On Dark Tides, Scene I

   
Bo, Chavez

The detective nodded, and followed Bo into his study, giving Seventeen a sardonic salute as she passed, which he returned. They were an odd pair, the blue-blooded wizard and his Hispanic police girlfriend, but they seemed to be going very steadily. Once in private, Chavez was all business, however.

"Do you know anything about supernatural antiquity thefts?" Chavez said, looking at Bo carefully. She did not know about the Tong -- this was one of those secrets that Seventeen had not seen fit to tell her about -- and if she ever learned, Chavez would feel all but compelled to break it up. Sometimes, the supernatural world was able to persuade her to act outside the law, but only if mortal laws were inadequate to the situation, and the crime was stopped anyway. The Tong, unfortunately, did not fall into those inspections. "Because something's been stolen, very quietly, from the
Victoria & Albert Museum of Decorative Arts and Design
V&A, and my friends at the Met are cracking their heads trying to figure out why. It wasn't valuable, not compared to some of the other things there. So I'm considering an occult explanation."

Bo sat down at his favorite chair and invited Chavez to sit as well. The chairs were nice -- not as fancy as what Seventeen had in his flat, but then Seventeen didn't live on a boat.

"I can look into it," he said. "I heard something unusual happened but nothing more than that. My boss does more interaction with other local museums than I do. Can you tell me what was taken, and what you know so far?"

"She'll talk as quickly as she wants to, and you'll sit down, shut up and like it," Michael answered evenly. "Maddie is my contact. I make the decisions, not you. If you have a problem with that, then you can turn around right now and go back to the party. Understood?" Maddie obviously needed help, and exposing her to this attitude from Avery would do nobody any good. Michael still held out every hope of showing her that the Pure lifestyle was poison, and that she'd be better off without them. If only he could have introduced her to his Pack, then she'd see.

"Avery is right about the Pure. Most of them are... not good people," Michael answered. "But Maddie is different, I can feel it. I want to help her, if I can. So everybody on their best behaviour."

Bo, Chavez

Chavez dug around in her pockets and withdrew a small notebook, with a few photographs clipped into it. It was patently obvious that she'd had this conversation in mind when she'd come here -- and also that despite being a detective on the murder squad, she wasn't above delving into the occasional robbery case on her own time.

"Late medieval bowl, about a half-meter across." Nicole said, removing a paperclip and passing Bo a small photograph. The bowl looked to be made of clay, with stylized wave patterns along the outside, with black paint. The edges were lightly ridged, again like waves, and the inside was painted with a stylized open eye, with seven tendrils of some sort streaming out of it. It looked vaguely like a very simply drawing of a whirlpool, or possibly some kind of plant.

"The bowl was dredged up out of the Thames back in the early 80s, and it's been at the V&A ever since." Chavez said. She shrugged. "It's been in storage for most of that time, but they were going to put it back on display in their Exhibition of London for the coming summer. Except they can't find it. It might be a mis-file..." But Chavez and Bo both knew that museums were scrupulous in their record-keeping, and they were not going to just lose an artifact.

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Michael, Avery, Whim

"Before you two start bickering, come here and take a look." Whim said, kneeling by a gutter. The green-haired girl was running her hands along the curb, and there was something strange about it, something that didn't quite become clear until she lifted her fingers. There, luminous against Whim's pale flesh, was blood. "It's nearly washed away in the rain, but it's fresh."

Wits+Investigation

"Good eyes," Michael comented, dropping down next to her and taking a closer look. It was hard to believe this was just a coincidence. "Lets poke around, see what we can find," he added, starting to search for any clue to the source of the blood.


"You could just shorten that to Avery is right, Michael." Avery said. "And I didn't say I was going to shoot her in the head right from the start. That's a consideration that ordinarily? Wouldn't happen." And from the tone in Avery's voice, was in fact hen's teeth rare.

"They've pulled stuff like this before. It's not common since most of them have all the social grace and tact of a fart in church, but play the "good pure", make it look like they really want to change, and all it'll take is the love of a good pack and luna...and then use the intelligence they've gathered to kill or capture everyone they can." Avery shrugged.

"I'm not saying your gut instinct isn't right, but you need to be aware this is a scheme the anshega pull. If it looks like this is even remotely a setup, I'll do what it takes, and if that means her head becomes a fine red mist...well, it's better than what they'd do to you or Whim."

It was at that moment that Avery noticed the blood, gaze flicking to it as he moved closer to investigate.


Michael, Avery, Whim

"Cher, you sound just a bit bloodthirsty now, you do realize?" Whim said dryly, pressing her fingers together and rubbing the blood against her thumb. The crimson liquid was almost black against her pale skin, in the present darkness.

There was more blood on the curb, even accounting for how much of it the rain had washed off. Someone had been hurt here, and very badly. There were marks on the nearby wall, a splattering of droplets along the brick, and more along the curb. It was close together, no arcs, which suggested a beating and not an attack with blades or guns -- and the lack of bullet holes anywhere supported that theory.

And then something silvery glinted in the storm gutter. Not the beautiful, terrible gleam of true silver, but the glitter of polished plastic, perched on a ledge deep in the drain. That couldn't have been there long, not if it hadn't yet been washed away. Now the trick was how to get it, without letting it fall off...

Dex+Athletics at a -3 to get the silvery thing, but failure means it slips and is gone for good.

Whim can also ask the shadows what happened, but she can only do this once per adventure.

Bo took the photograph and stared at it.

"It could be a mis-file, but the public history profession keeps records after redundant records. We don't lose artifacts easily, not even ones that have been in storage for years."

He frowned. "This bowl is similar to other bowls used in ritual human sacrifice cults," the immortal said. "Fishing villages on the North Sea made bowls like these. The villagers would annually sacrifice someone to the local water spirits -- usually a hapless traveler, but sometimes one of their own -- and the water spirits provided good fishing and weather in exchange. Most were wiped out when Napoleon marched through."

Bo's frown deepened. "They had similar motifs on their ritual implements. These whorls and waves. I don't recognize this eye sign, though."

He looked up at Chavez. "How long ago did this happen?"

"You think I haven't considered that?" Michael asked, shaking his head. "Of course I have. I know it could be a trick of some kind, so I'm proceeding with caution. But I have to try and help her." He couldn't quite articulate why he felt so strongly that Maddie had to be helped. Perhaps it was just because she so clearly didn't belong with the Pure. But Michael was willing to take the risk of trying to help her - to risk his own safety, at least. "So... just try and show some restraint."

He looked down the drain, but could just imagine himself knocking whatever it was further inside. "Anyone think they can get that?" he asked.

"I can try for it. I also think I can track who the blood came from, if it comes down to playing amateur sleuths." Avery said, already looking for a chance to get at the object in question. "And Whim, compared to some of my tribe? I'm downright pacifistic." Avery shot their magus companion a wolfish grin, before making for a chance to get at whatever it was. There was always a chance it was needless detritus, but considering the amount of blood present, there was an equally as valid chance it wasn't.

Which was why Avery decided to go fishing in the storm drain.




 

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