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2019 is looking to be a really, really exciting year for film. I’ve compiled a comprehensive list of 50+ upcoming original/adapted films that are showing real promise, and 25+ major franchise/sequel films. Includes summaries, links, and details. Enjoy!

2019.01.30 15:52 santaschesthairs 2019 is looking to be a really, really exciting year for film. I’ve compiled a comprehensive list of 50+ upcoming original/adapted films that are showing real promise, and 25+ major franchise/sequel films. Includes summaries, links, and details. Enjoy!

TL;DR: this year is insane.

Let me dive right in - hopefully I hit the 300 character minimum.

Original/adapted/stand-alone films:


Midsommar
A horror film from break-out director Ari Aster (Hereditary).
A young couple travels to Sweden to visit their friend’s rural hometown and attend its mid-summer festival. What begins as an idyllic retreat quickly descends into a bizarre and violent competition at the hands of a pagan cult.
Directed by Ari Aster. Starring Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, Will Poulter and William Jackson Harper.

Ad Astra
A sci-fi film with Brad Pitt - I’m itching for a trailer.
Army Corps engineer Roy McBride embarks on a mission across the galaxy to discover the truth about his father, who disappeared in space 20 years ago while searching for signs of alien life.
Directed by James Gray. Starring Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones and Ruth Negga.

Knives Out
Rian Johnson is a touch controversial after The Last Jedi, but he's undeniably very talented. He directed the best Breaking Bad episode after all.
Modern-day murder mystery in the classic Agatha Christie whodunit style.
Directed by Rian Johnson (The Last Jedi, Ozymandias). Starring Daniel Craig, Lakeith Stanfield, Chris Evans, Michael Shannon, Christopher Plummer, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis and Toni Collette.

The Irishman
A Scorsese film with Netflix that’s gone seriously over-budget, bound to be enjoyable.
A mob hit man recalls his possible involvement with the slaying of Jimmy Hoffa.
Starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Harvey Keitel, Joe Pesci and Ray Romano.

Little Women
A Greta Gertwig film with an outstanding cast. I’m excited. I also have a feeling this will have some play in the 2019 Oscars
Four sisters come of age in America in the aftermath of the Civil War.
Directed by Greta Gertwig. Starring Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Eliza Scanlen, Florence Pugh, Laura Dern, Meryl Streep, Timothée Chalamet, James Norton, Louis Garrel and Bob Odenkirk.

Velvet Buzzsaw
You’ve probably already seen the trailer. An art-world horror-satire from Dan Gilroy, on Netflix in Feb.
Big money artists and mega-collectors pay a high price when art collides with commerce. After a series of paintings by an unknown artist are discovered, a supernatural force enacts revenge on those who have allowed their greed to get in the way of art.
Directed by Dan Gilroy. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo and Toni Collette.

Uncut Gems
Adam Sandler taking on a serious role by the directors of Good Time (2017). If it has any of the same intensity or grit as Good Time this could be awesome.
Set in the diamond district of New York City, Howard Ratner, a jewelry store owner and dealer to the rich and famous, must find a way to pay his debts when his merchandise is taken from one of his top sellers and girlfriend.
Directed by the Safdie brothers. Starring Adam Sandler, Idina Menzel, Lakeith Stanfield and The Weeknd.

The Report
This got pretty great reviews at Sundance, I’m excited.
The story of Daniel Jones, lead investigator for the US Senate’s sweeping study into the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program, which was found to be brutal, immoral and ineffective. With the truth at stake, Jones battled tirelessly to make public what many in power sought to keep hidden.
Directed by Scott Z. Burns. Starring Adam Driver, Annette Bening, Jon Hamm and Jennifer Morrison.

Ford v. Ferrari
Awesome cast, great story, and directed by the guy behind Logan.
Follows an eccentric, determined team of American engineers and designers, led by automotive visionary Carroll Shelby and his British driver, Ken Miles, who are dispatched by Henry Ford II with the mission of building from scratch an entirely new automobile with the potential to finally defeat the perennially dominant Ferrari at the 1966 Le Mans World Championship.
Directed by James Mangold. Starring Christian Bale, Matt Damon, Jon Bernthal and Tracy Letts.

Late Night
This got some pretty great reviews at Sundance.
Legendary late-night talk show host’s world is turned upside down when she hires her only female staff writer. Originally intended to smooth over diversity concerns, her decision has unexpectedly hilarious consequences as the two women separated by culture and generation are united by their love of a biting punchline.
Directed by Nisha Ganatra. Starring Emma Thompson Mindy Kaling.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Holy shit.
A faded TV actor and his stunt double embark on an odyssey to make a name for themselves in the film industry during the Helter Skelter reign of terror in 1969 Los Angeles.
Directed by Quentin Tarantino. Cast includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Al Pacino, Timothy Olyphant, Tim Roth, Kurt Russell, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, Dakota Fanning,James Marsden, Damian Lewis, Luke Perry, Emile Hirsch, Damon Herriman and Scoot McNairy.
jesus christ i cannot wait

Us
If this is as spoopy as the trailer uh oh.
Husband and wife Gabe and Adelaide Wilson take their kids to their beach house expecting to unplug and unwind with friends. But as night descends, their serenity turns to tension and chaos when some shocking visitors arrive uninvited.
Directed by Jordan Peele. Starring Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss and Tim Heidecker.

The Lighthouse
Next film from the guy behind the VVitch
The story of an aging lighthouse keeper named Old who lives in early 20th-century Maine.
Directed by Robert Eggers. Starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson.

High Life
Really good reviews, sci-fi that looks like it could be pretty trippy.
A father and his daughter struggle to survive in deep space where they live in isolation.
Directed by Claire Denis. Starring Robert Pattinson.

Radegund
A Terrence Mallick movie, so it's going to be divisive, but the plot does have potential.
Told through real wartime letters, this love story finds a couple in conflict with the members of their close-knit town, their church, their government, and even their friends — all of which brings them to a dramatic choice.
Directed by Terrence Mallick. Starring August Deihl and Valerie Pachner.

Luce
I know every movie is called a sign of the times, but this one seems particularly geared towards the current politics. Really good Sundance reviews.
A star athlete and top student, Luce’s idealized image is challenged by one of his teachers when his unsettling views on political violence come to light, putting a strain on family bonds while igniting intense debates on race and identity.
Directed by Julius Onah. Starring Kelvin Harrison Jr., Naomi Watts, Tim Roth and Octavia Spencer.

The Souvenir
This one just got rave reviews at Sundance.
A quiet film student begins finding her voice as an artist while navigating a turbulent courtship with a charismatic but untrustworthy man.
Directed by Joanna Hogg. Starring Honor Swinton-Byrne, Tom Burke, Tilda Swinton and Richard Ayoade.

Untitled Noah Baumbach Project
This one is obviously a bit unknown. But the cast looks amazing, and if it turns out as good as The Meyerowitz Stories, I can't wait to watch. Will be a Netflix film.
Directed by Noah Baumbach. Starring Adam Driver, Scarlett Johannsen, Laura Dern and Greta Gertwig.

Honey Boy
Great reviews from Sundance, 100% on RT as of now.
The story of a child star attempting to mend his relationship with his law-breaking, alcohol-abusing father over the course of a decade, loosely based on Shia LaBeouf’s life.
Directed by Alma Har’el. Starring Shia LaBeouf, Lucas Hedges and yada yada.

