4th District, 8:50 PM
The hustle and bustle of Neo-Kabukicho was always a pain to feel. He never seemed to be able to hide as well, but he never felt like he had to here, as strange as it seemed. Stratford’s influence didn’t matter here before, it was one of the few places that he felt reasonably safe from the Fount of Civilization, even if it came down to the fact that others could get him.
Yet, he didn’t care about that.
He had found a cheap room to stay in tonight, it was away from the mess of District 6, and it meant he could take an opportunity to gather his thoughts for real.
That sudden hero appearance and her gift of the business card got his attention once more. His fingers plucked the card up from the nightstand he had left it on, giving it another look. The room had a phone, he could dial… And he did. He let it ring for a moment, waiting as the line tried to connect. He knew they were likely closing, probably wouldn’t answer…
Sure enough, no response for the night, but that was fine. He turned the card over in his hands, just to have something to do as he sat down on the bed. The sparsely decorated room was perfect for him as he laid out, looking at the card once more...
Self Image and Loss Counseling
1st District, 11:15 AM
Tempest had been lingering around the meetup spot for a couple hours now, he had seen one person arrive close to ten, another girl bump into someone, but he was waiting for Elita to show up this time. The favor she asked for wasn't really something he was excited about, but... Maybe it would help make sure no one was thinking about him being that rumored assassin, if he was caught helping people who were trying to find out what was going on. He definitely didn't want that rumor spreading too much, especially not to the point where anyone might actually look at him! Eventually, Elita arrived as well, scoping out the scene as well as she could. He snickered a tiny bit, he knew that look. The look of someone looking for blind spots to sneak in. He jumped down from his perch in an alleyway, a fire escape ladder that he had commandeered for his own comfort.
The group had a moment to regroup, and after confirming with Elita that they wouldn't stay much longer than they had to, he set to work. The ruins of the tower had left enough cover for him to pull shadows from, it was just unfortunate that it was nearly noon. The shadows being cast weren't in the perfect spots, but he could see a path to the center of the crater slowly. His hand pulled a few of the shadows towards him, circling around him and Elita as he glanced back to the rest of the group, "We're heading in. This is a stealth mission though, so I can't really hide too many of us."
His voice was oddly stern as he spoke up, but the shifty look in his eyes made it clear that he was just as flighty as always. "We go in, we listen, we gather what information we can. If you get caught out of spot, you run. I'll cover you if I can, but if you get too far away..." He didn't go into depth on that, but he didn't have to do that. Elita spoke up before he could.
"The police may use force if they find us in there. It would be... Unwise for us to be caught, that is all I will say, but sometimes, a less than legal approach is necessary. I would prefer us to not all go in, so I'll be traveling with Tempest on this mission. I will report back anything of note that we find."
Tempest pulled shadows from around them into a small ball, the duo starting to be obscured from the rest of the group as he nodded his head, "You all stay safe too! It's definitely less dangerous for you all, but like... You know, be careful!" He gave them a little finger salute as Elita and him dove underneath the tape, following the shadows into the crater. The shadows would obscure the outside from seeing them directly, but he had to be mindful to make sure he wasn't obscuring anything the people outside should be seeing. He couldn't move as fast as he normally would, but the two of them reached the crumbling remains of Samsura Tower's first floor, the shadow curtain starting to drop around them as they hugged the wall, quietly moving to tail after the police force.
Elita quietly whispered to Tempest, his grip on the shadows starting to loosen as they ducked behind a corner of crumbled wall, the shadows positioned to block view of them, "There. Keep a grip on the shadows, we may need them any moment. I will be examining what we can find here as well..."
1st District, 9:00 AM
Soon enough, I will have freedom to explore the scene of the crime.
Elita hummed to herself gently as she tapped at her cheek gently, her eyes lazily scanning across the wreckage of District 1 from the top of her family’s home.. The site of the Tower’s origin was truly impressive, the police force had been working nearly non-stop to make sure that civilians weren’t accessing it. Dangerous to the common folk, a need to quell rumors about the mayor, or maybe… Maybe the police force was involved in the attack as well? She couldn’t rule it out, it would be a fair enough angle for the attacker to take, if they needed to buy time to get an opportunity to attack Stratford. She couldn’t rule it out…
She brushed her hair behind her head as she thought back to the previous day. The tower’s rampage had cleared a path through the further districts, but even from her family’s home atop an artificial hilltop, she couldn’t see that far out. Her mother liked to have a good view of the rest of the District and the city beyond it, even if she liked to complain about the sight of District 12 so close to her own home. Elita was sure she enjoyed the sense of superiority she got from literally looking down at others, but that wasn’t her business.
She knew it had been unlikely for the tower to hit her family’s home, it would have started moving in the opposite direction and then made a U-Turn back towards District 6 for that to happen, but she had to at least pretend to be concerned when she got a spare moment to call her mother…
Yesterday, 6th District, 2:40 PM
She let her hand hold the phone steadily in front of her, a deep breath escaping the girl as she tapped on the contact labeled “Mom”. The phone buzzed as she held it up to her ear, until finally…
“Where are you? You were supposed to be home at 2 on the dot. I have a very important meeting, I need you here to-”
“Mother, have you been paying attention to anything today? Samsura Tower started moving. It carved a path straight through District 6.”
