The Curious Incident

An android seems to require aid but humans do not answer to androids. Will you?

Level: 13
Start: Nyx Bozic, Market, Orwell Stronghold


Orwell Station's market bustles with the usual throng of prospective shoppers and vendors though, admittedly, the entire atmosphere here is decidedly more high-tech than in most of the other stations you have passed through. Crisp holographic projections of items advertise what is available and customers wave their hands in the air as they manipulate the images this way and that, inspecting items from all digital angles. Robot retailers fetch and package goods with the speed and efficiency of the mechanical while vendors chat amicably with their clients.

As you take in the surreal situation, a voice nearby cuts through the throngs. A lanky Belter with wild hair and an irritable expression flails and gestures at an android, attempting to shoo her away.

Nyx Bozic: Hey! Will you shove off you moronical mechanical menace!? I'm not delivering your missive, that is an android's job! Not mine!

Passersby briefly look up towards the commotion before returning to their shopping and the android seems to look downcast and confused as the lanky Belter continues to berate it.

Approach Nyx Bozic in the Market on Orwell Station to see what the commotion is about.

You have accepted the "The Curious Incident" mission.

  • "Hey, what's the problem here?"

Me: Hey, what's the problem here?

The Belter, who your CORETECHS identifies as Nyx Bozic, gives you a sidelong glance and deflates, his tirade momentarily disrupted. He runs his hand through his scraggly blond hair and waves absently towards the android.

Nyx Bozic: I'm not sure why, but this android will not stop pestering me with its ludicrous requests! It's like it's gone wonky or something. Though more likely it's on one of Salinger's bizarre tasks! I suppose I blew my plasma gasket a tad, but its inane pestering simply superseded my levels of tolerance after awhile.

Nyx seems to calm down, his ire having spent itself, and simply glares at the android in question. The android itself almost looks dejected as it holds out what appears to be a piece of archaic paper, almost as if it pleads for someone to take it.

  • "Salinger?"
  • Offer to hear the android out.


Me: Salinger?

The vendor waves his hand dismissively, his expression one of impatience. A number of other nearby vendors look up at the mention of the name and shake their heads with bemused grins playing on their lips.

Nyx Bozic: Yeah, he's the owner of this damnable droid, one of the many loony BeDyne scientists on this station. The whole place is one of their so called, "Waystations" so there's always someone inflicting their 'research' on the rest of us non intellectual types! Don't get me wrong, more power to the lot of them! They're doing great things for us all. But sometimes an honest tradesman just hasn't got the time for it…you savvy?

  • Offer to hear the android out.

You offer to hear what the android has to say and it turns to you with a grateful look. There is something almost akin to pleading in its silvery, gleaming eyes; but of course that is just a facade and not a real emotion. Nyx lets out a hurumph and spreads his arms wide, then brings them together towards the android.

Nyx Bozic: Hey, be my guest! Then it will stop bothering me!

The android turns and offers its parcel, what appears to be an envelope made of archaic paper, to you. Her skin is an opaque lilac color that matches the silver from her eyes, both an affectation given to androids in order to distinguish them from real people. Her dark purple hair is gathered in a tight, professional looking bun and she wears the coat of a Benevolent Dynamics scientist.

Android: Thank you. My designation is Satur9. I have been tasked with finding someone to deliver this missive to a 'D.C' on this station. Will you bear this missive please?

  • "What does 'D.C' stand for?"
  • "Why can't you deliver it?"
  • Accept the envelope.


Me: What does 'D.C' stand for?

Satur9: These parameters were not provided. I would assume that the volunteer must discover for themselves as part of the objective.

  • "Why can't you deliver it?"
  • Accept the envelope.

Why can't you:

Me: Why can't you deliver it?

Satur9: These were not the parameters of my task. I have been bidden to find a messenger but not be the messenger myself.

  • "Are you often given such strange tasks?"
  • "Why?"


Me: Why?

Nyx shakes his head and lets out a snort of impatience, turning to mind his stall and clearly happy to be done with this affair. Satur9 gazes at you impassively, unfazed by the vendor and continues to hold the envelope towards you. The letters D.C are visible on one side.

