(2018-03-10) Ogre Buffet
Ogre Buffet
Summary: The events right after "You Will Suffer". Huge amounts of food and information is shared.
Date: IC Date (2018-03-10)
Related: http://darkwater.wikidot.com/log:2018-03-10-you-will-suffer
Player Characters: Eddie, Ida, Denver, Gwen

Brundle Investigations

A room of hazy lights and lots of shadows. A trio of windows would offer a spectacular view of the bay, but they are hung with nicotine yellow blinds that seem permanently glued in the 'closed' position judging by how speckled they are with flyshit and the permanent bends and tears in the old plastic where someone has roughly bent them apart. Over and over and over again.
There are shapes in the half-dark. An uncomfortable looking loveseat and rickety side-table faces a bulky oak desk with a large armchair behind it. On top of the desk is a crossword collection. In a corner is a cheap office chair and a smaller rolltop bearing a beige computer that looks to be from the 80s, along with a matching elder coffee maker. Next to the door is a coat rack, and numerous boxes line the walls, several seemingly permanently employed as makeshift filing systems. Yellowed photos adorn the walls. The magazines on the side table are years out of date and contribute to the musty smell of the place. Somewhere a hidden radio plays jazz made sibilant with white noise.

Eddie spends a little longer fumbling with his keys than he'd really like, considering there's someone bleeding lava in the hallway standing next to him, but he finally gets his door unlocked and ushers her on in. He flips on the lights, which seems to be mostly a ceremonial gesture in this building, and points her over to the chair behind the rolltop. Something from Ikea, it looks like, the newest thing in the office, and at least for now the cleanest. "C'mon, sit down, I don't know how you're walking. Food ought to be here in a minute, just try not to die in the meantime. I've got some pretty good painkillers in my desk, if you need them."

It's just a little lava, don't be such a baby! Besides, Denver's hand against the worst of the bullet wounds is keeping most of it inside the volcanic woman. The sword is still held within one hand, but it's dropped at the side of the chair as she's ushered towards it. "Painkillers just dull your senses, and I think my senses should probably stay extra sharp right now." She carefully settles into the chair, watching Eddie fuss. "I'm not planning on dying anytime soon. Someone has to keep your Winterass alive, after all."

You can smell the food first. Barbecue spare ribs, hunks of fatty meat and sticky sauce. Fried egg rolls, stuffed with goodness. Loads of fried rice, speckled with colorful veggies and loaded with fat pork and tiny sweet shrimp. Lo mein, chow fun, sweet and sour chicken, general Tso's chicken and beef and broccoli rounds things out. There's a "shave and a haircut" knock on the door.

For some reason, Gwen felt a sudden urge to bring food. Probably for /Ida/, not Eddie. She's carrying with her a basket that brings with it the smell of freshly baked bread, and the sweet, sweet smell of jam. And under one arm is a brown bag from Frugral's— full of grease stains and smelling like a heartattack in a bag. She's likely meeting Ida in the hallway.

"Of course. Got to be able to sense the blood pouring out of you. What was I thinking?" Eddie seems to consider pressing the issue, but then there's the knock at the door. He looks down at Denver, just to make sure she really isn't going to die in the time it takes him to answer the door, then goes to do that. "Thanks. C'mon, set it down over here," he ushers Ida in, indicating the vicinity of the wounded ogre. He's a little surprised to spot Gwen, but he waves her in, too, eager to get the door relocked. He's bleeding some himself, from a dozen little pecks and scratches, but nothing as bad as Denver.

"Ohhh my god that smells so good." Still a little blood loss and pain delirious, the ogress' head pivots against the chair, staring at the women and their bags full of food. "Hi!" It's a little chipper for someone that's full of bullet holes oozing lava out of them. But then, maybe the addrenalin from the fight is still pumping through the Summer's body. "Do you have any shovels? I can just unhinge my jaw and have you just shovel it right in?" She laughs, followed by a quick wince.

There may have been some murmur of voice outside in the hallway before, Ida greeting Gwen, admiring each others amazing spreads. The tall sparkly Fairest goes over to the big desk and unloads the majority of the selection there, before offering Denver a whole bag for herself. So an appetizer for a wounded Ogre. "Here you are, it is a little bit of everything." She then steps back, grabs the bag of drinks and offers them out. It's thai tea, swirled with sugary condensed milk. A little smile shows. "I regret they did not have any shovels available."

Gwen sweeps in, carrying a large jacket with her as well. She sets the basket down and says, "Ida, the bread and tangerine jelly is for you." The greasy food is sat down on the desk. And then she walks over to the coatrack by the door, calmly shakes out the jacket, and hangs it with care over the rack. Smoothing it down and murmuring sweetly, "There you go, Mr. Brundle, good as new." A tilt of her head is given and she smiles, at the coat rack, "Yes, indeed, you're welcome."

"I still haven't washed it since the last time I went graverobbing," Eddie says, making way for the delivery. He watches on, like it's some delicate operation, trying not to pace. Once the spread is laid out, he goes over to his desk and crouches down, fishing around underneath it and in the bottom drawer. He comes up again with a wad of cash and… half a bottle of Midori, weirdly. The cash he tosses to Ida, and the liqueur he keeps to himself, drinking straight from the bottle. "Should I take that as compliment?" he asks Gwen, once he comes up for air. "I know you get along better with inanimate objects."

