Sanity is overrated – GS.

 

Sanity is overrated.

https://i2.wp.com/www.visitlincoln.com/media/photography/food-drink/the-rest-coffee-house-web.jpg

 

Scene setting : Jax’s Coffee House.

co-written with VunG & Moo.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Ever been to the kind of place, that when you walk in the door, the ambiance and smell of coffee beans roasting just makes you instantly feel an inner warmth and calm? Well, that was how one would describe Jax’s Coffee house. Elegantly decor-ed, with inner brick walls, drop down lighting, and large easy chairs in chocolate covered leather. It was perfectly balanced, with the light and dark shadows. This was a favorite haunt of Tommy’s, as opposed to Big Joe’s Pizzeria. Here he could hook up to the free WiFi and order his favorite coffee, whilst enjoying the mellow selection of music that was streamed through the hidden speakers. At this time of morning, the coffee house was not exactly packed with patrons, and that was just how Tommy liked it.

Pulling the door open for his companions, he gave a light whistle to Candice – one of the coffee houses waitresses. She must have been doing the twelve to six run and she looked pretty worn. An older woman of about thirty five, she worked at Jax’s while her children slept. Married with three kids, this was her second home and it was just how she liked it. She could work and then get home in time to make her kids breakfasts. Approaching the trio, offered them the corner couches, which had a small rectangular coffee table for their lap tops. Naturally, Tommy had brought his in with him from the car.

“What I be getting ya?” She asked, taking out her small iPad to take their orders. Tommy immediately asked for a tall flat white no sugar, while Frank wanted a straight black. Each would take a seat on the comfortable couches, with Frank pulling out the photographs in the envelope. He wasn’t about to pull the photos out while Candice was looking, but he just wanted to have them ready to discuss. After Candice took Elissa’s order, the three would be able to talk freely. Little did they realize that there was one other patron in the coffee house. Seated in a far corner, a dark haired woman was flicking lazily through a glamour magazine – every now and then glancing up at the trio before bowing her head again and appearing engrossed in the magazine’s pages.

“The school….was a waste of time.” Frank said right off the bat. He felt that the time they spent there, had kept them off the bigger case of the murder of his former partner, Rory Lismore. Tommy shrugged his shoulders, not entirely agreeing with his good friend. “I don’t know….there is something about a scene like at that school with no trace evidence to suggest what caused the destruction. Come on, Frank. What took Rory vanished without a trace, right? There was nothing to suggest what you saw and what are on those photographs exists.” Tommy paused a moment, including Elissa in his next statement. “But we believe you.”

The woman at the other table suddenly got up and then dropped her magazine upon her coffee table, along with a tip for Candice. She could not help but overhear what the pair had said and she seemed to be more in the know, than just some passing stranger. As she walked past them, the woman made a throw away comment.

“Just cause you can’t see something, doesn’t mean….it don’t exist.” The woman had a strange yellow glow to her eyes, and she tittered with laughter as she headed for the door. But no sooner had she opened the door and passed through, she seemed to vanish into the night…….

 

~RB~

 

VunG:  Ah, that wonderful scent of coffee. Truth be told, she wasn’t actually the biggest fan of the taste of coffee, but she loved the smell oh so much. And of course coffee shops were in and of themselves the sort of thing that she just adored; there was just something heartwarming about walking into a place so homey and welcoming, even in the dark of night. Elissa had been here more than a couple times, and while she wasn’t as much of a regular as Tommy, she definitely wasn’t a new face to the employees.

Settling into their place in the corner, she would already be writing down her order before Candice could even get into place, and when asked she’d smile and show the woman: an espresso, and to bring some cinnamon for her (obviously to put in it). Once that was done, she leaned back and closed her eyes a bit, just relaxing into the seat as she tried to think about the case, tried to piece things together where there were no pieces. Her attention would be drawn by Frank’s statement, and even as she was winding up to sign to him, Tommy pretty much spoke for her, almost word for word. And when he added that they both believed in him, she reached over and grabbed his shoulder again, giving him a thin but determined smile.

However, what happened next left Elissa puzzled. The woman immediately had the SWAT officer’s attention, and as she approached the group it was obvious that she was listening in on them. However, what really got her was how specific her answer was, and for some reason she could almost swear that there was a glow to the woman’s eyes. However, before Elissa could get out of her chair and pursue, the woman disappeared into the night, eliciting a whispered, “Sht,” from her.

