Geometric Archipelago:Gangs of Octagon Island/Chapter 02
Chapter Two: Men in Black
<Interstate-5> ---BEGIN GAME---
<Interstate-5> It's very dark. You may be eaten by a grue.
<Interstate-5> ...wait, this is NOT a one-off. My bad, wrong script.
<Interstate-5> Okay, let's see here.
<Capn_Ascii> "Get on with it!"
<Interstate-5> Brellius and Kanzel: Having finally arrived after a long journey, traveling across (well, a small bit across) a vast ocean, across a fairly significant meadow, over a river, and through a vast urban jungle (well, you crossed to the other side of the city), you find yourselves in Moondale Castle. Moondale Castle is not the biggest castle on Octagon Island -- that would be the famous Superior Pass Castle, which is also the home of the island’s King. It is, however, one of the next biggest. Moondale is one of the few cities that is ruled directly by the Crown, and as such, is likely to contain a close relative within its castle. However, the letter you have comes from the King, and he was clear: come to Moondale and discuss the matter with the person in charge *here*. Come to think of it, you aren’t really sure whom that is, the letter isn’t very clear about that particular fact.
<Interstate-5> The antechamber the two of you are standing in is a simple stone hallway. You look back at the corridor you came down, and see a couple of guards posted there, dressed entirely in black. Dressed in a similarly black fashion are two guards standing at the massive door in the front of you. The door itself is metal and highly ornamented. You notice, however, that one of the guards in front of you has a small amount of red peeking out near the feet (apparently, his socks are red).
<Interstate-5> No interaction or reaction at all? Sheesh, you guys suck. Fine, I'll open the damn door. :P
<Interstate-5> After a minute or so, the door opens. One of the guards nods at you and indicates with his spear that you should probably go in.
Brellius tags along, remaining silent
<Interstate-5> "Your Royal Highness, Kanzel Seraphim and Brellius Nash, as requested," a calm, cool, female voice intones as soon as you enter. You spot the speaker, a young Elf girl, clad in a simple, but free-flowing gray dress, apparently the herald. You also notice the addressed Princess, a fierce, dark-haired, and actually rather potentially beautiful, woman who looks like she’d rather be anywhere but here, the distaste for your appearance evident. (Potentially because the obviously disgruntled face somewhat ruins the effect, but it’s not hard to imagine how she’d look if she was smiling, or at least not acting like something smelled.)
<Interstate-5> You also notice a strange guy in cleric's robes, who's sitting in a chair in the back corner looking a bit on the bored side.
<Interstate-5> "I’m not going to waste my time," the Princess informs you quickly. "You are here because my father asked you to be here, simply put. I would prefer to have our own adventurers take care of this problem, but apparently, he claims you have ‘subject matter’ experience, whatever that means. So I’ll make this quick. About a month and a half ago, you participated in a conference on Circle Island, and made an arrest of a notorious criminal. Unfortunately, you failed to net all of her associates, and as such, her escape was made in short order. She then found her way here, intimidated her way up to significant power in an organization in this city, and is now starting to put pressure on Moondale’s residents. Such things are difficult to prove, of course, however in the past, various organizations have been able to be sufficiently balanced to counteract each other and leave the average citizen in relative peace. We know she is here. And we know that one of the organizations is getting far, far too powerful and aggressive. We, that is, my father, want(s) you to eliminate this criminal once and for all. If you succeed, the reword to yourselves and your Island will be... substantial. Any questions?"
<Kanzel> "Granted, we are the ones who brought her in before, but what makes you think that she'll let us get anywhere near her again?"
<Interstate-5> "That's what I said. And yet, here we are. Though, I doubt she checks every single person in her organization. It's too vast."
<Kanzel> "That's not the problem, the problem is getting close to her again"
<Interstate-5> "That's your problem. Not mine. Ask someone at a police station if you're out of ideas."
<Kanzel> "Okay, well, do you have any leads?"
<Interstate-5> "We have a few ideas. However, I don't have the time to explain such matters. We do, however, have one who has... volunteered, to assist you," the Princess indicates Cleric Ascii sitting behind you.
<Interstate-5> "For leads and such, you can direct queries to him."
Capn_Ascii (who has until now been slouching in his seat and picking his teeth with a small piece of wood) cringes at the word 'volunteered'.
<Capn_Ascii> He looks up. "Yeah, hi. I'll be your, uh, guide on this mission. So to speak."
<Capn_Ascii> "Lemme know when you're done here and we'll talk."
<Interstate-5> "We're done now, frankly," the Princess cuts in. "There's nothing I know that you don't, at this point, Mr. Ascii. See yourselves out."
<Capn_Ascii> "Welp, time to get a motorin'." He hops up and tosses the toothpick away. "So, what do I call you two?"
<Brellius> "I'm Brellius Nash."
<Interstate-5> The Princess returns her face to the look it had when you two walked in and turns her head to the side, refusing to continue interaction with mere commoners.
