Jalen sighed as he scrolled through google search results. This was probably something better done to the Tremere but it seemed like he was on the hunt for Creed and Jasper, and he didn’t have a clue on the disease anyway, so… it was better than doing nothing, he supposed. Except his usual magic with finding stuff didn’t seem to be applying at the moment. “Damn search engine,” Jalen grumbled, grumpy since he hadn’t bothered to go hunting since he’d gotten here.
“Yeah it’s a bitch huh?” Esmond pulled up a chair next to the scruffy man and unbuttoned his coat, not wasting too much time with the approach. The malkavian had told him about the gangrel and the ventrue was trying to meet as many of the local kindred as possible. It was going to come in handy eventually and he really couldn’t be uppity about new friends in a new city. “Can I be a bit of a bother and ask what it is you’re looking for?” he asked, cursing anti-smoking laws as he gripped the packet in his pocket.
Jalen looked up as he was spoken to — definately not something he expected. “Something out of my field, that’s all, otherwise I’d know the databases to look for,” Jalen shrugged. He was still rusty with figuring out vamps from humans, but he was… 80 percent sure this guy was a vamp. “Some higher ups asked me and a few others to investigate some disease, but like I said, it’s not exactly my field,” he shrugged. “Jalen, by the way,” he said, offering his hand. He could at least be decent, after all.
The kindred took the hand and shook it with a firm grip before leaning forward on his elbows at the mention of the disease. “I’m Esmond Westley, a friend of Roxy’s and it’s honestly my… occupation to look into things like this. Although she never mentioned a nasty bug.” he spoke rapidly, honestly the thought of having something to solve excited him.
“Roxy makes a lot of friends quite easily,” Jalen nodded as the male explained he was a friend of Roxy’s. “Yes, were told about two employees who came down sick after eating something weird, we’re not sure how but the disease came through the food, and now they’re experiencing… odd sweats, as far as I’ve been told. Someone else was going to interview the sick employees so I figured I’d give a shot at figuring out what the disease could be,” Jalen explained what he knew since the guy probably knew more than him at the moment.
Kenneth had just left the plantation house, heading back into town for the night. He pulled out his phone and shot Jalen a message, assuming Roxy was busy. “Hey, where are you? I have some new information about Creed and Jasper.” Putting away his phone, he broke into a brisk walk into town.
“I assume she does, she’s very easy to get along with but I don’t think she’s as innocent as she seems.” Esmond answered idly crossing his legs and sitting back in the chair. “Odd sweats after ingesting food so it’s definitely food poisoning that’s doing it? Couldn’t just be a bad cook?” he was still playing into the euphemisms since he was unsure whether they would be overheard on top of the fact he wasn’t entirely sure he was talking about humans or not.
“Could be, but the food seemed fine; they believe the food was a carrier for the disease,” Jalen explained. “We don’t know who or what kind of vessels got them sick, just that they got sick. The bosses are worried about it becoming a problem,” Jalen explained, while trying not to fuck up at the same time. He looked down at his pocket as his phone went off. “Hang on a sec,” he said, taking it out his phone and replied. “Corner of 5th and Grant Street — an internet cafe; guy who knows Roxy is here, says he may be able to look up stuff about the disease.” Then he pocketed his phone again. “That was someone working with Roxy and I, says he got information on those who got sick,” he informed.
Kenneth read the text almost as soon as it arrived, striking out towards the cafe after replying with a short “on my way now. Who is he?” It took him some time but he eventually pointed himself in the right direction and quickly began making his way to the cafe.
“I can imagine someone’s quite upset about it, fast food is easier than cooking in any case” He remarked, scratching his chin out of habit more than out of necessity. “So are you sure it was the food because I can imagine it’s been eaten before, maybe it was tainted somehow? outside source maybe?” he asked still continuing to rollout the questions.
