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unreality

Question

The richest man in interstellar orbit, the magnate of the solar system, the kingpin of space science, Professor Doctor Sir Martin K. Rombridge, Esquire (also vice president of a small African mining nation) is holding, tonight, in his orbital luxury cruise vessel, a high-society gala of some of the most influential people of the future.

No, he hasn't been murdered... yet. A death threat is almost as serious... and leaves something to be prevented. Things like that happen something like this: A robotic servant glides over, carrying a tray with a single glass of bubbly champagne for the man with the plan Dr Rombridge himself. He lifts the glass and finds a small piece of paper stuck to the condensation on the bottom of the glass. Yes, condensation (the cruise ship has simulated gravity). Rombridge squints his dark brown, wrinkled, whiskery face and slides the limp piece of paper away from its bond with the glass. All he sees is blurry black ooze where letters should be. He flips down some glasses, squints some more. Maybe - is that an 'a'? Followed by a 't'? Yes, the first word is 'At'. Rombridge is onto something. He beckons over a servant, a human servant, to read the slightly diffused letters.

"At the strike of midnight, Professor Doctor Sir Martin K. Rombridge, Esquire, Honorary Vice President of Mgubalkwala, shall be dead as a consequence of", begins the servant, then after a moment of silence frowns, as if trying to make out even hazier letters. "The rest is unreadable sir." The servant crumbles it in his hand.

"Oh God," breathes Rombridge. "We have a Class B security breach. Lock up the guests in the ballroom - no one gets in or out. And lock me in my panic room. And contact the Earth-Moon Orbital Detective Agency."

"Yes, sir" intone several nearby robots.

"What time is it young man?" Rombridge barks.

The servant looks at his watch. "I'm afraid it's 7 o'clock, sir. The party started just an hour ago."

"And it ends at midnight," Rombridge frowns.

~~~

A wealth-n-stealth franchise detective vehicle parks itself smoothly in the docking bay.

"I'm sorry," quips a dockhand. "We have a Class B security breach currently underway. Unless you're -"

"The detectives from EMODA," said the first detective, emerging from the vehicle holding a badge. The other one got out too, hands on his or her hips, staring at the dockhand.

"Suit yourselves. Last ship that goes in or out." The dockhand locks the doors, puts a release timer for midnight, and follows the two detectives into the rest of the building.

They are met almost immediately by the human servant.

"Thank you for coming!" he says. "The guests are all in the ballroom."

"Tell us what happened then get in there yourself," said the first detective. "We'll need to interview everybody. Rombridge is an extremely high-paying customer of ours."

~~~

~~~

Host: Unreality

1)

2)

etc...

The more the merrier. Sign-ups will cease in a couple days. Sign up if you want to play and get real into it because I will be sending each person a character/personality/etc. This personage will be known to everyone; however, each person will also have a secret or two about themselves that only they know. Also, two people will need to be Detectives. If you're a detective, you're in charge of asking people questions and figuring out who is the intended murderer(s). But everyone wants the huge cash reward that Rombridge would pay them, not to mention the fame, if they found the perpetrators.

The two detectives are in an alliance and work as a team, but everyone else is on their own in the beginning; you can, however, form an alliance and put multiple minds together, comparing what you know/suspect/etc. The first alliance (or individual) to solve the premeditated murder wins the game.

The detectives cannot break their alliance, cannot add new people onto their alliance, and cannot join other alliances. However everyone else is free to form and break alliances and even be part of multiple alliances. When PMing each other with game-related stuff, please include me in the conversation, as a host I won't be doing much, just posting updates every hour (not real-life hour but rather 8pm, 9pm, 10pm, 11pm and MIDNIGHT in the game) so if I could see what's going on behind the scenes that would really help. There's no need to officially declare an alliance in the public thread (you can if you want) but please send me a PM with the official alliance roster when you do so I can keep track.

The idea is to always talk in character in the thread (and even PMs) and the thread acts as sort of the background chatter, people talking to other people and accusing other people. The detectives also ask their questions and receive answers on the public thread.

Anyway all that shenanigans only begins when the game actually begins, which is after I see how many people have signed up so that I can make roles.

