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Episode 1 - The Disgraced Detective and the Stray

Updated: Feb 11

By: SmidgeonPigeon



Narrator: October 7th, 1943. San Francisco Police Department. Chief Inspector Anna Song's office.


Anna: It’s only two months, Gino. Enough time for this whole mess to blow over. Time enough to cool your head.


[Papers rustle on a mahogany desk.]


Anna: This suspension will go on your record. I need you to hand in your badge and gun. Do you have anything you’d like to say?


Gino: Chief...you know I’m right. This case isn’t something we should drop. There’s evidence that-


[Anna sighs wearily. She doesn't want to have this conversation again.]


Anna: Gino...it’s not up for debate. it’s not up for debate. The case is out of your hands now. Pierce is filing away the paperwork. It’s open shut. I’m sorry. Go home and try to forget about it. We’ll see you in two months' time. Close the door on your way out.

[The soundscape melts into the murmurings of the SFPD staff along with typewriters and the crisp clack of shoes sounding off the floor. We hear Emery running and panting. He skids to a stop and the noise dies down a notch.]


Emery: [panting] Fellas! Is-is it true? Is Detective Rosetti really suspended?


Winterson: News travels fast.


Cooper: He got off easy if you ask me. Two months vacation ain’t bad. [scoff] Guess there are perks to being the chief’s favorite.


Emery: But! He didn’t do anything wrong, Cooper!


Cooper: No? Tell me, whose fault was it according to you, Emery? Hm?


Emery: I!...I don’t know. But I don’t think we’re getting the full story. And anyway, he wouldn’t do something like that. There has to be a reason he was...where he was. Don't you think so, officer Winterson?


Winterson: Everyone has a reason for everything. It doesn't mean anything to the contrary.


Emery: But-


[Gino clears his throat gently.]


Emery: Oh! Ah! Detective Rosetti! Sir! Uh. Hello.


Gino: Hey. You’re the new recruit, right? Emery, was it?


Emery: Ye-yes, sir! That’s me. Officer Emery Himura. I just transferred from Mississippi. Graduated from the academy last month, actually.


Gino: I see. Welcome. And congratulations.


Emery: Thank you!


Stiles: Gino! It's about time you showed. Pierce has been looking for you.


Gino: Yes, I heard. Thank you, Stiles.


Winterson: You joining us for drinks tonight? The fellas fancy a round of pool. We need one more to play.


Gino: [smiling] Perhaps another time, gentlemen. Where is Pierce?


Stiles: Down in records. Just left not five minutes ago.


Emery: I was just about to head there to drop these off! I can walk with you if-if you don't mind the company, Mister Rosetti.


Gino: Call me Gino. And no, not at all. Would you like a hand with that mountain of files?


Emery: No, no, I got it, [grunt] thanks, Mister Gino.


[The two walk away. The men wait til they’re out of earshot.]


Cooper: Lord have mercy. Is he a man or a Labrador puppy?


Winterson: [chuckle] Well, our youngblood did transfer here to meet his hero. What a shame about the timing.


Cooper: How do you know?


Winterson: I like to do more than air my opinions, Cooper.


Cooper: Ha. [pause] Still, he must have read the papers of the Invincible Italian's sordid scandal. I can't believe his faith in Rosetti isn't shaken after what happened.


Winterson: Is yours?


Cooper: None of your business, Winterson.


[Two pairs of footsteps echo off the linoleum as Gino and Emery walk down the hallway.]


Gino: So. How are you finding San Francisco?


Emery: It's...really different. Back home everything is smaller. Everyone knows each other. My dog, Moonie, is back home. I really miss her something fierce. This is actually my first time in the big city. San Francisco is incredible. So different. Would you believe I've never seen a trolley till now? Hills the size of mountains. A-And crime. So much crime!


Gino: [grimly] We certainly get our fair share.


Emery: Yeah, but, it'd be a lot worse if you weren't here, Detective. The way you busted the Remy Brothers Gang back in March was inspiring! The papers didn't really go into detail about how you traced the trail of money laundering to the dry cleaners but it was genius! Could you tell me more about it sometime? I'd love to hear the full story.


