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i am a war machine

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1

[indent]  Am I done?
[indent]  [indent]  [indent] What I mean?
https://forumupload.ru/uploads/001b/2c/35/569/925314.png
Broken glass at my feet, I don't like what I see
I am a war machine

[icon]https://forumupload.ru/uploads/001b/2c/35/569/340842.png[/icon][nick]Kim Kitsuragi[/nick][sign][/sign][nm]<a href="ссылка на анкету" class="ank">ким кицураги</a>[/nm][lz]<div class="lz"><fan>disco elysium</fan><center>there's more to the picture
than meets the eye</center></div>[/lz][status]bad decisions[/status]

+4

2

The world is ending. It is burning from the inside, boiling oceans of its own blood. Mountains crack and crumble, like fractured bones.

«It’s okay. You don’t need to open your eyes now. You don’t need to see another death.»

The thunder of the last storm on Earth roars like a wounded beast. Is it agony? Is it a battle cry?

Perception (hearing) [Medium: Success]: It’s the phone.

That’s even *worse*. At least apocalypse would mean that he won’t have do all those complicated things people expect him to do. He can’t quite make out any of those things exactly, but they feel really tough and borderline impossible at this moment. For starters, people would definitely expect him to answer the phone, and, well…

It just won’t. Shut. Up. Why did he ever put the phone in…

«…the void between the worlds, where your meaty self is stuck. Get out, Harry-boy.»

The voice of his reptilian brain dissolves into the recently found reality. The woken man plants his right palm and tears his head from the couch cushion, his fingers sinking into the quicksand of old fabric. He’s dizzy — actually, the word itself does not feel sufficient. It’s a brand new level of dizziness, — well done, pal — and for a moment it feels like he’s going to be sick with all the mush that used to be his internal organs.

Electrochemistry: Big deal. Guess Dick Mullen wakes up like that every single day. Every cool noir cop does.

The phone rings *again*.

The man lifts his upper body and then, with an enormous effort of a sheer willpower — I don’t want to fuck up again, dear God, can I not fuck up just this once? — he stands. The room takes a sharp turn. Every one of the half a dozen empty bottles —

Electrochemistry: Potent Pilsner, nice.

— stays of the coffee table. The smell of dried, poorly brewed beer mixes with the sour stench of old cigarettes. It feels familiar though. Safe. *Un*-threatening.

But still, the man steps away from the coffee table and right to the phone, erupting with noise, like a volcano. He lifts the receiver — it’s cold and metal and smells like and old handrail.

The inside of the receiver is cracking and quietly buzzing with all of its white noise.

Reaction speed [Easy: success]: Say something.

Logic: Preferably your name. Confirm that it’s *you*.

Oh, that’s gonna be easy. The man opens his mouth, breathes in the sour air of the room to state his name in all its glory.

Volition: Can you *not*? It’s not Costeau. It’s not Firewalker. It’s also not amusing anymore.

Fine. Someone’s cranky today.

And so he says:

«This is Du Bois, 10-2.»

***

Harry quickly tears a brightly-colored wrapper of a piece of gum.

«It’s strawberry,» his taste buds say. «It’s *disgusting*».

Now now, gotta take one for a team. The aftertaste of fire on his tongue would have been better. It also would have been better for the headache, only partially lifted by the magnesium. But it’s not that simple anymore.

Volition: It’s not that bad, you can do it. You’re already doing it.

Electrochemistry: Excuse me, do you want him to *suffer*? What’s one innocent sip to you? One sip to make it *all* go away.

Harry shakes his head slightly. However, he can’t shake away the guilt. He should not have drank yesterday and hide the fume with some artificial raspberry…

Perception (taste): Strawberry.

…but what is done is done. He stepped bravely from then to now, and *now* he needs his shit as together as humanly possible. It’s the first case after Martinaise. It’s a big deal.

He got here early — the crime scene is just a fifteen minute walk away from Harry’s place. Makes sense that Kim’s not here yet.

