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Thursday, 1st July, 2004, 08:37 PM #151
Defender (Lvl 8)
The continuing adventures of Agent Keady…..
It’s been six months since Keady’s bizarre adventure in Greenland. In that time, Rumfield, his Section Chief and one-time greatest antagonist, had become a supporter -- and paid for it. Two months ago, Rumfield had been put on indefinite administrative leave, and nobody around the office had heard from him during the last 3 weeks. Nobody dared ask the reasoning behind his “reassignment”. Nonetheless, Keady was quickly back to pariah status. Often his only contact with fellow agents were quickly hushed conversations, dirty looks, shakes of the head followed by nigh silent utterances, and blank, poker-faced stares.
At least his latest assignment would get him out of the office for a bit. Sitting in the travel office, waiting for his tickets to print, he was flipping through the case file photos, when one in particular stood out at him. Each of the crime scenes not only featured a horribly mangled victim, always a healthy adult male, 23 to 28 years, and some sort of dead animal. Usually, these animals were a small mammal: rats, squirrels, rabbits. This latest murder, the 25th, featured the carcass of a hawk, hanging on the fence over the body.
Seated on the plane, while on the approach to Dallas-Ft. Worth, Keady was still wrestling with the image of the raptor poised over the body of the latest victim. What did it mean? The big concern was the symbolism of it all. The killer had stepped up from marking his handiwork with prey to a predator. This could mean that the killer was feeling more empowered by his slayings, and was in fact, moving up the food chain.
After an uneventful landing, Keady picked up his luggage and followed his normal procedure of picking up as many local newspapers he could find. He then checked in with the local FBI office and headed to his hotel. After a late in-room dinner, while searching through the papers for coverage of the murder and any other fragment of information, he noticed an ad for the Adria-Rica Circus. He recalled seeing a similar ad a few other times while looking through newspapers from other cities. Hooking up his laptop, Keady was soon viewing the Adria-Rica Circus website. It seems that they were a long running circus in Romania, who had come to the US a few years ago, and were now based out of Houston. Looking at their schedule, Keady was immediately struck by the similarity of the Circus’s touring schedule and the string of murders. Picking up the maps which showed the locations of the murders, he quickly confirmed that it was true. Each murder happened within a 30 mile radius of a place the circus had been. Further, the timing of the murders was such that each occurred the while the circus was in town, the day before, or the day after. Quickly snatching up the current ad, he saw that today was the last day of the circuses visit to Dallas, with the last murder being the night before it had opened, four nights ago.
The next morning, Keady found the site where the circus had been deserted. They had apparently pulled up stakes and left in the night. Looking at the schedule he had printed out, he saw that after a 3 day break, the circus was due to open in Houston for a week, then close up for the season. An hour later, while heading down I-45, he placed a call to the Houston office and asked for them to set up surveillance around the circus site, and to contact the office of the circus and start doing background checks on employees.
Arriving in Houston late in the afternoon, Keady went straight to the FBI office. What he found was not very helpful. The background checks had turned up a few DUIs and two guys with previous breaking and entering convictions, certainly nothing that would lead Keady to believe they would be involved in ritualized murder and mutilation. The one bit of good news was that the owner of the circus had called to inquire why the FBI was asking questions. The owner, one Radu Rica, had promised to meet with an agent the next morning and cooperate in anyway. Further, he invited the agent to come to his office in the morning.
The next morning at 9:00AM, Keady entered the office of the Adria-Rica circus and asked to see Mr. Rica. Shortly afterward, a short, swarthy man who looked to be in his early 60’s, accompanied by a tall, thin, and beautiful woman in her mid 20s, came out to meet him.
“Greetings, Agent Keady!”, Radu said in a thick Romanian accent. “It seems we have a scheduling conflict, I fear!”, he continued, “I have promised my daughter here, Atanasia, that I would take her fishing today, before the show starts up again, the day after tomorrow.”
“Oh father, why can’t we simply invite the good agent to share in our expedition!”, Atanasia asked, with a slight pout. With a sigh, Radu quickly conceded to his daughter’s request. Keady go the feeling that this was commonplace, and that Atanasia often got what she wanted.
Soon, they were aboard a charter boat headed out to sea for a day of shark fishing. Queasily, Keady eyed the pile of chum near the stern of the boat. Standing up and walking over to the chum, Atanasia turned to Keady and asked, “What’s the matter, not a fan of sushi?”
“It all depends on how it’s prepared.”, he answered.
