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|Go Shijima||THE STORY SO FAR
Lilian discovered that there are five Orphenochs in the organization known as Blue Rose. The inhabiting spirit MIKE warned of an outsider with four 'pawns.' Jacques Renault is dead and Benjamin Horne is in a Paladins holding facility. Muramasa and Lilian both learned the truth about Leland Palmer, and James Hurley has been training with Keitarou and Professor Harley.
Benjamin Horne is a member of Blue Rose. He is known to be highly patient and circumspect, whatever else he may be--so he may be a good source of information on the organization, if you're smart about which questions you ask.
Leland Palmer, Laura's father, was revealed to be the human host through which BOB sows misery for his own amusement.
Leo Johnson, Blue Rose's would-be next Orphenoch, is in protective custody, but Sheriff Truman warns there is a time limit on how long that will last.
The Bookhouse Boys are the secret protectors of Twin Peaks, a secret society familiar with the town's mysterious nature. Lilian knows their greeting--right index finger drawn down the temple--and is herself the first member from out of town.
March 1, 1989
Twin Peaks, WA
Days Until Planetary Alignment: 2
The INVESTIGATION has found a method, a suspect, and very likely a motive. How does one catch a spirit, however? How can BOB be caught, if he can enter and leave Leland as he pleases?
Keitarou and Mari have advised of a somber EVENT--Laura's funeral. It would be a good way to pay respects, to meet new PEOPLE, and to show support for the Palmers.
|Muramasa||As much as he would have liked to be here to continue participating in the investigation, recent events have left Muramasa unable to be here today in any meaningful capacity. However, hospital-bound he may be, he was able to procure a way to make contact with the Investigation Team.
In the time he had, he explained everything he'd learned from his prior investigation in town; firstly, details concerning Palmers' and their home life which while not necessarily ground-breaking, was important to understanding Leland's role in things.
That they owned a home elsewhere, prior, seems to be innocuous until Muramasa explains perhaps his largest revelation; that Leland had not been possessed recently, but rather, that he had neem BOB's host ever since he was a boy. Muramasa goes on to say that he had been possessed when he had encountered his neighbor as a child, who had been the the entity's host at that time, and had his episodes ever since.
That they decided to move to Twin Peaks when Leland and his wife had their daughter didn't feel like a coincidence, he supposes, before going into the next most important thing he had found out, which was that Ben Horne and Leland had been business partners in the creation of the Ghostwood Estates -- of which the lumber mill had been the only roadblock, until the appearance of a supposed new investor.
" ... and that's about the long and short of it. I wish I could be there, too, but it is what it is. Good luck. I'll still be reachable over the phone if anyone needs to call me, for some reason."
"Good-bye for now."
|Shinnosuke Tomari||Shinnosuke Tomari has buzzed into the holding facility. He *should* go to the Funeral, but they only have two days, and not enough time to interrogate. Since Tamamo's going, he asks her to bring flowers from him, as 'one of the detectives on the case', but understands should she not feel comfortable.
For now, Shinnosuke Tomari prepares to interrogate Benjamin Horne. He has a few questions, and fires them off one at a time.
*How long have you known Leland Palmer?
*What is important about Ghostwood Estates?
*Who is your investor? Are they connected to the plot?
|Hellwarming Duo||Utsuho: "So how are we supposed to get info out of people?"
Rin: "Beat 'em up until they spill?"
Utsuho: "Nah, Teach said that's against the law or something. Maybe..."
Rin: "... Fire?"
Utsuho: "Oh, maybe. We're not hitting anyone that way."
Coming up with a solid interrogation strategy is proving to be pretty tricky for the youkai as they float through the skies of Twin Peaks, the winged one flipping through notes on a phone with orange-yellow eye motif while Rin drifts along on her back. It takes them a while to decide on a target, but they eventually settle on chasing down LEO JOHNSON as a potential lead to Blue Rose.
Plus, they've met Sheriff Truman before. He seemed pretty cool. After greeting said Sheriff and scrounging around for whatever leftover junk there is to eat without spending any money, they get to work on 'interrogating' Leo.
Rin: "We got some questions for ya! Now, we don't like you, and you don't like us."
Utsuho: "I don't think he knows us."
Rin: "Well, not yet. but he won't like us later!"
Utsuho: "He might. So... Yeah. Where's Blue Rose?"
Rin: "Yeah! What do you know about 'em? We already know what they were plannin' for ya, so spill!!"
Utsuho: "Do you have any... Uh. Contact info for them? Stuff I can put in my phone."
|Lilian Rook|| Thankfully, because Muramasa is not here, Lilian cannot re-break his knees and send him back to the hospital. "If I had a credit for every time that idiot got a concussion from getting put through the side, specifically, of a mountain, by a giant wolf, I'd have two credits." she mutters to herself. "Which is nothing, but absolutely ridiculous that it happened twice."
She does, however, first have some significant information to act on. If Muramasa might know it, she calls him, and tersely (but politely, we're not barbarians here, just half-British) asks "If Leland and Horne both went in together, who owns it now? Have the lumber mill owners fully signed the transfer of lease, or is it dated to change hands later? Does it legally belong to Leland? Horne? Both? What are the provisions if one falls through?"
