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"I bet you feel no remorse."

You don't know what to say in response. After all that has happened in the last few weeks, your feelings no longer make sense. You've become desensitized, your sense of morality is gone. So no, you don't feel remorse. But at the same time, how can you tell? You don't feel much of anything anymore.

What do you have to reproach yourself for, anyway?

> You squandered your rich parents' inheritance and stole your siblings' share
> You made the company you worked for lose millions of dollars
> You made your wife and her lover "disappear" after learning of her infidelity
> You are the head of a pharmaceutical lobby whose actions have caused hundreds of deaths in the country
> You are the quarterback of your high school team and you accidentally killed an opponent during a game
> You were hired to assassinate the President of the United States and succeeded in your mission, but your identity was discovered
> You are the head of an amusement park and you deliberately neglected the security of some machines, which led to the death of 4 visitors
> You are a lawyer and your "talents" have led to the release of dozens of criminals
> You are a drug trafficker who betrayed all his collaborators to pocket several million dollars
> You forgot to return a book to the high school library you sick fuck
> Other

NB: If we ever have to roll dice in the future, the rule will be "smaller = success".
>>
>>4894770
> You are a lawyer and your "talents" have led to the release of dozens of criminals
>>
>>4894770
> You are a lawyer and your "talents" have led to the release of dozens of criminals
>>
(I forgot to mention: I'll wait until there are AT LEAST three votes or a reasonable amount of time (~3 hours?) since the last vote)

>>4894773
>>4894780
You are a lawyer. An excellent lawyer. One of the best in this country. And your entire career has been built around one simple principle: if you want to make a lot of money, you'll have to defend the indefensible. To hell with justice: criminals pay so much better! Of course, this sounds like the exact opposite of a good strategy. Yet it paid off.

December 2010. Eugene F. Wainwright, a 74-year-old retiree, kills his own daughter and son-in-law because he did not approve of their relationship. He should have served life in prison: you managed to convince the judge that the victims were a danger to those around them, and that Eugene SOMEHOW acted in self-defense.

June 2012. Mark Martinelli kills his boss and some of his colleagues. By successfully demonstrating that Mark was being harassed and that his company was pushing him to commit atrocities, you made him look like a victim. He will only get 8 years in prison.

September 2013. Benjamin "Ben" Garcia shoots and kills several small-time drug dealers in a matter of two weeks. Thanks to you, the judge will be forever convinced that Ben Garcia acted in defense of his family, not his interests.

You collect dozens of cases like this, and these are not even the best examples. You sold your soul to the devil, but the devil pays well. Until the day he caught up with you.

That afternoon, someone found you and isolated you in the building of an abandoned factory. This someone is holding you at gunpoint and demands explanations. This someone is...

> A close relative of a victim of one of the killers you have freed
> One of the killers you freed, who thinks he can redeem his soul by killing you
> One of the judges you faced, who could no longer live with the fact that he had freed dangerous people because of you
> A rival lawyer to whom you cost a lot of money
> A random citizen who hates you because you help criminals
> Someone you never met, who doesn't even know who you are. That person is currently in a psychotic state and wants to attack people at random
>>
>>4894815
> A random citizen who hates you because you help criminals
People think they can take the law into their own hands.
>>
>>4894815
>Close relative
Cool start
>>
>>4894770
>> You made your wife and her lover "disappear" after learning of her infidelity
Y U NO PIK DIS!?!?
>>
> A close relative of a victim of one of the killers you have freed
>>
>>4894908
A depressing reminder/hits too close to home
>>
>>4894912
Wait. That happened to you IRL, anon? Fucking hell man. Sorry to hear that. Honestly.
>>
>>4894815
>One of the judges you faced, who could no longer live with the fact that he had freed dangerous people because of you
The Law
>>
>>4894915
Not my wife, and I didn't disappear them :P I did knock his shit in though, not that it would bring back the girl. Anyway, I don't want to pull attention from the quest.
>>
>>4894917
Rooting for this one if "close relative" doesn't get picked
>>
>>4894919
shit man, that's sad, but good to know you kicked his ass

>>4894819
>>4894867
>>4894911
>>4894917
While remaining calm, you ask the person who is threatening you a question. This person has been giving you orders for several minutes, but you still don't know who he is.

"Okay but who are you? You want my wallet, right?"

Your assailant is a man in his forties with unkempt light brown hair. He is dressed in a nerdy turtleneck sweater, which looks a bit too small for him. His face isn't exactly what you'd associate with a man who could hold you at gunpoint for long minutes, but that doesn't change the fact that this guy wants you dead.

"Maxine Higgins, you know her?"

The name does ring a bell. She was one of your very few female clients: she was accused of purposely poisoning several family members at a Christmas dinner. You don't remember all the details of the story, but you do remember that you won that case.

"Yes, I do recall. Why, do you know her?"
"I do, indeed. She's my ex-wife, and she is responsible for the death of some of my family members."
"Your ex-wife?"


This man was certainly at Maxine Higgins' trial, but his face does not remind you of anything. To be honest, you don't even remember what Maxine herself looked like.

"That crazy woman deserved nothing but death, and she got away with it because of you."
"So...what do you want from me?"
"An explanation. Or revenge. You defended her, when her guilt was not in doubt. And I saw your resume. Why would you do this? Why would you dedicate your life to defending sons of bitches? Do you know how much blood you have on your hands?"


> "That was my job. I have nothing to add."
> "I'm not responsible for anything. If there's anyone to threaten in the story, it's her, not me."
> "We can always arrange to have her punished, if a new element is discovered."
> "I sincerely believe that your sister did not deserve such a heavy sentence. There were many grey areas in this case."
> "Excuse me, but I don't remember everything. What sentence did your sister receive?"
> Other (write)
>>
>>4894919
Next time, beat HER ass. She knew what time it was.
>>
>>4894994
>>4894994
>What sentence did your sister receive?"
I don't know why I ended with "sister", it's "ex-wife", sorry about that
>>
> Other (write)

> I did it for the money, I've got no stake in it beyond that. A man has to eat, pay rent.
>>
>>4894994
>It was my job. Defend the indefensible, help the unhelpable, let the unfair have their fair day in court. That is how the law works, everything laid bare and left for the judge to decide. And if nobody else is going to do it, why not me?

Lets use that silver tongue. We don't really care, probably, but spinning a rightious tint to it, believing that law is only working right when both parties are working at their best possible score should buy us some clout.

If this breaks his concentration we can exploit his emotional weakness.
>>
>>4894994
>"That was my job. I have nothing to add."
>>
>>4895035
>>4895080
>>4895084
"It was my job. Defend the indefensible, help the unhelpable, let the unfair have their fair day in court. That is how the law works, everything laid bare and left for the judge to decide. And if nobody else is going to do it, why not me?"
"You're right. And that is the problem."


The man in front of you lowers his gun slightly. He looks open to discussion, but still pissed off.

"The system is wrong, it allows these kinds of aberrations to happen. It allows you to set criminals free, as long as they have a good lawyer. It's no longer justice, it's a verbal joust from which the best manipulators emerge victorious. And you...you are a manipulator. A good one."

> "You said it yourself: it's the system that is like that."
> "No, I made my defense from the elements I had. I didn't manipulate anything."
> "Are you really going to blame ME? When it was the judge who decided?"
> "You're just here to shoot me, right? Whatever I'm going to say, you'll just assume that I'm trying to manipulate you."
> Other (write)
>>
>>4895320
>> "You're just here to shoot me, right? Whatever I'm going to say, you'll just assume that I'm trying to manipulate you."

Do it fag
>>
>>4895320
> Other (write)
"You're here to shoot me, right? But why are you trying to shoot me? I'm only one person. I didn't create the system, and I don't control the system. I only play the game I'm good at. And you? What game are you good at? Hunting people down with a gun? Shooting people that live successfully within the system that both of us help prop up? Taking the lives of people who are only doing what the systems tells them they can do is the action of a loser - someone who can't win in the system society created, and now he wants to take his frustrations out on an innocent. You're pathetic."
>>
>>4895320
>Other (write)
A good manipulator wouldn't be in this mess. I'm just a man who made sure his client had her day in court. One day, a man like me will do the same thing for you.
>>
>>4895320
first do >>4895442
then do >>4895435
call his ass out
>>
>>4895435
>>4895442
Add these together and you have my +1
>>
>>4895435
>>4895442
>>4895481
>>4895543
No. 5 is alive
>>
>>4895320
>Other (write)
"When you kill me, don't you think you'd like for someone like me to represent in court? When you're looting my corpse, pick up my wallet. In the third slot from the top on the left side, there's a business card for my favorite colleague, Molly Mulberry, Esq. As killing me is righteous, I'm sure you'd want the most time off your sentence as possible right? She could take 1st degree murder and spin it to involuntary manslaughter. Tell her I sent you too. She despises me and might even take on the case pro-bono."
>>
>>4895320
>> "You're just here to shoot me, right? Whatever I'm going to say, you'll just assume that I'm trying to manipulate you."

add in a >>4895424
"Do it fag"
>>
>>4895481
I will support. Because stone cold and emotionless verbal murder while a gun is in our face is absolutely baller.
>>
>>4895424
>>4895435
>>4895442
>>4895481
>>4895543
>>4895737
>>4895747
>>4895889
"I'm not as good as you think I am, or else, I wouldn't be here. I do my job, go through my daily struggle, and I would have done the same for you."
"That doesn't change the fact that you have a share of the responsibility."


This guy doesn't want to understand. You know the feeling: he looks for someone to blame before he looks for a solution.That being said, is there really a "solution"?

"You're going to shoot me no matter what, aren't you? But why? I didn't create this whole system, I don't control it either. I'm just playing a game I'm good at. What about you? What game are you playing? Are you hunting people down with a gun to satisfy your personal vendetta? Taking the lives of people who are only doing what the systems tells them they can do is the action of a loser - someone who can't win in the system society created, and now he wants to take his frustrations out on an innocent. You're pathetic."

The man approaches you. The sound of his footsteps echoes through the large building, and you tell yourself that these are the last things you will ever hear, as the man you are talking to raises his gun.

"I have to find someone to blame. I wanted revenge on my ex-wife, she's the one who should have been on the other end of this Desert Eagle, but she ran away, she's hiding somewhere. God had other plans for me."

> "I sure hope you're planning on killing the judge, too."
> "No one is responsible."
> "What will you tell God when you get to Him? "Hey buddy, I killed this guy who caused less than 1% of my problems, where are my 72 virgins?" ?"
> "Why don't you find her?"
> "Why don't you find her? I might even help you."
> "Shoot, faggot." (Rolling dice required, see below*)
> "Hey, that's a beautiful gun you have here. Where did you get that?"
> Other

* You roll 1d10 with the following outcomes. I will calculate the average value ("X") of all the dice.
X <= 3 -> Doesn't even shoot
3 < X <= 6 -> He misses and you pretend to have been hit.
6 < X <= 8 -> He misses on purpose to scare you, with the intention not to miss the second time
8 < X => You get hurt
>>
Rolled 9 (1d10)

>>4895986
>"Oh, God, right. What will you tell Him? "Hey, I killed some dude who caused less than 1% of my problems, where are my 72 virgins?" ?. Be honest with yourself, you're fooling yourself. So either shoot me, faggot, or go home and stop wasting my time."
>>
Rolled 7 (1d10)

>>4895986
backing >>4895992
our guy has already accepted his death
>>
>>4895986
>Why don't you find her? I might even help you."
>>
>>4895992
>>4895994
>>4896194
(Average = 8)

"Oh, God, right. What will you tell Him? "Hey, I killed some dude who caused less than 1% of my problems, where are my 72 virgins?" ?. Be honest with yourself, you're fooling yourself. So either shoot me, faggot, or go home and stop wasting my ti..."

Before you can finish your sentence, the sound of an explosion deafens you. You feel a blast over your shoulder, and realise that the man has shot you. However, he aimed wide, the bullet flew a few inches from your head. You had expected him to shoot you, you had even accepted the idea that he was going to murder you, but even so, the sound of the shot scared the hell out of you. You have to admit it: your legs are shaking a bit now.

"What was your name again?"

The shooter's question is surprising. If he has found you, it means he knows your name.

"You...you already know it, right?"
"Not really, I only know the address of your office. That's all I needed to find you. What's your name?"
"W-why do you ask?"


The gunman pretends to shoot you in a quick, almost spasmodic motion. It only lasted a second, but it terrified you.

"Just like that. I want to know who I'm shooting at, don't I have the right? I also want to know what motivates a normal man to take a path like yours."

> Say your name
> "Why?"
> "Technically you don't have the right to shoot me. But...whatever."
> "Money, mainly."
> "Love of law and justice."
> "No particular reason, I'm just good at convincing people and figured out I could make money with this talent."
> "I always thought that even the worst scoundrels deserved a defence, and I was disappointed to see how many people are dragged through the mud because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. "
> "Who cares. Still haven't fired a shot, you little pussy?"
> "What's your name then? What brought you here?"
> Other
>>
>>4896294
>"The right? The right to murder someone? The right to threaten a man because he did his job? Think about what happens if you pull that trigger again. You either go to jail for murdering someone in cold blood or you get bailed out by another lawyer just like me. Think about it. Do you want to get away with murder just like she did?"
>>
>>4896294
>The right to murder someone? No, you don't. My name? what's it matter? About as much as yours which is sum total fuck all.
>As for what motivates me, Love of Money and Law.

Him giving us his name just adds another reason he would want to kill us.
>
>>
>>4896294
>> Say your name
>>
>>4896357
Hiesenburg?
>>
>>4896359
Barry McCockinner
>>
>>4896331
>>4896345
I'd like to back both of these.
>>
>>4896294
>> "I always thought that even the worst scoundrels deserved a defence, and I was disappointed to see how many people are dragged through the mud because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. "
>>
>>4896331
>>4896345
>>4896357
>>4896359
>>4896363
>>4896656
>>4896663
(merging the first 2 answers)

"The right? Are you serious? You're holding a gun to my head and you wonder if you have the right to ask my name? Have you thought about what would happen if you pulled the trigger? You'd be exactly like your ex-wife: a murderer. And you'd have to call in someone like me to get away with it. Or hide, like your ex-wife, apparently."
"It's true, I wouldn't be any better than her after all. But that's okay. For me, it is necessary to cleanse this planet of the people who have allowed this injustice, and I'm willing to take on that task. To avenge my family. I'll be honest with you, you're not the only one I plan to settle scores with."


You shake your head, confused.

"You said you wanted explanations, I gave them to you. And now you're telling me you plan to kill several people? So I was right from the beginning, you just came to shoot me. And all this little talk was just for your sadistic pleasure. But I'm not afraid of you, I've had Death in my face three times already, I've always looked the Grim Reaper straight in the eye. You're just another one on my list."
"Well, no, I wasn't here just to kill you. In fact, I was hoping to have a good reason to spare you, if you'd told me who...no, forget that. You're going to die, anyway. Think of it as a gift from me: by killing you, I'm bringing back some justice and offering you a chance at eternal salvation. Not just for Maxine, but for all the other fuckers you've helped..."


For the umpteenth time, the man holds out his arm, with the barrel of the gun pointing straight at your head. Panicked, you say the first sentence that comes to mind.

"I-It was for the money and the love of the law."
"What are you talking about?"
"You asked me why I chose to be a lawyer. I chose it because I love working with the law, and because it pays well. That's also why I defend despicable people: they are willing to pay more."


