Title: Episode 1.1: The Butcher of Eavesdown
ILEV Constable - June 2, 2011 03:42 AM (GMT)
And thus begins our episode... The Butcher of Eavesdown!
This is a really bad rendering of what the Red Light District may look like. I did it in Excel, so ignore the grid lines (I couldn't remember how to get rid of them) in the streets and alleys. The district is divided in 3 sections: LCH (lower class hovels), Mid Class Hovels, and Flats. The further you get from the docks, the better the residence. Lily is in Flat #15. Hopefully you all can read this.
Cooper Mandrake began here
Lily Kincaid began here
Eva Black began here
Captain Jeremiah Hutchins began here
Ed "Cole" Coleman began here
Perpetrator - June 2, 2011 03:49 AM (GMT)
6/2/09Mid Class Hovel #22 - 3 Hours ago...
These were the living places for those who walked the streets and were on the lower rung of the working girl food chain. The lower levels had to make do with rooms built out of wood and corrugated metal, while the mid-levels had rooms that were built out of wood and stone. Each of the rooms had one door, a window, and a red light above the door. The room that he was the one of a mid-level street harlot. It had a larger bed inside, as well as a nicer kitchen, and decent bathroom furnishings. It was nothing like the flats of the higher up girls, but it was a step up from what the bottom feeders had.
The room the Butcher of Eavesdown was in belonged to one Karen Sue. She was of Caucasian descent with shoulder length brown hair with red streaks and her eyes were of the deepest brown. She stood within in an inch of five feet and weighed near one hundred pounds soaking wet. Karen always wore short cutoof shorts that showed the lower curves of her bottom. To accentuate them, she wore a long sleeved semi sheer shirt that she tied into a knot below her full breasts. She wasn't much of a looker like the other girls, but she could land her share of men when she wanted to.
The Butcher had been watching her from the shadows for a while now. He knew when she went to work and how long she stayed out trolling for men. Sometimes she would bring back one guy at a time and other times she'd bring back two. However business for her was slowly dropping. There were days when she only brought home three men a night instead of the usual eight, and then there were those days when she didn't bring home any. Today he was going to pay her a visit to end all that. As he watched Karen Sue leave her humble abode, he slipped through the shadows until he was at her door. Jimmying the lock with a professional manner, the Butcher gained entry into Karen's room and headed for the bathroom, where he'd wait for her return. 2 Hours ago...
Karen sighed as she walked in, closing and locking the door behind her. It was another fruitless night trolling the streets for customers. Not even the offer of a free blow could entice the guys into letting her take them back into her room for some servicing. She took off her high heels and turned off the red light outside, before heading towards the bathroom where she shucked off her clothing and turned the sink on. At first she didn't notice anything out of the ordinary. It was only when she splashed some water on her face to clean her makeup off, that she smelled something faintly funny. That's when she looked in the mirror over the sink and noticed the man standing behind her.
He wore the uniform of a maintenance worker and his face was obscured by a flesh colored faceless mask. In one of his hands was a rag that was emitting the faint funny odor. Before she could scream, the man covered her mouth and nose with the rag and restrained her with his other hand. As the cloroform began to work, Karen's eyes rolled up into the back of her head and her body went limp. The Butcher dragged her nude and limp body over to the bed, where he placed her in the middle of it and went to work on restraining her arms and legs, as well as placing a ball gag in her mouth so she wouldn't scream.
Once that was done, he proceeded to walk over to the dresser and root through her things drawer by drawer. He always did that with his victims as he waited for the chloroform or whatever drug he used to wear off. He also was meticulous in putting every piece of clothing and whatever toys his victims had back exactly as he found it. With one drawer done, he moved onto the other. 1 Hour ago...
Karen woke up staring at the ceiling. Her vision was blurry, but she could tell that it was the ceiling of her room. She tried to move, but the leather restraints around her arms and legs wouldn't budge. She tried to scream, but the ball gag in her mouth baffled it into a whimper. Hearing the whimpering and sounds of struggling behind him, the Butcher closed the last drawer of the dresser and turned around, a smile forming underneath the mask. "There's no use in screaming or struggling, my young harlot."
he said to her through the device that disguised his voice. "Neither will do you any good."
He sat down on the bed and stroked her hair as he said, "You have a very impressive array of outfits and toys in your possession. I really like the red lacy number in the top right hand drawer."
He drew the knife out of its sheath, letting her eye it as he continued, "It's a shame though that you won't be wearing it as I plan on gutting you very slowly and meticulously."
Her eyes grew wide as he got up off the bed and let his eyes scan her body, looking for a starting point. He grinned as he stopped at her throat and hovered the knife over it. She was crying ans pleading more than ever now. She was hoping this was just a bad dream and that she'd wake up at any moment. But it wasn't a dream and she really was naked, gagged, and restrained to her bed at the mercy of a faceless, sick person who was going to open her up and scoop out her guts. Karen went to scream as he raised the knife, but her scream was cut short as the knife went slowly across and through her throat like it was soft butter. As she bled out and her life faded away, the Butcher went to work, starting with a Y incision from shoulder to shoulder and down to her waist. Opening her up, he started the process of slowly and meticulously removing her major organs one by one. He placed each organ on the bed next to her in the order that they were removed.
