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|Timespace Riders|| September 15, 2014
Harry Reid International Airport
The nearest Warpgate is in Vegas, about five miles away. It is therefore entirely down to personal preference, whether you choose to take up Garland Briggs' offer of an early-morning flight, or head to the gate in Seattle, Washington.
Despite the distance between the airport and the warpgate, the unincorporated town of Paradise may as well just be part of Vegas, essentially being adjacent to the more famous city, and technically containing most of the Strip as well as the university and most of the tourist attractions. It's as if whatever strange force is responsible for these things simply put the gate in Vegas to spare townies the trouble of explaining the difference to confused tourists.
The attack must have happened inside the terminal building proper--because there's a section of police tape cordoning off a chain 'restaurant' (really, a glorified junk-sweets bakery). Beige-uniformed LVMPD officers (mixed in among them, a woman in a navy FBI jacket) are posted outside of it, while a small forensics team gathers what they can.
The bustle of the airport is largely uninterrupted, but there are rubberneckers along the way. Outside the window, the tarmac is visible, as is the bizarre skyline composing of taxi-ing commercial flights, chain-link fences, skyscrapers, office buildings and, most deliberately close, a gaudy pairing of a giant black pyramid with a sphinx out front. Also, for some reason, the Washington Monument?
The FBI agent--"Tammy Preston."--is a smartly-dressed woman in a two piece suit, grey with a splash of salmon from her dress shirt, itself a callback to a time just a Warpgate trip away. Her red-brown hair is tied back in a businesslike bun. After introductions, "We'll take all the help we can get--our witnesses couldn't see the attacker, and the cameras weren't much help, either."
The inside of the Cinnabon looks like a hurricane went through it. Considering it was a fight between some kind of corrupted rider and a veteran kaijin, this may not be too surprising. Parts of the floor show what appear to be tire tracks, while others show what must be claw marks from the Dog Orphenoch, Bobby Briggs. Tables and chairs have been overturned, and one is even embedded in the wall. A light fixture swings haphazardly, evidently struck by some kind of high output energy weapon. The fight progressed into the kitchen, which is a disaster area, too.
It's not clear why the FBI would have a presence here--but Tammy doesn't seem the standoffish type, at least. You're evidently free to investigate the crime scene as you see fit, so long as you don't move any of the little plastic evidence markers.
|Remee Halcyon||Remee ends up just chartering her own flight to get in, just in case there would be any issue with taking her guns on a plane. (She also prefers to have more room to stretch out.)
"Hopefully we'll clear the bar of 'any help you can get'," she comments to Tammy , and then smiles. "I'm sure it'll all work out."
Once introductions have been made, Remee goes to check out the scene. She crouches down next to one of the evidence markers, and her nose wriggles.
After a moment, she frowns to herself. Crouching down to sniff at every inch of the floor, in hopes of picking up scent trails, is... going to both be awkward and look awkward. "Excuse me," she says, and heads for the closest bathroom.
A minute later, a Crime Scene Dog emerges from the bathroom, and walks over to start checking out the olfactory portion of the scene.
You can tell that it's a Crime Scene Dog because it's wearing a harness that has 'CRIME SCENE DOG' scrawled over it in marker. Please disregard the fact that it has a knife and a human-appropriate hunting rifle strapped to its harness, those are entirely normal things for a Crime Scene Dog to carry, as is the radio earpiece strapped to the side of its head.
Please also disregard that the Crime Scene Dog is in fact a dark-furred North American gray wolf and not actually anything close to any domesticated breed of dog.
Anyway, the totally legit Crime Scene Dog goes to canvas the scene, trying to get a sense of the scents present, conveniently being close to the ground to do so, and see if there's been anyone present aside from the kaijin, the rider, and the people here on the scene.
|Shotaro Hidari||Shotaro was on the scene, having heard about the attack but without there being someone able to ID the Kamen Rider in question. The fact that it was another Kamen Rider got his interest immediately. Shotaro himself was dressed in his usual three-piece suit, with his fedora. Try as he might to dress as the part of a hard-boiled detective.
Shotaro greets the FBI agent easily enough, and while he starts looking over the scene asks some questions. "So why were the cameras and eyewitnesses unable to describe the attacker?" he asks, taking his time to try and reconstruct the crime scene and fight based on clues. Trying to walk back through the scene and make sense of what was there.
Shotaro goes to at least check out the disaster area that is the kitchen, trying to make sense of what had transpired. His eyes not only tried to reconstruct the fight but also looked for clues that normally might have been missed by others. Putting his detective senses to work. Though he does take a moment to double-take at the 'Police dog'.
|Hellwarming Trio||"Is this really... Food?"
"Uhuh. It's gross-looking, but easy to eat."
"And you can cover it in stuff so you don't see it!"
"But I'd still be eating this."
The raven and the kasha are hard at slacking off today in the airport, having opted to take the scenic route via Garland Briggs' offered flight despite being able to fly on their own. Although they're not the sort to really prefer that sort of thing, it's a new experience for their new companion today: a pink-haired girl in a blue dress.
Thankfully, flying on a UFO once meant that she didn't puke too many times on the way over. They probably won't taking the return flight back, though.
Right now, they're all staring at a loaded hot dog covered in all sorts of condiments while Satori turns it around slowly in its shitty paper holder, trying to figure out how to actually eat the thing. She manages to stomach two whole bites before passing it over to Rin, then leads the two over towards where their contact is waiting.
"Are any the witnesses here?" Utsuho asks, actually sounding serious for once while gesturing at the wrecked Cinnabon. "I mean, maybe they just forgot? Or... Ugh." Satori, noticing Utsuho's actual focus, remains silent for now as she probes at Tammy's mind a bit, listening to her surface thoughts in case there's any discrepancies or information being withheld.
Rin, being the resident ghost-whisperer, does some rounds inside the Cinnabon proper. Rather than looking at any of the evidence, though, she looks for spirits that might be lingering after the fight. She can't quite remember if anyone actually died during the incident, but she's scoping out the place in case anything did that she can actually speak to and interrogate for post-death details.
|Petra Soroka|| Despite having a perfectly serviceable flying mecha that could have made the trip, and would be useful to have nearby if things get spicy, Petra decided to take the offer of a flight. Not out of any strategic decision, but because she knew she'd want to die the instant one of the others referenced a conversation from the plane that she was left out of. Not being part of an in-joke is legitimately a worse fate than nearly dying in combat.
