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Triple Murder in Riverside

Dr Archeville

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Family Slain!

Riverside - A gruesome scene greeted police officers responding to a 911 call for assistance for a mugging victim. A teenager, his mother, and his grandfather were found brutally mutilated, their bodies placed in a sitting pose on a couch in front of a television playing nothing but static.

Investigators have not determined a motive for the killings, Sheriff's spokeswoman Grace Morales said.

The coroner's office identified the victims as 61-year-old Maury George Dickson; his 39-year-old daughter, Joan 'Jett' Mary Dickson; and her 16-year-old son, Richard Timothy Dickson.

Neighbors say the family seemed close, that they were never heard arguing and that they would often pile into a minivan to run errands together. But Robin's classmates reported him to be shy and withdrawn, and his teachers reported a recent slump in his grades.

The investigation is ongoing.

This headline catches the attention of a certain demonic-sword-wielding samurai.

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Riverside was a nice neighborhood, that is why the house stood out so much. Not that it wasn't a nice house, it was much like any other house in the neighborhood; it just wasn't one people wanted to look at anymore, at least not a good look. Passer bys would shoot a furtive glance at the squat brownstone building, at the yellow tape crisscrossing the doorway, the darkened windows so similar to their own, then they would shudder slightly, pass on and try to banish the building from their thoughts. The last thing they wanted to think about was the people who had once lived in that house,or how close it was to their own homes.

So it is no blame of theirs that no one saw the figure that slipped around the back like blue streak. Or if they saw it they didn't pause for long to think about it. After all this was Freedom City, and curiosity killed far more than the cat...

Sen could it feel before he had stepped halfway into the door. He didn't need to look at the chalk lines on the couch or the web of yellow tape that crisscrossed the stair way landing. His boots made no sound as he glided across the living room carpet and stood in front of the couch. The blood had long since congealed in a grimy brown film on the sofa cushions, at least most of it did. The blood also liberally covered the walls of the room, and of course brown stains decorated the ceiling as well. Those were all things that the Freedom Police Department could see for themselves.

But only one trained in the right way could see the scene for what it was. Sen could taste the foulness in the air like slimy firm of garbage on the tounge. The house radiated wrongness, it made his hair tingle as if he had walked into an abandoned snake nest. He knew that feeling well, it was his calling. Sen moved away from the couch and moved towards the stairs, paying attention not to step on the thick trail of blood that dragged along the carpet. With a quick leap Sen cleared the stairs, taking him to the top. He moved around the house.

The walls up here were caked with blood as well, but Sen recognized the demonic penmanship, though he could not read the message. He had never mastered the infernal tongue. He continued to rifle through the house looking for signs of the family's killer.

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Dashel didn’t like the job.

The trenchcoated figure stood on the street in front of the house, smoking his cigarette, the headlights of a passing car briefly highlighting the figure’s haggard face in the dying light of the evening. He stood there reflecting on the actions of the past few hours. The crying faces of friends of the deceased, with no knowledge of the shaded past that led to their... murder? … deaths? … who knows. Normally he would leave this one to the police, but that girl's sobs had changed his mind. Besides, It couldn’t hurt to take a look ... right?

Looking up at the dark house from under the brim of his fedora, Dashel sighed. “I don’t like this job.†Dashel smiled to himself: but when did he ever.

“What the heck was that?!â€Â

Dashel instinctively reached for the gun, nestled in the chest holster on his right side. Some kind of blue streak had just run past…or he thought it did… maybe not. Dashel shook his head and moved his hand down to the other handle in his jacket, the one on his hip flask, and took a swig of the horrid mixture of herbal medicine and Jack Daniel’s or whatever strong liquor Chen put in this stuff. Supposed to be lucky though, and that was good enough for Dashel. For what he paid for it and how bad it tasted, it had better bring him luck. It had better, because this looked like a bad case and now Dashel was seeing things.

Stamping out his cigarette and brushing aside the yellow tape Dashel walked to the front door and tried it. Locked. Standard police procedure, but sometimes they forgot the back door. Heading around back Dashel found the back door already ajar… not a good sign. Drawing the old .45 from his jacket he stepped into the building, shutting the door behind him, quietly as possible and entered in attempts not to disturb the crime scene.

The grotesque scene of the living room was a sight that made Mason shiver. Such a massacre Mason had not seen in a long time. Daemons, maybe, but he long ago learned not to underestimate the depraved minds of men. Besides, even daemons leave traces behind; you just have to know how to look. Dashel moved his other hand to cover his mouth and nose, and turned his mind to more pressing issues. “I wonder where our mysterious guest is, upstairs perhaps?â€Â

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Sen had made his way to the boy's room and had been in the act of searching it when he heard the slightest creak from the stair well. Sen froze for a brief second then silently glided over to the door way and hid beside the boy's doorway. He strained his hearing trying to decipher what was coming up the stairs. Maybe it was the killer returning. The thought put a grim smile on Sen's face.

