In the year 1986, crime in the United States is at an all-time high. Criminals, drugs, and guns flow in and out of the country from everywhere in the world, and the gateway to it all is the coastal paradise, Heat City. On the neon-soaked streets of this beating heart of scum and villany, you can get whatever you want -- if you can pay the price.You are Johnny the thug, and ever since you agreed to take one little job for the Bratva, your life has gone sideways. One thing led to another as you made enemies of one half of the city's underworld, and then the other half. With the help of some new friends -- Alex the enforcer, Nick the thief, and the Yamada family -- you went all-in and led a daring heist on the Triad's skyscraper fortress, Dragon's Nest. It went great until you got shot and fell off the roof, twenty-five stories down.Through luck or fate, and with the help of the underground fighter Roxie, you survived and lived to tell the tale. Now you're taking some time off for your broken bones to heal, recuperating in an old mansion on the edge of town you bought with your heist money. But you haven't forgotten that someone out there has been playing games with you, pitting the city's criminal syndicates against each other, with you caught in the middle. You're going to find out who it is, and make them pay.
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It's about a week since you moved in to your new house, the once-great manor. You bought a pair of crutches to help you hobble around, but your broken leg is still a problem. Your more mobile friends are off investigating the city's crime syndicates, trying to dig up leads, and as far as you know, they've got it covered. So for now you're taking some time to deal with your own shit.During the few hours a day you can move around, you and the Terror Twins drive around town stocking up your new place with furniture, food, and firearms. The rest of the time, you watch TV, read from the stack of old National Geographic magazines you found in the attic, or clean out the remaining junk from back rooms. The manor is gradually feeling less like a haunted house and more like a place where someone could actually live.You're enjoying the time off. For a while there, it felt like your life was one brawl, chase, gunfight, or showdown after the other. It's good to catch a break.
One hot, lazy day around noon, you're catching up on your daytime soaps. You've given the twins a day off to go pick pockets, steal cars, or whatever it is they do in their spare time."But Mr. Richards!" gasps a woman in an expensive-looking dress. She turns dramatically away from a tall man with a jaw like chiseled rock. "We work together! These advances are entirely inappropriate. I couldn't possibly have a relationship with a ... a strong, handsome, well-dressed man like you.""Come on, Miss Honeypot," says chiseled jaw. He puts his arms on the woman's shoulders. "Be honest with yourself. You know these feelings we have are real.""This show really understands me," you say.The camera moves in on the woman's face, a glistening tear on her cheek. "But -- but what about that woman I saw you with, Dick? You say she means nothing to you, but how can I know?""You've just got to trust me, Kitty," says the man. He bends down to kiss her.The screen fades to black, to be replaced by the closing credits. The theme music plays. ""Days of Our World," will be return next week.""These cliffhangers!" you say. "They always do that! This is bullshit."Your stomach growls. Time for lunch.Right as you're getting up to go to the kitchen, the doorbell rings. You grab your crutches and start hobbling in that direction. It rings a second time. "All right, all right!" you shout in the direction of the door, trying to hobble faster.(Continued)
The door opens to reveal the Yamada boys, Ken and Ryuji. "Good day, Johnny," says Ken. He holds up a greasy paper sack of fast food. "Care for some Big Bad Burger?""Would I ever," you say, opening the door a little wider. "Come right on in. Ryuji, my man, how's it going?""Going good, Johnny," he says, looking around as he steps inside. "Your new place is nice.""Hey, your English is improving, nice work." You're about to shut the door when a black car pulls into your driveway alongside Ken's neon green rice rocket. Catherine gets out of the rear seat and walks up to your door."Hello, Johnny," she says, lowering a pair of sunglasses. "I haven't seen you in person since your little adventure. You're looking surprisingly well for a man who fell off a building.""Guess I'm a tough bastard," you say. "Come on in. The place ain't much, but it's ... well, it's better than it was a week ago, I'll say that much." She walks inside, and you close the door behind her. "What brings the Yamada family to my humble abode?""My brother and uncle have a report on their investigation," she says. "When they mentioned they were stopping by, I thought I'd join them and help you with a little bookkeeping."
>>1147988Ask Catherine what's the deal with the twins
>>1148000I second this.
>>1147988Give them a little show around the place (except for the locked off bedroom that was chock full of even more creepy dolls), then do what >>1148000 suggested.
>>1148000>>1148012>>1148043"First, let's eat," you say. "I'm starving. I'll give you guys the tour a bit later."Ken brought two bags of food, one for you, the rest for the others. Considering you weigh almost as much as the three of them combined, that's probably right. The four of you dig in to the greasy burgers on your fancy new kitchen table and chair set.You glance at Catherine as she's eating. She seemed like the type who would only eat food you'd find in fancy restaurants with three-figure price tags. Here she is in your kitchen, eating a cheeseburger. She's a little dainty about it, holding it delicately, making sure not to get grease or ketchup on her clothes, but even so."So Catherine," you say. "You've got some explaining to do.""Oh?" she says, arching an eyebrow. "About what?""About those twin little terrors you sent me," you say. "I asked for gofers to help me out in my time of injury, and you send me those two? They're My Little Pony on the outside, Horsemen of the Apocalypse on the inside. The other day they were arguing over what bone makes the most satisfying noise when it breaks.""Oh, those two," Catherine says, raising her fingers to her mouth to half-disguise a smirk. "Simple wayward souls. I thought they could use a big brother in their life, to bring them a little stability. And as I'm sure you'll agree, they're quite handy. Don't you think so?"You do have to admit that, despite being annoying sometimes and scary the rest of the time, you don't have any complaints about the twins' work so far. The other day in town, some asshole mugger snatched your wallet and ran off. If you were alone, there's no way you could have hobbled after the guy on your crutches. But the twins chased after him. A few minutes later they returned, one of them grinning despite a bloody nose and triumphantly holding up your wallet.>You've got a sick sense of humor, Catherine, you know that?>Do they have a family?>They're violent and obnoxious.>They're violent and obnoxious. But I still like them.
>>1148055>They're violent and obnoxious. But I still like them.>Do they have a family?
>>1148055>>Do they have a family?>>They're good kids, despite their bloodthirstiness. They got a place to stay?
