|Release date:||October 15th, 2015|
The team is introduced and stumbles upon an “accidental” electrocution that leads to an underground trolling ring, which makes Dan go undercover. Meanwhile, Liron receives a mysterious package.
It was a bright and sunny day in Sims Wikiton. As usual, people were out and about happily going on with their lives, given that it was a thriving community. Streets were tidy and the air was fresh, and everybody was happy to live there.
Around seven in the morning, a man got up from his bed. He was somewhat tall and fit, with a head full of short blond hair. He went into the kitchen, poured himself some coffee, and after shaving, brushing his teeth and getting dressed, he got in a squad car and started driving out of his townhouse downtown and into the suburbs. After a few minutes of driving, the car stopped in front of what you’d call a typical suburban home - it had two floors, a porch, a garden in the back. However, this house was surrounded by other squad cars and officers talking to people.
The man got out of his car and walked into the house. Inside there were two more policemen talking in the foyer, while a robot and a cadet were examining a corpse that was lying on the kitchen floor.
“Morning”, the man said.
One of the officers stopped talking and looked at the man. This one was a little over average height and a bit stocky. He had short brown hair, brown eyes and a small yet full beard. He was wearing grey glasses, along with his police uniform.
“Good morning, Liron.” He then smiled at Liron, who still had a tired look on his face. “Didn’t get enough sleep right now, buddy?”
The other policeman turned around. He had black hair, brown eyes, and black glasses. After that, he glanced at the other officer and said:
“Liron probably went home late, Danny. After his assignment to go undercover investigating that family, he probably still has a lot of paperwork to take care of.” Dan nodded in agreement.
“Watcher, that must be a pain to deal with. By the way, Liron, Kay was telling me about this place up in the woods that we should totally visit when the time for the squad’s trip comes around. According to him, it’s gorgeous.”
“Yep. I used to go there when I was younger, in the boy scouts. We’d sit around the campfire, telling stories while eating marshmallows… it was fun.”
“Anyway, tell me about the case.” Liron started peering into the kitchen, while the robot poked the corpse with a probe and the cadet took pictures. The three policemen walked into the kitchen, and Kay started telling Liron what they knew.
“Alright - the victim is an adult male, around middle age. His wife and son are waiting upstairs for you to interrogate. Syde, any information on cause of death yet?”
The cadet looked at his colleagues and then stood up.
“Well, according to Delta’s readings…” He grabbed the robot’s arm and looked at an LCD screen embedded in the droid’s forearm. “Yep, electrocution.”
“Any signs of foul play?” Dan asked.
“Well, the neighbours told us that he was liked in the neighbourhood. He had virtually no enemies.” Kay replied.
“Okay, it was murder then” Liron said, without skipping a beat. “There are no such thing as accidental deaths around here. Syde, Delta, Dan, check around the kitchen for clues while Kay and I go upstairs to talk to the family.
“Way ahead of you, boss!” Syde watched Liron and Kay leave the kitchen and go upstairs. “Dan, I had Delta already perform a full 3D scan of the room.”
“I was not aware Delta had all these thingamajigs. I thought it was mainly supposed to bring us coffee, nothing else.”
“Why would Ben spend months developing this robot if it was going to be a glorified coffee maker?”
“Dear Watcher, I’m dense. Anyway, what did you find?”
“Well, the dishwasher’s broken.”
“Hmm”, Dan pondered, as he looked at the kitchen appliance. “You are aware that thing is very mangled and that you didn’t need to literally scan the room, right?”
“But I never get to play with the robot!” Syde cried in protest.
“You’re still a cadet, buddy. You need to first learn how to do the dirty work yourself in case things go awry. Anyway, let’s take this appliance to Ben and let him see if this leads anywhere.”
Meanwhile, Liron was already finishing interrogating the victim’s wife.
“I still can’t believe my sweet Marv is dead.”
“Please, Mrs. Parker, focus and tell us what you know.”
“My husband was loved here in the neighbourhood. He was head of the gardening club, he helped the kids in their street games… I don’t see how anybody would want to hurt him!”, said the victim’s wife, in tears.
“Alright, ma’am. Thanks for your input. Please remain in the room while I have our crew robot scan you for case file purposes.”
Liron walked out of the room. As he made his way downstairs to check up on the crime scene, Kay called him from the son’s bedroom.
“Boss, wait up! There’s something you should know. Let’s talk downstairs.”
As Kay and Liron climbed down the stairs, Dan and Syde walked back inside after loading the dishwasher into a truck headed towards the police department.
“Whew, that dishwasher was heavy”, Syde sighed, in relief. “Did the family say anything of interest?”
