2nd Jan 2020, 8:31 PM
Use an internet archiving service

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Use an internet archiving service
You lean back in your chair.

There's internet archival services that "screenshot" pages on different dates. If a news article or other website's been edited or deleted, you should be able to see the original with one of those.

You do a quick search, and find three archival sites.

You run the missing articles through them.

You get the full version of Mayor's Secretary Detained After Altercation With MondolGroup. It's... pretty straightforward, if a little light on details. Rill Parsons' secretary, Temperance Walsh, got into... a straight up fist fight with several MondolGroup employees, including three members of their police force. Neither Mondol nor the mayor's office chose to comment.

...Though you're pretty sure you can figure out why this article was scrubbed.

Several Mondol employees including three cops? Either Temperance Walsh is a stone cold badass, or this is a really embarrassing story for Mondol's police. You're pretty curious what would cause a secretary to come out swinging like that, but the article doesn't say what the disagreement was over--only that they eventually subdued and detained said secretary. MondolGroup probably did some flexing to get the story pulled.


The other deleted article, Mayor's Office Receives Visit From Federal Agents... is nowhere to be found. You try three different websites, and none of them have the page archived. Those sites use bots to screenshot pages automatically, by the hour, every day; there's no way they just missed the page.

Someone had to be very, very thorough covering their tracks, thorough enough to have the article deleted even from internet archiving services.

You do a quick search--how easy would it be to have a page deleted from archiving?




...Oh, all you have to do is send an e-mail to request the deletion.

That's still more work to hide it than the other article got, though. It was probably Mondol who had the secretary story scrubbed, and they did a sloppy job of it--so the federal visit story was probably covered up by someone else. Someone a little more tech savvy, maybe with something juicier to hide. The mayor's office? ...Or the feds themselves?

Hmm.

You do some random searches for the town in general.

It's not much. All local news, mostly about things like new stores popping up, or the new library being built... political stuff... fundraisers... and the numerous expansions of MondolGroup.

Hm.

You do a quick search for Mondol.

They started on the west coast, where their business model failed to take off, so they headed inland and started building in smaller towns. They operate MondolMalls, which are massive structures containing a bunch of smaller Mondol-owned businesses, and MondolMarts, which are just convenience stores. The regular, day-to-day employees are hired locally, but all upper management for each Mondol installation is brought in from outside (so Mondol is managed by "only the best," says one website).

MondolGroup is still pretty small, mostly operating in about three states (including Misuschaqua), but they've been expanding with almost record speed--accomplishing in less than three years what many companies took five to ten years to reach. Part of this is capitalizing on an economic vacuum; a lot of older, bigger and more widespread corporations have been getting shut down in rapid succession for a variety of reasons.

MondolGroup, being small and new, has been flying under the radar and keeping their head down while bigger companies crash around them. Mondol then feasts on the remains, stepping in as their more powerful competitors step out. This town, specifically, had Mondol swing in around the same time that the local All-Mart, Deepfish Eatery, Ottomagic Automotive, and Hasty Entertainment franchises were closing shop or on the way toward it. Four companies out, MondolMall in.

(You rabbithole a little bit, looking into where those four companies went. All-Mart was an international chain whose business practices included some heavy mistreatment of engineered people, practices that are now illegal. All-Mart's now going through a brand reflavoring and mostly sticking to foreign soil. Deepfish Eatery, a franchise restaurant in most of the southern states, had to pack it up after a reporter exposed where their fish came from. Ottomagic Automotive was busted for tax fraud, and Hasty Entertainment was already struggling to adapt to evolving media when their CEO got ousted as a pedophile.)

Even with all that going on, though, MondolGroup's rising faster than other similar vulture corporations. Critics say MondolGroup's own practices are pretty unethical, they're just doing the bare minimum to not be obviously illegal; if the noose keeps tightening and more laws get passed, Mondol's going to have a fight on its hands. Analysts are still trying to figure out what, exactly, MondolGroup's "secret sauce" is--why is it succeeding, while others of its breed are stumbling or failing outright?

It's not just ruthlessness, say experts. Once you hit a certain income threshold, every company is ruthless.

It may have something to do with the company's hierarchy, which is mentioned as being... unorthodox. No further details are given, though you do notice that no single head or CEO or president or whatever is ever named. You read through a plethora of articles, and you still come out unsure if there is or isn't in fact one guy named Mondol running it all.

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2nd Jan 2020, 9:05 PM
Obviously it's not one *guy* named Mondol, it's an *eldritch entity* named Mondol :P

While we're Internetting, I wonder if we can find anything out about the Alcazar. We should set aside at least a little time for some vidya before we head out to the concert, though, as I suspect we'll want to flop in bed immediately after getting home.

I'm assuming we don't need to also set aside time before the concert for changing clothes and/or applying makeup, given that it's a garage concert :P Unless we wanna take the excuse to wear some punky eyeliner or something, but the whole point of a look like that is to be quick XD
2nd Jan 2020, 9:13 PM
Hari_Seldon
+1 to freshening up before the concert. Laundry too if that's not much trouble.
3rd Jan 2020, 2:37 AM
Lunar Waffles
+1 to cleaning up some
3rd Jan 2020, 10:13 AM
Mondol sounds like an early Thale to me...
2nd Jan 2020, 9:06 PM
Hari_Seldon
Make a note to ask trustworthy townsfolk if they remember hearing about "Mayor's Office Receives Visit From Federal Agents." when it happened before the coverup. They might know what happened.
2nd Jan 2020, 9:09 PM
Check out Infohazard if you'd heard of it. Also, go look up if there's any connection in what shut those other companies down, but keep an eye on the clock. You don't want to miss the concert.
2nd Jan 2020, 9:15 PM
Limrix
+1 to looking up Infohazard
2nd Jan 2020, 10:32 PM
Hari_Seldon
+1 to finding Infohazard, not only for their advice about Mondol but also their take on the supernatural
2nd Jan 2020, 9:10 PM
Limrix
We probably have a couple hours before the concert. Our energy is likely enough for one thing at home. We should find out if we own more than one set of clothes, and change into them if we do.