A small sneer appears on the face of your potential assassin.

"All right. At least I'm glad to know that you conned my ex-wife. But your soul is still too impure..."

Does this guy think he's on a "divine mission"? In your head, the pieces start to come together, and you understand a little more about this man's state of mind. It's not wrong to say that he has been the victim of an injustice: part of his family died before his eyes, poisoned by Maxine Higgins, and the justice system was lenient with her, partly thanks to your plea that made her look like a victim. Maybe he really does feel like an "engine of fate", restoring some kind of balance. He probably told himself that, if something bad was to happen to him, it would be a sign from God.

"Do you believe in Heaven?"

> "Yes."
> "No."
> "Shut up and shoot. You're not a vigilante, just a nutcase who's a few gunshots away from the electric chair."
> "You were talking earlier about sparing me..."
> Other
>>
>>4896792
>The real question is, do you want to see it? We can quote scripture if you'd like, but your options are hell soon, hell later or walking away to a confessional. Take your pick and put your bullet where your fate is.

Avoid question, step around
>>
>>4896797
supporting
>>
>>4896792
>You were talking earlier about sparing me..."
Death is scary, yo.
>>
>>4896797
+1
>>
>>4896797
Badass staring down the barrel of his demise. Leggooo!
>>
>>4896797
>>4896807
>>4896817
>>4896868
>>4897013
"The real question is, do you want to see it? We can quote scripture if you'd like, but your options are hell soon, hell later or walking away to a confessional. Take your pick and put your bullet where your fate is."

He stares at you in disbelief.

"Don't be silly, God wouldn't have led me here if he didn't have a well thought out plan."
"Or maybe his plan is to test your resistance to injustice. To test whether you can 'turn the other cheek'. You're lucky it's not too late. As long as you don't pull that trigger, you can still be saved."
"Well, come on. He knew this was going to happen, He didn't expect me to sit back and watch my poisoner ex-wife walk out the door, did He?."


> "So go get her, not me, damn it!"
> "Maybe so. God works in mysterious ways."
> "You're not wrong, but you've misunderstood His intentions."
> "Wait wait, listen to this one: what if God isn't real?"
> "Who cares asshole, do what you have to do and stop convincing yourself it's for the greater good." (Roll needed)
> "Who cares asshole, do what you have to do and stop convincing yourself it's for the greater good. We're both going to hell no matter what so let's get this over with quickly." (Roll needed)
> "Let me tell you a story..." and then come up with some random shit until he lowers his arms
> Other

If you choose to roll the dice, I'll pick the average value of all rolls (also you have to roll even if you just "support" someone else). It's 1d10 as usual and the outcomes are:
X < 3 : The bullet does not hit you. But the fear makes you fall to the ground, which will make your attacker believe he has successfully hit you.
3 <= X < 5 : The bullet does not hit you and the other guy realises it pretty quickly.
5 <= X <= 7 : The bullet grazes your skin. It will hurt, but there is no chance that the wound will kill you.
7 < X : The bullet hits you and you're badly injured
>>
>>4897457
I'm not rolling that, fuck no.

>You didn't pay attention in mass did you? The good lord himself said forgive 7 times 77 times. And he didn't just mean forgive someone 539 times, he meant keep forgiving and forgiving like he does to all mankind.
>Did you really put your head into this, then conclude that you were doing god's work? that you knew better and that his judgement wasn't going to happen? Did you really come at this problem and figure that breaking two of his cardinal rules 'Thou shalt not kill' and 'Do unto others as you would have done unto you' would put you in his good books? I've given bad men chance after chance after chance to repent in prison under the law. The fuck are you going to do?

I knew taking Religious education would come in handy in later life.
>>
>>4897457
>> "So go get her, not me, damn it!"
>>
>>4897693
Supporting this. Seems like talking religion to the religious nutter will make sense.
>>
>>4897693
Supporting; but I will warn you we are getting dangerously close to The Problem of Evil and that way madness lies.
>>
>>4897693
supporting
>>
>>4898700
I have no counter for the problem of evil if the guy brings it up
>>
>>4898700
>>4898774
I chose not to go the religious path for a reason. Not the worst tactic, though.

As for the problem of evil... Fuck it. What if god isn't omnipotent and omni-everything, but is still like the biggest spiritual-entity-motherfucker-type-thing in all those departments, just not like ALL powerful, and God has his own limits? Or something similar?

Alternatively, just chalk it up to agreeing to disagree about the religious stuff and find some other common ground or mental trick. He doesn't seem like a zealot. In fact, he seems like a big ol' pussy...

I'm feeling lucky. We should've karate chopped the gun out of his hand and blasted him with it by now! This fucker wants to kill us!
>>
>>4897693
>>4897707
>>4898155
>>4898700
>>4898757
>>4898774
>>4898801
"You didn't pay attention in mass did you? The good lord himself said forgive 7 times 77 times. And he didn't just mean forgive someone 539 times, he meant keep forgiving and forgiving like he does to all mankind. Did you really put your head into this, then conclude that you were doing god's work? That you knew better and that his judgement wasn't going to happen? Did you really come at this problem and figure that breaking two of his cardinal rules 'Thou shalt not kill' and 'Do unto others as you would have done unto you' would put you in his good books? I've given bad men chance after chance after chance to repent in prison under the law. The fuck are you going to do?"
"So my ex-wife should get away with it, otherwise I'm not a good Christian?"
"Nobody said that. The courts have given their verdict, and if Maxine deserved to be punished, then God will make up for it. Let Him do His job, and in the meantime, forgive her."
"Fuck no!"


A jolt of shock-like terror runs through your body as the man raises his arm above his head and fires a bullet into the air. The resonance of the building makes the noise particularly unpleasant.

Suddenly, the man stops.

"No, sorry. I'm sorry."
"It's okay, you just have to..."
"I'M NOT TALKING TO YOU! Sorry, Lord."


He seems to have learned his lesson, even if his manners are a bit surprising.

"...I wouldn't have said 'Fuck', that's a bad word."

What an idiot. But you'd never dare say that to him: he's still got his gun on him.

"As for you, if you're so keen on forgiveness, then I can offer you an opportunity to be forgiven for all the crimes that have gone unpunished because of you..."

> "I have nothing to be forgiven for, I've been explaining it to you for several minutes. Stop thinking you're a messenger from heaven."
> "To be forgiven in the eyes of whom? I don't have to answer to anyone."
> "Go on, I'm listening."
> "Go on, I'm listening." but really, you're planning to run away as soon as he lets his guard down.
> "It's not me you have to blame, but the judges."
> Other
>>
>>4899139
>That's not forgiveness. You are asking me to buy your good will, paying penitence to you for exercising my own forgiveness and adherence to law. You are not his messenger nor his elected representative and you cannot grant me absolution, all you can do is forgive or choose not too.


Let's hope that buys us something.
>>
>>4899275
go go go religion
>>
>>4899275
>>4899492
"That's not forgiveness. You are asking me to buy your good will, paying penitence to you for exercising my own forgiveness and adherence to law. You are not his messenger nor his elected representative and you cannot grant me absolution, all you can do is forgive or choose not too."
"Well, I guess revenge is all I have left."


Your attacker approaches you, and this time it is certain: he will shoot you. You try to dissuade him, one last time.

"You're really not listening to what I'm saying, are you? You're going to end up in Hell if you do this."
"Come on, I know your lawyer bullshit. I always promised myself that if anything happened to me, I would get revenge. I couldn't do it to Maxine, so it'll be to you. And God always knew, there's no way he would knowingly choose to do something that would send one of his followers to hell. God may have said to forgive, but he also said to honor his family, and I would not let manipulators tarnish my family's memory by saving those who attacked him."


He's probably referring to "Honour thy father and thy mother", but he obviously didn't understand it very well.

"This is all up to you. YOU have made this promise only to yourself, God has no commitment to keep. He won't be proud of you because He never asked you to do this."
"Ridiculous. God knows everything, He knew I would do myself justice in this situation."
"God knows everything, yes. But you don't. So you can't juste use him as an excuse. How can you be sure you know what He wanted? How can you know that He accepted your promise?"


He pauses. He is still looking straight at you, but he seems pensive. He is now very close to you.

> Trying to knock the gun out of his hands
With "X" as the average value of all 1d10 rolls:
X <= 5: you make him drop his gun. You won't be able to pick it up, but neither will he.
5 < X < 8 : you fail but you destabilise your opponent just enough to flee
8 <= X: you completely fail your attempt and your opponent shoots you, inflicting a non-lethal injury

> You take his weapon by force and threaten him in return
X < 4: you manage to steal his weapon
4 <= X < 7: you don't manage to steal his weapon, but you make him move back a few steps. He will shoot but miss, wasting a 3rd bullet.
7 <= X: you fail to steal his gun and he shoots you, inflicting a non-lethal injury

> Try to run away
X <= 2: you manage to flee
X <= 6: you put yourself out of range, but he will chase you
6 < X: you can't get away and he shoots you, inflicting a non-lethal injury

> Do nothing and hope he becomes nice

> Say something (write)
>>
Rolled 10 (1d10)

>>4899586
>> You take his weapon by force and threaten him in return
>>
Rolled 9 (1d10)

>>4899586
>Trying to knock the gun out of his hands
We just need to get that weapon out of his hand. That's his only hold over us.
>>
Rolled 8 (1d10)

>>4899586
>Knock the gun out.

Well fuck. So that's a mean of 9. I need a 1 to get this shit down to about 7. Fuck me.

>Well then, may god give me strength to prevent great evil you misinterpreting blasphemy.
>>
>>4899639
That is an exact mean of 9, we are getting fucking shot.
>>
>>4899639
well the first guy didn't vote for the same option as the other two, so the mean is actually slightly lower

>>4899593
>>4899598
X = 8.5

Driven by adrenaline, you try something risky: you kick the guy's gun, hoping he'll drop his weapon. It doesn't work at all. Worse still: you heard a gunshot...

"Ouch!" you scream, immediately bringing your left hand to your right shoulder.

Blood drips from your shoulder. It doesn't spurt out like in the movies, but the pain is so bad that it paralyses you. You fall to your knees on the concrete floor. Your attacker is still standing, but his hand seems to be hurting. You expect him to shoot you in the head, but he does not. Instead, he throws himself on your neck, slams you to the ground, and tries to strangle you.

His anger is very visible. He hurls insults but never lets go. You try to fight him off, but your right arm is far too painful.

"I will KILL you! I will kill you! Suffer, cry, scream, you bastard! I want to see you cry!"

Just as you thought you were going to die here, he releases your neck...before repeatedly hitting you with the handle of his gun. His intention is to make you suffer, maybe not to kill you.

> Play dead
> Try to hit him with your left arm (dice)
I don't know if the dice rolls are biased (because we are very unlucky); in doubt, I'll switch to 1D100s.
X < 15: Luckily, you are left-handed. You hit hard enough to temporarily stun your opponent.
15 <= X < 50: you hit your opponent, causing him to back away for a split second
50 <= X: you miss your target
> Protect your head
> Beg for mercy
> Insult him
> Try to steal his weapon again (dice)
X < 30: you succeed in taking the weapon
30 <= X < 50: you do not manage to take the weapon but you knock it out of your attacker's hands
50 <= X < 80: you fail to take the weapon.
80 <= X: you accidentally pull the trigger, once more
>>
Rolled 81 (1d100)

>>4899889
>Try and take the weapon

Our chances of success are much better this way.
>Retort "Go to hell"
>>
>>4899892
I genuinely find this hard to believe.

But on the upside, it's possible to come back.
>>
Rolled 69 (1d100)

>>4899889
> Try to steal his weapon again (dice)
Baby, please give me something low.
>>
Rolled 90 (1d100)

>>4899889
> Try to steal his weapon again (dice)
>>
you know I'm fucking furious that we're using a lower is better system. Why are we rolling high.
>>
>>4899902
FUCK SAKE.

81 + 69 + 90 = 240 divide by 3 = 80. Meaning that if nobody else rolls, we fail to take it, but that's it.
>>
Rolled 41 (1d100)

>>4899902
once more
>>
>>4899912
Double rolling is bad, and you should feel bad.

But that's just typical.
>>
File: graph.gif (10 KB, 700x440)
10 KB
10 KB .gif
I have two ideas to compensate for the flaws in the dice rolling system, but I need your opinion on that (the quest won't be that long anyway so we can see that as an experiment). They all rely on the same principle of rolling 1d100 but calculating a result between 1 and 10

My first idea was to keep "1 + (X mod 10)" as a result (that is to say : remove the tens digit and add 1). That way 90 becomes 1, 85 becomes 6, 69 becomes 10, etc.

The other idea was to calculate "10 - SQRT(10 - X)" and round up to the nearest integer. Sounds complicated but I'll take care of it. That wat 75 becomes 5, 90 becomes 7, etc. Pic related is "final roll = f(original roll)"

I dunno what you guys think about this, I don't really want to go to a higher is better system because it would go from too hard to too easy

>>4899912
I didn't expect you to roll multiple times, but that's okay
For this time, and this time only, I will take it into account because we are unlucky.
>>4899892
>>4899896
>>4899898
>>4899902
X = 70.25

You reach out to grab the weapon, but your attacker holds it firmly. He must not even have had the impression that you were trying to steal his gun.

After a few seconds and several punches, the confusion seems to have overtaken the pain. You still feel the impacts of the cold metal against your head, but they seem distant, as if you were drunk and the alcohol was helping you to cope with the pain. Your attacker has rendered you half unconscious.

You now feel nothing. At first you think you are dead, but then, you hear the man muttering to himself, with a satisfied tone in his voice:

"That's all you deserve. Serves you right."

Your thoughts are no longer clear. You are still somewhat conscious, but the repeated shocks have altered your senses. You hear footsteps.

> You open your eyes and see what the other guy is doing.
> He's obviously going to try and shoot us, and he's standing a few feet away so we don't try to steal his gun for a third time.
> Do nothing and listen carefully
> Try to wake up and throw an insult at him
>>
>>4900544
>Do nothing and listen carefully
Honestly, I'm moreso just annoyed that we're rolling high. I'm fine with a lower is better system. There's nothing strictly wrong with it. (besides this is a one shot. I'm not that worried)
>>
>>4900544
I just realised that I forgot to say what you were doing in the second option.
>> He's obviously going to try and shoot us, and he's standing a few feet away so we don't try to steal his gun for a third time.
And you try to crawl away, obviously.
sry about this
>>
>>4900544
>> Do nothing and listen carefully
>>
>>4900546
>>4900564
You lie still, feigning unconsciousness. You feel your heartbeat across your face; it is an unpleasant sensation, but less so than the sensation of warm drops of blood dripping down the edge of your face. Physically, your attacker was stronger than you, and you dread the moment when you look in the mirror...

You hear his footsteps walking away. At first you think he is going to shoot you from a distance; you open your eyes very slightly to see what he is doing, and you see him disappear behind the large door through which he had let you in. Then, no more noise.

You open your eyes a little more. You turn your head to look around. Is that madman going to come back? Is he satisfied with beating you up? Does he think he killed you by hitting you? To be honest, more than one person would not have survived the violence of the punches you received, so maybe he does think you're dead.

