Teasing & Twerking – GS.

 

Scene setting:  Elissa’s Apartment.

co-written with VunG.

 

VunG:  Elissa very promptly scoffed at the kiwi comment, resisting the urge to make a comment along the lines of ‘hopefully the branch isn’t a baby carrot,’ mostly succeeding just because she didn’t know the sign language for ‘carrot.’ That said, his weird way of offering a frontal view got her to raise her eyebrows with surprise, though she was quick enough on the trigger to fire back with a toothy grin, ~I bet I’d ask for a refund.~ Nothing quite like some playful insults between friends. What was that that one of the boys on the old squad had said? ‘You know when you have a true friend when you can say things that would get you arrested if said in public.’

She also continued eating her apple as she looked over at him, just waiting for his witty retort. Truth be told, there a lot of different traits she could appreciate in a man, from sensitivity to confidence to intelligence. She wasn’t about to declare Tommy a paragon of that first, but the other two he very clearly had down pat, and damn if that wasn’t something that got her a little hot under the collar. It had been a while since she lost her husband, and while she did miss him, she’d long ago realized that he wouldn’t want her to mope about him too much; so she latched onto that philosophy as best she could manage. Why be afraid of joy because of something you couldn’t change? Sure those old feelings would return, but she would rather avoid them than cling to them.

As Tommy moved closer, she looked up at him expectantly, wondering exactly where he was going with it. The exact situation of his relationship with the other woman got a raised eyebrow out of him, but she chose to take his word for it that he was free as a bird. And then he took his pot shot. There was a very brief moment where she looked genuinely surprised by his compliment, clear as day. Still, she was quick to react, and she came up with an interesting way to toy with him a bit. Turning towards him and making sure that there was some open space behind him, she leaned up on her tip-toes, putting both hands on his chest, looking like she was offering a kiss. However, before he could move to put his hands behind her, she pushed him away somewhat firmly, though all the while grinning wickedly, grabbing her apple from the counter and signing challengingly, ~You’re not man enough to keep up.~ Her blue eyes were sparking fiercely, challenging him to try as she took a bite of her apple, cocking her hips and putting her free hand on it.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Now there is a thing called playing hard to get, but there is also that moment when a challenge is issued. Acting all coy and then giving Tommy a good shove back followed by a wicked signing that he wasn’t man enough to keep up with her, was like throwing down the gauntlet. “Aha!” Tommy let out a loud laugh as though he found her comment to be totally laughable. Tommy Xo? Not man enough. Was she daring to question his ability to please a woman? Oh those baby blue eyes of her were practically dazzling as she took another bite from her apple and gave a little hip wiggle. Her hand resting on her hip as though she was daring him.

 

Tommy started to slowly unbutton his shirt, and there would be no signing from him as he exposed his chest. He then pulled it roughly from where it was tucked into his pants and ripped it off – showing off his upper torso. Tommy started to make his pecs dance as he did a little shuffle, giving Elissa a little floor show in the kitchen.

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“I got the moves, El.”

It was like something out of a Channing Tatum movie for her eyes only. Either she was going to choke on her apple, or die laughing. Either way, this morning was getting pretty interesting. Tommy grabbed his tie and then draped it around Elissa’s neck and winked to see how she would react. He then spun around and twerked….Yes…he twerked.

 

~RB~

 

VunG:  Elissa remained calmly watching as Tommy went about slowly stripping out of his shirt, wondering what in the world he had in mind. She knew darn well that she’d pretty well thrown down the gauntlet and she figured that unless he was the weakest person ever she’d probably have to put up with him attempting to put the moves on her for the next little while. And she was perfectly fine with that. However, what she hadn’t been expecting was for him to go full-on Chip’n’Dale’s on her right there in her kitchen. Initially she was just stunned, her eyes watching as his muscles rippled and just trying to comprehend what she was watching… and once he spoke she was immediately rolling, soft coughs escaping her as she leaned over, tears of laughter streaming down her face.

At that point, all was thrown to the wind, goodbye rules, goodbye outside world, hello surreally sexy morning. As he wrapped his tie around her, she promptly winked back with an eager grin, wanting to know where he was going with this. But then he… oh jeeze. He twerked. Well, there were two reactions she could have to that, but only one of which would have actually been worth the effort. If you can’t beat ’em…

Immediately she joined him, rubbing her front up against him, ignoring the fact that she was on the wrong side for the female. She wasn’t in anything nearly as sexy as his attire (or lack thereof), but her nightgown definitely rode up to reveal her plain panties. She placed her hands on his backside while this was going on, and she even went so far as to give him a light smack, a snicker accompanying it as they went.

Eventually she tired of the embarrassment that was realizing she twerked of all things, so she quickly grabbed him and spun him around to face her. Grabbing the tie that was now around her neck, she hooked it back around his and yanked her close to her and pressed her lips to his roughly, her eyes burning excitedly. It was a damn good thing she couldn’t speak, because she damn well didn’t want to voice the fact of the matter: despite how silly this whole thing was, Tommy had definitely won.

