Part 30: Too AwkwardIt's been a bit, so let's hand it over to our good friend, Summary Screen. Summary Screen, what happened last time on Policenauts?
Ingram's in dire straits. Gates has betrayed him, he's under arrest for killing Hojo AND Lorraine (amongst others) and all the evidence of Tokugawa's Narc production has vanished.
So now would be a good time for deus ex machina.
Jonathan.... You awake?
Karen...? Where am I?
My house. How do you feel? You were out for a good 12 hours.
What happened? What time is it? Hey, my watch is gone.
Yeah, your wristwatch? I took it off. The SQUID cuffs damaged it.
Broken, huh? How'd I get here? I remember now. Gates and Sadaoki had me arrested.
Right. BCP was about to extradite you to Home.
So what happened?
Ed and the guys at BBC and I busted you out. We made it look like our van got into an accident with yours.
Click here to see the BBC rescuing Jonathan Ingram.
So, what's happening is that the BBC van hits the police van hard enough to... uh...
Well, to roll it. Okay, well, don't worry, everyone inside is safe because it's the future.
The BBC stormtroopers exit the van to extract the subject, Jonathan Ingram. I'm going to pretend that Karen just has this really vivid imagination and most of this is made up. What happened to all the EMPS that raided Tokugawa anyway? They just went home? Nobody escorted this van with Ingram in it?
A fucking news crew rescued this guy from the Advanced Police?
Even though there are stormtroopers, Karen herself drags an unconscious Jonathan into the van...
Ed, you were there? Why didn't you help her? How rude is that?
*** End of video ***
You're all they're talking about on the TV. "30 Years of Jealousy" is the headline. The police are looking everywhere for you.
Why'd you guys help me?
None of us are happy about what Tokugawa are doing here. We've been onto them for years. This seemed like the perfect chance to blow the whole thing open. Some of the guys ended up in the hospital, but they should be fine.
At least they haven't gotten a hold of you guys.
Yeah, you've got us on your side.
You okay? Take it easy until we hear from Ed.
Control is returned to the player, but this is just one of those "click on everything" sections... That said, I actually sort of like it. For a bit.
Turn on TV
I don't know if you want to sit down for this.
(Reminder: Karen's been on medical leave this whole time, and all BBC News Order episodes use a CG version of her.)
Repeating our top story, early this morning, a BBC news van collided with the police van transporting suspected serial killer Jonathan Ingram to the spaceport for extradition to Home. Ingram subsequently escaped and is currently on the run. Several officers and BBC employees suffered light injuries, while all roads to the spaceport remain closed. Furthermore, BCP officer Ed Brown, a person of interest in the case, is also the subject of a police search.
Reports indicate Ingram may have fled to the Industrial District, with all roads in and around the district under police checkpoint. Ingram is known to be armed and should be considered dangerous. Police are asking those in nearby districts to exercise caution.
They're also requesting the public's cooperation at checkpoints. You may remember Ingram from his work as a Policenaut, where he helped lay the foundation for BCP. His recent actions have shocked his former colleagues. Earlier, BCP Chief Gates Becker shared some personal feelings at a press conference.
You're seeing another modified graphic: The game romanized "Gates" as "Gatse." I'm using the Ming font that we threw out for the ROMhack here. This looks markedly different from the Japanese version shown here:
(Note too: We removed the "LIVE" thing in the upper-right corner because Karen says this was pre-recorded and you can watch it multiple times.)
I've known Jonathan since we were Policenauts. This whole thing is such a tragedy. I never imagined he was capable of anything like this. I only wish I could've been there for him. I feel it's... my duty as a fellow Policenaut to bring him to justice. His condition gives us cause for concern. The man's a serious Narc user. He probably isn't in control of all his faculties.
Chief Becker there with the BCP press corps.
This is Karen Hojo reporting for BBC News.
Damn you and all your lies, Gates! That can't be live.
No, it's CG. It's perfect since it gives me an alibi as well. It's me, but it isn't me. I doubt anyone will notice.
The story's a pile a garbage anyway.
