Friday, November 25, 2011

H:tV Bowen's first journal entry 10/10/56

            My own allies are something of a mess as well. Consider who is writing this journal and you’ll understand just how thick the pudding is. I’ve already mentioned the Doc, and yeah, he’s great. Really swell. Picked me up, dusted me off, and saved me from some flop-house knife fight. I can stay in the Free University, continue my research and so forth so long as I help him out. Usually, not a problem, but the old boy seems to have a few lights off in his attic. When it comes to the . . . occult, for lack of a better word, he’s sword-sharp. But society in general, not so much.
            I really like to French guy, Pips. He seems to live up to the stereotype of freedom loving Resistance fighter, both the good and the bad. There’s a kind of dark romance to him of cigarettes and wine and beautiful women loved, lost but never forgotten. The other problem is that, like any Resistance member, he’s inquisitive, but not forthcoming. He asks A LOT of questions, but doesn’t give anything back. Nothing. He’s always asking us to go have a smoke with him, which seems to be French for “give you the third degree.” I don’t mind smoking his cigs, but it does get annoying. You’d think the Russian, as a detective, would ask all the questions, and the Frenchman would tell all the stories! He has little fear, but sometimes I wonder if the war didn’t rattle his noggin’ like the Doc’s?! This weekend, without telling anyone, he went over to the French Sector, apparently to question some street bums, and ended up getting bum-rolled himself! He’s lucky they didn’t kill him, and even more lucky that he didn’t do anything that would lead the police to start looking at our little group!
            Our group. That’s a gas and a tickle. The Doc pulled us together, but I wonder half the time if anyone even thinks of us AS a group except him. I don’t. I remember him telling us all that we have a primary goal and a primary means. The goal is to investigate the strange, the weird, the occult, but to do that we have to stay focused on the MEANS, making connections and running “goods” and “services” across the various sectors. Whiskey to the Russians, Vodka to the Americans, cigarettes to everyone.
            The Russian is the worst in this regard. Adrev, or Andray, or something. You can barely understand him half the time with his accent from “Muddah Russia”. I really, really like having him at my back, or my front. Wherever the bullets and the blood are, I want him standing between me and it. But he’s dismissive of everyone else in the group if they don’t help his immediate concerns. If you weren’t in the war, or in the war the way he was, then you have even less worth. Yeah, he’s big, and tough, and capable, but for all that he’s far too single-minded. He can’t seem to remember that there is a lot going on, and we should really be working together, or at least not whipping out our dicks at every intersection to see how they measure up. Does he really think we can run this operation on a detective’s salary? A professor’s salary? The pocket change we find in couch cushions?
            Last week, he got called in on a “strange” murder. Some bum skinned in an alley. Lost his eyes too. Gruesome business. Grisly. Disturbing. But the RUSSIAN. He’s there to investigate. ORDERED to investigate, but he can’t get anyone past the other Russian police except the Doc, leaving the rest of us to cool our heels. It worked out, because I made a contact with a Russian tobacconist willing to pay, and pay pretty, along with some good Vodka, for some American cigs. Then the big Russian comes stomping in like an idiot and nearly blows the deal.
            We need the money. NEED it. Not just one shot of funding, but a regular income, more than we could get legally. This could be the start we need, and that big bastard is all, “Vot eez das? Get in cah, kid.” I don’t tell him how to do police work. Does he even think before he cracks that square jaw?
            I guess we’ll see how things go from here. Right now, I have other concerns. I have to deliver on the cigs which means finding an American to either buy or steal from. If I can buy at a bulk discounter, maybe I can make a deal with the Vodka, but that would mean something on credit. I’m too new to all this, and our “petty cash” seems more like “petty change”. I have to keep away from all the eyes. I know they’re there, and they aren’t some drug-induced paranoia.
           I hope that everything comes together, instead of crashing down on our          heads. There are eyes watching us, and I’m not talking about the occupation forces. Something sinister is going on in Berlin. Something bigger than just the powder-keg politics of this place. If either of these go up, we might get caught in the explosion, and then everyone is going home. In a body bag.

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