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Flight of the Osprey

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GM

Medical Examiner's Office
London Borough of Hackney, Greater London, England
Wednesday, April, 1st, 2015
4:15 PM
 

There was an old expression.  "Why does the Regents Canal run through Hackney?  To avoid getting shot."  Known as one of the most crime-ridden areas of London, Hackney's reputation was not entirely ill earned.  Drug dens and shootings weren't entirely uncommon.

 

Arsons were for their part far rarer outside of riots.  After the fifth in a recurring series of fires resulted in the death of four people in the borough, the London Fire Brigade reached out to the Ministry of Powers for assistance.  Sending Foreshadow and Ulysses as representatives of Vanguard to the local medical examiner's office.

 

The building was clearly understaffed with dated technology.  The ME in charge of the case, Dr Benjamin Martins, a balding man in his mid forties.  His face showing signs of aging in a rough stress filled career.  His assistants were actually a set of twin women in their mid twenties.  Red haired with Scottish accents they were hard at work sterilizing the equipment.

 

"This body is a most curious affair."

 


 

Medina Family Manor

Bristol, England
Wednesday, April, 1st, 2015
6:00 PM
 

 

About three hours away (four taking into account London traffic) in reputable bristol were Dee Farrington and Agnus Stone.  The Ministry of Powers had received word that the Medina Family, a prominent Spanish family who earned their fortune through cattle ranching, had smuggled computronium through the black market.  As they couldn't just outright accuse a reputable family of explicit dealings.  A matter of tact was needed.

 

Using Dee's familial connections the pair was able to swing invitations to a big bash the Medinas were throwing in their Bristol manor.  Currently sitting in the back of a limo making its way to the steps of the estate.  Dee an Agnus were moments from making their grand entrance.

 

Their driver was the only backup that the ministry could afford to provide the ladies.  Not that they needed any.  Adrian Jobert, a former UNISON agent.  He was a muscular black man of French descent.  Possibly from Guadaloupe, they weren't sure.  in fact Dee and Agnus had seen him around the Ministry once or twice, but their familiarity with the man was limited at best.  However, with the ongoing restructuring it meant that the dame afforded him a level of trust.

 

"Mademoiselle Farrington et Mademoiselle Stone. The Ministry has seen fit to outfit the vehicle with all the amenities.  The ear bud communicators are of limited range, but if you need my assistance simply ring."

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Ulysses remained stoic as he walked with foreshadow, mulling over what he'd heard so far, serial arson, not exactly a common crime, having worked in the cabin of an engine he knew one or two things about fire, and the pain of being burned by it before his empowerment by the amoral industry spirit had filled him with its metaphysical might, the thought of someone who made use of it as a murder weapon, not once but multiple times sickened him.

I can't imagine what has to boil in yer brain for such a monstrous method of killing to become yer favourite but maybe ill find out when i knock their block off.

it was deeply upsetting to the elderly gentleman; his time hadn't been perfect, true enough but these people had enough problems bothering them without some madman setting fire to their homes, but he was  man of principles, he wouldn't let himself get mad Huffing to himself as he fell behind foreshadow a little, his footsteps taking on a rather more pronounced crack to them as they strike the floor and echo through the building, he would get even.

"What do yer make of it then doctor" he asks looking to foreshadow for his input as a small trail of vapour leaked from the corners of his mouth as his old body steeled itself for the work to come "Afraid I'm more from the capture and containment area of the ministry mahself."

Edited by Exaccus

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Foreshadow found there were two constants in superheroing as it pertained to him.  The first, he would always find himself on top of a moving vehicle if the situation presented itself.  The second, fire always found a way to find him.  As Omen being around fire was a phobia of sorts.  One that he only overcame after dragging a Russian thug through a burning building.

By his measure, Ulysses had asked the right question.  So Foreshadow listened, rather than asking anything of his own.  Fighting the flood of memories that the smell of burnt flesh brought on.  Memories that some poor unfortunate soul's remaining kin might even share.

Curious wouldn't be my first choice to describe this damage.

