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Everything posted by liamc2

  1. liamc2

    Anyone here from 2001-ish?

    Getting pretty lively here the past few days. What’s the plan for all our twenty year anniversaries next year? Edit: Even I can’t believe it’s been that long, apparently.
  2. Done. /hug /lingering-hug  
  3. liamc2

    I Forgot What You People Look Like (Image Heavy)

    "[It's] not dead!....Only mostly dead!"   But hey! Congratulations! You guys make a cute couple. The first BW picture is quite striking. Was there a particular theme for the wedding beyond the bridal party clothes?
  4. Do you need a hug? Or a trophy?   Just trying to gauge the mood here...
  5. SERIOUSLY GET A CROCK POT. SLOW COOKED MEALS BE FREAKIN' DELICIOUS AND REQUIRE NEXT TO NO ABILITY WITH A GOOD RECIPE.   /cough   I mean, we did a slow cooked corned beef roast during the day, had a fantastic dinner and used the left over beef to make even better home-made Reuben sandwiches :D 
  6. liamc2

    Has Google Ruined Everything?

    I'll extend it a little further and say smartphones in general are the culprit. We have them all the time (which is fantastic as I have OneNote and a bunch of textbooks on mine, super useful for study on the go). Google is super convenient on that platform for locations/transport schedules etc., but it's a gateway for further conversation distraction...   Wife and I have recently made a "no multitasking" rule as we both found ourselves reading random stuff on our phones in commercial breaks one night...and then we weren't even watching the show. I would look up from what I was reading and occasionally share a random factoid from the article/cat picture/facebook page I had on my screen and she would do the same. No conversation or anything. It was really quite sad.    I was forced to use an old brick phone for a while when my 'droid died. Suddenly I was in that weird T9 text world (muscle memory is an amazing thing BTW) and I didn't like it. I would actually call instead of text. I actually became massively more engaged in my environment. Moments of boredom or lulls in large group conversation didn't have me immediately looking for something interesting on my screen.   ...and the second I had a replacement phone from a friend I went back to the old habits that found me on the couch with my wife with neither of us talking, just staring at two tiny screens while a 50 inch screen showed something we didn't even care about   /shudder.
  7. liamc2

    Reading Rainbow: TNG

    Having never experienced reading rainbow, I was most confused by your supplied link when I clicked it before reading the URL, is https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/readingrainbow/bring-reading-rainbow-back-for-every-child-everywh what you mean? ;)
  8. liamc2

    Oldies & RPGs

    Honestly I wouldn't mind getting back on board with an RPG. It's been years since I wrote with others (and honestly, years since I wrote). I existed in a different sphere to the rest of the more active oldies, but it would be nice to get some creative outlets happening again, even if it's just a page or two a week. 
  9. Made the mistake of seeing if my old narrative attempts survived the purge. They did. Oh dear.

  10. liamc2

    Wut R U Dooing?

    There must be something in the water. I was in the middle of doing a series of flashcards and memorisation and thought "I should really see how the OB is going"   So, Here I am again, a couple years later. It's nice to see a handful of the original crew are still lurking (forgive me if I don't recognise the avatar name changes ^_^;;) and apparently thriving off the boards. It's strange to think that it's almost been 13 years since I first signed on and how much we've all grown and changed. Not to mention how much the internet has changed. Weird.   Anyhow. I finished up working full time in a Nuclear Pharmacy (now it's just the odd call in job when desperate for cash) and I was admitted into med school. Just prior I proposed to the most wonderful woman on the planet and she agreed to share lives with me. We've been married for a year now and we're doing great. Dirt poor, which blows after I had a few years earning good money for a graduate science position, but I know my chosen path is to be a Doctor and a Radiologist at that. In the end it's worthwhile. Life is good and apart from a hospital scare (turns out I may have spherocytosis) and a bunch of stress with my then fiance and I going long distance through it (she's American and chose to live in Australia with me), I feel pretty blessed to have life turn out the way it did.   Coming back here and checking in is almost like returning home. I may even lurk a bit more before the study guilt crushes me again!
  11. Holy crap. I've been an OB member for a decade?

    1. Gavin


      How time flies eh ?

  12. Whoa. OB got an upgrade while I've been gone. Wait. Where'd my pictures go? :O

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. liamc2


      Just my profile photo, no big deal. I guess I need to be more regular here now that I'm back in Australia.

      From November '08 to November '10 I lived in Germany as a missionary for my church (Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints) and since being home I've been looking for work like a fiend.

      Now I'm a full time Radiochemist for a Nuclear Pharmacy that services Queensland with plans to FINALLY get a book submitted for publishing by the end of the year..

    3. James


      Wow, that's very impressive. Well done! Good to see you back. :-)

    4. liamc2


      It's good to be back. I guess I could probably get some form of new narrative fiction up here again...

  13. liamc2

    Anyone here from 2001-ish?

    [font="Arial Narrow"]Well the anthology has always had its up and downs with reviews and constructive criticism...but this is the website that got me writing in the first place. Aaand the people here nudged me enough to improve my writing (and hopefully keep on improving). I just can't stay away for long :)[/font]
  14. liamc2

    Anyone here from 2001-ish?

    [font="Arial Narrow"] Well you know, we come and go. I've just been poking my head in here and debating whether or not I want to start posting some story ideas again. Looks like OB is still around for all of us. It's been a long time and I've been OB unfaithful (in my defence I've been a little busy these past few years and am going to continue to be busy) but it's like a safe harbour in the intertubes... How the hell are we all? :D[/font]
  15. liamc2

    RPG One Per Minute [MVL]

