Hey Mr. Rapt, just checking in. So, I'm here, finally, taking in the sights, sounds and smells of Morg City. I know you sent me here to write a piece about the city's bustling nightlife and theater scene, and the characters that inhabit it, but things are getting kinda strange. Even though no one seems to wants to talk about it, something is definitely off about this city. Just last week there was a meteor shower, a freakin' meteor shower! And everybody acted like it was no big thing. Then, the mold showed up, all over the city. In the dark, damp alleys, there's a strange kind of fungus growing. It looks weird, and smells even weirder, but nobody's really said anything. Then people started getting sick. At first it just made them delirious... confused. Then they really got sick. It was like they were wasting away. People finally started talking about it. I spoke to one guy in his 80s, a fruit seller, at a local market. He said a similar thing happened in New England in 1882. When I tried to press him on it, he just lowered his head and ignored me. If you ask me, something definitely ain't right here.
The Ancient Order of the Keepers
Hey Mr. Rapt. So, I went by the market again today. For some reason, the fruit seller was much more talkative, even if what he said was more than a little crazy. He told me that when he was a boy, his uncle would get drunk and start talking about how a 'dark force' cast its shadow over the city. How good and evil were battling right on our doorstep, and that the only thing holding back the forces of the apocalypse was.. The Ancient Order of the Keepers. Well, even if what he said was more than a little crazy, I'm not sure he was. Even though they're scared, or maybe because they are... people are talking more. Asking around, I've heard more than a few whispers about this Ancient Order and the Keepers. I think it's some kind of cult. They say you can hear them chanting sometimes, from beneath the city. There's all these rumors about human sacrifice and freaky shit that even the police won't investigate. Because they've been paid off, or because they're too damn scared? I'm not sure what to believe anymore.
Hey Mr. Rapt. So I tracked down all the people you asked me to look into. I sent you a telegram of all their details, all their contact numbers. But I gotta be honest... I'm getting nervous. These last six months you've had me working like a low rent private dick, when really I just wanna be a reporter. It's not that I'm ungrateful, I know the cheques you've given me are more than generous for services rendered. It's just.. all the stuff you've had me do - tracking down ancient artifacts in the South Pacific, finding all these strange metals and rocks in Russia - and still, I haven't even met you face-to-face! I'm sorry Mr. Rapt, I think maybe the mood in the city has given me a little... it's making me nervous, antsy. Anyway, I'm looking forward to you finally getting here.
Shadowman (as Company Executive): "As you can see, these documents give some indication as to the considerable amounts of money we are talking about."
Nero's Lawyer: "My client would never have signed the authorization on these loans!"
Shadowman (as Company Executive): "Nonetheless, there it is, in black and white, signed by the Mrs. herself."
Nero's Lawyer: "Nero's family estate is not what it once was. Even if these documents are genuine, we'll need some time to get our affairs in order."
Shadowman (as Company Executive): "I would advise your client that our company intends to aggressively pursue settlement, within one week. Fifteen days, at the most."
Nero's Lawyer: "Look I need to make a call, my secretary will see you out.
A dirty cop
Shadowman (as IA Officer): "Please understand that you yourself are not under any suspicion at this time. This is merely an informal interview."
Jack's Partner: "Yeah yeah, I know, can we just cut to the chase?"
Shadowman (as IA Officer): "The chase? Excellent metaphor. Or is it an allegory, I can never remember the difference."
Jack's Partner: "You wanna know about my partner, Jack Vincent."
Shadowman (as IA Officer): "You're a good detective."
Jack's Partner: "So what do you want to know? That he's a loudmouth, a showoff, more than a little rough around the edges? That he's a drinker, smoker? How about the fact that he's got a wife that scares him more than any fucking criminal out there? What do you want me to tell you?"
Shadowman (as IA Officer): "Is Jack Vincent on the take."
Jack's Partner: "Listen, the more I talk to you, the more I'll get a reputation around the precinct. Can we maybe do this elsewhere?"
The journeyman fighter
Shadowman (as Journalist): "Putting aside your enormous self-interest as a promoter, what would you like to say to boxing fans everywhere about the upcoming fight, particularly with regard to this last-minute substitution, uh, Floyd Campbell?"
Floyd's Promoter: "I'd like to say that Floyd Campbell is a credible opponent, despite how the bookies may see it."
Shadowman (as Journalist): "What about the fact that fans would much rather see the number one contender facing off with the champion, your champion, as opposed to this little heard of, journeyman fighter?"
Floyd's Promoter: "Look, there's no doubt that Floyd Campbell is the underdog, nevertheless."
Shadowman (as Journalist): "Are you using Campbell to keep your big moneymaker away from opponents who could be just a little too dangerous?"
Floyd's Promoter: "The champ doesn't avoid anyone."
Shadowman (as Journalist): "But-"
Floyd's Promoter: "But nothin', this interview is over! No further questions!
A real firecracker
Shadowman (as Film Director): "As you know, I'm looking to cast a female lead in my new picture, and I heard that you have quite the roster of up-and-coming talent in this town."
Jessica's Producer: "Can you maybe tell me a little more about what kind of woman you're lookin' for?"
Shadowman (as Film Director): "I'm looking for an All-American girl, a real beauty. I heard you may know an aspiring actress by the name of Jessica Rose?"
Jessica's Producer: "The Burlesque dancer? Haha, she ain't exactly peaches and cream. More sugar and spice."
Shadowman (as Film Director): "I heard she's a real firecracker, if you know what I mean. I'd like to meet her, give her a... screen test."
Jessica's Producer: "Leave it with me, I'll get back to you.
Nero's Lawyer: "Nero, I have the most wonderful news! The loan documents were fraudulent! Well, your wife was fraudulent. She forged your signature on the loan agreements, and we can prove it! The date on the forms says November 5th, last year. Exactly the same time you were in the hospital following your performance of the Amphibious Man! You couldn't possibly have signed those papers, you were in a coma for the entire month!
I got your back
Jack's Partner: "Hey Jackie it's me. Some suit came by from Internal Affairs today, asking a whole bunch of questions. I didn't say anything, 'cause I don't know anything. As far as I can tell, you're in the clear. I trust you Jackie, you're my best friend. You're like a brother. I just want you to know I got your back. Always."
Floyd's Promoter: "Hey Floyd, you did good. You kept your word, delivered the knockout. I just wanted to tell you not to worry about any fucking journalists or commission investigations. That shit is done. Anyways, besides setting your mind at rest, I wanted to give you the good news. It's all set, you got it Floyd. You got your title shot. January 15th."
Jessica's Producer: "Hey hey, Jessica! A movie director came by to talk to me today, said he wanted to meet you. I gotta be honest, I didn't get a good feeling from him. I told him where to go, hahaha. Well, not in so many words. Listen, I'm glad you didn't sign that studio contract. Truth is I'm not even much of a producer! I'm more of a talent wrangler. Here's the thing, my partner's written a musical that just got financing. I know you're gonna be perfect for the lead! This time next year, you're gonna be on Broadway baby!"
To any survivors of this realm
Ludvig Maxis: "To any survivors of this realm, I am truly sorry. I wish I could offer you some words of comfort, but I cannot. It is my hope that I can rid the universe of the evil that has plagued us for so long. But in my heart, I know many more dimensions will be lost forever as we continue our journey towards peace. Forgive me."