Session 1 The Dead Should Stay Dead

<Mina‘Haplo> [ The Festina Lente! It was late, once again, for those were the hours of the lounge’s operation. On the outside, it was a clear, fine night, with a red crescent moon glimmering on a field of faded stars. On the inside, the ambience of the Festina Lente was soaking into its inhabitants, new visitors and regulars alike, who all came to enjoy this little slice of paradise in a chaotic and turbulent world. ]
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Walter was there, once again, this time with a vastly reduced stack of papers before him. Jean-Baptiste was at the door, being cool; the flittering shapes of the fey apparitions that serves as the waiting staff glided around, bringing drinks and food. ]
*Xiri is also present, because what is a night at the Festina Lente without Xiri. It’s the Magic Hour, apparently, since she's at the piano singing as she dutifully and passionately does. Dulcet piano, earthy bass line, and a soulful saxophone is what accompanies her latest and actual new song, 'Distant Eyes'. "Searching the horizon line for eyes so blue — so distant…" o/~
<Xiri> "For eyes so blue, so distant… / I search the skies so desperately / wondering if we'll meet again… o/~"
*Xiri 's chords gain power as she dips into the next stanza. "And though each day there is no sign / Up here is where my eyes belong… / Our gazes will meet soon again, yours and mine …" And then she looks towards the audience with a soft smile as she finishes the last bar of that line, and then, "Like… you've been here all along."
<Mina‘Haplo> [ For what it’s worth, Walter is listening attentively, hanging onto Xiri's every word… As are more or less everyone else in the Lente. ]
*Tyra had brought Diana along again, though somewhere along the line poor Neville had been given the slip once more. The slightly odd thing would have been the small notebook and few scraps of paper the young woman had been pouring through with a pen. Though as Xiri had started singing it had been swiftly snapped shut, attention fully on the Eladrin songstress.
*Xiri is still playing deliberate, and slow. "Maybe on that day we'll hug…" then she looks momentarily to Tyra as she sings, "… and share a kiss or two…" And then turns to her piano again with shut eyes, star power juicing up the next line: "Just a look in your eyes is all I need / to see my reflection in you…"
*Diana was in a similar outfit to what she wore last to the Lente, herself making some scribbles… and more amusingly, AU-X sitting there… making other scribbles. Multitasking~
*Tyra couldn't help but grin at Xiri, looking rather amused for a moment about something. Soon enough though her expression cleared some, mind returning to focusing on the music.
*Xiri does a segue with her piano and the music goes to the main rhythm. It's the riff of the song. "I watch the clouds each day, each night / Hoping that one day I'll see… / A look, a peek, the barest glimpse… / Of your distant eyes staring back at me…"
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Before long, another chap enters the Lente, quietly. He’s well dressed, if looking a bit outdated. He's wearing a faded yellow vest, off-brown jacket and trousers, a white shirt, and has an almost comically large top hat on his head. He sits down in a seat with a good view of Xiri, and stays there. ]
*Xiri goes onto the second verse of the song. "I know it's girlish fantasy… / And more than a bit naive. / But thoughts of you, they bolster me…" She looks around the room again as she sings, full of poise and confidence, "So for that alone, I will believe."
<Mina‘Haplo> [ As those few words ring around the room- ’I will believe'… A hasty and extremely uncomfortable chill floods the room, almost as if someone just opened the window during an unforgiving blizzard. Several people start shivering at it, and others, including Walter, start looking around for the source.]
*Diana twitched, and AU-X clicked in 'surprise'… and she quickly packed away the scribbles into a pocket! Now was not the time.
*Tyra shifts in her seat, eyes suddenly dancing around the lounge as a frown starts to form.
*Xiri does look around, a little discomforted as she almost stops playing and nearly trips, but the consummate professional performer she ever is, she continues singing, her eyes casting themselves at Jean-Baptiste. "But till then… these words will do. / Maybe they'll draw your gaze… / turn your head and bring us close … / and speed that happiest of days." It doesn't sound natural.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Jean-Baptiste looks back over at Xiri, and gives her a firm, small -nod-. Something is up, but he’s sure he can deal with it- the nod says, because badasses know nodspeak. He leaves the corner, and starts prowling… Whilst the new guest, the one with the top hat, stands up and starts walking towards Xiri. ]
*Xiri has a slightly nervous chuckle as she leans into her mic to say, "Wow, that's a nasty chill, isn't it, everyone? Hang on tight and I'm sure we will fix this in a jiffy…"
*Diana leaned over to Tyra and whispered… "The top hat man is not natural… Too pale. Too pale by far. I can't quite get what he is from here though."
*Xiri casts her eyes to J.B. in alarm for a moment… but tries to play it cool, as she looks towards the approaching man, as if to also guide the bouncer, if he didn't catch it. "… now, now, sir in the top hat, can I help you with anything?" she asks politely.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Clonk! The top hat falls from the man’s head, and his pace starts to quicken towards Xiri, his eyes glittering. "Actually, yes. There is." ]
*Tyra grimaces for a moment, dropping a hand down to her lap as she murmurs back. "Careful, just in case." What people would miss is the hand slipping into her jacket to palm something.
*Xiri covers her mouth with wide eyes in response to the blue skin as she also looks at Walter.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Walter looks back over at Xiri, then to the man, and… He stands up. He starts to approach the man from behind, reaching a hand into his coat. "Do you recognise me?" Asks the man of Xiri. ]
*Xiri has a distinguished expression of concern on her face as she peers, but shakes her head, saying, "N-no, but your skin, it is… pallid. Are you in need of help…?"
