On Dark Tides, Scene I

   
Bo, Chavez

"Human. Sacrifice." Chavez's voice was calm and unemotional. It was a voice that provided a mask to the world, the voice behind which Chavez could retreat as she asked why, precisely, did you kill the little girl. Hers was not a happy job. "Should I have to worry about people being drowned in the Thames?"

She tapped her fingers against her denim-covered leg, silent for a moment. "The loss was discovered on the 21st, and the last anyone was certain of seeing it was back in February, so it could have vanished at any point between those times."

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Michael, Avery, Whim

"You? Pacifistic?" Whim murmured, contemplating werewolves that made Avery look like a pacifist. The thought was thoroughly appalling. She shook her head. "Okay, we ask questions first, then shoot. And Avery, please please please don't shoot for the head, it makes it seriously hard to raise them as zombies later." Whim's snake flicked its tongue out to taste the air.

In the meantime, what Avery discovered was... a cell-phone, a sleek, silvery cellphone with a little apple logo on it, and miraculously, still working despite all the water damage.

"Either it isn't an ordinary phone...or I've really got to consider switching phones." was Avery's response to retrieving the object of interest. "Too expensive to just casually toss away, so let's see what we can find out, assuming we don't have to tech****ery our way into it."

There was a quiet moment before Avery began to check out the phone, specifically to see what the last number dialed was, as well as check photos to see if any were caught during the attack. "I have a sneaking suspicion I'm not the one you have to worry about perpetrating violence on your contact though, Michael. Which will put things in a difficult place, especially if it's an uratha issue. Especially if it's Urdaga on Anshega."

"What is it with you and raising people we know as zombies?" Michael teased the necromancer. She'd threatened to raise him before. It had been very hard not to make necrophilia jokes.

He ran a hand across his mouth as Avery fished out the phone. "I hope not. I don't much fancy fighting the Pure," he said. Though it was pretty much a given that, at some point, ever Forsaken would be in a position where he'd have to fight the Pure. Werewolf lives were so full of violence sometimes, even for those who tried to avoid it. He glanced around, considering Avery's earlier words. If they were trying to trap them, they'd probably be watching this area. And, if he was honest, he hoped that he might somehow see Maddie somewhere, alive and well.

Michael, Avery, Whim

"Zombies are people too!" Whim protested, not helping her case. She stuck her tongue out at Michael, and then got around Avery to peer over his shoulder at the cellphone. When this failed due to Avery having a good six inches on her, she settled for looking in on the side. The last number called was one that both Whim and Michael recognized -- his own home phone number. Unfortunately, there were no photographs taken.

"Okay. So this is not a good sign." Whim said, as she processed what it was that Avery had said -- or such of it as she understood. She knew what an Uratha was... "Ave, what's Urdaga and Anshega? What happened here?"

"Michael, I doubt it was the Pure who attacked her. Unless it's her legitimately trying to defect, at which point this is going to get vicious, and at best we're going to be able to avenge and mourn." Avery shook his head, trying to look for anything on the phone that would identify the owner. Pictures, texts...stuff like that. "If it was Forsaken though? Well, legally? They're in the right, and unless they've done something else colossally ****ed up, well..life sucks, get a raincoat."

Avery turned his attention away from the phone momentarily, his gaze going to short, sweet, and necromantic, voice quiet as he spoke. "Whim, the Urdaga are werewolves like myself, members of the forsaken tribes. Anshega are the Pure tribes. It's ultimately a theological conflict where the Pure want everyone to get some REALLY old time religion. We're all pretty atavistic and animist, but they take it to a completely crazy extreme. Their win condition is more or less humanity eternally enthralled to spirits. Whereas the Forsaken want to maintain a healthy level of separation between the two worlds. "

"I don't know," Bo admitted. "These cults used ritual sacrifice for what they believed to be a greater good -- their own survival. The sacrifices did not happen frequently. However, this eye symbol marks a deviation from what I do know. I've never seen it before. Has anyone been dredged from the Thames since the bowl was last seen?"

"May I borrow this photograph?" he asked. "I can access the British Museum's resources tomorrow. If I can't find anything there, then Cedric's sister might be able to help. Just don't tell Vincent I'm asking Lyla."

Bo, Chavez

"Bo, on average, one dead body gets pulled from the Thames every week, and two-thirds of them in the London area -- and that's just the ones that we find, nevermind the ones who are weighted down or who are swept out to sea." Chavez said with a wry half-smile. She passed the photograph over to Bo, along with a little 'keep it' gesture. "It goes in fits and starts. In the winter, we tend to get more suicides - people suffering from depression and loneliness around Christmas. In the summer, it tends to be people wading into the river drunk. Then the usual murder victims, accidents... last month there was a suicide who weighted himself down with bricks and leapt off the docks at Wapping... There were claw marks in the mud at the riverbank. He'd obviously changed his mind but couldn't get out."

"I can put you in touch with the medical examiner's office -- there's a faerie woman who handles the stranger inquests, I'm told."

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Michael, Avery, Whim

"Gotcha. So where do the atheist werewolves like Morgan fit in?" Whim said, filing it away for future reference. She leaned down next to the curb and stared at the blood. "Okay. If this is your contact, Mike, and she's a werewolf, she's probably still alive... who knows with this rain, but there's not enough blood here. So... now what do we do?"

Suddenly, a long, echoing howl cut through the rain. It was close, and more than that, it was someone who wanted you to know they were close.

"Rook," Bo nodded. "I've heard of her. Her insight would be helpful."

He looked the photograph over again. "That's an interesting suicide. It could be related, it might not be. I'll see what I can find out, and see if it fits the trends. Some sacrifices involved filling the bowl with blood, and pouring the blood into the ocean. Blood was -- and to an extent, still is a popular delicacy for spirits and gods. Other sacrifices did require the ritualists to bodily hurl the sacrifices into the water. In either case, I'll take a look. Should I call you directly when I find something?"

Michael shook his head. “I never said it was the Pure who attacked her. But her Pack might attack us if they knew she asked to meet me,” he answered. He did think it was the Pure, however - it was no more than a gut feeling, no evidence. But he was not a logical man, he operated on intuition and sensation rather than facts and proof.

At Whim’s question, Michael sighed. He wasn’t much of a detective, as he’d proven on numerous occasions. “We could try and track her by scent… but then, that might not be possible with the rain.” He rubbed a hand over his mouth, considering. His Gifts were largely irrelevant here. All that might apply was his ability to know routes, but that only worked when he had a location to visualize. He didn’t know where Maddie was. “Avery? Any bright ideas?”

Bo, Chavez

"Please. The robbery is one thing, but if we've got ritual murders... not in London." Chavez said, her voice as bendable as a steel bar. If she could, she'd arrest them. If not, then whoever was killing people was going to regret it for a very short period of time. "Call me if you find anything, but if there are ritual murders here, I just want a lead on them -- you aren't being deputized for that."

It occurred to Bo that Seventeen would not be very happy if his girlfriend was led right into a nest of spirit cultists, and that Chavez would not be very happy if she found out about Seventeen's preferences. This was going to require a modicum of diplomacy.

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Michael, Avery, Whim

"So... who's her pack, then?" Whim said, looking up to to try and figure out where the howl came from. It had been somewhere very close. Maybe only a few blocks away. "And... uh... I don't think that was a good sign, so whatever you need to do to track her, better do it fast."





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