The MPY Kuudere Detective Agency
Yancy completed the quest for the Moon. He returned home and resumed his Waifuly duties.
But success did not come in the Casino. Saki had not forgiven him. Yancy had to think of a new plan to restore the Imperial House.
Yancy thought for several days, gradually accumulating coins from random pickups and his daily .timely. Yancy whiled away hours reading Dashiell Hammett novels and watching hard-boiled black-and-white Bogart flicks.
“What this server needs is a detective agency!” Yancy thought.
Yancy went to his Husbando, the Princess Onecornchippy. He explained his idea, and begged for a loan of 1,000 NP to start up his agency.
The Casino isn’t working for you Yancy, so you have to do something. I will loan you the 1,000 NP, but you must promise me, not to do anything dangerous.
“Hey Doll”, said Yancy, who was starting to assume the aspect of the private detective, “Last week me and the Wolf Goddess jumped off the edge of the world, and you’re telling me not to do anything dangerous?”
The Princess could see that Yancy would not be turned from this path. Besides, a wimp Waifu was no use to the heir apparent of the Frog Throne. She loaned him the NP and hoped for the best.
Yancy hired a small office on the upper-west side of The Deep, where members go because they have troubles. Members with troubles need someone to talk to. Members with troubles need solutions. He installed a pair of desks with green shade lights and dial phones. Yancy added a trench coat and a snap brim hat to his aspect.
“What I need now is a partner. No self-respecting shamus operates without a partner. You gotta look out for each other. You gotta have someone to watch your back.”
Yancy thought about who he could team up with. “A lot of these channel kids are too young. I need someone with moxie.” Then he thought of his old gambling buddy Moon Potato. She was a moll with moxie alright!
Yancy called up Moon Potato. “Meet me at the Scarlet Cathedral. I got something to put to you.”
Moon Potato and Yancy met at the entrance to the Cathedral and went in to an empty confession booth.
“Listen, Moon, you got moxie out the wazoo. You know how to roll the bones. You know when to double down and when to quit. You remember your debts and you pay them. Come and join my detective agency and be my partner. You can have first billing on the door, and 50% of all the profits. What do you say?”
“What’re we calling the agency, Yancy?”
“The Moon Potato-Yancy Kuudere Detective Agency.”
“Why’s it Kuudere, Yancy?”
“Because we’re gonna provide justice for all the members who've had wrong done to them in the channels. At 100 clams an hour plus expenses, of course.”
“Do I get a gat?”
“It’s obligatory, to get the full aspect.”
Moon put a cigarette in her mouth but did not light it.
“Copacetic. Count me in.”
Yancy took Moon to the office. He had the new name painted on the door. He got a half-pint of rye whiskey and two glasses out of his desk.
“Here, Moon, let’s toast our partnership.”
They clinked their glasses. They drank the rye, and felt it burn down their throats and set alight their stomachs. They assumed the full aspect of the hard-boiled gumshoe.
Moon pulled a neat chrome-silver 0.32 Beretta auto from her purse, clicked out the magazine and checked the slide. Yancy took a dull blue snub nose 0.38 Colt from his desk drawer and span the ammo chamber. Six shiny slugs slept in the cylinder.
“Moon, we got these for our protection, right? But I never want to use them if I can help it.”
Yancy had a flyer printed up and hired some n00b members to distribute them around the server. Together they waited for the phone to ring.
It took a few days but business started to pick up. At first, mundane cases; missing pets and lost wallets.
Moon and Yancy worked the channels. They pounded the streets and built up contacts as fast as they wore out shoe leather.
The cases got bigger and badder and sadder; insurance frauds, runaway Waifus, cheating Husbandos.
Moon and Yancy didn’t complain. Their profits grew. They didn’t have to pull their pieces. Not much violence was involved. A lot of it was paperwork and bribes. Moon worked the chat ups and the sweet talk. Yancy took care of the rough stuff when necessary.
One day a different kind of client came to the office. A Mod.
She wore a fancy hat and a veil to hide her face. She never said she was a Mod but you could tell. Mods have got that bearing, an air of easy authority.
“You don’t need to know my real name. Call me Ensky. I’m here for someone else. Someone pretty high up.”
“Please sit down, Miss Ensky, and tell us the problem.”
“The problem is, counterfeit spuds.”
“Yes. Someone is counterfeiting spuds and selling them to unsuspecting members. Sometimes as whole spuds, and sometimes as chips. The members give the spuds to their friends, and things go bad half the time. People are poisoned. Some have gone blind! It’s got to be stopped.”
