Logs:Intro to Ephemera

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Intro to Ephemera

Dramatis Personae

Anya, Brigitte, Carla, and Chase with Aurore as ST & lecturer

18th of September, 2015


An introduction to ephemeral beings and the threats they pose, provided to Keepers of the Vigil.

Location

Society for the Uplifting of Humanity, Historical District


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Chase saunters into the basement, looking very much like he just decided to up and leave work - suitcase and business suit and all. He ambles to the coffee machine, setting up a fresh pot.

Though it's a warm day outside, the secure basement of the Hall is pleasantly cool - and is currently filled with the rich and welcoming aromas of chocolate brownies and freshly-made coffee. Aurore has dressed moderately respectably for her latest attempt to educate her fellow Keepers of the Vigil - en embroidered waistcoat (vest), worn over a formal blouse... though it's paired with black jeans and calf-high lace-up boots. A laptop surrounded by a scatter of papers occupies one end of the long meeting table, and Aurore rises from her seat there, smiling warmly - and in evident relief - as someone *actually shows up* close to the appointed time. Even if it might be by accident.

Finding a seat, Chase pulls a tablet out of his suitcase and sets it on the table, opening up some note-taking app or other. He kicks the chair back onto two legs, entirely at ease. "Aurore, I meant to ask - did Hope ever find you? I know Bowie had her all keyed up to meet you," he says.

Carla walks down in a short black dress with heels as always. She carries a black briefcase with what looks like a snakeskin handbag. She smiles warmly at her host and wits down, fetching herself a cup of coffee. "Well well, this looks lovely. What a nice setup." She says as she sips a that coffee cup and crosses her legs. She glances to Chase. "Oh you're here too. Fancy seeing you again. But I wouldn't want to take time away from the meeting. So we shouldn't gab on too much if she has a lot to get through."

"I tracked her down in her sanctum," Aurore says with a warm smile. "She's rather lovely. I can see why Butcher spoke so warmly about her. And... please. Help yourself to something to nibble on. I promise that I didn't risk baking, myself..."

Carla receives a polite nod of greeting, before the native woman takes a deep breath, and offers a smile. "Hi. And welcome. Already, we're doing better than with my last attempt to hold something like this. I'm Aurore Abernathy, and I am a Scholar with the Loyalists of Thule. I am a ritualist, and a spiritual medium. Most of that, I would not dare to admit to members of other associations, elsewhere in the world... but here, we operate under the truces and protections arranged by the Society. And I am therefore able to go rather beyond the usual role of the Loyalists, and offer classes in fields that might be considered... specialist at the least, and quite possibly dangerous to investigate, in most other regions."

"So... I am intending to try to introduce you to some of the basic elements of detecting and dealing with entities that are naturally bodiless. These can be known by a great many names, and can present an immense array of challenges - from exceptional power and hostility, to the most subtle of manipulations. There are physical challenges aplenty here in Fallcoast, and I can certainly introduce you to some of those, if you prefer - the Leechers spring to mind. But bodiless entities are something of a personal specialty."

Chase twirls the tablet's stylus between his fingers, nodding once in greeting at Carla before Aurore starts her lecture. His attention focuses in on the woman, a slight uptick to one corner of his mouth. "Bodiless ones are the sort of thing I'm interested in - it's a weak spot of mine," he says. "I have the rest of the Inadapte for that kind of thing, but I'm not a big fan of having personal blind spots." He gets a full wolf's grin, then, briefly showing teeth. "Dangerous is the most fun, too. I mean, we're all in this war - what's a little danger between crazy people like us?"

Carla takes out a laptop and starts typing down a couple of notes. "I'll admit I have next to no experience with the completely bodiless ones although there demons I have encountered in the past....as for craziness, well that's a side-effect of what we do." She says with a little sigh. "Even when we try and settle down I guess we can't. Maybe it's not meant for some people." Carla taps own of her fingers on the table. "I have an interest in blind spots as well I suppose." She says quietly. "Although this lecture is plenty interesting as a topic by itself."