    [center][IMG]http://syf.250free.com/OPM/blurmet.jpg[/IMG] [/center] [center][FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3][b]One Per Minute[/b] [/FONT][/size][/center] [FONT=Trebuchet MS][center][size=1][i]Absus non tollit usum[/i][/size][/center] [center][b]~~~[/b][/center] [center][size=1][URL=http://www.otakuboards.com/showthread.php?p=757173#post757173]Lost? See [b]The Underground[/b][/size][/URL] [/center] [center][b]~~~[/b][/center] [center][IMG]http://syf.250free.com/OPM/security_door_chain.jpg[/IMG][/center] [SIZE=1]Detective Inspector Randolph Slade stood in the centre of the ransacked living room with his hands in the pockets of his brown overcoat. Blank faced, he pivoted slowly on the spot, eyes taking in all the details of the destruction that had been wrought there. His partner, Detective Inspector Chastity Llewellyn, stood to one side with one of the Constables who were first on the scene to discover the chaos before them. At approximately 2am that morning there had been a call made to the local police station reporting an overheard domestic disturbance. The London-wide fear that had been instilled by the now coined ?Greenwich Incident? and the 32 follow up incidents in the past week had now prompted the Met to have extra constables on duty so as to more quickly respond to claims of domestic violence. There had been a nationwide campaign to renew the ?neighbourhood watch,? and thousands of curtain twitchers and busybodies immediately took up the call. There were hundreds and thousands of reports all over the city of overheard violence or incidents, but in comparison there were only a handful of cases that DI Slade and DI Llewellyn were interested in. The press were cheering at the amount of work that was being done to emphasise safety in the home, but at the same time condemning the Met for not doing more to ?trap the aggressors that feel to take the law into their own hands.? Slade didn?t care about the press or their snide comments. He?d been working long enough to know that the press was never satisfied with whatever the police provided. He quietly believed that, if they captured the Vigilantes tomorrow, the press would focus on why it wasn?t done last month before all of this mess happened in the first place. After that, they?d then go on to condemn the inactivity of the Government in protecting the people against terrorism?or overprotecting. It really depended which way the wind was blowing. He sighed to himself and looked around the room again. Same trademark destruction, animal claw marks in places on the wall?spots of blood on the couch?and then the large pool of blood in the kitchen where the husband had been found dead. ?So the door was closed when you arrived, Constable?? DI Llewellyn asked. ?Yes m?am. Door was locked and we forced entry to find the house in the condition you see now.? Automatically, Slade looked over at the broken front door. The frame was shattered around where the dead bolts had tried to hold their place. Splinters stabbed out where the locks had ripped through the wood when the constables had used the one-man ram to break down the door. He frowned. ?This door wasn?t locked from the inside.? He said, not turning his head. ?Sorry?? Chastity replied, pen poised above her pad. ?Look,? Slade explained, pointing at the door, ?All the deadbolts were locked, correct?? ?Yeah. If you lived in a neighbourhood like this, you?d want them locked and bolted? ?Right. But the security chain wasn?t.? ??I?ll admit that?s odd.? Randolph walked forward, picking his way across the floor without disturbing anything unduly. He tapped a Specialist Crime Directorate Forensic service?s man on the shoulder and pointed at the damaged doorframe. ?I want a close up shot of where the two deadbolts smashed through the frame. Take particular note that bracket for the chain is still attached.? He said, putting on a pair of white rubber gloves. Slade carefully shifted the broken door and inspected the locks. Sure enough there was the dangling security chain, no evidence of stress or strain on where it was bolted into the door. Had the chain been across when the constables forced entry, it would certainly have been wrenched out. ?It doesn?t mean anything, Randy.? Chastity said, almost in a scolding tone. ?They could have just forgotten to put it across. I forget it too sometimes.? Slade didn?t turn around. ?In the past 32 cases, all the locks in the doors had been locked, and the security chain had been put across. It?s not a lynchpin in itself, [I]Chastit[/I]y, but it?s something to keep in mind. I think this man was locked in, not locking people out.? Chastity wrinkled her nose. It was a small jibe at his expense to refer to him as Randy instead of his full name. She could tell when he was irritated when he replied back with her full name, despite her repeated emphasis to call her Chase. ?What else do you see then, Randolph?? She asked, waving the now awkward Constable out of the room. ?There?s no linearity to the destruction in this room. There?s no order to the chaos. It?s like- -like someone just took to it with a baseball bat?? Chase finished, sighing. ?I know Randolph, this whole thing just doesn?t add up. It?s not one of ours but I didn?t want to say anything till you?d thought it out yourself.? Slade stood up straight and walked back to Chase, frowning as he looked around the room again for what felt like the hundredth time. ?I?m willing to bet that the wounds made on our Mr McGee were not made by an animal. These supposed claw marks are too uniform, someone?s just run around and added them willy-nilly.? ?We?ll find out when we get the coroner?s report. Still we?ve got to do a proper job of it. There?s still another officer to interview and the neighbours to talk to before we can stamp this one off as a copy cat,? Chase sighed, closing her notepad and putting it into her jacket pocket. ?I?ll take the neighbours if you want to interview the last constable. We need to tread more carefully with our questions now. I?d say the wife has just moved into a couple flats away with a close friend until the heat is off. They didn?t have a car and her description was out on the transport system less than an hour after the call was made.? Chase looked around again. ?If she did it,? she caught Slade?s look and shrugged, ?If she did it, she?s been planning this for a while. For an almost Greenwich, this is still pretty authentic. Woman has got to be pretty desperate to go this far, especially in front of the kid.? Slade sighed and pulled off his rubber gloves. ?Don?t talk to me about desperate. This is murder, Chase. There is no excuse.? [center][b]~~~[/b][/center] [/FONT] [/SIZE]
  16. [FONT="Papyrus"]I was bored, I have MS Paint and Irfanview, can you blame me? [IMG]http://www.otakuboards.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=26729&d=1224556838[/IMG] "Internal Conflict" [/FONT]
  17. [quote name='PWNED'] [I] Does this mean that we are all hackers for aobut 5 or 6 years?[/I][/QUOTE] [FONT="Papyrus"]Well when you think about it, kids generally rebel in their own way. Considering technological advancement [and how long the internet has been around], it's only natural for teens to be "rebellious" online. I remember reading this article years ago when I was in that 5-6 year period at high school. Back in the day when we used to be able to use MS Frontpage to figure out someone's Hotmail Password XD. It's obviously a joke article, but when I think of the things we used to get up to with the most silly of tools...there is an element of truth to it. [SPOILER]Ha! Just remembered a friend of mine managed to "hack" the school phone system through acquiring all of the extension numbers and wreaking havoc in classrooms everywhere. Most amusing[/SPOILER][/FONT]
  18. liamc2

    Dragonball Movie, due 2009

    [quote name='Katakidoushi'] Your point of view, my friend, is the problem with american cinema.[/QUOTE] [FONT="Papyrus"]Shame I live in Australia. I probably should have been a bit more clear. I'm not saying that this will be a good movie. I'm saying it will be mediocre and will appeal to the common person. Bread and Circuses [SPOILER]to use a quote almost out of context[/SPOILER]. I think it's sad that they've changed things so much to appeal to a broader spectrum of people, especially considering how phenomenally successful the original DB+DBZ was with so many generations. The movie will work for the people funding it. It may be entertaining, it may be bland in comparison to the original anime, it may be bog standard action with all the boxes ticked...but is it really something to go foaming at the mouth over? The fan response I've seen for this teaser trailer on other sites is really quite embarrassing. I don't understand why people are so over the top about it that they feel they need to curse producers and Hollywood back to the dawn of time. IF you don't like the direction of something, fair enough. Stick to the original, you still have your imagination. Many things are being made to movies now, so roughly 1/3 of the cinema audience is going to be upset or offended over how their favourite tale is going to be handled. That's how imagination works, that's why books and comics work and appeal so well. We're allowed a little artistic license. Movies take away that artistic license and put it into someone else's hands, so things will be different. Just because a producer or art team have taken this different [sometimes completely different] take on something doesn't mean that they've slapped you in the face and destroyed hollywood forever. People need to lighten up. It's not your money they're spending, nor are you gambling a sizeable chunk of equity on a producer's ability to draw in a good return. Yes, I don't like it when people take shortcuts [Explosions and sex appeal over solid Plot], but it doesn't mean it's going to hurt me, I can always choose not to watch it. Like it or lump it, this is what DB will look like. There's nothing that you can change about it. Movie is done and in post production. Done. Finished. Before the angry mob lashes me to a pyre and applies the flaming torches, chillax. Just reading youTube comments on the trailer from "fans" whinging about how it looks is enough to make the most rabid among us cringe in shame. By all means express your voice and opinion, but so that it seems that you sleep with a Goku Doona and debate the religious symbolism of the Dragon Balls and Goku's Afterlife and Reincarnation... I can guarantee that, six months after the movie is released and on DVD, you won't even care anymore. Chillax and pick up a good book. Life goes on. [/FONT]
  19. liamc2

    Dragonball Movie, due 2009

    [FONT="Papyrus"]I'm sorry, but if you take the trailer from the perspective of someone who's never even heard of DB before, this is rather impressive. The trailer is set up like any other [admittedly empty and plotless] big-earning "blockbuster." If I switched off my DB memories, the inner teen in me is thinking "man, that movie looks so [i]awesome![/i] Flash cars, guns and things exploding and creepy bad guys!" Sorry folks, but if the marketing campaign keeps up as well as this trailer shows [and they stop pointing out who the characters are], then this may be a modest earner. It won't be anything major because the internet is trying to kill it, but I think we have a "winner." If you doubt me, the first thing that popped into my head while watching it was "Agent Cody Banks." Similar market. Hell, I'd even watch this hack movie...on DVD...simply because it's something mindless and inoffensive [unless you're a hardcore fan]. Face it, it's DB for crying out loud. Any change is an improvement. [/FONT]
  20. liamc2

    What's your style of clothing?

    [SIZE="2"][FONT="Papyrus"]Personally I'm appreciative of more formal clothing. After wearing jeans and a t-shirt for the past three years of University, I've become more appreciative of the world of business suits and shirts. If I had a choice [and the weather weren't so warm] I would wear my tailored Fletcher Jones black suit, Pelaco white shirt and a rather snazzy tie all the time. As I'm getting older, I'm starting to appreciate dressing professionally. I've had a number of meetings and engagements where such attire is required, and I think it rather suits me. Granted, I'm still happy as a pig in mud to kick back in jeans, a t-shirt and a pair of thongs on my feet. [/FONT][/SIZE]
  21. liamc2

    Worst Bloody Movie Ever Made

    [SIZE="1"][quote name='Rachmaninoff']The Golden Compass. I saw it because I was curious (there was a fuss over people trying to get it banned here) but ended up disappointed in it. The actual movie started out fairly well and the steam punk imagery was neat. But it was pretty clear before long that if you hadn't read the book, you weren't going to know what the hell was really going on. So I managed to watch it to the end but it wasn't worth it. At first I though, meh, worth watching once, but the more I think about it, the more I lean towards the thought that it would have been better if I had never seen it at all.[/QUOTE] [FONT="Trebuchet MS"]Motion seconded. I loved the cinematography and the steam punk world that was created... but when I actually reviewed the movie in my head [and smothered the 6 year old in my head cheering for fighting polar bears]...there wasn't much in the way of plot. I'm sure it would be a more significant as a book, but I felt that the scriptwriters just slapped together all the "exciting" scenes and assumed we'd guess most of the deep plot and such by ourselves. It seems that a lot of recent movies are based on SF/F books [yay] but they've been cut short or altered to appear friendly to the movie going crowd, which is a two edge sword. I'm all for awesome and win in a movie, but not at the expense of the script. "The Seeker: The Dark is Rising" is my example. Started of unbelievably well with a convincing example of a believable family, and then it just fell to bits. Christopher Eccleston was completely wasted as a generic badguy, and the plot didn't make much in the way of sense. Things were rushed [ie: The older brother suddenly becoming an evil guy and wanting to kill his younger sibling...and a dozen other things], and there seemed to be large gaps and places where the plot was papered over. Sigh. It's completely put me off actually reading the books... [B]EDIT[/B]: [b]Asphy[/b] Surely you would have known what you were in for? [/FONT][/SIZE]
  22. liamc2

    Oi. I've been gone 20 days too long.

