<Aaron> sits with Jesse at the coffee shop on Sixth Street, watching people go by on the sidewalk from their seat by the window.
Jesse sips Hazelnut Delight slowly, just enjoying it as she mostly watches Aaron watching the window. “You sure you’re okay?”
<Aaron> nods his head a bit and checks his messages again with a sigh. “Still no word from Kara, or our mystery weirdo. So, I am not sure where to even start.”
Jesse hmmms as she nibbles on a bagel. “Well, you mentioned zombies and stuff… Where would we go to find stuff about that sort of thing?”
<Aaron> sighs and sets his empty cup down on the table. “There’s a few places. New Orleans is kind of a hot spot. I don’t know anyone here personally… so I feel like just going in and asking could be bad. And I am sure they have scrubbed that ambulance by now so no way to do anything with that…”
Jesse frowns a bit and finishes off her own food and drink as she tries to consider options. “Well, we still could retrace the steps… Come on, lets just go see what we find.”
<Aaron> nods and gets up, heading with Jesse out to the street at least. “Sounds better than sitting till we get contacted. We don’t know where they lost the body though?”
Jesse giggles as she gives Aaron a poke in thr ribs. “I can fix that. Lets go to the garage where they keep the ambulances.”
<Aaron> shakes his head but starts to head that way, forgoing the car for now in favor of foot travel. “Alright, lets give this a shot then.”
~*Ramirez*~ made his way down the street. He found that even though he had died, he was still rather hungry. He’d gone back to his cheap apartment that was rather infested with whatever vermin could fit in there. He was sure they warred it out when he wasn’t there. Food though, it was a necessity. He’d move down the street heading for some convenient fast food place.
<Aaron> keeps watching their surroundings as they go, still upset about earlier. But he remains silent about it, not complaining. “So, what… exactly if your plan?”
Jesse pouts a bit as they reach the depot, looking in. “I dont know. I was hoping someone would reach us by now. But… I might be able to get us close anyway, if you have a way to track from there?”
<Aaron> looks down at her and then pats her on the head. “I’m going to ignore that for now… but I might have a way to find what we’re looking for. If I can get to something the dead guy was touching.”
~*Ramirez*~ orders a burger and some fries and waits around for the food, looking around a bit as he worried that wacked ass serial killer might show up again. His soft drink was also now in hand. Junk food acquired. It was time to figure out what he was going to do before where he lived was going to be blocked off from him for good. He’d walk down the street eating the junk food and sipping on that fountain drink. Could he call some people or were they going to flip out? Yeah that was the best course of action. He could call someone…when he was done eating.
Jesse nods and then goes into the office to start distracting. Leaving Aaron to go snoop.
<Aaron> grumbles and lets her go do her thing while he tries to sneak around the back to have a look at things. He sighs as he looks the place over before deciding that the best option might be one he’s been avoiding. He stoops down by the building and puts a hand on the brick, the other hand on the little bag around his neck, speaking softly to himself and then tries to push through the barrier.
<Aaron> next starts to move over to where the trucks were, being as careful as possible not to disturb anything. He is already second guessing this particular idea but it’s a little late now… and he peeks through, just to look in from that side, trying to find a way in.
Jesse bats her eyes and does her best to chat the guys inside up, hoping Aaron finds whatever he is looking for.
<Aaron> grumbles to himself and heads out of there… not stepping back out yet until he is sure he is clear of people in general. He thinks… there has to be a route path or work orders… some way to know where they were at the time it happened.
Jesse gets what info she can and then makes some excuse to get out… Trying to go out and look for Aaron. She frowns when she doesn’t see him… But starts headed down the walk where they told her the creepy ghost story occured.
<Aaron> keeps track of jesse, following her to where she goes and then finding some out of the way place to come back across at. Then he walks all the way back over to Jesse where she is waiting. “Please tell me this is where i think it is and that’s why you are waiting with that half pissed at me look?”
Jesse blinks but sighs. “Yeah. But… Nevermind. So… You think you have it?”
~*Ramirez*~ would head to the spot, the bar where he was killed, out of curiosity. He’d glance around at the taped off region and look around to see if anyone was around that would really bother stopping him from entering.
<ST> There is nobody about that area at this time.
~*Ramirez*~ would sneak in then to go check out what happened and see the scene in there. His head was still rattled from well, dying and being brought back to life, but it wasn’t messing him up as badly as he figured it should…but that killer, yeah, that was someone he was worried about. Revisiting the scene might refresh and solidify what happened.
