Dark Wysteria: Young Joshua Stark

Canticle Van Darq

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[OOC This One-On-One is for Gands Gands ... ]

The year is 2018... again. Having survived WW3 and a handful of subsequent "lesser" wars by "cleverly" sleeping through them all trapped in a Woodbine's stomach somewhere in Arcadia for 300 years; you finally escaped the Woodbine and returned to Dark Wysteria only to find that it was now the year 2313 and everything had changed. Dramatically. Unbearably. The adjustment was hard. Nay. It was impossible for you -- and for the others as well.

Luckily, your stay in the apocalyptic 24th century was brief. Lady Mariam Wyst performed the Great Revoking of all Fae contracts that bound Dark Wysteria to a myriad of protocols, policies, and stances with the Four Courts as well as the Far Courts in the mortal realm. Your association with Dark Wysteria was part of that cluster-fuck of Contracts, Pledges, and Agreements and suddenly you (and the others) were pulled violently back in time to pre-contract status. The rescinding Fae power worked its magic to restore you all, fighting long and hard against millions of paradoxes and eventually plunked everyone down in the year 2018.

However, you are not home free yet. In fact, you aren't home at all. This timeline is NOT the original timeline. The Fae Contracts went back hundreds upon hundreds of years in the past and when they were revoked, the entire timeline changed. New Wysteria has changed. Dark Wysteria has changed. Lady Rutharian Wyst (the original Wyst when you first came to Dark Wysteria) has changed. Some of those you knew are missing. Some of those you are now encountering weren't here before.

Dalaigh Bricolage, aka "The Raggedy Man", the Herald for the belligerent bitch, Queen Bella (Queen of the Autumn Court); fled the Court to escape Queen Bella's twisted rage in the old time line. However, he willing renounced the Court and fled on his own in this time line and is the same as he always was. His memories were protected by the same magic potion given to you by Lady Siabra Wyst's alchemist before the great unraveling. He had an affection -- a desire, actually -- for you in the old time line and he feels no differently for you in the new time line. For all your life you have been sort of asexual... not really getting the grasp of feeling and being human. Now you have started to have feelings for him. Maybe it's Fae magic. Maybe it's his personality. Maybe it's his kindness. Maybe it is your loneliness. Regardless, the feelings have started to take home in your heart.

But there is a fly in the ointment. Maybe? A tiny fly. A tiny blond Fae fly that -- both in the old time line and in the new -- has ended up coming back into Dalaigh's life and therefore yours. Little Barley... one of the true Fae but of a lower class and status than the other Fae surrounding the Autumn Court. You remember that Dalaigh had a relationship of some kind with Barley. At first (back in the old time line) you thought Dalaigh was more of a "father figure", for Barley was pretty much a little nitwit that needed being taken care of. Now you realize that the two have a deeper relationship than that. How will you fit in? It's hard being a Promethean. It's even harder when your dreams of becoming human again suddenly all start happening and you are as overwhelmed as much as if you were back in the year 2313.

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Dark Wysteria
 
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Canticle Van Darq

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*** EPISODE ONE ***

The Raggedy Man, aka Dalaigh, has taken up temporary residence at Froster's. Lady Rutharian Wyst was not yet in the frame of mind needed to allow a true Fae to take refuge in Dark Wysteria. For the nonce, Barley the Unexpected is also staying at Froster's. Police Commissioner Brown (firmly reestablished back in the 21st century and no longer Lady Mariam Wyst of the 24th century) and the rest of your friends lobby for protections and safe-houses for Dalaigh and Barley within Dark Wysteria. You, feeling that you would not be needed, have gone looking for the small but precious roots you had established here in the previous time line.

You have returned to Stark House. The abandoned house you had acquired in the south area of East Riverside just above the Clover district still stands. However, it seems that the troubling history of Stark House continues to affirm itself. The House is mostly boarded up and locked up by copious amounts of police black and yellow crime scene tape. A police poster mounted on a barricade in front of the door states "Crime Area by order of the Police. No entry. Trespassers will be arrested. Report any information regarding this crime to the police. Report any suspicious people in the area to the police." The signoff on the barricade poster says "Precinct #17".