Letting out a frustrated huff, she leaned forward on her elbows and rubbed her temples. Eventually she looked at the others and realized that she might be hallucinating thanks to a lack of sleep. Wincing, she signed to Tommy, ~You guys saw that too, right?~ Of course, the answer would be affirmative, unless they decided to screw with her, at which point she’d promptly let out a sound that was probably supposed to be a groan and laid her head down on the table with a thud. ~My kingdom for a lead that wouldn’t make us seem like we’re mad.~ Of course, her “kingdom” was just an apartment, and not even a particularly big one at that, but still.

 

 

Moo:  Fresh from class, and still without her proper clothing, Sophia rushed down the street until she was in front of the coffee shop. Much like she had gotten to the college campus, problems arose without having her personal belongings. Plus, her borrowed jacket–and Gantz suit–were both still tucked tightly under her arm. The suit itself was wrapped up neatly in the over-sized jacket as though it were a present. The door opened and she was well on her way to the counter, still moving at a quick pace even as she attempted to keep her breath even. “Sorry, I know I’m late,” she said apologetically as she disappeared toward the back. With all the commotion, she hadn’t really taken any notice in the special group of guests sitting together.

While bickered at by her boss for a moment, she was forgiven in the end. Known as a friendly face and hard worker within the coffee shop really had its perks sometimes. “Okay, Candice,” she said as she came back out. Her hair was now tied up and she wore an apron to match the older woman. “Say hi to the kids for me.” Sophia’s kind smile didn’t go unnoticed by the particularly sweet woman while they chatted among themselves for a moment. Naturally, she would take over the waiting Candice had already started with the guests. So she picked up the tray of drinks and made her way over to them.

“Hello,” Sophia said sweetly. She of course recognized two faces sitting on the furniture. Though they were Candice’s regulars, so she’d never properly introduced herself, much less learned their names. “My name is Sophia. I’ll be taking care of you guys for Candice.” A smile spread over her lips as she bent to begin offering their drinks. “I’m sorry, you had the black coffee, right?” she offered the first up before turning to Tommy. “And this is yours..?” Lastly, to the woman. “And yours.” Hopefully having gotten her co-worker’s information correct, she straightened once again. “Wave me over if you need anything.” A small wave of her hand and she turned to begin walking back to her counter where she would prepare sanitized water…obviously to clean nearby tables that had been left in a bit of a messy state.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Candice was so relieved to see Sophia’s smiling face that she let out a sigh of relief. What she wouldn’t give to put her aching feet into a foot spa. Now with Sophia being able to take over her shift, the older waitress went behind the counter and started to take off her work apron. The young girl had gone out back and probably had some words with the boss for her lateness but all would be forgiven as the girl was of such a sweet nature it was hard to stay mad at her for long. Putting on her wool coat, she swept her ponytail out from under the collar and popped on her hat. “I’ll be saying hello and goodbye to them when I get home, dear. Oh and take care of table five for me. Thanks, pet.” The order was ready on the tray for Tommy, Frank and Elissa, but now Sohpia could do the serving. A light smile and a wave to her regulars, and Candice was heading off home to start her next shift as Mum to her waking kids.

At the table, Tommy was still staring back after the strange woman who had made the off the cuff comment in regards to their conversation. It was strange how the woman seemed to almost vanish into the light fog of the morning and added to her mystery. The journo had not seen that lady in the coffee house before and his eyes narrowed as he looked back only to see Elissa mouth the word “shit” Thinking it was strange, Tommy shrugged lightly as though to dismiss it, but couldn’t help and take a second look at where the woman disappeared too. Naturally, Tommy’s attention was garnered by Elissa again, who asked in sign exactly what he was thinking. ~You guys saw that too, right?~

“Yeah. Just another freaky happening.” He gave his right temple a rub and then uttered. “I wonder if my therapist is free on Wednesday.” Could it be that Tommy was starting to question his own sanity. The reporter quickly explained to Frank – who was now lounging back and pinching the bridge of his nose what Elissa said, about how she would giver her kingdom for a lead that would make them all appear sane. Frank released his hold on his nose and tipped his head forward slightly. He saw Elissa plant her head down on the table with a thud and let out a chuckle. “Sanity is over rated.”He reached over and gave her head a light pat, just as the new waitress came over with the drinks orders. “Heads up….coffee time.” The detective said, moving the envelope with the pictures in it off to the side and out of the road of their drinks. The fresh faced girl whom Tommy and Elissa may well have seen before, was a refreshing sight for Frank. As she placed down each of the drinks correctly, Frank tried to straighten his collar and sit up a little straighter. Tommy noted this and let out a slight guffaw. “She’s a bit young, don’t you think?” Frank’s cheeks flushed slightly and he gave Tommy a good shove. “I look like shit. Give me a break.” No truer word was said. “Thanks.” Tommy said to Sophia, while Frank offered the girl a light smile. “You’re a doll.”

