Monday, 30 September 2013

REDD: Storm Wings (part 2)

Emery grabbed his coat and pulled it on. "What weapons do you think I should take, Edwin?"
Ruedalow looked at his small friend, "Just a gun. Mrs Tailor sounds safe enough but you never know."
Mrs Tailor was the lady who had sent the letter.
"What makes you think she sounds safe enough?" Inquired David, who was busy reloading the detectives guns.
"The fact she's written a shopping list on the back and left a 'PS' saying, 'please can I have the letters back Misters Ruedalow and Emery because my shopping list is on the back.'" Ruedalow quoted.
Emery laughed and took the gun from the mail room boy. Rolling the revolver cartridge, he raced up the steps. Ruedalow snatched his Beretta and hurried after his assistant. Out of the fifth room they ran, then up another set of steps, followed by a rush through the several different and then hailed a cab to Mrs Tailors address. They sat down in the carriage and Ruedalow explained their destination. Emery retrieved a bingo pen from his pocket and traced a symbol onto the roof. He left it three seconds and then announced, "It's safe to talk."
"I hate Victorian London." Replied Ruedalow.
"Why? What could you possibly hate about this place? No diesel fumes, no track suit bottoms and no reality television!"
"No reality television? There's no television full stop! And as for diesel fumes, I'd prefer them over the constant smell of horse manure and raw sewage. This whole place is full of misery and woe and to be truthful, there isn't a reason why we are here! Name one reason why we are here? Name one!"
"Because the 1800s are the beginning of the evolution of the dragons! Dragons have always existed of course but after some point in the 1800s everything changes! Nobody knows which point and it was unlikely that anyone would ever find out but then you come along and suddenly bestselling author, researcher, scientist and half gnome genius, Johnathan Emery can relive the full a hundred years as he wants! That's why we're here and as for television, I did buy you a DVD player and that show- doctor what was it?- to watch! Now stop complaining, we're almost there."
"Have you ever noticed how most conversations end perfectly on the point of the arrival?"

Emery ignored this and cocked his gun. They climbed out of the carriage and payed the cab handsomely. They then proceeded to walk across the pavement and then gave a small knock on the door of the little house. A few seconds later, the door creaked open and an elderly woman welcomed them in. "Here's your letter Mrs Tailor," said Ruedalow as he passed the letter to the client, "I took the liberty to change the list slightly as some of the things can be bought for cheaper at different shops. And this thing about wanting good coffee, I'd thoroughly recommend a small coffee bar in a place called Mort-"
"Yes well we are here on business." Interrupted Emery.
"Of course of course!" Cried Ruedalow. "Where did you see this night wyvern then?"
"In my back garden actually." Answered Mrs Tailor.
"Really?" Asked Emery. "I've been study them a lot and I've never known them to come so clos-" He didn't finish his sentence as they walked into the kitchens which had been burnt to a cinder. "Ah." He looked onwards and studied the trail of disintegrated gardens. As a true hunter would tell you, if you're hunting rabbits, you'll need to follow the pushed down trail of grass at the boarder of the area the rabbits are in, and that'll lead you to the burrow. When hunting dragons, all you need to do is follow the piles of burning ash. Simple.
"When did it come?" Asked Ruedalow.
"Three nights ago."
"Are you the only magician on the street or are there more?" Asked Emery.
"About two. The rest of the street thinks that it's just some arsonist but I knew different the moment I saw it emerging from its lair."
"Lair?" Cried Emery.
"Why yes. It's hiding in one of the sewer tunnels down near the river."
Emery drew his gun, as did Ruedalow, and they raced out of the house without further ado. Their coats flapped in the breeze and their hats stuck firmly on their heads. To the sewers they ran, with guns in hand!

Monday, 23 September 2013

REDD: Storm WIngs

The Professor was waiting at the end of the pier. He's been waiting there for eight hours, which actually was only two minutes to him. He reached into the pocket in his long jacket and retrieved a large pack- about the size of a nineties phone- and pressed it onto his arm- after he had rolled up his sleeve. Pressing his password into the keypad, he felt the similar buzz of a needle sticking into his skin and the Jekklyde seeping into his veins. His urge to go and use his considerable strength for anger was subsided as it was each morning. He continued to watch the decking on the floor in front of him and all of a sudden a square carved itself in. The square was about a meter from the top right corner to the bottom left. The Professor smiled. His friend- Emery- wasn't exceptionally creative with his marks but it was simple enough. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a coin. He walked out to a little boy and whispered, "Hello kid. My name's Ruedalow, what are you doing?"
"Are you a peeler?"
"I'm preparing to rip off that old bird down there." He pointed down the pier.
"Good on you. Want to see a magic trick?"
Ruedalow led him to the square and pointed at it. It was covered in mold and had salt water in the carves. "Sign this coin will you?" The kid scrawled a symbol onto the face of Queen Victoria- taking the opportunity to huff at her face- and then passed it back to Ruedalow. "Thanks. Now watch the square. Don't take your eyes away. Understood?"
Stepping behind the kid, Ruedalow closed his hand around the coin and then he disappeared. The kid kept watching when suddenly the coin appeared before him, buried in the wood. "Wow!"

