20100211 - Talk of Murders

Fri Feb 11 10:13:06 2011 - Winter


** polychrome**

The Polychrome 2.0 is a serious upgrade in both style and function. Gone is the soft-industrial warehouse look, the walls repainted from their worn brick color to a more warm rich red adobe. The walls are adorned with old Sci-Fi posters and paintings by independent local artists.

The entire cafe is situated around a circular bar-like counter in the very center of the room which, in turn, surrounds the chrome and copper homemade monstrosity Frankenchino machine the only surviving relic of the previous Polychrome. Frankenchino billows steam and froth from it's masses of pipes and valves, the temperature and levels of fluids measured by gleaming old fashioned pressure gages and controlled by a plethora of levers and turn-gaskets. Comfortable high backed chromed stools with leather upholstery orbit the counter, which through it's thick Plexiglas surface into it's refrigerated interior can be seen sandwiches and pastries and other snacks in refrigerated. Above the counter is an outfacing circle of LCD TVs showing various feeds off the Internet.

Circular segmented couches surround low black coffee tables around the cafe, each one having a computer monitor on a swivel in the center and a cordless keyboard and mouse and allowing the patrons full and free net access. In one corner there are more dedicated semi-private computer terminals at high-mounted and a kiosk where one can rent a laptop. Another corner sports an Internet jukebox which has been built into the body of a full sized Robby the Robot replica. Another corner has a small stage from which patrons can enjoy independent bands or poets on certain nights. The last corner is set up with merchandise such as books, magazines, shirts, mugs and gadgets.



Tenish on a Friday morning and the sleet is pounding the windows of the cafe. Robert has retreated in here long enough for his dreadlocks and top to be dry, and for the plate of cookies that he prefers to be nearly empty. In front of him, his coffee cup is nearly full, clearly the result of the refills from Miah, and the man is studying a newspaper, his expression neutral, his thoughts and emotions well hidden from casual view. At his feet, a workout bag rests and his steady gaze is purely focussed on the paper for now.

Etana enters the cafe. It isn't far from the Park she is hiding in and makes a nice stop to see about some cheap food to snack on. Especially with the snow shutting down street vendors. She has a old, worn out jacket that doesn't match what she wears, something she picked up at good will. Hands stuffed in its pockets she gives a casual look around as she comes in. Her almost bare scalp wet from the sleet outside as she comes into somewhere warm.

Eleanor is settled at a table where she is just cleaning up from an interview with several of the University staff who were late workers or early arrivals at the admin offices in Hyde Park on the night and morning of the murder she's investigating. A few empty coffee cups and her own full one are on her table still, though the interviewees have now departed. Piles of reports and her laptop are scattered in front of her, and she busily taps information into the latter while it's still fresh. Her small digital recorder has an earpiece plugged into it which she's listening to the playback on while she takes dictation. The detective is in a tailored black suit with a pale blue button down blouse, and her hair is back in a tidy bun at the nape of her neck. Her coat and outerwear are piled on another chair.

The new arrival gets a flicker of a glance from the man, and then a more steady, interested gaze with a tilt of his head. The impassive gaze speaks of the wolf in him, considering, judging the risk of the other being nearby, but his expression doesn't change, the simple neutrality remaining. Eleanor's presence is noted, and he inclines his head slowly, an acknowledgement of the woman born of the things he does know of her. He rests his arms lightly on his paper, ignoring it in the now.

Etana approaches the counter but doesn't seem ready to order. She is looking at prices. Her lips move as she reads, mouthing it out. She does glance over torwards Robert. Looking at him as if, perhaps, doing the same thing. She seems almost a little less at ease with his presence.

With work done at this ungodly hour (for her), Eleanor shuts down the laptop and puts the papers back in their folders. The earpiece is plucked out and the recorder tucked away. She catches Robert's nod, and with a return of one, she gestures to a seat at her table, inviting him to join. Etana's state of dress draws her eye then, and she grimaces, digging in her coat pocket for her gloves and hat. She grabs the empty cups as well, an excuse to head to the counter and the other woman, and en route she offers the winterwear to the army-jacketed female.