Satur9: I was not provided with such reasoning, simply given the task.

  • Accept the envelope.
  • "Are you often given such strange tasks?"

Strange tasks:

Me: Are you often given such strange tasks?

Satur9: If you define 'strange' as tasks similar to this one, then yes. My employer often engages in sociological research and experimentation along these parameters and sends me on a number of similar type of errands. Most local citizens find such interactions…less than ideal.

  • Accept the envelope.

You reach out and take the envelope noting the initials 'D.C' written on the one side of the archaic paper item. The android nods in relief, its task now fulfilled. Before she turns to leave she pauses.

Satur9: I return now to my employer, Dr Salinger. I remind you that the envelope is to be delivered to a 'D.C' on this station. Please do not open the envelope, as this may compromise the integrity of the experiment. Thank you.

The android turns and walks away, leaving you holding the envelope and pondering who or what a 'D.C' might be. A smirking Nyx stands nearby, at his stall. He shakes his head and rolls his eyes.

Discover who or what D.C is on Orwell Station.

Next NPC: Demosthenes Chandrinos, Port, Orwell Stronghold

  • "Excuse me, are you D.C?"


Next area: Security, Orwell Stronghold

  • Make inquiries about 'D.C'.

(Social check?)

After a number of attempts to explain what you're looking for, security finally understand that you seem to be part of one of Dr Salinger's latest sociological experiments. Grinning and shaking their heads, they provide you access to the station manifest. A quick search later and you locate a 'Dr Demosthenes Chandrinos' who seems to currently be located in the port. D.C…

Find Demosthenes Chandrinos in the Port on Orwell Stronghold.

Next NPC: Demosthenes Chandrinos, Port, Orwell Stronghold

  • "Excuse me, are you D.C?"

Me: Excuse me, are you D.C?

You approach the portly Harsene that your CORETECHS identifies as 'Demosthenes Chandrinos.' Upon hearing your question he looks up with a twinkle in his eyes and a merry smile on his lips. As you come closer, you note the Benevolent Dynamics lab coat that does little to hide his bulky frame, something unusual for the Harsene genotype. He stands next to the ramp of what appears to be a research vessel named 'BDS Baker'. A number of screens and workbenches are affixed to the side of the ramp, giving the vessel an air of some kind of mobile research station.

Demosthenes Chandrinos: Only one person refers to me by that name, and if you are inquiring, then you must be embroiled in one of Dr Salinger's latest little research projects. What does the good doctor have in store for us today then?

  • Tell Demosthenes about Satur9 and her missive.
  • Hand Demosthenes the letter.


The rotund scientist listens intently with an eager smile on his lips. His large, Harsene eyes remain on you for the duration and you feel like they observe and record every detail of your mannerisms as you tell the tale. The tinny scent of cooling metal from nearby ships permeates the area and your nose is quite twitchy by the time you finish your story.

Demosthenes: Yes indeed, that smacks of Dr Salinger's style through and through! In this case, I imagine he wishes to chart people's reactions in correlation to being given a task by a being of simulated intelligence, thus becoming subconsciously subservient to a machine in that moment. I also imagine that most of the subject's reactions were less than positive.

  • Hand Demosthenes the letter.
  • "So he is trying to see if people would be comfortable working for machines?"

Working for machines:

Me: So he is trying to see if people would be comfortable working for machines?

Demosthenes: Presumably, that is one potential possibility yes. It is not such a far-fetched premise is it? Machines possess vast amounts of computational power and problem solving capabilities. Logic, of course, is not everything, but could one not argue that there have been times, perhaps, when humanity has not had a great track record when it comes to making the best decisions. Would not the impassiveness of a computers logic have served better? Who knows? But it is a good question to ask! And here, on Orwell Station, that is what we do! Ask the tough questions!

  • Hand Demosthenes the letter.