Anya comes down the stairs dressed for highly professional activities in a gray blazer and pencil skirt, white blouse, black pumps. She's carrying a bag, which she deposits at one end of the table, raising a hand to wave to the others. "Hello. I'm sorry I'm late." she offers the others a brief, apologetic smile, then turns her attention to the brownies, walking over to collect one, and a cup of coffee, before she can focus on the presentation, "Please, don't mind me." Though she -is- listening.

Brigitte had heard there was an emergency meeting and so of course she dashed over to hear what was going on. She has no idea there may be education and possibly a test afterwards - one of her nieces may pay later for leaving that informaion out. Brigitte arrives in simple jeans and t-shirt, nodding to the assembled as she arrives. "So what's the emergency?" she asks before sniffing at the air, "An emergency that needs brownies?" The Arcadian settles onto one of the chairs with a coffee and a couple of brownies.

Aurore cracks a broad, and slightly relieved, grin in response to her audience's words - then offers the new arrivals a look of surprise, followed by a cheerful hand-wave and a gesture of invitation to the many empty seats (and the chocolate brownies).

"No emergency at all, so far as I know! Indeed, well, I freely admit that I try to avoid the physical peril, at present. I am aware that I would struggle to win a fight with a wet paper bag. But I believe that there is value in *all* those involved in the Vigil at least learning enough to be able to spot possible activities of the bodiless. We can all realistically hope to notice evidently-unnatural wounds, figures with glowing red eyes, monstrous animals of impossible size, and so on. But the bodiless can not only go unnoticed, but can all too easily be wholly dismissed. Not too long ago, I was informed in this very room that there was *no* reason at all for any of us to concern ourselves with anything save obvious, physical threats. And that everything genuinely problematic could be 'dealt with' by use of a shotgun." The young woman's rich voice is clearly tinged with bemusement as well as amusement.

"So... the first thing I shall do is risk reminding you of a scene from the film 'Shrek'. Reality is, in a very crude sense, made up of layers. We can usefully consider this visible world in which we live to be at the heart of it. This is the realm of living, physical things - including us. Every living, active thing native to this realm has a physical form, and is bound up with physical laws. They may have paranormal abilities, be wholly mundane house-wives and school-chidlren, be undead risen from the grave... but they are all a combination of mental and physical form and function."

"Around that central core is the layer that is often called Twilight. It is just one small step removed; indeed, anything in Twilight is said to be able to see and hear the physical realm. Twilight is where a dead human who fails to pass on elsewhere will wind up: the classic intangible, invisible, sadly - or furiously - lingering ghost. But Twilight itself borders multiple other realms. And those are the domain of a wide range of bodiless entities and powers."

"When you live with someone like Butcher, you learn that every emergency needs food of some kind," Chase says, cheerfully. Aurore's words make his grin fade, though, and he glowers briefly at the tablet. "I bet I can get it in one who said some dumb shit like that. Seriously considering tazing him." He nods then, digesting the next bit of words. "I'm going to venture a guess that there's not a particularly easy way to detect things from Twilight unless you've got the innate knack for it. I can do some cool shit with cameras, but ghost-detecting gear is preeeetty much impossible until you start getting into government territory or slapping some spells on your kit to kludge it together."

Carla laughs lightly. "Oh as soon as it's made apparent that you're offering brownies of course all the college-aged people show up." She watches the lecture closely, nodding thoughtfully as she takes notes occasionally. "Detection is important. One wonders how sucha thing as possible for normal people...."

Anya looks up with a brownie halfway in her mouth. She chews quickly and swallows before speaking up, "There's an emergency?" she lifts an eyebrow to Brigitte, then looks to Aurore. That's a relief, she's not dressed for an emergency. The suit would need dry-cleaning, and those heels were only made for walking down along smooth floors. She carries her brownie and coffee to the table, takes a seat, and withdraws her tablet from her bag. She carefully places it in front of herself, aligned with her cup, giving the screen few taps before she can begin to take notes. Her face settles into a neutral display, and she issues no comments on secret government technology.

Oh God...it's a lesson. Brigitte stares wide eyed for a moment as the lecture starts but she's hardly likely to just run off now. Not with brownies available - this Aurore is a sly one. "You know, I've always thought that was unfair" she muses. "Ghosts can see us but we can't see them. Can't say I've ever encountered one but maybe I just didn't realise I had? How can ghosts even hurt us anyway?" A shrug and a shake of her head. "But I guess we're learning about worse things than ghosts, right?"

