Notices


Ultima Ratio Regum, Scene II

   
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Murphy
"And here we go. There was another such killing just last month, two brothers got into an argument and knifed each other, but the police found the Dweller's sigil daubed in blood not far. You could talk to Detective Chavez for more details, she forwarded me some of the information about a month ago."
Underwood raised an eyebrow. "Not much of a lead, but it's something. Lamothe, d'you have the Detective's contact info somewhere? I've barely met her."

He drummed his fingers on the book he'd been flipping through, casually. "Besides that, we got any other occult angles we want to follow up with here, that we couldn't get with interviews? Don't want to waste these stacks so long as we're here...less time we spend in transit, the more we can spend on damage control."

"I'll call her," Erin said, a bit wryly, getting out her phone. That would be two she owed Chavez in one day, given that most the police evidence on the case was now sitting in Nicole's shoebox. Still, perhaps Chavez would be pleased to hand out info if the perpetrator was brought to justice, even if it wasn't by police hands. She dialed Seventeen. He could easily transfer the call, and it might be best if he hung around Chavez for the time being. Seventeen had a habit of shooting lightning and being overly fond of explosions, which hopefully kept vampires far away.

"Hm. It would be nice to follow any further angles here, but that is so rarely the actual way of it. Are there any known demonic cults working in London? Otherwise, we shall simply have to use the phone if anything else comes up," Erin said. Given Lake could clearly shapeshift, this seemed a long shot to even bother with, but it was worth asking. "Can keep you on call, Mr. Morgan?"

Lauren

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauren
"Why? Was that before or after..."
"Before. A long time before... a few months after... you know." The Black King's coming, was what Rebecca didn't say. She didn't want to think about that moment. Those were months when Rebecca's faith in vampirism had been shattered, culminating in the end of her vinculum. Lauren knew that her ghoul had had nightmares about those days. "I don't even know, I was just talking to him, and Mary came up, and... he's her friend. I thought he should know. Maybe he could do something about it."

"We sort of stopped worrying it for a while, then he came to me a couple of weeks ago." Rebecca said. She shrugged. "He said he could take care of Mary's sire for good."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauren
"I believe Mack's sire was at the Elysium. He looked like someone different, but I caught his eyes... Apparently, Birch knows of Mack's sire, because he's been dead set on finding him since Erin told Birch. Mack's sire--well, I'm pretty sure he's Mack's sire--is going under the name Winslow Lake, and he has been for quite sometime... Turns out he's a Dragon, and way higher up than me, and now I've been told to handle the matter."
"Wait, he was there?!" Rebecca said, suddenly leaning forward so as to send the papers and her typewriter skidding forward. "...that... speeds things up a little. So he's a Dragon... the hell... what is he doing? I thought he was some demon-worshipping psychotic?"

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Erin, Underwood, Cynthia, Mary

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erin
Are there any known demonic cults working in London?
"Probably several, though they tend to stay deeply underground. Sometimes literally." Rakesh said, tapping his fingers against the spine of a book. "The biggest is probably PUSWP... uh, the Pan University Society for Woodland Preservation. They worship some sort of nature demon, the authorities broke them up about a decade ago but there's still a few splinter cells here and there."

"There's also a few freelance demonologists." Rakesh continued, smiling. One could, with limited accuracy, call him such a person, though Rakesh dealt with spirits and not with demons. "I'm in limited correspondence with one called the Conde de Susurros."

"But certainly, I can be on call."

Meanwhile, Seventeen picked up. "Erin, hello! Good to hear from you, how's Sergei?" Seventeen sounded as though he was in a good mood. Judging from the hour he was probably taking a late lunch at whatever stock brokerage he worked at. Or more precisely, the stock brokerage which he adorned by letting them use his title on the letterhead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebecca
"He said he could take care of Mary's sire for good."
"So that's what he's after..." Lauren frowned. "I hope it works. Mack's already... I mean, she really looks up to Birch, I think. and we haven't told her that her sire might've been there." She sighed. "Well, everyone seems to trust him..."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebecca
"Wait, he was there?!" Rebecca said, suddenly leaning forward so as to send the papers and her typewriter skidding forward. "...that... speeds things up a little. So he's a Dragon... the hell... what is he doing? I thought he was some demon-worshipping psychotic?"
"I met him when he came in, but he disappeared soon after. No one found him, even though Birch sent everyone he had looking." Lauren chewed her lip. "The only proof I have is the eyes, but... they're pretty distinctive. As for what he's doing..."

Lauren was quiet for a long moment. "He's been pretending to be Lake for some time. I asked a few people about him, if they knew him. And they thought he was legitimate. You see, the Ordo Dracul... Well, you remember the sort of stuff Vincent had in his libraries? Books full of secrets you couldn't find anywhere else? The Ordo Dracul has a library like that, but I'm not high enough yet to have access to it. Lake is, though, and Lujza said he'd used it. She wouldn't say what he was looking for, but it made her at least somewhat suspicious. When I told her what I suspected, she told me to come to her with further proof, and a trial could be called. I think it must have something to do with demons... that's the only thing they'd really care about."

"So, he's probably still a demon-worshipping pscyhotic." Lauren grimaced. "What can you tell me, then? He heard the whole thing, unless he left the Elysium. He knows when and where we'll be meeting for Othello to reveal... whatever. Anything would help. I don't even know his name..."

"If the Conde de Susurros happens to know who might have summoned the The Dweller Behind the Night recently, I'd love to hear it," Erin murmured.

"Hello," Erin greeted, turning politely away from the others to speak. "He is well! Enjoying himself. I will tell you more when we next meet for dinner. How are you? Do you think I can talk to Miss Chavez? Er, again? We may have a lead on an old police case, but, it involves vampires."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Marlborough
"But certainly, I can be on call."
"Thanks, mac." Underwood nodded, then tilted his head in Erin's direction absently. This was going to be an important call.