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GM

To begin with, two thirds of this man's flesh is covered in third degree burns.  But, there are no traces of carbon monoxide in his blood.  In fact there are no carbon particles in his larynx or lungs.  He was not killed in a fire.  If anything, the fire was a poor attempt to hide the cause of death."  The doctor's assistants rolled the man over on to his sides at this moment.  Revealing an equally charred backside.

"If you look closely there are signs of lacerations coming in from behind the man's abdomen.  Blending in with the burnt tissue there are two prong like punctures near his stomach.  The wound is completely cauterized implying that the blade itself was superheated.  Furthermore, in this man's infraclavicular region on his you will notice a third horizontal laceration.  Only, it is not a laceration.  Note the lack of bridging, or wounded edges.  This was an incision.  I would not be surprised if the patient has a history of cardiovascular issues and had a pacemaker inserted.  Yet, and this is the most curious bit.  He doesn't have a pacemaker.  What he does have is..."  

With the corpse turned on to its side the doctor forcibly removed a small microchip about the size and shape of a grain of rice.  There was a beeping noise coming from a nearby computer.  A subtle nod from the doctor told the assistants all they needed and the body was placed on its back.  One of the twins ran over to check the message.  "Oslo Covington, our victim, was being investigated by the bobbies for a suspected connection to a drug smuggling ring.  Charges were never filed.  Now, I guess they never will"

Her sister added.  "The first victim has a similar history, suspected robber no real evidence.  The second, a teenage girl whom was asleep at the time of the fire.  Their autopsies revealed that they did in fact die in the fires they were caught up in no microchips. "

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Dee gave a small sigh as she looked out the tinted windows of the vehicle the Ministry provide as they drew close to the Medina family estate.  This was precisely the sort of event she tended to avoid, something she had tried to point out to Pennington. The young Englishwoman still wondered exactly how she was supposed to carry out any sort of discrete investigation during the event when her very appearance could very well cause something off a stir. 

But those complaints had failed to persuade, and now she was about to have to make her appearance at a party filled with people she would far rather avoid.  Glancing back toward their driver as he mentioned the limited range of the ear bud communicators, Dee gave small smirk.  "Ear buds?  You clearly have not been paying attention to who you are working with on this mission." 

<So, you ready?>  The Englishwoman then asked Agnus over a mental link that she brought up.

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"So basically the guy got stabbed with something super hot.  I don't want to say laser sword.  But, we could be fighting a jedi."  Foreshadow told Ulysses not really sure if the man even got the reference.  "So what do you think?  Is it a copycat using fire to pretend to be the first arsonist guy to kill a drug dealer?  Or is it the same person?  Either way, it looks like our next stop is a burnt down drug den."

Foreshadow couldn't speak in any way towards the deceased presumed guiltiness.  No matter what line of work he participated in.  He was still a living person at one point.  Still someone, in need of their killer being brought to justice.  No one ever said a cape was worn solely to protect the innocent.  At least not since the nineties.  But, everyone lost their mind then.

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Ulysses hums ponderously to himself as he turns over foresights information "So these Jedi are known for this?" he asks finally as he turns to foreshadow once more "a cult or something? I thought it seemed pretty ritualistic, burnt offerings and a knifing." he offers "that or some kind of punishment." he adds thoughtfully as he turns it over "eitherway they're extremist." he adds "odds are they're crowing about it to themselves, so proud of what they did for Jedi-Jesus or whatever they believe in." he says with edged distaste.

"probably set the fire to grab attention to it and whoever else died was guilty by association."

Edited by Exaccus

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Agnus unlike Dee was looking forward to the party, work or not, it had been a while since she’d had a chance to cut back a little and have some fun. Still she was aware that this wasn’t all fun and they had a mission to complete.

<”Please call me Agnus. And if it helps we can both speak French, though it’s probably pretty common in there.”>

As she spoke she gave Dee a little reassuring smile she’d been through similar experiences over the years, just not as Agnus. It still was a little weird how easily she slipped into the memories of the previous hosts sometimes.

<I’m as ready as I’ll ever be. And hey what’s the worst that can happen?> the was her usual lightness to her tone even in her thoughts.

