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Keeley Saunders

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Everything posted by Keeley Saunders

  1. The crowd gave a wild cheer as the elemental mage threw an energy blast that saved his neck. Kirren was putting on a good show, but the inevitable winner seemed likely to be Moren. At least that was what Keeley had determined. Just from simply observing Kirren’s movements now she could tell that his stamina was waning while Moren just kept coming. There was a general ‘ooh’ as Kirren took a hit to the ribs that made him stumble, and she cringed just watching the pain that crossed his face. The view from the stadium box courtesy of Diana’s newest sweetheart couldn’t be beat. Of course, the cost would’ve been outrageous if not for Angelica, the sweetheart, coming from a wealthy family. Absently she fidgeted with the straw in her drink. “Keels, relax. Let yourself have a little fun.” Diana’s voice made her glance away from the ring to where the woman sat playing with Angelica’s hair. Resisting the urge to roll her eyes, she offered a brief smile before her brown eyes shifted to watch the fight again. Keeley did feel out-of-sorts tonight. Definitely outside of her comfort zone. Not that she wasn’t capable of looking nice or that she wouldn’t attend such a venue; the issue was more the upscale surroundings and formality of it all. She’d have preferred to be sitting at the bar in the club watching it on the television while wearing something more casual chic. Instead tonight she was wearing a strapless red cocktail dress with a ‘V’ dip neckline that showed off a great deal of cleavage with fabric that clung to every curve of her body before stopping above the knee. To complement the dress she wore minimal jewelry: a pair of silver dangle pearl-drop earrings and a three-strand pearl bracelet with a silver diamond clasp. A glance down at the matching cross-strapped, round-toe chunky pumps with their stiletto heel that added at least four inches onto her height of 5’6” made her sigh. Generally she tried to wear low heels or flats to draw attention away from her natural height. Shining, soft black hair was left hanging free to mid-back and surround her face which was done in a rather elegant make-up courtesy of Diana herself. In the ring, Kirren took another shot to the ribs and Keeley rose from her seat. ”If you two will excuse me, I’ve got to. . .” It quickly became obvious that neither Diana nor Angelica were paying any attention to her. Or the fight for that matter. Honestly, that was more the reason for why she found it hard to enjoy the evening. Being a third wheel put a damper on the pleasure to be found in wearing a fancy dress and drinking expensive drinks. Diana had insisted that she come along tonight though Keeley hadn’t a clue why. Deciding to give them a little privacy, and avoid having to watch them grope each other, she made her way in the direction of Bakkhos Minor. Though with the crowd between the floor she was on and the club it was going to take a little bit. ____________________ [ooc notes: dress front, dress back, shoes, & make-up]
  2. [keeley]You need some sleep.[/keeley] There wasn’t any polite preamble to the statement. Just the statement itself accompanied by a disapproving look. Keeley knew well what it was like to be taken hostage by a particular case. It happened in her work and in others, of course, such as the current situation with the ARMA operative. The man was practically lost to it, and as it was personal that made the hold even worse. With Nevena though, she knew that the woman was more determined to resolve this case as it was a child. That made everything harder especially when one could see what had happened. Closing the door behind her, Keeley stepped inside the office and looked around. It wasn’t exactly a disaster zone, but it was messy enough to show that it could use a little cleaning. Already it showed signs that her friend was settling in to spend a lot of time here as she worked on this case. Possibly even sleep here. [keeley]You should go home and sleep tonight. The skull will wait.[/keeley] The suggestion was given though she doubted it’d be taken. The bag strap was removed from her neck, left to dangle toward the ground as Keeley clutched the bag part in hand and began to undo the locked clasp. [keeley]I got you the autopsy file and the case file from the NYPD.[/keeley] A frown made brows dip in and down as she sighed, adding in obvious irritation, [keeley]There wasn’t a lot. The case had no real leads. Nobody saw who dumped the body. . . or if they did, they weren’t talking. And the autopsy was thorough, but there wasn’t a lot to work with by the time it was found.[/keeley] That was why Nevena was having to reconstruct the face. Nobody knew what the small child had looked like due to the damage and decomposition. The files labeled ‘Poughkeepsie Polly’ were placed upon the desk. Some unknown victims weren’t always titled Jane or John Doe. This was one of those cases. The second name was chosen by the officer who’d discovered by the body — likely due to sentiment — while the first signified the place in New York City she’d been found. [keeley]Coroner estimated her to be around 3 years or 36 months. She had ash-blonde hair. Blunt head trauma though couldn’t determine what had been used.[/keeley] She didn’t think that the latter detail would be needed if she’d seen gotten glimpses, but it was habit to give the information. Keeley had never found it easy working on child victims especially given having a child of her own. It made things a lot more difficult. Bag was placed down on one of the end tables in the room and then seat taken. A tired groan given as she relaxed into the soft chair. Toboggan pulled off head and dropped into lap before she ran her fingers through messy hair.
