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The Hearts of Men (ATTN: Snefaldia; others TG for invite)

Where nations come together and discuss matters of varying degrees of importance. [In character]
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The Resurgent Dream
Diplomat
 
Posts: 961
Founded: Aug 22, 2004
Left-Leaning College State

The Hearts of Men (ATTN: Snefaldia; others TG for invite)

Postby The Resurgent Dream » Wed Sep 21, 2016 8:46 pm

King’s Point
Narich, Anata


The neighbourhood of King’s Point was one of towering and crowded residential buildings and sprawling shopping centres. It was a neighbourhood marked by each successive wave of immigrants to the Caldan Union, many of whom first arrived in Narich. Each set of new arrivals tried to create a space for themselves and then tried to preserve that space, tried to build a sense of continuity, even as new and different groups arrived. Each group brought its own religious, cultural, culinary, and fashion preferences and each absorbed something of the others as well as the larger Caldan culture. Things mixed together in sometimes novel ways. For example, King’s Point boasted the Kosher Chinese Deli and The Original Curry Burrito, both restaurants that brought in novelty-seekers and, every now and then, even a repeat customer. Like most such neighbourhoods, it also drew its share of hipsters and Bohemians who had to have their Wizard Coffee and their Brandt Brewery. Cities and neighbourhoods shift and King’s Point more than most. These days one found Dayan bakeries and pleasant little Luwite restaurants where the experienced diner could get braised ox tripe in red wine sauce as good as any served in Sring Issa. There were also plenty of little places serving a Snefaldian Blend, combining a variety of Snefaldian traditions with a touch of contemporary Caldan cuisine. An Aatem Nal Library was now among the King’s Point houses of worship, joining two mosques, a synagogue, and a Buddhist meditation centre and, during daylight hours, it was common to see older people in intricate Snefaldian robes.

After dark, of course, things were a little different, especially on warm nights in one of the warmest falls on reocord. April Banner wondered if she should be walking along so late. She was a young woman in her late teens. She wore her hair in long braids which dangled in front of her face when she looked down at her worn trainers. She’d heard rumours of rising crime rates in the Snefaldian community, even vigilantism against those who crossed them politically. Now that the election was in full gear, it seemed to be almost all the People’s Party talked about. Changing the rules on asylum and immigration was, after all, a lot easier than reversing a constitutional amendment. At least that was the impression April had. She hadn’t been the best civics student. But she didn’t tend to think much of people like the People’s Party. April was a black girl from King’s Point, born and bred. She’d gotten to know a lot of Snefaldians since the started arriving in large numbers over the last few years and she was no stranger to prejudice from People’s Party types, even if she’d rarely seen it displayed so openly. So she tried to avoid generalisations.

Still, that didn’t mean there wasn’t crime in the neighbourhood. Not all the rumours were just made up. April’s steps quickened as she moved across the mostly abandoned shopping centre. There were still too many cars in the carpark and she could faintly here the sound of music coming from a windowless, unmarked establishment. She wrinkled her nose. It was Emma Holt’s latest insipid complaint about an ex-lover. April was more of a Nicki Pall fan. Still, nothing to be concerned about. She had almost dismissed the place from her mind when she was a man in a baggy hoody run out of the door. He froze as if surprised to see April, looking in her direction like a deer caught in headlights. April stumbled backwards, worried about what the man might do. After a few seconds which seemed like an eternity, he simply turned and ran in the opposite direction. She paused and waited , giving the strange man time to get well clear of her. She had no idea what he was about but he didn’t seem like good news. He didn’t seem like good news at all.

That was when the music stopped and she heard a series of popping sounds and muffled screams. What seemed like seconds later, before April even had time to react, she saw fire in the windows of two of the neighbouring storefronts. She heard the glass blowout as she ran away towards the road. Once there, she pulled out her SimonX phone and dialed 369. ‘Police,’ she began in a trembling voice, ‘I need help. Please!’ As she spoke, her nostrils flared. There was a smell in the air that seemed familiar but not. It reminded her a little of burnt pork like when her father had left a pork loin in the oven for two hours too long and the whole kitchen had been filled with smoke. He had been making it for her birthday when her mother had to be out of town. He knew it was her favourite dish. When she realised what the smell really was...It wasn't her favourite anymore.
Last edited by The Resurgent Dream on Wed Sep 21, 2016 9:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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The Resurgent Dream
Diplomat
 
