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Treehaus Noire

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1 Treehaus Noire on Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:09 pm

Alright so this is the thread where the new roleplay will begin eventually. Here's the outline that was posted in the RP discussion thread.

Outline:
So you got your classic city straight out of a noir film. Big, bleak, filled with crime. The people live lives filled with hollow and meaningless pleasures at the best of times, and trudge along through sullen misery filled existences at the worst of times.

Corruption is rampant at all levels of the system of course, from cops on the beat to the highest echelons of power. Those with the power to make a significant change refuse to do so because the status quo works out fine for them.

A select number of these authorities, mostly figures involved in criminal justice, meet up one night to discuss pressing matters, mostly concerning how said matters pertain to them. They pick a swanky penthouse suite to be their meeting grounds, which is quite fitting considering how beneath them they consider the rest of the city to be.

However, it makes it all the more shocking when that penthouse suite goes up in flames.

By the time the smoke clears and the police arrive, the bodies range in states from "hardly charred" to "hamburger meat." It's horrific, especially once it becomes clear that this was no accident. Clear signs of tampering are found, but the most certain evidence of a culprit behind all of this comes from a message left under the corpse of the district attorney.

This is only the beginning

As the city reels from this, more bodies turn up as time goes by, and it becomes obvious that whoever committed the massacre is targeting the powers that be, and this is causing shockwaves throughout the whole city, particularly when even well guarded members of the criminal underworld start turning up dead too. Soon no figure with any worthwhile amount of power feels safe, and they all begin to take measures to protect themselves and find the person, or people, who want them dead.

At the same time, there are individuals who begin to conduct their own investigations on these matters, each with their own backgrounds and motives for doing so. As the city is filled with more and more corpses and paranoia heightens, more questions are raised, shocking answers are found, revelations are made, and, most pressingly, permanent changes occur that lead the city on a new path, for better or for worse.

So far we have four definite people involved. Sasha, Holly, Ziggy, and yours truly.

This is going to be much more serious than any and all previous roleplays. Any humor is likely going to be dry and cynical, and there really won't be any room for any wacky and crazy characters.

Still plenty of time to sign up, but don't delay because I might be lying about the plenty of time part.

more will be added when I'm not distracted by tinychat and it's not nighttime.

I AM STILL DISTRACTED AND IT IS STILL NIGHTTIME BUT HERE'S WHAT I HAVE SO FAR OF THE PROLOGUE

I FEEL LIKE INDIVIDUAL INTRODUCTIONS OF CHARACTERS WOULD BE BEST DONE BY THE ROLEPLAYERS.
_____

"The Driscoll Building's new penthouse is getting quite the grand opening tomorrow night, with numerous public officials set to attend."

The news anchor prattled on, her voice sounding slightly fuzzy due to the sub-par reception the bar TV got. Most of the patrons of T.C.'s bar either weren't paying attention to it or heard it but dismissed it just as quickly. To them there were more pressing matters to attend to. Those sitting on the stools at the fronthad to slowly nurse their last drinks to prolong their stay at the bar. Others struck up conversations, few holding any significant meaning. Others still just sat silently, waiting for their sapped spirits to spontaneously return to them, as they never did.

It was a safe bet that if a person in the bar was picked at random on that night, or indeed, on any  night, they would likely be in the process of thinking up reasons to stay there and not return to their lives. It wasn't as if they derived significant pleasure from the company, the atmosphere, or what passed for entertainment there. Even the drinks' only redeeming aspect was that they were capable of getting someone drunk. To most of the people who frequented T.C.'s, it was nothing more than a welcome distraction from their lives. A couple hours spent there were a couple hours not spent working unfulfilling jobs, interacting with unhappy families, and living unsatisfying lives.

Of course, there were those who lived marginally more upbeat lives who still could be found at T.C.'s on most nights. These were usually people with power, or at least delusions of power, who weren't completely drained by stress, but instead spurred on by it, believing that the effort they put in would get them something in return. These select few who took note of the news presented on the small screen.

"The District Attorney is confirmed to attend, as well as many others who are integral parts of the city's criminal justice system. If all goes as planned, this gathering will be the start of a wave of reforms that will improve the system long thought broken by many citizens."

To each of the individuals who gave their attention to the television, the upcoming event meant something a little different, though it would be safe to say that none of them took it at face value. They were smart enough to realize that the aspirations of those scheduled to attend the soiree were different from the aspirations of the common man, but even so, they knew that this was a turning point of some sort. It was an open secret that factions of questionable legality held close ties with certain figures who were supposed to take a stand against them, and reforms would mean shifts in power throughout the whole city. People would have to adjust. Things would change.

But and still, no one in that bar, even the few who cared enough to give a thought or two about their futures and the future of the city, felt that this would mean anything in the long term. By the end of next year, they figured, people will have gotten used to whatever was done differently. Supposed reforms had happened before, and the city maintained its level of squalor and misery. To T.C.'s, the system wasn't changing, just shedding an old skin, as it had done plenty of times before.

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2 Re: Treehaus Noire on Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:59 pm

I waved for the barkeep's attention and let him know that I needed another drink by downing what remained of the scotch in my glass. As he attended to me, I glanced back over to the television set on the corner of the counter. I had to admit, the event at the Driscoll Building had me curious, even though I knew it was beyond mere mortals such as myself. A lot of movers and shakers all in one place discussing how to stamp out crime didn't exactly mean much for me, but it would flood the airwaves and the papers for a while, so I might as well get filled in on facts now. I was particularly surprised to learn that the police commissioner was slated to attend. I always thought he was never a player, just one of the bigger pieces on the board.

I had no cases to work on, or indeed, any reason to show up at the station in the morning, which is why I wasn't at home, but rather at the bar working on my fifth drink. I always made sure to keep my drinking separated from my work, but then again, I also made sure not to use the piece I was issued irresponsibly. Self-restraint wasn't exactly a difficult task, so I didn't exactly pat myself on the back over it. Then again, maybe I could have, considering the amount of guys on the force, or hell, amount of people in our fair city who worked primarily for booze money with everything else coming second. The only vice that constantly plagued my wallet was tobacco, and even then, it was a cheaper habit, and, from what I've heard, easier to break. Not that I was deluding myself with promises of quitting tomorrow, but you never know.

The people around me seemed to be hardly as contemplative as I was, but it was hard to tell. The funny thing about T.C.'s is that nobody there knew anything about anybody else there. People chatted, sure, but never about anything that you'd remember later that night when you were on your way home. For the most part, we all just kept to our own business, which in my case, meant trying to figure out what I was gonna do for the weekend. As much as I hated my job sometimes, I hated sitting at home all day not knowing what to do with myself even more. The detectives I knew well enough to call acquaintances were not very sociable people, and neither was I. It didn't help that after years of late hours, cancelled meet-ups, and cut short phone calls, I had drifted away from all my non cop friends. The most non-work related conversation I had each day that wasn't directed towards myself was usually "excuse me" as I pushed my way through a crowd.

The department tried setting me up with a partner a few times, but those usually ended after a month or two with me being labelled as an "introvert," "basket case," or, as some of the guys muttered behind my back, "quiet little bastard." Not that I bore any ill will towards my fellow law enforcers. They never gave me any actual grief, and I always pulled my weight, all while going days without saying more than two sentences. The way I saw it, nobody was losing, and the department must have seen it the same way too. They gave me my shield after 4 years on the beat and as far as I can tell I've never made them regret that decision.

But yeah, there I was, thinking about what I could do to keep myself occupied for the next two days. I knew there were plenty of places to go for a good time, I'd certainly busted down all their doors enough times, but I was concerned that someone there would remember me and want compensation for the damages I and my coworkers had done to their property. I wasn't to afraid of getting ventilated, most guys knew that plugging a cop was a good way to have your operation and your ass summarily dismantled, but all that meant was that they would have to be more creative in thinking of ways to get rid of me.

Even so, the prospect was still interesting me enough that I was still thinking about it as I left my money on the counter and stepped out of the bar, the cool air taking me a bit by surprise since the past hour and a half or so I had spent in the bar left me accustomed to its warm smoky atmosphere. I checked my watch in the dim light of the flickering sign atop the entrance of the bar to find that it was well past eleven. Even at this hour, the city was still plenty active. As I made my way back home, I observed the people I passed by. I hardly ever got the chance to people watch at this hour, which was a shame, as this was the best opportunity to do so. During the day, the crowds are too big, and you have trouble focusing on anyone in particular. But in the later hours, the streets thinned a bit, and you got a chance to mentally jot down a few more details about all the folks you saw. Most of this town's inhabitants weren't shining beacons of humanity, myself included, but it was still interesting enough to try and gleam what you could from a quick eyeing up of somebody. Made them seem more interesting than they actually were.