<Aaron> starts at the spot the guy had to have left the ambulance and starts tracking him as he tracked Spirits in the Umbra before… except this time… it was the spiritual echo of footprints. “Hey, I… think it’s working.” He starts to pick up the pace, eager now to catch up as the path winds around here and there all of the places he went after that point.
Jesse starts to follow, jogging to keep up. She finally grabs him when they get as far as the fast food place. “Slow down. I need to hit the gym more or something.”
<ST> The alley between the bar and the flower shop is not expecially dark or inactive. But there is an uneasy feeling that still lingers there. And… no blood anywhere, though it doesn’t look cleaned, just absent.
<Aaron> glances back to Jesse. “The zombie has a full day head start. Even if it’s moving slow… we might be far behind. Come on.”
~*Ramirez*~ frowns. “There’s no way this was just a bad trip.” He was sure there had been blood but now it was just gone. No smell of bleach or anything around. Why would the blood from the scene be gone? He’d look around for damage to the furniture or anything..recalling where he was sitting.
<ST> He’d gone… outside? There was someone out there, getting sick… and then… He was at the back of the alley… He had been there the whole time but they couldn’t see it.
<Aaron> drags Jesse along and keeps moving, pausing at the opening to the alleyway between the flower shop and the bar. “Whoa… maybe I went too far backward… or… it came back this way…”, he looks toward the street and then back down the alley, eyeing the caution tape. “Oh, joy.”
Jesse pauses and looks at the alley. “Okay. So it came back here where it died. Makes sense but Kara never said what to do if we found it.”
~*Ramirez*~ looks around as voices become audible. He’d cuss softly under his breath. “Well shit.” He’d then move around to try to get a closer look at who was around here and then move to get out of the place when he could…but they were of course right out there by the entrance he took. He’d have to wait till they entered before he could bolt for it.
<Aaron> looks thoughtful and then slowly starts to move forward, still following the path of the person they were looking for. “Watch my back.”, he says and heads into the alley.
Jesse nods and stays at the entrance, to keep an eye on Aaron in case of trouble.
<Aaron> follows it straight to Ramirez and stops, looking up and suddenly not entirely sure of this plan. “Uhm, hi there.”
~*Ramirez*~ yawns, bored, from his hiding place. This just wasn’t that exciting and the voices didn’t sound like the killer and they weren’t latino either. The one guy though made a b-line to him now and he stood up straight looking at Aaron. “Uhh, yeah, yo.”
<Aaron> takes a half step back up off him, but seems to look him over as if assessing him. “You don’t look like a zombie. Uhm, maybe we should talk?”
~*Ramirez*~ “I ain’t no zombie, hombre. But yeah.. we can talk. Who are you and what are you here for?”
Jesse slowly creeps in to back Aaron up if need be, not to mention curiousity. She looks at Ramirez and tilts her head a bit then looks back at Aaron.
<Aaron> nods. “My name is Aaron Whitefox. That’s Jesse… and well, we were following someone that died a little while ago, maybe was killed by someone around here… and I sound like a dumbass.”, he says, rolling his eyes at himself.
~*Ramirez*~ eyed them both suspiciously. “Okay..-why- would you be following someone who you think might’a died? What do you want with ’em?”
<Aaron> sighs. “Well… that is kinda complicated actually. For one, to find the guy killing people and putting a stop to it, cause I promise that stuff isn’t normal. Maybe you’ve seen that already, somehow?”
~*Ramirez*~ “Yeah..” He sighs as he recalls it. “I remember. I was sitting here talking with some pals and then went outside to smoke a cig here in the alley. There was some woman too, talkin’ on her phone. I noticed it got like dark and this guy, I ain’t shitting you, stepped out of the shadows and he had a hook for a hand.”
~*Ramirez*~ “He made short work of the woman, right over there, and then he came at me so fast.. it was unnatural. Unreal for normal stuff.”
Jesse glances back over behind them, then looks back to Ramirez. “Fuck that. I did not sign up to handle hookman. Not to mention… I dont think he’s a zombie.”
~*Ramirez*~ “I ain’t a zombie. Zombies are different. What I am.. I’m woke.”
<Aaron> looks thoughtful and then glances back at Jesse. “Didn’t they say… nevermind. Uhm, look.”, he takes out a piece of paper and jots down an address. “This place… is safe. Building looks abandoned but we go there sometimes, it’s good to recharge there and uhm… there’s some food there and a couple sleeping bags. Given the situation, you don’t want the Feds catching up to you, and currently they are investigating the killings.”
~*Ramirez*~ nods. “Alright, sounds good. I will head there now then. Going home again probably isn’t a good idea.”
<Aaron> nods and backs off, hoping the guy trusts them enough to really check it out. Then he looks back to jesse. “Well, just a fun-ass day today, huh.”