If Muramasa can't answer questions because he is taking a dog-induced nap-- Actually, she'll contact the 'Bookhouse Boys' with the same question. They're in the police department. They should be able to pull these records easily, and she can just throw a Paladins investigative permit if they are, for some reason, stodgy about looking into property holdings of Twin Peaks residents.
|Tamamo|| On the one hand, Tamamo is well-suited for matters of respect and ceremony, comfort for the living, care for the dead, and related matters of ritual. On the other hand, Tamamo hadn't known Laura, funeral services are likely quite different here than she's used to, and it might not be necessary or appropriate for her to be overly involved. No, that would very easily be rude.
Still, she accepts the flowers from Tomari, and makes her way to that somber event. Along the way, she mentally reviews the closest things of which she's read to 20th-century American customs: 19th-century, Victorian England. She arrives in a long and appropriately dark dress, without a darkened veil (because she's not a widow) and not quite black (because she's not a relative). It doesn't really go with pinkish-red hair, but a good hat can, usually, still bring things together.
She'll offer the flowers at an appropriate moment, quietly observe whether there is any need for a sending-off of spirits in this case, and keep an ear turned for any helpful talk, detective-wise.
If only things weren't so busy here, Tomari would be able to come, himself, and Tamamo would be able to attend to the hospital, and see if she couldn't give Muramasa a far speedier recovery. Who could have done such things to him? He really does work too hard.
|Hamada Haru|| AT THE JAILHOUSE...
Kamen Rider Tetra walks through several walls, holding a belt in his left hand. He goes through the cells and interrogation rooms until he comes across Leo Johnson, at which point he becomes plainly material. Roughly, he thrusts the belt towards Leo and holds up a flip-phone.
"Put the belt on. Dial 001. Place the phone in the buckle and lever it down, firmly," Haru instructs, without explanation.
He glances towards Utsuho and Rin, raising one hand to wave at them.
But he doesn't explain to them, either.
|Muramasa||Muramasa explains to Lilian that according to Leland Palmer, he is the one who handles all the 'legal considerations'; and mentions that Horne, as the owner of the Great Northern as well as the local department store, most likely owns shares for the Estate while Leland would be the owner on paper.
He seems to be about at the level of civility Lilian is at; which is to say that something's bothering him immensely, but he's still more than wiling to put whatever grievance he has aside and cooperate with her so that she can do her job.
He also clarifies that the investor who had arrived approximately a month prior had made a generous offer to the mill's then-owners, who according to Leland's implication, had agreed to sell. The celebration on the night of Laura's death was the night the offer was agreed upon.
" ... it wouldn't be a bad idea to go consult the records-keeping," he agrees with her decision to head to police station, and also suggests bringing in Ben Horne's secretary for questioning if at all possible.
|Hellwarming Duo||Rin: "Oh, sure, HE gets a free belt."
Utsuho: "Hmph! Whatever. We'll just get one later after we do a good job here."
Rin: "Right! We don't need your belt, anyway. We'll get cooler ones than yours!"
|Xion||A funeral isn't the kind of place Xion normally seeks out. Twin Peaks is a place that she had gone to experience the simple joys of flannel living, and help her friends.
To show care, though, she had to wear black for a different reason than usual.
Black coat replacing red hoodie, with the cowl drawn up, Xion makes her way towards...
Delta and Faiz will be there, so, hopefully, there won't be problems...
But she isn't sure if danger or salvation follows the trail of Kamen Rider. Not yet.
|Hamada Haru||"I'm sure the guy who makes Hot Wheels belts will be happy to make you a belt suited to you," Kamen Rider Tetra responds to Utsuho and Rin.|
|Go Shijima||Sheriff's Departmentl
"Understood, Sengo," says Cooper on the phone in the conference room. "What you did was very brave. Just remember that you don't have to do everything on your own." The agent frowns, pausing. "Sengo... when I was fourteen years old, I had particularly bad asthma attack, and a dream that same night."
Cooper's brow furrows. "There was a man outside my room. Trying to get in. He was pounding on the door so hard that I could feel the walls shake, and he was howling like an animal. The next day, I told my mother--and she knew about that man. She said, 'Dale, never, ever let that man into your room.' I never did... but he kept coming for a while. I wonder if it was that man who got Leland Palmer."
Cooper pauses, then steels himself. "I'll see you soon." He's out the door not long after hanging up, on his way to the funeral. Utsuho and Rin get a friendly shoulder-pat as he exits.
Tomari: INVESTIGATION - Ben Horne
Paladins Holding Facility
Horne is cooperative. He is also perfectly calm. "I've known Leland for years, as a friend and business partner. Ghostwood was our baby." Despite the fact that he's wearing a standard-issue prisoner jumpsuit, Horne holds himself as if he's still in one of his suits. "The idea was simple. Twin Peaks is beautiful, but secluded--some people like it that way, but Leland and I saw the potential it had for growth and development. A suburb, on that stretch of land, in this town... people would trip over themselves to live there." Horne stands from his cot, smiling with pride. "Of course, that's still true."
"But our investor pointed out another interesting development--one that'd make our... work... much easier." So the investor is connected to the plot--they must have suggested adding in Glastonbury Grove to the Ghostwood Estates, as a way to somehow make forcibly turning people into Orphenochs easier. "Our king will need subjects, after all."
