The P.I. Casefiles, Volume III

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Re: The P.I. Casefiles, Volume III

Postby xkazzoo » Sat Jul 24, 2010 7:08 am

Norman's gonna be alright. Good news.

The doc tells me he'll even make a full recovery, save a few scars. Some narly nightmares, too i bet.
I thank the doctor and find my way to Norm's room.

He's asleep, and I figure I'll leave a note rather than sit there, watching him.
That's just creepy.

I shuffle out of the hospital's regular chaos. Waiting rooms full of junkie, deadbeats, and innocent bystanders. I don't doddle.
Outside I have the Mercedes pulled around. I better return this before Remington has a heartattack. I keep it under the speed limit on the way to the station. When I get there I pull into the garage and park her next to the Ferrari wreck. I slide a hand over the hood. Sure gonna miss this ride. I get out and close the door, which promptly falls off it's hinges.
I really should get the hang of this "safe and sane" thing.

I get out and head towards the main hall. Wonder if anyone know's about Norm yet. I push open the door to the station.
Chief Ness is there, staring at me intently.

"Uh, hey, chief. Um. H-how, um...," I smile in a way that looks both innocent and incriminating. It's funny how easily the Chief can create an aura of intimidation.

"Listen, Lombardo. I'm going to ask you a very simple question. If you give me anything but a straight answer I swear I'll make you're life so miserable you'll have to go a lot farther than Russia to hide from me. Understand?," he hasn't blinked.
Why doesn't he blink?

"Yes, Chief, um...what's, what's on you're mind?," I smile meekly again, something about that mustache makes me want to run, very far away, and at the same time makes me freeze in my shoes.

"Where is Agent Jayden?" he says flatly.

"Oh, well...ya see about that,"

"Russia, boy," his words are colder than ice.

"Alright, alright. Let me tell you what happened," I recall the events the last hour, leaving out the ghost parts. Of course, that brings up an obvious question.

"So, wait a second," says the Chief,"You're telling me that not only did you know that Jayden was in trouble, but you also found out exactly where he was even though you were miles away?,"

I nod my head, what else can I do?
Chief gives me that smoldering look again. I shrink away.

"We will talk about this Lombardo. For now, I need to debrief Norman," I smile and attempt to walk past, but Chief's hand comes down on my shoulder,"Don't leave town, Franco. And don't make me come looking for you," he let's me go and walks away.

I stand there for a moment before I realize I have legs again. I use them to get to Remington's office. I don't bother knocking.
He looks up at me when I throw the keys on his desk.

"Chief was lookin' for ya. Told him you left all serious saying something about Jayden and someone dying and not being around tomorrow," he says.

That explains the shake down I just got. I slump into a chair.

"Ollie. Go fuck yourself,"
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Re: The P.I. Casefiles, Volume III

Postby starseedjenny » Tue Jul 27, 2010 3:02 am

I catch myself mumbling when I wake up with my face against the mattress.

Wonder what I was saying.

My arm is over and around Norman's torso; I pull it back, hoping I didn't hurt him. I stop and lay still for a second, trying not to disturb him, but when he doesn't stir I sit up. Myself, I doubt I slept for long. A hospital is a fairly safe place, but it's still outside my capacity to sleep somewhere I'm not sure is secure for long. I sleep lightly and it doesn't take much to wake me up. I wasn't always this way--just since a few mid-sleep training exercises Bats subjected me to a while back. Ever since that, I wake up when so much as the air pressure in a room changes, like from the silent opening of a window or a door. Strategic, really. It's not a bad trait to have, when all is said and done.

Norman's sunglasses and glove are sitting on the table next to me. I pick the glasses up. They're pretty nice, now that I'm looking at them more closely, clearly designer. I turn them over in my hands and look at the arms. Left one has a logo, three circles. The right arm says ARI in clean white printing. Ingrams. Niiice.

I slip them on and sit back. I want to go back to sleep again, a little; it's quiet in this newly-dimmed room. I feel and hear Norman moving next to me, and when I turn to see if he's still asleep, he's looking back up at me.

I smile.
G: Like helplessness experiments. That's the biggest problem in zombie apocalypses. People who survive will always eventually come to question why they bother.
Seamus: The biggest problem in zombie apocalypses is poor planning and not enough ammo.