>>1148055>They're a pair of little shits but they're loyal little shits, I like them.>They got a family
>>1148064>>1148074>>1148076"They're loud and annoying, and they argue all the time," you say. "They're violent and they fly off the handle over just about anything. They're a pair of little shits, but they're loyal little shits. They're good kids, despite being so damn bloodthirsty. I like them.""I hoped you'd see it that way," Catherine says. "I really do think the two of them might learn something from you. Who knows? Maybe you'll even learn something from them.""Hah. Yeah, who knows." You take a bite of hot french fries, thinking. A few mornings, you've gotten up and walked into your living room to find the girls lying on the couch snoring, having crashed there without your permission. "Have they got a place to stay? Do they have someone they live with?" You can't really imagine them living in any kind of domestic situation. "Parents? Family?" you ask, even though the idea seems ludicrous.Catherine says, "None that they've ever told me about. I assume they're orphans. I can't imagine what kind of family life would produce those two. As for where they stay, I'm not sure. So far as I know, they're vagrants. I would suspect they know a few hiding holes throughout the city. I've offered an arrangement before, but they didn't seem to like the idea. Too attached to their independance, I suppose.""Damn. That's a real shame," you say. "I wonder what happened? Two girls like that shouldn't be out on the street having to break kneecaps for a living.""But they aren't, Johnny," she says, smiling. "They're working as errand girls for a man who's becoming increasingly respectable. Or at least, increasingly rich.">Maybe you're right. Maybe I can help them. I'll do what I can.>Those two are beyond help.>Respectable, is it? I doubt it.>Just how rich am I now?
>>1148126>Respectable, is it? I doubt it. But I'll do what I can for them. They've done right by me only fair if I do right by them
>>1148126>Respectable, my foot. Being looked up to was never my style.>Anyway, there's a spare bedroom or two here. Should probably get some spare beds, so they can stop terrorizing the local bums.
>>1148126>>Maybe you're right. Maybe I can help them. I'll do what I can.Hey Raven
>>1148137>>1148156>>1148166>>1148175"Respectable, is it?" You grunt. "I doubt it. Being looked up to isn't my style. Even so, I'll do what I can for them, whatever that turns out to be. They've done right by me, only fair if I do right by them." You turn to look at the hallway leading to the guest rooms. "There's some spare bedrooms in here. Maybe I should get some beds in there and let the twins use 'em, if only to stop them from terrorizing the local bums.""Interesting thought," Catherine says. "That's very noble of you. I'm not sure they'd agree to it. Even if you convinced them, I'm not sure if you fully realize what it might be like actually living under the same roof as those two. You might be biting off more than you can chew. I still encourage you to try it. I meant it when I said I hope they learn something from you.""And if you get to watch me go crazy trying to tame the terror twins, all the more amusing for you, right?"Catherine looks up at you with innocent eyes as she takes a drink from her soda."Don't give me that innocent look, missy," you say, unwrapping your third cheeseburger. "I know you're a criminal mastermind, it doesn't work on me."After a hearty lunch of greasy American slop, you're ready to show the Yamadas around the house. You show them the kitchen that you're still filling in with pots and tools; the living room with the TV, your new couches, and the stacks of National Geographic magazines; the start of your home gym, with a weight bench and a treadmill. Then you show them something you know that someone will be most interested in:>Show Ken the armory.>Show Ryuji the backyard training course.>Show Catherine something classy you picked up.
>>1148220>>Show Ryuji the backyard training course.We don't hang out with Ryuji nearly as much as we should
>>1148220>Show Ryuji the backyard training course.I wonder what he'd think of the shooting area with the horrible dolls.
>>1148220>Show Ryuji the backyard training course.
>>1148225>>1148233>>1148235Soundtrack: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObEBKlpoNz4You take Ryuji out into the backyard, past the weed-choked garden and algae-covered pond, to the training course you set up. Stumps and old tables hold a collection of the withered, creepy dolls you found in the attic. Some are set in up in a row for target practice, others are placed in a circle, all about striking distance from a central point, to practice fighting when you're surrounded."What do you think?" you ask Ryuji.He looks at the dolls with a disturbed expression on his face. "It looks ... 怖い," he says. "Scary.""I mean, okay, the dolls are maybe a little over the top. I found a whole bunch of them up in the attic, I wanted to do something with them. Figured they'd make good targets." You gesture towards the melee combat circle. "You're the sword fighting expert, how does that look to you?"Ryuji steps into the circle. He doesn't have his katana, but he adopts the same intense focus as though he were actually about to draw a sword. He goes through the motion with the same intensity. He strikes three times with his imaginary sword, then goes through the slow motion of sheathing it. He nods once."Is good," he says. "Sorry, I mean "it's good." Maybe change the height. Have one high and one low. You might have to fight on stairs or something.""That's a good idea," you say. "Any advice you've got I'll appreciate. I've learned plenty about beating people up over the years, but I can always learn more."You and Ryuji don't get to hang out enough, you think. He's a good guy, saved your bacon on more than one occasion. He seems like he's adjusting to America okay, despite living in the cesspool of crime and violence that is Heat City. Or maybe because of it.>Ask Ryuji something about Japan.>Ask Ryuji why he uses a sword in the 20th century.>Teach Ryuji something about America.
>>1148276>Teach Ryuji something about America.Time to teach him about America's greatest past time; fucking around with firearms
>>1148276>Teach Ryuji something about America.Kinda want to see whatever idea you had for what we might teach him
>>1148276>Teach Ryuji something about America.>Everytime we say america you can hear a redtailed hawk in the background.
"Today I'm going to teach you something about my country," you say. "You've already learned today about eating hamburgers and getting fat. The other thing we do here in America is we shoot guns irresponsibly. Let me start by getting us the proper equipment."You return from the house with a gun bag and six pack of beer. You crack open a can of beer, take a long drink, then zip open the gun bag and pull out a new beauty you've had your eye on for the past while. One of the great things about having money is you can get all the guns you want. "Have a look at this bad boy," you say. "Ruger Redhawk. Updated version of the classic Security Six. Double action, holds six .44 magnum rounds. This bad boy is so accurate you can put a scope on it. Here, see for yourself." You hand the gun to Ryuji, who unlike the twins, seems to handle the weapon with the respect it deserves. At least someone around here can appreciate firearms.You drain your beer, take the pistol back from Ryuji, and load a single bullet in it. "Check this out," you tell him. You throw the empty can of beer into the air, raise the Redhawk, and fire. The can flips over in midair. You aren't sure, because of the explosive sound of the gunshot, but you could swear you just heard a red-tailed hawk screech somewhere.You walk over to the can and pick it up, showing Ryuji the bullet hole. "Not bad, right?""Sasuga Johnny," he says, a phrase you've heard him use before. You hope it means "cool guy" or "good job" or something. You take some time to teach Ryuji to aim and fire the hefty pistol. His whole ninja sword-wielder thing is pretty badass and all, but he's going to need to know how to shoot straight too. Not just to save his life on a job, but because this is America, dammit, and every free man should know how to shoot a gun.
