20110213 An Escape


Hiking Trails - Lincoln Park: East Lawn

A hiker's paradise, this portion of Lincoln Park bears a series of trails in various levels of difficulty. To the south and west, trails wind their way through deeper forest areas, trailing along babbling brooks and winding around the edges of marshland. To the east, trails make their way down sloping hills and through less intense forest to lead visitors along the shoreline of Lake Michigan. On the northern edge of this area, the trails are more planned leading visitors through a winding view of Chicago's flora.

Sleet and freezing rain fall from heavy clouds, coating everything with ice and making the ground slippery. The world looks silver in the icy grey light. A raw wind blows from the southeast. The winter Hawk wind is concentrated in the Loop. There is about forty-five inches of snow on the ground.



Sunday February 13 2011

Hiking Trails - Lincoln Park: East Lawn

It's late evening, and the dark has fallen over the city. A crowd slowly approaches the park, meeting by one of the entrances. A few figures are conspicuous by their absence, but at their head is the bundled, dark skinned man known as Brother Wolf. He is the one that turns, and draws the attention upon himself as he speaks. "Brother Emperor has seen another vision, but tonight, it was too powerful for him to lead us. In his place I stand, offering his words for your ears." The crowd quiets to a murmur, as the Wolf raises an arm to gesture into the park behind him.

"Our war on evil continues, so shortly after the last was taken. This one is greater though, a power that Brother Emperor was brought to his knees by. She will lead as the Ulfric does, guiding her retched pack into the night, bringing them together in power." His voice is low, nearly a growl as he speaks, acid dripping from his tongue. "Unlike the others, she will not submit, and such an offer would be foolish. She has been the slayer of men and children, even her own kind." A few scattered gasps are through the crowd, and Brother Wolf shakes his head in anger. "Tonight, we offer her a chance to redeem herself, to show herself in her human glory to Him, and leave the beast behind for all of eternity."

The Wolf turns towards the park, his beastial fury affecting those about him as his arms extend and he looks to the moon. "Tonight shall be her salvation, and we shall bring it to her." Without another word he begins to walk through the snow, the others tramping behind him, scattering in groups of 4 and 5 along the trails, converging on her campsite.

Etana is not at her campsite. She is traveling in the night. The snow and ice are foreign to her and she moves clumsily through it. She was actually coming down tonight, out of the woods to deal with some business of her own. She wears a worn out old coat from Good Will and some knit gloves and hat that don't match anything she has on. Clumsily coming down the trails towards the park proper, unaware of those coming up that are keen on Saving her from her Beast.

As luck, or perhaps destiny would have it, her trail happens to be the same one that Wolf is heading down. There are but a trio of humans with him, as he leads, pausing as he catches her scent coming with the wind. A low growl and he lowers his hand, stopping the others quickly. "Hyena, I heard your call. I come bearing gifts." His voice is throaty, but easily cuts through the night, his beast rolling within him.

Etana starts to get the sense of another. She’s met others, other wolves. As she comes down the trail she isn't thinking much of it. "What is it you want?" she calls out though. She watches. "Gifts? Why have you brought me gifts?" her voice is accented, South African.

The Wolfman reaches the crest, and stands there before her, his fine clothes obvious as he stands there. "Is it not the nature of yours to welcome newcomers, to ensure that their needs are met?" A gloved hand waves over the trails. "We provide for ours, preparing them for the coldest and darkest nights ahead." His white teeth gleam amidst his dark features, and he nods his head respectfully. "My pack offers you its hospitality."

Etana watches him as he comes up like that. "I have heard of you and yours. I did not expect this. Greetings have not been warm." She approaches, watching Brother Wolf as she stumbles through the snow. "Welcome then. What is it I should call you? I am Etana Obayomi, Oba of this new Clan." She greets the wolf, unaware of whats going on just yet.

