Motive Unknown - Information Breakdown

Episode 3 March 04, 2023 00:15:30
Motive Unknown - Information Breakdown
Motive Unknown
Motive Unknown - Information Breakdown

Mar 04 2023 | 00:15:30

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Show Notes

Derek Reyne continues his quest against this mysterious killer through the streets of Etherax, now turning to old friend Ocularis, an information broker and professional knower of everything. However, while meeting with her assistant Optic, Reyne learns that there are eventualities he hadn't even considered.

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Episode Transcript

Reyne: Well William, we have another fun field trip in for us today. I got a message from Ocularis’s office earlier, asking me to come down. Said it was urgent and case related. Given that she knows everything and anything that happens in this city, I can only hope it's useful. I’ll make sure to get a record. Let’s go see what we’ve got. Optic: Oh thank god you’re here Reyne, quick, come in, come in. Reyne: Good to see you too Optic. So, where’s Ocularis? She said she had something important? Oh also, for the sake of honesty, I am recording this conversation for personal record keeping, that ok? Optic: Recording? Yeah, yeah, whatever, just keep it personal, I trust you. But, so, well, the thing about that message…Ocularis didn’t send it. I sent that. Reyne: Oh? Well then, why did you send it? Optic: Well, the short of it is…Ocularis is dead. And I think it’s the killer you’re tracking. Reyne: Fuck. Who else knows? When did it happen? Where did it happen? I need all the information you can give me right now. Optic: First off, I believe just you and I know. I’ve been handling her communications as if I was her, and since most people don’t even know what she looks like, I think I’ve kept it under wraps pretty well. As for how and where and all that: I was walking here last night, I had forgotten something and was coming back to get it. I was cutting through the alley, y’know off of Allen street, when I found her, throat cut. I brought her inside, I’ve kept her on ice since. No police involvement, no outside anything, haven’t touched the body. Already scanned cameras and id near the area, nothing coming up. I just…I wasn’t ready for this Reyne. I honestly didn’t even know if I should tell you, but I knew you were looking into this and I just…fuck. Reyne: No way you could’ve been Optic, it’s fine. And you’ve done well. The more you can make people believe that nothing has changed at all, the better position you’re in. Most people never met Ocularis in person, and most of the ones who aren’t me are dead. But now, let’s get to the more immediate issue. Take me to the body. Optic: Alright, it’s back here. I’ve already done a quick check on it. Still has her wallet, keys, the jacked ID card, nothing seems to have been taken. Other than the cut on her throat I can’t see any other wounds either. Must’ve gotten taken by surprise. Reyne: Just like everyone else. Though, she would’ve been a lot harder to jump. Ok, let’s see…wallet, keys, card…body seems relatively undisturbed…Looks like you got it right. Ok, lets see what we’ve got in the wallet…some money, guess that’s yours now if it’s anyones…ok, looks like she had some business cards on her, clients maybe? I’ve got John Reynolds from Penera Corporation, a Securitech Operator named Patrick Smith, the Blue Sky Group from the 4th district…any of these names ringing bells? They all sound familiar? Optic: I can run them through the system and see how they come up. She rarely referred to clients by name, usually just by number or the subject matter. Figured if only she knew who she was trading with, only she would be able to spill. Reyne: That’s the paranoid Ocularis I knew. Ok, run them through, and see what comes up. In the meantime, was she acting strange anytime recently? Any deals gone bad, anyone that might have known who she was to specifically target her? Optic: If anyone had discovered it, she didn’t know it. The only people we have on file as knowing who she is and where to find her are you and Jess Langstrom from the Red Skulls, with the caveat that Jess may have been too drunk to actually realize it. Everyone else who did know at one point is dead. I already checked on Jess, she’s still down in District 3, and hasn’t been up this way in a while. Ocularis hadn’t mentioned any new security breaches. Reynes: And no deals gone bad? Nothing of note within the info trade recently? Optic: Business as usual. Most interesting thing was your request looking into these murders, and now it just got a whole lot more…interesting I suppose. Also, info is coming back on those business cards. All of them seem pretty standard. John Reynolds is an upper management at Penera, primarily works in research and development, and is currently planning to divorce his wife for his mistress who’s 20 years younger. The Blue Sky Group is an underground corporate alliance between some disgruntled Raylir employees and members of Cydinar. Apparently they have plans to clear out some of the higher ups, though I don’t fancy their chances. And Smith is a Securitech technician, seems to mostly work with the ID database, and is based out of this district. Reyne: Hmmm…I guess keep an eye on those three