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The multiverse beckons you riftwalker. How will you answer its call?

Discussion in 'Choose Your Own Adventure Land' started by Hellraiser, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. Hellraiser Arcane

    Hellraiser
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    Bumping this bros. Update incoming.
     
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  2. Hellraiser Arcane

    Hellraiser
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    2.13 The streetcar and the beholder

    This is the best course of action, the box after all belonged to somebody rich. How are you supposed to discover who it was without making connections? You are a nobody to these savages, that is until you can show them otherwise. So how are you supposed make them willing to cooperate? This is the fastest way, anything else could take months or years.

    “Well Herr Kyriazis, I can understand that but if anyone in the Reich learns about this we could be in trouble.” – Paul replies, he appears to be somewhat convinced by your reasoning.

    You explain to him how you will deal with that problem and what your plan actually is.

    *

    Hercules Boulevard XVIIA, Paul tells you that is an accurate translation of the street’s name. It is here where the home of one called Marcus Salvitto is located. While not as luxurious and grand as the Bucco Villa, it is definitely at least a class above the cookie-cutter prefab plebian housing. It looks like this is as Roman upper-middle class neighborhood. A rather safe looking area unlike the plebian quarter. Nobody seems to be inside the house.

    You wait for a while, a long while in fact. There is no sign of the Isaac’s Firearms manager. However one of the neighbors has just returned home. Paul asks him about Mr. Salvitto.
    “Nobody saw him for over two week, it’s like he vanished he said. Apparently he’s quite the gardener, rather proud of his plants. They’re all withered now, he wouldn’t leave town without having anyone taking care of them.” Paul reports what he learned.

    Does he live alone? “He does, his wife vanished a few months back. People thought she ran away with some rich guy or something. Apparently Marcus was rather heartbroken after she disappeared. He also seemed a bit on the edge as of late. Rather nervous and all that.” This is rather suspicious, it looks like he ran into some trouble. The question remains what kind of trouble it was.

    “We could investigate the matter,” Paul suggests, “men don’t just disappear without a reason.” Indeed they don’t and that’s why you find this affair worrying.

    *

    A large crowd has gathered at the nearest streetcar stop, no doubt people returning from work as it is close to sunset. For some reason, you think that you should have taken a cab. After walking aboard the vehicle you really start regretting not taking a cab. The crude electrically powered machine resembles a can of sardines, you have no idea how these people can travel like this. Then again they are savages, what could they know of comfort?

    “This reminds me of rush hour back in Hamburg, back when I was a teenager. Getting to school was a real torment. So many people and so little room on the bus.” Paul reminisces. However you notice something or rather someone. An eavesdropper seems rather interested in your conversation.

    You try not to give away that you noticed what he is doing. Still, the question remains why is he interested in you and Paul. Is it because hearing foreign tongues in Western Caesarea is rather unusual? Or is there another reason?
    Even after you and Paul stop talking, the man keeps looking at you. He tries to hide it. Frankly if you weren’t as paranoid as you are, you wouldn’t notice him. Something doesn’t feel right, you have to think of a way to deal with him.

    Someone in the streetcar appears to be observing you. You will deal with him by…
    A)…getting off at the next stop and attempting to lose him in the crowds.
    B)…confronting him, ask him what seems to be the problem.
    C)…ignoring him. Act as if you never noticed him.
    D)…luring him into an ambush if he follows you. Kill him in a back alley and search his body.
    E)…following him. Ride the streetcar as long as it takes until he gets off. See where he is going to.

    After dealing with the curious passenger, you will…
    1)...get the container for Bucco. Transit to ββ-17 via αε-13.
    2)...get the container for Bucco. Transit to ββ-17 via αδ-37.
    3)...try to enter the "Parlor of Prestige". Meeting some of the local tycoons should prove prudent.
    4)...visit the Coitus Maximus. Time to see if an expensive whore (or two) is worth the money.
    5)...check out the Christian Society of Western Caesarea. Maybe the Christians know something.
    6)...try to contact the head of the city's treasury. Ask him if he needs more slaves or knows anything that could be of use to you.
    7)...contact the local governor and offering him technology.
    8)...break into Salvitto’s house at night. Search for clues relating to its owner’s disappearance and for valuable “souvenirs”.
    9)…visit the Isaac’s Firearms factory and investigate Mr. Salvitto’s disappearance there.

