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Re: After•LifeTopic%20Title
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The American Dream

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Maria pulled out her own copy of How to be Bigg and thumbed through the pages. "Huh, you know, this really is not all that bad."
Re: After•LifeTopic%20Title
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Sock

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Light, hovering over Maria's shoulder nods in agreement. "I was expecting some mind-numbing garbage and junk... but I'm pleasantly surprised. I mean, from that guy? I expected much worse."
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Free Time, Part 2

Once more, the world around them transitioned. The dead found themselves in what was presumably The Ritché's lobby, gleaming with tasteful luxury.

A group of three people were conversing here; two of them the dead already knew.

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"Aiden, the entire third floor of the building was flooded!"
"You can't just call that 'an accident'."

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"I didn't know the pipe would burst!"
"I just thought it would be a fun prank..."

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"It was a fun prank!"
"I was laughing so hard I fell over and splashed water all over some paperwork!"

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"Oh man, that's awesome!"

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"No, no, it's..."
"Dammit, why do they always leave it to me to deal with the two of you?"

Bobby and Ella were talking with a goofy-looking man in plain clothing, possibly suitable for hotel staff. He had large, swirly-lensed glasses on, masking rather weak, watery eyes.

[Robert Milverton: https://i.imgur.com/qOreG02.jpg]
[Ella P. Dee: https://i.imgur.com/ZM4EZR0.png]
[Aiden Dum: https://i.imgur.com/ECOrNP3.png]
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“Alright, what’s going on here?” Akari asked. “What’s this about a prank? A precursor to murder, perhaps?”
Vesti and Lauren's Interdimensional Investigations
This CYOA follows Vesti Gates and Lauren Tehra, two detectives who search for the truth, whether in their own dimension or otherwise.

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Re: After•LifeTopic%20Title
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"Oh, great, you guys again."
"I don't know what you're trying to imply, you need to dial back your imagination."
"He caused a mess at police HQ, that's all."

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"I may look like this, but I'm actually an undercover cop!"
"Er, don't tell anyone I said that."

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"The HQ, Truncheon Tower, is nearby, so I popped in for a visit!"
"Plus, you know. Slightly flooded."
"I'll wait until someone cleans that up before heading back."
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"Undercover cop? What're ya guys here for?" Pat raised an eyebrow. "Y'think something's gonna happen here for the banquet or what?"
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"Naw, I'm the only one undercover here!"
"I got the skills that they don't!"

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"He's an idiot, but he can cook."
"Makes him suited for going undercover here, on kitchen duty."
"By the sounds of it though... Maybe you're not aware of what's going on?"
"The event here, the 'charity' meal, is being hosted by Bux Biggson."

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"Hah, 'charity'! It's just a cheap PR stunt."
"Smart! But scummy. Smammy?"
"You know, he calls it a charity event, but they're sure spending a lot of money on the guests."
"It's a chance for one rich bastard to show off to a bunch of other rich bastards."

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"They're all here to 'network' or whatever."
"You know, make all the important business decisions and such."
"That's where I come in! I'm here to keep an eye on things."
"See if I don't overhear anything interesting being discussed, you know?"
"In this sorta environment, when all those types get together in one place, secrets are bound to slip out."

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"Of course, Bux himself is the worst of 'those types'."
"He's a criminal, no two ways about it."
"But the evidence needed to convict him is never there."
"He is, quite simply, too powerful for the law to affect him."
"Best we can hope for is spying on him, seeing what comes up."
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The American Dream

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“Slippery like an eel… a most dangerous foe!”
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Sock

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"Hrmph. One of those, huh? Are you sure telling us all this is a good idea, anyways?" Light sighs and shrugs, not really expecting an answer.

"People like him don't really think like the rest of us, anyhow. When your life is that different, it's almost impossible to relate in any way. 'Sides, that kind of rich life... I wonder just how hard that man has to work to get what he wants. I suppose that doesn't really matter."

"...And I don't think I'm gonna ask why an undercover cop was pulling a prank..."
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The Murder

Location: Grand Hall, The Ritché Hotel
Time: 17:00

People were still arriving as the soirée officially started: after all, it was fashionable to be late. The schedule had accounted for this, with the first course being hors d'oeuvre, simple finger food while everyone organised themselves and settled down.

