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Stormy Waters Side Thread: Deckard & Isaint: A Murder of Crows

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Jack_Spade

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« on: (18:41:29/01-17-16) »
[spoiler=Soundtrack]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dlr90NLDp-0[/spoiler]

Somewhere in Europe, November 2073


There had been absolute and utter silence within the old Gothic church. Therefore the scraping of the small swivel window high above the choir sounded like a brass band falling down a stairwell to the ears of the shadowy figure, squeezing itself through the opening.

Once through it took only two hand over hand motions to land safely next to the ancient organ. Isaint held his breath and listened but now that he had stopped to impersonate a bad cat burglar everything was silent once more. Taking this route had been inconvenient, but at least he didn't have to break the seal the cops had applied to all doors of the ancient building. Strictly speaking, Isaint was committing a serious felony by entering an active crime scene. But since the efforts of the corp cops had so far been unsuccessful in the extreme, the ork wasn't particularly trusting that they would crack the case on their fifth try.

Neither had the parents of Oliver Partridge, victim no. 2. Isaint still wasn't sure how they had gotten ahold of his contact information, but after what had happened to the 13 year old boy he hadn't been inclined to refuse the offer. The latest victim had been a 12 year old choir boy, killed not twenty hours ago, and already the police had gone.

Carefully Isaint climbed down the stairs and went towards the altar. A full moon gave enough light that he could see the scene clearly. The blood had sprayed everywhere and added an absurd amount of realism to the heavy oaken cross with the crucified form of Christ.

Now he was close enough to see it: The killer had opened up his young victim and used his intestines to create a spread eagle form that resembled a snow angel. Or rather a blood angel.

So far the press hadn't caught up on the story - which showed precisely where the efforts of the police had been directed. Meanwhile there were now five bodies in as many weeks. Isaint took a deep breath to steady himself - opening his third eye was still new for him. A shudder ran across his back.
The sight confirmed what he had felt earlier - the brutal murder had warped the mana scape and left a clearly visible scar. And there it was: The faint traces of an aura, not completely erased. It confirmed what he had expected - this monster was one of the infected....
« Last Edit: (18:46:52/01-17-16) by Jack_Spade »
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Revenant Kynos Isaint Rex

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« Reply #1 on: (20:09:31/01-18-16) »
Death sucked! That was a fact Rick Deckard had quickly realized. But in his line of work, it was a common occurrence and truth be told, there was a lot of money to be made because of death. Sometime that was just this, a job. Other times, it was a bit more personal; like this job that took him in the heart of Europe. See, death was one thing, but when it involved young kids, Deckard found it despicable.
So when he was called from London to find the murderer of a young boy, he didn't hesitate; with the new talents he had recently developed, his skills had become a hot commodity. Little did he know, he had stepped into the case of a serial crime.

And here he was in the driving seat of a rented Renault car, parked not far from a chill-giving gothic church, waiting for the police or corp security or whatever they were to leave the premise. Apparently, another kid had been found dead inside. From the tip he got, it had been a horrifying scene. But for Deckard, it was most and foremost a fresh scene. All he had to do was wait for the last cop to leave, make his way inside and let the place 'talk' to him. A mental check confirmed the entity he had summoned earlier was ready for his call not far in the Astral world. They - the authorities - had been quite efficient at keeping all those murders away from the media. He could understand why. Knowing someone was after your kid would scare the shit out of any parents, and scared parents tend to become vocal very fast. All he had to do was wait.

Rick Deckard opened his eyes and a moment of panic surged inside him, making him wide awake automatically, Drek! he must have dozed off while waiting on the police to get the hell out. It was now dark everywhere, the full moon lighting the old buildings and the church with an eerie blue shade. The silence too felt sinister. Was Deckard just feeling the remnant energy of the events that perspired inside the church or the thousand years of history that had occurred in this city? Everyone had left, and traffic was sparse at best. Time to get in.

