Murder in the Shadow of Chelsea Towers West

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Starting with a seemingly routine crime scene of a slaughtered Suit and his Furniture, Detective Bruce Throne is rapidly drawn into a deep conspiracy reaching from the heights of Soylent Medical to the slums of the overpopulated Fringes. Puzzle pieces of stolen Aztec gold, the super-flu, lost banks, and ex-government assassins muddy of the cement rivers of the newest LA Riots.

Chapter 1 (v.1) - Murder in the Shadow of Chelsea Towers West

Submitted: April 24, 2011

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Submitted: April 24, 2011

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Murder in the Shadow of Chelsea Towers West
a Soylent Redux
by Mike W. McCoy
 
Chapter 1: Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
 
1.[The soundtrack slams full volume] at the 1st cut-scene n2 darkened interior, disco club set. The Small Man slowly slides the whore some gold coins, then idents an average looking Corporate Suit amongst the sweaty overflow crowd. 
The Furniture smiles her understanding.
 
2.[The credits flash bone white over black] between the montage of images that follow. The soundtrack becomes more selectively pronounced, same volume but less, as the audio tracks drop out 1 after another. The Suit and Furniture have a decadent good time disco club-ways, then move outside having an illegal smoke. Together they stumble over and inside the suspicious looking Gipsy cab.
 
3.The Suit and Furniture play out the lust, all backseat taxi stains, until stopping at the curb. Now outside, they walk halfway down the dark and dirty ally, before the whore goes to work. Soon only the [barking of combined grunts fill the soundtrack,] Both are 2 high on artificial pheromones and fully involved, so neither realize they are not alone until its 2 late. 
 
4.[The soundtrack is heart beats only,] echoing with a dozen overlapping rhythms, not unlike the pounding of tribal drums! The Furniture’s eyes freeze frame on a pack of young, almost childlike, men stepping from the shadows, each holding a something wicked sharp.The Small Man smiles.
5.Screams! Knives, blood, dark and dirty night shadows color the asphalt! A fleeting shadow of Mr. Death. The ribbon cutting ceremony goes full swing with flashing quick-cut visuals. The Executive Producer and Director creditsroll.
 
Fade to black.


Chapter 2: The Work Order
 
6.“5 scripts in 5 nights.” Homicide Detective Bruce Thorn grumbles behind a cloud of smoke stepping around the blood splattered crime scene set,early pre-dawn AM.
The uniformed Bronze, scurry about like cockroaches gathering DNA evidence & fotos, all the while collecting morbid side bets. Thorn costumes as a late 50ish battle scared hard-boiled mean SOB. The acting is almost overacting when Thorn deals with Lower Ranks of stupid cop. Thorn pokes about the gore, examining both victims closely, while listening 2 the lead Bronze run her mouth off.
“…must have gotten lost, or something. Wrong side of the Wall. Maybe it’s a new kick for the rich. Slumming it? Who ever trapped them, played out some sick crap Torture porn. That’s why there’s blood everywhere. Death of a 1000 cuts type shit. Hell, Detective, I’ve heard rumors about these Pacific Islander Gangs…”
 
7.Dtc. Thorn tugs a something from the dead girls hand. 
“Your wrong.” examining the large coin. None of it’s 600 year old solid gold luster is lost below the blood. “It was murder.” The words have the weight of the heavens upon them, making all the Bronze pausefor a moment of silence.
“The Furniture was disposable, only a tool,” indicating the cheese grated body. “But the Suit? He was the real target. But why? A new death cult? A gang hit? We may never know, and that’s the shit.”
 
8“My name is s-s-Sal.” the skinny baby faced 25ish pale skinned man says opening the door, allowing Thorn into the bunker-esq. home. Sal is a Gattaca DNA tweaked brainiac with a host of medical problems that have him taking a handful of pills a day. Sal is also an outstanding Police Book, employed as Dtc. Thorn’s link to the vast Information Grids and Webs of the world.
Thorn treats Sal as a little brother, while reviewing the facts of the newest crime Work Order. Thorn wants Sal to “…search the IGW’s for similar CSI, and find a common edge. I feel this one is important somehow. My cop instinct is tingling. This coin. It feels like….” words trailing off into sleep.
Sal is worried Thorn may have stumbled upon a religious death cult, or maybe even a serial killer, “like the madman who that brought Sal and Thorn together all those years ago.” 
 