  3. The banging on glass went unheard except by the people who approached Wesley: Keeley’s assistant who’d been in the room prior and a young man who looked agitated. They’d heard the noise as they came close to the morgue, and knew that what was happening beyond the glass was unpleasant even before they came in view of the scene. "She won’t be able to hear you until she’s out of. . . that. . ." Alana, the Coroner’s Assistant whom Wesley had treated like a secretary once before, spoke quietly from her spot next to him; gaze locked on a trembling, crying Keeley who was mouthing words they could not hear. Keeley’s body jerked again and Alana shook her head with a glance to the nervous man next to her. He was the healer; a meta not a magus who had healed her before. It never got any easier. "This is going to take. . . Oh God abo-" Alana’s gaze had moved back to the glass just in time to watch Keeley’s shirt and chest start to be burned. In the room, Keeley was being burnt; head thrown back and mouth opened in a scream that eventually turned silent as the pain choked off any sound. Back arched as she struggled against invisible restraints, and she watched the man, Josh, do the same. They were burning him with magic. Someone’s hands were an inch from his flesh; skin melting and burning, and the smell foul in the room. He could feel himself being cooked and it was sheer agony. [npc]“Tell us what we want to know, Josh. Who did you tell?”[/npc] Josh knew what they wanted. The problem was that he hadn’t told anyone. It’d all been bravado. An attempt to get proof that his family was alive. It didn’t work. It wasn’t as if he knew anything to tell anyone or he’d have gone to the police. He just wanted his family. Some part of him knew that they were dead already. . . The fire got hotter, he screamed; jerking around and trying to free his arms from the chair they were tied to — to no avail — as suddenly something struck his knee. Keeley cried out, right knee giving out and body drooping on one side. She didn’t fall though, as if held up by a force that couldn’t be seen. She was trying to get a glimpse at the men doing this to Josh, but she couldn’t see what he couldn’t see. And something wasn’t right with their voices. The burns were getting more severe; she could smell burning flesh the way that he could and it was making her sick. Outside the room, the healer ran for the door and Alana ran to stop him. "No, no. . . if you go in there you know what’ll happen!" "If it means she won’t suffer as much it’s worth it.” While they were fighting, Keeley was trying to survive the agony that was happening to just get something more. Something that would help. She tried to listen now; for a sound that could help. Nothing though. The pain was too much. [npc]"Kill him. He’s lying.”[/npc] A voice ordered, this one female and not distorted like the others, but it wasn’t one that Josh knew. Blindfold was removed only to reveal mask covered faces and the full sight of what was happening to his chest. He gagged, struggled harder now. The woman was too far away; lost in the shadows of the warehouse. Josh shook his head, begging now, “I’m not. . . I’m not. . . I told the cops. I did.” The woman gave a harsh laugh then walked out. The sound of the door closing sealing his fate. One of the men’s hands came toward his neck. [keeley]NO![/keeley] The word wasn’t her own, it was what would be Josh’s last words. Keeley ripped herself free of the recall just before the large hands would snap the man’s neck. She crumpled to the floor. Knees and face broken; fingers bleeding not just from the ripped out nails, but from scratching at the chair’s arms they were tied to. . . and her chest a mess of burnt flesh. Lying there, she whimpered in pain. One thought crossing her mind as she fought against the urge to pass out from the pain, Fucking hell, why do I keep doing this?
  4. When working within law enforcement, there tended to be an increasing number of late meals. Lack of sleep came along with it as the many hours one worked meant little opportunity for proper rest. Some were perpetually grumpy as a result, and complained constantly about wanting more time off. Others, such as Keeley, only sought more. Work was a welcome distraction and constant pleasure — as screwed up as it sounded. It gave her something to focus on other than the state of her son or the lack of people in her life. Loneliness was hard to combat when actually alone. She had never really been alone through her life. There’d always been family nearby. Now what remained of her family was far away; communication not happening nearly as often as she wished. Occasionally she tried to convince her brother Cameron to come to New York, but he was firmly set on remaining in Portland. Nothing would sway him. The only connections that kept her sane were Mason, who she didn’t get to see often, and the few work-related relationships she’d developed in her time here. Nevena Rostova was one of those relationships. A fellow living ally to the dead, Keeley found her company enjoyable. She also found her work admirable. In the days before Resonance there were always cold cases. In a post-Resonance world? That hadn’t changed. If anything that number had increased. Entire families had been lost without anyone to claim their remains; half of them without any explanation in terms of what had happened. And then there was the other lost souls: victim of pointless murders. Some part of Keeley had wondered if given the chaotic state of the world such things would diminish, or die out completely, except that’d quickly been proven a foolish hope. If anything the state of the world had made it easier to get away with violent crimes as it was harder to identify victims let alone find them. The databases were still a mess, the world not exactly perfect even almost 9 years later, but at least some of those souls had received justice. Perhaps even some peace as their remains were identified along with the cause of death, and in some cases even returned to their loved ones — some just in the figurative sense and some in the literal. Keeley knew that Nevena was working on another cold case. This one only a couple years old now, but nonetheless just as important. She’d dug up what details could be found on the autopsy. The file was in her hand along with the report from the detective who’d been in charge of the case at the NYPD. Both files were fairly sad; thin with limited information much to Keeley’s annoyance. Plum leather jacket was pulled tighter, and gray toboggan tugged down a little more on her head, as she slid from the taxi. Strap of her black messenger bag slid over neck to rest on opposite shoulder from where the bag rested against her other side. The files were tucked safely inside with the clasp locked, but nonetheless she kept the bag facing her. Finally she made her way inside and to Nevena’s office; a knock given on the door before stepping back to wait. Bare hands wrung together then palms rubbed against the thighs of her jeans as she tried to get some warmth into them. A mental reminder made to remember to buy a new pair of gloves. [ooc note: winged the case stuff some, but if anything needs adjusted feel free to nudge me in a PM and I'll change it.]
  5. Doctor Saunders. Hardly anyone called her Doctor Saunders unless she was working. To hear it outside a case, and here of all places, gave her something to focus on in the middle of her panic attack. That’s what she was having; she recognized them from the occasional days she’d had them when Micah first started having issues, and had since calmed enough to stop having them ever since they reached New York and the Order got everything under control with her son. And yet here she stood feeling just as vulnerable as she had before and under the grip of another one. It was only the familiar voice speaking to her that helped her slowly begin to calm down. The arm was blindly accepted as feet instinctively moved along. "A bit late for one of your visits to the Citadel isn't it Doctor Saunders?" A breath was drawn as she felt herself sinking into a comfortable chair. Another as she closed her eyes and fought to gather herself. Finally, she opened her eyes and looked at the man talking to her. The connection was instant. [keeley]Inspector Ardal. . .[/keeley] She trailed off, another second longer taken for her mind to process his question before she continued quietly, [keeley]The hospital. . . it’s been quarantined and nobody will tell me anything. And they won’t tell me where Geoff is so I can see if he knows anything.[/keeley] The words were a little rushed at first, but slowed to a reasonable speed and gained some strength the more she spoke. One hand raised to rub the bottom of the palm against her forehead in a massaging motion. The motion was paused as she took notice of the way he leaned on his cane. She knew that the man had an injury; it wasn’t one she’d asked about in the course of their work-related interactions. Yet with her background it was easy enough to pick up that the mean must be hurting with the way he’d shifted his weight to be supported more by the cane. [keeley]Please, sit.[/keeley] Hand lowered to motion to the chair across from where she sat. The lobby was quiet now as security guards and receptionist went back to their duties with her in the hands of someone else. Keeley was still frustrated though some of that energy had dissipated into a slight sense of fatigue that mingled with worry. It left her feeling more agitated than anything else. Hands wrung together in her lap now as she leaned forward, elbows resting on knees, and shook her head. Black hair shifting where it lay loose about her shoulders. [keeley]I saw the news. Nobody knows why it’s locked down, and when I went to the hospital the police wouldn’t let me through or even tell me what might be happening.[/keeley] Keeley gave a half-smile as she sighed and met his gaze. [keeley]I didn’t know where else to go. . .[/keeley] There wasn’t anyone else. She’d thought perhaps that Geoff might be here, or that he might have answers. But it was more than that: if she went home, she’d be alone and sitting there with only her thoughts. A good way to go mad. [ooc note: wasn't sure how to have her address him. I hope Inspector is correct. Don't know how OFL does addressing in terms of rank stuff. If it's not, let me know and I'll change it.]