There’s just the two of them in the Jamock alley, dirty grey before the dawn — Harry and the body. The patrol officer who found it went to get some coffee and left them alone. It’s actually better this way, Harry prefers to have a moment or two to meet the dead body before anyone else intervenes.

Female, early thirties, dyed hair, multiple stabbing wounds to her chest.

Visual Calculus: We hate those. I bet a million different blades could have left those.

Empathy: We also hate to see dead people.

Harry nods slightly and chews his gum. He’s saying, it would have been nicer not to meet you, dead body.

But here we are.

[nick]Harrier Du Bois[/nick][status]little dark age[/status][icon]https://i.imgur.com/EPOJMxB.png[/icon][nm]<a href="ссылка на анкету" class="ank">гарри дюбуа</a>[/nm][lz]<div class="lz"><fan>Disco Elysium</fan><center>DETECTIVE<br>ARRIVING<br>ON THE SCENE</center></div>[/lz]

Отредактировано Cullen Rutherford (2022-04-03 21:37:33)

+3

3

Jamrock looks just the way it smelles - *disgusting*. If could, his olfactory receptors would scream in agony, but they were almost dead by now, which satisfied him more than enough if truth be told. Downstairs little savages - kids, he corrects himself - have already risen from their dark, nasty corners, ready to take over the streets. Thank God they're not ginger - he would *not* survived another pair of Cunos.

The lieutenant adjust his glassess and takes a deep breath.

The room at the "Whirling-in-Rags" costed twenty reáls. A little less than ten packs of cigarettes. The room included a corpse outside the window and a memoryless detective behind the wall - now he rents a small apartment in the middle of nowhere, there are no neighbors behind the walls, and the tree in the courtyard looks *too* lonely - as if it really lacks a corpse on it's biggest branch.

When he turns the engine on the Kineema greets him with a loud clatter. Kim smirks a little, his car is indeed a noble beast of some sort.

The road to the crime scene doesn't take him long. This particular Jamrock alley is no different from the entire place — same dirt, same decomposition smell as if the place is rotting alive.

Or, is long dead already — given the look, it is more like it.

«Detective.»

Calm, *steady* voice as he approaches Harry. No need to be over-joyed to see him survive yet another bottle.

Though, he *is* glad to see him - arrive in time, of course, everything else would be higly unprofessional.

Well done, Harry, you're doing great, even if the fume is almost visible.

He smiles, but - just a little.

«I see you came first here. Good. Have you already examined the body?»

As he comes closer, he pulls out his journal and one blue pen. The pen's cap clicks, and so the memories flash behind his diamond-shaped glasses like the old filmstrips. Only it's different now — Harry remembers him, reality, and that it is now his second and only chance to make things right. He hopes he can do it, probably the only one, really, but it's not the time for such thoughts, nor the place.

He takes place on the opposite side of the body. The very first sun rays gild her hair. The lieutenant startes to make some notes in his journal.

Dyed blonde, it must be that she hasn't renewed her color for a long time — her natural color can already be seen. Might be important. Color, not the schedule of hair dyeing.

Something in the way the victim lies is bothering him. Like it *reminds* him of something very familiar.

Closed eyes, one hand lying near the multiple stab wounds, the other one - over the victim's head. Dressed in white nightshirt — probably was moved postmortal from the initial murder place, presumably home. Knew the murderer?

It takes him a moment to realize what was his memory trying to remind him about.

The victim most likely was associated with Dolores Dei. Religious violence?

He looks at Harry, waiting for his thoughts on all of this.

+3

4

Shivers: It’s a little past six in the morning, the city is getting ready to live yet another day. You hear doors closing in the distance, keys jangling — somebody leaves to run their convenience store or a motor carriage repair shop. The «open» signs turn green, like a traffic light. Go, it says. Come in. It’s time to do something. It’s time to *start* something.

Not for everyone though. Harry feels it — shivers down his spine. The city buzzes like a hive, wounded, distressed. It has lost one of it’s own. It’s a tragedy, and the city should stop to acknowledge it.