9Soylent Medical[slides n2 frame as a reverse image,] reflected off the stylized chrome plated winged horse hood-ornament of the stealth helicopter Pegasus. The expensive Limousine of the Sky images bone white with ++ dark tinted armor-glass windows. The private ride glides along 3500 feet above the vast rust brown slums housing the have-nots.The poor are nothing but a smug of background color rushing past fast back-stage.
The glass campus of Soylent Medical Center is surrounded with a 60 foot stone wall of medieval dimensions. Pegasus touches down rooftop-ways Executive Office Wing. A young trophy perfect, but sad faced, woman exit’s the helicopter while balancing an elaborate antique Yogi Bear style pick nick basket.
“Don’t be rude.” She politely tells the angry security drone. “Tad,my pilot, assures me that this is where one parks a helicopter.”
“True,” the drone stumbles. “However you do not have proper clearance. Ms…um…”
Ms. Sille,” a perfect shark smiley grin. “Why don’t you call my husband. 1st Director of the Board,
Doctor R. Simon. Then tell him his 4th wife is standing here with a surprise lunch awaiting clearance.”
“On 2nd thought, I will escort you personally,” the drone forces thru the smile.
 
10 Ms. Sille, along with bodyguard Tad Fielding, are escorted by security, until arriving at the opulent outer offices of the Executive Wing. The long wait is moments of awkward professional silence, quick glances, and the half smiles of ex-lovers.Almost to soon, Doc. Simon and another much younger Suit exit. Sille doesn’t know the newest Board Director’s name. But this Dir. X looks most unfriendly, especially costumed in an old and ill-fitting cheap off the rack suit.
Sille practically begs her husband, a man at least 4+ times her age, 2 join them 4 lunch. “Look! It’s real food! 
Not those colored cardboard crackers. I did all the work myself, made the sandwich’s and everything!”
 Simon the husband, appreciates the effort, and is surprised. But under the evil eye gaze from the now angry looking Director X, Doc. Simon the company man, must refuse. “I have much to do. Things are changing around here. I must…”
“Is it the vaccine?” Sille grasps.
“In a way, it’s that…and…and so much more,” Simon continues. “We will be together tonight. I’ll make it up to you then. I promise. Now you do this for me. Go take Tad, and do some unnecessary shopping. Time is short, now. Very, very short.” 
 
11Prescient 13, a mad house of cop, criminal and victim, is crowded inside a converted suburban shopping mall. Dtc. Thorn pushes thru the mass of chaotic Orwelling facilities like a battle ship, until arriving office-ways Captain Dan Tran, Homicide.
Inside 2 silent and evil looking Narcotic cops, both cousins of Capt. Tran, and both openly crooked, watch Thorn status report the CSI. But, as always, Tran acts the ball buster, and cuts Thorn off.
“That’s enough.”
Captain Tran hates the big old white motherfxr, but Thorn has closed the impossible cases, saved the victims, avenged the innocent. Thon’s been given the medals, media attention, etc all, gaining more than enough leverage to through around, and demand Respect in the Department and out. But that’s not Thorn‘s way. 
Captain Tran can’t comprehend a reason of Thorn’s reluctance, so he agrees with the rumors.
“Thorn is a psychopath, but unlike the murderers, Thorn is a killer of killers.”
 