<Capn_Ascii> "Sheesh. Okay, we're going, we're going." Ascii heads for the door and motions for you to follow him.
Kanzel follows "I'm Kanzel."
<Interstate-5> The door shuts behind you as soon as you leave.
<Capn_Ascii> Ascii does a walk-and-talk with his new comrades in arms. "Alright, here's the scoop. There are six gangs that control the town; they're all more or less on equal terms. None of them normally has a foothold against the others, so they don't do much besides butt heads and the civilians are mostly left alone."
<Capn_Ascii> "Their names are, and I quote..." He ticks off on his fingers, as if reading from a memorized list. "...Blue Crew, Green Team, Yellow Union, Red Crowd, Purple Pack, and Orange Group."
<Brellius> "No indigo?"
<Capn_Ascii> "No. I guess the gang bosses around here have no sense of imagination when it comes to names. I feel for 'em."
<Kanzel> "Indigo is so unloved."
<Capn_Ascii> "Eralia is supposedly lending support to the Green Team; their relative power in the city has begun climbing without explaination. It's causing problems."
<Interstate-5> Eventually, you all descend a staircase and find yourselves near the entrace. You can see two large window-containing doors leading to the outside. Outside lies the city of Moondale itself.
<Capn_Ascii> "So, the question is..." Ascii finishes. "...where do we start?"
<Brellius> "We should start at the bar."
<Capn_Ascii> "An excellent suggestion." He licks his lips.
<Capn_Ascii> "But, er, pardon me for a few minutes. I need to get dressed." He steps off down a nearby hallway towards the armory.
<Capn_Ascii> *tromp tromp tromp*
Capn_Ascii returns a few minutes later, geared for battle. He's decked out in full plate armor, and carrying a shield and mace strapped to his back and belt, respectively. His bearded face is barely visible through the Y-shaped visor of his helmet. "Alright, who's ready to rock?"
<Brellius> "I don't know how to play any instruments. Could we start the investigation instead?"
Capn_Ascii Ascii blinks. "...yeah, I guess. Alright, to the bar!" He raises his arm and points dramatically as he leads the way.
Capn_Ascii Leads the way to...the Square!
<Interstate-5> On your way to the Square, you pass the Bank. It looks... banky. You notice a lot of suspicious-looking dudes in various colored uniforms skulking about the place. Either green or orange, they're around.
<Interstate-5> You narrowly skirt Orange territory and end up in the Commerical Square. It's got everything. From the latest gizmos, to foodstuffs, to weaponry, to magewares, to ice cream, you can find it all! Including, the Rainbow Squirrel Tavern, just... over there. Ish.
<Capn_Ascii> "Huh. Wonder what this is all about."
<Capn_Ascii> "Alright, fellas, we're here. I did all my shopping before reporting to the queen, but if you guys need to poke around, feel free."
<Brellius> "Well, I AM out of ice cream..."
<Interstate-5> Unlike many other places, you seem to notice that not many people seem to be in the tavern. It's still just before noon, as you look up briefly to check the time, so the busiest times are probably later in the day.
<Brellius> "Well if we want to gather rumors, we should wait until the tavern's busier."
<Capn_Ascii> Ascii waits for Brellius to pick up some ice cream (hopefully the kind that comes in a frost-enchanted bucket). "You may have a point."
<Brellius> "Maybe the local law enforcement knows something."
<Capn_Ascii> "I guess it's a start. To the police station!"
Capn_Ascii .....*goes to the police station*
<Interstate-5> You arrive at the city's third police station, after having passed the Inn, the Circle Industries offices, and some Temple.
<Interstate-5> It looks like a fairly normal Police Station. "MOONDALE POLICE, STATION THREE" is written on the front. "Station Cmdr. P. T. Jones."
<Interstate-5> The doors are invitingly unlocked, though closed.
Capn_Ascii hikes up the stairs and opens the door.
Brellius tags along
<Interstate-5> Inside, you see... a normal police station front! There's a sergeant at the desk, a lot of file cabinets behind him, a door that says "DETECTIVE OFFICE" off to the right, and what looks to be the jail door in the back wall, on the left side. There's also a door that says "RECORDS" in the back wall and to the right.
<Interstate-5> The sergeant looks at you. "Yeah, what do you want?"
Kanzel walks up to the counter. "Hi there. We're here on royal buisness from your king, and was wondering if you could assist us."
<Interstate-5> The desk guy raises an eyebrow. "Oh yeah? You got any proof of that?"
Kanzel hands over the letter.
<Interstate-5> The desk guy reads the letter and nods to himself. "Yeah... uh... okay. What do you need?"
<Capn_Ascii> "We're looking for as much information as you can provide about the gangs that operate in the city. And we'd also like to look into the files of a certain person."
<Interstate-5> "Right, Miss Khellian's file, I presume. The trouble is... you won't find much. We've never been able to pin her down for anything. She's been organizing the Green Team, and swelling their ranks, but organizations aren't crimes, activities are."
