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[LP CYOA] Epic

Discussion in 'Choose Your Own Adventure Land' started by treave, Jun 23, 2012.

  1. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Codex 2012
    :yeah:
     
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  2. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Codex 2012
    The Case of the Cursed Songstress, Act II


    I refuse the man’s request. There are plenty of reasons to do so, not least because I have no desire to stand out.

    “I’m sorry, I can’t do it.”

    “It’s easy stuff! Even someone who hasn’t piloted before can do it. Just follow the instructions step by step and you’re set!”

    I recall my cover story. I’m supposed to be a space-born member of the Kaguya-hime’s crew, which saves Azo the trouble of fabricating a more complex history for me with the excuse that my records were lost when Neo Heliopolis came under attack.

    “No, you don’t understand. I really can’t do it.” I lie. “I’m afraid of getting into frames. I can’t do it.”

    The crew member sighs in disappointment. “Oh man, I thought you’d help out. None of the stunt people are going to do it – they’re a superstitious lot.”

    “Why don’t you do it then?” says the idol at my side.

    “Ah, Ms. Kawano. Well, you see…” he scratches his head embarrassedly. “I don’t really believe in all that talk of curses, but… well, an outsider might be safer. Anyway, I gotta let the chief know that we’re going to delay this scene. Man, the key grip is going to be pissed about the frame…” The crew member begins muttering as he walks away.

    “Was that true?” asks Kawano.

    “Was what true?” I respond, quizzically.

    “Your phobia of frames. How did you get it? Wait, don’t tell me – you were almost killed by one at…” she mimes thinking really hard. “Neo Heliopolis, perhaps?”

    I feign surprise myself. That was the story I was going to tell her anyway. “How did you know?” She beams. “I’m a mind-reader. Haven’t you seen me give performances on TV?” I give her a stare, wondering if she’s telling the truth – after all I’ve seen lately, I wouldn’t be surprised. “Well, that was half a joke,” she laughs. “Don’t take it so seriously, Mr. Bodyguard. I think I’ve seen you from the Kaguya-hime. I was on board that freighter your ship was escorting. You weren’t aboard the freighter frequently, but I recall seeing your face once around then. Speaking of which, you seem to resemble that…”

    “Hoshikawa, right? The cult’s assassin? I get that a lot. It’s unfortunate, but I’m not him at all. Would I be standing here if I was?”

    “I guess not. No one would be that daring,” smiles the girl, putting her face closer to mine. “Upon closer look you two don’t really look alike anyway. The pictures of him they put out – he has that killer look in his face. You don’t look like you would kill anything.”

    Ah, I do have to thank the government for that one. In their eagerness to portray me as a villain they had manipulated the pictures slightly so that I looked more menacing – deranged, even. The changes were subtle, but they were effective in making me look a lot more frightening, like a wolf in a pack of sheep, so to speak.

    “I’m your bodyguard, Ms. Kawano. I’m here to protect, not kill.”

    “Well I certainly hope you’d kill to protect me,” laughs Kawano. “I’d say any girl hopes for someone like that.”

    Would I? Well, if it was part of the job – it’s not like my hands are clean anyway. I affirm her statement casually.

    “If necessary, Ms. Kawano.”

    The idol frowns. “Call me Qin, and stop being so formal. After all, we aren’t really strangers; well, technically at least. Our paths crossed once before and your ship probably saved my life.”
    If it’s the client’s request…

    “Very well, Qin. It is a pretty funny coincidence, isn’t it?”

    “Well,” she winks. “Perhaps it’s fate? A princess meets her shining knight again.”

    Charming, but I’m not about to get starstruck by an assault of this level. I see now why Azo had mentioned the importance of keeping a level head. Thankfully, I’m not one of her fanboys.

    “I’m not a knight of any sort. I didn’t pilot anything.” I say in my defense.

    “You say that, but I think you're more than you seem. There’s something about you that’s…” She doesn’t get to finish her sentence.

    “Ms. Kawano.” I hear a familiar voice from behind me, and I put on my shades.

    Naim is standing there, dressed to the nines in full military regalia, frills and tall collars and excessively embossed shoulder pads. Now there’s a noble knight she should be fawning over.

