Archivist note: This post is from an older recovered archive.
(Posted by Sky Netizen on April 6, 2010 at 7:39pm)
Last night as I started the walk from Coal and Soot Industries over to the Wilde Hospital, I fought to keep my mind clear and my nerves neutral, for I knew I needed every shred of intellect to be at my disposal this evening. Despite my efforts, all of the theories and evidence weighted heavily on my thoughts, adrenaline began to kick in and my mind felt nearly uncontrollable. I looked down at my shaking hands, realizing that all of the sleepless nights and distracted days were taking their toll. “I hope this ends tonight,” I mumbled and laughed darkly to myself. “If not, perhaps someone will build an asylum where I can go live soon.”
Nearly to the hospital, I checked the watch on my apron and saw that I was right on time to meet Lia, Mr. Blackberry Harvey and Ms. Charise Adderstein to examine the body of the late Mr. Edmund Adderstein one final time. As we slowly gathered at the hospital door we all appeared rather expectant of what we were going to find. Blackberry asked if Mr. Reed Darkfold would be joining the investigation. I stated that I had a feeling he was going to (that man shows up at unexpected times) but Ms. Adderstein believed he would not be present. After some discussion of Ms. Adderstein’s healing facial bruise we walked inside and hesitated, staring at the wooden box in the room.
Blackberry and I lifted the lid off the box and placed the ice cold body on the hospital bed. Lia and I set about to examining the body, searching for any signs of knife wounds. Edmund’s wounds were just as before, large bruises, long deep cuts and numerous broken bones.
“Well, if there were any knife wounds, we should be able to clearly see it,” Blackberry noted.
After careful examination of the man, Blackberry, Lia and I came to the conclusion that none of the injuries could have been caused by a knife. Admittedly, I was upset, I had so hoped that a knife wound would be a simple way to solve this case. Lia said in a frustrated tone, “Well I guess we’re back to where we were before we found the knife.” She spoke my mind.
Then we were interrupted by Mr. Reed Darkfold’s voice saying, “You have discovered what?” from the entrance, shadows hiding most of his body. All of us around the bed were somewhat startled by his sudden appearance.
Lia was quick to answer him, “Well, I’m afraid we haven’t found any more than I already knew. The doctor who examined Mr. Adderstein right before I left that day didn’t seem to find anything unusual either.”
I added slowly, “We found the average injuries associated with a trolley accident.”
Then Blackberry asked me, “Miss Netizen, did you find out anything about the ‘X’?” He was referring to the piece of paper found on the scene with the trolley.
“The ‘X’ is Mr. Darkfold’s signature, I believe,” I replied.
Blackberry pressed, “But it was blank other than the ‘X’?”
I nodded, saying, “Yes, just a red ‘X’.”
Darkfold then slowly walked towards us and said, “The ‘X’ is the last thing my targets hold ever, but it was not given to Mr. Adderstein. Why you found the ‘X’ will come in time.”
At that moment I had quite enough of Darkfold’s secrets and stalling, I was on the verge of snapping. Glaring at him I said, “With time again?”
“In shorter time than the previous,” he said. “You have all the pieces now, what is told will click, will make the truth apparent.”
Lia sighed and said in a frustrated tone to Darkfold, “Yes, exactly, nothing more than we knew on the first day we found Mr. Adderstein. I’m having trouble believing it’s all we need.”
While trying to control myself, I added, “All we know now is no knife wound…”
Darkfold looked at me and said, “All you know now is that he was not stabbed, your ears are to do the investigation now miss, not your mouth.”
He had no idea who he was dealing with in saying such words to me, I have killed men for doing much less. I could feel my patience and sanity slipping as I turned red, burning with anger and clutching my fists to fight the urge to slice him to pieces.
Over the sea of my boiling temper I faintly heard Lia mumble, “Like I ever wanted to do an investigation.”
The main thing that prevented me from attacking at that moment was that Darkfold started his tale:
“Mr. Adderstein, your run of the mill rich, corrupt, police chief….Ms. Adderstein, his sister, from times of bad, retreated finally to Babbage, her believed haven. Mr. Adderstein had been planning for some time to kill Ms. Adderstein. It was not coincidence he was to find this town to promote his boxing oaf. I went to Galloway, in look of work, one must look for the head of such corruption in a town to survive, it was in observation it was found. He came to try and gather Ms. Addertein’s trust, as she never had given it, of which he got. They were to travel together to Galloway. Mr. Adderstein slept at the bar the night before, with his large friend, Borris, woke up and pretended to rush to throw the man off. It was 9, and not 10. He [meaning Edmund], a man of normal composure, became one of haste, not being able to wait, the train was to leave at 10, to not Galloway, but Halloway, a sister city ot the North. Easy to forge a “g” on the ticket. They were to arrive there and the deed be done, but angst got the better of him and he dould not wait. He was to attempt at her life in the street, near Cocoajava, where he had asked to meet at 9:30. Ms. Adderstein, a clumsy woman, did fall and hit her face, but the cause of her bruis is not such. The man struck Ms. Adderstein after he explained the circumstances [being] arrogant. He was the source of her bruising. He [Edmund, still] drew his knife, such that you found, and was to strike at Ms. Adderstein, but he had not determined that I was to arrive. As he thrust, it was my leg he found and not her. [Darkfold showed us the hole in his jacket which had been cut under the pocket. Then he ripped open the leg of his pants (which were freshly mended) to show a stitched wound.] This is what comes of such. To strike an assassin, is in theory never smart. A shove pushed him away from me as I drew my weapon, a red ‘X’ fell from my cut open pocket, I was intending to kill the man, but the trolly crept up from behind him as a freight train and struck him. His legs grug on the ground ripping, his head slamming into the pavement.”
