Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Aoiroo

Cats Paw (IC)

Recommended Posts

April 20, 12:47 pm

Family excluded, Carrie didn't usually have passengers in her car. After the first five minutes of the supposedly grown man messing with every button in his range from sitting in front seat, and his immediate banishment to the back it was fairly pleasant ride despite the questions. Lockwood wasn't dumb, just unfamiliar and excessively chivalrous, and her employment to him didn't give her much in the way of surprises. Pulling up to the art gallery, she parked at a meter quietly and looked back at the man she had forced into a suit after a short shopping trip in the insistance that the people who visited this kind of place were the types who did not attract attention to themselves.

"Right, we're here."

Carrie climbed out of the driver seat of her mini cooper, and started to pay the meter as she appraised the building. According to her intel that was further helped from some bribery curtiosy of Lockwood, this was the most likely place to get in the know about recent black market dealings and transactions. The Ted Jensen Art Galleria was a public venue with from what she saw, fairly decent security. Neither of these things surprised her, public fronts were the best for these types of thing, in fact she couldn't count how many bakeries, clothing stores, repair shops were all fronts for more illicite dealings that she had taken down. This however seemed a bit more high end, probably dealing to the white collar crowd of crooks. It was uncharted territory really, but criminals were criminals, and as long as they acted as clients they should be greeted as such. Especially considering neither of them were armed (well unless you counted the cane, which most people didn't).

Share this post


Link to post

"What a... charming... little vehicle you have there" said Lord Steam as he stepped out of the mini-cooper.

Gods how awful! he thought to himself, lamenting that he couldn't persuade her to drive his steam-powered Rolls. Then again, any car which didn't emit steam as it powered along was something of a novelty to him.

He tucked his cane under one arm and offered Carrie the other.

"Mmmwauh" he intoned with a smile. "Shall we my dear, I do like a good piece of art!"

He strode in with long strides, careful not to outpace Carrie, and bought some VIP tickets to the gallery. Quite what VIP tickets granted him, he wasn't sure, but he thought it was worth taking. And besides, they were very important people.

Share this post


Link to post

Carrie grabbed the arm and let him lead as they entered the building. Really, she looked something like a girlfriend or a spouse doing so, but that didn't really bother her that much, being in close contact meant she could pull him out of the way if guns started firing. She didn't think it would happen just yet, but she had been shot at in stranger places. The front room of the building was nice, sort of like the front room for a high end spa, decorative, but also cozy and well furnished. That changed almost immediately once Lockwood showed his VIP ticket and they were excorted to the backroom as they called it. There it was almost extraordinarily plush with carpets of spring green and dark wooden paneling which made the affair reminiscint of a classic pool table. The were led to stand in front of a man about Carrie's height in a dark brown suit shuffling through papers. He had a thinning hair line, and roundness about him that screamed office worker, and his round eyes seemed very intently focused on the papers in front of him behind a pair of glasses that he didn't even look up when they entered. When he did finally look up to see them there his face went flat,

"Newcomers, well hello, as you can see, we are rather busy today, so state your business."

Share this post


Link to post

"Thank you, my good man" replied Lord Steam as he paced around the room, his eagle eyes drinking in the Gallery."

"Busy, hmmm? Well, if I may so you do a splendid job here. Absolutely top notch!" he ran a finger along a panel on the wall, and nodded approvingly at the lack of dust.

"Well, I don't suppose you could say what's the rage here could you? I know you are terribly busy and all that, but we really would be most interested to find out the best that your establishment has to offer".

He smiled, leaning on his cane, full of expectation.

Share this post


Link to post

GM

The teller looked up at the man and adjusted his glasses before giving him smile that broke the lines on his face and made him look less like a busy drone and more like a sastified business man.

"Yes of course, please have a seat."

The pain gestured to two chairs on the side of the desk as he started to push the papers away. Setting them in a neat stack, he gave a smile that for him meant one thing, easy money. The man in front of him clearly was a spender, and if he was already impressed with the establishment, the stock would be a lot easier to move.

