Sleuth's Memoirs and Mystery Investigation HQ

Greetings, fellow thinkers. Let us assemble here as the reasonably minded citizenry who share this fine receptacle of acquired knowledge known as the net, a vessel which yet awaits the further decanter of your experiences. The net is like a storybook with no covers, flipping endlessly into itself as Oroboros, who devoured his own tail. So too let us devour our own tales! Keep not your exploits to yourselves, visitors, but offer them up to all who will read. I want to hear about the mysteries you have solved in your adventures and, perhaps even more crucial, the unexplained occurances. Tell me about the unsolved enigma that leave you wanting, the profound phenomena that smells of foul play, of black magics, of vengeance or lust or the reclamation of honor! I want to hear your mysteries!

Besides receiving and commenting upon your mysteries, I plan to provide memoirs detailing my own encounters, of which I have many from my career as a detective navi working for various employers. Some details will be fact, others potential embellishments, and yet others my own teases. I see mysteries around every corner and indeed, upon every wall and flat surface, I have been told. Therefore, I have many a story to weave and hope that you will find something to suit your palette.

Case #1, Pt.1: The Case of the Net-War Profiteer

At one time, the details of these cases were classified. They have since been released their most basic form: an NP officer named MarbleMan, taken into custody for suspected NetMafia ties. What an unfortunate closure to the public, who followed the navi's trial with vigor during the ending days of the Net War! Mafioso and Net-Police have always been polarized against one another, but never else in history did their purposes clash so heavily as to introduce open and unabashed violence between the two, a saga of ideological war unfolding before the eyes of even the innocent. Few would have suspected that beings who often shed data rather than blood could still die so bloodily.

MarbleMan was accused of deliberately leading a troop of rookie officers into battle, after pushing for their deployment on basis of their exemplary training performance. What the navis found was an unfortunate demise at the hands, or heads, as I hear, of HydraMan, a high ranked NetMafia Bloodhound. MarbleMan claimed to have barely escaped after watching the newbies fall, but if nothing else, his behavior was unbecoming of a senior officer. I was dispatched to investigate the circumstances of their death and to check into their history with MarbleMan, with orders to determine whether the NP was looking at an incompetent officer, a coward, a crooked fiend... or something else altogether.

My search first took me to the site of the deaths. A jackout barker had been used and then released, but even in absence of the barrier, fragmented navi data littered the ground and air. It was a bloodbath, but I am not squemish, nor had I come to mourn... Nor would it have been wise to linger in a den of NetMafia activity. Despite my earnest investigations, I discovered no clues as to MarbleMan's hidden motivations.

I next interrogated the prisoner himself. It was at this point that it became clear that MarbleMan had been a pawn in this crime.

More to come~
Case #1, Part 2: The Case of the Net-War Profiteer

MarbleMan was something of a wreck when I met him. His operator had kept with him... thank God, I thought, because there are so many operators who have no use for an imprisoned navi and cut them loose immediately. I was mostly thankful because that tie to his operator was both an interesting clue and probably also the only link to sanity he had at this point: where is the sense in an officer who attacks his own allies where there is nothing to loot and imprisonment is his only inevitable reward? It smelled of jealousy or personal arguments, but those were surface assumptions.

As I said, he was a wreck. Not repentant, exactly, but neither in denial, he recognized what he had done and asked only for forgiveness. The calm of his soul was neither my nor any other investigator's concern. Motive is not important in legal trial, but I have the freedom to investigate cases as I see fit. The key anomaly in all of this: what did he stand to gain? He would not answer. I continued to question, to prod... I wanted to discover the man's motivations. Not out of sympathy or duty... I really just couldn't leave the question of motivation unanswered. I would not allow the book to close on this unanswered riddle.

MarbleMan had not acted alone in his crime, a factor that many had failed to consider. If he deleted all of those navis, he needed weapons to do it... and if he needed weapons, unless our dear officer has the strength of Drakkas, he needed weapons. Chips! The operator, who had received neither question nor punishment, had been skipped over, yet be must have been present at the time of the crime.

His arguments fell through like scattering sands... He'd earlier stated he tried to stop MarbleMan and the navi had confessed that to be the case as well. But no, a flimsy lie. The chips were MaebleMan's means of execution and they were all the evidence one needed to know the operator has been a willing accomplice.