Once he was finished, it was time to take a trophy. He always took a body part from his victims as a memento, a trophy to commemorate his victims. He never took the same part, always something different. He didn't have an eye in his collection yet, but he soon would. With his knife, the Butcher carefully scooped out Karen's right eyeball, taking time to cut the optic nerve. Once that was done he slipped his prize into a small, sealed glass container and slipped it into a pocket. He then walked into the bathroom and started to clean up. Now...
Freshly cleaned of the sinner's blood, the Butcher put his knife away and stepped out to look at the mutilated corpse of Karen Sue. He sighed a satisfactory sigh and was proud to know that thanks to him there was one less whore walking the streets. Bowing his head to the corpse, he bid her adieu. Making sure that the coast was clear, the Butcher of Eavesdown disappeared into the darkness of night as quickly as he came.
Lily Kincaid - June 2, 2011 04:10 AM (GMT)
The night before in the infirmary…
Lily had been at the Constable for two days. It was getting late in the evening and she knew that soon she would be in trouble. The money she made from Hutch and the man named Cole the night Blane had beat her had run out and now she was under quota for her contributions. Blane was probably set up outside her place, wanting to know when she was getting back to work. She knew that the wrong response would probably gift her with some more violence and she didn't think her body could endure more kicks from him.
Gingerly, she sat up from the table and swung her feet over the edge. Her ribs protested, but the doc had fixed her up good and she was well enough to get back to work. She searched a bit until she found the dress she wore the other night. She noticed the blood on it and made note that she'd probably have to throw the garment out if the blood could not be washed out. She put it on and then rooted around until she found some personal care items. She brushed her teeth, washed her face and combed her hair. She smiled at her reflection in the mirror. A new outfit (preferably a corseted one for support) and a little make-up would make her ready to work.
She turned around to find Hutch standing there.
"Where are you going?"
"I have to get back to work," she quietly told him. "If I don't start working tonight, I will be under quota. I can't be under quota."
"You're hurt still. Your ribs can't be healed already," he reminded her as he walked forward until he was standing next to her by the exam table.
"They are good enough. Doc did a fine job, even if she don't like me much."
Hutch smiled a bit.
"You picked up on that, did you?"
Lily rolled her eyes and she started to walk towards the door.
"Wave me before you leave-" she started to say, but his hand gently grasped her wrist. She smiled slightly. "Hutch, I need to leave. I have work to do."
"I could give you the money to keep you above board," he offered. "So you can rest some more."
"You know I have to work," she reminded him. "I'll earn my money like I normally do. Believe me, I have worked in worse pain before. And I'm not taking a hand out."
"Well, in that case," Hutch said as he pulled her closer. His voice deepened. "Who said it was a hand out. At least I would be someone you know; someone who would be extra gentle."
He placed his hands on her hips, being careful not to touch her injured torso, and pulled her gently forward. Happy that he was indeed someone she knew would be gentle, she kissed him softly, then kept kissing him as the intensity built up. A slight moan escaped her lips as a sound was heard behind them.
"Captain, this isn't the place for your… business transactions," Eva said evenly. "Get the fuck out of my med-bay."
Hutch and Lily parted as he glowered at Eva. Without saying a word, he took Lily's hand and led her out of the med-bay. Lily made sure to smirk at Eva on the way out. Hutch then took her to his suite and closed the door.
Dr. Eva Black - June 2, 2011 04:56 AM (GMT)
Eva sighed and lit a cigarette. Pouring herself a gin she grimaced as the liquor went down in one shot.
She thought of the events of the past few days. Only hours earlier she'd prepared to blow her brains out. Nothing seemed worth it and she'd even left an extra deposit at the inn's front desk along with a note.
Please excuse the mess in room 314. I tried to make the shot as clean as possible, but I hope you understand that the nature of a gunshot wound to the head is not the cleanest of deaths. I considered mixing a lethal dose of hydroploxin B, but that as I'm sure you know that has a slight chance of causing irreparable brain damage in lieu of death. I may be many things, but I have no wish to let myself become a vegetable thank you very much."
As I am not alive to clean the brain matter and skull fragments out of your carpet, please accept this small deposit as my personal payment for the cleaning fee. I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused to your custodial staff.
Eva Anne Black
"Hmmm, maybe I should call the front desk and ask for my fifty credits back," Eva mused to herself as she poured another gin.
Sheriff Boyd Lanyers - June 2, 2011 05:05 PM (GMT)
Mid Class Hovel #22 - Red Light District - Midtown
Sheriff Boyd Lanyers looked down at the mutilated body of Karen Sue.
"Jesus Christ," he exclaimed as he looked down at the whore who basically lay on the bed, tied to the four corners an soaking in a pool of her own blood. All of her organs removed and put in neat rows on the table next to her. "It's not even six in the morning and I have to deal with this?"
He looked over at Delano, who he knew was that route's collector.
"You call this in?" Lanyers asked.
"Yes, sir," Delano replied.
At least he knows how to be polite, he thought. Shows respect to the badge. That's good.
"Looks like the work of the Butcher," Lanyers continued, stating the obvious.
The Sheriff turned and looked at his deputies.
"You know the drill," he instructed him. "Let's see what we can find out."
Lanyers turned to Delano and with the most sincere face he could muster, he gave him the "good talk."
"Now I want you to know that we'll do the best we can to bring this monster to justice," Sheriff Lanyers told him, even going as far as resting a comforting hand on the man's shoulder. "What's happening down here. It's just... it's just horrific."
Lanyers turn around to face his men, giving them an eye roll.
Lanyers knew he could care less.
His deputies knew it.
And Delano knew it too.
