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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Nil-The-Frogg

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Well, it was a short update, there is a last one to come and we'll come back to EU2 timeframe. But the second round of my exam is approaching and anxiety is growing accordingly, so I can't tell when further updates will come... :eek:

Do you think that could be a good idea to put a table of contents in the first post with links to the various updates? It would make it easier to report back to old references (like in the case of said "ecstatic water"), but might as well give away too much about the general structure of the story for newcomers... Well even that last aspect can be good or bad. :wacko:
 

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The two crimes are probably connected, I am guessing. And now I see the ecstatic water discussed before - a truly curious invention that brings a hyper reality to the modern portions of the AAR - a bit Terry Gilliam-esque if you will. I like it. Very dark and seedy.

And I chuckled each time as the investigators grumbled about the messy crime scenes. No one ever follows correct procedures, do they? A nice touch.

Pleased to be caught up once more, Nil. And as for the reference, that might be helpful at the beginning as it often is with longer works.
 

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coz1 said:
The two crimes are probably connected, I am guessing. And now I see the ecstatic water discussed before - a truly curious invention that brings a hyper reality to the modern portions of the AAR - a bit Terry Gilliam-esque if you will. I like it. Very dark and seedy.

And I chuckled each time as the investigators grumbled about the messy crime scenes. No one ever follows correct procedures, do they? A nice touch.

Pleased to be caught up once more, Nil.
Great, I'm always happy when readers enjoy the time they spend in my story! :)

And as for the reference, that might be helpful at the beginning as it often is with longer works.
Is it possible to link directly to a post, or should I link the entries of the table to pages? :confused:
 

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You can link directly to a post by clicking the actual post number in the top right hand corner of each post. It brings up a new page with that one post by itself.
 

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Thanks, but I think that I've found better: it's possible to link the entire page while automatically positionning the browser on the post you want. I've noticed that because after I modify a post I'm returned to the page where this post is located and centered on the modified post. And in that case, the adress in the adress bar is not the same as when I click on "page x"... I've copied these "exotic" adresses to build the table of contents. :cool:

Now, if anyone has comments or critisism about the new presentation of the AAR it would be welcome :D
 

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Nil-The-Frogg said:
“Matt, ya must learna watch da evidences under yar nose and found yar conclusions based on them. Ya should learn that truth often lies in plain sight if ya bother lookin'.

Sherlock Homes couldn't have said it better. :D

Joe
 

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Now, if anyone has comments or critisism about the new presentation of the AAR it would be welcome
It means the first page, just in case... :D

Storey: Indeed, or perhaps Director? ("that truth often lies in plain sight") :rolleyes:

Duke: Yep, "une nuit bleue", that is a blue night, expression we use to designate evenings with fireworks (don't know why) and by extension...

Now comes another update. Problem is that I have difficulties to focus on what I write these days since my exam is next week (and will last for three days). I hope the quality doesn't suffer too much from this. :( The next update might take some time to write as well, for the very same reason.
 

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#9e


LaSalle police station, Thursday in the morning


“You did what !?”

Pinelvy slammed his hands on his desk and bent over it. Hitchgins grumbled his answer. He was tired and did not want to loose his time repeating his report over and over. All the more since he had already written it. His boss looked like he was tired too though: he would have used irony and insulting allusions otherwise, rather than shouting.

“Well, I gotta upstairs to check da house for other clues.”

“I can't believe you've been so stupid as to forage in a burned house still smoking! What kind of crazy idea might have crept in the viscid gravy you call a brain ?”

“I had a theory to backup.”

“A theory ?”

Pinelvy's face was reddening. Hitchgins thought that the commander would have happily beaten him up if he hadn't been afraid to stain his bright white suit. He discarded this stupid idea and simply answered:

“Yep.”

“And I guess that Mr Bredin is now so very happy with your clever theory, is he?”

“Well, he doesn't seem'a be. But I had told him to keep'in me steps. Now he ran like a fool and...”

The commander snorted, looking down at Hitchgins sloppy bulging belly.

“Oh, off course, anything able to stand your weight would not even notice Mr Bredin's.”

“'xactly. No'mentionin' that I tenda watch me steps.”

“Oh, of course. I guess that you're an expert at telling what is blackened planks from what is just an agglomerate of barely coherent ashes, aren't you?”

“Well, I haven't gone through da floor meself.”

Pinelvy stayed still for a couple of seconds, keeping the sergeant under disgusted scrutiny. He was obviously balancing between complete rage and some kind of resignation.

“So, I guess that you will be able to write every little detail about how the Kamilet proceeded to attack the house and get away ?”

“Haroumpf!”

Hitchgins outraged expression took his superior by surprise. He had never seen the fat man react with any pride to insults or allusions, but in this occurrence, his rough jowls were jolting in indignation.

“What is that supposed to mean ?”

“Blatant s'position sir! You're just 'xpressing a preconceived idea with no regards for actual facts. I musta say I woulda expect better than wild guesses from ya, even though I don't like ya.”

