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Disco Elysium texts
import re
strings = set()
with open('texts.txt', mode='r', encoding='utf-8') as file_input:
content =
regExStr = r'^\s*\d string title = "(?:tooltip\d+|Name|Dialogue Text)"\n\s*\d string value = "((?!(START|input|\w+\(\)|\!\(\w+\(\)\))).+)"$'
compiled = re.compile(regExStr, re.MULTILINE)
matched = compiled.finditer(content)
for m in matched:
ignored_regex_strings = [
strings_filtered = strings
for regex_string in ignored_regex_strings:
regex = re.compile(regex_string)
# strings_filtered = filter(lambda i: not, strings_filtered)
strings_filtered = [i for i in strings_filtered if not]
with open('extracted_texts.txt', mode='w', encoding='utf-8') as file_output:
for string in sorted(strings_filtered):
This file has been truncated, but you can view the full file.
Kvalsund multitool.
" ... "
"'...member of the board?'"
"'88... This elevator was maintained a long time ago."
"'A man my age'? What are you implying? I'm at the peak of my abilities."
"'A science person'?" He snarls. "The *so-called* science community hasn't accepted me as one of their own quite yet."
"'A slow, sad song started playing. Like organ music, on repeat. That went on for quite a while. Some of the time you were yelling along to it."
"'After life, death -- after death, life again. After the world, the pale -- after the pale the world again.'"
"'Ask Revachol'" is the name of a war time radio show the communists used to address civil issues," he remarks. "Maybe that helps?"
"'Bout fuckin' time, man. I've done my duty." He brings his hand up to his head for a salute.
"'Cause that's what they're all called. Kojko Pitjic, Lzloslaw Kojko. Kojkowicz Someone. Low self-esteem those guys have. Mind you, they look occidental, but they're not... *really* like us."
"'Cop Sets Fire to Himself.' That would be quite an interesting conceptual piece, don't you think?"
"'Count C,' for its popularity among the aristocratic class of the prior century..."
"'Course you fucking can. How do you think Cuno made all the docky boys his gimps? Just gotta fly, pig."
"'Cuno window'? C'mon kid. Just stop."
"'Defended' may be putting it a bit generously, though. I had a great view of you doing *nothing* to stop those psychopaths. Then I crawled inside. Bullets started flying. Anyway..." He clears his throat.
"'Every worker a member of the board'. I tried to convince my employer it was simply a piece of rhetoric and not a serious demand. But the... *stridency* of it seems to have spooked them."
"'Ey! Tequila! You wanna buy some speed?"
"'FALN'? That's medium-concept stuff. Not my style at all... I can't believe I'm saying this, but maybe you should lay off the booze -- It's fucking with your head."
"'Fortress Accident SCA produces revolutionary interactive call-in radio games' -- that's what the catalogue says."
"'Found god knows where'?" The big man exhales loudly. "That *Acele* is the daughter of Mico the Kebab -- a man who once killed a guy with a kebab."
"'Fraid I can't hang out and chat." He looks west, across the water, chewing on a piece of salami. "Damned water lock's finally been fixed, so I've got to get going."
"'Fuck off, midget.' Gaumont is short of stature, you see."
"'Harrier,' that's long for 'Harry'. So you *are* Harry...." He thinks. "Evrart was half right. Probably not a lot of people know your full name. Whoever told him you're Harry Du Bois didn't."
"'Harry please?!' -- I am going to *end* this call, dammit."
"'Hell no, I'm just an honest scab?' That didn't sound too convincing."
"'Hey'? That's all I get?" (Smile.)
"'I don't care about my gun'..." he repeats. "I love it, Harry! Wish I could be like that. But I can't. I have a responsibility to this community. I can't have a loaded gun out in the streets."
"'I don't care about my gun...'" he repeats. "I love it, Harry! Wish I could be like that. But I can't. I have a responsibility to this community. I can't have a loaded gun in the streets."
"'I have grand plans for you, Man from Hjelmdall.' She gestures her diabolical hand toward an array of potions and unguents. 'First you shall please me, then lead my armies against the vicious cannibals.' Not a muscle moves in the face of Man from Hjelmdall, yet inside there is turmoil -- this goes against all he holds sacrosanct."
"'I saw some piglets suckling their dead mother' -- have you heard this one, cop-man?" He continues without waiting for an answer: "'After a short while they shuddered and went away.'"
"'I see. You know something, but you've decided not to tell us."
"'I'm gonna fuck that Cuno up. I'm gonna shut his shit down...' You know what? You should have hit the Cuno, because NOW..." He raises his voice again.
"'In Guillaume's time you'd have been shot without a trial'. That's what he said to me." The old man gathers himself and wipes his eyes again. "He lived a cunt and he died a cunt. Let's leave it at that."
"'In many ways'?
"'Kind of'?! You tried to pin a murder on me... on *US*!" For a moment he looks like he's going to hit you. "Why did you do that?!"
"'No thanks to the squares at the precinct,' as you put it."
"'Officer' is my stage name, right? I can see myself as a middling disco artist called 'The Officer.'"
"'Oh yeah,'" she declares. "'Life gets hard -- but we go on.'"
"'Oh, did I leave my casserole on? Better go home and check. The election can wait!'" The man frowns, disapprovingly. "When she got back the whole thing was over."
"'Okay' what?"
"'Pines cow', who's that?"
"'Ramblings'? Nonsense! Your description of the phasmid is the most precise I've ever heard!"
"'Random kids'?" The big man exhales loudly. "That there is the daughter of Mico the Kebab -- a man who once killed a guy with a kebab."
"'Raubritter' is a fun game of economic competition, but can get quite intense after a while. We have games for the whole family. You can play with your children!"
"'Refusal to aid an officer of the peace.' You are impeding me from carrying out a murder investigation with your inane requests for money."
"'República'." (Smell the air.) "That's not very healthy."
"'She broke me. She fucking broke me.'"
"'Show me your cunt! Why don't you show me your cunt?' Then he gets knocked on the head with a wine bottle -- doesn't even fall down!" He shakes his head in disbelief.
"'Sinus salt,' 'the white knight'...."
"'Sir' it is, then. Soldier on."
"'Spookiness' is not a matter for police investigation."
"'Spying' has such a negative connotation. I did track your progress along the coast, however, and decided I would be better able to assist you from here..."
"'Surrender to the Night'," she replies, slowly rocking back and forth.
"'The record' -- so official!"
"'They' who?"
"'Thine spells are no match for purity and strength of will. Brothers of Hjelmdall stand above the vices of flesh for it is weak and corruptible, yet mine is forged in gore and strife.' Queen Lydiaana just laughs, a sultry and salacious sound, then says..."
"'This *shit*?" Her eyes with their cataracts look at you "I'm not going to do your work for you, just because you've got a potty mouth."
"'Tis pity she's a whore." (Wink.)
"'Turn into...'" He pants from exhaustion. "Cuno ain't turning into shit! Cuno *is*! CUNO *IS* THAT SHIT."
"'We Go On' by the OO." She sighs. "I can't listen to it any more, you've turned it into a parody."
"'Where can I listen to this?'" he mocks you. "Why don't you try shoving it up your ass, genius?!"
"'You tryna' tell us you saw the Insulindian phasmid out there in those reeds? Get outta here!'" She smiles. "They'd just give me a cider and ruffle my hair and tell me to stop dreaming -- but I saw it."
"*...a member of the board*," she nods. "I tried to convince my employer it was simply a piece of rhetoric -- or a joke. They did not appreciate the humour."
"*A Deuill*," she pronounces: "*Who being of great Charme and Guille, sneaketh into the homes of the Godlie*."
"*Absence...!*" she gasps. Then, after collecting herself: "I imagine things must be rather bleak for you to return to me. Tell me, what have you found?"
"*Ah*. And what do I care about the Union boss? He's not Gabriel, he's not Franconegro. He's not even Hermenegildo the Hand."
"*All* of them."
"*Alright*, man!" He claps his hands, enthusiastically...
"*And perswades them to addict themselues to his seruice...*"
"*And what is it doing in the fridge?!*"
"*And* I also fixed the strike situation."
"*And* an incision on the thorax, from a chaincutter." There's a pause. "I wouldn't mention those. Better not to muddy the waters."
"*And* in the process you turned up some information relevant to your investigation. Only from Evrart, surprisingly!"
"*And* short. *And* memorable!"
"*And* you managed to locate and pull out the bullet. So we can get ballistics, make of the gun -- all this is invaluable."
"*And*, I suspect it may also have developed other *specialized techniques* to protect itself from predators... or scientists, in our present case."
"*Anodic* dance music," he nods. "Regular dance music wasn't hard enough. And yes, I do."
"*Anything* else I should know about this task? This weasel person? When he'll be home?"
"*Apologizing* would be a good start."
"*Astonishing quality! Unbelievable prices!"
"*Autocannibalistic locusts*? I appreciate your *unconventional* thinking, officer, but really, cryptids aren't your area of expertise."
"*Back-up*?! There's nothing to back up, nowhere to back down -- the terrible finale is on us!"
"*Beats...*" The old man scoffs. "Violent bourgeois language. Even music is a form of homicidal competition. Saxophone blowing anti-communism..." His voice trails off into a gust of sea wind.
"*Besmertie*? That sounds vaguely familiar."
"*Beyond *curious. I will *choose* to interpret that as you turning the alcohol in the strike brew *down* -- for the sake of our professional relationship."
"*Bon dieu*," he mumbles, slowly shaking his head. "You and Gaston must be related. His blood runs yellow too."
"*Bonne prise*," the lieutenant commends you as you shift through the treasure -- well worn and folded into neat squares.
"*Both* apartments are now unrentable. Both!" She's still shaking her head, manicured hands now crossed over the chest.
"*Brief*, yes. That sounds good."
"*But* what? There's something I'm not getting, right?"
"*Callous*? What are you, Kras Mazov? Almost all establishments in Revachol keep their trash locked. The Whirling-In-Rags is not special in that regard."
"*Capitaine Arnoux -- le fléau des chevaux*!"
"*Ce serait délicieux*! he shouts excitedly. "Can you make that sandwich, officer?"
"*Cha-CHING*, Kim!"
"*Civic pride*, Cuno."
"*Click*, *click*, *click*, *click*" goes the little pipo-wearing asshole behind the fence.
"*Clown Cops Climb Tree, Fall Down*," he says, furrowing his brow. "*Enraged Cop Assaults Children -- After Falling Down Tree*."
"*Completely* empty?" The cryptozoologist's eyes grow wide.
"*Cool*? I wouldn't go that far. I'm sure there are cooler things than delivering a comically oversized novelty cheque to a cafeteria manager, but, sure... if that's what's cool nowadays."
"*Cop* is a pejorative term. I don't have a problem with policemen. On the contrary, I admire the effort to bring order to our streets."
"*Crab-man* is an unfortunate choice of words -- but I was there. The church on the coast shook from an audio-spatial anomaly. It may have been entroponetic, or perhaps related to radio waves..."
"*Cryobacter katlensis*," she answers immediately.
"*Cryobacter... katlensis*?"
"*Cursed*? Who said that, Annette?" She blinks. "I will have a word with her... This place is not cursed, it has a robustly *magnetic* energy. Good for commercial activity. My business is *thriving*, sir!"
"*Death Blow*. You're one of them. Tell me, who speaks like that? We had 50 million people on Caillou alone..."
"*Decisively*. Without fear of offending the sensibilities of the frail and weak-minded among his subjects! This is something the insurgents never understood..."
"*Detective*," he intones, "control your emotions. We did ouit *job*. This won't be the worst thing that happens to us on this case, believe me... You can't let this break you."
"*Diamorphine*, girl. Quit clownin'. We need a hook-up for that D..." He breathes in through his teeth.
"*Disrespecting* the force?!?!" (Kick the door.)
"*Doesn't remember them*!" the rat-faced man shouts. "He just forgets! Are you hearing this, Titus?"
"*Dozens*, at least. Of course, in the future it'll all be automated. But my point is this..." he says, jabbing his finger into the air a bit...
"*Duped*? Hey, here's a brilliant idea -- don't be a morbid drunk and you won't be duped so easily."
"*Entroponetics*," she corrects, "is the scientific study of the pale. Or a recent iteration of it, by way of Graad. The study of the pale reaches back 6,000 years -- the Perikarnassians called it the Western Plain."
"*Establishment...*" His suspicion is confirmed. "I thought so."
"*Estás crudo*, wey. I see deep inside you. Your body and spirit are suffering greatly from *overindulgence* and you don't even know it."
"*Ethereal*?" She throws her head back and laughs. "Thank you, but I think it's just the lighting."
"*Even* a mod..." Her face stiffens. "Glen, I went to *law school*. I am an attorney."
"*Every worker*..."
"*Everyone*, yo! We gotta tell the *world* about this. Case solved -- insect found. We're fuckin... master detectives or some shit. We're *good*."
"*Everything's* cool. The goods are cool, the customers are cool, the place is cool -- and one more thing, officer..."
"*Everything* could change." She looks around. "This city, the extradition rules... The people after me could be in jail. Or maybe Revachol..." She falls silent.
"*Everything* will be constantly shifting and moving under our rule, the future will belong to a circus of identities, just spinning around, surreal and unreal... You won't even know who you are any more."
"*Everything*!" She shouts with glee.
"*Exactly* what I didn't want you to do..." He sighs and turns to the woman. "Ma'am, my partner wanted to know if you work in pale transport."
"*Extreme violence*. The wards only make them invite their ghost-families. And the Semenese want that because they're in league with the ghosts."
"*Extremely* tenuous..."
"*Extremely* unfortunate. You need to contact your station about it as soon as possible." The piece shines in his outstretched hand. "Try not to lose this one, please."
"*Far Out* Son of Liver Failure -- the supercop who voluntarily enters an alcohol induced delirium to solve crimes.
"*First*, we're gonna find Dennis..."
"*Formerly* the most dangerous, yes... But do you know the most dangerous *living* cryptid?"
"*Franconigerian hard-body*. Softly round, yet still in shape. Ladies dig it."
"*Ghosts?*" she repeats. "No, I don't think so, I don't believe in ghosts."
"*Give up*? After we've come so far? Not a chance!"
"*Gladly*." The dicemaker turns away so that you can zip up your pants.
"*Grand* art. Art DeLuxe. The artsy-est, the most ground breaking, the..."
"*Hail Holy Queen* by The Etenniers. 'Hail holy queen of the sea,'" he quotes. "'You're whirling in rags -- you're vast and you're sad."
"*Handled* him?" He baulks. "She got into some stupid shit with that guy. Shit *we* had to take care of."
"*He* didn't do anything. It was the indisputable truth of his theories!"
"*Horizontal*? I see they taught you well in your RCM school. My old man -- a hunter and a half blind one at it -- could've say that. Horizontal lines..."
"*Hosiannna...*" A sigh escapes her lips, then silence, as she stares within herself.
"*How* can a bar be out of vermouth?"
"*How* did you kill him?"
"*I'm* going to find Dennis," he interjects. "I'm going to find him and then I'm going to kill him."
"*I'm* not *doing* anything. The music made its mind up a long time ago -- I'm just *implementing*!"
"*I* am the authority around here."
"*I* certainly haven't." He shakes his head. "Though I understand the socio-economic causes of the Revolution, it pains me to imagine the revolutionaries setting fire to this precious device. But so they did. The Feld Playback Experiment vanished into the fires of '07."
"*I* could come back for you. Once I've taken him to the Precinct."
"*I* don't even have my badge -- so spin on this!" (Give him the finger.)
"*I* don't have a problem! I'm a *cop*. I *fix* problems!"
"*I* don't have to do anything, I'm a police officer. *You*, however, have to do what I say."
"*I* don't place much stock in the curse and so on, but the label frightens the clientèle. Who wants to stay at a *doomed* hostel? Everything's doomed enough without that...
"*I* only said: *Unity*. One word. Figures of authority always misquote you." He points to his friends.
"*I* think you're loosing it, fiddle-man."
"*If* it's true." He looks at Shanky, then Titus. "But it's not -- right?"
"*If* she actually wants to see me, she will find a way. Any good negotiator would. And I just don't have anything to discuss with a bad negotiator."
"*If* there is an investigation it will be part of an ongoing operation -- subject to confidentiality. I am sure you understand."
"*If* you make it -- if you've been sober for 10 months -- tell us. I'll work with you again. But not like this. Never like this again. This is over."
"*In the middle of this town there's a ghostly motorway -- it takes all the people where they want to stay...*"
"*Intuition* is an aberrant psychologism." He chortles. "It reeks of cryptofascism. The parasite class use intuition to justify their rank in life. It's all just palmistry and magic *erl-creatures*."
"*Isola* is a Messinian word for a continent of matter, enveloped on all sides by the pale. Also: isolation, or land mass. We used to believe there was only one. In the last four centuries we have discovered seven..."
"*Joyce* is much more efficient."
"*Jumalauta*! The f****t can't even cry."
"*Just dock workers*? Do dock workers spy on the Police? We let you off easy, Miss. Don't think it will happen again."
"*Known* him?! We don't associate with scum like that, asshole!"
"*Krenel* -- an Oranjese military company. As far as I know three arrived in Martinaise. They report to me sporadically, but they do not answer to me. To be frank, our relationship is deteriorating."
"*Le Retour...*" the lieutenant says. His forehead furrowed, he puts his notes down.
"*Let* me be here?" He looks around. "The SAR is an unlawful successor of the Commune of Revachol. We took this fortification from the loyalists. Even the Claires understand this..."
"*Like* you?" He shakes his head in disbelief. "I'm not an entomologist, okay -- neither was the para-scientist. Who knows, maybe you're right. The only thing I'm sure of is..."
"*Liked* is a bit strong," she tosses her head. "He... he was the most charismatic among them. He handled all the talking. His departure left a major gap in the group's *communication skills*."
"*Limbo*, huh? So that's where I am."
"*Locker room talk*? What are you, fucking brain-dead?! I've been to plenty of locker rooms -- they don't plan rapes there!"
"*MAN!*" The screech from the red-haired goblin is nearly deafening.
"*Many* bleak scenarios have already come to pass to lead us here..." She looks at you, eyes damp from the wind.
"*Masterpiece*..." He rolls his eyes. "Get over yourself, Harry -- I can still smell the booze on the wind."
"*Maybe* from the coast? I've been too busy with this shit to see if it's possible. So no." He shakes his head. "I don't think it was a sniper. It was close up."
"*Mental illness* is a term the powers use to homogenize people. I think I don't reach mental illness. I am merely politically ill. A suspicious element."
"*Merciful*. Downright merciful -- you cops keep exercising *that* muscle and people will be more willing to cooperate, you know."
"*Merde*!" the old soldier yells in outrage. "*Bordel de merde*!!!"
"*Mon dieu*, how much can a man whine, Gaston?"
"*Mon dieu*, officer!" He looks at your wounds. "It is worse than I thought! Believe me, I know all about that kind of pain, I've had hip trouble for the past... week."
"*Mon dieu*, that is an excellent idea!" he exclaims. "That would virtually negate the component loss."
"*Mon dieu*, the pain is exceptionally bad today..."
"*Mon dieu*, you set it on fire!" He looks at the plaza. "What kind of a policeman are you?"
"*Mon dieu*," the jolly man exclaims. "Good job, officer. That was an excellent throw!"
"*Mon dieu*..." he mumbles, rubbing his temples. "Alright. Alright. Fine. What do you want, officer?"
"*Mon dieu*..." the carabineer closes his eyes, like he's never going to open them again.
"*More* fiddle playing! I can't believe this shit. What is this *mime* trying to do, *get* to me?"
"*Mr. Du Bois*, you don't look so good..."
"*My* boys?"
"*Nein*, Tyrbald!" the Man from Hjelmdall bellows over the army of flesh and bone. "Have courage! For the Northlands... for HJELMDALL!!!" He leaps to the mezzanine to face the black-eyed figure and like a mad ice bear whirling twin *zweihänders* -- *Sturm* and *Drang* -- he ploughs through the ranks of the deathless, surrounding the necromancer...
"*No one* parties harder than me."
"*No one* plays Johnny Jacket. I find it -- I keep it."
"*No one* says Arno van Eyck is a mass murderer. The anodic pioneer Rietveldt is not a mass murderer. He is not accused of mass murder..."
"*None* of this is fortuitous for me."
"*Not* a good position to be in, by the way. Internal Affairs handles these cases thoroughly -- by cross-examining you for inconsistencies. It is hard to *cover* for anyone. Which is for the best."
"*Not* cool."
"*Not* so useful." Titus looks at Alain, then Eugene.
"*Now* I understand why you haven't told him about your doubts."
"*Now* I've heard enough."
"*Now* we're getting somewhere," the street vendor nods. "If you'd only give me a good reason as well..."
"*Now* will you answer some questions for me?"
"*Now* you are talking sense, son." His eyes light up. "All three of us, working as a group -- we can make a difference."
"*O sim*.." The woman stares at you, her mind elsewhere now, on other matters.
"*Obviously* I'm gonna quit some day."
"*Officer*? Am I military personnel?"
"*Oh meu deus*, the Lawman solved the case..." She lights the cigarette. A white cloud of smoke disappears into her mouth.
"*Oh yeah...*" He looks at his friend with an expression of profound understanding.
"*Oh*. And what happened to it, detective?" She returns the lieutenant's badge.
"*Oh*. And what happened to yours, detective?" She returns the lieutenant's badge and turns to you.
"*Ohhh*, you mean *cocaine*."
"*One* week."
"*Or *it can be a coincidence."
"*Or* she knew what happened, because she killed him."
"*Or* we could ask around for the representative of the logistics company. My initial information says the Wild Pines have sent some sort of *strike negotiator* to wrangle control back from Evrart."
"*Or* we could shut this place down? The stuff is clearly stolen."
"*Or* we could talk to the representative of the logistics company again. I know we already met Joyce, but that didn't count as an interview. We need to ask her how the strike and lynching are *connected*."
"*Or* you can find your badge, which, honestly, seems like a lost cause."
"*Or*, lieutenant?"
"*Or*..." She picks the cup back up. "You can recover your badge -- though if I may be blunt with you, it sounds like that may be a lost cause."
"*Pardon*, René," he quickly turns back to you. "We must pick this up later, I'm helping the officer right now."
"*Party eyes*?"
"*People* yes, but not *you*.
"*Perfect folding mechanism*..." He rolls his eyes. "Get over yourself, Harry -- I can still smell the booze on the wind."
"*Please* don't bring Garte into this, it's none of your business!"
"*Please*, friend, let's just share it."
"*Please*, turn it off! I can't take it any more!" (Move on.)
"*Police* business."
"*Possibly* induced," he corrects you. "But even without that -- this man spent fifty years on the islands in the bay. In solitude. Loathing what Revachol has become. There's plenty for prosecution to pick from in terms of motive."
"*Precisely*. Someone needs to move the ingredients *from* the harbour into the city. Once they reach Jamrock they're distributed to a network of local manufacturers, well beyond our grasp. But in transit they are *vulnerable*."
"*Précisément*! Too much inflation, bread becomes too expensive; too much deflation, it becomes too cheap for bakers to produce..."
"*Pull his head off*. There's no point performing an autopsy if you do, we'll have compromised the coroner's case."
"*Re-set*," he repeats. "I have big plans for Martinaise. And they do *not* include humans living in those pig sheds on the coast. That land will be used for municipal buildings and commerce."
"*Real music, real proletkult*." He nods. "That's La Revacholière, not your rock and roll misanthropy. *Chanson de soldat* of the black-and-whites."
"*Real* big dick cops... Look at them! Reckless, swinging in the wind."
"*Real*..." He scoffs at the concept. "I know you think one is a respectable profession while the other is superstition, everyone does!"
"*Resuscitated* -- that sounds great..."
"*Reál* sounds like some fancy skin care product... but why would I owe you one hundred and thirty of them?"
"*Rich* people. Rich people are east of the river."
"*SIX* years?"
"*Saw my equations*?" She snorts. "You've been sniffing through my lorry, right? I expected as much. I *am* a bit surprised you knew what you were looking at..."
"*Silence!*" he snaps at Gaston, then turns to you: "Since you put it that way, I *symbolically* accept your cordial gesture." He eats the sandwich-half in two well-measured bites and nods. "For Revachol."
"*So* weird... what was that, officer?" The old man is visibly shaken, but tries to force a smile. "Actually, *please*, let's talk about something else."
"*Someone* did," he shrugs. His eyes grow cold suddenly. "Or maybe the cow just fell. The past is blurry, all I know is..."
"*Someone* shot her," he shrugs. His eyes grow cold suddenly. "Or maybe the cow just fell. My memory is full of holes. All I know is..."
"*Someone* was..." She nods as though her meaning were perfectly clear.
"*Something* about this man peaks my interest. I think this can be a side-thing."
