(2018-02-16) The Larsen Case
The Larsen Case
Summary: Audgrim hires Eddie to look into some personal matters.
Date: 2018-02-16
Related: None
Player Characters: Audgrim, Bea, Eddie

| 6th Floor - Brundle Investigations - Cahuenga Building - The Bay |

A room of hazy lights and lots of shadows. A trio of windows would offer a spectacular view of the bay, but they are hung with nicotine yellow blinds that seem permanently glued in the 'closed' position judging by how speckled they are with flyshit and the permanent bends and tears in the old plastic where someone has roughly bent them apart. Over and over and over again.

There are shapes in the half-dark. An uncomfortable looking loveseat and rickety side-table faces a bulky oak desk with a large armchair behind it. On top of the desk is a crossword collection. In a corner is a cheap office chair and a smaller rolltop bearing a beige computer that looks to be from the 80s, along with a matching elder coffee maker. Next to the door is a coat rack, and numerous boxes line the walls, several seemingly permanently employed as makeshift filing systems. Yellowed photos adorn the walls. The magazines on the side table are years out of date and contribute to the musty smell of the place. Somewhere a hidden radio plays jazz made sibilant with white noise.

Since Audgrim has no car, and it's uncertain he can even drive modern cars, he's simply asked Bea to take him to Eddie. So here the two are, up the elevator, to his door, Audgrim sniffing the air and looking curiously at various things in the hallway. He's kept out of trouble for a week, and stayed with Bea and Tyla, doing odd jobs - but he's also taken up busking and is making his own money. This money he's now digging out in a messy pile from an inner pocket of his coat, before he knocks firmly on the door. "See?" he tells Bea with a grin. "Can pay now."

Bea is always game for helping out, particularly when it might get her a little morsel of gossip as well, and visiting Eddie on top of all that? It's like Audgrim has given her the perfect gift, in asking her to drive him to Eddie's business. When he shows her the money, she grins and claps her hands, "Oh, that's so good, Audgrim. I'm sure Eddie can help you, and plus it's really nice of you to pay him, since he's always broke, which is kinda weird, since he /is/ a good detective, I think, but never seems to get paid for it, which maybe he just needs a knee-capper, like in those movies or something, don't you think?" All the way, this is the sort of rambling chatter Audgrim has been listening to.

"Just a second," Eddie calls from somewhere inside, and there's the sounds of buttons being mashed as he tries to shut up his answering machine. Not a lot can be made out through the door as he cycles through them, just a lot of beeping and variations on 'Brundle you little creep, what did you tell—'. There's a frustrated grunt and the sound of something being unplugged harshly from the wall. There's a click as the door is unlocked, and he opens it and waves them in. The blinds hang crooked on the window, and there's an answering machine on the ground, but neither fact seems particularly out of place to a first time visitor. "What can I help you with?"

Audgrim nods at Bea. "Beeeest Detective," he agrees. He glances at Bea at the sounds from inside, raising one eyebrow. He gets the finer nuances of the language now - well, mostly. Once the door is opened he offers Eddie his best grin, and walks inside. Answering machine on the floor? Fine with him, he barely knows where it should be in the first place. "Hi Eddie. Bea give me ride, glad we find you here," he rasps, tail swishing slowly as he's lazily calm and content with life. But, he turns serious as he holds out the pile of money - which looks to be about a hundred dollars. "I want to hire you for a job. I can pay more next week, not sure this is enough."

Bea waves, giving the answering machine and then Eddie a curious look and biting her lip. After a moment of thought, she shakes her head as she lets out a little laugh and heads over to give Eddie a hug, tucking a little jar of honey into his pocket like she's doing a drug deal. "Audgrim is very proud of his money, just like he should be, and isn't it nice of him to want to hire you first thing, Eddie? And I bet he's going to make all the money on the street, with his good violin playing, so you can be sure to get a big paycheck for helping him, I am sure."

Eddie is still kind of hungover, and it shows. Her rocks numbly in the hug, then closes the door and trudges back over to his desk, scooting the answering machine under there with his foot. He sags into his chair and occupies himself trying to light the right end of his cigarette and kind of half-listens to what's being said. "Uh huh," he says, finally getting a light. Then he spots the money, and his comprehension seems to catch up with the conversation. "Wait, what?" He eyes the bills skeptically. "It depends on what you need."

Audgrim wrinkles his nose in the tell-tale sign of someone who uses more than just his eyes; he smells that hangover. He drops the bills on the desk, and half-sits on it wherever there's room to do so, one leg swinging in rhytm with his tail. "I want," he says and he looks a bit grim at that, "to find out what happen to my wife, in Norway. I search for her on the internet, find nothing. I can't go home to find more. But maybe you know people that know people. That can make phone calls. Or search better on the internet?" he says, hopeful. He digs out a piece of chocolate cake (linty) from a pocket, offering it around to them both. "You drink too much yesterday? Where was party?"

