"[b You can take the plea deal, or rot. We don't give a [i damn] which you choose, Vixon. Or should I call you, Blair?]"
"[i Very funny, Chief. But don't call me Blair, it's impolite. And if you didn't care so much, why offer?]"
"[b To catch a criminal, sometimes you need one. But you want to avoid a hefty jail sentence don't you?]"
"[i Okay, you got my interest, sweet-cheeks. What's this deal?]"
"[b Help us catch him. I know you have inside knowledge and connections. We can sweeten the deal if you need.]"
Baltimore. Number seven on the top ten most dangerous and crime ridden cities in the US. The rate? 1,417 per 100,000 residents.
As murder and robbery rates continue to climb, the stress and pressure on the Baltimore PD is at its peak, and one gang group continues to cause them serious trouble.
This story will follow the gang known as Vultures - led by a woman who they refer to as Vixon - and a cop of the Baltimore PD, who is assigned to track and bring in as many of their members as possible. After landing a huge break, the BPD land their hands on the very leader they sought after.
Their glory and celebration came to a halt after a series of murders with the same M.O. began to pop up all around the city. Now, hands tied, they turn to a very unlikely ally to ring in this murderer.
1. This will be a MxF 1x1 and mature. Violence, gore, drugs, and strong language will be present - anything in sexual nature will be TS or taken off-site. I will be playing the role of Vixon.
2. I can post anywhere from 1000-3000+ characters. I don't mind if this a laid back, casual RP, or one with large novel like posts. I do expect at least 1000 characters per post and at least once a week - more is always welcome.
3. Pictures will be illustrated.
4. To join please provide me with a link to your characters profile - Name, age, ect. However you like to present their basic information. You don't need to go into great detail of their past or any secrets - we can leak those as the RP goes on. :)
[center Thank you for taking the time to read! I look forward to hearing from you.]
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Pat lead them through a slender, narrow hallway. The pastel grey on the floor was offset by the light brown on the walls. After a round of gates, inspections and ports, they finally arrived to the prison’s temporary holding-cells. In Ford’s case, that meant there were four people waiting outside of his cell. Including the two that joined them -Pat and another guy- they made for quite a crowd.
Casey’s eyes drifted to the cell. One of the guards opened the door, eyed Vixon and sighed out. Sometimes it took a strange measure to get results, she could respect that -or at the very least officer Warfield.
“Usual applies,” Pat said as an after-thought and then locked the door behind them. The cell was even more dreary than the hallway. The same brown on the walls had been applied to the floor, and where the paint had chipped, left the white plaster free to sight.
There was one table in the middle of the room, which was bolted to the floor. Other than that, there were two chairs. Casey folded his arms and leaned against the wall.
“Officer Warfield, you honour me?” Ford started, but when Casey’s stone-wall façade didn’t chip, Max Ford turned his gaze on the remarkable creature Casey brought along.
Ford was a small man, thin, but lean and strong. Prison hadn’t changed anything about that fact. The man’s jet-black hair was streaked with the occasional grey, and definitely thinning.
Deciding the initial introduction over, Casey dug up the picture he’d stuck in his breast-pocket and gave Ford a tired stare.
“We’re here to talk shop,” Casey offered. He slid the picture onto the table face down. Ford restrained himself, but once Casey took his finger off of the picture’s back, Max picked it up and examined what he was seeing. As expected, the man’s face betrayed little to nothing. Casey sat down opposite Ford and waited. Now it was Vixon’s turn. He didn’t expect to get anything out of Ford no matter what, so it didn’t really matter what she said. Not that he’d tell Vixon that. Perhaps she would surprise him.
“Aren’t you going to introduce us?” Ford said, half an eye still on the photograph. His expression had turned into that of a feral grin. It was obvious that the sight in the picture excited the man.
Vixon couldn't help but snicker at the raised eyebrow look she got out of Casey that was soon replaced with narrowed eyes, mild concern. The women merely smiled at him as he confirmed she could do all the talking. She was only mildly surprised he'd allow her to do much of any talking, let alone all of it. Maybe he wanted to sit back and study him? Vixon climbed out of the car walking closer to Casey.
He'd motioned for the keys and she willingly handed them over as they walked towards the layers of fencing to the door. The blank faces officers gave her a creepy feeling, they were so still, but she silently stared and kept pace with Casey.
Prison wasn't unfamiliar to her but this seemed to be a little heavier duty than where she usually ended up. Or maybe because she was finally on the outside looking in.
The doors had opened up and they were met with a cheery sort of fellow - until his eyes met Vixons.