Shivers: It doesn’t.

Harry closes his eyes for a moment. *It doesn’t*.

The sound of his partner’s voice brings Harry back to reality — cruel, yet not entirely hopeless.

«Oh hey Kim!»

Harry smiles and waves his hand as if otherwise Kim wouldn't see the *only* alive person in the alley.

Authority: Stop that. Technically, he’s your subordinate. You have to make it clear.

Joke’s on you, Harry thinks, because I don’t have to do *anything*.

He rewinds, he goes back to the words *his partner* popped in his head. That’s right, Kim is his partner now. That sounds insanely cool. Harry is a real cop now, with a partner and all.

Espirit De Corps: Satellite-officer Jean Vicquemare is sitting on the edge of his bed, watching indifferently as the light crawls on the bedroom floor. He didn’t really sleep that night — or the night before. Cigarette smoke mixes with the dust dancing in the pale light. It’s time to do some good — for other people.

Ouch.

Something stings him inside, Harry scratches his chest thoughtfully through the green jacket.

Empathy [Medium: failure]: I have no idea what this is about. Ol’ Sunglasses is fine, don’t worry about him. Worry about the case.

Right. Kim starts with the work right away, Harry can appreciate that.

«Not really,» he says to Kim. «But — you know what? This time you can write and I’ll poke the dead guy. I mean, the dead gal. *The body*

Was that offensive?

Rhetoric: Just a bit disrespectful.

Harry pulls a pair of blue rubber gloves from his pocket, squeezes his fingers in. It feels uncomfortable, the rubber presses his bloated from the last night’s drinking palms as if it wants to crush them. Harry adjusts the gloves — they squeal in pain.

He looks over Kim’s shoulder, glances at his notes. The hair, yeah, that seems about right. Maybe the murderer has a type, that’s often the case with them.

Inland Empire [Hard: Success]: Wrong. He’s *wrong*. The schedule could be important. Just look at her. Look at her clothes, look at the hand placed carefully on her chest. It’s not just a crime scene — it’s the closing act of someone’s performance. And she’s dead because she could have ruined it otherwise.

«Hey Kim,» Harry says with rubber squealing accompanying him. «Might be important — the schedule. Maybe the guy snapped because her natural color started to show. ‘Cause she stopped looking like someone he wanted to see, you know?»

He shrugs — maybe that sounds stupid. Maybe not, you never know when it comes to someone else’s mind.

His eyes follow the lines of Kim’s neat handwriting. And then — Harry freezes.

Volition: Don’t go there. *Don’t*. You can’t break every time someone brings up literally the most famous person in the world.

Sure he can’t. He *won’t*.

«Let’s do this,» he says, his voice a bit too enthusiastic and glances at his watch. «Case number HD-1403.0615».

The second hand on his watch twitches nervously, goes back and after that moves forward.

«I guess,» Harry adds. «We’ll have to think of a name later. And now we need *her* name, right?»

He steps to the victim, he wants to go through her pockets — but there *are* no pockets.

Perception (sight) [Medium: Success]: Wait. Look at her left hand.

The victim’s left hand lies on her chest, fingers painted red with blood. Between them — something catches the morning light. Harry reaches out and pulls a bloodstained ID from the dead woman’s fingers.

There is a picture — kinda looks like her — and an address.

«No name,» Harry says. «It’s scratched out. The address in fine though, she lives — she *lived* really close to this place. And also the age —»

He pauses. Then he says quietly:

«Thirty-two.»

That’s one nasty coincidence.

Inland Empire: Don’t worry. You’ll ask her to stop interfering with your work tonight when you go to sleep. She’ll be there, it’s a standing appointment with you two.

Great. The Elysium guy — or whatever it is on his face — is right though. He can deal with it later. Deal with *her* later. He doesn’t need that now. What he needs is…

«I need an evidence bag.»

Отредактировано Harrier Du Bois (2022-06-19 17:12:06)

+3

5

Everything reminds him of Martinez.

