Of Kings and Queens

Joe Kerr

VILE Trickster
Best answers
6
AMA
findcarmen.com
Known Aliases
Joey, Joseph,
Color #
8a2be2
(all mentions of Carmen have been approved by her writer/author)

Of Kings & Queens

“Have you ever thought of working in a bigger team?”

Willy Kerrigan paused at the seemingly innocuous question; his calculating gaze hovering over the weathered chess board that stood between him and his protégé. Belying his grey-streaked chestnut hair and slightly faded brown suit, Willy’s baby-blue eyes gleamed with youthful mischief.

“Firstly Joseph, never take your mind off the board, it leads to silly mistakes,” Willy moved his knight to knock over Joseph’s queen. “Like so.”

Joseph groaned at his mentor’s chuckle as said piece was removed from the board with a flourish.

“Secondly, I have never needed to find a bigger team. I’m not ambitious as far as my heists go,” a brief flash of discomfort passed through Willy's eyes as he recalled his own condition.

“Hmm,” A Bishop moved over to take out the offending Knight.

“Unlike myself however,” seasoned hands moved a pawn in place to repel the intruder. “You are young and have your best days ahead of you. You can afford to be ambitious.”

An eyebrow was arched in reply as younger, more dexterous hands advanced the Bishop to lay siege to the opposing Monarch.

Willy regarded the young man before him with no small matter of amusement;
“I said ambitious, not foolhardy,” he chuckled before moving his Queen forward to attack Joseph’s king. “Check,”

Not a word was said over the next couple of moves as both sides took turns to attack and repose; a flurry of counters and sacrifices later, the two opponents paused to take stock of the remaining survivors on the field.

Surreptitiously, the younger man pulled on the black tie that overlaid his dark red dress shirt; his amber eyes briefly catching the senior’s gaze, “Let’s say I want to work with a team, how do I find people I can trust? You said that we were a dying breed, you and I.”

A black pawn advanced, signalling the restart of the battle.

“Trust is a valued commodity in our line of work; its rarity increases exponentially with the ever-diminishing amount of honour left among thieves,” a white pawn was positioned in response, baiting the opposing forces to attack.

Deferring to discretion over eagerness, Joseph reinforced his position with his remaining Bishop in-lieu of taking the proffered exchange.

A small nod was given to acknowledge the wise choice as a Rook moved to make its presence felt, “However, you know the people that I trust, and they know you; sound them out, talk to them and learn who they trust and would be willing to work with.”

Another pawn was strategically advanced; dominoes beginning to once again pile up on both sides, “So am I to trust who they trust?”

The remaining white knight was re-positioned to reinforce the king’s shelter, “No. You learn from them how to identify those who can be trusted to be honourable, those who can be trusted to be dishonourable, and those in whom you cannot invest a modicum of trust at all.”

A black Rook moved to keep the lynchpin pawn in its sights.
“Predictability over uncertainty,” lips, surrounded by the barest sprouts of a goatee, twitched upwards in a wry smile.

“Quite so, and yet,” a white Bishop emphatically knocked the heavily protected pawn off the board, “sometimes we must embrace the uncertainty.”

With the floodgates now ready to open, Joseph paused to consider how best to redirect the deluge and minimize further casualties.
Releasing a sigh, he opted to use his Rook to avenge the pawn, “Must you be so infuriatingly confusing?”

The older man laughed deeply in response, “It is a privilege that comes with age, one that I intend to make full use of.”

The next volley of sacrifices and exchanges began in earnest before once again, both men paused once again to take inventory of their losses.
Holding up the Black Queen, Willy spun it around slowly in his hand, admiring the fine detail and craftsmanship of the piece.
“And yes, we are a dying breed, but we are not alone,” he paused to replace the piece among its fallen comrades, “tell me Joseph, have you ever heard of Carmen Sandiego?”

“I’ve seen some of the reports, future ‘Queen of Crime’ and all that,” the young man’s tone betrayed neither interest nor disinterest.
“She’s a special one she is; beauty, intelligence, skills beyond compare. If my sources are to be believed, and they always are, also a character above reproach. The perfect woman, and thief, eh Joey?”

Fighting back a blush, Joseph moved a pawn forward with slightly more strength than required. “Speak for yourself, old man. I’ve no desire to play Icarus.”

Willy laughed boisterously again, much to Joseph’s chagrin. “It’s not a crime to admire a masterpiece, young man. But yes, she’s probably way out of your league. Doesn’t mean you can’t aspire to at least be her partner professionally though.”

Silence reigned for a few more moments as the remaining pieces were moved in furious succession; both kings narrowly avoiding defeat.
“So, you think the hype’s real then? That she’s worth seeking out?” a pawn moved forward to reveal a waiting Rook. “Check, by the way”

A lone bishop was recalled to shield the assailed king. “I know what I know, Joseph, and I tell you she’s the real deal. She’ll prove herself over the next few years and so should you.”

“Me? Why?” Joseph asked while discreetly promoting his pawn.

“From what I heard, Miss Sandiego can’t be found unless she wants to be,” both men glanced down at the headline of the newspaper that sat beside the chessboard. ‘WHERE IN THE WORLD IS CARMEN SANDIEGO?’

Willy moved his king ever so slightly, “if you want to meet her, you’ll have to give her a reason to find you.”

“I think that has as much chance happening as a blue moon around here.” Joseph moved to take the last bishop with his rook

“Oh, I don’t know about that, Joseph. Venice has always been magical,” The white King made short work of the imposing Black Rook.

“I’ll keep that in mind, old man.” the newly promoted Queen moved up where the rook had been. “Check.”

Willy looked down and frowned instantly at the scene before him. He had neglected to realize that Joseph had somehow moved his king within one square overhead of his own; the white king was effectively trapped and forced to move down to the last row.

The black king likewise moved forward one step, effectively dooming the white king which could now only flop sideways helplessly like a fish suffocating on dry land.

The senior man looked up at his smirking counterpart. “Go ahead, say it.”

“You really should keep your mind on the board, reduces silly mistakes,” the Black Queen moved to the kill position, right between the two kings.
“Checkmate!”

END

(for reference, here is the first tine joe met with Carmen)
Co-Written - Nabbing a Joker
 
Last edited:

Patty

Valkyrie
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4
AMA
findcarmen.com
Known Aliases
Patt, Patts, Petite, Amber Cecelia Argos, Valkyrie
Color #
8d8844
Luvs this one! Helps to see more of why Joe would join us. Can you also please link at the end of this to your other journal where Vic/Carmen meet up with Joe? I think this gives that more context.
 

Morgan

ACME
Best answers
0
Known Aliases
Morgan Cedesina
Well written, Joseph. This provides quite a good preface to our journal entry.
 

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