Meanwhile- thirty years ago- Ruedalow appeared on the pier. His friend, Emery was stepping away from the carving, putting his knife away into his pocket. Emery jumped away, shocked by Ruedalow's sudden appearance. "It's taken you far too long old chap!" Cried Emery.
"You should have beckoned me earlier then!" Ruedalow pulled off his fedora and threw it. As it spiraled through the air, it dematerialized and landed on a hat stand thirty yeas in the future. Ruedalow pulled his gun out and turned to face the people in front of him. There were three black clad helmet wearing MEDIA agents in front of him. The MEDIA were particularly nasty, not people he wanted to be meeting with. He fired his Beretta and one of them fell. "That was easy." He muttered.
All of a second the other agents pulled machine guns from their backs and started shooting. Ruedalow and Emery dived for cover and waited until they ran out of bullets. He jumped up and sent fourteen straight shots at the MEDIA agents. They all fell. Emery climbed up and flicked the safety off his revolver. "It's not over."
Suddenly the agents jumped up and started to fight again. Once Ruedalow and Emery had disabled their enemies weapons, they dropped their own. Sure, they were going to kill them. But they were going to do it gentlemanly. Ruedalow stuck his finger up to the heavens and felt the fedora land on it. He flipped the hat up and passed it to Emery. He drew two swords out and passed one to Emery. They swirled the weapons in their hands and then advanced on the MEDIA agents. Emery pushed his sword against the first officers bat and ducked as the second agent sent his blade into the first officers chest. Blood squirted out and the first officer was dead. Emery then collided his foot with the second agents leg and suddenly felt the blade of this officer collide with his neck. A few second later and Emery's head was on the floor. But Emery was a Veratide- which meant it wasn't possible to kill him. And so his head jumped back to the top of his head and he ruthlessly killed the agent. The final agent was fighting Ruedalow and once the agent was weaponless, the professor pushed the man over the edge of the pier. And then Emery stepped forward and picked up the eight dragon eggs that the MEDIA agents were trying to steal.
Once he had secured them in the little bag he kept with him at all times, he joined Ruedalow at the edge of the pier. "Ready?" Asked the Professor.
"Sure." Replied the doctor.
And so, once Ruedalow had glued the coin, heads up, inside the square, they disappeared into the future.

Professor Ruedalow and his friend Doctor Johnathan Emery are dragon detectives in Victorian London. From their top secret base under the Hungerford Market, they investigate and rescue any dragons from the malice of the MEDIA- a government organization created to combat the threat of magic.

They appeared before the market and entered, taking a set of stairs at the back down into the store rooms. they reached the fifth and walked in. The room was filled by a single chest at the back of it. Ruedalow pulled the lid up and they walked down the staircase into their offices below. There was a main table with their papers and typewriters on and several boards on the walls with information on different dragon species on. There was a pile of letters at the back, organized by David, their letter boy. "David!" Cried Emery. "Where the devil are you?"
A few seconds later David bumbled out of the mail room. "Hello, sirs. How be you on this fine day?"
"Fine David. Although Emery's been feeling a bit headless." Replied Ruedalow.
"Is this another one of your fancy saying's sir?"
"Yes David. Any post for us?"
"A little bit sir. This piece 'ere. I took the liberty to open it."
"Oh really?"
"Find any money."
"No- not that I'd tell you if I did sir."
"Good on you lad. What does the letter say?"
"Sighting of a night wyvern sir."
Ruedalow went deadly serious. "Honestly?"
He turned to Emery who said, "And with a night wyvern comes a storm."

