There is a pause after the number is entered and then it starts to ring. Only two rings before it is answered...in a way. Silence first and then a faint 'click' before a man's voice says, "Hello?" Even with one word it can be heard he has a Latin accent.
Amanda looks to Aurore. Now that the number is called, for all she said beforehand she doesn't know what to say. She looks to Aurore to say the first thing.
Aurore purses her lips for a moment, disappointed and perturbed to be so bluntly confronted with a lack of helpful information... then she endeavours to put a smile into her richly warm voice. "Hello. I'm sorry to bother you. This might sound a little odd, but we found this number at the site of what looked like an accident, and we just wanted to try to check that people were all right..."
"An accident?" inquiries the voice before some more muffled words as if he was speaking to another person in the room. "Where did this 'accident' occur? Who had the number?" A pause. "Ah...you are asking if the people in the accident are okay? I see. Then I will need to know where you found this number."
Amanda signs, and rubs her temples. However she thought the conversation would go, this isn't it. She looks to Aurore for guidance, not wanting to screw this up.
"You... might understand that we're a little cautious about that, ourselves," Aurore says apprehensively. "And feel as if we're taking a bit of a risk in calling a number found on a blood-stained piece of paper. We don't want to get caught up in anything... illegal. But we were worried."
"We? Who are you calling with?" asks the voice. "You must understand that I have reason to be cautious too. I do not even know your name yet you call me out of the blue and claim that a 'blood-stained' piece of paper has this number on it?" A pause. "I do not do 'illegal', Miss. Can you tell me where you found this number?"
Amanda looks to Aurore then says, "We found it in a building undergoing renovation on the university campus, sir," Amanda says, trying to remain respectful.
Aurore shoots Amanda a somewhat worried glance as more precise information is given away than *she* would have done, before adding a little of her own. "We were investigating an... unusual sighting, one might say. And found indications of unfortunate events. Including a blood-stained piece of paper, bearing this number. That it was... left, would suggest that it was perhaps held in the hand of someone who got into difficulties."
There is silence for a long moment before the voice returns with an abruptness of tone. "Cafe Delacroix. Two hours. I shall be in the back booth. Bring no one else." And then the phone abruptly hangs up.
Looking to Aurore, Amanda says, once the call is done, "Well, that was short." She lets out a sigh. "You wanting to go then?" she asks tentatively.
"I'm somewhat tempted to flee to Canada," Aurore answers dryly. "But yes, I think that we should. Or, at the least, we should do a little research." Looking to her laptop, she tries bringing up Cafe Delacroix - location, images, reviews, any presence in news stories. Finding out whether it's the long-since shut site of a gang massacre, or right next door to the police HQ, would be worthwhile.
Cafe Delacroix is a high class cafe in the commercial part of Fallcoast. It has also been closed for renovations for about a month; renovations being done by Sunrise Construction. It has only existed for about five years and specialises in Mexican food and coffee. Why a French name for a Mexican cafe? Who knows?
There is no history of violence - only the very best go there.
Aurore leans back in her seat, having deftly brought up that information, then looks to Amanda and arches one elegant brow. "So... flee to Canada? Or go for a meeting in a cafe under renovation? At least, it's an area with CCTV cameras and the like, so 'disappearing' us would be more than a little risky. And I rather suspect that the company's keen to find a solution."
"We.....go," Amanda says hesitantly. "I could show a bit more cleavage, make me more memorable to CCTV and people we pass, in case anything happens to us?" she offers.
Aurore laughs softly. "I suspect that, especially as a duo, we'll be rather distinctive anyway. Though if you want to show cleavage for the benefit of our mystery contact..." She shrugs slightly. "It might be Nolberto Zuma himself - the forename's Latin, to match the accent of the man we spoke to. Though the surname's that of the President of South Africa."
Amanda nods. "Well, mind if we swing passed my dorm room anyway?" she asks. "We don't want to be late now, do we?"
"We should have time for you to effect a quick change into a corset, if you want," Aurore teases. "I'll start shutting down here."
Amanda sticks her tongue out at Aurore. "I'll go change, and meet you outside?" she offers.
"Sure," Aurore agrees - figuring that she might put in a quick call to the Loyalists to see if they've managed to dig up anything yet. But meeting up with Amanda, then getting to the cafe with time to spare, seems the best plan.
Amanda nods, then gathers her stuff and heads out. Swinging past her room, she drops her books off, and switches into a top that shows off some cleavage. Once she's happy and comfortable with it, she heads out to meet Aurore at the library.
The Cafe Delacroix is currently surrounded by scaffolds and plastic sheeting that flaps slowly in the wind. No workers are around - maybe it's lunch - but the door is wide open. The interior is lit by mobile lights rather than the cafe's own but it is still dark...but a warm dark. The wooden fittings and furniture giving it a homely, bright interior - especially since the walls are decorated with bright colours and murals of Mesoamerican design.
"I was hoping that the vision attached to the voices would not disappoint. I am glad that it has not" smiles the voice from the phone as a well-dressed Latin man stands at the rear booth. "Please, come on in. Have a seat. Would you like a coffee? My name is Nolberto Zuma. Now, please, where did you find the number?"
Amanda stays close to Aurore, and lets her take the lead.
Aurore offers a bright smile, inclining her half-shaven head before glancing around once more. Then she gestures an invitation for Amanda to slide into the booth, before taking a spot next to her. If nothing else, it might let her determine whether Zuma's distracted by either or both of his visitors, or is simply playing the role of a Latin smooth-talker.