"*Something?* Listen, I can't help you." He sounds annoyed now. "If you need further assistance you can visit us on the corner of Voyager and Main. Are we done?"
"*Speedfreaks FM*, huh?" (Look him in the eye.)
"*Stay*? Most people here are trying to *leave*..."
"*Still...*" she says, her voice breaking. "After all this. Sir, please... it's a shitty world and I know I'm shitty too, I know..." Her hand turns into a fist, slowly, crushing the cigarette she's still holding.
"*Sunrise, parabellum*," the lieutenant says. He's in the middle of a freshly cleaned room, with the fan above his head like a halo. His face is covered in bruises.
"*Supreme-titanium*?" The lieutenant blinks. "Sure. A door in this complex has super-hard, super-expensive chains."
"*Taivaan tähden*, you killed Cuno!"
"*Taking* it..." She looks toward the colourful mountain of crates, like toy blocks rising above Martinaise.
"*The Cocaine Skull*!"
"*The bear*..." she repeats, pressing thumbs into her temples, like trying to suppress a headache.
"*The* Landing. Coalition military called it 'Operation Death Blow.'" He winces. "I later found out, on the radio -- they called it..."
"*They* usually hang them completely naked for that. La Puta Madre, the Mazda, the besmerties, and the like. This one still has his underpants."
"*This* is Gabriel Buenguerro..." She shows you the photograph in the lavish amber frame.
"*This* is especially strange." (Show him the passport.)
"*This* is gonna make a hell of a sad tattoo..."
"*This* is traditional war-paint. It will grant me safe passage with the spirits that guard this place."
"*This* is what I studied law for?"
"*This* should take care of that nonsense." He points to a giant novelty cheque on his desk -- it's absolutely, comically huge.
"*This* time, though..." (Imitate drum roll.) I thought I'd ask you for a *walk*."
"*Thousands* of corporate secrets may be at stake here. I shudder to think what damage that might do to the international markets..."
"*Total*. Everything between an ancient concrete cathedral and a glass cube is Dolorianism. This is just a homespun version of it, folksy stuff, early mass production. They made thousands like this. Does that help you out?"
"*Transparence* has always been our highest priority."
"*Trash*?" The young man shakes his head in confusion.
"*Trying* is worth as much as is accomplished. In this case -- almost nothing."
"*Twisted* by psychopharmaceuticals, alcohol and the class interests of the bourgeoisie. They all are -- women nowadays..." He raises his eyes from the ashes.
"*Un Cangrejo*!" He laughs. "Never thought of myself as a crab. More like... a flame flickering among the rafters and beams..." He pauses. "It may be that I gotta work on my technique."
"*Upgraded it*? I don't care about your weapon-mania, Harry. I only care about your official sidearm -- which you *lost*."
"*Vanished*?! Harry, the woman left her casserole in the oven and couldn't make it here in time for the voting."
"*Very* important. Mikael, say hi to the officer." He rests his hand on the boy's shoulder. The child stays hidden behind the hem of his father's coat, clutching to his würm-themed colouring book.
"*Very* mysterious."
"*Very* nourishing indeed." (Rub your belly.)
"*Very* real trouble..."
"*Vittupää* wants to fuck up again, bad."
"*Was* it a good talk?" He leans back, suddenly worried. "I'm not sure we made much headway here. I was hoping we'd bust the case wide open, heck, I even wanted to tell you what I *really* want to achieve with the strike..."
"*We* shouldn't do anything. I don't tempt such forces."
"*We* who?"
"*We* won't be killing anyone. And *you* shouldn't say things like that. You're a police officer... there's been enough killing. I've *seen* it..." She coughs.
"*Well*? Harry, you let the suspect escape -- Ruby-something. You were too *drunk* to take her in, weren't you? "
"*Well*? No, it didn't."
"*Well?!* A suspect shot herself in the head, Harry. I know what you did -- you went in drunk and *intimidated* her, didn't you!?"
"*Well?* You let the suspect escape! Klaasje-something. Because you were too *drunk* to assess her flight risk."
"*Wet*, okay? It was raining really hard." There's a trace of derision in his voice.
"*What* good times?"
"*What* the fuck does he want now? More attention? A fiver? A parade?"
"*What-did-you-do?!*" she demands in a single breath, hand clasped around the pendant. "You *looked?*"
"*When* did she go away?"
"*When* else would you be then?"
"*When* was Revachol built?"
"*Where* is the lady driver?"
"*Who* said that? It's the fat racist, right? I bet it's him. He has an agenda against me, because I'm an immigrant who works harder than he does. He's a hater."
"*Who* you are? You lost your human visage a while back. Now let's get on with it -- I've got more important things to do."
"*Why* did you do that to yourself? You know I don't cheat, Harry. I never cheated on you."
"*Why* didn't we come here before?"
"*Why* do you wanna come with me?"
"*Why* in the name of fuck would Cuno be hurt?" The kid rolls his eyes at you.
"*Why* would you say that?" Lieutenant turns to you, more surprised than angry.
"*Why*? That's not what you were supposed to do here."
"*Workshop Spare* actually. It was in *your* box. Ruby's been here, right?"
"*You don't get to tell me what to do*." He impersonates you. The crowd laughs again...
"*You're* an asshole!" He pauses. "You know what, maybe we're both assholes..."
"*You're* insane." He stares at the firepit. "Radio shows, speed racing, sporting goods... None of it is real."
"*You're* the Apricot Chewing Gum Scented One."
"*You* broke the skua?!" He's face is flushed with emotions. A rash covers his neck.
"*You* could come back for me. Once you've taken him to the Precinct."
"*You* do not speak his name, craven! Although he was a clown..." he adds. He turns back to you. "But he was *our* clown. Ours to ridicule -- and to mourn."
"*You* look like shit, asshole!"
"*You* made me do this. You did this to yourself."
"*You* took the boots?" He grimaces, before writing down the serial number.
"... AND NOW FOR SOME MUSIC!" another voice screams into the microphone. Rhythmic rock music fills the cabin, as the back-to-back DJs mix it with sounds from car crashes and illegal speeding competitions.
"... Fuck me, I forgot the bullets." (Just stand there.)
"... No. I don't."
"... a secret passage. That leads to the roof."
"... and for his fellow man! That's right, Mr. Du Bois! You're turning out to be quite the individualist there..." The last sentence is spoken more to himself than anybody else. "So, you had business with me?"
"... and neither have you. Had you let me in on the script of this play before you performed it, I could have gone along. As it stands, the entire line of questioning has been compromised."
"... and realize the man-body, with *you* in it, is just a husk now. All memories -- erased."
"... and realize you've pushed yourself too far. Past the point of no return."
"... and realize your mind -- everything that was *you* -- is gone."
"... and the conclusion is that a man with your calibre should form his own one-man-policing-unit." He nods eagerly along. "Anyone else would just slow you down."
"... and, Mikael, notice the windows? Especially with how there are no windows on the south side? This was to deal with..." A blonde man stands next to his son, pointing to the weather-worn ruins. He sees you approaching and smiles...
"... and, come to think of it, Fritte's probably closed at this hour. They're open from seven to eleven."
"... behind darkness, I get it. Let's go."
"... but I shouldn't, really. I have stuff planned for tomorrow. Gotta run around, try to make some money."
"... but am I? I'll spare you another *20 hour mind-project* -- yes, I am. Now let's get back to work."
"... but* am* I? I'll spare you another twenty hours thinking about it -- yes, I am. Now let's get back to work."
"... did it look like a germ? Did it look like a piece of *bacteria*?"
"... each of you filling with resentment and bitterness for having *ruined* each other's lives..."
"... each of you tearing at the other's innards, leaving a gaping emptiness, a vacuum heart that still hurts ceaselessly!"
"... equals equals false, close brackets, equals equals true?"
"... had an arithmetics teacher, miss Bellows," Leo let's out a little chuckle. "Her real name was miss Bellams, she was a real pretty lady but when she got mad..." He starts laughing,
"... in your shit-pipes, right..." Indecipherable mumbling.
"... interestingly enough, brings us to the socio-economic structure of the traditional rural tribes of the Lomantang isles, which..." He goes on to give you a detailed overview of their way of life, the amiable, slightly nervous smile not once leaving his face.
"... is in a private hospital across the river. Krenel claimed him from the local butcher shop, where Titus died. Turns out he's *insured*."
"... it was *a hundred million years ago*. I was someone else then -- filled to the brim with love for you. Hanging on your every word. Oh Harry, you were the *coolest*... But I am no longer that person. This..." She points to herself. "... has taken her place. It will devour you. Harry -- I will eat your mind."
"... kipt kipt kipt." He comes to an abrupt stop. "Alright, shut it down, C, the Cunn has business to do." He turns to you, victorious.
"... nest in your abdominal cavity, like a little wild mouse..." The masked man's words are barely intelligible, but you can hear them.
"... new heights even for Captain Sober!"
"... no offence."
"... no worse than the bangers on Boogie Street."
"... rip you open..."
"... the fuck is that supposed to mean?"
"... the mercenary tribunal." The lieutenant nods.
"... the wires go *bweeeeeeeeee* and then *neeeeeeeow*?" (Loudly imitate the sounds.)
"... then for my daughters'. We had an obligation to defend our sovereignty. We should have *burned* the whole isola down rather than let them have it."
"... to kill us all if we don't open the gates, if we don't let the scabs in. If we don't bend over." He cracks his knuckles. "And that was *before* he started coming *here*."
"... unusual medical episode."
"... where other phasmids imitate sticks or leaves, this one's a living *reed*. It disguises itself among the reeds here on the Insuliandian coast."
"... will hunt you down and gut you like butcher..."
"... with no head on his shoulders! Wearing a FALN tracksuit. Searching for the legendary FALN cap that went missing -- when he lost his head."
"... yeah..."
"... you could torture me, abandon me, even *divorce* me, and I'd be dry as a desert, yessir." (Wipe your eyes.)
"... you're *very* cool." He makes both hands into finger-pistols and fires a few finger-bullets into the air.
"...*PIGFUCK!*" The voice from beneath the helmet interrupts your thoughts. You only make out the last word.
"...*PIGFUCK!*" is the only word you can make out.
"...*PIGFUCK!*" is the only word you can make out. It doesn't sound calm.
"...*mayyyybe* you're interpreting them wrong? He enjoyed life, you see. A little too much, if anything. Up to the point where other people had to pay for it."
"...At any rate, the suspect isn't there any more."
"...I feel I must remind you that we are here to conduct an important investigation that also affects *your* business."
"...It's so nice."
"...Mr. Du Bois, Mr. Kitsuragi, how nice that you found a moment to pay a visit to the Débardeurs' Union. I'm Evrart Claire, head of this little operation here."
"...Mr. Du Bois, how nice that you found a moment to pay a visit to the Débardeurs' Union. I'm Evrart Claire, head of this little operation here."
"...a foolish hope. But it's okay. I get it. It would have been *cool*." The lieutenant nods. "Now let's get some rest."
"...a superpower, feared and respected. A testament to what this country *can* be under the leadership of a True King, someone who knows how to rule."
"...actually less, because it's his home and his backyard. You are a guest here, Harry. Please remember that."
"...all I'm saying is I'm surprised people's skin colour varies so drastically."
"...all of you fucking cunts inside out...."
"...and Egg Head."
"...and I'm sorry."
"...and if it's, you know, part of all that *shit* you see..."
"...and if the law officials of our nation need help with the basic terms of reality -- well, then I am here to help." She bows.
"...and it's right here! A maintenance door." He points to a rusted metal double door to the right of the pipe, obscured by the reeds.
"...and so he removed my appendix *on the spot*, while the party was still on in the other room. And I was delirious with pain and all the schnapps I'd had, but I remember thinking -- man, that Gottlieb can stitch..."
"...and that is what caused the Communards to fail in defending the beachhead. Yeah, a lot of failure has gone down around here."
"...and use their superior technology to blackmail, mislead, and manipulate, turning high-ranking people in government and corporations into Seolite agents."
"...and you enter the harbour through the office. Esta!"
"...beating us to the ground. Moaning with joy..." He breathes in with strange animation: "You hounds get so thorough when a company-trained killer dies. I haven't seen you on this coast for *forty years*. You know... maybe I should have killed one sooner?"
"...because of some chick."
"...because they *like* killing."
"...because you work for the wrong people."
"...because you're a *foreigner*."
"...both of you," he turns to Kim. "We shouldn't have fucked with you like we did. You got between us and a lot of bullets in that fight. Martinaise owes you one."
"...bullet's too good for me... Just let it end, *madre*..."
"...but -- do you also use the *titular*?"
"...but I do know when someone's not telling me the whole story. What am I doing here? What's my case?"
"...but Titus and his boys got into some drunken trouble and Evrart sent them on a nice vacation. For a week or so..." He stops -- but seems eager to tell you more.
"...but now, only boring hell remains." Her crown-of-hair is aglow with the red of the neon on the corner. Like this, she tramples her feet for warmth. It's getting *really* cold outside.
"...but that just means you don't have enough money."
"...but the doorbell is broken and the bookstore shouldn't even be on the list anymore, so I can't help you. Please don't call here again. Thanks."
"...but there's a *thing* that's been keeping me up at night. I *want* to talk about the hanging. I mean... if we could just calmly talk, exchange information, we could blow this thing wide open!"
" telling you to do more drugs, mostly."
"...compared to the *eight people* who were gunned down! The streets are literally red with blood, Harry. It was fucking *mass murder*."
"...compared to the *eight people* who were gunned down! The streets are literally red with blood. Lieutenant Kitsuragi is barely clinging to life in the hospital. Harry, it was fucking *mass murder*."
"...compared to the *nine people* who were gunned down! The streets are literally red with blood, Harry. It was fucking *mass murder*."
"...compared to the *nine people* who were gunned down! The streets are literally red with blood. Lieutenant Kitsuragi is barely clinging to life in the hospital. Harry, it was fucking *mass murder*."
"...compared to the *seven people* who were gunned down! The streets are literally red with blood, Harry. It was fucking *mass murder*."
"...compared to the *seven people* who were gunned down! The streets are literally red with blood. Lieutenant Kitsuragi is barely clinging to life in the hospital. Harry, it was fucking *mass murder*."
"...compared to the *six people* who were gunned down! The streets are literally red with blood, Harry. It was fucking *mass murder*."
"...compared to the *six people* who were gunned down! The streets are literally red with blood. Lieutenant Kitsuragi is barely clinging to life in the hospital. Harry, it was fucking *mass murder*."
"...death, life again," he nods. "After the world, the pale; after the pale -- the world again."
" exactly that. Put yourself out of your misery. Take a deep diaphragmatic breath in and..." You hear an exaggerated inhale and a long exhale on the other end of the line.
"...even though I got my shit compressed!? How is it possible?"
"...everything has a price, sweetie."
"...for himself!"
"...for processing." He looks at the dead man one more time, then at the slip of red paper in his hand, then at the corpse again.
"...for the same reason that she's everyone's type as an object of desire, she's not irreplaceable."
"...fucking murdered him. Had him stink the village up for two weeks after. And you fucks did nothing." He points at you.
"...get back to it. We left Torson and McLaine to run the C-Wing. It's not good."
"...he is ambushed by a tribe of female warriors and taken to the ancient citadel of Cloud City, where a mysterious and wicked queen rules supreme. Will Man from Hjelmdall be able to escape his dire situation and find his missing friend?"
" could I stop you? Are we not human? Are we not *curious* to hear another person's take? It's only natural. We would only be..." she smiles, "gossiping."
" the fuck do the rest of you get by?"
"...huddled on the floor. The artillery was eighty kilometres away in Ozonne but I *knew*, I knew the Commune would fall. We would all be turned into ash. So I said I was going to the map room..." He looks east.
"...hypothetically speaking."
"...if it's part of the *shit* you see..."
" a living god!"
" an organ in the great state organism of war! Also, looks just like *me*."
" the Harmon Wowshi W02 -- made in Vesper, designed in Seol," he says. "Plays all reel-to-reel formats: 2mm, 8mm, 12mm. It's even got a little radio in there. It'll set you back 12 reál."
" what it would look like, but we know better. We *know* the ligature mark is a treatment." He awaits your call.
"'s beautiful. Beautiful freedom!"
"...jumping canals at night?" He interrupts you. "If I was Jacob Irw I wouldn't drive in *Martinaise*. The roads are awful."
"...maybe there is something else I can assist you with? While you're *hot* in pursuit?"
" I use those same hands in service of something greater than my own restlessness."
" Angus up like a can? Yes, he did." He nods. "Now, we can whine about it, whack him, or we can go on with our lives. I'm having a 'go on with our lives' kind of day, Al. How about you?"
"...or because I'm balding, yes. I want to fuse the remains of my hair together, before it leaves me."
"...or two." She looks around.
"...or, actually!" He seems to be positively surprised by the idea. "It could be *both*, given your profile."
"...ouch." (Grab your wounded toe.)
"...seems like a bit of an idiot." She breathes out. The air tastes sweet.
"...some people would feel compelled to take it. Yes, I know."
"...something more concrete perhaps? Do you have something *concrete*? Mundane. *Usual*."
"...steal, kill and destroy?" She counters, quick as a whip. "That they say we've been doing for over four decades now. Perhaps regrettably, I've had my fill for this century..."
"...that he was dead. Yes. They moved fast. This is a good treatment."
"...that really *sucked*."
"...that there's any question who's the leader." That's how he would have ended it. Titus won't let him.
"...that's not *a lot* of things. We should have dug up more yesterday. Still, we need to talk to them. And it won't be easy."
"...the Insulindian Phasmid," he finishes your sentence in awe.
"...the Mother will eat all of you, and never spit you out."
"...the neighbours of this old woman contacted my men, because they trust me and the Débardeurs Union. Apparently she was waving it around at the entrance to her building."
"...the old man is corrupt for our *benefit* and we know it. Appreciate it, even. He is, personally, not too lavish."
"...the shot couldn't have come from the roof. Or we would have all heard it downstairs."
"...the way it moved, the colour, how some of its limbs were white like marble..." He breathes excitedly. "It matched *perfectly* with what I know from other accounts! It was amazing."
"...the wolf always wants more. I like wolves."
"...then go past him again..."
"...then press the button to unlock the door..."
"...then you pull the trigger?"
"...they were performed so recklessly that when they happened upon the right frequency... well, they wiped out most of the population."
"...this isn't Revachol," a man's voice says. "This is a fucking village, I can almost see the elephants." Another loud screech. Some kind of machinery.
"...until it starts *swallowing*? It's already started. Starting with sound."
"...war?" She purses her lips. "The thought crossed my mind. But the mercenary's death was going to have repercussions either way. Although, the way things are going..."
"...what has *not* been proven is total memory loss after drinking too much Commodore Red. Honestly, I think he's just lying to us."
"...where it has been hanging for seven days straight. We should go there as soon as we're done talking to the owner."
"...which is *why* the work of the Moralintern is so critical. It is our great bulwark against another century of bloodshed."
"...with *cool* names," he adds with contempt. "Like *La Puta Madre* and *Ahura Mazda*. It's a dark parody."
" get more fish in a shorter time. And, for time is of the essence and fleeting ever so quickly, one must think of a way to fuck the whole world -- and not get caught up in fucking some *one*."
" have me -- I will assist you in any way I can. Even if we have to do it one basic term at a time." She gives you a slight bow.
" made it look... like he'd been hanged..."
" may be thinking, 'But fire crackles!' No, homes, that's the material that's burning. The flames themselves are without sound."
" pull the trigger?"
"...your place among your fellows, your place in the world. I ain't got no use for such a place any more."
"1,000,000 reál."
"1. Bite marks."
"1. External examination -- now that we have the chaincutters, let's cut the belt."
"1. External examination -- summary."
"10 reál and I can get these ready in eight hours."
"10 reál."
"10-... uh... excuse me, sir? Over."
"10-1, you're breaking up. 10-9, repeat please. Over."
"10-18, 10-20? Over."
"10-18. State your message, sir."
"10-2 (Receiving Well), 10-5 (Relay Message). This is 41st, come in! Over."
"10-2, 10-5. This is 41st, come in! Over."
"10-22 the captain?! This sounds bad."
"10-4 (Message Received), 10-5 (Relay Message). What's your status? Over."
"10-4, I hear you, officer. I'm just going to make a note here that you are in pursuit of your *misplaced* badge. Over."
"10-4, I hear you, officer. I'm just going to make a note here that you are in pursuit of your *misplaced* badge."
"10-4, I hear you. I don't have the authority to grant your request, but...."
"10-4, I know, I already wrote it in a report, but..." He hesitates. "It will stay on my desk for a few days. Over."
"10-4, Station 41. I've got a urgent business. Over."
"10-4, affirmative. Officer is in pursuit of his firearm." There's static.
"10-4, come in, officer! Over."
"10-4, come in..." He hesitates. "...*Fire walker*. Over."
"10-4, message received. This is a *very* serious situation. I need to 10-22 the captain. Over."
"10-4, sir, I'm not hearing your question?" the radio operator inquires again.
"10-4, sir, glad to hear that! I'll write down that there's no need to issue a new one to you then. Over."
"10-4, sir. Roger that. And very glad to hear it. I will make relevant changes to the report."
"10-4, sir. Sorry, but I'm under orders to give a negative to requests for personal information. Over."
"10-4, sir." There's a pause, as he seems to mull it over behind his enormous radio-microphone. "Well, there's been some talk, sir," he finally says reluctantly.
"10-4, well that's a..."
"10-4, what's your status? Over."
"10-4. Anything else for you, sir? Over."
"10-4. Anything else, sir? Over.
"10-4. Orders are still orders. Anything else? Over."
"10-4. Your address---"
"10-4. Your badge should have most of your personal details? Look over that. Over."
"10-9, come again please. Over."
"10-9, come again, I didn't get that. Over." The animated conversation in the back is making it difficult for him to hear you.
"10-9, come in, officer! Did you get my question? I was wondering about your gun. Over."
"10-9, come in, officer! Did you get my question? We were wondering about your gun. Over."
"10-9, come in, officer! Over."
"10-9, repeat message! I didn't get that, sir. Over."
"10-9, repeat message. Over."
"10-9. Over."
"1000? Why not more?"
"11. Evidence of treatment:"
"11.30 to 12.15. I don't know the exact time. Around midnight."
"12th FEB, '52: Brought some food from the grocery store. Apparently there's a strike going on in the harbour. Definitely not happy to see the Martinaise people again. Everything's now set up in the church, going to start working tomorrow 8 AM."
"15 reál."
"2 reál."
"2,372," he replies like a whip. "Plus yours truly, of course."
"2. Contusions."
"2. Coroner's case no:"
"2. Internal examination -- summary."
"2. Internal examination -- where were we?"
"20 years ago, when you met Edgar. The Claires didn't run the Union yet, did they?"
"200?" He thinks for a moment. "Could it be the combined weight of two people, one carrying the other who's tied up? Let's say, a heavily built worker carrying a similarly built, soon-to-be-dead man?"
"236189281... If you're looking for a deal on mattresses... SUHSUHSUHSPEEDFRRRR... 23567... 32971047302819... O' strange light, O' light of mine.."
"236189281... If you're looking for a deal on mattresses... SUHSUHSUHSPEEDFRRRR... 23567... 32971047302819... Oh Rosaline, oh Rosaline..."
"24h Window"
"25th FEB, '52: I've been sending data up to Lintel for a while now, trying to recreate the data loss, but nothing. Didn't even feel like logging in the disappointment. But I did discover a curious *audio-spatial* anomaly at the back of the church. I've named it *the swallow* (it swallows sound). Need to get some mics."
"28th FEB, '52: Yes, the first recordings confirm that the swallow is real and I'm not just losing my mind. It's a pillar of silence with a diameter of approximately three meters. Seems like the higher I go, the less I record. This might be a coincidence. Or it *could* be connected to the data loss that led me here."
"3 reál and it's yours, friend. The deal of a lifetime!"
"3 reál."
"3. Description of injuries -- now that we've fully examined the body."
"3. Description of injuries -- summary."
"3. Ligature mark." (Finish the autopsy.)
"3. Name:"
"3.20? Hey, that's a rip-off!"
"3.30? But I sold it for 3.20..."
"300 reál and it's yours, as promised." He shakes the bottle. "Best shit around!"
"300 reál."
"33A -- this old *proletarian* haunt here." She waves at the ruin looming overhead. "As I said, *plenty* of people drive boats. Of all social strata."
"4. Date of birth." (Nod)
"4. Date of birth:"
"4.46 jacketed ammunition, modified for range," he lists. "We have it. This is it."
"41 is his rank in the underground street racing hierarchy." (Rub your chin.) "Small fish this one."
"41, huh? This street racer is quite the ladies man."
"41," the lieutenant steps in.
"42," she nods sadly. "That is the light rail the took me to Couron to school and work. Every morning... it's the same stop I met you in, Harry. A hundred thousand million years ago..."
