Logs:The Nest - Planning

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The Nest - Planning

Part of The Nest

Dramatis Personae

Amanda, Aurore

5th of November, 2015


Aurore passes on the results of her researches; the duo agree on a potentially risky next step

Location

Saint John's University: the Chelsea Dunlin Library


A few days have passed since their unplanned expedition into the old history building on campus, and Aurore has left Amanda alone - perhaps to recover from what was seen without further reminders, perhaps to enjoy that luxury herself.

Now, however, the younger woman's phone is ringing, caller ID displaying whatever moniker Amanda attached to the number that Aurore gave her.

Amanda looks to the phone, then picks up, the sounds of the Waffle House in the background. "Hi, Au-Aurore?" she tentatively says.

"Hi. Amanda? Hope I've got the right number." The caller's rich voice is readily distinctive, even before she remembers to add a confirmation. "And yes, it's Aurore. Sorry. How are you? I was wondering if you'd like to meet up."

"Yeah, you do," Amanda says. "Sure, I could use a break. Where do you want to meet?" she asks.

"Somewhere we can talk freely might be wise," Aurore suggests, a little diffidently. "I don't have a *lot* of news, but I have a little."

Amanda nods, which Aurore can't see. "Sure," she says, thinking. "The library can be empty in places," she offers.

A brief pause, then a nod from Aurore's end. "I can book us a study room, actually. Pull rank as a teaching assistant, and make sure we get one. That's a good idea. It'll be in my name. I'll make the call now, then see you there in an hour?"

Amanda nods. "Sure, gives me time to finish here. See you soon," she says and hands up. An hour later, she turns up at the study room.

The staff were quite happy to direct Amanda to the right one, and upon arrival she finds Aurore already in situ - elbows perched on the table as she frowns pensively at the screen of her laptop. She looks up sharply as the door opens, relaxing into a smile of welcome. "Hi there. Come on in and make yourself welcome."

"Hi," Amanda as she enters. She moves a chair to in front of the door then walks to sit next to Aurore. Taking off her coat awkwardly, she says, "So how's it going?"

"In terms of research into our 'little' problem?" Aurore shrugs ruefully, then shakes her head. On-screen is a web-page in French. "I'm pretty much drawing a blank. Though some elements of that blank are rather suggestive. D'you want the full run-down of what I have thus far, or do you want to ask particular questions?"

Amanda glances to the screen, but doesn't understand a word of French. "Can I get the rundown?" she asks. "Probably be easier to ask questions afterwards."

"I've not managed to turn up *any* reports of giant bird-things on campus," Aurore says ruefully. "I'm waiting to hear back from some contacts if anything similar - size of the nest, leathery eggs, feeding habits, or whatever - can be turned up elsewhere. But right now, we've got no remotely clear identification for what the heck we might be dealing with."

"Identifying potential victims is difficult, for the inverse reason. Disappearances in Fallcoast, sadly, aren't exactly unusual. Similarly, the number you found... it doesn't show up online, and about all I can confirm without calling it is that it's for a cell phone."

"Potentially more usefully... the building renovations started about three months ago, but were halted after only a month's progress. That was apparently as a result of a local action group - Save Fallcoast's History - getting an injunction against Sunrise Construction, the renovation company. I've not dug up the precise details of that: whether they object to the renovation, to the particular company doing it, to some specific detail... I dunno. But officially, no one's poking around in there at the moment. And I've got a number, address, and name for Sunrise's local representative: Nolberto Zuma has an office in the centre of town."

"I had a bit of a brainwave, and poked at local court records to see if there were any reported cases regarding the site. I thought that any 'incidents' might be covered up as accidents. As it happens, there *are* actually a couple of cases: with Sunrise suing the local construction union for unsafe working practices. There was a death on-site a couple of days after renovation started, and then another a month after the injunction put a halt to work: the employee in question went in to check on the site."

"So... I'd speculate that the first death might've been them disturbing something, and kicking this off. Perhaps something was dormant, and flew off after breaking out... The second death'd be some poor sod running into the critter in the nest."

Amanda nods as Aurore talks. "Well.....we could call that number together? Have it on speakerphone?" she offers. "Could be worth going to this Zuma fellow, talk to him and try and find out /why/ they oppose the rennovation."

"Zuma's the company's rep," Aurore corrects with a smile. "Sorry - that was a fair-sized info dump, I know. I was thinking of chasing up the action group, to see what *they* say. Could potentially ask the union, too, but I doubt they'd be too happy to talk about an on-going legal case with non-members. Might be worth a try anyway, in case we can find someone talkative. Then speak to Zuma. And yeah... the cell number, I figured we should tackle together, if at all."