    Qin greets him politely. “Ah, Sir Naim. Is the practice run over?”

    He nods firmly. “It seems that there was some sort of accident. I came over to see if you were alright.”

    After the practice run had been called off, I note to myself.

    “I’m fine, thanks to my new bodyguard here. Let me introduce him to you, Sir Naim. This is Kagami Kurou, an agent from the local Higashi government. He will be accompanying me from today onwards.“

    I give him a bow. “It is a pleasure to meet you, Sir Naim.”

    He eyes me for a brief second before losing interest. “The pleasure is mind, Mr. Kurou.” It looks like he doesn’t recognize me with the shades and suit, not to mention my different hair-style.

    “Anyway, I am here to ask if you would like to join me for dinner tonight.” Naim continues. “I have a reservation at the Yamaten in Hotel Okura, and thought it would be a good chance to discuss our propaganda and publicity efforts for this film.”

    I whistle inwardly. He mangled the pronunciation, but I know the place. Hotel Okura is a 100-floor hotel that was the tallest in the world when it opened 10 years ago, and the top floor restaurant, the Yamaten, is widely acknowledged as the best place in the world for Higashi cuisine. It’s also widely acknowledged as one of the priciest places to eat. Perks of being the hero of the world, I suppose.

    “Feeling jealous?” says Yua directly in my mind. The construction of the neural-digital interface has had the side effect of direct mental communication between Yua and I.

    “No, of course I’m not bitter.” I mutter. I’m not the sort to hold a grudge, I think.

    “Keep telling yourself that.”

    I sigh. She’s been a bit snarky since I ignored her and went ahead with the mirror smashing.

    “I would love to, but could I check my schedule with Nancy first?” smiles Qin.

    “Of course, Ms. Kawano. I will be at the studio gates at 5.00 pm.” He clicks his heels together and gives her a quick salute, before walking off. It looks like he’s playing the role of a military man to the hilt – he was always somewhat insufferable when not carrying out a mission, but things seem to have gotten a tad worse.

    “Mr. Bodyguard –“ begins Qin. I stop her.

    “You wanted me to just call you Qin, so you can call me Kurou.”

    “Sure. I’m sorry, there’s still a bit of a princess’s character left over from this morning.” She curtseys like a lady, affecting an air of nobility – or perhaps royalty, in this case. “Kurou, I shall need to meet with Nancy, at the producers’ offices. Would you walk me there?”

    “Of course. Do you wish to take my arm?” I play along and offer my arm, bending it towards her. I suppose the script had her playing a very – uncharacteristically, from my point of view – dignified Kyrie.

    “You’re doing it again,” mutters Yua.

    “I’m being professional and a gentleman.” I retort.

    “You dense idiot.”

    Qin grins happily and takes it, grasping my arm with her hand. After we reach the producers’ offices, just a short walk away, she enters, asking me to wait outside. While I do so, I spot the damaged frame from earlier lying outside one of the warehouses. It’s unattended – this is an excellent opportunity.

    I walk around the frame, examining it. The exterior looks normal, if damaged from the crash. I bring up the scene in my mind again – on hindsight, judging from its trajectory, it would likely have missed us by a whisker even if I hadn’t carried Kawano away. The debris from its impact would have injured her, though. I place a hand on the cockpit and concentrate. My tendrils activate and begin sending their protrusions into the machine. I need to find the core computer. Visualizing a maze of circuits in my head, I seek the way out.

    There it is.

    There is a flash of blue in my mental imagery, and I successfully interface with the frame, booting it up from the outside.

    “Yua, I want all the maintenance and error logs you can find.”

    “There’s a problem with that. They’ve all been wiped.”

    “When was that?”

    “During the crash, it seems.”

    “Check the timestamps again.” There’s something suspicious about the timing.

    “There’s nothing –wait, I have it. Timestamps have been modified.”

    I run through the data myself – Yua is right. It would have to have been done after the crash too. There’s nothing else I can find out from the frame – any defects to be found with the thrusters was with software, not with the mech’s hardware. Just in case, I insert a monitoring subroutine of my own into the computer before I leave. I jump off the frame, making sure no one saw me around it, before making my way back to the producers’ offices. Just in time, too – Kawano comes out as I reach there and waves at me cheerfully.

