Session 2 Don T You Just Love Haunted Houses

<Mina‘Haplo> [It was 10 AM on a Damaneday morning, outside the Lachlan St. Library. It was a busy time of day, and Lachlan Street was a busy road, with auto-carriages bundling down it in both directions, and people crossing the road somewhat haphazardly. The library itself had a faintly old feel to it; not quite modern, but not ancient, either. Gilt letters on a plaque above two large doors proclaimed it as the Lachlan St. Library.-
<Mina`Haplo> [Outside waited Detective Darling, having accompanied Maia at her request.]
*Xiri is present about fifteen minutes beforehand, given her penchant for being rather early. She’s scaled down her clothing for this more casual occasion, so she shows up in traditional eladrin robes instead. It's lavender/light pink in color, with several floral trims along the trim and hem both, and has a dark purple sash to match up. A shawl is wrapped lightly around her neck and shoulder.
*Maia waves happily to Xiri as she arrives, standing there in her snazzy uniform like before, smiling.
*Xiri doesn't wave happily in return; in fact, she seems rather reserved around Maia, but is still cordial enough to give her an uncertain smile and a brief nod.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Glad to see you, Xiri." Said Walter warmly, and with a touch of concern- "How’re you feeling?"]
*Diana was in a different, but similar blouse-and-pants outfit, this time wearing a somewhat tighter and darker pair, as she walked in. She sort of… just glanced at Xiri and Maia as she arrived, looking nonplussed at both.
*Xiri looks to Walter, still with some reservation, as she utters, "I am fine."
*Tyra would manage to slip out of the Tower just in time elude her security once more, occasionally chewing her lip in thought along the way as she mulled over the situation. Whether it was due to researching something she already knew or the fact she had been subjected to a rather lengthy lecture regarding ditching security after the attack is up to debate.
*Tyra has kept her attire within her usual garb, though the usually dark blue vest has been replaced with one of a pure black thread from the looks of it. She frowns for a heartbeat as she spies the detective present as well, quickly banishing it as she fiddles with a button on her jacket.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Ah, I’m glad you're all here. Miss Paskell, Miss Lucerne." Said Walter, nodding as they approached. "I'm not going to be here long- I've got some things to take care of down by Pelops District, y'know how it is- but before I do, Maia asked me to do her a favour and introduce her fully. So.-
<Mina‘Haplo> ["This is Maia Minama. She’s an Oblationist. What that means is, for you who don't know, is that she's someone who binds a demon inside her and makes it fight evil for various reasons. S'why she's mute- it was a sacrifice. Anyway, long story short, she's a government agent, and this case is now officially her jurisdiction, since Obbies can take control of supernatural cases. Any questions?"]
*Xiri stares at Walter like he just claimed he believed in ponies that fly across the rainbows with a straight face, although she stares back at Maia with further pressed lips as she says, "A… demon?" with just a pinch of disbelief.
<Diana> "None, really." She didn't look like she even remotely disbelieved!
<Mina‘Haplo> ["The obbies are a hardcore steel-spined silver-bullet demon-and-devil dispatchin’ directive, Miss Xiri. They do not kid around."]
*Xiri DOES look to Tyra and seem just a smidge more relaxed as she arrives.
*Maia just watches the other three curiously. She was certainly expecting questions, and she'd do her best to help with answering them!
*Xiri looks towards Maia as she pulls her shawl a little snugger around herself. "I… I see."
*Tyra starts for a moment at the introduction, actually peering at Maia for a moment. "Demons. Bound… inside you." She glances at Xiri, giving her a quick smile before turning back towards Maia. "I, uhm. Okay, I can't figure out a way to put this diplomatic like so I'll go with frankness. Who came up with the idea of binding demons inside themselves to fight evil?"
*Xiri looks to Diana, afterwards, as she moves towards the library, tugging along Tyra's sleeve. She looks like she doesn't want to ask too many questions.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Well, you can take it from here, right, Maia?" Asked Walter, turning to Maia. "I mean, they’re talkin' to you now. Can I go?"]
*Diana looked back, with a… deep shrug. AU-X was, it seems, a bit laggard, coming right behind her and bumping into her leg. That said, though… she didn't really want to go in. Xiri made her awkward.
*Maia nods to Walter, signing to him. <Go get your rest, you're still hurt.>
*Tyra seemed a bit curious (or perhaps just amazed in some fashion) in waiting for her answer. At Xiri's tugging though she turns right about, following after the eladrin.
<Mina‘Haplo> ["I’m fine, love. It takes more than some undead Streegy-monstrosity to take me down." Said Walter. "Anyway, you all have fun. See you around. If you have any issues, you know where I am." Walter waves to them, giving Xiri a reassuring wink as he got into his well-cared-for-yet-aged auto-carriage and drove off. ]
<Maia> Then, turning back to Tyra, she's produced the slate and chalk to write upon it, but she doesn't write much: simply "Saint Ophelia".
*Tyra gives Maia a nod, resisting a wise ass remark now.
*Maia does elaborate on the slate, "Likely much better info inside than I can give." With that, she gestures at the library.
*Xiri doesn't comment on Walter cribbing her 'love' affectionism, but stares towards Walter and Maia again, muttering, "If he can translate… that would make things easier."
*Diana nodded. "But of course." And she looked at Tyra again, a sort of 'I don't understand what your issue is' look.
*Maia frowns a bit, nodding at Xiri. She was certainly right, but… the man was already gone, so she shrugs helplessly.
*Xiri pushes in to the library, a place she probably doesn't spend enough time in.
*Tyra gives Diana a shrug, following after Xiri. "No trouble after we left, right?"
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Lachlan St. Library! It was composed of 3 floors, and was a large, meaty (meaty?) building. A gaggle of people were going to and fro, finding and checking out books, journals, etc. A few librarians were hovering about, apparently sorting books or assisting visitors. There were, of course, shelves upon shelves of books. ]
*Xiri bites her lip as she stares around, just… staring at the rest of the party, who are all probably infinitely better at searching a library than she.
*Tyra snaps her fingers. "So, what do we know about the freak besides being a special brand of horrendous sin against god undead with a misplaced grudge?"
*Xiri looks to Maia with some hope to say, "Do you know anything, detective?"
*Diana stared about as well, and was a smidge more proactive… AU-X trundled over to a librarian and tugged at their whatever-garment, and Diana smiled as she walked near him/her/it. "We have some research interests… I’d like for you to guide those lovely ladies over there to your occult section… and to inform me where engineering, especially structural engineering and airship engineering, is."
*Maia frowns. Didn't these people pay attention to the big presentation last night? Ah, well, it had been late at night, so they could be forgiven for not remembering. *scribble scribble*'Direct questions easier to answer.'
*Xiri does look as Diana petered off towards a librarian, and then looks a little offput at what she said. She looks back to Tyra to smile wanly and say, "She is not a very social sort, is she?"
*Xiri does eventually peek at the board to think for a bit and say, "Did… um. Did you find out who it was… maybe?"
<Mina‘Haplo> ["Engineering?" Asked the librarian, and paused for a moment, pointing up at the 2nd floor. "You want the 2nd floor, numbers 224-230 are Engineering. You’re sure to find what you need." Said the chap, who then approached MaXiTy and waited politely until he was acknowledged.]