"Greetings Oba," The wolf extends his power to her, letting her feel his presence as he waits. Behind him the 3 humans stand calmly, easily within Etana's sight. "I would be Robert, Ulfric of the Pack." He opens a hand, offering it to her in a gesture that would appear to be friendly. Beneath his warm exterior though, there is a hint of hardness, and she can surely notice him studying her carefully… assessing her power… her strength. "These nights it is important to have alliances with those that can be strong, it is a dangerous city of late."

Etana stops at that, watching him. She can't get any sense from the others. Not unheard of but for all of them it is odd. Its that name though that gets her. She steps back. "I have met Robert." She tells him. "You are not this man." She watches him closely. "Who are you? What is it you want, you intrude upon me."

The Wolfman shrugs his shoulders, and the friendliness of his gaze is gone quickly. "I was trying to do this nicely, I am sorry that I won't be able to." The grin on his face doesn't show any regret that matches his words though. The beast within him reaches, and his eyes move to lock onto hers. "You are aberration Etana Obayomi; we cannot allow you to take root here. We are an infection that needs to be cured." Slowly he walks forward, stalking, a deep growl rising from his throat. "Your cleansing will be tonight." Behind her she can now hear noises, as others have begun to circle. Most carry some type of weapon, a club, a maglight… a few with what appears to be guns.

Etana turns as she looks around her. She knows a hunting party. She has fled them before. Tonight though she’s let herself get trapped. She turns on the wolf. She flares her power out, lashing out as she attempts to dominate his beast, to stun him. She doesn't realize how strong he is yet, how feeble the attempt is as her stress rises and her beast is rushing for the surface. "Cleanse me? You will all die tonight! How dare you hunt me!" She tries to act sure, confident. That she could, and will, kill them as an attempt to scare them off. She doesn't have many coices.

The wolfman takes his hat off, revealling closely trimmed hair as he stares at her fully. His eyes are black with the fury of the beast, and he steps closer, clearly the only single physical danger in this group of humans. "I have hunted stronger than you Oba, I have torn them with my own teeth." Hands flex beneath their warm gloves, and his power swells as he closes. Her power is batted aside, with barely a flinch as he shakes his head. "I would have thought that an Oba would be more powerful… how sad. You will disgrace your people before becoming their leader." His laughter is a deep rumble, and his skin ripples, the beast reaching back, attempting to wrap about her own in dominance. Behind her several of the hunters raise the dart guns, taking careful aim.

Etana snarls and.. Her beast does not come. There is no transformation as she drives her stress up, capturing the fear. She only holds the fear now. "No. How can you hunt those like you. You are a fool. They will turn on you soon." She challenges him. "Disgrace. I willfight you until I am dead. I will show the strength of my position." She whirls around to glare at theo thers who hare encircled her. She turns back on Brother Wolf. She may have failed to call forth her beast but she clumsily tries to charge him in the snow. She moves without any grace, not used to the snow and it slows her greatly. It really is a futile attempt to try and get to him and have any hope of fighting past.

Brother Wolf laughs, and he shakes his head. "Almost pitiful." As he speaks the darts fly, striking her, piercing the worn coat. Some reach her skin, others remain caught in the cloth as he takes a step back. As her movements near him, he howls loudly, and returns the charge, bowling her over in the snow. A closed first swings at her face, and he moves to take a mounted position above her. "Our kind are an abomination Oba. When it is my time to go, He will see to it." The dark eyes gaze skyward, and he laughts again. The drugs rushing through her system slower her further, shutting down her movement and leaving her all but paralyzed beneath him. "I will be the vaccination that our kind needs, until science cures us all." He spits in her face and rises, turning away. "She is worthless than I hoped my brothers, she is yours."

Etana grunts as she is struck. Without her beast the drugs can take ahold and the strike she receives as she clumsily runs through the snow puts her down. The wolf atop her she bares her teeth. The drugs take hold and she weakens, stuck there in the snow. Limbs like lead she can't even lift her arm to grab at him. She can't gnash her teeth or struggle as he gets up. It is difficult just to breathe, to focus.

