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Author Topic: For the Children (Firefly23)  (Read 4679 times)

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Offline Shae Dravenmore

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For the Children (Firefly23)
« on: October 13, 2009, 01:38:53 PM »
It's a rough gig being a private dick these days.  The hours are long, the pay is generally lower than you'd like, and without fail, there is always that one someting that goes wrong on an investigation that invariably ruins your day, and at least one of your best suits.  But all the same, you consider it a good life at Brannigan and Associates.  Even though there is no Brannigan, and he left with his associates ages ago.  But the old sign on the door is charming, and the historical committee would have you hung if you tried to remove the building sign.  You tried renaming the gig once, but it never took; everyone knows the place as Brannigan's.

It's been a bit quiet lately, so you really can't afford to pass up too much work.  But even if you could, there's something about an unmarked envelope arriving in the hands of a very large, very muscled, and very stern looking man in a black suit with dark sunglasses that commands attention.  Despite looking like he could drag a body kicking and screaming anywhere he wanted to go, this man is polite, if stoic, and waits silently in your outer office while your secretary brings it through to you.

The contents of the missive are simple, if a little shocking.  It comes from Brent Olfan, cousin of one Senator Olfan, though a distinguished citizen and businessman in his own right.  He requests your assistance on a private matter that is troubling him.  His 'aide' will bring you to the Olfan home where matters may be discussed in private.  He eagerly awaits your arrival, and promises compensation, even if you refuse to take the job, for disrupting you from your daily tasks on such short notice.  He also asks your discretion in who you tell of the impending meeting; after all, despite having a public face, he likes to keep his private matters as simply that.

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Re: For the Children (Firefly23)
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2009, 04:30:49 PM »
"Aide?" Lucas muttered incredulously.  His secretary's lips turned up slightly at the corners, doing her best to hide her smile.  Leaning a bit to the side, he raised a brow at the man standing in the lobby.  "More like 'mobile mountain' to me."  Sighing, he read through the letter again.  Work was slow, damnit, and he was intrigued.  Though he did particularly dislike working for relatives of politicians, almost moreso than working for the politician directly.  At least the politicians actually had the right to name-drop their own name.

"Yeah, alright.  Marsha, please tell...the gentleman out front I'll be a moment, and I will come along with him to see Mr. Olfan."  He set aside the letter and rose, opening the door on his small, somewhat shabby closet, pulling out a suit jacket.  Shrugging into it, Lucas checked himself in the reflection of the small mirror he hung on the inside of the door; shoulder-length dark brown hair pulled back into a low ponytail, sharp brown eyes set deep in his olive-toned face.  Hard features were softened by a wide, smiling mouth.  His trim body wore the fitted suit well, though it was showing a few signs of age.  Frowning a little, Lucas brushed some dust off the shoulder and nodded, satisfied enough.  He turned and stepped out of the office, pausing in front of the aide.  "Shall we?"

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Re: For the Children (Firefly23)
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2009, 04:19:13 PM »
The man, who looked like he was more of a bodyguard than a simple aide, simply nodded and turned to leave, glancing back once to see that Lucas was indeed following.  Outside waited a simple black town car, the type of which business men typically used as limousines.  The back door was held open, and once Lucas was seated inside, the suited courier took up the passenger side in the front.  Another man, similarly sized and dressed, waited at the wheel, and once all parties were in place, the car pulled away.

Dark tinted glass separated Luacs from his escorts, through which he could see a short conversation, followed by an even shorter phone call as they drove.  The rear of the car was comfortable and luxurious, all the comforts of a home office on the road, including an ethernet jack and a micro-printer.

The ride to the Olfan house takes some time, as the estate is situated well outside of town, and the house itself is nestled in the center of rather expansive grounds.  Brent Olfan, despite being a cousin of a senator, made his name in his own right, rather than riding his cousin's coat-tails.  An empire of investment ventures is how he built his wealth, and there are many successful businesses in the city now that would not be running were it not for his interest in their ideas.

Brent and his wife are kind people, and donate generously to charities and public works, and even with relatives in politics, has managed to keep his list of enemies small.  The eldest son, Kirk, is following in his father's business footsteps, while their other three children, two more sons and a daughter, have been away at college.  To common knowledge, there has never been any threat to any of them that would warrant such a sudden summons.

