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File 137490294279.jpg - (840.43KB, 1323x802, aed9c7159437e16fcab9804893dcbd3a.jpg) [iqdb]
11859
February 23, 10:58 PM

Scotch. Scotch always makes thinking easier, makes connections form. Scotch is your friend, scotch helps you unwind. So why isn't it helping?

You've been staring at this autopsy report for an hour or so now, ever since the cop brought it by. You and her shared a drink, but she left earlier than you'd hoped. Left you alone here to stew and stare. You could recite this autopsy report by heart, probably.

Victim's body discovered 0851 16 February, under the Mizuhashi bridge. This was a result of a report from one Parsee Mizuhashi, who was visibly shaken upon reporting.

Victim suffered several contusions upon the head consistent with blunt force trauma. Blunt force trauma is probable cause of death.

Victim's estimated time of death 36-48 hours prior to discovery.

No visible sign of struggle at scene. Suggests murder took place elsewhere and body was deposited under bridge at a later time.

Victim has been conclusively identified as one Tenshi Hinanawi. Identification was provided by one Iku Nagae.


There's more, but it's all in bland coroner-speak, going into more detail, but that's not important now. Now you've got to come up with a plan. Now you've got to figure out suspects, got to follow the trail, put all the pieces together.

You rub your temples and pick up your empty tumbler. This needs a refill. You push yourself up from your chair, one hand holding your glass tumbler, one pushing you up from your desk. The room is lit purely by the small desk lamp, and occasional flashes of lightning that break the monotony of the rain. This is a three-drink minimum night, at least. What number were you on?

Two, that's it. It's been two for at least the last four drinks. Yeah, you've got to get to that three-drink minimum. You pad across the small office, passing the hat and trenchcoat hanging on the door hooks, to get to your liquor cabinet. Scotch. You pull the door open, and peer into the depths of your very shallow liquor cabinet, and extricate a nearly-empty bottle of a good 7-year.

“You know, I thought this one was full.” You peer at the bottle. “Almost entirely certain it was full at the beginning of the evening.” You turn around to look at your desk. No scotch bottle there. You turn back to the .bottle. “Why would I have put you away? You know I need you to help me think.” You glare at the bottle once more for its treachery, and resolve to end the bottle's life by draining it of the rest of its vital fluids. Yes.

That resolved, you trudge back over to your desk and sit down heavily in your wicker chair. Nowhere near as good as the leather chair you used to have, but, well... dames. Always ruining your nice things. Can't live with them. Can't live without them.

You empty the scotch bottle into your tumbler, and swirl it around a bit. Maybe if you look at the report through the scotch...

This is an experiment you attempt. However, it's woefully unsuccessful. There seems to be something atop the autopsy report.

Wait, hold on. That's not the scotch glass's fault. You set down the tumbler, and peer at the autopsy report. Sure as shit, there's a fancy vellum envelope on top of the report. “Wish I had the money to afford fancy envelopes,” you grumble to yourself.

The front of the envelope only has three words on it: “To the Investigator” written in gold, embossed, fancy, expensive lettering.

The back is just a generic wax seal, nothing stamped in it at all.

You break the seal and pull out a thick, weighty sheet of paper. It's weighty with the pretensions of the idle rich, you imagine. Someone wants you to find their lost kitty or something, and thinks that their fancy paper and fancy envelope and gaudy displays of wealth will make you drop everything for their case.

They'd be right, of course. Gaudy displays of wealth means they have money to pay you, unlike some of your clients. Last goddamn time you help her find her donation box, no matter how much she promises to help you investigate. Investigate, no. Be a completely unsubtle battering ram? Okay, you admit, she's pretty good at that. But at the point you can point her at someone, your part of the job's done already.

Right, right, the letter. You're letting yourself get sidetracked.

Mr. Investigator: Again with the fancy embossed gold lettering.

You are going to die tonight.

What.

Seriously, what? Was that it? No lost kitties? No baleful cries for help? No goddamn possibility of money?

Well that's just horseshit.

Someone paid a lot of money for a stupid trick.

Money they could have been paying you.

Fuck it, it's a four-drink-minimum night tonight. You down your scotch in one go, and stand up, to stagger towards the liquor cabinet again. You wander over there, and pull out one more bottle, and set it on your desk. You wander over to the window to smoke a cigarette. As you draw one out, watching the rain fall, you check your watch.

11:21.

You look up, as you put the cigarette in your mouth.

The lightning flashes again, but the thunder is immediate, and the shockwave from it sends you staggering back a step.

The rain patters on your face as you step back across the broken glass.

You remove your hand from where it was clutching your chest, for some reason. Your hand is wet.

You have time for one final thought- Well, that's odd- and then nothing, just cold blackness.

[ ] February 23, 10:58 PM
[ ] February 23, 7:21 PM
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11860
Timeline. I'm getting a whiteboard, but this will do for now.
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11861
Connections web. Getting a goddamn whiteboard for sure.
[x] February 23rd, 10:58 PM
[X] February 23, 7:21 PM

Nice to see you writing again Rabbit.
[X] February 23, 7:21 PM

I thought you were doing the one with pirate Tenshi? Well, I'm still interested either way.
[x] February 23rd, 10:58 PM

Oh? My interest is piqued already. I shall be watching this.
>>11866
I wanted to, really I did. The problem is that after about eight or nine attempts and rewrites, the OP did not flow at all, and the plot was a hellish mess of terrible things. I mean, I had the gimmick, but I could not make it go further than that. So the story is shelved for now. I spent over a month working on just the OP and it just did not work.
[X] February 23, 7:21 PM

I'm going to assume the earlier we choose, the more time we have to figure things out.
>>11859

[x] February 23, 7:21 PM

Lets *not* pull an exact copy loop, shall we?
[x] 2/23, 19:21
Just reinforcing the vote to prevent another tie.
[x] February 23, 7:21 PM

Backwards we go~
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[x] February 23, 7:21 PM

Well. That's odd.

You're looking at your face, in the mirror, in the small washroom adjoining your office. And having the oddest case of deja vu. I remember this, you think to yourself. I'd just washed up because she'd be coming by... No, I AM washing up. Man, that was weird. You splash a bit of cold water on your face from the basin, and shake off the weird feeling.

You look up in the mirror, with a bit of a haunted look in your eye. A man who drinks too much and doesn't get nearly enough sleep peers back at you. He's got messy black hair, brown eyes with bags under them, a perpetual five o'clock shadow, and lines etched from years of attempting to look hardboiled and chainsmoking.

Eventually you'll kick the habit. But today's not the day.

You leave the washroom, and light a cigarette, staring out the window at the rain and storm. At least it doesn't really snow in Gensokyo. That's more than you can say for your hometown- at this point in February, there'd be two feet of snow on the ground, easy. Here? It's merely brisk.

Window's intact. No glass shattered. No rain coming through. You just cannot shake this odd feeling of deja vu. You look at your watch. 7:30, 2/23, 1.

1? Okay, that doesn't make any sense. When did your watch get an extra digit? It's after the date display, but... it feels like it's always been there. Except it hasn't. You know it hasn't. What the shit?

A knock on the door tears you away from your glaring at your watch, and the door opens, revealing a radiant beauty. You'd never tell her that, of course, but her red hair, red eyes, and just the way she carries herself, and the black pantyhose she wears with that skirt- okay, you should stop ogling and get to greeting. “Kotohime.”

She smiles at you, in the way she always has. “Glowering and brooding as always? It smells like cigarette smoke and cheap whiskey in here.”

You frown. “I'll have you know that it is scotch, and it's not cheap. It is at least the second shelf from the bottom.”

“Oooh, moving on up, Mister Investigator?” She sashays over to the overstuffed seat across from your desk and plops herself down in it. She extracts an envelope from under her arm, and tosses it on your desk. “Got the autopsy report for you.”

“Ah, thanks.” You sit down and start to undo the string securing the envelope. “Blunt force trauma.”

She blinks. “You haven't even opened it yet. How did you know?”

How DID I know? You stare blankly at the opened manila envelope, and shrug. “Investigative intuition?”

“Well, your intuition would be right. Contusions and everything. Iku identified the body as Tenshi, but we were pretty certain of that one anyway. Not many slender blue-haired Celestial girls running around, are there?”

You try to shake off the feeling of weirdness and set down the envelope. A drink. That'll steady my nerves. That's a good idea. You stand up. “Would you like a drink, Kotohime?”

She shrugs. “Sure, why not? I'll need it after having dealt with the coroner.”

You head over to your liquor cabinet, and pull out a bottle that you are almost entirely certain you finished before. But it's still full. You must be wrong. You return to the desk, bottle in one hand, pair of crystal tumbler glasses in the other. “I haven't got ice. You okay with it straight?”

Kotohime chuckles. “Just because I'm a 'dame' doesn't mean I can't hold my liquor, Avery.”

You smile. She definitely can. Even odds she can drink you under the table most nights. You fill the tumblers a couple fingers deep, and hand her hers, while swirling yours around to extract the aroma. She, on the other hand, slugs it back in one shot. No subtlety to that woman. You do the same, and grimace as the fire burns down your throat. Much better. A familiar feeling. A good familiar feeling, not an odd familiar feeling like has been happening. You grimace as it goes down. “So tell me straight. What are we looking at?”

“Haven't got all that much to go on,” Kotohime sighs. “The estimated time of death was about two days before we discovered the body.”

“February 14th, then?”

“Valentine's Day.”

You pour the two of you another drink. “Hell of a way to celebrate it. Do we have any suspects?”

Kotohime shakes her head. “Nothing concrete. There are some Persons Of Interest, though.”

“Miss Mizuhashi.”

She nods, and sips her drink. “Just so. She discovered the body under her bridge and reported it, but she seemed like she might have been hiding things when we questioned her. Unfortunately, like I said, we didn't have anything concrete, so we let her go.”

“So you want me to check it out.”

She nods. “You haven't got all the red tape I have.”

You shake your head. “We've been through this so many times, Kotohime. You're the only officer on the force that Gensokyo has. You don't have to treat this like- like one of your, uh, what was it?”

“Police procedurals. And I do. Because I'm the police. And we have procedures.

“You don't even know what they are. You're just going by what was in those shows.”

She clears her throat. “Regardless! I still need your help.” She puts on her sad face, pouty lips, puppy dog eyes, the works. “Y-you are going to help me... right?”

She knows you're a sucker for a girl in trouble. You know you're a sucker for a girl in trouble. This changes nothing, however. “Yeah, yeah, I'll help.”

She immediately brightens back up, and downs her drink again, tapping the desk for more.

The two of you pass a couple of hours this way, until the stories are exhausted and the liquor is dry. It's odd. You remember this happened before, with less drinking, and more discussing of the case. Specifics in the autopsy report. But you KNOW the specifics, and you didn't even look at the report.

This is odd indeed.

The night wraps up with a chaste peck on the cheek, as Kotohime leaves for the night.

You kind of hope she would stay. But that's just not how the night shakes out.

http://www.rainymood.com/watch?v=ih_gvJPSd7w

You check your watch. 10:58. Time for a smoke. You step outside, onto the small wooden porch, and take in the street of the Human Village at night. The rain still pours, but it calms you down. The weight of the weirdness dissipates in the cigarette smoke, the couple of lights, the silence of the night but for the rain and occasional far-off claps of thunder.

You walk back into the office, after a good few minutes getting your head back in order. You've got to be in at least a somewhat decent shape for tomorrow, as you'll spend time pounding the pavement and asking around. You've got a picture of the victim in the autopsy report, you know that. The autopsy report... that you never finished opening. And just like that, the weirdness is back. You look down at your desk, wishing to banish the weirdness by going over the autopsy report...

...but there is a vellum envelope atop it. With gold lettering.

Recognition hits you like a flash of lightning, and panicked, you lift your wrist, bringing your watch into view.

11:21.

The bullet is the thunder that follows the recognition's lightning. The crash of shattered glass fades away, as you slump into the rainshower coming in through the new hole in the window.

This isn't odd. It's bullshit.

[ ] February 23, 10:58 PM
[ ] February 23, 7:21 PM
[ ] February 23: 11:21 AM

AND:

Would you like to do something different? (Applicable only on previously experienced time periods.)
[ ] Yes.
– [ ] Write-in. (Vague suggestions are perfectly fine.)
[ ] No.

Updated timeline and web will be available within the next day or two. I've not been sober enough to go out shopping for a whiteboard.
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11888
>>11887
>Would you like to do something different? (Applicable only on previously experienced time periods.)
[x] February 23, 10:58 PM

Would you like to do something different?
[x] Yes.
-[x] The shot is going to come. Let it. Try to lure out the shooter by putting our shirt on hook or something and make it look like it's us. Keep low to the ground. If we can get the sniper to take a shot we can collect the bullet, and maybe see if we can figure something out from that. Either way, our first challenge is making it through this night alive. Worth a shot.
[x] February 23: 11:21 AM

Would you like to do something different?
[x] Yes.
– [x] Whoever did this most likely had a line of sight with the office. Check out the building adjacent to the office.

>>11888
Technically speaking, since we are experiencing a groundhogs day loop we have already done all these situations. And this update marks the second time "Died" because of the "sniper". So we should be allowed to make changes to this scene.
>>11887
>>11888
>>11890
Tell you what. You're welcome to make changes. I only put that in so that you guys could find out more about the scene before you go about changing it, as some changes might be incompatible due to people present/the location you'll be in. But if you want to pre-emptively change things, I'm okay with that. Just be aware that not all changes are possible if you do this.
[X] February 23: 11:21 AM
-[X] Yes.
-[X] Leave your office early...
-[X] ... by inviting yourself to Kotohime's place for the night.
-[X] If she protests, tell her the reason you're evacuating your office tonight is because of a hunch. An investigator's hunch. She has to understand.
Pardon the delay. I'm re-adjusting the story and timeline to allow you guys more leeway and knowledge of events before they happen (again) for you, so you have a better idea of what is happening at a given time-point.
[X] February 23: 11:21 AM
-[X] Yes.
-[X] Leave your office early...
-[X] ... by inviting yourself to Kotohime's place for the night.
-[X] If she protests, tell her the reason you're evacuating your office tonight is because of a hunch. An investigator's hunch. She has to understand.

Giving Kotohime our .45 magnum is important too.
[X] February 23: 11:21 AM
-[X] Yes.
-[X] Leave your office early...
-[X] ... by inviting yourself to Kotohime's place for the night.
-[X] If she protests, tell her the reason you're evacuating your office tonight is because of a hunch. An investigator's hunch. She has to understand.

Changed my vote.
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[X] February 23: 11:21 AM
-[X] Yes.
-[X] Leave your office early...
-[X] ... by inviting yourself to Kotohime's place for the night.
-[X] If she protests, tell her the reason you're evacuating your office tonight is because of a hunch. An investigator's hunch. She has to understand.

“Hey. Wake up.”

You grumble and groan at the voice, soft hands shaking you awake.

“Get up or I'll tip the bed over, and tip you out with it.”

Such a nice voice saying such terrible things. “You could just climb in with me,” you mutter, still half-asleep.

“Tell you what. I'm not going to tip you out of bed. I'm going to go make some ice water and wake you up.” The voice disappears, footsteps leading off to the small kitchenette. Your apartment is the room above your office, a narrow staircase leading up to a small drawing room, with a spartan bed and tiny kitchenette. At least your windows face east-west, so you can see the moon rise at night, and the sun set.

The sunrise? Fuck the sunrise. Any day you're up to see the sunrise is a day you haven't gotten to sleep yet.

You grumble, angry at the thought of the hated daystar, and clench your blanket all the tighter.

The footsteps return. “You getting up?”

You grumble in return.

“I'll take that as a no.” With that, the ninth circle of hell, the frozen pit where Satan gnaws on your soul for all eternity, becomes your existence, as you thrash about under the thundering waterfall of water drawn directly from under the polar ice of the Antarctic torrents down upon your face, and you flail your way out of bed, onto the floor. You lay there, gasping like a fish, but awake.

“Oh, quit being such a baby and get up. I'll make breakfast, God knows you won't make it for yourself. You'll probably choke down some frozen waffles and bourbon.”

The beautiful vision of your assistant fades from view, as she leaves your bedroom. Black, shiny, impeccable Mary Janes. You stick your feet into a beaten pair of brown loafers. White, pure thigh-highs. You grab a probably clean pair of khaki pants from the floordrobe. A short blue skirt, showing just the tiniest sliver of skin between the top of the thigh highs and the hem of the skirt. You run a beaten old black leather belt through the loops of your pants. A white blouse, accented by a deep blue vest, buttons of silver fastening it together. You throw on a simple black button down shirt. A small, frilly white headdress. You grab your tattered hat from your nightstand and throw it on.

Then you check your watch. 11:30 AM, 2.

Two. I've done this before. I've died twice. At the exact same time. The thought that you will likely die twelve hours from now fills you with a bit of dread. On the other hand, you hope that you'll continue your current trend of making the whole 'dying' thing not stick.

Well. All that's grand and all, but you're hungry. And you can smell the sausage cooking from here. French toast, sausages, and eggs over easy. You had this yesterday. Today. Man, this time bullshit is going to get real confusing, real fast.

Last time, you ate your breakfast, thanked Sakuya... and then did what? Your head hurts a little bit. Maybe it'll come back to you as you get closer to the moment. You're going to do this one a little differently though.

You pad into the kitchenette, and nod to Sakuya. “'Morning.”

“Good morning to you too, even though it is barely just.”

You look out the window. Still raining. At least it's not a thunderstorm anymore. “So, uh, Sakuya... I gotta ask... why did you wake me up and make me breakfast?”

She pauses, mid-flip of slice of french toast. She slowly turns around. “Because when you don't get out of bed, you don't get work done. And if you don't get work done, you don't get paid. And if you don't get paid, neither do I. Does that make sense?” She rolls her eyes as though this is blatantly obvious.

“Doesn't... uh, your maid job, uh, pay?”

Sakuya laughs. “Vampires? Pay? They allow me to live there, in payment for my services.”

You shrug. “Then why don't you quit and move in here?”

She fixes you with a look. One delicately formed eyebrow slowly raises, and with one hand, she slowly gestures to the old, scratched, cracked cupboards. The chipped countertops. The leaking sink. The card table that you use as a dining table. “Not to mention the laundry,” she adds.

You scratch your head. “So I get why you came by and woke me up. But... why cook me breakfast?”

She sighs exasperatedly, but you think you see a bit of a blush on her pale complexion. “Shut up now. No more questions. Eating time.” She places the plate of breakfast on the table, and physically guides you to your seat. She sits down across from you, and pulls out a notepad. You sit there, staring at the plate, fork and knife in hand. “You didn't make any for yourself.”

She doesn't look up from her notepad as she shrugs. “Unlike some people, I get up at a decent hour. Gives me time to have my own breakfast and a nice, leisurely cup of tea.” She looks up at you. “Drink your orange juice. No bourbon this early in the morning.”

You grumble a bit, but dig into the exceptionally cooked breakfast. She definitely has her skills.

Sakuya starts flipping through her notebook. “Avery, you've got a couple of things to do today. First of all, there's Parsee. You need to go question her today. You also need to get your chair fixed. Reina won't wait for payment forever.”

You grumble, mouth full of food, and make an angry gesture with your fork.

“You also need to get the autopsy report from Kotohime. She said she'd have that ready today. Finally, you also need to go talk to some of the other people down in Old Hell or whatever they're calling it today, about what they might have seen.”

You mutter, as you chew on a bit of sausage, “And solve my own murder.”

“I'll tell you how you die: I kill you, for talking with your mouth full of food. Now finish your breakfast and let's get going.”

[ ] Talk to Parsee
[ ] Go talk to Reina about the chair
[ ] Go down to the 'precinct' and talk to Kotohime
[ ] Pound the pavement in Old Hell
[ ] Investigate your own murder first- go look around where the shot will come from
[ ] Write-in

Sorry I couldn't work in the write-in for this update. This is kind of why you can't change things for time periods not yet experienced.

Also, you guys are trying to plan for the ENTIRE time period until 11:21 PM, and that's just not my style to write giant walls like that. Sorry. Chunks! Consistent chunks. I've updated the story stuff, and we should be on line for consistent updates now.
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I hope you guys can read my handwriting.
[X] Investigate your own murder first- go look around where the shot will come from.