“I see.”, she said. Picking up a bait knife, she bent over sliced a sliver of meat out of one of the mackerels. Standing back up and looking at Keady, she tossed her head back and swallowed the sliver of fish. Looking back at Keady, with the ocean breeze blowing back her hair, she licked he lips, and said, “Would you like to try some of mine?”, and placed her hands on her hips, trying to get the maximum effect of the sunlight striking her tanned, bikini-clad body. While she was simply gorgeous, incredibly alluring, and projected an aura of incredibly confident sexuality, Keady wasn’t buying it.
“Atanasia! Please!”, exclaimed Radu.
“I’m sorry father.”, she replied in a naughty-little-girl sort of way. “I was simply trying to show some southern hospitality to our guest.”, she said, in a hokey Texas accent.
Incidents like this continued all afternoon. Keady played it close to the vest, citing the charter boat crew as why he did not go into what sort of specific crimes he was investigating. He continually prodded Radu and his daughter for any info on circus workers who might be acting suspiciously. In the end, the day was a bust, as Radu was simply clueless about his employees. Despite the fact that Radu said Atanasia was being groomed to take over the family business, she too was of no help, playing the flirtatious tart all day long.
On the other hand, the fishing was excellent. What surprised Keady was the pure physical power of Atanasia. Despite her thinly built frame, she possessed incredible strength and endurance, easily landing 300-400lb tiger sharks, whereas a 200lb shark nearly drained Keady. Radu attributed this to her training as a circus performer. At the end of the day, despite his knowing better, Keady could not help but be extremely attracted to Atanasia.
Back at his hotel room, Keady made contact with the local authorities. No leads, but no murders yet. A canvas of police bulletins state-wide showed no other murders similar to the ones he was investigating.
The next day started early for Keady at the site of the circus. He was surprised to see so many performers in costume, practicing their routines, even though the show was a few days away. Sitting on a bench, his heart jumped when some shadows passed in front of him. The horned helmet made him shudder as his experience in Greenland came flooding back. Shaking, sweating, and lost in thought, he heard his voice being called from far away. Snapping to, her turned and saw Atanasia in a spectacular costume . He was struck dumb by the grace she exhibited in such an elaborate getup. There was simply something feral about the way she moved, something forbidden, yet incredibly charismatic.
“I have some information for you, Agent Keady”, she said. “But there is a cost.”
“And what would that be?”, choked Keady.
“You must be my dinner guest tonight, at my favorite restaurant! I’ll send a car to pick you up at 7:00PM.” With that, Atanasia bounded off at incredible speed on her prosthetic limbs.
The day was very frustrating for Keady. It seemed that Radu had brought over many workers from Romania, and most spoke no English. The only lead he got was from a Mexican migrant worker who went on and on about the Chupacabra. Keady mused to himself that if this guy only knew what he knew, he’d never leave his house. At any rate, despite his best efforts, he could not get Atanasia out of his mind.
At 7:00Pm sharp, as promised, a limousine pulled up to Keady’s hotel. The driver exited the car and came around to the passenger side.
“Mr. Keady?”, he asked with a thick Romanian accent.
“Yes.”, said Keady.
The driver opened the door for Keady, and revealed the shapely crossed legs of Atanasia. She was dressed in the proverbial little black dress, with her hair pulled up. She didn’t move, but rather patted the seat on the other side, forcing Keady to climb past her. In this awkward position, Keady felt vulnerable to her for the first time. Sitting next to her, she turned sideways and placed her long legs across his lap. She then started running her fingers through the hair on the back of his neck.
“Please stop.”, Keady said weakly. “I’m here on an investigation.”
Sensing that she had her quarry hemmed into a corner Atanasia asked, “Does the bureau demand that you do not mix business and pleasure?”
Keady was done. “Put a fork in me.”, he said to himself.
When seated, the waiter brought out their drinks and silverware.
“Reuben!”, she said angrily, obviously knowing this waiter. “You know I don’t use your knives and forks! Please them away at once, or I’ll call my father!”
This puzzled Keady. The silverware was just that, very expensive silver knives and forks. What put him off even more was the look of pure hatred in Atanasia’s eyes when she berated the waiter.
Reuben bowed, apologized, and hastily took her place setting back to the kitchen.
Composing herself, Atanasia nervously laughed. “I had an uncle die of food poisoning from a dirty fork he ate with at a restaurant. I always bring my own, even to the best restaurants.”, she dismissively explained. “Please excuse me, I must go powder my nose.”
Keady had not seen her lose her composure before. This momentarily snapped him out of his fascination with her. For some reason, though he had never stolen anything in his life, he slipped a fork into his pocket.
