Logs:TSO-NOLA - Conversations and Cadavers

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TSO-NOLA - Conversations and Cadavers


Characters: Katherine, Rafael, Seven, Mingzhu as ST
Date: 2020-05-29
Summary: Some info is shared between the cops and the constables - and then there's a fresh victim to investigate.
Disclaimers:




The Duke of Gloucester is a little chunk of England that someone set down in the middle of the melting pot of cultures and centuries that is New Orleans; it's usually quiet, it's over an Indian restaurant, and it's all dark wood and threadbare, faded red velvet. There's a snug in the back, a private booth with a door which is where the Constables are waiting for the detective they'll be meeting with.

Rafael's fedora is set on the back of the booth, and he combs his fingers back through his hair, glancing briefly at his watch.




Seven is seated near her fellow Constable in the booth. The young woman has been appearing more groomed since joining the organization, though such is hard to tell under the hood she constantly wears. Legs are tucked and folded underneath her, her hands resting in her lap while she waits with Rafael. "Met this person before?" she quietly asks him with a light raise of her brow, curious.




Dressed casually, the hoodie is loose enough that a careful eye might notice she's probably got a holster on. Long enough that it covers the badge on her belt. Arriving at The Duke, Katherine comes to a slow stop. Cell Phone in hand, she drops it into her back pocket as she makes her way towards the small booth in the back. Each face is given a nod, "I think you guys could be waiting for me, Detective Reynolds." Katherine doesn't take a seat yet, she waits to make sure she has the right group of people.




"Not yet," Rafael replies-- and then he looks up as the woman comes to the back, a smile tugging up at the corner of his lips. "Detective. Come in, close the door--" Fingers spread in a motion to the other side of the circular booth, "--have a seat. Rafael Costillo."




Always vigilant, Seven catches a glimpse of Katherine when she first enters the pub. It's only when the other woman starts to approach the snug does she turn her attention toward her. Bright green eyes watch her as she introduces herself, studying her curiously. "Seven," she offers as an introduction. Rafael is probably the more social of the two, so the hooded woman leans back in her seat a little while she waits to hear what's going on. Though, her posture is a little excited for a potential new case.




Smiling, there is relief in that expression that reaches her eyes. "Katherine. It's a pleasure, Mr. Costillo." Taking a seat on the opposite side of the circular booth from the pair. A notebook is drawn out of another pocket. "Seven. A pleasure as well." Flipping through the small notebook, for a moment it's almost stereotypical. "So, where are you two on this? What have you been told so far?" Lifting her head to look between the pair now. "Or am I starting from the top?" Finding the page she was looking for it seems as the flipping of pages comes to a stop.




Once the door's closed and they have that modicum of privacy, Rafael's welcoming smile fades for a more serious, business-like expression. "We've got nineteen victims so far," he replies, as much for Seven's benefit as for a recap of what they know so far, "All of them born in the city. All of them exsanguinated, and then decapitated post-mortem. There's a 'coffin' marking near the scenes, adding to the ritualistic manner of the killings... and no defensive wounds on any of them."




While Rafael brings everyone up to speed, Seven is eyeing Katherine's notebook. Almost in a distracted manner. It's clear she's listening, but that notebook... Eventually, she looks back over to the other two in the booth, tilting her head to the side. Brows furrow as she takes in the information, a slight frown forming on her lips. The gears are starting to turn in her mind. "Made to look like a vampire... Vampires tend not to leave their evidence. Not like this. Frame attempt?" There's another pause as she mulls something over. "Victims born here... ancestors here too?" she wonders with a raised brow.




A general bob of her head, Katherine's own demeanor changing to something business like, despite the casual attire. A soft pressing together of her lips, her eyes narrowing thoughtfully as they go over some of the facts. "Could it be something mundane, like hypnotism or some kind of ?" Struggling for words for a moment to explain things properly. "Hallucination. I mean, that many people aren't going to just let beheading happen. Nevermind that there are no marks where the bodies were drained." Looking towards Seven momentarily, "That's a lot of blood. Are they saving it up for something?" A small, distasteful wrinkle of her nose at the thought. "Maybe witchcraft. That's really not my area of knowledge."




