The Daily Grind café is closed for the day and has been for hours. Ain't nobody around but Frankie, who lets Bound into the café's back room to update everyone gathered on some of the gruesome goings-on in Fallcoast and what she's found out by looking into them. This has nothing to do with the missing Sin-Eaters she's also been concerning herself with lately. Not so far, anyway.
The back room has a set of stairs leading up to a solid-looking door on the second floor, a door leading to the manager's office, a table, fridge, some chairs, and a couch, as well as lots of supplies - bags of coffee beans, baking ingredients, dry-erase markers for the menu boards, all kinds of items useful for running a business like the Grind.
Darius got there a few mintues early to buy a large coffee and then he heads down with her slowly with a smile on his face as they enter the back room his eyes dart around slowly."Can I smoke in here?" He has already taken out a cig from his pack watching her. He is wearing a pair of white loose fitting jeans and a white wife beater over this is his leather jacket covered in symbols and patches. It is unziped and he is looking around taking it all in for a moment. His fingers already on the golden lighter waiting for a yay or a nay.
Damian heard about this the same way he hears about anything. The Network. Always watching and listening. Would be no surprise if he's programming something to sniff messages out and feed them back to him. Dressed in a suit as he always is, he follows along up the stairs to the office. Laptop bag over his shoulder and ever present. He's silent as they reach the room, and he gives it a bit of a study, but short. It doesn't seem like the life of a cafe manager takes his interest for long. After only a moment, he takes one of the chairs, leaving the couch for people who want to get really comfy. A nod goes to Frankie, Darius, Kilo and Hoax as they enter the office.
Kilo and Hoax make their way in to the back room, Kilo with her little hand in Hoax's as they give Darius a wave and look for a place to park it near him. Hoax already had a cigarette lit, as is his habit, but listens to hear if he's allowed before deciding whether to extinguish it or not. Kilo sips on a bottle of water, dressed in a little baby doll dress and a leather jacket over that with ankle high combat boots. They settle down quickly so as not to disturb Frankie's meeting. Kilo does take the opportunity to give Frankie a little finger wave though, when she makes eye contact and smiles. Otherwise they're ready to hear what has been going on. Then they see Damian and he also gets a little finger wave from Kilo as well.
"No," is Frankie's flat response to Darius. She glowers at Darius and Hoax both, rolls her eyes, and then gets started. She's pretty sure who Hoax is, even if they've never been formally introduced. "So we have a problem involving a serial killer. Again. A dead one, this time. Darius, this has to do with the freaky barb-wire ghost at Sentinel Security back in June. Everyone else, bear with me here, it'll take a bit to talk about that. The backstory starts back in the 70s with a hospital called St. Mary's in Newberry, Montana. This doctor named Hans Wells came up with a 'daring' prototype treatment for cancer patients. Only terminal cases were accepted into the program, and of course, none of them ever made it out of the hospital again because of course Doctor Wells was doing terrible things to them. They signed waivers, so he was legally protected for a while."
Clasping her hands behind her back, Frankie begins to pace back and forth as she speaks. Frankie has an easy voice to listen to and she projects quite well. "There were rumours about the hospital - people who got sick never came back, some doctors and nurses wouldn't try to help them get better or even actively tried to make them more sick. It turned out Wells had gotten one of the nurses pregnant one time and the kid was hidden in the hospital's sub-levels because back then you didn't have kids out of wedlock and you'd rather they be raised in a basement without much human contact than admit you had one and maybe drop it off at an orphanage or something. So anyway, the kid, James Wells, grew really fast and really big, but he was 'lacking in mental capacity'." Finger quotes. "Doctor Wells loved this kid, though, and he did everything he could to accommodate him in the cozy halls of the sub-levels, even bringing the kid small animals because, guess what, the kid loved killing them. Warning sign right there. I'm willing to bed he wet the bed or liked fires, too."
