmosphere of the Peripheral and the Core would keep itself as an universal constant lying in the basis of Neon City. Yet such contrasting balance had been just disturbed, harassed, broken just by a revving of a lone sportsbike...

Zoe was rushing through a rainfall along the Buffer Lane, a motorway whirling and stretching from Far Reach Outpost right to the Core Gates. Despite of dangerously high speed, her bike was gliding between vehicles - both passing and meeting - with relative ease. The woman in a leather suit and a black helmet was leaning close to the bike, practically melding with it. She passed near several patrol stations without dropping the pace - yet without drawing police's attention for reason unmentioned. Only when the compound of Martial City Police Department had shown itself at the next turn, the driver lowered the speed then guided the vehicle toward the parking lot. The spot between a couple of standard patrol motorbikes had been already waiting for Zoe's heavily tuned black monster.

Zoe checked the time. Her wrist watch showed quarter to nine. If helmet wasn't covering the lieutenant's face, one would notice a slight smirk on it. She had a reason for that: after all, that counterespionage job didn't take long. Indeed, after a troublesome day it was good to feel the wind, the speed, the rain, the rush again. Nonetheless, now that she was standing still near the dept. entrance, the rain was more of an annoyance than a way to relax. So she strapped her bike and rushed inside the lobby.

- - -

As soon as Zoe noticed a familiar face behind the counter, her upbeat mood had been washed away instantly. That jerk Dobson would never miss an opportunity to pick on her. And given how soaked her suit was...

"Yo, Lieutenant! Breaking the dress code as usual, I see." - a chubby cop let out. - "What would Cap say if they see you wa-- Oh, for Gaia's sake, Z, you're leaking! Have those Fence kids blown watertower on you again?!"

A perfect solution for the babbling problem that was Corporal Dobson was to ignore him, and Zoe knew that well. After showing her pass she walked into the change room. Once there, she removed her helm, unzipped her biker suit, then she pulled out the folded dress set from the backpack, then changed her clothes, combed her hair and so on, and so on...

The entire operation took about two minutes. Living in this little world of hypocrites and talking masks, Zoe had a knack for changing her image. After marking her gear as "Pending For Cleaning" (the service bots should do the rest), she exited the room and walked toward the main office entrance past Dobson. A formal attire she was wearing - white shirt, black skirt - had transformed her: she was less of a street rascal and more of a simple office worker, a secretary, or - as Vinny would probably say - "a beautiful assistant every computer guy would dream of"

"You happy now?" - she threw at the corporal, who couldn't hold his oily smile.

"Now that's a copy. Nice outfit, by the way." - he sneered. - "Say, would you bring me a cup of coffee, miss Rodriguez?"

Typical sexist oddities, Zoe thought to herself. "Go get it yourself, buttface!". Followed by yet expected oinking cackle, she entered the office for a de-briefing.

- - -

"Lieutenant Rodriguez, the captain will be available in a couple of minutes. Please wait here."

Zoe wasn't bothered with the captain being busy - she had already sent the report regarding her operations in PalMetal Industries. The CEO had been caught red-handed, another fraud scheme had been toppled, another day had been saved. Now only a few formalities left. Zoe stood near the pass to the corridor leading to Police Captain's Office and watched aimlessly across the workblocks. Of course, she could take some time with some of those operators, copywriters and many various keyboard clickers just to kill some time. Or she could visit Dispatch Center and let Vinny fill her ears with another "rising rogue AI" nonsense...

But her intentions had stopped short as soon as she had noticed a man in a trench coat passing through the lobby. Zoe recognized him as one of those private detectives that usually visit MTPD at daytime.

Strange, she thought. That guy never stays here after six...

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(I’m not gonna reveal Shorty/gizmo’s age but he is young ((less that 14)) and he xe is my first attempt at a gender neutral character. I couldn’t imagine xem as a girl or a boy so I made xem gender neutral. I have never used gender neutral pronouns before so if I mess up I’m sorry.)


Xe was hanging around a couple blocks from the police station literally hanging from the fire escape by xyr legs at least 15 feet up chewing on a big wad of bubblegum. Xe was watching people walk by. Xe was rather bored waiting for something to peak his interest. Then xe saw them. Some guy in a brown trench coat. Now THAT was interesting, nobody walked around in a trench coat like that without a reason. Xe flipped up to a sitting position and pulled on xyr two dark brown thin gloves and pulled down his goggles onto xyr eyes and turned them on. Xe pressed the button on xyr short black jacket for camouflage mode. It wasn’t incredibly enhanced, it made xyr invisible but if you focused you could see a definite shine. Xe swung up and clinched to the wall, the gloves gave xyr the ability to cling to walls like a gecko. Xe climbed up the wall and ran across the building careful not to lose sight of the trench coat man. Xe leaped to the next building calculating the distance with xyr goggles waving his arms and legs and xyr foot hit the wall so xe used that to propel xemself to the roof and continued like that till the man stopped walking. Xe ducked into an alleyway hanging off  of another fire escape and watched the man walk into the police station. Xe hung there waiting for the man to come out. Xe could be patient and besides, this promised to be interesting. Xe pulled out xyr phone and called Andy “hey Andy how ya doing?” Xe said In xyr young boyish voice “that’s nice, I saw this weird guy in a trench coat today. Yeah I followed him I’m waiting right outside the station. No nothing wrong just thought I’d tell ya. No reason. Kay bye” xe hung up and waited.