Bux was, as the host of the event, there from the start. Posey, staying in the hotel and not wanting to miss a single moment of gossip, had arrived early as well. Mr Pink was supposed to be there, but was apparently running late. Eventually, Bobby showed up too: as the official heir to the Milverton name, he was affluent enough to get an invite. This didn't stop him from showing up pointedly late to spite Bux, though. Many other wealthy guests filled the seats around the room; the very act of choosing which table to sit at was a statement in and of itself. The seemingly bright atmosphere was undercut by politics, scheming and ego, leaving Bobby with a heightened sense of paranoia.

A little later, at 17:20, the dead saw Bux quietly leaving the hall through a side door. Earlier exploration by Maria told them the corridor beyond led to the roof. Bobby also left the hall at around this time to head to the bathroom, via the main entrance, before returning after a while. It wasn't long before the tension in the room became suffocating though, so he left again to go for a walk and clear his head.

Around the time the appetisers were served, Mr Pink arrived at last. He took a seat to enjoy some food, having missed out on the earlier courses. However, those appetisers were to be the last course served at the soirée. Just quarter of an hour after he arrived, police entered the hall and announced that an incident had occurred, and that the hotel was to be locked down while they investigated.

The dead were now taken to a view of the carpark outside the hotel. There they saw the victim of the final case: Bux Biggson, lying in a pool of his own blood. He'd fallen from the roof far above, smashing his head open on the ground below.
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Investigation

Bobby was the one who found the body and called it in. After getting back from his walk, he'd noticed something strange in the carpark and went to investigate. The 'something strange' turned out to be Bux's body.

He was leading the investigation here, while other officers interviewed witnesses at the soirée. He was interrupted however by a group of three grim-looking officers walking up to him, Ella among them and looking unusually serious.

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"Sorry, sir, but we have eye-witness testimony."
"She said... you're the one who pushed him."
"I don't really want to believe it, but..."

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"You're taking me in?"

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"Standard practice and all that."
"We can't allow a suspect access to the crime scene."
"What if you... I dunno, dress Bux up in clown clothes?"
"Make us laugh so hard we'd forget all about the investigation."
"We couldn't have that!"

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"*sigh* Of all the people to arrest me..."
"Sure, I'll go quietly. Send a message to Promethea, she'll set things right."
"Try not to mess things up without me."

Bobby allowed himself to be handcuffed, then two of the officers escorted him to a car to take him over to the nearby Truncheon Tower. Ella then began yelling orders to the other officers. Somehow she was the most senior one there now, which put her in charge of the investigation. Hell froze over.

Spoiler: Ella's Perspective: Car Park
The dead finally regained the ability to interact. There wasn't all that much to see here, though: it was simply the place Bux fell. The true crime scene would be up on the roof.

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"Funny, thought his blood would be blue."

Not many were willing to examine the body up close. Only Maria and Akari went as far as to actually touch it, confident in the knowledge that it was physically impossible to tamper with the scene, no matter what they did. TV Head made a big show of being ready to examine it too, but then conveniently found something else to do instead which meant she didn't actually have to go near the viscera.

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"Really messy way to go. Sounds like he deserved it though."

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"Hey, what's this?"

Maria pulled out a stopwatch from Bux's jacket. The fall had broken it, stopping it at 17:40. Ella confirmed that this was the time of death they'd be writing up in the autopsy report. In the meantime, Akari searched the rest of the jacket, but suddenly pulled her hand back with a hiss.

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"What was that? Something stung me, dammit!"

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"Owo, what's this?"
"The needle from his ID badge, huh?"
"There's some blood on it... Not yours, I mean."
"Hey, someone send this off for analysis!"

She waved it around for someone to pick up, too lazy to deliver it properly herself. Just then, Edgar spoke up, crouched a short distance from the body.

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"Hey, got something over here."
"Bux's phone. Looks like, for plot convenience, it's still unlocked."
"Must have been using it when he fell."

The dead gathered around to look. There was probably all manner of information on there that the police would love, but one message he'd received recently seemed pertinent to the case at hand. It was a text from Mr Pink, that read, "Sorry for the delay, I’ve just arrived at The Ritché. There’s something strange in the car park, I’m keeping my distance. I will be up with you shortly." It had arrived at 18:00, which lined up with when Mr Pink had entered the hotel.

