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[SIZE=1][COLOR=DarkSlateGray][CENTER][CENTER][B]Crimes of Hate [M-LV][/B][/CENTER]

[CENTER][U]Part One-[/U][/CENTER]
Warm breath quickly turned to steam on a brisk Saturday morning just on the outskirts of the OB?s largest city, Otaku Lounge, also known as n00b Central. One of the detectives shook his head solemnly as he stared at the brutally beaten corpse sprawled on the snow, a slow crimson flow marring the once serene beauty of this peaceful field. The detective looked to his partner as she crouched to take a closer look at the corpse, careful not to disturb the area more than necessary.

[B]?This is brutal, Seraphim.? [/B] She muttered. Seraphim dipped his head in muted agreement, clenching his fists in his deep pockets. [B]?CSI will be here soon.? [/B] It was the first time he had spoken since the pair arrived at the scene. This case had shocked him more than usual, not that he would let his partner sense it, he was the lead and she was the follower, if he let that slip the good working relationship that they had would no doubt crumble from underneath them. [B]?Ezekiel.? [/B] His voice was calm but quiet, his usual tone of humour lost to the seriousness of the situation. Winter dampened everyone?s spirits, as did a violent murder.

Ezekiel stood, a few snowflakes had settled in her red hair as it blew in the frigid breeze. She looked at Seraphim who immediately turned his gaze to the custom black Audi that they often used for crime scene visitation. [B]?You need a coffee.? [/B] Seraphim nodded stiffly as his fellow detective placed a reassuring hand on his shoulder. [B]?Goddess will be here soon?? [/B] Ezekiel nodded in affirmation and continued toward the car. Goddess was one of, if not the best, Medical Examiner in OB and she knew it.

[B]?You wonder why they do it.?[/B] Ezekiel?s voice held no question as she slipped into the driver?s side, slamming the door a little harder than usual. She was making a statement; no one knew those kinds of answers. [B]?A helpless New Member like that, I mean, what?s there to gain? Probably had no more than ten posts to her name, wouldn?t have any real valuable possessions?? [/B] Seraphim cut her short, his tone cold and angry, [B]?I fucking hate Elitists.?[/B]
News spread surprisingly fast around the OB. This, the third New Member homicide to occur within a month, had horrified many. Everyone knew it would happen, that deep-set hatred that resided in those known as Elitists. The Members who would see a new entrant and cringe. The ones who would move if a New Member entered the neighbourhood. These facts made it certain that, sooner or later, one of them would carry out a perverted act of 'justice'.

The problem with the OB was the system that had existed for decades had stuck firm, New Members would have to wear an armband that could only be removed by the OB New Member Registration Office (NM Reg.). After fifty days of residing within the OB, a test was taken on the General Rules. If a suitable grade was attained, the member?s band was removed and they would be allowed to live in safety within the centre of the OB. However, if one did not reach the minimum grade acquired for full membership they were sent away with a red band firmly attached to their right arm. A band that screamed ?failure? to other members.

In another fifty days they would take the test again?if they were still around. That?s where to problem arose, Elitists would see these people and view them as unworthy and they became the targets, the victims of vicious hate crimes. It was up to the OB Central Security and Police Department to keep the crimes at a minimum but that was proving to be increasingly difficult.

One detective that found the job especially draining was Seraphim. Maybe it was the idea of weaker ones being wiped out. Harsh reminders of the Holocaust would sting his memory. Ones who killed in the name of class and superiority were cowards, and Seraphim [I]hated[/I] cowards.

Ezekiel sat across the white tabletop from him, her hands gripped around a warm coffee mug. Seraphim had ignored his coffee, no matter how much he needed the boost his stomach was too knotted to stomach anything. Previously, Seraphim had worked with Narcotics and never imagined he would become a high-ranking detective in the Homicide Unit. Ezekiel was a good partner and helped him through, but he still felt queasy at the site of certain crimes?like those of a murdered child, and brutally assaulted women. Ezekiel could stomach all this, she had been on the job longer than he had and had aspired to be a Homicide Detective since she was a teenager, or so the rumours said.

Seraphim shook his head slightly [I]?Pull yourself together?[/I] he reminded himself, deciding to break the awkward silence. [B]?Know how long the ID will take?? [/B] it was a stupid question but it had the desired effect, at least now the room wasn?t claustrophobic from the closing silence. [B]?I doubt it will take long,?[/B] Ezekiel answered, taking a sip of her coffee, [B]?The face is pretty much intact and fingerprinting will be simple. I?ve already sent a photo to the people at NM Reg. They promised to get back to us as soon as they got the results.?[/B]

Seraphim stayed quiet; drifting off into his own thoughts again, glad that both he and his wife were well respected members, close with the people right at the top. He scoffed and Ezekiel looked up questionably.

[B]?Fuck respect??[/B] with that, he left for the morgue to see if Goddess was ready for the autopsy, leaving his partner shaking her head tiredly.[/CENTER][/COLOR]

[LEFT]Well, hey, where did this go? I?d been thinking for a few days, as I suffered through some god-awful illness, that I should be writing. I thought it was about time I wrote the new instalment of COH, but then realised that the last time I updated it was February last year. So I thought a new thread would be perfectly acceptable. (At least, I hope so.)

