Congratulations on getting started, Tiago! And it's a good start. A kind of calm before the storm, if you will. It's nice to have a bit of a break from the high drama and tension of the previous installment, and return to somewhere slightly more normal... more normal, not actually normal, mind. So far it's looking like this could be a breather of sorts for the Quagmires. I'm sure it won't last.
Edit: Chapter One is at the bottom of the previous page.
Post by Tiago James Squalor on Dec 29, 2013 14:21:47 GMT -5
Author's disclaimer: as I was finishing this chapter, I lost everything and had to start over. Luckily it was fresh in my mind and managed to salvage the essence of the chapter from my memory but boy did I cry. If this chapter seems sub-par, you know why.
Inside Valentina's office, the Quagmires saw the very luxurious décor. Everything looked expensive, from the wooden floors to the wallpaper. On the opposite side of the room, sitting at a desk, on a tall velvet armchair, was Valentina, their new boss. She had dark hair held up in a fancy up-do, and her face was behind a heavy mask of make-up. She smoked on a cigarrette holder, and examined the Quagmires from head to toe as they approached. In a more reserved part of the room, four dark figures played cards in a dark nook of the room, hidden behind a bead curtain. The Quagmires could hear whispers and faint laughter.
'I am Valentina, your new employer. I hope you turn out to be good workers. My manager Sookie tells me you have some previous experience, although I'm sure working for me will be an entirely different one.' She smiled, and the Quagmires noticed her face was beginning to wrinkle behind her make-up. 'Yes, we do, as it happens.'
'Well, you came to us at a good time. We have a big night tomorrow, but I have to introduce you to my new associates. They have come from their very own private island casino to help me run this place.'
The Quagmires turned around and were startled by the presence of four very distinct individuals.
'Caterina Casanova.' The tall blonde woman introduced herself, her platinum hair matching her white pantsuit with red pinstripes. She wore white gold jewels with garnets which matched the shade of her lipstick. Her eyes were brown and warm, like chocolate. 'These are my brother Carlo and Carlotta. That is our bodyguard Umberto.'
'I am Carlotta Casanova, the most beautiful woman in the world,' said the red-haired woman next to Caterina. Her hair was a fiery, flowing mane of red locks, which matched her red dress, and her red feather boa. She certainly could not be called ugly, but it was very presumptious of her to assume herself to be the most beautiful woman in the world. The man next to Carlotta did not say a word, and the Quagmires knew why. He clutched a wine bottle on one hand and a wine glass on the other, filled nearly to the brim with dark red wine. The mixture of smells was overbearing. Wine, cologne and cigar smoke wafted from the man. He had dark hair which was beginning to turn gray, and wore a burgundy silk shirt which was unbuttoned halfway to his midrift, which let everyone see his hairy chest. His social black pants were wrinkled, as if he had slept - or passed out - in those clothes. The man behind them towered above them all, his head nearly touching the ceiling. His rotund figure contrasted with his thin, noodle-like limbs. His appearance was outright scary and bizarre.
'I'm sorry, we did not get your names,' Caterina said.
'Reed. Our family name is Reed.' Quigley blurted out the names on their fake IDs. It was also the names they had used back in Cronenberg Colossus Apartments. 'My sister is Lily, he is Elm and I'm Ash.'
'Interesting names,' Valentina spoke, and the Quagmires were a bit startled; they had forgotten all about Valentina.
'I'll memorize them later. In the meantime, I'll be busy taking care of the details for tomorrow's party. We have a very big night tomorrow, as I have already said, because anyone who is anyone is coming, and our most V.I.P. guest is no other than notorious food critic, Ramsay Norris from The Daily Punctilio. He is a food gourmet of prestige, and he is coming to give us five star reviews,' Valentina explained. She was visibly excited.
'Valentina, dear, have you heard anything about our brother?', Caterina asked. 'I haven't, I'm sorry to say. What I have heard is an awful, disturbing rumor about him. Is there any truth to it?' Valentina looked positively hungry, and the Quagmires realized she was a true gossip.
'No. Our father was killed by the Baudelaire orphans. It was an accident, truth be told, but it was them, and not my brother. Who even told you?' Caterina looked very angry.
The Quagmires, on the other hand, looked like death. The sudden mention of the Baudelaires, and the accusation placed on them by Caterina Casanova had turned them the color of curdled milk. 'Oh my, you look terrible. Are you ill?', Valentina asked, but before the Quagmires had time to answer she continued, 'Well, I don't care if you are on your deathbeds, no one is allowed to take a sick day off tomorrow. Ramsay Norris will give us a five star review or my name is not Valentina Agresta!'
'I'm sorry, Miss Casanova, but did you say Baudelaire orphans?', Quigley asked, ignoring Valentina. 'Yes. Three awful delinquent siblings. Wherever they go, tragedy strikes. They are probably cursed,' Caterina confirmed and turned to Valentina.
'Valentina, if you hear anything about Felix, let us know. I miss our sibling terribly,' Caterina smiled strangely. If you have read The Catastrophic Casino, dear reader, you know why this was particularly strange. And you also know that it was not the Baudelaire orphans who murdered Dom Casanova, although they did witness the murder. 'Also, have you heard anything about Esmé Squalor?', Caterina asked, and a spark of life appeared on Carlo's face all of a sudden, and quickly disappeared, as he took another sip from his wine glass. This was very strange to the Quagmires.
'No one's heard of her lately. Not even her fan club. Not even Geraldine Julienne, and I tried to speak with her. But it doesn't matter. Our party tomorrow will be the social event of the season. Anyone who is anyone is coming. I even invited the famous archeologist Roxanne Winters, but she is out on an expedition somewhere, and can't be reached.'
