Logs:Murder House Introductions

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Murder House Introductions


Characters: Marshall, Lysander, Odile, with Louis as ST
Date: 2019-11-17
Summary: Three busybodies run into each other while investigating the unfortunate circumstances of poor Mr. Jason Lorraine.
Disclaimers: {{{disclaimers}}}

New Orleans police responded to a neighborhood call of shots fired in Mid-City after midnight last night. The tip lead them to a house for sale, although what was inside wasn't Open House goodies! First responders found two dead, and one wounded. The two dead victims sustained gunshots and have not been identified. The living victim has been identified as Jason Lorraine of New Orleans, 31, and was taken to a local hospital to have his injuries treated. According to police, Mr. Lorraine was abducted by burglars who did not believe he had given them all of his valuables, and beaten. Evidence suggests that the burglars then turned on each other, and an unknown suspect killed his compatriots and fled. You know, most people resolve roommate difficulties with a contract and maybe some passive-aggressive notes!

(OOC: If you want to poke into this, feel free to hit up Louis or Rhys.)

--

This is a fairly standard ranch tract house plan, although it's smaller than most of the other houses in the neighborhood, with two bedrooms and one bath. There's a 'For Sale' sign out front, and an attached garage. Oh, and police tape. Lots of police tape.

Inside, the living room, dining area, and kitchen form sort of an open'U' shape, so someone in the living room can't see the kitchen and vice versa, but both can see into the dining area. A hallway leads from the dining area leading to three rooms: two bedrooms and a small bathroom. The carpet is a boring shade of brown, and there is no regular furniture. There's a lot of dried blood, however. A large blotch on the carpet of the living room, and a very large pool of the stuff in the larger bedroom, now dried to a dark brown stain. There's blood spatter on the walls of the larger bedroom, as well. The air smells faintly of death: old copper and disgorged bowels.

--

Marshall steps out of his Uber, tipping the driver, already in mid conversation. "And I know you think it's a bad idea, but what if they arrest the wrong guy? If I can help, I have a duty to do so." He flashes Lysander a wide grin, "Besides! It's fun! Lighten up."

Surveying the yard, Marshall takes note of the 'For Sale' sign and which realty is selling it. He may buy the place, after all. A slim, brand new smartphone is slid out of his pocket, and he begins taking pictures of the outside. "Okay, so according to Google, we should inspect the outside first, look for any signs of entry, evidence left in the yard, stuff like that."

--

"If I find out," Lysander grumbles, "that this is all a ploy to make someone watch your inexperienced back while you play /Scooby Doo/, I am going to be irate." His accent is rather French, which isn't uncommon in New Orleans. He looks twentyish, and talks like an old man; today he's dressed in a pale blue striped button-up and khakis, with decently shiny dress shoes. He has a Keeper crown-and-fleur earing in his left earlobe, none at all in his right. He does not, at all, blend in, but he actually seemed to know their Uber driver and made conversation with the man on the way over - when not berating Marshall for joining the Scooby Gang. "'According to Google' you had cancer last week. Do you really trust that infernal machine?"

--

She's already there, somewhere. The two 'investigators', or would-be criminals would be able to espy signs of entry rather easily given the cut of the yellow police tape somewhere on the back door. It is also unlocked. You're welcome!

Somewhere inside, a slim, dark-clothed figure breezes through the bedroom, pursing her lips as she inspects its contents. "Hm," Odile murmurs, with a baleful glance on one of the windows and reaching out with an elegant, leather-gloved hand to draw the drapes or blinds shut before she proceeds in the task of rifling through the blank canvas. Not that she expects anything, but it can't hurt.

So she runs a glove over the sill, rolls it between thumb and forefinger, lips twisting in a look of utter disdain when she finds the dust. "Ugh. Whoever realtor in charge of the sale ought to be fired," she murmurs. "My kingdom for a decent maid service. Really."

--

A walkaround of the house clearly reveals that there ARE signs of entry - the back door is sealed with a police seal. Or was. It's been neatly slit. Either detectives needed to come back for something after it was sealed, or someone else has had the same idea as Marshall.

Inside, the house smells like blood and cordite - for Odile, these smells are particularly strong. A gun was definitely fired in this house, probably multiple times. And people died. And it stinks.

--

Marshall snaps photos of everything, even the neighbors houses. Click, click, clicking away. When he spots the rear entry's seal, he calls out to Lysander, "Check this out. They say the perp always returns to the scene of the crime." A bit lower, he mumbled, "And the Scooby gang performed a valuable public service." Carelessly, he opens the back door and steps in, phone held up to immediately start taking pictures. "This place stinks." Before entering the bedroom, he makes a sweep of the kitchen, searching for left over clues, or objects that would stand out in the barren home.