"So, what can I help you with today, Mister?"

Share this post


Link to post

"Oh, nothing at all. Everything" replied Steam, jovially.

He played with his cane and cast his eyes around in an innocent manner.

"It all looks splendid in here, of course" he continued. "I was rather considering becoming a patron of the establishment. I was wondering why so busy at the moment? any problems recently?"

He crossed his legs and gave a slightly more serious look.

"And of course, to be a patron, I would need to satisfy myself about security and so forth. Not that I would critique, you understand. It's just, well, I am sure an Art Lover yourself would understand. It would render ones soul in twain should any valuable piece be lost to the vagabonds that call themselves art thieves. If you have had any problems, I would like to hear about them, and fortify your measures if required. "

Share this post


Link to post

GM

The teller nearly dropped his pen, his eyes wide in shock. He needed a second to consider whether the man was being serious, but than again he had the contacts to even procure a VIP ticket in the first place. But he regained his composure immediately before folding his hands,

"Well, sir, I do not know what you know of this establishment, but this place has been greatly taken care of, and it's value surpasses some passing fancy."

He straightened his glasses and looked at the man with a smile that said, yes I can be helpful, but there will need to be some monetary backing to those words.

Share this post


Link to post

GM

"Well, sir, I do not know what you know of this establishment, but this place has been greatly taken care of, and it's value surpasses some passing fancy."

"Oh please don't misunderstand me, sir" replied Lord Steam as helpfully and politely as he could. "This is no flight of fancy. Allow me to introduce myself. Lord Lucien Lockwood, at your service..."

He gave a slightly exaggerated bow.

"You are of course welcome to check my credit, and I am sure you will find my assets considerable. And one of my passions is fine art. I have no wish to tread on toes, so to speak, but I have a keen interest in patronising the arts. Regretfully, I have to be somewhat selective about where I pour my energies and resources, so I always have to be somewhat nosey. "

Share this post


Link to post

GM

"Lucien Lockwood, why, I,"

He had to stop himself, he had heard of an infamous eccentric by that way who had been throwing around money in a numberous amount of older style arts and furniture. All the people who had been previously employed by him were always incredibly well compensated,

"Of course, of course, just one minute."

Leaving the room in a fluster the man returned about three minutes with a large folder that he set on the desk,

"Here we go, here we have the guards working and the security layout of the building. As you see, we keep a very secure network and rotation of guards."

Share this post


Link to post

"Please forgive me Sir" said Steam, as he flicked through the folder, his photographic memory taking in the layouts and guard rota's. He wasn't exactly a speed reader - he could read no faster than the next man - but once he saw it, it generally stuck.

"I must confess... ah yes, very good... that I had heard...hmmm, nice camera system.... that you might have recently lost a piece, a few days ago..."

He looked up from the folder. "I hardly dare critique, of course, this is Freedom City, and all sorts of super criminals abound. But it is something I would like to look into. I have a little experience in these matters..."

Share this post


Link to post

The man looked a bit befuddled at the question, but regained his composure quickly once more. He smiled and said,

"No, I do not believe so. This is a top rate establishment, and our security is both highly advanced, and very efficient at keeping out any would be thieves."

Carrie looked at the man than scanned the files, finding something strange. It seemed that the guard schedule followed a steady rotation which was promptly broken the previous night. She leaned over to Lockwood and whispered,

"Ask about guard files and backgrounds."

Share this post


Link to post

"*Ahem*" coughed Steam politely as Carrie whispered to him.

"I see" he replied to the man in front of him. "And what about the security officers? top men, I am sure. I imagine you keep files on them, backgrounds, experience, and so forth. Would have to, I expect, what with the risk of them strolling off with a masterpiece. "

The man looked receptive enough to the request, so he risked it.

"Would those be available to peruse? All in the name of security. "

Share this post


Link to post

GM

"Yes, I can provide those, one moment."

Leaving the room again, he came back with another folder that he put onto the table in front of him. It was labeled guards, and had background checks, addresses, their applications and work logs set in order. It also had pictures, and a notation that the previous night's guard had called in sick and was replaced with a newly hired one by the name of David Porter.