*Diana smiled, even bowing slightly (though from her, it seemed unnatural enough to her to almost look like a mockery of such). "Thanks." …and she headed off towards the second floor! "Thank me later, truly."
*Tyra gives a slight shrug. "R&D. And that's what I meant, yes. Identity, other clues as to who. If you thought you saw his face in the news though, Xiri…" She glances at the chap, raising an eyebrow and waiting.
*Maia raises an eyebrow, and nods emphatically. Reaching into a pants pocket, she pulls out what appears to be a small wallet, and removes a small picture from it, which she shows to Xiri. It's a picture of one Joshua Olon.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The 2nd floor! The numbers were written on every bookcase at the start of each row. Diana’d find Engineering in 220, next to History of Engineering, of course. The rows were mostly deserted except for, well, books, and a slightly hapless looking Elven chap.]
*Xiri tilts her head for a moment, and then puts one finger to her temple and mutters, "Well, I do not clip newspapers, sadly… just… feels like I might have seen it before. I mean, I could be wrong."
<Mina‘Haplo> [Meanwhile, the librarian nodded. "Ah, yes… I was informed by the young lady over… Well, there… That you wanted to be led to the occult texts?"]
*Tyra holds up a finger for the fellow to wait, peering over Xiri’s shoulder at the picture. "Newspaper archives, not occult texts."
*Maia nods in response to the librarian. In fact, she took the risk that the librarian might recognize sign language. <Yes, that's right.>
*Xiri bites her lip as she says, "Why not both? What did you say it was, that… stroggy… stroga… stroganov…?" She appears to have a hard time remembering it.
*Maia writes carefully on the slate, 'Strigoi'.
*Diana managed to leave… before hearing that she had made a mistake. Oh well! Time to get some information
*Tyra shrugs. "I can take the newspapers then." She reaches for the picture, biting her lip again. "Has to be somewhere in there. I'll work my way back."
<Mina‘Haplo> ["Ah, so… To… Well, Madame, why don’t I take you to the newspaper archives, and then I can double back to help these ladies here?" Meanwhile, Diana! The engineering section has a fairly good selection, ranging from introduction manuals to somewhat more esoteric texts on engineering.]
*Xiri thinks for a bit. Help Tyra with newspaper articles, or let Maia, uh… deal with her specialty, she thinks, are her choices. So she winds up going with Tyra. "Yes, I will check the articles too."
*Diana knows her stuff, so she went straight for the esoterica. In particular… she was curious, for now, as to what principles went into constructing an airship cabin to be lightweight enough to be lifted properly…
*Maia nods, and thus is left to wait while the other two are guided to the newspaper archives! She retrieves a pair of spectacles from the front pocket of her blouse, and puts them on.
<Mina‘Haplo> ["Ah, very well then…" the librarian led Xiri and Tyra to the newspaper articles, where he explained that they kept physical copies of the last 12 months, but also retained further, older records on an exciting new format called Microfilm! He then proceeded to excitedly display the microfilm reader as well as the caches of said microfilms, dating back about 15 years…-
*Xiri does look more interested when he takes out the Microfilm. That’s more fun to use than flipping through gallons of old pages. "Ooh…"
<Mina‘Haplo> [Meanwhile, Diana, being the sciencey person she is, finds her desired book in a section on the advanced principles of aviation. There are 2-3 books dedicated entirely to Airship construction, and they’re quite in-depth.]
*Diana on the other hand was investigating lightweight materials, light and durable alloys, airframes, and similar aspects of the trade. She wasn't an airship designer but… the principles could help in developing a new type of flying vehicle…
*Tyra couldn't help but smile a bit as she watched Xiri, nodding as she listened to the librarian. Though she was going to request the physical copies of the those papers as well. A specific range, starting at the month of Firest.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Tyra is led to the physical archives, which date back 12 months, as said… And he marks out Firest onwards. There’s a lot of information there. With that, he politely bows out and heads back to Maia. "You wanted the Occult texts, right?" He asks.-
*Maia nods solemnly to him.
*Xiri plays around with the Microfilm reader with a bit of an excited little giggle, poking the films in and out and going, "Oh, how positively quaint…"
<Mina‘Haplo> [The books Diana was researching seemed to have plenty of notes on materials, many of them talking about the gases involved for the balloons and the frames, which tended to be either metal or in some cases, wood. The more theoretical parts of the text talk about utilising more raw, magical methods to keep something in the air… As well as discussing metallurgical matters, such as a theoretical-
*Tyra sets the picture to one side, then begins going through the papers. The approach is rather simple, really. She’s looking for Slayer headlines, since she knows the poor sap was one of Xiri's victims.
<Mina‘Haplo> [Lightweight yet durable alloy that had yet to be finalised, but was being worked on, possibly for militarisation purposes, but no action had been taken in that area.-
<Mina`Haplo> ["Alright, miss, follow me." said the Librarian, who guided Maia to the 3rd floor. Numbers 370-399 were Occult texts, ranging from simple manuals of identification and warding to… Well, he shrugged. "Restricted, I’m afraid. I'd need to see some sort of identification."-
*Maia nods; after all, she was expecting that. The wallet comes back out, and from it she produces various forms of identification, all of them emblazoned with the name 'Maia Minama' and at least some of them marking her position in the Order of St. Ophelia.
<Maia> Most of them probably indicated her particular disability, too.
<Mina‘Haplo> [Tyra starts from oldest to newest… The first entry she sees is for the 7th of Firest in the Paxian Herald, discussing the shocking murder of Lucian Hamilton, a wealthy CEO… She’d find plenty more, going through the lists, including, of course, Richard Vickers (30th Aerest) and… Joshua Olon's entry. (3rd Paraskest)]
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The librarian nods, and looks over the works, nodding… He gives her a key. "This’ll open the door leading to the restricted shelves, that is, 380-399. Please return all books back to their original shelves when you're done." He says, before moving off. Where to, Maia?]
*Tyra takes that one regarding Joshua Olon, scouring it for information besides the fact he was messily murdered.
*Xiri oohs as she points at the article to go, "Hey, that's the guy's picture!" holding up Maia's photograph. … it's no small amount of awkward, what with Tyra being the only one around, but she's still committed fully to her role.
*Maia heads straight for the restricted shelves, casually unlocking the door and slipping inside, where she would lock it behind her, assuming it didn't do so automatically. Then she'd get to the arduous task of sorting through the titles for the particular arcana she was looking for - specifically, documentation on the Strigoi. The actual ritual, if she could find it.
*Diana tapped her finger thoughtfully against her lips, thinking about it. "Hmmm…" Then she went to go find information on Psykanium applications - preferably unusual ones. She was too familiar with the 'mental' versions…
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Xiri gets a gold star for her sharp eyes! … Anyway, the article reads that, well, Joshua Olon (wealthy, successful CEO of Olon Merchant Org.) had been murdered in his office in downtown Paxia by the Slayer. He had been buried in a whiskey-filled casket in Miram cemetery, as is Amencian tradition. It also discussed a ’police investigation' starting into Olon's business and private life…]
<Mina‘Haplo> [Maia enters the restricted shelves! She then goes to work, looking for the book…]
*Xiri peeks in. She’s read this article before. She likes to confirm her work. But she plays the requisite dumb-ledore, wrinkling her brow.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Diana, meanwhile, headed off to look up some applications on Psykanium…]
<Mina`Haplo> [… Maia doesn’t have much success, primarily because the sorting seems to have ended up very… Haphazard. Almost as if it were in code. She doesn't even know where to start.]