"That was Wright's first theory, some sort of cult maybe," Rafael's chin bobs in a bit of a nod at Katherine's words, his hand motioning towards Seven at her words, "I agree with Seven here that it doesn't match what we expect from vampires. I mean, not the normal sort at least." If there is a //normal sort// of vampires. "Someone's clearly trying to implicate vampires, though-- whether as a red herring, or some sort of grudge against them, it's hard to say... huh." He glances to Seven, "Are you thinking it could be some sort of //ancestral// grudge?"




"Vampires are immortal," Seven points out. The young woman loosely folds her arm over her chest, again her expression turning pensive. "/If/ it is a vampire..." Because Seven doesn't seem entirely convinced herself it's one of the Kindred making this mess. "Ancestors of the victims could have wronged the vampire. Or been hunters. Wronged their maker..." She lightly shakes her head. "Would need to know more of the victims. Or." Pause. "Knowing where the next attack might happen. Any link between locations the bodies were found?"




"An ancestral grudge, that makes me want to think vampires again." Leaning back into the booth, the notebook briefly disappearing. "But sometimes humans surprise me with how long they can hold a grudge." Hands appearing again from where they were, she purposefully flips through the notes. "One of the victims, Mr?.Naharkar." Struggling with that last name, "I probably slaughtered that." Muttering the later part. "He's Indian-American, so that would break the ancestral pattern, wouldn't it?" Looking between the pair. Seven speaks and Katherine looks to her notes again. "I'm not sure about the link in locations." Looking through her information methodically.




"Not necessarily, if someone in his family married into locals," Rafael notes, his brow furrowing a little in thought, "We're working off a lot of supposition here, though. We're going to have Wright see if any of the dead are restless-- then we can interrogate their ghosts directly. The locations, that's a thought..." He looks around, "I feel like we should have a map on the wall, with colored markings on it."

"Maybe I've been watching too many police procedurals."




Fingers lightly rap her arm as Seven listens and thinks. Lips are pursed as she sits up and untangles her legs from underneath her. "Fancy phones have maps." Right? Her eyes seem to ask as she looks between Katherine and Rafael both. "For now... set up a map with the points to see if a visible connection is there. Hunters, of any kind, don't leave their stalking grounds. Usually."




Putting the notebook down, she pulls out her phone briefly. Katherine brings up a few locations on Google maps, "Maybe if we're lucky, it will be in the shape of a pentagram." Katherine jokes, "I'm starting to wonder if it's more than one. Are any of the killings overlapping in time and place?" Most of her theories are kind of wondering out loud than anything else. Fingers stretch the map, eyes narrowing as she flips through her notes and looks back to her phone for several moments. "They kind of spread out from the French Quarter. My guess is that's their hunting grounds. That's where he's comfortable, or they are." A small shrug.

Murdermap.JPG




"Hm. It may just be a coincidence that they're all natives, then, if they're not being purposefully targeted," Rafael drums his fingers over the table, "We've been thinking 'targeted' but what if they're just opportunities? If whoever it is, if they're hunting the less-travelled parts of the city, they're less likely to run into tourists anyway."




Taking in a slow, thoughtful breath Katherine puts down her phone for a moment, putting hands together thoughtfully. "Could be, but that brings us back to why, so we can get to the who. I mean, realistically that's ?." She looks as if she very much doesn't want to say it, but does so with a look that says it tastes bad. "That's a lot of bodies to drop. If they're human, there are at least a pair. Maybe it's a supernatural of some kind other than the vampires." Then her rambling comes to a stop. "The heads, they were ?" Flipping back through her notebook. "The heads were cut off. That's after the blood was drained. We're not seeing a transportation trail on any of these? There has to be a kill room somewhere, doesn't there?"




"I haven't heard much about the body discovery... were they clearly dumped, or left where they were killed?" Rafael's brows go up a bit, questioningly, "If there's any sign of them being moved or not." A pause, "I did have one thought. What if they're a new vampire that wasn't properly educated, and went over the edge? They're worried if they drain a body they'll turn too, so they're taking off the heads."




