Scene of the Crime


Towering skyscrapers make up the majority of buildings in Downtown Dallas. The area isn't entirely comprised of concrete jungle, as the historic West End isn't that far off, offering buildings that have been converted into trendy lofts or two-bedroom homes. The streets are generally busy here, both vehicular and pedestrian traffic as people make their way to and from the office. Despite the size of the downtown area, one can easily walk anywhere be it the grocery store, the pub, or a small restaurant.

Nighttime in heart of Dallas, Texas. The moon is high, just recently full, but it is far from shining brightly. Dark clouds from an upcoming storm line the skies, hiding even more stars than usual. The setting is far from ideal for those out walking; the streets are darker than usual and far from safe.

Days have passed since there have been distractions enough to keep a huntress off the streets. No longer afraid or burdened by the presence of another she takes to the street, even though not quite as usual. Dressed in a suite-skirt outfit, Professor Niveus walks. The clicking of her heels echoes in the downtown area, even with the few that are about with her. Any weapons that she happens to have about would be concealed in her purse to avoid immediate speculation.

Rumor has it that there have been some vampire attacks in the area recently, and such news is disturbing to her. Even if her search turns up nothing, the willing bait is prepared for what all may come her way.


If you're going to track a vampire, nighttime is often the time to do it, though it's a whole lot safer during the day. As it is, Rachel's not dressed nearly so fetchingly. Her's is a much more practical outfit — jeans, hikers, a light top. And a jacket, which conceals her own weapon and holster nicely enough. She wanders slowly down the street, eyes sweeping the details, taking them in. Her SUV is parked two blocks away, the closest she could get to this busy are… which is only surprising because pedestrian traffic is so light.

But, it's late, and people don't like to be out in a storm after dark. Even if the storm hasn't actually hit just yet.

She appears to be searching for something. A landmark, maybe, given how intently she looks at the brick facades on the buildings. There's a faint scowl on her face and her eyes simply don't stay still. She notes the brunette in the suede outfit, making brief, curious eye-contact. But that isn't the girl she's hoping to find.


The danger of the situation is noted not for herself but for those foolish enough to be out. A lone female in questionable areas on the darkest of nights not only sticks out but begs for trouble. As much as she realizes that she could be lectured on the same accounts, the professor seems unfazed by the situation. The night is hers, after all.

Still it seems out of place to encounter such a woman. A nod is offered in Rachel's direction as Quinn can't help but wonder if she is looking to become vampire bait. The words nearly are spoken but this other woman has an agenda. She's searching and should be left to her quest.

This holds true as Quinn slips into a nearby alleyway. Her fingers run along the warm brick of a building as she searches. This is roughly the same location she had heard the attacks were taking place in. If a vampire is so sloppy to continually return to the same scene, hopefully it is dumb enough to leave evidence that it is not some random gang movement.


Rae isn't much for the whole vampirebait type of rumble. But, she does have a job to do. It's not even her day-job, actually. At least, not directly. Not this time.

Her eyes slide away from Quinn's though the thoughts running through her head aren't vastly different than the one's running through the professor's. Granted, she doesn't have the comfort of magic to back her up. Nor is she under any illusions that she can possibly move faster than a vampire. The best she can hope for is that her 'gift' acts as a certain 'spidey-sense' and tells her to get the hell outta the way in time.

It has in the past.

Her head snaps up as she recognizes something, a quoin on a building, the pattern of the bricks. She looks around just in time to see the suede-garbbed woman slip into the same alley and swears softly to herself.

Not the girl she was looking for, but definitely the place.

Consequently, she follows.


This is not the woman that you're looking for. If only she had that sort of ability, but sadly she cannot affect minds in such a way. What she can do has saved her life in the past but even the comfort of illusion does not give the witch the idea that she can move faster than a vampire. Inexperience is what she's hoping for, the angle not entirely impossible based on repeat behavior.

