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|Number of chapters:||17|
|Original run:||2nd - 26th September 2012|
Veronaville Troubles is a detective fanon written by AsherÉire. It stars Tank Grunt as he solves one of the biggest cases in the rural, generally crime-free Veronaville. To avoid confusion, this fanon is canon with A Pleasant Story, more specifically, the final chapter.
It had been a busy week, and Tank Grunt entered the café. He saw his friend, Juliette Capp, sat down, reading a newspaper. A steaming cup of coffee sat beside her. Tank took the seat opposite her. Juliette looked up. "Hey Tank- what happened to your face?"
Tank had recently solved one of SimNation's most confusing cases, and had been in a little scrap. "It's a long story." He noticed the newspaper in her hands. "Any big news?" he asked.
"Yeah, a fifteen-year-old boy boy got shot in downtown Pleasantview. He died in hospital about an hour later. And everyone else thought he was going to be OK."
Tank ran a hand through his thicker hair. He had let it grow a bit from that stupid crew cut his dad made him have. "I heard about that." he said. "Wasn't he trying to protect someone?"
"Yeah..." Juliette quickly scanned the article for a name. "He was trying to save... Johnny and Rachel Smith from Strangetown."
Tank sighed. "Johnny... I haven't heard from him in years."
"You knew him?" she asked.
"Yeah... I used to beat him up. I apologised before moving to Pleasantview, so I guess we were friends. Technically he's my brother's best friend."
A woman came over and took Tank's order. "So," Juliette said "what happened to you? You look like you've been caught up in a zombie apocalypse or something."
Tank smiled. "Well, you know that boy who was poisoned in his own home?"
"Yeah... Romeo told me all about it- before he left."
It was a quiet night, and Josh couldn't sleep. He had a bad feeling about tonight. His best friend had died the week before. Poisoning, apparently. The police had been put on red alert for a potential serial killer.
Josh felt parched. He decided to go downstairs to get a drink in an attempt to calm his nerves down. He picked up a glass from the draining board and turned on the tap. He filled the glass to the brim before turning off the tap and setting it down on the side. He took a small sip before putting the glass down. He wandered into the living room and flipped open the lid of his laptop.
No important social updates. He switched it off and went back to the kitchen. He picked up the glass and decided to down its contents. Halfway through his drink, he noticed the water had a funny taste to it. He poured the remaining water down the sink and made a mental note to tell his dad that there was something up with the plumbing again.
As Josh was nearing the stairs, his head started spinning. He collapsed.
The killer quietly snuck up and checked the boy's pulse. Nothing. He got up and left without a trace. At least, that's what he thought.
He had left behind one incriminating piece of evidence. By the time he had realised his mistake, he knew it was too late to go back.
"Yeah, poor kid." Juliette said. "No one deserves to die like that."
"Uh-huh..." Tank murmured, his mind obviously elsewhere. "Well, that murder confirmed we were after a serial killer and that this wasn't a coincidence. I was told to go and check out the scene to see what I could find."
"And did you find anything?" Juliette asked hopefully.
Tank grinned. "Sure I did. It was some vital evidence, and the killer was stupid enough to leave it behind."
"Stop with this the killer business! Are you going to tell me who it was or not?"
Tank shot her a look. A look that said "no".
She shifted uncomfortably. "Oh... OK. Go ahead." Tank quietly chewed on a nail before continuing.
When Tank received that phone call to go check out the scene was a stroke of luck. He was starting to have doubts about moving to Veronaville. He was broke, and getting desperate. He was even considering questioning the grass to find out why the bucket had been killed with a shovel, or some other random case.
He got out of his car and walked up to the front door. He pulled on some latex gloves before stepping inside. The interior looked inviting, like a normal family home. It had the family environment Tank had never grown up with.
He had a little search around, but he didn't find anything particularly interesting. Except in the bin... a small bin was tucked away in the corner. Tank peered in. Nothing special... except a small torn sachet...
Tank reached in and pulled the small packet out of the bin. It was a sachet of some kind of garden poison. The sachet looked normal. What bugged Tank was the fact it was in the kitchen. Poison near edible goods, that's just dangerous.
Tank strode out of the kitchen and back in the hallway. He thought briefly to when he was a boy and the time he was messing around with Ripp. He had thrown a ball at him. It missed and had completely vanished from sight. A year later, Tank had a sudden idea to look under the sofa, and he found it.
Near where the boy had died, was a chest of drawers with keys and photos on top. He quickly scanned the top before looking through each drawer. Nothing.
He then peered under the table. And there was the thing he was looking for. It was a large wallet with a large number of stolen credit cards inside.Tank pocketed his find and left.
He had a lot of work to do.
All Tank had done that evening was sit at his desk and make call after call to see which cards were geniunely stolen or not. He had little hope that this killer was as crafty as everyone thought he was. Who would put a sachet of garden poison in the kitchen bin? Surely it would have been wiser to pocket the ripped paper.