Everyone investigated the area some more, but nothing else came up. The dead felt it was about time to move on, but then an officer approached Ella with one last piece of evidence: the security footage for the carpark. It didn't show the body, but it captured the only way into the carpark (other than the terminal one). The footage showed Bobby arriving at the carpark at 18:10, in line with when he phoned in. No-one else went to the carpark during the pertinent period (nor was seen leaving), confirming that no-one could have interfered with the scene.

Spoiler: Ella's Perspective: Hotel Lobby
After this, Ella headed to the lobby. Reception staff there were able to confirm Mr Pink arrived when he said he did. Aiden was also lounging about here; he perked up at Ella's arrival.

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"Heya! How's the catering career going?"

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"Oh, they fired me!"

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"Hah! Classic Aiden."
"Whatcha do this time?"

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"Ah, you know... Knocked over a table by mistake."
"Kinda had all the... what did they call it? Amuse-boo-chay on it."
"Head chef wasn't best pleased."
"Though she kept me on until the police showed up and cancelled the whole thing!"
"Said even if I was an idiot, I could still cook, and they needed all hands on deck."
"It's only after that when she fired me."

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"Hahaha! Brilliant, nice one!"
"You weren't even gonna stay on anyway, it was an undercover job."
"Shows her!"

They continued chatting like this for some time. It soon became apparent that Ella had no interest in actually doing her job, so the dead decided to go check on Promethea.

Spoiler: Promethea's Perspective: Detention Centre
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"Well, ain't this an interesting sight?"

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"Can it, you. You're here to help me, right?"
"Aren't you meant to be supportive to your client?"

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"Aw, does baby need a hug?"
"Sorry, I know, serious situation an' all."
"Get me up to speed, I'll check out the crime scene soon as I can."

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"Not much to say, really."
"I went out, walked about for a bit, came back."
"Saw something in the carpark. Looked like a familiar silhouette."
"I've seen enough corpses in my time, so alarm bells were ringing."
"Sure enough... there he was. Dead as a doorknob."

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"...Really? That's all you're giving me?"

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"You'll hear the rest at the scene, I'm sure."
"Don't let me bias you. Keep a sharp, impartial mind."
"Be ready for anything. Bux being murdered is big. Fittingly."

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"...Right."
"Sounds like I shouldn't delay, then."
"See ya! I'll prove your innocence, so sit tight!"

Spoiler: Promethea's Perspective: Grand Hall
Once she reached the hall, Promethea, looking distinctly out of place, began asking around. Most were deliberately unhelpful, but she heard enough to confirm that only a few of the guests had anything to do with the crime, so quickly stopped bothering talking with the others.

Posey was standing to one side, as the police wanted to keep an eye on her. Her eyes were bright, filled with the desire to share an exciting story. Promethea was all too happy to help.

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"Looks like you're an important witness this time, huh?"

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"Oh, well, you know how it is."
"You see a man go up to the roof to push another man off, suddenly you're important."

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"...Wait, run that by me again."
"You saw the murder?"
"Dammit, no wonder Bobby didn't wanna talk."

One of the officers guarding Posey glared at her.

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"Whoops! Sorry, they don't want me talking to anyone."
"Even you, I'm afraid."
"I mustn't get dramatic, though. I do have a tendency to."

"I didn't see the murder, I'll say that much."
"They're calling my testimony 'conclusive' though!"
"It's exciting, but also quite sad... I don't want to believe poor Robert would have done what he did."
"I have to do my duty as a good citizen, though. Wouldn't be right to keep quiet."

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"The day you manage to stay quiet is the day hell freezes over."
"Then again, they did put Ella of all people in charge of an investigation..."
"Strange times, I guess. Thanks, anyway."

Spoiler: Promethea's Perspective: Roof
The last place to check was the all-important scene of the crime itself. Unfortunately, the area proved quite disappointing.

The roof was incredibly bare. There weren't even any barriers, which made it easy to fall off. It was supposed to be off-limits for safety, but apparently Bux had waved some money around and gained access. Apparently it made for a good location for a private conversation, which he'd planned to have with Mr Pink. That seemed to be the reason Bux had headed up here, but due to Mr Pink being late, Bux was left waiting until Bobby, ostensibly, pushed him off. There was nothing else of interest to be found: no particular evidence, no places someone could have hidden, no other ways to go up there.

Speaking of "nothing else of interest", Mr Pink was standing blankly in the middle of the roof, having been interviewed up here. Promethea headed over to hear his side of things.

