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Old 05-11-2010, 10:02 AM   #16
Rock Lobster
PI for hire.
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Device: I keep a notebook handy, just in case.
I left the bird cage and looked sharply at Zippy. "Something you meant to tell me, Doll?"

"Well, there is that temporal dysjunction mechanism that some of the members were trying out a while back. Or was it forward? Anyway, when you were in talking to Patricia, I slipped out and went what I thought was forward in time and started to clean up things. We have an open house next week and I thought it a good idea to get started. Things like a dead body in the middle of the floor tend to upset visitors. I may have goofed."

"Having a clean crime scene is one of those essentials of life, I suppose. What did you do, exactly?"

"Well, the crowbar was just lying there, all messed up, so I wiped it off and then put it back on the floor. I was going to find a place to put it when you came out of Patricia's room. I had to hurry back here."

I busied myself scratching out references to string in my notebook and drawing some loopy circles around Zippy's name and the crowbar being cleaned.

"Let's get on with it!"

The last door was marked "PilotBob." When I opened it, I saw a penguin wearing a tuxedo and top hat. He was moving lots of magnetic labels all over a white board.

"Frakking rattin', frakafraka!" he said.

"Problems there, Pengy?" I asked.

"Frakking forum redesign! There's no way to do it so that everyone is happy! You have no idea how many hours I've spent trying to get this thing perfect!"

"What's the beef?"

"Everyone wants the design to be simple and elegant while at the same time able to accommodate every single reader ever developed and all the attendant bells and whistles that are unique to those readers. Impossible! I have half a mind to just dump everything into one forum and label it 'Miscellaneous!'"

"Was pshrynk one of the big offenders?" I asked, hoping to maybe get lucky at least once this case.

"He was annoying but tended to stay out of the way. He was more concerned about there being a way for members to pay their bills than anything else."

"I'm wondering about that MTravellerH character. He looks like a cagey sort to me. Does he lie a lot?"

"MTH? Lie? I doubt that very much. He lacks... imagination for it."

"Some folks here say that you saw everything that went on in the Suite. What can you tell me about what happened during the murder?"

"Well, Zelda was napping in a corner, but also appeared later by temporal transpostioning. Can't say that I've ever taken to that sort of thing myself. Nate was running around putting string on everything. Again. Patricia was distracted in the corner. Verencat was following Nate and batting the string all over, which caused Nate to be annoyed. Dale was writing everything down for the wiki. Ravenne was spraypainting a small grey dog. NatCh was crawling around on the floor looking for his spleen. MTH was polishing the cases for the prizes, and pshrynk was complaining about not having a new reader for free. But I was sort of distracted by Netseeker trying to confess something to me and the FRAKKING REDESIGN! Now what?" He picked up a red phone and carried on an animated conversation with someone named Montsnmags.

I walked out of the room and looked through my notes. There was something missing, but what? I drew a few more lines and arrows, connecting key points and wracked my brain.

All of a sudden, it hit me! I looked over at Zippy and said, "Get everyone back in here! We have to have a little talk!"
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Old 05-12-2010, 09:59 AM   #17
Rock Lobster
PI for hire.
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Device: I keep a notebook handy, just in case.
I stepped over to a convenient corner and flipped through my notebook. It was all there, I just had to make sense of it all. Who had motive? Who had means? Was I going to get paid on time? All the important questions that go into being a gumshoe.

I tapped a few places and listened to the pen play back the interviews. Then a few more. Something was just on the tip of my brain, but I couldn't get it. I tapped and listened once more to a particluar place.

Then, I had it! These looneys thought they were clever, but clever doesn't buy the milk. I turned to Zippy and said, "Get them all back here, kiddo. I've got a denoument to present."

Zippy went back to the Red Button and gave it a smack. The walls did their unfolding and re-folding bit and all the Moderators were once again sitting in the same spot. Except for Netseeker, of course, who was busy typing up his confessions in a corner.

I tossed around a few ways fo getting things going and decided the classic approach is always calssic for a reason.

"I suppose you wonder why I've called you all here..." I started. Then came a chorus of interruptions that made me think I was in a town hall meeting with a bunch of Teabaggers.

"To tell us who the killer is, duh!"

