Murder in the Shadow of Chelsea Towers West

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

Chapter 2 (v.1) - A Thorn in my side

Submitted: April 24, 2011

Reads: 160

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Submitted: April 24, 2011



Chapter 8: A Thorn in My Side
41.“The gangs all here.” Thorn [grunts stage-left], entering the Prescient 13 office set of Capt. Tran. He slowly eyeballs the assembled cast of crooked cops, while Tran orders, then threatens Thorn to sign off the Work Order.
“Simon is suicide! The powers-that-be have accepted that.”
Thorn doesn’t intimidate easy, especially by punks, and 5 foot nothing jerks. Thorn lays out an ugly truth of his own, before walking away with a smile.  
“Thorn get back..,” Tran responds back-stage with a stereotypical fit.
42.“This is some bank.” Detective Thorn grunts towards an empty weed dotted asphalt parking lot, now surrounding the steel and concrete toad of a building squatting under the hot sun. He glances again at the address Sal provided after a short cyberspace Hacking Job into the city records. The weird emptiness of the bank’s location, a midway point between the Walled and Fringes, is as much a mystery as the bank’s convoluted ownership.
The recorders being lost somewhere in the Corporate Wars. 
The Bank lobby is illuminated only by bright shafts of sunlight streaming thru rubble edged holes, dotting both ceiling and wall-ways. [Blasted, burned and blood stained hide between in the deep gloom filled shadows].
The Un-natural twinges Thorn’s face when stepping to the banker’s counter. The limited illumination allows only a 15 foot view behind the scratched and dusty armor-glass. The floor beyond is covered with piles of children story books. Big, fluffy, happy things shift in the light, allowing only the briefest hint of the dried blood stains.
[The Clerk steps from the shadow without looking up.] The clean banker’s vest clings over a bulldog physique right out of Barter Town, but doesn’t hide the sweat stained undershirt or socks. Thorn slides the safe deposit box key under the glass.
The big bald bruiser studies the key, as if seeing it 4 the 1st time. Then with a toothless smile, the brute drifts off camera, and returns with a small toasted metal box.
43.Thorn’s hand hesitates trying to open the lid. It’s an unconscious action, just like the questions racing the brain-works.
 “Is this why you were killed, Simon?” 
The lid opens, Thorn glairs daggers at the 3 items inside, with eyes of Confusion, Wonder, and finally Hate. Hate is pulled out 1st.It’s another one of the cursed Aztec gold coins! Only this time, the coin is bright shinny newness inside a protective case.Thorn crushes it before thrusting it inside a side pocket.
The Wonder is over the Soylent Medical soda can sized medical sample container stamped with a single batch number. The last is Confusion, a standard computer tapeCard with blood red warning labels. 
Thorn tips the Clerk, “Just in case.” exiting stage-left.
Occupied with these clues, these center puzzle pieces of the Simon case, [Thorn misses the ambush until it’s to late!]
A dozen + young punks are kicking soccer balls in innocent happy aggressive fashion. They push, and push and finally distract Thorn just enough to surprise attack! 
Thorn pulls free the ancient .45 caliber automatic, and kills #1 punk flat-out, and wounds #2. Small knives flash in the sunlight, several sinking inches into Thorn’s flesh! Gun-arm now bleeding fast, the punks advance. [Thorn falls under the assault!]
Suddenly punks #3 and #4 drop with gaping .50cal. bullet wounds blasted into their backs. Thorn takes advantage of the distraction, brakes free, recovers his gun, and kills #5.The 2nd gun thunders 3 times more, dropping more bodies asphalt-ways. Mr. Death paints the parking lot, [a moment of silence freezes everyone.]
The remaining punks flee, leaving detective Thorn alone with Boss Mao Mao!
“Didn’t know you used this branch, brah,” the criminal under-boss comments.
“New account,” spitting out blood and sarcasm. “Why? Why did you save me?”
“Had to brah. Payback for that before shit. You maid me look weak, I lost respect of the tribe. Now you owe Boss Mao Mao you life. Now I’m strong.”
44.“The White Zone is for loading and unloading only,” the ever present voice intones like an iron bell as Boss Mao Mao pulls the car 2 a stop. Thorn and the under-boss have an understanding now, and Dtc. Thorn a dept. The extra heavy Dark Angle security inside LAX proper clocks the detective’s every move.
From a Vidfone kiosk, Sille’s image greets Thorn with a mild look of shock. Her beauty is the opposite polarity to
Thorn’s ugly reality of blood and death.
Sille immediately sends Tad in Pegasus to return Thorn to her. 
Chapter 9: But Madness seems the Norm
