|Summary:||Someone's made a mess and Raimon and Eerie both happen upon it.|
For anyone who's lived in New Orleans for any length of time, there's no -mystery- about the ever-present liquid that drips from balconies and gathers on flagstones. It's a mixture of urine, vomit, and hose water used to wash the urine and vomit off of floors. In -very- small amounts, it occasionally drips into the hot water that holds Lucky Dogs in their ubiquitous hot dog carts, and gives them their particular NOLA flavor you can't get anywhere else.
A figure appears at the mouth of the alleyway, silhouetted against the streetlight behind. Hooded, the outline shows a slender figure with hands in pockets and a bag slung over one shoulder. When they spot Raimon standing over the woman, they pause for a moment, then clear their throat.
"If you were thinking of doing something drastic to avoid witnesses, I'd be expensive weregild."
As neither a long term resident (yet) or someone that can eat one of those not so lucky Lucky Dogs, Raimon may have been too busy contemplating that alley-sludge to notice the steps sneaking up on him. The words however, those have the Serpent coiling as he turns, a hand reaching to his own pocket as he quickly glances over the newcomer. "Witnesses would only concern me if it were my crime," Raimon attemps a careless shrug as he steps a few feet from the freshly made corpse. "I can guarantee I wouldn't be so... sloppy." All that Vitae left behind when the woman was already killed? A damn shame.
"Still, you're awful calm about being caught standing over a dead body." The hooded figure reaches up to draw the hood back, and steps further into the alley, letting the light normalize so their features are clearer. They're not particularly intimidating unless you're the type to be scared of anyone that particular shade of brown. "You mind if I take a look before we get more company?" They gesture at the dead blonde. "I can probably clear some things up." Perhaps as way of explanation, they raise their hand, wiggling fingers and emphasizing the black ouroboros ring they're wearing. "There have been three other...incidents...like this in the past two weeks. This is the first time I've had access to a fresh scene." Or, you know, a body, at least. Morgue security is so uptight.
Technically, Raimon IS a dead body himself so maybe the calm shouldn't be too surprising. He takes note of those features as they step closer, but doesn't withdraw or flee. The vampire's skin is still tanned enough that he might border on a worrying shade of brown in certain lights for the particularly paranoid xenophobe. He carefully side steps to a dryer patch of flagstone, waving the constable forward. "By all means. Such incidents do not serve..." He's face contorts into a frown at the waste. All those self-quarantines mean hunting ain't as easy as it's used to be!
The Constable moves near to the body - just outside the ring of dark blood. They kneel, and draw their messenger bag up into their lap to begin to retrieve a few items. A mirror made of some kind of black glass - obsidian, if Raimon's the type to recognize such things. A pale yellow human skull, sans jawbone (quite illegal to own in Louisiana, if it's real) covered in little wedge-shaped marks that could be recognized as cuneiform if Raimon's the type to recognize such things. They reach up to their neck and draw out a blue glass amulet on a little silver chain, shaped like a palm with an eye engraved in the center. "If I'd known someone else was going to be around, I'd have brought extra protection, but if you get possessed, I'll exorcise you and bill you for it later." The Constable lays the mirror on the dead woman's chest, and holds the skull intimately, looking into its eye sockets for a few moments before...leaning in, and kissing the skull's forehead. Over and over again, until they've kissed seven times in a measured succession. Then - and -this- is when it gets weird - the Constable repeats the little ritual, except by -licking- the skull seven times in the same steady rhythmn.
Alas, poor Yorick! Raimon is already uneasily eyeing the Constable's preparations, and especially the skull, but the quip of possesion gets a tsk of audible displeasure as he takes another step away for good measure. "If I get possessed, I hope for your sake you're good at this business." He has his doubts that continue to rise as first there's the kissing and then the LICKING of the skull. His eyes roll towards the heaven an a mutter of not-quite Spanish, "Dur mes merda que un bou..."
"I took a year of Spanish in junior high, and that didn't sound -quite- Spanish, but I did catch a word that sounded distinctly like 'shit' in there. If you're going to curse, please be careful, lots of spirits are easily offended and paid more attention in school than I did." There's no motion in the mirror, no reflected ghosts, but the necromancer says, regardless, "I've got contact. I'm going to ask our victim some questions, but I've got no control over her, and she may be mad. Most ghosts are harmless. Unable to affect the world, and if they can, too weak to hurt anybody. But some, especially murder victims who are real pissed, can be rough. And I've seen ghosts who can, you know, breathe fire or shoot lightning on occasion. So." The Constable clears their throat and asks, "Did this guy kill you?"