    Finally, you told Paul that your plan is to…
    X)…smuggle only token amounts of tech and know-how. Enough to show Bucco that you don’t want to screw him over.
    Y)…smuggle as much tech as you can. Treat this as a regular business opportunity, a way to make money and get supplies on the side without Ajax knowing about it.
    Z)…show Bucco a thing or two but never actually deliver more than a single device. If he wants his family to become influential again, he needs to manage the whole endeavor himself.

    Vote now.

    As always, remember that however you choose to deal with the “beholder” may prevent or delay any action out of those listed as 1) to 9) from happening.

    Actions 1) to 4) and 9) take place on the same day (or around midnight), the rest takes place during the next day. Which reminds me that I’ll need to count what day it is and how long has been since Heracles and Paul arrived in Western Caesarea.

    Consult the map and info on paralells for details if you need them.

    Oh and in the last update it said Paul and Heracles were going back to the Bucco villa. In hindsight it should have said something vague like "to their next destination". I'll change that.

    Sorry for the delay. I went out with the bros and drank enough vodka to be absolutely wasted even yesterday but not enough to regret it :smug: In fact I think the potato chips I ate made me feel a lot worse than the vodka ever did.
     
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  3. Monty Arcane

    Monty
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    Excellent, another update.

    E 8 X

    Since we've started investigating Salvitto we should probably do all we can to get to the bottom of his disappearance. But once this is done it's time to get our container to this parallel and progress things with Bucco.
     
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  4. Kalin Arcane Zionist Agent

    Kalin
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    D 8 Z
     
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  5. skuphundaku Economic devastator, Mk. 11 Patron

    skuphundaku
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    Codex 2012 Codex 2013 MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Divinity: Original Sin 2
    E 8 X
     
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  6. Stygian Lurker Scholar

    Stygian Lurker
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  7. oscar Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    oscar
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    D 1 Y
     
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  8. m4davis Scholar

    m4davis
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  9. CappenVarra phase-based phantasmist Patron

    CappenVarra
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    E 8 X
     
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  10. skuphundaku Economic devastator, Mk. 11 Patron

    skuphundaku
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    Codex 2012 Codex 2013 MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Now that I have another codexer on the side of E 8 X, I'll plead the case for E) (because 8 X is pretty clearly the winning choice). So, let's start by asking the question "Who would be traking us?". The local cops? They don't have enough manpower for their regular duties, let alone doing covert surverillance on some random stranger that just came to town. Other local authorities? Dobtfull! They're too busy shitting their pants in fear of the Chinese. Bucco? He's too weak and he knows that if he crosses us, we can roast his ass, literally. He doesn't seem alpha enough to pose any threat. That leaves the automatons. They were, most likely, keeping Salvitto's house under surveillance and we got cought in their surveiilance net, so now they're following us to gather intelligence on us. That means that:

    A)…getting off at the next stop and attempting to lose him in the crowds. -> would tip them off that we're on to them, and we may not even be able to shake our tail off to start with.
    B)…confronting him, ask him what seems to be the problem. -> would tip them off, but because, most likely, he's on a covert surveillance mission, he'll just bullshit us and we won't get anything out of him.
    C)…ignoring him. Act as if you never noticed him. -> this would be a good idea because we would avoid tipping them off, but, on the other hand, they'll know what we're up to, and if we go back to Salvitto's house, we'd be walking straight into a trap.
    D)…luring him into an ambush if he follows you. Kill him in a back alley and search his body. -> this is, most likely, the worst option because we would be confronting a fully fledged automaton. He would probably kill both Heracles and Paul without breaking a sweat (metaphorically speaking).
    E)…following him. Ride the streetcar as long as it takes until he gets off. See where he is going to. -> this may be the best option: play dumb until he thinks we're just messing around, traveling around town. When he gives up and leaves, we turn the tables on him and we follow him, while being careful not to be spotted.

    Following this analysis, it's clear that E) is by far the best option.
     
