School’s out? – GS

 

Scene setting – The school.

co-written with VunG.

 

Razorbackwriter:  It was a sobering drive over to the school. Detective Frank Malone had gotten his cell and texted his current partner – Detective John Moss to join them at what would be a crime scene. That was how Frank saw it, though he would be shocked by what he found….or rather didn’t. The night was dragging on, and it was obvious that all would be needing coffee to stay awake through it all. Frank, had come good considering how much he had to drink earlier. Perhaps the photo evidence and now this current investigation had sparked something within the war horse. Tommy parked his car in the school teachers car park and alighted the vehicle – going around the back and opening the trunk. He pulled out a small sports bag, with camera equipment as well as a good flash light. You know the kind that security guards use. A long black handle and large torch end. Slamming the boot closed, he turned at the sound of another car approaching. It was Frank’s partner, John. Already Frank had gotten out of Tommy’s car and urged Elissa to follow him and meet John. John looked like he’d just rolled out of bed. Racking his fingers through his hair, he approached the trio and asked.

“Want to tell me why you got me out of bed, Frank?”

“Easy, Elissa here has been sent some pics of damage to the school, thought we should check it out before the Commander gets wind.” Frank replied, knowing that John would probably be pissed at Frank acting without back up of the department. John rolled his eyes, before glancing at Elissa. “Don’t I know you?” He asked off the cuff.

A loud crashing sound caught everyone’s attention, and Tommy shone the light in the direction of the sound. “No time for pleasantries. Come on.” Together the four headed into the school grounds, only to be confronted by a sight that was like something out of a war zone. Massive holes that had been caused by some sort of explosion had left a trail of destruction, with everything from desks, chairs and papers scattered. Walking through the debris, Tommy shone his light left and right, but there was no one about – not a soul.

“Hello?!” He sung out, as Frank surveyed the damage in one classroom. There was no one about, and very little smoke. Just a lot of debris and broken bricks. “It’s like there was a battle here…..but there is no shells, no blast residue….nothing. What the hell caused all this?” He asked, looking back at Elissa. Had she seen anything like this before?

 

~RB~

 

VunG:  Throughout the journey over Elissa was staring at the pictures that had been sent to her, trying to notice things and areas truly worth examining right off the bat. Of course, the whole thing looked like a mess, and fine detail was lost on the phone cameras, so it wasn’t quite what she needed, but it couldn’t hurt to try. Once the car arrived, she joined the others in getting up and equipping themselves with flashlights, though she didn’t bother with a camera at the moment since she actually didn’t know the proper techniques for avoiding glare. Like Frank, her eyes trailed immediately towards the newcomer to the party, and she would gladly join in welcoming the poor fellow to the crime scene, though it was obvious that he wasn’t exactly in the sort of position to be all that happy; probably just woke up.

When John asked if he knew her, she would nod and put her flashlight under her arm while she reached for her notepad… but wouldn’t even get it out as they were reminded that they probably on the clock. Immediately she would join the lot in the charge forward, and find her breath catching as she looked on the mess before them. War zone was just the right word. As they approached, she almost immediately went to examine one of the blast marks more closely, not bothering with the interior of the school but rather trying to the actual technical side. She knew that was her best area… normally. This sort of damage was bizarre. It didn’t so much look like it was hit with an explosive, the damage was too clean, too localized for that. But it wasn’t a normal round either; there weren’t shells around but that could be explained away. She knew of a few ways to prevent shells from showing up; she knew that there were even prototype weapons using casing-less rounds. But… there should’ve been slugs. Putting on gloves she began running her hands along one of the blast zones, trying to find any sign of one of the things, trying to figure out the weapons used. But even as Frank spoke, she realized that there weren’t slugs either… nor even shards of lead or steel or anything that would suggest such a thing.

Frowning, she stepped back and began walking about the school grounds, pausing every now and again when she came upon an undisturbed section of carnage. There was evidence of something moving around here, things were disturbed, the debris had been kicked around, this wasn’t just a ghost job. But… that suggested that the damage wasn’t simultaneous either. This wasn’t deliberate per se, more like something had experienced a firefight in here, and the people were either moving in or out. As she realized this, she began taking note of the direction of things, and began following the rough path in towards the gymnasium… or… what was left of it.

For a time she stood there, just examining the damage, spending the whole time gesturing with her hands, flashlight in one of them, trying to paint herself an image of what happened, trying to figure out where all the debris came from. As she stood there, she would have to dodge a bit of falling concrete, and she’d begin to leave the area… only to notice something rather peculiar: the windows were mostly intact. Now that was interesting. Bringing a hand up to her mouth, she whistled sharply and would begin moving to a place a little out of the gymnasium where they could see her.

