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Chance Meeting: a sequel to Upscale Bar, featuring Olympe Reese, kuudere detective. No 40K content.  [RSS] Share on facebook Share on Twitter Submit to Reddit
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Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

The cab drew up outside the Grounds. Ms Moon Potato paid, got a receipt and put her notes away in her handbag. They all disembarked and stood in front of the entrance. It didn’t look like much, just a set of tall, glass, double swing doors, with a sign above which read **The Nizicraft Grounds** in English, Japanese and what looked like Urdu. It could have been the entrance to a medium size office building, except the building’s frontage was narrow, five floors tall, and had no windows, only air conditioning vents, from which puffs of vapour issued at irregular intervals. The space beyond the tinted doors was dimly lit, difficulty to see into, and it looked as boring as a bank.

Pia got her smartphone out of her handbag. “Shall I ring Dari now, Chanmi?”

“No. We’ll do it from the lobby. There’s a matching service you have to use.”

The three girl detectives stood there, preparing themselves to brace Dari in his den. Ms Moon Potato was wearing a business-like skirt suit in pale grey, with a white blouse. She looked like a management consultant.

Chanmi was in her usual cyberpunk gear; black corduroys, black roll-neck sweater, black armoured jacket with the MPY initials on the front and KUUDERE on the back in white reflective letters, and black combat boots. Her scarlet beret and silvered shades were perched on her black hair. Her go bag was slung across her torso. She looked tough and kind of scary.

Pia considered her role was to provide flirty sex appeal, in order to encourage her boi against the impact of Ms Moon Potato’s managerial severity. She sported a dark blue, high-neck, long-sleeve mini-dress with a silver starfield and crescent moon design. She hoped it would remind Dari of the freedom of the skies.

It was a very short skirt however you looked at it. She felt that was more practical than a long skirt with a slit, if it came to running, and Pia was all about the legs today, with nude, strappy sandals and heavy gold anklets. She had put on gold stud earrings and her most sensual perfume, Chanel no.5 eau de toilette. She renewed it now with a quick spritz from the handy-size bottle in her bag.

Chanmi sneezed.

“Let’s go,” the cyberpunk said decisively, and led the trio into the Nizicraft Grounds Lobby System.

I'm writing a load of fiction. My latest story starts here... This is the index of all the stories...

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

Dari had spent the past hour since Pia’s morning call trying to get his makerspace looking like a creative engineer’s workshop rather than the aftermath of a hurricane in a creative engineer’s workshop. He couldn’t quantify what “soon” meant to Pia, but based on her past behaviour it probably meant “sooner than you think” so he hurried to make ready.

As happens when you tidy up a messy room, things started to look worse before they started to look better, only they never started to look better because he found an old, unfinished project which was rather interesting. He began to fiddle with that and forgot about cleaning up.

Suddenly his phone bonged the special bong which the Grounds Lobby used to alert you there was someone wanting to join your makerspace. Dari jumped, looked around with growing horror, and wondered what the hell he could do. He decided to send the visitors on a slightly roundabout course, to gain five minutes, and concentrate on setting as many piles of stuff at right angles with each other and the edges of the tables as he could manage, starting with the big ones. It had worked with his mother, so maybe it would work with Pia and her colleagues.

Five torturous minutes went by and Dari imminently expected the trio to arrive, but they didn’t. He stopped tidying and started pacing around nervously. He couldn’t know that their progress was greatly impeded by the fact that Pia had succumbed to a serious dose of irrational fear of heights on entering the main chamber of the Grounds. The odd perspectives made her think she would fall off into infinity, and the gusts of the air conditioning blew and sucked her in random directions, adding to her woes.

She was lying down holding onto the floor very hard, because it was impossible to fall off of. The others could not get her to move from what she considered the only safe spot. They plied her with drink, and it took some time for the hot rye to have any useful effect. Pia sat up and wobbled, but she still was unable to move, unless it was to get back into the Lobby.

Eventually Chanmi solved the problem using lateral thinking and science. She gave Pia her VR rig, and set her Sandbenders to create a real-time simulation of safety by blanking all the wide vistas and filling the scenery with walls and tall safety barriers. Wearing the headset, Pia was able to navigate in a slightly wandering path, holding Chanmi’s hand. Ms Moon Potato brought up the rear.

Thus it was that the three girl detectives arrived in Dari’s space after half an hour, rather than five minutes. If he had known this was going to happen, he could have spent all the extra time tidying, but he probably wouldn’t have, so nothing really was lost, except that he had more time to get nervous.

I'm writing a load of fiction. My latest story starts here... This is the index of all the stories...

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

In came Chanmi, whom Dari immediately recognised as the nice-looking girl from the late night diner. She was more or less towing Olympe, whose head was encased in the VR induction rig. She nodded at him, said “You’re Kazemi?” He nodded back.

“Got a chair? Pia needs to sit down.”

He dashed to fetch a chair, wondering who Pia was, because Olympe had never told him that was her nickname. When Chanmi put the drunk girl in the chair he understood she must be Pia, as well as Olympe, and wondered how the nickname had come about.

Ms Moon Potato’s gaze swept the room like a powerful search radar and came to rest on Dari, in his casual blue jeans and plain tee-shirt. He understood her look. It meant “This is not the room of someone who has a girlfriend.”

Freed of the VR set, Pia stood up, swaying slightly, and made formal introductions of everyone. She gave Dari her bag of donuts and asked him to make coffee. He was glad to escape for a few minutes while he ran the coffee machine and found enough mugs. He came back with the filled pot, the mugs, and a plate to put the donuts on. He poured them all coffee and they began to eat donuts.

Pia perked up again once she had some coffee and a donut inside her. She began to wander around the space, bending over tables to look at the piles of documentation and odd pieces of equipment, and to show off her thighs. It was all very impressive. Nothing really made any sense to her. She could handle simple machinery like guns and her scooter, and she was good on a smartphone, but high-level engineering was beyond her capabilities.

Dari’s eyes followed her, partly to ensure she did not disturb anything, also because it was nicer to look at Pia’s legs than the serious eyes of the other two girls, who he thought seemed to understand more of what he was about. They were in fact using their situational awareness and other detective skills to try and take stock of the nervous, serious boi and his workshop.

“Right!” Moon swallowed a last bite of chocolate praline filled bun. “Pia brought us here so you could show us your design work. If we’re going to help you with the project, it’s important we understand the objective and your capability of achieving it. Show us your designs, please, Mr Kazemi.”

Dari was flustered, he had so many designs it was hard to know where to start. He began with the wing joint he had been working on earlier, when Olympe had rung him up and invited herself down to the Grounds. He brought up the unfinished schematics in his main holographic display.

Once he started talking about his calling Dari sharpened up. He knew what he was about, and his expertise was clear to the detectives, even if they didn’t understand all the technical language he was using. Dari actually was a great engineer, full of good ideas on how to create new designs and optimise them. His main problem was having too many ideas and flitting from one to the next like a butterfly. He needed focus and direction.

This became clear to Moon as Dari brought up one piece of work after another, none of them completely finished. She kind of got the idea that he had 90% of the design for a radical new aircraft but all of the special parts in it were also only 90% finished, so the whole thing was really a piece of Swiss cheese, full of random holes which needed to be filled in before it would amount to anything substantive.

I'm writing a load of fiction. My latest story starts here... This is the index of all the stories...

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

“Listen, Mr Kazemi,” she said firmly, “Is there anything you’ve actually finished? I want to see something you’ve completed.”

Dari looked glum, and Pia leapt to his defence.

“Don’t be mean to my Dari!” she said. “Of course he’s got some finished stuff.” She smiled encouragingly at him. “Haven’t you?”

“Yes,” he replied. There was one item he had finished, the new chair design inspired by Pia’s strapless bra.

“So, please show us the last thing you completed,” Moon demanded. “Chanmi will review the file with her computer.”

Dari smiled. He had a robust, debugged file of the seat, which he was confident would pass any digital examination that Chanmi might subject it to. It was ready for printing.

“Okay, well, I just finished this new piece. It’s a radically different kind of passenger seat which saves 70% of the weight of the standard design, while providing greater comfort and an estimated 20% improvement in safety performance. I’ll be able to get those figures tightened up once I print a copy and subject it to real-world testing.”

The schematics of the innovative seat appeared in the holographic projector field. He rotated the virtual display as he pointed out the features of the new concept. It was actually quite impressive. Even to the non-engineers it looked like a complete piece of design. He passed Chanmi a copy of the file. She fiddled with her Sandbenders for a couple of minutes, and nodded.

“It’s good,” she confirmed. “The boi knows his file formats, this stuff is triple A grade design work. It’s ready to print.” She smiled at Dari properly for the first time. Pia did a happy spin and lightly slapped him on the back. He began to feel like he was winning the room.

“I want to see your research for this,” said Moon.

“Um, is that really necessary?” Dari asked, suddenly flustered again. He wasn’t sure the girls would understand the way he had arrived at his new concept. Looked at the wrong way, his research notes were nothing more than a mighty trawl through numerous lingerie catalogues, the kind of thing a desperate horny teenager might assemble for crafty fap material because their parents had locked their smartphone out of all the good porno sites.

“Yes, it’s very important,” confirmed Moon. “I have to be confident you arrived at this design by a structured process. If you do good research and can build a good file out of it, you’ll be able to finish anything as long as you’ve got someone to keep your nose to the grindstone.”

“Well, okay,” he replied, feeling trapped. “Please understand when you review the research files that everything has been directed at the discovery of new materials and means of construction with the concept of providing comfort and protection. Nothing else, I promise, whatever it looks like.”

This was actually the plain truth. Dari had been so wrapped up in his design ideas that the flood of half-naked female bodies across his computer screen had never registered as erotic, no matter how much the original bra tailor had aimed for provocative sensuality. For Dari, it was exciting on a purely intellectual level of discovery, as if he were examining the cantilevers and catenaries of a newly architected bridge.

He handed the database and password to Chanmi. Unable to face the girls while they followed his voyage through the world of lingerie, he withdrew to his separate cubbyhole. Pia, sensing he was troubled, went after him.

