The day is overcast, and it looks like it could rain, despite what the weathermen say. Everybody who contacted Deckard for the trip over to Los Angeles has been requested to gather at Forbidden Arts. The door was locked, but Deckard managed to procure a special key, unbeknownst to Kilo and Hoax, the owners and operators of the establishment. Deckard waited until everybody had assembled in the tattoo parlour, before shuffling everybody into the basement. He had with him a duffle bag, containing jars full of soil, which was sitting at the base of the giant spray-painted skull and crossbones on the far wall. “Alright people, this is a diplomatic mission first and foremost. We are not allied with The Jedi Order. Not yet. They are simply following their Krewe channel and taking our advice when it comes to the West End Watchers. They’ve asked for our help, but they’re a famous Krewe out West. If they’re having trouble with something, then it’s likely something big. Remember, we need all the help we can get to fight the Watchers, and end the threat they pose not only to our city, but abroad, and if we can make ourselves look good? We might be able to call on them in the future for a favour or two.”
Deckard clapped his hands together, looking over everybody present. “I’ve spoken with one of the founders, and I know the location we’re to meet them. Here.” He pointed to the skull and crossbones on the wall with his thumb. “Is a gate. Obvious enough I suppose, since you can all probably feel it. Since they don’t know what they’re dealing with, we decided it would be best to travel by portal. I will link this gate to one in their holdings, and from there, three of them will meet up with you and take you out into the city. I will return to Fallcoast afterwards, and when you want to return, just call me. Apparently they’ve lost their ceremonialist to unforeseen circumstances, and no longer have the ability to travel as I do.”
Deckard dug into the duffle bag, opening one of the jars of dirt. “Mmkay, so I don’t want to hear no fucking complaining or none of that shit. If I gotta do this, I don’t wanna hear not a fucking peep out of any of your mouths. What you’re all gonna do is stick this dirt in your mouth, under your tongue. Imunna draw some special symbols, and then we’re gonna walk through a hallway of faces. It’s disturbing as fuck, so I suggest you stare solely at your feet. You stray off the path, you’ll get lost in the Underworld and die permanently, so don’t fuck around with this.” Looking between each person assembled, he shoved the jar of dirt into the nearest person’s hands. “Aight, so do any of you have any fucking questions before I travel you all over there?” It wasn’t asked angrily or impatiently. He just felt like throwing in a few more cuss words for the sake of cussing.
Franklin frowns, but lets the dirt thing go. He's dressed to the nines, wearing his best funerary suit and silver accessories, including some damn snazzy pure silver glasses, the frames gleaming from a fresh polishing. Around his neck hangs a fingerbone on a very fine silver chain. A Charm? Not quite, but it could be, with a little encouragement. "Just one... Anyone able to dedicate this?"
Damian doesn’t actually know Deckard or few people yet. The new man probably figured out how to contact Deckard, even if it was a little vague. Maybe the Twilight Network, but more than likely with his skills, technology. The man shows up on time, in a suit of all things. Tie and all. Laptop bag strapped over his shoulder and a duffle bag in his other. They are traveling after all. A small clink comes from the bag occasionally. He’s never travelled this way before, so every one of Deckard’s cues is listened to intently and quietly, even as his Geist whispers into his ear. At least one of them has some knowledge of this. Deckard’s information about the entire thing is also paid attention to. He’s into the game late, and he’s got a lot of catching up to do, even if he did spend all night researching what he could. A nod to everyone present, some he knows. One, really. Rasender. He takes the dirt without complaint, including putting it under his tongue. A slight face, it is dirt after all, but besides that, he’s ready. There will be time for talking alter, one supposes.
The first thing that crosses Cissy Skinner's mind when she sees the unexpected sight of just who Deckard is, is: 'now I feel stupid for giving him money out of pity.' It was a good chunk of change! That was hers! Fortunately, the revelation that the man from Mercy's bar fight extravaganza is a Sin-Eater too is eventually adapted and adjusted to, and soon enough, Cissy is inside the basement, wearing her denim jacket, black Pearl Jam Tour t-shirt that dates way too far back for her to have actually been there, dark shredded jeans and boots with aplomb as she's being told to-- "Eat dirt," she echoes back helpfully, squinting at the dirt being passed around like someone had just told her to... ... well, eat dirt. Her lips purse. "... Guess it's not the weirdest thing I've ever done," she mutters, hefting her duffel bag up over her shoulder a bit, offering a jaunty mock-salute and an, "Aye fucking aye, cap'n!" with a lopsided smile. Eat dirt. Sure. She can do that. And then walk through some sort of weird supernatural interspatial portal, but only after eating the dirt. Seems about right to her.
Cobalt idled in his truck outside Forbidden Arts for several moments, smoking and thinking. He wasn't one hundred percent sure he wanted to go on this journey at all. Yet he's in deep with the Watchers, at this point. It's almost a compulsion. Anything having to do with them, he feels he has to participate. And so he's finally getting out, coming inside, boots tromping, sledgehammer slung over one shoulder, a black leather duffel slung over the other. He gives everyone a sullen nod before standing there silently, straight as an arrow. Somebody's all business today.
Deckard looked towards Franklin, scratching his chin. "Hmmm...I can't do it, and by the sounds of it, nobody else is either. Maybe one of the members of the other Krewe can do it for you, who knows?" After finishing with Franklin's question, Deckard nodded, whipping his scarf around his neck as he turned to the gate. “Don’t spit that fucking dirt out till we’re on the other side, you get me?” He commanded, picking up a pink Hello Kitty paint brush. Dipping it in some strange mixture, he drew symbols around the gate, and when he opened it...a dark bruise-coloured tunnel appeared, the screams of the dead and dying echoing into the basement. There was a walkway of bones spanned out along the path that the Sin-Eaters were meant to walk, sturdy enough to keep them from falling into the abyss. “Now, if you’re not gonna bitch out with a blind-fold, just be sure to look at the ground, or my back, or the person’s back in front of you. Don’t fucking look away, or you’ll go insane, run off the path and die. If you’re holding hands, you could take one of us with you. We’ll look incompetent if we come out the other side with fewer people too, so don’t fuck this up.”
The walk itself wasn’t very long at all, taking maybe ten minutes tops. The party of Sin-Eaters emerged from the other side into a dark room, three hooded figures standing nearby. They were all wearing neutral, monotone or earthy colours, and each carried a long bag with them. The kind that one might use to carry a LARP weapon in. The smell of metal and urine hung in the air, and the simple feel of the room was icky, as if oneself had just squashed a dragonfly with one’s bare hand. A chill was in the air, much like that of the basement in Forbidden Arts, courtesy of the aura of death that hung in the location. The smallest of the three hooded figures moved towards the group, taking his hood off. Pale skin, freckles, and a thick tangle of short orange-red hair contrasted heavily with the dreary environment. “Greetings. My name is Ripley, Kyle Ripley. The one over there is my sister, Teagan, and the big guy over there is Bear.” His voice was calm and even, even though his smile was warm and welcoming. His arms opened wide. “Welcome to Los Angeles.”
Franklin nods quietly to the group, trying to look as friendly as one can with a bunch of dirt in his mouth. Once he's absolutely sure he's clear, he finds a corner in which to evacuate his mouth as quietly and thoroughly as possible, pulling a handkerchief out of a pocket and wiping his mouth. Next, he pulls a gold cigarette case from nowhere, and from that he gets out a thin black cigarette, which lights itself. He puffs a little on that, to get the taste out. "Evening, lady and gentlemen. Name's Franklin."
That's really not like anything she's ever seen before. For someone yet to dip into the Underworld, watching that gateway open up with the screams of death churning through her ears is something highly unsettling. To Cissy's credit, her expression doesn't really seem to shift much besides growing a bit more distant as she shoves hands into her pockets. Blindfold? She could. She should. She doesn't. She walks into that bruise on the fabric of reality, only saying one thing before departing in: "Like the paint brush," giving Deckard a wink and a thumbs up before she enters that space man was not meant to walk, keeping her eyes towards the ground in a ten minute struggle with curiosity. The second she reemerges? She's spitting out that dirt like nobody's business, rubbing at her tongue inelegantly as the three, hooded figures greet them. She blinks, mid-pawing her tongue, and squints at the three. "Uhhh... heh dehr," she says, before releasing her tongue and straightening up. "... Thanks for the welcome." A second passes. She blinks. "Oh yeah," she jerks a thumb at herself. "Cissy."
Damian watches the entire thing with curiosity. This is not his forte at all, and it’s all both fascinating a little unsettling. Sometimes he has to remember what he is now, even with the constant reminder over his shoulder. His own expression holds, maybe a good poker face, maybe it doesn’t faze him like it should. Which one is more terrifying is hard to say. He keeps his head down once they move. He's died once, but falling into the Abyss sounds like something for another day, or not at all. Shifting the duffel bag to his other side to balance himself a little more, he begins following the procession across the bone bridge. He wants to look around, truly, curiosity tugging at him, but he doesn't. Step by step until they finally step out. He reaches up his hand, finally, to his mouth to remove the dirt, maybe just so he can talk, if he needs to. Squeezing it in one hand, his attention goes to the hooded figures. Quietly, he studies all three carefully, nodding to each in turn as he does. A greeting, though he remains quiet and at the back, speaking one word, “Damian.” Though that might be for everyone, not just these three.
Cobalt managed the trek here without incident, though he's as eager to spit out the dirt as anyone else. But his reaction to the trio is very different from the rest. A slow smirk comes to his face. "Well, well. Long-time no see." Huh. So he /knows/ them? Well, he did live in Los Angeles for a long time…”
Deckard busted out of the portal, hucking a massive loogie out into the corner of the room. Wiping his mouth with his scarf, he cracked his neck back and forth. “Nice to finally put a face to the names. Mine’s Deckard.” He said, giving a corny thumbs up.
