(2018-02-20) The Larsen Case: End of a Story
The Larsen Case: End of a Story
Summary: Eddie has found information about Audgrim's past, and tells him.
Date: IC Date (2018-02-20)
Related: The Larsen Case
Player Characters: Audgrim, 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 The magazines on the side table are years out of date and contribute to the musty smell of the place.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.

Audgrim enters after a quick knock and a friendly greeting, and sprawls out on the love seat. His tail is not very often still and is flicking behind him as he half-sits on the seat, leaning sideways to face Eddie. He picks his teeth with a nail, having just eaten something, something with meat. He's half anxcious, half excited to learn what Eddie found out.

Eddie sits leaned back behind his desk, listening to the radio and smoking. There's some things on his desk that weren't there, the other day. A big brown paper envelope, fold down. A couple of mismatched drinking glasses, and a bottle that says 'Akkavit' on the label, with a picture of a big blue fish. There's a little ice bucket probably stolen from a hotel, full of ice and a few cans of dark beer. "They make it right here in the state," he says, eyeballing the bottle on his desk, "I don't know if it's any good or not. Nice work the other night. Don't get too excited, there's not a lot to tell."

Audgrim eyes his claws closely, to check if they're alright. Sometimes he's a bit too much animal for comfort, but at least Eddie probably isn't bothered. "I don't think," he rasps, "I know before then how much we can do. In Other place, we were not that strong. But here?" He sits up straight, leaning over his knees lazily. "Akvavit? It is good strong drink," he grins, knowing it well. It's very Norwegian, after all. "And you are very good to work with. Good team."

"I'm glad you enjoyed yourself," Eddie says, leaning forward to pour, "I might have some more work for you, later. In the meantime, drink up. You paid for it." He raises his glass in salute and drinks it and makes a face like he still doesn't know if it's any good or not. He sets the glass down and leaves his cigarette to die in the ashtray, looking down at the envelope on his desk. He taps his finger on it a couple of times and frowns. "I don't know what stories Bea's been telling you, but get them out of your head. Most of what I've got is dates and speculation. Are you sure you want to hear any of this?"

Audgrim's yellow eyes gleam from under some of his hair as he stares at Eddie, considering the question seriously. The he nods once in confirmation. "I want to know. I was very mad about it the other day. What I lost. But maybe I be mad because I also feel bad for not feeling more." He's contemplated this a lot and is oddly perceptive of his own emotions. "I want to have an end to the story that was Audgrim Larsen, the fisherman. So I can be Audgrim the River King."

"That's what I was afraid of," Eddie says, frowning. He taps on the envelope for a little while longer, then finally picks it up. "There's more questions in here than there is closure. But you're all grown up and you can make your own decisions. Just don't say I didn't warn you. We'll start with Audgrim Larsen, fisherman." He pulls a sheet of paper out of the envelope and slides it across the table, a print out of some Norwegian newspaper article. "1992. Fisherman disappears at sea," he summarizes, hoping the translation he read was close to correct. "Probably he died. They turn back into cobwebs and coke bottles, when they die. But there's no way to know for sure."

Audgrim leans over to pick up the article. He reads it quite fast, there's not a lot to it; he makes a small grimace but takes it well enough. "So, Audgrim Larsen is dead," he says, with a dry voice. He puts it back down on the desk for now. "Even if he not die in 1992, this is 2018. Probably dead."

"Probably," Eddie nods. "That's the only time he ever made the paper, aside from the obituary a month later." He looks down into the envelope and hesitates before he draws out the next sheet. He hands it over, and sure enough, it's an obituary. Two of them, actually, a short one for Audgrim Larsen in 1992, and another longer one for Ingrid Larsen in 2008. "She kept the name," Eddie observes, but otherwise waits for Audgrim to get to the bottom, to the part about 'survived by'.

Kids. Grandkids. Probably great grandkids, by now, doing the math. "Calm down," he says, pre-emptively.