It's hard to focus on the women and the food, but Denver is trying hard to do both at the same time. There's a hint of concern that draws between her brows as Gwen starts to talk to the coat once it's been hung up. The concern fades a little as Eddie speaks, making it seem like this was a frequent occurance. "Thank you," she offers to the women, and then to Eddie before she starts reaching for the food and using her hands to shovel it into her mouth instead. "How is everyone?" It's tough to make out through the food.

"Oh that is most kind of you, I did not expect that. Would you care for something to drink or eat yourself?" Ida gestures between Gwen and the thai tea and foods, she herself opting to just drink the tea for now. The smile gets bigger at the coat rack conversation, strange eyes gleaming as she holds back laughter. "Mr. Brundle is a most polite specimen, is he not? And such posture, my goodness." She leans over here to whisper something softly to the blue-skinned other woman. The cash is caught like she doesn't even have to think about it, one moment it's airborn going her way, the next it's already snagged and beind hidden somewhere within the depths of her coat. A glance, then, at the true sleuth, smile still lingering as she looks at his poison of choice. Over to the wounded lava monster, finally, "I am quite well, thank you. I hope you will feel better."

You whisper "I was told to not introduce myself to the wounded lady. I am not sure why but would most appreciate it if you would follow suit. I assume we will be told the reason forthwith." to Gwen.

Gwen grins at Ida and says, "He's very polite, yes." A bob of her head is given. Gwen tips her head toward the glittering woman and smiles at her. She squints at Denver and says, "Oh, it's… you're bleeding everywhere. Sorry can't help with that anymore. Spring and I aren't on speaking terms anymore." She goes to find herself a place to sit and says, "Eddie, I got you the cheapest, grossest, thing on Frugal's menu." And then to Ida she grins, "I'd love some of that tea. I may have some of the bread."

Eddie narrows his eyes at Gwen. "Thanks," he says suspiciously, and goes to check the Frugal's bag like he's expecting to find a grenade. It doesn't seem to set his mind at ease, much, when he doesn't. Still, once he gets a whiff of z-grade hamburger, he gets to eating. At least for once he's not the fastest at it. He goes to inspect his coat while he's stuffing his face, inaugurating it with a fresh grease stain in the process.

"The food'll help stop the bleeding," Denver assures Gwen, grinning around a bite of something huge and greasy. It appears to be true, because the more she eats, the more her wounds begin to slowly mend and ease from lava-dribbling gashes into dark bruising. "Denver, by the way," she tacks on for Ida's benefit, seeing that she's never met the woman before now. "I usually have better manners than this." Well… mostly.

"It is quite alright, you have both been under some stress. Please simply focus on getting better," Ida responds to the slowly mending lava lady. And quietly goes about first providing Gwen with her requested tea and a bit of the bread, "Are you sure you wouldn't like some of the jam or anything such yourself? Please do let me know," then getting Eddie some things for his own healing - there was a little first aid kit somewhere, apparently. "I am aware that another party will surely get you a bundle of various things to eat as well to fix you up, but meanwhile, please." She gives him a slightly stern look. "Unless you prefer that I bandage you up."

"Just bread." says Gwen for now. She settles into her seat and tells Eddie, "Don't worry, I didn't spit in it." And then mutters something underneath her breath. A glance is given toward Denver and she asks, "So what did that?" She nods to the hole in her chest.

"I met Denver in the Hedge a while back," Eddie says over his shoulder, taking his coat down off the rack to examine the back and the inner lining. "She almost pulled my head off, but then I left her to die outside a laundrymat and now we're terrific friends." Finally, he seems satisfied with his inspection. Impressed, even. He pulls it on immediately and heaves a sigh, like someone slipping into a hot bath after a long day. It isn't until Ida comes out with the first aid kit that he seems to notice his own wounds, reaching up to probe at his face. His blood sticks to his finger in long strands, thicker and darker than it ought to be. He looks down at the kit, then up at the Fairest. "If you wouldn't mind," he says, reluctant, more out of embarrassment than anything.

"You didn't leave me to die, Eddie! I was keeping the Keeper occupied so you could get away! I mean, I could have died, but I didn't. But you can't think like that! You did the right thing." More food is shoveled into Denver's mouth as she glances to Gwen and then back down at her wounds. "Weird blobby guy with a gun tried to kill me. Us. I kind of really pissed off the bird-bitch. Eddie got the gun though? So that's pretty neat."

As far as providing first aid and taking care of the wounded, Ida is skilled, thorough and very fast. Eddie and his wounds are cleaned up and the latter are dressed neatly, with the tall fairest frowning at a few. "You are going to need stitches unless we can get you something special to eat first on these, and this, and that one. I will make sure they stay closed for now. This will sting a little." She tilts her head, considering what has been said while performing the healing stingy arts with her hands. A certain tv doctor would grudgingly pass her doctoral talents - and applaud her bedside manners. "A new gun? Fascinating, you should" she pauses briefly to tighten a bandage down further, "tell me more about this."

Gwen yawns a little bit and glances between Ida and Eddie, saying mildly, "I do still know some first aid… I suppose I could help with the mundane things." She nibbles on a piece of bread and sips at her tea a little bit. A glance is given toward Denver and she asks, "What did you do?"