You get up, convinced that you are now alone. As you quietly walk away, you hear the voice of your attacker in the distance. He is obviously not talking to you; it sounds more like he is on the phone.

> Do not listen and leave quietly
> Try to listen
> Take something that can be used as a blunt weapon and prepare your revenge
>>
>>4900849
>Try to listen
Oh, this sounds shady.
>>
>>4900849
>Try to listen
>>
>>4900849
>Try to listen
>>
>>4900860
>>4901206
You spot an exit through which you can escape discreetly. But curiosity (and the fear of running into your attacker) makes you stay here a little longer, and listen carefully to what you hear.

"Yes... I did what I had to do. Thanks again for your help. See you soon."

Then nothing. The man stops talking. You're pretty sure he was on the phone, but when you think about it, it just doesn't make sense. This guy came to avenge his family by killing the man who helped his ex-wife, which is understandable (albeit very stupid), so who else could be involved in the plan? The remaining members of his family? Maybe he was talking to himself and imagining a conversation with...God?

It sounds far-fetched, but not impossible.

--------

The Sun begins to set; the sky fills with orange hues. Sitting in your car, you are lost and do not know where to go. You're also quite upset. What's the appropriate reaction to something like this? A man just tried to murder you, and you don't know what to do now.

You looked at yourself in the rearview mirror of your car: you've been seriously messed up. The pain, which had been intense for a few minutes, is becoming bearable again, but the wounds will remain visible for a while.

What to do ?

> Go to the nearest emergency room (you can afford to pay, no problem)
> Go to the police
> Go to the Burger King to comfort yourself over a hamburger
> Go home to your loving wife
> Go home to no one because you live alone
> Stay there and sleep in your car
>>
>>4901289
>Go to the nearest emergency room, summon the police and any lawyer accomplices.
>>
>>4901306
yes and take all of his money via payout that will slowly bankrupt the fuck
>>
>>4901453
and also make sure we get a full jury trial and then spin up a sob story that we are a firm believer in justice and that we were attacked for simply believing in a fair trial is a good thing for everybody
>>
>>4901453
We want him locked up, psycho ward. Now here is the important part, we will want to spin the story that he's got a mental illness. It's not his fault, he had a mental break and we understand that. So it's best for all parties involved that we get a payout for our injuries and the trauma of the situation, and that he be confined to a mental ward.

Because if you go to prison, you get out eventually. But if you're a dangerious and mentally Ill individual, you don't get to leave the psych unit "For your own good".
>>
>>4901306
>>4901453
>>4901504
>>4901713
You go to the emergency room where you receive proper care. The evening seems endless. When you finally get out, you head straight for the police station. There are a lot of procedures to file a complaint against someone, but for you, it can go a little faster: you know the commissioner personally...

Gregory Szymansky, 41, has worked on countless cases in which you were also involved. You have met him on many occasions: first for work, then in everyday life. You two have common hobbies and your relationship with him is almost friendly. When he sees you with your face covered in bruises, he can't help but come up and talk to you.

"Hey, what happened to you?"
"I ran into a crazy person. I really almost died. I need your help to find him."
"All right, follow me. In the meantime, tell me everything that happened. This looks serious."
"It is! Okay, listen..."


Greg guides you to his office. Meanwhile, you tell him the full story, but there is a lot to tell...

> What exactly do you say? (Write)
>>
>>4901794
>Ex-husabnd to Maxine Higgins juped me, found where my offices were and kidnapped me at gunpoint. Shot and beat me, I tried to talk him down but he has gone the way of religious nut, god's deliverer or something. I think the guy has lost the plot, seemed confused so maybe he's been led on by someone else. He rang a phone when he thought he killed me, "I did what I had to do, thanks for your help, see you soon". I can try giving you directions, but I went right to hospital, he's probably gone.
>>
>>4901984
You explain the situation, mentioning Maxine's name, how the assault took place, and the fact that your attacker was probably not alone. Greg grabs a pen and a notebook, but doesn't write anything down. He seems focused on what you are saying.

"Maxine Higgins, you say?...Who is that?"
"A client I defended a few years ago. I don't remember much about it, to be honest. I know I won that case, but I only remember vague details."
"Do you even recall what she was accused of?"
"I do, she had poisoned her family at a Christmas dinner, I think there had been several deaths...I don't remember what I had pleaded to get her out of trouble, but I had found some evidence to suggest that she didn't deserve to be convicted. I would have to look at her files to refresh my memory.


Greg leans back. His desk chair creaks loudly.

"Yeah, that sounds like a good idea. Why was her ex-husband mad at you?"
"He couldn't stand that I got Maxine cleared. He felt she deserved to be punished. He was mad at a lot of people, including me. And since I was the easiest guy to find...he attacked me first. At least that's what he told me before he kicked my ass."
"So this is some kind of revenge... What a shitty world, though. Some people are now willing to assault a lawyer... I mean, I'm a cop, I know what it's like to be seen as an enemy just because you're an authority figure, I feel for you."


Greg turns to his desktop computer and searches for the name "Maxine Higgins."

"This crime didn't happen in this county, did it?"
"I...I don't know anymore. You don't have anything?"
"No, nothing that matches Maxine Higgins. You're going to have to go through your records."


You nod. This bothers you a little, because you have thousands of documents in your closet. But this is the fastest way to find Maxine Higgins' ex-husband.

"Do you have a gun on you?"
"What? Why?"
"Oh, since you're a lawyer...I mean, he's going to see that you're not dead. Maybe he'll come back. Maybe they'll come back, if there's more than one."


> Don't worry, I'm going to take a sick leave and hide for several weeks.
> I do have a gun, and I intend to use it from now on.
> I do have a gun. And I'm going to take a sick leave until we find this guy. I'll take any chance I can get.
> He won't come back, I'm sure. We'll find him before that happens. I don't believe a gun would save me.
> Other
>>
>>4902384
>> Other
Yes I have a gun multiply in fact but can you spare some officers for protection duty in case the nut job finds out that im not a rotting corpse
>>
>>4902384
>I do have a gun but, uh, I want to make sure something like this doesn't happen again. Could you spare a police officer to keep a watch on me?
>>
>>4902446
>>4902448
"I do have a gun. But I want to make sure something like this doesn't happen again. Could you spare a police officer to keep a watch on me?"
"I could do that. I'll call Officer Evans to work with you for a while. Do you know how police protection works?"
"Yes. I am moved to an undisclosed location for an undetermined amount of time, and a police officer ensures my protection for the duration of the program. But...I'll need to stay close to my office, if you really want me to help you. I don't know if I like the idea of...having to move."
"Do you mind sleeping in a seedy motel 20 miles out of town for the next few months?"


> I rather thought Officer Evans would be watching my house 24 hours a day, like in the TV shows.
> No problem.
> 20 miles ? Way too close to the city.
> Other
>>
>>4902601
>"Whatever I can get on short notice. You can never know how these nuttos act. Especially if he knows I'm not dead."
>>
>>4902601
>I'm accustomed to a certain way of living Greg. That being said, I enjoy being able to practice that living. I'll take it.
>>
>>4902674
+1
>>
>>4902618
>>4902674
>>4902683
"I'm accustomed to a certain way of living Greg. That being said, I enjoy being able to practice that living. I'll take it."
"Great. Officer Evans will take you there this afternoon. You'll get some sleep."
"Good for you...I spent last night in the emergency room because of this mess. I haven't slept in...a little while! What a day it's been, I could use some peace and quiet."


A small, mischievous smile spreads across Greg's face.

"If you think your day is finally peaceful, just wait until you meet Officer Evans..."

--------

The door creaks as it opens. This motel is really, really old, and the establishment would benefit from some renovation. Despite the old wood smell and cheesy decor, the hygiene is just fine.

Officer Evans is, contrary to what you might have imagined, a rather small woman in her thirties. Despite this, her nasty temper and sense of authority far surpass that of her male colleagues.

"This is your room. Weapons not allowed if you are not a law enforcement official. I will never be far away, so call me if you need anything. But I'd like you to keep that privilege for emergencies, I'm not your maid."
"Understood."
"While we're at it, do you have a request?"


> I'd like you to take me to my office so I can pick up some important documents (Maxine Higgins' files)
> I'd like to be able to keep my gun with me. For safety.
> I would like to ask you some questions...
> Other
> Nothing, thank you.
>>
>>4902760
>> I'd like you to take me to my office so I can pick up some important documents (Maxine Higgins' files) and I'd like to be able to keep my gun with me. For safety.
>>
>>4902760
>I'd like you to take me to my office so I can pick up some important documents (Maxine Higgins' files).
>>
>>4902760
>I'd like you to take me to my office so I can pick up some important documents (Maxine Higgins' files).
Don't rile up the stern cop any more than she will be
>>
>>4902760
>I'd like to get to my offices to pick up an important doccument.
>>
>>4902773
>>4902784
>>4902941
"I'd like you to take me to my office so I can pick up some important documents."
"Okay. For what reason?"
"I need the files of a former client to track down the guy who's after me. Greg...I mean, Commissioner Szymansky asked me for those files."
"All right. Get in the car, mess up your hair a little bit so you're less recognizable, I'll take you there."


You were a little worried that Officer Evans was going to be upset about having to drive 15 minutes for a simple dossier, but no, she's willing to help you.

In the car, the officer remains silent for most of the drive. It feels strange to stand next to a stranger for so long without getting to know each other, but you don't dare speak until she's talked to you.

"I'd advise you to stop shaving, too."
"What?"
"If you don't want someone to recognize you. Do everything you can to change your physical appearance."
"Oh yes, I will. I hate not shaving, but under those circumstances, I'll do it."
"You have no choice. The same goes for clothes: you should wear things you would never normally put on. You can easily recognize people by their clothes or their hair."
"What do you recommend?"
"The exact opposite of what you are currently wearing. Put on a Hawaiian shirt, it will change you completely."


> "No, that's way too ridiculous."
> "Is it really that important? I can find out the name of my attacker very easily, you know. This whole thing will be over in three days."
> "Okay. I don't have a Hawaiian shirt, but I do have an old Boston Bruins jersey that I haven't worn in over 10 years, can that do the trick?"
> "Is it an order or an advice?"
> "Are you sure? I mean, it won't work on people who already know me."
> "Bad luck for you, I love wearing Hawaiian shirts in my spare time."
> Other
>>
>>4903266
>> Other
got a couple of old rock and roll shirts will that good
>>
>>4903266
>"I didn't expect a cop to give me fashion advice. I should still have some ol' black sabbath tshirts."
>>
>>4903266
>"I didn't expect a cop to give me fashion advice. I should still have some ol' black sabbath tshirts."
Flash back to those killer metal concerts from way back in the day when you were half your age. That madman might resent you and claim you're evil, but you know you have SOME redeeming qualities... don't you?
>>
>>4903266
>Old rock and roll shirts should fit well enough.
>>
>>4903792
>>4903793
>>4903842
>>4903932
"I didn't expect a cop to give me fashion advice, I sh-"
"This is not about fashion, it's about safety."
the officer says in a calm but authoritative voice.
"...I should still have some ol' Black Sabbath tshirts."

The ride continues in silence. You don't really dare to speak; you don't have much to say anyway.

-----------

You are back in your motel room. You've retrieved several documents from your office, and a few old rock n' roll t-shirts from your booze-filled teenage years. You've hardly put on any weight, and this mature rocker style suits you quite well.

You've been going over the Maxine Higgins case (also known by her maiden name: Maxine O'Hara) in detail for a few hours. Rereading all these documents brings back tons of memories. Not necessarily good memories, but a lot of memories nonetheless.

In December 2014, several members of the Higgins family suddenly felt nauseous and dizzy. Severe breathing difficulties would appear late in the evening, shortly after midnight: four people would die that night. It wasn't long before traces of cyanide were found in the leftovers of the Christmas turkey. An investigation revealed that Maxine Higgins was the author of this crime: she could not stand her in-laws anymore, and she felt imprisoned by a paranoid husband who was prone to unusually intense anger attacks.

Now you remember what you pleaded. You had greatly exaggerated the husband's abusive nature and his control over Maxine (you did not lie though: there was evidence); you had also argued (and exaggerated a LOT) that Maxine's ex-husband was manipulated by his own family and that the abuse was indirectly encouraged. The alleged reason: Maxine is a Catholic, the Higgins family is Protestant.

As you read the list of victims, a chill runs down your spine. You had forgotten this detail, but it changes everything: Maxine's husband, whose name is Victor Higgins, is among the people who died that night. How could you forget that? And how could your attacker pretend to be Victor Higgins?

> Call Gregory to alert him (Write)
> Go knock on Officer Evans' door and tell her the whole story (Write)
> Check that the records have not been tampered with, and that there are no mistakes.
> Go to sleep and get back to work tomorrow
>>
>>4903981
> Check that the records have not been tampered with, and that there are no mistakes.
THIS IS SHADY AS FUCK BOI
>>
>>4903993
You look at the other documents and try to cross-reference the information. The whole file is coherent. You pull out your cell phone and, using the motel's surprisingly good wifi, search for old newspaper articles that would talk about the case. You don't find much, but there is definitely mention of a deceased husband in what you did find.

No doubt about it: the contents of this case have not been changed. But then...who was this deranged man who almost killed you?

> Call Greg and tell him about it
> Go to officer Evans and tell her about it
> "Maybe he faked his death to track down his wife."
> "Maybe it was some random citizen who wanted to beat the crap out of me."
> "Maybe... (other)"
> Go to sleep, you might get some ideas tonight
>>
>>4904062
>> Call Greg and tell him about it
>>
>>4904062
>Call Greg
We have few ideas here, but this lead can change a lot of things.
>>
>>4904062
>> Call Greg and tell him about it
drunk dial!!
>>
>>4904062
>> "Maybe it was some random citizen who wanted to beat the crap out of me."
>>
>>4904092
>>4904291
>>4904551
>>4904690
You pull out your cell phone and call Greg. Not the police, but Greg himself, since you have his personal number. Despite the late hour, he answers.

"Yes?"
"Greg? I have some news about the guy who assaulted me."
"Ah, yes, Audrey...I mean, Officer Evans told me you went to your office to get Maxine Higgins' file. So, what's the news?"


> Write down what you tell Greg
>>
>>4904716
>"Maxine's husband, Victor Higgins, is one of the people recorded to have died that night. I cross-referenced everything. The file is airtight."
>"...Whoever the guy was, he's somebody that knows about the family in the case. He knows about me and my prior case history if him telling me he 'saw my resume' isn't literal, but he also said he only knew my office's address and not my name. That's how he found me, he said."
>(the last bit echoes in your head)
>(slowly realize you went to your office soon after you escaped him assaulting you to retrieve those files)
>(oh fuck)
>>
>>4904810
Better hope our guy was unrecognizable enough. Any police car could go to a law office building to get files for a case, so I doubt the madman or any of his accomplices suspect anything... right?
>>
>>4904810
>>4904813
"Maxine's husband, Victor Higgins, is one of the people recorded to have died that night. I cross-referenced everything. The file is airtight."
"Okay, but what's the prob-Wait a minute, didn't you tell me it was Maxine's ex-husband who assaulted you?"
"Yes. The guy impersonated a dead man, probably by accident. Whoever he was, he's somebody that knows about the family in the case. He knows about me and my prior case history if him telling me he 'saw my resume' isn't literal, but he also said he only knew my office's address and not my name. That's how he found me, he said."


