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lstormhammer

Baghdad by the bay

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Cleo works fast, getting the groove of ringing customers through the register as if it was Valentines day. During a short break, she double-checks the date to make certain it wasn't some weird, flower-like holiday.

 

#### Eric and his cute little rendezvous'. He was going to owe her this time, big. Making her way to Trenchcoat Man, she's suddenly concious of her appearance. Hopefully she wouldn't terrify him too much, although she was used to the stares.

 

"Are you looking for any particular arrangement, sir?" She does her honest best to smile as pleasingly as possible.

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No, I haven't forgotten about you all. :)

 

--begin--

 

The Fezzed Man's eyes alight at the word 'Crypto'. “Aah, computers, then! Perhaps I do have something you desire. And you have something I desire. Perhaps we may come to an arrangement.” the man reaches into his jacket and pulls out a card of exquisite silken texture. The printing is neat, almost hand-written. No name, just an address in the Bernal Heights area. “Come see me in two days, I will see about a position for you.”

 

At that, the Elevator makes a quiet tone of arrival, the doors slide open, and the Fezzed man steps out of the car, into the crowds walking along the streets, and ...disappears, leaving Drew with a strange business card and a puzzled look on his features.

 

--

 

The man at Records laughs a little too hard at the joke of Brody's, but he's a sharp eye for a man. “'Cordin' to the regs, you have to be a licensed contractor with a valid building permit to get these, you understand, but I know a man named Ben that can get these to you for a lot less...” he winks.

 

So a hundred bucks lighter, Brody holds a fist full of blueprints for a dilapidated warehouse south of Market Street. Over a burger, Brody looks at the plans of the building, surprised at how old it really is. The date on the first page says '1939'.

 

--

 

The trenchcoated man turns, smiling brilliantly to Cleo. If he's offended by her burned appearance, he hides it too well. Such is the diversity of the City by the Bay. “A dozen mums, if you would please.” His rakish good looks could easily ensnare the unwary. He reaches up to brush his fingers through his hair. As Cleo completes the request, the trenchcoated man joins her at the counter. “Say, you've been busy and all, but I was wondering if you've seen a friend of mine. About five-nine or so, portly build. Persian look to him. Maybe wearing a fez? Sound familiar?”

 

Now that's a strange coincidence, the very man came in here just this morning. How trusting should Cleo be of this new man?

 

--End--

 

--lstormhammer

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Did they have electricity in '39 Brody thought as he looked at the plans. as far as he could tell they missed a lot of important stuff.

 

Brody heads back to the site, pulls his "big" toolbox out of the truck and heads back inside.  I hate doing things the hardway

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** continuation of last post **

 

Brody turns on the (battery powered) flood lamps in the basement drops off toolbox then heads up to the truck for the next haul.  he gets the cutting torch and the sledge hammer, with chisel wedge.

 

At this point he tapes the plans to the wall so they are visable and not in the way.  "O.K. ckt power in is....... here o.k. runs this way,  that's not right."  !WHAM! with the hammer goes the first wrong connection.  "then it goes to......yeah that right.  from there.. Nope! that's the wrong answer"  !Wham" another wrong connection terminated.  

 

Now that power has been removed from the power box it self Brody heads back outsite to shut it down at the distribution box to the building.  Brody shuts down 3333 locks it so someone doesn't give him a voltage wake-up and head back in.

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Cleo gathers the mums for him. "Any particular color, or do you just want an assortment?" As she fills out his request she eyes him speculatively.

 

Cleo has always been slightly distrusting of people, especially overly attractive ones who don't seem put off by her appearance. "Someone matching a similar description was in very early this morning, but only briefly." She maintains a very business-like demeanor. Oddness. Something's up. Something's weird. Most definately something reeks, and I know I wore deoderant today. She rings up his total as she wraps the flowers in green paper and ties it with a ribbon. "That'll be $5.32."

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Drew takes the Fez's card and files it away, "I'll keep you in mind.  You'll probably hear from me in a week or so."  

 

He heads out from the office after bidding the Fat Man adieu and heads down the street.  He pauses at the local news stand to say good-bye and oogle the maxim cover, and head on his way.  He passes a flowershop and.. decides he wants somthing to brighen his parlor, so steps inside.

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Holy firking schnit! It's a posting! Oh, and say 'hi' to Ladytam, who's joining us as The Cop...

 

--begin--

 

“An assortment, please.” the man says to Cleo, letting her gather the flowers and wrapping them up. As she gives him the total, he raises his perfect eyebrows slightly. “A discount, as well. Well, I'll count my blessings, then.” he pulls out his left hand, which until this moment has been in his coat pocket. His hand is something to give shivers to. The skin blackened and scarred, the fingers twisted almost beyond recognition. He has crude use of the hand, holding his wallet while the deft fingers of his right hand quickly pull a five and a single out, placing it on the counter and sliding it to her. The Trenchcoat man puts his wallet and his clubbed hand back into the pocket. “Not so different after all...” he says to her with a small smile. He steps back from the counter, then remembers something. “Oh, miss? The man who was in here earlier, did he have any packages with him? Bags of some kind? Anything?”

