AlterniaFM
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26/12/15
"To be Continued."

26/12/15
"==>"

26/12/15
"==>"

Scofflaw chuckles.

He says, I thought you’d never ask.

26/12/15
"==>"

Let’s play a game.

26/12/15
"==>"

The coffee pot is put away. In its place, a deck of cards appears.

Well then, he says.

26/12/15
"==>"

The second voice says that might just be right.

26/12/15
"==>"

The first one says he doesn’t believe for a second that he’d be content to just leave it there.

26/12/15
"==>"

The second voice says he did, it’s true. He couldn’t have done better if he’d planned it.

26/12/15
"==>"

The first voice says, you wanted to go out in a blaze of glory.

26/12/15
"==>"

Coffee is poured.

Another voice says yeah, he’s proud of it.

26/12/15
"Somewhere else…"

Someone speaks.

That was one hell of a show, he says.

26/12/15
"==>"

26/12/15
"==>"

26/12/15
"==>"

26/12/15
"==>"

26/12/15
"==>"

He has a point.

Detective says come on, there’s no point in standing around. Let’s see if any evidence survived the fire.

26/12/15
"==>"

We can just keep going like normal, he says.

Normal, you say. Right.

With no mayor, a weakened police force, and no Peccant Scofflaw.

Well, Detective says. Turmoil is a normal state of affairs here.

26/12/15
"==>"

And the Fuzz? you ask.

He says Clover’s got it under control. Things are a mess right now, but the little bastard’s been collecting evidence. The corrupt elements in the police will end up in jail or fired, and the Company shouldn’t have to worry too much about reprisal.

26/12/15
"==>"

You ask him how his shoulder’s holding up.

He says he’ll live. He won’t be able to use his arm for a while, but it’ll heal.

26/12/15
"==>"

You say not a lot we didn’t already know.

The place was already a lost cause before any firemen got to it. It’s nothing but rubble now.

They found English’s remains, but not Scofflaw’s. Of course, the scene had already been tampered with, so it’s pretty much a guarantee that the Scoundrels already collected his body before anyone else could see it.

Detective nods. He muses that they’ll probably hide his death as long as possible. Their leader dying is bad for business.

26/12/15
"==>"

Detective asks what’s up.

26/12/15
"==>"

26/12/15
"==>"

26/12/15
"==>"

26/12/15
"==>"

26/12/15
"==>"

26/12/15
"==>"

26/12/15
"==>"

You keep running. At some point you lose track of the Scoundrels.

You and the company continue running down the city’s dark streets, sirens at your back, until you’re safely in your offices.

26/12/15
"==>"

The fire has reached the exterior by the time you get out.

26/12/15
"==>"

Detective and Brawler help you usher the Scoundrels out of the room. The fire’s starting to turn from purple to a more normal color, which means that the building is starting to burn, not just the ink.

This blaze is only going to spread, and you need to not be in here as it does.

26/12/15
"==>"

Doxy screams. She tries to run into the fire to pull Scoff out, and the other Scoundrels have to hold her back.

26/12/15
"==>"

You tell them.

26/12/15
"==>"

They tell you that they aren’t going anywhere without Scofflaw, and demand to know where he is and what the hell happened here.

26/12/15
"==>"

Everyone comes rushing in through the door behind you. Innovator demands to know where Scoff is.

You tell everyone to go back, you all have to get out of here!

26/12/15
"==>"

… laughter?

Peccant Scofflaw is laughing as he burns.

26/12/15
"==>"

Is that…

26/12/15
"==>"

You think you can hear something from within the flames.

26/12/15
"SS: STOP THE SUICIDAL MANIAC STOP HIM"

It’s too late. No way you can pull him out of that inferno.

He’s really gone and done it now.

26/12/15
"==>"

26/12/15
"==>"

26/12/15
"==>"

He can still manage. One spark.

26/12/15
"==>"

Scofflaw laughs.

He says. That he may not be able. To conjure much. But.

26/12/15
"==>"

The tiny one. Yells at Scofflaw. And tells him. Not to do. Whatever he’s trying to do.

26/12/15
"==>"

26/12/15
"==>"

26/12/15
"==>"

You’re done. Letting him fuck around.

26/12/15
"==>"

Fuck. This.

26/12/15
"==>"

26/12/15
"==>"

Okay. Really.

You really liked. That desk.

26/12/15
"==>"

26/12/15
"==>"

What the fuck. He has completely. Lost his mind.

He’s getting ink. All over your office.

26/12/15
"==>"

26/12/15
"==>"

What the hell. Is he doing?

26/12/15
"==>"

26/12/15
"==>"

Struggling to stay alive. Stupidly fighting. Even though he cannot win.

All he’s accomplished. Is drenching himself in his own ink. A single spark. Would set him off. Like a powder keg.

26/12/15
"English: Gloat like the asshole you are."

How can you not. Gloat a little. Or a lot.

This piece of shit. Used to claim ownership. Of your city.

And now look at him.

26/12/15
"SS: Take the moment of distraction to try and knock out English with the crowbar."

You will. You just gotta manage to get on your feet without falling over again.

It’s proving to be more difficult than it should be.

26/12/15
"SS: Assess the situation at hand."

You’re trying. English knocked you around good. Your head is spinning, you can’t focus.

Scofflaw seems to be trying to fight English, but his magic isn’t working.

English is laughing at him.

26/12/15
"HD et al.: Run like hell to catch up with the pair and finish things with a bang!"

Wh–What the fuck is with these stairs?!

26/12/15
"==>"

You ask why they aren’t here with him. What the hell possessed him to think it was a good idea to let them run off?

He says he didn’t let them do anything. They just ran off on their own, because they’re idiots.

You curse under your breath. You just can’t leave Scoff alone for a second, can you?

You tell everyone to move their asses.

26/12/15
"HD: Reunite with your fellow mobsters."

Couldn’t even leave him half-alive for you, could they? Had to hog all the fun?

They mutter awkward apologies.

Detective tells you to stop squabbling about who got to murder whom. You need to catch up with Scofflaw and Scout.

26/12/15
"==>"

Heinous Doxy, Angry Delinquent, Cheerful Demoman and Heavy Brawler all enter from downstairs.

Doxy expresses frustration that they already killed Scratch before she could get there.

26/12/15
"MP: Jesus Christ."

You start to remember that you’ve been spending the evening with murderous criminals.

Also, you decide that you really didn’t need to know what burning flesh smells like. Too late for that now, you guess.

26/12/15
"PI: BURN THAT FUCKER DOWN TO NOTHING"

Screaming fills the room as Scratch burns. It’s a satisfying sound.

26/12/15
"==>"

They aren’t listening.

26/12/15
"==>"

They aren’t listening.

26/12/15
"DD: FUCKING HELP SCRATCH. Criminals don’t get executed before court!"

You tell them to calm the fuck down. Scratch still needs to be interrogated, and stand trial, and--

26/12/15
"PI + NB: Burn him instead. You’ve got a score to settle."

26/12/15
"DD: Arrest that motherfucker."

You offer the two shadow mages your handcuffs, instructing them to cuff Scratch and maybe knock him out.

26/12/15
"==>"

Innovator and Bawd rush to him.

26/12/15
"==>"

Scratch hits the ground, curling up.

26/12/15
"==>"

You kick that bastard where it hurts!

26/12/15
"==>"

You hit him square in the glasses. His eyesight is impaired!

Hopefully that impairs his FORESIGHT as well, so he can’t see what you’re about to do.

26/12/15
"MP: Kick that asshole in the nuts!"

Good idea, but first you need to be able to close the distance between yourself and him without getting shot.

You pull a tube of paint from your pocket, and squirt it in his face.

26/12/15
"MP: Get the gun."

You reach for it, but Scratch chooses that moment to re-appear. He’s got his gun trained on you.

26/12/15
"DD: Are you gonna be okay?"

Peachy. As long as you don’t bleed out before you get out of here.

Paint takes her sash off and wraps your wound with it.

26/12/15
"MP: Where the hell are you?"

You’re next to Detective, trying to get a look at his wound.

He tells you to grab his gun and take over shooting. You say you will, just as soon as you’re sure he’s okay.

26/12/15
"PI: MAN DOWN MAN DOWN DO SOMETHING"

Scratch looks like he has every intention to shoot again, so you shoot a pillar of flame in his direction. Predictably, he teleports out of the way, but at least now Detective has a moment to collect himself.

26/12/15
"PS: Do something stupid."

You’re damn well trying, but your magic won’t stop turning into ink!!

26/12/15
"HD: Get going."

You tell these big lugs to move their asses and get that door open.

You’ve got to catch up with Scofflaw before he does something stupid.

26/12/15
"==>"

Snowy falls over, unconscious.

26/12/15
"HD: GONNA SHOCK THE WORLD, GONNA SHOW THAT BITCH"

26/12/15
"HD: Now’s your chance!!"

Fuck yeah!

26/12/15
"==>"

The NEWTON’S CRADLE became a set of BOLAS!!

26/12/15
"CD: Throw the Newton’s Cradle."

Sure, okay!

26/12/15
"==>"

Snowman is blinded by the glare!!

26/12/15
"AD: Harness the power of your bald spot."

You play your trump card.

26/12/15
"HB: Use CD to augment height and combo attack!"

You try, but he won’t stop trying to get Snowy to look at his stupid Newton’s cradle!

You tell him to fucking focus, for once!!

26/12/15
"HD: Now what?"

You still have your TASER. However, it’s really short range.

You’ll wait for one of these other bozos to distract her, then make a move.

26/12/15
"==>"

Son of a fuck.

26/12/15
"HD: Get out your fucking chainsaw and share some BEAUTY TIPS"

Fuck this bitch, you’ll get her this time!!

26/12/15
"CD: Act as a distraction for the others to get Snowman while her back is turned!"

You say hey Snowy, come look at this thing you got!!

She does not stop trying to skewer your friends.

26/12/15
"==>"

Shit.

26/12/15
"PS: Do something!"

You summon up as much fire as you can. There’s no need to hold back now, English’s stupid distortion field or whatever is down. All you need is one good shot.

26/12/15
"PS: Get up already!"

Christ. Everything hurts.

And now Scout’s getting the shit beat out of him. You have to do something!

25/12/15
"SS: For fuck’s sake, DO SOMETHING"

You manage to pelt him with the crowbar!

25/12/15
"==>"

You are almost disappointed. In how easily he falls.

25/12/15
"==>"

His fireball dissolves into ink. And you show him. What happens to people who threaten you.

25/12/15
"English: STOP BEING ENGLISH STOP BEING ENGLISH SAVE YOURSELVES"

Like you’d even think about. Not being you. Not being you would mean being one of these losers. And you refuse to do that.

Look at this loser. He can barely stand. And he’s trying to conjure a fireball.

25/12/15
"English: Keep being English. WHATEVER YOU DO, KEEP BEING ENGLISH!"

That is a thing. That you are glad to do.

The tiny cyclops rushes at you. With that stupid crowbar. You smack the shit out of him. He is weak and pathetic. And very stupid. To think that he could stand a chance. Against an all-powerful badass like you.

25/12/15
"English: Be already there."

Ha ha. These insolent fools. Do not even realize.

Well, now they do know. That you’re already here. Because you’ve started laughing at them. Because they are so stupid.

25/12/15
"PS: Maybe he jumped out the window."

Does this window even open? You don’t see him down there.

Fuck, where IS that bastard?!

25/12/15
"PS: Flip your shit."

Where the fuck is he?!

He didn’t get away, did he? Holy shit, that fucking coward!

25/12/15
"PS: Go after English, quickly!"

You and Scout head into English’s study. Like the stairwell, it’s way taller than it has any right being.

You don’t see English anywhere.

25/12/15
"PS: How much time do you have, anyway?"

Not a lot.

Your magic has torn up your insides. Ink keeps seeping into your lungs. The only reason you can walk around at all is because you’ve taken an absurd amount of painkillers.

It’s a damn wonder you’ve made it this long. All the suffering will be worth it, though, once you’re able to burn English alive. Once you’ve gotten your revenge for him using you, and once you’ve made the city safe for the rest of the Scoundrels.

25/12/15
"PS: Resist urge to punch SS in the face."

You successfully resist the urge.