"42. And he was *deceased*. He had been decomposing for a week."
"43 is pretty large for a girl, don't you think?" He rubs his chin. "But then Ruby's what you call a *butch-girl* -- she's no daffodil."
"43 years and 10 months."
"43 years. Hard to fathom, I know."
"43 years... No." He looks into the fire -- a wisp of smoke rises from somewhere between the charred logs. "I've been on other islands too."
"44? I'm young!"
"44? You think so?"
"45% is around where I operate. Things are getting better though."
"4th of February? That's over a month ago... Whoever set up those machines has been here for quite a while."
"5 reál."
"5. Age:"
"50 cents. Bargain-priced! I'll throw in the tiny cap too -- I think he's looking for it, or something. That part of the story has many interpretations."
"50% it is." (Agree with the deal.)
"55%. I want the control stock in this or I simply won't be motivated." (Shrug.)
"57th over and out." Her voice disappears into void.
"6. Race:"
"60%. I hold all the cards here, kids. I can lock you up and say this was all an act."
"6000 kilometres from the end of the world?"
"6th FEB, '52: Had a little chat with the local fishermen. Said I shouldn't go near that place, that the church was *spooky* and ridden with *narcotics*. It's a little spooky, alright. Still haven't figured out the electricity."
"7. Sex:"
"70%. I'm a police officer. I could be risking thirty years of service for this. Actually -- I should take 75%."
"70%. Nothing below that."
"700 reál. A bargain, I dare say."
"700 sounds about right. I imagine it wasn't easy sawing off that street lamp."
"7th FEB, '52: Finally got the electricity in! Next on the agenda: a new antenna. I'm thinking ESKER series? Something advanced."
"8. Date of death:"
"85% is good enough. No one lives forever, baby!"
"85% is not good enough when you're dealing with another person's physical well-being."
"851023933... Come in..."
"875263... 23621837... for that special someone..."
"8th FEB, '52: Bought the antenna, had some problems setting it up, called Simo for help. Heard the others are back to *making art* (drinking somewhere out of town). Sulisław started a rock band again, Lexie has been seen asking money from strangers..."
"99 999 999.9th?"
"A 'curse' is something superstitious, but a 2mm hole in reality?" She gives you a rueful smile. "We all know what it means -- it's pale."
"A 'killer' party? What is it with you and *pulp* staples. My god. Please, no more talk about my daughters. They are fine!" She picks up a book and tries to concentrate. A flock of seabirds passes by.
"A 'normal' die? I'm a novelty dicemaker, I don't make 'normal' dice."
"A 'psychic studio'? This is even worse than a bookstore in Martinaise..."
"A 'skull thing'?" She shakes her head. "Man, you sound like a hundred years old when you say that."
"A *crab man*, man!!!"
"A *detective*." He finishes the sentence for him, then his tone turns surprising mild. "Pardon me, I did not wish to seek conflict. It's simply my training to question things."
"A *different* cryptid?" The cryptozoologist furrows his heavy brow.
"A *driver* would wear down their right shoe before the left -- the accelerator is on the right. And remember that abandoned lorry cabin we found?"
"A *driver* would wear down their right shoe before the left -- the accelerator is on the right."
"A *fishery*. I've been speaking with Lilienne here. She gave me the idea. The infrastructure is all here, and with my connections..."
"A *fugitive*? Well, I would say that is very bad, indeed. Not super."
"A *little* drink?! You smell like a corpse. I'm downwind and I can barely breathe." He covers his nose. "You smell like shit."
"A *lot* of stuff," she concurs with a smile.
"A *male artist* is a contradiction in terms..."
"A *none-of-the-above* kind of man? No harm in being that."
"A *politicien* is never off z'e clock."
"A *sequence killer*?" Kim narrows his eyes in the wind. "There's nothing that connects those two bodies. This is a completely different case -- an accident."
"A *she...*" The negotiator does not seem be shocked at first.
"A *third order* presence, yes..." She lets go of the pendant.
"A 7-to-11 grocery store?"
"A Code 31 emergency? Really?"
"A Killing Is Declared", "Dick Mullen in the Murderhouse", "The Final Case of Dick Mullen" (an obvious lie), "Dick Mullen in the Clock Tower", "The Ordeals of Dick Mullen", "Dauntless Dick", "Dick Mullen's Funeral Pyre", "The Murder of Dick Mullen"...
"A Nachtwey 80 front-loader. Two-barrelled -- not really what you were looking for, I'm guessing."
"A Revolutionary matronym?"
"A Samaran rifle... How did you get hold of one?"
"A Samaran-made rifle."
"A Seolite."
"A Seraise man, who lived a long time ago. An ancient hard core brother."
"A Stas-Rajko, KK-2. That's a classic model," the lieutenant replies with a nod. "Never thought I'd see another one repainted after what happened last time."
"A Triangong 4-46 -- military aid from our brothers in the Hsin-Yao Commune. The Belle-Magrave is..." The old man looks to the sky, waiting for the words to come to him.
"A Trigat Sunshine. Mini."
"A Villiers 9mm, front loaded? Two-or three barrelled..."
"A bad idea. Some poor leftists built a particle decay generator in hopes of bringing affordable electricity to under-served communities. It malfunctioned. Radioactive waste everywhere, probably some of it in *you*, too."
"A bad memory of what?"
"A bad memory, officer."
"A baggie... but like in this vial."
"A beacon of light in the dull shores of mediocrity. You're welcome, Martinaise."
"A beautiful, strong man sent here by the honourable private military company Krenel."
"A besmertie is a Revacholian crime syndicate. They see themselves as the inheritors of the 14 Revacholian indotribes, but really they're just violent gangs vying for control on the West side of Revachol..."
"A better deal! Yeaaaaaah!" He waves his hand in the air. "Medium core!" The words echo magnificently throughout the nave.
"A better sound system?" she repeats. "Alright... But where would we get one?"
"A big political and military conflict. Ask around, or buy a book." He seems annoyed by the question.
"A big time operator of the pederast army. How about I keep it, huh? Hand it over to a real killer. A *briscade*."
"A big wheel of the 4th Regiment of the pederast army." He sighs. "To hell with it. It's a walking stick anyway...."
"A binoclard."
"A bird?" She tilts her head. "A *sphenicid* -- a flightless bird of the polar regions?"
"A bit much? What are you talking about? That's what my grandma told me, okay?"
"A bit of a week?" He squints. "You let a suspect *escape* -- a certain Ruby. You let her escape because you were too *drunk* to take her in."
"A bit of a week?" He squints. "You're drunk. And you let a suspect *escape* -- a certain Klaasje. Because you were you too *drunk* to assess her flight risk."
"A bit of a week?" He squints. "You're drunk. You let the suspect shoot herself in the head. You went in drunk and *intimidated* her."
"A bit too dramatic, don't you think?" He says it like it's an aesthetic question. "If you really must do it then I'd go with something else... some other substance."
"A black bloc, a part of the city left unrenovated after the war. Or one that has fallen to gang violence. Or has become inhospitable in some other way."
"A boiadeiro? No, homes. I don't go in for that kinda thing. It's all about surrendering to the Mother now."
"A book about cockatoos? There should be one upstairs, right next to the shelf of biographies."
"A bottle of magnesium, please."
"A bouncer? Where? I frequent a lot of bars, maybe it's one I know."
"A brain condition?"
"A breech-loader?"
"A broken old broomstick is what you showed me -- but point taken." He nods.
"A bullet, you say?" He pats the back of his head. "That's mighty curious."
"A bullet." The lieutenant picks it up between his fingers. "Unknown calibre. Rifled... you may remove your hand from the victim's head now, officer -- well done."
"A bullet..." The lieutenant puts a small bag marked *evidence* under it.
"A bullet?" The lieutenant turns to you and gives you a little nod...
"A bunch of *what*, detective?"
"A bunch of poor people built themselves a primitive nuclear reactor, hoping for the best. What do you think is going to happen?"
"A business named Revachol Ice City. I think they used to sell ice cream around here."
"A cafeteria manager, you say? How strange. Normally fugitives don't take on such *public* roles."
"A car drove through the fence."
"A carnivorous stick insect? Seems unlikely."
"A casual term of endearment popular among the 50+ crowd. It's a disco holdover, pay it no heed."
"A chance to cook some speed, you mean?" she asks sourly, crossing her arms.
"A cigarette is such a great idea. I think I'm going to have one too."
"A city has millions in it, so the world would have a lot more. I think I knew the number once..."
"A city state divided into free market zones. Under the *everlasting* interregnum of the Coalition of Nations. And you, of course -- the Citizens Militia."
"A civil war is brewing and the only way to prevent it is to solve the murder. That means talking to Ruby."
"A classic set. The figurines represent the 5th-century Franconigerian Cavalry."
"A clue? You think our suspect is a seagull who's been defecating on unsuspecting jackets?"
"A colossal stick insect -- three metres tall. It on the island, camouflaged as the reeds. It... unfolded from them. I did not -- unfortunately -- get a photo. But I believe it may have been the Insulindian Phasmid."
"A colossal stick insect. It was on the island, camouflaged as the reeds. It... unfolded from the reeds. I think we may be dealing with the Insulindian phasmid."
"A communard. One of the leftist revolutionaries in the Antecentennial Revolution."
"A company getaway. For a weekend or a summer holiday. Then came the Revolution, but that's another matter..." She takes a sip. "I'm here to make sure the Pines can fulfil their responsibilities to the place they *built*."
"A confrontation is imminent. They have followed in your footsteps..."
"A conglomerate the size of Wild Pines is like a shark -- if it stops moving and growing it will die. Then what becomes of those 72,000 families? It is a tremendous responsibility."
"A conglomerate the size of the Wild Pines is like a shark -- if it stops moving it will die. Then what becomes of those 72,000 families? It's a tremendous responsibility."
"A contact mic is a microphone that records sounds from inside things. Like all this wood."
"A contact mic records sounds from inside things. Like this ice."
"A contusion is a bruise. I'm talking about the marks your stones left on the corpse."
"A cop limping down the street, bleeding from the shoulder, face bruised, looking like hell... You know what that is?"
"A cop who's into building critique." He taps a floorboard. "Okay then. This is folk Dolorianism, lawmongerer. It's a subset of early *Dolorian* architecture."
"A cop's cloak! It's a cop's cloak!!!"
"A cop... You've worked there for so long you can't even talk like a normal person anymore! It's always lists with you. *Questions*."
"A corpse-free yard. Don't you have civic pride?"
"A couple of campers found it when it was already dying. They heard an odd wailing in the woods and followed the sound. They were scared and wrapped it in tarpaulin to suffocate it."
"A couple weeks ago I stopped a young man for going slower than the speed of traffic. Turns out he was some Coalition official's son -- and high."
"A cover-up -- where the author of the cover-up is the perp? Makes sense."
"A crab *and* a banger?"
"A crab *and* a banger?" The lieutenant raises an eyebrow.
"A crab man?"
"A creature is a creature. I wish I was the wind."
"A crygasm."
"A cryptozoologist. She lives in Jamrock, on Tabernacle road. She told me about this phasmid."
"A curious pendant you're wearing." (Narrow your eyes mysteriously.)
"A dark grey corona?"
"A dark red abraded ligature mark encircling the neck, with a gap on the nape measuring... let's say 7 cm. The hyoid bone is fractured, the cervical column intact."
"A data loss?"
"A dead guy smiling."
"A dead what?" Her eyes widen with shock at the mention. "Oh my god, a victim of the curse? The curse has started killing people? It's *killing' now?!" She grabs her head with both hands.
"A deal with who?" She narrows her eyes, then scoffs. "It's the Débardeurs Union, isn't it?"
"A deceased security guard's uniform? Oh yeah, in the extreme." He covers his mouth with a sweaty hand. "Now how can I help a cool guy such as yourself today, Harry?"
"A deep synthesis," she nods. "I'll assist you however I can then. Go ahead. Ask."
"A defeat, I'm afraid. The people of this archipelago tried to build something new, something *different*. The rest of the world didn't like it, so they came and ended it. This was forty two years ago."
"A degenerate workers state? Goat shit? No thank you. I'm Revacholian," he spits. "My days are short. I will to rot away here -- in a Moralintern cell. I will not testify to anything." He coughs.
"A degenerate... can only produce degenerate *art*..."
"A detective *and* a civilian. Jean -- *and* the gun. He has it..."
"A detective hat?"
"A devout man of the centre," she nods. "Hard to come by. It's good to have someone who takes a moderate approach to head-shooting -- in your line of work I mean."
"A dick with no balls! Bam! Mullen's no real deal, he's got nothing on me."
"A discount? I do have to keep the lights on, man. It's twelve reál."
"A disgraceful mercenary. The Oranjese state should have checked his breast for sublime patriotic rage before they trained him!"
"A disguise... why?"
"A drug-addled *spy-ring*! That sounds rather *strange*, don't you think?"
"A drummer? That's stupid."
"A drummers only uses their right foot for the kick drum..." He explains, then stops and looks at the hole in the mud. "You're right, it's stupid."
"A drunk and a loser."
"A fan... No, I wouldn't go that far. But I do think the Hjelmdallermann Saga is an integral part of our shared reality."
"A fantastic change of heart, Harry!" He rubs his nose. "Go talk to Mañana down by the gates. He'll brief you and give you the key."
"A farce -- this world. Is this... is this us..." His voice drowns out in a sudden gust of wind.
"A few more questions about the harbour."
"A few more things about the tape before I go listen to it..."
"A field *autopsy*?"
"A field autopsy isn't necessary if the cause of death doesn't appear to be criminal -- and this looks like a simple accident to me."
"A fine example you are setting here today, officer." He says, slowly shaking his head. "I will remember this. And Gaston will too."
"A fine machine..." (Run your hand over the smooth metal surface.)
"A first-rate find -- that should tell you all you need to know about their network, I would imagine."
"A fishing village. On the seashore." She looks around. "This place doesn't really have a name. It's sometimes called... *Illisible*."
"A fitting punishment," she smirks. "To be forgotten, if not forgiven. Save a prayer for us in our *châteaus* on Ozonne and in Stella Maris."
"A flightless *cursor owl* found in the Semenine isles. Its long legs permit the Nnong Okk to run faster than any other avian, perhaps any other *animal*, who knows?"
"A fondness for contradictory statements?"
"A form of martial arts from the isle of Lo Manthang, right?"
"A fractured corona doesn't feel like it's gonna bring anyone *together*."
"A fridge?"
"A fridge?" She fidgets with her pendant. "No, I don't know anything about a fridge. Aren't you interested in books?" She nods at the bookshelves.
"A friend? An acquaintance. I don't know... She was the only person in this damn jam I could talk to. She's someone I don't want to rat out to the law, okay?"
"A fucking giant stick insect..."
"A fucking perfume..." he sighs.
"A ghost."
"A giant bug, watch out!"
"A giant leech sucking the life out of Revachol."
"A giant statue of him or, better yet, his twin brother. Practically the same thing, but makes him seem less like a psychopath."
"A gift, huh...?" The kid turns to the staircase. "That's fucking suspicious to Cuno."
"A gift...." The lieutenant turns to the staircase suspiciously, looking for any signs of another presence in the shadows above.
"A glitch of a sort, I think. Inside my mind."
"A good joke."
"A good one?" (Point at the book.)
"A good place to hide. Cosy. Relatively safe from the rain..." He pokes the mattress.
"A good point. He could have been intoxicated. Or something we cannot yet imagine... I shouldn't have assumed so much just from the clothes."
"A good starter pair, officer! And when you're ready to upgrade, come back and see me!"
"A good thing too! I am not one of your fatuous Königstein neurosis analyst fucks, cashing in on the anxieties of nice ordinary folk. So, what now, mister Sensational Sleuth, sir?"
"A gossamer state? You're right, this *is* cool. I'm part of a hip, thin, almost non-existent state apparatus!"
"A great white ghost? Wow... that sounds really bad. I hope that doesn't happen to my marriage."
"A group of occultists, I assume. They called themselves Revachol Ice City."
"A guy Cuno knows!" He shouts at the fence. "Martin. From out of town. From Graad or some shit."
"A guy like that didn't scare you?"
"A guy told me I need money to live, otherwise it's game over -- and I don't want to die."
"A headless man, wearing a FALN tracksuit, riding a horse. That's right. It's the *Headless FALN Rider*. "
"A heartbroken drudge."
"A highly educational primer. It's exceptional for the young mind... and obviously, very popular."
"A historic figure? The author of the modern age?" He thinks. "You will have to look elsewhere for opinions. The subject of humanism is too abstract for me."
"A history of violence streaking all across Revachol."
"A hole in the wall, can you believe it?" She spreads her hands. "And then the tenant ran off with his stuff. He's gone, the *money's* gone, just like that!" She snaps her fingers.
"A hole in the world... What does that mean exactly?"
"A horse faced woman."
"A horse?"
"A hug a day keeps the bourgeoisie away."
"A hug monster? How do these two go hand-in-hand?" She hasn't let go of your embrace yet.
"A hundred beers -- now we're talking!" Glen livens up. "Hoppity-hop over here cafeteria manager!"
"A jacketed bullet. Okay... It would have been shot from a military-grade breech-loading rifle, not from a muzzleloader like those typically found on the streets of Martinaise."
"A joke, of course. Rest assured, I have no intention to compete with you."
"A key, huh?" He runs his fingers through his moustache. "What door is this key supposed to open?"
"A kind man... from Zsiemsk. I heard he had some trouble with the law when he was younger, and that's why he wanted to start the gym, as his way of giving back."
"A kind of a worm, content with mere survival. They come, they want to do *our job* for shittier pay, screwing over both themselves and us. Everybody loses."
"A lavender shadow..." He smirks.
"A lavender shadow?"
"A liberal and a pederast. It's what most liberals are."
"A life full of suspicion. Perhaps you should talk to Noid, you'd get along nicely... Now, was there something else on your mind?"
"A life is true if it's free from fear and internal division among oneself. And others -- mankind has seeds of greatness in it. A germinal will come, a return to trueness. It will be hard core."
"A light-hearted jest -- locker room banter. Boys will be boys."
"A little -- on the coast."
"A little down? You've worked there for so long you can't even talk like a normal person anymore! It's always lists with you. *Questions*."
"A little early in the day for a nap, isn't it?" The lieutenant frowns at his wristwatch.
"A little help, lieutenant?"
"A little late for that, I think..."
"A little premonition for you, lieutenant." He turns to Kim. "Sooner or later -- probably sooner -- your new friend tells you he doesn't need you. He will then suggest you should *fuck off*."
"A little thing -- Ruby had these posters in her truck. Old movie stars."
"A little wisdom from old Titus -- not everything is connected to one thing. Keys just lie around. It's a messy world."
"A little, yeah."
"A little. I was flattered, you know. But then I had to let her off and it was *not* easy. I came to regret being friendly with her." She looks at her feet. "We maybe kissed. Nothing more."
"A little. She's okay. Troubled but -- a nice person. She left last week. Left me the keys to park her lorry if the jam should break."
"A little. The drugs were good enough -- and we did enough of them."
"A little? Like you partied with the deceased?"
"A live grenade." The man spreads his arms. "Right here in *our* bar!"
"A long time ago? How long?"
"A lorry driver. Who drives a lorry. Or is sometimes stuck in traffic jams, guarding that lorry."
"A lot of cops go *solo* and *hermit* once they reach that level of alcoholism."
"A lot of it," she nods. "It comes in from large Samaran factories. In Tien-En, Siigay and Hsin-Yao. The literage they must get from this terminal alone must be *oceanic*."
"A lot of our boys did... I spent some winters there. Never liked it. kept thinking of them..." He stares at the ruins of the Feld building. "No need to go underground any more. It's better in the ruins on the ground.
"A lot of partying going on."
"A lot of people could have gotten to that roof. Like Garte, the cafeteria manager."
"A lot of people got hurt," she concludes. "But that's just more of my shit you shouldn't have to deal with. You're solving a murder."
"A lot of people got killed because some asshole wanted to sing karaoke."
"A lot of people out there appreciate a good disco breakdown."
"A lot of things point to the Dockworkers' Union: the circumstances in Martinaise, my preliminary information. Hmm, actually..."
"A lot of women there. Especially for a lady driver's cabin."
"A lot. A lot-lot. For the room, drinks, and broken window -- 130 reál."
"A lot. For the drinks and broken window -- 70 reál."
"A lot. For the room and broken window -- 100 reál."
"A loud blabbering weasel. When weasels feel no one is watching, they start acting *foolishly...*" He removes his glasses and rubs his nose.
"A lullaby my mother used to sing. I sang it to my kids too. It's an old Samaran children's song."
"A man can *never* be truly happy with who he is."
"A man walking on the edge of a razor, eh. Leaves more for me!" He laughs and takes another sip from the flask.
"A man was hanged in the backyard of the Whirling-in-Rags."
"A man who knows his style," the street vendor nods. "Much respect."
"A man with such a funny mug collection can't be that bad."
"A map of the stars?" He turns around to breathe before inspecting it closer. "I do see some similarity to astronomical charts, Great Century messinian maybe... But this seems more particular. Customized somehow."
"A martial art, sir." She raises an eyebrow. "Is that it?"
"A mercenary."
"A mesquese epic then, all across Martinaise," he glances South, where the canal runs: "I hope it will be a real *bonanza* for you."
"A military man -- but not a patriot?"
"A million?!"
"A mine? The RCM could use a mine. Where is it?"
"A mirage... or a psychogenous luminance." She does not elaborate the nature of this luminance further.
"A mirror’s temperature is always zero. It is ice in the veins. Its camera is an x-ray."
"A mob." The lieutenant says succinctly. "The Débardeurs are a crime syndicate. Sad as it may be, we're forced to cooperate with them."
"A moment ago it was love... And, no, I don't think the Union is *communist*. They're a couple of shades pinker than that."
"A moment of your time, fellows." (Don't get involved in the game.)
"A moment of your time, please!"
"A moment, if you don't mind, sir." The lieutenant pulls you aside.
"A moment, officer."
"A momentary lapse of faith?"
"A month ago? Something like that."
"A morbidly obese 250 kilogram man? Let's say it is a very *low* probability. I'm thinking..." He looks around. "Maybe there's a more *commonplace* explanation."
"A more logical conclusion -- that you wish to avoid -- is that she knew what had happened, because she *did it*."
"A more serious consideration -- that you wish to avoid -- is that she knew what happened, because she did it."
"A motorized vehicle, officer. I'm sure you are familiar with the concept. We've had these for nearly a century."
"A mundane reason... don't forget, we're dealing with para-natural and ghastly forces. Do not underestimate them!"
"A mutant?"
"A name -- this is very good. Ellis Kortenaer..." he says to himself.
"A name worthy of the man who holds it, friend. Names are important."
"A nation is only as strong *as* its leader. That's why it was such madness to try to..."
"A nest?" The whisper is anxious. "Don't do anything now. Later, when it's gone maybe... "
"A nest?" The whisper is anxious. "We can't get to it yet, don't scare it off. Maybe later..."
"A new badge usually comes with a new rank. You seem to have been... doing well then."
"A nice brisk pace. The way I like it."
"A nickname?"
"A nightclub..." He taps on his chin. "Harry, I'm an old fashioned guy. After work I like to listen to some rock and roll music and have a non-alcoholic lager. Nightclubs don't interest me."
"A nightmare scenario. A world of slavery and violence. Which brings us back to the essential truth of modernism..."
"A nom de guerre would be more like *Guerra Mañana*." He chuckles. Then realizes something.
"A noose is one of those things that's easier to use one way around..." He points to the buckle tying the belt to the branch above.
"A notebook." (Take it.)
"A novelty *dicemaker*?" Her eyes widen. "Well, spit it out! Why does she need the dice -- for some kind of *sorcery*? Sometimes they use the ankle bones of sheep..."
"A pain, a strange tingling."
"A pair of binoculars? Or a scope of a *rifle*?" He points to the makeshift bed. "You'd be prone, lying on the mattress, barrel resting on the embrasure..."
"A pale dream, is what it is." She nods her head according to a rhythm known only to her -- staring at the photo in her hands.
"A pale latitude compressor is used to sort of... make the pale more manageable. With a lot of these, you can force a radio signal grid on the pale -- literally crunch the distance across it."
"A partner who needs for you to get back to helping the people of Martinaise."
"A password? I'm really bad at passwords. Can you give me a hint?"
"A peep hole? You mean like a hole in the wall?"
"A penitent cop-monk..." she says to herself. "What brings this *changed man* to me?"
"A petting zoo, a place for animals!"
"A pin from '31 ought to be priced at 3.10 -- but I added another ten cents, just to be nice."
"A pin from '31 ought to be priced at 31 cents; I just added another cent to make it an even number, but, you're right, it wasn't a good deal."
"A pinball wizard."
