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Skyfire156Skyfire156 03 Nov 2010 23:29
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Themed Movie Nights

I like it, make it happen!

by Skyfire156Skyfire156, 03 Nov 2010 23:29
Ria RawkzRia Rawkz 12 Sep 2010 20:33
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Nate's Page

yayyyy! You added chapters! :D

by Ria RawkzRia Rawkz, 12 Sep 2010 20:33
jenjen 30 Apr 2010 17:07
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » HOME

who gave Nate a page?

by jenjen, 30 Apr 2010 17:07

Rising Hero- Poor Man -Envy (Detective Watson)
New Detective assigned to case
Returning Legend- Beggar Man -Pride (Detective Brown)
Former Detective rehired for expertise on the matter
Merc goes good- Thief -Greed (Han Ferrison)
Criminal brought in as specialist
best goes rogue- Lawyer -Lust (Mr. Dent)
Legal help brought in for case
Best doing their best- Doctor -Wrath (Professor Hamilton)
Daughter Kidnapped
The Protector- Rich Man -Gluttony (Shirley Temple)
Son Kidnapped
The Curse- Indian Chief -Sloth (Chief Wilson)
Oversees investigation of case

The sound of the padlock clicking closed was the sound of their doom snapping its iron jaws around them. The two of them huddled together on cold cement, only a dim strip of light under the door illuminating the bare, cold concrete walls. He could feel her chest heaving, she was crying into his lap, her sobs muted by the gag stuffed into her mouth. He was unable to comfort her with more than his presence, his hands having been twisted cruelly behind his back and lashed there in a no nonsense manner. So he sat, propped as he was against the cold wall, and did the best he could to comfort her, praying as never before that they would be delivered swiftly from this predicament.

**

The first indication Professor Hamilton had that something was amiss was when he opened the letter, delivered by a courier who interrupted him as he sat down to his first cup of coffee.
“It’s 8am, do you know where YOUR daughter is?” the message read, the saying ripped from a poster advocating parental involvement in adolescent life, the time cut out from newspaper letters. He thought at first that it must be a prank, one of his students trying to put him off his coffee. After all, he had heard his daughter come back last night, had made a point of staying up until he heard her, and only her, creeping into her room in the dead of night. He looked at the messenger, who simply looked back with the neutral, servile face put on by most who were bored of those they dealt with. He nodded at the man, tipped him, and sent him on his way before trudging up the stairs, coffee in hand, and rapping gently on his daughter’s bedroom door.
There was no answer, so he opened it, and his heart stopped when he saw an empty bed, neatly made up, facing him, a scrap of paper resting atop the pillow upon which he had expected her head to be resting. Rushing over, He picked up the scrap and read the newspaper letters pasted on this one.
“Apparently you do not. The question is, can you find her? It might be dangerous ahead, take this.” Taped to the scrap of paper was a half of a key. He had the shaft of the key, with the grooves that would unlock a lock, but the upper portion was mostly cut away, leaving him with no idea what the key unlocked.

***

Chief Wilson was having a bad day. The coffee machine was broken, his wife had left him, again, and he was being threatened with probation, again. And then the bewildered and distraught parent came in, cheesy newspaper note in hand, and wailing about her missing son. Her story was that she had woken earlier that morning to find her son’s bedroom empty, and this note sitting on his pillow, along with a half a key she kept waving in his face.
The note read “It’s 7am, do you know where YOUR son is?” obviously ripped from one of the many posters plastered over the city.
The reverse side said something about needing the key to proceed, but Chief Wilson wasn’t entirely sure how it would help, seeing as how they key was only the back half of one, with a sliver of a shaft remaining, but all of the grooves cut away. Fortunately, he noticed as he inspected it more closely, the rear of the key had “344 Maple” inscribed into it, a clue as to where to go next.
A kidnapping case would be just the thing he needed to get back on his feet again, he thought to himself. If he was able to solve this, the city council would have no choice but to lift the probation, and once that happened, he could convince Mrs. Wilson to come back to him.
Chief Wilson stood, new hope surging through him, and ordered his best, if newest, detective to start the investigation.

**

Detective Watson had just emerged from his fruitless search of 344 Maple when the call came in. The place was an Econo-Inn, there were a million places the key could fit, but without the other half there was no way to tell which was the right one.
“Hold the search for a few minutes, Watson,” the Chief roared over the comm, “We found the other half of the key. This is now a case of two missing persons.”
Watson could barely believe the explanation, but by the time the Chief finished explaining that a couple had been abducted, and the parents of each had been left half of the key, a squad car was pulling up alongside his own, containing both parents and an officer who had been assigned to escort them here.
He smiled at them and greeted them as they climbed out of the car, their faces grim and set, signs apparent that they had been distraught, but had composed themselves so as to aid in the investigation.
The man introduced himself as Professor Hamilton. He was approaching the end of middle age, his brown hair beginning to thin, and his round face beginning to crease, but his steady eyes suggested great intelligence. His attire suggested that he had prepared for a day in the classroom before reporting to the station.
The woman, who introduced herself as Ms. Temple, was a different story entirely. Middle age, but hiding it extremely well, she had the air of someone who would stay young forever on sheer willpower. Her attire spoke of money, but without flaunting it, a sensible suit tailored to fit her exactly. A hint of makeup suggested a softer side to her, but she hid it behind her no-nonsense posture.
“We are putting all of our effort into finding your children and apprehending whoever did this,” He said, asking each for their half of they key. The pieces fit together perfectly, but as he inspected the whole key, Watson noticed something amiss about it.
“This is a car key,” He pointed out, holding up the complete key with grooves along both sides of its length. “We’ve been looking in the wrong place, we thought the key was for something inside.”
The woman’s eyes widened, worry creasing her face. “So why put the address on the key?” She asked, tone closer to contemplative now, with only a hint of the hysteria she had shown earlier.
“It probably means that we’re looking for a car parked outside the building, rather than somewhere either indoors or elsewhere in the city.” Detective Watson furnished, increasingly perplexed as to why the kidnapper would leave clues in such a manner. Fortunately, while the number of cars parked outside the building was less than the number of places the key could’ve pointed to inside, parking spaces on both sides of the street were packed full.
“You say you’s lookin’ for a cah?” A voice spoke from behind Watson. Turning, the Detective beheld a meter reader, making his rounds with a sheaf of tickets and a well-used pencil. “that’n there’s been ‘ere since afore I started my shift.” He continued, pointing to a nearby sports car, upon the windshield of which was a number of tickets suggesting that the car had been parked there all night. “Thought I was gonna hafta call the tow-truck on than’n.”
Detective Wilson was no longer listening, but headed for the car, key outstretched before him. It slid home with ease, and the click of the doors unlocking as he turned the key was both satisfying and disturbing to all in the group.

**

Former Detective Brown woke to the sound of a telephone, which bypassed his ears and drilled a hole straight into his skull. Which was odd because he didn’t have a telephone. Then he realized that he must be at Lou’s place, as the last place he remembered being last night was Lou’s Bar. Lou was a good man, a man he had made friends with when he was still a detective, and who would still put up with him now that he was nothing. He heard Lou answer the phone, which was a relief to his aching head. What he heard next was not.
“Brown? Yeah, he’s here.” Lou said, and the man on the couch groaned, knowing that whatever came next, it would not be good, “Hang on, I’ll put him on.” Clunk. “Leroy! Hey, Leroy,” Lou sounded excited for some reason, “Come here, some one from the police station wants to talk to you, sounds like they have a case for you!”
Leroy sat up, groaned. Opened his eyes. Shut them. Groaned again, and finally forced himself to his feet. Wished for a bucket of coffee. Stumbled over to the phone, and picked up the receiver.
“Yeah.”
“Detective Brown?” The voice was young and nervous. Irritated him.
“Not anymore, am I?”
“You can be again. The Chief told me if you help with this case he can get you your job back.”
“ ‘m not interested. Those days are over for me, and you can tell your Chief to take the job and shove it!” He was practically yelling now, the anger he’d thought he drank away years ago returning as he quashed the slim light of hope.
“The Phantom has resurfaced.”
The words struck like thunder, and freezing Leroy in place for a heartbeat. Two heartbeats. Three.
“I’ll do it.” Click.
Detective Brown stood, spine straighter than it had been in years, and marched into Lou’s bathroom. A haggard white face, strewn with grey stubble and topped with unkempt grey hair greeted him in the mirror. He showered and shaved, and when he looked again, he saw that the eyes had lost their drunken haze, already returning to the sharpness he remembered from years past.

