Jack &
Roleplaying Log: Jack &
IC Details

Jessica Jones starts running down leads in her missing persons case, and finds a second victim.

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: May 26, 2019
IC Location: New York City (Multiple Locations)
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 31 May 2019 21:27
Rating & Warnings: PG-13
Scene Soundtrack: [* ]
NPC & GM Credits: All NPCs emitted by Emma Frost
Associated Plots

"This is Jessica Jones, PI. I understand you were the DPS agent overseeing Liliana Ortiz's registration check-ins. I'm calling to inform you she will probably miss her next check-in because it appears she has been abducted. I've been hired to take her case, and I'd like to speak to you. If nothing else, please mark her absence excused or whatever, I guess. If she's still alive, I don't want to find her just for someone to haul her off to the Raft cause they don't know. Thanks."

The message left in DPS Agent Flannery’s voicemail is a troubling one. It’s an older man who calls Jessica Jones, PI back promptly within business hours. He’s in his early fifties, has a thick Queens accent and thinning red hair that’s kept cropped short, and wants to meet in a rundown Mom & Pop shop by the name of Icing on the Cake Donuts— just a few blocks down from the registration office where he works.

He tells Jones on a return voicemail that he’ll be there at 11:45. He’s there at 11:30 with every intention of getting a table in the back of the dim little shop with dingy windows but clean seats, a cup of regular black coffee, and the plainest donut that the place offers.

She's there by 11:35. She's surprised by what she sees. She should know better than to make assumptions, but the older agent is nothing like what she expected. She recovers quickly though, and ratchets down her resentment of law enforcement in general and DPS agents in particular. Because he did call back. Because he did meet. Because he was troubled.

And because she sure can't afford to alienate him.

She steps over and offers a hand. "Agent Flannery? Jess Jones."

Flannery sees the woman who comes in, and Jones will probably notice that—with his back to the back of the shop—he does it promptly. The man rises to his feet, and offers a weathered and calloused hand to meet hers. His clothes are tidy and neat, with the outline of his badge barely visible from where he’s tucked it and its plain neck lanyard into his inside jacket pocket to keep it from waving out.

“Miss Jones,” he replies, tone cautious but every bit the same one that left the voicemail. “Can I getcha a cup of coffee? Something to eat?”

"Coffee, black, please," Jess says. She rarely turns down such offers. A habit from days when she was dead broke half the time. And…well, sometimes it puts people at their ease.

She settles in and says, "Thanks for meeting with me."

She passes over a copy of her case file. "I thought you might want to know how the progress of the investigation is going. I'm giving you full disclosure on this." She thought long and hard before making this choice, but landed on it as the right move this time.

“Girl after my own heart.” Flannery sucks on his teeth, and then offers: “Lemme get that coffee for ya.”

It doesn’t take long. A minute longer than it probably should because he insists on making conversation with the woman behind the counter for what one would assume to be the second time since he’s come in.

He pays for the coffee with change from his pocket, and then brings back the thick ceramic cup to slide it in front of Jones. He settles in next, reclaiming his seat.

“Before you get too deep into things, Miss Jones… Miss? Mrs? Ms. Whatever you like best, pretend I said that one. Anyway, before you get too deep, I have to warn that if there’s anything funny going on that I’m going to have to turn my eyes on with regards to Miss Ortiz’s case, I don’t want to know. You’re a private investigator, and I’m a state employee. Get what I’m saying?”

Jess tilts her head. She likes this dude. He is now a shining star rarity among law enforcement of any kind, let alone DPS. Jesus, can he be her assigned agent?

"Yep. Loud and clear. But so far there's nothing except some real thin leads, of which you're one. Did she ever say anything that worried you, or seemed out of place? Did she seem afraid at any point?"

Flannery raises a thick, auburn eyebrow. “You mean, other than being afraid of having to register a fairly new and life-changing mutation that’s suddenly everybody’s business, and being a kid about to finally go into the wider world of community college?” He rests there on the points a moment, and then sucks on his teeth again.


He ducks his head and sips his coffee after that, as straight-backed as ever.

