The P.I. Casefiles, Volume IV

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Re: The P.I. Casefiles, Volume IV

Postby helios » Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:21 am

"Good Morning, Comrade Tuz."
His eyes twitch open in the gloom, his pupils dilating rapidly. Finally, his eyes focus on my face.
"It is good to see you awake. You have been asleep for a long time." I switch to Russian, but he made no signs that he notices.
"Where am I?" He slurs, his eyes shifting back out of focus. He replies in Russian. Perfect Russian. Barely a hint of an accent. I may have underestimated his intellect.
"You are in a building. Perhaps in a town, perhaps in a city. Perhaps further afield still. Nonetheless, it is far from anywhere you know." I step over to the table. Looking over the various tools, I eventually select one.
"You and I are to spend some time together, I think." I calmly state, as I step towards him.
"Now, I believe you are about to say something."

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

He has not spoken much. He is a strong willed one, this is sure. But even as he spites me with misdirection, he tells me things I wish to know. And things which are particularly useful.
He mentions a Yana. He mentions I have killed her. I do not remember her, but he evidently does.
"You are proving a strong man, Comrade Tuz. A weaker man would have broken by now. A weaker man would have told me anything I wished to know." I smile, and straddle a stool. Leaning over the small backrest, I look at him.
He spits at me. He has spirit. I have not managed to break that. I shall simply have to break him.
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Re: The P.I. Casefiles, Volume IV

Postby the_shankmaster » Sat Jul 30, 2011 1:07 am

It's late. I'm exhausted from my set, from crying, from being afraid, but I haven't been able to sleep even though--at Nathan's insistence-- I've been trying. I hear the door to the apartment open and I jump up from my bed, hurrying out of my dark room to see my dad hanging up his coat. Nathan is already speaking to him, having been waiting in the living room. When my dad sees me, he gestures Nathan aside and I run over to give him a hug.

"I was worried," I say.

"I'm all right," he assures me. "Nothing else happened after you left."

"The police?" Nathan prompts, trying to continue the conversation I just interrupted.

"I told them everything I saw," Daddy says. "They didn't tell me shit. Except not to leave town."

I was expecting that, but it doesn't make it any easier to hear. Daddy goes on, not so much because I need an explanation, but because he feels he has to apologize.

"The police might have more questions for us down the line, seeing as we were in business with Eddie and Randy. But as soon as they tell us we're free to go, Babygirl, I promise we're going home."

My dad understands now. It took something like this to make him understand, but I can't blame him. I had to be scared like this, too, before I understood. But this time I have him, and if we just sit tight, I know we'll be all right.
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Re: The P.I. Casefiles, Volume IV

Postby Owen » Fri Aug 26, 2011 4:04 pm

When you're being interrogated, it's easier to give nothing away if you don't know anything to begin with. Except that's not quite right: it's easy not to tell the truth. Because in the hands of a true professional, everybody breaks - and the Chameleon isn't just a professional. The Chameleon is an artist.

I've done my utmost to give him the runaround, woven a web as best I can of half-truths and outright nonsense. Provoking him, prolonging this in the hope that somehow it will end but most of all (because I know it isn't true, that nobody is coming) to stop him asking the right questions. And I don't know how long e have been here before he finally finds the right track, finally asks me the question I've been waiting for. I only hope I've bought enough time. Because the trick is not to stop them breaking you, but to make breaking you worth nothing after all. And he asks.

"Where is the Greek?"

I do my very best to show all the courage I don't feel, courage I barely remember having. I raise my head, slowly because it hurts to move, and I do the least natural thing. I smile.

"You're too late. He's been moved. Saw you... coming". Which isn't strictly true: neither MetalNinja or I saw this coming. We had no idea who we were dealing with (MetalNinja still doesn't and he's out there somewhere but if anyone can handle it, he can and I feel briefly proud), but we knew he would make a move, and soon. So we made ours first.

A flash of pain and my captor says something. I know what he asked me but the effort of speaking has taken it out of me and through the haze I already don't remember even hearing the words he used.

"Don't... know. Never... knew." Because this is what I've been trying to hide: MetalNinja has the Greek now, and I don't know where he's going, just that he'll be safe. As long as I've bought enough time.
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Re: The P.I. Casefiles, Volume IV

Postby Owen » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:49 am

When I wake up, the Chameleon is gone.