[OOC Please make a perception roll.]

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Joshua Stark
(( 2-2-2-10-10-6-2-9 )) Three successes

(( of note, Stark house can be actually traced to him, if he can prove himself to be Joshua Stark. ))

Joshua huffs a bit, disappointed at this new development. Without yet crossing the police tape, he wanders about searching the property. He takes out his phone intending to contact Miriam Brown.
 
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Just like the rest of the Dark Wysteria team, you have Police Commissioner Miriam Brown's phone number in your contacts list. The phone is picked up before the first ring tone can even finish.

A young woman's brisk voice greets you "Good morning, Police Commissioner Brown's office, the Commissioner is not avail... oh", there is a brief pause. "Mr. Stark?"

You tell the young woman "Yes".

"Right. You're on the list of 'put-throughs'. Hang on just a minute." There is a very soft 'pift' sound and then silence for about ten seconds followed by another soft 'pift' sound.

"Joshua?" Brown's voice is that rich throaty voice you've come to admire as a "no-nonsense authoritative" voice. "What's up? Problems? Are you calling on behalf of Wyst or is something unrelated getting ready to ruin our day?"
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" I apologize Lady Miriam, I have called to inquire about my former home. (( gives her the address )). My partner and I will need a more permanent abode and can serve as a guardian to the entrance to the underworld that exists in the basement of this one."
 
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"Stark House, right?" you hear Brown tapping quickly on a keyboard, "Is there a problem with... oh..." She pauses briefly. "Jesus. I see. You know, Joshua, we didn't come back to the time line we left. We came back to a new time line in a different condition from the former time line and no memories whatsoever of what has transpired in it. Hang on. I'm going to put you on hold."

You hear the soft 'pift' sound and then silence for a couple of minutes before the second "pift" tells you that Brown has come back on the line. "Okay. I want you to go to Precinct #17. Talk to Captain Charlotte Tang. She heads Precinct #17. She is going to give you a temporary detective badge and then Detective Oliver Hayden who is handling the investigation will brief you on the situation at Stark House. He will be working with you to get the case to a point where you can again have occupancy of Stark House."

You thank her and end the conversation.

[OOC: Make a perception roll for the next scene.]
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10..3..7..3..10..10
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4 successes

Joshua Stark
He heads home briefly to change clothes.
His fashion sense is very 1930's. So when he is done he looks a bit like Indiana Jones.

He lets Dalaigh know where he will be, in person or by note on the refrigerator and heads to precinct 17 to meet Captain Tang and then Detective Oliver Hayden. He does his best to be professional in appearance and attitude.
 
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Precinct #17 is located in the dead center of Clover. The Stark House case was originally assigned to Precinct #08 which holds jurisdiction over all of East Riverside. However, the case was reassigned to Precinct #17 when it was determined that there were "abnormalities" with the case. Precincts #13 and #17 handle all the "special" cases that have "abnormalities" that the regular detectives can't wrap their heads around. These two special precincts act as sort of "X-Files" agencies, if you will.

When you arrived at the station, the Officer at the front desk checked you in and sent you directly to Detective Oliver Hayden's office. You were fully aware of the true situation at both of these special Precincts. Both of them were manned surreptitiously by supernaturals. They handled all the cases in the City that might involve non-mortals. They handled the cases, solved them, and then buried them behind the myriad walls of bureaucracy so that the City of Mortals never had to be "troubled" by them or aware of them. The Officer at the front desk was a Changeling.

Officer Hayden was a werewolf, and this particularly intrigued you because you were aware of all four werewolf packs who listed various districts in New Wysteria as their territories and you didn't recall Officer Hayden belonging to any of them. Of course, this was not the original timeline that you were familiar with. Maybe this was one of the many changes caused by the sorting out of paradoxes by the Great Revoking.