Flannery hates his job. Jessica nods slowly and then passes a card across the table to him. "In case you think of anything else," she says, with a quirk of a smirk. She is aware she is stealing law enforcement lines. She drains her coffee, raises the empty cup to him in thanks, and stands.

She puts in a call to Detective Cuthbert to see if he's got a moment, walking and bluetoothing at the same time. There are other ways to get info on this, but…this is the straight route. She could be barking up the wrong tree. Kids go missing for all kinds of reasons, all the time. But this story jumped out at her, and she decided it was worth a shot across the bow.

Cuthbert is not nearly as personable, but he takes the call at his desk where he’s working. “NYPD, Detective Cuthbert.” His voice is a low rumble, but firm. Not the sort that believes in wasting words.

Behind him are all the sounds of a busy station, and then the click as he drops his pen to reach over and nab a notepad with all of the ease of someone with a decade on the force.

"This is Jessica Jones. I'm a private investigator. I'm calling because one of your cases could be related to one of my cases. I also have a missing young college student out of Queens."

That was why it had jumped out. Jessica grimaces a little. It's one of those little lingering symptoms of neurological damage, that her brain suddenly makes connections that don't always go all the way into the station until she says it out loud or writes it all down.

"If we compare notes, it might lead to nothing…or it might give us both a lead."

There’s a tapping sound as Cuthbert, having picked his pen back up, stops writing call notes down in his pad and contemplates while bobbing the pen between his fingers against the desk.

“I’ve heard of you, Jones,” he says after a long moment of contemplation. He taps his pen a few more times, and then there is a loud squeak as he leans back in his chair. “Yeah, alright. But you gotta come down here. I’m up to my eyeballs this week.”

"Be there in five."

And she will, because she skips all the traffic nonsense to roof run. Pushing up to full speed, landing with hard booted thunks and then taking off again. He's heard of me, has he? Well, that could be good news or bad news, depending on the cop.

She hits the roof of the police station and vaults over the side, landing just in front. And then she strides right on in, and goes through whatever rigamarole it's going to take to get herself shown back to his desk.

It takes surprisingly little, mostly because the detective did the kindness of promptly letting the front desk know he had incoming. He did not expect his promptness to be the thing that gets the conversation had just before Jones shows up on their doorstep.

She’s shown back to the cramped desk in the middle of the busy bullpen, where the man sits and still scratches away.

It’s not until Jessica is practically on top of him that he minimizes his computer program and tucks a pad of paper away. He curls a hand towards the seat beside his desk. “You know I gotta ask to see the license, right?”

"Which one?" Jessica says dryly. But she digs all of them out. The PI License. The Driver's License, even though she rarely drives. She has one. And the one she calls her Authorized Freak license.

She holds them out and leans back on one foot to let him examine them. And keeps the snark to herself.

You get a lot of women coming in and claiming to be Jessica Jones? Or maybe it's just you think I'm a moron who would definitely come in here about a missing kid on an expired license? Here we are, back at the kind of genius-level thought process that makes the NYPD so flippin' amazing.

The tight smile on her face is a little bit signature.

The officer sees the expression on Jessica’s face, but doesn’t comment on it. Instead, he takes the cards out of her possession with one hand, and then indicates the small wooden chair next to his desk with a wave of the other. Cuthbert looks at the licenses, and records the number off of the PI license in his little book at his desk. Then he hands them back, regardless of whether or not Jones sits.

It’s busy in the station, for sure, but it doesn’t seem to bother the detective at his desk. He just picks up his pad and starts turning back through the pages until he gets to a section marked with little neon green post-it flags hanging out of the side. He leans back in his chair with the same calibre of loud squeak that Jessica heard over the phone, and tilts his head as he regards his visitor with pad on his lap and pen tapping against the paper.

“So, Jones, do you have somewhere in particular that you want to start?”

She'd seen it before, the hand wave towards his chair. But had to dig her licenses out of the leather wallet in her back pocket anyway. And will have to put them back in. It's a man's wallet, a tight fit for the pocket of a woman's jeans, but she carries it anyway. "B. Jones" is engraved on the front of it. It is old, but well cared for. And when the licenses are handed back she proceeds with getting them back into place, and the slightly awkward process of getting the wallet back into place. No pickpocket is going to get that thing. Trying is likely to earn him a broken nose.