The Wolfman stops to turn as the crowd closes on the Hyena in the snow, shaking his head. "The Father will accept you if you ask his forgiveness Oba of the Clan. The pain shall be your cleansing, your contrition for what you have allowed yourself to become." There is the sign of the cross in the air, and then his sight of her leaves as the humans begin to attack, kicking, and punching, several tearing at her garments with lecherous glares. At the top of the hill the Wolfman watches for a few moments, then picks up his hat from the snow, moving to leave the park.

Etana feels his power leave her. She grunts and cries out as she is beaten and those second hand cltohes are torn from her. The darts torn from her skin painfully as this happens. Her body, freed of his hold begins to metabolize but it is far from a immediate thing. Blood appearent from some of the strikes to her face.

Most of the weapons held by the crowd are not silver, but blunt instruments that would be designed to hurt a shifter, causing more suffering. A knife is thrust at her side, cutting through the layers of cloth there as it's bearer laughs. The human faces above her are twisted in righteous fury, convinced that what they are doing will help to cleanse her… to cleanse their city. In someone's hand a silver stake appears, and as others grab her arms, it is driven into one wrist.

Etana throws her head back as the silver bites into her. She screams at that, adrenaline increasing and her beast flaring. Between that and the knife the drugs are finally being overcome as she sits dangerously close to regaining enough of her beast, getting her strength back. Even as the silver pierces her wrist as she starts to struggle in ernest.

Her fury returning, a few of the mob take note, and begin shuffling backwards. "It's not working… she didn't get enough." The words from one of the others pierces the crowd, and a couple begin to run off. The others though continue, and a second silver stake flashes before her eyes. "Well lets see how her beast likes a second dose of this… Rick, get the darts." More hands grab her other arm, preparing to attach the other stake to it.

Etana might have trouble shifting with silver through her but her strength is returning. The strength to throw a car across a street.She starts grabbing ,shoving, pushing and kicking. Get them back, get them away. Screaming in anger, in rage and in pain. It was a mistake to leave her and a mistake to not kill her quick. The arrogance had given her the time, and chance, she needs as she tries to fight her way up to her feet.

As she fights the crowd is thrown back. It isn't without effort though, and knives and clubs still seek her out. Another dart is fired, this one catching her some of her shredded clothing but avoiding her skin as she fights. The second stake never makes it to her arm as she flails and fights, the crowd beginning to disperse quickly.

Etana rises up. She will take to throwing any she can get ahold of. As soon though as she is clear? She runs. she is hurt, still not quite able to shift. She is in trouble and their firing more of those drugs. She takes off into the snow of the woods to try and escape to more populated areas. This country isn't like her own. If she can get somewhere people are the law will help her, rather then finish her off. At least, these are her hopes from what shes heard. Not to mention if that wolf hears this happening he will come back and she does not want to face that again.

When she's finally to her feet, the crowd scatters, as scared of her as she is of them. A few items are left scattered in the snow, a club, one of the dart guns… a hat or two. One or two members of the mob seem as if they are wanting to give chase, but when they realize they are along, the quickly change their mind, leaving th scene quickly. It wouldn't take long till Etana would reach one of the nearby buildings, where more of humanity would see her battered form.
Etana heads back toward the East Lawn.

Lincoln Park: East Lawn - Lake Shore Drive: North

The East Lawn of Lincoln park is famous for its statuary. Here one can find statues of some the country's more notable political figures. Chief amongst these is the Saint-Gaudens Statue of Abraham Lincoln in bronze. To the east, Lake Michigan and the small island of Du Sable can be seen through the trees, the sunrise and sunsets both renown for their beauty. To the north Lincoln Park Zoo can be spied, inviting visitors to come and view the exhibits within. It is the East Lawn itself that draws the most notice. Pristine, the grass invites picnics, performers and children of all ages. Families can be found enjoying this area during the daylight hours.