As much as you love tussling with Scout, you have bigger concerns right now. Mayor English is bound to be nearby. You have to settle the score before your time’s up.

25/12/15
"SS: Cradle Scoff in your arms and whisper sweet nothings."

You slap him on the back and tell him to suck it up. It was his idea to be here, after all.

25/12/15
"SS: Check to make sure you’re not being followed."

Can’t be too careful in this place.

There’s nothing behind you but an impossible amount of stairs.

25/12/15
"SS: Ascend stairs."

It took longer than you would’ve liked, but you’ve arrived at the top floor.

You are ready to kick some ass. Scoff, however, is wheezing and coughing like the terminally ill fuck he is.

25/12/15
"DD: fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck"

You can’t move your arm. Meaning you also can’t use your heavier guns.

Shit.

25/12/15
"==>"

25/12/15
"==>"

25/12/15
"DD: Turn around!"

25/12/15
"Doc Scratch: Be dead."

Sorry to disappoint.

25/12/15
"==>"

The fire and smoke clears and… where did he go?

25/12/15
"==>"

You don’t hold back, flooding the room with flame.

Detective’s behind you shooting into the fire, because there’s no such thing as overkill.

25/12/15
"NB + PI: Firestorm!"

Time to turn up the heat!

25/12/15
"DD: Help your boyfriend!"

For the last time, he is not your boyfriend.

You produce your AK-47. Maybe if you provide some suppressive fire, the two mages will manage to hit Scratch.

25/12/15
"PI + NB: Burn him with the power of love and shadow magic."

He keeps dodging out of the way! His uncanny FORESIGHT allows him to predict your attacks and move before they hit!

25/12/15
"NB: Team up with your boyfriend!"

The two of you are going to burn Scratch to ashes.

25/12/15
"PI: Bust out those awkward, sweaty, sick fires."

Much better plan.

25/12/15
"PI: Make out with DD."

Yes, that’s what you want to do. Commissioner Scratch is standing in front of you with every intention of killing you, but the clear solution is to make out with one of your worst enemies while your girlfriend looks on.

Brilliant.

25/12/15
"CD: Stick a bomb up Snowy’s dress when she’s not looking."

You look through your pockets for a good bomb, when you find this thing.

Wow, you completely forgot you had this!

You proceed to play with it. It’s not like there’s anything else important going on, right?

25/12/15
"==>"

This lady’s fast, and armed to the teeth. This is going to be tough.

25/12/15
"AD: Are you gonna stand for that?"

Hell no! Ain’t nobody laughs at your bald spot!

You rush her, but she responds by hitting you with her WHIP.

25/12/15
"Snowman: Laugh at AD’s bald spot."

That’s almost cute, in an aging, pathetic sort of way.

25/12/15
"==>"

You don’t manage to hit Snowy, but she does have to jump back to avoid the projectile. You’ll count that as a success.

25/12/15
"HB: Dames are in trouble! WHAT ARE YOU DOING JUST STANDING THERE?!"

Well, there’s only one dame you’re concerned with right now, but a gentleman always helps a dame in need!

You lift the first heavy thing you can find.

25/12/15
"==>"

Damn, it would sure be nice if some of the useless guys you’re with would get off their asses and HELP YOU.

25/12/15
"HD: Chainsaw harder, dammit!"

You try, but she knocks you back.

Goddamn, she’s stronger than she looks.

25/12/15
"==>"

…no.

You can’t do it.

You keep thinking about what this power did to Scofflaw. You can’t bring yourself to use it anymore.

25/12/15
"HD: Burn the smile off that bitch’s face!"

You conjure up some potent SHADOW MAGIC.

25/12/15
"HD: Chainsaw! Now!"

Like you even need to be told.

Snowman blocks your assault with her LANCE. She smiles at you. She says she’d always wondered how a powerful man like Scofflaw could stand to stay with a woman as pathetic as you.

But then, seeing Scofflaw’s current predicament, and how easily he played into Scratch’s hands? Maybe you two were made for each other after all.

25/12/15
"HB: Make out with Delinquent."

Hell no, what even the fuck?

This isn’t really the time for fucking around, anyway. Snowman’s out to kill all of you!

25/12/15
"==>"

Those stairs are WAY too tall for a building this size!!

Scoff says ain’t nothing surprises him no more. C'mon, let’s get climbing.

25/12/15
"SS: GET MOVING SHITFUCKS"

Again with the language!

You and Scoff run to the stairs, and…

wait, shit.

25/12/15
"SS: STOP BEING CUNTS"

There ain’t no need for language like that!

You help Scofflaw up. You tell him fine, he and you will go after English right now. But only to keep the coward from running away. You’re not going to do anything risky until Deadeye and the others arrive.

He says fine then, let’s get moving.

25/12/15
"SS: Make out with him to get him to shut the hell up, then devise a cunning plan."

Never. Never!!

You do need to make a decision though. Scoff does kind of have a point.

25/12/15
"SS: Hold him down."

You tell him to cut the shit! He ain’t getting that crowbar, so he oughtta just sit tight ‘til the others get past Scratch.

He says to stop being stupid. He knows you don’t want English to get away tonight. Sure, you can go after him some other time, but tonight’s the only night you’re going to have such an easy shot at it. Every other night he’s going to have the Fuzz swarming this place. After tonight, any political allies you might have are either going to be in jail or dead. You’ll have to go into hiding, quietly plotting your counterattack and hoping you don’t get caught before then.

Do you want that, Scout, he asks. Do you?

25/12/15
"SS: Trip PS."

You kick his feet out from under him. Unsteady as he is, he topples over.

25/12/15
"PS: Do an acrobatic pirouette off the handle."

You tell him to shut his fucking mouth, and to hand over the crowbar.

25/12/15
"==>"

He tells you to shut up and think about this logically. Scratch was just gonna hold us up until English got far enough away that we’d never catch him. If we gotta fight him ourselves, then that’s what we’ll do to keep him from getting away!

You say no, he’s the one who ain’t thinking logically. So what if English gets away? You’ve still got the crowbar. You can just go into hiding and try another day if you have to. The only one on a time limit is Peccant “terminal illness” Scofflaw!

You probably could’ve come up with something more clever for that last part, but whatever.

25/12/15
"SS: Tell Scoff off."

You are so done with this asshole.

You tell him to shut the fuck up. You had a plan, dammit! We were supposed to stick together! And he had to go and ruin it by going off on his own, and for what? He doesn’t have the crowbar, you do. Even if he did have it, he can’t do shit against English! He’s already got a foot in the grave and a fuckin’ spring breeze’ll send him tumbling six feet under!

25/12/15
"==>"

You pound on the door, screaming at Scratch to let you back in.

Scoff tells you to save it. We don’t have time for Scratch’s bullshit anyway, English is the one we want.

25/12/15
"==>"

A door has slid shut, cutting you off from the rest of your team.

Son of a fuck.

25/12/15
"==>"

You hear a slamming noise behind you.

25/12/15
"==>"

The attack was super effective.

You yell at Scoff. What the hell was he thinking, making a break for English on his own?! He wouldn’t have stood a chance!

25/12/15
"SS: Tackle him."

GET BACK HERE YOU IMPULSIVE BASTARD!

25/12/15
"SS: Run! Chase him!"

You waste no time!

25/12/15
"==>"

He’s making a break for the stairwell!

Innovator screams at you to stop him, quickly!!

25/12/15
"SS: Pump him full of lead!"

You have the gun in your hand when Scoff just fucking bolts.

25/12/15
"Doc Scratch: Be an excellent host."

You welcome the group. You tell them that it’s very nice of them to visit, and you will be glad to entertain them in the mayor’s stead.

Mayor English is quite busy, after all.

25/12/15
"Doc Scratch: Appear."

Gladly.

25/12/15
"SS: Ascend faster without chatting up your buddy any longer hurry he’s probably getting away damn."

You rush up the stairs. You come into another empty room.

You tell everyone to move quickly. Scratch is probably nearby.

25/12/15
"SS: Ascend stairs."

Detective says this is stupid, are you really siding with Scofflaw instead of him?

You say yeah, then remind him that he ain’t the leader and he doesn’t call the shots. Scofflaw may be a scumbag, but he’s got a point.

Detective says fine, but when we all die as a result of this decision, he will not hesitate to remind you whose stupid idea this was.

You say you wouldn’t expect anything else.

25/12/15
"SS: Weigh in."

You hate to admit it, but the asshole has a point. You can’t risk letting English get away, or else he’ll just kill and imprison more innocent people.

The others can catch up. You have to catch English before he bolts.

25/12/15
"DD: Wait patiently."

Scoff says hold the fuck up, we ain’t just gonna sit here and wait for them to bust through, are we?

You say yes, because the plan was to stick together.

Scoff says Snowy’s probably doing this so English has time to get the fuck out of here!

You say that you’ll need the whole team together to defeat English.

He says there ain’t gonna be no English there to defeat if we wait around!

25/12/15
"DD: Radio the heavy muscle."

While Innovator and Bawd ineffectually try to burn the door down, you radio up Brawler. You ask him if he can open the door from his side.

He says yeah sure, but Snowy’s blocking the way. He’ll have to get past her first.

He assures you that he and the others can take her down, no sweat.

25/12/15
"SS: Save your allies!"

You pull on the door, but there’s nothing to grab onto. It won’t budge.

Detective curses to himself, saying that she’s probably purposely splitting your group up. She’s just separated you from your heavy muscle.

25/12/15
"SS: Tell Snowy to suck it."

You do. She slams a previously-unnoticed sliding door in your face.

Shit! Delinquent, Demo, Brawler and Doxy were still in there!!

25/12/15
"==>"

She smiles at you in that stupid enigmatic way she always does.

That bitch.

25/12/15
"==>"

Shit!

Of all people, of course SHE’d be the first to show her ugly face!

25/12/15
"SS: Quick! Behind you!"

Your teammates all shout at you to turn around. You do so.

25/12/15
"SS: Charge down the hallway shouting obscenities."

Shouting will definitely alert English to your presence. You settle for the less satisfying, but safer method of muttering under your breath as you stomp into the hall.

25/12/15
"SS: Scope the layout."

Yeah, enough fucking around.

There’s a hallway across from you, and at the very end of it you can see the stairwell.

There’s no way it’s actually going to be this easy, is it?

25/12/15
"PS + SS: Realize that your hatred for timepieces means that you are a match made in heaven and start snogging relentlessly."

No. Never.

Ain’t nobody’s that desperate.

25/12/15
"PI + DD: Realize both your leaders are idiots."

This is not news to you.

This is an everyday fact of your existence.

25/12/15
"PS: Mourn the loss of that beautiful timepiece."

You fucking hate these clocks. You join in the destruction.

25/12/15
"SS: Destroy all the clocks."

What the hell, why not.

25/12/15
"SS: Go in first to show that you’re in charge here."

You push past Scofflaw and step into the mansion.

It’s dark in here. This has got to be the shittiest welcome you’ve ever seen.

25/12/15
"SS: Lead your team into battle!"

You tell everyone to get moving!

Not one to let you have the spotlight, Scofflaw says time’s a wastin’, English ain’t gonna kill himself!

God you hate this asshole.

25/12/15
"HB: Open the door, already!"

You’re surprised at how easily the door swings open. Especially with how impossible it was to open earlier.

You hand the crowbar back to the boss. This thing’s important enough that he should be the one to hold onto it.

25/12/15
"DD: Lay out the plan of action."

The plan of action, you tell Scout, is to stick together.

Scout says he ain’t sticking close to no Scoundrels. They’re on their own.

You tell him not to be an idiot. With the Scoundrels, you’ve got overwhelming force on your side. There’s ten of us, all together. Even counting Scoff out, that’s more than enough to overpower anyone in there.

Just stick together.

25/12/15
"PI: Consider blowing up the mansion with your shadow magic, thus sparing your ragtag group the need to risk their lives."

If that were a viable option, you would have done it weeks ago.

No, it’s like Clover said. English is untouchable--you’ll have to get in close and hit him with the crowbar before you can even hope to harm him.

25/12/15
"SS: Break into the mansion, already!"

Your group gathers at the door to the mansion.

You hand the crowbar over to Brawler, seeing as how he’s the strongest person here that you don’t completely hate.

25/12/15
"SS: Thank Clover for all his help."

You do so, and start walking.

