A Little BE Never Hurt Anyone
Roleplaying Log: A Little BE Never Hurt Anyone
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Dani Carolus, Jess and Daredevil converge upon the scene of the crime and investigate what really happened to Ali and Warren

Other Characters Referenced: Warren Worthington and Alison Blaire
IC Date: October 25, 2019
IC Location:
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 26 Oct 2019 13:56
Rating & Warnings:
Scene Soundtrack: [* ]
NPC & GM Credits: Warren GM
Associated Plots

Night.

It's the time of day that nothing good ever comes about.

Worse yet when you have to go to a crime scene. For a friend. Really for family.

But that's where Carolus and Danielle Moonstar are headed.

Not much longer after the two spoke Moonstar once more texted the young man -

// We're good to go to. Meet me in ten minutes. //

She doesn't say exactly where they're going to go, but honestly does she need to type it out?

Likely not.

Besides it's better to keep it vague incase those feelings of paranoia are true.

For Moonstar she travels via her winged-horse Brightwind, and if Carolus so wished he could likewise catch a ride with the Asgardian steed.

Then it's a silent (for Dani) flight down to the city and specifically to the rooftop of the complex that houses the penthouse of Warren Worthington. For Brightwind he tries to land the lightest he can manage with o nly a clatter of silver-shod hooves as the horse gently descends.


Be right there.

Carolus meets Danielle in silence. There's not really much /to/ be said just now, and the only thing they were likely to talk about was the particular elephant in the room of his parting words. He figures it's not really the time and place to push it— like waiting to force a conversation when somebody is trapped in the car with you, and hasn't got an out.

He also thinks it's probably easiest to reduce their profile by both arriving the same way, so he does take the ride. The lack of sleep might have something to do with it, too— he looks pretty drowsy throughout, and might or might not be dozing off by the halfway point or so. Just before climbing on he pulls out two phones and extracts their batteries, leaving each of them silent and cooling in his pockets.


Just a few hours ago this place was a swarm of activity, with dour-faced men and women in blue jackets meticulously documenting every detail of the fallen heir and his superstar girlfriend. Now the remains have been disposed of, forensic evidence collected, and photographs taken to meticulously document the grizzly, bloodstained aftermath. The spacious apartments is dark, quiet, and — save for a skeleton crew of police officers outside — supposedly empty.

Supposedly.

The truth is that Daredevil has been there for hours. Hiding on the rooftop while the police went about their work, listening to everything they said and did. Only once they withdrew did he send word — a short text on a flip phone — to his partner in crime and then make the descent to the abandoned penthouse. The red-horned vigilante stalks through the shadows with hands outstretched, head cocked like a dog listening to a far-off sound. No matter how soft Danielle's landing he'll hear it; his head tips upward when hoofs meet the brick above him. But he doesn't duck for cover, or try to obscure himself. He knows that horse, and its rider.


There's a fair amount of guilt going on for one Jessica Jones as she approaches the duplex, hands in her pockets. After all, she'd been running an investigation on Warren's behalf before this happened, and she hadn't gotten terribly far with it. Now the shit truly has hit the fan, and she's got to wonder if she might have prevented it.

Still. There's nothing for it but to look into it.

Disguise and stealth aren't really her thing: hiding in plain sight is. She walks like she belongs there, radiating an official air with body language alone. Well. Body language, and one prop. She's swapped out her leather jacket for a vaguely blue windbreaker that evokes FBI windbreakers without impersonating them. Her own heavy footfalls hit the hallway moments after the door creaks open.

She ascends to the point Daredevil is descending to in much the same vein, and when she gets up there picks out Daredevil quickly enough.

She also picks up that cant of his head. After two years and change of working together, she definitely recognizes what that means: he hears something, and she should shut up and let him listen to it. So instead of greeting him she just draws into a shadow next to him, leaning patiently against the wall.