Little did Frank know that one of the photographs was visible…..the creature able to be seen by the waitress, if she had bothered to look..

 

~RB~

 

Brother against Brother – SS

Brother against Brother.

Scene setting : Wrath Castle

This story is co-written with five other writers; Temp, Moo, Zetta, Candle and Fu.

 

Razorbackwriter:  It was no surprise to the Prince of Greed that the arrival of his armed forces would cause a stir, not to mention that the Castle soon sounded loudly that they were to prepare their army for a war. There was no sign of the Prince of Gluttony, and this much meant he was either inside, or somewhere on the grounds. He had not yet made an appearance, but something else did. A large ominous shadow that was so great in size that it cast its darkness over the very entrance to the castle itself. Red eyes shone out from within the shadow and a voice – loud enough to be heard rang out sending a wave of dire intent of malice across the entire army of Greed.

” Proceed , if you so wish .” The voice said.

The Prince of Greed eased up on his black fire mount and stared into the darkness, no doubt this was evoked by a powerful being loyal to the Princess of Wrath. Why else would it put on such a show. At this precise moment, the Prince of Greed reached for his helm and placed it squarely upon his head – the terrifying skull helm completing the beserker armor. A long loud howl erupted from within the armor as the power of its creation was now being absorbed by the Prince of Greed.

The Prince again raised his fist, only this time he sounded the order to begin the attack.

“DESTROY THE CASTLE AND ALL WITHIN!”

The roar of the army was heard. Massive catapults that had been dragged into battle by the large elephants began their assault, with massive rocks being hurtled at the castle walls with deadly accuracy. The first row of bowman lowered, with the second taking aim and firing arrows high into the sky to strike at those that manned the walls to protect the Princess from harm. Wave after wave, line after line of warriors charged forward, with the rear being the horsemen, that brought up the rear and raced for the walls of the castle. No doubt there would be a flood of the Wrath army coming out of the entrance, which unbeknownst to the Prince and his army had been opened in behind the dark shadow creature.

The Prince charged forward on his horse, riding straight for the Shadow creature, drawing his sword as his horse thundered at great speed. Large ladders were being thrown up against the battlements and walls, which would have warriors begin their assault, as the bowman continued to take aim at those on the tops of the walls and turrets.

It was a war being fought on many fronts, but the Prince was riding right into the storm. He was no coward, but would face the bitch on the throne, even if it brought him his death.

 

~RB~

 

Temp:  Astaroth had teleported from his kingdom to the outskirts of the kingdom of wrath, where Gabriel now resided. To be perfectly honest, he hadn’t expected Mammon to dive straight into battle without a proper plan. Then again, Mammon probably wouldn’t be expecting to receive assistance from Pride himself. Dominance, battle, being the best, these were all things that Astaroth held a solid hand in. One mistake people seemed to make was mistaking Pride with Arrogance, which was a terrible mistake to make. Astaroth demanded the very best, both from himself, and from those that served him. He refused to have anything under him that he couldn’t be proud of. His army, his kingdom, and his own power were all things he found this Pride in. Although he had not personally taken part in many battles, he was far from inexperienced or unskilled. This would be the perfect time to show that he was not all bark, and that he had quite a vicious bite.

Standing atop a nearby mountain, he took in the battlefield for what it was, a mess. The shadow creature was seemingly on Gabriels side, and there seemed to be gathering forces within the kingdom of Wrath. Astaroth was well aware of Leviathan’s stupid involvement, but wasn’t sure if he would arrive with an army as well. Then of course there was the Glutton, whatever side he was on was unknown. Where everyone’s allegiances were placed would be made completely clear soon enough. Gabriel surprised him with her boldness, but she was a clear problem regardless. “No point holding back, now is there?” With that said, he took a deep breath and prepared himself for what was next. He immediately shot down onto all fours, and from the ground shackles locked around his wrists and legs, holding him in place. His eyes turned red as his powerful aura grew, and grew. A terrible roar would come from him as his body would suddenly change completely. He had not used this form in quite some time, in fact, he doubted any of the other princes even knew about it.

 

The enormous demon stood from his previous position, ripping the shackles free from the ground as he stood at his full height. Black magma dripped from his open mouth and trailed behind him as he stomped forward towards the kingdom.“I will grant you my aid, Mammon!” He shouted in a very loud and demonic voice, as he continued to make his way towards the battlefield. Eventually he would be stepping through Greed’s army, the likes of which was sure to stay out of his way. Once close to the front lines he would return to all fours, and use all of his limbs to bolt forward towards Mammon. Astaroth caught up with him very quickly, and slowed down to ride beside him, going into battle head on.