"A pity," the lieutenant says. "Those actually weren't half bad."
"A pity."
"A place to call home?"
"A pleasure to meet you, Harry -- what happened to your badge?"
"A pleasure wheel?" The lieutenant looks wistfully at the horizon, as if picturing gondolas rising to the sky.
"A police detective."
"A police woman."
"A policeman's gotta have *the right stuff*. An ingrained sense of The Law. No one would follow a weakling like Mullen."
"A poor remedy for prion disease," she says. "That was the attitude of most of the more moderate indotribes, particularly those who supported the king..."
"A postcard," she observes you for a moment, "is a small cardboard picture. You can write a few words on the other side and send it to your friend or your *beloved*."
"A powerful anti-communist force. Perhaps *too* powerful... but still. They have it coming."
"A prank is more likely, no? The kids these days..." She shakes her head. "We were just one of them and now they're terrorizing us. No solidarity."
"A pre-revolutionary tenement. Old buildings are called *tenements*, you see, and new buildings *batiments*, after *les batiments noveau*. But 33A and 33B are not *noveau*, they're old." She looks up at the crumbling facade...
"A precinct, yes!" He tilts his head and continues in a soft voice. "A police precinct. Precinct 41 -- *your* precinct."
"A programmer? That's odd. What was she like? Did you ask her about the nightclub?"
"A quicksilver mind. This Mullen guy looks like he needs four hours just to come up with a single idea."
"A radiocomputer," says the lieutenant, stepping closer. "And it's turned on." He seems cautious around the machine.
"A radiocomputer," the lieutenant repeats a little impatiently, "we have one down at the station."
"A radiocomputer..." says the lieutenant, watching you circle around the machine. "Just sitting here without anyone in sight." He sounds surprised and a bit cautious.
"A rallying cry for coppers everywhere! *We haven't done anything, we are never of any use*, ha ha."
"A rather uninviting bench," the lieutenant notes. "I'm not one for sitting on benches anyway -- before the murder investigation is solved."
"A real pretty lady with a skin like those 'Doux & Sucre' candy bars my missus likes so much. Them are real nice to suckle on once the dinner is done and me and the missus sit down besides the radio."
"A real rainbow splattering of pharmaceuticals, I bet." She grins. "Barbiturates, amphetamine, sildenaphil..."
"A really cool guy."
"A reasonable question. Say, I get hurt. I want to make sure it never happens again. So I analyse the situation. Exercise caution. Caution is suspicion."
"A red haired woman? Ruby..."
"A referral, you mean? I take it this was for someone in the RCM..." She waves her hand. "Don't answer that."
"A relationship between a man and a talking necktie? No, apparently I am not." His voice rings of insincere sadness as he turns to leave.
"A rhinoceros that looks ordinary during the day, but burns brightly by night. Well, at least the males do."
"A rifle's scope has the best magnification."
"A risky gambit, detective. Sorry it didn't pay off."
"A risky move, altogether."
"A role to play in *what*?"
"A runaway? Good work, this is a tangible lead towards solving the whole mystery."
"A sanctuary filled with hand-picked positive photons... There would be no room for sadness in such a place. It's a brilliant vision. But..."
"A saying. Up on Marvel Hill -- a great, high place. One that is impossible to climb back to."
"A scalpel is not always required. I hope this is one of those cases... Latex gloves are, however."
"A scoop of ice cream would have been nice, yes," the lieutenant agrees. Someone's stomach grumbles. The room feels very cold.
"A seaside hostel called the Whirling-In-Rags, to be precise. And the Whirling itself is in Revachol."
"A second is all it took."
"A security guard or worker of some sort, hired by Wild Pines. This was just hearsay from Martinaise, of course. We need to find out the truth."
"A sense of surprise there ain't more bodies hanging from more trees."
"A sequence killer." You can hear her stop typing. "Are you suggesting that this might be connected to the case you're working on?"
"A serious bout of denial? Or perhaps the result of the incessant stream of alcohol you've been pouring down your throat?"
"A seriously bad guy. I might even be on his take!"
"A seriously bad guy."
"A shakedown."
"A shame you didn't..."
"A shame. Young man like you, with a body like yours, you'd be a credit to any track team."
"A shame." He sighs. "What can we do now? Do you see a way out of this jam -- and into a laser-lit future of dance and unity?"
"A she..." She raises a brow. "I hope she wasn't too serious a suspect. If she got away..."
"A skilled *Sam Bo artist* could have climbed the outer wall, like a spider..."
"A skull filled with cocaine?"
"A slow, sad song started playing. Like organ music, on repeat. That went on for quite a while. Some of that time you were yelling along to it."
"A small 'Tempo' by the monument, green..." He turns to you. "Let's get into that lorry."
"A smart boy getting smarter, one basic term of reality at a time..."
"A snazzy shit-ripped SKULL-mobile like this would make a fine trophy. We could, like, hang fucking shrunken heads from the side mirrors! Cops' heads... Scary tribal shit."
"A song?"
"A sort of... spiritual quest? Something of ancient iilmaraan origin?" There's more than a trace of irony in her voice.
"A soucriant, a blood-sucker, the rich whore on her boat."
"A sound monetary policy is *essential* for addressing *uncertainty*. Stability is the *raison d'être* of the Moralintern. It's the reason why I identify as a moralist."
"A special forces gym teacher?"
"A speck of dust on the paper..." She stares at the printout of the off-site copy lying on the floor. It fades into shadows, expect for the gleaming white dot in the middle of it.
"A speck of white?" She sounds excited, as the filament clicks into place. "That's exactly what I'm hoping to find."
"A spell! As if!" She snorts. "This place doesn't need any spells or hoo-doo mumbo-jumbo, this place has *wonderful* energy!" She wavers under your gaze, mouth pressed into a tight-lipped smile... then something breaks:
"A star that fell from the firmanent? Those cost more than 7 reál. Are you sure?"
"A stick insect of some sort. Pretending to be the reeds..." he shakes his head. "Has it been there all time?"
"A sticker... you mean the yellow one? Can you describe it to me?"
"A straggler -- from the Revolution?" He sounds incredulous.
"A straggler? From the *Revolution?*" He sounds incredulous.
"A strange psychosexual fixation. Aggravated -- possibly -- by proximity to the phasmid and its chemicals. He himself gave a political reason -- said he had killed an enemy combatant."
"A strange thing happened when I tried calling a company named Slipstream SCA -- someone answered."
"A strangest conversation. Something went wrong in my head."
"A street called Voyager Road." She smiles, sadly. "It was a million years ago, Harry. No -- it was a *hundred million* years ago. We were so, so young then. I loved you more than you will ever know. I loved you more than anyone has ever loved *anyone*."
"A stroke could partially explain the *memory trouble* you've been experiencing."
"A strong, solid name telling of dedication and honour." He gives a small salute. "Well met, Harrier."
"A student in the apartment building seemed to have some as well."
"A supra-natural event took place." (Point to your head.) "Within my head -- on alcohol."
"A supranational political alliance, the United States of Occident."
"A suspect! Ruby is a suspect we chased down on the coast. She was hiding..."
"A takeover?"
"A tape computer?"
"A tape? We have boomboxes for sale that will play it. Check the shelves."
"A teenage boy. A million years ago."
"A term of hatred that originates, like many such things, with the Mesque petrofascists."
"A thing? You mean..." He tilts his head to the side and falls silent.
"A third place? Interesting." She takes a sip of coffee. "That's probably why the cleaning lady quit."
"A third... Oh, this is bad."
"A thought is going to come out of my head and into my mouth -- and I will say it."
"A threat? Good. I like those."
"A three-thousand-year-old tyrannical regime of History, built and maintained by hundreds of generations of self-appointed *intellectuals*..." he looks around. "It's false-core."
"A thrown out towel, a mug. That's all."
"A ticket stub..."
"A tie," he says, with evident irritation. "Well, I suppose that's what we deserve for trashing the suzerain's economy. Good game, detective."
"A tiny hole... in reality. It may be connected with pale, an origin point of sorts. It would explain why historically so many things have ended in failure here in Martinaise."
"A total shift," she nods. "In human comprehension of reality. On the second day a Great Skua was shot down, above the flagship *Lysergic*. The bird was preserved and brought back. Along with pollen."
"A tragedy..." The lieutenant looks in the can, eyes watering from the smell.
"A tragicomedy..." He shakes to life. "Druggies, prostitutes and rentiers."
"A trap, probably." He nods confidently. "But don't sweat it. You got the Cuno spotting you. Let's go in."
"A tremendous evolutionary advantage, I'm sure. But perhaps we've had enough speculative biology for today?"
"A true *Vacholiere*."
"A true King in both blood and mind. Lead Revachol before Frissel. He would have been better, but the damn commies drove him into exile."
"A true believer," she looks out the window. "Sometimes I still see it, too. The real memory of it. How it was there... Not the memory *of* the memory. But it's so hard to tell the two apart..."
"A true cultural touchstone." She nods. "Enjoy the read."
"A valid hunch. Long term exposure to something like that could be neurodegenerative... Also, please be careful when approaching unknown species in the future, detective."
"A very influential historical figure, but surely I don't have to tell you that." She waves her hand, as if casting aside the thought. "You're a law officer and law officers have at least *some* education."
"A very loud radio station about motor carriages and rock music, I think."
"A very moralist answer," the man nods.
"A village on the Samaran isola, in Tien En. Graad committed war crimes there -- the kind of thing he talks about."
"A visitor from the first world. He's not like you and me, gendarme." He smiles and his smile seems melancholic. "He can always return."
"A vortex? Sounds fascinating."
"A war zone. At the edge of the world."
"A warehouse? I don't know. Maybe. I don't really care what Frittte does."
"A waste." He blinks his black eyes. "The material base for an uprising has eroded, the working class has betrayed mankind and themselves.."
"A week maybe? Seven days would fit the time frame provided to us by the caller, who reported the hanging."
"A what... a *child*?" He seems confused at first, then disappointed.
"A what?"
"A wheel?" The kid looks wistfully at the horizon, as if picturing gondolas rising to the sky.
"A whisper light and low..."
"A white star." (Point to it.)
"A white star." (Point to the star on the label.)
"A willow person. It's a long story, one non-specialists would find rather dull."
"A window was smashed. The tape player probably -- the song stopped -- and furniture too. A real *destructothon*. There was screaming. Then, I think, you passed out."
"A window was smashed. The tape player probably -- the song stopped -- and furniture too. A real destructothon. There was screaming. Then, I think, you passed out."
"A wise investment. I agree. The best part it is that you *can't* carry it around -- I would really dislike it if you could."
"A wise man once told me that money is all about trust."
"A witness?" The tall man crosses his arms on his chest. "You ain't got shit. The locals would never come to you with this."
"A woman or a kid?"
"A woman shot herself -- in the head. Because you went in high and *intimidated* her, didn't you!? Ruby-something? You basically *killed* her yourself."
"A working class husband."
"A young woman called Klaasje -- ring any bells? Flowers like these were behind her window." (Continue.)
"A young woman told me a mercenary has been hanged, and the manager thinks it was the Union that did it. That's all."
"A young woman told me a mercenary's been hanged -- that's all."
"A young-ish woman. Gruff, but... in a cool way."
"A youth centre with Edgar Claire's statue on top of it!" She looks down the jetty, remorsefully.
"A youth centre with Edgar Claire's statue on top of it..." Her eyes run across the water, remorsefully.
"A youth centre would be nice."
"A youth centre, huh? What *kind* of youth centre?"
"A-ha, but it's not just *any* empty old building!" He raises his hand to his eyes to shield himself from the freezing snow. All four of you turn to admire the mural before you.
"A-ha, but it's not just *any* empty old building!" He raises his hand to his eyes to shield himself from the freezing snow. All three of you turn to admire the mural before you.
"A-ha, but it's not just *any* empty old building!" He raises his hand to his eyes to shield himself from the pattering rain. All four of you turn to admire the mural before you.
"A-ha, but it's not just *any* empty old building!" He raises his hand to his eyes to shield himself from the pattering rain. All three of you turn to admire the mural before you.
"A-ha, but it's not just *any* empty old building!" He raises his hand to his eyes, springtime sun warming his handsome face. All four of you turn to admire the mural before you.
"A-ha, but it's not just *any* empty old building!" He raises his hand to his eyes, springtime sun warming his handsome face. All three of you turn to admire the mural before you.
"A-ha, so you just confess to murder?"
"A-ha. Okay. Maybe I'll ask later about all this."
"A-ha. Sounds like trouble." She seems to sigh. "Alright. Next time, have Lieutenant Kitsuragi with you."
"A-ha." The lieutenant looks at you with his usual lithic mask of a face.
"A... a what?"
"A... new species?"
"A: Opinion -- fatal injury."
"AIIIIIGH!!!" he yells. You guess Egg Head is a fascist now.
"AIIIIIGH!!!" he yells. You guess Egg Head is a moralist now.
"AIIIIIGH!!!" he yells. You guess Egg Head is an ultraliberal now.
"AIIIIIGH!!!" he yells. You guess Egg Head won't become a fascist after all.
"AIIIIIGH!!!" he yells. You guess Egg Head won't become a moralist after all.
"AIIIIIGH!!!" he yells. You guess Egg Head won't become an ultraliberal after all.
"AIIIIIGH!!!" he yells. You guess he is a communist now.
"AIIIIIGH!!!" he yells. You guess he won't become a communist after all.
"AND LEAVE THE TRAPS? ABSOLUTELY NOT!" he yells in response. "I won't let Lena down..."
"AND THEN YOU STOLE HER FROM ME!" He jerks forward, but then grabs his chest and stops.
"ANYTHING FOR YOU, BABE." He looks to a space right above your head and gestures you to speak.
"AO5577789RHG9999. The make and model of the armour is Fairweather T-500 / VE."
"ARE YOU ADMIRING MY MORPHOPHYSIOLOGY?" A ripple of muscle passes underneath his skin. He lets you look.
"ARRRRGH, CUNO! It's so lame even the *pig* knows it's lame. Please, stop!"
"ARTEMITEP's Boxing for Young Athletes & Gym"
"Aaaaa! It huuurts!"
"Aaaaaand you're back in business with the Cuno. Now what is it?"
"Aaaand here we go. Back to the usual." The woman sighs.
"Abby? Don't call Agigail!"
"Abigail!" He grunts. "Don't... don't call her." He waves a finger in your general direction.
"Abigail... oh, Abigail..." He mutters while trying to brush something off his extremely dirty trousers. His movements are slow and awkward.
"Abigail?" His voice perks up, then trails into a string of random babbling. "Abigail, where are you?"
"About *what?* You don't look like a cop..." He inspects you. "You know what you look like?"
"About Martinaise..."
"About Oranje -- just tell me what it's like there."
"About a month? Something like that."
"About another thing..."
"About fuckin' time."
"About half an hour had passed since the moment of death?"
"About head-shooting?" She smiles.
"About my bill for tonight..."
"About my bill..."
"About my fun container?" He chuckles. "It's a hoot, Harry. Who knows, maybe you'll be in here the next time they move it. It will be very fun, I promise."
"About that shooting... I didn't mean to... It was only a warning shot."
"About that..." Cuno squints at the helmet. "Me and C kicked that shit into the ocean. She took it off the corpse and kicked it, rugby style. How'd it wash up here..." He pauses -- he squints. "I don't know."
"About the boat?" A wisp of steam rises from her thermal cup.
"About the church door..."
"About the church... I checked it out."
"About the crime scene -- you kids often play in this yard?"
"About the document you signed... Evrart plans to muscle you out with construction noise."
"About the hat and the robe I'm wearing..."
"About the off-site copy you asked me to bring..."
"About this deal you made," the lieutenant immediately understands what is happening, and turns to the suspect.
"About this hat I'm wearing..."
"About this robe I'm wearing..."
"About twenty, yes. Ruby explained it would make the blood... you know what it does." She looks at the ground. Then raises her light brown eyes to meet yours.
"About what time was all this happening, approximately?"
"About what?"
"About who you *are*?"
"About your pin..."
"Above all, though... today was exhausting. What's with all the *running*? You run a lot. Is that a standard Precinct 41 practice?"
"Above my hair, man!"
"Abraq-ad-abra, perished like this world!"
"Absoltuely, sweetie," she smiles, glad you agree. "Cryptozoologists have been tracing it ever since, but Uamrao is vast, mysterious, and holds many secrets."
"Absolute idiocy," he nods in acknowledgement of the idiocy on display.
"Absolutely *wonderful*."
"Absolutely -- my commitment here is long term."
"Absolutely -- this is a great. This does not say 'vigilante murderers' to me at all. This says: science, news, human interest." He smiles. "You know, it's a really good thing you have that photo."
"Absolutely Harry, absolutely. Sock it to me."
"Absolutely not!"
"Absolutely not, sir. I did see some other girls get the call for doing stupid things down in Jamrock, a place called Door to the River... I was in their company."
"Absolutely not. That would be idiotic. I have no idea why you're even saying this right now..."
"Absolutely not. That's not why we're here. Why would you even think that?"
"Absolutely not. These mercenaries are muscle, pure and simple. They are meant to intimidate the Union into surrendering."
"Absolutely not."
"Absolutely not." He breathes in and out. "Fuck you for even implying it. It wasn't me, it wasn't my staff. The establishment will look at it and ascertain what it was."
"Absolutely not." His voice is coarse. "She died of pneumonia in her bed at the age of 79. This is highly... usual."
"Absolutely not." She is mortified. "It's more dangerous than I ever imagined. I definitely can't let you in now, we have to contain it."
"Absolutely nothing."
"Absolutely nothing?"
"Absolutely out of the question."
"Absolutely! Today I'm going to get drunk, eat good food, and bed a good-looking gal, 'cause tomorrow a motor carriage might run me over..."
"Absolutely, Harry! What's on your mind?"
"Absolutely, man. Wouldn't bother me none to have 'em spin music in here. I'm usually way up there, imbibing."
"Absolutely," he nods. "There's no other way to go about it. We screwed up."
"Absolutely. Age is just a number, man."
"Absolutely. I've tested each one myself with recordings of speech, found sounds, and music from a variety of genres. Even though," he grimaces, "I don't really like music."
"Absolutely. Superstars always get back up and try again."
"Absolutely." She nods. "Things like what for example?"
"Absolution? I don't know that brand, but I'm pretty sure you can get Astras at the Frittte."
"Absurdly and pointedly phrased." She doesn't laugh. "You can be quite funny, officer. Anyway, what did you want?"
"Accepted the Cuno like a motherfucker..." He nods respectfully. "What are we gonna do now?"
"Access to the Union is important for our investigation, but there may be another way in... Without becoming a race theoretician."
"Ace's high!" The lieutenant raises his right hand, waiting for you to slap it.
"Aced that. Take that, you book."
"Acele who? I'm not a young suitor, this is official police business."
"Acele's right, van Eyck must live around here. It's definitely his creation."
"Acele, what would you suggest as the name?"
"Aces! Good to know the law's got our backs." He gives a quick two-finger salute. "For Revachol, the Suzerain! The world is our Suzerainty."
"Acid gnomes? Sounds like a stupid, low-concept band name."
"Ack! Of course. Thank you for passing along the message. That damned water lock is broken, and we can't go all the way around the 8/81..."
"Ack, so that's what this is." He ignores your jab. "Lena sent you. Can't say I blame her -- we've been here for days. That damned water lock is broken, and we can't go under the 8/81..."
"Acromatic, odourless, featureless. The pale is the enemy of matter and life. It is not *like* any other -- or *any* thing in the world. It is the transition state of being into nothingness."
"Active decay," The lieutenant raises a white piece of linen to his nose. "It's okay to throw up, officer. No one is judging."
"Actually -- I do get the feeling that someone or something may have messed with the trap..."
"Actually -- I don't." He turns to her, the cuffs still in his hand. "What exactly in your relationship made you think she's romantically interested in you?"
"Actually -- are you? Are you still a cop? There's so much disco going on, it's hard to tell."
"Actually -- don't. It's has *bad idea* written all over it."
"Actually -- forget about it."
"Actually -- it was total annihilation, Kim."
"Actually -- now is not a good time for a reality low-down. Maybe later."
"Actually -- there is a shortage of people who talk to us in a normal, calm, informative manner."
"Actually -- we do."
"Actually -- you didn't."
"Actually I already know all this. I just wanted to know if you do too."
"Actually I am, yes."
"Actually I don't have an opinion. I lied."
"Actually I don't wanna resort to lying after all."
"Actually I don't."
"Actually I shouldn't have called you my partner. Kim's my partner, he's going to know."
"Actually I wanna keep the book."
"Actually I wanna talk about something else."
"Actually I was just leaving." [Leave.]
"Actually do you know anything about the Hardie boys?"
"Actually it does have to be murder. This is a murder investigation. But we digress."
"Actually it was f****ted. Cuno just said that because he felt sorry for you, pig. It's not your fault you can't shoot -- it's your pig-hands."
"Actually it's already afternoon."
"Actually just one wire, I picked on it 'til the braiding came loose. The wire leads to a contact microphone."
"Actually just one wire, I picked on it till the braiding came loose. The wire leads to a contact microphone."
"Actually less, because this is my home town, my territory and my backyard. You are a guest here, Harry. Please remember that."
"Actually never mind. Don't tell me about it. It will just turn into another..." She stops mid-sentence.
"Actually never mind... Wouldn't be the same..."
"Actually nevermind, I don't wanna lie."
"Actually no, I should not forget it, I should look into it myself, there are some really interesting techniques..." He stops, as Trant Heidelstam junior jerks his coat hem with an excited, almost silly look on his face.
"Actually not a coincidence. The Kineema is the next generation sports edition of the 'Forty', which was a real work horse. Favoured by the *police* all over the city." His expression is unreadable.
"Actually not a coincidence. The Kineema is the next generation sports edition of the old 'Forty', which was a real work horse. Favoured by the *police* all over the city..." He raises his finger.
"Actually nothing."
"Actually, Cindy told me herself that she's not a very good SKULL."
"Actually, I *do have* a window-related emergency." (Look at Whirling's second floor.)
"Actually, I *don't* want to hear you say things."
"Actually, I *might* have suffered a stroke. I'm not sure."
"Actually, I can see why they would entrust me with the law. I have the right character."
"Actually, I changed my mind. I don't need any Pyrholidon." (Refuse to take the pyrholidon for now.)
"Actually, I don't have one."
"Actually, I don't have the money on me right now."
"Actually, I don't know why I lied. The number is: E50.100.1000"
"Actually, I don't need to pay -- I will brave the streets. Go undercover as a hobocop."
"Actually, I don't really care about safety hazards."
"Actually, I don't want to know. I don't want to know what happened."
"Actually, I had other questions..." (Back.)
"Actually, I had some non-mic questions for you."
"Actually, I have a pair at home -- just haven't gotten around to fitting them yet. I need to lay some wiring for the ballasts first..."
"Actually, I have all I need for now."
"Actually, I have been thinking...."
"Actually, I just came to say goodbye." [Leave.]
"Actually, I may have better things to do too."
"Actually, I might be."
"Actually, I need more time to think about it."
"Actually, I need to get back to you on this door thing."
"Actually, I need to think about it first." (Back off.)
"Actually, I suspected something was off."
"Actually, I think I might be a birdie. A birdwatching enthusiast, you know."
"Actually, I think it made her a little *nostalgic*."
"Actually, I think it was way worse than that. Like, corporate espionage."
"Actually, I think the ham sandwich race still has it in them."
"Actually, I think there is..." He pauses. "No, it's too much, he's joking."
"Actually, I told you the wrong serial number. It was something else."
"Actually, I turned the knob like this." (Turn the heat *down*)
"Actually, I want to talk about something else."
"Actually, I want to talk about this crime some more, before I tell you what I think about its hardness."
"Actually, I wanted to address other matters."
"Actually, I wanted to ask you a few general questions."
"Actually, I was the one who took the boots. I can tell you the right serial number -- it's E50.100.1000."
"Actually, I'd rather not deduce anything. Every time I deduce people get hurt."
"Actually, I'm in a bit of a hurry right now." [Leave.]
"Actually, I'm just gonna hold onto this."
"Actually, I'm not really feeling the vibe anymore... The psychic force has left me."
"Actually, I'm not so sure about that."
"Actually, I'm not that interested in your cargo."
"Actually, I'm not that sure if I *have* a motive. I had another thing..."
"Actually, I've already been inside the Doomed Commercial Area."
"Actually, I... I... I'm sorry... I can't deduce anything.
"Actually, Johnny Law isn't going to tear it up, that would be unprofessional."
"Actually, Miss Beaufort is the right-hand man, but she's a lay-dee," a goodhearted chuckle again.
"Actually, boss, we've been talking and we think she could maybe..."
"Actually, do tell me about *yourself*."
"Actually, he told me he wouldn't mind the nightclub at all."
