Keys in the Graveyard Prose in The Offenders' Neighborhood | World Anvil

Keys in the Graveyard

Our mission found in Jason's's bedroom. Yeah, pretty freaky, but this was the US GSA, so it was expected. The team gathered to look at the mission.   "Maybe this'll be an actual mission." Zamara said, as Jason pushed play.   A voice sounded and started out as every other mission tape they had recieved, "Welcome to the US GSA, you're first mission will be as follows."   Erin took a deep breath and whispered, "Please be a real mission."   The tape continued, "Your mission will be to retrieve the keys to this house on 774 Oak Street." A picture of the house was shown on the screen. Jason snapped a quick picture of it. "This house, we believe, is at the center of a very large crime organization. The keys are supposedly found in three different places. One is with the owner of the house. The second is under the doormat. The third is a graveyard. Once you have retrieved the keys, we ask that you meet us at this address--" an address flashes across the sccreen, "--by 451334. We hope your mission is a success." The tape ended and Jason pulled it out.   Mark gave his team a look, "Well, I guess we're going to be stealing some more stuff."   "Like we haven't done that already." Jason said, while pulling the tape apart, "Face it. This is just another test. I say, we skip this one, and ask for a different mission."   Sabrina sighed, "Come on, guys. We're stealing keys. It can't be that hard, right? We figure out who the owner is, do some pickpocketing and we're done."   Zamara makes a less than confident sound.   "What's the problem?" Erin asked.   "Well, here's the thing. I found the neighborhood that house is in, and tried to find something about the owner, but he's not a super popular guy."   "What do you mean?" Mark asked.   "No one's ever seen the owner. And I actually found it for sale on several sites. It's been on sale for months."   "So, the site might have just no updated it." Jason said, "Besides, an unsold house has nothing to do with us. Right?"   "That's the thing though. The sites I looked at are legitimate places to sell your house. That means whoever is the registered owner might not even be around. They could have moved somehwere else. Which means getting the key from the owner isn't a solution."   "But what about under the rug?" Sabrina asked. "We could just walk up to the house sometime, maybe pretend we have a meeting to look at the house or something, and look under the doormat."   "That's assuming that's the rug the tape talked about." Jason said, "What if it's one of the neighbors doormats? We'd have to go to every house in that neighborhood and look under their doormat. That'd look a little weird."   "Yeah, but surely not every house there has a rug." Erin said, "It doesn't make sense for it to be a neighor's doomat anyways. Why would they have the key to their neighor's house under their doormat?"   Mark nodded, "Okay, so we go to the house and pretend we have a meeting. Someone looks under the doormat, grabs the key, and we leave."   Zamara shook her head, "I also don't think that's going to work."   "Why not?" Jason asked.   "Because if this house is the center of a crime syndicate there's no way they'd leave it under the doormat unless it was some sort of trap."   Jason groans, "Okay, so what? We just find a random grave yard and start digging around hoping we stunble across that one particular key?"   Zamara doesn't answer.   "Okay, that's probably not going to work, so is there any way to track down the owner?" Mark asked.   Zamara clicks a few keys on her laptop and shrugs, "I could try, but it would take way to long and there's no guarantee I'd be able to find the owner of the house before the deadline, and I doubt we'll be so lucky as to have the house get sold before tomorrow night."   "What if we were?" Jason asked. "What if we were that lucky?"   "Then we'd know the owner." Zamara said, "They both have to sign papers, and I could find the papers to the house. Once I find the papers, I find the signatures of those who signed it, and get info on the new owner. But it's been on the market for a year now. I doubt that'll happen."   "So, what are we supposed to do?" Sabrina asked, "Is there a graveyard nearby? Or some tombstone or something that could give us a clue?"   Erin started pacing in the room, while Zamara stayed silent as she searched up answers for Sarbina.   "It sounds like this is still a test." Erin said.   Mark shrugged, "So what if it is. We're doing our jobs."   Erin snorted, "Our jobs? Please, they're just trying to keep us busy, while they do all the important stuff. They know who we are and where we come from. We can do more than just steal keys from unknown owners."   "There is a graveyard nearby." Zamara finally said.   "Fantastic." Jason said, rolling his eyes, "We'll just go tonight and hope we find the key before tomorrow night."   Sabrina plopped down onto the floor, "So, what now? Do we just drive over to the graveyard and start looking around?"   Zamara nodded, "I don't see any other option." She looked at Mark and Erin, "Right? No other option?"   Mark thought for a bit. Too risky to look under the doormat, and tracking down the owner wasn't an option.   "Yeah." Erin said heaving a huge sigh, "I don't like it, but yeah."   Mark nodded in agreement, "Sabrina, start the car. We're going to the graveyard."  
  At the graveyard, Mark noticed three things. One, there were alot of fake flowers. Two, there were a lot of gravestones. Three, they had less than 12 hours to find this key. He took a deep breath. They were so screwed.

"So, where do we start?" Jason asked, sounding not at all eager.

"Well, we split up, I guess." He said, "We each do a row, and move onto the next one once we're finished.

"I don't like this." Sabrina said, "Digging through these flowers, disturbing these people's gifts. It feels wrong."

Zamara shrugged, "That may be, but if we don't do this we're going to get kicked out from another organization and end up homeless again."

Sabrina sighed and shook her head, "This is so wrong." She knelt down at the first gravestone in the first row and start moving around the flowers that covered the stone. Mark and the rest of the team did the same.

