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CERES Off-kilter

Discussion in 'Open Roleplay' started by Lukas Forgrave, Jan 14, 2018.

  1. Lukas Forgrave

    Lukas Forgrave Scourge of the Water Pipes

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    It was enough for a small army alright. But maybe that was the point. Small.

    Everyone was making valid points, every bit as worthy of reception as the next. Many speculations on the matter. It could have been a trade gone wrong. It could have been a demonstration for matters involving commerce. And no matter the answer was, the young detective had the right of it - why were these people dead? And how had they dead? And whom had the means to commit this act, in its entirety and in secrecy, and move the bodies back to the scene of a potentially forged crime? It seemed a lot of work for secrecy just to try and pin it on the Loca Greiga.

    Luka approached the guns next to Detective Zhelan and reapplying his gloves, removed one of the rifles from the rack. A long time ago, he had wished to feel the weight of such a thing, to carry it into combat and prove himself. Guns, among other general studies, was one of his focuses at Salton Upper University - not for the passion of it, but for the utility.

    Looking down the barrel, he noted characteristics of the dimensions. And noted some engravings. With the flick of his wrist, he ushered the drone over. “Run an analysis on the following serial code: SN489876504.

    The drone hovered loosely nearby, a spectrum of blues and greens flashing across its flanges as Luka waited patientaly. And then it bleeped.

    ::Firearm is registered to a small subsidiary of Mao-Kwikosky Mercantile. Rifle was registered 11 months ago.::

    What subsidiary?” Luka wasn’t exactly sure what to make of that. He also found it odd that the weapon had a serial number in the first place. He wondered if that was a slip up, if the other weapons were filed off, and he just managed to pick the one that was missed.

    ::Unknown affiliate. Corporate entity is designated humanitarian, based out of Luna, and is an ancillary research response team for biomedical investigations.::

    Biomedical investigations?

    ::The group was officially dissolved four months ago and reacquired by Mao-Kwikosky Mercantile. No other information is available beyond Localized Intended Use Designations. Included is....Earth....Luna....Ganymede...Ceres...Tycho...Eros.::

    The drone whirled away as the query was finalized. Luka looked over to Delila, face painted with a level of uncertainty she might not expect. “Ship logs and transponder information would be helpful, Ms. Castillon. The drone will relay information back to Star Helix headquarters but until we get the bodies on the slab, we’re dead in the water.” They weren’t. He was more worried about what exactly they were stepping in. That code gave them way more information than he expected.

    "Isn't Eros still under quarantine?" He looked around to anyone, speaking plainly.

     
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  2. Ren Zhelan

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    Ren had raised her eyebrows as the drone gave its information. That didn’t sound all to good…. An unidentifiable subsidiary of Earth’s biggest conglomerate with a dubious description as “biomed investigations”…. Investigations, not aid.

    “Yes, absolutely, that story is still cooking… Ceres may have pushed it off the news but the quarantine is still up.” Everybody could jump to their own conclusions from there or not.

    “Mao-Kwik is like this with the UN Navy” she was making a gesture like shaking her own hands firmly.
    “I would not be surprised if the secret service runs ops through one their shell companies.”

    On an afterthought Ren relayed a request from her terminal at the drone. “Show any ships registered under aforementioned Mao Kwik subsidiary approaching Eros during the Quarantine.”

    :: No match found. Do you want to widen search to *all Mao-Kwik* ?::

    “Hm…. Extend timeframe to two weeks prior to Quarantine.”

    :: Results found. Two ships identified. One left Eros Station one day (local) prior to Quarantine, one ship still docked on Eros station. Transponder data follows…::

    Ren was chewing her lip, frowning, and looked at the her colleagues. Now what to make of it

    Somewhere along the lines of database access gateways, a flag changed from 0 to 1. A logfile of query histories about certain items was created and filed for further processing.

    @Lukas Forgrave @Lyric Paasko @Delila Castillon @Gully Foyle @Delila Castillon
     
  3. Delila Castillon

    Messages:
    32
    @Lukas Forgrave | @Bodhi Xin | @Ren Zhelan | @Lyric Paasko | @Gully Foyle


    There was a grunt as Delila was dragging the last of the bodies into the large bag. Not a glamorous task and it tended to involved a bit of manhandling of the dead - something frowned upon on some circles. Wasn't much she could do about it though besides make it quick and hope the odd crew of Star Helix assembled didn't have an issue with it. Body in position the bag was zipped, puffing out to protect the body within.