~~~

~~~

Host: Unreality

1)

2)

etc...

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I am here to Serve.

Hey, officers. Have y'all been talking to anybody or have y'all been on a union break?

Indeed, they have been quite quiet. I think I shall go check and see what is keeping them.

Hey, can any of you help me get my memory back?

How can we help? Perhaps you could try and retrace your steps to figure out how you lost your memory and ended up here?

Edit for style.

Edited by Frost

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DONG!

9 PM! Three hours til midnight now... much haberdashery and rumfalooting going on. As the clock STRIKES, foreshadowing the strike of midnight, the sudden noise takes everyone by surprise and things can be gleaned by anyone who may have been carefully observing...

* The Dude and Lebowski return from a temporary hiatus with a nanoparticuliquidmachine detector. They suspect that there may be lethal chemicals on board and are going to scan all of the patrons one by one throughout the hour

* Dockhand Reno Starkey bends down to pick up a fallen smashed bottle of Chardonnay (oops Mrs Mc) and a gun appears in the back of his belt. His wallet falls open, revealing 500 dollars in cash. Quickly he scoops it up, looking around to see if anybody saw

* Maw Mivvelton starts painting the scene of the ballroom, however the opposite end of the paintbrush seems to be very painfully sharp

* Hex4dash9 returns from the far corner of the room, looking suspicious (or maybe just robotic) but no paper in hand. Not anymore at least

* Serv pulls the crumpled death threat out of his pocket again to sneak a look, it's clear there was more to the message than what he read

* It is now 9 o'clock so Mr McCudgeon and Mlaku (with Mrs McCudgeon hanging on Mlaku's every word (although she secretly casts a few glances in the robot's direction)) shuffle to be closer together; perhaps a deal is going to be initiated? Only they can decide such things

* Al realizes at this moment that Reno Starkey has been watching him the whole time, he skirts the detectives and tries to get away from the dockhand's piercing stare

* Fleur sidles up closer to the potential deal-making scenario, trying to catch a word, any thing

with only 3 hours til midnight, things are heating up... how far will they go?

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^ His stench is just another reason to have a hot tub on this deck.

But Sir, wouldn't that only spoil the hot tub?

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But Sir, wouldn't that only spoil the hot tub?

Probably not. You could just wash it.

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The Panic room is toward the back of the ships, off-limits to the public. Only the Basics are in the Panic room, Enough food to last a couple of weeks and only a select few of the most important of our patrons have access too it.

Right here buster. :angry: and here I thought you were just leaving me out to dry. Why does the Panic Room matter to you anyway?

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OOC - sorry for the absence.

@Serv - I think it might be a good idea for you to give us the original note. Maybe there's trace evidence from whoever wrote it.

@Hex - Where do you get the drinks you bring to people? Specifically, where did you get the drink you brought to Rombridge? Do you know how the note got on the bottom of the drink?

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OOC - sorry for the absence.

@Serv - I think it might be a good idea for you to give us the original note. Maybe there's trace evidence from whoever wrote it.

@Hex - Where do you get the drinks you bring to people? Specifically, where did you get the drink you brought to Rombridge? Do you know how the note got on the bottom of the drink?

DESPITE THE SIZE AND CAPACITY OF DATA STORAGE MATERIALS, I DO NOT POSSESS AN INFINITE CAPACITY FOR STORING EVERY EVENT DURING EVERY SECOND OF EVERY DAY, SO MY DESIGNERS LIMITED WHAT DATA I RETAINED TO OPTIMIZE SEARCHING FOR RELEVANT DATA WHEN NECESSARY. MUNDANE, EVERYDAY TASKS SUCH AS DRINK DELIVERY ARE CONSIDERED UNIMPORTANT AND ARE NOT RECORDED. IN THE VAST MAJORITY OF INSTANCES, THERE WILL BE NOTHING OF SIGNIFICANCE THAT OCCURS WHILE DELIVERING A DRINK TO MY MASTER.