Once you’re out of earshot, Scoff mutters that he hates that little shit.

You say hey, look on the bright side. Once he’s dead, he won’t have to deal with Clover any more.

He says yes, thank you, that’s the silver lining. You found it. Gold star.

25/12/15
"==>"

Clover wishes you good luck!

You say what, you thought he was coming with you.

He says oh, no. He’d much rather stay alive.

He’ll be rooting for you, though!

25/12/15
"SS: Let’s get this show on the road!"

You say all right, then there’s no time to waste. Let’s get our asses in there and bust some heads.

You tell Scofflaw that he better be ready, because you aren’t about to slow down for him.

He says you’d be better off worrying about your own ass. He can look after himself.

25/12/15
"SS: Then why didn’t he send the welcoming committee to murder you all?"

Oh, who knows! Maybe he’d rather fight you with the home field advantage. Or maybe he’s fucking with you! The guy’s inscrutable.

25/12/15
"==>"

Clover tells you that the mansion has three floors. English is currently in his study, on the third floor.

There are two staircases. One goes from the first floor to the second, and the other goes from the second to the third. They are on opposite sides of the house.

You say okay, so you have a lot of ground to cover but you can just be quiet about it.

Clover also informs you that Scratch and Snowman are in the house. And sneaking past them isn’t an option. With Scratch’s uncanny FORESIGHT, he probably already knows you’re coming.

25/12/15
"SS: Where’s the bathroom?"

Clover says he’s going to assume you want a rundown of the mansion’s layout, seeing as how that would be infinitely more useful than knowing where the bathrooms are.

You say but what if you need to take a piss?

Scoff points out that you could just piss on English’s stuff.

You say good point.

25/12/15
"PI: Fret your heart out."

You tell Scofflaw that he’s in no condition to even be out of bed, let alone fighting. He should go home and let you and the others handle this.

He says why, so he can make it another week and die in bed, choking on his own ink?

Fuck that. If he’s going down, he says, he’ll go down swinging.

25/12/15
"SS: That’s lovely and all, but how does killing English help Scoff?"

It doesn’t! Scoff here is going to die no matter what you do.

Scoff says he’s just here to settle the score. He helped English get this far, so it’s up to him to put a stop to English’s plans.

Scoff says he’ll kill English, even if it’s the last thing he ever does.

25/12/15
"SS: Any way to shut up English once and for all?"

Clover tells you that English is untouchable. There’s a temporal distortion field around him that prevents him from taking damage. Normally, he’d say you were up a creek, but it looks like you’ve got a paddle.

The crowbar, he says. Just as it can disable the temporal locks protecting English’s mansion, so too can it disable the temporal field protecting English.

For a little while, anyway.

25/12/15
"SS: Can we trust anyone else in the Fuzz to be on board with this English killing plan?"

Not exactly, Clover says, but you can at least count on most of them to be apathetic.

Most of the Fuzz are followers, not leaders. Once English is gone they’ll give up on their ambitions. You’ll just have to take English out before they all finish their various arrests tonight and return here.

You ask what you’re supposed to do about whichever members of the Fuzz aren’t apathetic. He tells you he’ll take care of it, and not to worry.

25/12/15
"SS: You look awful cheery about English dominating the city."

He says he’d rather it not happen, but even if it did, he’s not all too worried.

He’ll get by just fine.

25/12/15
"SS: What’s English’s game?"

Complete domination of the city, of course!

He’s been calling the shots for years, Clover says, but lately he’s gotten fed up with working through Scratch and having to operate within the law. He seeks to become a tyrant!

It’s all pretty crass, Clover notes. Not his style at all.

25/12/15
"SS: Well, then, shall we do it?"

He tells you to throw questions at him, and he’ll answer as best as he can.

25/12/15
"SS: This seems fishy."

Scoff doesn’t see what’s so fishy about it. Clover’s always been his man on the inside.
You ask why Clover would sell out the guy who gave him his powers.

Clover says it’s pretty easy to understand, for anyone who’s not a complete idiot.

Sure, English gave him his powers. But he can take them away, too, and English is enough of a temperamental asshole that he probably will eventually. But if you kill English, Clover gets to keep his powers forever!

25/12/15
"==>"

This little guy’s been in English’s mansion a bunch of times, so he can give you the lowdown on what to expect.

This shit’s too important to just barge in on without getting some intel first.

25/12/15
"PS: Well, who is it?"

This guy right here.

25/12/15
"DD: Get these two back in line."

You tell Scofflaw that it’s nice to see that he still has enough energy to bicker with Scout, but you’re pretty certain that time is of the essence here. Maybe we could move things along?

Scofflaw says sure, but we’re still waiting on one more person.

25/12/15
"PS: Throw up on Scout to get him to shut up."

You’re pretty sure that’d only prove his point.

25/12/15
"PS: Greet your new allies."

Scout beats you to it by telling you that you look like death warmed over.

You tell him he’s as radiant as ever, the finest cyclops you ever did see with your two functional, working eyes that are still inside your head.

He asks why you’re even here. What are you going to do, cough ink on English until he surrenders?

24/12/15
"PS: Speaking of worst enemies, where are YOU?"

Running a little late, but you’re here.

You absolutely did not get slowed down because you had a coughing fit once you were out the door.

You certainly did not have to be carried here by your friends.

You are 100% ready to go wreck shit up.

24/12/15
"MP: So is this a date?"

You’re pretty sure that’s what breakfast was.

What kind of date involves all of your date’s best friends and worst enemies and ends in ousting the mayor? Get real.

Besides, this is a serious situation! You shouldn’t be thinking about stupid things like dates!

24/12/15
"MP: Where are you?"

You’re at the meetup point with the Company, waiting for the Scoundrels to show. You wouldn’t miss this shindig for the world. You never turn down a chance to stick it to the man, especially when the man happens to be a violent, corrupt asshole.

Scout and his friends are taking bets on how much longer it’ll be before Scofflaw kicks the bucket. Scout’s become convinced that Scoff dying from his own magic would be proof that there’s justice in the world, which means it won’t happen.

You think he’s in denial.

24/12/15
"==>"

24/12/15
"==>"

24/12/15
"==>"

And the Scoundrels are going to help you do it.

24/12/15
"==>"

You tell them that you’re storming English’s mansion tonight.

24/12/15
"SS: Celebrate your new alliance."

You throw the phone down in disgust.

Detective starts yelling at you, because that was his phone, dammit.

Paint asks what’s wrong, what did he say?

24/12/15
"==>"

He tells you that he and the Scoundrels will be down the street from English’s mansion in three hours exactly.

If you know what’s good for you, you’ll be there too.

He hangs up.

24/12/15
"SS: Start seriously considering working together."

The thought makes your skin crawl. You never wanted to be able to say you’d helped the Scoundrels with anything, ever.

But… Scofflaw could be telling the truth. And if he is, you can’t take any chances. English has already proven he has no qualms with killing people in his way. If you fuck this up, you’ll be leaving that mansion in a body bag.

The Scoundrels have magic. They outclass you in terms of firepower, by a long shot.

You don’t exactly voice all this to Scofflaw. How could you? Instead you just say how it’s funny that they’ve got all the firepower, and you’ve got the way in, what are we going to do about this?

He’s quiet for a long while.

24/12/15
"==>"

He says this is his city, not yours, and he demands that you hand over the damn crowbar.

You ain’t got the firepower to take on English, he says. The guy’s more powerful than you realize.

How powerful are we talking, you ask.

Powerful enough to have lent all the Fuzz their powers, he says. Powerful enough that even after that, he’s damn near untouchable.

Powerful enough that it’s going to take everything the Scoundrels have to put him down. Your dumbass Company won’t stand a chance.

24/12/15
"==>"

He says this ain’t your place.

You say you don’t take kindly to being told what your place is.

He says this ain’t your fight! English is his, do you understand?

You tell him he isn’t the only person with a grudge against English. You also don’t take kindly to people trying to take over your city.

24/12/15
"==>"

He says you can’t possibly be suggesting that you will face English instead.

You say yeah, that’s the plan.

He starts to reply, but his voice fades out as though the phone’s being taken away from him.

Peccant Scofflaw’s voice comes on, and calls you a little shit.

24/12/15
"SS: Take the phone and demand an explanation."

He sighs harshly and tells you to put Detective back on. He’d prefer to speak to someone reasonable.

You tell him tough shit. Detective isn’t going to hand over the crowbar any more than you are.

He tells you to stop being difficult. Mayor English must be defeated, and it’ll be a lot easier to do it tonight while the rest of the Fuzz are distracted.

You say yeah, that’s a good point, you’ll get right on that.

24/12/15
"==>"

You tell him you’re not giving him anything before you know why he wants it.

He tells you the crowbar can destroy temporal artifacts. It can open the doors to English’s mansion.

You say that’s good to know, and thank him for the information.

24/12/15
"==>"

You ask what part of that is a good thing.

He asks if you have Crowbar’s crowbar. You say yes.

He says that’s the good part. He then goes on to say that you need to give him the crowbar.

24/12/15
"==>"

You ask if the Fuzz came after the Scoundrels, too.

He says yes. Cans.

He says he has another question. Who did they send after you?

You say Crowbar.

He says oh, that’s good.

24/12/15
"==>"

He says he’d like to ask a question. Have the Fuzz come after you yet?

You say yes, why?

He says the Fuzz are making their move. Now that the DA’s out of the picture, they’re rounding up everyone whom they find troublesome.

24/12/15
"DD: Apologize to husbando for the disruptions."

He’s not your husband and you don’t owe him any apologies.

He’s going on about how rude your friends are. You tell him to can it and tell you what he wants.

24/12/15
"SS: Holy shit, this dame is hilarious. Laugh your socks off."

You laugh and compliment her choice use of profanity. You bet that tea-drinking bastard is blushing himself to death now.

Then you ask Detective what the hell the tea-drinking bastard wants.

24/12/15
"MP: Whisper indecent things into the phone to get even."

You say the naughtiest, most embarrassing thing you can think of.

He tells you to shut the fuck up, he’s got Innovator on the line!

24/12/15
"DD: Take the call."

Thinking it’s Brawler or Demo on the other end of the line, you tell them to make it snappy.

It isn’t either of them.

24/12/15
"MP: Clock this dick so he knows you mean business."

You’re about to, but his phone rings.

He says the two of you can engage in fisticuffs in just one moment, just as soon as he’s done taking this call.

24/12/15
"SS: Come to this dame’s defense!"

You tell him hey, hold up, if the lady wants to help then we’ll let her help!

He says you’re only saying that because you want to get in her pants.

You deny his allegations profusely.

24/12/15
"DD: What’s that dame still doing here?"

You get off the phone and ask Paint why she’s still hanging around.

She says it looks like you guys are into some dangerous stuff, and since you helped her she wants to return the favor.

You say that’s cute, but no thanks.

24/12/15
"==>"

Detective says that if English is with the Felt, then it’s probably protected by some sort of time shit. Those assholes are always mucking around with time shit.

You say no kidding.

He tells you to get back to the office so you can work out what you’re going to do from here.

24/12/15
"==>"

Detective asks what you mean by impenetrable.

You say it’s just like you said, it’s impossible to get in. All the doors got weird clockwork shit on them instead of locks, and no amount of lockpicking or brute force could get them open.

You add that you tried the windows, too, but they’re all barred. You couldn’t get the bars off.

The place is a damn fortress.

24/12/15
"HB: What’d you find?"

Not a lot. You hit up Fin and Trace, but after giving them all the money you had all they coughed up was English’s address. And you’re pretty sure they only gave you that because the place is impenetrable.

24/12/15
"DD: Answer the phone."

It’s Brawler. He’s checking in. You ask him what he’s found.

24/12/15
"SS: Tie Crowbar up or something."

You handcuff him, then smash the hell out of his radio so he can’t try and call for help when he comes to.

Detective’s phone rings.

24/12/15
"MP: Escape down the fire escape."

Hell no.

Crowbar goes down once Detective hits him. That guy’s got a mean swing.

You ask if the copper’ll be okay. Detective says who knows, probably, as long as he wakes up soon.

24/12/15
"DD: Why don’t you just hit Crowbar with your cuestick?"

Because you had to distract him first, dumbass. Last thing you wanted was for him to block with that damn crowbar of his and break your cuestick.

