Title: Mundy, P.I. (tentative)
Premise, or Lack Thereof: The TF2 cast re-imagined in a hardboiled noir-type setting
Reason for Banishment: Lack of familiarity with the genre and lack of direction in the plot
Let’s skip the pages-long monologue where I whinge about my life (unremarkable), my job (boring), or the city I live in (average). It’s not the thing anyone would find interesting, myself included; besides, all things considered, I’ve had it easy. Sure, I might wish things were better, but who doesn’t? It takes too much energy to keep finding excuses to be pissed off at the world.
Let’s start, instead, where things get interesting, where I go into my office and find some bloke dressed like bank robber is waiting for me at my desk.
Did I mention that I always lock up the night before and I don’t have any spare keys?
Oh, yes, and my unexpected visitor’s got a gun pointed at me.
I get cheeky before I can figure out what else to do. “Petty cash’s in the drawer to your right, just open it up and and take it all, I don’t mind. All I got with me’s my ID, and it’s a right pain in the arse to get that replaced.”
The man chuckles. “It’s not what it looks like.” He taps his mask. “Company policy.”
I glance at the card he slides across the desk towards me but don’t move from my spot in case he has an itchy trigger finger. “Interesting choice of uniform, this ‘Team Fortress Industries’.”
“I assure you, we’re a completely legitimate business.” As in ‘free of mob influence’, he leaves unspoken, perhaps in deference to the old superstition of not speaking anything about La Familia, good or bad, as if the mere mention of them would summon them out of thin air. He doesn’t sound like a made man, not a first generation one, anyway; I can’t pin his accent down as anything beyond what was common to this neighborhood–yours truly excepted, being from Oz and all.
In fact, I don’t get any sort of read out of him at all. “At least the Italians know how to knock.”
He shrugs. “Company policy.”
“I don’t suppose ‘company policy’ would be to shoot me if I told you to bugger off.”
He makes a show to appear scandalized, but the display is so over the top that it comes off as farcical. “What sort of barbarians do you take us for? No, the gun is merely for my own protection; my orders are to deliver my employer’s message to you, nothing more.”
I risk crossing my arms. “Pass.”
He clicks his tongue but doesn’t otherwise budge. “Come now, let’s not play games. Please, do as you’re told. I’d hate to make a fuss.”
“If you really don’t want to make a fuss, you’d leave.”
He sighs. “Must I make vague insinuations that we know all about you, Mr. Mundy?” I’m about to point out how unimpressive the namedrop was, considering it’s right there on my door, but he presses on: “Must I also subtly threaten the livelihoods, if not the very lives, of your parents back in Adelaide?” He doesn’t bother to check for a reaction as he gets up and, instead of trying to negotiate his way past me, uses the window overlooking the fire-escape instead, doing so with such grace that I find myself wondering if the man has any joints. “Ignore me at your peril: one way or another, my employers will get what they want.”
By the tone of finality in his voice and the confidence in his body language I don’t need to ask if his words are a threat or a promise.
The Medic–he insists that we call him that for reasons I can’t fathom nor care to ask–is the best doctor I can rely on given the circumstances: he doesn’t ask any unnecessary questions, he doesn’t overcharge, and he’s damn good even if he’s understaffed and under-equipped. Whenever I go to see him there’s always a long wait unless I’ve suffered some sort of mortal injury (and I do mean mortal; he doesn’t consider the mere feeling that I might drop dead to be sufficient to bump me up in line), as besides the time it takes to see someone he also makes every first time visitor read the little pamphlet detailing–euphemism free and rather graphic, considering the subject material–what it is that he does. (Despite being unlicensed, the Medic remains insistent that all of his patients are well informed about his procedures; “it iz a mattah ov proper medical ezzics,” is always his huffy response should anyone question the necessity of his methods, his accent getting thicker the more upset he gets.) Today it’s no exception; I catch the Medic between patients, but he stops long enough to check that I’m not in any dire peril before he turns to address his next potential client, an upset young sheilah who accuses him of trying to scare her off.
He cuts short her rant by raising a single, gloved finger. “Fraulein, you heff my deepest sympasies, but my job iz not to lie to you to make you feel bettah. If you want zat, zen I suggest you go to some ozzah ‘back alley quack’, as you so eloquently put it.”