To be a hunter, one must learn to rely on their natural instincts. Without super human senses, Quinn has only the option of the utmost consideration. As she walks she listens, she watches. Every sense is used and that is how she believes that she may have someone following her. It could also be purely her imagination, as has been proven in the past.

Before she turns to confront her possibly non-existent stalker, she suddenly stops. Something along the wall feels different, just in texture. Something is a little damp, even against the humidity covered brick. Fingers are pulled closer for an examination. Blood? Or possibly something associated with the homeless that she'd prefer not to think of.


Rachel is actually no slouch at the whole sneaking thing, herself. Not, mind, that she's consciously sneaking. But she's definitely keeping her own noise to a complete minimum. Like the other woman, she knows it's easier to hunt when you can hear as well as see. Or smell, for that matter.

A faintly puzzled scowl settles across her brows as she watches Quinn move further along the alley. When the other woman pauses and glances at her fingers, Rachel's expression tightens. She doesn't know what Quinn's found, of course. And she could guess it to be any number of things. But, the first thought that runs through her head is:

'Dear God, please don't let me be late.'

She glances up — so many people forget to look up. Eyes scan the fire escape and the walls. There's not a lot of light to be had. But, there are lots of shadows. A glint of metal, a railing reflecting a wan bit of streetlamp light from the far side of the street. Not a lot to go on.

But, maybe one group of shadows that are darker than the others?

Rachel can't see anything moving. But, again, that means nothing. Vampires are great at statue impersonations. Still, she's not sure what she's more afraid she'll find: A hungry vampire lurking in the shadows above… or his victim oozing life through the metal catwalk grid or down the wall.

"Hey!" She calls out softly, but sharply. She wants Quinn's attention. "This probably's not a good place to be."

Translation: Staying here would be bad; leaving would be good. Won't you be good?


The sticky substance on her fingers honestly has captured a good bit of her attention, at least for the immediate moment. With the area being so dimly lit it's near impossible to get a good look at things without being close. There it is, though; the fear of what she's possibly gotten her fingers into is pushed aside as she sniffs at the coppery scented substance.

Quickly her attention turns to the wall it was found upon as it is examined as best as can be in the current situation. Just as the professor is about to reach into her purse for a flashlight there is a call, a warning from an unknown source. Just as quickly as she had looked to the wall she turns towards the voice, her clean hand still decidedly in her purse.

"The same warning could be directed towards you," Quinn responds as she slowly removes her hand from her purse. There is something in those hands, a metal object that in the lighting very well could pass as a weapon. Unless she's stopped somehow the object is then pointed up, up in that direction that Rachel was so wise to look in.

No, Quinn will not be good. "Unless you have a death wish."


"Uh-huh," Rachel replies. "Probably could." Her tone is fairly reasonable, though there's no mistaking the undercurrent of caution in it. Caution, and a trace of authority — the type cops always get when they think they're on the cusp of one of those volatile situations that could go south, fast. She sees the metal glinting in the other woman's hand as it's eased from the purse. Her own hand slides toward her own holster, eyes still on Quinn. Her free hand extends towards her. "So, what d'ya say we both get out of here?"

The more she speaks, the more apparent her northern accent becomes. Those blunt, NY consonants are hard to miss against the usual Texan vowel drawl.

"Before one or both of us gets hurt, huh?"


This would not be a first time encounter with the police kind, so Quinn is not easily swayed by the words. Instead of speaking at first, she switches on the flashlight, allowing the golden beams to shine up into the darkest of spots. Since she's focused on Rachel she doesn't look, which may or may not give the prey time to leave; if the prey is indeed still around.

The professor carries no hint of a southern accent; in fact, the northern tones are clear within her tone as well. Not quite the same as the New York speech, but rather the city of Chicago. "Pain is not something I'm afraid of. Being too late is."

Even as she speaks, the light is swung so that she can look at the wall. In fact, Quinn takes a few steps back, revealing it to the officer in case she's so curious. "The lack of body is concerning, but I highly suspect that there will be one."