*Tyra nudges Xiri a bit, nodding. She pulls out her small black notebook, marking the appropriate things down and then looking for further articles on the investigation into Olon's affairs.
*Maia gets an expression that can really only properly be described as ">_<", and has little else to do here.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Diana stumbles across a book… Well, kind of. It’s labelled "Agnesian Journal of Magi-metallurgy Iest-Firest 1313… It seems to have pretty much the single-most cutting edge information on Psykanium and its properties. Some of the articles are even written by May Summers!…]
*Xiri watches Tyra jot things in her small black notebook. She mmms softly as she mutters, "So it's… tradition?" all of a sudden.
*Diana stared at it, reading it rather intently!
*Maia - once she's done being irritated at the seeming lack of any coherent organization on these shelves - resigns herself to looking for scratch paper and a non-chalky writing implement, because she's going to have to write up a little request to hand to the librarian.
<Tyra> Tradition?
*Xiri points towards the whiskey caskets. "That Maia lady said that it was part of the… ah, ritual. But if it is tradition…"
*Maia would spend a good few minutes writing up the request - particularly, pondering the best way to phrase it without leaking too much information! Then it was out of the room to go hunt the librarian down and hand him the paper.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Maia finds the librarian… Pretty quickly, actually. He hadn’t left the Occult section yet.]
<Maia> Locking the door again, of course, on the way out.
*Diana smiled, reading what she saw, and appreciating it deeply. Closing the book… she headed off down to the first floor, to go find that newspaper section!
<Mina‘Haplo> ["Ah… Okay. I take it the sorting system confused you?" Asks the librarian, leading Maia back to the restricted section. He seems to be able to understand the method perfectly, and thus sorts through it within minutes… Handing Maia a black book labelled "Dark Summoning Rituals"… It’s written in Amencian.]
*Tyra frowns, chewing on the end of her pen. "It was a burial tradition she mentioned, not quite attached to the rituals…" She flips a page, gesturing to those particular notes. When did she make those?
*Xiri mmms softly as she peers towards Tyra's frown. She may be clueless at research, but she can sense when someone is frustrated. She's good at THAT. She tries peering through the material to see if she can't help.
*Maia nods in response, giving a simple <Yes.> sign, followed by a <Thank you.> With that, she would proceed to open the book and check it for a table of contents, an index, something like that, and if not, just thumb through it slowly looking for the stuff on Strigoi. The language barrier, luckily, was meaningless to her as long as she had the spectacles on~
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Tyra’s sorting manages to find, 2 weeks later… A follow-up article on the investigation, proclaiming Joshua Olon's links to dark magic and necromancy, especially after investigating his home. The police stated that it was suspected he had links with a larger network… And that his home had apparently been stripped of most of its valuables. ]
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Maia gets the book! Success for her. the librarian sort of hangs around near the entrance…]
*Tyra marks this down as well. "Larger network… might have to beat up Walter some more for information if there isn’t anything in here."
*Xiri stares. The Slayer knew about his links. That was the reason she killed him in the first place. The problem was that the trail ended there.
*Tyra does check for any further information at least, though she's suspecting this the end of the newspaper's rope.
*Xiri does check along with Tyra. Or maybe even check for herself, 'cause she has the reader, she has the powahhhh
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Unfortunately Xiri and Tyra’s searches end up finding nothing much. ]
*Xiri leans back on her chair at the end of it, shawl wrapped tightly about her. "… this is not very easy, now is it?"
*Tyra slumps a bit in her chair, muttering. "Considering we've trailed off into the buried things… I'd kill for the police records."
*Xiri looks a little sympathetic for Tyra, but then chides her, saying, "Come now, do not take that lightly."
*Diana began to flit into the newspaper area, a smug sense of self-satisfaction on her face.
*Tyra slumps a bit. "I know, I know."
*Maia heads back over to the librarian, handing him another handwritten note and looking at him inquisitively.
*Xiri looks towards Diana as she comes around, and looks towards Tyra again. "Well, why don't we ask Diana?"
<Diana> "Hm? Ask me what?"
<Mina‘Haplo> ["You want copies?" Asks the man, in a very nonplussed tone. "… … Gosh, very well. That’ll be 5 Thalers."]
*Maia wastes no time in withdrawing her wallet, where she counts out six, handing them to the librarian with a sweet smile.
*Xiri puts her finger to the films and says, "You are no doubt good at searching through records… yes?"
<Mina‘Haplo> ["You’ve over counted." Said the librarian gormlessly.]
*Tyra perks up a bit as Diana comes in, nodding. "We're trying to dig up information about what this fellow's friends were up to. Or who they even were, really."
*Maia shrugs, still smiling.
*Diana nodded. "…At least passingly, yes. I suppose I could try."
<Mina‘Haplo> ["… Ah, er, alright." The man slips the money into his pockets, and leads Maia to a bulky-looking machine in a small room. He quietly photocopies the pages she needs and hands them to her, although he takes the book. "Anything else, Madame? I’m sure I could be of help."]
*Xiri tilts her head as she asks on the side, "You seem mighty pleased, Diana dear. Did you find something to your liking?"
*Diana was trying, and… wasn't doing that well! While she did, though, she nodded calmly. "Yes. Pertinent information to a personal project in highly esoteric technical journals. You probably would need a detailed explanation, and moreover is protected by Paskell secrecy contracture. Just the rules, of course."
*Xiri ums slowly, before smiling and saying, her sunshine-like attitude unfettered, "That's wonderful, Diana."
*Tyra slumps a bit again as the search turns up nothing. Or is it the legalese esque speak from Diana? Hard to tell.
*Maia shakes her head, and signs, <Not for now, thank you.>
*Tyra frowns, peering at the article for another moment before scribbling something else down. "Addresses. For that personal look."
*Xiri scratches her cheek for a moment as she says, "Perhaps we should ask Maia."
<Mina‘Haplo> [ His office address is 4 Witcolm St. Central District, Paxia. His house address is 22 Hariel Lane, Mesa District. Gleaned from the first and 2nd articles.]
<Mina`Haplo> ["Kay. Feel free to come again." Says the librarian before walking off.]
*Diana of course, followed along as needed!
<Maia> BRB
*Tyra nods, getting to her feet and heading to go find Maia.
*Maia would, copies in hand, start snooping around in search of Xiri and Tyra, then.
*Xiri isn’t exactly hard to miss. She'll be the eladrin in the purple robe with the shawl playing like a kid on the microfilm reader.
*Tyra waves Maia over once she spots her, looking somewhat discontent. "Not much. Slayer victim, links to dark magic users. Necromancy and such. Nothing further on the links, but we do have his office and home address."
*Xiri is idly putting random microfilms on the reader, just to satisfy her curiosity.
*Maia approaches the pair at the microfilm, copies from the book in hand, nodding to Tyra. 'Any other info?' she writes on the slate. 'Own search produced more questions, few answers.'