AS A RESULT, I HAVE NO RECOLLECTION OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES THAT LED TO MY MASTER RECEIVING THE NOTE. ONLY AFTER MY MASTER'S REACTION DIVERTED FROM THE EXPECTED DID MY RECORDING CAPACITY SHIFT TO FULL OPERATION. I WOULD BE VERY HAPPY TO BE ABLE TO REVIEW THE SENSOR DATA FROM THAT PERIOD OF TIME LEADING UP TO THE DELIVERY OF THE NOTE, BUT IT IS NOT IN MY POSSESSION. KNOWING ANYTHING ABOUT THE NOTE'S ARRIVAL WOULD IMPROVE MY CHANCES OF DETERMINING WHO IS THREATENING MY MASTER.

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10 PM has brought the return of the detectives, with some new information at hand as well as new drive to tackle this problem and get to the bottom of all the secrets and lies. Nobody has yet made an official accusation, though one must be quite sure so as to not upset any of Rombridge's important guests and servants via methods such as physical or chemical torture to get to the bottom of it all. Incorrect accusations are of course highly punishable as per galactic law.

Furthermore, it appears that hex4dash9 has uncovered another note. More things are happening behind the scenes and people are starting to get to the core of the truths here. Get your alliances straight if you're submitting an accusation as a group, by the way. With two hours til the supposed happenings at midnight, the end is fast approaching.

However things are not as they seem. Someone among you is facing an unpleasant death within the hour...

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DESPITE THE SIZE AND CAPACITY OF DATA STORAGE MATERIALS, I DO NOT POSSESS AN INFINITE CAPACITY FOR STORING EVERY EVENT DURING EVERY SECOND OF EVERY DAY, SO MY DESIGNERS LIMITED WHAT DATA I RETAINED TO OPTIMIZE SEARCHING FOR RELEVANT DATA WHEN NECESSARY. MUNDANE, EVERYDAY TASKS SUCH AS DRINK DELIVERY ARE CONSIDERED UNIMPORTANT AND ARE NOT RECORDED. IN THE VAST MAJORITY OF INSTANCES, THERE WILL BE NOTHING OF SIGNIFICANCE THAT OCCURS WHILE DELIVERING A DRINK TO MY MASTER.

AS A RESULT, I HAVE NO RECOLLECTION OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES THAT LED TO MY MASTER RECEIVING THE NOTE. ONLY AFTER MY MASTER'S REACTION DIVERTED FROM THE EXPECTED DID MY RECORDING CAPACITY SHIFT TO FULL OPERATION. I WOULD BE VERY HAPPY TO BE ABLE TO REVIEW THE SENSOR DATA FROM THAT PERIOD OF TIME LEADING UP TO THE DELIVERY OF THE NOTE, BUT IT IS NOT IN MY POSSESSION. KNOWING ANYTHING ABOUT THE NOTE'S ARRIVAL WOULD IMPROVE MY CHANCES OF DETERMINING WHO IS THREATENING MY MASTER.

who has the sensor data? :mad:

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who has the sensor data? :mad:

I AM VERY SORRY TO HAVE UPSET YOU, BUT ALL I KNOW IS THAT THAT INFORMATION IS NOT IN MY POSSESSION. I CAN TELL YOU OTHER THINGS, BUT I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT HOW THE MESSAGE GOT ONTO THE TRAY. IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN DO TO ALLEVIATE YOUR STRESS?

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BUT I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT HOW THE MESSAGE GOT ONTO THE TRAY.

Me have little question: Do you mean how message got on cup?

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Me have little question: Do you mean how message got on cup?

THE MESSAGE WAS ATTACHED TO THE CUP THAT WAS SITTING ON THE TRAY I DELIVERED. I DO NOT KNOW HOW THE CUP WITH THE MESSAGE GOT ON THE TRAY.

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I wonder who is the one that is goin' ta be killed is? Does anyone have any clue as to who the would be murderer is?

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~~~~

As the clock trembles from 10:59:59 and slides smoothly into 11:00:00, many things happen.

The first, one of the detectives sneezes. Gripping the chemical detector, they are surprised by the levels they see. They quickly withdraw the detector from the person with the lethal chemical to discuss this for themselves. Everyone looks around, wondering who this strange culprit is and what this has to do with the larger situation (if any).

But before anyone can think too much, a robotic loudspeaker voice comes on. It's the ship systems, putting on the 'confused' emote. "Anomaly detected in Shipping Crate xr-47 in region: CARGO BAY. Requiring Dockhand to investigate. Requiring Dockhand to investigate."

Before anyone could process THAT nugget, though (including Reno Starkey himself), everyone's attention focused to Mrs. McCudgeon, whom had been stumbling her drunken way up to the wall computer, drink trembling in her hand. She was both nervous and angry.