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

A Biscuit Crumb Trail of Clues (part 4)

I called Lodders and we hurried across the road to the bank. The bank manager listened to us and then led us into the vault and we waited for Lodders to get here. I went onto the street and pulled a few random people into the vault. When my bumbling policeman friend had arrived, Robin and I started without hesitation. "A vault ten miles beaneath the ground, sealed by a metal door and protected by two guards and security system has a sudden break in where nothing is stolen, unexplainable surely?" I started.
"And where to start?" Asked Robin. "The vault whee nothing had been stolen? What could we find, there'd certainly be no fingerprints!"
"Must we turn to finding a secret entrance, perhaps?"
"Or maybe a alien invasion is the clue!" Cred Robin. They laughed.
"But seriously," I interrupted, "we found our first clue this morning as we ate breakfast."
"And our second when we were tasting samples at the biscuit factory across the road. Can anyone guess what they are?"
They mumbled. I gave it a second and then answered, "A loaf of bread and a burnt cookie of course!"
My audience looked baffled so I continued. "Can anyone here tell the significance of a burnt cookie?"
Lodders raised his hand. "Yes?" I asked him.
"Is is that a burnt cookie would annoy the cookie monster driving him to break into a bank to get more money to buy cookies?"
"No. Nice attempt though. It was actually big bird." Robin replied.
They lauhed again, "Honestly, the only thing that could possibly considered interesting about a burnt cookie is the fact it's burnt." I pointed out.
"I don't understand what's going on?" Asked the bank manager.
"Don't worry. Most people don't when he's talking."." Robin replied.
"The cookie is burnt because it's been in an oven. Now for the clue of the loaf of bread. The loaf was made last night and cooked in an oven that had been on since about twenty minutes past nine. Or exactly twenty three minutes past nine to be precise. Which is the exact time the alarns been going off." I smiled. This was the best bit. The bit where they were confused, relieved and excited all at the same time.
"I did some researching on my phone," interrupted Robin, "nad found an article about strange police stories. Long ago, in a English seaside town called Blackpool, some policemen were called to a lead yard where an alarm had gone off. Across the road was a factory where they made food. Now, the alarm at the lead yard was going off every night at the same time because microwaves emitted from the ovens at this factory were interfering with the alarm system. So we wondered whether this could have happened here. And sure enough it did."
"So who can I arrest?" Asked Lodders.
"Nobody," I replied, "it was an accident."
"Oh. Well thanks Gabriel."
"It's fine, we'll be off now," and so we walked off out of the door and back to my car. A month later the Pavilion Paper was thrown out onto the paving stones of Glasgow with the words, 'Rathbone Investigates' on page eight and with the words, 'A Biscuit Crumb Trail of Clues,' written beneath.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

A Breadcrumb Trail of Clues (part 3)

We had discussed the case into the night, planning every possible eventuality till our brains hurt and we needed sleep. By the time we awoke I found Robin lying in the window seat where I usually sat down with a good book. I walked down the spiral staircase, I was already dressed as I had slept in my clothes, and retreived some letters and the loaf from the factory across the road from the bank. I walked back up yawning and placed the letters and the loaf on the bar at the back of the room. I walked behind the bar and searched for something I had been given along time ago for such an occasion. Retreiving the cow bell from under the table, I crept up to Robin and whispered in her ear, "It's time to get up Robin."
She groaned and turned over. I pulled up the bell and put it milimeters away from her ear, shaking it. She jumped up and looked around then scowled at me. "Just my luck to have an absolute devil for a partner!"
I laughed and ran back to the bar, pulling out some butter and a knife, "Do you want it toasted?" I asked as she yawned and walked over.
"Yes, thanks. Look I was thinking, this case doesn't make sense. I can guess how they've done it but I just can't crack why?"
I buttered our toast and I sat across the bar from her on a stool. "Exactly! Presumably there must be some sort of remote control thing that sets the alarm off but it doesn't make sense. Why would you want to do that. If, for example, you were planning on making them believe the system was broke so when they heard it they wouldn't come instantly then ok but that has to be the most stupid plan in existence."
"Pass me the jam."
"There you go."
"Anyway, if you did that you're risking the possibilities of them adding even more alarms and security, it just seems pointless."
"Aye it does. How about you call Lodders and ask him what he thinks."
"Later. I think we need to go back."
"Because I want to go and get some biscuits. If they're half  as good as this bread then it'll be worth it."
So we finished the toast and hurried to the car, driving to the biscuit factory. When we arrived, I pulled the car over and noted the policeman who had been attempting to drill into the cell were now filling there hole in. I walked over, "Find anything?"
"Nothing. This is the most baffling case I've ever worked on."
"Well I'm sure you'll make a break through at some point or another."
Me and Robin walked across the road and entered the factory. The same man was behind the counter and he looked bored at the best. "Hello. Here to cancel your order?"
"No. I wondered whether I could buy some biscuits." I replied.
"I don't see why not. Could I interest you in a tour of the building?"
"No thanks."
"You get free food."
"Count us in."
A couple of seconds later we were being led around the factory by an over enthusiastic tour guide. "And here you can see some state of the art ovens-" he would say,
Or, "This is where we can find the batter."
Or, "Should you want extra chocolate chips in your biscuits..."
But the one thing I and Robin loved to here was, "And now you can test these free samples."
After eating almost every variety of baked good in the whole of Scotland, we approached the area where they cooked the food for the morning delivery service. The tour guide looked at us and spoke, "The ovens here are so strong that you have to start them several hours in advance and when combined with our long lasting recipes, it can take up to nine hours to get all the orders sorted. For that reason- combined with our promise of delivering at seven thirty- we must start the process at about nine to ten o clock at night. The ovens have been known to emit microwaves though which sometimes can interfere with different signalling devices. Come on. More samples this way."
But samples weren't on our minds. Because we'd just worked out the answer to one of the most baffling cases I'd worked on. And it was an alarming breakthrough indeed. (See what I did there?)