Kyle nods, looking to each person one after the other. His gaze pauses on Cobalt for a moment, before he next speaks. “It is a pleasure to meet most of you.” beat. “I apologize for the lack of...accommodations. One cannot be so picky when it comes to our line of work, as I’m sure you’re all aware. Come, come. Once you’ve gathered yourselves, we can be on our way. We’ve prepared a booth in a nearby restaurant, where we can speak over dinner. I find that my mind works best when I have food in my stomach.”
“As if you had a stomach. It’s probably the same hole in reality they came through.” Teagan remarked with a smirk, throwing down her hood. She was very athletic, and the only thing she had in common with Kyle was the gingerness. She looked towards the rock star. “Yes, it has been a long time. I’m surprised to see you alive and well. Perhaps some people can change, hmm?” She commented, not a hint of malice in her voice. Kyle shook his head, giving her a look with narrowed eyes.
"Food sounds perfect." Franklin says with a small nod. Seems Cobalt's something of a liability to negotiations. And not just in the usual way. Still, given that there is some history, he might prove not to be a liability in the usual way, at least. He smiles. "I imagine we're all going to want some water, regardless." A small joke, but hopefully one to ease the mood.
Hands returning back to her pockets, Cissy gives a nod to each of the LA-dwelling Sin-Eaters, vibrant eyes taking them in with the faintest hint of curiosity. It's a curiosity stoked by Rasender's interactions with them, looking between the trio and the rocker with the thoughtful cant of her head. It's curiosity she seems to quietly shelf for now with a joking, "I'm -starving-. Hope you brought the thick wallets." A pause, and a soft laugh follows for Franklin's words. "And like ten mints," she adds on with a subdued sort of smile. Even if it does kind of waver when she feels more grains of dirt clinging to the bottom of her tongue. Yuck.
First Kyle, then Teagan gets a longer study as they both speak. Finally, Damian’s gaze goes to Rasender a few moments, but he’s met the man, and truth be told he doesn’t look remotely surprised. Then again, he hasn’t shown any real emotion since he arrived. His response to it all is another nod before he studies the room in a little more depth. As much as he’s interested in the three, he also watches his companions here and there, discreetly, since he doesn’t know most of them, but he’s not trying to be obvious about it. Out of the corner of his eye, or a casual glance. His phone comes out of his pocket as he lazily, but quite quickly, starts typing into it. Texting, probably.
Cobalt takes a step towards Teagan. He towers over her, and the smirk is very much still in place. "Yeah." His eyes narrow, and he lets the handle of the sledgehammer bounce slooooowly across his shoulders. "Perhaps they can." Once he feels he's let that set in long enough, he takes a step back, his smirk falling into an irritated look given Franklin, which he just naturally extends to Cissy and Damian because it's easier that way.
Teagan's expression didn't change as Cobalt approached her, standing over her. Bear pushed himself off the wall when the rock star got close to her, but a quick glance from Kyle caused Bear to pause. Turning his head to smile at each Fallcoastian, he clasped his hands together. "Fantastic. We will foot the bill, do not worry. I'm sure you'll all enjoy the menu. It is a general favourite for all Americans, I'm sure."
Deckard's eyes went wide at the mention of food. "I err...uhh...I'll stick around the portal till the ghost is clear, and I'll head back to town." He was hiding the fact that he was disappointed that he wasn't going to get treated the meal, but was doing a poor job of it.
After the initial greetings, the Jedi exited the dreary maintenance room, escorting the group through the Metro subway tunnels (Red Line) in L.A. and back up onto a subway platform off the tracks. Rats and cockroaches and other vermin littered the tunnels, but otherwise, the journey was uneventful. No sudden trains, no alarms sounding. There were of course people standing around giving all the Sin-Eaters weird looks as they climbed atop the platform and made their way towards the escalator, but it was only par for the course for Sin-Eaters. The exit out of the subway wasn’t very far from a 50’s themed restaurant, where the three figures led the Fallcoastians. They nodded to the greeter at the front, Bear simply making his way to the booth. Teagan and Kyle ushered the rest of the group to follow along with Bear.
The walls are covered in 1950’s memorabilia - movie posters, album covers, decorative items depicting an era gone by when doctors smoked cigarettes and all the girls wore poodle skirts. Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, and Liberace are thrown in with comic books and B horror flicks about giant Amazon women from Mars. On the menu are All-American classics. Burgers, patty melts, fries, onion rings, and milkshakes in every flavour imaginable. The servers are all in smart white with paper hats and big Happy Days smiles. The guys in slacks, the girls in fluffed out skirts and saddle shoes. The party’s server bears a name tag labeling her as: Taffy. Taffy is cute as a button, about 20 years old tops, and is chewing on cotton candy scented bubble gum.
Bear, the giant of a man, moved towards the booth first, with Kyle and Teagan taking up the rear, following the group from Fallcoast as they grabbed their seats. None of them picked up menu's, already knowing what they wanted. Without too much of a hassle, all three ordered their burgers, fries, and milkshakes.
Franklin orders himself a salad, and a tall glass of iced tea before excusing himself to the restroom. There, he washes his mouth out using the bathroom sink (dangerous in LA, but fuck it), and washes his hands. Then, he'll return to the group.
Ew. The Metro. No one wants that. Cobalt clomps along, attaching his sledgehammer to the top of his duffel. This is Los Angeles, so no one looks at him twice. People do all sorts of weird shit here. And the restaurant is clearly one he's been to before, too, because he also doesn't pick up a menu. But he also doesn't order as much food as usual -- a large amount, but a /normal/ sized large, for a change. "Super Burger with extra bacon and a Chocolate Turtle shake." Fries come on the side, of course. He sits on one of the ends so he can stretch out his large legs and eye up both all of you and everyone in the restaurant.
Being who she is, the irritated look that hits her via osmosis really just makes Cissy more curious. Fortunately, she has other things to worry about. Like food. Mainly it's the food. Hands clasping behind the back of her head, she lifts only one to wave to Deckard as they leave him behind, helpfully offering a, "I'll let you know how good the food was," with a teasing wink before he's out of hearing range. As they travel, Cissy takes in the sights; enduring the Metro subway tunnel, delighting in the sights of vermin. All the greatest hits of LA. At the restaurant, she looks around with wide, green eyes at the stylized architecture of the place, whistling faitnly. "First time in a place like this," she mutters, amused, before sinking into her seat. And then, she promptly orders herself a couple burgers, a couple orders of fries, a couple shakes. She's a hungry, growing girl. And it's not on her tab.
Damian watches the proceedings, the big man moving to protect, Kyle pausing him. His finger flies furiously over his phone but he’s barely looking at it. He must be a pro with it. A glance at Deckard, a nod his way since he’s staying behind, and a quick study. Only once they start moving does he drop the ball of, now, mud from his hand and dust his hands off as best he is able. He continues to type into his phone giving it a touch more attention. Constantly watching everyone as they make it through the tunnels. Coming out in a suit must make him stick out that much more. Not desirable, but nothing he can do. A burger, fries, and water ordered with barely a glance at the menu as he finds a place to rest his duffle and laptop bag in arms reach of himself. The restaurant décor, the waitress, they get passing glances, quick studies, but he seems uninterested in either.
Bear had ordered five super burgers, and a chocolate milkshake. Kyle grabbed himself a greasy poutine and a vanilla milkshake, and Teagan grabbed a salad. And a strawberry milkshake. Or two. After taking their orders, Taffy took off, blowing a large bubble with her gum, before munching it down and repeating the process. The other Sin-Eaters seated at the table look more or less calm and at peace, casually observing the ongoings of the restaurant, as well as the Sin-Eaters before them. Teagan looked like she was about lean forwards and say something to Cobalt, but she got another look from Kyle, and instead leaned back in her seat. “The order won’t be long. She’ll return soon with our meal. They’re usually pretty quick here. Once we have our respective plates, we may speak freely. They will not return for refills unless you call them.”
True to his word, the meals arrived not ten minutes later, Taffy carrying what was at least twelve dishes in both her arms, possibly just trying to show off. She needed help to offload of course, each of the waiters and waitresses smiling and providing the proper courtesies, before they moved to attend other customers.
Up until that point, each of Jedi’s Keystones were hidden within their souls, along with their Geists. When they had their plates in front of them, they let go of the hold on their partners. The moment they made themselves apparent, each Geist looked over the Sin-Eaters, eyeballing them closely. Bear’s was a giant aboriginal man that resembled Paul Bunyan, Kyle’s was a grossly obese man holding a Gameboy Colour, and Teagan’s was a deathly thin African man with what looked like bundles of sticks for legs and arms. “Do any of you have questions?” Kyle asked, his eyes like that of a hawk as they bounced from person to person.
Franklin takes a small sip from his iced tea before answering, cigarette smoke suddenly wreathing him in Twilight before separating and becoming its own shape. "Well, I'm assuming you chose here because we can more or less speak freely, so how about we get the full story of what's going on? Deckard told us a few things, but I prefer to hear it from the horse's mouth, if you will."
It -is- impressive. Cissy even gives a polite little clap for Taffy and a warm but subdued smile before she turns that easy going gaze back on their companion's. And then her food. This time she shows a modicum of manners as she eats, which just means she doesn't wolf everything down like a ravenous man-eating pig. Tearing off a thick chunk of burger, the bare-knuckle boxer blinks and looks up as those Geists unfurl. Her own Keystone is patently visible; her wedding ring, split down the middle yet still clinging tenaciously to her skin, reeks of the phantasmal as she eats. Her Geist, however, does not make its own appearance. She just continues to eat, and nods Franklin's way. "Less potential for confusion over what's going on," she adds.
Damian stays quiet, maybe even introverted as they all sit around the table. His phone out still, not particularly good table etiquette, but he can’t seem to stop typing into it and pay attention to it. Most of his attention stays on the table though watching seemingly everyone as they speak or gesture, but not adding a lot himself. Maybe being new he doesn’t wish to step on toes. Plus his knowledge of all this is lean compared to, well, everyone, probably. Listen and learn. When the food arrives, Damian barely touches it, he picks at a couple fries, but he seems far more interested in everything else. He does drink the water though, maybe just due to dirt mouth, maybe because he’s thirsty. His Geist and his Keystone with it, remains hidden though, unlike theirs, reflex likely. He does take note of theirs, each in turn curiously, still not a peep.
