Ashes to Ashes

Cast: date: 'December 2nd, 2012'
place: Camden
participants: 'Ash, Cedric, Decker, Freddie, Lex, Ritter, Yuki'
synopsis: 'A chance gathering runs into a non-chance situation.'
log: "This place is a spot of solace for the Touched in the city. But Freddie Shaw is not one of them. He did however, pass the bouncer at the door, so one can assume he does have permission to be in here. He's got a cocktail in his hand and is squinting up at the portraits that line the walls. There's a couple playing pool on the lovely old table, but other than that it's mostly quiet. It is Sunday night, after all.\n\nRitter arrives with Lex - a situation akin to having a cat come in with a mouse. The German is wearing his usual neutral, tailored suit. So little personality here, though his hair is freshly cut and he looks faintly tired. He has dark gloves on, which he peels off as he comes in, saying to Lex in his heavy accent \"So you can meet people, ja?\"\n\nHey! Lex is hardly mouselike. These days he's dressed all in black and given some of it is clingy and some of it flowing, he looks pretty damn good. Apparently he's making decent money now. Of course, he's got to have that element of loud, so… dark crimson tie, right around his neck, loosened and dangling like a noose. Nevermind that he doesn't even have a collar on his shirt, it's some kind of tank top thing under the long-sleeved black shirt he's wearing on the outside. He stalks in, hands in pockets, careful not to look too abso-fucking-lutely freezing, and gives the place a once-over. \"Ja.\" There's something a little mocking about that - or taunting, hard to tell. It's followed by a deep breath and a firming of Lex's jaw: must be nice to Ritter. Somehow. \"Buy me a drink?\" He's not making so much that he'd turn down a drink, apparently.\n\nFreddie looks over his shoulder at the new arrivals. He gives Lex a once-over. \"Well look who it is. Mister drunken pantaloons.\" He quirks a bit of a shiteating grin and swallows a mouthful of his cocktail. \"Should've guessed you were Touched. Explains a few things.\" The cop's actually dressed rather stylishly, with well-fitting jeans, a patterned shirt with a black tank beneath, and a silver beaded necklace. His coat's on the rack by the door. He glances to Ritter and nods once.\n\nA minute or so later, another figure arrives, although this one is well-wrapped against the snow flurries outside. Spots of wet cling to Cedric's black jacket, and the occasional snowflake clings to the yellow and blue striped muffler wrapped around his neck - judging by that and his pink cheeks, he's been outside for some time, possibly several hours. A messenger bag is slung over his shoulder, and once he's past the bouncer, who impassively watches him walk past, he strides over with quick motions to a chair by the hearth and drops the bag into a chair with a weary thump. He doesn't appear to have looked around him or noticed anyone else's presence.\n\nDecker moves up the steps from the Gallery, arriving at the Parlour. He's got his thick jacket and a knit cap on as protection from the snow outside. He pulls his cap off his head, holding it in his hand as he looks around the area for a moment before he moves towards the small bar to get himself something to drink. His eyes scan over the patrons for a few moments to see who's here.\n\nRitter does not look good. He just looks professional, and a little tired, and his clothes are very neat, but. He would probably look neat wearing a plastic bag. He does not react to the mockery of his accent, he just says \"Certainly.\" And then Ritter steps up the bar to order two iced waters. This is his idea of splashing out - they get served in cocktail glasses, man. Ritter brings back the water and offers it to Lex. He does not smile, but he is attempting to glare less \"I know few people here,\" he comments to the young man.\n\nYuki's arrival may be enough to surprise even the bouncer, at least in the sense that the bouncer will feel trapped in a staring match with her true face. It's unlikely she even noticed the man checking her out, but as the true self seems to have no motion, she's already in the parlour while the bouncer stares at her true self, up until he happens to blink or look away and realize she's not really there. She's dressed conflictingly, white sneakers and khaki shorts, beneath a white t-shirt hidden by a thick blue jacket, zipped up with the hood peeled back. She carries a large thin book with her. Giving a brief look around the room, she steps towards a place to sit on her own, crossing her legs and opening the book to read in peace.\n\nHere, Lex gives Freddie the once-over and the eye, then smirks and snorts. \"What, the willingness to make your grandpa's golf pants look good?\" A toothy grin flashes. It fades suddenly as he catches what Ritter just ordered, and breaks into a jog to catch up with the man. \"Ritter. Fucking… Christ, man, that is not what you do in a bar. You drink. Alcohol. C'mon. Tell the nice man you want a whiskey neat and a line of Jaegerbombs. Six oughtta do it. Water is for people who are working or driving. We are neither. Drink, man. Or I'll disown you.\" Hah. Like that's gonna work.