 

Fu:  
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– The giant mass of shadows had veiled the soldiers that belonged to the kingdom of Wrath , as they continued to march onwards . The darkness began to lighten and concentrate in one area , which a single being could be seen . In one person’s train of thoughts he would seem plain and thin . But for those who had the power to sense a person’s strength through their aura they would be able to tell he was an ominous being , whether or not he was actually loyal to the Princess of Wrath has yet to be seen . As he couldn’t be recognized on either end as a ally or foe , but he stood in between both sides ; facing Mammon’s army however as his beading eyes could brighten , standing entirely still as the soldiers of Wrath ran past him . The Veiled Man could be clearly seen throughout the masses of soldiers clashing , but he didn’t do a thing at this moment in time. But reach for his primary blade ; Eclipse . –

 

Candle:  Clutching the axe with a firm grip his facial expression turned immediately dull. Though he was actually excited to murder someone, despite his uninterested facial expression. Decapitation and mutilation would be the best part of his day, which made his overall day seem pretty boring.
Now that the fighting began going on, Baal charged in with both hands on his axe. His cigar was still placed in his mouth firmly and if it did get taken away from him he’d be engulfed with rage. A soldier came up to him slowly and looked up at Baal who towered him in height. grabbing him by his helmet, he squeezed the metal helmet tightly in his ferocious grip and squeezed his head until it popped.
It was a pretty satisfying feeling, just to hear someone’s brain pop like a balloon was enjoying. He lifted up his axe with both hands and began swinging wildly. Tendons and muscles snapped on instant contact, in one swipe he’d cut through armor and bodies. Each diagonal swipe he made resulted in someone loosing half there body or head, which was still good to Baal.
If he did miss on the other hand, he’d kick that person to the ground and stomp there brain in while people slashed his reinforced coat. He’d gotten one of the local blacksmiths to put chain mail along the inner part of the coat, making it a secret until someone actually hit his coat with a sword. Even if he did get hit, his bloodlust made his pain tolerance high enough that through any injury he’d fight till the very end.
“Just like the good ole times.” Baal said as his axe sliced through the bone that connected the right arm together.

 

Moo:  The army was organized. Prepared in a matter of minutes as catapults began hurling rocks at the tower. Warlocks within vicinity would hold a force field that defied many large boulders. Granted about a third of them managed to pass through if holes were created. The magicians themselves would be safe from open fire in the meantime.
Gabriel’s warriors ran into battle with war cries, the wrath apparent on their faces. It was as if they were offended due to the attack. Whoever had the balls to bring a war to this turf may have been insane. Though not as insane as the new prince of wrath herself.
She laughed while she watched her new and unexpected ally hurl himself into the mass of bodies in the now penetrated wall. His ax swung this way and that. Blood spurted from different body parts. Heads flew, bodies crumpled. Limbs were severed, or they were simply cut in half. She loved the show. In fact, he deserved her applaud; she did such.
Now the real debate was walking into battle herself. Should she do this much, she might create a bigger problem for Mammon. She smiled as she thought of all the delicious souls that awaited her. Her eyes scanned over the army, in which was slowly decreasing in size in the front. The back still held many catapults, despite her men’s attempts to bring them down with their cannons. Gabriel pursed her lips while she looked at the wall. Fighting took place. More slaughtering. Her kingdom would truly be painted red this day. Perfect! It was as if they were celebrating her new command, gifting her their bodies and souls. And none of her men would turn on her; they admired her strength if she could kill Belial single-handedly. They most likely had faith she would do the same with Mammon.

“What’s this?” Something towered in the distance in a matter of moments. “Hm?” She cocked her head to the side. Astaroth had returned. It seemed he couldn’t go a day without making his presence known. In fact, that would be two times today. A laugh erupted. Three princes would die in a single day, granted she was able to murder them before they fled with their tails between their legs.
The fire on her horns grew in size, spreading over her forehead as if she were wearing a crown. Her eyes slitted further, glowing gold with specks of red. They seemed liquid like fire while her claws grew from her hands. She bared her fangs at the first few soldiers she laid eyes on. This day was going to be tremendous! “Come now. I know you can do better, Mammon.” Even if he weren’t able to hear her, she was satisfied in saying it. She took a breath and blew, torching those in front of her before moving on at her own casual pace, a smile playing over her lips.