"FUck me......."Darius listens for a moment and the cig shoved back roughly into the pack and watchign for a moment with a frown."Fucking a man and I guess this is fucked up shit....."He listens as she rattles on for a moment about the hospital and then he looks down at the ground debating if he will break a rule."James Wells little doctor serial killer kiddo of a dumb horny doc...."
Damian is just so far behind on everything. No surprise though, he takes the laptop out of the bag, and opens it up. His typing begins almost immediately, he obviously always keeps it on. Almost everything Frankie says seems to get noted in some way, shape, or form. So it seems by how he types while watching her anyway. No time like the present to take notes. His only real response to any of it comes at the end, at the explanation of the boy. Though all he does is furrow his brow slightly. Things like what Frankie described, they really should have a worse reaction. So, either Damian's good at hiding it, or he's a cold sonofa bitch. A glance at Darius, but he seems a little confused by the man. Still it's brief and he asks no questions, not yet. Maybe he's saving it for the end of class.
Frankie stands in front of four other Bound, explaining, "So this kid James grows up to be eight-foot-three and all muscle. He had Gigantism and Myostatin - that's 'muscle hypotrophy syndrome', which is fancy-speak for 'increased muscle mass and strength'. So James is basically huge and crazy strong and able to handle just about anything physically, and definitely the terminal patients Doctor Wells brought down to him.
"Jimmy wanted to be like his daddy, but he didn't really have the brains for it, much less the training, so he pretty much just mangled sick people in a variety of really terrible ways. Eventually, he got so good at torture that he could keep his victims alive for months at a time."
"Charming!" Kilo grins. "Sounds like a real cute kid." Funny... she has kids on the mind this week. And this doesn't scare her.. Nooooooo - not a bit. Much. "So.. this guy is now out and about and killing people? Is that where we're going with this?" She pauses. "Sorry -- don't meant to jump the gun here."
Well, now Damian has a question, his typing pausing for just a moment, mainly because he seems confused. "Wait, so the whole reason he had patients there were to umm..." The thought pauses him, though briefly. "to feed them to his kid? Was he experimenting on the kid? Is that what caused his conditions? Or was that just how he was disposing of his failed experiments?" Not actually seemingly concerned about people be sacrificed, but about understanding the situation. Information is critical. A glance at Kilo as she speak, and then back to Frankie with his full attention, fingers flying again.
The door to the back room pushes open and Trent slips inside. While his face, at least in the context of sin-eating, is probably foreign to all herepresent, it's immediately obvious he's not some civilian wandering in by mistake; his dark jeans and green-and-black stripey long-sleeved shirt (fuck the season) are average enough, but what's doubtless his soulbuddy is silently visible to other Bound in the audience. It's a nasty protoplasmic mess of ropey black tendrils of flesh coiled endlessly around one another, oozing along beside and behind its partner, crawling up convenient walls and generally slime molding it up. He'd like to avoid disrupting things at all, but misjudges the force of shutting the door and so produces an audible click as he leans back into it behind him. "Sorry," he grins ruefully. "Couldn't find the place. Name's Trent. Do continue." And he snags a chair toward the back of the assembly and goes all The Thinker, raptly alert on Frankie, who seems like the center of attention.
"Just wow......what the flying fuck and....."The words stop and Darius watches his friends for a moment shaking his headslowly and then he walks over to his brothers and sisters in arms. Next to Kilo and Hoax now and with a shake of his head."Holy fuck that is bad shit....."That is when Trent brust in the room and he watches him for a moment and then he looks back towards the girl speaking.
"Getting there," Frankie tells Kilo, holding a hand up in a vague warding gesture. Patience! Her eyes flick up to watch Trent come in; she nods to him, which seems to serve as a greeting, and then tells Damian, "Doctor Wells wasn't responsible for James' genetic defects as far as I know. I'm not sure that kind of thing was possible back then. Doctor Wells was bringing the patients down to indulge James. Give him a way to do what daddy did - take care of patients. Sort of. Records say James tortured sixty-two victims to death. Almost sixty-three, but this one guy named Woody Sears managed to escape. Woody went to the police, and they raided the hospital and shut it down. They wanted to capture James, but he was really against that idea and they had to shoot him. He died." She nods to Kilo. See? Dead. "Doctor Wells was so distraught, he committed suicide shortly after his trial. James Wells became known as 'the Kabuki Killer' because of this white kabuki mask he wore. Bing it yourself if you don't know what I'm talking about. K-A-B-U-K-I."