Petra walks over to the scene, her eyes screwed shut against the dryness and heat of the southwestern air, and her heavy bomber jacket awkwardly tied around the waist of her overalls. She is, at least, prepared, with a fresh coat of sunscreen, sunglasses on, lip balm in her pocket, everything except for any detective skills. So when she responds to "We'll take all the help we can get" with "That's what we're here for," and a confident smile, she's projecting nothing but bravado. Bravado that immediately falls away into a frown when she enters the Cinnabon, taking stock of the destruction.
|Tamamo|| Tamamo has taken the opportunity to spend the night in Twin Peaks, as she had the previous time they'd been asked to investigate the strangeness of the area, treating it like a little vacation (even if it sort of totally isn't) with Lilian. While she does rise early, she looks and acts rather sleepy, dreamily moving through morning motions until the Sun is fully in the sky and has had time to warm the air. That a passenger flight doesn't call for her to do much more than board, tuck her tails away (how she does this is unclear, and they always pop back before long), and rest in a seat is a good thing.
"I suppose I have not had many opportunities to fly, as such. To be carried is a bit different. Ah, there was that time, to the Dragon's Garden... I wonder, are there movies on these sorts of airplanes, as well?" She is innocent of nearly all knowledge of in-flight amenities.
After landing, she spends a bit of time looking around and pointing to gaudy casino advertisements and displays to Lilian (and potentially to anyone else who also flew with them), saying things like, "Look, there! A pyramid, really? How strange!" and generally being a very obvious tourist.
Though she isn't, very technically, a tourist, after all. She looks around for 'a person in charge' upon reaching the crime scene, and introduces herself as, "Tamamo-no-mae, as it happens. A pleasure."
In regards to CSI ability, hers is nearly wholly unorthodox, and she begins by clearing her throat, and addressing her fellow elites. "Ahem. I shall begin when all are ready. To find a focal point should be no issue. From there, please remain in contact with that point, or otherwise, with another who has maintained such contact. From an outside perspective, it shall not take overly long."
'A focal point,' as it turns out, means some part of the scene which has a lot of obvious evidence of things happening -- a place where both of those who were involved in the fight likely stood, at points in time reasonably close together, or the remains of something that had been badly damaged.
|Xion||Having started her morning at Big Ed's Gas Barn on the outskirts of Twin Peaks, Xion was now two big mugs of coffee into her day - and a little socially exhausted already. She had prepared herself for getting into a bunch of trouble, had an unexpected increase in the performance stress of her day, and then--
Got into a pressurized tube and flung herself through space because of peer pressure from old friends. Having taken an unsatisfyingly wired nap on the plane, when they reached the airport Xion was not in a very investigatory mood.
"I think I've already fallen into 'back gear'." Xion mutters, as she watches the '''police''' (a cat, a bird, a CRIME dog, and a Satori) case the joint over a third cup of coffee, this one pulled from an airport.
"Tastes like plastic... but that's not related to the case." Xion grouses in flannel, eyes hitting a disinterested three-quarters lidded so fierce the Satori might be driven away from her. The CRIME DOG, strapped up, doesn't even alert her.
"The problem is that the cameras are too slow." She answers, about the faulty reception equipment. "The most useful footage is probably at the start, before things happened."
|Timespace Riders||>Remee: Crime Scene Dog it up
"Oh, you're fine," says Tammy to Remee, waving a hand dismissively. "I'm on a task force with all sorts of colorful personalities. There used to be a guy that divined answers with a blindfold, rocks and tin cans--but that was before my time." Remee is excused from class, all the same, and the Crime Scene Wolf is allowed on-scene as a matter of course.
Two things she'll pick up on right away: there are other scents besides what would be expected. First, a catalogue of the expected: there's the motor oil and burnt rubber of this strange Drive-alike. Then there's the ozone-esque smell of Orphenoch energy, tinged with the scent of an unfamiliar dog. But there is also another, much stronger ozone smell, mingled with the near imperceptible scent given off by venomous snakes when agitated.
"Did we ask for a K9?"
"I'm not sending it away. Look at the size of it. Besides, looks like we got one that's been at this a while. Not sure about giving 'em pieces, though..."
>Shotaro: Why were the cameras and eye-witnesses unable to describe the attacker?
Tammy pulls up the recording on her phone, showing it off for Shotaro. "Too fast. All that 'enhance' stuff is made-for-tv, you know? This is the best we could get." A freeze-frame of a blurry red figure and a white-tailed, grey dog kaijin fighting. "Deputy Briggs said in his police report that he and his father only had a chance thanks to his sense of hearing. Couldn't *see* this guy, but I guess he played it by ear." Tammy snorts. "Sorry."
The kitchen appears to have been the second half of the fight. This must've been the point where Bobby started turning things around, because the claw marks outnumber the laser burns--and because the tire tracks trace a circuitous path around the back of house, one long drift that starts near a fryer and appears to take the assailant back into the dining area. Standing in the doorway, he can line up the tracks with ones along the same trajectory near the entrance; a fighting retreat.
>Utsuho: Are there any witnesses here?
>Xion: Cameras are too slow.
"Afraid not," says Tammy. "Your friend there," she continues, motioning with her phone to Xion, "Is on the money. Human eyes and cameras are too slow. We do have a lot of people that felt like they were... being weighed down, like that feeling you get in a running nightmare. Aside from that, the only guy that came close to seeing anything was that deputy from Washington, and..." Even then, he was mostly leaning on his sense of hearing to fight.
>Rin: Did anyone die here?
Thankfully, no--this attack, for whatever reason, seems to have been laser focused on Garland Briggs, and halted thanks to his son. Be that as it may, Rin soon has little reason to suspect this attacker *won't* kill--because of what Tammy says to Petra.
>Petra: That's what we're here for.
"Well, I sure can't complain. You guys did us a major solid back in the 80s, from what I hear." She looks like she would have been like, nine, back then. "So I guess I better let you know why they have me out here--this isn't the only attack like this. One in New York, another in South Dakota. Too fast to see. And the people in Buckhorn and NYC weren't lucky enough to have an Orphenoch bodyguard." She shudders. "Never seen anything like it."
>Tamamo: Look for a focal point.
The search for one takes her to the kitchen, with Shotaro. Fine white powder has been spilled beneath the dented sink. This looks like the point at which Bobby and the assailant were the closest together. Given the insalubrious sweets this place has on offer (or does when it's in operation) it wouldn't be hard to mistake for sugar--if it weren't for the small plastic baggie that slid just past one of the legs.
|Lilian Rook|| Lilian has elected to stay the night in Twin Peaks. She lies effortlessly about why if asked, but it's really just because she has so many fond memories of staying in that hotel with Tamamo and Strawberry and the others that she wouldn't miss the excuse to do so again.
