Graceland Cemetery: Main Gate - Clarke Street: North
Gates surround the entrance to this, the oldest and perhaps most famous of cemeteries in Chicago. To one side is the office, where one can find all the information they may desire regarding this place, while paths lead through this sprawling extravaganza. There are essentially three sections to this graveyard. The Eastside, Westside, and the Lakeside.
A cold wind blows from the northeast, driving charcoal clouds before it and blotting out the stars in isolated patches overhead. The air is clear and elsewhere the stars shine brightly. The winter Hawk wind is concentrated in the Loop.
- Abani Bellamont
- Detective Sgt. Brian Hadley
- Detective Lt. Rowan Mac Douglas
- Detective Carlos Morales
- Detective Eleanor Wickham
Monday, May 11, 2009
Saturday, January twenty-third 2010. 09:37 pm
The sun is down. The first quarter moon is up. <50.0% full and growing>
The tide is high and ebbing.
A cold wind blows from the northeast, driving charcoal clouds before it and blotting out the stars in isolated patches overhead. The air is clear and elsewhere the stars shine brightly. The winter Hawk wind is concentrated in the Loop. There is about 22" of snow on the ground. The average temperature is around Nineteen degrees Fahrenheit, Negative eight Centigrade.
It is a little before 10 PM on a Saturday night. Who the hell works on a Saturday night? The police, that's who. And they sure know how to pick their weekend work locations. Tonight it's Graceland Cemetery, where Detective Eleanor Wickham and her partner Detective Sgt. Brian Hadley have begun their quest to collect samples of graveyard dirt from all the local places of interment to compare with a sample collected at one of the ghoul attacks. With things being as they are, they weren't stupid enough to come alone. They brought backup in the form of their Lieutenant and a rookie who drew the short straw and got pointed in their direction. Eleanor is in a blue coverall with CSI in big black letters on the back. She has what looks like a massive tackle box in her hands, and a surgical mask pulled down around her neck as she locks up her SUV at the gates of the graveyard where she and Rowan headed from the station. Hadley and Carlos Morales, newly minted CPD detective, were told to meet them here at 10. "Can you grab the duffle bag behind the passenger seat, Lieutenant?" the blond directs to Rowan.
Rowan happily wanted to join in evidence collecting, nothing says police bonding more so than that. Dressed in her own RPIT gear, she happily comes with and nods to Eleanor. "Sure here." She says handing El the bag in question. "So where you be wanting most of the evidence just spread around or do you want certain area for the moment?" She asks letting her Irish accent roll off her tongue. She questions to insure she's getting the right evidence for testing.
Carlos sighs as he steps out the aging Crown Vic issued to him from the motor pool for this evening's drive. He stops to pull on a heavy tweed full-length coat that probably looked great in the window of some shop in the Loop but is wholly inadequate to deal with a Chicago winter and adjust his tie. He clips his police ID to the lapel, smoothing one finger over the line that lists his rank as detective with an involuntary grin and goes to meet the new co-workers, trying not to shiver. He crosses to where the other cops are standing and nods. "Morales. I'm supposed to help out?"
Hadley arrives in his car, which is nothing special or interesting. He looks around briefly before he approaches Eleanor and Rowan, looking toward the cemetery. "Need a hand with anything?" he asks, glancing at Carlos briefly. He must be about as interesting as the work Eleanor's going to make him do.
The monuments to the departed rise out of the snow like harder, sharper shadows in the darkness. The whole place has an unnerving quiet to it, with the lack of lighting once past the entrance, and the lack of the simple noises of humanity that even empty city streets still possess. Eleanor pulls a maglite from her coverall pocket and clicks it on, sweeping the snowy ground in search of the path. "I'll need soil samples from several spots to be sure I've covered everything. This place is 119 acres, so we can't conceivably cover it all, but particulates tend to be spread over large chunks so we should be ok." She swings her light back towards Carlos when he announces himself. "Detective Wickham, thanks for coming. Hey Hadley," she greets the two men. "Basically, I need eyes and guns in case this is where the ghouls are basing themselves. Or anything else is in here that might want to make a mess of me while I'm collecting the samples."
Rowan nods her head gently to El as she gives the low down of what is needed. Ro then moves to pull out her lovely flashlight. She nods her head to Hadley slowly as he comes out of his car. She waits politely enough to introduce herself to El's partner. "Pleasure to meet you Detective Hadley. I'm Lieutenant Detective Rowan Mac Douglas." She states quietly enough while it seems she looks over the rookie as well.