Robert rises slowly, a deliberately slow movement with a flicker of a wry smile lurking in his eyes, as if he was a man keeping his hands away from his guns. He picks up his coffee, neatly folds his paper and takes up his bag. The paper is dropped on the counter beside Etana with a low murmur before he moves to take the seat with Eleanor. "This is a neutral place, you are safe from harm from me, or others here." He places his mug on Eleanor's table and drops his bag once more, settling there.

Etana looks to Eleanor. She looks down at the things held out. "Can I help you?" She asks, her voice accented. South African. Watching Eleanor there with the offer of gloves and hat. Looking back noticing Robert changed tables to where Eleanor was sitting.

Etana looks to Eleanor. She looks down at the things held out. "Can I help you?" She asks, her voice accented. South African. Watching Eleanor there with the offer of gloves and hat. Looking back to Robert who says that. She watches him. "You look like Riley, are you two related?" she asks him after he says that. She seems like she isn't sure how he will react to that, as if he might snap back at her or the like.

"It's cold out there. These might help. If you don't need them, please give them to someone who does," Eleanor insists. She sets the empty cups on the counter so Miah doesn't have to come collect them from the table. "They also help to blend in," she adds under her breath. Just an indicator that someone wandering around with no gloves or hat in four feet of snow without physical repercussions might be easily pegged as not human. She gives Etana a sincere smile, then returns to her table. "Mister Moye, I'm guessing?" He mentioned having a Geri in here the other day, and with Emerald's reveal of his willingness to assist in her case, she's put two and two together. If she couldn't do that much, she'd be a really lousy detective.

"Robert, please." The words are a low rumble, Robert's voice originating somewhere deep in his chest, but Etana's words get an expression on his face, a flicker of amusement as he glances down at his hands, and back to her. "I am a werewolf. As is Riley. We are Pack and Family." He replies, the words blunt, direct, as the flicker of amusement moves behind his gaze. "Some of us do not attempt to blend in." He murmurs, leaning his elbows on his knees, hands together as he returns his gaze to Eleanor, impassive and neutral. "And you are a friend of Monty's and another friend of mine."

Etana takes them ,holding them in her hands. Under her fingernails seem pretty dirty. "Thank you for your kindness but why?" She asks. She doesn't seem confused, she knows the basic reason for why, but she asks anyways. That openess isn't something she is used too and she nods her head, watching him. Though the answer itself seems to put her off somewhat. She doesn't seem keen on talking too much. Somethings obviously up as soon as she hears wolf.

Eleanor's only response to Etana's question is a small shrug of her shoulders and that same faint smile. Her focus turns to Robert soon after. "Yes, Monty and I have been together for over a year now." It takes Eleanor a moment to parse that bit of information herself, as if continually surprised she's actually in a relationship. She shakes it off soon enough to give Robert a smile. "Sergeant Lee passed on word to the department about your willingness to assist in the Hyde Park investigation. Unfortunately, the Chicago Police Department doesn't generally allow citizens to assist in investigations in an 'official' capacity, for public safety reasons," Eleanor notes quietly to the werewolf. She stresses the word official, and gives him a look that clearly says there are alternatives to such official assistance.

Robert ignores the woman at the counter for the moment but his energy is calm, warm, without a hint of any threat. He inclines his head briefly at Eleanor's comment about her relationship with Monty, and there is a flicker of that wry smile that comes and goes so quickly on his impassive features. "Congratulations. A good mate is a hard thing to find." The other topic is easier to speak on, and he moves slightly in the chair, his face becoming more serious. "I understand entirely. Obviously my pack will do nothing that would disturb the peace of Chicago's finest." What is being spoken is given with a slow nod and a flicker of the amusement once more. "I will leave you my contact details, and you may call me, should you need anything." He reaches for his bag, withdrawing a business card that holds his home address, cell phone number and states his business as a personal trainer and self defense instructor.

Etana watches them for a minute. Tucking the gloves and knit cap into the pockets of her coat for now. She looks back to the prices and eventually picks something. Essentially choosing the largest, cheapest thing she can. Individual, crumpled bills are pulled from a pocket and put on the counter.