As you recount recent events, you slowly panic as you realize that you went back to your office earlier, and that the man who wants you dead may have seen you. Hopefully you weren't too recognizable from a distance, or the guy wasn't around.

You almost feel soothed to hear Greg speak again and break the flow of your thoughts.

"I think he knew your name and just forgot it when he found you. There is no way he could have gotten this far without at least hearing your name at some point."
"Possible. But still, this guy isn't Maxine's ex-husband, he didn't come looking for some kind of divine revenge, and I have NO idea what he wanted from me."
"Let me think..."


Those few seconds of silence seemed to last for hours.

"I have many, many hypotheses. The first is that it was someone close to the Higgins family who said he was Maxine's ex-husband for...well, maybe because it sounded better and more believable than the REAL connection he had with this woman."
"Okay, yes. What else?"
"My second guess is that it's some crazy guy who heard about this case, and went nuts, all by himself. He started playing a 'role-playing game' where he would hunt down his wife's lawyer, because it amuses him and satisfies his crazy mind."
"Not dumb. Any other guesses?"
"Well...I can imagine one of your enemies sending a guy to beat you up, and giving a deliberately false pretext to send you on a false trail. And by 'enemy' I mean: a rival lawyer, the client of a rival lawyer, one of YOUR clients who felt like you didn't do a good job...either to get back at you or to get rid of the competition. Which seems more credible?"


> "It's probably someone close to the Higgins. We should find people who survived the 2014 Christmas poisoning. Why not Maxine herself?"
> "It's probably a schizophrenic guy who's been hanging around. Is there such a thing as a phone call history from a certain area? That might help us identify him."
> "He's probably an enemy who wants to send me on a wild goose chase."
> "Whatever the reason. We need to find this guy."
> "I have another theory..." (Write)
> Other (Write)
>>
>>4904901
>> "It's probably a schizophrenic guy who's been hanging around. Is there such a thing as a phone call history from a certain area? That might help us identify him."
>>
>>4904901
>Not lawyers, Love or hate eachother, we are more like co-workers than opposing stations.
>Probably a man who went schizo. Do the phone companies have a list of calls in that area?
>>
>>4904985
>>4905036
"This whole theory around lawyers seems unlikely to me. There always has been and always will be a huge client base for people like us, there's no real competition, no rivalry between lawyers. Not in this part of the country anyway."
"So what do you think is more likely?"
"Probably a man who went schizo. Do the phone companies have a list of calls in that area?"


Greg sounds surprised on the other end of the phone.

"It's pretty unlikely that the phone companies themselves store the calls of ALL their customers. The CIA is suspected of doing so, but if such records exist at the intelligence agencies, there's no way the general public would have access to them. Besides, even if we do get access, that's thousands of calls to analyze...that's lots and lots of effort and a pretty low chance of success."

Too bad. But there is still hope.

"What about the surveillance cameras, then?"
"Ha, that's different,"
says Greg in an optimistic tone, "If you remember a very visible detail about your attacker, and there are working surveillance cameras in the area where you got hit, then we can at least trace his route. And maybe find him. Do you remember anything?"
"I remember his physical appearance and where he forced me to follow him. And I also remember the exact time he accosted me, down to the minute. I had my cell phone in front of me at the time."
"You made a big mistake, you know."
"How so?"
"If a threatening person tells you to follow him to a secret location, it increases the chances that he'll kill you without witnesses... But who cares now. Tomorrow I'll look at the list of surveillance cameras in this neighborhood, and try to get the recordings. You'll come to the police station to identify the culprit. And then we'll have a chance to find him. Officer Evans will provide security for you to come here, of course."


> "Okay, see you tomorrow."
> "Sounds risky to me. You should come to the motel."
> "That's going to take too long. How many cameras are there to watch?"
> "Is this really a good plan? Don't you have any other ideas?"
> Other
>>
>>4905363
>> "Okay, see you tomorrow."
>>
>>4905363
>I hope you can at least cut out the shit hours before I get accosted.
>>
>>4905363
> "Okay, see you tomorrow."
>>
>>4905390
>>4905406
>>4905439
"Okay, see you tomorrow."

You go to sleep immediately after hanging up. With all that has happened, your body is demanding its 8 hours of sleep. Even though you have a very sore shoulder, bruises all over your face, and the bed creaks at the slightest movement, it feels so good to finally get some sleep!

-------

"Is that him?"
"Wait, I have to take a closer look...no, it's not him. But it shouldn't be long now, we went through that area at one point."


Greg did his job very well...maybe even a little too well. He brought you the footage from all the surveillance cameras around the locations you told him about. That's several hours of footage, which you've been analysing in detail for a long time. Officer Evans, who has been with you and Greg from the beginning, stands behind the desk without flinching, while you have been staring at the PC screen for hours.

"There! That's him!"
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, look, I'm walking next to him, THERE! You can't see it from this angle, but he was pointing a gun at me. You see the odd angle of his arm, don't you?"
"Yes, I also recognize your clothes and your haircut...okay, that's definitely you."


You look up at Officer Evans, who doesn't react. You go back to Greg.

"What do we do?"

> "See if a camera caught the assault itself."
> "Fast forward to the moment he walks away."
> "Find an angle where we can get a better look at his face."
> Other
>>
>>4905571
> "Fast forward to the moment he walks away."
> "If we can know the times and his face, we can use them to check the other nearby cameras to narrow down the direction he escaped, then go from there. See if we can track him to a getaway car?"
>>
>>4905618
supporting
>>
>>4905958
ignore that was playing a game of risk
>>
>>4905960
you fuck you fool
so am i dipshit

>>4905618
supporting this tho
>>
>>4905618
Makes sense.
>>
>>4905618
>>4905958
>>4905960
>>4905961
>>4906057
"Fast forward to the moment he walks away."

Greg fast-forwards the video until "Victor" reappears in the street where he led you. You are surprised to discover that the assault didn't even last two minutes: in your mind, you had the impression that it had lasted much longer than that.

"If we can know the times and his face, we can use them to check the other nearby cameras to narrow down the direction he escaped, then go from there. See if we can track him to a getaway car?"

Your target goes out of the picture. Fortunately, he goes to an area that was also filmed by a camera, so you start the whole process again with another recording. It takes a long time, but you manage to see the moment when the man makes his phone call (which confirms, by the way, that he was indeed making a phone call, not talking to himself).

You continue to track the man from camera to camera, adjusting the time down to the second for each recording. The whole process is incredibly time-consuming; at 12:30 Greg slips away for lunch, leaving you with Officer Evans.

You're not exactly comfortable with this bossy, taciturn woman. But she does her job well. Without saying a word, she manages to retrace your attacker's route. Until you both see something startling...

"Look. Your attacker doesn't have a car. He waits at the bus stop for a few minutes, and then gets on a vehicle on the line 65. That bus line almost exclusively serves the Hyde Park area."

> "Should we get the camera footage from all the bus stops in Hyde Park?"
> "Maybe we can ask the driver of that bus if he recognises this man."
> "Can we put up wanted posters all over this area, to make it easier to find him?"
> Other
>>
>>4906158
>Footage along the line
>We don't want posters, means I've survived and squealed.
>>
>>4906421
supporting
>>
>>4906421
>>4906431
"Do we have access to the footage along the bus line?"
"Each bus stop has its own camera. Sometimes even multiple cameras. We can access them too, but it's going to take a little while. Do you want to see them?"
"Yes, of course."


Officer Evans grabs the keyboard and starts searching. In about ten minutes, the camera recordings from all the bus stops you are interested in are available. In the back of your mind, you consider yourself lucky to live in a city big enough so that every corner is monitored by at least one camera. It's a little creepy at times, a little 1984-esque, but you're currently in a situation where it makes your life easier.

As Officer Evans stares carefully at the screen, Greg comes back into the office.

"So, how's the investigation coming along?"
"Commissioner Szymansky, I think we've found our man's place. Take a look."


Evans puts her finger on the screen, and points to a familiar figure getting off the bus and slipping away down a small alley. The camera is pretty far away from the action, but you can make out the shapes well enough. This alleyway has no exit: "Victor" must live in one of the apartment blocks nearby.

"Is this what you were looking for?" says Officer Evans, turning to you.
"I think so."
"Well, you know what we have to do now,"
Greg says proudly. "We're going to go to that alley, ask a few questions of the people who live there, and catch the assailant."
"Great. Do I...do I have to come with you?"


Officer Evans interjects into your discussion.

"No, this is a very serious police operation. It would put you in danger. You will go back to the motel and stay there, safe. We will take care of the rest."

> Insist (write an explanation to convince her)
> Do not insist
>>
>>4906525
>> Do not insist
i rater not become a corspe
>>
>>4906525
>Don't insist.
>But, While not under direct supervision, I take it you may rescind your no guns policy in the motel?
>>
>>4906525
>Don't insist.
>But, while not under direct supervision, I take it you may rescind your no guns policy in the motel?
>>
>>4906583
>>4906643
>>4906960
"But, while not under direct supervision, I take it you may rescind your no guns policy in the motel?"
"It's not up to us. Most motels don't allow their guests to carry firearms on them."


Officer Evans cuts you off, but Greg gives you a little nod that you interpret as "as long as they don't see you...". It's not very professional of him, but the circumstances are special enough to justify it.

You return to the motel, while Gregory prepares the arrest of "Victor"...

------

You are sitting on the bed for an hour, alone in your motel. Something doesn't add up. You've been thinking about everything that's happened recently, and several things don't fit together. What was stopping your attacker from killing you, for real? If he had accomplices, why was he so easy to find? Is this all part of his plan to lead on a "false trail"? And who would want that?

You hesitate to read the Maxine Higgins case again, even if that's irrelevant now. Finally, you do, but you learn nothing new. Minutes pass and you have no news of Greg, nor of the police operation.

> You go down to the reception room to see what can be done there.
> Take a nap
> Continue to think about why a guy would beat you up by pretending to be a relative of a victim of one of the killers you defended (1d100, we keep the result mod 10, you realise something important if < 5)
> Sneak out of the motel to explore the area
> Other ?
>>
Rolled 34 (1d100)

>>4907224
>> Continue to think about why a guy would beat you up by pretending to be a relative of a victim of one of the killers you defended (1d100, we keep the result mod 10, you realise something important if < 5)
BRAIN BLAST
>>
>>4907528
34 % 10 = 4, you win

In your mind, it's always the same thoughts that go round and round. You think about the assault, the motives of the assailant...if he didn't kill you...maybe you didn't have to hide after all. Maybe you can even get out of the motel! But you wouldn't risk it, because if you're wrong, it can go very, very wrong for you.

You think about the surveillance cameras, the attacker's route, and where he went. You imagine that your attacker simply left his apartment, with the idea of beating the shit out of you, and then returned home, seemingly out of the blue. It seems so ridiculous.

Suddenly, you are struck by a flash of genius. Sure, you and Greg followed the assailant after he beat you up, watched his route on the surveillance cameras. But you didn't think to look at where he came from. And you remember that he left on a different street than the one he actually came from. Is it possible that the "person" who sent him lived on that other street? Is it possible that someone drove him there and dropped him off?

> It's entirely possible. We need to call Greg right away, maybe he's on the wrong track and he's in danger right now
> It's possible, but I have to keep it to myself. Let's wait for Greg to come back
> No, that's absurd. We need another idea (1d100, I keep the result mod 10, success if < 5)
>>
>>4907785
> It's entirely possible. We need to call Greg right away, maybe he's on the wrong track and he's in danger right now
>>
>>4907785
>> It's entirely possible. We need to call Greg right away, maybe he's on the wrong track and he's in danger right now
>>
>>4907796
>>4907801
What if it were true? What if the assailant was really trying to cover his tracks? What if the apartment "Victor" went to was not HIS home, but just a temporary hiding place? What if Greg was actually in danger?

You grab your phone and call Gregory as fast as you can. It takes him a few seconds to answer, but those seconds seem long.

"Hello?"
"Gregory? It's me. I just realized something, I really need you to..."
"What are you doing calling me now? Are you crazy?! It's bad enough I'm allowed to have my personal phone on me during police operations...what's wrong with you?"
"Greg, you may be in danger. Haven't you wondered if you're being ambushed?"


Gregory sighed.

"It's not an ambush. In fact, we haven't found anything. There's only one door in this alley, and it leads to...the back kitchen of a long-closed restaurant. So...what do you want to tell me?"
"I just remembered something. The guy who beat me up want from a different street than the one he took to leave.. We need to rewatch the surveillance camera footage in reverse to find out exactly where he came from."


You hear Officer Evans ranting, in the distance. You know you made a mistake by calling Greg now, but this case is beyond a simple personal vendetta. You get the feeling that there are several people involved, and that it could be much bigger than you originally thought.

--------------

It's almost midnight. The police station is still open (in a city this big, it must be available at all hours), and Greg has agreed to work overtime just to help you with your investigation. You feel that he's mad at you, but your hunch will prove correct in a few minutes...

"Before he came in here, he was walking down Walnut Avenue...is there a camera on that avenue?"
"No, but you can't get out of this street other than through MLK Street. And there's a camera in that place."
said Greg, tiredly.

As you try to pick up the pieces, you notice that your attacker disappears between the two CCTV cameras.

"Greg, did you see that?"
"Yes. If he came from there
(points to the screen), he must have gone through there (points to another spot on the screen). But we can't see it. There must be a doorway in between, a passageway where he could have escaped."

> "Yeah. We need to go there."
> "Are we sure the videos are from the same day?"
> "What about the cars? There are cars that go by, we could take down their license plates.
> "We'll never get there. I'm dropping this investigation."
> "Let's put it aside and start again tomorrow. I can feel you getting tired, Greg."
> "You seem oddly uninvolved."
> Other
>>
>>4907837
>You are getting tired greg, get some rest.
>>
>>4907848
+1
follow the info next time
>>
>>4907848
supporting
>>
Now that i'm rereading the previous posts I realise how many typos I make, I hope it's not too annoying for you

>>4907848
>>4907878
>>4908027
You can see that Greg is tired and irritated. Since he came back from his police intervention, he looks... "elsewhere". He deserves some rest.

"You are getting tired Greg, go get some rest."
"Yes, that's what I'm going to do. How about you, how are you feeling?"


You feel like sleeping too, but the adrenaline of being this close to finding your attacker and unraveling this whole mystery makes you forget about being tired.

"Exhausted, but I'm motivated to keep going."
"Do you want me to call a colleague to keep helping you?"


> "Yes, that would be great."
> "No, we already have everything we need. We'll go to this place tomorrow (you point to the screen) and it'll be fine."
> Other
>>
>>4908457
>> "Yes, that would be great."
>>
>>4908457
>> "No, we already have everything we need. We'll go to this place tomorrow (you point to the screen) and it'll be fine."
>>
>>4908683
>>4908707
well i'm a little confused now
3rd vote ?
>>
> "Yes, that would be great."
>>
>>4908683
>>4908707
>>4908884
You agree to work with one of Greg's colleagues. Within minutes, a rather young and somewhat insecure man in a police outfit enters the room. He is obviously the new guy, the one to whom they give the unexciting cases.

Before leaving, Greg tells you, in a tone that you interpret as ironic:

"I'm warning you, he's not the type to laugh. You'd better behave yourself. And don't be a jerk, he's trigger-happy, a real dangerous madman."

The youngster laughs discreetly.