I'm writing a load of fiction. My latest story starts here... This is the index of all the stories...

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

“What’s the matter, Dari?” she asked. “You’re brilliant! You’ve got so many good ideas. Chanmi’s really impressed, you know. Is there something wrong about your research?” She took his hand in both of hers, to reassure him. “I’m sure it will be fine.”

“No, it’s just that, er… To tell you the truth, Olympe, the idea came to me when you were buying your new gown at Isetan.”

“How do you mean?” Pia had enjoyed modelling the dress for him. She anticipated great fun when they danced together in their gorgeous costumes.

“I couldn’t understand how your bra worked without any straps at all, so I started to research it, and that gave me an idea…”

“Bras!? You mean your research notes are all about bras?”

“Yes. You would be surprised how complicated the engineering is in bras. I learned a lot about different materials and how to cross-web them to create a strong, comfortable design. That’s all it was for.”

Pia knew a lot about bras from the end user perspective. She wasn’t interested in the engineering behind them, only that they felt right and looked good. She stared unblinking into Dari’s eyes, wondering how much he liked breasts and had just wanted an excuse to look at lots of them. He looked back at her with an open face. He was blushing, but he seemed pure, unashamed of his research work, simply worried that it might be misunderstood.

Pia felt a sudden, powerful rush of some strange emotion, a mixture of love, admiration and protectiveness towards the tall boi, plus a strong hint of sexual attraction.

“I believe you.”

I'm writing a load of fiction. My latest story starts here... This is the index of all the stories...

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

She leant towards him and wrapped her arms around him. She buried her face in the crook of his neck and inhaled his scent, which was mostly nervous boi sweat as he hadn’t bothered with cologne today, not anticipating this meeting with the detectives.

Dari’s arms went around Pia in return. He hugged her to him, not as strongly as she was holding onto him, because he wasn’t sure where this whole scene was going. He could feel her small breasts press against his chest. He wondered what kind of bra she was wearing. Something soft, with no underwiring or additional padding.

“It’s going to be okay, Dari, I promise you,” she whispered in a slightly muffled voice, her lips tickling his skin. They held onto each other for a couple of minutes.

Dari took comfort from Pia’s warmth and concern for him. He began to feel more confident. He let go of her and she stepped back, looking slightly flushed through the make-up she had smudged by nuzzling his neck.

Pia knew she had got dangerously close to breaking the rule against ‘Tangles with Colleagues.’ Maybe she had already broken it. As a kuudere detective, though, Pia was able to justify walking the soft edges of the law for higher ethical reasons. The same principle might be applicable to her interaction with Dari. She filed the idea for later consideration.

Pia’s phone pinged. It was a message from Chanmi, who loved playing the cyberpunk so much she preferred to communicate by computer rather than just step across the workshop and knock on the cubby door. Pia glanced at the screen.

“It’s game time, Dari. They’ve finished looking at your research.” She held the door open and ushered him through. Dari went back into his big workshop in a state of fear that the next few minutes would be filled with humiliation and disgrace.

Moon and Chanmi were sitting in front of Chanmi’s Sandbenders, which she had hooked up to control the holotank. They were eating donuts.

A life-size image of a beautiful, caramel-skinned girl filled the hologram display. She was wearing nothing but semi-nude briefs and a colour matched stick-on strapless bra in two separate pieces, one for each breast. It was one of the items from Dari’s research, a highly advanced design which used a combination of fabrics, one composed of 84% Nylon and 16% Polyester, the second being 100% Silicone. It looked like the sort of space armour you would see on a girl being menaced by an alien fiend on a very spicy pulp magazine cover.

“Wow! She’s gorgeous!” exclaimed Olympe, with genuine feeling. “I simply must have a bra like that. Where did you find it?” In her imagination she was already pairing it with a deeply scooped, drape front, backless dress that she did not yet own, and looked forward to shopping for. Something you didn’t really wear, so much as narrowly avoid falling out of. Something you would get arrested for in a socially conservative country.

“It’s from Asos,” Chanmi told her. “I’ve never seen anything like it. Reviewing this research has been an eye-opener, I can tell you.” Chanmi was barely out of her student years. She had not yet developed Pia’s sense of how to build a sexual arsenal.

I'm writing a load of fiction. My latest story starts here... This is the index of all the stories...

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

“Yes,” said Moon. “It has been very interesting. Mr. Kazemi, when I came in here I thought I saw a sad boi who obviously doesn’t have a girlfriend. Then you showed us your design work, and it all looked unfinished, and I thought you must be one of those members who fiddles around in the Grounds and never makes anything worthwhile.”

“I don’t have a girlfriend,” Dari admitted, his train of thought lagging because he was scared of her.

“I owe you an apology. The seat concept is brilliant. I don’t know where you got the original inspiration, but you’ve done an exceptional job on the research. Lots of detail, accurate references, a clear, logical path of development, and it shows in the results. I know bs when I see it. This isn’t bs, this is good stuff. Well done!”

He sat down in sudden relief at her words. It brought his face into a pool of stronger light. Moon thought she saw a smear of lipstick on Dari’s neck. She flicked a suspicious glance at Pia, and saw the make-up around her mouth was smudged. She said nothing, though. Pia was still half-drunk and didn’t notice the by-play. She was all smiles, thrilled that her partner seemed to approve of Dari. Moon went on.

“I’m convinced if we can find a way to make you finish the rest of your work, you’ll come up with something awesome. If you agree to that in principle, I’m prepared to put the full resources of the MPY Kuudere Detective Agency behind your mission to Cowley Court.”

Pia was highly excited to hear this. She ran to Moon and hugged her, then she got another chair, sat in an elegant pose which showed off her legs, and aimed them directly at Dari.

“Actually, are there any donuts left?” she asked. Chanmi looked guilty. She had eaten the last one and was now regretting it as she surreptitiously pinched her waist.

“No.” Chanmi said flatly.

“Girls, I’m calling this meeting to order,” announced Moon in her best schoolteacher voice. “Has anyone got any ideas for making Mr Kazemi put his shoulder to the wheel?”

Chanmi was thinking about the way she used to dicker with her AI, deploying a combination of stick and carrot to induce it to drop its crossword puzzle habit and get behind her 4D spreadsheet efforts. It had worked a treat. She wondered what Dari’s hot buttons were.

Dari put his hand up. “Don’t I get a say in things?” he asked, plaintively.

“Yes.” Moon was amenable. “You’re going to be a member of the team, so if you’ve got an idea, just tell us.”

“Well,” he went on, “I need someone to help work out a project plan, and someone to run the money side of things, the spreadsheets I mean, but most of all I need someone to stand over me and whenever I get distracted, give me a slap on the wrist and make me finish what I’m supposed to be doing.” He finally admitted out loud the key problem with the way he worked.

“Excellent!” beamed Pia. “That’s all settled, then. Shall we go for some lunch?”

“What’s settled, Pia?” Moon was puzzled. Her partner once again seemed to have made a decision without consulting her, a bad habit which had annoyed her for years. “Have you gone impetuous again?”

“No, sorry. I thought about all this days ago. You can help with the project plan. Chanmi can do the spreadsheets, she’s a whizz at them. Once we’ve got things organised, I’ll move in here with Dari and I won’t let him get away with anything. I’ll keep everything tidy, and make sure he keeps working, and eats properly and gets regular exercise.”

Dari’s eyes popped at this proposal. “Listen, Olympe, the facilities here are a bit basic. I don’t think you would like staying here for long.”

I'm writing a load of fiction. My latest story starts here... This is the index of all the stories...

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

.
“Call me Pia,” she said, “all my friends do. Look, Dari, this workshop is your makerspace, isn’t it?”

“Yes.”

“Well, then, just use it to make some better facilities! I can’t be going in and out all the time, because of my irrational fear of heights. I need to be able to live inside the Grounds until you finish the design.”

“What do you want me to make?” He couldn’t really focus, because the prospect of working under the direct personal supervision of the masterful girl was clouding his thoughts.

*But I agreed to be supervised, so now I’ve got to do it.*

Pia said, “I’ve made a list.” She pinged it to Chanmi, who began to download the relevant design files:

1. A Japanese style 2LDK apartment with extra closet space
2. A 25 metre dance studio with sprung floor
3. A 50 metre swimming pool
4. A fitness suite equipped with weights machines and static cardio equipment

The models began to pop up in the holotank, and Dari read the list with increasing dismay.

*She doesn’t want a lot!*

But he looked at Pia’s happy face, her wonderful sky themed dress, and her long legs. He imagined spending the next couple of weeks locked up with her, and it didn’t seem too awful a prospect. He began to feel he would do anything not to disappoint the girl.

*Members build worlds in here, so I should be able to do this.*

He loaded the design files into his main architectural software, worked out the build instructions for the various structures, and pressed the Go button. A number of counters appeared, showing progress towards an estimated finish time. He set up a feed to his phone, to monitor the build remotely.

I'm writing a load of fiction. My latest story starts here... This is the index of all the stories...

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

“This is going to take several hours,” he informed the girls. “What do you want to do while we wait?”

“Lunch!” said Pia immediately. “You can’t live on just donuts and rye whiskey.” She conveniently forgot she was the only one who had been drinking, even if it had been for medicinal reasons, to try and overcome her acrophobia.

But Moon had other ideas. “Before that, Pia, we need to make a toast, to welcome Mr Kazemi on to the team.”

“Please call me Dari,” he told her. He took the four cups and swilled them out with water. Pia brought out her bottle of rye and poured a little into each cup, and the four new partners stood to make their pledge to their common purpose.

“To planning!” declaimed Moon, “To spreadsheets. To cracking the whip. To a new plane!” They clinked their cups and drank the fiery liquor. Dari coughed. He wasn’t used to undiluted spirits.

“It won’t all be whip cracking, Dari,” Pia smiled. “I’d much rather motivate you with carrots.” She didn’t know yet what kind of carrots to offer him, and she was thinking of ways to find out.

