Some scars never heal – GS.

 

Scene setting – Detective Frank Malone’s apartment.

co-written with VunG

 

Razorbackwriter:  Frank held back slightly as Tommy and Elissa were looking over his study and the wall. Being that Frank was himself a detective as part of the NYPD, to see this sort of mania in the way that Frank had set up his crime wall you would start to think that he himself had now become a fanatic almost. The sheer scale of recorded documents and the piles of files on his desk that he had brought home from work was mind boggling. It was little wonder that Frank would go to Big Joe’s after work to drown himself in booze, rather than come back to the quiet of his apartment and have to face this…day after day. To Frank, his life was on hold. Captive to solving what could best be described as an impossible case. It was easy to see why the department viewed him so suspiciously, as none of the findings made real sense. Rory’s body was taken by whatever it was that killed him. All that was left was a pool of blood. After the incident, Frank was committed since what he had seen had left him in such a state that he was unable to cope with what he saw. Post traumatic stress on a crazy level. Most soldiers don’t suffer this bad so quickly. It was why his wife left him and took his son away. The nightmares – broken nights….screams and haunting visions. At one point he woke up and found himself standing over his wife with a gun pointed at her. It was the last straw. He’d not told his closest friends this….the only one who knew was his therapist – Doctor Lindsay Buchanan. It was after six months of treatment, that he was released and assigned back to the force – but he was never the same.

Tommy, who watched both Elissa and the return of his good friend was very good at reading body language after years of dealing with people and informants. He could see that trace of emotion from Elissa’s face as much as she tried to hide it. You would have to be pretty impassioned not to feel something seeing all this. After Elissa had explained that she didn’t need to be signed to all the time, since she was a mute and not deaf, Tommy spoke out loud.

“That we are, Elissa.” He shook his head as he let out another sigh. “Leads take us nowhere, or….the reports are so bizarre that most people high up dismiss it. All the top brass care about is meeting quotas and keeping the Mayor’s office happy.” Speaking of the mayor’s office reminded him of the fact his lady friend, Tamika worked there and she heard first hand that the Mayor’s office are trying to down play the “incidents” as being just crazy claims made by whack jobs or attentions seekers. It made Tommy angry just thinking about it. In his own office at the New York Times, some of his fellow reporters had gone to putting alien figurines with crude messages on them. If he heard the Ghost busters theme one more time when he went to open an email, he was going to strangle someone.

Frank, suddenly remembered his manners. “Would either of you like coffee? I think I got some twinkies in my cupboard….maybe.”

Tommy was about to take him up on that offer, when he noticed something just peeking out from under Elissa’s scarf. A scar of some description. The Reporter was too nosy for his own good. “Uhm….Elissa. What’s on your neck?” He asked, as Frank shuffled out to the kitchen to put on a pot of coffee.

 

~RB~

 

VunG:  Truth be told, Elissa was in over her head with this case. As she’d said, she wasn’t a great detective, and while she had some degree of competence, she was more someone you’d put in as support or an extra set of eyes. She was just a sad, depressed, lonely woman without anything left to do in her life except continue on with the closest thing she had left to her old job. And with the exception of nearly getting her throat ripped out by that damn dog, she wasn’t really aware of the things that had ruined her life until after they happened. There was no attempt at therapists for her, she had zero trust in them after they tried to convince her that dogs had no intent of harming her and that her fear was unfounded. No, she was going it alone.

But… then again… as she looked at the two guys here, she realized that at the very least she’d be able to help someone else with some help. It wasn’t much of a boon, as it was likely only going to wind up as an alliance of circumstance, but it was one that she was thankful for. Eventually Tommy would speak up, and when he brought up the commentary on the mayor she immediately winced and nodded, rubbing her temples to keep herself from even thinking about that piece of shit. Hell, Elissa had been lucky in that she had no colleagues to torment her about this case, and even she was ready to tear someone’s throat out just from the stonewalling she’d been getting. It was SO galling that the officials and certain higher-ranking police officials cared so little about the actual results of their jobs. The corrupt policemen disgusted her, and all politicians deserved to be thrown in jail from her experience, it was the sort of thing that made her want to go vigilante on some people’s asses.

