TXT From Damian To Frankie - Frankie? It's Damian. Ih, you might remember me as the FNG. Anyway you trusted me with info so I guess returning the favour is in order. Especially since I said I would help. I've got some stuff for you.
TXT From Frankie To Damian - Damian works. I can't keep up with your nicknames for yourself. What's up?
TXT From Damian To Frankie - Pretty sure you...not important. I have info like I said to do with...well let's put it this way. I found Hugh, sort of. Don't really want to text this. Better in person unless you're good with computer encryption.
TXT From Frankie To Damian - It's not my thing, no. Where can we meet?
TXT From Damian To Frankie - My place is near your coffee shop. Just across the street, secure. Or wherever makes you comfortable.
TXT From Frankie To Damian - Fine. I'll head over.
TXT From Damian To Frankie - Alright, see you there.
Eventually, Damian wanders in. In truth, it's not too long after the text comes in. He really can't be that far. Laptop bag is in place, strapped over his shoulder as always. Once more, in a suit, maybe that's how he dresses for work, but it is odd to see him dressed like that, always. As if he has no casual setting. There's little expression on his face as he looks around. Not seeing Frankie, he finds a secluded corner of the café to sit down and wait. Taking out his laptop, and strapping his bag over the bag. Typing furiously, he's already at work, likely getting things ready to show her.
Frankie emerges from the back room, though there's no evidence of her apron so it appears she isn't working. Black yoga pants, a gray tank top, and a certain sheen of perspiration point to some sort of physical activity. She clomps over to his corner, boots messily tied. "So how bad is it?" she demands. Small talk is for suckers.
All business. Damian can respect that. Heck, he didn't bother to grab a drink or food himself. He's really here for one thing. He looks up at her when she enters, follows her to the table and then nods when she sits. "Worse, worse than before. But, more info, so I guess better, too." He's got things on his computer, but he's careful how he shows it to her, motioning her a little closer, as he turns the screen slightly. There is a picture of Hugh. But not Hugh. Purple and green skin, black veins, just like Jasdeep. "I imagine that's what you were expecting..."
Frankie takes a seat next to him and leans in to observe the screen, brow furrowed. "Yup. That's what I was afraid of. Where'd you find him?" Her attention shifts from the screen to Damian's face. She's frowning, but that's sort of normal for her.
"Attacked a hunting Krewe out in L.A. Same M.O. as Jasdeep. Traps." The picture disappears, closed, and he looks over at her. "Didn't exactly find him. That's the surveillance the Krewe gave of him. They killed two of theirs?" To her frown, Damian is rather expressionless. It's not cold exactly, but the lack of emotion is uneasy. Honestly, he should be upset, right? "We may know what they are, but not exactly?and we suspect there will be more."
"Good," Frankie says when Damian tells her he didn't find Hugh in person. "Hugh killed two of theirs Krewe?" Frankie leans forward, resting her elbows on her knees and cupping her chin in her hand. If she's mad Damian's not showing upset, she's hiding it well. "So, a hunting Krewe. How long ago was this? Do they know if he's still in L.A.?" The ghost crow's nowhere in sight at the moment.
"No, no and no. I guess. I'll building a server with encryption to keep in touch with them. Exchange information safely. Hopefully learn more. They don't know where he is, or even much about him, save for that. He was bombing Flesh Faire's, doing all kinds of havoc. Reason to suspect he's also connected with the West End Watchers, but they can't confirm that." Damian shakes his head a little, sort of disappointed it seems. "And yes, Hugh killed two of them, but there's more. We think he's a homunculus. He took skin from the ones he killed, which would confirm that suspicion." This time, Damian frowns. "Only problem is, no one has ever seen any kind of humonculus like him. It's not any ability any one of us has seen before, to do so." His gaze floats back to his screen and he starts pulling up some more information from a file folder.
"Skin from the ones he killed. I don't know if everything in those bags of bodies adds up to a complete person with skin or without. Shit. But only Jasdeep and Hugh have done the dual-pull before. Huh." Frankie taps one black-nailed fingertip against her lower lip. "These guys in L.A.... this isn't that Krewe with the silly Star Wars name thing, is it?" Frankie asks, eyebrows lofting upward. "Jedi or something?"
"Jedi Order, yeah." Damian nods, but the rolls of his eyes tells you what he thinks of that, too. He's a geek, maybe even a Star Wars geek, but apparently he doesn't approve of naming a Krewe that. "Seem to be pretty capable though." As if he thinks that's what Frankie is worried about because of their name. He looks back to her, once he's got what he wants from the computer. "Which means there's like two more of those things. And who knows if Hassan, Francis, and Sarah aren't just late to the party." The way he says party though, doesn't sound like he's meaning it as a joke. He's actually quite serious, despite the lingo.
