The P.I. Casefiles, Volume IV

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The P.I. Casefiles, Volume IV

Postby Seamus O'Seamus » Mon Aug 30, 2010 12:05 am

IT BEGINS!
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Re: The P.I. Casefiles, Volume IV

Postby the_crankmaster » Mon Aug 30, 2010 3:33 am

It's warm out. Or at least it is compared to the hospital, which was always near freezing. It's not raining, anyway, a rarity in this city. I welcome the lack of rain; I'm still getting used to walking--or rather, limping--on my bad leg. The last thing I need is a layer of water on the ground to make the going more difficult. Soon enough, though, I find that something else is determined to give me trouble getting back to my hotel. Waiting for me outside with a huge smile on her face is Nadia Ness.

"Norman!" she greets with a large hug that sets the parts of me that are still sore screaming and very nearly knocks me over. "I'm so glad! I was afraid I'd missed you! Daddy wouldn't tell me what hopsital you were at, you know, and when I finally managed to get it out of Detective Remington today he told me you were being discharged!" She squeezed me harder and let out a sound like a teeange girl at a Sinatra show. "But here you are!"

"Ah, good to see you, too, Nadia...." I force out, prying her arms off of me. "But I have to get going, so-"

"Back to your hotel?" she asks me. "Let me drive you." Nice of her, really, but I don't exactly want her to know where I'm staying, even if I won't be staying there much longer. I know that if I let her get to my hotel, she'll try to get in my room, and even if I was at the top of my game as far as my ability to defend myself, I wouldn't want to fight the chief's daughter. Sure, I'm not working for him anymore, but I'd rather not cross him, just the same.

"No, it's all right," I say. "I already called a cab from the hospital."

"Oh, then I'll just wait with you," she says. I panic a bit; I didn't call a cab. We'd be waiting all day.

"I'd actually rather just be alone right now," I try. "The hospital was... suffocating. Doctors and nurses all the time...."

"Oh, all right," she says, still smiling at me. "I understand. Well, if you want to see me another time call the police station and my dad will tell you where I am."

"Won't you be at the Fedora?" I ask, though I have no intention of looking for her. She hakes her head.

"Naw, the Fedora stopped being fun after that girl started playing there. Everyone wants to see her so it' s so crowded all the time, and she plays the same set every night, so there's no variety."

"What girl?" I ask. Last time I was at the Fedora they were hiring.

"Oh, you know," she said, dismissively. "Anna Fontana."

Anna Fontana. I wonder if Robbie Banks has heard.

Nadia and I say our goodbyes and I hail a cab back to the King's Hotel. My car is still where I left it, but I don't feel like going to get it now. When I get to the hotel I go up to my room for the last time; I'll be checking out tomorrow and moving to a less expensive hotel. It won't be as nice, but hopefully I can manage. If I have trouble there's always triptocaine.

I go to my closet and remove a tube from my suitcase. I'll have to restock eventually, but it looks like I'll be fine for now. My instinct is to put the tube right to my nose right where I'm kneeling, but I make myself get up, change into my pjs, and get to my bed. I get comfortable and make myself relax as much as I possibly can. Only then do I twist open the cap and take a deep wiff. I manage to close it up again, saving the remaining blue powder from spilling before I drop the tube on the ground. I let the tripto take me far away to a place where both my legs work properly, where I never got taken off of a case for getting closer to getting myself killed than getting the killer, where my girlfriend can touch me without sending me into a fit of anxious panic, where orange skunks-- Well, orange skunks aren't something I'm particularly fond of, but if having them around is the price I have to pay for everything else, then so be it. Eventually I fall asleep, and it's the deepest, most restful sleep I've had in a long time.
Last edited by the_crankmaster on Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The P.I. Casefiles, Volume IV