The large scientist raises his eyebrows as you hand him the envelope made of paper, an archaic and fairly rare substance these days. He studies it carefully, turning it to each side with an intrigued smile before finally opening it. He unfolds a piece of paper from inside and his smile widens with delight.

Demosthenes: Fascinating that he chose paper as a medium. Real old world too! Not the synth-parchment you can get from the reclaimed paper-mill on the L726-8 Jump Gate. Well! The plot thickens! He has, for reasons only he knows, provided us with a riddle! Ahem: 'I am hungry, I must always be fed. The finger I lick, will soon turn red.' Presumably we must guess the nature of the narrator.

Demosthenes runs his hand over the stubble around his chin with a grin before turning his shrewd eyes towards you. He studies you for a moment with the same friendly and interested smile playing on his lips.

Demosthenes: I believe I have it, but I am interested, what do you think my friend?

Answer the riddle for Demosthenes Chandrinos at the Port on Orwell Stronghold.

  • "Is it acid?"
  • "A tongue!"
  • "I think the answer is, 'Fire'."


Me: I think the answer is, 'Fire'.

For the briefest of moments, the smile fades from Demosthenes' features and you could even swear there was a glimmer of disappointment. Like a flash, however, he spreads his mouth in a pearly grin and slaps you on the back.

Demosthenes: Oh come on! You are a fellow intellectual and you did not tell me! I took you for one of those mouth-breathing troglodytes who traipse around the galaxy scavenging every lump of ship for shinies. But, yes! Fire is exactly right! And fire, I suspect, is what we must use! Let us see what hidden message will be our reward eh?

Demosthenes carries the letter over to one of his workbenches. He manipulates the air over the bench for a moment, apparently interacting with a digital UI only he can see, and a small jet of blue flame appears over a nozzle on the edge of the table. The large Harsene holds the paper over the flame for a moment, allowing it to heat the paper and, just as predicted, new words appear on the note!

At first, the big Harsene seems eager to read the new message, then, suddenly his face blanches and his ever present smile turns to a grimace of dismay. His hand starts to shake and he leans against the workbench for support. He stares in disbelief at the note, quietly mouthing the words in shock though his voice is drowned out by the general hubbub of the port. After a long moment, he looks at you with panic in his eyes, seemingly unable to process what he has read.

Demosthenes: But..this is a suicide note! It says he is dead!

  • "We should call security!"
  • "Maybe it's another test? Could you call him?"


For a moment Demosthenes just stares at you blankly, as if unsure of what to do. Then his eyes snap back to clarity as your words break through his shocked reverie.

Demosthenes: Yes, quite! I am calling him now.

Demosthenes' anxious eyes glaze over for a moment as he concentrates on the UI within his CORETECHS field of view. He swiftly waves a hand in the air before him, presumably calling Dr Salinger. For some moments afterwards, he taps his foot and chews on his bottom lip with impatience. Eventually, he releases a groan of dismay.

Demosthenes: There is no answer…

  • "We should call security!"

Me: "We should call security!"

For the briefest moment, Demosthenes' large, Harsene eyes stare at you in increased panic. Quickly though, he pulls himself together and nods.

Demosthenes: Sound thinking my friend, they will be able to get to him faster than you or I.

Demosthenes quickly swipes his hand through the air before him, no doubt manipulating the UI within his CORETECHS. He connects with someone called Cornelius who he quickly brings up to speed. By the one-sided conversation, you gather they will head to Dr Salinger's laboratory immediately. As the conversation comes to a close, one final phrase does stand out however.

Demosthenes: Cornelius, wait. Salinger, he is…my friend. Please…will you allow me to invoke Right of Observance?

A moment passes and Demosthenes thanks the person on the other end of the call, his question apparently answered. Hurriedly, he turns to walk up the ramp and onto the BDS Baker.

  • Follow Demosthenes onto the BDS Baker
  • "What is the Right of Observance?"


Me: What is the right of Sentinel?

The bulky scientist pauses and looks back at you absently for a moment, his thoughts clearly elsewhere. Then he blinks and waves his hand apologetically.

