Vic "the Dick" Conleigh

Outsider looking for his friend's killer

Description:

Virtue: Patient (Vic can analyze a puzzle or crime scene with absolute focus, taking the utmost care to find all the clues)
Vice: Hasty (But does not deal well with people in high stress situations, especially if they are recalcitrant or belligerent, and his temper can get the best of him)
Mental Attributes: Intelligence ••, Wits •••, Resolve •••
Physical Attributes: Strength ••, Dexterity •••, Stamina ••
Social Attributes: Presence •••, Manipulation ••, Composure •
Mental Skills: Academics •, Computer ••, Investigation* (Crime Scenes) •••, Politics •
Physical Skills: Athletics ••, Brawl •••, Drive ••, Firearms (Pistols) •••, Larceny (Lock-picking) ••, Stealth* (Shadowing) ••
Social Skills: Empathy* (Motives) ••, Intimidation ••, Streetwise •
Merits: Area of Expertise (Crime Scenes), Boot Party, Clinch Strike, Close Quarters Combat ••, Contacts (Police, Dulac Family), Danger Sense, Detective Training •••, Mentor (Morgan Dulac) ••, Quick Draw (Pistols), Status (GCS) •, Tolerance for Biology, Trained Observer •
Health: 7
Willpower: 4
Integrity: 7
Size: 5
Speed: 10
Defense: 3
Initiative: 4

*Modified by the Professional Training Merit

Long Term Aspiration: Find out what really happened to Remy

Breaking Points:
• Dead Children
Vic’s childhood was rough, and the death of a child would wear on him, bringing back his own failure.
• Going too far
Vic has a temper, and while willing to use force to get the information he needs, he would be mortified if he ever killed a captive or innocent.
• Mutilation
Vic has seen some shit, but that don’t make it any easier when things get particularly grisly.
• Seeing someone being eaten
Acts of cannibalism tend to cause flashbacks to the case that ended Vic’s tenure with the police.
• Feeling Helpless
Vic’s trauma over his molestation is buried deep, but could easily resurface if provoked.

Bio:

Who the Hell am I? That answer starts 30 years ago in a shithole tenement in the Bronx. My deadbeat Irish drunk of a father gets just dumb enough to decide it’s a great fucking idea to knock up his junkie American girlfriend and have himself another little punching bag around the rathole. How the Hell my Mom ever stayed off the needle long enough to have a healthy, hearty baby boy is beyond me. Matter of fact, how the Hell Dad kept from beating her into a miscarriage for nine months is even more of a shocker.

In any case, there I was, Victor Vincent Conleigh, a kicking, screaming mouth to feed in a home that barely put food on the table on a good day, one parent drunk up to his eyeballs on cheap whisky, the other shot up to her eyeballs on cheap heroine. I’m amazed I made it past the first month, let alone learned how to walk and talk. I have the guinea neighbor, Mrs. Scaletta, to thank for that. When Dad left for work at the factory, or the dock, or the slaughterhouse or wherever the fuck he happened to find work that day, Mom shoved me off on Mrs. Scaletta. My earliest memory of her is of a kindly, wrinkled old face, hard as nails but with a loving heart and smelling of cat piss from the dozens of old strays she took in. I loved those fucking cats like brothers, and I spent many a night wrapped up in a blanket of purring furballs when the sound of fists on flesh kept me out of my own apartment.

I learned early on to keep my mouth shut around Dad and hope he didn’t notice me. Mom pretty much stuck to her room and kept the needle ready ‘round-the-clock. When she did come out, she also avoided Dad. She wasn’t nearly as good at it as I was, and when she was up and around she walked around with new purple bruises forming over top of the old yellow ones. School was a welcome reprieve for me. It kept me out of the house on those days when Dad decided it was more worthwhile to stay home and exercise his frustrations. I kept to myself mostly in school, just happy to be out of the house, but I did start to realize that life existed outside the Hellhole of my parents’ apartment. Hell, the moment I learned about extra-curricular activities I signed up for every damned one I could.

I was twelve when I realized that just when you think life is starting to turn around, it has a way of flushing you back down the shitter. Dad had suffered a cardiac early in the year, and had pretty much relegated himself to sulking in that fucking armchair of his with a cheap beer and fifty-cent stogie, watching whatever shit he could get to tune in on our old, beat-up Zenith. Mom had actually started coming down off the H, and was starting to cook up some meals that Mrs. Scaletta had taught her. Turns out Mom had a knack for Italian cooking, and I was eating better than I had in my life, and wasn’t so goddamned scared to walk in my own fucking door at night.

Until the June night, on my way back from late-night “study” at school. Study actually consisted of me and a few of my pals hiding ‘round back of the school gym with a few beers and some packs of Camels that Jimmy Letner boosted off his Dad’s work coveralls. We’d shoot the shit and pound each other ’round a bit, just killing time ’til our old mans would be either passed out or ready to hit the hay.

As I’m walking home I pass this alley, and this nasty, greasy, ham of a hand clamps down on my mouth, and this lecherous old bastard pulls me into the alley, tearing at my pants. Tells me he’s going to fuck me, then kill me, and to squirm all I want because no one’s going to help me. The nasty bastard starts in on me, and I’ve never felt that helpless in my life. Just when I figure he’s about done, and I’m just about ready to let him kill me and be done with it, he’s suddenly off me and up against the alley wall, and this big, square-jawed guy in a tan trencher has him by the throat, and knees him square in his exposed balls. As the old guy goes down, the man in the trencher socks him one in the temple and the bastard goes out like a light, and Trencher Man’s got him cuffed in a heartbeat.