No-one wanted to drink all the rye, so they poured the rest of it as a libation to Goddess to bless their enterprise. Dari left the dirty cups and donut plate on the table. Pia raised an eyebrow slightly, and filed the shabby detail for her campaign of reform.

Anyhow, it was time to go for lunch. They now had to deal with the problem of getting Pia out of the Grounds again. Since Dari knew the shortest way back to the Lobby, he offered to carry her piggyback. She was delighted, leapt eagerly onto him, and shut her eyes tight.

She was heavier than he expected, her athletic body had more muscle and bone than girlish rondure, but she was a girl even so. It was the first time ever he had given a piggyback to a grown-up girl. He wouldn’t have wanted to carry her all day, but it was fun to carry her for a few minutes. It was pleasant to feel her weight, her arms wrapped around him, her warm body pressed against his back.

She leant her head against his and hummed a tune he did not recognise, but she said nothing until the end, when she thanked him. He realised he would have to carry her back in, once their new flat had finished printing.

I'm writing a load of fiction. My latest story starts here... This is the index of all the stories...

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

The four new partners caught a trolleybus Up Server to go for lunch. They used dice to choose a Spanish tapas bar, where they had a long, convivial meal and some good Rioja. The detectives shared stories of some of their more unusual cases, and Dari told them of his travels around the world, and the many interesting places he had experienced while growing up.

Before they became too merry with wine, Moon took out her notebook and started to plan the project. She had always been the most well-organised and business-like of the kuudere detectives.

Yancey had been impetuous, he got bored easily and then he had a tendency to do silly things. Olympe was just as bad, in a different way. She could be very well-organised when the object was something that interested her, such as filling an empty wardrobe, finding a new lover, or working a particularly intriguing case, otherwise she was moody and impulsive. Janjan and Chanmi both were sensible and had strong qualities, but since they were juniors they usually left the planning to Moon.

Moon’s first decision was that she and Chanmi should base themselves in the MPY office and communicate with Pia and Dari by network. She felt Pia would be best able to supervise the young engineer if she was left entirely alone with him. Moon had a strong suspicion that Pia might use her feminine wiles on the boi, and would not want anyone else around to cramp her style.

Her second decision was that Dari and Pia should move into the new flat in the Grounds as soon as possible, because they needed to do a lot of cleaning before any real project work could begin. The printing of the facilities would finish today, but Pia would need a lot of time to assemble what she considered the minimum viable set of clothes and other stuff to bring into the Grounds.

Moon knew from experience that the flirty girl would take too much, and there was no point in arguing with her about it. Pia was capable of going through four or five outfits a day, depending on her varying moods. If you told her off for wasting time, she would just say breezily that it was important always to be elegant, and it was a girl’s prerogative to change her mind.

Moon’s third decision was that they should set out a timeline for the visit to Cowley Court as soon as they got a handle on Dari’s likely finish date. It would be essential to consult the Princess, because the kind of party weekend they envisaged required some preparation.

While the selection of guests was Lady Sakura’s prerogative, the Princess would be able to influence her aunt, and gather a helpful group of members to create an environment in which Pia and Dari had the best chance to work on Yuzu. She decided to call the Princess this evening, and find out if she was in the Palace or at her moon.

They finished lunch late and in a very good mood, helped by several bottles of wine. Pia repaired her make-up, attributing the smears to her eating and drinking, rather than having nuzzled Dari's neck. Dari himself was too naive to realise his neck bore a mark like a diffuse love bite. He wore it for the rest of the day until he came to shower in the late evening, when he suddenly noticed it and was embarrassed, but also very pleased at having got a kind of kiss from the girl.

Moon paid, adding the bill to her expense account notebook. Outside the restaurant the foursome split for their separate cribs, Pia trying to remember where she had left her scooter, even though she was in no fit state to ride it. In the end she walked home, to try and clear her head.

I'm writing a load of fiction. My latest story starts here... This is the index of all the stories...

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

By time Pia got home, she remembered that the scooter automatically stored its location, so it could be found by the Vespa app. It was still outside the pizzeria where she had left it the day before.

Dari reached his flat and set up a laptop to monitor the progress of the new build.

Chanmi and Taek_00000101 started to play Among Us with random strangers online.

Moon had a shower to clear her mind, then messaged the Princess. The reply took several minutes, simply because Onecornchippy was busy. It turned out that Chippy was on her moon. Moon filled her in on the basics of the situation. Chippy was only too happy to help two of her oldest friends in The Server. She agreed to return to her Palace the next day, to help with planning the country house weekend. They set a time to meet for lunch to discuss the whole operation.

Moon wondered if she should invite Pia, but she thought the girl would be busy enough moving into the Grounds. She decided it would be better to take the Princess to meet Dari and Pia once they had settled in and got some design work finished to show her.

By seven o’clock all the construction printing had finished. Dari’s head had cleared of his lunchtime wine, and he decided to start packing stuff to take into the Grounds for an extended stay. He was somewhat apprehensive of what life would be like under Pia’s close supervision, but he recognised the necessity of being ‘*helped*’ to finish all his different bits of work. He only hoped there would be more carrot than stick involved in the process.

Pia solved her problem easily by calling Black Cat Removals and summoning a crew to come in the morning to help her pack and move. She went through her wardrobes, splitting the clothes into “Go” and “Stay”. Since she was still drunk, the results were erratic, but Pia paid it no attention. She finished her evening with a headache and a plate of leftover pasta, which she microwaved to eat before going to bed. She thought everything would make better sense in the morning.

I'm writing a load of fiction. My latest story starts here... This is the index of all the stories...

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

The new dawn brought rain. Pia woke up with a headache, told herself she ought not to mix her drinks, and took a paracetamol and an ibuprofen. A doctor had once told her they would synergise. She had a shower and a bowl of porridge with some fresh fruit because she couldn’t face the noise of her blender if she made a smoothie. Analgesics, starchy food and black coffee restored approximately normal function to her cognitive system.

She made her face and assembled a weekend bag to carry her through until the delivery of her wardrobe selection. She put on a modest one-piece midi dress and a cardigan, to look like a middle-class housewife. When the Black Cat crew arrived, she was able to direct them fairly competently. Once they were fully briefed, she gave them a spare set of keys and strolled off with her bag, to collect her Vespa. Mounted once more and beginning to feel properly human, Pia buzzed down to the corner diner near the MPY office to have a second breakfast and make some calls. The first one obviously was to Dari. He confirmed that their new living quarters were ready, and he had packed his stuff.

“Meet me in the Lobby in four hours,” she told him. “There’s some stuff I need to buy, and you can help me carry it.” Next she called the Princess, just to say hello. Chippy was in her spaceship, flying back to The Server, which made the conversation difficult because the lightspeed gap caused a significant delay between question and response. However, they were able to express their sisterly love and look forward to working together on Lord Yuzu. Rich though she was, Chippy always relished an opportunity to feast at her uncle’s expense. Lastly Pia called Moon, just to keep her informed about progress moving into and cleaning up Dari’s makerspace.

“I’m still in the moving phase, but after this call I’ll go and buy a load of cleaning products. I’m meeting Dari down there at 2 o’clock.”

She finished her second breakfast and went to a local supermarket to stock up with essential cleaning supplies. It took longer than expected, as Pia had to go to four different shops to get everything she needed, including some packed lunches. She kept the receipts, thinking that if Moon couldn’t get them written off for tax, she would make Dari pay, somehow or other.

*After all, if he had bothered to clean up in the first place I wouldn’t need to buy all this stuff.*

Pia needed a cab to take her and her load down to the Grounds. She entered the Lobby on the dot of 14:00, not expecting to find Dari because he was such a dreamer, and also given to arriving at appointments at 11 past the hour, for odd numerological reasons. She was not disappointed, Dari was again late, but Pia didn’t mind. She figured it was a minor fault which she would eradicate over the next few days, by a mixture of carrot and stick.

*Carrot when he is a good boi, and stick when he is bad.*



I'm writing a load of fiction. My latest story starts here... This is the index of all the stories...

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

Dari got up early because he was excited to see the results of his major architectural build. He grabbed a quick takeaway breakfast on his way to the Grounds. The new buildings were impressive. Printed from nanoids, it looked like they completely replicated the list Pia had insisted on. He decided to check the insides too.

Unfortunately Dari did not know that Pia liked her personal living space to be kept clean to Japanese standards. He ignored the genkan area where normally you would take off your outdoor shoes. He profaned the sacred cleanliness of the floors by walking around all the rooms. It was a lovely flat, fully equipped with furniture and appliances, but there was no food in the kitchen, of course, because it couldn’t be printed from nanoids.

He also checked the dance practice studio, and the swimming pool and fitness centre. Everything looked perfect. He wondered how much time Pia was going to make him spend in these areas rather than designing.

*Speaking of which, let’s go and start work!*

Dari went back to his studio, shut down the architectural program and brought up the file of his wing joint. Then he got the call from Pia. He set himself a timer to make sure he was not late meeting her. But of course he was, in the end.

“Hello Dari, how are you?” smiled Pia. “Have you had lunch?” Having had two breakfasts, she was only now beginning to feel hungry.

He shook his head. He had got too wrapped up in designing.

“I’ve brought plenty so let’s share,” she pointed at the pile of cleaning materials, which the cab driver was still bringing into the Lobby. There was a vacuum cleaner, brooms, mops, packets of dusters and sponges, bottles of cleaning fluid and that sort of thing. “There’s a load of stuff to carry. Have you got something like a little cart?”

“I can find something. Do you want to ride in the cart, Pia?”

“No! I want to be carried again, please!” She said eagerly. Dari was very pleased to hear this. He had been looking forward to carrying the lithe detective. He smiled and turned his back, to allow her to jump into the piggyback position. Quickly he conveyed Pia to her new apartment, and dropped her at the door, to go back for the cartful of household products.

When Dari returned with the household clobber Pia was standing in the genkan of the new flat, looking less than well pleased.

“Dari, did you walk in here with your shoes on?” she demanded.

“Yes.” He was puzzled as to why this was a problem.

“Why did you do that? Now I need to clean everything!”

“What for?”