“Why can’t the Mods stop it, Miss Ensky?”
“Good question, Miss Potato. The fact is, all this contraband is being moved through NSFW. The Mods can’t be seen down there. Bad for their profiles.”
“Yancy, you used to hang out in NSFW. What’s the lie of the land?”
“I used to go for the Catgirls, but I’ve never gone there for a long time.”
“You see this mark?”
Yancy pointed to his ear. It had a crescent shaped scar, a bite, not human, not animal, something in between. A spark of mana flickered along the line of the scar as he rubbed it.
“That’s the mark of Holo. Holo has a hold on me. And Holo, she don’t get on with Catgirls so well. If Holo caught the scent of a Catgirl on me? Goodnight Vienna. I steer clear of NSFW nowadays.”
“Miss Ensky, I don’t reckon we can take this case.”
“Miss Potato, you’ve got to take the case. Members are getting cheated. Their gifts are going wrong and hurting people. We’ve got to put a stop to these bad spuds. You’re the only detectives in the server. No-one else can help.”
“Since you put it that way, we’ll work it for a couple of days, at double rate for the hazard, and see what we can turn up.”
“Thank you. I’ll give you half in advance.”
“Ensky” dropped a bag of clams on the desk and left.
“I don’t like it, Moon.”
“We’ve got to do it, Yancy. We’re Kuudere or we’re nothing. Besides, aren’t you working this caper to restore the fortunes of the Imperial House?”
“What’s Princess Onecornchippy gonna say if you wimp out on her now?”
“Alright. I’ll do it. But this could be real dangerous. We better pack heat.”
Moon took a couple of boxes of spare cartridges out of the desk drawer. Yancy put a box of bullets in a coat pocket. Moon filled a pair of spare magazines and stowed them in her purse.
Yancy took a set of brass knuckles, and a cosh as well. Moon had a mean pair of stiletto heels.
“Let’s bring it.”
They took the downtown trolleybus to the NSFW stop.
“Listen Moon, you gotta be careful in there. There's some stuff which once you've seen it, it takes a lot to forget. Goatse, Tubgirl, and Lemonparty are not a kind of magic. So take care. I got you into this and I wanna get you out okay.”
“I got me into this, Yancy. We're equal partners and I'm sticking right with you.“
“That's the spirit!”
They both dropped .iam NSFW and went in.
Moon and Yancy split up to double their search coverage. For a few hours they roamed the zone, seeing all kinds of stuff, some of it fun and some of it gross. They talked to any of the visitors who didn't sneak off as soon as they were approached. Eventually they both reached the entrance to the Catgirl Sanctuary.
“I don’t like to say this but I think the place we need to go is right in there, Yancy.”
“I reckon you’re right on the money with that, Moon. Well, a deal is a deal.”
They checked their heaters and knocked on the door. A small window opened, with a big thug behind it.
“Word is we can get the right stuff here.”
The thug looked at them like a dead fish. Then he opened the door. They were admitted to the speakeasy.
In the lobby was a selection of What The Butler Saw machines, pretty tame retro stuff. Yancy went straight for the main bar, where there was a cabaret stage with three Catgirl fan dancers, and a lot of customers at tables, chowing down on baked spuds or chips, and drinking cocktails.
“Three fingers of rye fer me, and a dry Martini for the babe.”
“Here’s a bowl of chips, compliments of the house.”
The barman slid the chips over alongside the drinks.
Yancy took a handful.
“What's this stuff? It’s rank.”
“That’s the best, mac, you won’t get better anywhere in the server.”
Quick as a snake, Yancy threw his rye in the barman's eyes.
“Whadda ya doing, Yancy?”
“Take a look, Moon. Most of the customers're bots. This place is a setup.”
The barman came back up with a shotgun, a sawn-off pump job.
Yancy grabbed the muzzle and shoved it up. The rod blew off, blasting plaster out of the ceiling. The Catgirls shrieked and wailed.
He jumped across the bar, landing on the gunman, and smashed a brass knuckled fist into the mook's head.
“Get with it, Moon, we got the game on!”
Behind the bar were two shotguns, a baseball bat, and a box of ammo.
“Thanks for the guns, ya boob.”
Yancy gave the limp body a good kick. A line of battle poetry came into his head:
“When I’m called off, I got a sawed off,
“Squeeze the trigger and bodies are hauled off.”
