Logs:TSO-NOLA - The Murder Meet-Up
TSO-NOLA - The Murder Meet-Up
|Characters:||Mingzhu as Storyteller, Charlie, Rafael, Seven, Muse, Nikola, and Seth|
|Summary:||Detective Greg Harrington gets the various Accorded folks who are investigating the decapitator murders together for a round-table meeting to share evidence and discuss how to move forward with catching the killer.|
He has a couple of whiteboards set up - a map with the order of murders on one, a set of pictures and brief information about the dead on the other. He has a pint of beer for himself, a few jugs of water and some bar snacks on the table.. and so he waits.
After finding a parking spot for his charcoal-colored German sedan, Seth emerges onto the street near the chosen meeting point, the vehicle also ferrying the brunette Muse. Himself in a light grey dress shirt with the top few buttons undone, revealing a collarless black t-shirt underneath, dark jeans, and black combat boots, the Vampire waits a moment to hold the door to the building open for Muse before stepping in himself. Seth lightly rests a hand on the dark leather satchel bag that he's wearing at his side, taking a few steps into the meeting room and looking around. One eyebrow rises when he notices the standing whiteboards with pictures, muttering aside to his companion, "Looks like we're in the right place."
"Nice." Rafael's in his usual 'professional clothes' as he steps in with a box of donuts cradled under one arm; black slacks and a black button-up, both of which look like they're normally stored on the floor given the wrinkles, sleeves rolled up to just below the elbow, a genuine fedora perched atop his head. The hat - and donuts - are set down on the table before he steps over to look over the murderboards, "Very 'CSI' of you, appreciated, Detective." The entry of the vampire has him turning a bit, looking to the newcomers with a single brow's raise.
Drifting into the room behind Seth, looking every inch the spaced out millennial rebel in her oversized Aviators, a blouse of gauzy polka-dotted black and high waisted black trousers fitted snugly to her long legs beneath contrastingly huge combat boots, Muse takes in the surroundings with a non-committal 'hmm' by way of response. Where exactly does that gaze wander first, behind those impenetrable lenses? It's anybody's guess, really.. but one would hope at least a cursory glance is cast over the waiting boards. Raking the fingertips of one hand back through her dark curls in a habitual mannerism, the Mekhet wanders without ceremony toward one of the nearest chairs at the central table, drawing it out with a teeth-tingling screech across the floor and dropping unceremoniously to a seat. Without the hint of expression, those delicate features are easily enough pegged as insouciant. Here we are now.. entertain us.
Rarely the first the arrive, at least not in a visible presence, Seven strolls into the room not long after the pair of vampires. She pauses moment, a quick cursory glance is given over the immediate area, making mental notes of the various details around her. Her gaze maaaay linger a bit on the doughnuts brought by her fellow Constable. Even in a seemingly safe, secure area, she wears the hood over her head, a few strands of her long, dark hair peeking out. Leggings and sneakers round out the rest of her outfit, casual with dark and muted colors. Such seems to be her usual attire. A polite nod is given to those gathered as she slowly makes her way over toward the whiteboard with the pictured victims. A sprinkled doughtnut is grabbed along the way. There she stands for a few moments, studying over the faces as she munches on her snack. "Most seem to have... Negative commentary," she notes with a curious tone.
"Welcome, yeah, come on in, grab a seat," Harrington greets folks as they drift inside one by one, making a vague gesture at the table. "Or don't, I'm not your dad." There's a slight air of 'overworked and underpaid' about him, the man trying his best to solve this serial killer, and needing to lean heavily on the Accorded community to do it.
"Thanks," he adds to Rafael's comment, a brief smile directed his way, then he takes a long sip from his pint of beer. "For those who don't know me, I'm Detective Harrington from the homicide team," he adds, given there are at least two people he doesn't know here. "There's no particular structure to this. I figure you all know bits and pieces, so let's try and assemble those bits of the puzzle into a more coherent whole."
"Seth," the green-eyed vampire offers up by way of introduction in response, lifting his own chair up and moving it without the touching the floor in contrast to Muse's chalkboard-howl of seating. "Hound of the Praxis," he slides into his seat, eyes flicking from whiteboard to whiteboard. A brief nod of greeting is offered in Seven's direction, should she look towards teh table. Then he's reading the font underneath the photos - despite how small it is relative to his current vantage - and remarks to her, "Seems like they all had strong passions one way or the other, I agree."