Queen & Slim
Very interesting premise, and Daniel Kaluuya.
The film centers on a black man and black woman who go on a first date that goes awry after the two are pulled over by a police officer at a traffic stop. They kill the police officer in self-defense and rather than turn themselves in, they go on the run.
Directed by Melina Matsoukas. Starring Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith.

The Farewell
Another film with good reviews out of Sundance.
A headstrong Chinese-American woman returns to China when her beloved grandmother is given a terminal diagnosis. Billi struggles with her family’s decision to keep grandma in the dark about her own illness as they all stage an impromptu wedding to see grandma one last time.
Directed by Lulu Wang. Starring Awkwafina.

Long Shot
A comedy with a cool cast by Jonathan Levine.
A political journalist tries to hook up with his old babysitter, who now holds an important government position.
Directed by Jonathan Levine. Starring Seth Rogen, Charlize Theron and Alexander Skarsgård.

Rocketman
I was disappointed with Bohemian last year, so I'm reminding myself to be sceptical, but I hope this is excellent. Trailer here.
The story of Elton John's life, from his years as a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music through his influential and enduring musical partnership with Bernie Taupin.
Directed by Dexter Fletcher. Starring Taron Egerton (as Elton), Jamie Bell, Richard Madden and Bryce Dallas Howard.

The Goldfinch
Based on the bestselling book. Director of Brooklyn.
A boy in New York is taken in by a wealthy family after his mother is killed in a bombing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In a rush of panic, he steals ‘The Goldfinch’, a painting that eventually draws him into a world of crime.
Directed by John Crowley. Cast includes Ansel Elgort, Finn Wolfhard, Aneurin Barnard, Oakes Fegley, Ashleigh Cummings, Willa Fitzgerald and Nicole Kidman.

Big Time Adolescence
It's a little too early to tell from the Sundance reviews, but I really hope this is good. Pete Davidson and the guy who plays Sam in American Vandal star.
A 16 year old virgin with a growth hormone deficiency slowly gets corrupted by his hero, an aimless college dropout.
Directed by Jason Orley. Starring Pete Davidson and Griffin Gluck.

Triple Frontier
The cast for this Netflix action thriller is awesome. If the trailer and director is anything to go by though, this looks really promising.
Struggling to make ends meet, former special ops soldiers reunite for a high-stakes heist: stealing $75 million from a South American drug lord.
Directed by J.C. Chandor (Margin Call). Starring Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam and Pedro Pascal.

Chaos Walking
I hope this is amazing, but the premise sounds incredibly difficult to pull off. Good cast and director, so fingers crossed. I'm using the book description here.
A dystopian world where all living creatures can hear each other's thoughts in a stream of images, words, and sounds called Noise.
Directed by Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow). Starring Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley.

The Rosie Project
Few details are out. Ryan Reynolds, based on a good book.
An unlucky-in-love university professor creates an elaborate questionnaire in an effort to find a wife and meets an unconventional woman who doesn’t match any of his “requirements”, but might be the perfect woman for him.
Directed by Ben Taylor. Starring Ryan Reynolds.

The Beach Bum
The trailer looks completely wack. Make sure you watch it:
An irreverent comedy about the misadventures of Moondog, a rebellious stoner and lovable rogue who lives large.
Directed by Harmony Korine (Spring Breakers). Starring Matthew McConaughey, Snoop Dogg, Zac Efron and Isla Fisher.

Parasite
I don't know much about this one, but the director previously made Snowpiercer, Okja and my favourite, Memories of Murder. I'm excited.
All unemployed, Ki-taek’s family takes peculiar interest in the Parks for their livelihood until they get entangled in an expected incident.
Directed by Bong Joon-Ho. Starring Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Jo Yeo-jeong and Choi Woo-shik.

I Am Mother
This one comes from nowhere. An indie sci-fi with with an interesting plot, and good Sundance reviews.
A teenage girl is raised underground by a robot “Mother”, designed to repopulate the earth following an extinction event. But their unique bond is threatened when an inexplicable stranger arrives with alarming news.0
Directed by Grant Sputore. Starring Hillary Swank , Clara Rugaard-Larsen and Rose Byrne.

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile
You’ve more than likely heard of this one. Ted Bundy film starring Zac Efron. I’m not sure how excited I am for the film, but Efron’s performance is apparently very good.
A chronicle of the crimes of Ted Bundy, from the perspective of his longtime girlfriend, Elizabeth Kloepfer, who refused to believe the truth about him for years.
Directed by Joe Berlinger. Starring Lily Collins, Zac Efron and John Malkovich.

The Nightingale
The second film from the director of the Babadook. Really promising (and slightly divisive) reviews out of Sundance. Fun fact: you can kinda measure the divisiveness of a film on RT by comparing the percentage meter with the average rating. If the percentage is high but the average rating is low, it shows that the film is all-round solid and inoffensive. If the percentage rating is lower but the average rating is still high/moderate, it means there’s a large gap between those who loved and didn’t like it. Anyway, back to the Nightingale. I’m excited - doubly so since it’s an Aussie film.
In 1829, Claire, a 21-year-old Irish convict, chases a British soldier through the rugged Tasmanian wilderness, bent on revenge for a terrible act of violence he committed against her family. She enlists the services of an Aboriginal tracker named Billy, who is also marked by trauma from his own violence-filled past.
Directed by Jennifer Kent. Starring Aisling Franciosi, Sam Claflin, Damon Herriman and Ewen Leslie.

The Dead Don't Die
Another awesome cast, definitely one to look forward to. The plot summary isn’t out, but it’s a comedy zombie flick.
Directed by Jim Jarmusch. Starring Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Selena Gomez, Chloë Sevigny, Austin Butler, Steve Buscemi and Tilda Swinton.

Memoria
Tilda Swinton seems to be working a lot, woah.
Memoria revolves around a character (portrayed by Tilda Swinton) who suffers from exploding head syndrome, a psychological condition in which a person experiences loud noises when falling asleep or waking up.
Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Starring Tilda Swinton and Jeanne Balibar.

Where'd You Go, Bernadette
The trailer for this, particularly the music, wasn’t good. The content of the trailer shows a lot of potential though, and the book is apparently really good. Also: Richard Linklater.
When architect-turned-recluse Bernadette Fox goes missing prior to a family trip to Antarctica, her 15-year-old daughter Bee goes on a quest with Bernadette’s husband to find her.
Directed by Richard Linklater. Starring Cate Blanchett ,Emma Nelson, Billy Crudup, Kristen Wiig, Judy Greer and Laurence Fishburne.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Tom Hanks seems made for this role. Should be good.
The story of Fred Rogers, the honored host and creator of the popular children’s television program, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood (1968).
Directed by Marielle Heller. Starring Tom Hanks, Matthew Rhys and Chris Cooper.

High Flying Bird
I’ll make this quick: Excellent reviews so far. Netflix in Feb. Steven Soderbergh. Shot on an iPhone. Moonlight writer.
During an NBA lockout, a sports agent, Dean, presents his rookie client, Erick Scott, with an intriguing and controversial business opportunity.
Directed by Steven Soderbergh (Ocean’s 11). Starring André Holland Zazie Beetz Jeryl Prescott Kyle MacLachlan Caleb McLaughlin Zachary Quinto.