Cobalt shoves a bunch of fries in his mouth, chewing slowly as he stares down the Angelenos. To their eyes, he probably hasn't changed, although there are ways in which he has. Very much so. Not like they can see those ways. His Geist and his Keystone certainly aren't evident. "I agree with Frank, for once. Let's hear it."
Kyle looked to Franklin, giving him a nod of approval. “We have indeed chosen this location specifically for that purpose. We’ve been fighting non-stop since your Keeper sent out the message. It turns out that the West End Watchers were deeply entrenched in the activities within our city, and we’ve coordinated efforts with the other established Krewes to try and root them out.” He looked to his sister and the giant of the man, each of their Geists seeming rather calm compared to most others. Teagan looked to Bear, gesturing for him to speak.
“I hope you didn’t intend that as a jest because we have long faces.” He smiled to Franklin, leaning forward on the table, picking up a burger and munching into it. Once that bite was swallowed, he continued. We encountered a problem. A miscreant, and evil doer strong in the ways of the Dark Side of…” The other two glanced in his direction. “This troublemaker has been nothing but bad news. He’s bombed a couple of the local Flesh Faire’s, has destroyed numerous Avernian Gateways, and has utilized some unholy ceremony on at least one occasion, pulling a few square blocks of private property into Twilight. We’re unsure of his motives, or even if he is connected to the West End Watchers, as we have no evidence to confirm or deny the allegiance. We sent two of our own, a Knight and his Padawan, out to investigate an anonymous tip. They ventured out into Mount San Antonio, where they encountered a being. It had apparently been waiting for them, and it quickly felled Knight Franz, before chasing down and eliminating his Padawan. We only know of it because we are Force Sensitive…” Another glance from the other two. “We came to the location as quickly as we could, only to scare off the miscreant as he was about to make away with their Deathmasks. At this point, we’re at a loss for what to do. We’ve never encountered one that could be so slippery, or so dangerous.”
Franklin nods slowly, pointedly ignoring the nerdisms. Jedi is a registered religion, after all, and if it weren't for nerds he'd be... Well, he'd still be rich, his parents were loaded, but he'd have to put up with his extended family. And no one. No. One. Wants to deal with the Eustace clan. "That does sound serious. I can see why you'd want help. It's targeting people when they're vulnerable, and from the sounds of it looking to cause as much disruption as possible without getting spotted. Hm." He considers this. "I'm not going to lie, we're going to need all the help we can get on our end, and you and yours are valuable potential assets. So, we'll certainly help how we can. If this guy's tied to the Watchers, helping you helps us anyway. But either way, what are friends for, right?" A small smile.
All that Star Wars terminology. Cissy shouldn't be surprised given their name, but she still raises her eyebrows as a mouthful of fries hands from her lips. She slowly chews them down like a food disposal unit in slow motion. Her response is to give them a little, approving thumbs up before her expression sobers with the influx of information. "So there's no rhyme or reason to his attacks? No kinda pattern?" Cissy asks, head tilt. "Besides the obvious, anyway." Of targeting Sin-Eaters. She considers, chewing on her lower lip before she goes for her shake. "Do you think the tip was a set up?" She considers a moment, before nodding with Franklin. "We'll do what we can." She fights off the urge to ask about compensation for now. Better to ask when she has leverage. Besides... hunting a Sin-Eater. It's the first time for her. She's just trying to absorb all the relevant information. "Having as much information we can to arm ourselves with will be helpful, though."
Cobalt chews all this over without a word. He knows the names. And it's a frightening thing for any Sin-Eater, but also has him looking mighty thoughtful. Even the food has ceased to interest him. He stares at Kyle, stroking his chin, frowning. He's not going to offer help the way Franklin or the others might, but would he give it? It remains to be seen.
Kyle looked to Franklin, nodding solemnly as he set his shake down. “And that is exactly why we requested your assistance. It should benefit us both if we are to apprehend this wrongdoer.” Teagan looked to Cissy, smiling brightly. “That’s what we thought as well, the tip being a set up. Unfortunately, we do not have the luxury of questioning anonymous tips. Many of the Krewes in and around the area rely on us to do our business with discretion and personal detachments, so anonymity is a common occurrence when it comes to what we do. It is a very obvious weakness we have, and one that many have attempted to exploit. This time, they succeeded.” Teagan’s eyes drifted to Rasender during the last bits of her explanation. Kyle gave her an elbow to the ribs, gently reminding her not to dwell on the past. Kyle continued the conversation in Teagan’s stead. “As far as we can tell, it’s just random acts of malevolence. The West End Watchers are not suffering the same fate as the rest of the local Krewes however, and some have even lost numbers due to the actions of this vile person. We have collected the bodies of our fallen allies and performed what ceremonies we could, though Franz was the one whom we’ve entrusted the task of ceremonies to. The other Krewes around here are too busy with their own holdings to assist us, trusting us to take care of the situation.”
Franklin nods, and takes a bite of his salad. "Well, we might be able to help with the Ceremonies, on a piecemeal basis, between our members. But that's for another time. For now, is there anything else you can tell us about the attacker? I understand how distasteful it is to ask, but how did Franz and Kara die? If we know how he attacks, we might be able to erect proper defenses. Or at least know what to look out for."
"Mm," Cissy murmurs, sparing a brief glance Rasender's way as the cogs in her head start to move. "Maybe they're just sending a vanguard in to soften you up, get you divided. Give them the advantage when they decide to really hit you hard." Her brows furrow softly. "If they're going after everyone but the Watchers, we can try to give him appealing bait to try to lure -him- into a trap... or..." Cissy chews her lower lip before ultimately taking up her (first) shake and gulping down until the remnants are finished with a happy sigh. "Either way, bringing whoever is doing this in alive is probably the best way to get some answers about what's going on here. ... Not that there aren't ways around that even if he's dead, I guess." Cissy -- still getting used to this. "The important thing is trying to take away the advantage of surprise he's been enjoying." She looks to Franklin and nods once, her smile faint as she offers, "Any information at all could help a lot," before returning to her burgers.
Cobalt remains silent. Just chewing and glowering at Kyle and Teagan, especially whenever she looks like she is going to say something. That always makes him smirk. Maybe he just has an image to maintain -- he's the infamous badass, not a helper. Or, at least, not in any obvious way. So for now, he just sits, absorbs, digests, in more ways than one.
Kyle munched passively on his food as Franklin and Cissy spoke their minds. He didn’t seem too perturbed by Rasender’s looks, though sometimes Teagan looked like she was about to challenge his looks on several occasions. Bear simply ate his food, listening much like Damian was. “That would be most gracious of you.” Kyle said, leaning forward onto the table. He didn’t seem to be perturbed by the question posed by Franklin. “What we were able to ascertain was that they were lured into a trap of some sorts. Master Gregory has the ability to see through the eyes of corpses, and we’ve used that to collate as much as we could with the physical evidence recovered. Apparently, the assailant has a penchant for toxins. Franz triggered some sort of mechanism that released some sort of aerosol mustard gas. He pushed Kara out of the cave just in time to stop her from inhaling the mixture. It was instantly lethal, and he coughed up his digestive system. He saw Kara ignite her sabre, but there was confusion in her eyes.” He paused, taking a sip from his milkshake before continuing. “Looking through Kara’s eyes, she was running. She was atop the mountain one moment, and then she was coated in darkness the next. She had fallen fifty feet to her death in a hidden crevasse. Thankfully, her eyes were pointed up towards the opening. She saw, in the last moments of her life, what the assailant looked like. We’re keeping the records within our archives for you to review and bring back with you to Fallcoast as well, if you’d like.”
Teagan looked to Cissy. “That would be fantastic, if we knew how to lure him. I would hope that he is not one of many, but we should prepare for that being the worst case scenario. If we could find out more about him, it might be possible to set up a trap of our own.” Bear, having finished off all his burgers, turned to look at the present Sin-Eaters. “So, any of you bring any good Ceremonies?”
Franklin shakes his head slowly. "Not for this kind of work. The ones I know deal with ghost resolution. Well, there is one I know for helping to repair the damage of one of us dying... But it's time-intensive."
"You already know what I can do," Cobalt says to Teagan. Ceremonies-wise. He downs the rest of his milkshake sans-straw and puts the glass back down with a smack. "I wanna see those records." He folds his arms and stares at them. It's the first time he's spoken in a long, long while. He's not really a chatterbox under normal circumstances, but. This has almost seemed deliberate.
"Confusion?" Cissy asks, blinking considerately. "At what she saw, or..." She mulls over the information provided, before nodding once. "That'd be helpful. I'd like to take a look, too. I'll pick them up before we head back." Her brows furrow, as if quietly mulling over the information of how the pair had died. She remains lost in that thought, chewing idly on her fries before that question is asked. She blinks, looks up, as if only half-aware of what is being said. "Huh?" she begins, and then shakes her head. "I'm still a bit new to all of this, personally. Ceremonies are... not my forte." She gives an apologetic little smile. "I can spread the word and see who we can bring in to give a helping hand, though."
The three Jedi looked between themselves, their Geists nodding off or lazing around the furniture. Kyle looked to the Fallcoastians, giving a curt nod. “I understand. Franz was our specialist, and without him, we don’t have many methods of utilizing esoterica.” Teagan glared at Rasender openly when he demanded to see their records, once more receiving an elbow from her brother. “And yes, confusion. I would assume it was because it was one of your own people. He was a bit more green and purple than the norm, but otherwise he appeared to be the one who went missing in June.” Bear spoke up next. “When everybody finishes their food, we can make way to our hideout, where we keep our archives.”
Franklin finishes his meal in silence, mulling this information over. Well, this isn't good... This isn't good at all.
Shockingly, Cissy seems almost done with her own meal, despite the volume she's ordered. She looks towards the members of the Order and furrows her brows. The one who went missing in June -- considering her fresh return to Fallcoast and even fresher entrance to its supernatural happenings, it looks like she needs to go researching into all of this. "... huh," she manages to murmur after a moment, polishing off that final milkshake and managing to at least use a napkin to clean off the grease instead of just finger licking. This time. "Yeah. I definitely want to see those archives now."