“It must be completely clean inside. The dirt from outdoors must never be brought into our living space! That’s why there is a genkan.” Pia was pretty adamant about this. She indicated the lowered floor where the outdoor shoes would be removed as you stepped up to the clean interior.

“I’m so sorry!” he said. “I didn’t know.” It was their first quarrel as a couple, and they weren’t even a couple yet. Somehow Dari felt as if he had let Pia down, though truthfully she never had informed him about her Japanese habits of cleanliness.

“It doesn’t matter,” she said. “I never told you about it. Just… Let’s have some lunch, then I will clean our flat, and once that is done I will begin to clean your workspace.”

They could not eat in the new apartment, which in Pia’s view was contaminated, so they took the lunch things to Dari’s workshop. She eyed the dirty plate and cups from the day before in silent reproach. He failed totally to notice this significant look, and his health bar dropped a lot.

I'm writing a load of fiction. My latest story starts here... This is the index of all the stories...

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

Pia began to worry if this whole arrangement was going to work. Perhaps she had over-estimated the empathy between her and Dari. There was a foundation of kindness and the idea to build a new kind of plane. But was that enough? If they had to live together to forge the new plans, could it really be done with the differences between them?

She sat quietly to think and feel around the issue. After a couple of minutes her confidence returned fully, with a surge of energy. She determined to forgive Dari his minor faults and support him completely in the building of his new aircraft. She knew she could make it work. She would use carrot and stick to gently persuade Dari to be a good boi. First some lunch, because bois get hungry so quickly.

Pia pushed the piles of stuff around on the main table to create space for their meal. The various Greggs bakes she had picked up now looked like a sad mistake, though. Dangerously alluring when hot and fresh, their stodgy nature was totally unappealing in the cold present. Boi and girl gazed glumly at the tepid pasties. It did not seem as if a microwave would be able to save the comestibles from ignominy.

“It’s okay!” she smiled, and jumped up with a bounce. “I can make something better. I need to go shopping again. Will you carry me out please, Dari?”

He eagerly complied, sensing from her behaviour that perhaps he had done some wrong and she had forgiven him. Even though he did not understand his fault, he wanted to make amends, and live with the girl on good terms.

Pia returned in an hour with a big bag of ingredients. Before cooking, though, she had to clean the floors of the new flat. She vacuumed, mopped and polished. Finally she threw away the socks she had been wearing and began to cook. It was nearly five o’clock by the time she was ready to put the food on the table, a tricolore salad with salami on the side, and a simple tuna and pesto pasta. There was no wine, as Pia felt she needed all her wits to handle this delicate new domestic situation. She went to fetch Dari.

By mid-afternoon Dari had got so starved that he nabbed and nommed one of the Greggs bakes to avoid bodily implosure into the vacuum of his stomach. They weren’t labelled, so he selected at random and got one with a cheese and onion filling, which wasn’t bad cold. Then he felt guilty for eating without Pia, and for eating when she was busy cleaning and cooking. He noticed the dirty cups and plates on the table, cleaned them up and threw away all the Greggs stuff, although he felt guilty to waste food. Pia came in about five o’clock.

“Dinner’s ready,” she beamed, “Or maybe it’s a very late lunch. You must be starved, Dari, I’m sorry it took so long.”

“Oh, thank you! Actually I’ve been working hard. Look, I finished the new wing joint!” He proudly showed it off in the 3D display.

“It looks marvellous!” Pia didn’t really understand it, but she could tell he was pleased with the work, and she trusted him. She noticed the table had been tidied of the cups and dead Greggs bakes. “And you’ve cleaned up a bit, too. Well done! Let’s go and have our meal.”

I'm writing a load of fiction. My latest story starts here... This is the index of all the stories...

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

Naoi shook off his panicked thoughts and sighed as he laid his back against the bench with his arms wrapped around the back of it and closed his eyes and tilted his head up to the sky once more to ease his troubled mind.

Naori sensed his partner’s discontent and whipped around from the traffic light he was staring at and turned to face Naoi with a face full of concern.

“Huh? What’s up, Detective?”

Naoi simply dug out his dying phone from his hoodie pocket and showed Naori his lack of messages from Taka.

Naori raised an eyebrow as he leaned over and glanced at it.

“So Taka Baka has us stationed here huh?” Naori said, not taking his eyes off Naoi’s dying phone.

As abridged as Naori was, even Naori knew what a lack of messages from thier boss meant. Taka was scheming something or they were in the midst of a mission, as to what the mission was... Naori hadn’t a clue.

Naori put his hands on his hips and closed his eyes trying to determine what thier soundless leader would want.

*So Taka has us on a mission huh? I wonder what for? I mean business at our detective agency has been so slow lately....so it can’t be a case, could it?*

Naori shook his head and opened his eyes.

*Nah that can’t be it. Taka Baka has to be scheming something. But what?*

Naori turned around and faced towards the busy street across from their location. He gazed at the busy and bustling Server. He saw all kinds of high tech-gizmos and gadgets people had that all looked like stuff his NEET comrade would invent.
He saw people with mopeds and scooters that were all controlled and automated with just an app on their phones.

The crosswalks were also highly advanced. He watched as people pressed the button for pedestrians to walk and the crosswalk print transform itself into a moving floor to ferry the occupants across as a forcefield emitted from the crosswalk light and gently stopped oncoming traffic with a reverse magnetic field to create a gentle push effect to get the oncoming cars to stop efficiently and safely without any possibility of collisions.

Naori gazed up at the traffic light that had flashed to red so the pedestrians could cross.

*This place is so advanced... is this really all automated or is my theory about a “Big Brother” actually true and the government in the Server is actually watching and there are people sitting there making all this stuff happen?*

Naori shook the thought off.

*Nah. No way hozay! That be ridiculous! Not all the coffee and donuts in the world could keep a fed staring at a computer screen that long!*

Naori chuckled to himself as he laughed at his own stupidity. He stopped laughing when his mind blinked to a conclusion.

*Like I said, there is no way it’s all done by robots unleeeeeess......*

Naori’s eyes glittered with excitement as he realized he might be onto something.

Aliens really have assisted with the government in the Server and that’s why everything is so high-techy tech like a million Masaharus run the place! It’s because aliens and humans are coexisting with each other!

Naori looked at all the traffic light devices around him. Walking over and scanning each one carefully, oblivious to passerbys stopping to stare and talk about the odd boy inspecting the traffic lights like they were a crime scene.

*I wonder how these things are used? Do the aliens record humans’ body temperatures or scan their conditions as people walk by these things? Where is the scanning equipment? Oh I know! I bet it’s invisible!*

Naori knocked a fist gently all over on the pole of the traffic light, almost bare except for a few heavy duty wires running down it. What greeted him wasn’t his desired thunk sound, but a hollow knock.

*Nothing.... There really is nothing. No cloaking device.... what a bummer.... unleeeeesss.....*

Naori stared up at the traffic light and adjusted the goggles on his head.

*The equipment scanners and stuff is cloaked and hidden way up at the top! That has to be where it’s at!*

Without any second thoughts Naori quickly climbed up the traffic light pole with great ease. Once at the top of the pole, Naori knocked all around the pole like he did before. Searching for any hints of any cloaked alien technology that might be attached to the pole to spy on the human population down below.

However the nearby passerbys did take heed of this and urged the boy to get down or he will break his neck. However... Naori being the delusional nutcase he was, misinterpreted their pleas as something else.

“Worry not, fair citizens! I’m the hero you called for, here to investigate what your big bad government is hiding from you all! I do this kind of stuff alllll the time!~ So don’t worry about me, just go about your day!~” Naori said, smiling at the mob of worried people slowly starting to form around him. In various ways they were yelling at him to get down.

Naoi’s peaceful meditation was interrupted by the uproar of the citizens in the Server. He opened his eyes.

Mm? What’s all the commotion abou-”

Naoi’s eyes got as big as dinner plates as he sweatdropped and gazed at the scene before him across from the bench in the alley he was sitting at. What he saw was Naori clinging to a 14 ft traffic light pole with a mob of angry people swarming around him at the bottom of the pole yelling at him to get down.

Naoi ran as fast as he could through the alley and onto the sidewalk where all the commotion was at. His emo bangs, and hoodie he was wearing flying around hazardly in the wind mimicking his panicked state of mind. His various punk belts and chains on his pants also carried an equal appearance of chaos and disarray. Jingling together like santa’s reindeer all running a marathon together.

The bizarre spectacle was apparently not noticeable to just Naoi, as the crowd fussing at Naori to get down from the pole all stopped to turn their heads at Naoi who was zooming across the alley not too far from them. Naoi took advantage of his distracting and noisy appearance and sped up his running so he’d gain enough speed and traction to crash through the crowd, forcing them to form an opening out of fear of being slammed into as he skidded to a halt.

Naoi stopped just at the base of the traffic light pole Naori was clinging to and glanced up. Naori noticed his comrade but was still oblivious to the situation he was in. He waved at Naoi.

“Yo-ho! Detective! Came here to help me save the day? Don’t worry! I got it totally under control!”

Understandably, the crowd of people all stared at Naoi who they now knew was associated with this lunatic. Instinctively, Naoi pulled the hood of his hoodie over his face to hide his identity from the crowd and pulled it to the side of his face so with one eye he could keep an eye on the crowd while still hiding his face as he confronted Naori.

Naoi knew when he was running down the alley with all the noise he was making and with his dramatic entrance the people had already seen him, but it gave him a bit of comfort to hide his face. Though Naoi was a famous actor, he still struggled with stage fright when it came to being in front of a large group of people. One or two was fine. Five and ten was okay too. But the amount standing in front of him staring? There had to be around 45. Way past his comfort zone level.

Naoi clutched tightly to the hoodie side that covered most of his face with his hand opposite of the side that covered so he could use his own arm to hide behind as well and still see the crowd. He put his other hand in his pants pockets that weren’t loaded with chocolates, which somehow have mircaculously not melted in his hoodie or cargo pants by now. He could feel his legs shake a bit, and moved his foot around on the ground to keep his body from shaking.