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Dashel proceeded up the steps into the darkness of the upper floors. Checking the blindspots, just as Robert had taught him. A bead of sweat dripped down his face as he reached the top of the stairs. Out of the corner of his eye, Dashel thought he saw a swift movementfrom one of the open doorways.

Thinking quickly, Dashel pretended like he didn’t notice and slowly walked toward the door. For a heart wrenching moment Dashel stood in the open doorway of the boy’s room, surveying the toppled furniture and blood stained carpet, the lights from a passing car highlighting him in horizontal stripes. Then he continued down the hall.

As soon as Dashel passed the door, he quietly put his back to the wall, pressing himself up against the drywall. Holding out his gun, he cocked the hammer, hoping to get the drop on the mysterious guest.

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Sen watched the figure go past him as if it were going to the parent's room. Then it suddenly pressed itself up against the wall opposite him. Sen quickly calculated, whoever obviously knew Sen was there, so he decided to spring their trap. In blur of motion the Samurai shot out of the room, his sword cleared its scabbard faster than a man could draw breath. He saw roughly a silhouetted figure as he moved his blade slashed out in a silvery arc. A strange flash of light from outside shone on the figure, Sen halted his blade less than an inch from the man's neck.

He got his first good look at the man in that split second. Two haunted brown eyes framed by a rough shaven, weather beaten face, hidden under a brown fedora locked unto his own. The man didn't know how lucky he was. It was then that Sen noticed the gun leveled at his chest. He didn't need to look to see the hammer cocked. Or maybe it was Sen's luck the gun hadn't gone off yet. "Drop your weapon," Sen commanded coolly.

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Dashel cocked his head back away from the blade, he could feel the cold steal at his neck. This guy was fast, crazy fast, he didn’t even see the blade coming. Dashel’s eyes glanced down at this guy.

Platnum hair? Blue coat? Scary sword? This guy was definitely a super… or a villain. … Wait, didn’t I hear about some crazy sword wielding super down at the “Hot licks†last Tuesday, or Wednesday,… or Thursday. With any luck, this is the guy, guess we’ll find out.

Dashel’s eyes met the samurai’s again; then he smiled out the side of his mouth and cocked an eye brow.

“So who are you supposed to be, some kung foo movie reject?â€Â

He could feel the blade press against his skin.

“Or maybe you’re that samurai do gooder I heard about? Find your father yet?â€Â

The sword pressed harder, cutting a little.

“H-hey, believe it or not I’m a good guy. How about you put away your sword, I put away my .45, before we both get hurt. Besides, looking at the way you’ve been tramping through here, I’d say it’s your lucky day.â€Â

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At the mention of his father Sen's eyes widened then narrowed sharply, and he stepped in heedless of the weapon trained on him. "What do you know of my father?"

At his suggestion Sen took a step back and took the sword from the man's neck but made no move to sheath the weapon, or even lower it. He looked the man up an down. He seemed nothing like the typical super that Sen encountered and he smelled of alcohol. It would stain his blade to cut this one down. Who are you?" He demanded. Sen might have been content to scare him off now, he would not be satisfied until he had his answers.

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Dashel uncocked his gun and put it back into its holster.

“I’ll answer the last one first.â€Â

From the inside pocket of his jacket he pulled out a business card and held it out to the samurai.

“Dashel Mason, Private I. Friends of the family, sitting so nicely together downstairs, asked me to take a look.†Turned his eye down to sort the cards and put them back into his pocket. “ As for the bit about your father…â€Â

Dashel looked up from under the fedora, a bit of a grin on his face.

“There’s not much in this town I don’t know, and even less I can’t find out about. That sword of instance, I wonder what kind of magics were used to make that. Some kind of ancient Japanese Mumbo jumbo? And I supose your the blue streak i saw earlier; well, at least there isn't anybody else.â€Â

Dashel pulled out a pack of cigarettes, then, remembering where he was, sighed and put them back in his coat. Noticbly more irritated Dashel looked at the Samurai.

“Now what should I call you? Or do you prefer kung foo reject?â€Â

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With a flourish of Sen sheathed his sword. Dashel noticed that only the peice of his card remained in his hand the other half, drifted to the floor sliced neatly in half. Sen decided the man knew nothing important about his father. "My name is Sen." He turned his back and looked around at the house. "You are wasting your time, Dashel Mason. The police have combed this area thoroughly you can go over thier reports." He gestrued to the blood on the wall.