Being reminded that every person in this city had their own story was always surreal. The people I walked by may have been coming home from work, going to work, contemplating their own lot in life, just out for walks, counting their blessings, kicking themselves over regrets, wondering whether or not it's worth it to stay alive until tomorrow, thinking about what they'll do for breakfast in the morning, it was hardly ever clear what anybody was thinking, but that never stopped me from trying to figure them all out.

Eventually I got myself to the front door of my apartment complex, and before I entered I took one last look back out at the city. It was almost serene, apart from the smell of exhaust in the air, the disrepair on some of the buildings in this area, and the general feeling that this city was a generally terrible place to live. The little things always sullied the picture.

Opening the door, I stepped into the lobby, which was lit by a single lamp on the counter. There should have been at least a security guard in here, in accordance with the rules of the building. It didn't worry me though. This building was in a better off section of the city. Worst things that happened on a regular basis was that your wallet might go missing, and sometimes the thieves even had the decency to do it discreetly and not with a gun being waved in your face.

Up the stairs I went, and I slid my key into the lock of the door of apartment 314. I kicked off my shoes and removed my jacket before making my way to the bedroom of my three room home. Thankfully what it lacked in size, it sort of made up for in how comfy the bed was, and I let myself fall onto it, deciding to save my apathy-induced stress for the morning. Maybe I wouldn't even have to seek an activity out for the weekend. Maybe one would come to me.



Last edited by D-Munny on Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:39 pm; edited 2 times in total

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3 Re: Treehaus Noire on Thu Jul 04, 2013 12:03 am

SQUIGGLES

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The 7th Wonder of the World
Although a dozen glazed eyes in the smoky joint were fixated on the flashing box on the corner of the counter, one dark pair stared with an intensity like none of the others. Even as he lifted his old-fashioned to his mouth and took a drink, and despite the fine dishes that danced and swam through the smoke, his eyes never left the television. The fumes of countless vices swirled and danced in the air as a hundred pairs of lungs toiled and hummed in the world's most loose bar.

The Driscoll Building was a tall, dark glass building in the east end of the city. The east end was the 'nicest' end. 'Nice' in that there wasn't a chance you'd be bruised or rolled if you'd paid off the right cops. The police commissioner and the D.A. were the two biggest wigs playing tomorrow night at the dark glass Driscoll Building. The tall, dark glass Driscoll building.

The D.A. was an obese slug who never missed an opportunity to fill his pockets. The police commissioner was a tall, violent man with a weakness for women. It was impossible to tell which of the two had put away more innocent men. The meeting was being held to supposedly address the recent wave of crime and the rumoured appearance of another shady faction in the shadiest of cities.

He wore a dark suit with a jacket that pulled tight around his midriff. His short, dark hair was oiled back against his head. Slick silver and loose liquored tongues breathed around his ears with a scent as sweet and promising as their words. Every root and branch of the Treehaus, the hazy city, was corrupt. A diseased rose can be pruned with the utmost care but will always decay and infect everything around it. As the news report finished he topped off his drink and stepped up from the counter, leaving a wad of bills on the bench after catching the tender's eye. He dusted off his jacket and plastered on his face the smile that seemed like it could disarm even the brutal police commissioner himself.

His drink of choice was gin. Always gin.
Gin with a twist of lime.

--

He snaked his way out of the bar and walked down the dimly lit street. His fine shoes clacked and clicked against the cement as he made his way home. They clacked and clicked along with the beat of the city; the myriad songs and machines and hearts almost gave the city a heart and a song of its own. Each individual gear was an equal part of the larger machine. He pondered in the cool air to the beat of the city. All gears need to be oiled and maintained.

He stayed in the penthouse suite of an apartment complex nearby. He opened the door and stepped into the lobby, which was lit by a single lamp on the counter. There should have been at least a security guard in here, in accordance with the rules of the building. It didn't worry him though. This was his territory, even if few knew him.

The large window wall of his suite faced the east end of town; the silhouette of the tall, dark glass Driscoll Building blocking out what few stars were visible, on the horizon, in the hazy glow of the nighttime city. He gazed a while in thought, wondering what the next few days would bring. He put on a record and lay on his bed. The keys of Thelonious Monk whispered from the player. He closed his eyes.

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4 Re: Treehaus Noire on Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:04 pm

She strode slowly down the almost-empty street, the muted clack of her boots on the pavement barely audible over the sounds of the darkening city, of automobiles and vendors and the faint tune from a jazz bar a street over. The yellow light of T.C.'s shone ahead, spilling out onto the road without illuminating it, like a man avoiding someone's eyes.

Entering the bar, she glanced around at the slightly scuffed furnishings and the dusty light fixtures, noting the large compliment of subdued patrons absorbed in their drinks. Despite the fact she had never been there before, she adopted the look of searching for someone she knew, scanning faces and gleaning a brief view of a beefy man with thinning hair at a solitary table in the corner keeping his own company. Dismissing the few eyes that rose to meet hers (doubtless one or two of these were already drunk and looking for a woman's company) she looked at her watch, sighed, and crossed unhurriedly to the bar.

She leaned against the worn wood, not bothering to remove the scarf coiled around her slender neck, and stared cynically at the small television set. She imagined the top floor of that tall, tall building, arrogantly positioned to afford the best view of the city; far removed from the streets it commanded, where the specks of people would seem insignificant and easily dismissed. Imagined the music and the booze and the wealth, all at the whim of powerful men, the debauchery of their daily existence inconcealable even by their well-tailored suits and carefully chosen words. She thought of these men as carved from granite, exteriors polished to an oily shine and carrying enough weight to be nearly impossible to shift from position. The city jumped and flooded around the expensive shoes of these men.

She took a long pull from her drink, and as she did so the large man with the thin hair got up to leave, leaving his empty bourbon glass to pay his tab at the front. She stared at the TV some more as he passed, hearing his slow tread head out the door and- she turned her head, yawned- across the street. After counting to five, she paid for her own drink and slipped off her stool. A man held the door, gave her a brief nod, and she resisted the urge to smooth back her blonde hair, instead returning his gesture without meeting his eyes.

She crossed the street at a brisk walk and inconspicuously ducked into the pooling blackness of an alleyway, slipping into a silent loping run as she pulled a long, thin knife out of her slip. The network of alleyways opened before her; in one of them could be found a heavyset man trying to keep his appointment with someone with an interest in information regarding a freighter with a hold full of stolen goods. The lady, scarf streaming behind her, moved swiftly to intercept this man; regardless to whom the goods had once belonged, the freighter and its cargo were not his to offer.

Of course, neither were they hers, but she had been sent by the rightful(debatable) owner with a counteroffer for this man; it gleamed dully in her loose hand. She ran on towards her rendezvous as, unseen, the sun disappeared behind the horizon, spilling gold over the far-off towers of the east side, among them the Driscoll building standing tall and arrogant. She gave it a fleeting thought as she dodged obstructive refuse, feeling the building's influence throughout the restless city like a heavy rock weighing down a picnic-cloth. It kept everything where it lay, for better or for worse, and guarded the city from the intrusive forces of chaos.

Concluding her business for the evening, she wiped the knife clean of prints. Suddenly, she heard a sound from the dim alley beyond; listening hard, she heard nothing more. She strode towards home, the city all around her. As she did so, the wind picked up.



Last edited by Ziggles on Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:17 pm; edited 1 time in total

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5 Re: Treehaus Noire on Thu Jul 04, 2013 3:50 pm

In the dim lighting of T.C.'s bar, a polish man in his late forties sat in a booth near the wall. His name was Mścisław Dominik Sitko. Most people just called him Dominik, or Dom, well, most people who even bothered to address him. Most people didn't know his name, didn't bother to ask, and would forget it immediately after hearing it.

Dominik was alone. Technically speaking he was actually surrounded by the other working class schmucks he was sharing a booth with, but he was alone. Alone in the world, and alone in his thoughts. The people in his booth mumbled to each other un-enthusiastically. The man speculated that they were probably friends. They all came in together, and silently came and sat in the booth. They didn't even bother to ask Dominik for permission, not that he would refuse of course. He couldn't refuse. He lacked the assertion to do so. Dominik lacked a lot of things.

Dominik wanted to go home now, but he couldn't get out of the booth, due to his being on the wall side of the bench, and caged in by strangers. He probably could have asked them to get up and let him out, but he didn't want to cause them any trouble...

