(The Bermuda Pentagram(SRJustin):SRJustin) [Tue Jan 9 2018]
On a lonely street in Santiago de Cuba The street is badly paved, pot holed, and narrow, but it does offer some degree of privacy away from the more populace areas of the city. Either side is shrouded with trees and an occasional street lamp that buzzes quietly, surrounded by various insects trying to reach the bulb. On the north side of the street, a house is taped off with presumably police tape (it is written in Spanish). The south side offers an view through some of the trees to the Caribbean Sea and a little bar looking building that is barely more than a cinderblock construct with a roof.
It is night, about 20F(-6C) degrees, There is a waning crescent moon.
[OOC: Let's give them a few more minutes to get applications and such in and see if we can't start shortly. Feel free to post as if having arrived via Pathing if you like.]
The path in seems to be fairly easy and uneventful. It is already night time in Cuba, so it is fairly dark, despite the sporadic street lighting. Various bug noises have started with the fall of darkness, so there is almost a constant hum of one sort or another. Strangely though, the temperature here is quite temperate, almost a little too warm. Partly cloudy, with a chance of rain it looks like, though none is falling currently. Even the wind seems to have settled down to what could barely be considered a breeze. When Olly and Teuila arrive, there is a blond man nearby, leaning against the cinderblock building.
"Good evening," he says in an accent that is a little hard to place in so brief a statement. He motions for the pair to follow him and then heads into the ramshackled little bar.
Olly glances down at Teuila and chuckles, he looks toward the blond man and starts to lumber after him, "Let's go, man." he tells Teuila and hooks his thick thumbs into his slacks' pockets, scanning the area around him.
Teuila tilts her head, briefly sniffing at the air. "Not quite home, but close," she muses to Olly as they arrive. "And not Florida, thank goodness." She flashes a mischievous grin, then waves to the blond fellow in greeting. "Hi there. Are you Joseph?" she asks, tone coversational, as she moves alongside Olly.
"Oh yeah, not Florida... I misspoke, sorry." Olly tells Teuila and lets Teuila take the lead on communications, walking along beside her as they enter the bar.
Teuila grins up at Olly and shrugs her shoulders. "I'm glad. Nothing to be sorry about. And it's warm." She breathes out the last with distinct pleasure.
The inside of the bar reveals little that the outside did not already hint at. There is not even a floor. It is just packed dirt. The 'bar' inside seems to be formed from a couple of barrels with a long, two-inch thick plank placed across them. "It is indeed not Florida, but it is in close enough proximity for mystical purposes and what not," the man says, dressed in jeans and a T-shirt, looking a little disheaveled really, despite everything. "And yes, I am Joseph," he replies eventually. He takes a place near the 'bar' and gestures at the things he has laid out there. One is a map, clearly showing a pentagram shape from the Bermuda triangle with Santiago de Cuba as one of the star points. There are also a multitude of pictures of various murders it looks like all over the place.
Olly pulls the picture closer, if possible. He starts to look for a few things, the first is he checks to see where each 'point' on the star is, other than cuba, and roughly what/where is at the 'center' of pentagram, "Lemme see those crime scene photos, man? You got the causes of death and shit?" he asks Joseph.
Remaining close to Olly, Teuila tilts her head, pushing back shell-and-bead threaded hair to study the map with a curious focus. As Olly starts to ask his questions however, she merely nods, focusing her curiosity more in silent study for the moment. But she's listening, that's most certain.
The pictures depict various bloody showings of death, from infants to women to men even. The center of the pentagram is in the middle of the ocean, thankfully. "All the murders seem to have a similar MO. Ritual slashing of various body bits, wrists, legs, stomach, eventually throat. The blood gets put onto walls in various arcane symbols," Joseph informs Olly, gesturing at some of the extra pictures that show those, which looks very much like some ritual sort of deals, demonic symbols, writing in other languages, runes and the like. "I believe this is just saturating the area with the correct type of energy. But these murders are only one of the steps. For the ritual to work, he will need to do similar over here," Joseph informs the pair, pointing at a point on the star which is in the ocean.
"Hmmm... is there an island there, or maybe some kinda boat?" Olly asks someone, "I mean, either Tay or myself are able to survive in the ocean, no problem, but uh... I'd rather not fuck up this suit." he tells Joseph, "Any relationships between the victims or common threads? Jobs, lifestyles, things of that nature?" he looks at the bloody showings of death, even of the infants without batting an eye and leans in to try to analyze the arcane symbols, "And were you able to get a translation on any of the writing in other languages?" he asks someone.
"Hmmm... is there an island there, or maybe some kinda boat?" Olly asks Joseph, "I mean, either Tay or myself are able to survive in the ocean, no problem, but uh... I'd rather not fuck up this suit." he tells Joseph, "Any relationships between the victims or common threads? Jobs, lifestyles, things of that nature?" he looks at the bloody showings of death, even of the infants without batting an eye and leans in to try to analyze the arcane symbols, "And were you able to get a translation on any of the writing in other languages?" he asks Joseph.
"He'll... in the ocean?" Teuila asks, puzzling through Joseph's explanation with a look of deep concentration. "On a ship, maybe? Or... well..." Her words trail off, though she nods her agreement with Olly's questions and she muses, "I swim better than I walk, that's not an issue..."
"Obviously I did, or I wouldn't have put together that I think it is something involving demons," Joseph says, answering Olly's last question first with a little bit of a smirk and a shake of his head. "This could be major. If the Chosen are trying to finish what is essentially a centuries old ritual here, who knows what could potentially come out of it?" he asks the pair, then points at the map again. "The land murders have fallen off. I think they are arranging to do a similar sort of deal out here though. There's no land there, near as I can tell. Which means he may be using a boat. And coincidentally," Joseph says, producing some pages from a backpack behind the 'bar.' "There's a cruise ship set to go right across that point on a pleasure cruise bound for Europe," he states, patting the paper that supports this onto the board confidently.
