Logs:An Outside Investigation
|An Outside Investigation|
|Dramatis Personae|| |
December 8th, 2020
Ariah seeks out an acquaintance who may be able to help her with the investigation into missing kindred.
It's after sundown, and a brief exchange of text messages leaves Ariah lingering in the downtown library. She's sequestered herself to some quiet nook in the back, small fingers idly brushing down the spines of books full of art. As she gingerly eases a book off of the shelf, she glances over her shoulder, as if looking for someone. Expecting someone. Or at the least, making sure she's not being stalked by someone or something less than ideal.
A man with Xander's particular talents is generally not concerned about going much of anywhere, but Vampires and the recent explosions have made him a touch more careful than usual, especially when invited to meet one of them he's just met.
He arrives early, though no one really remembers seeing him enter, and those that do don't remember his face. He doesn't wait in the area of the library that was mentioned to meet at, instead on another floor with a mental 'window' open to get a view of the meeting place and watch Ariah's arrival. Only after he's fairly certain that he's not walking into a trap..or at least an obvious one.. does he make his way down stairs and approach Ariah's chosen location from a direction that doesn't lead to the front of the building.
"Good evening." He says simply, easily, and casually - despite a noted tension around his eyes and a sense of .. preparedness that he didn't have about him the last time they met.
Ariah might not be the best at reading people, but she can detect those slight hints of caution around the man. She nods at him, and continues to ease the book from the shelf to go about opening it up. "You came... merci, monsieur..." she says quietly, meeting his eyes for a moment before looking to the book in her gloved hands. In contrast to her attire from the first time they'd met, she's a large degree more casual. Jeans. Boots. A buttondown shirt under a long black jacket.
"I trust you can imaging why it is I have called you, non?" she asks, not so much baiting as feeling him out--and gauging what he might know or have heard.
For someone meeting a vampire knowingly, he does -not- appear to be directly concerned with meeting her eyes, though he doesn't attempt to make a challege of such a meeting either. No, instead Xander leans lightly against one of the bookshelves nearby and quirks a somewhat wry smile. "I /am/ a detective and with the FPD, amongst other things. If I /didn't/ have a good idea, I'd be dead by now. " A pause, "That said, I don't work anti-terror or EOD, so I'm not overmuch in the loop on any details at the moment. Aside from the location and some of its buildings purported ownership."
A nod from the white-haired girl and she closes the book, tipping it back towards its place. "Oui. Traditionally, for obvious reasons... kindred affairs stay kindred affairs..." she steps closer so she can keep her voice low. "...but when these affairs spill into the city, they become everyone's problem, much to the distress of others. Not the least of which being other kindred, wouldn't you agree?" Ariah asks. "...what do you know of our kind? Our... habits... gathering places...?" she probes, gently, clearly not wanting to explain more than she needs to.
"Hmm, mostly likely a lot of it is conjecture. I've not been a liason with your kind, nor had cause to learn specific details. " Xander says after a moment, the feeling being that if he had /wanted/ to know, he'd have known whatever he needed. "Loosely, there's leadership, most commonly a 'Prince', and a hierarcy and political infighting below that. Clans/Cabals..relations? Presumably, like most of the .. extranormal personages, there's 'neutral ground' as well, for meetings and dispute settling."
Ariah listens, gathering and filing what information she gets on the man's particular knowledge of kindred relations. And then, when he's finished, she nods. "...the location of this explosion... where a woman was found hanging the day prior... was that such 'neutral ground.'" She shakes her head, "Forgive me for being all business, but I require your aid. We are, for better or worse, law abiding citizens of our city in most cases, non? Among us, there are murderers, kinslayers, who have apparent goals to wipe the city clean of their own kind." Slowly, she opens her coat and reaches for an inner pocket where an envelope can be seen peeking out.