The Cradle
I don’t know much about this one but the plot intrigues me. For some reason it reminds me of Denis Villeneuve's early film, Incendies (if you haven’t watched yet, make it your next film - it’s incredible.)
A young couple not ready to expect their first baby track down a cradle, only to make a discovery that will change their family forever.
Directed by Hope Dickson Leach. Starring Jack O'Connell and Lily Collins.

The Woman in the Window
A Rear Window-esque movie with a great cast and director. Really hoping this is great, cos I love these kind of plots.
An agoraphobic woman living alone in New York begins spying on her new neighbors only to witness a disturbing act of violence.
Directed by Joe Wright. Starring Amy Adams, Gary Oldman, Julianne Moore and Wyatt Russell.

Gemini Man
The plot is crazy, but the cast and director can definitely pull it off.
Henry Brogen, an aging assassin tries to get out of the business but finds himself in the ultimate battle: fighting his own clone who is 25 years younger than him and at the peak of his abilities.
Directed by Ang Lee. Starring Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen and Benedict Wong.

The Last Black Man in San Francisco
Yet another film with great reviews from Sundance.
Jimmie Fails dreams of reclaiming the Victorian home his grandfather built in the heart of San Francisco. Joined on his quest by his best friend Mont, Jimmie searches for belonging in a rapidly changing city that seems to have left them behind.
Directed by Joe Talbot. Starring Jimmie Fails, Jonathan Majors, Rob Morgan and Tichina Arnold.

Blinded by the Light
Sundance musta been real great this year, cos once again we have another movie with good reviews out of it. Apparently wholesome and inspiring.
In 1987, during the austere days of Thatcher’s Britain, a teenager learns to live life, understand his family, and find his own voice through the music of Bruce Springsteen.
Directed by Gurinder Chadha. Starring Viveik Kalra, Nell William and Hayley Atwell.

Before You Know It
Good reviews. Sundance. Family comedy.
A long-kept family secret thrusts codependent, thirty-something sisters Rachel and Jackie Gurner into a literal soap opera. A journey that proves that you really can come of age, at any age.
Directed by Hannah Pearl Utt. Starring Hannah Pearl Utt, Jen Tullock and Judith Light.

Little Monsters
SUNDANCE. GOOD. ZOMBIES. COMEDY.
A washed-up musician teams up with a teacher and a kids show personality to protect young children from a sudden outbreak of zombies.
Directed by Abe Forsythe. Starring Lupita Nyong'o, Josh Gad, Alexander England and Nadia Townsend.

Jojo Rabbit
I'll watch anything Taika makes, but this looks insane - one of my most hyped. (I accidentally deleted this from the list while editing!!)
Jojo Rabbit is about a young boy living during World War II. His only escapism is through his imaginary friend, an ethnically inaccurate version of Adolf Hitler, who pushes the young boy’s naive patriotic beliefs. However, this all changes when a young girl challenges those views and causes Jojo to face his own issues.
Directed by Taiki Watiti. Starring Taiki Watiti (as Adolf Hitler), Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, Rebel Wilson and Alfie Allen.

The Lodge
A spoopy film that was well received at Sundance.
Two siblings spend the night alone with their new stepmother. Stuck in a remote mountain cabin, the trio are terrorised by a supernatural force.
Directed by Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala. Starring Riley Keough, Jaeden Lieberher and Lia McHugh.

1917
World War I film. Plot unknown.
Directed by Sam Mendes. Cinematography by Roger Deakins.

Dragged Across Concrete
Two policemen, one an old-timer, the other his volatile younger partner, find themselves suspended when a video of their strong-arm tactics becomes the media’s cause du jour. Low on cash and with no other options, these two embittered soldiers descend into the criminal underworld to gain their just due, but instead find far more than they wanted awaiting them in the shadows.
Directed by S. Craig Zahler. Starring Mel Gibson, Vince Vaughn, Don Johnson and Jennifer Carpenter.

I’m Thinking of Ending Things
A Charlie Kaufman film, set for Netflix.
An unexpected detour causes a woman who is trying to figure out how to break up with her boyfriend to rethink her life.
Directed by Charlie Kaufman. Starring Brie Larson and Jesse Plemons.

My thoughts

Feel free to ignore lol
After finally managing to finish this compilation, reading plots and wikis and watching trailers, I cannot believe how many good films there are coming out. This is reminding me of 2017, when I made a similar post - and 2017 was an absolutely amazing year overall, especially in light of the relative disappointment of 2018. There’s just so much promise in every category - horror, thriller, biopics, drama, action, comedy… and if you count zombie films as a genre unto themselves, then yeah, that too.
Of course, I cannot wait for Tarantino’s flick. But after that it’s hard to pick ordered favourites - Knives Out, The Dead Don’t Die, Us, The Report and Luce are films I cannot wait for, but there are so many others I’m pumped for - and I haven’t even gone into the blockbusters.

Speaking of…
For the franchise and sequel films, I haven’t gone to the effort of adding plot and cast details. They’re huge, you’ll hear all about them anyway.

Franchise/Sequel/Remake films

Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Star Wars: Episode IX
Zombieland 2: Double Tap
Pokémon: Detective Pikachu
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
Avengers: Endgame
Captain Marvel
Joker
Toy Story 4
Shazam!
It: Chapter Two
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
Spider-Man: Far from Home
Lion King
Dumbo
Aladdin
The New Mutants
Alita: Battle Angel
Hellboy
Dark Phoenix
Men in Black International
Fast & Furious presents: Hobbs & Shaw
Artemis Fowl
Charlie’s Angels
Kingsman 3
Sonic the Hedgehog
Frozen 2

I’m genuinely delirious. I told myself I would get this post done before I went to sleep and I am now totally exhausted. There were far more movies than I anticipated. This year is ridiculous and it has been mean to me. Of course, if I missed anything let me know and I’ll add it once I’ve woken up!
Oh, and if you want to follow me on Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/xaviertobin/
Hope you enjoy! :)
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2019.01.09 03:32 thril_hou Craig Gower’s lost diary (The Curious Incident at the Jack Newton Classic)