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"So you're Bux's personal accountant, huh?"

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"Yes, I am."

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"What's your story, then?"
"I hear Bux was planning to meet you up here."

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"Yes, he was."
"I had some accounting work to do, however."
"I made sure to leave enough time, but there were unexpected holdups afterwards."
"All in all, I arrived an hour late."

"I saw something strange in the carpark."
"I didn't want to go near, so I sent a message to my boss and then headed inside."
"In hindsight, I must have seen Bux's body then."
"I didn't realise, of course, so sent a message to a corpse."

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"Can't have been pleasant for you, sorry."

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"It is of no consequence."
"I will find a new job before long."
"People always need accountants."

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"Er... Right. Anything else you can tell me?"

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"No."

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"Alright then, thanks a bunch!"
"You've been a great help."
"See you around, mate."
"Try not to have too much fun up here."

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"You needn't worry about that."
"I have a schedule that allocates fun for me."

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"Uh...huh."
"Yeah, uh, later then."

Once more, after this a limbo period began. The dead could converse with witnesses and each other, while organising themselves into two teams.
Re: After•LifeTopic%20Title
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"Hmm...Bobby's kind of an ass, but I trust him. Probably better than half the people on the force," Akari said, having not even fully read the investigation. "I'll be taking up his defense."
Vesti and Lauren's Interdimensional Investigations
This CYOA follows Vesti Gates and Lauren Tehra, two detectives who search for the truth, whether in their own dimension or otherwise.

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"I'm in the same boat." Light nods. "Something about him... Can't quite place it, though. But that doesn't matter. I'll defend him."

"If he's guilty, well, I'll be glad to have him rot in hell with me."
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"I don't know if he did it or not, but I don't want to be a prosecutor this time, so I'm gonna defend him!" Lady said.
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"I trust Bobby!" Pat declared. "We've been through so much together, haven't we?" He grinned, recalling all the fun times when he kept crafting extremely insane theories for some reason. "Yeah sure, 'course I'll defend him! Let's go!"
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"Don't any of you have a sense for drama?" Edgar said. "Of course he did it. The victim is hateable we trust him implicitly. Everything is in place for this last twist. I will be prosecuting with that in mind."
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“Triple or nothing! I’m going to be on the prosecution!” Damnation be damned let’s do this oh yeah.
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The American Dream

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"I will be prosecuting Bobby. As much as I may want to side with Bobby, I cannot blindly trust the defendant just because I have a distaste for the victim. This is the final go at this, so let's give it our all!"
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"You all know whether we find him guilty or not doesn't have any bearing on what happens to him, right?" Mai sighed and shook her head. "This is about what happens to US, so listen up, I have a better idea!"

She gestured to Pat and GUNS, snapping her fingers as she pointed at each of them. "You two are already coming back to life, right? So that means you don't have anything to lose now. So why don't you two take one side, the rest of us takes the other, then you can just let us win! See, that way everyone's happy!" she smiled.
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"Huh? what? Oh, um I'll pick prosecution just for a change of pace, y'know!" GUNS was distracted by someone with a shiny outfit and did not listen to what Mai said.
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“Maybe what we do means nothing. Maybe not. I can’t really say, anyways. We’re convincing Death itself, aren’t we? If he gets a false charge, maybe when he passes on Death will be kind.”

“Whatever that nonsense actually does doesn’t matter to me. I want to see this truth for myself.”
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Before Mai or anyone else could respond, the world around them abruptly shifted to the void-floored courthouse.

The Trial

Death glared down at the assembled dead, though his 'expression' was the same skeletal smile as usual so it was a little hard to tell. He began playing another guitar piece.

[Epic guitar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOMhuf1VJTc]

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"IT HAS BECOME NECESSARY FOR ME TO REMIND YOU OF YOUR POSITIONS."
"YOUR ABILITY TO EARN A SECOND CHANCE IS ENTIRELY AT MY WHIM."
"IF YOU TRY TO SUBVERT THE AFTER•LIFE PROGRAM, I WILL REDACT THE OFFER."
"WITH THAT SAID, LET US BEGIN THE TRIAL. I WILL HEAR NO MORE OF THIS 'STRATEGY'."

