Know how to make 'em hurt
Tactician: superior (rank 2)
First, when you enter a dangerous situation, plan how to you can exit it. That means knowing how to bring down anybody present that might possibly want to hurt you.
Oh you're ready for that already? Then tell me, how many races and offshoots have significant populations in Lowtown? You're way low; there's 32. And each one needs to be shot in the right place to bring him down. If you point a gun at a Gurian's chest he'll laugh at you. If you shoot above an Angelic's head you will seriously wound her. You should know these things as a reflex; you should neven think about it.
But that's not enough. You need to be sizing things up and planning all the time. What if the big hooded guy behind the crank dealer turns out to be a golem. You can shoot the thing all you like--it won't matter. You had better have already spotted the truck you are going to blast him in front of, or figured out how to make the dealer see your gun before his clay friend senses any danger before you ever find out what's under that hood.
We're small, and week, and made of meet. Sometimes the things we're s'posed to stop are immortal, or made of hematite, or standing in three different locations at the same time. Know how to make the situation work for you, or you will be dead.
Go in armed
Concussive Weapon: standard (rank 1)
- Ranged Attack
- Area Affect
I'm not jus' talking about the shotgun, circuit disruptor, and holy water they give issue standard down here. Those won't be enough.
There's a guy who lives on 5th and Dougherty, look him up. He can hook you up with the things the department won't issue you, an' he likes badges. I figure you should have at least two charges of mid-level explosive on you at any given time. Oh, and see this? Thermite. You should always carry some kind of light weapon, and something chemical, and at least one way to light things on fire fast.
There are times when you're staring into the face of something that hates your guts and you know, know for a fact, you cannot hurt it in any way. That's a bad feeling. You want to keep those times few are far between.
Environmental Awareness: standard (rank 1)
Use your ears and your eyes.
I'm not talking about noticing details so much. That's good I suppose, but sometimes it distracts from the bigger picture. You're not trying to be Sherlock Holmes all the time. You need to be able to tell how scared a street is, how scared the people on it are, by listening to the background hum. You need the things you see out of the corners of your eyes to make you aware that people are watching you, or that people are glad to see you. (They won't tell you things like that if you ask, but they are telling you all the time.)
Treat the right people right
Ally: standard (rank 1)
Make some friends, and make sure they're the right ones. This place is full of back stabbers and snitches, even on the force. But you gotta have some people in your corner, people to tell you when something's going down, to watch you back, or just to help you understand this damned city.
The thing is respect. Learn a few words of Farize and Tehrishan. Get good enough with algorithmic form to be polite to AIs. Don't be like some idiots in this department and fly sapien-supremacist colors.
But, also, build the important relationships. Take care of your informers, advisers, and suppliers. I already told you about the weapons guy, but I have some old friend or other on almost every street. There's a homeless ol' mystic that tells me when the auras are f-ed up because I buy him breakfast sometimes. I have an excomunicated Gurian who helps me identify alien tech, and gang lieutenant who owes me a big favor.
You can't be a "solo hero" doing what we do. Don't ever get the idea you can.
Don't do the wrong drug
Mental Defense: standard (rank 1)
'Most everyone in this department is using something. It's hard not to try some things eventually, doing what we do. Most guys get started to help them sleep, or to help them stay awake.
But you've got to be careful. Most of that stuff will rot your brain, or your teeth, or your coordination, or you ability not to see dead people. When you're tempted to drop a little bit of something be very, very careful.
You know the Shriwir? The cat people, yea. They chew this grass called sashas that's sort of like cat-nip for them. The stuff is bitter as hell at first, but it doesn't mess you up or ruin your teeth. It actually sharpens your eyesight a little, after a while. But, better, it gives you a kind of iron-plated focus. You're harder to manipulate or distract. You can see a pretty girl in a tight top go by and not turn your head. If you're going to put something under your tongue, man, go with sashas.
Don't get all holier-than-though with me. You come back and give me that line when you've stayed alive in this job for five years. I'll be glad to listen, 'cause I'll be glad you're still with us.