*Diana started to reach for something in a different pocket… and softly hummed, focusing…
<Mina`Haplo> [ "I’m healthier than I've ever beeeeeeeeen." He says, with a dark little snicker. "Hey, you should get out of here." Said Walter, grabbing the man on the shoulder- stopping him for a moment. ]
*Xiri turns her head away a little as she starts to back away from him. "I… sir, you are making me rather uncomfortable."
*Diana then stood up, suddenly, hands in her pockets… and began to stride closer to the man - just to get a better look, not to get superbly close…
*Tyra rose to her feet soon after, notebook tucked away as she began to move. While Diana was moving towards him though, Tyra was opting to slowly circle around, drawing closer at a more sedate pace.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The man freezes, turning his head to look back at Diana, then back over to Walter, then back to Xiri… And with a cold voice he says to Walter "Release me." ]
*Diana then stared… and with her faithful machine at her side, she flexed, reclining backwards. "My my, a bit far from the grave, don’t you think?"
*Xiri looks somewhat nauseous as she's breathing hard, moving further away while Walter has his attention, looking more concernedly to the rest of her patrons. "Please… stay calm, everyone."
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Walter’s eyes flicker over to Diana, and they widen, but… The man, he glares at Diana, and then… It happens so fast. A sudden whirl, a scream of pain, and Walter is on the ground, bleeding from gashes. The man looks at Xiri… And his body, or the flesh, start to grow taut, whilst his fingers elongate into sharp claws. "I've been looking for you. I'll have you dead before the dawn." He hisses… Then starts rushing at Xiri at full speed.]
*Tyra kicks into a full out run, small pistol clearing her jacket holster now as she brings it in line. "Hold it!" BANG goes the gun.
*Diana instead focused her will, and reached out a hand. "You leave Xiri alone!" And she clasped the hand together… then pulled . And lines of invisible force suddenly yanked the cold man backwards - or towards Diana!
*Xiri exclaims in fright, "Walter!" as she stares towards the incoming undead monster charging at her. She steps back and suddenly falters to her back, and with a cry is down on her rear. "Aah!"
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The… Well, it’s obviously a creature by now, doesn't take to the gun too well, tottering to the side as it hits… It's then yoinked onto its back by Diana's telekinesis. The moment it hits the ground, it *dissolves*into a pool of shadow that… Seeps into nothingness. Diana can't feel anything, telekinetically. ]
*Diana blinked, suddenly. "Wait, what was that!?"
*Tyra skids to a stop where the creature starts to dissolve, smoke trailing from the gun barrel. "Wait, where the hell did he go?" Eyes widening for a moment, she gestured Diana towards Walter. "First aid!"
*Xiri slowly picks herself up after her embarrassing fumble, and gestures towards the audience. "Please exit in a calm and orderly manner… this place may still be dangerous!" And hurries towards Walter's side, alright, with laboured breath.
*Diana nodded. "On i-…" She turned to Tyra. "Behind you, it's reforming!"
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The shadowy substance starts to creep up the wall… Nearest to Tyra! Meanwhile, Walter is gasping from a wound that is bleeding quite hard. "X-Xiri, I… Am I dying…?" ]
*Xiri clutches his hand and reassures him, "No, no, Walter, you’ll be fine. You're fine." Her words are laced with magic, and they enable a wellspring of strength within the detective.
*Tyra whirls, raising her gun to draw a bead and then letting off another shot. "Just get him stable! I'll deal with the bastard."
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The blood starts to stop flowing from Walter’s wounds… Though they aren't closed, either- the injury is persistent. Meanwhile, Tyra fires, and… It hits the wall to no apparent hurt to the shadow hugging it, which then emerges…]
*Diana nodded. "Okay, okay!" And… rushed over to help Walter, too, trying to mend his wounds with careful use of telekinetic energy and her medical knowledge!
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The wounds start to close! It looks like Diana’s doing some genuine good there… A little bit of color returns to Walter's face. ]
*Tyra lets out a curse in Elven, flicking the safety before holstering the gun again. "Fine, you stubborn…" Then she's started forward, a metal hilt appearing in her right hand before a wicked looking knife blade slides out with a *shunk*. Xiri might recognize the nice knife as Tyra just simply swipes at the thing.
*Diana patted him on the face. "Good, good. You'll be okay." She turned to the shadow thing… "But that will not ." Almost immediately, she began slamming it with a hammer blow of telekinetic force!
<Mina‘Haplo> [ A growl, a hiss of pain from the creature as it reels back! "Out of my *way*!" It yells, swiping back at Tyra… Only to be intercepted by a telekinetic smash! It’s thrown back against the wall… A sudden *bang*sounds out. -]
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Somewhere- perhaps from a hidden cache hidden under the bar and accessible only to him- JB has acquired an exceptionally fine looking rifle, putting the bullet into the ’thing's face. "These bullets cost *money*, damn you." He hisses, whilst the creature… Starts shaking violently, then… Disperses. A sudden rush of chill cold floods the room before it returns to normal temperature. ]
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The patrons, idly, are alternating between hiding and running in a panic. ]
*Xiri lets out a relieved sigh as Diana, Tyra and J.B. all put the thing to its rest, but then looks towards the rest of the patrons and repeating, "Everyone, please. Please stay calm…!"
*Diana stared out at it… and wiped her hands. "…It should be gone…"
<Mina`Haplo> [ JB stows his rifle away somewhere safely, approaching and trying to cajole, calm down and the panicked guests. In a few minutes, most of them have stopped being hysterical, but all of them look extremely shaky- leading to JB dispensing with the booze to settle nerves. ]
*Tyra retracts the knife blade with a flick, slumping to her knees for a moment as the hilt disappears again. "…what the bloody hell was that?"