**

Ms. Temple was not impressed as the supposed super detective climbed out of the car. His clothes were a mess and stank of alcohol, his dark hair was ruffled and unkempt, and he looked like he'd spent the last few years indoors, primarily in a bar. His eyes, however, spoke of a keen, if rusty intellect. He walked into the Chief's office immediately, and the door shut behind him. Detective Brown was back on the job.
The car they had found outside the hotel had been towed back to the station, and was being inspected with a fine toothed comb. Ms. Temple knew it could be a while before they actually found anything, and thus was surprised when an officer rushed up to them, bearing a small GPS navigation computer.
"We found this in the passenger's seat, Sir." The man said, addressing Detective Watson. The detective's eyes lit up, and he reached for it eagerly.
"Hold it!" The call rang across the room, issuing from Detective Brown, who stood in the doorway to the Chief's office. "First I want that thing dusted for prints, and then you will bring it in here to me!" The order issued like a whip-crack from the man's raspy throat, and the officer scurried off, eyes wide, to obey.
Ms. Temple saw that Detective Watson was barely holding back an enraged howl, and wondered just how well the two detectives would work together. They seemed very much opposites. Watson was clean, upright, and neat; his manner calming and professional, if inexperienced, and shabby Detective Brown was already handing out orders like he owned the investigation.
She hurried into the office, following Watson and Professor Hamilton, and shut the door behind her just in time to hear the end of Brown's lecture to Watson.
“I know the proper procedure, Brown!” Watson interrupted, face beginning to redden under the verbal assault. “This case is like none I’ve ever seen before, this guy is taunting us!”
“I know, which is why it is even more important to follow the procedure,” Brown spat back, “It will slow us down, give us time to think and act rationally. If we get emotional, if we rush, if we slip at all, he wins!”
“You speak like you know this guy.” Professor Hamilton piped up, cutting off Watson’s outburst.
“I hunted him for eight years, eight years of cases like this one,” Brown said, darkly, “Before he vanished. We never caught him, or found any of his victims. He never makes demands, just games, trails of clues like this one, where one slip means death. When he vanished, we assumed that he’d died or moved on, but I didn’t stop looking. That distraction cost me, last time, and I don’t plan on letting that happen again.”
Brown turned his back on the group, stalked over to a chair, and sat, not looking at anyone.
Chief Wilson, motioned everyone to sit. He was a man approaching middle age, his trim military fitness just beginning to lose its edge. The premature creases on his face attested to the amount of stress the man handled on a regular basis, and his dusky skin hinted at a Native American lineage. Ms. Temple noticed both the Chief and Detective Brown throw envious glances at the cup of coffee she sipped periodically as they waited.
Shortly, the GPS was brought into the room by the same officer who had tried to hand it over to Watson a few minutes before. He reported that there were no fingerprints to be found on the device, and no evidence of tampering with it, before he handed it to Chief Wilson.
Wilson dismissed the man, and everyone gathered around, eager. The device booted up, took a few seconds to recall the destination it had been programmed with, and then began giving driving directions; in Darth Vader’s voice. Professor Hamilton let out a nervous laugh, and everyone looked at each other incredulously.
“This seems to be giving directions to a rental storage unit.” Watson said after examining the GPS for a few seconds.
“Well, what are we waiting for?” Wilson was already on his feet, striding out of the office. He gave orders to find the owner of the facility and see if he would cooperate. If not, the DA’s office was to be contacted for a warrant.
The five of them left in a rush, Ms. Temple feeling a small amount of hope as the squad car pulled out of the parking lot.

**

Bzzt. “Mr. Dent? I have a call for you on line two. It’s Chief Wilson.”
“Thank you Bets, I’ll take that in here.”
Click. “Hello Wilson, What can I do for you today?”
Wilson sounded weary, despite the fact that it was only eleven in the morning. “Hey Dent, I need a favor. A search warrant for a storage building on 214 Fleet street.”
“Ok, Chief, I can do that, easy. Don’t tell me you’re out working a case personally at this hour in the morning?”
“You wouldn’t believe what I’ve been through this morning. You remember the rash of missing persons cases we had seven years ago, before you made DA?”
Pause, then slowly, “Yeah, what are you saying, Wilson?”
“He’s back. This ‘Phantom’ or whatever the media call him.”
“You can’t be serious.”
“Two missing teenagers. Half of a key left at each of their houses. The key was for a stolen car with a brand new GPS device in it. The GPS led here. We need to get into this building, Harvey, and the manager is unreachable.”
“Consider it done. I’ll bring the warrant down myself, so I can be on hand for any more of these you might need today. Did you call the guy that almost had this bastard last time? Green, or White, or whatever?”
“Detective Brown is currently standing five feet from me, looking at the door of this storage unit like he could break it by staring at it. The man is like an encyclopedia for all things Phantom related.” Wilson sounded slightly unsettled at the depth of the man’s concentration.
“I hope you have a leash on him, Wilson. Sounds like he’s so intent on this he won’t care if he hurts someone.”
“Give me some credit, Dent. He’s not hired yet, and he won’t be if his performance isn’t up to par.”
“Just checking. I’ll be there in fifteen. Sit tight.”
“Thanks, Harvey. See you soon.”
Clunk. “Hey, Bets, I need a search warrant for a storage unit on Fleet street. While you’re at it, grab me a coffee, I‘m going to be out on some fieldwork the rest of the day.”
“Yes, sir.” Came the subdued reply from the other room. District Attorney Dent put his face in his hands, and heaved a sigh. It was going to be a long day.

**

Han Ferrison climbed out of the squad car, breathing deeply his first taste of freedom. Pity it had its costs, but he was willing to put up with it for the promise of release. The officers escorting him unlocked the handcuffs, and replaced them with a wristband that snapped closed around one wrist. The device would be difficult to remove without injuring himself, and would track his location so there would be no escape should he try to run. That too was something he could put up with.
Looking across the parking lot, he saw the group of six that he was supposed to help. Two men in Police uniforms, one of them a detective by the badge on his breast, the other the Police Chief by the stripes on his sleeve. The man in the shabby brown coat that had seen too much use Han recognized as the former Detective who had originally put him behind bars, and the man with the sleek, perfect hair and polished, flawless appearance was obviously the lawyer who had worked this deal for Ferrison. The other two, a man in a dark coat and a woman who held a cup of coffee, he didn’t recognize, but figured they must be connected to the case somehow. Related to the missing people, more than likely.
He was marched up to the group, and the lawyer stepped out to meet him, grinning a smile full of dazzlingly white teeth.
“Hello, Han, Let me introduce you to the group.” He said, tugging Han into the circle. “Everyone, this is Han Ferisson. He used to work with the Phantom, until Detective Brown caught up to him. He’s agreed to help us bring this abomination to justice. Han, this is Doctor Hamilton,”
“Professor Hamilton, please. I may have a PhD, but I’d prefer to not have it waved around in public.” The man with the darker coat spoke up, nodding at Han.
“Yes, yes, it’s all semantics, anyway,” Dent continued, “This is Ms. Temple, mother of the kidnapped boy.”
“Please, call me Shirley,” She said, flashing a flattering smile at Dent, and a brief, warning look at Han, as if to say don’t you dare actually call me Shirley. Han resolved to test that warning as much as possible, even as he nodded to her.
“Chief Wilson,” Harvey gestured, and the Chief nodded, “Detective Watson,” A brief smile and nod, “And of course you already know Detective Brown.” Brown was staring stone-faced at Han, obviously not pleased with his presence on the investigation. Han nodded, grinning because he knew it would irritate the older Detective.
“Well, gentlemen, lady,” Ferisson gestured, trying to match Dent’s upbeat tone, “Let’s get this party started.”
“Right,” Watson turned, presenting a scrap of paper plastered with newspaper letters, “This is what we found in the storage unit, once we’d gotten inside,” He gestured back over his shoulder, “We have a team going over every inch of it as we speak, but I doubt they’ll find anything, this piece of paper was all that was in there.”
Ferisson looked it over. Despite the newspaper lettering, the thing looked professional. Each line was perfectly straight and even, and as far as he could tell, the grammar was impeccable. The content of the message also rang of the man who had hired him a couple times several years ago. He’d been irritatingly superior back then too. The message read:
The day grows long, their time grows short,
These two seafarers their Pilot soon will meet.
But all’s not lost, their fate you may thwart,
Find the nearest athenaeum with hasty feet.

“Well, that’s all well and good,” Ms. Temple put in, after they had all looked over the paper, “But what does it mean?”
“It’s a warning,” Brown put in, “And a clue. It means that we only have a certain amount of time to follow this trail, hence the time growing short part. We just need to figure out where to find the next clue.”
“I think I know where to look,” Professor Hamilton looked up from the rhyme, “An athenaeum is a repository of knowledge, typically books; a library. Where’s the closest one?”
Chief Wilson went to the squad car and pulled out a map, which he spread over the hood. A few seconds of searching, and he jabbed his finger down on a spot. “Here. Three blocks away. City Library, it’s huge. We could spend days searching that place for a clue.”
“I know where to look,” Hamilton waved away the concerns, “The place that he mentions their Pilot. I think it’s a reference to Tennyson’s ‘Crossing the Bar’ poem, which mentions the Pilot as a symbol for Jesus. The poem itself is an allegory for death, Tennyson saying that he wants no one to mourn his passing, because he will be with his God. The Pilot mentioned here seems to be the same figure, based on the other clues in the poem. We need to find a book that contains Tennyson‘s poetry.”