“Yeah, you try getting them to go eat McDonalds after eating caviar,” Jalen snorted. “That’s what I’ve been told, that it was the food, though they don’t know how,” Jalen explained. “I only have the symptoms of overly sweating — losing fluids in general,” he replied. He took out his phone for a moment as he was texted again. God, he felt like having two conversations at once. “Introduced himself as Esmond, a Kindred, and said he was a friend of Roxy’s,” he texted. “Sorry,” he apologized again. “So I don’t suppose you’ve ever heard of this sort of thing before?”
Kenneth received the final text just as the cafe came into view, and didn’t even bother responding after he read it. Instead he simply entered the cafe and looked around for any sign of the other two.
“Only once and it was snuffed out pretty quickly although that case was a lot more deadly and eventually had the CDC involved so you can imagine why the bureaucracy is starting to sweat figuratively.” He answered uncrossing his leg and the crossing them again on the opposite side. Quickly looking to the familiar face entering the door “Is this your friend that’s helping?” he asked.
Jalen nodded as Esmond had only heard of it happening one other time before. “Yeah, I get it,” he sighed, and glanced over as the door went off and someone came in. “Yeah, that’s Kenneth,” he replied, looking over at the person in question. He waved the Tremere over. “Esmond, this is Kenneth. Kenneth, Esmond,” he introduced because again, manners. “So what’d you hear?”
Kenneth approached the two with a smile, sticking out a hand to Esmond. “Nice to see you again, Esmond.” He turned towards the Gangrel and nodded, taking a seat. “So I was discussing the illness with one of the members of my… family. Turns out that the two who got sick after their meals are both a little hard to find. One won’t let one of my blood approach him after the tests they performed. The other IS one of my family members, and he’s been missing since the incident.”
The ventrue shook the others hand and returned it to his pocket and taking out a small pad and pen, noting down what they’ve already discussed, without looking up he asked his next question. “That’s good, that’s leads, Does the livestock show any particular symptoms or is it affecting the animal in anyway?” Esmond was beginning to enjoy the wordplay although referring to kine as animals was a slippery slope.
Jalen blinked as he realized they’d met each other before and mentally shrugged. “Did they have any idea where the one not from your family hangs out? ’cause I could go handle that and let Esmond handle the research crap,” he suggested and shrugged as Esmond asked if the livestock showed any symptoms. “They didn’t really say, it’s why we’re trying to get a hold of those who are sick,” Jalen explained.
“Creed is said to spend a lot of time at the Trill and other similar dives. If I remember correctly he hasn’t been seen at the Trill recently though.” He shot a glance over at Esmond, looking slightly thoughtful before pulling out his phone. “I might need to contact you, and would highly appreciate if you could contact me, if more information surfaces.” He said, holding out the phone to Esmond with the ‘add contact’ screen pulled up.
Esmond quickly flicked his hands back into his pockets and drew out the small ornate card case opening it before handing one it over to the bespectacled vampire and then another to the scruffier one. “If you guys find anything don’t hesitate to give me an email a call or a text. Informations going to be key. If you hit a brick wall talking to someone, again don’t hesitate. I’ve got a way with words.” Esmond stood up and collected his things in his pockets. He bowed slightly to them both but not enough that it was noticeable by anyone not watching, words quickly forming in his throat “With that I’m again going to have to leave the night is long but not long enough I’m afraid.” lipping a cigarette and lighting it he was off to hail a cab and get back to Haven.
Jalen nodded as Kenneth informed him that Creed spent a lot of time at that bar. “I’ll handle finding him, then,” he confirmed. Jalen managed not to sigh as they were both handed a business card — damn fancy men. “Alright, I’ll let you know,” Jalen nodded, pocketing the card. “With that, I’ll go see if I can hunt down Creed, and you’ll take Jasper. Again, contact me if you find anything, cya,” he said, picking up his worn backpack and headed for the door. Trill’s it was, then.
Kenneth took the card and waved to both of them as they left, remaining in the cafe for some time. He sat at the table, staring thoughtfully out the window. He needed to speak with the other Tremere again at some point, ask what Isabo meant about the forest “Eating” Jasper.