When you go back in the house, you find Ken and Catherine sitting your living room, smoking cigarettes and discussing their plans."We've made some progress into our investigation," Ken tells you. "Some of our old friends will still speak to us, despite the ... bad business a few weeks ago."They all avoid meeting your eyes. Yeah. It's still a little awkward that you killed the patriarch of their family. Even if he was holding a gun to his daughter's head at the time."Anyway," says Ken. "A man has been dispatched from the parent syndicate back in Japan. From all accounts, he is a ruthless warrior.""Some of my people were caught in the middle over all this," says Catherine. "This new man quickly saw to that. He gathered everyone still on the fence, and they either joined him or were executed on the spot.""That said," adds Ken. "There are vulnerabilities, as the organization reshapes itself. We've found leads into some of their criminal activites. A drift race circuit by the docks. A connection to a political fundraising company. And an establishment which I, er ... believe to be an expensive brothel. High-end escorts.""You "believe to be"," you say back to him, adding air quotes. "Whatever you say, old man."He clears his throat. "Merely hearsay, I assure you."You ask him to follow up on ...>The drift races>The politicians>The escorts
>>1148338>The politiciansDarn politicians. Why cant america just vote with their Freedom boners for what ghost forefather hold office?
>>1148338>The politician Although ten buck says we'll find the son of some higher up in the drift circuit
>>1148343>>1148344"I want you to stay on those politicians," you say. "Those blood-sucking bastards go wherever the money is. The Yakuza must have some kind of financial arrangement with them. See if you can sniff it out. Not sure if I can help with a busted leg, but give me a call if you think of anything I can do."
>>1148346Done for tonight, anons. I'll probably have a few irregular updates tomorrow, then a proper session Saturday evening. Thanks for playing Thug Quest.
>>1148347If you run on saturday, what time are you gonna run?
We should have picked up one of these and some big fuck you AP rounds to match.
>>1148366Nah, Johnny should get some flintlocks. Just see off home invasions with a fuckoff huge blunderbuss or something.
>>1148359I'm guessing 7 PM PST.>>1148366>>1148373A giant blunderbuss does seem more like Johnny's style than the elegant Contender. He could probably have both in his collection.
>>1148374I was thinking we'd pass it off to Ryuji if anyhting.
Thug Quest will resume in about 4 hours
"The Yakuza have connections to the financial elites in this city," says Ken. "And that translates into political influence. We'll do what we can to find the links. Rumor has it there's some kind of major fundraiser for a new candidate, only a few days from now. The syndicate's new bulldog might be there, or at least someone connected to him.""We will find him," says Ryuji."We'll find someone, at least," says Ken."All right, good," you say. "Your old syndicate friends are pieces in a big game here. With your help, we're going to track down somebody who knows something. Work our way up the chain from there. Maybe we'll get a clue about who's behind all this.""Good to know you're all staying busy," says Catherine. "Perhaps once my organization has some semblance of order again, I can be of assistance." She takes a quick drag from her cigarette, then stands up. "I'd best be moving along, Johnny. I've got bribes to deliver and threats to make. Your bookkeeping will wait for another time, but for now, use this." She takes out a black bank card from her purse and hands it to you. "It's linked to an account I'll keep topped up from your heist funds. Let me know if you want to take a more hands-on approach to your accounting. One more thing before we leave ... Ryuji?"Ryuji holds up a bag you didn't notice earlier. "Presents."
The Yamadas present you with their housewarming gifts.Ken brings out a green bottle with a plain white label inscribed with Japanese calligraphy. He says inside it is sake, or rice wine, one of his favorite varieties. "So if you need help to drink it, you know who to ask," he adds.Ryuji gives you a plant pot that holds a tiny tree. Ken explains this is something called a "bonsai", an ornamental tree that the owner carefully prunes over long periods of time. You hold the pot carefully, examining the miniscule branches and leaves. You're not sure what to make of this, but it seems to mean something to Ryuji, so you nod your head in thanks. He bows in return.Catherine hands you a small black box. Opening it, you find a fine new watch. Slim lines, a strap of dark leather. Streamlined, elegant, classy, but still a man's watch, solid and strong. If you put it on, it might look ridiculous, like you were trying too hard to be something you're not. Or it might actually look good on you."A gentleman's wardrobe is a work of art. Of course, you're no gentleman," she adds, smiling. "At least, not yet. But this might help a little.">Put it on now.>Save it for the next time you dress up.>Not your sort of thing.
>>1153627>>Put it on now.'S a good watch.
>>1153627>Put it on now.Should probably take it off when we go out, though, seeing how we always get into trouble.>>1153578Hey, Bossman, welcome back.Got a question about the armory. You said up in >>1147930 that we were stocking up on stuff like guns, food, and furniture.First question: What are the limits on what we say we've bought?Bonus question: Can we say we got a crime novel or two, maybe some old Encyclopedia Brown books? Since we've started to become interested in what's going on, it might be fun to get some inspiration from them.
>>1153627>Put it on now.All it needs now is a little blood on it to make it really shine
>>1153627>Save it for the next time you dress up.Don't want to break just yet.
>>1153627>>Save it for the next time you dress up.Would hate to lose this, especially in our line of work.
>>1153647>>1153648'S not like we're going anywhere, we're broken, remember?
>>1153653Fair enough.>>1153644We should have pic related set up somewhere.
>>1153644I have a list. Some solid standards, some guns anons have previously requested, and a few surprises. You can make further requests, and if I think it's reasonable, you might find them in there.>>1153674You reserve a wall for your Conspiracy Map and make a note to buy colored string later.