Frankie rolls her eyes as well. Jedi Order. That's them. And that is the worst kind of party, the deadly trap-setting uberpowerful green and purple skinned former Sin-Eater party. Frankie seems to be no stranger to gallows humour, in any case, because she just nods. "I'll try them again later, I guess. Francis and Sarah. Just because they weren't... homonculuses," that is not right, "...doesn't meant they might not turn up as some, yeah. Shit. That's... five kinds of bad." She pauses, pressing her lips together. "This reminds me of something I saw once. Not saw-saw, but there was a ceremony in hieroglyphics... making monsters is apparently a thing."
"Seven kinds of bad. If you count the two from L.A." Actually, that realization makes Damian pause for a second, another small, calculated frown. Like he's thinking. A nod then. "Okay, let me know what you find with that, if you don't mind." With that thought, he reaches into his bag and pulls out a card, his business card, putting it in front of her. Cyber Vault Securities. His name, his cell, address, which is right across the street. He's about to go back to his computer, when her last sentence catches his attention. A brow raises. "Do go on." It might be important.
Frankie reaches up and slides her fingers into her hair, which is mostly pulled up and back into a bun. She massages her scalp with the pads of her fingers. "It was in an ancient tomb in Egypt in front of a Gate to the underworld. It was... weird. Not that I think this has anything to do with Egypt, but hey, there's probably more than one way to crack an egg, right?" Frankie picks up his business card with her free hand, glancing it over and just holding it in her hand. No pockets at the moment. "Thanks. This is useful shit. Have you been in town long?"
Damian watches Frankie, listens intently to the story, and then furrows his brow. Did he miss something? "So, it was a ceremony to make monsters? I'm not really a reader of Hieroglyphics, but they're usually pictures and such. Did these monsters look like this? Bear some resemblance? I mean, what made you think of that?" He's intent on finding out as much as he can. He might be masking a lot of what he feels, he might be good at that. A nod then, to the egg comment. "There is?." A motion of his hand to dismiss her thanks. "I don't know much about you. Maybe you have it all locked down. A Krewe, support, whatever, but?" Well, maybe he thinks he knows her better than he does. "I live there too. My business." Pointing to the card. "It's dangerous with these things by ourselves. They seem to hunt you alone. So you know, if you need help, you know where to find me." A simple offer and then a shake of his head. "No, a couple weeks?.since I've been back. Grew up here, a long time ago." Not that long ago, he's not that old.
"The only thing that made me think of what I saw in Egypt was the word 'homunculus'," Frankie tells him. She cocks her head to the left, a birdlike motion. "The people around here can be decent support. If you need my help with anything, you feel free to come to me, too. I'll try to keep you posted on all this shit." She starts to stand up. "Welcome back." Her tone is dry.
A nod. And then another. "Yeah. I'm sure they are, but I tend not to make too many friends. It seems easier. You strike me as similar. So, you know, figured I'd make sure you knew you could, at least, count on me in a jam." Damian shrugs at that, then follows her with his eyes as she rises. "There's more?." He turns the screen her way. Three dossiers:
Jose Diego, consumate thug and street soldier for a local gang, is WEW. There isn't much of note about him in particular, except for the once instance where one of the Flesh Faire's was bombed. It was hit with a chemical aerosol delivery system, carrying some sort of biological agent. Jose didn't seem to be affected by the agent as he made his way calmly out of the building.
Pam Campbell is one of the scouts for the WEW. She is low tier, just like Jose, but does a lot of running around and scouting for them. During the incident with the Twilight Zone, Pam was scheduled to be running in the area. She was not when the burbs got pulled into Twilight.
The third person of interest, Jean Bell, is a gatekeeper mortal for the gang, and is a habitual Delver. He frequents many of the gates in town, but his entry points changed slightly before the destruction of several gates. "Keep your eyes peeled, yeah? They seems to be picking their scouts off first. This isn't a mindless attack. There's a puppet master, I'm pretty sure. Perhaps, this God-Eater."
"That's about how I go about it, too," Frankie confirms. She sits again when he adds that there's more, and watches the screen intently as he shows her the dossiers. "Where are these guys? Are they locals? Are they all West End Watchers?"
