2019-03-28 - Tracking Down An Agent


Koa finds himself hunted by a Black Dog

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Fri Mar 29 10:25:59 2019
Location: Financial District

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It's lateish in the afternoon, this part of town is fairly empty. Which means getting too and fro shouldn't be a problem, right?

This is where Koa Turner finds himself, crossing a small green belt between places. Everything seems quite normal, and yet … he might feel that something isn't right.

He'll feel that just he growls coming from the bush just to his right.

Battery Park is in the section of Manhattan that bears the same name and is generally considreed nice. It's quiet now though, as the afternoon is wearing on into the evening and people are departing businesses for homes and such. Koa is making his way back from one of those businesses to a car. The shadows are getting long. Fortunately, it's not really that cold.

He's whistling an old tune. 'Go tell and Rodie.'

"The growls have him stopping and looking at the bush. He frowns and peers. Not leaning in but… how often does one see wild dogs in New York. I mean it happens but not much.

The growl gets louder and the bush rustles, like something is trying to push through it. As the Agent leans in, he'll get a familiar feeling. It might be a wild dog, it might be something escaped from the Zoo perhaps. That hasn't happened in a while, but has happened from time to time.

Well, it might be, except for that feeling that affects him.

It's then that a dark nose pushes through, an enormous dark body following it. It's glowing and he might recognise it as a 'black dog'. And it's hunting … him.

Black Dogs are known quantities to Koa. They're rather infamous hunters. They never stop unless they're killed and sometimes not even then. Oddly they usually only hunt the… guilty.

Dipping into his pocket Koa wraps the pendulum there around his hand and brings it out so that the stone is resting on his fist.

"Who's a good boy…" He mutters. "Not you."

A Black Dog, or Barghest, but bigger than those of the tales. The glowing dog has glowing red eyes that fix on Koa as it advances to within several steps of the Agent and stops, still growling but no longer moving.

From behind Koa there's a bird screech - a big one - and a rush of wings as a shadow passes over. "There you are Agent, you've been a busy man …"

That accent. The mix of several.

A giant glowing harpy eagle turns on a dime and lands beside the dog. On it's back - it really is that big - is Keiko Kurita. And she's grinning at the WAND agent.

"I do have a job that does involve things other than making your life difficult, Miss Kurita." Koa says as the eagle lands beside the dog, near him. That thing is huge.

"To what do I owe the Haunting…" Black Dogs are usually omens of death and vengeance. He certainly hopes he hasn't provoked that from Keiko. Because if so this is going to be difficult and awkward.

The dog crouches in a typical stalking stance just in front of Koa, the growl coming again as he speaks to Keiko.

Keiko slides from the back of her bird, her backpack on her back. "I'm glad to hear that, Agent Turner." She says mildy as her bird 'chirrups' at her. "Good boy, Conner." She speaks to the dog and it slinks back to her side. Now she's closer, Kao will see the lines of pain that form about her eyes.

"Not a haunting, but I wanted to find you and this was the easiest way. Symbols sketched in the air, cause the spirit animals to dissipate - retracting back into her arms.

"I need to speak to you …"

"You do, do you?" Koa eyes Keiko much more warily than he has in the past. After all she's got two giant animals with her. Or well, she does until she dismisses them and pulls them back into her tattoos. He wonders what it must be like, being able to hold that power without it burning you from the inside out.

After a moment he lowers the pendulum though it remains wrapped around his right hand.

"What is it you need to talk about, Miss Kurita."

"Agent Turner, if I was going to bite you, I would have by now." Keiko sees the look he's giving her but doesn't seem phased by it. She'd laugh if she knew what he was wondering - that's an assumption he's making, and he can't have missed the pain she experiences.

"You were going to try and eat my pets, weren't you?" She nods to the pendulum almost approvingly. "I'm not sure they would taste very nice…"

She looks at the Agent as she chews on her lip. Now that she's here, she's having second thoughts it seems "Keiko. You can call me Keiko … and I want to talk about missing children…"

"I was thinking of it. And I've eaten worse. But I don't need this to do it. This is for preventing myself from being eaten." She hasn't seen most of his tricks really so that she thinks its a weapon might be understandable. Arcane weapons look… odd. Usually they DON'T look like traditional weapons.

Still he lowers it and his guard. "The children… the ones whose posters you were looking at earlier." Well, poster. Singular. "What do you know about them?"

"It is, huh…" Keiko steps closer and takes Koa hand, turning it this way and that to get a look at the pendulum. He'll note how she's careful to not touch it or the chain, and she's not exactly gentle with his hand either.