12Captain Tran concludes the victims of the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony were simply in the wrong neighborhood
at the wrong time.
“The Gypsy cab driver has already confessed he was paid 2 drive them inside the ally," shrugging. 
"And since drugs were found…”
“What drugs?” Thorn grunts, not surprised.
“These,” The shorter Narc cop says holding up a plastic bag.
“This is bullshit,” Thorn complains.
“Drugs is yes. Now Narcotics, not Homicide,” the taller Narc adds. “We take this case from you. You working to hard old man. You need to relax.”
“Sure, I got nothing,” Thorn scows at Tran, and signs the paperwork.
“Case closed,” Tran announces all game show host tinged.
“You should thank us,” the short Narc, hiding behind thick sunglasses, takes the Work Order before the ink dries. “Rumor say you been going heavy on the scene these days. Say you eyeballing lots of dead bodies. Shit that not your Work Order. You maybe looking for somebody? Or maybe…something looking for you? “
“You saying something?” Thorn glairs daggers.
“Be careful old man. All the La-Riots and social unrest outside,” The tall Narc adds leaving the office. “A man like you might have an accident.”
 
13Thorn waits at the door, fuming like a snuffed candle, ignoring Captain Tran’s dismissal. Thorn is feeling the tingle of cop instinct. The 6th since whispering just behind the ice pick in the brain pan. “This puzzle is big.”
“Say, Tran. Since when did street punks leave anything behind at a ribbon cutting ceremony?”
[tossing the blood stained gold coin to the captain’s desk.]
 
Chapter 3:It’s more Humane, but Still Insane
 
14The overloaded public transport rumbles off set, leaving the Police Book, Sal Robinson huddled tight until the crowd of have-nots thin out. Sal eyes Soylent Medical, [shaking like an addict] until the soundtrack softens to an artificial but pleasant hum of back ground noise generated by jumbled overlapping TV commercials. 
Sal looks up wondering at the enormity of Soylent Medical, whichimages as an imposing beehive of high anxiety activity under fashion forward architecture. All of the pretty looks are hidden behind the ugly harshness of the cut stone blocks 8 to 10 tons each, thrusting up from below, in monolithic proportions.
 15“T-t-today’s not s-s-so bad.” Sal announces stage-left, [stepping endways to the long line of poor and hopeless snaking along the base of the Wall.] The 2 mile long Vaccine Line is open 24/7. The giant TV screens flash 10 thousand commercials, keeping the masses docile and distracted from their Social/Economic/Genetic status. 
“This w-wall feeds the m-m-masses with false h-hope.” Sal notes seeing how the commercials are simply short stories where the product saves the day. An actor making a few months run, going from product to product, is considered a good career, a lottery win for the have-nots, a way out.
“It’s more, comrade amigo,” the hopeless standing behind Sal comments.
“It’s f-fake,” Sal responds.
“It’s better than my reality,” indicating the dead body in the street.
 
16.Now Sal is only dozen yards from the booth babe behind the box office window, when a sudden something pinches the brain hard! The pain crawls along inside his skull! It clears the mind, and Sal watches as everyone suddenly seems equal in the Line. No rush, no fuss, just that damn Soylent company smile. It’s that corporate amused little-2-glad-2-meet you smile. They all can do it. Each and every cog, inside the mad cabal of self important scientifically ambitious Soylent Machine, can turn that Company Smile on/off light switch quick. Sal secretly hate’s then all.
 
17[Zoom focus close-up of a butterfly.] “I love the smell and feel of nature.” soft voiced as the bright bug lands on Sille’s outstretched arm. The chirp of small birds, rustle of tree branch, and smells of life, mother earth fade in full 5 channel THX surround-sound.
[New Angle] is cut to a wide shot rotating 360’ camera pan off Tad and Sille slowly eating the semi-elegant lunch on real grass with real ants. 
“The way nature used to be,” Tad mumbles in response. “This park is man made from that lake to these artificially grown ants. This is a zoo, Ms. Sille and…and I’m just another animal on display.” Tad grunts indicating the armed watchers in the distance. 
“Oh, and I suppose you are the tiger?” Sille asks all cynic smiled.
“I feel more like the monkey.”
“I don’t care,” Sille snaps trying to ignore the samurai attitude. “The park is my favorite Privilege allowed in this zoo of yours. But you, Mr. solider, are at least free to roam the world beyond. Where as I…” almost in tears. “…where as I have never seen the outside my gilded cage.”
 
