(2018-04-07) PrP: Port Angeles Blues - Felicia
PrP: Port Angeles Blues - Felicia
Summary: Harris goes to confront Felicia Schwartz and learns some surprising facts - and gets a whole other problem on his hands.
Date: IC Date (2018-04-07)
Related: Port Angeles Blues - Sticks and Stones, Port Angeles Blues - WORKER MEN
Player Characters: Harris, Felicia (NPC) - Audgrim as ST

It's evening, around 8pm. People are home, having dinner with family, or watching TV all alone. Life on this street is just the average grind; it's got a long row of small town-houses, most of them rented, some of them owned by some lucky few. There's spaces to park along the road. It's one of those areas that are considered mostly decent - what crime happens here is hidden behind four walls, or the occasional bike theft or burglary.

Felicia's house is at the end of the street, the last on the row. The lights are on but all curtains are pulled so one can't see inside. There's the faint sound of a TV - some sitcom.

A light drizzle and some fog makes sounds muted and the air is sticky and warm.

Jim has pulled up to park, glowering up at the sky. Of -course- it'd be raining. It's the Pacific Northwest, after all. But at least it's just a light drizzle. With a gusty sigh, he shoulders open the door to his Skylark and lumbers out, glancing up at the sky again as the drizzle starts to mist down on him. He starts lumbering for the door, his stride slow and his eyes perked and alert. At any other time, this would be a much more enjoyable visit- old Jim has something of a reputation around the station as a ladies' man. But… is this -actually- Felicia he's about to encounter? Or another one of those damned Sticks n' Stones? He hesitates on the porch for a moment, drawing a deep, calming breath. Then, he lifts his hand and gives his best Cop Knock on the door.

There's a few seconds, then the sound of the TV is turned down to near nothing, footsteps on the other side of the front door, and then someone peeks through the peephole before the door opens up wide.

The woman opening might just be his type, too. Pretty without being model beautiful, with dark straight hair tumbling down her back almost to her waist with no bangs, large brown eyes, a petite mouth and dimples. Curves at just the right places - physically fit but not being dainty even if she's no taller than five foot four. She's wearing jeans and a red tanktop, barefoot. "Lieutenant Harris?" she asks, surprised to see him. Obviously, she recognises him - he's a rather well known veteran after all. "There a bomb threat?" she asks, suddenly worried; she works in bomb squad, she just joined before that explosion at the office building.

And damn, she -is- his type. Jim can't help but indulge in an eyeful of her as she answers the door. "Officer Schwartz," he replies, looking back up at her face with what he hopes is a friendly smile. "Nah, no new bomb threats. But I was followin' up on the investigation, and I wanted to pick your brain." He glances up and around. "I, uh… hope this isn't a bad time," he says. He keeps the conversation light. Nothing that takes too much concentration -he needs -that- to start reaching out for Felicia's mind. To see if it -is- her… and if it isn't, to see just -how- convincing these fake dolls the Kidnappers leave behind really are.

Felicia's dimpled smile is utterly charming, yet quite innocent - she's not known for being a sleeping around sort of girl. In fact, most described her as shy and a bit anti-social, yet very ambitious. Especially in the last year. Which rhymes very well with some change, after that event at the office building. "Come on in," she says and steps aside to let him in. "Want something to drink? I got beer, coffee…" She is already heading for the kitchen, once he's inside, babbling a bit. "You mean about Sean, right? We used to be in the same precinct - I didn't know him that well, but I liked him." Her shoulders tense a bit - perhaps due to the fact she, like most other colleagues, don't like to speak ill about one of their own. And Sean Miller's reputation was quite bad, lately.

Jim steps in behind her. Again, his eyes dropping to take in her figure once her back is turned. -Damn-. If she -is- a Sticks n' Stones, then that just makes what the Kidnappers do even more horrifying. "Yeah, I'll take a beer," he says as he follows her in. Shy, anti-social, yet ambitious… just the sort of gal who might catch Lt. Harris' eye. Hell, there's no 'might' about it. He has to give himself an inner kick to remind himself -he's here on Bureau business, not a booty call. "And yeah. About Sean. You were working pretty closely with 'im before he went missing." He leans himself up against the counter, hooking his thumbs in his belt. Affecting that casual, easygoing stance that he uses to put folks at their ease. Relaxed and low-key. As she goes to fetch the beer, he starts to gather his focus. He only has a few precious moments to get into her mind, and he plans to make use of them.