"Well that sounds like anything but a coincidence," Teuila admits, hr lips pursing faintly. "When? I guess you think that's the next target?" The question's asked to Joseph while she taps a finger on one of the pictures, looking at it a moment longer before sighing out softly. Again, she turns to Olly.
"Sounds good. Do you got any idea when the cruise ship will be near that point, or if it's already left harbor? No guarantees he'll be on the ship until it reaches the point, but it's possible, I guess." Olly says and scratches under his eye with his thumbnail, "Are the translated words of any use, or just ritualistic chants or some shit like that, man?" he asks Joseph.
"It's a long process translating things like this. Clarity in blood and all that. It takes time to put particulars down. But when certain symbols show up, repeatedly, logical leaps are allowed for the sake of expediency, I think," Joseph informs Olly, tapping a couple of different pictures that show the same symbol on obviously different backgrounds as if to emphasize his point.
"As fer the ship, they move fairly slow. So we have time. But cruise ships are also large, so," Joseph trails off with a shrug. "I can getcha a boat that can get you close. But you'd be alone on the ship. I'd look for the lower decks, or maybe check the nightmare and see if there are any places you can't reach," he suggests thoughtfully then looks between Olly and Teuila expectantly.
Teuila reaches up, touching the charm at her throat as she nods thoughtfully. "Getting to the ship won't be a problem. But what do you mean by alone? No people at all, or simply nobody else there to help us, if we get in trouble?" she questions softly.
"Sounds good, looks like they're the most likely place to strike next, man. Let's get to that boat." Olly tells Joseph. To Teuila he says, "I think he just means we got no backup. We oughtta still be able to path out, if shit gets hairy, but yeah."
Teuila nods to Olly. "If we have to jump, I do swim really fast underwater," she tells him with a grin. "Can get you far enough away to path, too." She nudges her shoulder into his, draws a deep breath, then nods. "Ready then," she says after a moment. "If you are."
"Oh yeah, one more thing. We haven't gone over our pay." Olly tells Joseph, "I'm ready to go other than that shit." he says and looks aside to Teuila, grinning a bit.
"Oh yeah. I made that mistake last time," Teuila huffs. "And then that purple-haired ninny burned the spear I wanted anyway..." She cuts off her pouty complaint and grins back at Olly before looking curiously at Joseph once more.
"Sounds good, looks like they're the most likely place to strike next, man. Let's get to that boat." Olly tells Joseph. To Teuila he says, "I think he just means we got no backup. We oughtta still be able to path out, if shit gets hairy, but yeah."(repost)
"Oh yeah, one more thing. We haven't gone over our pay." Olly tells Joseph, "I'm ready to go other than that shit." he says and looks aside to Teuila, grinning a bit.(repost)
"Oh yeah. I made that mistake last time," Teuila huffs. "And then that purple-haired ninny burned the spear I wanted anyway..." She cuts off her pouty complaint and grins back at Olly before looking curiously at Joseph once more. (re)
"Yes, no backup," Joseph says to Olly, nodding toward Teuila in an apologetic fashion. "As fer payment," he says, trailing off as if he wants to avoid the topic or has been avoiding the topic for as long as possible. "The usual arrangements are usually the best ones, unless you are the sorts to accept a job well done as its own reward," he finally allows with a burdened sigh as if whatever Olly and Teuila will potentially ask for will have to come out of him, personally. "Assuming you manage to stop him," he adds as if that point is non-negotiable.
"Nah, I'm not the kinda guy who does stuff just to feel good about it, man." Olly tells Joseph with a grin, "But it seems like you got some arcane knowledge and contacts. I might call you for a favor within the next few months. Nothing that'd put your life at risk. Good?" he asks Joseph and glances over to Teuila.
"Seems like a fair trade. Same here, then. But if there's a really badass spear for some reason, I want it," Teuila chimes in, then shrugs and offers a hint of laughter. "If it's a good deal to Olly, it works for me. I trust him on things like that."
Joseph relaxes a little and lets out a sigh, then nods at Olly. "Most of my organization thinks I'm crazy for following this... So they haven't really given me much support," he allows with a shrug. He does have a bit of a deranged look to himself even, having spent long nights studying and putting pieces of the puzzle together to try to solve it. He nods when Teuila agrees and says, "Let's see if we cannot get you both onto a boat. I'll be in touch afterwards, but probably once you are back in Haven." He steps away from the bar to let the pair continue perusing while he makes some phone calls. ..
Olly glances over the pictures once more and asks, "One more thing, how sure are you and the cops that this is just one killer?" he pushes some pictures Teuila's way to let her look as well, then leans over to give her a kiss on the temple.
Teuila studies the pictures, trying to mask the grimace at those poor, murdered infants. But Olly's question has her looking up sharply. "You think it's like, a group? A cult or something?" she questions of him soberly, even if the kiss makes her smile. Leaning into him a bit, she mutters, "Well. I hope not... One crazy is enough."
"I'm thinking it's be unfortunate if we assume it's one dude and end up fighting a dozen cult members or something, yeah." Olly tells Teuila and lets out a sonorous chuckle from deep in his chest.
"We're not. It may be one, it could be as many as three, but operating very closely to each other. I have a hunch it is one member of the Chosen in particular though," Joseph says, shaking his head as he finishes the phone call to arrange the boat. "Riley," he states with a hint of disdain as if he said a bad word in front of his own mother. He shrugs his shoulders and says, "Riley is a member of the Chosen, kinda like me in the Forsaken, researcher, ritualist, occultist... Only I work at unraveling the things he and others like him do..."
Olly nods, "Demon born, just to confirm? Or has he made a pact?" he asks and reaches up to adjust his suit jacket around himself. He also unties his hair, pulls it back and reties it into a tighter ponytail, perhaps as part of his 'getting ready' ritual.