    [FONT="Trebuchet MS"][SIZE="1"] Let me just preface all posts here with a disclaimer:[i] Do not use the internet for health advice. Some people may know what they're talking about, but it's the nature of the human body to express similar symptoms for hundreds of different ailments. Internet = turns people into hypochondriacs[/i] I'm assuming you're physically fit [owing to the nature of your class] but it's entirely possible that your endurance is simply too low. The pain in your side could simply be a stitch. When you reach your limit, you get them a lot. This is not to say that you are unfit. I could barely run a hundred metres in highschool, but I could easily complete my 5k swim squad training without a problem. Different muscle groups tire from different exercises. A good personal trainer can manage your efforts in such a way that you feel completely exhausted but you can move onto a different activity with renewed vigour. Stick it out and do some jogging in your own time. By effectively training yourself you will find that you can run further and longer with less strife. As I said earlier, there are a number of conditions ranging from basic [Nutritional] up to serious problems [Lung/Heart issues...very unlikely :3] and even crazy weird causes like a cyst on your diaphragm causing restrictions to your breathing. Bottom line: Stick it out. Your body will adapt. It's going to be hard for a long time, but after a month there will be a noticeable improvement. If your fatigue continues to be a serious problem, however, you may want to consult your physician : ) [/SIZE][/FONT]
  23. liamc2

    Jobs: What you like to do vs. Money

    [quote name='The13thMan'][FONT="Trebuchet MS"] Hopefully i'll get both with biomedical engineering. I really love science, anatomy fascinates me, and i think engineering is the most practical use of science. And biomedical engineers get payed by the truck load! =P[/FONT][/QUOTE] [FONT="Trebuchet MS"][SIZE="1"] You need to love it to get through the course, that's for sure. Engineering on its own is an exceptionally demanding degree. Maths is killer and assessment will drown the ill-prepared. Combined with a biomedical component it can be especially lethal. Whatever, if you love your maths and physics, then it's a good place to be. Unfortunately, the money isn't in Biomedical Engineering [at least in Australia] until you've been working for quite a while with a number of successes/grants under your belt. Maybe 5-10 years after graduation you'll be earning a respectable sum [or earlier if you luck out into a good private company]. If you do like engineering, most of the money is in Chemical Engineering. A friend of mine was already working in his fourth and final year of study as a cog in a company somewhere, and he was promised a AU$70 000 per year salary when he graduates, within five years he should be up to $100 000 and beyond if he climbs the responsibility ladder. Right. The job I want to do is Radiology. I've wanted to do it since I was a highschool work experience student at a Queensland X-ray lab back in '02. It's a position I found myself growing to love, and by the end of the week I'd decided that I'd make it my own. Science and Medicine are my great loves, so it suits me perfectly. It's also a high demand profession here with almost all hospitals advertising positions, so I'm not going to be without work when I graduate. It also means that there are "Area of Need" scholarships in place to support those that choose an "in demand" profession. As for stress and responsibility, I don't care. After graduation from Biomedical Science I realised that, despite all the hard times, I work harder and faster under pressure. Being a Radiologist is definitely the Profession for me.[/SIZE][/FONT]
  24. liamc2