"Actually, insects *do* have brains," she corrects you. "But yes, I understand what you're saying. I think the protesters took it a little too far."
"Actually, is that free room still available?"
"Actually, it doesn't have to be a beach. With a boombox like that, I'll bring the party into the streets!"
"Actually, it was not de-constructed so much as *captured in the moment of the explosion*."
"Actually, it's evening, miss."
"Actually, it's more likely to *hinder* us."
"Actually, it's only your workshop that's protected. You should still do something to defend your person."
"Actually, let's discuss something else for now."
"Actually, let's honour your old unit -- *Épées de la Couronne* it is!"
"Actually, let's not do that right now." (Back.)
"Actually, let's talk about something else."
"Actually, make that 54." He squints. "Alcoholism has severely impacted your appearance."
"Actually, never mind, I need more evidence to come up with a list of suspects."
"Actually, never mind."
"Actually, never mind." (Back off.)
"Actually, no -- I don't have the money."
"Actually, no one knows. No one even knows what a computer made entirely of tape would look like! But word has it they were *very elegant* -- exquisite, alien-looking turn-of-the-century hardware..." He raises his finger, remembering something.
"Actually, no."
"Actually, no." (Take the photo back). "You knew him right?"
"Actually, no." (Take the photo back.)
"Actually, no..." His tone changes. "Excuse me for getting emotional, this is a big deal for us. You've helped us *twice* now -- and brought some great news, too. My gratitude, *and* the gratitude of the Société Cryptozoologique de Revachol, is yours."
"Actually, no..." he scratches this head.
"Actually, now that I think of it, maybe it's dangerous?"
"Actually, officer, I didn't know his name. I just called him Lely."
"Actually, quite many cultures have their own version of stick fighting, such as the sacred mabolo tradition of the hali people, the name deriving from the butterfruit tree traditionally used for crafting the long, slender sticks -- whereas the sticks used in other cultures..."
"Actually, scratch that -- there is no sequence killer, I just made it up."
"Actually, talking about this makes me uncomfortable. Let's back up a notch."
"Actually, tell me about the others."
"Actually, that's all I've got."
"Actually, that's exactly what I'm going to do, thanks for the tip." (Get task.)
"Actually, that's it for now." [Leave.]
"Actually, the bookstore isn't doing that well. There are hardly any customers and she has to exploit her own daughter to keep the company going."
"Actually, the police *really* needs to talk to you."
"Actually, there are numerous degrees you can get in signals intelligence."
"Actually, they *are* here." (Point to the enemy) "It was one of you."
"Actually, this chair is uncomfortable. I could use that glass of water." (Sit upright.)
"Actually, vigilantes is okay with me."
"Actually, we don't know where he's from. Or who he is, really."
"Actually, yeah. Let's not go to the island."
"Actually, yeah. Let's not go to the island." (No go.)
"Actually, yes. Let's. Eight is an even better number than twelve. Even more internal balance." He observes the light on the wall and adds: "Better integrity too."
"Actually, yes. The thought did cross my mind when Mademoiselle Lilienne earlier told me about the fresh produce these women sell to restaurants on the Delta."
"Actually, yes. The thought did cross my mind when Mademoiselle Lilienne over there told me about the fresh produce these women sell to restaurants on the Delta."
"Actually, you didn't *say* it. You *wrote* it in a letter, a handwritten letter. I kept it in my paperwork."
"Actually, you don't."
"Actually, you know -- this would indicate it was a male. This is far from anything in my field, but I think such nests are called 'bowers'. They are for attracting mates."
"Actually," she turns to the lieutenant, "I've heard the analogy made by a blindingly modern school of philosophy called *karperie*. It may not be as far fetched as it sounds."
"Actually," the lieutenant becomes defensive, "that motor carriage has been specially issued to serve as a patrol and *pursuit* vehicle."
"Actually... it appears I have *forgotten* what a field autopsy is."
"Actually... that is not why I need a low-down."
"Actually... the Slipstream SCA mystery might be a *recording*. I called again later and got exactly the same message."
"Actually... this is not Evrart-related, but I tracked down a suspect.
"Actually..." (grotesquely whine from the pain) "I did get pretty excited..."
"Actually..." She raises her finger. "We are *not*. You could say that about almost any other nation, but not Revachol. Try *one* more time, officer -- what mode of government?"
"Actually..." The lieutenant turns to you. "I think we should maybe even *get going* now?"
"Actually.... that's not why I need you to give me the low-down."
"Add a request then. We'll know if drugs or poisons remain in his blood... " He looks at the monster. "At this stage I doubt processing will find anything, even if he was *brimming* with it."
"Addicts, all of them... And sometimes I hear them screaming." She winces.
"Admirers? I'm too old to be a débutante." She looks over the railing at the plaza below. "And this place is no fashionable society."
"Admiring the atmosphere..." He smiles. "What about you, officer?"
"Adolescent imbecile." He squints.
"Adolescent imbecile..." He squints.
"Adu hai indung suhoorang..."
"Advanced? Where do we get one?"
"Aeropagite?" He starts laughing. "Boss, I think he's trying to say me and Theo."
"Aerostatic craft?"
"Aerostatics. The Landing had started. I climbed out -- into hell. There were ships all above. Hissing, whirling, and men pouring out. The chain was submerged so I had to swim back. The fortress was half submerged too, shattered."
"Affirmative, Lieutenant Du Bois." There's a pause, tense with anticipation.
"Affirmative?" There's a pause.
"Afraid of what? That tape the Hardie boys recorded? Your mother probably never told you this, but girls are *evil*."
"After Her Innocence Dolores Dei."
"After Mijanou treated himself with the bacteria, she stopped ageing, but also became increasingly eccentric and irascible, so that even her oldest friends were forced to pull away..."
"After all that Sylvie stuff, he betrays me..."
"After all this?" He sighs. "Man, then I don't even know what to do now."
"After all what?"
"After he was discharged from the military he joined a group of mercenaries."
"After it's been up in a tree for that long, any kind of ripping is inadvisable."
"After life death."
"After quitting in frustration, he became a recluse, a ghost-driver, searching for death on the streets of Revachol, speeding..."
"After that I sort of..." She smiles. "Transitioned out of the whole culture scene."
"After that, the corpuscules appear to have migrated elsewhere. There have been recordings of anomalies similar to those spotted in Ea -- but they've been few and far between. It's impossible to confirm the presence of any stable Col Do Ma Ma Daqua population anywhere."
"After the untimely death of deer friend and fellow racer Alfie Deletraz at Fjordhammer, Jacob Irw was desperately chasing death on the race track -- but death *eluded* him."
"After the war it was turned into a goodwill hospital for shell-shocked veterans and folks looking for some quiet in the old sanatorium gardens."
"After they clear the terminal we lose track. The actual production is taking place at various sites -- in and around Jamrock Quarter."
"After this shit you better have something *real* interesting to say if you wanna stay in Cuno's face."
"After waiting in hiding for hours, I saw a figure slip from one of the trees, a lavender shadow dashing through the grove..."
"After we're done with the day I'll be still staying in the Whirling-in-Rags for the night. We'll meet in front of the shack in the morning."
"After which your reality contracted -- you jammed the pedal, ploughed right off the jetty and through the ice."
"After you *climbed* up to the roof, you mean? There's a maintenance entrance under the boardwalk. It's next to a drain pipe, possibly a storm drain -- it was easy to miss before."
"After you've told me the filament's name and password you can access its contents."
"After you, detective."
"After you, officer."
"After you." The lieutenant gestures at the opening.
"After..." He thinks. "44 years? That's not nearly enough time to hide what happened here, officer."
"Again -- how do the Hardie boys know you?"
"Again -- it was a dark joke." He turns to you. "Maybe we should go for a little walk, joker? Before we continue? Jogging around seems to have a positive effect on you."
"Again -- you've been hiding here for *43 years*?"
"Again in your defence, I seem to have named one..." He peeks into his notes. "THE MAN WITH THE HOLE IN HIS HEAD. That was a real person, his death was real. Still I named it that. To amuse myself."
"Again, I am not a philosopher. But whoever has lived here -- they have *some* education. And a certain *set* of interests."
"Again, I'm very sorry, ma'am."
"Again, I'm very sorry, ma'am." [Set the library card by her. Leave the room.]
"Again, if there's anything we could do for you, then don't hesitate to call the RCM, ma'am.
"Again..." He looks around. "I was asked to share my take on some of the more *fringe academic* theories developed in Königstein in the Thirties. For example -- partial psychotraumatic amnesia., group personality theory..."
"Again? Just get the dead guy's autograph -- since you're his biggest fan."
"Again? Man, I tell that one at least once a month. It's not that interesting," Chester replies.
"Again? Seriously, man..." He shakes his head. "Fine, fire away."
"Again? Someone ask the guy for an autograph -- you cops are his biggest fans."
"Again? What have you done for Edgar before?"
"Again? What have you done for him before?"
"Again?! I can't believe this shit..." He shakes his head, looking like he really is having trouble believing this *shit*.
"Against the law?"
"Against you?" He's taken aback. "Oh, Harry, I'd like to think I used it *for* you."
"Agent... Is La Puta Madre some kind of travel agency?"
"Aggressive? You make your living enforcing violence. These people are just *dock workers*."
"Agreed -- next injury?"
"Agreed -- no treatment."
"Agreed, Harry." He nods. "Just don't expect us to get you a disability pension. Cops who actually gave a shit are waiting in line. You're not gonna hog their seat."
"Agreed, let's keep moving." [Finish thought.]
"Agreed," he points to the belt. "Especially on the neck. The belt acted like a tourniquet keeping the blood in his head. The hypostasis supports a hanging."
"Agreed," the lieutenant chips in, "pinball is the worst."
"Agreed," the lieutenant notes.
"Agreed. "
"Agreed. The public relations potential of this is too valuable to let go."
"Agreed. What about the whole group?" He quickly adds: "I propose *Épées de la Couronne* -- Swords of the Crown, in honour of my old unit."
"Agreed. Yet there is always a chance, albeit small one, of a truly *good* surprise. One simply needs to look at the history of science -- serendipities abound!"
"Ah Cuno's not into that hallucinogenic shit -- that's for pussies."
"Ah yes -- as the novelty dicemaker said." He makes a note in his notebook. "This has absolutely nothing to do with the case, I'm sure. But I do like a nice little *connection*."
"Ah yes -- back to the *low-down*."
"Ah yes -- the *episode*. Sounds like an acute case of encephalopathy now that I think of it..." She puts down her thermal cup and looks at you.
"Ah yes -- your hunch, before. We can have a semen analysis requested -- from Processing -- if that's what you meant."
"Ah yes -- your hunch, before." He takes a moment to breathe. "We could have a semen analysis requested from processing, but we're already requesting toxicology. There's a one test limit."
"Ah yes! Let's rock out with our cock *out*."
"Ah yes, *officer*... about that."
"Ah yes, *that* paperwork. I found it."
"Ah yes, I've been meaning to go there..." She looks over the bay.
"Ah yes, of course, I'm sad to hear that." She nods, as if its self explanatory. "How much do you need?"
"Ah yes, the *doom* of bad business practices..." Kim looks around in the derelict room. The pipes howl and a rat crosses the floor.
"Ah yes, your condition. The International Collaborative Police maintains a database for these sorts of things. Perhaps you should consult it. It was just a suggestion."
"Ah yes, your side-investigation! Thank you." He adjusts his glasses. "You've got some spirit, clearing up phony drug accusations alongside this murder. I'll talk to the mayor and see if I can get you the key to the city, Harry. Now let's talk real business."
"Ah yes. As you said." She looks confused for a moment.
"Ah yes." She pours herself some more coffee. "The night before I saw you in the hallway -- and reminded you you're a police officer."
"Ah! Annette mentioned that the previous tenants have experienced some financial troubles."
"Ah! No. This is a *contact microphone*, it's for recording *inside* solid objects. Contact Mike just beats people up."
"Ah!" She spreads her arms almost as wide. "*This* is the pier of Rue de Saint-Ghislaine 33A, where the tenants have been kind enough to rent me a slot..."
"Ah!" the cleaning lady says, leaning on her broom. "All I know about politics is that it has brought us more harm than good."
"Ah, 'Smallest Church in Saint-Saëns,' right?" The cafeteria manager is waiting for you to acknowledge that he recognized the song.
"Ah, *mon dieu*! The pain in my back is unbearable. I can't even say if it's in my back or hip any more. Feels like it's in *both*!" He tries to measure the throw.
"Ah, Goracy! I have some questions to ask!"
"Ah, I can see that you have, officer." She nods.
"Ah, I didn't check the basement when I was there..."
"Ah, I see." She takes a pensive drag of her menthol cigarette.
"Ah, I should have known..." She shakes her head. "This is yet another Union mess. I'm not afraid of them, you know. We're not in the habit of being afraid around here."
"Ah, I was just messing with you." His smile deepens his wrinkles even more. "No one's ever seen a cop scab."
"Ah, I'm getting ahead of myself. I was five and a half. In Betancourt, in the suburbs. My grandmother had a summer home there.
"Ah, Martinaise at night," he smells the air and says.
"Ah, Martinaise," he smells the air and says.
"Ah, Revachol. I remember walking its streets as a teenager. There used to be a bowling alley in Stell Maris... I wonder if it's still there?"
"Ah, Tequila, I *knew* you'd come through. That's fucking great, man!"
"Ah, a fellow history buff! I, myself, am currently reading up on Franconigerian era trains. Very interesting stuff. "
"Ah, another broken thing in a line of broken things." She takes a drag. "Well, perhaps you'll find one elsewhere."
"Ah, another broken thing in a line of broken things." She takes a drag. "Well, perhaps you'll find one somewhere."
"Ah, but of course! It's all a huge part of the secret homo-sexual underground."
"Ah, but there *is* and it *protects* me!"
"Ah, cut that shit out," the mesque interjects angrily. "That's the kind of rhetoric bangers tell to kids in Jamrock to get them to join a gang. I'm sick and tired of this honour bullshit!"
"Ah, don't worry about it, Al." The big man smiles, pushing up his cap. "The cops wanna dress up and play policeman. Let 'em. We'll keep doing the real work."
"Ah, down the drain, like your career," jokes the dicemaker, her eyes tracking the remaining polyhedron. Then she catches your eye. "I apologize, officer. That comment was unnecessary."
"Ah, forget about it."
"Ah, fuck it. Let's have more cryptids."
"Ah, fuck it." She puts the barrel of the gun into her mouth.
"Ah, good to hear. Excellent. On behalf of the Moralintern, let me thank you for this service..."
"Ah, good to hear. I wouldn't want to pry into a confidential police matter. But, in the event you'd like to share more... I *would* like to know who it was."
"Ah, he was a soldier?"
"Ah, interesting. I've made quite a few real-estate plays over the years."
"Ah, it's you. Walking, talking, though?"
"Ah, look at me ramble on." She waves her hand. "What brings you to us?"
"Ah, man, me and narcotics go way back." He folds his hands behind his head and leans back. "Had some good times surfin' the psychic waves of my own consciousness, you know?"
"Ah, my friend, but the lesson of the revolution is that communism does not work, my friend."
"Ah, my friend. My friend is a good young man. His family immigrated here from Kedra and life has not been easy for him. But he understands the importance of education. He has taken his future into his own hands and that's all that matters."
"Ah, of course they left it plugged in. Even in death the bear is costing them money."
"Ah, of course. Carry on then."
"Ah, right. Sometimes the brain's able to preserve certain responses even when conscious memory has been... let's say... *misplaced*..."
"Ah, right. Thanks for the explanation."
"Ah, right. Your *condition*. Nevermind. All I mean to say is that we have a puzzle on our hands, but not all the pieces... yet."
"Ah, so this is a struggle over *who runs Martinaise*!"
"Ah, so you're saying being rich isn't worth the hassle."
"Ah, something happened to it? Another broken thing in a line of broken things. Quite a shame." She takes a drag. "Well, perhaps you'll find another one."
"Ah, that clears everything up."
"Ah, that explains all the war damage."
"Ah, that's right. You did say this was all just a *hypothetical* scenario..."
"Ah, the Semenese trinkets, of course..." She nods as if this explains everything.
"Ah, the illusive CS Municipal. I doubt we'll be able to track down who was sent here last and when. This will have to be one of those *little* threads that solves itself -- down the road."
"Ah, them! Nice people -- but no. Lena said they were going back to Jamrock. I saw them pass by, outside." He waves at the windows. "This was *before* the fight started."
"Ah, this?" He closes the folder. "My friends in your organization gave it to me, Harry."
"Ah, very good, then." Your remark seems to have completely vanished from his mind.
"Ah, well, I'm renovating it. It is an interesting project. The building used to be a twelve-story skyscraper before the cannons took the top four stories off. This of course happened when the Coalition forces landed here..."
"Ah, well. Burglary is a serious violation of the right to property, but it is a *local* matter. Thus, the Moralintern need not get involved."
"Ah, yes -- probably 'Roll With Me" by The Fletchers. People often quote the Fletchers at me." She settles down. "Morell says it's my theme song."
"Ah, yes yes... the spirits." His tone cools considerably. "That'll be 300 reál."
"Ah, yes, Fortress Accident." She shakes her head lightly. "It's too bad they never finished their game..."
"Ah, yes, King Filippe III on his steed -- a reminder of what Revachol once was..."
"Ah, yes, the unattainable ideal. Never settle for less! Good luck with that, my friend."
"Ah, yes, their famous motto!" You hear the man exclaim behind you. "A fine examples of technological optimism, from..." He says something, but the wind blows and you can't hear him.
"Ah, yes. From the Wild Pines...." He takes a note. "We'll meet her soon enough, I'm sure."
"Ah, yes. Lots of cops are." The street vendor nods, dead-serious.
"Ah, yes. Money is very important." The street vendor nods, dead-serious.
"Ah, yes. Now you're displaying it... the *eccentricity* that becomes a wealthy individual." If the money-saint's visage weren't wrapped in physics-defying light, you would see his approval.
"Ah, yes. That is what counts, I suppose. For my part, I was more of a *New* girl."
"Ah, yes. The case brief you missed. Now I remember." He opens his notes.
"Ah, yes. The problem with mass market paperbacks... They're not made to last..."
"Ah, yes. There won't be time for that once things go down. Matter of fact -- I don't think there's time for it *now*, but..."
"Ah, yes. There's something very satisfying about discussing the fundamental facts of reality. Go ahead."
"Ah, yes..." She looks hesitant. "This is not very *central* to reality, is it?"
"Ah, you know more than you let on..." She gives you a coy little smile. "Philosopher-Detective of Precinct 41."
"Ah, you mean the rat squad!"
"Ah... But for the better part of history it *has been* illegal."
"Ah... Yes, of course. The village. Let's go."
"Aha! So you finally admit it?"
"Aha! The gardener was wrong -- I'm not just some disco holdover, I'm going to experience the future."
"Aha!" He takes a sip from his beer. "Do you want to know how Tequila Sunset came to be?"
"Aha, a *condottiere*," the man says, as though describing a character from a fantasy novel. "Yes, it's hard to believe they still exist."
"Aha," he says, his voice suddenly cool. "A *nationalist*, I see. In other circumstances I might be compelled to report you for *sedition*..."
"Aha," she exclaims. "Like Snow Men!"
"Ahem." He steps in. "While I appreciate the interest you take in my *brutal motor carriage*, I have to stop you right there. The RCM takes threats directed at its property seriously."
"Aiiight!" He snatches the tape from your hand and attaches it to the empty reel slot. One hand on his headphones, he listens to the audio. Then, shaking his head, he says:
"Ain't no use keeping a stiff catalogue in your head, that's for sure." He wipes his mouth with the back of his hand.
"Airborne landing?"
"Airlifting? I thought it was used on lorries -- for strapping cargo to them."
"Airships. I climbed out." He closes his eyes: "-- into hell. The Landing was complete. The chain was submerged, I had to swim back. The fortress was half submerged too. Shattered."
"Al Gul hails from beyond the veil, ma'am. Al Gul guides the way."
"Al Gul is a trick the desert pygmees played on us. Do not *succumb* to it!"
"Alain is a fucking cockroach name... (unintelligible)... suits me..."
"Alain? He won't be leading anything." He turns to his friend. "I mean, look at him -- the man's broken through and through."
"Alas!" Always "alas, and then it was gone!" Isn't that overly convenient?
"Alas, no. And the first scientist who got his hands on the creature's corpse put it in a jar of formaldehyde, thinking that would detoxify the Gnome's venom."
"Alas, the first scientist who got his hands on the creature's corpse put it in a jar of formaldehyde, thinking that would detoxify the Gnome's venom."
"Alas, the young Drysant was all piss and no vinegar, wearing a tunic of purple velvet and cockatoo feathers to battle." He spits. "Even his riffle was *gold-plated*. Shone from five clicks away. Can you imagine the asininity?"
"Alcohol makes closeness possible. Let's *connect*."
"Alcohol may have played a role, yes."
"Alcohol raises testosterone levels, especially in men," she says matter-of-factly. "The levels remain elevated after inebriation ends and the pain begins. You seek comfort. It's only natural."
"Alcohol? Connect? I'm not sure I'm following you." There's confusion in her eyes.
"Alcoholism has a similar effect on living tissue, I hear."
"Alice this is Firewalker. Re-connect me to the 41st."
"Alice, please connect me to the 41st again."
"Alive and limping."
"All *real* connections begin in the mind."
"All *we* need to do right now is get our brewskie on."
"All *will* burn, Satellite-Officer Vicquemare. Make no mistake about it."
"All I can say is that it was late."
"All I did was take her fortune and invest it prudently. Believe it or not, it takes more than a bit of skill not to blow a vast fortune on sailing boats, bad choices and *unsupervised* state policy."
"All I got I built with my bare hands..."
"All I know is that Revachol used to be really cool in the Thirties."
"All I know is: we are approaching the *end times*."
"All I'm saying is -- from what I saw in her cabin she'd have *no trouble* getting a gun."
"All I'm saying is he had lots of mugs."
"All RCM vehicles have headlights designed to reveal halogen watermarks. Mine too."
"All for what? My snitching? I sure hope so."
"All four, back door, HARD CORE!"
"All he means is that the situation is serious."
"All kinds of people come through here... Locals, travellers. People looking for a deal. People looking for a keepsake. People who are terminally bored."
"All kinds of places he visits. Him and his brother both do when they're on a vacation. Right now it's Mr. Evrart's turn to look after the Union, but last year he spent a whole winter in Tien En." He chuckles.
"All kinds sir. Beer *and* wine."
"All kinds. I've seen archaeologists, gangsters, even a bunch of ad agency types. I'm telling you, Tequila -- this thing's got a *pull* on certain kinds of people."
"All large human gatherings are narcotic. Ask any such undertaking in history -- this included." He nods toward a human-shaped pillar nearby. "Chemistry is true to its word."
"All men are predators, dear. Nothing much to be done about *that*. It's all a matter of where you get to file your teeth..."
"All men, I presume. But again, I couldn't see very clearly."
"All natural materials, see?" the street vendor interrupts, guiding your hand over the fabric. "Real wool, 100% skin-friendly! And they're yours for only 2 reál!"
"All of *this*..." -- he points to you -- " very unprofessional. "Makes me think the Citizens Militia is nothing but a badly organized band of bullies and jesters. Again: I *don't* like this."
"All of Revachol is gonna flock in here."
"All of it. However, right now we want all the harbour workers to be on the company's board, so they could take part in *the decision-making process*."
"All of it?" The lieutenant raises his brow. "There are junior officers out there, eager to prove themselves. I would leave *some* for them -- and I would leave the *boots* to Processing -- but okay. Let's find *all of it*."
"All of it?" The lieutenant raises his brow. "There are junior officers out there, eager to prove themselves. I would leave *some* for them, but okay. Let's find *all of it*."
"All of them, I don't know. I told you all I know. Are we cool now? I really want us to be cool now."
"All of them. Even the ones who've left. I don't hang out with them, I don't remember who has tattoos."
"All of who?"
"All of z'is is perfectly normal. A bit mundane if anything."
"All out of lies now, huh?"
"All right then -- all's well that ends well." The lieutenant turns to you. "Should we return to our *ordinary* lives?"
"All right then. Change of topic."
"All right then."
"All right then." (Conclude.)
"All right then..." He sighs. "He has *questions* now."
"All right!" he snaps back to his act. "Very cool. Let's cap this off with a *purchase*. A pair of funky sunglasses, detective. You deserve it! And *I* deserve it too, don't you think?"
"All right, I may have *some* advice for you on how to deal with Jean-Luc there -- out of solidarity to the RCM. It's low on technology, however."
"All right, I'll play along. Those two doors of yours -- the winch connects them? With some kind of... dumbwaiter?"
"All right, but quickly. She has endured that sight long enough." He nods toward the yard. "It's time for us to do our duty."
