March 9, 2014

Demons Ascension - Well THAT Went Well...

[Posted by Ted H]

Wherein the protagonist finds out he's not very good at interrogations...


[Demons Ascension - Well THAT Went Well...]

            As John was call calling in the situation, James figured Bradford would have some choice words to say, and would want to know the significance. James knew there would be difficulty in that especially with how things have been to this point. He looked down and the book in his hands and flipped through various pages, but the writing was in some language he never saw before. He knew if he could figure out what this book was, then he could determine what the ritual murders were trying to accomplish, and maybe figure out the next target before it was too late.
             "What you say?" James asked as John approached, now off the phone. "I just called in some officers saying that I found something." he said "They're wrapping up for now at the church. Victims name was Father Nicholas Brooks."
            "Anything to do with the previous vics?" James asked.
            "So far, not a chance. Stephanie never really went to church and Williams was from the other side of town. Maybe some digging into Brooks can yield something, but I'm not too optimistic about it."
            "So, despite a new murder and victim, you guys are still where you started?"
            "Actually, there is a pattern that Bradford noticed."
            "What's that?"
            "Williams was killed six nights ago. My sister six nights before that."
            "So you're thinking this guy will strike in six more days?"
            "I don't know what to think," John said as he looked down at the book James was flipping through "Why did you take the book?" he asked "That could be evidence."
            James shrugged "You guys won't be able to read this." he said as he closed the book and tucked it under his arm.
            "And you can?"
            "No, but I know a guy who might."
            "Friend of a friend of a friend. Something like that. Met him a couple times, has a knack for supernatural stuff like this."
            "Think if we brought him here he could help?"
            "You'd have to go a long way to find this guy, but he could help me."
            "So let's go have a chat with him."
            "No, just me."
            "This guy, he's...a little different. He doesn't own a cell phone and he rarely leaves his house. No way he's gonna cooperate with someone around he doesn't know and especially if that someone is a cop."
            "So you're saying that you alone, with that piece of evidence, can get us the answers we need."
            "Yes," James said knowing full well that police procedure would be nothing short of punching James in the mouth and taking the book for professionals to look at as evidence.
            John stood for a moment and shook his head. "You're sure that is the clue we need?" he asked as James looked up and locked eyes with him. "Yeah," he replied "We just need someone who can read it."
            "Where is this guy?"
            "Back in New York, not far from where you found me."
            "How can you get there?"
            "Uh...bus? Maybe a plane would be quicker if you wanna loan me some cash."
            John tossed James the keys from his pocket. "Go," he said "Find some answers." James smiled as he all but ran for the door in excitement, but a woman entering got in his way and they almost knocked each other over. She gasped as she almost dropped the coffee in her hand and backed up. "I'm so sorry," she said as James exhaled and nodded. "Are you ok? I didn't see you there," she said as James waved her off and apologized. She was wearing a large tan colored coat that was mostly covered on her shoulders by long red hair. She wore black gloves on each hand and she wore leather boots that disappeared unto her coat, leaving James to wonder just how up far they reached. On her head she wore a black knit hat, leaving her pale face as the only exposed part of her entire body. She had thin framed glasses that were slightly fogged as they sat on her red cheeks.
            "Amanda, do not get in the way of police investigation," Mark exclaimed as he rushed in from another room. "Police?" Amanda asked as James just knew John was rolling his eyes again. "What are you investigating?" she asked as James smiled. "Uh..." he started and tried to keep the book from view "Yeah, well, we're not at liberty to talk about this, uh, investigation. Right, Mark? Need to know only."
            Mark pondered it for a moment before his eyes lit up and he smiled. "Yes!" he said "Need to know only! Only important people, like me and the police." Amanda nodded slowly and apologized. "By the way, officers," Mark said as he walked over to James "I've called supervisor about that door. We should have it open soon!" James couldn't help but laugh a little. "It's detective," John corrected Mark before pulling him aside "And about that door..." John pulled Mark into the staircase, leaving James and Amanda alone.
            "Again, I'm really sorry," Amanda said as she side stepped to allow James to leave. "Happens all the time!" James lied "Most people wouldn't even think I'm a cop. I'm James by the way." Amanda laughed as she shook his outstretched hand. "Well," she said "I honestly thought, and hoped, you were a new arrival."
            "New arrival?"
            "Oh yeah. Some people are gone now, so there's room for rent I believe."
            "That's odd," James said "Mark said there was no vacancy."
            "Oh," Amanda said "Maybe he doesn't know. Friend of mine in the building said a few of the guys wouldn't be around here much longer. I naturally figured they were leaving. I assumed Mark knew."
            "Any of them named Crow by any chance?" James asked, not expecting much of a result. Amanda nodded quickly and smiled. "No, he's still around. He's actually the friend I just mentioned." James no longer wanted to leave. "I need to see him, now," he said. "Police business," he added.