As they touch down, Carolus wakes up a little, quite visibly— both from being jarred, and from noticing something that warrants immediate communication. He leans forward a bit and murmurs to Moonstar, "One lurker, one approaching. Haven't encountered them before." Or more accurately, he's never /smelled/ them before. But as soft-spoken as he is, there's no way for him to speak quietly enough for Matt Murdock to miss it at this distance.


The elephant between Carolus and Danielle is, for the moment, set aside. The thought of the crime scene and seeing it has definitely shifted her focus elsewhere.

Either way, throughout the ride Dani was quite silent and only now, with the two set down upon the rooftop, does Moonstar re-focus her attention outside of her own dark thoughts.

Before she has the chance to dismount, however, Carolus leans forward. Automatically Moonstar turns slightly in the saddle to focus on the winged young man and his words, and the woman immediately frowns.

"We approach carefully then." She returns, her voice equally quiet, likewise unaware that no matter how soft her words are they're likely going to be heard.

Her dismount is easy enough and with exceedingly light steps the woman carefully approaches the skylight. "Can you give me approximate positions?" She asks of Carolus and gently the woman opens the window that leads into the apartment that sits below their feet.


Daredevil greets the other Defender with a raise of his hand, but his attention seems focused on the activity above them. Someone new, who… flew?… in on his own. But a known quantity to…

"Moonstar," the helmed man calls out when she opens that window, voice just loud enough to carry to her. "Come on down here."

He turns towards Jess, and lower still: "We aren't the only ones who've taken an interest."


"No surprise there," Jessica says, pushing off the wall with a quick exhale of relief. It's not that she wasn't ready to beat the crap out of someone, but she always kind of prefers it when she doesn't have to. "I don't know what happened, but it sure as Hell wasn't a goddamn murder-suicide."

Now sure that it won't mess up Daredevil's hearing, the detective paces around a little bit, hands in her pockets, having delivered a pronouncement without seeing even a shred of evidence. Then again, if anybody believed that crap nobody would be here.

Whenever Moonstar and Carolus get down there her greeting is casual enough, a quick lift of her hand in a classic 'hey' gesture.


Carolus dismounts, remaining close to Danielle. In answer to her question though, he pauses and stands very still. His antennae rise and fall visibly as he feels out the scent. One of them is stronger than the other— spread out more. A trail that meanders across the rooftop because of how long it's been here. The other is much fresher, winding up boldly from below and pooling next to the more saturated scent. That's the only reason he's completely certain they're not on the landing with them.

"Inside. One of them has been here longer than the other. His scent is all over the place. I doubt there's a quiet entry method that doesn't…" He trails off, because the situation handles itself in short order. Carolus exhales in quiet relief, his whole body untensing.

He allows Moonstar to go on ahead, following closely after her. She is, after all, the one who apparently knows these people. Or one of them, at least.


While Danielle has all her psionic skill avail to herself, what she pulls out for a weapon is something from the more mundane and from the more physical world.

Her ICER.

Before she peeps over the edge of the skylight she first looks to make sure she's not going to be back-lit by any stray light and then with one part of her attention focused on Carolus' words, Moonstar leans (gun first) over the edge of the skylight to look downward.

That cloak of coldness that Carolus felt earlier, back in the X-Base, intensifies for a moment as the woman tries to see into the darkness below. Thankfully, the darkness calls out and it's with a familiar (and friendly voice!), that's the only thing that causes her to stop from shooting in the direction of Daredevil's voice.

"They're friendlies." Moonstar quickly asides to Carolus, "Let's get down there."

And to match actions with words, Moonstar holsters her ICER and drops through the skylight. She lands crouched, but after a moment she smoothly rises to her feet.

"Daredevil. Jess."

The rest of her words stay stuck for a moment, because what can you say? Good to see you? Glad you're here?

None of those choices feel right, so instead Dani goes straight for the more professional questions, "How long have you two been here?"


It sure as Hell wasn't a goddamn murder-suicide, Jess says.

"I think you may be right about that," the man in red murmurs, though he doesn't elaborate on why, too busy turning to face the new arrivals.

Daredevil seems to appreciate Dani's tack for brisk and businesslike, giving the SHIELD Agent an brief upnod before answering her questions in kind.