'Well, now that we all know each other, you three need to get out. We have some more private business matters and arrangements to discuss. Big day tomorrow, Reeds, so I suggest you grab a full night sleep. We don't want you slacking off tomorrow, now, do we?' Valentina rested her face on her crossed hands with a feline smile. The Quagmires had no choice but to obey, and they left Valentina's office with a thousand questions reeling on their minds.
Post by Tiago James Squalor on Dec 30, 2013 15:56:46 GMT -5
Becoming employed at a new place is always a nerve-wrecking experience. You have to adjust yourself to a new set of rules, your new coworkers, your boss, your new office or cubicle where you hide one day when your enemies happen to wander in, and you have to hide for twelve hours in a bathroom cubicle, only to get fired the same night for disappearing. Yes, it is never easy adjust to an employee life, but for someone who has been on the run for the last ten years that is nothing. The first night of Isadora, Quigley and Duncan Quagmire at Roadkill Restaurant was quite nerve-wrecking as it was so far. They had met their new boss, Valentina, and her associates, the Casanovas, which had divulged disconcerting information concerning the Baudelaire orphans. The last the Quagmires had heard of their friends, the Baudelaires were separated, trying to stay out of Gothic Works' radar. Klaus had taken Sunny with him to Mortmain Mountains, the trail of clues going cold after that. And Violet, poor Violet, had been employed by Cid Jetsam until Gothic Works took notice of the town of Deluge Dam, and Violet had run away. It was disconcerting, distressing and despair-inducing, but the Quagmires knew better than to allow themselves to feel the immense despair just waiting to take over their minds. Finding the Baudelaires was their goal, but not a priority. The priority was to remain alive and out of Gothic Works' crosshairs, which, it is my sad duty to report, was a futile effort. But the Quagmires knew nothing about their future run-ins with the criminal organization, and that was probably for the best.
After their conversation with Valentina and the Casanovas, the Quagmires were taken to a room upstairs with several bunk beds. The room was divided into two separate spaces by screens. The female workers slept in one half of the room, the male workers, on the other half. It was a sensible arrangement, but Isadora could not help but to feel worried sleeping apart from her brothers. 'What is it? You look nervous,' Mayhew, the young maid girl happened to sleep on the bunk bed next to Isadora's bed. Sookie slept on the bunk above Mayhew, but she was reading a book. 'It's nothing, I'm just nervous about tomorrow,' Isadora lied. She was nervous, considering the possibility that one of Gothic Works' assassins could come in and catch her or her brothers with their guard down. They had lost their guns back at Lugae Laboratory, along with everything else they owned, including Jeremiah Hudson's journal, which had been helpful for the most time. And there was the worrying disappearance of Jill Nebra along with Cindry and Cid Jetsam, the latter two having been companions to the Quagmires. Jill had her reasons to do what she had done, but her reasons were unknown, along with her agenda. Jill had been a dubious, aloof ally at best, when they hoped she would help them find the Baudelaires, but the scientist had other plans.
'Yes, we have a big day tomorrow here at the Restaurant. But don't worry, I was quite nervous when I started but Sookie here helped me out a lot. She used to work in fancy restaurants in a city far away. I've never been there but I'd like to work in the same restaurant someday. I hear they're building a new one there, I might go to work there someday,' Mayhew gushed. Isadora smiled, only but mildly interested in what the girl had to say. She had more important matters to think about. 'I have to ask, because I have a pretty good intuition...Your brother...The neater one. Does he like guys?', Isadora was startled by the question. Duncan had shown interest in Cid, a man much older. Cid had spurned his advances, however, because of their age difference, but ever since then, Isadora and Duncan barely had any time to talk about something other than survival and escaping the Malaise Mines, and later, the laboratory. She'd known for a while about Duncan, however. Her female intuition was very sharp.
'Apparently, yes. He only just recently told us. I doubt dating is on his mind right now,' Isadora replied, a bit more rudely than she had intended to sound. Mayhew was exasperating to be around, which was sad because normally the Quagmires would have liked her, if their lives weren't constantly threatened by unseen forces and conspiracies. 'Oh. Sorry if I was prying. I had to ask because you see, Reginald is like that too, and he took quite an interest in your brother, and he kept bugging me to ask. I'll tell him Duncan is not interested. Good night!', Mayhew said, sounding a bit hurt, but Isadora was thinking hard and deep. Other people's feelings were just not a priority. Unless those people were important, which Mayhew was not.
It was a bit of a surprise when Isadora opened her eyes and it was morning. She had a horrible dream. 'Good morning everyone! Get up and go clean yourselves! Early start today!' Sookie was up and about, and the still sleepy workers of Roadkill Restaurant were stretching and yawning, still in their pijamas, a few of them heading to the colective bathrooms. Quigley and Duncan were up, and they came to sit with Isadora for a while before the workday started. 'Sookie said it would be okay for us to take an extra ten minutes. We need to talk,' Quigley whispered. They waited until the other female workers went to the female's colective bathroom.
'I had a horrible dream last night,' Isadora comented. She had not dreamt properly in a while. Then again, the Quagmires had barely slept at all. 'Everyone was dead in a field of snow. I was the only one left, and I saw everyone from Gothic Works heading in my direction. That's when I woke up,'
'That is horrible,' Duncan admitted, 'But it's never going to happen,' he added, reassuringly, with his hand on Isadora's knee. She was sitting on her bed, still under her covers. Dark circles were visible under her eyes. 'Izzy, you might want to cover that up. Actually, we should all cover up our...marks,' Quigley suggested. He and Duncan also had visible dark circles, and bruises in a multitude of colors and different healing stages. Half-healed cuts under bandages stained red and now, a dark brown. The Quagmires look like they had been to a battle. Which, as a matter of fact, they had. 'What do you guys think about Caterina's accusations against...you know who?', Isadora asked from behind her covers.
