There were few places in Empire City Casino where Ada felt she could truly breathe. The gaming room was not one of them. It was a claustrophobic box of noise, sound, and light, with no clocks or windows to remind people what time it was. The design to deny physical reminders of day or night was intentional – clients stayed inside longer, where the House can slowly leech on their money while giving them the illusion that they are only one game of baccarat (or one hand of poker) away from winning big. It reminded Ada of a line in fable she once read: 'Will you walk into my parlor?' said the spider to the fly, ‘Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you did spy.' The Terrace had a different ambiance all together. The floor to ceiling windows allowed full view of the race track below, where the thunderous sound of hooves and applause could still be heard through the thick glass. It was where Ada likes to spend her days off, sitting by the bar and shooting the breeze with whoever’s tending. “C’mon, let me help you out there for a couple of hours. Besides, don’t you need a bathroom break?” Ada said, giving the bartender her most winning smile. It was an expression few people could resist, but he was having none of it. “That one time I let you ‘help’ almost gave me a heart attack.“ He grumbled, wiping down the bar with a clean rag. “Remember how you served apple juice and soda water, advertising that it’s the new apple flavoured tequila from Gallo’s limited stock?” Ada’s eyes brightened at the memory. Despite being non-alcoholic, a couple of nerdy yuppies pretended to be drunk after drinking the concoction, and found confidence to hit on some ladies. Placebo effect for the win. Also, for weeks, confused Terrace bartenders kept getting requests for that “special” apple flavoured tequila and can they pretty please check if there are still some left? “What are you grinning about over there? You’re a menace.” The bartender said, but smiled to soften his words. “And your pager’s blinking.” He was referring to the small device attached on her arm, the flashing red led lights an indication that she should report to the front desk. It functioned the same as restaurant pagers of old did, and was cheaper than buying those post-Resonance comms. When she got to the lobby, she was greeted by the sight of two law enforcement types waiting by the front desk. What was Julie thinking, paging me to meet these guys? Ada thought, shooting the hostess a confused look. Police visits should always be handled by management. “Ah, here she is. Miss Vasiliev, these two officers are looking for information on one Michael Kleski?” Julie put emphasis on the name, and suddenly, it dawned on Ada why Julie directly paged her. She owed that girl a nice steak dinner. Ada’s expression shifted into neutral mode. “I would be more than happy to help you with your inquiries, officers.” She said, “One small request, though. Can we discuss this matter in one of the private rooms? While we are grateful for the service you provide this city, police presence is not exactly conducive for the type of business we are in. I hope you understand.” Indeed, some of the guests were nervously looking at the cops, drawing unfounded conclusions on what their purpose is within the casino’s premises.
December 15, 2020 2:30 PM A large number of technological wonders have been affected by the Resonance event. Things like the internet, the convenience of modern communication, and others are sliding into a state of obscurity. Even important tools for successful forensics – the magnetic fingerprint scanners and DNA sequencers of the early 21th century were on the fritz. However, amidst the myriad of things that humanity is slowly losing, our God-given ingenuity was fortunately not one of them. The crime scene technician crouched beside the bloodied corpse, calmly driving the pointed end of a meat thermometer to the victim’s liver with the nonchalance of someone checking the temperature of beef roasting in the oven. The state-of-the art digital readers he brought were not working (you might say temp-eramental haha), and one must make do with what one has. “Victim is male, Caucasian, around 250 pounds. Liver temperature is 23 degrees Celsius and estimated time of death around – shit … 8 hours? With this godforsaken weather I might have to adjust calculations, not sure if it’s still 1.5 per hour in this frozen hell.” He clicked the pause button of his manual recorder and opened the leather satchel where he keeps his various tools, both department-issued and home-made. With their gadgets failing one by one, the CSI department sometimes had to resort to unconventional means of gathering evidence. Case in point, he took a small jar filled with pus-yellow ointment and dabbed it on his eyelids, all the while chanting: “Wind the bobbin up, wind the bobbin up. Pull, pull, pull, pull! Point to the ceiling, point to the floor. Point to the window, and point to the door.” A few bright tendrils of glowing light, visible only to him, erupted from the body to scattered points in nearby locations. He first found out he can perform sympathetic spells, magic which can connect scattered objects to a person who recently accessed them, while reading his daughter this particular nursery rhyme to get her to sleep. Imagine his surprise when it lit up the room in a spider web of light, connecting his daughter to everything she had touched within the last seven days, instead. Since then, he can replicate the results, but only when using a bespoke ointment specially made by that nice lady from Book of Kells. He stood up, struggling with his multiple layers of clothing, and waddled over the first object illuminated by the supernatural tether. It was a leather wallet, and upon picking it up with forceps, a small holographic card fell into the snow. He deposited both wallet and card to an evidence bag and went to the second object, which was a single casino chip. “Boss, have something over here!” He gestured to Rae, waving one arm to get her attention.