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Predator's Prey

Predator's Prey
Players

Havok, Jasmine, Eric, Elyssa, Lilith as ST


'


Lavish. The entirety of the top floor has been bought out and remodeled with an area for ghouls and servants to hang out in, but the majority of it serves the role of a massive boardroom.

Along one wall is the classic, sleek bar where one can acquire samplings of different lacrima and freshly tapped blood from 'donors'.

Windows dominate one wall, looking out over the cityscape spread out below, and a heavy, dark wooden table runs along the length of the windows, complete with dark leather chairs. Comfortable and cushy. Furnishings are sparse, pictures of the city from the time of the fire and forward, showing the development of the city over time.


Flood warnings for part of the city. Rivers rising high, raging. And yet, the sun shines and the heat is humid and sticky.

Arrangements are made to come and view the Elysium, a rare occasion for non-Kindred to be allowed into what serves as semi-sacred space. Safe space.

A ghoul is at the door to greet the people as they arrive and guide them up the back stairs, the route of the servants. Another ghoul - both adrogynous and dressed in the same uniform of a plain charcoal suit with a simple tie - is at the top where the stairs lead to a small platform and a heavy door. There's cameras everywhere, well placed to captured most of the stairwell.

It's... a lot of stairs. Twenty-one stories. And no offer of an alternate route.


Eric pulls up outside in his pickup truck with Elyssa in the cab with him. He gets out and heads around to open her side of the door. "Here you go." After she is out, they will walk up the stairs together taking time to look at the various people there. He is wearing a plaid red and black button up flannel shirt over a black tshirt and a pair of dark blue pants. He fools up the stairs behind one of the ghouls with a quick look to Elyssa. He shrugs and then makes his way all the way to the top. He glances to the ghoul in the suit and says, "Ah, are you here to be our liason? Were these cameras operating on the night of the attack? If so, can we have a copy of the tapes?"


Here comes the (wo)men in black, the supernatural defenders...

Once again dressed in matching black blazer, skirt, and pumps and a button down white blouse, it seems that Jasmine has arrived when arrangements are made to investigate. The strands of fate continue to twist around her, making sure she's extra dodgey (fate armor) because one can never take too many precautions even when one is invited. Her eyes take in the sights and beads of sweat drip down her brow as she runs her fingers through her dark locks.

"You don't have any spells to make things more comfortable, do you?" she mutters softly. h how she could use a portable air conditioner as she walks in alongside Havok, letting him take the rear as she purses her lips for a few moments.

Upon arriving, she takes in more of her surroundings as she pulls out her old ass silver coin and starts thumbing it for a few moments. Pursing her lips, she hrmms for a few moments, taking in a deep breath. "Where did it happen? Where was he shot? At what angle did the bolts come from?"

With that, she glances towards Havok, "From there, you can do your calculations to figure out most likely place the shooter was from. Then I'll begin my own ritual."


Elyssa follows close to Eric, though she does pause every so often to assess those others gathering near. For now, she is perfectly content to leave the questions to the larger Irraka. Remaining silent, her head turns at the sound of another female voice approaching. Almost intinctively she places a gentle hand upon Eric's arm as if anticipating raised hackles. Her own purpose here a bit unclear, the young doctor lingers near the side of her companion. A faint shake of her head the only real response given as she glances over to the ghoul, she really did underestimate the vampires and their coordinating abilities.


Havok fallows in behind Jasmine. The mage is dressed in casual clothing, a t-shirt that covers his thin kevlar vest, dark jeans and boots. He wears a leather shoulder holster rig that holds his heavy pistol along with additional speed loads for it. Wiping sweat from his brow he agrees with Jas before offering the other investigators a wave of his hand in greeting.


The two ghouls exchange a glance, then open their mouths to display a lack of pink, fleshy tongue. Servants are to be seen; not heard. When everyone has settled to the platform outside the door, the ghoul nearest the door raps upon it twice, then settles in a ready-waiting stance with near military precision, the pair moving almost as one.