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"Remind me to host a movie marathon when all this is done.  We'll have a few hours to kill."  Foreshadow responded to Ulysses.  Partly taken aback by the fact that someone couldn't place a Star Wars reference.  Partly enthused at the possibility of changing that.  He wasn't entirely wrong about Jedi Jesus though we'll skip Episode One.  Even David would have gotten that reference.  And Erick's adoptive father was not what one would call a healthy man when it came to having interests outside of work.

Aside from the ludicrousness of what he head, Foreshadow found a semblance of reason.  A cult hit wasn't an unreasonable assumption either.  It was certainly a crime that attracted enough attention to be someone who didn't think they were in the wrong.  That did scream cult brainwashing as a possibility. 

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GM

The "driver's" face was flushed with embarrassment.  Clearly still getting use to working hand in hand with people whom had Dee and Agnus talents.  The pair made their way inside where they were each immediately handed glasses filled with a welcoming beverage.  The Manor was lavishly decorated with various family portraits.  The walls were white with long red silk curtains.  In the ball room which the festivities took place. 

It seemed security had been hired to keep people out from other areas of the house.  Aside from the walkway entrance to the ball room there were three exits.  Two side doors, One of which seemed to lead to the kitchen as staff moved in and out with regular frequency.  Another which led further into the manor.  The last exit seemed to have roving security.  A double sided stair case directly in front of the walkway leading upstairs.

Hanging above was a massive chandelier.  Apparently, a source of pride for the hosts made with genuine diamonds and adamantine.  The live music being played did nothing to hide the various gossipy chatter going on throughout the room.  Even for Angus who didn't have a direct line to everyone's thoughts.  Their noses, however, were given a much better treatment as the wood in the massive fire place on the opposite end of the circular room seemed give off a lavender scent.

"Oh, Dee Farrington!"  A young woman in her mid twenties called out.  Turning in her direction would alert both women to Amber Pearce.  Daughter of Rutherford Pearce of the House of Lords and not so secret admirer to Dee's older brother (though there were questions if her admiration was purely in chase of status).  She was a red head with piercing green eyes.  Her blue evening gown looked difficult to maneuver if only for how tightly it latched on to her body.  But, above all she was a pleasant.

"How pleasant is it that you could make it?  That dress is lovely, it does wonders for your figure.  It is just great that you could"  It was a thinly veiled backhanded compliment conga.  Without so much of a look in Angus direction.  "We really must do lunch sometime."

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GM

Foreshadow and Ulysses made their way to the suburb of St. Paul's with haste.  The Georgian architecture a lovely sight under bead of daylight.  The neighborhood had a worse reputation than it had an actuality.  Unlike the Fens Street Crime didn't drag those not already involved within its confines.  Which made the somber mood in the air once they arrived at their destination all the more palpable.

The apartment complex that was burnt up was directly across from a closed church.  It was not so secret that local gangs used the church as a way station to funnel drugs.  Though one would be hard pressed to use it as such in broad daylight.  Especially while the area was under such a scrutinized watch.  With media clawing away like vultures to get ahead of the story.

Once inside the apartment complex, Ulysses and Foreshadow were treated to a charred mess.  In fact, the man fueled by industry had to actually manually remove rubble himself for them to even stand a chance of getting inside.  About two thirds of a seven story building had been laid waste.  Their destination was on the third floor.

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Ulysses took a moment to examine his surroundings as he dusted himself off, Feeling a slight pang of sadness at the devastation before him, it was true he was a cantankerous old man who thought the kids today had it free and easy but he didn't wish suffering upon them, having lived through quite a bit of it himself, tempted to clear the air with a gust from his lungs for a moment he restrains himself, quite certain that all in all it would be detrimental to the investigations.

"Such a tragedy things like this still happen." he remarks as he begins to look around for signs of where the fire might've started, for whilst he wasn't a particularly bright person by his own admission, having worked in the engine of a steam locomotive he knew quite a few things about fire mostly from painful first hand lessons.

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Dee took in as much of the layout of the house as she could as she and Agnus made their way inside, trying to memorize all the details she could.  Well, they certainly seem to be concerned with security.  She said to Agnus through the mental link. 

The main room was exactly what Dee expected, filled with the upper echelon of British society all posturing and gossiping amongst themselves.  For the most part, Dee would have far preferred to have as little contact as possible with many in the room, and certainly not in an event such as this.  But here she was, having to endure the event, at least for a short while. 