'All lies, probably. We cannot know for sure that they ever went to their Casino, or whatever. And even if they did, you know they would never purposedly murder anyone. Not unless they were directly threatened. And considering the source of this information, I wouldn't call that story very believable,' Quigley reasoned. 'Let's just focus on getting through today. We'll figure out our next move after the party,' Duncan said.
The three Quagmires went on their separate ways, both boys to the males' bathroom, and Isadora to the females'. After they were done cleaning up, and covering their wounds with make-up provided by Sookie, the Quagmires started their first day at Roadkill Restaurant. Their first day, and also, their last.
A good pair of chapters, Tiago; I'm sorry I couldn't attend to them sooner. It looks like we have a pretty varied cast of characters in the restaurant, although the one who most intrigues me won't be there - I assume we're going to meet Roxanne Winters eventually, and I'm looking forward to seeing why you might be using an archeologist character. But the main interest right now is clearly on what sorts of scrapes and schemes the Quagmires will stumble into whilst trying to do something so harmless as waiting at a restaurant. I'm sure they'll manage to find trouble somehow.
Post by Tiago James Squalor on Jan 13, 2014 10:47:22 GMT -5
Quigley, Isadora and Duncan Quagmire had already donned their Roadkill Restaurant uniforms, which were not that much different from any other establishment's, and when they got ready, they fit right in with the rest of the Roadkill Restaurant staff. This is not to say, however, that they were any more at ease. Before the restaurant opened, Valentina inspected the staff.
'Today is a very important day. The Daily Punctilio's notorious food column writer, Ramsay Norris, is coming to review our establishment. If everything goes correctly we'll have our five stars, and Roadkill Restaurant will become the hottest restaurant since that volcanic-themed diner that opened in the hinterlands,' Valentina explained. The Quagmires stood along with the rest of the staff, in a single line. They were not sure what to expect from working at that restaurant.
'I expect only perfection. The slightest mishap will be dealt with as a major betrayal, following immediate termination,' Valentina explained. The Casanovas were present, standing behind Valentina as she paced around in circles, swinging around her cigarrette holder and making a chain of smoke circles. 'We will open formally five minutes from now, although business should be slow until late in the afternoon. It is, after all, an important holiday. The party will begin tonight at eight sharp. That is all,' Valentina said, and left the room with the Casanovas in tow.
'Don't worry, we'll help you,' Mayhew whispered to the Quagmire which was closest to her, namely Isadora.
After the other workers had disbanded to their respective spots, the Quagmires were left alone with Reginald and Mayhew. Sookie had to play hostess for the most part, so she could not stay with the Quagmires. 'It's all very simple,' Mayhew started, 'All you have to do is to hand the customers their menus, never forget to not greet them. The customers that come here do not like when we speak to them. After you write down their orders on your notepads, and this is very important, you must get everything right and not ask questions. You head over there, 'Mayhew pointed to an open balcony that led to the kitchen. The chefs were busy and the kitchen was cloudy with steam and vapors, making it so that the chefs appeared as nothing but silhouettes, a word which here means "steamy shadows". It was impossible to see anything in the kitchen, and the Quagmires wondered how the cooks could get anything done.
'After you receive the orders, make sure to balance them all on your arms and heads. We don't have trays in this restaurant. Please be careful, if you let anything fall, they'll make you eat the food off the floor,' Reginald warned them, and the Quagmires quivered with disgust. 'Is that the stand practice here? That's disgusting!', Quigley protested. The rules and practices of the restaurant struck a familiar chord, a chord they would prefer to be left in the past.
'If the customers notice anything wrong with the food, and they send it back, we also have to eat that. That is why we exercise a lot in our spare time,' Mayhew added. 'Oh, look, a customer has arrived.'
Across the room, they saw that the doors had opened to reveal the figure of a woman wearing a pantsuit, glassed, her light brown hair tied up in a bun, and glasses. She was very thin and acted very skittish, which is another word for nervous for no aparent reason.
'Isn't that one of those reporters from the Punctilio?', Reginald pointed out. The woman was led by Sookie to a table in the corner area of the main room of the restaurant. The woman sat down and produced a notepad from her bag and began writing something. She ripped off the piece of paper and handed it to Sookie, and made a sign for her to approach. The woman whispered something in Sookie's ear, and the waitress nodded affirtmatively, and walked away.
'Well, one of you better go see what she wants,' Mayhew said. 'If you're going to work here, you will need all the practice you can get.'
'I'll go,' Duncan volunteered, and walked towards the woman's table.
She was writing something on her notepad as Duncan approached, but when he arrived next to her table she whimpered and quickly closed it. 'H-Hi. I'm Geraldine Julienne, from the Daily Punctilio. I'm writing a piece on this historical restaurant.' Duncan frowned. Geraldine Julienne was the worst reporter he had ever had the mispleasure to read. Her articles were shoddy, poorly-worded and full of factual inaccuracies and pandering to some high society figure or other, when they didn't flat out conceal the truth, or spread lies. Geraldine was the exact kind of journalist Duncan despised, but he was very good at concealing his feelings.
'Welcome to Roadkill Restaurant, Miss Julienne. May I take your order?', Duncan asked, producing his notepad from his vest's pocket. He tested the pen he had been given, which wrote nice thick lines of black ink. 'O-Oh, yes please. I'll have the tomato soup entrée, the crab cakes, this ravioli dish with peas, and a nice steak. Medium-rare, please.' Duncan wrote everything down. 'Anything to drink?' he asked.
'Oh, yes. A glass of Port, please,' Geraldine Julienne answered. 'I'll be back shortly with your wine,' Duncan said, withdrawing politely away from the dimwitted reporter he so despised. He passed by the kitchen and passed the order to a hand that came out of the steam and a funny, muffled voice that said, 'Oui'. Returning to his siblings' company, Duncan informed them of the woman's identity.