Digging out a couple of beers from the fridge, Felicia hands one over - no glass - and she opens one for herself. Her thought is very clear; she's the fetch, not Felicia.

The pretty girl-/thing/ gestures to the table with a smile and heads that way, getting the two settled in and asking some meaningless politeness -"You want something to eat?" before she delves into the Sean Miller case. And yes, she knows she is a fetch.

As she sits down, Harris gets a flash of imagery - Felicia's thoughts are a dark, horrendous maze, and the deeper he goes, the more he realises this. It's not human thoughts. They're abuzz with madness. Cold, calculated madness; she does everything to fit in. And he gets a glimpse of her slamming the lid on the refrigerator, looking down at what is Sean Miller's body, already disintegrating and turning into sticks and stones, before she dumps the fridge into the river… "I wasn't working with him lately," she explains, that voice so sweet and nice, the worry in her eyes entirely fake. "We drifted apart after that… explosion. He was acting rather strange after that."

Jim goes to settle himself down at the table. He's well-practiced at keeping his own outward appearance placid and friendly, affecting that charming smile of his own that tends to make the ladies swoon, even without the benefit of his gifts. "Nah, I'm good, I already ate," he says at her offer of food. He begins filtering through her mind, plucking out those details. The fact that -she- is the one who killed Sean's fetch is a surprise. Those cold, alien thoughts are such a clash with the sweet, warm, and -pretty- face behind which they lurk. He downs a swallow from his beer, keeping up the charade. "That's what I was hoping to learn more about," he says, keeping his tone light and conversational. "You were closer to him than a lot of people. He ever say or do anything that might've stood out? Ever mention anything to you that mighta seemed outta the ordinary?"

Felicia squirms uncomfortably on her seat and drinks rather thirstily from that beer, as if she could use the comforting alcohol. Her large brown eyes look at him sadly. "I think he was in trouble," she admits. "He… came by one night, said he needed a place to stay. He was all nervous. So I let him sleep on the couch - he was gone in the morning. Said something about owing people money. Gambling, maybe? I didn't ask, he wouldn't have told me anyway. I just did an old colleague a favor - maybe I should've reported it instead?" She gnaws on her lower lip, like she thinks she did something wrong. She's truly masterful at this charade. "Think those people might've gotten to him?"

Jim studies her closely. God damn, it's becoming a chore to remember that she's an inhuman thing and not a girl he'd usually quite happily spend the rest of the night with. If not for his gifts, he never would have known. The Kidnappers are some devious bastards—the fact that they can make such a convincing copy, one capable of such terrible things, makes them even more terrible in his eyes. He offers her another gentle smile. "Hey," he says, reaching out to place a comforting hand over hers. "You did a favor for a friend. Ain't nobody gonna fault you for that. Whoever it was that was after him… -if- that's what's going on… well. They'll find out what happens when you tangle with the cops, right?" He gives her hand a squeeze. Two can play at this game.

Relaxing visibly, Felicia curls her hand into his - it feels completely normal - and she smiles a little again. "Thanks," she says quietly, meeting his gaze more confidently. She doesn't pull her hand back. Maybe she's trying to play him - maybe she knows his reputation. Her questions in turn, seem to indicate a certain try at digging for her own information. "Have you found /anything/ at all? I heard they did find his car, burnt out, in East PA. But no body or anything… I hope he is fine."

Jim's larger hand curls around hers on reflex. She even -feels- real. Despite knowing that she's not, he has to squash down the errant thought wondering if she's that real anywhere else. "I mean… you probably -shoulda- reported it to somebody," he says, adding a note of gentle sternness to his tone. "But you were trying to help a friend an' fellow officer. In my book, that makes you a pretty all right person." Ah, now she's questioning him. "Yeah, we found the wreck," he says. "But… we lost the trail down by the river." That's the trick to crafting a convincing lie -keep as many of the -true- details in place as possible. "But we still haven't found a body, so… 'til we do, I ain't givin' up that we're gonna find 'im." Also true, every word -just not in the way certain someones might expect. He offers her another gentle smile, the one that tugs up the corners of his mustache just so and the craggy lines at his eyes crinkle. Keep her —IT, keep IT —off guard. Don't give her (IT, dammit, IT) a reason to suspect him.

