Murder and Commodity

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Murder and Commodity

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Alasund on Sun Nov 20, 2011 10:33 pm

(Thread created for Ylanne and Nemo)
Verdant plains and cold dark night. I have nothing more but silence.

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Re: Murder and Commodity

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Ylanne on Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:05 am

It was early on a Tuesday morning. Close to four in the morning to be exact. Late enough where most revelers and clubbers had already either retired home or collapsed in the backseats of cabs taking them to to one-night stands with strangers whose faces they would never remember. Early enough where most rush hour traffic, comprised of respectable men and women headed to respectable jobs with respectable employers -- firms, government agencies, retailers. A world entirely apart from that which commanded most attention in the wee hours of morning -- where scantily clad women loitered on darkened sidewalks and leaned toward rolled-down car windows, speaking in sultry, lusty voices to the passerby; where bedraggled, unshaven men slumped in dimly-lit corners of decrepit bars, the stench of alcohol emitting foully from their mouths.

It was early on a Tuesday morning, and Soha Alfarsi was standing between a pair of magnolia trees in the city gardens. Against the nighttime sky, the leaves and branches were silhouetted, giving the impression of Asian impression art. A faint haze concealed the glittering stars from view, the result of corporate pollution, Soha knew. She slipped her iPhone from her pocket, checking the text message for the time. The bright, harsh glow from the screen was a stark contrast to the natural nocturnal beauty of the gardens, a rude interruption before it faded once more into black.

She had been standing in the near-thirty degree temperatures -- close to zero Centigrade -- for close to half an hour. Occasionally, she shifted her weight, her shoes crunching on the grass beneath her. In the night, Soha's features were barely visible, only the glint of her eyes giving any hint to the woman's presence. At average height, with closely-cropped dark hair, she could render herself nearly invisible were she still enough. Not more than ten minutes past, a young man and woman staggered through the gardens, moaning and groping at one another before crashing into the azalea bushes on the other side of the magnolia grove. Soha had held her breath, kept her gaze unmoving, commanding her fingers to cease all voluntary movement -- even her heart seemed to slow in its steady rhythm.

The amorous couple did not take note of her presence. And less than two minutes past, they had stumbled from the bushes, the woman missing her shirt and the man his trousers, disappearing toward the gates at the edge of the gardens. Soha released her breath then, allowing her fingers to flick outward, as if to give evidence that she was still alive in the gardens.

A pair of crickets chirped from deep within a particularly tall patch of grass. Soha contented herself to listen to the chirping for several long minutes, leaning against one of the magnolia trees with her hands in her coat's pockets to prevent them from succumbing to the cold and a startling numbness. Dressed in well-worn jeans and a warm sweater under her woolen overcoat, Soha could have passed for any of the millions of young women in the city who liked to maintain fashionable airs in their clothing. It was a marked difference from her usual work-wear.

The chirping ended with a suddenness that took Soha several long moments to process before she was cognizant of the heavier silence. Presently, she could hear footsteps crunching over the grass and growing in volume, accompanied by the sound of labored breathing. Soha's eyes flickered toward the source of the noise, catching sight of a man in a winter coat ascending the gently sloped hill where the magnolia groves sat. The glow of a phone's screen flicked into view for a moment before disappearing -- either under his hand or clothing.

She waited patiently. It was another good three minutes before the man struggling over the hill sought Soha with wide, searching eyes, finding the woman resting against one of the magnolia trees. But of course, Soha had allowed him to find her, moving enough that he would be certain to catch her motion in his visuals. She moved away from the tree, adopting a stance of condescension, her eyes flicking downward toward him, although he was taller than her.

He approached, coming to face Soha directly. His eyebrows were knotted together, and a thin line of moisture separated his hairline from his forehead. He shook his head. "You have a hell of a way of choosing places to rendezvous; you know that, right?" The man's voice was heavily accented, his English indicative of a possible upbringing somewhere in South Asia. There were no streetlights inside the gardens, and no way to judge the color of his skin. In the night, all people became gray. Indistinguishable from one another. It was a strangely equalizing state.

