Description: Agent Little of Interpol has found himself not just in a pickle, but a 10 gallon drum of dills. After his match with the alluring femme fatalle Blue Mary, the detective uncovers a cache of counterfeit artwork in a warehouse. Contacting Lieutenant Lita Luwanda, the detective holds fast at the warehouse. Time is ticking down, before Daniel Jack finds himself trapped in the clutches of... The Gallery of Evil. (The cover artwork shows Daniel Jack sleuthing through a museum of fine art, well after hours. As the detective holds up a candle, Lita is holding on to his arm, dressed in a red strapless gown. The eyes of the paintings around them seem to be fixed on the pair. Behind him, a suit of armor has raised up an axe, preparing to deal the death blow on them both.) (45 cents)
When Lita got the call, she was packing her bags in preparation for her trip to Osaka. Thankfully, she was nearly packed and pretty much at the point where she could sling her travel backpack, sling her sword on her back and be out the door. She checked out and she was on her way to Yokohama
When she gets to the address that Agent Little gave her, and rushed as fast as she could to meet up with the agent.
She moves over to Daniel Jack who only seems to be barely holding himself together and moves in to help support his weight.
First order of business is making sure Daniel Jack doesn't pass out before he can tell her what's going on.
Daniel Jack was... not doing very well.
Just that morning, he had an interview with Honoka at the Twilight Star Circus. Then, explosions happened across the island. And then, after contacting and discussing with Lita? The detective was at the Port of Yokohama in Japan. He had a HitBit fight against a private detective named Mary 'Blue' Ryan. Long story short, the detective was pummeled by murder thighs and top notch sambo. After a close-cut fight however, the detective discovered, after tearing apart an entire shipping container, that it was filled with duplicate fine art. After Blue Mary jolted him into a revival, the detective found out where that container was going, and once he found it?
Well, here he was now.
The warehouse was currently cordoned off. Police, however, -weren't- present. It seemed that the internal security forces were put into play on it. This was... this was suspiciously, to be sure. The police cordon was still present though, even there wasn't anybody to watch the line. But at the same time.... there asn't anybody around to CROSS the line. The entire area was quiet, very quiet. No workers, no employees, no investigators, no lingering audience. It was, for all purposes, deadly quiet. And what of Daniel Jack, the man who called Lita?
Daniel Jack just stands fast, arms crossed, staring ahead grimly.
The detective's expression was granite, his stance like a statue. His body was blackened and redden with thick bruises; his face was torn open again, the cheek wound ragged free from its sutures. Daniel Jack was, for all purposes, holding sentry, not even moving. That is, until, Lita shifts in to support to weight. The moment that happens? The detective's right leg gives out. The Agent of Interpol leans into her, as he suddenly exhales. Was he... was he holding his breath the entire time? "Ancient Todoh-Ryuu Technique, a sacred art taught to me by Ryuhaku Todoh himself." The detective explained, breathlessly. "You can remain in a place, either motionless or repeating basic motions, for hours at a time. He explained it was useful to keep in the background, but I still don't understand what he meant by that. But god hasn't it helped me a few times. Holy shit Lieutenant." Daniel states, turning around to face into the warehouse. "Do you wanna know what is in there?"
When Daniel goes into explaining that Todoh-Ryuu technique he was performing, the soldier finds herself blinking not knowing how to react to it. She finally settles on just nodding and mentally filing it away as a meditation technique just to protect her sanity.
Then Daniel tells her what was in the warehouse. Her mouth drops wide open in shock.
"What is their game? I mean Rumble in the Streets."
She looks at the man that she's helping support and then at the warehouse.
"I can't figure out if they're trying to kill you or put you in position to stop the criminals. Nothing makes sense."
"I know how to make it make sense, Lieutenant."
Daniel Jack's words are weak. Inside the warehouse though, in the illuminations, was rows and rows of fine artworks... in duplicate. Illegal artwork trade. This was hot candy for Interpol, and in an area of obvious international commerce. Interpol literally existed to deal with this kind of stuff. If there was anything that was more obvious to get Interpol involved, it would have been filled to the gills with trafficked humans. Daniel Jack's expression was not elation, though. It was too grim, to torn up for that. Finally, he surrenders, and brings himself to sitting up on the ground, extending his hands as he tries to explain.