    Writing Stoked

    [FONT="Trebuchet MS"][SIZE="2"][B]EDIT: Please find the latest update just below the new image[/B] Apologies for updating like this, but no-one's commenting. So yeah >.>;[/SIZE][/FONT] [CENTER]~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~[/CENTER] [FONT="Trebuchet MS"][SIZE="1"]Sorry there was such a delay between posts. I was a little busy. Cheers for the comment. I like having the background but I must admit it's a bit difficult in places. I'm just going to have to use this mostly blank one and maybe insert the images some other way.[/SIZE][/FONT] [FONT="Trebuchet MS"][SIZE="2"]Thane shifted his weight, gently easing the direction of the board as the wave approached the beach. The sun was well and truly out, baking the beach with a heat that forced even the most intrepid of sunbathers to seek shelter in the cool water. Thane cut carefully along the waves, keeping an eye out for any rogue swimmers that had drifted from the red and yellow flags. [I]A beautiful day,[/I] he thought, [I]this is exactly what I needed. The city can be too oppressive; all the work that?s waiting for me can keep on waiting. [/I] Thane dropped down flat on his board and paddled further out towards the next swell. He was one of the only people surfing today, but considering the lack of waves it wasn?t surprising. The wave was closer now, and Thane hunched up, finding his balance. [I]I think I?ll do this until the sun goes down.[/I] Thane smiled to himself and stood,[I] I haven?t had a proper vacation in a long, long time.[/I] There was a roar of a high-powered engine, and Thane turned his head to the noise. [I]What can that be?[/I] Thane thought, peering over his shoulder. There was nothing there, the wave had built up to a decent height and all Thane could see was green water. The engine noise increased and on the edge of his hearing, above the sound of the water, Thane could hear excited whooping and cheering. Thane checked again, crouching low to his board. He could see a dark shadow in the wave, something approaching fast through the water. [I]No way[/I]. Thane thought. Thane was knocked off his board, his head rudely introduced to the nose of the fast moving Jet Ski that had just attempted to mount and jump the wave. His board whipped around on his ankle strap and clocked the driver and passenger, knocking both into the water. The Jet Ski?s powerful motor cut off as the failsafe engaged. The wave swallowed all, crashing into the beach. Thane blinked as he found himself back on his board, still on the same wave. He foundered and slipped, crashing heavily into the water. He surfaced moments later, coughing the salt water out of his lungs and rubbing his burning eyes. His board bobbed merrily beside him. ?Mate, are you all right? We didn?t see you there, must?ve given you a bit of a fright?? Thane hugged his board and looked blearily at the middle-aged man sitting on a fluoro green Kawasaki two-seater Jet Ski. A ten-year-old boy was on the back, inspecting Thane with interest. Thane coughed again and dropped his head onto his wet board in exasperation. ?Daaaad, can we go again?? The boy wheedled. The father looked down at his son, ?yeah all right, in a minute, Dan.? Thane looked up, shifting his board. ?You do know that Jet Ski?s aren?t allowed in the flagged surfing zone, right?? ?Mate, surfing zone?s about fifty metres up the beach.? The man laughed, ?you?re the bugger in the wrong place.? ?Oh.? Thane sneezed, rubbing his nose furiously. The salt water from his dive was tickling his nose something chronic. ?Cheers. I?ll just get out of your way, then.? ?You sure, mate?? The man looked concerned. ?Looked like that board cracked you over the head as you went down. Do you want a lift to shore?? Thane straddled his board, ?I?ll just drift in, I?ll get there eventually. Thanks anyway.? ?All right, if you?re sure.? The man looked back at his son. ?Hold on Dan, here we go!? Thane hugged his board as the Jet Ski?s wake threatened to sink him. [I]Maybe that?s enough for the day, after all.[/I] Another swell passed underneath Thane as he made his way back to the beach. Looking around now, he could see that he was far off course. He only just noticed how close he was to the rocks. ?Hello dear. How?s the surf?? Grandma Stoke was sitting on a collapsible beach chair, underneath an overlarge floral beach umbrella. She was wearing a summer dress that was in fashion when she was younger, and that was oddly starting to become popular again. Thane dropped his surfboard onto the sand, realising that he was paying attention to unnecessary details again. ?Good enough.? He managed, ferreting around in the esky. ?Small enough waves for me to find my feet again. Oh good, the ice has melted?? Grandma Stoke pushed her sunglasses back up her nose and looked back to her book. ?Well someone didn?t close the lid before he went surfing for four hours.? Thane looked at his watch. ?Huh. So how?s the book?? ?Dull as dishwater. I?ve read it once before and it?s amazing how empty the plot is when you already know the twist at the end.? She sighed and closed the book. ?It?s really rather disappointing.? Thane sat down and flicked the gritty sand off his wet can of lemonade. ?Well don?t read it then. There?re enough second hand bookshops around here for you.? Grandma Stoke sighed and put her sunglasses on her head. ?Yes, but they?re run by little old biddies that recognise me and have to tell me their sad stories about their ugly grandchildren, and then I?m stuck there for three hours as they try to sell me a Harlequin Romance novel that I read when I was a teenager. It?s dreadfully awkward.? Thane grinned, trying not to laugh. ?Watch it, you.? Grandma Stoke said, bopping Thane on top of the head with her book. Thane laughed. ?You did choose to live here, Grandma.? Grandma Stoke settled back into her seat and remarked sullenly, ?well that was before all the old people moved in. Now I have to deal with little old biddies everywhere I go, always asking me if I?m on holidays here. I mean, really, I?ve lived here longer than anyone else. [I]They?re[/I] the ones on vacation.? ?Oh of course, I can totally see where you?re coming from.? Thane drank. ?Bleaugh. Sand has to get everywhere, doesn?t it?? Music started somewhere, and Thane realised with dread that it was his phone ringing. ?There it goes again.? Grandma Stoke commented, turning a page. ?That thing has been ringing non-stop since you went into the water. I?ve had to bury it in my towel but it just keeps on getting louder.? Thane scrabbled around frantically. ?Why didn?t you tell me?? ?Didn?t want to worry you, dear.? [I]?Tonight means nothing if we stay...?[/I] ?Oh no,? Thane muttered, wresting his phone out of the tight bundle of towels. ?Gyroscope, that means it?s a private number.? Grandma Stoke looked over her book. ?Does it, dear? That?s nice.? Thane had attributed different music tracks on his phone to different callers. Mostly due to boredom, but now he appreciated the forewarning it gave him before he even picked up his phone. ?Hello, this is DSC Stoke speaking.? [I]?Finally, DSC Stoke. This is Detective Sergeant Andrews. Did you lose your phone??[/I] Thane blanched and had the creeping dread that he was severely underdressed for this conversation. ?No sir.? [I]?Can you explain why you have been unreachable for the past three hours??[/I] ?No sir, sorry sir. I?ve been spending time with my Grandmother and I only just noticed my phone, I?d left it a way aways from me and had not noticed your calls until now.? [I]?I see. Ensure it doesn?t happen again. Have you completed your statement for last night?s event??[/I] [I]Bugger[/I]. ?No sir, I was exhausted after the event and was planning to submit it once back in the office on Monday. This is my long weekend, sir.? There was a heavy, displeased sigh on the other end of the phone. [I]?DSC Thane Stoke, are you telling me that you do not have your computer and Internet access with you? I?m certain you could spare some time from your dreadfully busy schedule and email me a typed statement of the events of Thursday night past. If it?s not too much trouble, I would like to have this resolved before court on Monday.? ?Yes sir, right away. I?ll email it to you before the end of the day.? [I]?If you tear yourself away from the surf right now, I?m sure you could have it to me in an hour.?[/I] The phone clicked. ?Great. Just wonderful.? Thane sighed. ?Sorry Grandma, I?ve got work to do. I?ve got to get back to my computer and submit a statement.? ?Be a dear and take the esky back with you.? Grandma Stoke didn?t look up from her book. ?This just got interesting again. I should be able to manage the umbrella and my chair by myself.? Thane shouldered the battered blue esky and picked up his towel and board. ?Okay then, seeya Grandma.? Ten minutes later, Thane found himself lying uncomfortably on his bed in the guestroom, ignoring his sunburnt back while trying not to incriminate himself in his own statement. [I]??after hearing the shot I ordered Kei Nalren to administer to the wounds of her fiancé Todd. I then investigated and discovered a hole in the bedroom wall, therein I discovered a firearm and ammunition??[/I] Thane paused and said aloud to himself, ?is it [I]wherein[/I] or [I]therein?