\n\n\"Following whiskey with Jaegerbombs. Classy,\" calls Freddie to the departing Lex. He chuckles, then steps to the left to examine another portrait. \"They really think James Joyce was Touched? I don't know if I believe it. Poe? Absolutely.\" He's not talking to anyone in particular as he surveys the gallery of portraits.\n\nCedric doesn't sit down just yet, though, although he looks fair shattered, pausing only for a moment before striding over to the bar and seeking a pint of something amber-auburn and carbonated. Money changes hands, and he's about to take his prize back to his seat when Lex pipes up. This gives him pause, and he shakes his head, but that's enough for him to spot the other faces that he knows. He glances briefly at Yuki, but seeing her absorbed in a book, he doesn't disturb her, instead raising his free hand in a quiet greeting to Decker as he returns to his seat. Hopefully the man saw that as he sets his beer down on the table and flops exhaustedly into a chair, staring absently into the hearth fire.\n\nRitter says to Lex \"I am working. You may, however, get your own whiskey and Jaegerbombs.\" He pauses, then he allows \"I will buy you the whiskey, it is a peace offering. But I cannot drink unless it is the right time to drink, due to the side effects on…ah. My abilities.\" He looks at Freddie, and then he says \"These are all the Touched?\" His eyes pass over Yuki, and Ritter asks Freddie, possibly awkwardly \"Have we met? I am sorry, I am not good with the people.\"\n\nThe space behind the Parlour's bar is lined with antique mirrors. In front of the mirrors are rows of liquor bottles. That makes for a rather distorted view to begin with. Still, something about the mirrors there, as well as a large one over the fireplace, that draws the attention of the Touched in the room. And if they look too long, they'll see shadows move past. Quick, human-shaped, and gone in the blink of an eye.\n\nDecker continues to scan over the room, seeing Yuki arrive, he offers a smile before he moves on and spots Cedric, the only other person he knows here. He returns the wave while he gets his drink then starts over towards Cedric, speaking to him once he's close enough. \"Hey. Thanks again. I called up and I've got an appointment next week.\"\n\nLex throws up his hands. \"The whiskey's for you, shithead!\" And then he looks around, and quickly modulates his voice. \"I figured you'd like a little pain with your drinking, pardon me for assuming.\" And lo, Lex is grouchy. \"I don't care, just get me whatever's cheapest.\" He stalks over to plop down on the stool closest to Freddie. The other guy can handle Ritter, he doesn't want to.\n\nFreddie chuckles at the exchange between Lex and Ritter. \"They make a fine classic cocktail here. With all the fancy bitters and top shelf booze.\" He looks to Ritter and shakes his head. \"Don't think so, mate. I met your friend here at a pub down the way. He was wearing the most god-awful pants. I'm Freddie. And I'm not one of you. I'm just…friends with the Watch.\"\n\nYuki casts the odd glance out to the others as their voices pick up and carry, but she otherwise keeps to herself, turning one page after another in her book, certainly too fast to be reading whole pages, more like she's skimming, just long enough to pick out what she wants before moving along. Then she reaches the end of it, closing the book up and standing, walking over towards the fireplace. She's none too careful about how close she gets, leaning in to throw the book into the flames before she moves back, red burns showing up rapidly on her legs, hands, and face as she turns to the bar. It's a conscious effort that keeps her eyes on the drinks instead of anyone else, perusing what is on offer.\n\nRitter regards Lex, and the eyes narrow a little, and his voice drops to a rumble \"Be. Respectful.\" Not precisely a threat, but the unemotional German looks at least partly startled into having a feeling. One. One feeling. But there you go. Ritter watches Freddie a moment \"…security here is not like it is in Berlin,\" he says, and offers a hand \"I am Herr Ritter Engel. This is Lex.\" His eyes flick up to the mirrors, briefly, and a little frown runs across his features. But that was surely nothing. Though Yuki tossing a book into the fireplace makes him stare \"…uh. Is that. Standard protocol?\"\n\n\"Hm?\" Cedric looks up at Decker as the other man approaches, and pulls off gloves and hat. \"Yeah? Good. Imagine they're a bit short at the moment. How're you?\" He unzips his jacket and strips it and the muffler off, leaving both to hang backwards over the back of the chair and moving no more than he has to to get them off. Beneath, he wears jeans, Docs, and a brown hoodie over some sort of T-shirt, but doesn't seem concerned about his informal state of dress. He's about to say something else when Yuki makes to approach the fire, and while concern flashes across his features, he only raises a hand, then drops it.\n\nDecker nods his head slightly. \"Not bad. Excited to get things rolling and started, I think.\" He says before he glances to Yuki for a moment as she tosses her book in the fire. \"You okay, Yuki? Want a beer or something?\" He offers to the woman, raising the one he's got in his hand. \"Come hang out with us.\" He says as he motions her over.