A slow smile curved around Soha's lips as she fixed her imperious stare upon the man. "It's prettier during the daytime," she said in flawless English. "But it's also difficult to meet during the daytime. I'm sure you can appreciate that. Now." She flexed her fingers, steepling them before extending her index fingers toward the man in front of her -- whether it was an accusatory or welcoming gesture was left to interpretation, and that itself would forever be tainted by subjectivity. "We need to talk, and we need to talk now."

"Isn't that the whole reason for your calling me?" The man scowled, a dark expression tightening across his lips. He seemed stiff in posture for whatever reason. Perhaps it was the unholy hour of the meeting or its unorthodox location. Or, perhaps, it was his discomfort with the purposes he suspected for the meeting and the late-night, last-minute call. What had it been? Two? Maybe two-fifteen in the morning. He had been jolted awake by the sound of the phone ringing, a sharp, cacophonous sound that split the comforting silence of his slumber.

"Partially," acknowledged Soha with a slight inclination of the head. Her neatly combed hair fell over her face, and she resisted the temptation of habit to brush her hair behind her ears. There was no room to offer even the tiniest hint of her own vulnerability. "Have a seat, Kareem." Her wrist flicked casually toward a wooden bench only an arm's length away from where the man was standing. Its carefully sanded wooden slats and wrought iron armrests were nearly hidden in the dark, but upon careful observation, were readily evident against the magnolia trees behind the bench.

Kareem hesitated for several moments before edging with awkward, stilted movements toward the bench. He sat on the edge, as if to ensure he had a ready and rapid escape were the meeting to grow intensely disconcerting. He waited while Soha glided effortly across the grasses around the magolia trees, descending with all the elegance of a queen and delicacy of a ballerina. She gathered the folds of her coat about herself with slender fingers, her flawlessly painted nails visible for a moment. "So," swallowed Kareem, feeling his throat suddenly grow dry. "Why exactly did you call? Or -- why did you want to talk?"

Soha paused. In that pause, she allowed Kareem to conjure whatever crippling nightmares he possessed, allowed those overwhelmingly catastrophic thoughts to color what it was she was about to say. And then -- she prevaricated the question. "It's a nice night for a meeting. I don't have a full schedule tomorrow. That's quite a deviation from the norm, you know." Her voice was light, almost cruelly casual. There was some dark tone underpinning her words, permeating them with a portent of her true purpose. "It's convenient. And business is all about convenience, isn't it? Convenience and efficiency." Her smile widened, offering Kareem a glimpse of teeth. Her gaze lingered softly on his, boring into his eyes until he looked away, redirecting his eyes to the ground.

Kareem shifted his weight, his fingers gripping the edge of the bench where he sat until his knuckles grew white. His eyes narrowed, and his brows sagged. "Right," he mumbled. "Efficiency models. Economics. Finance. The boring classes." There was a quality of bitterness to his voice. "Don't tell me you called me at two in the goddamn morning to talk about efficiency models. Please tell me that's not why you called."

Soha cocked her head to the side, giving Kareem a rather curious look. "Did you think I called you to, say," she said in a soft voice, sidling closer to Kareem and brushing her fingers along his cheek, "rekindle an old flame?" She laughed then, a tingling sound that would have belonged better in a nursery or princess movie. "Oh no, Kareem. I didn't call you to invite you back to my place. You were never that good in bed anyway, you know." She offered a knowing wink, withdrawing her hand. Kareem did not meet her gaze.

"Don't touch me," Kareem said, his voice emerging far more forcefully than he had intended. He winced. "Tell me why you were calling me now, or I'm leaving. I don't like being dragged out of bed at two in the morning to some kind of clandestine meeting in the gardens."

"But you did come," said Soha, lifting her chin. Her fingers brushed under Kareem's chin. He jerked violently and suddenly away, staring daggers at the woman. "Oh don't look at me like that, Kareem." She sighed, allowing her hands to rest atop her own knees. "It's about this new business venture of yours. Or rather, your unwise decision to cease conducting business. This isn't about Ashraf is it?"

