Grani: Once Rock Bottom...

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Operator Record
Once Rock Bottom...
Grani icon.png

"First it's the Mount. Then it's the ones you fight with, the ones you work with... At this rate, you'll lose everything you ever held dear."

Unlock conditions

  • Raise Grani to Elite 2 Level 1.
  • Have at least 50% Trust with Grani.
Victorian Boy icon.png
Anxious Child/Eric
Male Old Kuranta A icon.png
Kurt Sr.
Male Victorian A icon.png
Mysterious Informant
RI Operator icon.png
Rhodes Island Operator
Salaryman B icon.png
Retained Lawyer
Factory Security
Guards Member A
Guards Member B
System Voice
Victoria Streets
RI Surgery Room
Victoria Streets Night
Hotel Room
After losing her position as a Mounted Police officer, Grani’s investigation comes to an impasse. However, the obstacles she will face are still much, much greater.
<Background 1>
Anxious Child Deedee, where are you?
Look, I've brought your favorite jerky!
??? Eric! I found him!
Eric Where at, Miss Grani?
[Grani and the boy run after a little animal.]
Grani Whooooa! I can't get a hold of him, and he's gonna get away! Hurry!
Eric C'mon now, this way. I have your jerky right over here, so stop running around.
[Grani catches the animal.]
Eric Where'd you find him, Miss Grani?
Grani Phew, he was trying to make his way down into the sewers. But thanks to that shiny little rump, I was able to catch him before he could squirm down there.
But you've got to keep an eye on him, Eric. I'm not with the Mounted Police anymore, so I'm not gonna be able to help you find him on patrol anymore.
Eric Thanks, Miss Grani. And, I know... But it sure is weird. Deedee's usually so well-behaved, and never goes running around like this. Why'd he be trying to hide in the sewers?
Grani Good question. You hear that, Deedee? Care to explain?
Huh? Did you get something dirty on you? It's all dark and... Hey! Don't climb on me!
Shoot, almost forgot! I need to head over to the hospital!
<Background 2>
[Grani approaches a Rhodes Island Operator.]
Grani Sorry I'm late. Ran into a little incident while passing through the Infected district.
Rhodes Island Operator More of your good deeds, Grani?
Grani Heheh... So where's Kurt Jr.? He still with you guys?
Rhodes Island Operator Second bed on the right. Oh, but...
Grani Thanks a bunch! I'll go pay him a visit!
[Grani enters a hospital room.]
Grani Uhh...
??? He's not going to be able to answer any questions. The doctor has already administered his injection, and he just fell asleep.
Grani Sir... How's your son doing right now?
Kurt Sr. The doctor said his condition was stable, but he keeps waking up in the middle of the night.
Sometimes he starts screaming the moment he does. He'll grip my hands hard and cry, 'it hurts, dad!' But there's nothing I can do except wait for the doctor to rush over with the shot.
More often than not, though, he just sits in bed staring at me without saying anything. As if those two wide eyes are looking right through me.
Grani The doctors at Rhodes Island are very experienced in dealing with Oripathy. He WILL get better, it's just a matter of time.
Kurt Sr. Mm...
Grani Don't you worry. Even if the Mounted Police are no more, I'll get to the bottom of this case. Justice will be done!
Kurt Sr. You're a good officer, Grani. Always have been.
<Background fades out and in>
Rhodes Island Operator Grani, here's that Originium detector you wanted to borrow. It's a bit heavy though. You sure you can carry it back by yourself?
Grani No problem! Thanks, and sorry for imposing on you again.
Rhodes Island Operator Don't mention it. We've known each other long enough.
By the way, is Kurt Jr.'s case not settled yet? Did the factory not provide any compensation?
Grani Yeah. Before the Mounted Police were disbanded, we searched that factory from top to bottom for anything suspicious.
The eyewitness says he got caught up in the explosion in the distillation tower, which gave him Oripathy.
But there were no traces of an explosion or any contaminants in Work Area #3, where it allegedly happened. No sign of a cleanup either.
Rhodes Island Operator That makes no sense.
Grani Originally, the factory supervisor denied any sort of incident happened at all. Then later, they claimed that the Mounted Police failed to produce any evidence, and put pressure on the department to get our investigation shut down.
And now that the Mounted Police are gone, the case has been transferred to the guards, and no way are they gonna do anything about it.