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  11. Arpad Educated

    Arpad
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    E 8 X

    No to choice D) if A) isin't going to cut it.:rpgcodex:
     
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  12. Monty Arcane

    Monty
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    Skuphundaku's reasoning has convinced me to change my original vote from D to E. TBH I hadn't really considered that we were being tailed by an actual automaton, I thought at worst it would be a local agent of theirs or someone working for a rival of Bucco or the Chinese, both of whom would be threatened by our 'deal' with Bucco. But, you're right in that the risk of taking on an automaton is not worth it so E seems a better choice.
     
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  13. Zwist Learned

    Zwist
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    D8X

    This is not Nutzi-land, they do not have a GESTAPO and the most dangerous thing around is our little gun. Consider that all automatons were killed when they crossed, so the actual harm eminating from this special kind seems rather low.
    Thinking that someone trailing us is not going to notice if we start following him is preposterous. It will most like end in him confronting us or leading us into a trap.
    Killing him might be a bad idea if he does not work alone, finding his body with telltale wounds would leave no doubt about what happened.
    It might however be the exactly right message to send if he works for our "business contact".
    If it is an Atlantean agent, well... lets just hope we have a faster trigger-finger.

    Also starting to trade illegally without breaking with the Reich might be the most reckless and potentially stupid thing we could have done in the situation.
    Not only will we potentially piss of the Reich, we are also doing the eqivialent of jumping up and down while screaming "look at me!".
    So, whoever is active here will notice us. And most likely before we notice them.
     
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  14. skuphundaku Economic devastator, Mk. 11 Patron

    skuphundaku
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    Codex 2012 Codex 2013 MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Who says that all automatons were killed? Do you have any evidence to support that statement?
     
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  15. Monty Arcane

    Monty
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    We are tech smugglers by profession. This is what we do, even if we haven't done much of it lately. It is always dangerous, and we're skilled in minimising the danger or we wouldn't have survived this long. We can't always dismiss the option as 'reckless', or we'd never do any smuggling and should not have chosen the option to be a tech smuggler in the beginning. In this case it helps us with our other mission too, as it helps us to gain some influential allies. But above all we are, by our nature, in this for ourselves. We're only working for the Reich out of necessity and to stay true to our character we should always be looking out for opportunities to break away and advance our own interests.
     
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  16. skuphundaku Economic devastator, Mk. 11 Patron

    skuphundaku
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    Codex 2012 Codex 2013 MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Also, let's metagame a little:
    I'm afraid that if we fuck it up this time, it may have fatal consequences, which is even more reason to not take chances with D).
     
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  17. Zwist Learned

    Zwist
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    After rereading the relevant post I must correct myself: One was killed, and not while crossing, but while guarding the camp.
    However apparently no weapon was found, as far as we are told, making me believe that these are scouts not meant for battle.



    True, it most certainly is in character.

    Makes me think. Why the hell do we smuggle in Atlantean tech if we could just as likely smuggle Kalashnikovs? Might even keep our customers from getting nuked as I don't think the Atlanteans would even notice.
    Currently we have been playing the smuggling game with the finesse of a drunk elephant.

    Might even be a viable option for riftwalking civilisations who want to mine ressources without being noticed. Find the technology just above what is above theirs and sell it. Wait one year and trade with their now rather desperate enemies using a slightly more advanced technology.

    Or: Trade them technologies that makes it easier to subjugate them later on :troll:
     
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  18. Hellraiser Arcane

    Hellraiser
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    Alright you had enough time to DISCUSS! this.

    Either D 8 X or E 8 X won. Now I need to check what rules I established for ties a few pages ago to avoid having to wait until the damn lotto or a football match. But I think it was that the earlier vote is the tiebreaking one. Will post which one exactly in a moment.

    EDIT: I remembered correctly so it's E8X. Expect the update soon, maybe even in a few hours if it goes fast and I don't feel too sleepy.
     
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  19. skuphundaku Economic devastator, Mk. 11 Patron

    skuphundaku
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    If I recall correctly, the earlier vote wins, which makes E 8 X the winner.
     
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  20. Hellraiser Arcane

    Hellraiser
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    I don't think Heracles would benefit much from making a parallel easier to subjugate. That and at the moment Atlantis occupies way too much stuff and has other problems to deal with than a few billion more savages.