"But you won't find anything useful. These people were not killed by a mere man." He turned back to face the private investigator a sadronic smile on his face. "They were killed by 'Mumbo Jumbo'."

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Dashel looked at the Half a card in his hand, and frowned.

"You could have just told me you didn't want it, these things are expensive."

He dropped the other half and let it flitter to the floor.

"As for the police, ... Then can tend to miss some things. I should know, but I may check the reports latter if I think it should prove useful. You collect your evidence first, kid, and then make your assumptions. Supers, Think they know everything, but can't do a lick of police work on their own."

Dashel reach behind his back under his trench to pull out a Military Belt pack. He opened the pack and pulled out a roll of fabric and then snapped the pack back into place. He unhooked the fabric letting it unroll, reveling it to be a lock pick set, but instead of lock picks it had swabs, vials of chemicals and small packages of sterilized equipment. Throwing the roll over his shoulder Dashel pushed past Sen and proceeded carefully back down stairs.

“I’m gonna take a look around, kid, why don’t you go make yourself useful and keep watch or something, so we don’t have any more unexpected characters. And stop messing up the crime scene!â€Â

When Dashel got back down stairs he put the anoying super out of his mind and took a swig from his hip flask to steel himself for the work ahead. Then without a further word set to work to find out what he could.

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about halfway through the duo's search for clues -- both were upstairs, Dashel in the bedroom of a Goth-Metal-Punk teen, Sen in the bedroom of a WW II veteran -- when both hear a noise coming from downstairs.

Both know it's the sound of someone entering through the back door. Sounds like two or three somebodies.

Both hear some mumblings from them, but Sen is able to actually make out some of what's said: thy sound like young men, either high school or college aged, they've come to take stuff.

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Dashel sighs audibly.

I thought I told him to keep watch

pulling himself from his work Dashel reaches into the front of his coat pulling out his .45 and pulling back the hammer halfway.

No need to jump to any conclusions.

Silently he moves into the hallway and positions himself at the top of the stairs in full cover from the new guests. He knew that Sen was somewhere on this level so he kept his position untill he saw him again.

I don't need this guy making any mistakes, or worse making a fool of myself. So is this the villian returning to the scene of the crime, or another cape come to screw up my investigation?

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Sen took his attention away from room he was searching and shifted it to the people downstairs. He could make out faint speech.

"Take the T.V man,"a voice said. "Wow this thing is a 1080 too, get some money for this." another voice added. "Ha yeah right thats going in my room." Sen scowled. Looters. Vultures. he thoguht distastefully. Sen silently glided out of the room he saw the man Dashel waiting by the steps his gun drawn. Sen caught his eye and shook his head, he placed his hand, palm down, next to his neck tyring to indicate children.

Then Sen moved up against the wall waiting to see if they would come upstairs. He drew Muramasa. Though he had no intention of slicing anyone.

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Dashel furrow's his brow and nods in understanding.

Kids huh? Great just what I need. They’ll disturb evidence. Hmmm, time to bring out the law.

Dashel motions for Sen to follow him, points at his eyes, and then jabs his thumb at his back.

And don't screw up

He recocks his gun, pulls out his flashlight and holds it to support his other hand. Silently as he can he moves down the steps to the living room, keeping the gun steady and sweeping his blind spots. He cautiously approaches the room, but pauses before entering. Dashel takes a deep breath and quickly moves into the room. He sees their eyes move toward him; quickly he turns on the flashlight and points it directly into the face of one of the hoodlums, just as he had been trained back at the force. The next words out of his mouth sounded strangely welcoming...

"Freeze! FCPD!"

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Two of the three punks -- a skinny blonde guy and a short dumpy brunette -- immediately stop what they're doing; the blond kid shrieks like a girl and drops some silverware, making a large clatter. The third, a taller and somewhat more toned brunette, is slower to react, as he is facing away from Dashel, but when he turns to see the detective, he appears to see something very off-putting, and jumps.

All three appear late high school or early college aged.

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Damn punks

Dashel rushes into action, hoping Sen has his back. It’s weird doing this without someone to trust, but then Dashel can never get that close to anyone…

“You three, hands on your heads and up against the wall! Do it!â€Â

Dashel knows he has to use the element of surprise and keep this quick, before they get any ideas about running for it. Heck, it was lucky one of them didn't try something already. But then he always was kinda lucky. He keeps his light moving from face to face in order to keep them blinded and memorize their faces in case it becomes important later. As he motions with his gun for them to line up against a bare wall.

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Sen hears the commotion downstairs and shakes his head. Looters. He didn't understand what could compel people to steal from the dead. He had more importnat concerns at the moment never the less. Let Dashel deal with that. He listened for a few seconds to see if anythign developed then went back to his investigation.