  6. By the time they returned to the OCME Main Office, Keeley had begun to calm down. The drive was a long enough one that it gave her time to clear her head though not too long. In a world before this one the traffic of NYC would have made it take forever to get back, but not in this new world. It also helped that Wesley seemed to not push her further, but instead chose to respect that she was done talking to him. For now. Of course, the tension was still thick enough to cut with a knife. The vehicle with the body had gotten back before them. Once inside one of the morgue rooms, she shooed out any others in the room along with her assistant with the order to fetch a healing magus then unzipped the body bag. A cursory examination of the state of the body on its metal slab was given before she sighed. [keeley]I’m going to ask you to go outside. To close that big metal door. You can watch through the glass if you want. . . it’ll protect you.[/keeley] She glanced up Wesley now, an intense look in the eyes that met his own, [keeley]No matter what you hear or see do not come inside. Not unless you see me signal you or. . . unless I collapse.[/keeley] She’d collapsed before. Lost consciousness as well. Died even. She was hoping that this body wouldn’t bring on a result that severe though. Enough of an appraisal was given to make her feel confident that would be the case. Once Wesley had left the room, and she heard the heavy metal door close behind him, Keeley took a deep breath and turned back to the body. She didn’t look to see if he’d chosen to stand at the glass window and observe. Honestly, looking at anyone when she was about to do this only made her nerves worse. There was always some anxiety when about to do this especially given the times she’d died or nearly died. Drawing in another breath for fortification, she let her mind relax as she began to hum the tune that seemed to set her off from the first moment her ability had shown itself: . The song had played a lot on the station played at her old job, and it was one of her husband’s favorite songs — they had even danced to it at their wedding — but now was just an unwanted reminder and a song that she could not sing or hum often anymore. Partially she was grateful for that limitation. [keeley]Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream,[/keeley] One beat, two beat, three beat, four beat, [keeley]Make him the cutest that I've ever seen. . .[/keeley] One beat, two beat, three beat, four beat. Eyelids drifted shut, lashes still against cheeks, as she hummed to each of the beats. [keeley]Give him two lips like roses and clover,[/keeley] Another four beats as she felt herself slipping from her surroundings into that of the man who laid dead on the slab in front of her, [keeley]Then tell him that his lonesome nights are over. . .[/keeley] Keeley could see the haziest of images, hear the distant sounds of footsteps, and smell cleaning solution faintly. She was almost fully encompassed by the hold of her ability. [keeley]Sandman, I'm so alone. Don’t have nobody to call my own. . .[/keeley] A breath released, another drawn in before her lips parted for the last part of the chorus, [keeley]Please turn on your magic beam. Mr. Sandman, bring me a dre-[/keeley] An anxious gasp of air drawn sharply into lungs though outwardly she looked calm. As if asleep or in a tranquil trance. At first anyways, until one took notice of her fidgeting hands; fingers of right hand picking at skin and nails of the other in a clear display of nerves. Keeley knew they weren’t her own though. . . they were his. . . Josh walked through a foyer that smelled of bleach and pine and showed signs of newly waxed floors. His sneakers squeaked over them, making him flinch each time, until finally he reached the stairwell. His steps were slow and quiet, but tension riddled his body and he picked at his nails, and the skin around them, nervously as he went up each flight of stairs. There was a bag over his shoulder. . . heavy enough that it was dragging down his shoulder and making it ache. The building held remnants of having once been fancy and designed with top notch materials, but presently showed signs of heavy repairs. And he was climbing up, up, up. . . until stepping into a hall and pushing aside plastic sheets as he went down the long hallway that smelled of odor eliminator. Freshly laid carpets. He stepped into a room, placed down the bag gently, unzipped it, and pressed some buttons then high-tailed it back the way he’d come. . . Keeley’s face contorted, feeling emotions in Josh that didn’t align with someone intent on cruelty. She could see him as he blended into the people on the street outside; the way he looked back and around him repeatedly as if afraid of getting caught though not for any reason that made sense to her with the sensations crawling under her skin. Josh stopped, pulled out a non-descript cellphone and pressed the speed dial. The only number on the phone. The only number to have called it. He gnawed on his lip until it started to bleed as he walked just a little too quickly. Slamming into some man and babbling an apology. [npc]Watch where you’re going, you fucker![/npc] “So-sorry. . .” He stammered out, shoulders drawing inward as his back hunched a bit, and finally the distorted voice came over the other end of the phone, “It’s done. Please, can I. . .” Brows drew together, downward more, as she caught just how off the voice on the other end of the phone sounded. As if the person was using something to change it. Her lips moved as she whispered aloud to the empty morgue the words she heard. [keeley]If you want to see them, come to the docks in an hour. Make sure you’re not followed.[/keeley] And then, suddenly, her words were followed by a scream as the nails on her hands started to bleed. Hands hovered out in a stiff position at her sides, arms bent at the elbow as if against the arms of a chair, as one of the nails on her right hand was slowly being ripped at by some unseen force. And then another cry as body jerked and her left cheekbone caved in. . .