"You caught the gist..." Raimon will mutter although not really elaborate but he does seem to take the warning to heart and shush his mutterings for the moment. At the mention of Fire though, his eyes widen and he glances back to the alley way as if judging just how fast he can get out of dodge if needed.... Luckily for the vampire, this ghost doesn't come through the Gauntlet blazing. In fact, she looks rather like she did in life if much paler and less substantial, but she gives a massive sigh an eyeroll as she launches into a seemingly already started tirade. "... and I said I already HAD a boyfriend... the creep. Wait. WHO ARE YOU???" The ghost-woman realizes she isn't alone or with whoever she thought she was talking to and step-floats over towards Eerie. Glancing between Constable and Serpent. "Who? Him?"
"Him. Did he kill you?" The ghost's voice is audible to Eerie, as a Medium - but to Raimon, it's going to look like the Constable is just talking to him. Eerie can -sense- the ghost, and hear her, but not see her unless she manifests to everyone. "She's not the most coherent. They often aren't. If you have any followup questions once I've specifically cleared you, let me know."
It's probably a good thing Raimon can only hear one side of the conversation although the fact that the ghost blinks and stares at him before tossing her head back and flat out laughing has him furrowing his brows as if wondering if he's been insulted. "I've never seen him before in my life! And wait..." Comprehesion dawns on ghost girl as she looks down to her own see-thru body and sees her real-body laying there and she lets out a wail that would make a banshee proud. For what good it does, Raimon covers his ears and shrugs. "I don't suppose you could get a description of who she did last see? Although the night's still very young. It couldn't have happened long ago and someone so careless is bound to leave a trail..."
"Madame, if you could calm down, I assure you, everything is going to be all right. Something terrible has happened, I know, but there is a procedure for these things, and there are people who care enough to pay professionals to look into your predicament. Death is not nearly so final as you've been lead to believe. Many people lead a long and fruitful afterlife. Some even two. A few get three. Now I want you to concentrate on my voice." The necromancer focuses their will, not -entirely- kind in their magical grip on the spirit, and the compulsion to answer questions. "What did the person who did this to you look like?" While they wait on the answer, Eerie nods toward the woman's bag. "Find her ID, get me a name? It helps sometimes."
"HOW CAN IT BE ALRIGHT? I AM DEAD!!!! D-E-A-D!" The ghost helpfully spells it out in between her ephemeral waterworks, but the sobbing does gradually slow as Eerie's will begins to override the ghost's own shock at the situation. "Who did it? It was dark... they were wearing a hoodie... short and scrawny... I didn't see anything until there were those teeth!" There's a shiver from the ghost and the temperature around seems suddenly to drop a few degrees as she focuses. Raimon also seems to be capable of following instructions and carefully begins to poke through the designer bag. Fate is apparently being kind as a phone with ID holder is right on top. He turns it around slightly before figuring out how to slide out one of the cards. "Karen?" That might explain the haircut.
"Karen. People call me Eerie. It's a nickname. I got it because I've been doing this since I was very young. So let me tell you something. You've got two choices here, Karen. You can stay angry. You can wallow in that anger. You can go crazy in it. If you've ever seen a haunted house movie you know how that goes. Or you can accept that this is another stage in your life and move forward. You've got -options-. Lots of people hang out in this world for a long time and lead relatively pleasant existences. Others pass on pretty quickly and choose to exist in the next world, which I am told is very much a physical experience, one like this in very many ways. I wouldn't lie to you. Calm down. I have one more question, Karen. Did this person use any kind of...supernatural abilities? Moving faster than they should, convincing you to do something you wouldn't otherwise do? Shapeshifting. Turning invisible. Anything you can remember would help."
The ghost's lip quivers as the waterworks threaten again. "But... but... but... I don't wanna make choices!" Can she speak with the afterlife's manager? This is really horribly inconvenient. "I have a life. A home. A kid... well, a furbaby. WHO IS GOING TO TAKE CARE OF MY DOG??? FLUFFY!!!" With a gasp she begins to try to drift away before Eerie's back with the questions that she's compelled to answer. "See? I didn't see anything. Not until he was right there... and where is this? I was supposed to be getting my pizza..." She peers suspiciously aroudn the alley way as if just realizing this isn't at all her normal haunt even if it is her first actual Haunt. Raimon hmms from where he's been watching, but not really much he can do since he doesn't speak ghost. He's real good at crossing his arms and brooding though.