She gave him a sweet smile and wave as Casey clarified she was a guest with him. He seemed hesitant as he paused, but after a moment they were both provided passes. Vixon looked down at the little piece of plastic that said she was authorized to enter. The man from behind the counter - a much burlier man - started on about For and the rules.
Presented with the plastic tub she was instructed to place phones, metal items - she assumed piercing were included in that, paper, pens, etc. Vixon knew the rules, they weren't much different for a prisoner either. Skillfully and quickly she removed all her piercings in a moments notice. The precinct had confiscated her other belongings besides the clothes she was wearing and they allowed her piercings since she was just in a holding cell.
Once all the metal came out of her face she felt kind of naked and bare, an uncomfortable feeling. Vixon rolled her eyes at the man ogling her and his comment, "I think I am a little too much for you to handle, sweetheart." Vixon patted his shoulder and gave him a sarcastic look of sympathy. "Shall we?" Vixon questioned looking over at Casey, allowing him to lead the way to Fords usual room.
He sent a message back to Roland to send through the warrants, at which Roland replied he'd best come pick them up. Casey sighed. Not today then. It was already getting late and there were other things to do, for which the time would be more opportune. Vixon parked and Casey climbed out of the car. He raised an eyebrow at her statement of their 'style', narrowing his eyes with a smidgen of concern.
"You can do all the talking," Casey decided after a second's thought and shook his head ever so minutely. At the very least he got to sit back and read the man's face, not that there'd be much to read. If there was anything they'd learned, it was that Ford reacted best to compliments -the narcissist-, but the psychopath was charismatic and typical in his behaviours. He would betray little to nothing they could catch on first sight, so he'd be reviewing those tapes several times over.
Casey slammed the door shut and motioned Vixon to hand over the car-keys. Wouldn't exactly be very responsible to have her hold on to those, even if they were going into a prison of all places.
They went through several layer of fences before they reached the door. At each fence there was a set of officers, who stoically kept staring ahead. Only one gave him an imperceivable nod, though they were more amiable at the doors.
"Warfield, fancy seeing you here again. Lara figures that if you want to rent a room, she's got a lovely one spare in block D," the man behind the counter chuckled.
"I'll keep it in mind."
The man's eyes went to Vixon and his smile fell. His eyes met Casey's and he gave a curt nod. "Guest," he clarified. Not a drop-off. For now, anyway.
There was a moment's pause, before the burlier man nodded and got out a few things. Soon enough they were both carrying a pass. Pat stepped from behind the counter towards the doors.
"I got Ford in the usual room," he started. "You know the rules: no bodily contact, no metal items in the cell, no pens, no paper." Pat put out a plastic tub and Casey started to clear his pockets. His service-gun was a heavy addition to his keys, wallet, pens, phone and note-pad.
"You too," he told Vixon.
"I'm pretty sure they already searched you, little lady, unless you want to go for seconds?" Pat started, wiggling his eyebrows and looking Vixon over. She was definitely a looker. Prison had its own set of rules, Casey knew. Going against Pat, or even being contrite with the man might make him lose his perks, so he didn't bother to defend Vixon. She could fend for herself. Her track-record told him that much at least.
Vixon listened quietly - which is rare for a woman who likes to talk -, it wasn't necessarily that Casey was fired up or anything, but was sure to make it so Vixon had all the information straight. Maybe dumped wasn't the right word. For a sheer split moment she considered being a little more sensitive, especially if she were to work with this guy and actually get anything done. The true question was - did she actually care enough?
It's true she barely read the file. Partially because she was certain it was a joke of a deal, yet here she was.
There as something about this Ford fella made Vixon curious. It wouldn't be impossible to orchestrate brutal murders from inside. Hell, Vixon still got fan mail and it wouldn't surprise her if someone out there had an obsession. Enough that he could talk them into killing. Or, maybe what Casey spoke of was true.
Question is - would that makes this case a lot harder to solve?
Vixon followed his gesture towards the much smaller entrance gate. There was security waiting, giving her a look of confusion and uncertainty, knowing full well who she was. "Hiya, we're just rolling in to pay Ford a visit. Hope you don't mind," a sweet smile played on Vixons lips as the guard looked past her at Casey who was looking at his phone before waving them on through.
After a moment she parked the clunker near the doors of the prison. "So, are we going in good cop, bad cop style? I do all the talking? I am kind of a sweet talker." Vixon joked half-heartedly with a smile over at Casey as she unbuckled herself from the seat.
