Coming home – GS.

 

Following on from Tommy’s stop off at Madame Rose Li’s club.

Razorbackwriter: 

6.00pm

The lift door drew open slowly to show a troubled looking Tommy. Already having tried Frank’s number a dozen times and having left countless messages, there was no answer. Rose’s words were now ringing in his ears that she had done something, but what? She wasn’t exactly forthcoming, and told him to just be the reporter and get the story himself. Tommy hated her games, and it was clear she was in control of it. If only Frank would answer. After his last stint of vanishing, Tommy was starting to get a feeling that Frank didn’t want to be found. Had he gone and done something stupid again?

Turning the corner, he stared down the hallway, only to then see Jay open his door and wave him over. Jay being one of his neighbors, and a good friend.

“Dude, where you been? Tamika has been up to your apartment a few times and then came knocking on my door looking for you.”

This news had Tommy face palm. Tamika. The girl with the insane crush. It was all he needed on top of the fact that Frank was not answering his phone. With all that had happened the past few days, and his new relationship with Elissa, Tamika was the last person on his mind. Jay stood waiting to see what Tommy had to say.

“I’ve been staying at….uhm..”

“You’re dating another girl? Woah man.”

“I was never dating Tamika.” The reporter groaned. “She was just a friend.”

At this, Jay let out a loud laugh. He knew Tamika was besotted with Tommy, but Tommy just didn’t have those sorts of feelings for her. In fact, the way he felt about Elissa was all very new to him. Totally out of character. Tommy, the man that never committed had more or less done that with Elissa. Sort of.

“Tommy, you gotta deal with Tamika if you are with a girl….like…really with a girl. I can see the future, man, and….girls like Tamika don’t take rejection well at all.”

Tommy leaned against the wall, and pulled out his phone. Again checking to see if Frank had messaged or tried to call. Still nothing. Jay leaned forward, and whispered. “You going to send her a text?”

“No.”

“Whatever you do, don’t do it on social media. Do it in person. I seen this kinda shit turn ugly.” One thing about Jay, he knew when to lay it out there and thick. He was right of course. Tommy had no one to blame but himself. It was then that the sound of footfalls caused both men to look down the hall. It was Tamika.

“Tommy! Where have you been?”

Jay’s face was one of…~Here we go~ “Listen Tommy, I got something in the nuker. I gotta go.” He then promptly shut the door. Knowing him though, he would be listening at the other side of the door. Tommy was now in the firing line, as Tamika looked up at him expectantly.

“Tommy? I’ve been so worried.”

“Tam, listen. We….have to talk.”

He had that tone in his voice and Tamika looked puzzled by his words. “Can’t we do it in your apartment. i was going to fix you dinner.” Tommy tipped his head back and let out an exasperated sigh. “You can’t keep doing this, Tammy. I told you.”

Apparently Tamika was deaf and blind to what Tommy really wanted. He never considered them more than friends, as hard as Tamika tried to be in a relationship with him. Bringing his head down so he looked at her, he knew he had to come clean.

“Tam…I’ve met someone, and…I’m in love with her.”

There it was….the truth. Tamika just stood there as though she had been hit with the high beams. She let out a little laugh, and then smiled awkwardly. “What?”

“I’ve met a girl I want to spend the rest of my life with.” This was heavy. Really heavy news. Tommy didn’t know how else to say it. He didn’t want to hurt Tamika, but she never quite seemed to get it. And from the look on her face, she still wasn’t.

“You…met a girl?”

“Yes.”

“Oh…” Tamika was heart broken, and she looked down at the shopping bags in her hands. Looked like she wouldn’t be cooking him dinner after all. Trying hard to keep her composure, Tamika reacted in a very strange way. Almost like she was happy for him. You just don’t trust a woman who smiles after telling them something this traumatic. Tamika blinked repeatedly, and took a backward step. “I have to go….now.”

 

Tommy frowned as he watched Tamika trying to retreat. He was half expecting her to slap him, or yell. She did neither of these things.

“Tammy….I’m sorry.” Words said a little late, as Tamika disappeared around the corner. The guy had just broken her heart. She reached the lift and was hiccuping sobs as she pressed the button to leave the floor. Looking back, she couldn’t see he was still standing there. The lift opened and she entered quietly.

Now left to his own devices, Tommy turned and headed to his apartment door. Waiting outside was a basket. It had been sent by Madame Rose Li. It contained flowers….red roses, chocolates and a bottle of champagne. The reporter wanted to pick it up and hurl it down the passage way.