Alright, well, let's make this awkward.
You really do look exactly like your mother. Except for your complexion.
They say the disease is progressing.
Look; Karen (again)
Karen.... You don't look so good....
My doctor said I should be in the hospital right now, but I can't imagine being there at a time like this.
Are you alright?
Not really, no, but don't worry, I won't get in your way or anything.
(For those who forgot since it was awhile back, Karen is suffering from anemia due to cosmic radiation.)
Ask About; Her job
What about you and work?
Andy, our news director, he's taking care of things for us. He said we should just stay here for now. I'm keeping an eye on you here while my evil twin tells the world you're a psycho.
Is he a... boyfriend?
A long time ago, maybe. We're not seeing each other anymore.
Ask About; Her Illness
How are you holding up?
Not very well. They're suppressing the disease with drugs for now. I can't die yet. Not until I know the truth and put everything behind me.
Are you in any pain?
No... but I'm scared. I don't want to die alone.
Ask About; BCP's press conference
We're the only station that still talks about Beyond's drug problem at any length.
Tokugawa control the media too, do they?
Most places, but not everyone, and not us. We can't ignore a press conference like that, though.
Ask About; BCP's press conference (again)
It looks like people are buying what they're saying. If we can just get some evidence together, we should be able to clear your name.
We need to prove you're innocent. And that BCP's lying.
The question is how.
There were a couple of mistakes in the Japanese version - actually in some of the dialogue, the game identifies Karen as... Ed in the nametags. Anyway, we fixed that for the English version.
You have to look at the CELESS model to advance the scene (the brine shrimp in the bacteria soup), but there's no valuable information there - it's just a mushy, cheesy thing about how the brine shrimp need love in their ecosystem.
Now let's take a look at an option we've not seen before.
We can now "Open Up" to Karen regarding either Lorraine, or Hojo's death.
Open Up; Lorraine
Karen, me and your mother didn't split up because we stopped loving each other. I just want you to know that.
Your mother was always against me being a cop. The work... the hours... all the time alone, worrying when or even if
I'd come home. She eventually had a breakdown, and tried to commit suicide twice.
I had no idea.
I applied for the Policenauts in an effort to save our marriage. I never imagined I'd get picked. We spent a fantastic year in Houston together during my training. It was like... the most amazing dream. Then came Mars. She waited for me. But when I got back, it was obvious things were over.
Why'd you accept the Mars mission?
I guess... part of me wanted to get away from her. She'd become too attached.
That was a terrible thing you did.
When I found out when I would leave for Beyond, she left me. I'll never forget hearing her say, "Goodbye."
I think I understand why she did it.
You can repeat the "Open Up" portion and it's revealed that his EMPS accident occurred during their separation. He never saw her again until she showed up in his office.
Open Up; Hojo's Death
Karen, about Hojo... I mean, your father.... I'm so sorry.
I was prepared for the worst, but it's just terrible what happened to him. I guess... I really am all alone now. Neither of them is ever coming back. Tell me the truth. How was my father involved in all this?
Open Up; The truth
Your father was forced to develop DDS products for concealing illegal drugs.
I see. I figured it was something like that. Just another victim of Tokugawa.
He probably started selling Narc with Ishida to scrape together money for your transplant.
And then, Dad was....
He was silenced. Just like Ishida.
Your father, your mother, Ishida.... They were all killed to keep the truth behind Narc a secret. Tokugawa and Gates have been working together for goodness knows how long.
There's your watch. Look at it.
It's totally dead. Well, it is over 80 years old. I really beat the hell out of the thing sometimes too.
Could it be fixed?
Wouldn't be easy, something this ancient.
I can ask one of the techs at the station. Who knows, maybe -
No. I'm done reliving the past. Now I can finally let Lorraine go.
All this opens up one last option.
Open Up; Your feelings <--- That's a video there, if you prefer.
Now I've gotten you into this too.
No, Jonathan. Since I met you, I realize I had the wrong idea about you and Mom. It's like... looking at your watch, it hit me that... maybe there are parts of us that really do go beyond space and time. Now I know how Mom felt. Look at me.... Falling for the same man.
