Inkblot Investigations

August 15, 2014:

Three officers of the law converge on M-Town investigating the Smooth… and find someone doing some unofficial digging of their own.

M-Town Back Alley


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Unpleasant things have been happening in M-Town lately. The inhabitants, for the most part, tend to think the cops don't care about them. Maybe that's true when it comes to some members of the force. After all, prejudice doesn't go away just because you put on the uniform. For Paul and Sara, though, there's more to life than just what shows on the surface. And after the tragedy that took place the last time they were here, they're all the more determined to get to the bottom of the problem.

"This is why this sort of crime just keeps happening," Sara shakes her head to Paul as she jogs down the steps from one house. "You take out someone at the top of the ladder, and it just starts a feeding frenzy at the bottom. Fisk goes down, someone else steps up." She grimaces. "Job security, I guess."


"Then we'll just have to take out him too." Paul points out quietly, staring out the window as Sara drives. "Hard enough to make anyone thinking of stepping into his shoes think twice." After a moment, he adds "Drug dealers are the worst. They don't kill cleanly, they destroy lives. And not just of the junkie but everyone he touches. Friends. Family." Innocent children in the wrong place at the wrong time.


The shake up with Fisk's 'departure' from leadership hasn't just messed with the rank structure, it's drawn a lot of people who would ordinarily stay hidden into the light. People with Federal arrest warrants outstanding. Sadly, serving these warrants doesn't tend to endear Thomas to the local populace and finding some of these guys means a lot of detective work. So here he is. Job security indeed.

He's just coming up the street with the usual black dog in tow. "Virge, next time you want to stop for a snack, you need to warn me." He mutters half to the dog, half to himself. As if the dog understands him. Virgil doesn't give any indication that he does.


Speaking of unpleasant things, there's Rorschach. He may not care much for genetic freaks and mutie scum, but drug dealers are even lower on the totem pole, as far as he's concerned, and some of the users haven't been much more than kids. Rorschach doesn't like it when people mess with kids. He's not sure why it…

…mother…the belt…can't breathe…mommy please i can't breathe…

Rorschach drives his skull into the brick wall for a moment, jarring himself loose of the hallucination. Dead whores don't matter. Focus. Work.

So, he looks down at the drug dealer he caught, the one on his hands and knees at Rorschach's feet, a frog-faced thing with bulging eyes and a croaking face. "Won't ask again," Rorshach says, driving the heel of his boot atop the plump green head and stepping down until those yellow pop-eyes start to bulge.

"Food chains. Bottom. Top. Give me a bigger lunch. Or I eat you.'

Rorschach hears some chatter near the end of the alleyway, turning his head towards it. Firm voices, patter. Cops. Not ideal. But he's not afraid of cops. He's not afraid of anything. He feels his eyes roll back in his head for a moment under the mask, vision flickering as his mind fills with blood, hands clenching until he trembles. He opens his eyes again, the black spots on his mask squirming like leeches.



Sara glances toward Paul, weighing his response. "We'll get them," she promises her partner, slowing down as she catches sight of a familiar face. "Speaking of job security," she murmurs, nodding toward where Thomas is moving down the street. "Looks like we're not the only ones chasing this lead." Rather than get back in the car, she opens Paul's door, leaning against it and tipping her head to one side to draw him out. "Let's pound the pavement." She hasn't caught sight of the confrontation in the alley just yet.

Paul climbs out of the car after Sara's opened it and stretches as he looks to where she's looking. "Ah, Marshal Earp and his human." He checks his weapon then adjusts his jacket so it (mostly) covers the holster.


Virgil barks and trots ahead as Thomas strides up to the pair of detectives with a small smile. "Small world. Detective Pezzini, Detective Manning. Nice to see you both. I'm gonna guess you're here working and not just taking in the sights?" He's got that casual 'scanning the background' thing going that cops do when they're looking for someone but not actively searching for them.


Rorschach kneels down on the dealer, grinding down, "Cops won't save you. Nothing can. You're mine." he says, intensely grinding into the frog-boy's spine. After a few more light croaks and whimpers, Rorschach is convinced the guy doesn't know anything. Just a runner, a handoff boy. Useless. Best thing to do now is let the creepy thing up and see where it limps.