Once the guys were there, particularly Tommy since he was her translator at this point, she’d begin signing while gesturing to the windows, ~Whatever did this was either direct fire or physical. The windows are intact; explosive shockwaves tend to break them.~ On top of that, she gestured for them to look in the gymnasium and added, ~That seems to be where the worst of it it, but I’m not certain how stable it is in there. Watch your head if you check.~

 

Razorbackwriter:  Over the years, Tommy had covered actual war zones in the middle east and was used to seeing the kind of debris and ruin left by mortars and explosives. Even gun cartridges, and smoldering ash from fires caused by the carnage, but this…this was unlike anything he had seen before. Waving his flashlight over one of the walls, that had major structural damage, there was nothing that showed what caused the blast points or gaping holes in the brick. Tommy set down his sports bag on one of the remaining outdoor seats and pulled open the zipper, to find his camera and flash unit. He wanted to take as many pictures for evidence as he could before word of this got out. Snapping the flash unit in place, he started to take pictures, clicking madly as Frank and John were investigating what would be the pathway to the gymnasium. Both men had heard Elissa’s whistle and followed her lead. John mentioned to Frank; “She’s a quiet one, isn’t she?” Not knowing that the girl was a mute. He knew he had seen her before, some time ago but was only now putting two and two together when Frank made mention that she was once with the SWAT team. “Oh…right.”

Tommy jogged to catch up with the trio and added to Elissa’s signing. “The gym took the brunt of the battle by the looks of things. Elissa’s right about one thing though, I’m not so sure that the structural integrity of the building is all that sound.” He said, shouldering his camera and turning the torch in the direction of the destroyed gymnasium. Frank did notice one thing. There was no bodies. Surely after a fight of this size and scale there would have been causalities….but there was nothing. No bodies….no blood….nothing. The cogs in his mind started to turn. Could this have anything at all to do with what happened to Rory? Great creatures that were invisible to the naked eye, but able to be caught on film? Detective John Moss walked unsteadily over what was once the wall in the gym. He did notice that the windows were not blown out. So the force of the explosions didn’t cause shock waves. Again…that made no logical sense. Tommy took a few more photographs, but already John was starting to get suspicious.

“What if….this is some sort of…government..military type operation? Like, trialing some new weapons, though you’d think they would pick a place more suitable than a school.” Frank wasn’t too sure about John’s deduction. If the government was involved, they wouldn’t just allow anybody to wander on the sight. “I don’t know. Something is just really off about this. There is no residue smell of explosives, no fire…no ash.”

It was clear to all of them that there was little in the way of clues or evidence to suggest what caused all this destruction. In the mean time, they had another case waiting to be solved. The murder of Rory Lismore. They now had photographs of what took Rory that night, and a witness. Unknown at the current time, but it would hopefully be solved as they followed the leads that they had.

John approached Frank and Elissa and suggested. “We should call this in. If Commander Bracks finds out we were here and didn’t report it, we could lose our badges for obstruction.” John was now sure that what ever caused the damage at the school was not something that could easily be solved. Frank looked at Elissa as Tommy started to pack away his camera back into his sports bag. “Should I call this in, guys?”

 

~RB~

What killed Rory? – GS

Scene setting : Detective Frank Malone’s apartment.

co-written with VunG.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Frank had turned as white as a sheet, his hand gripping his desk chair to steady himself after the fright of seeing what was on the photograph. It wasn’t like anything Tommy had seen before, unless you counted the types of beasts that were on the World of Warcraft game. But that was fiction. How could a beast or creature like this be in New York city? While Frank was hyperventilating from shock, Elissa was signing so incredibly fast that it was hard for Tommy to keep up with her. From the frantic hand gestures and the look of horror on her face, it was pretty clear that the former SWAT officer was totally freaking out. With both his companions going bananas, someone had to be a man of reason and calm – though the picture completely defied all logic.

“Give me the envelope, Frank.” Tommy insisted, as he was trying to see if whoever sent the photos had left a return address. Turning the yellow envelope over he saw that there was no return address…but there was a postal stamp on the front that showed that the photos had been sent from the city post office. Frank was still shocked, and Tommy now asked the big question. “Frank…..is this the thing that killed Rory?”

All the blood had drained from Frank’s face as the memory of that night came flooding back.

~Flash back~

The detectives had been on a stake out for the case against Joey Patona, and had been parked in a dark alley not far from Joey’s apartment. He was under surveillance after he had been a witness to the east side Brankston murders and was still considered a suspect but there wasn’t enough evidence to incriminate him. Rory had been drinking way too many Red bulls to keep awake and said that he was going to go and take a piss, down past one of the dumpsters.