Of course, that means it's basically a repeat of last time, but even more so. Grandiloquent tips, buying every local speciality she can get on short notice, every in-flight amenity, something from both airports along a one-way trip, and literally every single thing Tamamo asks for. It's unnecessary and over the top, yes, but you just don't get to reprise a fond memory like this often!
Though, of course Lilian ends up carrying bags, which looks a little out of place at a crime scene (if she didn't already in every single respect but the Paladins badge anyways). She blows through the cordon as if it were a mild inconvenience, and leaves talking to the FBI agent up to the detective. She can be heard disdainfully muttering "You really just can't replace Cooper, can you." to herself, though.
It doesn't take her long, between looking at the battle damage and drawing conclusions, and not even because she cheated. "Everything about this bothers me." says Lilian, tilting her cheek against a fingertip, elbow in her hand, and looking utterly unbothered. "Officer Shinnosuke was never anywhere close to this fast, for one. For another, the damage is very superficial and highly contained for a close quarters battle exceeding any camera's shutter speed; it'd be unsurprising if they'd blown through an exterior wall straight away."
"The number and angle of missed shots, even hitting the ceiling, suggests that the assailant wasn't used to shooting at that speed or distance. Even with the Deputy's best efforts, it shouldn't have been that hard to land a single human-baseline hospitalizing blow past him, if he could barely perceive the attacker at all, and if they weren't confident in that, all it would take would be to simply force Deputy Briggs to bodyblock the general until he keeled over from repeated attacks. It feels like the work of an amateur assassin unused to their powers."
|Remee Halcyon||Crime Scene Dog endeavours to relay her findings via the radio while not being spotted speaking into it. Halfway through, she feels a bit silly going to this much trouble - it's not like most people here haven't seen werewolves before? But she's committed to the bit, now.
First things first, by request: she heads over to Petra, sits, and holds up a paw in shaking position.
Secondly, she goes back over the crime scene - there's scents of a snake of some kind, but... no other signs, maybe. No shed scales, chipped fangs - maybe it didn't participate in the fighting.
So, thirdly, figuring out where it went. She goes back to the spot she'd originaly discovered the scent, and gets to work - looking for other instances, moving in slow wide circles to try to find other bits of that distinct orphenoch/snake scent, trying to find and then follow a trail.
|Hellwarming Trio||Xion's deep dull dreary eyes indeed have Satori staring right at her. Rather than asking about the plasticky coffee, though, she instead focuses on that comment about the cameras. "If our suspects can move that quickly, then... Yes, that makes sense. And if anyone was nearby at the time, perhaps they might have noticed something in that moment as well."
She pauses for a longer moment after that, however, to just keep staring at Xion after the fact. "... So quiet." She murmurs, perhaps in wonder or awe about something, but doesn't elaborate as she instead focuses on the agent once again once questions get answered about the witnesses and cameras.
"Being weighed down... Nnh. That's just like what Teach used to deal with."
"The one that the attacker looks like?"
"Uhuh. But it can't be him, so who...?"
More questions start coming up, especially when the agent mentions attacks in New York and South Dakota. That gets Rin's attention as she looks between Tammy and Petra a few times, especially at that last part about the attack in Buckhorn and NYC. Combining that with Lilian's assessment, then, has the cat youkai looking confident in her own thoughts as she strides right up to the agent.
"That must narrow down this one, then. It's gotta be someone that's got a bone to pick ol' Briggs. Gotta be a recent thing, though, 'cause then they woulda become an Orphenoch way back when!"
"But that doesn't explain the attacks in York and Dakota. Unless..." Satori furrows her brow lightly while messing with her floating eye idly, mostly to keep her hands busy while her brain works. "Were the attackers there focused on specific targets, too? Or a specific place? We may at least be able to predict a next target if we can't identify them based on who or what was attacked."
|Shotaro Hidari||Shotaro nods once, watching the camera footage. It was enough for him to get a picture, and Xion was right on the money. "Are you familiar with this Kamen Rider then?" he asks her. Shotaro hasn't crossed paths with Drive or Mach, so he's not entirely versed in what their skill sets are. Though he is aware of fast Kamen Riders, given who he works with.
Moving through he hears that there was another Orphenoch at the scene, at least one that Remee claims she could smell. There were two other attacks from a very fast opponent, and it appears that the victim in this only managed to live because of his senses. It was clear too that the attacker realized quickly he couldn't overcome the bodyguard and reversed course.
Lilian makes an observation, though he wonders about that. Though he is forced to agree considering the other two attacks were assassinations...not prolonged combats. "Or someone inexperienced with fighting. It could be a professional assassin, which if you get into this kind of engagement you've already lost."
He crouches at the white powder and takes a sample. Something that Philip can look at later. Assassin, Snake, and Speed. Satori asks the question before he can, which is fine. There is a piece to this he doesn't understand...and trying to unravel that is where he can start.
|Chase|| Word gets around. Word that Kamen Rider Drive has been terrorizing the town of Twin Peaks. Except, it can't be Drive. It'd be wishful thinking on Chase's part to believe that. Even at his worst, this sort of behavior does not fit the person known as Officer Tomari. No, this is an imposter. Though if they're a roidmude, or some sort of different kaijin all together, remains to be seen. If this really does end up being the work of Tomari however, it's his job to stop him, like he always has.
Driving his way to the airport, Chase parks his motorcycle before making his way up to the rest of the Elites, and probably more importantly, the crime scene.As usual, he's quiet, opting to instead communicate with people by simply staring at them with an extremely stern face.
Once he's given the go ahead to examine the scene, Chase breaks off from the rest of the group, walking quickly through the Cinnabon as he considers his options.
He /could/ flip the store over looking for the tiniest hint, but he would probably have to contend with everyone else, and then the FBI. Not advisable. Alternatively, he could work closely with the Paladins, as they are seemingly the most equipped to process these sorts of scenes. No, because outside of a few outliers, he does not trust the Paladins.
% There is however, one option he tends to forget often. Calling upon the Watch. Perhaps, in this moment, where he's already talked himself out of two other potential solutions, this is his best call.
Pulling a small, black flip phone from his jacket, Chase dials a phone number on the device and brings it up to his ear.
"The incident involving the Fake Drive. Was anyone there? What can you tell me?"
|Petra Soroka|| "This isn't the only attack like this."
Petra's eyes widen. "Who were the other victims? Is there any known connection between them, or to the General? And by "attack like this", you mean, by a Rider?"
...highly contained for a close quarters battle"
"We do have a lot of people that felt like they were... being weighed down, like that feeling you get in a running nightmare."