\n\nLook, Lex knows when he's in trouble! He demonstrates this fact by moving one seat further away from Ritter. Only then does he decide it's safe to flip Ritter off - right when the man's looking away towards the fireplace and the book-tossing. Dammit. Or possibly 'phew'. Then he decides on drunken stupor as possibly the better part of valor and waves down the bartender. \"Give me whatever's cheapest,\" he tells the man flatly.\n\n\"And you just keep on getting classier,\" says Freddie to Lex. He seems to enjoy poking the young man. He tips back a mouthful. He glances over as the book goes up in flames. Huh. But he doesn't ask questions. Odd Touched. He purses his lips and nods at Ritter. \"If you're not a drinker, they do some interesting virgin drinks.\"\n\nThe lights suddenly flicker. The sconces are in the old fashioned oil lamp style, but they're clearly not. Except, for a brief moment, they flicker like they still are. And behind the bar, in the mirror for a split second, are six shadows, standing shoulder to shoulder. They fade a moment later.\n\nYuki takes a moment to eye the different drinks before actually looking over at Decker, smiling and shrugging a little, \"Sure…w'y not? Could use a drink…an' a lot it,\" she says, stepping over towards him, casting a glance and a nod at Cedric, \"Maybe if I drink enough I'll sleep aw'ile.\"\n\nRitter hesitates, and his hand goes to his hip, in the movement a man would make for a holster. So practiced. Except there is no gun there. And then he looks around, baffled, to see if anyone else is looking. No? No? Just the crazy German guy? Ritter says \"…I like to drink, but it affects my abilities, and. One always must be alert.\" He opens his mouth a moment. Then closes it. Wait. It is just him. Quick. Look sane! \"How is. The sports. Team?\" he tries.\n\n\"Yeah, you can-\" Lex is telling Freddie with a lifted hand that threatens violence - when the lights flicker. Shit. He shoves to his feet, digs out his wallet, drops a five on the bartop and says, \"Fuck the drink.\" And then he's whirling to head for the door at top speed - but walking, not running. Tightly controlled. Granted, it's the sort of control liable to result in violence if stopped, but that spooked the shit out of Lex.\n\nEven as exhausted as he clearly is, the lights flickering gets Cedric's attention. He blinks, ignoring Yuki and Decker for a moment, and looks up and over at the bar, and bolts to his feet, an unnaturally smooth motion. \"Trouble,\" he mutters swiftly to the two of them, and there's a hint of a feral snarl beneath the deep and rough baritone as he simply watches the mirrors unmoving.\n\nDecker smiles as Yuki comes over to their group, offering her a hug. \"What are you having?\" He asks her as he turns towards the bar, but stops when the lights in the room flicker. His eyes look up towards the ceiling for a moment then looks back towards Cedric as he speaks. \"So much for a quiet night, huh?\"\n\nYuki nods at Decker, and returns the hug, if just softly. \"Whatever I drink, make it strong, and make it a lot. It won't hit me for awhile, and I want to sleep soundly,\" she says. She backs off after the hug though, watching Cedric. Somehow, the flickering lights don't seem to bother her, or at least she doesn't actively pay them any mind, \"Whatever has Cedric angry…good for it…if he can't stop it, I'm in a mind to freeze something anyways…\"\n\nFreddie, not being Touched, sees no shadows. He does notice the lights flickering, though. \"Oi. It's an old building. You afraid of the dark?\" He shrugs and sips at his drink, then turns back around. \"Bunch've bloody madmen,\" he murmurs under his breath.\n\nThe lights flicker again, three rattling sounds, then a pop as they all go out. The whole bar is plunged into darkness. Even light that would normally pour in from the street seems absent. If anyone tries to find the door, they'll find they're unable to.\n\nAnd at this, Ritter's quiet reaction is to freeze up solid and still. He fingers in a pocket for two packets of pills, one with a square lid, one with a round. After a moment, he starts unscrewing the square lid, calling out \"Lex! Come stand at my voice!\"\n\nThere's a hard thump as Lex hits the wall - at least it feels like a wall. There was a door there a second ago! A short, sharp scream of rage bolts out - yes, rage - and then comes a snarl of Cantonese interspersed with English. If anyone speaks it, it's a whole lot of cussing. The English words are \"fucking\" and \"cut you\" and \"bitches\". It all sounds murderously threatening, honestly.\n\nAsh just makes it in. Barely. The there are no lights and the door goes away. But he knows Lex is incoming and steps away. \"Lex, calm down.\" Comes Ash's voice from the dark and not very far away.\n\nCedric doesn't move as the lights go out, either, nor does he speak. Those nearest to him can hear him breathe as he waits for something to happen … and they might be able to hear a rustle at his feet. The messenger bag stays put as he listens, intently, for any sign of what might be afoot.\n\nYuki takes a more proactive approach to the lights-out situation, grumbling in an irritated manner as she turns and starts walking in a direction where she at least knows she's not going to stub a toe, reaching out a hand and waving it around a bit, seeing if she can feel anyone or anything. If her hand touches anyone or anything in question, they'll be in for a rather cold shock, but nothing more alarming than what jumping into a swimming pool in the middle of the might deliver.