"Yes. Those children." She doesn't correct him about the numbers. Dropping the pack from her shoulders, she draws out a couple of sheets. All 'missing' posters for very young children and hands them to him.

It's a mix of boys and girls, ethnicities and locations. There's nothing that joins them together except the ages. Between five and seven, each and every one of them.

"Of them? Nothing … nothing at all…"

The chain and the stone are both enchanted for those who have the eyes to sea. The stone is old. Very ald. It looks like it might have been chipped off something else at one point before being placed in its current setting.

He looks at the papers with his other hand though, frowning slightly.

"Okay so a bunch of kids are missing within a short time frame and within a certain age bracket." He looks up. "So what is it you think you know about that?" Because she's got some concern in it that is more than the general concern any decent person would have about a similar situation.

"That's a pretty piece of jewellery. Not my sort of thing, but it looks very old at that. I bet there's a story behind it." Keiko nods to the pendulum.

Her attention is drawn back to the kids though. "Very young children, yes." she agrees, with the clarification, that seems important to her. She chews on her lip a little more. "The only thing I know with any surety is that I was taken at five and marked. And the others I grew up with were a similar age …"

"Most artifacts have some interesting stories behind them. That's part of the fun of digging them up. The stone on this one is a couple thousand years older than the chain for example."

He could go on and it's tempting to but there's more serious matters at hand than simply indulging his personal and professional curiosity in the provenance of old things.

"Taken and marked. Taken and marked by who in specific? And taken where?" This, he suspects, might be realted to her magical tattoos…

"You'll have to tell me about sometime …" Keiko says distractedly. He can tell she's interested though and he might find himself telling her sooner than later.

The tattooed woman rubs her arm but this time the action seems different to what she does when there's magic around. "I… don't know where, really." That's a strange thing to say. "A … group, I guess you'd call you them, known as The Nightfall …" He's heard that name before, hasn't he. "They take children to train them. Some of us, they mark…"

The Nightfall is a name that he's heared mentioned before yes. Though definitely not in this context before. He drops his arms to his side and lets the left one dip into his pocket.

"Mark for what purpose? And where do they take the children they take?"

Cults like this, ones that traffic in people, are usually third world problems. Usually. Not always. People notice a spate of kidnappings in places like New York.

Though to be fair it hasn't come across his desk yet. not that it necessarily would.

Well it wouldn't come across Koa's desk just yet. There's only been seven or eight in the last few weeks. Only. It's a sad indictment on their society that children go missing and it's only.

Keiko rolls up her sleeve and shows him the tattoo of the great grey wolf. "Bella was my mark, when I passed the initial assessment. Not all children are marked as I am, it depends on how they test. Some become fighters, some operatives like me, others … mages, not unlike yourself."

The last question has her canting her as she tries to parse it "You mean where do they take them from, normally? Smaller places, poorer, where the law doesn't exist - or it might as well not, anyway. I … don't remember the place I grew up in before I was taken, at least not in any great detail."

"I think … these children are being taken by the Nightfall."

Koa's eyes narrow and he drops the hand with the pendulum to his hip. "You're telling me that you were given those tattoos by a cult that had kidnapped you?" And that you suspect the same group has taken these children?"

That makes clarifying his previous question even more important.

"No no, where are they taking them TO? Is there a chance they're still in the city?"

Keiko actually takes a step back as Koa's eyes narrow. It had been a gamble seeking him out and she hadn't been entirely sure of his response. "That … is what I'm telling you, yes. Kidnapped or sold, it's not clear which and I'm not sure there's a difference really." beat "And I'm not sure, Agent Turner but there's too many similarities and your friend … Kilkenny … there aren't many who would taunt me like that."

"I don't know where they're taking them to. If I did, I would retrieve them." The rest of the question has her thinking "That makes the most sense. When I was taken, I remember there being others I travelled with. Some of them … didn't make it."

"I'll have to hunt down that damned fox and see what he knows." The WAND agent mutters. That's likely to be a chore. Kilkenny likes toying with people and taunting people. He's ALMOST like a demon in that regard but it's a bit more playful. Still, he lacks a sence of mortal urgency and isn't especially concerned with epople and that can mkae him quite frustrating.

"How long have you been looking into this, then? And have you found anything that might help us locate them? Or even confirm that Nightfall is involved?"

That the children might be removed from the area is always a risk with kidnappings but it seems particularly dire here.