Kareem's silence said everything.

Soha shook her head like a mother disapproving of a child's antics. "Don't tell me you got religion." She paused a moment before rolling her eyes, looking squarely at Kareem again. "It doesn't matter what your excuse is. B and G's overhead costs are up thirty percent this quarter because I can't rely on outsourcing to you anymore. And I heard a rumor, from Thelma in fact, that you were talking to people." She paused to let Kareem absorb that. "And I think we both know which people she means. The fact is," said Soha with a sigh of assumed regret, "you've become a very grave liability."

"You called me," said Kareem, allowing incredulity to creep into his voice, "to complain about my personal decisions last month? Aren't you supposed to be able to fix your own problems?" He spread his hands before letting them fall to the bench again. "This is -- just -- uncalled for, Soha."

Soha gave Kareem a knowing look. "I'm very good at that, you know. Fixing my problems."

Kareem rose in disgust, re-tying his knitted scarf. "Good bye, Soha. I don't have to deal with this shit."

"You're right," Soha murmured absently as he stalked away. "You won't have to deal with much for much longer." She remained alone on the bench, watching Kareem's form grow smaller before he ultimately disappeared beyond another thick grove of trees, his footsteps fading once more into the silence to which she had grown accustomed in her long waiting.

Twenty minutes later, her phone's screen glowed in the dark again with an incoming phone call. Nimble fingers reached around the thin metal device, bringing it to her ear. "Yes?" answered Soha, her voice almost a whisper.

"He's dead. We're taking the body to the lake now, right after we clean up with bleach."

"Good, then," replied Soha. She didn't bother mentioning that she had made physical contact. It had probably been an impulsive mistake on her part, but she had made sure to be thorough in her planning and execution of the act itself. There would be very little, if any, forensic evidence, were Soha to have her way. She disconnected from the call, her fingers slipping the phone back into her coat pocket.

After a few moments, she rose, glanced about the empty gardens, and headed toward the gates on the opposite side of the gardens.
​“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”
― Arundhati Roy

Stunning letter from autistic survivor of electric shock torture in USA

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Re: Murder and Commodity

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Nemo on Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:22 am

The first golden beams of sunshine extended through the towering sky scrapers and looming buildings of Wing City, nestling themselves in warm fields on the generally vacant roads and unused sidewalks. Men and women on every corner shop and small business set to work preparing themselves for the busy sprawl ahead, throwing back coffee shots like good whiskey and fighting every yawn with determined resolve. For a place as densely populated and urban as Wing City, it was perhaps the quietest time of the day.

It was also a terribly cold morning, and fits of steam whisped from detective Randin Kaye's mouth with every exhale. The man trudged through the concrete quietly, his chin tucked beneath the long collar of his coat as he made his way towards a WCPD squad car. A cup of black coffee, steaming not a few minutes ago, was desperately clutched in one of his brawny hands. The detective blinked absently, his eyes lost in some oblivion point just above his boots. Perhaps he was in deep, contemplative thought. Or perhaps, he just hadn't fully woken up yet.

Randin shook his head, clearing his throat as he concrentrated on bringing the coffee up to his lips, managing a satisfied sip. The drink was lukewarm at this point, but in such bitter cold it might as well have been piping hot. The detective found some strength with the draught, lifting his head up from his slump and taking a visible breath. The brisk morning wind whipped about Randin's hair and frilled the collar of his jacket, brushing at his cheeks. The detective only grumbled, his face forcing a shade of light red as he managed another sip.