Frankie's voice is controlled as she spins the story. No faltering, no hitches of breath, no hard swallows to discourage a belly rebellion. "Turns out there are at least three items that belonged to James that served as anchors. The kabuki mask is one, and it was made with the bone dust of his victims. The apron in a second, and he made that from the skins of his victims and bleached it white. We've run into both of those, and there's also a large knife James used that was custom-made for his giant hands. Way too big for anyone else to use - more like axe-sized for a regular person. They, and all the other tools James used, were in an evidence locker in Newberry, Montana. That locker got broken into about a year ago, and those three items went missing. Everything else seemed undisturbed. Now we've started finding the items."
Glancing up at the new arrival Hoax arches an eyebrow curiously, but doesn't seem to bother with the man at all. Instead his attention fixates upon the black, protoplasmic mess, and allows a quiet smirk to touch upon his features. His own Geist is no where to be seen. Then, after giving Kilo's hand a gentle squeeze he turns back to Frankie as the woman continues to speak some more. Not seeing fit to comment or question anything just yet.
Damian nods to what Frankie explain, simply nods, his attention turning briefly to the newcomer. If he's alarmed by his presence, an unknown, his only reaction is to also spare Trent a nod. Damian's Geist is also not present in the visible sense. That can be saved for later though. The way he fingers move, he could easily be googling a ton of stuff, but he seems to know what a Kabuki mask is the way he just continues to nod. The sheer amount of people he murdered, the gruesomeness of it all, continues to not faze him. Like a stone mask listening to a dissemination of information as if someone was reading a story. A simple brow raise at the last bit, the stolen bits, and that is really the height of what he gives off for reaction.
"First up: the mask. Some guy called Edward Miller told Deckard about a body at the Sentinel Storage facility, who passed it on, and a bunch of us - Idina, Matthew, Darius here, Franklin, Cissy, Mercy, Dolly, and I - headed over. We split up, some of us going to the storage container where the body was and others keeping an eye out to cover us.
"When we got to the storage container there was blood everywhere and arms and guts and things suspended from barbed wire." Gross. "There's the white kabuki mask on a box in the center of the storage container. I headed over to the body and did a ceremony to see the last things the dead man saw."
Frankie shoves her hands into the back pockets of her black jeans, still walking her slow circles. "So the victim - his name was Tim Burks, by the way - walks into the storage container and starts to open up boxes when he sees this white mask in the center of the room. He starts toward it, but a ghost walks out from behind some other boxes. Float-walks. Whatever. The ghost was a guy once, obviously, but he's naked and missing big pieces of flesh, has no eyelids, nose, lips, ears, fingernails... and he's wrapped in barbed wire so tightly it looks like it's broken his bones. Like a torture victim, I'd guess. Straight out of one of those Hostel movies, which is what Burks essentially gets to see as a vision - he sees himself trapped in a room, strapped on a table when a huge guy in a bloody apron wearing a kabuki mask starts cutting into his arm. And it's a long vision which I did not really appreciate seeing. The vision fades, and then Burks is in the storage container again, suspended from the ceiling with barbed wire. The ghost is closing its hand into a fist," Frankie says, withdrawing one of her hands from her pocket to demonstrate. Her hand tightens as she speaks. "The wires get tighter the more he tightens his fist, and when he finally closes it," Again, she demonstrates, "The wire torques the man into dozens and dozens of bits."