Abani has been here the better part of an hour, Eleanor seeing a few disturb locations if she looks close enough. But Abani is not in plain sight, she has skillfully hidden herself from most anyone. The young french woman hears the new arrivals and keeps herself hidden while watching them from a nice distance away.
Carlos looks over the graveyard and back to Eleanor with a dismayed 'You've got to be kidding' expression that he covers up quickly. Hadley gets an appraising glance, guy and cop cool and detached and another nod. He gives Rowan a faint smile and says, "A pleasure." Professional but still friendly. And with that, he turns back towards the graveyard and reaches under his coat to adjust his holstered gun a bit. "Ok, watch for ghouls. Well, they don't start you off slow, do they?"
GAME> Abani rolls 38 against 50% <+36% +15%> : 63% success
GAME> Hadley rolls 98 against 50% <-6%> : 54% failure
GAME> Eleanor rolls 86 against 50% <-18%> : 54% failure
GAME> Rowan rolls 46 against 50% <-21%> : 17% failure
GAME> Carlos rolls 70 against 50% <-27%> : 47% failure
Hadley has a gun and two whole eyes. Whether any of these things will do him a lick of good is yet to be realized. "Probably best if we work in at least pairs if we're splitting up. If we do come across ghouls, they're more likely to attack a single target. And the way they've been packing up lately, I'd prefer if we try not to give them an easy meal." Granted, Hadley doesn't know if they'd eat him anyway, but he might be sad if they chewed on Eleanor.
"I'd recommend lodging a complaint about the dissolution of the RPIT squad in 2007, Detective Morales," Eleanor quips. Even as she sets her toolkit down and opens it. "If that hadn't happened, I'd have one of their squads with us tonight, instead of you. If it makes you feel better though, I spent five years in San Diego's RPIT Unit, and I know our Lieutenant here is a Chicago RPIT vet." From the box she draws out what looks like a drill, but she attached a large round cylinder to the end of it. It's a modified saw for making recessed light holes in drywall. "The dirt is frozen solid, but I find this makes collecting samples /so/ much easier," she explains to the others. She slaps a battery pack into the base of it. "I have a backup in the box if you want to do some collections, Lieutenant. Hadley, I have containers in the duffle bag about the diameter of the saw, can you get one for me and hold it out so I can put the sample in? Please put on gloves beforehand." She pulls the mask up over her nose and mouth, draws on thick latex gloves to prevent contaminating the sample or her fingers freezing off, and sets to drilling the solid dirt just inside the entrance for the first collection.
Carlos puts on his game face, a bland and vaguely disinterested faint scowl designed to discourage trouble from drunks and traffic stops cultivated when he was a patrol officer and stands off to the side a bit to let the technical-minded people get to work. His brown eyes scan over the headstones and he squints trying to make out anything past the circles of bobbing light from the flashlights that other people thought to bring. His voice is a low and arch mutter, "Coat. Gloves. Flashlight. Flamethrower. Going to need to go shopping."
"There's someone or thing here, Wickham," Hadley offers to his partner when he returns with gloved hands and container thing to take the sample. When it's put away, he marks off where this particular sample is from. His gaze shifts to scan over the nearest scenery, his night vision better than it used to be but hindered by the lights.
Abani adjusts a little where she sits, the young woman doesn't even need to move. Picking out the strongest of the group, but she doesn't move to much, keeping an eye out, watching Eleanor as she picks through the dirt, But she watches, seeing what they may or may not know already.
GAME> Eleanor rolls 10 against 50% <-18%> : 22% success
GAME> Rowan rolls 75 against 50% <-21%> : 46% failure
GAME> Carlos rolls 69 against 50% <-27%> : 46% failure
GAME> Hadley rolls 32 against 50% <-6%> : 12% success
The drill in Eleanor's hand squeals its noisy protest as it comes in contact with the frozen soil, but it makes progress cutting down through the earth. The woman seems deeply intent on her task, and that makes it very evident why she was wise to bring others to be her eyes. She tends to get absorbed in her evidence collection. Hadley's words stop her cold as she transfers the collected dirt block into the container. She quietly murmurs, "What kind of something?" as she turns off her flashlight so her eyes can adjust to the dark while she scans around. She knows Hadley can still see her. Her eyes focus on a slight movement she spots, a deeper dark against the open spaces between the branches of a tree. Her hand moves to unzip her coverall just enough to draw her Glock from its shoulder holster. "One o'clock, in the tree," she whispers to her partner. "Can't make it out but there's something there. Call Mac Douglas back here. Tell her we need her to look at something."