The two doors that led inside were sealed with police tags. His chaotic nature was telling him to just not bother and get inside, but until he could at least identify the murderer, he preferred to stay low key. Yet, thanks to his wife, he had come prepared. He turned on his AR and with a few key motions a trid projection of an old blueprint-alike map appeared as an ARO. Even so far apart - his wife had had to stay in London for a job - she had managed to give him a hand by digging some old archives in an architecture library. If it was correct, the gothic church lead to some sort of catacombs underneath and according to the map, there should be another entrance to it, entrance which could be accessed from... Deckard spotted the heavy plate securing a sewer hole down the alley adjacent to the Church and grinned at his genius... of marrying such an intelligent woman.

He approached the sewer access point, extended his hand and the old and rusty heavy plate was no match for his psychokinetic abilities. It slowly lifted off and slided to the side as a gust of putrid air escaped from the now opened hole. Deckard drew his gun to use the flashlight attached to it and leaned over the hole, rethinking about the whole idea, then shrugged. He had wasted enough time snoozing. He had to get inside.

To his pleasant surprise the sewer weren't that bad. Sure the odor was terrible, but only a thin stream of liquidish elements ran in a well conceived irrigation tunnel, the side of it pretty dry and allowing a couple human size persons to walk in a remain clean and dry. With the map on, he quickly found an old metallic door; the other entrance to the Church's catacombs. Interestingly, it didn't have any lock on, rather not anymore. Running the light source on the edges of the door and the pavements in front, it made no doubt to his investigative mind: the door had been used not long ago. He tried to open it but struggled. Whoever had managed to use it was strong... or had help, like he did. Once more he reached with his mind to feel and touch the mana energy surrounding him. With an invisible hand much stronger than his own he pulled on the door which gave way and opened up.

The catabombs had given Deckard the chills, but the map had been perfectly accurate. A stairway led up to a thin entrance way blocked by a wall of well carved stones. When he pressed on the stones a mechanism inside
 made the whole wall slide. The luminescence from inside the church, created by tonight's beautiful full moon, came bathing the deep dark stairway. Deckard had made it. He turned off his flashlight, and softly stepped inside the ancient and cold building, his revolver still comfortingly held by his side.

There had been absolute and utter silence within the old Gothic church. Only the agile and quiet acrobatics of a cat burglar wannabe had disturbed it so far, so it wasn't hard for ISaint not to notice the creaking of a heavy statue of the Virgin Mary sliding to reveal a passage way hidden in the wall and the shadowy figure stepping discreetly out of it.


Rick Deckard - Circles of Fate
Kachina - Shaking the Shadows

Jack_Spade

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« Reply #2 on: (08:03:01/01-19-16) »
Isaint looked up. Astral perception wasn't really seeing with your eyes - that was just the sense that was easiest to translate to the sensation, extinguishing most of your other senses. The building itself had an enormous aura. Full of shadows, doubts and fears but also points of lights where hope and thanks had been expressed. Funerals and baptisms, marriages and other festivities had carved their mark into the foundation. And now this crime, this sin had been committed here at the center of believe, perverting in a single instant what the building should have been.
Distracted like this Isaint missed the arrival of the other awakened person entirely. Only the prickling feeling at the nape of his neck warned him.
The impulse to draw his gun and jump into cover was strong, but he suppressed it.

Carefully he closed his eyes and the astral connection. The only sound he heard was the rushing blood in his ears and his own silent breathing. He knelt as if to look at something on the floor to glance around surreptitiously.
There. In the second alcove the darkness seemed to be even darker than in the others. He was almost certain that someone was lurking there.

With a mental command he activated the bike he had come with. Another one gave the order to stay in neutral and have the engine rev up to maximum for a moment.

The little distraction was all he needed to make a swift roll behind the altar to get out of the line of sight. Very carefully to not make any sound he eased the handgun from its holster.
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« Reply #3 on: (20:11:13/01-19-16) »
Deckard's heart pumped faster when he heard a loud engine noise as he stepped inside the Church. Instinctively he had brandished his revolver, but as the sound faded less surprisingly than it arrived, he decided that was clearly coming from outside and he should relax a bit. He stepped deeper into the church. 

The full moon piercing through the small swivel window high above the choir formed a beam of light that came expanding on the stoned floor. More light was trying to fight through the beautifully restored vitrails depicting various religious acts, bathing the whole church into a low colorful and surreal light. First Deckard wondered why the hell he didn't think of using the window to come in, then he realized he would have missed the walk through the sewer and the cave/catacombs, which would have been a pity really. The real question was why was that window opened...