 

Razorbackwriter:   What a sight! The pair of them both twerking without music but the whisper like laughter that was coming from Elissa. Tommy could be a right dolt at times, but in a way it was infectious as now Elissa had completely lowered her guard and joined in on the mad cap dancing. Totally taking on the wrong roles, with Tommy acting more like Miley Cyrus at the Music awards. To feel Elissa rub against him as she did was a bit of a surprise for Tommy; but a happy one at that. When she went a bit further and actually spanked him, he let out a loud whoop like he was at a rodeo. With her hands clasping his rear, Tommy gave her a bit of a ride – so to speak. A few extra ass wiggles and he was done. Before he could catch a breathe however, Elissa grabbed Tommy and spun him around – dropping the tie around his neck as though she was lassoing him. Oh this really was a rodeo. Pleasantly surprised at her bold action, the next thing she did totally caught him off guard. Using the tie, Elissa yanked his head forward and down so that she could press her lips hard to his. Tommy’s eyes were wide with surprise and didn’t miss the look in her eyes. Dayumn! How he did it, he still didn’t know, but the fire in her eyes soon caught his own. Reaching around, Tommy gripped the cheeks of Elissa’s ass and hoisted her up so that she would have to wrap her legs around his hips for support.

A sharp growl emitted from Tommy’s throat – a rich sound that could be felt as well as heard. Tommy didn’t care that Elissa was still in her night gown – which had ridden up even further up her thighs. His fingers dug into the soft cheeks of her backside – kneading them while his tongue searched within her mouth for hers. Tommy may have won, but he easily surrendered to her.

 

~RB~

 

VunG:  Oh, even without actually having one, Elissa was feeling so hot under the collar she might as well catch fire. She had absolutely no idea why she was doing this, whether she was just in desperate need of something to purge her stress, lonely, genuinely attracted to Tommy on both a physical or mental level, or all of the above, but she just felt absolutely on fire. The feel of his hands on her backside was unexpected, but she had no complaints about it, and moved naturally as he lifted her up off the ground, her legs wrapping around his waist while her hands went behind his neck, letting the tie hang limp. The growl was a new one to her, but she loved it, she loved the sensation it created as their mouths tussled.

As he continued to knead her backside she let out a sound of herself, almost like she was sighing, but much more sensual than that. Her tongue fought back against his, gladly meeting it and tangling with it ferociously as she kissed him back aggressively. She may have been a heterosexual woman, but with her husband and her few other past boyfriends she’d been the man of the relationship, and even if she didn’t demand it, her borderline aggressive mentality was still there. Her fingers gripped tightly to his skin, kneading his back much as his hands were working at her, and right now the only thing keeping her from flinging her gown off was the fact that she’d likely fall off if she attempted it. Even if she was no longer the ‘man’ of the house and had quite easily surrendered to Tommy’s wiles, that didn’t mean she didn’t have a different kind of fight left in her.

 

Frank takes the heat – GS.

Scene setting : Fifth and Maple Street; Joey’s apartment.

co-written with Chor and VunG.

 

VunG:  Elissa’s face remained stuck in an expression of intense pain and concentration as she tried to keep herself aware, and even as Tom and Frank came to her aid she tried to reach out for her gun again. No, she wasn’t about to try and pull some last stand maneuver, but she damn sure wanted to be armed. Every one of the extra shots made her blood boil, and even with her wound she wanted to fire back. Of course, she realized pretty quickly what a bad idea that was, and would promptly put her hand back into place while Tommy perched over her, stating the obvious. (No fucking shit,) she mouthed, not really caring if he actually saw or understood her words. They didn’t have time for the obvious to come down. But… she had to give up the fight, and nodded and remained in place while he found something to help bandage her.

She was aware of Frank returning fire, but beyond that Elissa was unable to really contribute much here. Still… apparently everything calmed down… which gave her enough time to bring her hand away and punch the floor furiously, slamming her head against the couch she was leaning against as she kicked herself for not noticing that damn sniper. She’d made longer shots than that, much less seen them, how the hell had she missed that?! Was she really slipping that much?! Was she really that much of a has-been?

Of course, just to make matters worse, Joey’s significant other came in at about that moment to see the carnage. Frank was quick on it, of course, and was able to get things under control. Grunting softly, she reached up to the buttons of her coat and undid them as quickly as she could manage, ignoring the pain of moving the arm involved. The moment the thing was off to allow for a little better access to her injury, her right hand returned to its place while the left went limp, tears of pain streaming down her face as she bit her lip. Under her jacket she was wearing what amounted to a grey tank top. Tommy would be able to see the wound clearly if he could get her hand away, and if he was paying attention he’d notice scars similar to her neck’s along both her arms and a single mark on the edge of her right shoulder where she’d been grazed by another bullet.

She was absolutely oblivious to the calls being made… except for Frank’s mention of an 11-41. Immediately shame overwhelmed her and she looked down, biting her lip as more tears streamed down her cheeks. Damn it all… was that all she was now? A freaking ambulance call?!