“Why don’t you just use the super slurpee cup, Rory?’ Frank said, shaking the near empty cup at his partner, who just took one look at it and scoffed. “Cause I piss more than that cup can hold, Frank. Be right back.” Getting out of the car, he shut the door and then headed back down the alley till he found a spot behind the large industrial dumpster where there was a bit of privacy. As he unzipped, there was a massive growl that came from the shadows near the ACME #36 Warehouse. A long loud rumbling sound as though something heavy was being dragged along the road. Rory raised his head in the direction of the sound, and squinted to try and see through the darkness. “Must be seeing things. I thought red bull gave you wings, not made you hallucinate.” Rory mumbled this outloud, before there was a massive roar in behind him.

~ROAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRR!~ The beast, or mammoth worm like slug reared up behind where Rory stood, and it was right as Rory was releaving himself. “ARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGH! Rory screamed in terror, loud enough for Frank to hear the cries. Frank dropped his coffee in his lap, scalding himself, before trying to get out of the cop car. It was only as he alighted, that he saw the massive shadow of the beast looming over Rory. Frank reached for his gun and pointed it at the beast, but it was too late, the worm like beast bit into Frank practically swallowing him up to his stomach. Frank fired two shots at the creature, which was like throwing pebbles at an elephant. Rory’s screams died away as the last part of him was eaten by the creature. Blinded by horror and rage, Frank ran at the beast, screaming and firing his gun but the beast slid off down the alley and then vanished into an abandoned warehouse. Like it had gone through some type of portal.

“RORY!”

~End flashback~

“Frank?…..Frank?” Tommy grabbed a hold of Frank’s shoulders and shook him. “Was that what took your partner?”Slowly, Frank uttered. “Y.yyyyesss.”

It was almost too incredulous to believe, but the fact that Frank had been sent the pictures meant one thing. Someone saw it too, and witnessed the murder of Rory Lismore. This was evidence, but they needed more than just some photographs. They needed to go back to the crime scene and retrace Frank’s steps. Tommy let go of his friend, and said.“In the morning we are going back to the alley where this happened, and see who lives near that spot. We need the witness.” Frank kept quiet. Was it possible the witness….was also a criminal? The one that Frank and Rory were staking out?

Tommy turned to Elissa and asked. “You want in on this? I can take you home and pick you up in the morning. No point searching that alley in the dark.”

 

~RB~

 

VunG:  Elissa wasn’t a coward, she’d bumrushed men with assault rifles and semi-automatic shotguns before. She’d personally taken down drug lords and mobsters. There were many things that she was more than capable of coping with… but what she couldn’t handle was what she couldn’t understand. And that creature that was in those pictures was something that defied everything she knew about the world. If it had just been something in the jungle was one thing, if it had just been a hideous monstrosity sure, but this was something that was hiding out in the heart of New York city! How in the world was this even possible?!

At about the time that Frank began going into his flashback she would slowly begin coming back to the land of the living, her breathing coming back under control as she rubbed her sore neck, approaching the boys as Tommy tried to pry an answer out of his friend. Leaning up against the desk as she tried to get some color into her cheeks, she watched Tommy drag the truth out of Frank, somewhat forcefully… she was almost hoping that it was just a hoax picture. But… her heart sank and she damn near fell to her knees as she heard the confirmation, only staying up thanks to her arm propping her in place.

Rubbing her temples with frustration as the others considered this, she tried to comprehend the fact that they were going to basically have to trace down an entirely new organism. This wasn’t good… and it seemed to be a snake in form… what the fuck were they going to find of this aberration, its droppings?! Sighing with frustration, she would listen to Tommy give his plan, beginning to pace back and forth with her damaged hand on her chin, debating whether or not she would just be a fifth wheel at this point. However, when he offered her directly, she’d turn and look him squarely in the eye, and she found herself strangely reassured by the fact that this reporter was so brave in the face of this job. Yeah, she wasn’t about to get showed up by a guy whose most dangerous weapon is a microphone. Immediately her expression turned to one of determination and she nodded her confirmation, cracking her neck briefly before adding with a grim smile, ~I wasn’t planning to live forever anyways.~

However, just as she was about to walk forward and join them in planning, her phone began vibrating angrily as several messages came flooding in simultaneously. Frowning with confusion, she pulled it out and checked one of them… and her eyes would widen with horror as she locked on what she was seeing. She had a fair number of associates in the private detective business, and as a part of the local business’ network of favors they’d all agreed to send each other tips of anything that might be a lucrative job… or a dangerous one. Placing a hand over her eyes with frustration, she offered the phone over to the others with her free one, letting them look. On it, were a flurry of images sent from her many acquaintances showing images of a particular school in the city… or rather what had once been a school. Yeah… they might have other problems on hand.