"Okay Karen, you can go now. You should probably check on your dog. If they were important to you, you'll be able to find them. Go see if you can try." The necromancer turns away from Karen to Raimon, now, and holds out a hand. "You have the ID? I can use it to pull up more information, later. I'm guessing from your whole...demeanor...after witnessing a necromantic ritual that you're in the know? Are you human, something else? One day I'll learn to tell one kind of scary thing from another, but you know, priorities." If the card is handed over, Eerie will look it over then tuck it away. Either way, afterward they'll put away the skull, the mirror. They're careful not to touch the actual -body-. Fingerprints and all. This is why -Raimon- got to dig out the ID. "There's probably a pizza place close by. Our killer brought her here from somewhere else."
Poor little Fluffy is indeed very important to the ghost so Moaning Karen doesn't need a second proding before she's released and floating away to whatever link ties her to the probably overbred designer pooch. Raimon will do one better and hand over the entire phone to the Constable and raises an eyebrow at the question. "I thought it was quite obvious since your first instinct was to assume I did it..." Guy standing over an enervated corpse pretty much screams vampire. "Did she have any memories of the killer? If not... beginning to smell like a Ventrue move to me..."
"Scrawny, hoodie. It was probably -me-," Eerie jokes. "And I assume anyone standing over a recently dead body is a murderer, that doesn't necessarily make them some kind of monster. Most murders -aren't- monster related. You'd be amazed how often I get hired to find out what kind of monster did one horrible thing or another and it's just people. Even the weird stuff." Eerie looks down at the dead Karen at their feet. "I don't know what a Ventrue is. Vampire, though, I'm guessing. She said whatever attacked her had terrible teeth and it's most of what she remembered. Vampires are tricky. Undead who can raise other undead was a bad idea, whatever necromancer made vampires was an -idiot-."
"That's one way to throw people off your track," Raimon can agree. "Although if you were hoping I'd be an easy patsy..." He snorts as he steps away from the bag he probably did leave who knows how many finger prints on. "Vampire and a young one to do this..." He nods down to the mess at their feet. "And if I had to guess, one operating outside of the Primogen's orders..." There's another glance given to the necromancer. "The Accords... you are one of those mortals that have bound yourself?"
"Yeah, here, one sec..." Eerie starts to head for the opposite end of the alleyway, -away- from the corpse. Not good to just hang out and chat over one of those. But while they're going, they dig out a little shiny metal business card holder, and extract one to hand to Raimon - presuming the vampire follows along. It reads: Nicholas "Eerie" Wright, and goes on to describe them as a Black Constable, Accorded Medium, and Necromancer working out of a business called Ouroboros Investigations. "My rates are reasonable. Four hundred a day for standard investigative activities, eight if it's supernatural in nature, sixteen if there's significant risk to life, limb, sanity, or if it involves politics. Smaller jobs my rate is negotiable, but no less than one hundred an hour, and I charge more if what you're asking is -boring-. Yes, I can run a background check on your girlfriend, but if you want -me- to do it instead of some un-clued asshole PI, I'm going to charge you a full day so I can recover from the existential ennui of wasting my limited mortal hours before I'm like that poor lady back there, stuck in Twilight until I inevitably get sucked into the hellpit of the Underworld to rot away until I'm so insane I turn into some kind of crazed death god." Let's hope Karen's not still around. "You didn't confirm whether -you- were human."
At the rate Raimon is collecting business cards in New Orleans, he should probably invest in a holder of his own, but he'll just slide it on into his billfold as he listens to Eerie's rates and gives a snort. "I haven't been human in oh... a hundred years." Give or take a few. That undead life, good for the skin as long as you go the vampire route and don't mind avoiding the sun like the thousands of nuclear bombs it is. "But why would someone trust a supernatural investigator that can't recognize a vampire when they see one? Hypothetical question..." Not like there's a Serpent following just a pace behind the Constable in a very secluded alley way.