It was close to four hours later when the group finally got up. Dominik waited another five minutes before getting up himself, so as not to be conspicuous. He wasn't sure why he was avoiding being conspicuous, but he was. Dominik left the bar. He headed straight to his apartment in the slums of the city, using back alleys when possible.

His apartment was a wreck. It was cluttered, and it stank of body odor. The building was in pretty bad shape too, he couldn't afford a better one though, not without kicking his habit. And Morphine was a bitch to kick.

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6 Re: Treehaus Noire on Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:49 pm

Hollyღ

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Dove in the Moonlight
(This thread is now stickied)

She had found herself gallivanting about the streets under the influence of what seemed to be some sort of absent-minded lassitude. The young dame had been this way for years now, possessing a nearly romantic savoir-faire as she watched her fleeting life through apathetic sapphire eyes. A slim cocktail dress of light blue was her clothing of choice tonight, matched with small gloves that ran up her arm to her elbows, highlighting her petite but curvy body. Rich bronze hair twisted fashionably into a series of curls around her small ears in an attempt to appear more adult and mature, although her large, curious and hopeful eyes gave away her true nature. She was simple, and happy as a lark with a couple cents.

More than once her time was spent loitering around the many drinkerys that populated the city's underbelly, where under the protective guise of night the company of fine ale and inebriation allowed false sense of satisfaction. And sitting prosaic and undistinguished yet favored by the yins and yangs of the degenerating city, none was so alluring and secretive than TC'S, where the sonata of spirits and solitude offered solstice to the cities worst vices - and it was here where she found herself on this lonely night.

"The District Attorney is confirmed to attend, as well as many others who are integral parts of the city's criminal justice system. If all goes as planned, this gathering will be the start of a wave of reforms that will improve the system long thought broken by many citizens."

The young skirt sipped her cheap vodka, hand placed gently over her bosom as the television reporter droned on the latest events. How wonderful! She had begun to think the city officials were conspiring to destroy the city with their incompetence, but that was clearly not the case. She paused and glanced sidelong into crowd, the orange glow of the poor lighting casting vivid shadows across many tired, disgruntled faces, one in particular who held a steely gaze, his dark brown eyes never wavering. She took one last drag of her alcohol.

The bitter taste offered no comfort to those trapped with helplessness of their situations but it was the only comfort they had - the young lady had finally bid her leave, but several of the patrons were only just starting their long night of liquor induced temporary elation.

-*-

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7 Re: Treehaus Noire on Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:54 pm

The majestic colors of the sunset provided a striking backdrop to the sleepy city if only for an hour or so. As the sky faded in light, so too did the city, until darkened buildings and streets gave it a feeling of tranquility that belied what lay underneath the surface.

One building still shone out like a bright flame in the night though. A good dozen or so of the buildings' 48 floors were completely illuminated, though only the top floor and the ground saw any significant action. Members of the press swarmed the entrance, split down the path that the arriving VIPs strolled down as they entered the building.

The District Attorney, Lionel Horowitz was one of the first to arrive, his wide frame making it slightly difficult for him to exit his Hudson Commodore. He was certain the jolly grin plastered on his face would be on the front page of all the papers. After him came the Commissioner, Maxwell Grayson, who beamed at the crowd with mirth that matched his associate's, and a keen eye might have caught him making eyes at a few fetching ladies in the crowd.

A few local judges arrived later, along with some select journalists who were allowed to sit in on the meeting. Those with a particular mistrust, for the authorities guessed that those reporters weren't picked not so much for their journalistic integrity so much as for the fact that what they planned on writing was malleable with enough money.

The doors were eventually roped off, and the rest of the city could only venture guesses as to what was going on in the penthouse suite. It certainly couldn't be said that every citizen was filled with hope for great change and a revamp of the system that would make the city a place to properly live in, but it was safe to wager that most everybody in the city expected a thing or two to change, for good or for ill.

The event itself felt more like a soiree than a discussion of pressing matters. Liquors and ice swirled and rattled in glasses as people laughed, the atmosphere light and casual. The men sitting in that penthouse weren't cackling with power-hungry glee, but they certainly weren't filled with the joy of putting the needs of the common citizen before the wants of themselves and their colleagues.

"I do think that that rat bastard Pagletti could use a wake up call. The newer bosses always do. They get caught up in the idea that they run the family, and start getting delusional. Think that they run the city, that they have the biggest schlong."

"He'll learn soon enough. Heh, it almost makes me wish he went after a cop. Schmuck would have no idea what hit him after that."

"He won't though. No mob thug has been dumb enough to pull that in months. Cocky as Pagletti is, we'll let him know where his place is soon enough. What about picking our targets? Public's gonna be expecting us to crack down on the big fishes."

"I've already had some people talk to all the major eastside honchos. They gave us names and addresses that'll be alright to hit. Guys with enough infamy to make for good headlines, but not enough power to get out of convictions."

"Yeah, nice work Max, always thinking ahead."

The night went on, and more decisions were made as to what measure could be taken to appease both the public at large and the people who counted. The event could have ended sooner than it did, but the deep freeze was well stocked in drinks, so the moon was high in the sky before the first few men decided to call it a night and stumble to the elevator.

Much to their dismay, it was malfunctioning, forcing them to make their way to the stairs and begin the long descent.

Which is why quite a few of their corpses were found throughout the building, instead of all in one place.

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8 Re: Treehaus Noire on Sun Jul 14, 2013 3:59 am

SQUIGGLES

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The 7th Wonder of the World
Pweeee.

Pweeeeeeee.

The man's grotesque nose whistled and flared. Every throbbing vein and clogged pore seemed fit to explode and ooze pus and gore and drown the little soiled, writhing fellow seated just in front.
"Do ya get me, pal?"

"Y-yes"

Pweeeeeeee.

"Yes-fucking-what, pal?"

"Y-yes, Mister Ellison, s-sir"

'Mister' Ellison was a broad-shouldered man whose bulging, twisted nose reflected his detestable character. Mister Ellison and his entourage of dark-suited musclemen were an import from another, darker place; they were greedy mercenaries that had been acquired for someone's collection of posable, shade action figures at great cost. They prostrated themselves for the highest bidder, whoring out their talents shamelessly and held no remorse for contracts they'd filled.

Mister Ellison was very careful to groom his nails, twice a week he would find time to trim and round them, in fact. Mister Ellison, and his exceptionally meaty fists, threw a haymaker that could down the heavyweight champion and he was very careful not to inadvertently cut open his palms. Jonny Schofield, a lame mule from the south side, had just had the great honour of tasting one of Mister Ellison's renowned knuckle sandwiches and had pissed all over himself, and his grime-infused carpet, as a consequence.

"We've taken all of ya merchandise and left ya with double what ya would've sold it for. Ya get out of this city now, pal, and ya don't talk to anyone or ya'll be fucking talking to me again."

Jonny smuggled some of the more debilitating, expensive drugs into the city but had always remained on the bottom tier. He was a nobody who knew nobody, who bought off nobody, who sold to nobody, but evidently a somebody had decided that there was no room for nobodies. With Jonny gone the south side would now be completely dry, barring whatever exotic bounty it had in reserve.

Mister Ellison, face contorted in disdain at the sodden, snivelling ghoul at his feet, pulled out his tightly-bound leather notebook and marked off "Jonny Schofield", the last name on the bottom of a long, long list deep in the middle of the book. "Get this piss on his way and then give me a ring" he murmured, turning to Mister Pink, his associate, "pick up the new kids on the way, we're not done for today just yet." Ellison turned the page of his precious tome, revealing another long, long list of names printed in expensive ink on expensive paper; it was headed in dainty curls "North Side".

--

The large window wall of his suite faced the east end of town; the impression of the tall, dark glass Driscoll Building obscured in an unnatural inferno, the tempest bringing daylight to the normally hazy glow of the nighttime city. He gazed a while in thought, wondering what the past few days had brought and, again, what the next few days would bring.

He sat in a fat blue suede chair with bright copper studs along the hem of the fabric and he slowly curled a finger around and over the cool buttons; fingers desperate to keep busy, the only crack in the smooth marble his attitude seemed to be wrought from. The fat blue suede chair faced towards the window of his penthouse suite, the rotary phone balanced on a thin wooden table, with a persistent wobble, just next to it. He held the fragile, softly beeping receiver in his right hand while his left explored the texture of the seat. The person on the other end of the line had gone what seemed an age ago.