Hellwarmers: PEOPLE - Leo Johnson
"What the hell are you two talking about?" Leo's a guy with slicked-back hair pulled into a greasy ponytail. His clothes are simple and rugged, a flannel shirt, work boots and jeans. "These idiot cops grabbed me after I'd just gotten home. Said 'my life was in danger.'" Leo scoffs. "I don't buy it. Nobody's got a problem with me." The gleam in his eye conveys what his words don't--nobody *alive* has a problem with him. "I don't know any Blue Rose. And even if I did, I wouldn't tell a couple of weirdos like you."
|Go Shijima||Haru: PEOPLE - Leo Johnson
Leo is far more hostile to Haru, who looks like the sort that he deals with on a regular basis. "A lot of new faces, since I got back." If he doesn't know a face, he's very suspicious of someone who appears to travel the same circles. "How do I know this thing isn't some fancy way to kill me?"
But of course, if that's what Haru came to do, there would have been plenty of opportunity to do so... and after a moment, Leo seems to realize. He picks it up, dials 001, and slots it into the belt.
It levers down...
And the Riotrooper armor appears over his body. Thankfully, Leo is not the brightest. "So what's this supposed to be?" But... he is bad news. "You busting me out of here?"
|Go Shijima||Lilian: INVESTIGATION - Ghostwood Estates
Hawk is on the case. "That is kind of ridiculous," he agrees. "Anyway, here's what we have. Sheriff Truman went to the trouble of preparing it ahead of time, so..." There's a book thumped onto the table. It's a copy of the lease, but there's notably not a provision for the lumber mill--which means that they're probably trying to hold out for a better offer from that investor. Legally, it belongs to Horne, and Leland is his counsel where such matters are concerned. However, there are provisions that mention an investor--Saeko Kageyama. Ms. Kageyama is evidently a kind of silent partner in the affair.
|Shinnosuke Tomari||"Your investor is as good as dead if I don't get to them first. Please, tell me what you know about them." Tomari seems insistent, but genuine. He wants them alive. Like Horne.
"You didn't meet our scariest member, last time. The one with the most experience and most will to kill any of you. We're going to have to fight, eventually, and I don't want to. So if I can get to your investor first..."
"Weigh it over, Benjamin." Shinnosuke finally says, extremely seriously.
|Hamada Haru||"If I was going to kill you I'd de-solidify you, put your head in the wall, and re-solidify you," Haru explains, not really altogether honestly, but not wanting to give a clear idea of how he'd actually accomplish that. He's not really interested in murder, though.
The RIOTROOPER suit snaps into existence around Leo with a loud COMPLETE. Tetra nods, more to himself than anyone else.
//You busting me out of here?//
Kamen Rider Tetra shrugs. "The persistent protection that I can provide isn't the same as an organization. The fact that you can use this means you're a valid candidate for what they want to do to you."
"Of course, with that at your waist you could leave, if you wanted to. She might stop you," He glances towards Utsuho, then towards Rin.
The implication here is that he might not.
|Hellwarming Duo||Utsuho: "You think he will? Heh. Bet."
Rin: "Yeah, bet!"
It's not clear if these two have any actual money to bet with.
Leo's unwillingness to answer their questions, along with Haru's maybe-taunt-maybe-plan, has the pair already looking rather irritable. The fact that the Riotrooper armor actually looks pretty cool just seems to make it worse. Somehow, though, their brain cells seem to be working in tandem for once, and they both shrug lightly as they look the transformed Leo over.
Utsuho: "Eh, fine. We're not in a rush for whatever info you got, anyway."
Rin: "Yeah, you can break out if you wanna. But if you are, then..."
The two exchange glances, and then they huddle over in a corner.
Utsuho: "Are we supposed to be stopping him?"
Rin: "Nah, nah, if he busts out, then... Oh! Right, yeah, that's fine."
Utsuho: "Right? So this is Faster! But if he breaks stuff on the way out, that might look bad."
Rin looks over at Leo, then holds up a finger. "Gimme a minute." And then she just bolts right out of there, leaving Utsuho looking clueless and just staring at Leo and Haru. Rin, for her part, is looking for SHERIFF TRUMAN. If she finds him, she'll just ask upfront "Hey. Can we get what's his face outta here? That weirdo with a belt that's not Teach is here, so we're just gonna wait for him to get into a fight with something bigger and die so we can get any info he has faster."
It makes more sense in Rin's head than it does coming out of her mouth.
|Lilian Rook|| Lilian thankfully gets a chance to review those documents. Hawk having them already ready for her, ostensibly with Truman's hard work, even elicits the rare five star pull of Lilian picking up the book, flipping through a few pages, and saying "I like you two. I wish I'd encounter more people with that kind of professionalism."
She scans through the book really fast. Like *really* fast. The kind of fast that comes from being intimately familiar with financial documents, who knows where to look, who reads *stupidly* fast, and then some. "Perfect. This is just what I wanted. It looks like I can stave off another Grove disaster for the rest of this investigation with minimal disruption. You've saved us all a lot of trouble." If he asks how, she simply replies "I'm just going to make them an offer they'd be idiots to refuse."
Given that whomever owns the mill should be public knowledge, Lilian makes sure to call ahead to make sure they're home, deliver in her most sweet and prim and proper tones that she intends to competitively invest, and upon dressing up and arriving, she lays it on pretty thick (along with oozing, unreal charm and hyperfixation) that she would rather keep the mill up and running rather than simply bulldoze it for a suburb. Something about importing special Multiverse wood products that this environment is ideally suited to.
And, she offers literally triple of the offer on the table. The impression that she is absolutely loaded for this kind of thing is genuine. The impression that she's also out of touch on how much these things cost is not, but to anyone looking to sell property, *you sell to the tourist before they realize they've overpaid*.