24/12/15
"DD: Make a witty quip."

You kick the remaining papers into Crowbar’s face. You say hey boss.

He says yeah?

You say you took care of the paperwork.

24/12/15
"07: Stomp on Scout’s face."

You’re about to, when a huge pile of papers falls on you.

24/12/15
"==>"

Fucking OW. That hurt like a bitch.

24/12/15
"==>"

Crowbar clocks you in the face with his crowbar.

24/12/15
"SS: Close the door on him."

You try it again, but he forces the door open.

He says he’ll give you a demonstration of how reasonable his force is.

In fact, he’ll reasonably force your damn skull open.

24/12/15
"DD: Hide the dame!"

She says no, it’s okay, she can handle a few nights in the slammer! She didn’t mean to get you guys in this much trouble.

You say it’s a little late for that. The Fuzz are here now, so get your ass out onto the fire escape.

24/12/15
"SS: Oh, that reminds you."

You want to report that you saw two officers assaulting an innocent person and detaining her against her will.

He says very funny.

You tell him they were using unreasonable force.

He says any force is reasonable when it’s being used by the police.

24/12/15
"SS: Tell him no you haven’t seen his lost cat, he should try hanging posters like the rest of us nobodies."

You try to slam the door in his face, but he stops you.

He says he knows you’re harboring a criminal in there.

You tell him you don’t know what he’s talking about.

He says don’t play dumb. He says he saw you and her enter the building together. Besides, he says, he oughtta arrest you, too, for assaulting an officer.

24/12/15
"SS: Don’t answer it!"

Well, damn.

The Fuzz are at the door.

24/12/15
"==>"

There is a knock at the door.

24/12/15
"MP: Don’t stand for this dick’s attitude!"

Actually, no, he has a point. You hadn’t realized Scout was involved with this sort of stuff. He could be in serious trouble because he helped you!

Scout says don’t worry about it. It’s not like the Fuzz are going to come knocking on his door over some stupid shit like this.

24/12/15
"DD: Be welcoming to the little lady."

Hell no.

You ask Scout what the hell he was thinking. The situation with the Fuzz is precarious at best. Why would he do something as stupid as picking a fight with them?

Scout says the dame was in trouble, what was he supposed to do?

24/12/15
"MP: Introduce yourself."

You tell him your name’s Paint. Ms Paint, if he wants to get all formal about it.

He asks why you’re here.

You tell him his friend here helped you out earlier today. The Fuzz were giving you shit and he showed them what’s what.

24/12/15
"SS: Tell him to snap to and start learning things."

He says he’s got Brawler on it.

You say no, no, start learning doctor shit.

He says to hell with that! Just be happy the universe hates Scofflaw as much as you do.

Furthermore, he says. What’s with the girl?

24/12/15
"SS: Order Detective to think of a way to stop this bullshit."

He says he’s neither a doctor nor a shadow magic expert, what the hell do you expect him to do?

We have bigger things to worry about, anyway, he says. The police force is dangerously corrupt and we’ve got a mayor involved in this mess whom we know literally nothing about.

24/12/15
"SS: Flip out."

You’ve spent your whole damn career chasing this asshole. You’ve spent several years of your life dedicated to putting this guy in cuffs, to watching him squirm in court, to seeing him rot away behind bars for the rest of his life.

And now you’re not going to get any of that, because the fucker went and got himself sick?!

Fuck everything about that!

24/12/15
"SS: Frown loudly."

Or, you know. Screech angrily.

Dying? How the fuck is Scoff dying?

Detective starts to repeat his explanation. You stop him, saying you get that. But what the fuck gives him the right?!

24/12/15
"DD: Eat the crane. Hide the evidence."

You have nothing to hide. Scout certainly won’t give a shit about paper cranes when he hears that Scofflaw is dying.

Scofflaw is what, he asks.

Dying, you repeat. As in, won’t be alive for very much longer.

You tell him everything you’ve learned, conveniently leaving out the part where it was Innovator who told you.

24/12/15
"==>"

He’s got some dame trailing behind him. He asks what the hell you’re doing.

Paperwork, you say.

He says looks like you’re slacking off.

You ask him whether he made any progress. He says no.

Who’s slacking off, then, you ask.

24/12/15
"==>"

You’re about halfway through your fifth paper crane when Scout comes in.

24/12/15
"DD: Return to office."

You sit at your desk and wait for Scout to return.

You consider working on some of this piled-up paperwork, so Scout won’t flip his shit when he gets here.

24/12/15
"DD: Take a minute to think about what just happened while you smoke."

You think about this new information and how it affects the direction of your investigation. Then you get your phone out and call up Brawler.

You tell him not to bother looking into the Scoundrels. There’s nothing left to find on that front.

You tell him to start digging up info on Mayor English instead.

24/12/15
"DD: Show yourself out."

You’d like to, but Bawd shows up and leads you outside. It was too much to hope that you’d be left to wander alone in their club.

She says that it was nice to see you again as she ushers you out the door, and tells you that you really must visit more often. All empty pleasantries, you’re sure.

You light up a cigarette as soon as you’re outside.

24/12/15
"==>"

You surmise, then, that this conversation is over.

Innovator agrees. He suggests that you show yourself out.

24/12/15
"==>"

Because Scofflaw wouldn’t approve, you speculate. Now isn’t the time for--

He stops you. Now is especially the time, he says, to honor Scofflaw’s wishes. It’s bad enough that he called you here and told you this much, but it was necessary. He will do no more than that.

24/12/15
"==>"

He says he knows, but he can’t just start working with his rivals like that.

You ask him why, and he says you know why.

24/12/15
"DD: Calm him down, for crying out loud."

You tell him that this is your city too, and therefore it is your problem too.

A corrupt Fuzz is just as dangerous to the Company as it is to the Scoundrels.

He called you here and told you all this, you point out, so clearly he sees the value in sharing information. If you have a common enemy, perhaps you needn’t be so adversarial in your pursuit of said enemy.

24/12/15
"==>"

Just stay out of this, he tells you.

This is the Scoundrels’ problem, not yours. They’ll clean up their own messes, so just keep out of the way!

24/12/15
"DD: Maybe he should have said something."

How were you supposed to know about his plan? He just started flinging fireballs around when he saw you there!

He can’t just blame this on you!

24/12/15
"==>"

The plan was to kill the lights once he was on stage, then teleport him to safety and warn him of Scratch and English’s plans.

Until you got in the way.

That man’s blood is on your hands.

24/12/15
"==>"

That’s right, you say, what were the Scoundrels doing there, if they weren’t going to kill the DA?

Were they--

Yes, Innovator says. We were there to save him.

23/12/15
"DD: Isn’t it?"

No, he says. Pity is the last thing this is about!

This is about that fiasco last night.

23/12/15
"==>"

So why tell you all of this? If he’s looking for pity, then--

He interrupts you. Pity? Is that what you think this is?

23/12/15
"==>"

So that’s why the Scoundrels were at the Fuzz’s HQ that night.

He says yes.

And that’s why he didn’t do anything when he saw you, you note. Because he had bigger problems, and the last thing he needed was a fight with the Company.

He says yes.

23/12/15
"==>"

As agreed, Scratch told Scoff everything he knew.

He told Scoff that there was no cure.

He told Scoff that he was going to die and nothing would save him.

He told Scoff that he was a fool to ever think that anything could be done.

23/12/15
"==>"

Everything went off without a hitch and English was elected in a landslide, thanks to the death of his competition and a little bit of election fraud.

After everything was said and done, we heard nothing from Scratch. So we came to him. Delinquent and I searched the department while Scoff confronted Scratch himself.

23/12/15
"DD: What happened after that?"

We did everything Scratch asked of us, Innovator says.

Scoff saw to every task personally, despite the strain it put on him. He was determined to make sure everything was done right, that there would be no way Scratch could say we didn’t hold up our end of the deal.

23/12/15
"==>"

He offered to tell us everything he knew, on one condition.

We had to help him rig the mayoral election. English had to win.

Scofflaw was desperate and scared. He said yes in a heartbeat.

23/12/15
"==>"

He knew all about Scofflaw’s condition. He didn’t say anything for sure, but he seemed to imply that he knew a cure.

23/12/15
"==>"

And that’s when Scratch showed up.

23/12/15
"DD: Is there any way to cure him?"

Not that you’re particularly heartbroken, but you don’t imagine any of the Scoundrels would just roll over and wait for Scofflaw to die.

Innovator says they looked into everything. They scrambled to find something, anything, that could save him, but it was hopeless.

Here Scofflaw always expected to go out in a blaze of glory, but it became increasingly obvious that he’s going to die sick in bed.

23/12/15
"==>"

He’s dying, Detective.

Peccant Scofflaw is dying.

23/12/15
"DD: Press him further."

You’re not about to let up on your questioning. Is now what? You get that it’s bad, but how bad is it?

23/12/15
"==>"

You take it Scofflaw used his magic too much, then.

Innovator says yes.

Scofflaw’s never been one to take it easy. He’s always pushing his limits.
It’s… unfortunate, he says. The same stubborn tenacity and determination that won him control over this city is now…

He stops. He seems unwilling to continue speaking.

23/12/15
"DD: What’s wrong with him?"

It’s his magic, Innovator says.

What nobody told us when we made our pact with the Horrorterrors, he says, is that once we had Shadow Magic, we’d always have to play a balancing act.

If we don’t use our magic enough, it burns us up from the inside.

If we use it too much, it tears our insides apart.

23/12/15
"DD: But why?"

Innovator stutters, then goes silent.

You ask if it’s because of Scofflaw. He nods.

Because he’s sick, you say.

He hesitates, then says yes.

23/12/15
"PI: Start talking, already!"

Don’t be so impatient. It’s rude.

You start out with simple facts. Of the murders the Company have been investigating, only some of them were perpetrated by the Scoundrels.

He asks which ones.

The ones that happened before that night at the Fuzz HQ, you say. Those murders were committed under Commissioner Scratch’s orders. After that night, the Scoundrels broke all ties with the Fuzz.

23/12/15
"SS: Ask her out for breakfast."

What about breakfast, you ask, it’s time for breakfast, right?

She says breakfast sounds perfect.

23/12/15
"==>"

She says no, actually she was just snapping a photo of her most recent painting. The light’s better in the morning.

You say oh.

23/12/15
"SS: Ask her out for a drink."

She says really? It’s ten in the morning.

You say why not, you were spraypainting now and that’s usually something you do at night, right?

23/12/15
"SS: Hey, do you even know her name?"

She says her name’s Paint. She asks you yours, and you tell her.

She says you work for that detective agency, right? You say yeah.

23/12/15
"SS: Ask the dame if she’s okay."

She says she’s fine, and thanks you for your help.

You say it was no problem, and compliment her on her kicking skills. That one looked like it hurt.

23/12/15
"==>"

Eggs is distracted enough that the vandal is able to break loose. She delivers a swift kick to his nuts.

23/12/15
"SS: Kick Fuzz ass."

Fuck these guys! You deliver a solid punch to Biscuits’ face.

23/12/15
"==>"

They tell you to fuck off. Go do some paperwork or something, ya stupid flatfoot!

They’re being way too rough with that dame. She may have committed vandalism, but she doesn’t deserve that sort of treatment!

23/12/15
"SS: Do something!"

You tell those fuckers to leave her alone! Don’t they have another politician to go murder or something?

23/12/15
"==>"

It’s that painterly dame from yesterday! Eggs and Biscuits are giving her a hard time. You aren’t surprised that these neanderthals don’t appreciate art.

23/12/15
"SS: Notice the vandal from before."

You hear a scuffle going on in the alley.

23/12/15
"SS: Find out who the patsy is, you schmuck."

Nobody important. Some mail lady. If you can get all this shit with the Fuzz sorted maybe you can save her some jail time.

Now that you think about it, if the Fuzz are crooked, how many people rotting away in the jails are actually innocent?

What a damn mess.

23/12/15
"SS: Hit the streets."

Man, this is boring. Collecting intel during the day is lame. You assume Detective wanted to take the day shift because he has some informants in mind, but you’ve got bopkiss.

You hit up a few people you knew–no friends of yours are morning people, but a few haven’t gone to bed since yesterday. They don’t tell you anything you didn’t expect.