<Capn_Ascii> "You don't have anything on her at all? Not even a traffic ticket or something?"
<Interstate-5> "Other than the original 'escaped from prison' extradition request from Circle, nope."
<Interstate-5> "Problem is we can't go arresting gang members without an actual crime to charge, we'd have riots on our hands."
<Capn_Ascii> "Wait, what? You have an extradition request on her, and you haven't given her up?"
<Interstate-5> "As I said, it's just not that simple. We have more or less an unwritten, but hardly secret, agreement with the six gangs. They stay relatively peaceful to us if we treat them fairly and only charge actual, provable crimes. Frankly, they outnumber us, and outweapon us. It'd take the full military just to prevent riots, given that about 1 in every 7 citizens in the city is associated at least to some degree with a gang."
<Brellius> "That's going to complicate things..."
<Capn_Ascii> Ascii decides not to mention that cops as a whole are usually *expected* to only charge crimes they can prove in court. "So, what can you tell us about the gangs?"
<Interstate-5> "Well, maybe you three will be able to circumvent the complication, given that we don't have any official association with you."
<Kanzel> "That's the hope"
<Capn_Ascii> "Oh, I see. So if we were to, say, beat up a certain someone who is suspected of certain criminalities, you guys might turn a blind eye."
<Interstate-5> "And yes, the Gangs... they're all more or less traditional crime syndicates, except that they focus mostly on each other than they do on those that remain completely neutral. There are a few minor oddities. The Green and Blue gangs are considerably more accepting of non-humans than the others. Purple has strange medical issues with a lot of their membership. Orange tends to be filled with small people, for whatever reason. That's really about all I can think of off the top of my head."
<Capn_Ascii> "What sort of medical issues?"
<Interstate-5> "You don't want to know."
<Capn_Ascii> "...but I do want to know. What's why I asked you."
<Interstate-5> "I just recommend you stay away from Purple territory when the full moon arrives."
<Capn_Ascii> Ascii blinks. "...you mean, *that* kind of medical problem?" O.o
<Interstate-5> "Why do you think it's called the Purple *Pack*?"
<Capn_Ascii> "You said they focus on each other. How, exactly? Robbery? Gang violence?"
<Brellius> "Angrily-worded letters?"
<Kanzel> "Stern glares?"
<Interstate-5> "It's basically paramilitary type warfare, yeah. They have been known to rob places at times as well. Also marketing campaigns."
<Capn_Ascii> "The FIENDS!"
<Brellius> "Man, I thought it'd mostly be small time stuff."
<Interstate-5> "Small-time stuff happens. That's usually independent, and by lower level operatives, however."
<Interstate-5> "In general, these gangs don't tend to do a whole lot of outright criminal stuff unless they're confident of concealing the actual people involved's identities, because every other gang is going to jump on the informant hotline."
<Capn_Ascii> "To rat out the competition. Figures."
<Kanzel> "Is everyone in their territory affiliated with that gang?"
<Interstate-5> "You can probably use this competition to your advantage."
<Interstate-5> "Not everyone by any means, but nearly every business in there is either affiliated or pays protection money, and it's a fair majority of people overall."
<Capn_Ascii> "They'd have to keep everything under their thumb, or else it's no longer organized crime."
<Interstate-5> "You certainly will not find members of other gangs in those territories. Neutrals, yes. Opposition, no."
Kanzel nods. "That's what I thought."
<Interstate-5> "There's a reason the police force wears black, and many business people and so on tend towards blacks, browns, and grays."
<Interstate-5> "You can bet that most color for city natives is a representation of the associated gang."
<Capn_Ascii> "Yeah. You wear the wrong color around the wrong people, you get in big trouble."
<Capn_Ascii> "I'm a fan of burnished steel, myself." He flexes to show off his armor.
<Interstate-5> "Anything else?"
<Capn_Ascii> "So far all we're hearing is a bunch of vague comments. Don't you have *any* leads on how to get 'in' with any of the gangs?"
<Interstate-5> "Well, given the whole 'revenge' thing, you could opt for the direct approach and walk straight up to Green HQ, just like a certain unlikely hero from some adventure stories. Alternatively... we know that green is encroaching on red and yellow, they're both probably desperate for help in holding the lines and such, if you impress them somehow, you can gain their attention and get 'in'. As long as you pretend you've never met me, or anyone in 'authority'. As to how to impress them... that's probably something you can find out in the territories themselves."
<Capn_Ascii> "Hmm. Alright, well we're going to go think about...stuff. We'll get back to you if we need anything else. Kanzel, you still have that letter?"
Kanzel nods, hiding it in her bag.
<Interstate-5> "Alright, feel free to come back if you need anything."
<Capn_Ascii> "Alright, then, let's roll." Ascii walks out of the station...you're not sure what this 'rolling' he keeps going on about is.
<Kanzel> "Thanks, we will."
Brellius tags along
<Interstate-5> ---END SESSION--