'From the Daily Punctilio?,' Quigley asked, bewildered, 'What is she doing here? Isn't that guy Ramsay Norris coming?' Duncan shrugged,' I don't know. I guess Roadkill Restaurant is the next big thing in the food business.' Still, it was kind of suspicious. Why would the Punctilio send away two different reporters to write articles concerning the same restaurant?
'I have a bad feeling about all this,' Isadora confessed. 'Well, let's ignore her for now. She's harmless, anyway,' Reginald replied. But that was just the thing; Geraldine Julienne was far from harmless. Words written by her had caused the volunteers a world of grief. Still, Reginald did not know any better, and for now, that they could not pinpoint Geraldine's angle, she was nothing to worry about. The Quagmires had bigger concerns than Geraldine Julienne's agenda.
'Her wine is ready, look,' Mayhew pointed to the countertop where a bottle of wine and a crystal glass had almost magically appeared. 'Oh, I better go then,' Duncan soon made way towards the infamous and incompetent reporter's table with the wine and glass. 'Your wine, Miss Julienne.' Duncan poured the wine until the glass was half-full. 'Should I leave the bottle?' He asked, and a visibly and increasingly distraught Geraldine was startled. 'O-Oh, of course,' Duncan walked away from her table and reunited with his siblings and the other two.
'She is a nervous wreck. I can see it from here,' Quigley commented, 'What is there to be nervous about?'
'Maybe she thinks this restaurant does serve roadkill. Would not be the first time, I have to say,' Mayhew quipped. That drew curious looks from the three Quagmires. The restaurant's name was indeed unfortunate. 'For all she knows, the steak she ordered might be possum or racoon,' Reginald joked, and he and Mayhew fell into a fit of laughter. The Quagmires smiled nervously.
'Oh, look, two more customers,' Mayhew said, stopping amidst her laughter to point towards the door. Sookie had just returned to her hosting spot, just in time to receive two very familiar faces into the restaurant. It was all Isadora, Duncan, and specially Quigley Quagmire could do do but to gasp at the familiar guise of Rose Hawthorne and her brother, Liam. Upon making eye contact with Quigley, Rose gave an enticing wave and smiled wickedly.
The Quagmires' troubles at Roadkill Restaurant had just started. The clock was ticking, and soon, they would have to make a swift escape. But as Sookie conducted the Hawthornes to their table, Quigley Quagmire decided he was to be the one to wait it. 'I got this,' He said to his siblings as he walked towards the - unbeknownst to him, former - Gothic Works agents. Rose Hawthorne's green eyes were two burning emeralds, and Quigley stared right into them. Things at the Restaurant were about to get serious.
Is it me, or did Duncan immediately fluff pretty much everything he was told about waiting...? Still, I'm intrigued to see what Geraldine Julienne's up to, pre-empting another Punctilio reporter and seeming so frankly terrified. It looks as if she's expecting trouble, and jumps every time Duncan speaks to her. She seems to be constantly expecting to be challenged... And the Hawthornes are back to make trouble for the Quagmires again, of course, and I'm sure they don't just want something to eat after a long night of villainy. Although it could happen. Would be funny, I think.
Post by Tiago James Squalor on Jan 15, 2014 15:00:23 GMT -5
Quigley Quagmire and his siblings were extremely experienced and well-versed in several fields. Survival, escape, deception. All of it was familiar to them, as they lived on the run, and had done so for several years. However there was a staggering deficience to the Quagmire triplets' genius and it was all things related to romance. The death of their parents, the abandonment of their guardians, and their life as volunteers had left the Quagmires uneducated in the ways of the human heart. Quigley loved Violet, he knew that much. But they had no more than fleeting moments together, scattered through a disastrous chain of events that kept separating them over and over again. Quigley longed for his reunion with Violet Baudelaire, but as he walked towards the table where Rose Hawthorne and her brother, Liam, had sat at the restaurant's main room, he was awestruck by her beauty. Gone was the Gothic Works uniform and the rose she wore on her lapel. Still, the two Hawthornes were dressed in a similar manner, in all black, or possibly, a very dark red. Rose was smiling when Quigley arrived at the table.
'May I take your order miss?', Quigley stole a quick glance into Rose's eyes, prompting her to smile even more. 'Sure. I'd like to order you,' Rose quipped. Liam chuckled. 'I'm afraid I'm not on the menu. And specially when it concerns you. What are you two doing here?!', Quigley whispered, struggling to conceal his distraught state. More patrons were arriving at the restaurant, and Isadora, Duncan, Mayhew and Reginald already had their hands full. The room was getting crowded, and quickly.
'I'm not sure discussing our plans in public is recomendable,' Rose said, smiling wickedly. She picked up a flower from the table's arrangement, an impressive boucquet of white roses. 'White roses. I prefer red,' she added in disgust, putting the flower back. Liam, beside her, produced a miniature liquor bottle from inside his jacket. 'So in addition to your crimes you're sneaking liquor into a restaurant? I guess crime doesn't pay at last,' Quigley said, writing jibberish on his notepad to pretend he was taking the Hawthorne siblings' order.
'What do you know about crime, Quigley Quagmire?', Rose asked. 'Don't act so high and mighty. We learned a great deal about you and your brother and sister since our last encounter,' she added. 'Don't worry about us. You're not our mark,' Liam said, and took another sip from his liquor bottle. 'So you are here to kill someone?' Quigley asked. 'Not entirely,' Rose crossed her legs. That made Quigley break a sweat.
'What is that supposed to mean? Aren't you with them?' Quigley dared not speak the name of Gothic Works out loud. The criminal organization had sustained a blow directly to their power resources. It was still up in the air whether or not GW would recover, but an enormous series of unfortunate events had taught the Quagmire triplets to always expect the worst. It would be too convenient for GW to be destroyed in a single blow, too good to be true. And the Hawthorne siblings' presence at Roadkill Restaurant proved that point.
