Raeden (Rae) Seiko

Bedknobs and Broomsticks....

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December 15, 2020

2pm - still under the ice age of fae fury event



White curled from her lips in thick smoke rings as blue lips pursed staring at the crimson spattered snow. Omenwich was known as a haven for Outworlders and it seems the Outworlder violence had found its way here.


Thick boots carefully picked over the snow as eyes magnified the ground to ensure she stayed out of the actual crime scene. Satisfied she wasn't intruding on evidence she released the magnification in time to hear the faint scratch at a window. Hazel lifted in time to see the eyes before the curtain fell away in the window. Residents were skittish. Likely as much by her presence as the crime scene she was investigating.


Cops were usually the last any magus helped, so like her precinct family, she didn't have the "fortune" of wearing enhanced clothing against the cold. Instead she had done it the old fashioned way, merino wool long underwear wicked the moisture away from her skin and gave her a warm base layer. On top she had loose moleskin pants to trap the heat inside and a wool sweater on top to do the same. Last layer was a military polar parka that came well down on her thighs, fur lined hood snapped up and tied under her chin which was nestled inside a fleece balaclava that went over her head. She was dressed for the arctic. Yet all that didn't stop the crystals of ice from forming on her lashes as she focused on the crime scene.


Fingers flexed in the double layer of gloves as she listened to her partners teeth chatter, they were the only crazies out in the weather. Fingers lifted to pull the balaclava back over her mouth and nose before speaking.


Lance... back to your car before I have another body out here.


NPC:... am fine.....rrrreally...


The unconvincing reply came as she watched his lips flush deeper blue.


uh huh...... get going. You need about another two layers before you can survive out here for more than fifteen minutes. Go.


Her tone made it evident she wasn't playing. Four officers had died in the last month from exposure. New York couldn't afford to lose any more.


As he finally gave up and headed back to the vehicle that struggled to keep running as it was,  she went back to the crime scene and the blood spattering as high as fifteen feet on the alley walls.


Two victims. She was sure of it. But she only had one body. Something told her there was an Outworlder crime first... but that anyone stupid enough to attack in Omenwich had found themselves on the receiving end of revenge. She suspected her first perpetrator was the body she had now.... not the victim. That body was the one that had been dragged away from the tracks in the snow... winged perhaps based on the drag marks?


Again she was acutely aware of eyes on her. Seemed she was the center of attention here.

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December 15, 2020

2:30 PM


A large number of technological wonders have been affected by the Resonance event. Things like the internet, the convenience of modern communication, and others are sliding into a state of obscurity. Even important tools for successful forensics – the magnetic fingerprint scanners and DNA sequencers of the early 21th century were on the fritz. However, amidst the myriad of things that humanity is slowly losing, our God-given ingenuity was fortunately not one of them.


The crime scene technician crouched beside the bloodied corpse, calmly driving the pointed end of a meat thermometer to the victim’s liver with the nonchalance of someone checking the temperature of beef roasting in the oven. The state-of-the art digital readers he brought were not working (you might say temp-eramental haha), and one must make do with what one has.


“Victim is male, Caucasian, around 250 pounds. Liver temperature is 23 degrees Celsius and estimated time of death around – shit … 8 hours? With this godforsaken weather I might have to adjust calculations, not sure if it’s still 1.5 per hour in this frozen hell.” 


He clicked the pause button of his manual recorder and opened the leather satchel where he keeps his various tools, both department-issued and home-made. With their gadgets failing one by one, the CSI department sometimes had to resort to unconventional means of gathering evidence. 


Case in point, he took a small jar filled with pus-yellow ointment and dabbed it on his eyelids, all the while chanting:


“Wind the bobbin up, wind the bobbin up. Pull, pull, pull, pull! Point to the ceiling, point to the floor. Point to the window, and point to the door.”


A few bright tendrils of glowing light, visible only to him, erupted from the body to scattered points in nearby locations.


He first found out he can perform sympathetic spells, magic which can connect scattered objects to a person who recently accessed them, while reading his daughter this particular nursery rhyme to get her to sleep. Imagine his surprise when it lit up the room in a spider web of light, connecting his daughter to everything she had touched within the last seven days, instead. Since then, he can replicate the results, but only when using a bespoke ointment specially made by that nice lady from Book of Kells.


