Writing Quarantine

Claire Yeon

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Since many of us find ourselves spending a lot more time at home these days, I thought it might be interesting to see what our characters are up to in these unprecedented times. Write a short story about how your character is impacted by the global response to COVID-19. Some questions you may want to answer are: Where are they? Who are they with? What are they doing to pass the time? What shows are they binge-watching? Have they learned any new skills? What contact do they have with other members of their faction (or - gasp - of the other)? What does their general outlook look like? Are they up to anything unscrupulous? What are they going to do once things settle down? So many possibilities; just don't leave the house.

  • Short story of at least 250 words
  • Be responsible for your own content
  • Keep it PG-13 or below, and if your story contains plot-relevant common emotional triggers, place them behind a spoiler tag (ideally, I pictured these stories as being fairly lighthearted to help bring some much-needed smiles to our faces, but if you are being pulled in another creative direction, I won't stop you)
  • In-character, or within the greater Carmen Sandiego universe if you don't have a character
  • Review the forum guidelines if you would like to co-write or include another TECS character
  • Not that we're keeping score or anything, but bonus points for references to spittoons.


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Known Aliases
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"You had better not"
The innocent look on my trainee's face was betrayed by the two cards in his hand and stifled giggles, while both me and Hawkins floundered with hands full of cards.
maybe when we all have cabin fever and I'm beginning to go crazier then Paperstar herself, uno was less then a good idea.
Either way, my warning ignored, he slapped down a draw four card, and Hawkins let out a groan so loud I am sure that Carmen, wherever in the world she is, heard it.
"you little-"
Cole burst into laughter, weather as to be at Hawkins furious expression or my control over the agent, it was unknown. But that didn't matter. We were all to insane to care at this point.
We'd been trapped inside of a ACME safe-house in California for a bit to long at this point, me more then the other two. It was like having two gremlins chasing me around and screaming all of the time. These 'family' game nights, as we'd taken to calling them, had been some semblance of sanity at first, but had slowly begun spiraling into the territory of 'it only makes it worse'.
"uno" cole giggled.
I put down my Card, and groaned.
"maybe we should play something else?"
By the time the game finished (only about five moments later), me, nor Hawkins had shaken our cards, leaving Cole the painfully clear winner.
"next Friday, I'm gonna wipe the floor with you." Hawkins threatened, and I stood up, walking out, very much done with their garbage.
I wandered to the room where i'd been sleeping and right back out, mindlessly working my legs as I found myself in kitchen.
"What're you doing now, Jules?" Cole asked, walking in.
"I don't know."
"wanna play another game?"
"no. Hard no. Hell no." I replied, and he walked out, presumable to go bother Hawkins.
I stretched, and looked out a window, feeling jealous of a few squirrels running around.
I hope this ends soon, It feels like the world is-
"GET BACK HERE, YOU LITTLE BRAT!!" Hawkins voice rang out.
Maybe it's more important to worry about Hawkins ending Cole at the moment, and perhaps I should go break this up, before he kills him.


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Known Aliases
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Jade's House

Jade Ezell stays home after finding out about the virus...she has friends and she's just well cleaning the house and keep it clean all the time...at least Sam the cat and his little kitten sister,Socks are at Jade's mom 's house safe and sound with her mother doing the same thing.

.Jade has to remember to follow the guidelines and have plenty of food and drink with her at all times. And whenever Jade goes out like shopping and brings back her groceries she has to clean the counters,take a bath and when she's finish doing her chores she frequently washes her hands with a soap and hot water or use a hand sanitizer.

And beside she watches the news for any further developments and hoping and praying to find a cure right now the only cure she knows is to clean the house.
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little red riding hood ? v.i.l.e.
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Known Aliases
Little red riding hood
Little carmen
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quarantine feels like imprisonmentfor the littlest vile

“It’s like everyone is on house arrest.” She complained to no one

She found herself studying and working out.

She wasn’t gonna let a plague rain on her parade.

Escapee the ferret often collected random items from the outside to make charlet feel like she was part of something.

Occasionally she escaped the dorms only to be hauled back by nanny the babysitting robot

“She’s. Such a pain in the....”. Charlet says before being intrupted by nanny

“Watch your language.” Nanny replies.

“well I can cuss if I wanna.” Charlet argues

“you don’t want the boss to hear!” Nanny explains

“not like a Master criminal would be put off by a kid cussing, ya know.” Charlet debates

“i wouldn’t test it.” Nanny replies before vanishing into the ceiling.

Charlet rolls on the floor like a ball beyond bored

She flips off her shoes and throws them at the door

“you can’t keep me locked away forever.” She complained

although she could hear the others Giggling at her discomfort.

she eventually falls asleep on her black and white striped rug.