“I was going to tell Liron just that - apparently, the son told me his dad and the next door neighbour were having some WooHoo on the side.”
“Now that you mention it…” Dan flipped open his notepad. “The lady who lives next door did seem a little too sad for a neighbour when I questioned her. I initially thought they were close friends, but now this makes more sense.”
“Kay, has Delta run facial scans on everybody we interviewed?” Liron asked.
“Yeah, he should be almost done with the son and then we can go back to the police station.”
A white, windowless van parked in front of a brick building in the industrial parts of town. Kay was sitting in the driver’s seat, while Syde was next to him, carefully watching the street. Those areas were the seedier ones of Sims Wikiton, since the land value was lower there than in the suburbs or downtown.
“I don’t want to go”, a voice said from the back of the van.
“Danny, you were the chosen one by our game.”
“Oh come on, Syde, what kind of authority does rock-paper-scissors have?”
Kay decided to intervene in the situation.
“Look, Danny, I’d give you a couple drinks before, because I’ve seen you do this a while ago at the Christmas party, but I need you to stay sober for this task.”
“You guys owe me big time. And until my beard is back, you’re paying for my lunch.”
Dan finally opened the back doors of the van and walked to the driver’s door. He was clean-shaven, but the weirdest part is that he was dressed like a woman.
“Why do I have to be the one dressing in drag?”
Kay looked at Dan and smiled, smugly.
“Want the rundown?”
“Yes, please.” Dan retorted, with a bitter tone in his voice.
“Okay: if it weren’t for Delta’s facial recognition software, along with the local database, we wouldn’t have known that both the victim’s wife and the mistress were part of this… club. You know, the underground trolling ring. And, since our crew is all-male, for some watcherforsaken reason, we had to let Lady Luck choose who was going undercover here. You lost, so that’s why you’re here dressed a tad like Marilyn Monroe.” Dan groaned.
“Kay, I’m going to miss the flight!” said Syde, worriedly.
“Dan - or should I say, Claudia…”
“Don’t do that”, he interrupted.
“...I have to take Syde to the airport because one of his buddies from Sunset Valley got a lead in the ILS5 case.”
“Alright, just go.”
As the van started driving away, Dan walked towards the building’s door. He adjusted his fake breasts, then his wig, then his heels, and eyed the brick building in front of it. It was not a very tall one; it had only three floors. The ground floor was occupied by a liquor store, with iron bars protecting the windows. To the left, there was a green door, probably for apartment access.
“Okay, Danny, Danny, Danny.” he thought. “You’ve done this before-- I mean, you’ve gone undercover before to gather case information. Not this. Not dressed as a woman. Oh, Watcher, we really need new plasma - female plasma - to send on these kinds of stuff. Anyway, where was I? Oh, yeah, undercover. Just relax and take a deep breath.” Dan took a deep breath. “From now on, at least for the nearest future, you’re Claudia Day, a strong and sensual woman, daughter of a former Nordic diplomat and a mediterranean top model. You’re here because you were disowned after a pregnancy scare. Alright, Kay’s informant said that I should go to the backdoor and say the password: ‘lol problem???’ Damn, what a dumb password. Then again, it is a trolling ring.” Dan walked into the shop. “Afternoon”, he said, trying to make his voice higher than usual, to avoid suspicion. He approached the back door and heard a low, raspy voice from a slit in the middle of the door:
“Please come in.”
The door opened to reveal a flight of stairs, going down.
“This is literally an underground trolling ring. Can I even go down stairs wearing these heels?” he thought.
Meanwhile, Liron parked his squad car in front of his house. As he left the vehicle, he grabbed his coffee that was getting colder from sitting in the cup holder during the whole trip. As he approached the front door, he noticed a box on the doorstep.
“What in the world?...” he thought. Liron picked up the box. “‘Liron I. River, 19 Augustus Road, 90602 Sims Wikiton’. Hmm. I wonder what it is.” The police chief then opened the door and walked inside.
The front door led directly to his living room. It was a small house, even though it had two floors. From the entrance he could go to the kitchen by walking right. He set both the coffee and the box down on the kitchen table and walked to the counter to search for something to open the mysterious package he had found. After fumbling around with the drawers, he found a pair of sharp scissors and opened the box.
Dan Pin - or rather - Claudia Day walked down the stairs. Along the way there were a couple mishaps, but she was glad nobody saw any of it happen.
“I’m usually better with heels when I’m drunk”, she thought. Then, a group of three women approached her. The middle one started talking.
“Who are you?”
“The name’s Claudia. Who are you? The leader of the mean girls?”
The two other women exchanged shocked looks between themselves.
“Oh, we got a feisty one here. The name’s Rose. I run this place.” She then pointed to her entourage. “These are my lieutenants, Daisy and Violet.”