"Oh yeah, you want these dudes alive or dead?" Olly asks Joseph when he's done and slips his thumbs back into his slacks' pockets.
Teuila listens thoughtfully, lips pressing together for a moment. She nods, musing, "Difference in approach, I suppose, depending. Hopefully not red-eyed. Or at least not three red-eyed, right?"
"Probably demonblooded, possibly with a Pact to boot. This guy's not good news," Joseph says to answer the first questions, shaking his head slowly, as if slightly embarassed to have to admit that his rival for this event may be better than him. Of course, Joseph could be entirely human despite all of his knowledge. "I do not think he has extra eyes or inhuman color characteristics though," he does allow to Teuila. He gives Olly a little look and a slight shake of his head that is almost like he does not even want Teuila to know he did it. And then he says, "The boat should be pullin' up outside shortly." Then he turns to leave the bar to head down to the southern shoreline.
"C'mon." Olly tells Teuila and follows after Joseph. He grins down at Teuila and says, "I'm probably going to eat well tonight." he strides along after Joseph and scans about himself as they exit the bar, preparing to follow the man to the shore.
Teuila laughs softly at that. "Go for it," she tells Olly. "But man, if I shift you can't complain if I join in." She winks at him, then reaches for his hand as she walks with him down to the shore. "Kind of in the mood for a swim," she adds a bit distractedly. "But later. This... well. Best not tire myself yet."
True to his words about the boat, there is a speed boat pulling up to a little rickety dock down the ways a little from the 'bar' where the meeting was held. It takes a couple minutes to walk down there, but then the boat is ready to potentially carry Olly and Teuila to their intended point. Unfortunately, the boat trip could potentially take a few hours, covering the amount of distance they have in mind under ordinary circumstances. "Bill here should be able to get you close to the rendezvous shortly," Joseph says before dipping his head toward them. He dips his head and says, "Good luck. I mean it."
"Mmm. Well thanks," Teuila offers to Joseph, her expression tensing again as she heads for the boat, almost overly careful in stepping in. "Bill's not coming on board with us, right?" she wonders, before looking up to Olly. "Those ships are huge. How're we going to get from the sea up onto the decks?" she asks pretty seriously. "I can't fly, yet, or jump that far... I guess we could try pathing?"
Olly lifts his hand to Bill and climbs into the speed boat, he rolls his shoudlers and says, "Alright man, let's get this show on the road then." he plops himself down and looks to Teuila, "Yeah, I'll probably path up, we'll see. I wanna say there's gotta be alternative ways to get up onto one, but I've never been on a cruise ship."
Bill is a large, sea-worthy sort, tanned, dark hair, dark eyes, mustache. Bill also looks much more like a Miguel or a Rubio than a Bill. He does not seem to understand any of what has been said either as he waits for Olly and Teuila on the boat. "Bill will not be joining you on board, no. As for getting on, that might be interesting," Joseph says without offering any ideas on how to get there. He turns and heads back up toward the bar, apparently leaving it to Olly to decide how to deal with it. Bill waves to Joseph and once Olly and Teuila are on board, he makes ready to leave.
"Well. We might have to swim, if pathing from the boat to the ship doesn't work but... we'll figure it out," Teuila replies in answer to Olly, before she settles herself, bending to take off her boots and tuck them away into her pack.
Olly nods to Teuila and wraps his arm around her while he lets Bill get them out to the cruise ship, a grin on his face.
Once both party members are on the boat, Bill unties the boat and starts up the motor. Once he has piloted out a bit away from the shore, he turns to head east as if he will be going around the whole island. And then he puts the throttle down, causing the boat engine to rev up and pick up speed. He is definitely going faster than most aquatic creatures can swim before too long. He has the boat going over the relatively calm waters at speeds faster than some people will drive cars on Sunday even. And still gains even more speed. Despite the rather plain look of the boat, it seems to have some fair get up and go.
The big Samoan reaches up to grip onto something on the boat when it picks up speed, "Must be in my head, but I swear I'm getting seasick." Olly tells Teuila, though he keeps his characteristic grin on his face as he looks out over the waters, "Fucking beautiful out here." he calls to her and takes a deep inhalation of breath through his nostrils and closes his eyes briefly, nodding, "Great place to drop bodies, too." he says when his eyes open.
"Do you speak English?" Teuila asks, though the salt air and the spray of water in the wake of the boat seems to only thrill the lass. Whether Bill answers or not, she shakes her head and lets out a laugh, leaning slightly forward. "Don't throw up," she giggles to Olly. "That would be a mess!" But his claim has her grinning more widely. "It is. Nothing's more beautiful-..." And then she's lost to laughter, smacking his arm at his quip and leaning her head back to enjoy the moment
Soon enough, Bill has the boat skipping across the surface of the water, more like a jet trying to take off than a boat trying to stay on the surface of the water. It does create a bit of jarring as it goes, but at that speed, it should only take the pair a few hours to reach the destination point. Bill does not seem to hear Teuila's question, or at least shows no response that could be considered comprehension of what she said. Odds are, Bill is a Spanish-speaking native of some sort. And then Bill pushes a button that holy crap probably cuts an hour off the trip if he is able to maintain the new speed. Did he light off an after burner or something? He has to be going over a hundred miles an hour!
"Nothing to throw up, man." Olly tells Teuila and reaches over to rub Teuila's lower back. He says to Teuila, "You got all your gear with you, yeah?" he asks as they continue to sail over the waves at breakneck speeds.
"Yeah," Teuila replies, pulling a bottle from her bag for a long sip of the water. "Bow, spear, armor, even a towel." The latter makes her grin at Olly again, as she leans in against that touch, laying her head on his shoulder. "Ahh. Wasn't sure how uhhh, things worked for you now," she admits to him, content it seems to rest this way for the rest of the trip, enjoying the rush of wind through her hair.