After a momentary silence, the wall whispers, "Yes? Would you like to make a formal accusation so we can advance this investigation?"

"Yes!" she chirps, then turns to face the nearby Captain Fleur. "Hey Mon Captain... YOU WANT TO KILL SIR DOCTOR PROFESSOR MARTIN K. ROMBRIDGE ESQUIRE! YOU CHEATING SCUMBAG! Trying to play off my husband's deal as something horrible...I THINK YOU ARE CRAZY. YOU LIED TO ME, YOU LIED TO EVERYONE, YOU DIDN'T SLEEP WITH ME...YOU...YOU DIDN'T EVEN HAVE A DRINK WITH ME. I SWEAR TO RIGHT THAT I AM GOD; YOU ARE THE MURDERERERER!"

The ship replies, "Ah, interesting. However, doing a very resource-costly search through my audiovisual database I might add, the Captain is always under surveillance. Heat signatures on the note suggested it was written today, in fact minutes before someone slipped it on the tray, but within the past 24 hours Fleur is never out of surveillance. You can see for yourselves."

Everyone crowds around, nodding as they watch the footage. It's legit. Many people's #1 suspect was NOT the death threater of Rombridge. However, as the time of the multi-view footage gets closer to the time around the beginning of the party, everyone leans in, curious.

It starts out with Fleur in his office at 10 am, pacing back and forth. Some kind of industrial espionage expert has just left, leaving Fleur with some infuriating news. He slaps a picture of Chief Mlaku off the desk, angry. A mix of personal and philosophical animosity rears up inside of him. Jealousy, anti-monopolism, everything. Mlaku, so un-sophisticated like Fleur, so un-captainy, having control of trading rights of an entire planet! Fleur sees planets as living breathing evolving things. But Mlaku is going to meet someone at 9 tonight to trade away the rights! As if one human can just do such a thing.

Then Fleur pauses. You can almost see the lightbulb flickering on above his head. Rombridge! Why is Chief Mlaku meeting this mysterious business man here, now? Isolation, greed, prosperity. Safety. But Rombridge has been known to have similar sentiments as Fleur, hence hiring him as the captain. Rombridge would be their only obstacle.

They would have to get Rombridge out of the way somehow.

A death threat is highly punishable by law. Or an actual murder would be even juicier. However Fleur's enemies plan on getting rid of Rombridge, this is great! Fleur is ecstatic. All he has to do is hire a professional agent (he knows a good one and is already dialing) to tail and make the unofficial arrest of this slimy business deal and with it get confessions of ridding Rombridge from the scene. These dirty businessmen will be caught in the crime - by no other than Fleur himself. Huzzah!

Zoom forward (a lot of pacing and thinking) and renowned space bounty hunter Alexander the Greater is pulling up to the Leviathan in a tiny stealth ship. Fleur smuggles him out and leads him (walking in front) through the dock area and cargo bay, winding between some of the crates (including crate xr-47).

On the other end of the camera we see Reno Starkey, reading a How to Pay for College pamphlet. He squints and puts it down. You can almost see him wondering, What in the hell is going on here? His eyes seem to fixate on the gun-shaped bulge in Alexander's pants. Starkey's eyes then move to Fleur's strange, strained, tense, concentrated face. Starkey's eyes open wide in surprise and disgust. Jumping to conclusions? Maybe a little. Reacting slowly? Nope. Loyal? Yes.

He throws down the pamphlet, grabs a nearby shovel, and runs silently toward the little entourage. Fleur sees him and freaks out, unsure of the dockhand's intentions, dives to the side to safety, while Reno bashes Al's head in with the shovel. Reno looks around for Fleur and is confused to see him nowhere to be found.

The camera switches to a joint view: one of Fleur in his office, shaken and stirred, wondering what just happened.

In the dock view, Reno kneels down and removes the intruder's gun and also checks the wallet. "Alexander the Greater". Huh. Reno takes half of the 1000 dollars in the wallet (Rule #1 according to How to Pay for College: Be Opportunistic). Al starts waking up so Reno doesn't have enough time to find the secret compartment in the wallet. He quickly puts it back.