 

Razorbackwriter:  With Elissa agreeing to come along with Tommy, the reporter had his mind set on heading home after dropping her off and getting a few hours sleep. Well, that was the plan. With Elissa commenting that she didn’t plan on living forever, which seemed a touch morbid in the light of things, Tommy was about to turn when Elissa’s phone vibrated. Maybe her man was wondering where she was. But it was how Elissa responded to the messages on her screen that had both Tommy and Frank curious. She handed over the phone to Tommy, who stared at the images of what was a school. It looked like it had been hit by an earth quake, or something of a destructive nature. A bomb blast? There was too much damage for a single blast. “The hell?” Tommy blurted. Frank, on the other hand knew the school. “I had a step brother who went there. Looks like a war zone.” With Elissa being in the private detective business, this was clearly a lead to work, but with the current mystery of what the hell it was that took Rory, and now this, it was clear that something was going to have to wait. A school is a place for children and if there was something there, that was in anyway linked to Rory’s murder, it needed to be investigated. Frank, was now sobering up thanks to his rotten coffee. He pocketed the photographs in the envelope to bring along with him, but made up his mind that he was not going to be left behind.

“I know where this school is. Tommy, Elissa….we need to get there and check this out.” The detective said with a firm nod of his head. “I’ll get my partner to meet us there. By the looks of things, the authorities haven’t been informed. If we hurry we could be the first on the scene…..aside from your mates that took these pictures, Elissa.” Tommy looked at Frank with concern.

“But what about the alley and the warehouse?” He asked, since he was keen to check that out as well. Frank gave a light shrug. “So we pull an all niter. First things first. The school.”

If Elissa agreed to come along, the trio would leave Frank’s apartment and head for Tommy’s car.

~RB~

 

VunG:  Their words basically summed up Elissa’s thoughts on the matter, the whole place looked like something that had been hit by a bomb. Yet the damage looked so localized; there were other bits, sure, but the local buildings only were undamaged for the most part from the looks of things, even by debris. Truth be told, she didn’t know what was more valuable in the hunt for Rory, but she was pretty certain that the person that had sent the envelope wasn’t going anywhere and this location was as fresh as things got. She wasn’t too certain what would cause such destruction, but if it was anything like the creature that had taken Rory then this was going to need some sort of serious coverage by detectives to catch whoever or whatever did this. She still wasn’t convinced on the supernatural aspect, but she damn well believed that something REALLY out of the normal was going on.

When Frank volunteered them for this duty, she couldn’t help but agree with every word leaving his mouth; she knew damn well that if they could be the first on the scene then this whole mess could be theirs to put under control rather than the politicians running the NYPD. She shuddered at the thought of doing an all-nighter, but if that was the way it had to be, then so be it. Hopefully the NYPD would be okay with her being there, not that she doubted that, and hopefully none of her more unscrupulous colleagues would cause damage to the site. Grabbing what was left of her coffee, she gulped it all down in one go, wincing afterwards and letting out a breathed grunt before nodding for them to lead the way, adding as they went, ~Tommy drives.~

A Web of Mystery – GS

https://i2.wp.com/media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/03/fc/f1/03fcf1e51cf58992f7f1bda702c05a3c.jpg

 

Scene setting – Detectve Frank Malone’s apartment.

co-written with VunG

 

Razorbackwriter:  The ride over to Frank’s place was a fairly quiet one. Frank had tilted his head enough to rest against the glass of the passenger door, and soon he was snoring softly – the drink now having lulled him to sleep. Tommy played some Fleetwood Mac on his car sound system, and that too might have caused Frank to fall asleep. Being that Tommy couldn’t sign as he drove, he didn’t think it was a good idea to try and make conversation with Elissa in the back and so he kept his focus on the road ahead. He knew the way to Frank’s place, mainly cause he had been there often enough. This might well be the first time that Elissa had seen Frank’s digs, but to be truthful they were nothing much to write home about. The ex took most of the family’s possessions, so when he took the apartment, it had been furnished by the previous tenant, who had died shortly before Frank took the lease. The furnishing were dated circa 1950’s and oddly enough suited the detective to the ground. The former tenant was a movie buff, and had film posters on the walls. Black and whites mostly. Classics all the same.

