Elements and Elementary

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Laggy Lagiacrus, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. Lord Huntington’s Magic Academy.
    Not a particularly bad place, by any means. With its towering wall of stone surrounding it, a magnificent – yet sturdy – castle as the learning quarters, and with thinner, cylindrical towers acting as gender-respective dorms, it seemed ideal for practising magic. However, a sequence of murders never show somewhere in a good light, and generally doesn’t do the general populace any good. As one could imagine, even though strict rules were enforced throughout, people dropped like flies – men, women, boys and girls, students, teachers, anyone. All had been drained of moisture, a chemical burn over their heart in the shape of a rose. A fascinating case indeed, but one that was not up to students to solve.
    Normal students, anyway.
    And, by no means was Sebastian Baker normal.

    “Hudson, we’ve been through this. I’m not going to bother unless it’s a five or above. Normally, I wouldn’t even get out of bed for a case like this, but I’m so BORED right now.”
    Sebastian Baker looked his acquaintance in the eye, barely stifling a yawn. The first two lessons over for the day, it was now the break period, providing a fifteen-minute respite from the daily slog. Nothing in particular interested Sebastian – the serial killer would probably sate his appetite, but the law enforcement officers would not allow him access to the crime scene, despite his reputation as the school’s resident sleuth. He skipped classes on a regular basis, often choosing to prowl the grounds while hunting for anything – something that wasn’t boring. He slept, he ate, he wrote poetry. Time passed slowly.
    “Honestly, you have the mind of a scientist and a philosopher, yet you choose to be a detective…”
    “That’s nice. Now, remind me, what happened to the alchemy teacher?”
    “He was poisoned, apparently. Threw up, and was dehydrated beyond belief. They haven’t found traces of anything, however.”
    “And the scene’s exactly as it was?”
    “Then it’s a pity I’m not on it.”
  2. “Rae... Rae!” A high pitched voice of an annoying female called after her. Pretending not to hear, her pace quickened down the hall. She nearly fell over from weight that pushed her forward. She looked down over her shoulder and narrowed her green eyes.
    “Honestly Milandra,” Rae shoved her back and dusted herself off. “What have I told you about personal space?” She crossed her arms.
    Milandra looked down, her short brown hair curtaining her face. “Sorry,” She shot a worried look at Rae, her brown, puppy eyes pleading to speak. Rae rolled her eyes, drew out a weary sigh and said in a monotone voice, “What is it?”
    “Then you haven’t heard the rumor. The Alchemy Teacher, he’s... he’s dead!” Tears threatened to stain her doll-like face. Just as she was about to burst and throw herself, Rae sidestepped and poor Milandra smashed into the cold stone wall. Unaffected by her, as it seemed, servant or follower’s sustained injury, Rae blurted out “Of course I’ve heard! Why do you think I’m searching the halls?” Her palm went to her face realizing what she gave away, more things for Milandra to worry about. A hand took hers by force and dragged a reluctant Rae back to the dorms.
  3. "Sebastian, what the hell are you doing?"
    Attempting to scale the wall into the alchemy teacher's office, the scene of the victim's demise, Sebastian was throwing a lone piece of rope upwards, attempting to latch the loop on the end to one of the gargoyles that adorned the balcony. They appeared to be sturdy enough to support the boy, as his weight was not even an amount one would even bother to measure. It was simply a matter of keeping out of sight. Eventually, after around ten more unsuccessful attempts, the rope had formed a grip, the knot tested and secured. Magic had never been something Sebastian dabbled in, and would likely not use it that much. Scaling the wall, however, was a completely different kettle of fish - he was, by no means, a sporty or magical person. Hudson would have helped, but didn't fancy spending a spell in the dungeons for intruding on a crime - Sebastian considered boredom a far worse fate. Unable to utilise the rope, and with no viable footholds, he had but one chance - consult someone who could make them.
    "Hudson, fetch me someone who's able to use magic decently and isn't a complete and total idiot."
    "What for?"
    "Climbing the wall. Moron. Tell them I'll solve a mystery of their choice, regardless of rating."
    "You mean... You need help?"
    "You know perfectly well what I mean, and you won't hear me say it again."
    "Well, who do you want me to fetch, then?"
    "I'll leave that to your deductions."
    After roughly a minute of brisk pacing, and the request for a message to be passed on to Rae, Hudson stood outside the girl's dorm doors, his blond moptop buffeted slightly by the breeze, his fringe giving way here and there to deep blue eyes. The note being passed, as he recalled, read:
    Sebastian Baker requests your help. He says he'll solve a case for you, if you assist him.
    -John Hudson
  4. The hall seemed narrow, dark and distant as Milandra pulled Rae behind her. A heavy sigh released from Rae's lungs, her head hung low in utter disgraceful defeat. Milandra wasn't being fair, she always worried about Rae - even pricking her finger was like murder. Milandra the Drama Queen, that was her.
    Rae let out another sigh. They were close to the dorms and now so far away from the clues of the mystery at, what seems to be now, a legs' length, both even. Every so often Milandra would glance at Rae's blank expression, her eyes curtained by her hair. A smile curved Milandra's lips. Satisfied, she let Rae's hand go and turned her head after bumping into a fine looking young man.