They say the Scoundrels have made themselves sparse lately, Scofflaw doubly so. Doxy seems to have taken on most of his duties. No doubt because he’s sick.

They also tell you that the Fuzz have already arrested a patsy for the DA’s murder. Nobody anyone will miss. That was quick, they’re stepping up their game.

23/12/15
"DD: Ask him why his fan was at the Fuzz’s HQ anyway."

He says that Commissioner Scratch demanded a show of loyalty. He made each of them hand over something that was important to them.

You ask if that’s why Snowman had Scout’s eye. He says yes.

You ask exactly what’s going on with the Scoundrels and the Fuzz. He says it’s a long story.

You tell him you’ve got time.

23/12/15
"DD: Tell him to start talking."

He doesn’t answer you. He nuzzles his fan, mumbling sweet nothings to it.

You ask if he needs a moment alone. He says no, he’s fine, he’s just relieved, that’s all.

23/12/15
"DD: Give him what he wants."

You produce a card from your deck and hand it to him.

23/12/15
"DD: Is it your heart? I believe I stole it away that evening we met in the closet."

No. You’re not saying that. Not ever.

23/12/15
"DD: NOPE."

You say he’ll have to forgive you, but you are not drinking anything he gives you.

He says rude.

You say you’d rather just get to business.

He says first things first. He believes you have something that belongs to him.

23/12/15
"DD: Ask Innovator why he invited you here."

He says there’s no rush, Detective. Please, try the tea. He’s sure you’ll like it.

23/12/15
"DD: Sit down with the crazed criminal."

You take a seat. Innovator politely thanks Bawd for getting the door, kisses her hand, and asks her to leave the two of you alone.

She complies, leaving the room.

23/12/15
"==>"

Bawd takes you to a room, where Innovator is patiently waiting.

He greets you. He says he’s made a pot of tea for you.

23/12/15
"DD: Inquire as to the nature and point of this illicit rendezvous."

She doesn’t answer you. She leads you into the back, into the employee-only area, and down a hall.

23/12/15
"DD: Oh hell no. This is definitely a trap."

You’re willing to bet that it isn’t.

When you knock on the door, you’re greeted by Nefarious Bawd and her deceptively friendly smile.

She says Innovator’s been waiting for you.

23/12/15
"==>"

It’s not open. Not this early in the day. Which is probably why the note said to come now.

23/12/15
"==>"

This is the place.

23/12/15
"DD: So what about that note?"

23/12/15
"==>"

23/12/15
"==>"

23/12/15
"==>"

You say Brawler and Demo can take over in the afternoon, when the real pleasant sorts start waking up.

You ask Scout if that sounds good to him. He says fine, sure. You say good.

All of you, get your asses home, you say. We’re off the clock.

23/12/15
"==>"

Scout asks what’s wrong.

You say nothing’s wrong.

Brawler asks what you were saying.

23/12/15
"==>"

What is that…?

23/12/15
"DD: Find carefully placed note."

You tell Brawler that he and Demo can sleep in. You and Scout will hit the streets in the morning and…

Hm?

23/12/15
"HB: Hit the streets?"

You say he means go out and collect intel?

He says yeah.

You say you’re not sure he noticed, but you just went a round with both Doxy and Delinquent.

He says yeah, he knows, you’ll remember he had to face down Innovator.

You tell him you’re going home and getting some damn rest.

He thinks about that for a moment, then says fine. Tonight’s not good anyway. The DA’s dead, the Fuzz’ll be looking for a scapegoat, and half the city’s criminal element is probably keeping their head down.

Tomorrow. You’ll all hit the streets tomorrow.

23/12/15
"SS: Question who is in charge of this whole Fuzz - Scoundrel truce."

You ask Detective if it’s possible that Scoff isn’t the one calling the shots here. He says he doesn’t know, maybe. If something’s wrong with Scofflaw then who knows what’s going on with the Scoundrels. Maybe the Fuzz found some sort of leverage on them.

It’s worth looking into, he says. He needs to look into a lot of things. He says he’s been making all these assumptions, but what you all need is more information.

23/12/15
"SS: Recall the ink in the bathroom of the police station."

You have been finding it everywhere, haven’t you?

And the stuff you found at the police station… it didn’t make sense to you then why it would be in the bathroom sink, but now it’s coming together.

Scofflaw’s been sick for a while, hasn’t he?

23/12/15
"CD: Suggest that the stinky stuff is shadow ink."

That’s it, right? And you guys have been finding it everywhere.

23/12/15
"DD: Your thoughts?"

Damn right something’s going on. Looking the other way while the Scoundrels kill city officials is one thing, but for the Fuzz to do their dirty work? While the Scoundrels were there and perfectly capable of doing it themselves?

Something stinks, you say.

23/12/15
"SS: Inform the others about Scofflaw’s current state."

You tell them about your encounter with Scofflaw and the sorry state you found him in.

You don’t like this, you say. Between this and Snowy, there was too much unexpected shit that went down. Feels like something’s going on and you haven’t got the whole picture.

23/12/15
"SS: Regroup."

Well that went over well, Brawler says.

Detective says shut up.

23/12/15
"==>"

23/12/15
"==>"

23/12/15
"==>"

23/12/15
"==>"

23/12/15
"==>"

… Snowman?!

23/12/15
"==>"

Wait, upstairs, that’s…

23/12/15
"SS: Look around."

You frantically try to find the person who pulled the trigger.

23/12/15
"==>"

No… no! Scofflaw’s down the hall and the Company have the other Scoundrels busy. How the hell could this happen?!

23/12/15
"==>"

You rush out into the crowd.

23/12/15
"==>"

You hear a gunshot, followed by the sound of people screaming.

No, it can’t be…!

23/12/15
"SS: Hurry and get up! You have to catch Scofflaw!"

You ain’t giving up so easily!

23/12/15
"==>"

While you’re getting back up, he runs out the door.

23/12/15
"SS: Fall on your ass."

Fall on your face, more like.

23/12/15
"SS: Ignore your own safety and tackle the slimy shadow mage!"

GET BACK HERE YOU SHADOWY BASTARD!

23/12/15
"SS: Follow the black bile road!"

You are not letting this asshole get away. Doesn’t matter how sick he is, he’s still a criminal scumbag and he’s still going down.

23/12/15
"SS: Don’t let him get away!"

You’re hot on his heels!

You step around… jesus, did he throw all of this up? That is a hell of a lot of shadow ink.

23/12/15
"==>"

Scofflaw absconds.

23/12/15
"SS: Keep your guard up, but offer medical assistance and ask him who did this."

You don’t let go of your knife for a second, but you ask if he needs help. He scrambles to his feet and glares at you.

You grip your knife. You hardly think you’ll need it to take him down when he’s in this state, but like hell you’re taking any chances with this psychotic bastard.

23/12/15
"SS: What the fuck?"

Holy shit. He doesn’t look like he’s in any condition to kill anyone. Hell, he barely looks alive.

23/12/15
"==>"

Scoff doesn’t look so good.

23/12/15
"==>"

There he is!

Wait. Something’s wrong.

23/12/15
"SS: Go check it out! Hurry!"

Keep your pants on, damn.

You peer into the stairwell.

23/12/15
"SS: Listen, maybe you’ll hear something."

Good thinking. Sounds like someone’s coughing in the next stairwell over.

Maybe Scoff’s smoking is finally catching up with him, heh.

23/12/15
"SS: Get DD’s message."

You tell him you copy.
That cigarette smell was definitely from Scofflaw, then. He can’t even keep from smoking during a job, what a joke.

23/12/15
"SS: Look for Scofflaw."

Dammit, there is nothing up here.

23/12/15
"==>"

You look down the hallway to see Detective outrunning a furious Innovator. You start to chase after them, but Detective comes on the radio and tells you to head backstage and hold Doxy and Delinquent off. He’ll handle Innovator on his own.

23/12/15
"HB: Run, hurry!"

You and Demo run into the back hallway, ready to bust some heads!!

23/12/15
"HB: Listen to DD’s message."

Detective comes on the radio and tells you about the Scoundrels. Finally, some action! You’re 100% done listening to these stuffy guys talk about laws.

23/12/15
"HB: Keep an eye on that English guy."

He and the DA are having some sort of disagreement about a case the DA ruled on recently. English says he shouldn’t have let the guy off, but the DA insists the guy wasn’t guilty.

It’s all really boring law stuff. You don’t know nothing about that. You just catch the perps, you don’t book ‘em.

23/12/15
"CD: Finish eating snacks."

Those were some good snacks! These swanky places really know how to get the good stuff.
Brawler wouldn’t let you have any of the wine though. Says that if you’re gonna act like a kid he’ll just treat you like one. Boo.

You’ve looked all around the place and haven’t seen anything out of the ordinary, so now you and Brawler are just hanging back and keeping an eye on the District Attorney to make sure nobody pulls anything.

23/12/15
"DD: Abscond!"

You rip the tape off the lock and shut the door. That’ll slow Doxy and Delinquent down–at least, provided they don’t just break the door down–but it won’t stop Innovator. That asshole can teleport.

You run. As you run, you get on the radio. You tell the rest of the Company where the Scoundrels are, and warn Scout that Scoff may be up there with him.

23/12/15
"==>"

Doxy says no, probably he just–-

She stops. Shit, she’s noticed you!!

23/12/15
"DD: Look outside."

Innovator, Doxy and Delinquent are just outside the door.

Innovator asks Doxy where Scofflaw is.

She replies that he went to check upstairs, but it’s been an awful long time.

Innovator suggests that she go to check on him.

Delinquent asks if they think Scoff’s been caught.

23/12/15
"DD: Inspect door."

It’s the type that locks behind you so you can’t get back in from outside.

Someone has taped over the latch so it can’t lock.

23/12/15
"DD: Hear something."

Maybe you can ask him yourself. You definitely hear his voice on the other end of that door there.

23/12/15
"==>"

This is… sloppy. It’s just been hastily tacked on. This is definitely one of Innovator’s machines, but it’s not his usual quality.

Was he in a hurry or something? Surely he would have been planning this for a while. What’s his game?

23/12/15
"DD: Inspect fuse box."

You open it up and, yep, here you go.

You look it over, and it looks like this timer is set to shut off all the lights around when the DA’s speech starts.

23/12/15
"DD: Shake it, don’t break it."

You’re about ready to break someone’s face if they don’t cut it out.

23/12/15
"DD: Do a funny dance while you’re alone."

What the fuck is your problem?

23/12/15
"DD: Check boxes."

They contain things like curtains in various colors, spare ropes for the rigging, and miscellaneous things like paper towels, soap bottles and the like.

You search them thoroughly to ensure that Innovator hasn’t hidden explosives in any of them, but the boxes don’t seem to have been tampered with.

23/12/15
"DD: Look around."

You’re in the backstage area. Above you is all the rigging for the curtains and everything, and to your side is the curtain that obscures this area from view when people are looking at the stage.

Along the walls are various boxes, as apparently the venue uses this room as a makeshift storage room. There is also a fuse box on the wall and an exit that leads into an alley outside.

23/12/15
"DD: Search for a more obscure and/or brilliant place to pull this off."

See, this isn’t as straightforward as the boss thinks.

You don’t doubt his logic. Scofflaw would definitely see that mezzanine level, tell Innovator to set up a sniper nest and call it a day. The boss knows how Scofflaw thinks.

Thing is, it’s your job to know how Innovator thinks, and Innovator would know you’re on their trail.

He’ll have another plan. You figure you’ll check out the back hallways, backstage, and so on. You’re sure to find him lurking about.

23/12/15
"CD: Convince Brawler to get some snacks for the both of you."

You say since you found the guy, that means it’s snack time, right?

He says no, you’re supposed to be looking for the Scoundrels. We already know the DA is supposed to be here.

You say oh. Can you have snacks anyway?

He says fine, but then you have to continue looking.

23/12/15
"==>"

You spot a couple of people without hats.

Brawler says that’s the District Attorney, the guy you’re here to protect. The guy he’s talking to is Mayor English. That English guy is really big!

23/12/15
"CD: Spot the people with the funniest hats."

Everyone’s wearing top hats! How boring!!

23/12/15
"CD: Try out the snacks."

You try, but Brawler won’t let you!

He says you need to finish sweeping the area. You’ll have time to eat afterward.

You say all the good stuff will be gone by then!!