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Xiri ends up reading about the famous Leo Balarine, a beautiful-looking young man who apparently made the front page for a controversial statement…]
*Tyra shrugs. "Not really. Unless you can get access to what the police found in their own investigations and see what didn’t get divulged to the public."
*Xiri furrows her brow for a moment and sighs, muttering, "I like Walter and all, but it seems like I, a citizen, am doing what the police should be…" Ooh, edgy.
*Diana leaned in. "People who have a passion for a cause serve it more willingly than those to whom it is merely a job."
*Maia nods to Tyra simply. 'Should check the house', she writes, while chuckling a little at Xiri's comment.
*Xiri rubs the back of her neck, sighing to protest, "Yes, I would passionately love to forget about this… passionately think this is a dream." She shakes her head again and starts from the top. One more search can't hurt, can it?
*Xiri show just how it apparently can hurt when she starts fiddling with the reader's more advanced functions. Like the zoom feature!
*Xiri departs the library and back to the world map! Er, I mean… yeah.
*Maia gestures vaguely towards the door, and the others seem to get the message, so she follows 'em out!
*Diana moves along, robohat and all.
*Tyra EXIT.
<Mina‘Haplo> [And so, the group arrive at 22 Hariel Lane, Mesa District, no doubt having caught a cab or the like so as to arrive there at a timely fashion. It’s 2 PM, slightly overcast… The house is a shambles. A large, stone, two-storey thing, with an overgrown grassy yard and not much else. It has 4 windows at the front, all of them boarded up, and large wooden double doors at the front.]
*Xiri peers up towards the house as they get off, muttering, "Should… we even be doing this?"
*Diana tilted her head. "…Because it won't be of much use, or…?"
*Tyra simply just strides forward, reaching for the door handle.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The door is unlocked. ]
*Xiri stares flatly at Diana for a moment, stares back at the house, and mutters, "… let’s just say I believe in haunted houses now."
*Maia sticks close to the group, and gives Xiri a sympathetic look.
*Tyra simply opens the door then, walking in as she runs a gloved hand through her hair. "Well, let's search the place then."
*Diana shrugged. "…Oh." And she nodded at Tyra's sentiment, keeping a hand near her pistol… and her mind ready to smash and grab anything that threatened them!
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The place is… Musty, to say the least. It’s very dirty, with dirt covering the floors. The walls are marble, but covered in dust and dirt. There's a room to the left, and one to the right… And a staircase down the middle.]
*Xiri does follow suit, at least, although she just lets Tyra lead this one.
*Tyra lays out a search pattern, sending Maia down one set, Diana down the other while taking Xiri with her upstairs. ORGANIZATION.
*Xiri does have the mind space to be very perceptive and alert, jotting down things that seem off as she plays the part of the fool.
*Diana sort of blinked at being gestured off in one direction, but… alright.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Upstairs leads… Into a hallway. The staircase is also covered in dirt… Except, well, for footsteps. Quite obvious footsteps, from a rather dainty foot.]
*Maia nods in agreement, and proceeds to her assigned room, which she begins looking over carefully after pulling on a pair of gloves!
<Mina`Haplo> [The hallway has 2 rooms on each side…-
<Mina`Haplo> [Diana walks into… A library! Or at least it looks like one. Most of the bookshelves are empty, with a few books scattered about. They seem to be worth very little, and the room hasn’t been disturbed.]
<Mina‘Haplo> [Maia, meanwhile, enters a kitchen and dining room, with a broken table, dirty stove, bare counters and empty caskets that once contained wine.]
<Mina`Haplo> [Tyra notices that the footsteps seem to meander in and out of the rooms… Except for the far left one.]
*Diana makes it a point, nonetheless, to figure out what said books are about. Psychological profiling.
<Mina`Haplo> [ books on trade, competition, and also a who’s-who guide to Paxia. ]
*Tyra follows after the far left one, naturally.
*Xiri lets Tyra lead, as she mentioned earlier. She doesn't quite need to interfere unless the Paskell Princess is getting off track or if something is literally dangerous to them.
*Tyra grumps after a moment, trying to retrace the footsteps. "Really, what the hell…"
*Diana pondered about that… and headed back out into the hall, shrugging, with AU-X clinging to her like a backpack.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The far left room is mostly bare, except for an ottoman (the seat, not the person/place) and a desolate fireplace. ]
*Xiri has an invisible arc of !lightning! emitting through her forehead as she extends her hand to hush Tyra, then moves closer to the first left room. Not the far left room. Or the room far east of Eden.
<Mina`Haplo> [It’s slightly ajar. Go in?]
*Maia frowns. Not much to see here, is there? She kneels by the empty caskets and sniffs them curiously.
*Tyra follows after Xiri now!
*Diana by now was heading over to the kitchen. What better to do than de-split?
*Maia is still kneeling by and sniffing the caskets when Diana walks in, as it were!
*Maia slates. 'Red wine?' she writes, holding it up to show Diana.
*Diana tilted her head, and eyed it… and went ahead and sniffed!
*Xiri shuts her eyes for a moment, before slipping in as quietly — but quickly — as she can.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The room is mostly bare with a wardrobe, and Xiri makes little noise on the tiled floor… What she does notice is that the scratching has stopped. And staring at her, sitting next to the northernmost wall (to her left)… A bunch of manikin-things, one of them staring at a point directly above Xiri’s head with glass eyes.]
*Diana nodded. "Amencian vintage, too."
*Maia nods slowly. 'Strigoi ritual uses red wine,' she writes.
*Diana blinked, surprised. "Oh. Then that's good evidence."
*Tyra steps after Xiri into the room, peering over her shoulder at the various things. Then she shivers for a moment, murmuring something about 'freaky dolls'.
*Xiri lets out a brief noise of fright as she steps back, her eyes wide as she stares back at the freaky dolls.
*Xiri murmurs timidly to Tyra, "I hear… scratching noises," as she gestures towards the right room. "I thought it was the dolls."
<Maia> 'Just one part I don't get,' Maia wrote, nodding. With that, she withdrew the copied pages and flipped to the one mentioning the murderer's personal effects. Maia had already added a handwritten note on the copy: 'Slayer's calling card not sufficient, I think'.
*Tyra holds up a hand to keep Xiri steady as she backs into her, frowning as she follows the gesture. "…moment." She eases past Xiri, heading towards where the eladrin gestured as one hand slips into her jacket.
*Diana pondered that for a while. "…What makes you think so? And more importantly, what would count?"
*Xiri hurries after Tyra. She doesn't want her to go alone, but she also doesn't want to STAY alone with those killer puppets.
*Maia points elsewhere on the page, which answers that question nicely.
*Diana nodded. "Ah. …Then maybe it was blood? Defensive wounds, maybe?"
<Mina‘Haplo> [The room Tyra enters? Bedroom. A decrepit, broken bed frame sits against the northern wall, next to a broken grandfather clock slammed haphazardly against the wall. Another wardrobe, and… A picture, covered in blood, lying on the ground to Tyra’s left. As she looks, part of the broken frame slips a little to the left, scratching across the ground.]
*Maia nods slightly, writing on the slate, 'Perhaps. Hard to say.'