A clunker was a euphemism for the scrap-heap that was his car, so Casey didn't comment on Vixon's voicing of her less than impressed opinion regarding his method of transportation. Not neat? Casey flipped a page in the report and decided that he'd be doing the deducing parts in this partnership. It was presumptuous to draw a conclusion based on his car alone. His house was spotless, more so now than any time else, because he hadn't been there in quite a while.
They'd been busy.
"Baltimore. All over town. Only thing they had in common was the killer's preference," Casey replied matter-of-factly. They were the basics of any investigation: location, distance, time of death.
"And they weren't exactly 'dumped'," he saw fit to amend that fact. "They were very carefully and deliberately put on display." Casey flipped through the file in his lap and held up a picture. It was an almost exact replica of the one he'd visited earlier that day: red cloth, all the way up to a tall ceiling, draped near enough to the floor where they almost, but didn't quite touch. The red was all blood, the victim's blood.
"We caught Ford because he fit the profile, lived within distance of all victims and had contact with the majority of them," he explained. "Which makes it highly likely that this killer is someone else, who's taken it upon themselves to carry on the torch."
Ford just fit too perfectly.
Casey stared out the window for a long second or two, before turning back to his file.
"Makes you wonder if he's just the executioner and they found a new one."
He slapped the folder closed and sat back.
"Just because I doubt you read it. This particular killer has a distinct liking for stand-alone mothers with young children." As if it wasn't hard enough for these young women to make ends meet, they were now suffering the fear of an unchained and merciless murderer. He leaned forward and got out a pair of sunglasses.
The bright later afternoon sunshine didn't make the gruesome facts of what had happened any lighter.
"...and to answer your question. We always found them exactly two days after the murder. And no. None of them were close to where they were left to be found," Casey disclosed. He gestured at the prison's smaller entrance gate.
"That way, we're not going in through the main entrance," he said. "Just tell them we're here to see Ford." Casey checked his phone, but there wasn't anything of interest. Roland was asking him about Vixon and 'how close he was going to let her', then amended some of that with an apology and some more information about their warrants.
"A special person." Vixon parreted his words quietly to herself. Maybe he didn't want to get into it since that guy, if he did it, is pretty disgusting. She shrugged it out of her mind, keeping a clean ideal of him, because by the looks of it - he may have never done the crime he'd been locked up for.
Vixon was probably on the list of people that was glad someone was arrested for those crimes. Yet, for how hard he'd swerved the cops for so long - maybe they just wanted to arrest anyone? It wouldn't be the first time these idiots threw someone in for something they didn't do. This city had been going to hell in a hand basket for a very long time and this case just added to it.
Vixon glanced at the man Casey dropped her contract to. He was amused but silenced by the other's icey glare. If looks could sew your mouth shut.
Once outside she was greeted to a beaten up grey sedan. "Wow, really clunker you got there, officer." Vixon raised an eyebrow at the trash vehicle they approached. She stood in awe and watched as he tossed the mountain of trash from one part of the car to another and it smelled heavy of smoke. "I see we aren't very neat." Vixon wouldn't complain, just surprised a tight ass like this was...so messy? Maybe he wasn't some cold ass robot after all.
Yet another surprise, she's driving? Vixon smiled, "I feel honored." She climbed into the drivers side and started up the shitty sedan. "Yeah, I'm pretty familiar where the prison is. It's like a walk down memory lane." Vixon started down the street towards the prison. Every now and then glancing in the rear view mirror to the very obvious tail.
"So, tell me, Detective Warfield. Do you have any idea where these girls were abducted from? Were they anywhere close to where they were dumped? Just getting a feeling where we are in this case. Besides several dead girls." Vixon glanced side-long at the man comfortably seated in the passenger seat. If she was gonna honor her side of the deal at all - and avoid forever in a jail -, might as well get a little serious...just a little.
A game, huh? Why wasn’t he surprised by that confession? Casey at least appreciated the honesty, though for a split-second there, he thought to have felt something else. Perhaps a resonating world-weariness that momentarily made her smile falter ever so shortly, made her eyes seem just a little duller than the coy sheen they portrayed now. Women made good actors, he knew that much.
“Yeah,” he confirmed. “Max… is a special person,” Casey was willing to comment on the matter.
It was all he was willing to part with, since he didn’t want Vixon to be tainted by his assumptions and feelings on the matter. It was no secret a lot of people in the precinct and city of Baltimore had been more than happy to see the man rot in a jail-cell. Even if Max Ford wasn’t serial killer, Casey still felt better knowing the man was locked up.
Faith however, that was something he reserved for God and not a woman. Casey ditched the signed contract on Roland’s desk in passing and gave the man a level stare, as if to challenge the man to comment. Roland just gave him a wide grin and opened the folder to scoop out the contract.