"So of course that's when the ghost shows up elsewhere in the facility and some barbed wire comes out of nowhere and wraps up two of the facility's staff. Idina tells those of us in the container what's happening, and Franklin grabs the mask since it's the ghost's anchor and starts running. Apparently Matthew came out and started fighting it, but the ghost had to follow the anchor. So a bunch of us are running after it and long story short, Idina eventually uses telekinesis or something to rip the mask out of Franklin's hand and smash it against the side of a building. It breaks into little bitty pieces and the ghost is suddenly gone, but of course that's not the last we hear of Wirehead. Next is the apron."
Darius listens slowly with a frown on his face getting all the gory deatils this time. Slowly he slides out a notebook starting to write it down slowly with a shake of his head. No words now just trying to make sure he gets it all down in the book.
Kilo listens carefully to all the information Frankie is disseminating, especially the little keystone-cops bit with the mask and the running and the telekinesis and the smashing. "Hmmmm." She frowns. "Should have destroyed him, not the anchor. That was kind of a missed opportunity." The girl bites her lip. "OK, so what of the apron. You have a lead on that? Please tell me it wasn't destroyed."
"Let's hope there isn't 62 more." Damian seems to quip to no one as he types more and more, eyes never wavering from Frankie as she speaks. He watches Frankie's movements closely, another nod here and there like a bobble head only capable of that. This kind of graphic story has to have an effect on anyone with a soul, anyone not completely devoid of feeling, conscience. Still Damian's face is unreadable, placid as she carries on. Thoughtful might be the best description. Another nod as fingers continue over the keyboard, it's like he's writing an essay on the topic, or a thesis. When Kilo speaks he takes note, but it seems something she says resonates with him, he tugs at his lips briefly downwards, but he says nothing, turning back to Frankie.
Frankie nods to Kilo. "The ghost was tough. We weren't getting anywhere fighting it - and you've seen Matthew fight, I reckon - and it had Franklin wrapped in barbed wire, so destroying the anchor was our best bet at the time without getting Franklin turned into chunks. But yeah, the apron. That's a mixed bag. So: same day we go to Sentinel Storage, a body and a bunch of barbed wire was found in a high school classroom. The victim was a janitor named Bob Juarez. Nobody else was hurt, unless you count the trauma seeing a janitor diced up probably caused the teachers and students. Wirehead strikes again."
"Thankfully, for those of you who aren't aware, the Medical Examiner at the FCPD is one of us. I suggested she keep an eye out for Juarez's body and went to see her later. The eyes weren't intact this time, but Doctor Reyes is really good with Oracle and saw what happened to Bob," Frankie explains.
"Apparently, Bob was cleaning the art room when he found a white apron. He picked it up, felt dread, and had a vision of himself strapped on his back on a table, naked, staring up at a bright light. She said his jaw was wired shut, his eyelids had been removed, and his body was laced with barbed wire. Surprise surprise, he sees a huge man in the white apron and a kabuki mask over him, starting to cut into him. When he snapped out of the vision, he was hanging from barbed wire from the ceiling and the man from his vision, the victim, was standing and looking up at him. Same fist closing, wire dicing M.O.. The apron is in the evidence room at FCPD. So it's not destroyed, but we can't get to it without some work.
"James' knife hasn't turned up yet, but I suspect that's just a matter of time," Frankie concludes.
"God. This is really, really gruesome." Kilo wrinkles her nose and begins to feel a bit sick. "I tell you what. Hoax and I can walk straight into the evidence room and grab your stuff for you. I mean, this is a five minute job really. We just go invisible and walk through walls." She shrugs. "If you want that taken care of, just let us know. But if you find Kabuki Boy?" She shakes her head slowly with a smile. "We'd much rather take care of him. I'm going to guess that won't be a problem either." She gives Frankie a toothy grin.
Hoax finally decides to open his mouth to speak and chimes in after Kilo by saying, "Like she said," with a nod being given to the Latina. "Easy job, and an even easier solution to your Ghost problem."