<Mina`Haplo> [ Walter, meanwhile, is laying down, taking very deep, deep breaths. ]
*Xiri gets some of the stronger-looking guests most near Walter to help lift him up to give him some space on the stage, and props his head up with some of the couch pillows.
*Diana shook her head and frowned deeply. "…I don’t know. Some kind of cold shadow assassin thing of some sort. I'm not a big undead expert…"
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The shaken guests help Xiri move Walter, who feebly pats at Xiri’s arm. "So… So am I dead? Because… I'm seeing my guardian angel here…" He says with a pained chuckle, for some men are unable to not crack bad pickup lines. ]
*Tyra can't help but raise an eyebrow at that, making her way over after composing herself. "Not bad, Detective."
*Xiri is polite enough to hide the scrunched expression she normally would've made at that, but then says, "At least you can still make a joke, Walter," with a tender smile. "Get him some water, please…"
*Xiri says that last one to anyone in particular.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "I shoulda- *cough*just cold cocked the bastard when I had the chance." He muttered, looking over at Tyra. ]
*Diana walked over to Walter… "Considering it took a bullet with little problems, I wouldn’t worry about missing that chance."
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Fair enough." Muttered Walter, struggling to get into a sitting position. "Look, we have to get to the local police station. This is bad- very bad. I don’t know what that thing is, but…" He winced in pain. "We got a girl down at the station, she's some sort of demon hunter or something. We use her when we deal with this crap." ]
*Xiri bites her lip for a moment, but nods as she makes her decision, and then walks towards the stage again. "Ladies and gentlemen, I say this with a most heavy heart to you, but the Festina Lente is forced to close early tonight. We hope to see you again tomorrow, and apologise profusely for any fright or inconvenience caused…"
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The crowd looks despondent, but then again many of them are shaken up, and can understand the situation. They slowly start drifting towards the door, some of them bearing haunted looks. ]
*Tyra reaches over, keeping Walter from sitting up just yet. "Easy. Let’s make sure you won't rip something open again." A glass of water comes around in the other hand, handily plucked from a nearby table. "Here. For bonus, I'll cover your tab next time you're here."
*Diana nodded to him with a vague smile. "That said… we should go see this demon hunter, then."
*Xiri helps those that need the assistance - the elderly, the disabled - as she clears her bar out, and sometime in that process when she gets the chance, she says lowly to JB, "… clean up here and look him up for me, will you?" It's an obvious double-meaning sentence, but that's all she says to him.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Thanks, hon." Said Walter, taking the drink gratefully and drinking it. "Thanks to you too, Miss…" He said, looking over at Diana. "You helped out there." -]
<Mina`Haplo> [Meanwhile, JB merely nods to Xiri. "Sure." He said, then proceeds to take his coat off, as if preparing for some sort of work. "I’ll look after things here if you wanna go with the det." ]
*Diana nodded. "You're welcome."
*Tyra quirked a brow for a moment, lightly flicking Walter on the side of the head before glancing at Diana. "So, think he'll hold together?"
*Xiri walks back to Walter and the others, and then brushes the dust off her dress as she asks, "Shall we…? Jean-Baptiste will clean up here."
<Diana> "He should. I'm no doctor, but I did study emergency medicine at the Academy."
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "I’ll get myself to a hospital after I take you all to the station. I've got a police auto-carriage nearby, so… Someone wanna lend a hand?" He tried once again to get back into a sitting position. ]
*Diana didn't lend a hand per se, but nevertheless, sculpted a barrier of invisible force to push him up!
*Tyra gives a nod towards Xiri, offering her a weak smile and patting her on the back. "You alright as well, Xiri?"
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Walter is propelled up with telekinetic force! He still looks a bit wobbly, though he nods his head to Diana in thanks. ]
*Xiri shrinks away a little as she mutters, "… maybe. We’ll see." She exhales again as she takes a bit to catch her breath, before helping Walter make it to the police kar.
*Diana nodded as well… and began the escort!
<Mina‘Haplo> [ And so, Walter, Xiri, Diana and Tyra make the way to Walter’s station in his (somewhat old yet well-cared for) auto-carriage. By the time they arrive, Walter seems to be in less pain… He gets out, holding the door for the people who saved his life. "Come on, let's go." ]
*Xiri pauses for a moment, looking at Walter again. "Should you be driving in your condition?"
*Tyra raises a hand. "I can drive. Get him in the back."
*Xiri nods, because she certainly can't drive. Then gets in the car.
*Diana helped Walter get in, of course…
<Mina‘Haplo> [And so Walter is put in the back, Tyra drives, Xiri and Diana become passengers, and they then proceed to make their way to the police station… Walter giving directions. ]
*Tyra is thankfully not too crazy of a driver. She does go a bit fast at times, but hey.
<Mina`Haplo> [ "Alright, ah… Madame Paskell, don’t suppose you could go tell the chaps inside that I'm in need of a bit of help, could you? And, ah…" He turns to Diana. "I'm gonna need your help getting out again." ]
*Diana nodded. "That was the idea, yes."
*Xiri does help with the extracting (1) Walter Darling from (1) Police Auto-Car, but afterwards she looks at the police station. … she can't help but feel a little nervous in multiple angles.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Thanks." Said Walter, patting both Diana and Xiri on the shoulders. "Dunno what I’d do without you two. Now then." He tries his best to look calm and stiff-upper-lip as his academy taught him as he walks, slowly, to the police station's door… Upon entering, he heads off into a side office, mumbling to a few other people as he does so. He has to explain the story several times, unfortunately, but… ]
*Tyra did as instructed, looking a bit sheepish at the various bustle the place has been kicked into.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Alright… Alright." Says Walter to someone, before returning to the group, holding a door open to a small-looking room with a single desk and four chairs. "She’ll meet you in here. I've… I've gotta go do some police bookkeeping, y'know how it is, but… Tell her your account." ]
*Xiri just… sort of stays at the side, very polite, very collected, nodding when she has to. She seems distraught still. "Thank you, Walter," she responds to him.