This one shouldn't be TOO much of a time sink. I think. I hope.
[X] Investigate your own murder first- go look around where the shot will come from.

Might as well do this first, it would be best to investigate it before there is any chance of the murderer seeing us while they are prepping to set up.

We already have an idea of what Parsee is going to say thanks to the loop, so I don't think that's a priority.

Then again it may be that by going for her first, we get some knowledge that we previously didn't have since we don't know what we did the first time we went through this cycle.
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I forgot an important Person Of Interest! Web's updated.
[x] Investigate your own murder first- go look around where the shot will come from

It's odd, though. Deposit a letter onto his desk, sneak out, and then kill him? Seems like a lot of effort for one deadbeat detective.

> [ ] Go talk to Reina about the chair

Is this who I think it is?
[x] Talk to Parsee

Let's try learning all that we can before we start trying to alter the timeline. I suspect that won't be too successful.
[ x ] Go talk to Reina about the chair
>>11925
How many Reinas do you know that do furniture things? She's not a major character, it's just a nice reference I can slip in because some bitch broke his goddamn chair.
[x] Investigate your own murder first- go look around where the shot will come from

Press X to not die.
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>>11937
More like "Press X to die".

[x] Investigate your own murder first- go look around where the shot will come from.

You finish up your breakfast as Sakuya is reading the morning's paper, waiting for you. You point your fork at her. “I know what we're going to do.”

She sets down the paper. “Finally. What are we going to do?”

“We're going to investigate my own murder.”

She just stares at you blankly, and slowly, slowly, accompanied by an exasperated, dragged-out sigh, she lets her face sink into the palms of her hands, elbows on table for support. “What.”

You were perfectly clear! “I told you. I'm going to investigate my own murder first.”

Sakuya shakes her head, still buried in her palms. “First of all, you're not dead. Second of all, if you keep up with this bullshit, I'll murder you.”

You shake your head. “Nah. You wouldn't murder me.”

“Just try me.”

“And I'm talking about my future murder. I get killed at 11:21 PM tonight.”

She raises her head enough to peek her eyes above her fingertips. “And how do you know that?”

You shrug. “I've already died twice from it. Someone shoots me while I'm at my desk-” you point downwards, to the floor below to show which desk- “through the window that faces away from the rest of the village.” Your building is at the very edge of the Human Village- there's nothing behind it besides forest that continually gets thicker and thicker and choked with bamboo the further and further you go into it. It wouldn't be too hard to get lost back there, but you're sure that the shooter had to be pretty damn close, otherwise they'd be hard-pressed to see you through all that brush.

“So you've died twice from being shot. Pray tell me then, why are you still alive? Did Seiga raise you or something while I wasn't looking?”

You shrug. “Nope. It just happens that both times I died then, I woke up at an earlier moment. Like just now, I had been shot this evening, and then you woke me up this morning.”

Sakuya Izayoi, the Perfect and Elegant Maid, is probably Gensokyo's foremost expert on 'stupid timehax bullshit'. And she's entirely unconvinced. “Are you trying to tell me you're in a Groundhog Day loop?”

“More or less. One that ends with my death.” You think for a moment. “I wonder if it'd loop if I killed myself...” You find yourself imagining your .38 Special as an opportunity to start over a fucked-up time loop.

Sakuya takes her hands, and grabs your wrists strongly. “Hey. Hey. No. Look at me.” If looks could kill... well, this one probably wouldn't. She seems genuinely concerned that you're considering that. “Don't do that. If you kill yourself I swear to God I am going to bribe Komachi to let me murder you myself.”

“Fine, fine. I won't.” You totally will, if you need to. But no reason to tell her that. “But right now I need to satisfy my curiosity. So indulge me. We're going to investigate my future death.”

She lets go of your wrists, and sighs. “Fine, fine, whatever.”



The two of you find yourselves in the thick bamboo brush behind your office. It just gets thicker and thicker as you go further out. The rain makes it even more miserable work, but that's the nature of detective work, right? Can't be hardboiled if it isn't miserable and raining. Now if only you had a club jazz trio or quartet to follow you around...

Sakuya just stands in the rain, grumping and glaring like a wet cat. She's not happy and you'll probably have to deal with that. But for now, you survey the forest. It's not really got any elevated positions, as bamboo isn't a particularly easy thing to climb. There's nothing like oak trees around here either, but there's a few smallish banyan trees in the forest. They're not quite tall enough to give enough elevation to see the entire top floor of your office.

Obviously there's no point to look for footprints or other evidence of a murder- the murder hasn't happened yet, and if the culprit had scouted the area, the constant rain of the past couple of days would have long since washed away footprints. The only thing you'd still be able to see is if someone rode a 4x4 through the forest, and you don't see any ruts. That, and you'd probably have heard a 4x4.

Sakuya just stands there, arms crossed over her chest. “Well?” she shouts to you, to be heard over the rain. “You satisfied?”

[ ] No. I'm looking for something specific.
– [ ] Write-in.
[ ] No, but I don't think I'm going to gain anything from standing out here in the rain any longer.
– [ ] Talk to Parsee.
– [ ] Go talk to Reina about the chair.
– [ ] Go down to the 'precinct' and talk to Kotohime.
– [ ] Pound the pavement in Old Hell.
– [ ] Write-in.

[ ] Suicide.
– [ ] February 23, 10:58 PM
– [ ] February 23, 7:21 PM
– [ ] February 23, 11:21 AM
– [ ] February 22, 3:21 PM
-- [ ] Changes? (Write-in)
File 13759286411.jpg - (909.49KB, 2448x1836, Timeline8_7_13.jpg) [iqdb]
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Web's stayed the same, but I've updated the timeline a significant bit. I've plotted out most of the 'canon' timeline, and have added notes for myself in shortened form. If you decipher it, congratulations! But you don't have to, it won't make a particularly large difference.

Mostly this is happening because I'm too cheap/lazy to buy/maintain a third whiteboard for the entirely spoiled version of the timeline.
[x] No, but I don't think I'm going to gain anything from standing out here in the rain any longer.
– [x] Talk to Parsee.

Well, on with the investigation, then.
[X] No, but I don't think I'm going to gain anything from standing out here in the rain any longer.
– [X] Talk to Parsee.

I don't think I'll ever be able to choose the suicide option without imaging the horror on the faces of the surrounding characters as we nonchalantly bring the gun to our skull.
[x] Suicide

Because I like this image
>>11941
>>11942
You must pick a time period as well.
[X] No. I'm looking for something specific.
– [X] Leave very noticeable traces behind.

By tearing up the place, maybe we'll make the assassin rethink tonight's shot. Mayyyyyybe.
[x] No, but I don't think I'm going to gain anything from standing out here in the rain any longer.
– [x] Talk to Iku.

Well, this lead turned out to be a bust. But maybe Iku can shed some light on Tenshi's movements before the time of death.
>>11942
[x] February 22, 3:21 PM
[X] Suicide.
[X] February 22, 3:21 PM
Not >>11942 , By the way.
[x] No, but I don't think I'm going to gain anything from standing out here in the rain any longer.
– [x] Talk to Iku.
[x] No, but I don't think I'm going to gain anything from standing out here in the rain any longer.
– [x] Talk to Iku.
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[x] No, but I don't think I'm going to gain anything from standing out here in the rain any longer.
– [x] Talk to Iku.

Sakuya isn't happy, and you're not accomplishing anything. “No,” you say. “I'm not satisfied. But I'm not finding out shit by doing this.”

“Do you think we could, you know, go inside, where it's not raining?”

You chuckle to yourself. “Aren't you the perfect and elegant maid? Why didn't you bring an umbrella?”

She elegantly stomps up to you, perfectly seizes you by the ear, and drags you back inside, as you're alternately laughing and howling in mild pain. As the two of you are drying off in the office, you make a decision. “I think I need to talk to Iku.”

Sakuya cocks an eyebrow. “What, again?”

Man, I wish I knew what I did last week. Hell, I wish I knew if this was a side-effect of timehax bullshit or a side effect of too much drinking. No, you think to yourself, I'm not giving up drinking. You reach for the hat that you thought you'd placed on the hat rack next to your door (you didn't place it there), and grope about in empty air for a moment.

“Your hat is still on your head, genius.”

You place one hand atop your behatted head. “So it would seem.” Okay, I think that's a vote for the alcohol being at fault. “That being said, I'm going to go talk to Miss Iku anyway. Would you like to come?”

Sakuya shakes her head. “Nah. Got a thing going down at the Mansion in a day or two. Got to get ready for it.”

You clutch your chest, and affect a mock-pained expression. “My dear assistant! A party, and no invitation for me?”

“One. I'm not your assistant, and two: Yes. You'd just get drunk AGAIN and set my room on fire AGAIN.”

“I was sober!”

“That makes it so much better!” she shouts. Ah, the two of you get along so well.

You leave your office first, leaving it to the grumbling, grousing Sakuya to lock up as she leaves. What's she complaining about? She could just, you know, stop time, and not get rained on.

And then it strikes you. She can't avoid getting wet anyway- she'd still have to walk through the sheeting rain anyway. Because that freezes in place. The thought of a grumpy, soggy Sakuya, walking back to the Scarlet Devil Mansion, muttering curses under her breath the whole way, cheers you significantly.

Oh hey, you're going to die in a couple hours. Hey, thanks, brain! I really needed that reminder. You bravely set out from your office to go talk to Iku. After a few steps, you make a significant realization: you have absolutely no idea where Iku lives. Huh. Well. This could be awkward. You turn back to your office, where Sakuya is fiddling with her keyring and your door. You could swallow your pride and ask...

[ ] Ask Sakuya for directions to Iku's place. No man is a hero before his valet, and Sakuya is a maid to someone else, and your assistant. That's like a valet, right?
[ ] Nope! Nope nope nope. You have your pride. You're going to light a cigarette, and sally forth in your most hardboiled manner. A sleuth like you is so good the clues just fall all over themselves to get to you.
[ ] Ask someone else for directions. Like Jimbo, the bartender at your favorite joint. Or the first person you meet on the streets. Yeah. It's like asking Sakuya, but keeping your pride!
[ ] Write-in.

Current time: 1:21 PM.
[ ] Ask Sakuya for directions to Iku's place. No man is a hero before his valet, and Sakuya is a maid to someone else, and your assistant. That's like a valet, right?
[X] Nope! Nope nope nope. You have your pride. You're going to light a cigarette, and sally forth in your most hardboiled manner. A sleuth like you is so good the clues just fall all over themselves to get to you.
-[X]Meanwhile, Think over this whole time shenanigan business.
[x] Ask someone else for directions. Like Jimbo, the bartender at your favorite joint. Or the first person you meet on the streets. Yeah. It's like asking Sakuya, but keeping your pride!
[X] Ask someone else for directions. Like Jimbo, the bartender at your favorite joint. Or the first person you meet on the streets. Yeah. It's like asking Sakuya, but keeping your pride!
[X] Ask Sakuya for directions to Iku's place. No man is a hero before his valet, and Sakuya is a maid to someone else, and your assistant. That's like a valet, right?

Sakuya is, as always, glorious.
[ ] Ask Sakuya for directions to Iku's place. No man is a hero before his valet, and Sakuya is a maid to someone else, and your assistant. That's like a valet, right?
[X] Ask someone else for directions. Like Jimbo, the bartender at your favorite joint. Or the first person you meet on the streets. Yeah. It's like asking Sakuya, but keeping your pride!
[ ] Ask someone else for directions. Like Jimbo, the bartender at your favorite joint. Or the first person you meet on the streets. Yeah. It's like asking Sakuya, but keeping your pride!
Back from my road trip, I will do my best to have updates up by tomorrow.
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Today, yesterday, close enough.

[X] Ask someone else for directions. Like Jimbo, the bartender at your favorite joint. Or the first person you meet on the streets. Yeah. It's like asking Sakuya, but keeping your pride!

Okay, so, you're going to ask someone else for directions. You turn and wave to Sakuya, who's locking up, and give her your biggest grin. She just rolls her eyes and walks off after finishing with the door.

Heh. Yeah. Time for drinks, now. You walk down the now-muddy dirt road that leads past your office and residence, toward the center of town. Your favorite bar is in that part of town. Which is to say, the only bar. In the human village, at least. The one upside to this case (you think) is that you'll be heading to Old Hell where all the Oni bars are. They serve great booze. It's great because it's so damn cheap.

You open the rough hewn wooden door to Jimbo's- he's had offers to have people to pay to get it refinished, or replaced with some fancy oaken paneling, but he's partial to the way it sticks and people have to force it to open. You're partial to the way that he doesn't give a fuck if you kick it.

The large oni, Jimbo, nods to you as you enter. You're one of his regulars, so he plops a glass right in front of you, as you slide onto a barstool. “What'll it be today? Gin and tonic?”

You shake your head. “Nah. What's a good drink for a dead man walking?”

He laughs. “You piss off the missus or something, Avery?”

You shake your head and smile. “Something like that.”

“One of these days, those girls are going to be the death of you.” He drops a few ice cubes in your glass and pours some smoky-smelling scotch atop it. “You figure out who killed Tenshi yet?”

You down the first scotch in one gulp, and tap the bar for another, while you wait for the burn to subside. “Nah, not yet. I still gotta find out who's gonna kill me.”

Jimbo cocks an eyebrow at you. “What, you get a threat or something?”

“Nah. Intuition. I ain't gonna survive the night, just you watch.”

“Pfft,” Jimbo says, as he pours you another scotch. “Not the way you're starting the day. It's only something like two o' clock.”

“It's five o' clock somewhere,” you retort.

He passes you your glass, and pours himself one as he takes a seat on the barstool behind the bar. “Only one timezone in Gensokyo, ace. So what'cha need?”

You look up at him. “Why do you assume I need something?” Jimbo just stares at you and smiles. “Okay, fine. I need to know where Iku lives.”

“Up in Heaven. You know, Celestial and all that.”

Shit. “So, uh, how do I get there?”

Jimbo laughs. “Good deeds and prayer?”

“Shit,” you grumble, “how the hell am I going to find Iku to talk to her?”

“Well,” Jimbo replies, pointing a finger towards a dark corner booth, “you could try over there, where Miss Nagae is currently trying to kill her brain through the expedient of a bottle of strong gin. Straight.”

“Oh. Well. That's convenient. Thanks, Jimbo.”

He tips an imaginary hat at you. “My pleasure.”

You tip yours back, and head on over to Iku's table. You slide in on the bench across from her, but she doesn't notice, head down, left hand holding an empty glass, right hand a lit, slowly burning, unsmoked cigarette. Next to the glass is a mostly-drunk bottle of gin. You pluck the cigarette from her hand, and put it in the ashtray, where it continues to burn slowly. You pull out one of your own cancer sticks, and light up.

She doesn't respond.

You close your lighter, settle it back in your pocket, and take a long drag, the exhalation of smoke lingering in the air.

Still nothing.

Time to get serious, then. You poke her in the head. Still nothing. You lift her head off of the table. She blinks blearily at you, puffy red eyes showing signs of tears long past cried. Her eyes roll around in her head, unfocused for a moment, before they lock onto your face. She levers herself up, and removes her head from your hands. “Th' fuck you want?”

“Miss Nagae. I need to ask you a couple questions.”

“Fuckin'... I told you everythin' when I hired you, goddamnit. You forget what you were doin' or somethin', ya shitty detective?”

“Investigator,” you gently correct her. And yes, you did seem to forget, but something tells you that admitting that would be counterproductive.

“Yeah, yeah, 'm real sorry. So the fuck you wan', I already told you it was that bitch Parsee what did it, y'see. Why ain't she arrested yet?”

You take another drag. “I'm not a cop.”

“Good thing,” she slurs, “ya'd be a shitty one.” She manages to collect herself enough to jerkily pick up the gin bottle and pour herself another full glass, only spilling a little around the edges. “Y' take my money, an' I tell ya whodunnit, and ya ain't got her arrested. Shameful, I say.”

“Iku-” you start

“Nah. Shuddafuck up. You lishen. I knew that Parsee girl was a bad influe- bad call on Tenshi's part. But fuck, man, you ever tried to tell Tenshi 'no'? Then she'd go'n do it just ta spite ya.” You sit, and wait, as Iku takes a deep slug from her glass, and points an unsteady finger straight at you. “And now-” Tears start welling up in Iku's eyes. “And now, she's gone, and she bwaaaaaaa-” Iku's head goes straight down onto the table, tears streaming from her eyes. “I miss her so muuuuuuuuch, you don't even understaaaaand. She- she was like my daughter, yannow?”

You take a deep breath. This situation might need to be handled delicately.

[ ] Ask Iku some questions anyway.
– [ ] About anyone who might seem excessively interested in the murder.
– [ ] About Tenshi's relationship with Parsee.
– [ ] About something else. (Write-in.)
[ ] Comfort Iku.
[ ] Leave her for now, you're not getting anything useful out of her like this.
– [ ] Then do what? (Write-in.)
[ ] Do something else. (Write-in.)

[ ] Suicide.
– [ ] February 23, 10:58 PM
– [ ] February 23, 7:21 PM
– [ ] February 23, 11:21 AM
– [ ] February 22, 3:21 PM

Current time: February 23, 2:14 PM.
[x] Comfort Iku.
-[x] Gentle nothings are better than not saying anything.
[x] Ask Iku some questions anyway.
–[x] About Tenshi's relationship with Parsee.

See, this is news to us. Tenshi knew Parsee somehow. We need to get Iku calmed down and learn more about this.
[ ] Comfort Iku.
-[ ] With your dick
--[ ] Ask her questions on the way to your apartment
---– [ ] About anyone who might seem excessively interested in the murder.
---– [ ] About Tenshi's relationship with Parsee.
[X] Comfort Iku.
-[X] With your dick
--[X] Ask her questions on the way to your apartment
---– [X] About anyone who might seem excessively interested in the murder.
---– [X] About Tenshi's relationship with Parsee.

Taking advantage of grieving Celestials for fun and profit.
>>12084
>>12085
I'm not writing porn. Also, pick one of either "[X] About anyone who might seem excessively interested in the murder." or
"[X] About Tenshi's relationship with Parsee."

You can't have both.
[x] Comfort Iku.
-[x] Gentle nothings are better than not saying anything.
[x] Ask Iku some questions anyway.
–[x] About Tenshi's relationship with Parsee.

>>12086
>I'm not writing porn.

And thank fucking God for that. Keep that shit in /at/ where it belongs.
[x] Comfort Iku.
-[x] Gentle nothings are better than not saying anything.
[x] Ask Iku some questions anyway.
–[x] About Tenshi's relationship with Parsee.

No to the suicide. Sakuya isn't watching
File 137835997064.jpg - (73.84KB, 400x600, 135755748916.jpg) [iqdb]
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[x] Comfort Iku.
-[x] Gentle nothings are better than not saying anything.
[x] Ask Iku some questions anyway.
–[x] About Tenshi's relationship with Parsee.

I had a little bit of a different idea for comforting Iku.

You motion to Jimbo to bring you a stiff one as Iku is crying her eyes out, head down on the table. While Jimbo is getting that one ready, you reach across the table and rub one of Iku's shoulders. “Hey, whoa, whoa, hey. Don't think for a moment that I won't find the killer.”

“Muh.” Iku swats your hand away.

You put it back. “I just don't want to catch the wrong person. I want to be sure.”

“Muh.” Another swat.

“And to do that I need your help, Iku.”

“Muuuuuuuuuuuuh.” She doesn't want to lift her head.

Jimbo sets a tumbler of good scotch next to you, neat. You down it in one slug. He frowns, as you didn't even savor the taste at all. “There will be time for flavor-savoring later, Jimbo,” you say. “Right now, I need a lot more scotch, and Miss Nagae here needs a refill.”

He frowns at you deeper, and scratches one of his horns. Oh, right, Jimbo's an Oni. Didn't you mention that earlier? You're reasonably sure you did. Whatever. He's an oni. “Yeah, yeah. I'll put it on your tab. Eventually, you'll pay it, and eventually, I'll be a rich man.”

You smile at Jimbo. “I always knew you loved me.”

He laughs. “Certainly not for your money.” He walks off, assuredly to pick the two bottles of his cheapest, vilest scotch and gin. Your usual, of course.

You turn back to Iku. “I need you to tell me what Tenshi's relationship was to Parsee.”