The east lawn is also home to some of Chicago's finest living, with the Lincoln Park Condominiums directly east of Lake Shore Drive and sporting luxurious apartments and beach front properties. The real gem of the area is Du Sable, where the creme de la creme live in their mansions, the small island tucked off behind the tress and accessible by private ferry.

Sleet and freezing rain fall from heavy clouds, coating everything with ice and making the ground slippery. The world looks silver in the icy grey light. A raw wind blows from the southeast. The winter Hawk wind is concentrated in the Loop. There is about forty-five inches of snow on the ground.

The scene changes, after Etana has escaped, collapsing in the park as 911 is called, we join this in progress

Rosalind yelps as she's pushed away, and she sprawls flat on the icy walk, her coat half unzippered. "Not me! Someone else… behind her, I think!" she whimpers back, sounding worried. "Jesus, she's either gonna bleed or freeze t'death."

Etana has had most her clothes torn from her. Remaining covers nothing and exposes wounds over her body ,including what looks like she was stabbed with a knife several times. Through her right wrist is a stake of silver. She is battered and has a wild look to her. She is bleeding pretty good, especially from the stake sticking through her wrist. She is on her hands and knees as she struggles on the path. "Police. I need the police." she repeats.

Rob goes over to Etana and attempts to get her to lie down, before taking off his jacket and attempting to cover Etana with it for the time being. "Please, just lie down and stay calm. Help is on the way."

Police sirens can be heard coming down the Road.

Etana does not seem to like people trying to get near her. Not people she can't identify. "Stay back." she tells Rob. Strubbing backwards on the path. Wincing as the silver stake catches and tugs some. "No, don't come near me. I want the police." She tells him in her accented voice, south african.

"Jesus, what d'you think I was trying to do…" Rosalind grumbles, trying to balance as she stands up on the icy walk and zippers her coat. She stares at Rob. "Well! You're waving a gun. Are you a cop, or just…" She shakes her head. "Nah, I don't want to know. What's wrong?" Rosalind adds, as calm as she can muster.

Rob has already holstered his gun, but Etana isn't being too cooperative. He steps back a little, but not too far back. "Just try to calm down, please," He says, silently hoping the police arrive soon now that he can hear them coming.

Sirens are louder now.

Etana isn't going to let any un-uniformed near her. The nude woman, only in some shredded bits of cloth that remain like a sleeve of her coat and the like, slowly lays on the freezing trail. She is panting hard as she groans. Lifting her wrist to look at that silver stake through it as the knife wounds on her continue to bleed.

"Ah, you sonuvabitch. Pointing a gun at… just shut up," Rosalind says quietly, standing next to Rob. "She doesn't wanna talk to us, she won't. And even if she -probably- needs to keep warm and get to a hospital…" Her eyes flick again to the small silver stake. "Long as you have it, the thing you're gonna want to shoot would be coming up from -behind- her. Whatever kinda monster would do that."

Rosalind sighs and tries speaking directly to Etana, one last time. "Ma'm, I'm off duty, but I'm a paramedic. Calling in an ambulance, if there isn't one on the way already. We'd try and warm you up if we could." She keeps her distance.

Ah and there it is, a pair of CPD Police Cruisers come barleing up to the scene lights and sirens wailing. The do that typical caddy corner stop and several officers get out and run up with weapons drawn. "Everyone down, get down now" one of them says. The only female officer there, a red head comes running up to Etana and the group. "Get on the ground now, step away from her and get on the ground." She barks at them, it's procedure. "Ma'am, ma'am what's happend, tell me who did this?" she asks. She turns and barks at one of the other officers, "Get paramadeics and fire and rescue here now."

"Look, I had no idea who or what was behind this whole thing!" Rob snaps. "I admit I overreacted, so chill!" As he hears the sound of sirens getting closer, Rob pulls back, letting the professionals take over.