    "I'm sorry!" She bellowed, not meeting his eyes while she blushed furiously.

    The high pitched squeek of Milandra's apology snapped Rae back into reality and a blonde hair, blue eyed young man came into focus wearing a sincere smile. Great, another one trying to ask her out, as if this day couldn't become anymore tiresome. Standing face to face with the stranger. Her green, bleak eyes stared back into the depths of his ocean eyes, seeming to peer into his soul.

    "I'm not interested." Rae's voice was cold and distant.
  5. "Wait, what? I haven't even told you anything!"
    Sighing, John shook his head, seemingly expecting this to happen, but not really wishing for it to at the same time. He had assumed that, as one of the better-looking students, she received numerous requests to go on a date. Rae's tone had minimal effect, however - dealing with Sebastian day in and day out made you grow used to a lot more than flat-out rejection. Sometimes, he even considered the boy a sociopath, though he knew full-well Baker was just unsociable. A fact well-known in the academy as well - Sebastian Baker, high-functioning sociopathic sleuth. The very notion of him being friendly with another (live) human being, let alone falling in love, was one so absurd it was actually slightly amusing. "It's Sebastian. He needs someone who is, I quote, 'able to use magic decently and isn't a complete and total idiot.' The lawfulness of the exercise is questionable, granted... But please, for the love of all that is holy, help him sate his appetite for a good case. You have no idea how much of a pain he is when he's bored... You know how much of a prat he is when he's not."
  6. An eyebrow slowly raised at the comments "magic" and "decent". This was amusing news to Rae, a student in a magic academy unable to weild it... studiously. This was the same Sabastian Baker, was it not? Though she hadn't spent her time with him, she did see him around with a book in his hand or cleaning his spotless glasses. She heard the rumors about how absolutely briliant he is, so why couldn't he use magic himself?

    She cocked her head to the side as she contemplated her current options. Either she had nothing to do or spend the rest of the long day with Milandra.... The chance for espace was now. Hudson held the ticket, literlally. Besides, it would be very amusing to see Sabastian at work.
    Rae's face light up at the fine opportunity, but her eyes still remained distant. "Alright then. Where and when? "

    "But, Rae!" Milandra snapped, "You know how much trouble he gets into."

    "Oh stop it, Milandra." Rae scolded. Whenever she spoke her name like that it usually shuts her up, but not without a good pout. What a child. Her eyes redirected to the young man in front of her.
  7. "Excellent. If you'll follow me, I'll lead you to him."
    Sebastian, now half-full of a sort of vigour used when he wished to appear approachable, began pacing away as soon as he deemed it suitable. He had no need to see Sebastian rolling on the floor in order to pass a few measly seconds. Again. His pace was fast, his manner hurried, and he just generally appeared as if he wanted to get things over with as quickly as possible. Truth be told, though he knew Sebastian got into all sorts of trouble, and was annoyed by him to no end, he liked being Sebastian's right-hand man. It was never boring, and as so many people came to Sebastian to solve their cases, he had the opportunity to gain a reputation as a friendly person, the conscience and feelings Baker lacked. That, and it was amusing to see girls' reactions to his stunning looks. He didn't flaunt it, but it was still amusing to watch them trip his words. However, he was Sebastian's assistant first and foremost.

    "I brought a guest."
    "Hello Rae."
    Sebastian didn't even look in their general direction, probably having deduced who it was that was brought.
    "At least pretend you're interested..."
    "Oh please, it was obvious that it was Rae you'd bring. After all the contact with girls you've had, you're obviously on good enough terms with at least one to have a note passed quickly and without question. Granted, a psycho might have torn it up, thinking it was a love letter, but the chances of that are so small it's silly. You wouldn't consult a male student about this, your association with me grants you no points in reputation, even if your constant contact with the students that I abstain from counters it somewhat."
    "Look, Baker, you're just showing off."
    "Of course I am, I'm a show-off, it's what I do."
  8. Milandra certainly was reluctant upon Rae’s departure, arms folded across her chest. “Don’t come to me when you’re in trouble!” She shouted after her, the walls reverberated down the hall as her voice carried through. Her hands came up to her mouth to stifle any further embarrassment and shut the dorm door behind her.
    Rae didn’t stir or retaliate. With the snap of her fingers, Milandra’s echo became but a quieted like a ghost’s whisper shivering down the hall that seemed to make Hudson’s skin crawl. A small smile curved her lips as they disappeared down the hall.