Then she does sit.

"Yeah," Jess says. "Your case, Jimmy…was there a Lincoln Towncar involved? One that seemed eerily good at avoiding anything that might have gotten a shot of its plates?"

“If you’ve got a firm identification on a vehicle, Jones, you’re doing better than I am.”

Cuthbert heaves a small sigh, and then drops his gaze to the paper.

There is scribbling in the pad, however, and then the detective continues. “What I’ve got so far is that the kid was at an illegal party down at the docks. He left the warehouse, went into another building down there, and didn’t come back out. If your car is good at dodging cameras, then maybe. Unless my kid is some kinda Houdini type and can just, yanno, disappear. Picked up a few of the kids who were there, but all I’ve got is a few warrants and a pile of paperwork for trespassing, possession, and paraphernalia. Interviews turned up bupkis.”

"Huh. That might explain…mine went to a party and the location plans inexplicably changed a bunch of times. Did you happen to pick up a Gigi Albescu, an Anna Conners, or a Rosie Acosta at your party?" Isn't necessarily the same party, but if they run in the same circles then that might explain a whole lot.

"They were friends of my missing kid, Liliana. As for the cameras…"

A thought occurs to her.

"If you had any city-owned cameras that could have caught action but didn't, and if our cases are related, then…well, my perps have a hacker on their shitty little team. They could have hacked into the cameras, and if you have someone from your electronics forensics team take a look you might find something."

With cameras everywhere, the only way anyone avoids getting at least something on tape, to Jessica's mind, is if they can already see where everything is placed. She's not willing to blame perp luck on the fact that they didn't get a partial, or just being really, really professional. She's conscious of cameras, and she doesn't think she could do it. Not without at least leaving a partial.

“I only have a couple of cameras down there that aren’t privately owned, but yeah. Yeah, that would be a good place to check. I can do that.”

The names Jones gives are written down, but he shakes his head. “No. I got an underage idiot and mostly some strung out college kids who are about to make their parents go nuclear, but I don’t think any of mine got names like that.” He thinks. His nose twitches, and then he starts flipping through his book. “Yeah, my citizens of the year don’t match.”

There’s another sniff, and a look like he’s about to say something more.

He stops, considers, and begins again.

“I also got a buncha unregistereds that didn’t get caught by the raids as friends that were at that party, and all of the paperwork for that, too. Your case got anything like that?”

"Not directly," Jessica says. "But my girl is a mutant. Registered all good and proper. Was Webber? A meta, I mean. To your knowledge. I mean…he could always be one but not even to his knowledge, if he's a late bloomer."

She leans back in her chair thoughtfully. Two parties, one clearly illegal and one with all the signs of being illegal. It only takes one person to instigate both parties though. It's a lot of effort to go through though. Why a party?

She has no answer or speculation for why a party, and that's a wild theory as of yet anyway. She says, "I wonder if you'd be willing to share the paperwork on the unregistereds. And a photo of Jimmy. In case my own inquiries into Mutant Town come up with a match. It looks like she knew one or two people there."

“No one’s said he’s a meta. But hell. Maybe he is. Maybe this whole thing is because he decided to skip town. I don’t know.”

A hand reaches behind Cuthbert’s head so he can rub the back of it with his palm. “I can give you the photo. But I still gotta finish up the paperwork on the others. Once we have formal charges and a court date.”

There’s a pause, and then a sigh. “I can give you names till then, if you promise to come back if there’s a lead.”

"Sure," Jess says. "Look, it doesn't matter to me who finds these kids as long as they get home safe."

But there's a fine line there, because there are reasons she's not giving 100% disclosure on the lead she already has. 'Mutant Town' is close enough for him. She's not about to screw a bunch of innocent metas when she doesn't have to.

"So if I see something you guys should know about," she says, "I'll call. Not a problem."

There’s an exhale as Cuthbert decides, yeah, that’s good enough.