[B]To those who didn?t read this when it was first written:[/B] This was my first, and only, attempt at an OB based story when they were all the rage. I wanted to go for a new angle, trying to be as serious as possible in contrast to Dragon Warrior?s extremely popular parodies. With my love of murder novels and crime series, a macabre and (hopeful) suspense filled murder story seemed to be my best and only option. As always, I love people?s input and once again will be looking for people who want to appear in the story.

[B]To those who?ve read this before:[/B] As you can tell, I?m currently only re-writing the first six sections that I originally wrote. I think this first part is one of the best pieces of writing I?ve done ever, so there wasn?t really much I could change. Things like usernames and certain grammatical things was the only editing it needed. However, I did write a couple of weak chapters that served as ?fillers?, which I hope will be much more improved when I re-write them.

Anyhow, whether you are new to this or well acquainted, I do hope you enjoy. Thanks very much for taking the time to read.

[B]Note-[/B] I?ll include a list of members who are a part of this story, just so people can keep track. Some names I shortened because it?s just?easier that way.

Unborn Lord Xion?Xion/ULX
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Haha! I love it! That is awesome, I love the story you've got going here, with the whole waiting fifty days thing and the elitest bastards. This seems really interesting and really cool, I love OB parodies, but this one is the first one I've seen to successfully be serious, and I like that (I like the funny ones too, but it's nice to mix it up once in a while, knaamean?)
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[size=1]Oh wow, I never saw the first series--of course, it would be over-shadowed by the more light and fluffy parodies.

However, I'm pleased someone is taking a parody into the darkest corners of OB memory. There was a time a couple years back where "Elites" were very active and arrogant--I was one of them. Ironic, no? It wasn't as brutal, mind you, but there was that sense of "I am an Elite; you have nothing on me." for a short while.

And the waiting period to be a "member" was a nice touch; that also brings back memories, lol. So, in a sense, this is sort of Memory Lane Gone Bad, lol. I love it; and I love my position in the story ^-^

I want to see more, da'ling.[/size]
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[color=DarkGreen][font=Trebuchet MS]Yay, it's back! I think the original Crimes of Hate was the first Anthology thread I ever really got into, so this brings back memories. It occurred to me a couple of times since you stopped writing them to just go ahead and ask whodunnit - now I don't need to, assuming this one'll continue to the end.

I think you're the only person that's really attempted a [b]serious [/b]'OB members in a story' thread, so there isn't much to compare to, but you definitely pull it off. Your writing style is still very much in keeping with the genre - the kind of pared-down prose my creative writing tutor keeps telling me to write, not a word wasted, heh. I mean, this passage isn't particularly long, but you've already firmly established the world we're working with, the main traits of the two main characters and a really appropriate, film-noir type atmosphere of world-weariness.

The one thing I would say (and here I assume you're inviting constructive criticism ;)) is to beware of 'info-dumping'; that is, placing the scenario-establishing stuff in a paragraph of information, rather than letting the reader discover it through the characters' journey through the world you've created. I think it's absolutely necessary in this kind of 'serialised' fiction, though - the first chapter needs to allow the reader to see the world, and that's difficult in such a small space. I think it's a rule you've consciously bent to fit the format you're writing in, and that's a skill in itself. Can't wait to see what you've done with the other chapters!

[size=1] +[ EDIT ]+
I just noticed the Bikini Bandits are on their way back too ... is time cyclical on OB? Or did everyone make new year's resolutions to revise their old Anthology work? Maybe I should join the trend and rework Less Than Hero.[/size]
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[SIZE=1][CENTER][COLOR=DarkSlateGray][U]Part 2[/U]
Goddess stood in the morgue, quietly looking at the corpse laid out in front of her on the cold, steel table. Her table, her territory. This place was her domain and anyone who entered was well aware of the fact. She had laid down the rules long ago and it would be hell for anyone who broke them. Many good cops kept an awed respect for Goddess and that was something that she had built up to perfection. A Queen is not easily taken from her throne; Goddess was not toppled from her steel fortress of respect.

Her assistant, Jokopoko, stood by the tray of equipment at the side of the table and rechecked that they were perfectly clean and in order. Goddess snapped her mask over her mouth and pulled on milky white latex gloves, the talc puffing up gently before she prepared to delve into the most obvious injury, a heavy blow to the right side of the ribcage. With her scalpel poised, Goddess heard a sharp knock on her door. She turned to see the obviously exhausted face of Detective Seraphim. [B]?Seraphim, I thought you weren?t going to make it. Where?s Ezekiel??[/B]

[B]?Obviously not with me.? [/B] Was Seraphim?s cold reply. He crossed the room to stare at the corpse in front of him, Goddess throwing her hands up in defence, [B]?Didn?t mean to hit a rough spot, what?s up?? [/B] Seraphim drew in a ragged breath and shook his head; some loose strands of hair falling in front of his eyes. [B]?Sorry, Goddess, I just can?t stand these hate crimes...?[/B] Goddess nodded and patted his back quickly, [B]?Probably best if Zeke isn?t here, in that case.?[/B]

[B]?Ready?? [/B] Seraphim quickly moved Goddess on but she decided to over look the obvious change of subject, handing a mask to Seraphim. He snapped the elastic once and placed the mask over his face, watching with the same hidden disgust he always bit back as Goddess began to probe the wound for any evidence.