 

Chor:  Now Isa wouldn’t have called herself busy, but drinking her shitty coffee from the conference/break room down the hall just past the morgue was the one thing that she preferred to be uninterrupted in her morning routine. She guessed, though, that in the city that never, ever sleeps, ten in the morning was not too early for a homicide. Truthfully, she had been on overnight duty and just slept in her office. The lounge served comfortble enough for at most six hours of light, non-murder-interrupted sleep. The crackling of the heat coming on in the room caused her to wake about thirty-seven minutes earlier and her hair was still a raggedy, sad mess.
This, of course, homicidal maniacs did not take into consideration when they started killing for the day. One sip into the sludge shite in the cracked “Best Mom Ever” mug and the radio exploded with sound, turning her quiet world upside down and causing her to drop her liquid breakfast onto the counter. The mug bounced off the edge of the granite and tumbled to the floor, creating a scene more annoying than she wished to handle at the moment. Listening closely to the radio, she stood unblinking. 10-71. Not for her. 11-41. Still not her. Her fingers twitched. Now that she was alert, ready for it, she eyed the device hungrily. So quickly her emotions could change. When nothing else spewed from the muffled speakers and the sound quit its reverberation in the accoustic room, she bent and retrieved her cup. The handle was broken and where the piece sepearated was seen layers upon layers of all sorts of glue of different consistencies and colors. This cup is old, a piece of fine china in their little kitchinette, and she would put it back together again. Just like she always does.
A towel is procured from a bland gray cabinet and used to mop up the black mess. The coffee was actually so thick, it nearly reminded her of coagulated blood. A small smile tugged at her lips as she threw the towel in the ‘to-be-washed’ bin, where it woud sit for about a week and a half until she washed it at home. Her second in command for this shift, Khalil, opened the door gently, holding fresh scrubs she only imagined he planned to change into.
“I got word from the buses it’s homicide. Keep an ear out, I’m headed to change, you’re on dead guy duty, I’ll drive,” He said. Khalil didn’t have an office, mostly because he was new and not because he didn’t deserve one. He worked just as hard as any of the others, just Isa worked harder; and she was more qualified. She nodded, though, and followed him as he left the entrance. There was a pretty good chance they’d be seeing hearing someone call in a body within the next ten minutes. She pulled her coat on and plucked her clip board and pen off the shelf, waiting patiently in the corpse-mobile.

 

Razorbackwriter:  The street below Joey’s apartment, was now filled with brass and the blazing lights of squad cars and of course the ambulance. Tommy sat outside in the hall, his jacket now a disheveled mess, covered in blood and bits of broken glass. After having answered questions to one of the other officers, he was ordered outside while Frank was getting a dressing down from his superior.

“No warrant? Jesus, Frank. What were you thinking? You are just damn lucky this joint is full of drugs.” The Commander scowled, as he was handed a bag from one of the CSI teams. “More in the bedroom, Sir.” The rookie announced, as others were searching throughout the apartment for more. Frank had been consoling Patty, who was now being taken away by a special officer for the bereaved. Joey was laying on the floor under a sheet, while another cop was dusting for prints. There had been no word yet on the dark room, and this had Frank on tender hooks.

“Sir, I’m not going to lie. Joey Patone sent me some photographs and that is the reason I came here. I dragged Elissa and Tommy Xo in with me. So if you are going to throw the book at anyone, throw it at me.”

The Commander raised a brow, and then asked. “What photographs?” At this point, Frank directed the Commander to the dark room. The two gentlemen walked in and this was when the Commander’s face became quite stern. “So he liked a little photography. What has that got to do with anything?” The Commander not being able to see a connection. He could see the p*rn pictures, but then he saw the ones of the beast.

“What the devil?” He pulled one down and stared at it. “He was into Sci fi photography?”

Frank came up behind him and said. “Sir…look at the date.” It was the same date as the day Rory died. The image taken from the alley below. “Sir…that is the thing that took Rory. Joey…saw it too.”

“AHAHAHAHA. What a load of crock. He was fitting you up, Frank. This is ludicrous.” The commander wasn’t about to believe Frank. Who would? He spun on his heel and got in Frank’s face. “You got a dead man out there, and you have motive.”

“What?” It was incredulous to think that Frank would kill Joey, if he was the only other witness to the death of Rory. “Sir, you’ve got this all wrong. A sniper shot Joey through the window. Ask Elissa…..or Tommy.”

 

~RB~

“I can’t go to jail again!” – GS.

Scene setting – Fifth and Maple street

co-written with VunG.

 

VunG:  Once they knew the actual apartment number, Elissa took up a nice place on the edge of an alleyway and leaned onto the wall. She knew full well what they were doing was illegal, or at least it was walking a tightrope, but she didn’t mind really in this specific case. There were some situations where dancing the line were appropriate, usually when the system was doing everything in its power to sabotage the pursuit of justice. Sighing, she took another swig of whiskey and looked over at Frankie, trying to figure out what was going through his head. He was so close to getting some answers, so close, she couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be teased in such a way. She felt for the man, as a brother in arms, and she really hoped that this would help him.