Everything had followed the plan perfectly, as always; the conflagration boomed from the core of the tall, dark glass Driscoll Building, erupting outwards and upwards, blasting a gaping hole in the roof and shaking the roots of the hazy city. Glass peppered the streets for a hundred blocks- glimmering confetti that ushered out old ideas with a bang.

His phonecall had ended with disruptive information. The preparations for his contingency had fallen through, everything had been riding on his cardinal design. His plans never failed. He would have to call Ellison. Someone would have to be reprimanded.

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9 Re: Treehaus Noire on Wed Jul 17, 2013 7:13 pm

I hear the ringing before I'm aware of my surroundings. It's happened enough times that I don't even have to wait to get my bearings before I roll over and reach for the phone. No sooner have I brought it to my ear when I hear Lieutenant Croyer barking at me. After a couple of years of being woken up periodically at the crack of dawn by him, I was forced to assume that the man never slept due to the bug up his ass keeping him from finding a comfortable position to do so. Normally when he called early in the morning, I only took in whatever details I could clearly comprehend through my grogginess and his bellowing and got filled in at the station later on.
This morning however, he has something to say that bears clarification.

"Elliott, we need you at the Driscoll Buildin'! The place just went up in flames!"

"I'm sorry, what?"

"Goddammit, wake up and listen for Chrissake, I don't have time to keep yappin'! Huge fire at the Driscoll Buildin' last night! Just look out yer window! Get dressed and get down here pronto!"

I'm shocked. Not because of what he told me, but how quickly the conversation ended. Normally Croyer stays on the line long enough for me to sit myself up on the edge of the bed. This really must be important to him. Half an hour later, I'm straightening my tie and adjusting my hat when it occurs to me to actually take a good long look out the window.

In the distance, the monolith that had stood tall and proud at the west end of the city is now burning bright like the torch it was made out to be. The flames are hard to make out from here, looking more like someone had overpaid the electricity bill. Scattered windows glow brightly, and every so often one of those lights starts to fade a bit, as the firefighters do everything they can to quell the inferno. As I disregard what Croyer told me and take a few more moments to stare, I realize how funny it is. I always thought that this city was certainly no gem of a place to live, but it was a nice place to think about, kind of like a war. It's fascinating in a morbid way, and so long as you're not experiencing it firsthand, you can get interested in the details. Now the fire in the Driscoll Building has become a pretty spot-on metaphor for that. Pretty to look at, but not something you want to be in the middle of.

Thinking like a philosopher would best be saved for later though, as for right now, I've got to get down to scene that'll be inevitably be plastered in all the papers. I briefly consider waiting a little while longer, as getting there pronto would likely mean waiting until all of the fires have been confirmed to be extinguished before any investigations.

I end up briskly making my way out of my apartment and down the stairs of the building. Croyer would accuse me of stopping to smell every rose on the way there even if I sprinted all the way to the scene wearing nothing but my shorts right after finishing my chat with him on the phone. I'm not rushing for Croyer though, I'm rushing for Felix. I Hadn't talked to Felix in years. Hell this was the first time I'd even thought about him in the past couple of months or so. Nice guy, I think you'd have liked him.

The sounds of sirens interrupts my reminiscing and I let them guide me through the chilly early morning air. With a case as big as this, it'll probably be noon before I can even catch a break.

At least I don't have to figure out what to do with my weekend off anymore.



Last edited by D-Munny on Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:10 am; edited 2 times in total

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10 Re: Treehaus Noire on Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:32 pm

A train came to a halt at the station. Many people walked off the train. Some Hurrying off, others took their time, but most just walked off, bumping into many others along the way. That station was surprisingly empty. Baskets off trash dotted the place. Either overflowing, or knocked over. Within the shadows of the station, many rats scampered at the sight of a human. Their were a few bold enough to step out of the shadows, but either lost this boldness as soon as they did, or found themselves crushed to death and scraped off the bottom of peoples shoes. Dimly lit signs hung over the arch ways, barely readable to the point of being unreliable. The air was filled with the stench of trash, cigar smoke, and of heated metal. Con men prowled the tunnels looking for unaware visitors to sell off their cheap goods that were hardly working.

I gathered my luggage and stepped off the train. Careful to not bump into anyone I came across. I searched for the closest stairs to the surface. The closest stairs to where I stood was across the hall. As I approached, I could feel a draft of cold wind coming down the stairs. The moonlight shined dimly on the cold steps that led to the city. The steps were either cracked or filthy, sometimes both. Only one thing was certain, that it led to the outside.

As I emerged from the underground station I could feel the cold, crisp, air. The moon shined, but it could barely penetrate the layers of smog that have accumulated over the streets. Building towering over the streets, with windows either glowing like a small sun or as dark as the inky night. The sound of many car horns honking loudly seem like they could be heard by even a deaf man. People seemed to prowl the sidewalks, with a hunger that seemed almost feral. What they hungered for was a mystery to me, but it certainly put me into a sense of unease.

After trying to hail several cabs, one finally pulls up to me. Stepping inside the driver, who'd look like he would sell his own teeth rather than exchange pleasantries. Gave me the evil eye as I loaded my luggage into the back of the cab.

When I strapped in, the driver merely asked, "Where are you heading?"

"Del Cortas Apartments," I answered, "and none of that 'scenic route' bullshit."

Without even dignifying me with a signal that stated whether or not he understood me, he drove. He drove in a relatively straight line, with a few turns, I saw many sights: nightclubs; unattended parks; and even construction sights, but the one thing that stood out was this large building towering over all others. The top look like it was brightly lit at first glance, but upon closer inspection revealed that it was ablaze. The fires seemed to burn relentlessly, despite the firefighter battling them.

I heard many rumors about this city, both good and bad. I never really paid them much thought until I saw the flames inside that building. Most rumors were your stereotypical rumors about the city. The only rumor that stood out was the one that put an emphasis on the crime. I never believed it, but now I am not so sure.

Rather than ask what the building was, I kept my thoughts to myself.

When we arrived at the apartment, I began to consider asking the driver , but he drove off before I could ask. Shaking my head for a wasted opportunity, I grabbed my luggage and walk to the apartments.

The apartments didn't appear to be bad, hell it looked like one of the nicest things I found in this city, but it looked slightly rundown. The inside wasn't much better. A light shade of gray paint covered the wall. The carpet seemed to be covered in coffee stains, as well as other stains I believe I may never want to know what the source was. A smell that smelled similar to cheap cigars diffused throughout the air. I walked to the front desk. Behind it sat a very plain lady. She wore a cheap dress and smelled of cheap perfume.

"How can I help you?" she asked in a very bored tone of voice.

"Moving here. I called ahead of time so I could get a key ready before I arrived," I answered.

"Name?" she asked almost on autopilot.

"Markus McField"

"Room 413," she said while handing me a key.

Before I left, I stopped and decided to ask the lady a question.

"There was a building taller than all the others. It was on fire. Do you know what it was?"

"You must be thinking of the Driscoll Building," she answered, "The big-shots in the criminal sytem were supposed to meeting there last I heard."

Without asking any further questions, I took my luggage I walked to a simple sign that hung on the wall. On it showed what number were on which floor, Mine happened to be somewhere on the sixth floor. After familiarizing myself with the lay out of the apartments, I took the elevator. The ride wasn't long, but it felt like it took ages. The elevator was a boring grey with the whole ceiling being covered in dim lights. Some of the buttons didn't work so I was thankful that the button labeled "6" did work.

My floor seemed to match the theme that this apartment projected perfectly. Light shade of gray on the walls. The doors were labeled , but some had missing numbers. Quickly, I found what was to be my new home. Stepping inside, I found a surprise. The walls were covered in a pleasant wall paper, and it had running water. Other than that though it still fit the theme. The water took about five minutes to heat up, and the bed was rather stiff. There wasn't really an odor in the room, but I wouldn't be surprised if that quickly changed. The view looked over the Northwest portion of the city. Along the streets I could see plenty of taillights and headlights and streetlights, but that was it. I had a simple fridge. It worked, but the light it had was very dim, like every light I found in the building so far.

Sitting down on the bed, I said to myself "Now all I need to do is to find some work."

I pondered at all the possibilities, but it seemed like some divine power would prevent me from coming to an answer.
Taking one final look at the Driscoll Building, I chuckled and said to myself,

"This may get interesting after all."



Last edited by Moltenfield on Thu Jul 18, 2013 5:10 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : I forgot one word and spelling errors)

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11 Re: Treehaus Noire on Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:59 pm

"Why me?" she asked. Alan gave her a sly glance from across the scarred table. The lighting in the back room was dim, but adequate to conduct business by. Considering the light levels at which she was accustomed to work, it was fair dazzling.