Bea takes a piece of the cake and pops it into her mouth, making a little face at the lint, but offering up appreciative noises all the same. "Oh wow, I didn't know you had a wife, Audgrim. I am sure she is fine, and just living with your fake like happily ever after, but not so happy, since usually they are a little bit of jerks, I have heard, and anyway, hopefully that isn't true, or if it is, you could just go back there and like kill that fake and take back your wife or whatever. Oh! But, still maybe you could send her like a secret love letter, and then she could come /here/ and you could rescue her and live happily ever after for /real/ just right here, so you wouldn't have to leave!" Bea seems quite pleased that she has it all figured out. "And anyway, I would like to meet a Mrs. Audgrim, since I am sure she is super nice, if you married her." Looking to Eddie she asks, "Do you detect in Norway? It seems like a long way away, but like Audgrim says, at least there is that internet and stuff. And anyway, I am sure you can do it, and find Mrs. Audgrim, so he can send his love letter, and they can live happily." She seems to have no question of this, so secure in Eddie's ability to make this fairy tale happen that she doesn't even pause for breathe before echoing Audgrim's question, "Are you doing okay, Eddie? Because you look pretty much like you jumped out another window, only without any blood."

Eddie leans over the table to look at the money, but he doesn't pick it up. He slumps back into his chair and smokes and listens, letting the misery of his throbbing head camoflage any natural reactions. "Not that I wouldn't mind the vacation, but Norway's a little out of reach these days. I could maybe look into it a little, if you can answer some questions, but it wouldn't feel right charging. There's not a lot I can do." He pushes the money back across the table. "If I turn anything up you can owe me a favor." He smiles weakly at Bea's inquiry. "I'm fine. Better than fine. It takes a lot of work, for me to get hungover."

Audgrim's general demeanor is laid back and easy, but when Bea starts up her romantic idea of what could happen, his tail stops moving and so does his leg. He stares fixedly at a stain on the carpet, a vein throbbing at his temple and his jaw tightly clenched. Clawed fingers dig into his palms. "It was a …. long time ago. Her name is, or was, Ingrid Larsen. Ingrid Brandt as not married. She was born April 30 1933," he says, voice a bit strained - and if it wasn't obvious before, now it's clear how far back in time he must come from. Not hundred of years, but far enough back in time this modern world must be like another planet for him at times. He straightens up, eyes the money that Eddie pushes back, shaking his head. "You keep it. Please, I get food from Tyla and Bea, you give me lifts. You can buy me beer, we get drunk together - next time. So you take the money," he insists. "I answer all questions, as much as I can remember."

Bea gives Eddie a dubious look, but shrugs and digs around in a pocket until she comes up with a blushberry, slipping it over to him. As the details of Audgrim's wife become a bit clearer, Bea gives him a sympathetic little look and nods, "Oh, well, maybe not a love letter then. But still, it's nice you want to know, I guess."

Eddie can understand being proud about money, so after a moment's hesitation he takes the cash and counts it up and pockets it, wordlessly. He grabs a pen out of a cup shaped mesh pencil holder and starts writing down names and dates in one of his yellow crossword books. "You've got a good memory, for someone who just got back. That's good. I'll need yours, too," he says, scribbling. He winces a little at the effort it takes to focus his eyes, and considers the blushberry, tempted. Not yet, though. "Where were you born? Where were you married?"

Audgrim relaxes and gives Bea a small smile. "I want to know, because she was a nice woman." He tells them both, glancing between them: "I was born november 1, 1930 in Trondheim. I remember some things, and others, not at all. I remember Ingrid, but don't remember her face, but rememher her blonde long hair. We lived in Trondheim, we get married there… I don't remember date when got married," he admits, tail flicking faster in agitation, as he realises how much he does not remember any longer. "I had no sisters or brothers, I think. I remember my mother… Agnes. Father - I don't remember his name. He die, in the war - I was only a boy." He runs hands through his hair, frustrated. "It is like, I remember things someone else told me about their life. Not my life."

Bea listens to Audgrim, about to launch into another stream of chatter, but her phone begins to sing, a catchy rendition of the chorus of 'I want Candy'. Bea looks apologetic and quickly pulls out her phone, setting it to silent, but heading toward the door. "Well, you guys will find it all out, I am sure. But I have to head to the shop. Let me know if you need anything. Bye guys!"

"That's because it's not. Your life, I mean," Eddie says, eyes coming up briefly from his notes. "Not anymore." He doesn't say it like a bad thing, just a true ones. He does go ahead and eat that blushberry before he goes back to work, though. "Did she have any family that you can remember? Did you—?" He goes on like this for a while, barely stopping to wave at Bea as she leaves. At least he's thorough.

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