'That's an internal matter for Bolton Chemicals–' That's all the captain will say, in that pinched voice of his.
Rhodes Island Operator Kurt Jr. has been in that hospital bed for how long now? And they're still hanging up the investigation? Unbelievable.
Grani Which is why it's up to me to keep things going.
Rhodes Island Operator But you're a guard in name only now, while they figure out where to reassign you. And even if you have the equipment to investigate, how are you going to get access to the factory?
Grani No one said it would be easy.
Rhodes Island Operator I can't even begin to imagine how hard it'll be.
Grani Eh, don't worry about me. Heck, I've been a mountie long enough to make connections. I'll make sure things work out.
Oh, right. About Kurt Jr.... How's his condition, for real? I don't think you're giving his dad the whole truth.
Rhodes Island Operator *sigh*... Nothing gets past you, does it? I didn't lie to him. I just... omitted the most harrowing detail.
His condition has indeed stabilized, but his Cell-Originium Assimilation rate is very high. Coupled with the damage to his body caused by long-term physical labor, it's... hard to give a prognosis.
Even in the best case scenario, he may end up spending the rest of his life bedridden.
Grani He's only twenty-six years old, isn't he? No wonder you didn't want to break the news to his dad...
Rhodes Island Operator I promise you, Grani, we'll do everything we can.
Grani I know, I trust you guys. Thanks, though.
Alright then, I'm gonna head back first. After I get this whole thing under wraps, let's hang out again!
Rhodes Island Operator One sec.
Grani Hm?
Rhodes Island Operator In addition to treating Oripathy, we're also very experienced at handling Originium contamination. If you ever need help with that, give us a call.
Grani Got it. As a member of the Mounted– I mean, who do you think I am? Grani, that's who.
<Background 3>
[Grani enters a bar.]
Grani Two glasses of Big Johann's Special... Err, make that one special and one dry martini please. Appreciate it.
Phew–– Now then...
[A man now enters.]
??? ......
Grani Here, over here!
??? Didn't expect us to be meeting up in a conspicuous place like this, Officer... I mean, Grani.
Grani It's the same place as always. Nothing wrong with that, is there?
Mysterious Informant Do you know how dangerous it is for me to meet with you privately these day?
Grani Yeah, yeah. I'll make it up to you with this. Here, your favorite dry martini.
Mysterious Informant ...
Grani So did you bring what I asked for?
Mysterious Informant Here you go. A list of all the orders Bolton Chemicals has made this past year.<br/Want me to start with the conclusion?
Grani Go for it.
Mysterious Informant You were right on the money. This last year, they've been ramping up their purchases of refined Originium, processing equipment, and raw materials. It's clear that they're upping production capacity.
Grani When it was already close to saturation? But why?
Mysterious Informant Londinium hasn't known peace for quite some time. Anyone with a keen eye can tell that our precious dukes have been getting jittery.
High-speed battleships need maintenance, and armies need supplies. What better time to ramp up production for the days ahead?
Grani Bolton Chemicals is the pillar of Rydell City’s industries. If they wanted to ramp up production, they could just go through the city...
Mysterious Informant But that takes money, which cuts into their bottom line. The most cost-effective way of increasing production capacity is... simply to have more in the first place.
Grani Seeing how new contamination treatment equipment isn't anywhere on this list, they must still be using the same old equipment and pipelines that were already getting overwhelmed before.
Mysterious Informant And the end result is... kaboom.
Grani Thanks, I seriously owe you one. I can guarantee you this document's gonna come in handy. As for what comes next, I might need your help again.
Mysterious Informant Grani.
Grani Huh? Yeah?
Mysterious Informant I can't help you anymore.
Grani Huh? Don't joke around like that. We've been working together for so long, and you know how much I rely on you.
How about this? When we wrap up this Kurt Jr. case, I'll treat you to a nice meal at Rollin' Rotunda to show my appreciation. How does that sound?
Mysterious Informant I'm serious, Grani. You're no longer Mounted Police, which means our cooperation has come to an end.
Moreover, as you've seen, this incident can't be boiled down to something as simple as 'a little accident happened and the factory refused to pay compensation.' It involves the future of a large enterprise. There's no need for you to wade into these murky waters.
Grani Danny, don't try to talk me out of it.
Mysterious Informant I'm not. It's just a warning. I'm saying this as your friend– don't pursue this case. It'll all resolve itself, which is in everyone's best interest anyway.
