The Galleria shops

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The Galleria shops
Location: Somerset Square
Giant Gumball Machine
There's a giant gumball machine in the center of the galleria that's always accessible. To be clear, both the machine itself and the gumballs it releases are gigantic. Gum is 5 chips per piece.

Note: Gives one of four gumballs:

After the quest is completed

  • Before 1 AM:

You wander through the shops. You're disturbed to note that the area seems just a little bit grittier now that Big J isn't running things, but the shopkeeps who know you all smile and greet you warmly.

  • After 1 AM:

It's after one in the morning, and all the galleria shops are closed.

Before the quest is completed

First time:

You take a stroll through the galleria shops down at the corner. It's late and most of them are closed, but a few, like a music store and bookstore, are still doing active business. Frankly you're surprised that this area is so quiet and peaceful. There aren't many places in the city like this.

On a whim you pop into one of the shops at random and poke around a little. Even crimefighters need a little breather now and then, right? You say hi to the shop owner and he returns your greeting. Just making conversation, you comment on the pleasant, peaceful nature of this little corner of the neighborhood. Strangely, the shopkeeper turns pale and starts stammering, "Wha-what do you mean? I don't know what you're talking about."

Weird. "I was just thinking you guys must do a really good job with security around here, to have all these shops open this late and not locked down like a fort. It's nice."

The owner continues to stammer awkwardly, and then squints his eyes at you. "Are-are you the new collector?" he asks.

"Huh? No. I mean, I don't know what you're asking. What kind of collector?"

The guy clams up, fast. "Oh, nothing. Nevermind." He refuses to say more about it, and eventually you leave. Something's very fishy, though.

Subsequent times, before To the Rescue:

At random you stop in at one of the other shops in the galleria, but the clerk refuses to say anything about security, "collectors," or anything else along those lines. If you want more information, you're probably going to have to go looking somewhere else.

For the first time after To the Rescue:

You step into the galleria bookstore and browse for a bit. There's a visiting author reading excerpts from a children's book called Pickle and Onion and kids are running everywhere. On your way out one of the employees pulls you aside to an isolated corner. In a hushed voice he says, "Hey, I'm Bob, the store owner. I heard about how you rescued Melody from Jack's goons. A lot of people are afraid that might make things worse, but I think we've needed someone like you for a long time."

"What can you tell me?" you ask.

"Unfortunately, not a whole lot. The thugs do most of the dirty work, but it's common knowledge that the guy who owns the pizza place is ultimately in charge."

"You mean Jack?" you ask.

He nods. "Yeah. Jack. Big J, some people call him. I think those are just nicknames, though. I've never met the guy, but the neighborhood business association has him listed as John Steele."

"What else?"

Bob spreads his hands. "That's about it. You're going to have to find out the rest on your own. Come back if you learn anything else. I'll help if I can, but I'm no hero; I've got a wife and kids, and a good business.

You nod in understanding and head back out to the street."

Subsequent times after To the Rescue, before A Noggin Scratcher:

You stop by Bob's Bookstore and say hi to Bob, but he doesn't have anything new to report.

For the first time after A Noggin Scratcher:

You visit the bookstore and have another chat with the owner. Bob says, "I've been thinking about Jack, and I've got an idea. Jack's never around during the day, and his goons won't let you in with a weapon at night. But I bet I could sneak a small weapon into the bathroom of the restaurant during the day. Something small and completely waterproof. I could hide it in the toilet reservoir. If you can get past the guards, you could go into the bathroom and pick up the weapon."

The bookstore owner looks over your collection of weapons. "Hmm," he says, fingering the steel knuckles, "I think these might work. I'll sneak them over as soon as I can." He takes your steel knuckles and tucks them in a pocket as you head back out into the street.

Subsequent times after A Noggin Scratcher, before defeating either Big Bad John Steele or a very dazed John Steele:

You stop by Bob's Bookstore and say hi to Bob. He asks if you've tried to get in to see Big J yet. Oh, right! What have you been doing?