>>1153636>>1153644>>1153645You push your sleeve up and strap on the watch. The leather feels solid, reassuring. This is probably the closest you can get to strapping on a war gauntlet as a man in the 20th cenutry.Catherine says "It looks good, don't you think?" She seems happy that you put it on right away."I'm not sure," you say. "But if you think it looks good, I'm satisfied."You'll probably take it off later, though, before you get into trouble and it gets smashed. On the other hand, it might look good with a little blood splatter. You tilt your wrist, watching the light reflect off the glass face.(Continued)
You see the Yamadas out to their cars. Catherine gets into the back seat of her black sedan, and her driver takes her away. Ken and Ryuji get into the neon green rice rocket and it speeds off.The driveway's now empty except for your own vehicles. The solid black Lincoln that the twins have been driving you around in, and a second vehicle you bought on impulse with some of your heist cash ...>Flashy sports car>Badass street bike>Rugged dirt bike>Powerful 4x4 pickup>Normal, inconspicuous sedan
>>1153712>>Badass street bikeBIIIIIIIKE
>>1153712>>Powerful 4x4 pickup>>1153681>You can make further requests, and if I think it's reasonable, you might find them in there.OH OH OH! (excited handwaving)I just have one request. It's the top one of pic related. It was made around the start of the 80's, so it's plausible that some got to the private market.
>>1153712>Badass street bike
>>1153712>Powerful 4x4 pickup
>>1153712>Rugged dirt bike
>>1153726>>1153721This is the 80's, man, it's either a sports car or badass motorcycle
>>1153712>Powerful 4x4 pickupIf we ever need to go off road or carry something heavy and huge it's a solid choice. Also has the ability to be made into a technical if we ever acquire some fuck huge machine gun.Also, does anything else say I'm pissed like lynching someone behind a truck.
>>1153712>Normal sedanBecause stakeout
>>1153742Speaking of Steak, how's the diner?
>>1153734We're also in Florida. Disguising our self to look like local trailer trash is good for being sneaky, and there's also the fact that we might need to feed a body to alligators eventually.
>>1153712Wait, wait, even better.>AMC Pacer.
>>1153756>Florida>Miami>Trailer TrashI think you mean Central and North Florida, bucko. South Florida is Hatians and Hispanics. Trust me, I live here.
>>1153773Sorry for snowbirding it, anon.Still, feeding a dude to gators just has an appeal for me.
>>1153789'S aight.And we can use Alex's car for that. Always have a buddy to help ya dump a body in the Everglades.
>>1153721>>1153726>>1153738A 1980 Toyota pickup. You like to buy American when you can, but this bad boy is getting a reputation for being the toughest truck ever built by humanity, and you plan on putting that to the test. Hopefully just on a pleasure cruise and not having to feed a body to alligators out in the Glades.
>>1153818You take a moment to look at your new truck with pride. Rugged tires, durable suspension, powerful engine. Then you wonder if the twins will even be able to see out the window from the driver's seat. You crutch-walk over to the driver's window and look inside. You're not sure. Maybe they can sit on phone books? But then could they reach the pedals? Damn it. At least once your leg is healed in a few weeks, you can drive this thing yourself.You get back inside your house just in time to hear the phone start to ring. Why can't the doorbell ring when you're by the door, or the phone ring when you're by the phone? It has to be the other way around, doesn't it? You hobble over to the phone. "All right, dammit!" you shout at the insistent ringing. You lean one crutch against the wall and pick up the phone with that hand. "Hello?""Johnny boy," says Nick. "It's me! How ya doing? Enjoying your little vacation?">Yeah, it's nice to just chill for a while. No bullets to dodge.>It's all right. After all that crazy stuff, I kind of miss the excitement.>Going stir-crazy. I can't wait to bust some heads again.
>>1153871>Yeah, it's nice to just chill for a while. No bullets to dodge. And no building to fall off
>>1153871>>Yeah, it's nice to just chill for a while. No bullets to dodge.Something like what happened would leave a man exhausted.
>>1153871>>Yeah, it's nice to just chill for a while. No bullets to dodge.
>>1153871>>It's all right. After all that crazy stuff, I kind of miss the excitement.>>So, how're you and Roxie doing? Anything that you need help with?
>>1153879>>1153880>>1153888"Yeah, it's nice to just chill for a while," you say. "No bullets to dodge. Or buildings to fall off.""Jesus, yeah, I still can't believe that really happened. Or that you're alive. Did you ever figure out anything about that? Most people, if they fell off a twenty-five story skyscraper, they don't live to make jokes about it later.""I did find a bunch of bad cuts on my back," you say. "Maybe from metal or glass. So I probably fell on a car or a truck, so that helped a little. Other than that, I guess I'm just a lucky son of a bitch," you say."I'll tell ya this much, Johnny. If there's anyone I know who I'd actually believe fell off a building and survived, it's you.""Thanks, I guess. How are you and Roxie doing?" you ask."Oh god," moans Nick. "Don't mention that crazy chick to me, she scares the fuck out of me. I dunno why I stuck around here with you, Johnny, I shoulda blown this town! Shoulda got out way back when Ivan shot up your motel room, just picked up and gone, whoosh! Then at least I wouldn't be stuck working with this psycho bitch.""If you did that, Nick, you wouldn't have fifteen percent of the Dragon's Nest vault sitting in your bank account. Now tell me, how's the investigation going?""Actually pretty good," he admits. "We went to few places the Russians own. Bars, shitty comedy and burlesque clubs, stuff like that. Roxie kept people busy, and by that I mean she started beating the shit out of anyone who so much as looked at her funny. While she kept people distracted, I'd go poking around in the back rooms. I found some real interesting stuff. Not enough to track down Ivan, but I think they're some pretty good leads.""What sort of leads?" you say."Well, you remember that construction company they own? We first met in one of their vehicle depots, getting ready for the gangbanger heist. I think they're getting up to something shady at one of their construction sites. There's also a guy I think is connected to Ivan, some kind of middle manager. I can probably follow up on him. Let's see ... oh yeah, also Roxie said something about an underground fight ring the Russians operate. "You tell Nick to investigate further into the:>Construction company>Middle manager>Underground fight club
>>1153992>Construction companyNo need to telegraph our presence just yet
>>1153992>>Underground fight clubWe Rocky IV now.
>>1153992>Construction companyWhile Roxie would probably love the Fight Club, that might lead to too much attention. Plus, I'm curious as to what happened to that guy with the truck with the hole in the bottom.Also, remind him that if things get too hot, he and Roxie can lay low here.
