Nolberto Zuma is sitting alone in the Aztec influenced restaurant he calls...a place he sits alone. The man singing to himself as he inspects some strange glyphs on a chunk of stone. An open bottle of tequila sits on the table close by but he hasn't bothered with a glass. He is dressed in simple pants and shirt despite the cold outside. The restaurant still seems to be 'closed for repairs'.
There's a polite knock at the door to announce the arrival of the visitors... then Aurore tries to open it and let Amanda slip inside, evidently more than a little eager to get out of the (literally) freezing weather outside. Once they're both within, she quickly closes the door, and only then remembers to act like a Hunter and glance around to be sure that they've not just walked into a trap.
Spotting Nolberto, she offers him a little hand-wave, then starts towards him. "Thank you for agreeing to meet us again," she says, her rich voice sincerely warm. "I... well. You can probably guess what it's about. I take it we're all right to talk here, still?"
Amanda stays near Aurore, letting her take the lead. As she greets Nolberto, she starts unfastening her thick jacket, and opens it to reveal the low cut top she was wearing the last time she met Aurore, cleavage and all. "Yes, thanks for your time," she adds to Aurore's words.
"Welcome, ladies. Would you care for a drink?" Nolberto asks with a nod to the tequila. "The previous owners had crates of the stuff" he smiles before placing the stone down carefully. A quirk of his brow at Amanda as she 'strips' off. "And it will keep the cold away. I have a feeling that you would get a nasty chest cold" he smiles warmly before grabbing some glasses and pouring the pair a drink each.
Nolberto nods to Aurore. "I have an idea. You wish to talk about the creature at the university? Is that not so?" He gulps down a shot of tequila before refilling the glasses. "I fear that I have lost another man in the quest to study it."
Aurore nods, flashing a grin at Amanda (or her cleavage), before moving to settle into a chair opposite Nolberto. She pauses, however, shooting him a look of open concern. "Oh, no. I am so sorry," she says softly. Completing her maneuver, she lets Amanda take a seat, before taking a deep breath - not that it is likely to be as distracting as anything Amanda does in that line.
"I contacted a number of people, did my own researches... and drew a complete blank. There is nothing native to the region that should remotely resemble this," she says softly. "Not even in legend. Up here, we specialise far more in an array of icy once-human man-eaters than in this sort of creature. However... I *was* told that, but for the obvious problems of climate and location, what I described would be a very close match indeed for something from much farther South. From Aztec lore, to be precise. And I know of precisely one person in Fallcoast with any... evident practical interest in such things."
Amanda smiles at Aurore, before sitting down in the chair next to hers. She flashes a concerned look back at Aurore at the 'one-human man-eaters' comment, before clearing her throat and saying, "The sooner we get to the bottom of this, the sooner we can find a way of ridding ourselves of this...creature."
"Your contacts are correct" Nolberto smiles to Aurore, "This thing should not be here. But, look around you...an Aztec themed restaurant in Maine? How popular do you think this will be?" A shake of his head before he downs another shot. "Do you want to see something horrific?" He stands and looks from one woman to the other. "Do you want to see why we must do something. As you say..." He looks to Amanda. "We must find a way of ridding ourselves of this creature. But how do you kill a God?" He starts walking towards the 'Staff Only' door. "Come with me if your hearts can take it."
Aurore exchanges at least one glance with Amanda... before rising to her feet and gesturing to the other woman to precede her, if only for the first few steps. She'll quite willingly take the lead thereafter. "This... sounds ominous," she observes - somewhat redundantly.
Amanda slowly rises and follows Aurore. "This...This isn't going to end up with me losing my kidneys, right? I've heard stories of people waking up in bathtubs of ice, stitches on their lower back, and a note saying to call for an ambulance taped to a cellphone...," she says, hesitantly.
"There is a freezer involved" Nolberto smirks over his shoulder at Amanda as he slips through the door, down the corridor and then pulls open the heavy steel door of the restaurant freezer. He steps inside, not wanting to have the women think he will close the door behind them, and then walks slowly over to a pile of meat filled plastic sealed bags in the corner.
"This looks like meat, si? Well it is...in a way. They are hearts. Human hearts. Fifteen. Food for the God" Nolberto explains. "When we have done what we need to do we shall let the police know and they can discover who these poor victims were. But...the people who did this. Some of them are still out there, protecting the creature."
Aurore gags. She doesn't quite throw up - she's not actually confronted with direct sight or smell, at least. But she very audibly has to choke back the urge to do so. It seems that she responds worse to this sort of thing when not in the field. Or perhaps simply when she doesn't have someone to protect and worry about, as she did with Amanda at the nest.