"A few hours now," he says in his quiet rasp. "I waited for the police to vacate and then had a look around."


"Just showed up," Jessica says. She holds out her hand to Carolus. With equal professionalism, she says: "Jessica Jones."

"What did you find out while you were here?"

This, of course, to Daredevil, her dark head swiveling back to look at him. She also doesn't waste any more time; they're all here now and it's time to go into the apartment as far as she's concerned. She pulls on gloves; not the fingerless gloves she favors, but black cloth gloves that conform closely to her hand. They match the windbreaker; cop-like without ever veering over into impersonation territory.

This is all about not contaminating the crime scene, though she'll make an exception if she needs to pop the lock for them. She walks towards the door and tries the knob.


Carolus waves back at Jessica as he drops down into the penthouse interior, wings momentarily buzzing to comfortably cushion his drop. He looks between the pair with interest. He blinks rapidly as she approaches him and introduces herself, extending a primary hand out to shake hers in return, "Carolus Sinclair. Atlas, if you prefer to use the alias, though in this case I think it is unnecessary." Hazards of both /probably/ being known by who did this, and being registered.

He would ordinarily exchange pleasantries, but… it's really not called for in these circumstances.

Since they're apparently getting right down to brass tacks, his first order of business is simply to turn on the spot and look around, searching for any sort of residuals that might look out-of-place to his eyes.

"You both agree that this is more on the order of an elaborate murder than a murder-suicide then, then?" He asks, bluntly.

There's a part of him that /really/ wants validation that they haven't been grasping at straws.


While Dani has fairly decent night-vision she can't help but pull out a small hand-held flashlight.

For the moment, however, she doesn't turn it on, especially as she glances at the windows that can be found within the penthouse.

For now the woman turns her attention away from the penthouse at large and looks over to Daredevil when Jess and Carolus asks their questions. Much like Carolus, Moonstar waits for some form of validation to all of this.

Her expression while closed off there's a slight tightness around her mouth and eyes, but really it's the coldness that's settled around her form like a chilly cloak that reveals her true emotional state.


The masked man puts up a brief hand at Carolus' greeting, though doesn't offer his own. Perhaps he just thinks that a man in a skin-tight devil costume stalking the New York rooftops needs no official introduction.

But he does answer the man's questions, which is probably more important.

"A few things," he says with a look towards Jessica.

"First, I don't know that Worthington or Blaire were alone when it happened," the vigilante says grimly. "I think there may have been others in this room even before the bodies were ever found. And I… think…"

He grimaces, lips pulled back to bare teeth, as he finishes with a note of grim regret in his voice: "…one of them may have been Worthington's friend, Hodge. Who was a very cool customer with police during what should have been a nightmare of a day."

He turns on his heels then, circling the chalkmarked outlines of the fallen blondes with slow steps. "Second, Blaire had ketamine in her system. That could be for a lot of reasons — depression, chronic pain, or —"

Incapacitation. Assault.


"Hodge," Jessica mutters, with a sour twist to her mouth.

"Maybe I'll get a shot at looking at them in the morgue later. That might help. The people who have been screwing around with Worthington do some crazy ballet with plausible deniability, but they can't hide everything."

She hitches up on the knob to bust it, pulling out her own flashlight. She flips it on and steps inside.


The bodies have been cleared away and some cleaning has been done, though the scene has not yet been fully wiped. The chalked outlines pick out clearly where the two bodies lay: in the center of the room, near one another. One outline sports a bullet hole in the head, drilled into the floor, the residual smell of powder hanging about it. The hole marking the bullet which presumably killed Warren is in the far wall: behind him, judging by the manner in which the outline indicates he fell.

There's no particular signs of struggle. Nothing overturned, nothing broken. Everything in the apartment seems normal.

Contributing to the impression that the encounter did not begin violently — or in any way out of the ordinary — is the fact that there's residual scents of Alison and leather on an end table near the entryway that suggest a bag was set down there. The item has since been removed as evidence.