The detective flips through his pad, and then goes back and forth between parts of the book until he has about fifteen name scribbled down on a fresh corner. He rips it out afterwards, and hands it over to Jones.

“Gimme a minute and I can make a copy of the photo I’ve got.”

He doesn’t really wait for a response either as he leans forward in his chair to set down his pad and begin rifling through a few folders. He finds the right one, eventually, and then rises to his feet with it in tow.

He comes back with a manilla envelope and holds it out towards the woman in his “visitor’s chair”, but then his hand pulls it back to hold it by his shoulder.

“I gotta lotta paperwork. I don’t want more paperwork. But maybe you should still err on the safe side when you’re considering what I need to know about, yeah?”

Jessica takes the manilla envelope. "I'll do my very best to walk the fine line," she says. And she actually will. This cop also doesn't strike her as half bad, now that she's face-to-face with him.

"Thanks for this. I'll be in touch."

She stands up; she'll get out of his hair before she rifles through this folder.

She aims to have everything in it committed to memory as best she can before she slips into the support group. Something she's decided to do alone, in spite of having numerous people she could call for back-up. Any one of them might spook the people there.

The rented room is small, but well appointed in the way of shared office space. It has touches here and there that a carefully trained eye might notice that speak of Mutant Town. An unnaturally luminescent red vase holds a diverse arrangement of fresh flowers sweetly perfumed like thick patches of summer-warmed honeysuckle. The contemporary wall sculptures from local talent.

The conference table has been split and pushed into the corners, leaving room for the floral arrangement, as well as a casserole and an arrangement of soda cans.

The group has already started to dig into the casserole: a homemade chicken tetrazzini and settled into chairs to pick at it. Two have overt mutations that registration only changed in name, a young man with wholly black eyes and a young woman with tiny horns bumping out of her forehead and whose fangs gently overlap her lower lip when she closes her mouth. The rest, seven others, look otherwise entirely normal.

They all grow quiet when Jessica comes in, except for the black-eyed man who smiles. “Hey, there,” he greets, waving with a fork-wielding hand. “Grab something to eat or drink if you want. You haven’t missed much.”

Jessica smiles back and says, "Thanks."

She takes some of the tetrazzini, and a soda, and slides in next to any of them. "I'm real new to stuff like this, so…Not really sure what to do."

Because she definitely does not want them thinking she is here to investigate. Now is not the time to reveal that. She supposes she's not that new, there's AA, but there are 200 people in the room at AA.

“Yeah, we get that a lot. We mostly just go through the stupid shit that comes with getting a shiny gene that 99% of the population doesn’t. And the shitty things that 99% decides to do.” The man shrugs. “I’m Gary, and these—“ he points to his eyes “—can see in the dark or in the bright light. Doesn’t matter. It’s all the same to me.”

A pause. “It makes me a beast at flashlight tag.”

The girl next to him punches his arm. “He’s also a cheater, even if he didn’t have that. He gave me half-dead batteries the last time we played.”

She looks at Jess, her horns making more obvious the arch of her eyebrows. “I’m Valerie. And cheater’s my brother, and my only real perk is that I don’t have to wear a motorcycle helmet. ……unless the cops are looking. Ha.”

Her arms spread, indicating the room at large. “Welcome to Freak Town, population us.”

The room erupts into cheers at that, and one woman stomps her feet. Good thing the building is mostly empty; the sound of her feet is akin to thunder in volume.

“Glad to have you here.”

"Jessica Jones," Jess says, after the din has died down and the thunder has stopped rolling across the floor.

Shit. She likes the brother and sister, and it's rare for her to start out liking someone. She hopes nobody's involved in this. She realizes she probably ought to do the power part of the intro, so she adds: "Really strong, falling with style. I could throw cars, but don't, because that's a douche move."

She doesn't just assume people know who the hell she is. She's not entirely surprised when it happens, but she doesn't assume it. She'd weighed the risks and benefits of coming as herself, and decided to risk it. They might immediately go: you're the PI, and clam right up. Or they might know, but not care. Or they might not know.

But she won't risk losing the trust of key people if she can help it.

