Saturday, November 24, 2012

Dystopic: Searching For A British Woman

While the others were investigating the New Yorker hotdog stand, Miami was taken to the large storage facility / parking garage in another building that was connected via an underground tunnel to the Bio-Connects Headquarters.  He took a look at the wreckage of Helicopter TKI-746 and quickly noted the pair of pinpricks near the autopilot chip which suggests something was plugged in and then removed from the wreckage.  He asked Chief Mechanic, Hideki Sawa, who had access to the chopper after it crashed.

He was informed that the helicopter was requisitioned by Kurosawa Bio-Connects within an hour of Criminal Investigation Bureau police from Precinct Ninety Six arriving on the scene.  He called up the company contact from CIB and found that the police had only managed to secure the area, remove the bodies, and take photographs before the vehicle was hastily removed.  He was given a list of names of those at the area (the parking lot outside a large supermarket just outside Tokyo is where it crash landed) but was advised by CIB that a loss of evidence is to be expected when civilians without appropriate chain of evidence procedures are allowed access.  After all, if someone tampered with the chip it was likely to be an internal affair as only Kurosawa staff would have access to the helicopter before and after the incident.

Miami checked with the Chief Mechanic, Hideki Sawa, and learned that there were twenty seven assistants brought in from likely roles across the company who had helped in analysing the aircraft.  Miami got the list of twenty seven names and thought up the MICE system for figuring out a short list.  The MICE system is a list of motivations often looked for by secret services, etc. for methods of turning a person and it stands for Money, Ideology, Compromise (blackmail), and Ego.

At about this point, the others returned.  London suggested checking along the flight paths to see if they wanted the helicopter to crash anywhere in particular but didn't find anything to suggest that there were a secondary purpose.  Tokyo checked HR records, employee police checks, and hacked into their banks to find out the credit card records (lower difficulty just to look, harder to change anything as I decided sysadmins look for that).

They came up with four suspects (HR = Human Resources, CR = Credit Records, PC = Police Check):

Kei Ichimuru (HR: hard working, CR: nothing unusual, PC: two counts of possession of marijuana and one count possession of Hyper - ecstasy / LSD-like substance - as a youth)
Koji Yukichi (HR: anxious, resentful, insomnia, 20 years of service, CR: recently taken out a large bank loan to pay for mother's medical treatments, PC: clean)
Tsuda Masao (HR: arrogant, has problems with authority figures, CR: spends a lot of money on online gambling and has a terrible credit rating, PC: clean)
Hazegawa Hideki (HR: suspect communist leanings, on a socialist mailing list, trying to form a union, CR: clean, PC: picked up at several union rallies and protests for disturbing the peace)

They focused on Koji Yukichi and first tried to see if he even had a mother.  A quick check found that when the company's health insurance was increased for their employees to cover nearest kin, an oversight had led to his insurance not being updated and so his mother wasn't covered for her kidney failure.  He took out an enormous loan to cover the surgical installation of one augmented kidney that was a poor performer compared to the original.  She was in a nice private hospital and had been upgraded to a nicer individual hospital room - which is possible depending on their space requirements, stranger things happen. 

They looked at his debts and found that he hadn't been paying rent out of his account and that while there'd been no lump sum deposited in either his account or his mother's, his mother's superannuation pay outs were now a lot larger and yet the stock market hadn't soared recently.  Checking her superannuation history, it seemed that someone had hacked the account and inflated the superannuation history so that it would justify a much larger amount than someone on her wage should have had.

(Superannuation is an Australian thing that Japan may or may not have.  Basically, your employers pay a percentage of your salary into a special account for you that you may only access once you are retired and over a certain age.  This helps you through your retirement years.  The employers would calculate it as part of the wage they intend to give a new employee but it isn't part of the advertised salary as, well, you can't access it anyway)

FaceBook showed a lot of friends showing support and trying to raise money.  It also showed pictures of the ward.  Finally, it showed some supportive comments from Hazegawa Hideki encouraging him to go out for a drink to talk things over and some sleight-of-hand bitchy comments about the company that wouldn't be easily spotted by those not well-versed in political (especially unionist) discourse (Politics roll).

They checked his phone records (their company subscribes to the Telecoms which gives them access to employee phone records even on their personal mobiles) and found that he received the most known calls over the past three months from Hazegawa Hideki.  Tokyo tried to hack Koji's phone and found it full of spam and viruses that immediately tried to attack her back.  His personal computer was much the same.

They decided to approach Hideki first.  As they went upstairs they arrived at the doors to a lab where a dozen individuals in lab coats soldered and otherwise worked the various bits of electronica on their counters.  

Surveying the scene, and seeing Hideki bent over with safety goggles and a tiny soldering iron, London says to Leningrad: "Five bucks says he runs."

"You're on," said Leningrad.

As they headed in, everyone looked over at the three white men and the CEO's once-thought-deceased daughter.  Hideki looks up, reads the situation, throws down his soldering iron and turns to run.  Miami rushes up to him and throws him into a police grip, slamming him against the counter (no fighting style, but he rolled 4 10s so I wanted to give him something special).  London cuffed him.