Look: Quinn is handing you clues. She would feel helpful if she actually cared. "You can choose to leave if you'd like; force me to leave as well. There are just some things that cannot be ignored." Such things being the blood patterns sprayed upon the wall. Something bad happened here, not all that long before. Once more she looks up, for once wishing she had that power that Chloe holds to be able to tell if they truly are alone.



The word echoes Rachel's own sentiments.

Her eyes follow the beam of light skyward, hand pausing on the butt of her gun. "Shit."

There's prey up there. But it's not a vampire. "Shit!" She swears again. That's the girl she's looking for.

The vamp's no where to be seen. Doesn't mean its gone, just that it's not evident… unless you count the torn throat of the vic on the catwalk landing.

"Ye-ah." Rachel's tone gives the game away, even without Quinn having to look to know what she's seen. "No lack of a body."

She glances to the wall as Quinn moves the light back down to the wall. Her shoulders paradoxically at once seem to square and fall as she now slides into forensics mode. She leaves her gun in its holster and takes her hands away. At least for the moment.

"You're not a cop," she says to Quinn, placing the Chicago accent, now. "You're not FBI. So, who are you? And why are you here?"


Reactions are given yet not at the proper time. It is confusing at first, at least until she can piece together the events which stirred them. Slowly Quinn looks up, the light moving to the location that it was before. What is found there doesn't cause a reaction from her, not anything obvious. If only she had worried less about her personal life and more about her night life this might not have happened. So the stare continues as she takes in every possible thing she can about the dead woman, that poor girl who fell victim to what she would say is obviously a vampire attack.

Eventually she comes back to reality, replying the statements and the questions. The officer must be used to this based on her lack of scream or losing of dinner. "No, I'm not. I'm a professor, actually." It matters little what she is yet she has no reason to be anything but honest.

The light moves back and forth between the wall and the victim as she attempts to piece together exactly what happened, even if it is clear. "I had heard rumor of incidents in this area and decided to see if it's something that I knew of; clearly it is. There's most likely only one thing that would do this sort of thing."

Impassive, that's what Quinn is. This is business to her. "It must be young, or not all that bright. I fear that this will continue until it's caught."


"Professor." Not the answer Rachel was expecting.

Then again, she's not really sure just what she was expecting. Certainly not the woman before her. A trained psychologist and profiler, Rachel takes in each of the woman's small movements and smaller facial expressions. Wow. She's a real piece of work, isn't she? Great. That's going to make all this so much better. "Professor who?"

Might as well get a name.

"Yeah, I don't disagree, Professor," she says bluntly, then. There's a part of her that knows she should call this in. The professor's right. This isn't the first time this monster's struck. If Rae had any idea what the local undead hierarchy was in the city, she'd be knocking on their coffin doors, telling them to catch the bastard so she wouldn't have to. But, she doesn't know them. Not yet, anyway. So, in the meantime, she has to do things the old fashioned way — the pre-Revelation way. So, yeah. She should call it in. The problem is trying to explain how she found it. And just who the Professor is.

She steps a little further into the alley, cautiously toward the woman and the ladder a couple of yards beyond. "Could be young. Could just be crazy." A beat. "Could be both." Glancing up, she fishes into her pocket for a small keychain flashlight of her own.

She looks up again. "I need to get up there." To see the body.


They likely both are characters, each in their own right. As for Rachel, yes, she'll have quite a handful in this huntress. Examining her closely as she does will reveal so many things about her, none of which include a winning personality or outward fear. Even the concern is hidden as best it can be. "Niveus. Quinn Niveus, Professor of Mythological Studies at SMU." In case her credentials are run it doesn't hurt to give what information will be needed. At this point, she has nothing to hide.

The light is then moved in other directions as she does her very best to ensure she's not stepping too much around a crime scene. Such evidence must be maintained as best as it can. Her immediate concerns do not fall upon contacting the vampire hierarchy; instead she'd rather find the thing responsible for these deaths and put an end to its unlife.