A few moments after the knocking, the door is opened, revealing a well-built woman in combat boots with black bdu's tucked in and bloused over the top of the boots. A plain black tee is tucked into it. Belted 'round her waist is a thigh holster with a blackened .44 magnum revolver with an extended barrel. Loaded for bear, literally. She's not bothered to feign life, skin pale and waxy, her head fresh shaven and jaw set.

"I'm Eudora Pennyworth, sheriff and acting Prince until Lord Enrico Salvatore Prince of the North, Alder Duke of Chicago..." The sheriff trails, then clears her throat. "I will forgo the full summation of his Lordships titles, you would not understand them."


[OOC] Lilith says, "http://cityofshadowsmux.com/index.php/Eudora_Pennyworth"


Eric looks at the two with their tongues cut out. He takes a breath and then turns his attention to the Sheriff lady. "Thank you," Eric says as she introduces herself and begings to give the titles of Enrico Salvatore. "My name is Eric, beta of Garum Akkal. This is Elyssa, hearth of Garum Akkal." He pulls a small leather wallet from his pocket as well as a green flip notebook. He opens the wallet and says, "Also, in full disclosure, I am also a police officer; however, I am not here in that capacity." He does show the badge inside before folding the wallet and putting it back in his pocket. "I notice some cameras here. Is it possible to have access to the recordings from the cameras, both visible and hidden, for the time in question?" He gestures to the cameras as he says that.


Ewww. Groddy. Staring at the ghouls for a few moments, she snaps out of her line of thinking when the sheriff comes in announcing her presence.

What does one do in this situation? Does she curtsy? Roll over on her back and expose her belly? Show her neck? No, she does none of that and instead curtsies.

"Janet Plushinsky." Jasmine offers as introduction.Glancing about, she takes in a long and deep breath. "If it's possible, I'd like to see the body, I understand he's sleeping? I'll need to be near his body, preferably nearthe location of where he got struck in order to perform a ritual to see if we can find the attacker. If you wouldn't mind, please."


A look is given to the two from the wolves faction as his greeting is ignored. Looking back to the Sheriff he gives her a polite nod of the head in greeting and defers to his ally to do the talking for now. While the conversation goes on he just lets his gaze roam.


Eudora quirks a smirk when Eric flashes his badge. "It is known, son of Maggie Anderson." It's delivered almost dryly - as if the implication that the Sheriff doesn't know about the individuals allowed into the violated Elysium bores her.

"The servers the cameras export footage to were altered remotely. A failing on our part for having the servers in a separate location and relying on a secure internet pathway. The ghoul in charge of such things has been... relieved of its duty."

"The ghoul that found the sleeping form of Prince Enrico Salvatore.." Habit almost has her adding the rest of his esteemed titles, and she almost chokes on it. "... saw nothing. The number of bolts found lodged in his body, and the condition of the space implies there were at least three, perhaps four. Minimum. And despite his gifts of the blood, they were able to act against him."

Beckoning, she takes a step back, inviting them into the space without word.

It's a proper mess. Dried blood cakes the beautiful flooring in ebon pools, splatters, slashes and smears. Footprints dance through the carnage - a waltz of blood and fury. The place smells like a hospital cleaning closet, though, chemicals polluting the blood to ruin the samples and footprints wiped through to add chaos to the patterns on the floor.


"The body is in the care of the Honorable Tillo Protz, Prince of the Undercity, Tyrant of the Fires. You would need to speak to his Sheriff, Hunter, to gain access to him. Or simply wait until a donor of sufficient strength is found to awaken the Prince of the North from his slumber." Eudora adds, motioning to the broke out window. It's been covered with a sheet of plexiglass to keep the weather out - but some rain has seeped in, despite the best efforts.

No doubt another ghoul pained for the trifling error.