**

In the faintly coffee-smelling car on the way to the library, Professor Hamilton felt satisfied, but also disturbed by his solution to the clue. The kidnapper had obviously created that poem for him to solve, lacing it with clues that someone with his background would pick up on easier than the others who were in on this investigation. Even more disturbing was the fact that the man, this ‘Phantom’ had used his daughter’s favorite poem for the clue. He didn’t think that it was a coincidence. It unsettled Hamilton to see just how much the criminal knew of him and his family.
The library was a magnificent edifice, one which Hamilton would have admired on another day, but this day he simply sprinted through the doors and headed right for the poetry section, his many hours spent in libraries in years past guiding his feet to the appropriate section even in this unfamiliar building. The other members of the party slowed at the front desk, Detective Brown walking up to the desk, presumably to ask the librarian about what they had on Lord Tennyson.
He skidded to a halt in front of the appropriate shelf, his fingers thumbing through the volumes, searching for anything that struck him as Tennyson’s work. His fingers struck an empty space, right in the spot he should have found TEN. He looked at the surrounding books, and sure enough, he was in the right place. Someone must have checked out the book.
Hamilton skidded into the lobby of the library just in time to see everyone else run out the front door. He followed, heart thudding as he wondered what was going on. He reached the stairs just as Chief Wilson snatched a book out of the hands of a frightened looking old man. The Chief looked the book over, nodded, and waved the man on his way, Watson catching up to him a few steps later, and although he was beyond Hamilton‘s hearing, presumably apologizing to the old man, and maybe asking him a few questions to discern if he had any involvement in the case. Wilson brought the book up the steps to Hamilton, saying,
“This what you’re looking for?”
Professor Hamilton looked at the book, entitled, The Collected Works of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and could only nod. He took it gingerly, and opened it. A scrap of paper flittered to the steps, and the ensuing collective knocking of heads as everyone bent for it was almost funny. Professor Hamilton didn’t really feel like laughing.

**

Chief Wilson stood, rubbing the top of his head where he’d collided with Detective brown, and held up the scrap of paper that was supposed to lead them to their next destination. It was a string of numbers, cut from the newspaper like all the other notes had been. He knew they looked familiar, but was unable to figure out what they meant.
Detective Watson extended his hand, Wilson turned over the paper, and sat down to massage his aching head. “What I wouldn’t do for a hot cup of coffee right now,” He thought. The paper was passed to all, and no one spoke up with a solution.
“Perhaps a cipher, or a code for something in the book,” Detective Watson pondered aloud.
“No,” came the response, from Brown and Ferisson at the same time. Brown stared daggers at Han, who ignored him and continued, “His clues are more straightforward than that. He wants you to spend time admiring their elegance, not wondering what to do next. He has enough trail mapped out that you’ll spend more time than he gives you just following the trail, he doesn’t want you stopping for an undefined amount of time to unlock a cipher.”
“The thief has a point,” Brown conceded, “This maniac thinks he’s so much better than you that he doesn’t need to make things overly complicated to slow you down. This is something simpler than that…” He trailed off, looking at the scrap in Ms. Temple’s hand.
She gasped, and when everyone started, she explained, “It just hit me, these are coordinates! Someone fetch the GPS.”
The navigational device was hauled from the car, and everyone crowded around as Detective Brown entered the coordinates. A few seconds later, their destination was displayed on the screen. A spot in the middle of the forest, some miles out of the city, and a good distance from the nearest road. Too close a spot for coincidence, making the coordinate theory seem the best option.
“This isn’t like him,” Brown said, “He’s always stayed within the city limits in the past. This time, his game has evolved.” The Detective sounded nervous.
Wilson decided that the troops needed a pep talk, and so he stood, determined to get them moving. “Right. He’s playing a different game this time, maybe a game that he’s not used to. He’s never faced a team like this before, he doesn’t know what we can do. We have an edge on him, people!” The detectives looked skeptical, and Dent and the thief were just grinning. The two civilians, on the other hand, looked like they had regained some fight. Chief Wilson decided that was good enough for him and, seizing the GPS, marched to the car.

**

Watson thought he would have to throttle someone by the time the car pulled to a halt on the side of a forested road. The drive had taken almost an hour, and the whole time, Detective Brown and that aggravating Han Ferrison had been pushing the limits of his patience. It had started as a sharing of notes between the two, so each could learn from the other and better understand the ‘Phantom’.
It had quickly turned into a contest of who knew more about him, and while Detective Brown had definitively earned the nickname ‘Encyclopedia’ Brown on the topic, Ferrison simply had an edge in discerning the Phantom’s personality, because he had been in direct communication with him several times, although admittedly long distance. The Phantom was not one to leave loose ends, and he had never allowed Ferrison any hints about who he truly was. This closer personal knowledge irritated Brown to no end, and pushed him to further heights of arrogance in his attempt to prove himself the more knowledgeable. Ferrison simply sat there and annoyed both Detectives with his unwavering grin and stinging remarks.
Watson led the charge from the car, coffee in hand, the three of them joined by the Chief, Ms. Temple, and Professor Hamilton. Harvey had elected to stay with the cars, and the radio, in case of emergency. Watson suspected he also didn’t want to tromp around the woods in his three hundred dollar shoes. The Chief had the GPS, and led them through the brush, pausing now and then to discern his bearings and find the right direction. As they neared the coordinates they’d been given, Watson could see a clearing ahead in the forest. They stumbled out into the noonday sun, and Detective Brown gasped, dropping to his knees.

**

“It’s them,” He said, voice hollow, his very being seemingly ripped asunder, “All of them.”
The field was small, grassy, and covered mostly with flowers, save for two mounds of recently turned earth at the far end. The field was also full of rounded mounds of grass, each with a small, carved wooden headpiece. They had found all of the Phantom’s previous victims.
Detective Brown stood, slowly, dragging himself to each, reading the name, and recalling the case. He remembered all of them, and said their names, saw the faces of their bereaved parents. The tears flowed freely as he read the headstones. These were the names that had haunted him all these years, had caused him so many sleepless nights, the names that not even all the alcohol in the world could make him forget, the nightmares that not all the coffee in the world could help him avoid.
Finally, forty names later, he came to the two mounds of earth, and saw that each was sitting next to an open hole in the ground. The names of the two missing teenagers were carved into the headstones. Ms. Temple was kneeling next to her son’s name, weeping, the knees of her suit-pants stained with the grass and dirt. Hamilton was staring at his daughter’s name, stone still and deadly quiet.
Brown saw something draped on the wooden block with the boy‘s name on it, and without saying a word, picked it up. It was a thin leather cord with a carved wooden crucifix hung upon it.
“This is his last work, his self proclaimed masterpiece. This is our last chance to catch him. He wouldn’t have shown us this, his hiding place, if he planned to put any more here. I understand now,” Detective Brown said softly, “He has been inactive all these years to plan this, his last work.”
He handed the necklace to Ms. Temple, saying “Do you recognize it?”
She looked at it, frowning, but without recognition for a moment, before, “Oh!” she gasped, fear evident in her face, “It’s the same as the crucifix on the family plot, that’s our crest, there.” She pointed at the symbol in the center of the carving.
“Then our next clue will be there. Can you lead us?” Brown helped her up, and she wiped the tears from her face, although she could not so easily rid herself of the haunted cast to her eyes.

**

Shirley Temple had to work hard to maintain her composure as she descended into the tomb. She had been here before, to see her grandfather, and then her father buried, and had been back at times to visit and bring them flowers, but she had never been so uneasy in this, her family’s crypt. She was fearful she was returning to see her son’s burial. Most of the place was dusty, but there was a clear path down the center of the floor. She followed the cleared aisle down a second set of stairs, into the deeper, older tombs, and saw the end of the path, a cleared circle in an alcove. A single candle burned in the center of the space, and several items surrounded it, a shrine for her son. Shirley saw a picture, taken from the mantle in her house, of her son and a friend smiling over a cup of coffee, saw his sketchbook, a dragon on its cover, and saw a lock of his hair, curled atop a folded scrap of paper.
“The candle hasn’t been lit for more than an hour. He was here recently.” Brown said, and he and the Chief turned for the stairs, wanting to question anyone in the area that might have seen something.
Ms. Temple sank to her knees in front of the circle of objects, recognizing the candle’s scent as one Professor Hamilton’s daughter had favored. How had this man, this lunatic, come so close to her family, come to know so much about them? How long had he been watching them, without them knowing, without them having the slightest suspicion? With trembling hands she reached for the paper, clutching the lock of hair to her as she read it.
The candle burns, the wheel it turns,
Their thyme is short, the darkness near,
the two lost lambs in fox's den
The mariners lost at see again.
and poppies lost what he holds dear.
A daisy white, and her red rose,
their light is found where sage arose.
“I… I can’t make head nor tails of it,” She said, after studying for a minute, “It’s all too jumbled, I can’t figure out what it means.”
“Let me take a look,” Professor Hamilton reached for it, and read through it. He exhaled with an exasperated sigh, “I can see why this didn’t make sense. I can’t make much of it either. I see a bunch of symbolic things here, the candle, the wheel of fate, innocent lambs and clever fox. But then there are other things that make no sense, the use of Thyme the herb, and the Poppies as a plant, when it seems to refer to the possessive form of Pop, as in a father figure. I can’t make anything out of it yet.”
Hamilton passed off the paper and sat, looking exhausted. Detective Brown was staring intently at the paper, as if he could force it to give up its secrets through sheer willpower. Everyone else, Shirley noted, was looking bereft of hope in the light of this new, tangled clue.
Watson whistled as he read it over. “That is twisted. What kind of help is this? Even the rhyme scheme doesn’t make sense, like half the poem is backwards or something.”
Hamilton looked up. “What did you say?”
“The poem is backward?”
“And the rhyme scheme doesn’t make sense! That’s it! Let me take another look at that.”
He snatched the scrap of paper and sat again, this time producing a pen and small notepad from inside his jacket, and started scribbling.