"You know damn well why," Alan answered, not unkindly. They were old friends... or as close to old friends as she came. Upon greeting her, he had enfolded her in a hug, to which she had passively submitted. She stepped back only when his hands had begun to rove lower: he gave her a smirk. These, too, were old territories.

"Obviously they're concerned about the events of the past week. There's no reason for me to get involved." Obstinate, she stared pitilessly, at Alan, who sighed.

"Don't play dumb, Sigrid," he told her tiredly. "They're terrified something this big happened without their knowledge, though you never heard that from me. I had them howling for blood for an hour or more before they set anything up." She stared pitilessly, and he sighed once more. "They've got everyone they can trying to figure this thing out, and you've proved useful more than a few times in the past."

Sigrid looked resentful of this, though she knew none of it was under Alan's control. He was of low rank, enough to get actual work done in the organization, carrying out the whims of the more powerful men when directed. And now they wanted her- her!- to do the same. To fall in line, and perform each task set in front of her. Her mouth was a hard line.

"If I refuse?" she asked, already knowing the answer. As Alan heaved another sigh-how many was this?-, she knew she was making his job harder and did not care. She cared little for this fire and for these corpses. If she stirred her thoughts to them at all, it was that they were probably better off dead. They were fewer people that would wind up on her list, anyway.

"You know what they know, Sigrid. They know names and times and places, and they've got this city under their thumb. Nobody's going to object much to you going missing in a city this size. Unless you make yourself useful, there's no place for you here, or anywhere. You're in this too deep to back out now." Reproachfully, Sigrid stood up slowly, the bare lightbulb glinting off the stone in the center of the antique choker covering her slim throat. She haughtily made her way towards the exit as she called over her shoulder. "I should have killed you years ago," she told her old lover and one-time ally.

He waited until she had made her way into the dark alley beyond the dingy warehouse before he made his reply. "The way things have been going..." he murmured to himself as he made a note of her status as an agent. "Soon I'll have more reason than you can provide to keep an eye out."

So it came to be that the trickling streams of the rabble made their way to reclaim the toppled Driscoll building, even as it smouldered in the stead of its proud brilliance. Sigrid was among these few, reluctantly shouldering her way towards the truth like a drunk stumbling home in the dawnlight. All were a little fearful of what further illumination would bring.

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12 Re: Treehaus Noire on Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:44 pm

Hollyღ

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Dove in the Moonlight
Bidding farwell to her apartment complex penthouse, Millie Catherine Primrose took explicit care not to wander more than fifteen feet away from any entertainment venue worth her gander - she reiteratively found herself lacking employment, covetous desire for the big city lights, a flashing marquee and a stage to perform on, garnering memories of New York. As an unwritten social decree the young miss attended as many of the charitable events hosted by Treehaus’s high society, though the most propitious carousing open for public had come and gone with little affluence on her part - the gathering that held her real interest was unaccesable to a woman of her social standards, held in the beautiful beacon of hope that was the Driscoll Building.

Conventions such as these made Millie restless. There was nothing more humble than hosting a crucial assemblage to make one concurrently authoritative and feeble, the outcome ever holding the city's fate in balance. Silhouetted against the dark inauspicious buildings, the porcelain dame stood in bright garments - tawny coiffure curled and primped; her small mouth set in a firm line with a delicate parasol dangling from her dainty white gloved hand, eyes widened at the sight of the Driscoll Building, standing staunch with liege.

And than it was nothing more than fireworks, morbidly celebrating the dawn of new ideas.

The growing pandemonium filled the vicinity with such urgency that it seemed to resonate in even the most secluded expanses - the city's grievance came in the form of exploded glass and fearful cries, cognizant at the state of things to come. Never before had the deafening sound of police wails punctuated their caliber, insinuating now more than simply ambiance.

Millie traipsed inscrutably through the chaos, unable to comprehend anything else than how artless her gait was, and how buildings could evaporate with such grandeur.

-*-

Beautiful glow of sunrise highlighted the horizon over the docks, something Millie took small comfort in. She lingered for some kind of resolution to her defeated moral confrontation, darkened eyes staring into the water for answers that never came. She allowed her singed gloves to fall into the water, weeping discreetly under the confident horn of distant ferryboats.

The Treehaus had always needed someone to believe in its boundless equitable pursuit for purpose and cohesion, whereas believing in such a place was taxing and imprudent as the masses that populated it. Millie ignored the shambles her teadress was now surely in and nursed the bitter thoughts in her mind, barely aware she was not alone as previously thought.

He didn't look surprised to see such a young dame in such startling condition - Millie fancied he looked a little unimpressed, cold eyes hardening as he disappeared into the morning haze as if he were nothing but an illusion. She blinked back tears and momentarily believed in magic again.

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13 His first appearance. on Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:30 am

SQUIGGLES

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The 7th Wonder of the World
Attentions moved quickly in this city; barely two days had passed and already that blackest of hellfires had been almost forgotten. There was no longer a crowd around the rubble -just a tent for city officials and crew supervisors, a few green dicks who'd copped the shitty end of the lieutenant's shittiest stick, and some ghost-faced gawkers who'd come to scrutinise the removal of the ruins of old ideas. The wind had blown back the fog of the harbour's night into a thick ashy smog that choked and abraded the thin walls of lungs and throats. Blood wept with soft, slow sobs into the aching stomachs and from the dry noses of all of the workers clearing the building, as if the very ashes of those burned inside sought still to exert their evil.

The itchy collar of his black woolen overcoat was turned up and he wore a thin, navy scarf, pulled tight over his mouth, and matching gloves, as if the biting cold morning air really bit, and gnawed, and killed, like an uncontrollable hound from the aether. His breath fogged in front of him even through the scarf and added to the smog -the ultimate breath of the great building.

The safety officials had cordoned off the shadow of the tall, dark skeleton of the Driscoll Building. Its proximity to other protected buildings owned by illustrious figures meant that each bone of the building had to be carefully broken piece by piece to prevent it from collapsing and pulling another with it to the grave. The police had almost finished their examination of the building, not that there was much to glean from the ash and dust and shadows. The only cops left waltzing around were the little inexperienced ones; there was no point getting veterans to stand vigil under something that could collapse any moment and no longer had a purpose.

He stared with cold, hard eyes as the wind whistled through the chime that was the Driscoll Building, as if by sight alone he could force past the air to the secrets of the fire. His ears were tuned to the banter of two enforcers shooting the breeze, the heavy smog dulling even the sharp voices to humble whispers, every word a dirge for the broken tower.

"So what's the word, anything new on when we can leave this shithole?"

"Cap says we're just to stop people from fuckin' around in there and hurting themselves, we could be here until they're done ripping it down, for all I bloody know."

"Fucking Christ almighty. What I wouldn't give for a good nap in front of the fireplace off my bloody feet."

"You're telling me; I was here all night. They pulled four more bodies out from there, they found them all together in the janitor's room underneath the elevator shaft, there was practically nothing left of them but bits and bobs. Should've seen the looks on the worker's faces, ha ha ha"

"You're a real bastard, Miller, you know that?"

The man with the dark eyes and the dark stare huffed and turned away, his boiling attitude inflamed by the conversation. He started off towards his car; a black Phantom Corsair- the only one of its kind. Barely visible through the murky air, two men, who had appeared to be intently rubbernecking on the debris, looked to each other for confirmation before following him at a distance. One sported a tan sweater and the bespectacled other a most peculiar pair of glittering glasses upon bright green eyes. They were careful not to walk close enough that they caught his attention and made small talk with each other to seem natural. With their entire focus directed on discretely following the black man, they didn't notice another pair of footsteps behind the two of them; a watcher of the watchers, a shadow of the shadows.

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14 Re: Treehaus Noire on Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:11 am

SQUIGGLES

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The 7th Wonder of the World
The name on the door read "Priapus Goldberg" in bold, gold letters. The two men following the man with dark eyes were pretending to windowshop up and down the opposite side of the street, using the reflections on the store glass to watch the door he'd entered. The man following those two had stopped at a café a few doors down, drinking a vile cup of joe with extra grit and spit, which came free of charge. The man with the dark eyes knocked on the door twice and entered; Pussy Goldberg, a stocky fellow with an exceptionally large pair of feet, lit up when he walked in. Priapus shuffled quickly to the door, and closed it with Pandora's dread- the door seeping all kinds of unwanted things out with every moment it was open. "Harold, you fucking rascal, give me a hug, congratulations are in order!" He held his arms out wide while Harold, the man with the dark eyes, widened his already awfully wide smile and crossed his own.