<Diana> "Ah. Well. We should probably get to another part of the house, then."
*Tyra makes a 'Tch' noise, easing towards the picture to crouch by it and get a good look.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ It’s a picture of the house. The blood is faded, but… It's a picture of Joshua Olon, a tall, serious-looking man with black hair and brown eyes, wearing a fashionable light blue waistcoat with matching jacket, trousers, and a comically large top hat on head.]
*Xiri suddenly shivers as she looks around and stares back towards Tyra, her hands wrung together somewhat uneasily. "Tyri…"
*Maia nods to Diana in agreement, and wanders back into the foyer. There's really only one way to go, isn't there? Upstairs?
*Diana assumedly had the same conclusion vis-a-vis going upstairs!
*Tyra glances back at Xiri. "Hm?"
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Maia and Diana are now upstairs! ]
*Xiri looks about and says, "Did… someone just say something?"
*Diana looked to the left… and whispered to Maia. "…A noise. That room." And pointed at the first left door!
*Tyra frowns, looking around. "I didn’t hear anything."
*Xiri looks beleaguered and sad as she mutters, "I think this place is haunted…"
*Maia frowns, slowly advancing towards the door Diana indicated. Is it open or closed?
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Open… Curiously, it’s once again slightly ajar. ]
*Maia slowly, cautiously, pushes it just slightly more open, enough to peer inside cautiously.
*Tyra stands up again, patting Xiri on the shoulder. "Easy, you're not alone."
*Xiri peeks into the room, since she didn't before, and seems a little shocked at the blood. "I… what happened in here?"
*Diana gestured over to the side of the door… but is too slow for Maia. And she slides over to the side, waiting… with AU-X waiting nearby
<Tyra> A fight or something of the sort, I imagine.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Maia sees what Xiri saw… The wardrobe, and those creepy manikins! … One of them is staring at an area above Maia’s head… And with an audible -creak-, the head lowers, its glassy eyes looking at Maia.]
*Xiri frowns as she mutters, "A fight… what fight? When…?"
*Xiri walks in to the room proper to examine its contents.
*Xiri examines the frame, since that's covered in blood… in a way, it feels like something else happened outside of the Slayer now that she really should look into.
*Maia gulps a bit, but she's faced much worse things than a damn doll and lived. So she stares back at the doll, although the perceptive might notice her quivering ever so slightly.
*Tyra moves on to the wardrobe next, starting to work her way through it.
*Diana put her hand on Maia's shoulder. "I know these signs. Some kind of energy. You're a demon slayer… think you know a bit about possession?"
*Maia raises an eyebrow inquisitively, in response to that…
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The dried blood is quite splattered across the frame. In fact, there’s blood on all sides of the frame- as if it were bathed in blood. Meanwhile, Tyra finds the wardrobe closed… Or rather, slightly ajar…]
*Xiri mmms. Is there any other source of blood in the room?
*Tyra edges it open.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ There is some, but it seems localised around the frame itself, especially the bloodied part. Tyra, meanwhile, finds that the wardrobe is, well, empty, except for a single velvet box.]
*Tyra raises an eyebrow, reaching to open the box now.
<Mina`Haplo> [ The box is empty, but she does notice that it’s from "Thomas and Clyde's Hatters for Fine And Upstanding Gentlemen."]
*Maia frowns darkly, and steps back away from the doll a bit, before beckoning to Diana and waving vaguely out of the room.
*Xiri spares the clock a bit of a glance, to see if there's anything in it.
*Diana nodded, not hesitating to do so. Once they were completely out… she turned her head. "…Well, did you recognize anything?"
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The clock is stuck approximately a second away from 12 O’clock. None of the hands are moving… Presumably it’s broken. ]
*Tyra flips out her notebook, scribbling down the name.
*Xiri searches it for Elixirs. … actually, she moves the clock hand to exactly 12… just in case.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ She moves it… And with a sudden, deafening sound it pelts out the hour. CLANG. CLANG. CLANG. Twelve incredibly loud peals of sound.]
*Xiri ’s eyes widen as she looks around in that 'I didn't do it! … okay maybe I did' face, but stares awkwardly at it. Wasn't it broken?
*Tyra lets out a string of curses in Elvish, her other hand whipping out a gun that she points at the clock. She manages to not start unloading immediately, though.
*Xiri leans in and opens the casing, muttering, "… this grandfather clock is broken. There is no… mechanism here."
*Tyra lets out a shuddering sigh, quickly holstering the gun again. "God above, I almost emptied the gun into it."
*Xiri shakes her head as she frustratedly says, "I-I'm done. I'm done being toyed around by ghosts…"
*Diana meanwhile held her ears. "What the hell?"
*Maia nods sharply, as she shifts into a sort of battle stance… then her right hand is enveloped in a dark purple glow, and she points at each of the dolls, firing a bolt of crackling purple energy at each one! She more or less ignored the clock.
*Tyra interrupts Xiri halfway through, letting out a shriek and whipping her arm about as she whirls around. Wait, where'd the dagger come from?
*Xiri 's eyes widen. There's a DAGGER in Tyra?
*Diana didn't even bother to ask… and gladly sent out a hammer blow of telekinetic force out at the dolls!
*Xiri looks around again, and still in that harrowed tone of voice, she exclaims, "Show yourself…!"
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The telekinetic blast as the energy of the Oblationist slammed into the dolls… For a moment, there’s resistance, then a ghostly scream, echoing off the walls… When it's done, the manikins are firmly destroyed, their glass eyes shattered.]
*Diana grit her teeth and clenched her fists. "Bullshit! I'll do what I want!" …It wasn't clear who she was talking to.
*Maia raises an eyebrow, looking at Diana with a confused expression.
*Tyra takes a few steps back, gripping the dagger's hilt as she keeps it readied. "I'm about ready to torch this damn place..!"
*Diana pointed at the room that the dolls were in. "Ghosts or spirits or other insipid spooks think they can warn me off."
*Maia just nods at that… and then rolls her eyes, laughing a bit.
<Maia> Then, without further ado, she breaks for the room Tyra and Xiri had gone into quickly!
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The room! Broken-down bed frame against the northern wall. Open, looted wardrobe, a grandfather clock, and a portrait with a broken, bloody frame…]
*Tyra is looking about wildly, dagger gripped in her hand and looking a bit spooked.
*Diana blinked confusedly… then followed her swiftly, her little ’bot desperate to keep up!… at least until it got sent flying into orbit around her with a gust of telekinetic force!
*Tyra doesn't even think, her other hand suddenly freeing her gun to put a bullet into the ground not far from her foot.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ BANG! ]
*Maia was peering about the room expectantly, but not seeming to fix on anything.
*Xiri exclaims, "T-Tyri… Tyri!" She moves closer to her to try to stop her, even though she’s quite mental herself now.
*Xiri starts a bit as she touches her cheek, and shivers as she … takes a deep breath and pulls back from Tyra, all of a sudden, taking deep breaths. Focusing… collecting her thoughts. What does she know…?
*Diana stared at the clock… then just glared at it. "Enough of this." First, she conjured lines of force… and yanking the clock into the air!… then she leapt to the side… and kinetic hammer blowed it into the boarded window with a jab of her fist and some rather blatant shockwaves of force!