~*Ramirez*~ takes off once they give him a hole to escape. ~ he’d think about it and of course scope out the place before trusting it but then eventually go inside to relax and figure things out, and eat some more.
Jesse checks her phone and chuckles, replying again. “Back to the coffee shop?”
<Aaron> just looks at her. “Really? Okay.”, he turns and starts to move, but seems a little quieter as he does so, looking very carefully around when they step into the alley and then walk toward the coffee shop again. “Sorry, something is just not sitting right with me. I don’t mean to be short with you.”
Jesse just follows, nodding softly. “It has been a very strange few days. I can rub your shoulders when we get home… We’ll break out the Calming Oil and just relax.”
<Aaron> smiles and reaches over, patting her back gently as he ushers her inside the shop, briefly scanning the area around them before following her inside to get their drinks and go sit. “Thank you, that actually sounds lovely.”
Jesse chuckles and gets the usual for both of them, then sits at the table where they can see both inside and out. Then, nothing left to do but wait.
Dan sits down at their table with a very large cup of coffee, looking around. “So, hi. I’m Dan. I see you got my message”
<Aaron> looks over at him and gives him a brief up and down before nodding softly and sipping his chai. “That we did. Though it may have been a tad confusing on our end. We really haven’t had much to do with the guys were were talking about.”
Jesse looks over and smiles a little bit but lets Aaron do the talking on the matter for now. “Hi. Nice to meet you.”
<Dan> Good to meet you too. It looked like you were with them, but it’s hard to tell. I’m new in town, looking for like minded people.
<Aaron> nods slowly as he takes that in. “Well, I suppose you seem like you’d round out this After School Special. To be honest, we kinda just… stumbled onto each other and found we had some… unusual things in common.”
Jesse narrows her eyes at Aaron. “I swear… If you ever refer to us as the Breakfast Club… I’ll put cat attractant in your soap.”
<Dan> Sounds good… coincidence causes things to fall into place for us. If you’re who I think you are. Or similar.
<Aaron> smirks a bit at Jesse before looking back to Dan again. “Well, glad you seem to think we’re something specific because I don’t believe other than Arthur, any of us have a name for it.”
<Dan> Arthur? Well, I’m still new to this, but it sounds like you may be even newer. I can help you out with what little I’ve learned, half of which probably won’t apply for you anyway.
<Aaron> nods his head. “Arthur… is… he’s a little weird. Magic wands and like… magic missle at the darkness kinda kid. Long blonde hair, chases faeries. From the looks of it, it’s like his family passes that shit down or something. Anyway… we recently all got into a nasty fight with a Spirit, and in the process, Jesse here fell into their world. So we are all a little frazzled still.”, he says as he watches Dan.
Jesse nods in agreement, taking a long drink of her coffee. “I can’t believe Arthur is pushing to go back. I’ve had quite enough of that for a while.”
<Dan> Ah, yeah… sounds like you’re learning. Arthur is the OOH then, wands are their sort of thing. So can you do.. what he does? Differently of course.
<Aaron> does his best not to laugh. “I just walked the path of my anscestors to take a jaunt through the spirit realm today and followed a guy who was dead but isn’t anymore. I don’t know if that qualifies.”
<Dan> Yeah, that counts.
Jesse giggles faintly. “I can help people be calm, or heal their bodies and energy alignment with crystals.”
Dan nods his head “OK, I’m tracking. This works.”
<Aaron> sighs and takes a sip of his tea, glancing briefly out the window and then back in again. “We’re pretty sure there are other guys at the Lab / Government Building… but they kinda give me the creeps. Kara seems okay with them though, and she has always been cool so we haven’t had an issue so far.”
<Dan> So what was going on in that lab? All I know is the White Rabbit Project.
<Aaron> makes a bit of a face. “Well, I don’t know about that… but the reason we were there was they had some sort of portal set up we could have used to escape the spirit world… except we kinda found a way to get out on our own so didn’t take that route. Kara works there, she’s like some Forensic Tech.”
Jesse nods. “I haven’t even been in there. It’s creepy enough on the outside.”
<Dan> Fair enough. I only heard rumors. I don’t know anything myself. Also not a spirit guy, personally.
Jesse nods heavily in agreement. “I am beyond ready to put that shit on the Nope List, myself.”
<Aaron> smirks just a little, but nods in understanding. “So, what do you do? How did you find us? And trust me… I am going to go have a talk with Kara’s Boss/Partner guy about this… Project.”
