(Damian happens upon Frankie at the Gallows; they agree to talk, but elsewhere. He holds the door open for her on the way out. She gives him a look.)
Frankie can blame Damian's parents for the door thing. Maybe he's forgotten about her, or remembered his manners in his absence, who knows. Either way he seems to take no note of the look again. He's good at doing that. He gets a lot of them. However they get there, they reach his place and he opens the door, walking in and setting down his laptop bag on the coffee table. "You want something...?" That is waved off quickly. "Help yourself." She knows. He glances at Norbert, maybe to extend him the same because he already knows he will, regardless.
"Rawwwk," comments Norbert, dropping down to the floor and going solid. His little claws click-clack click on the hardwood as he struts about. Frankie heads for the kitchen area, and the water. She raises her voice to call, "Don't take anything!" to Norbert before adding to Damian, "You cleaned this place up fast. I assume you wouldn't hire a cleaner to do it." She fills up a glass. "You want any water, since I'm up?"
He's stubborn, Frankie probably remembers that. "No. You'd be surprised what a Swiffer can do." And a little bit of a disorder about being clean and meticulous. Just a little. He seems completely unconcerned about Norbert stealing, focusing on Frankie. He's up, too, after all. "Sure. Thanks." Arms cross over his chest loosely and he's right back to business. "You had something to say about this Isrieal, or something else?"
Frankie gets another glass down and fills that one, too. She sets it on the counter and nudges it in his direction. She's not gonna bring it to him. That done, she turns to lean against the counter and has a sip from her own glass. "Nothing else to add about Isrieal. She does seem to think we're all friends, though. Let's see... Kilo and Isrieal found some kind of street drug that they thought used River water. They stupidly shot it up and got glowing blue veins. Not sure what the hell's up with that and didn't really ask. If they're right, it's a weird thing to do with River water. People bring it up all the time, but it only keeps its properties for so long."
Damian obviously isn't expecting her to bring it to him, since he closes the gap to the counter readily with a nod. "Thanks." He picks the water up and turns himself to rest against the counter, resuming crossed arms with water in hand. "What do you mean we're all friends? I mean if she knows what we are... she must understand the connection or am I missing something?" A brow raises at that and gets settled on Frankie curiously. Then she says that. He shakes his head, it's not even disappointment, it's disbelief. Their continued stupidity amazes him somehow. "They shot it up? You know what? Nevermind." He's not wasting his breath on trying to figure that out. "So you don't know what it did to them? And don't all the rivers have different effects? Do they know what River?" he's not the delver like she is, and apparently his Underworld knowledge hasn't vastly improved.
Frankie watches his reaction to the 'injecting ourselves with killer drugs' thing. "I know. I know," she says. She felt much the same way. "But no, I don't know which river. She said we were all friends at some point when we were hanging out at Kilo's shop. Might have been the time we were sparring in the basement. I lied. I did spar with Kilo once." She said she hadn't had anyone to spar with last time they talked. "Right. So there's that. Let's see. Darius isn't around anymore, either. Or Rasender. Haven't seen Ting, either. Who else was around when you were here?"
Damian's mouth opens and closes. It's like he wants to add something, but he can't find the words. He just shakes his head, still a bit in disbelief. "Right, but they all do have different properties, right? So does anything you know of cause veins to go blue, or something similar? Did they have any other symptoms then or since? Too much to hope it made them smarter?" Yeah too much, he shakes that off too. Rhetorical. Her lie, if that's how she wants to term is it is totally glossed over, obviously he doesn't care that she sparred with someone else, he would have expected that, or that she 'lied' to him. "It's always good to make friends, I guess." That's sarcasm, his veiled kind, but Frankie would probably recognize it despite the complete lack of emotion. Plus, she knows how he feels about friends. "Darius, Rasender, Ting... can't say I'll miss any of them." He's blunt. A shrug, "No one else of note not currently in this room." And he means that.
Frankie isn't really surprised Damian doesn't seem interested in what happened to just about anyone who isn't in the room with him right now. She shrugs a shoulder, has another sip of water. Looks toward the gym. "I'm more involved in the Oakfield Community Pool, I suppose. A few months back, a university student drowned. The article about her death mentioned two other girls drowning recently, so that made me wonder if there was a serial killer. Because three victims of similar circumstances." She pushes away from the counter and heads toward the gym. There is a primo punching bag in there with her name on it. Not literally, but essentially, it's there for her.