'We feel no need to divulge our plans to you. But we sure would like your cooperation on something. If you help us, we'll help you,' Liam said. Quigley had never spoken too much to the male Hawthorne, but the Quagmire triplet was sure that Liam was exactly the type of guy neither him nor Duncan would go for in terms of friendship, or in a more reallistic scenario, alliance. 'You don't have to worry about us for now. We'll stay out of your hair. Although that might be difficult, since your hair is such a mess,' Liam said, with a despicable and disgusting perfect smile on his face. 'I'm trying really hard here. Don't make me punch you,' Quigley warned. 'Oh, look, Rose. Quag's crown a spine, I'm terrified for my life,' Liam was flat out laughing now. Quigley grimaced.
'Easy there big boy. We don't want to make a scene in your place of employment,' Rose warned, 'At least not until we find what we came here for.'
'Which is...?', Quigley asked, not expecting an answer. But it was his principle as a volunteer, to find the truth. Duncan would have done a better job at getting through the Hawthorne's defenses, one might suppose.
'Curious, our boy, isn't he?', Liam said, taking another sip and finishing his liquor bottle. 'Tell you what. If you help us, and behave nicely, we'll tell you why we're here. Won't we, Rose?'
'Oh, yes,' Rose said, and rested her head on her entwined hands, elbows on the table. 'I don't know who you think I am,' Quigley said, 'But I'm not helping you. You can go back to wherever hell you came out of, and leave me and my family alone,' and then he walked away, leaving the two Hawthorne siblings to themselves. He then proceeded to the countertop that gave view into the steamy kitchen and put up an order for the most expensive meal on the menu as revenge. Isadora and Duncan arrived just as Quigley was turning around.
'So? Why are they here?' Isadora asked, holding an empty wine bottle. 'To bring destruction, I guess. They didn't tell me. They said they'd tell us if we helped them with something. I refused,' Quigley explained. Duncan and Isadora looked at the Hawthorne siblings, sitting comfortably at their table. 'What help could they possibly want from us? It can't be good,' Duncan said, puzzled. 'Still...I think we should consider it,' Isadora suggested, which prompted very disapproving looks from her brothers. 'It's just...We don't know anything about what's going on out there in the world. We don't have the slightest clue where Jill went, or if Cindry and Cid are still with her. We don't know where Nemo is, and we don't even know where to go next if we want to find the Baudelaires. I'm just tired of not knowing. I dislike the Hawthornes as much as you do, but...I don't think we have anything to lose here.' Saying that, Isadora grabbed a full bottle of wine from a hand that came out of the fog of smoke and steam that clouded the kitchen, leaving the empty one, and walked away.
'I don't want to hear about it,' Quigley said preemptively, as Duncan gave him that look. It was the same look Duncan always gave right before he agreed with Isadora on something he and Quigley did not see eye to eye with. 'I'm not allying myself with those two. It would be a deal with the devil. What if they ask us to help kill someone, Duncan. What if that's what they're here for?'
'I know, but I think Isadora is right. We have lost track of Violet, and the only information we have on Klaus and Sunny says they are in the Mortmain Mountains. That's across the entire country. Even with a map, it would be a long shot at best, Quigley,' Duncan reasoned. Quigley gave his brother that look. The look that always let Duncan know exactly how irritated his brother was becoming. 'I'm not big on those two either, don't take this the wrong way. But we have to be smarter than this if we want to go out there. We can't go looking for our friends blind.' Duncan grabbed his order and walked away, making an extra effort to not drop the plates of food on the fancy carpet.
Quigley was leaning against the wall, examining the entire room and waiting for his order when a voice came out of the clouded kitchen.
'You should listen to them,' the voice said. It was a muffled, low baritone voice, but it startled Quigley nevertheless.
'Who...What in the...' Quigley couldn't finish his question before the voice spoke again. A shadow, distinguishable amidst the cloud of smoke and steam, in the shape of a man, put a fancy plate full of food on the countertop. The most expensive order on the entire menu. But that was not the only thing that startled Quigley. The other was a photograph, carefully placed on the countertop along with the food. A photograph of someone very familiar.
'What is this?', Quigley asked, picking up the photograph. 'Go to that place when all is done in this Restaurant, and there you will find more clues. In the meantime, help the Hawthornes. They don't mean to kill anyone present at this restaurant.'
'How do you know that? Who are you?' Quigley asked, intrigued.
'I am a friend. Now go, and make sure to accept the Hawthornes' offer. They won't make it again. It's the only way for you to get you and your siblings safely out of here.'
Quigley stuck the photograph in the front pocket of his male waiter's apron. He was sweating even more now, nervous about the encounter with the stranget in the kitchen. Whoever it was, Quigley wonder exactly why would he have a photograph of Nemo Vladimiroff and what that could mean for the Quagmires' immediate future.
Great chapter, Tiago - I really enjoyed that. It held my attention right to the end; Quigley's conversation with the Hawthornes was well-structured to really express the characters of everyone involved. I think it's fitting, too, that Duncan is more likely to side with Isadora than Quigley - Quigley was on his own for a long time, but Duncan and Isadora have nearly always had each other. I'm really looking forward to finding out more about the Quagmires' mysterious informant.
Post by Tiago James Squalor on Jan 16, 2014 13:27:56 GMT -5
Quigley looked at himself in the mirror inside Roadkill Restaurant's staff locker room. He was sweating, and he felt cold. Not much time before he had been advised by a mysterious informant hiding in the steam-filled kitchen of the Restaurant. In his uniform's apron Quigley had the photograph of Nemo Vladimiroff he had been given. The picture showed Nemo standing next to a group of four men. They were dressed in wrestling singlets, and so was Nemo, for some reason. Behind them, a building which had not been photographed well. Quigley could see a broken neon sign displaying the letters G Y M, however the M was partially burned out, making it look more like G Y N. Nemo stared at the photographer, and Quigley remembered Nemo never smiled unless Isadora was present. Back then, when the Quagmires were enslaved by their enemies inside The Great Unknown, Nemo was the only good thing about the place. He had been a friend to Quigley and Duncan, and more than that to Isadora. She never spoke of him anymore, but sometimes Quigley could still hear her cry as quietly as she could in the night. He did not need to ask why.