*Diana was… a lot less awkward about all of this, and seemed to be taking things in stride as she settled into the room~
*Xiri does offer a somewhat wan smile at Diana as she says, "You're very brave, Diana."
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Hey… No worries. You helped save my life, so I want to help you out." Said Walter, patting Xiri on the shoulder gently… "… If you need anything, let me know." He says, before heading off for good. ]
*Tyra nods towards Walter, glancing over at Xiri with a frown. "Do you need anything? You still seem shaken up."
*Diana shrugged. "…It’s just a police station." …In truth, it was less that she was brave, and more that fear was sort of dulled to her.
*Xiri shakes her head as she takes a few calming breaths, and says, "I was just still thinking — something so savage, so repulsive, right there in the Lente… oh, I hope none of my patrons were scarred by such a thing."
*Maia eventually strolls into the room, a somewhat thin auburn-haired young woman. Today, she's wearing a dark blue tailored blouse, and tight violet pants to go with it, with soft black leather boots. This particular blouse has a pocket, in which a pair of not-worn eyeglasses is visible. As she enters, she's visibly carrying a well-worn slate board in one hand.
*Maia nods in acknowledgment at each of the other three as she enters, before sitting in one of the four chairs neatly.
*Diana glanced over, pondering this… demon hunter a bit, clearing her throat. "The specialist, no?"
*Xiri somewhat awkwardly lifts her finger as Miss Hot Pants walks into the room, but then looks to Tyra and Diana, before letting them … talk.
*Maia nods, turning slightly to show an emblem of Balanar the All-Encompassing embroidered on her sleeve for a moment. As luck would have it, when she sets the slate down, it's face-up and already has something helpfully written on it: "Please excuse my silence - I'm Maia".
*Xiri isn't so dumb she doesn't get the connection immediately, at least. She softly nods.
*Tyra tilts her head for a moment, reaching up to run a hand through her hair. "Well, not quite what I expected. A pleasure, Miss Maia."
<Diana> "…Ah. I think I get it." Then nodded. "Alright then… Who should begin?"
*Xiri has an almost mute sigh as she starts, saying, "What… exactly do you need to know?"
*Maia smiles and leans back a bit, a guardedly relaxed sort of posture, apparently ready to listen! At Xiri's question, she ponders a response for a moment, then spreads her arms wide. Perhaps she's signalling that she needs to know everything? Or maybe she wants a hug. Probably the former, she's not quite open enough for the latter. If they don't seem to get it right away, she'll clarify—
<Maia> — it by writing 'Everything' on the slate with a piece of chalk she had in her (notably chalk-dusty) right hand.
*Xiri starts, giving a somewhat brief description of what she did in starting the night at the Lente, setting things up… then she describes the man in question. How she didn't quite notice him at first outside of the giant top hat, then the smell of whiskey and … 'something'. "It smelt rather… bad, actually…"
*Diana meanwhile detailed how he was obviously undead, brought a powerful chill with him… and how he dissolved into liquid shadow stuff.
*Xiri snaps her fingers. "Ah. Yes. Smelt like a rotten egg." A pause. "I meant literally, not that he was a rotten egg… although he probably classifies as one."
*Tyra didn't have much to add, though she this raise a hand to clarify about just what it took to bring the thing down. "Though, it seemed… dead-set on getting to Xiri once it dealt with poor Walter."
*Xiri exhales as she puts a single hand to her cheek. "Rather perplexing… and most distressing."
*Maia - after hearing the whole account, frowns, looking a bit troubled. Reaching under the table, she inexplicably finds a cloth to erase the slate with (obviously left there some other time)… then she shakes her head, setting it down and standing up. She holds a finger up for a moment, as if to say, well, 'one moment', and then calmly exits the room.
*Maia is not, however, gone for more than about 15 seconds or so, when she returns wheeling a much larger chalkboard in.
*Xiri pictured: Still looking perplexed.
*Diana vaguely deadpanned. "…This is going to be long."
*Tyra rubs her forehead, murmuring something about being back in school.
<Maia> With that, she begins to WRITE on said chalkboard! Now that she has the room to explain the situation. She starts by sketching a (very quick, crude) figure of a fanged humanoid (likely a vampire of sorts), which she labels 'STRIGOI'. To clarify that she means the figure she was told about, she adds a top hat to the figure. —
*Maia then adds notes next to this. "Usually created by necromancers; dark magic produces sulphur smell. Whiskey smell = Amencian burial tradition. Usually created from corpses of murder victims; summoning requires personal effects of murderer."
*Maia adds a note next to the whiskey smell, "for violent deaths." And then, draws an arrow from a blank area to the top-hat figure, writing at the starting point "Murderer = ?" After that… she looks at Xiri with a troubled expression.
*Xiri looks towards Maia with the requisite amount of fake shock and interest, and then blinks for a bit as she asks, "… w-what?"
*Tyra frowns for a moment, tilting her head. "…Personal effects. Hrm."
*Maia continues to look at Xiri as she writes, elsewhere on the board, "Something stolen recently?"
*Xiri pauses a bit, and then has a look of absolute shock on her face as she questions, "Wait, what do I have to do with this?"