    “I’ve got my schedule cleared, so shall we walk to the gates?”

    I nod at her, looking around at the studio again. It’s already evening, but the grounds are still busy. It seems that there are people working here even all through the night. Given the delays they are facing, that seems inevitable. “By the way, Qin, “I begin to ask. “What is this curse they are talking about?”

    A frown darkens her face. “I’m not sure. There’ve been… accidents. They started since the letters began coming, but it’s always been close shaves.”

    “You mean chandeliers dropping, pianos crashing, that sort of accident?”

    She laughs, her worries seemingly cast away. “Yes! Exactly that sort! I didn’t peg you for the sort to be interested in opera, Kurou. You are a man of hidden talents, it seems.”

    “Do you have any clue who’s behind it?”

    Qin shakes her head. “No, nothing at all. The film crew did some investigating of their own, but they just seem to be freak accidents. We don’t want the police here either, since if news got out that this particular film was encountering difficulties, there would be some problems.” I can understand that. Still, it’s definitely not merely a string of freak accidents. Freak accidents don’t modify timestamps and wipe maintenance logs.

    “Anyway…” Qin grins slyly. Casually, as if it was the most natural thing to her, she steps up besides me and takes my arm again. I can’t shake her off, and we walk this way to the gates, where Naim is waiting. He has changed out of that frilly suit he was wearing earlier into a more practical outfit consisting of a blazer and slacks. A slight scowl forms on his face when he sees me and the idol walking together, though his mouth straightens out into an admirably firm military line when we get closer.

    “Ms. Kawano, do we have a date?”

    “Yes, Sir Naim. I’ve cleared my schedule with Nancy.”

    “That’s great. We will head there in my car. By the way, regarding your bodyguard…” he pauses.

    “What about my bodyguard?”

    “I’m sorry, but I only made a reservation for two. If he needs to come along, he’ll have to stand by. The restaurant is otherwise fully booked today.”

    Qin’s face creases. “I see. It would be rude to have him just stand there while we eat…”

    ***

    A. I insist on coming along. I am her bodyguard after all. I suppose she’s not used to having one; a certain entitled princess I know would probably have told me to stand there and watch her eat in such an occasion. It’s what a bodyguard does. At any rate, I better do my job properly, at least before I find out what's actually going on.

    B. I do not go along, but tail them secretly afterwards. Perhaps Kawano or Naim will let slip something useful to my own objectives if either of them think I’m not around. Besides, while I do still need to keep an eye out for her safety , there’s nothing that states I have to do it with her knowledge.

    C. I bid farewell to them, but stay back at the studio to investigate the place. I can question the crew members present and check out the sites of the various accidents; I won’t be able to do this while I’m accompanying Qin around.

    D. I say goodbye and go home. I can make better use of my time by continuing my study of the tomes I brought back as well as contacting Emiri for more information on the cult.

    E. Her hand is still over my arm. I can take it and 'suggest' that she kick Naim in the nuts. Then we can steal his car and go to the restaurant ourselves - I'm sure I can finagle my way in. Fuck this job.
     
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  3. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Oh boy, what a rich option E. :lol:
    I'm of a mind to play this by the book though.

    A
     
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  4. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

    Smashing Axe
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    Bleh. Logs wiped. Not surprised.

    Option E sounds hilarious, but I don't think it will accomplish much. For some reason I get the feeling that something will go down at the restaurant. It's too cinematically appropriate for something not to happen. I want to be there when it begins.

    A
     
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  5. Storyfag Perfidious Pole Patron

    Storyfag
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    D - that's what I wanted to do instead of even accepting this shitty assignment.
     
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  6. GreyViper Erudite

    GreyViper
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    D sounds the best use of time.
     
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  7. ScubaV Prophet

    ScubaV
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    Heheh, gotta love the fuck it option even if we never pick it.
     
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  8. TOME Cuckmaster General

    TOME
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    A - Protect the princess.