An unknown person broke into the room and left some Mac and cheese.

The unknown person then vanish into the shadows

The smell woke charlet up and she greedily eats

“thanks mysterious patron.” Charlet chuckles

“Your welcome.” The mysterious person calls back from outside.

“Unfortunately your not carmen, your just england.” Charlet compainz

“You think carmen would bring you Mac and cheese in this pandemic?” England asks sarcastically

“She wouldn’t even without one.” Charlet replies
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Mr Potato of acme
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Known Aliases
Detective Child
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“Hi my name is ruslan child and this is herbert the crime fighting dog!” A preteen boy said while filming himself on a tripod

Herbert knocks ruslan over with made a loud crashing sound

The video footage shook along with the room.

“Down boy,”. Ruslan commands and the dog sits to his side allowing ruslan to stand up

Adjusting his glasses back into their proper place

“Sorry about that viewers, Herbert is a bit Anxious because of the world events.”

Ruslan smiles

“Is that right boy?” Ruslan asked and if trained to do it

“Ruff.” Herbert replies

“I hope charlet is actually staying inside or she will be umm.” Ruslan states before his eyes start to water

“No I’m not crying. You are,”. Ruslan denies before wiping his eyes

Herbert likes ruslan’s cheek and it seems to calm the boy down for now

“I just don’t want her to get sick and not that I like her or anything.” Ruslan gets worked up again

Herbert shakes his head sideways as to tell the viewers that ruslan is lying.

Ruslan turns the camera off and exhales deeply

“ I won’t say I’m in love.” He mumbles to himself before leaving his bedroom to cook a bake potato.

Herbert right on his tail as. They make their way to the kitchen

Ruslan’s mom noticed her son was crying.

“What’s wrong, tater tot?” She asked while kneeling to get a better look.

“It’s nothing.” Ruslan states while looking away

“It’s about that girl?” His mom chuckles

“How on earth did ya know?.” Ruslan asked in annoyance

His mom winked

Tenchi Masaki

ACME Ace Detective, Inventor
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Known Aliases
Tenko(don't ask), Kami Jack, Guy Smart, Tenten
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Stuck in home.... Locked in the lab... Tenchi is researching, studying, designing, strumming metal songs..... Beach boy songs... Djinn keeps asking why, and Tenchi says rebellion... Beaches are closing. Even if Accolade Tower were around It would be closed down. Only medical staff would be reporting until even they would get vacation. Carmen wouldn’t send VILE out on heists even if Charlet threw tantrums about it. Even though safety measures at Home 01 are, as some would say “overprotective” It doesn’t matter if all the other places are closed down. No detective offices open, O‘Sullivan’s closed of course. But everyone is simply using the supplies at Home. This was like when the government shut down the power and water in the area thinking Home 01 was connected to the power grid.

A foolish assumption really the people had to work somewhere so they went to Home 01. They didn’t know how they were going to pay rent or bills, and suddenly it didn’t matter. They had jobs again and became a community for the first time. They had lived around each other but had not been friends. Now they all worked in the same place, they didn’t want to think about the government; how powerless it made them feel. They would just move on so when the power and water were turned back on they kept working for Home 01. But now quarantine here, there, everywhere, except Home 01.

Since the complex was already cut off from the worlds supply chain, no one suffered outbreaks. Those who were infected with anything were properly cared for by androids caretakers. The elderly were brought in to Home 01 to stay until the situation got better. The areas were like all of Home 01 fault tolerant and highly compartmentalized. So people were working as normal and conveniently staying at Home. So Tenchi is now inventing and waiting, maybe he should turn the snow generator off? Nah snow is cool....

End of Log file 01
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E. Mayhew

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"Thas as the thard tahm youth thade the tho this..." Eleanor muttered, annoyed as she spoke despite the thermometer in her mouth.

"What was that?" the medical staff member asked as they took the digital equiptment from her mouth and looked at the numbers displayed largely.

"I thaid..." Shaking her head a moment and sticking her tongue back inside her mouth. "I said thats the third time you've had me do this... don't you think if I had it it would have shown up by now?"

"Thats not how this works, ma'am. If you don't like it maybe you should work from home. You know, like you should?"

Eleanor placed a colorful orange mask over her nose and mouth before rolling her eyes. "Hey, less people in here means I get more work done. And all I have to do is give a test before entering the building sometimes. Could be a lot worse."

The Medical assistant chuckled. "We'll update you on any possible cases by the end of the day if there are any."

"I hope I don't hear from you." Eleanor answered with a smile that could only be seen by her eyes. "See you tomorrow."


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Quarantine was one of those times where Lee Jordan thought he could get away with a lot more. No need to check-in at the office? Great! No need to do the finger scan at security? Even better!

But then it got boring.