    "I'll have Miss Syko stay behind and collect the ship logs and various information. I'm about to head back to the morgue now with our six new friends and get started. I'm sure I'll be seeing a few of you shortly. Door's open to all."


    Delila stretched sore muscles from the labor involved and motioned for the group of lower-ranking Star Helix to pick a body bag and get started. Once she stepped out with the bodies eyes would be on the investigation. From what she learned in her short time on Ceres was it was likely to inflame tensions with the OPA once more. Despite the fact there was no solid proof, barely a direction to head in, and that the crime scene had barely been worked people were going to start coming to conclusions real quick.


    Waiting for the last body to be taken out, Dells followed out the procession, already on her hand terminal to speed up the process of examining the woman first.
     
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  4. Lyric Paasko

    Messages:
    35
    Lyric watched indifferently as the forensic tech disappeared with the body parade, already far deeper in thought than she’d wanted to be when she woke up this morning.

    Eros. That was…unsettling. Eros had been dark long enough to be written off as lost in her mind. Curiosity about the fate of those who lived had waned with time, thanks to the collectively short attention span of their species. It wasn’t as if the case had needed to get any creepier or more complicated, but here they were.

    “So assuming this is that ship, it barely slips quarantine, legally, and everybody on it dies.” She shrugged as if to say 'no big deal', her oversized leather jacket shifting to rest unevenly as it settled back over her shoulders. “If the quarantine really is in place for the greater good, I think you could still make a pretty good case for shoving a torpedo up their ass if they fail to submit to inspection.”

    She glanced around, recognizing the audience and attempting to hold her tongue, but failed. “I mean, you Innas slag Belter ships every day for failure to grovel to your boundaries and treaties, and nobody ever gets called to answer for that. If there’s even a hint of justification to destroy the ship, I don’t think one of your governments would bother with all of the, uh, what’s the word - “ she stretched her long fingers out and waved them at the graffiti burned onto the wall, as she filtered through her mental English dictionary. “ - theatrics. I don’t think our killers are government-sanctioned. So there's that.”

    Starting to chew her lip, she was trying to decide if that made the situation better or worse.


     
    #24 Lyric Paasko, Jan 26, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2018
  5. Gully Foyle

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    Gully didn't like the way Belters assumed anyone from the Inner Planets was out to get them, but she knew better than to protest. There were too many cases of insult piled on top of injury for her to even make a dent in the festering resentment that all Belters seemed to treasure as much as air or water.

    She had no intentions of holding that against them. Hell, she agreed that they had been given the short end of the stick. It was only natural that they'd hate people like her. She didn't like it, or think it was particularly fair, but she couldn't blame them, not one bit.

    "Pardon, but a sealed ship full of dead bodies with a mess of smoke irons on hand? Might be I read one too many spy novels on the way over, but that sounds an awful lot like a kill switch of some kind. Real black ops stuff. If these fellers got out of Eros while the gettin' was good, their handlers might've pulled the plug. I reckon if they'd have seen it coming, we'd be looking at an awful lot of bullet holes."

    Gully doubted her words would hold much weight, being fresh off the boat and all, but it was a the only thing that made sense to her. Maybe the autopsies would turn up something useful.

    @Lukas Forgrave | @Delila Castillon | @Lyric Paasko | @Ren Zhelan
     
  6. Ren Zhelan

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    Ren shook her head and squinted at Lyrics reaction. It didn't take long to realize that one was the prototype of trouble cop, the one nobody wanted as a partner and who wanted nobody as partner either. Maybe the one that was considered "luck mal". The tough offender, always on the edge. And sure as hell no welwala, that one!

    She nodded at Delila as she passed. She'd have to ask Forgrave to show her the Morgue. Or Paasko...

    But why da pashang did that woman stare down Ren like she did the innyas. Did Paasko think Ren was one of them or was it just the whole welwala thing going on with her too? Wouldn't that be super awkward on the force. Ren was slim and lean but sure no walking skeleton like Paasko who was even super skinny for belter standards, not really healthy. The choice of clothing and the scars around the head didn't help with that but who could say if you didn't know what that one had been through.

    "I think you bark up the wrong tree, Paasko. Mi no Innya." She stated matter of factly and zoomed out a holograph from her terminal to show the transponder codes. "This isn't the same ship as the one that left Eros. Not unless someone has a Transponder job going I haven't heard of in ten years on the service. It just the same pattern, the same origin. Whoever commissioned these vessels had... or has business on Eros also had business here. Not saying the exact same business..." Yeah, no, let's not go down that lane. "But that business went very south on Ceres." she looked at Paasko. "I even tend to agree that this is no straight forward government sanctioned crew here."