"Well c'mon, let's fuckin' go," Cobalt rumbles, pushing back up from his seat. Every last crumb of his has been devoured, because he would've liked to have eaten at least as much as Cissy or Bear, but he didn't. In fact, he's already leaving the booth, duffel in hand, and heading out the door again.
With everybody in agreeance, the table suddenly more silent with the revelation that the Fallcoast Sin-Eaters may have been involved, the Jedi stood and wiped their fingers and mouths. “It is a bit of a ways out, but it we take the Metro...we can arrive at our hideout in roughly thirty minutes. If we hurry.” Kyle said, gesturing for Bear to go foot the bill up front, even as Cobalt moved past them all. As moved his large frame past the others, Teagan spoke up. “I still don’t trust Cobalt. I would prefer if he didn’t have access to the archives.” She looked to her brother, showing bits of emotion. Kyle shook his head. “This is a matter for the Masters. It is not our decision.” Apparently, something had gone down in the past, and while the Sin-Eaters of Fallcoast were putting on a good show thus far, they’d already started with two strikes against them. It would be an uphill battle to get The Order to trust them entirely...and for them to reveal that much information? It was possible the Order was testing the Sin-Eaters…
The ride was uncomfortable, and the breath of fresh air upon coming out near the burbs was a welcome thing. The city was coated in smog, and not having to walk around in it was a definite relief. The entire walk over, each of the Jedi kept their bags close, never straying too far away from one another, but keeping in some sort of triangular formation around the Fallcoast Sin-Eaters at all times. For a bunch of nerds, they seemed to know how to handle themselves around unknowns. Eventually they come to a nice home, almost indistinguishable from the ones around it. At least, until they enter through the front doors. Right away, they are assaulted by the aura of...Fanboyism.
There are man caves, and then there are epic nerd boy lairs. This is the latter. Four walls, simple enough, but that is basically where the similarity of this room and other rooms ends. The walls are papered in galaxy blue with star fields, giving the illusion of space encompassing the central area of this ode to Star Wars, dork cave extraordinaire. The ceiling fan is a modified X-Wing, blades turned horizontal so the thing actually functions. A tattered blue recliner sofa and loveseat are the main gathering area with a scuffed up coffee table between them. Framed posters from all seven released films - and a fanboy makeshift one for Rogue One coming out this December - line the walls. So carefully hung, great love and care put into the arrangement. Three tall do-it-yourself bookshelves house dozens of books. No, hundreds. Novels, graphic novels, comics, manga, movie manuals, and binders of fan fiction line the shelves. Chronological order, because yeah, a dorkasaurus would know where they all go in the Star Wars Universe timeline. Oh the euphoria! The widescreen television is poised over a console with far too many DVDs and Blu-ray discs. There is even a section for very old VHS tapes. A New Hope, Empire, Empire, Empire - everyone needs three of those from the 80’s, right? Jedi, Jedi. Epi 1, Epi 2, Epi 3, all given a decent amount of love. They are like children, even the dumb ones should be loved. There is a special place for Episode VII - The Force Awakens. A frame, a case, a velvet pouch - it might as well be a spot reserved for a diamond tiara.
There are no others immediately present, but the sounds of plastic connecting rapidly and harshly with more plastic could be heard elsewhere in the home. If it wasn’t accompanied by the sounds of vwoosh vwoosh bwoom bwoom kachow, then it could have been easily assumed somebody was having some rough, rough sex.
Franklin has to fight to stay in the room. This place is... Dear God, he half-expects some sixty-year-old woman to come down here with snickerdoodles. He shakes his head slowly, and just... contains himself. Hands go in his pockets, and he silently prays no one asks what he thinks of the place. Diplomacy.
Taking the Metro is, as far as this ex-Angeleno is concerned, a crime. But Cobalt puts up with it, same as the rest of you. Cobalt is no nerd, and he's certainly no fanboy (though he does have his secret...obsessions), but he's standing in front of the Episode III poster, staring up at it. Man, everyone knows that movie sucked! Right? So why is he staring at it like that? He looks deeply pensive, as though looking at it reminds him of something.
That's going to be an issue. It is, she can feel it in her bones. The entire ride there Cissy just spends deep in thought, but there's just too many unknowns right now for her to fill up a clear picture. Asking would likely set up a powder keg to blow right now, and so she just ruminates, looking a bit more subtly tense as they reach that shrine to fanboyism with those Sin-Eaters triangulated around them. To her credit, she has an impeccable poker face, even as she lets out a long whistle at the... well... extravagant display of fan loyalty laid out in front of her. "Wow," she utters. "You guys are dedicated, I'll give you that. This is like a collector's wet dream. This is where you keep your records?" The sound of plastic bwoom bwooming off in the distance makes her blink and look in that direction as if trying to discern the sound. She concentrates a moment before glancing back at Rasender, peering at that poster. "Nostalgic?" she asks offhandedly, head tilt to a curious angle anew.
Teagan heads off to the kitchen, pausing to glance at Rasender, shaking her head. As she grabbed a Gatorade for herself, Kyle moved off to the bathroom, calling out to them as he did. “Thanks. We all share an appreciation for the universe...but this isn’t where we keep them. Bear will show you.” Kyle’s phone could be heard buzzing. Bear looks to the Sin-Eaters, feeling more comfortable now that they were in The Order’s lair. “They’re probably in the basement. That’s where the real business takes place.” What kind of business? Certainly not Star-Wars related. Hopefully. Bear moved to open the door to the basement, expecting the others to follow suit. Down below, it did indeed look much different. There were tatami mats covering the floor, and there were shelves covering three out of four walls. The stairs themselves were even bookshelves, and instead of fanboy memorabilia, they were stuffed full of dusty old tomes, likely hinting to old knowledge. There was a high tech looking set up in against the wall without books, something Batman might have in his vacation home; eight monitors set up to four desktop computers, all linked together with external hard drives. A man was sitting at the desk, typing away so fast it sounded like machine-gun fire. Near one of the walls was a Salmon Ladder that a small Filipino man was using, shirtless and sweating as he ascended and descended the torturous exercise device. In the center of the room, an aboriginal woman sparred with three of the others simultaneously, battle-ready performance lightsabers in hand. She seemed to be having an easy time, while the other three were struggling to gain any ground. This area was where they honed their abilities as a true and powerful Hunting Krewe. It was a heavy contrast to their shrine upstairs, and the training didn’t stop when they came downstairs. Not until Bear announced himself. “The Bound from Fallcoast are here.”
Cobalt gives Cissy a side-eyed glance. "Something like that," he mutters, quickly moving away from the poster, and following their hosts down to the basement. He probably knows everyone down here, too, but his expression pretty much stays the same: dark, glowering, forbidding, foreboding. It's a mask he wears, in the world of the Bound, to keep people away from him. And it works well.
Franklin has a much greater appreciation for the downstairs, and smiles as the group is announced. A small wave is given, but he doesn't speak. Not yet.
Green eyes track Rasender a moment before she just follows the rest downstairs. And once she reaches it -- "Oh, holy fuckballs Christ," she utters ever-so-eloquently as her eyes look over a literal treasure trove of potential information and knowledge. Her usual cool composure drops for a moment if only a little in how utterly eager she looks wandering through the room, making a bee-line towards those computers to take a look at their set up. "Oh my god look at this beast, I could do -so- much," damage, "with a setup like this!" She, at least, keeps from jumping up and down with joy -- it's not like she gets to use it, after all. Just stare. And maybe drool. A second passes. Realizing she has in fact been leering at their tech set up, she slowly turns around and rubs the back of her head with an easy smile. "Oh, uh. Hi. Cissy. From Fallcoast. Like he said."
The man in the chair at the desk spun around, smiling to Cissy as she declared her interest openly with basically everybody in the room. "Hello Cissy. She's a beauty, isn't she? Custom built, every piece. Liquid cooling, gold-lined heat sinks, and it even comes with a cup holder." The portly balding man grinned. "My name is Gregory Burger. Master, along with Quiet Girl and Constance Blaize." He pointed towards the aboriginal woman using two lightsabers, and to the tall athletic blonde woman using a purple sabre, respectively. "That over there is Knight Teofilo Tagarino, but we just call him Phil. And the second and third duelists there are Yazhu Zhu and Vincent Shirt." He stands and extends his hand to Cissy. "What brings you to our humble abode?"
"Well, it was mentioned during our meeting that information pertaining to your attacker would be stored in your archives. We were hoping to take a look, to better formulate a plan of action." Franklin stated.
"God damn," mutters Cissy, eyes alight as Gregory explains the setup. "It's like my dream machine." One day...! At the introductions, Cissy looks around, nodding to each person in turn, her eyes lingering on the group sparring with one another with muted, but no less rapt, interest. She takes the portly man's hand with a boxer's grip, finger's rough and shake firm, but accompanied with an easy-going sort of smile. "What Franklin said," she offers, nodding her head towards the man. "We're hoping to get a look at your records of the incident and bring them back to Fallcoast." And stay and read all your cool books and fiddle with your awesome computer, she wants to say but manages to restrain herself. "That way we'll have a bit of a better idea about what we're dealing with, here. Would that be okay?"
From upstairs, Teagan could be heard making her way down the stairs. "I still don't trust Cobalt. I say that if we give access to the others, he should sit idle." Apparently somebody had trouble adhering to the Code, her tone obviously belligerent. Quiet Girl nodded her head in agreeance, with Constance shrugging. Gregory abstained from making any decisions at that moment. Apparently the issue has been brought to the fore, superseding the necessity of rifling through their archives. "It is good to be cautious. What do you have to say for yourself, Cobalt?" Constance asks, turning to face the rock star.