“Naori!” Naoi said without looking at his abridged comrade and daring not to take his eye off the crowd in front of him. “This is not what I meant by a low profile! We had to keep a low profile! Remember!?”

“Oh yeah!” Came Naori’s voice from atop the traffic light pole.

Naoi then heard the sound of Naori’s feet hitting the pavement of the sidewalk as he landed perfectly on his feet.

“I forgot about that mission we had.” He said as he dusted himself off, then turned and grinned at Naoi. “Haha! Let myself get carried away!” Naori then grinned nervously as he sweatdropped and rubbed the back of his head. “Sorry about that!”

An angry woman shouted at Naoi. “You know this boy!?”

Before Naoi’s reputation could get any more shredded, Naoi grabbed Naori’s hand which was still rubbing the back of his head. Naori stared at Naoi in surprise.
“Come on!” Naoi urged Naori, pulling him through the mob of people gathered around them and zipping past as far as his legs would take him.

Naoi and Naori kept running til they found a place they could lay low. They lost the crowd on a corner of the sidewalk as they ducked into an area called “The Deep.” They found an all-night diner on a corner, and dashed inside.

Naoi sighed in relief as he watched the mob of people all run past their hiding spot.

“Phew....we lost them....”

“Where are we?” Naori asked as he looked around.

“Looks like some kind of bar....Strange name for a bar if you ask me.”

Naori nodded in agreement. “Yeah!” He laughed. “Sounds like something straight out of a horror movie doesn’t it?”

Naoi gave a warning glare to Naori, as if to tell him to not offend the residents here too. Naori seemed to get the hint. He grinned nervously at Naoi and sweatdropped.

“Heh. Right.....”

Naoi walked over to a booth, sat down, and laid his weary head face down on the table. He sprawled his arms out across the table as well.

Naori picked up a menu and flipped straight to the desserts.

Mm, donuts! That sounds good!” Naori exclaimed as he licked his lips.

Naoi lifted his head up off the table and gave a skeptical look at Naori. “Donuts? What kind of bar has donu-“

Before Naoi could finish his sentence, something in the bar area caught his attention. There was a newspaper stand next to the bar with a familiar face on it. Naoi picked up the newspaper and brought it back to the table Naori was seated at.

Naori put down his menu looking amused. “Oooo, whatcha got there detective? Is it a mystery?”

Naoi laid the newspaper on the table so Naori could see it too as Naoi rubbed the side of his head in confusion and stared at it.

On the front page of the newspaper was a story about three detectives who worked for an agency called “The MPY Kuudere Detective Agency.”

“Not exactly......I feel like I’ve seen the girl in this picture before but where....?”

*Where have I seen her before?*

Naoi’s detective mind itched at the thought of a mystery in front of him that his mind was fuzzy on and had difficulty solving due to exhaustion.

Naoi held his head in his hands and shut his eyes tight.

*Think! Think!*

Then it hit him. The memory flashed before him just like he was watching a movie reel.

The supermarket.....

When Naoi was hurrying to pay for Masaharu’s chocolates at the U-Scan, there was a girl he saw patiently standing behind him. Casually reading a copy of the same trash tabloid about aliens Naori had run out with and forgot to pay for. Naoi had barely recognized her since her attire was different to the one in the newspaper, but the tell of the same exact hair and facial features was what brought her to mind. There was no doubt about it. It was the same girl.

A detective......? What is she doing reading about trash like that?

Naori broke Naoi’s train of thought. “Hellooooo? Detective? Anybody hoooome?” Naori asked, knocking on Naoi’s head. Naori shot back into his seat with a look of alarm. “Oh no!” He put his hands on the sides of his head and flailed about in place worried of what had become of his friend. “Don’t tell me the aliens here have already taken your brain! OH NO! I’M TOO LAAAAATE!!!”

Naoi stared at his reflection in a nearby fork on the table. He hadn’t noticed how blank and braindead his face had looked when he was lost in thought. Naoi reached over and put a hand gently on Naori’s shoulder to stop Naori’s panic before he could attract attention with all the noise he was making. “It’s okay....” Naoi said in his soothing actor voice he had used in romance roles so many times before. “I’m alright....”

Naori stopped panicking and let his arms drop to his sides. “Y-you are? But how? You stared at that article then boom! Your face went all blank! I thought an alien had zapped your brain through some kind of brain-zapper-scanner-doohickey-thing and stole it clean from you via brainwashing of newspaper photographs implanted with brainwashing radio transceivers placed by-”

Naoi shook his head. “No, no, no.” He stopped shaking his head and grabbed Naori’s hand to reassure him. “That’s not it at all.” Naoi picked up the newspaper and showed the page with the detective girl Naoi had seen on it. “I know this girl.”

Naori gave a bored look. “So? You are a famous actor. You know lots of people.”

Naoi stared at Naori with a blank annoyed look and sweatdropped. “No. I mean I saw this girl at the supermarket. She was reading the same tabloid you ran out with...”

Naori’s eyes lit up remembering the tabloid about a princess being accused of being an alien. “Oh that tabloid!? A GIRL was reading an alien tabloid!? Omfgsjshehehshwh! A girl reading a tabloid about aliens! She has to be an alien herself! There is no other explanation about it! After all, what self-respecting girl would read trash like that!? You tell me that stuff all the time!”

Naoi stared and sweatdropped, realizing Naori actually does know the tabloids are trash and just doesn’t care.

Naori also sweatdropped, but for a different reason. He rubbed the back of his head nervously. “Ya think all those people were after us earlier because I swiped that tabloid without paying for it?”

Naoi felt another sweatdrop at his friend’s illogical conclusion. “Let’s just focus on the task at hand for now....” Naoi urged Naori to get what Naoi was getting at and pointed to the captions about the girl being a detective.

“Detective Olympe....” He said reading the caption aloud Naoi was pointing to. “A detective!?”

“Now do you see my confusion!?”

Naori scratched his head in puzzlement. “What is a detective doing researching this stuff? Ya think she’s trying to debunk the alien myth like how you do with my conspiracy stuff?”

Naoi shrugged his shoulders. “Maybe.....”

Truth be told, Naoi with all his detective training and instincts hadn’t a clue on the situation as to why a girl of her class and status let alone being a detective, would even be interested in reading a trash tabloid such as what Naori reads.

A light bulb went off over Naori’s head. “I got it!”

Naoi cocked his head to the side and stared at Naori in confusion. “Huh? You do?”

Naori nodded. Confident with his theory. “I think she’s the mark!”

Naoi arched an eyebrow. “Mark?”

Naori nodded. “Yeah!” Naori pointed to the picture of Olympe. “I think this girl here has something to do with why Taka has planted us in this place called “Server!” I think Taka wants us to help or investigate something with them!”

Naoi leaned back in the booth and cupped his chin deep in thought. Mulling over the conclusion Abridged was coming to.

“It certainly doesn’t seem implausible... Taka does use his connections... well us to help other agencies from time to time....I wouldn’t be surprised if that was his plan...”

Naori sat back in the booth, and crossed his arms triumphantly as he gazed at the newspaper photo of Olympe and her fellow detectives. Content his detective comrade had confirmed his thoughts as correct about what their boss was planning.

“A detective agency… I wonder what you are planning Taka...” Naori mused as his eyes shook with excitement staring at the photo.

Naoi also stared at the photo of the three detectives. “I wonder that too...”

A detective agency in a high-tech town...? Just what are you planning Taka?

(The Abridged Detectives Naoi and Naori are written by guest writer SHSL Defective Detective#5682.)

I'm writing a load of fiction. My latest story starts here... This is the index of all the stories...

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

On the dot of 11:11, The Princess Onecornchippy, Heir Apparent of the Imperial House of the Frog Totem, landed by shuttle on the helipad of the tall mansion block where the Frog Palace, actually a luxury 4LDK apartment, was situated. She summoned a bot to carry her baggage, and when it was unloaded she went down to her flat. The shuttle took off again, since it entirely blocked the helipad for other aircraft, and ascended into orbit to dock with the Princess’s spaceship.

No-one was around and the Palace felt a bit lonely. Her old friend Olympe had keys, but these days Olympe preferred to spend her time at her own 2LDK. Tegru also had keys and sometimes stayed over, which helped the place feel like a home rather than a status symbol. Chippy unpacked her weekend bag and rang Ms Moon Potato to fix their lunch appointment.

“Hello, Chippy, how was the journey?”

“Hi Moon. It was fine. A bit tiring. You know what it’s like. Where are we meeting for lunch?”

“Isetan at 12:30. I’ll have to leave you to go shopping afterwards, because there’s some stuff I need to do.” Moon knew the famous Japanese department store was Chippy’s favorite. She would not mind spending the afternoon there.

“Sounds great. See you soon...” Chippy rang off and checked the time. She decided to walk to Isetan as a means of getting some fresh air.

The two old friends met at the welcome counter in the front lobby. Moon was wearing her regular hard-boiled detective getup, a conservative skirt suit in medium grey, low heels, and a black beret. Her handle bag, which contained girl and detective stuff including her gat, was slung from one shoulder. Chippy had a casual, studenty look, ripped jeans, heeled combat boots, a purple indie band tee-shirt and a blue and white varsity jacket a size too large. She was carrying her stuff in a light rucksack.

The two old friends hugged warmly and went to the rooftop restaurant, the best in the whole store, with splendid views of the rooftops of the Central Server. Moon wanted to lush up Chippy and get her in a really good mood. They perused the elegant menu, ordered drinks and meals, and got down to business.

I'm writing a load of fiction. My latest story starts here... This is the index of all the stories...

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

“The basic fact is that Pia has got herself involved with this boi called Darios Kazemi.” said Moon. “He’s an aeronautical engineer, working in the Nizicraft Grounds to design a new type of aircraft.”

“Is Pia in love with him?”

The Princess was concerned about Olympe, who had been her faithful friend and supporter for a long time.

“Not yet, but I can tell she’s trending his way. She's getting tactile with him, and it's more than her usual flirting. Right now Kazemi is trying to design a new kind of plane and Pia is determined to help him. He needs money, and she’s decided she’s going to get it from Lord Yuzu.”