"That sounds like this was some sort of, time manipulation effect or something, right? Not just the actual speed of the Deputy and the attacker. Like it was designed to seal people out of perceiving or interacting with the fight until it was over with. Did the General experience that too?" Petra's brief moment of focus is nearly completely obliterated by her excitement at petting the Crime Scene Dog, her serious expression wiped away by the absolute joy of feeling toe beans. The fact that it's a person and not just a dog makes it feel Different, Somehow, and she remembers that she's standing at the scene of an attempted assassination.
"You need a spot where the fight was focused, Tamamo?" She glances over at Renee, sniffing out trails. "How precise do we need to be with that, should we make sure this other snake Orphenoch has a presence at that focus spot too?"
|Tamamo|| "Oh, I wonder as to what this powder might be? I see no proper container, and so, it should not have been meant to be here... was it...?" It's not like there's a box of baking soda or bag of flour nearby, either. But, since she doesn't know what it is, and it isn't something likely subject to magical analysis, she leaves it be in favor of her primary reason for being here. Surely, it will become clear in little time, regardless.
"Come here, if you please, and provide me your hand -- or paw, as available." Yes, she's calling everyone over. "Unless it is that you would rather not see whatever might be so revealed."
When everyone is available and in close contact, she seats herself by the sink, smoothing out her clotes under her, and reaches to just touch the edge of the spill with two finger-tips. She presses against the inner cabinet and, with senses and force well outside what can be described in physical terms, she reaches for--
--and she traces the line back, following it through the tangles of all fates that had joined together, in this place. It's not that present in which she's interested, the scene of so many combing for evidence, but that particular day that provided a particular meeting.
When she finds it, for all those who've accepted her offer, the vision of the past replaces the present, a conveniently frozen time, a point in a recording, a line upon a book, ready to be read, examined, and reveal whatever secret was obscured by time.
This is not time travel, of course. This past is not subject to change, but it is subject to all the senses one otherwise possesses.
|Hellwarming Trio||When Tamamo asks for everyone to gather around, the youkai oblige! It takes a bit of wrangling from Satori to get Utsuho's and Rin's attention for it, but it's far easier than it would have been without her around.|
|Shotaro Hidari||Shotaro after examining the powder will take Tamamo on her offer. This isn't the weirdest thing he's ever considered taking part in for clues.|
|Xion||She could be full of utterly aimless energy, but the unease of the place dampens Xion to a lingeringly empty energy. Bouncing around and rubbing on everything - excitedly pursuing all the possibilities - was deeply out of place, and the dynamo of a clash lay cold and strewn about.
So she nursed a cooling cup of dark coffee and tried to piece together the known details.
"Well, most of us are familiar with the 'power' we're talking about. Drive has the power of the Heaviness, a sort of gravitic disturbance that acts like an extreme burst of speed for those that observe it. Several other Riders have that power - Mach, and Chase," She continues, to the entrance of Chaser himself. "as well as the Roidmude. But it's probably not the Roidmude."
Straightening, Xion's energy turns over while Lilian reasons out her parameters. "No, I think that's right. What we have here is a bunch of weird circumstances. The fight should have been more destructive, if the user of Drive's power wasn't practiced with it. And if they just were -bad- at it, they'd cause a lot more damage at that speed and power, wouldn't they? The thing that makes it line up better would be..." Xion taps her cup lightly against her chin, and then glances at the FBI Agent (who was very much Not Dale Cooper). "What about... If the assailant was actually very capable with Drive's power? They evaded all the cameras and being seen, and then fought someone they had a huge advantage against... to cause a reaction. What reaction?"
"This reaction? So is the danger here, or somewhere else?"
|Petra Soroka|| Petra joins everyone gathering up around Tamamo, but she awkwardly fumbles around for a moment about where to put her hand to join the connection.
"This reaction? So is the danger here, or somewhere else?"
"That's true, it's not a subtle power if every civilian nearby felt it. It was basically guaranteed to draw us out here, so it could be that the General is alive on purpose, though that wouldn't explain the purpose of the other attacks." It's a confusing crime scene when you can't tell whether the attacker was very skilled or very clumsy.
|Timespace Riders||>Remee: Find the Snake Orphenoch
If it was here, it sure isn't now. The trail goes cold once it leaves the police cordon--but she can at least surmise that whoever it was is surely a witness to the fight, if they were able to observe it undetected.
>Chase: The incident involving Fake Drive. Was anyone there?
Chase's contact puts him on hold for a minute or two. After what must have been a few calls, texts, what have you, he's speaking to a different voice. "I sure was, buddy! You must be that Grim Reaper I hear so much about, huh? Scary!" This man sounds like he hasn't grown up since some long-gone days of being a motorcycle punk. "I got to take a look at those two. The bastard in red--Drive, right? These days, when it comes to time, what I say goes. He was pissing me off, attacking that Bobby just for trying to protect his old man. So I told time, 'hey, knock it off with that crap!' Then I stabilized his Orphenoch gene and got a better look. The year '1989' mean anything to you?" The man pauses. "It was plastered on that fake Drive's shoulder, in big white numbers."
>Rin and Satori: Were the attackers in New York and Dakota focused on specific targets, too?
>Petra: Who were the other victims? Any known connection between them, or to the General? Did the General experience the time dilation, too?
Tammy puts her phone away, then procures a tablet from her briefcase. Powering it up, she pulls up a few news articles. "They were," she confirms for the hellions. "The New York attack was focused on a glass box at the top floor of a major tech company's corporate headquarters. The owner was big into occult stuff--some of the other people on the task force think it could be related to Project Blue Book." She pauses, then elaborates. "Aliens. Ghosts." Lowering her voice, so the cops don't hear, "The White and Black Lodges. We don't know why, but we suspect he was trying to close a potential door into the Black Lodge--the victims were a college kid the owner had hired to watch the box for 'incursions,' and what we're assuming was his girlfriend. Wrong place, wrong time, in her case." Definitely at least a tenuous connection to General Briggs, there. But what about the killing in Buckhorn?
"Drug-related, we're suspecting. Same identifying signs on the body--bludgeoned at extreme speed. Like someone crashing through a windshield, hitting the pavement, but worse. No identifying info on the body. Not prints, not dental, not ID. We only found him by chance--hunter's dog picked up on the smell." She grimaces. "The only clue we have for identity is the disappearance of an informant of ours, around the same time, who we were hoping would lead us to some actionable info on a major player in that area." As for the time dilation question, Tammy nods--but she's content to let Xion field that one.
>Shotaro: Take a sample of the white powder
Philip confirms that the powder is cocaine--high grade. It's highly unlikely that Bobby (at least, these days) would've had it on him, and even a cursory ask about the general's character would tell him that's even less likely. He can only conclude that Another Drive is either a user, or was hoping to plant it on his victim as a smokescreen. This kind of thing isn't easily accessible to normal people--he'd either have a supplier, or be one himself.