'This is where we need to go,' Quigley spoke. He was alone in the locker room, as it was his break. He did not have had time to talk to Isadora and Duncan after the encounter with the unknown interloper. The flimsy lights flickered in the locker room as Quigley leaned against the stained sink. It would be imprudent to approach his siblings with the picture then, and Quigley decided against it. He opened his locker, which contained a clean change of uniforms, soap, shampoo and an empty box of mints. The box was big enough for the picture, and inside it the picture went. Quigley carefully rolled the box inside a clean shirt and stored it underneath the oher clothes. Hiding it in the dorm would also be very imprudent. It was in this moment, the moment where Quigley closed his locker and was about to lock it up that Reginald appeared.
'Oh, hey. It's my break time now too,' He explained, while opening his locker which was just near the door. 'Oh, alright,' Quigley replied.
'I've been meaning to ask this for a while, but I'm too shy to ask directly. Your brother, is he...Available?' Reginald asked, blushing. 'Oh. Duncan? Well, I don't know. The last person he was interested went into a coma and might actually be dead by now. So no, I don't know if Duncan is available,' Quigley snarled. Duncan had been interested in Cid, a man much older and experienced, but Cid was wounded during their escape from Malaise Mines, and for all they knew, he might be dead, along with Jill Nebra and Cindry Fulfillment.
'I didn't mean to intrude. I just really like your brother,' Reginald sat down on the locker room bench, and removed his shoes, proceeding to massage his own feet. 'Gee, this job kills me. My feet are covered in caluses,' Quigley did not care about Reginald's caluses.
'If you're interested in him, go ask him. I'm not a message pigeon. Although, I doubt he'll reciprocate. We'll be leaving here soon,' Quigley blurted out. That caught Reginald's attention. 'What? You can't leave.' Reginald's expression was strange, and the tone of his voice had a hint of desperation. Something about the way he said "can't" had piqued Quigley's interest. 'What do you mean we can't leave?', he asked, and before Reginald could answer, they were interrupted. It was Sookie, who had wandered in covering her eyes.
'Hey, are you both decent? Are you naked?', she asked, feeling ahead with her left hand while her right covered her eyes. 'No. What brings you here?', Reginald asked. 'Oh, good. I hate walking in on other people. You see, the food critic is here. Ramsay Norris. He's already checked in, and we have to send someone to his room with a greeting present, maybe a bottle of wine, some chocolates, and a card. You two go. I heard he likes young people. Everyone else is swamped with work. The restaurant is booming!' Sookie shrieked, and left quickly. 'Great. Just when I was about to exchange my bandages,' Reginald pointed to his feet, which were covered in bandages. Quigley noticed some blood stains.
'Let's go, we'll talk about this later.'
After Reginald put his shoes back on, the two young men grabbed the presents for the food critic from the kitchen countertop. Sookie had left them a note containing instructions. 'Don't speak unless spoken to, don't ask questions unless absolutely necessary, do everything he asks, do not make jokes, don't get chummy... Whatever. Let's just get this done,' Quigley said as he crumpled the note into a ball and disposed it in a garbage bin.
The food critic was staying at the room 307 in the third floor. 'No, let's take the elevator. Let's not keep him waiting,' Reginald said as Quigley headed for the staircase. When the doors of the elevator opened, Quigley and Reginald wandered into a very quiet hallway. If there were guests in those rooms, no one could hear them. The lights flickered as Quigley and Reginald walked down the hallway, making them uneasy. 'This is it,' Quigley said as they arrived in front of room 307. Quigley knocked lightly as he could on the door, and a voice told them to come in.
Quigley and Reginald entered room 307. It was a very expensive room with a lavish canopy bed with purple curtains. The walls were covered in the most rich patterned black wallpaper, and the floor was covered in red carpet. On an armchair next to the bed sat a man, and beside him, there was a younger man. The older man smoked a black cigarette which strangely sweet scent permeated the air.
'Ramsay Norris, food critic for The Daily Punctilio. Are those the welcoming gifts of this establishment?' said Ramsay Norris, food critic for the Daily Punctilio, pointing towards the bottle of wine and the box of chocolates Reginald and Quigley were carrying. 'Oh, yes. Welcome to Roadkill Restaurant and Inn, Mr. Norris. We are thrilled to have you. It is an honor,' Reginald gushed with pompousness. Quigley stayed silent.
'This is my...ward. My nephew, and assistant, Glenn. Glenn, be a good boy and bring me that wine. I'd like to get started with my review,' Ramsay pointed to the wine bottle and Glenn swiftly brought it to him. He examined the bottle. 'Oh, this is a very fine wine. Rich, dense and with a pleasant aftertaste. Gleen, pour me some, will you? Now, what are your names?'
'Reginald, sir,' Reginald replied, blushing.
'Ash.' Quigley repeated his alias.
Before speaking, Quigley examined the men before him. Ramsay Norris was a dashing man wearing an expensive purple suit and an ascot, with luscious brown locks carefully arranged into a nice pompadour. For some reason, he wore a gold earring on his left ear. Glenn looked very much like Ramsay, and was also wearing purple, his hair also done like his uncle. Both of them also wore expensive designer shoes with shiny metallic plates that appeared to be silver. Sitting on the bed there was a tall, purple top hat with a black ribbon. Quigley had expected the food critic to be somewhat large, but Ramsay was lean and in shape. Long ago, Quigley had learned to take a good measure of any man he might meet, so that if it should come to a fight, he could fight accordingly.