Demosthenes: Of course, my apologies friend. You would not know as you are not BeDyne personnel. The Right of Observance is an enhancement to the CORETECHS service. It allows a remote caller to access your visual data stream. In essence, by invoking the Right to Observance you allow someone to see what you see. Come, I will show you.

  • Follow Demosthenes onto the BDS Baker

You follow the rotund Harsene up the ramp of his ship and into the hangar bay. You note that his earlier, jovial demeanor has disappeared, replaced with a deep, heavyset anxiety. The interior of his ship confirms your earlier impression that this is some type of research and science vessel. Banks of holoterminals of every conceivable shape and size cover the walls, lending the interior an eerie glimmering ambiance that is enhanced by your reverberating footfalls in the large, hollow space. Some monitors display an exterior view, others display figures and statistics, and yet others display mind-boggling shapes and equations that seem to defy logic. More workbenches line corners of the hangar and hold all number of gadgets and lab equipment.

Demosthenes walks over to one workbench and summons a glittering holo-screen with a wave of his hand. He beckons you over and gestures toward the screen.

Demosthenes: Via the Right of Observance, Cornelius streams the imagery of his CORETECHS direct to my designated feed here. This is an enhancement we have developed to the CORETECHS that can only ever be granted voluntarily. One could not, for example, use it to spy without someone's permission.

After a moment, the holo-screen blinks and brings up a live display, showing what appears to be somebody else's point of view.

  • Observe the feed.

The feed comes to life and shows an initially silent view of a group of security officers rushing down one of Orwell Stronghold's hallways. Demosthenes waves his hand, interacting with the UI within his CORETECHS and volume suddenly springs to life as well. A voice, presumably of the Cornelius he had called earlier, can be heard barking orders.

Commander Cornelius: We're almost there now Demosthenes. His door should be this one on the right.

They arrive at one of the many doorways within the large, public hallway and a hand appears in the field of view, touching the doorbell mechanism. The hand swipes the buzzer twice more before to no avail. Finally, Cornelius orders one of his personnel to bypass the door. An officer manipulates the controls and it slides open.

The interior of the lab seems quite warm and inviting, not as spartan as one would expect a scientist's workplace to appear. Decorations and comfortable furniture give the workplace a very homey feel that feels oddly jarring in combination with the armed security personnel you can see moving through the building. After a moment, an officer approaches and beckons Cornelius to one of the adjoining rooms. He follows and as he steps through the door, the first thing that is visible is the body of a man hanging from what appears to be a rope affixed to the ceiling. There is a groan of dismay from Demosthenes standing next to you.

Commander Cornelius: I'm sorry Demosthenes, it appears your information was correct. I'll need to review the letter you mentioned but, at a glance, it seems like a case of suicide. Again, I am truly sorry, I know he was your friend.

The portly Harsene next to you opens and shuts his mouth several times, grief evident on his face. After a moment, his eyes narrow in thought and a look of grim determination crosses over his features.

Demosthenes: No, Cornelius. You must allow me to come and see. There is something completely wrong about this.

Cornelius: You know I can't do that Demosthenes. This is an active crime scene now and you bear a conflict of interest. Any findings on your part would be compromised by your emotional proximity.

Demosthenes waves a hand irritably in a dismissive gesture. His shrewd eyes turn quickly towards you with a thoughtful expression. After a moment he mutes the screen with a wave of his hand.

Demosthenes: I would like to retain your services. How would you like to be my private investigator?

  • "How much are we talking about?"
  • "Ok, I'll do it."
  • "I'm not really an investigator though."

Not really an investigator:

Me: I'm not really an investigator though.

Demosthenes: Nor do you have to be. You only need to convince the Commander that you are one. I will do the actual investigating by proxy. The proxy being you! I promise you, this is not suicide, I need to see the inside of that building! You can be my eyes. Will you do it? I will, of course, pay you.

  • "How much are we talking about?"
  • "Ok, I'll do it."

How much:

Me: How much are we talking about?

Demosthenes: Rest assured that Benevolent Dynamics pays us well. Your retainer will be more than worth your while! Plus, should we bring a murderer to justice, and believe me, there is zero doubt in my mind that Salinger was murdered, you will also be due a reward fee from Security.