With more strength returned to him, Randin finally started connecting with reality. His free hand fished into the pockets of his jacket, nimble fingers briefly flitting over the surface of his Caddy as he checked his schedule for the day. Yes, there it was in his calender. The reason he had gotten up this early in the first place. The detective returned his Caddy to his pockets with considerably more speed then with which he had retrieved it, his watchful eyes flickering about his surroundings curiously. A waitress at Canti's Diner, the restaurant from which he had recieved his coffee, was busy rubbing the layer of frost off the glass of the windows. Across the street, a yawning employee flipped over signs in his small bookstore, quietly changing CLOSED to OPEN, HARDCOVERS AT 9.99 to HARDCOVERS AT 12.29. The detective only leaned against his squad car, nodding in quiet contentment as he finished the last of his drink, looking appreciatively down but one of the many sub-streets that webbed Wing City like blood vessels. Let the shop keepers tend to their businesses. Randin Kaye had a date with a homicide case.

--

Randin Kaye pulled his squad car up to a small clearing near Wing City Lake, exiting the vehicle as he looked toward the familiar site of yellow tape and blue uniforms. With the surrounding trees and crystalline blue waters of the lake, it was as if Randin had crossed into an entirely different world from the vast, smoggy metropolis of Wing City. The detective approached the crime scene warily, leather boots crunching against the rocky sand as he walked cautiously over to the shore, stepping under a line of yellow tape and nodding towards a few officers.

"Late again, are we?" a familiar voice called out from behind Randin.

The detective sighed. "Don't gimme' that, Kwong. If I hadn't gotten my coffee I would have died just driving out here." Randin smirked as he turned to face a familiar friend. Detective Gary Kwong stepped toward Randin, a coy grin on his jaw as he crossed his arms over his chest. Kwong wore a more traditional trenchcoat as opposed to Randin's rugged duster, a pair of thick gloves pulled over both his hands and a set of sunglasses tucked into one of his pockets.

"They put -you- on this case?" Kwong raised a curious eyebrow, "aren't you tied up with the Blackjack project?"

"Blackjack project..." Randin nodded, "...and the Wershiston case. I'm investigating the Smith building robbery if you wanna' count that too."

"You've been busier," Kwong shrugged, "and the Smith building is a cake job, I'm not counting that for shit."

"Yeah, you give it a look then," Randin grinned as he ran a hand through his hair, "but I think -I'd- better take a look at all this. What went down here again?"

"Washed up body," Kwong nodded as he began to walk with Kaye towards the water, "one man. Broken rope about his legs and a pretty lil' hole between his eyes."

"How long was the poor guy weighted in the lake?" Randin thumbed at his jaw.

"Two... three days max. Shoulda' been longer. Rope musta' scraped along some rocks or something, cut it early. Here's the sap." The two detectives approached the body of Kareem Rahil, laying face-up on the shore of Wing City Lake. His clothes were still superflously soaked, his neat scarf matted against his neck like a noose. Dark flecks lay spattered about various parts of his attire. Perhaps most disturbing was the enormous bullet hole embedded near his eyes, the rest of his face mutilated beyond recognition from the force of the shot.

"Blood marks?" Kwong offered, pointing to the dark stains in Kareem's clothing.

"Yeah. Washed out by the lake, but the indent kept..." Randin studied Kareem carefully, stooping down on bended knee as he analyzed the corpse with deep concetration.

"Did we ever get a profile on this guy?" Randin asked as his eyes traversed up the body to Kareem's destroyed face. Only a small portion of the left side of Kareem's face had escaped the damage from the gaping hole between his eyes.

"Took some doing, but we managed to get a match," Kwong nodded, "name's Kareem Rahil. Lives in the south part of the Wing. Not far from the gardens."

"Record?" Randin continued, his eyes never leaving Kareem's body.

"Not as colorful as we're used to, but it's there. The kid had some involvement with some gangs. We've never got him on anything though."

"Gangs..." Randin mumbled under his breath, leaning forward as he inspected the wound in Kareem's head. The actual point of entry for the bullet was just to the right of the center of Kareem's forehead, piercing the edge of the man's eyebrow. "What'd we get on the bullet?"

"Forty-five cal," Kwong fired answer after answer with no hesitation, "matched it to stock a Barrett. Nothing special there."

"I don't know..." Randin droned, lost in his work. The detective analyzed the body for a good three minutes, silently looking over every angle and detail of the corpse, looking for something. There was always something.