**

“Ah ha! I have it!”
“Well it’s about time Hamilton, you’ve been working on it for a half an hour. Where are we going?”
“University campus, back in the city, Chief. The next leg of this thing will be in my office.”
“Your office?” Dent leaned forward in his seat to look over Hamilton’s shoulder, “How did he manage that?”
“I’m not sure, but my office is not exactly the most secure location in the city, or even on campus for that matter. I suppose a certain thief might be able to tell me how he got in the place.”
“Hey, now. Just because I do this for a living doesn’t mean I do every job in the city. Also, in case it slipped your mind, I’ve been in the joint for the last few years, safely away from you and your little office. How’d you figure it out, anyway?” Ferrison asked as the car bumped from the gravel church road to the paved drive back to the city.
“It had to do with the rhyme scheme. The first line of each rhyme was symbolic in nature, regardless of its positioning within the poem. The second line of each had symbolic connotations, but the symbols could be replaced with synonyms, which created a line with more literal meaning. The final line of the poem was sparser in apparent symbolism, but because of the other herb words that I’d had to replace in previous lines, I figured I was looking for another form of the word ‘Sage’. Took me a little while, but I finally remembered that a sage is not just a wise man, which could have described a few people in the group, but a teacher, and I’m the only teacher here. I got my education, or ‘arose’ as a ‘sage’ at the university I now teach at, so I figure my office is the most logical place to look.”
“So the last line of the poem is all that mattered?”
“I thought so at first, but I think that there’s more information here than that, such as the candle burning being another reminder that we’re timed, and the mention of approaching darkness meaning that we might only have until nightfall.”
“Geez, and it’s already two o’clock,” Ferrison said, ruffling his hair, “We need to get a move on if we’re going to catch this guy.”
“I know, I know,” Wilson said from the front, “I’m doing the best I can here, just hold tight, we’ll get there.”
“It’s going to be a long day,” Harvey said, and leaned forward again, “We’ve got plenty of time to get to them before dark.”
Wilson groaned, “Don’t remind me just how long this day has been,” after a second, though, he seemed to brighten at some idea, “What are the chances that there’s a working coffee maker in your office, Hamilton?”

**

As he sat, looking around the office, Ferrison thought the day was looking up. The clue had been easily located behind a painting of a storm tossed ship hanging on Hamilton’s wall, and while the Detectives and the Professor examined it, he kicked back and relaxed for the moment, enjoying the cushy chair and the promising smell of fresh brewed coffee. This clue hadn’t seemed to be so difficult to unravel, Ms. Temple had said something about it being based on a nursery rhyme or something. The detectives were simply arguing about what to do next, as the clue seemed to lead in five different directions, and they seemed hesitant to separate all the people on the investigation. Ferrison didn’t care, he felt like he was along for the ride at this point, and he hadn’t even needed to pull his own weight yet. This was the easiest ticket to freedom he’d ever seen, and he wasn’t about to screw it up by trying.
“Ferrison!” the Chief barked, making the thief jump, “Get over here, we have a plan.”
Han made his way over to the desk, where the city map was spread, and marked with several X’s in different colored inks.
“Now then,” Wilson continued, now that he had everyone’s attention, “Harvey and I will be taking the sewer route mentioned, we will search for a clue there. Professor Hamilton and Ms. Temple will have a police escort and will be going to the warehouse on 5th. Detective Brown is covering the condemned house on Park street, and Detective Watson has agreed to search the docks area for the next part of the clue. Ferrison, as much as I hate to let you go alone, you can get in and out of this penthouse on Chestnut street quicker than any of us could. Look for a clue there. An escort will bring you to the building, and will wait for you outside. If you don‘t return in a timely manner, well, I‘m sure Harvey can think up some creative charges to bring against you.”
Ferrison threw his hands up defensively. “Hey there, no need, I’ll be a good boy.”
“Good. Well, people, let’s move, daylight’s wasting.”

**

The warehouse was largely empty, a conglomeration of empty shelving and concrete walls. It wasn’t difficult to see why the place was unused, it was a maze. Hamilton and Ms. Temple made their way through alone, their escort having scattered, some to watch the outside of the building, and some who were working their way through other paths in the warehouse.
Professor Hamilton could hear Shirley’s nervous shuffling beside him as they made their way into a seemingly empty office. She looked over the desk, while he moved to inspect the cabinet that stood in one corner. As soon as he opened it, he knew that he’d found the clue.
A television was standing in the cabinet, powered up, and as he opened the cabinet an image started showing on the screen. He panicked for a moment, before he saw the string attached to the door which had turned on the playback as he opened the cabinet. The screen showed an image of two dirty, disheveled teenagers, huddled together in a gloomy cement room. They didn’t move much, but one or the other whimpered every now and then. A minute into the tape, a voice started speaking, seemingly edited into the footage, since neither of the people on screen showed any reaction.
“Well, my good doctor, and lady,” The voice said, a rasp that carried no emotion, but taunted with every word, “You have done well in getting this far. The good news, then, is that each of you still has time to save your child. The bad news is that only one of your children will be saved. I have arranged circumstances such that should one of these two be reached, the other will die instantly. I will leave it up to you to decide which child will live. Good-bye for now, I am sure that we will see each other soon.”
Hamilton saw the scrap of paper that he knew would lead to the next destination, and as he picked it up, he heard a noise behind him. Turning, he saw that Ms. Temple had found a pair of scissors in the desk and was holding them up, a curious light in her eyes.
“Now, Shirley,” He began, before she lunged at him over the desk.

**

Chief Wilson was having the worst day of his life. He still hadn’t had a cup of coffee, his job was in more peril than ever should this investigation fail, and to top it all off, if the footage he was seeing on the screen he and Harvey had found in this maintenance room in the sewer was correct, his wife had left him for the man he’d thought his best friend.
“Now, Wilson, buddy, I can explain,” Dent was simpering, attempting to smile through the pain and a missing tooth from Wilson’s left hook, “Just give me a chance and I’ll-”
The lawyer was cut off when a foot landed on his solar plexus and did its level best to push through to his spine. Harvey dropped to the floor, shaking his head, mouth moving even as he gasped for air. That was who he was, Wilson saw, that was always who he had been. A talker, someone who promised everything and delivered nothing. Wilson had known this, but it had not mattered as much then. Now, it just drove him further into his anger, and he delivered another kick, this one to the man’s jaw, knocking him from his knees to his back. Then Wilson was straddling him, and all he could see was Harvey’s lying, false, perfectly groomed face. All he could hear was the moans of ecstasy emanating from the ongoing video on the wall.

**

Watson was beginning his second sweep of the dock area when Detective Brown caught up to him. He was surprised at first, but Brown quickly explained that the house he had inspected had held only a taunting message that told him he had chosen the wrong path. He had then decided that the best way to go would be the docks, since the area was large and had many places to search. Watson welcomed the help, but felt a twinge of jealousy that the senior detective had completed his objective so quickly.
The two spread out, Watson trying to cover as much ground as he could, so as not to fall behind. Finally, he opened a chest to see his face staring out at him from within. A moment later he realized it was a photo, taken only a few days ago for the newspaper. The article hadn’t even appeared yet, and here was the picture staring at him, glued to the top of an otherwise unmarked wooden box.
He gingerly hauled it out, and was unsurprised, but a little miffed, when he heard Detective Brown rushing toward him. “Hold on, let me inspect it before you do anything with it.”
Watson had had enough. He was a full detective, had been on the force for years before that, and he wanted to solve this case, not hand it over to some pushy has-been who thought he knew everything. With a grunt, he tore open the cover of the box, hearing something inside the lid click as he did so.

**

Detective Brown watched as Watson gave him a dirty look, and tore the lid off the box. He heard the click of something within the box, and was halted dead in his tracks by the horror on Watson’s face. To his credit, the man kept enough sense about him to grab the scrap of paper in the top of the box, and toss it, crumpled, in Brown’s direction. He then grabbed the box, stood, and made to throw it away from the both of them, but time ran out.
There was a rush of air, a sense of pressure, and a wash of heat. Brown’s ears were ringing, he couldn’t hear himself cursing as he got to his feet and pushed away from the wall into which he’d been thrown. He could still hear Watson’s agonized scream. He didn’t dare add to his waking nightmares by looking at where the man had been. As he staggered, bereft of emotion or thought, his foot struck a crumpled piece of paper. He bent absently, unfolded it. An address, that was all. No taunts, no rhymes, just an address. He supposed he should be relieved, until he realized that the method of delivery was itself the taunt. “Here, look, I can play with you all like puppets,” That was the message. Brown was sick of it. He wouldn’t allow this man to escape if it cost him just as dearly as it had Watson. If he could catch this killer, there would be peace, he knew it.
The tears had stopped flowing by the time he reached the car, his resolve hardening him to steel inside.