Would you believe it, there's actual the hint of a smile offered in recognition toward Seven when she wanders into the room. An upnod follows, as introduction is made, toward the weary-looking Detective who has gathered them here tonight.. though Muse doesn't actually offer her name, quite yet. Why? Hopefully because she's thinking. There's a slow nod in the wake of the other woman's words, the slender brunette rocking gently back onto the rear legs of her chair, balanced on one booted toe. She waits for her coterie-mate to offer up his opinion, before she herself ventures, soft-spoken as ever and with that lilting Southern accent lacing her tone. "..those aren't just idle observations." Her chair creaks gently as she swings a little. "..those are sins. Look." Raising one hand, the other remaining comfortably upon her midsection, she points out a few of the photos at random. "Greed. Lust. Sloth. Wrath.. take your pick."
Only now, belatedly, does she bother to introduce herself. "I'm Muse, by the way." There's the flash of white teeth in a fleeting smile, but those enormous sunglasses stay firmly on.
"Rafael," is the name offered back, affably enough, one hand motioning to the younger woman, "This is Seven. We're with the Black Constables." His gaze slides back to the boards at the commentary, one hand coming up to scratch short, well-trimmed nails under his jawline, "Motives don't come out of positive traits, after all. Sins, though... maybe so, but some of these are pretty venal sins. And some of them-- I mean, look at fifteen. They smelled like roses."
The socially stunted Seven doesn't see a need to introduce herself since she's already done so before with those gathered. Though, she doesn't seem to mind Rafael reminding others of her name. When Muse points toward one of the pictures, she leans in just slightly to better read the note. Something akin to amusement briefly flickers in her eyes before she gives a glance toward the other woman. "What is known is rarely the full truth," she points out. Popping the rest of the doughnut into her mouth, she turns and strolls back toward the table with snacks. A pensive expression slowly settles onto her features as she pauses at the table. Seven picks out another doughnut, old-fashioned this time, before looking back at the group. "I wonder how this killer discovered their secret sins. And why them?"
"Well, they were all human, as far as I know. So prone to the usual human failings," Harrington agrees thoughtfully. "The one thing that does tie them all together is, they were all born here in New Orleans, and for every single one of them the majority of their lives have been spent here." He sets his pint glass down and takes a seat. "So. What do you all know?"
Seth leans back in his chair, propping up the elbow of his right arm against the table. 'What do you know?' Ahhh, this question again. The Mekhet sets out to summarize the important details this time, instead of every last aspect of his observations.
"There was a symbol carved into the building nearby to the body that I found. Carved, with a metal instrument. So the killer isn't feral and is capable of complex thoughts, so we can rule out all the creepy kinds of monsters that don't have hands or basic knowledge of tools." Seth waits a beat. "The killer carved a casket symbol, which my interest in New Orleans' weird history informs me is related to casket girls. I believe we've established those," a sidelong glance and nod towards Seven, "so no need to explain further. I can, afterwards, provide a history lesson if necessary. Anyway, there was a convent on Ursulines Street, near the body dump site, which used to process casket girls. Nuns abandoned it and tried to exorcise the place. Later on, some journalists broke into the closed off sections to investigate it for a story... some time ago. I'd have to dig up the articles, investigative legwork isn't my jam. The information is reliable, though." He gestures at the killing pattern on the whiteboard. "Same MO. Bloodless, beheaded."
Seth tilts his head to the side. "Convent, today, is currently a museum. Next steps for my crew were to take a night-time tour of the convent, heavily armed, and see if our head-taking vigilante is in there or if there are, at least, clues." The Mekhet pauses, thinking. "Also, the creature seems to be a Vampire or at least hemophagic, as the bodies died of exsanguination and there were no indications of mechanical or medical exsanguination. The creature also seems to possess extreme speed and that's how it's placing the bodies without being noticed. Decapitation is post mortem, hence the lack of blood spatter, possibly covering a strange feeding wound or other marking on the neck. Either that or it's ritualistic. The whole... ritual of the killings suggests some kind of weird motive."