"Let me break it down to you, scuzzy."
"This is what I am thinking. Like, lets assume that every single incident here is pushing forward an agenda. Someone's scheme, someone's plan. Let's assume every single action is causing a positive step towards someone's goal. This isn't a random sequence of events happening. This is intentional, and structured. And it makes -sense-" Daniel Jack holds an imaginary ball. That must be the plan, or the agenda. He continues on, his train of thought not stopping for any passengers.
"That would mean the following"
Daniel Jack holds up a single finger. "One. The assassination attempts are designed to clear out rivals. That's why you assassinate people. Same with the arsons, its about fear and power. A Korean national was murdered. They've tried to kill me. Another assassination attempt on a book writer. Attempted murders, and successful murders, and arsons. You dig? These show a scheme of terrorism designed against not just periphial targets, but members of international government services." Daniel Jack gestures at Lita and himself.
"Two." He holds up two fingers now. "I think they are also trying to eliminate rivals as well. You know the stuff you showed me? I got feedback on that from one of my contacts from Interpol, and expert in these kinds of things. They won't know anything official without doing lab tests... which is gonna be laughably hard now. But he saw those kinds of scorch marks before. That building went up because of a -weapon's cache- Lieutenant. And right now, just so happens, I come across an -art- cache. Gosh, whoever I fine linked to both of those things is gonna be in trouble with Interpol, right?" Daniel points back at the warehouse, and shrugs his shoulders. "This isn't from the same guy who set up the assassinations attempts against us. This is from somebody else, a different criminal organization."
"And that leads to the last point. Three." Daniel holds up the three fingers in front of him. "HitBit is driving this somehow. And this is the important detail. These are recorded, and -very- visual. Every single one of these incidents are publically documented and recorded. HitBit's involvement isn't just to set us up into dangerous situations. It's also to have us FIND things. And for everyone to see everything. That's driving this fear, this terror, this public, incrementating evidence to everyone, Lieutenant." He swings his arms wide open, nearly falling over. "So here's the... uh... here's the problem."
Daniel Jack keeps up the wild gestures, looking around. "Everything we've seen so far? The entire criminal shitstorm that's seizing this city? They are -designed- for people to see them. We are -meant- to find these things. So here's the important question, Lieutenant. Who would benefit from us finding a criminal empire, destroying it, and also with -us- being killed in the process? Who would benefit, and drive that? The first two articles would imply someone of good character, but the last one makes it clear that the people involved in 'revealing' the criminals? They are expendable to the person, or people behind this, and clearly demonstrates someone who doesn't care about human lives enough to not throw them away." Daniel Jack looks Lita dead in the eyes, as he taps the tip of his nose.
"Who would benefit, Lieutenant?"
Lita while not stupid isn't someone who one could consider a sleuth minded individual. So when Daniel breaks it down for her now it's starting to add up though. She remains quiet for a few moments afterwards in thought. She rubs her chin and then she looks at Daniel Jack.
"I'd say the first category is more obstacle or potential problems. The second category. I'm used to seeing those scorch marks but I was partially wondering if they engineered to cover up information rather than someone trying to expose the cache. In addition, I ended up getting information that the building was a shell corporation for the Southtown Syndicate."
She glances at the bag carrying the assorted HitBit stuff.
"In reference to that third point. The footage on the website of the violent acts, gone. Video of the documents I looked at while I was wearing HitBit hardware. Which means that it was a good thing I did take my own pictures."
She then looks back at the direction from where she came. "Even the building's security footage got wiped."
Daniel Jack sits there a moment, staring ahead blankly.
Scorch marks. Engineered. This was the trouble with this whole case. Every single action had a purpose, a motive. HitBit was both revealing what was happening, and also covering itself up. It was acting against one set of interests, and in favor of the same interests. And yet, it only reacted to the incidents, never prevented them. It was both revealing this, and covering it up. And with the HitBit, it was obvious from what Lita was saying, that there was an active campaign of cover ups...
Daniel Jack then realizes that he hasn't said anything in a while.