 

Before she can answer, another man comes into the Florist. His shirt and slacks say 'corporate' but his general demeanor says 'I do this for the paycheck'. He carries a records box of odds and ends, and for the second time today, a man enters the shop wearing a strange hat. Like something from the Civil War. The Trenchcoated man turns, glancing at the new arrival before turning back to Cleo. “Well, you're busy, I can see. I won't take up any more of your time. Thanks for the flowers.” With that, he turns, passes Civil War hat man on the way out.

 

--

 

Back at the site, Brody scratches his head some more. While the plans show most of the structure, and for being so old, it's held up remarkably well. Sadly, the plans do list electrical lines, and Brody even finds some of them. Bare copper wires strung through Asbestos pipes. And with careful prodding, he finds that no juice runs through them. Great, someone's gone and rewired the power in this rust heap and not had the courtesy to tell him! Well, once again it's back to the drawing board...

 

--

 

Meanwhile, at the Hall of Justice on Bryant Street, Jennifer Gray passes through the myriad security gates to get to her desk. Setting down her preferred morning drink, she's about to shrug off her jacket when Lieutenant Kobashi comes up to her. “Jen, a moment of your time?” he asks her politely enough, but it's not a request. She nods, and walks with him to his office. Kobashi closed the door, and offers her a seat, he leans against his desk, moving his In basket slightly to do so. “Jen, you know I don't like having to do this, but I really need to ask you a favor.” This is Kobashi-Speak for 'I want to yell at you, but I don't have a leg to stand on'. “Jen, I know you're new to Homicide, and I applaud your record with Patrol, but.. well, it's about last week, on the Jane Doe over in the Marina? You know the one where you bowled over the camera crew to chase down that boy. Well, first of all, I want to compliment you on catching the perp, you did fantastic on that. But...” he bobs his head back and forth. “Jen, you have to stop jumping to conclusions like that. You picked a random person out of the street, chased him down three blocks, tackled him, cuffed him and all you said was 'he's the one'. Now, I will admit that he /was/ the one we were looking for, but the chances of doing that again are astronomically small.”

Enough stick, time for the carrot. “Jen, I'm not saying what you did wasn't a bad thing, but it's not a good thing either. Look, my grandfather was a devote Shinto practioner, and after my grandmother died, he became a priest. He believes in that sort of mumbo-jumbo, and I have a soft spot for it too, I suppose, but Lieutenant Harry Kobashi can't present to the D.A. 'yes, we caught the perp, no we didn't have any evidence linking him to the crime, but my Native American Detective did an ace job speaking to the spirits, and we found him, by golly'. You see how it won't exactly work?” He looks at her, trying to get his point across. “Now before you get angrier with me, understand that there's more out there than we know about. I'm not going to make fun of what you believe in, or what you do on your time off. But if you get a feeling like that again, just make sure we've a little more on them than a hunch... Please?”

 

The morning yelling over with, Kobashi lets her out of his office and goes about the terrible, ineffective quest to see the bottom of his paperwork before the end of his shift.

 

--End--

 

--lstormhammer

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"Well fudnuckers!"  Brody throws hammer to the toolbox.  come into town, get some quick work, make some quick cash,  yeah right.

 

at this point it seems that now would be a good time to head onto the house.  it's getting late and running around town made the day longer.  

 

on his way home he decides that he is going to pick up a couple of Happy Meals for him and his daughter.

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Jen listens to the Lieutenant’s spiel feeling very proud of herself that she didn’t roll her eyes at the man’s speech. Especially the part about his grandfather being a Shinto priest.  “Humph” she thinks “he wouldn’t know a spiritual moment if it came up and bite him in the a**.”

 Her morning lecture over, Jen smiles and says, “Sure Lieutenant, I will work on that.”  “And in the meantime the Perps can run free and we can waste department time and money tracking them down. Wasichus! Always wasteful of what they have and their gifts.”

 Leaving Kobashi’s office Jen heads back to her desk. “Hey Jen!” Turning to see who was calling her name she sees Ken Gifford hailing her.

 “Yes Ken?” She asks smiling at him. Ken was one of the few detectives that she really liked. Happily married with two darling children, he didn’t treat her like some exotic prize to be won, a delicate female to be protected, or any of the sterol-typical ways she had been treated since moving here. IT was hard enough being a female in this line of work, but to be a Native American on top of that……. Sometimes she wished she had stayed in Idaho and not taken the job here.

  “What Kobi want?”

 “Oh, it was about last week and my tackling that perp down by the Marina. He wants me to go on more than my “feelings” on stuff like that.” Jen sighs. “Problem is I can’t help it. When I get a feeling that strong I act on it. And nine times out of ten I am right. And he knows it! Oh well, I will just have to keep a tighter control on my impulses.” Then with a smile “Maybe I should have done like my brother and gone all the way and got my law degree?”

  Ken shakes his head negatively “Wouldn’t work Jen” She raises and eyebrow at him in question “Yup,” he says you’d make a lousy lawyer. You got scruples!” He finishes with a grin.