"I see." A brow raises, often the height of his expression and he watches her move. "Did you talk to their ghosts? I imagine they could be tracked and could tell you?" A little nod as he folds hands behind his back and starts to follow her to the gym, but only after a moment. "Does sound suspicious though, to be sure. Something I can help with?" He eyes go to the hallways as they walk down it and then back to Frankie. "You didn't say if anything else was gathered from the shooting up experiment? Did they, at least, learn anything from that of use?"
"That's really all I know about the shooting up thing," Frankie admits, heading over to the gym. She sets her glass of water down by the wall and approaches the bag. "And I'm not asking about it any more than that unless they want me to look into it. I'd rather leave the street shit to Kilo and company, after what happened with her and Hoax getting pissed off at me." That thing where Hoax threatened Frankie. It was good times.
"There's more. With the pool thing." She steps up to the bag, sets her feet shoulder width apart. Bends her knees a little, shifts one foot forward. Automatic, like breathing.
"Fair enough, I won't ask either. Rather let them solve their own messes, or die trying." Damian nods, he does remember that little issue with Hoax and Kilo, probably another reason he's not too upset Hoax is gone. Walking into the gym, he stands near Frankie, but not that close. Close enough to talk and watch her technique, far enough to give her space to work. And maybe enough to react in case a punch is thrown his way, wouldn't be the first time. "If they want help..." He shrugs, non-committal on that. Maybe he will, maybe he won't. Another nod, blue eyes following her every movement. Maybe he's gauging her skill level these days. "About the pool then... and again, if you think I can help. Is this something you're just doing of your own accord?"
"Yes and no." Frankie raises her fists and thumps the bag, once. "I've kind of picked up the pool thing the way I pick up everything: I'm not sure anyone else is gonna do anything about it, so I'm poking my nose into it. You might be able to help, but you need to let me explain what's happened and what I do know first." The bag is still swinging. WHAM! Another punch lands, shaking it on its chain. Yeah, that's the good stuff.
She's already been better at the punching than him, his expertise is with a sword, and she's always been more ferocious, but Damian's a student of the martial as well as intellectual. He takes a couple steps to his side to get a better view. "Of course, then carry on. I'm listening." Better the bag then him, as he recalls. Though his movements are little shuffles like one might do when sparring.
Suits are not good for sparring, sadly. Better the punching bag than the Armani, or whatever the hell kind of suit it is. THWAP. THWAP. "Okay, good. So I went to the girl who drowned's' funeral to learn more about her. I met another girl there, Kara. Also big on swimming. We chat some, I learn a few things about Anita - the girl who died - but nothing that's actually important to the story.
"Kara, though, she ends up being important. She comes into the Daily Grind and recognizes me but can also see Norbert. She's freaked out by something that happened to her at the community pool Anita died at. So I guess it's clear to her that I'm with Norbert and she decides to talk to me. She'd been swimming late and the lifeguard had left for the evening after giving her a key so she could lock up once she was done..." Thump. Thump. THUMP. Frankie might be better now.
Probably not Armani, but it's a good suit. He'd probably change, but there's a few issues with that, so he stays observing and listening. Damian nods a couple times listening to the story before inserting a question. "And Kara is who?" He's obviously gathered she's more than just a part of the story if she can see Norbert and knows what Frankie is. "Also what about the other two deaths?" He's in investigator mode now himself. "I didn't know lifeguards just let you swim late with a key, seems dangerous, but anyway?" If he's noted Frankie's better, he's either not surprised or he's just not showing it, he doesn't show much though, almost ever. A lot of his focus is on her strikes on the bag, but he's paying attention to almost everything. He's good at that. Being aware.
"Well, the story has lots of bad decisions people can learn from. Anita Patel is relevant. The other woman, Hannah Green, isn't actually involved. She died across town at another pool and she wasn't a strong swimmer like Anita and Kara. Anita was good. She should not have drowned. So Kara, at this point, is a medium." She glances over at him, plants her fist into the bag again. "Wait for it. Anyway, she sees ghosts and she knows what it feels like when one is around. So she's swimming that night and the lights dim and hum, and she said it felt like there was a ghost around. But kind of everywhere and nowhere at once. She got out and went to leave, but then the pool looked weirdly irresistible to her. She knew it was weird, but she got back in and swam some more. Then she saw a guy sitting at the edge of the pool - blond, looked like a lifeguard. And suddenly she finds herself thinking it would be nice just to 'slide under the water and stay there'. This thought is pretty alien to her, so it snaps her out of her, uh, reverie I guess, and she does actually get out and lock up and leave."
