The Witness – GS.

 

Scene setting : Fifth and Maple Street.

co-written with VunG.

 

Razorbackwriter:  With Elissa having joined the two gents on the next stop off at Fifth and Maple Street, little did they know that the photographer who had captured the pictures of the slug was home. Sitting in his lounge room, the odd buzz of morning news was in the back ground, while his girlfriend, Patty was getting ready for work. Joey Patona, who Rory and Frank had been staking out the night of Rory’s death was slouched on his favorite lazy boy chair with a cigarette hanging from his bottom lip. On the table beside him was racing guides, a crumpled packet of cigarettes and a long lens camera. He lazily took a drag from his cigarette as Patty stormed into the lounge from their bedroom.

“Joey…when you going to get a real job and help me pay the bills?” Since the court case, Joey had been keeping a low profile, since the prosecution failed in their bid to convict Mob boss James Capoda in the east side Brankston murders. They couldn’t bring Joey in a second time, as the key piece of evidence had been stolen from the police lock up. Joey brought a hand to his temple and rubbed it slightly while Patty finished putting on her day coat. She folded her arms and glared at him, waiting for an answer. “I’m expecting a call any day now, love. Just be patient, okay?” He sounded sincere, and his smile was disarming. Joey was great at using charm when all else failed. Patty on the other hand was losing patience. She’d been working two jobs to keep them from losing their apartment, and the stress was starting to take it’s toll. “Well, If I don’t see you bringing in a paycheck, its over!” Patty snatched up her purse and stormed out the door, leaving Joey to his devices. No sooner had the door closed, he was on the phone….to his bookie.

“Rick….yeah man, its Joey. Put fifty on race 7….number 9. I’m feeling lucky today.”

Pulling up in the alley, Tommy shut off the engine and turned slightly in his seat. Looking back at Elissa and Frank he said. “This is it.” It was it. The murder scene of Rory Lismore. Frank hated coming back here, but what choice did he have. That night played over and over again in his mind and the only way to end the nightmare was to find out if the giant slug….was responsible. Getting out of the car, Frank pulled out the envelope and then spread the pictures over the bonnet of the car. Looking at the images, and then the angle on which they were taken….to see if he could pin point just where the photos had been taken from.

~RB~

 

VunG:  Elissa had to admit, there was something eerie about coming back to this place. She’d stopped off at it sure, in fact if the guys were sharp-eyed they’d see a pot of flowers sitting in one of the corners that she’d left, but besides that there didn’t seem to be anything left of note here. And that was the scary part… it seemed too normal for what happened. She noticed the look on poor Frank’s face, and she made a mental note to keep an eye on him, just in case, but right now it was to business. As she looked at the pictures, she looked at the angle, then walked over to the rough place where the creature had been, looking around with her hands on her hips. She was thinking of this the same way you’d think of an actual rifle shooter, mostly for the purpose of trajectory. Thankfully, it was obvious which direction it was, the trick was just verticality. Walking back to the guys, she pointed at the building she thought it was, though beyond that she wasn’t too certain what height it was at, and could only give a rough guesstimate.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Both Frank and Elissa were of the same mind, when it came to trying to work out where the photographs had been taken from. Sure enough as their line of sight brought them both to the same window, Frank suddenly had a very grim expression. He recognized the building and….the window. It all fell into place. Who else would be so cunning as to send the photographs in an unmarked envelope in the first place, knowing full well what they meant. The stake out of Joey Patona. The very reason that the two detectives had been in the alley in the first place. What with the noise and all that happened, it would have brought Joey to his window. Frank reached up to scratch behind his neck as he turned away for a moment and silently cursed. Tommy watched on, and saw the change in Frank’s demeanor. “You worked it out?” The reporter surprised that the detective was coming up with an idea for who the photographer was.

“Son of a bitch.” The detective replied, shaking his head. “I’m going to need a warrant. I can’t just barge in there and demand that crook to admit to what he saw.”

Tommy chuckled. “Since when have you been totally by the book, Frank. This is about finding out what happened to Rory and clearing your name.” The reporter then smirked at Elissa and uttered. “She was a cop…you’re a cop….and I…could trick the bastard into fessing up. He might be keen to sell a story….and while I am interviewing him, you two burst in and….I don’t know, turn the place over.”

Frank wasn’t too sure about this. Joey had connections to the underworld, though he was on the outer at the moment. The detective had his badge, and his gun on him so there was no reason for him not to try and follow along with Tommy’s idea. The reporter beamed and then straightened his collar. “I’ll go up first, and set this up. You two wait in the hallway till I give the signal and then burst in.”

It was starting to sound like something from a mob film, and Frank was worried that Elissa might not want to be involved. He asked her directly. “I don’t want you in over your head, Elissa. You don’t want in with this, I’ll call in John Moss. Though he probably won’t want to touch this case.”