Rowan whistles softly while she's drilling. Yes why not whistle while you work, it makes things go by faster than normal. Writing tickets, arresting people, interrogating people as they confess to crimes, yes there are lots of things to do while you whistle. The buzzing of the drill seems to have covered all the hoop-la as she bags and tags a core sample. Yes, join the Police and you too can bag core samples!
GAME> Abani rolls 19 against 50% <+36% +15%> : 82% success
Abani looks at Hadley, her eyes slanting a bit as she watches him, Then looking to the woman. She doesn't seem to believe she is detected yet, watching and waiting mostly from her spot.
Carlos is still unaware of the potential problem and is trying to watch the scene, hoping to catch a glimpse of movement in the dark, while at the same time casting occasional glances towards the other cops, obviously trying to get a sense of them and how they interact. Going from looking out over the darkness to brief flashes of light as he looks towards them is doing his night vision no favors. Obviously, he has no clue that somebody or something might be watching them.
Hadley's gun is in his hands and aimed at the tree when he thinks he sees something there. He knows he senses something somewhere and he's not the sort to take chances when he can shoot first. "Hot," he says, "A shifter, maybe?" Whatever the case, he doesn't like it. He raises his voice, "Mac Douglas, Morales. We aren't alone." He's not a subtle man. "Chicago PD," he calls to the general direction of the tree, weapon trained there all the while, "Show yourself."
Eleanor winces as Hadley goes for the up front and personal route with whatever is in the tree. She's a much bigger fan of the subtle. The disparity is likely why the department paired them. Or else it's the fact no one else wanted to work with the vampire and the clairvoyant. She aims her weapon at the shadow and rises, slowly, making sure of her footing on the icy ground. She adds to her partner's call. "Climb down from the tree slowly, and walk towards the entrance light with your hands above your head."
Rowan huhs as she looks up at the voice shouting at her. She looks up to where El and Had are. She tilts her head as she shakes it gently. She slowly stands and moves to pull her gun out. She slides her flashlight upwards towards the woman.
Abani looks at the man and smiles, her spot is not exactly climb friendly so she does what she can, A back flip along the branch and then onto the ground, Flashy and so not needed, but hell she is in plain sight now. "I was only watching, no point, pointing it at me." her hands are above her head.
Carlos starts and pulls his own weapon as Hadley and Eleanor's clear leather. He keeps it pointed down towards the ground, lacking a target as of yet, but flicks off the safety. When Abani does make herself a target the gun comes up and the nervous newly-minted detective's finger slides over the trigger. The sudden motion almost provokes a sudden bark of gunfire but he takes a deep breath and just watches the young woman, obviously trying to memorize her features. He glances at the other cops to take their lead as to how to handle this.
The prejudice in Hadley has his energy filled with a chilly irritability with the woman that back flips out of the tree. He takes the wiser choice and doesn't continue speaking, leaving that to Eleanor who's better at it anyway, but he doesn't lower his weapon.
The acrobatic descent from the tree has Eleanor thumbing off the safety on the Glock and steadying it in a two handed grip. Hadley's estimation of the person being a shifter has her on alert, but a calm sense of control exudes from her. She calls out, "Move into the light and identify yourself!"
Abani is already in the light, "I'm Abani, Shifter as your partner has informed you. But calm down." She suggests politely "I was here doing the same thing you are.. But I know where the ghouls are hiding already." The woman guesses, while keeping her hands up. Being completely neutral, seeing that Hadley already has an issue with her being.
Rowan moves to go get a pad, not like she would carry it.
Carlos keeps his gun pointed at Abani's chest. His voice is flat and cold as he says, "We aren't hanging around in trees or spying on cops." The woman's admission that she is a Shifter seems to have amped up his tension level and those with preternatural senses can smell a trickle of cold sweat moving down his back, a focused kind of fear that is entirely normal for a human facing off with somebody who can rip him in half. His voice, however, continues to be level and cool as he says, "Follow commands and don't give us a reason to have to shoot, please."
The vampire never takes his eyes off of the shifter and her words don't do anything to calm him. But Hadley hasn't shot her, so one could argue that he is calm. Perfectly calm. When isn't he calm? In actuality, her words only seem to agitate him more. "You know where they are?" he repeats with only a hint of accusation.