"You know I hate touching people."

Priapus stuck out his lip in a grandiose pout and tucked his chin into his chest, his eyes wide and watery, beginning a moronic whine. Harold stood stoically and his smile waned, eyes set firmly onto those of the manchild throwing a tantrum.

"Fine. My word, you're a sourpuss. Tell me about it." He moped, shuffling quickly back to his seat and scooting forward eagerly. Harold sat on the opposite side of his desk with deliberate slowness: pulling back the rickety wooden seat, brushing off the rickety wooden seat, walking around the rickety wooden seat, bending slowly to sit on the rickety wooden seat, pulling forward the rickety wooden seat, and, finally, making himself comfortable on the most rickety wooden seat in the entire city. "Actually," leaning back in his violet velvet throne, mused Priapus; "don't tell me about it. What are you here for?"

"Ever the salesman, Pussy; I'm here for my share."

"Hmph, not for my charming personality?" He reached between his jiggling thighs, the flesh rippling and stretching the fine cloth of his far too small suit at his merest touch -suit undersized in the delusion it made him look thin- and pulled up onto the desk a most unassuming brown leather briefcase.

"And the bond money?"

"Ha, and they call me a vulture! Yes, yes, it's all in there, you can bloody count it if you want."

The man with the dark eyes reached for the briefcase with unnaturally still hands and, again with all the haste of a Galapagos tortoise, stood and turned to leave. "Leaving already? No presents for your good friend Pussy?"

Locking onto him with those dark eyes and an outré smile, bringing out a cold sweat from the greedy Jew, he cooed, "you already got your present, partner, but you've got another coming."

--

The name on the door still read "Priapus Goldberg" in bold, gold letters when Harold left. His prized car was parked down the street, while Mister Grey, the man following the men following Harold, had parked his car directly opposite the grimy cafe he'd just had the extreme displeasure of visiting. Messrs Puce and Paisley, the men following Harold, being followed by Mister Grey, had parked their cars just a ways from Harold, whom they were following. They followed him after a moment, making sure to keep a close eye on and a short distance from the two lidded strongarms who had begun to follow him, having emerged suspiciously from the alley behind Priapus'. Each of the five of them sped off with a huff more dramatic than the last while Mister Grey lounged a little longer, trying to put down the gurgling and stabbing pain in his gut before shooting off like a rocket after them in his own shiny, black leisure vehicle.

His pants were only slightly shittier than the mess at the bridge.

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15 Re: Treehaus Noire on Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:16 pm

It has only been a couple of days ever since I moved to this city, and already I feel like it is just as the rumors say. I never witnessed any crime, but I could hear the sirens constantly wailing in the distance from my humble apartment. It was hard to sleep the first night, but I gradually grew accustomed to it, and made sure that I constantly locked the door whenever I stepped outside, no matter the distance or reason.

I brought very few things from my old home. Most were the essential, but only three things stood out. One was a lighter. I never smoked, but I did believe that a lighter could be useful, though I highly doubt it. The second thing was a knife. It was an old switch blade I had ever since I was a teen. I made a habit of carrying it in the same pocket that held my wallet, hoping I would never get into a situation that ever required it to be used. The last thing I brought, and probably the most important, was my father's handgun. Despite it being a military grade weapon, I had the license to use it if I ever needed to. I always kept it with me, although I don't know why I brought. I never knew my father. I heard he was a soldier who died while fighting in a war. I suppose that would explain why it was a military grade handgun, but it never really painted a portrait of my father for me.

I did find a job, but I doubt it would be permanent thing. I was a Taxi Driver. Sure the pay is crap and the colleagues constantly give me a headache, but I didn't take the job for either. I merely applied for it in order to get a resource that I deemed "valuable" in a city like this, information. I have seen many different kinds of people enter and leave the poor excuse for a Taxi I drove throughout this city, and they all loathed silent rides. They would always want to talk about something. Most of the time it was current events and big-time gangsters, but sometimes they would talk about secrets that the media could never get their hands on, no matter how much they try. I would spend most of my afternoon writing down the information I overheard into a journal. This has often made me forget to bring home a package that was given to me by my boss. He never told me what was in the package. The fact that he gave me a package seemed very generous to me, considering what I thought of this city.

This morning wasn't too different from any of the other mornings I have woken up to in this city, other than it was my day off. The sunrise would shine through the window and onto my eyes. The only silver lining to this was that I no longer needed an alarm clock. I would then proceed to take a shower. This normally makes me sleepy in most situations, but not in this one. Whenever I had to take a shower here, rather than wait for a pleasant lukewarm shower, I would brace myself for an ice cold shower that took a solid 10 minutes before it even was remotely warm. After the shower, I would take the normal ritual of "getting ready for the day".

Grabbing my heavy coat, I left my apartment. The hall looked the same as when I arrived, it always did. Taking the elevator, which became a normal part of my life, I descended down to the ground floor. Nothing seems to change around this apartment, other than my arrival. Leaving the apartment, I stepped out into the city. The air felt cold and unforgiving. The light I saw was very orange near the the top of the buildings, but the city seemed to be covered in a very light shade of gray towards the bottom. Cars still prowled the streets, but not as large in number during this time of day.

I took one look at husk of what was the Driscoll Building. Towards the top of the building seemed very black and charred. It seemed much more usable towards the bottom, but I doubt the inside looked very pretty. I heard rumors that much of the top floors collapsed and destroyed much of the lower floors. I wouldn't be surprised if it looked like a tornado combined with a wildfire tore through the inside of that building.

"Taxi!" I shouted.

For the first time in this city did a Taxi actually pull over to me on my first try. The yellow cab pulled up to a gradual stop right next to me. The one driving it was one of the most decent of the drivers among the Taxi drivers of the city. I knew him. He was the only one that never gave me a headache. His name was Thomas. He had jet black hair and green eyes. His nose was a little on the large side, but not too much. He was roughly my height, which was around 1.7 meters. His voice was a little higher pitched than mine. He seemed physically fit as well. He was the only person that I could tell was trying to stay as law abiding as you can get in this city. Like me, he moved to this city a couple of days ago. Other than that though, there was nothing else that defined him that the average man in this city didn't have.

"Where ya headin' Markus?" he asked.

"To the place of our trade," I answered as I climbed into the taxi.

"Sure thing," he replied, "By the way, you know what the others say 'bout you?"

"No, Thomas, I don't."

"They say that the way you treat people is too soft. They think that you'll find yourself dead if you don't act tougher than you do now."

"I figured," I said, shaking my head, "They never like the way on how I received more tips than they did."

"Yeah, but they're wrong about the being dead part. I know what you carry with ya."

Of course Thomas was talking about my Handgun. He was the only person who knew I carried one. He was the only one I trusted enough to let him know that I carried one. None of the other Taxi drivers carried one. I thought they were idiots for this. My only guess that the reason why they never carried a gun is the reason why Thomas doesn't, that they failed a gun handling test that allowed them to use a gun, legally.

We arrived at what Thomas and and the others commonly call HQ. Whether it was to mock the police or because they like the sound of it, I will never know. I knew it was my day off, but I forced myself to go and get it. I could have waited, but curiosity kept egging me to open it and find the contents inside. Never ran into anyone else while I was there. Not surprising, everyone but the boss was driving around, and the boss would only leave his office if the alarm sounded, or if it was time to go home.

Thomas gave me a lift back home. I payed him, and tipped him for giving me a lift. I entered my apartment, and returned to my room on the 6th floor. I placed the package on my bed, and opened it. Inside were notes about my taxi and my shift. The fact that these were in here surprised me since he told me both of these. Other than that, there was a phone book for the city. The book was 2.5cm thick and and about 30cm by 15cm. The book had a bright yellow cover on both sides. It pretty much looked like an average phone book. I wish I had this book earlier in all honesty. I am just glad I never needed it yet.

"Well, time to start remembering important numbers," I said to myself as I opened the book.

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16 Re: Treehaus Noire on Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:15 pm

The sky's filled with moody gray clouds, threatening to send rain down at any moment. I think I hear thunder periodically whenever my attention wavers from the scene, which is often as the hours roll by. I  spent my whole day yesterday in the middle of the mess that we called an investigation, and from what I can tell, today's going to be hardly any different. The acrid smoke constantly stings my eyes and invades my lungs, and every so often I have to wander off to light a cigarette and breathe in smoke on my own terms.