*Xiri acks a little as Diana makes a huge display of force around them, covering herself slightly.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The clock resists, at first, shakily… Cracks appear across its surface, its glass, and the wood starts to splinter… Then Diana chucks it out the window! With a crash of planks and wood, it flies through the window, falling to smash on the ground below… A quiet howl echoes from it, but nothing more. ]
*Tyra holsters the gun again, then jumps as Diana decides to chuck a goddamn clock out the window.
*Xiri walks out of that room, since Diana is going a bit violent for her, and … well, maybe they missed it earlier. She’s seen the top floors… what about the bottom floors?
*Diana wiped her hands, standing resolutely. "…It was possessed. I figured, it needed to go."
<Mina‘Haplo> [ A slight scratching sound… Then a -whump-. Coming from the 2nd most right room. ]
<Mina`Haplo> [ Loud enough for all to hear. ]
*Tyra heads for that room then, keeping the dagger drawn.
*Xiri does pause at that, since… okay, whump. Whumps are never good. She moves along with the others.
*Maia lets out an irritated sigh, and heads off in that direction, beckoning for the others to follow!
<Mina`Haplo> [ The far right room… The door is closed. Enter? ]
*Diana sighed too, and dashed after it too!
*Tyra just boots the damn door open.
*Diana slightly wonders what her gun is even for, but nonetheless readies herself for more GRAB AND SMASH.
<Mina`Haplo> [ BANG! The door flies open… The room is bare, except for… On the far, far wall (The western wall), sits… An altar, a black, slightly cracked altar, with a ring of red runes circling it. The faint outline of a ghostly apparition can be seen hovering over it. ]
*Maia shrugs. Nothing wrong with breaking doors down. But she sure does stare at that altar when she sees it.
<Tyra> Bingo, I’d say.
*Maia shakes her head.
*Diana thought. "As much as I want to demolish that too, we should figure out if that's… wise."
*Maia produces the slate again. 'This is something else, nothing to do with Strigoi.' is written.
*Xiri 's eyes are wider than ever as she swallows hard and tries to hide behind everyone else. Although her eyes are not reflecting her fear, since she's scrutinizing the altar and the apparition for Details.
<Tyra> Then… what is it?
*Xiri gestures, "Whatever it is, it's the cause of all our spooks… so let's deal with it!"
*Xiri is most definitely delegating everyone else, sans her. :D
*Diana held out a hand. "We should exterminate that ghost first!"
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Waiiiiiiit…"]
*Diana blinked. "…You being friendly works too."
*Tyra takes a few steps forward, frowning still.
<Mina`Haplo> [ As Tyra steps forward, the ghost itself starts to materialise firmly, a tall, ghastly looking-creature… It’s smiling. "Friiiendly? No… Not quiiite. But Iiii would liiike a word or two. You beat the Niiight Haunters before they trapped you. Iiiimpressiiiive."]
*Diana shook her head. "Oh, is that so? Make these words quick but exceedingly informative, then."
*Xiri furrows her brow tightly as she stares towards the creature, but says nothing.
*Maia watches the ghost cautiously. She's certainly READY to strike, but holding her fire for now.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Break the ciiircle. Iiii am not goiiing to giiiive you thiiiis freely. The ciiiircle biiiinds me, lets you hurt me. Do so. Iiii wiiiill fiiight you, but you have… Earned somethiiiing. When thiiiis ends."]
*Tyra glances back at the group. "What happens if we break the circle?"
*Diana looked at the others, her gaze dwelling a bit on Tyra. "…What, precisely?"
<Mina`Haplo> ["Iii materiiiialiiiise. Aaand then Iii try to kiiiilll you."]
*Tyra whips her head about. "…You’re kidding, right?"
*Maia shakes her head, stepping forward.
*Diana …shrugged. "I actually meant what the earnings were."
<Mina‘Haplo> ["… Help. Iiiinformatiiion about the biiiitch who sealed me here."]
*Diana clapped her hands. The utter lack of fear or trepidation was… possibly beginning to get unnerving. "Excellent, nice to see that we can actually make a reasonable contracture."
*Tyra raises an eyebrow. "It’s bound to answer if we throttle it, yes?"
*Diana grinned smugly. "That's the deal, yes." Then a defiant grin, bolstered by a tiny robotic salute. "Alright then! If everyone else is ready, then we have some throttling to do!"
*Maia nods to Tyra.
*Xiri looks to everyone gearing up for battle, and then mutters, "I will just excuse myself…"
*Maia rubs her palms together, and her right hand again crackles with purple energy… before she fires said energy at the circle on the ground, with the intent of disrupting the seal.
*Tyra lobs a sheathed dagger over her shoulder towards Xiri.
*Xiri yelps lightly as she nearly cuts herself on the dagger. "Tyri…"
<Tyra> Just be careful, alright?
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The circle breaks with a crackle of green light, and the ghost materialises fully! It’s tall and bulky, at least 10 feet tall… And it grins fiendishly. ]
*Xiri stares up at the materialised ghost and says, "How did my day turn out this way…"
*Diana just stared on, with a rather surprising 'Well, bring it!' look. She seemed to be treating this like some kind of duel!
*Tyra sprints forward, surprisingly agile considering she's basically wearing boots with heels. "I've been aching to beat something up all day, you'll do just fine!" She she's actually leapt up, landing a kick square in the ghost's face to floor it. In the next instant her dagger's whipped across the 'throat', sending ectoplasm everywhere.
*Xiri is very discreetly marking him for death — she doesn't have to do that grandstanding 'kiss of death' she does as the Slayer, that's just for show and for intimidation — and then, when everyone's distracted… a huge *explosion*of holy energy just explodes from within him. Out of nowhere.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The creature collapses to its knees, already frying in pain from Xiri’s assault and Tyra's blade. "Nnn! The bliiind one underestiiiimated thiiiis."]
*Maia calmly advances forward, that purple glow still surrounding her hand, and comes side-by-side with Tyra, whereupon she fearlessly delivers a point-blank burst of purple eldritch energy to the creature.
*Diana didn't even get a chance to -react- when she saw how much her allies were tearing this thing apart. "…"
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The Haunter Master seems to bend beneath the blast, bulging outward as it smashes into its body… It lunges at Maia angrily, but fails, and falls to its knees… Broken. "You wiiiiin… Nnnn."]
*Xiri didn’t do anything. Not her! Nothin'.
*Tyra flicks her knife. "So. Talk."
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "She’s bliiiiiind. Some sort of… Nnnn. She works wiiiith dark magiiic. Necromancy. Demon summoniiiing. She… Faltered." A grin. "When she summoned me, Iiii attacked her. Took somethiiiing from her. Iiiii Stiiiiill have iiiiit." It points at Maia. "You take iiiiit?"]
*Maia nods slowly, holding out her hand to take the object, whatever it was.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The creature puts its hand on Maia’s, and she feels a horrid chill… It deposits something black and fabricky into her hand. "There. Now… Iiii am released…" It crumpled, finally, and with a screech… Faded. The black altar cracked deeply down the middle. ]
*Diana walked over and sent another psychic hammer blow into the altar. Just to make sure. "We can't very well be having more of THIS."
<Mina‘Haplo> [ CRAAACKSPLAM. ]
*Xiri shakes her head a moment as she stares at the object.