"The ones that are 'innocent'? .. are really innocent." observes Muse, the subtle turn of her head toward Rafael indicating the direction of her reply. She's quiet a moment, before adding something further. "..I'd wondered about possible connections to faith, after one of the victims was found wearin' a crucifix, plus the general proximity to the nunnery. Someone obsessed with virtue and sin I guess falls into that vague category. Though I agree.." The weight of that hidden gaze departs the man, the cant of her head betraying a return to the boards. "..mixing the two, killin' them the same way? Doesn't strike me as a specific vendetta, either." The brunette bounces her precariously balanced chair with a steady flexing of the toes still on the ground, her other foot drawn up and settled atop the opposite knee. Her hands clasp comfortably once more.. and she leaves it to Seth to summarise once more, in his succinct style, what has been gathered.
An upward tilt of the Mekhet's elegant jaw suggests a glance cast ceilingward, perhaps to buzzing fluorescent light overhead. There's just the faintest twitch of displeasure about her Cupid's Bow for the offending decor, before her attention is back upon the Detective and the others. Seth and Seven, she knows for certain, have points of note to lay out on the table. Rafael? Well, he brought doughnuts. He's safe.
A chocolate doughnut's brought from the box to a chair, and Rafael drops himself down into it, leaning back a little to listen to the findings of others - a bite taken as he listens, one hand absently brushing some crumbs off his chest. After he swallows, his thick voice lifts to add his own findings to the proceedings. "The killer's female-presenting," he offers, "Or at least is able to disguise themselves as such. Described as a real 'Snow White' type, pale, red lips. Dresses a little old-fashioned, French accent - not Cajun, but //French//, which has implications combined with what you just said about the casket girls." He motions to Seth with the bitten doughnut, "Heavy perfume. Maybe to cover up something else?"
Late to the party is one Charlie. She is at least respectful, and very aware of it, by coming in quietly and making her way towards a place to sit at the table. Tucked beneath her arm is a notebook, and a pen is tucked behind one ear.
Seven gives the newcomer a curious look over but she remains by the table with the snacks for now. She's silent as she listens to the others, Seth sharing most of the information she had herself. A hand reaches up to brush some crumbs from her lips. "Was contact with Helené made?" she questions of the two vampires, looking between the pair with an arched brow. The mortal knows things were short notice but she figures no harm in asking. "All locals. Perhaps all religious." A pause before adding, "At least involved with a church," she suggests before taking another quick bite of her doughnut. Not even murders get in the way of her snacks. "Maybe the the killer picked their victims from such a place. Have watched them, followed them, seen the sins." She considers something for a moment, briefly glancing down at her free hand. "Maybe this ritualistic killing is cleansing them of their sins. In the eyes of the killer."
"Not yet," Seth says by way of response to Seven about Helene, sitting back in his chair briefly. "It's on the docket, going to try the official channels first. If that doesn't work.." the Mekhet shrugs, looping an arm over the back of the chair he's found himself in to provide a more comfortable posture at odds with his clean and proper appearance. "We'll just go knocking after this meeting."
Green eyes briefly flicking towards the door and the new arrival, Seth nods by way of greeting. "Hey there," he offers up to Charlie, "We're just putting it all on the table now. We're with the fangs, they're Black Constables," Seth manages some incredibly abridged introductions, nodding briefly aside to Muse. This isn't social hour, though, so he skips ahead. "We've got a lead on the killer's past, an old nunnery in the French Quarter, and we're currently discussing victim pattern and motive. Anything you want to add, feel free."
Then he's back to the topic at hand, looking very belatedly towards Rafael. "That's very good to know. If we can get a sketch artist, that might narrow it down if we can start pulling camera footage." The Vampire offers up a nod of appreciation.
"Serial killers often have a trigger, a type...something they are after." Charlie observes as she drops her notebook down on the table, flipping it open before she reaches up to tug her pen out from behind her ear. Then she turns her attention to the white boards to start copying the information like a student in class.
Charlie then glances towards Seth at the introduction, of sorts, "I'm Charlie, with the press." Or wolves. But no. Press. Charlie probably would have a press badge to flash around. "What is the victim pattern beyond religious?"
Something in Rafael's words elicits the blink-and-you'll-miss-it quirk of Muse's lips in approval, though seeing as she doesn't actually turn her head and her gaze remains obscured by her shades, it might go entirely unexplained.