"All right, cop." He nods. "Keep talking. I'll tell you when I've had enough."
"All right, let's *not* take them now, then come back once we realize we have to: have this conversation *again* and then take them."
"All right, let's rock with our cock."
"All right, now we talkin'. Same shit as before. You give Cuno Cuno's kilo -- Cuno gives you half a kilo back."
"All right, now we're talking. Whooh that's heavy..." He waves the minuscule bottle around, then slips it into his coat pocket.
"All right, piggo!" His face lights up. "Shit's rolling."
"All right, so you got Cuno's kilo." He rubs his hands together. "Here is how we do it. First, you give Cuno Cuno's kilo. Then Cuno gives you half back."
"All right, then. Looks like I should go and prepare for what's to come. And thank you, this has been delightful. I do hope it happens *sooner*. Otherwise..." She extinguishes her cigarette.
"All right, you fucking druggie..." He taps the side of his head. "Cuno knew you'd try that sneaky pig shit on him."
"All right," she concedes. "My father was a Zemylaki. He died years ago. He was a bad man. Not a lot of good things to say about him and what he did."
"All right," the lieutenant looks across the canal. "We can go to the coast now. Expect rugged terrain -- and drunks."
"All right," the woman nods approvingly: "Let's trash the place."
"All right. Cuno hears you. See that shit house over there?" He points to the collapsed building with the book store.
"All right. Enough of this." (Conclude.)
"All right. Fair is fair." (Give Cuno the vial.)
"All right. I want to buy *Medicinal Purposes of the Pale*."
"All right. Let's move." [Finish thought.]
"All right. Off course, officer."
"All right. Saddle up." (Accept the Cuno.)
"All right. Thanks." (Conclude.)
"All right. That's enough sharing details about the investigation for one day."
"All right. That's enough sharing details. Let's go."
"All right."
"All right." (Give him back his gun.)
"All right." He claps his hands. "We're on to something -- Cuno meant fire guy too."
"All right." He nods. "Keep talking. I'm getting a bit *curious* about some things myself."
"All right." He remains guarded.
"All right." He takes out a shiny black body bag and starts pulling the plastic over the dead man's face.
"All right." He wipes the sweat from his brow. "Let's do this. Smear your shit all over this fucking dung field..."
"All right." She nods and takes a drag. "I like it sudden."
"All right." She takes a long, pensive drag of her Astra Menthol.
"All right." The lieutenant knocks on the metal. "I retract my statement. It was naive. Let's look around and get it open."
"All right...." He taps the side of his head. "Cuno knew you'd try that sneaky pig shit on him."
"All sorts of things. The OO. Some disco, rock too. So much disco and rock..."
"All that matters is that the energies are retreating. I can already *feel* the curse lifting! It will be a long time until we're *fully* free of it, of course. But still.."
"All the best parts of it. Rue de Saint-Ghislaine with its bastions, the plaza's Meteoran mosaic. Even some of the old street lamps have been put back thanks to investments from the WP." She points behind you where the seawall rises.
"All the boys liked her if you know what I mean, mister..." He winks at you. "We used to sneak in her yard in the dark and peek through the window. One time we saw miss Bellows with a fellow. Yes we did, yes we did, mister." He looks for signs of disbelief in your eyes.
"All the detectives from all the Precincts who experience extrasensory perception go to the Remote Viewers Division. Their work is invaluable to the force."
"All the failed businesses and ideologies -- there's something *wrong* here."
"All the failed businesses in the Doomed Commercial Area. All the failure in Martinaise..."
"All the locks have an electronic component. They have to be unlocked down here -- with a *master* key before your *guest* key will open the lock."
"All the pressure has made Annette really anxious. You know she's been chewing her nails?"
"All the real communists are dead. They died fighting for *communism* -- are you *dead*?" His voice turns into a hiss: "No. You're an inert lumpen with a gun."
"All the stars burn in absolute silence. Have you ever realized?"
"All the while talking racist shit -- don't think we aren't watching, *fascha*. People here trust us. We're getting *complaints*."
"All they do is produce components to keep the pharmaceutical industry running. That's people's health we're talking about. Old grannies, little babes, people with disabilities..."
"All things considered..." The lieutenant is still reeling from the pain. "...that could've gone worse."
"All this pressure has made her really anxious. You know she's been chewing her nails?"
"All this time?"
"All three are good to know," the lieutenant looks up from his notes, "when we're out *policing*."
"All we can do is keep that which has not from following suit. One single, concrete suspect delivered into Civil Court -- and I *may* be able to defuse this situation."
"All we can do is keep the little that has not from following suit. One single, concrete suspect delivered into Civil Court -- and I *may* be able to defuse this situation."
"All we can do is keep the rest from following suit. One single, concrete suspect delivered into Civil Court -- and I *may* be able to defuse this situation."
"All we can do is keep the rest from going the same way. One single, concrete suspect delivered into Civil Court -- and I *may* be able to defuse this situation."
"All we can do now is *not* mail these to Evrart's accountant." He pauses. "Your gun would probably stay missing though."
"All will be well as soon as I get this *being Cuno's bitch* situation off my back." (Don't wait for the lieutenant to answer.) "Let's get to work, Kim!" [Leave.]
"All you know is I saw it happen -- and I liked it. I liked it a lot. Her plump body, bobbing up and down in that canal like a cork. That chick-yellow bag still on her, strangling her..." Cold black coals look at the canal, then at you -- blink.
"All your minds are rotting." He nods inland. "I've seen you turn the lights back on. After it was all dark in the twenties. More and more each year now. Glittering in the dark, like a Merry-Go-Round....
"All yours?" She nods. "That's been the motto of many an indotribe. There is something *clarifying* about that strain of ultraliberalism..."
"All." He nods.
"Almost *where?* Almost ready to bleed to death?" He looks at the bloodstain on your pant leg...
"Almost landed on your fat ass there!"
"Almost nothing, and it's beginning to worry me."
"Almost there. Could use just a bit more consolidation, a tad less regulation..."
"Almost there. Could use just a bit more heart..."
"Almost there. Could use just a bit more work..."
"Almost there. Could use just a bit more... something..."
"Alone in the blasted desert heat the doctor wandered eastward, where man hasn't stepped foot in over a thousand years -- since the fall of Perikarnassis."
"Alone on an uninhabited archipelago, forced to face themselves and nature. Pre-industrial quantities of solitude. The sea. Perhaps something more... fundamental."
"Alone. I don't drag my men into shit with me."
"Already did. Let's go?"
"Already forgotten, officer."
"Already got one, smart ass." He utters through his teeth. "Comes with the rank and my service record."
"Already got that. I'm interested in *your* background."
"Already?" He glances at his watch. "Well, I'm glad I could help."
"Alright -- she took a fucking leak, okay? For one moment. *Maybe* went out too -- she has an operation to run from her lorry." He points to the intersection. "We're not getting into what that *operation* is again, cop."
"Alright -- you've been notified." (Conclude.)
"Alright alright, simmer down. I think we all learned out lesson."
"Alright alright, we can get the barman bring them down -- what else?"
"Alright then." [Finish thought.]
"Alright!" Andre grins as if this settles it. "It's going to take us a bit to move our stuff inside. A couple of hours, maybe. Come check back later!" He waves to the other speedfreaks. "Let's get moving!"
"Alright!" He grabs the pen and paper and carefully, scribbles on the dotted line -- next to Lilienne's signature -- 'Idiot Doom Spiral'.
"Alright!" He grabs the pen and paper from your hands and, very carefully, scribbles on the dotted line, next to 'Lillienne Carter': 'Idiot Doom Spiral'.
"Alright!" He grins. "It's going to take us bit to move our stuff inside. A couple of hours, maybe. Come check back later!" Andre waves to the other speedfreaks. "Let's get moving!"
"Alright!" He slams his giant fist on the door frame. "All-fucking-righty then! I guess it's good then! That fucking..."
"Alright, *Kras*," the lieutenant notes. "If you say so."
"Alright, *Kras*. You fought in the Revolution and everything," the lieutenant notes. "If you say so."
"Alright, I believe you. You look like the kind of man who knows it's a *crime* to lie to an officer."
"Alright, I got some questions for you."
"Alright, I guess it did get a bit porny there."
"Alright, I had some questions for you."
"Alright, I talked to Egg Head, he plugged in the cable. You can now *unmute* your speakers."
"Alright, I think I get it. Let me ask you something else."
"Alright, I think I'm ready." (Proceed.)
"Alright, I think that was enough. I have proven myself."
"Alright, I will walk with you." She raises her finger. "But you need to understand that *nothing* is going to happen. We're just walking."
"Alright, I won't push you on this. Are you ever coming back to work?" (Conclude.)
"Alright, I'll call RCM then," she nods to herself.
"Alright, I'll call them..." She breathes in again, trying to steady herself.
"Alright, I'll do that."
"Alright, I'll go look for the off-site copy." (Proceed.)
"Alright, I'll let you sleep." [Leave.]
"Alright, I'll see how it goes." (Proceed with the quest.)
"Alright, I'll see if I come up with something on my own. A citizen investigation." (Take the task.)
"Alright, I'll take a look then." (Conclude.)
"Alright, I'll think about it for a while..." (Continue.)
"Alright, I'm done talking about her."
"Alright, I'm in. But organizing a funeral takes lot of time and effort, doesn't it?"
"Alright, I'm ready to take the damage for the sake of my conscience."
"Alright, alright," the old man is taken aback by René's commanding tone, but dares not dispute him. "I have a bad feeling about this."
"Alright, alright..." He throws his hands up in the air. "You *fucked* the Cuno! Everybody, Cuno got fucked by his pocket pig -- just when we getting our business on, the pig throws it all away!"
"Alright, but -- and, forgive me, but this has been bothering me since morning -- how have you managed to run around all day *wearing no shoes*?"
"Alright, but -- and, forgive me, but this has been bothering me since morning -- how have you managed to run around all day *wearing only one shoe*?"
"Alright, but make it quick. Once I finish this cigarette I have to run."
"Alright, calm down. What is this about?"
"Alright, cockatoo not missing. I just wanted to make sure."
"Alright, detective, you win. How do we play this game?"
"Alright, detective. Your turn."
"Alright, don't kill yourself over it. I was shooting the shit with Hardie and the boys over a few beers, like always. Then Klaasje comes in, all pale and shuddering..."
"Alright, enough nonsense. The point is that we sometimes take on *unusual* cases."
"Alright, entertain me -- what's so great about these pants?"
"Alright, fine. I won't do it again." [Leave.]
"Alright, go ahead. Do you have any questions?"
"Alright, go then."
"Alright, got it, thanks."
"Alright, got your message."
"Alright, how about I surprise you? Come back in eight hours with 7 reál and I'll give you your *cursed die*."
"Alright, it's a good-bye then." (Hang up the call.)
"Alright, let's back up to a less sensitive subject, okay?"
"Alright, let's go back to Evrart." The lieutenant turns towards the industrial harbour. "If we don't mention anything to him, he won't know before it's too late."
"Alright, let's go."
"Alright, let's talk about something else."
"Alright, man!" He claps his hands enthusiastically.
"Alright, never mind then."
"Alright, pig... you can plug him, but you can't stop him. It'll only buy you time."
"Alright, she took a fucking leak, okay? For one moment. *Maybe* went out too. She has a complex operation to run from her lorry." He points to the intersection. "She's a busy girl -- always has been."
"Alright, so you have no idea whatsoever where I could find tapes?"
"Alright, that's it then."
"Alright, the cops are going into the harbour!"
"Alright, there's another topic I'd like to address."
"Alright, this is all very good and sad, but I have my research to finish. Trust me, this is far more important than the fate of some local speedfreaks and their dance music."
"Alright, this should help you get back on your feet." He takes a ten-note from a leather pouch.
"Alright, time to freeze the body!"
"Alright, tree. You got me, fair and square. We're even, for now."
"Alright, we'll talk later." [Leave.]
"Alright, we're finished here. Let's quickly debrief and go over what we found -- so we don't do it in front of the company rep."
"Alright, well... All radiocomputers perform operations up on air, so in order to gain more processing power you need to invest in a *good antenna*."
"Alright, what about the other ideas?"
"Alright, when you put it that way -- I'll help." (Accept task.)
"Alright, where can I get it repaired?"
"Alright, yeah." He bites his lip. "Cuno's in it."
"Alright, you know what? I'm willing to let you investigate the Doomed Commercial Area. We are set on the path... there's little else to do."
"Alright, you want more? We saw you try to punch that kid. A grown man, a *police officer* trying to punch a snot-nose punk kid! A kid, for fucks sake!"
"Alright, you were talking about the building, go on." (Continue.)
"Alright, you've convinced me. How do we play?"
"Alright," she finally says, blinking twice, "Bring me the game's off-site copy from my old workspace if you really want to help. It's stored on a filament memory and I'm unable to go and fetch it myself."
"Alright," the lieutenant coughs abruptly. "I'm glad we stopped when we did... my neck was starting to hurt. If there's nothing more, we should get going."
"Alright," the lieutenant coughs abruptly. "It's a good moment to stop. My neck was starting to hurt. If there's nothing more, we should get going."
"Alright. Are you *the* lady driver?"
"Alright. Bitemarks, contusions on head and chest, and a ligature mark encircling the neck."
"Alright. But did this person say anything?" She still sounds sceptical.
"Alright. But here's the big thing -- Kras Mazov looks Samaran, and you don't."
"Alright. But it's not just the bookstore that's still up and running. What about the Whirling-in-Rags? Some people say it's part of the building complex."
"Alright. Do what you gotta do, man. We trust you." He looks at his posse, then back at you, smiling. "If you need any help, let us know."
"Alright. Goodbye, Egg Head." [Leave.]
"Alright. Got it."
"Alright. I had another question actually."
"Alright. I had something else in mind." (Conclude.)
"Alright. I'll go put the kids to bed and we'll meet at Land's End in... fifteen minutes."
"Alright. It's a date... sort of."
"Alright. Maybe some other die then?"
"Alright. Tell me as much as you're comfortable with."
"Alright. The station is going to want details, however. Let's examine that library card you found on the man's body, see if it has any clues. Then we can call the station from Kineema and hand over the case."
"Alright. The station is going to want details, however. Let's make sure we didn't miss anything before we head back to Kineema to make the call."
"Alright. The station is going to want details, however. We already examined the library card we found on the body -- good, that should be enough for the first lead."
"Alright. Two weeks maybe? I don't know... I need another beer." He turns to Glen.
"Alright. We should first examine that library card you found. Then we can call the station from my Kineema, let them know we're taking the case."
"Alright. We should go to Garte again and ask if he knows who put the clothes in the trash. It could be as simple as someone from the hostel cleaning the yard, or *that* one..." He nods toward the red-haired boy behind him. "I'd advise *against* confronting that force."
"Alright. We're still going to have to call the station to let them know we're taking on an additional case, and so they can take away the body."
"Alright. We've already examined the library card -- let's call the Jamrock Library from Kineema, see if we can learn anything about this Billie Méjean."
"Alright." He calms himself. "Did she say anything else? About me, you know." He repeats: "Did she say anything about *me*?"
"Alright." He juts his chin out. "Entertain The Cuno! Show me whatcha got. Whatcha got there? Whatcha got, huh?! Show me whatcha got!"
"Alright." He wipes the sweat off his brow. "Now we can do *business*."
"Alright." Looks like the lieutenant doesn't really know what that means. "You could also get it fixed at the pawnshop across the street -- we shouldn't waste our time."
"Alright." She picks up the tape recorder and looks you in the eye...
"Alright." The jolly man smiles. "Let's hear them, officer."
"Alright." The lieutenant puts the slip back in his notes and observes the young woman for a moment.
"Alright." The lieutenant's face stiffens as he turns to look at the road ahead. "I won't ask again."
"Alright." The operator turns back to you. "That's a negative on the additional funds, sir. Over."
"Alright." The speedfreak dips into his belt pack and produces a yellow key. He then makes a sudden, cool-infused move, tossing it in your general direction.
"Alright..." She smiles a little, without meaning to.
"Alrighty then." [Leave.]
"Also -- we have a sniper's nest with full view of the room in which the mercenary died. Right on the island. *And* two officers on the scene that Mr. Dros *confessed* to."
"Also -- we have ballistics from the gun, matching the bullet found in the dead mercenary's head. *And* two officers on the scene that Mr. Dros *confessed* to."
"Also for talent!"
"Also inoperable?"
"Also numerous residual scars, covering about 40% of his skin. Extensive scarring, to say the least." He coughs. "Hands were clean, no sign of injury from struggling. That's about it."
"Also!" He wags his finger. "You and your partner are staying here *free* now. I'm not gonna let you ruin it for him. This establishment supports cops. Even cops like you."
"Also, Harry, here's five reál." He holds out a banknote.
"Also, I studied the footprints at the crime scene. Worker boots."
"Also, he was hanged."
"Also, my MC has a sloped roof, it's a *sports* model." He makes a gesture indicating a harsh degree of sloping. "The roof is slippery -- an all-around bad platform to stand on."
"Also, the gun." He smiles very politely. "We should pick it up and discuss it in front of him. Make a show of it."
"Also, the gun." The scratches his head. "Why you still haven't picked it up and used it against him is beyond Cuno."
"Also, the phasmid was female. The reeds are its nest."
"Also, they don't heat or clean the building. Shit's gonna collapse."
"Also, you look like a fucking idiot."
"Also, you've got to admit, it catches the eye. And since the grand piper is slowly but steadily moving towards basing the economy on it -- attention -- it is imperative that the medium itself convey the message."
"Alternative? I don't even have a *mainstream* way in, I'm afraid, although..." He points over the guardrail, to the sewage run-off there.
"Although -- if I remember correctly -- there are still some centuries to go. Very anticlimactic."
"Although -- probably because his life ended as a result of his work in Katla -- no one remembers his contributions to the search for the Nnong Okk."
"Although I guess she was pretty handy with the mechanical and technical stuff. Even fixed the heater in the shack. You should be thankful for that."
"Although I see the appeal, being thus adrift interferes with performing one's duties. Moving on..."
"Although the 'low' part is a little ironic -- the Col Do Ma Ma Daqua makes, or, rather, *is* such a high-pitched sound that other animals, including humans, can't *hear* it. It could be everywhere, all of the time -- and we wouldn't know."
"Always a pleasure to see an officer of the law!"
"Always aim for the centre of mass"?
"Always glad to help out the RCM. Shame I can't do more -- things are meagre at the moment, due to..." He nods toward the protesters.
"Always good to think ahead. Now..." He points to the rope squeezing the dead man's neck.
"Always seemed like there was something off about that islet to me..."
"Always the comedian..." He shrugs. "Never mind. I just hope she can game her way through the system and come out the other way."
"Always up for a good jog -- otherwise, would I still be *on* this case with *you*?" He smiles and raises his collar. It's windy.
"Always waiting. Always...."
"Always waiting." The old man turns his eyes from the shore and back to you.
"Always," She nods. "That's the *can't-do-attitude* that truly defines Late Modernity. You may prove a Modern Man yet."
"Am *I* a moralist?"
"Am *I* getting points right now?" (Look around.)
"Am I a suspect?" His eyes narrow. "Done no crimes. I only fight for the rights of people."
"Am I going to ask? Hell, Harry -- you *spin-kicked* my strongest man in the face. I saw it from my window!"
"Am I going to need bolt cutters for this?"
"Am I gonna have to?" He tilts his head like a hawk, eyes narrowing to a mere shadow beneath his ball cap.
"Am I not a cop? Everything is my business."
"Am I really that awkward?"
"Am I smiling? Do you see me smiling and shaking my little shaker? No? Do you know *why?"*
"Am I wearing a little bow tie? Am I wearing a bow tie and doing this?" he shakes the imaginary shaker, furiously.
"Am I...?" The big man shakes his head in disbelief. "Harry, these people... Martinaise is the most important thing in my life. I would never let anything bad happen to them."
"Am I? Or did you ride in, take the body down, solve the murder, and *not* trash my hostel room?"
"Am I?" He arches his brow. "Anyway, did you want something -- related to policework."
"Am I?" He shakes his head. "I don't know. I'm not an entomologist! Neither was the para-scientist. The only thing I'm sure of is..."
"Amber, a poor man's gold?"
"Ambush behaviour." (Nod.) "Crab man."
"Ame-fucking-what, pig?"
"Amends, Cuno. I was wrong to try to hit you. I'm sorry."
"Among many other things, yes. I could have done something. There's always *something* you can do, right?" She looks into her coffee. "Ask me something else."
"Among other things... but calm down, I'm but a lowly single-digit billionaire."
"Amphetamine -- does it make you a better detective?"
"Amphetamine lab?" He seems taken aback. "That sound very immoral and debauched. Frankly a health risk."
"An *artist*?" He pushes his chest out. "Maybe I *am* an artist? You hear that everyone, I'm a fucking *artist* now."
"An *orange* patrol cap -- you need it."
"An *unconfirmed* sighting is just a story."
"An Ister 50. You could blow Dick Mullen away with that." (Back off.)
"An absolute disaster."
"An absolutely colossal fridge -- still plugged in -- *literally* in the shape of an ice bear!"
"An accident? I wouldn't know anything about that. I just heard they ran out of money and couldn't get the project done on time."
"An act born of sympathy for the working man. I set fire to the fumes of struggle."
"An aerostatic is an airship. A hybrid airship, semi-rigid." He points up to a small dot in the cloudline. "*That* is an aerostatic."
"An aggressive opening, detective," the lieutenant says, appearing to relish the challenge.
"An amateur-entroponetic police officer... I'd like to say I've heard stranger things, but I'm not sure. This is a hell of a guess, however. Well worded I might add..."
"An antique bullet... from a Belle-Magrave, 44.6 mm. How hard can it be to find one? How hard can it *be*?"
"An antique. That makes sense. There can't be many breech-loading rifles floating around in Martinaise, or anywhere in Revachol, really..."
"An appropriate attitude." He withdraws his hand and looks you in the eye:
"An arrest."
"An audio shortfall, you say?" The other speedfreak points his thumb toward the speaker in the back. "Guess what, we've got speakers with *massive* low end. There's a good chance it can do it."
"An autopsy? Wow. Sure, keep them." She hands you the rubber gloves. "I have another pair."
"An effective advocate for the rights of local workingmen."
"An ex-wife?"
"An expression?"
"An honour -- and a burden -- attached to your rank once you've proven yourself able, usually after five to eight years of field work. Mine is *lieutenant-detective*."
"An honour -- and a burden. Attached to your rank. Mine is *lieutenant-detective* -- unfortunately. I can't tell you how tired I am of this corpse..."
"An iconic duo I take it?"
"An illumination?" He covers his face in his sleeve. "A religious pattern maybe? Or... a roadmap of a complex highway system? No. I don't know, I've seen all manner of tattoos but the visual language here is unknown to me. It's clearly very well done."
"An immortal temple of light? That sounds nice. I *do* want someone to do that for me -- who wouldn't? -- but not you. I don't want *anything* from you."
"An insane goal." Her eyes return to you. "Krenel has a thousand men on their payroll. The next batch will be a platoon of twenty men and a gunship, the one after that, a hundred."
"An insane goal." Her eyes return to you. "Krenel has a thousand men on their payroll. The next batch will be a platoon of twenty men and a gunship. You can't simply *trick* them."
"An instant colour camera." He produces two metal-capped ampoules and clicks them into place on the side of the apparatus. A thin slot shines there...
"An interisolary racing series. You should definitely give it a go if you like motor carriages -- it has fantastic competition." He smiles again.
"An intriguing mystery! I wonder what *terrible secrets* lie behind this dark and ominous veil, ha ha."
"An intuitive conclusion of that development is that one day the pale will cover everything -- but this sort of talk is mostly left to extremists."
"An investment?" He raises a brow, intrigued. "What kind of investment?"
"An obese person is becoming less likely."
"An oceanic isola. It comprises mostly of water. Mundi is the largest, Katla the coldest, Insulinde the bluest. What can I say..." She stops. "Each is perishing and dear."
"An octopus belongs to a very different Class. It's not even an insect, it's a mollusc. But, yes -- I see your point."
"An octopus? I will *slay* it!"
"An official investigation has been launched -- by me -- to determine just that ma'am."
"An old Belle-Magrave rifle -- that's *rare* to find in such good order. Seems to no longer be functional, but still -- rare. Here..."
"An old Belle-Magrave, from the Revolution," the lieutenant notes with approval. His eyes are gleaming. "Seems to no longer be functional, but still -- a beautiful thing, in its own way."
"An old case from my precinct. A couple of Zsiemsk migrants saw a Stas-Rajko stopped in street, painted just like this: muddy brown. Murdered the driver on the spot."
"An old man's brand of cigarettes...."
"An old military hospital and its surroundings." She looks toward the buildings to the south. "Or it used to be, during the time of the Suzerain."
