The Investigative Journalist


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    Join date : 2010-04-03

    The Investigative Journalist

    Post  Darman on Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:27 pm

    This is just the beginnings of a new story I've been working on. Understand this is sadly enough about a 6-7 hours worth of work (I write and edit slow) so don't expect massive updates like this anytime soon. And to be honest this really isn't that large of a story. I'd like to make it clear that is the idea of Fabricated Animals is a idea from a Scott Westerfield novel titled Leviathan. It's a brilliant story and what inspired me to write a steampunk story. So, here we go.


    On my perch I could see for miles around and almost the whole city was under my watchful gaze. New York was a city of a new, brand, it was a mix of machine and animal. It defied the teachings of those in the older world, and it was a smack in the face to allies and enemies alike. If only it wasn’t so darn crowded, people rushed across the concrete walkways, and from a quick glance it would appear as if the whole city was simply a colony of ants. Scurrying around ready to feed the queen or something else of that sort.

    It was also quite beautiful in it’s own special way, the city seem to. Flow perfectly. All of its parts and pieces mechanical or otherwise were synchronized in such a way only a artist could appreciate fully. Of course I can’t forget that the place was teeming with newspaper articles, they were just hidden right now, just waiting to be written. The problem for me? Finding them.

    Now to the Americans who built and designed the place? It just served a simple purpose, to prove to the rest of the earth that the coexistence of animal and machine was entirely possible, and all it required was a little perseverance and a planning. Before cities were either A or B in the states. You were animal or machine, and even then th whole point of doing that was to appease the eastern countries. You wouldn’t want a whole world against you.

    I sighed, realizing I had yet again gone onto a derailed thinking tangent, but I suppose that’s the whole reason I come up to this place. My thoughts were interrupted when the sound of footsteps pierced my thoughts. “You know, one of these days your going to fall off that ledge of yours.” I turn around, already knowing who it was before I saw his face. Daniel, the building ‘supervisor‘. “As will you, if you keep interrupting me up here.” I said, clearly annoyed that my thinking was stopped so abruptly.

    “Says the guy who shouldn’t be up here in the first place.” Daniel replied his voice tinged with amusement. I rolled my eyes at that and turned back around looking back at the city. Even if he wanted to he’d be hard pressed to kick me out, my boss owned this building anyway and it was only time before he started bringing in the cavalry to use it. Daniel is a, interesting, guy to say the least. From what I’ve heard he won the lottery a couple years back but kept the money locked up in the bank, just collecting dust. He didn’t let winning change him, he just kept the same job as before. Watching over a dusty old building.

    I questioned him on it one day but all he said was, “ I have my reasons” and left it at that. I’ve fancied asking him about it again but I figured he would just the same thing, it’s to bad to. It would make such a brilliant newspaper article. I turned around a second time to see if Daniel was still there. He wasn’t. I mentally shrugged and turned back around, it wasn’t that odd of behavior for Daniel anyway. He was the stealthy sort.


    I ducked under and through the legs of the lumbering, obviously aged walker. Not that the age of the hulking beast of metal mattered to me, all that mattered me was getting the heck out of here. I could still hear the sounds of pursuers behind me, it was kind of hard not to, heavy panting and pounding feet is a hard sound to conceal. I looked around the streets widely, looking for some way to escape knowing that my attackers were only getting closer.

    Something quickly catches my eye, not a path but a stack of crates. All leaning precariously close to the road. I took a quick look behind me to see how far my pursuers were, or rather how close they were. They were quite literally, at my heels. God knows how considering how crowded the sidewalks and streets were.

    Knowing I have to move faster I put on a extra burst of speed. Come on, I’m getting closer. I risk another glance behind me, they were far enough. When I turn back around the crates are bearing down on me. Crap. I swerve to the right, out of the way, but I’m careful to just stick my foot out hopefully causing the crates to topple. The boxes do exactly what I predict, they fall into th roadway tripping up my followers, along with a. I cringe. A few walkers. Knowing I can’t ket that stop me I keep on running, and I literally dive into the nearest alleyway. I pick myself up quickly and keep on running.