"...you said it was a Barrett, right?" Randin shattered the silence.

"Yeah," Kwong shrugged.

"High-accuracy rifle, huh?"

"So?"

"Well..." Randin began, "...it was a high cal. Way higher then your common street thug would shoot off with his rent-a-pistol he bought off the streets. Whoever shot this bullet didn't want to just kill this guy. He wanted to pulverize him." Randin pointed at the gaping wound. "Expanding shot. His face practically collapsed in on itself. But..." Randin now pointed at the one side of Rahil's face that remained relatively unscathed. "...it wasn't perfect."

"So he's not TOTALLY wasted..." Kwong rolled his eyes, "...big deal."

"Yeah," Randin nodded, "big deal. It's a high-accuracy rifle. If the killer would have gotten up-close and personal about it, it would have been a dead perfect shot. The fact that he's hit at all in such a vulnerable area means that we're probably dealing with someone who knows how to handle a gun." The detective rose from his kneeling, still starring down at the corpse. "But he DIDN'T shoot him up-close. It was a long-shot. I'd say at least twenty feet. If it was done at night, it would have been even harder to make the kill."

"...so what are you tying it all together as, Kaye?" Kwong shifted his weight in his feet, his hands stuffed inside his pockets.

"Three things," Randin began, "one: Kareem probably wasn't killed by some petty gang. Not unless the street gangs these days are suddenly getting their hands on high-powered rifles and have suddenly adopted a 'one-shot-one-kill' policy.Two: Rahil was killed from a distance by a skilled marksman. Once again, that doesn't point towards a gang murder. They could have hired an assasin maybe... though I don't see why they wouldn't just do it themselves. Three..."

Kwong stepped forward, "three?"

Randin kicked numbly at the broken tether tied around Rahil's ankles, "...they didn't know how to tie a fuckin' rope."

"Too bad they weren't boy-scouts, Kaye..." Kwong stiffled a smirk. "And forgive me if I'm skeptical. If this guy has past gang activity there's a good bet that's why he's dead. Maybe they got a good rifleman?"

"Maybe," Randin shrugged, "but why the secrecy? You've seen murders from street gangs. Messy shootings. Bullet-holes in every visible part of the body. This..." Randin shook his head. "...this is a contract. A skilled kill."

"Well, that's great, Randin," Kwong rolled his eyes, "because if what you're saying is true, then we've lost our lead. I was gonna' hit the streets and start milking some contacts on Rahil's involvement with the local gangs. Now you're telling me I'd be wasting my time?"

"Yeah," Randin coughed, "I think we should look a little deeper into this. I want Rahil's full profile on my desk by this afternoon. Family. Work place. Ex-girlfriends. Dead goldfish. Everything we got in the archives."

"You're such a dick, Kaye..." Kwong grumbled, "...this is an easy wrap-up! Dead guy in the lake. History with bad-guys. It's not that hard to see!"

"Two plus two equals four, Kwong..." Randin raised his voice as he walked away from the corpse, "...except when it equals five."

"Except when it equals five my ass..." Kwong grumbled, flipping open his Caddy as he made arrangements to get the intended files to Randin. Kaye might be a jerk, but he knew what he was doing as a detective. If anyone on the force could crack this case wide open, it was Randin. That much was certain.

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Re: Murder and Commodity

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Ylanne on Wed Nov 23, 2011 4:36 pm

The coffee-maker gurgled and percolated, filling the pot with thick black coffee infused with the fragrances of fresh fruit and spices, Arabic style. Pamela O'Neil, the shorter woman with light brown hair dressed in a soft, khaki pantsuit, carried two porcelain mugs to the granite counter, pouring even amounts of the hot liquid into both. The conference room was long, with one wall lined entirely by windows facing the city skyline. A glass table stretched along the conference room, its surface spotless, without a single smudge.