>>1154020Seconding the "You can crash here if ya gotta lay low."
>>1154011>>1154020"Find out what you can about that construction company," you say. "No need for us to be too obvious yet. That and I'm curious about that other guy, the one who drove the construction truck with the hole in the bottom.""Oh yeah," says Nick. "I totally forgot about him.""I didn't," you say. "I've had this weird feeling that he was involved somehow. If it turns out he was, I'm going to express my displeasure to him.""All right, I'll see what I can find out," says Nick."If things get too hot, you or Roxie can crash at my place," you say. "I've got plenty of space here, and as far as I know, none of our multitude of enemies know about it yet.""Thanks. Also, think about getting me off a team with this wack job, okay?"You imagine Roxie screaming at a terrified Nick and have to stop yourself from laughing. "I'll see what I can do."
You hang up the phone, then flop down in the chair next to it. Today is turning out to be a day for social calls, and you have a feeling if you leave the phone to do something else, it'll ring and you'll just end up hobbling back to it. You groan and massage your injured leg above the cast. Sure enough, a few minutes later, your suspicions pan out when the phone rings again. This time it's your hacker friend, Marvin -- or as he insists on being called, Zero Crash."Really, I don't see the point of owning a mansion in this day and age," he says. "The virtual world is the future, Johnny! People's homes and workplaces, their bodies, even physical space itself will soon be irrelevant! The digital age approaches!""I mean, you say that, Zero, but I think people will still have a weakness to a solid punch in the face for a while to come."Before getting to the investigation, you ask him ...>Are you and Burn still working together?>Have you and Burn done the nasty yet?>You spend any of your take from the heist?>Still living at your mom's place?
>>1154190>>Have you and Burn done the nasty yet?
>>1154190>>Have you and Burn done the nasty yet?>>You spend any of your take from the heist?
>>1154190>>Have you and Burn done the nasty yet?if not then:>>>Is it cause your still living at your mom's place?
>>1154190>Have you and Burn done the nasty yet?>You spend any of your take from the heist?
>>1154190>Have you and Burn done the nasty yet?
>>1154200>>1154205>>1154215>>1154220>>1154221"You spend any of your take yet?" you ask Zero."Yeah, I got myself a new rig. This thing is the Arnold Schwarzenegger of computers. Everything else is secondary, you know? As long as I can get online and my computer has the muscle to do what I need it to do, I'm good.""Good to hear. How are things between you and that girl, Burn?" you ask. "Have you two done the nasty yet?"There's a few moments of silence. You can imagine Zero turning bright red on the other end. He tries to speak and only stutters come out. "I-I-I d-d-do-do-""Relax, Zero. Just jerking your chain a little. I think you two would make a cute couple, but that's your business. Let me rephrase that. Are you still living at your mom's place?""N-no," he says. "I'm good for now."Oh yeah, you think. They're fucking. You give a thumbs-up to the phone, a silent cheer. Way to go, Zero."How's the investigation coming?" you ask, not wanting to embarass him any more. "If anyone can figure out how a clandestine mercenary squad of cops is operating under the radar, it's you.""I've identified a vulnerability," he says. "I believe files related to Black Spear's organization can be found in a certain office. However, I've reached a bottleneck. I need someone to physically go there and obtain the documents. That's, er ... not really my speciality."You imagine the awkward, out-of-shape Zero trying to sneak into a police station, or talk his way past the front desk. "Yeah, I see the problem.""Until I get those files, I'm not sure if I can make any progress," says Zero.>Reassign Ryuji to find a stealth route into the police station.>Reassign Nick to try and talk his way inside.>Reassign Zero to a different investigation for now.
>>1154259>>Reassign Ryuji to find a stealth route into the police station.NEEENJA
>>1154259>Reassign Ryuji to find a stealth route into the police station.
>>1154259>Reassign Ryuji to find a stealth route into the police station.Should we check in with the twins to assign them as Ryuji's exfiltration team?
>>1154290Yeah, have them as the getaway drivers if necessary.
"I'm gonna get Ryuji to help you out," you say. Hopefully Ken can make some progress on that Yakuza thing without him. "He's got the skills to get into just about anywhere on the quiet. Even a police station. This is the twentieth century and all, so I don't know if he's actually literally a ninja, or just a really quiet guy who prefers to use a sword instead of a gun ...""I watch a lot of Japanese cartoons," says Zero. "And I would say that he is definitely a ninja.""Works for me," you say. "Anyway, I'll put you two in touch, and you can work out the details. Maybe I'll get the twins to help him out as a getaway driver.""Twins?" asks Zero."Oh, you haven't met them yet. They're ..." You try to think of how to describe them, thinking of how they smile sweetly at you one moment, then pull switchblades on each other the next. "... they're a little unusual. But they're good at what they do.""I guess they can't be any weirder than the rest of our team, right?" says Zero."You might be surprised," you say.(Continued)
The sun starts to lower in the sky. The deep blue of the daytime fades into the briliant colors of sunset, pink streaked with red and orange.No word from Alex. It's been a few days since you went to Bembe's Grill together on that ... whatever it was. It might have been a date.Maybe you should have asked her straight-out about that. Or maybe that would have just screwed things up. What does she feel for you? For that matter, what do you feel for her? God dammit.You know how to field strip and clean an M16 blindfolded, and two dozen other weapons without the blindfold. You survived Vietnam and five years in prison. You robbed the Triads blind in their own fortress. You fell off a damn building and survived. But figuring out what to say to a woman? That's something really difficult.
>>1154424Maybe ask Catherine for advise on this "pressing matter"
To distract yourself, you go to your armory. This room is coming along, your gun collection starting to fill out nicely. You pick up a pair of Beretta M12s and point them at the wall. You mime shooting them both, making shooting sounds. "Pew pew pew!" You saw somebody do this in a movie once, fire two SMGs at the same time. How hard could it be? You wouldn't be able to hit anything more than fifteen feet away, but if it was close enough, you could sure put a lot of bullets into it.You put the Berettas back and take a look over the rest of your guns. You've got a Ruger Mini-14, which you're pretty sure is a legal requirement for living in the state of Florida. An M16 rifle, just like the one you used in Vietnam. Your AK-74 is here, the one Alex gave you way back at the construction site ...Alex again. Dammit! It's hard not to think of her and guns at the same time. That's part of what you like about her, after all. She knows her way around a gun, just like you.You need something to take your mind off this.Right about then, you hear a car engine gunning. It gets louder as it approaches closer to your house. Tires screech as the car swerves into your driveway. The engine shuts off.That's convenient, you think. But who the hell is this?A loud thumping comes from the front door.