**

Clack. The window finally gave, and Ferrison wormed his way into the penthouse. Sure, he could’ve used the elevator, but for one, that lacked style, and for two, Han hoped that whoever had set up the penthouse for this portion of the game hadn’t thought he’d be coming in through the window. This was the stage of the game, as he had seen in the past, when things started to go bad for the investigators. They rushed things, desperate to save the victim, and died for it. The separation of the group had stank of desperation, so Han hoped to hell that he wasn’t rushing headlong into a deathtrap.
He heard voices from the other room. At first he thought someone was in the penthouse with him, but soon realized the voices were too tinny for that. He rounded a corner into a well appointed living room, the only furnished room in the suite, and saw the origin of the voices. Up on the wall, in widescreen, was Chief Wilson, kneeling over someone and throttling the life out of them. He heard a strangled gurgle, saw a hand clawing at Wilson’s face, and realized from the perfectly manicured fingernails that it was Mr. Dent. That idiot police chief was killing his ticket to freedom!
Han looked at the setup in the room. A closed circuit TV system, piping the feed from wherever the two of them were, a couch and a bucket full of ice and beers, and a black safe box bolted to the floor. Han inspected the safe box, found that it was a combination lock, and nearly laughed. Nearly. This room had been set up for him. Somehow, the Phantom had known he was going to be the one here.
He took a closer look at the safe box. If the Phantom had known it would be him opening it, he had put the combo lock there for a reason, knowing that Ferrison could crack it, but it would take time and effort. Finally, he found it. A wire, almost flattened into a seam, and painted over. Almost undetectable.
Han traced the wire to its origins, and did not find what he had expected. The charge was there, certainly, but there were two inputs needed to set it off. The first would be tripped when he opened the box, the second was attached to some sort of remote input. Han went back to the window, cased that and all the other windows and doors in the penthouse, but could not find the second input. He saw it when he got back to the living room.
There it was, on the hi-def screen, attached to a second black safe box in the sewers. Wilson, the lazy slob, was sitting against the wall in the room, covered in Harvey’s blood, whining about something Han couldn’t make out over the faint audio connection. Ferrison had it figured out now. The first person to open their box would arm the explosive on the second one. Perhaps he could have alerted Wilson, kept him from opening his box while Han worked, but he had no convenient way to contact him, and Han could see his chances of freedom slipping away by the minute. Wilson hated him, wanted to put him back behind bars, and would be backed in his arguments by Brown. Perhaps Dent could have offset them, but now he was no longer a factor. Ferrison decided to get his clue and get out, and let the Police Chief figure out the safe box dilemma on his own.
A few minutes later Han dropped into the back seat of the waiting squad car, and handed the officer an address pasted on a scrap of paper he had found in the safe.

**

Professor Hamilton was silent for the entire ride to the address he had found on the paper. He tried not to think, but the images came to him anyway. He tried not to move, but could feel the blood soaking his clothing despite his efforts. The officer who had found him had said it was an obvious case of self defense. She had lunged at him with the scissors, he had simply grabbed her hand as she fell on top of him. He hadn’t meant it to happen. At least, that’s what he’d told the officer. Told the officer he had thrashed around in a panic, still holding her arm. It explained why there was more than one wound, why he was so covered in her blood.
The house was dark and empty, dusk approaching as they pulled up. He could see the other cars as they parked, as Hamilton, Brown, and Ferrison all climbed out, each looking haunted. Each looking stained. They did not speak, words were not needed between them. They simply faced the house by unspoken consent, and walked up to it. The front was open, the entry had two doors and a staircase. Hamilton took the stairs, and they nodded to each other as they disappeared into the gloom.
He explored several rooms in the house, most of them empty, before he found it. An exact replica of his daughter’s room, right down to her diary on the bedside table. He picked it up, idly, while he looked around for a further clue. One fell from between the blank pages of the book.

**

Brown had searched most of the ground floor, had found nothing, when he heard the stealthy footsteps behind him. Two quick steps, a hop, a small thump of a double footed landing, and the swish of a leap. Brown pivoted, catching the knife as it descended for his back.
“I may be rusty, but there is a reason I was the best.” He said to Ferrison, who looked up, surprised, from the ground. Brown knelt, pinning him, eyes flashing with pure hatred., and relieving Ferrison of the kitchen knife.
“I had my suspicions you were working with him, but I had expected his method to be a little more subtle. This attempt might qualify as pathetic,” Brown tickled Ferrison’s throat with the knifepoint, “Now sing, my little jailbird; sing me a song of why you’re in this with him.”
Han gulped, gasped, “Not in it with him, I-”
He stopped as Brown slid the knife home, sheathing it in his flesh.
“I never could stand a liar, and I never liked you. You got greedy, little man, tried for too much. I’m almost relieved I don’t have to watch you anymore.” Brown stood, shaking his head as he realized he was talking to a dead man.
He finished his sweep of the ground floor in the entryway, just as Hamilton descended the stairs.
“Find anything?”
The Professor nodded. “A clue. What we’re looking for is in the basement.” He led the way down, into a room with two doors, one open, and one closed. Both were ironbound oak. Hamilton gestured to the open door.
“The clue says something about only one being allowed to continue. The key should be in there,” he said, gesturing to the open door, “and that should lead to the room where my daughter is being held.”
Brown nodded, saying. “You’ve done a great deal today, and aided this investigation tremendously. I know you’d like to be the one to rescue your daughter, but please let me be the one to go on. You don’t need to risk any more.”
Hamilton seemed to have an internal struggle, and then he nodded, and gestured Detective Brown through the open door.
Brown stepped through, saying, “I appreciate this, you must know how much it means to me.”
The door swung closed behind him, and he heard a lock click as it did.

**

Hamilton stood and watched as the door closed and locked behind Brown. There was a small box attached to the back of the door, and Hamilton saw it open even as he heard the hiss of gas erupting into the chamber beyond.
The clue had said that only one could continue, and that the key required a sacrifice. Hamilton didn’t feel anything as he picked up the key, didn’t feel relief, or joy as he opened the closed door and began to trudge down the hall beyond. He saw a metal door, held by a bolt and a padlock, at the end of the hall.
When he heard a whimper come from behind that door, he felt hope surge within him, and he began to run. Then he heard the shot from behind him, and he was no longer running, but crawling, his legs not responding to him anymore.
Footsteps echoed down the hall, slowly, and a thin, raspy voice congratulated him. “You have done well, Doctor Hamilton,” the voice said, “Very well. I knew that you would be a worthy opponent. Well, as worthy an opponent as I am likely to find.”
Pain was radiating up from his back, from the point that Hamilton could no longer feel. He managed to roll himself over, his arms doing all the work, his legs just tangling themselves up. He stared into the face of the courier who had brought him the message that morning. The man nodded, giving a slight bow, and then brought a revolver up to Hamilton’s temple.
“I’m afraid that you, despite all you have done, despite all the wonderful dancing you have done at my bidding, just were not worthy enough to claim your prize. Rest in peace. Your daughter will join you shortly.”
The last thing Professor Hamilton heard was the click of the trigger.

fscking nature of story by Skyfire156Skyfire156, 28 Apr 2010 15:27

hitch hikers guide

  • Zaphod
  • Marvin
  • Eddy
  • Arthur
  • Trillion
  • Ford

** Heart of Gold

Fire Fly

  • Wash
  • Mal
  • Jayne
  • Zoe

**Serenity

Doctor Who
*** The doctor
*Donna
*Rose
*The Master

  • K-9

*Captain Jack
** TARDIS

Dr Horrible
*Dr Horrible
*Captain Hammer
*Penny

Phantom Toll Booth
*Tock

  • The Humbug

*King Azaz the Unabridged,King Azaz the Unabridged,

  • The Mathmagician

*Ryhme
*Reason

Star gate

Star wars

Star Trek

Battle Star Galactica

Back to the Future

E.T.

possibilities for scifi story by jenjen, 07 Dec 2009 00:47

did you ever end up taking the astronomy class?

Re: New Classes - Spring 2009 sem by jenjen, 18 Sep 2009 19:43

it isn't ugly.

Re: Johns ugly code by jenjen, 18 Sep 2009 19:34

Added to the list!

Tu/Th: Forensics(SMS120), 1530-1645

Re: Fall 2009 Classes by Ria RawkzRia Rawkz, 02 Jun 2009 04:52
Psyc book joke
jenjen 05 May 2009 14:44
in discussion Site Forums / School/Work » Psyc book joke

One of these, the antisocial personality disorder- is worthy of special attention. Individuals showing this disorder are chronically callous and manipulative toward others; ignore social rules and laws; behave impulsively and irresponsibly; fail to learn from punishment; and lack remorse or guilt for their misdeeds. Such people often become criminals or confidence artists - and some may even become politicians.

Psyc book joke by jenjen, 05 May 2009 14:44

I think my schedule is pretty bad-ass….albeit a little intimidating. XD

CLASSES:
MWF: Calculus(MAT126), 1000-1100
MWF: Fiction Writing(ENG306), 1210-1300
TuTh: Physics(PHY122), 1100-1150
Tu: Biology(BIO222), 1730-2030

RECITATION/LAB(s):
MoWe: Physics Rec, 800-850
TuTh: Calculus Rec, 1000-1050
We: Physics Lab, 1410-1600

….I'm gonna be busy ^^;

Fall 2009 Classes by Ria RawkzRia Rawkz, 14 Apr 2009 22:34

how do you even pronounce that?
Does Deutchland have a problem with ducks seizing? If so, I think I should never visit there. I don't wanna seize out. :(

ergreifente

what does it mean??

seizure duck.

what use is the combination of seizure duck??

german word that made me alugh by jenjen, 12 Apr 2009 17:20
Tags and more!
jmurrayufojmurrayufo 03 Apr 2009 15:42
in discussion Site Forums / General » Tags and more!

I'd like to start drawing up a simple tags system we can all use. At the moment I am not sure how we decide on what tags to use. I'd like to at least have a basic set of them that we all use to keep this clean and organized, but at the same time I want people to be allowed to add their own custom ones (eg, someones name, a specific character. etc etc). Any suggestions?