Aurore nods her agreement to Chase, picking up on his comments first. "One consistent precept is that boundaries between layers can vary in thickness - both by time and by location, and as a result of the activities of people and entities on either side. Conduct a ritual murder, and you will make it a little easier for murderously-inclined bodiless to influence that site. Do so forty times on the same spot...." She shrugs ruefully. "There are particular places where ghost-detecting cameras, temperature measurements, and so on can help more than others. On the whole, they seem to be pretty much useless. But they *do* have a role to play in helping to identify potential activity, as part of an arsenal of tools and methods. Part of the hope of these classes is that we can move on to do a bit of field work: I've picked out" - she gestures behind her towards the archives - "some sites of long-term, and apparently non-violent, hauntings that we might visit to allow you to try out various options. But that's not something I want to rush into before giving you a bit more idea of what is out there."

"Now... how nasty things inherently are and how many deeper realms there might be is a matter of considerable debate. One person's Happy Hunting Ground might be another's Hellish wilderness filled with nature red in tooth and claw, as an obvious example. But we can say with certainty that there are at least two realms beyond Twilight and our own... and there are cogent arguments for four, or more. The two of which we can be sure are, loosely speaking, opposites of each other. One is often referred to as the Underworld, though reports suggest that it encompasses a great many possible 'underworlds'. Some ghosts pass on from Twilight to the - or an - Underworld. And some of those can be brought back. The longer they have spent in a realm so far removed from this one, the... stranger and less human they tend to be."

"The other certain realm is sometimes called 'the Shadow'. It is a twisted reflection of this realm, filled with spirits that reflect, are created by, and receive nourishment from this world. Spirits of dogs, joy, violent competition, shopping, and everything else you can conceive of might be found there."

"Hell may or may not exist as a distinct realm. Demons might 'just' be corrupted ghosts and Shadow-spirits, and Hell might 'just' be found within the Underworld - and perhaps the Shadow. Likewise, there are accounts of entities of real power that might be found in dreams, or via meditation. And, of course, of angels. Whether there are seperate realms for those, I cannot say with certainty."

"Ghosts can be a pain in the ass," Chase says, to Brigitte. "But, like the teacher said - it's a flexible term. One could be Casper, the other could be an Archduke of Hell deciding to take a cheery morning stroll and causing a couple classical Bacchanals on the way." He takes a drink of his coffee, scribbling something down. "Clarification, if I may? When you say brought back, do you mean summoned or like, rebound to a body? Because as far as I've seen, the latter has some pretty awful consequences even beyond the physical things from shoving something back into a partially necrotised body."

Carla says, "So...the demons do count. Potentially." Carla nods. "Very good. I've seen holy water work on one to great affect although I imagine the variety makes it difficult. I suppose the important thing to do is try and know what you're deal with." She takes a pulll from her coffee and slowly licks her lips. "It's as fascinating as it is horrifying. ""

Anya takes notes. Her lips are drawn into a tight line, a slight frown etched on her forehead as she considers what Aurore is saying, though at times she allows an expression of doubt to cross her face, even a little crooked smile dancing at the corner of her mouth. She glances back down to her tablet, sips her coffee, nibbles on her brownie, and turns her pensive attention to the others. "Is it possible these may all be the same type of phenomenon, I guess - but interpreted according to cultural expectations or influenced by them, somehow?"

Brigitte goes back to staring as the 'other side' gets more and more complex. She is one of those who trusts in her shotgun and this is getting a bit out of her depth. But it's good to learn...right? A nod for Chase's comments. "Though bacchanals aren't a bad thing...are they?" Brigitte listens to the others before her face screws up slightly. "That's a thing. How can Holy Water work against everything if they all have different religions? Do these things have religions? Aren't /they/ the religion?" She rubs at her forehead. "I feel I should have a long pointed cap on my head."