The counter against the wall was a dark green granite speckled with gray and silver, and the modern-looking ceiling boasted recess lighting -- but the lights were not necessary at eleven in the morning. Soha Alfarsi sat at the conference table in a tall-backed leather chair, leaning casually against one side, her eyebrows arched in some imperious expression at the other woman. Pamela seemed older than Soha, close to her forties or perhaps even fifties, while Soha still glowed with the radiance of not-yet-diminished youth.

Pamela carried the mugs to the table, sitting beside Soha and sliding one over the glass to the younger woman. Condensation from the heat created fog over the glass surface of the table, but Soha only offered a small frown to this interruption. "It looks like some of our clients have decided to leave," said Pamela, crossing one leg over the other as she leaned back in a chair identical to the others around the table. "Close to about four thousand of them, actually. Is there a reason for this?"

"I'm sure there was," replied Soha, pressing her lips tightly together. She glanced down at her hot coffee, wagging her finger through the air over the cup. "But you'll notice our numbers haven't gone down. Our stock value is up eight percent this week."

"Did any of the clients leave feedback for us? They all terminated their contracts within an hour of each other," said Pamela, flipping open a manila folder that lay at an angle on the table. She touched her finger to her tongue and turned the pages, her eyes scanning rapidly over the numbers and names printed on the bright white paper. "There was no warning. We've never had this happen in the history of the company."

"Nothing particularly useful," Soha lied smoothly, tucking a strand of dark hair neatly behind her ear. She took a small sip of her coffee, savoring its rich flavor. If there was one thing that Bennington-Gray did well, it took excellent care of its employees -- executives down to interns. The headquarters was regularly stocked with fresh, gourmet beverages and hours d'ouvres. "I'm sure it was some spiteful competitor tactic. Possibly one of those foreign-run companies. They're certainly rampant around here, you know."

Pamela shook her head, tapping her finger against the sheets of paper before taking a long sip from her cup of coffee. "Find out what happened and eliminate the problems. It's what you're best at doing, Soha." She took her mug and rose from the table, leaving the folder for the younger woman as she swept unceremoniously from the conference room. Left alone, Soha's dark eyes glittered in the clear reflection in the glass windows.

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Re: Murder and Commodity

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Nemo on Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:30 am

East Wing City, WCPD Headquarters, Office of Detective-Inspector Randin Kaye

"Did someone order a shit ton of paper work?" detective Carlos Martinez knocked his head once against the dark-oak of Randin's open office door, his hands lazily clutching a stack of files.

The detective looked up from his laptop, tongue in his cheek. "Those the papers I asked for on the lake shooting?"

"Same ones."

"Put'em here." Randin nodded toward a rare empty space on his desk, closing his computer as he devoted his attention to the files he'd just received.

"That's just about everything we have on 'Carin' Hostile'," Martinez smirked as he plopped the papers down before Randin.

"Kareem Rahil," Randin chuckled, "you're worse then I am with names, Carlos. Isn't Spanish your first language?"

"Kareem isn't spanish!" Martinez threw up his arms in mock fury, "God, you fuckin' cabronas see two dark-skinned guys and you instantly assume we're blood related!"

"You mean this ISN'T your primo from Pakistan with a bullet between his eyes?" Randin was flat-out laughing, holding up one of the pictures from Kareem's file.

"Pinche gringos..." Carlos rolled his eyes, storming out of Kaye's office without another word. The detective only smiled, his hands slowly thumbing through the small stack of papers on his desk. Carlos was a good guy, but he was the newest addition to homicide investigations. The kid hadn't been out of traffic and public relations for more then a week. Some good-hearted hazing was more then necessary.

"Let's see here..." Randin sighed to himself, his voice ebbing down to a low rumble as his concentration narrowed to a sharpened edge, focusing solely on the task at hand. If this was all that Randin had to build a case off of, he would damn-well scrap as much out of it as he could. "Family... family... family... here we go." Randin thumbed through the pages before selecting one from stack. The Terran National Government didn't keep many files on its non-criminal citizens... but every true-born Terran had at least one document in-scripted with their place of birth, name, parents and immediate family. The file was expanded upon whenever changes needed to be made... such as when a new spouse or a younger sibling came in to play.

