Archive Blue Moon Masquerade

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Chase

Director
Known Aliases
Boss (situational)
Color #
536373
(OOC: This is a story post agreed to by those involved, it wraps up a part the RP and was edited by Vic, Mikal, and Carmen. Thanks for helping, everybody.)

Being an obscured sentimentalist, Chase secretly knew the words to Blue Moon... along with several tunes that were categorically elevator music. At one time, he had learned them to impress his parents--a feat he never considered very useful.

As the song slowed, and he began to move Missy out of the dance floor, Devineaux caught sight of Giulio Sarno, who nodded a greeting in return.

Midnight was fast approaching. Venice's Public Relations Officer, Jeffery Bruno, representing the Major, stood at his microphone announcing the countdown.

"Missy," Chase said in a hushed, distracted voice, "hang on a minute?"

He left his dance partner's side and, following the direction of Sarno's glance, headed straight for a woman clad in red.

Back in June of 2009, the Mayor of Venice met with Chase Devineaux after the successful return of several artifacts along with the capture of core members belonging to an Albanian-Italian syndicate. Casual talks to secure additional members escalated into a plan of action as the detective was introduced to Pascal Thierro, of the The Agenzia Informazioni e Sicurezza Esterna (AISE).

This plan was to host a ball, an exclusive invitations-only masquerade. They would convince Miles Garatti to display his coveted Mask of Helen. It would be an art exhibition like no other, with additional highly skilled works from various famous modern artists. Few notable crime syndicates would refuse the chance... in theory.

As the New Year closed in, the plan gained momentum.

Skilled Special Agents situated in major cities throughout Europe posed as Italian dignitaries. The man assigned to the name Giulio Sarno stayed at the Churchill in London. To avoid entrapment, Devineaux strictly forbid all agents to make direct contact with possible suspects. While Carmen Sandiego was not a suspect particularly on radar, she conveniently approached Sarno.

She took the 'bait', and as other crooks with false invitations were discretely rounded, V.I.L.E.'s near authentic papers allowed them a few hours to spare.

Thirty minutes before midnight, Giulio Sarno said the phrase "Ne vale la pena?" indicating someone was in the museum. No security system would work as well as carefully positioned observers. The infiltrators were identified by only their characteristics, a short blond man in a tuxedo, a harlequin, and a woman in a red dress, as Sarno pointed out. Despite the parallels, Chase convinced himself that a V.I.L.E. heist would involve much more fanfare.

The closer he moved towards her, the more doubtful he was of his own conclusions.

"Ten!" the crowd shouted along with Jeffery Bruno as the seconds ticked, "Nine!"

"Carmen," he called to her back, hoping somewhat that the clamor drowned out his voice. At the same time, Devineaux removed his mask; Sarno did the same, followed by the public relations officer on stage who prompted everyone in the crowd to remove their masks on cue.

By the time the first fireworks short up, a distant cheer emitted from the public party across the canal, but the pavilion stayed silent.

According to plan, only members of the Italian government, law enforcement, and ACME agents remained after the museum had closed, and all but V.I.L.E. had unmasked faces.
 

Carmen

Queen of Crime
Color #
850000
[OOC: Joint post between Carmen and Chase. My thanks.]

As she heard her name declared by a familiar voice, Carmen was mildly amused that he, of all people, expected her to reply; but as the crowd of dimly lit masks disappeared to reveal only faces belonging to members and allies of the other team, she felt a flash of disbelief. With that, of course, she turned to meet his apathetic features.

Now that he had her attention, it was a little easier... "The mask," he spoke his next words and presented an open palm in her direction, "please."

The nerve of this detective and the eyes of spectators now upon her provided an appropriate mixture of emotions. Under her indomitable exterior, Carmen promptly wished she could channel all her energy into the destruction of the man in front of her.

Her initial reaction, as raw as it was, faded when she noticed that the cuff link on his extended arm matched the Patek Phillipe Nautilus watch she had taken from him earlier in the evening. Pleasantly entertained, she exhaled to hold back a smirk and nudged Patty lightly for the Mask of Helen.

Chase was a reasonable man, and she was without a reason to deny his current request.

Devineaux nodded a light 'thank you', taking the mask from her hand.

Behind him, Giulio Sarno approached, holding up a police radio.

"I called the pickup, but they have not responded," he said just as the sound of an approaching helicopter joined in with the burst of fireworks.

"Requesting landing," a police pilot announced. The bird positioned itself just behind V.I.L.E. for transport.

"Never mind," Sarno continued, "they are already here."
 

Vic

Confidence Man
Color #
008000
[OOC: Got the ok for this, ah? Euge, I wrote you as "shaded man" 'cause ACME has all their masks off.]


An Italian boy, wiry and about 20 or 25, stood at the back watching everything unfold behind a pair of malicious eyes. He sneaked into the party just before the countdown, knowing that was when most of the security guards were less stringent. This also was where his moment would be... no way would he let VILE be captured tonight.