You open the door to find ..."Roxie?" you say. "Uh, hey. What brings you to the neighborhood?""Looking for you, cowboy." She takes a drag from her cigarette, then flicks it into the air behind her. She blows the smoke out and grins. "I just got some new wheels. Let's hit the town, blow off some fucking steam!" She takes a few steps back, thumps her hands down on the hood of the car, a streamlined red hatchback that already has one front corner dented in. "Come on! You must be going nuts cooped up in this place, right? What are you waiting for?! Let's do it!">Fuck yeah.>I'm not sure ...>No way.
>>1154504>>Fuck yeah.Tell the twins you'll be out for a bit before you go.
>>1154504>I'm not sure ... (motions to broken leg)
>>1154504>>I'm not sure ...
>>1154504>I'm not sure ...I fell off a fucking building, Roxie. Chill out.
>>1154504>>I'm not sure ...Show her around the house, though. If the twins came back, introduce them to her. I think they'll hit it off real well.
>>1154562And fuck around with guns
>>1154562I could roll with this.
"I'm not sure, Roxie. My leg is still pretty busted.""Want me to carry you?" says Roxie. She lights herself another cigarette. "Don't you have crutches or something?""I fell off a fucking building, Roxie. Chill out."She takes a step back. "Then ... okay, fine, go fuck yourself. If you don't want to hang out then I'll just go drive around some more." She turns around and takes a step towards the driver's seat. "Wait, Roxie, hold on. I didn't mean it like that.""Well, what did you mean it like? Are we friends or what?" She sounds actually hurt. "Yeah, we are friends. I want to hang out with you and stuff, I'm just seriously hurt. It's not some bullshit excuse. My leg hurts like a bitch, and I think some of my organs still aren't in the right place.""Pfft," Roxie says. "Here I thought you were tough. Fall off a skyscraper, break a few bones, what's the big deal?" She's being sarcastic on that one. Probably."Look, I think you're cool, even if you are a little fucked in the head--" you say."Thanks!" she says. You wonder which one she's thanking you for."--so why don't you come inside? I can show you my place now that I've got some actual furniture, we can fuck around with guns ... we'll just, you know. Hang out. Plus," you add. "The twins might stop by later, and I get the feeling you might like each other.""Ehhh ..." Roxie shrugs. Some of her intense energy seems to have deflated, so maybe you succeeded in talking her down a little. "Yeah, sure, fuck it. Why not. Show me your big fancy mansion here."
You let Roxie into the house. She takes a look around from the entry hall. "This is kinda cool," she says. "Got a lot of space in here for fights, or parties. If you ask me, the good ones are both."You take Roxie to the ...>Armory>Kitchen>Living Room>Shooting Range
>>1154714>>Living RoomGet some weed, share a blunt.
>>1154714>>ArmoryWe know what the ladies like.
>>1154732>>1154739>>1154774Oh well, I guess you could bring weed anywhere, I guess.
>>1154725>>1154732>>1154739>>1154774You take her to your armory. Ladies like big guns, after all, right?"What do you think?" you say, showing her your racks of rifles, SMGs, and pistols.Roxie shrugs. "It's kinda cool, I guess. I'm not really a guns gal to be honest. I like to get up close and personal." She swings her fists at the air a few times. She has intense focus when she punches. Her weight shifts, her hips twist -- her whole body fires behind the movement. "A gun is okay when you need to get shit done. But I don't like them. Too much thinking, too many things to go wrong. Fists don't go wrong. Knives don't go wrong. You don't have to think. You just fucking do it." She punctuates this last with a vicious-looking uppercut."You know how to win a fight, Johnny? It's not about weapons, or size, or speed. The person who wins a fight is the one who's more prepared to permanently fuck up the other guy.""You might have a point," you say. "I've been around a while now. Heard a lot of ideas on how to win a fight. I think most of the good ones were something like that. "Do whatever it takes," basically.""Yeah, you know what I'm talking about. You look like you've seen some shit." Roxie saunters over to a big knife block you bought to store your meat cleaver in, the one weapon that survived the heist on Dragon's Nest. "What the hell is this?" She pulls out the cleaver. "This is what I'm fucking talking about! A meat cleaver? Johnny, you fucking get me, man." She gives the huge knife an experimental swing. "Woo! You could chop someone up real good with this!">Tell her the story of where you got it.>Give her the short version.>Put that back!
>>1154809>>Tell her the story of where you got it.Cleaver-Chan is a proper lady, not just some common kitchen knife.
>>1154809>Tell her the story of where you got it.
>>1154809>Give her the short version.>Yeah, I figure I should buy a few more when I start work on the throwing rangeDon't mention the whole "Killed a Yakuza Boss with it" thing.
>>1154826... But why not?
>>1154828Roxie's not exactly tactful. Don't want her bringing it up with Catherine and reopening old wounds.
>>1154809>>Tell her the story of where you got it.
>>1154839I don't think those two are gonna be anywhere near each other, but if we do, we can ask her to not talk to Catherine or Ken about it.
"Yeah, funny story behind that knife," you say. "I forget if you've met my hacker friend Zero, but I went out to his hideout for something. When I got there, I found him tied up with some Triads asking him questions about me, the hard way.""Those fucking Triads," says Roxie. "They're everywhere these days.""I know, right? I'm pretty sick of their bullshit already. When they saw I was there, one of them came straight at me with this meat cleaver. I killed him and grabbed that from him, and it's been with me ever since. Not exactly an elegant weapon, but then, I'm not exactly an elegant guy." You reach out your hand, and Roxie gives you the cleaver. You feel its familiar grip in your fingers and give it a quick chop, enjoying the weight of it. "I chopped a Yakuza boss's face in half with this. Oh, but uh, maybe don't bring that up around Catherine or Ryuji. He was their father.""Woah," says Roxie. "You killed their dad? When was this?""Like ... maybe two or three weeks ago. He was Ken's brother, too.""Holy shit, man," she says. "And you still trust those three? Don't you think they're, like, planning revenge against you or something? You killed their fucking dad, dude!">I trust them.>They said he was a real asshole, so I think I'm okay.>Now that you mention it ...
