The Bleak Streets of Twokinds: A Twokinds Forum Noir Story

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Re: The Bleak Streets of Twokinds: A Twokinds Forum Noir Story

#616 Post by Bellhead » Thu Jul 14, 2016 9:31 pm

We, the fans, with humble hearts, do summon; in mirrored form, appear, a gateway to the world of Bleak Streets!

Points if you get the ref.

Activity with no update gets frustrating... How long has it been since the last one?
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Re: The Bleak Streets of Twokinds: A Twokinds Forum Noir Story

#617 Post by Schrodinger » Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:03 pm

Bellhead wrote:We, the fans, with humble hearts, do summon; in mirrored form, appear, a gateway to the world of Bleak Streets!

Points if you get the ref.

Activity with no update gets frustrating... How long has it been since the last one?
One year, five months, and two days.
What was it the spider said to the fly...

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Re: The Bleak Streets of Twokinds: A Twokinds Forum Noir Story

#618 Post by MUDPUNISHER » Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:16 pm

Schrodinger wrote:
Bellhead wrote:We, the fans, with humble hearts, do summon; in mirrored form, appear, a gateway to the world of Bleak Streets!

Points if you get the ref.

Activity with no update gets frustrating... How long has it been since the last one?
One year, five months, and two days.
Aavwolf writes at the pace of George RR Martin, but he writes just as well.
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Re: The Bleak Streets of Twokinds: A Twokinds Forum Noir Story

#619 Post by JediGuy » Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:33 pm

MUDPUNISHER wrote: Aavwolf writes at the pace of George RR Martin, but he writes just as well.
Well said. He should make that his new signature, heh.
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Re: The Bleak Streets of Twokinds: A Twokinds Forum Noir Story

#620 Post by FrogSteaks » Fri Jul 15, 2016 1:13 am

people wrote:totally not an update.

...again :roll:
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Re: The Bleak Streets of Twokinds: A Twokinds Forum Noir Story

#621 Post by TinyVoices » Fri Jul 15, 2016 1:20 am

Schrodinger wrote:
Bellhead wrote:How long has it been since the last one?
One year, five months, and two days.
Think of it this way: maybe if he takes another 6 months, it'll be two U.S. presidents, and back when Great Britain was a part of the European Union, since the last chapter. :P

Certainly makes it sound longer of a time, eh?

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Re: The Bleak Streets of Twokinds: A Twokinds Forum Noir Story

#622 Post by Schrodinger » Fri Jul 15, 2016 4:05 am

TinyVoices wrote:
Schrodinger wrote:
Bellhead wrote:How long has it been since the last one?
One year, five months, and two days.
Think of it this way: maybe if he takes another 6 months, it'll be two U.S. presidents, and back when Great Britain was a part of the European Union, since the last chapter. :P

Certainly makes it sound longer of a time, eh?
The UK still has the chance to stall the Brexit.
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Re: The Bleak Streets of Twokinds: A Twokinds Forum Noir Story

#623 Post by Warrl » Sat Jul 16, 2016 3:28 am

MUDPUNISHER wrote:Aavwolf writes at the pace of George RR Martin, but he writes just as well.
I disagree. Aavwolf's stuff is readable.

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Re: The Bleak Streets of Twokinds: A Twokinds Forum Noir Story

#624 Post by foxlord » Fri Sep 16, 2016 6:28 am

Schrodinger wrote:
TinyVoices wrote:
Schrodinger wrote:
Bellhead wrote:How long has it been since the last one?
One year, five months, and two days.
Think of it this way: maybe if he takes another 6 months, it'll be two U.S. presidents, and back when Great Britain was a part of the European Union, since the last chapter. :P

Certainly makes it sound longer of a time, eh?
The UK still has the chance to stall the Brexit.
It does, but I still like the quote all the same.

In other news, shaddup you damned kits, let the old wolf post when he's ready!

Damn kits, so impatient... back in my day we waited for a good tale to finish with patience, because it was worth it!
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Re: The Bleak Streets of Twokinds: A Twokinds Forum Noir Story

#625 Post by avwolf » Thu Sep 22, 2016 10:39 pm

Long time in coming, but here it is at last.