The arrival of a latecomer doesn't seem to rouse any displeasure from the waifish brunette; a subtle upraising of her face implies the direction of her attention to Charlie as the young woman finds herself a seat unobtrusively.. but now's not the time really to go flinging further introductions. She leaves it be, for the moment; contentedly continuing to rock to and fro on the rear legs of her chair. There's a fractional shake of the Shadow's head in response to Seven, her expression otherwise infuriatingly unreadable.. though she does then deign to 'hmm' in consideration as the other woman repeats the information she'd shared with she and her coterie-mates prior to tonight's meeting.. and specifically the outloud contemplations regarding the idea of a church in common. "That'd certainly be an easy way to identify said sins... religious types do like to talk about them. Apparently confession and contrition absolves you enough to go out and sin again for the next week." There's a slow, deliberate twist of her lips in a brief, lukewarm smile. Well, vampires probably aren't exactly advocates of the confessional, let's be honest. As the reporter, as she assumes her to be, poses a question, Muse halts and turns an obscured look her way, then a subtle nod to the boards. "Have at it. I've been starin' at them for ten minutes and I don't see one."
Anyway. Back to her train of thought. Diverted, not quite crashed and burned. "How do the etchin's of the caskets tie in with that theory, though? Lot of extra fuss to go to."
"They were all born, and spent most of their lives, here in New Orleans," Harrington supplies quietly to Charlie. "That's the only for-sure link I can figure, without going into religious theory."
Nikola Senjan can never seem to arrive on time. Perhaps it's a throwback to the ancient tradition of arriving 'fashionably late' to any party, or perhaps he simply doesn't pay close enough attention to the ebb and flow of the city. In any case, the bearded Ventrue arrives well after the beginning of the meeting. He slips through the back door of the bar, clicking it back into place and staying stock still before he advances into the tap room. He takes a few moments to gaze around the room, noting the various occupants and their locations before approaching the table.
Nikola grabs a chair and turns it around, settling down beside Muse and Seth. His dark eyes gaze at the murderboards, noting the list of victims and the apparently patternless map of the killings. He doesn't introduce himself, most likely in an attempt to keep from interrupting the flow of the meeting. But he does remark, sotto voce to Muse, "I enjoy confessing to priests. You should come sometime. They always end up saying Hail Maries." A nod to the group as a whole, and he falls silent once more, joking set aside for now.
"I don't think we have enough for a sketch artist, and dead people usually aren't that great at providing fine detail," Rafael admits, before pausing as he looks at the vampires, brows beetling a bit, "The normal sort of dead people, I mean, not the walking ones. No offense, or anything." He crooks his head to one side, then the other, a hand rubbing at his neck to relieve some tension. "So based on what we've got... the perp has some connection with the 'casket girls' from back in the day. Possibly was one herself, if she's a vampire. Given her fetish for people who've lived here all their lives, it's possible that she's trying to get some sort of revenge on New Orleans natives in general -- which, given that history, makes some sense. If I re-call correctly, the convent's the oldest building in the city -- possible she's been using it as a resting place. Logic suggests we go slip in and have a look-see."
"Or a nun herself." Charlie offers up thoughtfully.
Seth nods upwards by way of greeting towards Nikola when he enters, but otherwise keeps his piercing gaze on the task at hand. There is a brief laugh that breaks the resting solemnity of Seth's expression at Rafael's clarification. "Oh no, how dare you insult us ambulatory corpses? I'll have your blahd for that," Seth manages a remarkably practiced deadpan, except for the brief displacement of accent on 'blood.' His expression doesn't flicker during this statement, remaining business casual as he returns to the topic without further interruptions.
"We can set a time and go take a look, yeah. With a group of us, we've got the muscle," the Hound agrees with Rafael, producing a small cluster of matte black business cards that read 'Seth, Hound and Keeper' in silver font, with some phone numbers listed underneath, and place them on the table. "Anyone wants to get ahold of me, take one." He pushes them to a more centrally accessible position on the table before leaning back.
Charlie's suggestion also gets a nod from Seth. "Or a nun. The punishment theme and the religion stuff definitely fits, anyway. Hopefully we're only looking at one killer and not a group. There are a lot of bodies." the Vampire speculates almost absent-mindedly, though it would be a mistake to think he's not paying attention. "It's also possible the victims have a casket girl somewhere in their family tree, if those girls somehow wronged the killer. Seems unlikely, but if they're New Orleans natives, that could go back generations. No way to prove it without a disgusting amount of leg-work, so that's probably impractical, but it's a thought. Otherwise why bother targeting natives?"