 Rolling her eyes she can’t help but smile at his joke. “Well, my scruples are telling me my coffee is getting cold and that there is work to finish on my desk. Never realized that homicide involved so much paper work!” and with a grin she heads back to her desk to tackle the paperwork there.

  Settling in, she takes a long overdue sip of her coffee

Good, it hasn’t gotten too cold yet, I can still drink it.    Looking at the nice neat pile of paperwork on her desk, she wonders how Kobashi can let his get so far ahead of him. Then with a sigh and a shake of her head she turns her attention to her paperwork, hoping to get most of it cleared away before lunch.

LT

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Cleo smiles and nods as she hands the trenchcoated man his change. "Thank you for your business. Have a nice day!" She wasn't even going to mention the left package. Strict personal rule was, unless she had been told otherwise, she would only hand Lost and Found items back to the original owner if she could identify the original owner. Of course, some people asked her to hold things for others, so it all depended upon who did the asking. Some people she didn't say no to. They paid her too well.

 

With a friendly wave to Trenchcoat, she makes her way to Corporate, her sapphire blue eyes smiling a warm welcome.

 

As she approaches Drew, the first thing that strikes him about her is her skin. It has a very smooth texture and is stretched tightly across her skull. Her thin, black hair hangs limply past her shoulders and swings it's split ends just past her waist. Bright blue eyes focus on him framed by stubby eyelashes and mottled, once horribly burned skin. Her eyebrows never grew back. One ear looked looks lopsided, missing the bottom part of the lobe, and the mottled, smooth skin stretches from her face, down her bare arms and around her hands.

 

Paint splots in a rainbow of colors stain and dot her fingernails, hands, arms, as well as a few on her well-worn jeans. A smear of bright orange cracks along her jawline, a forgotten remnant during cleanup apparently. Although her tennis shoes are nearly unrecognizable in brand thanks to the amount of paint covering them, she doesn't track any through the store (not today anyway).

 

"Good morning" she greets the new arrival cheerfully. "Is there anything in particular you're looking for?"

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Drew pauses no more then a moment before returning Cleo's smile.  With this place on  his path between work and Muni (SF Munipical transit) he's been in here before, though not with the suit... or the hat.  He takes the hat off almost as soon as he walks in, tucking it under an arm and offers a smile. "Hello ma'am  My company just went under... last of the dot-commers and all, and thought I'd celebrate with a boquet for my front table"

 

Drew's what you might call a baby-faced young man with short, light brown hair and small, circular glasses.  His face is almost cheuribic and lightly freckeled.  He looks like a techie of some sort.. and while his siut is perfectly tailored.. he doesn't look perfectly comfortable wearing it.

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His greeting delivered, Drew walks further into the shop, takeing some time to enjoy the heady, thick amosphere inside the shop, the cloying smells and damp air.  He slips his hat under his suit-coat, then pauses to look at some lilies, then leans close to take in their scent.  "I could stay in here all day,"  he mutters, "At least she's not as creapy as the fez.  I wonder if she has an opening."  Not that he could support his place on this kind of income.  He chuckles and starts back tword Cleo, brushing his hand through his short, damp hair.

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Smiling as always, Cleo leads Drew to a table with various arrangements from the extremely complex (and pricey) to the super simple (and cheap). Another fez comment. Either that guy gets around or the Shriner Circus is in town.

 

If she heard the fez comment, she makes no mention. "Here we have a wide variety of arrangements and one should surely suit your needs. I am sorry to hear you lost your job. I guess you're looking for work, now?"

 

Maybe I can trade in that worthless Eric in for someone who actually needs the paycheck.

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Drew chuckles and nods quietly. "Yeah, it's going to get a bit thin."  He picks out a display of native wildflowers and pays for them.  "As for the job thing, well, I definately am looking for work, technally starting... about a week from now, but a head start would be good by me."

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Sighing, Jen looks up from her paperwork. Ah, good time for lunch. I am getting hungry1 I think I will head to that new cafe I saw down the road a bit. Some 'real' foos sounds a lot better than fast food! standing up, she stretches and the grabs her jacket, a nice light weight think with Indian mottifs on it. Though a bit warm for wearing, it did hide her gun quite well. Stopping by Ken's desk "Going to lunch. Want to come with?" He looks up from his desk and smiles. "Wish I could, but I got too much to do. Tim was going to grab me something from one of the fast food joints on his way back from his lunch. But thanks for the offer." Nodding Jen replies "O.k. What are you working on?" Ken looks up There has been a rash of murders on some of the street people, really messy crime scenes. I think it's a serial killer targeting the homeless. But so far whoever it is has left no 'real' clues to follow." Jen listens and replies, "Well if you need any help....I am pretty much done with the paperwork from that Jane Doe last week and nothing new has landed on my desk...." She leaves the offer open ended just in case. "Well, I am going to head off. There was a new cafe the opened down the road I want to try. See you when I get back." And with that Jen heads out the door and to her vehicle to go to her lunch.

LT

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