"Could you hold on to this electric cord for a moment?"

"A denoument is the end stage of a story in which all is revealed. Classically it starts with the phrase, 'I suppose you wonder why I called you all here,' or a variant thereof (citation needed.)"

"I think we should let the man speak, don't you?"

"Who swiped my spray can?"

"God, I could use a nap!"

"Did anyone see my spleen go bouncing by?"

"I think that you shall find that the alleged perpetrator was, indeed one of us, but your mere guesses will fall far short."

"Anyone want to buy a T-shirt with 'Lobster Rocks!' on it?"

"String! String! Gimme the string!"

"I did it. Here is my confession, neatly typewritten in single space on twelve pages, done with my usual teutonic efficiency."

"QUIET!" I screamed. This bunch had finally gotten on my last nerve and I didn't see that I had any replacements coming in tomorrow's mail. They all stopped babbling and looked at me.

"Didn't need to shout," muttered Nekokami.

I glared at her and she shut up. "Now, before I begin, would anyone care to confess? No, not you, Netseeker."

Apparently no one cared to do so. Not surprising. Crooks always think they're getting away with it right up to the point where the nice fellows with the blue shirts slap on the cuffs.

"Okay, we'll do it the hard way, then. First, you have the murder. Straightforward enough, the stiff is just lying there. Easy enough to observe, even for intellectually challenged PI's

"Second, you have the murder weapon lying next to the stiff, but it's clean. I had some trouble with that until I found out that there are temporal fluxes here. No problem then. Our chronic insomniac and helpful room cleaner stumbled across it when she was sleep walking and out of temporal synch. That explains the lack of blood on the crow bar.

"Third, why was there a crow bar in the room to begin with? Well, we have to look to the stiff for the answer there. He was the type who like having the new toys, but felt that he should get them free. He was prying the case off the wall to snitch one when the murderer caught him.

"Fourth, there is the electric blue string that's lying all around. Settle down, Verencat!) That had me going for a while, but then I found out about The String Theory. And a bunch of other Theories. Just a red herring.

Fifth, there was the fact that all of you were here, but no one saw the murder happen. How could I explain that? Were you all in it together?"

I looked around at the motley crew of moderators and paused for effect
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:45 AM   #18
Rock Lobster
PI for hire.
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For those who are following along and trying to keep up with the story, I gotta say this: Follow what they said and you'll see where the killer tripped up.
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Old 05-17-2010, 01:08 AM   #19
Rock Lobster
PI for hire.
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Posts: 94
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Device: I keep a notebook handy, just in case.
This was a tough bunch of yardbirds, let me tell you. No one even flinched. Not even the one I knew to be the killer. The one who had confessed without even knowing it.

"Lastly, there were the Nook and the yellow star that the recently departed was holding onto. What about those? Were they even significant?

"Yes and no. The star was going to be placed in the broken case, to make you all suspect pshrynk, who could then plead that even he was not stupid enough to place one of his avatars at the scene of the crime." They all nodded. This bunch thought like a cork screw in a tornado. It had taken me a few moments of skull sweat to come up with that answer.

"Finally, there was the Nook. It belonged to the killer. He found pshrynk prying the case off the wall and stepped in to stop him. In the ensuing struggle, the crow bar ended up in close proximity to pshrynk's skull. Three times for good measure, so we can rule out accidental death.'

The killer was starting to squirm. I loved it when that happened.

"So, the killer is the one of you who has, or should I say had, a Nook. Right, Nate?"

"Several people own Nooks. You can't pin something on me just because I own one of every book reader ever made!" I'll give him this, he did a good job at looking both outraged and innocent at the same time.

"That's right, but only one of you has confessed right in this little microphone." I held up the pen.

"Didn't you, MTravelerH?"

Shock registered on his otherwise saturnine face. He recovered quickly. "I did not confess. I specifically remember every detail about our conversation."

"No?" I tapped the notebook and played back MTravelerH as he said, "No, I must state categorically that I did not at all see the person who did this horrible crime." Everyone gasped.

"You can't see yourself do anything, can you, MTH? Clever with words is just one talent. Knowing how to be clever with hearing them is another. Call the cops, Zippy, you've got your man!"
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