 

Zetta:  With the bout of the supposed incoming of his new leader’s command over Wrath’s army now clashing with the quickly formed army of Greed, two princes already having made their appearance while even a third threatened to lead an attack of his own. Cecil was reminded of home; the one he blew himself up to escape. It seemed he was meant to only be replaced in the same sort of place he had left then. Now however that he was finally fighting for a standard cause he was going to be much more effective with causing the death of others.. While he was no vanguard he was the very first to take a stand against the opposing army. The battle-lusting demonic humanoid, Cecil Terumi was on the field, leaving his mark everywhere that lay blood with risen torrents of clumped flesh bearing the ultimate disease. They held grown spikes within them, the primary offensive of such attacks. Staked on some of these were men on both sides, because Cecil’s attacks were to widespread for specific targets when everyone was fighting like this. The blood of his enemies filled his nostrils, he enjoyed every part of large scale battles.. All except the times when his strength proved to much for a man’s conscience and he managed to draw fear from their wretched minds. He slayed them still, for being cowardly in the face of imminent danger, but took pity on such weak souls seemingly forced into the tides of battle.

Within his own vicinity; the very middle of the battle taking place he was rampaging, clearly searching for a target to truly have his own fight with. He could effortlessly slay foot soldiers after all but that did not mean that he was truly enjoying himself here; because his attacks could surprisingly kill off a good man before he even would get off his stronger techniques.. If he could not bring back the head of someone important, Bella, the new princess of Wrath would likely pay him no attention as a gate-keeper.. That was when he noticed a man galloping on a horse in the head of the front, cloaked for the most part without any heavy armor like these grunts he was up against.. He was concerned, men like that were vanguards themselves or actual leaders. Most likely, that was the one heading this army. Odd for one to be this deep in the battle, but he moved with his instincts. Ducking under one spear coming towards him but then being impaled by another, one from his own men. Cecil coughed blood on the blade.. If anyone touched it they would be sorry, then he looked up at his attack, only to be pierced again through his ribs from one clad in breasted armor, that one was female.. A soldier on his side, as there weren’t any females in Greed’s army, Mammon’s disdain for them were widely known. He was hit on both sides, by both sides. Before succumbing to the combo he hooked both weapons under his arms and spun himself to create a temporary safe radius before he was charged at again. He twisted himself and them with his crazy strength, his eyes completely focused for now as he wanted to know just where that one he noticed was headed. If he was going to Gabrielle he would just have to die before he could reach her like the rest of this scum…

Once clear of foes for a second he leaped into the air, enhancing his cells with inhuman results to get hundreds of feet in the air. The spot as his wing-bones flexed and then began to spasm uncontrollably, signalling his taking on a pair of wings. Though they were weighed down by his extended flesh and bone and prevented him from full flight, but he could guide himself with a comfortable glide.. From here he witnessed a beast taking form, growing from within the opposition to become what he could only describe as a massive black dragon.. With this he would have to forget about that other one.. The beast charged straight over the other army and knocked the others Cecil fought with away like bowling pins. He could not allow something like that to reach Wrath directly without gambling with a siege. So he made his way for it, though it’s speed as a giant outmaneuvered his slowly guided gliding. To match that he lowered his arms slightly from their former 90 degree point to an an acute angle where he would descend faster to a bigger goal. He chased after the dragon until he caught up and simply dropped himself from a few hundred feet above to crash-land on it. He swarmed his body with extra masses of flesh over himself to better weigh himself down after balling himself up, taking on the form of a human cannon ball for maximum damage. Cecil was moving fast in a diagonal angle as the wind still carried him, left alone like this he would bust a hole through the black dragon’s back, while he himself had no opposition for what counter might have come as his vision was obscured and his entire move was focused on an attack.

 

Razorbackwriter:  The battle field was awash with the blood of those that had fallen as the first causalities of this war against Wrath. It was almost being played out in slow motion, as the two sides came together in a sickening mass of warriors spurred on to kill the other till none were left standing. Limbs and heads fell so easily, others impaled upon large spears, driven deep into the moist earth. Eyes seeing out to nothingness as death was to come to many. The cries and shouts, screams and wails were but music to the maestros of this calamity. Was it true that fools rush in, or had the Prince of Greed believed that Gabriel would not possibly be able to gather enough support to counter his attack. From the outset, the odds were in the Prince’s favor. Surprise being the first card dealt. Little did he know that the slimy Prince of Gluttony had fallen under the spell of Gabriel’s swollen bosom and hourglass form. Traitors die a dishonorable death when a deal is struck, and no doubt there would be one to collect payment.

Ferociously, the Prince swung his sword at any that he came upon, as he thundered towards the entrance, the gaping maw of the Castle of Wrath. One unlucky bastard tried to take down the Prince with an axe, but the Prince had already drawn his sword back and swung it with deadly accuracy, slicing through the soldiers neck and then cutting through the vital arteries, severing the bone that kept the man’s head on his shoulders. Rich crimson blood spewed forth before the head simply flew straight off the soldiers shoulders and landed a good six feet away. The headless body teetering as if it had no idea what had just happened. A moment, and it would crumple to the ground in a pathetic heap.