"On campus, as my friend said," the older woman quietly says. "In a building, that we entered as a result of seeing something rather disturbing, that seemed to indicate that someone might be in real distress. We found a bloodstained piece of paper, with a cell number on it. Since it seemed unlikely to be part of the renovation work, or something predating it, it seemed to offer one possible clue to finding out what on Earth is going on, and how bad the trouble there might be."
"Do you have the piece of paper on you?" Nolberto asks, only glancing at the abundant cleavage on display before moving onto more important things. For now at least. "I know the building of what you speak. My company has been attempting to renovate it for some time but you know how it is...unions, complaints, historical societies. Everyone wants to interfere. Even here." A gesture to the cafe around them. "So what do you two lovely ladies /think/ is going on there?"
Amanda is kinda taken off-guard by the lack of looks her cleavage gets. She's used to more, even when people think she's not looking. "We don't want to speculate, Mr Zuma," Amanda says. "We just want to make sure everyone's safe. Well, that's my stance on things at the moment, anyway."
Aurore delves into her coat, coming out with a little plastic zip-lock, in which is the bloody paper with Zuma's number on it. She holds it up to be seen, rather than offering it directly. She's willing to show trust, but not necessarily *fully* as yet. "A quick look at recent stories confirmed that Sunrise was in dispute with the local construction union with regard to the old history department. With this number being, apparently, a direct line to you... whoever had it must have been comparatively senior, I would surmise. And if they were clutching your cell number when something happened to get blood onto the paper... maybe you have some idea what it was, and whether they're okay now. We're not trying to start - or meddle with - any court cases, or get a 'scoop', or pursue some sort of gain. It looked like the place was only abandoned by *people*. And that some bad things had happened there. We didn't fully explore. We got this, and got out, and hoped to find out whether people were all right."
"Very wise, Miss...?" Zuma replies to Amanda, a faint smile on his face. "Safety is very important, no? And research is more important than speculation...though speculation is usually how all research starts." His dark eyes turn towards the bag as it's produced. "That is indeed blood" he nods solemnly before leaning back in his chair and sipping at his coffee. "I do not think that person is alright, Miss...?" he notes softly to Aurore. "Though that will explain why they never called that number." Another sip of his coffee before he places it carefully down on the table. "I admire curiosity and bravery, particularly in two young, lovely ladies like yourselves. But you should consider very carefully if you want to go down this path. Once you have 'gone down the rabbit hole', things will never be the same again. I suggest that you both forget this ever happened. That would be easiest for you."
Amanda's wary of giving her name out, and replies, and says, "Well, if we're to forget this happened, it may be best I don't give my name out. We're all suspicious here, so I hope you can understand." She looks to Aurore then back to Zuma.
"I... believe that people should endeavour to be vigilant, so to speak," Aurore answers - studying Zuma quite intently. "Those who are willing to take the risk of doing so, at least. Most are far more comfortable remaining quietly unaware of most elements of the world, it seems. Some choose otherwise. And some have no choice at all. It seems that the old history department is somewhere that a number of people were made aware of some of the less pleasant elements of, ahh, the reality of things. And that you have some awareness of that yourself. But..." She looks to Amanda. "It very probably would be wise to opt for discretion as the better part. Rather than risking plunging into any rabbit holes."
Zuma arches an eyebrow at Aurore's words. "I see" he muses before smiling at them both. "So you agree to not investigate further? That makes me both happy and sad. Happy that you will both be safe. Sad that I will not see you again. For you are both very pleasing to the eye." He rises and offers a polite nod. "Thank you for the information. It has been very helpful."
Amanda nods respectfully to Zuma before turning to Aurore. "Ready to go then?"
Aurore tucks away the paper within her coat, then slips out of the booth and stands aside to let Amanda out. "I can catch you up outside, if you like. I was thinking of having a brief word with Mr Zuma, if that's all right."
Amanda nods, and quietly says, "Stay safe." She then heads out and waits outside for Aurore.
Zuma watches Amanda leave before smiling to Aurore. "Your friend has a big...heart" he notes before studying the native. "I think I understood your words. You are aware of what is out there, no? But your friend...if you are trying to induct her then this may be too dangerous to begin with. My own investigations have barely scratched the surface but I already know it is more than a simple creature in the ceiling." His smile becomes a smirk. "If you do lead her into the darkness...do look after her. Keep my number, you may want to use it again."
Aurore can't help but flash one of her brilliant smiles in response to Zuma's description of Amanda, before ruefully shaking her head. "By chance, we witnessed an attack," she says softly. "I would rather have left her out of it. As it is, she... did not see all that I did. Whatever is in there has a nest. And has killed at least four people, from the bodies I could count." She looks and sounds rather sickened. "Myself... I am far more of a researcher than a... field worker. But this seems too serious to leave alone and hope that it will improve. Did your workers, ahh, disturb something in the early days of work?"
"Disturb? No...not how you mean. My workers were /searching/ for something in that library. And it seems they found it. I have only recently arrived myself but it seems that I am already too late" Zuma frowns. "I understand there is a...Society...that I should talk with? Inform them of both the creature at the university and those..." He indicates the cafe around them. "...here who worshipped it and fled as soon as my men arrived." Zuma takes a long slow breath. "Go to your friend, Miss, but we shall talk again soon."
"The Society presents a public face quite openly. Finding them should be easy, and speaking with them might be wise," Aurore agrees. "Though I think that I can share an identity with you - Miss Abernathy. For good or ill, I am not wholly unknown. If there is anything you can share about your company or what your workers were hunting, I would be glad to receive it. But for now... good morning."