Women!

 

~RB~

Ota General Hospital – Part Three : TG.

Sunny’s attempts to help the investigator fall on deaf ears and the young nurse is sent packing.  However, we learn more about the one known as “Wolf”.

Scene setting : Ota General Hospital – Tokyo Ghoul.

Co-written with Temp and Moo.

 

Temp:  Wolf remained still during the Investigators speech, though she did eventually retract her kagune. “I am the gardener among a bed of flowers…plagued with weeds.” She turned her head to look over at the nurse, and then glanced towards the unconscious Investigator. “The weeds need to be exterminated in order for the flowers to fully bloom.” Speaking in metaphors was something she enjoyed doing, regardless of how irritating it might be to others. “I am the gardener, neither weed nor flower…feared by both.” Wolf slowly started to walk towards the Investigator, and didn’t bother with the nurse messing with the woman’s weapon. There was clearly a screw or two loose in the brain of the nurse, and she didn’t want to deal with it. Wolf came to a stop only a few feet from the Investigator, and pulled the hood of her outfit back. She always wore a long black hood trench coat, which hid any defining features of her other than her height and mask. Now that her hood was back, her white hair was released and rested upon her shoulders. “I am not a human, and I am not a ghoul.”Her hands moved to her mask, which she actually pulled off. Her single kakugen and her normal eye were now completely visible, as were her facial features. The Investigator would probably understand her words a bit better now that she could see what she truly was.“One-eyed ghouls are rejected by both ghoul and human…I have no place in this world.” Both of her eyes were locked onto the Investigators as she spoke, and her expression was rather blank.

 

Moo:  The irritation was plain on her face while she stared at the giddy girl. The time it had taken her to retrieve the weapon was at least good for their conversation. Though it was hard to be completely serious with the noisiness of her actions. Gritting her teeth to endure Ms. Sunshine over there, Nikita turned her gaze back to Wolf once again. She had apparently said something right, considering Wolf’s kagune was no longer exposed. She felt only slightly less threatened though… Gardner, huh? she thought as she listened to the ghoul speak. With the first two metaphors, Nikita understood what Wolf’s point was, but she didn’t understand fully how she was different than both races. Until it hit her like a sack of bricks. Who else wouldn’t belong on either side? Only someone who knew the pain of being cast out from both humans and ghouls. Nikita’s head snapped up, eyes widening slightly as her realization timed correctly with the girl’s removal of her hood. I am not human, and I am not ghoul.

Nikita stared, her lips parted slightly as if to question Wolf again. But there was nothing she could bring herself to say for a moment. Instead, she listened to Wolf’s closing on her speech, staring into her eyes–one of which was blackened with a red iris. She was definitely not lying. “…You say that, but…” She was obviously someone with a big role in this play. Did she really take up that logic…killing both kinds would make equality? Was everything still right–was Nikita doing the right thing working with the CCG? “You removed your mask and showed me your face. Do you really believe I’m on your side?” It was definitely true that she was. But for Wolf to have acted like this–did it mean that she was putting trust in Nikita blindly, or was Nikita even going to live through this ordeal? “Wha–“ The woman’s words were cut off as she noticed for the first time that the joyous nurse was swinging around Rupture. It was surprising she was able to lift it like that, considering the quinque’s weight. “Are you a lunatic?” Nikita’s gaze shot back to the nurse briefly. “Put my quinque down and evacuate this floor.” Who could act so silly while they were in front of a ghoul? Especially while investigators were on the scene.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Though Sunny’s intentions were admirable, they were not at all welcomed by the investigator – who not only ordered that the nurse put the weapon down but also to evacuate the floor. Sunny pouted sadly and lowered the weapon when the investigator asked if she was a lunatic.

“I’m just a nurse.” Sunny answered with a hint of sadness. Unusual for Sunny, since she was always so cheery. The nurse set the weapon down on the floor at her feet and then gripped the edges of her uniform before teetering back and forth, her eyes lolling from one side of her head to the other.

The fight had now broken down into more of a verbal stoush, none of which was as exciting as before. One thing was clear though, the nurse was not at all welcomed. It was her right to be on that floor, or any floor for that matter, since she worked in the hospital. Besides, there was an officer down. Shouldn’t someone be checking on the individual? They could be dead.

It took all of Sunny’s fight to remain there. She had an obligation to help those in need, but when the fighters either dissed her, or threw a weapon at her head, they were just as bad as the Matron. Shrugging her shoulders, Nancy headed over to the lift and pressed the down button. Every so often she looked at the pair longingly, then finally the doors opened and she stepped inside, but not without one last peek at what was going on.