Pulling up at the curb outside the apartment complex, Tommy shut off the engine, only to hear Frank’s snoring. “Great.”Tommy said without thinking. The last thing he wanted to do was carry the guy up two flights of stairs. Getting out of the car, he opened Frank’s door carefully, and caught his friend before he fell out onto the road. Giving him a light shake, he stirred the Detective enough to wake him. “Come on, buddy.” Easing Frank out and making sure he was steady on his feet, Tommy asked Elissa through sign. ~You coming up?~ If she answered him with yes, he would wait for her to alight from the vehicle before taking Frank up the path to the entrance.

Frank muttered a few words before rousing properly and then recognizing his apartment. “Home sweet hovel.” Words of endearment surely for his current abode. Going up the two flights of steps, Frank was now able to stand on his own, and fumbled about in his pockets for his keys. He had a large key chain that even featured a pokemon character…pikachu…or something yellow. Turning the key in the lock, the door swung open and the trio would instantly be hit by a musty smell. Yeah, this was a single man’s apartment alright.

Entering the dimly lit front room, you could see a study off to the left and a kitchenette to the right. In the study, if you cared to take a look was walls of pictures…reports….all to do with the death of Frank’s partner, Rory Lismore. As Frank went to the bathroom, probably to throw up now he was home, Tommy wandered into the study and turned on the light. The scale of the amount of photos and documents on the walls and all across the desk was shocking. It was like this case had consumed his life, even more so than Tommy realized. Glancing back at Elissa, Tommy wondered what her reaction would be to see all of this.

http://year7humanities.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/crime-pin-board-clues.jpg

There was one thing that stood out in the middle of all this. A single framed photograph of Frank’s son who was sitting on his dad’s shoulders at the fair. A moment in time when both were so happy, a time that was now lost to memory as Frank’s life was now a race to uncover the truth about Rory and the other mysterious goings on.

Frank emerged from his bathroom having been sick from his night on the grog. He was wiping his face with a damp cloth when he entered his study in behind Elissa and Tommy. Folding his arms, he too stared at the walls of photographs of destruction and chaos, newspaper clippings about the death of Rory and the subsequent investigation. Pictures of Frank were on the wall too.

 

~RB~

 

VunG:  Surprisingly, Elissa hadn’t even passed by Frank’s place at any point (at least not knowingly), something that she should’ve probably done if for no other reason than to make sure her research was complete. Still, that was fixed soon enough, and after a relatively pleasant drive through the night, they would come up to the place, and she would see that at the very least the detective wasn’t living in a truly rough part of town. She had fully been expecting to have to just wait for Tommy to get Frank situated, but would be surprised when he signed if she was coming, which she would gladly take him up on without actually saying anything, piling out of the car quickly.

She kept close to Frank during the walk up the steps, keeping herself perched in a position to better catch him if he stumbled, and would quietly follow the boys up to the house. She indeed noticed the Pikachu on his keychain, and it intrigued her that he would have something so childish on it, but she didn’t judge him based on it of course. As they waited for him to unlock the door, she commented to Tommy, ~By the way, I appreciate it, but you don’t need to sign to me. I’m mute, not deaf.~ Following the boys in, she’d rather quickly wave a hand in front of her face to try and get the smell away from her. Yeeeaaaah… not having a woman’s touch around was doing bad things to this place, wasn’t it?

Initially she just looked like she was wandering around, not really looking at anything specific, just killing time and keeping herself warm. However, when as she passed by the study, she came to a stop and found herself drawn to it much like a moth to flame. Placing her good hand on her chin, she went about looking it over, examining the board more than anything and trying to see if he’d made any connections that she hadn’t. Truth be told, she actually had one of these herself, albeit less obsessively large; she did this with every one of her cases and had multiple boards for just this purpose. It was a helpful organizational tool. Eventually she’d realize that they were pretty much just as much in the dark as she was and let out a sigh, putting her hands on her hips as she looked down towards the desk. Damn… no luck.

However, she would notice one thing, and that was the picture of Frank and his son. Initially the glare of light blinded it for her, so she’d reach over to tilt it up. Of course, once she saw it, her own misfortune dropped on her like an atom bomb, and she promptly let out a strange sputtering cough that may have normally been a sob, and by the time that Frank had come out she was pinching her eyes and trying not to cry as she pictured her beloved husband’s corpse. God… at least Frank still had the knowledge his son was alive… but Elissa… she was alone in this world. Her husband, her son, both gone; one didn’t even have a chance.

Eventually she’d shake it off, straightening herself up and running her hand down her face to remove any suggestion of tears before looking at the others, her eyes a little red but otherwise she was back to her usual ice queen treatment. ~Well… at least we’re on equal footing,~ she commented to Tommy, grimacing a little at just how incomplete this case was.