"So, it's a baby vampire." Katherine begins thoughtfully. "He's taking a life every two or three days. I have no idea how hungry ?" A small shake of her head, "I mean, like no clue." A faint laugh, a nervous sound. "So the baby vampire is draining them dry. Like? I mean dry. Then cuts their head off. That seems like so much overkill." Shaking her head slightly. "But I dunno. I'm not saying it couldn't happen. To be frank, it seems very sloppy for any of the groups that come to mind. Has anyone talked to the vampires? Is that a possibility?"




Seven has been quietly sitting there while listening to the others. Brows remain furrowed, thoughtful. Although she occasional lifts her head to look between the two, she's mostly focused on the map. "Need Sam. She can see," Seven says, somewhat quietly as she steals a glance at Rafael. Sitting up more, she tilts her head as she glances to Katherine. "Blueprints may be useful. Spot paths unseen from the streets. Sewers. Tunnels. Can you get that information?" she requests hopefully.




"I can't say that I have-- I don't have any contacts in the vampire world personally," Rafael frowns, tapping a finger against the table in thought, "I'm sure Wright does, though." The suggestion from Seven brings a nod, "Yeah. We need Sam and Wright in on this-- we'll need access to one of the bodies probably, and one of the crime scenes. Until then, all we have is theories..."




"I think I could probably dig that up easy enough." Replying to Seven, nodding and tugging a pen out of where her hair is up in a twist. Scribbling down something in the notepad quickly and replacing it in that mass of hair. "Yeah, I don't either. I mean, I could probably use my connections to dig one up one, but I would rather go about it organically. Makes people more likely to trust you." A loose shrug. Just about to say something, she holds up a finger in that classical "please, one moment" gesture as she answers her phone.

"Detective Reynolds." She responds out of habit, and then falls quiet. "Yes, I want in. What's the body count up to right now?" She looks at the two, fishing out the pen, flipping to an empty page. Simply writing in a neat script: one more body, Turning so that they can read it. "Great" She mutters into the phone. "Anything different or same MO?" Pausing to listen. Then finally, "I'll be there as soon as I can." She puts down her phone. "That was Harrison, there is another headless body. Let's go see what we can find out."




Phone conversations are usually meant to be private, so Seven at least tries to pretend she's not blatantly eavesdropping. She might have adverted her gaze but it doesn't really help that she keeps glancing back to Katherine's phone. Leaning over toward Rafael, she tells him, "I can find a vampire. Easy to feel them here." Whatever that means. She speaks in a quiet tone, though still audible enough for the other woman to hear if she's listening. Once Katherine is done on the phone, Seven perks up at the news. "Location, near the French Quarter?" she wonders. The hooded young woman is already starting to climb out of the booth, eager to get on the trail of the killer. Or killers.




"Ah, hell." Rafael plants a hand against the table and pushes himself up and out of the booth, twisting to reach back and snatch up that vintage fedora. It's planted back on his head, and he adjusts it briefly before moving to step out of the booth, "Can you get us into the crime scene, Detective?"

Moving out of the booth with ease, Katherine nods, "Close to the others, Behrman this time." On her feet, she straightens her clothing so that her badge will show. "We will call you consultants on the case, hopefully they won't give me any guff about it." Giving the pair a nod as she moves towards the exit.

Katherine says, "If he's doing this by the clock, there is still a body out there we haven't found." She notes."




One thrilling car journey later...




H6 - Behrman and the US Naval Base

Located on the West Bank in the Algiers neighborhood, Behrman is the notable home of the Behrman Place Retirement Community and the Behrman Park and Stadium, the latter of which is lit up every Friday night with high school football games. In addition to the stadium, there's a community pool, tennis courts, track and fields, and a gymnasium.

Also sitting on the West Bank overlooking the river is what was, for 110 years, a Naval Support Activity's Base. Today, the 156 acres belongs to the Federal City Project. Millions of federal and state dollars have gone into the project, and the buildings once used by the Navy are in use by an eclectic mix of businesses and schools. Governmental uses include a police department headquarters, the Coast Guard Sector Command, and offices for the Marines. The base is also home to a military academy, a child development center, and a campus for the Delgado Community College. Other uses include the Federal City Auditorium, Federal City Inn & Suites, a Fitness Center, and several small businesses.

