Who Wants To Talk About Murders?!
Roleplaying Log: Who Wants To Talk About Murders?!
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Moonstar and Carolus go over the murders of Charles Arany and Helen Arche, skirting along the edges of more personal issues along the way.

Other Characters Referenced: Warren Worthington, Alison Blaire
IC Date: September 29, 2019
IC Location: Xavier's Institute, Westchester
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 30 Sep 2019 03:36
Rating & Warnings: PG, Description of a murder.
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

* OOC Time: Sun Sep 29 20:17:40 2019 *

* * *

For Danielle Moonstar she is currently drowning in the administration of the Institue.

While she had an idea of what type of workload it was and is, never did she realize how terrible it would be managing it all on her own.

But she will.

She must.

Alison asked it of her and Moonstar will not fail her friends. Again.

As such, the Cheyenne woman can be found within one of the many administration offices that line the administration wing of the school. She's always had one, but now she can definitely be found there a lot. Currently she's hunched over her keyboard as she types something up. Possibly a report? Something to do with finances? Report cards? Whatever the case may be, the black-haired woman is angrily clacking those keys as she types whatever it is she types.

Exhaustion is palpable within the room itself and for this particular moment her door is open.

An invitation to the student body to enter if needed.

* * *

Carolus Sinclair is having a rough week, but he suspects it's been more harsh on his more historically active peers and superiors. He can practically smell the elevated stress levels the moment he sets foot in the Institute, meandering through the halls still in his work clothes and turning up in the administration offices in short order. He's not an /entirely/ usual presence here, but not unheard of either.

And young as he is, he carries himself more like a teacher than a student of the institute. The tentative awkwardness of a student invading faculty spaces is entirely absent.

He follows the sensory data he best associates with Danielle Moonstar right to her current office, wings folding tightly against his back as he exits the more open spaces of the broader floor and into the (relative) confines of the room.

"Ms. Moonstar." Carolus greets her cordially, just as he crosses the threshold. His second pair of arms grasps a satchel in front of him, in a posture that would look shyly guarded if not for the fact that his primary set is open and loose at his sides.

A flicker of concern crosses his features. It's not the first time he's seen somebody visibly perturbed by the recent… absence.

"Are you unwell?" He asks, gently.

* * *

While Dani is quite engrossed in whatever she's working on that doesn't mean she's unaware.

As soon as there's a flicker of movement at her door and she hears Carolus' greeting, the black-haired woman pauses in her typing.

Automatically she turns her attention away from the computer and focuses upon the young man that's arrived. "Carolus." She immediately greets back, when he says her name, "Moonstar, please. None of that Ms. stuff." The smallest of smiles tugs her lips upward, up until that last question of his is asked.

The gentle concern heard is enough that Dani's expression falters for half a second.

But only for a second and then she pulls that stoic mask of hers back in place. "I'm fine, thanks." She motions to one of the empty chairs that sits in front of her desk, "More importantly, though, how're you? No adverse side effects from those plant stings?"

She turns away from the computer now as well, and swivels so she can face the young man fully.

* * *

"Moonstar, then." Carolus corrects himself, inclining his head in a nod of affirmation. He sets his satchel aside next to the chair he is beckoned to, leaning back lightly but not quite reclining properly.

His expression remains inquisitive until she dismisses his concerns. His wings vibrate lightly against his back, not quite coming to proper life but definitely expressing… /something/.

"If you stop being okay," he replies, "I am willing to listen."

Letting the subject lie from there, he shifts one of his auxiliary hands to touch the spot on his hip where he had been darted, "I felt like I'd been subjected to a local for most of the rest of the day. My usual recuperative cycle wiped away the external injury as-expected. I imagine that the toxin was purged from my system at the same time, but I suspect that the true dangers of the oddities we encounter in these sorts of situations will only be revealed with a much greater amount of time and doctor's appointments than has so far passed."

"No," he says, "I just wanted to bring you up to speed with the fashion killer situation. I had hoped to obtain more useful information by now, but Mr. Arany's studio is quite… twitchy."

"I asked them for a list of employees, because — and I told them — it seemed to me like somebody was targeting their management to pick them off. But they refused in the absence of a warrant. I considered hiring a P.I. to look into them as a company, but…"

He heaves a sigh, "I am seriously concerned that it would result in the investigator turning up dead."

* * *

While Moonstar won't admit it she's grateful that Carolus let the whole matter about whether she's truly okay or not drop.

