<Storyteller> Kara has sensed something like this before, and gets a clear image of a panther approaching her, stalking her. As soon as it is there, it is gone again.
“Verdammte hölle!” Kara swears as the vision comes over her. After a few moments hurriedly glancing around, and several deep breaths, she casts the toxicology report she was reading aside. “Ugh. I’ve been at it so long I’m seeing panthers in the numbers now.”
<Storyteller> As for the blood tests, the DNA has a hit in the system. But the man has been listed as missing since the night of the bombing. Nothing was found at the scene to indicate he is dead though.
“Well, that’s something at least.” Kara sighs, rubbing her eyes “The detectives can follow up on him.”
“And maybe get CDC to check him over first.” Kara mutters, casting a glance to the side of the lab where her blood samples had started disintegrating themselves.
“Mary Curie never had to put up with this nonsense.”
<Storyteller> The video she has gone over and over and still cannot place that effect. It’s not chemical, and it’s just plain not natural.
“Ugh. At this rate I’m going to be talking to Oma for help on a case. Not that she wouldn’t get a kick out of that.”
“Wierdos at the crime scene, walls torn apart, toxic blood in an inhaler, my samples are disappearing, and now I’m seeing cats.”
Kara leans back in her swivel chair, stretching her arms up and arching her back, before standing and collecting the scattered papers which constitute her evidence report. She saves a copy of the video file from the camera to a flash drive, then heads to the fax machine.
“Just two more minutes,” she mutters tiredly, “two minutes, and it’s somebody else’s problem.”
Kara gets almost to the fax machine, then swears. “Fremden Unsinn! I swear, if this turns out to be sleep deprivation, I’m having words with my parasympathetic nervous system.”
Kara sends in the report, then grabs a cup of coffee, downing it in record time as she looks up the crime scene from a few nights ago.
After a few minutes cleaning up her lab, changing into her casual clothes, and checking out at the front desk, Kara starts jogging towards the crime scene, and pauses only for a triple-shot espresso on the way.
<Storyteller> As she goes through the crime scene photos that james took, there is one where she is bent over taking samples and someone is far off in the background, crouched down and looking at her like a big cat would almost. Dark hair and that black leather jacket…
<Storyteller> It is barely dawn when Kara reches the warehouse, and the whole place is thick with fog.
“Hah,” Kara smirks, fighting back a yawn and panting slightly. “And they said I’d never use track.”
After a few moments to collect herself and grab her bearings through the fog, she makes her way over to the ally she saw in her vision.
<Storyteller> The alley itself is a passage btween two of the larger warehouses… one being the one that had the rave in it, the other was the one Zane came out of that night she was here.
Kara carefully looks around the small alley itself, before checking for any entrances to the warehouse Zane came out of.
<Storyteller> There is one door on this side, a normal sized one, metal like the rest of the building and unlocked.
Slowly and carefully, Kara opens the door.
<Storyteller> The room has boxes and crates tossed through it, and by the looks of it people may have been sleeping in here from time to time.
Kara quietly slides her handbag open and places one hand inside it before continuing in, leaving the door open behind her.
<Zane Calbeni> “What are you doing in here?”, his voice can be heard echoing about the room a bit but he doesn’t come out from where he is. “Thought you were done over there?”
Kara jumps slightly at the sound. She spins around, scanning for Zane. “Y-yeah,” She stutters, before forcing her voice to calm, “Well, so did I.”
<Zane Calbeni> flicks a piece of crate down into her hair from up above, sitting on a stack of them in the shadows. “Then why are you here?”
Kara barks out a single laugh at his question. “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”
<Zane Calbeni> smirks a bit and looks down at her. “try me. You’d be surprised the weird i see every day out on the streets.”
Kara frowns up at him, but relents. “Fine. My blood samples from the scene ate themselves, and I had a vision after a few caffeine-fueled hours of trying to figure out why that led me back here. Satisfactory?”
<Zane Calbeni> tilts his head at that and frowns. “What blood samples? As for visions, not my department… but I have seen weird.”
“Stuff I scraped out from an inhaler from the scene.”
Kara asks after a moment, her brow furrowing.
<Zane Calbeni> cringes visably at that, shaking his head. “And it… ate itself? So… tell me all of it is gone?”
“Yes. Which is a problem on multiple levels.”
<Zane Calbeni> nods his head and moves to another set of boxes deeper into the interior of the building. “I see. It also contained some addictive drugs, this inhaler?”
“How do you know so much about it?”
Kara takes a few steps after the man.
<Zane Calbeni> chuckles faintly, staying up above where she is on the stacked crates and keeps to the darkness. “I have seen the inhalers before and they are bad news. They’ll make people sick.”