[B]?Nothing spectacular,?[/B] she muttered, [B]?just some red flakes, most likely paint.?[/B]
[B]?Think it was a tool of some sort??[/B] Seraphim questioned, keeping as far away from the body as possible. She shrugged as she took the tweezers from Jokopoko, dropping the flakes into a shallow dish before answering, ?[B]Most probably, it was a heavy one, no doubt. Look here.?[/B]
[B]?Do I have to??

Goddess signalled to her assistant and he nodded, reaching for two clamps. He passed one to Goddess while gripping the skin and muscle closest to him, pulling back to open the already gaping wound. Goddess clamped her side and repeated the process, revealing shattered bone, seeping wounds on the muscle lining and a large open tear along the lung, a piece of jagged rib jammed into it.

[B]?No doubt that was the cause of death.?[/B] She pointed to the lung and shook her head. [B]?Her lungs would have filled with blood and body fluids, she drowned slowly and painfully from her own liquids.?[/B]
[B]?But all these other injuries??[/B] Seraphim whispered in slight shock, starting to fully realise the full extent of the young woman?s beating.

Goddess shrugged and didn?t raise her gaze from the corpse, ?[B]I can?t be certain which was the first or final blow as of yet,? [/B] she paused and turned to Seraphim, looking him sternly in the eyes, [B]?But I?m certain that the perp Continued to beat her after she was dead.?[/B]
Goddess went on to point out the clear marks of injury to the skin but the lack of bruising that should have occurred, this, she explained, was due to the fact that her heart would have stopped pumping and the blood would have stopped flowing. That was all Seraphim heard; he felt his own blood pounding in his eardrums, an inexplicable rage brewing in his chest, his heart pounding viciously at his ribcage.
?[I]What was it like??[/I] He thought, looking at the Jane Doe on the table, [I]?To know that you would die and you couldn?t stop it??[/I]

He looked at Goddess who had stopped talking and was staring intently at him, [B]?I think you should go home, I?ll e-mail my findings to you by eleven tonight.?[/B]
Ezekiel blinked sleep from her eyes and glanced at her watch, discarded on the cluttered desk beside her laptop. The screen was practically blank save for a couple of sentences quickly typed out in MSWord, the multiple spelling errors evidence of her fatigue. Something had woken her up, and whatever it was would get it?once she found the damn thing. The detective stretched and winced as her spine popped before she slumped back to the desk and groaned, not looking forward to the report that she had to finish for the next day. It was only 9 o?clock and yet she was exhausted.

[I]?That?s what you get for staying back for the job??[/I] she thought, shaking her head. Lately there had been a lot of cases that had screamed for her attention and Ezekiel was not a woman who ignored her duties, even if it did push her a whisper from insanity. She rolled her shoulders and noticed her cell, it?s screen flashing blue. Someone had called her, which was what woke her up. She fumbled for the phone, her brain too tired to bother with the extremities of fingers. After managing to flip the phone cover, she had one missed call and a message. First she checked her voice mail and groaned as she heard the voice down the receiver. It was Sean, a well-known reporter in the OB. He wasn?t one of those spiteful reporters that everyone avoided but he did have a knack for calling at the most inappropriate of times.

Next she checked the message, Sean could wait until tomorrow for the two-sentence statement that she always gave him this close to the crime?s occurrence. When Ezekiel saw who had sent the message she almost dropped her cell, her heart thudding loudly. She gulped and opened it up, a simple message of ?I?m back in town, I?ll drop by tomorrow.? Was on the screen in clear black print. She shook her head clear and closed her laptop, grabbing for her keys and bag. She could finish the report at home in the comfort of her own office, a glass of Port Wine to keep her company. She wasn?t ready to face him again, not while she was so worn out.[/COLOR][/CENTER]

First of all: Thank you, thank you, thank you for your input guys, I really do appreciate it. I hope this version COH is as popular as last time, because it had developed a nice little following.

[B]Raiyuu[/B], you?re comments, as always, are extremely loved. You confused me in that paragraph about writing styles because me+basic English rules and techniques? Right over my head. I see where you?re coming from, though, and will certainly keep it in mind. Also, if you'd had asked me about who was the murderer, I couldn't have told you because I had no idea myself. I never write with a plan, which makes it more interesting. To quote Stephen King, 'It's like I'm the book's first reader.'
Oh, and:
[QUOTE]I think it's a rule you've consciously bent to fit the format you're writing in, and that's a skill in itself.[/QUOTE]

Yes. I did it consciously. >_> <_<. *cough*

Hope everyone liked the chapter.[/SIZE]
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[color=DarkGreen][font=Trebuchet MS][quote name='Ezekiel][/font][/color][size=1][color=DarkSlateGray]...Ezekiel was not a woman who ignored her duties, even if it did push her a whisper from insanity.[/color][/size][color=DarkGreen'][font=Trebuchet MS][/quote] Hey, I remember "a whisper from insanity" from the last version! A really nice turn of phrase, that; it's always refreshing to see words used in a way you're perhaps not expecting. Although, technically, having read it before, I [i]was [/i]expecting it ... ?