Now... she's a rather unusual shade, her natural skin colouring mingling with distinct queasiness. "That... oh dear," she croaks, before swallowing. "And... what is it that you need to do?"
Stepping into the freezer, Amanda hugs herself to stay warm, to not much success. She retches, though nothing comes out. Covering her mouth, she says, "I hope the god likes it."
"It does...but it hunts for itself now. I tried to close down the building with the pretense of repairs but it is much harder to disguise trying to catch a winged lizard in the middle of a university. We need to lure it out" Nolberto explains before gesturing for the ladies to leave. "I am sorry the sight upset you both so." He closes the freezer door once they have all left. "I believe that those who escaped from here will attempt to restart the sacrifices. They cannot use here so they will find somewhere else to draw the beast to them. Somewhere remote...somewhere they can practice their devotions in private." He smiles with all the charm he can muster to the two women. "They probably need a sacrificial victim too."
Aurore is evidently glad to escape, but manages to resist the urge to simply bolt at top speed into the light. Still, she looks rather unsteady - and offers their host a shaky smile. "I'm not exactly a hard-bitten field agent type. Though it seems that I cope better with immediate danger than..." She nods towards the freezer. "Proof of a great deal of planning and effort and...." She shudders. "So... ahhh. Who is it that we're dealing with? Who's *doing* this? And are they looking for anything in particular in their victims?"
Amanda is just as happy to leave the freezer, and once out, her hand reaches out for Aurore's for comfort. "Give us a n-name, and we can leave and investigate," Amanda says rushed and eager to leave.
"Worshippers of Quetzacatl. They came across the beast and assumed their God had returned. They captured it...so you must wonder why they still think it a god...and brought it up here where they thought people would not know how to protect themselves" Nolberto sighs. "We followed them but there is now only myself left. The woman who owned this restaurant has many names. The last being Silvia Cadiz. I have her photo." He moves back into the restaurant proper.
"They are after victims who would please their God" Nolberto continues as he plucks a folder from his briefcase. "The larger the breasts the better. I am sorry for being crude but that is what they seek. They think the heart is bigger. Would you two be willing to help trap this woman and her cronies?"
Aurore shoots Nolberto an abruptly concerned look... but does remember to give Amanda's hand a reassuring squeeze. "The last?", she asks softly. "Oh, I'm so sorry. But... yes. Photo would be good. Definitely. Thank you. And... it seems as if we rather have to. But breasts?" She shoots another glance to Amanda. And one to her chest.
"Thank you," Amanda says to Nolberto. She also glances to her chest, then to Aurore, matching her gaze. "I hope you're not suggesting anything," she says to him.
Nolberto hands over a folder to Aurore. "I shall not deny this is dangerous but so is not doing anything about it. How many more students shall be killed if we do not try?" He sighs and shakes his head. "You are both too young for this. Too much to look forward to in life. I shall not ask anything of you. I will figure this out and find her. She will not leave town while her God is here."
Aurore - somewhat cautiously - opens the folder, holding it so that Amanda can see the contents too. "We both felt obliged to investigate this far," she says softly.
Amanda holds one side of the folder, so it doesn't flop open and go everywhere. "We'll do our own investigation too, if you don't mind," Amanda says as well.
"If we work together it would be easier but I understand" Nolberto nods to Amanda before he resumes his seat with another shot of tequila. The folder is filled with photos of 'Silvia Cadiz' as well as some other suspicious looking people who are probably fellow cultists. There are some arrest records but no convictions. There are previous addresses as well as documents for the restaurant they are all currently in. "She likes to be dramatic. To make an entrance. To make an impression. Not wise for a cult leader you may think but they are hardly the smartest people in the world."
Aurore shoots a sidelong glance to Amanda, then ventures a wobbly smile. "I think that at the least, we can try to share a bit of information, if we come up with anything relevant," she ventures by way of compromise. "Certainly, I don't want to go up against this group while knowing less than we could about them."
Amanda back glances at Aurore. "Yeah, if you know what you're doing, we don't want to interfere and stop you from making the university safer," she says. She wants to help, but not get in the way.
"I... think that I have seen her around campus, but couldn't say when or where," Aurore muses, before looking questioningly to Amanda.
"I've...I've seen her before," Amanda says. "She works at the Library! At least I've seen her there a lot," she says, looking to Aurore.
"The library?" Nolberto looks at the woman in the photo. "I cannot imagine her so demure but this is good news. You shall 'check it out'?" He hands over a business card with his number if they don't have one. "Call me. But be very careful. Never assume you have the upper hand with this woman. And good luck."