===============================

The hack drops me off at the entrance of Role Park. For as much as he charges me for the fare, he ought to have driven me straight up to whatever crime scene Y7h65 had called me from. I step through the park gates and spend a moment just taking it in. I can never just walk into the park; I always end up marveling for a beat. It's hard to describe the place; Role Park is one of those things you have to experience, and I'll be the first to admit that I haven't really experienced it. From the outside, it's a confusing warren of industrial buildings, skyscrapers, and rolling greenspace all thrown together in a haphazard fashion. Inside it's much worse. Every building, copse of trees, and parking lot seems to behave according to its own rules. I've been told a lot of conflicting explanations for how it all works, from consensual group hallucinations to bubble demesnes of pure imagination. Frankly, I've given up trying to understand it. Y7h65 had texted me an address while I was on my way over, which is fortunate because otherwise I think Flora'd have had her baby before I found the place.

The crime scene turns out to be a dilapidated warehouse. It's clear that there hasn't been legitimate activity around here in months. A couple of furless are standing on the corner outside the warehouse, involved in a fairly spirited conversation. From the way they look toward the building, it's a good bet that the crumbling edifice is the topic of their debate. It doesn't take me long to recognize Y7h65's battered brown fedora, and Alex3192's powered exoskeleton outfit. Once they catch sight of me, the conversation goes up in volume.

"Aw, hell, Numbers. The Mods? You called the Mods in on this? We could have handled it."

"Alex, this ain't performance art or a godmoding rube. We've got a dead man here," Y7h65 is quiet and calm. His soft, androgynous voice is resolute. "I've helped the mods with enough homicides to know the difference between Role Park business and something that needs a more official touch. So unless you're hiding a badge in that armor, calling Av was our best bet."

Alex frowns and grumbles to himself, but doesn't make any more of a scene. Hard to say if that's because he's reluctantly admitting that Y7h65 is right, or just because I'm here already so his objections don't matter.

I make my way over to the pair. "So what's the rumble?" I ask. I'm mostly addressing Y7h65, who, much as he said, has helped investigate a few homicides in his time and knows what to look for, but anything Alex3192 knows would also be welcome. As it turns out, Alex speaks first.

"I was checking some of my stashes -- you know, you can never be too prepared when it comes to having your tools at hand. I know some people frown on hiding weapons and equipment around, but I've found that..." I raise my eyebrow and he trails off, realizing he was wandering onto a tangent. "Erm, anyway, I was checking some of my stashes when I saw that the door to the thread had been forced open. We don't appreciate crowbar work around here, but I figured it'd be some kid who didn't know any better. Numbers is part of the welcoming crew, of course, so I asked him to come over; he's good with words and could back me up when I set the kid straight. But we opened the door and...Well, it wasn't a lost kid. Or it was, but he was really lost. I mean gone sort of lost." Alex runs his hands through his deep ruby hair, like what he'd seen is only now really sinking in for him.

"That's when we called you," Y7h65 finishes. "The guy inside was lynched, but really nasty, like they'd slit his throat or opened his veins too. Plenty of blood. I ain't seen somebody croaked that hard in a lotta years. He looks familiar, but I can't place him; he ain't a regular here. The door looks like it was unlocked with a steel-toed skeleton key, but it can't have been forced open very long ago or somebody would have noticed earlier. We did have a report of Newbs or strangers around this area, but frankly, the whole place has had a lot of Newbs coming in lately. The fresh blood is welcome but it keeps us busy, and we can't check on every old thread."

I nod and seriously consider lighting up one of the cigarettes from my dwindling deck, but if I'm about to go into a crime scene, I should leave my sense of smell as unhindered as possible. And I don't want to drop ashes somewhere and contaminate the scene either. I turn my sigh into just an exhalation, so Wise and Alex don't take it the wrong way. "Thanks for the call. It was the right decision, anybody who's been bumped off for real ought to have a mod poke the corpse for details." I look toward the warehouse and study it for a moment. "Well, Wise, up to help with another investigation?" I flick my eyes over toward Alex3192, "You too, Alex; you're deputized for this up-and-down." I don't really bother to wait for them to answer before striding toward the warehouse.