He grasps the back of the frog's head and drives him down into the payment two more times, until the sound is wet, the mouth leaking blood before Rorschach hefts him up onto his shoulder, dumping the dealer into a dumpster at around the time the cops walk by the opening of the alley.


Sara smirks at Paul's description of Thomas, shaking her head. "I kind of like the dog, actually," she admits, grinning when the pair comes closer. "Hey there, handsome," she says lightly to Virgil, holding out a hand. "We should get a canine unit. We'll tell them it's our ghost dog. Animals sense that sort of thing." So do she and Paul, but no one else needs to know that. "How's it going, Marshal?" she nods to Thomas. "Find anything int-" At the thump from the dumpster, she pauses, brows furrowing. "You guys hear that?"


Paul squats down so he's on Virgil's level and holds a hand out so the dog can get his scent. Once he's been approved of, he rubs the dog's head and scratches his ears. "Nice to see you again, boy. And you too, Marshal." Though it's obvious which of them comes first. Straightening back up, he looks to the alley and unclips his holster. Just in case. "Yes, I heard it."


It's the dog. It's always the dog. Thomas is used to it. Apparently, so is Virgil because he trots forward and licks Paul's hand, then Sara's, happily accepting any pettin's. And then…

"Me too." Thomas straightens up as Virgil's ears perk. Chow hound pettin' fiend mode: off. Police dog mode: on. Funny how the mischievous Shepherd seems to know when it's time to get to work.

"Came from over there."


Rorschach gets a few things ready, just in case, notably squirting some lighter fluid into the dumpster down onto the unconscious frog, emptying half of the bottle and then throwing it in on top of them. He turns to face the end of the alley, his hands going into the pockets of his coat, his hat pulled low over his face.

The mask squirms and writhes. He should hide. But he doesn't feel like it. And maybe they know something. Not all cops are incompetent or corrupt. Just most of them.

He hears the sound of the panting and gives a low shudder. A dog. He hates dogs.

…they crunched her bones…big jaws, dobermans…little bits of her dress floating in the air, catching the wind…the sound of fangs scraping on her skull…

"Hurm." he shudders, bringing himself back to reality, standing half in shadow, unmoving, still as a statue.


Sara unclips her holster as well, lifting her badge from her belt as she starts toward the mouth of the alley. "NYPD," she calls ahead of herself. "Take it easy back there, we're coming in." As jumpy as the neighborhood is right now, she's not taking any chances with mistaken identity or frightened residents.


Paul's hand is on his gun though it's just a precaution. At the moment. He moves forward with Sara but as far away as the mouth of the alley will allow. "You have nothing to worry about if you've done nothing wrong. We're only here to look for information."


Virgil is right beside Thomas who has a hand on his weapon as well. No need to draw down quite yet though. Seems that all three lawmen have the same idea. He takes a step out from Paul and Sara so as not to crowd them if anything goes down, watching for whatever may be around the co… okay. Who the hell is that?


A lot of people aren't even sure he's real. Most of the vigilantes end up making a big scene sometime, a splashy front page, even if there aren't any pictures. Not Rorschach. He's a whisper of a rumor, the definition of an urban legend. A quarter century of terror, dished out in broken fingers and split lips, burns and blood. He doesn't kill - he just hurts. Tortures. Maims.

Some people say that you go insane if you look at his face too long.

His hands stay in his pockets as he watches the cops make their way in, not flinching at their guns. They might shoot. He doubted it. If so…he'd been shot before.

"No answers here. Just more questions," he says, his voice a rasp with a strange, quavering tone to it, like he's talking in his sleep. "Smooth. Makers. Dealers. Sources. Who benefits? Make a powder keg out of a freak box. Looking for the pattern."

"Done nothing wrong. Scum might argue. Scum don't count."


"They sort of do, actually," Sara grimaces as Rorschach steps out. "Unfortunately." She's not reaching for her gun just yet, tucking her badge back onto her belt in a practiced motion. "So I'm going to politely recommend you move along here, and leave the scum to us, yeah? Kind of a shitstorm out here right now. Watched a junkie kill a couple of kids the other day because he got too jumpy. We don't really need people stirring things up here."