Postby helios » Mon Aug 30, 2010 5:33 pm

So, here we go. Start of the end for Wasusy. I sip my tea; Strong, no milk, no sugar. My cake lies half eaten whilst I wait. There will be time enough to finish it once this is done.
The sunlight on my face is refreshing, as is the slight breeze. It seems that springtime in Wasusy is indeed as pleasant as the tales say. No matter. Wasusy will still die.
My contact sits down on the chair opposite me. The waitress comes round, and he orders a coffee. Two sugars, with cream. The cream, I think, will not do him wonders, as I hear him wheezing slightly from the barely-uphill walk.
"You have my father's things?" I ask, pushing my glasses back up the bridge of my nose.
"Yes, I have, uh, your father's 'things'." He hands me a brown briefcase. Idiot. He may have to die for that. Although he was most likely to die regardless. I smile, and reach into my bag.
I hand him a small box, wrapped in brown paper, and tied with string. So very American, so very western. He will not question it.
"A token of thanks, for everything you've done for myself and the family." I reach back into my back, and withdraw an envelope. "And of course your fee. We couldn't very well have you out on the street, after all you've done, now could we?"
He reaches out, and snatches the envelope from my hand. So very rude. He finishes his coffee, tips the waitress, but only just, and gets up.
"Thank you for your time. It was a pleasure." I say, shaking his hand.
I finish my cake, as he stalks off, presumably to extort someone out of something. It is a marvellous cake, too. Chocolate, rich. I did not expect much from Wasusy's only Parisian cafe, but I was pleasantly surprised.

----------------------------------

I've followed the tracking device here. To this horrible little apartment complex. There is no way he lives here. A man of his mob standing would warrent something with a touch more class.
I reach the door quickly. I pick the lock quickly, not expecting much, and finding even less.
It swings open, creaking slightly. I curse silently. i should have thought of the hinges. In a building in this condition hinges would be near the bottom of anyone's list.
I pull out my pistol, and step inside. The light is dingy, and the smell dank and unpleasant. But it's nothing I have not dealt with previously.
I kick down the bedroom door. Should have known. With a woman. How typical of Mob men.
I lower the revolver at the two of them.

----------------------------------

Returning finally to my hotel room, I lie down. I take a moment's breathe, and sit back up again. I unload the two spent casings, and place them in my bag.
I check my watch.
Almost five. Time to dress for dinner.
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Re: The P.I. Casefiles, Volume IV

Postby starseedjenny » Tue Aug 31, 2010 4:08 am

Two days later. I spent a day with Alfred, and then for all my concern for his loneliness and veiled anxiety I'm gone again. He's sweet, really, one of the nicest people I've ever met. But I'm not a captive any more, not really, and I don't need him like I used to.

The guilt stings a little. Leaving him alone. Not telling him I've been back here to the house and it's safe, not yet. But I haven't lived alone or where I want to in so long. It wouldn't be fair, would it? To myself? To keep myself bound by obligation when it seems I have a break from someone else keeping me? I don't know how long this will last. I need this. I need to hold on to it while I can.

Speaking of guilt, I should probably go see Norman. Knowing him, he's thinking again that I'm not coming back, and I owe him a coherent explanation for what happened. But I'm so ashamed. This is at least as bad as when I threw up on him. Worse, I guess, because I don't have the excuse of being drunk this time. I can't go back yet. Maybe if I stay away long enough, I can convince myself to go back on the resolution I made to myself--and not go back at all.

Down in the Cave, hair messily pulled back out of my way, I'm rifling through the room Bats used to keep me in, looking for the last few of my things to move to the room upstairs. I'd gotten most of it already; I come up with a few odds and ends of little interest and put them away. Only the stuff for nighttime punching endeavors stays down there.

Now, how should I put these awa-- That's it. That's enough. Trying not to care isn't working any more. I get myself cleaned up and go back to the hospital. Here he is laid up and here I am trying to kill him in my sleep and then taking off. Terrible. Terrible of me. But as I'm going to the elevator to go up and see Norman, a smiling nurse with red hair stops me.

"Your friend was discharged this morning," she tells me.

"This--this morning?" I choke the words out. Gol. He was taken off his case. Now he's out of the hospital. He could...already be gone. The thought terrifies me. I hadn't considered, maybe refused to consider, before that he'd be leaving Wasusy when he was able. Of course he'll leave. "When?"

"A few hours ago, I think..."

