Part 4: Episode 4: Hit the Bricks
Go team indeed! This one's a little longer than usual...really trying to make progress quickly.
Episode 4: Hit the Bricks
When I finally came to, the old man was still hovering over me.
Meet Grumpos. (video) / Backup
Summary: Boots wakes up with Grumpos hanging over him, denouncing him as a thief. Boots says that he's just looking for a job and Deanamo sent him. Grumpos goes off onto a tirade about how Deanamo wasn't going to get any money from him, she wasn't paid to fail. Boots says that he's not here to collect for Deanamo, but to finish her job. Grumpos doubts boots, but is eventually harassed into allowing Boots to prove himself. The task will be to find a size 5 NoxGuard helmet and bring it back. Undaunted our hero hits the Bricks to find the laughably small headgear.
Another TACO. Small consolation for getting caned by an old man.
Back inside the apartment, I picked up his MysTech Museum Membership Card. Maybe I can find some clues on why he's so obsessed with the rocks.
I hadn't forgotten about Marina. I'd run back to Rowdy's to warn her and pick up some protection at Zordo's Gun Palace on the way back, assuming they had cleaned up the mess where the gravpath malfunctioned.
Two of the junkyard 20 gang attacked me outside of Ghalla's again. I was ready for them and dispatched them to the next life with no difficulty.
Note: I won't be reporting much on combat, since it simply isn't worth it.
I ran into Maria Black and told her where Langer lived, for a price of 50 loonies, of course. He was long gone, and I had no problem exploiting the little murderer.
NoxGuard: People like to blame the problems on Detta. He's an easy target. But the real cause of the trouble around here is those Brebulans. It's a good thing only NoxGuards are equipped with linguinators. If people heard how Brebulans talked, they would riot. They're a worthless race of vile, corrupt, liars. I haven't met an honest one in my two years patrolling The Bricks.
Add racism to the list of common NoxGuard traits.
NoxGuard: We're gonna have ourselves a little miscreant round-up soon. If you can take a picture of five different Brebulans in The Bricks, I'll give you 100 loonies a head. And make sure you fit their whole bodies in the frame so we can see their toe prints.
500 loonies is a decent sum. I knew that the Brebulans I photographed would probably end up being beaten, but the money was tempting.
As Expected, the disturbance relating to the gravpath had been cleaned up. So it was time to head to Zordo's.
Me: Sure I've got a few minutes.
I was starting to feel a little less sorry for myself today after this.
Another random guy off the street wanted to talk to me. I was in something of a hurry, so I told him to make it quick.
Spopp: Detta's got a secret army of plainsclothesmen lurking the Bricks. We call 'em 'janglers'. They report on any potential enemies of the family. You never know when you're talking to a jangler. It could be anyone. They're just regular people like you and me. There are even rumors of child janglers who roam the playgrounds, turning in their own five year-old classmates. No one is safe.
Janglers? I prodded him for more information. I felt a little queasy thinking that there could already be janglers inside Rowdy's that are after Marina.
Spopp: You're one of them, aren't you? You're a jangler. Why else would you keep talking to me? This is the fourth time you've engaged me in conversation. Who would do that who didn't have an agenda? Beat it, jangler. I ain't giving you any more information to file in your report on me. Just leave my begonias alone, that's all I ask. You mess with 'em and you make it personal between us, understand?
Imagine my surprise when I ran into Yerocan on the way to Zordo's. Gotta give the kid some credit for staying alive this long.
[i]Yerocan: Did anyone follow you down here? One of Detta's spies is ghosting me. I think I lost him in Fountain Spiral. Listen, you gotta warn Marina. Tell her Detta knows she's the biggest fish in the Resistance. He's stepping up the war effort, and all the NoxGuards on his payroll are under orders to catch her butt quick. I know you're not in the habit of helping the Resistance, but... Can you get these blueprints to Marina? They're very important.
He shoved the blueprints at me. I was already involved in this thing from the moment I lied to the NoxGuard. I stuffed the blueprints into a pocket and moved onward to Zordo's.