But before she could fully consider their next step, someone came out of the crowd to approach her.  It would of course have to be Amber Pearce, who was so infatuated with her brother.  "Hello Amber, so nice to see you as well."   Dee managed to reply, forcing a faint smile.  "Allow me to introduce a friend of mine, Agnus Stone.  Agnus, this is Amber Pearce."

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GM

Amber looked Agnus over for a moment.  It was a faint moment.  But, enough to leave no question that she had sized up the woman in front of her.  Extending her hand Amber offered a polite smile.  "Hello dear, charmed to make your acquaintance.  Amber Pearce of the Pearce family. Any friend of dear old Dawn is a friend of mine."

I'm half-tempted to warn Dee about Rafael Medina.  The cad has a wandering eye.  Enough drinks and his marriage vows are easily forsaken.  Impressionable angry women are his favorite.   Of course, Amber's temptation to warn were paramount to nothing.  Her lips never parting to actually put into words the risk of a slovenly man relentlessly hitting on them all night.

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Foreshadow dry swallowed.  The inside of a burnt building all too familiar.  "Tragedy is right.  Back in Freedom City we have a spirit that eases things somewhat.  Fixing up damaged buildings.  Sometimes it's hard to remember not everywhere has it as easy.  Not to mention those with lives lost"

Foreshadow looked up at the staircase and the frame of the building.  "Now's probably not a great time to ask.  But, are you like heavy?  I mean there's no risk of you falling through the stairs when we go up right?"  He didn't think splitting up was a great idea either.  But, a risk assessment felt like a good thing to take. 

If need be, Foreshadow had a method to account for such risk.  But he'd rather not be caught off guard in such a situation.

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"Hmm?" Ulysses questions at first a little confused as to what his weight had to do with it at all, but quickly putting one and one together as foreshadow explains he carries on "Oh right, think I'm about one-eighty pounds." he says rubbing at his chin "Iffin you think the buildings unsound though I could lend a hand holding it up? Not much of a detective anyway." he offers as he looks around the scorched ruins. and picking out a pretty central wall's doorway, putting his hands to brace the top of the frame and gradually applying himself to the task. even with his super natural strength however he felt quite out of shape, he didn't have that same feeling of pressing on his boundaries as he had when he was a young man shovelling coal by the ton into hungry furnaces. "Its times like this I really feel my age." he grumbles to himself.

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"Nah.  We're not too far apart in weight.  I just wasn't sure if you were one of those super-dense strongmen.  If you want to try and hold up the building that's your prerogative.  Wouldn't mind bouncing theories off of you while I scour around.  But, I can go ahead and give a look alone if you want"  Foreshadow responded.   He didn't think Ulysses would slow him down as far as investigating went.

But, he couldn't picture the older man enjoying turning over the burnt.  Not to mention if the building was really on its last legs, well he had to question Ulysses mobility.  He wasn't an aged man.  But, free running on a broken wall may have been outside of the realm of industry.  Still he provided an alternate viewpoint on their environment, and Foreshadow felt that was invaluable.  No need to sit around with one's own thoughts.

Especially not with all the childhood reminders everywhere he turned.

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Whilst Agnus was never a massive star she’d spent enough time at events like these to know how to charm and work the crowd, a skill that Britannia seemed to also have in spades. Though the old spirit wouldn’t care to admit it. All smiles she took Amber's hand in response.

“Hi there Ms Pearce happy to meet you.” with a touch of defiance she spoke in her North London accent, though she softened it somewhat.

She felt quite chuffed at the mental shiver the woman would probably have at meeting someone so common, or even worst New Money, until she remembered that Dee was probably picking up her thoughts.

Sorry Dee I couldn’t help myself, guess there still quite a bit of a rebel in me. Anything I can do to make up for that?

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With a moment of deliberation, Ulysses shrugged and gently let the wall take its own weight again before stepping out "alrighty then,  ill try not to step on anythin important." and made his way at a regular walking pace towards the stairs and placing one of his boots testingly on the first step, like it might burst under him like a bubble at the slightest provocation "So far so good." he mumbles amusedly and begins to climb to the floor above, he'd learned on the railways that sometimes slow and steady was for the best because you'd wind up nowhere fast.