Cooper Mandrake - June 2, 2011 05:09 PM (GMT)
Mandrake had spent the last two days in the Crime Lab. He'd found it easier to work there and there was activity in the next room. Which surprised him at his finding some diversion, or comfort, in having folks milling around.
He'd found plenty on the Eavesdown Docks and nearby Persephone. Lots of low level criminals, no one real big, or at least they kept themselves looking deliberately small. The big fish got attention of the Alliance, and the small fish made sure the Alliance knew about the big fish. It was how things worked on the Border planets. Not a rule exactly, but a broad generality.
Blane was there though, and hundreds of others. As to how everyone connected, that was the problem. The little fish grew and shrank with the passing months. Computer models didn't lend themselves to connecting all the criminal dots. That required feet on the ground. Feet on the beat that reported accurate information and not just sniffs of rumor. Information not filtered by a payoff to look the other way or forward something on a rival.
It was a mess. As long as a smart boss stayed just under the more focused radar of the larger Alliance, they'd flourish. Any seasoned organizer would know just where the ceiling on that would be. Which didn't reduce the amount of violence. Too much really. The whole place looked like it could really get out of control. Instead of any attempt to control it, or contain it; everything suggested it was just ignored and covered up. Not a conspiracy, just apathy. Which frankly, worked out worse for the poor souls that had to live out their lives under it.
So not much help regarding Blane.
To kill some time Mandrake had started to cross referenced the violent crime files. They were in shoddy shape, and greatly lacking in detail in the dirty parts of town which was where he'd been interested.
But last night was a particularly violent night. Some out of control John took a bloody knife to a working girl. The word "carve" was mentioned.
The little ping of a significant hit. The correlation program that Cooper had been running hit something of significance. Several items of significance. The detail was scant, but the crimes in the Docks were not just the usual robust bullying of the helpless. Still that wasn't all that unusual, strings of hunters taking advantage of the lowest class; easy prey. But there was more, something the computer program wasn't quite spelling out.
Cooper Mandrake made generous use of the printer. He liked hard copies. Then he could sort and compare, hold things at an angle, turn them and arrange them in ways only the latest high tech computers could do. And still it wasn't like having the paper spread out on three tables and two walls; which is was now. He had the Crime Lab nearly covered, and they didn't even have a case.
And Cooper started to get a cold shiver. Wasn't anyone doing any police work in the docks? A rapist was on the loose, serial in nature; descriptions of clothing varied, but the M.O. stood out. A couple girls barely escaped getting shipped out, some sort of slaving operation? And yet no follow up. Nothing.
Then something from two weeks ago popped up. A murder of a hooker in the Red Light District's Midtown Area. The body was found in her residence. The weapon used was a knife. There were no autopsy photos. Just two pics of different angles of the actual crime scene. And it was gruesome. It was like a dissection.
The hairs on the back of Cooper's neck started to stand on end as he paused to think. Slowly, he toggled back to the report from last night.
Red Light District. Midtown Area. Hooker. Killed in her residence. With a knife. And the use of the word "carve." No other information was entered.
But one killer, two dead bodies. Had to be the same, it sounded too similar.
And you didn't cut someone like that a second time. Not unless you liked the first time. And if you did, and did it again in two weeks.
"Fuck me dead." He froze in the chair. A certainly someone was behind him, with a knife.
He turned in the swivel work chair, no one was there.
Captain Jeremiah Hutchins - June 2, 2011 05:15 PM (GMT)
The Constable - Captain Hutchins' Suite
Hutch and Lily uncoupled from some early morning activities. Lily slipped down under the covers and lay very still on her back.
"Do your ribs hurt?" Hutch asked her.
"I'm fine. I had a couple of twinges here and there last night, but I managed."
"Yes. You. Did."
Lily giggled as he rolled over on his side and began tracing the curves of her body with his finger. She exhaled sensually and closed her eyes.
"I need to get back, Hutch."
"No you don't," Hutch said as he kissed her shoulder. "You're still on my dime."
"That I am," she agreed as her lips found his. "But this is collection day and I've been gone for a couple of days. Blane… Blane will be looking for payment."
Hutch tensed up at the mere mention of the man's name.
"I'll go with you and wait while you pay him," he told her. "Then we can hang out at your place. I left my stuff there and a bath would be nice."
"A bath indeed," Lily mused. "Well, let's get going then."
Hutch helped her up, then they got dressed and headed for engineering.
"Just a slight detour. I need to get something," Hutch told her as he came across Reese and Cole in the engine room. "Reese, did we fix those comms or get them replaced altogether? I need one.
"One that works."
While Hutch talked to Reese, Lily noticed Cole.
"Cole?" she asked, surprised. "Hutch is your employer? You turned me down because Hutch was your new boss?"
Lily snorted, then laughed.
"We could have had such a good time if I had known that was the problem."
Kellen Kenrowe - June 2, 2011 05:16 PM (GMT)
Red Light District - Flat # 7
Kellen Kenrowe woke up in a strangers bed. He almost always did that. He'd find a girl and while away the night with her. He started out in the upper class of the city and made his way down. He stopped in the Red light District and found Jana. With out seeing some one better, he settled for her. He even drank three more half pints of Chevous Regal just to make sure he could stomach the women.
Jana stood as tall as he and could take what he offered and come back for more. He look over at her now, her dark hair coverd the right side of her face as she slept. The hair helped to hide the bruise that he knew had formed in the night. It was the final punch that he landed before he forced her to service him from her knees.