"The crazy part honestly is quite disturbing. When they're reckless, bad things happen." Perhaps her studies are what give her the insight that she has. "Young ones can likely be roped in, at least. If it truly has gone off the deep end, things will only get worse."

It is that statement, coupled with the sight of the dead girl that finally causes Quinn to shudder. Her light moves to the ladder, then up to where Rachel is intending to go. "It might still be around." Doubtful, if it is full, unless the beast truly is crazy. "Do be careful if you do. I'm afraid that wielding a flashlight is going to do little to save you."


Mythological studies. Grand. That explains some of the oddities, anyway.

"Yeah," she says in response to the warning. "Tell me about it."

'Course, she doesn't much figure a gun's going to help her, either. Shrugging her jacket some so that the cuffs fall over her palms, she uses the leather as defacto gloves to keep herself from leaving too much evidence of her own.

She's lucky, actually. There's no blood on the ladder. The girl's body is too far back against the wall for that. And it's likely the vamp really didn't touch the ladder much itself on its way up to the landing.

Achieving the landing herself, Rachel looks around. She lets her flashlight play over the rest of the walls, and higher up the metal stairs. "I don't think here any more," she tells the woman below. Well, she's really hoping it's not, certainly. But it doesn't seem to be.

Crouching by the dead girl's limp form Rachel shoves her sleeves back up to where they should be. She shines her flashlight on the pale face, the lank golden curls. Her own eyes close for a moment. "I'm sorry…" she whispers to the corpse. "I just don't know the city well-enough, yet." Her voice doesn't carry, but the light reflecting back at her from the metal that surrounds her makes her grim expression clear enough. Perhaps she and the Professor aren't completely different.

Touching the back of her hand to the girl's unblemished forehead, she closes her eyes.


A nice person would have offered gloves to the officer prior to climb, yet she is not a nice person. All the tools needed, or at least some of them, can be found in her bag of goodies. This includes a stake and such information is not meant to be revealed just yet.

"You're the professional, and you're likely right. It wouldn't pay to stick around and expose itself to possible retaliation, even if it can stand up to mostly anything." Experience rings out in her tone but Quinn continues to allow the officer to do her duties. This doesn't mean that she doesn't use her flashlight to help Rachel as she can and to look around when she can't.

What is seen is the grim expression on the other woman's face which actually causes the witch to look away. "Should I call nine-one-one for you?" It will sound odd explaining how she knows what she does, but Quinn plans to be long gone before other squads arrive.

"There's really nothing else I can do to help you, other than try to keep an eye out for others. I highly doubt you really want me poking around at a …" The blood stains are looked at again, bringing her pause. "… crime scene."


Rachel's plan had been to get into the alley, grab the girl, and get out before the vampire ever got here. Most of her own forensics kit is in the car. There'll be time enough to grab it, once the DPD arrive.

She ignores the professor's question for a moment, concentrating. In the end, though, as she opens her eyes, she seems almost disappointed. Certainly, her expression turns a little stonier. She rises to her feet then and prepares to descend the ladder the same way she ascended it. "Yeah, hang on a sec."

It's only once she reaches the bottom that she answers directly.

"I'll call it in," she says, walking away from the ladder. Her eyes have somewhat adjusted to the darkness of the alley, now. "But, really, before I do… How much do you know about vampires?"


There's no complaint given when she's instructed to hold while the other rejoins her. In the downtime Quinn continues to look at the scene with a speculative expression. "I've already compromised the evidence," she states, matter-of-factly. It is how she was alerted to the scene in the first place, but the truth remains. "Not my intent." That's about as close to an apology that the Niveus is going to get.

Further, it far from breaks her heart that she's not the one to officially report the scene. It would lead to far more headache than it's worth. The flashlight is switched off once Rachel reaches the ground as it likely no longer is needed. As she places it back in her purse she prepares to leave.

