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Unexpected Visitation; A three part venture.
Topic Started: Jun 10 2014, 01:28 PM (420 Views)
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the bass and the tweeters make the speakers go to war
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A list of the dying, a list of the damned.

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the bass and the tweeters make the speakers go to war
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“Okay, so like, you’re on the ski lift, right? And it stops moving - everyone’s gone home, nobody can save you. It starts to get dark, you’re freezing your fuckin’ ass off, and wolves start to circle in and shit. So you’re sitting there, right? It’s cold as balls, dark as balls, basically the worst shit you could ever possibly be in, and you can only take one person with you. Who do you take?”

Haywood leaned back in his chair, swivelling it to face Free with a look of incredulity. She leaned forwards from her perch on his desk, grinning at him, shorn-off red hair swinging wildly around her ears.

“What kind of question is that?”

“Come on, Haywood. Don’t be a pussy. Answer the question!”

Haywood ran both hands over his dark, bald head. “Did I bring any food or anything?”

“Nope. No food. You just got your winter gear.”

“Got skis, though, right?”

“No skis.”

“What the fuck am I doing on a ski lift if I have no skis?”

“You were touring.”

“I was touring? What - the inside of a fucking ski lift?”

“Maybe the missus dragged you there,” Free said, poking one short nail into Haywood's stomach with a grin, “and left your ass there.”

“So in this alternate universe you’ve created, where I go to ski lodges without skis with a wife I don’t have to go on a ski lift I don’t need to go on for reasons that make absolutely no sense, I need to choose someone - anyone - to be stuck with me?”

“Yup!” Free said, crossing one leg over her knee.

Haywood thought for a minute, shrugged.

“Robert Pattinson.”

Free’s grin turned to a puzzled smile as she cocked her head at him.

“Because that way, at least I’d take someone I hate with me.”

Free laughed, her head flopping backwards with the motion as she pointed at him. “Okay, good answer. What are you working on, anyway?”

Haywood shrugged. “Diaz has me working on this write-up since it started again. He wants me to record what the kids have done so that when the inevitable press conference comes up when one of them get out, we have some defence in regard to charges.”

“Woah,” Free said, leaning closer to Haywood's monitor, “you mean we may have to arrest the kid?”

“Nah,” came the man’s response, as he tabbed through an Excel Spreadsheet labelled murdergame05, “we never do. Or, at least, that’s not how the cities in the past handled it. Even Highland Beach didn’t do much to the psycho that got out. But there’s always some form of uproar, always some nonsense from a parent or a great aunt with connections or a senator who’s looking to slam the bars on whoever ‘wins.’”

He did air quotes around the last word. Free shook her head.

“I mean, okay, some of the shit they do is pretty fucked,” she began, “but aren’t they victims of terrorism?”

“Yeah, that’s our go-to line. But there’s always a press conference addressing it, and the new Diaz likes to be prepared, so…”

Free nodded, tapped a nail against his white collar shirt. “Mexican for lunch?”

“You know where to find me.”

She smiled, stood up, and walked away, her heels clicking on the buffed and polished floor.
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the bass and the tweeters make the speakers go to war
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“You can’t really say you wouldn’t, is the thing.”

“Pretty sure I just did, though.”

“Nah, you’re not right in the head if you’d just turn it down right off the bat.”


“Seriously, like… Just, okay - picture the hottest person you’ve ever seen - television, movies, whatever.”

“My wife?”

“God, Patillo,” Ramsey said, whipping off his sunglasses in mock horror, “that’s - you’re sick. That’s sick. That’s a sick thing to say to a question like that.”

“What? It’s valid!”

“Man, you can’t have your fantasy dream girl be the girl you married. That’s just fucked up.”

“Okay. Then… I don’t know, Olivia Wilde.”

“Okay, cool, awesome. Picture Olivia Wilde, right? Same figure, same hair, same eyes - all the same features.”

“Just with scales.”

“Yeah, man. Scaly Olivia Wilde. Dragon Wilde. You’re saying you wouldn’t hit that?”

Patillo shook his head as the elevator door opened, his right hand patting down his suit jacket to ensure his weapon was still there. Beside him, Ramsey re-adjusted his aviators, toyed with the nametag on his breast pocket.


Ramsey shook his head. “You’re insane. This is the floor?”

“Yeah - the Withers woman pointed us here. One of the ex-winners lives around these parts.”


A beat of silence.

“Why do scales put you off?”

“Well, they’re slimy looking. It’d change the entire experience of it.”

“Have you ever had sex with a scaly person before?”

Patillo scratched at his beard as the duo moved through the halls of the hotel, his eyes scanning the numbers on each door. “Obviously not.”

“So how the fuck do you know you don’t like it?”

“I just know.”

“Bullshit, dude. You have no idea.” Ramsey stopped at room 713, rapped on it with the side of his fist.

“Mr. Yi? We’re your four o’clock!” In a quieter voice, “It could be the coolest experience you’ve ever had.”

“Do you mind not talking about scaly sex when we’re about to break and enter into a suspect’s room?”