[/I] Whichin?? [I]?I immediately secured the evidence and detained both members of the household before calling in the incident. The suspect known to me as ?Todd? remained quiet and admitted nothing to me, nor did he make any protestations of evidence to his fiancé, Kei.?[/I] Thane read through his statement a few more times before he was finally satisfied with the truth in it. Feeling safe in the knowledge that he had done his duty (or at least written the bare minimum necessary to justify doing his duty), Thane proceeded to email it to DS Andrews. He again attempted to email it to DS Andrews. ?No reception?? Thane groaned. Thane opened the Telstra diagnostic and proceeded to fiddle. The device continued to attempt to reconnect unsuccessfully. Thane picked up his laptop and wandered out into the living room, shifting the aerial on the PCMIA mobile card. ?Come [I]on[/I] you stupid thing.? Thane nudged open the screen door with his foot and wandered outside, away from the block of units. The device attempted to connect, and announced that he had full reception. Relieved, Thane proceeded to send the email. The signal strength dropped dramatically, announced that he didn?t have a connection, and then announced that his email had been sent successfully. The device announced that it had moderate reception from the Maryborough Next G mobile tower. ?Typical. Ninety-eight percent of Australia Next G network coverage my foot.? Thane sighed and closed the Macbook before heading back inside. Thane sat down on the leather armchair in front of the TV, relishing the feel of the cool leather on his burnt back. He turned on the box and flicked casually through the channels automatically, his mind focused elsewhere. Familiar chords started up again as Thane?s phone started ringing and vibrating its way across the coffee table. He sighed and turned the TV off, almost regretting missing out on the exciting bowls tournament that was on the ABC. ?DSC Stoke speaking.? [I]?Just received your email DSC Stoke. I appreciate the thought, but I?m guessing you forgot to attach your statement.?[/I] DS Andrews said dryly. Thane froze in embarrassment and swiftly set up his computer again while cradling his phone with his shoulder. ?Sorry sir, I?ll email it again now sir.? [I]?Thankyou, detective. I?ll just wait here, shall I??[/I] Thane opened his email client and started the Telstra device again. Blessedly, it decided to work without him having to wander outside again. ?On its way, sir. I?ve been having trouble with the mobile broadband connection here.? [I]?Ahuh.?[/I] There were the sounds of a few mouse clicks and keyboard keys. [I]?The force pays for it all, I don?t see why you should complain about something like that. Besides, from what I?ve seen of your usage reports, your used quota exceeds that of the rest of your colleagues combined.?[/I] Thane said nothing; he could easily envision the wry smile that was already on his superior?s face. [I]?Ah yes, here it is.?[/I] More clicks. [I]?And your statement included as well, excellent. I will review this, detective. And I will see you nice and early next week. I believe you managed to miss a debriefing over this whole situation, so we?ll catch up with that bit of paper work before we start on Monday, okay??[/I] ?Yes sir, no problem sir.? [I]?Drop the ?sir,? son. You?re always too bloody formal.?[/I] ?Sorry, sarge.? [I]?And stop apologising, you?ve got no reason for it.?[/I] ?Sorry[I]- click!-[/I] ?? Thane frowned and put the phone back down on the table, sighing heavily. He turned the TV back on and noted that Australia was just behind England by a couple points. According to the TV guide next to him, the broadcast would go on for another hour or so, plenty of time for an equaliser and eventual comeback by the Australian bowls team. Thane smiled to himself and leant back in the chair. [I]Good enough.[/I] [/SIZE][/FONT] [FONT="Trebuchet MS"][SIZE="1"]Well it's been a month, and I grew tired of the wait. Enjoy.[/SIZE][/FONT] [FONT="Trebuchet MS"][SIZE="2"]Thane woke up to the sound of his phone?s alarm. He opened his eyes and glared at the phone that was now vibrating its way along the table and playing an obnoxious bell noise that he?d grown to hate. ?Shut up.? Thane managed as he squeezed the phone silent. Thane had managed to return to his flat in Brisbane Sunday afternoon and had promptly crashed. He?d recovered a lot of lost sleep, but after sacrificing two meals and water for the rest, he felt disgusting. The shave and shower rejuvenated him. The weather had been getting decidedly warmer, and last night was particularly fierce. The water in the shower was tepid and a shock to the system, but it blasted away the summer?s sweat and discomfort. Thane opened his mouth and tuned out, relishing the cool water. Some time later, the obnoxious alarm sounded again. ?Bah, water restrictions.? Thane cursed himself and rubbed his drowsy eyes as he shut off the taps. There was a moment of hurried awkwardness as Thane tottered around the house and snatched up clothes that he hurriedly re-ironed. He dressed quickly and efficiently while thinking over the day?s agenda. He had a lot of work to do and he was certain he?d be raked over the coals for it. ?Fruit for breakfast,? he muttered as he pulled open his fridge, ?apples are still good.? Thane closed the fridge and finally noticed his reflection in the polished surface of the door. He grunted and ran a hand through his hair to little effect. He shrugged and bit into the apple, hurrying back into his room to collect his work gear and suit coat. In his hurry, Thane neglected to notice the small handwritten note that had been folded and carefully placed on his small kitchen table. He also failed to note his rather unimpressed cat that was sitting impatiently on the balcony. Thane closed and locked the front door. He checked his watch, baulked at the time, and hurried down the steps with his jacket cradled over one arm and his messenger bag held in the other. ?Mr Stoke!? Thane saw the door open mid stride, time slowed as he saw the familiar cane come out and tap the ground angrily. Thane didn?t see the owner, because in the next second he landed and tripped over the stick. His arms flailed out and his fingers scraped along the brick walls of the stairwell. He caught himself on the aluminium door lintel, his face centimetres away from the glass. ?I warn you to not run, Mr Stoke.? Mrs Petrovich shook her cane and hit Thane squarely on the rump while he steadied himself. ?This is dangerous, you could break your neck!? ?I almost did, Mrs Petrovich.? Thane said, he did not add [I]You crazy old bat[/I]. ?Be more careful! You wake up everyone every morning, like clockwork. Even now, your cat, he wakes me up.? Mrs Petrovich gestured angrily, as only a diminutive old lady could. ?He is out my window now, wanting food!? Thane groaned as he snatched up his suit coat. ?I?m so sorry Mrs Petrovich, I went away and couldn?t find him, but I put food out and I?m really sorry. Thanks for looking after him though.? Mrs Petrovich shrugged, ?is okay. He is a good cat, he visits me while you are at work.? [I]That?s where you get to, you greedy guts.[/I] Thane thought, and said out loud, ?speaking of work, I really need to get going. I?m going to be late!? Mrs Petrovich dismissed him with a flick of her hand and slammed back into her flat, grumbling something incoherent. [I]Late, late, late, late. So late. And wow my fingers are really smarting[/I]. Thane threw himself into the car and reversed out, not bothering to lock the tiny garage. As he drove, he squeezed his now intensely painful fingers into a fist. He winced and turned the radio on. [I]Music[/I] Thane thought, and changed channels to FM. [I]More music.[/I] [I]And that was ?White Noise,? off the Living End?s latest album. Coming up this fine Monday morning with the Breakfast Crew, we want to know who would take their Nana with them to the Big Day Out! We have some of the elusive sold out tickets for the Gold Coast and we?ll give them to the most rocking Nan out there. So call in now![/I] Thane rolled his eyes at the mental image of taking his Grandmother at the Big Day Out. She?d probably be more into the music than he would. Besides, he doubted that the ?Breakfast Crew? would appreciate a cop calling up for free music festival tickets. Thane made his way into work, absentmindedly tapping the steering wheel in time with the music. It was early yet, but the sky was bright and it felt to be another beautiful day. He only wished he didn?t have to wear the suit in summer. Plainclothes were better than the uniform, sure, but he always roasted in his suit. By the time he had arrived and parked in the underground lot, Thane?s back was already sticky and he peeled out of his seat as he got out of the vehicle. He gave a furtive look around, and swiftly gave himself a quick spray with the deodorant he kept in the car. ?You?re late, detective.? Thane froze on the spot and subtly dumped the spray back into the car before turning around on the spot to face his accuser. He sighed. ?Mayank, you gave me a heart attack.? He checked his watch. ?And for your information, I?m early.? Mayank grinned, his perfectly white teeth standing out brilliantly from his dark Indo-Fijian skin. ?Early for work, yes. Definitely late for your debrief with sarge, though.? Thane froze, and the colour drained from his face as a wave