As advertised, Ric and Kilo are at the shop, hanging out down in that oh-so-cozy basement. Kilo's likely playing on her phone, possibly smoking. Ric's sprawled out on the couch, his boots off, revealing mismatched socks, and his feet resting in Kilo's lap. He's got an acoustic guitar in his lap and alternates between plucking out a few notes here and there and swigging from a bottle of vodka that's being passed back in forth between the two of them.
He's clad in his usual uniform otherwise - faded punk band t-shirt, loose black jeans. That memorabilia jacket's laying over the arm of the couch. The mohawk's down, dyed black and combed back at the moment. It's a mellow night, it seems.
That does seem very mellow. Usually, any time Frankie heads to places like this, Norbert's through the door before she is. Not this time. Frankie is heralded by no one at all but Frankie. She makes her way down the stairs, boots clomp-clomping. She's got her usual leather jacket on, which is in no way warm enough for the weather, which is why she also has a fleece on under that. Which she is unzipping. "Hey."
He packed up the stuff, got ready, and drove them over here. It's been a very long while since Damian has graced the Forbidden Arts with his presence. His bag with his laptop ever present, and dressed in a business suit that looks expensive, he seems to never go anywhere casually. Eyes flow over the ring and the blood curiously, that wasn't here last time. A brow raises, almost imperceptibly. Then to where Kilo and Rictus sit. He nods, his face lacking any sort of real emotion, as he moves just on Frankie's heels.
Rictus looks up as Frankie and Damian come downstairs. He flashes Frankie a broad, lopsided grin, "Frankster! How the hell are... hey." He pauses, looking around a moment, looks at Damian, then looks back to Frankie. "Frankie, I think you're crow turned into a fucking man." He's never seen Frankie without the crow, after all, or with a man. Coincidence?! It must be one in the same!
He gives Damian a salute, "How you doin', Norbert?" He pushes himself up, kissing Kilo a quick kiss before turning to Frankie and Damian, "So, what's this shit you need translated? It ain't long, is it? You said it was a journal?" He holds out his hand, making a grabby gesture. "Let's see it. I hope it's got some juicy shit. Although, I guess you said it involves the Raven King crap, huh? Well, shit, still could be. That one cult member we met was a fucking drag queen, so you never know."
Frankie pulls a manilla envelope out of her jacket and walks it over to Rictus. She shoots him a bit of a funny look when he calls Damian Norbert. "Uh. It's not short. At all. You might want some water. The idea was that you could dictate and Damian could type as you go. You remember how the people you met at the club didn't age? The guy this is from was immortal. Until he got shot in the chest, anyway."
Damian blinks at Rictus. After all, they met before at the Gallows. It was very explosive. So he must assume this is him being funny. He doesn't look precisely amused, but then again, his face barely registers any emotion at all. There's just a long silence across the room between him and Rictus. No laugh. Business is mentioned though, and that's easier for Damian to focus on. His gaze flickers to Frankie as she delivers the envelope to the other man. He seems to watch it like a hawk. Frankie's doing the explaining and Damian seems to be content to let her. Maybe he's mute now, or maybe he's saving his words. He just nods a little at what Frankie is saying. Then again, maybe he is Norbert and all he can say is 'CAW'.
Kilo smooches Rictus and then sits down with her own bottle of vodka - because he's busy and he'll need his own too! But her main source of entertainment is staring Damian because... she can. It's amusing her. "Hi Frankie, by the way. A little belatedly." She offers up, then lights up a smoke, sits back and continues to stare at Damian.
Rictus makes a face at the mention of needing some water, holding up his bottle of vodka for Frankie to see it. Who needs water? He flashes a lopsided grin, a wink, and then takes the envelope, opening it and pulling the journal out. He takes another swig of the vodka, flipping through the pages briefly before looking at the first one.
"Well, look at this. It says... in the future there will be a great man. He'll have the voice of an angel, the passion of a devil, and his loyal followers will call him Ric..." He flashes a grin, "Ok, ok, for real then." He settles back, bumping shoulders with Kilo a moment, then begins to read it out loud, in English. Some of the translation isn't perfect, and some of the phrasing is a bit dated, but Ric can piece it together for the most part. He's a German native, after all, and he prides himself on his English skills.
There was smooching. Frankie looks from Rictus to Kilo and then back. And then back to Kilo. Her eyebrow arches just slightly. For a moment. There's a small shrug, and Frankie begins to unwrap the scarf around her neck. "Hey, Kilo. Sorry to intrude. There's a lot to catch up on, though."