If there is any sudden dawning of awareness within the group, they keep it hidden. It’s unlikely, however, given that they keep introducing themselves and their weird hodgepodge collection of abilities.

One of the women reveals that her mother’s kicked her out of their shared studio apartment, now that all the neighbors have figured out that she has the X-gene.

One young man is nervous because he doesn’t think his registration officer likes him, and then he was late to check-in when his abuela got sick.

The list continues, as they introduce themselves and their woes. A wholly different list than the one Jess memorized.

Jessica listens to them with a sympathetic ear. She makes a note to pass the woman the information for Danny's center so she can maybe get some help. A few other notes, made here or there, mental ones, to get help for some of the others.

But the fact that not one name matches…what could that mean? Maybe nothing.

She doesn't tune out the meeting though. She eats tetrazzini and she listens close for any other lead that might shake out. But after the meeting? She'll approach Gary and Valerie.

There’s a lot of complaining about registration, but all of them are. There’s a discussion between bites of chicken and noodle and cheese and mushroom about how little reversing the law would do for those already outed. The cat would not go back in the bag.

But mostly, they talk and listen about problems. And then they go home. Thunder Boots takes the leftover tetrazzini home after spooning out a take-home portion for everyone else.

Valerie starts packing up the remaining soda cans into a red and white Coleman cooler, while Gary starts pushing the conference table back together. When he notices that Jessica’s hanging behind, he asks her, “Do you mind moving the chairs to the side for a tic?”

"Yeah, no problem," Jess says. She starts moving the chairs and says, "I liked the group," even if speaking up like this is never going to be her thing, "but I'm here for another reason, too. I'm a private detective. I've been hired to find a missing girl named Liliana Ortiz who I think might have come here. Did you guys have her as a member?"

Sometimes the direct route really is the best. They might be irritated she came on a case, but there's no helping that. Missing is missing is you do what you gotta.

The siblings—who look nothing like each other whatsoever thanks to their unique mutations—stop and look at each other, and then suddenly turn at the same time to look at Jessica with a new wariness.

“We’re not in trouble, right?” asks Valerie first, not-so-subtly taking a couple of steps to put herself between her older brother and the can-throw-cars-strong private-investigator new girl. Then, a beat later, she whispers over her shoulder to that brother, “She has to tell us if we’re in trouble, right?”

The brother looks at his sister, incredulous. “How should I know? I steal the good flashlight batteries, but that doesn’t mean I’m suddenly an expert on how that stuff works!”

Valerie scrunches her horned brow. “OH MY GAWD,” she squawks, “SO YOU ADMIT IT!”

To which Gary just opens his black eyes wide, “Really, Val? Right now? We’re doing this right now?” His hand flips out to indicate Jess, standing right there.

“Oh. Right.” She turns her face back to Jessica, and her feet spread just a little wider as her head ducks low, giving her all the appearance of a bull about to charge. Just… with fangs. “We’re not in trouble, right?” she asks again. Then she stage-whispers, “You are really a mutant, right? Because this is really supposed to be just for us.”

"No, you're not in trouble, and yes, I am really a mutant." Jess still doesn't really understand what makes someone a mutant versus a meta, or why it even matters. No X-gene in her, but some other genetic marker that made the IGH crap work right. What's the difference?

For the second time today, she pulls out her Reg card and hands it over. And her PI's license. That's quick proof. Damned if she doesn't have to admit that so far, being Registered has done her, personally, more good than harm. It's given her a legitimacy in multiple situations that she never had before. She reminds herself that the giant robots and the round-ups of innocent metas in the thousands proves it's not just some super powered driver's license.

"You're not in trouble, but Liliana is." But why do they immediately think they are? It doesn't matter. If they're not the kidnappers then it doesn't matter worth a shit what they did. It was probably innocent. She just needs to know.

"She went to a party, one that changed locations a bunch of time, and then someone put her in a Lincoln Town car. They hacked local cameras," that's the only way Jess can see that they managed it, "to conceal their plates. The police just assumed she skipped town because of Reg. Her parents hired me to help."

It’s Gary that reaches past his sister to take and look at the cards, and then again as he hands them back.