When he saw Chase Devineaux taking the Mask of Helen from Carmen Sandiego as the police helicopter landed, the boy acted impulsively, quickly swiping a gun from a nearby officer. No one noticed while he took the weapon and weaseled his way through the crowd. It would have worked too if he wasn't so brazen.

With some misguided lust for glory, he pulled out his gun at ACME's Field Director and shouted, "Leave her alone, Devineaux!"

Instantly, the crowd moved and swayed. To his left, the boy saw a shaded man reaching for his gun. In the surging adrenaline, fear suddenly struck him and he reacted almost involuntarily by firing at the attacker.

The man went down.

Attempting to recover, the Italian looked again for his target, but something forcefully hit his elbow. Numbness could be felt all the way to his knees as he was then knocked around until he could feel his entire body pressed against the cold stone of the pavilion.

"Stay down!" He heard in an accent he thought sounded a little Mediterranean. There followed more shouting.

"Get them into the helicopter!" Someone instructed, "Go, go!"

Inside the 'police' helicopter, Vincent Fumigalli, dressed like an officer, watched the boy he knew to be Achille Mondadori, the crazy fanboy that wanted a job some time yesterday. He cursed a little under his breath.

Tino Carrisi looked out at the chaos and turned to his co-pilot, "Is that one of your guys?"

"Yeahum... no," Vic replied, "that was a freebie."
 

Carmen

Queen of Crime
Color #
850000
[OOC: This is a joint post, once again, my thanks.]

Thankful that she recognised the voice of the helicopter pilot, Carmen understood that she was now safe. She preferred having that over the loot; as the mask, once compromised and exposed, was worthless in both intrinsic and core values.

The shouting, gunshot, and subsequent pandemonium allowed for a faster escape; and taking advantage of the situation, she signaled V.I.L.E. to her side.

The ringleader ensured everyone was in the helicopter before entering and letting the 'officers' shut the panels.

"Tell me that's not one of our own," once safe, she spoke briskly, removing her mask and throwing it aside, "have someone assess the damage, find out what happened?"


Vic nodded, "He ain't ours, I swear, but yeahum.. I'll send someone. Did he get Devineaux?"

The conman presumed, since he heard the name shouted out and that Mondadori kid was bragging about how great a shot he was.


Carmen shook her head negatively.

In hindsight, she retrieved the watch strapped to Dragon's arm. A brief smile was exchanged. Then, deciding she would rather be preoccupied during this flight than to recount what went wrong tonight; Carmen walked towards the seat of the co-pilot and gestured for Vincent to exchange places. As she wore the gears and readied herself, she handed her Italian friend the Patek Phillipe.

"Replace the strap for me? See if you can get it in the original leather... 1976"


"Classic," Vic whistled then kept the watch in his left coat pocket. Carmen wasn't the type to collect things like this but he didn't dare pry. She probably wasn't in the mood.
 

Chase

Director
Known Aliases
Boss (situational)
Color #
536373
((This post ends Blue Moon, generally, but there's an epilogue with Euge soon, right Euge?))


Back on the ground, the crowd began to gather in sets giving way to the approaching paramedics and additional police force.  Chase, firmly on his feet, began doing what he did best: controlling the situation.  Giulio Sarno and his people brought in a boat to take away the gunman while members of the security team apologized to the public relations officer, Jeffery Bruno.

The fireworks in surrounding areas stopped to make way for another helicopter that arrived to take Euge to a nearby facility.  It was here that Chase realized the fireworks did not stop for the first helicopter -- Was the police pickup for V.I.L.E. unplanned?

"Sarno!" Chase yelled out, "did you call for a helicopter?"

"The medics?" Sarno looked confused, pointing at the leaving medical bird, "Of course I did, it is right there."

"No, I meant the pick up -- the first helicopter."

Sarno stopped to think, "No, no," he moved his head quickly from side to side, "I called for pick up, I didn't say helicopter."

"Then you called for the boat," Chase concluded, somewhat exasperated, "the one that picked up the gunman..."

Giulio Sarno looked at the boat then the medical helicopter, and began to notice the fact that fireworks had stopped as a safety precaution. The first air pickup obviously didn't receive the same treatment. He said something unintelligible and short in Italian that Chase assumed signaled a revelation.

"Right," Devineaux nodded in affirmation, "that helicopter was their own."
 

Chase

Director
Known Aliases
Boss (situational)
Color #
536373
In the style of classic film noir, we now present to you the long overdue conclusion to Blue Moon Masquerade. ((Co-written by Euge, Chase, and Carmen))


5 days later...

Hospitals; Eugene had harbored a unique spite for them ever since he could remember, but there was no way he could possibly extract the remaining bullet fragments himself. The first round had bounced off a rib and exited cleanly while the second had shattered upon impacting the titanium pin in his shoulder.