  7. January 25-26, 2019 11 p.m. [npc]“This area is under quarantine.”[/npc] That was what they’d told her when she’d gone to the hospital half an hour ago. The news had cut through some movie that was a couple years old, and worse than most B movies of the time before Resonance, with an Emergency Alert. A glaring change from the Werewolf romance movie playing on the morgue television set. When the broadcast interrupted the program to announce that New York Hospital was under quarantine; displaying the hospital sealed with metal doors over windows and doorways, and flashing lights outside as officials set up all the restrictions that came with a lockdown. Hand dropped the recording device she’d been holding, the object clattering loudly onto the metal tray to send instruments scattering to the floor. Keeley hadn’t even hesitated to call-in the other coroner working with her to take over the autopsy. Within minutes she was out the door, only stopping at home long enough to shower and change — people didn’t often talk to you when you smelled like the dead — then headed straight for the hospital. Only to be turned away. They wouldn’t tell her anything either. She flashed her credentials, tried explaining that her son was in there, and even attempted to push through the cops blocking her path as if she could get into the hospital with the doors blocked. Nothing worked. [keeley]My son is in there![/keeley] [npc]Ma’am, a lot of people’s loved ones are in there. We can’t let them in either. Now, we need you to move behind the barricade or we’ll have to arrest you. Please don’t make me have to do that. . .[/npc] The officer was polite, but Keeley didn’t care how polite the young man was. . . she wanted answers. Finally she headed for one place she knew she’d be likely to get some: the OFL headquarters. ------ 11:30 p.m. A half-hour later, Keeley stepped inside The Citadel. Looking as distraught as she felt, she stood frozen. She’d only been in here a few times, and the interior was as intimidating as the exterior to her. Getting clearance from security to go inside was easy since they knew her face and why she came here. When she explained that she was here in hopes of talking with Geoff, it’d been a simple process to get her squared away. Of course, not everything could go easy. A few minutes later she was gripping the back of her long black hair, making it even more disheveled from her fretting, as the receptionist explained that Geoff wasn’t here. [keeley]What do you mean he’s not here? Where is he?[/keeley] [npc]We aren’t at liberty to say, ma’am.[/npc] Her other hand slammed down hard enough on the counter top that it made the skin on her palm tingle sharply. [keeley]What do you mean you’re not at liberty to say? This is an emergency. Have you heard the news? I need to speak to Geoff now.[/keeley] Keeley figured that if anyone would know what was going on at the hospital it’d be the healing magus who’d taken on caring for her son. Geoff was the only one she’d come to fully trust for the care of Micah. OFL or not the elder man was ideal in his way of managing her son’s care and being open with her about matters. She’d never ran into an issue where he lied to her — a mother would know. And now, he was not here and they wouldn’t tell her where he was while her son was trapped inside a hospital under a mysterious quarantine that she knew not the first thing about. . . [npc]Ma’am w-[/npc] [keeley]Don’t ma’am me! Get Geoff down here or. . . If he’s at home just call him there. He'll come.[/keeley] The control on her emotions slipped; voice raising to a screech that quieted the receptionist while the other looked toward waiting security near the doors. Keeley didn’t miss that look either. The tears were gathering at the corner of her eyes and stinging as they did, and her hands had moved now to tug at the hem of her wrinkled shirt then rub both palms anxiously over the thighs of her blue jeans. As one of the security officers stepped forward, she turned to raise a shaking hand palm out in a beseeching manner. [keeley]Look, I’m not going to cause any trouble. I just. . . I just need to talk to Geoff. I need to know what is going on at the hospital. Please. . .[/keeley] She’d done her best to protect Micah. Everything she possibly could. Murdering her husband, getting in bed with criminals, putting herself between the OFL and ARMA to see that he got the best care possible. . . and here she was in a situation where she couldn’t do anything. Knowing nothing, and not being able to get to him, meant that it was out of her hands. And she didn’t like that one bit. For the first time in her life, Keeley felt herself start to hyperventilate. [npc]Ms. Saunders, why don’t you have a seat. . .[/npc] The security guard looked in concern to the receptionist who was at a loss. He stepped forward again to offer Keeley a hand only to have her shake her head. In-between panicked breaths, she managed to get out, [keeley]Get someone for me to talk to. . . now.[/keeley] Nobody would coddle her when she could not be with her son.
  8. Frustration was eating at her. She was beginning to see that this magus was a possible hazard. Not just to herself, but to others. The fact that he was still in the field and not being supervised was even more worrisome. She’d heard about the dangers of rogue magus before — everyone had — and while Wesley Evans was part of ARMA he was acting just like one of them. Running off, doing what he wanted, talking about serving vigilante justice that bordered on the edge of turning him into an outright murderer instead. Keeley was helping him cause it was her job, and partly cause she felt bad for him, but she was slowly starting to regret it. Clearly he needed the kind of help that she wasn’t qualified to give him. "I don't have to be. Better than this, I mean. I always wondered what that meant when they tried to justify the fear of killing... in movies and comic books and the like. Like you get a golden star placed on your soul at the end of the road. Like someone's going to reward you for allowing murder to go unchecked. If every soldier on a battlefield held the same kind of cowardice you're preaching we'd all be pledging allegiance to her majesty the queen right now. Or a fuhrer." She did her best to keep quiet as he went on spouting his logic to attempt to justify his reasons for being a cowboy. Tried to just continue onward toward his ARMA issue vehicle up ahead. Going off on him would achieve nothing and she didn’t want to create a scene. As they came near the back of the vehicle, he went too far though. "If there truly are things worth dying for then... then that means there are things worth killing for. Killing in self-defense is justifiable. So is killing to protect people. And I can't think of a more permanent way to keep a bomber from bombing other than this. Sorry not sorry." Keeley came to a halt, rounding on him quickly and slamming a finger pointedly into his chest. [keeley]You are not a soldier. You’re nothing more than a glorified cop. Your job is to uphold the law not run around breaking it, and there's absolutely no justification. If there was then any cop whoever fired a weapon unprovoked cause ‘they would’ve done blah blah eventually’ is justified by your poor, bullshit reasoning.[/keeley] She drove her finger against his chest again for good measure as she went on, [keeley]You want to prevent a bombing? You do it the right way. You want to grieve? Then find a better method than some idiotic vendetta that’s going to end up with your badge taken away and you being tossed in a cell in New Alcatraz. Cause if you do this? You’re no better than the people who justify bombings the same way you justified killing. And if that’s the case then you deserve to be in prison.[/keeley] She didn’t raise her voice, but her words were hard enough to make it clear that she was pissed. Taking a breath, she lowered her hand back to her side and glared at him. [keeley]I will help you. That’s my job, and I don’t have any evidence you’ve broken the law — yet. But I swear, Wesley Evans, if you continue to act this way I will go to your boss. I will tell him every damn thing. So I suggest you get your head on straight, and start acting like a man of the law instead of a cowboy.[/keeley] She rounded the passenger side, yanking open the door and slipping into the seat. The door slamming shut to make her point. Whatever else he said, Keeley resolved that she wouldn’t say another word to him until they reached the morgue. She might have to do her job and help him, but she didn’t have to talk to him while he went on like some madman. All that she’d heard about ARMA was that they were supposed to be better than the organization they’d split from in the first place. That the people working for them were supposed to be better. So far she was learning that was as much bullshit as Wesley had just spouted.
