The Mysterious Mailman is silent for a few moments, looking you and the other fans over.

"Look, kid, you all have some guts I’ll give you that.  You stood up to that monster and nearly got yourselves killed, but you did it for a cause you believed in.  Things aren’t going to get any easier, so I won’t bullshit you," his tone grows a bit more serious, lighting his toothpick and taking a drag, "They’ve been keeping tabs on me more than you have, and now you’re in their sights.  I’d recommend laying low for a while, let UM do her thing, that’s what I’m doing.  We don’t want things to get more complicated than they already are…not when we’re so close."

He grabs the handle to the door and begins to close it, pausing for a moment as another thought crosses his mind.

"You won’t be seeing me around for a while, but if shit really hits the fan.  And I mean, full blown volcanic shark hurricane tier," he scribbles some numbers on the back of an envelope and tosses it at you, "give me a call.  That phone you found should have no trouble getting through."

With that the Mysterious Mailman drives off to who knows where.

Why are people always so cryptic?  Well, you have more pressing matters at hand.  Namely a ticking box.  One of you have the swell idea of having Chewy the bomb dog check it out.  Hey, it handled the mysterious package from before pretty well, why not?

After a few sniffs it barks proudly, wagging its’ tail before ripping the package apart.  You’re pretty sure this isn’t against the law, dogs tampering with mail probably falls into the Air Bud Clause category, so no worries..

Within the torn box is the picture of Doctor Dad and the mysterious woman from before, as well as a small teddy bear and a watch.  That explains the ticking, but not the sudden shaking.  The teddy bear’s head begins to spin uncontrollably before being jettisoned into the air.  Silence fills the crowd as it remains still, the suspense broken by the head of P.O.N.E. popping out of the bear.

*beep* Surprise Ulty!  Your ticker was broken so I decided to get you a new one!  Get it? *beep* she chirps cheerfully, holding up the wrist watch.  P.O.N.E. looks at her surroundings with a smile, tilting her head a bit, *beep* Woops, guess she’s not here.  How are you doing friends? *beep*

This is it.  Now is your chance to finally get the upper hand on the Mysterious Mailman!  You have been following him for a large chunk of the day, but now he’s distracted, time to find out w-

A WILD CHEWY APPEARS

The other fans have come back from their walk, it seems like they had quite the adventure today as well!  Long story short, Chewy isn’t allowed at the dog park anymore, and banned for life from the corner store down the street.

You gather your composure and the group of fans move up to the unsuspecting mail truck.  As you draw near you can hear a feint whirring noise, and blinking dots of light going off systematically from within.  You can’t get a good view through the heavily tinted windows, so make your way to the side.

"Hey, what’s up?"

You all go stock still as you hear the voice, seems he got back into the truck while you were distracted by Chewy.

"I gotta hand it to ya, you all did a decent job shadowing me most of the day, it took me till the second traffic light to notice you.  Ever think about working for the government?" he asks with a dry chuckle, the figure cloaked in darkness, "Ah, more of the freelancer type?  I don’t blame ya, it’s always good to keep your options open, ya know?"

He leans back and rummages through the truck, the door cracked open just enough to produce a package.

"Special delivery.  Mind taking this up with you?  You’re not the only ones keeping tabs on me.  It’s for her, and remember that opening someone else’s mail is a federal offense," he chortles, revving up the engine after tossing the package to one of you, "Oh, and she really should start locking her door."

The package is reasonably hefty, and you could swear you can make out a muffled ticking.

It’s about 2PM, oh how the day goes by.

You gained MYSTERIOUS PACKAGE

You gained THE WATCHFUL EYE OF THE MMM

OPERATION SOUTH SIDE 4 LYFE PART 3: WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE

The jars are cleaned with pure unadulterated sea water since most of them look like they’re broken open.  You’d assume that any failed experiments were killed, at least you’d hope so.

While one of you spend a good chunk of your day fishing with soggy potato chips the others figure it’s a great idea to explore the drainage pipes where the odd form was seen.  The group of you find a manhole cover in the street that hovers right above the main pipe, busting it open with ol’ reliable crowbar.  The air is thick with the scent of seawater and a heavily organic smell, strong enough to make you heave.  Luckily the gasmasks keep out most of the stench!  The flashlight illuminates an odd grey matter with an odd blue glimmer, it’s consistency similar to the grey matter left behind Ultramare and Brainchild (aka Butthead).  The trail leads to a side pipe that is a tight fit, you won’t be able to fit, though the creature seemed to have no problem.  Back on the surface the fan fishing for Orchid has run out of luck, seems she’s not biting today, which is unusual to say the least.  Welp, time for lunch!  

OPERATION CUSTOMER SERVICE PART 3: HUNTER OR THE HUNTED

Luckily you got to the mail station before he did, despite his shift starting two hours ago.  From outside you have a good view of the parking garage where they keep the vehicles, the Mysterious Mailman’s designated truck leaving at a ripe time of 11AM.  You and the others shadow him as best you can, heading north along the highway where you lose site of him near the Military Base at the northern portion of the city.  You spot him again going southbound on the island, eventually leading to the only route he’s responsible for, Ultramare’s neighborhood.  It took up your whole morning and lunchtime, but you have a pretty good idea of what his route is.  He stops in front of her building…menacingly.