A relic of injuries during a previous life, the pin had been bent by the impact of the bullet, severely limiting his range of motion until the doctor could replace it. At least the VA would be paying for the operation; small relief, but Euge took what he could get.In the meantime, ACME doctors had insisted he be relocated to the medical facilities at ACME's San Fransisco HQ, which suited Euge just fine.His apartment was just down the road, and there was doubtlessly a knee deep pile of paperwork waiting for him back at the office.

With a small grunt of pain, Euge swung himself off the bed and headed for the door, ignoring the protests of the nurse who had walked in a moment ago.

"Forward the release papers to the director's office," he snarled, and made to leave the medical building.

By the end of the eventful Blue Moon Masquerade, after it was established VILE had escaped but the Mask of Helen was safe, another extraordinary mask was discovered inside the Punta della Dogana.

Hallmarked as 'La Regina dei Ghiacci' or The Ice Queen, this gold alloy mask would have been exalted as a masterpiece in its own right if it wasn't linked to Carmen Sandiego... Chase thought this was a shame.

Devineaux also harbored a level of guilt knowing his name was called but Eugene Grovington took the hit. What happened was unforeseeable, but still felt a lot like the product of arrogance.

As it turned out, this golden mask would prove beneficial. Anyone who was ever inside Eugene Grovington's office saw the collection of faces neatly arranged on the wall. As a small 'corrective' gesture, the Field Director bent a few rules to have this piece of evidence released to the pilot. The Ice Queen, still in its evidence bag, was with Chase and on its way to Grovington's room in the medical building.

As he neared the elevators, his phone gave a tonal beep. The display blinked 'Call from: unidentified', that phrase usually meant intelligence officers or a particular Israeli.

"Devineaux," he responded, expecting the person to already know his name.

"Are you headed to see Eugene Grovington?"

The brain has a way of sorting out information, and Chase's was no different. While he didn't recognize her voice right away, what she said and the way she said it revealed her identity.He hesitated to continue, "...Yeah, I am."

"Do you have my mask?"

This was starting to feel unsettling, "Is this a social call?"

"Chase, I would never call you without purpose, it's ridiculously expensive on my part," the thief spoke, "I assume you're giving it to Eugene?"

He knew 'it' meant the mask, concluding that his bending of rules caught some unwanted attention.

"If that's a 'yes'," she broke his silence, "you have my thanks."

Realizing that she may have felt responsible for what happened, Devineaux decided to let his own convictions go, "Sure, it's his."

"Perfect," a smile was in her voice, "he's at the helicopter pad."

With that, the conversation ended.

Double-checking her information, Chase asked a medical attendant about the pilot as he pocketed his phone. As expected, Grovington left his room several minutes ago.

Euge's progress towards the pad was agonizingly slow, but after several minutes of bone grinding against metal, Euge found himself at the helipad, with a BA-609 gleaming in the sunlight. He barely made it into one of the passenger seats before the painkillers faded, sending a fresh ripple of pain through his shoulder. Reclining his seat, Euge took the moment to reflect upon the events of New Years' Eve.

"You're out faster than you ought to be," Chase Devineaux approached the heli-pad casually, hoping he hadn't disturbed a man and his thoughts, "What did the doctor say?"

"Lots probably, but I hate IVs." Euge replied distractedly. "I go back in three days to get the joint replaced."

Although his tone didn't give it away, Euge appreciated the diversion; he had gone over the night countless times, and was still kicking himself for being slower on the draw than his opponent.

Chase acknowledged with a nod; and looked over the golden mask again before handing it to the Pilot. The masterpiece, still in its clear evidence bag, gleamed with mischief.

"If it's any consolation...," he said. "Evidence doesn't need it, and Venice doesn't want it... I thought you might."

Euge cast an amused eye at the mask, half obscured by the labels proclaiming in no uncertain terms it was not to be removed from the evidence bag. He broke the security seal and held it to the light with his good arm.

"It would be a shame to let this rot in an evidence locker; it's such an incredible piece," Euge mused. "I suppose no one else wants anything to do with it?" Some elements within ACME would doubtlessly view such a work as nothing but a mockery of their failure.

"Maybe I phrased that wrong," Devineaux explained, "I told Venice that this was never coming out of Evidence, and told ACME Evidence that it was going back to the artist... for reference." He paused before continuing, "Right, and I've been meaning to apologize for this mess... seems unfair, the whole operation was my idea and you end up casualty."

Before any length of silence could lead to awkwardness, Chase moved on. "So, if you're not on any serious medication, how about a beer?"

Eugene's amused look spread across the rest of his face."Eh, not the first time I've been slabbed.You paying for the first few rounds would go a long ways towards making up for the SNAFU."
 

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*has some hot chai tea, naan bread, and chicken mulligatawny that she ordered from Kennedy's Irish Pub & Curry House, because they deliver.* ;)
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