For all she’d seemed to resent his touch before, Casey suddenly found two arms wrapped around his. He raised an eyebrow and sighed. A grey sedan was the best he could do. The beaten down car was the one he used to get to and from home, not for driving in between. It was a hassle to get his gas refunded and Casey considered himself an efficient man, if nothing else.
It wasn’t laziness. Not exactly.
He unhooked his arm and opened the passenger’s side door to toss some things into the back. Empty cans, cups and candy-wrappers, take-out cardboard and even a burner-phone all made it to the back. The car smelled like smoke, even if he was no longer smoking.
“You get to drive,” Casey started. He assumed she knew how to and tossed her the keys. “Any funny business and our tail pounces,” he notified her. Wherever they went, an escort would never be far away. Not that he minded too much. They were decent men.
“Just head west,” Casey ordered. “Prison. I assume you know where it is?” he said, a dead look in his eyes. He took a dull coloured manilla folder from the car’s glove-compartment and made himself comfortable, skipping down the pathology report of the previous murder to compare the two. Too many similarities. Especially in the details.
Shit. Either Ford had a keen student or he wasn’t the guy.
“After that we head back to the docks,” he said, glancing in the rear-view mirror to watch the police-car tailing them. They made it fairly obvious they were there.
“We have some strings to pull about who went where,” Casey muttered. Roland would make sure they got the warrants in the mean-time and the man would put some people on getting the footage from last night at the docks.
Man, he was a hardass. Not even an eye roll? His stone face barely even twitched. Maybe she was losing her touch. He merely stared for a long moment, the woman's smile faltered a little as he took the pen with a sigh. Being almost thirty years old, of course she would never admit this, but she was getting tired. Whatever they had to offer, whatever danger there could be, she took it as her last 'bang' in this hell hole.
Vixon's cheeky smile returned as Casey took her leg firmly to place the bracelet on. His hands felt warm against her cool skin, instinctively she wanted to recoil but waited until he had placed the bracelet on snug.
"Hm, funny, I thought this whole thing was a game." Vixon stood and walked out the door in front of Casey. "By brief you mean handed me a folder with the sicko crime pictures and shit? Then yes. But you're welcome to elaborate." Vixon turned to see they caught the attention from several other cops that sat near the interrogation room. She gave them a smile and a little wave as the two walked past.
It seemed Casey got the short end of the stick on this case. "Max Ford, huh?" The man sounded familiar, moreso than if she were to have just heard it on the news for this case, but she couldn't really pinpoint it. In her old line of work you met a lot of sleazeballs and came across a lot of names.
Vixon smiled at Casey's snide comment, "Have faith in me, partner! I couldn't ever let a handsome fella like you down." Vixon wrapped her arms around his arm as they walked out of the precinct. If anything, they probably saw her worth in the connections and the knowledge of the crime rings in the city. Vixon was apart of some drug trafficking, sex trafficking, robbery, murder, and the list goes on. It was all prettily written in her folder.
If anyone knew how to get in touch with anyone, it was probably her.
Vixon, right. Casey had almost forgotten she’d taken the worst ever moniker to represent herself with. How could anyone calling themselves take life seriously? He could appreciate her attempts at getting away from a dull and weighty name like ‘Blair’ at the very least, but Casey had long since understood anything would work as long as you carried it with enough conviction and power.
He gave the woman a long look, then sighed out and took the pen back. At least she’d signed the papers without too much of a struggle. Some of the perps he’d worked with had been less willing and had demanded amendments to be made. So what was she running from exactly to so readily agree with whatever they tossed at her. Not so clever, then. Or perhaps her game was slipping.
A leg was gracefully lifted to be put on the table and Casey picked up the ankle bracelet and mechanically unlocked the device.
“Then, if you’ll excuse me,” Casey apologized, grabbed her leg firmly, and strapped the bracelet on snuggly. Not too tight, not too loose. Wouldn’t do for her to get caught on anything in the heat of things. Her skin felt cool against his and the slight cold was the first human aspect of Vixon he discovered.
“Warfield,” he introduced himself curtly, “And I don’t have time for games. We have a house-call to make,” Casey told Vixon. It was a given she’d be on constant surveillance, that she’d only be offered a safe-house and that there’d be a score of officers raiding her home address to see fit she had something to wear. All courtesy of the contract.
They wouldn’t be visiting Blair’s house either, but the original killer’s current place of residence. If that was even the man. It was important they made sure the man wasn’t in any way involved.