 [Pull the camera angle back into a wide shot.] Past Sille, past the lake, the ball park, soccer field and golf course, until the fortified perimeters of concrete and stone become clear.Linger for a moment on the surrounding shanty town, 1 million desperate strong.
 
18[The angle framrs the Small Man and 3 others kneeling on prayer rugs amid the filth.] The quiet moment is perverted by the sounds of near silenced 9mm death. The Small Man looks up with a start, having thought himself hidden. He watches a still twitching body add 2 a spreading pool of blood only a long split moment before 2 unseen killers grab him.
The Small Man is shoved into the limo, rebounding off the genetically enhance slab of muscle called Agent Jones. Before his eyes can adjust 2 the harsh contrast of light, the other henchmen Agent Smith, sandwiches the almost pissed in his pants, Small Man, like a child.“Resistance is useless.”
“Are you ready for another job?” [Dir. X asks from the shadows.] 
“Yes,” no hesitation. The Small Man knows it is not a question.
Then slowly, like a trained seal monkey.
“You are my Master,” said with a hint of a sarcasm smile typical culture-wise 2 a tortured-soul revolutionary scrambled brained psychopath. “I am yours to command.”
“Open it,” Dir. X commands indicating the briefcase. Folded up inside is a uniform and ident pass from Chelsea Towers West, a bastion of high end luxury Sybaris and opulence.  “Go to the Penthouse and kill this man,” holding up 8x10 color glossy.
“How must it done, Master?” studying the foto of Doc. Simon. “The security is very tight in places like this. I will not be able 2 smuggle a weapon inside.”
“I’m sure you’ll think of something” blue cigar smoke dragging the words across the limo interior. “Take only what is there. You must do it soon.”
“Yes, my Master,” closing the briefcase. “I will start tonight.”
 
19.“Good news and bad news.” Doctor Leon Ng, Sal’s oldest life long physician begins after the hug. “Good news, tests indicate there has been no significant growth of the tumor.”
“I c-can still,“ Sal responds whisper quiet. “ …f-f-feel it h-head-ways.” 
“More headaches? I’m sorry, but the tumor now consists of 11% of your brain mass. And as you know, surgery is impossible. Now I’m afraid, the bad news. The current level of treatment has caused substantial damage 2 your kidneys. They will fail in 6-9 months, outside.” Doc Ng delivers deadpan, with that Soylent Company Smile!
Sal’s upset voice. “C-can’t we just c-c-clone another one, like bef-before?”
“No. Even with immediate funding, and we grow a clone husk in time, your body’s own off balance immune system would reject them.”
“My o-options?” Sal reluctantly asks.
“Well,” Doc Ng starts. “If you stop the treatments, and the tumor resumes growth at even a slow rate, it’s only a matter of days before the swelling forces a coma. Death will follow in 2-3 weeks, max.”
“S-s-so my choice is b-br-brain tumor or k-kidney failure?”
 
20.Sille has the Penthouse set lined up straight and prepared for Doctor Simon. Sille notices a change in bearing, [an emotion of intense sadness seems to permeate the conversations, the look, and the whole vibe of the night.] Sille tries to be light hearted, but fails, leaving her to read between the lines.
“I have made arrangements for you Sille. The Penthouse is now yours. I’ve transferred 10% of my wealth to you as well. Time is very short. Tomorrow you must go and sign the paperwork,” Simon looks around suspiciously then begins again.
“You must forgive me my dear. I’m just an old man. Much older than I look. And I guess that’s the rub. To much time, and then no more time. You are a young flower, just coming into bloom. You have time. I must… I must make sure things are closed out.” 
“I want you to take this.” Simon whispers, cupping Sille’s hand around a small scuffed up safe deposit box key.
 “If anyone tries to pressure you out, use what’s in the box. It’s all there…all there.”
Sille doesn’t understand, but somehow Simon seems relieved, almost happy. “I’m scarred, but I will do what ever you ask. What ever I must.”
“Then promise me, Sille,” She does, and they spend the night in love once again.
21Special Detective Thorn’s iron-hard first [smashes the punk’s jaw slow motion replay.] Teeth fly with stringers of blood and bile, as smart mouth #3 slumps concrete-ways. Punk’s #1 and #2 wallow and moan amid there own filth. Thorn turns a murderous glair at #4, a kid, hardly old enough 2 shave.
“What about you?” Thorn asks with a graveyard rasped voice. “You going 2 take me 2 Boss Mao Mao?”
#4 quickly agrees, and nervously guides Thorn thru the maze like slum of jobless have-nots. They worm deeper and deeper into the masses along the un-patrolled Fringes, closer 2 the criminal under-boss. Thorn has only seen Boss Mao Mao’s handy work, never the man, For the most part, the homicides were quiet and confined. 
“Rumor has it Boss Mao Mao has set himself up as some ancient Hawaiian king.” Thorn wasn’t disappointed.
 
