Dresden Files: Twin Cities

Strange Smells Part 2

A Jack Hunter Story

Featured Investigators

The Story

Hunter didn’t have to wait long for a response. He got a quick text message from Moss, “Meet me at ”/wikis/augies-tavern-restraunt-and-lounge" class=“wiki-page-link”> Augie’s." Jack knew the place. It was an out of the way topless bar, but it pretty much served as a mob front for the Genovese Crime Syndicate. He was pretty sure he hadn’t done anything recently with his extra curricular activities that would piss them off, well aside from just being a cop.

Moss better have a good reason to meet me here.

Jack got to the place pretty quickly, one of the perks about being able to shape change into a hawk; you get the avoid traffic. He walked into the dimly lit, smoky lounge and was greeted by Augie’s Employee of the Month, Colin Patterson. Jack has had some run-ins with Colin and the best thing that anyone could say about the man is that he is an out an out sociopath. Luckily, Colin didn’t seem too interested in Jack, which suited Jack fine because he didn’t want to tangle with Pete Capra’s number one enforcer today.

“Would you like a seat at the bar or a booth?” Jack’s reverie was interrupted by a topless hostess. He didn’t really look. Whenever he looked at another woman, he thought about Kat.

Jack looks over the hostess’s bared shoulder, “I’m looking for someone,” he sees Moss sitting in a back corner booth, “excuse me.” He brushes by the waitress and makes his way to Moss.

Jack knew he could trust Moss with this, because Moss owed Kat big time. He got to the table and slid into the dingy booth. Moss was drinking and smiling with another fellow, Lucky Dan. Small time con for Clinton and known half-goblin, Jack waited for Moss to speak as he knew that Moss never did things without a plan.

Yeah, but they aren’t always good plans.

“Sooo, Jack, I got your call and I was already looking into something weird and I think it might be related,” Moss elbows a very drunk Lucky Dan, “and my new friend here has something he wants to tell ya.”

“My new friend has been buyin’ me drinks,” Dan shotguns a glass of beer, belches, “All DAY! Son, ALL DAY!”

A topless waitress leans across the table and takes Dan’s glass, depositing another. Moss and Lucky Dan observe a moment of silence as they take in the view, Hunter merely….smells…he notes an odd scent from the beer, almost as if he catches the faint whiff of iron.

What’s Moss’s game?

“Now, Danny boy meet Jack, Jack, my new, dumb friend Danny boy here,” Moss says in an affected British accent. Jack knows that Moss was born somewhere in North Dakota, but he has used that accent ever since Jack has known him. Moss Continues, “Danny here works for a certain black market dealer in magical artifacts, Clinton, and Danny here is going to tell me about some very LARGE purchases that were recently made,” Danny gets hard eyed at the words, Moss ignores the clenching fists, “because if Danny doesn’t tell me there is going to be pain, and he is going to regret the fourteen beers laced with iron he just drank.”

Danny suddenly looks sick, “I know nothing.”

Moss smiles evilly, “Danny, that isn’t a good answer if you don’t want your fingers broken…and I am the nice one here, Jack…well, lets just say he doesn’t stop at fingers.”

Lucky Dan shrinks back, “Ok, ok, ok, it’s not like it’s a big deal or summthin’, just some native chick came up to Duluth and started flashing around a bunch of cash. She wanted just stuff, you know, basic stuff, like Sandman Sand, you know sleeping powder, and other stuff. She paid in cash and we asked no questions…none.”

Jack growls, “A name, did she have a name?”

“I…I don’t know,” stammers Dan, “It was summthin’ like Kate or maybe it was after an animal, like Gerbil.”

Jack slams his fist atop Lucky Dan’s hand; there is a crunching sound as the iron infused goblin lets out a small scream. “It was Kat, oh god, it was Kat.”

Jack lets up the pressure and Lucky Dan scurries out of the booth clutching his shattered wrist. Moss looks at Jack, “I know that look and I can’t tell you what she did inside the Foshay Building without taking a peek, but I want you to know what you are asking. The last guy who broke in there, they tracked him down, they tied him up, starved him a little ya know. Made him nice and hungry, then they began to feed him a little morsel here and there. Then they gave him a video, all those fruit smoothies they fed him? Yeah, it was his family, his friends, his neighbors, hell a stray dog, they chopped them all up and fed them to him. They left him alive though, the poor bastard, I hear he is still in the psych ward at Regions. I mean I know, but if we do this. If we peak in there, we got to do this….careful like, ok?”

Before Hunter can assure his friend, Colin’s looming presence interrupts their conversation. “Mr. Capra wants a word with you,” the sociopathic thug says in an icy voice.

Hunter looks past him and sees that there are some other goons and while he is confident he could get out in one piece, Moss might not be that lucky. Hunter nods slightly to Moss. Moss gulps and takes a slug of beer, “Well, I suppose we should see what the King Pin of Organized Crime wants with the likes of us.”

Colin gestures, giving Hunter the opportunity to see the piece he is carrying. He briefly notes a native totem and realizes that someone has been doing their research. Research that he doesn’t like. They walk into an area at the back of the club and are shown to a private booth. The dim lights afford those seated here privacy while being able to see the rest of the bar. Seated in the booth, drinking a glass of scotch is Peter Capra. He smiles, showing his teeth which gleam like a lions or a sharks and gestures for the two men to sit. Moss shrugs and slides into the opposite side of the booth, with Hunter, sliding in next to Moss. Colin sits across from Hunter, his dead eyes staring at the suspended cop.

I never like feeling like prey.

Capra takes a second to speak, “My sources tell me that a certain crook and suspended officer of the law are thinking about breaking into a bank. And not just any bank, but one controlled by one of the ”/characters/carlos-ortega" class=“wiki-content-link”>most ruthless creatures in this city." He pauses for a moment, “One who has something that I want.”

Moss looks at Capra with innocence being reflected in his wide eyes, “I have no idea where you got that idea! I was just meeting a friend for a drink and some atmosphere.” Moss gestures towards one of the topless waitress slinky through the bar area, “besides a job like that is suicide…:”

Capra’s eyes go hard, his voice firms, “I know what you have been asking after, who you have been asking about, I know what you need.” Peter leans back taking a sip of scotch, the ice clinking against the glass, “And I can help you get in.”

Moss goes quiet, Hunter remains still.

Capra, stop playing with your game. I hate being the fucking mouse.

“I have the access codes for Ortega’s electronic security system.” Capra glances at Moss, “Someone of your rumored skill could do a number of the Foshay security systems with information like that. Now you are thinking that with that information, you could just break in electronically and get the account information.”

I was just thinking that.

“Ortega is….well old school…and those accounts. The accountings of…the ”/wikis/nevernever" class=“wiki-page-link”> Other World he keeps in a ledger hidden somewhere in his vault. Find that, you get your information. Now my password is not free."

Nothing ever is.

“I have two conditions. The first is I want that ledger. That is my price. The second, well, the second is a form of assistance. Colin will come with you.” Capra slaps Colin on the shoulder. The man doesn’t even shift his expression when he finds out he is going to be breaking into the criminal banking syndicate and lair of an ancient Red Court Vampire. “He has certain skills that you might need, plus he fucking hates Red Court Vampires.”

Moss sighs to himself and turns to Hunter, “I don’t like this, but, the impossible just changed to the improbable, are we in? Its your call.”

Peter snorts, “I didn’t realize I was making a request.”

Nothing is ever simple.

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