"THE CASE BEFORE YOU IS SIGNIFICANT."
"I TOLD YOU BEFORE THAT THE DEATHS SO FAR WERE UNSCHEDULED."
"AN UNSCHEDULED DEATH IS HIGHLY UNUSUAL."
"IN FACT, ORDINARILY ONE IS IMPOSSIBLE. FUNDAMENTALLY SO."

"THE ONLY WAY TO CAUSE AN UNSCHEDULED DEATH IS TO INTERFERE WITH FATE."
"ONLY A BEING FROM OUTSIDE THE LIVING REALM, SUCH AS MYSELF, COULD DO SUCH A THING."
"THAT THREE UNSCHEDULED DEATHS SHOULD OCCUR IN SUCH CLOSE PROXIMITY IS TELLING."
"I BELIEVE SOMEBODY, OR SOMETHING, IS WORKING IN SECRET TO ORCHESTRATE THESE MURDERS."
"THERE IS, AS YOU MIGHT PUT IT, A MASTERMIND BEHIND ALL THREE."

"PERHAPS THIS INFORMATION WILL HELP YOU IN THE COMING TRIAL."
"YOU ARE HERE, OF COURSE, TO DISCUSS THE UNSCHEDULED MURDER OF BUX BIGGSON."
"HE WAS THE CEO OF 'BIGG EVERYTHING', A COMPANY HE FOUNDED."
"HE HAD A GREAT DEAL OF ENEMIES DUE TO HIS UNSCRUPULOUS NATURE."

"THE FIRST IMPRESSION ONE MIGHT GET FROM THE SCENE IS THAT HE JUMPED TO HIS DEATH."
"WITNESS TESTIMONY AND EVIDENCE SUGGESTS HE WAS MURDERED, HOWEVER, BY ROBERT MILVERTON."
"AS HE IS THE PRIMARY SUSPECT, I MUST CALL THE SUBSTITUTE INVESTIGATION LEAD TO THE STAND INSTEAD."

The usual beam of light shot out of the hourglass, but this time the form it coalesced into was that of Ella Dee, who had somehow brought a donut with her.

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"STATE YOUR NAME AND OCCUPATION FOR THE COURT."

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"Ella Dee!"
"I'm with the police!"

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"YOU WILL EXPLAIN THE POLICE'S REASONING FOR ACCUSING ROBERT OF THE CRIME."

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"Oh, I'm doing this bit this time? Cool!"
"Ahem!"
"We have the trinity of justice on our side!"
"1. Clear witness testimony!"
"2. Decisive evidence!"
"3. Strong motive!"

"Posey can give her story later, so I'll do the other two."
"We found blood on the pin in Bux's jacket, right?"
"Well, guess whose it was? Bobby's, of course!"
"He's pretty adamant that he didn't go near the body in the car park."
"Gotta preserve the crime scene and all that."
"So when'd the blood get there?"
"When he pushed Bux, obviously!"
"There's not really any other time it could have."

"Now, the motive is really spicy."
"There was this rumour going around, and we followed up on it."
"Did a DNA test and whatever."
"You've probably heard how Bobby was born from an affair?"
"Brook Milverton wasn't his real daddy."

"So, maybe you see where this is going?"
"Bobby's biological dad was Bux Biggson himself!"
"Bobby had a hard life, you know."
"And all that misfortune the Milvertons faced? All traces back to Bux!"

"He had the affair with Mrs Milverton, Lea."
"That led to poor old Bobby being neglected growing up."
"Later it led to Brook divorcing Lea."
"And that then led to Lea's suicide."
"You can see why Bobby would have resented the man."
"And who wouldn't, he was kind of an arsehole."

Death banged the base of his scythe against the giant sounding block, and Ella took a satisfied bite from her donut.

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"ADEQUATELY EXPLAINED. IT SEEMS WE MUST NOW HEAR FROM POSEY."
"THEN THE BASE FACTS OF THE CASE WILL BE LAID OUT, AND DISCUSSION MAY BEGIN."

Once more, light from the hourglass summoned Posey to the stand. She waved to the assembled dead, and the Numina too.

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"STATE YOUR NAME AND OCCUPATION FOR THE COURT."

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"Posey Glover!"
"I run a small store on the high street."
"Oh, I suppose I mustn't be modest, it's quite a large store really."
"But you get my point."

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"YOU ARE TO TESTIFY AS TO WHAT YOU SAW AT THE SOIRÉE THAT DAY."