But Karen, I was your mother's....
Enough with my mother! Look at me, Jonathan. For who I am. Not as her.
I love you, Jonathan.
I legit liked the "I'm sorry what I did to your family" line, but the scene quickly downshifts to "absurd" as Jonathan blinks dumbly at an advancing Karen.
So, I'm of two minds about this scene. On the one hand, I really do like Jonathan's revelation about the problems he and Lorraine had. But on the other... this is kinda awkward and weird.
Fortunately for... everyone, and I mean both the characters in the game and all of us reading this, gropey-ass Jonathan Ingram here actually has a moment of clarity and realizes, yeah, hooking up with his ex-wife's daughter would be pretty fucked up.
And now: Jonathan Ingram's Guide to Letting Her Down Easy
: *ring ring*
Achievement Unlocked: SMOOTH OPERATOR.
Oh hi, Ed. Yes, he's here. I'll put him on. Jonathan! It's Ed.
*** end of second video ***
You could NOT have timed that better.
A little... awkward moment.
What's it like being famous again?
Reminds me of better times.
Glad to hear it's not all bad.
So where you at?
A public terminal near the station. I'm using a line running through BBC. We should be alright.
Burst transmission, huh?
We really stirred things this time. I got eyes all over me. Meryl's doing things instead.
Yeah, quite a lot. Let's keep this as quick as possible.
This isn't a videophone. I can't see him. Sometimes the old tech has its benefits.
Say it again? I didn't hear you.
Just... admiring the decor.
Ask About; The Narc sales
It appears Hojo was feeding Narc to Ishida to sell at BCCH, just like we thought. Numerous large deposits were recently made into a joint bank account of theirs. They probably located buyers from lists Tokugawa had. Tokugawa wanted rid of them after he found out about it. I bet you Hojo tried to use that CD to blackmail Tokugawa.
Ask About; Hojo's motive
Why'd Hojo start doing something like that?
Most likely to get money for Karen's transplant. There are also levels of priority on the waiting list. Karen's level was upgraded last month. He must've passed some bribes around.
I can't see someone like Hojo getting involved in something like that just for money.
Well, Karen's an only child. She doesn't have any siblings. It's not easy finding a bone marrow donor for someone in that situation.
Ask About; Ishida's motive
So what about his accomplice? What was Ishida's motive?
His is clear-cut - money, and a grudge against Tokugawa. He wasn't very impressed about the way he'd been treated.
Despite their differences, they were both after money.
It was the perfect opportunity for both of them, though it doesn't seem like they were very close.
Ask About; Ishida's motive (again)
Ishida had been caught embezzling money from the company a number of times. That's apparently why he was transferred to BCCH in the first place.
...A number of times? And they retained employment? Well, alright, I guess maybe it's REALLY hard to fire people in the future or something.
Ask About; Narc's whereabouts
What happened to all the poppies and capsules at the factory?
We hacked the records of Tokugawa's shipping company. Not long after we left, a convoy of twenty trucks was sent over to Tokugawa Pharmaceuticals.
They just moved the operation somewhere else.
Ask About; The capsules
The capsules were sold to users directly through BCCH's pharmacy. 70% of the outpatients who purchased from the pharmacy over the last several months are known drug users.
Ask About; AP
How much of AP does Tokugawa control?
Gates and Tokugawa have been in on it from the beginning. They must control virtually everyone in AP, not to mention Redwood. I got the results from that blood analysis, by the way.
Ask About; The blood analysis
Hey remember in Act 1, when I said Anna's conversation in English happened to go over the alloted space on Disc 1? This is the only conversation that goes over on Disc 2.
So how about that white blood?
Victor left the results before he took off. Like we thought, it's the same blood used by AP. There's currently three types of artificial blood. Hold on, he wrote everything down. There's first-generation artificial blood made with perfluorocarbons developed last century. Then there's second-generation artificial hemoglobin made with genetically modified human hemoglobin. Finally, there's third-generation artificial blood with 100% synthetic blood cells developed this century. The only one with white red blood cells is first-generation. It's currently prohibited for use by the general public. The only guys who have it are either military or AP, since it allows for quick and easy transfusions, among other things.