I also like (if like is the right word?) the detail you put into the descriptions of the autopsy. Again, it fits well with the genre not to hold back from giving us the gory details.

Haven't decided who the murderer is, eh? Maybe we should start a sweepstake. Got theories, anyone? :p
[quote name='Ezekiel][/font][/color][size=1][color=DarkSlateGray]She rolled her shoulders and noticed her cell, [b]it?s [/b]screen flashing blue.[/color][/size][color=DarkGreen'][font=Trebuchet MS][/quote] That should be "[b]its[/b]". Meh, I can't find anything to criticise so I'm being picky. Stupid English language and [b]its [/b]refusal to have easy grammar.
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[Color=DarkBlue]It's great to see this back up again. I really enjoyed reading CoH the last time around and I was disappointed when you let it and your other mystery story die.

I'm not sure how much has changed, but it almost seems like the last scene in the morgue was more detailed than last time around. Either way, I'm really grooving the ReMake and I'm all in for it not dying.[/color]
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[SIZE=1][COLOR=DarkSlateGray][CENTER][U]Part 3[/U]
A blizzard had kicked up, making travel around the OB practically impossible. A young man in his mid-twenties sat at the wheel of his navy BMW, an expensive car for one so young. His fingers tapped absently at the black leather steering wheel, his head bobbing to the base of an old rock song. Work was never stressful for Sean; he made sure that it wasn?t. Finally the snow-plough ahead moved, revealing a passage through the white banks of snow so that Sean could continue on his way, now only a few miles from his destination.

The beep of his cell alerted his attention and he switched off the radio before taking the call. [B]?Why hello Miss. Ezekiel, so nice of you to call.?[/B] His voice was smug and he could hear the irritation in the detective?s voice, last time he had seen her she had come close to quitting her case.

[B]?I didn?t call you for small talk, I saw reports of the storm. Are you still coming??[/B]

[B]?I wouldn?t miss this for the world.?[/B]

[B]?Damn, I thought you?d say that.?[/B]

Sean chuckled and accelerated, pulling around the corner to see the large concrete mass that was the OBPD and Central Security buildings. Ezekiel sighed down the receiver, obviously having looked out of her office window.

[B]?I?ll meet you in the foyer.?[/B] Then the line went dead. Sean switched off his phone and pocketed it as he unclasped his seatbelt, slamming the car door shut. He walked towards the front gates and was greeted by a serious Security Guard; Sean nodded curtly and walked inside, showing his press-pass to the secretary at the front desk.

[B]?Ah yes, Mr Sean. Detective Ezekiel has asked for you to be shown to the conference room, please follow me.?[/B] Sean followed the woman, his hands buried deep in his pockets. The building was magnificent; James certainly went all out on it. Large paintings adorned the walls, sculptures on every corner and various awards all added to the character of what could have been a cold and depressing building.

The sound of a door opening pulled Sean back to attention and he saw the face of Ezekiel, eyes sunken and grey from a night of hard work. She nodded to the secretary and smiled weakly,
[B]?Thank you, Mimminx. Could you please deliver this report to Shy ASAP??[/B] Mimminx nodded and took the brown envelope, nodding to Sean as she shut the door behind him.

The detective let her gaze settle onto Sean?s young face, it was quite obvious that she wasn?t in the mood for pesky reporters. [B]?Before you start I want to make it clear that I am not the lead in this case and that DI Seraphim will be the one who gives to the final statement, understood??[/B]

Sean nodded and sat down at the large oak table, a coffee already prepared for him. [B]?Now, let?s get down to business.?[/B]
Seraphim sat at a modest table in his kitchen, knowing with some satisfaction that he did not have to be out in the awful weather. Goddess had e-mailed the full autopsy report to him the night before just as she had promised and even now he was just finishing the grim task of reading it.
Multiple lacerations to the back and shoulders. Hairline fracture to the right temple. Bruising on the wrists and ankles shows victim was bound before death.

So it continued, a myriad of injuries and wounds to one woman?s corpse. It wasn?t just a murderer they were dealing with, it was a [I]madman[/I]. Seraphim sipped at his orange juice, draining the glass. He suddenly found that his mouth had gone dry; this wasn?t the kind of thing he needed to wake up to.

The soft fall of footsteps on the stairs caused him to look up and smile. Hevn walked into the kitchen and paced over to him, planting a kiss on his forehead. Sleep was still eminent in her eyes and she stretched before popping some bread into the toaster.

[B]?Sleep well??[/B] Seraphim asked, tucking the report back into its folder. Hevn always asked that work stayed at the office, he told her that it was near impossible but he could at least try. [B]?Not really.? [/B] She replied, sitting opposite him.
[B]?I had a bad dream.?[/B]
[B]?Oh??[/B] Seraphim leaned over and took her hand, playing with her fingers gently in an attempt to soothe her.
[B]?It was horrible and so realistic.?[/B] She continued, [B]?A body had been found in a back alley and you were there, leaning over it. You were crying and blood was on your hands. I don?t know??[/B] she stopped and shook her head, fixing a tired smile onto her face. [B]?But this isn?t the kind of thing to talk about over breakfast.?[/B]

Seraphim nodded and smiled back, even if it didn?t go to his eyes. Having bad dreams was one thing, but something like that? It was worrying.
[I]?Maybe the job is just making me paranoid.'[/I] Seraphim laughed to himself, [I]?That must be it??[/I][/CENTER][/COLOR]

As JJ pointed out, not much has really changed with these chapters. The only thing I?m doing with these early ones is editing certain words, grammar and the ilk. Not much of the main story is changing as of yet.