Interestingly, there is a minute smell of cleaner on one of the walls about eight feet in front of Warren. It is a trace amount that would be detectable to Daredevil's sense of smell, and which would reflect slightly in Carolus's ultraviolet vision.


As somebody who lives in New York, Carolus is already perfectly familiar with Daredevil. If he wasn't low on sleep and in a bad way, he probably would've been inclined to geek out a little. But the circumstances really just do not permit it. Fortunately — or unfortunately — Daredevil has answers that line up with a number of his assumptions. They needed somebody who had regular access to Warren, who could've taken Warren by surprise before he could do anything about it, and in all likelihood who could've tampered with Warren's treatment without anybody questioning or even really taking note of it.

Memories of the days immediately after the amputation flicker to the fore of his mind. Dazzler having a go at Hodge and getting dragged out on the news for it.

"That lines up with my expectations." He remarks, sourly.

An uncertain glance is cast towards Danielle, and then Carolus moves to join Daredevil along the outside edges of the chalk outlines. Carolus doesn't seem to find much of interest about Alison's outline, but he is drawn to Warren's.

Or more specifically, he is drawn from Warren's to a minute gleam on a distant wall.

"The bodies went missing from the morgue." He says to Jessica, squinting towards the spot on the wall and moving up towards it slowly.

"Anybody else able to detect that?" He asks, pointing at it.


Those chalk outlines. Something Moonstar would like to avoid seeing, but eventually the woman looks at them.

Those two stark outlines will forever be burned into her brain, but thankfully there's the rest of Daredevil's words to focus on. To bring her gaze away from the outlines of her dear friends.

"Hodge?" Moonstar says, even as Jessica mutters that same name, "He wasn't upset at all?" She asks carefully, before her gaze cuts back to Jess, when she mentions visiting the bodies in the morgue.

Briefly, Moonstar cuts her gaze over to Carolus and meets his uncertain gaze, then it's back to Jess and Daredevil as Carolus reveals just what happened to their bodies. The only thing Moonstar adds is, "They disappeared shortly after arriving and there's no footage. There was a convenient power surge that disrupted the security cameras."

More could be said on those missing bodies, but then the details about the Ketamine are revealed and that brings Moonstar's attention back solely upon Daredevil.

"Drugged?" She breathes, "She was *drugged*." She repeats, her tone bordering on something bad. Well, bad for the people who did this to Warren and Dazzler.

Because Dani is sure as shit certain Dazz was not willingly taking those drugs.

Before Moonstar can go too far into that rabbit hole, Carolus asks that last question of his. She turns her gaze to where he points and squints, but she can't see anything, "What do you see?"


"Definitely not 'best friend died' upset," Daredevil answers Dani, sparing a thought for what he'd be like if his BFF, one Franklin Nelson, had killed himself. "Cool and collected."

News that the bodies are missing tenses the vigilante's frame and tightens his jawline. "That's above and beyond what a run-of-the-mill murderous CEO should be able to pull off," he notes.

Then he turns his attention to that point at the far wall. He approaches it, as if he might get a better look, drawing in a long and centering breath.

"Someone used cleaner right here," he says, a red index finger jabbing at the spot on the wall. His jaw shifts on its hinges. "A manufactured crime scene."


"Already? Shit," Jess says, in response to Carolous' news about the morgue. Her features twist into a sour scowl as Moonstar fills in the details. 'Convenient bad luck things happening' has certainly been the MO here.

Daredevil points out a spot on the wall that might indicate a cleaned up crime scene, and she narrows her eyes thoughtfully. "So what exactly got cleaned off that spot?"

She tilts her head. She has no answer to the question, or any way to get it that is within her own skillset, so she moves on to what she knows she can do.

"Cops probably didn't really investigate a damn thing," she muses. "Strictly pick-up and clean-up. That means there may be other evidence in here too."

She starts a methodical search of the place, hardly expecting it to be easy to find anything at all. But then, this is the crap she lives for.


