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The Mystery of Paradise Island

By Samuel Stoddard

Danger On Paradise Island: Chapter 7

Note: Click on the pictures to enlarge them.

asterismW: So, I chipped a tooth last night. While flossing. How does that even happen?
Eric: That's why I don't floss.
TalkingDog: Flossing with barbed wire?
Eric: !
Randy: Ouch!
asterismW: You know, my boss said the same thing.

Danger On Paradise Island: Chapter 7

* Maryam bounces up and down.
10Kan: Yep, still dead.
Crystal109: =(
asterismW: Aww, poor Cody.
Crystal109: Rub it in, why doncha?
Eric: asterism: At least you didn't do as bad a job at flossing as Cody did.
NessaChan: poor Cody
: Matt -- I'm going to need your gun. *snatch*
: Hey!
10Kan: She just disarmed him? WHOTTA GAL!
: Julie, I think we ought to go back to the hotel now.
: *sigh* Hasn't there been enough gun-waving today?
: I think you'd better do as she says.
: ... Fine. Let's go.
Maryam: So it's Hayley, Julie, Ramona and Matt left, yes?
Sam: Yeah.
: Anybody see a gun around here?
: *searches*
: Maybe you should check the gun you're holding, Hayley.
: *checks*
: It hasn't been fired.
Eric: How can she tell that?
10Kan: Eric: Smell, probably.
Sam: No empty chambers. Doesn't smell like gunpowder?
Eric: OK.
: I found something! ... Yeah, right here under the sofa. Three rounds are missing.
: Take a seat, Julie.
: *sits*
: *glare*
: *frown*
asterismW: *glare*
: I see.
: The three of you trust each other, and so the murderer must be the stranger among you. No matter what the facts say.
: It doesn't make any sense to me either, Julie. But I know my sister like I know myself. And I wouldn't still be dating Matt after two years if I hadn't seen his heart.
10Kan: Eww!
Sam: LOL
: I understand. Certainly I, too, have friends and family that I could never think badly of. But love is blind. You're emotionally invested. Maybe a more objective eye can see this situation clearer.
: Hey, she can see what's going on just FINE.
: Ramona, please. Just let me think.
asterismW: Get her fingerprints!
Eric: Hayley is actually a cardiac surgeon.
Eric: And she saw that he had her name tattooed onto his heart.
: You love your sister, and you love your boyfriend. A heart like yours is a rare and wonderful thing. But if you can be assured of anyone's innocence, it's mine. I came to the island two murders in, and you -- you -- were with me at the time of the third.
: Matt and Ramona both had the opportunity to kill Camille, but I didn't, and neither did you. That's why you and I have to decide to trust each other, because it just might be the only way we're going to survive this.
: *think*
: Hayley. You are too...trusting.
Eric: She shouldn't trust people anymore. Except the one telling her not to trust people.
DemanusFlint: Eric: *mindblown*
: Don't let her mess with your head, Hayley. I don't know how she could have done it, but it had to have been her somehow, don't you see?
: Listen to your sister, Hayley.
: Just let me think....
Eric: Oh man, Hayley is going to get axed.
: *sigh* I'm not going to argue that you shouldn't listen to your sister or boyfriend, Hayley. But how about you, Ramona? You said earlier Hayley keeps you from making mistakes with boyfriends. You must look up to your sister very much. She must seem infallible to you, but she's human, like the rest of us. She's as liable to make a mistake with a man as any woman is, and she needs you to keep a clear head and look out for her.
: ...
: Do you really trust Matt, Ramona? Are you sure he isn't playing her?
: Hey, I'm not playing anybody, all right?
: Maybe not. Maybe you're the one getting played. Are you sure you can trust Ramona, just because she's Hayley's sister? You love Hayley. It's your job to protect her -- even if it's from herself. Hayley trusts Ramona because she loves her -- but you need to decide for yourself if you trust her.
Eric: Pop Singer is playing everyone.
10Kan: They're all playing...the fool.
: Matt, she's already confessed to grand theft and murder tonight. And even though your coming here was a secret, somebody knew to use your name to lure Cody and me here. How far does your trust go?
: Shut your mouth before I shut it for you, Princess.
Kalimeris: Princess Peach!
: Ramona--
: Are you going to sit there and let her talk about us that way?
: No, I'm not. Julie, please, just give me a chance to think.
: Sis, someday I have got to teach you how to be rude.
: *thinks*
: No, I can't do it.
NessaChan: pffth.
: Julie, I appreciate what you're saying, and it makes a lot of sense. But I just can't think Ramona or Matt would be behind all this.
Eric: It was Cody.
Eric: And then he killed himself!
asterismW: Eric: And shot the window because...?
Eric: asterism: He was shaky because he was so nervous.
Eric: Like, cartoonishly shaky.
iwpg: He was hoping the others would kill each other out of paranoia?
