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Thread: Chapter 7 - The Murder on the Moon

  1. #1
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    Chapter 7 - The Murder on the Moon

    Painting is of Rita Kerrigan - the Reporter in the story.

    Chapter 7


    Spillane's was busy, but Chet only had a ten minute wait before they found him a booth. All during his lunch, he doodled on a napkin, trying in vain to connect all the murders in a way that had not been done yet. He had almost finished his lunch when Rita Kerrigan walked up and slid into the booth across from him.
    "Well, fancy running into you here," he said.
    She laughed. "It was no accident. I wanted to talk to you, and tracking you down was easy enough. I know people in all the bars, eating places, sports venues, and various unsavory other places on the moon. All it takes is a few calls to find just about anybody I'm looking for." She looked across the table and announced, "Mr. Garner, you are full of crap."
    Chet considered her statement as he finished his last bite of lunch, then replied. " Ms Kerrigan, I hope you will not be offended when I tell you that you are not the first person to arrive at that conclusion. Now, are you just offering a general evaluation of me, or did you have something specific in mind?"
    Rita noticed a waitress starting their way to take her order, and quickly waved her off. "I've been checking up on your story. My sources in Washington are pretty extensive, and while there are any number of politician's wives that you have dallied with, nobody seems to know anything about your being in trouble over it. In fact, I'm told that you met with the President shortly before coming up here."
    His instincts told Chet that his cover story was fatally wounded, but he made a last ditch effort to salvage it. "Well, before she became President, I helped get one of her kids out of a bad situation, so I think she felt she owed me something. I was called in, and she gave me a "straighten up and fly right" talk. Then, she said she was sending me up here to keep me out of sight for awhile."
    "Chet, I've been lied to by the very best. You're not even close." Then, she pulled something out of her purse and dropped it on the table in front of him. "Let's talk about this." The object she had placed on the table directly in front of Garner, was, a piece from a chess set. Specifically, it was a Knight.
    This was not a conversation he wanted to have in a crowded restaurant. Scooping up the Knight and dropping it into his pocket, he said, "Come on. Let's get the hell out of here."
    With not a word between them, they walked for ten minutes before arriving in a small park that Chet judged would offer a reasonable amount of security. "Now, my beautiful reporter friend, just what is the deal with this chess piece?"
    With an almost bored expression, she answered. "The flattery will get you nowhere Chet, but knock yourself out. Also, we are hardly friends."
    Chet smiled and said, "Yet."
    "In your dreams perhaps," Rita replied. "Regardless, why don't you tell me what you know about this Knight?"
    "Sorry Rita, that's not how it works. You think you have stumbled onto something, and now you want to go on a fishing expedition. This is the way it's going to work. You tell me what you think you know, and if it's possible, I'll either confirm or deny."
    "All right," she said. "You are taking a chance discussing this with me, so I'll play it your way - for now. What I do know is that there have been five murders, and in each of them, a Knight like the one I brought, has been left beside the bodies of the victims. Obviously, you have a serial killer on your hands."
    His eyes scanned the area, double checking their privacy before he responded. "Mind telling me how you got this information?"
    "Yes, as a matter of fact, I do mind. It's really not that difficult. You have a lot of people involved in all those murders. There are always a few men that can be enticed to give up a little harmless information in return for what they think is flirting that will lead somewhere. It seldom get them anywhere, but they keep thinking, 'next time'!
    "Rita, there's a dirty little name for women like you."
    She shrugged her shoulders and smiled. "Yes, there is, isn't there? Now, your turn to talk."
    "All right," he replied. "If you know that much, there's not much point in my denying it. Your information is correct. The Knight has been left at each of the murder scenes. It seems to be his chosen signature. Quite honestly, you now know about as much as we do. We are doing all the background stuff, trying to figure out connections, reasons, etc." He handed the chess piece back to Rita, and continued. "I can't stop you from reporting this, but I hope you will sit on this for a bit before making it public."
    "Why should I?", she replied.
    "Well, maybe if you do, it might get you under the sheets with a certain attractive Investigator."
    "Not likely," she responded. "That tactic actually works for me for two reasons.
    First, the men I'm talking to, actually do want me.

    Secondly, on the other hand, I have no intention of accommodating them.



    Neither of those things exist in your strategy. For your sake, I hope you have a backup plan, because that one is a loser."
    He smiled and responded, "Yeah, I didn't think it was going to work, but, you never know." Changing the tone of his voice, Chet said, "Seriously, if you give this guy this publicity, it's going to fire him up to do even more killings so he can get more recognition. I need some time to try and get this guy figured out. I know it's a big story for you, but I'm asking you to sit on it for a little while. Otherwise, some people are probably going to die that didn't need to.
    She looked at him closely for several seconds then spoke. "Well, honesty. Now, there's an unexpected tactic from you. You should practice it more often Chet." Her fingertips lightly traced across his face. "It makes you more attractive. Tell you what, I'm going to sit on the story for a little while. Not to please you, but on behalf of those people that you think might die needlessly. I may be a cold hearted bitch, but I'm not that cold."
    Chet had really not expected her to agree, so he was a bit taken back by her response. "Rita, thank you. I truly appreciate it."
    "Well," she responded. "You better get your butt busy because as they say in the commercials, this is a limited time offer only. If you don't come up with something soon, I'm going with the story. I didn't get where I'm at, by placing human compassion ahead of my career. Now, if you will excuse me, I have an appointment to go outside the station and report on a drilling team that's drilling for minerals underneath the lunar surface. I'll call you tomorrow and see if you have learned anything more."
    He watched her walk away until she was completely out of sight, then he headed for the office.
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  2. #2
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    hmmm danger ahead for Rita outside??....

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by gxhpainter View Post
    hmmm danger ahead for Rita outside??....
    Obviously you have figured out that she is in the story for a reason. However, you know I'm not about to give it away. The answer is in the reading.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by barnburner View Post
    Obviously you have figured out that she is in the story for a reason. However, you know I'm not about to give it away. The answer is in the reading.
    Argh.... a cliffhanger..

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belvrog View Post
    Argh.... a cliffhanger..
    Possibly, then of course, it might be designed to distract from the obvious... then again, it might not be.
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  6. #6
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    Enticing lady!
    I guess it would be quite interesting to have some fun at moon's gravity and pretty sure any plastic surgery would be required later ...
    Panta rei (everything flows)!

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