Raising his hands up in a helpless gesture, Seth concludes, "Either way. Let's get in touch and figure out a time to check the convent, I'll see about getting Helene Armaud investigated... Maybe do some checking to see if we can find anything matching the physical appearance of our killer or that perfume." He pauses. "Anything else, other details?"
Niko's arrival - and that quiet aside - elicits a smirk of wry amusement from Muse. But she remains obligingly quiet as the others present begin to offer up their suggestions. Folding her arms comfortably now, the brunette slowly eases her chair back down onto all four legs, nodding slowly once more in wordless agreement with Rafael's assessment and flashing him one of those swift glimpses of her teeth, beautifully timed with Seth's denouncing of the 'slur'. No, she's not bothered either.
As for her coterie-mate's authoritative summary, the Mekhet listens with an air of calm, the humor fading from what can be seen of her features. "..I think that pretty much covers everythin' I'd thought of. So nothin' further from me." Unlike the other two-thirds of her group, Muse is not a Hound. But hey, many hands make light work.. and the whole Devil, idle thumbs thing.
Maybe she just didn't feel like waiting in the car.
Charlie reaches out to grab the card, looking at it before she slides it away in a pocket, "Still could all be true. If they have one of the girls in their family past, they could be being targetted for that. So the nuns were supposedly caretakers for these girls that got..." She then trails off, glancing around, "You all know this already though, I bet." She waves a hand, turning her attention to making notes on her notebook of the rest. "Before I send the piece up for print, anyone have any opinions on what they want to make sure gets into black and white, or //doesn't//."
"It seems to me," remarks Nikola -- still without offering an introduction -- "That the thing to do is to go to the nunnery directly." He nods aside to Seth as the other man suggests coordinating an investigation into the structure. "We have two solid leads, and a lot of conjecture that may lead us down a series of dead-end investigations." The Eastern accent is muted this evening, as though the Ventrue is making a real effort to sound Americanized. There is even a hint of Muse's southern drawl in his voice at certain moments.
"I do not wish to seem overly confident, but with the numbers in this room, and the resources each of our groups can bring to bear on the question, I am not sure we ought to wait much longer." Nikola raises his eyebrows, smiling briefly aside at Muse and Seth. He, too, directs a look at Rafael, quirking both his brows. "Don't vorry," he adds as a sidebar, the Eastern European accent coming suddenly full-circle back to the fore, "Ve do not take offense. Just as ve do drink...vine." A wink at Seth, an acknowledgement that really the Ventrue is just riding his companion's coattails. He does not produce a handful of elegant business cards, but he does rise and walk to the bar, grabbing an abandoned cocktail napkin and scribbling his name and a phone number on it. Returning to the table, Nikola passes it to his right, allowing it to make the rounds if anyone needs his contact information.
"As for what doesn't get into print, madam? I suggest we do not publish any hint of the nunnery, or of this Helene Armaud. As the police often keep certain details secret, I suggest we do the same."
Although she was busy snacking on delicious, sugary doughnuts, Seven didn't miss Nikola's entrance. The vampire was given a brief nod, but the mortal seemed content to snack and listen as the others threw around their theories and ideas. Once the doughnut is finished, she starts to wipe her hands off on her hoodie, then pauses. Napkins. It's an afterthought, but she grabs a couple to wipe her hands clean. "Whenever a mission into the nunnery is made..." she starts, easily tossing the napkin to a bin a bit of distance from her. "I think best to start on the third floor," she states as she recalls something from her research. "Maybe. That's what was boarded up first." With her snacking done, she slowly makes her way over to where Rafael is. She doesn't sit, simply lingering around her fellow Constable. Perhaps a sign of solidarity, or maybe she just likes being around the most familiar face in the vicinity.
At the various sarcastic responses to his correction, Rafael both relaxes slightly and rolls his eyes at the same time, one hand waving vaguely in an 'alright, alright' sort of motion through the air. "Hey, the Lost get touchy about some things, I didn't know about you guys," he admits, before finishing off the doughnut. Hands come together to brush crumbs away, and then he's shifting to sit up straighter, palms patting down his shirt and pants before he finds what he's looking for.