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"Well now, that soirée was a wonderful chance to catch up on the latest gossip."
"I'm ever so curious about these things, you know."
"When I saw Bux sneaking off, well, I couldn't help myself."
"I just had to know who he was meeting. After all, why else would he be sneaking off like that?"
"I tiptoed up to the door, probably unnecessary really, and wedged it open with my handbag."
"Then I took a seat nearby so I could keep an eye on the corridor."

"Sure enough, a little later I saw little Bobby heading along up to the roof."
"I suppose he must have taken the long way around, you'll see it on a floorplan of the hall."
"At that point I really couldn't help myself. I left my seat and poked my head into the corridor."
"I hoped I'd be able to overhear something interesting from the roof."
"I didn't dare to leave the hall entirely though. I couldn't just let them discover me."
"If you're curious, multiple people can testify that I stayed in the hall the whole time."

"Anyway, I thought this meeting was interesting."
"I'd heard the rumours after all, that Bux might be his father."
"I couldn't hear what they were saying up there, unfortunately."
"After a few minutes they began arguing though, that much I can tell you."
"It really got quite heated, honestly."

"Then it went silent, and I realised someone might be coming."
"I quickly pulled back and returned to my seat, but I kept an eye on the corridor still."
"The soup had been served at that point. It was there when I retook my seat."
"I then saw Bobby returning the way he'd came."
"He looked rather worked up. I don't think he noticed the door was slightly open."
"Bobby entered the hall again from the main entrance a little after that."

"My handbag was still left in the doorway."
"Bux still hadn't come back, so I was curious if he was meeting someone else too."
"No-one else ever went along the corridor, though. Not until the police arrived."
"I'm sorry to say, but... Bobby was the only one who was ever up on the roof with Bux."
"I don't see how anyone other than him could have pushed the man off."
"Especially as he was up there at the time the police say Bux died."

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"VERY GOOD. THAT WILL SUFFICE."
"A COMPELLING TALE, I MUST SAY."
"EVEN STILL, IT NOW TURNS TO YOU, DEFENCE AND PROSECUTION."
"ASCERTAIN THE TRUTH. YOU MAY PROCEED!"

[Defence: Akari, Light, Lady, Pat]
[Prosecution: Edgar, TV Head, Maria, GUNS, Mai]
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[oh boy here we go again]

"Sorry, Posey", Pat chuckled. "But I can think of a way the killer coulda gotten up to the roof without havin' t'use the stairs. They simply flew up there!" At this point, everyone had already gotten used to this song and dance enough that this wasn't a surprise to them. "How'd they fly up, you ask? Easy! Usin' a helicopter! They flew up, pushed Bux off, and then flew away into the night! All without bein' noticed! As for the blood, that's not decisive evidence at all! Bux's pin was holdin' his ID in place, right? So how would Bobby's blood got on there? When he pushed him, right? But that coulda only got onto him from the front! Yet Bux landed head-first, which implies he had t'have been pushed from behind!"

"How do we resolve this contradiction? The blood was simply planted by the real killer, of course! But that begs the question, where'd they get the blood from? That's easy enough. They met Bobby before, then preserved his blood in some test tubes or whatever, and then brought a sample to put on the pin! Now, who could the killer possibly be? It had to have been somebody with enough knowledge to pilot a helicopter, somebody who'd have encountered Bobby before, and somebody with enough scientific know-how to preserve his blood for that long for this moment. Signs only point t'one person, doesn't it? That's right, it was Philip Stone!" He slammed the desk dramatically. "It all ends here, Phil! I've figured you out for real this time!"
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“Looks like Pat’s got it figured out,” Akari said, making a vague attempt at a nod. “But in case he somehow hasn’t. This doesn’t seem super conclusive to me. Sounds like they argued anyway, so even if Bobby got physical with Buxx it doesn’t mean he killed him. And was the roof checked out before the soiree began? Maybe someone like Pink was already waiting up there.”

“Also. Did Bobby have a wound on him? The blood had to get on there somehow.”
Vesti and Lauren's Interdimensional Investigations
This CYOA follows Vesti Gates and Lauren Tehra, two detectives who search for the truth, whether in their own dimension or otherwise.

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Southern Corn wrote:


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"You almost got it, but I won't settle for a partial answer!"
"The plan, as stated, wouldn't have worked. There was one additional step!"
"The only way I could Bux alone up there is to delay Mr Pink."
"That way he would be left waiting, giving me the perfect opportunity."