Talk of mutancy seems to calm Valerie down, but it’s a slow process. She at least stops looking like she’s about to bum rush Jessica, though.

“Yeah, Ana was here,” Gary says, hesitant. “She was new, though. Only came a couple of times. We… we just thought she didn’t come back because someone… you know. Thought something wrong. Or it just wasn’t a good fit. But she registered so that she could stay with her family. Like, that was the only reason. If her fam’s still here, she didn’t run.”

Valerie speaks up next, “We don’t really chase people down if they don’t wanna be here. There’s enough people being chased right now.” There’s a pause, and then she asks, “But why are you here? I mean, we’re not even a formal thing. Did she tell her parents about us?” Slender arms cross defensively. “That’s gotta be a weird conversation with flatscans.”

Gary hits his sister’s arm with the back of his hand lightly. “Hey, we promised not to use that word.”

"No, her parents didn't know anything about you," Jess says. "I had an expert go into her computer. That's how I got to you. And my expert and I are currently the only ones who know about her."

She pulls out the list of names and says, "Any of these guys ever come in? Or this kid?"

She also pulls out Jimmy Webber's photograph.

"Or has anything weird happened at group? Anyone weird shown up? Did she ever seem afraid…like, more than the usual and obvious…here?"

Both Gary and Valerie shake their heads, although Valerie spends her time looking at the photo a lot longer than her brother.

Again, it’s Gary who talks first. “No, she was here mostly because she wanted to get more of a sense of the community around. Not much of one in her neighborhood, and she was kinda new to the whole idea. She didn’t like registering, but we’ve definitely seen some angrier people. I guess that’s what happens when there aren’t many mutants around. You’re a little more… sympathetic to your village.”

Valerie snorts. “She needed a new village. Hers is full of idiots.”

Gary’s expression is immediately irritated. “Val!”

Valerie rolls her eyes and stomps a foot belligerently. “Well, it is. Anyway, I think I saw this guy, once or twice. At a few bars around here.” She hands the photo back. “He kinda stood out as tourist.”

"Do you remember which bars?" Jessica asks, ignoring all the rest of it. This sounds like a long-running argument, and there's no profit getting involved in it.

And then a thoughtful pause.

"My abilities came on fast and they were not subtle," she says slowly. "Suddenly busting a marble sink is pretty goddamn straightforward. But…if someone had a more subtle ability, a kid, and they didn't know for sure, but suspected…some of the people in your group must have gone through that. Exactly how does one confirm a subtle ability one way or the other, without a genetic test?"

“There are some mutants who have ways of knowing. They can clone powers, or just kinda exist as metahuman bloodhounds. I heard of one kid who makes a killing guessing your abilities before you tell him. If you’re talking about Ana in particular, though, my understanding is that other telepaths can kinda figure out who’s in the club pretty quick, too.” Gary finishes his explanation, and then arches an eyebrow. “You don’t hang out much here, either, do you?”

Valerie, for her part, shrugs. “I think one of ‘em was called the Wing and Fang?” She points to her teeth. “I get free drinks sometimes there for being on theme.”

Gary rolls his eyes now. “And it has nothing at all to do with you flirting with the bartender.”

The dark haired girl shrugs and tightens her self-embrace. “Look, the whole hooves and ink thing is hot, okay?” She leans in to whisper a taunt, “He compleeetes meeeeee.” Then her attention returns to Jess as her brother pantomimes gagging. “Anyway. It’s really a bar for folks who can’t really hide who they are, you know? So he walks in, looking normal as normal can be, and I noticed. Got some people talking. But I guess he must have struck some girl’s fancy because they got to talking and left.”

She pauses, and then tilts her head. “Why? Who is he?”

"Another missing kid," Jessica says grimly. "With enough similarities to my case that I sat up and took notice. He went missing from an illegal party. And there were some unregistered people with abilities there. The idea that there was a connection seemed a thin one until you told me about him slipping into the Wing and Fang."

She also shakes her head. "Don't take it personally, me not hanging out much. I don't, as a rule. I'm usually working."