Tags and more! by jmurrayufojmurrayufo, 03 Apr 2009 15:42

We could link together a second private wiki site to this one, and thus have a psudo private section. It would just require that you login to the second site. It would also limit it to 5 members.

Re: New Dreams Page by jmurrayufojmurrayufo, 03 Apr 2009 15:35
Site re-org
jmurrayufojmurrayufo 03 Apr 2009 15:24
in discussion Site Forums / General » Site re-org

At the moment out pages have fractured standards and random appearing choices for formatting. I think we need either more unified template pages (for instance, what should go in a story listing, author page, news pages) or an alternative means of site navigation (such as cloud or site maping).

Templates would require each page itself to be rebuilt, and also require moderation to enforce their use. The result is a great way for authors to quickly populate a page however.

Site maping/taging would take some time from moderators, but would result in a single page that should direct people to where they want to go.

Opinions?

Site re-org by jmurrayufojmurrayufo, 03 Apr 2009 15:24
Idea, idea
jenjen 30 Mar 2009 15:48
in discussion Site Forums / Story News » Idea, idea

So, i think for the sake of the 100 page never ending party, it's time we introduced everyone from our little group. Yes, I think they ought to feel special, and our group is fantsatic!! = )
so, I'm making a character page for them. Let's see, Cam, Matt, Ian, Bill, Nick, Todd, Nate?, (i think Geoff and Andrew have already been added, thanks to Alex). Perhaps Evans as well, he sort of floates in and out of our group…anyways, I'm actually awaiting class now, so I'll do it later, but this is my heads up. = )

Idea, idea by jenjen, 30 Mar 2009 15:48
Re: McCarthyism
jenjen 22 Feb 2009 02:27
in discussion Site Forums / School/Work » McCarthyism

HERE IT IS REDONE ^^

Eng 101
Pat Burnes Jennifer Hussey
2/21/09

It was 1950 and people were terrified. It seemed like countries left and right
were turning to Communism, spies were being found within the government, Alger
Hiss was still on trial, and most haunting of all; the Soviet Union had just detonated
their very own atomic bomb. On the news, in the papers, at school and even in
children's cartoons; people were being warned of the Soviet Union's looming threat to
the United States. One cartoon had a friendly turtle that reminded kids “the bomb
could drop any time of the year, day or night,” so when they see the 'flash', to “duck
and cover”. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwAZQ69j3hI). In the pit of this fear
people wanted a solution, an ease to their fears that something was being done. They
found this in McCarthy. Early that year he made a speech at Wheeling and from that
point on, because of the times in which the speech occurred and McCarthy's ability to
manipulate people's emotions Senator Joe McCarthy truly started the “red scare era”.
At the time of McCarthy's speech in Wheeling, not much was expected of him.
In William Manchester's book The Age of Anxiety, he says of McCarthy “he was in a
fair way to becoming a disgrace to the United States Senate.” (520) He was a heavy
drinker and reckless with money, often spending it on long phone conversations with
bookies. On February 9, 1950 McCarthy made a speech about Communism and it's
threat before the Ohio County Woman's Club in Wheeling, West Virginia. It was on this
date that McCarthy caught everyone's attention by claiming “I have in my hand fifty
-seven cases of individuals who would appear to be either card carrying members or
certainly loyal to the Communist Party, but who nevertheless are still helping to shape
our foreign policy." (Schrecker, 240) This caught people's attention, and everyone
wanted to know who was on that list.
McCarthy had picked up a few tricks growing up. Aside from his public speaking
skills, he discovered another talent. Bluffing. Knowing all that we know now, it is plain
to see that McCarthy had been bluffing at the Wheeling speech when he declared he
had the names of Communists. In fact, after the speech was over McCarthy “threw the
list away”, (Manchester 522) which shows that it could not have been what he said it
was. Being a card player, it seems that McCarthy had a bad hand of cards and was
telling everyone he had a Royal Flush.
Soon after his Wheeling speech the State Department began requesting the list of names. McCarthy claimed “he had been misquoted; he had spoken not of 205 Communists but of 205 'bad security risks.'” (Manchester, 522) McCarthy had to start defending his statements and on February 20, on the floor of the Senate, he said "I might say that when I refer to someone as a known Communist, I am not evaluating the information myself. I am merely giving what is on file." This again suggests that McCarthy didn't really have any names, or at least not any names that were new to public knowledge, and he was protecting himself by averting the blame. Should he have named someone as a Communist and then they turned out not to be, he could play the victim and say that it was "in the file". Through years of practice, McCarthy became quite good at stretching the truth and bluffing.
With McCarthy bluffing and his unrelenting confidence, he soon had half the nation supporting him and thinking he was doing the right thing. It was “consistently found that 50 percent of the public had a 'favorable opinion' of the senator and thought he was helping the country; only 29 percent disapproved of him and 21 percent had no opinion at all.” (Manchester, 526) Republicans who had been embarrassed to have anything to do with McCarthy began to buddy up to him and bathe in the attention he was getting for fighting against Communism.
Clearly McCarthy's ability to expose people's fears about the Communist threat and make people feel like he was doing something when no one else was to save them from the Soviet Union had a lot to do with McCarthy leading the red scare. However, the time in which he made the Wheeling speech is also very important, and had he made it a few years sooner or later it may not have gotten the same results as it did. I believe that the time in which something occurs is extremely important to it's success.
An example of this is Irene Morgan. Irene Morgan was a black woman in the time of black segregation and discrimination. In 1946, while feeling ill and traveling by bus to a see a doctor, the bus driver asked Irene to give up her seat for a white person. Irene refused, and at the next stop was arrested and taken off the bus. Sound familiar? This was roughly ten years before Rosa Parks did the same thing. When Rosa refused to give up her seat, it had more of an effect on people, and got much more attention. When Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, it sparked outrage and a mass boycott of buses. Irene didn't get the same reaction, and odds are it was because it just wasn't the right time. People just weren't ready yet.
This is a great example as it has parallels to McCarthy and his speech at Wheeling. He was by no means the first to bring up Communism as a threat. In fact Nixon had said the same thing as him only a month prior. Although Nixon never claimed to have the names of Communists in the State Department, he had made a speech about Communist espionage. McCarthy, in his limited research before Wheeling on the Communist threat had “hacked out a paragraph from a speech Nixon had delivered in the House of Representatives on January 26.” (Manchester 521) Many other Republicans had red baited before McCarthy, but McCarthy, with a mix of good timing and bluffing was the guy who really set Communist witch hunting into motion.
1950 was an ideal time for McCarthy to quench his thirst for power and attention. It had not been all smooth sailing after the Wheeling speech, as it brought him the attention he sought after, he was forced to back up his statements before the floor of the Senate. That event had been embarrassing, as McCarthy not only refused to identify the people on his list by name, he also appeared to be looking at the files of these accused people for the first time. McCarthy stood for nearly 6 hours, shuffling through the folders to see what they contained before he read them off. Some of them even stumped and confused him, such as number 72. Number 72 McCarthy felt was actually an example of someone who was in no way shape or form a Communist. Said Richard Rovere of the whole charade; “Could anything but sheer lunacy lead a man discussing 81 Communists to say that one of the Communists was an important example because he was not a Communist?” Regardless, McCarthy ungracefully stumbled through and with this show of determination to keep pushing the anti-Communist cause, he went on to win at least 50 percent of the United States support in a time when the Nation felt threatened and needed a hero. In conclusion, it was due to McCarthy's knowledge of how to manipulate people's emotions through speech and the time in which he gave the speech at Wheeling; a time in which people wanted confirmation of their fears of Communism that McCarthy readily gave to them; that the Red Scare was able to happen the way it did and how inevitably the era and the act of Communist witch hunting because simply known as, "McCarthyism."

References:

Schrecker, Ellen. The Age of McCarthyism: A Brief History with Documents. 2nd Edition. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's. 2002.

Wicker, Tom. Shooting Star: The Brief Arc of Joe McCarthy. Orlando. Harcourt, Inc. 2006

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/13/us/13kirkadly.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwAZQ69j3hI

Manchester, William. The Age of Anxiety.

Re: McCarthyism by jenjen, 22 Feb 2009 02:27
Re: McCarthyism
jenjen 17 Feb 2009 04:13
in discussion Site Forums / School/Work » McCarthyism

February 9, 1950. Amidst a great time of fear and paranoia, a Senator from

Wisconsin came out of the shadows it seemed to make a rather unexpectedly moving

speech at Wheeling in West Virginia. His speech began with menacing numbers, large,

cold, unfeeling statistics that prodded at people's fears about the Communist threat during

the Cold war. Once he had everyone's attention, McCarthy got to the point of his speech

that ultimately gained him fame and tremendous attention. "I have in my hand fifty-seven

cases of individuals who would appear to be either card carrying members or certainly loyal

to the Communist Party, but who nevertheless are still helping to shape our foreign policy."

(Schrecker, 240) Certainly, it was largely due to McCarthy's public speaking skills and the

time at which he gave the speech that helped lead him to the forefront of the "Red Scare

Era".

It is arguable whether McCarthy was born with high charisma, or if he simply knew

how to "work the people's emotions". One early example of McCarthy doing such a thing

was when he was twenty years old and a manager in Applelton's Cash-Way grocery store.