However, right now she was more concerned with Tommy. While his reassurance that he would be alright was appreciated, she wasn’t certain. She hated this idea of sending a civilian to the wolves, and just didn’t have the heart to tell him off or the mind to come up with a better plan. Granted, he wasn’t some helpless lamb, but it still worried her, and in some small way, when she saw the window open she felt kind of relieved. Putting away her flask, she gestured to Frankie and headed her way up. As they went, she definitely sent a concerned look Frank’s way, but she wasn’t certain she’d show that she wasn’t so much afraid for her own safety. She could handle herself just fine.

Once up to the apartment, she’d wait for Frank and make an ‘after you’ gesture to the door, considering that it would probably be a more impressive entrance if he went in. Of course, if he didn’t take her up, she’d take the initiative. Either way, she’d walk in calmly and authoritatively, straightening her scarf as she joined the congregation and very calmly looking at Joey, all emotion gone from her face and replaced with an expression made of pure ice. Even when looking at Tommy, checking to see that he was okay, she was completely emotionless, just a simple blink to confirm that he was alright before gazing straight at their quarry.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Down by the car, Frank was feeling a little apprehensive. Joey was known to be irrational when disturbed, and knowing Tommy as he did, all it would take was one slip up. This was going against normal police procedure, and if it went belly up, he could see himself being demoted or worse. He hated the idea of getting Elissa into trouble, but this guy may well hold the clues aside from the few photographs that he had sent Frank in the mail. Staring up at the window for signs from Tommy, Frank then noticed that Elissa was offering a swig of whiskey from her small hip flask. The detective paused for a moment, and then realizing the drink could only help cut back the nerves he was feeling. Taking the flask, he took a sip before letting out a gasp. It really hit the spot. Handing it back, he uttered a word of thanks before watching her gesture that they were going to head up. It was now or never. Patting his jacket which concealed his fire arm, he followed Elissa into the building. Tommy had opened the window as a sign for the two to come up. The tension was growing.

Reaching the door, Frank tensed when Elissa made an after you gesture. Frank gave a small shrug and then with one bold kick from his boot, he punched the door open, much to the surprise of Tommy…and Joey.

“FUCK IT’S THE COPS!” Joey blurted, realizing he had a bag of hash in plain sight. He was not expecting this, and much to his shock he threw up his arms and went as white as a ghost. Frank had his gun drawn, and this may well have impressed Elissa, who followed in walking calmly whilst straightening her scarf. She looked over everything as Frank aimed his gun at Joey’s head. “AGAINST THE WALL….SPREAD EM, YOU SON OF A BITCH!”

Joey didn’t wait to be asked twice, doing exactly as Frank ordered, shaking in his boots. “Don’t you have a warrant?” He squeaked, knowing this was out of the ordinary. Frank simply scanned the room and then saw the bag of drugs.“You….Bozo.” He referred to Tommy. “You his dealer?” Yep, Frank was playing it like he didn’t know Tommy at all, and Tommy quickly bought onto the act they were going to play out. “No….Officer…I swear. I’m innocent.” Smirking, he then shouted at Tommy. “Hands behind your head, and on your knees.” Tommy shot a look at Elissa, like he wondered what Frank had been sniffing…or drinking. But Frank had it worked out. As he started to frisk Joey, he turned his head to Elissa and said. “Check the rooms, before we call this in.”

If she went into the spare bedroom, she would discover it was a dark room. The walls plastered with pictures, but most importantly, a whole heap on the large beast, just like the ones that he had sent Frank. In Joey’s terror, he didn’t recognize Frank at first, mainly since the death of Rory had aged him.

~RB~

 

VunG:  It was a damn good thing that Elissa couldn’t laugh, because honestly she would’ve done just that as they stormed into the room, the sight of Joey’s reaction making a smile tug at the corners of her lips. Still, she too pulled her gun out as they came in, if for nothing other than show. Still, she remained nice and calm; she knew what Frank was thinking, and hopefully he was right that Joey wouldn’t be smart enough to think that Tommy was actually part of their little cadre. When she caught Tommy’s eye, she just smirked and gestured with her gun (though pointing to the side rather than at him) to get down. Then, at Frank’s order, she quickly began making her way through the rooms.

She made a lot of noise, slamming each and every door open as she went and acting like it was a full-blown drug bust or whatever it was that Frankie was claiming it was. However, besides the place looking and smelling like Satan’s ass hole, she didn’t find anything of any real note… until she came upon the dark room. Oh, this place was a goldmine of what they needed, but while the NYPD would, in general, have a field day with this stuff, her eyes were immediately dragged to those of the thing that they were hunting.

Immediately she came back into the room with the other three, and snapped her fingers to get Frank’s attention before gesturing in the direction of the spare bedroom/dark room, nodding confidently to confirm they had exactly what they needed. If he wanted to take a look and not take Joey with him, she’d gladly take control of him, making sure she had him by the wrists and keeping her gun at the ready, even if she didn’t expect to have to use it. Regardless of whether that happened, she’d make gestures like she was making sure to sweep Tommy to keep him down, but really it went nowhere near him, and she’d give him wink and a smile to tell him ‘well done.’

