On a Tuesday
It was the last week of January, and a cold night in Philadelphia. Sebastian Tjorgstatd, mercifully known as “Seabass”, was on his way into Philadelphia from parts unknown when he received a text from the number 555-555-5555 with a picture of a young girl sitting on the floor of a parking lot, with the text “help” and the tagged address where the picture was taken. Seabass put the address into his GPS and sped off. He found a four floor parking garage in South Philly, that seemed to have some structural damage. He parked his car across the street, braced himself, and headed in.
There were no cars, employees, electricity, or signs that the garage had been anything but derelict for some time. Seabass’s EVP recorder began picking up the what sounded like a young girl sobbing once he entered the structure, and the sound wouldn’t cease until he left. Seabass pried the elevator doors open to find the elevator down two floors, so he let the doors slide close and took the stairs instead. After finding nothing of interest in the first basement, Seabass headed down to the second.
He cautiously and quietly opened the fire door to B2, to find the floor covered in blood, and a woman with a flashlight looking around. She seemed strangely unfazed but the gruesome scene before her. Her flashlight sweeping the area revealed to Seabass a body on the floor of the garage that had been thoroughly vivisected, and was likely the source of the gore. Seabass managed to sneak a little closer to the woman, but was caught when he tried to use his phone to photograph the woman.
Mac Hawken was on his way to an address his superior in the Field Project Division, Alicia Magnum, had sent him with the word “urgent”. While Mac was en route, Alicia called Mac to brief him. Someone in FPD had picked up a short live stream of high profile Network Zero member, ShockTreatment. The stream was from a first person perspective, likely a chestcam or google glass, and showed the filmer, complete with masked voice, descend into a parking garage, get very frightened at the sight of a young, crying girl, and begin to run away before the stream ended. Mac was ordered to collect intel for future asset acquisition, and Alicia was very specific about avoid law enforcement, especial anything that would attract the attention of federal agents.
Mac parked his car a few blocks from the address, and cautiously made his way to the address the abandoned parking garage. After meticulously checking the first three above ground floors and finding nothing, his persistence somewhat paid off on the fourth and highest floor. Mac found a very out of place metal lock box bolted to the floor in the corner of the lot. It was empty and unlocked, though fairly recently used. Mac also found a laptop battery on a tire in the wheel well of an old junker on the top floor. He then headed back to ground floor. He opened and checked the elevator shaft before deciding to use the stairs to delve lower into the complex. Mac found nothing of interest in the fourth basement, and proceeded down to the B2.
He cautiously and quietly opened the fire door to B2, to find the floor covered in blood, and a woman with a flashlight looking at a man a few feet away with a cell phone out. The woman began panicking, and stammered, “who are you? did you do this? please don’t come any closer!” Seabass calmly tried to explain that he came to see what was happening, but was unable to calm the woman down, and she dialed 911. After the woman managed to blurt out that there was a murder and she was in an old parking garage in South Philly, Seabass advanced, trying to get the phone from the woman. This is when Mac made his presence known and punched Seabass squarely in the face. When Seabass didn’t let go, Mac pulled his mac-10 and pointed it at the other man. Seabass reacted by turning so the woman was between the two of them. In the struggle, the woman was able to free herself and run hysterically up the ramp toward the ground floor.
As both men realized law enforcement would soon be present, Mac while Seabass tried to grab some pictures with his phone before following. In the stairwell Mac hastily tried to clean off the blood from his boots, before continuing up the stairs. Mac arrived at the ground floor in time to see a Crown Victoria pulling up in front of the garage, and the woman bolt the opposite direction, out the side of the garage and down an ally. Mac pried the elevator doors open, and leapt onto the cable letting the doors slide shut behind him.
After stumbling a bit on the stairs in the dark, Seabass made it to ground floor in time to hear two men with flashlights get out of the car parked out front, and begin entering the garage. Seabass stealthily hoped out the opposite side of the garage and poked his head out into the street to see the unmarked Crown Vic. Seabass tried to sneak up to the car to see if it was equipped with a dashboard camera, but accidentally attracted the attention of the officers inside the building. Seabass retreated back toward the ally while brandishing his gun in an attempt to slow the police down.
