The Intrepids

The Case of the Silver Jaguar - Chapter 3
Night of the Renzhe!

The Intrepids planned to meet for dinner at the Century Club. Jack, Alex and Clara all arrive and find a note from Molly explaining that she needs to check on something and will miss dinner. Rex arrives late and explains the gems in the silver jaguar are discolored by a combination of reef squid and sea minerals that are found near St. Lucia. The group discusses a plan for the evening before splitting up.

Jack plans to find Vinnie, disable him, and take his clothes and gun, then head to the meeting as Vinnie. The rest of the team will use the keys Jack “borrowed” earlier to sneak into the auction house and hide.

Things go according to plan. Alex, Clara, and Rex go in and hide behind a display of large African masks at the top of the stairwell that leads to the vault. As they settle in Jack (as Vinnie) arrives with his gang (six in number). One stays with the cars, while the rest walk up to the back door. A security guard opens the door and lets them in (after an envelope is passed to him). As they cross to the stairs Jack hears a noise and orders one of the thieves to follow him into the main atrium, where they see a hole in one of the skylights. He returns to his gang and they continue towards the vault.

Alex watches the thieves pass by, and then realizes there are only three gangsters in the group now, plus a new statue against the far wall. Clara notices two men dressed all in black, but wearing brightly-colored Chinese opera masks — Renzhe!* Mask1

Clara, Alex, and Rex wait for Jack’s thieves to pass by and then step out to follow them, Alex taking a spear from the exhibit she was hiding behind. At the top of the stairs Clara stumbles over a body of one of the thieves. As they carefully walk down the stairs they see a masked man about to attack one of the thieves, so Clara yells “Look out” and shoots.

Alex runs at the renzhe and hits him with her spear, but the renzhe is able to grab the spear and knock her into Jack, who turns, pulls his knife and stabs at the man.

The renzhe all turn and toss throwing knives at Alex, hitting her.

Clara shoots again, but misses in the dark.

Jack leaps forward, using the darkness to cover his actions and cuts several of the renzhe.

One renzhe runs forward and cuts Clara.

Rex steps forward and hits that same renzhe.

Alex stabs with her spear.

Clara shoots the renzhe that stabbed her.

Jack uses ventriloquism to distract the renzhe as he attacks them, then uses the darkness to vanish again.

The renzhe break into two groups, with one group running forward to attack the Pinkertons and stab Freddie, and the other group remaining to fight the team.

Clara shoots a renzhe as Alex throws her spear at the renzhe that stabbed Freddie. She can barely see in the darkness as the man seems to pop and vanish.

Jack’s thief shoots a renzhe. The final renzhe vanishes in a flash and puff of smoke.

Rex finds the lights and the Intrepids see piles of dust everywhere a renzhe was killed.

Clara moves past the Pinkertons to check the jaguar is still in the vault while Rex moves to cover the stairs. Jack and Alex search for the last renzhe.

* = literally “Ghosts of the Forest;” Chinese Ninja — GM And now you know!

The Case of the Silver Jaguar - Chap 2
Walking, talking and eating hot dogs...

Jack sends a street kid to the Century Club with a message for Alex – please come back to the American Art Association-Anderson Galleries.

Alvin the doorman at the Century Club tells Alex there are two messages: her office called to say there’s a client that will only speak to her, and a young lad dropped off a message from Jack who would like you to return to the gallery. Alex goes into the club and calls her office, where her secretary says a foreign gentleman called and wants to talk to her and will return later that afternoon. Alex tells her she’ll be back at some point, and heads back to the gallery.

Clara talks to Felix Erickson, the Century Club Counsel, and explains Monsieur Leschende’s situation, and that she feels he needs another attorney who won’t exploit his naivete. Erickson takes notes and goes off to make some calls. Mr. Erickson returns soon with the name of Jane M. Bolin. Clara calls to set up an appointment. When they meet in Bolin’s office on the edge of Harlem, Clara explains the situation, and Bolin agrees to meet with Leschende.

When Alex arrives back at the gallery, Jack points out the thugs, then he leaves to call Abe and asks why he thinks Jack was involved. Abe carefully explains that he heard that Jack had faked the whole thing. When Jack presses him he refuses to discuss details over the phone, but makes it clear that he assumed Jack was involved.