Grani ...Alright, if you want out, I'm not gonna stop you. I know you have your reasons, but I have mine too.
This was the last case before the Mounted Police were disbanded. But we've seen our fair share, and it's not like we've never butted heads with Bolton Chemicals before either.
Plus, I can't just watch Kurt Jr. lie in bed for the rest of his life. It's my responsibility to keep investigating.
Mysterious Informant There's that sense of justice again. This isn't some exam at the police academy. After all these years, do you still not understand the kind of land you live in?
Do you expect Bolton to just defer to you officers like before, bowing their heads and offering up a settlement to apologize? You've never seen them bare their fangs, have you?
Grani I don't care; I'm not afraid of them. Do they have what it takes to stop the business end of my spear?
Mysterious Informant You think they'd only go after you? Hah. They've already made their move.
Notice how many people's eyes have been on you, ever since I stepped into this bar?
Grani The folks who come to Big Johann's are all neighbors and fellow workers. I used to come here all the time after patrol, so I know them well.
Mysterious Informant Take a look at this then, Grani.
Grani What's this form?
'Notice: Due to ongoing investigations by the Mounted Police, the Rydell City factory has sustained significant economic losses. As such, management has unanimously decided that...'
'Employee salaries and labor pensions will be reduced by percentage, according to the employee's rank. See the following table for details...'
What?! How dare they?!
Mysterious Informant So, did you not notice... how quiet it's been in here?
Grani suddenly lifts her head. When she senses the gazes on her from all directions, she feels like a fowlbeast perched alone on an empty branch.
Her surroundings are deathly quiet. Even their eyes are full of empty silence, like the wilderness itself.
Her throat starts to feel tight.
Grani Hey there, guys...
[A rock is thrown, shattering her glass before hitting the ground.]
A rock lands on the table with a heavy thud, knocking over the full glass of Big Johann's Special.
It's clear that it came from the street outside, shattering the glass and sailing over her head in a dangerous arc before landing front of her.
Grani sprints out of the bar.
<Background 4>
[Grani runs outside.]
Grani Who's there?!
Who did that?! Show yourself!
Her voice echoes through the night streets.
Not a soul is there to answer her.
<Background 5>
Grani Sorry for calling everyone here even though the Mounted Police have already been disbanded.
You all remember the case with Kurt Jr., right? Well... I got my hands on new evidence confirming that Bolton Chemicals increased production capacity and created new work hazards in violation of safety regulations.
But I still don't have conclusive evidence proving that the explosion did in fact take place, meaning I don't have anything to submit to the relevant departments to force Bolton to admit fault for his injuries.
A number of you... should be with the guards by now, so I'd like to ask for your help.
I borrowed a high-precision Originium detector in case I could find a way of getting back into the factory to do some investigating.
...So is anyone on board?
Guards Member A Chief...
Grani I'm not your chief anymore. Just call me Grani.
Guards Member B Grani... It's way too dangerous to be investigating Bolton right now.
Grani I know, I know. You've just taken your new posts, and you'd have to get your hands dirty for this. You might even take some heat for it.
But... Kurt Jr.'s situation isn't looking very good, and they're still putting more pressure on their other workers. This is urgent.
Do you still remember? The day we left the Mounted Police, we were all so upset that we couldn't scrounge up any evidence to keep this case alive. But now we have!
Maybe I don't even have to go in myself. If any of you can come up with a reason to take a look around and find some evidence, that's more than enough.
Guards Member A Grani, we...
Grani And after Kurt Jr. recovers, we can all go for some apple pie together. How nice would that be?
Guards Member B Chief, I'll give it to you straight. The captain warned all of us former mounties that we are strictly prohibited from pursuing any further investigations relating to Bolton.
In particular... we were forbidden from having any contact with you.
Grani What the...?
Guards Member B We're all taking a big risk just to meet like this, because we know the captain's a huge douche, and you're... always gonna be our chief.
Always have been, always will.
Grani Lily... You guys...
Guards Member B Chief, I miss fighting alongside you, really. All we had to do was follow the shorty and charge forward without thinking. And somehow, everything would work itself out.
But since I left the Mounted Police, I came to a realization– outside of endlessly fighting and solving other people's problems, I also have a life of my own.
...So I'm sorry, Chief.