As the car arrives at the estate, it passes through a security station at the wide gate, and then further on down a long, meandering lane.  Outwardly, all appears calm in the afternoon sunlight, but a trained eye could spot various surveillance posts and equipment as they drove.  Despite not having any enemies, the man certainly knew how to secure his home.

At last the car arrives at the house, and pulls to a slow stop.  A middle-aged gentleman waits at the door, and approaches the car as it arrives.  He is lean and relaxed with a kindly air about him, much different from the brutes in the car, and looks to be more of a steward of the house than any part of a security team.  He is pleased to see that Lucas has come, though betrays small signs of nervousness and anxiousness to get the detective inside.

Offline Firefly23

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Re: For the Children (Firefly23)
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2009, 11:07:37 AM »
During the long drive, Lucas pulls out his Blackberry, an expensive investment, but one he considered vital.  As they drive out to the middle of no and where, he digs up what information about Olfan he can, and is begrudgingly impressed.  Well, at least he won't have to worry about too much name-dropping; the man has enough behind him to likely not bother.

As they pull up to the property, Lucas tucks away the Blackberry and lets out a low whistle.  It's an impressive property, one that is clearly meant to keep people out.  The home is large, but does not look out of place here.  Climbing out of the car, Lucas smiles at the gentleman waiting for him.  "Good afternoon."  He extends his hand to shake with the steward.  "Beautiful home."

Offline Shae Dravenmore

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Re: For the Children (Firefly23)
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2009, 08:55:22 PM »
"Delighted to have you," the steward smiled with a gentle bob of his head, his accent faintly European, from somewhere within the UK, and ushered Lucas to the door.  "The Olfans are greatly looking forward to meeting with you."  The interior of the home was just as impressive as the exterior, including in the security.  Just inside the entry hall, Lucas was stopped by another security team, who gave him a very thorough going over.  "Our apologies," the steward smiles.  "Merely standard procedure."  Once satisfied that any threat had been addressed, including detaining any weapons that Lucas may have carried in on his body, the detective was handed back over to the steward, and they continued further into the home.

It was decorated in the style of many opulent houses, priceless and highly valuable paintings adorning the wall and interspersed with other fine objects on pedestals or tucked into nooks, ranging from exotic mahogany and ivory carvings to pottery to old relics from bygone ages, but the Olfans seemed to display a particular taste in their finery, rather than choosing that which was gaudy or otherwise obviously expensive.  Currently the two men passed down a hall that held a number of fine pastoral scenes rendered with a delicate stroke and a master's eye for detail.  No doubt the security team he passed through was just as much to protect these works of art as they were to protect those who owned them.

A short walk later, the steward took them through a door into a well-lit sun room, the far side of which served as something of a greenhouse for vibrant and richly aromatic flowers.  Settled in a lowered portion of the floor was an older man and woman, both beginning to gray, taking tea in the afternoon sun.  "Master Olfan, lady, I present to you Detective Lucas (forgothislastname ^_^)."

"Ah, detective!"  Brent looked slightly surprised at their arrival, though with the tile of the floor, it would have been impossible to not hear the two men approaching.  "Please, join us for tea.  Come, sit.  Bailey, another setting for our guest, please."  The steward nodded again and excused himself, leaving the couple and their guest alone.

(Bleh.  Trying a new writing style with this one...  Please be patient...)

Offline Firefly23

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Re: For the Children (Firefly23)
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2009, 12:07:32 PM »
The house was impressive, he would absolutely agree with that.  And the in-depth frisking was somewhat startling, also disconcerting when he was forced to surrender his side-arm.  Frowning a bit, though understanding, he followed the steward through the house, silently appreciating the antiques and the artwork.  As they entered the sunroom/greenhouse combo, he took a quick glance around the room before settling his eyes on the older couple in the room.  Clearly Mr. Olfan and his wife, they looked comfortable in this place; they belonged in this kind of setting.  Both were elegant, calm, but there was a faint edge of tension Lucas couldn't quite put his finger on.

Stepping forward, Lucas nodded his head to Mr. Olfan, taking a seat in the empty chair.  "Good afternoon, Mr. Olfan, ma'am."  He tipped his head towards the lady as well.