  9. Familiar faces from the past were something that couldn't always be avoided. Sometimes it actually was someone from the past, and other times it wasn't anyone known at all. There were times when Keeley could've swore that she'd seen someone from her youth. Then it would turn out that wasn't them at all. Part of it was the mind playing tricks, but mostly it was a deep yearning for a familiar face. She didn't know that many people in New York. Everyone she knew had been left behind — or had died. What remained of her family lived far away except for Micah. And her son spent a majority of his time in a coma which continued to break her heart day after day. She occasionally spoke to Stefan when he wasn't off on Bakkhos business or wrote to her family — though mail was even slower these days — but otherwise the only people she knew here were new connections to her life. Nobody that had known her in the days before she'd come to New York. It was a hard pill to swallow most days. Her pen was flying along the lined paper until she felt the sensation of staring. The pen paused then fell flat against the paper with a slight thunk. Her first experience in learning to acknowledge when being watched was in her youth; the bullies were prone to looking at her with their intent clear in their eyes. The other experiences came post-Resonance. However, the one that made her truly skilled in recognizing that sensation was a bittersweet memory: her son. Being a parent meant a lot of being stared at on a daily basis. Micah had always been an observant child. He'd watched her as she moved around the house to clean while he was in his play pen or bouncy chair or swing or walker. Those big eyes taking in every little move she made with the most adorable expressions playing across his face. Swallowing at the memory of his smiles and giggles when she'd catch him looking, and talk to him, Keeley forced herself to leave the past behind for now. It hurt too much. Instead she turned in her booth to see a man watching her. [keeley]Can I help you?[/keeley] There was a little bit of a bite to her words as she thought it rude to stare, but it was still kind as she considered that he might need something from her table like sugar.
  10. [keeley]So do I. That way you could interrogate him at HQ.[/keeley] Her words were purposeful. Pointedly assuming that he meant they'd gotten to the guy first in order to lawfully interrogate him, and not in the way that Wesley probably meant. Being reckless wouldn't serve any purpose. Of course, he didn't see it that way — yet. Keeley was dead set on making him to in the end though. Even if it meant betraying him by talking to one of his superiors. "Fine mom. I'll keep my mouth shut about my plans for our bomber." Staring at him in clear frustration, she hissed, [keeley]Yes, just keep quiet. Don't re-think the wisdom. Have you lost your mind?[/keeley] Irritated, she reached to pull the envelope from his hand. Opening it carefully to slide the contents upward, and out, enough for her to peek at them. None of the faces were familiar to her, but that wasn't a surprise. She'd not expected them to be. What she needed them for though was for what would come later. Internally she debated the wisdom of even doing this for the man. Sympathy, and understanding, was hard not to have for him. She understood what it was to want to protect the only member of your family. In Resonance plenty had suffered the loss of loved ones. She'd nearly lost her own child more than once now. She'd even killed to protect him. . . Of course, that had purely been self-defense. What Wesley was fantasizing over was outright murder. It would make him no better than the criminals. A point she'd made often when reading comics to her son, or watching comic book movies with him, when he'd ask the obvious question 'Why didn't the superhero just kill the bad guy?' and she'd point out that the superhero knew he'd be as bad as the villain. It was a point her son got well — most children seemed to easily understand deeper matters when they were explained and discussed — though he wondered if Wesley would. She wouldn't be able to get through to him alone. That she knew for sure. Right now though the choice at hand would provide him with information. At least, what information she chose to give him. Either way the case was a crime that needed investigating to the best of her abilities and her ability was literally the best. After staring down at the photographs in consideration, Keeley finally came to a choice. She'd see what was seen then determine where to go from there. With a heavy sigh, she sealed the envelope and thrust it back into Wesley's hands. [keeley]You'll want to come to the morgue with me. I. . . have a way to find out more information.[/keeley] She didn't state what that way was outright. While Wesley was a magus, and she knew that, he didn't have a clue that she was an empowered human.