22.Entering the nomadic ever changing location Thrown Room, Thorn pauses a moment to absorb the weird Twilight Zone atmosphere. The detailed set décor starts as retro Disney/Hollywood chic. The disco club lighting accents the willing bevy of girls, the henchmen, and hangers on, and the silent Uzi toting goons, but between the eye-candy, shadows of Mr. Death creep in the corners, like a bad aftertaste.
Most attention is focused to the crumpled body twitching facedown sandpit-ways.
[Overseeing all in Jabba the Hut style, sits Boss Mao Mao.] The big and fat under-boss ignores Thorn, while heaping praise 2 the tiger muscled Pacific Islander standing over the dead man. The spreading blood inside the sumo arena sends out fingers of blood, and the crimson pattern morphs behind Thorn’s eyes, making them glow. 
Boss Mao Mao starts a pissing contest, because despite the half dozen Uzi’s in the room, the crime warlord feels slightly afraid of Thorn. “There are Rumor about you too, Special Detective. Rumor say you a killer hiding behind a bronze badge. But that no rumor. That fact, no? Maybe you mad, brah? Crazy white man shit?” everyone laughs.
“Rumor says you seeing lots of the Ugly. More than most men should. You on a first name basis with Mr. Death, brah?” everyone gets quiet, the detective frowns.
“Why come see me, brah? You maybe playing the lone wolf? Don’t see no uniforms. No flashing lights. You look alone, brah.”
“Ribbon cutting ceremony,” Thorn steps up close. “A Furniture, and a Suit, all over the ally. Tell me all you know, and I walk away, ” eyeballing the goon squad.
“The ally wasn’t mine, brah. 2 flashy, not my style,” defends Boss Mao Mao. “That one…” indicating the corpse. “…that one was there. He got mouthy, saying a new player in town. Someone paying in gold,” flipping a coin to Thorn.
“This is the 2nd one I’ve seen,” the Bronze delivers deadpan. 
“Mr. no-name is an import, brah. Nobody claims him, the Russians, the Mexicans, the Arabs, the Chinese, not nobody. He been throwing gold and money around like sand. A man could get an army that way. But why? How knows? But I think he has one. But now everybody has an army,” the goons act brave, Thorn just scowls.
“Except maybe you, brah,” Boss Mao Mao laughs, thinking this larger than life bogyman of a cop, has no way out.
“I’m playing behind,” Thorn feels the cop instinct telling him it’s race to finish this puzzle.“I got to make a move,” Suddenly Thorn strikes. His .45 caliber gun barrel, is shoved into the fat man’s mouth, tonsil close.
“I don’t need an army,” Boss Mao Mao waves back his goons, now all ears and eyes are on the crazy white man. “I just need a murderer. Rumor says I like killing murderers. That one is true. It’s what I do…it seems that’s all I do.”
Every one in the throne room swallows hard.
“So, are you a murderer?”
 
23.Thorn comes home late, bruised around the edges. Sal is worried, and soon has the medical kit working. Thorn is exhausted, drained, reactor at 10%. Sal listens 2 the disjointed monologue, as Thorn separates the puzzle pieces, looking for edges.
“This coin. This is a corner piece. I can feel it. Know what I mean, Sal?”
“More than I would like,” Sal responds administering the anesthetic. Thorn finally asks about the visit to Soylent Medical, but b4 Sal responds, Thorn has slipped into sleep. Sal finishes the triage, tears of Love, Friendship, and a little Hate of the situation color the young man’s eyes.
 