So much for full disclosure. Eric nods his head and was a bit surprised at the mention of his mother's name. He does his best to hide it though most likely the sheriff will notice it. He steps past the sheriff towards the crime scene. He takes out his cell phone asking, "Do you mind if I take pictures of the scene?" He will wait before he actually takes a single photo though. He then thinks for a moment and says, "Were any photos are drawings made of the scene by any of your staff?" He nods to Jasmine and Havok now that they are inside the room and better able to view the others. He puts the little flip notebook on top of his phone and starts to write a few notes.


For her part, Elyssa just retains her silence, her attentions trained upon the recent arrival of that Sheriff and the mages. When it becomes clear that the Mages have decided to take their investigation elsewhere, she looks back to Eric once more. The mention of his mother's name earns a mild blink from the young blonde, clearly not having had that information herself. In fact, it just seems to be one more unsettling thing resting visibly upon her shoulders for the time being.


"No, we know what was seen by the ghoul. The room hasn't been touched, except for the rain that got in, and covering the broken window. And, of course, that the Northerly Prince was brought in by the ghoul before the sun could kill him." And look what the reward was! All but turned into a brain dead meat puppet.

"Whoever did this? Impressive. The Prince's blood gifts were fierce, a mix of strength and speed and mind control. It's entirely possible that some*things*, rather than some*ones* are responsible, but the Accord..."

"I would not wish their displeasure and judgment on my enemies."


Eric looks from the Sheriff to the mess of blood. "Were the tracks in the blood made by the ghouls and workers covering up the window? Knowing that information will be helpful to determine number and size of the individuals." He begins taking pictures of the blood including trails and any tread or foot prints. "Also, I was wondering if you can tell me where in the body the bolts were." Looking over to Elyssa, he says, "Is there any way to tell if this blood is from one person or multiple? Or use it to tell the type of people or things here?


Glancing from the display of blood pretty much throughout back to Eric, the young blonde offers, "I can possibly try and scrape some samples and run some blood tests or sequencing. I might be able to discern how many different types we are looking at. But, I don't have access to any DNA databases like you would." The last is said for Eric's benefit as her gaze slides on back over towards the Sheriff, "Besides, I am going to guess your people probably have ways of telling blood apart because you are... um..." yes she cannot really bring herself to openly admit they are vampires.


"... not going to lick the floor." Eudora offers dryly. "Let me think. Four shared out between the Compass, one through his undead heart, and five others retrieved. That'd be a round ten. Impressive, really. Taking down an Elder of our kind is not easy. In fact, if it weren't for the other pieces - the hacked mainframe and the chemicals sprayed on the blood - I would wager on luck, rather than skill."

"And the message. There's something quite dastardly about breaking into a sacred, safe space and defiling it by hanging a leader there to die, isn't there? It's something *I* would do, should an opportunity or offense warrant it."

"By the volume, I would wager that not all survived the night, unless they have very good doctors on board."


Eric nods looking at the vampire and says, "True, but if we could separate the blood of your prince with the blood of his attackers, I might be able to track them. While I do not have or claim to even equal the powers of the blood which your prince has, I do have some abilities of mine own." He is doing his best to keep things diplomatic. The last thing he needs is to anger another sphere. Plus, if he can honor the accord and help the vampires, he might earn favor for his pack and the wolves in general. That favor may be helpful in the future. "Of course, if they new the abilities of your prince, then it is possible they thought you might reach out to the others. So those chemicals may ... " Eric stops himself and says, "Elyssa, can you take a sample of those chemicals. Highest concentration, if you can."


"Sure..." Elyssa takes her small bag and looks towards the Sheriff, "With your permission, could I possibly take a few samples? I promise to be discreet in my testing." She does not really know the protocol in these circumstances, having never really dealth with members of the undead before, so she opts to tread lightly.


There's a small motion of Eudora's fingers. "Of course. Whatever is needed. There are some partial footprints, not cleaned fully away - but there isn't much to go on, truly. As... difficult as Prince Tillo Protz can be to negotiate with, I believe there was reason and wisdom in taking it to the Allthing."

"And, as Kindred Prince, there... the list of enemies is as long as the list of allies - and most of them are one in the same. The courts of the Kindred are not for the faint of heart or the meek. People you have trusted for centuries can turn on you at whim or if the opportunity presents itself."