'You go and inform Valentina that I'm already impressed,' he said to Reginald. 'You, on the other hand, stay for five more minutes. I'd like to ask you something.' Reginald darted out of the room, and Quigley just stood there. Glenn poured the wine in a crystal glass, which Reginald grabbed and took to his lips. 'Would you like some wine?'
'No, sir. I like to keep my wits about me at all times,' Quigley replied. 'Oh, so you don't have a party spirit? That's unusual for someone so young.' Ramsay commented. 'What do you know...about the Casanova family?' Ramsay asked as he moved the glass of wine so that the wine would form a whirlpool. 'I know that they're italian, and they used to own a Casino. That's about it.'
'And what about Valentina Agresta?' Ramsay asked. Quigley grimaced. 'I'm not sure what you want from me, Mr. Norris. I'm fairly new here. Today is actually my first day. And I'll be gone soon, too, Quigley said, and then realized he had said too much, and instinctively covered his mouth. 'You intend to leave here then. Why, if I may ask?'
'Personal reasons. That's all I'm inclined to say,' Quigley replied. He looked at Glenn, standing silently next to the food critic like a statue.
'Does your employer know of your intentions?' Ramsay asked. Quigley sighed. He was beginning to get tired of being interviewed. 'Not yet. Can I go now? I have to help with the party arrangements. I do still work here.'
Ramsay Norris smiled. 'You're an interesting one. I like you. And the correct way to ask is "May I go now?", young man. Didn't your boss tell you to pamper me as much as you can so that I'll give this restaurant a five-star review on my food column?' Quigley said nothing. 'Although, I have to say, I could give this place a five star review and no one would bother to come all the way here. A dump sitting in the middle of nowhere. And I also understand there has been an explosion in a laboratory nearby. Who knows what sort of chemicals could make their way into the underground, poisoning the land and the underground waters, the air. I'm surprised no one here has had symptoms of anything yet.'
'If you are not here to review this place, then why did you come here?' Quigley asked.
Ramsay Norris emptied his wine glass and laid it on the table carefully. He got up, and Quigley realized he was indeed very tall. Ramsay walked towards Quigley, looking him in the eyes. He slouched a bit, and whispered into Quigley's ear.
I don't think Quigley likes being a waiter very much. Just a hunch. Or perhaps it's more that he has a tendency to raise his hackles whenever he encounters yet another cryptic message... or Rose Hawthorne. Ramsay Norris's costume reminds me a little of a stage magician's - particularly his top hat, the perfect size to hide something inside. He's a very striking figure. I can't quite tell if he's very, very nasty or just plain-speaking. Knowing the Quagmires' luck, it'll be the former.
Post by Tiago James Squalor on Jan 25, 2014 19:15:06 GMT -5
'Personal reasons?', Quigley asked. Ramsay Norris was standing very close to him now and that made him uncomfortable. He took a step back. 'Yes. There is someone staying at this restaurant that I hope to meet when the opportunity presents itself. But that's all you need to know. Go, and inform your employer I have already begun the review. Make sure to tell her it's going great,' Ramsay walked away towards the table and poured himself another glass of wine. Quigley walked out of the room. He was too distracted with his encounter with the enigmatic food critic to notice that one of other doors in that particular hallway was open, and that he was being watched by a shadowy figure. Heading towards the elevator, he decided to inform his siblings of the conversation with Ramsay Norris.
'He said that?', Duncan asked when Quigley reunited with him and Isadora. They had sneaked out to the outside area of the restaurant, a courtyard of cobblestones with a nice garden, decorated with lamps and flickering lights. The tables were covered, as the party was supposed to take place in that part of the restaurant, but it was not open. From the outside they could view the interior of the restaurant; some of the customers had already retired to their rooms, others had left, while very few still lingered. It was difficult not to feel sorry for Mayhew and Reginald, who promised they would cover for the Quagmires for a while.
'Yes. He was so creepy. And Glenn, his assistant, was creepier. He didn't say a word, and just stared at me like a zombie,' Quigley said, crossing his arms. 'I don't want to get involved in whatever is going on in this place. I want to leave,' Isadora remarked, and that sparked Quigley's memory. 'Isadora, I have something to show you. Let's sneak back inside, it's in the locker room. I didn't think it would be safe to be caught with it on me,' Quigley had been eager to show Isadora the photo of Nemo, but he hadn't had time. 'Sure, what is it?', she asked. 'Oh, you'll see. It will surely put a smile on your face,' Quigley replied. The three Quagmires sneaked back inside the restaurant, avoiding their coworkers as best as they could.
Inside the locker room, it was cold and damp. There wasn't anyone in sight, and Quigley quickly proceed to his locker. When he opened it, his felt his heart stop. The bundle in which he had wrapped the photo of Nemo Vladimiroff was gone. In it's place, there was a small piece of paper attached to a rose. 'Those two...'
'What happened? What...' And then Isadora saw the rose. 'I have had it with those two, Quigley.'
Quigley read the note out loud. 'Room 240. Come. The three of you. Great. Just what I needed, another pleasant conversation with the Hawthornes.'
'What did you want to show me?', Isadora asked him. Quigley almost could bring himself to say it. 'It was a picture of Nemo. He was in a singlet, next to a bunch of other men in singlets in front of a weird-looking building with a neon sign that said G Y M.'
Isadora quickly grabbed the photograph and turned her back to her brothers. For the first time in an excrutiatingly long ammount of time she was hearing news of Nemo. Back in The Great Unknown, when every and each day could have been their last, Isadora became attached to the young Nemo Vladimiroff, whose parents were her and every volunteer's greatest enemies. None of that mattered now.