He stood up, struggling with his multiple layers of clothing, and waddled over the first object illuminated by the supernatural tether. It was a leather wallet, and upon picking it up with forceps, a small holographic card fell into the snow. He deposited both wallet and card to an evidence bag and went to the second object, which was a single casino chip.


“Boss, have something over here!”  He gestured to Rae, waving one arm to get her attention.

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“Victim is male, Caucasian, around 250 pounds. Liver temperature is 23 degrees Celsius and estimated time of death around – shit … 8 hours? With this godforsaken weather I might have to adjust calculations, not sure if it’s still 1.5 per hour in this frozen hell.” 


The hazel eyes flicked towards the tech, long lashes bearing a white haze of frost on their tips.


Incorrect. Killed two hours ago at most…..


She quietly corrected him, causing him to pause the recorder which was starting to freeze in the unnatural ice age.  The kid was called out by the fifth precinct and therefore not accustomed to working with the detective that was a walking forensic lab on her own.  She worked with Lance. He had the good sense to stay out of her way until she finished her assessments.


The kid was carelessly traipsing over her crime scene, disturbing the evidence in the snow of the alleyway, footsteps marred by his own as he conducted his spell to discover what she had already spotted with magnified pupils. Normally she would have crucified the kid but truth was she had already studied the scene and didn’t need to hang out in the arctic abomination any longer than necessary.


“Boss, have something over here!” 


She frowned at the loud term of authority. One didn’t go throwing out who was in charge in potentially hostile territory, not unless you were a naïve idiot or trying to get your boss killed. She dropped the kid squarely into the first category.


She had already turned away, glancing up into a dark window of the second story as she shifted the balaclava back over her lower features to protect against the wind. Hazel studying the iridescent eyes that studied her from above.


Empire Casino chip….. high roller one to be precise.


He glanced up at her back wondering how she knew that from across the alley. She had spotted it early in her investigation, the glitter of it harsh against the blood stained white snow.  So her perp, who was now her victim, was a high roller at the Bakkhos property. That didn’t bode well for them.


For the most part she left Bakkhos alone so long as they didn’t pull stupid shit with civilians. They wanted to kill off other mob and gangs she said let them at it. Less criminal activity she had to deal with. She was there to protect the innocent and those didn’t usually get caught up in Bakkhos affairs.  But if the "family" was suddenly taking out Outworlders in some twisted form of bigotry…. that was her business.  Turning she focused on the bag with the wallet, the license slid into the front window betraying her victims name.


Get the body back to the station and start the paperwork.


With that she headed back to the car and a shivering Lance trying to keep it running and heated. Door cracked as she opened it, the sheet of ice on the exterior shattering. Fuck they shouldn’t be out here. Slamming it shut she nodded to him as hands pushed towards the vents trying to melt the ice on her outter clothing.


Empire casino…..


NPC: huh?


Hazel looked at him with a quirked brow.


NPC:…. ya ok ok…  the casino


By the time they pulled up to the casino she was almost thawed out, the outter layer of several left in the car when she strode rapidly into the casino leaving Lance to park the car.


Hand swiped her coat from her hip, detective badge flashing to the security at the door with a nod. They tended to be pretty respectful the security at Bakkhos properties.


I am looking for information on Michael Kleski. As a diamond chip high roller am assuming someone would be available to answer some questions?  

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There were few places in Empire City Casino where Ada felt she could truly breathe. The gaming room was not one of them. It was a claustrophobic box of noise, sound, and light, with no clocks or windows to remind people what time it was. The design to deny physical reminders of day or night was intentional – clients stayed inside longer, where the House can slowly leech on their money while giving them the illusion that they are only one game of baccarat (or one hand of poker) away from winning big.


 It reminded Ada of a line in fable she once read: 'Will you walk into my parlor?' said the spider to the fly, ‘Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you did spy.'


The Terrace had a different ambiance all together. The floor to ceiling windows allowed full view of the race track below, where the thunderous sound of hooves and applause could still be heard through the thick glass. It was where Ada likes to spend her days off, sitting by the bar and shooting the breeze with whoever’s tending.


“C’mon, let me help you out there for a couple of hours. Besides, don’t you need a bathroom break?” Ada said, giving the bartender her most winning smile. It was an expression few people could resist, but he was having none of it.


“That one time I let you ‘help’ almost gave me a heart attack.“ He grumbled, wiping down the bar with a clean rag. “Remember how you served apple juice and soda water, advertising that it’s the new apple flavoured tequila from Gallo’s limited stock?”