The silence had returned and became oppressive almost. All shadowrunners are paranoid after all, and he could tell something was up. He focused and sent a wave of Mana around him. He wasn't expecting anyone, but something seemed off. His talent at sensing life forms around him had saved his life more than once and when he sensed a metahuman located behind the Altar, he rushed to take cover behind a big column. Drek again!  A cop?, highly improbable, one wouldn't be hiding; a thief? there were no artefact around somehow carryable. Then, there was the reason he was here, the murder scene. Could it be of interest to someone else?

His mind was racing to figure out his next course of action, but he wasn't here to start a fight. He cursed internally. Maybe he should have spend a bit of time to learn some of the local language or dialect. His back against the column he prepared for action in case the guy was an adrenaline junky, and whistled. The blow echoed through the Church, sure to catch his attention, and made Deckard's presence known. Hello Stranger. Wasn't expecting any date to the party... How do you want to go about it now that you're not alone? he continued.
Rick Deckard - Circles of Fate
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Jack_Spade

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« Reply #4 on: (07:40:59/01-20-16) »
The voice rang eerily through the empty church. 'Well, at least they are talking and not shooting.'
"How about you step slowly into what passes for light around here and keep your hands where I can see them. Nothing personal, but considering who was here only a day before I'd like this to be a friendly talk."
Isaint's voice was gruff and he tried to imply as much as possible that he was the one who had a right to be here, even if he didn't say anything like this loud out.
While he discreetly checked the other party's movement with his little telescopic mirror he talked on:
"If you are a paparazzi I must say you are really late to the game."

When he saw that the figure came closer, he left his own cover and straightened up, the gun held in both hands, pointing to the ground.
 
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« Reply #5 on: (15:47:55/01-20-16) »
Late? I just dozed off for a... Hey! nevermind, I'm no paparazzi.
He took a deep breath and side stepping away from the column, hi gun held tight by his side, he slowly moved to a position facing the altar, where he could see the individual. His senses switched to Astral Perception, and he cursed, again. Though Deckard had magically pushed his reflexes to surhuman levels, he knew he could still be easily outmatched by a well trained adept, and that was what this man's aura was screaming. Of course, he had now no cover, almost as good as dead. Time to be persuasive then.

He spread his arms away from his body, his revolver hanging low in a non-threatening way. I am here for the murder, but only to find out who did it, catch him, and... well... alive will only cash me a bit more nuyens, but between you and me after those horrific crimes on the kids a bullet in the head might be good justice.
He paused a second, trying to gage the big man's reaction, still content the man's gun gun wasn't pointing at him. Equipped like you are, I take it you're no mourning family member either....
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« Reply #6 on: (16:00:24/01-20-16) »
Isaints teeth gleemed in the darkness so wide was his grin:
"Normally I'd say this is a likely story, but since I have the exact same motive to be here, I say: Well met."
Carefully, Isaint put his gun back into the quickdraw holster and lowered his hands.
"The name's Isaint. I'm a private investigator working for the Partridge family. And don't worry. If what I just read is correct, the murderer is already dead - or rather one of the infected."
The ork indicated towards the altar: "Have a look yourself."
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« Reply #7 on: (17:24:31/01-20-16) »
Relaxing his tensed up body, Deckard offered the man his hand. Mine is Rick Deckard, occult investigator...  or Bounty Hunter, which ever you prefer, I'm licensed for both really.
Deckard walked toward the Altar. He opened his greatcoat and extended a hand mid-air. A blade, coming from behind ISaint came flying into his hand and he replaced it inside the coat. Looking at ISaint, he apologetically added: Sorry! had to be careful...

He looked at the blood and the disturbing scene the murderer had made, and once again turned toward ISaint.
It should be no doubt to you that I'm well versed in the art of Magic. I've developed a special talent that sometimes allow me to recreate a past scene as if I was there. It can get confusing and hard to interpret, but sometimes it gets pretty clear and graphic. The only thing is, I don't know how long it's gonna take me, so I'll appreciate if you bare with me for a minute or two...   

