Deckard, wearing a jacket surprisingly, made his way to the cottage. He'd sent a text to both Dove and Jackson to let him know he'd be coming. With Ting and Molly the way they were at the moment...he just had to be away from them. He expelled Gnaw from his mind as quickly as he could, and with his things gathered together, he arrived in a shower of snowflakes and frigid wind just outside the door. Three heavy thuds indicated he was outside. "Oi! It's Deckard." No hello's or pleasantries from him, not then.
Dove's place is the one offered up for group outing, keeping the unexposed and safe from visitors. Plus, Dove has all the people food! She's even been keeping it semi-stocked for visitors like this. Has she noticed that Deckard likes to eat? Of course she has, so by the time he arrives, a nice small pile of food has been set out for him already. "Maybe it's good news?" Dove offers to Jackson with a hopeful smile as she hurries over towards the door to pull it open. She's relaxed in a pair of jeans, a white wife-beater style tank top that's clearly been stolen from Jackson's collection, tied in a knot above her belly button, and atop her head is an adorable hat with devil horns that Deckard gave her for Valentine's Day. Because he'll probably get a kick out of it. "Come on in."
Jackson shrugs, offering no opinion on the kind of news it might be, but the look he gives her is somewhat skeptical. When is it ever good news? There’s just a little shake of his head as eyes flicker to the door and he watches Dove go to answer it. Not to be the unwelcoming sort, but he crosses his arms over his chest and just waits silently, if a little curiously.
Deckard was still barefoot, even if everything else he was wearing appeared the same as usual, the jacket a recent addition. Suede, cotton interior. A late fall piece that'd do fine for the temperatures outside. His appearance was completed with a satchel slung over his shoulder. When Dove opened the door, he made his way inside, not bothering to say hello even still. When he noticed Jackson, he gave the man an upnod, making his way to the nearest table. The food? Ignored, for the time being. Highly unusual. "Molly and Ting have made their way back home." Certainly sounded like good news. "But Ingrid did something to them. It's temporary, but you may as well consider them different people for now. And good luck understanding Ting." That one was a doozey. So maybe not exactly the best of news, but at least he was getting straight to all the necessary points. The hat? Completely glossed over.
Tossing the satchel onto the nearest table, Deckard opened up the bag, and began rifling through it. "I've been trying to do some digging around, but I've hit mostly dead ends. I have a few things here that might be of use." He produced a couple baggies. One held in it six shell casings from a heavy revolver. Another held what appeared to be a wooden scroll, vellum wrapped around it. "The keys under the bridge are gone. Oracle knew I was coming to see Catherine, so they got rid of them. They were the last to touch the ink on that scroll." He gestured to the bullets. "Found those just off the side of the road near the Old Bridge." He pulled out a photograph, recently printed. "This is a picture of a hand mark, crushing the railing at the Old Bridge. The hand in the picture is mine." The indentations appeared to be of a hand more than twice the size of Deckard's wrapping around the metal pipe and crushing it in its grip. Deckard sighed and shook his head. "J. Morris Blackwell. No direct involvement...but you were right Jackson. His hands are in pies everywhere." One that almost got him killed yesterday. "I don't know what magics you have to see into these, or if you'd prefer Charley do so herself. Might be unnecessary though. Apparently, Ting and Molly have seen Oracle, and have some sort of weapon to utilize against them." He sighed, looking rather tired in that moment, not wanting to be there at all.
Slowly closing the door behind Deckard, Dove watches him curiously. She's taking note of everything, right down to the bare feet. She pauses for a second, her eyes traveling the area right around the Sin eater. She knows that thing is there somewhere, but now she can't see it, which makes her a slightly uncomfortable. It's only obvious for a moment before she regains control of herself, focusing on the bag instead. "What do you mean 'understand her'? Is she speaking another language or something?"
She peeks as the items as they're pulled out, but leaves the handling of them up to Jackson. "Well, she did say she was giving them her 'mantle', whatever that means. It could be that's what is making their behavior so odd. But the fact of the matter is, we can't trust them anymore. Not completely. We have no idea the extent of what was done to them, or how under the sway of that woman they are."