    Considering the level of tech the Roman Republic in this parallel is at and how hard would it be to acquire better one then yes kalashnikovs would be a pretty good choice. But considering that villages in thirdworldia can manufacture those on their own, AK-47s might not be the best choice. Ideally, you want tech that's hard to reverse-engineer and requires lots of documentation. Nukes, fusion, quantumtronics, electronics, aviation tech, the sort of thing that can't be invented by one creative guy with a bunch of tools and a brilliant idea. Something just beyond their understanding of physics that takes years if not decades to develop on their own without a smuggler's help.

    Now obviously the risk to reward ratio appears here again. You want tech beyond their level of advancement but not too beyond so that a pioneer passing by doesn't start thinking "hey, these guys barely had radio 10 years ago and now they have electronic watches, calculators and color TV?". Pick carefully what you want to give the natives when the choice appears. You can end up with no income if they can easily copy it. Or with dreadnoughts ready to shove a 10 ton tungsten slug into the city you are in at near-relativistic speed from low-earth orbit, while you sleep.

    Back in the cold war parallel (too lazy to check which one it was), the main thing Heracles sold to Ivan and Uncle Sam were lascannons and fusion reactors plus some targeting system quantumtronics. Why that tech? Because it allowed them to build *the* SDI system making MAD irrelevant. You can't expect a pioneer to find out about the secret commie lasersat network now can you? It took years to develop it, years during which he could milk both sides dry before they decided to strike the other.

    Consider this one of the few hints you will get.

    The update will be posted tomorrow (or rather today). I need sleep.
     
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  21. Zwist Learned

    Zwist
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    Well, apparently Heracles is not that much of an elephant after all. Thank you for the clarification.
     
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  22. Hellraiser Arcane

    Hellraiser
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    2.14 Get out of here stalker

    Perhaps the best way to deal with him, would be to simply wait him out and see where he gets off. You try not to give away that you noticed him, he’s definitely keeping an eye on you. However he seems a bit nervous, he doesn’t want you noticing him observing you as much as you don’t want him to do so as well. Odds are you are you not his target, he didn’t expect your presence.

    So who could he be? Not an automaton unless they can fake signs of being nervous that well. He doesn’t look like a Lemurian, at least not like any of those you ever saw. He’s wearing a rather baggy coat, possibly to hide an RGM or something else beneath it. Maybe a weapon. Who could he be?

    Finally, you notice he tries to move out of your line of sight. But in a way that would appear inconspicuous. He fears that you will see where he gets off perhaps? It could be that. You tell Paul to try to track him with the scanner, very discretely of course.

    He gets out of your sight but he’s still on the street car. You and Paul position yourselves near the door. Finally he gets off near the plebian quarter. It is time to follow him.

    You try to keep your distance, he remains unaware of you for some time. But after a while, you think he noticed you. He leads you into a back alley, trying to lose you there no doubt. Or he’s trying ambush you. Cautiously you and Paul take a peek behind the corner.

    It’s a dead end, but he’s nowhere in sight. Paul’s scanner doesn’t find a thing. You notice his coat is lying in the alley abandoned. Why would he leave his coat there like that and where did he go? Then you realize what has happened.

    Quickly you turn around and notice a familiar optical distortion behind Paul, one caused by the quick movements of a person wearing optical camouflage. Movements which the adaptive metamaterial mesh has difficulty to catch up to when displaying the image of the background.

    Paul jumps to the side as soon you yell at him to do so. Electricity arcs among the surface of the assailant’s charged stun rod. He attempts another strike but now has no element of surprise as you can clearly see the unsheathed stun rod. Paul dodges runs away while you grab your laspistol and fire in the cloaked man’s direction. The optical camouflage absorbs one shot, the affected surface glows for a brief moment, before shifting to display the image of the background once again.

    He starts running, obviously while he has optical camo he lacks a ranged weapon which means a sneak attack was his only way to take you down. You can’t chase him as he is invisible, but you have a feeling he isn’t staying around. He did leave his coat behind.

    Not much is left inside its pockets, only a few cut out articles from newspapers. Some are fairly recent, other years or decades old.

    “Jupiter Power Company opens first power plant in Rome.”