Gino: O-oh. Well. I-


[A door creaks open ahead of them.]


Pierce: There you are.


Gino: Pierce.


Pierce: Heard you're on leave for the next two months. Glad I caught you before then. Who's this?


Gino: Pierce, this is Emery. He's just blown in from Mississippi. Emery, this is my partner, detective inspector Judith Pierce.


Emery: Hello, inspector. Pleasure to meet you.


Pierce: I see. [dismissively] I have something I'd like to discuss with Gino. In private.


Emery: Ah, right! Yes, sorry, um, nice talking to you Detective Rosetti, sir. Um, bye! Enjoy your…


[Emery catches himself, awkwardly.]


Emery: Your...your time off.


[Emery scurries down the hall, chastising himself, thinking he’s out of earshot. They hear him anyway.]


Pierce: Well, at least you managed to leave in time to avoid that. They'll be sending us grade schoolers next.


Gino: He looks like a bright kid.


Pierce: That's one word for it. Anyway, here's the money I owe you.


[Pierce draws out a slip of paper from her coat pocket and drops her voice to a whisper after casting a furtive glance behind her shoulder.]


Pierce: I managed to cross reference the car registration you pulled up in the victim's home. Got the address to the junk dealer. Looks like he ditched the car a week before he died. Might lead to something. Who knows. Maybe you'll get lucky and that symbol you're so hung up on will show up again, eh?


[She continues, voice at normal volume again.]


Pierce: Count it if you like. Make sure it's the right amount.


Gino: Thank you, Pierce.


Pierce: If you ask me, you're better off leaving well enough alone. But knowing you, well, I'll just wait for the satisfaction of a delayed "I told you so." [sigh] At least this happened towards the end of the week. Now I have time to adjust to your absence.


Gino: Speaking of...Yom Kippur starts tomorrow, right?


Pierce: [grin] You’re the only Gentile who would know. Yes, that’s right.


Gino: Have an easy fast.


Pierce: Toda.


[A pipe is lit and puffed.]


Gino: I thought you quit pipe smoking.


Pierce: Work in progress.


[She takes a drag and exhales.]


Pierce: So. What'll you do now?


Gino: Between reviewing the evidence and getting the chief to reconsider opening the case again...probably catch up on my reading. Help my church with renovations.


Pierce: Mm. Essentially, you're going to waste two months of time off. Can't say I envy you.


Gino: That's alright. I'm sure you'll have your fair share of paperwork to file in my absence.


Pierce: Well, there's that. Thanks to you, I'd forgotten what the forms even look like. How long has it been since I've filed a case?


Gino: Two years.


Pierce: [scoff] All good things come to an end. I forgot your love of paperwork is the cornerstone of our partnership.


Gino: [laugh] You'll manage. And thanks again. For everything.


Pierce: Sure. Don't let the door hit you on the way out, Rosetti.


_____________


[Steps shuffle on concrete. The sound of stairs being climbed and the jangle of house keys precede a lock being turned. A door opens.]


Gino: Daisy May, I'm home.


[A chubby pug gurgles and pads her way over before covering Gino's hands in slobbery kisses.]


Gino: Hey there, gorgeous. Were you a good girl while daddy was away?


Daisy May: [heavy breathing]


Gino: Hungry? Let's have lunch. How does that sound?


Daisy May: [asthmatic breathing intensifies]


[Silverware clinks against a ceramic plate. A plate is deposited on the edge of a wooden table and Gino leans back on a couch. He stretches, makes the stretching sound, and sighs.]


Gino: Hahhh….it's barely four o'clock. Time seems to be going by slowly today.


[He yawns and lapses into silence.]


Daisy May: [whines]


Gino: Want to come up? Here, I've got you...


[Gino picks up his precious pug and the two settle comfortably on the couch. Daisy May sneezes.]


Gino: Bless you. Hm. Two months of this, huh? Well, I'm sure the time will fly by. I've got evidence to review. [scoff] Like finishing a puzzle where half the pieces won’t fit. And nothing to go on but that bizzare symbol the victim had burned on his chest. [sigh] Pierce doesn't think it means anything but...it gives me a bad feeling. [yawn] But first...thirty winks. I am on vacation, after all.


