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Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Feb-15-2009 03:31

New York - 1931

I was framed. I did not kill her, but who would've believed me?

Life was getting grimmer as citizens felt the real pinch from the great stock market crash two years ago. My private investigation business was losing a load of clients. Most of them had gone bankrupt, or worse, jumped off the Chrysler Building. Mrs. Gatsby was a loyal client. My only mistake was becoming too intimate with her.

That day, I received a note from her, asking me to meet her in the VIP room of the Astor Theatre. The room was dark when I got there; I thought she was playing naughty. Before I knew it, I was hit from the back, and woke up to find blood all over me with a knife in my hand. Mrs. Gatsby was laying two feet from me, stabbed to death.

I heard the police whistle nearby, and I instinctively ran. Two officers saw me and chased me down three blocks before I loose them. I quickly returned to my office, washed off the blood and changed. I took what was necessary, including my revolver, and composed perhaps my last letter on my prized Remington typewriter. I made some carbon copies, and send the letters to my detective friends before I went into hiding.

They were my final hope.

((Note: I posted this beginning at Shades of Mystery, but I thought it'd be nice to see where it leads in Noir. Hope you'll enjoy it. Feel free to improvise! ))


Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Mar-19-2009 10:07

Upon a silent sneak around some crates I finally found the room with the light on. It was an empty office in a deserted building and yet it looked like someone had been staying there. The light came from a candle that was lighting what seemed to be a bed made from a mattress thrown over a few crates. There was a bag near a table and that was all.

I picked it up and looked inside: some clothes, shaving tools, a knife and…2 maps with Japanese writing on them.

“Hmmm…this must’ve been the layer of that Triad guy we wasted” I mumbled bringing up the candle to study the maps closer.

The first one was showing a path through some of the city’s main streets. 4 points were marked on a side. It looked like…

“Hell…these guys are planning an assassination!”

I studied the dots on the map and noticed one of them was close to my location. I realized that probably there were more than 1 assassin and they were all camped nearby their shooting point. Since one of them was obviously dead, it meant there were 3 left. I realized then that the man whose picture we found must be the target. I threw another look at it but it didn’t ring any bells.

“I guess I’ll have to see about this…It ain’t none of my business anyway” I mumbled.

I put that map aside and pulled the other one on top. There were another 3 markers on it, but this time they were just some unimportant locations. I didn’t understand what they were meaning and also there was no path drawn.

Just as I was about to get up and leave, it suddenly stroke me: “The parlour!”

I opened up the map again and took another look at it. Indeed one of the marked locations was Peretti’s parlor. The other 2 were also places from where the mob was running their business.

“To hell..” I mumbled “…it was true! The Triads ARE moving on us.”

I stopped and thought about this for a minute. This information may just be the break I needed to get out with a clean face from Paulie’s mess.

Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Mar-19-2009 10:07

I grabbed the maps, got in the car and hurried down towards the betting parlor.

Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Mar-20-2009 14:24

*00:00hr - Peretti’s betting parlor*

The streets were not so crowded at that time of the day, so I arrived fast to the parlor. I served both stories to Peretti and I showed him the body and the maps. I told him Paulie was away, ditching the bodies ‘just in case’.

Peretti threw me a distrustful look about the truck’s disappearance, but then he focused on the maps. He realized the threat was close and real so he decided to act fast.

“Hey, Boscorelli, gather up some guys and search these places. But do NOT make a single move on them! Just see if they are there and inform me.”

The skinny guy mumbled a ‘yes boss’ and took off. Peretti then turned his attention towards me.

“Don’t go away, Bane. We might need you. If what you said proves to be true, I wanna whack these guys no later than tonight and I’m gonna need firepower.”

I nodded and then went inside the parlor, joining a game of cards with some strange fellows.

About half an hour later a goon came down and told me to go to Peretti. Stepping in his office I noticed he had already assembled 4 teams of 3 - 4 men.

“There’s something strange here…” I mumbled. “If I remember well there were only 4 spots drawn on tat map and one of them was cleaned by me and Paulie.”

Peretti’s voice cut then my chain of thoughts.

“You’re going with them, Bane.” He pointed towards 2 goons wearing faces that brought nothing good. “I want to have at least one of these guys alive for questioning his arse, you hear me?”

Everyone nodded and a short moment of silence followed. Peretti looked around at us all as his face took an astonished expression and suddenly he barked like a mad dog: “Why are you all still here!?! MOVE IT!”

And with this off we went.

Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Mar-20-2009 14:25

*00:45 - New York - Mill Basin - abandoned church*

One of the hit men was found to be hiding in an obsolete abandoned church. We entered a side door and split to look for him. I kept a sawn off shotgun tight into my hands, ready for action.

