Theft and Vandalism

The SP mission by the GNA was vague: investigate a series of crimes in Beach Net, and if possible, stop them all together. The rewards were generous if all objectives were fully completed.

Trent was the first to arrive from Internet City, followed closely by SINNBAD. They stood upon a sandy beach with the sounds of the ocean all around them. Seagull calls and the crash of waves continued unabashed of their presence.

SINN stood enchanted at the enchanting vistas. He had never seen sea or sand terrain.
Trent arrived in the network and was blinded by the light hitting his eyes for a moment. He looked around the area, unsure where to begin in his search with SINN. He looked around the area, as the sounds of foreign waves and the call of seagulls filled the air. he was curious by it all at first, and started to ask a question on the subject to Mark before ignoring his urges and focusing on the mission.

"SINN. Let's start our search. I don't think the beach itself is a very good place to start, lets try moving along it and paying attention to the boardwalk." Trent instructed. He kept his face stone cold as he looked to the sand running off his boot upon lifting his foot up. "This stuff is weird to walk on."

"Good thing we got that new npc program." Mark chimed in.

"Lets go," Trent said while moving up the beach.
SINNBAD followed Trent dutifully, silent.

[Begin mission!]
The duo walked along the beach and soon found a strip of beach-themed shops. There were no signs of disturbances anywhere and it was fairly populated by other navis. The major vendors that stuck out along the line were a "Zippyboard" rental shop, a "Cyber Ice-Cream" vendor and a GMO tattoo parlour. There were many other stores strewn about, but their signs were less interesting.

What do?
Trent looked around the area, scanning the booths and the people for damage to it all, not seeing anything really out of the usual. Confused slightly, not having expected that nothing at all would be showing out of place, he looked over the area once more, once again, having his search turn up empty. He reviewed the instructions issued by GNA and let out a deep sigh. "Mark, why didn't you tell me we would have to prove the existence of these first?"

Mark shrugged in response and said, "Ask around, but be discrete. We need to find these tips silently."

Agreeing, he turned to SINN. He leaned in closer to the large knight, and said, "We need to gather information on these events. See what we can dig up. Be a bit of a round about in it, try not to be to terribly direct with the questions." Trent said. "We also look slightly out of place here also," Trent added looking over himself and attire of SINN. "Be careful with your words, we don't need unnecessary attention drawn to us," He added at the end in a whisper. "I'm going to go check the GMO tattoos."

Trent turned on his heel from SINN and walked with heavy strides through the crowd. Trent meandered a bit on his way over, scanning for more info or clues. He walked to the tattoo shop, and greeted the shop manager. "How are things with you today, sir?"
SINN watched Trent go, then headed to the "Zippyboard" rental shop. It sounded like someplace that might be trendy for delinquents. Whatever it was.

He weaved through the crowd deftly, as if he was dancing through a sea of swords. Right, left, duck under a boom box, left, shift and twirl. And he entered through the entrance to the shop. He stood in the main forer looking around at the merchandise.
Inside the tattoo parlour, there was a burly looking artist already working on a client. Adorning the walls of the establishment were various images of things you could have added to your GMOs, for a price. Most seemed to be variations of skulls and things that boys would find 'cool', but there were some more tasteful examples of the artist's work, like a busty navi licking a scuttle virus.

At Trent's salutation, the tattoo artist grunted once, either indicating that he was busy or he was simply returning the greeting in his own way; there was no way to be sure. The unfortunate soul he was using as a canvas was in no position to reply, as he seemed to be in tremendous pain clutching the chair he was sitting on tightly and seemingly muffling a scream in his throat.

* * *

On SINNBAD's end, he entered the Zippyboard shop in the most conspicuous way possible. The door chime produced a friendly ring as shop owner smiled and nodded his head, "Right on... What can I do for you today, my friend?"

The shopkeeper looked to be an easy going fellow, not particularly remarkable in appearance but possessed a relaxed aura about him. SINNBAD looked around and as the shop name suggested, they rented out Zippyboards, which looked like a cross between a surfboard and a motorized scooter without a seat. They came in various designs and models but all seemed to possess the same general shape.
Trent took the grunt made by the artist as a greeting and watched him for a brief moment before inspecting the tattoos on the wall. The designs, to him, seemed rather tacky in most cases and weren't a true sign of an artist. He tried to memorize as many elements that he thought were more common around the art. Skulls, dice, flames, and busty navi's were among some of the elements he came to recognize as the features of the artists work.