“Is this a flower power gang or something?” Claudia retorted, defiantly. She looked at Rose. She was a tall, blonde woman with light blue eyes and long, straight hair. She was wearing a small black dress, along with red gloves, red heels and a red belt. Daisy was to Rose’s left. She had short, wavy brown hair and was wearing a blue top with a grey skirt. Violet had red hair tied up in a ponytail, green eyes and some freckles. She was wearing a white blouse and a purple shirt.
“You should not talk to Rose like that.”
“And why is that, Daisy?”
“Daisy, quiet! You, Claudia, what is your business here?”
“I want in. I heard a lot about you gals, and I want to run with the finest female gang in all of Sims Wikiton.”
“Well, you got a sharp tongue, that’s for sure. You have to win three fights, each one of those against a random member of the gang. I’ll oversee the process.”
“When are we starting flying punches?” Claudia asked.
“Take this.” Rose handed the undercover officer a hair-tie. “These girls like pulling hair. You’re starting in five minutes, get ready.”
Claudia entered the ring. Women from all social statuses cheered and booed at her.
“Ladies” Rose said, over a microphone. "We got a new wannabe here. Let’s see which one of you gets to throw punches at her for the first time, shall we?”
The fight began. Claudia had no issues with brawling, because of Dan’s police training. As the fight went on, the crowd grew wilder, and she quickly knocked out her opponent. The second fight went on in the same fashion. After that, Claudia was standing in the middle of the ring panting, while both women lay on the sides, fainted from the fight.
“And now, this girl’s third opponent will be…” Rose said, as she removed a paper from a hat. “...’Rose’?!” The crowd stopped. Those women knew that poor woman wasn’t making it out of there at least with a broken limb. “Alright, then. Claudia, I liked you. I’m giving you a chance to yield and leave unless you want to hear your bones crack.”
“Bring it on.” Claudia replied, itching for another fight. This one took longer than the previous two, maybe due to the opponent’s strength, maybe because of the fact that she had already taken a beating and was tired from the previous fights. The crowd started betting on who was going to win, while Daisy and Violet watched from the sidelines. Suddenly, Claudia hit Rose with a punch right in her face and the latter toppled over to the ground.
“Ro-Ro-Rose lost?” Violet stuttered. “According to protocol, Claudia has won the three fights!” As Daisy and a couple other women carried Rose out of the ring and into her usual sitting spot, Claudia was talking to Violet.
“So, I won all three fights” Claudia said. “Does this mean I am now a part of the gang?”
“Almost. You still need to perform an additional task at Rose’s discretion. However, she was knocked out and she may be out for a while, so I have to decide with Daisy, as we’re supposed to fill in for Rose if necessary.” Violet then turned around. “Daisy! Come here for a second, will you?”
The two lieutenants chatted secretively for a bit. Meanwhile, Claudia looked at Rose, lying on a loveseat in the corner. She had some dried up plasma coming down from her nose, probably from the final punch. She didn’t look that bad aside from that, but she didn’t seem like she’d be out and about ready for action that soon.
“Claudia, Daisy and I have reached a decision. We checked with the PDF version of the gang rulebook on our phones and if the ‘applicant’ manages to knock out the leader, they don’t need to do the other task. So, yeah, you’re in.”
Liron was sitting on the armchair in his living room, with the contents of the box on the wooden coffee table.
“Why did someone send this to me”, he pondered. “Why must bad memories have to return like this?”
He picked up the photo that was in the box. It was a picture of a woman with bruises on her neck surrounded by bright yellow fur.
“Mom… I’ll find out who did this to you. I promise.”
Liron picked up the fur that came in the box. It apparently had the same size and colour of the fur surrounding Mrs. River’s corpse.
“Someone’s sending me a message. I should look into this, but tread carefully.”
Claudia stepped outside the liquor store and picked up her smartphone. Kay’s phone rang inside the police department.
“Kay, honey? Are you still there?”
“Dan, please tell me you called me ‘honey’ just to keep up with appearances.”
“Yeah, the girls and I are having a great time tonight.”
“That’s a relief. What did you find out from them?”
Claudia looked around, trying to see if she was being watched.
“Okay, so, the mistress and the wife haven’t been here today (go figure), but I’ve been told that the former was upset that ‘her boyfriend wasn’t going to move in with her’.”
“Ben found out that the dishwasher was tampered with using a wrench. Not just any wrench, one of those fancy ones from Landgraab Industries. They have a rather unique design.” “Check the mistress’ latest purchases, please.”