I couldn't help but notice this man outside of Zordo's who was transfixed on the working Bipidri.
Major dough? Red Bipidri? You're on.
Bippies at work(video). / Backup
Summary: Bipidri are repairing a part of a building. A gas leak sends a stream of green gas out of a pipe. One of the bipirdi huffs it and inflates. He floats upward until another bipidri shoots a flare at him to deflate him, and then pumps is 2-d body back to the 3rd dimension a la looney tunes. It's just one of the (many) things going on in the world that can make you chuckle.
I took a picture of one of the Brebulans the NoxGuard wanted.
A man on the street corner was fidgetting nervously.
After going to Whackmaster's I'd love to see him try.
Outside of Zordo's I ran into an old...acquaintance, Kiki Domino, hard at work.
Kiki: Hey, lover boy. What's hanging?
Me: Just the usual bits. How's business?
Kiki: Poundin' the pavement, same as every day. Detta's swiping an extra five percent from his girls. I'd hook up with someone else, but he'd have my throat slit by morning. You know you can't hang around when I'm working, Boots. You're bad for business.
Ouch. Fatima was floating away down the path anyway. She always was the jealous type.
Whatever, I'm just here for some guns.
Herman: I'm gonna buy a really big gun. Then I'm gonna kill everyone. Just you watch. What you don't believe me? I hope you're there. I hope you're there when I snap.
Kill ya! Ha! Not yet....
Taking Jack's teachings to heart, I bought a pre-owned shieldcell and a few healgreases. Unfortunately Zordo didn't have any big guns for me to buy.
Note: For whatever reason I can't take screenshots on the buying screen.
There was something hanging up there above the exit to Zordo's. Looked expensive, but there was no way to reach it.
Anyway, back to Rowdy's. An old fan greeted me on the way back.
Yeah, that was me. I was shocked that he could actually recognize me. I miss that car. I could have gone through the Bricks and done my business in under an hour.
Finally arriving at Rowdy's, I quickly made my way back to Marina's corner.
Marina: Did you see Yerocan anywhere?
Me: Yeah, he told me to give you these blueprints. Yerocan said Detta knows you're the big noise around here. Better make yourself scare, sister.
Marina: Thanks for your help, Boots. I owe you.
She even threw in 200 loonies for the help.
I agreed to go check up on Yerocan.
I decided to check the NoxGuard scanner in my office to see if there was any news pertaining to Marina. I was putting off talking to Valesta as long as possible.
Quite riveting. Perhaps he was issued a size 5. That would be awfully convenient
Now…what I was dreading, talking to Valesta.
Ok, so maybe I didn't talk so much as turn ghastly. She ran out of the bar toward the Tenements. I didn't have time to give her the bracelet, so it would have to wait for later.
For now, it was back to see Yerocan.
Yerocan: You gave Marina the plans? No kidding. See, I knew you weren't a flake. When people talk bad about you at the bar, I always tell 'em, "Just give the guy a chance. He'll come through when it counts." And you did.
Yerocan: Listen, I need to get up past Fountain Spiral, but not if there's any heat. Lemme know if you see any suspicious types around there. Better yet, snap a picture of 'em with your camera and show it to me. I know most of the janglers in the book.
Will do, junior.
I snapped a few pictures of the people around the fountain.
Picture 3 caught Yerocan's eye.
Yerocan: Oh, yeah. No doubt about it. Definite capital-j. I ran into this sniffer about two-months ago while pilfering one of Detta's warehouses. Not high on the food chain, but a definite dirty bird. Well done man. I almost took this bloodhound straight to one of our safe houses. If he's patrolling the upper footpath, I'll make my escape through the lower walkway and take the gravpath out to safety. Check back with Mardoman when the coast is clear. See you around, Boots.
Welcome to the Resistance.
The words sent chills up my spine. I had been avoiding the resistance for about a year now, even though I hated Detta the most. It was the first of many unusual things I would do. He handed me an Eluder Band for my troubles and slinked off into the shadows.
Note: Eluder Band adds 1 to Block, and costs $1200 at Zordo's, so it's a fairly nice reward for this early in the game…if only the combat were cool.