The answers seem to sit well with her - there's just the hint of a satisfied glimpse in her eyes. It could be chalked up to her believing that he can be found alive. Or - more likely - Felicia believes she's in the safe here. No refrigerator found. "I should've told someone," she says, taking that admonishment with a bit of reddening to the cheeks. She pulls her hand away now but only so she can stand up and move to the fridge, brushing past Harris quite close in the small kitchen; she smells of shampoo and a vanilla lotion. "More beer?" she asks, opening the fridge again.

Half hidden behind the fridge, the woman-fetch is pausing and her shoulders tense up for some reason - she's staring into the fridge like hypnotised.

There's a sound… a buzzing of a machine. The moment she opens that fridge. It could be chalked up to the fridge itself, they do make noises after all. Except… that sound is familiar. Faint, but familiar. The same buzzing sound of a huge machine in the distance, he heard when talking to Miller on the other side…

Jim finishes off his beer, setting the empty aside. "Yeah, that'd be great," he says at her offer of another beer. He draws a deep breath through his nose, relishing that scent of her despite himself. He watches her step over to the fridge, his gaze once again roaming across the figure she presents. Just as his thoughts start turning towards other things he might be doing with her bent over like that, his ears catch that sound. It dashes icy water over his rousing libido. And the way it seems to hold her transfixed… is the Kidnapper -talking- to her? He rises to his feet, stepping over to her. "Hey," he says, letting his hands settle on her shoulders. "You okay, Felicia?" Felicia, he calls her. Not Officer Schwartz. Trying to get her - get -its'- focus back on him, rather than the creature beyond the walls of the world.

The woman barely reacts to the hand on her shoulder; she's staring at the reflective surface of a metal container in the fridge. Like she's seeing something in it. But then she slowly turns her head up and looks at his face; her eyes are dead, her expression vacant. "I will be okay," she says tonelessly. She slowly pushes the fridge door closed. "I need to go to the bathroom." She starts to turn, and will walk off unless she's physically stopped - like a puppet on a string. Someone being steered. "I did something wrong," she explains, factually. "But he wasn't acting /right/. He didn't do what he was supposed to do."

Jim's brows knot at this sudden shift. He was starting to like this not-Felicia, if only a little bit. But this sudden change has the big man's hackles starting to bristle. He goes to lumber after Felicia, his frown darkening. "What? Who? What are you talkin' about, Felicia?" he asks. "Are you -sure- you're okay?" He has his suspicions, of course. He -knows- that she's the one who killed Sean Miller's fetch. But he's keeping up the appearance of the concerned older cop, for the time being.

Felicia's mode of operation right now is more like someone mind controlled - she's stopped acting coy or sweet. She's got a mission, heading for the hallways and turning right to the bathroom - she enters it. "Sean," she explains, with some effort - like she's struggling to even talk. "He didn't fit in. He wasn't made right - I tried to tell Him. I had to make him go away, he wasn't doing things right. But now you come asking questions. He is not happy - he has to take me back. I'll be okay, there." She shuffles into the bathroom, staring at the mirror - she puts a hand on the surface of it… and suddenly, from out of nowhere, she's holding a blade. A shard - a mirror shard she somehow /took right out of the mirror itself/.

In front of his eyes, she starts moving that shard towards her own neck… Her eyes meet his in the mirror. They are filled with a strange hope now. She just has to die, and it'll be fine.

That mirror-knife starts to cut through her neck as she begins at the side… Blood visible.

Jim's eyes get -wide- at the appearance of that blade from the mirror. And when she lifts it to her neck, he lumbers into motion. "Felicia, -don't-!" he thunders, reaching out to try and get ahold of her. But she's fast- it takes a hell of an effort on the big man's part to secure his grip. But secure it he does - by the skin of his teeth. He strains to hold her hands immobile. "Felicia, don't -listen- to Him!" he says fervently. All pretense gone now as he holds the fetch steady. "C'mon, girl, -fight- Him!"