Good ol’ trusty stick, it’s a must have for a fan to carry one around in case of an emergency stick situation.  As you go in for the poke Chewy returns with a vengeance, taking the stick into his mighty jaws, splintering it.

Chewy is a good dog, he’s potty trained and chews things that are fun to chew.  He does seem full of energy though, maybe it would be a good idea to get him out and walking as the other fans look after Ultramare.  I’m sure he’ll enjoy the playtime.

You lost Stick!  You gained Chewy!

—-

You don’t know too much about Dr. Dad’s past besides what Ultramare has told you.  Dr. Cain was the head of the project team that created her, and has worked with GenePatch since it’s founding.  David might have more information for you, but he’s currently busy reassembling P.O.N.E.-nano.

Across from Ulty’s room is Dr. Dad’s, it’s half the size of hers and almost as bare bones, with only a closet and night stand decorating the room.  You figure she wouldn’t mind if you perused his room a bit, if any information could help her it’d be worth it.  After a few minutes of searching the drawer you find one of his old business cards, faded with age:

William S. Cain, Ph.D.

GenePatch

Scientific Program Manager

Applied Physics & Biotechnology Laboratory

OPERATION INSURANCE PLAN

You whip out the handy dandy map of the city, detailing all the major roads and freeways.  Using the site as a basis for information you call 1-800-TARP, getting a very helpful robot voice on the other end asking for your zip code and city district.  The average deductible you have to pay for insurance is 10-15% of your property, with increasing rates in the more prone regions.  Good news is if you’re military or a contractor you can get up to a 2% discount!  It takes you a while, but you manage to map out the heaviest hit areas on the map, the hotspots being the Northern Docks where Orchid surfaced, and the Southern Docks where monsters seem to emerge from.

OPERATION CHEWY

You grab a book from Dr. Dad’s study titled Bluebells and Nuclear Energy and begin to tell the tale of the history of nuclear energy and how it works.  Ultramare appears to have quite the fever, shivering beneath the trench coat.  You reach forward to carefully only to find yourself intercepted by Chewy.

Spot is a 300 foot tall monster with a dog brain.  Chewy on the other hand is indeed quite hungry, hungry for attention.  Food wise the kitchen seems well stocked with dog food littered across the floor, and there are at least half a dozen boxes of Pony Oats left in the cupboard.

OPERATION CUSTOMER SERVICE PART 2: FLIRTING WITH DISASTER

You can’t tell if Gina is so bored that her refuses to move, or she’s moving so fast that appears that she’s stock still.  Regardless, she seems to enjoy talking to someone other than the wall, so answers your questions as best she can.  Gina goes on to explain that after years of monster attacks people tend to move a lot, this makes delivering mail a headache.  Those that have more permanent addresses tend to be in the safer neighborhoods on the outer perimeters, and that’s where they primarily send the mail.  ”Ed” is in charge of a few blocks in the South East of the city, mainly apartment complexes.  The only thing she knows about him is that his pay check is more than hers but he only takes one route, but it’s not her job to complain.  He and the truck are also gone for long periods of time now and again, but Ed is probably just goofing off.  You bid her a good morrow and head on out.

—-

OPERATION INTERNET SEARCH

With all this talk about TARP Insurance Co. you feel it’s about time to use your old friend the internet.  The first few results on Google show that their stock has risen a considerable amount in the past few months, but there’s no indication of why that is.  Since then there’ve been a few dips, but as of last night their stocks have risen a fair margin.  You peruse their site and learn a few tidbits of info: they’re a local business and have been in the city for twenty years, they offer a variety of plans for amazing prices, and they’re the number one insurance company for monster coverage.  The monster plans seem to include the various Kaiju Classes, the more dangerous ones having a higher price tag.  For a small additional charge you can include property damage caused by Ultramare as well.

All in all a normal sugar coated company website.

OPERATION SOUTH SIDE 4 LYFE PART 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO

Your gut instinct tells you that shiny things are usually important.  A group of you walk over to where the dock juts out, looking over the side at the object shimmering in the choppy water below.

It appears to be a large glass jar, salt and barnacles staining the cracking structure.  The lettering plastered along the container is what stands out: PROJECT U-01.  There appears to be more as you lean forward, peering upside down over the boardwalk.  There are dozens of jars littering the underside, probably washed up with the rough surf and high tide.

Ultramare did say something about failed projects and the like, and it seems you found their gravestones.

—-

The sense of unease grows the longer you linger surveying the boardwalk, the salt encrusted wood begins to vibrate with a steady hum.  From your position you can see a large drainage pipe where the sound seems to be resonating from, and from that you see a dark form rumble past.  As soon as it appears it’s gone, as well as the small tremors.

For how long, you’re not sure.  Better not stay around to find out.