Edited by Unicorgi

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Wyatt had never really believed the old saw that you couldn't really appreciate what you have until you've lost it. In his opinion, it was not appreciating what one had that lead to losing it in the first place, so if you're thankful for what you have in the first place, you're less likely to loose it. But after the death of his physical body, he had realized that there were a number of things about his flesh and blood that he couldn't have known he was taking for granted. Sleep was the biggest one. When they had transplanted his brain into his new high tech body, some kind of programming glitch had stopped him from being able to fall asleep. He had never realized how much time sleeping took up until he had been forced to experience every minute of the day. Keeping time had also become difficult, and though it had only been a week before the programming error was fixed, it had felt like at least double that to him.

Thankfully, as he sat in the diagnostic chair in the sixth floor of the MTPD building, he was able to catch a bit of shuteye while the techs ran their tests, and crunched the numbers. He had already done his duty three hours ago when he first arrived, performing all manner of physical and mental tasks to prove his mind had synced with his new body. Now it seemed the tests were coming to an end, and a single man in a white lab coat came in. The man was somewhere in his fifties, with salt and pepper hair and rimmed spectacles. As usual, he greeted the detective with a genuine smile.

"How are you feeling Detective Wynter?"

Wyatt tried to smile before remembering he had no mouth anymore and gave a thumbs up.

"Getting used to it," he said, his voice slightly modulated, "But a lot depends on what you tell me next."

Doctor Gibson chuckled, "Of course. I'm happy to say that you've been cleared for active duty. Congratulations."

In an instant Wyatt was on his feet, almost jumping with joy at the pronouncement.

"Bout damn time! I thought I'd have rusted into a pile of useless junk by the time we got the all clear."

"None of the components of your body can rust," Gibson corrected, "And we need to be cautious. This is the first time we've done something like this after all. Rushing into it would be dangerous.

"Right, I got it. I'll be careful. So what's my first assignment?"

"The Captain wants to brief you personally. Head down there, and remember; the fate of the SAMSARA project rests on your performance."

Wyatt nodded, and took the elevator to the appropriate floor. He drew a number of odd looks as he made his way to the office, but he took them in stride, and made it to the area where he would wait for the Captain would come for him.

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Music [Recurring]


Sound Presence: OOC



By the time that the elevator doors had clinked and clanked and clunked to a close, Parean was almost having second thoughts about stepping through the opening and onto the fourth floor of the MTPD’s Main Building. He might have forgotten that floor number, given that someone else had pressed the button from the lobby while he lazily sipped from his piping hot coffee, but number four was just then lit up like an advertisement sign back outside when the doors opened. Here we go. Once more unto the floor. With a sigh, Parean finally put one soggy foot forward and let the dry one follow. With a yawn, he negotiated his way around paper-pushing secretaries and uniformed officers with their own cups of coffee sizing him up like he should have been wearing their shirts.


As with the other levels of the MTPD Headquarters being primarily purposed for a separate and overarching department, the fourth floor of the Main Building was dedicated to the Detective Bureau. Its divisions were comprised of all the colors within the sad rainbow: Homicide, Narcotics, Organized Crime, Gangs, Forensics, Special Victims, Cold Cases, Cyber Crime, Missing Persons, Major Cases, Hostage Negotiation, Arson & Explosion, Black Market and so many more that Parean lost track of as he strolled his way throughout the cubicle complex, down hallways and past personal offices. Most of these investigative divisions were nothing new to a detective’s bureau or an entire police force, while some of them were a tad unusual even for an aged Private Investigator like Parean. One of them in particular, such as Illegal Augmentations, had cocked a brow. Though not all that surprising. I’m in a city where arms filled with blood and bone are traded for metal and wires like a candy bar for a soda.


Also a little less surprising was yet a unique sub-unit for the MTPD that wasn’t as segregated or as expanded as others that Parean had come across. Toward a corner of the fourth floor’s Detective Bureau, the Private Investigations Division was indeed a division of the greater police force. Parean had since heard of this particular element—it was in part how he got hired on—and had further learned that most of Martial Town’s PIs, individuals like him, reported here for their work. After all, the MTPD needed all the help that it could get. It was here that Parean finally halted his walk, his squishy sock a little less squishy as he squashed it into a settled stance.