Eddie seems a little taken aback by the vehemence of Denver's objection. He looks up at Ida and grins. "She doesn't know me very well, yet." Then he winces, as she gets to work bandaging one of those that's going to need stitches. "Quit fussing. It makes you look matronly. I'm fine, I'll talk with Bea tomorrow." At the mention of the gun he pulls it out from under his jacket, holding it by the handle, between two fingers. Like someone else might handle a rotten fish. He sets it down on the desk beside him and gestures have-at-it. A brief look of terror flashes across his face at the prospect of Gwen tending to his wounds, but it's quickly replaced by a look of blank confusion. "What—? I can't remember… what can't I remember?" Confusion turns to anger, and he stands bolt upright. "Son of a bitch, it's happening again."

"Me? I'm an angel, I didn't do anything!" Despite the words, Denver can't seem to get them all out without a faint grin. "For starters, I kept her occupied long enough for Eddie to get away with one of the coronets. Then I broke a piece of her jewelry, which also broke the weather." She does sound a little bit worried about that part of it. "I haven't died yet, which she's not fond of. Oh, and I told her to get plucked, which I thought was hilarious, but apparently she did no- -" Red eyes blink, food tumbling towards the ground as she bolts up to her feet a moment after Eddie does. The sword is scooped up somewhere along the way, the defensive stance immediate, even if she clearly has no idea what's going ong. "What? What- -?" Oh, there's not a thing to fight, that's not why we're jumping up. The sword gets slowly dropped back to her side. "What are you talking about?"

Gwen tilts her head at Eddie, blinking at him a little bit. "What?" She echoes Denver, looking confused.

"Are you alright?" Cue the third in the choir, Ida looking at Eddie with concern.

"You can't feel it?" Eddie snaps. They really can't, though, it seems like. "Something's in my head. Making me forget…" He furrows his brow, searching, then slams his hand against his desk. "Forget something. Something important. "That fucking mirror, I swear to God, whoever busted the other one had the right idea." He's not explaining much. He's too worked up. He grabs the office phone off his desk, and he starts dialing.

Eyes darting towards the other women first, and then Eddie again. It's clear that they don't know any more than she does. Realizing there's no physical danger, she sinks back into the chair and grabs a box of food, drawing it close so that she can keep eating. "Yeah, I'm gonna need you to elaborate, man. Because you're sounding a little crazy right now."

Gwen rolls 2 Dice - No-Again
Roll: Manipulation + Persuasion
Result: Success (1) — 5 9

Gwen glances between Ida and Denver, then back to Eddie. Her voice is soft, attempting to be soothing. Gentle, "Eddie, come on. Put the phone down, lets not do anything hasty. Lets talk about it first, okay?"

"Something is in your head taking your memories?" Ida echoes, staring at the sleuth. "We need more power than we have to fight that. Gwen. Is there anyone left in town who could help with that kind of thing? I believe him. But that is not a field I can do anything in."

Eddie listens impatiently as his call dials out. When it picks up on the other end he doesn't seem to like whatever it is he hears, because he's about to throw it against the wall until Gwen starts talking. He looks at her for a moment. If he's got -her- gladhandling him, he really must seem unhinged. He sets the phone carefully back down in the cradle, then closes his eyes and rubs the back of his head. Still trying to remember, probably. "Seven years ago we made a deal with something. A pretty rotten one. That's why we— that's why the Lost in this town can't remember what's been going on. I met the thing, the other night."

"The only thing I'm good with is fists and swords. I can't help with that sorta thing," Denver tells Ida with a slight frown. She watches as Gwen talks Eddie down and into giving them the full story. "Wait, is it the reason that those of us from out of town are also being drawn in?"

Gwen gives a little shake of her head at Ida and says, "No… That I can think of off of the top of my head." She frowns a little bit and says, "Sounds like we need a Blackbird." A glance is given toward Eddie, and she lifts her hands a little bit to him. "You met it? what did it want?"

"Such a person might find the current area a bit unwelcoming for someone with such an appearance," Ida notes back to Gwen, though her facial expression is thoughtful, clearly considering the blue-skinned woman's words. Like she's making a mental note. Looking back over at Denver, she smiles and gives a little belated shrug. "You are better than good at what you do, to be fair. I do not feel anyone would blame you, nor hopefully any of us, for not being skilled at changing things in someone's mind and memories." She then falls quiet to listen to Eddie again.

"I don't know," Eddie says to Denver, shaking his head, "it didn't say anything about that, but I doubt it's a coincidence. As for what it wants? What we already gave it. Memories. We gave it somebody's memories. 'The Sacrifice.'" He looks away, like he's ashamed. "I don't know who, or why. I've got my guesses, but—" He takes a breath, and gets back on track. "Our memories went along for the ride. It thanked me. Thanked me, for the extra meal. And now Wilson's made another deal with it, and now this is happening."

"If a sacrifice is already made, then why is it still taking memories? Is it doing it right now? You were just up and shouting about it! I sure as hell wasn't here when that decision was made, and /I/ have made a pledge or agreement to anyone allowing them access to my mind like that. So if it needs to be put down, you just point me in the direction," Denver growls.

"How much can you remember about Wilson?" This from Ida to Eddie. "Do you remember what she looks like, sounds like, how you met, those basic things?" A quick look over at Denver, and she can't help but smile again. "My, frank and forwards. I do approve of your approach to things." She is quite sincere, too.