The sky was dour, but Deckard seemed to be in relatively high spirits. His crimson scarf wrapped around his neck, and the glow it had about it was something only Sin-Eaters could pick up on. He was inside Forbidden Arts, lounging on his favourite beanbag, with a fat blunt in one hand, and a large burger in the other. "Oh man, I sure hope they don't fuck it up." He mused to himself as he partook in the pleasures of Darius' stash. His phone buzzed. "Fuck." What on earth could it be? Probably them fucking up somehow. Why would they want to return so quickly if they hadn't fucked up? Mournfully setting the burger down, he fished out his phone and checked the text. "Susie? Oh for...Fucking..." Grumble grumble mumble mumble. He sent her a text letting her know where he was, and that he'd be able to travel her over to meet up with the rest of the group over in Los Angeles. He unlocked the door to the tattoo shop, and plopped back down into the beanbag, waiting for Susie to arrive.
And it's not long before Susie pops by, all tattoos and smiles and her usual casual ensemble of jeans, t-shirt, and hoodie. She peeks inside, looking around. "Deeeeeeck!", she calls, sniffing at the air, detecting the aroma of weed and grinning wider.
Deckard flailed. He'd nearly fallen asleep after mowing down the burger and finishing off the blunt himself, and wasn't expecting a sudden and cheery call. "W-whoa who's there!?" He was on his feet instantly, but when he remembered where he was, and who was in front of him, he blinked a few times and shook his head. "Oh. Right. How's it goin?"
"Oh, y'know. Keeping Fallcoast safe for cute redheaded girls who don't have enough common sense to not mess around with violent asshole ghosts. And pouting because my wife is off doing god knows what and probably getting herself killed again, *without* me.", Susie quips. "What's a girl got to do to make you fix that?"
Deckard nodded. "Not sure what that means, but alright! Good to know you're doing your part and kicking ass! Or whatever it is you do." He gave her a corny thumbs up. "To fix that, you just gotta shove some dirt in your mouth, then we walk through a tunnel of insanity, then you put on a parka so you don't get frostbite, then I teleport you where you need to go, and when we get to where we're going, hopefully nobody has fucked anything up yet. Sound good?" What a strange collection of words. Were he not serious, that might have sounded absolutely silly. Maybe it still did.
Susie counts off the point on her fingers. "Dirt, insanity parka, avoid frostbite, teleport, don't fuck up. Got it!", she chirps, taking it all in stride. Life's been really fucking weird since a sexy scary snake ghost lady brought her back to life so her marriage to Cissy wouldn't end in death all of four hours into it, and Susie's pretty much dived head-first into it all. "Right. Where do we start, then?"
Deckard turned and waved for Susie to follow. He led her into the Basement, where there was a skull and crossbones painted on the far wall in white. A duffle bag was sitting at the base of the Avernian Gate, which is what the skull and crossbones were marking. Susie would be able to feel it. The chill. "Okay, so I'm gonna tell you some shit, and you need to listen real hella close. If you don't wanna bitch out and use a blind-fold, then you absolutely /cannot/ look anywhere else but at your feet or at my back when we enter the portal. If you look at the faces, you could go insane, run off the path, get lost in the Underworld and die permanently. So don't fucking look at the faces. Ever. Now. Shove this dirt in your mouth. Imunna do the same, and after I finish drawing some symbols on this gate here, we're gonna go for a walk. Any questions?"
Susie listens intently, her golden amber eyes intense as she watches Deckard. "... don't look anywhere but at my feet or your back, don't get lost in the Underworld, don't die. Yeah, got it-", she says, and moves towards the dirt, before pausing. "Actually- yeah. I mean, I'm all for diving head first into deadly insanity-holes and all that, but, mind telling me what I should be expecting when I get over there? What're Cissy and the others actually doing out there? Love her, but she was kinda vague on the details, guess she was pretty busy."
Deckard smirked. He was waiting for that. Maybe he just wanted to see if she'd dive blindly in. "Well, from what I've been texted, they ate at a fifties themed restaurant, and the Jedi discussed with them what was going on with their problem over dinner. They've since taken a subway train into a place near the burbs, and our people are about to enter the Krewe's home base or something. Right now, we're just trying to help The Jedi Order. That's the name of the Krewe. They're famous out west. They deal with a lot of the big baddies out there, and I guess they're pretty tough. Help them suss out what the problem is, then help them solve it. If we can make ourselves look good, we might gain an ally in the future. Sound reasonable?"
Susie blinks. "... the Jedi Order?", she asks, then grins. "Oh, man. Cassidy's gonna be so jealous.", she declares, then nods. "Got it. Help out the Jedi, keep 'em from becoming bantha fodder, never tell me the odds. Awesome.", she says, and grins, steepling her fingers. "At last, we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi."
Deckard's eyebrow rose when she started spewing jargon. "Yeeeeeeah I got no idea what you just said or what any of that meant. So have some dirt." Instead of waiting for her to do it, Deckard shoved the grave dirt into Susie's mouth. He'd never seen Star Wars, so he didn't quite understand why everybody was getting so uppity about the name of the Krewe. "Don't spit that out till we're on the other side." Roughly ten minutes later, Deckard finished drawing the symbols, and the portal opened. Another ten minutes later, after walking on a bridge made of bones, Susie and Deckard pop out in the mountains above Los Angeles. Deckard had taken his duffle bag with him, and as he spat out the dirt, he grabbed a water bottle to swish the rest of the granules out. Not long after, he produced a second bottle for Susie. "Here. I also brought some candies and stuff in case you want em."
"For the record? *Not* the grossest thing I've ever put in my mouth.", Susie says, before she's thankfully shut up with a mouthful of grave dirt. She nods, mmphing her agreement through the mouthful of dirt, and steps back, watching Deckard get to work curiously. She'll never be a good Ceremonialist, she's just not built for it mentally, but it still fascinates her. She follows along, good at following instructions when she has to, keeping her eyes on Deck the whole time. Shivering as they reach the mountains, she zips up her thick hoodie and spits out the dirt. Deckard gets a grateful, dirty smile as he offers her the bottle, and she swishes her mouth out. "Bleagh. Yeah. Candy. Please."
Deckard chuckled, grabbing the candy out of his bag. It was a bunch of smarties, skittles, M&M's, and Reese's Pieces candies all mixed together in a jar. "Alright, so, this is Los Angeles. I think that means 'the angel' in Spanish or something, but I ain't no expert." Deckard's phone buzzed and he looked down, noting the text. Responding quickly, he sent a message back out to whomever texted him. "So, they told me they were just coming up on the house. I'll teleport you close, and one of the Jedi will meet up with you from there. His name is Kyle. I'll just be chilling around town or whatever, I guess." Deckard dug into his bag and produced an Inuit parka. "When you're good to go, put this on and I'll move us."
Susie stuffs her mouth with a mix of candies, chewing cheerfully. "Mrf.", she says, which probably translates to "Let's do this.", and reaches for the parka, slipping it on and trying not to entirely disappear underneath the thing. She is not a large woman.
Deckard cracked his neck side to side, rubbing his hands together. "Alrighty Susie, hold onto your butt!" He moved towards Susie, and when he rested his hand on her shoulder...they were gone, a shower of snowflakes left behind where their bodies once stood. Roughly a minute later, in the same shower of snowflakes, they appeared, a thin layer of frost coating the parka. "Wheh! I think I'm getting better at this." Deckard said, a smile on his face. "He'll be around the corner in -- " Just as Deckard was about to mention that Kyle was about to meet them, he turned the corner. "Greetings!" the man called out. He was thin, with pale white skin covered in freckles, and short, flaming orange hair. "You must be Susie. I was told you might be a bit late." He said as he approached the pair. He was wearing monotone and earthen colours, and had his hood up. A long slender back was slung over his shoulder.
Susie shivers as she takes off the parka, shaking off the frost. "Whoa.", she murmurs, a little dazed. "That was fucking awesome." And then Kyle appears, and she grins, waving. "Hey! Yeah, sorry about that. Here to help, though, any way I can. Anything I need to know before we do this thing?", she asks, before glancing back to Deckard, giving him a grateful smile. "And, hey, thanks for the ride. Owe you one."
Deckard nodded with an excited smile. "Yeah, I know right? But don't worry about it. You shouldn't be separated from your wife. I'll be...ahh...heading that way." Deckard pointed to a random direction and started walking. "Good luck!" He said, disappearing around the corner.
Kyle smiled and extended a hand towards Susie. "Pleasure to meet you...Susie? I will catch you up on the details as we walk, if that suits you."
Susie waves to Deckard, and turns, taking Kyle's hand and giving it a quick shake. "Works for me!", she says, chewing on her lip as she walks. "I've only been given the basics, so, y'know, apologies if you've already had to go through all this a dozen times already."
Kyle gestured for Susie to walk beside him once they had finished shaking each other's hands. "Patience is a virtue. I do not mind." He said warmly, his voice even and calm. As the pair began to walk up the street, Kyle looked ahead, speaking as he walked. "It's an unfortunate thing. We've been rooting out the allies to the West End Watchers all along the western seaboard, and have been making good progress thanks to the early warning your Keeper gave us. They were entrenched deeper in our society than any of us had guessed, but we've managed to repel their efforts thus far." Kyle looked to Susie, his face no longer exuding warmth. "There is one who has been sewing chaos in the city, preventing us from executing our duties. He has bombed two Flesh Faire's, destroyed several Avernian Gates, and has even utilized some unholy ceremony to pull several square blocks of private property into Twilight. We dispatched two of our Order to investigate, and this figure took their lives with relative ease. Normally no easy task for one facing one of us."
Susie listens intently once more, giving the man her full attention as she walks. "... damn.", she says, looking thoughtful for several long, quiet moments as they walk. She chews on her lip a moment, then looks back up. "I mean. I've heard of you guys. You're basically stone cold badasses. And this guy still managed to take some of yours out.", she says, and takes a breath. "Don't take this the wrong way, but... what are you guys expecting from us? I mean, we're no slouches, right? But.. taking that guy down, that's a hell of a tall order."