A battered leather wallet's pulled out, and he draws out some cheap card-stock business cards of his own. They have his name and number but note him as an 'eBay Procurement Specialist' for 'Vintage Collectibles'. They're set down on the table, and he reaches out to take one of Seth's own. "Obviously don't put us in it," he notes dryly, lifting a brow to Charlie, "Maybe wait until after we've checked out the nunnery, focus on the 'casket girls' angle? Lotta filler in history."
He motions a bit to Seven, "Good thought. Probably less likely to have tourists wandering around, too."
"Horrible serial killer on the loose, the Coffin Slayer, decapitating everyone up in here... hide your wives, hide your children," says Seth in a deadpan, glancing over at Charlie on the subject of the newspaper piece. "Absolutely not anything we've actually figured out, of course, lest it threaten the Accords. I wouldn't even put casket girls in it, me, just in case we end up shooting up that nunnery and someone links it to the killer... and us. Right now there's no evidence at all of that connection, no need to sabotage ourselves," the Mekhet nods in agreement with Nikola, with a brief glance aside to Rafael as he voices his calm and level disagreement with the 'casket girls' inclusion.
To Seven, Seth gives a 'hmmm' and a nod of agreement. "We'll make a rooftop entry, then. Good catch." And with that, Seth begins standing up in the chair. He's not quite making his exit yet, but unless there's some other topic to be broached or new evidence to be turned over, he's wrapping things up.
.oO( Nikola rolls 5 Dice )Oo................................................o.
Roll: Wits + Investigation Result: Success (2) -- (2 5 8 7 8)
.o...................................................oO( success (public) )Oo.
Ebay? Muse is a fan of eBay, much to the dismay of Seth's credit card. She notes the print on Rafael's card, filing that away no doubt for future reference. But for the most part, the Mekhet has retired to quiet reverie; listening to the ebb and flow of the discussion around her without further interjection. Well, save a soft snort of amusement for her coterie-mates double barrel 'no comment' policy. Pushing back her chair, mercifully quiet this time, the slender Shadow rises unhurriedly to a stand also, shoving her hands in her back pockets.
"Oh, obviously." Charlie replies to the matter of not mentioning the real info, or anyone here.
Nikola has returned his attention to the first murder board, the map of the killings. He gazes at the board distantly, perhaps not even listening to the conversations going on around him. His features darken slowly, a flush of color filling his cheeks as though he were truly alive. He even takes in a deep breath, then eases it out. Perhaps it's all for the benefit of the living in the room, or maybe he really does feel the need to convey some sort of emotion. His chin comes to rest in the palm of one hand.
"Seth. Wait." He points to the murderboard with his spare hand, his tone tentative. "When I was operating in the Caribbean, I used to watch the same port over and over. I'd sail after a ship with an appropriate cargo, be it to Africa or to Charleston or to, yes, New Orleans. And I'd strike whenever was convenient." He clears his throat softly. "But it was always the same port. Do you see? We're looking at it wrong. This board is utterly meaningless. These are the places our monster dumped the bodies. We need to find out what port they all sailed from. We need to find out where they actually died. Look at the lines. Do we see a nexus?"
"Yes, the killer obviously lives somewhere, there's no way it just magically appears every night." The extended maritime metaphor gets a raised eyebrow from Seth as he looks to Nikola, then back to the map. "So what's up with the boats? You're saying all the dump sites are near the river and the killer's either swimming or moving around by boat?" He follows the train of thought, "And the perfume is to cover up the river stench?" The other Hound spreads his hands helplessly as he pivots on one booted heel to face more towards his coterie-mate.
"Or, what's your point, exactly? Mobile kill site? Secondary hideout in one of the areas not near one of the dump sites?" Seth looks at the map and then back, but he doesn't see it, and waits for Nikola to clarify.
There's a hushed murmur from Muse, words that are little more than a mere breath, though anyone with the benefit of proximity or sharp hearing might be able to discern them. "Bloody pirates.."
Still, the brunette does halt immediately when Niko requests the attention of their third, affording the Ventrue her focus a moment longer, then following his gaze to the board. Judging by the lack of response, perhaps she, too, fails to grasp what he's getting at. But then, of everyone in this room, she likely has the least understanding of such investigations. Back in her day you just declared someone a witch and burned them. Ahh, simpler times...