Speaking to the Sheriff, Eric nods his head and says, "Thank you." He then resumes looking at the blood and the patterns on the floor trying to determine the exact number and positioning. He tries to use the evidence on the floor (combining both his sight and his sense of smell) to recreate the actual moment of the attack in his mind. Speaking briefly to Elyssa, he explains, "I'm thinking maybe we can find what chemical they used and try to trace that to a store and then to a purchase."


Once permission is given, the young doctor removes a pair of latex gloves from her bag and slips them on before collecting a dull scalpel and few petrie dishes. She crosses the room over to one of the places and begins to scrape and flake off some of the blood and chemical samples. The flecks are scraped into a petrie dish before she screws on the lid and places it within her bag. Elyssa repeats the process a few more times, being careful to take samples from various points of interest within the room.


The Sheriff, true to her word, steps back to keep watch while the pair get to work - watchful, but not interfering. Samples from various places are found - a lucky spot found where the chemicals are faintly puddled and a clean-ish, clean*er* sample can be gathered from. Sharp eyes and a steady hand providing good fodder for the lab.

Eric manages to unravel the dance. It began near the door, with a slight scrape of shoe to the polished floor, To call it a dance would be proper - the footwork, the smears and splatters... Eudora wasn't joking. The person flinging the blood around is skilled in the art of painting things sanguine. There's a point where the signs point to, more or less, a dog piling, where sheer numbers shifts the fight and the Prince begins to weaken.

"Fights are fast, no matter how long they seem to take, and the pack of people that took him down and strung him up suffered a lot for their cause. The kind of damage that would be reported at hospitals or need to get see a backalley mob doc. Or just start digging a grave while they bleed. Not a lot of options there, not to judge by the sheet violence read in the blood spray.

A little uneven spot in dried blood, when poked at, reveals the broken beaded chain of dogtags, with a lonely tag still attached. It seems cryptic - just a string of numbers and letters that surely mean something to someone, but don't really identify the wearer. Not immediately.


Eric starts to describe the scene as he sees it. "So, they came in through the door and in time overwhelmed the prince. It looks like he fought back pretty well. In time they just ... overpowered him?" Hmmm. "We should definitely check the ERs and clinics to see if there are any unusual trauma victims recently." He walks over to the door jam and says, "Elyssa, do you see this smudge here? Do you think you could scrape off this bit of shoe polish? Maybe an analysis of that will provide some insight too." He then goes over and takes one of the little clear ziploc baggies from her bag and uses that to pick up the dog tag being careful not to containminate it with either his own DNA or fingerprints. He then holds the dog tag up to the Sheriff and asks, "Any idea what this is?"


Glancing up from her sample as Eric begins to verbally walk them through the fight, she listens with a slight frown, "I can check the hospital records around that time frame and see if they got any 'John Does' or people admitted with either puncture wounds or animal maulings. I doubt they would be foolish enough to use an actual ER." Then again, people do stupid things when in pain. When he mentions the door jam, she rises from her crouch and heads on over to the indicated area to scrape off a sample, "You could also check local vet clinics as they would have the equipment necessary to stitch wounds and you may find some workers willing to help patch someone up under the table. Just because they are trained on animals does not mean they can't muddle their way through stitches." She offers up, "If they have any medical skill of their own, they might be able to do it as well, but would need some supplies. I can check if anything has gone missing from the hospital, but you might want to run a check on local pharmacies and clinics to see if any inventory has been reported short anywhere."


"That sounds like a plan. Do let me know if you find anything out?" Eudora asks, gesturing to the mess. "I suspect we'll be cleaning this up in a few days - the sooner, the better. With the heat coming in, well... You can imagine." She points out, gesturing faintly to the mess and the heat - even with air conditioning, the mess can become rancid quickly.