    Since we can communicate directly with Yua, can't we just scan the book and send to her/it and have her/it read it to us while we sleep or something?
     
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  9. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    It's not fully translated. She's constantly devoting part of her computing power to completing a translation, but this is the sort of thing that would usually take a well-funded research group years, if not decades, because of the alien concepts set forth in the books. You managed to get the superficial gist of things but to actually understand the details would require a considerable amount of time. Studying the books yourself will make the process go faster, and you might be able to pick up things an AI would miss, perhaps even achieving a breakthrough.



    Still, even if you guys did throw away the game Shulgi gave you because of let'snukeourselveslol shenanigans, don't overcompensate for that mistake. :troll:
     
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  10. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    That game taught us one smart move in combat, but have we gained anything else from it? Not immediately apparent..
     
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  11. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Well, you didn't have the chance to progress to the part where Ean jumped into the void. That would have been important. It's alright though, I compensated for that in 'other' ways. :lol:
     
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  12. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    I thought we barely made it past Tjaru. Getting to the void would've taken us how long again? :roll:
     
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  13. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Well, just in time for it to be of use, which wouldn't be in Chapter 2 or 3.
     
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  14. TOME Cuckmaster General

    TOME
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    That makes the D-option more appealing, but I think participating the dinner will yield us more; we can talk to Naim without flashy mech moves.
     
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  15. m4davis Scholar

    m4davis
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  16. ScubaV Prophet

    ScubaV
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    I do like D, but we've got a job to do and we're not at a point yet where we can risk totally pissing of Azo. Unless someone has some compelling arguments for another choice...

    A

    B, a nonlethal takedown is the most silent takedown.
     
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  17. Kipeci Magister

    Kipeci
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    B allows for more flexibility and secrecy in protecting them. The most dangerous threats aren't always the nearest ones; a perspective from a distance away when no one knows that a guard is present could be very beneficial.
     
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  18. Lambchop19 Arcane Zionist Agent Literally Hitler Batshit Crazy

    Lambchop19
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    E - FUCK. YES.

    I take it by "suggest" you mean silently use our powers to cause her to do it. :D

    edit: If E doesn't have the votes, then B. There's no advantage to tagging along. Listening in is where we can really get some info.

    edit2: Alright, B, you lame jerks.
     
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  19. ScubaV Prophet

    ScubaV
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    Mmmm, now that I think about it some more I'm going to flop to B. If we're going to play JC Denton it's time for some stealth mode. Let's hack some terminals and do some silent takedowns.
     
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  20. Kayerts Arcane

    Kayerts
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    A for now.

    Leaving our charge unguarded two hours after a murder attempt is slightly better than leaving her unguarded two minutes after a murder attempt, but still well into "amazingly incompetent bodyguard" territory. That rules out C and D.

    B would be good if we had the surveillance capabilities to make it work well, but I don't think we do. We lack a bug or any other reliable way to listen in on their conversation (something wacky with security cameras being fed to Yua for lip-reading, maybe?), and being at a distance could put us at a disadvantage during whatever shit goes down tonight. (Shit going down seems likely.)




    Also, treave, what's the deal with Higashi names? I can't tell whether they're supposed to be in the style of our Western (family name last) or East Asian (family name first) names? Hoshikawa Senya seems to be from the Hoshikawa family, but Qin Kawano seems to be from the Kawano family.

    Course, Qin looks more suspicious with every update. And I remembered this:

     
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  21. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Yeah, sorry, I've been pretty inconsistent with the order of the names. Was undecided whether to stick with Western or Eastern convention. I suppose I'll stick with Eastern from now on, though there's always the excuse to be made that it's her stage name or something.
     
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  22. Kayerts Arcane

    Kayerts
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    Cool. Didn't mean to nitpick; was just checking if it was something Senya should be paying attention to.
     
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  23. Rex Feral Liturgist

    Rex Feral
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    B
     
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  24. Stygian Lurker Scholar

    Stygian Lurker
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  25. Zwist Learned

    Zwist
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    Hmmm, E would put Naim out of the Idols reach for good. D would put this situation out of our reach for good. But as E has no chance of winning...
    B. Please don't fuck up.
     
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