  • "Ok, I'll do it."

Me: Ok, I'll do it.

Demosthenes nods his thanks and quickly un-mutes the screen. On the display, officers are moving about the building and someone in the background is being interviewed. Commander Cornelius is telling two of his officers to begin canvassing the nearby buildings and talking to other residents.

Demosthenes: Commander, I'm back. I will send an associate with the piece of evidence you require posthaste. Tell me, if you won't permit me to come and look around, would you allow me to provide an external consultant? They are very good.

Commander Cornelius can be heard sighing off camera before his voice issues forth.

Commander Cornelius: If they are official then sure. But it's on your credit Chandrinos, I can't pay them just to snoop around. And again, official accreditation. Have them meet me with that letter at Security, I'm heading back that way now.

Demosthenes: Understood Commander, thank you. My associate will meet you shortly.

Demosthenes cuts the feed with a sharp swipe of his hand and a grim expression before turning to you.

Demosthenes: The Commander is a good man and he means well, but he is too rigid for such a situation. This is a murder, I have little doubt. Thus, we are dealing with a cunning mind, one that is clearly working to outwit us. Perhaps then, it is good that I will remain here, watching and working from behind your eyes! Go meet the Commander, once you have convinced him to allow you to investigate Salinger's workplace, call me and I shall invoke the right of Sentinel to add my own eyes to your observations.

Meet Commander Cornelius at Security on Orwell Station.

Next NPC: Cornelius Hawthorne, Security, Orwell Stronghold

  • "Commander, Demosthenes sent me."

Me: Commander, Demosthenes sent me.

The Commander is a square jawed and well built man with an impeccable uniform bearing the logo of Benevolent Dynamics. He looks up as you speak and you note a grim expression on his chiseled features. He holds up a finger and finishes listening to the report of a female security officer. Once she leaves he turns his attention to you.

Commander Cornelius: First, I understand you have a letter for evidence? Sent from Salinger before he died yes?

You hand him the letter and envelope and explain about the android and the riddle that reveals the suicide note. He listens patiently and then hands the envelope to another officer for processing as evidence before turning once more to you.

Commander Cornelius: Thank you. Now, if you wish to act as a consultant for BeDyne security, then you will need to show me some credentials showing your status as a law enforcement consultant. I assume this is not a problem?

Convince Commander Cornelius in Security on Orwell Station that you are an official consultant.

  • "Not a problem Commander. May I access the system a moment to bring up my credentials?"
  • "I'm just here to help Commander."

Here to help:
(Social check)

The Commander listen impassively as you point out the merits of letting an outsider help. For a long moment you think he will kick you out, then he sighs and shakes his head.

Commander Cornelius: I know Demosthenes is sending you from a good place. Stalinger was his friend and I suppose this is his way of not wanting to admit he's gone just like that. I don't think there is any harm in letting you look around, Stalinger is dead, nothing is changing that and, currently, the investigation is quite cut and dry. If you find something different, so be it, and if you don't, you don't. You'll find Stalinger's work-lab in the Public Market district. Security will let you in and, I should add, keep an eye on you. There's also Stalinger's house droid in there, feel free to chat to it as well.

Go to the recently late Dr Stalinger's work-lab in the Public Market on Orwell Station.

Next area: Public Market, Orwell Stronghold

  • Enter Dr Salinger's laboratory.

Security let you into the laboratory and allow you to look around. You note, however, that no matter where you go, there is always at least one BeDyne Security officer in there with you. You quickly call Demosthenes and allow him the right of Sentinel so he can see your view on the CORETECHS.

Demosthenes: Thank you my friend, and well done in gaining the Commander's trust. Now, let's look around shall we?

You walk around the room where Salinger was found hanging. The ambiance, as you saw via the right of Sentinel, is quite warm and homey. Holo-images of what are presumably scenes from Before, adorn the walls. Here a blue sky of Earth, there one of the starlit nights famous, apparently, on Vercingetorix.