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Re: The P.I. Casefiles, Volume III

Postby the_crankmaster » Tue Jul 27, 2010 6:30 am

ARI ARI ARI she's wearing my ARI. She’s wearing my ARI. Why is she wearing my ARI?

"C-c-clara,” I force out, sure that I look and sound horrified. “What are you doing?!" She looks at me, expectedly bewildered and looking kind of flustered and guilty and having been caught, though of course she has no idea why she should.

"I, I was just...I'm sorry, I was just looking--" She takes them off.

"Ah..." I shake my head a little and take a calming breath before starting again. She takes that time to put the sunglasses down. "Ah, I'm sorry. Didn't mean to scare you, just... no one usually touches those." She looks at me, confused.

"But--"

"I mean, ah, it's okay,” I say quickly. “I can just, ah, clean them before I use them again. It's not a big deal."

"I wasn't thinking, I guess." I eye the sunglasses where they sit on the bedside table. It occurs to me that she might have turned them on then not bothered to turn them off in her haste. The idea makes me antsy.

"You, ah... you didn't turn them on, did you?"

"I don't thi—” she begins, then she cuts off. “What?"

"Ahhh, guess not then," I mumble, looking down. Nice big mouth you’ve got there, Norman. “If you did, you'd know…”

Clara frowns, making deep creases on her forehead.

“Know what?" she asks. It’s probably too late to get out of this, but it doesn’t hurt to try.

"Ah... you know what, never mind...."

"No, really, what?" she insists, picking up the glasses again and examining them. "They do something?"

"Ah, can I just...?" I try, reaching for them. I can’t complete the sentence so I try again. "Could you please...?” Still nothing. Just the same she hands them over, cocking her head to the side.

I hold the glasses gingerly by one arm, not sure what I want to do with them now that I have them away from her.

"Uh--here...” Clara takes the sunglasses back carefully. "What do you want me to do with them?"

"Just... ah... well, just put them...." I sigh, though not deeply enough to hurt. And speaking of hurt, it probably won’t to tell Clara. “"Ah, hell, what's it matter?” Adamson never said specifically that they were a secret. I just treated them that way as a precaution. At the most I’m pretty sure he just didn’t want the other agents to know and get jealous. “Here." I hold out my hand for the ARI. Clara hands the glasses over, a questioning look on her face. I fold and unfold them a few times almost absently.

"You can keep a secret, right, Clara?"

Her eyes are locked on me in rapt attention.

“Of course.”

I fold the sunglasses one more time and set them on my palm. "These aren't any ordinary sunglasses. This is actually an experimental device that was given to me by the FBI." Clara raises an eyebrow, clearly interested.

"Do tell."

Truthfully, now, I’m dying to.

"Well, look, I put them on and I, ah...." I look around uselessly for alcohol pads, but of course even if I had my suit they would probably be ruined. I scrunch my face a but, reminding myself that I just took a nap with Clara on my bed, so this isn’t much worse. I put the ARI on. “And i turn them on like this." I demonstrate, touching the circles. “And then I can use them to find, store, and analyze evidence."

Her eyes widen.

"Can I see?"

"Ah... well....” I begin, uncertainly. “It's very advanced. Not like anything you've ever seen before. It might be a little overwhelming."

"I'll be fine." she assures, holding out her hand. I hesitate before slipping them off.

"The colors are kind of wonky,” I warn. “Don't move your head around too much at first in case you get nauseous.” I had them over and she puts them on. For a minute she sits still, then she looks around.

“I don’t s-” She cuts off. Frowns.

"Did I turn them off?” I ask. “Here, let me see them." She takes them off and puts them into the hand I offer, frowning all the while. I put them back on.

"No, they're on....” What could be the problem? Maybe it's a security feature.... I grin a bit. Shit, they really were made just for me.

Oblivious to my thought process, Clara is looking down at her hands, focusing on a thought process of her own. She starts, which startles me, and then she’s calm.

“I have to go,” she says.

"Ah, what? Where're you going?" She gets up.

"I--nowhere, I just remembered I have to...go, I have to go."

