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 [CB] Manhunt part II (Artemis,???)

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Arawn

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PostSubject: [CB] Manhunt part II (Artemis,???)   Mon May 06, 2013 12:43 am

Weeks had passed since the strange duo had graced their presence upon James. Nothing seemed to change afterwards. Well nothing outwardly. It's hard to be on the look out for something when you don't know what you're looking for. Such was the case for James. He was warned, but not informed. There is quite the difference when you think about it. Still what made the task even harder was he wasn't too active with the community. It wasn't often that people sought the man, nor were they too chatty with the tall mysterious stranger. Still they tolerated him and seemed nice enough. Rather than run across the street when they saw him coming some went as far as to wave or mutter a hello. Rather than pry they were happy to keep out of his business as long as he stayed out of theirs. Somehow it seemed they had reached a silent agreement upon this matter and things remained quiet. Until....

A blue car pulled into the parking lot not far from the dojo. The man that got out of the car was wearing a simple suit. Nothing elegant, but made him look presentable. The man looked to be in his late thirties and with bits of gray in the once dark mane of hair. Black bags under his eyes from lack of sleep or just late nights.  Either way he didn't look like someone that smiled often. The baby blue irises gave him some measure of light to his face. He adjusted his jacket and made his way to the building that James owned. As he walked he scanned the street. It was a little past 4pm and the sky was rather clear. A few stray clouds to block the sun, but not enough to make murky outside. A subpar day to say the least. The man came to a stop outside of the building. He took his time walking back and forth in front of the dojo several times. After finally making sure it was the correct place he moved over to the doorway. His hand came free of his pocket and knocked twice. "Hello?" he called out. "This is the Karakura police, I'm looking for James Cadwallader."

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PostSubject: Re: [CB] Manhunt part II (Artemis,???)   Mon May 06, 2013 1:27 am

James sat back in his desk chair as he waited for his student, he was a fascinating young man with some potential spiritually. Though the kid would never make much of a warrior he still needed to learn how to defend himself in case of a hollow attack; a low growl emanated from James as he looked at the clock. He is late; though it isn't unusual for Casey to be fifteen or twenty minutes late it's been almost an hour. I'll give him another twenty minutes before I lock up and go home for the evening. Leaning back in his chair he through his feet up on the desk as he started to let his memories was over him.

He thought back to the mysterious meeting with Ziva and Kaguri a few weeks before, though everything seemed quiet in his end of the woods James had went ahead and bought a small disposable cellphone to carry with him at all times. It was strange he had never had to worry about communication before and now he was carrying a phone with him wherever he went. The kid working at the store that sold it to him showed James how to work all of its functions including assigning speed dial numbers to contracts...or in James' case contact.

James memories had just started to draw him into a dream like state when a knocking at the dojo's entrance brought him crashing back to reality. The man said he was with the Karakura Police, this alone was enough to send a red flag up in the back of his mind, James tossed his long Jacket on tucking the phone in the right pocket as he made his way to the door trying to make the illusion that he was just getting ready to leave. Opening the door James stepped out to look at the man in his simple suit and sunken eyes, “I'm James Cadwallader...how may I help you, officer?” He said attempting to sound concerned by the appearance of an officer of the law at their front door.
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PostSubject: Re: [CB] Manhunt part II (Artemis,???)   Mon May 06, 2013 1:42 am

The man in the simple suit eyed James in the doorway. He was a good foot shorter so he crane his neck slightly look him in the face. Pushing his hand through his hair he gave a short bow.
"I'm Detective Thorton." he reached into the jacket and pulled out his wallet. The motion revealed his gun sitting in the holster under his right arm. With a flick of his wrist the brown leather opened and revealed his golden badge for the other man to see. The metal flashed in the sunlight seeming to shine like a miniature lantern for a moment. Satisfied that he had given James enough time to examine the badge he decided to get on with things. With a similar motion the man flipped the wallet closed and returned it to it's place inside his jacket. He gave a small smile. "Sorry to bother you, but I was wondering if I might ask you a few questions. Might I come in?" he said calmly. With the door opened he go the chance to peer inside the building, but not much. For the most part he didn't see anything. Both literally and figuratively. It was a dojo, so it was supposed to be open space. At the same time there was nothing to see within that vacant area. "Of course if you're busy I can come back later." The man kept his gaze on James as he spoke taking everything in. The way the man stood, breathing, how many times he blinked. Even when people didn't talk their bodies spoke in volumes. Right now the detectives was trying to get a read on the larger man.