--

Oh god. It's like being in public with... a damn Millennial. That's exactly what this is, in fact. "The Scooby Gang would've been eviscerated on their first case in the real world." Lysander, unlike Marshall, touches nothing. Marshall can buy his way out of trouble with the police. Lysander just keeps his hands in his pockets. "By the way, what year were you born?" Lysander must find out whether he can expect Marshall to be photographing his food as well. He does, however, glance around as well.

--

There's nothing in the kitchen except stains. But some of those stains, in the sink, look suspiciously like blood, like someone washed their hands or something else in here. Other than that, if draws and fridge are opened, there's nothing there, and no signs of intent of long-term occupation.

Marshall isn't being quiet, so Odile can easily hear the two enter from where she's checking out the windows.

--

A dainty wrist is already flicking out a handkerchief to hold up against her nose. "Mon dieu," Odile sighs. "the smell is utterly nauseating. Torture's such a terrible, ugly business." It's a low murmur, meant for herself, voice carrying the touch of faraway Paris when a slender leg steps out of the bedroom and emerges from it in full. Whoever she is looks too stylish to be roaming around in the murder house. For all the rest of them know, she might be the realtor, only they wouldn't be allowed to go inspecting anything when the crime scene tape is up. Dressed in Valentino, this time, under an expensive fall jacket and a wide-brimmed hat pulled low on her head, the only feature visible is a mouth with its bold red lip lacquer.

There is a pause when she hears the sound of others in the kitchen. She says nothing, simply listening, before she exhales a breath and moves out into the light. "Gentlemen!" she declares. "Well, this is a surprise, and here I thought I'd be the only one poking at this empty shell. Are the two of you reporters, perhaps? True crime enthusiasts? I hear there's a market for them, these days." There's a pointed glance at Marshall's camera.

--

Marshall steps away from the sink, reflexively snapping a picture of Odile before he respond very enthusiasticly, "Yes! We are." That doesn't clear anything up. Despite the smell of old blood, and the gloomy environment, he adds, cheerfully, "I'm Marshall Scott." He gestures to Lysander, "This is my liason." A pointed look at Odile, and his tone turns more serious. "Who are you? Why are you here?"

He's avoided Lysander's ageist question, for now. Though he does look like a millennial. Vintage, brown jacket made of real leather, green sweater from who knows where, stylishly faded jeans and dirty black sneakers. Not muddy, thank God. With his long hair, Bright eyes and broad smile, he does not look like he belongs at a crime scene.

--

Liason? Lysander can't decide whether to be offended or amused. He studies Odile - my, that hat, those shades - and cocks his head just so. "Pardon me," he murmurs, "But would you be the famed Ms. Devereaux who recently moved to this fine city? Forgive me if the question is intrusive, I am a devoted fan of the stage and you resemble her quite closely in beauty and poise." He glides forward as if to approach with a warm and friendly smile and one hand held out in greeting.

--

"Which? A reporter? True crime enthusiast? Both? You're either the worst liar I've ever met in the city, so far, or the best," Odile quips, the line of her crimson mouth hinting at the quick fading of her curiosity and replaced, instead, by open amusement. "Though I suppose with your unique reputation behind you, anyone might even peg you for a crusader. Falsely accused, yes?" Hidden eyes follow the slow tilt of her head, the slow up-and-down traverse of her assessing look prompted by the expressive dip of her hat brim. "It's not every day anyone runs into the Rotwood Reaper in the flesh."

It's as much of a prompt as it is a barb, but when Lysander moves towards her, that smile widens with a hint of pearly teeth behind the parted seam, gloved hand offered to the blond man in a clasp so delicate, it's barely felt against his fingers. "I wouldn't call myself 'famed', these days - at the very least, not for those reasons." A touch of bittersweetness turns over that visible mouth. "And you are, monsieur? If you would forgive the question, in turn. I'm very new, but considering your accurate identification, you are very well informed."

She sighs. "Well, since we're all here, why don't we join forces in the interim? Not that I have any designs to be a detective, but shall we turn this smelly beast inside out and share our findings? The bedroom yielded nothing, though I suppose if I were to plan a murder, I would do it in the garage for easy clean up and disposal."