 

Razorbackwriter:  The slamming of cupboard doors would have Joey wincing, since he had drugs stashed all over the apartment. He wasn’t a user, he was a dealer and his main source was from the East side Mob – The Monaros. A bust like this was going to send him down, and as he kept his place against the wall, he tried to plead with Frank. “I can’t go to prison again. Look….I’ll make a deal with you, coppa.” He had his face to the wall, so he couldn’t see Frank’s face, but the detective was already getting the feeling by the way Joey was acting that they had stumbled onto something big, not just the evidence in what killed Rory.

Hearing the snapping of fingers, Frank and Tommy both looked up to see Elissa come back out from one of the rooms she had searched. Her face said it all. Frank raised an eyebrow and then said. “You keep your gun on the suspect, while I check the back room.” He went past Tommy and shouted at him “WHAT YOU LOOKING AT, ASSHOLE?” Yeah, Frank was getting some mileage out of paying out on Tommy. He had to sound convincing. Walking into the hall way, he let out a nervous sigh, before walking into the dark room. JACKPOT! The room was filled with photographs and there on the string that ran across the room were the same pictures as the ones that had been sent to him. He pulled one off the string and stared at it. He wasn’t the only one that saw it. He had an eyewitness……

Back out in the lounge, Joey was getting anxious. You could say he was worried about something more than the cops. He slowly turned, hands in the air to face Elissa. “I can’t go to jail again.”

~BLAM BLAM BLAM!~

Shots were fired through the window, that Tommy had opened earlier and hit Joey. Two in the head, one in the chest. His body jerked and spasmed, as his brain was splattered against the nearest wall. Joey teetered on his feet, before dropping like a sack of potatoes on the floor. Tommy screamed at Elissa. “GET DOWN!”

 

~RB~

 

 

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~

“Hello, my name is….” – GS.

 

Scene setting – Jax’s Coffee House.

co-written with VunG & Moo.

 

VunG:  Elissa continued to rub her temples as she noticed Tommy’s attention to her, but really didn’t care enough to change her mode of behavior at this point. She winced a bit at his reference to a therapist, and internally admitted that she wasn’t feeling all that secure in her own stability, though not to the same extent. Looking at him with a tired expression, she signed, ~Does she speak sign language?~ She was going to need therapy after this… maybe even enough to make her get over her distrust of the entire profession. Still, Frank’s comment got an amused scoff out of her, shaking her head and signing out, ~Sanity is a myth, I think.~ Once the coffee got on its way, she’d sit up straight, a brief time period where her scarf was knocked out of position from her face-desk/table and her scar was visible. Still, as the girl handed over the coffee, she’d gladly taking hers as and taking a deep breath of the stuff, grabbing the cinnamon to add. As she did so, she too noticed Frank’s antics, but just rolled her eyes and straightened her own scarf before signing to Tom, ~He’s not that old. Heck, my folks had nine years between them.~ Though, besides that she wouldn’t encourage or discourage the detective, giving the girl a nod of thanks for the drink, mixing in the stuff before finally taking a big gulp of it. The moment she swallowed that big swig, she let out a shuddering, pleasured sigh, closing her eyes at the feeling. Oh yeah, that was the good stuff. She was completely oblivious to the photo situation at the moment.

 

Moo:  While it was intended for Sophia to return to her area behind the counter, she was stopped by the rather pleasantries of these particular guests. She turned with her smile still well plastered over her face. Actually genuine, as she enjoyed contact with other people. In the man’s apparent attempt to look sharp, Sophia couldn’t help but lift her hand over her lips, holding in a small and rather girlish chuckle. It didn’t take much to cause the girl to blush, given her situation. But she would not delve deeper into it than that, as she wasn’t the type to openly flirt, and with strangers nonetheless. “It’s a compliment, really,” she added as the other male teased the first. “But you’re very welcome…all of you.”

Sophia’s gaze wandered around the three, and while she didn’t want to seem the nosy type, she was definitely interested in getting to know Candice’s favorite regulars. “May I ask your names..?” She gave a tilt of her head while she held onto the circular tray, holding it flat against her stomach and pelvis. “I know I recognize you two.” The girl grinned while her finger pointed from Tommy to Elissa. “But you seem new.” Her brows furrowed in the slightest while she looked at the third guest. Something sly could be seen in her expression, as though she should have been concerned he hadn’t been here to taste the coffee sooner. “I’d better start seeing you around more often.” A light chuckle before her eyes wandered down to watch the mute woman pour cinnamon into her drink. By chance, a photo happened to catch her eye, which had been moved well out of the way moments earlier. Blinking, she swore she saw…well, that was just it. She couldn’t tell what she was looking at. But it looked grotesque and reminded her of the mission she’d carried out the night before. Sophia swallowed, managing to avert her eyes quickly and normalize her expression, which hopefully hadn’t completely fallen from her face. Luckily, at this point the woman seemed to be enjoying her drink, so she would give a small laugh…which hopefully didn’t sound as forced as it really was. “I’m glad to see you enjoying the coffee.” Would it be a smooth enough recovery?

 

Razorbackwriter:  Frank couldn’t hide his pleasure at hearing the waitress giggle and try to hide her smile behind her hand. It left him with a crooked smile. He didn’t socialize much these days and it was a refreshing change to get any sort of reaction from a member of the opposite sex. Frank sat a little straighter and gave a small salute to the young girl who had asked for their names. Tommy, who took his cup from Sophia and sat it down, went first.