You can be assured Jackson notices the bare feet when Deckard comes in, though he looks past the man in the first moment as if expecting the rest of the squad to follow. They don’t. A brow raises and he gives Deckard a quick once over as he watches the man move into the place. The news is wholly unsurprising to him. ‘Yes, that’s what happens when you do something foolish, something happens to you. Usually. She said she gave them powers.” He notes. He’s having trouble following Deckard mind you. “Ink on the scroll?” A nod at the hand. “That hand might belong to someone named Sloan. A friend of Ting’s, but I might be wrong about that, also.” He shrugs, not really knowing one way or another. The weapon to utilize that gets his interest and his attention stays on Deckard curiously, especially since that information does not seem forthcoming. A small nod at what Dove says. “If we could trust them before.”
"She's speaking Estonian right now. Fluently, and quickly. Doesn't give a rat's ass if you can't understand her either." Google helped to be able to speak back to her, but trying to understand her? That was ridiculously hard. Thankfully, Deckard had one trick up his sleeve...one that he loathed using. Deckard took the bag back, leaving the former contents on the table. "Mantle. I don't know what that means." For all of the Fae-related details he was clued in on, for all he knew about the society of the Lost, he didn't know anything about that sort of thing. Likely, he'd be talking to Isrieal soon. Deckard looked between Jackson and Dove. "I never trusted either of you fully either. But I'm here right now." He shrugged. "Ink on the scroll. I don't know all of your powers, but I am aware that touching the evidence is bad. I touched the scroll, but not the ink. I avoided touching the bullet casings as well, for what it's worth." He picked up the scroll and tossed it to Jackson.
"They left that for me. There's more than one way to access each realm, this I know, but was only aware of the stationary gates under the bridge. I wanted to learn from Catherine, as she was my only solid lead. I'm not an investigator, that's not my specialty." When Jackson continued to speak, Deckard nodded. "Sloan. I'll find him." As he had to do lots of tracking down, may as well put him on the 'to find' list.
"We'll have to get one of those in your ear translatey things to try to understand her. I don't even know a word of Estonian. Did she speak it before, or is that new? If it's new, that seems like some shady Tower of Babel stuff. Is Molly speaking another language, too?" She curls a strand of hair around a finger as she thinks, glancing between the two men as they look over the scroll and casings. "Yes yes, nobody trusts anybody, I get it. But this time it's to a much deeper extent." She drops to the edge of a chair, rubbing her face in my hands. "I should have been strong enough to pull them away from her," she mutters to herself.
“Estonian?” That seems to baffle Jackson. Why Estonian? He doesn’t word that question, but it seems to puzzle him for a while. He’s been there before, he’s been damn near everywhere this world has to offer. He just shakes his head moving past it. The scroll is tossed and Jackson snags it, opening it up, even as he goes on. “That might be my fault. She was experimenting on this kids she took, turning them into abominations. I Frog people or some shit. For that matter, ‘Catherine’, as you are calling her, is some kind of frog person herself, with a weakness to salt, or salt water off all things. I saw through her guise. Those kids from the bus are either dead or no longer kids. She turned them into something like her. Building an army, I was told.” He looks up from the scroll, only barely touching it at the edges carefully. “The other way to enter her realm, as I have no ideas what keys you mean, was a matter of time. Every night the same truck drives down that bridge, from the past. Stand in front of it, and just before it hits you, a flash of green and you are back in her realm.” He rolls the scroll back up and tosses it back to Deckard. “As for bullet casings, well, I have no idea what significance that has.” A shrug, looking between both people now.
Deckard shook his head. "Probably her native tongue, is my guess. Both of them have this sort of...malaise about them." Deckard shrugged. "Molly is speaking English. If her native tongue was something else, she'd probably be speaking that instead too." He looked over to Dove, eyes narrowed. "They are working to fight against Oracle. That is more than enough to treat with them the same as before, at least in regards to progressing our foothold."