After a few minutes of silently and thoroughly searching every room I finally found him…sitting on the toilet!

I don’t know which of us was more astonished by the situation, but that did not stop me from emptying my gun into his chest. Blood splattered on the walls as he fell lifeless on his back.

I quickly pulled out a small revolver I was carrying around and threw it at his feet. Right the next moment the 2 goons appeared, probably startled by the shooting.

“Why did you kill him, Bane? The boss said to take him alive!”

“If possible…” I said, correcting him. “I had no choice” I added and pointed down to the pistol. “he pulled a gun on me. I had to shoot.”

“Well…if he’s dead, he’s dead” the goon concluded. “Just wrap him up and bring him to the car.” With this they left to gather up whatever they could find as being his belongings.

I took a look at the dead guy, just lying there on his back with his pants down. It wasn’t a beautiful death and nor an honorable one, but it was better than being tortured and in the end nevertheless still killed. The mob shows no kind of mercy to those who mess around with it. I considered that I did this guy a favor.

I finally wrapped him up in an old blanket I found around and put him in the trunk. We left then in a hurry.

Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Mar-20-2009 15:19

*01:10hr - back at the betting parlor*

Upon arriving back down at the parlor, I noticed that 2 other teams had already returned. One of them also brought with it a dead Japanese body. The other one…I didn’t know, but noticing they were still talking about a 3rd assassin, I realized this team was the 4th one that I was wondering about.

After a couple of more minutes a goon from the last team entered the door.

“We didn’t get him…” he announced wheezing. “He killed Tommy and Frank and got away.”

“DAMN!” barked Peretti. “Can’t you do anything right for a change?” He tilted his head shortly to a big guy in a corner about whom I knew he was one of his trusted bodyguards. The man just nodded shortly and took off, probably going to finish the job.

Peretti’s eyes then turned to me, quite cold.

“It’s good you came back, Bane. Come with me. Paulie’s here.”

A cold chill then went up my spine. I followed him down to the basement, noticing 2 goons coming right behind.

Upon entering through the door I realized my situation. Paulie was indeed there…tied up face up onto a pool table and beaten to a pulp. His face was beyond recognition, he had cuts all over his body, a foot was fixed into a vise and crashed and one eye was popped out, hanging. He was still breathing though…and moaning.

I tried to turn around and run, but the 2 goons grabbed my hands fast and sat me on a chair. I thought I had just a few seconds of my life…hopefully…considering Paulie’s condition.

As one of the goons held me tight, the other one dragged on a table and placed it before me. He grabbed then my left arm and spread it on the table, leaning his weight on it. Right then Peretti turned around with an animal’s look into his eyes and holding a short sword into his hand.

With no more words he stuck it right into my hand, nailing it on the table. I growled in pain...

Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Mar-20-2009 15:20

He took a step back after that, raised one had to his forehead thinking and started speaking in a calmer voice.

“You see, Bane…we don’t take it easy on anyone who steals from us. I always thought you were smarter than that…considering you never wanted to be too involved. But…I guess I was wrong.”

He took a small break here checking my reaction. I felt nothing I could say would make any difference, so I decided to stay silent.

He seemed to be in a way satisfied, probably by the fact that I did not attempt to find an excuse, so he continued.

“Now…you put me in a tricky situation here. You tried to steal form me, so I should just put you to sleep. But on the other hand you brought me information that maybe saved my life. So…considering you ‘good friend’ Paulie here told us that what you did was his idea, I’m willing to give you a chance.”

I knew I wasn’t gonna like this.

“I’ll let you walk out of here alive if…” with this Peretti turned to Paulie “…’if’ YOU kill HIM. Take it or leave it.”

He made a short sign with his hand and both the goons let go of me. I looked at him and then I looked at Paulie. There wasn’t much life left in him.

I grabbed the handle of the sword and pulled it out with yet another growl of pain. Blood started flowing hard out of my hand, but that was my last worry at the moment. I took a few steps towards Paulie and looked into his eyes…oh well…his ‘eye’.

“I’m sorry, Bane…I’m sorry…” he mumbled towards me. “Just do it, friend…I’m dead meat anyway…”

He wasn’t far from the truth. Even if the goons wouldn’t finish him, there was no way he could survive with all the wounds.

I closed my eyes and just emptied my mind. With a swift move I raised the sword and stuck it right into his heart. In a few seconds he took his last breath.

Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter

Mar-20-2009 15:21

I turned my eyes away from him and dropped the sword down on the floor.

“There. It’s done” I mumbled slowly.