Posts: 961
Founded: Aug 22, 2004
Left-Leaning College State

Postby The Resurgent Dream » Sun Sep 25, 2016 1:22 pm

Arson Site, King’s Point
Narich, Anata


An unmarked black Gryphon Valkyrie pulled into the shopping centre car park, several marked police cruisers and a van with lights running were already parked there, the taped off crime scene swarming with men and women in the uniform of the Narich Police Service. It was driven by a man in his late thirties or early forties, wearing a rumpled blue suit. He was the sort of man you couldn’t imagine in any other kind as if any suit he put on, however freshly dry cleaned, would look slept in within an hour. The somewhat younger woman sitting next to him was in a beige pantsuit, better tended but still quite functional. It looked like exactly what it was, something a detective would wear to work. She was hurriedly unwrapping a sandwich from a bag.

‘You sure you want to eat, Lou?’ the man asked.

‘I haven’t had anything all day, Matt,’ she answered.

‘What is that thing anyway?’ he asked, glancing over at the unfamiliar patty.

‘Peacock burger,’ she answered.

‘Like the Pantocratorian burger place?’ he asked.

She shook her head as she hungrily ate the sandwich. ‘It’s from Poultry Burger. It’s real ground peacock. Way better than their turkey burger.’

He shook his head as he parked, getting out and walking towards one of the uniformed officers. She wiped her hands quickly and followed. ‘I’m Detective-Sergeant Matthew McKenna and this is my partner, Detective-Sergeant Louisa Hart.’

The uniformed man offered a hand to each in turn. ‘Corporal Barry Gardner. Come with me.’

Gardner led the two detectives inside the building. They passed through an anteroom with a desk and a small side hallway with a couple of washrooms and through a pair of steel double doors into what remained of a dance hall. The place still smelled of burnt flesh. Dozens of bodies lay on the ground, badly burnt, most beyond recognition. Hart dry heaved and brought a hand to her mouth. ‘I told you not to eat before something like this,’ McKenna said gently. ‘Are you ok?’

She nodded, taking a deep breath and clearing her head as she and McKenna began walking the room. He squatted over one of the bodies while she drifted over to the set of thick steel doors leading to the anteroom. Gardner crossed his arms as he watched the detectives. ‘Best we can tell, this was more or less a Snefaldian dance club. It has to have been racially motivated, something like this, right?’

McKenna glanced up at him. ‘Let’s just see what the evidence said.’ He stood and walked over to where Hart was still staring at the doors. ‘Something interesting?’

She pointed. ‘The scratch marks. Human beings scratching steel doors hard enough, desperately enough, to leave a mark. I’ve seen that in pictures from Marlund and other places but I never thought I’d see it here.’

McKenna nodded gruffly and glanced to Gardner. ‘Do we know why the doors wouldn’t open?’

Gardner nodded. ‘There was a rod wedged between the handles.’

‘Someone wanted to make sure no one made it out,’ McKenna said slowly, as if stating the obvious inference somehow made it real, as if anyone hadn't already come to that conclusion.

‘The report said there was a witness?’ Hart asked.

‘Yeah, April Banner,’ Gardner said. ‘She’s over at the van now.’

Hart nodded and started that way, McKenna trailing behind. April was sitting in the open rear door of the van, slumped forward, her face streaked with dried tears. She looked up as the two detectives approached her. Hart sat down next to her. ‘April Banner?’

‘Yeah,’ April answered.

‘I’m Detective-Sergeant Hart and this is DS McKenna. Can we talk to you for a bit?’ Hart asked her gently.

‘Yeah,’ April said again. Her voice was dull.

‘You told uniform you saw a man coming out of the club?’ Hart asked, pressing a little.

‘Yeah, I couldn’t make him out, though.’ April said. ‘He just looked at me and then he run off. I didn’t know what he was going to do.’

‘You couldn’t see his face at all?’ Hart pressed.

‘No!’ April answered, shifting in frustration. ‘I couldn’t see him! I didn’t know anything about that club! I never been there! They say it was a Snefaldian place?’

‘Yeah,’ Hart said. ‘All right.’ She handed the young woman a card. ‘Call me if you remember anything else, ok?’

‘Sure,’ April said with a sigh. ‘Sure.’

Hart stood again and she and McKenna started walking back to their car. ‘Let’s see what we hear back about the remains. Maybe we’ll have more to go on when we know more about who our victims are.’

McKenna nodded. ‘Let’s have uniform canvas the neighbourhood. Maybe someone knows something.’
Last edited by The Resurgent Dream on Thu Jan 19, 2017 4:46 pm, edited 8 times in total.


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