"Ah... all right....” I grant. “Will you, ah, will you be back? To see me again?"

"I don-” she beings. “I have to go."

And just like that she’s gone.
Last edited by the_crankmaster on Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The P.I. Casefiles, Volume III

Postby starseedjenny » Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:29 am

It's pouring rain. Harder than it has in a long time. Thanks, God. I don't think I could handle the impropriety of sunshine. I run out into it and down the sidewalk, dodging pedestrians who yell after me as I bump past them, upsetting their black umbrellas, not bothering to get the car from the garage. Cars are for when you have somewhere to go. Somewhere you want to go. I don't want to go anywhere. I want to be nowhere. I could have handled anything, any technology, any unexplainable functions. The Cave put my mind up to that a long time ago. If he'd demonstrated that those sunglasses could make him fly, I'd have taken it in stride. I can't handle what I found inside those glasses instead.

I guess I must have been okay when he said I was, because here's the next disaster. His insanity. He is insane, after all. A nut, a loon, crazy, psychotic, off his rocker with lost marbles hiding under all the furniture and every vital screw loose. I should have known, I should have seen it, but how could I have? Just a nice pair of sunglasses with a nice brand name. I couldn't have known he believed they were something more. He "turned them on," put them on my face, and all I could see was the hospital room around me because that's all there was to see. I could see the tiny space between them and the eyes of the man I loved, when he put them on. There was nothing, there was nothing. And I had to play along. Humor him. Like children. Like make-believe.

Two cabs and a car blare their horns at me as I run across the street. My knit jacket is already soaked and weighing me down; I shed it and drop it on the curb as I pass. I stop for a split second before bolting off in a randomly determined direction. "Are you crazy?" a man's voice shouts behind me. Not I.

Uncounted blocks later. Burning lungs. Slick, cold skin. Hair plastered to my bare shoulders. Feet slipping inside my shoes, fiery, blistering. I can't run anymore. I kneel in the river of a gutter and sit on the curb between two cars and their meters, blink the pebble-like rain out of my eyes with every ragged breath. I'm crying. Am I crying? Does it matter?

I let the now-loose shoes come off in the torrent. Don't notice how far they drift. Shiver hard from the cold. Bury my face in my knees and breathe the sputtering wet air, there.

"Hey lady, you need some kinda help?"

I don't answer, grip my tangled hair in my hands. It directs a rivulet of water over my mouth; I shift to breathe. The anonymous guy whose voice I hear will go away. He doesn't know a thing. Lucky.

"Lady?" The rain on my head is replaced by an empty tapping, plopping sound. A hand that's not holding an umbrella touches my shoulder.

A sigh shudders on its way out of me as I lift my head and turn it halfway. "Just go away," I say loudly enough to be heard over the storm, despairing. "I make everyone around me crazy. Just go away."

"But, ma--"

"Go away."

The sound of rain hitting an umbrella disappears and the cold rain falls on me again. I shiver again, finally numb.
G: Like helplessness experiments. That's the biggest problem in zombie apocalypses. People who survive will always eventually come to question why they bother.
Seamus: The biggest problem in zombie apocalypses is poor planning and not enough ammo.


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Re: The P.I. Casefiles, Volume III

Postby Seamus O'Seamus » Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:18 am

The doors open, letting some light and some noise crawl in like so many hungry worms. I keep my head down, not wanting to acknowledge any changes, not wanting to leave the sepia-toned world of my memories. But the lights and the noise chip away at those golden days until all I've got left is a corpse in my arms and a price on my head.

Footsteps. Whoever opened the door is coming inside, approaching me. I don't want to look up. With my luck it's the skinny fella in the black robe.

"Hey." The word is spoken softly in the falsely caring voice of someone who doesn't understand. They don't know what happened here. They don't want to know but they want to sound like they do. I look up, to put a face on my visitor.

It's that halfway similar silhouette, the one that was here earlier and took Norman. I don't want to look at him; anything to make him leave and let me return to my little fantasy world.

"Norman is gonna be fine. He's pretty busted up...but he'll be fine." Slowly, I nod at him, still keeping my eyes low.

He stares. I can feel his gaze going over me like an x-ray. Eventually he speaks again.