Bill makes insanely good time, boating along at speeds that most cars could only dream of achieving. The 'road' he is on, while calm, does continue to produce those lurching jars every time the boat lands from its temporary flight. Hell, if Bill put wings on the thing, he probably could take off. Thankfully, Olly's stomach does not actually seem inclined to empty itself for whatever reasons one could guess. The spray of ocean in the wind makes a nice, loud howl to drown out the night and almost all other noises, save the roar of the jet turbine Bill has to be using for a motor. And soon enough, he is turning the boat to the north, skirting around Cuba's eastern coast. "Dos horas, seniorita," he announces helpfully to Teuila, suggesting he will be able to get the boat to the destination in that time.
Olly"I think that means two hours. My Spanish's pretty shitty, but I think so." he tells Teuila, "Maybe he'll go quicker if you bribe him, you got a twenty on you?" he asks Teuila and nudges her with his shoulder, a broad grin across his face as he looks out over the waves once more.
"I think that means two hours. My Spanish's pretty shitty, but I think so." he tells Teuila, "Maybe he'll go quicker if you bribe him, you got a twenty on you?" Olly asks Teuila and nudges her with his shoulder, a broad grin across his face as he looks out over the waves once more, the air whipping around his shirt and jacket as they go.
"Mmmhm. It does." For whatever reason, Teuila seems to grasp enough Spanish to understand that, even if she doesn't know enough to respond. She merely nods to Bill and muses to Olly, "If it wasn't dark, I'd totally suggest getting out of most of our clothes and tanning in the sun," in a most wickedly playful tone. However, Olly's suggestion has her peeking into her bag. "Just ten."
Whether bribed or not, Bill seems to be putting as much as he can into the boat, almost like he knows there will be hell to pay if he cannot manage to get Olly and Teuila to the ship. And right around the two hour mark, some lights crest the horizon in front of him and the speedy little boat. He slows down at that point though, turning back and forth long enough to cut down some of his speed. By the time he settles down to what seems to be the same speed as the cruise ship, he is almost a mile away and pacing it on its northeastern path. "Cerca?" Bill asks of the pair, glancing back and forth between Olly and Teuila.
"I dunno that word." Olly replies to Bill. He points to the ship, "Can you get us closer, man? I gotta see where I'm landing if I'm gonna path." he tells him. He does the 'American' thing of speaking more loudly and more slowly as he speaks to their boat driver, as if that would help the situation, though he wears a friendly grin on his face as he asks.
Teuila shakes her head. "Me either," she admits to Olly, voice kept low. "If he can't," she adds in the same low tones, "We can swim closer and path from the water. I know you want to avoid that though - salt is hell on clothes." She frowns, puffing up a sigh, as she contemplates other ideas.
Bill does not seem to understand most of whatever Olly is trying to communicate, but he does pinch the bridge of his nose and sigh after the American treatment. He starts to steer the little boat closer to the ship, but he seems to not want to get very close very fast. He manages over the next few minutes to ease up a quarter of a mile closer, but that seems to be the end of his attempts to get any nearer to the ship, possibly for fear that their radar or something might pick him up. A Cuban found this far into international waters would probably not be regarded kindly.
"Man, guess we're swimming." Olly says to Teuila and tells her, "You might have to tow me, dude." and he stands up and squints his eyes in the distance. Ideally, he's looking for a spot to path to - a lower section of the deck, a ladder on the side of the boat or something similar, "Maybe there's somewhere..." he rumbles from deep in his throat.
Teuila nods to Olly. "Can do. My pack is completely waterproof, if you want to go in your boxers," she adds, stripping down without much thought for someone being there with them. "Save the suit!" She grins at Olly as she hands him the bag and then turns to dive off the little boat and into the far warmer water.
Teuila nods to Olly. "Can do. My pack is completely waterproof, if you want to go in your boxers," she adds, stripping down without much thought for Bill being there with them. "Save the suit!" She grins at Olly as she hands him the bag and then turns to dive off the little boat and into the far warmer water.
Olly reaches out to try to arrest Teuila's movement before she dives, "Hang on man." he lifts his other hand to point, "There. We should be able to path there."
Bill continues to keep the boat steady at the three quarters of a mile distance from the ship. He seems content to let Olly and Teuila figure out how to get there form here, and uninclined to assist in the endeavor, though he may give Teuila a strange look as she goes to try to dive off the boat, even as Olly manages to stop her. Barely.
"Oh." Looking almost disappointed, Teuila starts to slide back into her clothes, sweater and jeans, at least. Her boots are left in her pack, though she does fit her armor on, beneath the baggy garment, before turning to Olly. "Alright. Pathing it is, then." She squints off to see what he's pointing too, and nods.
"Follow me, man." Olly says and takes a step forward on the boat, he flickers from view and appears at the spot he indicated to Teuila, then looks back toward the boat for Teuila.
Teuila nods to Olly. Stepping forward, again, like she's about to dive, she moves right into that pull, using the big man as her focus to appear beside him once again.
The pair have ended up on a typical cruise ship. It is, thankfully, night time, so most of the partying and such has moved indoors, leaving the deck mostly empty save a few hands here and there and some couples. But the ship is large, so guessing where someone on board might be about to commit mass murder may take a little bit of doing. Still, the 'hard' part is over with. So if either Olly or Teuila were a mass murdering psychopath cultist trying to finish a ritual, where would THEY decided to set it off?
If the numbers need to match those from Joseph's pictures, he will need -dozens- of victims, not just a handful to complete the ritual successfully. Joseph did not mention anything about toxicology at all. And humorous as sinking the ship might be, it would attract a lot of attention. A loooot of attention...
Just when Olly and Teuila think it might take a while to track down where the guy might be, an ear- piercing shriek of a scream shatters the night. Finding where that noise came from would probably be a good start! It was definitely below deck, but the ship is still an hour or so from reaching the described location, give or take. Maybe he decided to get started early... or maybe someone interrupted him!