10Kan: The truth behind the murders is something that Man Ought Not Know. He went crazy, fired the gun at the window and then turned it on himself.
asterismW: Nope, I don't buy it. I don't think he'd purposefully ruin his suit.
Sam: LOL
10Kan: He's a thief. He couldn't bear the thought of someone else using the suit after he was dead.
: *sigh* All right. What's the next move?
: We take another shot at searching the room Camille was killed in. I'm convinced the key to everything is figuring out how she was killed.
: Hmmm.
: ...
: What are we searching for? We've been over this room with a fine-toothed comb.
: *sigh* I don't know.
: Still nothing out of the ordinary in the bathroom...except entirely too many furnishings.
Kysle: Look under the mattress! Under the mattress!
: There's something funny about the shape of this room.
: What do you mean?
: That wall behind the mirror...why is it jutting out from the perimeter of the house like that? There's no closet or anything back there.
: Huh. You're right. Maybe ventilation ducts?
: Ventilation ducts wouldn't need that much space, would they?
: I dunno.
LaZorra: Hayley is also an expert heating and air conditioning repairwoman.
10Kan: Both walls are doing that. It seems to be an odd square turret in the corner.
Kysle: I think it makes the room attractive. Kind of like making a private window area place.
: Hayley...look at this, on the floor, right under the bureau.
: Scratches in the wood. something was dragged across it.
: In the shape of a curve, like a door might make.
Maryam: Ooh.
: *the light dawns* Come on. Grab one end of the bureau. Let's pull it out.
: Whoa!
: It swings right out!
asterismW: I TOLD you there was a secret passageway!
: Oh man. Look!
: A secret passage??
Maryam: SEKRIT
10Kan: Ooh, cool passage.
iwpg: No photoshop of the room with the passage open? :-(
: Come on! Let's see where it goes!
NessaChan: from the conservatory to the lounge!
: Hang on, hang on. Look at all this stuff. Guns...ammunition...surveillance equipment. This isn't just a secret passage. It's a hiding place for weaponry and anything else that would help our murderer out.
: ... *descends*
: It comes out in the conservatory! Behind a set of cabinets that swings out.
Eric: The conservatory? Nice.
NessaChan: baahahahaa...
Kalimeris: Just like in clueeee
NessaChan: awesome.
: So Camille's murderer crept through this passage, shot her, and escaped through here as everyone else was running up the stairs.
10Kan: This is another strike against our game lady.
: Interesting.
: What?
: When you and I heard the shots and came running back, do you remember who we met in the conservatory on the way?
: Jay? No, surely not.
: *shrug*
NessaChan: Jay couldn't kill a flea, I bet he was even vegetarian.
: Hayley.
: *thinking*
: Hayley.
: What?
: Do you remember when you wondered how Matt got up the stairs before Buck did?
: ...
: We took that as a sign of Buck's guilt -- because he was off trouncing through the woods at the time. Which he was. But what if there's another reason...?
: Don't move, Matt.
Kalimeris: Hahahaha
10Kan: This will put a strain on the relationship.
Randy: Most likely
: Hey! Hey! Easy! Think about this. Whoever set this up had to have spent a lot of time learning the place, stashing the equipment. For two years, we've spent nearly every day with each other. When would I have had the chance to come out here?
: You could have found a way! Or maybe the cowboy did it all for you!
: No, he's right, Ramona. Matt didn't do this.
: Julie did.
: Hands where I can see them.
10Kan: LOL
10Kan: Because in the picture...yeah.
Kalimeris: Ugh, someone take the gun away from her
: Hayley, you keep forgetting. I was with you.
: I know, I know. And I haven't figured that part out yet. But you set Camille up. When you first arrived on the island, Jay was going to show you to a room on the east side. You had him switch it to a room on the west side. There's only one bedroom on the west side -- this one. The one with the secret passage.
: ...
: Camille lost her room key, and you just happened to be on hand to offer her yours. Did she really lose it? Or did you take it from her when she wasn't looking?
: That's a very interesting theory, Hayley, but don't you think you'd better point that gun back at Matt? I still have you as my alibi!
Kalimeris: But, but, she could've set her up. Hayley just said thattttt
Kalimeris: Someone take the gun away from her. It's probably Hayley. Hmph.
: ...
: *thinking!*
: Ramona, look in that stash of weapons. You see any guns with silencers on them?
: Uh......yeah!
: Ooooooh, nice call, Nancy Drew. Three empty chambers!
: *furious scowl!*
: Camille wasn't killed when we heard those shots. That was Buck, firing a few rounds in the woods after she was already dead to establish your alibi.
Maryam: Oooh.
asterismW: And... Cody found the spent rounds?
10Kan: I suppose so.
: *glare*
: ...and that's why Cody and I were confused about where the shots were coming from!