It didn't really matter right at the moment. You had a new issue to contend with. As you shook Hayden's hand and sat in a seat that he motioned to, he very quietly remarked "Well then, first things first. Would you like to help me close out your missing person's report? It seems you've been missing for over two years."

His demeanor was non-threatening and his tone was frankly a bit mischievous. After all, he already had the scoop from Commissioner Brown. There were no warrants for your arrest. And it appeared that you actually had no documented connection with Stark House. You winced when he mentioned that. But... there was a missing person's report and it needed to be dealt with.
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Joshua grinned a bit, "not sure you'll believe it, but here goes. It sounds more like an adventure in Wonderland. Me and some others headed to someplace called Arcadia near a city called Prado Grimm. We were doing something to stop the plans of the Queen of Autumn. We were betrayed by a local and captured by a magic super-plant. To make a very long story short, it took a considerable amount of effort and time to return here. "

For purposes of perhaps stating the obvious here, I will give a description of Joshua. He is tall, perhaps 6'2", lean and clean shaven. His hairstyle short and right out of the 1940's. His eyes are blue and might be described as cool. Where is compared, Grady's are a vibrant & hard to ignore green. A wherewolf would catch the scent, very faint ozone, as if Joshua played with Electricity recently. Joshua's hands have the faint traces of grease and dirt that a normal civilian would not normally detect marking him as a mechanic. To a paranormal detective of course, there is also something just to the left of off about Joshua. The {I can't put my finger on it ] quality of a promethean.
 
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"I'm well familiar with tales of Arcadia and have even heard of Praedo Grim. You see, the Captain escaped from Arcadia a decade or two ago." He pauses for a minute to concentrate on the screen -- verifying what he'd typed into the missing person's report so far. He starts to type again, "In fact, I should have her come meet you." He hits an intercom on his desk and waits for the buzz to fade.

"Yes?" You hear a sharp tough voice on the intercom.

"Captain, Mr. Stark is here. It turns out the two of you have a few things in common."

"Oh? And that would be...?" she responds.

"Oh, Arcadia, Praedo Grim, being detained against your will..."

"I'll be there in a minute" the Captain responds. You hear the intercom buzz gently as she taps off on her end.

Detective Hayden grins at you as he taps the intercom button and turns the monitor around so you can see it and points to the update he just entered. It says

Mr. Stark appeared at Precinct #17 on other business this morning and we were able to ascertain both his welfare and his status for the period of time he had been reported missing. Mr. Stark was on travel outside the US and in remote areas that did not have communication access to the outside world. Mr. Stark was under the impression that at least one of his messages had been transmitted out explaining his delay. He did not realize that none of his communications had been received. Mr. Stark is alive and well and home safely and this case is considered closed.

He grins at you, "That's how we follow the law without explaining what truly is happening behind the security blanket mortals call 'ignorance'." He turns the monitor back, "Let me just figure out whether I have to call, write, or physically visit the person who filed..." He stops and stares at the screen in surprise just as the Captain walks in.

"Hello, I'm..." Captain Charlotte Tang starts to greet you, but is interrupted by an incredulous Hayden.

"Captain! Sorry! ... Look at this!" he turns the monitor around to face both the Captain and you. "All the personal and identifying information for the person submitting Mr. Stark's missing persons report has been erased!" He is almost shouting.

"What?" Captain Tang walks over, looks closer, grabs the mouse, and starts clicking on things. "What the hell?!?!?" She pulls her smartphone out, taps a few buttons and speaks into the air as she bends back down to stare at the monitor screen, "Lovely! Pull file #17-484195773-SMR from archives and restore as a copy. Fast!" She ends the call turns to Hayden, "Was the information there when you started filling in the resolution?"

"Yes! YES!" Hayden replied excitedly. "I mean, I don't remember details; but I remember there was text in all the required fields. Not one field on this report was blank!"