And while she doesn't verbally respond to that offer of his willingness to listen, somewhere deep inside of her she appreciates it.

She also appreciates that he just goes with that last question of hers, to keep this conversation moving. "I'm glad you're okay." She says, "And yeah, I'm pretty sure if we hadn't killed the plant when we did it would have just gotten weirder. Seriously, there are times this job makes me want to -" She stops herself before she completes that sentence, because let's face it she's already drinking thanks to the whole de-winged Warren.

Again, thankfully, Carolus carries the conversation forward. Inwardly Dani could just kick herself. Usually she's better at this, but today her tiredness is such that she's just not up to her usual par.

Still, she's aware enough of things going on outside of the Mansion, that she frowns thoughtfully. "This concerns Charles Arany, right? I can't say I've been following the case, but I've seen it on the news."

Idly, the woman pulls out a notepad and a pencil, "And I agree with not calling on a PI. Let's not get anyone killed -" Her voice drops slightly when she says killed, "- and besides you really don't need them. I can probably pull a list of the employees for you. I just need the name of the company."

* * *

"I'm glad everyone got out of it more-or-less okay. Minus some mental scarring, I suppose, from those who were swallowed. It's lucky that plants like that do not digest quickly." Carolus replies. He smiles in faint, morbid amusement of the whole thing. It would be a /lot/ funnier if it wasn't so serious in the moment. How does such a thing even result from a typical science fair?

He supposes it isn't all that bizarre on the scale of this reality, though.

"… Drink, yes. I haven't been so mired in it so far as to be overwhelmed at this exact moment, but I understand the thrust of the matter. Alison seemed like she was about ten miles farther down that same road, when I saw her with Warren the other night."

"Warren came out of his shell, a little. I wish there was more that I could do."

In answer to business matters, Carolus retrieves his satchel to rifle around in for a moment. He withdraws a copy of an order for rather a lot of silk, submitted by a Ms. Helen Arche, and passes it across the desk to Moonstar.

"You'll find all the pertinent details there. It's just Mr. Arany's studio." Carolus reclines properly, wings fluttering lightly as they adjust to a more comfortable position rather than haphazardly squished.

"Mr. Arany was poisoned at the end of New York Fashion Week, as I assume you know. Ms. Arche — Mr. Arany's chief assistant, I believe — was hanged in the studio on the 24th by an unknown assailant who disguised themselves as a mannequin." He drums his fingers on the armrest of his chair, "I went to inquire more personally because I expected Mr. Arany's studio to /decrease/ the scope of its projects, but they doubled their order of silk on me instead."

* * *

Alison and Warren. Their names evoke a response from Dani as she looks up from her notepad and back to Carolus.

She struggles to say something to that and thankfully she thinks of something innocuous versus terribly heavy. "Be there for him and Alison. That's all any of us can do for them."

That's all she can say on that subject. There is just too much emotion associated with the whole situation for Dani to say anything more.

And she's also aware that her own hold upon her emotions is fragile enough that saying anything more could open the floodgates. Which can't happen.

Moonstar takes a moment to center herself with a breath and then she reaches for that piece of paper that Carolus slides across the desk. "Alright." She murmurs, as she glances at the details, "I'm pretty sure I can pull the employee list. Once we have the list we can see where it leads us."

"Are you thinking inside job? Nine times out of ten it is." Continues the woman thoughtfully, though her gaze sharpens when Carolus reveals they've doubled their order. "Really? They doubled it?" Her expression now turns to a frown as she considers the implications of that. "How much have they requested? And do you have any idea what their specific project is? What they're making?"

* * *

"… Yeah." Carolus agrees about Alison and Warren. There's nothing more to add, and he can tell that it's difficult. So he allows that subject to drop by the wayside, crossing his legs and contemplating the circumstances.

"Their regular order is fourty yards of silk a week, upped to eighty by Ms. Arche. I do not know exactly what they do with it, but they are a fashion studio and it goes without saying that there is an obvious reasonable purpose there. Clothing, of one kind or another. Dresses, robes, shirts, whole suits if you're feeling especially fancy I suppose." He explains.

Pausing to think, he continues, "According to the receptionist — Tiffany, I think her name was — Ms. Arche requested bigger orders on multiple contracts. She thought that I was there with wool, at first. Mentioned that she got promoted, too."