Frankie keeps working the bag, sidestepping, changing her footwork. It's hardly good practice if she just stays still, after all. "So she tells me all this. I agree that it's weird and tell her I have some experience with ghost-related things, that I'll investigate, and that she should not go back to the pool."
Frankie exhales a huff of annoyance. "So of course she went back and the next time I saw her she'd drowned and become like us, Bound. She'd been compelled to drown herself, and she did. Which reminded me of how ghosts can sometimes affect peoples' minds."
"I did go back to the pool before she died. It's a weird place. There are deathstains everywhere, but not a single ghost. There should be ghosts, but there aren't."
Damian kneels down to remove his socks and toss them aside, they are having him slip everywhere, it's not conducive to good movement. Then he stands again, just seemingly feeling the floor beneath his feet. It's been a while, maybe this is the first time he's bene in the gym really since returning. He removes his jacket too, setting it aside, but never, never fully taking his eyes off Frankie and her work. Just listening and watching. A shake of his head at the part where Kara went back. Of course she did. People are so stupid. That thought can be plainly read on his face. A rare moment of clarity from him, but it's gone quickly. "Curious that something compels her to drown and then she becomes like us. That's not generally how Geist's works. This blonde man by the pool? Is that her Geist?" Again that brow comes up momentarily as he moves back to watching her, moving with her as she moves with the bag. It's almost like he's shadowing her movements, but not quite. More like countering them in a way. "Maybe there shouldn't be ghosts there though, but that's definitely worth further investigation. I mean it depends what the ghosts are tethered too, it's not always a place of death. But if there is one compelling people to drown, that needs to stop." A small thinning of his lips. "I never like coincidences though. You sure Hannah Green is irrelevant?"
"Yeah. It's all Oakfield," Frankie says, reaching out to grab the bag and still it so she can watch him. Blue eyes are appraising. "The lifeguard isn't her Geist," she tells him. "I thought it was worth investigating, too. I was thinking maybe one powerful ghost with mind-controlling Numina. Something. The lack of ghosts was weird. So I decided to learn that ceremony that lets you take pictures of a place and see all the ghost activity in it. I went there after hours one night with Kilo and Sabo to take pictures. Dunno if you know Sabo." She's reaching around to her back pocket and pulling out her phone. Thumbing the screen to open up a gallery application.
"I suppose that means we have a description of a possible suspect." Damian nods a little at that. "I would assume you are right about its powers." That brow arches again, it's not a ceremony he's terribly familiar with, but it certainly peaks his interests. A shake of the head. "I don't know him, no." When her camera comes out though, he must be assuming she's got said pictures to show so he steps closer, dangerously close to invading that personal space that only gets invaded for sparring. He does stop short of doing so, just barely, like he has some sort of invisible line he gauges such thins by. Eyes moving up to Frankie's briefly, before down to the phone. "I wonder if we could search for Anita in the Underworld. But anyway, what did you find?"
"A lot of weird," Frankie says, turning the phone toward him and queuing up the pictures. She takes that last half-step closer to do so. They are very nearly touching.
The series of pictures are, indeed, weird. The entire structure of the building radiates with ghostly energy. At times, individual figures, including a blond young man in a lifeguard's uniform, can be seen, but they seem to emerge from the structure of the building itself, almost as extensions of it, rather than as individual beings. There's a young woman in the photos, too, lying at the bottom of the pool with strings of plasmic, ghostly energy wrapped around her in various ways.
The figures aren't ghosts. There is something off about them, like a space alien has put together what he thinks people look like but is missing some vital element. The positions they are in are weirdly unnatural. Some of them appear in clothing from a variety of historical period, some of them are shadowy and indistinct. They seem to be composed of corpus in the way a normal ghost is, but there is 'something' small but absolutely vital missing.
"Apparently, sometimes, after a particularly tragic event or a series of smaller tragedies over a long period of time can cause the spirit of a place to 'die'. It creates something sometimes called a ghost town, but the location can be much smaller than a town. Like, say, a pool.
"The ghosts are able to generate illusions of people who have died in the place, but due to the ghost's lack of human experience or understanding, they look weird. Like this."
