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About this City Journal

A SC4 police story and a tribute to Police Quest

Entries in this City Journal


Still digesting your burger and fries, you hop back into your cruiser and begin your afternoon patrol.

As you head north on Jim Walls Blvd. you notice a purple hatchback vehicle ahead that just made a U-turn on a red light.


"So much for my break," you think to yourself. You radio in your location and inform dispatch that you are about to make a traffic stop. As you get closer to the suspect vehicle, you notice the license plate, "California: C U LTR" You quickly punch the license plate into your computer to check for wants.

Computer: CA LIC: C U LTR ... 2004 Renault *** REPORTED STOLEN ***


You immediately turn on your emergency lights. You see ahead that the driver is looking at you in his rear view mirror. Instead of pulling over, the suspect vehicle speeds up.

Here we go... queue up the police chase music... you radio in for back up.


The suspect tries his best to lose you, but its not working.

Soon you find yourself on River Drive Bridge. The suspect vehicle is easily going 60 miles per hour as traffic is coming heads on in the opposite direction.

"This is dangerous..."

You notice that the driver of the suspect vehicle is starting to lose control of his car. He brakes suddenly and then...


The suspect vehicle crashes head on into oncoming traffic.

You were so caught up in the adrenaline rush that you hadn't noticed that your back up was right behind you.

Instinctively, you come to a screeching halt, get out of your car and draw your gun.

Your backup pulls up next to you and you see your fellow officer Ben Wong. Officer Wong immediately pulls out his weapon and aims it toward the suspect vehicle.


Officer Wong: I got you covered Roger!

You: DRIVER, get out of the car with your hands in the up!

At first the driver does not comply.


The suspect, a man who you'd guess was about 20 years old gets out and puts his hands in the air facing you.


The suspect walks back toward you, you instruct him to get on the ground face down. As your fellow officer covers you, you approach the suspect, cuff him, stand him up and search him.

You find a knife, the suspects wallet and a plastic bag containing pills.

You hand the suspect over to Officer Wong and then approach the other vehicle.

It's not pretty.

You see an older gentleman who is unconscious. His airbag deployed but he's not moving and his head is face down in the airbag.

You radio in for an EMT and soon the Fire Department arrives. As the firemen work on the other driver, you begin to set up road flares and re-direct traffic.


As the scene clears up, you question the suspect. He tells you that he ran because he was "scared". Other than the pills, you find nothing else illegal in his car.

Officer Wong offers to take him to jail for you as you clean up the traffic mess.

Your first police chase. Crazy... you hope that the other driver will be ok, and the firemen assure you that his chances are good, he'll be fine. You'll head over to the hospital later to get a statement from him as he can't really talk right now.


The rest of your afternoon is pretty routine. You visit the hospital to take down the other drivers' statement and later issue a couple tickets here and there, nothing out of the ordinary. As 6 pm approaches, you call it a day, looking forward to going home and seeing your wife.


Later that night... a couple hundred miles away in Oakland...


Suspicious Man 1: You got the stuff?

Suspicious Man 2: Yeah, hot off the boat, boss. Was a pain to get here from Mexico, but its here.

Suspicious Man 1: Good. You've done well.

Suspicious Man 2: Yeah. My boys have everything set up. A little town called Lytton. Quiet place, no one will suspect. That's where it will go down. Now all you gotta do is gimme my payment, and I'm outta here.

Suspicious Man 1: Lytton huh? Sounds like such a nice place (smirk) with white picket fences, manicured lawns and all... Oh right, your payment. I almost forgot. Here you go. (Pulls out a knife and stabs the other man repeatedly).


To be continued...


Taking a right turn out of the Central police station and another right onto Lilly Avenue, you begin your morning patrol.

Your cruiser moves along Lilly Ave. at 35 mph, the posted speed limit. Things are pretty quiet at this hour. Already mentally preparing yourself for a dull morning, you approach the intersection of 5th Street and Lilly.