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PostSubject: Re: [CB] Manhunt part II (Artemis,???)   Mon May 06, 2013 2:06 am

James frowned as the detective reached into his jacket to pull out his wallet and badge, when he did so the detective flashed his side arm. A man who carries a gun is always looking for an excuse to use it, but he is an officer of the law so really it is no surprise. When he flashed the badge James frowned, the man was acting like he was in a movie and not a real detective. A curious frown spread across James face when he asked if he could come in and ask a few questions.

“Come in, come in I was just getting ready to close everything up for the night, but it's better to ask certain questions away from the street.” James led the man inside and back towards his office his hands in his pockets as he made his way back towards the office. Walking back behind the desk now clean from its previous clutter, James sat down and Gestured towards the couch for the detective to sit.

Not wasting one moment James cut straight to the point, “So Mr. Thorton, what is it that I know that you could possibly want? I am a very reclusive man by nature; even this dojo is a testament to that as I only take students that can pass my exams.” James leaned back in his chair showing that he was comfortable with everything around him, as far as the detective was concerned James had nothing to hide from the law.
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PostSubject: Re: [CB] Manhunt part II (Artemis,???)   Mon May 06, 2013 2:30 am

Like most it would seem that James wasn't fond of the police. His frown said that much. As the detective studied man the man studied him. Everyone was nervous when they met the authorities even when they hadn't done anything. Still the man was willing to let him in that was the first step. Of course no one wanted to be questioned out in the open. It just wasn't done. Nor was telling the police you were too busy to talk. With the James leading the way they entered the building and retreated to the back. The detective took advantage of his rear position and observed the dojo further. Still not much to see, but the devil is always in the details. Always. He was sure not to fall too far behind the other man, but it was difficult as the other man did have a longer stride. Still he arrived to the back office only a few seconds behind him.

When James gestured to the couch the man shook his head. He slowly walked the floor of the back office.
"Reclusive?" The man's eyebrow raised. "Odd profession for a hermit. A dojo. In this kind of area no less." It wasn't the most ideal location for a school or any kind of business other than a corner store. "Just seems a rather strange thing to do in this day an age." He finished his hand dug into his jacket. Rather than his wallet and badge he pulled out a notepad and a pen.

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PostSubject: Re: [CB] Manhunt part II (Artemis,???)   Tue May 07, 2013 12:19 am

James continued to frown as the detective repeated back what James had just told him, even going so far as to call him a hermit. Hermit? Ha...he thinks I am a hermit, if he lived a hundred years ago he wouldn't call me that. James had known real hermits a century or so ago, they mistrusted the outside world and its changes from the west.

“Well Detective I simply don't like this new addiction to social media that most of us seem to have these days. Everything one could want to know is up floating around the web and once it goes up there it can never truly be taken down. I keep to my own business and I don't stick my nose in other peoples, I have enough drama without reading of more.” James spoke calmly and kept his voice even. “I bet I am one of the rare people that you actually had to leave your computer to find material on aren't I detective? How often do you have to actually leave that desk of yours to come question a person the old fashioned way?” James tried to turn the conversation's flow onto the detective.

“But despite my...lone nature...people still trust me enough to let their children train here.” He smirked as he leaned back comfortably in his chair. “Now why don't you tell me what you really came here hunting so I can decide if I need to call my lawyer or not.” His voice held an edge to it now.
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PostSubject: Re: [CB] Manhunt part II (Artemis,???)   Tue May 07, 2013 12:39 am

Thorton didn't miss the change in the man's tone, nor did he miss the jab at police being lazy. He would accuse the man of watching too much television, but it didn't look like there was one in the room. True police did use computers, but they weren't dependent on such devices. Plenty of officers ran down leads "the old fashioned way" sometimes it was more effective than an internet search and much quicker than waiting on lab results. Everyone seemed to thing forensics was a fast process after years of watching shows like C.S.I and the like.
"I'm hardly at my desk most days." The man replied as he opened his note pad and flipped through the pages. Seconds later he came to what he was looking for. It was true there wasn't much data on the man, but what he found was too neat. Something about him didn't seem right. Call it a gut instinct. When coupled with the reason for his visit, he felt even more distrustful of James. Innocent men rarely needed a lawyers. Although he found it curious such a man as this would have a lawyer. "It's good that you mention children, as to that's why I'm here. Several children have gone missing in this neighborhood. " he went over the information on the page before him. After some interviews some of the people had mentioned that the missing person had last been seen going to this very dojo. "I was wondering if you've seen anything strange going on." He couldn't figure if the man had done something to the child, he seemed rather suspicious.