He wasn’t the only one of his kind amid the bustling cubicles, tucked away though they were in this corner of the floor; faces as old and puffy as his own, younger ones with fierce beards, gum-chewing women, elves and dwarves from Terrenus to Genesaris—Private Investigators drew all kinds of racial wit. They weren’t bounty hunters—that was for another corner—but they were still hunters in their own way. Of course, amongst an entire floor devoted to various shades of brown trench coats, Parean himself could have passed for a private or a public detective.


“Excuse me.” He called out to what appeared to be a very busy receptionist. She blinked up at him as though he had just stolen her dinner. Of which I missed. Now I’m as hungry for food as I am for a smoke. “Hi. I have an appointment with the man in charge of this division. My name is Parean.”


“Last name?”


And here we go. “Parean.” He gulped. “Parean Parean.” There was an unmistakable snicker and a smirk that had grown from it. He just rolled his eyes. “I’m looking for Captain Landrew Jericks. Where might he be?” He sipped his coffee and hoped for the best.


“If you’re looking for Captain Landrew Jericks, you ain’t gonna find him here, buddy.” Parean blinked down the length of his styrofoam cup at that. The receptionist rolled her eyes. “Captain Jerick Landrews, on the other hand, is in the office behind me. You know, the one with the words on the front door reading “Jerick Landrews, Captain of the Private Investigations Division”?”


He blinked again, his cup frozen on his lips, till his mind registered how that bitter heat had been burning said lips and he almost spat his drink out and into her face. “Oh. Right. Sorry.” He chortled, gesturing his cup toward the lady. “Not enough caffeine, am I right!?” She rolled her eyes, and suddenly this was all turning into a game of who can blink their eyes more times than the other can roll them. As soon as his tingling lips had parted to press another question, she cut him off.


“Better take a seat and a number, though. It’s a busy night and there’s a few of your friends already lined up. He’ll make ya wait, too. Captain was supposed to be home by now. So was I. Got shit to do back home. Got my own phones to answer and forms to fill out and bills to pay and—”

At that somber note of misery, Parean thought it best to thank the lady and excuse himself with a subtle if determined getaway before it was too late and she would end up ensnaring him for a debriefing of her miserable life. I have my own to listen to, thank you very much. Forfeiting, he found the row of chairs specifically designed for uncomfortable waiting and took a seat. It might have been a busy night (and it was probably always a busy night in the Neon City), but most PIs had already handled their business during the day. That left a few empty seats on either side of him as he parked his rear and reduced his coffee to a cup half full. Or is it half empty? I can never quite recall.

Edited by Die Shize

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Lieutenant Rodriguez waited patiently, even with a few chances to take her mind off for a while. No more than seven months had passed since she was assigned to U.I.D. – just enough time to learn whether the Captain would deem necessary to make the call. As usual, Zoe payed little to no attention to her formal coworkers. And those coworkers, ever busy with their reports, orders and correspondence, would feel the same without the risk of hurting one’s feelings. Several passing people, however, wished her a good evening as part of a professional courtesy. There weren’t that many familiar people here at MTPD, either because of Zoe’s seclusive nature or general instability of people’s relations in this town… Well, the Captain and that looney Vinny might be an exception.

At this moment a secretary passed near Zoe and gave a ordinary greeting like everyone else. Then, after taking a logical pause, she whispered near Zoe’s ear.

“Mister Fleemburg is waiting for you.”

The captain never acted directly in public – only via his proxies.

Having received an invitation, Zoe walked softly through the corridor toward a narrow glassed door. The label said

MTPD || Undercover Investigations Division
Captain’s Office

Visits strictly till 9 p.m.

Without knocking – the boss was expecting her and only her alone – the lieutenant opened the door.

Given the total size of police department, each division had at least several cubicles, rooms or even floors at its disposal for stationing and operating with full efficiency. However, the entirety of Undercover Investigations Division was contained inside this little closet. It was just enough space to fit a bookshelf, a computer desk, a couple of chairs and the room’s occupant. The occupant – a balding middle-aged man in a vest - slowly raised his head and gave a welcoming smile through his bushy grey moustache.

Zoe stood still before the man and spoke firmly: “Reporting for duty, sir.”

“Ahh, lieutenant… Welcome!” – the man replied with a raspy voice, then he showed at the chair against him. – “Have a seat, please. I bet you were on your feet all day.”

Zoe took her seat without hesitation. Every report usually starts with a formal invitation and a short de-briefing.