You come to a stop, check your rear view mirror and see that no one is coming from behind you, or from any direction, for that matter... You decide to glance down at your computer to see if there are any calls that you can respond to.


As you begin to look up, you suddenly notice a car coming from your left, it zooms past you and barrels through the stop sign... right in front of you.


"Wow, that guy just ran a stop sign!" you think to yourself. Then you realize, "wait a second, I'm a cop, I should probably do something about that!"

You turn your car sharply to the right, turn on your emergency lights and pursue the vehicle.

The driver of the vehicle ahead of you immediately notices your lights and pulls over to the side of the road. You take note of his license plate number, and call the traffic stop in, notifying dispatch of the traffic stop, your location and the vehicle specifics. You also check the vehicle's plates on your computer for wants. No wants come back. Looks like a routine traffic stop... first catch of the day!


You open your door, get out and approach the blue vehicle that you just pulled over.

You: Good morning, I'm officer Graham of the Lytton PD. I stopped you because you ran that stop sign back there. License, registration and proof of insurance, please.

Driver: I'm a doctor and I'm late for work!

You: That's great, sir, are you responding to a life threatening emergency?

Driver: No. I'm not.

You: Well then, I'll need to see your license, registration and proof of insurance, please.

Driver: Maybe you didn't hear me sonny boy, I said I'm a DOCTOR!

You're not really liking this guy's attitude...

You (in a firm voice): Well I'm a POLICE OFFICER and I'm asking you for your license, registration and proof of insurance!

Grudgingly, the driver pulls out his paperwork and hands it to you. The name on the license reads "Darvin Greenwell". You take a quick glance at his registration and insurance paperwork and don't see anything out of the ordinary.

As you begin to proceed back to your vehicle to run his background, Mr. Greenwell decides he still wants to continue running his mouth...

Mr Greenwell: I guess you're a rookie, aren't you?

Before you can respond he continues...

Mr Greenwell: That's what I thought sonny boy, well let me tell you something about PROPER police procedure... you aren't supposed to be pulling over and ticketing us doctors! We're the ones that will save YOUR life...

Woah... did he really just try to lecture you on proper police procedure? You're getting pretty agitated now and you really want to just haul this guy off in handcuffs, but you wisely restrain yourself.

You: Just wait here... and it's Officer Graham, not sonny boy.

Mr. Greenwell: Whatever... OFFICER...

You hop back into your cruiser and run the suspects info through the computer. Mr Greenwell, apparently, has a history of running stop signs, red lights and speeding. No warrants out for his arrest, though.


You slide his drivers license through the scanner on your computer and begin the process of issuing a traffic violation for Failure to Obey a Traffic Control Device.

Walking back to Mr Greenwell's car, you hand him the traffic citation.

Mr. Greenwell: Okay OFFICER GRAHAM, I see how it is. You'd better hope that the next time you're hurt and your life is on the line, I'M NOT the doctor that's assigned to save your sorry &*@$-ing !*#!

You: I need you to sign here, your signature is not an admission of guilt, its just a promise to appear on the court date I've scheduled for you. If you cannot appear in court your options are on the back of the citation.

Mr Greenwell: Whatever... jerk. I'll see you in court sonny boy! And you'd better pray that you won't be needing my services to revive your sorry life some day!

He grabs the ticket from you and signs it.

You hand DOCTOR Greenwell his copy of the citation, his license and his registration/insurance card back. Without saying anything further you decide its best just to walk away from this guy before you do something rash like pummeling him right here on the side of the road.

As you hop back into your car, and make notes of the traffic stop you see Dr. Greenwell pulling away. You decide to put down the paperwork and follow him a little, just to make sure he doesn't run any more stop signs. A block ahead, you see him pull into the parking lot for the Lytton Pet & Animal Hospital and proceed into the building, waving his arms in the air in disgust. And then giving you the bird before storming into the building...


Hah, so he's an animal doctor... "So much for saving my life!"

Some people...

You swing around the corner, pull over and finish your paperwork. Over the next hour or so, you drive around town continuing your patrol. Nothing exciting happens.