"The cops'll be here soon, you know. There's one or two competent ones on the force." He turns and leaves, his footsteps the only noise. Even my sobbing and howling and moaning has faded away. "And if it means anything," he stops at the door. "Norman's a friend. He doesn't know what you did and I dunno if he'll be grateful. But I am." The door closes. The light and the noise are gone, but their work is done.

Soon I'm walking down the street, hands in my pockets and the bag over my shoulder. I dropped the pistols and the revolver in the river after taking them apart. Even if they find the guns, they'll be heaps of scrap and rust and they'll never know who did what. I did the same with the tools and the little medical bag. All I've got left is some rifles, an uncertain future and my thoughts.

The sun starts to rise over the city. Another perfect morning.
Remember our bargain, wizard.

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Re: The P.I. Casefiles, Volume III

Postby the_shankmaster » Wed Jul 28, 2010 6:56 am

Cameras flash, the way they always do around me. The way I'm used to. I don't mind. At least not right now. They're here because I invited them. They're not following me around so that I cant so much as get a hot dog with Vic Jones without everyone thinking we're betrothed. Speaking of Vic, I do miss him. We used to be such good friends. I wish I could invite him over to visit. We would have such a good time, especially if he sang with me a few times, but that would just strengthen the rumors. At the very least it seems that Daddy has let go the idea of us getting married; Vic has recently started dating the actress Sirena Gonzales, and as abundant as the publicity would be, Daddy would rather I didn't have a reputation as a man stealer.

I make my statement, explain my disappearance just the way Daddy told me too, announce my engagement at the Felt Fedora. Act excited about it. I am looking forward to singing. I've always loved it. I just wished my father had picked somewhere else-- anywhere else-- for me to do it. Of course, it's my fault to begin with. I picked Wasusy of all places to run away to.

When I'm done with my statement it's time for questions. Why Wasusy? Because everyone should have access to quality live music. Why the Fedora? Why not somewhere bigger where I can pull in more money? Because I want to provide a more intimate experience for my audience. Exactly how Daddy told me to answer. Another question. Did I really play undercover at the Fedora a few nights ago? Yes, I did, and the audience response was great. Wonderful town, Wasusy. Great fans.

When it's over Daddy kisses my forehead and tells me I did great. Nathan drives us to Pearl's for lunch. Daddy wants more pie, and really I could go for some myself.
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Re: The P.I. Casefiles, Volume III

Postby the_crankmaster » Thu Jul 29, 2010 4:58 am

What is it this time? When I ask her will she say she was just worried about Seamus? Will I even get to ask her? Last time I had to go find her before we talked again, and this time I'm in no position to do that. Will she even come back?

I'm overreacting. I have to be. She just had something to do, that's all. I just need to relax, to occupy myself until she's done. I grab the ARI glove and slip it on my hand. I scroll through the environments until I find the Grapevine. I lay back on my bed, but if I could believe my eyes I'd think I was lying under a row of trees staring up through the leaves at the big blue sky. Sunny. I do miss the sunshine.
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To bury the glasses
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Re: The P.I. Casefiles, Volume III

Postby starseedjenny » Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:27 am

It rains for a long time. But rain, rain doesn't go on forever. No different with this storm. I'd like to stay in the downpour, hide behind it like a curtain, but eventually it slows and stops, leaving me huddled on the curb with the grimy, cigarette-butt gutter river rushing around my stocking feet. I wish I could stay. I ignore my own shivering, deny it silently as long as I can.

When I sniff, touch my nose to find it colder than the concrete I'm sitting on, I know it's time to leave. I don't want to. I'm used to doing things I don't want to do. I grab my shoes where they're stopped against some car's tire and, with them hanging from my fingers, make my way back to the car, underneath the hospital. I don't want to see Norman right now. I don't know how long it'll be before I'm ready. If I ever will be. I need more time.

I know Alfred wouldn't want me to, not just yet, not with Bruce still gone, but I go back to the house. I don't want to have to explain to Alfred why I'm soaked head to toe; I don't want to talk to him at all. I don't want to talk to anybody. And there's nowhere better for not talking to anybody than a vast dark underground system, known about by only four people, one of whom is out of town, another who definitely isn't showing up in compliance with orders, a third whose location is unknown, and me. I'll be more alone than I've ever been. Just like I want it.