“Did they brief you on the case?” Casey asked, more as a courtesy than anything else. Sometimes the people he was forced to cooperate with didn’t have such a long attention-span, or the ability to read.
He opened the door for Vixon and nodded for her to step out first. The move brought the attention of the other officers to the interrogation room. No one would be envying his current position, that much was for sure.
“Max Ford; we caught the killer for this case almost a year ago. Or so we thought. So either he took the fall or we have a very creative and perfectionist copy-cat. I want to see his response to the lovely news,” Casey explained. “Time to see what you’re worth,” he commented. If Max had any more information to disclose, he wouldn’t tell him. But maybe Vixon might be able to convince the man to tell her a lovely little secret. Despite her impressive record of little things, Casey didn’t think Vixon was anywhere near the scale of dangerous they’d assumed Max to be.
He’d actually have to drive.
Roland was going to have fun with that one.
Vixon sat, tapping her fingers rhythmically, wondering just how long these guys were gonna make her hang out in this stupid room. What was the hold up?
After sometime - she wasn't too sure how long - the door finally opened up. A steel eyed, blond, rugged man walked in - he was a looker for sure. "Man, it is my lucky day." She rested her chin on her hands and smiled up at the man. Not a single word yet but he slapped down some papers and an ankle bracelet within her reach. "Ooh, I'm sure there is some very nice things said about me in here." sarcasm hung on each word out of her mouth as she took the folder and looked over it. Ah, yes. Wanted for murder, robbery, theft, was dangerous, and the list goes on with some other colorful wording. It was obvious they weren't too fond of Ms. Vixon.
This man, Casey Warfield, seemed to be quite the stick in the mud as well. This should be a lot of fun for her. Vixon stretched out her arms after they were released from the cuffs.
"Hmm, just call me Vixon, honey. We'll be partners after all. No need to be so formal with me." He seemed to ignore her as he referenced the bracelet placed before her.
Vixon pouted slightly up at Casey once more. "How could a sweet little thing like me know how to put that on?" She gracefully lifted her leg and laid it on the metal table towards him, "Would you be so kind as to help a lady out, handsome?"
She batted her eyelashes as she smiled up at him before turning to the sheet of paper and quickly signing her birth name on every line that needed it. Not like she was concerned about any bodily harm, better to die outside of prison than being locked up for the rest of your life, right?
The woman pushed the signed papers back over to Mr. Casey, "There, all signed." Sweetly, she held the pen back to him. "Should we get to know each other a little better? I promise there is more to me than whats in that little folder." Vixon winked at him. Oh, how much fun this little adventure will be. Who knew getting arrested would lead to this?
Roland parked the car in front of the precinct and gave his partner a wry smile.
“What?” Casey asked, eyebrows raised. For a second the man just squirmed under his steady gaze, but then Roland submitted, holding up his phone.
“Word around the hub is you’re to be partnered with…guess?”
Casey stepped out of the car and gave Roland a look.
“Okay, okay, so remember that Vixon-character I told you about? Word is the chief thinks she might be an asset to our case,” the man said, more to the point than before. What he said didn’t resolve Casey’s steel gaze boring through his soul.
“You’re to be partnered with her.”
Casey slammed the door. “The only good thing about that is that I don’t have to look at your ugly mug all day.”
“Don’t say that,” Roland countered with a pat on Casey’s back. “I’m sure you’ll be wishing you had me to have your back rather than some criminal who might stab it at the next turn.”
A rookie came up to him, almost as flustered as Roland had been several minutes ago.
“Spit it out,” Casey urged the man on, so he could get some well-earned coffee with a small little bonus to help solidify what he’d just seen. He didn’t know how the crows dealt with it every day, dissecting the mutilated corpses of murder-victims. Presumably, and he genuinely believed this theory, it was because they thought they were doing good. Partly true. He’d never truly understand someone whose idea of ‘good’ was ‘rooting in corpses’. He valued their intelligence though.
“Chief wants to see you,” the younger man said with determination. Ah. At least some of his training remained.
Roland went ahead to the coffee-machine and poured two mugs of black gold.
“Thanks,” Casey sighed.
“Good luck,” Roland said with a chuckle as he manoeuvred through the precinct’s hubbub to find their desks.
A single knock on the door had Max look up. Casey. From the look of things the man already knew what was going on as well. Leave it to the stubborn man to receive the latest information first -part of the reason why he had put the man on this case. They thought it’d been solved for a few months and now this.
“Warfield,” Max acknowledged the man’s presence and closed a file on his computer. “You’ve heard?”
“Heard what, Chief?”