Well, that's certainly incoherent. Or mostly. Leaving his hand on the gun, Paul studies the man. Physically deformed mutant perhaps. Perhaps mentally as well. "That's what we're wondering outselved. And we'll find out, of that you can be certainly. But you need to get home now, sir." He moves back a bit to clear an open path to the street.


Thomas doesn't horn in on the NYPD's enforcement. This is their turf actually. Relaxing a bit he turns to Sara and Paul. "Someone's benefiting though. A lot. Marshal's service has me hunting down federal fugitives in some of the local crime organizations and while I'm at it DEA want anything we can get on who is moving this stuff and where the hell it's coming from. Lots of leads, nothing solid. Someone put a lot of thought into this."


Rorschach snorts at the idea of scum having rights. Or being called sir for that matter. He cocks his head but starts approaching, his steps measured and even. He comes more into the light and his mask - or face, as he thinks of it - comes fully into view, stretched fabric with stretching and sliding spots of inky black, the only stability around his eyes. The coat is dusty and old, as is the hat.

"Cops usually the last to know. Handcuff yourselves." he pauses, his voice flat and even. "Joke. Ha."

He continues walking until he's right in front of them, a few bloodstains visible on his shoes, dried and old.

"Somebody wants this place to burn.


"Maybe they do," Sara agrees quietly. "But we don't get along so well with FDNY we want to give them the glory." She glances down toward Rorschach's shoes, lips pursing slightly. "This is about to get difficult, isn't it?"


"We're not going to let that happen." Paul assures the man. "Whoever's behind this drug is going to pay for his crimes. If you know anything, please tell us. If you don't but find out anything, let us know." He digs out a card from his jacket pocket and offers it. "Us specifically." Maybe Daredevil and Trent's gotten him a bit paranoid about dirty cops.


Thomas says nothing on that front. His cases are peripherally related though and he's already got the two detective's contact info through official channels just in case he needs to refer anything to them.

"Careful who you beat up around here though. The locals are already on edge and even the bad guys have good friends some of whom are a little less than normal in their ability to take or give punishment."


Rorschach walks forward, maneuvering his way through the cops to walk out of the alley, careful especially to avoid Sara. Touching a woman isn't…healthy for him. It makes things fuzzy and raw and the edges of his vision turn to razors and rats. Not tonight. He ignores the offered card and, once through, stands perfectly still for a moment.

"Difficult. Always difficult. You'll know when I know something. Might be hard to talk to them, though. Breathing tubes. Respirators."

"No normal. Everyone gets punishment. Everyone. Burning times are coming," he says, starting to walk down the street. "Angels and cops burn like the rest."


Sara turns to keep an eye on Rorschach as he passes, though she doesn't seem inclined to make any sudden movements. Yet. "Yep," she murmurs once he's moving down the street. "Tuesday." Looking to Paul and Thomas, she grimaces. "This isn't going to get any better until we get to the bottom of it."


Paul gives Thomas a small frown but looks after Rorschach. "If you put people in the hospital, we're going to have to come after you too. That'll take us away from the investigation. We don't want that, you don't want that." The card goes back into his pocket.


"I'll run him when I get back to the office." Thomas murmurs. He doesn't think he'll find anything but costumed vigilantes tend to find their way onto his list. He tends to ignore most of them. He's overloaded as it is with really bad people. The mask or powers act doesn't really make him any more inclined to chase after them. But this guy…

"If you want to coordinate something my boss is very about loaning me out right now. Give the office a call." Beat. "I'll send Virgil. He gets things done." The dog snorts. Damn right he does.


Rorschach keeps walking, "Gets things done. Like me." he says. "Your investigation. Can't tell you who to chase." he says, just walking evenly to the corner, and then turning his head, the spots on his mask congealing into an almost arcane, runic structure. "Look for the patterns. Money. Hate. Somebody has both. Wants both. Try to get there first. For their sake." he says and then turns around the corner and out of sight.

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