But motivation! What of the motivation? An inspection of the operator's life and relationships, conducted in a semi-official capacity, revealed that the operator attended school with one of the deceased navi's operators. He'd killed all of those navis only to upset the fellow student enough to make him disband his school club, the funding and lodging of which the perpetrator desired for his own club.

The operator received very little in the way of punishment. When a navi is destroyed, we see only recompense for the destruction of property. There was no loss of health or life, no loss of means or productivity, only property.

Besides this little exposure on the injustices of law regarding navi-kind, my goal is primarily this: the dual worlds we inhabit deceive us. In mysteries of the past, a man needed only to contemplate the motivations and deeds of the man in front of him. For mg work and perhaps yours as well, we must consider the man behind the curtain... the one who will frequently play a larger role in a navi's actions than the navi himself.

The operator had wanted to keep up the deception long enough, then cut MarbleMan loose. Why had MarbleMan persisted, even knowing this? Consider the faith a navi must place in his operator! His means to survive and even to get from place to place... really, the operator holds his safety and even his mortal soul. Could MarbleMan have found refuge with another operator? Perhaps. Could he have done it fast enough to evade the omnipotent hand of a creator who is willing to destroy navis so rhoughtlessly? Unlikely. His only option was to bide his time and hope for a miracle.

MarbleMan is still in NetPolice custody. His operator vanished from public eye and is likely hiding out either in private or public under a new identity. Why, you ask? While absolved of legal repercussions, the man would have faced unimaginable social pressure and scorn.
Case #2, Ongoing - The Virus-Haunted Mansion

I present a treat for you faithful readers: the ongoing mystery in which I now find myself entangled, posing new questions at every turn, difficult quandaries with very few answers. I will start at the beginning, producing all circumstances as I understand them, and end by listing the essential questions that must be answered.

This investigation began, as many of mine do, with a request accepted via the GNA's matching service. The client in question: an industrious Mr. Prog, looking to exorcise or otherwise remove ghostly viruses, who have infested the sizable abode of his late master. The master's identity is still largely a mystery to me, but it is apparent that he was a wealthy eccentric. The Mr. Prog is, well, a Mr. Prog. Loveable chap with a head like a sparkplug.

I should add that I entered into this venture with a friend, Miss Mata, who has since become lost by way of some hidden trap that I've yet to understand. I do not worry for her fate. She's a plucky gal with a wily operator and the ghosts do not appear particularly malevolent, just bothersome. Unfortunately, we have also lost contact with her operator, so I'm unable to learn where she is now. These are significant setbacks, but I will overcome them.

I have searched the lower floor of the building with a thorough touch. In most cases I have located ghosts, who seem to take some mischievous pleasure in hiding and popping out to scare anyone who comes to investigate their selected dwelling... which can be anything, from a cask of wine to a refrigerator. The arrangement of this haunting and that of this investigation are each conspicuous in their neatness: in every room I've visited so far, precisely one ghost is hidden and the Mr. Prog remembers only a few details of the ghosts's whereabouts. The consistency of these two details is uncanny, making this feel like someone's idea of a game.

Further contributing to the odd sense of deliberate manufacture that pervades this mystery is a series of clues, supposedly left behind by the late master, that Mr. Prog assures me are related to a hidden treasure, rather than the presence of ghosts. Each clue is written upon paper in plain English and consists of one word. So far, I have collected five and can venture no guess as to their meaning, proper arrangement, or even a phonetic pattern:

Deer. Beam. Teeth. U2U. Very.

Such a bizarre assortment have I assembled that I really have no basis to stage a single assumption besides the peculiarity of the puzzle and the master who prepared it.

The case continues as I record my pondering. At this time, hundreds of questions pick at my brain like so many gulls upon an unattended pastry. I shall name a few of the most important below, and feel free to venture potential answers or questions of your own.

Of the viruses: why have they chosen this mansion? Why have they chosen to inhabit one room each? Why have they not passed on to whatever awaits them after they perish? Did they ever truly perish at all, or were they simply manufactured to look like spectres? Most importantly, how can they be permanently removed from this dwelling?

Of the hidden treasure and it's clues: what are the motivations of the master for hiding such a treasure and composing this Easter egg hunt? Who did he expect to solve the puzzle, given that the only reason I came here myself was at the behest of Mr. Prog? Most importantly, what is the meaning of these clues and do they form the answer to a riddle?

I will provide further updates as progress continues. Cheerio~