The Chief heaved a thick sigh and stood. “We’ve caught someone interesting this morning. A woman who likes to go by the moniker Vixon.” He dumped a file on the desk for Casey to take. He moved over and flipped through the sheets of paper without picking up the folder and skimmed the pages.
Nothing stood out in particular. Why her?
“Blair Chapman?” Casey ground out slowly, tasting her name.
“I want you to work with her.”
Casey lifted his eyes and gave the man a long, hard stare. Max looked away in the end and turned his back, looking out the window.
“It’s like those murders, Casey, you’ll have to dig into that man’s past again. The world you need to move in …a pretty woman with the knowledge she has is an asset.”
“Have you looked at this sheet? Why would she give two fucks about who killed what?”
“Because it’s this or a life-time in jail.”
“That’s nothing new to her,” Casey muttered under his breath. There was something else, but he could tell by the Chief’s stance that he wasn’t going to get it out of the man right now.
“You’ve worked with the likes of these before, you know the drill.”
Casey sighed and shut the file. He shot the Chief a look, just to let the man know that he’d rather be licking a toilet clean, and made his way over to the holding cells.
“Hey Barkley, something about a woman,” he started.
The man laughed and pointed. “Interrogation room three, you’ll need this.” The man shoved over an ankle monitor. Lovely. They really thought she couldn’t get rid of something like that?
Casey nodded at the guards and entered the cell. Lovely. The sight matched the files. He slapped the paper onto the table in Vixon’s reach and put the ankle bracelet next to it.
“Interested to know our opinion of you?” he nodded at the folder, urging her to take a look. Some of the comments were far from kind or even neutral.
“…because I don’t care about yours. I brought you a gift, miss Chapman,” Casey started. “I’m sure you know how to put it on. Unless you’d prefer me to help?” He gave the woman a level stare, unlocked her handcuffs and waiting for her to work out the bracelet or ask for his help.
“You’ll need to sign these,” Casey started, extracting a contract from the folder and a pen from his shirt. “It sums up to us not being liable for any bodily harm -from us or anyone else. If you find yourself unable to sign it, the deal’s forfeit.”
Vixon listened as they got eyes on the escape vehicle. It was all on the guys this time to get out, she bought them just a few seconds, luckily this wasn't their first rodeo.
She was stuffed into the back of a squad car, her rights read to her, and was immediately taken back to the station. Ahh, fond memories of her youth. Vixon hadn't ever been behind bars herself, but she knew the inside of this police station like it was a second home for her. Lets just say being a criminal ran in the family.
They walked her back to holding, "Oh, how cozy. The cold concrete and dirty mattress really warms up the place." Vixon chuckled as they took the handcuffs off and slammed the bars shut. "Oh, come on, that was funny." The man in uniform gave her an eye roll before leaving her to herself. Vixon shrugged before plopping down on the bed.
A voice from overhead spoke down. A man had his face peaking through the bars just above the wall beside her bed. "Peeping on a lady is very crude of you." The man made a pfft like sound, clearly he was no fun either. "What do you want?"
"[b You're Vixon, aren't ya?]"
"What of it?"
"[b Your little 'gang' is pretty popular around here. Some of your guys just came through a few weeks ago.]"
"Awesome. Is this conversation going anywhere?"
"[b Just curious how this 'smart' leader landed in the slammer?]"
"Ya'know, I would get into it. But I don't really like your face. Plus, I can smell you from here." Vixon waved her hand in front of her face, scrunching it up.
"[b Why you little -]"
"[i Keep it quiet!]" The security officer shouted back from his desk and the man grumbled as he pulled his face out of view.
Vixon let out a sigh that was more of a groan. This shit sucked already, maybe she could convince them just to off her?
It felt like hours before more uniformed men came to her cell and opened the doors. "[b Chief would like to speak with you.]"
"[b You'll find out soon enough, just get up.]" he sounded almost disgusted. Shrugging her shoulders the girl got out of bed as they recuffed her and took her to a nearby interrogation room.
Seated was an older man, clearly important, clearly the chief around here. He didn't look too happy at all. Vixon wore her sweetest smile as they cuffed her to the metal table. "What an honor, sir. I can't believe you'd want to talk to me!"
"[b Are you done?]"
Vixon laughed, "What, you don't think I'm funny? Man, you guys really know how to kill a buzz."
"[b Look, i'm here to make a deal with you.]"
"Oh! Well, this is interesting. Why would the BPD ever want to make any kind of deal with me?"
"Look, you can take the plea deal, or rot. We don't give a [i damn] which you choose, Vixon. Or should I call you, Blair?" Vixon tensed her jaw at the sound of her birth name.