Audgrim's interest was focused on his wife from the start, and now he's tensed as he accepts the obituary. He reads it quietly, and runs a finger over her name, even smiling a little. At first he doesn't much think about it, but then he shoots to his feet and begins to stalk around like a caged animal, running a hand through his hair, tail flicking fast. "We had no… children," he says, trying to work it out, giving Eddie a bit of a wild-eyed stare. He's excited and confused at the same time, but he's not throwing furniture around or anything. He just can't sit still right now.

Eddie doesn't seem surprised by this reaction. Maybe he's done this before. He picks up the bottle and refills the glasses and orders: "Drink." He picks a pack of cigarettes off his stack of crosswords and shakes out a pair, striking a match on his desk to light his. The other he offers to Audgrim, along with the flame. "No, you didn't. I did the math."

Audgrim stops midstride, grabs that drink and downs it in a few quick gulps. Like Eddie, he can eat or drink anything pretty much, so he's not phased at all. The cigarette is taken and puffed on as he stalks about for a few more seconds, before collapsing back on the love seat as he understands what Eddie's saying. His face turns a bit blank. "Can fake us make children?" he asks, dubiously. He looks down at the names of his kind-of relatives.

"No," Eddie says, matter of fact. He drinks his own drink and makes a face and finally decides he likes carraway better in his sandwiches than his liquor. "People tell horror stories, but that's all they are, as far as I can tell. Never anything credible, always third hand. Feel free to get a second opinion." He takes a long slow drag off his cigarette and looks off into the corner with the rolltop. "So where does little Agnes Larsen come from? And her little Larsens after her?"

He lets the question hang in the air, then shakes his head. "I wish I could tell you, but those are the kinds of details you don't find in the newspaper. You have all the facts that I have, and they could tell a hundred different stories. I could tell you one, but it'd just be a guess."

Agnes Larsen: he's seeing that name now and realising it must be the name his wife chose for her daughter. Some ash from the near forgotten cigarette falls to the floor, and that motion has him puffing on it again as he tries to get his emotions in order. A slow smug smile forms on Grim's face. "Hah," he says and holds up the obituary, showing it to Eddie. "Ingrid, slept with other man while married to fake me. Good. I am glad she had children, and glad it was not from fake me. She named her daughter after my mother. Maybe she think father is fake me? Or maybe she know. Doesn't matter." He puts the obituary down, to be put in that folder again. "They are my children, in my heart. And grandchildren."

"Probably," Eddie nods at Audgrim's theory. "There's other possibilities, but that's the simplest explanation." He gathers up the papers he's been passing and slips them back into the envelope, which he closes back up and passes across the table. "I was worried you might feel that way. For what it's worth, my advice is you tell your heart to mind its own business. Take it or leave it or bury it at sea." He finally fishes a beer out of the bucket by his desk, and he seems to like that a little better. "That's the story of the fisherman and his wife, and I guess maybe the milkman. Maybe it was a nice story. But it isn't yours."

Snatching up the envelope fast, as if worried Eddie might hide it somewhere, Audgrim gives the detective a little glare at his advice. He was probably planning on sending all his money to his "relatives", or rob a bank with the use of his powers and then his grandchildren would inherit a lot of money from this mysterious dead relative over in Amerrrrrica. He digs his claws into the folder, closing his eyes, breathing a few calming, deep breaths. Making up his mind. Opening his eyes again, he slides the folder back towards Eddie. "You keep it. Or put it in your stack of papers. It is End of Story for fisherman Audgrim."

"I'll hang on to it," Eddie says, accepting the envelope. It goes into his desk, for the moment, no doubt soon to join the vast ecosystem of boxes and loose folders that make up his office. He sets aside his beer and pours another glass of aquavit, raising it up for a toast. "To Audgrim Larsen. He did alright." He drinks the toast, then pours again. "To the River King."

Audgrim gets himself a drink too, and toasts with Eddie, relaxing visibly. That's an old, well-used ritual: toasting the finish of something and cheering on the new. "To Audgrim Larsen. To River King," he says and downs his shot of alcohol. And as promised, he digs out a small pile of crumbled bills, and puts them down - it's not that much, another 50 dollars or so, but he's a man of his word and pays his debts. "Thank you. You are the best detective." And with a thankful nod, he turns about and leaves, tail lazily swinging.

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