Act 1 Plot
The plot for Act 1 was delivered through the pre-game site. After the initial sign up, new chapters were delivered occasionally through the lead up to the weekend of the game.
Chapter 1: Help Wanted
As soon as the last multiple-choice question was answered in the last of your final exams of the last year of your degree, you were gone. Piling all your belongings into your car, you jetted off to your new home: Las Vegas, Nevada. With the last of your savings, you paid the deposit on an apartment, bought miscellaneous IKEA furniture, and you had yourself a new home sweet home.
"And… voila!" you say to yourself, crawling out from under your new desk. Looking over your handiwork, you can't help but admire your new computer set-up. You cross your fingers as you go to power on your machine, hoping you wouldn't have to drag yourself back under to check that your wiring was correct.
The blue loading screen illuminating the area around you lets you know that you probably didn't screw up setting up your computer. You grin at your success, at finally getting to start your dream. You've been enraptured with the theatricality Vegas ever since you were young—even if you weren't able to step foot on the casino floors back then. And, after several games of computer solitaire, you upgraded to a casino computer game which only exacerbated your love of both Vegas and computers.
And here you are now, getting ready to combine your loves into a career for, hopefully, the rest of your life. You plop down in your desk chair, giving it a light spin to do a full rotation. You feel a fire in your stomach as you settle down to start the next step.
Okay, we are all good to go, you think as you navigate to the familiar icon of your web browser. While it loads up, you search your files for your meticulously maintained resume.
Let's go find a job.
Want to start a new career in the dynamic and fast-paced field of security and logistics?
Then come join Ace in the Hole Security Company, serving your favorite Las Vegas casinos.
Our customers include the renowned Allure Bay Entertainment Group, which owns three of the most prominent casinos on the Strip—Woodgrove Banks, The Lucerne, and its namesake Allure Bay!
The possibilities and benefits are endless with Ace in the Hole Security, so apply today!
Chapter 2: Ace in the Hole
After some job hunting, and a stray interview here and there, you found a company that perfectly aligned with your interests—Ace in the Hole Security Company. They are decades old and behind the security of some of your favorite casino resorts. You quickly submitted an application, triple checking the spelling on your resume, and waited with a jittery anxiousness for a reply that surely wouldn't come for a couple of days at the minimum.
…But apparently, they were shorthanded because they called you back in a couple of hours. About a week later, after some security tests and a day of interviews you had a job offer in hand. You were getting assigned primarily to work with a casino called Woodgrove Banks, an illustrious, old-school casino just off the strip. The casino had some major incidents recently and needed extra hands to review the security breaches and systems to fix any unknown systemic issues. After an overview of your work and some quick introductions, you and Craig—your newly assigned mentor—got to work.
Your first weeks seemed to fly by. To do a top-to-bottom review of Woodgrove Banks's procedures, you reviewed camera locations, chain of custody procedures, shuffling algorithms, the personnel files, and timecards of employees. It felt like there were no stones left unturned. But there was nothing obviously disastrous or nefarious jumping out at you as a root cause, so you continued on.
You liked your coworkers, your manager seemed reasonable, and the work was definitely interesting. All and all, things were certainly looking up for you.
Chapter 3: The Breach in the Venire
The work on the Woodgrove Banks's account seemed to be going well. Perfectly well. In fact, nothing you looked at seemed to indicate anything was wrong. Which it turns out is a problem when the unexplainable losses at Woodgrove Banks continued despite the increased security. The card shufflers were all working properly, the cameras were pointed in the right directions, and while there was something fishy going on with the timecards, it didn't explain the missing cash and chips.
Another day passed and Craig handed off a video of some guy playing with a chip, noting that it was flagged by the automated system. You were to simply scan through the video and confirm that it was a false positive, nothing new given the level of sensitivity put on the video security automation. You passively gazed upon the video as it played back. And then… something caught your eye. Instead of just clicking delete and moving on, you decided to ride that feeling of something suspicious and rewatch the video under more scrutiny. Rewatch upon rewatch, you couldn't find anything concrete going on but kept spying something… off. On the seventh rewatch, Craig checked in on you, wondering how the video review was going. You half-heartedly gave him a reply that you got caught up on another issue and haven't gotten to the video yet. He nods, telling you to take your time as it wasn't anything concerning, and moved on.