"Very funny, Chief. But don't call me Blair, it's impolite. And if you didn't care so much, why offer?"
"[b To catch a criminal, sometimes you need one. But you want to avoid a hefty jail sentence don't you?]"
"Okay, you got my interest, sweet-cheeks. What's this deal?"
"[b Help us catch him. I know you have inside knowledge and connections. We can sweeten the deal if you need.]"
"I'll take it."
The chief looked a little skeptical. For a moment his old eyes were weary and even a little angry he had to even turn to her. After a moment he took out a folder and opened it, sliding it to her side of the table.
The blood and disgusting images were sprawled out in front of her. Vixon has done things that some would regret ever doing and she isn't a stranger to dead bodies. But these, these were a whole hell of a lot different.
"[b You'll be working closely with the man in charge of this case. His name is Casey Warfield. If he says jump, you jump. If for a moment he feels you're a liability instead of an asset, your ass is back in the cell and you're on the fast track to federal prison. Is that clear?]"
"Loud and clear, chief. Man, how many people get to go from bad guy to good guy? Playing cop should be fun." Vixon smiled up at the man as he stood to leave. He didn't seem to happy with her tone and had a disgusted look on his face as he left the room.
"[b Have Casey come to my office when he returns from the scene. He certainly isn't going to like it, but this case is turning desperate.]" The younger cop nodded a little solemnly as he headed to wait for the detective.
Hung up again. Esmeralda was no rookie. She knew what she was dealing with: a superiority complex, possibly narcissism. Submissive had been the correct position to take, but for some reason, Esmeralda didn't think they'd shoot people -unless the woman she'd talked to wasn't in control. Was she? Esmeralda tapped the phone's horn in thought and raised her eyes at Charles.
"They're up to something, but I'm not sure what," she said.
Charles narrowed his eyes. Things could go either way when Esmeralda called it like that. Either the perpetrators were feeling threatened and were walking a fine line between a massacre or giving up. Or. Or they had a bigger plan.
The doors opened. Harrison raised his weapon. So did the snipers. What came out weren't murderers though. Or were they? Charles was quick to give orders. All of them were intercepted to be verified. It wouldn't be the first time a robber hid amongst the crowd and they'd had enough time to make the switch.
For a long moment his heart was thundering in his chest and then Jones called it out: 'Move in'.
The dull crackle of the transmitter was enough to get Harrison into gear. Training took over. They stormed the entrance of the bank and quickly began to sweep every room. A small window leading into the back-alley was quickly identified as their main-escaping point. Above them, the thunderous sound of a nearby chopper was already whipping about to pursue.
They'd find every single one of them and hunt them down.
"Clear!" he called.
"Clear," the echo resounded.
"We've caught one of them," the comm crackled.
Esmeralda gave the woman she'd talked to a blank stare. A 'deal'. Right. Delusional. She silently added the word to her list. Charles snapped her out of her referee.
"It's a victory," he told her. They'd gotten everyone out. No one appeared to be seriously harmed and they caught what looked like one of the leaders. He'd soon find out. Once the woman was nicely stripped and locked behind bars.
Charles didn't waste any time and got into a car.
"Take her to the precinct, get me eyes on the escape vehicle," he ordered.
Roland felt his phone vibrate in his pocket and turned away from Casey, who was crouched down next to the corpse.
"They drained her blood here, probably with needles or something similar, before she died," Sylvia pointed out with her white gloved fingers. "Presumably, the blood was then used to dye the fabric," she started. Several of their colleagues were working on getting them down, using a cherry-picker to get that high. Probably in a similar reverse-way of how the murderer had done it.
"They caught someone at the bank," Roland announced as he returned and put his phone away. "They say she's an interesting one. Vixon, heard of that name?"
Casey raised his eyebrows. "Nope," he said dryly and snapped his gloves off.
"When can I expect the report?"
Sylvia plucked at her subject to inspect something that piqued her interest. "Tomorrow, the day after at the latest, it depends on what else we find."
"We're done here," Casey told Roland. "Let's get back to the office and get some warrants to snoop around."
Gunn had still be giving her shit for the last several minutes. You can't this and you can't that. Vixon rubbed her temples. She ran this little shit rag-tag team and not too long ago it went bad - just like this - and she lost some good guys to the cops. How long could she run? Clearly she wasn't fit for this style of life anymore.
"Eh, enough, Gunn. They are calling again." Vixon spoke up over his noisy complaints as the phone began to buzz once more. The woman stretched as she lazily walked to the phone, picking it up. "Hello?"