Grani C'mon, don't give up. There has to be a way... We can talk it through, just like how we used to. Am I wrong?
Guards Member A Chief, Bolton controls the fate of so many people, including our neighbors, relatives, and loved ones.
They're serious this time. Even if we still wore our old uniforms, there'd be nothing we could do in the face of such a behemoth, let alone...
Just forget about the case already, Chief!
Grani All the more reason we can't stop now! If we don't make a stand, who will? Who's going to protect the next person to get hurt?
Listen up, you guys–
Guards Member B Grani! Have you never wondered why our city's Mounted Police was first to get disbanded?
Grani Wasn't it just a reassignment–– Oh...
Guards Member B There was nothing we could do back then, and there's nothing we can do now. Protecting others and stuff? Leave it to the powerful. It's not our job.
Grani ...I see, I get it now. Sorry, guys. I'm the one who should be apologizing. Don't let me keep you, then. I'll figure something out myself.
Guards Member A Chief, there's still room in the Toron Guards. I'll put in a good word for you.
Grani Thanks. But... you know how I am.
<Background 6>
Grani Can there really be no clues in all these investigation files?
Think Grani, think.
No evidence of contaminant leakage was found in the factory, which means they must've had some way of moving it out.
Of course! They moved it out!
If I can find evidence that they left traces of contaminants in the nearby environment, we can submit that to the Department of Oripathy Prevention and Control and request that they shut down the factory! And they absolutely can't afford to lose the factory!
Which means they'll have no choice but to admit fault while downplaying the issue and promising to improve their contamination treatment system.
But the question is, HOW did they manage to transport the contaminants?
I can't contact my informant anymore, can't get inside the factory, and can't go walking around the city waving an Originium detector around, so... what other options do I have...?
*sigh* Guess I'll start at the outskirts of town and get familiar with the equipment first... Rhodes Island's stuff sure is high-tech, though. I think this is how you turn it on?
[Grani presses a button to turn the device on.]
System Voice Beep. Active Originium particles detected. Risk: Low...
Grani Huh? In my room?!
(Picks up the detection probe)
System Voice Beep– Originium particle concentration increasing.
Grani Is this... the mud I got on my clothes when I was searching for Deedee?!
No way, don't tell me...
<Background 1>
[Grani is walking to the place where she catched the animal for the boy.]
Grani The domestic drainage pipes...
We've been going at it all wrong from the start. We assumed they secretly treated the contaminants before transporting them away, but if they never bothered to treat them in the first place...
They discharged contaminants directly into the pipelines of the Infected communities! Even if an outbreak took place, it'd just be blamed on the Infected!
Those bastards! How dare they stoop this low!
The black mud from before is gone, and the readings are back to normal... I guess they went and cleaned it up.
But... when we inspected the discharge facilities in Work Area #3, we found no signs of pipes being replaced.
Well, I'll worry about that later! Now that I know what they were doing, I'll find the evidence as long as I keep digging. This'll prevent it from spreading to the Infected communities, too!
Or... maybe I could ask Rhodes Island for help.
[Grani receives a message.]
Grani Huh? Lily? At this hour...?
[Grani answers.]
Grani Hello? Is something wrong?
The case is about to be closed? Kurt Sr. agreed to sign a Letter of Understanding?
At the factory? I'll be there right away!
<Background 7>
Factory Security Hey, you! Hold up, you're not allowed inside!
Grani Out of the way!
Retained Lawyer Is that the former Mounted Police officer from before? Let her in.
[Grani storms into the room.]
Retained Lawyer Good day, Miss Grani... Former Mounted Police.
The agreement was signed by both parties, and handled without issue by the guards. Of course, we do appreciate the Mounted Police's previous cooperation on this matter.
...Don't care to shake hands? So be it.
Grani You... Do you have any idea what you've done?
Retained Lawyer Calm down, ma'am. I'm just doing what I'm paid for, so don't take it out on me.
Grani Go back and tell your boss this: I've found evidence that the factory has been leaking contaminants and dumping them into domestic pipelines! And they're not gonna get away with it!
Retained Lawyer I'll pass it on verbatim. However... as it stands, the case is legally closed.
Out of respect for you, I must remind you that you are no longer a Mounted Police officer. With no one to back you up, waving a weapon around like that is most disgraceful.
Whatever you think you're about to do, you may find it difficult to retain legal assistance in the matter.