Keikakudoori. Fuck you Horne, and fuck you BOB.
|Go Shijima||Tamamo and Xion: EVENT - Laura's Funeral
Emerald Meadows Cemetery
Twin Peaks, WA
It is a beautiful day this morning. The sun is bright, and the lightly forested earth around the cemetery is dotted with fir needles and the first budding wildflowers of spring. A slow procession heads for the plot, bearing the casket.
It's a rich, cherry red, lowered onto a lift that will carry it beneath the earth. Flowers are arranged over it, placed by those closest to Laura, one after the other. "I am the resurrection and the life," recites a priest as wind blows through the trees. "He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." The firs in the distance shake and sway in the wind's caress. Gathered around the casket, there are many bowed faces, mingled in with Xion and Tamamo.
Cooper is here, as is Big Ed and his wife Nadine. Mr. and Mrs. Palmer are flanked by Doctor Hayward and a girl that looks startlingly like Laura, with brown wavy hair. General Briggs and Bobby stand opposite Sheriff Truman, while James Hurley, Keitarou, and Mari fall in next to Xion, while the mysterious Log Lady stands beside Tamamo, cradling her log with an expression of quiet, resigned sadness. With a nod towards the casket, she invites Tamamo to place the flowers atop it.
"And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself." The words seem well chosen--because everyone here, in some way, had a connection to Laura. There's a pause. "I baptised Laura. Taught her in Sunday school. I came to love her in that special way that we love the bold hearted. She was impatient," he says with a smile. "Headstrong. Eager to start her new life. She often said I talked too much. I won't make that mistake today."
There is a quick prayer, and a round of 'amen' which spreads through the congregation. But it looks as though Xion and Tamamo were both right to be concerned... because Bobby Briggs practically shouts his 'amen.' "What are you looking at?! You people make me sick. You're hypocrites! All of us... we knew Laura needed help and none of us gave it to her!" There's a glare towards Leland Palmer.
"And you... Ronette told me what you did. Who you really are. When you least expect it..."
|Xion||Xion, at a funeral and hooded in black, waits until the 'amen' that she does not join in, replacing the vocalization with a hang of her head. Bobby Briggs's shouting makes her subvocalize a soft expression of discomfort, as her left hand rubs her right wrist through the sleeve.
After Bobby says his piece, Xion remains head down, but her voice rises.
"Bobby... can a bad person do good things? Are they allowed to?"
|Go Shijima||Tomari: INVESTIGATION - Ben Horne
Horne laughs at Tomari, as if he'd just told a mild, dinner-party kind of joke. "The only member of our little club with a finer survival instinct than myself is my investor. She has pruned from herself any kind of sentimental weakness. Officer, that woman will meet your 'scariest member' with a smile, and plenty of her own experience. I wish you and yours the best of luck in dealing with Ms. Kageyama."
|Shinnosuke Tomari||A name. That's all he needed. "Thank you, Mr. Horne. I'll return if I have more questions. For now...I have calls to make."
And then, Tomari leaves to calls up every resource he can that *probably* won't get back to Lilian. He needs to know who Ms. Kageyama is.
|Go Shijima||Hellwarmers and Haru: PEOPLE - Leo Johnson
The sheriff isn't here, and Hawk is putting away the records Lilian requested--but Andy is available, for better or worse. The big-hearted, bumbling deputy comes stumbling in, goggle-eyed as usual, when Utsuho and Rin go looking. "Leo...? You want to let him out early?" Andy also has one brain cell. The two can see the gears turning in his head. "You mean... we let him go on purpose and see who comes looking for him? That sounds like a great idea! Here." He literally just hands Utsuho the keyring. "If he's got a belt like Mr. Kikuchi, then it should be fine!"
"Good to know," says Leo to Haru, stepping uncomfortably close as he levers up the phone and removes it. "If I wanted to get you... I'd do it in the dark. But you did okay by me." When he's let out, Leo gives Haru a 'friendly' clap on the shoulder that will probably make him feel like he needs a shower. "My girl's at that funeral. You guys run into her... you tell her there better be food on the table when I get home." There's a glance between Rin, Utsuho, Haru, and Andy.
Andy doesn't look amused at this statement, but holds his peace.
|Tamamo|| As she thought, the ceremony itself is quite foreign, though Tamamo isn't going to repeat the mistake she'd made with that prioress in asking inappropriately timed religious questions. At the Log Lady's prompting, she lays her and Tomari's flowers with the others. Bringing one's hands flat together and raised is an intercultural gesture, though its meaning might be slightly different, when she does it.
There really are a lot of people who have not yet made her acquaintance, busy as she's been with the more peculiarly mystical portions of the investigation, the past several days. And yet, an opportunity for proper meetings doesn't materialize. No sooner has the priest ceased speaking than Bobby is shouting.
Ah, so that's Leland Palmer. He's the one said to wear a mask. If she were to guess, Bobby wishes to tear it off him. Tamamo looks, and then makes a few subtle signs with her hands, hidden behind Xion's back. This is her first chance to take a look at what one of those said to be possessed, and spirit possession, at least, is a topic with which she's very familiar. Pulling a trick to make that mask slip might not be such a bad idea.
It wouldn't be very nice to disrupt a funeral so, but that's already happening. If she can manage to tug at the right string to make BOB react, she has all sorts of curses that would be useful for tracking or hindering an evil spirit. For protecting one who has already been possessed, there are not quite so many. Those procedures tend to focus more on removing the spirit, and she suspects that won't be so easy.