There was a pause on the other end of the line, a choked sound escaping the woman, “What do you mean, carving a path? Are you okay, you were traveling through… Is this why you hung up earlier?”
Elita let out a tiny sigh, nodding her head, before realizing that wouldn’t do anything to help, “Yes, I had to pause our conversation to figure out what the… Disturbance was. I helped quell Stratford. Unfortunately…”
“Richard? Richard Stratford would not run a rampage through his own streets, you know that! You’ve seen the man-”
“I’ll be home soon. It will be about an hour before I’m free. I need to speak to the other Founts, and then… When I get home, we’ll have this conversation in full. I thought you might appreciate the warning that your meetings today are likely to be canceled. I doubt anyone will be in the mood.”
She hung up the phone before her mother could protest. She rarely did that, she just had to hope her mother would take the hint that this was a serious matter, and not argue with her on this one. It was rare she took such a hard stance against her, but it felt necessary since her own meetings were about to begin…
6th District, 4:10 PM
Elita quickly stepped out of the building, following the boy who had slipped free while others weren’t looking. She had been working to piece together most of the events of the day, from bystanders, from other Founts… And the rumors of a boy toying with shadows had caught her attention for obvious reasons. She knew it could not be that simple, there was likely no way for him to have been in the Tower at the same time as the evacuation events, but she could at least ask him for input.
He stood in the alley, his hands in his pockets as he gazed up at the sky, but when he heard her footsteps exiting the bar, he seemed ready to jump and run at first notice. Elita held her hands up in front of her, “...I just wanted to ask a few questions. You are not required to answer anything you don’t wish to.”
He flinched and Elita was able to feel a sudden tinge of concern from him. She forced herself to ignore it though, and waited for him to reply, “You’re the one who was hanging out with the reporter for a while. You saw Stratford die, right?”
She paused, she hadn’t expected him to launch the first question. She nodded her head gently, a little sigh escaping her, “I did. I cannot talk about too much of what occurred. I cannot risk information falling into the wrong hands. What I can say is that Mr. Stratford perished and I am looking for the one who-”
“I didn’t do anything! I was on the ground the whole time.”
That panic spiked again as she held her composure, “I apologize,” Tempest seemed to tense up when she said that, “I did not mean to imply I suspected you. I just wanted to ask about what occurred on the ground level. I heard from bystanders that you were helping with the evacuation.”
He nodded his head, before taking a deep breath… He launched into an explanation of the events as he recalled them. The brief mention of a weird book, and the constant reinforcements from the tower. When she asked about his abilities: “I can do small shadow manipulation. Nothing too impressive, but I can get a decent cloak, or a shield if the shadows are dense enough.”
“Did you happen to notice any other shadowy figures during the events today?”
Her face was stoic as she asked that, and his own scrunched up in confusion, “...No, I didn’t. It was all really fast, but… It was just me I think?”
Elita nodded her head, before offering him her hand, “I appreciate your cooperation. I have one last request, if you will hear me out.”
1st District, 11:15 AM
And now, her patience was beginning to bear fruit. As the others gathered around, her focus drifted a bit to watched the sky, a small frown on her face, “I should have pushed to meet earlier than this, I suppose…”
She wasn’t focused much on the others around her, instead taking time to watch the comings and goings of the police force. Watching their usual paths, how they patrolled the crater that they were busy investigating and what blind spots they had. It wasn’t as if she thought she could get down there easily, but she would like to take a closer look around the scene itself if she could manage. She let out a tiny hum as she took a glance at her phone, before putting it away as she turned her attention back to the crater. “I do not know what the rest of you would like to investigate, but I know what I’ll be checking out.”
"Looks like the boydem ain't exactly running tours. I'm all for tearing through this yellow tape," Leo cocked his head toward Sei, "but not if our resident super-hero is gonna tackle me extra fast once I'm in. Got me all wavey after the reporter here fixed me up yesterday, not lookin ta snooze another half a day."
Elita didn’t acknowledge Leo’s arrival, but she did give a small nod to him after the rest of what he said, “I will be entering the scene, but I won’t need to tear through the tape. I have a plan.” She nodded her head again as Tempest stepped through the group, “Are you prepared? We’ll have to avoid the police in there.”
She felt a twinge of panic, but his face didn’t show much as he glanced towards the crater, then nodded his head, “First sign of trouble and we’re leaving, right? I know you want to dig up more information, but like…” He took another look at the gathered police force, then back to her, “It’s one thing when it’s a rogue tower, but there are actual people with authority here. You could get into a lot of trouble if you aren’t paying attention.”
“I know. We will keep a low profile… I would like to hear what the investigators inside of the remains are saying.”