~RB~

 

Temp:  Wolf sighed as the Investigator tried to keep up her hostile act, and mentioned the possibility of not being on her side. Based on the way the Investigator carried herself and her weapon, she decided to trust that she was different. “We are similar in our objective, but our methods are different. If you choose to work against me I won’t hesitate to kill you.” It should be perfectly clear by now that Wolf wouldn’t have trouble finishing the woman off. She turned her head to look at the Nurse who seemed to finally realize she was out of place, but turned her attention back to the Investigator. “We don’t have to be enemies, I’m certain you realize that.” This woman would either find a common ground to stand on with Wolf, or she would meet her end. The outcome of all this was fairly clear to her, but there was always room for error and change.

 

Moo:  Seeing as the nurse seemed to comply–despite the time it actually took for her to put the weapon down and start walking away, Nikita let out a small exhale and palmed her face. Any normal civilian would have turned and ran after seeing a ghoul such as Wolf. This woman though…she was weird. After a small shake of her head, Nikita finally dropped her hand and watched as the nurse kept looking back at them. So long as she was safe, it was okay. Although her gaze was brought back to the one-eyed ghoul in front of her while she was addressed again. “In that case, I suppose I ought to make myself clear. I want equality, if not peace, to be obtained between ghouls and humans. In your case, I will turn a blind eye to your work. Never once have I seen you change pattern; so you’ve never killed without a just cause.” At least one that Wolf felt was right. “So yes… I realize we don’t have to be enemies.” Now was the time where she could move slowly, careful not to give Wolf the wrong idea, until she was standing completely upright. “If you don’t mind, I have to take Spider with me.” The woman brushed some dirt from her nurse getup, pulling the skirt down as it had ridden up. She brushed her ponytail back and met Wolf’s gaze again, something shy of a smirk crossing her lips.“My name is Nikita. If you would like to contact me, here’s my cell phone number.” She reached between her breasts with two fingers, pulling out what looked like a business card. Considering she didn’t have her usual clothing on and this damn outfit didn’t have any pockets to make use of, she figured that would be the next best place to store something as useful as that.

 

Temp:  Wolf watched the Investigator as she slowly stood back up, taking note of her careful movements. She moved slowly to prevent a misunderstanding of hostility. Wolf felt no fear for this woman though, so it was unnecessary. Overall, she was pleased that the Investigator wanted peace between humans and ghouls. It surprised her to hear the woman speak of her former kills as just, considering some of them were humans. She must have realized in her time with the CCG that something was ‘off’ with the organization, as well as with some of it’s Investigators. Her requiring Spider made no difference to her, so she nodded in return. The body meant nothing to her after all. Her days of cannibalizing wildly were behind her, now she only did so if it was necessary. She was about to turn and walk away when the woman revealed her name, and even gave her some contact information. Nikita. An interesting human to say the least. She reached out and plucked the card from her fingers, stuffing it into her coat as she continued to stare at her. “My name…” She spoke lightly while returning her mask to her face, and then pulled the hood back up to cover her head. “…is Mina.” It had been a long time since she actually spoke to anyone like this, and not to mention using her real name. “If you ever need me…howl.” Those were her last words before she walked away and jumped through a window, making her way back out into the city.

Moo:  With the nurse safe and knowing she could have Spider for the CCG, Nikita felt pretty relieved. And despite everything not going according to plan, she was able to leave this place without being injured–or killed, for that matter. Kato would also be okay, more than likely. Having had the card taken from her, Nikita gazed at Wolf, who actually ended up calling herself Mina as her face was once again taken up by that infamous mask. If you ever need me…howl. It was noted as the woman watched her new acquaintance walk away, jumping through a window. Standing there for a few moments, Nikita gazed after her, though she was more or less just looking out to the skyline. Shaking her head briefly, she sighed and walked to pick Rupture up off the floor. It would be placed back in her suitcase before she walked back toward Kato’s still body. It would be convenient if he woke up at this time. If not, Nikita would have to bring the gurney over and lift him onto it. As for Spider…

Taking her cellphone from between her breasts–her current storage–Nikita flipped it open and clicked for a speed dial. Upon someone answering rather formally, she replied. “Spider has been dealt with.” A brief pause before adding, “Ota General Hospital, top floor, east wing. Collateral damage minimum.” Closing her phone and tucking it away again, she knelt down next to Kato, pressing her fingers to his throat. As she suspected, he was alive. Very much so. Her hand slid to his shoulder where she would give him a gentle shake. “Kato. Wake up, Kato.” Pulling her hand away, she gazed down at his face. Was it going to be okay to keep this a secret from him? She could trust Kato, but she didn’t need him involved in some way that would complicate things. It would be some time before she decided. In the meantime, she would develop a story based on how much detail he remembered.

