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Whispers of Morg City
Chapter 1: "The Reporter"
Unknown Apartment Complex, California, USA
A young man in his late 20s sat in the dimly-lit apartment, smoking his cigarette and begrudging the letter before him from the local paper. They had denied his story again, just as they had every other week. By all accounts, this youthful reporter with thick black hair should have given up by now. This is the closest he has ever been to abandoning his goals in his short, miserable life. That all changed with one call that rainy night.
As the phone rang, the young reporter scrambled to take the call with the prospect of any type of work. The voice that greeted him on the other end was that of a spry, older man, possibly in his late 40s.
“Good evening. I am a retired entrepreneur looking for someone who can get me answers. If this is the aspiring reporter I believe it is, then I believe you are perfect for this task.”
“Look, I don't know what people have told you, but I'm not a detective. I just write stories for any paper that'll accept 'em, sir.”
“Ah, why do you sell yourself so short, son? I know who you are. I know you've got what it takes to best even the most experienced reporters at their craft. You will do anything to get the story.”
“Not sure how you'd get that idea. None of my work has been published in these lousy papers 'round here.”
“I have connections that find people with a certain...potential. Potential that most news organizations cannot see.”
“So what's this job you want to send me on? Hm? How's the pay?”
“I can assure you that you will be paid most handsomely for your work. There are four individuals that I need information on in Morg City, my place of residence.”
“Morg City? Where the hell's that?”
“Oh, this will be your first time in Morg City? Well, lucky you. The night life is a must-see for someone at your age. The city is just ten miles south of your apartments.”
“Look I ain't leaving home to go snooping around some backwater town without the payment up front.”
“Rest easy, friend. You will be paid eight thousand up front, and two thousand for finding information on each of my four...friends. I am also keen on a certain...collectible item found in the Pacific-”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, I am not an errand boy. I'm just looking for these people you want, nothing else.”
“Apologies, I did not mean to imply that you should take on such a task. I simply wished to know if you had connections with someone who could acquire this antique for me.”
“Well, I know a guy down by the docks lookin' for work. He may be able to help. But you're paying him, I ain't splitting my pay.”
“Of course. I will have the details, and your up-front payment sent to you immediately.
“Mighty generous, sir. What can I call you?”
“Call me Mr. Rapt. And one more thing.”
“Name it sir, but it may cost you.”
“Of course. I have a vested interest in a former officer by the name of Stanley Ferguson. He once worked on Alcatraz Island, and is now living a homely life in San Francisco. I just need a simple interview of his past working on the island. Nothing more, nothing less.”
“And what do I ask him exactly?”
“Oh, just ask for his best stories. I'm sure he'll have something we can work with.”
“And the pay?”
“Two thousand for Ferguson, two thousand per friend in Morg City, eight thousand coming to your door-step now...and I'll add a five hundred finder's fee for your friend down at the docks.”
“You sure know how to pitch a job, Mr. Rapt. We'll keep in touch.”