"[i Hello, this is Esmeralda with the Baltimore police. I just want to talk.]"
"Ah, here's the thing, Esmeralda - right? We don't want to talk. What? You gonna empathize with me? Tell me how you understand why we are in a position where we 'feel' need to steal?" Vixon laughed but the other end of the phone was silent. "Cat got your tongue? Well, here. I'll make you a deal. You want a deal?"
"[i We are willing to discuss any kind of deal. We just want those people out safely.]"
Vixon looked over at her members who stood anxiously, waiting for her word, and the chance to get out. Gunn still clearly annoyed and unhappy.
"Well, that's so sweet. Truly caring about the good of the people. You guys are such hero's." Vixon's voice was laced with malice. "You'll figure out the deal here in about 5 minutes." The voice over the phone spoke once more asking what the deal was but Vixon hung up.
"Boys, position yourselves. There is a room towards the back, there is a window by the van. It's a tight fit but I'm sure you can break it and get out. I'll great a big enough hassle. The moment I step out you run." Vixon smiled as the protest from Gunn continued. With the sweetest face she could muster she turned to him, "Shut the fuck up, Gunn. Quit being a pussy."
With that Vixon began to usher out people shoving them which way as police began to scramble to get them to safety. The three that came in with her began their escape through the small copy room in the back and she stepped out the front of the bank. "Wow, what a show. Just for me?" Vixon announced as she was almost immediately surrounded.
Off in the corner of her eye she could see the van taking off from an alley way a little ways down. Certainly worth it.
"Yo, no need to man handle me. I'm a dignified lady." She exclaimed with a smile as the officers began to handcuff her and shove her towards the squad car. Her eyes met with a young woman next to what she could assume was a superior. "I told you that you'd find out the deal soon enough."
Esmeralda looked down at the phone. A depressing tone came from it at regular intervals. She heaved a deep sigh and lifted her eyes up at senior officer Charles.
The man returned an unmoveable expression, betraying no emotion. Somehow, this set her at ease.
They'd all heard it: fifteen minutes before they started shooting people. There was no way they were going to get 'out of there', because even though they'd attempted it: negotiating wasn't about making deals. It was about letting the perpetrator know what would happen if they didn't comply to their demands.
"Try again in five minutes," Charles commanded and Esmeralda nodded, slightly hopeful.
Harrison strapped Jones up with a measured jerk. Their other colleagues too were readying up in assault gear. If negotiations didn't go as planned, they would storm the place. Several of the entrances were already secured and more men were moving into position. They had the place under lock-down and the gang inside was good and well surrounded by now.
Jones put a hand to the young Harrison's shoulder.
"You get to play with the big toys now, huh?" He shot his younger colleague an encouraging smile, but the effects were undone by the gear they wore. This was serious. People might die on either side and there were the innocent victims to consider.
"I wish we didn't have to," Harrison complained sourly. Another pat on the back and they were ready to go.
"Someone has to."
Casey ducked under the yellow tape and stepped onto the crime-scene. A woman in white offered him some white shoe-covers to prevent him from contaminating the crime-scene. Roland took the plastic covers and smiled at the lady.
"How's it going today, Syl? How's the kids?"
"They're doing great, yeah, one of them had some trouble in school -...don't step there, please..., but yeah, that was all sorted in the end. Small kids, small problems, you know?" Sylvia smiled.
Roland smiled back, "wish everything was so easily solved, huh?"
Small problems indeed. Sylvia looked at the crime-scene and returned to her table to run some first tests on the samples while they were still fresh.
Casey watched the scene with detached curiosity. Roland joined him. Both were breathing through their mouths, because the scene in front of them was grim and had been found far too late.
Even then, Casey could almost taste the corpse's vapours in the air. The body was sprawled out, in a supine position, but it was clear their staff had done so in preparation of examining the body further. From the ceiling hung a number of red cloth strips, draped all the way down from the tall warehouse ceiling. They didn't touch the ground entirely.
"Twelve, again," Roland muttered.
With the door open, they fluttered on the breeze.
"She was hung from those three," one of the staff muttered from behind a mask as he pointed. Casey nodded.
"Body was drained of blood," another said from next to the corpse. The man stood, "all orifices were stitched shut. Feel familiar?"
Casey nodded slowly. "Far too familiar."
Esmeralda gave a nod. Charles pressed the button, redialling into the bank. Almost all of them were in position. Esmeralda found herself wishing she knew more about the person she'd be talking to. Honestly, she'd only get one or two more opportunities to say anything and she'd carefully weighed her words this time.
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