"Of course, with my helicopter it was trivial to fly over to Mr Pink's apartment."
"I then cut power to the block, shutting off his computer before he could save his progress."
"I had prepared a number of other ways to hold him up, but unfortunately he headed straight outside after that."
"He intended to take a taxi to the hotel, I believe."
"As such, I had to fly around and cause a few accidents here and there."
"The locations were perfectly calculated to cause enough traffic problems that he'd be occupied."

"When I flew back to the hotel, though, I found someone else on the roof with Bux."
"It was, of course, the defendant, Bobby!"
"They were having a heartful reunion, as parent and child."
"I couldn't have that, so I sent a text to Bux."
"It told him that Bobby was a pineapple-on-pizza lover."
"Naturally, their wholesome conversation quickly descended into a blistering argument."

"Things got pretty heated, and Bobby shoved Bux at one point. That's probably when he got jabbed by the pin."
"Their differences were irreconcilable, and it wasn't long before Bobby stormed off."
"Now, at last, Bux was alone once more!"
"I descended, unseen and unheard, by lowering myself on a metal wire as the helicopter auto-hovered above."
"A simple push was all it took to send Bux sprawling over the edge, where he fell to his death."
"And there you have it! The perfect crime."

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"...WHO LET HIM IN HERE?"

Planetbox wrote:
“Looks like Pat’s got it figured out,” Akari said, making a vague attempt at a nod. “But in case he somehow hasn’t. This doesn’t seem super conclusive to me. Sounds like they argued anyway, so even if Bobby got physical with Buxx it doesn’t mean he killed him. And was the roof checked out before the soiree began? Maybe someone like Pink was already waiting up there.”

“Also. Did Bobby have a wound on him? The blood had to get on there somehow.”


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"It wasn't checked. It was off-limits, people don't go up there."
"There was nowhere to hide though."
"And, um, we can't really say either way about any wounds."
"A pinprick would be so minor that we can't rely on finding one."
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“Oh yeah?” Akari replied, leaning threateningly over the bench. “What about over the edge of the building, huh? Were there any spots to hang like a monkey and yank Bux off when he got too close?”
Vesti and Lauren's Interdimensional Investigations
This CYOA follows Vesti Gates and Lauren Tehra, two detectives who search for the truth, whether in their own dimension or otherwise.

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"Ew, if you lean like that I see right down your throat!"
"And to answer your question, no, not really."
"No-one coulda held out long enough."
"Unless they were an actual monkey!"
"Maybe we need to start phoning all the nearby zoos."
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"I don't think that's necessary," Mai interjected, having recovered from her brief fit earlier when her idea was shot down (look it happened just imagine okay). "There aren't any other ways for a person to get to the roof other than going through the corridor, and the detective and victims were the only ones seen there? Seems pretty open and shut to me."
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"Not to mention just establishing some way some unknown person could have been there isn't enough." Edgar took an uncomfortably long sip of coffee in between these two sentences. "... Since the defendant is the one with a clear motive here."
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Pat seemed very pleased that he had solved the case successfully yet again. Seeing the others argue despite this though, he decided to step in and show that even if you dismissed Phil it would be very possible to solve this without Bobby having done it.

"Alright so, first I gotta ask- why did Bobby take the main door instead of the side door to the roof? It woulda been a lot shorter that way, right? Did he maybe spot Posey on the way there and decided against taking the shortcut?"

"Also, remind me again- what'd that Aiden fellow do again? He spilled all that moose bochay or whatever, right? The stuff that was gonna be served at 5:20. So tell me, what'd they do about that? They had nothin' to serve the guests at that time, 'n they'd have noticed if nothin' new woulda been served for 40 minutes straight. How'd they deal with it?" He questioned.
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"Hmph..." Light grumbles, ignoring arguments against Bobby and looks through the pile of papers in front of him.

"The autopsy report. It says that Bux's injury is unusual? Unusual how?"
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Kachu wrote:
"Hmph..." Light grumbles, ignoring arguments against Bobby and looks through the pile of papers in front of him.

"The autopsy report. It says that Bux's injury is unusual? Unusual how?"


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"They're not sure."
"Something just seemed odd, is all."
"Maybe Bux's unusually thick bonce broke differently?"