Olly"Mm... scream down below." he tells her and nods at Teuila, he starts to speed up, searching for a way down below decks, "Think they have elevators on these things?" he asks Teuila with a broad grin and moves more briskly, though he isn't attempting to jog.
"Mm... scream down below." he tells her and nods at Teuila, he starts to speed up, searching for a way down below decks, "Think they have elevators on these things?" he asks Teuila with a broad grin and moves more briskly, though Olly isn't attempting to jog.
"Probably," Teuila replies, giving a crinkle of her nose. "They're so tall." She paces herself at Olly's speed, body a little tense and features strained. "I really, really hope it's just one guy. But how's one guy taking that many victims?"
Even if Olly is not jogging, finding elevators is easy. And it becomes pretty obvious how one guy will take so many... The people on the deck are asleep it looks like. And soon, they encounter sleeping people in the halls. Some how or another, the man managed to put the entire ship to sleep! Except for the person that screamed apparently. Speaking of the person that screamed, when the elevator door openss, so too does the door to the stairs. A young woman in a uniform marking her as part of the crew comes running out of there ready to run toward the ocean perhaps. She has black hair, dark eyes, and seems to be out of breath from coming up the stairs.
"Hey." Olly tells to the woman in his stentorian baritone and takes a step, attempting to flicker out of view to appear in the woman's path, then he tries to grab her and pick her up by the front of her uniform.
Olly is easily able to hoist Miss Screamer when she tries to go past, and she demonstrates quite easily that she is in fact capable of producing the same scream by doing so again, this time with Olly's ear being ground zero for the blast. She wiggles and squirms, trying to get free from Olly, but sadly, she does not manage to do so. "Lemme go! Lemme go, god, I don't wanna die!" she starts babbling, kicking her feet and trying to get free.
"Hey." Olly tells Miss Screamer again, his grin remains, though it doesn't reach his eyes, "You keep screaming, I start choking, yeah?" he asks her and doesn't wait for a response, "I'm looking for a murderer. You look like you've seen one. Tell me where and you're good to go, man." he says and looks passed to Teuila, "Watch where she ran from." he tells her with an undercurrent of command to his voice before his brown eyes re-affix on the crewmember's.
"Olly. If we're going to get answers, we have to calm her down," Teuila says, stepping around to the side to try and catch the woman's gaze. But once Olly starts threatening and giving orders, she nods. A muscle flexes in her jaw as she turns to watch the door of that stairwell, posture stiffening once more as she shifts her weight from one foot to the other.
"D-d-d-dining hall, two f-f-f-floors down... So much blood. Please, don't kill me," the crew member begs of Olly, going limp with resignation as he manages to keep her held. Her stammering voice hints at an accent from Los Angeles, but she looks toward Teuila as if she might be more reasoned with. "Don't let him kill me, please. I swear, I didn't see anything else," she continues begging in general, her face quite contorted with fear and panick.
"Just the blood. No person?" Teuila asks, though she merely shakes her head at the woman's pleas. Slowly, she takes a step closer to the stairwell, head tilting to sniff the air. "You sure you didn't see anything else?"
"Hey." Olly repeats to the crew member and snaps his fingers, "Eyes on me, dude. You've been helpful and I'm not gonna kill you." he tells her and, assuming he can catch her gaze, he places her into a trance. Once that's done, he lowers her to her feet and brings back one beefy fist to try to knock her out with a punch. If she gets knocked out, he pulls her in close, fangs extending as he plunges them into her throat to take a small sip from her. After all of that, he gingerly lowers her unconscious form toward the corridor wall to rest against.
She looked like she was about to answer until Olly does the vampire thing. She puts up exactly zero struggle, crumpling like a wet paper towel in the ocean. Once she is set aside after his drink, the pair are left two floors above the dining hall that supposedly has a lot of blood in it. Even if the man has not been verified to be there, where else could he be if that's where his blood ritual has started?
"I dunno where else he'd be, man." Olly tells Teuila, "C'mon, we gotta head on down, yeah?" he asks her and starts to lumber forward, toward the stairs the woman came up to to descend, searching for the dining hall. As he goes, he tugs his sledgehammer out of its harness and swings it up and onto his shoulder, "Man, that chick tasted good." he says under his breath to Teuila.
Teuila watches Olly feed with a touch of that smile. "Full power now?" she wonders after his comment, before shaking her head. "I didn't see anything, but... well. Yeah. If he's there, mid-ritual, how do you want to handle this, going in?" she asks of Olly. "I doubt we're going to be able to sneak in unnoticed. Girl's screaming probably already alerted him that not everyone's sleeping." She slides her spear out of the straps for it on her pack, and frowns.
"He won't see us coming, man. We go in and we go in hard, put him down. Probably the people in there are already dead, and if they aren't, they will be anyway. If he's got a hostage, then that's a bad day for the hostage." Olly tells Teuila, "Objective's to take him out, so that's what we're doing. If anyone is conscious, we wipe their minds before we leave, then path out." he tells Teuila as he continues down, his voice's volume lowered as they hopefully get closer to their destination.
Down the stairs two floors, and out the door on that level, Olly and Teuila find the dining hall quite easily. Since the entire level seems to be that indicated dining hall! Granted, not all of it is for the dining area, as the kitchen probably extends a fair ways back, and some other crew- related things probably happen behind that even. But basically, several hundred people could fit on this level to eat at the same time, so it is a fairly big area. The only thing stopping them from seeing what is in the dining hall however is the big, wooden double doors leading into it.
Teuila nods to Olly, but she reaches back to put her spear back into those hooks. "Best if I shift then," she says, voice lowered. "Hit harder, faster." She seems to be waiting for Olly's decision on that one, however, while she gives those doors an uncertain look. "I've got a bad feeling about this. "
"Not me. I got a good feeling. Go on and shift, when you do, I'll kick the doors in and we'll see what's up." Olly tells Teuila as they near the double doors. He grins down at her, a mirthless grin, full of savage intent, his fangs extended as he turns his gaze back toward the door.