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PostSubject: Re: [CB] Manhunt part II (Artemis,???)   Wed May 08, 2013 12:35 am

The detective suddenly had all of James attention, a child was missing...one of his students. A low beast like growl rumbled in his throat; this is what Kaguri had warned him about someone was hunting down spiritually aware humans. He knew that Karakura Town was a likely target, and he always thought that if he had any run in with the hunters it would be them coming after him not the other way around. Its one thing for them to hunt those that can defend themselves....but to take children...who are barely aware of their own potential. I will rip them limb from bloody limb if I find them before Kaguri does.

“Who was the kid that went missing?” James voice took on a serious tone now as he sat up at attention in his desk. James' features started to become sharper more pronounced as he struggled to control his anger, when he spoke it was deeper and more raspy. “It is very important that you share your information with me Detective Thorton, the people that took him...and most of the missing people around Karakura Town, they are dangerous.”

James reached into his pocket and pulled out his cell phone, I could call Kaguri surely he could make this detective see reason and maybe even convince him to give me any information he has on the missing kids. James set the phone on the desk lightly, I don't know enough yet.
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PostSubject: Re: [CB] Manhunt part II (Artemis,???)   Wed May 08, 2013 2:34 am

The sudden shift wasn't missed by the detective's keen eyes. He was hoping for some kind of reaction and he got one. But the comment was puzzling. Thorton kept his poker face as James tried to pump him for information. His gut wasn't wrong, this man was somehow involved.
"I'm here looking for information. Not the other way around. This is an active police investigation." the middle aged man replied "If you know something it's best you tell me now." he said sternly. The more he looked at the man the less and less he liked him. There was something off, but he couldn't put his finger on it. Something displeasing about the man. Years of being a cop had given him a sense for such things. Problem was proving these hunches right as well as explaining them to his superiors. "Mr Cadwallader it's my job to find these children. When I find them, and I will find them, I'll make sure those responsible are dealt with. Dangerous or not." Although he spoke of the possible culprit his eyes never wavered from James in his chair. "It's only a matter of time. " Thorton was about to same something more, but he shook his head. He closed his note pad and tucked it back away. "I think I've taken up enough of your time Mr Cadwallader. Sorry to disturb you. Have a pleasant evening, you've been most helpful." He gave a nod and turned out of the room. As he exited the detective studied the dojo once more. Still nothing, but he tried to commit everything that James had said to memory. The man knew something. Perhaps he could convince the chief set up some king of surveillance. Maybe. He stepped outside and moved toward his car.

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PostSubject: Re: [CB] Manhunt part II (Artemis,???)   Wed May 08, 2013 10:34 pm

A low furious growl emanated from James' throat when the Detective pointed out that he was the one asking the questions. “This matter supersedes your little brain Thorton and the jurisdiction of your power or anyone’s. If you don't tell me what you know of the missing children I can promise you that they will at least have a chance of being found alive. Right now in your incompetent hands they have no chance.” He shot to his feet behind his desk, it took everything James had to stop himself from leaping over the desk and forcing the mortal to talk.

James could see in his face that the detective had started to say something more, but he decided against it. When Thorton left James fell back into his chair mentally exhausted, his dragon side had almost came out in front of the mortal. Picking up the phone on his desk James dialed the number Kaguri gave him and as soon as he heard a click he started talking. “Its James Cadwallader, I just had a visit to the dojo from a detective looking into some missing children around the neighborhood. It may be nothing, but I was told to report anything that sent a red flag up. The Detective's name was Thorton and he says he is with the Karakura Police Department, if you have any strings to pull in that department get any research he has on these cases. Something in my gut tells me they may be important.”
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PostSubject: Re: [CB] Manhunt part II (Artemis,???)   Thu May 09, 2013 12:36 am