Quietly, "I wonder, as to those conditions that are sufficient, for him to find another host."
|Go Shijima||Lilian: INVESTIGATION - Lumber Mill
"Thanks, Lilian," says Hawk. "Josie Packard--that's the owner, after Andrew died--she'll probably be at the funeral with Catherine and Pete Martell. She doesn't get out much, so you're almost sure to catch her after, if you're not going."
Josie Packard is a bit of a tourist herself--her accent is Chinese, but more noticeably, she seems very taken in by Lilian's sweet approach. When she arrives at the mill all dressed up, Lilian can tell that it's Catherine Martell who's really the business-savvy of the two, but evidently, Andrew left it to Josie instead of her. She regards the proceedings with Lilian's favorite (sour grapes) disguised beneath an air of businesslike pleasantries.
Naturally, she ends up helping Lilian get it for a more affordable price by pointing out operational irregularities, all as a way to make life more difficult for Josie, who she seems to believe neither deserves nor understands the mill. Either way, Lilian is its proud owner, and the paperwork will be taken care of by sundown. It... might be a good idea to keep an eye on Catherine, though. Lilian's Rich Girl lore is high enough that there's grounds to suspect she hasn't seen the last of her.
|Hellwarming Duo||It's Andy! He even comes through and manages to follow Rin's 'logic', much to her delight and Utsuho's mild confusion. Still, it seems to be working out for their plan, and Utsuho lets Rin do the honors of actually unlocking that cell.
Rin: "You're free to go, bro. Just don't get killed somewhere we can't find ya."
Utsuho: "Yeah, stall for time or something if Blue Rose or whoever comes after you."
Rin: "That belt might help ya last longer, at least! But keep an eye out for.. Uh. Ya know."
Rin squints at Kamen Rider Tetra. She's not particularly subtle about it. Utsuho, meanwhile, starts messing with the cell door, opening it and closing it a couple of times before turning to Tetra directly.
"So... Uh. What /is/ your deal, anyway? I still don't get what your thing is with the other Riders. Are you like one of those..." Utsuho snaps her fingers a couple of times in the hopes of it jarring her brain just enough to come up with the right word.
Rin, not one to just let that awkward silence hang, turns to Leo again. "So what're you gonna do now that you're free, huh?"
|Hamada Haru||Leo tries to touch Kamen Rider Tetra on the shoulder and his hand passes through. At that point he seizes the belt at Leo's waist, triggering its release in a smooth one-handed motion while he's still off-balance by the lack of material support. The phone is left with him for whatever reason though.
"In the light or in the dark," Kamen Rider Tetra says, "you'd still drown in the gulf between us."
"If I hear you abused 'your girl', I'll delete your colon," He adds matter-of-factly, meeting Rin's gaze for a moment before walking on out through the wall.
Tetra does pause a moment, most of the way through the wall, leaning over so his head is just barely inside the cell.
"We're all Kamen Riders, that's all," Haru explains, unhelpfully, and then he's gone.
|Hellwarming Duo||Rin: "... Whoa. That's a good one. I'm stealin' that."
Utsuho: "Hehe. He's gonna blow your hole off."
Sadly, Utsuho nods slowly like she's got wisdom beyond her years and understands what Tetra means, but...
It's Utsuho. She doesn't.
|Go Shijima||Tamamo and Xion: EVENT - Funeral
The third thing is: the mask is unwilling, but others may not see.
Tamamo indeed finds that Leland has been possessed. It has taken an unbearable toll on his spirit, over the years--nothing short of torture, which Leland's conscious mind hides. Even that is stretched to its limit now, with his emotions running so high. Certain things draw BOB like a moth to flame. BOB is a spirit that seeks pleasures, and has inhabited Leland for so long that even a drink or a cigar might lure it, to say nothing of a pretty face. It is already near, in fact--because of that girl with the wavy brown hair and glasses, who, absent those things, would bear an eery resemblance to Laura. What it hates, more than anything, is having its fun interrupted, or, more darkly, having competition.
She can see the exact moment when it attempts to take control of Leland, the way his face darkens into a cruel distortion of itself, just human enough to still resemble Leland, but with none of his warmth. If she acts quickly she can get a curse off--but Bobby is indeed determined to rip that mask off.
"Robert," says General Briggs, placing a hand on his son's shoulder...
...but Bobby shakes free, bounding forward. "Of course they can," says Bobby. "Which is why I'm putting this bastard in the ground!!" His fist connects with Leland's jaw, and though he crumples, Tamamo can tell Leland isn't in the driver's seat. It's an act--deliberately made, to sour the spirit of the gathering here. Leland's spirit is suppressed, wounded, crying out, prisoner in its own mortal coil.
|Tamamo|| Here's the evil spirit they've been looking for -- at least, that's the most obvious answer. Horne never did say who his 'king' was, did he?
No matter. Tamamo would be wholly remiss to neglect this opportunity. She's not so taken with theater that she'd allow the villain to get away, just because this wasn't the most dramatic point at which to have a confrontation, here where she had not even expected to find some violent trouble.
That's not to say Tamamo lacks either the interest or a sense of drama. She steps around and quickly forward, briefly touching a hand to Xion's back and whispering, "The man is possessed and the spirit stirs. Quickly, now." Hopefully, Xion will understand what that means.
More loudly, "Please, hold there! I am a healer." That's not the usual word that convinces people, but it's accompanied by mostly-subtle levels of magical charm, full of care and trustworthiness. As well, to Bobby, "Please, wait a moment! I will handle this matter." Xion may instead understand, with her talent for reading hearts, that while they are entirely honest statements, it's also a trick. Tamamo is getting close to Bobby and Leland, but neither the talisman she pulls from her purse, nor the tiny jar of ointment, are for healing.
