It's a Saturday evening and I'm running episode 3 of Beach Patrol: Saturdays.
M.S.W. Boat Hire A family run boat hire company that works out of the Marina Del Rey.
Lily Blush Care Products A producer and distributor of health and beauty and skin care products. The company has various different facilities on the west coast, including a factory in Santa Monica.
Price & Miles Investigations Formerly a pair of investigators who operated out of Downtown Santa Monica.
Blaine Davis A mentalist and psychic, who a year ago shot to fame with his street magic special, instantly making him a household name. Blaine Davis is dark haired, tall and slim, he tends to dress all in black and wear eyeliner and is known for his, laid-back, indifferent demeaner and droll voice.
Ralph Stone A crusading investigator in the EPA and dedicated to his job, Ralph is in his late 20's, well toned and likes to work out, married with a wife. Currently investigating Lili Blush 'off the clock'.
Tom Price Portly and in his 40's Tom is the surviving member of Price & Miles Investigations, he's an experienced P.I. and maybe has not seen it all, but certainly seen a lot of it!
8th June 1996
7am; a cool morning with clear blue skies that stretched overhead, looked like it was going to be another hot and sunny Saturday on Cove Beach.
Ditch was waiting with his customary cup of java as everyone rocked up to Beach Patrol for the morning briefing. When Brat Mody came in, he was sporting a blackeye, for which he was mocked! Stella asked him what had happened? Last night he'd been in Club Lagoon with PJ when he'd spotted the drug dealers in the nightclub! The same ones that had encountered a fortnight ago, Brat approached them and told them to leave the club, an altercation ensued before they were ejected by the bouncers, but not before one of them had landed a solid blow on Brat. Bitterly, Brat stated that he was going back to Cove Pier to sort those dealers out!
Ditch went through the morning's briefing, most of it was pretty standard until he got to the final item on his itinerary; renown magician, Blaine Davis, along with a TV crew and his entourage was expected to visit Cove Beach before midday, Blaine would be performing street magic with beach visitors. Ditch anticipated crowds and told everyone to be prepared, explaining that he would bring people off other towers if needed.
Ice Ice Baby
As the blazing sun rose, so did the temperature and the number of beachgoers, by 9am Cove Beach bustled with swimmers, sunbathers and screaming children. While Stella was scanning Lifeguard Tower 2's stretch of golden beach, she noticed a gangly, scruffy-haired individual casually striding across the sand. It was Declan Farmer, the pickpocket that our heroes had caught a couple of weeks ago. Stella watched as he set up at the Sunny Beach Ice Cream stand?
Stella walked over and spoke with Declan, he explained that he was on probation after having been charged with a misdemeanour, if he was caught committing another crime, it would mean jailtime: Now he had a job at the ice cream stand. Stella was pleased that Declan had turned over a new leaf, she bought ice cream and snow cones for the others and headed back to the lifeguard tower.
Mind Playing Tricks on Me At around 10 am our heroes noticed an increase in the churn of people on the beach. The Blaine Davis show had arrived on Cove Beach.
Last year, Blaine Davis had released a TV special on street-magic, it was an instant hit and had made him a household name. He was tall and slim, wore black eyeliner and carried himself with a laconic almost arrogant air, additionally he was dressed all in black and was trying hard to look like he wasn't affected by the morning's brutal heat. In his wake followed his entourage, manager and bodyguard, as well as a small TV crew brandishing cameras and boom mics. Blaine had been recognised and crowds had begun to gather, the local press also made an appearance.
"If there's one thing I don't like," said Art. "It's arrogant, self-absorbed, egotistical, attention-seekers,". Art had instantly taken a disliking to the illusionist.
Our heroes watched as he went along talking to numerous visitors, performing mind-readings and other mesmerist feats. Ditch radioed our heroes, the crowds had continued to grow and needed to be dispersed. Stella went out with a megaphone and politely requested people move away, her voice cracking a little as she spoke, none of the crowds paid any attention. Art took the megaphone and spoke more forcefully, they seemed to respond to his bluster and posing, the people began to thin out.
Blaine Davis had noticed our heroes and was giving them occasional glances as he spoke with what looked like his manager. He then approached and asked our heroes if they would like to participate in some illusions. Our heroes pushed Winter forward, outwardly she seemed indifferent to Blaine Davis, inwardly?, who knew? After performing a few tricks with Winter, Blaine moved on to Art.