I was visiting my mate in Penrith recently, helping him clean out his old man’s attic.
I opened a dusty box and found this book that looked like a kids colouring-in book, with scribbles and crayon drawings. The book had these messy diary entries dated from 2005, full of spelling mistakes and it smelt like a Japanese wine cellar after an earthquake.
Anyway, curiosity got the better of me and I checked the front cover:
This diary belongs to:
Craig Gower. Keep Out!
The photos I took were blurry so here are all the pages written out verbatim (I fixed up his spelling and grammatical errors because I’m nice).
December 2005
Ow my head. Goddamn. I’m writing this while lying sprawled across my bed, I just woke up, I have my undies sorta on one leg, I absolutely stink, I’m covered in dirt, I think there’s vomit somewhere in my bedside table, my mouth is drier than the Sahara and I have that feeling of dread like I did something a bit naughty. I would have kept sleeping except my Nokia has been going crazy, I have over 10 text messages on there.
I have a hazy memory of the last few days. I guess that means my bucks party went well. Here is what I remember of yesterday. It all started well, day 2 of the bucks. We sorted out that drama with the strippers, had a few beers with the boys for brekky and then we rocked up to the Jack Newton Celebrity Golf Classic. Heaps of celebrities there – the old duck Dawn Fraser, Billy Smith, some dudes off the radio, Junior Pearce and the one armed man himself even greeted us as we arrived. Trent Waterhouse tried to give him a high 10 the cheeky bugger.
We walk in and Franky and Lewy geed me up and told me it was a beer-a-hole, but as club captain I set the example and made it beer-and-bourbon-a-hole. You gotta be a role model in these circumstances. I was paired with some numpty called Karl Stefanvic or something. Some Qld TV wanker. I ignored him, he wasn’t elite like us Penny Boiz. Wouldn’t even drink his beer out of his sand bucket the pussy.
I played well, I think I shot a 68 over the 18. I can’t really remember, but I definitely won. No doubt about that. Beat all those chumps. We got back to the club house and that’s when the fun started. I was pretty hammered by then.
I signed my score card and this bloke came up and called me a cheat, reckons I didn’t get an albatross on the par 5 17th. Started calling me a disgrace and all that. I ripped my shirt off and said to him ‘Does this look like a disgrace?’ and I shaped up to him but he backed down. Another pussy.
This other dude started yelling at me and told me to return the novelty winners cheque so I frisbeed it up onto the club house roof.
I just read a text from Presto that said I was yelling ‘the cancer orphans can suck my balls’ but I am gonna dispute that lol.
I was getting a bit riled up at this point and Junior came over and gave me hug and a bit of a chat. Took me back to Game 1 of Origin in 99, helped me get focussed again. I remember giving him a hug and as my arm went around him I must’ve touched his daughter Tatum who was standing next to us. She screamed and started slapping my hand.
Hold up diary, my 5110’s ringing.
Sorry about that, that was Priddo just checking up on me. Apparently Tatum is upset and I might be in a spot of bother. Like, she’s a pretty fox but full-on groping her? Nah, I’m gonna dispute that too lol. Priddo’s off his head. Too many concussions I reckon.
Anyway, after Tatum ran off, Junior’s ratty son came up and told me to leave his sister alone. Now this little rat had been flicking golf tees at me and trying all day to steal my hat and I had had enough. I chased the little prick down past the lagoon and up to the 18th green. I remember threatening to stab him with my broken beer bottle but that’s all it was just threats.
The little bastard was quick, not that quick though, like he’ll never play for NSW or anything like me so I caught him easily. I tackled him and told him to piss off, you’ll never be as good as your old man etc. I musta been chasing him for a while because at that point I got a bit crook, the bourbons and sausage rolls made a re-appearance and I chundered all over mini-pearce. I don’t care if he’s only 16, I’m gonna teach him respect.
I wiped my mouth on his shirt, told him to stop crying and [Illegible].
I went over to get a feed but it was all gone. I looked at the mountain of food on Franky Pritchard’s plate and he said he would give me a couple of snags, a mini quiche and 2 spoons of potato salad if I could sprint around the resort in 30 seconds. I had already lost my shirt and my pants had spew on them so off they came (they would have slowed me down anyway). Now I don’t know exactly why I did this, but I think I thought I was back in the sheds at Penny Park with all the boys so off came the jocks too.
I made it around the resort in 8 seconds (I know it was that long because I was counting in my head) but the boys said I was running all over for the last 5 minutes. I got back absolutely starving and I found a bread roll under the table. I was slopping butter all over it when this B-grade bloke off the radio came up and told me I had bought shame, dishonour and utter humiliation upon myself, my family and the whole Panthers organisation. He said he was gonna lead with that on his talk-back segment in the morning so naturally I told him it would be hard to be on radio without a voice-box and held the knife to his throat. He backed down, and these old birds sipping champagne were giving me the dirty so I threw the butter knife at them. At this point some rent-a-cops came over and tried to subdue me.
You know that old saying in Mt Druitt? What happens when you back a staffy into a corner? That’s right. I started running and stepped past them; they couldn’t tackle me. They reckon they couldn’t get me because I was naked and covered in butter but I’m gonna dispute that, I’m the current Australian halfback.
I took off out of the marquee area and immediately hit a bindi patch, so I jumped in this old bloke’s golf cart while he was lining up his putt. Drove it around a while, with the security chasing me in circles. I must have crashed it into a bunker at some point because it stopped working, there was a bit of a fire and [illegible]. The security cornered me and we threw a few cheeky ones at each other before they got me. Good fun.
I was knackered at this stage, and I hadn’t had a drink for half an hour so I let security take me outside. I sorta remember the police being involved but my memory is really hazy from there. I do remember Gus shaking hands with the club’s owners and saying they will sort out a hush deal thing.
And that’s all I remember. I think I might get a small fine from Penrith, but that’s it. I mean I was only fined 2.5 grand for showing my package to that Irish backpacker so it shouldn’t be much more than that.
I'm up here to have a good time and that's it. What, I can't go out and enjoy myself? At the end of the day, I am a normal bloke. I'm no better than anybody else. As long as I respect others, that's the main thing.
Anyway Diary, I gotta go, Rooney’s knocking on my door and it looks like he has Maccas.
Love, Craig.
submitted by thril_hou to nrl [link] [comments]