You once again rewatched the security feed. And then, you saw it. A code—some sort of credentials?! It was subtle but quite very much there. Your stomach fell as you rewatch the scene again and again, frame by frame.
But who are they passing along the information to? The person with the chip was fairly plain, running his features through the facial recognition software brought up nothing in particular. Looking at the folks around him and through different camera angles, you didn't spy anyone out of the ordinary or consistently hovering nearby. The dealer switches out midway through the sequence, so you theorized that he was unlikely to be the co-conspirator. That really only left… you. Or well, not you, but someone in your position. Someone who had access to the camera feeds. Someone… at Ace in the Hole.
You imagined the heads that would roll when this got revealed. You spent the evening compiling your notes on what you found and thought carefully about who to bring them to. The security team was big now with all the new reviewers so you went to one person you could trust: Craig. He'd know what to do.
Chapter 4: Pink Slip
The following week was… eventful to say the least.
First thing in the morning, you pulled Craig into a private room and showed him your findings the week prior. He, at first, seemed shocked by the notes you'd compiled from the man in the video. But then his demeanor seemed to grow stern as you walked through the ramifications of what you found. The admin credentials allowing access to the entire security system of Woodgrove Banks; the ability to modify the permissions and usage logs of every user of the system; the near certain implication of some inside actor. As you wrapped up your conclusions, Craig seemed very impressed.
"I know exactly who to take your findings to," Craig promised, rubbing his hands together and staring off into the distance in contemplation. After a beat, he focused back on you. "In the meantime, you shouldn't let anyone else know what you told me. We can't let a potential mole in our ranks know we are onto them."
You nodded along in agreement, satisfied with his reaction, and went back to your normal tasks to kill time. Surely this find would help land you a more permanent position once you received credit, you thought smugly to yourself.
With not much more than a nod from Craig, your duties seemed to drag. Knowing that the "evidence" you were reviewing had nothing to do with Woodgrove Banks's actual problems, you could feel the nervous energy bubbling up inside of you. It felt as if you were in grade school again, waiting for the bell to ring on the last day of the school year.
A security guard was there to meet you when you clocked in and took you to an empty room. It wasn't long before your manager came in. He sat down in front of you, dropping a file on the table.
"So…" your manager exhaled, "How much you were being paid to subvert Woodgrove Banks's security?"
"Wait… what?" you sputtered out. This had to be a mistake. "I didn't do anything, I swear!"
"Then why do we have evidence of your IP utilizing the admin account and eyewitness accounts of you editing our logs."
"Eyewitness accounts?! What are you talking about?"
You manager pulled up the video of you compiling your evidence late in the evening over the weekend as proof you'd logged into the admin account.
A pit formed in your stomach. Craig, you realized while watching the video. He was the only one I talked to about any of this. Was he the real mole? Is my manager in on it too? Your thoughts raced while your (soon to be former) boss tried to continue his interrogation. You finally did the smartest thing since the weekend: refused to speak any further and demanded a lawyer. After a bit of grumbling and a stray phone call to the room you were in, they let you leave without further incident—albeit accompanied by several security guards—but you figured this wouldn't be the last you'd hear of this.
After a sleepless night and a day spent jumping at the sound of anyone walking by your apartment door, you finally calmed your nerves enough to think about what you needed to do next. Nothing really came to mind to clear your name. And you couldn't gather any more evidence on Craig in your current position. You tried to look for a lawyer but didn't know where to start — are there lawyers for this type of thing? Could I even pay for a proper one?
You relented for the day and drift off to a long, dreamless sleep.
An early series of loud knocks on your door jolted you awake, but by the time you got to the door, there was only a letter. You grimaced, wondering if it was from Ace in the Hole, but found a different note.
I heard about your unfortunate accident with Ace in the Hole. I was able to take care of any legal troubles you might have, but you'll likely never be able to work for a casino again. Though, you do have some impressive skills and I'd be interested in offering you a job. Give me a call.
You shook out the envelope and a business card fell out. On one side was the contact information for someone named Mark Masters.
You slowly turned the card over and see a hand scrawled message…
To be continued in Act 2...