of realisation washed over him. Mayank raised an eyebrow. He leant forward. He leant back. He waved a hand in front of Thane?s glazed eyes. ?Hey buddy, are you okay?? Mayank peered at him, and then smacked Thane?s forehead with the palm of his hand. Thane started and shook his head, looking around the parking lot. He gave a heartfelt groan. ?What?s up?? Mayank asked in an amused tone. ?I was hoping it was all a dream. Or I was having another moment. Generally I?m forewarned when I?ve made a decision that?s going to kill me.? Thane snatched his belongings out of the car. ?This week is not starting well.? ?Mate, it?s Tuesday.? ?Oh God no.? ?We tried to call you, but your phone just kept ringing out. The sarge left a message that [I]very[/I] politely requested your presence, I just figured you finally got it.? Thane?s brain shifted gears. He stopped and stared hard at his partner. ?Have I mentioned recently how much I appreciate your humour?? Mayank grinned, ?there?s always a first time.? He clapped Thane on the shoulder, ?come on, I?m sure sarge won?t be too unimpressed. I mean, he?s probably too busy to squeeze in an official dressing down.? ?Ahuh.? ?So how was the surf?? Mayank pushed the elevator button. ?Did you enjoy the day off?? Thane put his coat on and tidied up in front of the mirrored walls of the elevator. ?Surf was pretty average, I?m way too out of practice to be showing off on anything impressive.? Mayank nodded and rocked on his feet, ?so?you had another [I]experience[/I]?? ?Jet Ski almost killed me. Except it didn?t.? Thane shrugged and straightened his tie. ?I woke up back on the board and wiped out before it got me.? Mayank nodded again, and noticed Thane?s futile attempts at hair arranging. He made a small disapproving noise and pulled a tiny tub of product out of his suit pocket and handed it over. ?You really need to take more care of yourself, man. You?re too scruffy.? Thane accepted the tiny tub and worked a small amount on his palms and into his hair. Mayank faced Thane and continued, neither of them noticing that the doors had opened, ?I mean, look at you. Did you even shave this morning? You have tiny tufts all over the place. Look, this is how you use that stuff, you only need a little bit- ?Gentlemen, are we quite done?? Both men spun smartly to attention and chorused, ?Morning Detective Sergeant!? DS Andrews was a middle-aged man with an average height and an average complexion. His only distinguishing feature was his completely bald head. He was a man who?d spent most of his life in uniform and had only taken the chance to get into CIB when he realised it meant he could keep decent hours and stay behind a desk. It also meant that the added authority discouraged people from suggesting that he?d look like the Monopoly man if he grew a moustache. He sighed as the duo stepped out of the elevator, ?this isn?t the military, gentlemen. Mayank, get to work. I want you to find where this ?Steve Wilson? lives. Find the connection.? Mayank snatched the tub back from Thane, ?on it, sarge.? ?It?s Detective Sergeant.? DS Andrews shook his head, ?now, this way please DSC Stoke. We need to talk.? ?Understood, sir.? Thane followed his superior into the man?s glass-walled office. He took note of his surroundings as he sat down. The desk itself was uncluttered, the only thing out of place was a poorly made ceramic mug stuffed full of pens. It had a jolly ?Best Dad? carved into the front of it along with what seemed to be a car with a smiling sun above it. DS Andrews followed Thane?s gaze, ?made by my eldest boy. He was so proud when he gave it to me. In his late teens now, won?t look at me twice.? Thane didn?t know what to say, so he smiled in what he hoped was a non-patronising way. ?Right,? DS Andrews said, ?now I?m about to print out your official statement. Before I do this, I?m going to ask you something important.? ?Yes sir?? Thane asked. ?Are you pulling a fast one on me?? Thane kept his face carefully blank, and answered, ?I?m sorry sir?? The Detective Sergeant swivelled his chair from his computer to face Thane head on. Thane ignored how perfectly well the fluorescent tube lighting gave the man an apparent halo on his bald head. ?Son, is this a true and accurate account that you are willing to swear to?? ?Yessir.? Thane remained calm, ignoring his overactive imagination. DS Andrews nodded to himself and printed off Thane?s emailed statement. ?And I?m a monkey?s uncle. You?re telling Furphies, but the Forensic unit agrees with your statement, and I?ll leave it at that.? Thane said nothing, and then wrinkled his nose, ?Furphies?? ?Furphies, slang for a whopper of a story? Named after the water carts used by the troops in World War one? The cart drivers used to spread information as they heard it? Usually wrong?? DS Andrews looked at Thane, ?You know what? Never mind. It?s on you.? ?Understood, sir.? Thane rose from his chair and left the room. He found Mayank a few minutes later, trawling through data on his computer. A number of files were open, Queensland Transport, Telstra billing, Builder?s Blue Card registration forms. ?Hey Thane.? Mayank said, not looking up, ?how?d it go?? ?Fine. I?ve just been given the joys of responsibility.? Thane said, dropping his bag onto his desk, opposite Mayank?s. ?Brilliant. Okay, I?ve found the address of Todd Barnes? best bud and our next suspect.? A name surfaced as Thane dropped into his chair. ?Steve Wilson?? Mayank grinned and printed out a copy of a licence, ?yup. Building labourer like your mate Todd. He doesn?t have a criminal record, only a couple speeding tickets. Interesting thing is, these speeding tickets occurred in the early hours of the morning after two of the first armed heists.? Thane leant forward in his chair. ?So the police stopped him and let him go? Didn?t they notice anything suspicious?? Mayank scrolled down, ?nope. The robbery hadn?t been reported then and I?m guessing they could have said they were late for a building site job. Most labourers start at the crack of dawn so they would have been just another carpool.? Thane stood up, ?okay then. Where to?? Mayank handed over the print out, ?Surprise surprise, it?s Inala.? [/SIZE][/FONT] [CENTER][IMG]http://syf.250free.com/stload/congestionmotorsol.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER] [B][FONT="Trebuchet MS"][SIZE="1"]Again, Please find the latest post below, and feel free to comment.[/FONT][/SIZE][/B] [FONT="Trebuchet MS"][SIZE="2"]There was an argument in the garage over who was to drive the official vehicle. Thane signed out the keys and maintained authority and responsibility over the large unmarked Holden Commodore. Mayank had to be satisfied with being navigator, which meant he set up the GPS system and sulked. ?So what do we know about this guy?? Thane finally asked, as they hit the Ipswich Motorway. Mayank opened the laptop that was fixed in the vehicle. ?Pretty much what I told you back in the office. He?s a general site labourer, nothing interesting going on in his life, though he?s apparently applied for a boat licence.? ?Could be nothing then.? Thane said, not believing his own words. ?At least this guy could give us some answers. I don?t know anything about Todd.? ?We don?t even know where that shotgun came from. Forensic have no idea. It?s been filed as a motorcycle special, but we haven?t any evidence.? Thane nodded. They might as well have filed the weapon under ?miscellaneous.? Mayank continued, ?Steve might not know anything, but he?s bound to be friends with those that do know. We might ruffle a few feathers. Okay, you?ll need to take this exit.? Thane indicated and was about to merge back to the left lane as a large, loud, and fast Holden Commodore screamed past on the inside. ?Son of a- Mayank?s words were cut off as Thane hit the sirens and put his foot down. Lights that had been hidden on the dash began flashing as the siren screamed from underneath the bonnet. Their unmarked vehicle became immediately recognizable. ?This is DS Ahimsa and DS Stoke, we are in pursuit of a beige 1990 Model Holden Commodore, licence plate- he peered closer and groaned- Fox Angel Soldier Trash numeral One. Repeat, FAST1.? [I] ?Acknowledged, DS Ahimsa. Keep us posted.? [/I] Thane grinned and shifted the automatic down into Sport. ?Fox Angel Soldier Trash? Really, Mayank?? ?I couldn?t think of the proper words, alright?? Mayank shrugged. ?They got the message.? Thane put his foot down, appreciating the slight pause in engine noise as the big V8 began to work. He nodded in appreciation as the car picked up speed. ?You?re just jealous you?re not driving.? ?Shut up and catch up to the idiot before he gets himself killed.? As usual, the Ipswich motorway was busy. Thane had his work cut out for himself as he tried to remain patient for vehicles that refused to obey road rules and give him the right of way. More often than not he was forced to fly past on the ample shoulder of the motorway. ?There he is!? Mayank shouted, pointing an accusatory finger at a speck on the next hill. Truck. Hatchback. Truck. Van. Motorbike. Truck. Big Truck. Thane forced his foot even further down as he closed the gap between them and the target vehicle. They were catching up, but only because Thane was pushing an excess of a hundred and sixty kilometres per hour. He?d stopped waiting for cars to make room