'This is our next destination,' She gave the photo back to Quigley,' You should hold onto that for me. If I have it on me I'll end up stealing any moment I have to look at his face,' Isadora explained. Quigley smiled. Isadora, distraught as she was, stood firm and strong, now more than ever. 'Very well. Our next mission is to discover anything we can on this...GYM,' Quigley put the photo back inside his waiter's apron pocket. The Quagmires had only to survive the party, come up with an excuse, and abscond from Roadkill Restaurant with as much provisions as they could steal.
'Let's lay low until the party. If we're going to be on the road during the night, we should have some rest,' Duncan suggested. Isadora and Quigley swiftly agreed, and the Quagmire triplets retreated into the warmer interior of Roadkill Restaurant, unaware of the watchful eyes and ears on the balcony above them. The person in question quickly retreated into their room, unseen, unnoticed, and very satisfied with themselves. They had just discovered an useful piece of information which they had not expected.
When Quigley, Isadora, and Duncan stepped into the restaurant's main salon, they noticed the Casanovas had come down from their quarters, and Valentina was with them, shouting commands at the employees, tending to the decoration for the party. 'No! Who ordered these cream ribbons! They are wrong! I specifically requested custard and pumpkin! It' all wrong! All wrong! Take that down and go find the colors I want! Now!' Valentina smoked more from her holder, and the Quagmires noticed she was wearing a turban. That sent a chill running through their spines. When they were students at Prufrock Prep, Count Olaf, in the guise of a foreign P.E. instructor, wore a turbant as well. They could still remember the Baudelaires running around in circles at night, on the ghostly tracks Olaf had painted for them.
'Oh, you three! Quickly, go switch to the party uniforms! I won't have my staff in their regular attire for our soirée, no no, that won't do at all!' Valentina swished her cigarrette holder, causing the ash from her lit cigarrette to fall on a waitress who was scrubbing the floors. 'Ouch!' The poor woman shrieked when it sizzled on her back. 'Oh I'm sorry, dear, did that hurt? Go put some ointment on that! And be quick about it! The floor isn't shining yet!' Valentina dismissed the woman, who left the salon crying.
'You should watch where you drop your cinders, Miss Valentina. You don't want to burn down your lovely enterprise,' a familiar voice was heard, and the Quagmires noticed Ramsay Norris had materialized behind them. The Quagmires were startled, and that seemed to amuse Norris. 'So skittish, these employees of yours. But at least they are good looking. Hello, Valentina. I have heard wonders of this restaurant's cuisine.' Ramsay grabbed and kissed Valentina's hand, causing the snobbish woman to practically melt on the spot. 'Oh, Mr. Norris, you're such a sweet.'
'And these are the Casanovas, I believe?' Norris turned to the Casanovas, who examined him with watchful eyes.
'My lady, I do not believe I've seen a more beautiful woman than yourself, except maybe for Miss Valentina here,' Norris said to Caterina. That caused Carlotta's face to become red with rage. 'What about me? There have been many who have referred to me as the most beautiful woman in the world!' She boasted. 'Oh, yes, your beauty is legendary, Miss Casanova. But I used the word woman to refer to your beloved sister and your associate. You, you are a goddess!'
That pleased Carlotta enough. Valentina scratched inside her turban with the end of her cigarrette holder, and Caterina rolled her eyes, impervious to the slimy Ramsay Norris. There was tension enough in the air to cut it with a knife. 'I don't think the Casanovas here like Norris very much,' Quigley whispered to Duncan. That caught Valentina's attention. 'What?! You're still here? Why, you! I told you, go change to your party uniforms, without further delay! Everything must be perfect tonight, or else! Go, go, go!'
The Quagmires darted out of that room quickly; the last thing they needed was to attract the tension towards them. They had a lot of preparations to do, as that would be their very last night at Roadkill Restaurant. Still, they should have paid more attention to their surroundings and those who were out and about in the restaurant. That could have saved them a great deal of grief. But, alas, that is not how this story goes, for the Quagmire triplets' troubles were far from over. And trouble, unfortunately for them, had many names.
I'm getting similar vibes to TPP from this book and chapter; there are sinister and suspicious figures everywhere, all with their own agendas, all clashing together. Also, where does Rose get a rose from in the middle of nowhere? Of course, just because a rose was left behind doesn't mean it actually was her. Well, I look forward to reading more.
Germes: I think inviting new people to join us is a good idea.
May 14, 2020 16:28:26 GMT -5
Germes: I think Bee did something similar at some point in the past.
May 14, 2020 16:29:01 GMT -5
Germes: And even earlier, there was a plan to stick 667 flyers in copies of ASOUE in bookshops. At least one person did join us because of that.
May 14, 2020 16:29:51 GMT -5
Sherry Ann: Didn't someone get kicked out of / asked to leave a bookstore for putting 667 bookmarks in ASOUE books?
May 14, 2020 19:25:42 GMT -5
tk: hey i actually did leave 667 bookmarks in ASOUE books in bookshops! man i forgot about that. good times.
May 14, 2020 19:38:03 GMT -5
Jean Lúcio: If there was a flow capacitor, I would sign up here long before ... That must have been incredible.
May 14, 2020 21:06:05 GMT -5
Terry Craig: holy salsa, tk, you legend. I've never heard of the flyers thing as part of 667 history.
May 15, 2020 15:33:18 GMT -5
tk: lol i myself forgot about it, it's been so long -- must've done that when i first joined around 2009/2010
May 16, 2020 11:34:49 GMT -5
Stay-at-homet: Just updated my profile to express my hopes that everyone stays home and safe. I tried to give my avatar a mask, but it ended up looking more like Patrick from Spongebob in overalls.
May 17, 2020 8:08:16 GMT -5
Jean Lúcio: It was great for me. I also put a mask on my Avatar.
May 17, 2020 13:16:31 GMT -5