Iku chokes back a sob, but doesn't raise her head from the table. In a muffled voice, she says, “Parsee? Tenshi was prob'ly more to her than Parsee was to Tenshi. Tenshi, ya see, she sweeps in, sweeps the maidens off their feet, ravishin' and all.

“I tol' her that Parsee's not the type fer a pump-n'-dump relashionship. Said that she'd take it... poorly. And so she did! An'... an'... now Tenshi's dead!” Iku breaks down into sobs again at this point. You silently take the liquor bottles from a waiting Jimbo, and set them on the table. You refill your glass with scotch, and hers with gin.

Iku raises her head and peers at her refilled glass. “Thanks, I guess,” she says. “What else ya wanna know?”

“How long was Tenshi with Parsee?”

“Like, iunno, a month, I shink. She, uh, she comes down from He'vn to 'hook up', an' this time she decided to go underground. I hadda come with her, o' course.

“So she gets to the bridge, ya see? An' the bitch princess hops out from unner the bridge, jus' like a troll. An' I'm watchin' as Tenshi challenges her ta' a spell card duel. All above-brick, ya see?”

“Above-board.”

“Whatever. Above-bridge. Sh'up. So they have their battle, an' I' seen Tenshi do this so many times, yannow? She 'loses' the duel, and feigns an injury. An' Parsee rushes over to her to make shur she's not hurt.

“O' course Tenshi's not hurt. Shit, whassa little spellcard danmaku gonna do but bruise a little?” Iku's eyes get a conspiratorial bent. “Don' tell her I tol'ja this, but Tenshi bruises like a peach.”

Did she- did she just- aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaugh. You manage to keep yourself from groaning, but pick up on the fact that Iku's referring to Tenshi right now as though she were still alive. You decide to nod, and let Iku continue. “So Tenshi here, she's bein' cradled in Parsee's arms, an' her voice is all weak-like. 'Parsee,' she says, 'Parsee, I feel... cold...' An' Parsee's there, cryin' her eyes out, b'cause Tenshi seemed like she coulda been her friend, yannow? That Parsee girl's got trouble makin' friends.

“So Parsee's all bawlin' her eyes out, havin' a big, girly cry-”

“Aren't you having a 'big, girly cry'?” you interrupt.

“No! Ths' differen'. I got my frien' liquor right here.” She waves the gin bottle in your face, and then sets it back down, pointing her finger in your face. “Now sh'up! Stop interruptin'!”

You raise your hands in surrender and smile. “Tha'sh good,” she slurs. “Now where was I? Ah, yeah, so Parsee's havin' her big girly cry, an' she says, 'What can I do to save you?!' Now thas' a mishtake, with Tenshi. Tenshi smiles weakly, n' says, 'I need a kiss from the most beautiful girl here,' and I'm fixin' to puke. But Parsee's eyes get big as plates and fulla tears, n' she whispers, 'Me?'

“Here I nearly do puke. I need anuzzer refill, thish's sickenin', really.” She waves her empty glass at you expectantly. When the hell did she drink that? Oarfish tricks. You oblige her with a refill, and refill your own glass. She takes a slug from hers. “Aaaaaah. Aight. That'sh just wha' I needed. So Tenshi goes, very, very quietly, very weakly, 'You,' an' of course Parsee hears her with dem big, freakish ears o' hers, an' den dey kiss. An' I choke back my pukin'. So they's was inseprable for like two weeks.

“But Tenshi bein' Tenshi, she's not the type for commitment, see? Tenshi wants ta leave Parsee, she's gotten whashe wants, if ya get my drift.” Parsee starts pantomiming scissors with the first two fingers of each hand, drunkenly. “Annnnnnyway. So I thin' Parsee had summat big planned fer Valentine's Day, an' Tenshi just don' wanna be in the relashionship no more.

“She done this a lotta times.” Iku starts counting names off on her fingers. “Sanae, Reisen, Sakuya, Okuu, Orin, Meiling, Akyu, Nue, Yuugi, Suika, you name 'em, she prolly fucked 'em. I know I'm forgettin' quite a few, bu' whatever.”

She points a finger at you. “Bu' Parsee's diff'rent, ya see. She's all jealous-like. An' I bet Tenshi tried ta dump her on Valleninie, Valleeni, ya know. That day. An' Parsee snapped. And wham, jus' like that, Tenshi's dead.”

“Did you see that happening?” you ask.

“Nah. I ain't seen shit that day. Ya can't watch Tenshi twenteee-four seven, ya'll kill your liver.” You seem to be doing an admirable job of that tonight, Iku. “Tenshi din' come back that night, I assume she stayed ta fuck Parsee again. But then she don' show up the next day. An' Parsee 'finds' her body the day afta'. Mighty suspicious-like, you ask me.”

Well. That is a lot of interesting information that you're going to need to process. And happy day, you have a bottle of thought processor right here!

You spend the rest of the afternoon and most of the evening drinking with Iku, reminiscing, as she tells you stories about Tenshi, and you tell stories on the 'at least 5% true is good enough' rule.

But it's 10:12 PM, and Iku's passed out. The bar is becoming more crowded. You'd like to step out for a smoke, get away from the noise. So you do. It's raining, and you're pretty heavily inebriated. But the cigarette steadies your nerves, steadies yourself. It's like having the capabilities of being sober, without being sober! You swear it works like that. Honest.

But you're going to die in about an hour. At least you won't have to deal with the hangover.

What do you do?

[ ] Go back to the office. Face your assassin as best you can.
[ ] Wait here in the bar with Iku. They can come to you.
[ ] Kill yourself. Go out on your own goddamn terms.
– [ ] February 23, 10:58 PM
– [ ] February 23, 7:21 PM
– [ ] February 23, 11:21 AM
– [ ] February 22, 3:21 PM
[ ] Write-in.
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Updated timeline! Whoo!

(Also, weather report, whoo)
File 137836004447.jpg - (949.72KB, 2448x1836, Web9_5_13.jpg) [iqdb]
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If you guys have anything you want added to the web, be sure to tell me. I will do my best to keep it updated and well, but I welcome suggestions.
[X] Wait here in the bar with Iku. They can come to you.

Them coming here gives us an advantage, given that we're in an enclosed space with a lot of people about. The assassin will have to get nice and close to take us out, barring explosive mayhem of a sort. What we really need to do is IDENTIFY the fucker to get in the lead.

Also, lol at Tenshi being a lesbian Casanova.
[x] Write-in: Run away!

Never run towards death like it's no big deal, who's to say the next time you're shot will kill you for good. You might only have 1 extra life left.

This is the point where the knowing what's gonna happen before it occurs starts getting fun.
[X] Wait here in the bar with Iku. They can come to you.
[X] Wait here in the bar with Iku. They can come to you
[X] Wait here in the bar with Iku. They can come to you.

This might give us some new info.
If you guys want to read my other, utterly terrible story, it's here:

>>/th/173457
[X] Wait here in the bar with Iku. They can come to you.


>>12119
Eh, first of all, we're a hard-boiled, grim and gritty private investigator. We don't run from such minor details as our, twice proven, predetermined death.

Warning. Wall of text incoming because, yes, I do love me a good groundhog mystery. It's mostly idle brainstorming, though.

Second, since this is a groundhog loop we can assume that we WILL die, no matter what, until we "solve the puzzle". I'm guessing by preventing Tenshi's murder, since that is what we're supposed to be working on.
(Plus, the moment of her death just so happens to be the furthest back we can go, according to the whiteboard. Until the photo pans to teh right to reveal a second whiteboard. DUN DUN DUNNNNN.)

Meaning right now we should focus on gaining more information and seeing how far we can bend the loop before it snaps back at us.
So far we have gotten shot to death in our office at 11:21. Twice, so we can pretty safely say that if we are in front of the window at 11:21, we get shot and die.
Now we are already testing what happens if we aren't in our office at that time. Do we get killed at our new location or does fate somehow conspire to put us back in our office?
(>But you're going to die in about an hour. At least you won't have to deal with the hangover.
Say we get drunk and wander home on autopilot, only to realize that we're in front of that damn window again and the clock is 11:20:59.)
And if we get killed at our new location, do we still recieve the letter? In our office it pretty much came out of nowhere, so will it do the same here in the bar? Or, since there are people other than us here, will there be some sort of different event like maybe Jimbo suddenly "remembers" that someone left a message for you. Fancy envelope. Bang. Rewind.
Hell, what happens if we, say, lock ourselves in the bathroom at 11:15? We're in the office, but not at the window. What then? Do we slip in the shower after we're startled by a manila envelope appearing in our medicine cabinet?
And some random other things to find out, just because I haven't brought up enough questions yet:
Is that extra counter just a way of keeping track of the number of loops or does it have any other meaning? Do we only have a limited number of tries? Does it count the number of open alternate timelines? (Since we opened a new timeline with each death, that is equally likely, and equally pointless, as just a "score counter" to see how many deaths it takes before we "win". Unless, of course, it's meant to remind us that/if we have a limited amount of lives, or if timelines can be "closed" either by doing everything right/wrong or by some other outside influence.)
Does it keep track of which timeline we're in, in case things get really twisted later on?
(#0 is the original. #1 is 7:21 PM and #2 is 11:21 AM. If we go back to 7:21 PM again after this one, would that make the clock show 3 like a death counter, 2 because it counts the number of open timelines, or does the clock back up again to 1 because it's timeline #1?)

I'm also assuming that suicide would be a way to quickly bail out of a timeline if we feel we have already accomplished what we need and don't want to waste time until tonight, especially if it's yesterday or something. But how would "the loop" react to being cut short? Will it keep going like normal, or will there be some other things happening? E.g. will whoever sends us that letter react in some way to it, or is it always the same "You be dead, kthxbye"?

After we open up a few more timelines we should try to use today as much as possible for information.
Everything except our murder has already happened by today, so all the information is here, we just have to find it.
Then we should try to change specific, gaugeable things in earlier timelines and see how that affects today.
Say we go back to yesterday and cheer up Iku somehow, or even just convince her to go back home, so she isn't drowning herself in cheap gin today. Will that cause a butterfly effect, or is the board already set and we can only move specific pieces, so to speak? Or does everything always happen the same way, and the only difference is what we do?
And that leads to the question, if we change something yesterday, and it affects today, can we change it back again by preventing ourselves from changing it (or undoing the change) if we need things to go back to the way they were?

And now I'm tired of reaching for the question mark key, so I'm just gonna stop here...
>>12125
I don't want to rain on your speculation parade but...

>we're a hard-boiled, grim and gritty private investigator.

Well. He tries to be one. That counts, right?
>>12126
Well, you know what they say. "If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck. It's probably a duck."
(Or it could be a miserable wretch who keeps crawling into a bottle because he claims that it helps his image as a duck, but it's really because he can't quite pull off being an actual, succesful duck so he's settled for the closest he could get and drinks to forget the difference between himself and real ducks.
Either way, close enough.)

Besides, I think the whole "hard-boiled private investigation" archetype is more interesting when you have someone who tries to be a Noir detective but doesn't quite succeed. The cracks between what he'd like to be and what he is tends to make the character more interesting, in my experience.
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12150
[X] Wait here in the bar with Iku. They can come to you.

Fuck it. Fuck them. They can come to you. You're not going to go to the effort of going back to your office just to oblige them to be shot. That might just be the alcohol talking, making you belligerent, but... well. You're always this kind of obstinate, really. One of your “charms”.

You sit yourself down in one of the wicker chairs on the front porch of the bar, smoking a cigarette. You check your watch from time to time, watching the second hand tick towards your appointed hour.

All kinds of customers roll in- Akyu from the Human Village's library goddamn, but that girl filled out nice when she- shit, stop being distracted, Suika, who's a regular to this bar and she waves to you as she heads in, Reisen and Tewi, both seemingly stumbling in, having obviously pregamed. Momiji is being dragged into the bar by an excited Hatate. You never really knew her to drink.

As you're watching the tengu file in, you hear the wicker chair next to you creak, as Yuugi sits herself in it. Long blonde hair, a strikingly red single horn, and a muscular frame. She could break you in half if she wanted to. Thankfully, the two of you are drinking buddies for the most part. Of course, she can drink you under the table most nights. That doesn't stop you from trying to beat her, though.

“'Sup,” she says.

You grunt in reply, and take another drag on your cigarette.

“Come on, hook a brother up, would ya?” She holds two fingers out expectantly for a cigarette, and then you lean in so she can light it off the end of yours. The two of you sit in companionable silence for a bit. “So what're you all mopey about?”

You shrug. “You'll think I'm crazy if I tell you.”

“I think you're crazy enough already. Drinking with Oni, trying to hook up with both that maid and Kotohime... Eventually, Avery, one of them's going to be the death of you. Of course, you could just come home with me,” she says, fluttering her eyelashes at you.

You smile. “Didn't we do that once?”

Yuugi laughs. “And you were walking funny for the entire week afterward! Seriously, though, what's on your mind?”

“Well,” you say, “I'm going to die in- wait, hold on, let me check my watch- about ten minutes.”

Yuugi frowns. “What, you piss someone off enough that they're gonna have you whacked?”

“Might have. Not entirely sure, really. I'd really like to know who's whacking me and why. But. That's for later. Earlier? I don't understand this time loop shit, really.”

“Time loop shit?”

“Yeah. Every time I die, I seem to wake up at an earlier point.”

“Ahh, I see. So you've got more time to figure out your murder.”

You nod. “Just so. But I haven't learned shit.”

Yuugi smiles. “Well, fuck it. Tell you what. I'll buy you a drink. You can buy the round after you don't die.”

“Oh? Are you going to guarantee my safety, Yuugi?”

She nods, smiling at you. “Bet your ass. And then I'm taking you home with me.” Oh God.

She gets up, and extends a hand to you. You take it, and she hauls you to your feet. You're feeling better about this whole thing already. “Okay, Mr. Investigator. Let's get you proper liquored up.”

The two of you enter the bar, and push through the crowd, knocking all manner of fairies and bunnygirls out of your path as Yuugi carves a swath to the alcohol. “Jimbo! Ten tequila shots!” Jimbo nods to her, and grabs the cheap tequila.

Ten?!

“Yep. Either you die tonight or you die later from liver failure. I'm out to kill you, you see!” She punctuates the last part of the sentence with a joking laugh and a smile, as Jimbo lines the ten shots in front of the two of you, two lines of five.

“Ready, Avery?”

“No, but have I got any choice?”

“Fuck no. Now man up and drink!” On 'drink', the two of you tap the shot glasses together, tap them to the bar, and start pounding the shots. Tequila isn't your drink of choice, and Yuugi knows that. But the ten shots swiftly disappear, Yuugi's disappearing significantly faster than yours.

Yuugi is reclining against the bar, mock-bored expression on her face as she waits for you to finish your last shot. That smirk on her face is the one you're used to seeing every time you lose a drinking competition with her. “Alright, Mr. Investigator, I believe you did say the next one was on you?”

You nod. “It is. But first, I've got to make a trip to the men's room.”

“You mean the 'little boy's room',” she jokes. “You're not a man, if it took you that long to drink that tequila.”

“Hey, whoa, hold on, toots. I was drinking already before this.”

“Toots, eh?” She slaps you on the butt. “Scurry along now, nature calls, right?”

Nature calls indeed. You've drank more than you thought- the room is spinning, and you bump into people, walls, the stall, what have you, as you plow through the crowd and stumble into what you call the 'Cadillac' stall- the largest one, the one presumably reserved for the 'handicapped', but in this case, the most comfortable. You seat yourself on the toilet seat, pants around ankles, and scratch an itch on your arm.

A most curious itch.

The sensation of sickness seems to be intensifying, not stabilizing as it normally does when you sit down.

Your arm still itches.

You pull up your sleeve to reveal a single pinprick, where a small tear of blood has welled up.

Shit.

You've been poisoned. You check your watch. 11:20 PM.

Shit. Shit, I'm going to die on the shitter, just like Elvis. Shit. Fuck. Goddamnit.

Your vision fogs along with your brain, and you barely feel it as you slide sideways off the toilet, to collapse in an ignominious heap on the tile floor, and your breathing ceases soon afterwards.

[ ] February 23, 10:58 PM
[ ] February 23, 7:21 PM
[ ] February 23, 11:21 AM
[ ] February 22, 3:21 PM

AND:

Would you like to do something different? (Applicable only on previously experienced time periods.)
[ ] Yes.
– [ ] Write-in. (Vague suggestions are perfectly fine.)
[ ] No.
>>12150
Also, hurr, I forgot to remove "Applicable only on previously experienced time periods." Bear in mind that all suggestions for actions for non-experienced time periods are entirely liable to not work at all with no explanation at all.
Ah nuts, so much that route.

Might as well take a look at what happened at the beginning.

[X] No.
>>12152
You, uh, need to pick a time.
>>12153

...Whelp, I could've sworn I did put that vote down. Bah, must be tired or something.

[X] February 22, 3:21 PM
[ ] February 22, 3:21 PM
-[ ] Yes

Gotta say, love your Yuugi
>>12154
Well, now I know who you are.

>>12155
If you want to vote "Yes", suggestions are kind of encouraged. I can't change things for you guys if I don't know what you want.
So this story is great and you need to keep writing.

It's almost as good as Favors Owed!
[X] February 22, 3:21 PM
-[X] Can't do differently without having done something first.

Let's see more of the story and then we can start really poking around and doing things differently.


Also, I just had this ridiculous image in my head, of the investigator having to go clean up his time loops after he's solved everything.
Which means getting rid of maybe a dozen or so (I don't know how many times we'll die, but I'm guessing a lot) of his own corpses while doding questions like why we've got dead doppelgangers all over town.
I'm also assuming someone will, at some point, be there when we die. Which will of course only matter in that specific timeline. Until clean-up, at least...
Imagine their face if he just walks in right afterwards, slings himself over his shoulder and just goes "don't ask" and goes off to dump the corpse in the river or something.
>>12157
I like you but you're such a bastard. You know I retroactively hate that story and you're doing that deliberately.
[x] February 22, 3:21 PM
-[x] Yes
--[x] After Sakuya wakes us up on February 23, 11:12 AM, go interview Parsee.
x] February 22, 3:21 PM
-[x] Yes
--[x] Ask Sakuya to come back an meet us at 11.00 in the evening.
[x] February 22, 3:21 PM
-[x] Take things as they come, keep an eye out for evidence related to either murder, and don't be afraid to use your foreknowledge.
Pardon the delay, ladies and gentlemen. I wanted to get my shorts done for the contest, and now they are and have been/are being/will be posted.

Watch this space for an update within the next couple days.
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Apologies for the delay! I had the contest to do and I think my entries turned out pretty well. You can read them here:
>>/shorts/1234 Hisou Tensoku; or, The Catfish
>>/at/32592 Dr. Kirisame or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Next, check out >>/gensokyo/11961. I'm excited for a month of daily updates. Are you excited for a month of daily updates?

And now, for your regularly(ish) scheduled timeshenanigans.

[X] February 22, 3:21 PM
-[X] Can't do differently without having done something first.
(Unfortunately, the 'change stuff' write-ins are kind of unworkable for this one. Sorry!)

And you're sitting on a comfortable, but cheap couch, mug of tea on a coffee table in front of you, notepad and pencil in your hands.

You look up to see a waiting Parsee Mizuhashi looking at you, waiting for you to say something. Probably. That's what is happening, right? You're asking her questions. You look down at your notepad.

Says she found Tenshi's body on the 16th. Checks out with what she said earlier to police.

People she suspects:
The list ends there. Obviously you've been asking her questions, but you've just started. But this is a good jumping-off point. You'll ask her about this and then gather your thoughts together while she answers.

“So, Miss Mizuhashi,” you start.

“I told you, no need for that. You can call me Parsee.”

“Right, then. Parsee, if you would please. Are there any other people that might have wanted Tenshi dead, to your knowledge?”

Her eyes flash with anger... and are tinged a little deeper green than normal. “That's not your business! Tenshi was mine! We had... we had something special!”

“Ma'am, I assure you, this very much is my business. Right now you're the only suspect of interest that we have right now.” Somehow you know you're lying. You have other suspects. But I can't remember and thinking about it is just giving me a headache. Fuck, goddamnit, past future me, why couldn't you have written down the suspect list BEFORE I became you?