“You have been beset by obstacles and made mistakes in the past, but look deep and you will find the path to success, even though it may feel a lonely one.” Blaine said with finger resting on his temple as he stared intently at Art. Art found it to be both deeply accurate and yet somehow entirely vague?
That was Blaine's last mental trick for the day, he turned to the accumulated photographers and journalists and gave an impromptu press conference. The press asked Blaine about his next show and how long he was in Bay City for? He was professionally evasive about it. He was even asked when he was going to marry his girlfriend, French model Patty Jacquin? He was definitely evasive about that! Among the press was one journalist who seemed to stick out like a sore thumb, a particularly scruffy and disbelieved individual who asked Blaine about the Beast of Cove Bay? Blaine looked quite confused, he stated that it sound like some sort of hoax.
Our heroes had begun hearing about the Beast of Cove Bay, strange things seen in the local waters, weird hues of light out to sea and strange markings on the beach early in the morning.
Blaine Davis answered a few more questions before ending the conference and leaving Cove Beach.
Set adrift on memory bliss It was approaching 1pm when our heroes noticed a boat, bobbing along and coming into view on the bright blue swell. There appeared to be nobody aboard and it was drifting in an uncontrolled manner; this definitely represented a risk to beachgoers.
For a Beach Patrol lifeguard it was an easy swim and Doc powered through the water until he reached the boat, it was quite small - enough room for 4 people. The anchor which showed signs of recent user was in the boat but it's line was trailing in the water, as was the mooring line. It's outboard motor was off and inside, the boat was a mess, various pieces of equipment were scattered about, some of it Doc didn't recognise and some of it was SCUBA gear, there was an air tank but no mask, regulator or breather. Right at the bottom of the mess was a transparent, waterproof zipper bag, it contained a small notebook, some pens and a locker key. He also noticed a small metal panel screwed on the boat that stated M.S.W. Boat Hires, Marina Del Rey.
It looked like there a missing diver that needed to be found, Doc knew that the local currents meant that the boat came from north of Cove Beach. After Ditch confirmed that he would get other lifeguards to cover Lifeguard Tower 2, Doc started the outboard and motored into Cove Beach to pick up the others.
As our heroes headed north, Doc decided to reluctantly look at the note book, he immediately recognised it as a dive log. These were used by scuba divers to record their underwater activities. The dive log showed that someone called Jensen Miles had made 3 dives this morning: The first dive was at the mouth of the Ballona Creek , which also coincided with the entrance to the Marina Del Rey, the 2nd dive was a mile further south and the final dive was another mile further south, no return time was listed for the 3rd dive. Finally, the word 'muscovite' had been written in the margin of a page?
Our heroes reached the coordinates of the 3rd dive and scanned the surface, there was no signs of anyone in the water, they took the boat round in a widening search pattern; still nothing. The boat rocked gently on the water as our heroes realised that the diver might be underwater, they then radioed Beach Patrol for assistance. As part of Beach Patrol's through training, lifeguards were also required to certify as SCUBA divers, so Ditch sent out someone with some SCUBA gear for our heroes.
Once our heroes were kitted out in SCUBA gear, they dived into the warm Pacific waters and began the half-lit, gloomy, underwater search. It wasn't too long before they found the diver and it didn't look good. An unmoving form was slumped on the rocky sea floor, a cursory examination revealed a gash along his left temple. Our heroes took him to the surface and pulled him him aboard the boat. It didn't take Doc long to establish that the diver was dead. It took the coroner's office about an hour to arrive and take the remains away after our heroes had called it in. It was a Saturday and an autopsy wouldn't be performed until Monday at the earliest.
There was little left to do but return the boat to the Marina Del Rey and its owner M.S.W. Boat Hire. The staff confirmed that the boat was hired by a Jensen Miles.
Barney owed our heroes a favour, Stella phoned him and asked if he could trace any vehicle that might belong to Jensen Miles. Fifteen minutes later and Barney got back to our heroes with a make, model and license number.
Our heroes went out into the marina's carpark and found the automobile. It was locked but they managed to pop the lock on the driver's door, a quick search revealed only one item of interest; in the glove compartment were a handful of business cards, they read 'Jensen Miles - Private Investigator - Price & Miles Investigations'. The dead man had been a private investigator, what had he been doing diving out to sea? Then they realised that there were no clothes in the car. "The locker key," Doc remembered!
There were several banks of lockers that the marina provided for the public, it took a little searching but our heroes found the correct locker: Inside was a change of clothes, some keys - including a car key and a wallet, in the wallet was some cash, a driver's license and some more business cards.