\n\"Everyone okay in 'ere?\"\n\nRitter calls out \"I am fine.\" And there is a slight cracking noise \"And I have a weapon.\" That poor, poor chair.\n\nDecker starts towards the bar once he's got Yuki's drink request, but stops immediately as the lights go out. He immediately activates his ability and his skin turns to black stone. He doesn't move from his spot, but the flooring beneath him creaks slightly with the newly added weight.\n\nThere's a strange, hollow, whooshing sound, like a cold winter wind rattling through an old empty house. And then the lights flick up again, but only to half-strength. And there, standing only inches away from each Touched is a shadow figure.\n\nEach shadow is an exact duplicate in size and height of the person it stands beside, but it is otherwise dark gray, solid and featureless. The shadow does not move, but their presence provokes a dizzying, sickening sensation in the pit of each person's stomach. The figures stand there in the penumbra, like off-black statues.\n\nThen, mere seconds later, the lights flick back on again to full-strength, and the shadow-creatures fall away, leaving a pattern of ash in a crude shape of a snake where each one stood.\n\nAbruptly Lex has stopped cursing, and for the moment there's no sense of motion to him - he's gone still against the wall. He's controlling his breathing, trying to steady himself, and… paying attention to his senses, finally. \"Ash.\" He can feel the room, in general - that host-sense of his can get pretty useful, when one is worried about such things as intruders. \"There's something here. I can't see it.\" That's as calm as he can get in this situation. \"Ghosts maybe.\" And then the lights come on - and Lex screams and jolts to one side, scrambling to get back, scrambling even when they rise to full brightness and there's no longer anything there.\n\nAsh starts as well when the lights come on and there are shadows standing there and then there arn't. He utters something in German. It doesn't sound nice, but then again, it's German. \"Are you all right?\" he asks Lex. Then glances around. Oh, hey, and the rest of you guys.\nAnd Freddie, just sits at the bar, glass of booze halfway to his lips, just looks around at the piles of ashes when the lights go up. \"…the fuck was that?\"\n\nDecker remains frozen in place as the figure opposite of him appears. Once the lights come back on, the living statue that is Decker blinks a few times and looks around the area to see if there's anything amiss available. \"The hell was all that?\" He asks, echoing Freddie.\n\nRitter does not scream, or jump. His first reaction to seeing someone just like him (save expressionless. Wait. Just like Ritter) is to attempt to swing a chairleg through the throat area…just as the thing disappears. Ritter stares, hard, and then he says \"Hrn. That was a waste of a pill.\" Then he spots Decker, and eyes him with an evaluating, cautious expression.\n\nLex sits up from where he ended up in a crouch against the wall, staring at Ash, at the room, at Ritter and everything else. He clears his throat, then says faintly, \"I want to go home now. I want to get very, very drunk. I want to kill that shit.\" And he starts getting up, very cautiously, very slowly. They could still come back. He wants out.\n\nAs the lights come up partway, those close to Cedric - Yuki finds herself only about six inches from him - can see that his every muscle is bowstring taut, his expression withdrawn and closed, and seemingly impassive as the shadow manifests next to him. Unlike Decker, who is stone, he just utterly freezes - and for one reason, one of his shoes is off.\n\nAs the wave of dizziness passes, he stumbles and nearly topples over, but manages to catch himself - and stares at the pile of ash as it is left behind. \"Aw, bloody hell,\" he mutters, very, very quietly - and lunges for the messenger bag, fishing through it with quick fingers that fumble a little bit. \"Don't touch the ash,\" he tells Yuki, low and quiet.\n\nOnce everything appears to be fine, Decker's skin returns to normal, the stone melting away to his actual flesh. He glances back towards Yuki and Cedric for a moment, but then watches Cedric as he fumbles through his stuff. \"Everything okay?\" He asks, a slightly raised eyebrow.\n\nThe mobiles of Watch members begin to bleet simultaneously. Text messages pop up to inform them that this was not an isolated incident. The exact extent isn't known so far, but it's not just here.\n\nAsh nods slowly and says, \"All right, ah, catch up with you later?\" This to Lex. He uncertainly makes his way toward Ritter. \"Do I want to know?\" he asks. \"How is the beer here? Worth the…\" He gestures around and offers Ritter a weak smile.