Aurore finds herself once again nodding to Chase, smiling slightly as she also nods to Carla, before shaking her head at Anya... and cracking a grin at Brigitte. "Weaknesses, I'll come onto momentarily. Including holy water. But there *are* clear differences between ghosts and Shadow spirits, and between the Underworld and the Shadow. However, confusion *can* blur the lines a great deal, and it can be very hard to categorise an incident or manifestation in isolation, and they *do* all seem to have very significant elements and traits in common. That's partly why I'm treating this as one big topic, rather than attempting to hold separate lectures on ghosts, demons, the loa, animistic spirits, the angelic host, and so on...."

"One of those things that the bodiless all seem to have in common is that they can *feed* from this world. It's a major reason for them to try to gain access to Twilight - and might well be why many ghosts never wish to *leave* Twilight after finding themselves there. A spirit of joy will be nourished by being in proximity to joy. A spirit of ritual murder...." She shrugs, mouth twisting.

"Many entities want to go beyond simply... passively being in proximity to things that already exist. And some learn how to start to influence things. That might be a matter of a little gentle nudging - so the mildly content office-worker finds herself having a surprisingly pleasant afternoon while dealing with her paperwork, and the spirit of joy that gave her mood a little adjustment is duly able to draw a little sustenance from her. But the bodiless tend to suffer badly from seeing this realm - and often humanity in particular - as a source of food and power. For the spirits of the Shadow... well, they were never human in the first place. All too often, we're just seen as these *things* from another realm, that can be pushed into generating nourishing energies that they both enjoy and actively *need* in order to survive. For ghosts... some of those who linger were bastards in life; others turn that way after death. And as for whatever demons are....'Not nice' would certainly be a safe assumption."

"In any case: some spirits can nudge. Some can slip into a body - perhaps even a machine - and hitch a ride, to feel and feed upon things more directly. Also influence their host more easily, though generally the host won't even notice anything amiss. Some outright take over a body for the duration of their ride: rather than influencing, they direct. And at the most extreme end, some take up permanent residence and start warping whatever they took over. Those stories of demonic horses with flaming eyes, people corrupted by the evil within to start manifesting claws and scaly skin, and all the other tales of inner torment and malice manifesting as external evil... there's a good chance they refer to people claimed as hosts by one of the bodiless."

"I can vouch that it's at least vaguely possible for one to wedge itself into a machine," Chase says, nodding once. "Hope and I did some testing on that when we were bored one time." He grins at Brigitte, then. "Oh, sure, there's the wine and the orgies, but Bacchus's worshippers were also real big on ritualistic murder in the midst of it. Romans were weird, man." He looks back at Aurore, furrowing his brow briefly. "So - the ones that were human, or close enough to it can draw sustenance? Gotcha. I imagine I can bribe Butcher into giving some advice on demons, if that's not your area. And I'm with you that I'm not willing to dismiss the idea that communal belief might influence them. Power of worship and all that jazz."

Carla tilts her head. "Well then...this does sound like something out of my purview but perhaps it is good no. Delve into what I would not delve into otherwise...." Carla nods to Chase. "A wise idea. I should research this topic more in general. "

Anya listens thoughtfully, and after a brief pause to consider what she's hearing she hurries, long fingers moving swiftly. She's good at taking notes, at least. "Either way, if these phenomena behave a certain way - understanding their exact nature, deep down, is probably secondary. Still, it's interesting." she notes with a small shrug, then looks back across the table, continuing to work through her brownie. "For example, what sorts of factors afect someone's susceptibility to influence and possession, as you call it?"

"You got bored and put a spirit in a machine?" Brigitte asks Chase before shaking her head. "Couldn't you have just had sex like everyone else? And I don't mean with the spirit." Brigitte does her best to stay in attentive student mode. "Where does Heaven fit in all this?" she asks absently. "None of this was taught to me by the nuns at 'St Ethyl of the Worthless Miracle'. Actually, don't answer. I don't want to know. Just tell me what I need to know to help someone who's been 'touched' by one of these things. And how I remind them that our territory extends into all dimensions."

Aurore nods firm agreement to the enthusiasm for research, half-stifles a giggle at Brigitte... then clears her throat and shakes her head at Chase. "*All* the bodiless can draw sustenance from this realm, though some find it easier than others to *access* it. A great many - including everything you're likely to identify as a demon or a ghost - can draw sustenance from *us*. A simple spirit of dogs will have little interest in influencing humanity - but it might intervene, if it has the power, to stop humans from harming dogs... whatever the dogs are doing, and however justified we might think we are in putting them down. But the majority of bodiless entities we'll have to worry about are ones that have an interest in humanity: and for virtually all of those, we are a source of food and power. As I said: that's a common factor across ghosts, spirits, demons, and so on. We make their food, and if they manipulate or control us in the right ways, we can be made to make more. We're a fuel supply, food source, even a set of toys for some of them."