"Good points on the first item." Daniel states brightly. "Eliminating potential problems or obstacles. But I still feel strongly on the second and third points. The important thing though is that what you are saying is true. There ARE coverups. HitBit is both revealing and covering itself up. If it -was- a cover up, then..."
"... Well don't forget, that whoever is behind this is gonna be covering their asses."
That was it. "My theory so far is that a rival gang is attempting to scour the criminal underworld with this. And whoever is behind... this?" He thrusts a thumb back at the warehouse. "Is working hard to cover their tracks to counterpunch. With the fact that -both- factions seem to have influence and contact with the HitBit stuff? That would imply BOTH gangs have indirect influence over the organization, and its a battlefield. For all we know, we are seeing BOTH gangs trying to fight out this shadow war. We know that the Yamaguchi is involved. There has to be another player that owns the artwork. You need to investigate on that security footage stuff. Whoever is covering that up, is probably spiderwebbed in this...." Daniel Jack trails off, before looking out into the waters.
"They are gonna come soon, you know."
Daniel Jack states prophetically. "The gang that's behind this. Gonna take it all away, cover it up. Notice that nobody's around. That's because nobody is supposed to be around. This warehouse is supposed to be empty. And in a while, it is going to be. A warehouse full of evidence. PD was here just long enough to get people away. They didn't even notice me. I've called Interpol. They are gonna take their time here. And soon they are gonna come, and I'm gonna have to fight them off..." Daniel Jack tries to stand up. And it slowly dawns on him that he can't stand on his own anymore. Daniel Jack looks downcast, as he stares at the ground. "Lita... we need a guard here."
"Can't you think of anybody who can guard this place?"
"Whoever is involved is attempting to tie it up in a neat little package."
She glances down at her bag with the HitBit stuff and then back at Daniel. She lets out a mirthless laugh and then looks up again.
"There's a company that is responsible for receiving back up footage for both our particular fight location and the demolition 'accident.' Guess where they happen to be set up? Osaka. Exactly where I'm supposed to be on standby for my match."
She places her bag down and readjusts the sword on her back
"It looks like you Interpol blokes are being spread thin, watching over my situation. Least I can do is stand watch. I still have plenty of time before I need to get to Osaka."
"You go over there and sit down and recover. That's an order, soldier."
Her lips curl showing her humor in an attempt to laugh at a bad situation just so that she doesn't go insane.
"You have some recovering to do and I have some messages to send out.
"That's the issue, isn't it?"
"We got Interpol at Nadaia or Naitma or whatever. We got Interpol fanning out all over the place. We're so spread out." Daniel Jack grumbles to himself as just keeps a seat. "Still, just keep in mind we are dealing with someone who wants us to see what's playing out. We're being manipulated here." Daniel Jack just shrugs though. "With that said, the fact of the matter is that these are criminals here no matter."
"And we are gonna have to bring down the law."
Daniel Jack takes his seat, as he mulls. "Still, Lieutenant. You got the right idea. You investigate on the whole missing tape stuff. See what is on them, whether or not they are hiding something from Group A, or hiding from Group B. We need to sort out just how muddled this is." Daniel Jack suddenly smiles to himself as well, the same grimace that Lita was performing. "So. This is the start of the International Security Force... Patrol, right? Guarding artwork in the middle of a harbor." Daniel Jack wiggles his mustache.
"International Security Force... what was the P of it?"
"The original designation was 'International Special Forces Program.' I'm not sure we'll be able to use it. Too loaded with past associations."
The Delta Red Special Forces soldier pulls out her cellphone and starts sending out texts to her allies. Her phone buzzes and then she responds to another text and after a few moments she puts the phone away a frown on her face.
"I'm not sure we should call it official start to anything until we have a bigger crew."
She walks around pacing back and forth before she turns towards Daniel. Making sure he isn't moving around too much and then resumes pacing. There was so much she didn't like about it and there was a nagging feeling that something else was up. She wasn't trained as detective so she keeps silent.
The two keep watch over the artwork until Interpol reinforcement finally arrives. The two eventually part ways but still the question still unspoken remains on her mind:
What if there's a Group C that's playing Groups A and B against each other in order to create as much chaos as possible?
Log created on 17:11:22 02/11/2016 by Daniel, and last modified on 22:28:51 02/12/2016.