Etana is panting hard as she looks up. Police, she recognizes the uniform. She lets them near her. She is fairly certain they wont do something to her in this state. "I am a shifter." she tells them. No sense in them freaking later cause of the blood. She cradles that staked wrist to her. "I was attacked. They were trying to kill me. They were hunting me." She growls at the silveri n her wrist, at the pain it causes. "its on fire. . " She looks torwards te others. Still unsure of them. Unsure if their with the ones who attacked her.

Rosalind takes another three steps back for good measure, her mittens raised, but shows no interest in getting on the ground. "She just came outta the park like that… as if she were being chased. Didn't see anyone behind her," she says, calmly. "Damned if she would let me or anyone other than an officer near, so whatever it was… ugh."

One of the other officers barks at Ros and Rob, "I said down on the fucking ground now!" he yells. He's not playing, everyone here is a suspect, though inocent till proven guilty. Those that don't get down are likely to be put down forceable.
Rob gets down on the ground, albeit using a four letter word himself. He can't believe he got caught up in this mess. "Hey, I didn't do this, I just came upon this mess!"

"Fucking hypothermia and shock, you twit," Rosalind mutters, although she does bother to kneel and place her hands on the pavement, narrowly avoiding a frozen patch of spilled coffee and an empty paper cup. "Why don't I just wait here while you wait for the ambulance? If not, do us a favor and give her a freakin' blanket, huh?"

Etana is shivering. She growls some, trying to sit up. "I need this out. "sshe says, snarling at the merest touch to the silver when it brushes her arm and is jostled. "Ahh .. "

Electra looks at Etana and moves close to her, "Ok, ok, paramedics are on the way. Tell me what these people looked like, tell me why they wanted you." The on duty paramedics and fire and rescue show up and run over to the group. One of the med's brings said blanket and gear and they start looking over her and helping her cover up, he looks at the stake and notices it's silver and helps get it out.

Etana huffs some and winces. She tries to hold still but thrashes some when they start dealing wit hthe silver. "Ahhh!" she cries out at the pain as its removed from her arm, followed by a gush of blood where it had severed, but mostly blocked ,the artery. "Nnhh."

"Jesus, Joe," Rosalind yelps, glancing up as she attempts to recognize one of the paramedics. "How freakin' stupid… do that in a hospital!! Why am I stuck… oh," she murmurs, dropping her eyes back to the pavement. She takes a deep breath. "It's okay. She's not gonna freeze. She's not gonna bleed out. If she does, for whatever stupid reason, it wasn't my fault, I swear…"

Electra moves out of the way and lets the med's do their part of the job, she trys to speak softly to Etana, "Ma'am, I know your in pain, I know your cold. We are going to have them help you to the Ambulance. I just need you to try and tell me what these people lookd like and why they were trying to hurt you" she nods to the other cops, "Let them up, holster sidearms and take witness reports" she says to them They all nod and start doing so. "Guys, get a stretcher out here and lets get her to the rig" she adds to the other paramedics.

Rob finally manages to get up after Electra tells the cops to let them up, and he sighs with frustration. "About damn time too!" He whispers to himself.

Etana pants heavily still. "They were hunting me." she points off where she came from. Bloody snow makes a trail up to the trails. "They were up there, all of them." She tells Electra in her accented english. "Like the others, I think."

"Sho-ock," Rosalind mumbles, sing-song, turning her head to look at Rob as she stands up. "Bad news. We're witnesses to nothing, an' it took long enough that whoever, whatever it was gets away. Stupid," she adds, bitterly.

A third patrol car screeches to a halt on the scene, and Sgt. Elena Ortega and her partner Officer Rufus Mitchell emerge. Elena walks up and talks to one of the officers who relates the situation and what Etana just told them. She gives a look at his weapon, then a look at him before she barks out, "All right, Reese! You and your partner with me, we're following that trail. Mitchell, make sure the witnesses here on this end are kept warm, make sure the victim gets safely to the hospital, and get a call in to HQ. That stake is like the one in the alley on Jackson. I think Wickham and Hadley have the case." She beckons to Electra and her partner to follow her along the blood trail Etana left.