Security got in the game, lumbering up to tackle Moon Potato from behind. A pile of muscles in a tight T shirt, he grabbed Moon around the chest and put a hand on her mouth. Big mistake.
Moon opened her mouth, inhaled a finger and bit down hard. At the same time, she stamped her kitten heel on the thug’s foot.
He shrieked and tried to pull his hand away. Half a digit stuck in Moon’s mouth. Blood sprayed.
“Way to go Moon! You’re channelling Holo.”
Moon stamped her other heel on his other foot. Her first heel broke off, pinning Security’s foot to the floor. She jumped away, turned and punted the mook in the crotch.
A high shriek and Security fell to the floor.
A shot from somewhere in the crowd.
“Get over here Moon!”
Yancy gave a hand and helped haul Moon over the bar. He handed her a heater.
“Moon, there are times when it’s better to fill the air with bullets than actually hit anything. Ready?”
The pair of them racked their shotguns and opened up, spraying pellets all over the room. Bots fizzed and crackled as the hot lead seethed through them. The Catgirls had made themselves scarce.
“Keep it up, Moon, I’m going to call for help.”
There was a big Bakelite phone at the end of the bad. Yancy grabbed the receiver and began dialling laboriously.
Tick tick tick, Tick tick tick tick tick, Tick tick, Tick tick tick tick… It took ages to dial.
Moon screamed, “I’m hit!”
The line connected. Yancy took a couple of seconds to spray the room with his 38.
“Yancy? Is that you, Waifu? What’s happening?”
“Listen Princess, me and Moon are pinned down in the Catgirl Sanctuary. They’re beginning to mobilise the bots against us. We need help as soon as yesterday! Moon’s been hit.”
“Is it bad?”
“There ain’t a good way to take a slug, doll!”
“Waifu!! I’m with you! Just hang on.”
Onecornchippy was short of money, but she had plenty of friends in the server. When the gak hits the fan, friends are worth a lot more than clams.
The Princess made a call, and another call. The people she called made more calls. Inside minutes, half the active members in the channels began to converge on NSFW.
The youngsters and the Pure stayed outside, covering the exits. The Princess led the rest of them inside, carrying whatever weapons they could find.
Meanwhile Moon bled. Yancy grabbed a bar cloth, soaked it in gin and pressed it to her arm.
“Sorry babe, it’s medicinal.”
Yancy tried to reload a shotgun with one hand while taking pot shots with his revolver in the other. It wasn’t easy.
Yancy wanted to vault the bar and lay into the crowd with his fists and the baseball bat. But he knew this was the power of Holo in his blood. More subtlety was needed.
“Moon, can you move?”
“Yes, if you help me.”
The pair of them crawled to the trap door to the bar cellar, and dropped down.
“We’ll be okay here unless they’ve got a hand grenade.”
A frightened Catgirl cowered among the racks of bottles and tubs of spuds.
“Don’t worry, babe. We’re here for the bad guys. Not you girls.”
Yancy tied a bandage on Moon’s arm.
“You’re gonna be alright, Moon. Can you lift this pistol?”
“Yes, I’m okay.”
“Cover the trap while I reload.”
There were shrieks and screams upstairs. The Princess and her buddies thrashed their way through the crowd of bots using whatever weapons they had. One tall girl laid about her with a cricket bat with a half-brick nailed to it, and dealt great scathe.
The noise level went down as the bots were subdued, and the few human crooks were captured.
Onecornchippy’s voice came down the trap into the cellar. Yancy was never so glad to hear it as right then.
“We’re here, Husbando. We’re alright. Moon is hit in the arm but we’ve stopped the bleeding.”
Given the general situation, the Mods thought it was okay for them to intervene. Kou reset the whole of NSFW while the mess was sorted out.
The Princess and her friends got Moon to safety and had her wound treated. Yancy and the Catgirl were brought out, separately. Three humans were captured, with various wounds.
The next day, “Ensky” held a meeting at the Frog Palace.
“Miss Moon and Mr Yancy, you caused a lot of trouble.”
“But you done good. We got enough evidence to close down the spud smugglers’ whole operation. What do you want for your reward?”
“You’ve already paid us, Miss Ensky,” Moon said. “We’re Kuudere. We don’t work just for clams.”
“Alright then. We’ll draw a line under this whole thing. Kou is going to reconfigure NSFW like it never happened. You can go back to your runaway Waifus and cheating Husbandos.”
“What do you think, Moon?”
“I think I need a weekend off.”