>Lilian: It feels like the work of an amateur assassin unused to their powers.
The relative peace of the sugary fried garbage dispensary is disrupted by a sudden swirling of wind, an undercurrent of sand kicked up as a grey scarf unfolds from nothing to deposit an arch, book-wielding twink in the investigation team's midst. Some of the officers startle, but Tammy waves them down dismissively.
|Timespace Riders||BGM: 'Mysterious Woz' - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAC2dpZj8B4
"Impressive, as expected, Dame Rook," comes the praise from the Demon King's retainer. The book in his hand, open just a moment before, snaps shut.
Strolling through the crime scene with arms thrown wide, "I, Woz, prophet of the one true timeline, have been graciously sent by my Demon King to assist in this matter." With a hand over his heart, he bows at the waist. "By his command, I am at your disposal.~"
Rising from his bow with a coy smile, "Dame Rook is mostly correct. According to this book," he says, tucking it back under his arm, "The would-be killer is, in fact, Another Rider--a monster created by stealing and forcibly implanting the history of a rider onto a willing... or unwilling host. It is unlikely that this host would be Officer Tomari, as hosts are chosen according to their strongest desires. As for his skill..." Woz purses his lips. "I cannot speculate. Some are most clumsy and uncoordinated, but others, especially given time to grow accustomed, are anything but."
|Timespace Riders||>Tamamo: Come here, if you please, and provide me your hand. Past Vision: Begin
Woz does as he's asked. The book even mysteriously disappears, so both of his hands are therefore free. See? He's a team player.
The fight is brutal and vicious. Another Drive is taking great pains to leave as little signs of his presence as is possible, but Bobby is able to hear him out. The first few attacks are in Another Drive's favor--but things don't stay that way for long after the whine of a laser pistol powers up.
"Tomari?!" Bobby's human form is projected on the counter as fleeing patrons escape in slow motion, confusion and hurt displayed upon them as his physical Orphenoch form bares its claws.
"Guess again, Officer."
Another Drive's aim is knocked clear by Bobby's clawed foot, saving the downed general's life. He crawls to safety in slow motion, evidently answering Petra's concern. Even Bobby is slower, but the way the fight is going seems to speak more to Bobby's determination more than to Another Drive's lack of skill--Twin Peaks must have had a busy 25 years.
The fight continues into the kitchen. Another Drive tries to line up a shot on the general, a small plastic bag in his other hand. The whine of the pistol gives him away, and Bobby shoulder-checks him into the sink, causing it to fall. Another Drive snarls, and peels off. It would seem Shotaro had the right idea, as the vision was over--this was an assassin, forced into an honest fight for which he wasn't prepared.
|Shotaro Hidari||Shotaro's phone rings and he picks it up. It's a strange flip phone that sort of looks like a beetle. "Shotaro," Philip on the other end speaks. "The powder is a drug, cocaine. Really high quality." This causes Shotaro to think for a moment. "So he'd need a dealer..." With that the other death makes sense. A drug bust went wrong, or rather, the undercover cop was discovered.
The vision also reveals some details that were only able to be speculated on. Specifically the fight and how it went down. The bag is in the False Rider's hand. The fact assassin was not bad but rather forced into a fair fight where it'd be at a disadvantage. This connects some dots...which means this was either a professional assassin or one that works for an organization.
Someone who wanted at least two of these targets dead. There is also the Serpent Orphinach that was there, and who was a witness. Shotaro looks over the footage again, this time trying to get an angle on the crowd. Where the sent of the Orphinach started and ended...and narrow down the possibilities of who it can be.
|Remee Halcyon||Why exactly did Remee decide to do the 'Crime Scene Dog' thing, again? Was it for a joke? It really just felt like, in retrospect, a spur of the moment thing. And now it feels too awkward to actually say 'hey this is me' even if by now most people seem to be catching onto the fact.
Well, at least it earned her some pets. Pets that she absolutely doesn't need, she's a strong independent werewolf, not a dog.
... Though... Drive? ... Wait... There was that familiar scent, not the snake, but Another Drive - she smelled *something* like it before... And the descriptors being given by the others about the Roidmudes...
The wolf goes to excuse herself, which mostly just means wandering off, heading back into the bathroom. Five minutes, and a quick phone call to a courier service later, Human!Remee emerges, and tries to reintegrate back into the crowd here like she'd always been here.
"Hey, so... a while back, there was this... Dark Drive? And I ran into him, and - he turned into this other thing that I guess was a Roidmude after I shot him, and he got away, but he dropped this watch... It's a long story."
On cue, the courier (who may have broken a few traffic laws on the drive in from the warpgate) runs up and hands her a small box, panting. "Right, thank you -" she says, grabbing a wad of bills and pressing them into his hand, before taking the box and opening it, showing the contents to Woz.
"This thing, maybe?" she says, showing the Drive ridewatch.
|Hellwarming Trio||"Three locations, three targets."
"And two of 'em had ties to stuff that happened here. So that means..."
"That third guy must've had some info on that player of yours."
Getting her brain back into gear as well, Utsuho phrases it in perhaps the worst way possible while finally finishing off that gross hotdog. As she does, Rin crosses her arms while hopping back and forth on alternating feet. "If they're still hangin' around, I might be able to talk to 'em."
As Rin makes that suggestion, Satori lowers her voice to explain: "She can speak to the spirits of the dead. Ah... Provided they haven't already passed, that is."
Woz's arrival gets a confused look from the three, followed by more relieved looks from Utsuho and Rin when he states that it probably isn't the same Drive they know. Their relief continues even as Tamamo shows the group what had happened, and it soon gives way to excitement once they get hyped up by the fight and forget that it's a vision of the past rather than something happening right this moment.
"That all but confirms the unskilled assassin theory."
"And I bet the other two had a way easier time of it because they didn't run into Bobby or anyone strong enough to survive the ambush."
"So it's gotta be the..." Rin pauses, then lowers her voice out of discretion for the agent's own quiet utterances. "Lodges that've got fingers in all this. Then we've gotta track 'em down, right?"
More and more questions keep coming to mind, and the three all seem uncertain on how to proceed beyond Rin's vague suggestions. Eventually, though, Satori turns to Xion.
"You mentioned the possibility that they did this on purpose to direct our attention somewhere... Somewhere. If that's the case, then there's the chance the unidentified body in Dakota might be a distraction from what's going on here. To confirm that, though..." She pauses. "We would need to draw one of those Another Riders here with us. Is it possible they'd come after the General again?"
|Tamamo|| Tamamo withdraws her hand (within the vision), a little more quickly after Shotaro mentions what it was she was almost touching. She stands up, and moves to the side, to watch the vision play out.