    Foyle threw in her opinion and it had something to it, Ren had to admit.
    "It would have been easy to have them disappear in the middle of all the fighting... well I guess? Of course I wasn't here but from I heard..."
    Great, now you sound like a stupid armchair detective, Ren....

    @Lyric Paasko @Lukas Forgrave @Delila Castillon @Gully Foyle
     
  7. Lukas Forgrave

    Lukas Forgrave Scourge of the Water Pipes

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    "Thank you for the assistance Ms. Castillon. I look forward to hearing about what other evidence you uncover from the morgue. Please do me a favor and halt cadaver input into the mycodecomposition registry until we sort things out here."

    Blue eyes darted from the red head to the others as various pieces of evidence, and their corresponding speculation, were spit out for all to consume and process. It was turning into a real cluster and the sort that proceeded dangerously close to matters involving politics. With Star Helix being an incorporated Earther conglomerate, but also having less than official ties to the OPA, this situation would continue to get murky until the report was filed.

    "I think you were looking for the word...rigmarole. I assume there is an appropriate belta analog." He looked towards Paasko and then to Zhelan, disappointed that she took the bait on that bit of conversation. "If we can move past who is and isn't beltalowda..." Like pride in a birth place should mean anything.

    He flipped out his large hand terminal. There was a bit of cataloging that needed to be dealt with. "Reported cases of viral outbreak on Eros. Eros is in quarantine. At the same time, we have reported conflict of OPA involvement on UN and MCR peace talks. MCR blockades Ceres, one of the hubs of OPA...the other being Tycho Station. Could be coincidence, could be reprisal. UN comes down, then everything goes to hell." He clicked on the screen.

    "In the mean time, we have the Chrysalis, labeled as a humanitarian vessel, filled with people who died without any apparent cause and clear blackops weaponry. Evidence indicates they were scrubbed of information, also suggesting blackops. The weapons are tied back to a Mao-Kwikosky Mercantile subsidiary that has a base of operations that includes Earth, Luna, Ganymede, Ceres, Tycho, and Eros. And it's specified as a response team for biomedical investigations." He scratched the back of his head with the stylus, sighing, as the rabbit hole continued.

    "
    Reports from that subsidiary indicate flights out of Eros just prior to quarantine. But this isn't the ship, it just shares a flight plan tying Eros and Ceres together. Which isn't uncommon, given the trading and mining of water, and the needed transport." He tapped the stylus on his hand terminal, not sure where that left them. Except with an absolute mess and no clear way out. "There is technology for just about everything, for the right price. Considering this is tied to Mao, I'm wondering if they could have been killed by other means remotely...we need to strip the interior of this ship. Anything that looks even remotely suspect. Cargo holds, unlabeled containers, deposit boxes. These people were murdered. Either they were doing a job or they were finishing it. And we need to find out which."

    He looked over towards the warm bodies who weren't involved in the discussion. Waving his hand, he silently urged them on and they go to it. If they were going to chase their tails, might as well be productive about it.


    @Lyric Paasko @Ren Zhelan @Delila Castillon @Gully Foyle @Bodhi Xin
     
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  8. CFB9

    CFB9 505

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    @Lukas Forgrave | @Lyric Paasko | @Bodhi Xin | @Gully Foyle | @Ren Zhelan

    “Pashang.”

    Wasn’t no other way to sum up the info crowding his vision.

    The man prides himself in knowing the odds and the players before he sits down for a game of golgo. But now he’s feeling as lost as the Helix koyos downstairs, scratching their heads and beards and lookin’ awful like a bunch of rookies.

    “Pashang.” Once more, with feeling.

    Imim gif to imfo mal, kopeng.

    The man rolls off his crate-perch and melts into the smorgasbord of Belters drifting about. A passing man unwittingly lends him his hat; a woman is relieved of the weight of her coat. As his final act he runs a command through his cybernetics.

    When he steps off the long set of stairs he peers at the world with a cheerful brown gaze, scratching at apparent stubble of his own. There’s convenient dirt behind his nails and a cigarette between his teeth.

    He ashes the cherry and drags new poison into his lungs, watching @Delila Castillon and her forensics posse file out of the cordoned area. In throng of gawkers it’s as easy to miss him as anyone – but his eyes miss nothing.