By the time Reynolds and her two shadows make it the half-hour journey down through the French Quarter and the Central Business district, then east through Whitney and McDonoghville to reach Behrman, Greg Harrington has taken control of the crime scene. Police tape has been set up around an alleyway between two small businesses not far from the community college, and two more junior officers are warding off the nosy general public. When Harrington sees Katherine pull up with friends he makes a sort-of sigh, then motions all three of them through.




When they arrive at the scene of the crime, Seven glances a bit uneasily at the cops. Authority figures. Instinctively, she reaches up to tug more on her hood before stepping out of the car. She keeps her head down for now as the trio passes by Harrington. Her face doesn't need to be seen here. As eager as she is to explore and snoop around the area, even look at the body for more possible clues she stays behind Katherine for now, letting the other woman take the lead. She slides her hands into her pockets, taking a quick glance around before looking back to the others.




As they draw closer, Rafael brings one hand up to the brim of his hat - giving it a slight tip to Harrington, recognition and appreciation in the simple movement. "I've got to start carrying nitrile gloves on me," he murmurs mostly to himself as he walks with the other two, hands folding behind his back for now. Time to find out what this killer's handiwork looks like.




Waved through, Katherine has shed her hoodie in favor of the t-shirt beneath that has the NOPD insignia on the back. Approaching the body carefully, she pulls on a pair of gloves she had in her car. "Did the coroner say how long this one has been dead?" Katherine inquires to Harrington, looking down at the body. Carefully she walks around to the head area of the corpse, to see if the head was taken off in roughly the same way. "This is ?" She's speechless at the mounting pile of bodies this killer is racking up. "Did he leave anything behind this time?" As she asks the standard questions, she looks at the corpse arms, to see if there are any signs of fighting back this time.




<OOC> Mingzhu says, "Ladies and gent, this is your victim. https://media.gettyimages.com/photos/dying-picture-id154890791?s=2048x2048"

<OOC> Mingzhu says, "Only, slightly less flush with blood, and with the head a few inches away from the neck."




"Coroner reckons roughly four hours. His buddy found him - we don't have a solid ID yet, but he's been around the area a while, known to his homeless family as 'Skeeball'," Harrington replies, absently scratching a hand along the back of his neck. "His friend has been taken down to the station for questioning, but I don't imagine we'll get much." As with the other bodies, this one is devoid of blood, and the head is set a little way back from the neck stump. Unlike some of the others, there are a few splashes of blood on the hood of the fleece jacket, suggesting he was at least clothed when he died - the others have all been conspicuously clean save for the odd drop on the surface they were set down on.

He turns his gaze to the two Constables. "Costillo. Miss."




Seven slowly circles around the body as she studies it, Harrington getting ignored for now since her attention was somewhere more important. A frown lingers on her lips as she eyes his face. She tilts her head as she spots something. Crouching down, it's obvious the urge to touch things is there but she refrains for now. Instead, she lifts a hand and points toward the head. "The marking is underneath. Can see it," she tells the others, looking briefly toward Harrington before Rafael and Katherine. "Could be mixture of theories discussed..."




"Harrington." Rafael stops while Seven and Katherine move forward to investigate, a cursory look over the scene before he looks back to the man with a brow's slight lift upwards, "This'll be number twenty, then?" The mention of the marking gets his attention, and he turns back to Seven - pulling out his phone to queue up his camera, "Anyone have gloves? We'll need a picture of it."




Katherine carefully crouches down, balancing on the flat of her feet near the body. "Why does he look like he was smiling?" She says out loud. Looking at the man's face, she shakes her head slightly. Her gloved hands fist up as she straightens, there is that want to rake hands through her hair that is resisted while she wears gloves. "How is this not ?" Putting her arms out, "A blood bath? It's so clean." Inhaling as if to say something loud or frustrated, she stops and is very still for a moment. One can almost see her nostrils flair. "I smell perfume." Looking to the others, to see if they noticed the scent. Stepping back, a faint, disbelieving smile. "Maybe it's a woman." Looking towards Seven, she nods. Then Rafael speaks up, "I can lift it, get a good picture."