The commander leaned back in his armchair. Puzzlement and curiosity seemed to have temporarily drowned his anger.

“What would be your educated theory on the situation then?”

“I think that Kallistos was da actual attacker. He leaded the k'ling.”

“Interesting.” Pinelvy absentmindedly took a pen and began to play with it between his fingers. “What are the facts behind that assertion?”

Hitchgins relaxed a little, in spite of the usual touch of mocking irony in the commander's tone.

“For one: da gate was open. I mean it had been cleanly opened, not shattered down. I can't imagin'da firemen takin' time to pick lock da gate of a burnin' house, right? Had been opened before, dat is before da fight. And probably by someone havin'da key.”

“Proceed.”

“For two, da dog did not raise alarm. He was in da garden though. I saw fresh pawprints.” Pinelvy raised an eyebrow but said nothing. “Which means it knew whoever was comin'in enough not to bark. I've searched for tracks indicatin' if it had greeted the intruder with some enthusiasm, which'd have helped'a confirm Kallistos as the one stepin'in, but those barbarians on da scene have destroyed everythin' with their trucks and big shoes.”

“No one mentioned a dog.”

“Dat's also a clue. Da'ttackers parked their car on the roadside. Still a few tracks r'mainin'. Da dog seems to have gone wid'em. Who else than Kallistos himself would'ave bothered takin' da dog? Besides, there were a dog's bowl and a chain in da garage. Add'in da equation that diz car was probably the same that left a print in an oil stain in da closed'n empty garage. Same prints anyway.”

Hitchgins paused to swallow and resumed his explanations.

“For three, humans didn't raise alarm either. Five armed men've been killed widout drawin' their guns, and so in three different rooms. Hard work for a foreign aggressor if ya'sk me. I woulda say they've been killed by people they knew and did not suspect they'd shoot at'em.”

“Fourth...”

At this point, Hitchgins hesitated, struggling for his words.

“Fourth?” Pinelvy inquired.

The sergeant scratched his unshaved neck.

“Well... I thinka've forgotten. I'm afraid...”

“Forgotten?”

“Err... Yessir. Was no important detail methink. I barely noticed it on the spot. But ya know, wid tiredness and so on... Got memory leaks...”

The commander suspiciously glanced at him for a moment, but his despise for the man helped him to believe in the possibility of such memory failures. Still dubious, he leaned forward, his elbow on the desk, letting a smooth chin rest on his thumbs.

“Something is bothering me anyway.”

“What would'at be?”

“How do you know it was Kallistos house? I clearly remember that you did not bother hearing my explanations regarding the crime or its location. I would be surprised if you had found time to check the archives either...”

“Err... He's a well known mobster. I was aware of that, of course.”

“Really? Therefore I guess that you would be able to point Lady Marianne, Carlocito or Riff Boss residences on the City map?”

“Lessay I can point out Lady Marianne's... For the others...”

Pinelvy smiled, savoring his words:

“Mr Hitchgins, your little theory is amusing and may even be true. It will not hide out your pathetic bloomer from last night though. I don't know what you may have done in some previous life so that Judge Peter protects you the way he does. But I'm confident that whatever it is, his patience will not be unlimited. I may get rid of you this time. You would be like at home in soup-kitchens, wouldn't you?”

“I'm pretty sure notta meet ya in such dirty places 'nyway.”

The commander's smile faded away and he coldly answered:

“Now, begone. I'll notify Judge Peter of the last developments. We'll see...”

Hitchgins shrugged.

“Have a nice day, sir”

He stepped out of the office. Now, he was really expecting a delicate meeting with someone a tad more frightening than his commander, but not for the reasons evoked by the latter.
 
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Oh, BTW, I've finally found out where my inspiration for the Judge came from. I knew from the start that I've stolen the concept somewhere, but could not identify it. Just a tip: it's a movie from the 80's... :D
 
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Hitchgins seemed caught off-guard when Pinelvy honed in on him knowing that it was Kallistos' house. Is he hiding something? Something besides the secret of why Judge Peter, a perfectly nasty man himself, seems to be fond of him?

There's clearly a lot more going on beneath the surface of Hitchgins than we know of.

As to your inspiration for Judge Peter, my immediate reaction would be the Judge character from Who Framed Roger Rabbit. I don't have much to back it up, but instinctively it seems like a good fit. :)
 

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Stuyvesant: You are correct about Hitchgins. I try to give some thickness to my characters in spite of them being essentially caricatures, or stereotypes, to begin with (as Storey mentionned about the submission I once provided for Guess the Author).

And... BINGO!

rogerandthejudgexw1.jpg


judgedoomch7.jpg


Of course Peter isn't so prone to smile, his hat would be larger and so on... For me, that is. But the concept is here, undoubtly. I've decided to avoid posting pictures of my characters, so that the reader can have his own idea, but in this case... I have even made a drawing of the Judge (before I do realise what was my source). I intend to use this drawing for a particular post, but I'll have to wait a couple of months, given my writing speed :( .