The blade collected yet another weeping soul, to join in the chorus with the two hundred other already embedded within the blade’s edge. The horrific cries screaming out in warning as the Prince raced on for the entrance, but as he did so – there was the loud pounding of massive feet. It was coming from behind and sounded louder than any of his battle elephants. The skull helm turned and it was with something of a surprise that another great demon had joined into the fray.

“I will grant you my aid, Mammon!”

It was Astaroth. His voice unmistakable and his gigantic form overshadowing all of the other warriors on the battle field. Out from the skull helm, the Prince of Greed could barely contain his pleasure at the sight and offer made by Astaroth to join the melee.

“Good! Let us dispatch…the welcome wagon!” Mammon’s voice sounded peculiar coming out from the skull helm, as though he was not quite himself. With Astaroth racing along side the Prince, they would be a formidable force to those that drew their weapons to guard that precious slag….Gabriel.

https://i2.wp.com/static.comicvine.com/uploads/original/7/72294/2357716-berserk_2460209.jpg

The first to come into sight was the being that had been formed from the dark shadow that had veiled the castle in the beginning of the war. Now he was in clear sight, with pulsating red eyes that shone out – clutching what looked to be a sword of legendary status. He was standing perfectly still, as though waiting to be taken head on…and Mammon would not disappoint. As the Prince roared in his charge, he spat. “The first great traitor to Lucifer to fall to my blade!”

Mammon leapt off his steed, which reared up before turning and racing away back through the fighting soldiers to return to Greed Castle, as the fully armored Mammon approached the Veiled man. His spiked gloves of his right hand gripping tight around the hilt of his sword. The Prince of Greed showed no fear as he closed the distance between them, as the battle raged all around. There was no words of challenge, for they were not needed. Whoever this creature be, he served Gabriel, and thus….he was the enemy.

With a terrible roar, he then charged at the veiled man, swinging his sword back, and as it would be brought forward in an upper slash to go from the veiled man’s left hip diagonally through his torso and to come out at his right shoulder. The menace and power behind the swing would be with an almost super human force, which was attributed to the beserker armor that he wore. Should the hit land it would slice the being in half . If not, they were in for a battle royale on who would die first.

 

~RB~

 

 

 

Clueless – GS

 

Scene setting : The School

co-written with VunG.

 

VunG:  Elissa was wondering how long it would take John to pick up on her identity, it would be less distracting if he at the very least knew her name if they had met. She actually barely recognized him, though that was mostly because she tended not to work with the detectives all that much. Once their meeting got underway, she would nod to Tommy’s assessment; in fact, now that she thought about it, it would probably be bad to stick around. She was still more than a little baffled by the lack of evidence of casualties though. If this was a battlefield, there should’ve been bodies, or at least signs of these bodies, and there was no way this was anything other than that. Either that or it was extreme live-weapons training… which she doubted. She was willing to overlook the intact windows, again she knew that there were some weird weapons out there that could do some serious damage without that… but the lack of bullet holes was absolutely baffling her. If there were explosives, the windows would be blown out and there would be no bullet holes. If there were bullet holes there would be no blown out windows. A lack of either… all she could think of was something really big coming through with a wrecking ball.

The more she thought about it, the more her mind went back to that… thing in the pictures. Could that be what was out here? Why would it bite buildings? Thankfully her thoughts would be dragged from that as she wandered the school nearby and she caught John’s bizarre suggestion of a government military action. After an amused snort, she quickly wrote a note and handed it over to the man, shaking her head as she returned to her work. *I’m pretty certain if the government wanted to test a weapon on buildings there would be less high profile places than a school in the middle of New York. Try again.*

But… sadly, they were out of potential clues, not without turning this place over, and as John would soon point out, it would be a bad idea to keep the commander in the dark about this. And she didn’t want to get them in trouble over this; that wasn’t what she was here for. At the question, she nodded gladly and went to join Tommy while they called in the situation. Once the two were busy, she’d sign to him while he was putting away his stuff, ~Do you think the… thing in those pictures could have done this?~ She didn’t look as panicked anymore, but she definitely looked concerned, and wanted his opinion. This was frustrating, because her expertise in weapons had completely failed her, and she had nothing really to fall back on in this scenario.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Detective John Moss took Elissa’s note and took out his glasses to read it under the dim lighting. She was right. Why would any government agency pick a school to do its weapons testing? It was just not plausible. The problem that they all faced however, was finding evidence to pinpoint exactly what caused the destruction of the buildings. Tommy had already gathered as much photographic evidence as he could, but other than that, there was nothing else to be found on the ground. A site with no clues will make this a dead end investigation….or it would bring in every kook and whacko job from the cheap tabloids who would suggest conspiracy theories. The more Tommy thought about it, the less likely he would be to even show the photos to his editor. A story needs facts….names, clues. This had nothing.