Salinger's body, itself, has been removed but everything else lies exactly as it did. A table and chair in the far end hold an inactive holoterminal. The middle of the room, where Salinger was found hanging, is bare except for the cord still hanging from the light fixture in the ceiling. You also note the lack of ink or any archaic writing utensils. Finally, you can see who you presume is Dr Salinger's android assistant, the one the Commander told you about, standing in the corner. Given that it has received no tasks in the past day and its new ownership has not yet been determined, it likely has nothing to do.

Demosthenes: This room is not one where a man would take his own life, nor does it belong to one. Tell me, my friend, do you see something out of place here?

Tell Demosthenes what you think is most odd about Salinger's lab in the Public Market on Orwell Stronghold.

  • "How did he hang himself?"
  • "The house was locked when Security arrived, only the android was here with him."
  • "There doesn't seem to be any ink for writing the note."

Hang himself:

Me: How did he hang himself?

Your question hangs in the air a moment, almost as if Demosthenes is taken aback by it. When he speaks, you wonder if you can detect just a tiny trace of ire in his voice.

Demosthenes: I…yes, exactly! Well spotted indeed. Perhaps my scientific methodologies have rubbed off on you, albeit briefly. But yes! How could Salinger hang himself, there is no furniture in the location beneath his body, nothing to climb up on, nothing to step off of! This, more than anything, screams out that something is wrong here! Perhaps we should speak to the BeDyne security personnel here, see if they found anything that can shed more light on this.

Continue your investigation of Dr Salinger's lab in the Public Market on Orwell Stronghold.

  • Talk to one of the security officers.

You approach one of the officers currently securing the building and gathering evidence to close the case. She seems to wear a particularly troubled expression, which is perhaps what drew you to her in the first place. She looks up and listens to your questions. Once done, she holds up a finger and makes a CORETECHS call, asking Commander Cornelius to verify your situation. Once satisfied, she turns back to you.

BeDyne SEC Officer Cartwright: Commander's cleared you, have to check, you understand. Everything we've seen here seems quite cut and dry, sad, but simple. Thing is, it just all seems a little TOO simple if you get my meaning? Little details that niggle and don't quite add up. Nothing that leaps out at you mind, but just enough to tickle the old gut if you get my meaning.

Officer Cartwright swipes an E-Slate on and consults it for notes. She licks a delicately manicured nail and flicks between different notes.

BeDyne SEC Officer Cartwright: Let's see. No forced entry, that holds up with a suicide. Suicide note you delivered also corroborates that case. We interviewed the android who was here. The other one, the female, she was out delivering the letter, while this male one says he was instructed not to interfere and that his master convinced him he was of sound mind and body.

Demosthenes: She is quite right to feel a sense of unease. It is quite clear to me what has happened here and I will need you to do something for me in a moment. However, I am curious, what do you think of the fine young officer's observations? Did something spring out at you? Mind you move away before answering, lest the young lady thinks you are babbling to the voices in your head!

  • "Why didn't the android protect Salinger?"
  • "She said there was no forced entry. Are we looking for a friend of the victim then?"
  • "I keep thinking the suicide note is important somehow."


Me: Why didn't the android protect Salinger?

There is a moment of almost stunned silence from your CORETECHS before Demosthenes squawks a loud reply, making you jump and Officer Cartwright cast a sideways glance in your direction.

Demosthenes: OH COME ON! How did…I mean I…

You can't help but smirk as you hear the sound of the exhalation of a long, drawn out breath as Demosthenes apparently composes himself on the other side.

Demosthenes: What I mean to say is, yes. That is entirely correct! Most erm…astute of you my intellectually gifted associate. The android did not protect Salinger because it is not, in fact, an android. And this is where the situation gets tricky. I need you to go inside and engage the 'android'. I am running something on my end that will find out who or what it is. But for that to work, I need you to keep it in contact and visible on your CORETECHS for a certain duration.

You casually saunter back into the room as Demosthenes asks, the android standing in the corner turns and gives you a smile. Officer Cartwright notes the careful way you enter the room and, seemingly on a hunch, accompanies you inside.