23/12/15
"HB: Follow boss’s orders like a good boy."

Well, securing the area shouldn’t take too long. Demo can’t see over the crowds, so you give him a lift and get going.

You quickly lose track of Detective. Oh well, he can take care of himself.

23/12/15
"SS: Continue snooping. But be ready to show someone your stabs if you have to!"

You’re more than ready.

23/12/15
"SS: Look behind you!!"

There’s no one there.

You smell cigarette smoke, though. Someone’s up here.

You’ve gotta be careful.

23/12/15
"Snowman: Appear."

23/12/15
"SS: Snoop!"

Did they really think this would keep anyone out?

23/12/15
"SS: Try hard not to stare. Sheesh, they really fancied this place up!"

Real swanky duds they got here.

All right, so the podium’s way at the back. The room ain’t too crowded yet, but more people are pouring in so you need to get this place checked out before it’s too crowded to move.

There are several exits on either side of the room, leading into the kitchen, staircases, hallways and the like, plus the one behind you which leads outside. There’s a mezzanine floor above, which has been closed to the public for this event.

That mezzanine has “Scoundrels are gonna snipe from here” written all over it.

You tell the Company to split up. You tell the three of them to stay here on the ground floor and sweep the place clean. Leave no stone unturned, the Scoundrels are bound to be hiding somewhere.

Meanwhile, you’ll head to the mezzanine level and make sure nobody tries anything.
You’ve got fifteen minutes before the DA’s speech.

23/12/15
"SS: Enter."

You and your Company walk in the doors.

23/12/15
"==>"

He says he’s not gonna stop you, but you really oughtta think twice about sticking your nose in this.

You say it sounds like he knows something.

He says he don’t know nothing, ‘cept that flatfoots oughtta stick to finding lost jewelry and leave the important shit to the cops.

You say he can see where you’re going to go, can’t he? So does it look like you’re about to listen to him?

He steps out of the way.

23/12/15
"SS: Push your way in front of DD before he can lead the Company inside."

This guy got way too used to taking charge while you were gone.

Fin tells you to wait.

23/12/15
"DD: Bribe the shit out of these fuckers."

You produce a wad of cash and ask if they’re still saving up for those go-karts.

Trace scoffs and says no, but takes the money regardless.

He says they’re building a track now.

23/12/15
"SS: Meet up at the entrance."

You find your teammates at the door. Also at the door are Fin and Trace, who seem to be in charge of keeping uninvited guests out.

They say hold the fuck up. They know for a fact you assholes don’t have tickets.

23/12/15
"==>"

Before you know it, it’s time to meet the Company at the big event.

23/12/15
"==>"

You return to your apartment and prepare.

If the Scoundrels want a fight, then you are damn well going to give it to them.

23/12/15
"SS: Keep an eye on her. You know, so she won’t cause any trouble. Plus she’s kinda cute."

Tempting, but nah. You’ve gotta get ready for tonight.

You’ll have to keep a lookout for her in the future, though.

23/12/15
"==>"

She assures you that it’ll be her best yet!

23/12/15
"SS: Scold her."

You tell her that her painting better be all kinds of badass when it’s done, else you’re going to be pissed.

23/12/15
"SS: Shout to get her attention."

She gasps, displeased to be caught in the middle of her act of vandalism.

23/12/15
"SS: Admire the woman’s interesting artwork (and dat ass)"

Yes, that’s some fine artwork there… Really, uh. Really top notch stuff.

23/12/15
"==>"

There is a small woman standing on a box, spraypainting the shit out of your office building.

23/12/15
"SS: Woo investigation time!"

You peer around the corner.

23/12/15
"SS: Hear something nearby."

Hey yeah, what IS that? Sounds like it’s coming from the alley.

23/12/15
"SS: Exit."

You step outside, quietly grumbling to yourself about your lazy teammates.

23/12/15
"SS: Agree to those terms."

You say sure. In fact, since all these guys have clearly been slacking off the whole month you were gone, you think you’ll take this opportunity to do some slacking off of your own.

Have fun with that paperwork, assholes. See ya’ at 8.

23/12/15
"DD: Oh come on, give your dear boss a big old hug."

No.

He says what’re you waiting for, you missed him, right?

You say that’s beside the point. You have important shit to do and you have no time to waste on hugging him and subsequently changing clothes.

He says you can’t possibly be all that concerned with getting shit done, considering all the paperwork you haven’t done.

You say fine, you’ll do some damn paperwork, if he’ll just go home and take a damn shower.

23/12/15
"SS: Wipe your greasy fingers on DD’s suit."

He says to knock it off, boss.

He missed you and all, but if you ruin his suit he will end you.

23/12/15
"SS: Ask how he can say ‘hopefully’ when Scofflaw might as well be dragging Clover around like a fucking rabbit’s foot."

And do what else? he asks.

It isn’t like we can alert the Fuzz, he says, they’re part of the problem. And we can’t just do nothing.

We just have to take matters into our own hands and try not to fuck up.

Besides, he adds. Scofflaw thinks Clover’s an annoying fuck. He wouldn’t keep him around any more than he absolutely has to.

23/12/15
"SS: Wonder why the hell Brawler is building forts."

Because it’s fun, he says. What, are you the fun police now?

23/12/15
"DD: Give instructions to Company on how to proceed."

It’s simple enough. The event is at 8 pm. The four of you will arrive shortly before, then keep an eye out for the Scoundrels. They’ll probably try to attack during his speech, since it’ll offer ample room for them to snipe him. Hopefully you’ll be able to catch them before they kill the District Attorney.

You suggest to Scout that he go take a shower and make himself presentable before then.

He asks what you mean by that. You say nothing.

You ask him if he has any more questions.

23/12/15
"CD: Ask if Company has received invitations."

You remember hearing on the radio that that event’s been sold out for weeks! You ask Detective if he has tickets or invites or something.

He says it’s not a problem and tells you to go back to building forts with Brawler.

23/12/15
"SS: Quit yelling."

He thanks you. See how much better this is, conversing like adults?

You tell him to shut the fuck up and tell you the plan.

He tells you that the District Attorney is doing a speech at a charity event this evening. The Fuzz are running “security” for the event.

They’re gonna let the Scoundrels just waltz in, you say.

Most likely, he replies. But this time, we’re going to be there.

23/12/15
"SS: Do your best to address situation in sane, rational manner."

Your body parts ain’t bartering pieces to be passed about between every shady motherfucker in the city, you yell.

He tells you he knows.

This shit ain’t gonna stand, you say.

Absolutely right, he says.

We gotta do somethin’ about this, you say.

He says we are, and if you quit yelling he’ll tell you about it.

23/12/15
"DD: Continue to exposit."

You tell him about how the murders seem to serve a purpose. They eliminated all of Mayor English’s opposition in the mayoral race, and now that he’s been elected, the newer murders have served to place more power in English’s hands.

It’s safe to assume that Mayor English is a pawn of the Scoundrels, you tell him.
Scout doesn’t seem to be listening. He continues to stare at the jar in his hands, shaking.

What the hell is this, he growls.

A payment, you speculate, or a show of loyalty. Something like that. Either way, it’s proof of the connection between the Scoundrels and the Fuzz.

23/12/15
"SS: Inspect jar."

This is your eye.

This is your fucking eye.

This is the eye that Peccant Scofflaw so painstakingly carved out of your head, the one he kept so he could, quote, “cherish these memories”.

Detective tells you that Brawler found it in a safe in Snowman’s office.

23/12/15
"==>"

You hand him the jar.

He asks, is this…?

You tell him yes.

23/12/15
"==>"

Scout says but wait, he saw Scoff and Scratch arguing and Scoff sure as hell didn’t look like he was friendly with him.

In-fighting, you say. You know how lowlives are. They were probably squabbling over payment or something.

He shrugs. He says it’s hard to believe even Scratch would be in on it. Or Snowman, for that matter. She’s always been so determined to beat you to catching the Scoundrels, it’s hard to imagine her agreeing to work for them.

You say you know, but the evidence is pretty damn convincing. Brawler found something he might want to see.

23/12/15
"DD: Catch Scout up on what’s been going on."

He asks you about the murder case, and you tell him it’s gone cold. No evidence, no case. Clover’s probably already returned the KEY to Scofflaw by now, that’s all there is to it.

However, you did uncover some interesting tidbits at the Fuzz HQ, and the three of you have been following those leads in the past month.

Demo stumbled on some classified documents in Crowbar’s office. They’re very detailed records on the comings and goings of not only the politician whose murder you’ve been investigating, but also several other prominent members of the community. Some of them had died previously and everyone chalked it up to natural causes or accidents, and some died only recently–-but they are all dead. But it’s awfully suspicious that the Fuzz should have such careful records on all these guys, only for them to end up six feet under.

So the Fuzz killed ‘em, Scout asks.

Maybe, you say. You already know Scofflaw killed the mayoral frontrunner. There’s evidence to link the Scoundrels to the other cases too, although there’s nothing damning enough to go to trial.

Those papers, though, plus the fact that the Scoundrels were lurking around the department, implies that the Fuzz are in the Scoundrels’ pocket. All of them.

23/12/15
"SS: Fuck this shit, make a fort out of the papers."

Demo is already way ahead of you.

23/12/15
"SS: Go back to the office and meet up with your fellow detectives."

You get to the office and holy shit what the FUCK.

You ask Detective what’s the deal with all these fucking papers.

He says, oh, nothing. Just paperwork. Cases, bills, that sort of thing.

You ask him why the hell he didn’t do this shit for you while you were gone.

He shrugs. He says he couldn’t convince Demo or Brawler to do it, so it just didn’t get done.

23/12/15
"SS: Bawl to Detective about how you thought he was dead."

Firstoff, you don’t cry for nothin’. Second, you didn’t actually think he’d kick the bucket. Detective’s made of stronger stuff than that.

You ask him what happened that night after you got punched into next month. He says not much. Quarters and Matchsticks rounded them all up, Scratch gave them a talking-to and sent them on their way. Clover has the EVIDENCE, so it’s pretty much gone by now.

You’re puzzled. Scratch is okay? He’s not dead or something?

He asks why you’d think he was.

You tell him that last time you saw Scratch, he was being screamed down by Peccant Scofflaw.

Detective thinks about that for a moment, then suggests the two of you head to the office.

23/12/15
"==>"

He doesn’t, but you do.

23/12/15
"DD: Make Scout brush his fucking teeth."

He says what, do you think he just walks around with a toothbrush in his pocket?

23/12/15
"DD: Walk by at this exact moment, of all times."

You’re on your way to the office, and lo and behold, what do you find?

He says he can explain.

You tell him to can it.

23/12/15
"SS: Eat the hamburger out of the trash."

It’s totally still good. You know, technically, you haven’t eaten in a month.

Besides, it’s not like anyone’s around to see you.

23/12/15
"SS: Look in the trash bin. I’m sure there will be something useful in there."

Obviously you can’t go anywhere without checking the trash first. That’s just a requirement, haven’t you ever played a game before?

You find a HAMBURGER in the trash.

23/12/15
"SS: Wonder how the rest of your team has been doing over the past month."

Seriously, what are you doing smooching a wall when you have teammates to worry about?

Things got pretty dangerous at the Fuzz’s HQ, what with Cans and the Scoundrels. You hope the guys are okay and haven’t gotten arrested or burned to death.

Not only that, but you wonder if they’ve managed to find the evidence and solve that murder without you.

23/12/15
"SS: Make out with graffiti."

What the hell are you doing?

23/12/15
"SS: Inspect graffiti."

This one’s new, but you’ve seen others like it around town. There’s some new graffiti artist around who’s been painting the town up like crazy.

The Fuzz have been in an uproar about it, but personally you don’t get why they’d waste their time when there are worse criminals out there.

Like, you know. The TWILIGHT SCOUNDRELS.

Besides. It ain’t bad to look at.

23/12/15
"SS: Check out that newspaper stand."

Newspapers always have the date on them, good idea.

April? Son of a fuck. You’ve been gone a whole month!

23/12/15
"SS: Examine your surroundings."

You’re on a sidewalk a few blocks away from your office.

There’s a newspaper dispenser on the sidewalk, next to a street lamp. Across the street is a trash bin, and behind it is a bit of graffiti that wasn’t there last time you walked down this street.

