Part 9: Target #2 - Eddie HoustonSorry for the delay everybody - went down the Memphis, had myself a good time.
Suggested Listening: Hall and Oates - Private Eyes
Oh, we're in for it now.
Having... maybe disposed of Veronica Cotton? We at least vanished her, we've now got our sights set on Eddie Houston: awful private eye.
It was an ugly story, so it's only fitting that I'm an ugly agent, in an ugly city. I was working off a hot tip that said that Eddie lived in this house.
Not that I really needed the tip. The only other person who lived on this block was the chief of security for a huge military-industrial company, and three guesses whose house was a piece of crap, his or the small-time private dick's.
Just my rotten luck.
Editor's note: ha ha what
We had three teams on the job, in three different dimensions. It's a Bureau thing, don't worry about it. I knew my partners were probably getting into the house by using some of their old tricks.
They all made it look so easy.
But as for me and the spooky dame they sent me with? We don't have the luxury of super strength, turning into mist, or a lifetime spent on the low side of the law. No, we had to head two screens west.
I'd been to this junkyard of a parking lot before, but nothing had grabbed my eye then. Not like now.
A bumper that stupid merited some extra consideration, after all. And that wasn't all I noticed - I also saw that the trunk was ajar. Who knew what fate had for me in there? With trembling hands, I lifted the lid on my destiny...
Bingo! I was fairly confident I'd never need a flashlight, ever, in the game, but that crowbar just sung to me. It sung of drunken nights and wasted days. And I knew we were made from the same stuff, me and it.
Specifically, I knew it would let any character essentially act as the battlemech from here on out. As in, can do everything that she did. From here on out. Everything.
The place stunk. And not just of melodrama and too many bad monster movies.
I mean the place literally stunk. It was cheap, low-rent, and made me wonder how he got a house right next to somebody important and rich. Bribery? Graft? Both of those seemed unlikely, because if he had a lot of money surely he'd be able to afford a table.
A green gym bag in the corner aught my eye.
Fortunately, I was wearing gloves, which rendered all traditional means of Vampire hunting totally ineffective.
I wasn't exactly sure what I meant by that, but I felt cool saying it.
(other possible responses to finding this include)
Yes, Littlepants, a delusional PI with a crap house, a gym bag with three common household items, who works for a company known to be making artifical intelligence slave drones, and WHO IS HIMSELF ONE SUCH DRONE is a prime candidate for the Bureau!
- Mr Houston's an amateur vampire hunter. That could be dangerous. I seem to recall Bureau records indicating that there aren't any undead anywhere NEAR this sector. Eddie's probably a little paranoid and unstable.
PLUS HE IS A DRONE. DOES NOBODY REMEMBER THIS.
- Looks like out P.I. has a hobby.
- Well, well, well, it looks like Mr. Houston is a vampire hunter. It just got to show ye that everybody's got at least one redeemin' quality.
Yes, Blank says this is Alex is the other party member. The father is HARDCORE.
- Having seen all there was to see of the poor sap's wreck of a life, I headed into the kitchen.
Nothing in the fridge. Big surprise. Out of habit, I closed the door.
Well well well, let's see what we might find in the trash!
Ka-ching! What's the note say?
Oh boy. I knew these guy's conceit: that they pretend to be vampires on stage. It seems a LITTLE cruel to invite your vampire-hunting-obsessed friend to go see a fake vampire show. Hilarious, but cruel.
- I headed a few screens to the west to the concert hall. I could tell that talking with the bouncer was likely to be fun and productive.
Obviously, only picking up the tickets so you have one to give him works. No, you can't buy one with the money you got earlier, of course they're sold out. Why would you want to use items you'd picked up earlier? Also note that this is time #5 you can just be like HEY I AM FROM THE GUBBERMENT. No, you still have no proof, and yes, this still breaks your mission objective. You just never, ever, ever learn.
We didn't even bother trying to talk, and just waltzed right in.
I felt a twinge of sympathy for my buddy, the thief. I knew somehow that there was no getting past this guy, and any attempt to do so by sneaking would meet with another invisible wall.
So, we handed out the tickets and headed in. The scene was pretty small, only accommodating 20 people in cheap metal folding chairs. The place had clearly seen better days. Despite that, the band was giving it their all.
And by that I mean sort of shuffling around, like they had awful cramps.
- Something was fishy here, and I wanted to get to the bottom of it. Where was the bartender? Surely at least one of these 20 people was going to want a drink, if they were going to put up with this racket.