Only the question stops her. "Well, if I didn't know anything, I'd be rather bad at my job. Wouldn't I?" It comes out rather smart, but Quinn is being honest. So she stands there, fighting back annoyance in order to explain. "I've been attacked by a few in my years as well. I'm not exactly married to them but I know my fair share. Why?"

(New BB message (9/25) posted to 'Kudos' by Summer: Pack Hunt~!)


Rachel watches the woman as she speaks. "You said 'mythological studies', right? So, I'm wondering how much contemporary information you've got. The best the DPD has — had, actually, is a vampiric liaison officer. And I've reason to believe this is quickly going to move out of the confinement of their jurisdiction. Do you know the local vampire community, at all? Do you know how they work? Do you know what's typical, what's not?" She gives a wry, humorless smile.

"I'd like to catch this thing before it does this again. If you can help me with that… I'd appreciate anything you can give me."


How much to reveal to this officer? "I've encountered quite a few vampires here," comes the honest admission. "I'm rather up to speed on the in's and out's of vampire kind. That of lore and fact. It most likely isn't as much intel as your liaison had, but it's enough to keep me alive." Knowledge is power, after all, and those of certain power are doomed to be taken down eventually.

Quinn shifts slightly as she considers her words. "I'm aware of at least one beast in the area that is over fourteen hundred years of age. I've also found that at least one happens to frequent a coffee shop in the city. That one is a rather talkative fellow." Annoying, too, but that is kept to herself. Little does she know that both vampires are one and the same.

"Honestly, if it's such a repeat offender, the best chance of catching it is to set a trap. It obviously enjoys this area when it comes to feeding so I highly doubt he'll return. I could attempt to put you in contact with the one I've encountered, if you'd prefer. But honestly, this? A hand points the scene around them. "This isn't exactly normal for this area. Once, perhaps, if a creature is sloppy. This bothers me."


No. It's not normal. Rachel will concede that.

"Yeah," she agrees. "It bothers me, too."

Setting a trap is about the only thing she can think to do. The problem is bait. And, unless she's very, very wrong, she has a distinct feeling she'll find out who the 'bait' should be before very much longer. She's just hoping it's not too late, next time.

The way Quinn labels all vampires as 'beast' doesn't go unnoted. Just unremarked.

Ironically enough, she's met Quinn's annoying 'friend'. There's just no way either would know that.

"I wouldn't mind the introduction," she concedes. "I also wouldn't mind dropping in to see you at the university, if I may. Pick your brain some about the lore you know. If you don't mind. I've had to deal with them a time or two myself."

It also gives her a 'cover story' as to why Quinn was here. For now, anyway.

She reaches into her pocket to pull out her cell phone.


"I can see what I can do. Last time we parted ways was not overly kind, but I should be able to run into him again. Some people are just creatures of habit." There may be a pun in that statement somewhere but it certainly isn't dwelled upon. "When I do encounter him, I can let you know that you were looking for him, " The way that Quinn trails off indicates that this is where she's expecting a name to be inserted.

Even with this said, Quinn once more reaches into her purse. After a brief moment of digging she opens a case and produces a business card. "I don't mind. I keep some off hours, depending on the day, so just call first. Unless you like to sit in an empty office. I don't particularly mind." There's nothing interesting in there, anyway. Her home, however, is a different story.

"I can pull together everything I know before then. Try to get it catalog and presentable for you."


Rachel reaches into her back pocket at this point, pulling out a slim metal case. From it, she extracts a business card. "Special Agent Rachel McKendrick," she supplies, extending the card to the other woman in trade.

She gives a smile, though it's still grim. "Thank you, Professor. I'll be in touch."

And she makes the decision, then, to let the woman go. Flipping open the phone, she starts punching in numbers to the station house with a single thumb. "I suggest you take off. This?" She glances around at the crime scene. "This is just going to be a formality."

As by-the-book as she often needs to be, she knows there's nothing here the book can touch. This one? This one's another one that's going to end up off the record.

Again. Damn it all.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License