Decoder Ri…


Justice Incorporated

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<i>Coming soon!</i>
The story opens with [[Trixie Dixon]] musing on the inevitability of two things in life, death and taxes. She thinks a third inevitability should be added to that list - specifically, the hangover experienced by [[Jack Justice]] on the third Thursday in October. This is because, on the third Wednesday of October, every year, Jack gets together with the remnants of his platoon to drink until they forget whatever it was they were getting together in remembrance of.
One other constant of the third Thursday of October is that, for this one and only day of the year, Jack wants Trixie to make the coffee.
Jack can hear the elevator opening. Trixie, who has not been granted yesterday's-alcohol-fueled psychic powers, does not hear the same thing, but believes him. Jack doesn't mind the shock that his appearance will engender, but hates pity, and so tries to appear a little bit less pathetic before the client walks into the office.
The gentleman who enters is a little too enthusiastic for Justice and Dixon Private Investigations' usual fare, even on any other day of the year. He is well dressed, smiling, and looks very pleased with himself and his surroundings. He introduces himself as Reinhart Conroy, a top lawyer, who typically works with [[Braithwaite's]].
Braithwaites, a high-priced agency founded by [[Lawrence Braithwaite]], prides itself on being a completely comfortable, office style detective agency. Jack dislikes the agency, which he claims has made detective work "duller than accountancy". He thinks that something has soured Conroy on Braithwaite's, that he intends to break with them, and that the lawyer wishes to hire a different agency. Conroy is quick to correct him: he doesn't want to ''hire'' the agency, he wants to ''buy'' it.
Conroy's offer is generous. Jack and Trixie's office would stay the same, aside from a few cosmetic changes, and the detectives would be free to take cases as they came, although cases for Conroy's clients would take priority. The sale price and an additional annual salary would be guaranteed. Conroy would have access to all of Jack and Trixie's files and their time, in exchange for financial security and a degree of comfort. The offer will be in place for only 48 hours.
Needless to say, Jack and Trixie are both tempted. Needless to say, they are also highly suspicious.
In order to start their investigation, Trixie goes to their source at Braithwaite's, Theodore "[[Button-Down Theo]]" West. Theo, a competent but uninspired detective, is a model employee and exactly the kind of bright young man Braithwaite's loves to employ. However, he also has a raging crush on one Miss Dixon, and that makes him putty in her hands. He knows it, she knows it, and the fact that he's a decent kind of guy doesn't do anything to stop her - only makes her feel a little bad about it.
Theo reveals that he isn't entirely happy with the kind of clientele Conroy brings to Braithwaite's. He likes detective work, when it allows him to help people, and it often does. Some of Conroy's clients, however, aren't good people, and that rubs him the wrong way. When Trixie mentions the split between Conroy and Braithwaite's, however, Theo is shocked - this is the first he's heard of anything like this.
Jack, meanwhile, was attempting to speak with [[Frederick Josiah Hawthorne | Freddy "The Finger"]] while nursing a Third Thursday Hangover, and failing. Freddy is afraid of Conroy - or rather, his client - which makes him talk fast and say "see" a lot. After turning to his dirtiest trick - counting to three in a menacing voice - Freddy spills the beans: Conroy works for the Sullivan mob. Jack is confused, since he hasn't dealt with the Sullivan mob in three years and nothing he ever found was able to stick. His files are useless in the investigation. Then he gets the idea to look at Trixie's files.
The man behind Conroy turned out to be Judge Baird, a crooked judge who'd run up against Trixie before she and Jack joined up. He tried to get his hands on a specific piece of evidence that was in the Justice and Dixon files: a set of pictures of the judge doing time with a girl who was not his wife and who was, in fact, Bunny Sullivan. When they confront the judge, he at first thinks Jack and Trixie are just after more money, but in truth, they're after a bigger fish - they want Judge Baird to squeal on the entire Sullivan mob and, conveniently, they've brought along [[Lieutenant Victor Sabian]] to hear the testimony.
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