\n\nWhile the queasiness brought on with it is certainly responsible, the pseudo-self-inflicted burns probably don't help Yuki keep her constitution in check as the normally-iron-stomached girl drops to her knees and spills the contents of her stomach. It takes her a moment, and each wave brought to the open air seems to freeze solid on contact with the floor, or whatever it lands on, sure to make for some fun clean-up. She coughs a few times after, clearing her throat and stumbling back a bit, landing on her ass, \"That…sucked…\"\n\nFreddie slides down off his stool and looks around, then down at the ash. \"Someone want to tell me what the fuck just happened? The lights went out, then they came up a bit, then you all stared off into space, then the lights came on. I sure as hell hope it's just your resident ghosts having a laugh.\"\n\nIt's like Lex was waiting for permission - and he got it. Ash says the word, and he bolts for downstairs, breathing fast, unsteady. From there he'll call an actual cab - and mercifully get a quick one. No penny-pinching today - the freaky shadow things get actual real money spent on getting away from them. He's probably going to go empty out Ash's liquor cabinet at least a bit, though.\n\n\"I don't know, I drink water when I am on duty,\" says Ritter to Ash, but his pupils are getting. Very. Very big. He says a little apologetically \"I was preparing to enhance, so I am going to be. A bit. Ah. A bit. Yes. Well.\" Though as Yuki throws up, he says \"Clean water, Frau?\" And offers her Lex's abandoned glass.\n\n\"Don't know.\" Whatever Cedric is fishing for, he finds after a moment of fumbling, a burbling and beeping iPad. This he fishes out shakily and enters a code into it, expression tightly focused, then with a few taps and swipes, he brings up another application and snaps several pictures of one of the piles of ash. \"Cohen, did I hear you?\" he says finally, sounding beyond exhausted and a little ill. \"Get some photos of that.\" With that, he staggers back a step back flops back into his chair, iPad in his lap, more than a little pale. \"Visitors, mate,\" he tells Freddie shortly.\n\nYuki spits the last of her little mess out and looks over at the water Ritter offers, reaching over and taking it, \"Thanks, need a bit of somethin' now…\" she says, not sounding like she's much better as she climbs to her feet and raises the glass, drinking it all down in one go. Certainly not going to complain about washing that taste out, anyways.\n\nDecker leans back against the back of one of the seats, holing himself up as the dizzy spell finally takes effect in him, causing him to blink a bit. He glances down towards where Yuki is at. \"You okay?\" He offers the poor girl before he looks back to Cedric. \"Visitors? Like aliens?\"\n\nAsh looks around warily as he settles beside Ritter. He glances toward Yuki and her, er, situation. \"Yes, hello Mr. Moseley, present and accounted for.\" He dutifully takes out his phone and snaps photos. Calm, methodical, and somewhat green around the gills. His gaze flits to Decker and Freddie, then to Cedric. \"Are these friends of yours?\"\n\n\"Bartender,\" says Freddie. To a bartender who he himself looks a bit green. \"Line up some ginger ales for these folks?\" He moves towards the ash, then stoops down beside it, not far from Ash-the-man. \"Did you all see something I didn't?\"\n\nCedric's beer is still untouched on the table in front of him, and the drop into the chair leaves him perilously close to Yuki's … um, mess. He looks over, and shakes his head, forcing himself to his feet. \"Damn it,\" he mutters, prying a thick tendril of pukesicle from the bottom of the bag and dropping it to the floor with a disgusted shake of his hand. He doesn't answer all the questions immediately, focusing instead on removing his soiled jacket and bag from the line of fire, and himself to another chair. \"Glad to see you, Mr. Cohen.\" Where he was tense a moment before, now he just seems more than a little shaky. \"You didn't see that?\" he asks Freddie in a low voice.\n\nYuki watches Cedric gather his stuff out of the mess she involuntarily made, casting her eyes down a bit and shaking her head before looking over at Decker, \"That wasn' any fun,\" she mutters, leaning weakly against the bar, that little escapade having drained her considerably. She watches the bartender lining up the ginger ales, and calls over, \"I don' wan' anything ginger 'bout my ale,\" she requests, before looking back at Decker, \"Funny runnin' int' you at a time like this…\"\n\nAsh continues to take pictures. If it looks odd, he gets a snap of it. Except for the pukesicle, that's not a mystery he needs to solve. \"I am always at your disposal,\" he says in response to Ritter's suggestion. The phone disappears into his pocket and he smiles at Freddie and Decker amiably. \"Good evening.\" He stuffs his hands in his pocket, casual-like, and incidentally to hide their unsteadiness.\n\nDecker glances back towards Ash and offers a slight raise of his hand in greeting. \"Evening.\" He says before he glances back to Yuki. \"Yeah. I know. I was in the area and decided to get a drink.\" He says to her as he offers her a hand up. \"You still feel like drinking or should we get you some tea?\" Yup. The English have gotten him. After two years in England, he does drink tea…\n\nFreddie looks at Cedric, eyebrows arching up. \"I saw the lights go out, then I saw you all go as white as sheets when the lights came up again. Then they flickered, and then this,\" he nods to the ash pile. \"I feel like there's a part of the narrative I wasn't privy to.