<Dan> I’m.. .good with computers. They let me do basically anything I want. I could go into detail but suffice to say it works for me, and they show me the true nature of Reality. Right now I dabble in a bunch of areas, no real specialization as yet
Jesse picks up her phone and groans. “Shit. Getting called into work. I gotta go. I’ll be home later though, okay? We’ll still break out the candles and stuff, don’t start without me.”, she smirks and takes her key off the chain, tossing it to Aaron before totally ducking out.
<Dan> Well, that was abrupt. *eyes the chain* What’s that?
<Aaron> nods to Dan and then blinks, picking up the key and tucking it in his inner jacket pocket. “I see. I have noticed that we have some… overlapping qualities myself, just different methods. Everyone walks different paths.”
<Aaron> smirks a little bit. “House key, I don’t have my own key yet. If you watched us, then you know about the Theater?”
<Dan> The theater is how I was able to track you. That FBI facility is interesting though. Yes, we all have different methods, that’s part of the charm. I’m sure there are things we can both do, more or less, and things each of us uniquely are capable of.
<Aaron> nods his head a bit, looking thoughtful. “We’ve been doing work on it. It has a … power source inside of the building. We kind of have been gathering up there to share information and such.”
<Dan> Ah… I think I understand. Excellent. I’d certainly be willing to exchange information. What I know vs what you know, maybe even work together on some issues.
<Aaron> smiles a bit and nods, sipping his drink. “Can we start with dead people waking up alive and wandering off? Know anything about that?”\
<Dan> Dead people aren’t really my specialty, but I can maybe help. I’ve read some, and have access to some… literature.
<Aaron> nods. “I am way more animal spirits, less people spirits kinda expert. But I don’t think he was dead, but also pretty sure that the coroner didn’t fuck up either. Flat out coming back to life seems like some serious Juju to me, and that it happens to be involving a serial killer at the same time… Not likeing where that is headed.”
<Dan> Well.. that sounds highly unpleasant. Doable. As the movie says, there’s mostly dead, and all the way dead.
<Aaron> nods his head again and finishes off his tea. “It gets worse. The description of the killer sounds like a Spirit, a nasty one. And I had dreams of the killing the night they took place. I am considering seeking the spirits for answers, but it may put me out for a few days.”
<Dan> Well, hopefully it wasn’t a possession scenario. That’s bad all around. Why do you think it would put you out that long to talk though?
<Aaron> looks thoughtful, then shrugs. “I don’t know, it might not anymore. It used to, but I guess… it’s a little different now. I’ll seek Coyote’s Guidence on the matter. If he doesn’t know, he will at least point me to a path to follow.”
<Dan> Sounds like a plan. Still best to do it somewhere safe, ideally somewhere you’ve set up to work for you.
<Aaron> nods his head at that. “I know a place, I’ll head out there tomorrow. So… the lab / fbi guys… they come across to you as unusual or anything? I would look into it, but don’t know where to start. The guy we have been dealing with is Cornel Rodgers, yeah… I laughed at the name too.”
<Aaron> “I don’t like that he knows things. About all of us so far. And I fear he means to use us in some way… but that could just be paranoia.”
<Dan> Well, we should find somewhere private to all talk and compare notes. Not sure I want Rogers knowing about me just yet until I can do more research on him though. *taps at his computer briefly and returns to conversation* Hopefully when that’s done running I’ll know more. Having a name to go with the face should help significantly
<Aaron> nods. “I think he can do things, like we can. And it was he that facilitated us becoming more aware of the world. But he is hiding a lot, and I don’t like it.”, he says and then shrugs lightly. “So what else do you do? I am pretty handy at odd jobs. Jesse is a nurse.”
<Dan> Well, I was a computer programmer in the Valley for a bit. Company got sold, I had some generous stock options. Now I just.. learn about what I’ve become.
<Dan> Though if you need an app written, I can still do that, no worries
<Aaron> laughs just a bit at that. “I barely use a cellphone. Heck, half of what Kara says to us with the science-stuff goes right over my head.”
<Dan> No worries. We all do what works for us. That’s where the fun comes from!
<Aaron> grins a bit at that. “This is true. Most of us are still getting used to each other. And I am sure there will be many things i say in the future that seems vague or even like a riddle to you all.”
<Dan> Same here as well… but we all mean the same thing with different words
<Angela> makes her way into the coffee shop, dressed in all black and her old style camera as usual dangling around her neck. She orders some coffee and then turns, smiling when she sees Aaron and walks over, nodding to him and then to Dan. “Hey. Not following you I swear.”
<Aaron> laughs again, more easily now. “I think we’ll all get along fine.” He then turns and nods to Angela. “Oh, hey. Isn’t it a bit light out to be taking pictures of ghosts?”