'A vision' is what it is, but using this particular technique provides a bit more freedom than just a single point of perspective into past events. It's the memory of everything that was here, drawn together from least to greatest, the tapestry to the left of that which is still being woven. In short, it's an opportunity, and one Tamamo wishes to take full advantage of, such as she can.
She steps around Another Drive, trying to both commit this appearance to memory, and to derive some clue that might help find where he's gone, or where he came from. As the area outside of the shop isn't included in the event that marks the vision's boundary, there are significant limits in terms of tracking that way -- but by tracing Another Drive's thread to this moment, she can follow it forward again in time.
With Bobby and Not-Tomari frozen in front of her, Tamamo reaches out for the latter, not-truly-touching the armor, and voices her wish in a quiet whisper. "Hence... Whither have you gone? Show me those other threads you have since sought."
The bag was his. That might be enough remainder to use as a focus, but she'll first try this, keeping her place in the past while reading forward again, into the future.
|Xion||Gathered in the circle, the 'live' replay of events clarifies the outstanding elements. Xion, nursing the cooling dregs of airport coffee as more of a prop to hold than a drink to consume, watches the fight with a careful eye. Several things make sense, which she narrates:
"Well... I think it's good that this fight proves that it was Bobby's ability that saved his father, and not random chance and a sloppy assassin." Xion addresses Satori on the side, pointing at the tight combat.
"It's not that the assassin was sloppy - it's that they were an assassin, and not some sort of straight up fight. They came here to just shoot someone, and--" The bag of cocaine. "--plant evidence. Even if it was some kind of evil Officer Tomari, this isn't anything like his style of fighting. It's someone using Drive's power as a tool to do what they want to do, better. Kill from the shadows."
The rest of Satori's questions help her flow through the events, her hand resting on Tamamo's arm. Assisting her thinking by chewing on the waxed rolled paper of her tree-killing disposable coffee cup, she points again at the way Another Drive leaves the scene.
"He definitely left in a hurry. And didn't want to leave much trace here. We'd need some kind of connection. We don't know where Another Drive went, and he's definitely willing to plant evidence..."
Remee appears out of the blue with a-- "Medallion? No, it's - it's like what Zi-O had, his watch. Where did you get that?" Xion gestures Remee over. "Maybe Tamamo can find another lead with that watch you found. Unless..." She looks suspiciously at Woz. "It's all written down in that book of yours?"
|Remee Halcyon||"I fought another Drive," says Remee via explanation.
"I mean, another Drive, not Another Drive, or another Another Drive, or any other sort of another," she adds.
"I didn't really pick up on that this thing that it dropped might be related till I saw Another Drive in Tamamo's vision of the past and heard Woz's explanation."
|Chase|| "No. I do not know anything about the year 1989. If you happen to find out, call me back. Goodbye."
Chase hangs up, closing his flip phone shut as he shoves it back into his coat pocket. It is something to work off of, but it's not much. Perhaps someone knows the meaning of the year, but to find that out, he needs to ask around.
Turning his attention to Tammy, the Roidmude enforcer finally fully acknowledges them, his eyes locked with hers as he speaks up.
"1989. Tell me about it. Everything you know. I have time."
|Lilian Rook|| 'It could be a professional assassin, which if you get into this kind of engagement you've already lost.'
"If they were a professional they'd have exited the area immediately after their first attempt failed." says Lilian, tapping her cheekbone thoughtfully. "Especially at this range. Assassinating someone is easy. Getting away is hard. Cocking up both like that means they're as inexperienced as they are aggressive."
'Being weighed down... Nnh. That's just like what Teach used to deal with.'
'Well, most of us are familiar with the 'power' we're talking about.'
"I recall it. As I mentioned before, the last person I saw using something like that was--"
Chase exists. Lilian focuses on Xion instead. "I very much do not like that idea, but it also happens to to be one of the more sensible we have so far. There are simply too many obvious inconsistencies for someone who would have been seriously trying to kill the General and also that powerful." She folds her arms, dropping her head with an exasperated sigh for a moment, then pushing stray hair behind her ear. "If that were so, however, I can't imagine what the purpose of luring us out would be, though. We'd never have come here if they hadn't."
'Impressive, as expected, Dame Rook'
"Dame Commander." says Lilian, correcting someone, unnecessarily, on that for the first time ever. She is probably still peeved about Lampport. "Very interesting, Woz. So would you mind tellin us how exactly you know this?"
'Guess again, Officer.'
Gently massaging her temple, Lilian first says "What in God's name has that boy been doing for two and a half decades? Or is this what we call 'family bonds'? At any rate, we can't force him to fight like that again." She begins pacing away from the center of the vision. "Now it's only the cocaine that bothers me. Outside of begging the point, it bears considering why a 'monster' would be equipped with street drugs. Obviously it's working for someone or other, but doesn't the intersection of someone who can provide expensive pedestrian drugs and someone who commands monsters to scout out native American legends seem particularly narrow?"
'Hey, so... a while back, there was this... Dark Drive?'
Lilian's eyes shoot open wide. "Ex-fucking-cuse me? Were you planning on keeping that to yourself until now?" This seems to make up her mind over something or other. "So defeating and capturing this copycat of Drive will allow us to force it to change back into someone or something we can interrogate, and we can use its power supply as a focal point as well."
|Timespace Riders||>Lilian: Would you mind telling us how exactly you know this?
"I would, in fact, Dame *Commander,*" says Woz, looking down his nose at Lilian. "However," he admits, tilting his head left and right as if trying to pick out an unusual taste, "In the interest of cooperation," he says, holding up his book, "I will say that it is my duty to know such things, as would assist in the eventual coronation of my Demon King. That aside," continues the retainer, taking a seat and crossing one leg over the other, "We have fought Another Riders before. Occasionally, my Demon King's rival, the false king Oda, sends them upon us. At other times, they are merely happenstance--makeshift weapons fashioned by temporal third parties with an interest in deposing the false king or, on seldom occasion, preventing the coronation of mine."
>Shotaro: Try and eyeball the Snake Orphenoch
There. The man appeared from nothing--right into the middle of a crowd. It takes Shotaro two or three times rewatching to spot it, but it's undeniably something that shouldn't be possible. Into a crowd of fleeing people, there simply appears a man in double denim (really? in 2014?) with a white slogan tee and a leather cap. He's running, too--but there's clearly a smile on his face. Switching to a different angle, it doesn't appear to have anything malicious in it--rather, the look of a man who'd just satisfied a heavy conscience; palpable relief.