She’d be broken out of that destructive train of thought by Frank’s offer of refreshments, and would give him a thin smile and make a gesture showing that she wanted coffee–or rather she wanted something to drink. However, before she could even lower her hand, Tommy took notice of something he really shouldn’t have. Slowly she turned to look at him, her blue eyes hard as ice as she debated whether or not to indulge him. Thing was, he was a reporter, and she knew that even the good people in that profession had an insatiable curiosity.

It would probably just make her life harder if she hid it from him. Sighing, she reached up and pulled the scarf down to reveal the scar. It was a terrifying-looking thing, the entire area on either side of her windpipe was a nasty striated mess, and it wasn’t a small scar set either but rather the full width of… say… a dog’s jaw. It was actually just luck that she’d survived it, the dog’s teeth missed both her trachea and arteries, and when it hit her she fell forward and it released her when its back hit the ground. Still, she was told that the doctor had given her a forty percent chance at survival. She held the reporter’s gaze for several seconds, letting him get his fill of the sight while he could. Then, she’d simply raise her scarf back up and make sure that it properly covered her this time, and after that she would very simply state, ~I hate dogs,~ almost as if it were an unrelated comment.

 

Three’s company – GS.

Picture

Scene setting : Big Joe’s Pizzeria

co-written with VunG.

VunG : Why in the world was she doing this? Elissa wasn’t getting paid for this, there were no suspects that she wanted to see convicted, and she’d barely known the victim. Well… it was a very slow month, only one job involving an idiot trying to figure out if his wife was sleeping with his boss; the answer to which was the same as the question about bears shitting in the woods. But that wasn’t enough, it wasn’t like she went out of her way to solve every little problem that crossed the police department’s path; in fact it was a rare day that they called her in simply because they needed an interpreter just to communicate. It wasn’t just that it was a police officer that had been killed; again it was something she helped with where possible, but she couldn’t be everywhere at once.

No… it was probably because she could tell without a shadow of a doubt that poor old Frank was as innocent as the day he was born. Or at least in this subject. Sighing as she sat on a bench just outside, she opened up her wallet and looked to see the picture of Elissa and her beloved Andrew together prominent in one of the screens. What a mess. Seemed like everyone’s life was falling apart these days. Looking back up, she looked at the two men talking, not really bothering to eavesdrop or watch them. Really, she’d just been passing through and decided to stick around when she noticed that Frank was on the verge of getting himself into trouble. She wanted to be there to bail him out if things went south; she may not be going through the same thing as him, but unbeknownst to most people she handled it about as well. It was just that she was better at keeping it all private. 

Eventually she decided that it would look bad if they noticed her just sitting there like some sort of creeper, or if they decided to think that she was investigating the matter of Rory’s death against them. Because that wasn’t the case, not by a long shot. And… Frank needed a friend.

Pulling her coat tighter (same one from the picture) and ensuring that her grey scarf covered her scar, she went on in, looking around the pizzeria thoughtfully, withstanding a welcome from Big Joe which she’d return with a thin smile and a wave. She went up to the counter and pulled out a small notepad, the click of her pen surprisingly loud even within the pizzeria, and she wrote down her order of an imported beer for herself. Once she had it, she turned around and sat down at a table not far from the guys, giving them a kind wave as she went about the process of slowly whittling away her drink, internally debating whether to come right out and ‘say’ what she was there for or to just wait for them to notice her.





Razorbackwriter : Big Joe was not only known for his pizzas. His hospitality and warmth knew no bounds. With the Italian decor, and solid brick pizza ovens – the Pizzeria was like a little bit of Italy in the middle of New York. A big man with large hairy arms, he would often greet his favorite patrons with a welcoming hug, or in the case of Elissa he would voice his welcome from the back, his voice carrying across the other patrons, so no one missed a new diner. After putting another pizza in the wood fired oven, Big Joe read the female detective’s note requesting an imported beer and went to get it for her. Big Joe personally went to place it on the table where she sat – which was not all that far from Tommy Xo and Frank Malone.