“So it *is* a disease.” Kara exclaims under her breath.
“What do you know about these things?”
<Zane Calbeni> “Lets just say that internal hemmoraging is the most pleasent side effect.”, he says and lays down on top of the crate, just his head peeking over the side at her with his hair hanging down around his face.
“That’s it?” Kara sputters incredulously? “You’re talking about epidemiological terrorism like it’s *nothing*?”
<Zane Calbeni> nods his head faintly, looking very tired. “Well, not like it’s nothing. It is actually scary as hell. If you are lying and you have anything left… I suggest burning it.”
“How long has this been going on?” Kara questions, growing visibly more anxious, “And why haven’t I heard about this until now?”
<Zane Calbeni> keeps one eye open to look at her, but the other closes tiredly. “Well, conspiracy theories aside… it gets covered up. That’s why.”
“That’s…” Kara gapes, at a loss for words, “That’s Pferdscheisse!”
“Why would anyone try and cover this up?”
<Zane Calbeni> swaps eyes, closing the open one and opening the closed one as he watches her. “To keep you from panicking. More people die from panic than from the cause itself. I had thought the other inhaler was destroyed in the balst, the people using it set the bomb to cover that up specifically.”
“Seems a bit drastic. The bomb caught attention to. And I got the samples anyway.”
<Zane Calbeni> mumbles something about sandies not being too bright, and then jars himself a bit more awake again. “Yes, it did at that. I can tell you for sure that the guy that took the inhaler is dead, hopefully extra crispy and non contagious.”
“Is that supposed to make me feel better?” Kara almost snaps.
“This contagen defies multiple laws of matter, but it’s okay because people have died from it!?”
<Zane Calbeni> squints down at her. “No, it’s not okay. I am just telling you so you don’t go looking for this guy and stumble into those covering it up and get yourself hurt. Or killed to shut you up.”
“I…” Kara pauses. “I actually appreciate the concern, but I can’t just let this go. Especially if nobody else knows to investigate this!”
<Zane Calbeni> groans. “Man, you are gonna be pissed when you wake up… but I am totally about to pass out and i can’t have you running off anywhere.”, he says and then rolls off the side of the crates and lands on the ground beside Kara. He takes a step toward her…
<Storyteller> Kara wakes up, and she isn’t sure how much time has passed. She is inside one of the crates in the warehouse, it seems to be nailed shut from the outside. She feels tired though, and pretty light headed as if drugged. She remembers him grabbing her and pulling her close and then it kind of goes blank.
“Great going, Kara.” She berates herself as she sits up and begins checking her person. “Kidnapped on a fanciful little jaunt to an active crime scene. Terrific.”
<Storyteller> He was smart enough to take her phone and such from her, as well as her weapon. There is a small LED flashlight and a note though inside the crate with her.
Kara picks up the flashlight, checks it for abnormalities, then turns it on to read the note.
<Storyteller> “Sorry about that but I need to talk to you a little more and can’t have you run off while I’m catching up on my beauty sleep. You probably won’t remember us calling your friend either so he knows you are okay and might not be in for a few days… the flu is a bitch. See you tonight.”
“Well…” Kara sits herself against the wall of the box.
<Zane Calbeni> “Well, are you okay in there?”, he asks from next to the crate on the side she has her back to. “I am gonna open the box. Do not try to run. Seriously.”
<Zane Calbeni> takes a crowbar and pops open the top of the crate, looking down in at Kara and then offering her a hand out. “We really need to talk… but I imagine you also maybe need some food?”
“I’d prefer answers to a meal.” Kara eyes him coolly. I’m not sure I want to eat anything prepared around here, if what you said about those inhalers wasn’t all rubbish.”
<Zane Calbeni> shrugs his shoulders a bit. “Fair enough. I am trying to keep you from getting yourself killed. There is definately some shit you do not understand… and rushing at it waving your arms is a terrible idea.”
“And what, exactly, would those things I don’t understand *be*, Mr. Zane?” Kara asks, her temper beginning to fray.
<Zane Calbeni> sighs and shakes his head a bit at her. “I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.”, despite the cliche phrase, the way he says it seems totally serious.
Kara rubs her face, trying to numb the exhaustion she feels. “Mr. Zane, if you didn’t want me to know anything, why did you even talk to me today? Yesterday? Whenever I came in here.”
<Zane Calbeni> “I was hoping to disuade you, or at the least keep your curiousity turned elsewhere.”, he says finally as he half circles the crate. “At the scene I needed to know how much you knew, which at the time, wasn’t much. Now, it’s enough that if the wrong people heard you… they’d come at you… and not nearly be so nice about it as me.”