Peretti made another short sign with his hand and the goons cleared the way to the door. I stepped towards it in a hurry, hoping he wasn’t gonna change his mind.

Before I made my exit I looked back.

“I assume now we’re even…” I said looking towards Peretti.

“You assume wrong” he answered. “You still owe me your life, Bane…and one day I may need to collect on that favor.”

At this I just nodded and left.

I heard Peretti’s voice as I was heading out: “Clean up this mess, guys…and find me Zeo. I think I found something in one of the dead men’s possession that may help him clear the mess he’s in…”

Upon reaching my house I decided it was a good idea to take a small vacation…a couple of weeks away, until the waters would settle down a bit. I gathered a few things and headed out of the city.

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Mar-22-2009 21:35

The goon who approached the open window lighting a cigarette yelled in Japanese as he saw Zeo eave dropping. Zeo half climbed and half felled down the drainage pipe. He ran for cover as quickly as he could, but the Japanese weapon was faster. Zeo felt a sharp pain at the back of his thigh. He pulled out from his bleeding muscle a strange bladed dart in the shape of a star. The edge was gleaming with a tint of green. Zeo began to feel dizzy. He stumbled and he tried to run, but his legs were not abiding his brain.

Some goons caught up with Zeo and easily picked him up.

"Is this poison?" The bigger goon, apparently not Japanese, asked the other goon while picking up the star shaped dart.

The other goon smirked. "Just enaugh sleep drug to put tham down. Good Ninja waapon." Together they hulled Zeo back to the restaurant, and opened the door into a small storage room. They saw a dirty rag, some cut ropes and broken mirror pieces on the floor.

"Whare's the garl?" The Japanese goon asked while entering the store room. Suddenly someone hiding behind the door kicked the Japanese goon. Zeo took the opportunity and drove the dart the other goon was holding into his belly. The bigger goon was 'tranquillized' quickly. Zeo then knock the Japanese goon unconscious.

"Zeo! It's good to see you!" It was Lolita. The kitchen staff stared at the havoc. One of them ran up the stairs to the second floor.

"Hurry! Run!" Zeo said, his voice still groggy from the drug in his blood stream.

Lolita helped Zeo out of the restaurant. They were in the middle of town and caught a cab easily. As they open the car door another star shaped dart hit the body of the taxi, barely missing them.

"Drive!" Lolita yelled to the cab driver as she closed the door, Zeo took out his gun. With fear the driver stepped hard on the gas and they sped away with screeching tires.

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Mar-22-2009 21:37

"You alright Zeo?" Lolita asked. Zeo shook the dizziness off.

Zeo always had trouble sleeping, occupational hazard. "I guess my daily massive doze of sleep pills rendered the tranquillizer darts useless on me." Zeo gave a weak smile. He then told Lolita about Valentino. "They wanna silence him, and if they do, I'd be doomed for good."

The frightened cab driver asked the two where they'd like to go. Zeo gave him the address to Valentino's flat.

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Mar-28-2009 11:25

They were too late. Valentino's flat was a bloodied mess. Grace Gatsby's Japanese lover was lying in his own living room, with a kitchen knife sticking through his throat. The corpse was still shaking involuntarily, and the wounds were fresh.

"Zeo, look!" Lolita pointed at an envelop on the floor. Zeo picked it up. It was addressed to the police commissioner, but envelope was empty.

"Look like Valentino made a confession. He must know what was coming." Valentino’s lifeless eyes stared at the ceiling. Zeo closed them.

"But where's the letter now?" Lolita asked.

"Whoever did this must have it"“ Suddenly they heard screeching tires from the street outside. Lolita looked out the window to see a non-descript vehicle rounding the corner and disappear. There was no way the two could chase them.

Just as Zeo was wiping down the knife with his prints all over it, the police siren stirred outside. “Damn!” They did it again!”

“Coppers! They’re all over the place!” Lolita yelled.

A loud voice echo from below. “This is Sergeant Jack McGinty. Drop your weapons, do not try to escape. You are surrounded, Joseph Zeo. I repeat, do not try to escape.”

“How did they know it’s you in here?” Lolita queried.

“We better split. No used getting caught together.” Zeo said and shoved Lolita out the front door. Before he closed it, he grabbed Lolita and gave her a passionate kiss. “Thank you for all you’ve done for me. Now run!”

Zeo locked the door behind him. He knew McGinty wanted his head. Zeo wouldn’t give the crooked cop any excuse to gun him down. He wouldn’t allow any of his friends to get caught in the middle of it either. Zeo went out from the fire escape, dropped his weapon and raised his hands.

He surrendered.

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