Ada’s eyes brightened at the memory. Despite being non-alcoholic, a couple of nerdy yuppies  pretended to be drunk after drinking the concoction,  and found confidence to hit on some ladies. Placebo effect for the win.  Also, for weeks, confused Terrace bartenders kept getting requests for that “special” apple flavoured tequila and can they pretty please check if there are still some left?


“What are you grinning about over there? You’re a menace.”  The bartender said, but smiled to soften his words. “And your pager’s blinking.”


He was referring to the small device attached on her arm, the flashing red led lights an indication that she should report to the front desk.  It functioned the same as restaurant pagers of old did, and was cheaper than buying those post-Resonance comms. When she got to the lobby, she was greeted by the sight of two law enforcement types waiting by the front desk.  


What was Julie thinking, paging me to meet these guys? Ada thought, shooting the hostess a confused look. Police visits should always be handled by management.


“Ah, here she is. Miss Vasiliev, these two officers are looking for information on one Michael Kleski?” Julie put emphasis on the name, and suddenly, it dawned on Ada why Julie directly paged her. She owed that girl a nice steak dinner.


Ada’s expression shifted into neutral mode. “I would be more than happy to help you with your inquiries, officers.” She said, “One small request, though. Can we discuss this matter in one of the private rooms? While we are grateful for the service you provide this city, police presence is not exactly conducive for the type of business we are in. I hope you understand.”


Indeed, some of the guests were nervously looking at the cops, drawing unfounded conclusions on what their purpose is within the casino’s premises.

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Hands slid into her jeans, cold still biting through to her bones despite the casino bathing her in heated air as she waited patiently for someone to talk to. Hazel eyes slid around the floor. The swanky of New York seemed to have all congregated here to get out of the cold. The casino had rooms above so likely they were camping out here until the ice age passed, stuck as vehicles literally froze into their parking spots. If Lance was smart he stayed in the car and kept it running so the damn thing didn’t freeze.


Eyes slid up to the woman as she was addressed by the security guard when she approached.


“Ah, here she is. Miss Vasiliev, these two officers are looking for information on one Michael Kleski?”


Brow lifted wondering who the second "officer" was. A man standing nearby grinning at her like she was part of the female entertainment. Hazel rolled as she turned back to the Bakkhos security.


He is not with me… and you might want to check him because the jacket is pulling on the left side. Firearm under there.


The security guards frowned and instantly moved to handle the leering "gentleman" behind her. A brief scuffle leading the guy away to a backroom. What idiot wandered into Bakkhos trying to sneak in a gun? Hers had been briefly flashed to the guard with her badge so there was complete awareness despite it being hidden under her jacket. Hazel slid instead to the woman they had brought down to talk to her. She wasn’t that surprised. What was left of the guy showed a high end suit and some custom jewelry.


“I would be more than happy to help you with your inquiries, officers. One small request, though. Can we discuss this matter in one of the private rooms? While we are grateful for the service you provide this city, police presence is not exactly conducive for the type of business we are in. I hope you understand.”


As a plain clothed detective she might have been offended by the assumption that she was "recognized" as law enforcement, however she was also making a name for herself in New York as one of the few that really did their job and did it equally for an earthborn or outworlder. A fact that wasn’t winning her a lot of friends and making her face more known. She also had a reputation for not being bribable which had her on several hit lists.


Fortunately for the moment Bakkhos was not one of those.


Indifferent shrug came with a nod as she followed the woman to a private lounge. It wasn’t the first time she had been to one. Several visits had resulted in a personal conversation with Angelo Gaspari in the past.

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Ada willed herself not to blush at her mistake as she watched security haul the leering man away. She blamed watching those recorded television serials for her automatic assumption that law enforcement always come in twos; the clichéd good cop, bad cop dichotomy. Alas, she was not entirely successful in fully hiding her embarrassment and the tip of her ears turned a shade of red.


“Right this way, please.” She led Rae to a private lounge, one of the least flashy ones in the casino. It’s the type of room where sedate bachelorette parties were held – the wallpaper a tasteful shade of cream and gold, the couches were pristine white leather. A small, fully stocked mini bar held dominion over one corner of the room and Ada poured herself a glass of bourbon, using the act to hide the surreptitious study of the cop from under her lashes.