Seven raises a brow at Nikola, seemingly confused as his coterie-mates. But, she at least seems to humor him as she steps away from the snack table and back over toward the map. The hooded mortal gives the Ventrue a quick, curious glance before she gazes over the map in front of her. "Were the actual times of deaths similar to each other?" she questions of the room, though she keeps her gaze on the map a couple moments longer. "Perhaps killed elsewhere... brought to the places to be discovered before retreating to their lair?" she takes a guess there, though she seems unsure of her own theory.
"No. I think the port is a metaphor." Charlie offers, getting up from where she's sitting to move towards the board, pointing to the spot where the majority of the lines seem to be crossing each other, "The nexus? Most smart killers don't dump a body in their backyard...right? If they are going to a secondary location, you've got to consider transportation, and things, too. But they usually, typically, kill //near// base..."
"I'm saying that the killer picked them all from the same point." Nikola is still gazing at the murder board thoughtfully. "Forget the lines. They create a false trail. What we need to imagine instead is a radiating series of lines originating from one point, not a web of separate points. But...what point?" The bearded Ventrue finally turns his attention from the board to gaze at Seth. "Impossible to tell at this moment. But possible to find out." He smiles, slow and predatory, fangs in evidence. "The killer is picking its targets from a single point, Seth. Perhaps a bar or a night club, a coffee shop, or a grocery store. It follows them, abducts them, kills them, then drops the bodies wherever it is convenient. We're seeing the end of the journey. We need to find the beginning."
He turns sharply to Harrington, gazing at the Detective with a speculative air. "Sir. Please pull credit card records for each of the deceased. Go back...say...a month from their time of death. We will cross-analyze the records. I strongly suspect that we shall find a nexus, a point where all of these individuals come together for alcohol, or some other service." He seems more confident the longer he speaks, drawing himself further upright. He points to both Charlie and Seven, tapping his nose once. "Close, both of you. But forget where they are dumped...that's pure convenience. What matters is where the killer first encountered and marked them for death."
Harrington nods to Nikola's suggestion, picking up his phone and rising. "I'm gonna step out and get that started now," he murmurs, taking his phone to a back room so he can start the ball rolling on that data being pulled.
"The one we talked to," Rafael provides, his head turning to regard the board with a frown, "Apparently ran into them by 'chance' on the way home - she was lured back to her own place with the killer. Could we cross-reference the homes of all these people, just in case that was the common case?"
'Talked to' gets some raised eyebrows out of Seth, and he looks aside towards Rafael before nodding slowly. "Yeah. If we can figure out either the hunting ground or where the creature's lairing, it will be faster," the Hound says with a shrug of his shoulders. "If we could get an accurate ID of the killer's appearance, that would be the fastest way to go about it, but I'll settle for general region if that's what we can get. The question of how some conspicuous perfumed French woman is moving around the city unnoticed while carrying corpses is definitely my main concern. I'd think 'boat' given the proximity to the river of each of the dump sites, but it could easily be supernatural concealment as well." Still standing, Seth shrugs. "Either way, any more data we can get is useful. Camera footage would also be helpful, but I don't have the kind of police or city pull necessary to procure that, yet."
Charlie glances over at Rafael as well, "Taxis. Or Uber driver." She shrugs her shoulders, moving back towards her place to pick up her note book, "If they are lured because they are overly drunk, or drugged." Or whatever. "Might be easy to get them into a vehicle, and no one would look twice."
When Nikola leaves, the other two Vampires aren't far behind. Seth offers a friendly wave to those still gathered here and lightly pushes in the chairs for himself and for Muse, then offers the brunette Mekhet a casually extended arm before walking off back to the parked German sedan parked outside to head off into the balmy New Orleans evening.
"It could be any connection," notes Nikola as he too presses to his feet. "I suspect she chooses her prey in a bar, but..." A slight shrug, and a tiny smile. "Too soon to be sure. As I say, it could be anything. A grocery store, a coffee stand. A prostitution ring. Admittedly unlikely, the last, but it would be amusing." He nods to Seth's conjectures, pursing his lips faintly. "We don't know exactly how far the killer moves the bodies," he observes gravely. "There's nothing to say they're all killed in the same point, any more than I loot a ship against the same shore." He turns to pace toward the door, pausing momentarily to look back at the group. "Good evening, all of you. I am going to take a card from our prey's deck. And don't forget -- we are predators now." He flashes a nasty grin and departs.