to see if anything else comes up, but I’m not expecting much. Before Ocularis was killed had you found anything else to help with the case? Any other information? Optic: Nothing that you didn’t already know. For each murder, any nearby security cameras would glitch out and ID location services would start to go haywire right around the time of the murder and for a fair bit after. There were no records, open or otherwise, of hits out against any of the victims at the time of their death. As you suggested originally, these are seemingly random, with any motive being intensely personal. Reyne: Yeah, I suppose I shouldn’t have expected much more. The police still only have the records for Terik, Jane, and Cynthia S right? Nothing on Jet-Fire? Optic: Correct. Quite frankly, the file on Debrah Jane isn’t exactly full either, just contains a basic autopsy report. Terik and Cynthia are the only two that have full reports filed. Of course, those are also the two you were lead investigator for. Reyne: Well that tracks. And there’s no commonality among any of the cases aside from cause of death and location that I missed? None of those names that Ocularis had are connected to the others in any way? Optic: Not in any way that I’ve noticed, but I can check again. No offense, but Ocularis had kind of put your case on the backburner for a little bit, we had some more pressing issues that had come up since your last visit. Now that she’s…well, no longer with us, I think she’ll understand if I put this front and center for now. Reyne: Frankly, she’d probably ask you to still focus on the financial side of things knowing her, but as you said, she’s dead, and I think we’d both like to find out who did it. While I’m sure you could get them easily on your own, I’m gonna give you the communication info for two of the people helping me out. One of them, Risk, is a gang leader in the Gray Hands, and the other, Jane Lorenz, used to work for Cynthia S. Oh also, according to Risk, my name is Cloud. Optic: Rain cloud? Really? Of all the…y’know what, I’m not gonna judge. But ok, I’ll get them fully looped in and see if they can help in any way, start looking for links we may have missed, connections to people from the past. If I get anything, I’ll send it to you. But uh…what should we do about Ocularis? I don’t know if I want to keep a corpse here forever. Reyne: I’ll take care of Ocularis. There’s plenty of burial services that don’t ask too many questions if you give them enough money, and I think she’d prefer most people not even realizing she was dead. I’m sure she’d think it was funny. I’ll be around later to collect the body, I’m not exactly geared up for disposal right now. Optic: Alright, alright…I really have to be Ocularis now don’t I? Most people don’t even realize there was an optic… Reyne: You’ll do great kid. Just stay calm, keep things organized, and if you need anything, let me know. It’s been a while, but I’ve still got a pretty good idea of how she would keep her things sorted. Optic: Thank you, Detective. Oh and…one more thing. She never told me but now that she’s gone it feels wrong to not know…did you know her name? Reyne: …Sophie. Her name was Sophie. I’ll see you later. Reyne: I was friends with Sophie Bestat well before I was Detective Derek Reyne or she was Ocularis, Information Broker extraordinaire. Met when we were 14, we went to the same School. It was a shithouse, one of the few Gov sponsored schools left in the area by that point, but we loved it. This was back when we still had hope, before I had started using anything, back when the world was still something to be changed and made better. She was an only child, and I only had my older brother, Aidan, so we might as well have been siblings. My mom certainly viewed her that way. Always asked if Sophie was coming for dinner. I’m pretty sure she made it to her and Aidan’s funeral. More than I can say for myself. It was when I first went into the force, at 23, that she started working with information trading. She had always been good with computers and network stuff, and had a habit of getting into databases she wasn’t supposed to get into. Even in school, she always seemed to know things about other students and the professors and even the administrators. At one point she even programmed the intercom to read the principal's personal journal to the whole school. I never knew a man could turn that red. We both had hope when we first started out. I’ve already told you about my dreams to improve the world and what happened to them. Sophie went through a bit of a different…evolution as it were. Back when she started, she primarily worked with an older broker, guy who went by the name of Rook. Only ever met him once, but he seemed a decent sort. She met him after she hacked his profile on some weird 6th dimensional chess game she used to play online. That’s one I truly never understood, and I really tried. He was impressed, and took her under his wing. Rook was a bit more pragmatic, had a lot less of the “I can change the world with my work!” ideals, focused more and making sure him and his were taken care of. They worked together for a while, primarily working as corporate espionage type hackers, trading information between offices, that kind of stuff. It was all very tight, very controlled. She