So there I am, lying on the alley floor amid the trash and guttershite, my pants around my ankles, too fucking scared to squeak, and Trencher Man kneels down and picks me up gently, pulling my pants up and setting me straight. He says he’s Detective Wendell Dewmer (found out later the street toughs called him “Detective Doom”), and I’m safe now. He’s been looking for this creep for over a year, and he calls for backup to take him in. Far as I’m concerned, Wendell was Gabriel himself, and I knew then what I was going to do with my life.

I don’t think I ever had a better friend or mentor than Wendell. Over the next few weeks, nightmares of that incident haunted me. Everyone urged me to go into therapy, but there was no way my parents could foot the bill. It was Wendell who pulled me out of it. Took some time off from work, nursed me back to sanity. He has this huge library of old detective novels. Spillane, MacDonald, Parker. He got me hooked, gave me a fascination with his art. He coached me, taught me how to dissect a scene. Showed me the pieces of the puzzle and how they fit together. “The best part,” he always told me, “is when a piece is missing. When the puzzle doesn’t quite fit. Look for that spot, because that’s where the asshole fucked up, and that’s where you’ve got him.”

Needless to say, after I finished out high school I continued on to law enforcement, following in my mentor’s footsteps. Studied the basics at a local community college. Wendell helped put in for some financial aid (God dammit, I owe that man). Soon as I turned 21, I joined the force. 18 weeks of basic, and I’m a beat cop in Brooklyn.

It was around that time I met Remy Dulac. The department was doing a lot of cross-training with the military due to the high rise in crime, particularly the trade in high-powered guns. Remy was able to pull some stateside duty training our department on small-unit tactics. He and I hit it off immediately, and most nights he and I would hit the town after work and show Brooklyn what a pair of young hotshots were made of. Behind Wendell, it’s safe to say that Remy was my best friend. Only one I’d ever had until then. He got shipped out of state a few years later, but we kept in loose contact.

Over the next few years, I shot up through the ranks, thanks mostly to Wendell’s coaching. I made detective at 26. Youngest person in the department’s history. Wendell himself took a round to the chest during a bust that same year. Poor bastard. Left me all his Spillanes in his will. They were always my favorites.

Two years after I made detective, I quit the force. It happened during a particularly grisly case. Some asshole was going around mutilating folks. Looked like someone had taken a chainsaw to their necks. I followed Wendell’s teachings, looked for the holes, and found the pattern. Tracked the bastard down, but I was too late. When I entered the alley, he was already bent over his victim, and I realized that the guy wasn’t just mutilating his victims…he was eating them. I just about lost my lunch then and there, but I couldn’t lose the chance, couldn’t let him get away. I drew my piece and yelled at the fucker to freeze. His head snapped up and I fired, put one solid shot between his eyes. His teenaged eyes. I hadn’t caught the killer…I had fucked up and shot some poor kid crying into his dead Dad’s rent neck. Poor kid was covered in his Dad’s fresh blood. He had to have seen the whole thing. My first witness, and I put a bullet in him. Some kid waiting for his Gabriel, his Wendell, and I failed him.

I was pretty torn up about it. The department wasn’t happy about the situation, but they decided the stress of the case, the shock of the scene and the darkness of the alley had led to my “unfortunate decision”. They were going to give me a leave of absence to regain my composure, but I decided enough was enough. I called it quits.

I took my detective status and opened up my own little shop. Consultations, missing persons, lighter fare than I was used to, sure, but that kid just kept haunting me. I keep seeing it in my nightmares, the red. Except when I dream about it, I don’t see the red of the blood, I see the red of his eyes, and the points of his teeth. The ramblings of a guilty conscience, I guess.

Things have been going that way for a while now, but a few weeks back I got a blast from my past. A text from Remy comes in, and it just says “Vinnie, it’s Remy. need your help”. No address, no details, the number’s not even listed. But Remy’s the only one who ever called me Vinnie. I got no response when I replied, and I called in a few favors at the department. The text traced back to New Calais, Louisiana, and a helpful sergeant there, an older desk jockey named Eddie O’Shea, confirmed that Remy had been living there recently. I finally got a number for him there, but I got no answer. A few days later I got a call from the Dulac family. Remy had introduced me to one of the family solicitors, Morgan Dulac, and the guy knew I was good friends with Remy. He was sorry to inform me that Remy had been murdered. I asked when the funeral was and the guy said not to bother, that there was no body to bury. I asked if the investigators were still searching, that if there was no body how could they be sure he had been murdered? The more I questioned, the more the holes began to turn up.

After the call, I spent the next few hours looking at the text from Remy: “need your help”. I finally realized I had made up my mind a long time ago. Remy had got himself into some serious shit, had seen something he shouldn’t. Now he was missing, either dead or captive somewhere. I had failed that kid two years before, I wouldn’t fail my friend. I took what little cash I had, packed up my gear, and booked the next flight to Louisiana. One way or another, I would find out what had happened to my friend. I would find the holes. I would find the truth.

Vic "the Dick" Conleigh

Southern Gothic Ariathen