The stench of blood and death hits me like a speeding truck well before I reach the door, and I have to pause for a moment to keep myself from retching. The door is roughly splintered around the latch. Alex wasn't kidding when he called it "crowbar work," I've seen doors be kicked in more cleanly than this. I almost lose it again as soon as I open the door. I've seen a lot of terrible things in my tenure here. I used to know a guy who drowned folks in boiling soup, often for little more than annoying him on a bad day. This [censored] made that look downright civilized. Lupe'd been made to do the dance all right, but the killers hadn't used a rope. They'd tied a noose out of concertina wire. I can't figure out if God or the Devil was responsible for the fact his head had only sawed most of the way off. At least his face wasn't too badly mangled; the right mortician and he might even get an open casket funeral. I spit some of the sour taste out of my mouth into the corner of the door frame. I pick my way carefully into the room to get closer to the body. My boots cling to the blood on the floor. Lupe's been dead for a bit, but it can't have been too long, or the blood wouldn't be this sticky. I'll know for sure after the coroner takes a look at the body. My boot prints are the only ones marring the pools on the floor. The killers must have skedaddled as soon as they hauled Lupe up on the wire to avoid getting their feet dirty. Either that, or it's more work by the invisible man I've been chasing around town. Odds probably favor a little of both. Y7h65 and Alex3192 follow me into the warehouse, but stay out of the way; skirting around the murder site itself to keep it clean. Smart. I can barely hear Alex make a disgusted noise and Wise exhale a little more loudly than normal; they might be expressing prudence in more than a few ways by not getting close.

I take my hat in hand and spare a moment for silence. It's not just that I'm a religious man, it's also that I failed Lupe. I told him I'd watch out for him. Sure, he took off on his own, even left me what I guess is now something of a suicide note, but that doesn't change the fact that I didn't stop this from happening. Goddamn, I hate failing. I hate it when the people I'm watching out for get hurt. There's a part deep inside a wolf that can't stand that, that holds you to the fire when it happens. And that part of me is stoking up quite a blaze. It might be too late for the Luigiian, but maybe I can still find some justice, if not for him, then for the living folks I'm still responsible for. Sable's still in intensive care, after all. I'm not exactly batting a thousand for keeping my people safe lately. I push my hat back on my head a little more firmly than is necessary. I'd better be careful, the hat's probably the only part of me that's reasonably presentable. I let my frustrations out as something between a sigh and a curse. Lupe keeps dangling. I hope he's found some peace, and maybe he'll forgive me for figuratively screwing the pooch on this one.

Something about the tableau strikes me as queer, though. I'm almost used to the smell before I realize what's missing: arterial spray. Saw a gee's head off and you won't get a firehose of the red stuff covering the ceilings, but you'll still get some spurts around the floor and the walls. There's nothing like that. All the blood is pooled nicely around Lupe's feet and gently oozed into rivulets on the surrounding floor. No splashes or squirts...Like his heart had barely been beating when the Laughing Cat tore his head off. Lupe's hands are tied in front of his body and after a bit of feeling through the fur on his wrists, I find what I'm looking for. A needlemark. I probably wouldn't have spotted it if I hadn't been searching for it. "Have them run me a tox panel when they get him on the slab," I shout back at Y7h65. I'll bet it was a hell of a poison to have stopped his heart that fast. Though as interesting as it'll be to learn the identity of the poison or drug that killed Lupe, the better question is: "why poison somebody you're trying to hang?"

"Hey, Av," Y7h65's quiet voice breaks my reverie. "Seems they left you a mash note." Y7h65 is holding an envelope -- carefully, in case there are fingerprints to be recovered -- with my name scrawled on it. Trying to be as careful as he is, I peel it open and examine the note inside. It's printed on that same, rough, near-untraceable paper as everything else that I've been picking up lately. The ink is crisp enough; it must not have been written in a hurry. And it was definitely meant for me. I can't resist reading it to the right rhythm. "We know who it is we want. We have a collective mind. We don't miss a single step, we're always right behind." I knew the song. My stomach did that thing where it tries to clench into a fist. The song's a duet, the stalkers and the stalkee, and one of the last lines is "I will be one of them." Not the kind of ending to this story that I was planning on.

The room brightens up like somebody cracked a half dozen magnesium flares behind me. It could be the proper crime scene team, but they don't run lights that would compare this favorably to the sun. I turn, and Chief Yash dims himself appropriately, so I can at least look in his direction, if not directly at him. Yash is a being of pure light, with a badge that he wears proudly and polishes until it shines as bright as the rest of him. He carries a ballpeen hammer the way most cops would carry a baton, and a magnum revolver in the holster next to it. Yash is the law. And I mean that like Judge Dredd is the law. Nothing beyond enforcing the law and the policies of the city ever crosses his mind. That said, he's got his own sense of humor: his favorite game is to make it look like some arbitrary citizen has suddenly been bestowed with a badge and is enforcing the law in a situation, even though it's the Chief working everything in the background. We've got an understanding -- Yash is happy to get his hands dirty and enforce the letter of the law, while I work as an advocate of the citizens and balance their freedom against the spirit of the law. Normally, that difference in opinion on enforcement would cause conflict, but we both know each other's place in the balance of things, which tends to keep us out of each other's hair.