    The man hadn’t planned sticking his hands into any corpses today, but that’s Sirish for you.

    Ando mi livit da livit da Belta.

    He flicks the fag through a grate and swings over towards the tube. Helix morgue it is.
     
  9. Gully Foyle

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    "If I was gonna remotely kill a buncha hardass operator types, how would I do it?" Gully muttered to herself.

    Step One: check the logs. It was the easy, obvious step, but as her instructors had said time and time again, most criminals aren't actually all that smart. They might have a certain animal cunning, but there weren't many of them who had more than a few brain cells to rub together. The vast majority of cases were solved because some would-be mastermind overlooked the easy and the obvious.

    Unfortunately, the ship's logs didn't turn up anything. No obvious signs of tampering, either, though Gully was as far from a computer expert as one could be and still work a hand terminal.

    Step Two: check the air tanks. If she was going to murder a bunch of folks on a closed ship, she'd fiddle with the air. Bump up the nitrogen, cut the O2 to nothing, and Bob's your uncle. Unlike some other gases, the human body wasn't built in with any warning system for nitrogen. No headaches, nausea, or other side effects. Just gradually increasing drowsiness, maybe a little euphoria, and then, nothing. That was how Gramma had opted to go when the doctors told her the cancer was terminal. No suffering, just a deep sleep that led to oblivion.

    No luck there, either. The tanks didn't show any obvious signs of tampering, and besides, they were breathing fine, weren't they?

    The young detective sighed. So much for the easy and the obvious.

    @Lyric Paasko @Ren Zhelan @Delila Castillon @Lukas Forgrave @Bodhi Xin
     
  10. Delila Castillon

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    32
    @Lyric Paasko | @Ren Zhelan | @Lukas Forgrave | @Bodhi Xin Xin | @CFB9


    Delila thought mass murder on Earth could draw stares. Well, she wouldn't totally call it a mass murder but technically....Ceres Station seemed to have their counterparts on Earth beat. The redhead was more than concerned. Word was going to spread like wildfire in such a small,confined space. Between the Blockade and lingering tensions she had the overall impression the place was a tinderbox just waiting to pop off.


    "Crazy weather we're having, am I right?"


    Her cheeky comment to a older woman staring with her trap wide open nets a 'if-looks-could-kill' reaction, much to her amusement. Had to have fun on the job, good for morale after all. Delila considered the trip relatively decent - only a few threats of violence and death. Typical day in the neighborhood if she was honest.


    The odd procession continued. There was some murmuring about the last location of the bodies, a secret hope they went straight from Eros. Delila didn't want to die from an odd disease or spend ages in some decon tank, hoping and praying some type of unknown spore wasn't eating her from the inside out. Was putting a little bleach on it a thing here? Worked for various diseases back on Earth.


    Morgue was biting cold naturally. There was a motion to stack away most of the bodies for later except the dark haired woman. She is unpackaged immediately by the Medical Examiner, Dr. Xue-Fu. The ME is slightly older, just over middle aged. Delila found he hand a wealth of knowledge and was smarter than some she had known back on Earth. The redhead hadn't had a chance to ask why. Seemed everyone had a reason why they had chose Ceres Station.


    Dr.Xue-Fu adjusted his glasses and peered over the woman, running scans. "Riddled isn't she? Well...one way to find out."
     
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  11. Lyric Paasko

    Messages:
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    Lyric regarded Zehlan’s correction and Forgrave’s mild brand of admonishment with dull indifference, with all the verbal cues except for the actual hand signal of a shrug. Fine. Not an Inna. Welwala. Whatever. Same thing to Lyric. And Forgrave’s eagerness to glide past the issue was typical. He seemed to that he - that they, as an organization, were past that sort of thing. Lyric knew better. Everything came back to that distinction, one way or another.

    She kept her lips sealed after that - there wasn’t much for her to add. Corporate black-ops, kill-switches, elaborate cover-ups. She’d joined Star Helix to bust heads, not chase the tails of scheming, wealthy well-dwellers she’d never meet, never have the opportunity to slap cuffs on. The whole thing sounded very, very far above her paygrade. At the suggestion that they strip the ship practically down to the bolts, Lyric felt as if her eyes were going to roll into the back of her skull.

    Pinching the bridge of her nose between two long, bony fingers, she sighed, then made a dismissive hand waving gesture at nobody in particular. “As invigorating as that sounds, I think my talents are wasted here.”