>Remee: Show off the Drive Ridewatch
>Xion: It's all written down in that book of yours
"It most certainly is," says Woz with an arch smile. "Dear Remee's encounter with the Drive of another timeline affords us precisely what we would need." Explaining further with a flourish of his hand and a slight inclination of his head, "This Ridewatch may be used by my Demon King, thereby granting him the power of the original Drive. If we are then able to defeat Another Drive, the device used to confer his stolen power will break, under the pressure of the correct timeline." Woz's lips curl into an unsettling, predatory smile. "Thus preventing him from using it, and rendering him to the mercy of our intrepid investigation team.~"
>Satori: Rin can talk to the dead.
"Sure. We can arrange to have the body sent to the coroner in Twin Peaks." Tammy fusses with the hem of her jacket, somewhat uncomfortably. "I don't know from ghosts, but I can't imagine somebody that went like that would take off without a chance to air grievances." Frowning, "I sure wouldn't, if it were up to me."
>Satori: Is it possible a different Another Rider would come after the general again?
"According to this book," where the hell did he pull it out from? "The most recent attempt on Garland Briggs' life will not be the last. However, he will survive, thanks to the foresight of Dame Rook and Hamada Haru." Woz peers up from the book, turning his nose up as he snaps it back closed. The title seems to defy interpretation, for the brief moment before it's tucked back under his arm. "He is safe--for the time being."
>Tamamo: Show me those other threads you have since sought.
A burner phone. The Nevada desert, in the middle of the night. "Tell me you have something on the dugpas. ... Good. ... No, I tried again, but his idiot son was there. ... Yes, he transformed. Which you assured me wouldn't be a problem. Aren't these Orphenoch bastards supposed to croak if they dip too much into it?" The voice sounds familiar, vaguely. If only it weren't distorted from the transformation. A kludged-together, post-apocalyptic nightmare of a car, with a brutish frankenstein of a rear engine and razor-sharp cowcatchers on the front is park
|Timespace Riders||>Chase: Tell me everything you know about 1989.
Tammy pushes a breath through her teeth. "Well, I think I was 9," she jokes, "So you'll forgive me if I get a few details wrong." Chase, of course, is often one which humor is lost on, and she quickly finds herself corralling him back into the conversation. "Wait, wait! That was a joke. I mean, it's true, but Agent Cooper kept *really* meticulous notes. Actually recorded them with a tape recorder and sent the tapes to his secretary." She frowns slightly. "He quit, like, right after everything went down, and his secretary, not long after. But I can tell you what I know, and have copies sent to you to fill in any gaps."
What Tammy knows is this (and she takes Chase aside so the cops don't hear): In 1989, a girl named Laura Palmer, beloved by the community of Twin Peaks, was killed. Agent Dale Cooper was sent to investigate, believing the killing to be related to a spree across several other states.
The Watch and Paladins were brought in to assist, uncovering not only the killer's true identity, but an international drug and prostitution ring, and the existence of the supernatural, all closely tied to the killer. While several in town were suspected, especially those involved in forcibly converting its human residents to Orphenochs, the killer's true identity was a spirit of excess and pleasures known as BOB. This spirit had escaped from the Black Lodge years ago, a place of spiritual anguish meant to test the souls of mortals. Possessing Laura's father Leland since he was a small boy, BOB went on a despicable spree of violent crimes until, after a failed scheme to become the Orphenoch King, he was destroyed by the Paladins, the Watch, and Dale Cooper entering into the Black Lodge to fight him at his most vulnerable. After the business there was concluded, Dale Cooper quit the Bureau only a few months later. Tammy notes that there are no recordings from Cooper in the months following the journey into the Lodge, but she never knew him personally.
|Shotaro Hidari||Shotaro freeze frames the face.
It might at least be a clue into what is going on here exactly. Perhaps not exactly, but it was a lead the same as any other. He also misses Lilian's comment, to which his eyes peek out from under his hat. "Can't say as to why he tried. Maybe he thought he could overcome him. Maybe it was included in the plan but still managed to stop him. Maybe he was desperate or greedy. Or he could be bad at being an assassin or unfamiliar with the power as you say."
He turns the phone towards Lilian, "Do you know this person? They were apparently the other Orphenoch. He simply appears around the time the fight started."
He also sends this in a message to Philip. Right now they don't know where the attempted murder is, but the person at the scene that just appeared might know more...and the look on his face seems to indicate he had some interest. At least in stopping the attempted assassination.
|Timespace Riders||>Tamamo: Other threads, continued:
A kludged-together, post-apocalyptic nightmare of a car, with a brutish frankenstein of a rear engine and razor-sharp cowcatchers on the front is parked nearby. "Well, clearly someone came up with a cure. I had to bail before someone thought to call Rider Services. ... I've been trying for almost 25 goddamn years. I'm telling you the man has somebody looking out for him. If you think you can do it better, be my guest. I've got work to do." The vision ends with the crushing of the burner phone in Another Drive's steel gauntlet.
|Hellwarming Trio||Planting evidence, excessive inconsistencies, and a convenient Ridewatch have the youkai shuffling around to try and keep track of everything. Listening to Woz only makes things even more complicated, but they do key in on the fact that there's both a method to eliminate Another Drive as well as a potential information source in the form of the unidentified dead.
"Some of 'em don't even know they're dead. Those usually work out the best, but I can work with whatever you've got." Rin reassures.
"Assuming they're attached to the body rather than where they died." Satori clarifies again, then mulls over the matter of Garland being targeted again. "Keeping him safe makes plenty of sense, but... What if we made it seem as though he wasn't?"
"You mean like bait?" Utsuho gets a nod from Satori in response, perking up briefly before furrowing her brow and flapping her wings once. "We could try and capture one of them that way, but... Won't it be too obvious? If they've got eyes everywhere, then they probably already even know we're here."
She pauses, then looks over at the smarter people in the group (IE literally everyone). "Uh... Right?"
|Tamamo|| Musing over what she's seen and heard, Tamamo takes a bit to collect herself, after returning to the present. She could only hear one side of the conversation, but it had suggested some new information. With Tammy's help, there was another lead to follow, and apart from that, they could ask after previous times General Briggs had been endangered. "Perhaps, should we investigate those other attempts, though those trails are old and cold, we might uncover..."
No, Another Drive had prioritized leaving no evidence. Still, her abilities might pick up the trail, maybe. It's difficult, even when pains-taking efforts are made. Oh, but there was that...
"...whatever other, mysterious circumstance it is that has been safeguarding the general, if not his son." Two trails should cross, in every case, if what Another Drive had suspected is true.