    "Sebastian." Rae lent back against the wall with her arms crossed and yawned, despite her hidden excitement. Anything was better than being in a stingy dorm room for the rest of the day. Irritation quickly bore its way into her, listening to Sebastian’s smart remarks sent a tick to her eyebrow. She had to hand it to him though; he certainly was good at deducing.

    Rae giggled at the thought of Sebastian trying to use magic. “Right, because you’re so talented with everything else, but the use of magic?” The question was rhetorical and added, “The Infamous Sebastian Baker.” A sly smile formed across her face with teasing eyes. Even though he might not look at her directly, if at all, she knew he could see what she’d look like with the tone in her voice.
  9. "Please, Miss Clarimonde, I would appreciate it greatly if you didn't highlight the fact that I am unable to use magic. I assure you that I am more than capable in alchemy and botany, and have knowledge of the - rather interesting - sponge leech. I've heard it feasts on any bodily fluid available. Are you a parasite like that? Feeding off of my own inabilities to satiate your desire for amusement? I could unveil every dark secret you have, down to the time Anderson found those 'compromising' items you thought were secret. He still has them, by the way, and I'd advise you take every scrap of evidence from him before you're blackmailed. Further."
    "Sebastian. The job."
    "Yes, of course."
    Finally turning to face Rae and John, Sebastian surveyed them both, sighing a little at various points, seemingly in disappointment or resentment. He would need about half a minute to make a quick first few guesses, which were invariably correct. Two minutes would make him an expert, five would be overkill. He produced a notepad from his blazer's pocket, flipping it to the appropriate page - one with the notes corresponding to the case at hand. Some detailing the victim, others explaining potential suspects. The Reaper - the serial killer lurking around the school, as people so affectionately referred to him as - was the prime suspect, but that did not rule out other possibilities. It could be more than one person, as nobody had even seen the Reaper's face and lived. However, it was obvious that consistency was a tendency of his, judging by the other murders prior to the alchemy teacher's. "Maurice Lancer. Alchemy teacher, aged thirty-seven. Recently divorced, bad drinking problem, it would be so easy to slip something into his hourly bottle of whatever poison is available. Slightly overweight, cause of death appears to have been him rapidly dehydrating. Vomit and blood, both his, were found at the scene. It's suspected that poison was slipped into his drink, and because he was such a heavy drinker, he would not notice a few drops of something. Tests are being run on the body, but nothing's turning up so far. They're examining his liver, bladder and some other organs as we speak, but I just know they won't get anywhere. So I decided to try and step in, but alas, the wall prevents my entry. I called you here to see if you would be so kind as to crate some footholds for me? Oh, and if you're careful, you can come with me. The guards aren't very attentive, most would stay away from such a stomach-churning spectacle."
    "Of course you wouldn't, you kept a severed head in the-"
    "Thank you, Hudson, that's enough. Now, deal, or no deal?"
  10. Rae’s deep sea green eyes locked on to the figure who spoke, they seemed to be wise beyond her years. A strange aura surrounded her as she spoke ever so softly. “I’d do well to remember who requested my help. If anything at all, the parasite in which you speak of would be you. Please refrain from any further... verbal projectiles.”
    As for the compromising evidence, how dare he bring that to light? He had no business in her personal life. Who requests someone’s help only to insult them? His mind may be in the right, but he has no place in her life.

    Rae’s thought were interrupted when Hudson reminded them about the case at hand, she faced Hudson to ease her tension with Sebastian. But it was short lived when Sebastian briefed the current situation.
    In short, the professor might have been poisoned. What poison is still in question, if it wasn’t already from his bad habit that swept his life away. Perhaps it was suicide, but she couldn’t be sure until they inspected the scene themselves.

    “No deal on the footholds.” Rae pulled out a small rock from her skirt pocket. She thought about tossing it at Baker for his rather ingenious suggestion. “I’ll make us a platform instead. It won’t leave our prints behind.”
    She bent down and carefully placed the rock on the floor. With her palm on the rock she closed her eyes and concentrated on the atoms, and bent them to her will. She pressed down as it flattened then used both her hands to expand the flat surface as large as she needed it to be. As the work was done, she stood up and tested the platform before stepping on.