“Name’s Tommy. Tommy Xo. I work up at the road at the New York Times. And this lovely lady beside me is Elissa.” He didn’t know her last name, but knew it would be polite to say her name verbally, since Elissa would either sign or write it. “And that guy there…” He pointed to Frank, with a smirk. “Is…Detective Frank Malone.” At this, Frank extended his hand towards Sophia, to be a touch more formal. “You can just call me Frank.” The detective offered, hoping she might shake his hand in reply. “Tommy here loves to do the talking. Comes from being on the job 24/7.”What Frank meant by this was that Tommy was always working a case or investigation trying to make the front page, if he could get past his editor. Frank took a sip of his coffee and made a satisfied smile, before answering Sophia. “If the service is always this good, I’ll be around a heck of a lot more.” This had Tommy laugh. “Woah, trading coffee for beer? Amazing what change can be brought about by a beautiful girl, Frank.” Again Frank blushed, and shook his head, embarrassed that Tommy spoke so broadly.

Tommy was quick to notice Sophia blink, then he glanced down at the table and noticed one of the pictures was out of the envelope and could be seen. The reporter glanced back up at Sophia, and he did notice that she had shifted her eyes quickly. It was strange how the girl regained her composure so quickly, and then went on to speak to Elissa. Would Elissa pick up on it? Tommy…went for broke.

“So…Sophia. Ever watched the X files?…..Or….seen a ten tonne slug?”

Frank spat his coffee right as Tommy asked this.

 

~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~

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.~

There’s something out there – GS

Scene setting : Detective Frank Malone’s apartment

co-written with VunG.

 

Razrobackwriter:  Curiosity usually served a purpose in Tommy’s line of work, only this time his curious nature would get him the kind of reaction that made his face darken with a red hue to his cheeks. He had not meant to embarrass Elissa at all, he just spoke without thinking first. It was her eyes that said he had overstepped the mark. The hardness of ice, a steely gaze that sent a shiver down his spine as he looked back at her, almost apologetic in his facial expression. Slowly, Elissa lowered the scarf to reveal what could best be described as a horrific scar. Something, had attacked the poor woman in such a way it was a miracle that she survived it. Tommy’s jaw clenched and his eyes narrowed as he peered at the scar. His Adam’s apple running up and down his throat as the sight was such that it could turn a man’s stomach.

“God!…Elissa. I’m…I’m so sorry.” Tommy blurted, his voice a slightly higher pitch than before. His reaction was like a knee jerk, speaking again without thinking. Tommy was usually better than this. He raised his hand up to the side of his right temple and rubbed it gently. Talk about foot in mouth. To add to that, Elissa said simply ~I hate dogs.~ So it was a dog that did this? At least that was the deduction from the size of the wound and Elissa’s statement. Two and two makes four as they say. By the time Frank came back into his study with a tray that held three coffee cups and a small pile of twinkies still in their wrappers, Elissa would have put the scarf back firmly in place. Course, Frank missed the small drama and was completely oblivious to why Tommy and Elissa were looking at each other they way they were. Instead, he deduced it was from the apartment’s smell.

“I was going to get Rosetta to come in and clean for me once a week……but you know how finances are…and maintenance payments.” Frank was still obligated to pay for his son, and this took a big chunk of his pay. Sad to say though he didn’t have access to his only child. His ex wife made sure of that. Setting down the tray on the only clear space on his desk, he reached for a cup himself and urged the others to do the same.

“Really am grateful to you both. Kinda been a while since I had company.” This was the truth. Many of his friends lived and worked in the city, well the ones that hadn’t distanced themselves from him after the death of Rory. A slight sigh and he took a sip of the coffee and tried not to make a face. Frank made a shit cup of coffee. It was little wonder that he bought coffee on the way to work each day. Looking up at the wall one more time, the Detective’s lips thinned as his eyes scanned over the many pictures.

“In all my years, never seen shit like I did that night. There’s something out there.” He almost whispered this last part. On one of the tables was a pile of letters, bills and a large yellow envelope. The envelope was addressed to Frank as a Detective. He had just been too lazy to go through them. Not really thinking, he pushed back the pile of bills and brought out the yellow envelope. Frank tore off the seal, and inside there was some photographs. As he pulled them out, the man let out a scream as the images slipped from his hand and scattered like debris on the floor.

What was on the photographs? A large beast that resembled a snake but had a mouth like….a monstrous insect. Pincers and a golden mouth. Four sets of eyes….and green slimy skin. It was taken in the alley….the alley where Rory died.

 

~RB~

 

VunG:  Truth be told, Elissa wasn’t angry at Tommy for his curiosity, a touch annoyed certainly but this was something that she had to deal with pretty regularly whenever she suffered a wardrobe malfunction. And they happened a lot, considering she rarely used scarves before this. More than anything she just hated having to deal with this thing, it was embarrassing, frustrating, it reminded her of that horrible time in her life, and in her mind it basically ruined what beauty she had. Still, it was obvious that she might have gone a little too far with her response, and perhaps she should’ve just explained it to poor Tommy, because the poor guy looked like she’d just shown him what it looked like while she was headed to the hospital. Her expression would harden and she’d nod her thanks to his apology, even if she didn’t think the term ‘sorry’ was applicable here. There was a strange phrase that her mother always used: ‘don’t say sorry if you didn’t do anything.’