In all her years in this world, she prided herself on being a good judge of character based on a person’s body language.  The woman before her was a tough read, but then, most cops are. She could never tell those susceptible to bribery from the honest ones, at least, not at first meeting. However, she got the distinct feeling that bullshit would not be tolerated whenever Rae was concerned.


She cannot lie bald-faced in this situation. But maybe she can get away with half-truths.


Ada sat down on one of the couches, swirling her drink before taking a small sip.


“So, you are here about our Mikhail. Yes, he does frequent this casino from time to time.” Truth.


“He’s one of the noveau rich who got their big break with investing in the right things at the right time. He does have a reputation of having more money than sense, and I heard he lost a fair bit of the former playing high stakes poker last week.” Half true. She did not "hear", she was there when he lost the money.


 “I’m afraid that’s the extent of my knowledge about the man.”  False.  She knew Mikhail far intimately than she implied. She knew his quirks and desires, and how to persuade him to spend more at the tables. She also knew all about his obsessive fascination with veil crossers, preferably of the winged variety.


“If I may ask, is he in some kind of trouble, Ms -?”  She paused, realizing that she did not give Rae the chance to introduce herself before running her mouth, and the tips of her ears went red again.

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Being a really good detective was a strange amalgam of skills. One had to be part scientist, part street fighter, part psychologist, part patient parent, part chameleon and too often part cold blooded killer.


On interviews it was parent and psychologist that had to be tapped into the most. The woman seemed to realize the mistake quickly. The tinge of crimson shading along the tips of alabaster pale ears was evidence of that as the guard escorted the second man beyond prying eyes.  Hands slid casually into the pockets of her slacks as she followed when the woman beckoned. From behind, the hazel studied the way she moved. There was a grace there that was more natural to the outworlders than the earthborn. Not always, but often.


The detective didn’t say a word as they found a private lounge and the woman took the opportunity to pour herself a drink. A move that seemed to betray nerves. An assessment reinforced by the fact that without so much as a "hi" from the detective, the woman began to talk, spilling information on the man without any prompting.  Brow lifted as the woman continued to talk about his loss last week and nouveau riche status. The deluge of information abruptly came to a halt as quickly as it started. Another sign there was anxiety at play here.


The flush once more painted the white skin of the woman's ears. Clearly what she rattled off was not all she knew.


The fact that the detective was directed to this woman and not to a dealer, or a guard, or management was a bit telling about the man. It was also telling about the woman.


Escort…. confidant……companion…. girlfriend perhaps?


Of all the options the last seemed least likely. The body had been pretty mangled but enough was there to know Kleski hadnt exactly been a supermodel.


“If I may ask, is he in some kind of trouble, Ms -?


Seemed she finally realized she had been running her mouth as that flush stained her ears.


Seiko….Detective Seiko.


Quiet words were calm as the hazel met the woman's.


Does Mr Kleski have any enemies that you know of? Maybe racked up some big debts he hasn’t paid back?


Head tilted waiting to see the response before deciding where to take the interview.

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Ada’s brows furrowed in thought, while she processed Rae’s inquiry. The immediate thought that came to mind was the most important lesson she had learned of survival: For every person who lives and breathes, there is at least one other person out there who wishes him ill. Doesn’t matter if said person is a saint, there will always be someone willing to bash his brains out.


She pressed her lips together to keep from snapping these things back at the cop. She couldn’t say that. It was a bitter sentiment, and bitterness had no place in Ada's public persona. Maybe, when she’s alone in bed, she can scream dark thoughts into her pillow, but for now, it would be counterproductive.


“There was an incident… two days back, at the strip club. Mikhail got a little rough with one of the veil-crosser temping for Penthouse, and her bouncer boyfriend went ballistic. Broke Mikhail’s nose, I think.” She shrugged elegantly. “But it was one of those things that could happen at any given night at any given club, and last I heard, no charges were pressed.”


Damn right no charges were pressed.


Ada privately recalled that night with a clarity she could not have summoned ten years ago. The theme at Penthouse was A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and door access was by invitation only. A few veil crossers were temporarily hired as dancers, waitresses and security for the gig – the more conspicuous the appearance, the better. Mikhail was dropping hints left and right that he (and his wallet) would be very appreciative if she could pull some strings to score him a pass. She did not expect that he would get pissing drunk, attack a waitress and nigh rip her wings off. He had always been a boorish gentleman towards her, but Ada now understood that it was only because he thought she was human.