This is not Holland's best hour. It's like number three on her lowest points in life, topped only by her death and then the death of her twin brother, all of which had been kind of a clusterfuck. Just on principle. Right now? She's dealing with some major life stuff, and her response to that seems to be getting very, very drunk. Because when you are drunk you can't think about your problems, or if you can, at least they don't matter as much. She's not embarrassing; not yet. That will come later after Kilo has persuaded her to do shots and she's asked someone if she can touch their 6-pack. That is in the future, and for now, theere exists, still, the potential for her to get out of this night without embarrassing herself so badly that she has to move. She isn't even swaying as she makes her way down the stairs, wearing clothing that she very obviously picked out of her closet after she was already a little intoxicated. The skirt is very short, and saved only by faithful leggings that have never let her down. She stumbles on the last step, but saves it by spreading her arms and smiling sheepishly at anyone who bothers to look, which is probably no one. Aim low and be surprised.
Damian finds Kilo staring at him, curiously. They have had a bumpy relationship, some ups and downs, but he has not seen her for a while. He stares back, but only for a minute, giving her another nod. Then Rictus is joking about the translation, and something pulls at his lips, he looks like he's about to say something to Frankie. Lips part and then close again as Rictus gets real. A sigh, it's not a heavy one, but it's there. He finds some place out of the way to sit, or stand, taking out his laptop. Rictus can't read as fast as Damian can type, or it would get very incoherent if he tried. Damian's fingers fly over the keyboard with little effort, documenting what Rictus is reading. Eyes flicker to Holland in a small study as another joins them, never stopping his typing, or even pausing it. This place has always been a bit of a party house, so nothing seems to surprise him. Whatever impression he might have of the newcomer, nothing seems apparent.
"Holland!" Kilo is up like a shot to make sure she doesn't fall. She didn't. Kilo sniffs at her. She can't smell alcohol because Kilo smells like she's been drinking vodka all day. Because she has. "Hey chiquita!" And then she realises she's interrupting the translation so she whispers. "That's Frankie, and that's Damian, and that's Rictus. Have you met any of them? I don't remember if you've met Ric or not..." She then makes a pointy finger at Holland and whispers again "Guys! Holland."
The five of them will notice now that the incredible smell of Manchego, White Cheddar, Goat Cheese and Fontina mac and cheese is wafting down the stairs and lingering in the basement... "What the hell are they /doing/ up there?" Kilo sniffs again, noticing the 'food' smells. "Cooking?" She seems fairly displeased about that for whatever reason.
Rictus continues reading the journal. If he notices the staring contest between Kilo and Damian, he doesn't seem to show it. Crows stare, after all, right? He pauses his reading when Holland enters, looking up. He flashes a toothy grin, "Oh, hey, I remember you!" A beat. "You look like shi..." But then Kilo's hopping up to go help Holland stay upright. Which means he loses his shoulder-support and flumps back into the couch. He wriggles around, getting comfortable once more.
"Damain, huh? That names sound familiar." He squints at Damian. "I met you before?" He meets a lot of people and does a lot of drugs, not to mention getting hit in the head by things like grandfather clocks. He pauses when Kilo mentions someone cooking, then shakes his head and shrugs. It wasn't him. "It ain't fucking burritos, either."
Frankie winces faintly when Holland nearly topples. She looks at Rictus and Damian, and briefly raises her hand to pinch the bridge of her nose. "Yes, you've met. No one's curious about where the journal's from? Anyone? Did any of you guys knew Isrieal was the Queen of Hearts in that little poem?"
It is fair to say that Holland hasn't met anyone. Although, coincidentally, she has met Rictus. And Kilo, of course, but everyone and their MOTHER has met Kilo, because Kilo is the beautiful social butterfly that we all deserve. Kilo comes over to greet her, and gets a giant hug for her troubles, like Kilo is her best friend in the world (it might be true, shut up) and hugging is all that matters. Which is a very big departure from Holland's usual 'I can't believe that anyone would willingly touch me, but okay' stance. Oh god, she smells cheese. "Are we eating cheese? Is it my birthday? Wait, shit, is it July? It's not July is it?" There is this moment of panic that passes.
Ah, social time. Damian's favourite. His gaze lifts from his work on his laptop to Holland at her introduction. Since he has been introduced already, he offers a silent nod to the woman. He looks out of place.
Then there is Rictus, and he nods even as Frankie confirms they have met. No words needed again, he seems fine with that. Harder to say something you shouldn't. His eyes flicker to Frankie in some sort of silent communication between the two, but Rictus has paused, so then has he. His gaze makes its way from person to person, blankly. Whatever he might be thinking, he does not voice it, nor let that mask of his drop. Just watching now.
