PAYNEful - the site where humour goes to die, the repository of all things by Sean Patrick Payne

Labb Rat - Return to Title


The Story So Far...

So you're a private eye on a case working for some dame who's in trouble and, just as these things usually go, while investigating you stumble across two separate murders. That sort of thing doesn't look good for the client, especially since both murders are good friends of theirs. It's no skin off your nose, tripping over bodies is what being a private investigator is about (aside from getting to wear the snazzy trenchcoat and fedora, working for £200 a day plus expenses, and having a door with a glass window in it with your name painted on the glass - those are just perks), but if your client suddenly finds themselves in the pokey it certainly won't do much good for your reputation. And let's face it, just look at yourself; you need all the reputation you can get!

While poking around the office of corpse number two, keeping one ear open for the telltale sound of sirens and being careful not to leave any incriminating evidence that might drop you in deep with the cops (you are wearing gloves, you always do ever since the fuzz managed to get your prints on file), you find a document conveniently on the victim's desk. Your first thought is why is it that people who get killed just happen to leave important paperwork lying around on their desk just before they happen to be killed, it's just something that's always bugged you. Your second thought is to help yourself to a biscuit from the desk, because you've always had a problem concentrating for long periods of time. Finally, you decide to actually read the damn paperwork.

It appears that the victim, Mr. Bernard Chumley-Bagginswater, had been conducting some illegal deals with Dr. Labb. You've heard of Dr. Labb, a sinister character ranked highly on the country's wanted lists and perpetrator of numerous crimes, including human and animal experimentation, illegal use of a Spaniel, illegal weapons manufacturing and over several hundred parking tickets. This killing has Labb's M.O. all over it, literally because Labb had written it in biro on the victim's forehead. You pause to wonder why you didn't notice that sooner.

"Everyone will soon rue the day they massaged with Dr. Crabb!" is the epitaph scrawled on the man's forehead. You figure that either the biro smeared or Labb is trying to incriminate Dr. Crabb. Or maybe Dr. Labb is Dr. Crabb? You've always had trouble making obvious presumptions.

On the document in your hand is Dr. Labb's fancy stationary header, and it is complete with an address: a warehouse out by the docks. You reason that it is probably just a forwarding address as mad scientists tend not to divulge their whereabouts that freely. But then the case has been kind to you so far, so you figure what the heck, stuffing the letter into your coat and heading off out into the rain towards the warehouse.

There's a feeling of anxious trepidation in your stomach as you approach the warehouse. The area is deserted and yet you can't help feeling like you're being watched. The warehouse itself is a tall structure built from corrugated iron and held together with rust. The place looks like it might fall apart any day now but it is your only lead. Bracing yourself against the cold and rain, you circle the building looking for a door or window. Two strolls around the building reveals that there isn't one, which strikes you as odd.

You do, however, find a small rubbish hatch that leads into the warehouse. But something's off. Every instinct tells you not to climb into the hatch and slide down the chute into the darkness below, that maybe you should just take a spontaneous holiday and forget this whole thing. On the other hand, there's your integrity and the chance to take down this crazed Dr. Labb, and then collect a nice fat bonus from your client when they realise that you've saved them some jail time.

What are you going to do?