"It happened again. To me, anyway. Nothing as big as seven years this time, but something… something important," Eddie says, snarling in frustration as he tries and fails once again to summon up whatever it is he's lost. "Maybe it isn't happening to you. Maybe that's why you can't feel it. Because you weren't here, because it wasn't your deal. I don't know. I hope so." He gives Ida's question serious consideration, but shakes his head after a moment. "Smoke for hair, yea tall, too much money. I remember her just fine. And if she's the one behind this, that's all she's going to be: a memory."

"I find that if something shady is going down, if you kill the perpetrature, the shady stops. It's a pretty easy system to follow." Denver grins to Ida in response to the compliment. "Just have to be able to back up having a bit mouth. Which I've been lucky in so far." Denver shakes her head at Eddie though. "No. Remember when we tried to pledge. I lost a whole day after that. Whatever it is has effected me too."

"It happened again. To me, anyway. Nothing as big as seven years this time, but something… something important," Eddie says, snarling in frustration as he tries and fails once again to summon up whatever it is he's lost. "Maybe it isn't happening to you. Maybe that's why you can't feel it. Because you weren't here, because it wasn't your deal. I don't know. I hope so." He gives Ida's question serious consideration, but shakes his head after a moment. "Smoke for hair, yea tall, too much money. I remember her just fine. And if she's the one behind this, that's all she's going to be: a memory."

"I find that if something shady is going down, if you kill the perpetrature, the shady stops. It's a pretty easy system to follow." Denver grins to Ida in response to the compliment. "Just have to be able to back up having a bit mouth. Which I've been lucky in so far." Denver shakes her head at Eddie though. "No. Remember when we tried to pledge. I lost a whole day after that. Whatever it is has effected me too."

"Why did she make another deal that would affect more than herself? Surely she would know …" Ida drifts off, considering. "Ah. Or perhaps she has not changed all that much. That is unfortunate. I see." She sips her tea again, considering Eddie. "I have lost memories of mine as well, though mine are only from the time between when I was last here and when I came back. To my knowledge I have not had anything pillaged from my mind since. Certainly nothing like this attack on you." She stands up, and there are tiny wings at the corners of her eyelashes. Wasp ones, buzzing in an agitation she is otherwise not revealing. They make a familiar aggressive buzzing sound as she walks around the room. Pacing. Thinking. "I most sincerely wish Lucas and Thomas were present and accounted for." Denver gets thrown a box of crab rangoon, a low slow easy to catch toss.

"She didn't know," Eddie says, rubbing at the bridge of his nose. "None of us did. We 'didn't think to ask', says the magic mirror. Prick." He turns his head and spits on the floor. It's not the grossest thing to stain the carpet in here, anyway. "Stupid move, anyway, and she acts like she's doing us a favor. But like you were getting at, I remember her name and every other little thing. Can't say that about… whoever the other one was, seven years ago. Maybe that's not what it is this time." He reaches over for the now quarter bottle of Midori, and he kills it without remorse and rolls it off into the corner. The room smells a little like melon, now, on top of the smoke and the dust and all of the food."

As the box of food is tossed towards her, Denver lifts her arms to catch it, only winching a little. Luckily it's slow and low enough that she doesn't jerk wounds back open as they continue to slowly melt back together. She pries it open, grabbing the crab rangoon's and shoving one into her mouth as she listens. Red eyes dance between the group of much smarter than her folks, trying to grasp an understanding of what she's hearing. "Stuff is trying to kill us right now, man. Probably not the best time to get trashed," she points out, waggling a rangoony finger in the direction of the midori bottle.

Gwen was busy off in the corner, probably going through her contacts in her fancy phone or something. A soft sigh is given and she says, "I can't get a hold of Emberly." A shrug of her shoulders is given and she sits back down. She glances toward Eddie and asks, "Why don't you summarize everything we /do/ know. Maybe that will help something fall into place?"

The angry waspish sounds continues from the corners of Ida's eyes, maybe lowering a little in volume as the scent of melon hits the air. "The best intentions and all that." There is a smile aimed at Denver, this time handing her a box of something with noodles and pork as the tall Fairest walks past the two desks again. She ends up at the windows, peering momentarily through the blinds at the darkness outside. Then her smile returns, teasingly at Gwen's words. "Yes, Eddie. Please, you are good at going through the details of a case. This is a pretty big one that we are in."

"Sounds to me like the perfect time to get trashed," Eddie says, and he aims a disdainful leer back at the discarded bottle. "Anyway, it takes me more than that to go over the edge with the rams." He reaches into his coat pocket for a smoke, then remembers that Gwen just brought it back an hour ago, and he hasn't had a chance to restuff the pockets. He leans back over his desk and gets a pack out of there. "Easier said than done," he mutters at Gwen, breaking a match in half on his first attempt at a light. "I was going to do a chart, you know, with string and post-its and everything, but I haven't had the time."

He gets the light on his second try and takes a drag and gives it his best shot. "Like I said, seven years ago we made a deal with something called the Smoking Mirror. A lifetime of memories…" He lays it out, as best he can. He has to double back a few times and there might be some gaps, but he almost got turned into a mushroom earlier today. There's his memories from back then, what little he has. There's the prophecy Lucas shared. There's his trip up Mt. Paddo, and the scary fucking thing they ran into up there, and how it was looking for Denver. He has to stop and light another smoke, after that part. The dreams Tyla and Bea had, the stuff he found in Everbright's apartment, his journey through the looking glass.