"I will repeat, move into the light with your hands above your head," Eleanor directs Abani. "Then and only then will we allow you to produce identification showing you have a legal right to be in this cemetery after business hours. Investigation of the ghoul attacks is the province of the Chicago Police Department and corresponding law enforcement agencies, not civilians. Your very presence here, if you are tampering with things we are collecting for evidence, can be contaminating our evidence and jeopardizing our case. If you have information about the ghoul activity, as a citizen you should be contacting the CPD to make a statement. Being in a cemetery after business hours, without the granted permission of the cemetery directors, is considered criminal trespass on state supported lands, and is a crime carrying a fine of up to $2500 and a sentence of up to one year in jail." She doesn't move her eyes from the shifter as Rowan departs. She has faith the Lieutenant will be calling the cemetery directors from her vehicle.
Abani keeps smiling, moving forward and give a regular id, not she shouldn't be here. "And yes, Officer." she looks at Hadley's badge. "Hadley, I know where they are.. I was nearly dinner along with three other people." The woman just stands there with a smile.
Carlos shifts so that he can keep a clean line of fire on Abani without getting any of the other cops in the way, something that requires him to take a few steps to the side. He keeps himself out of what would be lunge distance for a human, obviously not enough for a Shifter, but he apparently doesn't know that. Since Eleanor seems to be the lead, he just keeps his mouth shut and tries to look as calm and collected as the other detectives and techs.
Hadley doesn't say anything. Just be glad he hasn't 'accidentally' let his finger slip on the trigger or something like that. He lets Eleanor continue talking, knowing full well his flaws and that they don't do anyone a whole lot of good to act on.
Eleanor scans the offered ID but does not lower her weapon. "All right, Miss Bellamont. I'm pretty sure you have no information we do not already possess, but as a show of good faith, I'm going to ask you to come with us to the station to give a statement about your knowledge of the case. In return for that, I will see about getting the cemetery to drop any trespassing charges and get your charges lowered to public nuisance, which carries a far lower fine of $100 and no jail time. Will you come willingly?"
Abani holds her hands out, "Cuff me ma'am." Abani seems all to willing, but hell 3 vs 1? that so not fair. The smiles smiles though, "I possess the intimate location of one child, Kinda badly stitched up, he was wearing a Japanese school uniform, and was singing child hood rhymes.. Oh and the fourteen ghouls that were covering the vampire child.”
Carlos grunts and looks towards Eleanor. Since he's junior here, he lowers his gun, holstering it and pulling his handcuffs from their pouch on his belt. His tone is polite now that the woman has agreed to cooperate. He frowns a moment, instinctively having moved up to cuff her in the normal fashion, which is to say hands behind her back. After a moment of hesitation, he moves around front and clicks them in place, firmly. "Be good or we'll do this the hard way. I'm going to search you, now, ma'am. Anything in your pockets I need to know about? Drugs, weapons, needles?"
Hadley relaxes marginally but only in the sense that he's not so wound up rather than being okay with or accepting of the woman's presence. He keeps his weapon trained on Abani while Carlos cuffs and searches her and Eleanor does the talking. He can play muscle and he even does a decent job of it from time to time.
Abani looks at Carlos, "Nope, don't have any pockets officer." she spreads a bit and waits, Abani isn't a stupid one. Hands behind her back, the hand-cuffs aren’t silver, but she doesn't try to break them.
After Abani is cuffed, Eleanor holsters her gun and gets out her phone, dialing in to the station. "This is Wickham. I need a secondary forensics team at the Graceland Cemetery to finish taking our soil samples for evidence. We are en route back to the station with a civilian found on the premises who wishes to make a statement about her knowledge of the ghoul attacks. Pull any files on Abani Bellamont. That is first name Alpha- Bravo- Alpha - November- India. Last name Bravo- Echo- Lima- Lima- Alpha- Mike- Oscar- November- Tango. Have any files ready when we get there. ETA 15 minutes." She thumbs the phone off and looks at Abani with the same calm blankness about her. "We are well aware of the amalgamated ghoul, Miss Bellamont. We have first hand experience with it and its protectors. And I assure you, it is not a child. But we'd like your statement regardless, to compare to our own notes."
As the shifter is secured to be driven to the station, Eleanor digs out a ticket book from her SUV and she writes up the actual public nuisance ticket on the premises. She has Hadley and Carlos act as witnesses to it, and notes the circumstances of acceptance of the ticketed charge on it. Then she gets into her SUV with Rowan and drives back to the station in a truly foul mood for having her forensic fun trashed.