Parsee glares at you, sighs, and picks up her tea mug. You're content to wait, as while you're doing your best to affect a hardboiled calm, your mind is racing a mile a minute to try and catch up to where you are right now. It's almost surprising you don't have smoke coming out of your ears. “Well,” Parsee starts, “there was Nue, I guess. Nue was the last girl that Tenshi was with before me... But Tenshi promised me that they had an, uh, amicable breakup! Oh,” she says, realizing what she just said, “I'm not helping my case, am I?” She looks crestfallen at that realization. “But I didn't do it! You gotta believe me!”

Well, you don't. But what she said made something click- obviously, your list of suspects is Tenshi's past flings. But you at this time wouldn't know because Iku hasn't gotten drunk and spilled all kinds of beans to you! Except now she has! In the future. Past. Where's my bourbon when I need it?

“Okay,” you say. “I believe you.” No I don't. “I would like to go through a list of people with you, and I'd like you to tell me what you know of their relationship with Tenshi. Are you okay to do this with me?”

Parsee bites her lower lip, hands balled up into fists at the hem of her dress, the beginning of tears in her eyes, but she nods. God, I hope she doesn't cry. I hate it when dames cry.

“Utsuho Reiuji, also known as Okuu?”

She shrugs. “Birdbrain? I don't really know anything. Tenshi never talked about her.”

You nod, and note it on your notepad. “That's okay.” You do your best to stifle laughter as you say this next name. “Sakuya Izayoi.”

Parsee's brow knits in anger. “Frigid bitch. Tenshi says she was the one to break it off with her. But Sakuya can totally carry a grudge. And murder people too. I wouldn't be surprised if it was her.” Somehow, I doubt it was Sakuya. But I'll ask. And dear God it's going to be hilarious. I think I'm going to ask her for a couple time loops.

“Reisen Inaba,” you continue. Parsee shrugs. “Sanae Kochiya?”

Parsee laughs. “That shrine maiden isn't as powerful or as smart as she looks. She depends on her goddesses too much. If she killed Tenshi, it wasn't her idea, I assure you.” Well, you're not very generous to Sanae. I remember her being relatively smart- but a bit of a battering ram, just like Reimu.

“Rin Kaenbyou.”

“Isn't she the pet of those two mind readers, like Okuu is? Wouldn't they know more about their pets? Or, you know, be able to read their mind?”

You nod, and note that on your notepad for future questioning. “That is a very good point. I will ask them. Anything else about Okuu and Orin?”

Parsee shakes her head. “No. Sorry.”

“That's fine,” you say as you flip to the next page. “Hong Meiling?”

Parsee laughs. “Oh, that was a messy breakup. Meiling was a right mess, crying her eyes out, telling her sob story to everyone at the gate who passed by. I went by the gate because of that because I thought it'd make me feel better.” She smiles. “It did.” She frowns. “But now I know how she feels. It sucks.”

“Okay. Hieda no Akyuu?”

“Oh, her. She hit puberty, grew breasts, and Tenshi was on her like a tit-seeking missile. Can't blame her. I'd bury my face in her breasts- but I'd much rather have a chest like hers. Makes me a little jealous. I honestly don't know how that one ended. Maybe ask Akyuu.”

“Houjuu Nue.”

“Oh, that's a real weird one. She tempted Tenshi by taking her form. And Tenshi, narcissist that she is, obviously opted into the selfcest real hard. They fought, though. And they fought hard. It'd normally end in angry sex.” She bites her knuckle. “I miss angry sex.”

“Yuugi Hoshiguma?”

“Phoo, I don't know. Isn't Yuugi one of your friends? Think Tenshi shagged her and Suika at the same time, actually. Honestly, I'd have expected them to be at each other's throats instead of at Tenshi's, when she just up and left.” Doesn't sound like Yuugi or Suika to me. They'd just get drunk and then show up at my place if that happened. You pause, mentally. That DID happen. My legs hurt just remembering that.

“So what were you doing on the 14th, when Tenshi was killed?”

Parsee closes her eyes and takes a deep breath. “I was at home. Waiting for Tenshi. She said she'd come by that day.” Parsee opens her eyes and they're filled with tears. “She did come by. To break up with me! On Valentine's day! I'd dressed myself up with a bow and everything and she... she just left me.” She pauses to sniffle and wipe away tears. “I'll admit, I was angry. I asked her if there was someone else. She just laughed and flew off. That... that really hurt me. I tried to follow her, but she left me behind. Tenshi's really fast when she wants to be.”

“Did you see her again that day?”

Parsee shakes her head. “No. I tried to find her, but...” Parsee pauses again to wipe away tears. “She was gone and didn't want to be found. So I went home. And cried. And ate ice cream. And cried.”

You write that down on your notepad. “And the 15th? Tenshi died on the 14th, but you didn't find the body until the 16th. Tenshi was under your bridge. Isn't that a little odd?”

Tenshi swallows visibly. “I, uh... I didn't go outside all day on the 15th. I had ice cream, you see, and crying to do...” Suspicious, but might be plausible. But...

“Nobody crossed your bridge on the 15th?” you ask.

Tenshi shrugs. “I don't know. I was a little busy to pay attention.”

“And then you found the body on the 16th.”

Parsee nods. “I was going to give the next person to cross the bridge absolute hell. I was not in a good mood. And then I looked over the bridge's side, and saw Tenshi, deathly pale, and not moving... my heart fell like a stone.”

“Then you told Kotohime.”

“Then I told Kotohime.”

“You didn't touch the body or move it?”

Parsee shakes her head. “No. I... I didn't want to see her like that... I didn't go off the bridge.”

You tap on your notepad with your pencil, thinking. Are there any more questions you want to ask Parsee?

[ ] Yes.
– [ ] Write-in questions here.
[ ] No.
– [ ] Step outside for a smoke break.
– [ ] Check the crime scene.
– [ ] Go somewhere else. (Where?)
[ ] Write-in.

[ ] Kill yourself.
– [ ] February 23, 10:58 PM
– [ ] February 23, 7:21 PM
– [ ] February 23, 11:21 AM
– [ ] February 22, 3:21 PM
– [ ] February 21, 11:21 AM
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Updated Timeline: In Which I Really Need To Remember What Some Of Those Acronyms Were
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Updated Web: In Which I Drew One Additional Line
>Tenshi swallows visibly. “I, uh... I didn't go outside all day on the 15th. I had ice cream, you see, and crying to do...” Suspicious, but might be plausible. But...

>“Nobody crossed your bridge on the 15th?” you ask.

>Tenshi shrugs. “I don't know. I was a little busy to pay attention.”

>“And then you found the body on the 16th.”

>Parsee nods. “I was going to give the next person to cross the bridge absolute hell. I was not in a good mood. And then I looked over the bridge's side, and saw Tenshi, deathly pale, and not moving... my heart fell like a stone.”

Mystery solved Parsee is actually Tenshi and Tenshi killed Parsee and then used Nue to help.
>>12211
Parsee is also Iku.
>“But Tenshi bein' Tenshi, she's not the type for commitment, see? Tenshi wants ta leave Parsee, she's gotten whashe wants, if ya get my drift.” Parsee starts pantomiming scissors with the first two fingers of each hand, drunkenly.
[X] No.
– [X] Check the crime scene.

What she did on the 15th is suspicious but we can't prove anything, and pushing her probably won't accomplish anything.
Let's gather more clues and see if there's anything we can use during our next loop.
(And let's try to actually wake up on time tomorrow. A bucket of water is no way to start a day.)


And now for some random thoughts.

>[ ] Kill yourself.

"Thanks for answering my questions. Now, if you'll excuse me." Gun. Head. Bang! Splat.


>>12211
>>12212

So if Tenshi is Parsee and Parsee is Iku then Iku is...?
And most importantly, WHO WAS PHONE?!


But to be serious, something just struck me as a thing to keep in mind.
So far, we've been shot once (it was the "same" shot both times) and poisoned once. With an injected poison.
Either there are (at least) two people out there killing us, or we're looking for someone who's as comfortable with a syringe as with a gun.
Someone who was in the crowd at the bar last -err, tomorrow night.

>Reisen and Tewi, both seemingly stumbling in
>Reisen

Reisen, who works at a medical clinic and is the only touhou who literally has bullets as danmaku bullets.

Also
>seemingly stumbling

Why would it be worth mentioning that they're seemingly stumbling?

I'm not saying she's the one killing us, I may just have turned my paranoia up half a step to high.
But the circumstantial evidence indicates we should at least try not to follow her into dark alleys or anything.
>>12212
ffffffuuuuuuck
>>12213
>"Thanks for answering my questions. Now, if you'll excuse me." Gun. Head. Bang! Splat.

Eventually you guys will vote for it and eventually it'll win and eventually I will get to write that.
[X] No.
– [X] Check the crime scene.

I can't think of anything else to ask her for now... but is this really as simple as a crime of passion? Someone is going to great lengths to kill us, here. Paraee's murderer covering its tracks? Maybe. But someone was able to sneak a very fancy letter into our office to basically say 'later, bitch!' That's awfully elaborate for covering one's tracks.

So. What is really going on here? That's what I'm keeping in the back of my head.

...Also, Avery got it on with Yuugi AND Suika? Simultaneously? Damn.
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12217
[X] No.
– [X] Check the crime scene.

I found this update a lot more hilarious than I should have.
[X] Kill yourself.
-[X] "Thanks for answering my questions. Now, if you'll excuse me." Gun. Head. Bang! Splat.
-[X] February 21, 11:21 AM

The closer to the murder, the fresher the trail, and IISAK (or LLSAK or whatever) seems promising.

Also, I really want the write-in to happen.
>>12218
That wasn't even a write-in, just a silly scene I imagined when reading that vote option.

But when it happens, it will probably be something like that.
[X] No.
-[X] Check the crime scene.
>>12218
>>12219

Has to be done when Sakuya is watching
>>12222
I'd say it has to be done whenever it would cause the most Fun, whether it's in front of Sakuya or if we manage to confront our antagonist but we need to use the information we get in some other timeline.
(I mean, imagine listening to a classic villain monologue ending with the obligatory "What? Do you think you can stop be just because you've heard my plans?"
"Not today, but I can YESTERDAY!" BLAM)
>>12222
Has to be done when Sakuya is not watching, unless we want to be spending time in a straitjacket. If she sees us trying to blow our brains out, she'll stop time and take the gun. Sakuya doesn't want us to die.
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It's almost like updates are a regular thing again!

[X] No.
– [X] Check the crime scene.

You close your notebook. “Thank you, Parsee. I don't have any more questions at the moment. Don't hesitate to let me know if you think of anything.”

She nods, and you take the time to look around. You're in Parsee's house, obviously, and it's fairly spartan. It's clean, but very traditional. Tatami mats for the floor, paper walls, incense burners. It'd be nicer if she'd moved it to the mouth of the cave instead of to the bridge, honestly. She'd get much more light. The house feels airy even without the sunlight.

Well, not today, at least. Today it's been raining all day. How do you know that? Because your coat is still damp as you take it off the hook by the door. “Thank you for the tea, Parsee.”

“Come back anytime,” she replies, as you step out. The front of the Mizuhashi household faces the Mizuhashi bridge- plenty of windows to see through, if they're not shuttered like they are right now. But, you observe, you cannot see under the bridge from the house.

You walk over to the bridge, and take the ladder down to below it. The bridge crosses a nearly sheer-walled chasm, if a drop of about twelve feet could be considered a chasm. The river that runs through here is barely a creek, but it's enough water for a few people. The bridge is mostly symbolic, but it's also the only way to cross the chasm going into or out of the Underground unless you can manage a ten-foot leap.

Which, honestly, doesn't seem outside the abilities of most of the girls here.

You flick open your lighter as you slide a cigarette between your fingers and lips, and light up, looking at the crime scene. It's currently taped off, as the investigation is still ongoing, but Kotohime knows you'll probably be taking a look at it anyway.

Of course, you could just look at the autopsy report, that'll have the details of the scene in i- Wait, shit, I don't get that until just before I die. That's inconvenient. Dying kind of sucks. But on the whole, you'd like to avoid being poisoned again. That's an unpleasant one. At least with a gunshot wound it's CRACK and shit's over. Maybe next time they'll be accommodating enough to just headshot you.

So, business at hand. The crime scene. It's just dirt and a small creek- mostly mud on the banks, but there's sand and dirt around. No grass, because there's no sunlight. Depressing. At least it's not concrete.

Your eyes scan over the area. There's the outline where Tenshi's body was, and a set of footprints, but that is about it. No sign of a struggle. No sign of a fight, just Tenshi up and dying right here. Poisoned, maybe? Then why would Tenshi pick here to die? Wait, no. The autopsy report shows that she died of blunt impact to the head. So maybe she was carried here? Or perhaps she stumbled here, briefly alive after being hit... You scratch your head under your hat and fiddle with your cigarette, hoping that staring at the crime scene will tell you something.

You decide that staring won't help, so you pull out your notebook and jot down a few notes on the crime scene:

1. One set of footprints.
2. No sign of a struggle.
3. An indentation in the sand/mud where Tenshi's body was.
4. No blood. (Possibly washed away by the creek.)
5. Died rather close to the ladder.


You jot down that last bit about the ladder, but it doesn't seem too important. The ladder is less than a foot away from the edge of the bridge. Well. Doesn't look like you're getting too much else here. You could ask the doctor about how the autopsy is going... but then you realize that you don't actually know if Eirin's the one who did the autopsy. You cast your mind back to the future, but you can't remember for the life of you whose name was on the autopsy report. Well. You've got to decide what to do, of course.

[ ] Go see Eirin anyway. She's probably the one who did the autopsy, what with her being a doctor and all.
[ ] Go talk to Kotohime and find out who she's having conduct the autopsy.
[ ] Find Sakuya and ask her if she knows who's doing the autopsy.
[ ] No, I'm pretty sure someone else would know about the autopsy... (Write-in).
[ ] Fuck it. I'm going to go get drunk again. There are answers at the bottom of bottles, I swear it!
[ ] Investigate somewhere or someone else for the moment.
- [ ] Who/Where? (Suggestions include: Touhous you listed to Parsee, related Touhous, bumming around the Underground, like the Former Capital)
[ ] Write-in.

[ ] Kill yourself.
– [ ] February 23, 10:58 PM
– [ ] February 23, 7:21 PM
– [ ] February 23, 11:21 AM
– [ ] February 22, 3:21 PM
– [ ] February 21, 11:21 AM

Current time: February 22, 4:58 PM- Loop 3
[X] Ask Reisen some questions about Tenshi
-[X] Also ask if she knows whether Eirin is doing the autopsy
[x] Go see Eirin anyway. She's probably the one who did the autopsy, what with her being a doctor and all.

Could also be used to find evidence against Reisen
Hmmm...

[x] Those footprints, do they match Tenshi's boots? Or are they too degraded to get anything out of them.

It could be a good clue. Maybe there's nothing there we can use, or maybe the markings are just too general. Still, if they're roughly the right size and shape for tenshi's boots, it could indicate the Tenshi was attacked somewhere nearby, and was flying to Parsee's to get help. If they're the wrong size and shape, it indicates that someone dumped Tenshi's body here, maybe to throw suspicion on Parsee.
[X] Examine the prints more carefully.
Then
[X] Go ask Reisen some questions about Tenshi
-[X] Also ask if Eirin is doing the autopsy

(Assuming the prints are marked as evidence on the crime scene, of course, otherwise they're most likely pointless.)
General size, depth, that kind of thing. Just in case.
The size might match Tenshi's boots, or Parsee's boots, or whoever's.
Then it turns out they match our boots and we will be here in another time-loop to make them, some time in the future-past.

Reisen was also on the list of flings, meaning she's also a suspect. And since we're dropping by the only medical professional in Gensokyo (among named Touhous at least), we can be pretty sure that's where the autopsy's being done.
[X] Examine the prints more carefully.
[X] Go ask Reisen some questions about Tenshi.
-[X] Also ask if Eirin is doing the autopsy.

>5. Died rather close to the ladder.

What are the chances of finding something on the ladder? The proximity of the body to the ladder is pretty suspicious.
[x] Check the ladder area
[x] What does the indentation look like?
[X] Examine the prints more carefully.
[X] Go ask Reisen some questions about Tenshi.
-[X] Also ask if Eirin is doing the autopsy.

You guys are being awfully delicate considering you're on a loop. Assume everyone's hiding something and yell at them until they spill something else.
>>12235
We don't know if the loops will carry anything over besides us and what we know, or if there will be repercussions once the loops collapse into non-groundhog time again so it might be better to at least keep a minimum level of civility.
On the other hand, as long as the loops are still going we have effectively infinite time and infinite chances to do things so we can get info peacefully first, and the next loop we yell at people with "I know you did X, and a lot of other things too! Just confess everything right now and things will be easier for you!" before they've even said hello.
Yelling at people to confess is a lot more effective when they think you already know everything and all they have to do is come clean. Which is a lot easier when you have something to hold in front of them rather than just pulling a Detritus.

(Basically the Detritus style of interrogation goes like this:
Yell at people with things like "It was you who done it, we know you did it. Just fess up. We have several people who saw you do it." until they crack.
The most common reaction to a Detritus investigation is "FINE! I did it, okay?! Now please tell me what it is I've done!")
Rabbit, November is around the corner... I'll be watching this thread carefully.
>>12277
For November I intend to update this every other day (barring days I want to update it twice in a row or update PFD twice in a row or maybe update X-Communist or that one Alice story I have but you'll (probably) get your month of dailies. I hope.
>>12278

...Wait, you're Sergei?

You sonnuvabitch, how could you abandon us like that?

But seriously, FUCK. YES. I missed X-Communist.
File 138332048961.jpg - (1.54MB, 1500x1500, 11cc4ba2817e36ebd9e205063124253a.jpg) [iqdb]
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[x] Check the ladder area
[x] What does the indentation look like?
[X] Examine the prints more carefully.
[X] Go ask Reisen some questions about Tenshi.
-[X] Also ask if Eirin is doing the autopsy.

You peer at the indentation. The scene's got it outlined in tape, considering chalk wouldn't work here. You stand there and stare at it... and nothing's really coming to you. This is where Tenshi died. You're not a forensic scientist at all. It's just the kind of indentation a body would make falling onto sand and dirt, really. Nothing special.

You step around the indentation carefully to the footprints. Again, the fact that you're not a forensic scientist raises its head. The footprints are softened and indistinct- the problem with being in mud near a creek. This is inconvenient. You pull out another cigarette, light it, and think. Who do I know that would have information on the footprints? It'd have to be a professional, you think. Someone who's been in the cop business a long ti- oh, goddamnit, it's Kotohime, of course. She'd know about the footprints. Unless she already told you about the footprints.

Hey, she might have already told me about the footprints. You flip through the notepad you keep on hand, back past the notes you just took on your conversation with Parsee. Before that, you see a bill annotated for fixing your chair. Why is this in your notepad? Sakuya was going to take care of that, right? You flip past that. Okay, there's some writing here. That you completely don't understand. Your shorthand is completely impenetrable to yourself, considering you don't actually remember what was said. But what's written is:

tkd w/ s+k
k h no c r/ p
s tkd w/ pt. no msi on v


Well. That's wholly unhelpful. You close the notebook and lever yourself up the ladder. The ladder is made of laquered wood, just like the bridge. This has the unfortunate side effect of being semi-slippery. Nearly falling off it at one point, you make it back up to the top of the ladder. You turn to look at Parsee's house, to see a bridge princess peeking out at you from the window. You wave at her, and she ducks below the windowsill. You chuckle to yourself, and then cross the bridge out of the underground back into the rain.



Night has fallen when you get to the entrance to the Bamboo Forest of the Lost. Eientei is in there somewhere. Unfortunately, the rain hasn't let up- it feels like it's gotten even harder. This is a problem, because the moon is completely covered up by the rainclouds. It'll be pitch black in the forest. But on the edge, there's a food stall, with a bored-looking girl with a funny hat. She's just sitting there and twirling a stick with something on it over a grill.

Her stall's nice and well-lit, though. And if you go and take a seat under the canopy, you'll have a chance to get out of the rain. Of course, you could press on to Eientei tonight...

[ ] Press on to Eientei.
[ ] Stop at the stall.
[ ] Write-in.