"It was down in Everbright's basement, along with a bunch of dead people. Or pieces of them, anyway. I don't know what she was up to down there, but I found her, too, earlier today. In that lighthouse I mentioned. Dead, of course."

Oh god that's soooo much to take in. So, so, so much to take in. She lifts a hand and runs it through the metal of her hair and asks, "And it's … taking /your/ memories to?" Her eyebrows twitch together, looking confused.

Smoking seems like a great idea. Ida joins, pulling a somewhat rumpled pack of short, wide cigarettes, unfiltered and made with dark tobacco which give off a very strong and distinctively tarry smell as she lights one up. Ahhh. The buzzing slows. Stops. "Next time, I will bring you some nice multicolored string and all the post-its your heart might desire. We may need a bigger office for that chart, however." She leans against the wall between big desk and small desk, occasionally handing the lava woman more food to keep her health regain going. Mmm barbecue ribs. A slow nod at Gwen, "It sounds as if whatever deal it was that was recently made by Wilson is impacting Eddie, somehow. Or perhaps something else is going on?" This last query over to the sleuth. There's been a lot of information fed to them the past half hour, a lot to take in.

Gwen shakes her head at Ida and asks, "Have you … ever heard of the Mandela Effect?"

"It took all our memories. All of us that were around back then. Of the sacrifice, of the deal, maybe of the whole past seven years," Eddie says, exhausted. He stubs out his second cigarette directly on his desk, missing the ashtray completely. "And now more. From me, anyway. I don't know the why of it. It could be Tyla's stupid deal, or it could be going through the mirror, or it could just be all the times I've got knocked on the back of the head. It happens a lot, in my line of work. I really ought to start writing things down, in case I wake up tomorrow dribbling on myself, or somebody finds me dead in a lighthouse."

"Speaking of the lighthouse, do you have a map drawn out of those four locations that have the birds hanging out at them? And maybe a ruler?" Denver inches up a little closer to the desk, keeping a food container in one hand as she clears off a spot for a map or a piece of paper to settle. "Never heard of that," she offers towards Gwen before accepting another food offering from Ida, grinning at the woman. "Way to my heart."

Gwen rests her cheek against her fist and says, "The Mandela Effect is named for things like … A group of people got together and became convinced that they -all- remembered that Nelson Mandela died in prison, even though that isn't what happened." She waves her free hand and says, "Some people think it's caused because of alternate realities colliding at points, and they're remembering things from other reality or timeline." She puffs out a breath and says, "But what if it's just that memories … /all memories/ are linked in ways we don't understand?"

Gwen adds a moment, "Could also just be that humans are crazy."

Ida gives Gwen a blank look and shakes her head. "I do not believe I have, I am sorry. What is that?" She gives Denver a quick smile and a nod of her head, "I am happy to assist you in regaining your good health." Then she falls quiet, listening to the blue-skinned woman's explanation. "You think that Eddie is losing his memories as something of a domino effect? I apologize, I am not quite following… Though, yes. Most certainly crazy." There is the smile again.

"Like pulling a thread," Eddie muses, half thoughtfully, half dead. He shrugs. "It makes as much sense as anything, right now, though search me what it's got to do with poor old Nelson. I leave the arcane speculation with the Autumns, where it belongs. I just collect the facts." Speaking of which, someone was asking about a map. He nods to Denver, and hops down off his desk to go get it. He knows just what box to look in, somehow. Maybe he really does have a system. He takes it over to the ogre and unfolds it, spreading it out off to the side, where it's in less danger of being eaten. It's a photocopy of one someone else did, with the locations of the birds all indicated with what were probably stickers on the original.

He goes to find a ruler. He's got no idea where that is, it turns out.

Ida has already located a ruler and promptly hands it to Eddie, an eyebrow raised.

Gwen says off-handedly, "Why don't you just ask it? Maybe it'll tell you." Gwen is Full Of Bad Ideas.

A finger points to Gwen, Denver's head bobbing in agreement. "I'm all for the direct approach, sometimes it works best." She continues to eat as the map is laid out. She stands up, no longer leaking lava all over the place. A slow meander around the map as she studies the locations. "There has to be a reason she's watching these areas, yeah? Four places, four seasons, four coronets? Hospital for Spring, musuem for Autumn? I don't know about the diner and the lighthouse though." Her nose scrunches up a little as she looks. "I don't know. I was hoping a pattern might pop up." She takes the ruler from Ida, drawing light lines from place to place.

"What is there in the middle?" Ida comes over, black-white eyes gleaming with curiousity. "This feels very classic mystery. X marks the spot. Please do not say there is a fairgrounds with a house of mirrors in the center of it all."

"Bea's checking into the diner. She's got an in with the owner," Eddie says. "And we've been to the lighthouse. Didn't find much there but what was left of Nora, and some kind of fungus, like that one from the nature documentaries. The one that makes ants climb some place high and explode." His wings buzz a couple of times at the memory, but he leaves off how close he came to being the ant in that scenario. "She had a book, some kind of diary, maybe. Haven't had a chance to read it. It's going to take some decontamination." That's him, saying that.

Ida gives Eddie a long look.