He smlied at that as he traced his hand down from his chest, across his still rock hard abs to rest between his legs.
He was ready again for more of what Jana had to offer.
"Wake up Doxy. I'm ready for round Four."
Jana - June 2, 2011 05:31 PM (GMT)
Jana laid next to Kellen Kenrowe. She knew he thought she was asleep, but really she was just wondering when he would get around to leaving. She had read him all wrong. When she picked him up around 3:30 am, he looked like a nice guy. She knew he was from a local wealthy family and figured he could make a good candidate for a regular customer. She was wrong.
The abuse started out slowly and not until the end of her first time with him. He had wrapped his fingers around her throat and squeezed when he was at his peak. Afterwards she had jumped up and asked him what the Hell was wrong with him, but he apologized, saying his hand had slipped. He seemed so sincere, so she let him stay. Again, she was wrong.
The second time she mentioned that she would be more comfortable if she took the on top position. He readily agreed and again everything was fine until he orgasmed. This time he had sat up a little as he became more aroused and at that very special time, he grabbed one of her arms and twisted it behind her back until she screamed out in pain. At one point she truly believed he was going to break her arm.
After that she demanded that he leave and went as far as getting out of bed and sifting through the coin her gave her so she could give back any above the going rate for the time he did business with her. All it got was a struggle with him, a big bruise on her back and a fist to the right side to her face. Out of the corner of her eye, she had caught sight of the hilt of a very large knife sticking out of his coat and submitted to his orders, including the forced continuation of the evening.
The knife had really scared her. Who knows what he had in mind for that. She knew that it could be very probable that she could end up on the wrong end of that knife by the end of the night. She just wished he would get his fill, pay her and leave. And again, she was wrong.
He checked himself out, called her a doxy and demanded more.
She hoped it would end soon and in a way that did not involve a body bag.
Reverend Lucas Marley - June 2, 2011 05:33 PM (GMT)
Reverend Lucas Marley rested his cross on the wall and watched the people go by in the early morning light. Sinners. Every one.
"Repent. Repent! Your sins shall drag you down! There is but one god and he is forgiveness incarnate, but you must meet him in the middle. People! You must try for as clean a soul as your feeble flesh can manage!" Lucas stepped into the market square as he spoke, directing his speech at one person, then the next. Any that walked by were sinners to be repentant. He was the one to help them. If only they'd let him.
"Don't you realize, it's your eternal soul at stake here!"
No one even turned to look at him. Lucas felt anger rise in him. Righteous anger. He was trying to save them, show them the one true path to wondrous salvation and they ignored him? Sinning bastards.
Lucas picked up his cross and headed down the street. He was tired after last night, but there was still so much to be done. He'd stop again when he reached the red light district. The whores. The filthy, scummy, lecherous, misleading whores. The ones that with their wiles lead good men to the devil and made them happily shake hands and pass over their souls. He would reach them eventually. Eventually, no matter what it took, he would show them. Lord knew, he'd already done much to try and show them their errors. The bitches had to either change what they were or they'd find themselves in hell, playthings of the devil and his minions, serving their times on their backs with nothing but hard rocks beneath and harder things within. They had to stop leading men astray. For their own sakes.
Cooper Mandrake - June 2, 2011 05:34 PM (GMT)
Cooper went to the galley and had a drink. He stepped outside and had a smoke; tossed it away after a couple puffs. Then to his room.
He tried to write a chapter, failed. Couldn't sleep. This assignment was intended to get him away from all this melodramatic ultra crime profiling bullshit. But once it got a hook in. GORRAMITALL.
There was not way to be certain. Not enough facts. And it was the Eavesdown Docks. The idea that someone didn't get killed, beaten, hurt; that was hardly illuminating. Still it was riding him. They weren't ready to leave yet. If they could just be off. The Rim. Quiet. Easy duty.
Mandrake found himself outside again. The security guards noticed his return with a raised eyebrow. He signed himself out of the log book, considered putting his destination as personal. But changed his mind. 'Sheriff's Office.' he wrote and headed to the local authorities. It couldn't hurt to look just a little closer, shoot the bull with the locals; courtesy call. Usually just the sort of thing to make everyone really uncomfortable. But if he didn't do something he'd never get to sleep.
He presented his credentials to the front desk. "I'm with the ILEV Constable, just stopping by to say hello." His Core Detective Badge though that wouldn't tell anyone 'pleasant hello'. Someone would be getting their uniform straightened, worried to high hell as to what it could really be all about. At least he was counting on shaking something up. And all for just a look at a case file or two. How to explain though. Without getting feathers ruffled, without stirring things up, and still getting cooperation.
'yeah', he had it now. The whole, 'for my next book' line. That would put them at ease.
Kiki - June 2, 2011 05:36 PM (GMT)
Kiki walked comfortably through the Flats, heading towards Lily's. The Flats weren't her station anymore, but she never felt out of place. She had spent 20 years there. She was aging and she had lost her standing as one of the better whores in the Red Light District, so she was moved to midtown where she would stay as long as she wanted to work. She was barely inside Delano's route and was grateful for that little bit of kindness. Delano treated his girls well. At her age, she didn't think she could take the abuse from him anymore without wanted to plug a few large holes in him. She had done her time under him (and that was also in the literal sense of the word).
The whores in the entire district held Kiki in high regard, even though she had fallen in stature. She was the oldest whore who still pulled in a decent living and had filled the matriarchal role within the district. Girls came to get her advice on many, many facets of the business, whether they were Dockies trying to move up or Gems trying to keep their place.
