On the case
(co-post with Cindy)
Jai left The Lion's Den and headed towards Gomorrah, he knew Collette would be the only one who would be able to fill him in quickly. He knew his time away would hamper his usual time frame for everything. From the files he found on his desk when he arrived back. A kidnapping, a Cult, and some unknown thing prowling around. "No rest for the wicked I suppose." he said, running a hand down his face.
Soon after he arrived at the back door to Gomorrah, and after being let in he found Collette.
Collette was in the office, she shared with Leon, instead of the main area.
Leon had gone to do some work for Quinn, tonight. He left Collette in charge but there were always Nos around that could step in.
She had been going through the files related to the cult and the Butcher to see if anything jumped out as a possible link between the two.
The woman sensed someone nearby and looked up, just as Jai hit her doorway.
"Sheriff," Collette greeted him, in a friendly but respectful manner. "Welcome back."
"Good evening Collette." Jai said, "So..." he ran a hand through his hair. "Looks like we have a lot of work to do."
Jai walked over to her desk pulling a chair in front. "Can you fill me in? Doesn't have to be a long explanation, just enough to get me back in the look."
Placing folders on the table, ones Collette likely had copies of. "A new cult, a mystery killer like nothing we've really dealt with least not in a great many years, and a missing 'child'." he looked up at her, "I'm gone a month and it feels like a year."
"It has been a lot. Well, Leon has taken point on the cult and the killer, he thinks they might be linked but so far the connection is minimal at best. We are looking in to the Malkavain running the cult. The Butcher hasn't attacked in a few weeks, so, we have Nos keeping eyes on all areas. I think the Butcher might be due to strike again.
I believe its in the folder but The Prince made a deal with the werewolves to help with the investigation into The Butcher, so, they have access to the city now.
We have ears and eyes looking for Aurora but word had it that the Prince was waiting for you to come back as that situation is a priority.
Oh, and one more thing, you might not know. Quinn's sire is back in town. She hasn't done anything, yet but, you know, give her time."
If Collette wasn't a vampire she might have to catch her breath after all of that.
"We know where Aurora was taken from. The place has been closed, since then."
Jai nodded, "Okay." he closed his eyes for a moment, letting a short sigh slip past his lips at the mention of Quinn's sire.
"That'll have to wait, Aurora's kidnapping is first." he said, "So, have we ruled out someone in Vinny's camp being the one who took her." he said pointing to the file of what they got Vinny for. "Not thinking so much as he put out word, more one of his stooges made a plan to get boss man off. Hostage, we get Vinny back and he keeps doing what he does and the prince gets back Aurora." Jai questioned as he read the file. Seemingly unlikely as it was he had to ask questions since he wasn't around for a time.
"I'll have to look at the last location." he said, "Might have left something, even a fiber off a piece of clothes can help."
"No. Its not Vinny. Mario dominated Vinny and asked him about it, he knows nothing. Vinny's people seem too dumb to pull something like this off without Vinny being behind it." Collette responded. "It could a joke by the Malkavians. Maybe, it's a political thing. Or possibly the Sabbat are back." Those had been her ideas, anyway.
"I'll come with you." She wanted to get out of the office. "Just need to stop in the main office first."
Collette stood up, waited for Jai and then walked down the hall. The main office was where the majority of Nos were working. It had several cubbies with computers on them. Files cabinets off to one side and a small office near the front with the door opened.
Inside the office was Maxie, a blonde haired, brown eyed Nosferatu who looked to be in her forties. She gazed up from her paperwork as Collette hit the doorway.
"Hey," Maureen spoke, then noticed Jai. "Sheriff, Collette." She greeted them respectfully.
"I need to go out for a bit," Collette said.
Maureen nodded, "Okay."
The Nosferatu worked like a well oiled machine so that's all it took.
Collette thanked Maureen, then turned to Jai. "Ready when you are."
The two got into Jai's 73 Malibu and tore off. It wasn't long before they arrived at the skating rink. "How many guards did you say were posted while she was here?" Jai asked, leaning over the roof as Collette got out.
"Besides the guards you said she was here alone? Nobody directly under the prince was present? How many exits?" he asked as they began towards the door. Jai's fingers reached up and undid the safety snap on his knife, just to be safe. "Sorry for all the rapid fire questions." he added "Just time is of the essence."
"Five guards, all ghouls. Two by the front entrance. One outside the back entrance. And two near the rink. There's the front entrance, back entrance and one side entrance. The side entrance was supposedly locked."
The drive from the club to the rink wasn't long. Collette got out of the car.
"As far as I'm aware, it was just Aurora and the guards." Collette was just thinking outloud but voiced what Jai had probably already thought of. "Probably, whomever took her has Obfuscate."
She waved off his apology, "No, I get it."
Collette took out a set of keys she had to the rink and unlocked the door. She didn't mention how she got the keys.