*Diana thought… "I get the sense the effect is the top hat. But that's me."
*Maia shakes her head at Diana.
<Diana> "Then what?"
*Maia adds a note to the previous ones given about Strigoi. "*Often attempts to avenge own death"
<Diana> "…Well why didn't you put that earlier?"
*Xiri 's face is actually flushed of color by now, as she sweats a little and mutters, "Are you… are you actually trying to say that I killed him? Me?"
*Diana exchanged a briiief look. Not Significant enough to raise alarms to Maia, but enough to suggest that she was Questioning Things.
*Maia gave Xiri a sympathetic look. "Not certain, but likely" is written on the board
*Tyra narrows her eyes for a moment, raising a hand. "Hold up. There's no other way, at all?"
*Diana raised a finger. "She did write 'often', did she not?"
*Xiri is trembling slightly, and breathing a little more erratically, and looks to Tyra as she tips over and FAINTS. Yes, she actually faints. She can actually DO that.
*Tyra moves impressively fast to catch Xiri before she hits the ground. "Oi! Xiri!"
*Diana … stared blankly. "…What the hell…" Then a quick turn to Maia. "I apologize for… Miss… Xiri's… hysterics." Showing off her talents of social ineptitude, Diana seemed quiiite incredulous at the very idea.
*Maia has a concerned expression, herself, when Xiri faints, starting herself for the whole 'catching' thing. She has a hell of a lot more distance to cover than Tyra, though, so there's no question who does the catching, and so she lets out a sigh.
*Tyra carefully eases Xiri down, placing a hand on her forehead for a moment as she kneels next to her. "Hysterics is a bit of a stretch. Can we get some water, please?"
*Maia nods. Again with the 'one moment!' gesture, and she's out the door again. She doesn't seem to be too concerned about possible guilt right now on Xiri's part. Not her department, perhaps!
*Xiri is actually authentically out cold, having mastered the nuances of the Conscientious Possum Objection Self-Defense Prana. But very feel-catchable.
*Diana just… sighed. She would have to deal with this! …Speaking of dealing… AU-X was mounting a daring mission of skill and wonder - it was busy trying to scale Diana as if she were a mountain…
*Tyra frowns for a moment once Maia's gone out the door, shifting some so Xiri's head is resting on her legs as she leans down to quietly murmur. "Easy there, Xi…"
*Maia is gone a little bit longer this time, but ultimately returns with a cup of cold ice water, which she immediately holds out for Tyra on entering.
*Tyra takes the water, giving Maia a nod of thanks as she sets it aside. A handkerchief’s out in a moment, allowed to get a bit wet before she dabs Xiri's forehead with it some.
*Diana just stared, as her little bot actually -perched on her head-. It had to be buoyed by telekinetic force. That was the only way. "…Will she recover soon?"
*Maia makes, meanwhile to erase non-essential parts of the board, while watching Xiri with some concern.
*Tyra nods. "I think so, she just needs a bit of, ah, time to recover." She looked up at Maia, frowning at the board. "Is there anything else, or do you need her to come to first?"
*Xiri 's head tilts a little, and her breathing is still a little hard, but she likely will recover in a bit. I mean, the downside is that she can't exactly TIME these things.
*Maia writes. "Always a violent death. Was she attacked before this? Self-defense?"
*Tyra frowns, mulling as she turns her attention back towards Xiri. "It's… possible. This isn't the safest town. What kind of resources does doing this entail, though?" Dab, dab.
*Maia lists things on the board for Tyra: "Knowledge of rituals, fluency in Amencian, obviously magical ability. Don't know specifics of materials beyond aspen ash."
*Diana pondered this. "…Well. That means… Hm." She suddenly seized up. She couldn't very well talk about the Spooky Secret Things about the late Vickers, could she?
<Tyra> Costs. Give me a ballpark bill for what you /do/ know.
*Maia writes: "600-1000"
*Xiri softly groans as her eyes flutter, finally, and she looks around vaguely.
*Tyra frowns. "Pricey." She looks back towards Xiri, smiling a bit. "Back with us, sleeping beauty?"
*Diana bit her lip. "That said, the sheer fact that they used an undead beast says something about what kind of person they are."
*Maia nods at Diana.
*Xiri mmms somewhat tersely as she slowly picks herself up, rubbing her somewhat damp forehead as she looks up to Tyra. "I… huh." A pause. "Oh… my apologies. I must have… unh."
*Diana shrugged. "It's alright. Truly."
*Tyra helps Xiri up into a sitting position, chuckling. "You've had a rough day, you're allowed. Our 'teacher' wants a few more answers, though."
*Maia laughs a bit at the description, audibly.
*Xiri tightens her eyes together and mutters, groggily sitting up back into her chair with Tyra's aid. "Sorry, I just… everything rushed into my head. I… a suspect? I… it terrifies me. I never would have believed it…"
*Tyra eases herself into a seat next to Xiri, watching her carefully for a moment or two before looking at Maia. "So, what now?"
*Maia contemplates, then… gestures at each of the three, in turn. Then herself, before writing on the board, "Investigate?"
*Xiri breathes a little low as she puts a finger to the temple of her forehead, and then lowly mutters, "Been… thinking about it for a bit. I think the chap did… look a little familiar."
*Diana tilted her head. "Oh?" …She knew what Xiri meant, but was trying to conceal that.
*Tyra quirks a brow, looking just a bit intrigued with the idea before leaning back in her seat. "Assuming we can get something to follow, that has potential." She glanced at Xiri, almost as if to measure how together she was.
*Xiri takes a deep little breath as she shakes her head again. "Couldn't quite put two and two together… feel like I've seen his face on the news a good while back. … any thoughts?"