--

Marshall flashes a smile at Odile and Lysander's interaction, before stating, simply, "I think crusader fits best. Mostly I'm just incredibly curious." He gestures to the sink, "We've got some blood in the sink, which suggests the fourth man washed his hands before absconding..." He wanders into the living room, snapping photos of the bloodstains first, and every inch of the room after. "The report said Jason Lorraine was abducted by burglars, taken here, and then wounded. The other two bodies died of gunshot wounds. It doesn't explain at all why the third culprit shot the first two." He moves into the first bedroom, "And look!" Click, click, click. "The second pool of blood is so large, Jesus. And not in the same room, that doesn't suggest an argument over division of loot at all. What the fuck." After some cursory shots in there, he peeks into the second bedroom, both fascinated and horrified all the while.

Just for good measure, he takes a shot of Odile and Lysander together. Wouldn't this be a great meet-cute? Millennials.

--

Thoroughly exploring the house and garage takes about an hour, but by the end of it, Marshall, with help from Google and his acquaintances, has put together a reasonable picture of what seemed to have happened. Trash bags in the garage suggest that the house was occupied for several days by people who did not want to be seen disposing of trash. Although the most relevant evidence has clearly been taken away from the scene by the cops, he's able to put together that there were three 'unknown assailants', and one 'victim': the Lorraine man mentioned in the article. Put that together with the blood stains, and there were only two bodies found. One 'assailant' is still at large. Based on the angle of the bullet hole in the wall in the bedroom, and the blood (and other things) suggest that one of them was shot at extremely close range. Either the third man, or someone very good at hiding, and nothing about the scene suggests rising tensions or instability in the goon squad, so there was probably at least one more person present, who wasn't a part of the torture crew, that police either don't know about or have not disclosed to the media. The second bloodstain in the bedroom, and the blood in the sink, are older - it's clear that the three goons were working Lorraine over for at least a day or two before the murders occurred.

Elements of your Clue: There is a missing person from the original trio of goons and the missing goon probably didn't murder his two friends, AND the three goons were torturing Jason Lorraine, so he probably knows more about the goons, maybe even has a description of them after spending a couple of days at their 'tender mercies'.

--

"Mademoiselle," Lysander says blithely, and switches to fluent French, "I am known as Lysander Gray, of the Keepers of the Accords, and I was in your audience the night you gave your finest performance. My compatriot does not speak French so if you are concerned for his tender young ears, you may wish to express yourself in the language of our people. I have been your devoted admirer since that night, and your light was taken from the world all too soon. Welcome to the fair city of New Orleans. We are quite pleased you chose to make it your home." Yes, he's terrible. He straightens with a smile, then casts absently over his shoulder in English, "The second blood ring in the sink is days older than the first. There may be more evil to have happened in this house than mere torture." So helpful. Back to Odile and he adds in French, "He knows very little but he's learning."

--

Those hidden eyes watch Marshall as he picks apart the crime scene with his experience, falling silent; Odile's discerning air sharpens, her assessment obvious - though this is more felt than seen. Whether she approves is difficult to say when her mouth seems perpetually played up with that little Cheshire smile, an elegant finger tapping on the point of her fine-boned chin. Through the man's litany, she doesn't say anything - whatever opinion she may have of the matter, she keeps to herself.

And when he turns the camera lens on her, she inclines her head in a graceful angle, enough to let light touch the curving edge of her left cheekbone. Nobody is getting any images of her without her turning to make sure that her camera gets her absolute best side. "I would like a copy of that, Mister Scott," she says, gesturing to the camera. "If you would be so kind to oblige a young woman so eager to make friends." Another flash of that winning smile.

...and it's one that grows when Lysander speaks impeccable, perfect French, and nothing like the archaic tongue that they speak in Montreal. She looks absolutely pleased, from what is visible on her face anyway. It also hints at some surprise. "Valentine's Day in Paris," she identifies - her French is decidedly Parisian. "You were there? And were I to test your devotion, what would that yield me, I wonder?" It's overtly teasing, laughter imbued in the line of her mouth. "A pleasure, Mister Gray. The Keepers count themselves fortunate to have an able ambassador in their midst."

Turning back to Marshall, she plants a hand on a slender hip, heels positioned somewhat astride; stilettos, and thin enough to puncture a man's jugular when applied correctly. "You're quite the able investigator, Mister Scott. To the garage, then? We'll probably find more, there. And if you're right about the mysterious missing thug, you can always see if you can question the unfortunate Mister Lorraine once he's conscious at the hospital." Lysander's last French aside earns him a wink. "I do say he'll probably learn quickly," she replies in kind.