Chapter 4: Among the Clouds
 
24.The sunrise seems to hesitate behind the hills, or maybe its the city fighting it away, not wanting the light of the day to expose the ugly, the scary, or the beautiful.From the Penthouse patio of Chelsea Towers West, the sun glows around Doc. Simon sitting alone.
“The old man wanted to see the sunrise today.“ [Tad confesses to Sille, as she enters stage-right.] “Said he must while he still could.”
Simon doesn’t speak about the safe deposit box key, and Sille knowing her place, wont ask. They agree police are of no help. “No one can help. This is a game the Few play. Toying with the lives of mere mortals like the gods of old.”
Simon begins, toying with the keys of the piano.
“At least that’s how it started.” Simon sings, going into a stark Musical number, a monologue sung in B-flat, under the stage lights. The tone is somber, but well delivered.
“All the pieces are set. All is in motion. Its to late to stop them.Believe me I’ve tried.I thought I had them beat. What a old fool I’ve been. But now! Only now I learn the truth. The horror. The lengths to which these vampires will go. The world is changing, Sille. And it‘s all my fault.”
 
25.Sille moves to the balcony’s edge, gazing at the El Lay grid, the sunrise crests the hills, banishing the overcast gloom, slowly revealing the harsh reality. A second voice begins singing on the Stage, like an opera, the competing monologues of husband and wife are a Musical roller coaster of emotion.
“It’s like walking on a frozen pound. From the distance it’s beautiful and alluring.” indicating a view of the city below. “But up close the cracks appear. Dangerous and terrifying. My life is like that. Appearance and poise above the ice. Never look down. Never question. I pretend all is fine. All will be cured. And I can’t pretend anymore.”
 
26.Tad Fielding is unexpectedly drawn into the song. He doesn’t see the frozen lake, or care about the reasons the ultra rich toy with the world.
“They are animals.” Tad grunts watching the smoke columns billowing from the La-Riot zones. “Look at them, burning their own homes. Primal man bullshit, that’s the game. The smells of fear are everywhere. Fear of the super-flu. The fear of survival. Frightened animals gone mad. It’s a slow burn apocalypse. And I helped make this.”
27.Simon begins slowly. “Sille, I want you to go with Tad. You are to see the Judge Bolanos. Right now. You must sign some papers. There can be no delay.”
Sille protests slightly, “But I want to stay with you.”
“No, you must hurry. I’ll be fine. If I can’t be safe in my own fortress of a Penthouse, where could I be?”
Simon counters.
“Yes, of course,” Sille responds. “I’ll hurry back. What will you do?”
“Oh, I’ll stay right here for now. Write some letters.”
“Write letters?” Sille asks surprised. “With a pen and paper?”
“Of course. While I still have the time to.”
 
28.The parking garage of Chelsea Towers looms high. The Small man, now dressed in the house uniform, glides past security flawlessly, until arriving Penthouse set. Simon some how feels the assassin’s presence
[stepping forward stage-right].
The murder dance starts on the downbeat. Simon tries to resist, complicating matters. The assassin adjusts, and Kung Fu’s Simon back and over wall-ways, sending Doc. Simon falling 35 stories down off the Penthouse balcony. 
“Splat goes the rich man,” grinned satisfaction with religious fanatic flavor. 
 
Chapter 5: Twice a Grieving Widow
 
29.“Thank you Ms. Sille,” Judge Bolanos smiles holding open the door like some cheap hotel clerk. “It was always a pleasure doing business with your husband. I look forward to developing a closer and more personal relationship with such a young and beautiful woman as you.” 
“And that has nothing to do with how wealthy I am now? And after only a few signatures?” Sliding on her sunglasses against the harsh hot sun. “I find it all so interesting, don’t you?” ignoring the judge.
 


© Copyright 2019 M w McCoy. All rights reserved.

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