Share this post


Link to post

Lord Steam examined the profile of David Porter, as well as the logs, rotas, and other information on the guards. His eyes rapidly wandered across the files, his mind quickly absorbing the pertinent details and filing it away methodically.

He turned slightly towards Carrie and stabbed at the name of David Porter in the book. "Interesting, hmmm?" he asked the young heroine. "Not much information on him here, but we can cross reference. He is the most obvious weak link in the security chain mail. "

No proof, but the beginnings of a line of enquiry. That was always how it started. It might be a dead end, or a false lead. But every crime-busting endeavour needed a start.

"Thank you Sir, and rest assured I intend to patronise this establishment within my modest means..." he drew out a cheque book and wrote a rather large donation of several thousand dollars.

"I look forward to further discussions with you!"

Share this post


Link to post

As they walked out of the establishment with the files, Carrie waited until they were in the care and actually driving before we spoke.

"So, I can call up a contact of mine to get access to the direct security feed, otherwise we'll want to visit this David Porter right?"

At a read light she reached for the GPS, pressed a few buttons until it had the type address function up and passed it back,

"Punch in the address and press okay, it should tell me where we need to go."

Share this post


Link to post

"Punch in the address and press okay, it should tell me where we need to go."

"What a splendid little device" said Lord Steam. He was still getting to grips with electrical devices. They seemed handy, of course, but to his mind they lacked the class and power of steam powered ones. In his dimension, electricity was difficult to control and unwieldy, although it had crept in.

Punching the numbers in to the GPS device, a route dutifully appeared on the screen.

"So..." he said innocently, rocking on his heels. "How are we getting there? on foot, or are we using, um... that..." he said, pointing his silver handled cane towards Carries Mini-Cooper.

"And on another note, whilst I interview him, are you doing your snoop routine?"

Share this post


Link to post

"Well considering the GPS is made to be used in a car, and not for walking, yes we are taking the car. If you really have a problem with it, put it on the list next to the cell phone to get your own car that doesn't run on steam. I'm sure you can find something that'll suite you fancy if you bothered to look, there are some especially nice older cars you could take a look at."

Carrie let that argument rest there before she started listing the older cars she would prefer but wouldn't drive because of impracticality of upkeep and milage. As she started up the car she looked back,

"And yes, I'll be sneaking around, I'm sure you've noticed by now, but blending into the background is my most prominent feature. Just try not to give him reason to shoot you while I look through his place."

It was about twenty minutes to get to Lincoln on the route indicated by the GPS, with a pit stop so Carrie wouldn't be tempted to use David's bathroom when she was sneaking around. When they parked in front of the one story house Carrie with a slightly untrimmed lawn, Carrie formed a question to Lockwood that she had yet to think of,

"By the way, do you have a private investigator's lincense?"

Share this post


Link to post

"By the way, do you have a private investigator's lincense?"

"A what?" replied Lord Steam. "You need a license to investigate crime in this dimension?" he genuinely looked shocked.

"Its insane! it is every gentleman's duty to uphold the law, and turn in the riff raff when possible. I cannot believe you colonials would need to tie that up in Red-tape. Hmph..."

Vexed, he stomped into the Mini Cooper, muttering something half-heard about licences, steam power, shoddy workmanship, and colonials...

He was a bit calmer in the car. It had a nice little shape, he gave it that. Needed more copper tubes and whistles on it, of course.

"Well, I am working on my Steam-car at the moment, back at the mansion. I imagine this will get us there well enough" he said, politely. "And I have no doubt your prowess in sneaking will not fail. I guess I will just have to use my wit and charm to replace my 'official investigators license'" he continued, holding up his fingers to make virtual quotation marks at the last phrase.

Share this post


Link to post

"The red tapes there to prevent unfair process and search which I may remind you, as much as our suspicions may be we are technically breaking the law here. The lincense is to make sure people don't just go around pretending to be investigators to get what they want, also something we're technically doing even though I know that you claim such an occupation at home. When this is done, we can probably go down to the county office, it's not that hard to do, you take a test, pay a cover fee, they give you a lincense and your legal."