Demosthenes: Be very careful here. I believe that while that is not an android per se, whoever is controlling it, is using the body of an android, therefore it will be strong and resilient, do your best to not arouse its suspicions.

  • Talk to the smiling android.

You approach the smiling android.

You walk forward, doing your best to quell the tension you feel rising up in the pit of your stomach. It stands stoically in the corner and continues to smile as you walk towards it. You're aware of officer Cartwright casually taking up a position next to the door and watching your actions with a degree of interest. Remembering that she was not privy to your conversation with Demosthenes, you wish there was some way to warn her of the potential danger. As you approach, you are aware that Demosthenes is talking to someone else on his side.

Demosthenes: …given you the Right of Observance, you should be seeing what I am seeing. It's a bit unorthodox and stretches the codes of privacy but you need to see what's happening…

Smiling Android: Good day Ser. May I be of assistance?

You look at the android, having reached it, and smile, trying to sort the various voices you can hear both within your head and without. The smiling android cocks its head as it appears to wait for your response.

Demosthenes: …I am aware, Cornelius. But please, berate me later. For now, ready your men! I will have a location for you shortly. <name>, I am addressing you now. The thing, the… 'android', it is one giant receiver. There is an incoming signal from somewhere on the station. I've applied a trace. I need a moment.

You look at the smiling android and ask it about the events of Dr Salinger's death, hoping to keep whoever is on the other side busy for long enough for Demosthenes to get his trace. The android opens its mouth to respond but then suddenly its eyes narrow suspiciously. Suddenly, it leaps towards you with that same smile still locked onto its features.

  • Overpower the smiling android.
  • Evade the smiling android.

(Agility check)

The android's prowess is unlike anything you have faced before. Time and time again you try to gain the advantage but it moves swiftly to counteract each attack. A yell from behind you tells you that Officer Cartwright is trying to get a bead on it but it seems to anticipate her and keeps moving to position you in between them. Your efforts are further complicated by the panicked yells from Demosthenes over your CORETECHS as well.

Demosthenes: …sent you a location, hurry Cornelius! <name> hold on! They're on their…LOOK OUT!

You duck as the android kicks the air where your head was with enough force to have broken your neck. You circle round the room and try to get some distance, hoping to give Cartwright some room to take her shot. The android, still wearing its creepy smile, darts forward and grabs her, throwing her into the doorway to slam into two other officers just running into the room. It then turns its attention back to you, leaping towards you with its deadly fists locked together above its head, ready to bring them crashing down on your skull.

You manage to roll out of the way just in the nick of time, the smiling android's fists crashing into the wall next to you with enough force to crack the regocrete. Just then, the android looks to the left, distracted by something that isn't there. It snarls its defiance at the unseen threat and turns as if to quickly finish you off. Suddenly, just as you feel that this time it has you, its chest explodes in a fountain of synthesized flesh and bits of machinery. Its eyes deaden and it falls to its knees, revealing a gasping Cartwright standing behind it holding her blaster.

Demosthenes: <name> are you ok?! They've caught him! They're taking him to the brig right now! We need to see him, understand why he did this, and why he did it in this manner! I think, under the circumstances, I had best maintain my anonymous status, I have an inkling we will be better served if I continue to observe through your eyes for now.

With a sigh, you heave yourself off the floor. On the way out, you give Officer Cartwright a smile of thanks. She grins and nods.

Go to the brig on Orwell Stronghold to meet the murderer.

Next area: Brig, Orwell Stronghold

  • Ask to see Dr Salinger's murderer.

The Security officer at front desk duty nods and summons a robotic guard to take you through. She informs you that Commander Cornelius has gone to Security to file a report and will be along shortly. The robot politely escorts you through the brig towards where, presumably, the villain's cell is located. The anticipation of seeing the murderer mixed with the rapidly draining Adrenalin from your recent battle with the android contrasts with the casual walk down the cell block to cause a strange dissonance and feeling of anticlimax.