(blurry flashback transition)

* 10Kan shakes some windchimes for the proper sound effect.
: Oh, that's ok. I'm just trying to find my room key -- can't seem to figure what I did with it! Stupid thing. All I want to do is lie down for a while.
NessaChan: it's not like she had anywhere to store the key in that outfit
Eric: LOL
: Oh, how frustrating.
10Kan: Nessa: She keeps it in the little rock-shaped Segway she rides around on.
NessaChan: 10kan: haha
: Yeah. If you see it, let me know, ok?
: Sure thing. Oh, actually, do you want to use my room for a while instead? Got the key right here.
: Aw, why that'd be so nice of you, Julie. You sure you don't need the room for a while?
: With any luck, I won't need it at all. I have all this paperwork to do here, and then I might as well explore the island. But once that helicopter arrives, I'm out of here, and once I get to a phone, somebody's going to have some serious explaining to do. Here. *toss* End of the hallway to the left.
: *catch* Thanks, Julie.
: *leaves*
: *whistle*
: *sigh*
: *looks around*
: *picks up a gun*
: *whistle*
: *attaches a silencer*
: *whistle*
: la de de la la...
Maryam: LOL
* LaZorra cracks up again.
LaZorra: NAKERS!
: (locks the door)
: hmm-hmm hmm-hmmmm...
: (shuts and latches the windows)
: la la la la la...
: Hi, Camille!
: Aahhh! Oh, Julie, you sta--
: thoomp!
: thoomp!
: thoomp!
: *whistle*
: *whistle*
: *drops the gun*
: *waves toward the woods to the east*
: Hi! Katie, right?
: Yes, hi Julie!
: I decided to go exploring. What's up this way? Anything worth seeing?
: Oh, absolutely -- beautiful view atop the clif--

(blurry transition back from flashback)