[ ] Kill yourself.
– [ ] February 23, 10:58 PM
– [ ] February 23, 7:21 PM
– [ ] February 23, 11:21 AM
– [ ] February 22, 3:21 PM
– [ ] February 21, 11:21 AM

Current time: February 22, 11:09 PM- Loop 3
>>12280
X-Communist was, and always has been, an overflow story for when I want to do extra writing. (I have not been able to do that in a while.)
[X] Stop at the stall.

Let's take a quick breather, in case the rain gets worse. If it doesn't, we move on to Eientei. If it does, we'll wait for it to clear.
[x] Press on to Eientei.
Time's running out.
[X] Press on to Eientei.
[X] Stop at the stall.

Food stalls always have clues. ALWAYS.

Also, WTF is up with that shorthand?
[X] Press on to Eientei.

Without spending an hour on it, the best I can come up with for the shorthand is:
"talked with suspect + [something]"
"Kotohime [something]"
"suspect talked with [something] no [something]"

I'll bet anything we'll need what these notes actually say down the line.
>>12287

Ummm...

"Talked with suspect and Kotohime"
"Kotohime had no clue regarding (perpetrator?)"
"Suspect talked with (???). No (murder scene investigation?) on (victim?)"

So... sounds like an absence of clues, if I'm right. But what the hell is pt?
>>12304
Just something I suddenly thought of while trying to figure out what "pt" means...

Maybe "s" isn't "suspect". If "k" is Kotohime, then "s" is Sakuya.
Kotohime has no clue regarding "p" (I can't think of any better guess than "perpetrator", except maybe "Parsee" if all the other shorthands are names).
Sakuya talked to "pt", which would be Patchouli. Her name fits "pt" and is someone Sakuya would talk to.
Assuming "v" is still "victim", "msi" might be "magic something something" that Sakuya asked Patchouli to check, but it turned up negative.
File 138379989038.png - (1.52MB, 1200x2177, f1a4fe3332c8386da43a2ff4789afa79.png) [iqdb]
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[x] Press on to Eientei.

Food can wait. You've got business to attend to! That decided, you stride confidently into the forest. The dark, oppressive forest. That's completely pitch black. Because it's raining. And the clouds have obscured the moon so you can't even see anything.

...Why was this a good idea, again?

You turn, resolve totally lost, intending to hide in the well-lit refuge that is the food stand. But it's gone. Blackness in every direction. Nothing beside remains. The forest is very quiet, but for the constant rain and occasional far-off thunder. The storm's rolling in. But from your experience and foreknowledge, it'll only get worse and worse. By the time you die, it's a full-on thunderstorm, lightning and cracks of thunder and everything. But... that's when you're fated to die, right?

Does that mean you can't die until then? You reach into your pocket and brush your hand against the cool steel of your gun. Probably not, no. You could just take the gun and put a bullet in your brain. Be some terrible luck if that didn't kill you outright, and you were just a vegetable until your assassin killed you.

...It'd be even worse if your assassin decided not to kill you because you were a vegetable, and not needing to be killed. That'd be a terrible way to get out of the groundhog day loop.

You banish the thoughts from your mind. You're lost in a nearly pitch-black forest, stumbling into bamboo shoots the whole time. You haven't even got a single directional cue anymore. You can't check your time because it's too dark to see your watch, and the wind and the rain will make short work of your lighter's flame.

You sit down on a rock you nearly trip over, rationalizing that the only thing you're going to manage to do tonight is hurt yourself by stumbling about like an idiot in the rain and darkness.

...God, but this is so boring.

You go through your shorthand again in your mind.

tkd w/ s+k
k h no c r/ p
s tkd w/ pt. no msi on v


Okay, the first line is probably “Talked with Sakuya and Kotohime.” Could be 'suspect' though. Technically, Sakuya IS a suspect, because she was one of Tenshi's flings. But she's also your assistant, and one of your good friends. You'd hate to think she was part of this. It may be against all investigative rules, but you can't help but rule her out.

Second line... Probably Kotohime again. “Kotohime had no clue regarding...” what? What's P? Perpetrator? Nah, couldn't be. That's not really a word you're accustomed to using. Kotohime, maybe, but it just doesn't fit right with your vocabulary. Has to be something else. Parsee? Then why would past you be talking to her again today?

Finally... Suspect/Sakuya talked with... well, if it's Suspect, you have no clue. If it's Sakuya, well. That could very well be Patchouli. Which would lead to the “m” in “msi” probably being “magic” or “magical”. Makes sense. Who better to ask about magic? Anyway, “v” is probably victim. You can't think of anyone offhand with a “v” name or any other possible relations that a v-word would have in this case. You're going to play the odds here, and it's probably “victim”.

So that makes your shorthand...

talked with (suspect/Sakuya?) and Kotohime
Kotohime has no clues regarding p (what is P?)
(suspect/probably Sakuya?) talked with Patchouli(?). No magic(al?) si(?) on victim(probably)


Well. That makes more sense. Wish you knew what 'si' stood for. You sit there and rack your brain for the answer. Unfortunately, only past you knew the answer. You're future you. Who doesn't know the answer. Despite being future past you.

This is bullshit.

As you're lost in thought, you feel a presense next to you on your rock.

“Howdy, neighbor,” a husky voice next to you says. “Got a smoke on you?” From the sound of the voice, the speaker has had quite a few of those in her time.

Bolstered by the confidence of your earlier assumption that you're probably not going to die and it probably won't end for you even if you do, you don't freak out and start shooting at the voice. But only barely. You put a clamp on the screaming fear and respond in your most suave, gravelly voice. “Sure do. How do you intend to light it in weather like this, though?”

The voice chuckles. “Oh, I've got this covered.” A flame flickers into being, at the tip of a long, slender finger. Pianist's fingers, if you had to guess. It lights an angular face- not pretty, no. That's not a word to describe it. Like a more severe kind of beauty- the kind you'd ascribe to your dear assistant. Not anywhere she could hear it, though, mind you.

You calmly hand her a cigarette as your internal screaming intensifies. OH GOD I'M GOING TO BURN TO DEATH DURING A RAINSTORM AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA “Thanks,” she replies. “Need a light?”

Fuck it. “Sure.” You pull out a second cigarette, and light it off of her finger. The two of you sit on the rock, smoking in companionable silence. Your inner monologue is screaming. You have no idea what she's thinking. This is leading to more inner screaming.

“So,” she says, breaking the silence, “What the hell are you doing out here in the middle of the night in the middle of the rain?”

You shrug. “Had to get to Eientei.”

“You know it's called The Bamboo Forest of The Lost, right? Because, you know, you walked in here, in the middle of the night, in the rain. And now you're lost.”

“I decided to stop and ask for directions,” you quip.

She groans. “Look, why were you going to Eientei anyway? I wouldn't recommend that. They're, ah... well.”

“Ah... well, what?”

She sighs. “They have a reputation. They're nice enough people on the outside, you know, modern medicine and all that, but they have a darker side nobody's seen.”

“If they have a darker side nobody's seen, how do you know about it?”

“Okay, you know what? Fine. I'VE seen it. THEY have probably seen it.” She sounds frustrated.

“So, not nobody, then.”

“Shut up or I'm leaving you here alone.” You shut up. “I don't know what they do. I do know that there is all kinds of shady stuff going on in there. Medicines not working properly, people disappearing in the forest... and those rabbits. So many rabbits. Hell, they could cover most of Gensokyo with rabbits.” She seems to be on a rant. Far be it from you to stop her. You take another hit of your cigarette, savoring the warming tobacco. “...for hire,” she says. “Are you even listening to me?!”

“Oh. Uh, yeah. Absolutely. By the way, I never did catch your name,” you say.

“Mokou.”

“Just Mokou?”

“Just Mokou.”

You chuckle inwardly, attempting to calm the screaming with bad humor. “Can I call you Mookie?”

She gets up. “Well, fuck this and fuck you, I'm leaving.”

You pull her back down. “No, no, just a joke. I'm Avery, a private eye.”

“A private eye, eh? I've never heard of you. You must stay out of the public eye.”

You groan, as your bad joke is met with one even worse. “Yeah, yeah. Yuk it up. Anyway, I'm going to Eientei to check out some clues.”

Mokou shakes her head. “You really shouldn't do that.”

“Gotta do that. Part of the job.”

She sits there in silence. “Well, it's still a terrible idea. But, I won't stop you. Your funeral, buddy.” She stands up. “Nice meeting you, Avery.”

Wait, she's just going to leave and leave you here? No guidance? No invitations back to her place for the night? What the hell kind of awful story are you in?! “Wait, Mokou, hold on. I was hoping you could guide me there tonight?”

Mokou laughs. “Not a chance in hell, Avery.”

Now what?

[ ] Plead with her to go back to her place. You at least want to get out of the rain!
[ ] Continue to sit here. You're too hardboiled to give up your manly dignity like that.
[ ] Wave goodbye, and then attempt to follow her.
[ ] Write-in.

[ ] Kill yourself.
– [ ] February 23, 10:58 PM
– [ ] February 23, 7:21 PM
– [ ] February 23, 11:21 AM
– [ ] February 22, 3:21 PM
– [ ] February 21, 11:21 AM

Current time: February 22/23?, ??:?? ?M- Loop 3
>>12287
>>12304
>>12318
I like you guys. Did I ever mention that?
[X] Continue to sit here. You're too hardboiled to give up your manly dignity like that. 

Being hardboiled is suffering.
[x] Plead with her to go back to her place. You at least want to get out of the rain!

Hard-boiled or not, it does our investigation no good to sit here in the rain.
If Eientei is as shady as she says, maybe we can gather some more clues by hearing that story. After all, Reisen is also on The List.
[x] Continue to sit here. You're too hardboiled to give up your manly dignity like that
File 138383850355.jpg - (160.39KB, 850x1201, black barrel reisen.jpg) [iqdb]
12337
[x] Plead with her to guide you it's a matter of life or death - yours. Twice.
What are they going to do anyway? Kill you again? Boo Hoo


Anyway, this is bullshit. No, not really, this is a perfectly natural reason that stops us from getting to Eintei: the fact that is fucking hidden! I don't know what we expected.
[x] Plead with her to go back to her place. You at least want to get out of the rain!

Might as well see what she knows about Eientei's "dark side", if only for entertainment. We're not scheduled to die anytime soon anyways.
[x] Plead with her to go back to her place. You at least want to get out of the rain!

I like this Mokou. And frankly it provides a refuge from the rain.

As for the relationship chart does the heart sign on it mean a possible mutual interest between Avery and Kotohime? I notice it's not there for the line with Sakuya yet Sakuya and Kotohime are considered possible rivals.
>>12359
The way the web works is that I put things on there that I think are relevant and shown in the story, but anything you guys feel like adding is more than welcome. I do forget things occasionally some would say often, and you shouldn't take the web/timeline as absolute gospel.
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12372
[x] Plead with her to go back to her place. You at least want to get out of the rain!

“Whoa. Hey. Hold up there.”

Mokou turns to you and puts her hands on her hips. “What now?”

You take another drag from your cigarette. “You're just going to leave me here out in the rain in the middle of the bamboo forest in the dark?”

She shrugs. “That was kind of the plan.”

You laugh. “You're leaving me after I gave you a cigarette? Ice cold.”

She sighs. “Fine. Get up, shut up, come with me.”

That's fine with you. You've got enough on your plate to try not to fall or slip or maim yourself in the dark, wet forest. Doing all that and carrying on a conversation at the same time? Now that's just a recipe for disaster. Mokou is up a few feet ahead of you, walking briskly, grumbling about freeloading assholes.

You grumble right back about “freeloading dames who take my cigarettes”. She grumbles much less after that. Soon, the two of you come into a clearing, upon which a small cabin has been built. Mokou strides to the wooden door, flings it open, and stomps through. You follow her in, and the smell of woodsmoke fills your nostrils.

“Close the door,” she says. “I'm going to get a fire started.” You oblige her, and close the door. You hang your hat and coat on the hooks provided on the door, and run your hands over your face and through your hair to stop the water dripping into your eyes. Mokou carelessly tosses a couple of thick logs into a fireplace, with no tinder or kindling, and just points her finger to burn them until they actually catch themselves.

Most of the house is wood, but the wood gets progressively more scorched as it nears the fireplace. The walls surrounding the fireplace and the floor near it are made of stone. She silently fills a pot with water, as you sit yourself on a stump next to the fire to warm up and dry off. Her place is small, and not neatly kept, but you're not one to judge. She's got a bed, fire, and a kitchenette. What more does one really need?

She hangs the pot of water on a cast-iron hook hanging above the open flame, and sits herself down on the other stump, and just stares at the fire. The crackle of the fire contrasts nicely with the hiss of the rain, and you find yourself feeling really, really tired. You could fall asleep right here, but...

“Why did you want to go to Eientei?” Mokou asks, voice soft and not as harsh as when she was going to leave you out in the rain.

“Wanted to talk to her about an autopsy.”

“Hey, dumbass, Eirin doesn't do autopsies.”

You turn to her, but she's still staring into the fire. “But she's a doctor,” you reply.

“A doctor. Now, where in the word doctor is there mortician?”

“I, uh. Huh.” You pause, considering that this entire trip might have been a waste and you didn't have to walk through this goddamned rain in this goddamned forest. Fuck. “So who deals with the autopsies, then?”

Mokou shrugs. “Some cat. Can't remember her name.”

“Rin?”

“Yep, that one. Dead bodies go to Rin, people who aren't quite dead go to Eirin, and people who are alive, well. They'll go out to them. Then they sort afterwards.”

“Whoa, wait. That wasn't even a real sentence.”

She turns to you. “Dammit, I'm trying to tell you- in a very cryptic, interesting way, mind you- that Eientei KILLS PEOPLE. Learn to read the mood. Jesus!”

Okay. She wants me to ask the obvious question- 'who kills people?' Damned if I'm giving her the satisfaction of that. “So why haven't they killed you if you live just outside and know their secret?”

“They can't.”

You look around. “Funny, I don't see an arsenal. And you haven't cleared the bamboo back very far from the cabin at all. And you have to sleep eventually.”

She rolls her eyes, and finally turns to look at you. “Do you have a weapon on you?” You nod. She holds out her hand expectantly. “Well, sometime tonight, Avery.” Fuck it, it's not like her shooting me would do anything anyway. You hand her the gun.

She looks at it, the firelight reflecting off the steel of the revolver. She opens the cylinder, and looks upon the six .44 caliber bullets inside. Snapping it shut, she says, “That'll do.” Then in one fluid motion, she cocks the hammer, brings the gun up to her temple, and pulls the trigger. Your hands get no further than off your legs as Mokou's brain spatters her previously mostly-clean kitchenette.

Huh. Didn't see that one coming.

You stare at her body for a few seconds.

[ ] React. (Write-in.)


[ ] Kill yourself.
– [ ] February 23, 10:58 PM
– [ ] February 23, 7:21 PM
– [ ] February 23, 11:21 AM
– [ ] February 22, 3:21 PM
– [ ] February 21, 11:21 AM
[X] Aw, shit, you just (indirectly) killed a hobo. Shiiiiiiiiiiiit.
>>12373
pffffffffft that's never going away, is it
[X] Aw, shit, you just (indirectly) killed a hobo. Shiiiiiiiiiiiit.
-[X] You cannot live with the guilt. Kill yourself.
--[X] February 21, 11:21 AM
[X] Aw, shit, you just (indirectly) killed a hobo. Shiiiiiiiiiiiit.
-[X] You cannot live with the guilt. Kill yourself.
--[X] February 21, 11:21 AM
>>12381
Not a repost, by the way.
[X] Aw, shit, you just (indirectly) killed a hobo. Shiiiiiiiiiiiit.
-[X] You cannot live with the guilt. Kill yourself.
--[X] February 21, 11:21 AM
[X] Aw, shit, you just (indirectly) killed a hobo. Shiiiiiiiiiiiit.

I don't like the idea of "counter-voting" and all that, just makes a mess of the count. But I'd rather we don't kill ourselves right now, there's still a lot of interesting stuff to learn here and now.

Like Eientei killing people.
How? Why? How does Mokou know about that? Could it be related to the murder of Tenchi (or you, for that matter)?

And here I was (mostly) just joking when I said that Reisen is our top suspect for our murder given that she's equally comfortable with a gun and a syringe.
>>12377
NO

[X] Aw, shit, you just (indirectly) killed a hobo. Shiiiiiiiiiiiit.
-[X] 'Well, since you're dead, I guess it's time I told you the truth: I keep dying tomorrow and I suspect they're the ones who kill me'

I sure hope you're counting the subvotes differently (as in nothing 2 - kill myself 3 - say stupid shit to the dead body 1, etc)
[X]>>12385
Don't feel like dying, also this is pretty funny.
[X] Aw, shit, you just (indirectly) killed a hobo. Shiiiiiiiiiiiit.
-[X] 'Well, since you're dead, I guess it's time I told you the truth: I keep dying tomorrow and I suspect they're the ones who kill me'
Don't feel like dying, also this is pretty funny. If the subvotes are counted differently then please ignore the subvote.
Both >>12386 and >>12387 here. Lost passwords. Next time will delete first. Sorry.
[X] Aw, shit, you just (indirectly) killed a hobo. Shiiiiiiiiiiiit.
-[X] 'Well, since you're dead, I guess it's time I told you the truth: I keep dying tomorrow and I suspect they're the ones who kill me'

Wonder how mokou will react when she hears this
[X] Aw, shit, you just (indirectly) killed a hobo. Shiiiiiiiiiiiit.
-[X] 'Well, since you're dead, I guess it's time I told you the truth: I keep dying tomorrow and I suspect they're the ones who kill me'
[X] Aw, shit, you just (indirectly) killed a hobo. Shiiiiiiiiiiiit.
-[X] 'Well, since you're dead, I guess it's time I told you the truth: I keep dying tomorrow and I suspect they're the ones who kill me'
[X] Aw, shit, you just (indirectly) killed a hobo. Shiiiiiiiiiiiit.
-[X] 'Well, since you're dead, I guess it's time I told you the truth: I keep dying tomorrow and I suspect they're the ones who kill me'

Joining this vote because it's funny, and I don't feel like dying just yet.

...What a weird thing to type.
[X] Aw, shit, you just (indirectly) killed a hobo. Shiiiiiiiiiiiit.
-[X] 'Well, since you're dead, I guess it's time I told you the truth: I keep dying tomorrow and I suspect they're the ones who kill me'
[X] Aw, shit, you just (indirectly) killed a hobo. Shiiiiiiiiiiiit.
-[X] 'Well, since you're dead, I guess it's time I told you the truth: I keep dying tomorrow and I suspect they're the ones who kill me'
File 138441650587.png - (408.08KB, 800x326, 1227762377713zd9.png) [iqdb]
12413
[X] Aw, shit, you just (indirectly) killed a hobo. Shiiiiiiiiiiiit.

That's grand. Just grand. Exactly what you needed, another dead dame to deal with. And this time you could easily be implicated. It was your gun, and she got shot in the head.

Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.

You stand up, grab the pot of now-boiling water, and walk over to the counter. You brush a little bit of brain off a cup, pick up some of the tea leaves on the counter, and drop them into the mug, pouring yourself a cup of tea. You walk over to the window, steaming mug in hand, and think.

Gotta get rid of the body. Welllllllllllll, I suppose I COULD just kill myself and completely avoid any and all repercussions for this, but... Man, I really don't want to have to walk all the way to Eientei again. You look down at the body. First priority is to get the body out of the house, keep the blood from soaking in, keep the smell from soaking into all the wood. Then you look outside into the darkness and rain. But I don't want to go outside. Well, you COULD just wrap the body up in a rug, and clean up all the bits of brain spattered across the house. Then, when the weather breaks, you could hide the body. You look at the spray of brains. But I don't want to spend all this time cleaning up brains. It's a slow, boring process that you have to get right every time.

You look at the gun in Mokou's hand. You take a sip of tea, and then go to sit yourself back on your stump. That gun looks mighty inviting right about now. But then you think to yourself: Who would actually come looking for her between now and tonight? That's a good point. You don't have to worry. Tonight you'll be dead.

But really, did she have to burden you with this bullshit? “You make me glad I'm going to be dead soon, Mokou. Seriously, pulling this sort of shit is a dick move. If I wasn't going to die, I'd have to clean up all this brain and blood and shit, and then I'd have to hide your body.”