*Maia stares at the object too. What *was*it?
*Tyra works her arm about, dagger disappearing somewhere on her person as she turns to face Xiri with a wide grin.
*Xiri covers her mouth with one hand, having looked to have just had enough of this haunted mansion. Even if it was haunted no more.
*Tyra makes her way over, patting Xiri on the shoulder as her other hand retrieves her dagger from the woman. "So, what did it give you, Maia?"
*Maia frowns visibly. It wasn’t an ordinary frown… this was more like one of those frowns that suggested this really couldn't have gotten any worse.
*Maia luckily has an easy way to demonstrate what the cloth was; she turns one arm of her blouse towards the group. The sleeve has the seal of Balanar and his seven aspects embroidered upon it with great care..
*Maia holds the piece of torn cloth up beside her own sleeve. The cloth she's holding bears the same insignia…
*Xiri looks at Maia, then at the cloth, then at Maia, and then asks, "So what does that mean?" like the point just flew over her head in a Concorde going 'neoooooooooooown'.
*Tyra …groans, rubbing her forehead. "So, what. A rogue one mucking with these things?"
*Diana blinked. "…Blind woman… that insignia… So she's an Oblationist too." Knowing that Xiri has no clue.
*Maia nods at the two of them, and punctuates the point by writing on her slate, 'Rogue'.
*Maia adds another word, just to clarify. 'Corrupted'
<Tyra> That should narrow it down at least, right? You lot keep track of who goes off the deep end, yes?"
*Maia nods.
<Tyra> So, any ideas with this new lead?
*Maia rubs her chin, and gets to writing up a response. 'Enough info to narrow it down, likely, when I visit the temple.'
<Tyra> How long?
*Xiri looks sidelong at Tyra and Maia, and then shakes her head as she mutters, "I am… you scarce need me to do this. I would just get in your way." She pulls her shawl closer to herself as she starts moving towards the mansion entrance.
*Maia scowls a little bit, though it wasn't clear what she was scowling _at_. '1 day by train' she writes.
*Diana twitched her ears, vaguely, cradling her little robot. "…What's up with her?" Obviously meaning Xiri.
*Tyra nods, mulling. "You can do that then and we'll see where we go from there." With that she turns, speeding up a bit to catch up to Xiri.
*Diana quickly followed, obviously wanting her answer, one way or another!
*Maia lagged behind the group a little bit, seemingly deep in introspection.
*Xiri isn't impossible to catch up to, though she's bee lining for the front door.
*Xiri also has to wait for the taxi and such.
*Maia does awkwardly laugh out of nowhere while waiting for the taxi. Hm.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ A broken, shattered grandfather clock lays on the lawn. ]
*Diana followed along diligently!
*Tyra puts a hand on Xiri’s shoulder, raising an eyebrow. "Still all in one piece, Xi?"
*Xiri puts her hand to her forehead as she says harrowedly, "W-what do you think? Tyri, dear, I am not even certain why I am still embroiled in all of this…"
*Tyra gives a light shrug. "Maybe, but you've been a big help already." She works her arm around Xiri for a quick one armed hug before waving down a damn taxi for the group.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ A taxi arrives. The driver does not ask Tyra if she is talking to him. He is a professional. ]
*Xiri is pulled in, and exhales lightly as she leans her head gently against Tyra’s shoulder, her face reflecting a storm of conflicted expressions on her face, and weariness. She sits wordlessly at the back.
*Diana is just lingering along… taking sliiight note of what is transpiring.
*Maia slowly scoots into the taxi. Something seems to be deeply bothering her.
*Tyra takes a seat as well, keeping next to Xiri of course.
*Diana sat in as well!
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Where to?" ]
*Xiri looks to the others for a moment, and then says, "The Festina Lente. It’s at…"
<Mina‘Haplo> [ And so the taxi drives off with MaXiTyDi inside… A few hours later, it arrives at the door to the Lente (wherever it is today). A familiar face is waiting, apparently- Walter, back from a day of detectivising. ]
*Maia hops out of the taxi… and glares at Walter, with one of those motherly shouldn’t-you-be-resting glares.
*Xiri looks just a bit alarmed at Walter's presence, and glares at J.B. for letting him in when the hours aren't in. Her weariness has transformed into a bit of a grump, it seems, along the way.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Walter gives Maia a look back, with one of those if-you’re-going-to-mother-me-you-could-at-least-look-happy-to-see-me looks. "How'd things go?"]
*Maia simply sticks out her tongue and makes an exaggerated thumbs-down motion.
*Diana walked out of the taxi, rather nonchalant about… everything. Perhaps the clock destruction, mass demolition of evil implements, and Victory of Science were making her fine?
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "That bad, huh?" Snickered Walter. "Things went somewhat better today. I got a tip on the Slayer~" Walter flipped a coin into the air, caught it. "From a reliable source. You’re never gonna believe what I was told."]
*Maia raises an eyebrow, watching intently, inquisitively.
*Tyra eases out of the taxi, watching Xiri with no small amount of concern. Walter's comment seems to get a pass due to this! Or does it?
*Xiri just had her day turn from bad to worse as basically all the usual suspects have happily rounded up at her door. She gestures with her arcane hand and unlocks the door for them to enter, since they weren't inside. J.B. should be in there, but otherwise…
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Well, the informant- thanks, miss Xiri-" Walter followed inside… "Told me that apparently… Well. Get this." He paused for dramatic effect… "The slayer is a man . Uses illusion and disguise to give himself a woman’s body. Can you believe that? All this time…" Walter also gives Maia a pointed told-you-so look.]
*Xiri is good enough to hide her disbelieving look by just facing straight forward, given she's further into the bar than everyone else. She sidles in over the counter to tend the bar, gesturing for everyone to come over for drinks as her expression's gone back to weary and grumped again.
*Diana walked in, mostly wordless, though seeming raaather amused at Walter's theory.
*Tyra follows in as well, keeping quiet as she just takes a seat at the bar. She doesn't gesture for any drinks, though.
*Maia had an unconvinced look. <I have my own problem,> she signs, clearly upset about something from her body language, as she hands the copied pages to Walter. <Olon was involved with one of my own,> she further signs, showing (but not giving) him the torn sleeve with the emblem on it as she heads inside.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Maia has successfully managed to give Walter 5 pages of text in a language he last studied in 6th grade. He stares at them nonplussed, then turns to look at Maia… His face darkens. "… Another Obbie."]
*Xiri pours herself some of that sherry that she’s been saving (but drank when the Strigoi hit), sipping it lightly, and sighing as she sits on her bartender's stool. "… drinks, anyone?"
*Maia nods. <Corrupted. I'll translate those for you later, just hold onto them for now.> She lets out a long sigh. <I'm going to take a train up to the temple tomorrow, see if I can identify her.>
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Hmm. I better not…" Said Walter, glancing at Xiri, "But thanks, hon. I appreciate the offer." He said, before turning back to Maia. "Ah, I see. Okay, fair enough. I’ll keep these for you then." ]
*Tyra raises a hand as Xiri asks, still frowning and mulling.