    “The Isaac Firearms Company builds a mechanical calculator, thousands of gears and sprockets allow a machine to calculate in mere moments what men would need hours for.”

    “Man from Portus Dubris attempts to fly like a bird using mechanical wings, dies after jumping from a cliff and crashing into the sea.”

    “The telephone, a way to talk over long distance using a wire has been patented by the Alexandria Telegraph company.”

    “Link between microbes and disease found?”

    Looks like your new friend is a high-rank pioneer or CTPCT agent. A mere ordinary pioneer wouldn’t have optical camo. Not unless the assignment would have required it. And he is definitely interesting in the scientific progress in this parallel. Odds are he’s not alone, he has to have a team or squad hiding somewhere. They definitely know about you know, laspistols aren’t exactly commonplace in this parallel. It is best to remain cautious.

    *

    It is Midnight, the Salvitto residence looks as abandoned as it was the last time you were there. The neighbors appear to be sleeping, unfortunately their bedrooms are outside of your scanner’s range.

    You break into the house with ease, no mere mechanical lock can stop you after all. Using your RGM’s display as a flashlight, you attempt to avoid the furniture lying around. “What exactly are we looking for Heracles?” Paul asks. That is a very good question, you guess there may be some documents lying around. Maybe a journal or something. “Do you honestly think that Mr. Salvitto would write anything about who might want him gone?” It is a possibility, you guess.

    There are some letters lying around on the table, one of them is not yet opened. “Dear Mr. Marcus Salvitto, we would like to remind you have not yet paid your first installment of the 120 solidii loan you took out. If you do not pay it back plus interest for delayed payment within 7 days, a debt collector will be dispatched to deal with your case. Sincerely, Gaius Labeo - Credito Augustia Bank Manager.”

    You notice a few books lying around. “Dice for the devious.” “The master’s guide to card games.” “Heroic gambling.” It looks like Mr. Salvitto was into a gambling, a bit too much into gambling you guess. Perhaps you could find out where he played.

    “Sumus Vigiles! Excedo villa!” By the gods, not the local law enforcement. Did one of the neighbors call them? Or were they patrolling the area. You can hear a gunshot being fired. “Excedo nunc!” This is bad.

    You will…
    1)…surrender peacefully. No need to piss off the armed natives further.
    2)…try to run. No way in hell you’re letting them catch you.
    3)…fight them. They want a firefight, they can have it. The gloves are off.
    4)…hide in the villa. It’s dark as hell and the house is rather big, no way in hell they can find you.

    Assuming you deal with the Vigiles, you will…
    1)...get the container for Bucco. Transit to ββ-17 via αε-13.
    2)...get the container for Bucco. Transit to ββ-17 via αδ-37.
    3)...try to enter the "Parlor of Prestige". Meeting some of the local tycoons should prove prudent.
    4)...visit the Coitus Maximus. Time to see if an expensive whore (or two) is worth the money.
    5)...check out the Christian Society of Western Caesarea. Maybe the Christians know something.
    6)...try to contact the head of the city's treasury. Ask him if he needs more slaves or knows anything that could be of use to you.
    7)...contact the local governor and offering him technology.
    8)…visit the Isaac’s Firearms factory and investigate Mr. Salvitto’s disappearance there.
    9)…search the area where the pioneer/agent disappeared. He wanted to exit the streetcar there on his own, he had to have some business there.
    10)…visit a local gambling hall, search for clues there. Surely Mr. Salvitto had to frequent one of them.
    11)...visit the Credito Augustia Bank branch, try to find out something about Mr. Salvitto.

    Vote now.

    Consult the map and info on paralells for details if you need them.

    All of the above will take place tomorrow. I think Venus Day is coming soon, so you’ll get the chance to see the native Gladiator Champion in action if you want to when that happens.

    As always, if the latin appears to be badly butchered, it is because it got changed like that over one and a half millennia :troll:
     
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  23. m4davis Scholar

    m4davis
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    2 and I'am undecided on the second option
     
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  24. Kalin Arcane Zionist Agent

    Kalin
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    2)…try to run. No way in hell you’re letting them catch you.
    11)...visit the Credito Augustia Bank branch, try to find out something about Mr. Salvitto.
     
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