Kyle walks in silence as Susie says her peace. "It was not simply through sheer brute force that this figure has taken the lives of our order." He continued to walk, a strange grace to his step. "He is slippery. He uses the element of surprise, and like a spider, he lays out complex traps. I am sure this figure is potent in his own right, but were he to stand before The Order and face us directly, we would triumph. We require additional assistance in tracking this figure. The main reason we've asked for your help, however, is not because you all are the most prodigious at your tasks. It is because this figure is one of your own. Hugh Levine, the man who went missing last month, is the one who is putting our city under siege." At that moment, their home base came into view, and Kyle directed Susie's attention to the building. "Here we are."
Susie blinks again as she hears who it is- she's heard something of this, even if she wasn't directly involved. "Ah-ha. So it's our mess to help clean up.", she says, with an easy smile. "Well, least we can do, right? If one of ours is fucking shit up out here, we're not gonna just sit back and let him make us look bad.", she agrees, then looks at the building curiously.
Kyle gives Susie a warm smile. "It's slightly more complicated than that, but I can appreciate your enthusiasm, and am glad to know that those from your city are more than willing to work with us to solve this problem. This -- " Kyle says as he walks up the steps to the home. "Is our lair." When he opens the door, Susie would feel the raw fanboyism hit her in a wave. It was palpable. There are man caves, and then there are epic nerd boy lairs. This is the latter. Four walls, simple enough, but that is basically where the similarity of this room and other rooms ends. The walls are papered in galaxy blue with star fields, giving the illusion of space encompassing the central area of this ode to Star Wars, dork cave extraordinaire. The ceiling fan is a modified X-Wing, blades turned horizontal so the thing actually functions. A tattered blue recliner sofa and loveseat are the main gathering area with a scuffed up coffee table between them. Framed posters from all seven released films - and a fanboy makeshift one for Rogue One coming out this December - line the walls. So carefully hung, great love and care put into the arrangement. Three tall do-it-yourself bookshelves house dozens of books. No, hundreds. Novels, graphic novels, comics, manga, movie manuals, and binders of fan fiction line the shelves. Chronological order, because yeah, a dorkasaurus would know where they all go in the Star Wars Universe timeline. Oh the euphoria! The widescreen television is poised over a console with far too many DVDs and Blu-ray discs. There is even a section for very old VHS tapes. A New Hope, Empire, Empire, Empire - everyone needs three of those from the 80’s, right? Jedi, Jedi. Epi 1, Epi 2, Epi 3, all given a decent amount of love. They are like children, even the dumb ones should be loved. There is a special place for Episode VII - The Force Awakens. A frame, a case, a velvet pouch - it might as well be a spot reserved for a diamond tiara.
Susie's eyes widen as she looks around. "... holy shit. Cassidy is going to kill me for missing this. She would be in heaven right now.", she says, then she grins over at Kyle. "Then again, maybe it's good I didn't bring her. Working to get her into our own Krewe and if she saw this she might decide to stay and join up with you guys.", she says, with a wink.
Kyle laughed in a most polite fashion, smiling as he moved towards the door to the basement. "We would not be averse to new padawans, though I have a feeling that she will remain loyal to your friendship. I would be most interested in hearing about your own Krewe, Ms. Cavanaugh, but for now..." There were sounds and voices in the basement, counted among them was Cissy's. It sounded like she was drooling over something.
Back in the basement...
From upstairs, a noise can be heard. Door being opened and closed. Susie's voice can be heard from upstairs. "... holy shit. Cassidy is going to kill me for missing this. She would be in heaven right now. Then again, maybe it's good I didn't bring her. Working to get her into our own Krewe and if she saw this she might decide to stay and join up with you guys."
"I wouldn't expect you to trust me, Teagan. But I also wouldn't expect you to let the past keep us from helping you. You put out a call and we came. I could just as easily return to Fallcoast. It sure as fuck would be better than staying here listening to your paranoid bullshit." Cobalt does what Cobalt does best, which is be a dick for no discernible reason - superficially. That he bothered to put so many words together in the first place is progress. The nasty expression is still in place, but he motions toward Franklin idly. "Don't make this about me, or us. Give Frank the details and let him tell me what to do." Here he adjusts the sledgehammer from one shoulder to the other. It is a symbolic changing of the guard. Franklin can be in charge if it quiets Teagan’s unease.
Damian gives some thoughts on the Star Wars movies, even critically holding to the fact that he likes Episode 6 the best still. It could very well be an unpopular option, but he gives it anyway. He is, at least, fairly knowledgeable and passionate about his own geekery. Which means if anybody wants to argue, Damian likely engages them in a lengthy debate. Nerd at his finest, even if he doesn’t quite look the part. That’s upstairs though, now downstairs he also wanders over to the computer setup, however, unlike Cissy he's not very local about it. His lips purse a little as he quietly studies the setup. One might even notice his critical eye finding issues with this or that, but he doesn't bring it up. If the balding man looks at him, he nods, offering, "Damian." Every single little bit of their system gets audited, at least, what he can see. His phone in hand, he taps a couple things into it still. Maybe making his notes, but everything is observed.
At Rasender's (terse (dickish)) offer, Cissy shoves hands into her pockets. The strap of her duffel bag shrugged inward a little, she looks at the members of the Order for a moment before that green gaze falls on Teagan. "Would that work?" she finally chooses to ask, head tilting. "We're gonna need this information if we want to approach this on anything close to an even playing field." She looks like she might say more -- but the familiar voice cuts her off. She blinks, walking away (with some considerable effort) from the Order's rig in order to peer up the stairs almost suspiciously. "Susie? That you--?"
And as Cissy peers up the stairs and calls out, Susie *leaps* down the stairs, falling into Cissy's arms and wrapping her legs around her waist, counting on her wife's considerable physical strength to keep her upright. It's not the first time Susie has quite literally pounced her like this, after all. "BABE!", she calls, leaning in for a brief but fierce kiss, before leaning back. "Hey. Got bored at home. Harassed Deckard into bringing me. Point me at whose ass we need to kick?"
Teagan walks down the stairs and ignites her combat sabre. "Mhmm. Say what you will rock star. I know what you did. We all do." She doesn't go any further into the details, letting the final decision fall to Constance. Teagan moved towards the aboriginal woman and gave her a look, one that caused her to gesture for the other three she was duelling away, so she could have some one on one time with Teagan. The others dispersed into their various directions, most of them waving or going to shake hands with the Fallcoastians. Constance didn't seem very hesitant in her next proposition. "Alright ladies and gents. Let us present to you the information we have so far." She waved her arm widely towards Gregory, the man sitting at the computer. "All, except you. The one brooding. We mean no offense to you or your city, but we must take our proper precautions, I'm sure you understand."
Gregory nodded towards Damian as he approached, letting Cissy move away. "Pleasure to meet you." He said as he stood, moving towards one of the binders underneath his computer. "We have digital copies as well, air-gapped of course. We won't be showing you those, but you can utilize these printouts here if you so desire." Well that was simple, wasn't it?
Franklin shakes Gregory's hand, taking a stance as the de facto face of the group. "We'll take what we can get, and hope that's enough." he says. "Why not show the digital copies, though? Why the secrecy at all about this? We're here to help you... And, frankly, weaponize you again. It's in our best interests not to use anything against you. For a few reasons."
Damian glances back, briefly, at the display of affection. There's a slight shake of his head to himself and then he looks back to Gregory. "I'm sure that would be fine. And the pleasure is mine." He lets Franklin take them, or do whatever, watching that exchange between him and the order, shaking his head again like he did a moment earlier. Still, while that happens, he takes this time to watch the ‘lightsaber’ fighting. Still listening, surely. Still typing into his phone.
Leaping Susie: intercepted. Cissy catches Susie in mid-air with an over-dramatic 'oof!' as she spins the other woman around. "Suzy-Q! You made it!" She returns the kiss -- and then sets about carrying Susie over towards the computer to set her down nearby. Because apparently Cissy just doesn't want to be away from her dream machine for too long. "Man. Did you know he was one of us?" she asks, scrunching her brows. "That surprised me." Still, her green eyes shift towards Gregory once more as he pulls out that binder, poking Susie in the side and mouthing 'air gapped!!' at her, as if it means anything to her, before gesturing at the computer, as if that also means anything to her. Cissy's prrrrobably already thinking of how she'd hack it. Fortunately, she has the good sense not to say this. Trust is important. "We can put that to use," she says at the offer of the binder. "Everything relevant to the situation is in there?"
"I heard, Kyle filled me in on the way here. Dude sounds like a total Sithball- err, shitball. Sorry. Place is getting to me.", Susie quips, then leans in to peek over Cissy's shoulder at the documents in the folder. She nods sagely at Cissy's whispers. "Mmhmm. Very impressive, babe.", she says, smiling indulgently at her wife's love of computers. She does glances around at Franklin, Ras, and Damian, waggling tattooed fingers. "Hey. Here to provide a bit of cavalry.", she assures them, then quiets down- she's not the smart one in her marriage, so she'll just bide her time until she's got to kick someone in the proverbial, or literal, nuts.
Gregory shrugged. "They have both the same information. And it is not weaponization we require, though any aid we receive is aid we won't deny. We're giving you the physical copies because we're not sure what kind of resources this figure has available to them, and we don't know what sort of digital security you or yours are capable of. It is a precautionary measure." He turned to Cissy and nodded. "Everything we could gather so far. Sites the figure has been spotted, the person the thing resembles, tactics, ceremonies, potential targets, as well as dossiers on several members of the West End Watchers."
The other Jedi in the room, once finished with their pleasantries, all returned to training in their various locations. Teofilo returned to the salmon ladder, Vincent and Yazhu both started sparring, and Constance remained where she stood, observing Rasender. Kyle eventually came down the stairs, a Bawls energy drink in hand.
Franklin takes the dossier, and flips through it, examining everything he can. His is not the tactical mind, but he may as well know what he's working with. Their concern for security is justified, but that doesn't mean he doesn't slightly resent it. Inside the folders are the things Gregory described, though the most immediately interesting and peculiar of all the bits of information presented come in the form of the dossiers. There are three people in particular that come to light, aside from the mystery man himself.