Continuing the investigation, our heroes decided to head to Jensen's place of work, Price & Miles Investigations in Downtown Santa Monica, it was a small office situated in the business district. Our heroes got in to see Jensen Miles' partner, Tom Price, a largish man in his 40's who had no idea that Jensen was dead and was shocked to learn it. Tom Price explained that Jensen Miles was an accomplished diver, this allowed him to occasionally take on cases that involved working on the Los Angeles coast. Tom didn't know who Jensen was working for and was initially unwilling to let our heroes look into Jensen's private files but Art demonstrated an usual flare with words and convinced the private eye to let us look. There was a file that showed that Jensen had been hired by a Ralph Stone to collect water and earth samples from the mouth of the Ballona Creek. The files included a phone number for Ralph Stone.
Our heroes contacted Ralph Stone, they tried to find out what Ralph knew about Jensen without giving away that he was dead, but Ralph was suspicious and wasn't willing to talk to people he didn't know over the phone. Finding Ralph Stone's address wasn't hard and our heroes decided to pay him a visit, luckily Ralph was at home. Ralph was a guy in his late 20's, when our heroes knocked on his door, he looked at them neutrally and wasn't willing to tell them anything. After some reassurances from our heroes, he invited them in.
Ralph Stone explained muscovite was a form of mica that was used in glittery make-up, continuing on, he told our heroes that he was employed by the Environmental Protection Agency, he'd been working a case that involved a company called Lily Blush Care Products that he suspected had been illegally dumping waste into the Ballona Creek and the muscovite was part of that waste. The presence of muscovite would link Lily Blush to the waste. However, he was taken off the case and it was buried. Ralph Stone suspected that someone higher-up the food chain in the EPA had been bought, so he had decide to continue the investigation on his own time and had hired Jensen Miles to discretely get the samples he needed. Now Jensen was dead and the samples were gone.
After some thought, our heroes decided to help Ralph get his samples.
I Love The Night Life
It was getting on to 4pm by the time our heroes left Ralph and headed back to Bay City. They knew that Brat Mody was planning on going back to Club Lagoon to confront the dealers he'd encountered. Everybody went back home and got changed and met with Brat on Cove Pier at around 8pm.
The pier was still bustling with fun-seekers as colourful promenade lights hummed into life while the summer sun began to set. Brat Mody could be found stalking the boardwalk in front of Club Lagoon and waiting. Stella was also keeping an eye out for the dealers and when she saw them coming on to the pier, she hurried over to them. It was Charlie & Davey again, the dealers she'd encountered twice before. Quickly, before Brat came over she bought another 'package' from them.
A few moments later and Brat did come over and jabbed an accusatory finger at the pair of dealers, telling them to get off the pier. The dealers ignored Brat and went to walk round him and that's when Brat went for them. Brat fought ferociously, however, there were two of them, he knocked one of them to the ground but the other one came in swinging and they exchanged blows. Art then steamed in and landed the finishing blow on the final dealer. The two dealers dragged themselves to their feet and stumbled off while making vague threatening remarks at Brat and our heroes.
Brat had taken a couple of hard knocks and Doc gave him a once-over and patched his minor injuries up. After that, our heroes went into Club Lagoon and partied the night away
Sunny Came Home
It was the small hours of the night by the time Art had lurched back home. He opened the door and found himself surrounded by piles of mess and junk, seemingly every drawer pulled open with whatever contents contained tipped on to the floor and every shelf emptied on to the floor too. Art looked around carefully, something was wrong? There was more mess on the floor than was usual? He checked his home out and discovered the busted lock on the back door.
Someone had broken in and turned the place over, Art didn't possess anything of value, so it was hard to see what if anything had been taken. Nonetheless and despite the hour, he rang the others, none of them had been burgled Art's home hadn't been entirely wrecked, the burglars had stopped searching close to Art's phone. He was immediately suspicious, unscrewed the mouthpiece and looked inside, with his limited understanding of electronics, Art couldn't tell if anything had been changed.
Art spoke with the others, none of them could think of any reason why somebody would break into Art's home, maybe it was just a random burglary? It was too late to think about this, they decided and went to bed for the night.
A few days passed and the autopsy on Jensen Miles was completed. The coroner's report stated that Jensen Miles' cause of death was drowning, the laseration on his temple was most likely caused after death. The coroner had also discovered light bruising on both of his wrists, shoulders and neck. This indicated that there might have been some struggle prior to death. On the coroner's recommendation, the case would be kept open until further information was revealed.