So whose is it?
Unfortunately, this type doesn't contain separate sub-types, in order to prevent any rejection reactions. Therefore, we alone can't say it's Redwood's. But, we do know it's the same stuff he's got going in him.
Ask About; The blood analysis (again)
Victor never got around to checking the dialyzer data. But it was absolutely full of Narc. Whoever he is, he's a real fan of the stuff. The reason he kept going like that comes from the analgesic effects of the drug.
Ask About; Redwood
How was Redwood not injured after all that?
He was. He was hospitalized under a false name. The story about him having gone to pick up new EMPS chips was bullshit.
Ask About; Dave
An idea what happened to Dave?
Meryl looked into it, like she was saying. She found Dave's blood all over Redwood's Goddard. They had to have carried Dave's body away in his EMPS.
Where do you think they took him?
No idea. He's definitely not around BCP. The real question is, why would they wanna hide his body?
Ask About; Your current safety
You think I'm safe here? Have they caught on to what's going on?
Probably. Things went too well. They might be planning to get rid of you some other way, one that doesn't draw any suspicion toward them. Oh, by the way, I gave your gun to Karen.
My Baretta? Didn't they confiscate it?
I got it off the chief. He said it was alright.
Gates really said that?
Nah, I just went and grabbed it. He doesn't know anything about it.
I figured. Those busy hands have gotten worse.
Ask About; This being a trap
If this is leading to a trap, why are they being so indirect?
You're a Terrestrial, meaning your trial would take place on Home. You're not a Beyond, so you couldn't be tried here. They use that lie detector that analyzes a person's P300 brain waves in trials on Home. They're probably afraid you'd expose everything.
Ask About; A strategy
Any bright ideas?
Things don't look good. They've got physical evidence, circumstantial evidence and witnesses. They've put together a convincing VRE too. They've edited together footage of you with footage of Hojo.
Well, it was nice knowing you, pal.
You've still got one thing going for you.
Hojo's body. Bodies don't lie, Jonathan. No matter what you try to cook up.
Ask About; Hojo's body
What about Hojo's autopsy?
Well, that's the thing. Like Ishida, BCP didn't do the autopsy. He was sent to BCCH too.
Popular place, BCCH.
Victor said something about Hojo's body bugged him.
Ask About; Victor's comments
Something bugged him?
There were in fact vital reactions on his body, and he did seemingly die 4 hours beforehand, but he said the pieces don't add up.
What do you mean?
Like Ishida, there were no defense wounds that would point to murder. What's more, it doesn't look like the bullets killed him. Victor said something else did it.
Also, there was one thing that goes against the time of death. Normally after 4 hours rigor mortis has already started, but Hojo was totally loose. Now, Victor only saw the VREs, but he said it appeared as if Hojo was already dead when he was shot.
Yeah. Brain-dead. As in he'd been given drugs to keep his body in a biomort status.
Which would mean Hojo's been dead since who knows when?
Yup. Then they brought him out to set you up.
Ask About; Victor's whereabouts
Where is Victor, anyway?
He said he was going to BCCH to examine Hojo's body, but he hasn't come back. There's been no word. He's gotta be in trouble.
Everything points to BCCH. Hojo should be in the morgue there. I'm worried about Victor too. They're using me to get to you. You know how it works. You go check out BCCH. We'll keep 'em busy on our end.
Shit, the APs! We'll talk later!
You're going to BCCH, are you?
I have to know what happened to my father.
I don't know how long I've got left. I don't want to waste the time I have.
I want to be with you. For Mom. Plus I know my way around there. I'm there several times a week. Well.... What is it?
What about you? I thought you weren't feeling well?
Come on! We'd be going to a hospital!
Can't argue with that. Alright, you can tag along.
You're the boss, detective!
And so ends Act 3, with our new partner, Karen Hojo.
Happy Valentine's Day!