“I’ve read your report regarding PalMetal. Hell, the guy hasn’t seen that coming! An exposed deal with the Junk Barons would surely cost him a decade or two behind the bars. It is bizarre, though, that he did not smell a trap, given how high the stakes were for him. I mean, a new secretary who was employed barely a week ago would be the first to suspect…”

“He didn’t.” – Zoe replied. – “He haven’t paid much attention on me beside of my CV and a faux recommendation letter. The CEO was handling his “wares” mostly alone and kept his paper clean. It was tough to find enough dirt on him. Thankfully, some employees were talkative enough to shed light on some of his shady schemes…”

“Yeah, yeah, spare me the details. Given how much you’ve done to analyze his behavior, get his trust and convince him to arrange the meeting at the right spot… I’m pretty sure you would make a wolf out of a sheep and everybody would be alright about it!”

“Just doing my job… Sir.”

Fleemburg chuckled. The conversation between the lieutenant and the captain had been going in an informal manner, as if the pupil was consulting with her tutor. However, Zoe did not felt herself at ease. She kept her posture restrained and her attention fixed on Fleemburg's patterns of speech. She knew the captain knew ALL the details of her past mission – and probably the details of her next assignment. The whole conversation was just a screen. She waited for the signal…

“Excellent work as always, Rodriguez!” – the man behind the desk continued. His voice became less relaxed. – “Now I know, you may be getting tired of digging through all of this corporations, private companies and all those corrupt clerks. The problems of our society cannot be solved by a mere corporate counter-espionage. It makes as much sense as if-”

Zoe suddenly heard a distinct click on the captain’s wrist. At the same time the computer started to make strange humming noise. After a brief pause the captain finished his sentence:

“…As if a purple pig and a green donkey flew a kite in the middle of the night and ended up sunburnt.

Another click. Now Fleemburg looked at Zoe as if he wanted to hear her opinion on the nonsense he just spat out. The lieutenant acted in sincere confusion and replied: “That’s… quite an interesting allegory you brought up here, sir. But…”

While emphasizing on this singular “but” she rose her hand above her wrist watch, then pulled a tiny lever on its side. The same clicking noise came out.

Zoe inhaled and said: If Purple People Eaters are real… where do they find purple people to eat?

She released the lever with the same click. The captain nodded. The strange humming stopped. From the computer’s speakers came a heavily modulated woman voice:


The interior of the closet suddenly started to change. A pair of surveillance cameras retracted inside the walls. The door window behind Zoe had been covered by a thin wall, completely obscuring it and blocking the view. The door lock clicked, then clicked again – from this moment no one would go in or out.

The same thing over and over. Zoe found no sense in such complex security measures, which were one of U.I.D. gimmicks.

“With all my respect, sir…” – She spoke. – “Is such conspiracy really necessary?”

Fleemburg laughed. “Now, now, lieutenant. It wasn’t me who implemented that. Besides, it’s just a part of our job. Or charm, if you like it. Without it we would all be wearing those sweaty trenchcoats and grumble about the weather.”

Zoe recalled that detective she saw before – with an umbrella and probably shoes full of water. She couldn’t help but smirk.

“Yeah, right.”

Suddenly the entirety of a closet rumbled, and Zoe felt as the floor started to descent, carrying two people and the furniture like an elevator. The entrance door has risen above them.

“The events are unraveling fast and giving us the challenges… and the opportunities. Now the real work can begin.”


Obligatory OOC Commentary

1. Zoe Rodriguez's questline is planned to have no direct connections to the "serial drowner" arc, However, at some point my character may make contacts with other character involved in main quest (to reach her own goals or briefly aid the others)

2. Undercover Investigation Division (U.I.D.) is a facility located in underground section of MTPD. U.I.D. specialize in covert operations, district sweep, rescue missions, corporate counter-espionage, network reconnaissance and anonymous recruitment of key figures. Division usually acts independently of other MTPD faculties and keeps away from public exposure. Nevertheless, some of U.I.D. staff cooperates with Recon Team or Detective Bureau (any involvement from U.I.D. side would be denied, however)

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Wyatt sat in his chair, motionlessly watching the room as people came and went. It had been a long time since he had been in the Detective Bureau, back near the beginning of his career when he worked the homicide division. The last ten years had been spent in the Special Operations Division, where he had excelled until the incident that required him to have his brain transplanted into his new body. During his recovery he had thought he'd want to jump right back in, but as the day got closer he began to wonder whether or not he was ready to do that. Nightmares had plagued him since the incident, and his therapist suspected he might have a mild form of PTSD. Together they had decided that he wouldn't go right back to SOD, and would spend some time getting back into the swing of things in the Detective Bureau; working with whatever division most needed the help.

Today that was the Private Investigations Bureau. 

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Music [Recurring]


Sound Presence: OOC




“Parean Parean?”


Parean sighed, for all the good it did him, blinking up at the receptionist who had rather delightfully called his name in a tone that seemed a tad too high. He ignored the snickering from a gentleman down the row and any ogling caught from the corner of his eye.