            They made their way to the elevator and went to the top floor. "So you live here alone?" James asked as they stood together in the cramped elevator. "Yeah," Amanda said "Low income housing is the worst, but some of the people around here make it interesting."
            "Low income? That hard finding a good job?"
            "I don't like working boring jobs. But the interesting ones don't pay very well."
            "How are the people around here?"
            "Great. Crow is a doll to have around, though I'm not sure I'm his type. And times I think he doesn't even prefer girls."
            "What about the people he typically hangs with?"
            "Bunch of...random dudes. I dunno. I never really liked his friends. Creepy guys."
            "And they're all gone now?"
            "Last I checked," Amanda said as the elevator stopped and they got off. "One day Crow mentions that they're gonna be gone soon. Next thing I know, I don't see them about anymore."
            "What about Crow? He make plans to leave."
            "No, he told me he'd be sticking around. Said he could never imagine not having me as his neighbor. I thought that meant he was into me, but I can never tell with him. You think that means a guy's into you?"
            "So," James said with a smirk "I take it no boyfriend in your life."
            "What makes you think that?" Amanda said with a smirk of her own as she led him down the hall.
            "By the way, I'm not a cop," James said with a wink as they walked down the hall. Amanda thought about it a moment before winking back "I get it," she said "Undercover." James chuckled to himself as they approached what was Crow's apartment. "He lives right across the hall from me," Amanda said as she pointed behind James. "There's my room," she said with an arched eyebrow that got James' attention as she turned, red hair being flipped towards his face as she spun, and knocked on Crow's door.
            As Amanda knocked, James realized he had nothing to approach Crow with that wouldn't tip his hand about the police investigation. "You know, actually I'm a little busy right now," he said as he began to back up. At the very least he probably could use John and his gun backing him up. "But you came all this way," Amanda began as the door opened.
            Out stepped a man wearing black pants and a blue satin shirt with a fire design on it. He wore thin rimmed glasses with a light amount of black makeup around each eye. He had jet black hair gelled into place in a messy way and he had a cigarette tucked into his left ear. "What?" he asked in a light, crackly voice.
            "Crow," Amanda said "This is my friend, James. James, this is Crow." Crow looked over at James with his blue eyes almost as if he was trying to burn holes right through him. James had closed his coat with the book inside and crossed his arms to hold it in place. "I've heard a lot about you," James said, trying and failing to not make things awkward.
            "From who?" Crow asked.
            "Wouldn't happen to know a guy named Rickey Kenton?"
            "Never heard of him."
            "How about a chick named Amy?"
            "Nope. You a cop?"
            "Of course I'm not a cop."
            "You smell like a cop."
            "You smell bacon?"
            "No. I smell cop on you, among other things."
            "The name Stan ring a bell, Crow? Cuz he knows you I think."
            Crow narrowed his gaze. "There a reason you're bothering me?" he asked.
            "Heard a lot of your friends are gone. You wouldn't know where they are now, would you?"
            "We're done here."
            Crow immediately went back into his room. Amanda drew breath through her teeth and had an unsure look on her face. "I dunno what that was, but he's usually a lot friendlier." James backed his way towards the elevator. Amanda followed. "I guess he's just upset that all his friends left," she continued "But he's always been a much sunnier person."
            "Even behind all that eyeliner?" James asked. "Don't knock it," Amanda said "He makes it look good." James called for the elevator and took the book back out. "You think he's involved in something?" Amanda asked as James stepped back into the elevator. "I'm not too sure," James said "But do me a favor, would you?"
            "Of course," Amanda said as she stood straight and smiled. "You know that other cop? The one that went with Mark?"
            "Yeah, I remember him."
            "Could you just find him and let him know about my little chat with Crow? He'll know what to do from there."
            "You can't tell him yourself?"
            "I need to be somewhere, specifically not here. Gotta go out of town for a case."
            "Oh," Amanda said with a look of disappointment "Leaving town already?"
            "I'll be back before you know it," James said with a smile "We'll do dinner when I get back?"
            "I'll hold you to that," Amanda said as the doors closed, leaving James to go down alone.
            "Real smooth, James," he said as he dropped his head against the wall. Finding Crow caught him off guard and blundering right at the supposed man behind all of this was probably the last thing James should have done. Crow was odd, but something was definitely up with the man. The only real problem was convincing any cop in Chicago to do anything about him.
            James decided not to let any of that bother him when he stepped off the elevator. He made his way to the street as police brushed their way passed him on their way in. James immediately walked to John's car and fired up the engine. He had some serious driving to do, and dinner with a redhead waiting for him when he got back. But first, he needed some coffee for the road.

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