    That was implying that she had talents. She did, she supposed - or at least a recklessness that could resemble one at times. She’d been about to come up with a bullshit excuse to disappear, but now found herself kicking around a rather terrible idea. “Before we write off Loca Greiga entirely - why don’t we just ask them if they did it? If they’re proud enough to sign their work - “ she jerked her head at the stenciled burn on the wall “ - surely they’d be more than happy to brag about it to any coyo willing to listen.”

    She was, of course, volunteering to be the ‘anybody’ in this case, if that wasn’t clear. She didn’t expect that anybody else would be stupid enough to even attempt it. But that was because everybody else reeked of cop. “Hell. Maybe they did pull it off, somehow. I mean, probably not, but one less loose thread to worry about, if nothing else. Save us from possibly making a mountain out of a molehill.”

    She was pretty sure that was the right expression. She’d heard it used by her co-workers, though she’d never seen a mountain, and didn’t have the first idea what ‘molehill’ was.
     
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  12. Ren Zhelan

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    There was one thing for certain and that was guess working was just a waste of time until the lab rats at the morgue had delivered their report about the cause of death. There was no obvious easy solution presenting itself an that was something that bothered Ren a little bit. If someone wanted the cops to follow a certain path of investigation, there would have been a obvious bait to pick up. Like the "obvious" wall painting. Why would a gang leave that but go elaborate ways to conceal how they ex-ed the people?

    She turned to Lyric when she spoke, one corner of her mouth going up in a smirk. That cop was living her belter life to the fullest, the minority cop outsider inside an organisation not built for their kind. But their kind had to enter to not let all Innyas handle that job. a job that was needed and was going to be there no matter what.

    "I am no techi either... not on that level" she made an encompassing gesture, nodding at Foyle who was investigating something in the ships systems, which looked like life support. "Do you have a lab division to handle such an investigation? I mean, turning a ship inside out is a bit of task."

    She then turned towards Lyric again.
    "Asking around sounds reasonable. But far as I heard there's a tight lips policy on this. Tu kannst consider extra carefully what bits you drop... hm, maybe that could actually be used as a way to draw out informants. Nobody knows anything officially, so if someone does...." Basic police work actually, baiting the lines.

    "Außerdem, I could come with? I mean, Sooner or later I will have to get familiar with Sirishi gangs, right? And I think I can't be more useful here...." she looked at Luka. "Unless you want me to dust fingerprints or somethin?"

    @Lukas Forgrave @Gully Foyle @Lyric Paasko
     
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  13. Lukas Forgrave

    Lukas Forgrave Scourge of the Water Pipes

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    A belter talking about Mountains might have been the equivalent of a Martian making a metaphor about there being more fish in the sea. His thoughts drifted as he considered when the moment occurred that he was put in charge of this. He supposed that he was lead investigator but he was far from the Captain's position. The sort of thing he had zero interest in. Truthfully, there were too many heads and mouths moving to be productive in this regard as it was.

    "We still have the matter of the dock workers. Probably getting a bit antsy sitting in our containment cells. You all could talk to them, see if you can get anymore answers out of them." Before the more litigious members of the OPA showed up to bust them out.

    He'd love for this to be a matter caused by one of the local gangs. But it was too clean, it didn't have any statement attached. Last time he recalled a killing like this, the gangs were pinning people to walls down on the Medina with metal rods shot from bootlegged weapons. Not a pretty sight, unlike this crime scene. Everything was sterile, clean smelling and free of the grease and burned plastic scents that seemed to follow Sirish locals around. "See what you two can kick up, if you're feeling the motivation for it. "We..." Inyalowdas "...will stay on the Chrysalis and finish off the physical investigation."

    He looked over to Detective Foyle, his expression steely if not someone hinting at a smirk. "It might be a shame to do it to such a nice vessel but..." He looked up. "I think I might start ripping the bulkhead off."

    "No need for that." Hartigan approached, both hands holstered to a metal safe with black handles on the side. He handed it off to Luka and in the younger detectives hands, it looked far lighter. "You need a break?"

    "Eat me, Detective."
    "What's in it?" Luka smiled as he lifted it, looking under it.
    "Fuck if I know. Damn things locked and scanners can't penetrate the exterior. We could either hack it or cut it open." The old terran's eyes lit up at the prospect of doing some damage.
    "Maybe hold off on that second one. Could be booby trapped. We'll try conventional means first."

    @Ren Zhelan | @Gully Foyle | @Lyric Paasko | @Delila Castillon | @Bodhi Xin | @CFB9
     
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