Jose Diego, consummate 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.
Hugh Levine is also described as the mystery man. Though his is more purple-green and covered in thick black veins than usual.
Damian pulls out his card and places it on the desk where Gregory is sitting. Maybe because he finds it ironic, maybe because computer security is exactly what he does, and well. Some of them might actually know him from magazine covers a few years ago, in computer circles anyway. Not that he cares if they do. But it’s his credentials as much as anything. Despite that, he nods. “Seems smart enough. Though physical copies can be stolen or copied and lost just as easily. Encryption between the two of us might be wholly better. If you would prefer, I could set something up on a secure server.” He gives a shrug though, glancing over at the binder Franklin is looking at, not that he can see much with Franklin holding it, but there’s no rush. It’s a curious thing. He gives a nod over at Susie’s wave, though he doesn’t spare any emotion, but he rarely does.
Rasender continues to glower in the corner, eyeballing the fuck out of Teagan as she spars.
Looping one arm around Susie to give her a brief and affectionate squeeze, Cissy slips away as Franklin starts to work through that information. She leans back against the table to peer at the contents curiously. "I know a thing or two about keeping things secure," she offers alongside Damian's quiet offer. A humble little thing that really does not match her pride whatsoever. Her green eyes flit with momentary curiosity towards that card, before she goes back to pouring through the contents of that binder as best she can from her perspective. "Anything stick out to you?" she asks Franklin, brows furrowing together in thought. She's not nearly as up to date on the current events of Fallcoast as she'd like. "If it IS someone from Fallcoast, that'll at least give us a lead to work with..."
Susie sits on a sittable surface, swinging her legs back and forth, and looking from person to person as they examine the folders. "Is the guy working alone? Like, does he have others helping him out around here, or, just one big bad?", she asks, of no one in particular.
Gregory looked to Damian, eyebrows raised ever so slightly. "Well, this is reassuring. It's nice to see a man with talents I can truly appreciate. Now that I think about it, you do look familiar. If you were to set up a server for us, that would be magnificent. Would you be the primary key holder on your end, were you to establish this server?" Gregory asked, his curiosity piqued. The others continued about their business, Teagan pointedly keeping her back to the rock star.
Franklin hands the dossiers off, having seen what he can. "One bad guy, we think." he tells Susie. "Though we suspect he might be working as a hatchet man for the Watchers, hence our interest." He shrugs. "Not a lot of info to go on, but we should be able to figure something out." A pause. "Though upon review of the evidence... There are at least three others we'll need to worry about eventually at least. Probably four."
The card itself says: Cyber vault Securities. Address, phone number, and Damian’s cell on it, along with the name Damian Motta. The address is from Fallcoast. With the name, someone could put it together with the face. He nods then to Gregory. “If that’s what makes you feel comfortable. A secure VPN between the two of us. Won’t be quite as secure as what you have, but better than a paper copy floating around. Plus, my server farm is basically in a bomb shelter, so physical security isn’t an issue, and if someone wants to try to hack me, well…” There’s almost a bit of daring there, a slight smirk, Damian is very, very confident in his abilities in this particular forum. If no one else is going to take the binder, since Damian isn’t sure if they get to keep the binder, he awaits it, phone in hand, likely to make important notes to himself.
There is a chair with Rasender's name on it and this is where he sits brooding, pretending not to care. His signature sledgehammer is resting prone across his lap. When people want his opinion, they'll ask for it. For now the rocker is silent with his weighty stare on Teagan's back.
"Worst case scenario he's just a taste of a much bigger problem coming down the pipeline," Cissy asides to Susie. "Right now though, just finding this guy and bringing him in is the important thing. We can probably get more information from there." Her lips purse, faintly. "One way or another." When that dossier is handed off, she plucks it up, thumbing through to gather the relevant information. She pulls out her tablet after a moment to start typing down relevant notes where she can find them, combing with furrowed brows as she listens to the other conversations. "I bet it'd be safer like that than like this," she agrees, waving that binder about. "And if we ever want to share information in the future, it'll be nice to have an avenue for it." A frown tugs at her lips. "Three or four? ... Do you recognize the," if feels so weird saying this, "suspect?"
Susie nods at Cissy, then blinks over at Franklin. "Eventually? So... no chance they're here now, with our current target?", she asks, then frowns. "Though from what Kyle was telling me, just the one is bad enough. Full frontal assault is probably suicide.", she says, and chews on her lip. "Any of those dossiers have info on what this guy can *do*? Like- make zombies, fly, heat vision? Finding him and all is fine, but when we do find him, seems like that'd be good to know before we get ourselves re-killed."
Gregory stashed the card in his pocket after giving it a couple turns, reading over the information spread on it. "It would. As far as I know, the Watchers themselves have yet to employ any real digital security themselves, which is one reason we've been able to stay one step ahead of them. At least, until this point."
Constance, having finished considering Rasender, turned back to Damian. "Make it happen. You two coordinate with each other through your computer wizardry. You. Author boy. Work your connections, get into some homes or whatever and interview some people, or some ghosts, or whatever it is you do. You two, girlfriends, what can you do, hmm?" Constance asked, trying to take control of the situation.
Franklin shakes his head no. "I can't guarantee your guy is working alone. But I can tell you what I know. Hugh Levine isn't the only one of our kind to go missing in the last little while. Sarah Binds, Jasdeep Singh, and Francis Desjardin are also dead. Their bodies have been found. Hassan Mohammed is also missing and it's safe to say presumed dead. The one who found most of this out had a close encounter with Jasdeep post-mortem. He looked a lot like our assailant here, and his MO was the same. Mechanical traps."
Damian looks over towards the binder as Cissy takes it, but he decides to wait, mostly because Gregory’s words catch his attention. “As in, you have been able to get access to their stuff, or do they even have a digital presence?” Not that Damian would ever do anything black hat, certainly. Never… It can’t hurt to ask though. A brow lifts ever so slightly. A slight frown forms then as he looks over at Constance. Wizardry? Damian hates when people call it that, it’s anything but. Still, he doesn’t say anything, turning back to Gregory. “You have my number, and I have a couple other ways of getting you messages, too.” Still, he’s waiting for an answer to his question, and he addends it with. ”And what do you man until this point? Have they gained some form of security? Have the accessed your information, or tried?” He glances then at Franklin when he addresses them, but adds nothing more. Now he really needs to see that binder.
Rasender shifts in his seat as he moves his gaze from person to person. He has something to say, but won't. Either because he does not want to add any additional tension to the tension he already brought with him, or because he feels smugly satisfied that he has information and ideas he won't share. In the end he is left flicking his tongue against the inside of his cheek and letting out a dramatic huff of air.
"Might be worth tailing the other people listed here. See if we can find anything out following them. Unless you've tried that," Cissy considers with the furrow of brows, looking at Susie. That's more her forte. "... if not, we can try the direct approach." She considers Franklin's words, looking back down at that strange, purple-green entity that is Hugh Levine, taking a photo with her tablet. After finishing reading off that binder, she holds it up in offering for Damian, and holds her tablet out towards Susie in the same turn, containing the relevant information for her that Cissy plucked from that binder. "'Until now.' Are you sure they weren't just letting you see what they wanted you to see?" she asks Gregory, turning green eyes to him. When that question is posed, she offhandedly says, "Wives," before continuing. "I do what he does," she nods her head towards Damian. "Just... on the opposite side of the fence." Hacking. The black hat variety. "Other than that? I do the heavy lifting. If it comes down to force, anyway." Her green eyes shift, briefly, on Rasender, but for now she just mulls over the information they have and what to do with it -- especially with what Franklin adds. "Is doing this to them, then...?"
"Wives.", Susie says, at the same time Cissy does, then gives Cissy a wink, before looking down at the notes she was handed. She speaks offhandedly to Constance, while she keeps reading. "And, yeah- if there's someone needs tailing, I'm your girl. I know how to follow people, how to stay out of sight, get pictures or other info from them out on the street. Just gotta find them in the first place." She looks up to Franklin, as something he said is nagging at her. "Okay, wait, I know I'm coming in late to this, so, y'know, sorry if I'm missing something obvious, but... this Jasdeep guy- you said he's dead, they found his corpse, but then we had a run in with him *after* that? So... was it his corpse, reanimated? Was it something *else* that just happened to look like him? What am I missing here?"
Gregory shook his head. "I say 'up until this point' being this point in time. I did not mean to mislead you with my words. As far as I know, the Watchers still have no security measures in that regard." When Franklin mentioned the other missing Sin-Eaters, as well as how Jasdeep seemed to still be around and kicking, the attention of most of the Jedi in the room was his. Gregory and Quiet Girl didn't avert their attention entirely, keeping focused mainly on their tasks, but they made glances. Constance, on the other hand, was giving Franklin her full attention. "This is a new development. You there, Susie, you say you're good at tailing people? Maybe you can track down some of the Watchers we have listed in the files there, see what they know about these...things. What connection they might have with our Hugh Levine."
Franklin says, “Y'know..." Franklin pauses. "This kind of reminds me of... This is gonna sound crazy, but the Marionette. Homunculi, specifically. But... This is all wrong. It's almost like..." A pause. "Like an Industrial Homunculus." he looks around the room. "We need a Ceremony. Fuck."”
Damian takes the book from Cissy with a nod, though his gaze pauses on her, and his mouth twists slightly when he hears what she does. He has opinions on it, obviously, being on the other side, but he doesn’t express them, at least, not now. His phone is typed into at a rapid pace as he looks at what the binder contains and takes notes on seemingly everything. Names, descriptions, you name it, he’s making a database of his own. Damian seems to have some knowledge as he says two words towards Susie, still looking through the binder and documenting it. “Something else.” Speaking of which, he points at Hugh. “Something described a lot like this.” It’s the first time he’s seen it, and something troubles him about it. Familiar but not familiar. Running with the Reapers in D.C. It was similar. His lips thin a little and then he turns to the book towards everyone because it doesn’t add up. Hugh promptly on display. He taps him. “Anyone ever seen anything like this? Because now there’s two. At least. It’s similar to something I’ve seen, but…not.” That’s the best way he can describe it, maybe the order or the others have more experience than him. Not hard. A glance aside to Gregory. “So have you tried to access their stuff? They must keep information somewhere or they too lowbrow for that?” Hey some gangs don’t do computers. But he has a hard time believing that, turning his attention back to everyone else. A glance to Franklin, "Why Industrial?"