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

A Breadcrumb Trail of Clues (part 2)

I raced from behind my desk, grabbed a pen and notebook and pulled my jacket from the coat stand. I threw it across my back and ran in circles down to the stair well. Robin was quick on my heels and then we raced into the elevator and I pressed the button marked GA and we started to go down. "The Crime scene is on the other side of town," she explained. "Do you want me to phone him to arrange for us to have a look?"
"Yes. You can phone him on the way."
"Most cabs won't let you talk on the phone in them nowadays."
"Whoever said we were going in a cab?"
The door creaked open and the room they stepped into was empty accept from a desk with a man sat behind and a rack full of keys behind him. He had a register on the desk and when I went over to him, he busily tidied his papers and then handed over a key.
I then led Robin through a passage way and through several cars to a rusty red series one land rover. I pulled open the door, climbed in and gestured for Robin to climb in the other side. Once she had, I accelerated out of the underground car park and onto the streets of Glasgow.
Robin pulled out her phone and dialled Lodsbury. "Hi Lodders. Yeah it's me Robin. No not the Robin from Barbados, Gabriel's friend. Yeah that one. Look, I'm in the car with him and we're heading up to the crime scene. What do you mean you didn't know he had a car? Yes I am sure he's Gabriel. Yes I am very sure. Look, we need to have a look at the crime scene of that case we were discussing yesterday. Are you sure you understand? Yes? Right. We'll see you there in twenty minutes. And for the hundredth time, I am sure this is the real Rathbone! Now go sort stuff out! Bye!"
Robin hung up and spoke to me, "We need to go pick him up."
"Where from?"
"The dogs."
"And there was me thinking he had got over his obsession with racing."
"Is he a big gambler?"
"Oh no. He owns one of the dogs."
Twenty minutes later:
We pulled up outside the race tracks and I asked her to text him. A few seconds later and Lodders was bounding out with Sarrison, his chalk board coloured greyhound. Once Sarrison had climbed into the back, Robin shifted to the middle seat and Lodders sat on the far seat from me. Lodders directed us and half an hour later we pulled up outside a bank. The air was fresh with the smell of freshly baked biscuits and I noticed that across the road from the bank was a biscuit factory. There was a section of the road portioned off and three police men with power drills were breaking through the road. Lodders turned to me, "They're attempting to drill through to the bank vault which had the apparent break in."
"How long have they been on it?" I asked.
"Three days they've been working there. They haven't even hit the outer shell yet. According to the bank, that's the weakest point according to the architect."
"Can I have a look inside?"
Lodders pulled the door open and led them to the back of the bank room. He opened the door, led down a stair case and into a room decorated with secure doors. I got some pictures on my phone and then went to the door at the end. I pulled it open and, once Robin and Lodders were in, journeyed across the threshold myself. The room was about twelve foot long and eight foot high. There was shelves lined with notes and at the end of the room there was about one inch of gold bars with the banks seal engraved on each one. Obviously this bank had some exceptionally rich customers.
I took some more photos and then had a peer around. "Tell me what you know, Lodders. Robin, make notes."
"Every day- for the past five nights- at twenty three minutes past nine at night, the alarms have been going off. The first night the security guards put it off as a failure of the system and so they rebooted it. The next day the same thing had happened at the exact same time. The guards then had a new system put in. Exact same problem happened that night. So they decide to connect this high security vault to the same system as the other vaults. That night all the vault alarms go off. They separate them again and the original vault goes off. They call the police. We have guards put above and in front of the vault and still the alarm goes off. It's ridiculous! We can't find anything at all!"
"Well impossible crimes are my area. I'm sure I'll find something." I replied hopefully.
We spent the next hour searching for clues and when we found nothing, we left. As I've pointed out, there was a biscuit factory on the other side of the road so I took Robin across to it and we bought some biscuits. I talked to the guy behind the counter about a new scheme by the owners for delivery of different baked goods in the morning.  I signed up for a loaf every morning and then me and Robin returned to my flat to go over notes. I have only said this twice so far in my detective career but there's a third time for everything: I'm stumped.