Leningrad tells the watchers that this was a HR matter and would they please go to the break room.  They dispersed.

They took Hideki to a spare office whose usual occupant (an engineer) worked day shifts.

Hideki immediately claimed that: "I didn't do anything!  I had nothing to do with it.  I know you're just looking for a scapegoat to pin this on."

"A scapegoat!" snapped London, appalled.  "This is the CEO's daughter you're talking about and you think we're just looking for a scapegoat."

"Yeah, well, with the stock market like it has been I wouldn't be surprised," said Hideki.  "There's been no movement on this case."

They argue with him a bit but he basically states that he wouldn't want any employees to get hurt, that he wants a union to help the employees look out for each other and not to destroy the company, as the company is their livelihood after all and it's one of the best companies in the industry in how it treats its employees.

They bring up Koji.  "We know you've been helping out Koji and giving him a lot of money.  We know he's in a lot of financial trouble because of his mother.  You've been meeting up with him."

Hideki pauses, considering it, then apparently decides that he'd rather not drop Koji into it without further proof so he deflects.  "He's only in trouble because of an oversight.  HR made a mistake, or maybe they're been taking the money that's meant to be spent on health insurance.  They haven't let any of us see our own health insurance statements.  I tried to raise the money, rallying the employees.  $50 from the 100 people in this area would mean a lot, right?  But the line manager said that was 'organising' and that we'd be fired if we did that.  He's good friends with HR.  He was probably covering for them.  I tried to go higher, see if the company might work something out since he's been here so long, but the line manager refused it all the way."

Tokyo sent a report to her father using her neural chip and decided to mount a full internal investigation against the HR department.  "What's the line manager's name?"

He told her.

London appealed to his greater sense of decency considering that this was a murder investigation after all and asked Hideki if he knew anything about Koji that could help.  Hideki mentions that he'd seemed energetic a few days before the crash and dejected afterward.  He also states that at the pub once, he'd picked up Koji's phone when he'd gone to the toilets and a British voice speaking clear Japanese asked him a simple question like, "Where are you?"  Hideki gave her some kind of pick up line and she hung up.  When he'd asked Koji about her, he refused to talk about her.

They called Koji up and he seemed rather stoic.  Not afraid at all.  He answered the first few questions with "Yes" and "No" and as few words.

Then Leningrad cut to the chase, "We know everything about the British woman and the deal she gave you."

Koji looked at London and, having heard his British accent, believed him.  "You know about her?"

"Yes," said London.  They pointed out the medical payments, the inflated superannuation, and other such details.

"You should start from the beginning," said Tokyo.

Koji bowed his head.  "When my mother was diagnosed with kidney failure, I was worried for her but I knew that I had the right health insurance and that she should be fine.  But then I found that HR hadn't updated my contract and she wouldn't be covered.  I borrowed as much as I could from the banks.  Things just seemed to get luckier.  I thought perhaps I had spent all my bad luck with the health insurance contracts. A good doctor was assigned to her case through an accident at the hospital.  She happened to get a good room.  The super payments increased.  What do I know of super and accounting?  I didn't know anyone was helping me.  Perhaps I suspected ... I just ... I didn't want to believe."

He sighed.  "The British woman contacted me over the phone.  She told me that I would have to help her steal a helicopter by installing an auto-pilot over ride.  I never thought anyone would die.  I should have but I didn't want to think about it.  I found the chip on my pillow when I went home one night.  The woman told me that if I refused, she would reveal the money as bribery through sideways means and I would be fired and perhaps arrested.  She would then simply get someone else to do it and it would happen all the same."

"What do you think will happen now?" demanded London.

Koji gave him a tired look.  "I will be executed by the CEO or I will be sent to the prison.  I imagine I will be sent to prison."

"After trying to kill his daughter?"

Koji shrugged.  "Perhaps he will kill me.  It doesn't matter.  Either way my mother will die.  I realise now that she was always going to die.  It was destined.  Fated.  When I tried to prevent it, all I did was cause others to die and now my mother will die and so will I.  It is how things are.  It is how things should be."

On that note, Nancy had him arrested by security and told her father not to touch him as Koji was 'hers'.

Kurosawa sent a short memo as a response: "If you say so.  Are you sure?"

Leningrad speaks quietly to Nancy about how she should ensure that his mother is taken care of for while the son committed a crime, the mother didn't, and it was an oversight that led to this whole situation.  Nancy agreed.  She also stated that she would deal with the HR department.  When they mentioned this to Hideki, he was simply thoughtful rather than elated.  He had other things on his mind - such as a friend who turned into a murderer and a traitor to the company.

This was just half of what we got through in this session.  They really got into the flow of the game and investigative games have a whole bunch of ins and outs worth describing.  I'll post the other half soon where they go to the Doihara Hotel which is the lead given to them by the Red Tiger Gang.

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