"I could probably get the apron." Damian doesn't sound as confident as he might, but there's a lot of factors with that. His eyes go to Frankie first with the offer, then to the rest. He types a little more, and then rests flat hands against the keyboard. "Consider something though. It's a victim. Consider there could be 62 more we don't know about yet. I hope not?" He sighs slightly. "Destroying it might be the only answer, but have we considered what it wants? Do we think it is just to visit vengeance on people who have never done anything, had nothing to do with its death? I'm new to this, but?" His lips purse as he pauses, and then nods. "..I seem to understand that what keeps such things here is a purpose, some of those evil, some of those not?" A glance then at Kilo, a nod at her words. Apparently he was thinking the same thing. Walking through walls and the like. There's no amusement to the last part though, no joy at the thought. The evidence to why might lie in the fact his Geist appears behind him, wrapped half in shadow as it always is, that mask it wears shifting from face to unknown face. If Damian doesn't have it on a leash, it means it's quite impassioned about something.
"...You can walk through walls?" Frankie asks, eyebrows raising. "I can't walk through walls. I need to learn how to walk through walls." She makes a vague gesture. "James Wells is dead and gone, hopefully. What we have to deal with is one of his victims, and that ghost is a tough fight. I think it wants people to suffer the same torture it did; that's why it makes them experience what it went through. I'm all ears for any ideas to get rid of it. But I think there's something else: I think we have to worry about who took the evidence from Newberry and brought it all the way here. That's not a coincidence, and it makes me think of the West End Watchers, since they're behind just about every other shitty thing going on around here."
"Fucking A I was there when we attacked those fuckers Frankie and one of them get the fuck away...."Darius shakes his head slowly taking in all for a moment."Was brand new in town got roped into going out there for the fuckign fight...."He then exhales slowly as if smoking but the cig is still hanging from his lips not light yet."But god damn that would suck and also we need to take care of this and I offer my help but only good at one thing and that is murder and crime."
Kilo nods in agreement with Frankie, and quite enthusiastically at that. "Oh yeah. I don't doubt for a minute that it's not the WEWs. But... seriously? They are a fucking monster Frankie? What do you want to do? Go up against the universe? We cut off one head and 50 more heads came back at us. Cut off another and 300 more will come back at us. I don't think you can stop them. They will always be our nemesis and honestly? As long as people are vigilant and don't fall prey to their bullshit come-on lines and 'Flesh Faires', then our little town should be ok. We can seriously take care of a ghost like this. Teamwork!" She grins then smiles at the rest of everyone assembled. "Right guys? Oh, and I'll teach you to walk through walls Frankie -- totes cool trick." The little gangster beams.
"I agree that there's potential for at least sixty-one more ghosts," Frankie tells Damian with a nod his way. "I want to get in touch with Woody Sears if I can. Or get a list of the nursing staff at St. Mary's and try to figure out who James Well's mother was. As for the West End Watchers... no shit, Kilo. Am I ever the one who goes running at something just to get in a fight?"
"Right, sixty-one." Damian looks down at his notes, checking them to make sure he had that right. This is why he documents things. "Do you know where Woody is? I'm sure I can find him in a more mundane way? I could probably help with James's mother, depending on if those records were converted to digital format." Most things are these days. Another glance goes at Kilo and Hoax, an assessment it seems as he studies the two in silence, and then looks back to the room at large. "Could be the West End Watchers, but?that might be a jump. Need a lot of information."
See... this is why it's important to have people like Damian and Frankie tempering people like Kilo and Hoax. And now there is balance in the Universe. "Right Frankie. You're right. You totally wouldn't be the one running for a fight. That's not your style. And Damian is going to keep us honest here, I can already tell." She gives Damian a playful smirk as she gives Hoax's hand a tight little squeeze. "I am not afraid to admit, I'm not much good with the figuring out stuff. But I throw a hell of a lot of weight around when necessary, and I promise you, no one will get hurt if I get a chance at this guy or any of the other potential ghosts that have been created. If I have to go through like, 15 of them? Then that's what I'll do. Then that's what -we- will do." She smiles at Hoax then, lacing her fingers though his. "Of course time is of the essence. Let's get this party started soon, right?"