I know I?m updating this quickly, but I want to get to the point where I left off as soon as possible, so that those who already know the story can finally find out what?s going on.

Thanks for the comments, guys, keep ?em coming.[/SIZE]
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[COLOR=SlateGray][SIZE=1]I've gotta say, this Crimes of Hate is much better than last time, and last time it was great. I can't wait to see what happens next, and I especially can't wait for my introduction (subtle hint liek whoa). Keep up the excellent work, babe.

...And, that's really all I had to say. *shame*[/SIZE][/COLOR]
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[COLOR=DarkSlateGray][SIZE=1][FONT=Comic Sans MS]Hehe! A good mystery/murder story after spending a rather long 7 hours on a Biology report that happened to be about Forensic science sure is....rather intresting and enjoyable at the same time. Mystery, in my book, is right up there with my love for Sci-fi. Yet I still don't know which one would place first. Yet the idea overall I must give you some props to Ezekiel. I wasn't here to see the first part of these stories, however they still must have been rather impressive if they were anything like this.

Those poor new members never stood a chance..[/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR]
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[color=navy]*glomps Jamie* I'm so glad you've started [b]Crimes of Hate[/b] again! I loved the first version so much, I was very, very, very sad when you stopped writing it.

I don't know what else to say. It's just such a great story you've got going here, I can't wait until you've caught up to where you left off. (I can't wait until my appearance either *smiles*) You're a great mystery writer and can really pull people in. Let's hope [b]Crimes of Hate[/b] regains its cult following, eh?

[size=1]Okay, so maybe it wasn't a [i]cult following[/i], but it did have a fanbase...[/size]

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[SIZE=1][COLOR=DarkSlateGray][CENTER][U]Part 4-[/U]
The afternoon came, a promising ray of light spreading itself over the Otaku Lounge. The scene was breath taking, the snow around the OBPD building was untouched, no footprints to spoil the perfect white coating that covered the usually ugly tarmac. On a day like this it was hard not to smile, the blizzard of the morning had cleared and all was right with the world. Unless you worked in the Police Force, evil was damn near impossible to escape then.

The sound of a car door slamming shut echoed around the near empty parking lot. A young man with a handsome face and grey, unreadable eyes stepped away from the vehicle. His hair was pulled back in a loose ponytail, a sore attempt to make himself presentable for the day, the sign of a true bachelor. He pocketed his keys and pulled the collar of his coat up before making his way through the large glass doors to greet Mimminxnx.

She looked up and was slightly taken aback, smiling as she saw the man enter. ?[B]Dr. Xion, how good it is to see you again!? [/B]
He smiled and nodded, striding over to the front desk to shake the woman?s hand. [B]?Yes, it?s been a while,?[/B] he chuckled, [B]?It?s good to be back again.?
?Which case is it you?re working on??[/B] Mimminxnx enquired, sitting back down behind her keyboard.
[B]?Ah yes,?[/B] Xion reached into his pocket and pulled out a crumpled slip of paper, [B]?Case No. 004, a Jane Doe found two days ago.?[/B]
Mimminxnx?s hands sped across the keyboard and she pulled up the case file, setting it to print, [B]?That would be Detective Seraphim and Detective Ezekiel?s case.?[/B]
Xion coughed and leant on the desktop, taking the first few sheets of report, ?[B]Zeke??[/B] His voice was calm, casual as always, another addition to the young Doctor that made him unreadable. Mimminx nodded and handed the rest of the papers to him along with an envelope. He scrawled ?Case #004-New Member-Jane Doe? across the top and slid the envelope into his bag, nodding once again to Mimminx.
[B]?It was good to see you again.?[/B]
Sean had left only half an hour ago and Ezekiel couldn?t have waited any longer. That man drove her to wits end and the fact that he knew it made her sick. She ran long fingers through her hair and sighed deeply, case files and crime scene photos spread across the table in front of her. Shy had decided to give Seraphim the day off, the same had been offered to Ezekiel but, as always, she declined. ?Somehow a day at home, all alone, with nothing to do in weather like this won?t be the most enjoyable of times.? Had been her brutally sarcastic reply. Shy hadn?t appreciated it; Ezekiel suspected that days off wouldn?t be so readily available in the future.

A knock at her door startled her and she pulled herself from the flashing screen of her computer to open it. Standing there, a small smile on his face, stood ULX, AKA Dr Xion, the Miracle Shrink, a name he claimed to despise but Ezekiel suspected he himself had created.