“The Captain will see you now.”


Parean finished his coffee, disposed of the cup with a crush and silently made his way toward the office. He wasn’t in any ripe mood to thank the lady, and there was a lingering fear that just about any word he might utter would punish him with a long and boring story. Not bothering to knock, entry already bidden, he turned the knob and stepped inside, closing it behind him to find not one but two individuals sitting in there waiting for him.


The first one could only be Captain Jerick Landrews and not Captain Landrew Jericks. He was a man who Parean plugged to be somewhere in his thirties with a wiry frame, wiry whiskers on an energetic visage and wiry glasses apparently in some disrepair. Parean could have made plenty of other observations to keep pace with his heartbeat but those were enough for now. The other person, Parean had no clue. Maybe the Captain’s errand boy. They all have one.


“Welcome, you must be Inspector Parean...Parean, is it?”


The Captain spoke, looking up from a file upon a desk filled with files and fellow clutter. Parean nodded, spotting an empty chair of two on the other side of the desk but making no move just yet.


“That’s me. Inspector Parean. Investigator Parean. Detective Parean. Any one will do. As long as you just call me Parean.”


Both men shrugged in unison.


“Very well, Parean. Please, take a seat.”


Finally. Not one to stand on ceremony, Parean heard himself sigh as he sank into the slightly more comfortable chair than the one he had just left. Jerick Landrews fumbled his fingers through some ordered chaos, reaching for a silver pen that stuck out like a sore thumb amid the mess, but Parean was presently distracted by a black pot and the bittersweet smell emanating from its core.


“Mind if I grab a cup?”


“Huh? Oh, sure, sure! Just brewed. All nighter, once again. You know how it is, I’m sure.”


I sure do. “Thanks.”


Parean drummed his fingers as Jerick spun around to the coffee pot in a corner, watching as the Captain poured, hearing the soothing sweet sounds of java cascade like a wicked waterfall.




“No thanks.”




“I’m sweet enough.”


That had earned a chuckle as Parean accepted the ceramic mug. Upgrade. He tasted the coffee, the coffee tasted him, and both were best friends. A sideways glance at the other individual still sitting beside him had prompted an introduction.

“Oh, right. Sorry. I didn’t want Sara announcing it to everyone outside.” The Captain looked at the other person while speaking to Parean, who looked clueless. “Sara, my receptionist. Inspector Parean, please say hello to Detective Wynter, Special Operations. He’s been temporarily assigned to me for the fulfillment of this case. He’s your partner.”

….Partner? Parean looked left, looked right, took a deep drink from his cup, and heard a scream inside his throat trying to escape his lips as the beverage burned his tongue.

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As Parean eyed him suspiciously, Wyatt gave the other man a quick appraisal of his own, and quickly discovered one of the functions of his new body. Once he glanced at the other man, a litany of information on the man scrolled through his vision.

NAME: Parean Parean

AGE: 44


WEIGHT: 250 lbs.

NOTES: Career law enforcement, detective for the Ignatz Police Department for eight years. Currently employed as a private detective.

The information was interesting, but Wyatt hadn't asked for it to be pulled up, which would become something of an annoyance if the scanner did that with everyone he met. Luckily, his new body had a hell of a poker face, so no one could tell he was reading up on their personal history. As for the notion of working with a partner, he wasn't against it in principle. SOD agents worked as part of a team fairly often, so he was used to working with others. However, his new partners obvious disdain for the idea screamed of the kind of primadonna behavior that he couldn't stand. But he would give Parean the benefit of the doubt, and just assume the revelation caught him off guard.

Turning his attention back to the Captain, he asked, "What's the situation, sir?"

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@danzilla3 @Unicorgi

Music [Recurring]


Sound Presence: OOC




Clearing his throat, Parean hoped that none of his secrets had just been breached. Partner, huh? Now why the hell wasn’t that mentioned to me on the wire? He looked up at the ceiling. It held no answers but it needed a new paint job. Oh. Right. Special Operations. I’m betting that the Captain himself didn’t find out until it was sprung on him, and probably just tonight. To Parean, any Spec Ops of any kind for any police force was just about as bad as Internal Affairs. SO or IA, these were among the two outfits in a law enforcement’s wardrobe who thought that they were above all other suits and shirts and ties and, evidently, trenchcoats. I don’t know about any of that but this guy ain’t got nothing on Parean Parean. Parean sipped his coffee with reserved opinions as he listened to his would be partner’s question and the Captain’s answering it.


“It’s a bitch of one.”