\" He grabs up a couple of glasses of ginger ale and hands them out to anyone who'll take them. \"I'm Freddie Shaw, by the way. PC, London Metro. But I'm also a friend of the Watch. I'm not like you lot, though. Maybe that's why I missed something.\"\n\n\"Have mine,\" Cedric tells Yuki absently, then looks over at her more fully. \"All right there?\" His focus, however, remains on Ash and the others, the iPad in his lap. Sme of the color begins to return to his face, and he seems to be pulling himself together, enough to look back down at his iPad again. \"Not just here,\" he tells his fellow Watch member, then locks the screen again and looks up at Freddie. \"Probably,\" he answers, taking a glass of ginger ale and sipping at it carefully. \"Relates to a case I'm working. Cedric Moseley.\" He does push himself to his feet wearily, setting the iPad on the table to offer Freddie a hand. His handshake is firm, but beneath residual tension, he looks as if he's barely on his feet.\n\nRitter heads up to settle down near Ash, his hands trembling on his thighs. The pupils now are full size, the drugs have fully taken effect, and he does…not need to use his powers at all \"Well, Herr Moseley, I am. Able to assist Ash in finding out things - would it help to know something in specific? If not, I should go home before I embarass. Myself.\" The accent is faintly slurred.\n\nA nod to Cedric, and Yuki steadies herself a little better, \"Fine 'ere,\" she says, short and weary-sounding, before she looks over at Decker, shaking her head, leaning both arms onto the bar to support herself, \"I'm fine, jus' took it rough…I can take a bottle of w'atever,\" she assures him. She's keeping out of the business of the others. They're equipped to handle things, she didn't bring anything along that could be handy. That and she's already contaminated the scene without even trying.\n\nAsh gives Cedric a nod and sends him the pictures he's taken. He gives Ritter a clap on the shoulder. \"Will you be all right or should I go with you?\" He hasn't managed to get a drink yet, but this doesn't seem to trouble him. \"I cabbed, I'm afraid. Though maybe that's for the best.\" He doesn't exactly look great to drive just now.\n\nFreddie shakes Cedric's hand. \"Well, look. If this were a normal crime scene, I could get the medics in here and people trained in trauma. But I can't exactly get a team in here and say that ghosts are the suspects in a B&E.\" He glances at Ritter, then at Yuki. \"Christ. That rolled over you lot, didn't it?\" He looks Ritter in the eye, seeing as he's closest. \"You all right, mate?\" He offers a ginger ale. \"Might help settle your stomach some.\" He looks around those assembled. \"My car isn't far if anyone would like a drive home. I haven't had much to drink.\"\n\nDecker takes a drink from his beer as Yuki helps herself up, waving off his hand. \"Sure. I think Cedric is offering his.\" He mentions, motioning towards him. He doesn't want to interrupt anything Cedric has going on with what just happened.\n\nGinger ale in hand, Cedric fairly drops into a chair near Ritter. \"Right, then\" he tells Freddie. \"Don't worry about it. I'm just tired.\" Too tired to stand, evidently, but he sips carefully at the offered ginger ale, again. \"Ta for this.\"\n\nWith that, he turns his attention to Ash and Ritter. \"Fancy a crack at getting more information, then? You'll have to tell me how this works.\" He places the iPad back in his lap and leans back into his chair.\n\nRitter says to Freddie, gravely, so very German \"Thankyou.\" And he takes the ginger ale, and then he says \"No, this is easy. It is better this way, to get the feelings out.\" He eases down into a chair, and then he offers his hand across \"Ash?\"\n\nAsh takes up his own ginger ale and inclines his head to Freddie in thanks. He gives Decker and Freddie another glance and asks quietly (though not out of their hearing), \"Are these gentlemen with us?\" He then adds, \"If you could tell me exactly what happened, that would be marvelous to start. Everyone feel free to add any details they may have noticed that might have been overlooked.\"\n\nYuki takes Cedric's offered drink, and starts sipping it down as she slips down into a sitting position in the floor right in front of the bar, leaning back against it, \"…So…w'at now? I don' bloody well feel like any paperwork 'ntil I've 'ad a good two days of sleep,\" she says, looking miserable enough she could probably go again. But thankfully she doesn't.\n\nFreddie can sense when people might want to have a word without him in earshot, so he wanders off to give the Touched folks a bit of space. He turns his attention to his mobile for a moment, then calls voicemail to listen to a missed message.\n\nCedric casts a quick look over at Decker. \"He's applied,\" he explains shortly to Ash. \"Mr. Shaw isn't Touched, he wouldn't be here if the Watch didn't vouch for him.\" He sits up, his tone low, rough, and quiet, but without the snarl, and he simply nods as Freddie moves away. His posture is still tense, his expression still trying to be withdrawn and mostly managing to look utterly drained. Still, he forges ahead. \"Going to try to use Mr. Cohen's powers to learn more, Yuki,\" he explains shortly. \"Right. First I noticed was the lights flickering, then when I looked up, there was something in the mirror. Then everything went out.