"Okay...explain everything to me."
"So here goes. I'm a lawyer, and a few days ago I was assaulted by someone who was holding a gun on me. This man was posing as a relative of a victim of one of the killers I had defended in court, and he was seeking revenge. Do you follow me?"
"Yes, go on."
"I found out that the guy had lied about his identity. Which led me to believe that someone was trying to lead me on a false trail. And since it's very likely that my attacker was sent by someone else, we're trying to track him down to ask him questions."
"Okay. And so, you're watching the surveillance camera footage to find out where he went?"
"Actually, we'd like to find out where he came from. And we found something interesting, look."


You take the computer keyboard, tell the young officer to stare at a very specific spot, and start the video.

"Did you see that? That guy right there, with the turtleneck. He appeared between this camera, and this camera. Clearly, he came out of a door we don't directly see."

The little kid, who has been rather insecure up to this point, suddenly leans forward. He seems suddenly interested in what he saw on the screen. But in a way that is not normal.

"That man here? What can you tell me about him?"

> "I've already told you everything, I think."
> "I emphasize on the fact that he probably wasn't alone."
> "Why do you ask? Have you ever seen him?"
> "Actually, I was counting on your help so we could find out other things."
> Other
>>
>>4908923
>> "Why do you ask? Have you ever seen him?"
>>
>>4908923
> "Why do you ask? Have you ever seen him?"
Getting interesting
>>
>>4909034
>>4909099
"Uh...I wouldn't want to get your hopes up...is there a camera where we can get a closer look? Wait, let me take the keyboard."

The young policeman switches from one screen to the other, very quickly. This sudden surge of confidence suggests to you that he has something very serious in mind. You are curious and let him do it.

"Did you see something?"

After a few minutes, the policeman lifts his hands from the keyboard, and approaches the screen. He has stopped on an image where the face of your attacker is quite clearly visible.

"Well?"
"I know this man. At least I think I know him. He's a former police officer who worked in Savannah, Georgia. He was forced to resign because of a corruption case...the media didn't talk about it much, but I had been working on it, as part of a nationwide investigation."


> "Georgia? That's way too far away, you must be mistaken."
> "Is he a dangerous man?"
> "Do you have any idea how to find him?"
> "What could he be doing here?"
> "Do you have any idea why he would attack me?"
> Other
>>
>>4909633
>"What could he be doing here?"
>"Can we access his files?"
>"You okay with briefing me on that corruption case?"
How could a corruption case in Georgia be relevant here, to our guy?
>>
>>4909633
>You are sure?
>Can we access his file?
>Brief me on the corruption case
>What could he be doing here

Interesting. If we get the facts, our lawyer intuition could probably pick apart what's gone on.
>>
I'm just gonna merge the two votes

>>4909660
>>4909734
"Are you sure of what you are saying?"
"I'm not ruling out the fact that it could be a look-alike. But many of the details seem to coincide."


You are surprised to learn that there is a connection between this policeman, whom you have known for a few minutes, and the guy who assaulted you a few days ago. It's too good to be true, you need to know more.

"Tell me about this corruption case. Can we get access to documents on the subject?"
"Oh, yes, quite easily actually. I said 'investigation', but a more appropriate term would be 'study'. You see, over the last few years there has been an upsurge in administrative aberrations that everyone is turning a blind eye to. We suspect that a few wealthy people are paying the police to get around the law much more easily. Do you follow me?"
"Of course."
"So an investigation has been launched by the government. But obviously, it's stalled. Cops all over the country are supposed to report their own misdeeds, or those of colleagues they like. That's why this work is being passed on to the new guys or to officers with little work ethic, and that's also why this whole study is going nowhere."
"So, what's the connection with my attacker? Do we have any files on him? What's he doing here?"


The policeman crosses his arms and takes a deep breath.

"It's a long story. A businessman from Georgia was building luxury homes in his area, and felt the work wasn't going fast enough. He threatened his employees and used methods akin to psychological torture to make it go faster. When he realized that his employees were about to file a complaint, he paid a local commissioner to make sure the whole thing was quickly "forgotten"...the guy was influential, so nobody said anything. Until one day, one of the masons working on these sites had a serious accident. There was no way to cover it up: the businessman AND the policeman got into big trouble."
"Is this all documented?"
"Yes. Not documented enough in my opinion, but enough to know that this policeman is a scumbag who loved to get his palm greased. That's how he got away with it, by the way: he knew about a lot of crap involving powerful men, so the intelligence services offered him a way out of prison in exchange for some...information."


He puts his hand under her chin.

"It may seem unbelievable that this guy, who lives over 1,000 miles away, would show up here. My guess is that he's done giving incriminating information to the authorities, and now he's working as a henchman for some rich guys in the area again. Maybe YOU have some wealthy ennemies, and he has been sent to neutralize you..."

> "I don't recall ever dealing with a millionaire who hated me, but...why not."
> "I don't think there's a rich guy who hates me. I'm more likely to defend the moneyed crooks. But the whole 'corrupt cop sent to beat me up' thing makes sense."
> "No, we're totally wrong."
> Other
>>
>>4909946
> "I don't think there's a rich guy who hates me. I'm more likely to defend the moneyed crooks. But the whole 'corrupt cop sent to beat me up' thing makes sense."
>>
>>4910033
+1
>>
>>4910033
>>4910429
"I don't think there's a rich guy who hates me. I'm more likely to defend the moneyed crooks. But the whole 'corrupt cop sent to beat me up' thing makes sense."
"That's what I thought too."


This guy is smarter than he looks. As he prepares to leave, you ask him one last question.

"Do you know how to find him? What's his name?"
"It's an Italian-sounding name. Rossi, Grosso, something like that. I don't know the man personally, but I've read a lot about him. Anyway, it's not important. Look at the surveillance cameras. The key to this riddle is here, at the intersection of River Street and Harvard Avenue."


Fatigue gets the better of you again. But you are satisfied with what you have discovered tonight. If you had gone to bed earlier, you would never have met this guy, he would never have talked to you, you would never have learned the whole story behind your assault. These are the ridiculously small details that may have changed the outcome of the investigation...

Now there's only one thing left to do: find this guy, force him to talk, find out who's after you, and finally put an end to the whole thing.

------------

At the first light of dawn, Greg picks you up at the motel and drives you near the place you identified on the surveillance cameras. Greg's behavior was unusual, almost disturbing: he looked upset, and one of the first things he did when he saw you was to hand you a gun. For a cop, this is completely irresponsible. Even if you know him well.

Besides, there was no reason for him to take you away in a police car; especially since Officer Evans was probably available at the same time. But it looks like he left you no choice.

Greg has been quietly getting ready in the car for several minutes. You are reluctant to tell him about the corruption case, but it could be important.

> Tell him about it (write)
> Don't tell him about it and find something else to talk about (write)
> Don't say anything at all
>>
>>4910763
>> Tell him about it (write)
gerg i thnk the the guy was most likely hired to attack me and the guy who attacked me was a corrupt cop from gerogia who made a deal with businessman who made luxury homes and long story short there was a big accident on of teh sites where it couldnt be covered up
>>
>>4911089
this minus the horrible typos
>>
>>4911089
You tell him about the corruption case. You explain everything, down to the smallest detail. Greg doesn't seem surprised.

"I expected it to be something like this. That's why I gave you that gun."
"What do you mean?"
"Considering everything that's happened since you were attacked, it's obvious that we're not dealing with just a crazy guy, but someone who had a well-laid plan. We won't find your attacker in there. I'm sure of it. He's got accomplices, guys who helped him escape, cover his tracks. "
"So...what are we doing here?"
"There's a small -and I mean small- probability that this building right here has been used multiple times by whoever hired the assailant. If we can get inside, and find out who it belongs to, then we'll have a lead. But maybe it's a trap, so we'll have to go in armed."


Greg points to what appears to be a simple house; it looks like it's still inhabited, though no one is inside right now. On the other hand, you are certain that this is the house you couldn't see on the surveillance cameras. And it is also the place where your attacker "appeared".

> "Okay. I'll follow you."
> "Maybe they knew we would follow them here. We shouldn't risk it."
> "This doesn't look like a secret hideout to me..."
> "Maybe we can look at some official documents to get the name of the owner of this house."
> Other
>>
>>4911518
>> "Okay. I'll follow you."
>>
>>4911518
>>"Maybe we can look at some official documents to get the name of the owner of this house."
>>
>>4911554
>>4912131
3rd vote?
>>
>>4911518
> "Okay. I'll follow you."
I would think the expert cop would have already thought to get somebody to check official documents for the owner, and it's a front or a red herring.
>>
>>4911554
>>4912131
>>4913433
"Okay. I'll follow you."

Greg does not get out of the car immediately: he looks at the front door for a long time, from a distance, without moving.

"They have their own surveillance camera. Not something we have direct access to, it belongs to a private company. Let's pretend we're here for something else. Don't try to hide, we play it honest. "
"That's...weird, but okay."


Greg gets out of the car and walks, confidently, toward the front door. You follow him briskly, walking in a slightly more awkward manner. Deep down, you're starting to feel relief. You're almost done with this whole thing...

Greg knocks on the door. After a few seconds of silence, you hear someone unlocking the door from the inside. The rattling sound makes you nervous: you put your hand on your gun, with the firm intention of using it. But the tension quickly subsides when you see the person who opens the door.

"...Hello?"

Behind the door, you discover a skinny, pimply teenage girl. Not exactly the profile of someone who would beat you up. Seeing the two of you, she doesn't look reassured...but you can easily see why.

"Hello. Are your parents home?" asks Greg.
"Oh, I don't live here. I'm the Hurst family babysitter. You...you want to talk to them? I have the father's phone number."

Greg looks at you, looking like he's asking what you'd like to do. You remember what the young policeman told you yesterday: "Hurst" is not an Italian-sounding name, and that makes you think you're on the wrong track.

> "Sorry, we must have the wrong house. Sorry for the inconvenience. Have a nice day."
> "We're investigating an assault. We'd like to know if you know anything about a man in his forties who might be living here."
> "We're investigating an assault. Can we come in?"
> "Call Mr. Hurst, tell him we want to talk to him."
> "PUT YOUR HANDS UP, HOW DARE YOU DRESS UP LIKE A KID? DO YOU THINK WE DIDN'T RECOGNIZE YOU?"
> "Uh...what do we do, Greg?"
> Other
>>
>>4913695
>> "We're investigating an assault. Can we come in?"
>>
>>4913695
> "We're investigating an assault. Can we come in?"
Be nice and polite, no matter what
>>
>>4914257
>>4914355
"We're investigating an assault. Can we come in?"
"An assault?"


The girl does not look serene. She lets you in, but you see a reluctance in her eyes.

The Hurst family home isn't exactly luxurious, but it still reeks of money. These houses, though a bit old, are usually owned by people who make a pretty good living. As a lawyer, you know a thing or two about the lifestyle of the moneyed.

"Um...Am I being detained?" the girl asks nervously.
"No, of course not." Greg quickly replies.

You look around. There is nothing to suggest that this house is a hideout for super-powered criminals beating up lawyers. Although you're not entirely sure you're on the wrong track, you're beginning to think that the Hurst family had nothing to do with this whole thing.

"How long have you been working here? Did you notice anything strange recently?" asks Greg to the girl who is still a little terrified.
"I...I work here every day during the summer. Except on the weekends. And no, I haven't seen anything weird. What was I supposed to see?"
"A few days ago, there was a fairly serious assault on a well-known attorney in the area. We have every reason to believe that this is a complex network of criminals who have a vested interest in scaring the lawmen in the area, so we are looking to find the culprit."
"And...what does this have to do with the Hursts?"
"We know that one of the suspects who has been identified has 'appeared' not far from here. We assume he was hiding somewhere not far from this house."


The girl looks confused and doesn't know what to do. Greg has finished giving his explanation and doesn't know what to say either. It is up to you to break the silence...

> "What do you know about the Hursts?"
> "Do you have a picture of Mr. Hurst?" (assuming he is your attacker)
> "Do you know if we can access the surveillance camera on the front door of this house?"
> "Is the baby of the family sleeping? Just so we know if we can make noise."
> "How long until the Hursts get home?"
> Other
>>
>>4914988
>> "Do you know if we can access the surveillance camera on the front door of this house?"
and > "How long until the Hursts get home?"
>>
>>4915354
+1
>>
>>4915354
>>4916007
"Do you know if we can access the surveillance camera on the front door of this house?"
"Uh...I'd rather you ask Mr. Hurst. I'm in no position to answer you at all."
"And when will he be back?"
"He usually gets home around 7:00...that...that's a bit of a wait."
"We can wait."
you say, confidently. However, those words don't seem to sit well with Greg.
"We're not going to sit on our hands all this time. Is there any way we can get access to those cameras quickly?" says Greg vehemently.

The teenager takes a step back, a little stressed by Gregory's authoritative tone.

"I'm sorry I scared you" he says, "but we don't want to waste too much time. If we're on the wrong track, we'd like to find out as soon as possible."

As you speak, a strange noise emerges from the second floor. Like a cat meowing in the distance. This noise makes the teenager react.

"I'll be right back." she says, running upstairs. You understand that the noise is coming from the Hurst family's baby, who has begun to cry.

While the girl is away for a few seconds, Greg explores the first floor. Family photos hang on the walls, and upon closer inspection, you realize that Mr. Hurst is definitely not the person you are looking for. However, the man who assaulted you has walked very close to this place, you are sure of that.

"Do you think we're wrong?" says Greg.

> "Maybe he is an accomplice?"
> "I don't think there's any connection between them and the assault. On the other hand, the assailant may have been hiding here without anyone knowing..."
> "I'm starting to think we're completely wrong. My assailant did not live here: he was probably dropped off here...by a car, for example."
> Other
>>
>>4916519
> "I'm starting to think we're completely wrong. My assailant did not live here: he was probably dropped off here...by a car, for example."
> "Which is why that camera footage is what we need. It's the only way to be sure."
>>
>>4917246
>> "I don't think there's any connection between them and the assault. On the other hand, the assailant may have been hiding here without anyone knowing..."
>> "Which is why that camera footage is what we need. It's the only way to be sure."
>>
>>4917385
meant for >>4916519
>>
>>4917246
>>4917385
>>4917390
"I don't think there's any connection between them and the assault. I'm starting to think we're completely wrong. The guy was probably dropped off by car...or maybe he stayed hidden for several days, not far from here...that's why we need access to the surveillance cameras of this house. Well...the one at the front door, at least."
"So we'll have to ask Mr. Hurst. If you don't mind, I'll go back to the police station and drive you back to the motel. No way are we going to wait here all day, we have other things to worry about."


You are a little disappointed, but you understand and accept Greg's decision. After waiting for the girl to come back to warn her that you will have questions to ask Mr. Hurst tonight, you get back in the car...

--------

You are in the reception area of the motel. It's not a very spacious or classy room, but there is a minibar and a pinball machine: it keeps you busy. You also make occasional phone calls to some of your clients, to reschedule appointments...because no, you're not on vacation.

As you're drinking your fourth or fifth coffee of the day (without feeling particularly more awake), Officer Evans strides into the lobby and approaches you. You are dreading what she is going to say. Fortunately, she seems to be in a good mood.

"Good morning. I spoke with Officer Richardson...you know, the new guy, the one you talked to last night. He told me that your investigation is moving forward and that you've identified a culprit."