His one-room apartment on top of a Korean restaurant used to be the perfect place for a single, more-play-less-work field agent like himself. But today, the restaurant was closed, which meant no free breakfast, so he had to scrape together some frozen food while cooped up inside square walls.

His phone beeped, and Lee got excited. Info on a new case? Buddy needing a chat?


His phone bills were due.


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Known Aliases
The kid, laundry room ghost.
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By chance they had found this tucked away neglected garden, hidden behind some tall brick walls. They had been wandering around the obstacle course, when an old iron gate caught their attention. A few years of rust had made it nearly impossible to open. What did happen was it moved just enough for them to squeeze by.

"This is perfect." They said to no one at all.

Within the walls was a small nine by nine foot garden, overgrown with some pots strewn about. It took them three days to clear most of the decayed or withering weeds out. They had also stumbled upon some flowers that were alive but neglected. There was a small shed of sorts at one end, they would up breaking an glass window to get into it. As the front door of it was locked, and protected by a lock that was caked in rust. Inside was everything they needed, a crow bar provided a way for them to pry off the lock entirely.

It has been five weeks now, the garden is much more alive, and today they stumbled upon some flowers that seemed to have been dormant for years. The lock had been replaced, and the window repaired. The garden itself is much more alive, though she wonders if anyone has noticed yet.

The only notable thing in the shed today was a small figurine, it was of a fox apparently hand carved, by an unknown artist. Invader took it shoving it in her pocket. She had been going through the drawers, cabinets, and shelves getting rid of old junk. While the world was at a standstill this place was a small haven.

Deric Storm

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Known Aliases
Farmboy, Calamity, Stormblood
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“Okay,” Deric said, maneuvering the whiteboard into position in front of the laptop sitting on his table, “can everybody see this?”

A round of affirmatives from his ten trainees visible on the laptop screen rang out.

“Fantastic,” Deric said, picking up a dry erase marker. “So to finish up today, I thought we’d do a little exercise.” Deric began writing on the white board in big letters so the kids could easily see it. “We’ve spent this week discussing how art thieves pull off their heist; now, let’s discuss why.”

When Deric turned back to the screen, the phrase ‘MOTIVES FOR ART THEFT’ were on the whiteboard.

“So, who’s first?” Deric asked. A slender, sandy haired boy raised his hand.


“Desperation,” the boy replied. “Like they don’t have any other options.”

“Good,” Deric said, writing ‘Desperation’ on the board. “Anyone else?” An African American boy raised his hand. “Go ahead, Tyrel.”

“They just want it for themselves?” Tyrel asked, somewhat unsure.

Deric smiled. “Of course,” he said as he wrote the answer on the board. “Usually before you break the seventh commandment, you break the tenth.” This drew a chuckle from the group. An Asian girl raised her hand. Deric pointed at her.

“They have a buyer already lined up,” the girl answered.

“Very good, Bridget,” Deric said, writing the girl’s answer down. “C’mon, kids, keep it going.”

“It’s got jewels in it or it’s made of gold or silver,” a boy with a military styled haircut offered.

“So, Danny, you’re saying the whole might not be worth more than the sum of its parts?” Deric questioned. Danny nodded. Deric nodded as he wrote. “Next?”

“They were hired to steal the piece,” a blond boy said at the same time a Hispanic girl said “They were forced to.”

“We can put those together Ryan and Kris,” Deric said as he wrote ‘Hired/Forced to’ on the board. “Keep em coming,” Deric encouraged.

“They do it for the thrill,” A mop-haired boy with a tan complexion offered.

Deric chuckled as he wrote the reply on the board. “You are so much like your cousin, Chris.”

“They like the challenge of it,” came the slightly accented reply from a burly young dark-haired man.

“I’d bet money that’s why Carmen does it,” Deric remarked as he wrote, drawing another laugh from the class. “Shane, Cassie?” Deric asked the remaining two students. “Haven’t heard from you two yet.”

“I was gonna give the same answer as Bridget or Ryan,” a bookish looking boy replied.

“Cass?” Deric asked a pretty looking brunette.

“They were stealing it as revenge against the owner of the piece?” the girl asked, nervous at being put on the spot.

“Very good, Cassie,” Deric praised.

“Could also be an insurance scam,” Shane offered.

Deric beamed at the answer, writing the response down. “Okay, any others?”

The students seemed to all be searching for another answer, but couldn’t find any.

“Here’s one,” Deric began, “you could steal it back.” Deric went to his computer to pull up a file and shared it with the group. It was an archived ACME case file.

“Tomas Rosenberg, known as the Mouse,” Deric said, highlighting the mugshot listed on the file. “Polish national. Apprehended trying to steal a Monet from an art gallery in Vienna in 1986, linked to seven similar thefts in Austria and Germany throughout the early to mid-80s. When questioned about the thefts, Rosenberg told ACME agents that he was ‘returning the pieces to their rightful owners.’”