As Tommy was putting the last of his gear away, Elissa asked him in sign if he thought the creature in the pictures did this. Her expression was one of calm and as though she was not discounting the creature in the photos that Frank had being very real. Shouldering his back pack, Tommy placed a hand on Elissa’s arm and then whispered to her ear. “It’s a strong possibility.. I mean, its size and the way Frank described it….something like that could have caused all this damage. But…if you ask me….something or someone…engaged it in battle. We just can’t prove it due to the lack of evidence.”

It was really like chasing ghosts, and Tommy was starting to feel like Fox Mulder from The X Files.

Detective John Moss was already on the phone to the precinct and soon about half a dozen squad cars along with the Commander’s car would all pull up at the school with their lights blazing. Some officers were already stringing up yellow police line tape, while others were walking around the debris taking photos and starting investigating the damage to the school. They were as clueless as the four that found the debris in the first place. Commander Brack, a forty year veteran of the force approached the four, as Tommy got in behind Frank….not wanting to be seen. Brack’s expression was one of disdain.

“So…what is all this then? Malone? Moss? Were either of you here to witness the destruction of the school?” Bracks asked gruffly before then noticing Elissa, who he had not seen for some time. “Well well well….if it isn’t former Captain Pourtales. Fancy finding you mixed up with these clowns. Oh….and super snoopTommy Xo, New York’s nosiest reporter. Seeing you all together at this school makes me think you had a hand in the damage. So…whose going to tell me just what happened? Hmm?” The Commander asked, folding his arms and waiting for someone to talk.

 

~RB~

 

VunG:  It was perhaps a little discouraging to hear Tommy’s assessment, mostly because she’d been hoping she was just losing her mind rather than have that aberration running around in their streets. However, the thought of something else fighting them was intriguing; if that thing was capable of doing this much damage… then what in the world was capable of standing toe-to-toe with it? It bothered her, and without a potential answer she felt very itchy. They needed a freaking exorcist or ghost buster or at the very least the Scooby Gang.

As the call was made, she’d go ahead and take them moment to pull out a small flask and swig a gulp of her whiskey, wincing as it went down. She knew that being drunk wasn’t the best idea right now, but she wasn’t drinking all that much, and she would probably need it to put up with that idiot Commander. As the cars came in, she went ahead joined the other three, smirking at Tommy as he hid behind Frank before shaking her head and standing calmly as they awaited the commander to deign to show his face. As he went to insult everyone on the site, she promptly pinched her forehead and shook her head with annoyance, letting out a rather loud sigh. She didn’t remember the man being such an imbecile, but then again she was usually just in the SWAT clique.

Snapping her fingers to get Tommy’s attention, she asked him to translate for her, then went ahead and spoke straight to the commander, nothing but a stoney expression shown to her former boss. ~I would advise against threatening or insulting us, considering we’re your only known ‘witnesses,’~ and she made sure to finger quote that last one to make a point, ~Second, we just arrived, I received an anonymous tip. Third, we don’t know what did it, but I’m pretty certain it wasn’t conventional explosives or firearms based on a lack of scorch marks, slugs, bulletholes, or blown out windows, so there’s your important details. Fourth, don’t insult your own men,~ and put extra flourish into the last one, her expression hardening as she glared at the commander. This wasn’t just something she would do for these three, this was her general reaction to any member of the force who was threatened, insulted, or otherwise acted against. She wasn’t usually a wildcat, but when it came to protecting the boys in blue, especially the honest ones, she was downright ferocious.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Everyone knew that Commander Bracks was a hot head – especially Tommy since he was the one that had a relationship with the Commander’s daughter. So, when Elissa asked Tommy to translate for her, Tommy grimaced and then flashed a cheesy smile at Commander Bracks who was in no mood for games. Elissa…was simply brilliant. Frank and John both stood quietly as she defended their reputations and gave a perfect account of what they had found, or rather what they hadn’t. Oh her gestures, followed by Tommy’s translations showed the girl had lost none of her spark, and Frank for one was proud of her and even straightened a little in her company. John Moss just stood there, feeling kinda out of it, since he was called in at the last minute. The last line….” don’t insult your own men” was given with an extra bit of oomph and Tommy made sure to relate that exactly as it was intended.