  Five hours later the sun had set and no one had found anything.

Jason groaned in frustration, "This is so stupid! I hate keys! Why can't everyone just have some pinpad or something. At least then Zamara could just do some clickety-clackety stuff and we'd be done!"

Erin rolled her eyes, "Calm down, Jason. We just have twenty more rows left. We're fine."

He grumbled as he took a flashlight from her, "Fine. Fine? Tell that to my aching back."

Zamara stood up and stretched, "Yeah, no, I'm kind of agreeing with Jason on this one. This is exhausting. What are we supposed to do if we don't find this key? That means we just wasted 5 possibly 6 hours doing the most uselss of tasks."

Mark sighed, "Maybe there's an easier way to do this? Maybe there's some clue on the gravesstone?"

Sabrina pursed her lips, "I don't think so. If the US GSA is asking us to find this key, they probably don't know where it is then."

"Unless it's another test, in which case, yes they do." Erin said.

"Even if it was a test, they wouldn't give us a hint. Criminals don't give the law enforcement hints."

Zamara gives Sabrina a confused look.

"Well, unless the criminal is overly confident or needs to give a hint for some reason." Sabrina said, correcting herslf.

"Let's just keep looking." Mark said, "It has to be here somewhere."

"It better." Jason said.

  Around ten o'clock, Erin found something.

"Guys! I think I found it!"

"Finally!" Jason said.

"The key?" Mark asked, walking over to Erin.

"Okay, well, it's not exactly the key, but it is a clue."

Jason groaned, "Oh, come on!"

Zamara stomped over to Erin, "How do you know its a clue?"

"Don't do that." Jason said, "Getting my hopes up, only to cut them into seventy billion pieces."

Erin sighed, "Well, I know it's a clue because it's addressed to us. So, this is a test. Not a real mission."

She sighed, "Anyways, it's a riddle of some sort it says, 'Below your feet, Lies the key you seek. Along with Mary and her bushel of cherries.'"

"Bruh, I am not digging up a dead body." Jaon said.

"What?" Zamara stared at him, "Digging did you get that?"

"We're standing in a graveyard, there's nothing but dead bodies below our feet. And Mary was clearly a person who was buried here, who probably had some obsession with cherries. Again, I ain't digging up a body. That's just gross."

Erin looked at Mark, "What do we do? Do you really think it's asking us to dig up a dead body?"

Mark shrugged, "I doubt it. But I don't really know if we have any other choice?"

Zamara sighed and wondered around the graveyard, waving her flashlight back and forth. Eventually, her flashlight settled on one of the tombstones at the beginning of the cemetary. It had cherry blossom bouquet lying on it.

"Guys, I think we found our dead body." She said, as she walked closer towards the tombstone. On the top, it said 'Mary, a sweet girl, who made the best cherry pies.'

Sabrina shook her head, "Why do we need to dig up her body?"

"Just join me in the anit-digging up graves society." Jason said, "I'll make you vice-president."

"Shut up, Jason." Erin said, "I don't think digging up a woman's body is the solution."

"Got a better one?"

"Yeah, looking around her grave." Mark said, kneeling down.

Jason snorted, "Well, I could have figured that out."

The team dug in and around the grave, moving the flowers but found nothing.

"Is this not the right grave?" Zamara asked.

"Maybe we need to find some actual cherries?" Sabrina asked.

"I'm so tired, man." Jason said, "I just want to get this key and leave."

"I don't--" Zamara paused, "Oh." she said, before standing in front of the grave and micked putting something in front of it. She started digging where she stood. "Got it." She said. "Just digging in the wrong spot."

"Fantastic!" Jason said, "Let's get out of here."

  The team arrived at the meeting place several hours before hand. They fell asleep and awoke to a knock on the windows.

Sabrina jumped up, and rolled down the window, "Yes?" She asked, still blurry eyed, until she spotted who had knocked on the window, "Guys, get up!" She said.

It took several minutes to wake up the team, but eventually everyone was up and out of the car.

"So, how was your mission?" Dayton of the US GSA asked.

"Pretty sucky." Jason said, "Not gonna lie, you guys have had better ones."

Dayton just gave a small laugh as he took the key from Zamara, "Well, we figured a nice easy one like this would be fun, before we through you into the criminal rings."

Mark and his team gave him a look.

"Right, anyways, thank you for retrieving the key. You did well."

"Cool." Zamara said, "But quick question, out of curiosity, does that key actually go to the house that you showed us?"

"No." Dayton said, "I'm sure you figured out this wasn't a real mission. The house is real, but the key doesn't belong to it. Someone at HQ made the key and put it into the graveyard. I just made the video."

Jason rolled his eyes, "So, that crime ring was also made up?"

"No, that's real. We're almost positive that a crime syndicate is involving that house. In fact, that will be your next mission."

"A real mission?" Mark asked.

"Of course," Dayton said, "Besides, you know the syndicate, so why wouldn't we send in our best team?" The GSA agent started to walk away when Sabrina stopped him.

"What do you mean when you said we knew hte syndicate?" She asked, "We only know one crime organization and we got kicked out."

Dayton gave her a look, "First, you left. Second, you guys have a lot of inside information, and my boss is going to want as much information on The Snakes as possible."

Mark glanced at his team.

Dayton gave them a wink, "We'll be in touch."


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