Gwen looks toward the map, and then toward Eddie. Her eyebrows pinch together and she says, "I don't see anything." A glance to Denver and Ida who is busy checking for spores. A little shake of her head is given and she asks, "Do you think that … whatever Nora was after sent her crazy? Wait, why were you looking after Everbright anywise?"

"I don't see anything either. But that won't stop me from walking it, either." Denver stares at the map for a long time, eyes eventually crossing. "It'll take me some time, but I can go from place to place and look for anything odd. I do think that I might need to start keep the Summer coronet closer to myself at this point, though. Having it locked in a single place isn't good." Her lips press together. "Plus, maybe it'll pick up on something or trigger something if it's with me? Anyone wanna join me? It's a loooot of walking."

"Don't worry," Eddie says, shooting Ida a weak grin, "we burned what we were wearing. The lighthouse, too." It made the news and everything. He studies the map over Denver's shoulder, just to show off how he's taller than somebody, for once. "If you squint your eyes it looks a little like a fish," he offers, then looks over at Gwen. "She's the one that gave me the crown, I'm pretty sure." He freezes. He hadn't told Ida he had that, yet. Shit. He tries to breeze past it, turning his attention back to the ogre. "I'm with you on the Summer coronet. There's been loyalists sniffing around Tyla's place anyway. I told her to move the fucking thing, but she's afraid to do it with the birds watching."

"You look like a fish," Denver snorts to Eddie as he 'hovers' over her shoulder. She looks amused however, laying the ruler down. "Mind if I take the map for the trip?" She grabs another box of food, frowning at the mention of loyalists. "Safer with me than it is in a safe, anyway," Denver sighs. "But, if you see me put that shit on my head and try to keep it there, you unload that gun in my chest and take it off, yeah?" That's to Eddie, brows lifting. "I'm not going to let the thing that happened to Jack happen to me. I don't want it on my head, I just want it where it's safest."

-----| +Clue 33 - The Middle of the Map |----

Eddie, Ida, Denver, and a rather not-really-paying-attention-Gwen set up a map to go over the four areas that the Birds are looking at, to try and figure out what is at the center of the map.

Unfortunately since on of the points is in Forks, another in Sekiu, and the other two within Port Angeles it looks less like an "x" and more like an array.

There's no "center" point that is easily found.

—-| Written by Cobalt on Mon Mar 12 23:59:19 2018 and it is a Metaplot clue. |

Gwen leans back in her chair a little bit, head nodding backward… did she fall asleep?

"Crown?" Mildly, this, from Ida to Eddie. "I did not know I was in the presence of multiple heads of state." There's no breezing past nothing here. She is the tallest in the room, looming behind the other two to eye the map. Then the sleuth. Standing back again, to smile over at Denver, "If you would care for company I would be happy to join you. I could use a walk through the city either case, I find myself unfamiliar with so much new growth." A pause. "Who is- ah, who was Jack?"

"I might need a little help," Eddie laughs, "it didn't work out so well for the last guy. But sure, I'll murder you. Boyscout's promise." He holds up one hand, palm out. He puts it back down again when Ida catches on about the crown, scowling. "I'm holding on to one of the coronets I mentioned. Just babysitting, doesn't mean anything." A beat. "Don't let that keep you from bowing, though, if you really want. Jack's nobody. Just some poor dummy who had to go away."

"I knew I could count on you, Eddie. But yeah, you'll need, umm…" Denver glances around. "Well, you'll need the rest of the awake Lost. Or maybe just you and Quiet. He could probably toe to toe with me pretty well. We still haven't sparred yet though." She scowls at the mention of Jack again, even though she was the one to bring it up. "He was another Summer. Originally the one who had the coronet. Thought it was his personal property and decided to wear it all the time. Eventually summoned the bird bitch down on Sit n' Spin and almost got folks killed. Some folks seem to think that these things are their personal toys. But yeah, I'd love company. You mentioned fighting before, what can you do?"

When Denver asks Ida what she can do, Eddie can't keep a little smile off his face. He goes back over to his desk and collects his letter opener, then gives a sharp whistle by way of warning and tosses it in her direction, like he did the money earlier. It's a soft enough pitch that it stays vertical, pointy end looking at the floor.

Remember the money catch from earlier? Ida does the same thing, snagging the sharp thing as easy as one two three. This time she doesn't put her catch in her pocket however, but rather keeps it. For a moment. A smile over to Eddie, with all the sweetness of a woman who just got surprise flowers on not-her-birthday, and then she stands up straight. And her hand is empty again. Voila, magic trick. There's a hard thwack over by the door. The esteemed coat rack has a new steely arm shivering from its top. That is to say, the very narrow neck holding the top, and the letter opener is stuck point blank center there. "I have had some training with knives," the Fairest says to the Ogre.

Watching the blade get tossed, danced around, and then embedded in the coat rack, Denver lets out a slow whistle of appreciation. "Hell yeah you can come with me, girl. Damn." Another crab rangoon is shoved into her mouth. "That's impressive. Oh! That reminds me." She fishes with her hands through the food, looking for a big chunk as she glances between Eddie and Gwen, then back to Eddie. "Any idea if cold iron is going to do more damage to my feathery stalker or not? Might need to get a new sword, and maybe some knives made of the stuff, if so."

Gwen wakes up long enough to mutter, "Cold Iron is such a bitch." And then she props her head up on her fist again, and goes to sleep once more.