"Even something apparently harmless like that spirit of joy I mentioned, can wind up causing serious harm. It wants humans to feel joy, so that it is nourished and replenished and empowered. If it has the power, it might well seek to create joy wherever it considers it to be lacking. Imagine the harm done at a solemn military funeral at which the honour guard and the priest break down in hysterical laughter. Now imagine what more destructive, or competitive, or aggressive sentiments and concepts can do when they're forciblty imposed on people. And imagine what can be done if one of the bodiless has the power and inclination to permanently take over a body - living or dead - and mould it to suit its interests."

"Which is where weaknesses come in. Those are intimately tied to the nature of the bodiless: they're not held together by physical matter. They tend to have little relation to it. You won't find a demon of hydrogen, or a ghost that can sustain itself by being near oxygen. The bodiless are sustained by and born from *concepts*, ideas, emotions and belief. Even where those relate to physical things, it'll be a category of things - dogs as a whole, not little Jill's pet terrier in particular."

"So... it's possible to use knowledge and belief to affect them. It's rather like saying that physical matter can be used to affect physical matter. Find the right sort of thing, apply it in the right kind of manner (nicely or nastily) - and you can hold someone back, or hurt them, or make them leave, or make them want to help you. Those same possibilities apply to the bodiless... but physical matter is rarely the correct method of doing so. In holy water, for example, it's not so much the water that is likely to help, as the charge of belief within it. A weak ghost might be held back by a line of salt on the ground (because that's what's commonly believed to *work* against ghosts)... but more potent ones are likely to require more complex counter-measures: ones tailored to them, charged with knowledge and belief. And inside your own mind... the more you know your own mind, the stronger your will, the better your capacity to control your emotions, the harder you will be for anything to manipulate. It is the equivalent of deciding whether to push around a second-grader or an NFL linebacker: to a spirit, it's our capacity to stand up to it on its own terms that is most likely to matter. Though there *are* rare individuals who seem to be wholly immune to such things. And others who are exceptionally easy to slip into: various spiritualist traditions, such as Vodoun, actively favour priests who have a knack for being ridden."

"As for Heaven... it quite possibly relates to this: it's a realm from which no one comes back, rather by definition. If you believe that it is a currently-extant place now in existence, to which humans can gain access - rather than something that will be opened at some point in future after the Rapture - then the prescriptions for entry are intimately bound up with truly profound belief, and a certain knowledge of the divine. Heaven would therefore be somewhere truly fortified against demons, Shadow-spirits, ghosts, and so on... and whose residents would be impossible to compel here. Heaven might be left out of this summary simply because it doesn't cause us problems."

"But we *can* cause the bodiless problems. There are rites of exorcism, abjuration and warding that seem to work... sometimes. At least for those famously elusive 'pure of heart'. There are more complex approaches, that might be safely termed magic - which used to be something accepted by many religions, at least in its 'white' form. And there are ways to exploit the specific nature of each individual ephemeral - bodiless - entity. Just as you might look at that NFL linebacker and realise that he was kind of heavy and slow to turn, and take an approach to fighting him based on that, so you can find things out about a specific one of the bodiless and seek to turn them to your advantage."

"Roger," Chase says, nodding once. He grins at Brigitte, then. "Well, I didn't say we didn't, but we're also, you know, dedicated to trying this kind of thing. Doing strange things is part of what my group does, you know?" He looks back at Aurore, listening. "Heaven's probably, at the very least, more of an advanced topic. I've heard of people who had run-ins with angels, but they're complicated as fuck. I mean, if texts are at all accurate, they're basically Lovecraftian horrors aaaand I'm getting distracted again."