As Jack returns, Alex reports that the thugs have eaten a hot dog, and they split up soon after. Alex tails one of the men into the subway; he travels many stops and upon resurfacing, into the Happy Sunshine Bread Company warehouse. Alex climbs to the roof and watches through a skylight. The man she was following is meeting with several others. The men discuss the theft that night and pass out guns. Alex leaves the roof, though while climbing down the ladder she breaks a heel, nearly falling! She takes the subway back to the car, and then heads to her office.

When Alex arrives Frannie tells her there is a ‘Senor Rojas’ waiting in her office (where he has been for almost an hour). Alex takes off her shoes and walks into her office. She sees a fastidious gentleman with a walking stick, gloves, and his cigarette in a holder. After making a quip about her tardiness, he explains that he is planning to bid on the Jaguar and wants her help to make sure it does come up for auction, and doesn’t get stolen before that can happen. While he is aware the Pinkertons have been retained by the Auction House, he says he does not trust them, “They are all brawn, no brains, no subtlety. They are therefore susceptible to surprise, cunning, and clever plans. I want someone with style… someone who can get inside the minds of those who would steal it away before I can bid on it. I believe you are the person I need, Senorita.”

Alex happily agrees, and asks where he heard that the object was in danger. Rojas makes some vague remarks about hearing things in his circle, amongst “collectors.”

Meanwhile, while Vinnie is eating a hot dog, Jack sneaks up and says “Do you know what they put in those things?” Vinnie drops his hot dog as he jumps in surprise. Jack continues, “So, you must have heard I’m looking to hire some guys.”

Jack fakes him out and convinces him that Jack hired the team to steal the jaguar. They talk and Vinnie says the woman who hired him is Mrs. Mustast (sounds like Vinnie is saying “mustache.”) Finally Vinnie, thoroughly confused, gives up and wanders off.

While he waits for Alex to come back, Jack calls Molly to ask if she knew what the name sounded like to her. She says it sounds Slavic, but would need to check.

From the casefiles of the Intrepids! The Case of the Silver Jaguar - Chap 1
The Silver Jaguar... Caper???

August 13th, 1934….New York City
Silver jaguar.jpg
Jack Incognito gets a collect phone call (to a “John Walker”) from a “cousin Tully” in Hoboken, suggesting he has committed a rather impressive crime.  He doesn’t remember doing anything, but before he can find out more info the caller has to run.  Jack then receives a telegram (addressed to “Jack Martin”) which distresses him.  He hustles to the newsstand to find out what he’s supposed to have done.  After dealing with a child’s pulp magazine needs, Ernie the news vendor gives him a copy of the Herald and he reads the article as he walks to his usual haunt: Maury’s Coffee Shop.

En route he is startled by Alex Petrenko, who taps him on the shoulder and teases him about being predictable.  She references the Herald article.  “Do I even have to ask if you did it?”  They continue to the coffee shop and sit down to talk about the implications of the article.  Apparently, the word around town is that he has managed a forgery of an artifact called the “Silver Jaguar,” and everyone is duly impressed. 

Meanwhile, in her penthouse headquarters at the Ritz-Carlton, Molly Mercury receives a phone call from Cortlandt Field Bishop, curator of the American Art Association-Anderson Galleries which will be arranging the auction of the “Silver Jaguar.”  In order to proceed, they’re requesting assistance with the authentication of the object.   She agrees to go to the gallery later that day to assist.  Before going, she decides to do some quick research on the Jaguar in order to orient herself.  She finds that :

“In 1715, five vessels, collectively known as the Flota de Nova Espana, were en route from South America to Spain laden with treasures of the New World.  On July 31, a hurricane struck the doomed fleet as it passed through the Caribbean, smashing the ships like wooden toys and sending millions of dollars worth of treasure to the bottom of the sea.   Some say that one vessel, the French merchant ship, Griffon, survived the storm.  Her captain, Antoine Dar, had been given permission to sail with the Spanish flotilla, and his ship had been loaded with hundreds of chests bursting with gold and silver coins.  Legends say that the centerpiece of this treasure was a statue of South American origin – specifically one of a silver jaguar, encrusted with gems, worshiped by the local tribes as a god.”