>>1154886>>I trust them.>>They said he was a real asshole, so I think I'm okay.'Sides, Ryuji's my bro.
>>1154886>>I trust them.>>They said he was a real asshole, so I think I'm okay.
>>1154886>Considering the dude has a gun on Catherine's head he deserved it and besides they wouldn't help me as much if they have a grudge now would they?
>>1154886>>I trust them.>They said he was a real asshole, so I think I'm okay."they legitimately have had more then one chance to kill me or leave me to my death"
>>1154886>I trust them.>They said he was a real asshole, so I think I'm okay.>That being said, I was thinking of getting something else to keep my jacket warm...
"I trust them," you say. "They said he was a real asshole. I mean, at the time, he had a gun to Catherine's head. He was using his own daughter as a hostage, threatening to kill her. So I threw my cleaver at him and hit him in the fucking face, and he died. So yeah, I'm pretty sure he was a real asshole. Fuck him."You put the cleaver back in its knife block. "Anyway, they've had more than one chance to kill me since that happened. If they really wanted revenge, they could have taken it. Instead, they're watching my back and helping me track down this criminal conspiracy shit.""All right, I guess I'm convinced," she says. "I just -- I wouldn't want you to get stabbed in the back, is all. You deserve to go out fighting someone face to face, you know?""That sounds like a really big compliment coming from you, Roxie, so thanks." It's nice to know she cares about you in her own demented way.She looks away, embarassed. "I dunno, man. We escaped from that lab together. I'm just ... trying to ... you know. We gotta watch out for each other.""Yeah, I get it. I feel the same way."She leans against one of the counters. "Anyway, enough of that bullshit. What the hell have you been doing with yourself sitting around in this big house? Just cleaning your guns all day?""Let me show you," you say.
>>1154935>Invented in 2008Goddamn it.
Soon, in a living room hazy with marijuana smoke and dimly lit by the flickering light of the television, you and Roxie sprawl on the couch sharing a bag of potato chips. A still-smouldering joint lies in an ashtray filled with burnt roaches on the coffee table, a curl of smoke rising lazily into the air. "We now return to Zaltron, Lords of the Universe!"The red ranger is shaking hands with a tattooed alien woman with tribal feathers. "Thanks for your help, Princess Barbaria. Without you, I never could have escaped from the Evil Sorcerer's prison.""I must thank you as well," says the tribal alien. "Without Zaltron, my people would have been destroyed by the Evil Sorcerer's minions! From today forward, our planet will remember you as the heroes who saved us. We shall work together with Zaltron in harmony, to defeat the Evil Sorcerer and his army of space wizards!"Roxie is staring at the screen with a puzzled look in her red-shot eyes. "What the hell, man? This makes no fucking sense. What did this red guy even do? Why is she practically sucking his dick?""He was piloting the robot," you say. "The one that saved everyone.""The red robot? It didn't even do anything!""No, it -- he's also in the big one. The little robots combine to make the big robot.""Wha-a-a-at? That makes no sense, man. They combine? Do you mean the robots fuck?" she says, then dissolves into giggles, the kind of unrestrained laughter you get from someone stoned. "No, they're combining to make Zaltron, it's ..." You stop and think about it, remembering the transformation sequence. All those different robot parts sliding into each other, perfectly slotting into each other's receptacles. "Okay, maybe they are fucking, I don't know. I'm not saying this show makes any sense.""So why watch it?" asks Roxie."I'm not sure," you say. "It seems to have some weird kind of harmony with my life. I don't know. I just like it."
>>1155038>"So why watch it?"Why WOULDN'T you watch it?
The cartoon comes to an end."So this is what you've been doing with yourself, huh?" says Roxie. "Smoking weed and watching cartoons?" She thinks about that a few moments, then shrugs. "Eh. I guess you could be doing something worse. Like, I don't know. Something wholesome. That would be awful.""Just trying to enjoy my time off," you say. "In two or three weeks, my leg is going to heal. I get the feeling it won't be long before I'm back in the shit. Fist fighting, bullet dodging ... hopefully I don't fall off any buildings this time. So yeah, for now, I'm going to relax. Get my new house here set up, get all my shit together, and just chill. I feel like I haven't got a chance to do that since ... since ..."You think back. The past few weeks have been your whirlwind tour of crime conspiracy and violence. But the years before that weren't that much better. Less dangerous, perhaps, but not any easier. Working shitty jobs, off-the-books construction or hauling, one ripoff after another. A desperate scramble to keep a roof over your head. No future, no friends. Nothing. Before that? Prison. Before that? Bad days, where you did a lot of things you aren't proud of now. Before that? Viet-fucking-nam ..."I don't even know," you say. "It's been a really long time. So, yeah. This is good. I'm liking this. Anyway, enough about me. What about you?"You ask her ...>Where she's from.>How she started fighting.>What she does with herself when she's not punching Triads.>What she thinks of this whole crime conspiracy thing.>What she thinks of you.
>>1155115>>Where she's from.>>How she started fighting.>>If she ever thought of going pro.
>>1155115>>How she started fighting.>>What she does with herself when she's not punching Triads.
>>1155115>>Where she's from.>>How she started fighting.
>>1155115>Where she's from.>What she does with herself when she's not punching Triads.
>>1155115>Where she's from>What she does with herself when she's not punching Triads>Who's your favourite ranger?