was going by the name Knight at the time. She liked the chess theme. About a year into this…apprenticeship as it were, Rook was killed. I remember when they brought the case in. The official answer was that he got caught in the street by a rogue Blue Hand enforcer, but Sophie didn’t believe that. Frankly, I didn’t either, but there was only so much I could do. It was about this time that I was getting all of the idealism beaten out of me on the daily so…I wasn’t much help. She went on the warpath though. She was in every street camera feed, every ID database, just waltzing into the confidential reports of corporations as if they were simply publicly accessible records. Within a week she had the name and address of the person who actually killed him and the people who ordered the hit. As it turned out, it was a combination of angry corporate managers who had banded together against him, thought he had too much power. And suddenly all of their information was getting leaked to various rivals and dangerous hitmen. It was a beautiful crossfire that she just sat back and watched. And so, Ocularis was born. Still active in the Information trade sure, but operating behind so many levels of security and fake identities that you weren’t even sure who you were contacting. To a lot of people, Ocularis was a network, a collection of people whose only goal was to make money by facilitating information trade. She worked with the corps, the gangs, any number of individual actors, if you wanted info, she could find it. Generally if people figured out who she was, they were killed pretty shortly after, be it by her or someone else. Langstrom is only alive because Sophie had feelings for her and she was super drunk when she found out, so who knows if she even remembers. Sophie and I kept in touch anyway, so it was only a matter of time before I found out. Helped to have someone to confide in, though over the past year or two we…well we didn’t see each other nearly as much. From what I know, her pattern as Ocularis has been to try and control the corps by pitting them against each other in as many ways as possible without them realizing it. She wasn’t a street level activist like Cyndi S was, she was a puppet master pulling strings. She did her best to keep all these major forces focused on eachother, slowly eating away, and kept their focus off the people below. Wasn’t always the most effective, and I have a mind to think it was just a little vindictive, though no judgment there, but it certainly had some great moments. More than a few horrific corporate projects were ended by her meddling. And now she’s dead. Out of nowhere. Whether they know it or not, this killer has taken out two of the strongest fighters against the corporate tyranny we live under, and my guess is they don’t know it. These are just two casualties on some sick quest they’re on, and none of it even matters to them. They just want to kill for…for what? I still can’t understand it. It’s like they’re killing just for the sake of killing, just because they can. Like they get some sort of enjoyment out of it, like this is to them what playing video games is to someone else. How do you track someone like that? How can you find someone who’s only motive is the kill? I can tell you they certainly don’t have a pattern here. Two men, three women, various races, various classes, different factions, people that will be missed, people that won’t be missed, there’s no rhyme or reason to any of it. Having Optic focused on the case might help a lot though. She’s no Sophie, but she’s damn good. Sophie brought her on maybe three years into her Ocularis campaign. She was orphaned at 15 in one of the cross-corporate strikes Sophie helped organize and I guess she felt a little responsible for her. When she found out she was a prime cybertech operator, she offered to take her in as an assistant on her work, and they’ve been a duo to be feared ever since. Well…guess they’re not a duo anymore. But she’s damn talented and will hopefully be able to help. Something about those names on the cards though… Reynolds, Smith, Bluesky…there’s something familiar there, like I’ve seen one of them before. I mean, I see a lot of names and a lot of cards in databases, so I can’t say off the top of my head but…maybe there’s something. I’ll have to see what Optic can dig up…maybe I’ll ask Risk and Lorenz too, see if they remember anything. At the least I should give them the heads up about Optic having their numbers now. Hope it goes through on Risk’s communicator…he was all secrecy like…eh I’m sure Optic will get it done. I know Jet-Fire at least had some cards on him. Maybe one of them was also asking Ocularis for information and is one of these people. Could at least be a lead. I’ll have to see once all these parts start coming together. In the meantime…I should probably start planning a funeral for Sophie. Even if we want to keep the Ocularis myth alive…she deserves a proper burial. I’ll have to see if her mom is still around. I haven’t checked on her in a while…it would be good to reconnect I think. Well…say hi to Aidan and Mom for me Sophie. Tell them I love them, and I still think about them. And I swear, I’ll do right by you and figure this out. Love you Soph.

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