--

Marshall dips his head politely to Odile, "I would be glad to send you a copy. I'm actually a photographer, by trade. And I think you would make an excellent model. We should set up a shoot some time." He heads to the garage, explaining his findings, and suggesting there was more than likely a fifth person of interest. As he leads the way into the garage to rifle through the trash, he tells Odile, "Interrogating Mr. Lorraine is a very good idea." As he pulls out a candy bar wrapper, he looks immediately to Lysander. "Do vampires eat food? I can't remember if they could on Queen of the Damned." Click, click, click. The entire garage is surveyed and photographed.

--

Lysander is so damn delighted to be able to speak French with someone, especially with that fine Parisian accent, that his smile has gone stellar and his attention is completely off the case. Marshall pulls him out of it, though, with that bit about vampires, and he makes a face. "Not typically." What, Marshall found trash? "I have seen no sign of vampiric activity, Marshall. Honestly, thus far it looks mostly mundane. The house doesn't even seem old enough to have ghosts." Ah, right. Introductions. "Ms. Devereaux is Accorded, by the by." Back to Odile, "Marshall here is working on his Occult understanding so that he can sign the Accords on his own merits. If he fails I suppose I will have to sponsor him, but I'd rather he work it out himself."

--

"Oh, Mister Scott." Another light laugh. "Depending on the circumstances, flattery will, indeed, get you anywhere."

As the rest start to move to the garage, Odile turns her attention to the dried blood-ring by the sink, stepping towards it. Lying her handkerchief flat on the counter, she uses the file she had used to break into the house to scrape off several substantial flecks, folds them within the fine cotton fibers and slips it within the inner pockets of her jacket. The file is also returned to its proper hiding place before she pivots and clicks her own way towards her current companions. And while she decidedly does not touch the garbage, leaving the capable crime scene photographer to sort through them, she watches him take pictures with her same, quietly assessing interest. While clearly capable of conversation, her nature lends to this as well - to dispense with the words to observe, and observe carefully.

"Really?" she muses to Lysander, returning his stellar smile with her ebullient own - Francophiles stick together, after all. "You're quite generous in that regard, Mister Gray. Have you known Mister Scott for very long? And why the interest, Mister Scott, or is it largely due to your admitted curiosity? Past exposure to the non-mundane, perhaps?"

--

Marshall wipes his hands off on his jeans, considering Odile's question. "Well, mostly it's Lys' fault. And please, call me Marshall." He gives his brow a little playful waggle. "He convinced me the supernatural is even real. And told me about the Accords. And how I'd be safer if I signed them, but need to pass some test." There's a casual shrug. Crime scenes, sudden appearances of strangers, touching garbage, nothing seems to really dampen his spirits. "Mostly, though, once you learn magic is real, how can you not be interested?" He casts a quick look around, before nodding to Lysander, "I think we're done here." Odile is included in his glance when he asks, "Would y'all like to go get some Ben Yays? I've yet to try them, and all the travel websites day it's a must for a newbie in Nawleans." No he just did not call it Nawleans.

--

At this, Lysander rolls his eyes. "You make it sound as if I decided to instruct you for no good reason," he complains. Over to Odile, "He's falsely accused as the Rotwood Reaper - an unknown serial killer who carved bones into chains and hung people from them. Which already, given various details of the case, suggests supernatural involvement to me." And, belatedly, he actually cringes at Marshall's pronunciation of 'beignet'. "Like rocks in the ear," he murmurs in French with a sigh. Back to what he was saying in English. "In any case, he was going to get himself killed. At least now if he gets himself killed, someone will have to pay me for it." He flashes Odile a rueful smile.

--

"Marshall, then," Odile allows, agreeably. "You may call me Odile." She brushes her fingers against her leather gloves, listening quietly as her attention bounces between Marshall and Lysander, both. "Oh, magic is indeed real," she replies with a dry laugh, her tone a touch acerbic there. "And there is plenty, but it seems that you're progressing with your education into the city's darker heart quite efficiently. As your would-be sponsor is a Keeper, you're in very capable hands, at least." She makes a face at the photographer's pronunciation, a resigned look that speaks volumes cast Lysander's way, even with the hat obscuring most of her face. "Cafe du Monde has the best - if we are to introduce you to them properly, we should go there. I'll have my driver for the day take us."

To Lysander, there's a quirk of a smile. "You're quite generous in ensuring his protection," she tells him in French. "And turning it so that even if the worst happened, your investment would not be in vain. Oh, but it is interesting, isn't it, Mister Gray?"

With their canvassing of the house done, she'll follow her companions out - off for coffee and pastries!