(No worries, I'll just adjust to fit whatever you throw at me.  And I forgot his last name too...I'll have to see if I can find it.  If not, I'll make up a new one.  :))

Offline Shae Dravenmore

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Re: For the Children (Firefly23)
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2009, 11:19:33 AM »
((lol, well make it up quick!  :p))

"Detective, thank you for coming so quickly."  Mr. Olfan extended his hand in greeting.  "I'd like to jump straight to the matter at hand, if you don't mind..."  Bailey returned then, carrying a small tray in one hand with a single setting of tea.  In the other, he carried a small black briefcase, which was set on the floor next to his employer before he set the tray in front of Lucas and poured him a cup of the aromatic liquid.  His duties attended to, he left them once more with a bow.

Brent took up the brief case, opened it to be certain of the contents, and then turned it about to face the detective.  "As promised, your fee for meeting with us, though I hope you will consider it to be a forward for your services."  At least a couple thousand dollars in bank-wrapped bills faced Lucas.  A sum that said they were serious about their offer.  And that this was important enough to them to offer so much just for his time.  "We were told you are the best at what you do, and it may take the very best for what we need."

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Re: For the Children (Firefly23)
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2009, 10:43:22 AM »
Despite all his practice at maintaining an impenetrable mask, Lucas' eyes widened at the sight inside the case.  All for a meeting?  Clearly, this was important.  Returning his stare to a more normal look, he nodded.  "I appreciate your faith in me, Mr. Olfan.  What is it you would like me to do for you?"  His fingers itched a bit to reach for the case, but he prudently occupied them with the cup of tea instead.

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Re: For the Children (Firefly23)
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2009, 08:41:05 PM »
"Find my baby!"  This came from Mrs. Olfan, who was quickly stilled by a gentle touch from her husband, laying his hand over hers on the table.  Now that they had Lucas' full attention, the calm, collected facades began to come down.

"Our daughter, Allessandra.  She's missing.  We..."  He trailed off, glancing briefly to his wife before continuing.  "We're afraid that something has happened to her."  He paused, allowing the detective the time to take any preparations to take notes.  "We used to hear from her almost every day.  She loved to call home and tell us about the wonderful sights she had seen and the people she had met, and the project she was working on.  She would go at most a week between calls when she was busy with her art, but she would always email, even just little messages to say 'hello'.  But recently, her calls and messages have stopped completely."

"We tried the police, but they weren't any help," Mrs. Olfan added in with a shake of their head.  "Despite my husband's name and sizable donations, including to the precinct, they told us that there was little they could do, since we had no address for her...  They sent out a missing persons notice, but I doubt they've done anything more."

"You see," Brent continued, "Lessie was always an artist at heart.  She had no desire for the business world like her brothers.  We even sent her to the best schools in the country, and she could have easily gone anywhere she wanted in the world to study with her talent, but she wanted to travel and work on her own.  She wanted to make a name for herself where no one knew who she or her family was.  She always said she wanted to keep the art pure.  She wanted people to love the art for the art, and not for whose daughter she was."

"I tried to tell her it wasn't safe.  I begged her to change her mind, to at least let us arrange with our friends so that she could have a place to stay, but she wouldn't have any of it."  The older woman was frowning, clearly upset, and her husband squeezed her hand again.

"Most that daughter of ours would let us do was pay for her phone and a gas card, and we nearly had to twist her arm off for that," he smiled, but there was little joy in the expression.  "Otherwise she wouldn't take a penny from us that she hadn't earned."  He paused, reorganizing his thoughts, trying to find pertinent information.  "The last that we spoke with her, she was leaving Kansas, heading for Nevada.  We got a brief text message early in the morning several days later saying that she had arrived, and was looking for a motel, and that she would call us soon.  But that was more than a week ago.  Maybe she just hit a dead zone, or her phone is broken; who knows with that girl sometimes," he chuckled, holding his wife's hand tighter.  His face said everything that needed to be said.  He was trying to be optimistic for the sake of his wife, who was obviously distraught, but his cheer was forced and fake.  He knew.  In the way that only a parent can know, he knew something had happened to his child.  Despite all their wealth and connections, in the end, they were simply frightened parents with a missing child, and in that moment they would have traded the world to get her back safe and whole.  And they were pinning all their hopes on Lucas.

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Re: For the Children (Firefly23)
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2009, 10:57:22 AM »
Nope, no pressure here, Lucas thought ruefully as he listened intently and took copious notes.  These were taking in scrawling shorthand on a small notepad.  His face was focused on the Olfan's, most especially Mrs. Olfan.  Her distress was deep, and he wanted to help her to feel reassured, but given the time between her going missing, and their request of his help was not encouraging.  48 hours, and the window of finding her alive is damn near closed.  But he was sure they knew this, and had absolutely no reason to share that fact with them, even if they didn't.  He guess that by this time, somewhere in the back of their minds, they knew she was most likely dead, and only wanted to know where she was, and what happened.  Again, not something I need to share.