"It's a… spray. Or spritz. Just a bit. Daredevil has the right of it." Carolus confirms, trying not to think too hard about Alison being drugged and shot in the head. He turns away from the wall, drawing both sets of arms in around himself and looking at the floor, gears turning in his head.

"Are there any chemical smells you can't identify here? Anything wildly nonstandard?" He asks, turning back 'round to look at Daredevil.

"We tracked down what was left of Warren's wings at a disposal business, and they had been infected with a… /thing/. It turned the employees into these waxy melted techno-zombies and fried all the electrical hardware in the place, but it seemed to be intended to stop Warren's wings from healing."

"I'm wondering," he explains, "if it might have come back into play here in any way."


"Yeah," Carolus adds towards Jessica, "that's why I think something especially hazardous might be going on with the bodies. The electrical disturbance is less violent, but it could be the same thing."


Cops probably didn't really investigate a damn thing, muses Jessica. And from her sweep of the area, the scene seems to be consistent with that supposition.

There's usually a certain look a crime scene has to it when people are really… trying, and this one doesn't have it. Strict pick-up and clean-up seems to be the rule of the day. There's not much Jess would find lying around… the apartment seems broadly undisturbed from its state of 'somewhere that hasn't been lived in, in a while.'

In fact, the fact they're able to be in here at all so soon after the crime is telling enough. A murder this high-profile, and there's not police swarming the area 24/7?

There's no hint of any techno-zombie nonsense here, at least. No otherworldly smells. Nothing that isn't pretty consistent with what you would smell around a crime scene.


At this point Moonstar moves to help Jess search the interior.

She clicks on her own flashlight and starts on the opposite side of the penthouse.

It's only when nothing is really found, beyond the obvious answers that the police didn't try hard, Moonstar straightens from her search. She sends a look over to Jess, the sort that says 'find anything', but not really expecting anything to be found.

"I'd be curious to know what they cleaned off too." Dani muses then darker, the woman mutters, "And we need to talk to Hodge." Or maybe that's *Dani* needs to talk to Hodge, or is it Dani and Jess *need* to talk to Hodge.

Moonstar is fairly certain she's on the same page as Jess.

"Anything else of note that either of you can sense?"


"Not just yet," Carolus interjects, "but— see if you can find the firearms paraphernalia that wasn't the gun and what was already in it. They might not have thought to take or dust it, and I'd imagine that whoever did this left some signs of somebody other than Warren handling some part of the firearm's ammunition or accessories that, perhaps, they wouldn't think to go over as thoroughly as everything else."


"No, nothing — wildly nonstandard," Daredevil answers tersley. Definitely nothing on the order of techno-zombie goo. He abandons the well-cleaned spot on the wall to stalk the rest of the space in a quiet survey.

"Maybe blood?" he answers to Jessica's question about what the solution was meant to clean, exactly. "If the bodies were moved or arranged after the fact, they'd need to clean up splatter that didn't fit their story."

Moonstar asks if they can sense anything else, and Daredevil — with a twinge of frustration — shakes his head. "They did a good job with cleanup, whoever they were."


There turns out to be a gun safe in a closet of the apartment, which is empty. It shows no evidence of anyone else's prints on it, nor any handling by an unfamiliar touch. Whoever did this was clever, or at the least a professional murderer-of-people with quite a bit of experience in covering up, well, the murdering of people.

On the other hand, there's no signs anyone else has touched it in a while, either, not even Warren. It's kind of… unusually clean.

The bullet hole left behind by the round that supposedly killed Warren… it's maybe a tiny bit high of an angle, for a six-foot man standing where he was supposedly standing, and firing a weapon into his heart.


We tracked down what was left of Warren's wings.

Jessica facepalms at that. Like. Literally.

When she'd looked at all the facts of the case that she'd had, she'd literally just hit a dead end. She couldn't figure out where to go next, what threads to pull next. Untangling the web of coincidences and happenstances in a way that could make anything stick or do anything conclusive was eluding her.

It never once occurred to her to do that.