"Mark, I don't think there are going to be any hints of anything here. The tattoos aren't the best, that's for sure." Trent said over a private line.

"Let me guess, expecting something large and beautiful?" Mark teased.

"What else would one want?" Trent responded, stone faced. Trent watched the artist work more before taking from the private line to address him. "I'm think of maybe getting some work done. What are your rates, and can you do anything other than the flash on the walls?"
SINN turned to address the shopkeeper of 'Zippyboards.' He smiled.

"Greetings. I have never seen a 'Zippyboard' before today. It looks interesting. Is it popular? Maybe you could point out its features?"

SINN asked.
The tattoo artist finished up his work and slapped the image he had just etched on the navi's shoulder. The shriek his customer was holding inside escaped as a yelp from the sudden shock. Nevertheless, he arched his head and looked at a conveniently placed mirror before giving a slight nod and a smile. Trent took a peek at the image and saw a picture of a female navi with the name, "Candy" right under it. He then exited the parlour, probably having paid beforehand, completely ignoring Trent.

The artist wiped off his hands before turning to Trent. Eyeing him up a bit, the artist scowled, "Ain't no fixed rates. You a nark?"

However, deciding the answer wouldn't be worth his trouble, he retreated into a back office. From inside, the navi added, "What'd you want done?"

* * *

"Awww, duuude! You don't know what you're missing, man!" the shopkeep said. He pointed to one of the models on the wall and began his speech, "Zippyboards are like... So cool. If you wanna just, like, speed along the beach feel the wind in your face, these things are pefect. Most models can travel at eight to ten pps and most guys are fine with that, that's cool. But lemme tell you if you want SPEED, I gotta show you this."

He walked to the other side of the display and ran his hand alongside the baseboard of a sleek, yellow Zippyboard, "This is the Thundercrest. I know you're new at this so lemme break it down for you: Four. Teen. This baby can go up to fourteeeen to sixteeeen pps."

He paused as if to wait for the shock to sink in, "Dude, come on. Sixteen P. P. S.! That's like the fastest you can go without the fuzz pulling you over. Now the normal ones will run you about two big a day," he said, stopping again only to clarify, "That's two thousand zenny. But the Thundercrest will run you three. You might think that's high, but I guarantee you that you won't find anything better or faster."
SINNBAD nodded at the end.

"The 'Thundercrest' sounds impressive. Perhaps I will purchase one in the near future."

He nodded again to himself. The price was reasonable, though his funds were lacking. He would note to come back later when he was wealthier. But at the moment the mission was more important. Though, how would he go about it?

"Which such merchandise you must worry about theft. I would be abhorred if my future Thundercrest was stolen from me. Do Zippyboards compact enough for me to carry them wherever or is there some sort of anti-theft mechanism on the board? Do I need to purchase a separate security device?"

He asked the shopkeeper.
Trent watched without flinching as the artist hit the tattoo harshly. A small chuckle did escape his lips as the event happened though. While Trent was amused by the subject and getting glimpses at the art, and committing it to memory, Mark was observing the artist. "Trent this guy is acting a little strange," He said over a private line. "Slapping the tattoo isn't something artist normally do, its almost a sign of familiarity with the customer. In fact, you don't pay for a tattoo before hand either."

Trent wasn't sure exactly what Mark was blabbing on about, but he took note that something was off. "I'm no nark," Trent responded bluntly. "I was aware there were no fixed rates, but do you go by the hour or by the design?"

Trent watched the man go off, dropping the subject as he did and followed him slightly back towards the office. "I have a few designs in mind of my bicep," Trent started, "all of which are rather small." He looked to his right bicep, to further the facade, and said, "Just some simple text. A few words in Sharoan I think. But what are you best at? Which tattoos do you do the most? Maybe I should get something like that instead."

Trent dropped his arm back to his side and waited for a response.
((No such thing as Russia.))