Captain Tang's phone chirps and she quickly brings it to her ear, "Yes?" She waits, listening to the voice on the other end. "Are you sure? Have you tried getting a copy from central backup?" Captain Tang continues to listen "Well, as thorough as ever, Lovely. Thank you." She puts the phone back into her pocket and turns to you with a puzzled look on her face. She opens her mouth to say something, hesitates for a minute, then turns to Hayden. "Lovely said that the file was deleted just minutes before I called her. She automatically checked image shares across other Precincts as well as Central backup. All copies permanently deleted within the last fifteen to twenty minutes. What you have up on the screen right now is all we have and I have a feeling the minute you close it, it's going to go bye-bye, too. Save this as a copy with a totally different id and number on it. In fact, don't save it as an SMR. Save it as department potluck or something. Make a couple of copies and put a few onto USBs."

Officer Hayden gets the keyboard and mouse back in front of him and turns the monitor around, "Got it!" He pulls a few USBs out of his desk drawer and begins inserting them into his computer.

As he begins saving and transferring copies of the report to the USBs, Captain Tang turns back to you, "Well, the Case of the Missing Joshua Stark now becomes the Case of the Great Joshua Stark Cover-Up." We aren't dropping this, but I would like a bit more confirmation about some of your claims with things beyond the Hedge. I'm surprised to hear of a non-Fae not only ending up in Arcadia, but also escaping from Arcadia. Please enlighten me with the details." And with that she walks to Hayden's coffee machine, and begins to brew up a cup of coffee that's just brimming with caffeine and expectations.

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Joshua does seem perplexed at the sudden complication and his expression shows it.

" Well, the nature of this is going to make our heads hurt before we're done. I suppose I will start with my own beginning. Bear in mind, as a Promethean, or something like a Promethean, I have nothing to substantiate my tale. You may want to record this, as well. My father was English, a scientist who had moved to the States when he was twelve, around 1902 ? I was told his family like many others came to New York. His father was a merchant into shipping, whose father before him and father before him was into shipping. Grandfather James was a middle son, doomed to make his own way. He went as a young man to the great port of New Orleans. Here he made his fortune. My father went to college in Chicago, Loyola. He was a scientist and medical research doctor. He moved here to Wisteria in 1935 with his wife and myself. He began to experiment with Cryogenics. I understand he worked somehow with the Roosevelt government. "

He pauses here to take a drink of coffee.

" I helped my father during my High School years. I became sick, some dread illness that I was never told about. My last memories in life were being put into a copper coffin like freezer. When I woke up, it was due to the efforts of the Gypsy community. My mother was a Gypsy she had been disowned by her family for marrying an outsider. My copper freezer coffin had been sealed by, I assume, my father. it was found by the Gypsies in an abandoned government warehouse in the Midwest. How they managed to wake me, I don't know. I became completely conscious of my surroundings some weeks later. I lived with them well over a decade in the 1990's, distant relatives of my mother had claimed me. I am in essence a Gypsy now in blood as well as acceptance. "

He pauses again, drinking more coffee and eating a doughnut.

"Here is where the tale might get a little sticky. I came back to Wysteria some years ago, roughly 2013. I became associated with Dark Wysteria at that time. As you know, Dark Wysteria usually has groups of associates to work on it's behalf. We, myself and the people with me, as I said had gone to Arcadia to thwart the workings of Queen Bella. We had made contact with Praedo Grim. At the time of our visit, Lord Faetyne Praedo and Lord Pralin Forte, a married gay couple, were the rulers. Illaine was the Comptroller and Quiller was the Security Counselor. We were trying to ascertain how Queen Bella had managed to resurrect herself many many years ahead of schedule after having been executed by the far courts. My memory on the incidents there is now a little bit fuzzy. There was an agent of the queen there at Praedo Grim, there was a conflict and we went chasing after the culprit.

He pauses again, this time drinking water. He has been calm and reserved throughout his telling of the tale.