At Katherine's initial question, Seven very lightly taps her fingers against her neck a few times, almost like fangs. "Some consider it pleasurable," she states, frowning a bit. Slowly she rises back to her feet, sliding her hands into her pockets as she lets the others inspect and document the body. She steps away from the main scene for now, attempting to survey the rest of the area around them. Perhaps something to spot or find beyond the corpse. She eyes for any escape routes as well, manhole covers, fire escapes, and such.




"A smile, perfume..." Rafael steps over, crouching down beside the head and bringing his phone up to take a picture once it's been moved. He glances up to Katherine, a single brow lifting, "Are you thinking a honey trap, maybe? All genders are being targeted, though..." An acknowledging grunt to Seven's words, "Could be. Or something hypnotic."




Katherine catches the motion that Seven plays out, a subtle nod at it. Watching the woman explore the outer crime scene, she turns back towards Rafael and Harrington. Moving the head with care so that the picture can be taken. "Everyone has a type. Could make it harder to find if they keep changing faces somehow. Master of disguise or some shit." Replacing the head she pulls off the gloves and steps back. "Could explain the variety of victims. They don't have a type, they ? are a type, maybe?"




Although Seven is listening to the others with their theories about the body, her main focus is elsewhere. Slow, deliberate steps are taken as she wanders the perimeters, drifting further from the group. Tilting her head, she starts to make her way to the end of the alley. The wall that stands in the way is briefly glanced over before she just kind of hops up there to the top. She peers out past the wall. Taking her phone out of her pocket, she turns on the flashlight to help provide some illumination as she gives a cursory glance to see if there's anything worth pursuing on the other side.

You paged Seven with 'Behind the alleyway is a small, enclosed area at the back of a landscaping business. It looks like the yard where they keep tools, paving slabs, etc. There's an attached storage shed to the left, the business itself to the front, and the side wall of the next business over on the right. The space is the same width as the alleyway and about as deep, and there appears to be no access to it other than from the landscaping business - or by hopping the wall as you have.'




<OOC> Rafael says, "What does the thing under the head look like?"

<OOC> Mingzhu says, "It's a coffin mark, same as at the other sites."

Coffin.jpg



There's a quick flash-click from the phone as the coffin mark's taken. "Alright. Go ahead and... put it back down," Rafael says, regarding the bloodless visage with a slightly disturbed expression before pushing himself up to his feet. Glancing down to the body, he observes, "There's blood on his jacket... maybe it's not his?"




Katherine keeps half an eye on Seven, because she was the one who brought the woman and her companion inside the crime scene. A nod to Rafael's mention of blood, "They'll have to check the blood, see if it matches his or the criminal." Stepping back she circles around the body once more, checking the area close by. "Is there anything else, are they searching the area?" This last to Harrington.




"Yeah, I've got a couple people doing rounds, checking local businesses and speaking with people," Harrington confirms with a slow nod. "Nobody has mentioned anything out of the ordinary so far, but we haven't spoken to everyone yet. You wanna talk to some of the locals?" he suggests, motioning to the building on either side of the alleyway - an independent burger grill and a stationary shop. Glancing over to Rafael, he nods in line with Kat's comments about the blood being checked back at the station.




Noticing Katherine has a watchful eye on her, Seven calls out, "I'll be back." It's non-chalant enough that the others could probably tell nothing of great interest was pulling her to the other side of the wall. With that said, the young hooded woman hops over the wall to explore whatever it is she found. Roughly ten or so minutes in the future, she'll give Rafael a text stating that there was nothing found!




"Not my... area of expertise," Rafael admits, glancing off to the grill, "And I've got something to go see to myself-- Detective?" He looks to Katherine, a single brow lifting, "You want to do the interviewing? I'll go get in touch with Wright and Cole so they can do their oogy-woogy fuckery to get some more information."




"Have someone at least scope the local stores for cameras or anything that might give us any clues. I can go by the stores myself if I need to." Katherine glances in the direction of the burger grill and stationary shop. "See if they saw anything. Or if they did, if they would say anything." Once more there is a glance down at the body. Then, straightening up, she nods to Seven and Rafael, "That's fine, keep me in the loop if you find out anything. I will do the same."