With Big Joe passing Frank and Tommy again, it was Tommy who first noticed Elissa enter the pizzeria. Though he had not had much of a repoire with Elissa, he knew that Frank did. At this point, Frank had his head in his hands. The overwhelming feeling of guilt was returning again. This was not uncommon, as he blamed himself for pretty much everything that had happened. The stinging barbs from his ex wife who took his beloved son with her to live in Connecticut, had totally destroyed his self esteem. It was why he drank so much. Tommy raised his hand to ask Big Joe for a pot of black coffee to be brought over, and then reached out to give Frank a nudge.

“We got company.” He said, gesturing with his head towards the direction of Elissa.

Frank grunted as he pulled his hands away from his face, and then turned his head just enough to see Elissa seated at one of the nearby tables. God, what would she think of him….seeing him like this. It could be worse though. If Tommy hadn’t shown up when he did, Frank would have definitely gone on a total bender and then ended up barfing up his stomach in one of the back alleys. No one should see that.

Big Joe brought over the coffee pot and poured Frank a cup of straight black – no sugar. Tommy took the cup and saucer as Frank tried to get to his feet unsteadily and make his way over to Elissa’s table. His worn leather shoes scuffed along the floor, as he wasn’t picking his feet up properly. Frank reached out and caught the top of the chair with his right hand and dragged it away from the table to take a seat.

“May I?” He asked if he could join her, but was already doing so – as Tommy followed and placed down the coffee cup and saucer in front of Frank. The cup clinked gently as it was placed on the table. Tommy pulled a chair from another table, but straddled it so that he could rest his arms on the back and face the pair. The reporter spotted the imported brand of beer, and gave a polite nod. “Good drop that one.” He said, before reaching out with his hand to shake Elissa’s.“Tommy Xo. I’m a friend of Frank’s.”

Frank mumbled something as he raised the coffee cup to his lips, then blew on the brew before taking a sip. it was a bit too hot and he set the cup down pretty quickly, spilling some of it’s contents into the saucer. “God dammit.” He hated being seen like this. “Bit late for you to be out and about, Elissa. Working…on.. on a new case?” Little did he know that she was chasing the same ghosts he was.

Tommy eased back slightly, his right eyebrow moving upward slightly as he was curious about this lady detective. The trio all had a lot in common. There had been a lot of strange goings on in the city, and he believed it was all linked. But not even the FBI would believe the stories he had heard. Tommy couldn’t help but interject.

“People talking about cars and industrial bins being thrown about….by invisible forces.” It sounded incredulous. “Can you believe that shit?”

~RB~

“Bring me another beer, Joe” – GS

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Setting – Big Joe’s Pizzeria.

Detective Moss pocketed his cell phone, after speaking to Tommy Xo. The latest partner of Detective Frank Malone was not at all into these after work drinking sessions, and he had a wife and kid waiting for him. Frank was already on his sixth beer, and had finished off one of Big Joe’s Meat lover’s pizzas. With the ballgame up on the big screen, Frank was on a roll, and letting off some much needed steam. This was all too much for John Moss. He tossed down a few ten dollar bills, and then grabbed his coat. Frank glanced up at him with a drunken sneer.

“The little woman waiting, Moss?” Typically, Frank always seemed to dig at the fact that John was a married man and had a life outside the force, unlike Frank. Moss simply shook his head and finished putting on his coat. He hates seeing his partner like this, but he knew it wasn’t a good idea to leave him on his own – hence him calling Tommy.

“Yeah, and she makes better company than you, Frank. Do me and the department a favor and get some help? Okay? Tommy is on his way over, I gotta get going.”

Frank laughed loudly. Great. Tommy was having to come down. No doubt that was going to cause dramas with whatever lady he had been with that night. “I don’t need some god dammed baby sitter, Moss. I’m…perfectly fine. Joe! Another beer!” he sung out, though his words were starting to slur. Big Joe, named for obvious reasons came out and shook his head at his good customer and long time friend. “I thinka…you have enough, Frank.” He wiggled a finger at Frank, which only brought about more laughter from the Detective. “Now…now Joe. I can walk a straight line…and find my nose….if I had to.” Frank then tried to touch his nose…unsuccessfully.