“Ben, can you pull up the bank statements for the mistress, please?” Kay asked, as Ben quickly typed on his keyboard and made the information appear on the large monitor attached to the wall. “Oh. The mistress did buy a Landgraab Industries wrench.”
“Bring her in for questioning. I’ll try to get more information on her and the wife.”
Claudia headed back inside. Meanwhile, across the city, in the suburbs, Kay and Liron knocked on the mistress’ front door.
“Hello? How can I help you?”
“Good evening, Ms. Williams. We need to ask you a few questions. Can you come with us to the police station?”
“What? I’m not coming out! It’s too late. Maybe tomorrow”, the mistress protested. Kay entered opened the garage door and searched the room. “You can’t go in there!”
“I’m afraid we can”, Liron said, as he showed Ms. Williams a search warrant. “You are suspected of murdering Marvin Parker. Please come with us.”
“Boss!” Kay shouted. “I found the wrench!”
“Take it to the lab”, Liron replied, as he took the mistress to the squad car.
Back at the police lab, Ben was examining the wrench. He was about average height, a bit thin and had brown hair. He looked closely at the tool through his brown eyes, as the light reflected off his glasses.
“There are no traces of the dishwasher’s metal here”, he said. “Usually, whatever was used to make these dents must have left traces of the dishwasher’s coating in it. Even though it fits the dents, it wasn’t this one.”
“Cool” Kay nodded in agreement. Suddenly, Delta started beeping. “Oh, it’s a phone call from Dan. Delta, accept the transmission.” A screen appeared in Delta’s chest and a visualization of a sound wave was shown in it.
“Hey, Danny. What did you find out?”
“Well, apparently a couple weeks ago the wife found out about the affair. That’s motive.”
“And I remember seeing a Landgraab Industries wrench in the victim’s home” Kay said. Ben promptly made the wife’s bank statement appear on the lab’s screen. “Danny, good job. You can come back now. The wife also bought a wrench shortly before the day of the murder.”
“Hmm, the mistress told me she was having a Simmerware party at the time of murder. The wife was there as well.” Liron said, as he entered the lab. “I overheard the last part of what you were saying, so there may be more to that.”
Morning came and the crew was at the Parkers’ shortly afterwards. As Liron knocked on the front door, Kay wandered into the garage to find the other wrench.
“Good morning, officers.”
“Good morning, Mrs. Parker. After recent developments in your husband’s case, we need to bring you in for questioning.”
“Wh-what happened? Is everything okay?”
“We’ll talk back at the station.”
Back in the interrogation room, Liron and Dan were sitting in front of the victim’s wife, who still seemed to be grieving her husband.
“Your husband was electrocuted while trying to fix the dishwasher, ma’am”, Liron said. “Someone sabotaged that appliance to cause his death.”
“Well, if you’re implying I did it, you’re wrong. I had never even seen that wrench! I never had the need to use my husband’s toolbox. He and my son were the ones who used it - they were restoring an old car for when my child went to college.”
“Liron.” Ben was speaking to him via a microphone from the other room to his earbud. “I found traces of the dishwasher’s metal on the wrench. It’s a match.”
“Well, ma’am, apparently your wrench, that was bought using your bank card, is a match. I’m afraid you’re under arrest.”
“Wait! Please, don’t. I wasn’t at home when the dishwasher broke. I was over at Janice’s house.”
“Yes. She was selling some Simmerware and I was needing some kitchen supplies for my son to use in university. You can call every housewife in the neighbourhood. We were all there!”
Dan stepped outside the room, where Kay was waiting for him.
“Danny, I think the son did it.”
“Let’s see - he knew where the tools were, he probably had access to his mum’s debit card, he had motive - knowing your dad is cheating on your mum can be hard on you… Yep, he’s a viable suspect.”
“Time to bring him in. I’ll drive.”
Marvin Parker’s funeral was held the next day, on a beautiful Saturday morning. Most of the neighbourhood had come to say goodbye to that man. Both his wife and his lover mourned him greatly, even reconciling while reminiscing about the man they loved, as his son watched from the window of a prison bus, in an orange jumpsuit, ready to go to jail.
“Ladies,” Liron said, accompanied by Kay. “Again, we’re sorry for your loss, despite the circumstances. This was a beautiful ceremony.”
“It’s okay. Janice and I were actually brought closer together after this.”
“Since your son admitted to doing the crime, he might have a reduced penalty, in addition for being his first offence.”
“Thank you for what you’ve done, both for my husband and for my son.”
“There’s actually something not as good - Janice Williams and Priscilla Parker, you are under arrest for conspiracy and trolling.”
As Liron said these words, Dan and the SWAT team stormed the liquor store across town, arresting everybody related to the female gang. And so, another case was solved by the Sims Wikiton Police Department.