However, before she could say anything her attention would be drawn by Frank coming in with the coffee, the thought of drinking the stuff already helping wipe away the thoughts of her scar, at least for Elissa. She was a little thrown off by his comment about some woman coming to clean, but when she did realize she had to fight back a smirk at her own stupidity, and she’d find that tempered by a reminder of Frank’s financial situation. Oh if only she could do something to help the poor man. She would go ahead and grab a cup of coffee, though would find herself warned by the hints of a reaction that it wasn’t very good; and indeed it wasn’t, but thankfully she liked her coffee black as Stalin’s heart so it wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been. To his grateful words, she nodded calmly and continued to sip away at the coffee, trying to slowly whittle it down.

However, what she hadn’t been expecting was what came next. She would mostly just look up at the pictures, trying to spot anything she’d missed in either of their investigations… until she heard Frank scream. A bit of coffee launched from her cup in surprise (thankfully just onto the floor, not anything vital), and she’d let out a breathed, “Sht!” made just by mouth movements. Setting the cup down on the platter, she went to pick up the photos, thinking that the man had just burned himself or something and was so drunk that he was getting a delayed reaction. It took her a moment to actually look at one of them, but when she did she frowned and shook her head in confusion, as if to clear her head of some apparition, thinking she was just seeing things. Bringing them into the light, she spread them out of the desk in a line… and immediately found her hands shaking and eyes going wide with horror as she stared uncomprehending at the……. thingon the paper. Very briefly she forgot her vocal chords didn’t work, and tried to say something before leaning over to cough, pain racking her throat. She turned back to look back in that direction, and would promptly begin signing wildly WHILE mouthing the words along, ~WHAT IN THE ACTUAL FUCK IS THAT?! WHERE DID YOU GET THOSE?! MY GOD! I THOUGHT TOMMY WAS JUST CHASING SHADOWS WHEN HE SAID GHOSTS AND DEMONS WERE DOING THIS SHIT! WHAT CIRCLE OF HELL DID THAT THING COME OUT OF?!…~ and would go on ranting like that as she coughed to the side.

 

A friend in need – GS

 

Scene setting – Big Joe’s Pizzeria

co-written with VunG

 

VunG:  Elissa hadn’t been expecting that kind of reaction from Frank, it was heartbreaking to see him in a state that he could be so touched by something as simple (in her mind) as helping someone with their case. It was sad that he had reached that kind of point in his life, but at least it seemed that he had some people to hang onto throughout this madness. Even if he was ashamed to admit it. She cared about him and every honest law enforcer in the city, there were few enough of them around and they needed to stick together. The matter of pay was barely a factor here, and she’d shrug to his comment about that; she received compensation for her injury, it was enough to carry her through hard times, and right now he was having a harder time than she was.

After Frank went off to try and get out whatever emotions he had–or sorry, take a leak–she turned back to Tom and was surprised to see that he could actually do a bit of sign language. His reason made sense, and indeed she had a little bit of trouble understanding him in some minor degrees, but it was more like he was speaking with an accent than a whole new language all together. It was a bit tricky for her to keep up with that and his speed though; it was frustrating when you weren’t perfectly fluent in a language that you needed to function, and she definitely frowned briefly at the thought. However, her thoughts would be totally derailed when Tom began talking about his theory of what had killed Rory, and he would very quickly notice her scoff a little and sip at her beer while shaking her head. Still, she’d let him finish, and would be unsurprised to realize that indeed she recognized Tommy from somewhere, and it was just that he was one of the many reporters that she occasionally spotted in the crowd around this. Still, it was interesting that he was pulling a detective’s weight, and it told her that unlike some reporters who would go to any lengths to get their story, he at the very least had a heart.

Not that it made the supernatural thing any less silly (to her). After taking another sip of her beer, she’d set the half-emptied glass down and sigh, rubbing her neck briefly. ~I’m just a former SWAT sergeant. I’m no grand detective really, it’s just what was left available to me with the skill set I have left,~ she commented, looking perhaps a little sad as she considered the job she’d left before shaking it off with remarkable efficiency, ~I’m hesitant to jump to the supernatural. I’ve been with this from early on too, and I agree that there’s something seriously screwy happening, the one coming to mind being a solid steel statue getting launched fifty feet, but I don’t know about it being invisible people or ghosts. I’m not saying I don’t believe in them, but when you see bank robbers drop a fifteen foot tall ceramic pig onto a bank just to get into the vault one you know that there are some disturbingly creative people out there.~ And she actually didn’t believe in ghosts, at least not in the manner involved in what he was talking about. She was open to being religious, and she believed there were spirits of some sort out there, but this was definitely not the sort of thing she thought about in such regards.