Kilo pulls her phone out of her pocket and fires off a text before leading Holland back to the couches with her. "We should seriously do some shots. I'm thinking tequila." Bad, bad influence. But as soon as she's got them poured out, her attention returns to Frankie. "Isrieal? Is the Queen of Hearts? I thought that was Roy's shitty stripper bar in Pigeon Hill. In fact I know that's the Queen of Hearts. Ha ha - She names herself after a shitty stripper bar? What was she thinking?" Of course to Kilo there is no other possible reference IN THE WORLD that the Lost girl could have possibly been making. "So you got the journal from her? Did you have to arm wrestle her for it? What part was she playing with the 'Queen' thing. Interesting... since we went to that club with the queens... I'm sure that's just a coincidence though."
Rictus looks over at Frankie, lifting an eyebrow, "What? What's this Queen of Hearts shit, anyway? I thought this was something to do with the fucking raven king bullshit. Isrieal's behind this shit?" He scowls darkly. He watches as Kilo drags Holland back, then shifts to make room for Kilo and friend. He takes a swig of his own vodka, brow furrowing thoughtfully.
He shakes his head, "Ok, let's finish this shit. I ain't fucking reading all night." And he gets back to reading, a bit quicker this time, wanting to get on to things like shots. And possibly tracking a changeling down depending on what this involvement is.
Frankie looks for a place to lean. Ah, there's a wall. She leans against it, holding her scarf in her hands. "No. No, guys. I think it's to go with the Rabbit Hole and the Alice in Wonderland theme of her club. Hypnotiq? We didn't get the journal from her. You saw the poem graffiti, right? Where she wanted someone from the cult of the Crow Father to come talk to her at the Rabbit Hole? Someone showed up. His name was Alfred Vilhelm Booch, and he was immortal. Up until he got his chest blasted open with a shotgun. But Isrieal left the body for Damian and I to deal with, so Damian questioned him and we got a motel room key. Did you hear about the Moonlite Motel on the news?"
"It is an Alice in Wonderland reference. The theme of her bar." He speaks, he finally speaks! Damian's voice comes out cold, but lacking any other real emotion. It does seem like the words have bite. Maybe he doesn't like Isrieal for some reason. Still, Frankie has explained it, or is explaining it at the same time. However, Rictus's words cause him to shake his head and put a couple finger to the bridge of his nose, before scrubbing them once across closed eyes. He gets to start typing again. His back goes to the crowd at hand as he turns to his laptop. Fingers flying. He is easily able to keep up the pace. Frankie can do the talking.
"Oh. Alice in Wonderland. Not the strip club." Kilo seems a little disappointed. "I didn't hear about that motel on the news. Usually i'm pretty good about keeping up with Fallcoast news too. Hmmm...." She pulls out her phone and does a search and gets quiet for a bit as she catches up with at least what the media says happened. "So? You guys had something to do with all that I'm guessing?"
Rictus finishes up reading the journal - or at least as much as he's going to read right now, now that folks are growing more talkative. If he didn't get quite all of it, they can always finish up later. In the meantime, he's tucking the journal back into the envelope and passing it back before sprawling back on the couch, kicking his mismatched-socked feet up.
"Oh, so she wrote a message to get these fuckers to come out of the walls and they did and someone shot him in the chest but you got this journal. And you think he was sent by this raven king or something like that. Huh." He takes another swig of vodka. "Ok, well, hopefully the translation fucking helps because I'm getting sit of this asshole fucking shit up. And killing innocent goddamned people."
He looks over at Kilo and Holland, then back at Frankie and Damian.
"The old guy - the almost-immortal - was once part of this cult of the Rabenvater," Frankie explains with a sigh. "Except he was going to betray the Raven King, apparently, who sent some other guy to shoot him before he could. That guy got out of the club, but Norbert's on his tail." Hence, no Norbert. "Damian and I went to the motel and found two other guys tossing the place, looking for something. We weren't sure what." She looks over at Damian. His turn.
"Something to do with it, yes." Damian confirms, the typing coming to a close for now. They will finish eventually, even if he has to splash water on Rictus later to wake him up. It's important to him. For now though, Frankie has it back, and there is talking, even if that's unfortunate for him. Listening to both Rictus and then Frankie he does fall silent, letting Frankie explain. Except she's looking at him expectantly.
A sigh. He raises a hand to make a so/so gesture. "If he is to be believed, and I don't think he lied. They are a cult that worships, or worshipped the Raven-King, seeking his power and relics for their own gain. It was not explicitly said, but I think as they brought the Raven-King closer to his return they realized the error of their ways. The found a way to keep him from returning. A change of heart, perhaps. The ones who killed him, killed him because of this, because of his knowledge of how to stop them. The same ones, I'm certain who were at his hotel, except that's the oddity. Something attacked us in the motel. Something I have never seen. Something or shadow. Something I have heard of in the deepest realms of study. A spiritual assassin. It does not like the light. Thus..." Well the story says that a beacon of light was coming from the room. Damian lets them make their own conclusions. Very long winded, but that seems to be the most of it.