Demosthenes: That was a harrowing battle my friend! We will get to the bottom of this now. Why would anybody go through such trouble to murder a man as harmless as Salinger?

You jump slightly at the large Harsene's sudden voice in your CORETECHS, you had almost forgotten he was in there. Before you can reply, however, a sudden yell up ahead alerts you to possible danger. The robotic guard pauses and looks around as guards stream towards the area ahead.

  • Run ahead to see what happened.

Ignoring the robotic guard's suggestion to hang back, you dash forward in time to see a security officer struggling with a prisoner who seems to have gotten loose. The prisoner has the guard in a headlock with a gun to his head. He is looking around with a grim determination, seemingly waiting for something or perhaps looking for an opening.

The prisoner suddenly sees you and locks eyes with you, a grim smile on his lips. Somehow, you know without a doubt that this is the murderer you were coming to meet. As his eyes meet yours you suddenly receive an incoming message on your CORETECHS. The man's grin widens momentarily, suggesting it is from him, before he suddenly places the stolen blaster against his head and pulls the trigger, splattering the brig cell with bits of skull and grey matter.

Demosthenes: What just happened? WHAT THE STARS JUST HAPPENED!

You stare at the commotion around you in numbed shock that seems to be mirrored on the face of the guard in the cell, one side of his face covered in the murderer's blood. Security personnel flood the area and you can hear Demosthenes continue to shout in your head. In shock, you pull up the message from the murderer, his last and silent words. The words scrawl across your CORETECHS and add to the chaos of the scene around you. They say:

The Janissaries: Parameters have been established. You are now known.

Return to Demosthenes at the Port on Orwell Stronghold.

Next NPC: Demosthenes Chandrinos, Port, Orwell Stronghold

  • Tell Demosthenes about the murderer's message.

Demosthenes listens in uncharacteristic silence as you tell him about the message from the murderer. He runs a hand through his curly, black hair and sighs heavily, clearly at a complete loss.

Demosthenes: This is most vexing, most vexing indeed. I believed we were on the cusp of discovering the killer's motivations, that we were bringing to justice a man driven by…something. Something tangible, greed, corruption, madness even. Cornelius confirmed that the man they found was using a hitherto unknown technology to remotely control the android. The android itself had been, somehow, stripped bare of all its programming, it was an empty shell. At my behest, both the technology they found and the knowledge of its existence will be kept secret for now.

Demosthenes scratches his small beard absently as the muted sounds of the port filter into the BDS Baker from the outside. You both sit quietly for a moment, lost in thought.

Demosthenes: But what happened there, and your mysterious message…it points to a much, much larger mystery involving perhaps some hitherto unknown organisation even, with who knows what kind of machinations and motivations. We need to discover more about these 'Janissaries'. And why they have chosen to reveal themselves now! I mean, they sound secretive, but they chose to actually tell you who they are.

  • "But who are they?"

Me: But who are they?

Demosthenes: I don't know my friend, but this is something we must learn more about, and very soon by the sounds of it. I have no idea why these Janissaries would target Dr Salinger, he performed harmless sociological experiments on humans and androids. Nor can I see what connection they have to you! However, the one good thing is that I am an unknown. As I only watched and guided you from afar, I can be your hidden ally in this. You, for one reason or another, seem to now be in this group's spotlight. I, however, am an unknown element I will start researching immediately, I will track and correlate all the information I can find. When next you meet this group, I promise you will have the advantage!

Demosthenes reaches behind one of the workbenches and produces a small case.

Demosthenes: Before I forget, here is the reward from Security for your part in apprehending the murderer, plus a heft compensation for the danger you found yourself, plus a retainer fee from myself. Cornelius is currently buried under the kind of paperwork one is subjected to when a prisoner blows their own head off in your prison with one of your own guard's blasters. I fear we shall not see him for awhile! Right, I better get to it, and you better get going my friend. If we are to maintain this advantage of your anonymous ally, you should not linger long in my presence. I will contact you soon. Be well <name>!

You have received 750.00 credits.

You have completed the "The Curious Incident" mission.

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