Eric smiles looking over at Elyssa. "That was a good idea." Smart and beautiful. "Hmmm. They used the chemicals in here, but maybe they were not so careful elsewhere. They clearly didn't go out that door. Can I look around the rest of the floor? They had to leave by some way so either they magically disappeared or went through another exit which probably was a door given the fact that they had bodies to carry out with them." He starts looking around following the flow of the attack to find their exit point.


Scraping away that segment of polish and putting the chip in an actual baggie this time, Elyssa finally rises. Her blue eyes slip from Eric as he voices his queries aloud before glancing to the Sheriff once more. She considers everything said with a momentary pause before interjecting, "Maybe they left via the roof? Most people might not think to lookup there and sometimes in movies they go from rooftop to rooftop or place planks or ladders across as makeshift bridges." She pauses when she suddenly realizes just how ridiculous it all sounds, "Well, in any case you can usually get down via fire escape if you use a roof."


The woman stands still, unmoving - not even feigning breath. Thinking.

Abruptly, she beckons and heads for a door that opens onto a hall - not bothering to make sure they're following. Knuckles rap a door part way down the hall, then she opens the door and steps back. "This one goes to the roof. If you'd like to go up, I can escort you?" she offers, studying each in turn.


Eric follows along the way but gets down low to the ground as he does so. He says, "One moment please." As he sniffs, he calls upon the senses of the wolf to try and detect what or who the smell might be. If there is any identifiable substance. "Elyssa, did you bring any Luminol with you? It is used by police forsenic specialists to detec the presence of blood even after it has been cleaned up."


"Sadly, no." Elyssa replies easily enough, the woman clearly not having thought that far ahead nor considered she might need actual crime scene tools aside from the mere analysis kits she was able to swipe from the hospital. She does, however, listen to every bit of conversation and work on committing all that is seen and discussed to memory. The Sheriff keeps getting more than a few side glances, curiosity coupled with a healthy dose of fear more than evident upon the young blonde doctor's features as she falls back into silence.


Away from the intense stink of the chemicals and the fight, it's easier to pick up on the scents of those that trespassed - sweaty, bloodied, full of fear and triumph, and adrenaline. Three. Four. Five? Six? They blur together - one covered in the blood of another. One leaning close. More than five, less than ten? A couple of them, Eric would be able to pick out in a crowd, but not all of them.

Smears have been cleaned up - they were able to clean up after the blood bath and away from the fight itself. Definitely came the way of the roof.


Eric says, "Alright, let's try to go up onto the rooftop please. And, if anyone sees or detects even a drop of blood, let me know. Any blood up here would definitely be from there. With the rate they were losing blood, it is possible they missed something." He hopes at least. With the scent of the group, he says, "I just keep coming back to it being odd that they use crossbow bolts. Is there any benefit to using those instead of a gun?"


"Well, I would think the force from a bolt would be stronger than a bullet," Elyssa comments to Eric's question, following close behind him with her bag and samples, "I mean a crossbow would be a bit overkill with a normal person, but against a beast..." She pauses, suddenly realizing her faux paux as she turns to look back at the Sheriff, "Forgive me, that was rude... I did not mean to infer his Highness was a monster." Clearly he is, but she didn't intent to speak that aloud. Instead she continues, "Maybe they needed the extra stopping power."


Consideration is given, then Eudora breaks her silence again. "It's the wood. The bolt can punch through the chest, but the key is the exposed wood. Even the smallest sliver finding home in our hearts can lay low the strongest and oldest among us. The same is true, I believe of your kind and silver."

Leading the way up to roof, the stairs are narrow and dark, dimly lit with theater type emergency lights. Coming out onto the roof, the scent is mostly gone - out in the open, with rain and wind to erode it, it'd be all but impossible to get up here. But there are dark droplets. And there IS a fire escape.


"I think you were right about the fire escape." Eric says to Elyssa gesturing to the side. "And I doubt they landed a helicopter down here. I'm going to look for blood traces or residue that I can use to track them further. Even just one drop of blood will help." That gives him another idea. "Excuse me, Sheriff, did you find any torn garments or something else that the attackers may have left behind. They were very diligent, but it is hard to find everything."