    My breathing gets heavier and heavier by the passing second, knowing I can’t keep up this speed for forever I slow down to a more manageable pace. That being a trudging walk. The back streets aren’t exactly the nicest of places in New York. In fact I’d go as far as to call the place outright disgusting. Trash was spread bout the pothole infested wasteland, and it looked like a miniature war zone. Garbage cans were tipped over there contents becoming homes to rats and all sorts of creatures and long abandoned clothing lines hang limp over it all. Like a cherry on top.

    That was just the street. Brick buildings crouch low to the floor, as if they are afraid the taller buildings will somehow notice them and crush them underfoot. The chain link fences bearing the words, “Beware The Dog” probably don’t the image of the place either, and strangely enough the place was completely deserted. I sigh knowing that I was in the part of New York that only the cities actual occupants know of. And honestly, it sucked.


    I was sitting in a taxi, and strangely enough one of those new wheeled ones. A concept which I was still getting used to, but to be honest I find it a bit more enthralling then odd. It just seemed so much more, justifiable, then a walking machine. It was so much more, efficient then a regular walker, not to mention a bit more safer. If I were to ride around in some metal and not a animal personally I would ditch the idea of legs as well. It made sense, to me at least I can’t say the same for the people staring at it in the streets. They were openly gawking at the thing, I mean it’s not like its that much of a foreign concept. It’s been done plenty of times before, at least you’d think it has…

    My thoughts are interrupted almost as soon as they enter my head as the commotion that I hear outside breaks through into my thoughts. I glance outside my Taxi window to see what was happening. To men were in pursuit of a single person, and they seemed to be getting closer to the guy. What in the heck? Curiously enough the men weren’t in police uniforms.

    Not that It was really much of a surprise considering the two pursuers showed such a disregard to the people around them, knocking them down pushing them away, I’d be mad if they had a badge on them. My lingering gaze turns back towards the running man just as he turns narrowly missing running full pelt into a stack of crates. Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere I might add, the crates the man just dodged start to tumble to the ground blocking the roadway.

    Weather it was on accident or on purpose it served it’s purpose to the man. The falling crates knock the two men clean to the ground and the rest fall on top of them stopping them from getting up. Maybe even knocking them out. The problem? It not only caused just that, it sent the whole street into utter pandemonium. Walkers legs were suddenly found behind them rather then under, and they slammed into the ground, in the same process knocking down two or more walkers. It was a perfect, but bloody, example of the domino effect.

    One walker in particular though, changed a bit more personally. It fell backwards, heading right towards us. My driver tries to desperately steer the car backwards to avoid the falling walker. It isn’t enough. The walker rushes up to meet our vehicle, it shears through the metal and the driver is instantly crushed and killed under tons of metal. I was lucky though, the walkers head misses me by inches and my half of the taxi is propelled backwards my the shockwave. I sit shock still, in a Taxi cleaved in half with pure chaos in front of me, and horrified onlookers behind me.


    I jumped back in surprise at what I was seeing. To me it seemed like a great crash just sprouted into existence. Walkers started to topple and smash into the ground as if the road angered them in some way. I couldn’t imagine what had caused it, but it really didn’t matter to me much. It could be a good article with or without the reason it was caused.

    I’m a journalist you see, working for the Chicago Times. My boss, mark, sent me out here to New York to see if it was a good idea to start a newspaper joint out here. I can’t say I’m really happy with the arrangement, so I decided I might as well collect a couple stories while I’m down here.

    I arrived at the scene of the crash around 15 minutes later, and the place was even more chaotic then I first assumed. Various metal parts were strewn about the roadway, tossed around haphazardly, and oddly enough some sort of wheeled vehicle seemed to dominate the center of everything. Cut in half.

    Police barriers were already on the scene, blocking out the wreckage from passer-byers. I glanced around for someone who appeared at least remotely distressed. I almost immediately spotted someone, they were sitting on a bench. To the untrained eye he wouldn’t appear as if he had any connection to the crash, but it was there. Call it a gut feeling. He was a witness.