Shopping!  You go to the ever popular Kawaii Desu store about ten minutes down the road and pick up an UItramare figurine for Ultramare. stopping by for some coffee and donuts for the other fans keeping watch over the city’s protector.

~Meanwhiiiile back at the Ulty Cave~

A few of you hold down the fort, keeping an eye on Ultramare to make sure she’s still breathing, and preventing Chewy from ruining anything else.  It’s surprisingly boring in the apartment, the TV only has basic cable and the computer is all in ASCII.  A few fans check the nooks and crannies of Ulty’s sparse room for any hidden threats, spotting something sinister inside the closet.

Within the closet is a chest with a healthy layer of dust, one of the braver fans lift up the lid to see if there’s a bomb hidden inside.  No bomb, but there is a monster in the closet.  It seems to be an old plush of Spot, along with a few other toys and hand knit holiday sweaters given to her by Doctor Dad over the years.  It looks like you found Ultramare’s treasure box, you should probably erase any traces of your finger prints on it.

The morning sun begins to creep above the horizon, several fans dispersing on their own adventure, a few staying behind to care for the injured hero.

1: OPERATION SOUTH SIDE 4 LYFE

A few of you gather up and venture down to the southern docks where many of the monster sightings originated.  The water seems to be unusually choppy, especially since it’s supposed to be low tide.  The southern fishing wharf seems long abandoned, a few years of monster activity would probably do that.  There’s not much but the rusted industrial complexes and messy docks, though something shiny catches your eye beneath it. -CONTINUE?-

2: Operation Jumbo Chip

A group of you venture to the north where you drove Ultramare not too long ago.  You bring a nice crate of Hay’s potato chips to coax the monster Orchid ashore.  The waves are unusually violent today, and after a few hours waiting in cool morning there’s no sign of Orchid among the waves.  You begin to have an uneasy feeling. -SCENE END-

3: OPERATION CUSTOMER SERVICE

Well it’s not the most exciting adventure you’ve been on, but you figure the local Postal office would have some dirt on the Mysterious Mailman.  You’re greeted by jaded woman with a bulbous bouffant that looks like a cinnabon.  Unlike others, you insist you want to give your mail service a good review, and ask the name of the driver of the mail truck you took the number of.  She scratches her head a bit, saying that the truck only appears to have one route, but doesn’t recognize the driver’s information.  Supposedly his name is Ed, and was with the mail service for a few years, and only recently became a driver. -SCENE END-

4. OPERATION BUG DAVID

Yeah good try, but all you get is that annoying archaic modem sound.  Any hope of contacting P.O.N.E. would be similarly difficult, you can assume that she and David are busy uploading her memory back into the main system.  -SCENE END-

5: OPERATION SLEUTH QUEST

A few of you venture back into the district where the fight took place.  Only a few hours have passed, but already the city streets are bustling with cars and construction crew refurnishing the structures.  The monster attacks killed the fishing industry for the city, but it’s construction business is booming.  You see nothing out of the ordinary, only making note that the Kaiju Ultramare kicked probably sailed eastward.  Would’ve been pretty dramatic if the sun was up then, ahwell.

Frankly you’re not sure where to start in terms of Fatty and Baldy, it’s like trying to find a fat needle in a hay stack.  You can always try and guess where they’d be next.  Here’s what you know:  Fatty eats a lot, they both appear to be homeless, and they don’t seem that bright.  -CONTINUE?-

(Note: Ended Scenes can still be acted upon if you wish to explore or ask more questions)

You all decide to do a good old fashioned convoy back to Ultramare’s apartment, periodically poking her with a stick to ensure that she’s still breathing.  Her breaths are shallow and slow, but the fever has gone down.

The days’ events playback through your head, a solid two days of alley adventuring, talking to the beast known as Orchid, and seeing first hand how Ultramare fights a Kaiju.  There are still many questions left unanswered, though now you have a lead.  David’s number is safely stored on the phone, though who’s phone it is no one knows.

—-

The door to her apartment opens with ease, seems she forgot to lock it again.  It looks like there was a burglary, shelves tipped over and the couch torn up as if someone was looking for something.

Or, you know, it was Chewy.  Ultramare’s been gone for a few days, and Chewy was getting hungry.  It seems that it found where the food was stored, the smell of dog food heavy in the air as you see the kitchen littered with torn open bags.

As you search for the lab you find not a laboratory, but a lavatory.  Which is good, because it was a long drive.

The morning sun is nearly up, and Ultramare’s limp form is slung over someone’s shoulders.  Her suit seems to peel off into a heep on the floor as the gem on her collar goes dim, her body must be relying on ye ol’ natural healing now.  She’s carefully placed onto the bed in her bare room, Chewy sniffing at her happily and nestling in beside her.

Ultramare might be out of commission for the day, it’ll take a bit to regrow the rest of that heart, not to mention the punctured lungs and so on.

Now the question is, what will you do?

SANDBOX MODE

[Note:  The next update will be dedicated to your actions.  Do you want to go deeper into the rabbit hole?  Investigate something in the city?  The world is your oyster.  If you want to do something difficult try and be creative, and have fun with it!  I’ll try and include as many as I can.]