Felicia is bleeding already - that cut is rather deep, but he stopped her right on time to actually kill herself. Even so, she's letting out a cry and tries to pull lose from his grip - blood runs down her shirt in a steady but not lethal trickle. Even so, she doesn't seem to feel any pain. The Fetch lets out a mad laugh, glaring at Jim, tugging at her hand and beating at his chest with her other hand. "I want to. I'll be a real person on the Other side! He promised."

Jim gives her a firm shake. "Felicia, He's -lying- to you, he growls. "That's what Him an' everthing like him -does-. They -lie-! You do this, and all that's gonna be real is whatever He made you out of!" He gazes intently at her. "Right now, you're all we have of Felicia here, on our side. Don't let Him take that from you!"

Felicia stops struggling, blinking up at Jim. Then she starts crying. "I'm not her." She sobs, her body shaking as she collapses - that shard she held? It just fades suddenly, like it was never there. Whatever trick that was, it's very useful - being able to snatch a blade from a mirror.

Jim's grip gentles as she collapses, and that semblance of humanity returns. It's uncannily convincing. "Shh," he shushes. He reaches down for a washcloth, using it to daub away the blood from her. His other arm curling around her shoulders in a comforting hug. "It's gonna be okay. Shh, take it easy now." Doing his all to keep her calm and comfortable—which includes reaching out with his psychic power once again to soothe her emotions. She's in a delicate state right now, and he doesn't dare let her go through with her suicide. The Bureau needs her alive. It could very well be that the real Felicia needs her alive.

The Not-Felicia is rather listless, and calms down noticeably when Harris does his tricks. She stops crying, and lets him clean her up without protest, even bandage the cut on her neck. Her aura is a turmoil, human looking but colors of desperation, hopelessness, meaningless existance… Whatever such things. And something darker - that everpresent /evil/ - which she is part of. A tool made by something alien and dark. If he leads her out, she will follow without protest.

Jim keeps those psychic touches light and subtle. Carefully drawing away those feelings of sadness, of despair. Replacing them with warm comfort. He's a big fellow, and gives good hugs, so it's easy to draw those feelings out. Anything to keep her focused on him, rather than the terrible truth of her true nature. "C'mon, Felicia," he says softly. "It's gonna be okay. I promise. I'll help ya." He tucks her head under his chin and rocks her like a grieving child. Some part of his ego mutters at him -maybe a night in the sack with him -would- help improve her mood. He's already in her head -it'd be the simplest thing to build on the feelings of peace and comfort up to lusty desire. The temptation is a struggle to resist. But resist he does, somehow. He'll lead her into her bedroom and get her tucked in. "I'm right here. I ain't goin' anywhere," he says. "Whatever's goin' on here, we're gonna face it together, okay?"

Maybe she isn't a real person, but her reactions are very normal. She lets out a shuddering sigh and is hiding her face into his chest; he can feel her relaxing. When she's led to the bedroom, she almost like her old self - like the girl that opened the door for him earlier. He's given a lopsided, sad smile as she's tucked in. Lying back in bed, she stares at him - then she grasps his hand and says with a soft, almost shy voice. "Please stay." She tugs him towards the bed…

That buzzing machine sound is heard, faintly, for a few seconds. Like a warning. And then nothing - only the sound of a dog barking, and rain smattering against the window - it's started to pour down.

Jim smiles gently down at her as he gets her nestled in the covers. And that's just as far as he'd meant things to go. Until she takes ahold of his hand, and tugs him towards her. He draws a slow, deep breath. Casts a glance towards the door. Then back down to her. Without a word, he draws his hand from hers, only long enough to pull his suit jacket off his shoulders. This is probably a mistake. As he hears that machine buzzing, the thought occurs to him… this is -stupid-. But the sight of her —of it —drives the last of his resolve into the ground. Squaring his jaw, he steps towards the bed, reaching down for his belt buckle. It's gonna be a long night.

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