I whispered, “He’s innocent….” (Referring to Darkfold.)
Ms. Adderstein bit her lower lip and began to cry as she nodded at me.
Darkfold said, “Ms. Adderstein has acted in lies and in fear recently as she has been in both shock and fear of repercussion that could happen if thoughts went astray. You will undoubtably have a question as to why the streetcar was on this way.”
We all chimed an affirmative answer.
He continued, “I happened to return here earlier in the week of the death, at which time I did see the trolley on the wrong track. Public works are slow to fix much in this town, as you could see by how long the trolly stood on the track and the blood was not cleaned up. It was happenstance that he was to be on the track as it was to pass. The gravel in his legs, the long bruises from the trolley track on his arms, the bruising on his head are all in line with the incident.”
Lia said, “Yes, of course, as we have noticed. I do not doubt your story, sir. I’m afraid I’ve misjudged you.”
Darkfold added, “The blood on the knife was mine. Look at the ticket it will say Halloway, look at Ms. Adderstein’s and it will say Galloway, the ‘g’ will not match the rest.”
“Yes, I still have the ticket. I’ll be sure to check the name to confirm,” Lia said.
Then, as if to take the questions from our group, Darkfold said, “Now is the time that if your tongues wish to wag, they may.”
Blackberry asked first, “Who was it who hired you, Mister Darkfold?”
Darkfold answered, “I reveal never a client, nor if I am ever sent by a client.”
“May I ask why you returned to town? Or is that something you cannot also reveal?” Lia asked in turn.
Darkfold answered her, “I did not kill Edmund Adderstein, however, so a question of such is not relevant. There is more work here than it appeared, or that I lead on to all.”
She pressed, “So then you intend to stay longer than you anticipated?”
“I anticipate never, only the moment,” Darkfold replied.
It was then I said apologetically, “I’m so sorry we misjudged you, sir.”
He nodded at me and said, “On this case you have, there will more than certainly be a time when you believe of me and it will be true.”
I didn’t quite know which way to take that, but either way it is construed I supposed it was true so I nodded and said, “I’m sure.”
Blackberry piped up and said, “I don’t think I’ve misjudged you, sir. I never thought you killed Mr. Adderstein, but that’s immaterial.”
I said, “You’re better than me, then, Blackberry.”
Darkfold then stated that he was no longer a good, fine man. I then said, “That’s your own choosing. This is a good thing you’ve done.”
He then shot me a harsh look, saying, “This is not of my choosing.”
I looked back at him, responding sharply, “So you regret the good you’ve done?”
Without answering me he looked at Ms. Adderstein, turned to the door and said, “Good evening all.” And then muttered, “Checkmate,” under his breath.
Of course that sent all of us into a slight tizzy of frustration at the strange assassin. Eventually Ms. Adderstein then apologized for lying to us, explaining that she had been afraid of what Edmund’s colleagues might do to her. Lia and I offered any help or protection should she need it. Ms. Adderstein blushed and replied, “I couldn’t feel more protected at the time…Thank you, you’ve done so much.”
Blackberry and I lifted Edmund’s body back into the box as Ms. Adderstein and Lia closed the lid. In our own ways we all expressed some portion of relief that the mystery was done (and some suspicion that there may be more yet to learn). Then we parted ways for the night.
That night I slept more soundly than I had in weeks. And happily, I no longer dreamt of knives, trolleys and red “X’s.” I still have some suspicions or curiosities about the case, but for the time being I am just slowly trying to regain my old, mostly carefree nature and what little sanity I still possess.
Here’s to hoping that New Babbage sees little to no death for a good, long while.
*Comment by Phineas Frakture on April 7, 2010 at 12:49am
Congrats to Daphne, Velma and the rest of the Scooby gang ;)
*Comment by Cyan Icewolf (Cyan Rayna) on April 7, 2010 at 9:39am
Rooby Rooby Rooooooooo Hehehe!
Yes quite a fun mystery indeed :3
*Comment by Verlia Bilavio on April 7, 2010 at 10:42am
I was even wearing my glasses for that one…. and I was just thinking, why do I have to be Velma? Thanks Phin.
*Comment by Cyan Icewolf (Cyan Rayna) on April 7, 2010 at 10:47am
I still say you’d make a better Daphne, Ms. Lia only because Ms. Sky already has the red hair. Still need to find someone to draw up a steampunk Scooby Doo.
*Comment by Verlia Bilavio on April 7, 2010 at 10:49am
Haha… that’s what I meant. I should really read over what I’m writing more often…
*Comment by Sky Netizen on April 7, 2010 at 8:55pm
I’d happily relinquish the title of Daphne… *starts searching for some henna to darken her hair*
*Comment by Blackberry Harvey on April 8, 2010 at 9:31am
Wait, that makes me Fred!
*Comment by Cyan Icewolf (Cyan Rayna) on April 8, 2010 at 10:27am
Actually… Phin was Fred and Valice was Shaggy (had to have been there at the time lol).