Jai entered first, hand on his sheathed knife. An old habit. "Have we ruled out someone on the inside?" he asked. It was likely a stupid question but Jai needed to cover all his bases.
"Before we do anything else show me this side door that was locked." Jai suggested. "Might not be as secure as implied."
"Yes. However, they kidnapped a Ventrue. It unlikely, whoever it is, went through all this trouble just to starve her. Somehow, they must have gotten information about Aurora's preference."
Ventrue's can only drink one blood type and Collette couldn't imagine anyone kidnapping one and not learning that type, at least not when the vampire taken was young.
She walked towards the side door, there was a camera above the door. The lock itself was a keypad.
Jai nodded as Collette explained more of the situation, "So smart...," Jai paused. "Relatively speaking at least. Or has access to information that could be a challenge to get." Jai spoke out loud for 'mental notes'.
Looking at the door he ran a finger down the slot between the swinging door and the frame. "Someone tried to push this in at some point." he said showing her the slight scarred bend in the metal where the dead bolt and been forced against it. "So they tried, doesn't rule out they came through here."
Jai turned back to Collette. "Has anyone spoken out against the prince lately? Not so much in a manner of gossip, more in a manner of a usurper."
Collette looked down towards the lock and nodded, as if in thought for a moment.
"Not that I'm aware of. The cult, that Leon's investigating, has basically said that they believe the end of days is coming but that's not really against the Prince specifically. Collette had a instinct, it wasn't the cult, her instinct were rarely wrong.
Something occurred to her, "I believe all the doors have cameras. I could go to the control room and check the video footage."
Obfuscation was fooling the mind, it didn't work on cameras. If there was no image there was only one type of vampire it could be. If they showed, then Collette's instinct about Obfuscate would be correct.
"Not outwardly but this would be a bold first move considering they seem to be a fledgling society." Jai said in agreement, but never being one to rule out slightly crazy vampires doing wildly crazy things.
Jai walked over to the camera as they passed. Making sure it had not been tampered with before they wasted their time trying to mull over a bunch of video.
"Was she taken getting off the ice or elsewhere?" Jai asked as the two strolled the hall back to where they came. "Might be a good place to go next."
Not only had the camera not been tampered with but it wasn't the only one as each entrance had one.
"She was taken from the locker room." One of the easier place likely to get her from.
When the two arrived at the locker room Jai turned to Collette. "Stay at the door." he told her. "Fewer feet walking around the better." he told explain to Collette.
Jai pushed open the door and stepped inside the locker room, using the mechanism over the door to keep it open. "Clean." he half mused out loud. Walking slowly and not touching anything.
As Jai stepped into the locker room, Collette called out that she was going to check the footage.
The Nosferatu headed to the control room. She'd have to look into if anyone was supposed to be stationed in there the night of the kidnapping.
The door to the control room was locked but she easily got it opened. Then it took several minutes to hack into the system before she began to watch the footage.
Jai acknowledged Collette's leaving before returning to the locker room. As unlikely as it was, it could be some sick prank and she was just knocked out and shoved in a locker so he started there. Pulling open the larger lockers checking each for any sign of previously being occupied by a body.
As he made his way slowly around the room, looking at everything his foot hit something that clattered across the floor like a loose bottlecap. In the near silent room he could hear the 'voom voom' of a coin wobbling to a stop. Jai stood over the curious plastic disk as it danced to a flat rest. "Hmmm." he thought as he bent down to pick it up. This room was clean, almost sickeningly so. Like a hospital but this bit of plastic stuck out. Picking up the token from the floor he used his thump to wipe off some of the grime.
The text and imagery on it was cracked and faded with years worth of damage. "ivr ew casn.." Jai thought a moment. "River View Casino. He turned the token in his fingers. Parts still weren't adding up but it was a start.
Jai made his way back to the security control room, knocking on the cracked door first before entering. "Think I've got a lead." he said putting the water damaged black mold stained casino chip in front of Collette. "A place no one would ever go."
Collette raised her brow at the chip, after a moment to piece the markings together. Giving a nod.
It was true no one would go there but vampires and other creatures who wouldn't be effected by the mold and bacteria that would longer in a place like that.
Collette then spoke up, "The kidnappers do show up on the video footage but they are dressed in full black bodysuits."
Hitting a few buttons on the console came up the image of several bodies moving stealthy in the night. Every part of them covered in black as the body suits covered every part of them, including their faces. Leaving only eye holes and a small opening for the mouth.
There was no way to tell who the kidnappers were. They weren't particularly large and didn't seem to have any distinguishing features that would have stood out, despite the suits.
"Let's inform The Prince of our findings and get a small team together." Jai said leaning over to look that the kidnappers on the screen better. "Not interested in running into a trap underprepared. Why else would they just leave this for someone to find?"
Collette agreed, the two left to inform the Prince as the Nosferatu ran though name, in her mind, of who might be good for the team.