Deckard placed his hand on the altar and closed his eyes. WIthin a few seconds, his head is jerked back, his eyes still closed though, as he is flooded with emotions and imageries.
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« Reply #8 on: (04:51:38/01-21-16) »
Isaint shook the man's hand but rose an eyebrow at the floating knife. Oh well.
"Same here. Usually I work as bodyguard, but sometimes you are to late or have to be a bit pro-active to ensure security for your clients."
As Deckard went to the altar he said:
"Psychometrie, eh? I visited a guest lecture on that in Paris. Very neat."
He paused. This could be unexpectedly helpful - if the man was what he said he was. 'But I'll only find that out if I stick around. Trust but verify.'
"I'd very much like to here what you find out."
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« Reply #9 on: (00:55:55/01-25-16) »
Fear was the first emotion that came flooding Deckard's brain. The sensation of it was unsettling, even more when imageries of a young boy fighting desperately against a grip much too strong for him came with it. Pain, despair, resignation, more pain, death. Deckard was horrified but so was the price to pay for more information. The altar had lived everything, the torture and passing of the boy, but also the vile act of his aggressor. Flashes of sceneries, the gruesome dissection of the boy's entrails, the power of his murderer... and the disgusting part: the thrill, the pleasure, the satisfaction. A thirst being quenched. The event was fresh and thus much more vivid and clear than usual, to Deckard's detriment. Then came the magic, a least the feeling of its power. The murderer had fed on its victim but more terribly, used the dying being to perform some sort of rituals. More images flooded his mind.

Deckard's hold on the altar was disrupted in a violent action. Some instinctive action; his body telling him he had enough. The mage felt gagging reflexes kicking in as the nauseous feeling intensify, but he managed with some breathing to keep everything in place.

He turned toward ISaint, somehow relieved to see the big man had honored his word to stick around.
I've seen him. I know what he looks like. He paused, gathering his own thoughts and trying to make senses of what he felt and perceived, and trying to get his heart palpitations to slow down.
I can find him, but I believe I will need your help. You saw it earlier, we're dealing with an infected... but worst I believe we're dealing with blood magic. This creature is powerful. And thirsty for more victims.
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« Reply #10 on: (08:05:01/01-25-16) »
Isaint nodded with a grim expression on his face:
"Agreed and I appreciate your cooperation. I suggest we leave here and meet up at my hotel. We can compare notes there. And I need fresh air.
By the way: How did you get in here? I didn't see any marks on the window and the doors were all sealed tight."


...

A short while later in a non-describt business hotel, Isaint gave his guest the only chair while he sat on the bed. With a mental command an AR map of Europe unfolded around them.
"As far as I could find out, the first attack happened near Lyon, France. Victim was a 14 year old altar boy named Luc Chasseur. Police declared it to be a critter attack, since the boy was eviscerated outside a little forest chapel.
The second one was Oliver Partridge, 13 year old, near Geneve, Switzerland. Again a wild animal was blamed. This time it happened next to a grave yard. The boy was just cycling back from soccer training.
The third one was Marcus Brehm, 15, near Basel, also Switzerland. Worked part-time for a landscaper. The real murder site hasn't been found yet, what remained of the boy was fed into a wood chipper. But I'd guess it was close to a church again.
The fourth happened in Arlon, Belgium. Took me a while to find that one. The victim was a black boy named George N'banwe, 14. His death was attributed to a hate crime of some neo-nazis. He was found in a mosque, surrounded by swastikas drawn in his own blood.
And the fifth, well you've seen that one for yourself.

I managed to get a look at the sites of Partridge and N'banwe. Both times the astral signature had been thoroughly erased. As far as I could infer, all murders happened in the late evening or at night.
It also seems as if whoever did this is getting bolder. The first attacks were very carefully disguised. He or she is getting more blatant but keeps a schedule: Every week from Saturday to Sunday, a boy around 14 is murdered and eviscerated.
You say he used a knife for a blood ritual - an Athame. That would fit the last two murders. Before that the reports show very clearly that claws and teeth were used - or a mechanic equivalent. DNA testing was inconclusive - resp. they didn't find any foreign one.