*Maia rubs her chin, considering this.
*Tyra mulls for a moment. "Newspaper archives."
*Diana nodded. "That would work."
*Maia nods as well.
*Xiri looks at the rest of them. Well…?
*Diana stood up. "We should go do that, then."
*Maia shakes her head, pointing at a clock in the room.
*Maia then returns to her own smaller slate, writing upon it: "Tomorrow, 10 AM, Lachlan St. Library, meet?"
*Tyra rubs her chin, thinking. "We'll have to start on the 'morrow… that'll work fine for me. Diana? Xiri?"
*Xiri slowly nods as she says softly, "… I will meet you then." She rises from her chair, taking another breath as she looks to Maia again, regarding her for a while… before saying, "Thank you for your assistance," with as much courtesy as she can muster.
*Maia nods to Xiri with a concerned smile, and opens the door for the group.
*Tyra hods, hovering about Xiri some. "Come on, we'll get you back to the Lente to make sure everything's alright there."
*Diana nodded. "That's a fine time, as well." And… walked off. Now AU-X was tucked into a ball and -orbiting her-.
*Xiri slowly nods to Tyra as she proceeds to return to the Lente through… plot device. 'cause they can't take Walter's car again. Maybe just a taxi.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The Festina Lente. It’s quiet, still, with no one around except JB, who has apparently been busy! Whatever damage caused by the chaos from the Strigoi's attacks is gone, and the smell of sulphur and whiskey has been purged to the land of wind and ghosts. ]
*Xiri is calm by then, and paces straight to the Baptiste de Jean. She looks up at him with the business face now unhidden and unrestrained. "What's the score?" she questions, as she leans against the bar.
*Tyra snags herself a seat, heaving a sigh. "What a wonderful night."
*Diana sat down, nearby, streetching wide, AU-X seeming to be 'resting' nearby. "…A rhetorical definition, right?… And what was with that demon hunter anyway?"
*Tyra shrugs. "She wants answers. We have to go find answers."
<Diana> "…Indeed." Then a thought. "… I think those insurgents have something to do with this. But then again, I have a poor grasp of politics."
<Mina‘Haplo> [ JB sighs, and pats the table three times. "Well, let’s see. Born in Amency 45 years ago, he was a trader who dealt primarily in importing raw materials from Amency and sending back processed goods." He nodded over to the drinks, silently asking Xiri if she wanted anything. "Used dark magic to kill competitors, real nasty business, the sort that requires blood sacrifice. Got knocked off by the Slayer-
<Mina‘Haplo> "Aaaaand was buried in Miram Cemetery… In a casket full of whiskey." ]
*Tyra smiles faintly. "You’re a life saver, JB."
*Diana tilted her head. "…That was useful. Maybe even surprisingly useful."
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "I’m a man of mystery, sweetheart." Said JB. "Bar's still open if you girls want something." ]
<Tyra> Yes. Strongest you've got, two shots.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ JB bends under the table, and pulls out what looks to be a virulently red sort of liquid. "Tarkanic Vodka. The best there is." He said, pouring two shots. ]
<Diana> "…Orange juice, with ground ice."
<Mina`Haplo> [ "Sure thing." He said, after pouring the vodka, and grabbing a bottle of orange juice from his little refrigerator, pouring it into a squat sort of glass, before crushing some ice in a handy little doodad, slipping it into the glass, then giving it to Diana. ]
*Xiri leans against the bar on her stool and says, "… the moscatel sherry ’68, if you would, Jean-love. The one I've been saving."
*Diana took it, supping nicely. "Ah… cool. I like cool."
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Certainly." He slips back down and plunders his fridge, utilising a hidden panel to take out the 45-year-old Sherry, which he then puts on the table and pours Xiri a drink. "There we go." ]
*Tyra takes the first glass, making an idle toasting motion before downing the first shot without much more than a thought. After a shake of the head she seems to relax a bit more. "Okay, so we have a date with her at the library tomorrow morning."
*Xiri takes a sip, and then slowly recounts the story: "Two months ago. Joshua Olon."
<Diana> "I wouldn’t call it a date." Then a shrug. "…I'll probably do the bulk of the research, all things equal."
<Tyra> We'll have to flit about before stumbling across it, either way.
*Diana had a defeated look. "I say that because talking to Ms. Demon hunter will prove futile on my end. I'm just planning ahead." A pause. "…And I don't mean because she's mute."
*Tyra downs about half of her second shot, chuckling.
*Xiri stares into the wineglass for a moment, her face rather … terse. "I must have been careless. 'Personal belongings of the murderer'." … I mean, depending on their interpretation of 'personal belongings', those really fancy thematic trinkets she leaves behind and her calling card and… yeah, okay, Xiri, that was a stupid thing to say.
*Tyra coughs. "Calling card."
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Just ’cause the starry-eyed detective can't pick up your trail doesn't mean the supernatural can't, honey." Pointed out JB.]
<Diana> "It's pointless to worry about. The real solution is stopping the necromancer."
*Xiri 's lips pucker for a moment as she sips the rest of the sherry - she would've only wanted a shallow amount anyway - and sets the shot down. "Yes," she agrees with Diana, before moving towards the stage. "I will see you all tomorrow," she responds flatly, not looking back as she starts making her way towards her apartment portal.
*Tyra waves a finger about. "We'll need to hit the graveyard to see who went digging. We'll also have to case associates, friends, family. You know, anyone who'd have a grudge." She frowns as Xiri starts off, downing the rest of her drink. "Xiri?"