“Hum.”

“That’s the basic situation. Me and Chanmi have checked this Kazemi boi out. He’s good. He’s very good, actually but he’s got two serious problems: no.1 is he’s got no money and no.2 is he isn’t a finisher. He can’t focus, keeps starting worn on new ideas before he’s finished developing the ones he already had.”

“Pia’s got plenty of money.”

“Yes, but do you want to see her destitute again? This build could wipe her out.”

Olympe had won and lost several fortunes in the course of her unusual career. In fact, once she won all her stolen Coins back, during the Case of Chanmi and the Random Loser, she had instantly become the richest member on the public leaderboard by a large margin. Olympe wasn’t very interested in Coins for their own sake, though, she only wanted them so she could make people happy. That tended to made her careless.

“Is it that bad?”

“No, not yet. She’s still got the sense to plan to get the money from Yuzu.”

“He can afford it.”

“Exactly! But there are two problems.”

“What?”

“The first is that Pia has to get Darios to finish the design.”

“She can do that. You know what she’s like.”

“Yeah, I reckon she can. She’s in there now.”

“Where?”

“The Grounds, where Darios does his design work. She made him build a flat for them to live in, and a bunch of other stuff. She’s using carrot and stick to make sure he finishes all his work.”

“OK, it’ll be alright, then. Pia is a FIERCE doer, once she gets the bit between her teeth.”

“Yeah, I think so. Dari will finish the design, and it’ll be good. He isn’t a bs artist, just a bit unfocussed. But the second thing, which is just as important, is that we need the best chance possible to convince Yuzu to finance the build based off plans and a small model.”

“What sort of stuff is involved?”

“Printing and assembling components, testing in wind tunnels, redesign work, more testing and so on.”

“That sounds expensive. Is that what you need me to help with?”

“Yes, Chippy. We’re going to have to ask Yuzu for an awful lot of Coins. You know better than anyone how to influence him.”

“Hmmm… I need to meet this Kazemi member and see his stuff before I make my mind up.”

“I’ll get Pia to set up a meeting, inside the Grounds.”

They left it there and finished their lunch with lots of fun girl talk. Moon paid, and Chippy went shopping. Moon went to a cafe and had coffee while reading a book. It was mid-afternoon when she got a call from Mistress Kou.

“Ms Potato, there is a situation I need you to investigate.”

I'm writing a load of fiction. My latest story starts here... This is the index of all the stories...

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

“Yes, Mistress Kou. What’s up?”

“There has been a disturbance in the channels. Two young bois began to behave in an erratic manner. A crowd of members gathered to harangue them, and they fled. Security bots followed but lost them when they entered The Deep. I fear for their safety. Please would you use your detective skills to locate them and find out what is going on?”

“How can I recognise them?”

“I will ping you some images which were captured by traffic cameras.”

“Okay, Kou, I’m on it. You can rely on the MPY.”

The pics arrived on Moon’s phone in seconds. She looked at the two bois. They seemed pretty young, wearing odd clothes but not weird odd, kind of funky Japanese street style, taken together with their dark straight hair and east Asian facial features.

Moon figured she and Chanmi could comb The Deep easily enough. It wasn’t a big channel, just a bit dark but they knew it well because the MPY offices had been there for several years. Most of the buildings were closed to the general public, so there weren’t a lot of places to have to search. If the bois left the channel, they would be picked up by Security bots quick enough.

*Only thing is, I don’t speak Japanese. Maybe I should ask Pia to come and help.*

She pondered this for a minute. It was just after five o’clock, surely too soon for Pia to be cooking dinner or getting ready for bed. Moon made the call.

Pia and Dari were half-way through their late lunch or early dinner when her phone went off. It was Ms Moon Potato, so Pia picked up immediately.

“Hullo, Moon. What’s up?”

“Sorry to bother you, Pia, but I need your help.”

“Yes, what is it?”

“Kou wants us to track down a couple of bois who’ve been making a disturbance, and make sure they’re alright.”

“I suppose Security lost them?”

“Yes.” The Server’s Security bots worked best under intelligent human direction, usually provided by Mods. “I think they’re Japanese so I need your language skills.”

“I’ll meet you at the corner diner in 20 minutes.”

“Thanks, Pia, I owe you.”

Olympe rang off. She sighed.

“I’m sorry, Dari, but I have to go out for a while to do some detecting. Please would you carry me?”

“Of course!” Dari was sad to miss Pia in the middle of their meal but he knew it must be important.

“Thank you so much. I need five minutes to get ready.”

Olympe dashed to her bedroom to change into sports briefs and bralette, socks, leggings and a clingy training tee-shirt, in patterned shades of white and dark blue. She chucked her essential girl and detective kit into a sacoche and slung it. In the genkan she put on running shoes. Dari carried her quickly to the Lobby, from where she ran all the way to The Deep, arriving in the corner diner shortly before Ms Moon Potato.

Sweating, and her make-up beginning to run a bit, Pia took a seat at the window counter where Moon would easily see her. She ordered a glass of water with ice and a grilled cheese sandwich, to compensate for her truncated supper with Dari.

I'm writing a load of fiction. My latest story starts here... This is the index of all the stories...

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

5:20 pm, Takahari Fujisaki’s Mansion

The Fujisaki mansion was a sight to behold. It was so large, it had its own property and was on the outskirts of Japanese cities in its own little countryside. It was a large white mansion decked out with pillars on its front exterior. The entrance doors were double doors made of an expensive oak and nearly two stories tall. It was even adorned with a gold chandelier for the porch-like exterior for the front door light. Up so ridiculously high, a visitor would have to look up to even see it. It was apparent even the maintenance of the mansion had forgotten it existed as the thing was covered in cobwebs.

An absolute contrast to the beautiful well kept and swept pearly white steps and walls of the mansion. For even the many, many, many, french windows were kept in sparkling condition and free of webs. It was a sight to behold. It was the type of place one would expect a rich eccentric person to have those tacky angel or gargoyle statues protruding from the top like guardians watching over the land.

If Takahari Fujisaki didn’t spend so much time on his own and wasn’t flooded with so much business work, then perhaps he would have had considered it. However that was not the case, for the 17 year old business prodigy. He was a very busy boy. So busy one could say he didn’t even get a chance at a proper childhood or one at all. Busy using the funds his father left him to keep his family’s franchises afloat to being ever so busy and occupied with making business connection after business connection. For his father was more of a “tough love” type and expected his son to even put his own dinner on the table. It wasn’t the norm of a father and Taka knew this, however Taka’s father had drilled business know-how into Taka since he was only 6. So for Taka this was what family was. This was the norm. Dog-eat-dog world.

Taka’s mansion was as large inside as it was outside. The inside too was extravagant. There were many, many rooms in it. Bedrooms, extra dining rooms, anything an eccentric rich person would have. You name it, it was there. Even though Taka and his allies didn’t ever occupy those rooms, the maids and butlers still took tender care of them and cleaned every nook and cranny.

The only room Taka and his allies ever occupied was the single dining room downstairs for meal times, and his den, where he and his NEET ally happened to be at that moment.

The den was a large but homey place and was used more for Takahari And Naoi’s detective agency “behind the scenes” type work. The walls were a regal red and the carpet an expensive plush. The walls were decorated all around with black sleek bookcases lined with books on business and legal stuff that reached almost to the gold chandeliers that hung above them. Acting almost as a spotlight to the two lazy detectives.

Takahari Fujisaki, as prim and pristine as his mansion was, he and his ally weren’t much to sneeze at.

Takahari was a simple boy. He was 17 years old, yet sometimes had the practical mentality of a middle-aged man despite the absolute abundance of the mansion his father had left him in his absence. Thus he himself didn’t exactly reflect his living establishment. Taka had spiky jet black hair combed to the side. Taka’s coal black eyes were stern and reflected his harsh upbringing. Taka’s attire was made up of a black business suit with a dark red tie and black dress shoes that were polished so much, the lighting reflecting onto the boys from above made his shoes sparkle and glisten.

His partner Masaharu Hajisaka seated at a wooden desk in a plush armchair, slumped across the laptop that lay on it, not too far from Taka also was in large contrast to the fancy exteriors the two boys were living in. Masaharu had silver hair, with a simple bangs over his left eye hair style and light grey eyes that bore a somewhat sleepy look. Masaharu was a cheeky and quiet boy that seemed to have a near permanent bored look on his face that betrayed the busy inner workings of his mind, giving him the appearance he was a blank slate with nothing going on in the upper story.

People could assume he was a slow-space case with not a whole-lot going on and his head filled with cobwebs. That’s just how Masaharu liked it. With people thinking poorly of him, he wouldn’t be bothered, and could carry on his business as usual which included hacking along with intel work, and his less shady side which was dealing with video game design.

The friendlier comrades of the detective agency could act as figure heads and do the talking for him as he looked so dense and unapproachable. Another bonus was this even fell onto his friends too and he didn’t have to be asked to do anything. Being a NEET was just the icing on the cake.

Masaharu, to go with his cold and odd appearance, also wore his white soldier uniform from his past organization he used to work for. It was a simple thing. A white jacket with a few buckles on it, with a white t-shirt under it and that was it. Masaharu had added his own touches to it. Simple white sweatpants for lying around the house in, and a black scarf-like decoration he wore around his neck with a few random silver buttons sewed into the side of it. Masaharu hated the job it came from, but he still wore it despite its history for the simple reason it was comfortable.

Taka cupped his head in his hands as he gazed boredly at the NEET pecking away and clicking around on the laptop across from him. Taka’s furniture was quite nice. So nice, Taka almost drifted off to sleep into the plush chair he was seated in as he watched his silver-haired lover type away at his laptop.

Masaharu Hajisaka was an orphan boy just one year younger from Taka and had met Taka in complicated circumstances. Those circumstances found the boy housed at Taka’s mansion as his live-in intel guy. Masaharu was a former hacker. His dark past behind him, Masa used his former criminal skills for the side of good. He used the calculation abilities he had gained from his training in pursuit of research and gathering intel. As well as his actual hacking when needed, as was the case now.