The private investigator had seen those looks before, though this time was a little different than normal given that Captain Landrews seemed overall a fairly jolly soul a moment ago. Now, his face had faded into a shadow; an eerie mutation amid a sudden gust that escaped from the outside rain and slithered into the office from a cracked window where the blinds did not fully cover. There was roofing that shielded the downpour from pouring inside, but Parean was still lost at the quirk of leaving a window open when it was raining. Then he recalled how stuffy the room felt when he first walked in, more so with a Spec Ops rep within it. Guess this office needs its heating fixed as much as its ceiling.


“Five days ago,” the Captain started, turning his silver pen in both hands as though it aided his thoughts. “A body turned up in Meekman Downtown Hospital, as pale as the moon on a clear night in Martial Town.” Jerick was speaking to both men but, from his eyes shifting over to Parean more than the other guy, it was clear that his words were weighed for the benefit of the new guy in town. “Now, if every detective from the central business district to the inner city spent their time investigating bodies, my all nighters would turn from a few to a few thousand. Martial Town is the black hole of homicide, but it’s the who the how and the why of this body that peeked Homicide’s interest. And, of course, they’ve got their hands full as it is.”


It was the Captain’s turn to sip from his mug—the MTPD emblem on one side of the ugly green thing, a half-closed eye on the other, Parean was quick to note.





Sound Presence: Music OOC | Ambience IC



“Human. Male. Nobody of import. Not yet, anyway…” Jerick trailed off, and somehow the bags beneath his eyes turned a darker shade as he leaned back. “He didn’t have time to become anyone important. Some...some sick bastard stole that from him. Jake Evans was his name. Not the prick who did it, but the kid who drowned. Twelve years old. Will never see his thirteenth birthday. Neither will his grieving mom and dad.”


If the silence wasn’t awkward for anyone else but the captain and the private detective, then Mr. SOD was a heartless SOB. Parean sat there shaking his head right in front of Jerick, but the detective didn’t interrupt the captain’s briefing.


“I mean, it’s fucking awful, but kids die. Kids die in this city and outside this city. They suffer accidents or illnesses or other assholes out there knock ‘em off the grid. But a body five days ago became five bodies since then.”


“One death a day?”


Parean was all too aware of his own inquisitive if emotionless tone, but Captain Landrews was attuned enough to realize that it was just the nature of an experienced investigator.


“Yeah. One dead child a day.” He took a long sigh. “Including today. It’s been raining for two weeks straight now, it happens, and where some storms scare the rats back into the gutters, other storms seem to bring ‘em out into the streets. This son of a bitch, whoever he is, likes to drown his victims in that rain. Puddles, in particular. Probably gets off on it. Ugh…”

Parean knew that look too. It was the look of disgust, rage and hate all at once. At the ones responsible for this situation. At the situation for making you feel so helpless in doing anything about it. It was a look that he himself had seen more times than he could count on his own face in the mirror.

Edited by Die Shize

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Being in SOD wasn't the nonstop thrill ride that a lot of people seemed to think it was, but it was simpler in some ways than detective work. When you worked SOD you generally had a target, or a specific objective in mind before you ever set foot in an active crime scene. If you weren't on a mission, you were training, or preparing for the next mission. Most importantly, there was a certain distance between you and whatever crimes had been committed by the person you were bringing in. You didn't have to know the gory details, you just had to bring the bastard in. Working homicide you saw everything; the tragedy of life cut short, the shattered lives of the victims loved ones, all that and more from a front row seat. 

Whats more, this suspect was apparently a serial killer who targeted children; which added a whole new layer of fucked up to the proceedings. For one thing, any crime involving children was worse than if the same thing had happened to an adult. Kids were supposed to be innocent, they didn't know how screwed up the world was: somehow they were supposed to be exempt from the cruelty and depravity of the world. The murder of a child reminded everyone that no life was sacred; and it was an awful feeling. 

Serial killers were also one of the worst types of offenders that cops had to contend with. It was a well known fact that such killers rarely stopped their murderous activities until they were caught; which introduced a ticking clock into the equation. Which meant they had precious little time.

"We better catch the son of a bitch quickly then. Do we have any leads?"

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 Xe almost spat out his soda then stopped hoping none of them had heard the noise. Jake’s dead!! This was a surprise to xyr, xe didn’t know Jake well as he was a kid who actually had or lived with their parents but that made it more shocking, house kids were less likely to die. I hope these guys can find who did it xe finished his soda and silently crushed up the can and put it in xyr backpack. Xe felt the button that provided his invisibility give a small jolt, nothing too worrying as that had been happening, xe needed to get a replacement as this one xe had been using for a very long time.

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Sound Presence: Music OOC | Rain IC




Parean’s black coffee was already bitter, delightfully so, but suddenly it tasted acrid in his mouth and denied him another sip. He set the cup on the desk and sighed out his agreement with his new partner’s input. At least the guy had no hesitation in jumping right into things and, to stop whatever monster was behind these unforgivable killings, diving in was exactly what the two of them needed to do, side by side or otherwise.