    I walked over towards the bench, careful to keep my notepad hidden, and I sat down next to him. He wasn’t exactly a average looking guy, some sort of turtle neck and obscure brown jacket. Myself? I can’t say I exactly scream ‘handsome’. I have brown hair, usually kept uniform and straight, a darker blue shade of eyes and a average sized nose. My skin is a bit more of a tanish color then anything and I keep fit for the most part. I’m certainly no super-man or marine but you’ve got to be able to at least run in my line of work. Or at least how I do my work.

    I turn my back to my witness and ask. “ You know what happened here?” The guy looks up for a brief second before turning his attention back to the ground which he was previously staring at, hands grasped together in his lap. I mentally smack myself, knowing I should have taken a different approach. Maybe I can…no. I sigh, knowing I was going to literally pay for my mistake.

    I take out a ten-dollar bill out of my wallet, trying to hide a grimace as I do so. I slip the guy the money and he quickly turns around to face me. “ What do you want to know?” I consider his question, and his abrupt change in character for a moment and say. “You know what caused all of this?” His eyes take on a small glint of anger, but quickly turn back to normal. “Some person” He says, feeling the need to wave his hand around in some odd motion as he does so. “Was being chased by these two other guys.” I stop him there.

    “You know why? Did he have some weapon on him or something else? A bag?” He thinks for a second. “ Dunno, I only caught a glimpse, and If I did know I’d be talking to the,.” He says, jerking his head in the direction of to police officers who were in the progress of interviewing a woman. I cough. “So,” I continue. “How did this lead to the crash?” This leads him into some long-garbled explanation on how it happened.

    I’m careful to keep notes on what he says. He obviously sees the pad but says nothing. I imagine he put two and two together when I bribed him earlier. “Then he ran down a alley.” I stop him there. “Which alley?” I ask. He motions in the direction of one of the side alleys by the side of the road. I stand up. “Thanks for the information, it was. Helpful” I say vaguely. He ignores me and instead looks up expectantly, clearly asking for more money. I walk off, ignoring him as he ignored me and I hear him grunt in response.

    He can whine about it all he wants later. I take a good look at the police barriers, not many officers thankfully were patrolling along it, and all the wreckage… I decide to take a chance and I glance around, making sure no one is looking at me. No one, at least as far as I can tell. Acting quick I walk pass the police barrier and dive behind the nearest piece of wreckage. I kick up some dirt and grit as I hit the tarmac, and I grunt. A bit, excessive, I’ll admit but it works.

    Knowing I have to move fast for fear of detection I quickly get up and dust myself off. I lean out of my cover. Nothing, and I dash across the small distance between my two pieces of cover. I slide into and behind, interestingly enough, the car that was cut in half. Or at least I think these things are called cars. Not that it’s really that important but still… No need to make myself feel like a moron if I learn it’s called something different later.

    I take a moment to study the odd vehicle, why not? I can’t imagine these things are going to fill the streets anytime soon and you rarely get to see a anything cut clean in half. The vehicle was yellow in color, and was leaking all sorts of fluids acro- I look down at myself. All across myself and the road. I stop myself from cursing, loudly. I’m short enough on money anyway and now I have to repla-

    “Hey, you there!” I hear a person shout, and this time I let myself curse, albeit a bit more quietly. I stand up tossing stealth right out of the window. I take a quick glance at the person who called out to me and I notice it is the two police officers. With the guy I interviewed earlier.

    Son of a…

    I bolt knowing that if I am caught I won’t be able to see this story to it’s end, and if I don’t finish up this story well it’ll ruin my perfect record won’t it? The police officers don’t hesitate to run right after me. Luckily for me though they weren’t the fittest bunch and they slowed down panting in about a minute and not only that but simultaneously both motioning to the other to keep moving. I would have laughed at the situation if I wasn’t running so fast.

    With the alleyway getting closer by the second my sprits rise, only to crash to the ground as I see a third officer step out in front of the alleys entrance, blocking my path. I try my best to skid to a stop but even with my shoes squealing like some deranged pair of rats I slam into the officer. Who just at that moment I noticed was a woman, not that it really matters. We both topple to the ground, but in a brilliant moment of either skill or luck, probably the latter, I roll as I do so and almost immediately spring back up to my feet and take off running.