(By guest writer SHSL Defective Detective#5682

I'm writing a load of fiction. My latest story starts here... This is the index of all the stories...

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

Takahari knew the city he had placed his comrades Naoi and Naori in, known as “The Server”, was highly advanced and had found out from his intel guy Masa, that the streets were heavily guarded with Security Bots that watched the areas like a typical security cam but were actually mobile due to being actual robots. Taka had asked Masa to hack into said robots and retrieve copies of the feed so they could keep an eye on their friends.

It wasn’t that Taka didn’t trust Naoi and Naori. It was more he didn’t trust the high probability of chaos that those two could create on their own. Taka would have loved to go and watch over them and get some fresh air, but he had to stay and catch up on some more business emails he was waiting on as well as finish up more stacks of paperwork. Stuff only a businessman of his status could do and not a hacker like Masa, no matter how brilliant he was.

Taka’s other reasoning for doing something so illegal, was also he simply did not have time to argue with his comrades or delegate tasks. Taka wanted to use Naoi’s celebrity status to get into a rich man’s party. Lord Yuzu his name was. A man of much higher social status than Taka himself. Naoi though he was a celebrity, had much higher moral values than Taka and hated the idea of his public face being used to sweet talk some rich guy into letting Taka investigate his palace.

Taka was used to his self-righteous comrade’s fussy nature and would trick him into doing what seemed like errands for things only found in that part of town, but was actually Taka placing his ally in places Naoi didn’t want to be at. Naori was always sent to make it seem more like an errand and less like a mission. If Taka had sent Naoi on his own, then Naoi would definitely know something is up. So Taka always sent Naori with him knowing the detective would attempt to deduce Taka had nothing high stakes going on as Naori was what you would call a “walking liability”.

Taka, being a businessman, knew about the art of taking risks and gambling, so he knew how to keep people like Naoi in 50-50 type situations such as this to always get what he wanted. It worked every time. As an added bonus, Naoi knew Taka was very busy. So Taka never had to worry about Naoi calling in to complain or ask for verification on a task if it was a set-up. Taka’s other comrade Naoi also knew Taka was busy and did not want to take chances angering their boss when their paychecks were at his mercy, and Taka took advantage of that assumption he knew they had.

Taka had used the “errand trick” on Naoi multiple times to send him to places Naoi would avoid for cases, such as a crime scene at a modeling agency. A place Naoi would normally avoid as to not be seen by the public’s eye. With the “errand trick” Naoi would be none the wiser.

“I’m in...”

Masaharu’s voice broke Taka out of his would-be slumber.

“What did you find?” Taka asked as he rushed over.

“You aren’t going to like this...”

Masa typed in some things in a small black window with green font and a bunch of strings of words and numbers appeared. Taka assumed this was one of many Masa’s hacking programs. Taka watched as Masa hit the enter key and the green text scrolled down at a speed too quick to read. Then the box closed itself out as if it had a mind of its own, and reopened with which appeared to be live news coverage Masa had either hacked into from a camera feed in the Server or a display TV over some building in the Server. Taka did not know. All he knew was Masa was probably inside something that was better left no questions asked.

Masa unplugged his headphones from his laptop so Taka could hear and they hit the desk Masa was seated at with a clatter. The laptop screen displayed a Japanese news reporter woman with the headline “Child Escaped From Insane Asylum?” To Taka’s dismay, his ally Naori was standing with a crowd of angry people around him and an oblivious smile plastered on his face.

“Zoom in.” Taka ordered.

Masa silently obeyed and zoomed into the chaos going on in the background. They saw a slim figure covering the camera view of their face with a hood and swaying a bit. Taka knew the nervous figure was Naoi, and was grateful for the detective’s quick wit to not be like a deer in a spotlight and to have enough sense to hide his face from the public eye. The feed Masa had hacked into ended there and he pulled up feed from several overhead and ground views.

Taka stood on the back of his heels with his arms crossed as he tried to figure out what he was seeing.

Masa had known Taka long and well enough to know this was the sound Taka’s heels made when he was crossing his arms and confused about something. That’s just how strong the two boys’ bond was. Without needing a question from Taka, Masaharu explained the screens, acting on his intuition of Taka’s mindset.

“These other cams we are seeing are Security Bots stationed all over the part of the city called “The Deep.” “The Deep? More like “Deep Water...” Masa joked as he watched his friends cause chaos on screen.

Taka facepalmed. “Please tell me those fools were not arrested...” Taka had already had a stressful day of filling out paperwork and answering phone calls for business meetings. His idiot friends getting in trouble with a city’s security detail was not what he needed.

“Negative...” Came the NEET’s silent reply.

Taka perked up and looked at the screen. He nearly pushed Masa over in the process of trying to get a better view.

“Ehhhhh!? How so!?” Taka was bewildered. He scanned all the screens and all he could see on the Security Bots surveillance feed through the stolen footage displayed on the screen was a bunch of “???” that flashed on the screen showing the robots were just as confused as Taka was.

Masaharu leaned back in his chair clearly amused by the circus and gave a cheeky smirk as he nibbled curiously on his head set. “Maybe it’s some stage trick Naoi picked up.”

(By guest writer SHSL Defective Detective#5682)

I'm writing a load of fiction. My latest story starts here... This is the index of all the stories...

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.


Pia ate half her sandwich and, feeling full, left the rest. She drank the iced water gratefully. The heat and sweat she had generated by running dissipated. She rootled around in her sacoche for her powder compact, to check how much damage her make-up might have taken. Pia strongly believed it was important always to be elegant. A girl could be elegant sitting at the window counter of an all-night diner, wearing sweaty running clothes. It was simply a matter of poise and presentation.

The mirror revealed less damage than she had feared. She restored her face with deft dabs of powder. By detective habit she used her situational awareness to glance around the joint with the aid of her mirror. This revealed a pair of odd-looking bois sitting in a booth in the bar area.

The bois were hiding their faces behind newspapers, but they had not integrated the fact that like many diners, the bar had a mirror on its back wall to allow the staff to keep an eye on the floor when they were engaged in tasks facing the other way. Pia was therefore able to observe the bois’ reflection in two mirrors, and see behind their newspaper wall while facing the opposite direction.

She had spent a lot of time in diners like this, and met some surprising members. Diners were like waystations, where members bound on all sorts of errands, devious, weird, horrific or mundane, met and mixed for a spell, and perhaps sparked some change in each others’ lives.

Pia knew she had seen the bois somewhere before, and quickly remembered the chocolate fan at the supermarket. It was the same boi. Although his face was hidden by his hoodie, the pockets of his odd clothes were still packed out with boxes and bars of chocolate.

*They will melt if he carries them too long in his pockets. His girlfriend will not be pleased. Or maybe she will be...*

She smiled at the memory of the uses that melted chocolate might be put to, and subtly caressed her bodice for just a moment, the kind of gesture a girl might make to check her bra was still correctly fitted after she had been running. Of course it was a Lululemon number, designed for running and it fitted perfectly. Pia’s svelte bust did not tend to disarrange very much from exercise anyway.

*We must always be elegant.*

Pia glanced at her wristwatch, noting that Moon was late. She was about to ring her up when she saw the girl detective striding purposefully down the channel. She stood with a smile, and waved. Moon waved back, and came into the diner. She took a stool next to Pia.

“Do you want something, Moon? I’ve got half a grilled cheese sandwich spare.”

“No thanks, I had a huge lunch with Chippy earlier. Wrap it and take it with you. We’ve got a job from Kou. We might be running around for a while.”

“These two lost bois. Have you got pics?”

Moon showed her the images Kou had provided.

“Oh, them. I’ve already found them. They’re sitting in a booth in the bar, hiding their faces behind newspapers.”

Moon was so astonished at this revelation, that she automatically swivelled to look directly at Naoi and Naori, who were struggling to keep their newspaper screens in place. She realised her error and swivelled back immediately.

“Good work, Pia! Here’s what we’ll do. You make as if you’re going to the powder room, but suddenly just sit down in the booth and block one of them’s escape. I’ll wait here and if the other one makes a break I’ll trip him up. If they’re sensible and sit quiet for a chat, I’ll join you and we’ll find out what they’re about.”

Moon pinged Chanmi and Janjan a message to come down to the diner, ASAP.

Pia smoothly executed her part of the plan. She got up and walked towards the ladies’s room, searching in her open sacoche, as if it contained some sort of feminine necessity, which of course it did, but in fact she was cocking her PSA-25BB. Suddenly she swerved and slotted in neatly next to an Abridged Detective, by luck Naoi, blocking him into his bench seat. Her warm body nuzzled right shoulder, hip and thigh against his chocolate packed clothes. Her fragrance, a mixture of fresh girl sweat and Creed Erolfa, a medium weight, warm citrus perfume, wafted over the two of them. She turned the full flirty force of her smile upon the bois.

“I’m sorry to drop in of a sudden like this, but my friend over there,” she nodded at Ms Moon Potato, “Fancies your friend,” she nodded at Naori, “And she’s too shy to say anything, so I’ve come to set up an introduction. My name’s Olympe Reese.”

She held out her right hand for a shake. Her left hand was full of tiny gat, hidden inside her sacoche.

“Is it okay if my friend comes and talks with you?”

I'm writing a load of fiction. My latest story starts here... This is the index of all the stories...

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

Naoi and Naori instantly recognized the woman’s name from the newspapers they were pretending to read earlier. It was the same detective woman on the front page.

Ordinarily Naoi would be excited and intrigued meeting a fellow detective. However his first thought due to a strong sense of duty, was to get this woman off him so her body heat would not melt the chocolates in his hoodie pockets he had yet to deliver to his ally.

Most teenage boys would be blushing and sweating like crazy being half buried by an attractive woman, but Naoi was an odd sort. Was it due to his career in acting, where he had played the role of a yandere romantic interest so many times human contact just didn’t phase him anymore? Or was it due to his job as a detective to not trust a pretty face, so as to avoid a trap? Naoi did not know and he didn’t care. All he knew was he wanted this woman off of him before the chocolates melted. He hated failing a task that much.