What'll Alfred do if I don't go back for a few days?

I don't stop for anything but a change of clothes on my way down to the Cave. I shower down there, change down there. Funny that I feel like I could stay down here the rest of my life without seeing the sun again. Funny, but I don't smile. Instead I go into the gym and I work until I can't any more--and I find something strange; this isn't so bad when it's on my terms. When I want to. I know night has fallen outside. I don't bother to make my way to the nearest bed. Instead, I go to sleep on the mats.

Sleeping at night again. Boy, I'm gonna have some adjusting to do when Bats comes back. Maybe...Alfred...too...
G: Like helplessness experiments. That's the biggest problem in zombie apocalypses. People who survive will always eventually come to question why they bother.
Seamus: The biggest problem in zombie apocalypses is poor planning and not enough ammo.


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Re: The P.I. Casefiles, Volume III

Postby xkazzoo » Sat Jul 31, 2010 9:17 am

The hospital doors open in front of me. I let a man in a wheelchair exit before I stroll in.

I only half remember Norm's room number. I ask a nurse where I could find him. The pretty young girl smiles and points me in the right direction. Looks like Pretty Boy Jayden's got another fan. I chuckle as I make my way to his room.

"Knock knock, anybody home?" I say when I pop my head in the doorway. Nobody answers. The blinds are drawn and I can hear snoring under the heap of blankets on the bed. Must've picked a bad time.
Ah, the hell with it.

"Hey, Norm! You have a Visitor!"

The mass of fabric convulses and spasms as Norman extrudes himself from the sheets. Initially he looks like he might chuck something at me, but he notices who's at the door and his attitude immediately changes.

"He-, wha- Franco, how-," He can't seem to make a straight sentence. I'm not really surprised. His face is covered in bandages, and I'd hate to see what the rest of him looks like. Well, some company should lighten his mood.

"So, Norm. How's the vacation treating ya'?" I smile.
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Re: The P.I. Casefiles, Volume III

Postby the_crankmaster » Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:50 am

All I want to do right now and sleep, but Franco's a big part of the reason why I can even wake up, so I force on a smile.

"Vacation...." I repeat. "This isn't exactly my idea of one."

"What, really?" Franco asks, grinning as he pulls up a chair. "Being waited on hand and foot by a cute redhead isn't your idea of a vacation?"

"Actually, no," I admit. "I'd rather spend it walking on the pier with a cute dark haired girl." Franco nods, knowingly.

"Clara. You seen her lately?"

"Today," I admit. "A few times. She came to see me, and we fought, so she left. Then she came back and we made up. Then she had to leave. And I don't know if she's coming back."

"I'm sure she will," Franco assures. "I mean, you might have all the time in the world to lay around, but she probably has a job or something."

"Sure," I shrug. "But would it kill her to tell me where she's going?"

"Ah, dames," Franco shrugged. "Mysterious creatures. Anyway, Norm, how're you feeling?"

"Tired," I sigh. "Constantly. But I mean, what can I expect? I've got a lot of healing to do."

"Yeah, well, you'll have me to keep you company while you do that." As an afterthought he adds; "Unless the Chief crucifies me. I'm not exactly his favorite person right now."

"If you ever were," I put in, "you're already doing better than me." Franco grins.

"Naw, never been anywhere near his favorite. I'm probably lower on the list than Ollie." That gets a laugh out of me.

"Seriously? Then I don't want to know where I fall."

"Wherever you happen to be standing," Franco teases. "Honestly, never met someone who had as much strouble staying on his feet as you. Except maybe me." This get's another laugh, and as the conversation continues he gets more and more out of me, sometimes at my expense, but just as often at his. It's different. It's different from me and Walsh. Walsh picked on me, sure, but he never turned it around on himself, too. It's kind of nice, really. Feels less like admiration and more like a genine friendship. I could get used to this. In fact, I think I already am.
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Agent Norman Jayden, FBI

Go get your shovel
And we'll dig a deep hole
To bury the glasses
Bury the glasses
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