Still, her head whips around and she frowns. "Waxy…melted…techno zombies?" she repeats slowly, as if she's trying to figure out how to fit those words together in a way that makes sense to her. But Carolus cuts right to the important stuff. The bodies could have the same infection.

She pauses to take a photo of the bullet hole. She pulls out a tape measure to capture the exact distance, then says, "Dani, would you snap a photo of that?"

Sure, the liklihood this justice is taking place in court is low, but she'll take what she can get.


Carolus looks towards the wall, out towards where Warren's outline is, and then down towards Alison's outline. He walks 'round Alison's outline carefully, trying to find the angle that the bullet went into the floor from. Once he's managed to passably identify it, he makes a finger-gun gesture, tracing the path /he/ would need to travel to aim the gun in the direction of Warren's outline.

Then he glances over his shoulder, to see if the mark on the wall broadly lines up at his back. Unexpected powder residue, maybe? It couldn't have been a big gun, so he would be mildly surprised if residue wound up behind the gun with a semi-auto. But he's not exactly an expert.

"Yes," he says to Jessica, "they were extremely hostile and came apart at the seams under relatively light duress."

"How tall is Hodge?" He asks nobody in particular.


At Jess' request Moonstar promptly steps up and pulls her cellphone out. There's a quick focus and bright pop of light from the flash, and then the agent of SHIELD checks the picture.

"Got it." She says as soon as she makes certain the pic is clear and unblurry, "I can send you a copy."

And then before she steps away from Jess, the Valkyrie murmurs, "After this I wouldn't mind your help on something else. A side project."

Of course it concerns Warren and Ali, but for now the woman doesn't reveal what that side project is, but the look in Moonstar's eyes seems decided.

She's definitely decided on some kind of course of action.

Then it's back to Carolus and Daredevil, "Uh." To be honest Dani never really considered Hodge's height next to Warren's; those wings just made everyone seem smaller when people stood next to him. "Possibly similar heights."


"About six feet," says Daredevil of Cameron Hodge's height, even though blind Matt Murdock has absolutely no reason to know something like that.

He doesn't miss much, so he surely catches that exchange between Dani and Jessica.

But all he says is: "Time to start digging into Cameron Hodge's world a little bit."


Jessica nods to Moonie, trusting her enough that she doesn't even question it. Dani asks for her help, Jessica agrees to give it without asking any questions about the details.

Then they're talking about heights. "It'll be on his driver's license. Both of their driver's licenses," Jess says to Moonstar. "I'll pull the info, that should be on the database."

She nods, though, to Daredevil. Digging indeed.


If Carolus takes note of Danielle's exchange with Jessica, he doesn't acknowledge it. He's still sort of trying to figure out the physics of what went on here. Since they seem to have run out of much of anything to find, and his own immediate inquiries don't really relate to anything that can't be looked at later — preferably, with that fancy 3d map that Danielle was working with in the mission room — he moves to stand aside and wait for their departure.

"A friend of mine and I will be going to question Dr. Stuart shortly. The matter surrounding the wings got a lot more suspicious after we found them. I'll try to keep everyone looped in as best I can, but we're getting a lot of hands on deck for this one." He makes an aggravated sound.

Then, to Moonstar: "How need-to-know should we be keeping these details for the moment? I'd ordinarily assume that I should be fairly open with them among all collaborators, but circumstances being what they are I don't think that's a call I should be making myself."


When Jessica gives that nod of agreement Moonstar allows the fainest of smiles of thanks to play across her lips, then she turns back to the group.

"I agree we should look into Hodge. I think between the four of us we should be able to dig relatively deep, once we have some informatin, like Carolus said, we can debrief everyone as needed."

Then, much like Carolus, Moonstar steps over to him and when he asks that last question, she considers it for a moment. "The four of us, definitely. Those at the Mansion, yes. Outside of that let's play it close to the vest."

"If you can let your Spider friend know not to say anything outside of us, that would be good."

After saying that, Moonstar looks back to Jess and Daredevil, "As soon as we find out anything we'll give you both a ping. Be careful out there, I'm sure we all understand that something more is going on here than the typical type of crime."

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