Thursday, July 11, 2013

Behind the Mask - Intro

“What the hell is this McClosky?”  I asked, staring at the stack of DVD’s that he had just dropped on my desk.  

“Chief asked if I’d lend them to you.”  Jim McClosky said over his shoulder, heading for the break room.

“These are yours?”  I asked with a disgusted look on my face, shuffling through the stack.  I did not even read the titles, just stared at the half naked men in tights, some of them wearing buckets of their own blood, staring back at me from the covers.  “Captain?”  I yelled across the Precinct.

Captain Therese Jackson looked up from his desk, the fluorescent light shining off his broad forehead, and smirked before signaling me into his office.

I grabbed a handful of the discs, knocking the remaining few to the floor.

“Hey, be careful.  I want those back,” Jim said around a chocolate donut, looking up from his own desk.

I scowled at him and marched into the Captain’s office, shutting the door harder than I meant to.  Sheepishly I apologized to my boss.  “Now what’s this all about?”  I asked, thrusting the videos at him.

“Relax and sit down.”  He said, pointing to the seat across his desk.  

I swallowed hard and did as I was told.  “Captain-“

“This is the kind of case that could make you,”  Captain Jackson said, adding his signature to a piece of paper and filing it in a box labelled ‘Out’ on his desk. “Or break you.”

“Which case, sir?”

“That murder last week.”

“The blonde?  Have we identified her yet?”

“No, but McClosky thinks he’s on to something-“

“Do you?”

“I don’t know, but we can’t afford to follow every lead we’ve got.”

“And the lead?”  I dreaded where this conversation was heading but I glanced through the blinds, out the large panel window at the other officers in the precinct, watched them pass around a box of donuts.  “Damned stereotypes,” I muttered under my breath.

“What was that?”  the Captain asked.

“Nothing,” I mumbled.

“Didn’t think so.”  He took a quick sip from the bottle of water on his desk.  “Anyways, Jim thinks this murder is related to a number of unsolved ones over the last few years.”

“Similar MO’s?”  I ask.

“Escalating, but all five women look alike.  If McClosky’s right, our killer definitely has a type.”

“And these?”  I ask, waving the videos in front of me.

“I don’t know where he came up with the theory, I mean he told me, but I’m not sure I followed it all, anyways, he seems to think it has something to do with a wrestling promotion that’s been through here about the same time as each of the murders.”


“Well, the first one happened a few days after the group had come through, but McClosky thinks our killer may have just been working up the nerve.”

“Ok, then what do you want from me?”  I asked, again looking out the window.  McClosky had finished his donut, but was now walking around with a can of soda, his gun poking up into his hanging midsection, the flabby flesh threatening to swallow his belt whole.  I looked down at my own stomach, and then at my arms, the muscles bulging as I moved, and knew the answer to my question before the captain could speak.

“I’ve already sent Janeway in to talk to the owner of the…” he paused, picking up a sheet of paper from the box labeled ‘In’ and continued “promotion.  He’s not talking, and I think our best bet is to get someone inside.”

I nodded, not quite sold on the idea.  “We’re sure about this?”

“He is, and he’s willing to stake his career on it. But he’s a desk jockey, plus he figured most of the guys knew him, had seen him in the crowd.”

“He actually goes to these things?” I shook the videos still in my hand for emphasis.

The captain shook his head, “Yeah. And he thought, with your amateur boxing background, and well, Elias, look out there at them. Give me one other officer that could even come close to looking like one of those guys.”

I shook my head too, knowing he was right. I cut my eyes out the window, caught Jim staring at me.  He broke eye contact first.  I screwed my face up, shuffling through the DVD’s again, looking at the images staring back at me.  “So what’s the assignment, exactly?”

“Spend the next few days watching those.  Pick Jim’s brain, study this,”  He handed me the sheet of paper.  I glanced over it, saw terms like ‘sell’ and ‘rib.’

“And then?”

“That should give us time to create a cover for you, and to flesh out our case a little more.”

“How long has there been between kills?”  I asked, wondering how long of an assignment this was about to become.  

“Five months.”  He said and my hopes fell.  “We think,” he added.

“You think, sir?”

“Well, if he really is part of a traveling group-“

“He could have other kills elsewhere.”  I finished the thought, and Jackson nodded.  “Have we put a call out to the Feds?”

“Yeah,” the Captain replied, “They want us to continue the investigation and let them know if we need anything.”

“Damn, I was sure they’d jump at this.” I did not add what I was thinking, that I hoped they would jump on this.

“Well, right now we have no proof that its spread outside of our jurisdiction.”

I nodded.  “Got’ya.  I’m gonna go hit the gym, then I’ll get to watching some of these.”  I hefted the discs and left the Captain, who nodded after me.

I paused at my desk long enough to grab the other discs, which Jim had stacked neatly on my desk, folding the sheet of paper Captain Jackson had given me and placing it inside the cover of one.

“Man, I wish it was me on this one,” Jim said, coming to stand by me.  I looked him up and down, snorted, and left the Precinct.


Unknown said...

My random guess:

Tired of not being taken seriously as an athlete, a wrestler goes on a killing rampage.

Alternately, upon realizing that it's hard to track someone who doesn't stay in one place, a serial killer takes up wrestling because he gets to pretend to be someone else so no one really knows the real him and he can make with the killing because he'll be well out of town when a body is found.

Either way, not a bad premise as long as it's not handled like a couple of hams (something I know you have in you to manage). Also, I could be completely off base and you could have a completely different premise that is equally not bad going on here. I hope you write more so I can figure it out. ;o)

Jonathan Martin said...

Pretty much your second thought. This idea has been gestating for a while, and finally the idea of having the detective not be interested in the whole wrestling idea would keep him disgusted enough that I could avoid the ham.

Unknown said...

If I may, I kind of dig this idea because everyone thinks wrestlers are idiots so there could totally be a bunch of "There's no way this guy could do it. Sure, he's a hot head, but he's a moron!" And have the hot headed moron sort of be the fake out perp then, like...his manager is the real big bad.

Or his wife/kid/cousin/brother who travels with them and gets the occasional mention.

archnemesis_goldenhair said...

Alternatively, instead of the white wrestling arena, you could delve into the hispanic. Light weights tend to focus more on strategy, and don't have the dumb guy stereotype. They do have the little hot-head thing going. With the comment about sterotypes already out there, you could have the detective be a smallish, muscular hispanic man, with a small chip on his shoulder.

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