and had sat in the right hand lane. It seemed people had eventually got the point and he?d had a clear run. Every now and again there was some idiot who felt it necessary to ignore his pursuit vehicle. ?Truck!? Mayank managed, leaning back in his seat. ?I see it.? Thane shifted onto the motorway shoulder again, overtaking another sluggish vehicle. Ahead, they could clearly see the vehicle pulled over on the shoulder with a red Highway Patrol vehicle parked in front of it. [I] ?DS Ahimsa, this is Highway Patrol Vehicle. Be advised we have this under control.? [/I] Mayank breathed again and sat up in his seat, ?Roger Highway Patrol. Calling off pursuit.? He reached over near Thane and turned off the siren and lights. Thane responded by rolling his eyes and putting his foot on the brake. ?GPS says we missed our turn.? Mayank said, tapping the console. ?We?ve just added twenty minutes to our trip, I hope you?re happy.? Thane managed a shrug. ?I don?t like idiots.? ?So you?ve told me.? Mayank let the words hang in the air before he continued. ?Look, this isn?t about- -it?s not.? Thane finished. Mayank knew when to leave well enough alone, and Thane?s face was like thunder. He knew that his partner?s good humour would return after a while?but the sheer weight of silence that clung in the air was crushing him. He played with his wedding ring, as he always did when he was uncomfortable. Time passed and Mayank grew tired of counting the lines on the centre lane. [I] ?Take the?[B]Redbank[/B]?exit in?five?hundred?metres??[/I] Thane mentally shook himself when he heard the GPS speak, ?you know what?? He said, smiling. ?You?d think they?d have come up with a better voice for this system. I mean, with all these pauses, it?s like the GPS isn?t exactly sure where we?re going.? ?Mate, [I]I?m[/I] not sure where we?re going.? Mayank laughed. ?I?ve avoided the Southside my entire life.? Thane turned off the voice on the GPS before the navigator spoke again. ?Didn?t you have a rotation through here?? Mayank grinned, ?I managed to avoid working here completely. I got sent out to the sticks a couple times, but never to Ipswich, or Inala, or Woodridge. The Gold Coast wasn?t too bad though.? ?You lucky devil.? Thane shook his head in disbelief. ?I was rotated through here, and I swear, all we dealt with were domestic disturbances and underage idiots. You see so much of it that you become completely desensitised to the problem. By the end of my stint, I was ready to knock a few domestic heads together until they saw sense. [pindent=1] ?I was called to the same house, at least twice a week, for two months. Neighbours complained about people shouting and having a serious row about something, and then we always arrived to find that a son or a daughter had run away because Mum and Dad didn?t like them being in a gang. Every single week. Drove me up the wall.?[/pindent] Mayank closed the laptop and ferreted around in his bag. ?Gangs a big problem here?? ?No where near the level of the other capital cities, we don?t really have the population density.? Thane turned down another street. ?It?s always been bloody cultural stuff from the start, but now some idiot has decided that it?s a good idea to introduce the Bloods and Crips nonsense from the states.? ?Got it.? Mayank pulled out an arrest and search warrant. ?So this is making trouble? Let me guess, kids that were just being cheeky are now eating up this idea of honour and turf wars?? Thane nodded. ?By the truckload. Doesn?t make sense. It wasn?t anywhere near this bad, and the cultural stuff and islander spirit and whatever is stopping these gangs from really taking over?but kids are still dying from stupid mistakes. All it takes is one idiot and his mates to make the situation a thousand times worse.? Mayank whistled. ?Aren?t you glad you?re investigating armed robberies instead? Really restores your faith in humanity.? Thane smirked. ?Shut it. You know what I mean.? ?Oh for sure,? Mayank said while checking his side arm, ?I?ve got your back, buddy.? Thane groaned. ?Good grief.? Mayank saluted, with his serious face on, ?that?s a big ten four, roger dodger. Over and out.? Steve Wilson?s address turned out to be a dilapidated old Queenslander home that was raised about four and a half feet off the ground. The veranda around the entire house had been converted to extra living space, as seemed to be the style for the area. This conversion gave the building an over all box-like appearance. Combined with the rusty tin roof and poor excuse for white paint, the house painted a picture of a typical low-socio-economic world. As these thoughts trotted through Thane?s head, he felt decidedly guilty. When he was in his teenage years, many of his friends lived in similarly styled houses. He turned the engine off, checked his gun out of habit, and nodded to his partner. ?I?ll do the talking, thankyou.? Mayank said as they climbed over the rusty chain link fence. ?Before you object, I have the paperwork. So there.? Thane stepped onto the path. ?No problem, it?s your show.? Thane followed behind Mayank as he made his way up a set of rotted wood steps, taking care to stand on the bolts that held them to the metal supports. Mayank stood on the top step and knocked heavily on the front door. ?Shave and a hair cut, two bits.? He said to Thane, smiling. There was silence, then sounds of someone grumbling, then heavy footsteps towards the door. Thane noticed the curtain twitch on the glass louvre windows next to him. ?Whatever you?re selling, I don?t want it.? A harsh voice growled, ?I?ve already got religion and I?ve been up since three this morning.? Thane hid his grin behind his hand as Mayank froze. ?Steve Wilson, we are the police. We are not selling anything. We?d like to ask a few questions about your mate, Todd.? Mayank straightened up. ?We just want a couple answers and we?d appreciate your co-operation.? There was silence, and then Steve spoke again, ?alright, fine. Let me get some pants on.? Heavy footsteps made their way back further into the house. Thane rocked on his feet. ?Oh, hey, what phone company is your daughter with?? Mayank shrugged, ?I don?t know. Optus or something. Just don?t forget the chocolate. I like Cadbury Fruit and Nut, for preference.? ?You mean [I]she[/I] likes Cadbury Fruit and Nut?? Mayank leaned to one side, attempting to peer through the window. ?Who cares what she likes? I like Cadbury Fruit and Nut, and I saved your bacon. Make with the chocolate already. My wife?s forbidden me from it, says it?s bad for my health now I?ve reached ?that age?.? He emphasised his point with air quotes and a universal shrug. Thane grinned. Mrs Ahimsa was a dietician. ?So chocolate is okay if it?s a gift?? Thane?s smile faded, he was starting to get a migraine. Mayank checked over his shoulder and looked back at the door in front of him, ?only if it?s inside business hours, and we never mention it to anyone.? Thane swayed, and snapped to attention. ?Move!? Before Mayank could react, Thane had jumped from the steps, one arm tight around his waist. The pair of them landed heavily on the grass and Thane rolled them both underneath the house. The second they had hit the ground, the door exploded. Buckshot and splinters scattered across Steve Wilson?s front yard as the paper thin press-board door was obliterated. Underneath the house, Mayank was livid. ?He just tried to kill me!? He hissed in a vitriolic whisper. ?In cold blood!? Thane groaned, hugging his left elbow. ?It seemed pretty warm when it went all over me.? Mayank had his pistol out and was staring at the floor above him, ?oh, yeah. Thanks for that, buddy.? Thane winced and drew his gun as well. ?Anytime.? A metre to the left of them, the floor exploded and covered them with splinters. Mayank gauged his shot and pulled the trigger. This was met with swearing from above them. Two spent casings dropped down the new opening in the floor. There was more swearing and the sawn off shotgun itself fell through soon after. Thane went to move, but Mayank grabbed him. ?Could be a trap,? he hissed. Thane rolled his eyes. ?He blew the bloody door off, and I become very open to new ideas when that sort of thing happens!? Mayank grit his teeth shuffled carefully on the spot, tugging Thane back and behind one of the wooden stumps that supported the house. ?Now we?re just going to wait here like good coppers until this nut makes a move.? There were a few uncertain steps above them, one foot sounded much heavier than the other. They could hear Steve breathing heavily and cursing as he tottered about above them. Thane glared at Mayank as his partner, again, prevented him from moving. Mayank made an exaggerated ?stay here? gesture with both his hands and an emphatic Look. The door creaked open, a miracle on three hinges. Someone spat, and hobbled down the stairs at a half run. Thane shoved Mayank off, and let the adrenaline bursting in his ears take over. He leapt out from behind the stump and caught Steve with a perfect shoulder charge, landing them both into the bushes. After a halfhearted struggle, Steve allowed himself to be handcuffed. Thane then noticed Steve?s bleeding hand and bleeding leg. Apparently two of Mayank?s bullets had found their mark. ?So kind of you to come quietly, Mr Wilson.? Thane grunted, hefting the man to his feet. [/SIZE][/FONT]
  25. liamc2