[B]?Long time no see,?[/B] he said, his voice just above a whisper as he leant in through the doorway, [B]?Going to invite me in?? [/B] his eyes scanned Ezekiel?s office space, papers covered the desk and old medical and criminal textbooks covered the shelves. Dust was eminent on most untouched surfaces and a wilting fern sat glumly on top of the cold, metal filing cabinet. The detective knew instinctively that before she?d even opened her mouth, ULX was already passing his judgement on her. She groaned and stepped back the let the psychologist in, [I]?I thought my day couldn?t get any worse??[/I]
[I]Can you see me? Do you know that I am watching you, every step you take, and your every destination? I know your movements, know your patterns. Soon, I will know how you think. You enjoy these walks out, time you spend by yourself while everyone else is out at work. It must be nice to be so new...so insignificant that no work is even there for you. How I despise you. Sitting on a bench, wrapped up so tightly in a new fur coat, living off what our moronic government hands to you every week. They think they have the situation under control, what fools. You people are so easily able to take advantage of their every decision, what a carefree life.

I bet those detectives have jumped to the usual conclusion, how they got to where they are today I?ll never know. People just don?t appreciate the unspoken genius of a careful planner. Seraphim pushing ahead with his strong words and ready trigger, Ezekiel always following in his intimidating shadow, too scared to even open her windows at night, let alone her heart. You don?t know me, you see me in the street and push right past. But I know you, I know you all very well. You see, the clever ones?the survivors, we stay in the shadows and wait?wait for the opportunity to strike.

Soon, very soon, this fertile soil will taste your blood. This city [B]will[/B] be purified.[/I][/CENTER][/COLOR]

And yet another character's entrance. I'm getting close now to where we left off, so soon enough some original material will be appearing. Thank God, heh.

And I finally know who the killer is, why he done it, et cetera, so I should be able to push this right to the end if all goes well. If I do happen to stop writing, feel free to PM me and ask me about it. [/SIZE]
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[COLOR=SlateGray][SIZE=1]Hmm, a sexy and mysterious entrance for a clearly sexy and mysterious character. I cannot wait to see more of this slightly frightening but strangely attractive character. The other bits were good, too. I guess.[/SIZE][/COLOR]
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[SIZE=1]Interesting, most interesting.

As I said when we spoke over AIM last Jamie, I really am gob-smacked about how little you've had to change this from the original version, aside from the odd sentence and the newer usernames it's exactly as it was the first time around, and it was fantastic back then. I know I'll only be repeating what everyone else has said, but this really is excellent and so much more visceral than the normal OB fanfic, it has edge, which you just don't normally see and I'm really excited to see where it'll lead.[/SIZE]
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[SIZE=1][CENTER][COLOR=DarkSlateGray][U]Part 5-[/U]
Seraphim looked at the various pictures spread out on the table in front of him. Ezekiel was seated at the other side, a mug of coffee in her hands. It seemed a permanent fixture for her these days and Seraphim had to wonder if she?d slept at all in the last 48 hours. ULX stood back and watched the two detectives. He?d read through the case files and autopsy report the night before, and Ezekiel had been so kind as to show him the drop point (Seraphim insisted that it wasn?t the actual scene of the crime and, as such, should not be referred to as one). With all the snow, most evidence such as footprints was gone, the detectives had to hope that CSI and CST had managed to lift as much evidence as possible.

Seraphim opened his mouth as if to speak and placed a fingertip on one of the photos. One that showed the woman?s neck, bruises and scratches across it. There had been no sign of asphyxiation, so Seraphim assumed that the vic. had been in a fight. As he looked closer, he noticed that the wounds looked like burns more than scratches. Just as he looked up to speak to Ezekiel, Mimminx knocked and entered, a slip of paper in her hand. Seraphim shut his mouth, the thought of what he was going to mention quickly forgotten. [B]?The victim?s name was Kagome-chan.? [/B] She said quickly, her voice flat and un-emotional, she always seemed to get like that with the New Member cases, they got to her like they did to Seraphim. ULX stepped forward and nodded in thanks, taking the paper from her. He swiped at some strands of hair falling in front of his eyes and looked at the name again.

[B]?Seraphim, Ezekiel, do you want to check this out??[/B] both detectives nodded and Ezekiel stepped forward to take the slip of paper from ULX. He smiled at her, a taunting smile rather than the old warm smile he used to greet her with. She matched him with a cold stare and brushed past him into the corridor, one hand rubbing her temple as she exited the office. Seraphim followed and put a hand on her shoulder, [B]?You need rest.? [/B] Ezekiel shook her head and smiled wearily,[B] ?No, I need to see this guy caught and show him,?[/B] she paused and Seraphim noticed the change in her voice, [B]??I need to show ULX that I can handle this myself.?[/B]

Seraphim chuckled and immediately saw anger flash in Ezekiel?s eyes, [B]?I?m not laughing at you, Zeke.?[/B] He stated, [B]?I just can?t believe that you actually think you need to prove yourself to an asshole like him.?[/B] Ezekiel sighed and they continued walking, re-checking the address with Mimminx. [B]?What happened between you two, anyway??[/B]

His partner suddenly went very stiff and he noticed her fists clench, [B]?Things that I don?t feel like I want to discuss. Nothing personal, Seraphim, but I want to forget about him?I want to forget about us.? [/B] She opened the passenger side door and climbed in, looking out of the steamed up window as soon as her belt was fastened. Seraphim gripped the wheel and shook his head, starting the engine.
?Leave it.?[/B]

Seraphim hoped they found some leads; a tired and irate Ezekiel wasn?t someone who he wanted to work with.
The apartment was nothing special; a one bed roomed on suite with a moderate kitchen and living area. Basics, really, something that all new members were supplied with. Judging by the scant few possessions that were neatly placed around the apartment, Kagome-chan couldn?t have been more than 10 days registered.