Teuila(Catopuma Badia) nods to Olly. "Grab my pack?" she asks, before stripping down with practiced speed and crouching to let that transformation reshape her body. Returning Olly's grin, though her eyes hold a touch of anxiety all the same, she nods and allows her body to reshape.
Olly glances at the pile of junk and leaves all but the bag, which he grabs and swings over one shoulder. He steps forward and kicks the double doors open and, assuming they're either unlocked or insufficiently locked to keep him out, he steps through the portal to scan the dining room to check the situation within.
The crew member's description of blood does not live up to the reality when Olly drops the doors into the dining hall. First, there is literally blood dripping, dried, or drawn onto every surface in the entire dining hall it seems. Ceiling, floor, every wall, every table. There are -hundreds- of bodies in various places in the room. There are also dozens of people milling about doing things. Putting unconscious people into positions, tying them down, cutting on them. The orchestrator of the macabre endeavor does not seem readily visible just yet.
Teuila(Catopuma Badia) presses through beside Olly on silent feet, though her sleek body tenses instantly at the sight of so many people acting. Her tail thrashes, her head tilting as her ears flatten in an expression of displeased frustration. Somehow, her body seems to hunch closer to the ground, whiskers twitching at the reek of blood.
Olly bends down and with his free hand he grabs one of the downed doors by the handle. He lifts it up and turns it horizontal, in an attempt to provide both himself and Teuila(Catopuma Badia) with some semblance of cover as he moves forward, he scans to either side of the door to make sure no one is there to hit their flanks, then continues forward, angling to the left to try to get closer to the left wall. All the while he's checking the people who are up and moving to see how they react to the intrusion.
Teuila(Catopuma Badia) is more than content for the moment to allow Olly to shield her. She slinks along with him, lips peeled back off her fangs, her breath soft, hot pants that sound as if she's trying to hold back far louder snarls as the scene washes over her. With her head lowered, her eyes intent, she watches those moving around them, fully alert and anxious.
The people continue their tasks without hindering Olly or Teuila(Catopuma Badia) in the least. They are setting up ritual sacrifice after ritual sacrifice. But they are not -doing- the sacrifices. Mind control does not work like that after all. They cannot be commanded to kill. But they can apparently be instructed to do everything right up until the throat slit stage!
Olly continues on through the room. Having gotten a sense of the people milling about now, he starts to check for someone out of place, or perhaps an adjacent room or somewhere to observe what is going on in the room. He looks down to Teuila(Catopuma Badia) and continues forward, keeping the door a bit lower, ready to drop down to shield Teuila(Catopuma Badia). He tilts his head to one side as they go, listening.
Olly veers toward the kitchen and glances down at Teuila(Catopuma Badia), he ticks his chin in that direction, a big, savage grin still on his face as he moves, his fangs still extended, perhaps due to the scent of the room, perhaps due to something else. Plodding through the bloody room, he makes his way to outside the kitchen.
The kitchen door is one of those metal swinging ones with a little window to try to make sure people going in and out do not slam into each other. At some point, someone should just make a curtain instead. At least then the slamming will be body to body instead of flimsy metal to face. Still, the demonborns probably prefer this for small injections of pain and suffering over the course of a long dinner service. Speaking of demonborns, there probably is one on the other side, though he is not visible through said little window. There is however a figurative river of blood flowing across the floor that is visible on the other side.
Olly sets down the door, leaning it up against the wall outside the kitchen. He holds up his fingers to Teuila(Catopuma Badia), one at first, then two, then on three he moves forward and tries to kick the door in once more, ideally to hit the demonborn beyond and he steps to one side to let Teuila(Catopuma Badia) get first crack at going through the porta, assuming it stays open.
A soft growl does escape. Teuila(Catopuma Badia) can't seem to hold it in any longer, her hackles raised and ears flat, teeth bared and tail thrashing. Crouched behind Olly's door-shield, until he sets it down, she hunches her muscles into tightly powerful coils and springs through when the door opens.
Sadly, the way the velocity and impact transfer with this door does not lend itself to flying off the hinges as well. It still does, but only after impacting the wall on the other side then bouncing off forcefully. The loud metal on metal sounds certainly get some attention. Even the puppets in the dining hall look over, but they cannot stop themselves from doing their task. Inside, an irritable man screams, "What the hell!?" Fortunately, puppets do not respond to mental commands. They require specific, verbal commands. So plus for Olly and Teuila(Catopuma Badia), they will not be interfering! Down side, they really have no element of surprise.
Teuila(Catopuma Badia) dodges the bouncing door and skids to a halt. lifts her head, ripping out another snarl at the irritable protest. She swivels, head turning this way, then that. Looking back, the agitated feline waits for Olly to catch up, before starting forward again in a determined push past ovens and counters and machinery, to find the man behind it all.
Olly takes a step forward, once more he flickers out of view and appears behind Teuila(Catopuma Badia), he scans about and sniffs at the air, searching for the source of the previous shout.
Riley is about what one might expect of a psychopath demonborn cultist, black hair, dark eyes, pale skin. Why is he naked? Is there an unwritten rule that rituals of sacrifice require nudity somewhere? But he is, almost completely so minus his necklace, though the blood splattered all over him does provide a somewhat strange contrast. He has several attending puppets nearby, but he is otherwise essentially alone in the kitchen. However he managed to pull all of this off by himself is somewhat amazing, but the thought of him having a team as dedicated to it as he is could be worrisome. He has an an athame in his right hand, a chalice in his left. He is walking toward the kitchen door when Teuila(Catopuma Badia) appears, then Olly right behind him. He tenses, frowns, and then shouts, "Defend!" At that point, all the puppets stop what they were doing.
