For over one hundred years, Hallowthorpe Estate has entertained many of Delta City’s rich and important, today its latest visitor is neither of those, he bangs on the door and needs only wait several moments before Christopher Dillinger answers it.
“Can I help you?”
“Detective Inspector Gary Jackson, District-Three PD,” Gary says holding out his badge. “Miss Hallowthorpe contacted my Superintendent and wanted me to personally come see her,” a certain level of disrespect obvious in his voice. His mind is nowhere near ready for something like this as he’s still struggling to get himself back on track after the last few days in Bay Side Memorial. They can fix the flesh and bone in a matter of minutes, but the mind, well there is still no sure-fire cure for fixing that.
“Detective Inspector, welcome, I’m Christopher Dillinger, I work for Miss Hallowthorpe,” Christopher says as he extends his hand, Gary takes it and gives it a good shake.
“That must be fun,” Gary says sarcastically. “So what am I here for?”
“I’ll leave that up to Miss Hallowthorpe to explain, if you would follow me,” Christopher replies as he leads Gary into a large lounge area, Caroline sits in a big chair sipping a glass of wine.
“Miss Hallowthorpe, may I introduce, Detective Inspector Gary Jackson.”
“You have a very beautiful and big place here, Miss Hallowthorpe.”
“Thank you,” Caroline replies. “But you’re not here to compliment my house now are you, Detective Inspector, you’re here to help me.”
“And how can I do that, Miss Hallowthorpe?”
“Christopher, please give him the photos.”
“Of course,” Christopher replies as he walks over to a table and picks up several photos.
“These photos were taken two days ago by a private investigator I hired,” Caroline says as Christopher hands Gary the photos.
“Who am I looking at, and why am I supposed to care?” Gary asks as he looks at the pictures of a young lady with long blonde hair.
“The lady in the picture is my sister, Rebecca,” Caroline replies.
“And the importance of these photos are?”
“Rebecca died in a car accident three years ago Detective Inspector,” Christopher says.
“And these were taken two days ago?”
“Yes, by a private investigator,” Caroline replies.
“This private investigator, do they have a name?”
“A Mister Andrew Fontaine,” Christopher replies.
“Fontaine?” Gary says, the surprise shows on his face.
“You know of him?”
“You could say that, I didn’t think he still did this sort of stuff anymore.”
“It’s none of my concern if this man does or does not do this sort of work anymore, I want to know what you’re going to do about my problem?” Caroline asks.
“Look, Miss Hallowthorpe, I don’t understand why you want me here or what you want me to do?”
“Is it not obvious? Someone is trying to kill me and take my empire, and you are here to make sure they do not succeed,” Caroline replies, the frustration in her voice evident.
“But there’s nothing to say anyone is trying to kill you, just some photos of your supposed dead sister, which amounts to nothing really in my book.”
“The mag-link accident from a few days ago was her first attempt, but it failed, next time she may succeed,” Caroline says with anger.
“What the fuck are you talking about? The mag-link accident was due to an overflow in the mag-link grid,” Gary replies. “That was not aimed at you Miss Hallowthorpe, fifteen people were killed and you, Miss Hallowthorpe, survived. If you were the intended victim, I’m sure we would not be sitting here having this conversation. Now if you don’t mind, I’ve got better things to do than deal with a delusional nut case who thinks the world is out to steal her millions.”
“How dare you talk to me like that, I will have your badge for this!”
“Look Miss Hallowthorpe for all I care you can take my badge and shove it,” Gary says. “I don’t work for you, I work for the city, this is not my division or for that matter my area of expertise, I have twelve homicide cases on the go and I’ve just spent two days locked up in Bay Side Memorial. You want to be watched twenty four seven go to the private area, I’m sure you can afford better than I could ever do for you.”
“Get out!” Caroline screams. “Get out now!”
“It’s been a pleasure,” Gary says as he storms out of the room and out the door. He sits back on his modified AC-Stinger as the bikes commline begins to blink.
“She was quick.”
“What the fuck did you say to her?” Gleeson yells down the commline.
“Nothing, I told her she was wasting my time and to go elsewhere for the sort of assistance she was after.”
“Bullshit, what you did was act like an arse,” Gleeson says. “Why did she want to see you anyway?”
“You don’t know?”
“That was never discussed, she just requested you.”
“Ok, well, according to Hallowthorpe, she apparently saw her dead sister Rebecca a few days ago during the mag-grid overload, she thinks that the overload was a deliberate attack towards her orchestrated by Rebecca,” Gary replies. “I had a look into Hallowthorpe’s history before I arrived, her sister Rebecca was killed in an accident a little over three years ago. It all went through the normal channels of investigation and was treated as a murder when it was revealed the car’s mag-line was hacked to pieces. Her husband was convicted of the murder five months later and iced for life, now suddenly dear old Rebecca has surfaced again, and Caroline believes she is trying to kill her.”
“So what do you think? Is she losing it?”
“Why are you so fucking interested in this crazy bitches ramblings?”
“You need to understand son, some very important and powerful people, people who have vested interest in Air-Thirty-Four, minor shareholders you can call them. What most people don’t know is that Hallowthorpe doesn’t own it all, but she holds the lions share, gets to make decisions, and these minor sharehoders, they’ve been trying to wrestle it away from her since she took the seat, and if she’s loosing it, if she’s walking the sharp road into insainty, they could use that to push her out.”
“Always trying to work the voodoo aren’t you Bill? What did they promise you, a chair on the board, a step up the ladder?”
“That’s none of your concern son, you have to understand, these people hold a fair bit of power in this city, and I have no choice, but the more I cooperate, the better it is for everyone.”
“Better for you, you mean? But you do whatever deals you’ve got to make, just leave me the fuck out of it,” Gary says. “And to answer your question, I’m certain someone’s giving her a shakedown, although I have no idea who. I’ve got a possible suspect in her little toy boy Dillinger, he fits all the flashing lights shit that you look for in cases like this. But it doesn’t matter, I’ve got cases I need to get back to, cases that have sat on my desk since I’ve been in Memorial, so you can handball this off to someone else whose better equipped to deal this sort of shit.”
“I know you like to do things your own way, but Hallowthorpe, she wants you to handle this case, even after your little outburst, so we have no choice but to play along.”
“I don’t give a fuck Bill, I don’t work this shit.”
“Just do me this one favour son,” Gleeson says. “Just look into it, a day at the most, remember our deal, I’ll ignore you using Fontaine.”
“For fuck sake Bill,” Gary says as he sits there for a few moments. “Understand that I’m not going to waste my time, I’ll keep an eye on Dillinger for a little while and see what falls from the tree, after that I’m done with Hallowthorpe,” Gary replies quickly as he disconnects the commline and watches as Christopher Dillinger leave Hallowthorpe Estate. “Engage camouflage mode, file five nine eight player,” Gary says, in a matter of seconds a hologram image of an eXpresso delivery bike is layered over Gary and the AC-Stinger, and he slowly follows after Christopher.
END OF ACT I