That worked through, Tamamo takes the time to slip Xion a small charm for good health, of carved wood, and at the same time, she goes to look at the watch Remee had found. Is there some connection, here? If nothing else, finding the connections between things is what her analytically-focused magical techniques are most proficient in doing. "Could this be related to...? Ah, no, rather than assuming that the same assassin had carried this, as seems unlikely to me, suppose that this is something that will be used against him. I wonder..."
She searches for two things in examining the watch. First, whether it was in the possession of anyone related to Another Drive. Second, whether it will be used against Another Drive, in one of the many future lines that can be reached from this present, and if so, in which places those battles will occur.
|Chase|| "I see. This information is not what I wanted, I need to tie the cocaine to 1989, and I doubt this BOB would be carrying any. I will do my best with it, however, so please send me everything you have. Thank you."
There's nothing else to be gleaned here, at least for Chase. He could hang around, but he decides it's best for him to just go.
He moves to hang around the exit, waiting a bit in case someone needs to stop him for something, before eventually leaving.
Xion stands stock still and stares ahead. The number is important.
Even Lilian's confirmation that she had one of the better ideas among the party doesn't shake the telling feeling that the Nobody had fallen upon something that she knew, and didn't like.
Roused, finally, by the gentle passing of a wooden charm into her hand, Xion looks down at the small wooden carving, her focus falling entirely on the little etched item.
She smiles, despite the situation, the gravity (literal, in the case of Another Drive, and figurative), and the idea that someone would try to kill people like General Briggs.
<J-IC-Scene> Shotaro Hidari says, "Do we have any leads on where he might have gone?"
"Sure we do, Detective." Xion announces, tucking the charm for her health into the breast pocket of her flannel shirt. "We know that the assassin has been trying to kill General Briggs for twenty-five years, and he has an incredible protector. That means, the person we investigate to uncover Another Drive: Is General Briggs."
|Lilian Rook|| 'Occasionally, my Demon King's rival, the false king Oda, sends them upon us. At other times, they are merely happenstance--makeshift weapons fashioned by temporal third parties with an interest in deposing the false king or, on seldom occasion, preventing the coronation of mine.'
Unfortunately for Woz, Lilian has long ago mastered the art of looking insufferably smugly at people who are taller than her, being a woman of extremely average height. The subtle back and side tilt of her head, the back of her hand hovering near her lips, the intolerable little half-vocalized mocking croon, the 'politely' suppressed shit-eating grin that is very impolitely 'suppressed' very poorly.
"Oh! I see! So that's how it is." Lilian purrs. "You're stuck with bodyguard duty for baby Hitler while time assassins keep coming back for him, and he's forcing you to help clean up his own mess because he feels like he's responsible for it, right~? Oh dear oh dear, truly the life of a demon king's retainer is a fraught one~" It sounds as if she might break into venomous tittering at any moment. Fingertips to her lips too.
To be fair, Woz made the choice to escalate. Or so she reasons. To precisely nobody.
"Ah, but isn't that rather convenient for you? I'm certain you'd like us all to believe that the only way to resolve this is to hand you a power booster to take home to your master, who just so happens to be the only one who can use it or resolve this arbitrary and extremely suspicious antaognism."
'However, he will survive, thanks to the foresight of Dame Rook and Hamada Haru.'
Her bullshit turns off in a heartbeat, with a sentence she certainly didn't learn in English, coming across as something like a stone cold 'Hey, don't screw with me, trash-hired.' Then, "That means he isn't trying again, doesn't it? If I find out you knew something was going to happen to Satsuki--"
'Do you know this person?'
"What?" Lilian blinks at the phone. "No. No I . . ." She stops to chew on her lip for a moment. "There aren't any signs of battle damage unique to a third party. Do you thing he might have been looking out for the Deputy? Or that he . . . no, he couldn't have been looking to get something else out of this, right? If it were twenty five years in the making . . ."
"I swear if I hear anything about the Blue Rose again--"
The memory of an instant of ghostly fingers, the moment after it never happened. Lilian has the ridewatch, straight from Tamamo's close examination, held up in one hand. She hasn't actually moved from her place. "I'll be holding you to this, retainer Woz. If it becomes strictly necessary that Tokiwa have this . . . greeble turned over to him, then that is what I will do. But forgive me for not instantly believing the single most suspicious man in the world saying the single most suspicious thing of the moment."
|Timespace Riders||>Lilian: Bully the time traveling twink
Contrary to what she might expect, Lilian instead gets a commiserating sigh. "Truly," he says.
To Woz's discredit, he does the most suspicious thing possible when being accused of extremely convenient, specific set-ups. He smiles 'innocently,' the very personification of the relieved emoji, hands folded in his lap, legs crossed. Even through 'trash-hired,' which must have taken some restraint.
"I am nothing, if not great-hearted, Dame Commander Rook. As such, I am willing forgive your suspicion.~"
>Shotaro: ID the Snake Orphenoch
Philip takes a long time--longer than usual. He ultimately provides Shotaro with an unusual answer. By all accounts, the man Shotaro sees--Kaido Naoya--should be dead by now. One of the original Orphenochs which emerged during the first wave, he was reportedly heavily involved and made extensive use of his powers. That's not the only part--there is no mention of him ever being able to simply elude notice as blatantly as he must have during this fight, nor of any ability to teleport.
>Tamamo: Was the watch in possession of anyone related to Another Drive? Will it be used to defeat him?
Tamamo can see clearly--no, and yes. It appears to have come from a Drive in a timeline wherein Roidmudes--the robotic lifeforms Chase (and recently Go Shijima) have sworn themselves to protect--have eliminated most of humanity and rule over the rest. This Drive, himself a Roidmude, appears to have no relation to Another Drive. That being said, she can clearly see Sougo Tokiwa--the would-be Demon King of Time--pressing the stop, inserting it into his belt, and mantling Drive's power to defeat his impostor. Regrettably, the explosion from the finishing strike seems to obscure any attempt to identify the latter. The battle will occur in Twin Peaks, at the deep space telemetry outpost, in approximately a week's time.
>Satori: What if we made the general look undefended?
>Xion: The person we investigate is General Briggs.
"The idea is not without merit," Woz postulates, leaning back in his chair. "We already know they will attack again, and be driven off by Dame Commander Rook's capable juniors, and Hamada Haru. According to this book," he adds, with a prideful tap of an index against the spine, "We need only wait for their warning, before springing to action. The addition of our own strength to this attack could very well tip the scales even further--from 'victory' to 'succesful capture.' From there, we will have both our would-be assailant, and their would-be victim in one place. I shall return to inform my Demon King at once." Standing from the seat, he smiles, and offers everyone a bow at the waist. Upon rising, he flings out his scarf with a triumphant upwards turn of his chin, vanishing an instant later.
More answers, and more questions. They go together with Twin Peaks like Dale Cooper and coffee.