Around 07:30 hrs, you hear a beeping coming from your computer. You look down and notice a flashing message... it's a call.

Computer: Dispatch to any available officer, respond citizen complaint, 535 Perimeter Road.

Ah, finally... something to do!

You call into dispatch to respond to the call and inform them that you're on your way to 535 Perimeter Road... you haven't been in Lytton for very long but you know that's out on the edge of town along Highway 41 in farm country. "Wonder whats up?" you think to yourself.

535 Perimeter Road

As you approach the address of the call you notice a country bumpkin farm-type waving you to the side of the road and onto his property. You pull up and exit your vehicle.


You: Good morning, I'm officer Graham of the LPD. Did you call the police?

Farm Guy: Why yes uhh did! Ayhm fed up! FEDDDDD UUUUUP!

You: Please calm down sir and tell me whats the problem.

Farm Guy: Well... let meh see here... muh farms been vandalized! VANDALIZED! And this ain't thuh first tahm its happened... I calleduh ya guys many times befuh...

You: Ok sir, can you show me where and what happened?

Farm Guy: Why yesser I sure can, raiight ovuh there, they dem destroyed muh crops! Agayn!

The guy points you in the general direction toward his field. You walk over and see this...


Someones got a sense of humor...

You look around for clues and any suspects, but there doesn't seem to be anything or anyone of interest. Whoever did this did a pretty clean job.

You: When did you notice this?

Farm Guy: Juss uhbout half hour ago, then uhh called y'all.

You: I see, sir. Well, I'm going to go ahead and take some pictures of this, write out a report for you and give you a case number. I'll forward this to the property crimes department and a detective from that department will follow up with you if there are any leads.

Farm Guy: Thanks alut for nuthin'... I've uhh already filed five hundred police reports with y'all!

You: I'm really sorry sir. We'll try to keep our eyes out for any vandals in this area.

Farm Guy: Yeauh raight y'all will! Ya'll knowz whut? Nexuh tyme, Imma just use muh shotgun and shoot any son of a beezwax that I seeuh on muh property!

You: Sir, I wouldn't suggest that... for your own sake. Look, here's my business card. Please call me, or the station, if anything happens. If you feel like your life is endanger, please call 9-11. But please rest assured, we will keep our eyes out.

You're really at a loss as to what else to say or do here. So you hand the guy your business card and hop back into your car.

You drive southbound on Perimeter Road and then onto westbound Highway 41 to get back into town.


You soon find yourself crossing over the Highway 41 Bridge that spans the Clearwater River, ahead you see what you think... no... you're sure that's a bunch of rather large birds hanging around on the freeway.

You think to yourself, "Oh, great. First animal doctors, then farmers, now giant birds on the freeway... what is this, Animal Planet?!"

Your thoughts then immediately shift, "gee I really don't want to deal with that Doctor Greenwell at the Animal Hospital, so nobody better run over these birds!"

Turning on your emergency lights, you slow down to a crawling speed just prior to the flock of birds, then come to a complete stop across both lanes of the highway, effectively stopping traffic and providing adequate safety for the birds.


You radio to dispatch your location and the situation and are informed that a California Highway Patrol (CHP) unit is on its way. Its the highway, so its their jurisdiction... you'll just have to watch these birds until they get here.

Fun, fun, fun.

After what seems like an eternity, the CHP shows up and together you shoo the birds off the freeway.


The remainder of your morning is pretty routine. You issue a few traffic citations for mundane violations and help a poor senior citizen retrieve her cat that crawled up a tall Oak tree and simply refused to come down until the proper authorities (you) showed up.

You find some time around noon and reflect on your first morning on the job without a training officer watching your every move... "saving the world from the bad guys is tough," you think to yourself.

Getting hungry, you pull off onto Jim Walls Blvd. to the local Carl's Jr., radio in your Code 7 (meal break) and head inside to stuff your face.


Grub, Grub, Grub...

... you feel polluted.