Electra nods and smiles at Etana, "Your going to be ok" she says softly before motioning for her partner to follow her and the other officers. She keeps in step behind them and follows the trail.

Rob meanwhile is too grouchy to focus on anything really. He simply folds his arms and says, "I've had enough excitement for now. I'm not about to get into more trouble."

Etana groans as she is tended to. She shivers some. She controls her beast. If she shifts it could be troble. She'll let the medics do their thing as she fights to control herself as she comes more fully to her senses. "There wree alot of them. They are dangerous. They have. . needle guns." She struggles for the word she wants. She has no ID on her as the medics tend to her.

Rosalind glances back to Rob, and straightens her glasses. "C'mon! You mean to tell me you had something more interesting planned for today? Blast, I almost forgot," she grumbles, leaning over to pick up her spilled coffee cup. "I dunno that she needed to tell anyone she was a preter. Kinda… well, kinda wouldn't have been hard to guess."

Officer Mitchell, puts in the call to HQ, then comes back to the others. Recognizing Rob from the Jackson Street crime scene, he offers him a blanket from the trunk of his patrol car, and one to Rosalind as well. "Adder, right? Private Investigator?" One of the two other officers remaining with him begins the work of setting up the police tape to cordon off the area. Another gets a call put in for more backup to handle traffic directing and giving the evil eye to any eventual reporters who are sure to show up due to all the pretty flashing lights.

The paramedics gently put the gurney into the back of the rig. The small blonde female of the pair says in a quiet tone, "I'm going to give you some fluids intravenously to help with the shock," as her partner puts a thermal blanket over the shifter and raises her legs 8 inches.

Rob nods to Officer Mitchell. "Correct, sir. But right now I'm going to let you handle it. I'm going a bit over my head in this case I think." He doesn't say why, he just folds his arms.

Etana looks to her. "Yes." she tells the medic. She tries to be a good patient. She is nervous. Her beast is there and she is hurt as they tend to her bloodied form.

"Thank you, I'm fine," Rosalind refuses the blanket with a mittened hand, huddling in her coat. "Yeah, it's just… she wouldn't let him, or me, -do- anything, you know? I was just walking along on the way to work and she stumbles out of the bushes," she murmurs, more to herself than to Officer Mitchell. "Course, neither would the Chicago Police, so… hmm."

Etana's silver-based wounds get pressure banages put on them, to keep her blood loss stemmed until they can get her to the hospital to have them properly cleaned and tended to. "Do you have anyone we can call for you to meet us at the hospital?" The blonde asks her, as her partner closes the doors and moves to get into the driver's seat.

"Detective Wickham is en route, I'm guessing she'll have some questions for both of you before we can release you. If you'd like to sit in the cruiser to stay warm, just ask," Officer Mitchell offers.

Etana shakes her head. "I have no phone. I have no numbers." She tells them. "I only know first names of some." She informs them ,grunting, biting her lip at the pain.

"Uhhhm. That's… kind of you to offer, thanks," Rosalind replies to the officer. "Clearly I shouldn't refuse. Not like I was really gonna get anything done this morning."

More patrol cars arrive and Mitchell gets a squawky call over his shoulder radio. From it, Ortega's voice says, "Mitchell, we have evidence up here. Send a team up to cordon it off. We're going to follow some departure trails from the scene." He depresses the button and says back into it, "Roger that. Team coming in." He waves a quartet of new arrivals to go up the trail to cordon it off and preserve the scene for forensics.

About 15 minutes later, a hybrid SUV pulls up with a dash mounted police light. Eleanor Wickham climbs out and a few of the forensics team are with her. They set off up the trail immediately as she heads for Rosalind and Rob to ask them some questions. After she finishes with Rob, she knocks on the cruiser window and opens the door to let Rosa back out.

Rosalind stretches her legs and extends a hand in a stiff greeting. "Hello. Rosa Thomas. 'Fraid I really can't be of much help, but I'm glad that… whoever she was, she really, -really- didn't want to speak to anyone before she saw a cop." She frowns.