Frankie inclines her head to Damian, noting, "Your help would be appreciated." A nod to Kilo and Hoax, too, and Frankie reaches across herself to rub one shoulder, rotating it at the same time. "Mostly I wish we could find the knife before someone else gets diced, but one thing at a time."
Damian nods to Frankie, a simple solemn nod at her acceptance. To her last words, he adds, "Maybe we can." Though he doesn't elaborate. Whatever little plays on Damian's face though, all Kilo talk about destroying 15 ghosts gets Damian's Geist to turn that wispy, mask covered eyes on her. To Damian's calm, he looks anything but. Wisps of ethereal fire seem to almost seep off of him. Damian actually has to close his eyes a moment, quell the beast, wrap it in those shadows and pull it back into obscurity, but it does not go easily. His only words, once his eyes open again, as to Kilo. "Perhaps, these fifteen, these sixty-one, however many there may be, perhaps they deserve more than just destruction and oblivion?" Just food for thought, apparently.
"Any restless dead deserve a chance to pass on," Frankie says, walking over to a corkboard and removing some pins to square some of the papers up. She seems to have covered everything she wanted to cover.
Kilo totally backs down. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to imply that I wouldn't help those that we could help to pass on to pass on. Of course that's what we want to do. What I -did- mean was that if they are hurting people and uncooperative? They have to go." She cants her head at Damian, then at Frankie. "Seems like a couple Reapers would be on board with that. But what the fuck do I know. I guess we're finished here." And she stands to leave.
Frankie's lips quirk at the corner. "A chance, I said. Thanks for coming, Kilo, Hoax." She tilts her head to the side, a birdlike motion that somehow suits her.
"I just wanted to make sure you weren't overzealous." Damian nods to Kilo. "I am very much interested in resolving any and all situations, but properly. Justice is not as simple as death." The Reaper shrugs. "Sometimes an unjust death causes worse things, that's all." OMG. Is that almost a smile by Frankie. Damian's brow flickers slightly upward. He'll definitely have to note it.
"Sometimes unjust death causes us," Frankie remarks, pressing a pushpin firmly back into place.
"Less than more." Damian concedes the point to her with a nod though. "If you have a formula for how to make sure that happens, then maybe, but then again, making us isn't always a good thing, either." The West End watchers and his old Krewe are living testament to that. He sighs a little, looking back down at his computer and typing what is presumably a few more notes before closing the lid.
"I would never try," Frankie tells Damian, turning away from the corkboard and regarding him for a long moment with cool blue eyes. "Do you have the names we're going to look into or should I make a list?"
"Only names I have so far are Hans and James Wells, how to find their mother's name, I'm still debating. I have a few ideas, however. Sick leave for a few months right around James birth time. Stuff like that, if records were kept." Damian shrugs, "After that. Woody Sears, try to find him with public record if he kept the same name. If not?" His lips purse again, and thin considerably. "I may have to ask a few friends for help. They are rather good at that sort of thing." A pause, and then a brow flicks upwards again. "Are there more names we should be looking for? If so, by all means, make a list, and I'll do what I can."
"That's pretty much it," Frankie tells Damian, her hands slipping into the back pockets of her jeans again. "Woody could be a Woodrow, but... you seem to know your way around this kind of thing." She pauses a moment, then adds, "Your help is appreciated. Just about everyone else is basically 'call me when you need something beat up'. Which has its place, but sometimes it takes work to get to that point."
Something about that seems to almost amuse Damian, if Damian can be said to be amused. Like her earlier, one corner of his lips ticks upward slightly. "Sometimes it takes more work to never get to that point." He nods, understanding. A Reaper he may be, but it's obvious he takes such things seriously. "Mercy is by far the harder path." And that simply sounds like experience talking. "Yeah Woodrow. I don't know if I would say I know my way around it, so good tip. I just have certain talents, like anyone."
"Alright," Frankie says, head bobbing. She walks to the back door and opens it, looking pointedly at those remaining. Time to get gone, dawgs!