Sunday Musing for 2/7/16

February 7, 2016

Just a few random updates really.  Will be getting some stuff done and posted tonight, hoping to see some movies and trying to avoid some drama.

  • Amping up the job hunting, trying to get out of this situation.  I might be the only one who recognizes my situation at work as a bad one.
  • In the next few weeks we have three really good looking movies coming out.  Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is out, and actually looks worth watching.  Deadpool looks like everything it needs to be, but there should be at leat–at least–two viewings just to make sure.  And there’s Gods of Egypt, which has what looks like a really good cast.
  • Just about up to pace with Order of the Dragon.  Got two more pages about done, going to make sure I have a good reserve going.  Working on the next pages now.  Will be Monday to post new stuff.  Action pages, so it is taking a bit longer.  Did quite a bit on Saturday morning, which I was pleased about.  Going to try to get a good reserve of pages going, two pages a week to start, then three, then go from there.  Eventually I will revisit Chlorine and Acid, as I do think that’s a story that needs to be told–albeit with a bit more care in the direction I’m going with it while I am still a slave to the cheese.  Hoping to hear about some closure in the events that led to the hiatus at some point, but I’ll use that time to do some redraws and build up a reserve.
  • Liking where I’ve gone with this crime novel.  Putting the first handful of pages in this post, beyond the read more break.
  • Figuring out what I might do for another spotlight on comics next week.  Felt cook doing the Star Wars one yesterday, even if I did just do a general overview without much for detail.  Kinda want to discuss a lot of the more independent comics I read–a lot of what Dynamite Entertainment has going on, My Little Pony, Doctor Who comics, all-ages comics… there’s a good range of topics to cover.
  • Related to a previous post I did on Friday, just was thinking about this a bit more.  New guy at work who used to worked with LMCBW on the farm, fairly certain he’s her boyfriend.  Bit surprised she didn’t call that a deal-breaker.  Anyway, I did a post here about my thoughts on the matter.  Mostly stating that she’s his headache now, with a bit of observation about the factors involved and identity.  I mean, the only things I might want from her at this point is my Elfin Lied DVDs and a couple other of odds and ends, but I’m fairly accepting that I’ll never get those back.  Planning a bit of Anime shopping in the coming days, so that might get picked up.

Nadine Memento watched with rapt interest as Parker and Graham filed into the main chamber of the private investigator office. Nadine leaned back against the desk, legs crossed as she waited in resting lawyer mode–a manilla folder held against the front of her black business dress to complete the image. Her eyes peeked over the top of her Buddy Holly glasses, studying the looks on the faces of the two men as they set to work.

Graham immediately began the process of unpacking their equipment as Parker went to his desk. Nadine knew this was carefully arranged–Graham had all his toys carefully arranged and become disoriented if either of them interfered with his system. Parker absently gave a handful of instructions about the evidence processing and who to contact as he removed his jacket and hung it on the coat rack. A formality of routine.

Removing his fedora from his head, the Private investigator fell into his chair and leaned back. Reclining, he put the hat over his forehead and eyes. His urban desperado look. Spikes of dark brown hair came out around the edges of the hat and his face as he rested. The sounds of Graham sorting out his equipment and the evidence lulled them into normalcy.

How did it go?” Nadine asked. The formality of the question had to be taken care of.

About as expected,” Parker responded. Dressed in a gray T-Shirt with Brown Carhartt pants and Blue Converses, he looked more at home at game store than a Investigator’s office. “A bit of a disappointment really. A transsexual gets murdered, you kind of want it… to be something of significance going on with a great social impact.”

Parker’s reply held exactly what she expected from him. A forensic examiner turned private investigator, Parker Conan was the mystery he could not seem to solve. Nadine delighted in studying him–the former reality star gave her some strange kind of fascination that always seemed to be enthralling.

You have something else to discuss?” he asked. The hat did not move off of his eyes. The urban desperado at his most annoying.

Bit of a matter for your consideration,” Nadine answered. She opened up the file in one of her little processing mechanisms. Lawyer mode shifted from resting to active as she immediately began the process of controlling the room. “Got a call from a childhood acquaintance of yours. Brittany Tyuleneva. Has a potential case for you to work.”

Tyuleneva…” he mused. She watched as his right hand rose up, a finger extending to rest on his cheek as he thought. His mechanisms kicked into gear. He tossed the hat on his desk as he sat up. His chin rest knitted fingers as he leaned forward, his green eyes locking on to her. “Britt… Barely thought about her for a few years now. Interesting. Details?”

Did the usual work up,” Nadine began. “Brittany ‘Britt’ Tyuleneva. I’ll skip most of the general bio, since you’re familiar. Current events. After getting a degree in nutrition, she became a nutritionist, personal trainer and IFBB Figure Competitor. International Federation of Body Building and Fitness, for reference. I’m sure you’ll look up the distinctions and classes of the IFBB later. Won some minor competition, gaining more recognition in recent contests. She’s got a website you might or might not want to check out. Mostly scantily clad photos of her lifting heavy things or posing. I’ve had a file put together covering the details you might be interested in there.”