Yet another nod. "Don't let my appearance fool you. I can handle myself." As if Damian feels she might need that reassurance. Then he's moving on to the dossiers. "L.A., last seen. Fighting the Jedi order out there. West End Watchers, yeah. It's more why I think they are connected, but even if not, considering our troubles of late, something to be aware of?" He turns attention back to the screen, staring at those bits of information for a long while. "I'm never actually seen a?one of us die." It's almost like he's thinking out loud. Talking to himself. "I heard we really can't. It won't let us. Odd then, don't you think, that all of these are one of us. I wonder if that has an effect on a humonculus. I mean, what happens to us if we die again, for good this time?" He's new enough to really not know. And his voice is so low, Frankie can probably barely hear him. "What if?I dunno?" He trails off, brow knitting in concentration.
Frankie shrugs a shoulder; she's not arguing as to whether or not he can handle himself. "It makes sense, maybe," Frankie says slowly. "The thing about the West End Watchers is that they're serving something else, something from the Dominions. Something that craves knowledge, I think? So digging up unholy rituals and permanently killing Bound and making them into homunculus sounds right up their ally. God-Eating. Makes me wonder if they're consuming the Geist of the Sin-Eaters they kill. That just sounds dangerous. And immensely, immensely powerful."
A new thought. Damian nods a little to himself at Frankie's words and his is purse together thinly. "Or twisting their Geists into something else. But then, I guess the bodies don't make sense. Unless they could somehow put the Geist back in, this twisted version, or something else." Oh that should give a shudder, but Damian only stays straight faced and thinking. He shuts down the files. "It can't be a coincidence it's one of us. That's for sure. So maybe you're right, or at least, they are doing something with them. Otherwise?they wouldn't be dead, not all of them. Not if I understand it." He sighs. "It's bad, whatever it is." That much he can agree on. Eyes lift back to Frankie. "I didn't know that about the Dominion thing. That's new."
"The Principalities, sorry," Frankie says, toying absently with the business card he's given her. "I haven't gotten my head around all of it just yet, either. So this thing they serve, it's called The Sage, and it's like a... god of the Underworld? Beyond a Kerberos. You know who explains this stuff better? Deckard."
"The Underworld." Damian nods again, but his look suggests he's still new enough not to have visited. His training might lacking. "I admit, I'm pretty ignorant on some things. Working on that." He plays with the word. "Kerberos. Heard talk of that once. Don't know much about it. Only met Deckard briefly, guess I'll have to catch him sometime." A pause, to think again. "God of the Underworld? That doesn't sound encouraging. But then, God-Eater might take on a whole other meaning. If there's one, there's many. Maybe he's trying to gain their power too?" Now that, is terrifying, and somehow something trying to gain knowledge, well that seems to fit for him. "Somehow this is connected to that. Maybe he is absorbing the Geist, gaining their powers, knowledge, who knows."
"That would kind of be my guess," Frankie says, none too happy about it. "Absorbing and eating. Not that I'm an expert, really. Definitely talk to Deckard in general. He's probably the most useful person around here to know; when I have a question, he's the one I ask." She looks like she might be about to say more, but she just pauses, bites her lip briefly, and shrugs.
"Reminds me of Raistlin Majere." There's probably no way in hell Frankie will get that reference, but he makes it anyway. Super nerdy reference. Though he moves past it quickly, nodding again. "Good to know. I'll have to talk to him. I could use to learn, a lot." Damian watchers her a moment, maybe even picks up that she wants to say more. His brow arches slowly. He doesn't ask, except with his eyes. Curiosity evident.
Not even a flicker of recognition for the name. Frankie'd make a decent Crysania, actually, except Frankie's eyes are blue, not gray. Also she is not blind. Presumably.
"I'll help where I can," she says, finally. "...Was there anything else?"
Thankfully Damian doesn't wave a hand in front of her face to check. A shake of his head. "Not really. You just looked like you might have something else to say?" The curiosity is still there. "If not, then no. We should get to Hassan's house as soon as possible. I can get us in, and go unnoticed. And we should be careful. If he is dead, well?" Walking, purple green monster, he doesn't need to say it.
"He'll be dead," Frankie says, resigned. "Or at least I'll be surprised if he's not. I won't know if he's entirely dead until I find a bag with him in it and the Finding doesn't keep tugging. I'm gonna wash up. I'll be right back, and then we can leave for Hassan's place. Just wait here." Rising to her feet again, Frankie slips into the back room again. When she re-emerges several minutes later, she's dressed in more regular clothes and has a messenger bag at her side.