\" A pause to sip carefully at ginger ale, and he rubs at his temple. \"That wave of dizziness … remember when Vegeir came in, and again when he was taken back? Same, but stronger.\"\n\nRitter says \"I think they appeared in the mirror first.\"\n\nAsh nods to Cedric, the he offers Decker and Freddie each a far more open, relaxed smile. \"Hello, gentlemen.\" His hole demeanor shifts to something less wary and more welcoming. \"I wouldn't mind your take on things if it's not too much trouble.\" He idly takes Ritter's hand. \"Every little bit helps. Can anyone describe what the 'something' in the mirror looked like? Sounded like?\"\n\nYuki nods to Ritter as she pipes in on that, \"I saw 'em…like I couldn' 'elp seein' 'em. Even in th' fireplace, it distracted me, burned m'self,\" she admits, shrugging a little, \"Then in th' mirrors 'round th' place…but w'en I looked away, it's like I didn' think of it anymore, like it wasn' so odd…th' lights flickerin' about didn' bother me so much, though…I 'aven' slept in three days an'ways, so wasn' much more than an annoyance a' this point. But th' things in th' mirrors? Jus' shadows…vague, fleeting shapes…can' say there w's much t' see, or 'least nothin' I can seem t' recall…an' I didn' 'ear anything.\"\n\nFreddie is distracted still, by listening to the message. He pulls the mobile down from his ear and frowns. \"That was dispatch. Reports of power outages all over the neighbourhood. Short-lived. All at the same time. We sent out officers to have a look. They suspected vandalism at substations.\" As for Ash's question, he shrugs. \"I didn't see anything strange until the ash appeared on the floor. No shadows.\"\n\nCedric remains silent, listening to the varying accounts. \"Didn't see more than a flash myself,\" he admits, but for the most part, he allows others to talk, alternating between sipping ginger ale and rubbing his temples. The tension is sill present in his posture.\n\nRitter focuses vaguely on the opposite wall, and then he rubs his temples and he says to Ash \"On your mark. The vision of the snakes makes the least sense to me, I must admit.\"\n\nAsh tells Freddie, \"Thank you, that's very helpful. It narrows things down for me.\" He gives Yuki a nod as well. He glances around then. Anyone else? Only when there's nothing else offered up does he give Ritter the nod. \"I caught a glimpse of the snakes at least,\" he says. \"Whenever you're ready, Mister Engel.\"\n\nDecker offers a slight nod in greeting towards Ash. \"Hello.\" He says before his attention turns to the others as they talk, explaining what they saw when the lights went out. \"I couldn't see anything then the next thing I know, there's something standing in front of me. It looked like it was looking at me then it was gone when the lights went back on.\"\n\nYuki gives another nod, \"W'at Decker Said…w'en th' lights came back, there was somethin' there…like a giant lump of gray clay…human, but featureless. Then it disappeared, an' I felt sick…it made a picture on th' floor, an' I…well…\" she stops at that. It's easy enough to see what she did.\n\nRitter shakes himself, briefly, then he focuses. And after a moment, there is a certain air of intensity to him - only the Touched would be able to see, but it is as if life is pressing out of him. Or some form of strange energy, as if Ritter himself is an engine for it. It slides from his fingers, and they glow from within, the skin translucent. His eyes flicker, and the pupils grow larger still, until there is no iris whatsoever. Something fine, febrile, and with the ozone taste of lightning is shoved up through Ash's hand.\n\nFreddie just sort of stares. He's clearly the outsider in this situation, though he's been around Touched enough that he's seen a strange thing or two. He doesn't interrupt, doesn't ask questions. But he also hangs back and keeps his distance.\n\nCedric's still just listening and sipping ginger ale. He hasn't spoken up again, and is now about halfway through the glass of ginger ale. \"Reckon those were the same creatures that brought Vegeir out of the Gloom, Mr. Cohen … but what relationship have they got to MacNamara?\"\n\nDecker glances down at his watch and drains the last of his beer. \"I've gotta head out. Got to go get in one more performance for the night.\" He says to no one in particular before he looks to Yuki. \"You gonna stop by later to help close up again.\" He gathers up his things before he offers a wave and heads out after he hears Yuki's reply and saying his farewells to everyone.\n\nAsh's head jerks up when the lightning flickers over his skin. He's awake! He is wide, wide awake. \"All right,\" he says briskly. \"Mr. Moseley, what can I help you with today.\" His hands are still shaky, only now it's jitters. The question is asked, and Ash thinks for a long moment. He draws a sharp breath, the says, \"He sent them.\" He nods as he speaks, and he doesn't focus on anyone or anything. \"They were harvesting energy from Touched. You weren't specifically targeted. Just…\" he waves a hand around. The neighborhood, the lights gone out.