Duke: Yep, as I mentioned, I wanted Hitchgins to be a stereotype of a man you would not want to work with and much less to live with, but not a stupid guy for that. ;)

I'm always eager to answer your comments, and would like to post updates more frequently... I'll try to give you the next one by the end of next week, but that could be by the begining of the following one instead, I'm afraid.
 

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I'm thinking Hitchgins might have another meeting with the Judge now, eh? Very interesting listening to him recite the clues, but I too have a little suspicion.
 

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And I didn't even remember the Roger Rabbit judge all that well (seeing the pictures you posted made me realize my memories weren't all that accurate to begin with). I just remembered a tall, dark figure, menacing and just a little (okay, a lot) insane. Don't know about the insanity yet, but Judge Peter sure is a menacing presence.

With regards to updating, you know the drill: post at your own pace, we'll be here to comment whenever you post, whether it's tomorrow, next weekend or even longer. :)
 

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Stuyvesant said:
Good to see you around here, Nil! Hope things will continue to work out for you
Is this a suitable answer:
k_crying.gif
?


coz1 said:
but I too have a little suspicion.
Oooh! Wouldn't you ever trust anyone? :rolleyes:

Stuyvesant said:
With regards to updating, you know the drill: post at your own pace, we'll be here to comment whenever you post, whether it's tomorrow, next weekend or even longer. :)
Very kind of you. Here comes an update. It's short (my shortest so far), but I thought it would be a good thing to let you know that this AAR is an ongoing project. I added a little drawing that actually took me more time than the update. But hey, my drawing skills need even more improvement than my writing. :) Just need a few minutes to edit the post, insert the picture, all that...
 
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#10
Byzantium : April 1420

The full moon was pouring its diffuse beams through a vaporous voile of clouds. The little group barely had enough light to progress cautiously without the need for a lantern. Most of the men were hardened soldiers, but the civilian they were escorting was breathing out hard in the still, suffocating, air. Everyone was eager to see the skies burst in a thunderstorm which would release the tension. No one else was to be seen in the City's streets. Even cut throats would rather seek easier targets than showing up in front of an armed patrol.

They had exited the palace by the South gate, passing by the sentinels who dared not bother a Varangian detachment. They had quickly gotten through larger avenues to dive into the maze of alleys merging with the port down to the South. Bjorn Zoranasson stayed on alert. The massacre he had just taken part to had turned him into a bundle of nerves. Cloted blood still could be felt in his fingers'creases. He had a bad feeling about this mission. Nothing would prevent him from completing it though. He kept peeking through the shadows and knew that his eight comrades were doing the same.

They safely reached the main dockside and proceeded to the East, toward the ancient port. In spite of imperial edicts, and continuous harassment from the city guards, the area was a messy forest of crates and rolled ropes. Small animals were betrayed by their tiny noises barely audible over the unusually quiet sea. They could have been rats, cats or even dogs, Bjorn did not care as long as they fled and represented no threat to the man under his protection.

Something, perhaps a faint breath of air, alerted him. He drew his sword and whirled. The attack came, swift, silent, deadly. A blade went through his cloak so close that he felt steel's coldness against his ribs. Bjorn stroke back, quickly thrusting his own weapon against each of the two shadows in front of him. He felt flesh giving up and heard muffled rattles. He was confident enough that even bears would have been struck down by his blows and reported all his attention to his duty, who was lying against a crate.


Bjorn knelt down in front of the man he was supposed to protect. A freezing chill ran up his back as he distinguished blood stains on his tunic. The wounded raised a hand, holding a big parchment's sheath. Sounds were slipping out his bleeding lips. Bjorn bent over to hear:

“Quick! Find Tzourillas... The bogom... Tzourillas... Go! Go...”

Bjorn wrested the sheath from the dying's hand and stood just in time to see an assailant plunging on him. He dodged a little too late. The blade dived in his left arm. His current adrenaline burst obliterated pain. He stubbornly grasped the sheath. He had no room to move his sword and fell back on a head-butt. His enemy staggered and Bjorn took the opportunity to run.

He prayed not to stumble on some junk and actually managed to reach the nearest alley, which was snaking between storehouses. His enemies were chasing him. He heard them shout in a foreign language that he recognized to be Italian. They were spreading in the neighbourhood in order to catch him. He understood that he would probably not manage to escape without crossing their way, since he was just as lost as them in those obscure lanes.

Too bad for them...
 
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A very frantic encounter. Wonderfully described as well. And your drawings always add something great to the posts. I really liked the purple color of it, and his anguish...very much akin to the character. Very nice. :cool:
 

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I'm assuming his eight comrades have all been killed in the ambush? If so there must be a hell of a lot of Italians attacking them which means that whatever the message is it's very important! :eek: If it were me I'd be running as fast as I can. Even if I managed to get lost it would still make it more difficult for the attackers to find me.

Joe