She tilts her head. "Do you have a description of the girl?" With that, she can maybe shake even a little bit more leads out of the Wing and Fang. She's relieved, really. This almost looked like a dead end, but it's not quite. Not yet.

“Um,” Valerie’s expression contorts in thought as her eyes drift towards the ceiling. “She was kinda, I dunno… Glowy. White hair. Kinda bluish translucent skin. Real pretty. You could see her veins, so she’s probably a phlebotomist’s favorite person and REALLY hard to miss.”

Excellent. There's only likely to be one of those.

Jessica digs out a pair of cards. "Thank you both for all your help. If you think of anything else, just call me."

Off to the Wing and Fang.

It’s not a far haul, only a few blocks.

Unfortunately, Jimmy’s problem is also Jessica’s. No outward mutation means that she sticks out like a sore thumb in a bar packed with horns and tails and fur pelts and wings and skin every color of the rainbow.

It’s warm despite the old air conditioner working overtime, so the door’s been propped open. The television is showing the 1989 classic, Little Monsters.

And the girl that Jess is looking for is perched on a barstool, drinking a neon colored something from a martini glass at a counter near the pool tables.

Jessica, at least, has an edge that Jimmy Webber probably didn't. She goes all kinds of places where she's not necessarily wanted, and has to navigate them. In this case, she walks in with confidence, exactly as if she belongs here, blatantly ignoring that she doesn't.

She slides on the bar stool next to the girl. And that's when it happens. After a year and a half of sobriety, the urge to get a drink and down it burns in her throat. Any drink, but whiskey would be the best. Warm and nice down her throat, taking the edge off of tension and anxiety…

Kids, damn you, kids, Jones. Missing kids.

"Hey," she says to the girl. She slides a card to her. "Jessica Jones. I'm a PI." She pulls out Jimmy's photo. "This guy's missing. I hear he came in here sometimes. Have you seen him?"

Time to see if this girl going to lie to her, or if she's going to tell the truth. With this witness, Jess wants that much established right away.

Ice pale blue eyes look to the photo, and then look to Jones suspiciously. She sips once more from her martini glass, glowing in the dark corner just like Valerie said she did. Her white hair and glass-like skin make her look otherworldly.

“I don’t have to talk to you,” she says quietly, her voice possessed of a strange whirring quality.

She sips again.

Ah. Not lying, but not evasion. "You don't," Jessica agrees. "But you might want to. I have another case that isn't with the cops. This kid is. I found you before they did, and if you tell me what you know, they never have to know about you. If you don't…"

She spreads her hands. "I'd rather just hear it from you though. I'm concerned Jimmy might be hurt, or dead. From what I've heard, you seemed to like him. If you did, you wouldn't want him to be either, right?"

The threat of cops, draws a nervous blink. Then the ethereal mutant heaves a sigh. “I didn’t like him,” she whirs, her chin tucking. “I already have a boyfriend. But we knew each other. At least, we bump into each other now and again.”

Another sip, and then she continues on.

“But whatever’s going on, I didn’t have anything to do with it. I haven’t seen him since… Since a while ago.” She sharply exhales, and explains. “I’m really bad with time. All kind of a blur.”

Yeah. I wonder why.

Outwardly though, Jessica's face doesn't even twitch. "I'm not accusing you of anything," she says quietly. "I am trying to find leads. As far as I know you were the last person to see this kid alive and unharmed. If you can give me the next link in the chain, great. Some people saw you leaving this bar with him. Where did you go? Did you meet up with anyone? Time doesn't matter."

She knows when he disappeared, and she knows it was recent enough. It would be better to know the time, but people not remembering exact dates or details is common. A thing every investigator has to work around.

“I didn’t leave with him,” she protests, vehemently. “Do you know how much trouble I’d be in?”

She sniffles, and then picks up her drink to play with the tiny plastic sword decorated with fruit that pokes out of it. She lets her gaze rest there.

“I usually know where the good parties are. And he asked me. So I told him where the next one would be. People don’t usually like renting party space to us, so… they’re kinda… word of mouth invitations.”

It seems that the white-tressed young woman would stop there, but after a pause? She keeps going. “I saw him once at the rave. He left, though, and I didn’t see him come back in. Doesn’t mean he didn’t, though. It was super crowded that night.”