“Yes, drugging and kidnapping me is the picture of courtesy.” Kara mutters.
<Zane Calbeni> smirks a bit. “They will kill you. They will kill people who know you, just so there isn’t anyone to file a missing persons.”
“Look, you’re getting into Dan Brown airport paperback conspiracy territory now.” Kara sighs, slumping against the crate’s interior. “I’m just supposed to take your word that some massive conspiracy wants to keep a particular disease-that still doesn’t obey, like three, biological constants-quiet?”
<Zane Calbeni> sighs and reaches up, rubbing the bridge of his nose as he thinks. “You said you had a vision that led you here, could you tell me more about it… does it happen often?”
“Only sometimes.” Kara shrugs. “Usually when looking through stacks of data for a few hours on end. I saw…” Kara trails off, thinking back for a moment, “a cat. It looked like a puma. It was stalking the alley outside, then jumped at me.”
<Zane Calbeni> nods his head a bit as he listens, looking thoughtful. “But you have a hard time believeing in the really weird stuff… I have a habit it has a way of seeking you out though? They always send the strange stuff your way at work?”
“Well, yeah.” Kara says, uncertain, “I mean, I get a lot of the tough cases sure, but…”
<Zane Calbeni> leans over the side of the crate to look at her, a warm, friendly aura seeming to eminate from him. He really did seem to be just trying to help. “Ones that nobody else can figure out because you have an insight they do not. You are smart, if you think about this you have to realize how much danger you could be in.”
“I’m not special, Mr. Zane. I just…see things other people miss sometimes. And this…” Kara pauses, “this is a pretty big thing other people missed.”
<Zane Calbeni> nods his head again softly, listening. “I don’t want to keep you here. But if you go out there all gung-ho, you’ll cause a lot of problems not just for yourself but for others too. Usually the right people catch these things and make them go away, in this case, you ended up caught in the middle and it’s not your fault.”
“So I’m just supposed to trust in some benevolent shadow conspiracy?” Kara asks, somewhat incredulously.
<Zane Calbeni> shakes his head a little bit, “No, but can I at least get you to trust me for the time being? I will try to explain what i can without laying some MIB shit on you.”
Kara examines him for a moment, then nods. “Okay,” She sighs, “I’ll trust you.”
<Zane Calbeni> watches her for a good long minute before nodding his head and extending a hand to help her out of the crate. “If I let you go, I need your word you won’t tell anybody about my involvement. Do your job though, and as far as the disease goes, turn over what you have to the CDC… let them handle it.”
“All right” Kara nods, “Sounds reasonable enough. Even if you did use up some of my sick days.”
<Zane Calbeni> helps her out and then indicates the surrounding buildings. “Don’t come back here by yourself, either. It’s not safe. If you need to find me for anything you can go to a bar called the Devil’s Trill and leave a message with the bartender.”
“Hey, I’ll take the excuse to go pub crawling.” Kara grins, taking the opportunity to stretch once she’s back out under the moonlight. “And don’t worry. I won’t poke around here if I can help it. Don’t look forward to more time in a box. That’s what we have beat cops for.”
<Zane Calbeni> chuckles a bit and nods. “It looks kinda rough on the outside, but the guys there are like family.”, he glances up at the sky and then other toward the tear in the building opposite thoughtfully. “Thank you, Kara. It means a lot to me to be able to trust you.”
“Of course.” Kara smirks somewhat playfully, drawing an odd shape over her heart with one finger. “Witch’s word.”
She chuckles for a moment, casting her gaze aside and blushing lightly. “Sorry, that’s something my siblings an I used to do. Easier than pretending to make blood oaths or something like that.” She looks back up at Zane. “But seriously. thank you for your help. I won’t get too deep.”
<Zane Calbeni> smiles a bit at that and pats her shoulder gently. “Sorry for locking you in a crate all day. That’s a hell of a way to start a friendship, huh?”, he chuckles and takes a step back, glancing off down the road momentarily. “Try to stay out of trouble. I’ll see you again soon… and if I find something I can pass on to help you, I will.”
“I’d appreciate it.”
<Zane Calbeni> nods once more and then as he steps around behind her while she starts to head for the road, he is gone. Nowhere to be seen.
“Well, that wasn’t creepy at all.” Kara mutters before turning back to the two warehouses. She idly clutches a small crystal dangling from a rope necklace around her neck, and stares intently at the two buildings, her eyes glazing over for a moment.
After a few moments, she shakes herself out of her trance-like state, glances around, and resolves herself to another jog of a few miles before she can eat.