    “All aboard.”
  11. "Hrm... Could have just passed off the footholds as damage already done to the wall, nobody would have noticed or cared. Still, who am I to argue with your choice of transport?"
    Sebastian folded his arms behind his back, his face pulled into a stony expression, yet his eyes seemed to convey that his mind worked like an ever-running engine. However, Hudson did not follow his partner onto the platform, instead waving slightly, and turning away. "Ah, meeting someone, are we?"
    "Yes, Sebastian, I'm-"
    "Going on a date? Don't mock me, we both know you'd have had your trousers pressed and your blazer ironed beforehand, and you'd specifically time it so that just as the bell to signify the end of lunch sounded, you'd be forced to go before she even had a chance to express any real feeling. You use your reputation as a medicinal alchemy student and herbologist make an excuse that you're up to your neck in revision, when in fact, you're plotting a scheme of some sort to play with people's hearts. She doesn't feel she can talk to you because you're always 'caught up in revision' and the brief relationship ends."
    "That was when I was first here - when I was despicable."
    "You still play with girls' hearts and you know it, I'm willing to bet Clarimonde's little friend turned deep shade of tomato at the sight of you."
    "She pranged into me, what did you think would happen."
    "Hrm, true."
    Sighing, Hudson stood on top of the platform, forming a convenient barrier between Rae and Sebastian - if any arguments broke out, he would at least try to stop them. Sebastian was not known for his friendly nature, as opposed to John's calmly protective nature of Sebastian. Neither particularly considered the other a friend, but when it came down to it, there were few people they would rather be with to pass the time.
    "And that, is as modest as he gets. He's always like this, he's actually quite a charming fellow under all the condescending insults and weird habits. I think. Anyway, I'd advise you refrain from striking him. He's not the blackmailing type, but if you help him solve this case, he'll see to it that Anderson's exposed as someone who enjoys dressing in girl's clothes. He can also cover up whatever it is you're supposed to be hiding, I guess."
    "John, don't stray off the topic... We can discuss your reward later, Miss Clarimonde. If we're successful."
  12. As soon as John stood between Sebastian and Rae on the platform, it started moving to their destination. Rae had already set the coordinates where it should stop. This method was used to conserve her magical energy, being wasteful was never an option. It’s also one of the reasons why she’s popular; her secret is well sought after.
    Rae was grateful where John stood; his sense of calm gave her peace of mind and clarity for her sanity. He definitely is easy on the eyes, but it was his charm that really hooked the girls in. She knew Milandra was hooked the moment she bumped into him, and knowing that she felt the need to protect her meaningful yet annoying friend. Rae couldn’t stand to see her cry.

    Rae’s face blushed at the mention of her... well... unmentionables, as she turned her head away from John. This was certainly embarrassing! Usually Rae is spot on with perverts like Anderson. She must be getting soft. Her hands made a fist at her sides. “And we will be successful.” She was more hopeful than certain.
    The platform made a smooth stop and turned back into a rock when everyone stepped off.
  13. "Excellent, we're here. Come on Hudson, we don't have all day."
    The balcony was clambered over by the pair, with John simply frowning as he watched Sebastian saunter into the deceased teacher's office. What hit one first was the smell - a nose hair-curling combination of copious amounts of vomit and dried blood, mixed with the unmistakable cocktail of scents typical of a potion aficionado's office. The floor, carpeted in maroon, bile and blood, had an assortment of furniture strewn across it. An ebony desk stood at one end of the room, with a matching chair placed at an angle behind it, a glass bottle lying tipped over on the top. A cadaver lay slumped across the wooden desk top, his hands hanging limply at his side, head firmly against the flat surface. He appeared as pale as a ghost, face taut contorted into an expression of pure agony. The walls, painted an inoffensive pale green, were adorned by portraits of various major figures in the alchemy world, occasionally dotted with a framed on of his daughter, Irene. Little attention was paid to these by Sebastian, however, when he realised doing so would prove inconsequential. Thus, he observed the bottle, taking care to use gloves, so as not to leave prints.
    "So, have they replaced the items yet?"
    "Seems so. The murder took place a few hours ago, the creation of a replica bottle and corpse would take around half an hour each, for a skilled mage."
    It was common practise for law enforcement authorities to create replica corpses and items of interest, so as to preserve the scene, while providing something for forensics to work on.
    "Any ideas?"
    "Eight, so far. Hrm... Four, actually."