Crossing his arms over his chest, Deckard turned to Jackson. "I see. So you've been there also then. Standing in front of a truck at a specific time...temporal..." Deckard's brow furrowed. "How did you figure that out?" And then when he explained what she was doing, a brow rose up. "An army..." His hand shot out to grab the scroll, setting it back on the table in front of him. "That makes sense then. The hand print. The bullet casings...Do you have any leads on the locations of the other portals into their realms?"
Dropping her hands, Dove frowns in Jackson's direction. "Well, it's a damn good thing that I didn't let that truck hit me, then. How confusing would that have been?" She'd been wondering how he'd gotten back to the past to get those kids. Deckard's words, however, have her shifting a look towards him, unimpressed at the glaring. "You better be putting those angry eyes back where they came from, buddy," she informs him in the most mom of mom-tones. "You think that we should be treating two people who just spent days with an enemy and came back obviously altered the same as we should before they left? That's the dumbest shit that's come out of your mouth so far. Something obviously happened to them. Obviously I will try to help them the best that I can to free them from whatever has a hold on them, but they are -not- the same, and they will -not- warrant the same amount of trust. Has it crossed your mind that they could be playing you on behalf of the enemy that has obviously already altered their behavior patterns? Use your brain."
Jackson seems less interested in the state of the women, maybe because he sees no real way to help them. Maybe because he’s a bit of an asshole that way and their condition is of their own doing. It could be either. “They were working to fight Oracle. Can you be so sure what they are working to do now? Or even who for?” He gives Deckard a serious, yet questioningly look, skeptical that there is any way the man can be sure about them now.
”Twice, actually. The first time I rescued the first three kids from the car. The second time I ended her experiment with a little salt, or a lot, really. She was not pleased.” Jackson can’t help but grin at that thought. “A little bit of dumb luck.” He continues looking back at Deckard. “The same truck almost hit Dove the first time we were on a bridge. I suppose I thought the coincidence to be too odd, with all I knew. Decided to change the variables of the experiment and let the truck hit me. It did not.” He doesn’t really look Dove’s way at that admission. “Hand prints and bullet casings? DO explain because I’m not following how that makes sense. As for your hand print though, it was there from almost the beginning. It is not a new development, I saw it a long time ago. When I found the same broken open, by someone with their bare hands. That being this person named Sloan, according to Ting-a-Ling.” A last shake of his head. “No, but I surmised as you did that there must be entrances into their realms, as I realized with Catherine’s, once I realized I was inside her realm, which I assumed resides inside her gem.”
A glance Dove’s way and then back. “She’s not wrong. “It’s one thing to be stupid, but it’s another to be stupid simply because they are your friends. Think rationally. Everything she just said is a good point.”
Deckard turned to Dove cracking his neck. "Ingrid isn't the enemy. She is attempting to be free of the enemy, and has thus far succeeded in evading capture. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. There is a very clear difference. While she may be using Molly and Ting for her own ends, that still lends itself to fighting against the real threat. For now, it is useful to have their new abilities to fight against Sentinel and Oracle. If you do not think I am aware of what happened to them, maybe you should read my mind and see how I really feel." He looked between the two of them. "The other three, also, are tools of the enemy...who would like nothing more than to have their own sovereignty back. Besides, both you and I have been inside the emerald prison. Why should Dove treat us any differently than she does with Ting and Molly? Who's to say either of us doesn't have one of Catherine's gifts?" If they were going to be paranoid, may as well let that stew.
"How do the bullet casings make sense? You don't shoot off bullets without a target. Someone, likely, was abducted and was trying to fend off either Catherine or one of her frog minions. There was no trace of the gun, or the individual. Sounds logical enough to me." He turned to Dove. "Right now, Ting and Molly have intelligence on Oracle. Do either of you?"
"Not once did I say that we don't still work together. You don't trust me as far as you could throw me, and we still work together. What I am saying, is that you can't look at them the same way you did before. You can't trust them the way that you did before, and I know that hurts. I can imagine how hard it is to even wrap your head around, because I can feel how stressed you are." Dove shakes her head. "Didn't Ingrid used to be a Gentry? Isn't that what Ting said before? Given what she's said about what the Gentry do, do you really not think she's the enemy? She's the enemy who is just aligned in our cause to take down an even bigger enemy. But that doesn't make her less of one."