" It was a trap, our group was captured by a plant, something called a Woodbine. We were literally trapped there for hundreds of years, near as I can tell. We were eventually rescued by agents of Dark Wysteria. It was in the distant future, an somewhat apocalyptic future. Suffice to say there was a Dark Wysteria there. We, my group spent several weeks there as new / old agents of the Wyst. It came to pass, due to the circumstances, that the many contracts binding Dark Wysteria to the courts of the Fae and they to Wysteria had to be dissolved or undone. Here is the kicker... We found ourselves here in 2018. Most of us were here before then, but... I don't have any memory or my memory doesn't match what passed here. The Lady Ruth Wyst does not remember us. Her circumstances and outer personality are different from the Lady Wyst we knew. Some of the people who had worked for the Wyst, do not now. No one knows us as ever previously having worked for her.

He stops again, taking a mental break as the story as a whole reminds him that he feels so alone in all of this, aside from the few people who have gone through this with him.

" Forgive me, this has been something of a challenge for me. My activities in my past have placed me somewhat in conflict with the Autumn Court. It would certainly not surprise me that this was set up by herself as a way of ... keeping track of my return. I am told, that the Fae would know about the changes. Do you have any questions ? "
 
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Captain Tang was pretty much on board with your explanation of "who", "what", and "where" you were; but when you got to the "when", "why", and "how" of it she started to look a little iffy. The bit about coming back to Dark Wysteria in the far-flung future, Dark Wysteria having a contractual melt-down, and you all coming back to 2018 because of it -- roughly a little over two years after you had gone missing, well... You could almost hear Tang's mind overclocking as she processed everything you said, formulating questions, realizing the implications of the questions themselves, then formulating new questions. Tang was an Investigator. That's how she had got her position as Senior Detective and Captain of Precinct #17 -- by being a top Investigator. Such was her skills. As a Wizened and a Gameplayer, such was her destiny. When she finally spoke, you could tell that she had considered not only everything you had said, but many things you had left unspoken.

"Let's start at the beginning. You disappeared beyond the Hedge sometime towards the end of 2015. You didn't come back when expected. Who would file a missing person's report on you then? And, more importantly, who would have the power to remove their identifying information from the missing persons report and/or delete the report? Who doesn't want their identity revealed at this stage of the game where you have been found? And why?"

She takes a swig of coffee and sits back, waiting patiently for you to digest her questions and form a response. Officer Hayden rolls his chair around to the table and gazes at you intently. As Sherlock Holmes would say, "The Game is afoot!" And these are two detectives who are -- by their very nature -- fascinated with "The Game".
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Joshua does seem put out to say the least when he thinks about this. He takes a moment to calm himself before responding.

"I can give you something of an educated guess. In my own mind though it fits all the facts I think. There was ongoing conflicts. Between Dark Wysteria and the Fey courts in the timeline I came from. Not war mind you.. But constant testing and skirmishing. There was an incident during a visit to the Autumn court. I was outmanuevered by the Queen diplomatically. Later my Wist reversed the situation on the Queen causing her majesty consternation ans embarrassment. This she blamed on me personally.

He pauses here to drink. He is now visibly upset thinking about Bella.

" In the end, my Wist retired or resigned and Bella was executed by the Far courts. However, by use of some well thought out scheme Bella managed to bring herself back to life way ahead of schedule. It is my understanding that the true Fey would remember both histories. Thus Bella would still harbor resentment for me. She would have both the power, mentality and reason to set up the missing person report and power to cause it to disappear as it alerted her to my reappearance. "
 
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"Hmmmm..." Captain Tang weighed what you had said against her own knowledge of the Fae. "As a Changeling from the Winter Court, I only have the Winter Court's slant on Queen Bella and the Autumn Court. The Winter Court looked on Queen Bella as the most treacherous of all the Queens -- and the most deranged. I doubt if Queen Bella would have bothered having the records deleted if she was behind the original filing of your missing persons report. She simply would have captured or killed you upon your return and left the report up to be traced by anyone who cared. I mean... so what if they determined it was Queen Bella? Who's going to go into Arcadia to bring her back for trial?"

Officer Hayden interjected "Most criminals only destroy reports and other crime trails if they don't want to be caught. This Queen Bella doesn't sound like someone who would care."