As people begin deliberating on who and what they are dealing with Cobalt clears his throat and lowers the sledgehammer to his side with a heavy, dull, thud of metal. "Judging by the clueless looks on all your faces we can agree on what this thing isn't. We work backwards from there. Even without seeing the dossier," he begins, motioning to the binder going around, "I can tell you that ghosts all the way to Fallcoast know about this guy. They call him the God-Eater, and they are terrified of him. My guess is because he brings a swift and permanent end to those he eats." The rock god shrugs his shoulders and nods toward Franklin. "Dude, we should consult with the ghosts in the area, find out what they know. Can't be me, though, cuz they all hate me."
Green eyes catch Damian's own, but if he's reserving judgment she seems... not to mind. The girl looks quite comfortable, in fact, at least until she starts to ruminate a bit more. It IS similar. Familiar. While she may not have seen it first hand, Cissy has spent a -lot- of time since learning what she was now just... researching. The deep web holds a wealth of information for those who know where to look, and the sight of Hugh Levine, and the information about the others, pings at Cissy's memories. Before she can voice them, Franklin does; she blinks, and nods slowly. "... yeah. Reminds me of the Marionette, but... not." At Rasender's words, Cissy's brows furrow. A frown paints her lips. "'God-Eater.'" A pause. "Kinda pretentious." Still... "If these ARE some kind of version of the Marionette we don't know about, we're not going to get anywhere just stopping one of them. We'll just be wasting resources," her brows furrow, "and potentially lives." She chews her lips, nods to Cobalt's suggestion. "We need to track this to the source."
Everyone else realizing things, and Susie just blinks those pretty amber eyes of hers, looking totally lost. She listens to all of them (Cissy in particular, obviously), but perks up as Constance gives her something to potentially do. "Can do. Y'got any leads on where some of them might be? All I need's a place to start. I'll stay out of sight, tail 'em, and see if they lead us somewhere interesting."
Gregory shook his head. "I dove into what could pass for their network. It's not expansive, trust me. Most everything I know about them comes from many hours of research and exploration through...well, less than legal sources, as much as that pains me to admit. And through everything, I've not found one speck of information on this guy." He said, pointing to Hugh when Damian lifted the book. When Cobalt and Cissy brought about their thoughts, they had the full attention of every Jedi in the room.
Constance's eyebrow quirked up. "Waste of...huh. That's disturbing. Susie, I can give you some pointers on where to start. Two of them have skipped town recently, and one has gone into hiding in the Underworld, if you're wanting to look for the guys in the book there. I'll give you more to go on in a moment, but I'm curious. Cobalt Rasender. What is this 'God-Eater' the ghosts in your home spoke of? Do all of the ghosts in Fallcoast know of this being?" She looked around to the other Sin-Eaters present, expecting some sort of answer.
Franklin gives a shrug at the 'God-Eater' comment. "I'm guessing Industrial because of the traps. If I'm right, the right Ceremony -could- undo them, and would probably nix the traps. Or maybe someone with a good handle on the Boneyard could turn the traps on their creator if we knew where he was going to strike." A shrug. "Resources we don't have at our disposal... But I don't mind going and talking to the local dead."
Damian nods to Gregory, in this case, he doesn’t give the man the disapproving twist of lips he almost gave Cissy. He just nods. “I’m working on that. Or rather, who was…no is. I have some resources that might help. It’ll cost me though.” Not that he’s complaining. He listens to the others then, turning the book around so he can keep flipping through, take pictures of Hugh and others, and continue his extensive documentation. “Jasdeep was met, and looks just like Hugh, so I’m guessing they're both, whatever. But they are and also aren’t themselves. I’m trusting second hand information, but someone did a Ceremony to find them, and Hugh and Jasdeep pulled the ceremony in two directions. One was to their very dead and mutilated bodies…” A shrug towards Franklin. “Even without a ceremony, I think I probably stand a decent chance. But…” He looks over at Cissy and then back. “She’s right. Taking them out is one thing, finding out what they are and how they are is more important. Or we might be facing more dead Sin-Eaters and more of these.” He looks around and away from the book. “I think our assumptions about what they are might be way off and that’s a dangerous presumption. To me, this doesn’t look Industrial, but what do I know.” Another shrug because he’s not sure he knows anything.
Rasender looked to Constance. "Fucked if I know, but he's probably one bad dude." A simple response, met with a shrug and a scowl.
"I can try combing through the deep web," Cissy offers after a moment. "See if I can't find any information hidden in there, or in the Twilight Network. About this God-Eater, and whatever it is that these things are. Susie can do the tailing, see if we can figure out how this is connected to the West End Watchers, if at all. If we ever -- if any of us ever -- run into one of these things again, if we don't get trapped, or... killed..." her brows furrow. "... finding a way to track them might be a smart play. It could help lead us back to the source." She sighs, running a hand through her dark hair before she leans back in her seat. "We've got to play this careful. The wrong move can make this situation worse for us." Her frown deepens as something dawns on her, just a bit. "The members of your crew this thing got -- they weren't... missing any pieces when you found them, were they? If this is like a homunculus, and it's using dead flesh for it..."
Susie looks between Rasender and Constance, brow furrowing. "... did those two used to date or something?", she murmurs under her breath, then perks up as Cissy speaks, rejoining the conversation at hand. "Oh. Ew. Hmm." She sighs. "Ceremonies and weird Manifestations are beyond me a bit. But, I'll do the tailing. See if it leads anywhere. And I'll keep my distance- if this thing could take out a couple Jedi, no sweat? Fuck." She shudders.
Gregory nodded to Damian, before once again taking his seat at his computer. He looked towards the screen, typing, even as he spoke. "Any resources at this point will help. I've got some work to do myself. This is, as it was said, an interesting development. Not something we've considered."
Constance looked back to Franklin and shrugged. "The traps that this thing, if it is what you say it is, had set...they weren't part of its body. That's now how Marionette eggs work. We looked into the aerosol he used to take out Franz, and it was definitely of mundane construction. Sophisticated too. Unless he can conjure these things out of thin air, I see no reason to believe it is Industrial. Then again, we also have no proof that it isn't, so we can't rule out the possibility." She didn't spare Rasender a look, though when Cissy mentioned flesh from her Krewe members being missing, he eyes went wide. "No way..." She covered her mouth in surprise. "That's...Franz had a bit of skin peeled off his left arm. This homunculus looked like it was about to do the same thing to Kara when we came upon her and scared it away." The Jedi in the room all went silent. It was Quiet Girl who next spoke.
"You should go back home. We will coordinate our efforts here and update you with any relevant information we find. We're much better off now than we were previous, and we have just that much more work to do now. Franz and Kara were not our strongest warriors. Franz was our ceremonialist, and Kara was our scout. It wasn't aiming for our heart or our hands, it was aiming for our eyes. You should be careful where you tread, and whom you trust. Our foe is cunning, and it knows its own strengths and weaknesses, as well as our strengths and weaknesses. In that fact alone, it is several steps ahead of us."
Franklin frowns deeply. He doesn't like this... "Fine, but you stay in touch." He points to the group. If something happens, let us know the instant you can so we can mobilize."
Damian looks to Gregory, holding out the binder, doubtful he’s allowing them to leave with it. He then hefts the duffle bag he set down with a little clang of metal on metal. “I’ll be in touch about being in touch.” It’s probably meant to be somewhat amusing, but Damian finds none is his own little play on words. He looks around the room. “I’ll look in my own way at these people, there’s always a trail.” A nod at what Constance reveals, he’s not the least bit surprised. Since they are the people in some form or another. “I suspect you might be seeing a new Franz, if you look for him.” It’s not meant to be funny, at all. A sigh, and then he looks at the others, apparently ready to go.
Rasender gets to his feet and hoists up the sledgehammer to his shoulder again. While it did not see any action it's better to be safe than sorry. He offers no fond farewells or advice on how to stay safe after the group parts. When Damian looks his way he lifts his chin. He's ready to motor.
"They're softening you up," Cissy says almost immediately, shaking her head. She's read enough about strategy to know that this is likely leading to something bigger. "You all, too. Be on alert. If they're targeting you specifically now, their next hit might be harder. And now they have additional manpower." It might be tactless to say that of someone they just lost, but it has to be said. Slipping back off that counter, she looks around, vibrant green eyes pensive. "Knowledge is the best thing we've got going for us right now. Now that we know a bit about how it's operating... we might stand a better chance at finding it and dealing with it." She gives another nod of her head, offering her farewells to the Order and a very special, "Your setup really is -amazing-, we need to swap tips sometime on setting up a rig on a budget--" to Gregory, before she's making her way over to Susie to sling an arm around her shoulder. She's ready to go. "I'll see what I can find. Watch out for yourselves."
Susie stands up, leaning into Cissy's side as her wife comes over. Most of the mystical stuff's gone over her head, but at least she has an idea of something she can do to help. "Let me know what you have, when you can.", she tells Constance, and looks up to Cissy. "Can we get something to eat before we go back home, babe?"
All three Masters nod to the Fallcoastians as they make their final remarks. Kyle, the one who initially greeted them, downed the rest of his Bawls energy drink, and gestured for them to follow him. "I just texted Deckard. He'll be waiting for us in the subway when we arrive. I will escort you, alongside Bear and Teagan."
Franklin nods, and allows himself to be escorted. "I'm gonna get someone to send some instructions along through Damian for a Ceremony. It's complicated, but there's a good chance it could save a life. Everyone should learn it."
Damian gives a final nod to the members of the order not escorting, and another one especially to Gregory. Call it professional courtesy. He adjusts his laptop bag and his duffle bag to ready himself to carry them and then starts following Kyle.