"Yeah... I think we're dealing a lot with spirits lately." She looks to Rictus and shakes her head, communicating with him quickly and wordlessly. "Sort of out of our league unless you find a ban right? And those are like, impossible to find. I don't even know where people start, to be honest. They're just such a mystery to me. The whole spirit thing." She sighs. "Well wait. It's ban was light then, right?" It may have just dawned on her. She is a bit slow.
Rictus listens to Frankie and Damian as they discuss the situation and what they learned about it. He drinks some vodka as he digests it. He doesn't really have anything to add to it - it depends on what they find in the journal, really. He glances at Kilo as she looks at him, giving a now, brow furrowing in thought, "Sure does. Fallcoast seems to draw the shit. I wonder, though, how the fuck did a German cult get /here/?" Nevermind that a German rock star ended up here, too. He shakes his head, "What a fucking mess. Maybe we can get the Shadow thing and this Raven King to just fucking kill each other off."
"The Raven King's people are looking to resurrect him, but they need his crown first. There's three pieces and they're missing the third piece of it. Booch thought it was here. In Fallcoast. He just didn't know where," Frankie explains. Which is terrible news all around.
"Correct. Light hurts it." Damian is pretty sure of that, he certainly sounds confident. Eyes flicker to all three on the couch, until they land on Rictus. His tone level. "The crown." He echoes Frankie's statement, looking to her and then back. A nod. "He came from Boston, where the second piece was taken. And here, the third piece. The first is still hidden away, he believes, somewhere safe." There's a pause as he considers it all. "I am unsure if Booch's people are the ones seeking it, or another group. Or a splinter of that faction. But Booch, I believe, wanted to banish the pieces in some way. He knew of way to make sure they could never be joined." His hands go into the pockets of his dress pants, brows raising slightly as he watches the other three on the couch for a reaction, maybe.
"Well, if you can find it - which is a needle in a haystack - there must be ways to destroy it; blow it up? Throw it in a volcano? Bury it at sea? melt it down in a forge? Take it to the underworld? take it to the he... somewhere else?" She grins at Rictus. Ooops! "Seems like an easy enough problem" The little Latina shrugs. "I guess you just gotta find it first! Is that what you're hoping to find via that translations he just did?"
Rictus listens to Frankie and Damian's explainations, nodding. "Got it. Crown, three pieces, someone thinks one's here. We fucking find it, using this journal and shit, and destroy it. Gotcha." He lifts the bottle of vodka in a salute, then takes a swig. Seems simple enough to him.
"Hopefully, the journal's helpful, yeah. There had to be a reason those guys at the motel were looking for it." Frankie pauses. Well, it would be nice if there was a reason. "We still don't know how someone's joyriding around in crows and ravens, or what the point of the graffiti is, or why those buildings were burned down."
"I'm not sure it is that simple, but perhaps. Booch never spoke of destroying it, only banishing it. I thought it odd, but I have no ruled out the idea that they might want to preserve it out of some sort of greed." Damian shakes his head, there's a little light in his eyes, almost a fire. He doesn't like that idea. It's quick though. There and gone. "But yes, the journal is one of many leads. Hopefully a major one because I'm not too excited to see what happens if those pieces do come together." What Frankie says gets another nod as he looks her way. That. "There's a lot of unknowns still, I've never liked that."
"Banish, destroy, tomato, tomato." Kilo shrugs. "Get fucking rid of the thing if you want want that character showing up. I think we already talked to his ass. I would have tried to fuck him over but Lomax was too scared and insisted on running." Kilo isn't bitter about that. No. "I think they burned those buildings because we were fucking with their tagging. They didn't like that I spray painted their dumb bird on the wrong buildings so the easiest way to get rid of them was to burn them down. And to drive the point home the killed dozens of innocent people along the way. These are fine fucking people we're dealing with. Find the piece, let's destroy it and let's move on before more people have to die." The girl is getting agitated now.
Rictus nods to Frankie and Damian. Then, when Kilo speaks, he looks at her and nods again. He leans in, wrapping an arm around her shoulders, and says, "She's right. Whatever it is, it's got to be fucking stopped before more innocent people die." He flashes a lopsided grin, "Can't have it fucking up my wedding plans." Then, more seriously, "Let's do this thing." He picks up the envelope again, pulling out the journal. He takes a swig of vodka, then gets back to reading. I might be a long night. He'll make Kilo cook up some burritos or something.