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Sen continues searching upstairs.

Downstairs, Dashel order the punks around.

"I told you this wouldn't work!," the skinny blonde squealed.

"It would have if you weren't so clumsy!," the pudgy brunette say.

"Me?," the blonde replies, "I'm not the one who-"

"Shut up, both of you!" the taller, toned brunette orders. He looks at Dashel, unlike the other two, "we're not doin' anything wrong, officer, none of this stuff belongs to anyone. Why don't you just go on back to the donut shop, okay?"

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Dashel narrows his eyes at the brunette. He keeps his flash light trained on her face.

“When a police officer gives you an order you’re supposed to follow it. Put your hands in the air and place them against the wall.â€Â

Then Dashel sneers.

“And before you think about running… I could care less if you wanted to take some dead guy’s stuff. But I do care about this case. And now your hand and figure prints are on the door, shoe sizes are imprinted into the carpet, and your skin flakes are littered across the house, giving any good investigator your DNA, not to mention the fact that I've seen your faces. And as this is an ongoing investigation, if I don’t get your names and what you are doing here, your all going to be called in to answer questions that could have been avoided.â€Â

Dashel stops his smiling and suddenly looks grimmer tightening his hand on the pistol.

"don't make me ask you again."

Dashel keeps his eyes on the hands and eyes of the assembled punks, trying to determine if any one of them are going to try anything. After all, the first rule they teach you on the force: end your shift alive.

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  • 5 weeks later...

The skinny blonde and pudgy brunette had already put their hands on the wall, and now the taller and more toned one did, too. He kept sneering at Dashel, though from what the PI could tell none we going to try anything. At least, not in the very immediate future.

The skinny blonde is the first to speak up, though not really in any useful manner. "Oh, God, I don't wanna go to jail! I don't wanna be a prison-wife!"

"Shut up, Tom!," the pudgy brunette says in a weird mix of bravado and cowardly meekness. "He... oh, damnit, now he knows your name."

"Yeah, great going, Danny!" the blonde snaps back.

"Both of you shut up!" the leader of the trio shouts to the other two. He then turns his face back to Dashel, "and this area isn't part of an ongoing investigation, the cops already did a sweep and have left. He, for all I know, that's a fake badge and you're here to rob the place, same as us."

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Dashel pauses and then starts to snicker, which turns into a full on laugh.

When he recovers he says, "You better hope I'm a cop," and then in a more serious manner directed toward the head punk, "otherwise I'm just a man with a gun.

After memorizing their faces Dashel, turns off the flashlight and, without taking his eyes off the punks, puts it back in his belt. Then he reaches into his front pocket and pulls out a notebook.

"Now Tom and Danny are a good start, but I'd like your last names and the name of your bossy friend here." Dashel attempts to appear friendlier, but never lowers his gun. "And trust me; the police don't care about a couple of thieves when there's a murderer like this around."

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"In that case, why not just let us go so you can get back to... doing whatever you were doing?" the ringleader says. "You didn't see us, we didn't see you coming here on your own, without an evidence collection kit, without showing anything to back up your claim that you are who you say you are*... without any sort of backup, even. Looks more like you're a crooked cop come to loot the place for yourself after the official investigation here was finished."

The pudgy brunette half-turns his face towards the ringleader, and Dashel can just make out a "dude, WTF are you doing?!" look on his face.

* Only thing Dashel's shown so far is a flashlight and a gun.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Seeing as the group has put their hands against the wall Dashell holsters his gun and takes out his badge. He takes a quick look behind him to make sure his back up is there, and frowns when it isn’t.

Supers … go figure

Dashel then places the worse for wear badge on the mantle where the ring leader can see it.

“Take a good look at the number. You can be sure to ask about it later.â€Â

Dashel quickly pats them down to see if they’re carrying any weapons, keeping a watchful eye on the ring leader. If he finds anything, he pockets it.

“Now your names, Starting with you punk†Dashel says tapping the ring leader on the shoulder with his pencil.

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  • 1 month later...

Frisking the apparent ringleader turned up nothing criminal, but did reveal one thing: his name. His driver's license identified him as Adam Mears, a local guy. Also of (possible) interest were several receipts for Best Buy, Circuit City, and other electronics stores; the kid was buying a lot of tech.

Searching the second, the scrawny blonde, turned up some very strange things. His driver's license identified him as Tom Wells, also a local guy. In his wallet and other pockets were many small strips of paper with weird symbols on them; they weren't in any alphabet Dashel recognized, but Dashel was no linguist. By far the oddest thing, though, was a very ornate bone flute held in a custom concealed holster on his side.

The pudgy brunette did not seem to have much on him, just a wallet with a few bucks an an id: Danny Levinson.

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