45.The last riot fire colored glow of sunset reflects off the mirror finish of Chelsea Towers. Pegasus, darts about the reflected glow of man made colors, imaging as a prehistoric monster Dragon Fly landing amid a burning skyline. From the big window of the Penthouse set, Sille watches nervously, torn between emotions. Simon, Tad, and now Thorn, each a part of the triangle. “What will I do? Who will be next?
46.Thorn soon has Sal on the Vidfone, while Sille helps with a med kit. Tad makes a drink, and tells what he knows about the contents of the safe deposit box.
“The sample container is standard issue Soylent Medical. It could be anything, and the only hope is tracking the serial numbers, or opening it.” Tad has never seen the tapeCard, but he does know the Aztec gold. “Once, while still on the government assassin payroll I saw some of this gold. Things went bad on that mission. Very bad.”
Sal speculates the tapeCard is read-only, for 1 time use on the computer deck that created it. Any attempt to play the tapeCard in a different machine would cause a self destruct. Sille is positive it must be Simon’s private office computer, in the Executive Wing of Soylent Medical.“Someone must go there.”
“Count me out.” Tad comments, taking a bottle of booze 2 drown in, while watching live Network 23 coverage of the La-Riots on TV. The pain meds and alcohol are fueling brainstem emotions. The riots are getting worse outside. “It’s civil war.”
Sille convinces Thorn to “…stay at the Penthouse, stay…with me. At least until Sal can run down some info from cyberspace.” 
47.“It’s confirmed,” Agent Jones checks the computer screen again. “These are the coordinates,” handing paper to Agent Smith, who hands it to Dir. X, who flips a vidFone open to the flat lined face of the Small Man. “I have an new flash point.”
48.Sille nurses the many wounds of Detective Thorn. It starts out slow and gentile, but ends up crushing tight and full of strong passion. Sille is frightened and clings to Thorn for emotional support, and him to her.Sille knows she’s acting the fool, but madness seems the norm.
Tad is, or acts oblivious to their love making. The old timer end game soldier’s attention is fully absorbed into the Network television orgy of the La-Riot’s.
Outside 35 stories below the streets are a haze of burning city, and every few moments a new flame flairs up 2 explode, like Thorn’s manhood backstage with Sille.
48Sal Vidfones Thorn, Penthouse set, what seems like several hours later. Sal has found a common link between the Gold and the Soylent Medical!
But the Net has turned against him. Someone is watching him, it’s frightening. The riot’s have gotten much closer, and will soon be at Sal’s door. Thorn must go and rescue Sal.Sille wants Throne to stay. She thinks it’s a trap, but understands he must go anyway. 
Suddenly, Tad guns down 3 of 4 booze bottles lined up on the balcony’s railing. The explosive .357 noise focuses all their attention. The half drunk ex-gov assassin volunteers himself and Pegasus 4 the rescue operation. “Have you ever repelled?”
Chapter 10: Burned Bashed and Bandaged insanity
49.Tad Fielding swings Pegasus in tight, maneuvering the large super sleek helicopter around with the bravado done in Drunken Master skill. La-Riots have arrived! A mixed crowd of looters, and terrified refugees are surgically attacking the bungalow complex. Inside Sal is cowering, awaiting Thorn’s rescue. The resistance to the helicopter is strong, Molotov cocktails dash flame across the cockpit glass.
Thorn repels to the bungalow, and is soon inside. 
Tad pulls off, warning Thorn of an incoming group of armed rioter’s.“This new batch has the look and stink of professionals.”
Thorn acknowledges, opening his gun safe. Selecting a deadly assortment of weapons, and the detective reverts to primal from, taking La-Riot head on.
Sal follows trying 2 stay under cover. Tad, hovering overhead, uses Pegasus’s spot light to pinpoint clusters of deadly young men. Thorn reverses the tide. Not prepared for the fierce counter attack, the riot crumbles, leaving only hardcore fanatics, and the Small Man.
50.The Small Man attacks, knowing that to fail is his own death, or maybe worse. The battle is intense, explosions, zipping bullets, and bloody endings! Soon a dozen + corpses and walking wounded stain the asphalt, opening enough space for Tad to land the helicopter.But the Small Man isn’t dead yet!
Using a desperate lunge he almost gets the drop on Thorn. 
But Sal pulls the trigger, killing the Small Man, saving Thorn’s life! 
Chapter 11: The Final Puzzle Piece
51.“You can’t come back,” Sille tells Thorn over the Vidfone. The crooked Narc cops are baby sitting the Penthouse set to “protect” Sille. “Thorn,” deep sadness in her tone, “an arrest warrant has been issued. Wanted dead or alive.”
[Back-stage, Sal realizes he’s wounded, bleeding internally, comfortably numb even.] Sal can’t bring himself to ask for help. The yin yang of the universe all makes since now. Thorn saved Sal. Sal saves Thorn, the world goes on. 
“We must open the tapeCard,” without a stutter.