The artist passed a quick glance at Trent's arm before locking his gaze back at Trent's eyes and answered in as gruff a voice as ever, "Few words? 500. Maybe 6."

He paused to make a weird look before answering the other question, "...I do portraits."

* * *

The shopkeep seemed suspicious about SINNBAD's line of questioning and answered with an almost cautious tone, "...No, they're all pretty light so you could carry one out if you wanted, but you can also compress them too. We don't... Offer security features or anything like that. We pretty much all just use the honour system around these parts..."

His voice had lost the enthusiasm it had once carried, "Say, where you from anyways?"

SINNBAD replied. He then raised up his hands in a 'stop' motion.

"Forgive me. I have run into many suspicious and dangerous individuals in my travels and I have turned a little cold. If my questions about security have made you uncomfortable I apologize."

He explained before lowering his hands.
"What kind of portraits are you best at?" Trent asked. "Do you get a lot of requests for similar portraits here?"

Trent shifted his weight to one foot and crossed his arms across his chest as he leaned up against the wall. "I'm just curious because like to learn a lot of about local cultures."

"Trent, you're being awfully forwards." Mark reminded him.

"Portraits. Faces." The artist answered, not being that much more clear than before. At this point it was clear to him that Trent was after something else though that suspicion seemed to have been there since he entered the parlour.

Rather than beating around the bush, the artist spat, "Alright, just stop. What are you here for?"

* * *

The vendor seemed to relax a bit at SINNBAD's honesty and admitted, "Nawww, it's cool. I've just been on edge since a couple of my boards were stolen a little while ago. I filed a report but no one got back to me. I just thought..."

The navi stopped short of finishing his sentence and waved it off, "Ah nevermind. So do you think you'd want to rent a board? Maybe we can work out a payment plan or discount."
SINN cocked an eyebrow.

"Someone stole from you? You wouldn't happen to know what they looked like or where they went, would you?"

He asked in a slightly pleading tone.

"You see, I have been on the trail of a couple rogues who have stolen from others and defaced property. I plan on catching them and return the stolen items."

His eyes brightened.

"Perhaps I could even get your boards back! Anything that you can tell me about them would be helpful. They are annoyingly elusive."

He said with shake of a clenched fist.
"Just trying to find a good parlor and artist to do my tattoo. There are so many out there, with so many artists, I want to find the best I can." Trent pulled a pen out of his pants pocket, and reached for a blank piece of paper, stopping before grabbing it and silently asking the artist if he could use it. Once he grabbed it it wrote the following word on it. "Командир" He handed it to the artist.

"This is what I was thinking of getting." Trent put the pen back in his pocket and awaited an answer.

"Trent. You suck really hard at this whole getting information thing," Mark said, somewhat annoyed. "You really shouldn't try to be indirect anymore. I think you'll get further if you drop the facade." All over a private connection.

Trent choose not to listen.

The tattoo artist took the paper, tried to read it over and glanced back at Trent with a suspicious glare, trying to see if he was actually considering getting a tattoo and not simply wasting his time. He turned his full attention to the unidentifiable word and exhaled sharply.

With a small shake of his head, he said, "This'd be easy. 300. Up front."

* * *

The shopkeeper was sad that this wasn't leading up to a sale but seemed to be consoled by the fact SINNBAD was trying to help him out.

"Aw dude, that'd be freaking sweet if you could get my boards back. But yeah, I don't really know what to tell you. I just saw the backs of the guys who stole from me but I remember they were totally decked out in white from what I could see. Uhhh... I don't know where they went. If I knew that, I'd go after them myself. They just sped down the street, but that was a few days ago. If they were on MY boards, they could be anywhere by now. To tell you the truth, that's why I keep all my displays inside now."
"All in white."

SINNBAD mused. White was supposed to represent purity and righteousness. Even SINN wore white. He would make them pay for this desecration.

He then held out his right palm and a hologram of his current total of 1580z appeared above it.

"As you can see, I do not have the funds necessary at this moment to buy the Thundercrest. However, I should have enough for a down payment. I will need its speed to catch the thieves when I find them. Perhaps we can make a deal?"