Not Quite 24 -- Conclusion (Joint RP) Dec 20, 2009 12:38:15 GMT -5
Post by Johnny Reb on Dec 20, 2009 12:38:15 GMT -5
The following takes place between 5 pm and 6 pm…
A yellow cab travels sedately along Exposition Boulevard, its two occupants gazing at the neat rows of palm trees lining either side of the street. This has been a long day for both members of the New Confederacy, and it isn’t shaping up to get any easier. For his part, Johnny seems to sense that something is amiss, something he can’t quite put a finger on. Or is it, perhaps, that he doesn’t want to? Suspicions, once aroused, are hard to put to rest; and Reb is forced to wonder if there is any validity to his own, or if his imagination has simply gotten the better of him.
His reverie is interrupted as the cab pulls up in front of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, a vast sports arena that has played host to the Olympic Games twice in its long history. The façade is a simple but pleasing blend of Art Deco and Roman Revival architecture, which Reb takes a moment to study. Too impatient to appreciate the inherent elegance of the building, Doc hurries from the backseat of the cab; in his haste, he doesn’t notice the folded envelope slip from his pocket. Johnny does, however, and reaches for it, tucking it away in his own pocket and also exiting the car, while Doc pays the driver. Together, the two men make their way toward the Coliseum.
Doc: It’s really too bad you lost the guy you were chasin’. Now I reckon we’ll never know who was behind all them pranks.
Johnny: It was a woman. She seemed… familiar somehow.
Henry’s brow furrows.
Doc: A woman? Are you sure?
Johnny: I was starin’ right at her ass for a good twenty minutes, till she lost me down an alley; there wasn’t no mistakin’ her for a guy. Gotta admire the way she jumped some of them fences though…
A mischievous smile plays across Reb’s lips as he relives the chase. Doc shoots him a strange look.
Doc: Knock it off. We got a match to get ready for.
Flashing their ID’s at security guards, Doc and Johnny pass through the doors and begin to wind their way through the corridors, searching for their locker room.
Johnny: Y’know, I gotta hand it to ol’ Brad Kane for settin’ this up. Kinda makes me have a lot more respect for the guy. I know he mostly did it just to mess with Lerch, but there ain’t no way we can lose tonight.
Henry responds with a murmur of assent, his attention elsewhere as he continues to seek the right door. Pretty soon, he stops, looking around.
Doc: Shhh! You hear that?
Reb stops, too, and listens. The sound of footsteps grows louder as someone approaches them along the nearly deserted hallway. Johnny turns to look, and he breathes a slight sigh of relief as he recognizes his friend’s wife, Mary. She walks a little stiffly, with a faint favoring of her left leg, as if she has recently engaged in brisk exercise. Pausing only to give Reb a quick hug, and Doc a lingering kiss, Mary insists she knows where to go and takes the lead.
Down a side passage is a door with a piece of paper taped to it, reading “New Confederacy.” Henry and Reb proceed inside, while Mary waits in the hall. The locker room isn’t really much more than an oversized public restroom, although it has a shower and a place for both men to stash their gear. The walls and floor are tiled with ivory colored squares that must’ve been there since sometime in the 1960s.
While Doc steps around the corner for some privacy, Johnny reaches for the mysterious envelope in his pocket. He unfolds it and opens it quickly, glancing up to make sure Henry isn’t looking. The single sheet of paper Johnny holds – the same one that supposedly proved the innocence of their suspects in the day’s events – is nothing more than a grocery list, written in a flowing, feminine hand that is unmistakably Mary’s. Reb stares at the paper, realization dawning on him at last.
He looks up, just as Henry emerges once more, holding what is very obviously a Nerf™ gun.
Doc: I didn’t want you to find out like this…
Johnny raises his hands, as if in surrender.
Johnny: Doc… put the gun down… We can work this out.
Henry shakes his head slowly, keeping the toy pistol leveled at Reb.
Doc: It had to be done… don’t you see?
Looking mildly disturbed, Johnny nods in agreement.
Johnny: Sure, Doc. Sure. Ok, so you were behind everything that happened today. I get it. Well… mostly. The drive-by wasn’t a lotta fun.
Doc: I had to throw off suspicion.
Johnny: An’ Hank? I’m guessin’ he was in on it, too.
Doc: Not at first, he wasn’t. But he started catchin’ on… knew too much…
Reb frowns, considering this for a moment.
Johnny: So you had Mary take him down, and then lure me away so you could get rid of him.
Doc: That’s about the long an’ short of it, yeah.
Johnny: But… why?
This elicits a derisive snort from Henry, who leans against the wall, keeping his “weapon” on Reb the whole time.
Doc: For too long, Johnny, the tag titles have been in the hands of unworthy men. First the Superfans, who were a tired gimmick before they even got started. An’ now, the Big Time Jerks… All they got goin’ for ‘em is, um…
Johnny: They’re jerks?
Doc: Yeah, I dunno. I fail to find them even remotely offensive, myself. That’s the problem, y’see. No imagination, no effort. They don’t deserve them titles any more than the Superfans did. Then, of course, there’s Ryan Daniels an’ Masaya Mikami. Mikami would be more of a threat if he had a competent partner, someone who wouldn’t phone it in week after week…
Johnny: …I see your point. Would you stop aimin’ that gun at me?
Warily, Doc lowers the Nerf™ pistol.
Johnny: You shoulda let me in on it.
Henry smiles broadly.
Doc: Well, I was gonna tell ya back at the airport… but you got all carried away, an’ that was a lot more fun.
Reb gazes at his partner for a moment in mock indignation, before crumpling up the paper and tossing it into the nearest trashcan.
Johnny: …so you were the mastermind the whole time. I never suspected a thing….
It’s hard to miss the irony in Reb’s voice, but somehow Doc manages to. His confident smile widens into a grin.
Doc: The question is, now that you know… what’re we gonna do about it?
Reb raises an eyebrow, as if the answer is patently obvious, which it is.
Johnny: We go out there, an’ win them tag titles…