> "Yes. It's only a matter of hours before we find the culprit. We almost know his name and we almost know where to look to find him."
> "That's a bit of an exaggeration, but yes, it's going well. We've got one more person to interview, and then maybe we'll have a chance to find our guy."
> "We're still pretty far from that, actually. Every time we think we're getting close, we run into a new obstacle."
> "Nothing is done yet, to tell you the truth."
> Other
>>
>>4917614
> "We're still pretty far from that, actually. Every time we think we're getting close, we run into a new obstacle."
> "But yes, Officer Richardson's information on this guy's background is more than we could have thought. We haven't acted on much of it yet, but it gives me hope to get to the bottom of this."
>>
>>4917655
supporting
>>
>>4917655
>>4917727
"We're still pretty far from that, actually. Every time we think we're getting close, we run into a new obstacle. But yes, Officer Richardson's information on this guy's background is more than we could have thought. We haven't acted on much of it yet, but it gives me hope to get to the bottom of this."
"What is that obstacle you can't overcome?"
"As you may have been told, after analyzing the surveillance cameras, we found that the assailant 'appeared' in a blind spot. The area we can't see corresponds to a house on River Street; we thought it was a hideout, but no, the house is inhabited by a family that has nothing to do with this case."
"So you're at a dead end, then?"
"Not really. This family has their own surveillance camera, right by their front door. You know, those things that send an alert to your cell phone when they detect suspicious movement...we're hoping we can access them to determine what happened."


Officer Evans sits down as you talk.

"And what do you hope to get when you have access to the footage? A license plate number? A new place to look? A clearer picture of the guy's face?"
"We'll see. I have a feeling this case is infinitely more complex than I first thought, so any information is good to go. I really have to thank you for your help, by the way. You guys are serious cops, not like the one who beat me up."


You take a sip of coffee. It feels strange to have a casual conversation with Officer Evans. She can be sociable after all, although you still haven't seen her smile.

"You know, police corruption is taken less and less seriously over the years, while the problem is becoming more and more widespread. In some cities, you see aberrations that didn't even exist in Al Capone's day. This is a shame. If we had looked into the government's study of this topic, maybe we'd already know where to find the guy who is after you...and the powerful people who hired him."
"Did Officer Richardson tell you everything he knew?"
"More or less, but I don't think I know any more than you do. My mission is only to ensure your safety: every time I get involved in the investigation, I deviate from my mission. But if this case involves a corrupt police officer, possibly hired by a very powerful entity, then that's a problem for me as well."


> "Why?"
> "Do you have a hypothesis about who might be behind this?"
> "You don't have to watch me, I think I'll go back to my normal life."
> "Do you know of any corrupt police officers in this city?"
> "How do you go about catching a suspect?"
> "Have you ever had to arrest a fellow police officer?"
> Other
> Say nothing and keep drinking your coffee.
>>
>>4918167
>"Why?"
>>
>>4918167
>> "Have you ever had to arrest a fellow police officer?"
>>
>>4918331
>>4918532
"Why?"
"The problem with corruption is that it allows big criminals to slip through the cracks. And when the general public finds out about a case like that...the reputation of the entire police profession suffers. We're essential to social peace, but if people look down on us, if we're so easily bought off, disrespect will increase and everyone will challenge our authority without fear of reprisal. Crime will skyrocket. The mass media is already doing a magnificent job of smearing our reputation..."


Officer Evans shakes her head. She has started to ramble on about something else, but you don't dare correct her.

"Sorry, I got carried away. Fortunately, when the conditions are right, we can do something about all that."
"Have you ever had to arrest one of your colleagues?"
"I've never done it myself, but I once had a colleague who got into serious trouble with the law. He was incompetent, negligent and easily manipulated, no surprise there. But it's a long story."


> "I have nothing else to do, so tell me more."
> "Here? In this city?"
> "I didn't want to hear that story anyway."
> Other
> Say nothing
>>
>>4918894
>> "Here? In this city?"
>>
>>4918894
> "Here? In this city?"
>>
>>4918894
> "Here? In this city?"
>>
>>4918932
>>4919144
>>4919364
"Here? In this city?"
"No. It wasn't even in this state. But I wouldn't rule out the idea that there are police officers here who are getting paid to turn a blind eye to certain crimes. We can be surprised sometimes."


You're beginning to consider the possibility that some of the police officers you've spoken to recently are, themselves, being paid by drug dealers or mobsters to make their jobs easier. But you find it hard to imagine Greg or Richardson cooperating with genuine criminals (like the ones you're used to defending in court); no, those cops look legit.

Coincidentally, Officer Evans starts talking about Greg.

"Tell me, how long have you known Commissioner Szymansky?"
"Hard to remember. I think it started about ten years ago, a guy accused of domestic violence had called me to the interrogation room . The commissioner was there, and I didn't know it at the time, but I was going to be facing him a lot. With time, we even ended up recognizing each other and chatting a little. For the past few years, we've been seeing each other outside of work. We have a few things in common."
"Like what?"


> "Oh, nothing out of the ordinary. We both like bowling, barbecues and old rock n roll."
> "Why do you ask?"
> "What about you? How long have you known him?"
> "I don't really want to go into detail, it would be boring. But just remember that we get along well."
> Other
>>
>>4919659
> "Oh, nothing out of the ordinary. We both like bowling, barbecues and old rock n roll."
>>
>>4919659
>> "Oh, nothing out of the ordinary. We both like bowling, barbecues and old rock n roll."
>>
>>4919659
> "Oh, nothing out of the ordinary. We both like bowling, barbecues and old rock n roll."
Some friendships don't take much to happen
>>
>>4922314
>>4922652
>>4922856
"Oh, nothing out of the ordinary. We both like bowling, barbecues and old rock n roll."
"I see. You two get along on a personal level."
"Yes, why? You sound disappointed."
"To tell you the truth, I imagined that you had cooperated on risky cases, that you had experienced some epic investigations, a bit like in the TV series. The commissioner seems to like you a lot, so I thought you two were very close. Even if this assault case is starting to wear on him."
"Yes, I understand him. It's especially frustrating because we don't even know if we're moving in the right direction."
"Only time will tell."


You're not sure what to say anymore. You finish your coffee and sit there, in front of your empty cup. Meanwhile, Officer Evans seems to be silently contemplating the surroundings. After at least 30 seconds of not saying anything, she breaks the silence.

"Anyway. I want you to know that I am just as motivated as you are to find this guy. If you have any news, we can talk about it. In the meantime, I'll make sure you stay as anonymous as possible. Good luck."

She walks away, but you know she won't go very far. She's not mean, she's just dedicated to her job. And that might come in handy someday...
"So, are you done? I'm getting tired of this!"

Mr. Hurst is an impatient man. Bad luck for him: Greg's external hard drive takes a while to retrieve the video files from the Hurst family's home computer. Of course, these video files are only those from the surveillance camera at the front door; but Mr. Hurst still sees your intervention as an invasion of his privacy, for some reasons.

He could have been more courteous and patient, but your presence here has once again made the baby of the family cry (in addition to disrupting their evening). Something the Hurst couple seems very tired of.

"Hurry up. I've had a hard day, I don't feel like getting my head around an assault case that doesn't even concern me."

> "We don't give a shit." and refuse to elaborate further
> "Calm down. I agree with you that the operation is long, but at least you don't have to do anything during that time."
> "We are representatives of the law. If you don't talk with a more respectful tone, you'll regret it."
> "Instead of whining, help us. Have you noticed anything weird in front of your house lately?"
> Other (write)
>>
>>4924219
Just notice that they are a few line breaks missing right after
> And that might come in handy someday...
There was supposed to be a clear separation between that line an
> "So, are you done?..."
sorry about this
>>
>>4924219
>> "Instead of whining, help us. Have you noticed anything weird in front of your house lately?"
>>
>>4924219
> "Instead of whining, help us. Have you noticed anything weird in front of your house lately?"
>>
>>4924219
> "Instead of whining, help us. Have you noticed anything weird in front of your house lately?"
>>
>>4924679
>>4924717
"Instead of whining, help us. Have you noticed anything weird in front of your house lately?"
"Yes. I noticed that so-called police officers entered my home on several occasions for an assault case. And it still hasn't been made clear to me what I have to do with the whole thing."
"You actually have nothing to do with this story, if you want to know the truth. It turns out that your house fits into an area that cannot be captured by the city's surveillance cameras. And the person we're looking for likely hid in that blind spot, knowingly, to set up their plan. AND, because we believe there are powerful individuals behind this case, we are taking the liberty of retrieving the footage from home surveillance cameras. You're doing your country a favor, you know. A very big mobster could fall into the hands of the police thanks to you."
"And what's in it for me, in return?"


Greg gets up from the desk chair and cuts you off before you can figure out what to say.

"Why would you have anything to gain? We'll do all the work, you just have to sit there and let us do our job."
"Right, yeah. And I'm just going to let you go through the mass of important documents in my PC, like we don't care."
"For one, I showed you my badge, you know I'm not pretending to be a cop. Two, you agreed to let us in. And three, you don't have to do ANYTHING. You can stay and watch us, and make sure we don't steal any confidential documents, but you literally have no reason to keep bitching."


After a few minutes of awkward silence where the atmosphere was tense, Greg unplugs his external hard drive. That's it. The final truth is in those few gigabytes of video.

"We have everything. Thanks for your cooperation."

Mr. Hurst doesn't respond, though his annoyance is visible. You think he said something, but you didn't clearly hear it. It doesn't matter, anyway.

(cont.)
>>
"There, can we read the plate?"
"112 ABD...unless it's an 'O'? Are we allowed to put the letter 'O' on license plates in this state?"
"No. Not in this state, not in ANY state actually. It's probably a 'D'."


Everyone's here. You and Greg are sitting at the police computer, looking at the Hurst tapes for several hours; Officer Richardson has come to join you, as he presumably knows your assailant and will be able to help you recognize him; finally, Officer Evans has come to your side to...lend a hand, something like that. She helps you think. You now realize that you have spent most of this investigation watching surveillance camera footage...this investigation is definitely not as exciting as it is in the movies. But you discover some interesting things.

Your attacker didn't hide at the Hurst house. He didn't hide at all, in fact: as you had thought for a while, someone drove him, dropped him off, then quickly left. You think, logically enough, that the car is driven or owned by an accomplice who knew everything that was going to happen. There is nothing particularly remarkable about the car, but its license plate is briefly visible, which allows you to retrieve very valuable information about the identity of its owner. A quick search of the police databases reveals a name...

"Miguel Soares de Almeida...Mike Soares! This plate matches one of Mike Soares' vehicles!" says Greg.

That name is not unfamiliar to you. In fact, everyone, except Richardson, has a negative reaction to that name.

"Who is this person?" asks the new guy.
"He's a...'politician' who tried to get elected as mayor of this city. He's a power-hungry provocateur, who has sought trouble with everyone, who has made insulting remarks all year long...he's gotten the media attention he wanted, but few people have really supported him. He mostly spent his time showing off how rich he was. Obviously, his election campaign fell apart."
"What's the problem? Why would he want to assault a lawyer? Have you ever dealt with him?"
says Richardson, turning to you.
"Never, but I know his name," you reply. "At one time he accused judges of being, and I quote : 'naive, out-of-touch Democrats'. That's all that connects me to this guy: I know he hates men of the law."
"Hey well now we know why he was after you,"
Greg points out.
"I don't know...paying an ex-cop to go beat up a lawyer's face is surprisingly specific, I'm sure it hides a more devious plan..."
"What are you thinking?"


> "Nothing in particular, to be honest. Let's go to his house and ask him some questions."
> "I think he's just a pawn himself, and that there's still someone above him giving the orders."
> "It's possible that I accidentally ruined one of his plans, through my work as a lawyer."
> "Maybe it's still a communication operation...that is, provocation."
> "The car belongs to him...but there's nothing to tell us that he was driving it."
> Other (write)
>>
>>4925552
>> "It's possible that I accidentally ruined one of his plans, through my work as a lawyer."
>>
>>4925552
> "It's possible that I accidentally ruined one of his plans, through my work as a lawyer."
Certainly plausible for somebody with fingers in as many pies as his to have one pie flip over on him
>>
>>4925732
>>4926146
"It's possible that I accidentally ruined one of his plans, through my work as a lawyer."
"Like what?"
asks Richardson.
"What do I know?" you reply, slightly annoyed. "Maybe one of the criminals I defended years ago was his nemesis, and he escaped justice because of me. Or maybe he's like...extremely hostile to people who defy the Law and hates the idea that there can be lawyers for criminals. Either way, I've defended so many different cases that I don't remember everything. No idea if I was ever indirectly confronted with Mike Soares."

Greg lifts his hands from the computer keyboard, and turns to you, with his squeaky rolling chair.

"If you ask me, it still has to be something pretty serious. Mike Soares is a complete moron, he doesn't act, he reacts. He has no convictions, only temporary opinions that depend on his mood at the time. So if he took the time to come up with a plan that involves paying a corrupt former police officer to go beat up a lawyer, and somehow managed to hide his tracks, it's because he was extremely determined to make sure that things happened exactly as they did."
"What do you mean? He was targeting me personally?"
"I think I made it clear. Now we have to try to question him and find out what his plan was. If we can prove the connection between him and...what was his name again?"


Greg was talking to Richardson. The youngster seems quite happy to be asked a question that only he knows the answer to.

"Ricci. I looked it up, I don't remember his first name, but his last name is Ricci."
"Yeah, there you go. Ricci. If we can prove there's a connection between Ricci and Mike Soares, then we can put these two nutcases in jail."


Evans sighs.

"And how do you plan to do that? Go to Soares' house and ask him questions? Maybe he's got it in his head that we're going to get to him. It won't be easy."
"What do you think?"
replies Greg, looking at you.

> "If we all go there together and beat him up, he'll eventually confess."
> "You should go in and pretend I'm dead, or in a coma. See how he reacts."
> "Go in there and pretend you're here for something else. You might get a chance to find some clues by 'accident'..."
> "No, we're not going to go to his house directly. But maybe we can find someone around him who would be willing to testify against him."
> "No, let's not meet him. Let's look for information about his past, you never know what you might find..."
> "Uh...I don't know. What about you Greg, any ideas?"
> Other
>>
>>4927322
>Obviously you could try a warrent to check his bank statements, but that's not subtle nor a definitive lead.
>So I say we should check his history, but also find this god damn car. Either where it rests or where it came from, since if we have the footage of it coming from one of his properties then that's the link. I doubt that's going to work though, given their wits to use blind spots.
>>
>>4927815
"Obviously you could try a warrant to check his bank statements, but that's not subtle nor a definitive lead. So I say we should check his history, but also find this god damn car. Either where it rests or where it came from, since if we have the footage of it coming from one of his properties then that's the link. I doubt that's going to work though, given their wits to use blind spots."
"That's pretty...bold of you to talk about wit for Mike Soares. But we can find his address easily enough. As for the rest...we'll definitely have to discreetly snoop around his bank accounts, his phone calls, that sort of thing."


Evans, on the other hand, doesn't seem to be tempted by this plan.