Dove shakes her head, glancing between the two. Her finger lifts to point at Jackson a little bit as he mentions trying to let the truck hit him. But he's deliberately not looking at her. She makes a low growling noise deep in her throat and turns the finger towards Deckard instead. Granted, they're both much larger than her. "I know Jackson well enough to know that he would accept no gifts, and from what I've seen they must be accepted, not forced, for whatever reason. Those girls literally lept to take what was offered, and now all of us are going to pay for that action. I understand letting your heart get in the way of your head. Better than even you might. Believe me. You need to be careful of them now, even while working alongside them. Please."
“Or so she says. If she is like her counterpart, you don’t kidnap children and turn them into something else out of the goodness of your heart and for the good of all.” Jackson is not buying that Ingrid or any of them are not a problem. A shrug. “Because I never accepted her blessing, or Lizzy’s and for the record, that seems to be truly key. They seem to be unable to give them without consent. Something to be remembered.” A hand goes up, one finger up. “And as much as I hate the government and all, it bears considering that these four might be the real enemy, and not Sentinel or Oracle. Perhaps they are keeping something you don’t want unleashed on the world wrapped up. Just a thought. Unless you have proof otherwise besides the words of these women?” A brow raises at that, pointedly at Deckard. “What intelligence is that? And I know that oracle is a government agency that very few people want to go near, that’s what I know right now. So enlighten us.” A thumb juts Dove’s way. What she said. Again.
"They were the first two people who decided to give a shit about me." Deckard's hands clenched together in fists. "How much anguish do they have to continue to be put through?" Granted, they probably weren't thinking that way at the moment, but it certainly weighed on Deckard. "For fuck's sake Dove!" He threw his hands into the air. "Of fucking course they are the fucking enemy!" Seething rage began to pour from every fiber of his being. "My fucking wife was abducted by one of those things. I am well aware of what they are. What they are capable of. What they can do. What they will do. If you believe me to be ignorant of that, then you can take your gods damned..." He looked like he was about to flip out, and paused as if he was suddenly frozen in place. Eyes closed. A few deep breaths later, and his composure was back to normal. When his eyes opened, he peered over to Jackson.
"The Gentry are weak in this mortal realm. They do not venture here with any sort of regularity. Sentinel has a method of trapping them. That seems to me to be a cause for concern, Jackson, as they are able to track, trap, and control four entities whose power is immense. That is why those women are the enemy. That is why Sentinel and Oracle are the bigger enemy. And that is why those two enemies would be pit against each other. This is not mere speculation. This is logic, plain to see, not a random conclusion I have jumped to. There is only so much evidence that a person needs to see before making an appropriate judgement call, and I have made it to be so." Beat. "As for the intelligence? I do not know. They were being cryptic with me. You'll have to ask them for yourselves."
"Well, whether you like it or not, and I know that you don't, there's another person out there who gives a shit about you. I give a shit about all of us." The yelling and the hands don't cause Dove to move away, but she does lower her pointed finger back to her side. At Least she seems to know better than to reach out to him, despite her instincts to sooth. It would probably just make things worse. "I don't want them to suffer any anguish. I know a little of what Molly went through, and Ting announced what she was, so I can only guess the enslavement that she went through. I don't want this for them because it feels like just another kind of enslavement and nobody, least of all them, deserve to suffer that. Which is why I said I will fight to rid them of this."
Dove sighs, pinching the bridge of her nose. "But you told me to treat them the same as before. That is what you said to me. That is where these warnings are coming from. Because I am worried that that's what you plan to do, to treat them the same. You need to treat them with kid's gloves, and you need to stay on the defensive, constantly. We don't know the full extent of what was done to them, or if they've been released as some kind of Sleeper agents. Ingrid wants to evade capture, she will no doubt do whatever it takes to ensure that. By protecting yourself you will continue to live and fight to free them of this burden. They need you. Am I making sense?"