Unlike her rise to the top, Lily had landed herself in Midtown right away. She probably only had a year or year-and-a-half worth's of experience and still managed to land herself a place in the Flats. Sure, her first place was on the outside edge, but as time went by, she became one of the four largest income producing whores in the district and earned one of the prime real estate spots mid row. The four flats in the middle were larger than the rest.
Kiki finally arrived on Lily's doorstep and knocked on the door. To her chagrin, there was still no response. She tried to look in the window but the thick curtains kept her from seeing anything. For all she knew, Lily could have made it back and was unconscious on the floor or worse. No one had seen her in over two days. Kiki was worried about her. She flagged down another Gem and asked them if they had seen Lily anywhere in the last two days. The girl indicated that she hadn't and Kiki's heart sank a little.
Would Blane actually go and kill one of the top 4 girls in the District? Wouldn't that make the Boss a tad bit testy? Well, testy would be a gross understatement. She decided to go find him and see if she could find out some news about Lily. Kiki decided that if she had to sleep with him to get that information, she would make that sacrifice.
Blane lived in MCH #31. It was not unheard of for a collector to take up residence in a hovel on the route he managed. It kept him close to the girls and make sure that he kept them in line. She took the long way around, hoping to see Lily walking up the road, but she didn't. She turned down the road and entered midtown. Passing by her own residence, she made her way up the street, but stopped about halfway there. Up ahead, she saw Ink standing there, scanning the crowd.
Ink was an odd fellow too and one you didn't get too close to unless you had to. He was often in the District, watching people pass by and playing with his PDA as he did. Why he did was beyond her, but she didn't feel like drawing his attention, so she made the decision to try to talk to Blane later. Instead, she decided to head back to Lily's and camp out on her doorstep in hopes that she'd turn up soon.
Ed "Cole" Coleman - June 2, 2011 05:40 PM (GMT)
"Cole?" "Hutch is your employer? You turned me down because Hutch was your new boss?"
Cole had been passing by, his head wrapped up in the technical manual for the Constable. He was wearing his comfortable clothes; a button up shirt, pressed slacks and a light coat. One hand held the datapad, and the other a coffee, heavily creamed and sugared to the point that it was unrecognizable as a caffeinated beverage. His eyes went wide when he heard Lily's voice and he spun on one heel, intent on being somewhere - anywhere - but in her presence. When she called out, he froze in mid-spin. She was in that gray area that rests between anger and playful anger, and it was an area he didn't like to travel in.
"Lily, hey, good to see you," he said as he reversed his spin to face her. "Boss, good to see you. Um, yeah. Look. You see, I-"
"We could have had such a good time if I had known that was the problem."
He smiled, his body uncoiling itself from the flight impulse that had nearly taken over. "No hard feelings I hope. I was sorely tempted. I'd be crazy if I hadn't been, but it's one of those unwritten laws that exist to keep assholes like me from becoming mega-assholes. 'Thou shalt not lay pipe in another man's house' or 'Never date a woman with a brother named Nunzio'. Those are good things to live by."
Lily Kincaid - June 2, 2011 05:44 PM (GMT)
"...'Thou shalt not lay pipe in another man's house'..."
She laughed heartily and stepped forward so that she was very, very close to him. She ran a finger playfully down his chest.
"No man owns my... 'House'," she whispered as she leaned close to his ear. "You can... 'lay pipe' any time you want so long as you have the coin, dong ma?"
Then she backed away, just a little, still standing incredibly close to Cole.
"Hutch didn't have a problem when I did business with Cooper, why should you be any different?" she asked. She twisted to say something to Hutch and grimaced. Straightening out her torso, she continued. "Isn't that right, Hutch?"
"That is true, Cole," Hutch told him as he shot a concerned look aver at Lily. She smiled faintly in return and Hutch continued. "I am fully aware of her profession. She's not my girlfriend. She's got work to be done."
Hutch turned back to Reese.
"I really need to go," he emphasized. "Do we have comms that work or not?"
Ink - June 2, 2011 05:46 PM (GMT)
Ink had heard word of something going down on his turf and that some sheriff had gotten involved... he did not like being unawares of everything happening in his area. He had gone down there early to keep an eye on the happenings, also he wanted to check up on Lily... he hadn't heard from his number 1 girl, and that angered him, though it didn't show. If Blane had injured her too much.... Ink takes a deep breath to relax himself before getting worked up, he had to maintain his calm facade while out in the public. From a corner, he smoked a cigarette, watching the crowd begin to gather around an apartment. It was time to get some information.
Rachel - June 2, 2011 05:49 PM (GMT)
Rachel was a Stepper who had garnered a spot in Midtown when she started. Most people in the District knew very little girls who had done that. One other was Lily Kincaid. Rachel had the looks of a teenager, even though she was 21 and like it or not, there was a market for that. Rachel fulfilled that niche market.
Rachel had a good night. She met up with a customer who had some odd tastes. He had used up all her flavored body paint using her body as a big fingerpainting canvas, she was still picking whipped cream out of her hair and dried ice cream made parts of her skin sticky to the touch. She really needed a shower, but she thought she'd run over to Bradford's and pick up a couple of things before it got too busy. She wanted to get her errands done first thing and then go back to her hovel for a hot shower and a long sleep. So there she was standing in the midst of Bradford's store, with her hair up in a messy bun and wearing a long coat that covered up any evidence of the goings on from the previous night.