I'd like to know more about Temperance Walsh, and see if we can get a map of the town on GoodleMaps. It would also be a good idea to see if we can find any free flash games with cool mechanics to add to our arsenal.

The new library didn't have what we need, and the old library is far too dangerous, but Franklin may be able to answer our questions about supernatural things.

Mondol could be aliens, AI, or espers.
3rd Jan 2020, 7:50 AM
2nd Jan 2020, 9:11 PM
Well That's interesting. Illuminati, etc. up top, locals below and at least one hacker group Mondol has that probes for weaknesses. Physically write down the important stuff and attempt to fully purge your search history and related or expect either a 'mayor's visit', or them simply frying your computer from afar.
2nd Jan 2020, 9:18 PM
Hari_Seldon
Not sure if purging the search history is enough. That's just what your computer remembers you did and maybe you could ask Google to forget too I don't remember. The internet servers still know what you asked them to give you. The internet service provider knows too if it was not HTTPS. Tracking cookies selling your browsing history (Google sells your search history too that's why some people use the more private DuckDuckGo instead), etc.
https://www.expressvpn.com/blog/8-ways-the-nsa-spies-on-you/
2nd Jan 2020, 9:24 PM
Limrix
If we end up delving into this further, it will probably be worthwhile to set up a VPN.
2nd Jan 2020, 9:27 PM
Hari_Seldon
+1 we should probably visit a NOT Mondol computer repair place to set up our firewall, antivirus, VPN, etc. If it's the government we are going up against professionals and Plaire may need an expert to help her maybe she would not successfully hide her activity on her own.
2nd Jan 2020, 9:38 PM
Snervalton
+1 to getting a non-Mondol-affiliated place to set up some security on Plaire's computer.
2nd Jan 2020, 9:37 PM
Snervalton
If we have time then I suggest we make that video I suggested about useful video game powers that asks people to comment their own ideas about what powers are most useful.
2nd Jan 2020, 9:40 PM
Hari_Seldon
We need time to play a game before bed tonight just to ensure we have dream superpowers. Do we have time for both your good idea and playing some xtreme volleyball or Captemon and then going to the garage concert then too sleepy after the concert to play a game?

Edit: never mind maybe we only have to play a few minutes of a game to get the dream superpower. If that's the case let's do both the theory video and volleyball or Captemon
2nd Jan 2020, 10:38 PM
2nd Jan 2020, 10:59 PM
Snervalton
Hari_Seldon: On page 21 of this story it says that Plaire played Magic Mustachio for "a couple of hours" while recording her gameplay then spent 5 hours putting together a video about the game. So, a total of 7 hours. She got home at 1pm but we're not sure how long all this web research took. So maybe Plaire might barely be able to fit in all that work, grab a quick TV dinner then head out to meet Cici at the concert at 9pm as promised?
3rd Jan 2020, 10:17 AM
As a side thought, have we considered maybe it's not the game play itself but the video making that affects our powers?
3rd Jan 2020, 11:25 AM
Snervalton
That is entirely possible, we are still learning the rules at this point.
3rd Jan 2020, 1:58 PM
pkrankow
We can test that by clipping together a brief "What character is most OP" from other of our videos.

We _might_ have time to clip a short ~5 minute video, shower, change, record our speaking parts, and upload before leaving to the concert. If the teaser has all the high power moves of several characters and we can access them we might be onto something.

If we have to run a load of laundry, and time for that, we will have enough time since wash and dry is about 1.5 hours.
2nd Jan 2020, 10:34 PM
Xylas_Incarnum
see if searching Temperance Walsh's name will bring up an image of 'em. probably'd be something handy to know. Or at the very least would tell us more about that fight. (them being a badass or the cops just being an embarrassment to the uniform I mean.)
3rd Jan 2020, 3:04 PM
Temperance is definitely someone we want to meet at some point. Probably when we try to get in touch with mayor Parsons...
3rd Jan 2020, 7:31 AM
Temperance Walsh is the hero of another story, one which we don't deserve but absolutely need.
3rd Jan 2020, 8:04 AM
Do a quick search on mutated creatures in Misuschaqua. It's obvious we're going to the old library in near future.
3rd Jan 2020, 5:14 PM
In all the busyness don't forget about dinner and for the love of Mine brush your teeth before the concert. You're going to be meeting Cici there after all.
3rd Jan 2020, 5:38 PM
Snervalton
+1 to appropriate personal hygiene!
3rd Jan 2020, 7:45 PM
Frission
Question then... someone as tech-savvy as Plaire may have dark web access and know of one or two archive sites our cover-up man may have misssed, those priding themselves on freedom of information. Perhaps break out the universe's TOR equivalent and have a peek about the federal one, just for gits and shiggles? :3