“Good night, Frank.” Detective Moss said, turning to walk away, just as Tommy entered the Pizzeria. Course Frank saw him and rolled his eyes. It was not that he didn’t enjoy Tommy’s company, he just hated to have him give him the riot act.

Tommy sighed and then patted Moss’s shoulder as he passed him in the entrance. “I got this.” Tommy said, as Frank got up unsteadily from his bar stool and opened his arms out like a long lost brother.

“Tommy!…..You shouldn’t have come down here. I ….I was about to call a cab. Pizza?” He slurred, then offering Tommy a slice, as the reporter sat on down next to him. Tommy shook his head. “Just barely finished dinner and an argument with Tamika.” Tommy had had to leave the dinner that Tamika made to come rescue his friend, and there were some pretty harsh words said, along with a few broken dinner plates. Hearing this made Frank cringe. “Ah shit. Tamika cooked again?” he asked, getting out his wallet and tossing some notes down on the bar top for Joe.

“Dinner was a disaster from the get go, Frank.” Tommy admitted, before looking at his friend with concern.

“Dude…you gotta clean up your act. Drinking every night. Come on, you’re better than this.” It was the truth and both men knew it. Though to Frank, this was his way of coping. Big Joe’s was his buddy’s favorite haunt back in the day. Why, there were even pictures of the two detectives on the walls. It was a second home to both men….now, just to Frank.

“If only that night never happened.” Frank said, recollecting the night that his partner died. The look on Frank’s face was one of sorrow and regret. “I lost everything….that night.”

Tommy’s face became stern as he watched his friend. How many years had it been? Frank’s marriage, and his job as well as his reputation ruined. Tommy was constantly searching for clues and leads. it was why he went to those dark alleys. It was why he made friends with the homeless…the bottom ladder of the people of New York. To find out….who killed Detective Rory Lismore….and why? It led both men on a quest, but one that Frank was having trouble keeping focused on.

“I know what I saw that night, Tommy. I know it like it’s tattooed inside my mind. But no one believes me. They think I’m crazy.”

“I don’t, Frank. And together, we are going to solve this – if it’s the last thing I do.”

The two men sat in silence, as outside a shadow hovered by the doorway till spiriting away into the night.

~RB~

Tommy’s street rats – GS

Back Streets of New York.

The shouting of the Chinese chefs grew as the night time trade was at their peak in the Golden Dragon restaurant. Tommy ‘s smile grew as he turned the corner. The dark alley stretching down till reaching fourth street. Here there were many vagrants and bums that the city had long since forgotten. But what people didn’t realize was that they were the eyes and the ears of the city. Carrying a small bag of Chinese dinners, Tommy approached two men that were standing at an upturned oil drum, which was being used as a fire bin. Each man having their hands held forward to warm by the fire. Tommy’s shadow soon overtook them, and both men turned with fright – only to be relived when they saw it was Tommy.

“Yo Man….you damn well scared us. Sneaking around like that. Hey, do I smell chicken and cashews?” The first man said, as Tommy pulled out one of the boxes and a pair of chopsticks, handing it over to the man who greeted him. Wearing an old brown coat, with a grey scarf tied around his neck, the bum greedily took the box of food and sat down on the ground, while his companion did the same. He was slightly wary of a well dressed man handing out free food.

“Wha’ chu wanting, bud?” The second man said, sitting down beside his friend and hastily opened the box of food, while Tommy lent on one of the industrial bins. Tommy was wearing a grey three piece suit with a black long over coat and matching scarf that helped keep his neck warm on these cold New York nights.

“Been a spate of murders in the area, gentlemen. I’m wanting to know if you have heard or seen…anything unusual. My money is on the fact that this is not mob related.”

The two men stopped eating, with their chop sticks held still. ~Murders?~ Sure, everyone knew that life on the streets was tough for anyone. You really had to know your way around, but it was so easy to fall foul of an angered and crazed drug user or a unpaid pimp. But with Tommy saying the murders were NOT mob related, that could mean only one thing.