Jessica brings out Liliana's picture. "Did this girl ever go to any of the good parties? Any of the raves? And do these raves change locations a lot, before someone manages to actually launch one?"

Because truthfully Jess has no idea how the hell raves or illegal parties happen. She knows a few people who might, but it's well outside of her wheelhouse.

And a frown. "Why would you be in trouble for leaving with Jimmy Webber? He was in college. Of age. Why would that cause trouble?"

“Because boyfriend,” the mutant with the martini replies.

Her spidery thin fingers reaches out to take the photo and she looks at it, studies it with a certain sincerity and then hands it back. “She’s not familiar. It doesn’t mean she’s never been, but I’ve never seen her. But…no? I mean, we never have ‘em in the same place. I don’t know how they figure it all out, but it seems to be just a straight shot unless something weird happens, I guess. They’ve cancelled a few, but then we just gotta wait. I just go and share the word with folks. Been doing this for years.”

Reaching into her bag beside her, the girl pulls out a bag of candy and tears it open to start crunching on it.

Jessica takes out a cigarette. It's the only way she's not going to have a drink. Here and now. Especially as the lead seems to be drying up. "Right. Boyfriend," she agrees, taking a moment to think.

She lights it up and inhales, buying a moment to think. She'll have to go to the address of the rave next. Unless it's the same rave. If it's the same, Cuthbert already didn't get anything off that, and having read his investigation she has to admit he knows his shit. She rattles off the address from Cuthbert's report. "Was that where the rave you last saw him at was?"

“Yeah. That’s the one. They happen every month or so.”

The glowy girl chomps on the hard candy, and then her foot starts to bob on the rail of her stool.

“Look. I saw when he left. He didn’t look good. But, you know. It’s… It’s a party, right? People get into stuff all the time, and sometimes it’s not good.”

A luminescent finger holds up, and she tells Jones plainly. “I didn’t give it to him, sell it to him, or see who did.” That disclaimer made, she shrugs and then goes back to her drink.

“But he looked freaked.”

Shit. It is so close to being a lead, and yet so far away. He looked freaked. Why did he look freaked? Everyone picked up at the raid was already processed by the NYPD, if they were caught, and that means he didn't catch who last saw Webber either.

But she does have one more question she can ask. Maybe two. "Was Jimmy down here trying to figure out if he had powers?"

The girl shakes her head. “No, he knew. But he wasn’t always comfortable talking about it. Telepaths, you know? They’re… not always the kids you want showing up in your space. He just kinda wanted to be among his own people, I guess. And that’s what we do at the parties. We cut loose. We get to be us without fuckin’ DPS on our cases.”

She drinks and that last sip kills her drink. So she starts to eat the fruit garnish.

Jessica starts. She'd expected to hear that the kid had a power. She was expecting one of the subtle ones. Maybe a precog. Maybe a clairvoyant. Maybe the dice always fall right for him, or maybe he got images off of touched objects.

But the exact same power?

Jones doesn't believe in coincidences. At all. But who that points to or what that means…she doesn't know.

"Yeah, I know," she says. "Can you think of anybody else he might have been in contact with? Spoken to?"

She suspects she's milked this conversation for all it's worth, but she takes a shot across the bow anyway, even as she puts the photos away.

The girl shakes her snowy-tressed head, and then shrugs. “‘’Fraid not. I really only see him once or twice a month and it’s kinda centered around one thing. We’re not really friends.” Stabbing the plastic sword back into her cup, the young woman finally stands up and moves to abandon it. “I hope you find him, though. Not a banner year for mutants ‘round here, you know?”

"Preaching to the choir, lady," Jessica says, around a mouthful of cigarette. She lets the girl go. As of right now she has no reason to believe the chick is lying.

"Better get out of here before I order a Jack and 7 to celebrate my day of finding Jack and shit," Jessica mutters. It's not precisely true…she's learned a lot, but she's come round to a point where the leads seem to have run dry.

She hops off the barstool, eyes narrowed as she walks out.

There will be another break in the case. There always is.

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