Another sip of tea. “And where the hell would I hide your body? The good hiding spots are too goddamn far away. The Misty Lake is hours away, especially if I have to carry your fat ass.” You poke at the cooling body. “And I'd have to carry you through the rain. And if it wasn't raining, I could just set this whole place on fire and call it good. Sure, you'd have an abnormal hole in your skull, but I could fix that with a heavy rock and some time.” Bash the head in enough, and nobody would know that there was a bullet hole. Sure, there'd be a bullethole in the wall, but that's wood, and you'd burn that down yourself. And there'd be a bullet somewhere out there in the forest, but eh. That'd be a bitch to find.

And I can't stop thinking of ways to cover up this situation because it's detrimental to me. Old habits die hard. I could just go to Kotohime, tell her the story, and 'the truth will set you free', right? You chuckle at that one. You just sit and stare, bitching about your ill fortune, bitching about how you're going to die tonight, bitching about Sakuya, who you call 'the worst assistant ever', bitching about Kotohime and her 'procedures', bitching about Tenshi for dying, bitching about your shadowy assassin for killing you, and last, but not least, bitching that Iku still hasn't paid you and the rent is due soon on your office.

And then Mokou catches fire.

You instinctively leap back away from the immolating dame, and watch, as the brains spattered on the wall catch fire and burn brightly, without actually burning anything around them. Her body burns even brighter, while the outlying fires of brains and blood gutter out. The fire starts to go out, starting with the tips of her fingers and the tips of her toes, making their way up her legs and arms, and her torso, until only her head is aflame. But that soon dies down as well, with the last wisps of flame coming from where she shot herself in the head. Then that, too, is gone, leaving smooth skin and no evidence of a bullet wound at all.

She blinks, sits up, and says, “That wasn't too painful.”

What. Inside, you're screaming and mashing on a desk, about how bullshit this power is, and why can't you have it, and what the everloving fuck- but you get a clamp down on it, and say in your most hardboiled voice- “That was a nif-” and then you're coughing because you tried to take a sip of the tea in the middle of your sentence because you're an idiot. “That was a nifty trick.”

She grunts, and starts cleaning inside her ears with her pinky finger.

“You think you could teach me that?”

She grunts again. “Immortality's a bitch. Why would you want it?”

“Oh, you know, the usual. Gonna die tonight and everything.”

Mokou smirks. “What gives you that idea?”

“Oh, I don't know, the fact that I've died every night tonight.”

“Do you mean 'tonight tonight' or 'tomorrow tonight', because if it's 'tonight tonight' you're going to have to sleep outside where you can die without ruining all of my furniture.”

You point a finger at her. “Hey, whoa. Whoa, hey. You're the one who spattered brains across your entire house. You have no right to complain about the mess I would leave if I died in here.”

“And the mess is gone, all in the cleansing fire! Hallelujah,” she says, throwing her hands up in mock praise, “all hail the magical powers of Mokou's Pine Glo for Brains!” She looks at you again. “No, seriously, if you're going to die 'tonight tonight', get out.”

You sigh and shake your head. “It's 'tomorrow tonight'.”

“Okay, good. I hate cleaning up blood and body parts. Kaguya doesn't have the grace of self-immolation self-cleaning. But,” she says, gears visibly shifting in her head, “you said you were going to die tonight. Tomorrow tonight. Whatever. How do you know?”

You start counting off on your finger. “Well, the first time, I died in my office from a gunshot, I think. The second time, same office, same gunshot.”

She scoffs. “What, you didn't learn enough from the first time to duck?”

You ignore her and continue. “The third time I got poisoned and died from that.”

“And somehow I don't believe any of this, considering you're still alive and breathing, and I can't think of anyone who's eaten my liver, or Eirin's liver, or Kaguya's liver.”

“Liver?” you ask.

“Don't ask,” she replies.

“Anyway, my point is, I'm kind of stuck in a time loop. And someone always kills me at the end. An assassin of sorts.”

Mokou's eyes gleam brightly at the mention of an assassin. “Oooh, assassins, eh?” She dusts her knuckles off on her chest. “Not to brag, but I know Gensokyo's entire shady underworld. Take, for example, Eientei here- you've got your mad doctor, mysterious girl who hates to come outside, trickster rabbit, and other rabbit!”

“Other rabbit.”

“Shut up, I ran out of adjectives. But like I said, all sorts of nefarious deeds go on here! Eirin, for example, treats horribly sick or injured people for free.”

You shrug. “That's kind of what the Hippocratic Oath requires.”

Mokou laughs off your objection. “But here's the thing, Avery. I haven't seen Eirin with a hippopotamus, ever. Not once. I don't think there's even a single hippopotamus in Gensokyo, let alone on the Moon.”

“Uh...”

“And why does she do it for free? Glad you asked, I'll tell you!”

The feeling of regret for your poor life decisions is definitely starting to make itself felt. “I didn't ask.”

She ignores you and continues. “She's obviously using bits of the person to clone and replace the original person, controlled by Alice!”

“The puppeteer?”

“Exactly!” Mokou exclaims. “But the puppeteer isn't- well, you could say that she's dancing on someone else's strings!” She waits a moment for you to get the joke, and when she sees that you're not laughing in the slightest, she continues, slightly disappointed. “That other rabbit, Reisen, is controlling her!”

“Er, uh, maybe I should go.”

“And then, here's the worst part about them- they garden.”

“Plenty of people keep a garden, Mokou.”

She points an accusing finger at you. “And you know who else keeps a garden?” Silence from you again. You're not gonna help here here. She continues anyway. “Ninja assassins keep gardens!”

“Since when do ninjas kill someone with guns?”

“Since guns killed people! Ninjas kill people, Avery, and you don't even understand it! But this goes deeper. Much, much deeper. You know where they get the seeds for the garden from?”

You roll your eyes and reply in a monotone. “No. Where.”

“The Moriya Shrine!” She cackles with the revelation. “It's a Moriya Shrine conspiracy, you see- they're directly funding this assassin's guild. Right in the middle of Gensokyo! Killers for hire, but accountable to them in the very end! Sure, you could march up to Eientei right now and hire a murderbunny, but God forbid you come down on the wrong side of Moriya- that green-haired miko will give the order, and you'll be dead within the week!”

“I think you're reading a little too deeply into this.”

Mokou laughs again. “Not deep enough, Avery. Not nearly deep enough. My investigations continue. But I see where you are in this.”

“What, you have actual information?”

“Wh-” Mokou is indignant, and puffs out her cheeks. “That was actual information! Very good information! Many rabbit spies died to bring you this information!”

“Is it relevant to the Tenshi murder case?”

Mokou laughs. “Of course not. If it was, Tenshi would have been cloned and nobody would ever know she was gone. But she'd be dancing on Moriya's strings.”

“So it's not related.”

“Of course it's related! Obviously Sanae, heartbroken over Tenshi's death, ordered a hit on her killer!” Mokou's eyes widen with realization. “Oh- oh, it's you! You killed Tenshi!” A conspiratorial grin spreads across her face. “Don't worry, Avery. I won't tell anyone.”

“I- wha- you- how-”

Mokou laughs triumphantly. “I knew it! My sense of deduction never leads me astray! Eventually you'll have to face justice, evildoer. But that day is not today. Or, you know, it might be. Because you're getting shot tonight. Today.” She laughs. “What are you going to do with the last few hours of your life, Avery?”

“Well...”

[ ] Sleep. Sleep is always a good idea. Besides, you want it to be light out when you do... whatever it is you were going to do next.
[ ] Stay awake and ask Mokou more about Gensokyo's seedy underworld. There are conspiracies upon layers upon subterfuge and this was an Illuminati plot!
[ ] Write-in.

Tomorrow, after that, you will:
[ ] Continue to Eientei anyway. Even though Eirin isn't the mortician, maybe you can get a few clues here anyway.
[ ] Head back to the office. Sakuya can totally help, right?
[ ] Go to the cop shop. Kotohime had to have been present when the autopsy was done, right? And you can grill her about the crime scene.
[ ] Go back underground. Rin Kaenbyou will divulge her secrets! And bodies. Lots of dead bodies.
[ ] Write-in.

[ ] Kill yourself.
– [ ] February 23, 10:58 PM
– [ ] February 23, 7:21 PM
– [ ] February 23, 11:21 AM
– [ ] February 22, 3:21 PM
– [ ] February 21, 11:21 AM

Current time: February 23, 2:41 AM



A note: I wanted to work with your guys' write-in more, really I did, but having Avery suspect Eientei based on things that nobody ever actually discussed in-story beyond a few lines from some crazy fire lady he met in the forest is a little too meta for me. Especially after crazy fire lady shot herself.
[X] Sleep. Sleep is always a good idea. Besides, you want it to be light out when you do... whatever it is you were going to do next. 
[X] Go ask Reisen some questions about Tenshi. 
[X] Sleep. Sleep is always a good idea. Besides, you want it to be light out when you do... whatever it is you were going to do next.
[X] Go ask Reisen some questions about Tenshi.


The plot thickens.
[x] Kill yourself.
– [x] February 21, 11:21 AM
[x] Stay awake and ask Mokou more about Gensokyo's seedy underworld. There are conspiracies upon layers upon subterfuge and this was an Illuminati plot!
Going on a gut feeling.
-[x] Carry on to entei
Because we don't want to do the whole trek in another life as it were.
About the write in : it's part of your job to adapt votes, so don't apologize for it.
> And I can't stop thinking of ways to cover up this situation because it's detrimental to me. Old habits die hard.
AVERY WHY IS "COVERING UP MURDER SCENES" AN "OLD HABIT"? And conspiracy theorist Mokou is pretty funny.

[X] Sleep. Sleep is always a good idea. Besides, you want it to be light out when you do... whatever it is you were going to do next.
[X] Go ask Reisen some questions about Tenshi.
>>12418
>-[x] Carry on to entei

But the Pokemon/Touhoumon story is in /th/, anon.
[x] Sleep. Sleep is always a good idea. Besides, you want it to be light out when you do... whatever it is you were going to do next.
[x] Go back underground. Rin Kaenbyou will divulge her secrets! And bodies. Lots of dead bodies.

I wanna get clues about the body.
[X] Sleep. Sleep is always a good idea. Besides, you want it to be light out when you do... whatever it is you were going to do next.

[X] Go ask Reisen some questions about Tenshi.
File 138453599348.png - (193.12KB, 600x630, still totally innocent.png) [iqdb]
12430
>>12421
I feel like a teenager again... 'CAUSE I JUST GOT SCHOOLED.

Anyway, I'll keep chasing that rabbit tail. The only dreams that die are those you give up on-or those that shoot with a high-powered sniper rifle I guess.
File 138457717991.jpg - (35.82KB, 333x325, that'snotatouhouirecognize.jpg) [iqdb]
12432
[X] Stay awake and ask Mokou more about Gensokyo's seedy underworld. There are conspiracies upon layers upon subterfuge and this was an Illuminati plot!

Seriously, it's dinner, tea, and a show. What's not to like?

[X] Head back to the office. Sakuya can totally help, right?

I still want to see Sakuya's reaction to Mr. Spade's death.
>>12432
>I still want to see Sakuya's reaction to Mr. Spade's death.

Yes

12432

[X] Stay awake and ask Mokou more about Gensokyo's seedy underworld. There are conspiracies upon layers upon subterfuge and this was an Illuminati plot!
[X] Head back to the office. Sakuya can totally help, right?
[x] Sleep. Sleep is always a good idea. Besides, you want it to be light out when you do... whatever it is you were going to do next.
[x] Talk to Sakuya after
[X] Stay awake and ask Mokou more about Gensokyo's seedy underworld. There are conspiracies upon layers upon subterfuge and this was an Illuminati plot!
then
[x] Sleep. Sleep is always a good idea. Besides, you want it to be light out when you do... whatever it is you were going to do next.

[X] Continue to Eientei anyway. Even though Eirin isn't the mortician, maybe you can get a few clues here anyway.

As pointless as going to eintei might be, i don't want this entire trek to be in vain, and we can always stop by rin's when we die and aren't so far away. this way, we milk all we can out of the eintei branch of this story that we can for now, and use what we find to further other, more promising leads.

I would like to add that your characterization in this story is incredible. conspiracy nut mokou and lovely assistant sakuya are great, and the MC being a "hard-boiled" detective whose inner-monologue is anything but is simply delightful. the night-day difference between his mouth and his mind is hilarious, making quips while screaming on the inside.
[X] Stay awake and ask Mokou more about Gensokyo's seedy underworld. There are conspiracies upon layers upon subterfuge and this was an Illuminati plot!
then
[x] Sleep. Sleep is always a good idea. Besides, you want it to be light out when you do... whatever it is you were going to do next.

[X] Continue to Eientei anyway. Even though Eirin isn't the mortician, maybe you can get a few clues here anyway.
update?
Is it just me, or do many of these votes not make any sense? Last I checked, sleeping and staying awake are mutually exclusive.

Anyway,

[X] Stay awake and ask Mokou more about Gensokyo's seedy underworld. There are conspiracies upon layers upon subterfuge and this was an Illuminati plot!

[X] Continue to Eientei anyway. Even though Eirin isn't the mortician, maybe you can get a few clues here anyway.

Making this journey again would probably be a pain, and it would be amusing if there is an element of truth to Mokou's ramblings. /pointlessspeculation
>>12533
They completely are mutually exclusive.

>>12526
Had to sort a few things out. Update will be tomorrow (well, today, depending on how you look at it.)

Anyway, I'd like to bounce a thing off you guys, if it wouldn't be a problem. I think this story would be better served by a first-person perspective. It could be mildly jarring, though, to shift in tone so much midway through. Do you guys think that would be a problem? We don't have to decide now- it's something I've been thinking about for a little while at least.
>>12544
I'm fine either way. If you think a first person perspective would be better, go for it.
>>12544
Honestly I prefer FPP over SPP. But whatever you think works is whatever you should go with.
I prefer SPP
>>12544

Whatever you think works best, being the author and all.
>>12546
>>12547
SPP? Second person perspective?
I think you mean third person.
Second person perspective would be like the story being about the investigator, but told by whoever he's interacting with at the moment.
(Which would be interesting to read, but probably hell to understand.. Not to mention write.)
>>12551
Second Person perspective
Referring to the protagonist as “You” instead of “I”, “Me,” or “He/She”.

Third Person Perspective
Referring to the protagonist as “He”, “She” or by name or description.
>>12551
>>12552 has the right of it. First person perspective is "I", the classic standard for noir detective stories. It allows the flexibility for asides, and those lines that everyone associates with the genre.

Second Person is a very uncommon one in published writing- in fact, the only time I can remember coming across it is in the old Choose Your Own Adventure books. The reasons why it's so prevalent on this site are obvious: see the previous sentence.

For third person, though, there's Third Person Limited and Third Person Omniscient. I'm oversimplifying here, but think of TPL as very similar to FPP, but with a change of pronouns. TPO is the 'view from on high', one that's hard to write, but if you do it properly, turns out well. Does not work well for mysteries, though.

The way I've always distinguished them is such: First Person (past tense): The guy who experienced everything is telling you a story, possibly over drinks. (This was actually my plan for the Pirate Tenshi story, old grizzled Unzan telling the story to Hatate over drinks.)
First Person (present tense): Similar to past tense, but you're in his head as a ride-along. There is a significant divide between the reader and the character, though.
Second Person: The divide between reader and character is gone. Besides that, very similar to FPP.
Third Person: Someone else (possibly entirely unrelated) is telling the story.

I actually have been writing bits of this story in FPP already, if you've noticed. I feel like expanding that would allow me more access to the classic style of noir detective.

ANYWAY, I'm going to try that for tonight's update. Enough words from me for now, I got writin' to do.
File 138596152661.jpg - (352.33KB, 850x1375, sample-14fc81e32ef0e849e41e0404b69ab32a.jpg) [iqdb]
12555
[X] Sleep. Sleep is always a good idea. Besides, you want it to be light out when you do... whatever it is you were going to do next.
[X] Go ask Reisen some questions about Tenshi.
[X] Continue to Eientei anyway. Even though Eirin isn't the mortician, maybe you can get a few clues here anyway.

“I'm going to sleep,” I say. “Got a hard day of gettin' murdered ahead of me.”

Mokou smirks. “I'm sure you do.” My eyes look around the cabin again, even though I know that what I'm looking for isn't there. What I'm looking for, of course, is a couch. Somewhere to crash that's not her bed. She yawns, stands, and stretches. “I suppose I could let a condemned man have one good night,” she suggests.

I need another dame like I need another hole in my chest. “I think I'll stick with the carpet.”

She shrugs. “Suit yourself.”

The two of us ready for the night in silence- she tosses me an extra pillow from her bed as she blows out the light. I curl up on the carpet, coat as blanket, head gratefully on the pillow. It smells like smoke and beer- two things I've always been good friends with.

I should stop smoking and drinking one of these days. One vice at a time, Avery.

The crack of thunder wakes me just after dawn- the storm's intensified during the night significantly. As it always does. You've met with a terrible fate, haven't you? I shake my head. Where did that thought come from? Blinking away the sleep from my eyes, I push myself up on my elbows, and my coat slides down off of me. Mokou hasn't stirred from the sound, so it's just me awake, listening to the sound of the harder rain and occasional cracks of thunder.

I get up as quietly as I can, and shoulder on my coat. The hat I grab from the door and place on my head, and step outside to get a look at this damned forest in the daylight.

...You know, I don't know what I was expecting. Maybe that I'd be able to tell where I am. But all I see is so many goddamn bamboo shoots that... well, look at it this way. There's no goddamn way I'd find my way out of here. Sure, I could follow the rising sun east. And then, by virtue of this land's continuing tradition of stupid bullshit, I'd somehow end up walking in a circle. I think about that for a moment. No, wouldn't even need bullshit like that because of this goddamn rain. I can't even see the sun anyway.

And then I look down and see a small rabbit at my feet. I crouch down, leather soles squeaking on the mossy, muddy ground. “The hell're you doing out so early in this shit weather?”

The rabbit just cocks its head and looks at me with those beady red eyes. The two of us face off and stare for a bit, when suddenly I find myself on the ground, face digging a furrow much like a backhoe does to dirt, with a screaming dame on top of me.

I wish I could say this is the first time I've been in a situation like this.

“What the hell are you doing!?” I shout. Of course, face full of dirt, mud and rain, what I actually say is “Mmphwhmhmfmphpf!”

“YEAH, HOP THE FUCK ALONG, CASSIDY! I KNOW YOUR GAME!” She's shouting at the rabbit. Mokou is shouting at rabbits. Roughly, she rolls me over, and starts slapping me in the face. I'm stunned by this and it takes me several moments to react. She takes this time to inquire as to my well-being. “AVERY, SNAP OUT OF IT! THAT'S HOW THEY GET YOU, AVERY!”

“WOULD YOU STOP SLAPPING ME?!” I shout. She freezes, mid-swing, shocked by my outburst. But of course, Mokou's the kind of dame who's never been in favor of leaving something half-done. I get slapped in the face again.

“Avery, you dumb bastard. That's how they get you, you look in the rabbits' eyes, and then they take you to Eientei, and then they replace your brain and start cloning you and remote controlling you-”

“Whoa. Whoa. Hey. Whoa. Shh. Shh. Mokou. Shh.” She's still babbling on, but the brook of babbling has subsided from a raging river to a nice, peaceful, quiet creek. “Good morning to you too.”

She crosses her arms. “Well, I for one am glad you're safe.”

The two of us sit there in silence for a few minutes, her with crossed arms, on her knees straddling my chest, in the rain. In the rain that's still coming down that she doesn't even seem to notice. “Hey.” I gesture with my hands to her, to my chest, to her again. She looks at me blankly. “Hey, get off, I want to get up.”

“Oh! Right. Forgot about that.” Forgot? Does that happen to her often?

She gets off, I stand up, and brush the dirt, moss and rain off of my clothes. Upside? The dirt, moss and rain come right off. Downside? They reveal another layer of dirt, moss and rain that doesn't brush off. Great. Sakuya's going to be pissed.

“Well, since you're up, can we get to Eientei? I have things I need to do before tonight.”

Mokou nods. “Right, right. Just let me grab some things.” She dashes into her cabin, and I stand out here in the rain. Some more. Fucking rain.

She's out in just a few moments though, and we begin our trek through Eientei.



Four hours, several 'I think this is the right way's, and at least one 'hey we've seen that rock before, haven't we' later, we arrive at the front gate of the Casa de Eientei, and I'm possessed of the belief that I'll never be properly dry again.