At this point, the remainder of The Intrepids arrive for breakfast and conversation.  The Silver Jaguar naturally tops the list of “interesting things that have happened this morning.”   Noting the coincidence of their respective morning phone calls, Jack asks if he can be a part of the authentication.  Molly agrees, though she wonders whether free access to a famous art gallery would be something of a temptation.  Jack is not amused at her continued lack of complete trust.  It’s agreed that the entire group should go.  After making a brief phone call, Jack announces that he’ll meet the rest at the auction house since he has to “see a guy about a thing.”

At the auction house, the receptionist indicates that Ms. Lorenz will be out shortly to take care of them.  Suddenly, Alex hears a familiar but unwelcome voice.  It’s Freddie Bisco of the Pinkerton Agency.  “We’ve already got this one,” he intones.  Another agent, Ron Livermore, stands behind him, being meaningfully silent and hulking.  Alex, remarkably, chooses to check her temper and not rise to Bisco’s professional baiting.  Before Bisco can say anything else, the group is escorted into the room with the artifact.

Once inside, they discover that they’re not the only ones there.  Besides the handful of security guards, two men are sitting in one corner of the room.  The older and rougher of the two is the source of the find: Pierre Leschende, a fisherman by trade.  He’s accompanied by Ethan Rosenwald, an attorney. 

The statue is presented, still in its “original” state.  Rex Tesla receives permission to take a small sample in order to run some scientific tests as part of the authentication process. 

Meanwhile, Clara Cross goes to talk with Leschende about the details of his find.  With Rosenwald acting as translator (the fisherman speaks only French), Clara picks up the basics of the story: Pierre was out fishing and while reeling in the net, found what he thought was a hunk of scrap metal  until one of the jewels in the eyes came loose and caught his attention.   The importance of the find appears to be lost on the fisherman, who had to be convinced to make the trip himself and who is currently concerned about losing so much time on his boat.  He hopes at the end of this, as the attorney says: “Mr. Leschende is looking forward to buying a new boat.”  Over the course of the conversation, Clara has become convinced that Rosenwald has obviously just been picked out of a phonebook by someone in the village and is essentially out for a buck.  This doesn’t sit well with her ‘fight-for-the-underdog’ spirit.

Back at the statue, after inquiring about the details of the current security system, Alex decides to touch the statue to get a psychic reading.  In a flash, she sees the statue in what is presumably its nighttime holding area, guarded by Bisco and his partner.  As she watches, both are killed by an unseen person “throwing unusual blades”. 220px kunai05 As the blood pools, the statue is snatched by a black-gloved hand.   Alex is thrust back into the present, just in time to hear a voice behind her ask about carrying a knife.  In her confusion, it takes her a moment to realize that it is Jack, disguised as a guard.  

Jack takes a closer look at the statue, and quickly indicates to Alex that she needs to distract Ms. Lorenz while he attempts to snatch her keys for later use.  Alex pulls Ms. Lorenz into conversation, suggesting the possibility of putting the statue in a safe instead of in a guarded room.  Ms. Lorenz shows the group the safe, which (much to Alex’s dismay) turns out to be the setting of the vision.  

They leave the premises with:

  • photos of the statue for Molly,
  • the scrapings of the statue for Rex,
  • the keys for Jack (who leaves at a different time),
  • a sense of righteous ire for Clara,
  • a dilemma for Alex.

As they depart, Alex notices two local fists-for-hire (Vincenzo Feretti and an unnamed associate) standing “innocently” across the street, smoking.  Alex recognizes at least one of them, but chooses not to approach them at the moment.  Later, when Jack finally leaves, he sees the same two toughs.  He waits long enough to overhear them talking about instructions from an unnamed “she” regarding an impending bit of violent criminal activity.  Vinnie clearly says, “It’s like she says, ‘No one ever died for wanting too much’ ya know?”  Jack decides to stay and interact with them before eventually going on to meet back up with Alex.

As the episode concludes…

…Rex heads back to his lab to perform scientific tests on the statue fragments

…Clara heads back to the Century Club to check into alternate legal representation for the fisherman

… Jack (eventually) heads back to the Century Club to check for a message from Tully and possibly to contact Abe

…Molly heads back to her library to research

…and Alex wanders off to wait for Jack and ponder her vision

Tune in next time for Chapter Two!


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