"Because the people who can tell what someone else is at a glance are -usually- not human, and if you're not human, you -usually- eat humans. Monsters who don't have a reason to eat humans don't usually -live with- humans, so hard to hire those. Some of you drink our blood, some eat our flesh, some eat less tangible things, but you all feed on us, one way or another. And most people don't trust people who eat people." The necromancer pulls their hood back up as they step out of the alley, and pushes hands back into pockets as they pull out their own phone, in a simple, chunky, case that'd probably take a bullet and not let the glass crack. "We're about a quarter-mile from Crescent City. Tourist trappy place, looks like, none of these reviews are locals and most of them are talking about them serving beer like it's a selling point. Sounds like a Karen spot to me. Your people care about catching this guy? You wanna come along? I gotta swing by my van. Did you say your name and I missed it or like, are you worried if you give a magician your true name I'll be able to call you out of your coffin to do my bidding?"
"Feeding isn't always killing. It rarely is, if the monster is wise," Raimon just so happens to count himself in that column. UnLife is so mcuh easier when one treats humans like a renewing resource instead of disposing. The phone tapping is watched with almost as much distrust as the whole necromatic skull ritual, but he shakes his head. "If he's already fed, no need to go back to the restaurant tonight... odds of actually working their are slim. The restrictions of the condition..." His shoulders shrug again. "But all that blood..." Please ignore Raimon as he licks his lips slightly. "Can you not investigate a trail?" He waves his hand as if it's just that easy. And after a moment, he does finally provide that name. "You can call me Raimon." No last name needed. Mononyms are all the rage, right?
"I don't want to run into a well-fed vampire without knowing more about him. I don't plan to run into him tonight, I plan to get the security footage from the pizza place and learn more. And I'm kind of hoping you'll say that your people have a system in place for this sort of thing and I can tell my clients it's as taken care of as it can be. From what I know about vampires, you folks -hate- when people like me can track you down. So I'd rather -not-. I'm being paid to find out what's happening, not kill someone, and confrontations like those are usually -fights-." The brisk walk takes them to a van, unmarked, light brown, windows heavily tinted. "This is me. So. -Raimon-." The necromancer over-enunciates the pronunciation. "How do you figure humans would feel about a regular alive person walking around stealing blood from people with syringes? I promise you, it's -worse- to know it's an undead monster who would have a lot more fun killing you than not."
Raimon rubs at his non-existent stubble as he considers. "The Triumvirate do not take kindly to those that let their Childer run so amok." What fear a single Prince might bestow on Kindred in their domain, clearly Three united have even more. "Right now however, I do not have enough information. If you were to find a name or a face... I believe the rest of the matter can be arranged without you having to possibly fight someone." There is the another glance up and down at the so far unitimidating private investigator. "You seem more likely to get your own head ripped off if it came to that." As for the last, Raimon just shrugs again. "What makes you think we all steal? Some seem to find the bite quite enjoyable... for both parties."
"And I'm sure you all get informed consent, and that there's no inherent coercion implicit in the power dynamic between an immortal who is decades older engaging in quasi-sexual exploitation of someone who's -probably- not being told what's actually going on." The necromancer opens up the back of the van and hops up into it. They leave the back door open, and reach down to haul aside the...purple shag carpeting...that coats the floorboard of the area in the back. There's a fold-down bed (currently folded up) and a bench seat with storage beneath, but Eerie reveals beneath the carpeting a hinged metal door that lifts up and slides aside to reveal a shockingly large storage compartment under the floor. That hidey-hole has dozens of ziploc and rice paper bags labeled with masking tape and sharpie. Cold Iron Filings. Salt. Garlic. Sulfur. Wolfsbane. Sage. Pictish painted pebbles. Various knives of various metals are displayed where one could reach in and grab them easily - gold, silver, iron, glass, obsidian, and more. No gun is visible, but a few different speedloaders for a revolver are loaded with various different bullets. Holy symbols from a dozen different faiths hang from a little rotating display. What Eerie grabs, though, is a grocery bag that holds...an outfit. They shuck their hoodie, haul it up over their head to reveal a t-shirt that displays a logo (a neon-green /#523/) and begin to pull on the outfit - a maintenance worker's overalls with the name 'Abdul' on the nametag. There's even a bag of tools and a clipboard."To say all would be a lie," And while Raimon might be a Serpent he's truthful enough in that. The vampire doesn't step across the threshold of the van and when Eerie reveals the ridiculously well stocked exorcism-mobile, he recoils slightly. Stakes might not be immediately visible but with everything else that can be seen, why take chances? "You seem to have this covered... I call you in a day or two..." More likely a night or two considering, but he doesn't even wait for an answer and ridiculously fast, the vampire is OUT OF THERE.