*Xiri turns back to face Tyra, although first she answers the question: "The obvious start would be those he worked dark magic with before his time was up." A single blonde eyebrow is arced, afterwards.
*Diana was just confused. "…Huh? What's going on…"
*Tyra tilts her head. "You holding together alright?"
*Xiri looks back towards her stage for a moment, and then lies, "Yeah," as she gives her a brief smile and a wave, before resuming her pace to her apartment block.
*Diana shook her head. "Strange."
*Tyra frowns, sliding out of her seat and giving chase.
*Xiri makes it backstage when Tyra catches up. She looks somewhat curiously at her.
*Tyra props her fists on her hips, coming to a stop with at best a foot between the two as she looks up at the taller woman. "You're spooked because of the link, aren't you?"
*Xiri shakes her head a little, and responds, "No. I just simply will not allow someone to bring violence to the Lente and rest."
*Diana slunk a bit forward… Not really wanting to chase, but to eavesdrop . She was hiding behind a corner as best she could, just listening in~
*Tyra nods, frowning as she lets her hands drop again. "We'll get to the bottom of this, alright? Just don't… completely lock up or anything, hm?"
*Xiri exhales lightly as she stares towards Tyra again. "To be honest, this is the first I have had to deal with this."
*Tyra smiles faintly. "That's the backlash of fame. Can't do anything about it but relax some and work towards sorting it out when we can though, alright?"
*Xiri isn't smiling, though, as she clarifies, "I mean that this is the first time I have had to know someone who knows that I am the Slayer, and that I am Xirinas Fae'driel." … aside from J.B., but that's different.
*Tyra loses the smile as it isn't mirrored, lowering her head a bit. "…Ah. Sorry, then." She frowns, seeming to be working over a dozen different responses beyond that but not much liking what comes to mind.
*Xiri walks closer towards Tyra and lays a hand down on her shoulder. "One should know either Xiri or the Slayer, but never both, Tyri. They are contradictory creatures that cannot coexist together…" but then her hand slides right off. "The result is always ugly."
*Tyra looks up, still frowning. "So what am I supposed to do, then?"
*Xiri actually stops, that frown, that question, all actually making her look a bit guilty, all of a sudden. "… I don't know myself, love," is the line she sort of halfassedly stumbles back on after that more resolute speech, which does ring somewhat hollow, but then she saves it as she leans in to brush one of Tyra's locks to say, "… I think I couldn't have asked for a better person for it, though."
*Diana is by now conspicuously leeeeaning around a corner, staring… with eyes wide! With her little friend leaning at waist-level, staring ahead with her.
*Tyra actually turns a bit red at that, reaching up to take hold of Xiri's hand. "I, ah, thanks, Xiri." She flails for a moment mentally before pressing on. "We'll figure it out together though, alright?"
*Xiri stops for a moment, and then does lean in to give her a quick peck on the lips, before pulling away to move towards her door. "Yes," she confirms for her. "Good night, Tyri." A pause, and then a slightly amused smile. "You too, Diana." Then she turns to pace towards her door, confident that she has SET THE CAT AMONG THE PIGEONS.
*Diana …quickly slipped behind the wall before (hopefully) Tyra could see!
*Tyra turns even more red at the peck. Then even redder at Xiri's comment before whirling about and starting to dash over.
*Diana was all oh snap about this and began dashing out towards the exit! It was only a few steps removed from slapstick, seriously.
*Tyra wasn't about to let her employee off the hook /that/ easily, shooting a quick 'GoodnightseeyoulaterJB!' over her shoulder before continuing THE HUNT.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Night, ladies." Said JB, chuckling to himself whilst idly cleaning a glass like the cool sonufabitch he is. ]
*Diana continued her mad sprint! Sprint sprint sprint oh the door’s right there if I reach that I'll be free wait a sec what about AU-X I don't remember where it went how silly of me it's partly controlled by me oh there it is oh crap it's right underfoot mental big no! "Eeeaaaa!" …And she tripped… and fell smack on her face… with her head nearly touching the door.
*Tyra isn't one to show mercy, almost pouncing on Diana as she whispers (yet her tone is crystal clear). "Not. A. Word."
*Tyra then points at AU-X. "Same to you."
*Diana at first said nothing, just laying there. She twitched briefly… and then not her, but AU-X (which was also slumped on the ground) gave a thumbs-up.
*Tyra pats the both of them, getting back up and helping Diana up. "Good! Let's go, early day tomorrow."
*Diana was definitely helped up, and nodded, a sheepish look on her face… before smirking. "You're cute when you're embarassed, by the way."
<Tyra> I will slash your budget in half.
<Diana> "Okay okay I'll stop!… Yeesh." Grin. "Oh, and if you do that the company will tank, you'll stop getting toys, AND we'll lose the war effort~" …and she practically skipped through the door, with a robo-backpack to explain away her assistant.
*Tyra rattles off an impressive list of Elvish curses in response.