Deric pulled up dossiers on the pieces Rosenberg was linked to. “Further investigation of the pieces revealed that they had in fact been stolen from their rightful owners by the Nazis during their occupation of central Europe during their rise to power. The pieces had been recovered in the homes of the original owners’ surviving descendants.”

Deric stopped sharing his screen and saw a sober look on the faces of his students. He decided to not leave things on a down note.

“Kids, if there’s one thing you should take away from these past couple weeks is that, to catch an art thief, you need to treat them like the artists whose work they steal,” Deric said. “No two art thieves are identical; they have different methodologies, patterns and signatures. Once you’re able to process that, you’ll be able to catch them easily.”

Deric took a look at his watch. “Okay guys, that’s all for this week. For next time, read the case file of the 1997 robbery at The Historical Museum in Oslo and the case notes of Detective Oskar Vodderung, the lead agent of the case. Don’t worry, they have it translated into English. Have a good weekend and stay safe out there.” The students echoed his goodbye and quickly exited the call.

Once Deric saved the recording of the session, he logged off as well. Wheeling the whiteboard over to the corner, Deric set back up his living room. Once that was done, he let Ghost out of his bedroom, where he stayed while Deric was teaching. ‘I should take Ghost out for a walk,’ Deric thought. Looking outside, Deric could see it was in the middle of a downpour.

Deric groaned. Of course it would be raining; it seemed the only time Deric could leave his loft was either to walk his dog or head out for groceries.

Once California issued its lockdown due to COVID, ACME also dropped the hammer as well. Due to his checkered medical history, ACME Medical had ordered him to shelter in place. Hell, his roommate had been ordered to temporarily move into ACME’s dormitories at the Academy. So, for the past few weeks, the only consistent physical contact Deric had had was Ghost, not that he wasn’t great company.

With venturing outside kiboshed for the moment, Deric plopped down on his couch and turned on the TV. Two talking heads were screeching about how bad things were because of the virus and who they each thought was to blame. Deric quickly turned the TV off.

“Holy Chicken Little, Batman,” Deric grumbled not for the first time. In the farmboy’s opinion, the media seemed to be doing nothing but making things worse with all its doom and gloom. People needed hope and reassurance right now and all they got was basically one step up from ‘we’re all gonna die.’

“All right,” Deric said, getting back up. “Let’s do something constructive.”

The detective made his way into the kitchen, followed by Ghost. Deric put a scoop of dog food into the dog’s food bowl and turned on the water to fill that bowl as well. When the pipe didn’t shudder, it brought a smile to the Irishman’s face.

Thank god for This Old House,’ he thought. The first two weeks of house arrest had been spent upgrading and fixing some stuff around the loft. He had almost had the home improvement show streaming 24/7 for a week, but he had gleamed enough to make some improvements.

Once Ghost’s bowls had been replenished, Deric checked the contents of the fridge. Unfortunately, he was starting to run low on some supplies.

Maybe Sophie can lend me one of those hazmat suits, so I can go out without worrying,’ Deric thought with a chuckle. He could picture the looks on peoples’ face at the supermarket as a six and a half foot blue Teletubby made its way up and down the aisles. Until then, at least he had those oh so comfy masks.

Deric looked on the counter at the box of masks sitting there. Like he had said, Ghost had been the only consistent physical contact he had had since being on lockdown. However, Deric was sure he hadn’t been the only person in the loft…

Almost a week into quarantine, Deric had walked into his living room to find three boxes of masks sitting on his coffee table with only a note saying:

Stay safe, dear boy.
- C

The gesture didn’t seem to be Devineaux’s style. He had reached out to ACME Medical to thank them, but was told they didn’t send them. None of the Berzerkers knew what he was talking about. Occam’s razor left only one other option, and presented more questions…

How did Carmen know where he lived? How did she get in without a trace? Did she know his medical history?

And most importantly…. Why would she care enough to help him?

“The Red Queen works in mysterious ways,” Deric said to himself with a small smile. He had given two of the boxes to the Spechels, an older couple two floors down.

Grabbing one out of the box, he saw that it had ‘No, I am NOT a Doctor and Holiday Express was all booked up’ written on it. Personalizing the masks had come about either the end of week three or the start of week four when he had started to get a little bit of cabin fever. He put the mask in his pocket so he wouldn’t forget it when he went out. Glancing at the window, Deric saw that the rain had stopped and the sun seemed to be peeking through.

Slapping his thigh to get his dog’s attention, Deric reached for Ghost’s lead on its hook in the hallway. “C’mon boy, let’s go for a walk before I grab some supplies.”

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