From that particular clusterfuck, Mikhail  got a broken nose and a ban from all Bakkhos establishments. Elara and Gird, the Peri waitress and her Coblynau boyfriend, got financial reparations. However, the couple were now marked as troublesome pariahs, and few decent establishments would dare hire them again. It was particularly devastating to Ada, for she was acquainted with these two – they were decent folks from Jersey fleeing dangerous mob behavior, and she had helped them find a lodgings in one of the more “tolerant” neighborhoods in New York.


The unfairness of it all caused her to tighten her grip on the bourbon glass.


“If that would be all? My apologies, but I have somewhere else to be. ” Ada managed to say cordially, albeit through gritted teeth. She needed to warn Elara and Gird that law enforcement might be questioning them, next.

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Answers were slower to come. The woman was thinking before she spoke now.  It was always easier to get information when people didn’t think first. Didn’t mean one couldn’t figure out the truths, just meant  they were sometimes more hidden.


Keen eyes watched lips press more tightly together. The woman was deciding what to say and more importantly… what not to say. Seemed she might have known Mr Kleski well.


“There was an incident… two days back, at the strip club. Mikhail got a little rough with one of the veil-crosser temping for Penthouse, and her bouncer boyfriend went ballistic. Broke Mikhail’s nose, I think. But it was one of those things that could happen at any given night at any given club, and last I heard, no charges were pressed.”


Expression remained impassive as she drank in the information. There was a clear dodge at the end as she attempted to dismiss the importance of the incident even after sharing it.  Sounded like there might be some latent hostility for outworlders there. His interest in the female outworlders was not that unique for one that might hate the strangers that had been dropped on their world. A boy who was fascinated with butterflies often had urges to rip their wings off.  He was starting to take shape much in line with her original thoughts based on the crime scene.


Hazel watched the flex of tendons along her fingers as the grip on her glass tightened.  There was a tenseness in her vocals as well.


The woman had grown uncomfortable.


“If that would be all? My apologies, but I have somewhere else to be. ”


Interesting. Looking for an escape. The detective remained impassively standing, hands still casually in her pockets.


Kleski have a general beef against outworlders? Or was that the first time you saw him get aggressive?


Head tilted slightly at the woman. Clearly not ready for the conversation to end.

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The way Rae stood might look deceptively relaxed, but her position – almost blocking the doorway, hands hidden in pockets – made it clear that the interrogation was far from over. Ada had the worrisome feeling she had underestimated the cop, for it seemed that Rae could see all hidden things left unsaid in her statements regarding Mikhail.  Rae’s face was impassive and unreadable; it gave almost nothing away, if not for her eyes. ‘The eyes are the window to the soul’ is a phrase that gets thrown about often, but in Rae’s case Ada would amend it to ‘The eyes are the window to the mind’. The hazel eyes that studied her were clear and knife-sharp, and if that was any indication of Rae’s mind, then it could probably whittle down her lies into kindling.


Kleski have a general beef against outworlders? Or was that the first time you saw him get aggressive?


That was a loaded question, if she ever heard one.  Any answer she would give would confirm that she knew Mikhail beyond what she previously mentioned.  There was only one reply that she could safely give, even if it made her sound like a broken record.


“As I said before, I am not well acquainted with the man. I could not presume anything about his views regarding outworlders. And the only time I observed him being aggressive is when he is aggressively losing his money at the casino.”


Ada’s nostrils flared, full lips compressing into a thin line. “I wonder what would you like to ask me next, his political alignment, perhaps? Would you want to know if I knew how he voted last election, as well?” She scoffed and stood up, smoothing her pencil-cut skirt into position. “Now, if you would be so kind as to excuse me. Time is gold, and that is literally true in my case. I would love to stay and chat, but then I would have to bill you … and your department could not afford my rates.”


She gave Rae one of the looks she practiced in the mirror, an icy head to toe sweep that is ocassionally trotted out to freeze lame pickup lines on its tracks.


Inwardly, she cringed. She knew she was acting like a bitch, but she would not stay around to get herself (and others) implicated in whatever mess Kleski’s in. She headed for the door, shoulders brushing Rae’s as she passed. She met the cop’s eyes once more, and looked away. She tightened her glamour around her, fearing that it might be the next to get undone by that piercing gaze.


Her long strides carried her to the elevator, pressing the button that will take her down to the coldness of the casino’s garage. Time is of the essence, and she is already thinking about how she could reach Omenwich Square the fastest way possible.

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