Ezekiel went to the bedroom while Seraphim slowly picked around the living area, checking for any areas to alert the CSI to. He checked a bookshelf, nothing but manga there; a couple of Anime DVDs. That?s when he realised the problem. DVDs meant that this member had a DVD player; some old members didn?t even have them so how would a member of 10 days have something so expensive? He turned and saw a large cabinet, the door only slightly opened. He pulled it ajar; using his sleeve to prevent fingerprint transfer, and smirked. Something was definitely not right here. What he found was a DVD/VHS recorder, a 42?? plasma flat screen and what looked to be surround sound. As he looked to the corners of the room there was indeed the speakers for a surround sound system and tucked into the corner was a large 6 disc changer stereo. He laughed and ran his fingers through his hair, Hevn and he both had good jobs and they wouldn?t be able to afford stuff like this.

In the bedroom, Ezekiel was busy picking through Kagome-chan?s chest of draws. She found the usual things a young woman would have, but the last drawer held something else. A rosewood box with gold clasps, a heart carved on the lid amongst beautiful floral patterns. Ezekiel blinked and lifted out the box, opening it gently. What she found surprised her, at least 10 letters all with the same hand writing on the front, all accompanied by a heart shaped wax seal. She sat down on the member?s old bed and opened one of the letters, one that was dated for just last week.

[I]My love,
The phone call we shared last night was wonderful, your voice was so sweet it just enchanted me, I know now that I have to meet you. I have to see you, see your beautiful face up close. Please, reply to me as soon as you can.

Forever yours.

No name, no signature, just those three crosses. A sign of romance, though Ezekiel couldn?t help but wonder why a member with such colourful language would be with one so new. She felt something stir inside her, whether it was anger or something else, she didn?t know. Envy? Yes, she?d felt it before and seeing these letters?these signs of affection made her shake. It was only when Seraphim asked her what was going on did she realise that she was crying.[/COLOR] [/CENTER]

ULX bashing for the win, yes?

Haha, I kid. ;)

Nothing much to say, except thank you for the comments, guys. Feel free to say something negative, y'know. =/[/SIZE]
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[size=1]I assure you, if I had any thing "negative" to say, I would. But, alas, I cannot say anything negative with this story. The emotional level is so powerful; specifically, between Ezekiel and ULX. There is so much to tell, but you don't blurt it all out at once--yet, with little history, you're able to give enough to satisfy.

Excellent work, doll. ^_^[/size]
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[COLOR=DarkSlateGray][SIZE=1][FONT=Comic Sans MS]Now I am slightly intrested to see who the murder was. Although there is a deep hate inside me that is telling me its one of the admins, mods. or even James himself who killed him though. Yet these are only guesses since I have absolutly no idea yet I must admit the poem thing at the end was a rather nice clue to give... It added that extra sence of mystery and such.[/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR]
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[size=1]I KNOW WHO IT IS!!

....obviously, it has to be Ben. He's been here forever, and yet he was never voted into every catagory for the Otaku Awards and now that opportunity is gone FOREVER. And I think we all know how vague that line between genius and insanity is...


...right. Conspiracy theories aside, I still love this story. What really stands out to me is the attention to "reality," even in an internet-based world like the OB. It's very easy to get drawn into and there's equal attention to environmental details and to character. And everybody's so serious, heh. Seems so... unnatural.[/size]
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[size=1][color=#6A937A]I must say, Jamie, this is absolutely spectacular. It's just a thrill to read a mystery story and then to read Annie's comedy story afterwards, give me a good laugh. Haha, anyways, I'm waiting to know who the killer is and who might get killed next. Oh this is absolutely spine-thrilling.[/size][/color]
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[SIZE=1][CENTER][COLOR=DarkSlateGray][U]Part 6-[/U]
Most of the material things in Kagome-chan?s apartment had been sent to the lab for fingerprints, though Seraphim wasn?t hopeful. He could already tell that this murderer was far too clever to let himself be careless. He worried about Ezekiel, especially after seeing her break down over those letters. She still refused to talk about it and quickly changed the subject if it ever came up.

That?s why Seraphim was fixing his tie, standing in his bedroom with Hevn in the bathroom adding the finishing feminine touches. They had invited Ezekiel to go out to dinner with them and she had, reluctantly, agreed, only on the terms that she would pay for half of the meal (which meant she intended on paying for everything). Hevn stepped out of the bathroom and smiled at Seraphim, he returned it and kissed her softly, [B]?You look beautiful.? [/B] Hevn looked up,[B] ?So do you.?[/B]

Seraphim chuckled and picked up his keys, opening the front door for his wife. He noticed his beeper on the coffee table by the door and sighed, clipping it to his belt, hoping that he wouldn?t be hearing it tonight.
The restaurant was relatively quiet, considering how popular the place usually was. Seraphim tapped his fingers on the tabletop, Hevn shifting in her seat. [B]?You definitely gave her the right time??[/B]
[B]?Like I said five minutes ago, yes.?[/B]
[B]?Maybe the roads have frozen over??[/B]
[B]?Maybe, lets just order a drink.?[/B]

Seraphim picked up the wine list just as he saw the door opening, his partner walking inside quickly, her face flushed from the brisk winds outside. She walked to the table and threw her coat over an empty chair, nodding to Seraphim.