It's an improvement, but that's not saying much. I'm still tied up and alone. To pass the time, I try counting my teeth (not much success there, but definitely fewer than I used to have) and work on loosening my bonds. Leather straps, tightly bound. Not an easy one to get out of, and it feels like maybe an hour before I can feel any give at all. It's still not enough, though, and I'm weak from the torture. Against all my efforts I feel myself drifting back to sleep.

I'm woken by noises. Groggy, hardly able to make out that there are voices. Drunken voices - not a rescue attempt, then. "I'm tellin' ya, it's emptyy, ain't seen no-one goin' in or out all week". Wasusy hobos looking for somewhere warm to hide? I hold my breath. If the Chameleon's here, there's a chance he'll turn them away politely (the word politely here being used to mean "without killing them"). My shouting will decrease that chance to zero, but I need to be ready in case he's not here. Plus, he's careful. If he's not here and they try and come in -

I start shouting, as loud as I can, but it's too late.

It happens fast. I hear the door swing open and shouts, a familiar dull pop as something catches light and before I know it the flames are spreading into this room as I renew my struggle to get free. Maybe it's the adrenaline but something breaks loose and before I know it I am free and running for the door. The heat is unbearable (a part of my mind is asking why I am running towards the fire? but it's the only exit I can see) and the roof is beginning to come down around me but soon I'm out and into the street, scattering a small crowd of spectators. I'm on fire, that's not a problem, I've been on fire before and I'm rolling on the ground to put the flames out when it strikes me that one of the faces above me is very familiar and I almost laugh.

Clara?
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Re: The P.I. Casefiles, Volume IV

Postby starseedjenny » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:55 am

A knock on my doorframe. I look up from where I'm sitting in the middle of my floor. Alfred. Of course. "Yes?"

"Miss Clara, is something bothering you?"

I'm getting awful at hiding things. "N--no, nothing important."

"You should stop chewing your fingernails, then. It isn't good for the teeth."

"I'm not chewing my--" I look down at my hands. "Okay, I will."

He winks at me. "It doesn't take the world's second-greatest detective to see when something's eating you, you know. You should get out of here for a bit. Get some nice, fresh air. I'm going out. Come with me."

I wish it were that easy. But, of course, it isn't, and I can't leave now. "No, I'm...not up for that today. Thanks. I'll go next time." Getting Alfred out of the house and out of harm's way is an excellent bonus. If I can take care of this myself and avoid having to tell him, I'll be happy.

Alfred reaches down and pats my hand before taking it in his own. "Yes, that's a dear, come on."

"But I don't--"

"Just for a little while, that's all."

"But, Alfred, I--"

"That's a girl." Somehow, I'm on my way out the door.

I don't know how he does it.

He drives slowly. I'd forgotten how slowly. Though, it could have something to do with how anxious I am to get back. Why, though? What are they going to do if they get there to "meet" me and nobody's home? Take advantage of the element of surprise, I think glumly. No, I still want to be at the manor before they are.

I don't recognize this part of town. I can't help but think, as it passes us by, that it looks quiet. Nice. Two ladies, mother and daughter, perhaps, are selling flowers from an old booth, pink and green garlands spilling from tipped baskets. I can't take my eyes off them until Alfred turns a corner and they're stolen from my sight. I could do something like that...when I'm finished with all this...

The charm of the neighborhood behind us is quickly diluted by the rest of Wasusy. None of it remains when Alfred plunges us under a high rise and parks. "I've got a short meeting to sit in on, speak Master Wayne's piece. You can come up and wait for me in the building if you'd like, but there are shops and a park a block away."

I'd go crazy sitting and waiting for him in some panel-walled lobby. I'll go crazy waiting regardless, but that would be worse. "Okay. I'll check them out."

I wince when I get out of the car. Forgot to take the knives out. I always wanted a couple puncture holes in my thighs. Maybe I can clip my stockings to them, not have to wear a garter any more. Stupid stockings. Stupid knives. I surreptitiously reach up to feel the damage. Not bad, just pinpricks, really. Still. Stupid. I come out, squinting into the light.