Carla nods slowly and treis to type that collosal mouthfull all down." She pinches the bridge of her nose again and then just keeps going. "Mhhhhm. SO we aren't entirely helpless. Just mostly. That's good to know. Occasionally some things believed to work will work...well it's worth a try I guess." Carla turns to Bridgitte witha little laugh. "Well I suppose that's one way..." She smirks at the lecturer giggling at the statement. "These...ridden interest me. I think it'd be good to do some research on them." She bites her lip lightly.

Anya keeps her eyes down. It's a lot of information, and a lot of writing on that little keyboard, face set in concentration. She looks up, arching an eyebrow slightly, "Clearly there hasn't been enough research into the subject. So, for those of us who aren't pure at heart, we need to use - specialized equipment? Salt? Holy water? And would water sacred to any religion work, or only on -that- specific religion's demons?" though really, that question sounds more like idle curiousity.

"I think Aurore was saying it wasn't the water itself that did the damage but the belief in it and I guess any belief works" Brigitte offers to Anya before looking at Aurore. "Did I get that right, teach? See...I'm listening!" She quirks a brow at Chase. "You sure you're not Ashwood?" she asks before rolling her eyes, "So now angels are bad guys? Why doesn't that surprise me?" Thankfully Brigitte isn't writing anything down. This is all going into the steel trap that is her memory...hopefully she closes it before it all leaks out again.

"'Angel' is one of those problematic terms, with an awkwardly large array of meanings. Do you define a deva from the Indian subcontinent as an angel, devil, or a concept-spirit? Or something else? Translators and occultists from other cultures have done all three. And... the water and salt thing will depend upon the entity you're trying to affect. Just as with us defending our minds against spirits, the more potent an entity is, the more you're likely to need to find some specific weakness... or to find someone *really good* to do the blessing for you, to put more oomph into it. Against the spiritual equivalent of a second-grader, quite possibly *any* salt or *any* holy water might work. Against the spiritual equivalent of a linebacker, you'll want to be tailoring what you do or getting a real heavy hitter of your own to do the work for you..." Aurore shrugs amiably, taking a long swig of her own coffee before continuing.

"So far as I know, every single one of the bodiless has particular things at its very core. Things it *must* do, or must *never* do, in order to continue to exist. The guy who becomes a ghost in order to avenge his daughter's murder is likely to risk destroying his lingering shade if he ever actually *helps* his daughter's murderer. Or perhaps if he helps *anyone* he knows to be a murderer. It'll depend on his particular raison d'etre: what truly, at his core, defines *him*. The same applies to spirits, and demons, and so on. That's why there're whole catalogues of things like demons - one demon of wrath is *not* just the same as the next one. Figure out what that core demand or restriction is, and you can have real power over the entity concerned. There're a host of stories about that, in all sorts of cultures around the world."

"And, similarly, there're weaknesses inherent to the bodiless. A weak ghost might be blocked by salt; a stronger one, of someone who drowned at sea, might only be blocked by salt from the sea that ended his life. An ancient king hauled back to this world after thousands of years in the Underworld might be immune to virtually everything - but be vulnerable to the items he was buried with in his tomb, if you can find them in museums around the world. Again, you'll have come across stories on those themes. The ideas in them work... but you need to figure out which ones work for whatever it is you're dealing with."

"We don't do that shit for fun, we do it because it needs to be done," Chase points out. "I like to be able to quantify things, you know?" He takes another long drink of coffee. "How likely would it be to be able to trick one of the bodiless into obliterating themselves? If there's stuff they absolutely can't do, seems like the... well, not simplest way, but maybe the most straightforward. Definitely not the way that I'd go, but something to keep in mind if you find yourself in a pinch and can't pin down an exorcism method."

Carla taps more notes out on the lapttop and nods. "Of course you don't. Quantification is important. Anything seems worth a try with these things. It's a complicated matter and something I would avoid going into blindly but we can't always choose the circumstances as hard as we try so....we guess or take a gamble." She sips her coffee. "Simplest way isn't always the best way. Sometimes you just really need whatever the thing's weakpoint is."

Anya doesn't look like she particularly likes these answers, but the look on her face is one of resignation, with a slight wry smile at the corners of her mouth. She didn't really expect there would be better answers. But there is plenty of material, and she's registering it for future reference, pausing to sip her coffee as she considers what she wrote, looking to the other hunters.

