Interrogation and Interment
The pack was about its business: Jeremy put his face out there for the local gangs to see, Bentley looked into loan options for his bar, and Aleister went looking for the crow from the night before with Bright-Eyes.
Jeremy talked to Mary Boose at the women’s shelter about ruling her out of an investigation involving her known associates—including Troy—hoping to keep her away from trouble. Bentley managed to connect with his acquaintance, Philip Weir, who asked him to meet for drinks and talk about a job. Aleister found a storage unit on Country Club Road that Bright-Eyes had felt an opposing influence over the local crows and called Walt to meet up. Walt told the other pack members to meet him there in an hour.
Aleister managed eventually scale the fence into the storage lot, to bite the lock off of the storage unit indicated by Bright-Eyes, and felt unease when he looked around inside of it. It seemed innocuous enough—mostly full of gardening tools and bags of mulch—so, Aleister glimpsed across the Gauntlet. He saw a musty swirl of spirit motes and a seven-feet-long nightcrawler worm. Rearranging the room a bit, he found a hole in the concrete floor under the mulch bags. When Jeremy arrived, he used his Death Sight to see traces of blood that completely filled the hole in the floor. He used his bone whistle and saw the vague outline of the crow man beneath the dirt. Footsteps approached and quickly retreated upon seeing the two Uratha in their Urshul forms.
Bentley and Walt arrived to see dirt scattered everywhere from Aleister and Jeremy digging up the crow man. They exhumed the man and found him drowsy and angry, letting out a high-pitched whistle. Aleister licked his face to defuse any violence as a storm of crows rushed in. Jeremy tried to exchange numbers and received a fistful of dirt, which he pocketed. Aleister guessed that the man was another vampire and wondered if they might be cursed by the sun in some fashion similar to the Forsaken’s curse by Luna. Possibly, he thought, this could be exploited if he could find a sun spirit. Bright-Eyes told him that this spirit choir was comprised of Helions and that the sun’s Incarna was known as Helios.
Before splitting up again, the pack discussed how to deal with the police investigations into their respective home front battles. Bentley went to meet with Philip, sip an appletini, and discuss his prospects. Philip told him that he could earn money by working with one of his associates by acting as an ice-breaker with potential clients needing loans to supplement their medical insurance; and, he made it clear that Bentley could make extra money dealing to said clients in the process. Bentley agreed, and went on to his police interview.
Bentley’s interview went fairly well. He gave Jeremy—who had showed up to keep tabs—a knowing smile on his way out the door to go home and collect some personal items. Aleister was stuck in the interrogation room for three hours, sorting through various oddities of his recent life: the cabin massacre, the bus station confrontation, the break-in to said bus station, and the murders inside his own home. The threat of incarceration threatened to rattle his rational mind, but Aleister managed to keep his cool and refrain from breaking under the pressure of the interrogation process for some time, knowing that without evidence from the crime scene at his house the police could not hold him for more than twelve hours.
Jeremy managed to mangle the audio for the interrogation while one of his fellow police took a smoke break, but Detective Byrne told him that the shotgun registered to Aleister was a ballistics match to the gun used to shoot out the door to the bus station. The pressure was getting to Aleister, but just before it seemed he was ready to crack an officer informed Byrne that witnesses had confirmed an alibi for Aleister. Apparently, he had spent most of the afternoon at the Reynolda Gardens Center speaking to Amy Seibert. He was free to go.
The pack reconvened and argued over the idea of confronting the crow man again, but decided to go for it—with the caveat that Walt would kill him if it seemed the most sensible option to him in the moment. No need for two vampires with a grudge against the pack. They arrived back at the storage lot and found him perched on top of a unit, surrounded by crows. Jeremy approached and apologized for earlier. The crow man offered his name—Simon—and accepted the apology begrudgingly. He probed Aleister—who had come in wolf form—in some manner of animal speech, asking about his nature. Simon seemed to know that they were not what they seemed.
Jeremy wanted to convince Simon to give the pack information about their Azlu enemies in exchange for goods and services, but he seemed less inclined to accept these offerings than Troy had been. He tried to convince Aleister to show him his true form, but the latter did not want to reveal himself after some of his recent issues surrounding the secrets of the People. Jeremy managed to convince Simon that the pack did not mean to bring him harm, promising to give him a significant space overlapping with their territory—the Joanie Moser public park—that he would have to himself, free from pack interloping. As a gesture of good faith, he told the pack that an enemy of theirs—a woman—had asked him to help her gather local wolf spiders in large numbers. He did not offer to tell her whereabouts or whether he had made efforts to help this woman.
The group together designated a specific crow to act as a messenger in the event that the pack needed to contact Simon again. Walt took a taste of its blood, so that he might track it by scent in the future. The pack and Simon parted ways on relatively good terms, for the moment.
Finally, the pack went to see Kathy and inform her of their progress. She introduced herself to Jeremy, invited the pack in for tea, and discussed with them Troy and the women’s shelter. She told Aleister that the shelter was, to her, a sacred place. Even though it was not in her territory, she felt it important to keep it safe from corrupting influences like Troy. She seemed satisfied that he not interact with the shelter or its residents directly, so long as he stayed away from it and Mary.
Aleister began to ask Kathy about bringing together the local packs to fight off the Pure in the area; and, she told him that until his pack could effectively control their own territory such an arrangement would be unlikely. He told her that tactically it seemed unwise to let the threat of the Pure grow unchecked, which irritated her into lecturing him about the precedence of duties for the Uratha to their territories. She added that the other packs were currently acting as a buffer against the Pure while his own pack developed its strength. When he called the other packs foolish for failing to join together and face this mutual threat, she kicked the pack out of her home and sent them on their way.
The pack resolved to lay low for a bit while they built their foundations for the bar and established plausible ties to the prospective establishment. There was plenty of time to build and prepare while the heat died down from their recent adventures.