I thank the nurse vaguely, mind buzzing, and she leaves. M--maybe there's still time, maybe I still have time to...say sorry, say goodbye. My throat is thick and sore-feeling. I hope...I hope...

I find a phone and, feeling frantic, shove a few quarters in, ask the operator to connect me to King's, who in turn I ask to connect me to Norman's room. He hasn't checked out yet. He hasn't checked out. There might still be time.

The phone rings a few times before I hear the connection click open. I hear soft breathing, but no words.

"N--Norman?"
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Re: The P.I. Casefiles, Volume IV

Postby MetalNinja » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:53 am

Still sat by the window in Pearls, staring at my mug of coffee, something catches my eye, a shape moving outside heading straight for the diner. Every fibre of my body tells me to brace myself, I do so, unaware of just who this person is and why I know I need to brace myself.
The door to the diner opens as the person steps in, apparently taking no notice of me. I smile slightly to myself as he goes straight to the bar to make his order.
"Well, I wasn't quite expecting this. Wasusy, you've outdone yourself this time," I whisper so that only I can hear.

"Strange for someone like you to work alone," I pipe up, still looking down at the table, "How's business?"
He stops dead, recognizing my voice. With a look of complete surprise right across his face he turns slowly to look at me. I look up from the table and stare straight into his eyes,
"Hello Owen."
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Re: The P.I. Casefiles, Volume IV

Postby xkazzoo » Wed Sep 01, 2010 4:12 am

Two days of "detective" work has led me to this moldy wooden doorway. The paint is chipping and I can't tell if that stain aroumd the doorknob is blood or cranberry juice.

Hmph. Sure is a glamorous job I've taken. No wonder Ollie doesn't go out in the field much. Man, i shouldn't he here. I should be getting lunch with Cindy or checking in on Norm. Still haven't met his girl. Maybe i know her.

I knock tentatively on the door. Can't hear any movement from inside, but before i turn and scratch another name off the list the knob twists and opens as far as the chain lock allows. A pasty face appears in the gap, framed with disheveled black hair. The man's sunken eyes search my face for recognition.
"What the hell do you want?" He asks.

"Friend of mine told me there was a pretty exclusive club on this block. Said you were the man to see about membership," I say as I open up my hand to reveal a notepad with a lighningbolt scribbled on it nestled next to a crisp fifty.

His eyes momentarily rest on the bill, then turn to search the hall way.

"Yeah, yeah. come in and I'll get yas an 'application'," he says and closes the door. I hear the chain slide off. Sweet, this aughtta get Ollie off my back. Yesterday he threatened to throw a wood chipper at me. Or was it throw me in a wood chipper? Hard to tell while you're running out the door.

Speaking of doors, the one in front of me clicks and creaks open. Time to do some sleuthi-craphe'sgotagun.

A portly half-dressed mook levels his double-barrel at my nose.

"Come on in, we gots much to discuss,"
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Re: The P.I. Casefiles, Volume IV

Postby Owen » Sun Sep 05, 2010 2:04 pm

Well, I'll be.

"What the f-uh, sorry there Pearl." I guess I must look sheepish - at least, if the beginnings of a grin on MetalNinja's carefully blank face are anything to go by. "The usual for me and another slice of your pie for my friend here, please." I turn to him. "When did you roll back into town?"
"Just got back in. I had to think about some things, after what happened that night."
"Yeah, I figured." I don't blame him.

That was a crazy night, when I was tricked into nearly bringing the apocalypse down on all our heads. The thing you have to know about Wasusy, though, is that kind of thing happens too often for it to be funny anymore. Honestly, after the whole 'death portal in the sky thing' the biggest surprise for me was my longtime business partner's revelation that he can perfectly copy pretty much anything he sees someone else do. He calls it 'reading'. I don't really know the technical details.

So over pie, I explain what I've been up to; living the quiet life, no world-ending events. Just a few mobsters, almost all of whom are dead and none of them by my hand.
"...which makes a change, sure. But I don't get it. Someone wants to be head of the Family, and it's got to be someone big. They killed Tony Ducks and Sally Meraz. But that is everyone big. I'm missing something." Then I ask the question I've been wanting to ask since I came in. "You, er, you want to help out?"
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Re: The P.I. Casefiles, Volume IV

Postby MetalNinja » Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:44 pm

"You, er, you want to help out?"