"Well, we could always talk to the action group, display interest in what's going on with such a lovely building," Amanda says. "Maybe they have coffee mornings." She grins and says, shakign her bosom, "Guys /really/ seem to like talking to me." She sighs and says, "Maybe the number belongs to a friend of someone who disappeared?"

Laughing softly, Aurore shakes her head. "Perhaps we should dress you up in steampunkery, as an excuse to show off cleavage as well as an interest in history?", she suggests. "And I'd imagine that the conservation group will be happy to answer questions about their opposition. It's *possible* that some of their members are among those to have fallen afoul of the place, so we might get more leads there."

Amanda laughs too. "Well, I have a friend who's doing journalism, so maybe we could take her, and say we're doing a piece for the university paper on local history?" she offers. "We can easily find somethign normal to show my cleavage off. Trust me, it doesn't take much."

Aurore's lips quirk into a wry smile, before she shrugs slowly. "I'd be a little wary of involving more people. This is not exactly a *safe* investigation. And how many people would believe you, without being taken to see it for themselves? But recruiting a journalist might potentially help, yes, if we can manage it without... causing problems. Or getting anyone hurt."

Warily, Amanda says, "I....have already told her, but she found it incredibly hard to believe." She shakes her head. "Still, it'd be better if we could solve this sooner rather than later."

Aurore blinks, then chuckles and flashes a grin. "What's her name, if you don't mind me asking? And I can imagine that she would, yes. *I* would have, and... I have something of an interest in the paranormal and the unusual."

"Zoe, don't know her last name. She's a freshman like me," Amanda says, relieved. "So where do you want to start?"

"Zoe?", Aurore asks in surprise. "Cute, rather shy, often carries a camera? I might know her, if I'm thinking of the right one. Hrmmm. As for where to start? I can keep myself busy nosing around some more. But I suspect that our next step'd be making a few phone calls: the conservation society first, to see if they're happy to tell us about their objections and what they know of the history of the building. We could then use that as the basis to double-check for anything odd in its past. And we've got Mr Zuma to contact at the company, and that mystery number to ring. Which I suspect should either be our first priority or our very last, once we know as much as possible."

Amanda perks up nodding. "Yeah, that's her!" she says. "I'd like to call the number first, then visit the society. We should go with the sotry that we're looking into local history, specifically that building."

Flashing another grin, Aurore nods. "Mmmm. Well, if we draw her in others might get pulled in, too. But we can certainly push ahead and see what we can find out. So... when do you want to try calling the number?"

Feeling a rush of confidence, Amanda says, "n-Now?"

Aurore cocks her head. "You're sure? We've *no* idea who might answer - if anyone. And what story do you want to use? 'Hi - while poking around the nest of the impossible bird-monster, we happened to find a bloodstained note with this number on it'? It's true, but might not *sound* it, unless the person happens to know what's going on."

"I could play the clueless girl. Say someonegave me the number on a night out?" Amanda offers, unsure.

"The fewer lies we tell, the better. That'd immediately invite questions of where, and who, and why on Earth you were calling it." Aurore frowns thoughtfully. "It might be helpful if we get through to voicemail first. If they've personalised it at all. Tell us whose phone it is. Then we can research them a little. But I think that going with part of the truth - that we found the number, on a piece of paper that looked like it had bloodstains on it, and called out of a mix of curiosity and concern... that might be best. But we can see if we can get away with volunteering as little as possible, to start with."

Aamnda nods, thinking. "Well, we could tell them thr truth, that we found it in that building, but avoid mentioning the giant bird and the nest," she says. "Like you said, say we were calling to make sure everything's ok."

"I'm wary of mentioning the building, unless they bring it up. In case they go to nose around there.... I'd really like to find some way to keep more people out, but nothing I've thought of would make people *less* likely to want to go in to see what the fuss is about."

"Sounds like we're on kinda the same page," Amanda says. "Tell the truth, avoid the suspicious bits. Anythign I'm missing?"

"Preparations, I suppose," Aurore muses. "Might be good to record it. So that we can listen back for anything weird. That sort of thing."

Amanda nods. "Do you have a wy of recording calls?" she asks.

"Heh. Nothing fancy. But I've got a little recorder I use for testing out how best to bore my classes to tears of angrily frustrated incomprehension," the older woman says with a grin. "We should be able to use that, I think."

"Yeah, that sounds good," Amanda says. "So when do you want to make the call?" she asks.

"Mmmm. There's more research we could do, but... if you wanted, we could potentially call now?"

Amanda nods. "That'll probably be best," she says.