"Soares has taken precautions. I agree with all of you: he is far, far from being the smartest man alive. But he has had some good ideas so far."
"Probably not without Ricci's help, by the way,"
Richardson says.
"Right! If Soares was after you (she looks at you as she says this), either out of revenge or to keep you out of the way for a while, he's probably been planning his move a long time in advance. We're going to have to do more than just go through his stuff."
"What are you thinking, Audrey?"
said Gregory, no longer bothering to call Officer Evans by her last name.
"Since we're going up against a guy who thinks he's above the law, let's use methods...that are above the law."
"Torture?"
"No, I meant 'advanced interrogation methods'."


The room goes strangely silent.

"So what do we do?" you say. "Do we go to Mike Soares' house and extract information from him? Do we take him into police custody for 24 hours and hope he spills the beans? Are you even sure HE is behind this?"
"We're not gonna go too far with this whole 'advance interrogation' thing. We need some info first. We already know his vehicle was used to bring Ricci here. We'll question him about this subject first."
says Evans, pondering.
"Do you want to come with us or stay at the motel and wait for the results of our investigation?" asks Greg.

> "Staying at the motel is the only right thing to do."
> "I'm tired of hiding. I'm going back to my normal life."
> "I'll go. I have some things to say to Soares."
> "First, I have a comment to make..." (write)
>>
>>4928318
> "I'll go. I have some things to say to Soares."
>>
>>4929335
You agree to follow the whole team to Mike Soares' house. This is it: you're finally going to catch the man behind it all. And discover the reasons why he wanted to attack you...

-------

You let Evans and Gregory walk past you. Mike Soares' house is exactly as you envisioned it: large, clean, and overloaded with luxurious but unnecessary trinkets. Just like the man who lives there: overly lavish, but without any real elegance or coherence.

You approach the front door, which is surrounded by so many unnecessarily classy decorations that you'd think someone was trying to sell you the actual door. Gregory looks for a doorbell button to press, but before he can find it, Evans knocks on the door without waiting any longer.

A man opens. You recognize Mike Soares' features, but he has aged quite a bit.

"Hello?"
"Hello. We are from the police."
says Greg in a firm tone, flashing his badge, "We've come to see you to ask you a few questions in relation to an assault case."
"An assault case? Okay, I'm willing to answer your questions, but I wasn't assaulted."
"We know that. You will answer our questions as a suspect."
"Excuse me?!"


As Mike talks with Gregory, you hesitate to go look around the property, to see if the car used to transport Ricci is nearby...

> You slip away for a few minutes, see if you can find a car that looks like the one you saw on the surveillance cameras
> Stay with Gregory Szymanski and Audrey Evans to put pressure on Mike and increase your chances of getting him to confess
> Stay with the two police officers BUT plan to look in the garage or ask Mike about the car.
> Suggest something else
>>
>>4929653
> Stay with the two police officers BUT plan to look in the garage or ask Mike about the car.
>>
>>4929653
>> Stay with the two police officers BUT plan to look in the garage or ask Mike about the car.
>>
>>4930362
>>4930474
You stay close to the two police officers, and keep in mind that you have to find the car. If you can do this, either by questioning Mike or by discreetly searching his property, then you will have definitive proof that Soares was indeed involved in the case.

You enter Mike's huge house with Greg and Audrey; Mike, though surprised, remains strangely welcoming and smiling. No one ever knew how Mike Soares got rich, but the most commonly accepted theory is that he invested in a big phone company in Brazil, and his stock miraculously skyrocketed in the 2000s. However, his background is still unclear ; there are doubts about the origin of his fortune, and whether this story is true or not. This only amplifies the impression of dishonesty that radiates from him when he smiles at you.

Mike leads you into his large living room, and invites you to sit on his sofa. He remains friendly, although he knows you came here with the intention of arresting him.

"All right." says Greg as he sits down. "I have a few questions to ask, but if anyone wants to speak before me, go ahead. Officer Evans?"
"I have a few questions too, but we can take our time. How about you?"


> "Okay, I'll start..." (ask your first question)
> "Same. You can start, Greg."
> Other
>>
>>4930831
>> "Same. You can start, Greg."
>>
>>4931531
You let Greg begin.

"All right, let's get started. First of all: do you own a red Toyota Paseo with license plate 112 ABD?"

Mike searches for his words. He can't deny that he owned this vehicle, as there are plenty of official documents to prove it. You know in advance what his answer will be.

"Well, I own a lot of vehicles you know. I don't remember everything. Otherwise, yes, I used to have a red Toyota Paseo. No idea about the plate though."
"What do you mean by 'used to'?"


To this question, Mike answers immediately and without hesitation.

"It was stolen from me recently."
"And you didn't think to file a complaint? When did this happen?"
"About...a week ago. I haven't had time yet."
"You know how in these circumstances you always have to get things done as quickly as possible?"
"Yeah but...you know...it was my cheapest car. I didn't like it that much."


Audrey speaks up.

"How did this happen?"
"I think it was during the night. Exceptionally, I had left my Toyota outside the garage in front of the house. They managed to take it without me seeing them."


> "Did they break in?"
> "Why did you leave your car outside?"
> "What do you know about the people who stole it?"
> "Don't you have a burglar alarm?"
> "Aren't you worried about having your car stolen?"
> "I think you're lying. This all sounds way too convoluted to me."
> Other
> Don't say anything
>>
>>4933393
> "Don't you have a burglar alarm?"
>>
>>4933393
> "Don't you have a burglar alarm?"
Sounds suspicious, but if he's not lying then wow is this case really convoluted
>>
>>4933416
>>4933467
[i]"Don't you have a burglar alarm?"
"Yes...but...my alarm didn't go off. It only detects movement inside the house or on the front porch. Not anywhere else, and I had just left my car on my front lawn that night,"[/i] Mike explains, in his confident, slightly haughty tone.

Gregory gives you a discreet look, which makes you think that he has the same doubts as you. The story is plausible and not strictly incoherent, but the details that could incriminate Mike Soares are, conveniently, difficult to verify.

[i]"You see the plastic casing over there by the front door? That's my burglar alarm. As you can see, there's no equivalent security system for the outside,"[/i] Mike continues to explain, talking to you as if you were middle schoolers.
[i]"And you're not afraid of having something stolen?...sorry, silly question. Didn't you suspect that a robbery like the one you were the victim of could have happened?"
"Yes, but you know, there's nothing to steal on my front lawn, usually. Except maybe my garden gnomes? But nobody's dumb enough to risk going to jail for something that can't be worth more than $50."[/i]

As Mike muddles through the discussion talking about anything and everything, you try to make sense of the information you've gathered so far.

A corrupt ex-cop named Ricci tried to murder you by posing as the ex-husband of Maxine Higgins, a poisoner you knew long ago. It later turned out that this lie was designed to send you on a wild goose chase, and that Ricci had accomplices. One of those accomplices was driving the car of Mike Soares, a local businessman who failed in his political career.

Soares built his media persona on provocation and insults, and the "people of the law" (meaning: judges, lawyers, police officers, even politicians who work in the executive branch) were often targeted in his speeches. That COULD be his motive for hiring a guy to beat you up, but you can't prove it yet.

On the other hand, if what Soares says is true, then the man who wants you dead stole his car for the sole purpose of serving as a driver for the guy who was going to beat you up. And finding him will be even more complicated.

[i]"Excuse me, but you came in here talking about an assault case, and now you're asking me about my stolen car. Can I ask what you're getting at? Are you going to get right to the point, or are you going to keep wasting my time?"
"Let us ask the questions and avoid these kinds of remarks, if you don't want big trouble."[/i] orders Audrey, exasperated by Mike Soares' smug look.
[i]"Wow, okay! Sorry, I didn't mean to ruffle His Majesty's feathers."
"Do you have any proof that you were robbed?"[/i]

This question was asked innocently by Gregory...and it sets Mike off.

[i]"What do you mean?! It's up to ME to prove that I'm a victim of theft?!"[/i]

cont.
>>
shit the [i] didn't work
>>4934080
cont.
> "Yes. You didn't press charges, we have our doubts, so we want to make sure this story is true."
> "Look, we're not even interested in this robbery story. But we need the name of the culprit to solve a case."
> "Look, we're not even interested in this robbery story. Do you know a man named Ricci?"
> "Oh no. Let us search your property, and we'll find out for ourselves if you were robbed." (a roll of the dice will be required, in the near future)
> "Sorry, we're going the wrong way. Please excuse us."
> "Do you want us to get to the point? Very well. Do you know me? Have you ever seen my face? Do you HATE me?"
> Other
> "Okay, we're going to beat you up and you're going to confess the truth."
>>
>>4934081
>> "Yes. You didn't press charges, we have our doubts, so we want to make sure this story is true."
>>
>>4934081
> "Yes. You didn't press charges, we have our doubts, so we want to make sure this story is true."
>>
>>4934081
> "Yes. You didn't press charges, we have our doubts, so we want to make sure this story is true."
>>
>>4934471
>>4934482
"Yes. You didn't press charges, we have our doubts, so we want to make sure this story is true."
"Why would I lie about this?"
"Oh, for lots of reasons."


You get up from the couch and take a few steps around the living room, thinking about what to say.

"That car is a crucial part of the case we're investigating. 'Luckily' it's gone. Either you are only the indirect victim of an extremely well-organized gang of criminals, or you made this vehicle disappear yourself to leave doubt about your guilt. Your story seems far-fetched to us."
"You want proof? Fine."


Mike stands up, picks up his cell phone and seems to be tapping something. Then he calmly returns to his seat.

"My proof is coming in a few minutes. In the meantime, keep asking your questions, and you'll see that I'm not lying to you."

While Mike seems to be slowly losing his cool, Gregory appears to be gaining confidence.

"Where were you on Wednesday of last week, around 3:00 pm?" (The time the Toyota drove past the Hurst house)
"How am I supposed to remember that? I was probably right here, relaxing in my private pool or doing my daily workout."
"And when was your car stolen?"
"The day before. Or maybe Monday."


> "You were relaxing in your pool when you had just been robbed?"
> "If your car was parked on the lawn until a week ago, there must be some tire tracks left..."
> "Your daily workout? Are you the athletic type? Do some push-ups."
> "By the way, what's that 'proof' you want to bring us?"
> Other
>>
>>4935029
> "If your car was parked on the lawn until a week ago, there must be some tire tracks left..."
>"And it wasn't raining lately for them to be gone either."
>>
>>4935043
"If your car was parked on the lawn until a week ago, there must be some tire tracks left..."
"It won't prove anything. The soil here is pretty dry this time of year. There won't be anything to see."
"That's true, but we can always take a look. I mean, when a car sits parked for long hours on a lawn...it MUST leave marks."
"There are no tire marks, and I already told you why. I know cops aren't the type to figure everything out quickly, but please make an effort."


As Audrey clenches her fists, Greg tries to cool the situation down.

"We're already making a hell of an effort trying to believe you and your convoluted story. So let's stop wasting time and get to the point: do you know a man named Ricci?"

Mike Soares raises his eyebrows, as if this question has outraged him.

"I shake hands with dozens of people every week, I don't necessarily remember..."
"Stop fucking with us,"
Audrey says dryly. "Does that name mean anything to you, yes or no?"
"No. I don't think I know anyone by that name."
"Give us your cell phone."
"Excuse me?"
"Give us your cell phone, we'll check to see if you're telling the truth or not."
"I'm sorry, but it's no. I'm not giving you the right to snoop around my stuff. I'm sure what you're doing right now isn't even legal. Do you have a warrant? Am I being detained?"


Audrey sighs loudly.

"It will be a quick way to verify that you are not in contact with the person we are looking for."
"I'm sorry, but I refuse. It's an invasion of my privacy!"
"In that case, I see you as a suspect."
"There was no point in trying to convince you in the first place; from the tone you use in addressing me, it's obvious I'm already guilty in your eyes. Yet you have nothing to charge me with, when I am only a victim in this story. You are acting like gangsters."


Audrey suddenly stands up and points her gun at Mike.

"Then we'll use gangster methods to get what we want. Hand over the phone."

> Try to calm Audrey down.
> Do nothing
> Join her
> Suggest something else to Audrey (write)
>>
>>4935493
>As interesting as the prospect is, with gangster police and theft of cars, I'll have to step in at this juncture. Officer, kindly put your hand down, it's not very profitable to wind up with a quiet witness.
>Now, I'd like to ask you Mr Soares, do you have anything important to do tomorrow? Because I am a big believer in time is money, you are currently stealing something that you can never give back or recompense us for. So I'd like your evidence now to make this worth our while, so I'll tell you to hurry your messangers ass up.

Move behind him as we speak, put hands on his seat in a "comforting" manner. This lets us read over his shoulder, seem larger and intimidated, but also importantly we've left several tones and allusions to wealth. If this guy is the sort to deal with dirty cops, he's going to reach for that thinnest of threads and then try to bribe us. Bribery. . In front of several witnesses. . Which means we can now hold him regardless on a bribery charge. If he doesn't, we can still hold him for 24 hours under suspicion, if we don't find his evidence satisfactory.
>>
>>4936963
supporting
>>
>>4936963
>>4937052
"As interesting as the prospect is, with gangster police and theft of cars, I'll have to step in at this juncture. Officer, kindly put your hand down, it's not very profitable to wind up with a quiet witness."
"Come on, you're in no position to tell me what to do."
"But I am."
says Gregory. "Put the gun down, Officer Evans."

Reluctantly, Audrey lowers her weapon. Eventually, she becomes less aggressive.

"All right, all right. I'll leave you to do it the usual way, then."

Without reacting to Audrey's remark, you continue to speak to Mike in a tone that suggests you have an idea in the back of your mind.

"Now, I'd like to ask you Mr Soares, do you have anything important to do tomorrow? Because I am a big believer in time is money, you are currently stealing something that you can never give back or recompense us for. So I'd like your evidence now to make this worth our while, so I'll tell you to hurry your messangers ass up."

As you talk, you become more and more "tactile" with Mike. You try to make him feel more comfortable, which is obviously not to Audrey and Gregory's liking. They let you do it anyway.

"If you stay here a few more minutes, I can bring you the proof you've been waiting for. No need to look through my private messages, I've got some personal stuff in there. A few minutes is all you need to get what you're looking for."
"It's not clear enough for my taste. And we don't have that kind of time. I understand your approach, Mr. Soares, but I feel compelled to ask you to hurry things along. As I told you: time is money, and right now, you are wasting a lot of time..."


Mike's offended look fades to a more mischievous and sly posture.

"All right, I understand. I can see that I was doomed from the start. I thought I'd never have to experience this kind of thing again when I left Brazil for the US, but I see that these practices know no boundaries. Hey well, I have good news for you. I haven't lost my ways either. Come on, tell me clearly what you want."
"Your cell phone. "
"... Or?"


> "Or your cell phone. That's all we want."
> "Or you-know-what."
> "Or a whole lot of money."
> "Or nothing. We're willing to wait a few minutes, since you insist."
> Other
>>
>>4937647
>Your cell phone or anything else that makes this trip not a complete waste of our time. I'm sure you have some idea of what can help this investigation along.

Double entendre, how I have missed you.
>>
>>4937678
"Your cell phone or anything else that makes this trip not a complete waste of our time. I'm sure you have some idea of what can help this investigation along."

Mike, though smiling and confident, knows he's walking on thin ice. He understands that you will look the other way in exchange for a few bucks; the question is whether it's worth it. Either way, Mike is in a bad situation: if he pays, it will be considered bribing a police officer. Possibly a trap. But if he doesn't pay, he'll have to comply with your orders.