"When we heard the crash, she followed me across the threshold but not all the way into the work area. The studio was a forest of works in progress. Ballgowns, suits, and so forth. The mannequins had been scattered around, like somebody had knocked them all down on purpose. Ms. Arche herself had been thrown through the loft's glass wall, with a length of gossamer around her neck."

"No one else was supposed to be there, and Tiffany said that Ms. Arche wanted some space to think before the staff came to work the next day. While I was talking with her, one of the mannequins — the one on the ground floor — disappeared, and a large window out to the street was broken open. I chose not to attempt pursuit, as I could not be certain that the receptionist was not a potential target."

"I think I was wrong, though. Mr. Arany and Ms. Arache's murders both have been practically theatrical. Attention-grabbing. The receptionist was the audience. All I know about the killer besides the infiltration expertise is that I got a whiff of essential oils. Lavendar and neroli."

"Given all other parameters," he heaves a heavy sigh, "I am forced to conclude that it is an inside job of some kind. I'm not sure what the angle is, though."

* * *

As Carolus details the events that led up to Ms. Arche's death, Dani's expression and body language eases. This is no different than analyzing cases at SHIELD and the familiarity helps.

She grabs a pencil to jot down notes, especially as Carolus starts to name names, as it were.

Tiffany is definitely written down and then circled.

"I best pull the police report as well. See what their labs were able to locate within the crime scene and especially upon the goassamer that was around Ms. Arche's neck."

A few more notes are written down alongside Tiffany's name, "You said the would-be killer was dressed as a mannequin? Does that mean you actually got a look at them? If so what did they look like specifically? Was there anything that jumped out as odd to you?"

And then, "You did the right thing by staying with Tiffany. It's logical to think she was going to potentially be the next victim and, not to mention you should never chase after a would-be killer without back-up." Here Moonstar sets her pencil back upon the table when Carolus speaks his conclusions. "Possibly revenge. There's only so many reasons people kill and more often than not inside jobs come from a place of anger. And let's face it, the Fashion Industry is quite cutthroat. Now the question remains are they done or will there be more?"

* * *

"Not… directly." Carolus admits, raising his left hand to rest his chin against his fingers, "I noticed that the mannequins had been knocked over, and I noticed that one was on the ground level apart from the others. When the second set of glass was broken, the one on the ground floor was gone by the time I managed to get a glimpse of the scene again. I'd suggest some sort of proxy body might be in play, but I don't think anyone would bother anointing a robot or puppet with essential oils."

"Anything else strange about the scene…" He shuts his eyes, seriously considering it.

When he opens his eyes again, he says, "Tiffany was out of sorts, but she seemed concerned that Ms. Arche might end up haunting her. Complained that she did everything that Ms. Arche asked her to. I don't know if it actually means anything, but I'd rather mention it and nothing come of it than deny you information that may help later."

"I asked her if anybody particularly crazy might have a grudge, but she didn't think there was anyone /outstandingly/ crazy for the fashion industry. Which…" He shrugs, wings fluttering expressively, "I suppose is fair enough, but is a dead end."

"Thank you for your reassurance, by the way. It was…" Carolus leans forward, running a hand through his hair, "a frustrating decision to make."

* * *

"Hm." Moonstar says when Carolus admits not to actually seeing the person, "It's a good theory. Let's run with it for now, but keep all options available in case it turns out our killer didn't dress themselves up."

The mention of essential oils causes the woman to jot down those oils on the notepad. "I'll see if we've any killers in the system that use essential oils as part of their MO. I've a feeling the answer is going to be no, but I'd rather not miss something just because of an assumption made."

At the mention of Tiffany being worried about Ms. Arche haunting her, Moonstar can only say, "Well, we can see about that. If we find her still lingering there I can make certain she moves on."

The mention that there weren't too many outrageously craz things for the business earns a noncomittal sound from the Cheyenne woman.

"You did the right thing." Moonstar assures again when Carolus thanks her for those reassurances, "Hindsight is always 20/20."

"Give me a few days to see what I can locate at SHIELD and then we can reconvene and discuss next steps and where to go from here."

* * *

With all topics exhausted and the hour growing late, Carolus simply smiles and Moonstar's continued reassurance and rises from his seat.

"That's about all I have, so I suppose I should get going. Let me know if there's anything that I can do to help with anything around here." He slides his satchel's strap over his shoulder, and hesitates about something quite visibly.

"Thank you, Moonstar. Please take care." Offering only a moment more to hold him up if any further words are to be exchanged, Carolus exits, waving with his right hands as he goes.

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