Captain Tang reiterated, "I'm not convinced this is Queen Bella's work. For one, I'm not sure she would be concerned about getting caught -- would probably glory in the accusations. I'm also not sure that the Fae can't be affected by time change. I've never heard anything regarding time-change affecting the true Fae either during my captivity in Arcadia nor after my return to the mortal realm. I wonder if the Mage Orders would have an answer to that -- not that they would probably help. They do screw around with time, from what I've heard."

"Let's allow our subconscious to work on this anomaly for a bit while you answer my next question." Captain Tang steeples her fingers for a moment then leans forward and asks, "What contracts? What agreements did Dark Wysteria have that were so powerful and far-reaching that when revoked could affect the time line going back centuries, if not millennia? And why put you back in 2018 when you left the mortal realm sometime before 2016?"
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He looks for a moment like he is contemplating her question for a bit before he answers.

" When I started this nonsense, the Dark Wysteria I knew was still a guardian for this town. But, part of that was monitoring a very complex web of contracts governing how the Fae Courts interacted with the mortal world. You both know better than I the twisty nature of the courts. When my group finally were rescued from the woodbine, many years had passed. "

He pauses to let them digest this.

"That fiture was rather bleak. It was determined that something drastic had to be tried. I think that it might be easier to determine what the contracts did not affect. It was my understanding that they strived to govern every aspect and possibility of interaction between the Fae and our world. Every Aspect ( he emphasised.)"
 
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"So..." Captain Tang draws out the first word of her response and pauses briefly. "You're saying that Dark Wysteria used to have prevention contracts and agreements like Ancient Astoria, Shining Anuradhapura, Burning Mandritsara, or Deep Brasilia?" She sounds as much incredulous as she does excited.

Officer Hayden is beginning to look a little lost, but no less intrigued and interested by the discussion.

"But that's such a magnificent arrangement. Why would Lady Wyst undo it?" Tang hears her phone chime and briefly looks at its screen. "Well, my friend, we can (and will) have some very interesting conversations about this in the near future. I find it very fascinating. However, I have an issue that requires my immediate attention. I do have one more question, though." She pauses and slugs down the last of her coffee. "What exactly is your relationship with Police Commissioner Brown? I mean... She overrode a number of police protocols to get you here, get a shield, and gain access to information that we don't want the public -- supernatural or otherwise -- to know. ... Why?"
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Joshua looks thoughtful as he answers her.

" Think where those other places are in the world and where Wysteria is. As for Miriam Brown, I am not at liberty to speak on the nature of our relationship. "

He has a relaxed tone as he speaks and waits for officer Hayden to resume discussing Stark House.
 
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Captain Tang doesn't even blink when you refuse to discuss Police Commissioner Brown. "Fair enough. I'll talk to Brown and if she doesn't wish to divulge any information I'll consider the issue 'not important to me'." She smiles, "But that won't stop me from jumping to far-fetched conclusions -- after all, I AM Fae."

Officer Hayden snickers, "I'll start powering up the Conspiracy Theory Machine." He stops and reaches for a packet. He hands it to you. "This contains your badge, a few checklists on what to do under various situations while working on behalf of Precinct #17, and a list of contact numbers for various situations or issues. I'll also go over them verbally with you on our way to Stark House."

Captain Tang adds, "I'll talk to Brown about what she wants to do with your status beyond this particular case. She made a vague reference to adding you and a few others to permanent official Investigator status. She didn't go into details -- said she'd brief me after this case was moved forward enough to allow you occupancy." Tang stands up and offers her hand, she has a firm grasp that is way more stronger than you'd expect. "Good luck. As Chief Inspector, as well as Precinct Captain, my phone number is in the packet as is Hayden's. Contact me as needed; however, Hayden should be able to answer all your questions." As she leaves, she barks over her shoulder, "Keep me informed Hayden. I'd like to hear that the crime site is resolved and Mr. Stark is back in his home no later than tomorrow noon."

Officer Hayden gives you a whimsical 'Oh, Oh' look as he says "Will do, boss!" He grabs up his badge and keys and, patting you on the shoulder, says "Let's go. We'll take my car. I'll bring you back when we're done." Hayden drives a restored Mustang. Nice. As he exits the Precinct parking lot and hits the street, he begins to go over the "rules" of being a temporary Police Inspector.