This is the first time that we know of where he uses a tactic that he will continue to use

throughout his career. As a manager he would "instead of waiting for business behind the

counter, often ventured on foot into the countryside, acquainting himself with farmers,

inviting them into his store". (Wicker, 23) McCarthy often went out of his way to connect

with people and make them feel important, or special.

McCarthy smooth talked his way into high school and from there went to college.

College, of course, has a wonderful way of shaping people, and McCarthy was no

exception to this. It was in college where McCarthy learned to play cards and found a skill

that would take him even further into his political career. Bluffing. It seems like an easy

task that anyone could pull off, but McCarthy learned to translate real life into a game of

cards. Recalling the Wheeling speech, it is wholly possible that McCarthy was holding up a

bad hand of cards and telling everyone that it was a Royal Flush.

During a later speech, McCarthy said "I might say that when I refer to someone as

a known Communist, I am not evaluating the information myself. I am merely giving what is

on file." This again suggests that McCarthy didn't really have any names, or at least not

any names that were new to public knowledge, and he was protecting himself by averting

the blame. Should he have named someone as a Communist and then they turned out not

to be, he could play the victim and say that it was "in the file". Through years of practice,

McCarthy became quite good at stretching the truth and bluffing.

After college, he became a lawyer, then a judge, joined the army, went to war, and

finally became a Senator. To run for senate he went from being a Democrat to a Republican

to improve his odds of winning. In this action itself we see that McCarthy would do whatever

he had to get what he wanted. (Which was either power or money, most likely a mix of

both). Although we see of course that McCarthy had been charismatic and had a few good

tricks up his sleeve, was it really the only factor that played into effect when the Wheeling

speech was made?

The time in which he made the speech was filled with a growing fear and paranoia

of Communists and the Soviet Union. By the end of the Cold war this fear and paranoia had

become so deeply embedded into people's minds that even in the present day, decades

later, we're still putting down Communists as though they were something dirty and not to

be trusted at all. I believe that the time in which something occurs is extremely important to

it's success.

An example of this is Irene Morgan. Irene Morgan was a black woman in the time

of black segregation and discrimination. In 1946, while feeling ill and traveling by bus to a

see a doctor, the bus driver asked Irene to give up her seat for a white person. Irene

refused, and at the next stop was arrested and taken off the bus. Sound familiar? This was

roughly ten years before Rosa Parks did the same thing. When Rosa refused to give up her

seat, it had more of an effect on people, and got much more attention. When Rosa Parks

refused to give up her seat, it sparked outrage and a mass boycott of buses. Irene didn't

get the same reaction, and odds are it was because it just wasn't the right time. People

just weren't ready yet.

This is a great example as it has parallels to McCarthy and his speech at

Wheeling. He was by no means the first to bring up Communism as a threat. In fact Robert

Taft, a respected Republican had done something along the same lines, though not quite

as bold as McCarthy. No one before McCarthy got the same attention for "Red Baiting" and

just the fact that the Communist with hunt era was named after McCarthy shows the

amount of influence he held over people at the time.

It's important to look at what transpired or what what going on in the United states

around February 9, 1950, the day of the Wheeling speech. It was five years after world war

two had ended and Elizabeth Bentley told the FBI about Soviet spies in the government. In

1948 Czechoslovakia is "lost" to Communism, and then that same year Alger Hiss is

indicated for perjury, and the Chambers/Hiss trials begin.

In 1949 the public's paranoia grows as more Communists are brought to trial for

espionage. These include Eugene Dennis (one of elleven others who were arrested under

the Smith act in 1948), andJudith Coplon. That same year China is "lost" to Communism.

In July of that year Alger Hiss has his first trial. Most importantly however, and what I

believe to be a great cause of fear, was in August of that year, when the Soviet Union

detonated their first atomic bomb. Suddenly, the United States wasn't the only one with the

shiny new toy.

With these in mind, now we look at 1950. Alger Hiss is still on trial. It seemed that

countries left and right were turning to Communis, and now the country that scared us the

most had thier own atomic bomb. There were spies being found in the government and the

people just didn't know who to trust. Was there anything being done? Will anybody save

them from this threat? The country was at a building panic and it seemed like nothing was

being done. Then McCarthy gives the speech at Wheeling. The country found their hero.

However it happened, it was without a doubt due to McCarthy's knowledge of how

to maipulate people's emotions through speech and the time in which he gave the speech

at Wheeling, a time in which people wanted confirmation of their fears of Communism that

McCarthy readily gave to them, that the Red Scare was able to happen the way it did and

how inevitably the era and the act of Communist witch hunting because simply known as,

"McCarthyism."

Re: McCarthyism by jenjen, 17 Feb 2009 04:13
McCarthyism
jenjen 11 Feb 2009 20:41
in discussion Site Forums / School/Work » McCarthyism

February 9, 1950. Amidst a great time of fear and paranoia, a Senator from Wisconsin came out of the shadows it seemed to make a rather unexpectedly moving speech at Wheeling in West Virginia. His speech began with menacing numbers, large, cold, unfeeling statistics that prodded at people's fears about the Communist threat during the Cold war. Once he had everyone's attention, McCarthy got to the point of his speech that ultimately gained him fame and tremendous attention. "I have in my hand fifty-seven cases of individuals who would appear to be either card carrying members or certainly loyal to the Communist Party, but who nevertheless are still helping to shape our foreign policy." (Schrecker, 240) Certainly, it was largely due to McCarthy's charisma and public speaking skills that helped lead him to the forefront of the "Red Scare Era". Whether it was the time in which he made the speech or the speech itself, one can't dent that suddenly McCarthy was the center of attention and in the shadows no longer.

McCarthy presented time and time again while growing up what exceedingly high charisma he held. One early example of this is a tactic that McCarthy will continue to use thought his career. As a manager in an Applelton's Cash-Way grocery store, he would "instead of waiting for business behind the counter, often ventured on foot into the countryside, acquainting himself with farmers, inviting them into his store". (Wicker, 23) McCarthy often went out of his way to connect with people and make them feel important. You're a lot more likely to go to the shop if you like the owner and maybe even if you consider them a friend. Just like you're more likely to listen to, and be influenced by someone you know and like.

McCarthy smooth talked his way into high school and from there went to college. College of course has a wonderful way of shaping people and McCarthy was no exception to this. It was in college where McCarthy learned to play cards and found a skill that would take him even further into his political career. Bluffing. It seems like an easy task that anyone could pull off, but McCarthy learned to translate real life into a game of cards. Recalling the Wheeling speech, it is wholly possible that McCarthy was holding up a bad hand of cards and telling everyone that it was a Royal Flush. What was worse was almost everyone believed him without question. For a short time at least, as McCarthy was vague about the names and was always careful not to go into any detail about them. After a time this sort of behavior tends to raise suspicion.

During a later speech, McCarthy said "I might say that when I refer to someone as a known Communist, I am not evaluating the information myself. I am merely giving what is on file." This again suggests that McCarthy didn't really have any names, or at least not any names that were new to public knowledge, and he was protecting himself by averting the blame. Should he have named someone as a Communist and then they turned out not to be, he could play the victim and say that it was "in the file". Through years of practice, McCarthy became quite good at stretching the truth and bluffing.

It was after college, and after being a lawyer, that McCarthy decided he wished to become judge. The odds were set against him, but due to McCarthy's self confidence, something which often went "amounting to arrogance" (Wicker, 31) McCarthy didn't let this fact hinder him. McCarthy used one of his old tricks, meet the voters, write to them, make them feel important, and so on, so that they will remember him and vote for him as judge when the time came.

McCarthy however did not use just these tactics to ensure his vote. He first off brought up the fact that the judge currently residing, Edgar V. Werner, had lied about his age, and either way was too old to remain judge. He also stretched the truth. "McCarthy also asserted in an ad that Werner had earned nearly $2,000,000 in office." (Wicker, 33). This should not have surprised anyone, Werner had in fact been in office for 35 years, but because of the way McCarthy presented it, and because it was during the depression, people believed that Werner had been keeping extra money for himself. With all of these tings put together, McCarthy did indeed win the election for judge and became the youngest district judge ever elected in Wisconsin.

McCarthy didn't jump straight to being a Senator after being a judge, as world war two broke out and McCarthy decided it would look good on his record that he enlist and help fight in the war. He ended up coming back before the war ended to run for Senate, in which he failed the first time but not the second.

To run for senate he went from being a Democrat to a Republican to improve his odds of winning. In this action itself we see that McCarthy would do whatever he had to get what he wanted. (Which was either power or money, most likely a mix of both). Although we see of course that McCarthy had been charismatic and had a few good tricks up his sleeve, was it really the only factor that played into effect when the Wheeling speech was made?

The time in which he made the speech, was filled with a growing fear and paranoia of Communists and the Soviet Union. By the end of the Cold war this fear and paranoia had become so deeply embedded into people's minds that even in the present day, decades later, we're still putting down Communists as though they were something dirty and not to be trusted at all. I believe that the time in which something occurs is extremely important to it's success.

An example of this is Irene Morgan. Irene Morgan was a black woman in the time of black segregation and discrimination. In 1946, while feeling ill and traveling by bus to a see a doctor, the bus driver asked Irene to give up her seat for a white person. Irene refused, and at the next stop was arrested and taken off the bus. Sound familiar? This was roughly ten years before Rosa Parks did the same thing. When Rosa refused to give up her seat, it had more of an effect on people, and got much more attention. When Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, it sparked outrage and a mass boycott of buses. Irene didn't get the same reaction, and odds are it was because it just wasn't the right time. People just weren't ready yet.