 

Temp:  Kato had been unconscious for several minutes, and had subconsciously heard some strange things. These things were pulsing through his mind and forming into a strange sort of dream. He heard someone state their name, speak about flowers, some sort of giddy sounding chick, concrete crunching and grinding together…none of it really made any sense. It was all incoherent and jumbled together, and was then coated in a constant static. There was no way he would be able to piece it together. Perhaps the dream would come back to him in the future.

The sounds around him were fuzzy as his eyes opened and wandered about the hallway, but eventually locked onto Nikita. “Wha…what…happened?” The last thing he remembered he was in the hall and saw Spider and something else. Everything after that was black. Did he get knocked out or something? He slowly sat up and looked around him for any clues as to what happened, but ultimately didn’t find much. Eventually he stood up and rubbed the back of his head. “Don’t tell me I missed the fight.” His words were pretty much met with an answer as he looked to the side and noticed Spider, who was very very dead. “Shit.” So he had fucked up, right? Hopefully Nikita wouldn’t lecture him into the next century.

 

Moo: Apparently Kato was going to be easy to wake up. Nikita found herself feeling a little more at ease as her shoulders relaxed and she gave a soft exhale. It seemed as though he didn’t remember much, with the way he was tossing questions. He apparently came to somewhat of an assumption–probably one that involved her strict lecturing. She smiled a little gently instead, standing with him now. “You worried me there for a second, Kato.” Could she pull it off… that only a few minutes had gone by?“Apparently Spider was prepared for a few extra guests. There was a nurse here with him, but I had her evacuate the floor.” This would work, right? Hopefully. “He was about to feed from her when he noticed us. You probably saw him leap at you from that girl. It had us both surprised… I was able to throw him back with Rupture before he harmed you, fortunately.” She lifted her hand and placed it firmly on his shoulder, giving it a slight squeeze. “Be on guard next time. We can’t afford you passing out again.” Now hopefully Kato would assume the rest. She had implanted enough of a story that he could piece the rest together; logically, he would assume she had taken Spider down on her own, and it would be left up to his imagination as to how fast the ghoul had actually been dealt with. Lifting her hand to fix some of her bangs, Nikita smirked a little then, looking satisfied. Of course it was a front. “The mess will be dealt with… But more importantly, do you feel alright? It looked as though you hit your head pretty hard.”

Temp:
Kato rolled his shoulders a bit to try and relieve the stiffness of his muscles, and shook his head rapidly to try and wake up. “Sorry Ma’am, I’ve still got a lot to learn it seems.”How the hell did Spider manage to knock him out so quickly? Spider was a dangerous ghoul, but he was in no way a quick or tactical combatant. It was completely out of character for him to subdue a target. As odd as it was there was no reason for him to doubt his superior. “Thanks for handling it, you weren’t hurt right?” He hoped that she had taken care of Spider without issue, and not been wounded. There were no clear wounds on her that he could see, but he needed to be sure. His vision soon drifted to Spider’s body. It didn’t really look like a typical kill from a quinque at all. Still, doubting Nikita’s explanation was silly. He turned back to look at her as she asked him how he felt, giving her a quick nod. “I’m fine, surprisingly.” There was something strange about all this, but he couldn’t quite figure out what it could be.

 

 

 

 

Saw – Madame Rose Li’s Club : GS.

https://i1.wp.com/i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2009/10/26/article-1223077-016D4FF1000004B0-634_468x286.jpg

Madame Rose Li’s Club – “Saw”

 

Razorbackwriter:  It was now well after 5pm and Tommy had already dealt with his reporting duties at the hospital under the instruction of his editor back at the New York Times. With his article sent in to the head office, he now wanted to stop off at the one place that he knew he would get answers about the package and its contents, that Frank was going to be using against the Commander. Frank had not called Tommy as yet or left a text. Both of these facts had the reporter worried, but he knew that Frank was on a mission and that really Tommy had no place to interfere. Especially after he had been warned off by his editor. That didn’t mean that he couldn’t go and confront Rose about her involvement. There was something about those photographs. Pure coincidence, or was there a motive behind it. Tommy didn’t trust the woman. Especially after he behavior when his brother died. It disgusted him. Sadly, his brother loved the woman. Not that it got him anywhere.