    The officer, not quite as lucky as me, lays sprawled on her back, and by the time she gets up I’m already up all see see’s are my shoes poking out of the alley corner before quickly disappearing along with me down the side roads. I hear her shout a curse right before I turn a second corner, but lucky me she doesn’t follow. I keep on running until I’m sure the crash site is kilometers behind me, or at least what feels like kilometers.

    I collapse at the nearest thing that I might call a bench on one of my worse days. To bad that rest lasted around, a tenth of a second, as the familiar click of a switch-blade pounds into my thoughts. My head slumps back against the fencepost I was using as a headrest knowing I would have the strength to fight or even run from another person.

    “Stand up.” The guy demands, his voice betraying that he was close to or more tired then yours truly. Wait, could it be him? When I don’t immediately comply, due to my thinking he brings his switch-blade right up to my throat saying. “I said, stand up.” I do as he says. “ You have any weapons on you?” He asks, and I feel my hand gun dig up against my thigh as he says so. “A gun.” I reply. He shifts uncomfortably at this.

    “In my left jeans pocket.” He reaches into my jeans and plucks the gun out and aims it at me, putting his switchblade away as he does so. It’s obvious he’s never handled a gun before, you could see it in the way he was holding it. “So, your one of them or what?” He says. I prepare my sarcastic reply. “If you mean a journalist then yes, I suppose so.” That only causes him to put his gun, or rather my gun up to my temple. Not my best decision.

    I push back a gulp, even if he’s never fired a gun before it’d be hard to miss this when its pointed right up against my head. I feel beads of sweat roll down my forehead, and I sigh in relief when he pulls the gun back from my head. “Humor won’t get you far with me.” Only after he says that could I see the cracks in his ‘tough guy’ demeanor. I step back away from him, cringing when he tightens his hold on his weapon almost pulling the trigger.

    That is until I notice something, the safety was still on. Even if he pulled the trigger the gun wouldn’t fire. I push back a chuckle at his obvious inexperience. 1 point for me I suppose. “ Do I look like I’m some low life thug?” I ask him. He gives me a suspicious look at that, not that he wasn’t before, and steps back. “No.” He admits but still keeps the gun tightly gripped between his two hands. “So, I take it you’re the guy who caused that crash back there.” I say, almost casually, or at least as casual as you can be in this sort of situation.

    “Look” he almost spits back at me “I didn’t mean to cause all of, that and I can’t justify it but I’m not completely to blame.” Well that’s interesting, that probably means he’s been back to the crash. Which may explain why he caught up with me rather then vice versa. “I’m not here to question your actions.” I shoot back. “I’m here for a story.” That of course, was perhaps one of the worst things I could have said. In fact it’s right up with outright saying, “I’m here to kill you.”

    At first he is a bit taken aback by my bluntness, to bad it quickly changes to anger. “You’ve got to be one arrogant man to actually think you can just waltz up here and ask for my bloody life story just so you can get your greasy little journalist hands on some cash.” He takes in a long breath, getting ready to continue his rant but I interrupt him before he has the chance to do so.

    “What if I were to help you?” I say. I’ve followed this story along so far, and I’m sure as heck not going to stop here. “If I help you get out whatever mess your in now, will you give me the full story and allow me to publish it?” He pauses at my question, pondering it over as a gigantic airbeast floats overhead. “You have no idea what your getting into he begins.” Lowering the gun as he says so, but I shrug his statement off. I’ve been through things any sane person would dismiss as lies. “Maybe I don’t, but that’s never stopped me before.”

    “So,” I continue, “I help you, you give me your story?”

    “Sure, he replies, “lets just hope we’ll both live to fulfill our agreement. I chuckle nervously at that. So it looks like I’m back into my screwed up would of investigative journalism, I can only hope I don’t regret it.

    “So, about that gun…”


    Not the best writing but 'eh, it's decent I suppose.

      Current date/time is Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:43 pm