"Shifters are few and far between on the force, and the ones that are there are usually in strictly administrative or lab tech positions. There's too much risk of accidental shifting when putting them in the field under the extreme duress of police work," Eleanor explains as she takes the card, "And this hamstrings us in a sense. But there is also the difficulty of not being able to submit sensory information outside of the visual as proof in a court of law. If that were to change I imagine we'd have a much easier time tracking criminals for arrest purposes." She digs out one of her own cards to give him in exchange. "In this case though, I know Erin, and I trust Erin when she tells me it isn't a local wolf. And if I can get a lead on this rogue's identity, I might be able to work backwards to find the proof that ties him to the crime. Your people need to be careful though. With a capital "C". This might be human's first, working with this rogue unknowingly, or otherwise under some form of compulsion to accept a shifter as part of their mob. I have a psychic who swears he is leading them, and that his words compel them. Which makes him twice as dangerous." She grimaces.

Robert slow nod accepts Eleanor's warning, his face serious as he listens. There is a slight tilt of his head that speaks more of his wolf than of his man, a habit, as he watches her. "Erin is a good woman and she would know the wolves." A flicker of the wry humor, briefly, in his eyes before he adds, "I have no intention of becoming police but merely making my position clear. This is not my wolf." The rest is left unsaid, implied that as a Rogue the wolf is a problem. He does take her card, studying it before he places it neatly into his bag, each movement done with the minimum of effort. "I have warned my pack to be wary, however. These are troubled time for us."

Etana listens in on this conversation. its something she heard of. Something shes been warned of and has been cautious of. Glancing over as she listens to them. Stepping to the side of the counter to eat what shes bought.

"Nothing about this case makes any sense right now," Eleanor admits quietly with frustration making her jaw work slowly. "It's not even comprehensible that Human's First would work with a shifter, their fanaticism is that severe, but this murder has them written all over it otherwise. Same with the Rose Knights of Columbus. And the victim was a leopard strain shifter, so that takes HAV out of the mix. If this is a shifter who is able to compel humans with a voice power, or has a psychic or magic user bestowing this ability on them, it could be anyone. It could be people on the street who normally would never lift a hand against another being, preter or no. But what's the shifter's motivation? Why come after another shifter? And if it's in revenge for being infected, why target a leopard when they are clearly wolf-strain?" She swirls the coffee in her cup, before taking a gulp, but the taste of everything is made bitter by the quagmire of her case. "I've warned the pard as well, and I'll get word to Dyson ASAP, but I don't know the leaders of the rest of the groups in town. Would you be able to pass the warning along for me? Tell them what I asked Logan to tell you?"

"It seems very illogical." Robert gives her that slight head movement once more, considering her rational with the faintest of frowns. "Unless he has as much a hatred for what he is. I do know there are those amongst us that feel thus." He reaches for the coffee mug, taking a slow sip before letting it rest between his hands, considering his answer. "I will pass the message on to those other leaders that I can reach. My intent is to speak with them all, on the matter of politics." His voice is slow, a steady rumble, and there is some concern in his energy but nothing more heated. "It may be an act against those of us who are public. I was warned myself last night that I may be a target for that purpose."

Etana approachse now. "Perhaps." she says in her accented voice "They seek vengance. If one is infected and is already against them they can continue to do so. Where I am from these people are hunted for money. It is easier sometimes to kill a shifter to feed your family for a while then to have a job. These people are sometimes infected when they try to kill and become. If they are not killed themselves by those they do this with then they are much better at killing them. This makes them dangerous, they are hunters still." She watches them as she says this. "They are all someone before they are infected. This infection does not wipe ones mind."

Eleanor scrubs her thumb across her forehead, a common sign that the wheels in her head are turning hard and fast. "I'll need to pull some records, see if anyone is accessing the shifter registry and using it as a target list. There aren't many high profile 'out' shifters in Chicago, and Miss Ramos lived quietly. It wasn't like she was making news headlines." She pulls out her phone and taps in something before holding it to her ear. "Wanda, get me a warrant to pull all data on who's requested access to the shifter registry in the last two months. Yeah. Sorry, I know it's Saturday, just make it happen and there's a box of cupcakes in it for you." She hangs up again. Etana's words have her nodding slowly. "But those sorts of rogue hunters usually work solo. This is a group of over a dozen people. There's something bigger at work here. A self-loathing hatred of what this person is might push them to it though." She grimaces at that. Her partner is kind of in that boat himself.