* 10Kan shakes the windchimes backwards.
: Well, well.
: That's a theory so clever, it almost persuades me.
: Now I suppose you'll tell me how I killed Genevieve and Tyler when I wasn't even here.
: *ponders*
10Kan: Wouldn't it be a hoot if Tyler just tripped?
: Guys?
: Did anybody actually see the helicopter she arrived on?
: None of us did. We were all down in the cellar, putting Tyler's body in the freezer.
: We all heard it, though.
: Yes. We all heard it. Just like we all heard the shots that didn't actually kill Camille.
: Let's take a trip out to the woods, where Cody was looking. I have a hunch Julie killed him because he found something there -- and I think I know what it was.
: This about where Cody was?
: I think so.
: Hey, look at this tree.
: Freaky.
TalkingDog: Hoom.
Randy: Don't be hasty!
LaZorra: Hee!
Nyperold: I think that I shall never see / three bulletholes within a tree.
* LaZorra splices Ramona's hair together.
: Look around, would you? I'm not taking my eyes off Julie.
: Something doesn't look right about these vines.
: Look at this. A few of these aren't vines at all!
Eric: They're power cables.
Eric: For the all-seeing security cameras.
: Some kind of electrical cables.... Looks like they go underground.
: Ha! The other ends are connected iPod??
: Wrapped up in plastic to keep it dry!
: What's it got on it? Sound effects, right?
: Hmm....
: Yeah...gun shots...helicopter--
: Play that one.
: *push*
: That sounds like a helicopter, sure enough!
: It's coming from the hotel! These cables must connect to speakers somewhere...maybe in that secret passage!
: So Buck didn't fire shots in the air at all. He played the effects from here, so the sounds would come from within the house.
LaZorra: Aww, I thought he was using the necessary.
10Kan: LaZorra: No reason he couldn't do both.
: Let's go back. It's time for this to end.
: Well? What do you have to say for yourself?
: Bravo.
: Is that all?
: What do you want me to say, Hayley? You figured it out. I underestimated you as an opponent. You've won.
: I've won? Is this some kind of game to you?
: Ohhhh. Yes, that's exactly what this is to you.
: Spot on. *smirk* I was as truthful with you as I could possibly be, you know, and not tip my hand. I really am a game historian from New York. I really am fascinated by the games people play, but I have long grown so tired of the meaningless way we play them. The human race has grown fat and lazy and tolerant of weakness. We play games because we're bored, not because there's ever anything real at stake.
Maryam: Oooh.
10Kan: I knew it! She's been turned into a crazed killer by murder simulators like Clue and Risk!
iwpg: LOL
: Poker for a few dollars, tennis for a title...that's as good as it gets. Most games don't have anything at stake at all but bragging rights that few ever even exercise.
LaZorra: hey, don't underestimate bragging rights!
: So you decided to play a game with our lives??
: I put my own at stake as well. Any one of you could have ended the game, just as you have now, by outsmarting me along the way. Cody nearly did, thanks to my idiot of an accomplice who couldn't have been clumsier about sneaking out in the woods.
NessaChan: Ohh, evil historian chick for the block
10Kan: The chopping block, I hope.
: But we didn't even know we were playing some sick little game. Hardly fair, is it? You cheated.
: Nonsense. You didn't know the rules, but I was hopelessly outnumbered. There are lots of games with asymmetrical rules. Everything from Craps to the children's game of Werewolf. There's a board game called Scotland Yard that I rather like--
Maryam: Heh, Werewolf.
: Spare me the seminar.
: *shrug*
: You're Big Red, aren't you?
: Right again. The Piper Downs job was my first game, you know. I'd pit my own wits against the whole security system of the racetrack. The stakes? Untold riches against decades of imprisonment at minimum.
Randy: Wait, are we wrapping up the story tonight?
LaZorra: I don't think so.
: The real prize, though, was a real affirmation of my own intellectual superiority. And the harder I made the job for myself, the greater that prize.
LaZorra: She's a psychopath.
: Why else do you think I recruited such a ragtag band of misfits for my team? Genevieve was a drug addict. Tyler was an idiot. Camille was a ditzy hedonist. Cody was a rash, hot-tempered killer with an attitude. Katie was weak, and it only takes one look at your sister to see how screwed up she is.
: *fume*
: ...Ow.
10Kan: Punch her with a bullet!
NessaChan: and the fat man was.. well...
LaZorra: FAT
: Let's stick to how screwed up you are, ok?
: ...Well the point is, I could scarcely have made the job more difficult for myself. But my plan was perfect. It went off without a hitch.
: Except for the little matter of those guards that got killed.
: All part of the plan.
: You're sick.
: So then you decided to play a game of murder with your own gang.