"I need to ask you a few questions, is that alright?"  Lucas paused only briefly before pressing on.  "What kind of art did she do?  Do you know why she was going to Nevada?"

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Re: For the Children (Firefly23)
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2009, 03:33:13 PM »
"Paintings, mostly.  Classical Realism.  Several of the landscapes we have hanging in the halls are hers.  She paints under the name 'Alessa Deacon'."  It was a small point of pride for them.  They hadn't even known that Allessandra had been the artist when they chose the paintings for their home.  "She was going to Nevada to paint the desert.  She said she had absorbed the green life of the Midwest until she was bursting with it, and she wanted a change of scenery and a new muse.  That's always how she worked.  She'd go somewhere, stay for several weeks and just paint what she saw, sell what she did, and then go off again.  She's had galleries beg her to stay and give them a steady flow of her paintings, but she always just laughed at them and their money and did just as she pleased."

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Re: For the Children (Firefly23)
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2009, 06:15:45 PM »
Lucas quickly circled her alias, making a note beside it.  He nodded and glanced up again.  "Has she had any kind of formal training in her art?  Tutors, extra classes after school when she was younger?  That kind of thing?"

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Re: For the Children (Firefly23)
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2009, 12:35:30 PM »
"For as long as we can remember, she's taken classes in the arts.  All the children did.  We encouraged them to explore their creativity.  In highschool, she studied privately with a retired art professor.  John Kimmek.  He was very involved with young artists, helping them to develop their skills and encouraging them to make a living at it.  He was the one who suggested Lessie travel the country when she got bored with the university."
"He's a good man," Brent added after his wife finished.  "He loved Allessa, and has been a close friend of the family for years.  He wouldn't do anything to hurt her."

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Re: For the Children (Firefly23)
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2009, 01:30:07 PM »
Lucas smiled slightly, writing down John's name.  "I'm not trying to implicate anything, ma'am, but there are questions that I just have to ask.  I know the cops already asked them, so it's going to sound repetitive, but if I'd like to hear these things from you."  He looked back at his note pad.  "Your other children; did they have any contact with your daughter after she went to Nevada?  Maybe a text message or quick phone message?"

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Re: For the Children (Firefly23)
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2009, 01:56:52 PM »
"Nothing," they shook their head.  "She was planning on spending a few days on the road, just taking everything in.  She was never in a hurry to get anywhere."
"We don't know her route.  She was in Wichita last.  She didn't know where in Nevada she was going to go, other than not Vegas.  She was just sort of...scouting the area.  Seeing what was there, and where she could work or be inspired.  She often drove a lot in the beginning of her relocations, but she always called.  She knew how her mother worried..."

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Re: For the Children (Firefly23)
« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2009, 03:53:24 PM »
"Can you think of anyone that was upset with her?  Did she mention meeting anyone a little...off...while she was traveling?  Even the most insignificant 'there was this creepy guy on the train today' might make a difference."

 

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Allow four to six weeks for delivery. must be 18 to read. Disclaimer does not cover misuse, accident, lightning, flood, tornado, tsunami, volcanic eruption, earthquake, hurricanes and other Acts of God, neglect, damage from improper reading, incorrect line voltage, improper or unauthorized reading, broken antenna or marred cabinet, missing or altered serial numbers, electromagnetic radiation from nuclear blasts, sonic boom vibrations, customer adjustments that are not covered in this list, and incidents owing to an airplane crash, ship sinking or taking on water, motor vehicle crashing, dropping the item, falling rocks, leaky roof, broken glass, mud slides, forest fire, or projectile (which can include, but not be limited to, arrows, bullets, shot, BB's, shrapnel, lasers, napalm, torpedoes, or emissions of X-rays, Alpha, Beta and Gamma rays, knives, stones, etc.). Other restrictions may apply. This supersedes all previous notices.

Opinions in articles, posts and podcasts do not necessarily represent the views of The Fantasy Artists, RolePlayers & Writers Guild, aka FARPWG the Guild.

FARPWG The Guild © 2004-2017 Tim Boothby - All Rights are retained by those posting art, lyrics, messages and articles.

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