There's shouting and screaming and a crowd that I move toward, forgetting Alfred's distractions, but that I can't see until my eyes adjust to the sun. Gol. A building is on fire. Someone is yelling to call 911 without making a move toward the phone booth a few yards away. Others are standing in a semicircle with their hands in their pockets, watching the flames.

I push my way to the front. "Is anyone in there?" I ask the man next to me.

"Don't think so," he says. Takes another slow drag on his cigarette.

Nervously, I look from window to empty window. The woman at the edge is still screaming about the fire department. Annoyed, I shove her toward the phone booth.

A crash. I can't identify the source. Part of the crowd steps back and many of them trip over whoever's behind them. I find what scared them--a sizable chunk of flaming debris that must have fallen off the building.

I yell and step back when I realize the debris is moving and it's human. I should help, somehow, but all I can do is stare.
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Re: The P.I. Casefiles, Volume IV

Postby the_crankmaster » Mon Oct 17, 2011 4:28 am

I don't want to leave her. I just can't shake the feeling that things are off. I don't want to leave her. But I don't want to upset her, either, so I get back in the car, and I circle the block a few times, slowly, while I think of what to do next. I told Clara I would start searching for a job tomorrow, but couldn't I just start today? No. I'm tired. I just got out of the hospital, and I just had a lot more physical contact than I'm comfortable with, and without the aid of Triptocaine, or even ARI. Back to the penthouse, then. To rest.

When I get there, I don't rest after all. At least not right away. I spend a good amount of time cleaning the place up, and unpacking. I spend some time in that closet, poking at that back wall where I know the secret compartment is. It doesn't open under my touch, and I decide it's not worth it to start banging around with the broom again. I put it out of my mind. For now.

With fresh clean sheets on the bed, I've got no problem sliding into it, laying in the middle, on my back, arms and legs splayed out in perfect symmetry. I'll call Clara later, I decide, as I begin to drift. To see how she's doing. I'll call Clara later. Just as soon as I wake up.
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Re: The P.I. Casefiles, Volume IV

Postby xkazzoo » Fri Nov 18, 2011 4:12 am

A funny thing about the music, the kind that plays in your head. Even when you notice it, it doesn't stop. It just rolls on like some runaway train on the tracks of the subconscious. That's always how the music is. There was a time when it would drive me over the edge trying to get it to stop playing it's tune. But now it's a comfortable background to my everyday. There's a certain rhythm it gives to the most mundane of tasks. I enjoy it like it's my morning coffee.

So it's no small wonder than, that when I awoke in a puddle of ice water I was taken aback by the acute silence in the room. "Perhaps I've gone deaf," I think to myself. But again I am taken aback, this time by the sound of my own voice echoing in this dismally lit room. First things first I suppose. I try to lift myself up but my extremities are unresponsive. It appears my arms are numb, but if I focus I can feel a tingly sensation down to my elbows. Slowly, I manage to prop myself up. And as I crawl to my equally desensitized knees my circulatory system begins to restart itself. At first I'm glad that I can feel my hands, but that emotion soon turns to pain as my fingers erupt as they regain consciousness.

A few minutes later and I've regained enough dexterity to wipe the tears from my good eye. I really do hate the cold.

Now...where in Wasusy am I?

From my position on my hands and knees I can see that the floor is some cheap, very old tile. There's a drain a foot and a half away from me that is making a very annoying dripping noise. It must be coming from that overturned washtub to my right. The melting ice is collecting around the drain like a little igloo. Cute. But I am avoiding the question, where am I? Well, actually I'm trying to answer that question, and in doing so I'm ignoring a more important one. How did I get here? A sudden realization of my memory loss causes me to slump to a sitting position. I mange to make out that I am still wearing my clothes. My coat is soaked, so whoever put me in that tub is an inconsiderate prick...or maybe I just fell in there. Augh, this is becoming complicated quickly. I still can't feel my feet, my slippers are gone. The monogrammed ones. Dammit I really liked those. A sound reverberates close by. Like expensive shoes shuffling down a hallway...getting closer. A metallic click announces the existence of a heavy metal door encompassing an equally heavy lock. The door swings open, between my single focus eyesight and my own hair obscuring my view I can make out a pair of fancily-dressed feet as they approach, stepping around the subsiding stream of icy liquid.