He blinks when Harry pulls a pair of blue rubber gloves. Why aren't they yellow? No, he thinks, that's ridiculous. He shook his head as if to clear his mind, but it didn't help - as never did before.

The already palpable death smell, even Harry's voice - everything reminds him of Martinez. Everything returns him to Martinez, to *that* case.

How deep did it get inside?

Kim sighs heavily and rubs his nose with his fingers - this is not exactly what he wants to remember.

The memories of Martinez take shape of a firefight and bloodstains spilling over the pavement, on which a little while later they will form into bizarre lines. He doesn't want to forget Martinez - it taught him a lot, showed him a lot, but he doesn't want to remember it more than is necessary.

But here they are. Everything reminds him of Martinez, everything *warns* him that Martinez can repeat itself once more.

He blinks.

The blur vision is now gone.

When Harry glances at his notes, Kim gets a strange feeling. Here it is again, he thinks, *that* look.

Is it one of his inner voices showing up again? What’s it like? Does it trouble him? Back in Martinez, he decided not to dig into it. Why would he if it obviously helps the detective to do his work. His way of conducting an investigation cannot be worse than a thousand other ways that other detectives prefer. Everyone has their own unique investigative style and Harry, well, Harry knows about style maybe more than an ordinary person should.

Still, it was interesting. Maybe one day he would give his curiosity a chance.

«Makes sense,» he nods, running his pen through previous notes.

Dyed blonde, it must be that she hasn't renewed her color for a long time — her natural color can already be seen. Might be important. Color, not the schedule of hair dyeing. upd.: Detective Du Bois believes the schedule could be important. The dissonance in the victim's appearance could've provoked the murderer.

He only stops for a moment. A stupid, unjustified whim, but Kim justifies his sudden craving for a joke by saying this *really* describes the possible reason for the murder quite clearly. Plus, of course, the influence of Harry, but Kim is not one of those who will shift responsibility for their actions to others.

Expectations vs. reality.

Being too busy with his notes, he misses the sudden change in Harry's voice. He does it all the time after all - *changes*, so Kim pays no attention to overwhelming enthusiasm, concentrating on the evidence Harry found.

«That's strange. Why would one need to waste time on scratching the name out rather than just take ID from the victim?»

The damaged ID card was found during the examination. The murderer made sure the RCM couldn't identify the victim yet left the address untouched. Was this lead left intentionally? Or is this just a mockery? Or, both?

The pen hangs in the air. Kim frowns, looking from his notes to the victim, then back to Harry.

«If this was left on purpose we might find something else in her apartment. Let's hope it won't be another dead body.»

He says, giving him an evidence bag. He writes down the age and the address and sighs heavily, hoping this whoever won't be a bloody serial killer.

«Okay. Next?»

+2

6

A clear plastic bag with a red stripe on top shouts «EVIDENCE». Harry tears the bright tape off and places the ID into the bag’s belly. It rustles with obvious satisfaction. Oh yeah, it says. That’s one nice piece of evidence you got there. Harry almost rolls his eyes. It’s so easy to impress the evidence bags these days. Kim’s right — it *does* mean something. It should. But what exactly?

Logic [Legendary: Failure]: I’m not a magic eight ball, you know. Think. *Deduce* something. You’re the one with the badge.

«Who knows?» Harry shrugs. «The guy is a freak, I have an eye for those. Maybe he just felt like it, I dunno.»

Espirit De Corps: Grey paper of the «Revachol Post» feels warm to the touch and smells of ink. The front page says: «There is a beast walking among us. A young woman is found *dead* and *mutilated* in Jamrock. Lieutenant double-yefreitor Du Bois says: «I dunno»

That’s *way* too long for a headline. But still, he should have something else to say. Something smart, something useful. He’s a detective for crying out loud.

Encyclopedia: Modus operandi. Alibi. Forensic science. You know all the fancy words, but you still can’t put them together.