\n\nFreddie leans on the bar and sips his drink. He remains quiet and watchful. He almost feels voyeuristic, like he's seeing something only supernatural folks usually see.\n\nRitter says nothing. Possibly sees nothing. Does little save let the power within him spider up into Ash's flesh in a fine line.\n\nWith an effort, Cedric takes another long drink of ginger ale, sharpening his focus. His stomach is settling now, and he's looking less green and less shaky. One of his shoes is still off, but he ignores that for now, instead leaning forward in his chair, barely looking up as Decker leaves. \"Is Declan MacNamara aware that the Watch is seeking him?\" The question is low, quiet, and careful.\n\nYuki pushes herself to her feet, setting her glass on the bar, \"I'll settle up anything I owe later, promise,\" she says, before turning to Decker, \"Not tonight, I need t' sleep or I won' be doin' much, maybe next time,\" she says, before he leaves and she looks around, \"…I get th' impression I'm jus' gonna get in th' way…if you need me, th' Watch knows w'ere I live. Jus' knock first.\"\n\nAsh shakes his head. \"No,\" he says. That one comes a bit easier. There is a small tic at the corner of one eye. So much energy. \"He know someone killed, er—\" He grimaces, but e gets the word he's looking for.\n\nAsh shakes his head. \"No,\" he says. That one comes a bit easier. There is a small tic at the corner of one eye. So much energy. \"He know someone killed, er-\" He grimaces, but he gets the word he's looking for. \"-sluagh. He thinks it was monster hunters; he hasn't connected the incident to a bigger organization.\"\n\nThere's definite relief in the set of Cedric's shoulders as he leans elbows on knees. \"Good,\" he mutters in that low, quiet voice, half to himself at least. \"Let's keep it that way. \"Why were these creatures harvesting energy? Are they the children of Jormungandr from the prophecy?\" Hi looks up at Yuki as she makes to leave, and wearily raises a hand. \"You ought to listen to this, Yuki. Might learn something.\"\n\nAt talk of harvesting energy, though, Ritter cannot help but ask \"…given my abilities, are these things…am I less susceptible or more?\" A bit of self interest there.\n\nYuki looks back at Cedric as she nears the door, shoulders slumping as she leans against the frame, \"I wan' to…but I 'aven' slept a wink in three days, an' I can't be sure I will tonight either. I can't focus, my scought…\" she shakes her head, \"…thoughts are scattered…I could stay an' listen t' ever'thing in the world, an' I wouldn' learn a bit right now…sorry…\"\n\nAsh says politely, \"One moment please.\" He thinks for awhile. Then closes his eyes. His fingertips tap-tap-tap-tap on the table. \"I…\" His voice falters. The energy flowing over him disappears. He sucks it in. But he doesn't get past 'I.'\n\n\"No?\" Sympathy is clearly written across the tense expression that is trying and failing to be withdrawn as Yuki explains her situation - somehow he'd missed that. \"That's rough,\" he answers quietly, then nods over at Ash when he says to wait. \"All right, then. Might see a doc about something to help you sleep.\"\n\nThen, the questioning session stops, and his attention is drawn back to Ash. \"All right there, Mr. Cohen?\" Suddenly, concern gives hima brief flash of new energy, and he sets glass and iPad aside on a table, preparing to stand up.\n\nRitter pulls, suddenly, at Ash's hand, jerking his own fingers back \"Stop that,\" he says, distantly, and then he repeats the command - and it is a command, certainly - in German. He is, apparently, talking to Ash.\n\nFreddie hangs back by the bar. At some point in the last few minutes, he settled up any outstanding bar tabs. Now he turns his attention to Ritter and Ash.\n\nAsh blinks a few times, and he snaps out of whatever that was when the juice is cut off. \"I'm sorry?\" he asks. Still ever polite, but his features are strained. \"I'm sorry, I can't bridge one to the other. Perhaps with a bit more research I can give you something, but I couldn't guarantee when.\" He manfully ignores Ritter. Stop what? Surely he has no idea what the man is talking about.\n\nBroken from his focus by the byplay, Cedric sits back down and rubs a hand over his eyes. \"All right. Thanks, Mr. Cohen. Got something, anyroad,\" he adds, slumping back down in his seat and passing a hand over his eyes, rubbing at his temples. He's largely oblivious to what is going on around him, focused on himself, and his shoulders tense again.\n\nRitter delicately stretches out his fingers, and then he says to Ash - friend, chum - \"I was about to shut you off.\" He lets his breath out, slowly, and he says \"Now I definitely need to rest. Properly. Ash, you have to help me get home.\" He rises, unsteadily, and he says \"I am. Glad to have met people. Regardless of the events of today.\"\n\n\"If you don't mind my saying so,\" says Freddie, \"You lot look like shit. Who wants a drive home, then?\" He crosses the room and goes to grab his coat from the rack by the door.\n\n\"I'm all right,\" Ash tells Ritter. He gets to his feet unsteadily. His shoulders give an involuntary twitch. \"That's what all the boys say,\" Ash relies to Freddie wryly. Then, \"I'll hit the books and see what I come up with, Mr. Moseley.\""

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