[Gino drifts off and wakes to the sound of glass breaking a few hours later. There are distant sounds of what sounds like a scuffle outside.]


Gino: Ah! That doesn’t sound good.


[Gino rises quickly from the couch as he speaks. His footsteps sound quickly across the wood floor and he pries open a window. The sound of muffled voices come from somewhere down the street. They’re close.]


Gino: Drat, it's too dark! I can't see anything. But it sounds like...yes, I think it's coming from the alley.


Daisy May: [whines]


Gino: Where did I leave that empty olive oil bottle? Ah, there!


[Gino picks up a smooth green glass bottle.]


Gino: Okay. [controlled exhale] Let's hope this works.


[The detective's footsteps rush to the front door. He slams the door behind him as Daisy May barks after him.]


____________________________________



[The scene transitions to the alleyway. There's the scuffle of shoes and a body being slammed into a brick wall. A young man in a sorry state is pinned against it, hands wrapped around the arms of the ruffian pinning him in place.]


Thug 1: We're gettin' real tired of your games, kid. Out with it. What's the big idea, skulking about where you're not welcome?


Dalton: [painfully] What can I say? Ngh. I'm a curious boy.


Thug 2: We're wasting our time. He's just a common thief.


Dalton: That's what I'm saying.


Thug 1: Yeah, well I ain't buying it. Nobody makes it past the security gate without a key. How'd ya get in?


[The man shakes Dalton roughly.]


Thug 1: Talk, you brat!


Dalton: ...Heh. Easy, fella. Get any more handsy and you'll have to buy me dinner first.


[He’s punched.]


Dalton: [coughs]


Thug 1: Alright. You asked for it.


[There’s the swish of a switchblade opening.]


Dalton: Tha-ha-hat’s a knife! You have a knife. Oh, wow. That’s definitely...fwoh-yep, that looks pretty sharp. Okay, so-wait a second fella, wait a second, wait! There’s something I have to say. Something...you wanna hear.


Thug 1: Out with it.


Dalton: I just...I just wanted to say…[spit] Bite me, you sinfully ugly, avocado-headed subhuman scum-sucking son of a man who never loved you and eats pig fertilizer for a living.


[There’s a beat of stunned silence.]


Thug 2: [shocked] That's disgusting. You kiss your mother with that mouth?


Dalton: I kiss yours.


Thug 1: That's it! You've had it!


Dalton: Not the face! Not the face!


Gino: [bellows in Italian] Ay-ay-ay-ayyyy!! You, there! What’s the big idea?


Thug 1: Beat it, bub. This ain't your fight.


Gino: Wassamatter?? He-[hic]- I oughta call the coppers on youuuu.


Thug 2: It's just a drunk.


Gino: Eyyyyy come on b-boh….both of ya. Let's work this out. Work this out, okay?


[Gino takes shuffling uncoordinated footsteps towards the group.]


Thug 1: Go home.


Dalton: Help! Don’t just stand there looking ornamental! Help me! Help-mmph!!


[Dalton’s cry for help is cut short by a rough hand clamping over his mouth]


Thug 1: I've had just about enough of y-


[Gino's sudden quick footsteps approach the trio.]


Thug 2: Hey, what are you-


[Thug 2 cries out. He's been struck by Gino with the empty olive oil bottle and crumbles to the floor, dazed]


Thug 1: What the-


[The bottle whistles through the air and strikes Thug 1 right on the temple. It shatters on impact.]


Thug 1: AGHH!!


[Both of the aggressors lie dazed and groaning on the ground. We hear Gino rushing over to Dalton and gently pulling him to his feet, the charade of being drunk over.]


Gino: It's alright, you're safe now. I've got you, I've got you. Can you stand? There you go. Lean on me, that's it. Hurry, I don't know how long they'll stay down.


[Gino and Dalton shuffle out of the alleyway.]


Gino: My home is just around the corner. Hang on, we're nearly there.


Dalton: [groan]


[They quickly reach Gino’s apartment.]