I turn to Mokou, and she's sizing up the place- it's made of wood and paper, in the traditional Japanese style. It also seems well lit and warm. “So what now, we knock?”

Mokou laughs. “What, you see anywhere to knock? I had to go back into the cabin to grab my knockers. It's only polite.” She reaches into one of her pockets and pulls out a fresh egg. “See? Knocker.” She hurls it as hard as she can at one of the upper-story windows. “HEY! EIRIN! YOU BRAINWASHING MAD-DOCTOR BITCH!” The egg cracks on the wood, and Mokou is more than willing to throw good eggs after... well, still good eggs. This continues for a minute or so, until a white-haired woman storms out of the mansion, headed straight for Mokou, rage etched on her features.

She turns to me and smiles. “See? Knocking worked.”

Mokou I swear to Buddha that if you come around here and throw eggs at the mansion again I am going to gut and fillet you,” she shouts on the approach.

Mokou smiles broader, reaches into her pocket, and throws another egg. The woman stops, and watches the travel of the egg. It sails through the door that the woman left open, and inside. She stares inside for a moment, turns to Mokou. “What did I ever do to you, Mokou?”

“Well, there's the whole ninja assassin guild mad scientist thing you got goin' on...” Mokou snarks.

The woman points at me. “You. Stay right there.” She points at Mokou. “I'll be right back. I'm getting my fillet knife.” She storms back into Eientei, and Mokou turns to me, shit-eating grin and all.

“Glad to have been of assistance, Avery. Do try to not get turned into a puppet by the mad scientist, eh?” With a wink and an elbow to the ribs, she waves and walks off into the bamboo. Leaving me here with egg on the mansion's face, and an angry dame with a knife soon to appear.

I've had worse days.

The woman storms back out, giant knife in hand, only to be disappointed when Mokou's gone. Much calmer, she walks up to me, knife still in hand. “So. Welcome to Eientei and all that. I'm going to assume that since Mokou brought you here, that you're under the impression that we eat babies, or something to that effect.”

You look down at the knife. “Well, not whole, at least.”

She smiles. She's got long white hair bound into a single braid, and two-tone red-and-blue clothing reminiscent of a nurse's uniform. “Well. Let's get out of the rain, at least.”

“I thought you'd never ask.”



The good Doctor's name is Eirin Yagokoro, and the two of us find ourselves cleaning up bits of egg on the inside of the entry to the mansion.

“So, what can I help you with, Mr. Investigator?”

“I was hoping I could ask Reisen Inaba some questions.”

She shakes her head, scrubbing at the floor. “She's not in.”

“Do you know where she is, then?”

She straightens up on her knees and starts wringing the rag out over the bucket, and looks up at me. “Out working, probably. She's probably in the Human Village.”

“Working?”

“Yep. Branch clinic. Can you imagine having to come here every time you wanted medication?”

That's a very good point.

[ ] “Well then, I have a few questions for you, then...”
– [ ] Write-in questions.
[ ] “Thank you for your time.”
– [ ] “I'm going to go find that rabbit.”
– [ ] “I'm going to head back to the office.”
– [ ] Write-in.
[ ] Write-in.

[ ] Kill yourself.
– [ ] February 23, 10:58 PM
– [ ] February 23, 7:21 PM
– [ ] February 23, 11:21 AM
– [ ] February 22, 3:21 PM
– [ ] February 21, 11:21 AM

Current time: February 23, 1:13 PM

Phoo. I hate this feeling of shaking the rust loose. Updates need to be more often for me, and they will be.
>You look down at the knife.

fffffffffffuck I knew I was going to fuck it up at least once and somehow I lost the goddamn password too
>>12555

Holy fuck, Mookie is completely off her rocker.

I actually feel sorry for Eientei for putting up with her shit.
Trying to think of a few good questions to ask her.
We could always start with "So what's up with that crazy dame?"


>>12556
What's the problem with that line? Seems fine to me...
[X] Kill yourself.
[X] February 21, 11:21 AM
"Oh, well thank you for your time. Now if you excuse me I need to go die."
I wanna see this so badly.
Also, I can't help but wonder that, if we die enough, we can go back to the 16th and save Tenshi.
That'd be easier then solving some dang gone mystery, that's for sure.
[X] “Thank you for your time.”
–[X] “I'm going to go find that rabbit.”
You don't want to ask her anything? Really?
We get one upgrade per month and you're going to waste it like this? Shame on you!


[x] “Well then, I have a few questions for you, then(sic)...”
– [x] Where were you and Reisen at TIME OF MURDER? Can anyone attest to that?
- [x] Did you knew VICTIM? What were your interactions with her just before TRAGIC DEATH DATE?
- [x] Can you think why would anyone want to murder VICTIM?

- [x] Someone got killed by a highly accurate rifle shot in DETECTIVE'S NEIGHBORHOOD at approximately DISTANCE BETWEEN OFFICE AND BUILDING FACING THE WINDOW. Can you think of any culprits? Wink Reisen wink wink? (Do not actually wink nor ask that last part)
- [x] Someone got killed last night in a bar at the human village via a poison dart. Could you think of any culprits?
-- [x] The poison's effect where DESCRIBE SYMPTOMS. Could you identify it?

In b4 she gives us the same spiel about 'She was a cheating whore, probably Alice/Parsee etc' and 'I was with Reisen doing innocent things, she can confirm that'
[x] “Well then, I have a few questions for you, then(sic)...”
– [x] Where were you and Reisen at TIME OF MURDER? Can anyone attest to that?
- [x] Did you knew VICTIM? If so, what were your interactions with her just before TRAGIC DEATH DATE?
- [x] Can you think of a reason why would anyone want to murder VICTIM?

and so on. The usual questions.

Also, let's add:
- [x] Someone got killed recently, poisoned.
-- [x] The poison's effect where DESCRIBE SYMPTOMS. Could you identify it?


I cut out some of the questions and edited some others because I didn't think they were quite necessary.
First of all, we're not supposed to ask people things like "can you think of anyone who would, hypothetically, murder me in my office at, oh, roughly 11:21 tonight with a gunshot to the chest?".
We're the detective, we can't run around asking others to solve the mystery for us. That would ruin his hardboiled image.
Also, the detective's office faces a forest, not another building. And besides, rifles aren't exactly Eirin's speciality so let's save that question for Reisen. She is, after all, the resident gun bunny. (Terrible pun, I know.)

Second. Let's not say that someone was killed last night, because nobody was killed (at the bar) last night.
If anything, it happens tonight. And she doesn't need to know the details of our murders anyway.
The less we let others know, the better. Every bit of information we give away is something that the murderer can use against us.


>>12559
You do realize that in a story like this we have to solve the mystery in order to save her, right?
Things change in order to adapt to our meddling in the timeline (getting shot vs getting poisoned) so without solving the mystery we probably won't even know where she was murdered (the body was deposited below the bridge after the murder) and the body will be deposited elsewhere if we try to stake out the bridge to catch and interrogate the killer.
>>12558
I lapsed back into second person perspective for that line. I actually did that basically at least once for each paragraph, but I caught all of those, most of them as I wrote them, and the rest on second look.

Didn't catch that one.
[x] “Well, I have a few questions for you, then...”
–[x] Where were you and Reisen at TIME OF MURDER? Can anyone attest to that?
–[x] Did you know VICTIM? If so, what were your interactions with her just before TRAGIC DEATH DATE?
–[x] Can you think of a reason why would anyone want to murder VICTIM?
–[x] Suppose someone was killed with poison, and the symptoms were DESCRIBE SYMPTOMS. What might the poison be? Which of those poisons could be adminstered by a pinprick wound, without the victim noticing immediately? Who would have access to them?
I'm npt feeling the above questions. Here's one of my own.

[x] I understand that Reisen had a relationship with Tenshi. Do you know anything about it?
>>12564
I think the poison question is too leading if you phrase it like that.
We're giving away too much by asking a too specific question. She'll never buy that it's a totally hypothetical scenario that never happened if we are that specific.
That's why I cut it down to just describing the poison symptoms and asking for her medical opinion as to what causes it.

From there we can make some basic assumptions: If it's a pretty "normal" poison e.g. arsenic (I have no idea what the symptoms for arsenic poison are, and I think it's normally ingested too, but whatever) that's "commonly" available we check the seedier drugstores and chemists to see if anyone has bought that recently.
Whoever kills us tonight probably acquired it recently. The investigator doesn't have a long list of enemies as I understand it, so it's probably someone trying to stop us from investigating Tenchi's death, specifically.
If it's more exotic, we can narrow it down to the number of people who would have access to a rare substance like that. (The Eientei group, Marisa grows some pretty rare mushrooms many of which are probably toxic, Medicine Melancholy controls poison, and so on...)

But most of all, we don't let her know just how suspicious we are.
If she is in any way related to whoever murders us, asking such specific questions is likely to tip off our killer.
Heck, if the poison is really exotic even just asking about it at all is suspicious.


>>12565
Yeah, that's also a good question to add to the list of standard questions. (You know. "Where were you?" "What were you doing?" "Can you prove it?" and so on..)
Actually, come to think of it. What were the symptoms of the poison other than dizziness and nausea? We need something more than that if we're going to identify the poison.
Dizziness and nausea can be caused by just about anything that's bad for your health. A bad fever can cause that. (Not to mention if the poison in question, say, prevents the body from taking up oxygen, like cyanide. Then that could cause dizziness from lack of oxygen even if not a direct symptom of the poison itself.)
The speed of the poison could be a clue too. I mean, it probably took less than five minutes for him to die from the time he got injected with it, and given the stealthy way it was administered it can't have been a very large dose either. (At most I'd guess a small syringe, but more likely just a camouflaged needle or something.)
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12579
[x] “Well, I have a few questions for you, then...”
– [x] Bunch of questions you guys suggested

“Well, I have a few questions for you, then.”

Eirin tosses the rag in her bucket, frowns, and stands up. “Questions?”

“It should just take a few moments of your time.”

“Fine,” she replies. “Let's find somewhere to sit, then.” She pauses. “No, no. First thing we're going to do is make sure that you don't mess up the furniture.” I look down at myself. Right, there's the matter of having a couple cubic feet of dirt spread all over my clothes. “Hey! Tewi!”

A short, brown-haired rabbit girl in a pink dress walks from around a corner to face the two of you. “How did you know I was listening?” she asks.

Eirin shrugs. “I didn't. It was a guess. Take our guest-” She turns to me. “You don't have anywhere to be for the next couple hours, do you?”

Well, I've got an appointment to keep, very important, my good drinking buddy Grim doesn't like to be kept waiting, but I'm sure he'll find me. Very punctual fellow, Grim. “Not particularly, no.”

“Right, then. Tewi, go draw a bath for Avery here, and get him some clean clothes.”

Tewi pouts. “Why can't he do it himself?”

Eirin rolls her eyes. “Because he doesn't know where the bath or clothes are, and I'd rather not have him tromping around the mansion looking for them, leaving a trail of dirt and filth in his wake.”

“Fine,” Tewi grumbles. “Follow me, then.”

How did I agree to take a bath in this place, anyway? I was going to ask some questions and leave, and that was going to be it. But a warm bath does sound nice. The hot water's been out in my apartment for at least a week now.

Cold showers suck, and they only make the hangovers worse.

Tewi leads me to a well-furnished washroom, toilet and sink in the entry, separated from the tiled bathroom by a sliding glass door.

“Thanks, Tewi,” I say. She just looks at me expectantly. “What?” I ask.

“Well,” she starts, with an edge of aggravation in her voice, “I can hardly wash your clothes if you're wearing them, now can I?”

“Huh. Do you mind?”

“No. Now get naked, already.”

“That 'do you mind' was 'do you mind going out while I undress', not 'do you mind me getting naked in here with you.'”

“Prude,” she huffs. “What are you, afraid to get naked in front of a girl?”

Christ, she's not going away. So I take off my overcoat first, and throw it over her head. She just leaves it there, but I can feel the anger building from under it. So I decide that the best course of action is to add to the pile. A minute or so later, Tewi is standing in the bathroom under my overcoat, my pants, my button-down shirt, and one of my socks. The other sock has fallen off, as have my boxers and my undershirt. Still, more than half. And it's not like she's going to remember this the next loop through.

As I slide the glass door shut behind me, I hear Tewi shaking off my clothes and grumbling. “Fuckin' shitdetective,” is the only phrase I make out.

Cheered by this turn of events, I take my shower, and am greeted by... nothing. No clothes here. This is awkward. But there's a note.

Avery-

If you're reading this, your clothes are still in the wash.

And no, I didn't bring you new, clean clothes because you're kind of a dick. A prudish dick, no less.

Love,

Tewi


Goddamnit, Tewi.



Fifteen minutes and much shouting later, I find myself in a fresh pair of boxers and khakis, with a black t-shirt on. Not exactly the ensemble that most people think of when they think of a private investigator.

Tewi's really harshing my hardboiled vibe, here.

Twenty minutes later, I find myself sitting down in plush, out-of-place couches in Eientei, sitting across an equally out-of-place coffee table from Eirin. They really clash with the traditional eastern décor.

Twenty-five minutes later, I find myself trying to find Tewi again so I can get my damned notebook out of my damned coat, there's no goddamn way I'm going to remember these answers afterwards if my stupid future past amnesia shit keeps acting up.

Thirty minutes later, I can actually start asking questions to a thoroughly amused and giggling Eirin. Harshing my goddamn vibe.

“So, Eirin,” I begin, all pretensions at professionalism thoroughly shattered, “where were you on February 14th?”

Eirin thinks for a while. “Working, I guess.”

“Working on what?”

“Well, I've been working on a topical burn cream- something that works faster than cold water and mashed leaves.”

“And you were working on that on the 14th?”

She shrugs. “Not a hundred percent sure without consulting my logs, but reasonably sure, yes.”

“And what about Tewi?”

“Avery, if I could keep track of that girl, I wouldn't have any time for my own work.”

In my notebook, I write down Possible alibi for Eirin. No alibi for Tewi. Yes, full words. Full words with full sentences. I will never use shorthand again. “Is there anyone else in the household?”

“Yes. Kaguya and Reisen.”

“Let's start with Kaguya, then.”

“Well, she's not one for going out and about, especially not in this weather. I can't say as I've talked to her specifically about that, or thought of anything she might have done that day.”

“Nothing?” I ask. “February 14th was Valentine's Day. She didn't have a date, plans, or anything?”

Eirin laughs, the sound of pealing bells. “Oh, oh Buddha, you're right. That was Valentine's Day. She was probably in her room, moping and surfing the internet, and moping some more. I can imagine it right now: 'it's not my fault I'm not popular!', she'd say.” Eirin is still laughing, and wiping tears from her eyes. “Man, I kind of regret missing that.

Probable alibi for Kaguya. “And Reisen?”

Eirin shrugs. “I'd have to check the logs for that one, if she's actually been keeping up with those. I admit I've been lax as her employer, and haven't checked her timesheets precisely.”

“Do you mind if we do that right now?”

“Not at all, Mr. Investigator, but it's a bit of a walk from here to the Human Village.”

I groan. “So she has the logbook with her.”

“She does indeed.” No alibi for Reisen.

“Did you know Tenshi Hinanawi?” I ask, pencil doodling on the notepad. I've really got to break that habit. If Kotohime ever looked at my notepad, she'd see poorly written notes in shitty handwriting surrounded by badly-drawn stickmen lodged in a forever war over some absurdly drawn hellscapes. I'd like to avoid that, if possible.

Eirin shakes her head. “Not really. She was only over here a few times when she and Reisen were a thing, but she seemed nice enough. Nothing really comes to mind.”

“What did you think of Reisen's relationship with Tenshi?”

Eirin leans back, and crosses her legs the other way. “Well, I remember thinking that this was probably a good thing. Reisen's always been kind of shy, you know? Needs a girl as energetic and outgoing as Tenshi to draw her out of her shell.” She holds up a hand as she leans forward again, forestalling anything I might have had to say. “Yes, yes, I know that she'd get tired of Reisen, but better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all, eh? And it's not like Reisen's my kid, either. She's my employee. I do look after her, but I wouldn't presume to tell her what to do with her life.”

I think on this for a moment, but then focus on the important thing in the statement, something I overlooked the first time she mentioned it. “You said she was your employee. What does she do?”

“She runs the branch pharmacy out in the Human Village.”

“Why not just have your whole operation out in the Village? It'd be much easier for injuries to get to the doctor there, than have to come traipsing all the way up here to get treatment.”

Eirin sighs. “There's a couple of reasons for that. First, Reisen's a skilled doctor in her own right. Anything immediately life-threatening, she can probably deal with. Anything that needs my expertise will likely keep until I get down there. Second, I think of myself as more of a scientist than a doctor. I work mainly in research. And research is probably best kept away from populated areas.”

“Why is that?” I ask, intrigued. If she's willing to talk, let her talk. She'll talk herself into a corner if she's hiding something. The talkative ones always do.

“You know what a vaccine is, right?”

“I do.”

“Do you know how they're developed?”

I think for a moment, and the obvious conclusion hits me. “Oh.”

The conclusion must have been written on my face, because Eirin responds with “Exactly. It requires testing and research with live samples and occasionally dangerous chemicals. Out here, isolated, we can safely do research and testing. In the Village? It'd be significantly harder to contain accidents.”

If I can subtly steer the conversation to poisons, then we're really getting somewhere. “What kind of dangerous things?”

She shrugs. “Oh, you know, the usual. Ricin, anthrax, smallpox.” She puts a finger to her chin and looks upward, thinking. “Saxitoxin, botulinum toxin, arsenic. Hemlock too.” She thinks for another moment. “Though it's fair to say that you can get arsenic basically anywhere. It's the classic poison, anyway.”

Very interesting indeed. While she's listing these things, I'm noting them down in the notebook, as reminders not to forget. I'll have to see what I can find out about fast-acting poisons, though asking her outright about symptoms and such may cue her into my suspicions before I want her to.

Different tack, now. “Can you think of any reason anyone would want to kill Tenshi?”

Eirin smiles. “Well now, you don't need me to tell you the motive. Valentine's Day murder of a heartbreaker and homewrecker. Obviously some jilted lover or jealous significant other whacked her.”

I can't believe I didn't consider that. It's so simple, but god damn I feel slow. It doesn't necessarily have to be someone directly dumped by Tenshi. No, it could be someone whose relationship was wrecked by Tenshi.

Shit. That'll need a whole reworking of the list of suspects. Shit, shit shit. Nothing ever comes easy in this town.

I tap my pencil on my notepad absently while I think of any other questions I need to ask. I think I've covered all the bases, honestly.

“Do you mind if I ask you a question, Mr. Investigator?”

“Sure.” It might jar something loose.

“What did Mokou tell you about us? I imagine the reason you were with her is that you were hopelessly lost in the forest, but... Well, you understand how she is.”

“She told me a lot of things about Eientei. I took them with a grain of salt. Do grains of salt come in boulder sizes?” In fairness, though, I'm still going to keep an eye out on Eientei. Sure, drunk bums holler all the time about how the gub'mint is watching them through their teeth. But Mokou seemed a little more put-together than some drunk bum.

Only a little, though.

Eirin laughs again. “Is there anything else you need, Mr. Investigator?”

I shake my head. “Not at the moment. Be sure to let me or Kotohime know if you think of anything else, though.” Even though it doesn't matter. I'll probably be dead in some gutter tonight. Failing that, I'll be dead somewhere else.

[ ] “Thank you for your time.”
– [ ] Head back to the office. Night will probably be falling when you get out of the forest, and I sure as shit don't want to spend another night in the forest. And maybe I can confront my would-be killer best there, as I'm reasonably certain of the method of my death there.
– [ ] Head down to the underground. I'm going to squeeze every bit of investigation out of this loop, dammit!
– [ ] Go see Reisen. I've got questions, she might have answers.
– [ ] Write-in.
[ ] “Actually, I'd like to talk to one of the other residents of the mansion.” One is probably all I'll have time for.
– [ ] Kaguya.
– – [ ] Questions?
– [ ] Tewi.
– – [ ] Questions?
[ ] Write-in.