Physical Instrument: That’s ‘cause you were right the first time, the guy is a freak. A real deviant. Who cares what was he thinking? You should find him. You should *crush* him.

Harry hands Kim the evidence bag and once again turns to the body, once again looks at the grey face, at the blood-stained shirt. There can be no crushing until they figure out what made the guy do it. Actually, he has already seen it too many times. What makes someone stab, shoot or hit with a blunt and heavy object? Well, get yourself comfortable, kids, this is going to take a while. There is a whole wide world of motives — from A - alcohol intoxication all the way to Z - zero tolerance for noisy neighbors.

Inland Empire [Medium: Success]: This one is different. You can feel it. It’s not a petty squabble gone wrong. This one is a real *case*.

«Next,» Harry echoes studying the victim carefully. «Time of death.»

The vague touch he needed to get the ID was not enough, so he places his blue rubber palm on her neck. The body is cold — just like the spring Jamrock morning — and stiff. And empty. Nobody inside. Not even a memory of life.

She’s long gone.

«I’d say she’s been dead for several hours, so last night. There’re some places here that work late. We should ask around.»

*Some places*. Cheap bars with booze watered down and tiny convenience stores with a couple of sad lonely packs of biscuits, forgotten, overshadowed by the ranks of bottles — proud and tall, ready to fight for the ability to deal with reality just a little longer. Ready to give all they got to the lucky customer. *That’s* the kind of place working late around here.

Electrochemistry: Sounds fun, let’s go. Since it’s for the *investigation*.

Not yet, not until the bright red autopsy blank gets everything.

«No evidence of treatment,» Harry continues; he doesn’t even need to ask, he doesn’t need to visualize the blank anymore. The lines are burnt to his brain. «The body is placed in an alley, it is dressed in a white shirt,» he moves the dead woman’s head slightly, brushes away her lifeless hair. «Size Medium, no brand label. Blue jeans — oh look, it’s the Societe logo! Probably a knockoff though.»

Conceptualization [Medium: Success]: Of course it’s a knockoff. She’s not a rich heiress lost in the wild depth of Jamrock. She *is* Jamrock.

And she’ll be nothing *but* Jamrock from now on. She left her last breath — here. And she bled here — for the last time. She *lived* here — her very last moment.

Empathy [Hard: Failure]: Please stop, you’re making it worse. Just study the injuries and get it over with.

Sounds like a decent plan.

He starts with the arms, lifts the sleeves of her shirt.

«Bruising on the right arm, maybe the guy grabbed her…»

Perception (sight) [Hard: Success]: Hey! Hey! You missed something! Go back!

For some reason his sight wanders, it goes back to her stiff palm, to the fingernails turned pale blue. But not just blue — there’s something else. Harry lifts her hand, brings it closer to his face.

«Kim!» he exclaims with pure joy. «The index and the middle fingernails are broken! And I think there’s something under them. Gotta tell the guys at the morgue to get it out.»

He suddenly feels an urge to scratch his right arm.

Inland Empire: Do it. Do it now, while you’re like that. While your right side is turned away from Kim.

The hell? He can’t just drop everything and *scratch the arm*, that’s not professional. Right now he really has his hands full — ha! Get it?
Ironically enough, Harry puts the dead woman’s hand on the ground at that very moment. He doesn’t have any more excuses, but still he refuses to satisfy the Elysium guy’s demand. He’s not in charge here.

«A-and there’re multiple stab wounds to the victim’s chest,» he sighs and unbuttons the shirt a bit, moves the fabric; it’s heavy with dried blood, it’s stuck to the chest. «Yeah, I won’t be able to count those. It’s a bloody mess here. Oh, and definitely cause of death. Gotta stab a living breathing human being to get so much blood, you know?»

Logic [Medium: Success]: And the last guy really looked like he was hanged. Remember how that worked out?

Fair point.

«Kim?» he turns to his partner. «What do you think?»

Отредактировано Harrier Du Bois (2022-06-20 14:08:44)

+3


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