“Perhaps something they should have considered before accepting a blessing from one of them. Are they not the same beings that put a bracelet on Ting? Why do that, I wonder, if they are trying to fight Oracle? Sentinel? That should have been an obvious no, as well as jumping in a circle. Sometimes, Deckard, we bring our own anguish upon ourselves.” Jackson is very calm, even as Deckard is losing his shit, or about to. Make no mistake though, Jackson’s green eyes watch the man like a predator watches another within his den. Carefully. “I have no argument for what Sentinel and oracle can do, and that that is not a good thing to allow them to be capable of, but I am curious how you turn them against each other and hope it works out the way you please at all?”
He does, however, consider Deckard’s next, calm words carefully. “Then perhaps the better options is to destroy the women and take their power from Oracle in doing so. I believe they call that killing two birds with one gem, or four.” He leans against the wall, throwing up a lazy shrug. “Not so plain to see. And I will make my own judgement. Thank you.” A glance at Dove, as he listens to her. Nothing to add there, it seems.
At Dove's words, Deckard's shoulder sagged a little, his breaths coming heavy through his nose, almost like a bull. He was quiet for a long time, just listening. "Yes. You have made sense." The words were reluctant, but it was plain to see that she was right. When Jackson spoke, Deckard brought his hands together, in an effort to calm himself further. "I understand your words Jackson." It sounded like he had more to say, but his head twitched to the side, and he rolled his head around, his shoulders following suit, as if to try and re-adjust in an invisible seat. When he mentioned destroying the women, Deckard turned to face him.
"You make your own judgements as you require. Destroying the women..." A thought he hadn't had previously. "It would be a great pleasure to do so. But there are more than four Gentry in the world. They are innumerable. That is why, Sentinel, and Oracle, as I have stated repeatedly, are the primary threat. If they can lure those four into a trap, they can do it again. And again. And again. First we must cut out the eyes of the beast. Oracle. Then we must sever the hands. The women...preferably, Ingrid first. Then, we strike at the heart. Sentinel."
Dove's head tilts a little bit as she watches Deckard's body language. There are some benefits to being steeped in humanity, after all. Her smile is warm and soothing and completely genuine as she locks eyes on his face, deliberately not trying to catch his gaze in hers, a purposeful action that he should understand. "I will help you with this, I promise." She lifts a hand for a moment, letting it hover between them for a half second of hesitation. But she pushes forward and wraps her fingers around his upper arm, giving a tiny, reassuring squeeze. Then she draws the hand right back into herself, taking a step away to give him space.
"They all need to go," she agrees, starting to make her way back towards where Jackson is leaning. "We may not be able to take them all out, all the gentry of the world, but those we can, we will."
“I am not worried about the innumerable threats everywhere, just the ones currently at the door. And destroying them takes their power away from Sentinel and Oracle. You do not remove the eyes first, you remove the arms and legs. Then, the eyes are surprisingly easy to remove.” Jackson has a sudden grin, a little dark. “As for Sentinel, I am pretty sure I know where their base of operations is, as well, since Lizzy warned me it would be my death. So maybe we also just give them a big boom. I do like to cleanse with fire.” Despite his allergy to it.
At any rate, he nods, looking to the rest. “I have some business to conduct, Dove will fill me in on anything relevant, I’m sure.” He tosses Dove a wink and heads for the door.
Deckard breathed in and out, as evenly as he could manage, nodding at Dove. When she reached a hand out, Deckard shifted slightly, as if assuming a defensive posture. At her touch, writhed away. He didn't say anything, but it was pretty clear in his body language he wanted nothing to do with her touch. If anything, it had made things worse for him rather than better, and he snarled, before realizing what she was saying. "You do what you must. I will do the same." Without wasting any further time on the vampires, Deckard once more evaporated into the air, snowflakes and frosted drafts the only trace of his presence after his leave. He made a deal with his Geist earlier to be able to understand...and for that, he had to let it loose. It was hunting season that night, and Deckard had a belly to fill.
Letting out a long breath that Dove obviously doesn't actually need, her nails twist into her palm and leave little crescents of irritation in her skin. "Ooooh, he's pushing my patience," she hisses through her teeth before eying Jackson as he goes to leave as well. At Least he's taking the door! "I'll see you at home," she mutters with a little nod in his direction before she falls back into the seat.