While this was happening, Mac emerged from the elevator shaft on the second floor and hopped down into the ally in pursuit of the mystery woman. As he began running down the ally, mac rounded the corner from the street and began pursuing Mac/fleeing the authorities. While running down the ally, Mac spotted a young woman, too well dressed to be a vagrant, in a dumpster. Mac stopped to pull the woman out and yell to the officers about her, before continuing the pursuit/fleeing with Seabass.
After a few blocks of running, the duo were confident they had both lost their quarry and their pursuers. The two had a bit of an argument about professionalism and both tried in vain to learn something about the other before Seabass received two more texts from the 555 number saying “I woke up in an ally being interviewed by police, though I had a professional coming to help” and “Papa Frita’s. 12:30. Bring your friend.” It took some convincing, but Seabass talked Mac into joining him at Papa Frita’s, and supplying the ride.
The two made their way to Mac’s car, and then headed to Papa Frita’s near Center City. Seabass met the owner, Jak Irrelivante, and accidentally ordered an absurd amount of food while the two awaited their meeting. No one ever came, but while the two exchanged pleasantries, a man in a booth across the room who looked strangely like Mike Tomlin, kept giving the duo strange looks, though he remained on the phone the whole time, while the two he dined with seemed occupied with each other. On his way back from the restroom, Mac felt obligated to inform the man that “it was a twoosie.” The man replied, “you smell like blood” in a very disapproving manner. Shortly thereafter, Seabass received another series of texts, this time from a number he could reply to. They told him his friend checked out, and that Seabass would need to return to the garage to retrieve two cameras that the texter had left.
After stopping for a quick drink at Paddy’s Irish Pub, Mac and Seabass returned to the garage , via opposite sides,to find the crown vic, the officers, and the corpse all missing, with plenty of blood remaining. Again, Seabass’s EVP recorder began to pick up the crying when he entered the structure. The two retrieved the gopros with no difficulty, then had a quick look around. Mac found a wooden crate full of brand new looking sledgehammers and a fist-sized metal device made of gears that was absurdly cold to the touch, even through gloves and considering it was 25 degrees out. Seabass found a gear, about an inch in diameter, that was similarly cold. Mac headed out, while Seabass took several more photos of the area and did one more quick sweep of the area. Seabass then retrieved his car, met with Mac to receive the camera, and the two parted ways after exchanging phone numbers (but not names) and the understanding that they would meet the next day.
Mac met with his superior and Seabass contacted a contact, though neither meeting is yet fit for the adventure log, as secrets abound. Both meetings cast doubt on the cops who arrived being legitimate cops.
The two reconvened at Paddy’s Irish Pub early that evening, and had a somewhat hostile exchange with the waitress/bartender. Mac and Seabass then gave their names, and opened up a little bit about their respective, and similar pasts. They also both exchanged pictures and recording of the garage from the night before. Everything that had been recorded in the basement of the garage had absolutely no trace of the gore that covered the floor, and any pictures or video pointed at where the body had been revealed only a young girl sitting on her legs, and facing away from the camera, even from opposing angles taken simultaneously. Seabass said he had something that he needed to show Mac in person, and the two headed back to the garage.
Upon arrival, the two remarked that the garage did not look like an official crime scene, and both expressed doubt that the officers who arrived last night were actual police. Mac spotted tracks coming out of the garage that ended at the curb that looked like they came from some kind of cart or dolly. As they entered, Seabass revealed his EVP recorder to Mac, and showed him the sound of the girl crying. The two headed down to the basement to find that the blood had been hastily cleaned up, and the crate of hammers removed. Mac attempted to communicate with the crying girl, asking why she was so sad. She said that she didn’t want to be stuck here anymore, and that she was stuck here by “the bad people”. After the brief moment of lucidity, the girl resumed sobbing, and didn’t say anything else, despite the new cell’s continued questions.
On their way out of the garage, Mac contacted his superior, but was cutoff by her irritation that Mac wasn’t watching the news. Using his mobile, Mac found out that there had been another, very similar murder to the one the cell witness the aftermath of last night, and that it had occurred not long ago, behind a Wawa just a few blocks away…
Quote of the night: "How can she have that many backs? – Mac Hawken