Kareem's parents were both still alive. Abdal-Aziz, a medical doctor, and the Honorable Zainab Khan, a judge in the district courts of Pakistani area. Randin's brows furrowed. Pakistan was an awfully long way away, and well out of his juridstiction as an officer. He could try and pull a favor with some of his NPA friends if it came down to it, but the detective much rather preferred in-city contacts as opposed to expensive long-distance interviews. Randin's eyes continued to travel through the list, noting that Kareem also had an older brother, Ashraf, who made his living as a theologian and jurist. Law careers ran in the family, apparently.

"Ironic that Kareem was involved in gangs when both and his brother and mother are respected law keepers..." Randin noted. Did this fact suggest something about Kareem's character? A spiteful disdain towards his parents or a rebellious nature in spite of the example of his mom?

Aside from all of this, Randin noticed that Kareem had been engaged to be married to a 'Wardah Khanani'. A disability rights lawyer. Once again with the law careers. Still, seeing as how Khanani was a Wing City resident and certainly had to be close to Kareem, Randin supposed that he had his first interview. Wardah would be the first person he'd question about Kareem's death. That covered family and personal connections.

A victim's file information not about his family or relationships were christened 'the gray' by the WCPD for a reason. Although Randin had a big heap of papers highliting Kareem's work life, hobbies and criminal history... he knew it wasn't going to help him much. Everything in these files were already public knowledge. The WCPD, after all, wasn't allowed to dig too deeply into an individual's private information without their consent or a proper court clearing. The best they could do was use the TIB archive computers to dig up bits and pieces of internet information and plaster it all together in one file folder. As with any detective, Randin would have to hit the streets and start doing real police work if he hoped to get deep into Kareem's backround.

First came work. Nothing terribly suspicious here. Coffee shop job in college. IT help desk after that. Once college was over with, Kareem seemed to step it up a bit. He formed his own independant IT consultant and established a small company.

"This guy likes his computers..." Randin raised a brow curiously as he read on.

For hobbies, Kareem appeared to be a regular patron at the local Wing City mosque. Had Kareem's death been a result of his religious tendencies? With the recent media-coverage on Hataf and their galactic crime spree, there was certainly a lot of hate for certain religious sects around the city. Aside from his church, Kareem also appeared to be a member of a local downtown fitness club... a sect of the Krav Maga Worldwide association.

"Good taste in self-defense," Randin nodded. The seasoned detective was well-trained in the Israeli martial-art himself. Peeking through Kareem's attendance record, Randin was suprised to find that, while Kareem was previously attending classes regularly, his recent appearances at the center were hardly any at all. Such a fact further suggested that Kareem had not been expecting his untimely death... else he might have taken his self-defense knowledge a bit more seriously.

Now came the good stuff. Criminal record. Apparently Kareem had close associations with several leaders of India and Pakistan based organized crime syndicates, but never got landed with any charges. No one had ever been able to prove he'd committed any crimes. He also had a close record of close associations with youth in Berkely and Wing City who were known members of ethnically-based gangs with loose connections to the homeland mafias. One of Kareem's associates, twenty four year old Usman Alwaz, had been recently arrested for a string of ordered 'hits' on local businessmen and politicians in Mumbai, some of whom had Wing City connections.

"Now there's a contact if I've ever seen one," Randin bit his thumb. Alwaz was all the way in Pakistan, but his history was solid enough to where Randin decided it might be worth taking the time to look into him anyway. Perhaps he'd ring up one of his NPA friends?

And that was all he had on Kareem Rahil. The detective frowned to himself, looking it over a second, then a third time. There wasn't a lot here... but he'd had worse. Two solid contacts wasn't anything to be upset about. Setting the files aside, the detective rose from his desk, grabbing his hat and duster off a dusty rack as he left his office... taking a brief moment to delicately grab at a gold wedding ring sitting quietly on a far table. Randin kissed it once before setting it back where it was and continuing on his way.

Wardah would be his first interogation.

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Nemo
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