"I'm Detective Wickham, thank you for staying to answer a few questions," Eleanor says with a small smile and eyes that look like they haven't seen a pillow in a day or so. "Do you know who put in the 911 call? And was there anyone else at the scene besides yourself, Mr. Adder, and the victim before police arrived?"

Mitchell begins sending more groups up the trail, keeping enough here to block this area off and handle the public.

"My pleasure, but also not much of my choice, Detective." Rosalind frowns. "Uhhh, nope. I put in -a- call, so it might've been… or someone else saw her running through the park. That's just it. This wasn't the scene." She shakes her head. "By the time I happened on her she was just collapsed in the snow, bleeding. Wouldn't let me or the other one, Adder, come close. Pushed me away when I tried. Fell on my ass, it kinda hurt, the usual." Rosa motions toward the hiking trails and the nearby ridge. "It has to've been something up there… but I was walking through the edge of the park. Can't say I was close enough to see who might have been up there."

Eleanor nods and she jots down some notes in a small pad. "I imagine she wouldn't have wanted anyone near her. But thank you for staying with her until help arrived. And thank you for making the call," the detective says sincerely. "Sometimes in events like these, you may recall something later that was overwhelmed by the stress of the situation. If you do, please give me a call." She hands the woman one of her cards. "You're free to go. If you need a ride somewhere, Officer Mitchell will find someone to give you a lift."

"Mmmhh. The only thing stressful, truly, was havin' a gun pointed at me by an officer of the law… I mean, Chicago's rough, but really?" Rosalind shakes her head sadly. "All I remember is what you saw. She had a piece of silver driven into her right wrist, and knife slashes all over. She's a shifter, coz of course if she weren't I dunno that she'd have made out half as well in this weather. And her accent…" The girl trails off, murmuring as she accepts the card. "Really she was pretty lucid, you think? Not just asking for -any- help, or for medical help, but for police. Odd. Of course I will." A nod. "Oh, and I was walking. So I might as well finish that way, thanks."

"I apologize if the officers were a bit overcautious," Eleanor says. "The severity of this case has been rough on a lot of the force. We're dealing with gang-level violence and hate crimes to which this crime may be connected. And seeing a cringing victim in a clearly injured state with people around her may have made them push the 'better safe than sorry' button. But I think I'd rather have them be overzealous than underzealous, right?"

"Guess I need to start reading the news again, huh?" Rosalind says. "Cripes, I've never seen anyone battered like that. Under those circumstances or no… there isn't much I can do other than compliment you for your professional demeanor, and file a short complaint at City Hall covering the rest." She shrugs. "Coulda been worse. I've friends who're card-carrying ACLU members. You're probably doing the right thing, assuming that most of the time your bystanders aren't just bein' good samaritans."

"It's been a difficult few weeks. I think the snow is putting everyone on edge. But I'll let you get on with your night. Mine won't be over for quite some time. Take care, and be safe out there Ms. Thomas." With that, Eleanor heads up the trail to oversee evidence collection.

Several of the officers head up the trail for investigation, the log follows them

Hiking Trails - Lincoln Park: East Lawn

The trail of blood ends in the middle of one of the many walking trails. There is evidence of scuffle, and shreds of the victims clothing as still about. As well, there are a few club like objects, and one of the silver stakes in the snow. Closer investigation will find one of the dart guns, apparently stepped on by a booted foot.

With a small but existent probability that the perpetrators might still be in the area, Ortega unholsters her gun and carries it, safety on, pointed at the ground. Her flashlight is in the other hand, sweeping any darker areas where someone might hide along the trail. She moves quickly, but cautiously, in a semi-crouch, careful to scan for movement and keep her ears open, while making sure not to step in the trail itself, so as to preserve the evidence. She halts at the clearing and the pile of evidence, and holds up a hand to stall further forward progress. "Keep a wide berth of the area, but I want to spread out, the two of you left, I'll go right, and secure the perimeter."

Electra unholsters her gun and heads left.