Eventually Frank would come back and Tom would offer to give them both a ride, and initially she was going to decline and just walk home; it was something that she did on a regular basis and it wasn’t like she was unarmed. But then she considered the thought that perhaps they should look into sharing what they’d found on poor Frankie’s case, and she had to admit that it would be nice to finally have someone to split information on this. Downing what was left of her beer in one extended chug, she set it down and paid Big Joe with cash before nodding and signing back, ~If you’re willing. I’d hate to intrude on your guys’ romance,~ punctuating it with another thin smirk.

 

 

Razorbackwriter:  Regardless of how Elissa’s body language was as she explained in sign that she was just a former SWAT sergeant, Tommy knew in his heart that the woman must have loved her job. To say she was no grand detective or a mover and shaker as far as investigations go was more a sign of her insecurity if anything. Tommy was engrossed with her words, and could understand her reluctance to jump feet first into an investigation about supernatural. Perhaps in her eyes everything had a logical explanation but she admitted to the reporter that SOMETHING screwy was happening about town. Take the solid steel statue being launched about fifty feet in the air. There was never ever any recordings of supernatural beings having the ability to move objects of that magnitude. As Tommy eased back in his seat listening, he was going over in his own mind the events that had occurred in the last six months alone. He had even considered that perhaps this was all a government cover up operation for some new fandangled technology. Urban warfare but done with invisible suits. It was all a bit science fiction, but with the amount of secrecy surrounding the government of the day, anything was possible. Tommy agreed with Elissa that there were some very creative folk out there in New York city, that was for certain. But the truth of the matter was, it was the ordinary people, people like Rory….and Frank that had been affected by whatever it was that had taken hold of the city’s imagination.

With Frank having returned from the men’s room and the trio getting ready to leave as Big Joe closed up, Tommy had to laugh at what Elissa signed as they donned their coats.

~Intrude on a bromance? Is that what you think this is?”~ Tommy signed, with something of a laugh. Frank, watched Tommy’s hands moving in sign and then glanced between the pair. “What’s so funny?” He said naturally wondering if they were making fun of his state of being. Tommy was quick to alay his fears. “No…she just didn’t want to be a third wheel on the way home.” Frank spluttered, not sure about how to react to that. Sure, he liked Tommy as a friend, nothing more. Tommy, could see Frank was getting his grouchy persona back and was in a way relieved since this was the old Frank he knew and loved.

“She’s accepted a ride. Come on, my car is parked just down the block.”

Holding the door open for Frank and Elissa, Tommy waved at Big Joe, as the lights were being turned out in the Pizzeria. Stuffing his hands into his pockets, Tommy walked alongside Frank and Elissa as they set off for his car, which was a Silver BMW coupe. Tommy had a love for European sports cars, and this one he had picked up at a police yard auction. Apparently it was owned by some mob boss who went down after a major city drug bust. Reaching the car, he clicked the alarm button, and it flashed its headlights as the doors unlocked. He opened a door for Elissa first, then Frank so they could get in easily. Tommy was a gentleman if anything. Once all were in, he shut the doors and jogged around to the driver’s side, hopping in behind the wheel. Reaching over the front seating, he asked of Elissa. ~Is it okay if we drop Frank off first? I’m kinda worried about the interior of my car.~ He meant this, since he kept his car in pristine condition, and hated the thought of it smelling like a back alley dumpster, if Frank threw up. Frank kept quiet, since he really wasn’t feeling all that crash hot, and it showed. His head lolling about like a rag doll.

If Elissa agreed, they would head to Frank’s apartment building. It was one of those run down places for single men….or fathers without families. Frank used to live out in Queens, but all that changed. The car would pull out from the curb, and tear off down the street as cabs and other vehicles whizzed past them.

 

~RB~

 

VunG:  Of course Elissa didn’t think that these two guys were sleeping together, that would be a silly assumption at this point. More than anything she was just trying to lighten the mood, considering just how somber the situation was that they had found themselves in. Still, she didn’t want to get Frank thinking that that was her real thoughts, and she made a sort of ‘settle down’ gesture trying to get across the point that she was just teasing, smiling lightly all the while. She would go ahead and join the group as they filed out of the pizzeria, nodding her thanks to Tommy as he opened the door; she wasn’t all that big on being treated like a lady, but she appreciated the gesture it was meant in. She would adjust her scarf as they walked, trying to make sure her scar was properly hidden as they went, more than anything just her being self-conscious about it; not that she expected them to judge her based on it.

The car was actually rather impressive looking; Elissa was much more about the older European and Japanese sports cars like her Triumph GT6, but she knew when something had a bit of money on it. Though, part of her wondered how much these newer BMW’s cost, that thing couldn’t have been cheap. Again, as she found her door held open, she’d roll her eyes and smile her thanks as she got in, knowing full well that he was just being polite. Sighing softly to herself, she’d settle into the fine seats and lean her head back as they got going. Of course, as the question of first-destination came up, she let out a strange coughing sound into her hand, the closest thing she came nowadays to a laugh, and nodded, eventually signing once her chuckling had passed, ~I’d be worried for your sanity if you didn’t do that first.~ And with that, they were off to Queens, a long quiet drive which she mostly spent staring off into space unless their driver decided to make conversation with her.

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~