Pulling up outside the club, Tommy got out of his car and shut the door before locking it. The streets were pretty much devoid of life at this time of day. The club was not even open yet, not to punters. But he was already spotted by one of Rose’s guards, and gestured to come towards the entrance. Could it be that she was expecting him? Not showing any hint of emotion, Tommy walked around the car and strolled up to the front door. A large dark skinned man with shades and a black suit was watching and then gave Tommy a nod, as he opened the door for him to enter.

Just like that.

Walking through the club, it was deserted. No patrons were inside as yet, just staff going about their duties. Restocking the bar, preparing the tables. All looked up as Tommy entered. He was so much like his brother, that one would easily think that the dead had come back to life. Only it was the gentle laughter of a woman down the back, with some young lad that she was teasing, that would have Tommy focus on the darkened corner. Of course she would have a toy boy on a chain. It was her style. The moment that she spotted Tommy however, Rose put her hand up to the young man’s face and then dismissed him as easily as you would a bus boy. The real deal was here.

Dressed in a red cocktail dress with a sparkling diamond necklace, Rose got out of her chair and swanned over to where Tommy was standing. She looked like the cat that had just swallowed the canary. A glint in her eyes of mischief, that Tommy was not at all happy to see.

 

“You came.”

“Not for what you are thinking, Rose.”

The reporter stared her down, while she became coy in her presence. “Oh you would blush if you knew what I was thinking.” The woman was known for having an insatiable appetite for men. She reached up and caressed Tommy’s cheek, causing him to harden his jaw. If anything, it just turned the woman on even more so. A challenge if ever she saw one. “Are you hungry? I was about to enjoy a rather tasty new dish.” The innuendos were coming thick and fast now. Was she speaking about her toy boy, or a meal cooked by her chef? Tommy already had plans to cook dinner for Elissa and simply shook his head.

“I’m saving myself.”

“Really? Who is she?” The woman had a radar that could track a rival quickly, and by the way Tommy was acting, he was off her menu.

“None of your business. Let’s cut to the chase. Why did you give me the pictures of the Commander and….that..”

This was not what Rose was expecting and she suddenly looked disappointed. “Because, I was trying to help your friend. Remember, Detective Frank Malone?’ Naturally, Tommy knew what she meant, but was that the real reason. The whole thing stunk to high heaven. At this point she grinned, and made a cat like pawing at Tommy’s jacket – at which he seized her wrist and tightened his grip. “You don’t help anyone, but yourself. Like you are trying to do now.” There was a menace in his voice, and Rose was loving every minute of it. She didn’t even try to wrestle free, but pushed herself up against him.

“I know what I want, Tommy. And I think you know it too.” Her eyes searched his for some showing of feelings for her….good or bad. Tommy released his grip and pushed her back at the same time, causing her to lose her balance and grip the nearest chair. Her hair whipping around her, but if she was upset, it wasn’t showing. She grinned menacingly, as she heard the Chef bring out the dinner plates. It was a roast meal. Roasted goat with vegetables and all the trimmings.

“The things I have done for you. Why…even now, I’ve tried to make your friend’s problems….go away.”

Tommy’s eyes hardened from what he had just heard. “What do you mean, Rose?”

Rose raised herself up to standing proudly, before tearing a piece of goat meat one of the plates on her table and licking it.

“You’re the reporter, go find the story.”

Tommy knew right away, that Frank was probably in trouble. The reporter slammed his fist down on the table causing the cutlery and plates to fly off and clatter to the ground. Staying here was wasting time, and he knew that Rose was just toying with him now. He spun on his heels and took off out of the club, leaving Rose standing there knowing that he would be back….and she’d be waiting.

 

~RB~

Tree fossil with opal growth rings – GeoPicture of the week.

 

This is a part of an opalized tree, and the rings you see are actually tree rings; or at least they were.

This is an very rare sample: opal can be fairly common in petrified wood, but this is a fire opal, which makes it so much more valuable. Fire opals are transparent to translucent opals with warm body colors of yellow, orange, orange-yellow or red – basically, it often has pretty colors.

So how did this magnificent opalized tree came to be? Initially, water filled the cracks and empty spaces of the source fossil, and the silica content in the water hardened and turned into opal or chalcedony.

The above tree fossil is from Queensland, Australia; it measures 25x22x5mm and weighs 23.5 ct.