Back at Rowdy's, Marina had already disappeared to a safehouse somewhere. I checked in with Mardoman.
Mardoman: Thanks for bailing our boy outta trouble back there. It would've been a catastrophe if that sniffer had blown our safe house. Nice to see you finally taking an interest in the cause. Now that Marina's gone, I've taken over as acting commander of operations for G-Plate. We're spread out pretty thin right now, gathering resources for a major operation. I could use someone like you to pick up some of the slack.
Looks like more errands. What'll it be this time, chief?
Mardoman: If you're comfortable taking up some dirty work, how would you like to hit Detta in the meats? My contacts tell me there's a load of Melt coming in from Detta's Gorian connection. The runner just hit town and he's waiting in the Platform Area for one of Detta's package pigeons to make the pick up. Even though Detta's branching out into legitimate enterprises, his drug rackets bring in a fair share of the gravy.
Alright, I think I follow you. I'm on my--
Mardoman: How about we bust this bonanza and hit the mule before the pigeon floats off with the package.
Luckily for me, my only lead on the NoxGuard helmet was also in the Platform Area. The Platform Area was near Casinox, so hopefully that guy had managed to put himself out by now.
No more NoxGuard roadblock here.
Here's Casinox. Unfortunately, since I'm one of Detta's debtors, I can't get inside.
Hucky Malone: What're you doing here? Hope you're not lookin' to jus tip your hat and pass go. Nuh uh...Got the word today. Your green's no good with us. Not until you square your debts with the man.
Another Brebulan photograph.
A member of the junkyard 20 gang was loitering nearby. After dusting his buds, I was feeling cocky so I went to talk to him.
[i]Joe: I'm a regular card mechanic. I know every trick. Every sham. I won quite the sweet, little pot last night. I cheated, of course. In my opinion, it's the only way to make the game interesting. It's harder to cheat well than to play well. Card countin' ain't easy bub. And keeping your face straight while you steal from strangers is tough. Speaking of which, gimme your wallet.
I was hoping you'd say that.
The junkyard 20 gang? More like the junkyard 15 gang now.
Before long I was at the Platform Area. There were 3 major loading platforms to check.
This looks like the dealer Mardoman was talking about. The guy didn't quite have a grasp on English.
Me: Sure I'll smack me some Melt if the price taste's right.
Me (trying a different approach): I don't want your crap, pap.
Me: Blow it out your sac, mac.
Suprise, suprise. He tried to fight me, but one shot vaporized him. One less melt merchant on the street. Now to find that NoxGuard.
This looks like our man.
(85 - 106)
Note: My responses highlighted in the screens.
Oh please be a size 5 helmet.
It took a bit of persuading, but I had the helmet, and I avoided a beating from the NoxGuard. First, it was back to Mardoman to check in, and then straight back to Building 5 to see Grumpos.
Note: If you choose the angry dialogue options (or keep talking to him after getting the helmet, you will fight the NoxGuard.
Mardoman: We've disrupted trade between Detta and the Gorians... at least for a little while. Let's lie low until things settle down.
He then handed me a pre-owned shield cell...the same that I had just bought from Zordo's. Just my luck. Lying low wasn't an option for me. Off to Building 5.
With a quick stop by Jack's to snap a shot of the Brebulans there. That was four total.
There was a new guy in the basement, as well.
Me: Um, yes, by fives.
I have no clue what that was about, but he gave me a pentagonal prism. Could come in useful later.
The last of my Brebulan pictures.
Back at the storeroom above Grumpos' apartment. Good thing I'm not a girl. Time to give him the goods.
Grumpos's apartment(video). / Backup
Summary: Grumpos gives Boots the linguinator from inside the NoxGuard helmet, allowing him to speak with all sorts of aliens. Additionally, he notes that Detta has increased security around the tunnel (doorlord) so we'd have to find a different way in. Together they leave in search of adventure!
End: For the five of you still reading, this concludes update 5. We finally picked up another party member, and we're a few steps closer to some fairly big developments. Should be two more updates until we Get off of Anachronox and see what the game has to offer.