  11. December 24th, 2018 Christmas Eve; 7:45 p.m. New York Hospital It was almost time for visiting hours to be over. Most would be leaving; visiting family coming to see loved ones that were stuck spending the holidays in the hospital. Some would come back tomorrow while others wouldn't be able to, and then there were those poor souls who didn't have anyone to visit them. That was the saddest thing. Keeley had insisted that she'd be staying the night. That she'd wake up here on Christmas morning with her son. The hospital staff hadn't fought her on it. They'd given up on trying to tell her that staying the night was not in her best interest. She didn't care if it was a strain on her mental well-being or not — she was going to stay. She'd taken days off work just to be here. Had refused invitations from Derrick to do something else. Of course, Derrick had only offered cause plans had changed. Micah was supposed to be awake tonight and tomorrow. Her 8-year-old son should've been excitedly bouncing in his bed; opening early Christmas gifts and waiting for her to read him stories. They always read a book, or two or three, on Christmas Eve. Not this year though. . . Plans changed when Micah's binding slipped two days too early. Alarming enough was that when it slipped unexpectedly that meant he wasn't gradually awoke which always made for a mess. The other alarming factor was that the OFL magus who regularly did the binding had been baffled about why it'd come undone suddenly. His best guess had been that 'something had interfered' though there wasn't any explanation yet as to what. They would, of course, investigate the matter. Keeley wasn't feeling reassured on the matter. What it meant in the end though was that Micah wasn't awake. They'd had to re-do his binding and induce another coma before she'd even been able to get to the hospital. And they'd moved his room further away from other patients. . . after he'd damaged some equipment, scared some patients, and injured at least two nurses. Luckily nobody had been killed. The idea that Micah had been awake for that mess depressed Keeley greatly. It meant that he'd been terrified and alone, and that he'd remember all of it. There weren't anymore tears. She'd cried a lot over this mess the last two days. And honestly? She'd cried so many tears over the last six years that she just didn't have any left at this moment. Bloodshot eyes stared at the silent, wan figure of her son in his bed; hooked up to tubes and IVs and wires completely shut away from the world. A sharp pain drew her gaze down to her hands as she noted the grooves in her hands from where she'd pressed neatly trimmed nails into her skin and broken it. After being sure that it wasn't significant, and that there wasn't any blood, she pushed up from her chair and made for the hall. Sneakers carried her along mindlessly. . . time passing, elevator taken, until she heard the sound of crying. Stopping, she realized that she was in the maternity ward. The place wasn't as active as it would've been prior to Resonance, but there were still births happening in the world. The cycle of life and death continued ever onward. She paused in front of the glass, dark ponytail swaying at the back of her neck, as she pulled her sweater tighter around herself and looked in at the mix of peaceful and squalling tiny faces in their little beds. When she first looked at Micah in his little bed? She had thought everything in her life would turn out differently. She could've never seen this all coming. [keeley]Husband dead, kid in a coma. . . and the both of us fucked up.[/keeley] A bitter laugh passed her lips as Keeley stood there now wondering what future these precious children had to look forward to in this fucked up world.
  12. That was a voice she recognized immediately. Interactions with Wesley Evans of ARMA had been sporadic since that day he showed up in her morgue making demands. She'd felt bad for him though. He'd been searching everywhere for his brother; living a life of denial that she recognized all too well. He thought his brother wasn't dead — was positive of it — while she was sure that he was wrong. Yet he wouldn't be able to open his eyes until something concrete was put in front of him. A missing body? That didn't help matters. They hadn't recovered bodies, or even parts of bodies, from all those lost at the sites of the bombings. It wasn't unexpected either. She didn't have to help him, really shouldn't be, but Keeley felt bad for him. She knew what it was to desperately hope for something to turn out differently. "Bwefist o chmpions, amiwight?" A stern look was passed to him. [keeley]You spit crumbs onto my crime scene and you'll be the one feeling bad.[/keeley] Another look was given to him; this one cold and no-nonsense as she shook her head. Placing a few samples into evidence bags. [keeley]When you catch these guys, you'll do nothing. You're not some dumbass vigilante. You're ARMA and you follow the law. Murdering people is against your code, right?[/keeley] She wasn't playing either. If Wesley started murdering people — criminals or not — she'd go to his superiors so fast he wouldn't have time to blink. Keeley worked for the law; she wasn't down with murder. Even her own actions against her husband had been in self-defense. What he was talking about was a different story altogether. One she couldn't condone whether she felt pity or not. [keeley]And I don't think they're trying to frame anyone.[/keeley] She glanced down at the corpse as she spoke, [keeley]Looks more like torture and cover-up. Not even sure who this guy is really. Won't be able to give you anything solid until we get the body back to the morgue and I can do an autopsy.[/keeley] She raised her gaze again, standing fully, as she eye-balled Wesley. [keeley]Do you want me to send that report to you or should I send it to Mr. Greene?[/keeley] There wasn't any requirement for her regarding privileged information. She didn't work for him. Gloves were removed carefully as she motioned to let it be known that the body could be moved. A look was given to him as she approached, moving away from the crime scene just down the sidewalk. [keeley]You look like hell. Been sleeping any better?[/keeley] In truth though? Keeley doubted he was sleeping much at all. She'd patched him up at the oddest of hours. He was going to run himself down on this particular mission. That wouldn't do any good either. . . for him or his possibly-still-living brother. All she could do was hope that he'd take a break. Stopping near the window of an ice cream shop, she turned to face him. She wanted to talk to him here and not up by the others. [keeley]You need to stop being reckless. I wasn't the only one there that could hear you. And I will not risk my job cause you decided to be an idiot.[/keeley] Her voice was a strained, angry whisper. She glanced around them again then back at him, [keeley]I could barely make out anything about that crispy corpse, but you seemed to have your suspicions. Who exactly do you think I'm going to I.D. with my tests?[/keeley]
  13. New York had always been full of oddities. People, places, things. . . she'd heard the stories and seen the media even before moving here. It was one of those places where you could find the most interesting aspects of life depending on the part of town. That hadn't changed since the Resonance. If anything it'd made the oddities increased. This was why besides a cursory glance and an amused smirk, Keeley didn't think twice about the goggle-and-hoodie-clad man. He was just another odd duck in a world of odd ducks. She did, of course, notice the judgmental look he passed her way. One brow raised as she met his gaze unblinkingly; daring him to say something. She worked hard day-in and day-out, and she rarely had time that allowed for her to relax. If she wanted to dress in leisure clothes? She would damn well do it and anybody that didn't like it could keep their looks, thoughts, and comments to themselves. This man like others knew nothing about her; the circle she kept was small after all that she'd been through, and working in a morgue didn't allow for much socializing. Nobody who actually knew Keeley would think her sloppy for wearing a ratty t-shirt. If they knew where she'd gotten that t-shirt that'd be the last thing they'd even dare to think. Placing down the menu, she took a long and appreciative drink of her coffee then signaled the gesture with a casual motion of her hand. A subtle movement that was only noticed by the waitress as she knew her well. [keeley]Your Big Breakfast platter. Extra bacon and fried potatoes.[/keeley] She paused, considering something then added, [keeley]A plate of whatever fruit you got available too.[/keeley] Once the waitress was off with her order, Keeley placed the planner and notebook in front of her. A pen clicked in her hand as she flipped to the first page of the planner and started making notes. After a moment she switched to the tablet; flipping straight to a section marked by a red tab and began to write. The movement of her hand was quick as pen flew across lined paper. She had a few things to write for her blog, #MorgueStories, but that would wait until she was done with the rough draft of this story — as she planned to read it to her son during her next visit. Every so often she'd pause to take a drink of coffee. The man at the table near her booth was forgotten, and the only noise she made was the occasional hum of excitement as an idea struck her.