Eddie watches Ida go to work with a mixture of pride and the kind of open adoration she hasn't seen a lot out of him, since she got back. He feels something on his chest, and looks down to see his hand, be-still-my-beating-heart. He gives it a dirty look and takes it away again. "No clue, but if you can get your hands on some it's never a bad idea. Ought to ruin the day of any of their pet Lost, anyway."

"Cold iron, silver, gold… Might as well try some sharp wood, too. Let us see if staking our new friend has any benefits." Ida moves, nonchalantly brushing her hand over Eddie's shoulder in what sure looks like a subtle caress before continuing over to the coat rack. Starting to pry the letter opener back out, sharp finger tips scratching, "I will see about getting some glass daggers myself. Even if there is no extra mojo, obsidian is pleasant to use, if delicate."

Denver spots the look on Eddie's face and grins a little to herself, propping a foot on the desk and pushing her chair back onto two back legs. Looks like she's feeling better, at least, color returning to her skin. She's healed enough now that she lets the armored flesh start to ease back into something more normal and less rocky. "Keep an eye out for me? Maybe I can hit the streets and figure out where some might be stashed. If she's planning on sending more of those guys after me, it'll help to have." She grins at Gwen's mutter and then Ida's rattling off of potential weapon metals. "I -like- you."

"I hear it's good for cutting hearts out," Eddie says, joking. Mostly. He goes back over to his desk and settles down into his chair. The events of the past couple of days are starting to catch up to him, and it doesn't seem like it'll be long before he goes the same way Gwen has. "Great," he mutters, "they like each other." Then, at conversational volume, "I'll look around. I can find some cemetary fenceposts you can file a point onto, anyway. Talk with Gwen when she wakes up, if you want something actually good. Someone put a blanket or something over her, would you?"

"Are we having a sleepover? And here I neglected to bring my slippers." Ida is the only one left standing. She goes over to the loveseat, rummaging through some of the boxes behind and to the sides of it. Three blankets are taken out, neatly folded inside big plastic ziplocks. They are ancient looking after seven plus years in storage but still in one piece. She unzips them, removes blankets, sniffs, smiles, shakes out some little bags. There's a scent of dried herbs and flowers in the air for a brief moment. Gwen gets a nice soft thick grey flannel blanket over here. Then Denver is given a thick green-and-blue plaid one. And a grin. "I do believe it will be a fun tour of the town together." And she puts the last fluffy brown plaid across Eddie's chest and lap.

Gwen immediately rolls about in her chair, so that she is completely and utterly caccooned in that fluffy blanket. She ticks a little bit in her sleep.

"Well, I should probably use this when I head home, to hide all the blood and what not from prying eyes. Hard to explain why you're covered in your own blood but have no wounds, after all." Denver grins, curling up under the blanket and settling the food on top of that. "So, did you guys known each other before all this?" she wonders of Ida and Eddie, glancing between them. "Or is it just one of those instant connection things you got going on?" Her head drops, angling a little as she watches Gwen caccoon. "Aww, she's adorable when she sleeps."

Eddie fights off the blanket like a resentful baby, dumping it onto the desk in front of him. He's awake. He's fine. He could have this day again, for a week, and he'd be just fine. "Careful going home," he says to Denver, posture erect, voice calculated in its lucidity. "Maybe call a cab." What's that on the radio? That's nice. That's pretty. "Or get… walk you…" His breathing becomes very rhythmic. His head nods forward. His eyes never close, though. Weird.

Ida promptly blankets sleeping Eddie. Speaking very low, back over to Denver, "If you would prefer we can go back together. I should stop by my apartment either way. We can share a cab, as he suggests." She can move awfully quiet when she wants to. Almost drifting across the floor like a ghost, though not so fast as to leave the Ogre behind.

Blanket wrapped around her, Denver scoops up all the food that's left. She might be small, but she can sure carry a lot of stuff. Her sword is scooped up, holstered underneath the blanket before she nods. "I mean, I feel like we should probably draw on their faces before they leave, but I guess we can be all mature or whatever, and not." Sigh. She follows Ida out.

Somewhere along the way Ida grabbed the remaining drinks, the Thai tea still thick with condensed milk though the ice is long since vanished. Mm. Sugar. "I still have aspirations for employment with our favorite private eye, I fear the temporary satisfaction of a giant curling mustache on his brow might hinder that. And I will wholly admit that our kind lady has an intimidating aspect to her." The hall matches the office, fly-speckled buzzing lights, questionable carpeting, many doors leading to many strange, dead, dying or undead would-be businesses. The elevator would make any insurance agent agitated. "You had questions as to how he and I know each other? We met first several years ago, in a local little coffee shop here." Down to the ground now, and she squints at the new phone. Pokes a few buttons. PAPACE lights up in bright purple on her screen, she clicks that and a little map of the nearby area shows up with tiny moving cars. She clicks through, slowly, managing to order a ride for the two of them.

"I don't scare easy. But then, that's a big part of why this bird bitch is coming after me so hard. Not everyone can strike someone like her and hit." Denver frowns a little, pulling the blanket a little closer to herself. "My real fear with her is that she will put me down and then there won't be any Summers here to defend everyone." She leans against the elevator as it starts to drop. "Good to know there's other people around that can fight, though." She glances Ida up and down. "For what it's worth, he seems pretty smitten with you. So I'm pretty sure you've got the job in the bag."