"Hey, Yash," I say, greeting the Chief with the closest thing I can manage to a smile. Maybe I can talk him into taking over this investigation and getting blood all over his boots. "Did you catch the call?"

"Hello, Avwolf. Yes, I heard it come over the radio, and I knew it sounded like something that I should take a personal look at. Homicide is a serious crime." I grin wryly at his dry joke, and gesture toward the stiff.

"Seems like somebody decided they weren't fond of Lupe the Luigiian having a head on his shoulders. Funny thing, though, I don't think his dance was very impressive. I'm pretty sure he was dead before they hauled him up on the wire," I summarize. "Investigation's just starting, though, I haven't been here long." Yash makes a thoughtful noise as he studies the scene. If I didn't know better, I'd think he was giving me a bit of side-eye though. Yash steps up next to me and leans down to my ear.

"Tell you what, Av. Why don't you let me handle this? I know you're not a huge fan of the messy side of the beat, and besides, I need somebody investigating Sable's shooting. We both know that people are more likely to talk to you than me. Hell, half of 'em probably think I took the pop at Sable."

I crack a more honest grin. "With all respect, Chief, that's obviously bunk. Couldn't be you: Sable's still breathing, after all." Yash forces a laugh. "All right, Yash," I say, nodding to him, "If you're sure you've got this, I'll leave it to you."

"Yeah, I'll take care of it. Thanks, Avwolf. And good luck with your investigation."

"Thanks, Chief. Good luck with yours." I tip my hat to Yash and start to make my way back out of the warehouse-come-slaughterhouse. "Wise, Alex, the Chief's going to take over on this one, so I'll leave you two to work with him. Thanks again for the report." Y7h65 and Alex3192 exchange a quiet look before returning to searching the scene. Yash makes a lot of people nervous. I guess that's the price of carrying the ban hammer. But having Yash take over the homicide here is the right decision. He's better at this than I am, and he'll come down on the hatchetmen like a brick shithouse shot from a cannon. He'll get it done, and done right. At least this is one thing I don't have to personally worry about.

My pace quickens as I head for the gate out of Role Park. Time to put this failure behind me while I've still got living folks to protect. Time to figure out the Laughing Cat's conflict with Sable, and how I stop them before they put hir in the dirt. Time to make an appearance at Club Fur. Time to break the third rule of the shadows and make a deal with a dragon.
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Re: The Bleak Streets of Twokinds: A Twokinds Forum Noir Story

#626 Post by JediGuy » Fri Sep 23, 2016 12:15 am

avwolf wrote:Long time in coming, but here it is at last.

*snip*

Oh, you [censored]. -That's- why you were getting on my case about writing more :P
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Re: The Bleak Streets of Twokinds: A Twokinds Forum Noir Story

#627 Post by Hayate » Fri Sep 23, 2016 1:28 am

Wows, finally an update on this legendary thread xD. I've read the first few posts, guess I'll have to get caught up now.
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Re: The Bleak Streets of Twokinds: A Twokinds Forum Noir Story

#628 Post by MUDPUNISHER » Fri Sep 23, 2016 1:32 am

Oh lookie here, literary entertainment! Astounding as always Av, astounding as always.
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Re: The Bleak Streets of Twokinds: A Twokinds Forum Noir Story

#629 Post by avwolf » Fri Sep 23, 2016 1:41 am

JediGuy wrote:Oh, you [censored]. -That's- why you were getting on my case about writing more :P
Hee hee hee

After everyone worked themselves up this last time, I could hardly leave them dangling. I was able to get through my funk and return to the work (originally MrFlyingAmoeba was to be in this scene, but he sadly passed on before I got it finished and I didn't know what to do (;_;) ). When I teased you about people bringing up how you should return to your old stories, I wasn't actually thinking of this story of mine, though, truth be told. :P This one I still count as "active." (Even though, as Schrodinger pointed out, my updates sometimes have years between them.)
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Re: The Bleak Streets of Twokinds: A Twokinds Forum Noir Story

#630 Post by JediGuy » Fri Sep 23, 2016 4:40 am

S:P
avwolf wrote: This one I still count as "active." (Even though, as Schrodinger pointed out, my updates sometimes have years between them.)
Ahh, fair enough. Finally got around to reading it; a lot of fun, even if torturously short. And yes, you -do- tend to delay your posts. Hell, last you saw me, I was 2 girlfriends back and still thought of myself in sloppy college kid terms ;)
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