"Well, I've had enough," Greg sighs. "I'm going outside for a few minutes, I'm going to have a smoke. Keep questioning him, we'll get to the bottom of the grey areas eventually."
"I thought you didn't have time."
says Mike.
"Considering how hard you're making us wait, we've got to make the most of this time."
"Commissioner, are you serious? Are you going to smoke? Now?"
asks Audrey.

Gregory does not answer and leaves the room. Audrey is visibly annoyed.

"Well, it's between us now," you say to Mike. "Think about it: do you really want to keep things from us for much longer, like you've been doing so far? We don't want to hurt you, you know. In fact, we can come to an agreement very easily, if you choose to be cooperative."
"If it makes you feel any better, no, this interrogation won't last long."
"That's for us to decide, not you."
"Oh but trust me. It won't last long."


Audrey grows impatient.

"What are we doing here? Are we just going to argue with him until he cooperates? When we could just take by force what we came for?"
"We could, indeed. We could."
"You want my cell phone? Fine."


Mike pulls his phone out of his pocket. Just as you thought he was going to gently place it in your hands, he throws the device against the wall with a swift arm movement. The sound of the impact leaves no room for doubt: the phone is destroyed and unusable.

"You know that this is illegal, don't you? Destruction of evidence, resisting arrest, contempt...you've gotten yourself into very, very big trouble."
"Can I tell you a little story?"
replies Mike, who seems to no longer want to listen, as Audrey stands up and prepares to subdue the suspect.
"Sure. You're going to tell us all about it at the police station."
"Oh no, I think it's more fun here on my couch."
"We definitely have different definitions of the word 'fun'..."


Shots are heard. They don't come from inside the house; in fact, they sound quite distant. But you understand that the situation is serious when you see Gregory running back inside.

"He has an accomplice! He has an armed accomplice who just entered the property! He tried to shoot me!"

You don't have a gun. Mike doesn't have a gun either. But a threat is coming, and you need to think of a strategy, fast.

> Ask Audrey for her gun
> Ask Gregory for his gun
> Go and hide as quickly as possible
> Hit Mike, ask him what's going on
> Other? (Suggest)
>>
>>4938171
>"Perfect. Come on Mikey boy, How do you like being a human shield?"
>Grab a sharp knife, hold it against Mike's ribs and set him against the front door to keep it closed. Have Audrey and Gregory take position by the windows and light that bitch up when he is in sight/out of cover approaching the front. He tried to kill Greg so fire permission is clear, it's a self dense.
>Call for backup.

Now with a knife against his back, digging into his back, if Mike tries to move he's going to be stabbed through the lower back, which is immensely painful but not immediately fatal.
It should make any future rolls easier to do, while keeping the front door stuck.
>>
>>4938353
Actually no, you can use cuffs and shit to restrain him. No need for the knife.
>>
>>4938353
>>4938433
+1
>>
File: plan.png (261 KB, 640x320)
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261 KB .png
>>4938353
>>4938433
>>4938460
You urge Audrey to handcuff Mike as quickly as possible. But he obviously doesn't let you. You hold him in place and finally manage to place the handcuffs on Mike's wrists, but by the time you do, the shooter is probably near the front door, if he hasn't already entered the house.

(The map on the left shows you the layout of the PART of the house you are in. The white rectangles are the sofas, the brown rectangles are the tables, and the tokens represent the characters (Y = You). The danger symbol shows where the shooter will come from. There are large windows all around this room).

> What do you say to Greg and Audrey? (I know you already wrote this but with the minimap, you might change your mind)
>>
>>4939179
Audry get to the window/corner. north facing. Look for the shooter on the window and cover Greg.
Greg, flip the table and cover the front door and west window. Prefire if you have to.

Our task is getting Mike on the floor and lying on him, behind the south sofa.
>>
>>4939768
supporting because i nothing in my head
>>
>>4939179
just realized the blue tokens spell out "GAY", that was accidental
>>4939768
>>4939980
You tell Audrey to stand along the north window, and Greg to flip the table over to take cover, while keeping an eye on the west window. Meanwhile, you hold Mike firmly to the floor. Despite the tense situation, he has kept his big smile. You drag Mike across the wooden floor until you manage to hide behind the sofa.

A gunshot is heard, and it is particularly loud. You see splinters of wood flying: a bullet has hit the table and made a small hole in it. Gregory was not hit.

> Let Gregory shoot (special dice roll*)
> Encourage Audrey to intervene (You will be able to shoot twice in a row, but your opponent will have a slightly higher probability of hitting one of you)
> Give another instruction to one of them (write)
> Talk to Mike (write)

*You roll 1d100 but we will only keep the last digit to simulate 1d10. We will average all the results if there are several votes.
Lower is better: the lower the dice value, the more successful your shot. If the score is >=6, the shot is missed.
>>
>>4940480
Sounds pretty gay to me, QM.
>Talk to Mike
>Threaten to have Audrey kill him if he doesn't call off the hitman.
>>
>>4940480
>> Let Gregory shoot (special dice roll*)
>>
Rolled 2 (1d100)

kek
>>4940492
>>4940707
"Listen to me, you son of a bitch. If you don't tell your hit man to go away, I'll have Officer Evans blow your brains out with a pistol shot to the occiput."

You hold Mike tightly; in fact, the pressure you're applying to him is making it difficult for him to speak.

"Before...before you get a chance to kill me, he will have...done it. This guy is a pro. Just run away, you stupid fucks."
"We'll make it quick. Audrey, shoot Mr Soares."


Audrey can't see Mike from where she's standing; the couch obstructs her view. But that's not what stops her from shooting right now.

"Cut the crap, the other guy is about to kill us! We'll deal with Mike later!"

Mike smiles, his bluff is working for now. Meanwhile, Gregory shoots...

(1d100 but only the last digit matters, success if <= 5, cont.)
>>
>>4940774
Used to this kind of situation, Gregory hits his target. A short scream of pain suggests that he has hit a critical spot, but you still don't see the shooter; you still don't know what he looks like or where he was wounded.

Meanwhile, Mike is struggling. He tries to do something with his legs...

> Encourage Audrey to go after the shooter
> Encourage Audrey to threaten Mike
> Beat up Mike
> Do nothing, continue to hold him in place
> Talk to him or give an order (write)
>>
>>4940789
> Do nothing, continue to hold him in place
>>
Rolled 11 (1d100)

>>4940846
You hold him in place. It's not too hard...until Mike manages to hit you in the face with his heel, right in the eye. Thankfully it's not too bad, but the impact blurs your vision for a few minutes. If someone gave you a weapon now, you wouldn't be able to use it.

Another shot is fired. This time, it is the anonymous shooter who aims at the table behind which Greg is hidden...

(1d100 same rules as before)
(cont.)
>>
11 mod 10 = 1, very well aimed shot.

>>4940960
Bad luck falls upon you: the shooter guesses precisely on which side Greg was hiding, and shoots at the "right" place. Greg is not dead, but the wound looks serious and he is not in a condition to fight anymore. His abdomen is bleeding...

Only Audrey is still able to pull you out of there.

> Let her shoot (1d100, we keep the value modulo 10, the lower the better, if <=5 it is a success)
> Incite her to shoot the glass and run away
> Something else (write)
> Shout something (write)
>>
>>4940979
>> Let her shoot (1d100, we keep the value modulo 10, the lower the better, if <=5 it is a success)
>>
>>4940979
> Let her shoot (1d100, we keep the value modulo 10, the lower the better, if <=5 it is a success)
Man, this sucks that the mystery guy got our bro Greg good. I hope he doesn't die here.
>>
Rolled 74 (1d100)

>>4941547
>>4941706
Rollin for Audrey
>>
Rolled 40 (1d100)

74 mod 10 = 4, success

>>4941749
Hidden behind the corner of the wall, Audrey waits for the shooter to approach, paying close attention to his footsteps. You and Mike remain hidden behind the sofa. When Audrey thinks the hitman is within range, she extends her arm and shoots, almost blindly. Luckily, the bullet hits the shooter in the leg, who is now seriously slowed down. This second bullet impact (Gregory had already hit him before) seems to have almost neutralized him: a 3rd one should be enough.

But it's not over. Taking advantage of the half-second when Audrey is in the open, the shooter aims at her...

(rolling for the anonymous shooter)
>>
40 mod 10 = 0, massive success

>>4941764
This guy is really a pro, unfortunately for you. His bullet goes through the corner of the wall, through less than an inch of bricks, and gets lodged in Audrey's ribs. Like Greg, the wound doesn't kill her, but it does knock her down and makes her almost defenseless.

You are now in a tense situation. Greg and Audrey are no longer able to use their weapons, and a seriously wounded gunman is approaching you. He must know you're there, though he's not completely sure where you're hiding. You may be able to use his wound to your advantage...

"Here! Here!"

Mike yells to signal your presence. The little bastard is doing everything he can to get you caught.

> Run away (You roll 1d100 mod 10, success if <= 7)
> Throw Mike on the floor, in front of the shooter, and hope that he has a bad reflex (1d100 mod 10, success if <= 5)
> Strangle Mike (Works every time but you will stay where you are)
> Keep Mike as a shield
> Suggest something else?
>>
>>4941770
> Keep Mike as a shield
> Run away (You roll 1d100 mod 10, success if <= 7)
>>
>>4941940
+1 fuck this guy
>>
>>4941940
>>4942012
You grab Mike by the forearms and try to lift him up, to use his body as a shield. This effort awakens the pain in your shoulder (from the bullet you received at the very beginning of this story), but you manage to summon enough strength to carry Mike as you wish, despite the fact that he is fighting vigorously.

You get up and try to run away. The gunman sees you and, as a reflex, points his gun at you with the idea of shooting a bullet in your chest; he changes his mind when he realizes you're using Mike to protect yourself. You then see the real look of your shooter: he has a bloody leg and he is limping. He has been shot twice in the hip, but spaced far enough apart to cause two distinct blood spots.

Oh, and also, it's Ricci. Mike's guilt is now beyond doubt.

Ricci approaches you. He doesn't move very fast; Gregory and Audrey's shots have disabled his left leg and the pain looks intense. But you still have to get away from him before he gets close enough to kill you...

> Take Audrey's weapon to shoot the glass and escape (1d100, only the units digit is kept, success if <=7).
> Take Audrey's weapon to shoot Ricci (1d100, only the units digit is kept, success if <= 5)
> Flee through the door (1d100, only the units digit is kept, success if <= 5)
> Take only Audrey's weapon and think later (1d100, only the units digit is kept, success if <= 8)
> Do something else (suggest)
>>
If we end up killing Ricci right here, we should tell him something calling back to our confrontation with him. Something something "go say hi to God for me", "Do you believe in God now?", whatever.

And I just noticed this, looking back briefly
>"I-It was for the money and the love of the law."
>"What are you talking about?"
>"You asked me why I chose to be a lawyer. I chose it because I love working with the law, and because it pays well. That's also why I defend despicable people: they are willing to pay more."
>A small sneer appears on the face of your potential assassin.

>He's a former police officer who worked in Savannah, Georgia. He was forced to resign because of a corruption case...
>"Oh, yes, quite easily actually. I said 'investigation', but a more appropriate term would be 'study'. You see, over the last few years there has been an upsurge in administrative aberrations that everyone is turning a blind eye to. We suspect that a few wealthy people are paying the police to get around the law much more easily. Do you follow me?"
>"It's a long story. A businessman from Georgia was building luxury homes in his area, and felt the work wasn't going fast enough. He threatened his employees and used methods akin to psychological torture to make it go faster. When he realized that his employees were about to file a complaint, he paid a local commissioner to make sure the whole thing was quickly "forgotten"...the guy was influential, so nobody said anything. Until one day, one of the masons working on these sites had a serious accident. There was no way to cover it up: the businessman AND the policeman got into big trouble."
>"Yes. Not documented enough in my opinion, but enough to know that this policeman is a scumbag who loved to get his palm greased. That's how he got away with it, by the way: he knew about a lot of crap involving powerful men, so the intelligence services offered him a way out of prison in exchange for some...information."

We're on the side of the law, working with despicable people who pay more. He's on the side of the law, working with despicable people who pay more. We're on the side of good. He isn't.
>>
>>4942091
>> Take only Audrey's weapon and think later (1d100, only the units digit is kept, success if <= 8)
>If successful, point the gun at him and threaten him as you continue to back away. "I bet you have no remorse..."
>>
>>4942091
>Take only Audrey's weapon and think later (1d100, only the units digit is kept, success if <= 8)
>If successful, point the gun at him and intimidate him as you continue to back away. "I bet you have no remorse..."
>>
>>4942879
This, but be careful about Mike attempting some shit while we grab the gun
>>
Rolled 16 (1d100)

>>4942097
well I didn't expect this quest to turn into a comment on human greed and the subjectivity of morality but I like how it turned out
>>4942879
>>4942919
While holding Mike, you reach down to grab Audrey's gun ; Audrey is still conscious but completely unable to get up. The task is not made easy for you because of Mike's movements, and Ricci's imminent threat...

(Rollin)
>>
>>4943327
16 mod 10 = 6, success

Audrey pushes the gun and slides it across the floor toward you, so you have less trouble grabbing it. You are now armed, and noticing that you have retrieved the gun, Ricci stops approaching you.

"I bet you don't feel any remorse, do you?" you say, with irony in your voice, as you aim at Ricci.
"All right, I admit, well done." replies Ricci, still tense from the intense pain in his hip. "If you really want to know, no, I don't feel any remorse. I did what I was paid to do, and it went wrong. These things happen, and it's infuriating, but I recognize that it's part of my business. You see, we're not so different, you and I: we work for rich bastards, and as long as it pays, we do whatever they want."
"Oh, please, don't try to compare yourself to me. We can't be more opposed to each other as we are right now."
"Very funny. We're just two sides of the same flawed political system, you know. I'm a 'lawful evil', you're a 'lawful evil', and our only difference is who we pledge allegiance to."
"Shut up with your Disney villain talk. I don't want to argue, I don't want to know what I have in common with you. All I want is to find out the truth, get the hell out of here, and put you and Mike behind bars. I'm sure you don't even know why he sent you."
"I didn't need to know, to be honest. Ask him, if you absolutely want to find out the truth."


Mike tries to escape your grip, but you hold both of his arms very tightly, and he is constantly off balance. You manage to hold him in place.

"So you're the mastermind behind this operation?"
"Why do you care?"
growls Mike. "No, I'm not the mastermind, as you say. I'm just responding to an order, too."
"Oh, come on! And how far does this go back?"
"Do you really want to know?"


> "Yes, tell me everything."
> "Yes, and that's the only leniency you'll get from me. But at the same time, I know you're making up a lie."
> "No, actually I don't care. I'm doing this because I like to make you suffer."
> "No. Now tell Ricci to drop the gun."
> Other
>>
>>4943372
>> "Yes, and that's the only leniency you'll get from me. But at the same time, I know you're making up a lie."
>>
>>4943372
> "Yes, and that's the only leniency you'll get from me. But at the same time, I know you're making up a lie."

Fuck them both up the minute they start lying.
>>
>>4943372
>"Yes, and that's the only leniency you'll get from me. But at the same time, I know you're making up a lie."
>(Fuck them both up the minute they start lying.)
>>
I really want to see this quest finish before it archives