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It took a fair bit of willpower for Dee to keep from going off on Amber.  The other woman’s smug attitude about Agnus was just the sort of thing that made the young Englishwoman want to spend as little time as possible at events such as this.  Never mind that Amber had referred to her as Dawn.

But, for the moment they did not need to cause a scene and attract undue attention to themselves.  Perhaps later. 

"So, what have you been up to of late Amber?"  Dee managed to say with something of a smile. 

At the very least, Amber had helped provide some information about one of the members of the family hosting this event.  Seems Rafael Medina is known for looking for impressionable angry women with which to spend some time with after he has a few drinks.  Dee stated to Agnus over he telepathic link.  Know anyone of that description?

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If anyone could sound coy and innocent over a psychic link was doubtful but Agnus seemed to do a pretty good attempt at it.

What could you be suggesting? I don't know anyone who fits that description in the slightest. 

​She grabbed a glass of champagne and knock it back in one, with her superhuman constitution she could do this all night without ill effects.

Any ideas of what kind of scene we should cause to draw her attention? Just not the dress it's a very costly designer number on loan from a friend.

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GM

Amber's mouth was visibly gaping when Agnus spoke.  It took every effort she had to hide how aghast she was with the company she kept.  With accompanying surface thoughts to boot.  Honestly, after she came back from Africa I thought she would be keeping more dignified company.  Then came watching the commoner drink.  Dee was almost given the impression that Amber may have fainted right there on the spot when Agnus downed the bottle.

"Ex-excuse me.  I think I am going to try one of those delectable hors d'oeuvres.  We'll catch up.  Toodles."  With that Amber quickly turned to scurry away.  Unaware of the mental conversation that had occurred in front of her.  Or the girl's plot for trouble causing

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Foreshadow and Ulysses made it up to the second floor without issue.  Apartments were laid to waste.  There were few that made it through looking like something hospitable.  Everywhere they turned a reminder of the flames that once enveloped the building.

Aside from looking at their surroundings the real difficulty came in ascending to the third floor.  Every staircase had either collapsed or had been filled with too much debris.  Ulysses used Foreshadow's multi purpose escrima sticks while Foreshadow ascended barehanded through freerunning.  As they both barely edged their way up, there was a low creak of a door closing.  The sound echoed through the burnt hallway.

Foreshadow turned to Ulysses.  "I thought this place was supposed to be empty."

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While Amber was doing all she could to keep from showing how horrified she was of Agnus' common manners, Dee was having something of a similar struggle to keep from showing how pleased she was with Amber's discomfort.  "Do take care."  The young Englishwoman replied with a faint grin as Amber quickly excused herself and departed.

It would seem your brusque manners were just a bit too much for poor Amber.  Dee stated to Agnus over the telepathic link, a bit of a laugh in her mental voice.  I should bring you to more of these functions with me.  If I actually even attended any of these functions that is. 

Focusing back on the task at hand, she became a bit more serious.  Well, I am not sure we really need to create any sort of scene, just try to go find him and get him drinking.

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"that it is." Ulysses returns in hushed tones as he hands back the undeniably useful escrima sticks to their owner "those things are neat." he adds in ernest sidetracking from the matter at hand before getting back on track. "How do you want to handle this then? might just be a homeless squatter but I reckon we can't take that chance." he huffs softly as he tests the integrity of the ground beneath him by rocking on his heels a little. "Think the building can take me moving at speed?"

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"Special order from Astro Labs.  Had through go through quite a few intermediate parties to construct it all separately in a way that wouldn't trace back to me.  But, I get most of my money by investing in small tech firms nowadays.  So as long as my friend keeps an eye on my finances there's nothing to worry about."  Foreshadow stomped on the floor a few times.  Not quite sure how well it would bear Ulysses barreling through.

Shrugging after a moment of contemplation.  "Probably, but don't be surprised if you found yourself careening towards the floor below."  Squatter or not, these weren't exactly prime living conditions.  At the very least they could get a talking to so as to avoid hurting themselves in the future.  Better yet, if Foreshadow and Ulysses were just that lucky they could have just found their arsonist.

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