Gino: There are twelve steps in front of you. Nice and easy….1….2….3….


[Gino opens the door and Daisy May pads over. She barks excitedly at the stranger in tow.]


Gino: Shh, it’s alright girl. Sit. Good girl. Here, there's a couch right behind you. Take it slow...good. Press this cloth to the cut on your forehead. Got it? Apply pressure. Are you injured anywhere else? No? Fine. Wait here, I'm going to call the police.


Dalton: ...ere…


Gino: What? What did you say?


Dalton: ...you...were...AMAZING!! Let me have a look at you!


[Dalton's hands clap onto Gino's shoulders with surprising speed and energy.]


Gino: Eh?


Dalton: The way you clocked the first idiot and then smashed the bottle on the other one at close range! Oh, man, you shoulda seen yourself! It was like a ballet. No, wait, that's not right. Yeah, a violent, macho ballet. You're PERFECT! You're like a-a-a wall of meat. But ya got brains, even. The full package! Just the man I need in my enterprise.


[Gino speaks firmly but gently, clearing his throat. Dalton is moving around way too much for safety’s sake. He carefully disengages himself.]


Gino: Sir, you've been in a traumatic incident. You've sustained a head injury and may be suffering delirium. I need you to remain calm and stay still.


Dalton: [irritated] What? Don't be stupid, I'm not delirious. Where was I? Oh yeah, I need you to...hey, wait, where are you going?


Daisy May: [bark]


Dalton: Ugh. What's this ugly thing?


Daisy May: [hack cough]


Dalton: Ew.


[A rotary phone spins with precise clicking.]


Gino: Hello, operator? Please connect me to the Police Station.


Dalton: What? NonononononoNONOOoooo I don’t think so.


Gino: Hello, yes, I'd like to report a- oi! Give that back! What are you doing?


[Dalton rips the phone out of Gino’s hand and picks up the whole kit and caboodle.]


Dalton: Wrong number!


[Dalton slams the phone violently into the receiver]


Gino: Hey!


[He’s got too much momentum to stop and proceeds to violently rip out the phone and cord from the wall. There’s the sound of plaster tearing.]


Dalton: Hraghhh!!


Gino: Wh-why would you rip it out of the wall?? Stop! What are you-


[Not listening, Dalton rushes to the window and struggles to get it open.]


Dalton: Ngh, it's stuck! Stupid window, why won't you-


[The window finally gives.]


Dalton: [triumphantly and out of breath] Aha! Hiyah!!


[The phone smashes into the ground and sets off a car alarm in the process.]


Dalton: Whoops. Ehh, they're probably insured [closes window]...woah...uhhh...everything is getting spinny...


[Dalton slides to the floor heavily.]


Dalton: Ugh. I feel sick.


Gino: You've lost too much blood. We need to get you to a hospital.


Dalton: [tiredly] No...no hospital...you do it. First aid. I'll be fine.


Gino: Sorry, but this is for your own good, sir. You're not in your right mind.


[Before Dalton can protest, Gino picks him up like a sack of potatoes.]


Dalton: H-hey-ey! Put me down! Put me down this instant you overgrown Goliath!


[Daisy May growls and barks. Dalton struggles uselessly.]


Gino: Please don't struggle, it will aggravate your injuries.


Dalton: Aggravate this.


[Dalton punches Gino square in the eye.]


Gino: Ngh!


[Gino loses his grip and Dalton falls to the ground heavily but is on his feet in the next instant, making a break for the door.]


Gino: Wait, stop! Stop!


[Dalton opens the door and cries out, tumbling down the stairs.]


Gino: [horrified] Oh, no.


[Gino rushes out to inspect the damage.]


Gino: Are you alright?


[Dalton lies on the concrete in an ungrateful tangle of limbs and sass.]


Dalton: [groan] Oh, sure, fine. Falling down the stairs is a hobby of mine. You should try it sometime. Great cardio.


[Gino begins descending the stairs and Dalton frantically tries to scurry away.]


Dalton: Leave me alone! Shoo! Shoo!


Gino: [gently] It's okay. It's okay. You don't want the police involved, that's fine. No hospital either.