I do have a theory, but I'd like to hear what you found so far."
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« Reply #11 on: (01:43:27/01-27-16) »
By the way: How did you get in here? I didn't see any marks on the window and the doors were all sealed tight."

I guess you can call it the backdoor, he said pointing at the stairs to the catacombs. It leads to the sewer system, with an entrance just outside in the alley. Can go back this way if you want.

...

A short while later in a non-described business hotel.

Deckard took the chair offered by ISaint and looked with great care at the ARO display that popped up out of nowhere.
Hat off for putting those together. I was hired after N'banwe' murder. Apparently, some people in the government don't want the hassle of explaining to the populace a magically active blood sucking monster is at large about to  spread around your kid's insides. I got tipped of the disappearance of a boy here and made my way as fast as I could.  My first psychometry in Arlon showed me gruesome details of the murder, but I couldn't get a face and like you mentioned the Astral Signature was erased.
My theory if I add the data you've collected: A disturbed mage got infected, Vampire or Banshee, I'd say. Weak at first, he fed of his victims to gain back strength and power, then he moved on to blood rituals. Why he picked kids is beyond me, but he's in a quest for power and is probably close to being insane. 
Now that Altar was a little more 'generous' with details. I've got a face ISaint, and a faint astral print. Do you realise what that means for a talented conjurer like me?
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« Reply #12 on: (02:45:07/01-27-16) »
"Hopefully, that you can call up a task spirit to search for that fragger and give us an address. Putting a bullet in his brain from 500m out would than be my next step.
Don't look like that. I would subdue him if I could, but infected like vampires just can't be knocked out, their regeneration is to strong...

But back to the theory: Yes, that's what I figured too. Only, I'm pretty sure its a woman or someone who identifies as such. Ever heard of the Medea Complex? It's a psychological disorder where a mother has a death wish for her offspring or in this case any children who remind her of her own, usually to get revenge against the father.
As usual in such situations there is a history of abuse. I'm pretty sure she or he made contact with a blood spirit who fed on the negative emotions.
If we come face to face with the perp, you can expect them to see in us the very thing they rebelled against in the first place.

So we need to be very, very careful indeed if we don't want to have our blood boiled from our pores",
Isaint replied
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« Reply #13 on: (16:27:55/01-27-16) »
Deckard looked quietly at ISaint for a short second or two.

I've known you for less than half hour, but I must say - I don't say that often, much less to men - I'm impressed. Never heard of the Madea Complex. But that makes a lot of senses, outside of....


He closed his eyes and cocked his head slightly to the side trying to bring back to his memory the images he'd seen in his Psychometric visions.

... well, with that angle in mind, she could... she has a rather rough looking face, but yeah, that murderer could be a she...

And I agree I'd rather have a partner on this. Have you dealt with Blood Magic before? This shit is scary and abnormal. And trust me, when a guy who can call upon and speak with ghosts and elemental beings tell you something is freaky, well, it's freaky. And that's being oblivious to the main reason we've been brought here: we're dealing with an Infected. The only one I encountered was a Wendigo. That monster actually convinced one of my teammate to let it eat him!! They're dangerous. But enough said.


Let's see if one of my friend can find where this murderer is hiding.

Deckard made himself more comfortable on the chair and his body went limp as his soul entered the Astral Plane, where a being of light, slight resembling a humanoid form with his aura bursting with power, was waiting for him. 
Greeting, my friend... thoughts Deckard
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« Reply #14 on: (17:04:09/01-27-16) »
"I've encountered a few different things, infected included. Ghouls for the most part - the sane ones usually aren't much trouble, while the insane ones... well someone has to do something. Also an ugly vampire case - came very close to end as a snack there.
Good for you to survive against a Wendigo. I hear those are mean sorcerers.

Regarding bloodspirits... no, not yet. All I know is second hand from a chummer I went with to hunt Shedim. But there is a first for anything. So go ahead. The sooner we get on track the greater the chance we catch whoever did this before they cross borders again."


Isaint watched on fascinated - with his astral sight in place - as Deckard began his spirit communion. He had to suppress a shudder. To closely was the resemblance to what he saw in that hospital in Prague when those perverted spirits had flocked towards the corpses...
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