Grani ...They should just surrender themselves! They'll be brought to justice for their arrogance!
Retained Lawyer Thank you for your contribution to Rydell City. I sincerely hope that you have a long and successful career ahead of you.
Also, in your future endeavors, please double check that the work area number wasn't changed.
Grani What?!
Retained Lawyer I'll be taking my leave. Oh right, Kurt Sr., the compensation funds will be transferred to your account shortly. Please take a look.
Kurt Sr. Mm...
Grani Why, sir?! We were so close to getting justice for your son! You didn't have to sign off on this!
Kurt Sr. ...Grani, you're a good kid, and you've always been a good officer.
But... you're not one of Rydell City's laborers. I've worked here my entire life, and the same goes for my son.
Grani And I can help you both! Please believe me! I'm not gonna give up on this!
Kurt Sr. My son, he... he's already gone.
Grani can only stand there blankly.
<Background 1>
[Grani is walking outside.]
She walks down the street, alone.
She takes one deep breath after another, letting the murky, industrial air fill her lungs.
She unclenches her fist, her knuckles now white, and gently pats her spear case slung over her shoulder.
Grani ...It's just you and me now.
Let's go grab a bite first. If we keep at it, there might just be a way.
This is nothing I can't handle myself...
A gust of wind blows past, lifting a stack of waste paper beside a trash can.
She grabs hold of a page from a fluttering newspaper and sees something printed inconspicuously at the bottom.
She holds her breath.
Grani 'A car accident... on Third Avenue...'
'Bolton Chemicals manager Danny Coleman was critically injured and sent to the hospital for treatment, where he remains unconscious...'
She crumples the piece of paper into a tiny wad, her thin body trembling slightly.
She stops walking and turns her eyes upward, only to see dark clouds gathering in the sky.
Grani Oh...
??? *sobbing*––
Grani Someone's crying? Where's it coming from...?
[Grani follows the crying sounds.]
Grani Eric?
Eric *sniffle*... *sob*...
Grani What's wrong, Eric? What happened?
Eric Miss Grani... It's Deedee... He...
After we found him that day, he stopped moving and refused to eat...
She sees the beastling curled up in the boy's arms like a newborn.
Its paw trembles, and after a violent spasm, it collapses like a deflated balloon.
Its breathing stops.
Eric Deedee? Deedee? What's the matter with you? Deedee?
Grani squeezes the beastling's still-warm paw.
Just as she had expected, she notices a hard, grainy feeling against her fingertips.
The crystal particles that broke through its skin have claimed yet another life.
Eric No, this can't be happening! Why Deedee? He was always so nice and well-behaved, never bit anyone, was never bad...
Right? He was always good, right Miss Grani?
Grani Eric...
Deedee has gone somewhere far away. A kinder, more beautiful place.
Eric No... Why did it have to be Deedee...?
The child lets out a sob and tightly clings to the beastling's body.
She hugs the child close.
Grani That's right... It never should've happened to Kurt Jr., or to Deedee. It shouldn't have been them.
[Grani receives a message.]
Grani ...Hello? This is Grani.
<Background black>
Five days later.
<Background 8>
Kurt Sr. My son...
[Grani approaches the man.]
Grani Sir...
Kurt Sr. Grani... Didn't you already leave?
Grani I brought flowers for Kurt Jr.
Kurt Sr. Thank you.
Grani Do you miss him?
Kurt Sr. ...When he was still around, we used to fight all the time. I cussed him out in the most vicious ways, and kicked him out of the house.
But recently, I've been seeing him in my dreams. He'd follow me calling 'daddy, daddy,' just like when he was little.
Did you dream about him on the day you signed that Letter of Understanding?
Kurt Sr. I...
Grani I did.
In my dream, I saw him, all the other Mounted Police, and all of Rydell City's neighbors and workers holding hands and going round-and-round in a big circle for his twenty-seventh birthday.
The candlelight shone on his face. He was singing and dancing with such a joyous expression.
Sir, I left five days ago to reach out to a certain company.
And now I'm back to keep my promise.
Only then does the old man realize that the youth beside him is clutching a cold, glimmering spear in her other hand.
She grips its shaft resolutely.
Grani I hate those who misbehave, those who bully the weak, and those who would manipulate our lives as they please.
I promise you– as long as I can hold this spear, I will do everything in my power to see those people pay.
And I never go back on my word.