Those words hug in the air for a few seconds after they'd left Owen's mouth. That's what I'd wanted to hear from him ever since I got back in Wasusy. I can't take it anymore, the smile I was striving to keep under wraps from spreading across my face ever since I saw Owen lights up. By looking at his face I can tell he already knows the answer,
"I can't think of anything I'd want to do more."

A smile grows on Owen's face, matching mine. I can feel Pearl staring at us from the other end of the diner. She's learned that when two guys in this city are smiling just as we are, something bad is going to happen, but not this time. This time it's the smile of two old friends being reunited, bringing the only true partnership in this city back into being a reality.

"So what do you need?"
Owen shakes his head. "First I need to know something, I know I've never asked but I just can't figure it out..."
"What's that?" I ask, wondering where he's going with this.
"How have you not died yet? I mean, I know about your 'reading and all that and how you're a damn good shot from reading me, but how are you actually alive?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well... you were in quite a few accidents some time ago, King's Hotel and the Rolls incident being examples, but you only ever got knocked unconscious, no cuts, no breaks, just... unconsciousness. Is that... Is that to do with your 'reading' technique?"
Looking back down at the table I remember all the things that've happened to me in this city as a part of working with Owen and looking back up at him I just tell him the truth, "Honestly Owen, I have no idea how that happens or even why, I just guess it's just a mystery. Now back to business, what can I do?"
Owen looks completely thrown and just sits there staring at me for a few seconds.

"Owen," I say to bring him to his senses, "what can I do?"
"Oh... sorry," he says, realising he hadn't replied.
He then went on to speak about the fine details of the work he'd been doing and just what he would probably need me for, I sat there listening attentively, knowing I'd need as much information as possible.
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Re: The P.I. Casefiles, Volume IV

Postby the_crankmaster » Tue Sep 07, 2010 3:21 am

I’m awoken by a funny ringing sound. I open my eyes and scan for the source. There it is on my nightstand. A teal-colored snake. Funny way for a snake to hiss. Pretty annoying. I grab for it, with the intention of strangling it until it shuts up. The moment I pick it up it stops its ringing hiss and a moment later it speaks.

“N--Norman?” It knows my name. That’s not completely surprising. It could have read it off my ID, or if it’s been hanging around for a while it might have heard me say it. What is surprising is that it sounds just like Clara. What trickery is this?

"Why do you sound like my cupcake?" I ask, suspiciously.

"I-" The snake sounds confused. "Because I am?" I consider this for a moment.

"You're pretty convincing,” I admit. “But Clara's not a teal snake." The snake speaks again, its voice shaking.

"Are you...are you okay? Norman?"

"Fine. I'm fine,” I say, dismissively. I really want to go back to sleep. “Great even. Is there something you want?"

Silence. Come on, Snakey. You woke me up for this?

"...When are you leaving town?" it finally asks.

"Month?” I offer. “Two? Depends on how much my new hotel costs and whether or not I can find a job."

"Wha--months?” Snakey is confused again. “I don't understand...job?"

"Look, what's it to you, Snakey?” I ask, still tired and therefore annoyed. “When I leave you're gonna stay right here on the nightstand, aren't you? Isn't this where you live? What's it matter if I'm here or not?"

Very softly the snake speaks.

"It matters."

"Oh,” I say, somewhat surprised. “I, I'm sorry. I wasn't trying to hurt your feelings.... Well, uh, see, the thing of it is I'd like to stay in town with my cupcake for as long as I can, but I can only stay as long as my money lasts, so I need a job."

"Oh, Norman..."

"Gotta check into some shitty hotel so my money lasts longer,” I go on. “Kind of worried about that, but I'll do what I have to, you know?"

"I know. I get it, sweetheart. But I guess then...if you're staying in town...you're not too shaken up about what happened the other day?"

I don’t know how Snakey knows about that, but I also still don’t know why it sounds like Clara.