Multiple tracks lead to the sight of the scuffle, coming from both directions on the trail. They are more scattered as the move away, going away in ones and twos that are apparently running by the length of the strides.

Ortega opens a pouch on her belt, and pulls out a bunch of small orange flags, like the sort used to mark underground lines for construction, but minus the stakes. She drops one beside each trail to make them easily visible in the dark for other officers. "East side clear!" She calls out for the benefit of the other officers as she continues the perimeter sweep.

Electra keeps looking around with her partner, trying to notice things. She places flags down to from the pouch on her belt. "West Side Clear" she calls abck. So far at least.

Ortega pushes a button on the radio hooked to her shoulder. "Mitchell, we have evidence up here. Send a team up to cordon it off. We're going to follow some departure trails from the scene." She motions at the other pair, split two fingers to indicate them both, and then points at one of the dominant trails leaving the crime scene. She points to herself and a trail on her side, to indicate she's going to follow that one.

Following the trails show that the group apparently started together, and broke up, perhaps intent on travelling to what appears to be the campsite of a homeless person. The confrontation is a bit up one of the trails though, with evidence that several people tramped through and over her belongings in route to it.

Electra places down more flags and motions for her partner to take a look, "Searge, clear up here, got evidence" she calls out.

Ortega pushes a button on the radio again. "Roger that, Reese. Mitchell, perimeter is clear. Get me a couple people up here to tape off the area so the science geeks can get to picking and poking." The response of "Roger that," comes over the radios in Officer Mitchell's gruff two-packs-a-day voice.

Electra finishes looking around and taps her radio, "All clear up her Seargent. What do we do now? Wait for Hadley and Wickham to get here?"

Ortega grunts and nods to Electra, holstering her weapon and turning off her flashlight as more uniformed cops and a handful of forensic techs with plenty of battery powered lighting rigs come up the trail to begin their evidence collection.

One of the techs comes up to Ortega, "Wickham sent us up here, she's back down talking to the witnesses. Permission to start the grid?"

"Granted. Reese, you and your partner want to take backup here while I go down and turn the scene over to Homicide? I imagine Wickham will be up here soon."

Electra nods, "Sure thing Serg, well stay put" she responds.

Ortega clasps Reese on the shoulder in a brief show of female cop solidarity, before she trudges through the snow back down the trail to hand the scene over to Eleanor.

Trudge, trudge, trudgety trudge. Eleanor Wickham is TIRED. These damn pack murderers just won't let her get more than 4 hours sleep in a day between homicide and attempted homicide scenes and daytime hours-keeping witnesses to be interviewed. She looks like hell, cold, grumpy, and frustrated now that the mask has been tossed aside that she wears dealing with witnesses. And Hadley is up to his eyeballs interviewing half the employees of the two buildings lining the Jackson Street alley that Joliea was killed in so she's on her own. Tonight, with the techs here with her, she doesn't need to do the CSI thing herself. She walks up to Electra and her partner and gives them a solemn nod as she watches the forensics crew go about their careful way getting primary evidence. She'll go in to do a secondary sweep herself when they're done.

Electra returns the nod, "Detective" she says simply.

"At least this time, the victim is alive," Eleanor says quietly. "Any preliminary idea of how many were involved in the attack?" she asks the redhead.

Electra sighs, "A ton" she replies. "At least 2 dozen"

"Fits the pattern." A tech comes up to hand Eleanor her own box from the trunk of her SUV. She opens it, puts on some latex gloves, and pulls out a pile of little yellow signs with black letters on them, and a camera with a large, hooded flash on it. "Care to give me a hand here, Reese?" she asks, handing her a pair of gloves and, when she gets them on, the signs, except for the one bearing an "A". The forensics crew gets the numbers tonight. "Just hand them to me as I go through them." With that, she moves to the first set of prints, the ones with the blood trail, and sets the A beside it, before snapping several photos.

—— Fade to black as the police complete their witnessless crime scene investigation.

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