There's a moment in which a very angry Bobby, or a very suspicious BOB, might try to get in Tamamo's way, and that would be somewhat awkward, as she'd like to behave a proper lady, and that generally precludes giving away an inhuman grip strength. She could even tear her dress, but she's willing to pay that price.
Pay no attention to how she applies the ointment to the man's forehead, rather than sticking to his bruising jaw. Pay no attention to the sticky-papered talisman, that is placed around the back of his neck, and disappears, nor the second talisman that crumples and bursts into ash in Tamamo's hand. There's no need for an onlooker to worry about what's actually happening, since it's almost wholly invisible.
A curse, first, against BOB, that directly saps the spirit, granting the sort of lethargy that would kill a man outright. Raised to the fore like this, in this moment, Tamamo exploits the opportunity to attack the possessor, bypassing the possessed. Not being truly joined spirits, Leland won't feel its effects. That's good, or it would demand from him a deathly sleep. Even those who can remain awake may find they do not wish to, nor will they wish for anything.
A curse, second, more subtle and tricky to find, let alone to remove, that ties together a single thread of shared Fate. Even should BOB flee, Tamamo can follow the string, now that she's placed it. Bringing people together is among her prouder specialties, though it is rarely for this particular sort of reason.
Finally, a preparation, something that can be called neither a blessing nor a curse, but the first step of a longer ritual, placed on Leland. It grants him something akin to a foul and noxious odor to many types of malevolent spirits. It's one of the more effective exorcist tools of Tamamo's knowledge, providing some discouragement to those reluctant to leave, though it does little directly.
All of this done, Tamamo can find Leland some other time, when preparations are properly made, to deal with a cursed and shackled BOB with all due finality. Doing all of it now would be a shade reckless. Even if she's little reason to like what she's heard of Leland, it's uncomfortable to make a judgment as to how much of it was his own fault.
If there's any great risk in this plan, it's that someone will have enough knowledge of curses and spirits to undo her work. She'd rather those shackles not come unlocked until it's safe.
|Go Shijima||Hellwarmers and Haru: PEOPLE - Leo Johnson
"Split some logs," says Leo. "Kick my feet up--like I was gonna, before I got thrown in here. 'For my protection,'" he says, sneering at Andy. "You gonna let him threaten me like that, 'officer?' Pretty lousy 'protection' if you ask me."
"Just go home and stay out of trouble, Leo," Andy says coolly back.
Leo Johnson does indeed go home. He will have a visitor--but not until later tonight.
"I don't like him," says Andy to Rin. "Haru's right to be suspicious. Uhm... would you ladies like some donuts? Lucy said there's a few left," says the deputy in that silly, lilting drawl of his.
|Hellwarming Duo||Utsuho: "That's better. Make sure to do it where you're visible, though."
Rin: "Yeah. Worst thing that happens is you get jumped in a bathroom and nobody knows you got drowned in a toilet or somethin'."
After pulling the key out, Rin hands it back to Deputy Andy, then sighs wearily while slouching back against the bars and watching Leo head out. "Yeah, he's kind of a jerk. If I got free room to relax in while someone else handles any danger, I'd be..."
She pauses for a moment. "I'd be back home, huh?" She shrugs, Utsuho shrugs, and the raven looks at the spot where Tetra had been prior to disappearing.
"I dunno if he trusts anyone, but... I think he knows way more stuff than he talks about. Because... He doesn't talk a lot, huh?" Utsuho asks, getting another shrug from Rin.
And then all attention is on Andy.
Utsuho: "For free?"
Rin: "Hell yeah!"
They're going to ruin their appetites with this.
|Lilian Rook|| Though Lilian has no reason to know the relation between Catherine and Josie, she learns it within moments. Though she has no reason to know what exactly makes the former treat the latter that way, and yet she learns that too. And she especially has no reason to know what Catherine is thinking, in the quiet moments of passive-aggressive tension between them, and yet . . .
Well, Lilian is far from an idiot even when pretending to be less skilled than she is. She allows Catherine to haggle her down (and she records those irregularities for later) much lower than her original offer, but short of what she'd suggested, firmly landing in the realm of 'enough money that Josie still shouldn't really care anyways'. However, after doing so, she insists on paying Catherine a *considerable* 'consulation fee'. She doesn't make it clear whether it is actually something she insists on for Catherine's help in saving her money, or one of those fake words rich people use, but it is a substantial portion of the difference between Catherine's final price and Lilian's first offer; ideally enough to make the matter of the mill go down more smoothly. Before leaving her though, she has some parting words, to the effect of, "Please take care. If it's not too presumptuous, you seem very worried. I can't blame you, what with everything going on in this town. But some worries will only make you feel silly in the end." She doesn't pat her shoulder, because that's for dudes, but it has that feeling.
And then it's time to clean up some loose ends--
|Lilian Rook|| AT A PALADINS TEMPORARY HOLDING FACILITY:
Lilian is already nowhere to be seen, nothing to be done, never and will never be here, before she even enters the area. She won't be seen strutting up to the doors. Because she is a professional.
"It's a shame I'll never be able to thank Xion. Sealing that monster's powers means nobody thinks of him as a threat. Low sec, temporary holding, for unpowered individuals. Exactly as Tomari's precious officer instincts would agree with. Fool that he is. But they all underestimate me, don't they? That suits me just fine for now." Lilian does not say any of this where anyone can hear. Because she is a professional.