Olly starts to move at someone' words, he lumbers on ahead of Teuila(Catopuma Badia), preparing, it seems, to engage the puppets if they move up to form a barrier between himself and someone. However, once he's taken a few steps, and hopefully after the puppets have formed a wall of bodies, he once more attempts to flicker to appear beside or behind Riley. If successful, he raises his hand, attempting to push the backmost puppet forward, into the others to knock some of them down. His other hand comes down in a strike intended to crush Riley's leg in from the side.
Olly starts to move at Riley's words, he lumbers on ahead of Teuila(Catopuma Badia), preparing, it seems, to engage the puppets if they move up to form a barrier between himself and someone. However, once he's taken a few steps, and hopefully after the puppets have formed a wall of bodies, he once more attempts to flicker to appear beside or behind Riley. If successful, he raises his hand, attempting to push the backmost puppet forward, into the others to knock some of them down. His other hand comes down in a strike intended to crush Riley's leg in from the side.
Olly starts to move at Riley's command, he lumbers on ahead of Teuila(Catopuma Badia), preparing, it seems, to engage the puppets if they move up to form a barrier between himself and Riley. However, once he's taken a few steps, and hopefully after the puppets have formed a wall of bodies, he once more attempts to flicker to appear beside or behind Riley. If successful, he raises his hand, attempting to push the backmost puppet forward, into the others to knock some of them down. His other hand comes down in a strike intended to crush Riley's leg in from the side.
Teuila(Catopuma Badia) springs up onto a counter nearby, her body crouched and tense, her tail thrashing as she snarls. Hypnotized thralls may not be made concerned by her warnings, but the beast that she is doesn't seem to care. She's warned them and Riley alike. Perhaps it's distraction enough for Olly's attack against the demonborn himself to work, but either way, she leaps into those poor unfortunates as they fall, claws viciously rending, teeth clamping around a limb or throat without hesitation, should any of them attempt to interfere with Olly's attack against the blood-soaked man, as she works to keep at least some of them at bay.
Two can play the pathing game, so when Olly disappears, Riley does too. Not quite ending up in the same places. The cultist seems to be quite ready to defend himself too as needed, eventually dodging the inevitable swing of the sledgehammer, watching it go past almost like Neo dodging his first bullet. Apparently the command he used is far more of a compulsion than a puppet style command, because no one forms into a wall or anything. They actually continuously and repeatedly try to get between Riley and anyone trying to attack him, taking the hits instead. And he seems perfectly willing to let them. He dumps the chalice and makes some motions with his left hand before turning to path through the broken door and into the dining area.
Olly blows out a breath and paths to the other side of the Puppets within the kitchen, he says, "Let's kill or disable these ones, gonna be a lot harder outside, gotta thin the herd." to Teuila(Catopuma Badia) even as he brings his hammer down once more, trying to bash the knee out of a Puppet to his right while he tries to kick in the knee of a puppet to his left.
Teuila(Catopuma Badia) snarls again, her response to Olly as she leaps onto the chest of one of the nearest thralls, fangs sinking into the person's throat and tearing. No busted knees here, she's dragging them down with killing blows and leaping for the next, using the full force of her body to do so. How many are they looking to deal with, here?
With two down in the kitchen, only four really remain. Two more have not quite joined the fray just yet, but odds are they should soon. Outside the kitchen, thralls can be heard heading for the kitchen, slowly, cautiously, as if they have some survival instincts still left in them, even if they still have to follow the command. Fortunately, the people are not really fighters. They are mostly just ablative meat, so while it may not take Olly and Teuila(Catopuma Badia) long to drop them, that is time not spent chasing Riley.
Olly a low, rumbling sound comes from deep in his chest and births from his lips as a 'hmm' as he hears more coming. He glances down to Teuila(Catopuma Badia) and ticks his head, "C'mon, good enough. " he says and turns, attempting to path into the dining room where he tries to locate the fleeing Riley, either by sight or by smell. Should any of the puppets approach him, he'll try to bust their knees, but he's switched from fighting to pursuit as his primary focus.
Teuila(Catopuma Badia) leaps forward, peering through the door as to where Olly lands, before she paths back to his side, attempting to end up on the other side of those thralls. Her head lifts, a snarl ripping from the massive feline, as she shakes her head, bloody muzzle dripping. She slinks forward, clearly on the hunt for the psychotic demonborn.
Stepping into the dining hall, Olly and Teuila(Catopuma Badia) are met with a small army of thralls and no visible sign of Riley immediately forthcoming. It is like he just vanished, though odds are he just pathed very quickly in his flight from the pair. While he managed to evade the one good swing made in his direction, he does not seem a fighter type, and if Joseph's briefing was correct, he is likely an arcanist. Which does explain the sudden noises -behind- Olly and Teuila(Catopuma Badia). Should either look, they would see demonic red octopus climbing out of one of the bags in the kitchen.
Olly hmmms from deep in his throat and reaches down to grip Teuila(Catopuma Badia), "Little too crowded in here." he tells her and takes a step forward, attempting to enter the Nightmare with her.
Teuila(Catopuma Badia) had been wearing her necklace charm, before she shifted, and quickly lets Olly lead her in, likely out of the view of those poor, brainwashed folk in the dining area. She turns at his side, walking around behind his legs and straining for sight of the man they hunt.
Still crowded in the nightmare, but at least Olly and Teuila(Catopuma Badia) are no longer running the risk of needing to kill dozens of relatively innocent bystanders to get their man. And also, they can then walk through the people to a less crowded area. The thralls look very confused at that point, but then they start coming to their senses. And looking around. And screaming. Yes, now there is lots of screaming. It probably will not wake up the dead people, but the sleepy ones will probably start to stir now...
choosing seemingly at random, Olly starts walking through the people on the physical plane. He sniffs at the air as he goes and starts toward a hallway leading to a lower deck outside, "Man... he might've gotten away. Drag." he tells Teuila(Catopuma Badia).