Reno and Al have a brief conversation in which Reno realizes Al has totally lost it. His memory, at least. By now it's almost 6, time for the party to start. Not knowing what else to do, and not seeing the captain, Reno leads Al to the party where an eye can be kept on him. Every so often Reno checks up on Al. Reno seems to sometimes pick up the phone to the captain's office, but always sets it back down, unsure. He tries not to get himself caught up in these rich-people things but this one was unavoidable. Then the Detectives come and usher everyone into the ballroom a little after 7. The cameras were not positioned correctly to see who slipped the death threat in but footage on both Fleur and Reno confirmed it was neither of the two of them.

"Well," says Reno, after the wall camera ends. "It seems that-"

The loudspeaker repeats its message: "Anomaly detected in Shipping Crate xr-47 in region: CARGO BAY. Requiring Dockhand to investigate. Requiring Dockhand to investigate."

"Yeah yeah I'm coming!" Reno shouts. He trounces out of the ballroom, ignoring the complaining of the detectives who want to keep the area locked down.

"YOU SEEM DISTRESSED. IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN-" says Hex4dash9, almost sadly, as Reno pushes past him and heads out the door and down the hall toward the cargo bay.

Meanwhile, the wall computer seems to redden as it glares at the inebriated Mrs. McCudgeon. "You let your emotions and superstitions get the better of you!" the computer hissed. "Your already illogical human brain has been even more repressed by the vile substance you imbibe. How dare you waste the time of this esteemed ship like this!"

"I-I'm sorry-"

"Do you know how many calculations I can do per second?"

"No I-"

"More than you can imagine! I was the first computer IN THE KNOWN UNIVERSE to hit 10^20 floating point operations per second! How dare you waste my resources? The resources of your fellow partygoers?"

While the computer scolds a cowering Mrs. McCudgeon (to the rather frank embarassment of Mr. McCudgeon, who could never find an effective way to scold her), Reno makes his way through the cargo bay. He finds himself directly underneath the secondary cargo hauler crane... suspended from a little power-locked pulley system is 400 tons of heavy cargo recently acquired from the delta-Aquarius system. Reno looks up nervously.

The computer wraps up its tirade (every so often it needs to unload on humans like this and doesn't get many opportunities, it's had lots of insults built up - from "carbon-based mistakes" to "Socrates is analogous to an insect compared to Socrates when compared to me") and concludes by having both Fleur and Mrs. McCudgeon arrested... the Detectives leap to it.

Fleur is taken to one corner of the ballroom on charges of illicitly hiring a Class A bounty hunter and having Unknown Intentions with said bounty hunter, as well as ruminating on the possibility of some kind of attempt or false attempt on Rombridge's life without warning anyone or discussing the thought. The Attempt to Extort this Kind of Situation for Financial or Professional Gain also listed as a galactic violation, as well as 27 minor misdemeanors such as unproperly tied captain's cleats.

However, luckily for Fleur, most of the charges won't stick. Being a captain with a lot of wriggle room, and also being arrested by a hotheaded computer and an unconventional team of detectives, means Fleur may only get bad press from this. "Next time," they'll say in interviews, "Don't hire a bounty hunter when you suspect there's a sour deal going down. Hire a news company!"

Mrs. McCudgeon is also arrested on several minor charges, from Illict Seduction to Wasting the Precious Time of Class A Almost-ZettaFLOPS computer. She is placed in the other corner.

Neither of them may converse privately with another guest until their temporary release at 11:30 PM, dictate the authority figures as well as the Class A Offense Handbook chapter 4 section 5a.

In the cargo bay, Reno passes underneath the secondary cargo hauler crane safely. It didn't lose its power or anything like that. He keeps walking...

... finding himself underneath the primary cargo hauler crane as it suddenly, for seemingly no reasons, loses its emergency power and thus its magnogrip on its massive cargo - a crate weighing so much that you would cringe to see the numbers as well as the number of erotic clay statuettes from Planet Shoshth encased within for Rombridge's personal use.

The crate drops like a meteor. Reno looks up and realizes, just before it crushes him, that his wife can take out the life insurance money and send his kids to college four times over!

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