<Aaron> gestures between the pair of them, “Sorry… Angela, this is Dan, Dan, Angela. She happened to wander into the Theater the other night as well, hunting ghosts.”
<Angela> raises a hand in a semi-friendly manner as she takes a sip of coffee. “Hey. I don’t like leaving my camera behind… and I did get a good shot last night. Your ghost is still there.”
Dan looks at the camera and then nods. “More ghost people. Still not my thing but you do you”
<Aaron> smirks. “It’s… been an interesting week. I can only hope though that life is not always so terribly exciting from now on.”
<Angela> smiles, darkened lips turning up in a friendly manner before she takes a drink of the warm coffee. “Nothing wrong with an interesting life. Makes for a more restful afterlife. So, what have you been up to?”
<Aaron> shrugs. “Short version is that I chased a guy that came back from the dead, and hashed out some fiendly business with our cyberstalker.”
Dan finishes his improbably large coffee and orders another. “Interesting comes and goes. I’ve had some quiet time to study but I think with you folks it’s about to become exciting again.
<Aaron> stands up and smiles, nodding to them both. “Probably. SO far we have been quite the magnet for trouble. Well, it was nice meeting you… if you need us, phones work. But I should get off to Jesse’s and feed that demon of a cat before she gets home. So, good afternoon to both of you.”
<Angela> nods her head as he heads out. “Awww. But it was nice seeing you, I am sure we’ll get more time to talk later.”
<Aaron> nods and gives them both a friendly wave before ducking out.
Dan nods to Angela “So tell me about yourself”
<Angela> shrugs her shoulders a little bit, but takes a seat at the table. “Student, like generally creepy stuff. Not terrible with computers, but I find a certain charm in old time photography. What about you?”
<Dan> I’m.. very good with computers. Made some money in the valley, now exploring what I’m capable of, trying to learn more, and maybe some day make a positive difference in the world.
<Angela> smiles over the top of her cup, “Dare I say Adept at computers?”, she takes a bit of it and then glances out the window. “Something big is about to go down. Lets just say the local population has… quadrupled in the span of a month. Nodes that were dormant have sprung back to life too.”
<Dan> Ah! Someone who knows! Yes, you can be Virtually certain that I am quite Adept at this. I find coincidences with our type rarely are that. Quadrupling of population could well be related to an awakening node harmonizing and pulling our avatars in.
<Angela> nods and turns back to him. “Cool. Yeah, I haven’t had a chance to talk to them very much but I get the picture they are still working things out. That’s okay. I’m Hollow One, which some would say doesn’t count but hey, not my problem.”
<Dan> Eh, to each their own. Not being tied down to a bunch of old people who know the One True Way has some real advantages if you ask me, but we’re all well known neophiles in the VA so I’m sure a Hermetic would say not taking advantage of the wisdom of the ages is just reinventing the wheel. Probably we’re both right, from a certain point of view.
<Angela> nods her head a bit. “There’s some Chorus at St James Cathedral… and Hermetics actually have the University, and… of, we have a I am not sure what I’d call a group… is it a funeral of Euthanatos? That sounds right. That’s been in till now anyway, oh, and the Lab guys. They came in from out of town shortly after the stuff with the vampires happened and have been here ever since.”
<Dan> What can you tell me about the lab guys? As for me I’ve been here for a few weeks now settling in, I have my own space set up. Was planning to solo it here, but it looks like there’s more friends when I was expecting. And I’ll find out why this is NOT a coincidence.
<Angela> turns from the window to look to him again. “Well, when I say out of town… I mean like, way out. They have a good cover with the FBI thing, but that Lab… They’re watching something. I am not sure what, you don’t usually see people go in or out of there. I do know that about 20 years ago, something bad happened and it included the local vampire population. Since that night, the vampires can’t make new ones, like any human that even stays the night in this city, can’t be made into a vampire… they just die. The next day, the Lab guys showed up and set up shop.”
<Dan> Very very interesting. I’ve seen a little bit about Cornel as basically Mulder for a similar timeframe. I’m trying to get more info on his cases but it’s slow going, even for me. What I’ve seen though fascinates me.
<Dan> Sounds like I’ve wound up somewhere very very interesting, and I think I’ll stay a while and listen, see who there is to meet and learn from.
<Angela> nods in agreement. “This place has always been interesting. NOLA has a long, sordid history, and that is why I love it so.” She rises back to her feet again, oddly graceful. “I need to go, but I am glad you seem to be enjoying your stay. And I greatly look forward to working with you. I feel like we can accomplish a lot.”
<Dan> I’m looking forward to it! Take care, feel free to call or text any time.