2017.05.10 21:15 GuyWithSausageFinger OC Story 2 Chapter 8

Previous Chapter: Chapter 7

Parade x of x Death

In the hours before the sun arose on the MCBI-SMUPF joint investigation site, a woman rounded the circular barrier created by the SMUPF officers.
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"Why don't I just convince them to let me through?" She had told the other two she was with earlier, hinting at flaunting her natural hourglass figure.
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"What if some of them aren't into brunettes?" Another woman, almost a decade younger had pointed out.
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"Or don't like athletic types?" Niori finally then suggested otherwise, "Besides, it might work on the SMUPF officers, but the moment there's someone else in the circle, the MCBI are going to swarm you, and I don't think even you, with Gift of Gab, will be able to talk your way out of it."
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"So, we just find the Nen users, then, and then try and make our way in through the MCBI without detection?" Hermoine Prescott was almost 40, but still very proud of her physique.
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As the group's financier, she didn't always get to show off her body, though she was always quite persuasive in one way or another. She knew that, with Yuya there, Niori and Hermoine would act as support, while Yuya did her thing with ease. Now in the moment, Hermoine was in position, any contact with the other two was to be kept to an absolute minimum.
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Niori was back in her position overlooking the MCBI site. If Yuya could point out the Nen users in the area, Niori could track them from her location and analyze their parameters using her abilities. This would come in handy in the future, should Yuya, or any of them need to engage in combat with them. Hermoine was worried that Yuya's unstyled mohawk and her colorful attire, sans leather jacket, would attract too much attention. As a distraction, her skinny body and illustrious bust would hopefully mesmerize most men and some women, depending on preference, Hermoine thought. But Yuya was the Ophiuchus Mercenary group's expert infiltrator, and, despite her fetching and eye-catching appearance, she was rarely seen unless she wanted to be.
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At this point, she was already through the SMUPF barrier. Instead of going straight for the ruins, which would be incredibly easy, to the point of being laughable, she was going from tent to tent, examining the sleeping people, and sneaking up on the few awake agents and officers to find Nen users. Coming out of one tent, she held up two fingers. A little bit farther down, and she was nearing the foundation's tent. Before she could enter, a man walked out.
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Carefully, she snaked herself away, ready to poison him with her abilities or flee to her next chosen spot depending on the situation. She hid around the tent, completely aware of the other people in her vicinity, hiding her Nen entirely. The man took out his phone, then looked up, realizing the sun was not yet out. Janus Argent put his phone back away.
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He began walking off, "Not yet, too early."
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Yuya followed him with her eyes, watching as he made his way farther out, seemingly taking a stroll to pass the time. He made his way to the SMUPF barrier. Before he had stepped out, there was a feint aura, but now, Zetsu. To the other Nen users, noticing Zetsu be used all over the grounds wasn't cause for alarm, but for Yuya, it helped her to identify the other users. This man had Nen.
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She silently gestured to him in a way that both Niori and Hermoine could see, then moved on. This time, she was inside the tent, but no other Nen users were there. Just a few pencil pushers and wannabe bureaucrats involved with the foundation's operations. After a bit, it was finally time to check out the ruins again. As more agents began waking up, she realized that her return trip wouldn't be so easy. But, the increasing smell of the dust and cold stone with overwhelming tones of ash encouraged her to move forward just a bit more.
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Surprised, there were a few people here, still awake. She hadn't seen anyone come or go from this position, meaning that they must have been here all night. Normally she would slowly burn holes in the material, as her acid was more potent on non-living things, and then use the holes and her Assassin Empowerment ability to snake through them into places others couldn't go, but she could not leave any traces behind. Instead, she worked her way up, using her Assassin Empowerment ability to relax her joints and limbs in such a way as to increase the length of them, but also to make her entire body much more flexible, and worked her way into a small compartment created by the rubble.
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Now she had a downward view of what the men were doing. Before she could properly analyze everything, Mahagoney and another agent, a grunt as far as the MCBI was concerned, nothing more than a foot-soldier, watched a Nen user bring the room they were in to life. Holographic like reflections of the past came up, people moving around.
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"What's this one?" Mahagoney asked tiredly, still angered from his stint on Libon's estate.
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The Nen user's eyes widened, "You see that?" He gestured, "This person moved through this room, acknowledging the rubble."
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"You mean-"
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"Someone was here after the building burned down."
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Mahagoney's face then slowly turned still, like a statue's, "Keep this one going... I want to see if any of us walk through here."
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Out of context, the remark would seem funny. Like a child wanting to see themselves on camera, yet a high ranking part of the MCBI was saying it. However, Yuya did not laugh, she began to connect the dots and understood. If that was the "memory" of Niori moving through the rubble from her previous attempt, then an MCBI agent or a SMUPF officer also being in that memory would prove to them that someone had already broken through their lines. If they realized that, then not only would Yuya, herself, be in trouble, but their future attempts would be much more difficult.
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Rather than incriminate themselves, it might be best to investigate elsewhere in light of this development. Yuya waited to see the answer they were also looking for. Over the shifting elevations and treeline, light poked its head over them all. The sky had brightened up to a different shade of blue as yellows and oranges fluttered around. Eventually, the sun's light was just beginning to hit the top of the ruins.
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After noticing this, Janus pulled out his phone again. Yuya saw this, and promptly made her to a spot near him, as he was nearing the SMUPF border. With light and increased numbers, it wasn't as easy as before. With her skills, it still was negligible. Janus dialed as she found a spot to listen in.
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The phone rang a number of times, and then Janus spoke, "Hello? My name is Janus Argent, of the Argent Industry, is this Brick Donagher's son, Cell?"
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Yuya couldn't hear Cell on the other end, "Hello, Mr. Argent. I assume you had business with my father?"
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"Yes."
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"Seems like everyone that wants to talk to me has."
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"Do you know the nature of my business with your father?" Janus was comfortable, easing out the words.
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Cell paused for a second, "Like usual, his money."
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"I'm so sorry about what happened to him. I want to find out why."
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"Why don't you ask the MCBI? They're investigating it."
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"They won't tell me anything."
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Cell automatically responded, "Me neither." He remembered that he should be careful of what he says with the tail the MCBI placed on him.
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"I don't know if I can trust them either..."
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Cell was worried that Janus was trying to coax information out of him on the MCBI's behalf, "I'm busy Mr. Argent. Could we do this another time, preferably in person?"
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"I suppose. I'm under time pressure, you see."
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"I understand." Cell looked ahead at his destination, "If there's anything you find out, will you tell me?"
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"Absolutely."
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"Thank you, Mr. Argent. Goodbye now." He hung up the phone, trying to carefully discern where the MCBI tail was hiding.
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Up ahead was a small shack. Cell was now in a small village in Maremortuus. Most of the buildings and structures were made of stones piled up. Everything felt natural about the place. The residents seemed to enjoy their simple life, but were weary of outsiders. On the outskirts of this small village, a house, which seemed to have remained abandoned for years, had a light on inside.
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With few places for the tail to be hiding, Cell felt he could draw him out, "Well, Ralbog, I've found you." He said to himself.
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*****
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As the sun was rising, Emeralda entered her room, hanging onto her consciousness as if it would save her life. She took off her disguise and changed into clothes more suited to sleeping. The day would bring another hapless festival of carnage, and she'd need the energy for it. At this rate, she could maybe manage a few hours before Hell would break loose again.
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She tumbled through, noticing her Hunter License on the desk, and then the empty wheelchair beside one of the beds. Lying asleep, Ele's body rose and fell gently, with such a fragility as to demand silence. Emeralda lightly stepped as she made her way over to her.
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"Don't ever change," She whispered to Ele, "for me; I need you just the way you are."
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As she examined Ele's near-motionless state, the recollection of the night and all its hideous connotations drained away with relief. Ele was everything a terrible bout of conflict wasn't, and Emeralda cherished that. Relished in it.
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Relieved, she went into the other bed to join Ele in slumber. As many were on the verge of waking up, she was slipping into a relaxed state, and then, unconsciousness.