[ ] Kill yourself.
– [ ] February 23, 10:58 PM
– [ ] February 23, 7:21 PM
– [ ] February 23, 11:21 AM
– [ ] February 22, 3:21 PM
– [ ] February 21, 11:21 AM

Current time: February 23, 4:14 PM

Don't worry too much about forgetting to ask basic questions like “what were you doing on the day of the murder, do you know anything about the victim,” et cetera. I'll try to always cover those when appropriate. What you guys should focus on is extra questions that I may not think of, or things you think are important to ask.
[X] “Thank you for your time.”
– [X] Go see Reisen. I've got questions, she might have answers.


Reisen is next on our list of suspects. Tewi is, well, Tewi, but I doubt she'd actually murder anyone. She's more of a prankster than a killer.
Kaguya.. Well she might resent Tenchi's "popular" lifestyle, but if she went out people would notice, since it happens so rarely.


>“Oh, you know, the usual. Ricin, anthrax, smallpox.” She puts a finger to her chin and looks upward, thinking. “Saxitoxin, botulinum toxin, arsenic. Hemlock too.”
>botulinum toxin
My favorite. The most powerful neurotoxin known to man, with lethal dosage measured in nanograms (that's 0.000000001g).
And what do we do with it? We jam it into our faces to look pretty.
[X] “Thank you for your time.”
– [X] Go see Reisen. I've got questions, she might have answers.
Gotta find her log.
[X] “Thank you for your time.”
– [X] Go see Reisen. I've got questions, she might have answers.

Nothing much so far.
[X] “Thank you for your time.”
– [X] Go see Reisen. I've got questions, she might have answers.
I miss this story too. Fuck you, /underground/
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>>12640
Yeah, fuck you, /underground/, I liked this story too!

[X] “Thank you for your time.”
– [X] Go see Reisen. I've got questions, she might have answers.

“Well, I think that's everything I needed, Miss Yagokoro.” I reach into my pocket to give her one of my cards so that she can call me with any extra information, but I chuckle to myself and remember that I'm going to be dead in something like six hours anyway.

“You're welcome back any time, Mr. Investigator,” she replies. “I hope you get to the bottom of this case.”

I nod. “I certainly hope so as well.”

As I'm walking out of the front door, back towards the Human Village, I feel like someone's watching me. Not just Eirin, who's standing out front waving, seeing me off, but someone else.

Of course, I've been a detective long enough to know to trust my instincts- and I turn around to Eientei with a searching gaze. On the second level, there's a girl with long black hair peering out of a window, a confused look on her face.

Interesting. I'll have to check her out. Next time, though. I've decided to check up on Reisen this time through. I light a cigarette, and head towards the alarmingly wide and inviting road.

Wide, inviting, and clear. Wait. Hold on. I turn around, looking at Eirin, who's still out front watching me go. “Hey. Why's the road so clear here?”

Eirin smiles. “Because you're leaving. The Bamboo Forest of the Lost will let you leave any time you want. Coming in, though... that's a different story.”

I frown at her, ash coming off the end of my cigarette. “Fuckin' bullshit magic hacks.”

“What was that?”

“Nothing,” I reply, and turn to plod back to the human village, grumbling about supernatural stupid forests and crap.

A couple of hours later, after night has fallen and the thunderstorm's intensified even more, I arrive in front of Reisen's branch clinic in the Human Village. It's entirely dark inside, not a light on at all. Nobody's responded to a knock, and the door's locked.

I check my watch. 9:32. Just about two hours to go.

I stand there, considering my options. I could attempt to find Reisen somewhere else. Or, I reason, I could go in there and look for her logs while she's not there and glean what I can.

The second option is considered for a moment. I don't have any lockpicking equipment, and there doesn't seem to be another door. On the other hand, there's rocks about, and the windows are made of inviting glass. Just like the door. It'd be a simple matter to just shatter the window and unlock the door myself.

Of course, I think, there's always a third option. It may not be evident to me at the moment, but there's probably something if I think hard enough.

[ ] Look for Reisen somewhere else.
– [ ] Where? (Optional write-in.)
[ ] A little B&E won't really matter when I'm dead, will it? This looks like a good enough rock.
[ ] Stand there and think about the third option.
[ ] Write-in.

I'll have an updated timeline and web hopefully with tomorrow's update.
[X] Stand there and think about the third option.
My guts tell me to vote for this.
[x] A little B&E won't really matter when I'm dead, will it? This looks like a good enough rock.
[x] A little B&E won't really matter when I'm dead, will it? This looks like a good enough rock.

Screw it, we're gonna die soon anyway.
[x] A little B&E won't really matter when I'm dead, will it? This looks like a good enough rock.
A hard option to comment on as the reason is right there. Ah well.
[x] A little B&E won't really matter when I'm dead, will it? This looks like a good enough rock.


Let's at least be subtle about it. Put our coat against the window before cracking it with the rock to muffle the impact a bit, instead of just picking it up and throwing it like a baseball.
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[X] A little B&E won't really matter when I'm dead, will it? This looks like a good enough rock.

I stare at the door for a little bit longer, then toss my cigarette aside. Screw it, I'm getting my lockpick. I know there's one around here somewhere.

I walk around the back of the building, until I find a suitably large rock. While I'm walking back to the door, I check the windows for any sign of light or movement. Still nothing.

I should muffle the sound of the glass smashing. How do I do that, I wonder, hefting the rock in one hand, admiring the glasswork I'm about to ruin. Well. I could just break it by smashing the rock into the glass through the nice muffling of my coat. That'd do it.

Feeling pleased with myself, I open my coat, letting a bit of the cold rain inside, and place it against the window. I then proceed to swing the rock against the coat up on the glass, netting me a soft THUNK.

And no broken glass.

Okay, let's try this again. THUNK. THUNK. THUNK.

Who'd have thought that putting a cushion on the thing I'm trying to break the glass with would make it harder to break the glass? Oh, right, I would, because I'm dumb. Fuck it. One more time.

THUMP. And then the all-too-familiar sound of breaking glass. Because glass is still loud when broken, even if you muffle the sound of the thing breaking it.

I reach in, avoiding the pointy, sharp ends of the glass, to undo the lock. Even though I'm going to probably die in an hour-and-a-half or something, that doesn't mean pain doesn't suck.

The door swings inward as I push it, looking around to see if anyone heard me breaking into the office. It's late, dark, and rainy, so nobody's out on the street. Normally the branch office is open at this time of night for emergencies, but apparently Reisen isn't here.

Where she is, though, I don't know. But I intend to find out.

I walk into the office, beaten loafers making the wood floor creak underfoot. But nothing's seemed to be alerted to my arrival, and I wasn't very quiet. Alright. Time for what I came for.

The appointment book is on the front desk, that separates the waiting room from the back room. I wonder who her assistant is. I can't even remember their face at the moment. Probably just one of the village boys, making some money and ogling cute rabbit girls. I flip through the appointment book, and the entire book is blank on the 14th. Reasonable enough that Reisen would be somewhere else on Valentine's Day, I think.

I wish I'd thought to ask Eirin if she's currently in a relationship, to see if she's got an alibi for that day other than just her logs.

But this is just the appointment book, not her personal logbook.

I grunt, and head into the back, and rustle around, avoiding the jars of chemicals with labels I'm not even going to try to pronounce. Medical shit. I'm not an expert.

Finally, I come to a small room with a desk, and ledgers, books, all sorts of 'administrative' paperwork. It's messy. Can't blame the girl- I hate paperwork more than anyone I know. That shit's for the birds.

Not much time, but I flip through a bunch of promising-looking books, and then I come across a book with charts, dates, and times.

Upside: This is her current logbook. Downside: She keeps bi-monthly logbooks, which means this one starts on the 15th.

I check my watch. 10:58. Time to make a decision.

[ ] Stay here and continue looking through shit. Death will come but right now I ain't got time for his shit.
[ ] Go back to my office. I know generally how I die there, and I'm going to go there and punch Death right in the face. I'll have time to check out this lead the next time around.
[ ] Write-in.
[X] Stay here and continue looking through shit. Death will come but right now I ain't got time for his shit.
-----[X]Make one last attempt to look cool before your death.
[ ] Go back to my office. I know generally how I die there, and I'm going to go there and punch Death right in the face. I'll have time to check out this lead the next time around.
[X] Stay here and continue looking through shit. Death will come but right now I ain't got time for his shit.

Well, might as well learn what we can while we can.
[X] Stay here and continue looking through shit. Death will come but right now I ain't got time for his shit.


Knowing how we will die in the office won't help a lot, because the unstoppable fact (so far) is that we will die.
There might be more than one, and we get attacked from behind while trying to reach the one watching our window.
End result is still the same whether we're sniped or killed more up close.
DEAD END
New game
>Retry
Quit

This is an iterative process. We get info, we use the info to get more info, which is used to reach yet another step forward so let's get more information for our next go, instead.
Hopefully we find something incriminating enough, like a lack of alibi, to harass Reisen with on our next go.


I'm guessing that this time we die because we get shot in the ass by Reisen for breaking into the clinic tonight.
>>12909
Be interesting when Reisen kills us.

Could she possibly go from our mansion back her in time?

I have the feeling that she is one giant red herring though
>>12932
That's because she is too obvious as a suspect. Doesn't leave her out though.

[X] Stay here and continue looking through shit. Death will come but right now I ain't got time for his shit.
Death is inevitable, because this story is based around revivals so...
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[X] Stay here and continue looking through shit. Death will come but right now I ain't got time for his shit.

10:58? Fuck it, that's twenty-three minutes. I toss the books I've read aside, and in a flurry of energy, start tearing books off the shelves, inventory reports going flying, MSDS data sheets impacting against walls, slamming binders open with the force of which I threw them.

And then I see it. Another logbook like the first, in one of the drawers I tore out, laying against the wall, one side of the drawer splintered inward.

A logbook for the beginning of February. I scan past the first couple of weeks, not giving enough of a damn with my limited time to read any of the entries besides the one I'm looking for.

February 14

------


A sheet of blank lines. This is... well, maybe not damning evidence, but it sure as shit it something that raises entirely legitimate questions. A smile crosses my lips. Even though I'm going to die shortly, I've got something to go on for the next time. And maybe, just maybe, today I'll figure out who keeps killing me.

I check my watch one more time. 11:16. Five minutes to go. I wonder where my friend is, the one that's been murdering me all this time. Not much for it but to go out and get myself killed, is there?

I step out of the office, and into the dark backroom of the clinic. As I stride towards the front, towards the waiting room, I tap my last cigarette out of its pack and into my hand. I place it between my lips, flick my lighter on, and inhale the first sweet bit of smoke as I cross the threshold into the waiting room. I check my watch, and look out the window to the raging storm outside.11:18.

My next drag on the cigarette is rudely interrupted by a loud bang, and a sharp pain in my knee. It's followed up by another bang and another sharp pain in my other knee. I, of course, crumple in a heap. I would like to say I didn't cry out in pain, cry out for someone, but then again, getting shot is painful. Especially in the knees.

Jesus, I really want to avoid this for next time.

With tears of pain in my eyes, and my vision swimming, tinged with red in the center, rimmed with black, I turn myself over to face my attacker, over the protest of my screaming knees, and lever myself up on one elbow, the other arm moving slowly to put my hand in my gun pocket, slowly, slowly, as to not spook my assailant.

She stands up, gun in hand, from the chair she was sitting in, shrouded in the shadows of one of the corners.

“Hello, Mr. Shitdetective,” Tewi says.

I glare at her, and force out between teeth gritted in pain- have I mentioned how much getting shot in the knees hurts? That shit'll probably still be sore in the future-past. “Why?”

She smirks, secure in her power over me. “Wouldn't you like to know.”

I reply, giving her a lifetime's worth of sarcasm. “Why, no, I wouldn't. At this point, I get shot and murdered in dark rooms on a regular basis.”

Her smirk falters for a moment, but I look at her gun hand, and see the barrel's still trained directly on me. “What kind of joke is that? You're about to die.”

I roll my eyes- hard to do, acting cool in the face of certain death, but more so the pain- I cannot emphasize enough the pain. “Less of a joke than you think. So are you going to monologue, or are you just going to get it over with?”

She sighs. “I was going to monologue, but you've taken all the fun out of it. I won't miss you, that's for sure.” Her finger tightens on the trigger. “Any last words?”

[ ] Just one. BANG! (Shoot her)
[ ] Holy shit, just do it already. (Don't shoot her)
[ ] Hard-boiled write-in goes here.

ALSO SELECT ONE OF THE FOLLOWING:
– [ ] February 23, 10:58 PM
– [ ] February 23, 7:21 PM
– [ ] February 23, 11:21 AM
– [ ] February 22, 3:21 PM
– [ ] February 21, 11:21 AM
– [ ]
[X] Hard-boiled write-in goes here.

"I'll see you around. Earlier than you might expect".


Also, let's not shoot her. We have no idea if killing people will somehow influence the future. Besides, we've racked up enough of a body count by ourselves.
Avery deserves to score at least one point before he gets offed this time.

[X] Just one. BANG! (Shoot her)

-[X] February 22, 3:21 PM
[x] Just one. BANG! (Shoot her)

It'll let us find out if she had an accomplice or not.

– [x] February 21, 11:21 AM

No new time slots? Hm. This will at the least give us the most time to check things out.
[x] I was expecting the moon rabbit. How the hell can you shoot a rifle? Or use poison?
-[x] So I guess your friend killed Tenshi. All the evidence is hidden and will be released upon my death. It's rabbit season kid.


We need more info. We can kill her later on, but her reactions to our words are the gonna be important.
>>12987
The 21st is a new timeslot, in the sense that you haven't experienced it yet. There are actually two of those on the list of choices. The last death put you at the 22nd at 3:21pm.

>>12984
>>12988
You guys also need to vote for a timeslot (unless you don't care).
[x] Just one. BANG! (Shoot her)
– [x] February 21, 11:21 AM

You know, I can't say I'll miss Tewi when we finally off her.

Though it must be noted that just because Tewi is the person that killed us just now doesn't mean that she was responsible for all of our other deaths.

Also, we need to get her to do a cheesy monologue to reveal all of her evul plans.
[x]"You know, I didn't come alone."
and
[x] [x] February 21, 11:21 AM
I'm hoping that we'll either get a snarky remark from tewi or get to see her shit her pants. Either works for me anyway.
[x] "I'll see you around. Earlier than you might expect".

I like this line. Kudos to >>12984 for thinking of it. I don't mind if we shoot her before saying it or not.
>>12990
Good point. Guess we'll find out.

[x] Just one. BANG! (Shoot her)
– [x] February 21, 11:21 AM
>>12989
I just forgot to vote.

– [ ] February 21, 11:21 AM

unless "– [ ]" is meant to be the morning of Feb 21, in which case I'll vote for that. As far back as we can go, either way.
>>13048
That option means precisely what it says. Kinda. Well you know, ~cryptic choices~ and all that. Don't worry too much about it.

Anyway, I'm calling it for shooting, February 21st, and a snarky line as-yet-to-be-determined-from-the-ones-suggested because I really do like them and that one was really less of a 'vote' and 'hey let's fish for dialogue ideas'.
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13203
"So your friend killed Tenshi, then." A shot in the dark, but it might help me out.

"Ain't got no friends, Avery. Doesn't look like you've got any here either."

Fuck. She called my bluff before I even got to make it. Fuck it. Let's do it anyway. "How sure are you of that? I didn't come alone."

"So what you're telling me is that you've got a friend with you, that let you get shot twice in the knees, get held at gunpoint, and will probably die? I might not have any friends, Avery, but at least I know it. Well. At least you know now." Her finger tightens on the trigger. "Goodbye, Shitdetective."

"See you around, then. Sooner than you might think."

"Threats at such a late juncture. I'm dis-" and her voice is cut off by my finger pulling the trigger, and the hammer falling on the primer of a .357 magnum round, blasting out of a two-inch barrel, aimed right at her center of mass.

The first shot goes wide. I pull the trigger again as fast as I can, using the momentary distraction and flash to try and empty out the cylinder before I die- and I sure as shit am going to die, if any of these other shitty loops are any indication- but the hammer snags on the fabric in my pocket.

As I'm frantically fiddling with the hammer to get more shots off, I see Tewi's scowling face, and hear a second gunshot.

Those are the last things I see and hear.

--

February 21, 11:21 AM

I've made an exceedingly poor decision at some point in my life.

This isn't the same kind of 'exceedingly poor decision' as 'crashed my recently-commandeered Studebaker into a column while running from the police' was. It's not even as bad as 'leaving the rum in the trunk for the cops to find' either.

No, this is the kind of decision that kills someone, gives them something to regret. I never regretted rumrunning. Not once. Didn't regret being in the Army when some asshole shot some Archduke whose name I can't remember.

What I do regret, and this is immediate, is that I find myself in an extremely clean room, appointed in the classiest of manners.

The window has lacy curtains, to let the light in, and thick red velvet ones, to frame it. The bed, perfectly made, pillows perfectly fluffed, and not so decorated to make one regret sleeping in it.

Several pairs of immaculate black Mary Janes are lined up near the door, all shined to perfection. The wardrobe of old, well-polished and finished oak. The perfectly unmarred white carpet- with the exception of the tracks I apparently made.

The dirt alone would be enough to make me regret this decision.

But no, that's not enough. The nice drawer, that I've got open. The solid oak drawer, that I've got my hand in.

The silken undergarments, that I'm currently rummaging through.

And the sound of footsteps I hear outside. Mary Janes on hardwood.

Shiiiiiiiiiiit.

[ ] Hide! Holy shit hide!
[ ] Fuck it. Caution to the wind! Investigation above all! Even though I have literally no idea what I'm doing here!
[ ] Run! The window might be open! And even if it's not, a few glass cuts will be absolutely nothing compared to the pain waiting for you here!
[ ] Write-in.

[ ] Kill yourself.
– [ ] February 23, 10:58 PM
– [ ] February 23, 7:21 PM
– [ ] February 23, 11:21 AM
– [ ] February 22, 3:21 PM
– [ ] February 21, 11:21 AM
– [ ] February 20, 8:21 PM
– [ ]

Updates of the whiteboard will come within the next few days. I'm nowhere near either of them right now.
Shiiiiiiiiiiit.
[X] Kill yourself.
– [X] February 20, 8:21 PM
[X] Fuck it. Caution to the wind! Investigation above all! Even though I have literally no idea what I'm doing here!

Since we're apparently rummaging through Sakuya's unmentionables, we're fucked no matter which way we choose, whether we run or hide so just go all out and claim temporary insanity. (Hey, we can even explain that we're trying to solve Tenchi's murder, working from the future by being killed over and over. That should be enough to show that we're clearly not of sound mind at the moment, and can't be held responsible for our actions.)
[x] hide, holy shit hide.

I hope this teaches him a lesson about clothes and guns.
Jesus Christ get an automatic.
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13207
>>13206

ARE YOU MAD THAT'S EVEN WORSE

The chances of the casings ejecting cleanly are almost nil; it'll stovepipe jam on the second or third round at best! And a lot of them even have exposed hammers! What he needs is a concealed-hammer revolver, or just bob the hammer spur on his current gun.
[ ] Fuck it. Caution to the wind! Investigation above all! Even though I have literally no idea what I'm doing here!

Now. I want to know exactly who's room this is and who these lacy undergarments belong to. It's important investigator work.
[x] Hide! Holy shit hide!

Wow. Sakuya is going to horribly murder us early.
Aight someone's going to have to break the tie or I will do it myself later tonight.
[x] Fuck it. Caution to the wind! Investigation above all! Even though I have literally no idea what I'm doing here!

One tie breaker fresh off the shelf.
[X] Kill Yourself
----[X]February 20th, 8:21 PM
You want to kill me ay? Not if I kill myself first! BLAM
[X] Kill Yourself
----[X]February 20th, 8:21 PM

Always the best option when Sakuya is around
Seriously?
Are you guys gonna just bail out without even doing anything? We'll never get anywhere that way.
[X] Fuck it. Caution to the wind! Investigation above all! Even though I have literally no idea what I'm doing here!

What if there is a clue? I'm sure this is where they've been hiding.
>>13261
In the panties drawer?
[x]>>13261
Finally! Common sense!
>>13263
Of course! The one place nobody would think to look for clues is the best place to hide them.
IT MAKES PERFECT SENSE!
[X] Fuck it. Caution to the wind! Investigation above all! Even though I have literally no idea what I'm doing here!

DO IT RABBIT
Updates. When?
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