“You thinkin’ it’s a serial killer?”

“Possibly….I’ve been working the case a few months. Trying to keep one step ahead of the cops, ya know?” Tommy answered as he took out a crumpled cigarette packet and tapped one end on the open palm of his hand – the cigarette sliding out, and he quickly flicked it up to his lips. He lit the cigarette with a zippo lighter, before snapping it shut and stuffing it in his coat pocket. The hot glow of the end of the cigarette was illuminating his face partially. Tommy was an attractive man. What he was doing down this end of town was considered out of character for his breed. Taking a long drag, he tipped his head back, and blew the smoke skywards, before returning his attention back to the bums.

“If you two see…or hear anything. Strangely dressed men…..odd gun sounding gun shots. You get in touch with me.” At this, Tommy gave the nearest bum his card, which had his contact details on it, along with the NY Times logo. He was one of the Times best investigative journalists, and it was easy to see why.

“There be more dinners like this, but in a better setting.” The journo promised as the two resumed eating their meals with gusto.

“You got it, Tommy.” the first bum said with a grin, as Tommy turned on his heel and started to walk out of the back alley. He was heading back to his apartment, since he had promised Tamika he’d show up for dinner.

As Tommy left the alley, the two bums looked at each other. Murders, and unusual ones. Only in New York.

~RB~

RPC – Detective Frank Malone from The Gantz Series.

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Name: Detective Frank Malone

Age: 25

Race: Human

Job: Detective Homicide branch – New York Police department

Personality: Somber, serious, thoughtful, intuitive, loyal, determined, hard working

Relationship Status: Divorced

Orientation: Straight

Likes: The job, working with a partner, guns, bars.

Dislikes: Creepers, ex wives.

Strengths/Powers: A crack shot, he is trained in hand to hand combat as well as being a bit of a sleuth in working out difficult cases, solving puzzles.

Weaknesses/Limitations: Big Joe’s Pizzas.

Background:

Frank Malone graduated with top honors from the NY Police academy and was landed his first desk job with fellow rookie Constable Rory Lismore. The pair were inseparable and worked their way up the ranks to that of Detectives in the Homicide squad. During this time, Frank was married with a small son to Missy Malone, who divorced Frank after his fall from grace. The shocking death and murder of his partner on a case in the Bronx had left Frank a shattered shell of a man, who drowned himself in booze rather than deal head on with his problems. After Missy took the baby and left him, his friend and reporter Tommy Xo, who Frank had known from grade school was his only true supporter, as many down at the precinct suspected that Frank played a part in the death of Rory. Truth be told, what killed his partner on that fateful evening…was not of this world. No one would believe him of course, and the case was made cold by the Commander’s office. To this day, Frank is fighting to clear his name and reputation, and while the Precinct keep giving Frank a new partner, he is unable to forge a bond, and they usually end up asking for a transfer.

 

RPC – Tommy Xo from The Gantz Series.

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Name: Tommy Xo

Age: 27

Race: Human

Job: New York Times Reporter

Office : New York

Personality: Inquisitive, curious, cunning, dedicated,

Relationship Status: Single

Orientation: Straight

Likes: Cold cases, detective novels, movies, cigarettes, drinking, classy women, a good story

Dislikes: Badly made suits.

Strengths/Powers: Martial arts

Weaknesses/Limitations: His mother’s cooking

Background:

Tommy Xo is one of New York’s leading investigative journalists that has been working his way up from the mail room to the top offices of the New York Times. Born to Japanese parents that immigrated to the US when he was five years old, Tommy took to the American way of life with gusto. A graduate from one of New York’s finest universities, Tommy aspired to become a name about Manhattan. Dreams of being a detective with the department soured after one failed affair with the Commander’s daughter. So instead he decided to put his talents to good use in journalism. Often working on cases that others are too afraid to touch, he has contacts in the underworld as well as an established network of grasses up and down the east side.

Rumors about of strange goings on in the city. Deaths that could not be explained, and talk on the street of vigilantes. Always one for a good mystery, Tommy is on the case.