Bradford's was barely on the edge of the market district on the other side of the Flats. She always thought that it fit better in the markets down by the Wilds, but she guessed that he did enough business making dresses for the elite that he could afford the rent.
For her trade though, Bradford's was a special place and he catered to Red Light District. At Bradford's, you could get just about anything an industrious whore might need. A dress that beckoned men to look at you, lotions, oils, paints, etc. If you saved up enough money, you could have him custom make a garment just for you. Most of the Gems got their dresses here and every once in a while, she'd actually see a companion come down from the main city. That's something you just didn't see down in the District very often: a companion. Rachel thought a Gem's life was glamorous, she couldn't even fathom what it was like being a companion.
Rachel rifled through the items at Bradford's, picking up 3 more containers of body paint (red, blue and yellow), some perfumed oils and a bottle of perfume. She went up to the counter to pay for them, but didn't see the owner anywhere.
"Silas? You back there?" she called out. "I got some stuff that needs payin' for and I wanna get back to my place!"
She didn't hear anything except a soft sound of something being pushed across the floor.
"Silas? You hear me?" she called out again. "I knowd your back there! I can hear ya."
Rachel heard a grunt then a simple "Coming!"
"Shiny!" she yelled back again. Looking around a little she didn't see the last thing she needed. "You got them furry handcuffs somewheres? I needs a new pair! Black is fine."
I should have charged the guy more because I have to replace those, she thought. I ain't never gonna get chocolate syrup out of the fur on them things. Hope it comes off the sheets.
Silas Bradford - June 2, 2011 05:54 PM (GMT)
Bradford's Erotic Clothing & More Boutique - Back Storage Room
|"Shiny!" she yelled back again. Looking around a little she didn't see the last thing she needed. "You got them furry handcuffs somewheres? I needs a new pair! Black is fine."|
"There's a box of them in here!" Silas replied from the back. "I'll grab you a pair after I finish up with inventory back here!"
Inventory. That's what he called it when he was in the back room, either checking the stock of his supplies, moving and rearranging stuff around, or unpacking the newest and latest arrivals. Silas Bradford was a very busy man who had lots of customers to satisfy and satisfy them he did. Items literally flew off the racks, shelves, and display counters at his store. He swore most of his merchandise had legs and arms of their own, the place was that busy. He didn't mind it though and as long as the Credits and platinum kept rolling in, he'd deal with the long hours and sleepless nights associated with running his business.
After he had finished up his work in the back storage room, Silas walked over to one of the shelves that spanned the height of the room and sat back against the wall. It was one of several shelves that lined the walls. They held many assorted small and medium sized boxes of various merchandise from A to Z. What boxes were too big to be stored on the shelves were taken below via the small service lift down to the basement, where they were kept with the shipping crates of clothing. The basement was well protected from vermin and the outside environment, so Silas didn't worry about it being flooded or rats chewing and making nests out of the clothing in the crates.
Using the ladder that rolled along the length of the shelves, Silas found the small box marked 'Handcuffs - Fur Lined'. He cradled it underneath an arm and stepped down off the ladder. Rummaging through the box of fur lined handcuffs of assorted colors, Silas found a pair of black ones and started to head out of the storage room.
"Sorry for making you wait, Rachel, my dear." he replied as he stepped out of the back room, closing the door behind him and locking it. He knew most of his repeat customers by name and could tell who they were by voice alone. "I just received a new shipment of toys and was in the process of..."
Silas turned around and caught sight of Rachel's hair. His jaw dropped and he almost dropped the cuffs and the box of them under his arm. In a surprised tone, he exclaimed, "Lordy be! What happened to your hair?" He set the black fur lined cuffs down on the counter along with the box and continued, "It looks like a twister came down from the heavens above and mussed it up every which-a-way and back. Please tell me it was from a wild night of fun and not a bizarre act of nature."
Ed "Cole" Coleman - June 2, 2011 05:58 PM (GMT)
Cole sighed and set the datapad down. "She has her ear buds in, probably has her music about ten decibels higher than you can shout, boss." He scooped up several comm units Reese had already tweaked and handed them over. "I had a look at her corrections and they look spot on. Say what you want about her lack of response, but she knows her job." He scratched the side of his nose and looked down at her.
"Well, plus she's really fast at fixing those things." He held up his hands and wiggled the fingers. "Small hands. She's like a little... electronic... elf...fixing type person. Very good for productivity." He stood still for a moment longer, realized he'd sounded silly and picked up the datapad. "Wow. Look at all those little squiggly bits I need to go prod at. I'll be in the engine room unless you have anything else for me."
Reese Foster - June 2, 2011 06:03 PM (GMT)
"Hell no, we're the engineers around this place and I doubt Hutch wants us to run this military style. Anything you see that needs wrenching, you go for it. Anything except the engine. That's the one area I like to control, both the mechanical aspects and the environment. It's a very bad habit, egged on by too many years of being in charge of the engine room… Plus, from the sound of things, your strengths with electronics fills in a weakness on my part. I can do all that wiring, but I'd rather be doing anything else. Like slamming my fingers in a door or watching paint dry. Working on comm units would just take time away from my true goal: seeing how much I can hot-rod this ship up without Hutch noticing."
Reese was all smiles and took a careful mental note not to step on Cole's toes. She was here to help not to hinder the operations. She liked that she'd be working figuratively hand in hand with Cole, he was nice and it took a lot of her jitters away to know she wasn't working for tyrants. Though the captain seemed to be hit or miss, she wasn't sure how he would turn out but all and all everyone was good people.