"I told you, if you kept up this kind of life, one day it would kill you pal. And today just might be that day," The voice is familiar, but the context eludes me. A hand comes down from the sky, cradling a gun. This is a lot for me to deal with right after I've woken up. I close my eye to gain some focus. And when I do I spy a vividly red silhouette of a hand, and a wrist emblazoned with a blazing white lightning bolt.

Before the lights go out I hear the door swing again. An old man's voice is the last thing I recall.

"Come now, Mister Hocus. Let the man have some peace before he is to die..."
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Re: The P.I. Casefiles, Volume IV

Postby Owen » Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:24 am

I'm in the middle of the road, surrounded by debris and a crowd of bystanders. Oh, and I'm on fire. Oh, and Clara is here.

But hey, that's Wasusy for you.

Some part of me still wants to laugh, but the pressing business of putting the flames out is consuming most of my attention right now. As I roll I realise that someone is hitting me, and even though my body wants to hit them back my brain is telling me they're trying to help you so I listen to it. I look up into the face of the woman I've been searching high and low for and I realise I'm trying to get some words out but I'm not really sure what they are.

She mutters something that sounds like "Not. HERE." and I realise I'm moving, being dragged along the pavement. I don't resist: there's only so much a man can do in one day before he has to sleep. Think of it as a short ride on a preset path, like a tram. It's a bumpy ride over all the debris. I want to complain to the tram conductor.

As we pass an illuminated sign I vaguely take in that I am being taken into a building. The glowing red tubes are - in the shape of a cross? And words. American... Reformist Ministry. Except most of the letters are burnt out so at first all I see is A-R-I.

I want to sleep, but something is hitting me. Stop it.
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Re: The P.I. Casefiles, Volume IV

Postby the_crankmaster » Sat Dec 03, 2011 3:57 am

I'm not sure how much later it is when I wake up, but it seems I was tired enough not to move much in my sleep. I'm still in the same position, on my back in the middle of the bed. Good. I climb out of bed and find the phone to give the mansion a call. No one picks up. The seems strange to me. Even if Clara is busy, the butler should answer. I hang up and distract myself with ARI, then I call again a few minutes later. Nothing. That can't be right. Something is wrong here.

I go out to my car, determined to find her. I check the mansion first, but the gate is locked. It's never been locked any of the times I've come to see her. Not home? But where would she be?

I get back in the car, drive around a bit, not sure exactly what I expect to find. It's a big city, after all. It's not like I can just run into her. I see a steeple over the tops of some lower buildings. Mommom always said that in times of hardship we should turn to the church. I cover the remaining distance with my car and pull up to the American Reformist Ministry. I guess I should go in and pray. What else can I do?
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Re: The P.I. Casefiles, Volume IV

Postby Sparklelord » Mon Jan 02, 2012 6:48 pm

"Stay low-key, out of sight. We have acquired the dig site, you will run it. If this works out, we'll all make a packet. Fail and, well, you know what they would do to us all."

I blinked my agreement. The suit chafed, too tight, and my hat threatened to fall over my eyes. This get-up was ridiculous, and the lecture was old hat.

"This plan's audacity may be the key to it's success. The wardens would never expect a mining operation and weapons factory here, so they won't look for them. They'll be looking for treasure hunters, not..."

My patience had finally wore out. "Boss, I was a warden. The best warden. I know this. You know I know this. So why do you keep giving me me cautionary pep talks instead of information on the job? I don't even know where it is!"

His mouth twitched in annoyance. "I was leading up to that. Here the information we were able to gather." He handed me a sheaf of flimsi. I scanned it while he blathered on. Maps, charts, a couple of graphs. Not a very safe place by the look of things, but it had been years since I'd done anything safe. But that name...

"How do you pronounce this? Wa-Suey? Wasu-Ee? Wash-U-Away?"

"I don't know. Ask one of the humans."

Blue light flooded the ready room as a klaxton roared. "Approaching the drop zone, coming in hot," the pilot stated. The portal in the floor opened with a hum. Kel-Alin grabbed me by the shoulder. "You know the drill. Good luck. And don't let them know you're an alien, please? Breaking into a wildlife preserve is dangerous, and I won't be able to extract you for a while if things go belly-up."

"Don't worry. I'm a pro." As I stepped into the portal, I scrunched my face, rearranging it to resemble a human male. It was go time.
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