What would she say?

Tommy had already started off for the entrance to the apartment building.

 

~RB~

 

VunG:  Eventually Elissa and Frank traced the picture, and their gazes both landed on the window responsible… but unlike him she didn’t recognize who it was. However, as Frank mentioned that the person was a crook, she pretty quickly put it together, and she was promptly sighing with frustration and putting her hands on her hips while the men tried to figure out how to handle it. Tommy’s way of handling it had her a little concerned, but she could see things working without it going south. In fact, she could even see a way to do it without things going completely out of control and getting them in trouble, if they were smart about it as a group. This couldn’t just be a unilateral thing, they needed to plan.

Still, she wasn’t about to back down; Tommy was 100% right, they would be able to handle this without issue on a capability level, and they were pretty well backed up against the wall here. Besides, the way things were headed she would be pegged as an accomplice if this went south. No sense going halfway. Besides, she wasn’t unarmed; she had her police-service Beretta 92 AND a tazer both hidden in her jacket (she had a concealed carry license). Yeah, this would work.

Of course, as they began moving in, Frank’s words caught her a bit off-guard. The offer was definitely appreciated, and she made sure to smile and nod her acknowledgement, but she wasn’t backing down. Without any further attempt to communicate her thoughts, she promptly fell into step behind Tommy, flashing Frank a confident grin as she passed. She’d been deprived of this sort of excitement for too long.

However, she had to make one thing clear to Tommy, and would jog up to him to sign, ~If he’s cooperative, don’t call us in. I’m not expecting things to go that smoothly, the guy’s a pile of shit, but just saying.~ Of course, after that she’d fall back into line alongside Frank, glad to have this underway and with something that wasn’t a rough dead end.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Tommy stopped dead when Elissa came up alongside him and signed that if Joey was cooperative to not call the pair in as back up. The reporter understood exactly what she was conveying and gave her shoulder a small squeeze. “Don’t worry. I won’t call you in unless absolutely necessary.” Frank of course heard the exchange and adjusted his jacket slightly. He was ready for anything, and knew this could quickly go south, since Joey was known to be a bit of a hot head and unpredictable. Giving his companions a small salute, Tommy headed inside the entrance to the apartment building and left the other two to their devices.

The apartment building was the kind that should be condemned. Not only did it smell rank of curry, you could see rats out in the open scurrying along the walls. Tommy shuddered as he headed up the stairs. The lift was out of commission. Going round and round, he finally reached Joey’s floor. Working out the apartment from the window placement on the outside of the building, Tommy went over to room #339 and then knocked on the door.

Inside, Joey was watching the races on his TV set, when he heard the knocking. Thinking it might be someone that was coming to hit him up for money, since he owed his creditors and a few drug dealers, he picked up his baseball bat and approached the door. “Who is it?!” He yelled through the door, only to peek through the peek hole and see the well dressed Tommy standing there. He didn’t look like he was from the mob, due to his racial features. Thinking this was odd, he waited for Tommy to reply. “Tommy Xo….I’m a reporter and looking to buy your story about the court case. Everyone knows you were set up and I am willing to pay…..$5000 for the scoop.”

The moment that Tommy offered money, Joey’s eyes lit up. Five thousand sure could get him out of a bind and shut up his old lady. He set down the bat carefully and undid the locks, opening the door. Tommy was ready, holding out his press club pass to show he was legit. “Hey hey buddy. Won’t you come in?’ Joey stepped back to let Tommy into his apartment, which was a real dump no matter how hard Patty worked to keep it neat. Joey was a slob. He even had food stains on his shirt. Tommy entered the apartment, and took out a cigarette so as to look like he wasn’t nervous about being in a mobster’s home.

“Thanks. Mind if I smoke?” He asked, gesturing with the unlit cigarette in his hand. Joey was quick to offer an ashtray that was buried under a stack of racing forms. It was pretty clear that Joey was a gambler, what with the racing on the telly and the guides. Tommy took out his zippo lighter and lit up, letting out a puff of smoke, before continuing. He noticed the camera too on the side table, and then off the cuff asked. “You do photography?” It was an off the cuff question, but he had his reasons. Joey shrugged and then replied. “If I got something interesting to take a photo of. I do some photography work for the porn industry. Have my own dark room.” Joey was starting to relax a little and this was just what Tommy had hoped for. “Nice hobby. Does it make much?” Now Tommy was starting to delve a little deeper and this was when Joey blurted out a significant sentence. “I’m hoping it will. Took some snaps that might interest a certain detective. Blew my mind when I had them developed. Course….no one is going to believe it. Perhaps the coppa. So…you wanna talk about that murder case? I’m keen to make a bit of money.”

“Sure thing. Mind if I open a window? Need some fresh air.” Tommy asked, heading to the window to give the signal for the other two to come up to the apartment.

~RB~

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