—- Meanwhile

<Mina‘Haplo> [ Walter’s office! The detective is standing in front of a mirror, shirtless, gingerly poking at the 3 very, *very*tender looking injuries across his chest and stomach. There's a desk in front of a window at the far end, as well as a few bookshelves, a portrait of some old king (back when Paxia had kings), and a young-looking chap who barely looks like he's out of detective school. ]
*Maia steps in, with a tired sigh quickly trailing into a look of worry and concern as she approaches Walter.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Goddamned undead beasties. I’m lucky this wasn't a damn necrotizing blow…" Mutters the detective, before turning back to Maia. "Hey there, hunter. How'd it go?" ]
*Maia slumps her shoulders a bit in response.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "That good, huh? Let’s hear the specifics." ]
*Maia recounts the conclusions that were made with Xiri, Tyra and Diana regarding the Strigoi, using a combination of chalkboard antics and sign language. As much of the latter as possible, she's already done more writing today than she cares to for a week.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "A Strigoi, huh…" Walter strokes his chin for a bit, then quietly puts his shirt back on, before patting the rookie on the back. "Go get some rest, nugget. You’re done here." "Yessir." Said the rookie, who was up and out of his chair. "So then, Minama…" Walter sat in the chair. "An Amencian beastie is running wild in my city, slashing me and trying to murder my friend…" He sighed. "What do you suggest?" ]
*Maia responds with sign language, so convenient that it is. <Your friend's involvement worries me. Such creatures, created after a violent death, usually avenge themselves.»
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Walter seems singularly nonplussed at that. "So you, what, you think Xiri murdered this man?" ]
<Maia> <It is the simplest and most likely explanation,> Maia signs with a frown.
<Mina`Haplo> [ Walter shook his head. "I find that hard to believe. Xiri is a creature of… I dunno, innocence, and beauty, or honest emotion. She practically tumbled over when the Streegy came for her." Walter messes up the pronunciation. "I mean, it… I dunno, sure, that’s a correlation, but we need something more solid." Said Walter. "Drink? I've got some whiskey here." ]
*Maia nods. <Might have been defense,> she signs, waiting for a shot to be poured. <She doesn't seem the type for malice…>
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Hmm. That’s fair." Said Walter, seemingly mollified as he poured Maia a shot. "So let's hear about this Strigoi. Now, you said it needed some sort of… Dark magic to summon, and that it died a violent death?" ]
*Maia simply nods in response to this, gingerly downing the shot of whiskey. <Dark magic, violent death, personal effects of the killer.>
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "So we’ve got an Amencian who lived in Paxia, was violently killed, and was brought back with dark magic…" A frown crosses Walter's face. "… That sounds familiar. Look, Maia, can you do me a favour?" He takes a key from out of his desk and hands it to her. "We don't have a full archive here on the premises, but…" He chewed his lip. "See that filing cabinet? I want you to give me the file on an Olon, Joshua." ]
*Maia nods, strolling over to the filing cabinet, opening it and thumbing through the files for this Joshua Olon. She can't exactly communicate while doing this!
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "It was two months ago when I was given the Joshua Olon case. It’s got a cold trail…" Muttered Walter, holding his hand out for it. ]
*Maia does eventually find the file, which she hands carefully to Walter with a tired smile, signing once her hands are free again, <Since you're friends, you should explain my role for me.>
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Sure thing. I’ll swing by with you tomorrow, but then I'll be off. Now." Walter takes the file, and opens it. He takes out a picture of Joshua Olon, and a dossier. "Joshua Olon, an Amencian immigrant and businessman who made his money in trade… He was murdered by the Slayer, after which it was discovered he had been using forbidden magic to kill people who'd pissed him off or competed with him. He was buried in-
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "In Miram Cemetery." Said Walter with a sigh. "I mean… It fits, y’know? The description fits, the background info fits, but… If the Streegy is out for vengeance, then… What, Xiri is the Slayer?" Walter shakes his head. "No way. I've been in that bar for months. I'd have *noticed*."]
*Maia nods. <I agree… this is probably him.> She contemplates the rest of this information for a few moments… and then she _laughs_. <That woman muscling in on my job,> she signs amid the laughing. <I wonder if her card could power the ritual.>
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Maybe. I dunno. This is your area. And speaking of." Walter leaned forward. "I’m on the Slayer case, but this here, the Streegy? It's a supernatural thing, 100% good-old traditional go-hunt-with-silver-bullets blood-sucking house-haunting little spook. The law says this case is yours." ]
*Maia nods. <You know my thoughts on her,> she signs with a grin. <Do any of the libraries around the station have Amencian texts?>
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "I don’t know. I don't speak Amencian. I'm a detective, not a linguist." Said Walter. "I mean, I speak a smattering of Elvish because my great-great-grandmother on my dad's side was a Ringdorian Elf but…" He shrugs. "I imagine they might. It's worth a try. And if that fails, hit up Emperor Laurent Library in the city centre." ]
*Maia nods. <This Slayer thing's your business,> she signs. <Not mine. Besides, I need your friend to feel comfortable around me. I got the distinct feeling she didn't.> Sigh.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Probably ’cause you insinuated she was a crazy mass-murderer. Smooth flyin' there." ]
<Maia> <That would be why I asked you to explain my role. I don't care what she is.> Maia laughs, at that.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Yeah, no problem." Said Walter, swinging himself out of his chair and standing up. "Alright, I think it’s time to pack up for the night. I've still got to check myself into the hospital just in case this *is*a poisonous injury, but do you want me to give you a ride home? I can still drive. It takes more than a beast of evil and forbidden black magic to disable Walter Darling." ]
*Maia shakes her head. <Take care of yourself,> she signs, and she starts out the door before he can protest.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Yeah, sure, okay. I’d say something like 'I don't like seeing young pretty girls like you out this late' but to be honest, you've got that thingy in your head, so I can't really say you're harmless." He said, hobbling along after. ]
*Maia scribbles on slate. "Don't remind me," the board reads, as the girl rubs her head tiredly.
<Mina`Haplo> [ "Have it your way. Night night, Maia. Be careful." He said, before making his way out to his auto-carriage and driving himself off to the hospital. ]
*Maia lets out an exhausted sigh, and gets on that process of getting home. Oh, for want of more people around that understand her. Plus, it was about time for her nightly routine of worrying about Anna again.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License