“That means Soylent Medical, the Executive Wing. I can get you there.” solider boy Fielding grunts all smiley faced death-like, while smashing out the broken cockpit glass of Pegasus. “My pass should still get you in.” 
Thorn takes the ident pass. “We’ll still need a big distraction,” looking around to Sal. “Something to tie up security until we get inside Simon’s office.”
“Don’t worry,” Tad says lifting a discarded .30 caliber belt fed machine gun into Pegasus, now completing the transformation of a opulent luxury helicopter, into an aftermath Mad Maxed burned bashed and bandaged insanity, with a gleaming chrome hood ornament.“I have just the idea.”
“That’s biting the hand that feeds you,” Thorn says over-slowly.
“I know,” Tad responds over-quickly.
52.Thorn and Sal step clear of Pegasus, roof-ways Executive Wing. Sal is struggling with the pain, but manages the hide the wound from Thorn. Tad and Thorn have a last second heart to heart, and both know Tad isn’t coming back.
Sal follows Thorn into the building, as Tad dives off into an attack run. 
53.Back at the Penthouse set, Sille is surprised and worried when all the crooked cops and henchmen crews suddenly leave. “They must know. Thorn? Thorn…come back to me. Please come back.”
54.Soylent Medical is under attack! Tad is raising all kinds of alarms, using the .30 cal machine gun Rambo style. Blasting glass, throwing out chaos, superficial damage, and panic. Flames soon start to lick the sides of the campus.
2 security helicopters make a play for Tad. Pegasus maneuvers #1 into a building with fireball effects! The crowd goes wild. But #2 ends the game of tag. Tad is “It”. Pegasus goes down with a grand finale kamikaze run!! La-Riots climax with the big fire crash!
55.The Security Drones finally ambush Thorn and Sal running thru the Executive Wing. Thorn doesn’t hesitate, taking the fight to them. 2 dead and 4 wounded before Thorn and Sal lock themselves inside Simon’s office. Sal pushes on, despite the blood pooling inside himself, inserts the tapeCard, and begins decoding the data. 
Thorn tries calling Sille on the vidFone. 
Sille looks at the ringing vidFone, afraid to answer.
“The poof is all…h-here.” Sal starts displaying the outlines of the conspiracy. “Soylent Medical found dozens of cures for the super-flu. This batch caused sterility in all those inoculated. That’s why the research team was disappeared. The formula was switched, and the silent culling begins.” Thorn understands the depth of the horror.
The Hopeless sterilized by the needle or super-flu, it all results sameness. Population reduction!It’s more humane, but still insane. Who signed off? Give me a name Sal. So I can kill this murdering bastard.”
“Dir. X” Sal slurs [slowly collapsing floor-ways.] The internal injuries have killed him!
“t-Thorn, I guess a b-bullet trumps kidney f-f-failure.” Sal smiles dying.
Chapter 12: Game Over
56.Thorn is all nerve. A hard boiled stick of TNT sweating on the powder keg! Sal’s death has made it Personal, made it Vengeance, made it Pleasure. Outside the office, Captain Tran, short and tall Narc, and the remaining crooked cops are assembled.
Tran knows it’s his final play. 
Thorn leaves Sal behind, then moves out to kill Captain Tran and his cronies. The cops defense is hopeless.
 Mr. Death directs Thorn’s dance, as he paints the halls crimson with a Justice of a sort. 
57.Elevator ride-ways up to Dir. X’s office, Thorn vidFones Sille. He eyes her unspeaking digital image, as emotions, memories, horrible things of the last 3 days flood into Thorn’s stressed brainworks.
The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, Aztec Gold, and Captain Tran, all overlap Sille under the covers. Tad Fielding and Doc. Simon drift as ghosts just out of reach. Boss Moa Mao, the Fringes, the Walled, and a Lost Bank draw unsuspected parallels. Each over-bight, over-nice memory adds 2 the focus, [as Thorn’s blood slowly drips blood, staining the carpet.]
“Come back to me Thorn, please.” Sille finally whispers.
The elevator stops. Thorn drops the Vidfone.
58.Agent Smith and Agent Jones are fast, just not fast enough. Thorn is running hot, reactor to 120%, full redlined.The shadow of Mr. Death and Thorn’s are now the same, and share the same fate. Booth the bodyguards die with confused looks, leaving Dir. X alone, frightened, exposing his weakness.
“You can’t stop it detective. It’s to late.” the beaten man confesses, thinking himself a Corporate samurai solider, just before using the tyrants way out.
[It’s a long slow falling suicide dive] from the top of Soylent Medical Executive Wing.
59.[The soundtrack audio and side-stage images down-shift radically into quiet isolation.]
A single heart beat drums, lower front. 
Thorn moves to the building’s edge, and eyes down to the splat of Dir. X.
Then he scans the hundreds of smoke columns rising from the La-Riot zones against the dawn of the
morning sun, wondering if Dir. X was right.
He seems to take a step…
End of Line
Mike W. McCoy

© Copyright 2019 M w McCoy. All rights reserved.


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