Shrugging her shoulders she locked her car and pocketed her key as she started towards behind the house,

"But for now, let's follow the loosely defined civil duty, I'm sure if you keep up like you usually do, no one will question it. It by some off chance we have to answer to the cops, you can bring whatever confirmation that you indeed are from another dimension and don't know any better to bail us out with a warning."

Share this post


Link to post

"It by some off chance we have to answer to the cops, you can bring whatever confirmation that you indeed are from another dimension and don't know any better to bail us out with a warning."

"Hmmm" replied Supercape as the Minicooper took off towards the suspect. "I suspect my official diplomatic status here will allow considerably greater flexibility in these matters, although I don't intend to abuse it. Perhaps an 'investigator licence" (he frowned and used his fingers as quotation marks again as he said the words) "would be a worthwhile investment. Having said that, being effectively outside the legal system here it may not be possible to obtain one. I should probably study your dimensions quaint laws more. "

He pulled out a highly intricate wind up watch on a silver chain from his waistcoat pocket, "Hmmm, it approaches evensong. I hope we catch him at home. If not, we will need to broaden our search. "

Share this post


Link to post

GM

Luckily for them, he was. When Lockwood pressed the door bell, it was a few minutes, but down the stairs came a man in a light colored robe about five ten. He was more lanky than strong looking, and he had some stubble that and a tired walk that suggested someone who had just gotten out of bed. Opening the door, he looked up Lockwood up and down before saying,

"Bit old for a girl scout ain't cha."

Share this post


Link to post

"A bit male too. How astute of you" replied Lord Steam, as dry an the Niarobi desert.

"Can I come. Thanks, awfully decent of you..." he said, elbowing his way in.

"The name is Lockwood. Delighted to meet with you. I am working for a certain art establishment. You can think of me as a curator. Yes, the one you work for. Or rather, usually work for when you aren't off sick like last night. How are you feeling by the way, still poorly, hmm?"

He cast his beady eye over Porter. He wasn't really expecting to see any signs of serious illness, but he never jumped to conclusions either.

Share this post


Link to post

GM

"Wait what?!"

The man glared Lockwood as he sidestepped his way in.

"Curator? I ain't ever seen you around, and what are you doing stepping in my house. If your really from work, than outside of it, what I do isn't any of your damn business and I'd appreciate it if you get out of my house."

Standing a bit straighter, even though Lockwood had a few inches on the guy he pulled himself into a posture that he was staring down at him and getting ready to push him out if he had too.

Share this post


Link to post

Lord Steam backed off gently from Porter, studying him intently. There was nothing incriminating Porter, as yet. Plenty of people threw a sick day when they weren't ill, and it could just be coincidence.

Idly, he wondered what his stealthy partner was up to - possibly gathering evidence.

He looked Porter straight in the eye and spoke slowly. "I will get out of your house, Sir, but first, I need to establish exactly why you turned up to work at short notice on a particular day. A day on which a valuable piece of art went missing... you don't need to tell me now, but the sooner I clear this up, the better for everyone. Including you, Sir!"

Share this post


Link to post

Porter looked at the strange man and shrugged his shoulders,

"Look, I started drinking a bit early yesterday, took a nap around two and when I woke I got a god awful hangover, so I took a sick day. I get three paid sick days a year as per my contract, and I still had two left. I don't know anything about any missing pieces, you'll have to ask whoever it is they got to replace me."

Carrie had very little difficulty getting into the house, mostly since the sliding door wasn't actually locked. Still, she didn't even really bother opening it as she slipped in flat and started to look around. She was careful not to move anything as she moved through the house checking files and mail, before she moved up to the bedroom and found in rather plain sight a check on the dresser. She looked over it, finding that it was signed and dated for yesterday. Taking out a business card she had snatched from the gallery, she grabbed a pen off the side table and wrote down the account numbers, date, and name of signer, a mister Steven Nates.

Share this post


Link to post
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

×