When Atanasia came back, she was her sultry self again. Now, she pulled out all of the stops. Slipping her shoes off, she slid her stocking covered feet up and down Keady’s leg. It got to the point that Keady needed to excuse himself and go to the men’s room to recompose. When he came back, he found she had ordered him another drink.
The evening continued on in a similar fashion, with Atanasia’s advanced becoming more and more brazen. Her power over him was such that he simply forgot about the information she supposedly had for him. The night wound on, the last thing Keady remembered was Atanasia paying the bill and the passenger door of the limo closing, with him inside.
Keady awoke to Atanasia’s voice and a brisk slap on the face. It was then he noticed his torso was tied to a round wooden fence post, and his hands were tied to the barbed wire which stretched between the posts on other side of him.
Rolling his head back, he opened his eyes to find Atanasia standing before him, stark naked in the light of the full moon. They were on a windswept prairie, who knows where in the middle of Texas.
“What did you do to me?”, he asked.
“The same I do to all foolish men!”, she barked, “I used your own biology against you. Well, and slipped a little something into your drink. At any rate, you are now my desert!”
With that, her body started to contort. She let out a wail which Keady couldn’t tell was pleasure or pain. Brownish hair started to sprout from her body as her jaws began to extend and ears sprouted from the top of her head. Her limbs started to lengthen and shift shape. Slowly, but surely, she started to assume a bipedal, canine form.
Energized with terror, Keady started heaving his body against his bonds. At the same time, he started to pull his bound wrists back and forth against the barbed wire. He got lucky. The cords caught on a barb and started to fray. Looking back, he could see Atanasia rise up full on her hind legs, her transformation complete. Before him was a six foot tall, gaunt abomination, half wolf, half woman. Despite his disgust, even now she had an allure about her. That ended when she let out a terrible howl.
The cords binding Keady’s right wrist gave way, frantically reaching into his pocket, he pulled out the silver fork.
Atanasia lept at him, her jaws gaping open, seeking his throat. With a swift stroked, Keady plunged the fork into her neck. Finding purchase in her jugular, a shriek of pain rolled across the otherwise silent prairie. Falling, she started to revert back to human form.
Untying himself, Keady stood over her body. She was now all human again. With her last gasp of breath, she looked up at Keady and said, “You had no idea what a bitch I really was, did you?” Then all was silent.
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Thursday, 1st July, 2004, 08:40 PM #152
Defender (Lvl 8)
forgot to list the round in my post.
also, it took forever to post, and now I'm late.
my bad. waited too dang long to get started.
My muse was not present or kind, despite your wishes, BSF.
Thursday, 1st July, 2004, 08:49 PM #153
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
The crowd falls hush as Francisca shows up late. All their eyes sweep towards Bard Stephen Fox as they await his thumbs up or thumbs down...will he allow the late entry or clal for the sacrificing of all Franciscas previous edition books....
Thursday, 1st July, 2004, 08:52 PM #154
Defender (Lvl 8)
I'll say uncle an conceed. I was late, that's the bottom line. No excuses. He would have beaten me fair and square anyway.Originally Posted by alsih2o
And you can have my 1E books when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers.
Thursday, 1st July, 2004, 08:53 PM #155
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
before you ask, I am fine with the story being 5 minutes late in posting.
Francisca, I doubt that the judges absolutely need the round information. When I have the time, I like to show off that I know my vbulletin codes.
Thursday, 1st July, 2004, 08:55 PM #156
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
*laugh* OK, after you ask then. But, when I started the post you hadn't asked yet.Originally Posted by alsih2o
Francisca, not that easy! We are going to get judged fair and square.
Thursday, 1st July, 2004, 09:00 PM #157
Defender (Lvl 8)
Alright then. You're a gracious man, BSF.Originally Posted by BardStephenFox
But *don't* even think about touching me 1E books.......
Thursday, 1st July, 2004, 09:01 PM #158
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
You got any good 1e books that I am missing?
Thursday, 1st July, 2004, 09:55 PM #159
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
I would never blame a competitor for sticking to the rules (and if someone was WAY late I ould enforce them myself).
But I love the fact that we all seem to have a little give.
Judgemnts forthcoming, as well as more pics tomorrow.
Thursday, 1st July, 2004, 10:02 PM #160
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
5 minutes in the middle of what might be a work day? Nah, not worth being agitated over. This morning, I had a moment of panic. My ISP was having problems and could not authenticate me. OK, I can just post it from work. Heck, the story was on my laptop. I get into work and I immediately have network problems. Major Nifty. Fortunately, that is something I can fix, since it is my job. I was just glad we didn't have a major work crisis come up that would have prevented me from having time to post at work. So, 5 minutes for somebody that might not have access at work or school? No big deal.