Keiko doesn't quite relax as the WAND agent mutters. It's possible the mutter doesn't help things. "I would be interested to know as well, Agent Turner. In my time since I … left … I haven't heard them mentioned." Which makes her doubly suspicious now she thinks they're active in the city.

There's a shake of Keiko's head to the next barrage of questions. "Days really, maybe a week. I … didn't think anything of it until your friend said something and then I started to notice."

"I tried to enter the house of Thomas Graith yesterday. See if I could find something that Conner might work with." Conner. That's what she called that enormous Barghest wasn't it? "That didn't go well and I nearly got caught. Which was when I decided to seek you out."

"Honestly Agent, I don't want to go near the Nightfall ever again. If they find me, they'll take me back."

"Thomas is one of the missing children I take it? No I don't imagine that WOULD go over well." The parents probably aren't in much of a frame of mind to trust strangers at the moment and he's slightly surprised she didn't get arrested. Or at least, reported.

"Normally this is an issue for the NYPD to handle but with a potential mystical angle I might be able to get us access to the casefiles and maybe also to the victims. If you have articles of clothing or something similar, do you think you can track them?"

And will measures have been taken against htat, he wonders?

She didn't get reported or arrested because she hadn't tried to do it legally. She'd sent her spider in but someone had seen it and stabbed it with a knife. A big damn knife. It's fortunate it hadn't been killed.

"Yes, the one that went missing a day or so ago. I thought if I had something …" she waves her hand as Kao catches up. "And how do you suggest I approach the NYPD? Hi, I'm a fugitive from a mystical cult that tattooed and trained me since I was toddler and I think they're taking in the city?"

Wait. Did she say fugitive?

"What will I owe you for your assistance, Agent?" the tattooed woman asks quietly as he muses "But yes, something personal that has his scent will work. I don't know if Conner can find him. The Nightfall are resourceful and their older Magii powerful."

Koa snorts. "YOU don't approach the NYPD. I approach the NYPD. I'm the one with the badge that says I work for an agency that might be doing such things. And I'm the one who can file paperwork to make the NYPD turn things over if I have to."

The word 'fugative' definitely gets his attention though. "When you say that, you don't mean that they had any kind of influence that might get you on, oh say, a wanted list, do you?"

The risks of her not being able to find the boy make sense. But it's one more tracking method than Koa has available to him, so it's worth a shot.

"WEll, I know that." Keiko huffs a little. "Why on earth do you think I came to you. I thought …" she waves her hand, dismissing the misunderstanding. Sometimes her language skills are stunted. "You approach the police, I'm good with that."

"You mean a law enforcement wanted list? I'm … not sure but I don't think so. They want me back for themselves. If they found me … it wouldn't be pretty for either of us because I won't go without a fight."

It might even kill her but then, even that might not stop The Nightfall.

"What do you need me to do, Agent?"

"That's good. That'd make getting you a clearance awkward. Come by the Triskelion. I'll leave a visitors pass for you to get in and be escorted to the WAND offices. I'll need to take down pretty much everything you know or suspect so I can formulate the request to the NYPD. Then we see what happens."

Koa unwraps the pendulum from his hand and drops it back into his pocket.

"Likely we'll get the casefiles and maybe access to the victims in which case we can get a sock or something. I'll introduce you as an animal handler specializing in tracking dogs. Should be enough to get the parents to give up something with his 'scent'."

Keiko lets out a breath she hadn't realised she was holding. "I wasn't joking, Agent, when I said I tried to keep my head down. I've done from the last three years and I hope to longer." She probably won't though if she's going to get this involved.

Leaving the papers in his hands, Keiko shrugs her backpack on and nods. "I would prefer not to be on any official books but I don't know I can avoid this…"

She looks ready to go. Will she walk or will she call her unusual ride? Her bike is nowhere around, is it?

"I'll have to get you a visitors clearance but that's a bit easier with WAND. A lot of the folks we want to don't have traditional papers so they're not quite the stickler for it that other divisions might be."

Koa steps back so that she has room if she wants it.

"Come by tomorrow or the next day. We'll get this sorted. I get the feeling it'd be best if we moved on it soon."

"Alright Agent …" The dark skinned woman looks at him. "I think I interrupted your lunch, can I … buy it for you?" If not, she'll head off and see him tomorrow.

And hopefully they won't kick over a hornets nest.

"Sure. There's a really good hot dog place not too far from here and I'm going to pass it on my way to the car." Hot dogs. Well, the good ones are more than just sad little sausages. They have life, and spices, and toppings.

And really good buns, if you know where to get them. Koa does. He lives in New York after all.

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