: Sure, why not? It was unlikely any of them could have ever found me, but I'd left them all with a reason to. You see, I designed the plan so most of them never even knew what the job was, and the less they knew, the less they were paid. The lion's share of the 70 million was all mine, and they all found out how badly they'd been conned when the read the paper the next morning. *chuckle* I should have loved to have seen their faces.
: The two guys who were captured and imprisoned had to be killed at once, of course. That was easy. But for the rest, a new game. My life against theirs.
: I spent months looking for the perfect setting. Imagine my delight when I found this, a private island with a mansion on it. It was built by a paranoid eccentric -- a guy so afraid of human contact that living on a private island wasn't even enough. He had to have secret passages in his mansion and everything.
10Kan: And enough body fat to survive in a wasteland for thirty years.
: The original owner died, and I paid his successor a lot of money to host a party here. All he had to do was arrange the transportation, then join us later.
: He's the one that blew up in the helicopter, I suppose?
: Yes. Buck planted the bomb on his way over. I had the detonator in my pocket.
: His guests, of course, were my Piper Downs gang. I used whatever means I could to lure them all here. Those who didn't accept the bait were quietly killed. Katie saved me the trouble by killing herself. I suspected she would.
: Rrrr! She was my friend, you--
: Easy, Ramona. Let's let her finish talking. How did you know Matt would be coming? You used his name to get Cody here.
: It wasn't hard. Like I said, I was pretty sure Katie would kill herself. She was weak, and I made her blackmail letter especially frightening. Katie's death would steel Ramona's resolve, and Ramona had a sister who was dating a private detective. It was obvious, wasn't it? She couldn't go to the cops. But of course she'd turn to a friend of the family.
: I wasn't expecting you to show up calling yourself Katie, though. Ultimately it didn't matter, because I knew perfectly well who you were, but it was a nice idea just the same.
: Where does Jay fit in? Surely he wasn't involved in Piper Downs.
: No, he was my other accomplice.
Maryam: !!!
: What??
LaZorra: WHAT
iwpg: What??
10Kan: :'(
: Oh, not willingly or knowingly. He got a letter saying his great-granddaughter would be kidnapped and killed unless he did a few days' worth of work as host to a private party and kept his mouth shut about why. Then I had the owner of the island contact him by phone with the details.
10Kan: Oh, phew.
10Kan: Against his will.
Maryam: Ah, phew. And awwww.
LaZorra: Man, I was about to hunt Sam down if he'd made not only my cowboy but also Yoda a villain.
: You threatened his great-granddaughter??
Nyperold: Ahhh...
: Relax. She's fine. Jay did what he was told, like a good little boy.
Nyperold: So that's why he asked about her...
: Why him??
: All part of the game, don't you see? I had incompetent misfits working for me at Piper Downs. Now if I was going to pit myself against them, well, it just wouldn't have been fair to take on accomplices that weren't even more incompetent. Like a 99 year old man and the dumbest cowboy in the world.
: We know what Buck did for you. What did Jay do for you? Why bring him here at all?
10Kan: Hayley, every second you don't pull the trigger is a crime against humanity.
: To be your host, just like I said. And to keep the west bedroom free unless somebody insisted on it. But mostly to put you all off your guard. I couldn't very well have had you all turn up to an empty house on a desert island without raising suspicion, could I? Nor have the true owner of the island telling you he didn't know why you were invited.
: Jay himself had no idea what was going on, of course.
: Did you kill him, too?
: No, I didn't. I would have, of course, but no...he died all on his own. Must not have been able to take the stress, poor guy. *smirk*
: *smoulder*
NessaChan: >:(
Maryam: Rawr!
: Thanks for killing Buck for me, Ramona. It's always nice to have help.
: Rrrrr! Give me one second with that gun, Hayley. Just ONE second.
: How long have you been on the island?
: About two weeks. I stocked the secret passage, wired the iPod, learned the lay of the land. When you started arriving, I hid in the secret passage, mostly.
: After killing Genevieve and Tyler, it was time for me to make my appearance. So while you were all busy in the basement, where the helicopter wouldn't be seen and the muffled sounds of a recording might be mistaken for the real thing, I slipped out to the iPod, played the sound effects, then dashed down to the beach to pretend I'd just arrived.
: *scowl*
: *glare*
: I've heard enough. Somebody find something to tie her up.
: There's some rope in the basement. Here -- give me the gun. I'll cover her.
: Here.
: *seething* So you think trying to kill my girlfriend and her sister is just some kind of a game, huh, Julie?
: You just lost it.
LaZorra: !!
: !
10Kan: His first mistake: aiming for the heart.
: Hhhhhhh...
Randy: DEAD
Nyperold: Not yet.
Nyperold: Okay, now.
NessaChan: :O
NessaChan: Not sure that was the best thing to do there Matterson.