"An old woman has it and, let me tell you, Harry, word on the street is she's a character. So watch out."
"An omen?" He looks at you, his neck crooked and his brow furrowed, then says shakes his head: "Whatever..."
"An ominous vision..." She nods solemnly. "At least you understand the gravity of the situation. And the maps should prove very valuable indeed."
"An opioid receptor antagonist. It's used for diamorphine overdoses."
"An ultraliberal, it's a type of liberal. From the Revolution. It's... not the moderate kind."
"An uncomplicated man," she nods approvingly. "I take it that means you're interested?"
"An underground place with no name? Sounds like something the crab man would say."
"An unidentified middle-aged man. Height 170-175 cm, dark hair, medium build. Looks like he slipped, fell through a hole in the boardwalk and hit his head against the metal bench."
"An unidentified middle-aged man. Looks like he slipped, fell through a hole in the boardwalk and hit his head against the metal bench."
"An unnecessary development, if you ask me." She shakes her head. "What brings this supposedly *regular* law official back to me?"
"An uproar of matter, darling, *rising* into the pale. Rolling. Evaporating even, a great vision. The area of transition between the world and the pale is called *porch collapse*."
"Analysin' the fundamental structural and psychological conditions of being stranded in the midst of a sea of motor lorries and their sad, despondent chauffeurs."
"And *I* can work with you, Harry!" He raises his index finger. "Now, what else can I do for you?"
"And *I* need the fatty to get his feet amputated 'cause the smell is killing me -- we can't always get what we want."
"And *end* implies a stable state, whereas we can see from experience that everything is in fact always transforming. Thus, there can be no end."
"And *how* could she have killed him?"
"And *life*..." (Nod.) "I knew you were a man of the people, Evrart."
"And *now* people are getting *lynched* I hear. Behind the Whirling-in-Rags... a disastrous situation if there ever was one."
"And *then* I had to deal with your toilet. The one you clogged with *police documents*, causing water damage downstairs in the kitchen."
"And *then* what?"
"And *this* protects you?"
"And *who* is your supplier, exactly?"
"And *why* would you do that?!"
"And -- naturally -- all the most fashionable tastemakers refused to be seen in chitin from then on. The atelier went bankrupt before they could finish the collection."
"And Elizabeth too -- Elizabeth Beaufort was her name. The gardener."
"And Glen... Glen was my friend. Best I've ever had. I loved that crazy homo like my own brother." He takes a sip of his beer. "We're all fucked without him, but whaddaya do? This job is shit."
"And I *don't*. Just one."
"And I *really* need to finish this cigarette," he replies with a subtle smile.
"And I *was* wrong about the age of the deceased. "
"And I asked *you*, past-less detective of the Citizens Militia. What insight has acute ensephalopathy given to you?"
"And I asked *you*, philosopher-detective of the Citizens Militia."
"And I blew them all. What does it matter now? He's gone. Ancient dust."
"And I don't have a..." She stops mid-sentence. "You know what, it would be really helpful if you could just stop talking and let me work."
"And I don't like keeping guns around the shop for long. Off-the-charts photon emissions. The unhealthy kind."
"And I don't like the dead body that's been hanging out there for a week!" He gestures somewhere outside. "No one wants to work in these conditions!"
"And I don't mean that as a metaphor."
"And I don't mean the scrawny Mesque punk either." He points at the dockworker idling on the staircase. "I mean Head-Measurer -- or whatever he is."
"And I have a job to do instead of this absurd idiocy! Goodbye." [Leave.]
"And I knew you're one too, Harry! Right when you rolled into town. I've got the centre, I've got room for a retail complex, and In four years I'll get the church too. The wheels are turning, Harry. The wheels of progress. This post-war limbo -- I won't stand for it. There's kids practically playing with their own *faeces* out there... It cannot go on."
"And I realize that their hygiene habits were completely appropriate for a nascent culture... I just didn't feel comfortable. Let's change the topic."
"And I specifically added that I didn't *need* to know where he was."
"And I suppose you have a theory about that too, cop?"
"And I suppose you have a theory on that?"
"And I thought getting my knee shattered and surviving on rat carcasses in the trench was bad... here, have one of my medals! You've earned it, *officer*."
"And I wanted her to see his head explode," he nods. "That too. She should know better than to hold a child murderer between her thighs. I knew he'd be there for one more second, *writhing*..."
"And I was wrong about your big dick too... you don't have a big dick." He stares disappointed into his beer.
"And I'll *never* do it again. I don't know what got into me, really... work has been stressful lately. Damn kojkos price dumping us out of competition."
"And I'm definitely not anyone's bitch."
"And I'm eager to return to her, I assure you -- but I can't leave before we've finished with these traps."
"And I'm having a grand time!"
"And I'm sure you two had a hell of a time." He throws a couple of playful punches in your direction. "But I couldn't care less about the bitch. Let's talk about the *real* stuff, Harry. The stuff that matters."
"And I'm sure you're gonna open this one with flying colours, Harry." He chuckles. "This really is very simple and there's nothing shady about it."
"And Insulinde is...?"
"And Lena's sighting of the Phasmid. Is that..."
"And Pryce is..."
"And a melody. A good melody is what makes the song really *stick*, so that you can't get it out of your head anymore." (Point at your head.)
"And after that?"
"And again, I have no idea how *stupid* mistakes like this can even happen, but Ron, when he came to close the door, didn't close the neighbouring door! And there's a hole in the wall!"
"And almost endearingly moralist standpoint," she bows. "It must be hard to take a moderate approach to head-shooting in your line of work."
"And aren't all detectives philosophers?"
"And beautiful."
"And because I don't like the idea of them any more drunk than they already are." She nods. "What else?"
"And before you go on, I am *not* disrupting any order here, I'm a circuit bender and no one has anything against circuit benders."
"And blood. Some of it is even yours."
"And by 'man the booth' I mean 'slump behind the counter with a face that could maim you if you ever dared to disturb their bored magazine-browsing.'" She leans back, disapproving.
"And by 'these people' I mean people in Soona's radio game company -- Fortress Accident."
"And by that you mean crimes against humanity?"
"And by that you mean the representative of the harbour company?"
"And can you describe me their appearance? Any features that stand out, something to make identifying a little easier?"
"And dark. And the process begins. Erasure. Kilometre by kilometre. In any direction. The Motorway South is a road you cannot come back from."
"And did you ever find it?"
"And do what? Walk away, knowing that there are two delusional hoodlums interested in joining a criminal group whose main areas of expertise are jacking cars and killing police officers?"
"And do you have any information on her whereabouts?"
"And do you have any information on this 'songbird of misery'?"
"And don't forget about that bitch's window. Scope that shit. Cop Cuno's telling you, that's the break in the case."
"And double-yefreitor?"
"And eight-eyed mind-controlling bird. Fuck yes."
"And eight-eyed mind-controlling bird? C'mon..."
"And eight-eyed mind-controlling bird? No way."
"And even *if* I did I still would not give you ten thousand reál. I would rather buy something nice with it. Like expensive hi-fi or a new *Hydrodynamique E40* sail."
"And even then -- a route doesn't put that bullet in the merc's head. A gun does that. And Ruby doesn't carry one."
"And everything's better now, sir?"
"And for god's sake watch out for yourself."
"And fuck you too, moral-f*g!" He throws a glance at Titus as the last syllable leaves his lips. The big guy sighs.
"And fuck you too," he adds, turning to you. "Putting Cuno on the spot like that. Cuno doesn't need to fucking *explain* his shit, Cuno's KING, he rules here -- fuck did you want?"
"And fuck you, too, copper -- picking on Angus like this. We're done with this schoolyard shit. And just so you know, he *doesn't* have trouble breathing."
"And genetic atrophy."
"And go where? The fish are plentiful here and we get enough orders to get by. It's not great, but it's something."
"And has anything 'truly surprising' ever happened to you?"
"And have you found anyone to be sweet *to*?" She smiles conspiratorially.
"And he *solved* it. Near-perfectly. In one week we have: a confession, a murder weapon -- *and* the perpetrator. Locked on the island right now, awaiting transportation."
"And he *still* went on to govern Revachol for twenty five years! We lost 2 million lives toppling that mode of government -- and those grotesque statues too, hundreds of them..."
"And he believed you?"
"And he left you here -- gesturing at your swollen face. The rich man rules over you and over the world. And he laughs at your fidgeting." He stares into the dead embers.
"And he let you be here?"
"And he says..." She lowers her voice, comically. "'That was *too* hard core. Don't ask me about that.' So she goes: 'Okay. But what's this, baby?' And he's like: 'Saw some bad shit there, killed some loincloths.'"
"And he was married." Kim points at the ring on the man's left hand, the flesh around it swollen and grey.
"And here I thought my modest payment of 100 real would stick..." She shakes her head in mock regret.
"And here I thought my modest payment of 130 real would stick..." She shakes her head in mock regret.
"And here I thought my modest payment of 30 real would stick..." She shakes her head in mock regret.
"And here I thought my modest payment of 40 real would stick..." She shakes her head in mock regret.
"And here I thought my modest payment of 70 real would stick..." She shakes her head in mock regret.
"And here I thought that you were curious to hear what's on the tape..."
"And here I was thinking you were an idiot." She breathes out and the air tastes sweet. "So, are you? An idiot, I mean."
"And here I was trying to be polite. Just can't win with you pigs." Despite the sass, she puts the brush aside.
"And here you are. Quality sound reproduction on the go. It'll play anything. Wherever. Turn *any* tape into a conversation of sounds and shapes."
"And here's my Kvalsund multitool. You might need it to hack loose some ice. It opens everything. If you get me the off-site copy, then you can keep the Kvalsund."
"And his role in this strike was... what?"
"And how are the talks going?"
"And how did you meet?"
"And how do we get there then?"
"And how do we get there?"
"And how do you know that?"
"And if he does not change course it will be a war negotiation, detective."
"And if it *can't*, well..." He shrugs non-committally.
"And if it *were* a conflict, the RCM would not pick sides. My colleague's *unusual* approach to police work does not represent the organization at this time."
"And if that fails? If we don't find her?" (Conclude.)
"And if those authorities drink so hard they need help recalling the basic terms of reality -- well, I am here to help." She bows and smiles.
"And if you don't like it.."
"And if you don't like it..."
"And if you don't like what you see..."
"And if you ever feel like the uniform is holding you back... I've got a few vacancies. You'd make one hard Hardie boy, copper."
"And if you see him, let him know Lena is waiting for him here at the Whirling. He gets so tangled up in his work that he may not know the water lock's been repaired. And it's *cold* out there..."
"And in Jamrock and the G.R.I.H?" (Continue.)
"And information," she nods. "Causing data losses in the East-Insulindian front. Have you considered why it's formed in a church? And, also, *when* or *how* it might start growing? Or -- if it has other effects? In addition to sound and data..."
"And it shouldn't. Nature does not concern herself with ethical propositions. As a scientist, my interest is *strictly dispassionate*."
"And it was. Good work, Harry. You're insane now. There's one less person for me -- and everyone else -- to rely on."
"And it worked? He got a war going?"
"And it's distilled too."
"And it's great! Such diversity is a boon to the economy."
"And its people?" She bursts out laughing. "Glad to be of assistance then."
"And just 'cause she was gone for five minutes doesn't mean she *magically* got to the roof and shot him." He taps on his temple. "I've been through this -- it's not plausible."
"And just how big is it?"
"And keep an eye on that partner of yours." He lets the silence linger, then concludes: "Good talk."
"And last but not least, it looks like the Hardie boys knew this driver, as we know that she was present at the lynching. This may be the Union connection we've been searching for."
"And last but not least, it's *Ruby's cabin* we found. This is an undeniable connection to the Union."
"And money -- she liked that too. That Holly was a real bridge-builder and a deal-maker..." His eyes glisten suddenly, with hatred.
"And more." She nods. "I made the mistake of confiding in her -- I told her I was on the run. She started *protecting* me. It became an unhealthy relationship."
"And my Crown of Immortality? No." She shakes her head. "You scared her out of me. With your crying, your..." She stops. "The awful time we wound up having. In the cheap rental flats you could afford..."
"And my friend's not even your typical local -- definitely not just another Martin Martinaise or Raoul Revachol. Maybe that's why we're friends."
"And no such recordings exist, to my knowledge. Seol has bigger squid to fry."
"And no, I *don't* want to hear a *political commentary* on the topic. In fact -- I got work to do. Some idiot has glued his eyelids shut with Cyanoacrylate. It looks like Mack Torson."
"And no, it never stops."
"And no, it's got nothing to do with Contact Mike."
"And no, taking it outside the building *wouldn't* have protected it from the data loss. There's nothing wrong with keeping the backup in the basement. What happened was a freak accident that has nothing to do with how the backup was stored."
"And not only did I open it, I went inside too. It was a real weasel's den, Evrart."
"And nothing. She stands by what she said."
"And now *suspicious*-looking people are sneaking around the church. I don't like that."
"And now I do," he nods.
"And now he's..." Her gaze drifts toward the yard, but she catches herself and her eyes fix on her reflection in the window instead. "Yeah."
"And now they've drawn the ire of the Union. The plot thickens, as they say."
"And now you're telling me, what," she closes her eyes, "that it was all because I didn't run my little shops and ventures from a dump inside an abandoned chimney?"
"And now you, binoclard." His voice is chummy as he turns to Kim.
"And of all cellular-based life. What's your point, law-bringer?"
"And on that note, perhaps we should get back to making sense of our own case?"
"And one more thing -- as you've seen, these sorts of attitudes are quite common in Martinaise. So I expect this to happen again. And again..."
"And one more thing..." He pulls the black plastic over the dead man's face, then looks at you. "This was was *very* good work, detective."
"And one of them was *empty*."
"And others have to suffer terrible consequences just so you can sleep at night? I think not!"
"And others too. Some cordons of Revachol were still fighting. There were cells, I tried to contact them..." He shakes his head. "Soon they all went silent. The frequencies, dead."
"And potentially bring attention to herself? No. Besides, the shot was made from a distance -- otherwise we would have heard it downstairs."
"And sadder yet because the dopeheads and burnouts holed up in there are *the worst* kind."
"And second, outfitting an expedition like that is expensive. It'd have to be a *big production"* to do the Cocaine Skull justice. You need new gear, people who know what they're doing, all kinds of provisions..."
"And she didn't do it -- believe me. If it's something *bad* then she didn't do it. Didn't know her for long but I know people."
"And she didn't do it, believe me. If it's something *bad* then she didn't do it. Didn't know her for long but I know people."
"And she's a pro. She must be. To keep the Hardies in line. I tried severing ties with her after that. I thought it had worked, but..." She looks through the window of her room.
"And she's also the one running the drug trade... What a handful."
"And she's not. Disrupting any order, I mean."
"And skuas. But shhhh." He raises a pointer finger and inclines his head toward the speakers. A new, high-pitched, shivering sound.
"And so is producing something extraordinary." Her eyes wander to the shelves full of die prototypes and discarded models.
"And so it goes -- star after star, port after port, third world country after third world country. And he's done horrible things in every single one of them."
"And so they did."
"And sometimes," he continues, "they just prefer the type of police work available to their current rank -- in your case, lieutenant."
"And that antenna is its... processing unit?"
"And that even whilst crawling with a mangled half-dead prince on his back, he still managed to murder three rebels on his way."
"And that seems to corroborate the ethnicity we gave." Kim is pedantically happy about it.
"And that too."
"And that topic was what? Staircases? Ladders?"
"And that's a privilege?"
"And that's it?"
"And that's not all! Some of the slaughterhouse apprentices went hiking by a nearby creek and saw a moose nibbling on an unidentified carcass!"
"And that's okay. Some are queerer than others, you can still be a Hardie." He glances at Glen. "But if you bring your own personal shit into our outfit..."
"And that's what? What number?"
"And that's, what? Unjust? I think it's perfectly just." His tone is ever-so-slightly less agreeable than before.
"And that's..." (Conclude.)
"And the *vacholiers* you mentioned?"
"And the AR-1? Is it a 'good antenna'?"
"And the Areopagites..."
"And the C-Wing is..."
"And the Heads -- I won't even get *into* the Heads, millions of them..." She stops. "Go find that copy from that ice cream maker, will you? Thanks."
"And the Moralintern more broadly, but yes." His gaze is absently fixed on a window below that just went dark.
"And the Semenese are..."
"And the amount of lyrics I got is against the law!"
"And the apes -- were they evil?"
"And the big one," he squints his eyes, studying the men in the mess hall, "must be Hardie himself..."
"And the bruises -- you could you see her bruises through the scope of a rifle?"
"And the crab man hasn't shown himself much, thank god."
"And the door? The steel door in the kitchen, how do you open that?"
"And the flashlight works a lot better if you *hold it in your hand*."
"And the hole in his heart."
"And the kids on the street can get speed and pyrholidon?"
"And the kids on the street don't have to give up on speed and pyrholidon?"
"And the law says you have to wear a hat in this weather."
"And the major..."
"And the mosaic sidewalk."
"And the other eye's on that hulking, blaring leader of the scabs. What a suspicious fucking guy."
"And the other must be in one of the four-story buildings overlooking the roundabout. He or she was reporting back to you while we were canvassing the lorry drivers."
"And the others?"
"And the wires?"
"And the woman goes like..." She points at the air with her sharp-nailed finger, picking out an imaginary tattoo-star. "'What was *this*, baby?'"
"And the woman goes like..." She points at the air with her sharp-nailed finger, picking out an imaginary tattoo-star. "'What was this, baby?'"
"And the word on the street is your memory is a bit... hazy." He looks at you questioningly. "If that's true, maybe I can help you out? Do you a little favour so to speak."
"And the worst part of that, officer," he says, face terrified, "is having to spend your days playing pétanque with an angry snake."
"And the... sort of... quivering jello thing with the eye?" (Point to you twitching eye.)
"And then I'm going to paint it red using heavy fuel oil. And then I'm going to fucking light it on fire."
"And then crabman and the programmer lady moved in while you were gathering your shit."
"And then put it *back?* Why?" He points at the key. "It's damn interesting you found it there -- but it doesn't fit with Ruby. And you know it."
"And then she just... disappeared."
"And then that motherfucker Gottlieb -- reeking of schnapps -- ordered me into his butcher's room..." Officer Fischer is in a storytelling mood -- he continues: "And I ask him, 'You sure, doc?' and he's cool as can be, 'Yeah, if you're in pain, we've gotta get that baby out..."
"And then there's me..." She sighs, looking at her messy work table. All kinds of tools lie there scattered, from knives to carving flies to wire cutters.
"And then there's the church." He looks at the bell tower. "If I were a murder suspect I would not hide in the most prominent building here, but who knows? Maybe she's reckless..."
"And then there's the drunks..." She sighs. "Not a pretty sight, but there's little we can do about it. Home is home, even for them."
"And then there's the motor carriage in the sea -- something I was *not* present for..." He breathes in sharply. "But -- despite all this -- he is a great detective. One of the best I've seen, in fact."
"And then use those stocks to make even more money."
"And then we feel trapped by the names we've been given, as symbols of the intentions and expectations of others..." He pulls a long, pensive drag.
"And then we might go wild together, which sounds fun. But I guess I have a strike to watch."
"And then went to the same military academy. And the same unit. And the same war..."
"And then what? You fuck in there? You fuck in Cuno's kingdom?"
"And then you screamed something incomprehensible about churches and the scent of apricots and aquariums." She takes a deep breath.
"And then you see it. As it strangles and beats your friends to death... the sweetest, most courageous people in the world," he's silent for a second. "You see the fear and power in its eyes. Then you *know*."
"And then, boss..." he shakes his head "...use us to cover it up? I mean, that's just fucked up."
"And then, you know, right behind her a man *crawled down the wall*. Upside down, like a crab. Down the church wall. I think the woman didn't even know he was there, he was completely silent..."
"And then?"
"And there was something about and undiscovered sub-species of man?"
"And there's a big fridge there?"
"And there's a little girl wearing the gloves there?"
"And there's no public phones nearby?"
"And there's still much to do at the crime scene too. We didn't search it thoroughly enough."
"And there's still work to be done at the crime scene. Now, for the interviews..." He takes a deep drag and looks at the city.
"And they already had *the bear*..." She closes her eyes as if remembering something painful.
"And they can be yours for mere three reàl. My regular customers have passed them all up because they've got no taste, but *you* found them..."
"And they have roots in ancient mass society." He pauses. "And they're the custodians of the Perikarnassian Church. Plus they anoint the innocence. They, like, made the innocentic system, no?"
"And they live happily ever after?"
"And they lynched him for it?"
"And they never cleaned up the debris either. Now it's just littering the hallway and I have no idea how to get rid of it on my own."
"And they play this weird neo-disco music."
"And they worshipped *bears*, you say?" She shudders. "I suppose they brought it upon themselves... the curse, I mean."
"And they're all dead, all three... of the contractors?"
"And this has been during, or *after* the War?"
"And this is Abs." He points to the man in the pipe. "So yeah, that's basically us. We drink together."
"And this was a role playing game?"
"And this was the last break we got?"
"And this was... when?" The lieutenant instinctively looks to his notebook, but does not take it out.
"And those look like airman pants. Good for storing tools in."
"And to think -- there are years when the group books *losses* in the billions..." A wave hits the sloop, she grasps the mainstay for balance.
"And undoubtedly inferior to our species as well."
"And want me to make an exception for you? You're not even a hostel guest till you pay your outstanding bills..." He changes his mind.
"And we also have a huge case load, lieutenant," she says with a smile. "Piles that we need to get back to. Mountains, even."
"And we saw you got the body down. Oh, such wonderful progress! Hold the applause, ladies and gents."
"And we saw your attempt to shoot the dead guy down from the tree. That was an... exceptionally impressive failure, if I say so myself."
"And we're not really the wildlife protection services."
"And what *crowd* is that?"
"And what *do* I call the Coalition?"
"And what *is* Frittte?"
"And what *is* that?" She sticks a filterless cigarette into a cigarette holder and reaches for the light.
"And what about this Ruby? Is she the eighth Hardie who runs this thing for you?"
"And what about you? Keeping the name?"
"And what are the *most* suspicious things?"
"And what are these recordings for -- the cracks, the footsteps?"
"And what are you, Kid Master General?"
"And what brings this track-and-field god all the way up here?"
"And what business is that?"
"And what did he tell you?" His eyes narrow. "That we killed him? That we took a cargo belt from the harbour, went out back, and used it to hang him?"
"And what did she say?"
"And what do you do? You go and push her anyway!" Something breaks in him. He takes a step closer. "I am going to... fucking..."
"And what do you have to gain from a war?"
"And what do you think I'm doing right now, Mr. RCM?!" The scrub brush flies into the bucket so furiously some splashes hit your face.
"And what do you think Lilienne's kids are going to do when they grow up?"
"And what does it mean? Why is the dead guy smiling?"
"And what does that mean? Were you..."
"And what exactly do you think should happen to those with *undesirable* traits?"
"And what exactly you've been doing that's so god damn special -- shitting yourself in front of us?" He leans in. "Going around, harassing kids on the street, kids who've done nothing wrong?"
"And what has the necktie been telling you, if I may ask?"
"And what is it you're recording exactly?"
"And what is that situation?" She looks at Kim.
"And what is that?"
"And what is the *Founding Party*?"
"And what kind of business is that exactly?"
"And what makes you think that the organization would accept you?"
"And what miracle would that be?"
"And what point would that be?"
"And what rank would that be, dog?"
"And what would that make the alphanumeric?"
"And what would that miracle be?"
"And what would this entail?"
"And what's behind that door if I may ask?"
"And what's going to happen if we don't?" The little guy leans forward. "You gonna go and *tell* on us?"
"And what's so bad about that?"
"And what's that -- this 'interactive call-on radio play'?"
"And what, does it mean that I'm safe from failure?"
"And what? What did I do?"
"And what?"
"And when did you first arrive?"
"And when they do..." He holds out his index finger. "They will have a *good* place to go. I'm currently working on renovating the buildings near the roundabout into affordable *workers palaces*."
"And when was this exactly?"
"And where are the gloves now?"
"And where are you from?"
"And where exactly is the off-site copy?"
"And while we're there we should also call the station, let them know that we're taking the case."
"And who are the Semenese and Areopagites in this?"
"And who are you?" The lieutenant fires back. "What is your business here? Why are your clothes four sizes too small for you?"
"And who makes all these rules?" (Continue.)
"And who named it Whirling-In-Rags?"
"And who should I contact...?"
"And who was Artemitep?"
"And who was this woman?"
"And why did you have the keys?"
"And why did you need me?"
"And why didn't you just tell me that?"
"And why do people think the skull is here, in Martinaise?"
"And why so? Our things are a part of our life-world. They're made with human sweat and they share human history. We should care about them as we care about humans, to some extent at least."
"And why will it *resolve* History?" (Continue.)