23/12/15
"SS: Rematerialize."

Jesus tap-dancing Christ. You feel like you’ve been hit by a bus.

Made of fists.

Okay, so you’ve been punched into, what? Tomorrow? Next week? You gotta get back to the office and figure out what day it is. Not necessarily in that order.

23/12/15
"==>"

23/12/15
"==>"

23/12/15
"==>"

23/12/15
"==>"

23/12/15
"==>"

He’s not listening at all.

23/12/15
"==>"

You frantically try to explain to him that you’re trying to help.

23/12/15
"==>"

Cans is running towards you!

Oh shit!!

23/12/15
"SS: Heroically break through window and save Scratch."

Or you could just use the door.

Someone yells at you, telling you to stop.

23/12/15
"==>"

You peek at the window. Through the gaps in the blinds, you can see Scofflaw standing over Scratch, yelling something that you can’t quite make out. Damn these walls.

You’ve bever seen Scofflaw look so angry before. This is bad. Scratch could end up getting killed. He doesn’t even seem to realize the danger he’s in!

23/12/15
"SS: Your name is Snooping Scout, isn’t it? Go snoop!"

You situate yourself between the door and the window and listen in. Just then, the second voice starts yelling, and you realize who it is.

That’s Scofflaw!

23/12/15
"SS: Check out Scratch’s office!"

This is a really bad idea, but Scratch probably isn’t here so what the hell.

… except, as you approach, you realize there are voices coming from inside. What the hell is Scratch doing here so late?

You try to recognize the second voice. It’s so familiar…

23/12/15
"Be Snooping Scout."

You are now Snooping Scout and you are lost as hell.

God damn this place is a fucking maze. You don’t know how the others never get lost in this place, because you do every damn time. You have no idea where you are.

No, wait, yes you do. That door over there is Scratch’s office, isn’t it?

You shouldn’t be here.

23/12/15
"==>"

He absconds, taking the EVIDENCE with him and giggling the whole way.

Little shit.

You try to chase after him. Unsurprisingly, you trip and fall down, giving him plenty of time to get away.

23/12/15
"HB: Quick, grab a newspaper!"

You don’t have one!

While you’re nursing your sore foot, he gets up. He says he’s going to get going, but he’ll give you a word of warning.

Cans is about. You might want to keep out of his way.

23/12/15
"HB: Do a perfectly legal kick in the junk."

Somehow you just end up kicking the desk.

Goddamn fucking luck.

23/12/15
"HB: Take a deep breath and count to ten. Maybe the answer will come to you."

You get to three, then give up because FUCK THIS SHIT.

23/12/15
"HB: The answer is always Man!"

Oh, you remember hearing that somewhere!

You tell him the answer is Man. He laughs and says you deserve a medal for being the stupidest person to ever live.

23/12/15
"HB: Answer one of his stupid riddles."

He tells you he’ll give you an easier one. He asks why six is afraid of seven.

You think about it for a while.

Because seven’s about to bash his head in with a crowbar, you say.

23/12/15
"HB: Give up. You cannot possibly answer, he is simply the best there is at riddles."

You can’t give up. He has the EVIDENCE!

23/12/15
"HB: Tell him to fuck off or you’ll eat him."

You’re not actually going to eat him, because that’s really illegal, but it’s a good threat.

You add that he looks like he’d taste really good baked with some potatoes and carrots. Or maybe stir-fried.

He just giggles and asks if that means you give up.

23/12/15
"Be Heavy Brawler."

You are now HEAVY BRAWLER and you really want to SNAP THIS LITTLE SHIT IN HALF.

Except you keep falling over whenever you try to grab him. Goddamn luck. He keeps asking you stupid riddles and shit. What a pain in the ass.

23/12/15
"DD: Wonder what the fuck just happened."

Yeah, you have no fucking idea.

23/12/15
"==>"

He shuts the door in your face.

You hear him tell Delinquent that there was nothing in the closet.

23/12/15
"==>"

23/12/15
"==>"

23/12/15
"==>"

23/12/15
"==>"

23/12/15
"==>"

23/12/15
"==>"

… he isn’t doing anything.

You hesitate.

23/12/15
"==>"

Innovator opens the door.

23/12/15
"DD: Prepare to aggress!"

You are so screwed, but like hell you’ll go down without a fight.

23/12/15
"==>"

You hear Delinquent tell Innovator to check the closet.

Oh shit!!

23/12/15
"DD: Eavesdrop on the Scoundrels!"

Finally, a reasonable suggestion.

Unfortunately, eavesdropping doesn’t yield much information. Delinquent keeps asking Innovator questions, but you can’t glean much information from the questions and Innovator speaks too softly for you to hear him through the door.

You can tell they’re talking about Scratch and Scofflaw. That’s all.

23/12/15
"DD: Wear bucket on head, and burst out of closet wielding broom."

Yes. That will be completely effective against a skilled shadow mage and the strongest man in the world. There is no way that plan could go wrong.

But you think maybe you might wait and try and come up with something else.

23/12/15
"DD: Peep out of the closet and ogle Inny’s ass."

What the fuck is wrong with you?

23/12/15
"DD: Explore the closet for magical snowy lands."

There’s nothing in here except a bucket and a broom.

Because a mop would make too much sense, you guess.

23/12/15
"CD: Stop fucking around, already!"

You are now SOMEONE WHO DOESN’T FUCK AROUND.

And you are still trapped in this closet while Innovator and Delinquent search the evidence room. You have shut your radio off, so it won’t make any unexpected noises, so you do not hear your boss’s warning that the Scoundrels are about.

Not that you even needed to be told.

23/12/15
"==>"

2x HAT COMBO!!

23/12/15
"CD: Take Itchy’s hat."

This one smells like coffee!

23/12/15
"==>"

Yesss.

It’s a masterpiece.

23/12/15
"CD: Draw on his face."

Hehehe. Scout taught you this one. He said that you have to do it any time somebody’s passed out.

23/12/15
"==>"

He slammed his face into the wall when he fell.

He’s not moving. It must have knocked him out.

23/12/15
"CD: Pray for your old hat back."

You beseech the hat gods to return your hat to your head.

While you’re kneeling, Itchy trips over you.

23/12/15
"CD: Pout."

Aww, you really wanted to meet the hat gods, too.

23/12/15
"CD: NO YOU’LL ANGER THE HAT GODS"

Where’d the hat go? Was it the hat gods?

… no wait. You’re pretty sure that was just Itchy.

23/12/15
"CD: Throw hat down in disgust."

This hat is gross. You don’t want it!

23/12/15
"CD: Try to get Itchy’s attention."

You tell Itchy he’s made a mistake, you don’t know whose hat this is.

There’s no response. He doesn’t seem to be in the room at the moment.

23/12/15
"Be Cheerful Demoman."

Sure.

… what? Of course you’re now CHEERFUL DEMOMAN. Who else would you be?

This new hat stinks of candy corn and horrorterrors. You don’t like it.

23/12/15
"SS: Check to see if Itchy’s still outside."

You go back to the door and listen for Itchy’s footsteps.

It’s silent out there. The coast is clear.

23/12/15
"SS: Warn your buddies."

You get on the radio and tell the others what you found, warning them that the Scoundrels might still be around.

Demo replies asking if you wore a black hat today?

You say fuck no, only assholes like Scofflaw wear black hats.

He says oh, okay.

You wonder aloud whether Brawler or Detective have any intention of replying to you.

Brawler says he’s busy.

Detective doesn’t respond.

23/12/15
"SS: Don’t forget to wash your hands!"

Getting your hands wet while putting out the fire counts, doesn’t it?

Sure it does.

23/12/15
"==>"

Yep. That’s shadow ink.

Real potent shit, too.

23/12/15
"SS: Stand the fuck back, this’ll be big!"

23/12/15
"SS: We gonna get some arson up in here?"

Yep. Shadow ink is HIGHLY FLAMMABLE. So if you take a flame to it and it burns like crazy, you’ll know for sure that the Scoundrels have been here.

… And then you can blame the scorch marks on them.

23/12/15
"SS: Let the bitter darkness touch your sweet, sweet lips."

No. Never.

You have a much better way to test whether or not this is shadow ink, and it is mercifully devoid of any tasting.

23/12/15
"SS: Taste the black stuff. It’s good."

Yeah, no. You’ve made the mistake of tasting shadow ink before. You’re not about to repeat that mistake.

23/12/15
"SS: Investigate black substance."

Oh, well ain’t this something. Looks like a fountain pen puked all over the damn sink.

This couldn’t be shadow ink, could it? Why would the Scoundrels be in the police station?

And why would it be in the bathroom, of all places? What, was Scofflaw practicing his cool shadow-conjuring poses in front of the mirror or something?

23/12/15
"SS: Literally piss the night away."

Can’t investigate with a full bladder.

23/12/15
"SS: Investigate restroom."

Not like there’s anything else to do.

You take a look around.

23/12/15
"Be somebody else."

You are now Snooping Scout, and you can still hear Itchy running by every now and then.

God damn it, you caffeine-addled asshole. Go away.

23/12/15
"HB: Look behind you."

It’s CLOVER.

He says he’s got a riddle for you.

23/12/15
"==>"

You hear a distinctive giggling behind you.

Shit. You know that giggle.

23/12/15
"HB: Take the jar."

Ugh, you really don’t want to. You’re not exactly faint-hearted, but this is downright sick.

But… the only way she could have gotten this is from the Scoundrels, so this is clearly evidence that some sordid shit is going on. You have no choice but to take it.

Jeez. You guess this proves that the boss is on Snowy’s mind, just… not in the way you hoped.

23/12/15
"HB: IS IT GRAPE JELLY?????"

It’s… what the hell?

It’s an eyeball. Could it be…? No. That isn’t possible. Scofflaw took the boss’s eye out, why would Snowy have it?



This is totally the boss’s eyeball.

What even the fuck.

23/12/15
"HB: Take what’s inside."

The only thing in here is some kind of jar.

There’s a SPADE on the label.

23/12/15
"HB: Make that safe your bitch."

Okay, you’ve tried all the combinations you can think of, fuck this. Brute force is always the way to go.

23/12/15
"HB: Carefully crack the safe with your delicate hands and toolkit."

Toolkit? Toolkits are for wusses. Your preferred technique is to take a couple of guesses at the combination and, when that fails, force the safe open and hope no one notices the broken latch.

23/12/15
"HB: Rip that safe out of the wall."

It’s not actually adhered to the wall. You could probably just pick it up and carry it away, but as with the papers, she would notice it being gone.

The safe is new, you’re sure of it. You wonder what Snowy’s suddenly so keen on keeping in there.

23/12/15
"HB: Check out that safe."

It looks pretty sturdy.

23/12/15
"HB: Squawk like an imbecile and shit on the desk."

Yeah, that’s exactly what you wanna do. Piss Snowy off AND leave DNA evidence behind.

Get real!

23/12/15
"HB: Store the papers, they can probably be used later."

You kiddin’? There’s no way Snowy won’t notice a bunch of her documents missing from her desk.

Hell, you’ll be lucky if she doesn’t notice that they’ve been rifled through.

No, you’re putting these all right back where you found them.

23/12/15
"HB: Check desk drawers."

There’s a bunch of newspaper clippings and police reports. Looks like Snowy’s been investigating the Scoundrels as ardently as you have been.

Typical. She’s always trying to steal the boss’s cases.

You flip through the papers and notice some notes she’s written. They point out that the Scoundrels have been leaving more SHADOW INK behind at their crime scenes.

SHADOW INK is a byproduct of the SINISTER SHADOW MAGIC that the Scoundrels wield. Normally they only drop a bit of it, but she’s right–you’ve been seeing a lot more of it lately.

You wonder what that means. You’ll have to ask the boss.

23/12/15
"HB: Flip the nametag on that desk upside-down."

Well, that accomplished a whole lot.

And by that, you mean that didn’t accomplish anything.

23/12/15
"HB: Look around."

You’re in SNOWMAN’S OFFICE. You feel a little creepy going through a lady’s stuff, but you’ve got some evidence to find.

You’re absolutely not here to look for proof that she and your boss are a THING. Nope. No way.

There’s not much to go through. Her desk is mostly spotless, although you guess you can check the drawers. There’s also a SAFE, but you’re a master safecracker so that won’t take much time to get into at all.