She arrives at the building already detached from the gentle suggestion of gravity and matter. She could use her Paladins keycard to walk right in, but that would just tell everyone that a member of the Paladins was here, not on record or on camera. Just like one of the many ghosts of her ancestors, or the half-dream creatures their bloodline is stained in, she never touches the floor. She leaves no footprints. Because she is a professional.
Choosing a sequence of back walls through irrelevant adjoining areas, between staff lounges, supply closets, and general thoroughfares, she passes through every tough, but generic wall, as it were never there. She opens no doors and handles no locks, leaving no fingerprints or residue. Because she is a professional.
Lilian finds the cells without breaking either of her spells once. Though it's draining to maintain them for so long, she already knows that even a low security station like this will have someone around who can sense magic, and re-casting over and over might leave some trace that there was. Of course, it wouldn't identify her, but she wants the staff to believe no magic was involved, because she is a professional.
Benjamin Horne is monitored by security camera, as he should be, placed with a proper view of the hall, without being so voyeuristic as to monitor the toilets of every cell, as a competent and civilized group should. She can't hack it, but that would be against the point anyways. She could destroy it immediately, but that would notify someone the minute a feed cuts out. Instead, she makes certain to gradually bend, warp, and come just short of snapping its mount, careful to pull the wires along with it, with exacting strength and precision, until it leans too far down to see the cell. She of course uses a length of plain metal wire --not from Twin Peaks, but easy to find anywhere-- to provide the leverage, and leave no marks of any weaponry she uses. Because she is a professional.
|Lilian Rook|| She comes to Benjamin Horne in his cell. There's no need for some absurd power field door and enchanted adamantium walls for a mere man like this. The sight of him makes her want to spit, to hit him, to inflict some petty violence to gratify herself, but that would be an amateur move, especially after coming this far. And she won't. Because she is a professional.
She does stare at him for a while. Despite the clock she has left for the day rapidly ticking down, and despite the drain on her magical reserves, she feels the need to soak in this moment. To grope around the dim and hazy foundations of her psyche, and make sure that she can hold it tight. "Ninth: Thou shalt not wear thy power gaudily. To do so is to sew familiarity, which reaps only contempt." She recites to herself. "Third: --Only when a man seeks to tear down the station of another is he then without value." She continues. "Twelfth: --The righteous outweigh the unjust. Stay thy hand not for unnecessary persons. Thirteenth: --Thou shalt never heed the words of that which has consumed the flesh of man.--" She breathes in deeply. "Second: Thy station is thee and thou art thy station. Speak always with its authority, and do not speak that which would tarnish it. Eleventh: Thou shalt kill without hesitation. Doubt proves thou art not fit to take away life, nor to offer it. And Fourth: --The laws of the commandments supersede all other laws." She gets all of them right. Because she is a professional.
The wire twists around Benjamin Horne's neck. She hasn't touched any length but the ends, and only with gloves. A decapitation by sword, a gunshot, a magical blaze, would be so obvious. Let them think it has to do with those tentacled beasts which he is allied with. His own, who would burn the incompetent asset. A single, sharp, superhuman twist is all that it takes to twist his head all the way around, severing his spine completely. With Benjamin Horne in an instantaneous limbo between life and death, Lilian carefully unwraps and pockets the wire. Because she is a professional.
On the way out, she doesn't once think about how fitting her training is for this. She doesn't think about how this relates to her many idle fantasies. She doesn't think about how she'd been taught, and why this would be okay, to those who teach it. She doesn't second guess why it's so easy for her to assassinate someone at all. Because she is a professional.
Nothing happens. At the rotation of the guard, someone will find Benjamin Horne dead in his cell, silently killed by some prehensile appendage around his neck.
AT TWIN PEAKS:
Lilian leaves Josie's place, and meanders on down the rural road, over to the funeral once it is over. She seeks out Tamamo. To ask what's taken place. To update her case file. To catch up. To talk. To spend some time in her company. And then, to unstring that orichalcum choker covered in runes, and to ask her, quite specifically, for some of her talismans. For later.
|Hamada Haru||Kamen Rider Tetra returns to the RV he'd turned up with to give Bobby someplace to cool down during his early Orphenoch transformation, parking his motorcycle alongside it and striding up into the back. He de-transforms and flops on the bed lazily.
It's plain old Haru, then, that pulls up a razor-thin laptop, pops open a tracker page for a cell phone that the 80s isn't prepared to deal with, and watches where Leo goes, noting how long he stays at each location and cross-referencing local maps as he goes.
|Xion||The mood here is awful. There are a host of potent reasons that Nobodies avoid funerals.
The chief among them: The greiving ever wish and hope for a way to undo what has been done. To turn back the clock.
And with a Nobody, sometimes, the dead can return to wholeness.
At the 'cost' of a Nobody, that is.
The other, of course, is that being around such deeply negative emotions as are present - the sepia melancholy and greyscale highlights of life's cessation - at a funeral's events is an extremely Dark moment.
The air swims with it, a terrible thing and BOB as well.
Xion clenches her fist as Bobby Briggs swings his, standing still as BOB is given everything it wants. And yet... Tamamo, ever-bright and shining, calls out that she is here to help. Xion turns her head away from Bobby, and looks to Tamamo, and past her, the air about the aspect clear.