    Writing Stoked

    [FONT="Trebuchet MS"][size="2"] [CENTER][IMG]http://syf.250free.com/stload/stokedheader.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER] Detective Senior Constable Thane Stoke sat comfortably at the small rectangle IKEA table in the small kitchen-cum-living room of his dear friend, Kei Nalren. He was ignoring how uncomfortable budget plastic chairs can be, how disgusting his suit was after a full work day in the hot summer sun, and most of all how much Kei’s new boyfriend looked like a man easily picked out of a witness report. Thane measured Todd out the corner of his eye. [i]Just over six foot, well built, shaved head. Had far too much sun, stank of cigarettes, sweat and cheap beer. Facial features matched a number of identikit pictures that had been mocked up for a number of active cases. Kei is head over heels for him.[/i] Thane put down the mental case summary as protective jealousy and far too much time spent in the office. He had spent the past few weeks trying to confirm, with witness and police reports from a number of cases, that there was a rather effective gang behind a number of violent armed robberies. They’d so far moved their way from the suburbs and even struck a 7-11 in the heart of the central business district. Kei said something and Thane forced a laugh, eating another forkful of roast lemon chicken and fidgeting yet again on the hard plastic chair. He really had to leave work behind. “Todd and I have some wonderful news, and we have something important we need to ask you, Thane.” Kei said, reaching for her boyfriend’s hand. Thane was only half listening, too busy trying to negotiate a piece of stray potato onto his fork while trying to avoid looking at Todd’s incredibly tanned face. He really wished he hadn’t worn his work suit. Between Kei’s baggy slacks and Todd’s blue Singlet, he felt like he was on official business. Kei frowned and reached over the table, slapping his forehead. “Oi, are you listening?” Kei demanded, before settling back into her seat. “Todd and I have a very important announcement and we’d like you to be involved, if you’d stop zoning out and thinking about work every two seconds.” Todd laughed and Thane gave a sheepish grin, “sorry, a lot on my mind these past few weeks.” [i]Life could never have been this complicated. Ever since my birthday, this past month has been sheer madness…[/i]he noted to himself. Kei smacked him in the head again. “Ow! Alright, I’m listening!” Thane growled, sitting up yet again. “You have my rapt attention.” Kei smiled. “Well you know how Todd and I have been going out for a while now?” [i]Only two months,[/i] Thane thought, [i]I guess that’s a while.[/i] “Well with me moving in and everything…we decided to invite you over to celebrate for another reason, other than the housewarming I mean…uh. Well..” Kei blushed and looked uncharacteristically bashful. Todd broke in with his gravely tones and finished for her, putting his hand on top of Kei’s. “I proposed to her. We’re getting married!” Thane blinked. His heart stopped, his eyes widened and his jaw slackened. He wasn’t surprised at the announcement; he’d been expecting that to happen for a while now. Kei was a beautiful young girl and a dedicated psychology graduate with a promising career ahead of her as a Team Leader in Child Protection. She was, in his humble opinion, a good catch. She had a bubbly, cheerful, personality that caused many people mistakenly classify her under the stigma of “blonde,” despite her jet-black hair. Those that assumed she was a pushover or a slouch when it came to work were often surprised by her steel core and no-nonsense attitude. Todd was the third guy that had summoned the courage to propose to her. Admittedly he was the first person to show interest in her that wasn’t from a studious background. Being a construction labourer he couldn’t be further from Kei in worlds, but Thane had mused that it was the sheer “blokey” package that had attracted Kei in the first place. All of her previous boyfriends had been university shut-ins that didn’t get out in the light that much. Todd wasn’t an issue right now, apart from the fact that Thane couldn’t remember the guy’s last name. Thane had frozen up in shock because he was having an episode. Ever since his twenty-eighth birthday he had moments where he froze and noticed things. He had thought he’d been having a few too many late nights, too much caffeine and too little square meals, but these episodes had continued to become clear and real. What had been put down originally as instinct and imagination could now no longer be ignored. Despite quitting Red Bull and V, he found his episodes becoming more lucid, and harder to forget. Detective Senior Constable Thane Stoke was staring into the middle distance in a private view of a tiny hell. [i]Kei was standing in the flat’s tiny bedroom, now tidy with everything cleaned away and organised. She was moving the bed again to make room for more furniture. Thane could see the wedding ring with a bizarre clarity on her finger while the rest of the room seemed grey and lifeless, like old security footage. Kei hefted the headboard of the bed again, making enough room for her to stand between it and the wall. From there, she pushed it to the far side of the room. She turned around in time to see a perfect white, flat, rectangle of gyprock wall fall to the floor. Puzzled, she stepped closer and looked inside the hole. Thane watched things become fuzzy as the room jumped, his vision now complete with a cliché timestamp and red recording dot. Todd and Kei were close quarters now, struggling with something. Kei was clearly upset, hair spilling out of its usually neat pony-tail. Todd’s expression was frozen with grim determination as he wrenched whatever they were fighting over. Kei slumped forward and slid down to the floor, her lower back a shocking mess. Kei was dead.[/i] “Thane you stupid idiot” Kei smacked him the head again. “I’m not going to tell you another bloody time, okay?” Thane closed his mouth and shook his head, looking from the still laughing Todd to the seething Kei. [i]Todd killed Kei with a sawn-off shotgun! I need to stop this! I need to do something![/i] “You’re listening? Good.” Kei settled herself. “Todd and I, we want you to marry us. I know you’re a Justice of the Peace, and you have the power to do it. You’ve been my best friend for more than ten years, and I would be honoured-no, [i]we[/i] would be honoured if you would be the celebrant that marries us in the official ceremony.” Kei smiled encouragingly at Thane and asked again, “will you?” Thane smiled, still trying silently not to freak out, “of course, I would love to. I mean, yeah. Anything!” Kei burst into tears, and hugged him, laughing with joy. Todd chuckled and got up; announcing he had celebratory drinks stashed somewhere. [i]I need to tell her, now while Todd is out of the room![/i] Thane opened his mouth to whisper, and blinked. [i]Todd overheard the conversation in the hallway, Kei’s furious cry and protestation, when she realised Thane wasn’t joking. Todd wasn’t going to jail. He had a few mates that’d cover for him and get him a new life out west. Maybe Roma, there was construction happening there. Or even a stint in the mines with a new name. Carefully he put down the bottle of red and went back into the bedroom he’d come out of and shifted the bed, reaching into the hole in the wall for the sawn-off shotgun he’d hidden there. He came back into the kitchen-[/i] Thane broke into a sweat as he felt the sear of the shot rush through him and Kei. Kei broke the hug and sat back in her chair, hands clasped in her lap. “I’m so happy, I could scream!” She laughed and wiped the back of her hand under her wet eyes. “Now tell me what’s been distracting you tonight. You’ve been completely out of it.” Thane was acutely aware of Todd’s gaze as he politely declined the offered glass of red. “I’ve just had a series of hard cases to go through, crazy workload. And I’ve just realised that I have a court case Monday that I need to have paperwork submitted for. I’m going to have to call Mayank now and get him to put it through for me tomorrow because I’m not in. “It’s my long weekend this week and there’s no way I’m showing my head in there on a Friday, otherwise I’ll never get out of there.” “Mate, I know how that feels.” Todd said, leaning back in his chair. “You get in on site to drop off a tool or something as a favour, and the next thing you know you’re laying mortar for a brickie that’s behind schedule and you’ve spent ten hours on site, unpaid.” Thane laughed, “yeah. Can’t say that’s happened to me, but I’ve been snowed under by someone else’s paperwork.” He turned to Kei, “mind if I make a call? It’s got to be private I’m afraid.” Kei rolled her eyes. “You’re still switched on after hours, aren’t you? No wonder you never left the library at uni. You can use our bedroom, it’s the only room with a door apart from the bathroom and I don’t think you’ll get reception in there.” “Cheers.” Thane got up and shook Todd’s offered hand, trying to ignore his reassuringly firm grip and his words of gratitude. “Sorry again guys, I’ll be right back. I’ll be expecting dessert.” Thane said cheekily, poking his head back into the kitchen. “There might be ice-cream in the fridge if you’re gone for less than ten minutes,” Kei called back. “Silly boy.” She sighed and shook her head, smiling at her beloved. Detective Senior Constable Thane Stoke cradled his phone on his shoulder while putting on disposable gloves that he always kept inside his suit jacket pocket. While he had silently grumbled about his work clothes before, the Detective in him was triumphant that he was always prepared. Careful to not make a sound, he shifted the bed carefully across the carpet, noting the now obvious “hidden” panel in the wall. His phone was ringing, trying to get in touch with his partner, Detective Senior Constable Mayank Ahimsa. Thane made a point to never lie; it made court appearances less embarrassing and the paperwork easier to manage. Also he had morals and wanted to uphold the law. But he liked justifying himself with almost amoral reasons so he didn’t feel like he was coming over to self-righteous or a bit of a wanker. Possibly this reveals more about DSC Stoke than what he would like people to know. “Gotcha.” Thane muttered, pulling the ugly looking double-barrelled shotgun out of the hole. [i]“Got who, Stokey?”[/i] Mayank sounded as though he’d just been woken up, which he had. “You’ll know soon enough. It’s nothing good, either.” Mayank yawned. [i]“Why are you whispering?”[/i] “Thin walls and I’ve confirmed evidence of illegal firearms in Kei’s fiancé’s flat” Silence. [i]“Kei’s getting married? You told me she was open to the idea for a little Indian brown rice.”[/i] “First of all, there’s something wrong with you. You’re married with kids. Second of all, your Indian brown rice, as you put it, is outclassed by her current steak and two veg. Thirdly, you’re ignoring the issue.” Thane hissed while delicately removing the two shells from the shotgun and the other six he had found in the hole. [i]“Why are you telling me? Arrest the guy already. You’ve still got your ID if I know you well enough.”[/i] Mayank yawned yet again. [i]“You do know I’m on an early tomorrow, right?”[/i] “I tried that-was going to try that, rather. It didn’t go down so well.” Thane winced, knowing how his colleague had responded to the first time he summoned the courage to mention his episodes to him. [i]“Dude, that is so awesome. Did he like shoot you? Did you get phantom blood?”[/i] Thane sighed and placed the piece of gyprock on the floor, as if it had just fallen there by itself. The bed had been shifted carefully to one side and luggage placed carefully. Anyone who walked into the room could easily assume that Thane had stumbled across the little cache by himself. From the amount of tiny bedpost imprints on the carpet it seemed that the bed had been relocated frequently. No fingerprints, covered. [i]“Didn’t answer me. Seriously, phantom blood? Got to be better than that homeless guy you “knew” was a witness that would testify.”[/i] “No phantom blood, but I did snap out of it when I felt the hot lead shot enter my vital organs” [i]“Wicked. Oh, I sent two plainclothes officers in vests around to pay a little visit. Frantic call about a shot heard in your area. I can get SERT on standby if you want me to?”[/i] Mayank was completely professional now, his tone completely denying the fact he was an utter child. “Shouldn’t need them. Don’t want to draw too much heat from the higher ups over this. Just in case there’s an inquiry.” Thane blinked and took in what Mayank said. “What do you mean by there’s a report of a shot heard in my area?” [i]“Your flat even, the witness was quite specific from a private prepaid phone. You owe my daughter a new SIM card, by the way. And a slab of Cadbury for services rendered. You’d better get moving. Oh and I have it here you reported promptly five minutes after the first emergency call, owing to how long it took you to discover the source of the shot."[/i] “I finally got through to you Detective! Can you submit those forms I need for court on Monday? No, the other ones. No I don’t need that at all, just what I’m asking for. Great. I’ll see you Monday.” Thane called out loud enough to be heard outside the room, and added in a harsh whisper, “You idiot, you have no idea what I have to do now.” [i]“Kisses. I know how the system works better than you do. You’ve got about four minutes. Kay, thanks, bye!”[/i] Thane hung up and looked around the room. [i]Heat higher up. Lights?[/i] He looked up at the large lampshade above his head. [i]No…that’s just stupid. Got to be logical. What idiot hides bullets from his girlfriend in a ceiling light lamp above their bed?[/i] Thane looked back at the hole and noticed the power point below it, and had a flash of real inspiration. He fussed frantically in the hole with the ammunition and wires before silently resetting the board and bed. He called out while removing his gloves, “hey Todd, you might have rats or something man. Something’s scrabbling around in here.” “Yeah, we can hear them moving around in the kitchen, I was hoping they hadn’t got to the bedroom again.” Todd called back. [i]I’m doing this too well; he’s not expecting anything. Surely I don’t sound that honest?[/i] “Rats? In our bedroom?” Kei shrieked, “you told me there weren’t any in the place, you said you got it fixed!” Thane stepped out of the bedroom far enough to be seen by Kei in the kitchen, and reached back, slamming the bedroom door shut. He heard the muffled crash in the room he was hoping for and grinned at the silent couple. “Now that I have your attention, come on guys. You’re almost newlyweds, we can’t have you bickering now.” Thane sat back down at the table, “I believe you said you had ice-cream for me?” [i]Come on, come on…[/i] “You were lucky. There’s a little vanilla left.” Kei set three bowls down and served out the ice-cream. “I don’t have any caramel topping but there might be some chocolate?” “None for me thanks, love.” Todd grabbed his bowl and nodded to Thane, “so what is it like being a copper?” Thane blinked, his mouth dried. He saw the results, and swallowed to reply carefully, “it can be rewarding.” There was a loud crack of an explosion as the first shell was set off by the wires Thane had carefully stripped, exposed and placed so as to perfectly catch at least one of the falling shells. The brass covering of the base of the shotgun created a bridge between the wires and began to heat up. It was enough, the shell exploded and the shot scattered as it was supposed to. Unfortunately, the shot had landed facing the kitchen. Thanks to a support beam a large amount of the lead was deflected, but the rest made it to the kitchen, hitting the ceiling, the refrigerator, Todd’s shoulder, the microwave, and Todd’s lower back. Thane felt the shot brush his ear lobe and realised with some bizarre euphoric calm that he had survived possibly the most ridiculous way one could die from a gunshot. Kei was unharmed, but freaking out over her crazy fiancé. Thane told her to use her basic first aid training to staunch the bleeding, while he investigated and called the police. “This is absolutely insane.” He called out to Kei, while retrieving the shotgun and shells from the hole. The uniformed police arrived ten minutes later, and it wasn’t until he had given his statement and Todd had been taken away for hospital treatment and probable prosecution for a spate of armed robberies, that Detective Senior Constable Thane Stoke added to himself, [i]and I absolutely love it.[/i] [/FONT][/size]