You’ll be done and out of here in no time.

23/12/15
"Be Pernicious Innovator."

Pffft.

You are now HEAVY BRAWLER.

23/12/15
"==>"

… The Scoundrels.

23/12/15
"==>"

You listen as two people shuffle into the evidence room. One asks what they’re supposed to be looking for.

The other says a fan, firstoff. And then anything else suspicious.

You know those voices. It’s…

23/12/15
"DD: Run like hell!"

The only other door is a supply closet in the back.

You duck in there and shut the door.

23/12/15
"DD: Don’t fall for it!"

You don’t intend to. You’re not an idiot, after all.

… wait, hold up. You hear something.

Shit, footsteps. And they’re coming this way.

23/12/15
"==>"

There’s a bag of Swedish Fish with Scratch’s name on it.

There’s no way that smug bastard could know you were supposed to be in here, is there?

23/12/15
"DD: Take fan."

You stow it in your deck of cards.

Something on the other shelf catches your attention.

23/12/15
"Selan Pike: Become homoerotically interested in your fans."

Way to break the fourth wall, numbskull!

23/12/15
"DD: Become homoerotically interested in fan."

You can think of someone who would.

23/12/15
"DD: Seriously, though."

Okay, fine.

Most of the stuff here’s pretty standard. This fan, though, jumps out as odd.

There’s no tags or labels on it, meaning it’s been put here without being catalogued.

23/12/15
"DD: What are you waiting for? Find your evidence before Itchy finds you!"

Calm your tits. Itchy’s not allowed in the evidence room. He tends to tamper.

No, you can take your sweet time while Itchy terrorizes the boss.

23/12/15
"DD: Your hat is a butt, you know that right?"

Moving along…

23/12/15
"DD: Why didn’t anybody else think to look in the evidence room?"

Well, Scout was too concerned with being able to play pranks to give a shit about getting anything done. Brawler just wanted to ransack Snowman’s office for proof of the crush he’s sure she has on Scout. And Demo… well, someone had to search Crowbar’s office, and it sure as hell wasn’t going to be you.

23/12/15
"DD: What are those shelves behind you?"

Evidence. They’re evidence shelves, because you’re in the evidence room.

Looking for evidence in the evidence room. How novel.

23/12/15
"DD: Feel extraordinarily fancy."

As if that isn’t your default state of being.

23/12/15
"Stop being Cheerful Demoman."

Yeah, why not.

You are now DEADEYE DETECTIVE.

23/12/15
"==>"

There, now you can–

Wait.

Something seems… off.

23/12/15
"CD: Who cares about the papers? Just take a nap, it’s been a long day."

Well, the papers are probably worth keeping. You don’t know what they are, but you know Detective loves things that say “CLASSIFIED” on them.

You’ll give them to him as a present next time he gets mad at you!

22/12/15
"CD: Pout and look behind the desk."

Or maybe just take a nap under the desk.

… oh, there’s some papers down here.

22/12/15
"CD: Just steal the newton’s cradle, if you can’t break it."

Well yeah, if you want to do things in the most boring manner possible.

22/12/15
"CD: Make your radio into an explosive."

You try, but it ends up making a horrible feedback-ey noise.

Scout says whoever’s making that noise, cut it the fuck out. He’s trying to hide from Itchy, here.

You say sorry.

Deadeye asks if you were trying to make your radio into a bomb. You say no.

He asks if that was a lie. You say yes.

22/12/15
"CD: BLOW THEM UP BLOW THEM UP"

You don’t have any explosives. Detective took them away, because he said you don’t need to blow anything up on a stealth mission.

You radio him asking if he can bring you some firecrackers or maybe some C-4?

He says no. You try to explain to him why you need it, but he tells you to stop fucking around and find the damn key.

22/12/15
"CD: Try hitting the ball thingys against the wall!"

They won’t break! Gosh, someone really must not want you to uncover their SECRETS.

22/12/15
"CD: Maybe the key is inside the balls and that’s why they clack!"

THAT MAKES PERFECT SENSE

HOLY SHIT

22/12/15
"CD: Radio to find out if Brawler will get you a Newton’s Cradle."

You radio Brawler and tell him that you found this really cool ball-clacky thing on a desk, can you have one?

He tells you that the radio’s for emergencies.

You say this is an emergency! You REALLY want one!!

He tells you to stop messing around and look for the stupid key.

22/12/15
"CD: Go play with the NEWTON’S CRADLE in the background."

Why don’t you have one of these in your office?

Why don’t you have fifty of these in your office???

22/12/15
"CD: Where’d everybody go?!"

You forget.

Oh! Brawler wrote a note on your hand to remind you where they are. He’s so nice to you.

22/12/15
"Be Deadeye Detective."

Sure thing.

You are now CHEERFUL DEMOMAN.

22/12/15
"==>"

You are now hiding in the MEN’S BATHROOM.
This is all kinds of dignified.

22/12/15
"Run for the door!"

You dash out into the hall and run for the nearest door.

22/12/15
"SHITSHITSHIT LOOK BEHIND YOU"

Goddammit shit FUCK.

But he hasn’t kicked you out or fucked with your hat yet. Maybe he hasn’t noticed you. It’s late, after all. He could be in one of his weird caffeine-induced trance states.

You gotta get the fuck out of here.

22/12/15
"Say hi to Itchy."

Don’t be stupid. Itchy ain’t–-

Shit.

22/12/15
"Do shit."

Okay, okay, yeah. You set about rummaging through the drawers. Maybe one of them thought the key went to Sawbuck’s snack cabinet or something.

You don’t know. You volunteered to search all the odd places because your teammates wouldn’t let you anywhere near Snowman’s office and you wanted to play pranks on the Fuzz, but now that you think about it, your chances of getting to be the guy that finds the evidence are pretty much nil.

22/12/15
"Take them, already!"

If Detective were here, he would tell you how stupid an idea this is and how Scratch is going to know it was you.

Good thing Detective isn’t here.

22/12/15
"Then just put them all in your hat."

That’s all well and good, but the Fuzz don’t have any taste. There ain’t any–

Oh.

There’s a bag of licorice scotties with Scratch’s name on them.

22/12/15
"Eat the Scottie Dogs and store them in your hat."

How are you supposed to both eat something and store it in your hat? Come on, use your head.

Unless you’re suggesting that your stomach is somehow inside of your hat, but that’s just gross. What the fuck?

22/12/15
"Exposit about the nature of the crime you’re trying to solve."

Yeah, you guess you can do that while you’re spitting on every food item in this fridge.

As you mentioned before, it’s a murder. A prominent member of the community, and one of the frontrunners in last month’s MAYORAL ELECTION. Your company found the crime scene on accident, having wanted to question said candidate for a different case. It was there that you found a piece of VALUABLE EVIDENCE.

What was it? None other than the MURDER WEAPON–Peccant Scofflaw’s KEY.

It’s an egregious enough error that you wonder if something’s seriously wrong with Scofflaw. He never leaves a trace, and now he’s dropping evidence like that? You’ll have to ask him about it once you’ve got him in handcuffs in an interrogation room.

22/12/15
"Look in the kitchen. Find the donuts too."

Oh. You didn’t mean to end up in here. You guess you turned a wrong corner.

This place is like a goddamn maze.

Oh well. Some of the green badges like to leave shit lying around here, maybe you’ll get lucky. If nothing else, you can fuck with their food a bit.

You said you weren’t going to leave any trace, but that’s not completely true. You’re just not going to leave behind anything that they won’t just blame Itchy for.

22/12/15
"Go pull a prank on that weird vacant forensic tech."

Oh shit yes. You planned for this.

You pull a stupid halloween decoration from your DECK OF CARDS. Die’s got a routine. At 8 AM, every morning, he has some sort of panic attack and comes to hide in this closet. This’ll give him a good scare.

You hope he has a heart attack and dies.

22/12/15
"Stop this tomfoolery and start opening doors post haste!"

Yeah, that’s enough of that.

22/12/15
"Do a funny hat dance! "

Like this, yes. This is definitely something you need to do.

22/12/15
"Go find Brawler so he can smoosh your stupid adorable crying face, you little angel. "

Hey, fuck you!

You don’t have time for this. You’ve got shit to do.

22/12/15
"Assume a fetal position and cry about gangs beating you up all the time. "

You? Cry? That shit ain’t hard-boiled. You don’t cry for nothin’.

You didn’t cry all those times when Innovator burned you, or when Doxy took off your arm. You especially didn’t cry when Scofflaw gouged your eye out with a dull blade. Slowly. Carefully. While quietly humming Johnny Cash songs to himself.

Nope, you do not cry.

Not when anybody can see you.

22/12/15
"Exposit on relationship with Twilight Scoundrels. "

You hate these douchebags so much you just… ugh.

Their leader is PECCANT SCOFFLAW, a man whose charisma is matched only by his malice. The brains of the operation is PERNICIOUS INNOVATOR, who’s a genius but can’t seem to figure out how not to act like a total creep. The team muscle is ANGRY DELINQUENT. He really doesn’t have much going for him besides his strength.

Then there’s Scofflaw’s main squeeze, HEINOUS DOXY. She’s the sort of psycho who acts like she’s into you one moment, then takes off your arm with a chainsaw the next. NEFARIOUS BAWD might have something going on with INNOVATOR. The two of them are in charge of bookkeeping, and she also runs all of the Scoundrels’ more legal operations–the clubs, strip joints, and so on.

You’re going to put every one of them behind bars, you swear it.

22/12/15
"Check the photos of the Fuzz you need to avoid. "

Well, there’s ITCHY (1), who isn’t supposed to be here this late at night but often sticks around long after his shift is over because he’s too hyped up on caffeine to know what time it is. Then there’s DOZE (2), who’s… completely useless.

TRACE (3), as well as FIN (5), are corrupt assholes, but at least you can pay them off. CLOVER (4) is a cagey piece of shit and you’re pretty sure he’s on the Scoundrels’ payroll.

DIE (6) probably won’t be a problem, he almost never leaves the forensics lab. CROWBAR (7) is the captain and dangerous as shit, but he never stays up this late.

SNOWMAN (8)… well. The less said, the better.

STITCH (9) is the Fuzz’s resident tailor and mans the front desk when he’s not tending to their effigies. SAWBUCK (10) is a fat fuck, and getting in fights with him is always a hassle.

MATCHSTICKS (11) will not take your shit if he sees you snooping around. EGGS (12) and BISCUITS (13) are morons, but they’re dangerous morons. QUARTERS (14) carries a minigun at all times. Do not engage. And CANS (15)… god help you if CANS is here.

They all answer to COMMISSIONER SCRATCH, who of course answers to the various politicians that run the city. Including, but not limited to, the newly-elected MAYOR ENGLISH.

You hate these fuckers so much. They think they’re so high and mighty, they just love acting like they’re better than you.

22/12/15
"Survey surroundings. "

You’re in the FRONT LOBBY. You just walked in the front door. Normally STITCH would be at the desk, demanding to know what the hell you want, but he seems to be out for the moment.

Hopefully that’s FIN and TRACE’s handiwork. You paid them to make sure the other Fuzz in the station stay out of your hair tonight.

22/12/15
"Smash it anyway, you hate clocks. "

You know what you also hate? Getting arrested for stupid shit.

22/12/15
"Inspect timekeeping devices. "

You mean the clocks? These fuckers’re everywhere. The whole damn department is noisy with the sound of their ticking.

You resist the urge to smash it. You can’t leave any trace that you were here.

22/12/15
"==>"

Your name is SNOOPING SCOUT. You are the leader of a little-known detective agency called the MEDDLING COMPANY. A gang you’re trailing, the TWILIGHT SCOUNDRELS, recently committed a murder. You found a piece of EVIDENCE that would link them to the scene, but said evidence has been confiscated by THE FUZZ. They will not give it back and now claim they never took it in the first place.

Assholes.

You and your subordinates, CHEERFUL DEMOMAN, DEADEYE DETECTIVE, and HEAVY BRAWLER have each infiltrated a different section of the Fuzz’s HQ. Your objective is to take back your EVIDENCE so you can finally put the Scoundrels behind bars.

Hopefully you won’t run into any FUZZ while you’re at it.

22/12/15
"==>"

22/12/15
"==>"

22/12/15
"Dead Shuffle."