In a very elegant office

The shrill cry of the phone broken the melody of typing on the keyboard. Sitting at the desk was the white haired man that had paid James a visit not long ago. He looked up from his work to the source of the distraction. Pulling the device to his ear hed pressed the panel to answer the call. It was an exclusive number. So he knew better than to ignore it. On the other end of the phone Kagari didn't have a chance offer a greeting as James spilled forth his information. He silently wished he had put money on the man contacting them first. The white haired man made a note to himself to tell Ziva about it later. That would have to wait as James' story unfolded. After he had finish the man took a moment to analyze what had been said. People were known to disappear in Karakura town. That was nothing new, perhaps the fact it was missing children had lit a fire under James, Kagari thought. Still it was odd for only children to go missing. As he considered it further his mind drifted to his options. It could be nothing, but it might be something.
"Dectective Throton you say?" He pulled the notepad by the phone closer and jotted down the name. "I haven't heard anything on the news, so they might be trying to keep things quiet for now. Did the detective mention when they disappeared?" Kagari asked tapping the pen on the wooden surface. If he could narrow down the start of the disappearances it might make things easier. It was possible it was an older case and had nothing to do with the current state of affairs. It would be a waste of effort to investigate if it was.

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PostSubject: Re: [CB] Manhunt part II (Artemis,???)   Thu May 09, 2013 1:03 am

“No he didn't say when they went missing, but he did say that the kids that had went missing were from around this neighborhood; I would almost be willing to bet that they had some inkling of spiritual power.” James was still sitting with in his chair and his voice still had a hint of a growl to it. “I would even go so far as to assume that each one of those kids had been in here once or twice training with me; why else would Thorton have thought to come question me? All the other interaction I have in the neighborhood is minimal I think only the people in the coffee shop have even bothered to learn my name.”

James looked down at his desk and frowned, there were claw marks fresh in the top of the wood. Damn this is a new desk too...Its because of ignorant mortals that I cant' have nice things. James shook his head as he remembered he was on the phone. “What are you going to do Kaguri? We can't sit by and let these people do their experiments on children. Adults I could care less they know how to use their gifts for the most part, but children that crosses a line.” James was gripping his phone with a tight grip and for a moment he started to worry that he would break the phone so he eased up and tried to steady his breathing.
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PostSubject: Re: [CB] Manhunt part II (Artemis,???)   Fri May 10, 2013 12:59 am

Could care less about adults? Kagari thought to himself. So glad we recruited a man with principles. He shook his head, but gave a small smile. Of course James couldn't see his grin. "I'll need some time, but I'll see what I can find out. Maybe an hour or two." he eventually said. "Please be sure to stay by your phone." With that he hung up. The first thing he did was call for his secretary. He had to find who they had in the Karakura police force first. A short phone call later the wheels were in motion and he had only to wait to see what his people could dig up. In the meantime he looked into their own information on the enemy's movements. The whole reason they had approached James was due to possible activities in the area. Karakura was a hot spot. As he thought it over the enemy kidnapping children wasn't too far fetched. Still he had his doubts on the matter. Like before it was possible that this matter was totally unrelated to the other.

He sent out an email requesting further information from other branches. Might as well go all out even if he wasn't certain of what was going on. He gave glance at the gold watch on his wrist. There was plenty of time before the would need to contact James again. Still it might not be enough time to get all that he needed. After another electronic message he leaned back in his chair and glanced at the screen. There wasn't much else for the man to do, but wait. So instead of doing nothing he got back to typing the report he was doing before James had interrupted him. He was going a small budget report. Something that he could delegate down to his secretary, but he liked to get his hands dirty once in awhile.

Less than thirty minutes had passed before he got a message on his screen. It seemed that the branch office was already responding to his request. Kagari opened the message and looked over the text that filled his monitor. Thankfully there were maps to break up the multiple paragraphs. Dates, times and of various incidents. The white haired man took it all in stride. There was things for him to consider once he got the police report. Almost on cue his secretary came into the room with a fax. The people in the department had sent him a copy of their information. Kagari so loved it when things worked this smoothly. Now he had to compile the data and relay it to James. Thankfully it seemed the secretary was willing to lend a hand. They compared the maps and finally worked on new listing based on the what they had. Fifteen minutes past the hour mark they had what they considered a complete readout. Kagari looked it over one more time before picking up his phone and redialing the last caller. He stood up as the secretary was creating a map on the computer. The phone rang, when it picked up he began his report.
"Hello Mr Cadwallader, I have some data for you." he began. "There might be something going, on but it's too early to tell. I'm sending you a map; the red dots are reports of disappearances. It's pretty spread out over that area. A for the blue squares they are locations of attacks from the enemies. There's no real connection between the two, but I hope it helps you in some way."