Past her, is Mari and Keiitaro. Xion smiles at the pair, and extends her left hand towards Faiz and Delta. Something becoks the space between them, and a yellow-and-black streak lands in her hand. A medallion?
A phone. She rotates the pad, enters three numbers, and presses SEND. A belt appears around her waist - materializing out of dark voxels - and she slots the phone into the belt.
Silent and without ready loops or announcements, she turns back to Bobby, and with a snarl, drops the phone-greeble flush with the belt, where magenta lines outline an x over her chest and face--.
"That isn't what I meant." Xion exhales, and as the masked armor flares black around her, disappears.
Only to re-appear dropping out of a portal and onto Bobby's back to pin him to the ground and sit on him with a knee.
"What I asked was - can you accept that something wicked can do something good, and allow moments to be moments not about your pain?"
She presses the knee harder, leaning close to his ear. "Do you understand, Bobby? You gave him what he wanted, and now you have to be stopped, or else Tamamo won't be able to fix your *mess*."
|Go Shijima||Tamamo and Xion: EVENT - Funeral
Twin Peaks is probably the one place in the country where 'I'm a healer' carries as much weight as 'I'm a doctor.' It's not that those are terribly common here... just that there's a certain perceived 'rightness' of the word where other places might not have it. Tamamo is given a wide berth to do her work--but not without argument from Bobby.
"Handle it? You'll -handle- it? Lady, if you want it handled, then back up and let me bury this piece of trash."
"Bobby, please," says James. "Look at him."
Leland is curled up in a ball, sobbing and uttering his daughter's name. But Tamamo knows that it's a trick of the spirit--a tactic often used by possessing entities, in order to impugn the character or credibility of those who suspect them. BOB is gleeful--until it realizes what Tamamo is doing. Then, Leland begins wailing and thrashing, the spirit attempting to cause a scene. It even attempts to outright harm Leland, causing his hair to turn shock white--and for a split second, she sees the entity, rather than Leland.
A sweaty man with an animal leer and long, filthy grey hair that travels just past the gritty stubble on his chin. For that moment, the noises sound more like the growls of a woodland predator than the wails of an extremely unfortunate father.
The final talisman is more than the spirit is willing or able to put up with. The foul odor drives BOB to retreat, for now--and Tamamo can see through the magic of her connection that it's heading into the woods. This is the kind of spirit that must either be let in, or else expend great effort to wear down one's defenses. Someone may be foolish or innocent enough to make that mistake with it, but at least she has exhausted the spirit to the point of making the latter approach impossible.
"Leland! Leland!!" Sarah Palmer screams, running over to try and help her husband.
"Mrs. Palmer, it's alright! Tamamo is helping him."
Mari intercedes, attempting to calm Mrs. Palmer down, and James Hurley moves in to stand between Bobby and Leland. That gives Xion all the space and time she needs to tackle him to the ground. He struggles against Xion, at first refusing to answer, but...
"...fine." There's no further resistance from Bobby, and he eases up beneath her until she'll allow him to get up. When he does, he doesn't even look at Leland. Bobby pushes past James, then his father. General Briggs sighs.
"Young lady," quietly drawls the general, "I intuit by your intervention and the nature thereof that you are a friend of Robert's. Perhaps a new friend, given your unusual acoutrements, but a friend nonetheless. Please... be patient with him."
The funeral eventually continues after a brief and uncomfortable pause. There are no more outbursts, not from Leland. Not from Bobby. Not from anyone gathered. She is buried, in relative peace. There is a reception--but Bobby isn't there. If Haru decides to tail Leo, he'll be taken to various places around town, most of them mundane in nature. But there are a few suspicious exchanges of money. He's part of the town's drug scene, Haru later discovers, when he follows Leo to a hiding spot.
Then... his house. Night time. And there, creeping around in the dark... Bobby Briggs.
|Tamamo|| Tamamo expected resistance following the beginning of her treatment. The first curse, and the ritual preparation, are both exceedingly obvious to the target, but at the same time, beginning with that first curse robs BOB of much of the power that would be needed to resist her. She holds on until she's done, then continues holding Leland as BOB leaves.
Now there is only a long-wounded man, perhaps responsible for many wrongs, and perhaps only for not having shown the strength of a hero. She won't judge that. At least, she'll leave it for later. The next items from her purse are simple healing items -- a pouched, wooden talisman for his pocket, and a pinch of something that smells the way salt tastes. Those will at least calm him, and ward off complications before his natural healing can help him recover, though she has nothing on-hand to help with whitened hair.
A little later, and the funeral service is largely over. Tamamo wasn't expecting to see Lilian while she was still here, and welcomes her with as much brightness as her carefully-chosen and appropriately somber funeral attire, together allows. "Oh, Lilian, did you already accomplish your other business?" Upon being asked, she explains, "That evil spirit was here, but it has fled. Do not worry. I have placed a line around it. I shall follow it when we are all prepared, and it will have no chance to bring suffering to another. Mr. Palmer may yet recover, though what such an experience has done to his mind, I could not say. Those possessed for much of their lives do often have continual difficulty, even when those tending to them are competent."
Tamamo holds out both hands for the choker and, upon being given it, runs her fingers in a subtle pattern along the inside. She holds it up to her cheek, and whispers old secrets. She hands it back together with a fat stack of talismans, tied together with red string, though the contents prove to be varied. This would be convenient for carrying, but not for using quickly. One might guess, correctly, that she'd been preparing it for when Lilian would eventually ask, as they're far too carefully made to have simply been spares on hand.