[Message from portlandexpos04] Welcome back to Lytton! Thanks everyone for continuing to follow this CJ and for your kind comments! Now that we've seen some of the parks and nature areas around town, it's time to get on the job and begin my piece of fan fiction, and guess what? You're the main character :). As I mentioned in my first entry, this CJ is a tribute to the Police Quest game series, specifically Police Quest 1 through 3. For those of you who aren't familiar with these games, they were released in the late 1980s and early 1990s. If you want to read more about PQ, here's the link to the PQ Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Police_Quest ... You can also play Police Quest 1 using your internet browser (for free!) at http://www.sarien.net/policequest. My goal in this CJ will be to show you present-day Lytton using a storyline told in a similar style to the original PQ series gameplay. Hope you enjoy, and please feel free to leave any comments or questions about the city and/or the story and I will try my best to answer them!

And the story begins. 23 years have passed since we last saw Lytton in Police Quest 3...

Day One: Part 1

4:00 AM - You are awaken abruptly from your sleep by the beeping of your alarm clock. While you really want to hit the "snooze" button a few more times (shouldn't have stayed up all night listening to Persian radio), you realize that today is your first day at your new job as a Lytton police officer, and you'd better not be late. Quickly, and quietly you get up, take a shower and get ready to head off to work. You try your best not to wake your wife, she's already been understanding enough with you giving up your highly paid job as a software programmer and taking this new (and potentially dangerous) job in a new city. You both left the comforts of your old home in the San Francisco Bay Area and moved out here to little Lytton in the Eastern Sierras. She wasn't all that crazy about this move, but she knew it was important to you.

You are excited to start your new job. Afterall, you grew tired of working for a software company that was purchased by a bigger company that has, in turn, completely given up on making quality games for its fans and is much more concerned with meeting the bottom line and forcing its employees to fill out TPS reports all day long. (Sigh).

Anyways, you kiss your wife goodbye, get into your personal vehicle and drive off to work. As you pull out of your driveway you can't help but think to yourself, "even though this town is small and out in the middle of nowhere, it was nice to sell that shack in the East Bay and be able to afford such a big home out here for cheap! This will be a great place to raise a family..."


5:15 AM - You arrive at the Central police station and go straight to the locker room, changing into your police officer's uniform and grabbing all of your gear, most importantly, your ticket book. The Lytton Central police station hasn't changed much in the last 23 years other than some carpet that was installed a few years back. It's a small, 3 story building. You quickly check the building directory:

Floor 1 - Lobby & Information Desk, Public Restroom, Evidence Room, Traffic Division Locker Room, Traffic Division Briefing Room, Traffic Division office.

Floor 2 - Offices for the various Investigative Divisions (such as Burglary, Car Theft, Narcotics and Homicide), Detectives Locker Room, Detectives Conference Room, Restrooms.

Floor 3 - IT Department, Dispatch, Administration Office, Office for Special Units, Chiefs Office, Restrooms.

Wisely, you go to the Traffic Division Briefing Room, take a seat, and wait for your shift Sergeant to show up for the morning briefing.


5:30 AM - Right on time, Sgt. Elizabeth Johnson comes into the room. She steps up to the podium and begins, "Good morning people. A few items before we begin the day. First, I'd like to welcome our newest members of the Traffic Division, officer Roger Graham (that's you!) and officer Mark Murphy. Officers Graham and Murphy have just finished their probationary period and will be out on their own for the first time. Welcome aboard officers Graham and Murphy, try not to get yourselves into too much trouble. Secondly, we've had some complaints around town about people speeding through residential neighborhoods, so be on the lookout. Other than that, keep an eye out for the usual and don't forget, you're police officers, so feel free to write some tickets. That's all, get on it people, and be safe."

5:45 AM - Still barely awake, you stumble out to the station's parking lot to look for your assigned cruiser. Looking over, you see your fellow rookie officer Murphy stuffing his trunk with his gear and multiple duffle bags. He pauses for a second, looks up at you and says:

Murphy: "Hey Roger, check out all this gear that I bought at the police supply store, the owner suggested that I pick all this stuff up since it's going to be handy, he's an ex cop so I think he knows what he's talking about!"