"So where are you from, anyway? I grew up here, in the city, but you don't seem like you're from around here."Roxie doesn't answer right away. She leans back on the couch and stares up the ceiling. You think maybe she didn't hear you, or she's just really high. Then she says, "What would you say if I told you I didn't know?""If you told me ... you don't now where you're from?" You laugh. It seems like a joke.She sits up, looking at you, dead serious. "Yeah."You wipe the grin off your face. "Damn. That's messed up. How is that even possible?'"One of my earliest memories is being on a ship. I ended up someplace here in the States, and I didn't speak English ... " She shrugs. "Never figured out where I was before I got on that ship. Don't even know what city I landed in.""Jesus," you say. "How old were you?"She shrugs. "Don't know.""Did you have parents? Family?"She shrugs again. She's starting to close off. You didn't realize this would be such a heavy subject."Okay, so, obviously you learned to fight at some point," you say. "So I guess you took care of yourself.""I sure fucking did," she says."And at some point you started fighting for money?""Yeah. That was out west, I think. Some dumbass guy made a pass at me, grabbed himself a handful. So I kicked his ass, left him in a pile on the ground. Turned out he was some local big-shot in the street fighting crowd, so right away I was in the top dogs, scrapping for a spot. Gave out some beatings. Took some, too, but less than I gave out. Made some money. Then I just kinda ... kept doing it. Been roaming around the country ever since.""That's quite a story," you say. "And now you're here, with me, helping to punch Triads. What do you do the rest of the time? When you're not punching people, I mean.""Oh, the usual. Drink, do drugs. Fight people. Burn stuff. Steal cars and ram them into things. You know, normal stuff.""... right. Normal stuff, okay."She's like some kind of savage, tattooed, incredibly violent stray cat that wandered into your yard and started living there.
It's starting to get late. You could ...>Send Roxie on her way.Or you could show her something else in the house. Maybe something more intimate? >Liquor collection>Record player>Swimming pool>Bedroom
>>1155186>>Record playerJam to some music.Then>Send Roxie on her way.
>>1155186>>Record playerJam out, possibly awaken old memories.
>>1155192SecondShe needs to learn something else other than punch people and what better thing to learn than DANCE
>>1155207Ends up like this:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaEf6f5V664
>>1155192>>1155195>>1155207>>1155212>>1155213You take Roxie into the "record room" just down the hall from the main living room. In here you've set up your new record player and speakers, along with a small but growing stack of records, and some couches to sit and listen."Check this out," you say. "I know cassette tapes are the new hot thing these days, but I still kind of like records. You listen to music at all, Roxie?""Sure I do," she says. "Megadeth, Slayer, Metallica, Judas Priest ...""Okay, that stuff's pretty badass," you admit. "Seems like your kind of thing. The musical equivalent of punching, and being punched, in the face. What about anything else?"She shrugs. "Boring."You shake your head. "C'mon, Roxie. Even thugs like us should try to appreciate music."You bend down over your stack of records, searching for music with charms to soothe the savage beast.>Something sexy>Something funky>A little of both
>>1155242>>Something funkySome jammin Synth Rock or straight-up Funk.
>>1155242>>A little of bothR&B take me away.
>>1155242>>A little of both
>>1155249What this guy said
"All right, Rox," you say, selecting a record. "You need to learn something other than punching people. You're going to learn how to jam." You take the record out, place it on the player, and gently set the needle in place. The speakers start to hiss. "It's actually really easy. You might even say it's easy as A-B-C."Soundtrack: Jackson 5 - ABChttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0N0-H34hhMThe pure voice of a young Michael Jackson starts to sing from the speakers. The beat comes to life. The bass kicks in.You look over at Roxie, who has a strange expression on her face. "What do you think?" you ask her. "Good beat, right? This isn't headbanger shit. This is music you can dance to." You demonstrate, clumsily. You're a pretty terrible dancer, even when both your legs work. You end a dance move with two finger-guns pointing at Roxie. "Your turn!"Roxie bursts out laughing.You feel yourself grinning. "Come on, girl! Feel the beat! I know you're a party animal. Let the music into that party heart of yours!" The song comes back around to the chorus, and you lip-sync along with it, pointing at Roxie. Simple as do-re-mi, A-B-C, 1-2-3, baby you and me girl!Roxie laughs again, then tries it out. At first it's an awkward shuffle, but she starts to get into it. She mimics some of your terrible dance moves, puts her own spin on them, makes them actually look good. She shakes her hips back and forth, tilts them and gives you a mocking-sexy look, then loses her composure and giggles.She is pretty hot, you have to admit. She raises her arms above her head as she dances, and you watch her body move, the muscles in her bare legs flexing, her hair swishing as she shakes her head. Definitely a fine woman. But you're not sure if you think of her like that. The more you know about her, the less she seems like a strong, confident woman and more like a lost soul.And there's Alex to think about. You don't want to screw things up there just because you wanted to get your dick wet.Also, if you had sex with Roxie and later made her mad, she might cut your dick off. There's that to consider.For now, at least, you're just going to dance with her and have fun. Roxie takes advantage of your distraction by hip-checking you, almost knocking you over as you stumble on your bad leg. She catches you by the arm, preventing you from falling over, grinning as she pulls you back to your feet. "Better watch yourself, cowboy. You were wide open there."
"Thanks," you say, steadying yourself in Roxie's grip. Sometimes you forget just how strong Roxie is. She's not that big, but she's efficient as hell. She knows how to focus her power into everything she does.It's late at night now. Darkness has long since set in. It's time you sent Roxie home, before you do something stupid.You take her to the front door. "Hey, I had fun," you say. "Thanks for coming by. I hope you're not too disappointed we didn't go out someplace.""Nah, it's all good," she says. "Sorry I got mad. I had fun too.""When my leg gets better, we'll go out to a bar or a fight or something, okay?""Okay. Thanks, Johnny," she says. Then she surprises you by throwing her arms around your neck. After you recover from the surprise, you return the hug, squeezing her gently around the waist."This is what friends do, right?" she asks, her voice muffled by your jacket."Yeah," you say. "It is."You stand there, enjoying the moment ... until something catches the corner of your eye. You look out the window at your front driveway. Red and blue lights."Are those," you say. "Police lights in my front yard?"Roxie shoves herself away from you. "Oh, uh, wow, how could that have happened? Crazy, right? Haha ...""Roxie ... was that car you left in my front driveway stolen?""Wow, look at the time!" Roxie sprints for your back exit. "Gotta run seeya Johnny bye!""Roxie!!" You shake your first at the retreating girl. She pauses just long enough to stick her tounge out at you before fleeing outside into the backyard.
Done for tonight, guys. Thanks for playing Thug Quest.
>>1155340No problem, Bossman. Hope to see you again next week!
>>1155340thanks for runningand this is why I have issues with revy being the description of roxie she's 8 parts crazy 2 parts vulnerable and 100% sexybut the chemistry with alex is great tho and I love me some compatibility
>>1155347It's a tough choice, isn't it? I can't decide what I'd do if I were Johnny either.I'm glad you like both of them.
>>1155356>I'd do if I were Johnny either.fall ass backwards into a threeway