"Well, I was,” I explain. “But I mean, sometimes I wake up making ARI motions with my hand. She was probably teaching self defense in her sleep."

"I bet she's sorry anyway."

"Yeah, I bet she is,” I agree. “When I see her again I should give her a kiss so she knows I forgive her….” I’m thinking aloud now. “I can probably do it if a take a little tripto first…."

"She'd like that," Snakey says, snapping me out of that train of though.

"I would too,” I voice. “But I'd also like to go back to sleep, if you don't mind."

"Sure....” Snakey grants “You sound like you need it…. Get some sleep."

"Thanks, Snakey,” I say. “Nice chatting with you." There’s a little click as I set Snakey back down where I found it. I turn onto my side and fall back asleep.
Last edited by the_crankmaster on Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The P.I. Casefiles, Volume IV

Postby xkazzoo » Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:15 pm

"You're doing it wrong,"

"Hrmph, shut up will ya, that's not how this works,"

"Just sayin', the right end goes around the anchor and then back through the loo-YOW!"

"I told ya ta shuddup! I know how to tie a friggin' knot!"

"Okay, okay, geez. Temper temp-alrightalright. Being quiet now."

The greasy-looking gee lowers his hand and glowers at me. I'll have to cut back on the BS with this guy, he doesn't seem to have a lot of patience. Even if it is just some helpful advice. I mean, he had me with the double-barrel, but then he decided to get fancy and tie me to the water heater. To me that seems amateur, but whatever works for ya I guess. I have no idea what's taking so long with the knot, somebody in his line of work should have a pair of cuffs lying around. This guy is either very low-level on the food chain or just plain stupid.

Finally he seems to be satisfied with his Cub Scout-level knot work and backs away. He doesn't turn his back on me, but he doesn't have the gun in his hands either. If I were a desperate man I would try to wrench the water heater out of the crumbling drywall and make a break for the shotty. But my life isn't in immediate peril, and I'd rather like to see what he does next. Besides it's nice and warm next to the heater.

He turns around, actually turns his back on me, and grabs the phone. He dials a seven-digit number,(close, still in the same area code), and waits for the dial tone. The answer is almost immediate. He informs the person on the other line that some "one-eyed mustache-totin' jerk-off" had been pokin' around looking for "the club". Well, now I have some information. First, this guy is very rude and I'm gonna clock him in a few seconds. Second, he is high enough that he can be of some use. I'll have to go down to the station and have his phone line traced. Hopefully the person on the other side wasn't in a phone booth. Wait a second, that's just silly.

The guy stops talking and nods a few times, then puts down the phone and turns around to find me smiling in front of him holding the untangled roped in his face. His eyes widen and a few inaudible noises escape from his mouth before he uses it to catch my fist. He crumples to the ground clutching his jaw.

"First off, take a bath you stink like old nacho cheese. Second, and this isn't really you're fault, never rely on a knot to imprison somebody. Even if I weren't an Eagle Scout I could've undone this sloppy work with my teeth," his response is a number of gurgles and groans in various degrees of pain.

After I drag him to the bathroom I use my own cuffs, (be prepared), to lock him to the sink pipes, making sure they're on tight. Next I go back and grab the shotty, and search the place. Nothing there, a few expired credit cards and bank notices. Nothing to link him to the Lighting Gang. I sigh to myself, I;ll have to rely on the phone records and the WPD's interrogation skills. Needless to say I'm not hopeful.

I use the phone to call a black&white to pick up the bloke in the bathroom. I hand over the shotty to them when they leave. Then I hop in the rental that Ollie gave me and get ready to do some paperwork when I get to the office. "The Office". Look at me, only had the job for less than a month and it's like I've been here for years. I have to remember that it wasn't too long ago that I shot my father's possessed body and lost the vision in my left eye. And before that I was dealing with a furious bout of schizophrenia.

But the past is the past and life goes on down the tracks.

I decide to call in the report to Ollie, who tells me to come in now and do the paperwork. I ask him if I can't do it tomorrow and he hangs up on me.
Funny, Ollie probably thinks that means no.

My belly tells me that I'm overdue for lunch.
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