On 3/5/2019 at 5:01 AM, danzilla3 said:

"We better catch the son of a bitch quickly then. Do we have any leads?"


“Few and less.” Jerick shook his head in sympathy, as if he had been dreading the question without a satisfactory answer to follow it up with. “Forensics hasn’t managed to find a single fiber of hair or flake of skin at the crime scenes, never mind fingerprints or footprints. Whoever’s behind this shit, I hate to say it, but he’s good—at leaving no trace, if nothing else. Here.”


The Captain shifted a dossier in front of each investigator. “Everything we have so far on the case is in those folders, same copies for both of you but, like I said, it ain’t much. You’ll find files on the victims, coroner’s reports, photos of the crime scenes, the works—hard copies as well as on disc. I can tell you up front that the connections between these kids are also few. One notable detail is that all five were positively ID’d as twelve years old. Homes in the Buffer, both parents or just one, while one boy’s an orphan. Three boys, two girls, but no pattern so far.” Jerick drummed his fingers and looked like he was struggling to recall any more immediate pieces of intel to share.


“For all we know, if Gaia forbid there’s a sixth death tomorrow, it’s either going to be a boy or a girl. None of these kids appear to have known each other, their residences are spread all over town and are as everyday as your everyday nightclub. One of the boys, though, Addam Fayworth, he grew up in the New Family Orphanage right here in Downtown.”


Parean was growing more and more self-aware of how seriously he was taking this Captain Landrews, in large part due to the latter’s remembering of the victims’ names without even needing to open a folder. Those names are stuck with him now. Yesterday, tonight, tomorrowforever.


“Now, as far as the crime scenes go, they’re also localized to the Buffer but are otherwise random as far as we can currently tell. Alleyways, railways, roadways—hell, the last body was found behind a GRAFT clinic.”


Parean allowed himself a moment of reflection as he considered the information so far. He had half a mind to thumb through the dossier while he listened, but there was time for that later. How much time, I don’t know. Never enough.


“By the sounds of it, Captain, there is indeed not a whole lot to go on. That being said, what shows that these deaths are actually murders, and connected enough to be their own pattern?”


It was the million-money question. Jerick had been ready for it.


“Simple. Every serial killer scumbag likes to leave a calling card. This one has two.” Just then, Jerick’s countenance positively collapsed into an expression that betrayed him for a man crying on the inside. “A broken lightbulb sticking out of each victim’s mouth, glass-up, with a note inside it, electronic writing: “The children of tomorrow must follow the new light.” Whatever that whackshit means.”


With that, Jerick rose from his seat and moved over to the window. For fear of getting himself wet like any sane man would have, he didn't open it any further, the blinds still mostly parted, but he appeared to be watching through the slits at the black, bleak world drowning itself on the other side. The sound of the rain was as close as it was distant, a wet draft escaping inside.


The children of tomorrow must follow the new light. Parean heard those words rattle inside his skull a thousand times over in a just a few seconds. Cryptic. No surprises there.


“Well, unless I’ve missed something, and I just may have this late,” Jerick turned around to face his inspectors as he stood with a mug in one hand and a silver pen in the other. “That should cover the basics. After reviewing the case, well as they say it’s all in your hands at that point. Check the bodies, check the crime scenes, check the grapevines. You might want to check in with the parents and that orphanage, get your own feel for things, but I probably don’t need to overstate the delicate nature of the former.” He sipped his coffee and suddenly Parean reached for his own.


“Any other questions? I’ll answer as best I can, but I can’t emphasize enough how in the dark we are on this one. That’s why Homicide, with their plate already piled high, is branching out to other experts. Not me, but you two.”  


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The facts of the case were even more dismal than Wyatt had feared; and he had known that the case would be a tough one. It sounded like the killer was both intelligent, and methodical in carrying out his crimes, which meant that they couldn't count on him getting sloppy and screwing up. Drawing conclusions from the victims seemed like it would be difficult, and the killer didn't seem to have a type; only needing them to be children. The ritualistic nature of the message and props left with the corpses seemed to indicate that the killer viewed himself as some kind of missionary out to change the world. Catching the bastard was going to be an uphill battle.

Wyatt touched the disc in the dossier, and in an instant he had downloaded the contents of the disk. Nonetheless, he picked up his folder and nodded to the Captain before walking out of the office to wait for Parean. When he came out, he would ask his question.

"Where do you want to start?"

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Music - Undercover Investigations Division (U.I.D.) Theme


Sound Presence: OOC

They say the entirety of U.I.D. was contained inside the little closet and the little mustached man inside of it. That was the reality everyone was content with... or rather the reality that Head of U.I.D. wants everyone to be content with. Zoe was lucky enough to realize that fact over and over, each time the secret elevator room reaches its destination.