You: "Uh, that's great Mark. But do you really think you really need all that stuff?"

Murphy: "Hey man, just don't come crawling to me when you find yourself out on the side of the road without state of the art equipment. That'll be your problem!"

You decide not to argue.

A split second later, officer Murphy slams the trunk shut and POOF! a huge yellow cloud comes oozing out of the rear of his cruiser.

Murphy: "Oh... Crap!"

Murphy opens his trunk again and now finds himself covered in yellow powder. You can't help but laugh, thinking to yourself, "Gee I'm glad I'm not THAT guy!"

A few seconds later, Sgt. Johnson comes out and looks directly at Murphy...

Sgt Johnson: "WHAT just happened?"

Murphy: "I uh... have no clue... Sarge"

Sgt. Johnson looks Murphy straight in the eye...

Sgt Johnson: "Seems you stuffed so much junk in your trunk that you busted the release on your fire extinguisher... get this mess and yourself cleaned up!"

Sgt. Johnson then looks over at you, "and you... stop wasting our fine citizens' tax dollars and get out on the streets to do your job!"

You quickly mumble out a "yes ma'am", still trying your hardest to refrain from further laughter. Walking around the parking lot you see plenty of brand new 2014 Ford police interceptors, a couple marked SUVs and a couple unmarked vehicles, as well as yours and your co-workers personal cars. You're a little disappointed when you find that you've been assigned an older, marked, 2009 Crown Victoria and not one of the new 2014 models. Life of a rookie, I guess... at least it doesn't have yellow powder all over it.

Hopping in, you take a whiff of the deep, used car smell and start the ignition. Day one of patrol, here we come!



Welcome back to Lytton! Here are a few more pictures of the natural areas located to the east of the city...

California Highway 41 crosses the Clear Water River and the Cotton Cove Nature Area as it approaches Lytton from the east. It's summer time, so lots of activity on the river. Just remember folks, it's probably not a good idea to try and dive off the highway bridge.


Adjacent to the Cotton Cove Nature Area is the Aspen Falls Recreational Area, another favorite outdoor area for locals. While Cotton Cove is very much natural, Aspen Falls Recreational Area is more of a city park, with mowed grass maintained regularly by the City's Parks & Recreation Department, picnic areas, and a bicycle path. Some local fishermen also like coming out here. Whether they ever catch anything is up for debate. Though rumor has it that someone once caught a three-eyed fish here.


Aspen Falls Recreational Area is named after... you guessed it... Aspen Falls! Aspen Falls flows into Aspen Creek, which in turn, flows into Clear Water River. In the photo below you can also see the River Drive Bridge (bottom) and Jim Walls Boulevard (left).


That's all for now. Stay tuned for more :)


Welcome to Lytton, California

Taking a break from An Alternate Universe (http://community.simtropolis.com/journal/5001-an-alternate-universe/), I decided to start a separate CJ for Lytton, California. Lytton is a completely fictional town. It's based on Jim Walls' Police Quest series of PC games that was quite popular in the late 1980's and early 1990's. As a child, these were some of my favorite adventure games, so I kinda wanted to pay tribute to them.

In Police Quest 1, players assume the role of Sonny Bonds, a Lytton police officer. Officer Bonds starts out as a traffic cop and eventually gets promoted to detective first in the Narcotics Division (PQ1) and later in the Homicide Division (PQ2 and PQ3).

Well... it's been about 23 years since we last heard from Sonny, or Lytton. Lots has changed in the world, but probably not so much in the small, sleepy Northern California town of Lytton.

Sonny Bonds is now much older, and his blonde/brown hair has turned grey. After a long career of fighting crime, he retired from the force and is now serving as the Mayor of Lytton.

And thus begins the next chapter...

Today's news from Lytton...


And a couple photos of the Cotton Cove Nature Area, located on the east side of town.




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