  14. March 5, 2019 Noon Working the night shift sometimes made for odd hours. She'd gotten off of work at around 8 o'clock in the morning, but had went home for a nap before getting anything to eat. Well, a shower then a nap. Going to sleep smelling like dead bodies wasn't a preference. After days of having to overpower the apartment with air freshener after a few days where she'd crashed without doing so Keeley had begun forcing herself to get into the habit of washing then sleep. Now, she was on her way to the nearest place for several hot cups of coffee and filling food. Wavy black hair hung loose down around her shoulders all the way to the middle of her back, and she had chosen a simple pair of faded blue jeans and rather ratty gray t-shirt for the days choice of wear along with her worn out sneakers. Comfort was preferred over everything else especially when she was having a late breakfast after a long, exhausting night of work. Slipping into the booth inside her favorite diner, deep brown eyes perused the quiet coffee house with its few patrons at this hour. It was Saturday, and usually the place was more packed, but she figured that a lot of people were probably still waking up after a crazy Friday night. If only she'd spent hers out having fun instead of at crime scenes and in the morgue. Picking up her menu, she began to choose what she was ordering and gave a smile of thanks to the waitress who sat down a large cup of steaming coffee. On the table, off to the inside of the booth, sat Keeley's purse along with a large planner, a notebook with several marked pages, and a couple pens. Leisure was intended to be had today as she hoped to do a little writing.
  15. Dec. 17th, 2018 8:30 a.m. The body was a mess. That was the first thing Keeley took notice of as she approached the crime scene. It'd been tapered off by the police though from what she could tell it looked as if ARMA would likely be handling the investigation. Aside from the fact the scene was located only a couple blocks from an occult shop in Omenwich Square — a place where she didn't often get called for work — there were signs of magic radiating off the body. She was merely an altered human, and her sensing of magic was not nearly that of a Magus, but it was enough to give her a clue this wasn't a normal murder. Not that she would've called it normal even if magic hadn't been involved. This man had been tortured. His face was barely recognizable as if someone had taken brass knuckles to it, his hands were swollen, the nails had been ripped cleanly off on some fingers and on others were torn up as if he'd been clawing at something — the skin peeled away at the tips. The prints were scorched off and she wouldn't be surprised if his teeth were gone too. As she looked over him, she noted that his knees had suffered some intense damage and looked to be twisted at an awkward angle. . . and his neck well that was too. Weirder though were the scorch marks on his clothing that seared pieces of fabric into his chest. Clearly this guy had been put through hell, but she wasn't sure why or who he even was. . . Ignoring the crowd, hoping they'd be able to get them further back or disperse it outright, she went about doing her work. She had a little bit to do before she could declare it fine to move the body. The weather at least was cooperating. Snow had quit a couple hours ago, and there wouldn't be any rain to deal with today. The only irritation was the wind which could cause some minor issues.
  16. Weren't they always sorry after they got called out on their behavior? Keeley rolled her eyes, doing her best not to snap at the man again. By now he at least seemed contrite which was all she could ask for at this point. [keeley]You don't owe me an apology. You owe Alana one. Send her a basket of chocolate muffins and all will be forgiven.[/keeley] Alana loved muffins. She was always eating them. Plus it'd save Keeley from having to pick up some every so often, and putting on weight in the process. Muffins were hard to work off. [keeley]Yes, Doctor Saunders. Follow me.[/keeley] She opened the door using her key card. Stepping through, she held the door open and once he had come inside would let it close. Without another word Keeley walked him toward the area for new arrivals. The majority of bodies were from the explosion, and a lot of them weren't even whole bodies. While he looked she checked over some paperwork on a few clipboards. Letting him look for as long as he needed, but keeping just enough of an eye on him to be sure that he didn't mess with anything he wasn't allowed. She didn't need any evidence being compromised. THE END
  17. The squabble between Mr. This-Isn't-Blue-Label and the bartender didn't go unnoticed by Keeley, or the other patrons, of the place though nobody stepped up. That some of them had been drinking doctored alcohol while paying the full price was displeasing to them. Keeley on the other hand didn't care really. She was drinking one of those "drinks so fruity they can't taste the alcohol" to quote the yelling man, and was just fine with her choice. She recognized him, but couldn't place exactly from where. The woman that had been helping herself to the alcohol was taken notice of for only a moment as she resumed her place on the proper side of the bar for patrons. Meanwhile, Keeley remained at a nearby two chair table and sipped her drink; booted feet propped up on the unoccupied chair where her coat also hung. She had made sure to go home, shower, and change clothes — a short, sexy little red dress that just barely passed mid-thigh — before coming out tonight only so she didn't smell like dead people. That usually didn't attract company. Listening to the conversation between Ms. Hop-the-Bar and Mr. This-Isn't-Blue-Label offhandedly until the comment about Jedi's and post-hypnotic suggestion reached her ears. Rolling her eyes, Keeley snorted in derision. [keeley]Doubt a Jedi would use his ability to harass a poor bartender who was just doing his job. Going to pay his rent and buy his food when he gets fired?[/keeley] Her tone held judgment though her lips held a slight curve of amusement. She didn't find what had been done to the bartender funny, but the boasting about it. There was still something oddly familiar about the man that she couldn't place. Taking a drink from her glass as she glanced in the direction of the new patron that entered; unaware of the proceedings that had just taken place. People watching at the bar was always a good way to spend the night. At least it was better than drinking alone until she blacked out.