There's another expression there on Ida's face. A little bit of sweetness, a little bit of bitter, or perhaps rueful would be a better word. "I am most fond of him also. Unfortunately we were not together the past years, and as such we need to regain that mutual trust. Which can be a tricky business even in ideal conditions, I am sure you understand." The phone makes a happy burbling sound, and one car icon on the screen lights up. The screen text flashes "TWO MINUTES" then changes to "ONE MINUTE". Car lights come around the corner. It's a white Toyota Corolla, with some years on it. "Ah, here we are." And on they go, car ride on pleather seats with a chatty driver from Seattle who spends the entire drive talking about his grandkids.

"Oh, I totally get that. In the 'never been through it myself but can see where you're coming from' sort of way. With things as they are right now, it makes it that much more difficult, I'm sure." Denver offers a quit pat on Ida's back. "I'm sure you'll get there assuming that we don't all get pecked to death." She smirks. She slips into the car with the blanket held tight.

Ida smiles over at Denver, "Speaking of "getting there", it occurs to me. What part of town do you live in? Currently we are heading towards my apartment, but I can change this to make that just a stop and then we continue on to your residence." Maybe it has been a bit of a long day for her as well. The driver is talking about how good his fourth grandchild is at math.

Denver rattles off the part of town she lives in. "Not there very much, to be honest. Just to shower and change clothes, mostly. Sometimes sleep, when I actually bother." She looks down at her chest and considers the mess that's under the blanket. "I should probably try to sleep soon. Everything that just happened took a lot of energy out of me. It pumps me up too, obviously. But there's always a crash on the flip side of that coin."

"Quite so. Adrenaline is like coffee that way." Ida agrees, perhaps from experience. She taps at the phone (she's learning the ways of this high magic tech!), there's a bleeep from it as well as from the driver's phone. 'ADDRESS CHANGED SUCCESSFULLY' and the car turns. "It seems we will drop you off first. Please do keep the food." She leans back into her seat, relaxing a little. "And I treat my quarters much the same. I enjoy spending time in Eddie's office more." There's a little smile. Then she peers over at the lava lady, considering. "Which reminds me, how did you meet him? Due to current affairs, I assume?"

"I'll take adrenaline over coffee any day of the week," Denver offers with a laugh. She watches the driver shift and smirks a little. "I appreciate it, thank you. I suppose I should learn some of the newer technology, but all my phones end up broken somehow. No idea how." Gee, I wonder. "We met at book club. Local author who wrote about this place where plants come alive and they steal people. Some heroes had to go save someone and fight their way through the inside of a giant plant." Her brow arches, a knowing grin on her lips. "We disagreed on some of the themes in the book pretty heavily, but in the end we managed to come to terms. Then the whole Jack thing. And then saving him from that crazy homeless lady we were talking about. Somewhere along the line we became friends."

"Similar ways to how he and I became close back then. The book club is a wonderful place to make friends. There was a fantasy one, I can not quite remember the name but it was quite the big seller, a heavy hitter if you will. A heroic group cleverly defeats a demonic gambler with an intricate trap." Ida dimples at Denver, eyes amused. Then she shrugs, "Although it has been years since then. I really should get more familiar with the current popular titles."

"Now that sounds like a great read. Sorry to have missed that one. I'll have to hear the whole story some time. Demonic gamblers are a neat plot hook, if you ask me." Ida's dimples draw Denver's smile a little bit wider. "A lot of the stuff we've been reading in book club are different from what we're used you. Fire and ash, untamed wilds that are so dangerous not even the fiery female warrior will go alone, despite her desire to." A warning there, the look shining brightly in her eyes. Definetaly don't go alone.

"Someone showed me on the internet they have, there was a picture. Someone holding a kitten in their cupped hands, and the title said "It is dangerous to go alone. Take this." I feel we should have attack kittens ready at all times." Ida is maybe a little tired, mouth twitching upwards. "But yes, I have heard of these new adventures also. It is a bold, rather unheard of twist on things, I dare say. It will be interesting to see how the heroes solve it." She covers her yawn with a hand. "Pardon me." There is a beep from her phone and the driver's phone, and the cityscape outside might look familiar to the Ogre. "I do think we are getting close. Will you be alright? Do you need help with a door or anything?"

"I'll be your attack kitten any day!" Denver offers with a laugh as she imagines a little kitten with giant teeth and claws. "We'll have to make sure you're around for the next meet up, so we can discuss everything together next time." She watches as the apartment building she's boarding in pulls into view. "Oh no, I should be alright, thank you. I'll get some sleep, eat some more and I'll be right as rain in the morning. You try to get some sleep too, yeah?"

"Indeed. I shall stop by my place and have myself a little nap before going back to the office tomorrow. I hope you have a good night. It was very good to make your acquaintance." Ida has drifted into a kind of languid pose in her seat, all that Fairest sparkle extra brilliant in the passing lights of houses and cars and city. Like she is sculpted from jewels and gold, though the insect theme is also present. Her hair goes from wings to gems to wings again as the light and shadow changes, claw-tipped hands prickling the pleather. And the alien compound eyes in the shimmering whites. "I rather look forward to working with you. I believe our skills will mesh up in a most efficient manner, and we will be able to cleave through most any… paperwork."

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