.
*****
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A woman, beaten down by the long years of her life, sat and watched two boys play. They often invented their own games, for they had access to none. It was years ago, and Ksaksa played with his brother in the dirt and trash, using junk as play things. She didn't always watch them play, but she made sure to, at least every once in a while.
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The days went on. The two boys would play with and eat what they could while the woman helped find meals and shelter, using herself in whatever way she could to secure favors for her and the boys' collective benefit. The boys would play and scour the lands for food and makeshift toys to occupy their time until night, where the ritual continued for months. They'd return, the woman would examine the two for wounds that'd need treating, and then Ksaksa would prepare himself for bed while the woman kept Thazath for a bit longer, as he was the older one. Then, more tired than Ksaksa, Thazath would return for their sleeping hours. In the morning, they'd wake up and do it all over again, moving with the availability of shelter.
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Thazath remained unchanging, as they created new games. Ksaksa would come up with some ideas, Thazath others. They'd always end the night the same way, Ksaksa, then Thazath. Sometimes, even in the cold, Thazath would be sweating as he'd try to sleep. But in the mornings, it was a great freedom to not have to spend all day searching for survival. Play time was necessary for their development.
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"Let's play who can find the better food!"
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"Alright, Ksaksa, but this time you go first." Thazath usually led, allowing Ksaksa to come up with some kind of counter.
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Trying to prevent any way for Thazath to outdo him, Ksaksa chased down a lizard, carefully scooping it up. He swallowed it whole. Within seconds, he coughed it up, spitting out some of his fluids.
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Thazath laughed, "You can't eat something alive like that, dummy!"
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Coughing, "But... I..." He loogied out some flem, "I don't want to kill it."
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"What do you think happens when you eat it?"
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Ksaksa shrugged, "I'unno." The words ran together with an innocent honesty.
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The lizard crawled away, Ksaksa eventually caught up to it and let it climb around his body.
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"My turn," Thazath declared confidently.
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He took the lizard and tossed it on the ground before stomping on it. He scraped the remains up and ate it, noticing tears falling down Ksaksa's face.
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"What?"
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Blubbering, "You killed my friend!"
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"You were going to eat him!"
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"Not after I realized that would kill him," then he wailed.
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"Look, you were on the right track, food tastes better the closer it is to its death. So, it makes sense that something alive would taste even better. But, there's no way you can eat something without hurting it!"
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Sniveling, Ksaksa's energy died, "What about its tail?"
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"Huh?"
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"Its tail grows back."
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Their adopted mother came out to see why Ksaksa was crying, "What's going on!?"
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"It's nothing." Thazath tried to calm her down.
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"Thazath! Right here this instant!"
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Thazath followed her into their day's shelter for about 30 minutes. Then, he came out, sweating again. Ksaksa waited for Thazath to come out. Things were less fun when he was alone.
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"Let's come up with a new game."
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"Like what?" Ksaksa liked the games that Thazath came up with better than his own.
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"We see who can find the most unique piece of trash."
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"Unique?"
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"Really rare. Like none other."
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Never before had they dug through trash so fervently. Not even when it was for food. They played this game more than the food one, afterwards. At the behest of their caretaker, they came up with a last name for themselves. Like before, they used the books they found in the trash, many from this new game. The woman taught them how to read so that their new collection had a purpose.
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"How about 'Cluth,' Thazath?"
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"Ksaksa Cluth, Thazath Cluth, I like it." Thazath fingered through another book, now years later.
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"That settles it, then."
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"Don't you want a middle name?"
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"Middle name?"
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"Many people have three names. I've found one here in this story: Outis."
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"I don't need one."
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Thazath stood up, dropping the story that had grown to become one of his favorites since learning how to read, "My name is Thazath Outis Cluth."
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Ksaksa then stood up, "And I am Ksaksa Cluth."
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Ksaksa had barely been a decade old, but he finally had a full name for himself. Their caretaker had come in and requested to speak with Thazath alone again. These days it had become more and more frequent. Ksaksa sat alone, resenting her for taking him away from their shared time so much. He read some of the book that Thazath dropped. He wanted to understand his brother's new name.
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Currently, Ksaksa was wide awake atop Shenaga, listlessly bouncing along until the swamp enveloped most of their field of view. Dahlia, as if on cue, began the slow process of waking up. She rubbed her eyes, a task surprisingly more difficult than expected when riding a large beast. Horrid smells tickled their nostrils here and there, fading away and then rearing back seemingly at random. The soil was becoming more moist the closer they got.
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With Shenaga's weight in his transformed state, he was beginning to sink into the ground ever so slightly. As such, his pace slowed, and any benefit from this approach to their travel was nullified. Ksaksa and Dahlia dismounted and Shen turned back to his regular size. The odd thing about the swamp as they neared, was that no birds chirped or anything.
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"What should I expect in this ecosystem?" Dahlia wondered aloud.
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"Taeunipedes, all kinds of snakes, some toads, you name it. What you really need to worry about isn't the fauna, but the flora."
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Dahlia imagined fly-traps large enough to swallow a human, "We're going to be okay, aren't we?"
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"Sure, just don't get too close to any mushrooms or flowers, and we'll be okay."
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"Flowers?" Dahlia was named after a type of flower. Curious, she asked Ksaksa, "What do you think Shen was named after?"
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Ksaksa thought about Whisk. This Shenaga had been named after his pet Shenaga, a dog whom passed away in a very trying time for Whisk. Now, Whisk had passed away in a very trying time for Shen. There was no way for them to understand the naming convention he had used to create the name, or if he was even the one to name the original Shenaga.
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With memories of Cowtip, Ksaksa turned to Dahlia, "You're going to be okay."
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They neared the swamp, ready to take their first steps. Years ago, he and Thazath had walked into parts much more dangerous. The danger lying in the human element. Their days continued their predictable pattern of before.
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Their caretaker's requests of Thazath remained predictable, tapering off into a plateau of timing. Slowly, Thazath grew to talk less and less during each time he and Ksaksa played together. But he never stopped playing with his brother. They still created new games, but wound up resorting to playing the junk collecting game more than any other.
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"Woah! Thazath, look at this!"
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He ran over to see what his brother had found, "Be careful with that, Ksaksa."
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Thazath took it from his hands, thinking about the time of day. In his hand was a broken piece of metal, sharp as a knife. He slipped it into his pants' waistband.
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"Ksaksa, what do you think of our mother?"
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He didn't know how to answer. Thazath never asked questions like that.
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Reluctantly, "I think she's nice. She always patches us up when we get hurt."
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"Wouldn't it be nice if we didn't have to rely on others for that?"
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He turned to walk up back towards their shelter while Ksaksa remained to look through the trash pile they had found. It was almost time for a private talk with Thazath again, and Ksaksa knew all too well to stay out of it. He was quiet, boredom growing without Thazath there with him. Whenever his brother was away, Ksaksa tried to find an animal to call his friend, even if for a few minutes only.
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Thazath walked up to their current shelter, taking deep breaths. Their caretaker came out to meet him. Ksaksa was too far away to hear anything. He knew she was coming to get him.
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"No more." Thazath calmly said, pulling out the hunk of metal.
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"Where'd you get that blade?"
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Without answering, Thazath plunged it into the front of his drawers. With some mild fumbling and convulsions of immense pain, wet hot blood soaked his legs.
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Barely able to speak, "Now you cant use me anymore..."
