Sunday, August 14, 2011

Andrew & The Vanishing Verkoff (iii)

[A rather cheap-looking Mexican restaurant at lunchtime. By the window, Andrew is messily devouring a taco. Gabby munches at some corn chips.]

Gabby: Should you really be eating all that?

Andrew: [mouth full] Mmm? Gabrielle, I am actually being monumentally considerate. If you'd hired Sherlock Holmes, you'd be in a crack den by now. Hercule Poroit? Choking on the fumes of his moustache wax. Miss Marple? Enduring a lecture on why you should still be a virgin before marriage and give up a career. Brother Cadfael? Speaking medieval latin...

Gabby: OK. OK. I get it. So, what now?

Andrew: Not sure. Do they do dessert here?

Gabby: No, about Nigel.

Andrew: Oh. THAT old thing. Right. [sips drinks] Ah! Chili shots! Woo!

[Gabby gives him a look.]

Andrew: Do you girls take classes in expressions like that? All right. We know that someone out there set up the exploding nun saga to humiliate and perhaps even kill Nigel. To this end they have employed someone to infiltrate his life and lure him into the trap somehow, but this person got cold feet at the last moment. The plan at K-Mart went ahead, as far as we can tell, as it was... well... planned.

[An awkward pause. Andrew goes back to eating.]

Gabby: [sighs] I don't get it.

Andrew: Nonsense. You're one of the most sexually-active girls I know.

Gabby: What? No! I meant I don't get the plan!

Andrew: Don't you?

Gabby: Yeah, why get a nun to try and blow up a department store? No one was hurt! Only a few windows got broken, a few displays burnt. Why go to all that trouble?

Andrew: Because it was meant to destroy Nigel's reputation, not the store. Nigel Verkoff, the bestiality-loving nun-corrupting pedophile who inspires suicide bombings...

Gabby: It's not true.

Andrew: I know it's not true! YOU know it's not true! And I know that you know that it's not true! And now I've told you, you know that I know that you know that I... I'll stop. I'd assume it was entirely to humiliate the Big N, EXCEPT that postcard shows that Nigel was in danger of losing his life. Which suggests...

Gabby: ...what?

Andrew: Good question. The explosion wasn't just meant to destroy Nigel's public image, but to act as a massive distraction to allow another part of the plan to unfold. That makes perfect sense to me. That's not the problem.

Gabby: What is the problem?

Andrew: Why? Why go to all this trouble? You've seen Blue Murder, haven't you? If someone wanted Nigel dead, they could just shoot him when he answered the door, or poison his drinking water... why go to all this trouble?

Gabby: I dunno. Maybe they're really wierd.

Andrew: Wierd but rich. This must be a massively expensive operation, meticulously planned. Whoever infiltrated Nigel's life didn't do so in a minute, they've worked at this for years. Which means, whoever behind all this has wanted revenge for years. So why wait?

Gabby: Nigel said revenge tastes better out of the fridge.

[Andrew shakes his head.]

Andrew: He probably did. But there's fridge-chilled revenge. This revenge was dipped in liquid nitrogen and dropped into the bottom of the arctic sea... Unless...

Gabby: Unless what?

Andrew: Unless this megalomaniac only recently got the power and money to put things into action.

Gabby: You said it had been going on for years.

Andrew: Relatively recently.

Gabby: Relatively? You think it was a relative.

Andrew: [sighs] No. I don't. You're a sweet girl, Gabby, but you should be the punchline to an Irish convict joke. [frowns] Yes, you ARE sweet, aren't you?

[Gabby is slightly creeped out.]

Gabby: Your point being...?

[Andrew stares at her, no longer friendly.]

Andrew: How long have you and Nigel been an item now? A few years? You've moved in with him, shared his bed. Put up with his unspeakable behavior, including having sex with 143 separate schoolgirls, all without a complaint. Very dedicated, aren't you?

Gabby: [swallows] What are you saying?

Andrew: You are a perfect match for Nigel. He couldn't get a better live-in combined doormat and sex doll if he tried. If someone were going to try and infiltrate Nigel's life, who would be better placed than you?

Gabby: You think it was me?

Andrew: You didn't turn up at the concert that night.

Gabby: It was the last day of school, I was tired!

Andrew: So you had the perfect alibi.

Gabby: It's not an alibi, it's the truth!

Andrew: You don't seem very shocked at my theory of a massive conspiracy against Nigel.

Gabby: ...I've MET him.

[Andrew shrugs. She has a point.]

Andrew: And then the coo-de-grass, you just HAPPEN to find this postcard from an anonymous source and you're SO concerned about Nigel's wellfare. No one could suspect you were behind it, because you'd created a false trail and a false motive! Et tu Gabbay! How much did they pay you for all of this? 30 pieces of silver, or do double-figures genuinely confuse you? You should be well-rewarded for living undercover for so long, putting up with that empty-headed bleached-blonde animal pawing at your body at night - why, the costs for the STD tests alone would bankrupt anyone!

[Gabby is horrified.]

Gabby: That's not true!

Andrew: And then you cunningly hire an incompetent private investigator, presumably to ensure the plan was perfect. Almost worked, too. But your stupid-brunette act was laid on slightly too thick, and you gave the game away. What was the plan now, Gabby - if that IS your real name, Mrs. Judas?! [eyes widen] You poisoned the chili shots! You cunning bitch! I'll take your secret to my grave! No one will ever know the truth! [chokes] Ahhh! The bitter taste of almonds! You poisoned my arsnic with cyanide! The liberty of death approaches!

[Andrew, face red, claws to his feet and points to Gabby.]

Andrew: You may have killed me, but YOU WILL NOT ESCAPE JUSTICE, EVIL ONNNNNEEEEEEEEE!!!

[He gives a gargling scream and falls over. Everyone in the restaurant stares at Gabby for a long time. She smiles shyly. Andrew bursts out laughing and returns to his seat.]

Andrew: Woo! Sorry about that. Mexican food always makes me a bit hyper.

[He ruffles her hair condescendingly.]

Andrew: Course you're not the traitor, Gabs.

Gabby: You just said I was.

Andrew: I said you fit the profile, but you're not. You didn't buy that postcard, or write on it or anything else.

Gabby: How do you know?

Andrew: [smiles secretively] Because I know who did.

Gabby: Who?

Andrew: Sorry. You know client confidentiality? This is me keeping things confidential from my client.

Gabby: Tell me!

Andrew: Why?

Gabby: So I can find them and break every bone in their body until I get Nigel back!

Andrew: You really do love him, don't you? [finishes drink] At least we know you aren't PRETENDING to be stupid.

Gabby: Tell me who it was!

Andrew: The information is useless at present, dearheart. You want to know what happened to Nigel? To get him back? [icily] We are playing for the very highest of stakes, Gabrielle. And we are not going to show our hand until we KNOW it is the strongest! Agreed?

Gabby: [wary] Agreed.

Andrew: [sits back] Good. Now...... dessert!

- to be continued...


Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

I like to imagine Andrew is badass enough to crack the case before the bill arrives..

Youth of Australia said...

You would expect that, wouldn't you...? ;)

How're things going?

Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

...I'm so bad at checking for responses...

Youth of Australia said...

There are worse crimes.

Apart from cattle rustling. People are way too harsh there. You can't play with your food now? Nazi bastards!