"Roger, stay away from your engine. As for wiring I love doin' it. I mean it takes awhile but it's like a jigsaw puzzle, just gotta figure out the pieces is all. I'll gladly do anythin' you don't wanna just to be here on this amazing ship is well… amazing. I'm so uber-hyped to be here. I better get working on those comms though. Don't want th'capt'n thinkin' ill of me. After dishes of course." She finished cleaning the dishes and gathered up all the comm's and began working on them. It was simple really and the comm's weren't as bad as she thought, it was just a few bad parts and a bit of tightening here and there before she was done.
Her next order of business, more for her own benefit she began skimming through files on the ship, any piece of technical information she could horde. Making notes and remembering to dot the I's with a heart, she spent the next hours preparing her own file so she was prepared in case something came up. Her ear buds belting out the latest song by the Persephone Sisters, one of her favourite groups. It was so loud and she was so zoned into her research that she hadn't even heard the captain call to her. It was only by chance that she looked up to see him and quickly did away with her ear buds ripping them unceremoniously from her ears and looking to the captain.
"Oh were.. were you talking to me capt'n? I fixed the comm's. I was just makin' notes on th'ship. Um… or is there somethin' I'm supposed to be doin'?" Her face nearly turned red as she stood facing the very obviously perturbed captain, whether his anxiety was towards her or something else she would leave to guess.
Lily Kincaid - June 2, 2011 06:10 PM (GMT)
Hutch took a repaired comm, tested it out and thanked Reese, giving her some praise for her quick work. Lily was starting to get a little antsy.
"I'm taking Lily back to her Flat and I might be a while. Comm me if you need anything," he instructed them.
Lily and Hutch walked back to her Flat from the Docks, passing the markets, then the Wilds and into Midtown. They were about center Midtown when they saw a crowd growing around one of the MCHs. Cops were there and a coroner had just arrived. Lily's gut tightened and she stopped someone who came from the crowd.
"What's going on?" she asked. "There's a coroner. What's happened?"
The girl, young and barely a Stepper, looked at Hutch suspiciously, then decided to whisper into Lily's ear. The blood drained from Lily's face as the girl ran quickly away.
"What's up?" Hutch asked as he eyed Lily's reaction and the growing crowd. "You OK?"
"It's Karen Sue," she told him as she stopped to face him, a small tear forming in her eye. "She's been murdered."
Hutch grabbed her by the hand and pulled her toward the scene.
"Let's just check it out," Hutch told her. "Find out if they know who did it."
Lily nodded slightly as Hutch led her towards Karen Sue's hovel. By the description the young Stepper gave her, she already knew who had done it.
It was the Butcher.
Sheriff Boyd Lanyers - June 2, 2011 06:15 PM (GMT)
The Sheriff took the time to shoo everyone away from the crime scene. It was getting too crowded and the more people that were there meant that it would take longer for him and his deputies to extricate themselves from this mess.
Once he did, he turned his back to the street and started issuing orders.
"Deputy," he asked once of the two guys that had accompanied him. He tried to sound all authoritative in case someone was near enough. "Have you canvassed the area?"
The deputy shrugged slightly and stuffed his notebook into his jacket.
"I asked two of the Steppers around here. Both of them were out and didn't see a thing," he reported. "There really wasn't many people around to ask."
Sheriff Lanyers smiled at the report knowing that there was a good 20-30 people he had just sent away from the scene.
"And you, officer?" he asked, turning to the other lawman with them. "Did you get some evidence collected?"
"I took a couple of pictures. Just 2 or 3, though," he answered. "It was a bit unclean in there. You never know what you could catch if you stayed in there long. Plus, wouldn't want to waste film."
"Good job, men," Lanyers said with a smirk. "Looks like a mere murder of a whore. Standard kinda thing down here. They pick up a john and you never know what they'll get."
He pulled out a stem phone and rang up the office.
"Hey, Gloria," he said as he addressed the secretary. "Got a murder down here in Midtown in Hovel #22. Nothing special. We got what we could, but the case has gone cold. Call for a clean up crew, get the place scrubbed. I'm sure management down here would like to get things back to normal and move another rutting whore into the spot. If it was up to me, I would rid the whole town of these harlots. Just worthless folk taking up space."
He cut the transmission and stuck the phone back into his jacket, before looking up at his people. They seemed frozen and looking over his shoulder.
He turned to look to see what was there and came face to face with one Captain Jeremiah Hutchins, who had a less than happy look on his face.
Dr. Eva Black - June 2, 2011 06:20 PM (GMT)
subject: Your activities
Captain Hutchins, we have not served together long but I believe it is my duty as chief medical officer on board this vessel to make sure you are aware of the medical implications of your...activities. I know it is not my place to pry into your personal business, and I am not trying to call your command abilities into question, but it is no secret to me that you partake of the services provided by the ladies of the red light district.
I realize that such services are legal and regulated by the local government, but enforcement of regulations is lax on this world. There are a number of women who operate without proper licenses and do not submit to required medical examinations.
I'd like to remind you that venereal disease is a serious matter and can affect the health and performance of the crew. Therefore, as your doctor I am ordering you to present yourself to me at the soonest available opportunity for a general venereal disease immunization battery. It is a series of nine injections, mostly painless, but I feel a necessary precaution given your choice of extracurricular activities.
