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My name is Hallan Turrek. This is my blog.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Jonathan Dreck and the Case of the Dead Débutant

This is my entry into Silver's First Annual Fiction Contest. Sorry for the length, normally I'd chop it up into more manageable pieces.

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I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I've watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain. Time to die.
Roy Batty - Blade Runner

I'm proud of my office. It's a Noir owned and operated office, but I still call it mine. The floor tiles are this special turquoise color that nobody makes anymore. The door is made of kanta wood and glass. The building is old, the office is old. Not quite as old as my profession, but it's getting there. I'm an Ex-Cop who "freelances" as they call it in the Caldari State Police. Mostly I work for private clients, and sometimes busywork from the corporate guys to keep the doors open. A private detective isn't always that picky about what jobs he does.

I looked up when she said, "Jonathan Dreck?" It was reflex. You hear a voice that soft, that pretty... you look up. She stood in my doorway like an angel that had just avoided drowning. Her brown trench coat stained dark with the rain. Her soaked hair framed her perfect face like a painting.

As she dripped water from her chin onto my turquoise tiles, I answered her, "Yeah, that's me,"

She sighed, as if she was relieved. I watched her take her coat off and hang it on the coat rack. She was wearing a tight red dress under it. I'd just popped a couple of crash to start my day, and her dress was riding higher than I was. When she sat down across from me, I smiled.

Her eyes were the kind of blue that made you think of the ocean, and her lipstick was so red it made you think about your own mortality. This was the kind of woman I had thought they didn't make anymore. If I'd known they did, I probably would've taken better care of myself. Still, I wiped the crumbs from my mouth and pulled out my pen and paper.

"Noir has a reputations for discretion, can I count on you to keep that up?" She said, lazily tracing a line across the desk in front of her.

"Is it raining tomorrow?" I said with a laugh. To an offworlder that phrase may've seemed out of place, but here on New Caldari Prime, the answer to that question was always yes.

"Good," She stopped and looked intently into my eyes, "Because I need you to find out who killed me,"

"Oh, another one of those," This wasn't the first reactivated clone to come into my office trying to find out who got them reactivated. I got at least one a month, and after my first few run-ins with ex-husbands and old friends I learned these weren't cases you took lightly. Or at all if you could avoid it.

She perked up at the comment, "You've got some experience in this then?" She said with that same soft and pretty voice.

"A fair bit, yeah," I said, knowing where this would lead.

"Can you help me then?" She asked, with a note of pleading in her voice.

"I make it a point not to get involved in clone cases, it just gets messy,"

"I can make a deposit of ten thousand isk, if that's enough,"

"Sure," I said picking up my pen, "What's your name?"

"Angela Fields,"

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"You never could turn down a damsel in distress," Finny was laughing as he looked at the picture. Finny was my contact in the department. He'd been my partner before I retired, and he'd managed to move up a few ranks since then. Today I'd met him at a coffee shop across the street from the station, one of the few in this part of town that sold pastries as well as coffee.

"You think you could turn her down?" I asked with a grin, pointing at the picture.

"Not a chance. God was good to this one,"

"Or a surgeon," I shot back.

"You complaining?"

"Nah, but I don't need you to evaluate her assets, I need to get a hold of the report from her death,"

"Yeah, I picked that up," He said, opening the folder in front of him, "It's definitely a homicide. Someone spiked her drink with propacin,"

"That's a quiet way to go," I said, cocking my eyebrow, "But why go to the trouble when she's got clones to fall back on?"

"We're not sure. One thing we do know for sure though is that her husband is having an affair. But he's got an alibi,"

"Where was he?"

"At a Heth rally," He chuckled.

"So he's a fucking patriot. What've you got on the propacin?"

"I sent a couple of guys to the Matar quarter, but no one heard or saw anything,"

"No one out there told the cops what they wanted to know? Shocking,"

"You can laugh all you want, but the Propacin came from the Matari and if we can't get anything out of them, you're at a dead end,"

"Give me a name, and I'll see what I can do,"


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Maver was a relic from an old case of mine. Some Amarr slavers wanted him back, and paid me a pretty good deposit to track him down. He threw up a sob story, but it didn't matter. I wasn't going to send anyone back into slavery. He owed me, and big.

You can imagine my surprise when I rang the doorbell and all I heard was him knocking around inside. I ducked around to the back of the house, and stood near the back door. Sure enough he came splashing down his steps with a bag in tow.

"Hold on there Maver," I said, cocking my pistol.

"Hey Johnny," He said, before turning around.

"That's the second time you ran when you knew it was me,"

"Yeah, 'cause I could get killed for talking to you now,"

"You could get killed for not talking to me," I nodded to the pistol in my hand, "So lets talk about propacin,"

"Fuck off," He started looking agitated and picked up his bag again.

"Fuck off? Really? Look, you got a couple of options here. One: You tell me what I want to know. Two: You don't tell me what I want to know and we get you into jail where you belong. I imagine the State will be happy to expedite your extradition to the Amarr,"

"You wouldn't do that, I know you,"

"They'll pay pretty well for you, so yeah I might," I stopped talking and nodded to the gun, "Just tell me who you sold it too, alright?"

"Some rich woman. Caldari,"

"What'd she look like?"

"Blond, blue eyes... very red lipstick,"

I cocked my head to the side, "Alright uh... get back inside,"

He nodded to me and went back up his steps, wincing as larger water drops fell from the roof onto his head.

This was already getting messy.

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Ruri's Cafe was a favorite haunt of mine. Just a little place in a little corner of a big city. I went there to relax sometimes, and sometimes I went there to work. Today I was working.

I walked through the door and knocked the bell above it. Ruri looked up at me and smiled. I took off my hat and carried it in my left hand. Ruri was that kind of girl you always imagined you'd marry, but I never got around to talking about it. Her and I had a history, like almost every other woman in my life these days. Of course I was here to meet a girl I had no history with.

She had picked out a corner booth next to the window, and I walked towards it and sat down across from her. She was already eating a sandwich with a glass of water.

"I talked to your husband," I said quietly.

"Did he tell you?" She asked, her face pained with more emotion than I could muster in a year.

"He didn't have too," I said with a wave of my hand, "The police report said he was having an affair, but he has an alibi,"

"He wouldn't tell me who,"

"I can find out for a bit extra," I laughed at the end of the sentence, even I knew that was a long shot.

"No, I don't think that's necessary," She said with far off look in her eyes.

"I think you killed yourself," I blurted out just before the waitress came to our table. Angela's eyes went wide for a moment.

"John, what're you going to have today,"

"The usual Karen," I said with grin. She walked away with a smile of her own, and I turned my attention back to Angela as she started to speak.

"Actually that's not too hard to believe," She raised her eyebrow as she said it.

"Why not just leave him?"

"I love him,"

"There's gotta be something else you can do,"

"Coping has never been one of my strengths," She said, looking through the window as water streamed down on the other side.

"I'm sorry," I said softly.

"I know," She whispered back. She stood up and walked to the register, paid for her food and stopped by the door, "Thanks for helping me out Johnny,"

"No problem babe,"

She blushed for a moment and walked outside.

She made it two blocks before she died. There was something in her water.

It always gets messy.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Hallan. That was a great read. I love your style.

    ReplyDelete