Tank was on the brink of falling asleep. He would check one more card before resigning for the day. He pulled out one with the name of Mr G. Jane stamped across it. Tank read out the number and the name for the man on the phone.
"Nope, that one's not stolen. I think you've found him Mr. Grunt."
"I sure hope so. Say, are there any records of his employment by any chance?"
A pause. The man spoke again. "Yeah, he works in the local garden centre."
"Right, well, thank you for you time then." He was heading there tomorrow.
One look at the place and Tank had concluded that the garden centre was a dump. He strolled through the front entrance, deciding not to linger in case the whole lot collapsed on him. He went up to a nervous-looking man with olive skin and thick glasses.
"Hi there. I was wondering if you had this brand of garden poison for slugs and stuff." Tank said as he produced the torn packet.
"Erm..." he quickly scanned the store. He looked confused, like he was a new employee. "It's over there, I think." he pointed to the far corner. Why would the killer use this stuff? Wouldn't it be better to use arsenic or something else rather than this cheap and nasty stuff?
G. Jane... that guy's name tag said "Graham"... Graham Jane?
Tank didn't like this one bit. It was question time.
Tank turned on his heel and went back to the young man. "Say, do you know a G. Jane here?" he asked, watching his body language carefully.
"Yeah... Gary, he's not in today." Graham replied.
"Right, it's just there was a recent murder, and we might be after a serial killer. This brand of poison," he held up the torn paper. "was found at the scene, as well as a wallet filled with stolen credit cards. Only one card was not reported as stolen and it belonged to a G. Jane. You see, he works here, and all you can say is a potential murderer is not in?" Tank was on the brink of shouting.
"Look, I didn't know that Gr-" he cleared his throat briefly "Gary was in trouble, OK?" he took a step back, not wanting to get hurt.
Tank shot him a funny look, and left briskly.
He was going to need some help.
Tank had contacted the help of bright-spark Benedick Monty.
"Come to think of it," Benedick said quickly, "that guy may have been lying. If had actually checked, there's only one person with a name that begins with G who works in that place."
Tank groaned quietly. "So I had the guy, and I lost him?"
"I don't see what the big deal is, Veronaville's a quiet place. Everyone knows everyone." Benedick pointed out.
"That's the problem- you can easily get the trust of anyone here." Tank retorted. He was losing his patience. He took a deep breath and asked, "How many people have left Veronaville over the past 20 years?"
Benedick thought briefly. "Well, a family moved back in 2012 or 2013... you know, Mona Hillson, the pop singer?"
Tank grinned. He knew Mona pretty well. "Well, to put it simply... my brother's wife's brother's best friend's wife is Mona."
"Er... what?" Benedick asked with a huge look of confusion on his face.
"Um, never mind." Tank's phone went off, and what he read was...
It said: "Boo!"
It was from Ripp. Tank was tempted to throw his phone across the room. "He's such an idiot..." Tank murmured angrily. "He made me lose my focus..."
Benedick piped up, "Well, this whole "G.Jane" business could be an alias... or a fake herring..." he drifted off and gazed at the table, looking very tired.
"So it could even be someone we know?" Tank slurred. He was too tired to think straight, let alone say something intelligible.
Benedick was calmly chatting with his cousin, Romeo, on the phone.
"Look, Romeo, I'm sorry I missed the wedding, I've got a lot going on right now."
"Don't worry Ben, you didn't miss much."
Benedick wasn't sure what he meant by that. "What do you mean "I didn't miss much"? he demanded.
Tank cursed from the next room before bursting in. "Great! That pig Romeo left Juliette at the altar!"
Benedick swore at Romeo before hanging up. "I hate him so much now..." Ben uttered. "... he's just reignited the Monty-Capp feud... idiot. I always knew he would be the drop out of the family. He does some odd jobs and such."
Then that little lightbulb in Tank's head lit up.
"I've got it!" he announced.
"Ugh," Juliette groaned. "You had to bring that up didn't you?" Tank noticed she was gently clasping her left ring finger, where her beloved engagement ring had been for the past 3 months. It was gone now.
"Oops... sorry..." Tank said sheepishly as he put his hand in his pockets. He knew he has lost his train of thought. How would he continue?
"The following day, I visited you, as you remember. And then it hit me- the two victims had been Capps. So it was going to have to be one of the old members of the Monty family, but one who wasn't in the spotlight during the years."
"That could have been anyone... you could have been working with him the whole time..." she shot a glare at Tank.
"Ben? No, he never understood the feud growing up."
Tank had a lot on his mind. This was not going well at all. He had one lead- a member of the Monty family... but which one? There were quite a few members, and Monty was a frequently recurring name in Veronaville. The Capps and the Montys were the two main families in Veronville. This was going to be hard.
He tried searching through old records of missing people. No Montys.
But then recent circumstances occurred to him. He got up and went into the kitchen for a cup of coffee.