Lauren

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauren
"So that's what he's after..." Lauren frowned. "I hope it works"
Rebecca kept her mouth shut and looked away. She wasn't saying anything about this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauren
"Well, everyone seems to trust him..."
"That may be taking things a step too far." Horus chuckled, pushing a cart of books and scrolls down the length of the train-car so that he was closer to Lauren now. "My old friend has a certain joie de vivre that draws people to him like moths to a candle-flame. He inspires them, and that is why they trust him. At least at first."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauren
"What can you tell me, then? He heard the whole thing, unless he left the Elysium. He knows when and where we'll be meeting for Othello to reveal... whatever. Anything would help. I don't even know his name..."
"I don't know his name either. If Othello does, he hasn't said. We don't really have any facts about him...?" Rebecca chewed on her lip. "I did a lot of research, and there's been unexplained crimes of one sort or another that kind of fit his MO since the late 19th century. He's changed since then though, sort of like he's... I don't want to say evolved, but he's crueler now."

"Okay, take it from the top. He's probably male, probably Caucasian, and was either embraced or emerged out of Torpor not very long before 1875. He's heterosexual but may have issues about it and was probably badly abused as a child. He's skilled with weapons, ropes, and he knows how to butcher humans and wild animals, so he probably had a naval or military background, and was either a hunter, doctor, or a butcher in his civilian life. He used to be highly intelligent but his mental state's degenerated over the years -- he doesn't seem to be very educated, but he does know a fair bit about Southeast Asian occultism and religion, so he might have lived there for a while. He's Clan Daeva, so he'll be very strong and very fast, and he might be able to shapeshift into an animal -- probably a bird. He's extremely charming, charismatic, and attractive, inhumanly so. He's sadistic and inventively so, but he can be bizarrely merciful at times, so he's following some kind of internal program, even if he seems to be utterly random. He loves to have a religious motif in his work and has practiced demonology..."

"He probably thinks of himself as a god."

*******************************************************************************

Erin, Underwood, Cynthia, Mary

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erin
"If the Conde de Susurros happens to know who might have summoned the The Dweller Behind the Night recently, I'd love to hear it,"
"I can ask him, but the only way to find that out is to summon the demon -- or another one, perhaps -- itself." Rakesh said. He was silent for a moment. "Are you certain you wish me to ask him that question? It will be expensive, at the very least..."

In the meantime, Seventeen acquiesced, and a few minutes later, Erin found herself on the line with Detective Sergeant Nicole Chavez, of Scotland Yard. Seventeen's girlfriend was with the Murder Squad, and over the few years since she'd been introduced to the unnatural world, had managed to surreptitiously sink her fingers into many of Scotland Yard's stranger cases, even if they weren't always murders.

The story that emerged was a peculiar one, long on innuendo and short on facts. A young man by the name of Connor Flood had been discovered dead along the Dockyards, inside a warehouse that during the day was used for storing pet food. There was no night-watchmen, and the locks had been opened with a key. Connor was found dead, bleeding from at least thirty shallow wounds -- he had bled out. Two knives were found nearby, and DNA analysis suggested that the killer was his brother, Kevin Flood, a nineteen-year-old dropout with a history of car-theft and other petty crime. Near his body, using Connor's blood, someone had painted a small nine-pointed star, probably while the body was still warm. Kevin Flood was currently in custody, and Chavez had the knives at hand (the star had been washed away now, unfortunately).

"...Two things bug me about the case, aside from the whole star thing." Chavez said, finishing her story. "First, Kevin Flood doesn't strike me as a murderer. He's a scrawny kid with no violent crime on his record -- while his brother was chopped up by a veteran knife-fighter, or at least someone a whole lot stronger than Kevin. Kevin's in custody but he won't talk to us, I think he's shutting down psychologically. Second, how'd they get in? Neither of them should have had a key... and the neighborhood's nasty enough that the owners -- it's a local pet-store, owned by a co-op -- wouldn't have left it unlocked if they expected anything to still be there in the morning."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebecca
"I did a lot of research, and there's been unexplained crimes of one sort or another that kind of fit his MO since the late 19th century. He's changed since then though, sort of like he's... I don't want to say evolved, but he's crueler now."
"Can you tell me more about these crimes? Or, better yet, can I go through your research?" Rebecca was rather meticulous about recording her research, so Lauren hoped she still had it somewhere.

She pulled out a notepad and pencil and began taking notes while Rebecca told her what she knew about Mack's sire.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebecca
"He loves to have a religious motif in his work and has practiced demonology..."
"Do you have any proof he practiced demonology?" Lauren paused. "I mean, I believe you. But if I can bring Lujza proof, I might be able to find out what he's looking for in the Ordo Dracul."

She gnawed on the end of the pencil. "Also... Do you know anything about his eyes? Like... Is that..." Lauren gestured vaguely. "..some kind of magic thing?"

"We have a different group of murders we are investigating, with that same sigil at the crime scene," Erin explained. "A whole family, killed torturously by someone who was exceptionally strong. We don't know if its necessarily connected, but they share certain similarities in their modus operandi. The perpetrator in our case is a vampire, unfortunately."

Underwood rubbed his chin. "Still, it's something…could be a wild goose chase, but we're running at enough of a remove in time from the case Lamothe is talking about that anything more recent's worth looking into."

He looked up. "'No' is fine, Detective, but d'you think we could get anything out of the Flood kid? Don't want to step on your jurisdiction or anything, but if he's not a perp, he's a witness…"




 

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