  18. The beginning of February was already a little chillier than it had been in January. Keeley didn't mind the cold so much, given that she worked in an environment that was purposely chilled, but that didn't mean it was the most pleasant thing. It meant that the sky was dismal, the winds were brisk, and nobody cared to even pretend to be friendly as they huddled inside their coats. The weather also made people more unpleasant than usual. This time of year though was the most difficult for Keeley; winter having been Micah's favorite time of year, especially when there was snow to play in, and shutting out those memories were difficult. Luckily the events of the multiple bombings just a little over 2 weeks ago offered a distraction in the form of increased work. The Chief Medical Examiner was a strict taskmaster in general, but ever since he'd been busting their balls more than usual. Everyone was working, breaks were not being taken, and there'd been enough law enforcement, and related enforcement factions, through the doors at such a speed that it left everyone winded try to remember who worked where these days. The workload was more exhausting than usual and she'd been sleeping little since the night of the bombings. Her coat was a little rumpled, her hair barely contained in its bun, and there were bags under her eyes. The only upside was that the bruises from those minor injuries sustained during the bombing had begun to heal including the scratches on her face. They were almost completely gone, but stood out still from her weariness. And that left Keeley feeling extra cranky at the sound of someone being rude and bossy. . . to her own Coroner's Assistant no less. Stepping out of her office, she leveled a stare on him that had chilled more superior men to the bone. [keeley]I would appreciate it if you'd use a different tone when speaking to my staff. Alana is not a secretary. She is a Coroner's Assistant. You will treat her with the proper respect or I can contact your agency to send another agent.[/keeley] Slipping her hands into her pockets, Keeley stopped speaking to let him digest the bluntly delivered words then nodded to Alana, [keeley]Go back to your work. I'll handle this business.[/keeley] Alana gave a nod then hurried off just as Keeley turned back to the man. [keeley]Now, I'm Dr. Saunders, the ME. What is your matter of business here today?[/keeley] She stepped toward the door, but didn't remove her hands from the pockets of her lab coat to input the code. There wasn't a smile given at the moment either; her usual politeness put aside until this Agent tabled his attitude. The ones that treated her, and her staff, politely and with respect were usually received more amicably. If this one changed his tone and stopped making demands then she'd be less cold, but until then she continued to stare levelly at him.
  19. This was not the cool, peaceful confines of a morgue. It was a place of explosions and flame that mingled with the screams of the dying, and Keeley had stayed here — willingly. She'd been close enough to have her car damaged by parts of the building falling onto the hood, but luckily her injuries were minor and obtained once out of the vehicle. Departing would've been the wiser choice, as most people were running away, except to her it'd have also been the selfish one. She could have gotten out her car, tucked tail, and ran to the safety of her job; only dealing with the flood of bodies that'd poor in during the aftermath. Nobody else would have known or judged, because there were so few people in her life to do so. However, she'd have judged herself. . . and there was enough guilt on her plate. Instead she'd wrapped a scarf around the lower portion of her face, pulled her cloche down a little further to shield her eyes, and headed toward the nearest person that needed assistance. That was how she got her superficial injuries: being out in the chaos and the mess, especially during the second explosion, but that was also how she found herself in one of the set-up triage areas helping out. Her years in medical school would help to some extent with setting, patching, and stitching; at least enough to get those who were more serious into the hands of a magical healer or to a hospital. Within 10 minutes her jacket had been taken off and put under a bleeding head for a makeshift pillow. By 15 minutes her light gray shirt became a dark red, the shade of dried blood, and the state of her jeans weren't much better. By twenty minutes, when the building started making noises that induced full panic, Keeley was a mess of her former self, but didn't care one whit. At some point she'd pulled her hair back in a messy bun, that had become messier with the passing time, and it showed the bumps and scrapes she'd taken when knocked down by the secondary explosion quite well; there'd be a nice bruise on her cheek, and perhaps a black eye, at some point though she worried about it little for the moment as she used a piece of a person's shirt for a tourniquet. The guy she was helping might well lose his arm, but they'd done all they could for him here. . . There were some healers around, the type that used abilities, but they couldn't help everyone. Nodding in the direction of a man at her side, she murmured, [keeley]That'll have to do. We'll get him into one of the ambulances and hopefully they'll get to him at the hospital before it's too late. . .[/keeley] The man's reply was lost to her, though from the movement of his head she gathered it was acceptance, as a sharp pain went through her head. Blinking away the spots, Keeley stifled a groan: headache. That was all she needed. Gritting her teeth against the pain, she forced herself to ignore it and accepted a damp cloth to wipe her hands clean of the blood on them as well as could be managed. She had just finished, and slathered some sanitizer on her hands, when the shouts hit her ears. It wasn't the first time someone had cried out for aid nor would it be the last. Yet something about it was forceful in comparison to the others. Taking some of the make-shift supplies and some actual ones, Keeley headed over toward the small group that combined a few recognizable individuals from ARMA, including their Commander, and Abby who she worked with on occasion due to their jobs overlapping. It was the man that she didn't quite know — though something seemed familiar about him — that drew his attention. He didn't look well and was holding on to a woman that was doing far worse. Moving forward, Keeley tossed a nod to Alistair and then a smile to Abby before turning her attention fully to the injured woman. Hopefully one of the magical healers would come, because something about the state the woman was in did not inspire confidence that she'd survive a trip to the hospital even once bandaged. [Keeley]What happened to her?[/Keeley] Kneeling next to the woman, she felt a little panic kick against her insides and swallowed against the feeling, [Keeley]I don't know if I can do much for her. . . or if any of us can unless there's someone that can heal around here.[/Keeley] Keeley could've swore that she'd saw Altheia around here somewhere. The healing magus was a familiar face that she saw often when visiting her son at the HQ. Hopefully the woman wasn't too swamped to come over here. For the time being though she focused on cleaning what injuries she could spot with antiseptic and trying to stem the blood loss. She wished a little that her ability was useful in this situation and hoped that it'd be useful later when investigating this mess.
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