He knew what to do.
Romeo had gotten into a lot of trouble for leaving poor Juliette behind. A lot of trouble. This trouble had reignited the traditional Capp-Monty feud that had been raging for centuries. Romeo and Juliette getting together made the family settle their differences for the happiness of their young heirs.
Well, that didn't happen now, did it?
Benedick had called both families together to settle this spat, and Tank had been invited along. This was his move....
Both families had gathered in the town hall. The anger in the air made Tank feel uneasy. These families really hated each other again.
Tank cleared his throat before speaking. "Good morning, everyone. We've gathered here to sort out a big mess." He shot a dirty look in Romeo's direction. "Aside from this small family feud, I'm also here to catch a serial killer. It's been suspected that the killer is from the Monty family. Whether he or she is present or not is something I don't know." he scanned the audience.
"Yes, they are."
It went deadly silent for a minute. Tank could hear his blood pounding through his ears. Before anyone could react, a member of the Capp family stood up and demanded to know who the murderer was. Tank felt a bead of sweat run down his face. How would he continue this?
"Uh... well..." Tank's mouth flapped uselessly. He was speechless. He hadn't planned this far.
A member of the Monty family rose. It was Romeo.
"You know what I've noticed?" he asked. "I had one of the best things in the world and I took her for granted."
He turned to the Capp family. "Juliette... I've been thinking... maybe we could start again?"
Tybalt rose from his seat. "You don't speak to her!" he yelled. Juliette was close to tears and bit her lip to stop herself from crying. The faint taste of blood hit her tongue.
"No." she quietly whispered before hastily standing up and leaving the town hall in silence.
Well, this was going better than planned. Tank had expected both of the families in a full-on brawl by now. Tank knew which card to play next.
"Could the Capp family please leave?" he asked politely. With some reluctance, the family complied. As the last member disappeared behind the door, Tank stepped off the podium.
"So this is it." he said, trying hard not to give it away. "I've got you." The Montys exchanged nervous looks, being sure not to trust each other completely.
"It all started very simply. A young Capp died in his home. Then another Capp dies in his home. This showed we were after a serial killer.
"It occured to me that the two victims were Capps when a certain individual..." he shot another dirty look at Romeo. "...decided to leave his fiancé behind, that this killer could only be a Monty. Now, it would have made sense to have stopped working with Benedick, because he is a Monty, just like you guys.
"Of course, this feud had been raging for centuries and died off a year or two ago. Now, the only person who would target the new generation of Capps had to be from the old generation of Montys. Benedick and his sister never understood the feud growing up, so why would they be interested in ingniting it?"
Tank scanned the audience. They were hooked, eager to find out who was the psycho of the family.
"I would say the killer is here, but I can't." Tank said.
"They're both here. We have rock-solid proof on the first one, with DNA evidence, all that good stuff. One was pretty smart, but the other one, just gave it away in on big go.
"The killer of Josh Capp gave it all away. The Modus Operandi of both murderers was different. The first one, was pretty good, but the DNA testing gave it away. The second killer, well, sheer carelessness messed it up for his partner."
Tank caught one member giving a sharp look at the another. He wiped his brow before going further.
"The first killer was Mercutio Monty."
Mercutio bowed his head in resignation. The forensics gave it all away. There was no point in fighting back and denying rock-solid proof.
"The second killer, well, his selfishness gave it away, y'know, leaving people behind. And I saw you before, at a garden centre with your "odd jobs".
Tank stopped talking and watched the sparkle in Juliette's eyes fade. She was heart-broken.
"So you're telling me Romeo left me because of this sick game of his?" she quietly whispered, trying hard not to let her voice crack. She was clasping her left ring finger again. She had loved Romeo so much. What Romeo did was the worst way to call off an engagement. It was awful. Tank thought of the possibility of Ripp leaving Lee behind after all those years. It was a sickening thought.
"What did he do next?" Juliette uttered, a small tear running down her face.
Tank knew he should have delivered that final conclusion a little more gently. "He punched me." he said quietly.
"All this time... all this time, he knew he would leave me?" She started crying more. All those years of Juliette being with Romeo had made this a harder pill to swallow.
Tank didn't know how to answer. It was an obvious "yes", but he wasn't going to say that.
Juliette revived the dead conversation again. "Now what will I do? He meant everything to me!"
Tank raised an eyebrow. "You still think that? That scumbag should be the least of your concerns. He left you a few days ago. You shouldn't care! At the end of the day, if love fails, you've just got to pick yourself up and try again! It's hard to take, I know, but you shouldn't be treating the whole circumstance like Much Ado About Nothing!"
A small smile came back on Juliette's face. "I guess you're right Tank. A new slate. I knew the whole star-crossed lover thing was a bad idea all those years ago. It did sort out the feud though."
Juliette looked up at Tank, and he noticed the sparkle in her eyes had returned.
"A new start it is."