The Commander gruffly snorted at what he had heard. One of the other officers to come up alongside the chief confirmed exactly what Elissa had reported, much to the Commander’s annoyance. None of those at the site had anything to do with the destruction of the school.

“She’s right, Sir. There is nothing to suggest an explosion, or causalities. The site is clean.” The Commander’s eyes darkened and he stared hard at Elissa, who had stood her ground and glared back just intently. Hmmph!” That was all he could utter as many of the other police officers were coming up empty handed. Pointing a finger at Detective Moss, he ordered. “Have your report on my desk at 10am. Dismissed.:” And like that, he turned on his heel and headed back to his car.

Moss let out a sigh of relief that the incident for now was over, but there was obviously going to be words said back at the station. John took out his cell and then gave the other three a polite nod, before he headed for his car, and started to call his wife to let her know he was alright. Now it was just Tommy and Frank left standing with Elissa. Frank had kept his silence, with his head bowed. It seemed nothing he did was ever right in the eyes of his commander. What he wouldn’t give to crack the case of the death of his partner. The school was a dead end in his mind, but Tommy….he had other ideas.

“Okay, none of us are going to make it through the night without a coffee. I say, we go to the nearest coffee shop and refuel, before continuing the hunt for what took Rory.”

If Elissa agreed, they would all get into Tommy’s car and head to Jax’s coffee house. As they walked, Frank spoke quietly to Elissa as Tommy went ahead to put his gear in the boot of his car.

“Thanks. What you said…meant a lot.” His eyes softened as he watched her walk along side him. She didn’t have to stick around and put up with the crap from the Commander, but she did….and that was worth a great deal of respect in his eyes.

 

~RB~

 

VunG:  Oh it was so satisfying for Elissa to see the Commander stopped in his tracks after that stunt he pulled. Honestly, the guy should’ve, at the very least, been trying to help his men if he thought they weren’t in the best state of mind, not berating them; and honestly she couldn’t comprehend the idea of Frank doing that sort of thing to his partner. She’d only met the two of them a few times before, but she knew that they were best buds, and if Frank had been sick enough in the head to do something like that, then it would’ve shown up on a psych profiling. It was pretty satisfying too to hear that the other officers were pretty much backing her up, intentionally or no; at least she wasn’t completely botching it up.

Still, she felt sorry for poor John, and would flash him an apologetic expression as he took off, giving him a polite wave. Once it was over, she let out a breath and turned to the others, glad to see they’d at least stayed there, even if poor Frank was so beaten down that he ducked his head like a scared child. At least they’d weathered that storm. Of course, now that she’d just shouted down the police commander without a voice, her blood was pumping and, like Tommy, she wasn’t ready to call it quits for today, not yet. At the reporter’s suggestion, she nodded emphatically and fell into step .

Of course, what she hadn’t been expecting was for Frank to come up to him, and thank her for her words. Truth be told, she didn’t see it as anything grand, more what came naturally to her and what was right to do. Still, between the tone in his voice and the look on his face, she could tell it meant a lot to him. Perhaps she was the first person besides Tommy and maybe John to show any faith in him. The thought was kind of heartbreaking. Smiling back, she placed a hand on his shoulder and shook it lightly, telling him wordlessly that she was there for him, if nothing else. With that, she’d go ahead and find her place in the car, flopping into her seat with a sigh and began cracking her fingers.

 

Razorbackwriter:  John’s car pulled out of the parking lot, its red lights fading into the distance while the remaining squad car lights continued to blaze as morning was approaching. Sticking around the school was now no longer necessary. Their curiosity had been met with a dead end situation. A war zone with no clues. Slamming the boot of his car, Tommy checked Elissa as she found her place in the back seat and flopped in. The sound of cracking knuckles was her way of dealing with the stress, Tommy guessed, and he got in behind the driver’s wheel. Staying just a moment longer, Frank surveyed the area – memories of the night Rory disappeared mirroring the sight before him of all the cop cars and policemen looking for clues. Frank slammed his hand on the side of the car to let off steam before getting in beside Elissa and closing his door. Rubbing his hand lightly, he glanced at Elissa. You could see the guy was worn out and beaten down. Even his clothes hung on his body like they were too big for him. The guy probably hadn’t had a decent feed in months. Frank needed someone in his life. To shake him into awakening and to live each new day – not mourn what he had lost. But to do that he needed closure. The only way to get it, was to prove what he saw the night of Rory’s murder to be real.

Tommy’s car pulled away from the curb, and without word the three would head off to Jax’s coffee shop for a much needed cup of joe.

 

~RB~