End of Chapter 7

Maryam: Nice!
* TalkingDog applauds!
LaZorra: Nice cliffhanger.
Maryam: But there's gotta be more after this. Now I'm really wondering!
Sam: Tune in Wednesday night at 9:30pm EST or the exciting continuation!
10Kan: They have to get off the island somehow, and I bet Julie has a contingency plan for her own death.
Sam: So, in closing...
LaZorra: Yes??
Sam: ...I'd just like to say I FOOLED YOU ALL. You do NOT know how freaking paranoid I was about somebody figuring out that Julie was never actually in the helicopter.
LaZorra: LOL
Randy: LOL! Nice
10Kan: Yeah, you pulled one over on us.
Sam: You see everybody else in the helicopter before they arrive, but she just kind of shows up there, and I was SO NERVOUS that somebody would realize that. Because that would have given everything away.
LaZorra: hehehe
Maryam: Heh. Never even occurred to me.
Maryam: I feel a little dumb, but of course it's better this way.
NessaChan: yeah, I feel embarrassed--I didn't notice
Randy: That makes total
LaZorra: Yeah, it does.
Crystal109: OH MY GOSH.
* Crystal109 rules at the delayed reaction thing.
Sam: I was also nervous, although a lot less so, that somebody would figure out the significance of Camille using Julie's room. So I tried to make it look like the point was simply that the killer was gunning for Julie.
Sam: But if somebody had tied it with the fact that Julie requested the room she got, it would have been bad for me.
* TalkingDog suspected everyone, so that crossed his mind.
LaZorra: I was suspicious about that.
Sam: The main thing, though, was her arrival.
LaZorra: But I never tied it together.
Kysle: Definitely wasn't paying close enough attention to notice that she didn't arrive via heli.
Kalimeris: Wow.
LuckyWizard: The thing about Julie's arrival being without in-helicopter scenes crossed my mind too and briefly made me suspicious, but I dismissed it because there had been the sound of a helicopter.
Sam: Honestly, the ONLY reason I added the whole sound system thing was because, at the very last minute, I got afraid and added it to avert suspicion.
Sam: I was going to just show Julie's arrival without mentioning that anybody heard any helicopter sounds.
Sam: In fact, the reason they wouldn't hear the helicopter would be because they were down in the basement.
Sam: But I just didn't think I'd be able to pull that off without people guessing. So I found a way to get helicopter sounds without the visual.
Sam: Otherwise I'd have just had Buck fire a gun in the air.
Sam: It's nice to know that all that extra narrative turned out to be necessary.
Kysle: Sam: I mostly (completely) didn't suspect her because I didn't think she was on the island for the first two. I also hadn't considered the possiblity that there was more than one murderer.
* TalkingDog has an alternate possibility in his head. He wonders if it's true...
NessaChan: I had guessed there was an undiscovered secret passage, but I didn't know who was using it.
Kalimeris: Poor Cody.
NessaChan: lol
Sam: LOL
NessaChan: Cody didn't deserve that
Eric: Cody kills his father.
Eric: And knowingly gets involved in what is BLATANTLY a criminal activity.
Sam: He killed his FATHER and wasn't even SORRY about it.
Kalimeris: But his father was evillll
Sam: So?
NessaChan: His father wasn't sorry about beating the crap out of him either
NessaChan: I say he was justified. :0
TalkingDog: If Luke killed his father, he would have made himself the Emperor's puppet!
Kalimeris: And Cody was mentally unstable, AND, he was wearing an awesome suit.
Eric: Is that how you like your men, then?
Eric: Mentally unstable?
Crystal109: Cody is COOOOOOOOL.
Sam: Cody was easily the most reprehensible character on the island except MAYBE for Julie. Julie was more evil, but also obviously a psychopath. Cody knew full well everything he was doing was wrong and just felt entitled.
NessaChan: Hmm, well I still like Cody. :)
NessaChan: He just had hard knocks, its nurture, not nature.
Crystal109: I still <3 Cody. So there.
* NessaChan high fives Crystal
Sam: I am actually seriously frightened by you two.
* TalkingDog considers killing his father and buying a suit.
Sam: TD: LOL
TalkingDog: Apparently that's hot nowadays.
Sam: I hope you don't use that kind of demented judgment on real people.
NessaChan: Oh Sam, don't be silly, I don't know any real people. :)
LaZorra: LOL