Captain Jeremiah Hutchins - June 2, 2011 06:30 PM (GMT)
"Hey, Gloria. Got a murder down here in Midtown in Hovel #22. Nothing special. We got what we could, but the case has gone cold. Call for a clean up crew, get the place scrubbed. I'm sure management down here would like to get things back to normal and move another rutting whore into the spot. If it was up to me, I would rid the whole town of these harlots. Just worthless folk taking up space."
"Excuse me?" Hutch said as he stepped a little closer to the Sheriff. His demeanor wasn't nice, not in any way, shape or form. "Calling a murder that just happened last night a cold case already? And worthless folk? I won't even get into my thoughts on that statement."
Sheriff Lanyers looked behind Hutch to see Lily standing there.
"Of course you wouldn't," he retorted. "Looks like you might be part of the problem."
Quick as lightning, Hutch had him by the shirt and slammed him up against the wall of the hovel. The lawmen with the Sheriff fumbled with trying to get their weapons out.
"Hutch..." Lily admonished him. She didn't want him to get in any kind of trouble. She knew the Sheriff and he was less than motivated on crimes that happened in the District, but was more than happy to flex his authoratative muscles when given the chance.
"Now boys, I would put those pieces down," Hutch warned. "I am sure that shooting a superior officer wouldn't look very good on your records."
"Superior officer," Lanyers snorted. "Ain't no one in this area that's a superior officer to me."
"Really?" Hutch laughed. "You must be blind, or even more incompetant than I thought, if you haven't seen that big, black ship down on the docks. It's name is the Constable? Funny how it has a big old federal law enforcement insignia on it."
"You're from the Constable?" Lanyers asked meekly as it dawned that this man was indeed a superior officer and a fed.
"Captain Jeremiah Hutchins is my name. You may call me Sir," he introduced himself as he let go of the sheriff and stepped back. "Now show me this cold case."
"No need to bother someone of your position," Lanyers said, trying to backpedal. "We got this covered."
Hutch rolled his eyes.
"Show me the scene," he ordered.
Hutch walked into Hovel 22 and what he saw there shocked him. The girl was tied to the bed, naked and laying in a massive pool of her own blood. Her organs had been removed and placed alongside her. Without looking, Lily had followed him in, saw the carnage and returned outside, vomiting into a nearby bush. The pain from it lit up her healing ribs, but she didn't notice too much. The image of Karen Sue was forever burned into her memory.
"Nothing special?" Hutch exclaimed. "I am afraid to see what something that was special looked like."
"They're just whores," the Sheriff stated. "I got better things to spend my time on."
Hutch really wanted to deck the guy for that statement, but showed great restraint.
"Well, go spend your time on them then," he spat out. "Make sure any evidence collected so far, photos and witness statements are forwarded to the Constable within the hour."
He turned to the one officer.
"You. Secure the crime scene until I get back. No one, I repeat, no one gets in," he turned to the Sheriff. "We'll be taking over this investigation, since you are so... busy."
He walked out, grabbed Lily's hand and started leading her back to the Constable.
"Hutch! I have to get back to my flat!" she protested. "Blane will probably be waiting."
"Blane can wait a bit more," Hutch growled. "We got better things to handle. Don't worry, you'll be compensated."
Hutch reached up to his comm and activated it.
"This is Captain Hutchins," he announced via the shipwide comm, plus anyone who might be from the ship and wearing a comm. His voice had taken on a definite business-like tone. "All crew members assemble in the briefing room. I'll be there in 10 minutes."
Cooper Mandrake - June 2, 2011 06:37 PM (GMT)
Mandrake had made little progress. The Sheriff was out, and the yahoos left behind (he was pretty sure that was the official Alliance Technical term, yahoos) didn't know squat. Except no one was going in the Sheriff's office. Other than that they were friendly and helpful. The secretary got him coffee, good coffee, and jabbered about his books. She was a big fan of the offbeat detective genre and if Cooper Mandrake would only put out a dozen books a year she'd buy them all. "Hard Copies too." Those genre readers loved their pulp.
The others in the office didn't seem to have any real function. He got the gist that maybe one was related to the Sheriff, or an official of the city in some way. They moved some reports around and looked at some traffic vid, but generally nothing much was going on.
After a detailed discussion of 'locked room' mysteries and Mandrake's fabricated tale of his own real life solving of one: the incredible clone in the classified laboratory case; Cooper Mandrake has them more or less eating out of his hand. All for naught. There were no files on the cases he was curious at looking over for his book research. The next case of Elwood Pawn would be Border Planet mystery. "Gloria, you better make sure you read it. There might be a Gloria in it."
The Sheriff's call came in, and Cooper leaned just close enough to get most of it. He just needed to see the scene, even after they'd trampled all over it. Just to satisfy his curiosity.
He smiled, excused himself, and asked, "Where does one get a nice dinner around here?" as though an invitation to Gloria might be in the offing.
Outside he walked half a block and was about to call Hutch when he got a call from him.
"This is Captain Hutchins, all crew members assemble in the briefing room. I'll be there in 10 minutes."
Cooper called back. "Say Captain. I was just over at the Sheriff's office stretching my legs. I'd been reading some case histories, could be they got something down in the Red Light. Crime scene about to get closed down. Any chance we'd be working a case or two here before we leave?"
He'd tried to sound non-chalant, but him out snooping on his own was likely trouble. Taking on cases wasn't usually how one got favorable attention with superior officers.