Naoi suffered from being socially awkward. His social skills were shot. He had no idea how to talk Olympe into getting off of him. Sure he could use some lines from a romance role he once played, however there was just one problem.....Naoi specialized in “dark” characters. The creepy kind. Yanderes, sinister detectives, killers, vampires, etc. The kind that could get the cops called on you if you attempted those kinds of lines in real life. Sure, Naoi could just use half the lines, and not use the lines of a whole role… however due to his poor social skills, he lacked the ability to filter his words. Which would lead to a very awkward conversation… Still he had to try.

Naoi sweated bullets and blushed like crazy, nervous about the very thought of initiating a conversation with a stranger on his own.

“U-um.. a-are all detectives around here this friendly...?” Naoi managed to squeak out.

Naori, as abridged as he was, became slightly embarrassed by his comrade’s inability to assert himself and facepalmed. He knew Naoi was desperately trying to get the woman off of him so her body heat wouldn’t melt their delivery, but Naoi had chickened out and went the “comedy role” route.

Naori removed his hand from his face, ready to bail Naoi out of his awkward situation with Naori’s own conversation. If it could even be called that.

Naori decided to turn on the ol Abridged charm. His eyes sparkling with excitement as he spoke. “OLYMPE REESE!? THE Olympe Reese!? From this newspaper article!?” Naori used one free hand to swipe up a newspaper, and show Olympe the page with her photo and the other MPY detectives on it. Naori then shot up from his seat and made his way around the table, creating the ruse he was a hyperactive fanboy. So when Naori grabbed her hand with enough force as he shook her hand, she would think nothing suspicious about it and not notice him eliminating Olympe’s human blockade over Naoi she had just made.

“So you are a detective too like us! Does that mean you are here to bail us out!? Or are you one of Taka’s connections that the boss-man himself planted us here to meet?” Naori said winking to Naoi who was lying on the bench seat in confusion, as Naori continued to energetically shake Olympe’s hand.

Naoi nodded to Naori from where he was laying down at, then quickly sat up and ripped off his hoodie. He placed his hoodie on the table as he reached in and emptied all its pockets of the chocolate contents inside, then reached into his soda glass and pulled out an ice cube trying his best to cool down the contents as he spread the ice like it was butter, all over the chocolate packages as he listened to Naori talk to Olympe.

Naoi began to daydream about all the neat cases he and his friends could solve together in such a high-tech city. For it was just like his murder mystery games he loved to play. They too took place in high-tech set-ups such as this city, with robots and the like.

*I wonder if they even have strange technologically advanced puzzles just like the mystery video games I’ve played!? Oh I’ve always dreamed of a moment like this!*

Completely absorbed in his puzzle solving fantasy, Naoi hadn’t noticed he was blushing and drooling like a depraved lunatic, as he often did when thinking about mysteries. For Naoi, mysteries were like literal brain food. He loved mysteries that much.

Thankfully Naori was close enough to kick his drooling comrade in the ankle while he kept his attention on Olympe so she wouldn’t notice the drooling oddity and be creeped out and run away. The kick was enough to shake him out of his dreamland and Naoi resumed feverishly scrubbing the chocolates with soda ice cubes.

Naori might be abridged, but even he knew how important first impressions were in front of such a big name. Also he took it upon himself to snap his friend into reality when he got that way in public. Naori didn’t want to risk his friend’s reputation being tarnished by his extreme passion for mysteries.

With the situation of a potential savior present, the atmosphere had become much more peaceful than before. Naori had eased up enough to smile and wave at Olympe’s partner. Then return his attention to Olympe.

“So are you and your friend our connection? You guys here to bail us out? What’s up?”

I'm writing a load of fiction. My latest story starts here... This is the index of all the stories...

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

Ms Moon Potato observed the bois’ bizarre antics from her post near the exit. Still, they weren’t making a break for it and Pia wasn’t in danger; her kung fu skills would enable her easily to evade Naori’s fanshake if she wanted to. Her smartphone already out, Moon dropped .uinfo and .waifuinfo @ the young detectives. The stats presented confirmed her suspicions.

The manic kid shaking with Pia dropped her hand to wave at Moon. She decided to join the scene, catching the waiter’s eye as she went over to the booth.

Moon’s personal authority was impressive. She looked tight and professional, a cool, hard-boiled shamus. She ushered Naori into the booth and sat down next to him, putting her handbag on the outside. The waiter came over.

“Would you bring a dish of ice, please? My guest’s candies are getting overheated. And I’ll have a cup of coffee and a chocolate praline donut.”

Moon and Olympe were well-known and popular customers in this diner, on account of their frequent visits and enthusiastic tipping. A large plateful of ice appeared quickly, allowing Naoi to cool his chocs, and Moon’s order. She took a sip of her coffee before she addressed the Abridged Detectives.

“Naoi, Naori…” She pointed at them in turn, to identify them for Olympe. “My name is Moon Potato. I’m a kuudere detective. The case I’m on right now is to find you two and sort you out. If you haven’t heard of Mistress Kou, she’s the ruler of The Server, and she wants me to make sure you are okay, because you seemed to be getting into difficulty earlier.”

Moon took a bite of chocolate donut. She reflected that Chanmi was right, chocolate was an essential brain food.

“Your problem is that you’re n00bs. You don’t know what’s going on and how things work round here. But that’s okay, everyone starts as a n00b. Even Olympe was a n00b once, and she’s turned out alright.”

Pia was ambivalent about that, her current personal circumstances were in some ways actually quite disturbing, but she made no sign. She took the line feed from Moon and continued the point.

“Yes, I was a n00b once. The way I learned was from other members. That’s how things work in The Server. There isn’t a big manual for how to behave. The basic rule is to be excellent to one another. Beyond that, you can do more or less what you like, but the best thing is to learn from the older members, who’ve got more XP. That’s what I did.”

A black clad figure entered the diner. It was a smollish girl wearing black corduroys, combat boots and a heavy black nylon kind of jacket. On the breast pocket was a strip of letters in reflective white. It read TSPD. The girl had a scarlet beret on her head and mirrorshades perched over her bangs. She took a stool at the window counter next to the exit. As she turned her back, the letters OFFICIAL were revealed. She got out a smartphone and began to fiddle with it.

Moon addressed the two Abridged Detectives. “You bois think we’re here to help you and that’s actually right, by some kind of luck. Meet us in 10 minutes and we’ll have a proper talk in a private place. If you’re really detectives, you’ll find us easy enough.”

She laid a handful of Coins on the table and walked smoothly out of the diner, followed by Olympe, who made her piece safe as she went. They cruised a quick path around the corner and out of sight. Once they were sure they weren’t being followed, they strode down a couple of channels and gained the sanctuary of the MPY Kuudere Detective Agency Office.

I'm writing a load of fiction. My latest story starts here... This is the index of all the stories...

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

The MPY office was on the first floor (second if you’re American) of a typical, slightly run-down office block in The Deep. Beside the door was an entryphone listing the businesses in the building, and a pad for keycard entry by employees. Through the glass doors the visitor could see a concierge desk in the lobby, but no-one was ever there. Yancey had chosen this location when he expanded the agency during the Case of the Call of Cthulhu, partly because it had a seedy ambience which supported a hard-boiled Aspect.

Moon unlocked their office door and they went in. The four detectives’ desks, arranged with two facing the door and the other two at right angles facing each other, made three sides of a kind of lobby-cum-consulting area. Some chairs for visitors were standing there, a bit untidy. Pia was the most fanatic about cleaning up and she had been away for a few days, busy in her affair with Dari. She began to set things to rights.

Moon sat at her desk and surveyed the old-fashioned equipment, the chonky Corona typewriter, the Bakelite dial telephone and Rolodex. All the desks had these analogue items on them, partly because it was hard-boiled, but also because it made computer intrusion impossible, a lesson they had learned during the Zombot Apocalypse. Everything the Kuudere Detectives did was done the hard way, using paper. Even their cameras were Leica rangefinders, loaded with gritty Kodak Tri-X 400ASA. The film had to be sent away to a lab for processing.

Chanmi maintained the security of her Sandbenders and the team’s smartphones. She was assisted in this by Taek_00000101. Together they had re-written the already self-customised OS in alien Base-8 code, and installed a variety of Intrusion Countermeasures Electronics -- and some handy ICE-breakers -- on everyone’s phones.

Of course none of this would be of any use against Mistress Kou, whose Admin rights could bypass anything in The Server, to the point where she could reconfigure reality if she wished, and simply create copies of their paper records. But Kou was ruled by her own stern ethical code. Her interventions were extremely rare. She always preferred problems to be solved by the members themselves, using social intelligence and the gentle assistance of the Mods.

Moon took a half-pint of rye from a drawer and poured herself a finger. She got a jug of tap water and diluted the whiskey, not wanting to get drunk.

“Do you think they’ll find us?” she asked the blonde detective, who had by now got everything neatened to her taste. Pia sat at her desk, which was to the left of Moon’s, with Chanmi’s on her left opposite Janjan’s.

“Yes, and I am interested to see how they do it. Chanmi would use her Bayesian Theory to calculate the highest probability of our whereabouts. You and Janjan would try to tail us, but we weren’t tailed. Those bois might have put a bug on us. ”

“How would you do it, Pia?”

“Look in the phone book. It’s not like we’re a secret. Listen, before they get here I need to grab a quick shower.”

“No, there isn’t time. I don’t want you walking around half-naked in front of two teenage bois.” She knew Pia would do this if she got a chance, either deliberately through her flirtatiousness, or simply because she wasn't very bothered about semi-private nudity.

“Is that how young they are?”

“Yes, so just get yourself a drink and sit down.”

Pia had a policy not to take as a lover anyone under 20 years old. *Plus I’ve got Dari now* she thought, although she hadn’t. She went into the little kitchenette and mixed herself a gin and ginger ale with some ice cubes. She sat at her desk, and disassembled and reassembled her PSA-25BB as a way of passing the time.

The two girl detectives sat and waited to see if the Japanese bois would turn up.

I'm writing a load of fiction. My latest story starts here... This is the index of all the stories...

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