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The woman walked up and kneeled beside him, as he was starting to lose consciousness, "You're right." She put her hand on his shoulder, "I guess I'll just have to use your brother now, instead."
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Hours later, he woke up. He had cut off his phallus in a vein attempt to rid himself of the forced payment she requested of them. With her crude resources and knowledge, she stitched him up to prevent bleeding. Ksaksa was beside him, she was in the next room.
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Slowly, Ksaksa spoke upon Thazath, "I found some more books. But they were ones we had already read."
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"You aren't wondering why I did this?"
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"Not at all. Sometimes when I get hurt, it reminds me of some of the fun times we had growing up. So, I understand why you might want to inflict it yourself. To be in control of when it happens."
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"That's not it..."
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Interrupting them, their caretaker came into the room, "Ksaksa, there's something I need to talk to you about. Could you follow me, please?"
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Ksaksa followed her into the other room.
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"Wait!" Thazath tried to yell, but only managed a harsh whisper.
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Unable to see what was happening, or hear beyond his own room's walls, he rolled out of bed, straining the poor stitches on his groin. As he crawled, he heard them talking.
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"You go in there, I don't want Thazath to hear what we're going to talk about."
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Ksaksa walked into the place where they slept, as their caretaker turned to face Thazath, who was now crawling towards her.
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"Now, Thazath, you've made your bed... you need to lie in it." She picked him up, "Not roll out of it."
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She carried him back into the room where she had been keeping him to heal. Thazath tried to squirm, but he was too weak to fight her grip. He had no muscles at his age, and no energy after the blood loss. He felt like crying at the futility of his actions, but even that task proved to require too much energy for him.
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He strained some more until he knew they were nearing the bed. He couldn't let this happen. There was no way that he would let Ksaksa go through what he went through. Not as the older brother. She was bending down to put him back in bed.
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With everything he had, he twisted his body to do what needed to be done. He grabbed around her with both arms and clasped his hands together as tightly as he could. She stopped. Thazath was hugging her. In a moment, she was questioning if this was his apology, or if it was merely a false display of affection to try and win her over. Either way, she was stunned.
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As they were frozen, she began to smile. She figured that after everything, maybe he really did love her. Despite, or because of what she had done. It didn't matter, she was letting herself accept it. This feeling that Thazath wanted her, needed her, loved her. The warmth spread through her body.
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Then, Thazath bit her throat. He avoided the jugular, so that she wouldn't bleed out quickly. In a panic, she flung herself around trying to get Thazath off of her. He had clasped his hands together to prevent this. It wasn't a part of his plan to use affection to lower her guard, but he learned that even someone he hated could be swayed by this approach. It made things even easier.
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Without chewing or swallowing, he'd bite and bite and bite, all over her throat. Flesh filled his mouth. He chewed up around her jaw, and started gnawing on her face. Her screams alerted Ksaksa, who timidly peeked around the corner from the room where they slept, barely able to see what was happening in the room where Thazath had been stitched up.
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The clumps of skin began falling down his throat, so he spit them up. He did not want any part of her inside of himself. He didn't want to honor her flesh with the digestion and conversion into energy, taking her into his own body. If at all possible, he wanted to disgrace every spec of her being. Thazath's teeth pierced through her cheek into her mouth. Desperately, she scratched and tried to bite back, but Thazath used his shoulder to force her mouth shut and beared through her maniacal flailing. The back of his head and body was riddled with streaks, rivers of blood and shallow canals dug out by her nails.
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By the time he reached her eye, they were both rolling into the back of her head. His mouth being open for so long, drool had been trickling down both of their bodies, rendered practically invisible by the drenching from her blood. After a few minutes, she fell to the ground, but Thazath kept gnawing. With his mouth, he pulled out her eye, and when she didn't so much as flinch, he released his hold of her. He spit out every last bit of her that he could, then spat some more on her body.
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Thazath stumbled out of the room to reunite with Ksaksa, "I've learned something, Ksaksa."
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Ksaksa was silent, planning on taking Thazath to a stream to clean off the blood before changing his clothes with some rags found in the trash before finding someone with more medical knowledge to make sure his stitches hadn't opened up.
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Thazath continued his dissemination of new knowledge, "People are easy to kill."
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As Dahlia and Ksaksa were about to step into the swamp, Ksaksa stepped in front of them to lead the way, "When I'm here, you two won't have to worry about a thing." He stepped into the wet marshy ground, "When we were boys," Shenaga and Dahlia slowed up to listen, "my brother taught me a thing or two."
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*****
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Souma was awakened by his phone ringing. It was Slackson.
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"Hello?"
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"I'm not gonna be able to help you today. Not at first."
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"What are you talking about?"
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"The NAPD called, said there's a caravan heading from North Anhydrought City to Auxilium, and they're calling in everybody from the force to handle it. That includes me."
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"So, what do I do?"
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"I just have to make sure they arrive here safely, then I can join up with you." He cleared his throat, "There's been another murder. Seems to match up with the last one. The APD are gonna escort you over, then most of them are gonna help the NAPD with their operation."
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"The NAPD and the APD? Together?" Souma was getting dressed, skipping breakfast.
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"That should tell you how serious this is."
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"So, no APD on this case at the moment?"
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"Not after you get there." Slackson was quiet, cars driving by in the background, "It's all on you for now, kid."
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*****
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In Maremortuus, far away from the hellish road battles in the deserts of Anhydrought and the murders within the cities, Gabril was waking up from his slumber within a tree's canopy. It was a surprisingly comfortable rest for him, all things considered. He gathered his small amount of things and hopped down to the ground. In contrast with the marshy surface of the swamps south of him in Maremortuus, where Ksaksa, Shen, and Dahlia were now traveling, the forest west of Froddyton and its own western neighbor, was a delightfully solid floor. Though much time was now expended on a fruitless effort, Gabril was at least thankful for his safety.
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Tiberius may have crossed the finish line first, but the way he did it was not a way that Gabril would admire. There was no respect amongst competition in this instance, like there was no respect for the target exhibited by Tiberius. It appeared as though he was just another score to the mysterious man with the robotic voice. Gabril began walking back to the nearest town.
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Surely, Tiberius had been staying there, and must have returned after his catch. If he was going to learn anything about this man, it would most likely come from retracing his steps. The town just west of Froddyton should hopefully provide answers. Gabril discovered what resembled a trail and began following its path.
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Mere minutes later, another person was walking towards him. He acted casually, to avoid any kind of suspicion, should they find the remains of his former target. Pleasantly surprised at the fact that it was a woman walking toward him, Gabril shifted from anxiety to excitement. She got a little closer. Gabril was even happier to see that she was attractive.
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"Hello, there." He raised his voice to greet her while she was further away.
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She took some more steps, "Hi."
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"Are you coming from town?"
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"Yes, but I'm leaving now." She was now close enough to not need to shout, "Heading into town?"
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"I am. Say, you wouldn't happen to let me ask you a few questions, would you?"
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"Sure, why not?"
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"I'm Gabril." He shook her hand.
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"I'm Cat," she answered to the inevitable next question.
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"So, what's a pretty girl like you doing alone out in the forest?"
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"I've been invited somewhere, so..." She spread her arms out, as if to mime, "Here I am."
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"Ahh. Well, you wouldn't happen to know much about the town you came from?"
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"Just passing through."
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"Pity. Here I was thinking I caught a lucky break." Gabril sighed, the two of them enjoying near-small talk in the middle of the forest, and things weren't looking much better for him.
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Cat wanted to help, "Might you be looking for something in town?"
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"Someone."