"I'd rather things weren't complicated" Brigitte sighs to herself before looking over at Carla. "Hey...I don't know you, right? I'm Brigitte." To the 'scientists' in the room...which seems to be everyone but her...she notes, "Quantification may come in handy. Research does too. But I'm sort of an experience kind of gal. Doesn't mean I want to go blindly and ignorantly into situations but I don't want to let them continue while we spend weeks researching and figuring out what we have." Another sigh. "But you guys are right. I'm just here to be pointed at something. Give me the tools and I'll take care of it."

"Breach of an entity's "ban" is certainly serious," Aurore muses. "Destruction by means of it... it's hard to say how common it is. It'll certainly depend upon both the ban and the entity in question. A simple ban of "never lie" is something the spirit is likely to adhere to, constantly. It will simply be incapable of lying. Things like "never aid my enemies", however, could be fodder for trickery and traps. It's certainly a valid question, but... one that is hard to investigate. Probably risky, too. Still... investigation is one of the things I hope you'll be interested in trying. Hence the trip to a haunted house or two, that I mentioned a while back. I doubt we'll be able to determine much... but it'll be a chance to try out ghost-detecting and other things, at whatever levels of tech and occult knowledge we can bring to it. And in environments that the Society's records suggest are safe. Ghost *busting*, we might move on to at some point in future, if people are up for it. Though, sadly, we won't have fusion packs or a ghost-vault."

"Alright," Chase says, nodding. "I'm there with you - I'd rather go in and recon a little first, see if we can't drop something on the first pass. If that doesn't work, well..." He shrugs. "Research comes in handy so you don't wind up with fucking idiots shooting college kids and letting another one get grabbed by the actual monster. I'm always down for looking into stuff, A."

Anya looks up to Brigitte, and smiles, "I don't think they're incompatible. The best research is done with experience, in the field. At least in our field of... research. Unless someone captures a 'bodiless' entity and manages to contain it proper laboratory conditions." the prospect seems to lift her spirits, even if it is delivered in a joking deadpan. She looks back to Aurore, and goes pensive for a moment, "No. None of those things."

"Woody may be in an idiot, he is a high school teach after all" Brigitte nods to Chase, "But at least he didn't kill the innocent he shot. But you're right, research would have helped there too." She smiles up at Aurore. "If I'm available, I'm in. The new ghostbusters are women so we'll fit right in."

Carla chuckles. "Oh yes. Now I remember your face. Something about idiots shooting college kids." she says swiveling to Brigitte on her chair. "How are you. Don't suppose you've heard anything about a lawsuit? Probably not." She crosses her legs again. "I'm sorry. I just felt a need to fill this silence so you wouldn't get the impression that I was nodding off. Proceeed." She gets back to typing down the notes on her laptop. Occasionally she checks facebook when nobody's looking.

"I suppose that would make me the comedic 'ethnic' sidekick character," Aurore says, tone dryly amused as the corners of her mouth twitch upwards. "So... I *could* continue bending your ears, not least about the places where the barriers between realms are weaker and transit and influence from one side to the other are easier... but I suspect that you have already had more than enough of me for the time being. Shall we tuck into the coffee and brownies in earnest now?"

"Fair," Chase says with a nod. "Probably not a bad idea. I should head back to the office and finish up what I'm working on. If anyone hears word of a lawsuit, let me know - I'll make certain that anything pertinent gets buried nice and deep and never comes out unless we need it to."

Carla grins brightly to Aurore. "Oh don't sell yourself short dear speaker. It was very interesting. I could watch you go on for hours. Though I kind of know what you feel like. At least to an extent. Well....more the postergirl on your coorporation or college's recruitment materials but the sentiment stands the same. Although in my family we do firmly believe coffee and brownies do greatly improve just about everything."

"Brownies go well with alcohol too" Brigitte notes casually. "Thanks for the briefing, Aurore. I still mean to come down and see your other performance too" she winks to the native woman before getting up to find a bottle of whiskey. There'll be some. "Anyone know where Winston hides the good stuff?"

"In his home, I suspect," Aurore says with a laugh, shaking her head at Brigitte. "And thank you. I hope that you found it informative, and that we can meet up again soon. For now - chocolate!"