Progress is slow. In the past two days, out of all twelve bodies we pulled out, only six are recognizable, and of those six, only two are suspected to be culprits in the fire. Also in the past two days, I've done approximately jack other than questioning the dearth of people who happened to be walking by when the fire first became apparent, and each story isn't all that different, other than whatever ethnicity they place blame on for it. According to what I've gathered from witness testimony so far, at around a quarter to midnight, there was some kind of explosion on one of the uppermost floors, blocking the way down which trapped all the meeting-goers in the penthouse, as well as whoever the two unidentified souls are. From there, whoever didn't get fried ended up biting it due to smoke inhalation.

Most efforts right now are being focused on dragging out the rest of the corpses in the hopes that they might be in decent enough condition to give us an identity to go off of, as finding physical evidence of sabotage tends to be a bitch and a half. Arson's usually not what I deal with, but I've worked enough cases involving it to know why so many of the guys who work that desk seem like the biggest assholes in the department. It's bad enough when you've got to watch your step around broken glass after a burglary, or talk with the family of a murder victim, but any and all of that can be made substantially more unpleasant with the smell of smoke and charred human flesh.

I'm alone with my thoughts right now, since I wasn't part of the group of lucky schmucks who got volunteered to go up and continue to look for bodies among the debris. It's weird, but whenever I find myself with some spare time on duty, I end up thinking about Felix. It's not something I particularly enjoy, because he and I didn't exactly part on the best of terms, and even if we had, one of the few things I take pride in is my work ethic, which really doesn't leave room for reminiscing on duty.

Even so, I can't help but think about the days and nights we worked together, patrolling up and down the city, talking, laughing, arguing, and occasionally working. We'd arrive at the scene, ask a few questions, only for our investigation to be rapidly commandeered by overzealous detectives, not that we could say we knew what we were doing better than they did half of the time.

A lot can change in a matter of years so I have no idea what he looks like now, but when I first met him, the one thing that stuck out the most were his shoulders. He was a linebacker in school, and from how he talked about it, was the sole reason why his team won the state championship game his senior year. By the time he got out of college though, not even the scholarships he'd gotten were able to stabilize him financially for long, and he didn't quite cut it in college to be picked for a professional team, so he started looking for work. Despite his education, most of the jobs he got were due mostly to his brawn instead of his brains, but he didn't seem too bothered about this when he told me. Said he was just thankful he was able to find work that paid well enough.

I'm pulled out of my thoughts when I'm asked to question some more witnesses who claim to have seen the fire start. I'm not looking forward to it, considering that in a case like this, the more time that goes by before a witness shows up, the more likely it is that they're is just looking for a paper to buy whatever story he can come up with. But if the work was good enough for Felix, then it's good enough for me, so I put on my good cop face and make my way over to hear whatever it is these people have to say.

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17 Re: Treehaus Noire on Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:23 pm

"Fuck," said she. "Fuck fuck fuck."

Of course, people who operate on the edge are ill suited to indiscretion, so Sigrid said this in her head. Loudly.

In point of fact Sigrid was very fed up with whoever had set that stupid fire two nights ago. She did not begrudge the perpetrator their- retribution? skullduggery? what?- but the indiscretion in the act was almost legendary. She had had cause to level a building or two in the past, which was almost always a way to send someone a message. It seemed to her impertinent that someone had seen fit to send a message as far-reaching as Driscoll was.

Inconvenient that she had been drafted to deal with the fallout. Too many corpses are people start to ask questions. In her career, she had never given cause for questions to be asked. She excelled at silencing people. The person/people behind Driscoll seemed to take another tack entirely.

No, Sigrid was always discreet and unassuming. She did her job well and asked for nothing more than her due, which is why she was so pissed off when it came to being extorted into "looking in" to this fire for those fat-cat higher-ups that arrogantly ordered she work for them, using her past "misdeeds" as leverage. She knew they could have her under lock and key if they wished it, and the very thought of that power over her had her cursing their names.

She had casually met with a couple workmen from the salvage site once they were off the clock, plied them with drink and pleasant chatter, though it had filled her with disdainful bile to do so. They told her little that was useful, but gave her some insight into the mechanics of the catastrophe. The fire had been first birthed by a column of flame ripping through the center of the skyscraper, rendering it prone to the searing heat melting its structural components. As the building began to collapse, some of the rooms on the lower floors had been eliminated under falling debris, which had the effect of shielding their contents- what little was not already unidentifiable- from the smoldering of the rest of the building. The police had had everything still recognizable dug out of the debris and taken away for investigation- a vain hope, considering the size and number of the rooms the building had formerly been home to. There had been old records- minutes from board meetings, storage space bought by local businesses, of the county- and state-level court cases from as far back as twenty years, before there were even parking tickets to give out. The waste products of bureaucracy, most were now ash, and better for it.

Besides that, she knew little. There had been no rumors, no whispers of anything like this in the works. From the skill and efficiency with which it had been executed, Sigrid could tell that this hit was a professional one, and obviously pointed at somebody. At whom was beyond her power to determine. Truthfully she did not particularly care. And yet her hand was forced.

So, she had arranged to meet a dirty cop later about the contents of the recovered files that she did not care about, in pursuit of the investigation she did not want to make, on behalf of the men whose very existence she reviled.

Fuck.

"What do you have for me?" she asked the officer, who eyed her suspiciously in the gloom of their meeting place behind a noisome fish shop in a rundown district. She passed him an envelope, which he opened and rifled through before finally answering. "We recovered a lot of old legal stuff. The most pertinent was from about ten years ago. It's sensitive information, somebody could gone out of their way to get rid of it."

He seemed to be waiting for something more from her, but she simply stood as she had been, staring. He soon gave a mousy grin that did not reach his eyes, and nervously smoothed his unbecoming little mustache. "That legal stuff, it was from the case of the decade a while back. All the records of the prosecution of the Black Hand gang- almost all untouched."

Sigrid remained as she was, now rooted to the spot as her muscles all tensed at once. The cop took a step back as her hands, before resting at ease on her folded arms, balled into tight fists.

Black Hand.

Fuck.

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18 Re: Treehaus Noire on Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:52 pm

Hollyღ

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Dove in the Moonlight
Her laced top caught the faint glow being emitted from the beautiful overhead lights, and she found herself admiring the gentle way it seemed to reassure her.  She fancied her life was figured out all right, going from one job to another, always in movement. Her voice was a gift she ever so desperately wanted to share with the world, though, she admitted, the world seemed less enthusiastic to accommodate just another young hopeful. The heavy vodka bottle hung off her gloved hand while she stared off into the distance, her eyes squinting through large ornate windows to make out the city. The glow of fire remnants marked the drama still at the building Driscoll, the luminosity making an austere contrast to the black and blues of smog in the night sky, summoning the attention of police citywide. Once a beautiful view, now the distant burning reminder of a world falling apart.

She could not possibly renounce the architectural allurement of Starshine - the ballroom of exclusive affairs wouldn't have the absurdity to look corrupt regardless of ambiguous business deals.

"Youre late."

Outside the grand office of Anthony "Tony" Amuso, the hushed murmurs of aristocratic conversation asserted through the grandiose hallway, scantily audible over the ballroom's symphonies. Politicians who fed on the panic and money of the higher ups hawked their campaigns as men and women continued to showcase their own importance, the sort of people who would never dance with the likes of Millie. She gazed up at her boss with wide apologetic eyes, fighting back her already elevating emotions. "Ah'm very sorry sir, it won't happen again. I deziyah to sing at your establishment, truly honest."

Tony was large and cared not for the likes of subtly. Golden rings adorned his bloated fingers, squinted eyes boring into the smaller dame with fierce judgement. From miles above the ground, hanging just above a perfectly polished hardwood floor, reflecting in a soft amber light the dull hued curtains tied the room's sense of prosperity. When Millie was first escorted into the office she was absolutely giddy at how posh and regal the whole affair was, noting the office was of more financial cost then her entire penthouse. Now it only represented fear and loathing.  "Damn right it won't happen again, you're fired."

Smoke from his cigar whisped in the air around him, silvery serpents guarding their summoner. Adducing not a another word, the large man leaned over his desk and flashed his trademark smirk, hands comfortably rested upon the surface. He allowed his poisonous smile to falter slightly, beady eyes staring out into the distance beyond his office doors, basking in his immense power as yet another small heartbroken lass stumbled her way from his presence.

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19 Re: Treehaus Noire on Wed Aug 28, 2013 3:24 am

SQUIGGLES

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The 7th Wonder of the World
Pussy's thugs had ridden in a sleek, red Armstrong Siddeley Hurricane. Their blood matched the paintwork.