This is a great example as it has parallels to McCarthy and his speech at Wheeling. He was by no means the first to bring up Communism as a threat. In fact Robert Taft, a respected Republican had done something along the same lines, though not quite as bold as McCarthy. No one before McCarthy got the same attention for "Red Baiting" and just the fact that the Communist with hunt era was named after McCarthy shows the amount of influence he held over people at the time. However it happened, it was without a doubt largely due to McCarthy's personality, and the dirty tricks he played. And it was also without a doubt due to the time in which he gave his speech, a time in which people wanted confirmation of their fears of Communism and McCarthy readily gave it to them, that the Red Scare was able to happen the way it did and how inevitably the era and the act of Communist with hunting because simply known as, "McCarthyism."

References:

Schrecker, Ellen. The Age of McCarthyism: A Brief History with Documents. @nd Edition. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's. 2002.

Wicker, Tom. Shooting Star: The Brief Arc of Joe McCarthy. Orlando. Harcourt, Inc. 2006

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/13/us/13kirkadly.html

McCarthyism by jenjen, 11 Feb 2009 20:41

I had to rewrite the whole thing pretty much XP (damn me for being scatter brained!)

On March 21, 1947, President Harry Truman created an executive order called the loyalty-security program made for the executive branch of the federal government. Composed into 6 parts, the loyalty-security program was meant to be a test to decipher the political standings of employees of the government and from the findings of that test to weed out Communist spies. Despite it's noble intentions to protect the secrets of the United States of America from potentially ill-meaning hands, the loyalty-security program was too vaguely written to be appropriate for it's time, and because of it's vagueness certain over-jealous minds readily took advantage of it.
It begins with part one. The “Investigation of Applicants.” This first section, as one may gather, talks about how specifically an employee of a government job will be searched for information. First, who will conduct the investigation, which will either be the Civil Service Commission or the employing department or agency. The second section of part one refers to “respect to his loyalty.” So far the loyalty-security program is being straightforward.
However, it is in section 3 of part one that faces the most vagueness. This section refers to the resources which may be used in the investigation to a person's loyalty. The loyalty-security program states that investigators can use schools attended as a resource, military files, former employers, etc. Lastly it mentions “any other appropriate source.” This is the exact vagueness that people took advantage of the most.
An example of this happening was in Ellen Schrecker's book, The Age of McCarthyism, case 1 on page 178. Although the accused was not publicly named, at least not in this book, he was accused of Communism because of Communist paintings on the wall and the fact that his wife had taken part in Communist activity. Not to mention a Communist book, Das Kapital, which he had purchased for school. This is clearly an example of taking advantage of the vagueness in part 1 section 3. Anyone who wanted to prosecute someone badly enough had to only find something, anything at all to use as a reference and it would fit nicely under “any other appropriate source.” Their playmate as a kid could have been from the now Communist China so therefor they are now suspected themselves. It was absurd and the loyalty-security program gave people the easy opportunity to witch hunt Communists.
This was of course not the only case, but let us move on to other potential injustices in the loyalty-security program. In part two of the program, it states that someone who is charged with being disloyal has the right to a hearing. They will receive written notice about the time of the hearing, and the charges will be stated as “specifically and completely as, in the discretion of the employing department or agency, security considerations permit..” The fact that it's mentioned that they will receive detail about the charges so long as “security considerations permit” suggests that the government is more concerned with protecting itself and it's own agents rather then the potentially innocent people who have their loyalty on trial. We'll examine part 2 again after looking at part 5.
Part three of the loyalty-security program refers to the "responsibilities of the Civil Service Commission." It says that the review board will be made up of "not less than three impartial persons" who themselves will be "officers or employers of the Commission." In my opinion, it seems hard to have someone who is "impartial" when they are employed by the Comity that is doing all the witch hunting in the first place.
Part four refers to "security measures in investigation." This one is very similar to part two. it states that at "the request of the head of any department or agency of the executive branch" all information and material on the employee under suspicion will be made available. "However, the investigative agency may refuse to disclose the names of confidential informants." We see again that the loyalty-security program was written with the protection of the witch hunters in mind, and not the rights of the hunted. It hardly seems fair to be put under suspicion because of something an undercover agent "discovered" about you, yet you can not even challenge this person face to face in a hearing because the government is protecting them.
Part five, "standards." This part consists of two sections, the first section mentioning that there is a standard for refusal of employment or removal from employment if a person is involved in activity that is disloyal to the United States. Section two of this mentions obvious reasons for removal, such as "sabotage, espionage" and a list of other things. It also mentions "knowingly associating with spies or saboteurs" which is where the case of Milo Radulovich in 1953 comes into play.
Milo Radulovich was discharged from the United States Air Force after he knowingly and willfully kept a close relationship with two suspected Communists. His father, who was under suspicion because he subscribed to a Serbian newspaper that happened to support the Yugoslav leader Marshal Tito, who at the time was considered an enemy by the United States. Also, his sister who participated in a demonstration against a hotel that refused to allow a singer to stay there because he was a suspected Communist. As one can tell, the reasoning for suspicion against his sister and father to begin with are weak, and are a result of someone taking advantage of Part 1 section 3-j, "any other appropriate source." Clearly, the case of Milo Radulovich is a combination of the abuse of part 1 and 5, part 5's "knowingly associating with spies or saboteurs" translating to guilt by association.
The last problem there is with part 5 is that it mentions that a reason for refusal or removal from employment is also based on someone who through acts of force or violence denies "other persons their rights under the Constitution of the United states." At first glance you would see nothing wrong with this. However, it's a hypocritical statement. Looking back at part 2 of the loyalty-security program, it states that anyone charged with being disloyal has a right to a hearing. However, although what is written seems to protect people who have been charged with suspicion of Communism, during the Cold war some people were repeatedly charged with the same suspicion until they were no longer able to defend themselves and they lost their jobs. According to the bill of rights, Amendment 5, it states that no "person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life and limb." The Bill of Rights, the rights protected under our constitution, were broken when people were charged with the same crime more then once. Therefor, the loyalty-security program was hypocritical in saying that anyone who denied other people their rights under the Constitution should be dismissed from their jobs, because the people who implemented the program themselves were guilty of this same act.
There is one more part to the loyalty-security program, but it seems to just reiterate what has already been said, and I find it to be less significant. Despite the increasing amount of negative aspects to the Loyalty Security Program, one can not deny it was written with good intentions, intentions to protect the American way of life and to keep the secrets of our weapons of mass destruction out of evil hands. When Igor Gouzenko defected from the Communist party, he brought to light Stalin's intentions of getting a hold of atomic bomb information. This may have been the start of a witch hunt, but inevitably spies were caught and valuable information spared from enemy hands because of this program.
A great example of this is Klaus Fuch, a German born Communist and theoretical physicist who was working in New York City since 1943. Klaus Fuch was a very intelligent scientist, whose ideas lead to some earlier designs of the hydrogen bomb. However, Fuch was not loyal to the United States and was passing it's military secrets to the Soviet Union. He admitted to passing information involving the theoretical outline for creating a hydrogen bomb to Alexandre Feklisor, his case officer. He also passed on information that made it easy for Soviets to calculate how many atomic bombs the United States had. From this information, the Soviet Union was able to discover that the United States currently did not have enough atomic bombs for a nuclear war in the 1940's or even early 1950's. [8]
It was terrible that the Soviets were able to discover so much because had tensions escalated even more between the two countries the United States wouldn't be able to bluff the Soviet Union into submission by threatening nuclear war. Thanks to the Loyalty Security Program being in effect, in 1950 Klaus Fuch admitted to being a spy after months of investigation and interrogation. Had Fuch not been discovered for being a spy there is no telling what other military secrets the Soviet Union may have gotten a hold of.
The question overall of course is whether the Loyalty Security Program was necessary. One can not call it good or bad as a law or program is only as strong as those who implement it. On the positive side it was a way to search out spies and protect the secrets of the United States of America. However, on the other side of things, due to the already spreading fear of Communists taking over the American way of life, the Loyalty Security Program came at the wrong time to be more useful then problematic.
There was too much vagueness, perhaps written on purpose, or maybe it was overseen by those who wrote it. Regardless, it left loopholes that made it easy for Communist witch hunters to challenge the loyalty of anyone for any reason, whether through guilt by association or by sadly enough the art hanging in a person's home. I think that is the worst crime of all, to banish someone simply for their admiration of a painting or the reading of a book. I think this should be a lesson to us all of how easily paranoia can push us to terrible extremes, and how easy it is to fear rather then understand. Yes, there were spies, but had people not been so afriad of Communists to begin with, they may have been able to be more open about thier beliefs and appeared less secretive and sneaky. After all, they weren't all spies. Most believed in Communism because they saw it as a way to make a better world, and who doesn't want that?
In closing, I feel that the cases in which the loyalty-security program was abused (however few or many these cases were) none should be forgotten, otherwise we can not ever expect to learn from our mistakes. There was no reason to break the fifth Amendment in the trials of these people, Communist spies or not. In the words of Benjamin Franklin, "Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither."

Re: Communist Paper by jenjen, 30 Jan 2009 01:15
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