"I am not asking you to fight our war for us, but we have... missing persons. Innocent as kindred can be. To say nothing of those who are well and truly dead now. An attempt was made on my life and the lives of two of my confidantes in an act that would have sent the history museum ablaze. These beasts are reckless and our city is at risk," she exhales a sigh, a very human gesture, her cheeks actually colored rather convincingly alive thanks to the blush of life. "It is not help I ask for lightly, as we all have our pride. But justice demands it."
Xander glances at the card as she begins to reach for it, but then back at her and does not fail to note the bit of color or the obvious sincerity in her words. He frowns just slightly and says, "Ariah..there is a lot here to what you ask. More even than the potential crossing of lines between yours and mine. We've all generally policed ourselves, as you've said, and this .. matter that should've remained internal has spilled out into the open. The question is not a matter of if I /can/ find whomever it is, but if I /should/..and not for the reasons you might think." He is, apparently, utterly confident in his ability to find whomever it is, even having not seen the card or further information. He is , also, very much concerned about the potential implications of him doing so. After a pause, "Not all of /mine/ are so ready to take on, or defend themselves, from one of yours as I am."
The envelope is removed from the pocket, and handed to Xander if he's ready to take it. Inside is a photo of a woman. Gabriele Kruger is written on it, the ink likely less than a day old. "Oui, I know. It is not lightly that I ask, but if this does not stop, there will be more destruction. Human and immortal life lost. It is a reason I do not go to the mortal authorities, and it is fortuitous that I have met you." She nods to the photo, "...if it makes it easier, treat this as a simple kidnapping case. Because that, at its heart, is what it is. She is missing, and she is one of ours. I give you all of the knowledge I am willing to share beyond that so you may be prepared for what you might find. With a name and a face, you can make mundane inquiries at the least, non?"
"Mundane inquiries are not an issue, that can certainly be done without any risk of .. things spiraling out of control." Xander says, taking a moment to look at the photo..but also /at/ the photo, how it was written, the type of paper it's on, the handwriting itself, how old the photo is, and a thousand other little details that a man of his particular talent can derive in just a short look.
"Is she a Vampire, or is she simply a mortal claimed by you and your kind?" The latter he asks carefully, looking at her with an expression that is purposefully netural and the underlying question: Was she taken unwillingly; is left unspoken..but there to be read all the same.
The handwriting on it? Fresh. Likely Ariah's. Though there is also a 'VII' on it that doesn't look like it's hers. She keeps the hand outstretched, as if she wants him to keep it so he can study it, or have it on hand. "A mortal has already been slain, before the explosion, left hanging before the castle," she says quietly. "Gabriele is a kindred. Abducted. Missing. Her whereabouts may give us more clues we need as well, non?"
He takes a breath, lets it out slowly, and then tucks the picture back into the envelop before he tucks that into a pocket in his jacket. Xander goes quiet a few moments and then says, "I'll start looking into it from the mundane side of things, at least register the missing persons, before I consider taking things any further. We do /not/ want to get the mundanes to the point of starting to wake to what in the hell is going on here. That will not go well for anyone...on either side of this particular dispute."
Ariah nods, "Oui. The masquerade must be upheld. As well as whatever shroud or veil you must adhere to. If things take further the streets, it is not only kindred and..." she makes a vague gesture towards Xander, still quite unsure what he is or what to make of him just yet. Simply knowing that he's extranormal is enough, however. "...those like yourself who may be outed and harmed. Merci. Please, keep me updated. I am capable in a fight, but I do not have the skills or resources to make such inquiries. I am but a soldier, at the end of all things."
"I imagine that you're not 'just' anything, Ariah, but .. we all have our talents." Xander says quietly as he nudges himself upright from the leaning position agains the shelf, "You have my number in case anything else comes to light. I'll let you know what I find out..assuming it dosen't lead me into an investigation I can't talk about for other reasons."
With that he takes a step back and away before he turns and starts to walk back towards the back of the building and the direction he arrived from.