“Mister Yi! We’re Agents Patillo and Ramsey, here to ask you a few questions! You’re no fun, man.”

“Shut up.”

The door opened to a small, asian woman, peering up at them. Patillo smiled at her; Ramsey didn’t.

“Help you?”

“Yes, hi, ma’am - we’re from the federal government, looking for a Mr. Kim Yi?”

“Kim no here - left hurry hour ago.”

“Do you have any idea where we could find Mr. Yi?”

“No,” the woman said, pausing as if to think, before shaking her head hard.

“No, no here. Left hour ago. You go catch.”

“I see. If he returns, ma’am,” Patillo said, reaching into his pocket to pull out a small, white card, “please give me a call.”

“Okay, okay. You go now.”

The door closed.

“Withers’ man did a runner?” Ramsey said, turning from the door with a frown, “Why am I not completely shocked and awed by this?”

Patillo shook his head.

“Not like him to bolt. I spoke to him yesterday morning; he knew we were coming down here.”

“Fucking gamblers, man,” Ramsey said, his sneer audible, “can’t trust any of ‘em. How the hell did Withers track this guy down anyway? I thought people who use the hub were ghosts.”

“They’re tricky,” Patillo confirmed, “and Haywood knows a little more about it than I do. They apparently use only monosyllable names when talking to each other - Jack, Dave, Ty, Jane.”


“Whatever the fuck.”

“Okay, so what - our guy won one year, then jet?”

“Yeah - apparently he picked the last survivor last time around. Back when security was less tight, I guess. Withers got to him so the other gamblers ousted him or whatever.”

“What’s the name he went by?”

“Nanahey or something.”


“Yeah, sounds right.”

“Huh,” Ramsey said, sliding his hands into his pockets, “I think we’re wasting our time with this, my friend.”

“Pretty much. Not a lot a winner of some glorified weird pool game can give us on last time beyond ‘I got lucky and picked Nguyen’, let alone this time. If he’s truly been out of the game as long as Withers says he is.”

Ramsey shrugged again. “I get paid either way. C’mon - let’s go get a hot dog.”

“Sure thing.”

The two stepped back onto the elevator, watched the doors slide shut, removed their sunglasses. Ramsey pressed the ground floor button, glanced at Patillo, smiled.

“Okay, what about fur?”
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“So, if you had a choice between a giraffe and a monkey-”

Navarez held up a hand, stopping Jones before he could continue the thought.

“My office,” he said, the same hand morphing into a thumb to gesture back towards the corner room.

Jones stood from his cubicle, stretched his legs, his slate grey tie hanging loose and haphazardly tied around his neck, following his superior into the little, tightly packed office. All around him were gray slate dividers and dark heads peeking over them, murmurs on phone lines, the clacking of keyboards.

When he stepped into Navarez’s office, shutting the door behind him, the noise abruptly stopped.

Navarez walked around his desk, gesturing for Jones to be seated, and crossed one ankle over his knee. As Jones sat, Navarez gestured to the folder sitting on his desk.

“What,” he began, his tone light, pleasant, “the fuck is this.”

Jones smiled, licked his lips. “That?”


“That’s my report.”

“I know that’s your report, Jones. I’m not asking you to identify the document. I’m asking you to explain what’s in the document.”

“Well, generally, a report includes-”

“You’re seriously being a smartass right now?” Navarez asked, leaning forwards, light glinting off of his horn-rimmed glasses.

“Do I sound like I’m amused, Jones?”

Jones let out a shaky breath, reaching a hand up to run it through his dusty brown hair. “I thought it was pretty straightforward, myself.”

Naverez’s silence filled the room as Jones shifted, fidgeted, tugged at his tie. “Look, boss. I’ve tried to bring this to you on three separate occasions, and you seemed unresponsive. So… this was my solution.”

“This isn’t an acceptable report, you realize.”

“It’s an honest one. Look, I just don’t see how the assignments we’ve been given work towards our goal. I mean, they’ve got us chasing down reporters, talking to gamblers, watching streams. How is any of that helping to actually catch the bastards?”

Navarez continued his stony silence as Jones spread his hands. “We’re paid to be a six man operation - six man taskforce - to find out the identities, the location, and the fastest way of eliminating the threat. But all we’ve done since those streams started showing up is basically private dick work. Paperwork, phone calls, tracking down the shoddiest of leads. It all seems really…”


Jones nodded. “Yeah.”

“Like we’re just spinning our wheels?”

“Yes, yeah. Exactly.”

“Exactly like what we do here - what we’re doing - is designed so that when we don’t catch them, and when they return a shell shocked, addled, mentally broken murderer to our shores, we’ll all get called in front of a hearing board, blamed soundly, loudly asked to resign from our positions in a huge public uproar, and then paid quietly for the remainder of our lives due to exceptional service to the government?”

Jones stilled.

Navarez tapped the file folder against his desk, then threw it in the garbage under it. “I expect a new report by tomorrow.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Dismissed, Jones.”

The younger agent stood, smoothed his tie, and left the office quietly.
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