While the majority of MTPD facilities were kept in a more conservative, kind of "classy" way, Undercover Investigations Division was keeping up with the times, true to Neon City's nature. From angular and minimalistic interior design to peculiar plant forms, from VR training chambers to workstation holodesks, from simple servobots to complex surveillance networks - every piece was integrated into the unified organism that was brewing with life under the department's belly. Every member of this particular division was contributing to facility's entire operation. They watch, they search, they intrude, they discover, they interrogate... sometimes they kill, although such outcome is far from tolerable. Indeed, U.I.D. members - Zoe Rodriguez included - may take the jobs others might consider out-of-line. That's why U.I.D. authorities are used to deny their involvement whatsoever, despite of being on plain sight.

As the elevator's door had opened, captain Fleemburg invited the lieutenant to follow him. They passed quietly near Data Center, CovOps Dispatch Center and Agent Training Facility Entrance - right toward the massive metal door bearing the same plague Zoe had seen before. After passing the code and going through biometrics validation, the captain had opened the door, revealing the large room with a wide holodesk in the middle and a massive screen on the back side. Without any delay he took the place behind the desk, while Zoe stood before him at attention.

Now the real work can begin.

Fleemburg made a few taps on his desk, and the screen illuminated with a mass of cubes, floating in a black nothingness and connected with each other by strings of pulsating light.

"Lieutenant Rodriguez." - the raspy voice came out. - "May I ask you what do you see?"

"Not sure if I could answer that, sir."

The captain smiled and reached his hand to the screen. "This... this is the future of Terrenus! First - a prototype for Palguard's defense grid, now - the brain and blood of Neon City. This T-Network is the ocean full of information, technologies, money... and some materials of questionable quality from Terra Alterna. Pay attention, lieutenant - these cubes are not just for visualization. Each cube represents every computer, every device currently connected to T-Network. Such a massive database, free for everyone to use for business, entertainment and everything in-between!"

The captain suddenly lowered his voice, the smile disappeared. "Regrettably, as it always had happened in our history, there would be always someone or something that would abuse such freedom." He tapped again on his holodesk, and the screen zoomed in to a single cube. "Do you see anything suspicious here?"

"Strange..." - Zoe noted. - "One of its links is not connected to any other block."

"Exactly! And notice how the signal is pulsating from the node... toward nothing. Empty. Zero. The entire chuck of data had gone to naught. But watch closely, lieutenant! It is as old saying goes: if you stare long into the abyss..."

Zoe fixated her eyes onto the link as commanded. The signal had gone from the cube to the void, then it stopped... Suddenly another blob of energy appeared from the void and rushed toward the node - in the opposite direction!

"How's that possible?" - Zoe asked with genuine confusion.

"That... is something we call 'The Weave'. We believe it's a rogue cluster of T-Network concealed from our standard-issue tracking protocols. Everything illegal is going on there: weapon smuggling, drug dealing, slave trading... you name it. The Weave used to be a self-sustainable structure that kept its connections with outer network at laughable minimum. That's why the authorities kept their eyes closed on that issue. Until now."

With a few more taps Fleemburg loaded a short record of T-Network activity dated three days from this one. Then he performed a multiple zoom at several cubes. Zoe could notice a myriad of signals going to those cubes from the void... or The Weave.

"Not too long ago we have registered an abnormal activity from The Weave. A majority of workstations across the Buffer had received some sort of a singular encrypted message, then entered the state of permanent lockdown... We don't know the real scope of such actions, but it seems that The Weave might be onto something... Granted, those workstations played no critical role in city infrastructure, but what if they were targeting our transport system? Or electricity grid? Or The Core's defense systems, for Gaia's sake?!"

"You want me to investigate those stations?" - Zoe asked calmly.

"No. Not at all. Our engineers are already working on it and attempting to decode the message those machines had catched. While they are handling the outcome, you deal with the source... And I mean it!"

Zoe raised her brow. She wasn't that proficient to breach into the dark web - it wouldn't be surely as easy as hacking someone's mail account.

"But weren't there the attempts to get inside The Weave?" - she asked the captain.

"There were. But all our specialists were getting was either the lockdown, the infection, the station's explosion or altogether in consecutive order. Thankfully, we have found an alternative solution - a certain someone who is deeply connected with The Weave."

Zoe smirked a little. It was good to know that some nameless agents have relieved you of need for searching the entire city, jumping into every bar and asking rather provoking questions. The last thing she would need after a long day of corporate bullcrap and hypocrisy. This one seemed easy: enter, find, talk, persuade and everything else according to situation.

"I'm listening." - she spoke.

"The intelligence, as usual, is scarce. The location: some nameless bar not too far away from Far Reach Outpost. The name: Neuroshaman."

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