So Britt became a bodybuilder? Or rather a ‘Figure Competitor’? Sure it’s some kind of semantic distinction at work there. What’s the case? Accusations of steroid usage?”

Different ballpark. Britt’s best friend, Allie Phillips, disappeared two nights ago. The forty-eight hour window has come and gone, no sign of Allie. I made some calls, apparently the local police dismissed it from consideration for kidnapping. Felt there wasn’t credible evidence of foul play. They apparently got some kind of indication that she was off visiting family. I made some calls and it’s in the file as well.”

She’s another Figure Competitor?”

Yes.”

Parker closed his eyes as he processed the details. Without opening them, he continued with his questions.

I believe you encountered some cases of a similar nature in your previous life,” he inferred. “What do you think of the case on hand?”

Nadine straightened out her glasses out of habit. Her mechanism for when she needed a moment to gather thoughts.

I’ve only really worked one case like this before,” she stated calmly. Too calm. Her gaze turned steely as his eyes opened. “By the time I got it at the D.A. Office, it was too late. The initial reports were not taken seriously. Girl was taken, found dead a few weeks later. Personally, the line about her visiting family seems too convenient and I haven’t been able to confirm it. I think you should at least look into it. It fits your preference for the weird.”

Nothing really gets as weird as people like to think,” Parker countered. “Especially when the realm of normal continues its convulsions. I have been meaning to do a study of some related matters for awhile now. Where’s she living now?”

New York City. Contact Information is in the file.”

I’ll hit first flight out there tomorrow. Have your office call up Corrections. Let the warden know I want to visit Ursula today. I need to discuss a few things with her.”

#

The visiting area at Carmona Corrections had the feeling of a long postponed funeral as Parker waited for Ursula to be escorted out. The lone security guard barely looked at him as they waited. His eyes closed for a moment as he pondered what he might say to her.

A tap on the glass snapped him to attention.

Ursula Kellogg smiled as she reached for the phone. The red-head looked awkward in the orange jumpsuit and white under shirt–one of the rare situations that he could say that about her. Before him sat a woman that nearly every law enforcement agency in the world had in their ten most wanted list–even if some of them did not realize it. In one of the highest lows of his career, Parker had nearly killed himself in the process of capturing her.

Now they sat on opposite sides of the glass in a Carmona City Corrections Facility. Fidgeting, they eyed each other carefully.

The cut on her lower slip caught his attention. Parker picked up the set on his side.

Get into a fight?” he asked. He tapped at his lip for clarification.

Minor scrap,” she replied. Scratched at the back of her neck as she answered. “Just a wee bit of cardio really.”

The other girl still in traction?”

Ursula almost fell backwards laughing, triggering a guard to on her side to react. With a wave of his hand and a thumbs up, Parker waved him off. She leaned forward as the laughter stopped.

Not as much damage as I could have done,” Ursula replied. She gave a knowingly sarcastic smile. Parker grimaced when he thought of what that might mean. “She’s feeling it though. I’m going to be in solitary for a bit. You know how these things get.”

What was this fight over?” Parker inquired. His mind processed the ramifications of this latest bout. “Last piece of mystery meat in the cafeteria?”

Would have killed her for that. No, just the usual. Reputation mostly. International woman of mystery… former terrorist operative… I got a bit of rep. The stories get around. I am a bit of a celebrity around her, you know? That makes me the usual target for the up and comers trying to build their own rep. I doubt this will impact my life sentence as much more than an inconvenience.”

Still working on that, by the way.”

Don’t. You know why. I’m not a good person. I’m a professional thief the likes of which hasn’t been seen outside of bad movies. I’ve killed people. They were generally bad people, but still. I’m doing my time.”

Parker nodded. Arguing semantics with this woman was not something he was inclined to do, even if she was wrong.

I know the truth,” he countered.

You certainly do,” she admitted. She leaned in to get a closer look at him. A sad smile crossed her face before she turned to ice again. “Still. You should give up on me. You got something else on your mind?”

Going to head down to NYC for a few days,” he explained. “Old friend called, wanting me to look into a matter for her. Her best friend has gone missing, believed to be kidnapped.”

You don’t believe it?”

Barely started looking into it. Got a few details to start on. They were both Bodybuilders. IFBB whatever. They were in Europe for some contests, so there’s the idea that they might have gotten in contact with someone they shouldn’t have. I was wondering if you came across anything that might be relevant while you were crisscrossing the globe.”

Ursula arched an eyebrow as she processed.

There have been kidnapping and ransom rings put together within that crowd in the past,” she considered. “Not surprising given the need for ‘muscle’ in that line of work. The bodybuilders weren’t usually marks. I’m out of touch, but I can think of a couple of names. None of them spend much time in the States though.”

It would give Graham a starting point.”

He wrote down the names as she recited them. As he put the notepad back in his jacket, he noticed her staring at him.

Got something else?” he asked.

You going to work out with the bodybuilders while you’re down there?” she inquired.

I think I would just embarrass myself.”

I know from experience you’re deceptively strong.”

So what?”

When you come back, you better show me them gains, bruh.”

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