*Xiri passes Tyri a different drink than what she usually gets, a small home-made shot of feymead combined with Tarkanic vodka; Diana she gives the usual orange juice, crushed ice, honey and cream. She looks towards the rest. Her expression and body language really suggests she's trying to distract herself.
*Maia just shrugs to Xiri. It was a shrug of the "I have no idea" sort.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Did something happen?" Asked Walter.]
*Tyra raises an eyebrow slightly at the switch up, though she does go ahead and down it. She seems to loosen up a fair bit afterwards at least, though she pulls out her notebook to start poking through.
*Maia takes up the question! <We checked out Olon’s residence, which is where I found that scrap of cloth,> she signs.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Oh." Pause. "… You look like you’ve seen a ghost." He said to Maia, knowing full well that in her line of work… ]
*Xiri stares to Walter with an unusual look of disappointment as she mutters, "Another one of those… spooks. A large fellow, spoke with a lot of 'i's."
*Maia groans.
<Tyra> We did, Detective.
*Xiri 's drink is sweet! It's a pretty entertaining beverage. Dunno if Tyra would like it or not. She also gives Maia a relatively neutral drink - bourbon, on the rocks.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Sorry, Maia." He turned back to Xiri. "So, more ghoulie-thingies. Well, if it’s an Obbie you're dealing with… I mean, they pick a few things up I guess."]
*Diana nods. "Yes. A rather odd one. With a sort of… speech impediment."
*Diana then shrugged her shoulders. "That and an evil clock. But I fixed it."
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "An evil clock?" ]
*Maia eyes Diana. Fixed, she says? She can’t help but giggle at that, as she takes a drink of the bourbon. Ahh.
*Xiri sips more of her wine afterwards, muttering to Walter, "I was supposed to pull myself further away from danger, not run headlong into it." She leans against the counter to say, "Seriously, what was I supposed to do to a ghost - sing to it?"
<Diana> "It was possessed by minions of the speech-impeded ghost. But…" A silly grin. "The prime psychotechnical genius of Paskell, that is to say myself, can't be threatened by mere possessed furniture!… So I threw it out the window."
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "… Maybe your beautiful voice could sing it to sleep?" offered Walter. ]
*Tyra winces just a bit at Walter’s comment.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "… … I see." Walter blinked, staring at Diana with a mixture of surprise and amusement. ]
*Tyra circles something in her book with a frown, then seems to scribble something out before clapping it shut to tuck away in her jacket.
*Xiri turns her head in a hurt expression as she says, "Of all the nerve, Walter." She shakes her head.
<Mina`Haplo> [ Walter turns to Maia, a what-did-I-do-wrong-I-was-trying-to-cheer-her-up look written on his face. ]
*Maia shrugs helplessly. <I don’t get her either,> she signs back.
*Diana just… stayed quiet, at that, shrugging very deeply.
*Tyra mulls for a moment, then slides her glass over. "Another, Xi?"
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "So, Maia. We should probably get going." Said Walter awkwardly. ]
*Xiri ’s frown is terse on her face as she expresses, "You're a policeman, you s…" Then that frown breaks as she shakes her head, runs her hand through her hair and says as she pours Tyra just straight up vodka this time, "I should… wash up. Simmer down. Complaining does not suit me."
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Walter turns to look at Xiri… He tilts his head. "… What were you gonna say?" ]
*Tyra downs this shot too, still frowning.
*Xiri looks to the orange juice for a moment, before putting a single finger to her temple to say, "… nothing. I was just not expecting to have to investigate, myself as a victim of an assault. I thought that was what the police were for." She shakes her head again and starts stepping towards the stage, just eager to leave.
*Maia nods slightly to Walter, with a look on her face best described as a mix of worried and tired.
*Tyra winces a bit more, just looking at her glass now. Occasionally she fishes out her pocket watch to glance at the time.
<Mina`Haplo> [ "I don’t…" Walter sighed. "This isn't what I deal with! I don't do supernatural cases…" He muttered, before standing up. "Well, I'm glad you're all okay, at least. I'll be in the auto, Maia. Don't be too long." He said, before making an exit. ]
*Xiri just vanishes behind the curtain to enter her own home.
*Maia nods to him, and then turns to Tyra, writing her a note. 'Three days, here?'
*Tyra watches Xiri out of the corner of her eyes, then nods towards Maia. "Should work. I'll let Xiri know once she's had time to rest." With that she hauls herself up, heading for the door. "I'm heading back to the tower, Diana."
*Diana nodded diligently, with her mechanical orbital. "Alright, I'm coming~"
*Maia nods, and waves to the three of them, proceeding out to Walter's car.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Walter was waiting in the driver’s seat, staring out the driver's side door window. ]
*Maia walks up on the passenger side, getting in quietly.
*Xiri 's face has settled into the Slayer's as she moves towards the comforts of her own home. She writes to the Sages. She has new Words she wants to know of. The Oblationists. Their connection to the government. This new informant of Walter's. She has work to do.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Hey." Said Walter, quietly starting the car up and driving it off. "Gonna drop you off at your place first, then hit up the station. Do you need anythin’?"]
*Maia can't really answer him safely while the car's in motion, you know… but when they do come to a stop somewhere, she signs, <When's the next train to Balanar's temple here?>
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "About 60 minutes from Lachlan St. Station. You get on there, and it takes you up to Central, which sends you out that way- leaves 4 times a day. You thinking of going now?" ]
<Maia> <It’s a long enough trip, may as well get a head start.> She shrugs. <I told them I'd be back in three days.>
<Maia> <Maybe I should wait until morning.>
<Mina‘Haplo> ["It might be better if you do. Get some rest, get fresh." Said Walter, a slight frown on his face. ]
*Maia peers about him, her expression too clearly wondering what he was worried about.
<Mina`Haplo> ["… What, you worried about me?" ]
*Maia nods.
<Mina`Haplo> ["It’s nothin', Maia." He said, pausing. "Just… Y'know. I got a telegraph today when I got back from Pelops." He shrugged. "Looks like the pie-eating champagne-drinking airship-flying rich sons of bitches are starting to really put pressure on people in regards to the slayer… They're angry at the lack of progress." He sighed. "They might start, y'know…"]
*Maia raises an eyebrow. "…"
<Mina‘Haplo> ["What?"]
<Maia> <Start what?>
<Mina`Haplo> ["Start… Y’know." He coughed. "… Replacing." He hid it fast, but there was a deeply worried look in his eye. ]
*Maia frowns, pressing her lips together worriedly.
<Mina‘Haplo> ["S-so that’s why I had to use the informant. I mean." A nervous laugh. "He's the sort of bloke who I'm almost 90% certain he does straight cocaine *and*opium but his information's good, so…" He sighed. "It'll work out." ]
*Maia seemed unconvinced, for sure.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Or at least, that’s what I keep telling myself." Said Walter, pulling up in front of Maia's place. "There we go. Home and safe. You need anything before I go?" ]
*Maia shakes her head, smiling to him worriedly and patting him on the shoulder. <Thanks.>
<Mina‘Haplo> ["No hassle. You’re a good kid, Maia." Said Walter. "You take care of yourself."]
<Maia> <You too.> With that, she steps out of the auto, and into the comfort of her house!
<Mina`Haplo> [ Walter drives off, returning to his office to get wildly drunk. ]

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