Damian reaches out to touch the phone, seemingly very careful not to touch her hand. He just wants to adjust it better to see, and the start flicking through the pictures. A "Hmmm." is muttered underneath his breath. He goes through a couple more. "And no ghost there when you went? That is strange then." He continues to listen to her as he flicks through picture after picture, making sure she can see them to, just in case she has a comment, which causes him to lean in and hover awfully close. He seems awkwardly aware of the space issue though and keeps adjusting himself. He is about to say something when Frankie explains about a ghost town. "That's kind of like where we found that old man in the Underworld? The one that gave us the book, no?" He might be a little fuzzy on that, he really does need to brush up on his Underworld knowledge. "I mean different, but they were stuck reliving in a period, but were aware. Anyway..." he shakes his head, and his gaze rises up to look at Frankie, having finished the pictures. "So in a ghost town, the building itself has something to do with it? I remember you saying something like it might be alive or something? Or a ghost itself? Is that possible?" There's that brow again.
"Weatherby and the Drowned Village," Frankie supplies. She reaches out to take the phone. She gives him a bit of a funny look, then extends two fingers and pokes him in the side. Unless he ninja flips out. Three gentle two-fingered proddings. "Sabo took control of the building with Industrial to drain the pool when we went. He said it felt like the whole building was a ghost. Apparently, it's possible. I've been to a place kind of like that? It was called the Silver Grill Cocktail Lounge in Chicago. It had been a speakeasy during Prohibition and it had burned down with everyone inside it. They kept reliving it over and over and over without knowing what was happening." She thumbs the phone off and tucks it back into her pocket. "Sabo and I did some digging into the history of the land. It was woodland until the 1970s, when the area was developed. A man named Owen James owned it and sold it to a development company... again, back in the 70s. The pool was built by local authorities. A trip to the Athenaeum yielded the info about ghost places, but of course now that I'm home again, I can think of other things to look at. And there's a Passamaquoddy student at the University we might be able to speak to that could maybe look into the land's history."
"Yeah, that." There's no ninja flip, there's no movement at all, aside from eyes following the movement carefully and maybe warily. She finds purchase and he just flexes like he thinks it might be an attack. Three of them. He seems more than a little confused by the gesture. Maybe wondering if this is the same Frankie. Or wondering if she's gone soft. All of that is a brief flicker of emotion across his face that he quells. She's one of the rare people that sees that kind of stuff at all and apparently that hasn't changed. It makes his brow furrow for a moment, but since he's not sure what to do with it, he concentrates on that information, nodding. "Interesting." He's looks at the floor as he considers that. "That was up here, not down there? So it is kind of like Weatherby's village maybe?" That causes his gaze to rise and give her one of those curious looks, if minute. "Can you send me those pictures by the way?" He motions easily to her phone as she tucks it away. A nod then to the rest of the information. "What are you thinking of looking at?" Another momentary pause and then a nod. "Could, but that stuff should all be publicly available thus very easy to get with a computer." If she gets his drift.
Frankie sees that flicker of a look, the wariness, the tension, and just says, "I trust you. Remember?" And then she keeps talking like that was just no big deal at all, which is probably how he prefers it, really. The phone, almost put away, is pulled out again. "I'll send you the pictures. Same address? I wouldn't say no to peeking at the computer files, but I have a feeling we might be stuck with oral history here. But maybe there are old ghost stories about the place that an internet search could pull up. It used to be called Willow Pond, locally. The Natives may have had another name for it."
She gets a faint nod from Damian at the words, as if he accepts her explanation, though it's difficult to say if he actually does. Maybe it's just been a long time. "Yeah Same address." The previous topic dropped as quickly as possible, it seems. "And you might be right, I suppose it might not hurt to ask this student, but, even legends are digital now and recorded on the internet usually somewhere. I'll see what I can find, but?" He pauses for a moment meeting her gaze now. "We need to know what happened that was so tragic, I'm guessing. What caused this to become a ghost town. Something like that might be an event that someone is covering up, or it might be something someone overlooked that isn't us. Did you guys look into the pool itself? Of the occurrences that happened there?"
Frankie thumbs her screen a few more times to send off the email with attachments. "Silviana Petrovna, also a strong swimmer who shouldn't have drowned, June 2016. There might be others. Take a look." She glances down at her cell phone again. "I have an appointment soon. I need to get going."
Damian's phone audibly dings with the delivery of the email. "Thanks." His lips thin a little as he considers what she said. "A drowning suggests it might be linked to this being a ghost town. I'm guessing something else happened to create this phenomenon, if we can call it that. Something before, but I guess we should see when the earliest death occurred and work back from that. I'll see what some digging comes up with." There's another pause and then he nods to her. 'Of course. Thanks for catching me up. It's nice to uh?" Damian takes a bit of a breath. "I trust you too." What a weird way to end that sentence.
Frankie's head bobs in a little nod. That was a weird way to end that sentence, but then, they kind of have a weird relationship. She heads on down again.