Elyssa nods as Eric mentions the firescape, managing faintly in return, "Just be careful, I know you are tough but falling from this height still would be painful. I would really prefer you not be broken into a bunch of bones." She cautions Eric as he mentions checking and trying to track from the escape, her own attentions looking back to the Sheriff, "So whoever did this to the Prince, knew exactly what they were doing. You mentioned he had enemies, which is understandable, but whoever took him down obviously must have planned this attack for a while. That suggests watching him and getting to know his routines. Is there anything you can think of he may have done that would have singled him out as an easier target than the other two Princes? Well, the tall creepy gentleman aside... attacking him just seems like suicide." She admits openly.


"Of the three? Our Prince was more visible. Prince Tillo Protz keeps to the Undercity. He helps to watch over the place where reality is broken." There's a certain respect to her voice, one soldier speaking of another. That's better. "Prince Raul Alvarez is... Ah..." There's a slight grimace before the expression settles. "Humanitarian. He believes that if we tend the flock, the flock will flourish, and so we will." Gross. Humans as -people- and not merely food things or genderless, nameless slaves?

"Prince Enrico Salvatore was, /is/, very visible, in some ways. He moves a lot of the pieces in city hall and around the city. At least, the northern half of it. His enemies have many forms - poor people, rich people, Kindred... When you pull the strings, the puppet resents you."


Eric heads to the dark areas and sniffs. "Perfect." He heads over to Elyssa bag and says, "I need a scalpel, and some of those little dishes you have. 6 of them." Once he has them from her, he will go over to the blood samples and one by one scrap up as much of the blood as he can get and put the scrapings in separate containers. He is also careful to make sure to clean off the scalpel between each scraping so as not to cross containminate. "This is good."


Leaving Eric to handle those samples, because quite frankly she has no desire to wind up a road pancake, Elyssa turns back towards the Sheriff at her words, "Alright..." She seems to be processing the information, her brain putting together as much of the story as she can, "If his attackers were of our people, Eric would have smelled something by now... and to be fair, we would not use crossbows and bolts. I am willing to imagine the same can be said of most of the other races within the city. Which sort of leads me to one question." The young doctor pauses, glancing over towards the firescape that her Irraka is so diligently scraping at the moment, "Do you think it is possible that all of his dabbling and machinations alerted those with a certain skill set dedicated to the extermination of our kind?" Leave it to Elyssa to try and be as delicate as possible when speaking of Hunters.


Eudora watches the collection of samples, moving over to study a few of them. Using a pinky nail, akin to a coke connoisseur, she scrapes up some of the dried blood and dabs it to her tongue, working the taste over it before shrugging. "Tastes like the herd. I've had most of the different types of people in the city. This? Is almost disappointingly normal."


Eric nods his head and says, "Actually, that does make perfect sense. I assume your own kind would have different means of doing this. Mages would probably do something ... bizarre with their little spells or whatever. A wolf, well, we wouldn't need bolts. I'm not sure what one of those others would do, but a basic human weapon, combat tactics, military-style dog tag? All in all, clues are starting to point in a certain direction."


"Not a good one, either. They took down an Elder among us. In a safe place, well protected." The already serious looking Sheriff, grows ever more so. "/Fuck/."

"Run your tests. I need to speak with some others. The ghouls can see you out when you are ready."


It would appear all three minds are sort of syncing along the same wave length, Elyssa turning her attentions from the female Sheriff back towards Eric with concern, "Eric?" His name is really all she says, perhaps all she has to say as the silent worry is present and written upon all of her features. WHen the Sheriff drops the f-bomb and takes her leave, the young doctor inhales deeply. It takes her a few moments, before she finally adds in a quiet tone, "We owe it to the Mages to give them a warning. I am not suggesting the couple that was here earlier this evening, but maybe that other black gentleman that tried to keep her in line at that meeting." She turns to look back towards Eric, "We need to make sure to inform the other wolves too."