Hanthom Bridge was a long, flat, double-laned bridge that spanned the oil-slick river of life of the Treehaus. Harold had been driving the Phantom Corsair and Messrs Puce and Paisley, his earnest bodyguards, had each been driving in a thick Tatra 87 painted in a dark burgundy.

The air was heavy with pollution and the streets teemed with the measured metal life of a myriad of mechanics.

Harold slicked back a loose hair with a smooth whip of his wrist and eased off the accelerator. Mister Puce was gunning along a hundred metres ahead, ramming cars in his path and raising hell with his horn, attracting all unwanted attention to himself. Harold drove in his eerily quiet wake. Mister Paisley had intercepted Priapus' hired hands, Adonais and Yvon, as they'd begun to cross the bridge.

Adonais gripped the wheel hard, his fingers white with exertion.

As Harold had driven onto the bridge, Adonais had slammed hard on the pedal and swerved into the overtaking lane. He'd driven up next to Harold and Yvon had flicked off the safety of his Sterling submachine gun from his comfy passenger seat and everything had seemed to be going fantastically for the greedy Jew's fantastic double-cross funds-retrieval. Mister Paisley had then, in a stunning turn-around, speedily struck the thugs from behind. The thunder of the Hurricane was blown away by the tremendous noise of the crash; the Hurricane pitched left, and veered into the oncoming lane, its belly exposed as it lay on its side, the death rattle of the engine choked in its broken shell, bleeding oil, undignified, onto the pavement. Mister Paisley was thrown forward in the moment of the crash, his reluctance to wear seat belts his undoing- he crashed through the thick windshield and landed on the asphalt. His head burst like a putrid cystic abscess as his car rolled over him and off the side of Hanthom Bridge to sleep with the fishes.

Adonais still gripped the wheel hard, his fingers white with exertion, and blood-loss.

Mister Grey, who had been tailing the group from far back, swooped down into the wreckage of the tempest of the Hurricane and stepped out, cursing like a homewrecked witch. Stomping and swearing in a fit of anger at having his day ruined, he, far from discretely, pulled out his handgun and promptly climbed onto the overturned vehicle like a cheeky monkey and pointed the barrel down through the cracked window. He murdered the two wounded thugs.

Spitting more and more vitriol with every begrudged step he rifled through the pockets of the unfortunate Mister Paisley and took out everything he found, pocketed the cash and a pair of stylish and unbroken sunglasses, and rolled the body into the river.

Attempting to dust off the blood from his fine suit but only smearing it all over his front, he cussed one more time in extreme frustration before driving off as calmly as he could muster.

Pussy's thugs had ridden in a sleek, red Armstrong Siddeley Hurricane. Their blood matched the paintwork.



Last edited by SQUIGGLES on Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:28 am; edited 1 time in total

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20 Re: Treehaus Noire on Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:19 pm

"All available units 10-88 in progress, I say again, 10-88 in progress."

I'm in the middle of a drag on the day's fifth cigarette when the radio crackles to life. I push myself off of the squad car I'm leaning against and open the door to gain further information on this car chase, which is apparently important enough to require some attention to be diverted from the scene of what is already being called the new Crime of the Century.

"Witnesses report a small group of vehicles driving erratically at the Hanthom Bridge, most notably one burgundy Tatra 87 colliding with several vehicles. Again, all available units, please respond."

Considering how slow going progress is here and how little my help is needed, I decide to see if I can schmooze my way into more exciting work.

Walking briskly back towards the smell of smoke that I've come to simultaneously grow used to and hate in the past two days, I find Croyer, who, I must admit, is standing ever vigilant waiting for more news from those sifting through the rubble as he has been for nearly two days now. With how much smoke and ash he's breathing in, either the man is truly dedicated to his line of work, or he's got a smoking habit I could only dream of having.

I'm no closer than 5 feet to him when his gaze locks onto me. The lieutenant doesn't like his time wasted and I don't want to miss any excitement, so I get right to the facts. "Croyer, 10-88 at the Hanthom. Bunch of bystanders in the midst of things. They could use some help."

He processes the information for a few moments, gauging whether or not it's worth sacrificing anyone involved in this current investigation, and he studies me carefully, wondering what my talents would be better focused on. In an effort to convince him further, I make the risky endeavor of offering my own opinion.

"It'll probably be over by the time anyone from here gets there, but they'll need more than just the few cops who aren't here tonight."

A few more seconds of silence. Croyer's stern brown eyes blink once, then twice, before he finally answers me.

"Alright go ahead, but make sure you hurry and keep your ears open for us. You never know when we could find somethin'."

I give a brief not and a muttered "sure thing," before I race off to the squad car I had taken here this morning, having fortunately decided against walking today. I had been longing to take this one home for the past several hours, but I suppose just driving it at all is satisfactory enough for the time being.

Once I've maneuvered the car out of the boundaries of the crime scene, I get the siren wailing and start speeding eastward, towards the Hanthom.

"All units, update on the 10-88, we now have a 10-53, say again, that's a 10-53. Vehicle is a red Armstrong Siddeley Hurricane. Two men are in the vehicle, believed to be deceased."

As I get nearer to the scene, I let my presence be known.

"Dispatch, this is car 16 Jack, I am Detective Thaddeus Elliott badge 1148, on my way to the scene of the crash, is there any sign of any of the other vehicles involved?"

"16 Jack, the other vehicle involved in the crash fled the scene, and is suspected to be a part of a group of speeding cars. We have officers closing in on them now."

"Roger that' I'll be at the scene of the crash ASAP."

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21 Re: Treehaus Noire on Sat Aug 31, 2013 11:20 am

As soon as I closed the phone book, I hear a very audible knock at my door. I wasn't sure how to respond to this. It was the first time someone came to my door in this city. Considering what normally happens in this city, I was a little nervous. The knock sounded again, little louder this time. Grabbing my gun, I walked to the door. Unfortunately the spyhole on my door was busted so I couldn't see who was at. it. Slowly, I opened the door. I was relieved to see that the person on the other end of it was familiar.

"Hey Markus," said Thomas, "You free for tonight?"

"Depends on what you are asking," I answered.

"Just want to see if you are willing to go to the bar with me."

"I guess I'm free, but you could have called to ask rather than knock on my door."

"Tried, but the dial broke before I could put your number in."

"Give me a second, let me grab my coat. Make yourself at home while I find it."

He came inside, but he didn't really explore while I looked for my coat. He just sat down on a chair and waited patiently. When I grabbed my coat and approached him, he merely got up and askde if I was ready.

"Yeah."

After leaving the apartment, we drove off, in Thomas's cab, to the best bar we could afford. The bar wasn't anything special. The giant sign, lit by small lights read, "The Drunken Bear" in Large. The walls on the outside seemed to have been made of a dull stone grey brick. Some of the bricks seemed cracked a bit too. The windows seemed clean, but due to the street lights, we couldn't really look inside. When we did get inside, It look a little better than the outside. The counter seemed to be marble styled, but it was obvious it wasn't real marble. The tables and chairs were simple. There weren't many people there. The bartender was the only one that had any real distinction out of the people. The bartender seemed to be a woman in her early thirties. She seemed pretty plain.

"First one's on me," Thomas said.

"You sure?" I asked.

"Yeah."

I didn't know what to order, so I left it up to Thomas to decide. I didn't hear what he ordered. the next thing I knew he arrived with a Bourbon like drink. We both drank a shot. I nearly lost my lunch. My mouth tasted of fire and acid. It seemed like I could not hold my liquor at all.

"You okay? Ya don't don't look so good," said Thomas.

"No, no I am not," I answered, passing out.

The next thing I knew, I woke up in my bed. My coat was on the floor, seemingly tossed aside. My gun was on the counter. My shoes were still on, but that was the least of my worries. I woke up with the worst headache I have ever had in my entire life.

Scrambling out of my bed, I walked to my sink. I filled a cup with some water, and drank it. It did very little to help out with my headache. It calmed it, but not by much. I happened to glance at my couch when I saw Thomas passed out. He stirred awake.

"Morning Markus."

I didn't respond, my headache hurt way too much for me to think in the way of speaking.

"I guess you really can't hold your liquor considering that drink was fairly weak in liquor terms. Still the same night you remember. I'm glad I wasn't drunk when I got ya home. You were out faster than a broken bulb. The drive home was quiet and your keys are on the counter. I already called our boss. Told him you would be sick for tomorrow. Didn't really say anything after that"

I nodded then left.

I suppose I would be in some debt to Thomas for a while. I went back to my bed and passed out for the rest of the day.

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