The pair does catch Riley's scent in the area outside the dining hall. Then a faint wiff down the hallway leading to the lower main deck. The door there has visible blood streaks on it, and most certainly that is not where the earlier crew member made her escape. It is entirely possible that Riley went through that exact door in his flight from the kitchen!
Olly pauses in his stride and lowers his head, then he tells Teuila(Catopuma Badia), "You know what? Let's try to find the captain's... the helm or whatever? At worst, we can steer the ship off course. He might be up there, trying to make sure..." he shuts up and sniffs at the air when he catches the scent and follows it. He can't path in the nightmare, so he just jogs, his belly jostling in his dress shirt as he follows the scent, "Don't get too far ahead of me." he warns Teuila(Catopuma Badia).
Teuila(Catopuma Badia) growls softly. Tilting her head up to Olly, she then twists to follow the scent, bounding forward, then twisting back at Olly's words. She dips her head, maintaining the pace that Olly sets, as she travels with him to find what it is he's looking for.
And out on the main landing, the cultist demonborn can be seen on top of the bow. He looks down at Olly and Teuila(Catopuma Badia), then bows and shifts into a raven, already flapping its wings to fly away. A sharp 'caw' cuts through the relative quiet in the wake of the screams, as Riley starts flying up and away from the ship. He is actually not in the nightmare, so he could be sniped or something. But at this point, the fight would be relatively short, and without pathing, he is already out of most ranged options.
Olly blows out a breath and says to Teuila(Catopuma Badia), "Alright, let's just find the fucking captain's uh... wheel... thingie... and we'll divert the ship and go home. That'll have to be good enough for Joe." he says and searches for somewhere with a reflective surface that he can step out of the nightmare.
There are a surprising number of mirrors or mirror-like surfaces to be found on ships, so getting out of the nightmare is not at all difficult. Finding the bridge is relatively easy too, since it has to be able to see basically everything in front of the ship. Getting into it turns out to be a piece of cake too, since someone fell asleep with the door open and has not awakened yet. So Olly and Teuila(Catopuma Badia) end up on the bridge with a bunch of sleeping officers passed out on the floor there.
Teuila(Catopuma Badia) snarls with disappointment lunging forward as if she's any hope of catching that bird. Her claws lash through the air, and then she turns, a truly displeased sound escaping her, before she lets her body bend and reshape once more. Once upon two legs, the girl nods to Olly and sighs, rubbing at her shoulder. "Alright. Damn..." she curses mildly but with full force, as they land outside of the nightmare.
Olly tosses Teuila's bag to her and says, "Think you can find your shit and get back here without getting lost? I'll try to... figure out how to steer this thing off course." he says and looks over the controls, hmming from deep in his chest.
Teuila grabs her bag and nods. "So long as people aren't running around screaming and walking blood all over everything, yeah," she answers to Olly. "Do you need me to stay and help with this first, though?" She obviously has no idea how to handle controls like that, given her blank look, but she says, "I guess we could always just make the ship stop moving and call the police or... well. I don't know -who- would handle something like this."
There is a wheel. So Olly goes ahead and gives it a spin. Surprisingly, that seems to be enough to make the ship lurch in the turned direction. It is probably enough to keep catastrophic ritual crap from happening. Right? Maybe? Hopefully. That leaves Olly able to do as he likes as the ship's people start to wake up and come to terms with what has happened on board...
Olly reaches down to shake one of the officers, "One sec, I'll go with you." he says, trying to shake the rousing officer until he's awake, "Captain, man, there's like... a shitload of dead people in the dining hall...." he then affixes his gaze to the man's lulling him into a trance and says, "We gotta go back to port. You need to take this ship back to port" in his stentorian baritone. Between that and redirecting the ship, he moves to follow the naked Teuila back to her clothes, regardless of whether or not the guy was the captain or heeds his words.
Teuila starts to head off, but she stops and turns back to watch Olly, after he's set the ship shuddering off course. "I need to learn that," she tells him, flashing another grin, mouth likely still blood-stained, as are her hands and feet. "Teach me!" But for now, once he's ready, she sets off to skirt through those waking up to recollect her clothes, seeming grateful for Olly at her side.
"Yeah man, anytime, it comes in handy." Olly tells Teuila and then looks around, "Let's get back to Haven, hopefully fucking up the ritual'll be good enough." he says, starting to bend the air around himself.
With plans set in motion to get the ship back to port, Olly is indeed free to go with Teuila to get her clothes. The imprint takes hold, and soon the ship does a much bigger lurch as the actual crew starts to turn it properly. They manage to get to the area in front of the dining hall to retrieve Teuila's clothing. There are already guards posted outside of it, trying to keep people out. Curtains have been put up to cover the doorway, since the doors are not really there any more. After that, they can find a nice quiet place to get close and path back to Haven.
Teuila tucks an arm through Olly's, and though she certainly has the skill for transporting herself, she seems content to let the big man do it for her. "Sorry," she murmurs to him. "I feel like if I had my full strength back... well. We'd have managed that better. I wasn't much help." Her lips purse, a moment's frustration at 'losing' evident on her features.
"Nah man, you were great, he was just slippery. Shit happens." Olly tells Teuila and, once the path is formed, he steps through with Teuila, heading back to Haven.
Despite not bagging Riley, Olly and Teuila were at least successful in not letting whatever ritual actually happen. Given that was the actual objective of the mission, Joseph will likely be happy. He will be saddened that Riley was not dealt with, but he was fairly slippery indeed. And the thralls did not help in the least. But once they get back to Haven, there is a message from Joseph, a little frantic over the coverage of the scene on the ship. Apparently news travels quickly. Thankfully, some more aware members on the ship started doing damage control to contain it before the Venetians were called in. But as per the agreement, Joseph is happy to help Olly and Teuila in whatever way he can with their future endeavors, provided they do not mind an occasionally getting their hands dirty for him in his counter-demonology pursuits.