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She toyed, "A woman, perhaps." Her inflection was playful, but inquisitive.
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There was a distance to her that Gabril wasn't quite picking up. He wasn't sure what it was that he was noticing about her that made him think that.
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"A man with a robotic voice, actually."
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Cat waited, thinking things over, "Sounds like Tiberius, to me."
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"Yes! You know him?"
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"Know of, more like."
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"What do you mean?" Gabril felt like that nagging sensation he had earlier when he ran into Tiberius must have meant something by now.
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"Sure, he's famous. Especially to Hunters."
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"I'm a Hunter."
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"But, you don't know?"
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Gabril shook his head.
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"The man that covers his injuries, so no one can see his face clearly. Walks with a cane, and is at least six-foot-two."
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"He didn't have a cane when I saw him."
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"You saw him?" Cat didn't sound as surprised as her words led on.
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"Yeah. I don't know about his height, but everything else sounds spot on except for the cane. There can't be that many people around covering themselves up with an artificial voice box."
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"Supposedly he was badly burned and needs it to speak."
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Gabril nodded as he spoke, "Sounds about right. Know anything else?"
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"Always gets the job done, stay away... more like out of his way, if you know what I mean. Just that kind of thing."
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"Huh. I guess I should look into him more."
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Cat began to leave, "I wouldn't."
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"It was nice meeting you!"
.
"Likewise!"
.
After Cat left his sight, "Damn, I finally meet a woman here, and she's on her way out." He then thought to himself, "Still, unless he was traveling far, he must have gone through town at some point. Someone must have seen him then."
.
Gabril then continued on down the path to town.
.
*****
.
Jaune was arriving at a complex. It was surprisingly not as high end as he was expecting. He had gotten the location from the directory of real estate agents. This one, when looked into, had a history of high profile clientele. There was a high chance that he would have dealt with Brick Donagher if he was in the market for another place. The outsides looked fairly normal, in contrast to the gaudy displays of wealth he was expecting. There might be some more truth to his taste in artful decoration.
.
The agent wasn't around, and Jaune didn't want to break in anywhere unless he was sure it was Brick's place. He walked around, peeking in through windows. The interiors were lavish. Expensive furniture and statues in almost every single place. Rare woods used to create mantels displaying awards and fancy trinkets of jewelry. Tasteful paintings along every wall.
.
"I guess it truly is the beauty inside that matters most," He joked to himself.
.
This now fit the bill for an apartment that Brick would purchase and stay at. It was low key, out of the public eye, just like his rural mansion was before his death, but on the inside, he could admire his own richness and accomplishments day in and day out. Whether or not Brick used his actual name when dealing with the real estate agent didn't matter. It would still be worth looking into people matching Brick's physical description.
.
"You shouldn't try to get in. These look like regular apartments, but they aint." A voice called out to Jaune.
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He turned to see a homeless man, "D'you try to break in here before?"
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"Well, these places are abandoned most of the year. Seems a waste if ya ask me."
.
"Can you tell me if there was any one that was abandoned for an entire year until just a few weeks ago? Used for maybe a day or two and then left again?"
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"Umm, maybe. I don't like to be around when some of them folks come here. Little Davey didn't mind it, though. I think some of them people were feeding him some scraps outta pity, ya know?"
.
"Little Davey? Where can I find him now?" Jaune was beginning to feel like he'd be not just a few steps, but a leap closer to getting some answers.
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"Well, it's a shame."
.
"What is?"
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The old homeless man rubbed his head, "Sounds like Davey had an accident or somethin'... Heard some others sayin' they saw him in town trying to sneak into that comedian's show, and overheard a scuffle. Musta been a drug dealer or something." He exhaled with a slight tint of sorrow squeezing out, "It's a shame."
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Jaune put the pieces together, "That boy on the news."
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"He deserved better."
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"I'm so sorry... Did you know him well?" Jaune didn't want to pry into his emotions, but his senses were now fully piqued.
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"About as well as any two homeless might know each other."
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"Which is...?"
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"Not well at all. Nice boy. Got left behind by his family or something. Or maybe was it they died? Can't remember. Always looking for a home. Loved that comedian, though."
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"You said he was trying to sneak into the show? Do you think anyone saw him there?" Jaune was now writing a few things down.
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"You a cop?"
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"Not exactly; I'm not gonna bust you for hanging around here. I'd imagine it's actually much quieter than most places in the city. What with no one ever really being around."
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"People just think it's normal apartments." The old man was getting tired.
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"I'll let you go. Sorry to have pestered you so much."
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"It's okay, police man. Thank you for caring."
.
Jaune left the area. A simple call to the realtor should allow a meeting. For the time being, he had a hunch about the boy. Something seemed odd about his death. Rather than call the authorities, which might color his approach, he wanted to see what he could come up with on his own. Perhaps their deaths were linked in some way.
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He started heading back into the heart of Auxilium. He pulled up a list of show times for Lewis Carter Berdheg, and matched the date the boy was murdered with the show he must have been trying to sneak into. Someone at the show must have seen the boy.
.
*****
.
Souma and Jerens arrived at the new crime scene. A woman lay in a puddle of blood within a room of an unmanned manufacturing plant on the edge of Auxilium. With so much of the work automated, only a few people ever come through, and when they do, it's just for routine maintenance, mostly. Some quality assurance testing or reports.
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"Her name's Marion, according to her ID." Jerens informed Souma.
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"How long has she been here?" Souma was thinking mostly about the smell, but also the degree of decay that had begun.
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"A couple of days, maybe? People don't come through here often, so it was only until now that someone discovered her."
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"What's this?" Souma was looking through her purse, "A ticket to one of the shows?"
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Jerens looked at it, "Yeah, must have been the last time anyone saw her." He pulled up his pants, "I have to go now, for the transport thing. You've got everything here?"
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"Sure." Souma was thinking.
.
The date on the ticket matched the night the boy died. He looked down at the body. Two visible puncture wounds, as if from a needle, on her left shoulder. Her stomach cavity appeared to have bursted from something inside. As if her stomach had just popped. He looked over at the skeleton crew working with him. They were taking blood samples.
.
Souma was confident that they would find no trace of drugs or any chemicals in her body. There was no mistaking it. To wait for confirmation on this assumption would only waste time. He was going to find someone at the show who remembered her being there, and see if there was any detail about the night that could point him in the right direction. Perhaps even a witness to an argument or something.
.
"Could it be?" He thought, "That the boy and her were killed the same night by the same person? Was the boy just an unfortunate witness to her killing?" Then he thought about the fact that their bodies were both discovered in such different places, far away from each other, "No, I can't design a narrative. It needs to develop naturally based on the facts of the situation."
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Jerens had already left, so Souma told the people on site, "I'm going to investigate a lead. Call me with the results."
.
He looked at the ticket, particularly the location on it. That would be the first place he'd look. Someone there must have seen her, or perhaps even seen something more than just her attendance.
.
*****
.
"Operator-Lieutenant Barrett Kal, nice to see you again."
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"Nice to see you too, Governor Attica. I only wish the other operators could be here with me."
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"I understand. I also apologize for the delays. As you know, the Cowtip Operation is a clandestine matter. However, any meeting like this would be reported unless it was during a large event like the meetings of the representatives."
.
Truthfully, Attica was hoping to use the distraction of discussing the matter of Mayor Grae to hide the importance of this meeting from the Anhydrought representative. Governor Attica, the representative of Maremortuus, had deployed the "Cowtip Operation" under his own authority. To avoid the political recourse of doing so, he was talking to Barrett privately, under the official guise of discussing provincial security in a time where the MCBI was focusing resources on an investigation of a high profile death.
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Attica folded his hands, letting Barrett stand on the other side of the desk, "Now, lieutenant, let us begin your debriefing with the full report of your actions on the island."
.
[to be continued...]
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Leon Lewis - 850 Public Records Found