"Five!" cried the crowd, the bar roaring with life, "Four! Three!"
Arnett smiled, his arm around a beautiful blonde he had met that evening, her arms in the air as she cheered. Arnett found himself in a small pub in Gearford, awaiting the unloading of his cargo from the Scorpios II.
"TWO!" yelled the crowd.
The blonde turned around and wrapped her arms around his neck. Her brown eyes digging into him. He couldn't help but smiled. She mouthed the word "One" as the room erupted. As the horns and the drinks began to raise, Arnett found himself being kissed. He closed his eyes. This was nice.
"Happy New Year!" cried the pub dwellers. They began to cheer and toast glasses.
The girl pulled herself off of Arnett, and she twirled her hand through his hair.
"Happy new year, Mister '93'," she said, "and what a delightful evening escort you have been."
"Indeed, I am delightful, aren't I?" said Arnett, "However, it is now the new Year, and I am late for an appointment."
"Oh? What kind of appointment?" she asked.
"My ship," said Arnett, "Which is currently being unloaded of the last shipment of '92 needs to be loaded for the first of '93. Who knows what the future may hold?"
"I do," she said, winking, "I think I'm ready for a little shipment of my own. How much payment would require your time, Lieutenant?"
"Oh, too much, I'm afraid," said Arnett, "Besides, I haven't even caught your real name."
"Oh, name's ruin the experience," said the girl, "I'm just miss '93 to you."
"Oh, I stopped counting them around fifteen," smiled Arnett, "You'd be surprised how many girls don't appreciate being numbers after... well, one. Besides, I think you do me a credit suggesting 93. That's half of Araz, at that rate."
"Oh, I do declare you are a funny one," she said, putting on a royal accent and straitening her back, "But I am most serious, sir. You've escorted me so far. What if something happens on my way home? What would the bobbies think of a lone girl being unescorted?"
"Again, I wouldn't feel right charging you to have me escort you, '93'. Besides, I really should get going," said Arnett.
"Look, when I am done with you, you can go do whatever. You'll be just another guy come mornin'. However, All I want is Mister 93 and he is a Lieutenant no doubt," said the blonde, putting her hands on her hips, "Now I am in need of an escort, and there are some things I'm gonna need out of a man such as yourself. So you WILL consider taking me to my chambers."
"Oh?" said Arnett, finishing the last of his drink, "I don't think I have the time for a relationship, girl, nor do I have time to learn your name. A couple years ago, you would have had me by now."
"It's not a couple years ago," smiled the girl, "And I have no intention to see you after tonight, clear?"
Arnett's eyebrows raised, "You are mighty persuasive, aren't you?"
"Do you want it in writing, Lieutenant?" said the girl, "I won't even need the Landship. You'll do fine for my riding needs."
Arnett looked at his pocket watch, and shook his head, "Well I'll be. I think you might just have yourself a deal. This will be the best job of the year, I think."
"Now," she said, leaning closer, "About that ride home..."
Kent Nicholas was knelt over the body of a middle aged man outside of the St Bransworth Pub. Detective Barnaby Stempleton stood beside him, his pocket watch ticking in his hand.
"Almost," said Stempleton.
One of the Bobbies grumbled under his breath, watching his Kent examined the body.
"So, Why are we doing this?" said Stempleton.
"Something doesn't add up," said Kent, looking around at the other storefronts, "You said the Bobbies checked the surrounding areas? The Alleys?"
"Yes, Sir," said the grumpy Bobby, his hands inside his pockets, "We double checked too."
Kent got up and looked around, he began examining the window sill flowers and looked around the area.
"Look, Kent," said Stempleton, "All we asked was you to find the other glove. We already got his partner."
"Where did you say you got him, again?" asked Kent, looking around, ducking into one of the Alleyways.
Stempleton sighed before smiling, "Four blocks down, waiting for a Cab. Ten. Nine. He had a knife on him and a bloody rag. Drunk as a bloody Demon, mate. Witnesses said they were arguing in the pub. I don't understand the question. All I wanted was his other glove so that we could directly connect him to the scene, Nicholas. This is a pretty, nice case. Last one of the year!"
"Yes, but you missed something," said Kent, making his way around the other side of the building, and he exclaimed out in excitement, "Ah-ha! What did the witnesses say they were fighting about?"
"I... don't know," laughed Stempleton, "Two. One. Zero. Alright, happy new year, lads! It's not 1892. Congrats."
"Why are we bloody here!" said the bobby through clenched teeth, "Thirteen officers called away from their families for a case we already have the murder two and wait around half the night for some Bowler hatted twat to show up and double check?"
"Hey," said Stempleton, "Watch it, mate. That twat's double checks always reveal some of the most wild and helpful things."
"Focus, Barnaby," yelled Kent, "The Witnesses!"
Stempleton shook his head and flipped through his notes again, "Uhh.... reports about money... oh! I guess the argument was about an old friend entering town. One of their war buddies."
"I see, so why would they be arguing about that?" stated Kent, his voice coming from the alleyway.
"I don't know," mumbled Stempleton, shuffling through his notes, "Oh, the Bartender said something about them being scared. Like it wasn't so much an argument as it was a heated discussion."
"Not very good note taking, Barnaby," yelled Kent, his voice trailing to the street, "The Bartender said they looked scared, they were arguing about calling the police."
"What?" said Stempleton, walking over to the alleyway and looking.
Kent was nowhere to be seen, and Stempleton shook his head, looking around.
Suddenly, he heard a sound from above. Looking up, Stempleton could see that Kent had clambered up the ladder on the edge of the building and was currently walking around on the roof.
"I talked to him while you went to the bathroom," said Kent, "It wasn't an argument. Why would two friends kill one another because a friend was coming back in town?"
"He had the knife."
"He had a knife, Barnaby," said Kent, who straightened up and pointed, "Ah-HA!"
Kent made his way to the front of the building and leaned down. Reaching into the gutter, he picked up an object and threw it down onto the pavement. The grumpy Bobbie and Stempleton jumped back to avoid being hit by it.
"A knife, Barnraby," said Kent, smiling, "However, that is THE murder weapon. That is how he was killed."
Stempleton smiled, and leaned down, looking over the knife on the ground. It had dried blood on it.
"So, why on Earth is he our killer again, Barnaby?" said Kent, "He stumbled out, drunk, and went down the road and waited for a cab. His friend stumbled out after him and WAM! Got hit. I think we should question a slobbered up suspect in the morning. I have a feeling the topic of their conversation is what killed this man this night!"
"Damn this Nicholas guy," mumbled the Bobbie.
"So the case is not closed," smiled Barnaby, "Brilliant! And what of the actual killer?"
"What of him?" said Kent, shrugging, "He tosses the knife up here and takes down the alley, unseen by a passerby. He could be anywhere. Something tells me they saw this coming, however. A quick conversation and I am sure you'll have your man."
Barnaby shook his head, "Indeed, Mr. Nicholas. Happy New Year!"
"Happy new year, Barnaby," smiled Kent crossing his arms, "Nothing is going to bring us down this year."