"And why would you help someone like that? By taking on a murder?"
"And why wouldn't they, ey? Sounds like right strong stuff."
"And yeah, you're already acquainted with Abs." He points to the man in the pipe. "So yeah, that's basically us. We drink together."
"And yes, I'm being more like Contact Mike, alright. Don't even bring it up."
"And yet it never seems to get us any closer to solving the case."
"And yet mysterious." He looks around in the church as light beams wash over the dance floor, bathing it in violet blue.
"And you -- watch out for yourselves. You seem to have a habit of walking into traps."
"And you are unable to breach the entrance?"
"And you believed that?" He laughs. "No, man, Cindy's all SKULL. A true artist of the future, just like Arno van Eyck."
"And you brought her may bells?"
"And you can't just evict her?"
"And you could see her bruises -- through the scope of a rifle?"
"And you didn't notice the fucking *ice bear* fridge?" The kid scoffs. "Pig, you need a new pair of eyes. This is fucking embarrassing."
"And you don't know where she is?"
"And you had ideas about *his* past too?"
"And you just... found him there? Lying in the cold?" She shakes her head.
"And you knew this from me keeping my hands folded?" She shoots you a suspicious glance.
"And you know how all kinds of political movements are *big* in the Occident. The activists shut down the biggest chitin suppliers, which of course caused the price to skyrocket."
"And you led her on?" The lieutenant narrows his eyes.
"And you look like you don't bathe -- on principle," the man with sunglasses interjects.
"And you never took your eyes off the work to look out of the window?"
"And you propose dance music will supplant this system?"
"And you saw a *door*?" She closes her eyes. "It must be real then... This place is cursed, just like everyone said. They don't call it the Doomed Commercial Area just for nothing!"
"And you spent time with this person? Romantically?"
"And you survived it! Congratulations. Are you mobile?"
"And you think there's a problem with this?"
"And you think they lynched him for it?"
"And you too, lieutenant," he turns to Kim and stresses: "The situation is perilous, but I am *sure* you're dedicated to avoiding further loss of life. Unlike the Union, who won't even let me talk to them.."
"And you want us to investigate." (Move on.)
"And you went and pushed her." Something breaks in him. He takes a step closer and says: "I am going to... fucking..."
"And you were probably right, too -- I would have never let you abduct a kid and take him on a creepy boat trip in the middle of the fucking March!"
"And you work for the government?"
"And you're a big Man from Hjelmdall fan?"
"And you're just going to *let* him manipulate you like that?" He raises an eyebrow.
"And you're just telling me this out of the kindness of your heart, Cuno?"
"And you're standing out here in the cold because...?"
"And you're telling me *this* world here is working out well?"
"And you're the ones to reform, thus reaping your own benefits?"
"And you, detective." She turns to you with a sad smile. "You've been great company to an old lady and her stubborn husband. Thank you, truly."
"And you... oh my god, just look at you! It looks like even the *police* can't take care of all this. Someone should do something about this." She rubs her pendant between two fingers, thinking.
"And you?"
"And your conclusion?"
"And your eyes also used to..."
"And your husband's also involved with the book store?"
"And your name was Germaine?"
"And your opinion, officer?" Beneath the description there are two boxes waiting to be ticked:
"And your race garbage. You can keep that too, keep the conversation going for the rich man, on Channel 4, eroding working class solidarity." He stares into the dead embers.
"And your surname?"
"And! And!" the other one butts in. "We make a fire. We make a... we make a fire."
"And, I mean... it would be one twist too many if it turned out these two old men were our killers. That's just unlikely. No..." He seems pleased with himself. "We would only have wasted our time here."
"And, Jean... please take it easy with the race science. That's a *yes* to getting the body down, *no* to the race science." He hangs up and turns back to you.
"And, as you know, they have this very distinctive dress uniform with scarlet breeches and little cylindrical fur caps, I think these are called..." You daze off, as Trant tells you about the peculiarities of mounted police forces in central Occident.
"And, for the record: No, I didn't do it."
"And, if we are to believe Hardie boys, it's somewhere in there..."
"And, in the process, you broke the landline downstairs."
"And, of course, any loss of life is a tragedy." The man seems to observe a moment of silence. "So tell me, what have you learned about the victim?"
"And, shit, you can even fuck back in Cuno's kingdom! Cuno saw you sniffin' around that fuckin' pile of eternite. It's a secret door, okay?! Just pull it off -- and fuck back in there." He concludes the invitation with a benevolent nod.
"And, shit, you can even fuck back in Cuno's kingdom! That fuckin' pile of eternite," he points to the back of the yard, "it's a secret door, okay?! Just pull it off and you can fuck into Cuno's shack." He concludes the invitation with a benevolent nod.
"And... (point north)... there?"
"And... despite everything, you helped her by staging the lynching?"
"And... most of the locals?"
"And... what about the side business? Have you made up your mind?"
"And... you haven't changed your mind about our little side business, have you?"
"And... you're still sure about keeping out our little side business, right?"
"And..." he smiles: "We are still alive -- both of us."
"And...?" He tenses up. "What happened?"
"And? *The crab man* has seen you!"
"Andre doesn't care about the Ecclesiastes. He just wants the operation to run smoothly. And Egg is a demi-beast. You shouldn't listen to what people say, you should listen to what they are."
"Andre's got it. Sounds like a local folk song re-mixed."
"Andre's got it. Sounds like a local song re-mixed."
"Andre's overthinking it," says the girl with the microphone.
"Andre, do you know what 'involuntary manslaughter' means?"
"Andre, pull the compressor! The place is gonna come down..."
"Andre, tell him about the feeling!"
"Andre? He's a cool guy. Doesn't really come off as one, but he is. To me at least..."
"Andro-Orlando Hair SCA"
"Angie -- check out what's behind those doors when you get the time. It's probably nothing, but we need to know."
"Angie, where's your goddamn inhaler? You sound like you're dying."
"Angus, his ever-growling stomach, and his smelly feet are all part of the Union. You have as much right to *arrest* him as I have to arrest your partner here." He points to the lieutenant.
"Angus, his ever-growling stomach, and his smelly feet are all part of the Union. You have as much right to *arrest* him as he has to arrest you... "
"Annette is quite the trooper. She's a great value-add."
"Annette's a sweet sprout, but she doesn't know anything about marriage. Why am I even talking about this..."
"Annette, yes. My daughter. I hope she wasn't slacking off again with her nose in science fiction! Tell me, was she at her post, doing her job like a proper girl?"
"Anodic dance music, you wouldn't get it."
"Anodic music doesn't really do vocals in the traditional sense. Vocals are thought of as *rock*. That's to say they're a bit *backward*. No offence if you like rock music, though. Rock music is cool by me."
"Anodic music will *definitely* contain whatever we're dealing with." His words echo in the chamber...
"Anodic music? Liven up the place? Yes, that checks out. Let's change the subject."
"Another *fantastic* moment," the lieutenant grudgingly admits. "What next?"
"Another empty trap," the lieutenant takes a note -- more out of habit than duty.
"Another hideous disappointment..." He pokes at the ash: "Unions are the *real* enemy; the true enemy of the proletariat, placating the masses."
"Another look at the window perhaps? -- the one he was shot through. I don't know... I can't think of anything better."
"Another one?" he seems angry for a second, but then settles down.
"Another part of Death Island? Some secret hidden shit, Cuno thinks. Important shit..."
"Another part of the island probably." The lieutenant looks into the keyhole. "The lock looks like it could still be usable."
"Another question about her."
"Another question then?"
"Another question, Leo."
"Another question."
"Another radiocomputer," says the lieutenant, stepping closer. "And this time it's already turned on." He seems cautious around the machine.
"Another radiocomputer..." says the lieutenant, watching you circle around the machine. "Just sitting here without anyone in sight."
"Another revolution?" She looks down at the pendant in her trembling hands, she collects herself.
"Another sane decision, detective."
"Another thing -- great. I love those."
"Another thing you've annihilated is half the bar -- you've run a tab of 30 reál. Actually more, but we'll round it down to 30 for your hard work maintaining the stability and order of Revachol. That's 60 + 40 + 30 = 130 reál. And yes, reál is still money."
"Another thing..."
"Another time maybe." [Leave.]
"Another time, perhaps."
"Another traitor. I thought you of all people would support the ethnostate."
"Another unsuspecting victim of the doom... yet, I suppose they brought it upon themselves with that *bear*."
"Another we set in Land's End, to the north-east. It's behind a small sand dune there, on your way to the old radio tower. After the church."
"Answer me a question."
"Answers? How strange. These days people only come to me for dice and role-playing games..."
"Anxious to hear more about mineral rights or who got shot in the head?" A flash of teeth in her feisty grin.
"Any admirers, miss?"
"Any capable light with the right wavelength will do."
"Any day now." Her eyes turn to the sky. "I'm sure of it. Are you interested or not?"
"Any halfway competent notary should be able to handle this. *Not* getting Isobel's actual signature was probably the best thing to do."
"Any halfway competent notary should be able to handle this. *Not* getting her signature was probably the best thing to do."
"Any halfway competent notary should be able to handle this. *Not* getting their actual signatures was probably the best thing to do."
"Any idea what I should do now?"
"Any idea what happened to Klaasje?"
"Any idea where I can find this buyer?"
"Any idea where you last had it?"
"Any idea who killed the hanged man?"
"Any information on his foster parents?"
"Any information on the library card?"
"Any moment."
"Any more mistakes could put us in an unfortunate position with the locals. We have eyes on us. I didn't do us any favours with that."
"Any more?"
"Any news about my... uhm, family?"
"Any organization gets all kind of folk. I'm sure we try our best."
"Any other good news?"
"Any signs of violence?"
"Any theories about what happened here?" He gazes down at the sign.
"Anyhow, it's much easier to work undercover if one doesn't look like him."
"Anyhow, it's yours now..." He slides the tape closer to you on the counter top.
"Anyhow, let's get back to the case. Was there anything else you wanted to know?"
"Anyhow, my name is Roustame Diodore -- investor, licence holder, and extremely high-net-worth individual. And you are?"
"Anyhow, what was the sticker like?
"Anyhow, you might ask Lilienne if she's seen anything lately -- that girl's got a way of attracting lost and broken things."
"Anyhow.... you also need Isobel's signature. If it's a bad idea, she won't sign. You'll find she's a tougher nut to crack than me."
"Anyone could know the number. And that someone coughed -- it means nothing."
"Anyone else get shot in the head -- on the opposing side?"
"Anyone ever tell you you're a total dickhead?" His voice is quiet and resigned. "Well... you are, man. Just fuck off and leave us be."
"Anyone? Have you killed someone else then?"
"Anything *else* I can do for you, officer?"
"Anything I can help you with?"
"Anything at all."
"Anything else I can assist you with, officer?" he asks impatiently. "We still have a game to finish."
"Anything else I can do for you?"
"Anything else I can help you with, officer?"
"Anything else I can help you with?"
"Anything else I should know?" (Conclude.)
"Anything else of note?"
"Anything else this merry band of adventurers can do for you, or do you need to go and mail that serious looking document of yours?" His face lightens up. "I think I saw a mailbox near the plaza."
"Anything else this merry band of adventurers can do for you, or do you need to go and mail that serious looking document of yours?" His face lightens up. "There's a mailbox on the plaza."
"Anything else you need from me?"
"Anything else you need from me?" Alice asks.
"Anything else you're thinking of selling?"
"Anything else you're thinking of selling?" Both the lieutenant and the pawnbroker turn to you.
"Anything else, detective?"
"Anything else, officer?"
"Anything else, sir? Over."
"Anything else? *Anything*?"
"Anything else? Another failed business perhaps? I've been here for a long time..."
"Anything else? Like where she is now?"
"Anything else? What does this guy look like?"
"Anything else?"
"Anything else?" He thinks. "Yeah, this ain't really my area of expertise. I just do my job and get paid. I have things to do and places to be. All of us do."
"Anything for you..." He smiles again.
"Anything more?"
"Anything of note?" he asks in a lowered voice.
"Anything you can tell me about the boardwalk with the ruins and the fishmarket?"
"Anything's better than annihilating yourself with drugs and alcohol..."
"Anytime." She smiles.
"Anyway -- I thought it would be *funny* to say I didn't do it. Because I knew about your investigation..." She cringes. "Does that make me a suspect? I really must stop saying stupid things..."
"Anyway -- we do it the old fashioned way: sector by sector. Go over the whole peninsula, ask the locals, enter the places where we *can* enter first. Like we did in the village."
"Anyway, I assure you, I am a very well informed man. Information reaches me before I even get the chance to request it."
"Anyway, I can't help you there. A lot of women come and go here."
"Anyway, I shut down the amphetamine production, but let them go on with the nightclub plan."
"Anyway, I thought I'd make some, too. It's supposed to be, like, a music place anyway..." She rubs her shoulders and looks around.
"Anyway, I thought we were talking about the Whirling."
"Anyway, I'll call the station tomorrow and let them know the name of the deceased."
"Anyway, I'll call the station when we're finished with the day and let them know the name of the deceased."
"Anyway, I'll forward that woman her bill and be done with it... Now, was there anything else?"
"Anyway, enough sentimentality. Is there anything else you want to know?"
"Anyway, even if you don't have vocals you still need someone to say something every now and then, right? To urge things on. That's where the party boy comes in..."
"Anyway, he's been giving me kind of a *psychic rundown* of this place..."
"Anyway, let's not focus on the sensationalism of the drug trade. This hypothetical drug trade is all anyone ever seems to be interested in. It would only be a small part of the Harbour's turnover -- just like the harbour is but a small part of Martinaise."
"Anyway, long story short, life spiralled out of control. I haven't gotten into my apartment for years, and my girlfriend left me because she didn't want to date a homeless man. The company, well, you see where I'm going with this..."
"Anyway, now that it's settled... how did she seem? I mean, disposition-wise, about the dance club idea? 'Ja' oder 'Nein'? Rockin it or droppin' it?"
"Anyway, now you know the story of the fallen ice cream empire." She seems almost sad, finishing the story.
"Anyway, now you know the story of the fallen ice cream empire." She seems almost sad, finishing the story. Some dust beams swirl in the afternoon air. Her eyes follow it idly.
"Anyway, now you know the story of the fallen ice cream empire." She seems almost sad, finishing the story. Some dust beams swirl in the morning light. Her eyes follow it idly.
"Anyway, sometime later he started his own personal studio here in Martinaise, and that's when he started working on some *really* wild stuff. I'm talking some glass-smooth, forward looking design language, the kind of thing that would totally overthrow the old regime, design-wise."
"Anyway, that's not the point. The point is that mixing art and sex can make you fucking *rich*.
"Anyway, that's the story of the *Headless FALN Rider*. Pretty crazy, huh?"
"Anyway, there was a brief silence -- a *gasp* of silence, if you will -- followed by a real commotion. We heard the carriage careening towards the coast at top speed."
"Anyway, to each his own. You want to hear any other stories?"
"Anyway, we should move. I suspect our investigation will bring us back soon enough."
"Anyway, we should probably get back to the case. Let's go."
"Anyway," she concludes. "What other basic facets of reality should we discuss?"
"Anyway. Tell me something else, Mr. Dros..."
"Anyway." He mentally props himself back up. "Cuno doesn't do that radioactive shit. Makes Cuno's dick fall off. Cuno's got a huge dick."
"Anyway... I can't believe you used obscenities like that in front of a police officer. And you should... you should..."
"Anyway... That's all yours to figure out, copman."
"Anyway... you'll have to get Isobel to sign it too. I saw the signatories -- she won't if it's a bad idea. She's a much tougher nut to crack."
"Anyway..." He settles down. "There is *more* than enough evidence to justify at a thorough *search* for the dread moose. Let's close the subject, before it turns into an argument."
"Anyway..." She clears her throat. Twice. "I'd look near the fish market north of here. Drunks are *drawn* to markets, for some reason. Was there something else?"
"Anyway..." She looks around again, her nose red from the cold.
"Anyway..." She turns back to her terminal. "You should do some research before you decide to buy anything. Ask around, compare the prices. There are many milieus dedicated to that sort of thing."
"Anywhere with better opportunities."
"Apocalypse?" He backs away, visibly worried. "I uh... I don't know, what this means, officer. I'm sorry. But thank you! I'm here to cooperate any way I can."
"Apologies, I was just thinking out loud. Go on."
"Apologies, but this is my last one." He takes another drag and shivers.
"Apologies, it's an acronym for research and development, they don't use it anymore." He smiles brightly, laugh lines around his eyes.
"Apologies, my partner," the lieutenant steps in, giving you a sideways glance, "did *not* mean to make light of the situation."
"Apologies, that didn't come out very well. I meant someone who would go along with the lie."
"Apology accepted, detective." The lieutenant relaxes. A weight seems to have been lifted from his shoulders.
"Apparently she had a *thing* for Klaasje."
"Apparently so."
"Apparently the idea was *too* high-concept even for this genius. He dropped dead right at his desk before he could finish. His last words are recorded to have been: "It's as white as a blizzard... *of cocaine!*"
"Apparently this is the reinforced kind. For air transport. My brain tells me so."
"Apparently, working with the local Union boss to get info on an investigation is not something I'm squeamish about."
"Apparently, yes -- like a water strider, only..." He shakes his head with amazement. "I've never seen *anything* like that in my life."
"Apparently." Please do try to control yourself." The anger is gone from his eyes and it's almost as if his voice is softer than before.
"Apples then. From Graad. Right. Sure."
"Apples" is exactly the kind of thing you'd say if you had something to hide...
"Apples." He puts out his cigarette and flicks the stub across the street.
"Ar'ya... callin' Abigail?"
"Are *you* over-radiated?"
"Are *you* part of the homosexual underground?"
"Are Lena and Morell still in town?"
"Are the twins outside your brothers?"
"Are there any *invisible* cryptids?"
"Are there any more stories you can tell?"
"Are there any photos of it?"
"Are there any reliable eyewitness accounts of a moose killing other animals for food?" (Conclude)
"Are these the men Garte told us about yesterday?"
"Are these your shoes lying around here?" (Show him the red brogues you found.)
"Are these yours?" (Show him the scarf and shoes you found lying around.)
"Are they foreigners? I bet they're foreigners."
"Are they here now?"
"Are they in a *rough neighbourhood*?"
"Are they now?" The lieutenant cocks one eyebrow.
"Are they really gonna let us have this?"
"Are they? They look outlandish."
"Are they? They're mostly just cumbersome."
"Are those prayer beads I keep hearing?"
"Are those specks stars too?"
"Are those things really on sale or did you just jack up the price first?"
"Are we about *done* with this now?" The lieutenant has taken a few steps back.
"Are we done here, Gary?" (Conclude)
"Are we near the ocean?"
"Are we not detectives? There may be *clues* inside the boot."
"Are we really so bad for wanting compromise, peace, and prosperity -- on reasonable, achievable terms? Ask yourself that."
"Are we?"
"Are we?" He looks at you mysteriously.
"Are you *always looking* through the scope of a rifle?" He explains: "I'm just trying to *understand*."
"Are you *liberated* enough to offer up your home on a plate for financial colonists?" She looks you in the eye. "No, I think not. Tell me -- now that I've *uncoiled* myself -- do you find me frightening?"
"Are you *quite* sure?"
"Are you *sure* there was a crab man?"
"Are you *sure* there's not some sex-angle we should be considering?"
"Are you *sure* you don't remember where the paperwork I flushed is?"
"Are you *sure* you don't want to give those little welkins a second go?"
"Are you 100% sure no one's going to end up homeless?"
"Are you Dora Du Bois?"
"Are you Lilienne's daughter?"
"Are you Lizzy -- Elizabeth -- Miss Beaufort?"
"Are you a *caviar socialist*?"
"Are you a Union-member?"
"Are you a commie-cop?"
"Are you a cryptozoologist too?"
"Are you a mercenary hired by Wild Pines?"
"Are you a moralist?"
"Are you a nurse?"
"Are you a police man or a nanny?" She's definitely disturbed by now.
"Are you a thought reader?"
"Are you a... communist?"
"Are you a... girl-liker?"
"Are you alright, Harry? You say you got this, but you seem a little *anxious* to me. Don't be. Everything's going to be alright."
"Are you alright, Harry? You seem anxious. Don't be. Everything's going to be alright."
"Are you alright, ma'am? You were out."
"Are you alright? Should I call a doctor?"
"Are you alright?" The lieutenant steps closer, his eyes soft and worried. "This looked... pretty intense and painful, I must admit."
"Are you asking me or telling me?"
"Are you being *clever*? What is this socially abhorrent joke?"
"Are you bitter because your radio game project failed?"
"Are you by any chance keeping an eye on us?"
"Are you by any chance... (Lean in real close.)... *working class*?"
"Are you cooking *morphine* in there?!"
"Are you currently sporting some *anal beads*?"
"Are you deaf? There will be no singling anyone out. You can't arrest *a* Hardie boy without arresting *all* Hardie boys."
"Are you doing some kind of science here? You look like a science person."
"Are you done?"
"Are you drinking that?"
"Are you drunk right now? You're drunk right now, aren't you, you fucking *bum*. I can smell it!"
"Are you enjoying yourself, darling?"
"Are you famous or something?"
"Are you getting a reward for it at least?"
"Are you getting this? You think I'm fucking telling you a joke here? How hard do you think it is to kill a fat-ass?" He pokes you in the gut. "Sweet talk 'em, then knife 'em."
"Are you gonna... kill me too?"
"Are you happy now, officer? Happy that you've *ruined* everything?" She closes her eyes and starts mumbling something to her pendant.
"Are you having a seizure in Cuno's yard now?" He sounds agitated.
"Are you hiding something?"
"Are you high right now?"
"Are you human? You weren't moving like a human."
"Are you hurt?"
"Are you implying I might be in some sort of a danger?"
"Are you in charge of the dockworkers?"
"Are you interested in a new and exciting book?" She stomps her feet to feel warmer.
"Are you kidding me?!"
"Are you kidding me?"
"Are you kids siblings?"
"Are you laughing at me?"
"Are you lost? You look lost. Out of place."
"Are you making fun of me right now? You better start complying."
"Are you making fun of me?"
"Are you more of a 'PISSF****T' or a 'FUCK THE WORLD' kind of guy?"
"Are you not afraid that we're going to arrest them?"
"Are you now?" She smirks. "There are a lot of lawbringers around Martinaise, but not a lot of law."
"Are you okay Mr. Dros? To go on?"
"Are you okay, Cuno?" She looks worried. The *Cunn* has her confused.
"Are you okay, officer?" You feel the lieutenant pat you on the back. Heavy, rhythmic pats.
"Are you okay? I am very sorry I crashed into you earlier. I don't know what got into me."
"Are you okay?"
"Are you on amphetamines?"
"Are you on drugs?"
"Are you on the track team?"
"Are you out of your mind? There's one just like that on every corner!"
"Are you ready to limp?"
"Are you really reading that, detective?"
"Are you referring to... *cocaine*?"
"Are you satisfied, detective? What else can you tell me about your *mail delivery quest* for Evrart? Do you think it will *improve* the place?"
"Are you saying I'm ruined?"
"Are you saying a man who looks like Cuno broke into his father's apartment and passed out in his father's bed?"
"Are you saying my business was spared because of a *technicality*? Where is this coming from?"
"Are you saying that you were *asked* to tell us you were assaulted?"
"Are you saying you *made it up*?"
"Are you serious right now?"
"Are you serious? From your work, I don't know... you can take bribes, I guess." He looks at Kim. "I'm sorry. I don't think cops take bribes."
"Are you serious?" The lieutenant's face changes immediately, taking on a more sombre expression.
"Are you shitting me, Harry? Did you not really open the door and are now just telling me you did?" His lively eyes are mapping your face. "You're a wild one, Harry!"
"Are you sleeping right now?"
"Are you snitching, Cuno?!"
"Are you some kind of a sex pervert?"
"Are you sure *you* haven't been spying on your guests?"
"Are you sure I wasn't being assaulted?"
"Are you sure a SKULL would say that?"
"Are you sure about that? What about this drug lab plan?"
"Are you sure at least *one* of them wasn't a woman?"
"Are you sure he didn't die of auto-erotic asphyxiation?"
"Are you sure it didn't?" The lieutenant narrows his eyes at the girl. "Who can tell with all the delinquent behaviour?"
"Are you sure it happened like that?"
"Are you sure it was Slipstream SCA? Was it a *woman*? Maybe it was Plaisance from the bookstore..."
"Are you sure it was him? Oh, thank heavens! Silly me." She smiles, though there's still concern in her features.
"Are you sure it's a *crab* he reminds you of?"
"Are you sure she didn't go somewhere more pleasant... and less wet?"
"Are you sure that's the right number? Doesn't sound like a serial."
"Are you sure the *Revolutionary* has got nothing to do with this?"
"Are you sure this is all in working order?"