Southern Corn wrote:
"Alright so, first I gotta ask- why did Bobby take the main door instead of the side door to the roof? It woulda been a lot shorter that way, right? Did he maybe spot Posey on the way there and decided against taking the shortcut?"


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"He wasn't planning on being seen."
"Witnesses said he made up some excuse about going to the bathroom."
"He didn't want people seeing him follow after Bux, so he took the main entrance like he was leaving for a normal reason."
"I doubt he ever realised Posey was creeping on him."

Southern Corn wrote:
"Also, remind me again- what'd that Aiden fellow do again? He spilled all that moose bochay or whatever, right? The stuff that was gonna be served at 5:20. So tell me, what'd they do about that? They had nothin' to serve the guests at that time, 'n they'd have noticed if nothin' new woulda been served for 40 minutes straight. How'd they deal with it?" He questioned.


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"Oh, it was a disaster!"
"To cover it up, we had to serve the next course early and hope nobody noticed."
"We budged it back 10 minutes, that way it'd be halfway between the other courses."
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"So isn't that somethin'?" Pat grinned. "The next course on the list is 'Soup'! And that was served 10 minutes earlier than the time on the menu. Meanin' that when Posey said she saw Bobby return from the rooftop, it was actually 17:30! Soup was gettin' served at the time, and even the victim's watch had 17:40 on it, so she musta tricked herself into thinkin' the times aligned!"

"Now that raises a new question- why'd the victim's watch only crack at 17:40 if he was pushed off at 17:30? Sure, his fall from grace woulda lasted a lil' bit, but not to the extent of ten minutes! It doesn't add up at all... not unless you suppose he was actually pushed off 10 minutes after Bobby left! Meanin' he couldn't've done it!" He declared. "As for how the actual killer got up there, I already told ya 'bout the helicopter. Other than that, maybe they were on the rooftop first before Bux came, and after killin' him descended to a lower floor usin' a rope or somethin'. Or maybe, Bux leapt off the buildin' himself in a fit of guilt! Whatever works really, the important part is ol' Bobby is innocent here!"
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"Oh my!"
"Yes, I suppose that means I was wrong?"
"Or at least mistaken."
"Gosh, I really am so sorry, everyone!"
"Especially to you, Bobby. It's wonderful to hear you're innocent."

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"But... like... who did kill him, then?"
"Bux ain't exactly a jumper, if you catch my meaning."
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"This is still perfectly explainable if the stopwatch has been tampered with. And in between Mr. Buxson hitting the ground in the parking lot and the defendant discovering his body, no one else but him would have the chance to do so."

"Of course, he couldn't alter the time of death much. But by just setting the watch to 10 minutes after he returned to the dinner party and then smashing it himself, he could fabricate enough of an alibi." Edgar said, repeatedly dipping the only copy of the autopsy report provided to the prosecution in his coffee. "He was likely even counting on Ella's terrible investigation yielding this piss poor excuse for a autopsy report! I mean, 'something just seemed odd'?!"
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"Psh, nah, what're you saying?"
"I'm a great investigator!"
"It's why they put me in charge when Bobby was put away."

"The autopsy report is based on more than just the stopwatch, anyway."
"Medical analysis put the time of death between 17:40 and 18:00."
"Stopwatch lined up with that, so the natural conclusion is 17:40."
"Here, lemme update the court record with that."
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"Well, there we have it", Pat grinned smugly. "Couldn't'a been possible for Bobby t'have pushed him off after 17:40, right?"

"Anyway, as for who coulda pushed him off... Aiden was in the kitchen the whole time, Posey never left durin' the whole thing... Ella was probably, er, doin' her own thing I'm sure. The only person of interest remainin' is Mr. Pink, the very person Bux was waitin' for on the rooftop. Maybe we can hear from 'im some more, see if there's anybody there who can support his alibi, perhaps." He suggested.
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:objection:
"The victim's pin had the detective's blood on it! If he didn't push Bux off the roof, how would that get there?"
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"How indeed." Light sighs. "Perhaps it got on there during their confrontation on the roof, and then Bobby left after without killing him."

"Blood on a pin doesn't make it possible for Bobby to have shoved Bux off the roof, does it? Maybe their little father-son reunion got intimate. I don't think it's relevant, anyways."
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"Maybe uhhh.... maybe Bobby DID push Bux off and then he was left holdin' on to somethin' for a couple minutes before fallin' off completely!!!"
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