Robert considers, the neutral expression unchanging as they talk about this. As Etana approaches, he makes a brief gesture towards a seat, listening to her words thoughtfully before he adds his own. "What was her job?" The single question is clearly the product of his mental checklist. "Could she have been involved with a human and been outed in that manner if she was not known?" He gives Etana a brief incline of his head, "And as she says, we are all people before we are infected. We all come with opinions and a history to carry." He takes another sip of his coffee, the movement almost automatic, the man's eyes thoughtful.

Etana looks to the chair but chooses to take it. Robert doesn't seem about to light the place on fire like his friend she met. "It is what i have seen and heard where I am from. It is bad situations. It makes for very dangerous things. This group, it is obvious by the name and what you say they wish anything not normal to be gone. What do they do if they become infected? If they try to kill it must happen. I think it would be much like those from my home. They are killed or they turn into more dangerous hunters."

"Lecturer at the University," Eleanor replies as she pulls out her stack of reports from the recent interviews to slide them back into her laptop case. "Which means there is a core group that was aware of her infection. We're still going through lists of her students and co-workers, trying to get a better picture of whether or not she was stalked for a time or picked at random based on opportunity. When possibly magic or psychic power is involved, it makes it harder to determine. Normally an organized group of that size would require planning and premeditation. But if there was compulsion at work, as I said, it could have been a group of random strangers coerced moments before it happened." She grimaces again as she presses a few fingers to a temple. "And her family is out of state from what we can tell so I'm having a hard time getting information on her personal life. I'll need to get a hold of my contact in the Pard and see if they can get me more information."

Robert seems, in fact, positively passive as he leans back in his chair, resting the coffee mug on one of his thighs. His face continues to hold that careful neutrality, apparently a default expression for the man. "I will not advise you, since I believe you hold more expertise in this field than I do but I will reiterate the pack's willingness to be of aid in these matters, within the confines of your limits." Carefully phrased, he speaks with that wolf-like head tilt, one eyebrow arching. "It sounded a different style to that of our family member."

Etana quiets. Shes given her thoughts when she heard this. The woman finishing the treat she bought at the counter as she listens to Eleanor and Robert speak now.

There is something that flickers across Eleanor's eyes at the reference to Kramer's death, but she pushes it down quickly. "Thank you for your willingness to help, and your willingness for respecting limits, Robert. It's a," she searches for the right word, "relief. Not everyone in the past has been amenable to abiding by what they consider 'human laws'." She lets out a breath. "And no, I don't know much about your family member's case, because I wasn't allowed near it for obvious reasons." Reasons that should be obvious to him at least.

Robert nurses that coffee mug, making it last. "I will not meddle in an investigation." Robert's words are carefully chosen, making no promises he cannot speak. "I understand. I'm certain that information will soon emerge to clear that matter up." Again, the words are chosen with particular care, and the man's face is utterly neutral.

Etana pays more attention to Robert. As if gauging him and watching how he handles himself for the most part. She continues to remain quiet at the table.

"Good to know," Eleanor responds to Robert, with the tension ebbing from her shoulders. "And I guess I should say Welcome to Chicago. I've heard good things about you. And I wish you the very best in your family endeavors. I think they will benefit greatly from your wisdom." She looks back over her shoulder to Miah. "Can we get a plate of cookies here? Put it on my bill. I need a box of half a dozen cupcakes to go to!"

There is a flicker of surprise in Robert's eyes, at the compliment from Eleanor and he gives her a nod as acknowledgement. "Thank you. I am doing the best I can for them at a troubling time." He puts the coffee mug down, a glance at the clock revealing his thoughts before he speaks. "And I should return to work. I have a meeting…" He rises to his feet, giving both women a brief nod of his head. "A pleasure speaking with you." The slow rumble, and the social niceties are slightly awkwardly delivered but at least they are there as he picks up his bag, preparing to leave.

In what might be viewed as an oddity, Eleanor rises and she turns her head to one side slightly, giving her throat to Robert. It's a sign he should recognize. And it's done out of respect. Then she gathers her things goes to pay her bill and claim her cupcakes, leaving all the cookies for Etana to eat.

Etana watches as Robert prepares to leave. She also looks to Eleanor as she prepares to leave. She doesn't notice, immediately, that the cookies were left behind at the table as the two go.

Robert pauses, giving Eleanor a look that is faintly startled before he nods to her, a movement of his head that is almost a bow, before he turns to leave, letting the door slam shut behind him.

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