[OOC roll a Perception check and an Occult check for the next scene.]
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Dark Wysteria
 

Gands

Edgeknight
Invitation Status
, , ,
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per day
Writing Levels
Intermediate
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Female
Genres
sci fi, modern magical, horror
(( 3 for perception, 2 for occult ))

Joshua is calm and thoughtful riding with Hayden. He listens and makes mental notes of these new rules.

" Nice car by the way. I work on cars myself. My old truck runs like a top. Restorations are a good way to relax for me. "

" What can you tell me about what happened at the house ? "
 
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Canticle Van Darq

Storyteller
Original poster
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
Multiple posts per day, 1-3 posts per day, One post per day, 1-3 posts per week, One post per week
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Primarily Prefer Male
Genres
Fantasy and Fantasy Romance. Some Space Scifi.
Officer Hayden rolls out of the station and heads out in the seemingly opposite direction of Stark House. "I'm going to make a circuit while we discuss the situation" he says as turns down a side street and heads south and further into Clover. As he drives, he seems to be checking for more than traffic signals, pedestrians, and traffic.

"Precinct #8 got a call from a West Riverside resident out for a walk saying that they saw strange lights in an abandon residence -- Stark House, that is -- and thought they heard a call for help. Two separate units from Precinct #8 responded. Upon entering the residence they found the partial remains of at least two people. And by 'partial' I mean... " Hayden pauses and looks at you for a brief second before turning his attention back to the street. "By 'partial' I mean two arms (belonging to two different people), a foot, and a head. Lots of blood everywhere as you might imagine. The two units called for backup from Precinct #17 due to CSI -- crime scene indicators. CSIs are on an automatic referral list that when encountered in the field are immediately sent to "Specialists" at either Precinct #13 or Precinct #17. I and two other officers responded and both the Precinct #8 responders and us made a thorough sweep of the house. A significant blood trail lead down to a huge door in the basement that gave egress to below the bricks. We assumed full responsibility for the case at that time and the Precinct #8 units left. ... Hang on a minute."

Hayden pulls the car over and parks in front of a mini-market. "Keep an eye on the car if you don't mind," he says as he pops out of the car and walks into the mini-mart. There is a young man sitting on a bench in front of the store. He looks tired and sad. As Hayden walks past him to go into the store, the man clutches his old dirty backpack close as if he fears anyone coming near him will try to take it away. He eyes Hayden as Hayden disappears into the store and then his gaze turns to you sitting in the car. He doesn't appear to recognize you. He just gives you a blank stare for a few moments and then puts his head back down. But you recognized him. Socks! It's Socks from the Poortown Pack. You would love to go talk to him. But you realize that he no longer remembers you at all. You make a mental note to come back when things are settled down and find Socks to see if you can help him in any way.

Hayden is only in the store for a minute before reappearing in the doorway with a bag of Lays BBQ chips in one hand and some paper money folded up in the other. As he walks past the man clutching his backpack, he bends down and says "Good morning. Here. Get a decent lunch, okay?" He hands the man the bills he was carrying. The man looks grateful as he takes the money. A touching scene. However, there is more to it than a simple act of kindness. As Hayden hands off the money, you see that a small piece of paper has somehow appeared in his hand.

Getting back into his car, Hayden pulls away from the curb and heads east for a couple of blocks. While stopped at a traffic signal, he pulls the small piece of paper out of his pocket and reads the tiny writing scrawled across the one side. "The Dude sitting on the bench looking homeless is a Were named Socks. He's far from homeless. He's the Poortown Pack's Omega. He keeps me informed of supernatural things going on in the east end of Railside and Poortown. I only see him when there's trouble. I got a tip to check out the mini-mart this morning. That's why I knew he'd be there." Hayden turns at the next signal, heads into the west end of Railside, and heads north towards West Riverside.
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Dark Wysteria