[B]?I?m so sorry, I fell asleep at my computer looking through some of the case files?I think I fou-?[/B]
[B]?Why don?t you leave work behind, just for once, Zekey??[/B] Hevn interjected, her voice sterner than usual, Ezekiel noted. She bowed her head in apology and sat down, looking at a menu.

Dinner was going well, a glass of wine and half way through their main courses, Hevn, Seraphim and Ezekiel were joking about everything besides the detectives work. Ezekiel was having fun, Seraphim was happy that she wasn?t looking as depressed as usual and Hevn was elated that the subject of dead bodies seemed to have slipped from the mind of her husband and friend.

Then it happened; in the low murmur of the restaurant a loud ?bleep!? interrupted all conversation. Seraphim?s face paled as he looked down at his belt, the screen of his bleeper flashing a bright blue. Ezekiel sighed and answered her cell, her expression instantly turning from one of exasperation to horror. Seraphim met her gaze and he gulped, looking at Hevn.

[B]?We have to go, I?m really sorry about this, but it?s work.?[/B] Hevn nodded and folded her napkin. [B]?It?s always work.?
?We?ve got to go, now.?[/B]
Seraphim took one last look at Hevn who was, quite obviously, fuming behind her gentle mask of a smile. He tossed on his coat and followed Ezekiel out to her car.
The parking lot was empty save for a black car and two people, one man and one woman, standing in front of what could only be described as a bloodbath. The asphalt was stained a deep black from the amount of blood that covered it and the ice had melted from the previously warm body. A circle had melted around the corpse, giving an eerie look to the crime scene, as the pure white snow covering the ground was virtually untouched.

One of the detectives coughed, covering her mouth with her scarf as she bent closer to the corpse. It was mutilated beyond recognition, and her nose wrinkled in disgust. [B]?Anything worth noting down, DDG??[/B] the man asked, rubbing some sleep from his eyes. Raiyuu was not one to wake easy, and being pulled from a deep sleep on his plush sofa was not how he wanted to start a new case.

DDG straightened and looked at him, shaking her head. ?[B]That corpse isn?t going to be IDed easily, just look at it.?[/B]
[B]?Yeah, I looked and it?s disgusting. I?ve never seen anything like this before, I can?t even tell if it?s male or female.?[/B]

DDG sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose, glancing down to see one of the CST taking pictures of what they had to assume was a human body. In reality what could be seen was what vaguely resembled a human torso, with bruised and broken limbs positioned at odd angles. Raiyuu paced around the corpse, holding his hand over his nose as he did so. The skull had been smashed open and the contents of their head were spattered across the snow. Not only was the skull caved in, but the face was, too, making the body completely unidentifiable by eyes alone. Raiyuu coughed as he stood at the victim?s feet, then his eyes widened.

[B]?Raiyuu???[/B] DDG ventured, walking over to stand next to him. [B]?You see something??[/B]

Raiyuu nodded and squeezed his eyes shut before opening them again, as if to check he was sure of what he was seeing. [B]?This position?what does it look like to you??[/B]

DDG stood in his place and gasped softly before uttering a soft [B]?Crucifixion?? [/B] Raiyuu nodded in agreement and called one of the CST over, pointing to the victim?s hands. [B]?Get a close up shot of them, will you, I think we?re going to find something more once this body?s been cleaned up.?[/B]

Just as Raiyuu crouched down to take a closer look at the scene, a silver Peugeot bumped up onto the curb. It was Ezekiel?s car and DDG looked a little relieved to see her colleges arrived so quickly. Seraphim and his partner crossed the snow to where Raiyuu and DDG stood, no smiles present when they shook hands in greeting. Seraphim, in fact, looked like he was going to be physically ill. Raiyuu grinned morbidly and patted him on the shoulder, [B]?Welcome to the bloodbath, Seraphim, I?m glad you two could make it.?[/B][/COLOR][/CENTER]

Well, the last part of this chapter has been extended considerably, and if you?re the detective types, you?ll probably see where I?m going with this new crime scene. I tried to give a bit more information of the body this time, as it?s the corpse itself that holds most of the clues. I think this is considerably better than the old version, but perhaps others think the same.

Anyway, I doubt updates will be quite as often as they have been now I?ll be writing this from scratch, but I?ll try and keep on top of things between [STRIKE]watching Naruto[/STRIKE] doing schoolwork and sleeping.[/SIZE]
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[color=DarkGreen][font=Trebuchet MS]Yeah, baby, I'm sharp as a razor even when I just got pulled out of bed to look at mutilation in the freezing snow.

Criticism? I got nothing I haven't said already in this thread or the previous one. Bring on the new material, I'm on tenterhooks!
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