It looked like there was only one guy there who was willing to talk, because he had a sprite and wasn't a motionless shadow. I divined that he was sitting right next to where our guy Eddie was going to be sitting, even though he threw away his tickets in the trash and so couldn't be in there, and even though the tickets didn't specify seats.
I decided to talk to this guy
Editor's note: so the conversations in Bureau 13 are seldom useful. This guy, though. This guy. You've never heard inane, pointless, stupid conversation until you've talked to this guy. Nothing you can say to him gets you anywhere, but I'm including the conversation anyway, in its fullness, because I want you to see what this game considers compelling dialogue to be.
I decided to ask whose seat he was next to.
Ed: A small point, but without the comma, this means the guy is asking us why the man sitting next to him did something
This is another of Father Blank's cut dialogue. Maybe the guy tells you where to find Eddie? As it is, he just stares in gap-jawed uncomprehension. But if we get Jimmy to say "not yet"...
love this tune!
And that isn't the worst of it. We can ALSO ask him if the seat is empty.
- I WILL SLAP YOUR HEAD OFF OF YOUR FACE, BOY
What! No, not sort of! Not at all! In no way! What?
And there you have it folks. The sort of thrilling narrative that keeps you coming back for more. This 20something hard rock concert goer has told us, in valley girl cadence, that like, totally, in our dreams, would we ever aspire to be the seat police. And that's it. The end of the world. The most inane conversation you will ever experience. I still can't quite believe it.
Now what about that conversation, with Littlepants?
Uh oh. She doesn't know which form of "you're" to use here. And the conversation is unchanged. Nothing useful comes out of this guy. I know a lot of the game wastes your time, but this conversation in particular I feel upset about. Let's pretend Littlepanther crushed him and move on.
- We opened the door behind that unhelpful man after the father was done beating on him. Took a good, long time. Somebody back there had already been worked over. He'd been blindsided. In uh, in a tiny hallway with bright lights. Evidently our Mr. Houston was sneaky as they come. Mean, too, but at least he left the bouncer alive. We didn't bother with him and continued onwards.
Because of popular demand, we can slick our hair into widows peaks and chalk up our faces, because the rest of this update is ALL VAMPIRE ALL THE TIME.
Slipping into the door behind the bouncer, I saw the tools of the trade.
Says the man in a funeral home tuxedo
Hope you decide to SEARCH the coffin as well as look at it! The game won't progress unless you do! You also can't open it, even though that's what searching it does, and that's totally a separate command that's used lots of other times!
Of course, my gloves let me carry two cloves at a time without problem. I settled in to read this madman's scrawling.
Ugh you are not funny,
Bracing myself for the inevitable confrontation, I headed to the parking lot.
It was... surprisingly empty.
Until that was, I searched something that hadn't been a clickable object until just now - the baggage compartment of the RV.
Out popped one Mr. Houston, looking sort of like a middle-aged woman in a turtleneck!
So... his... plan. His plan was to sneak into the concert hall without his tickets, beat up the bouncer and I guess the bartender too? We never solved that mystery. Then leave a note letting the band know he'd be waiting in the parking lot so they could call the police. Then he stuffed himself into their luggage compartment, clutching a stake. And leaving his vampire hunter kit, which was three items at home.
Why was this guy droned? He is being controlled to do this? How is this sap in any way shape for form beneficial to an sentient computer program? WHAT IS HAPPENING?!
He does, too. Oh he does. You are never in any danger. Look, there is a conversation you can have with Mr. Houston, but it all revolves around him not accepting your help, or you saying YOU'RE UNDER ARREST followed by a blank silence. So let's cut to the chase
Yes... CUT. BLOOD! CUT BLOOD DRINK KILL CUT!
I... ouch. You have my thanks. I'm sure killing this poor soul, while refreshing, would have drastically reduced our totally not important point totals, Delilah. Well. All that's left is to search this poor man.
remove this chip and....
And that's it, folks! That's what we did to Veronica as well. See, despite having a surgical table which they knock people out and perform surgery on, the whole "mind control" thing just means there is a big stupid chip literally ON the back of their necks! And you can just, like, pluck it off! And once that happens, they're fine! Instead of disappearing, Eddie just stands there like an idiot, totally non-clickable. So uh... two down!
Anybody else feeling totally unsatisfied by that?
We all are, Alex.
BUT, GENTLE GOONS! Who is NEXT? Shall we go after THE CRIMINAL SAWBUCK, or THE CHIEF OF SECURITY?
THRILL as we are closing in on the final minions of Skillrex!
CHILL as the dumbest conversation of the game is behind us, but not the dumbest place or way of disarming a man!
Oh there's much worse to come!