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PostSubject: Re: [CB] Manhunt part II (Artemis,???)   Sat May 18, 2013 12:55 am

James picked his phone up on the first ring anxious to know if Kaguri had found anything out about the missing children;an amused smile flashed across the old dragons lips as the young man didn't waste a moment in relaying the information. When he told James that he had sent the data James frowned he hadn't remembered giving either the young man nor his temperamental assistant his email address. With a word of thanks James ended the call after promising that he would report any of his findings.

Spinning around in his desk chair James turned on his desktop and quickly keyed in his password, a few moments later he had all the files downloaded and printed out so that he could work with a hard copy. Laying it out on his desk James frowned looking at the markings pulling out a box of pins; the first thing that came to light were that most of the abductions and the attacks were within a tenth of a mile of each other. These attacks could be nothing more than a distraction to keep Kaguri's team from realizing that they are abducting people from the area. Sure there is no proof that all or any of these people are gifted spiritually or not, but its just suspicious that they happen so close to one another.

James frowned, there was something he was missing as he looked at the map, but he couldn't quite put his finger on it. Getting up he walked over to the coffee maker and started a pot, his bones told him it was going to be a long night, and James had learned long ago his instinct was usually right. After working for two hours trying to unravel this riddle he still hadn't come up with anything up but wild theories. Turning back he looked at the map and his eyes went wide. Pulling out his phone he called Kaguri again.

“Kaguri, if I am right I think I know where there next attack is going to be or at least a general area...” James was furious with himself it should have been obvious but he had missed it until that moment.
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PostSubject: Re: [CB] Manhunt part II (Artemis,???)   Sat May 18, 2013 2:08 am

After getting off the phone with James, Kagari had settled back into his chair. The secretary was so kind as to fetch him a drink after all their hard work. He looked again at the papers that he had compiled and stacked them together. The gave the bundle a tap against his desk to straighten them then placed them on the edge. He would have his secretary file them away for later. His fingers drummed the wooden surface for a second as he gazed at his computer. More work awaited him. It would best he finish while there was still time. And so he resumed his typing. He had barley be going for a few moments when the secretary entered with a platter. The dark tray had a white cup with a puff of smoke coming from it. She set it down beside him. Kagari didn't look away from the screen as he thanked her. It was too hot. She always made it hot since he didn't drink it right away. Gave him plenty of time to work before taking a break. So he continued to work.

*RING*

The chime of his phone made him pause. He had put the phone back into his pocket after talking. He reached down to retrieve it once more. Sure enough it was James yet again. His finger pressed the talk button. It would seem the would be sleuth had discovered something.
"Glad to hear that Mr Cadwallader." he said once the man had finished. He had figured the man was looking for children, not a fight. We do have our eyes on several potential places. Maybe he has some insight on the matter. Kagari said to himself. Still mobilizing people based on what he says might be waste of time. He would have to wait and see what the man said before figuring what actions to take.

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PostSubject: Re: [CB] Manhunt part II (Artemis,???)   Sat May 18, 2013 3:27 am


James took a deep breath as he sat down behind the map again, his coffee pot forgotten as revelation over the map had taken hold of his attention. “Based on what this map says most of the abductions have happened less than a tenth of a mile from one of the attacks. Its hard for me to know the exact details as I am lacking dates and times for both, but from my stand point it looks like the attacks are a distraction to keep you focused on defense while they pick people up off the street they take interest in.

“If I am right and these kidnappings are part of their movements we need to really look into getting more focus on everything between Oak Street and Elm Street and 4th and 5th avenue. There has been no attacks there but multiple kidnappings...this either speaks of a copy cat that doesn't realize how big this really is or they don't want an open fight in that area.” James grinned, “If they don't want to fight there they have to have a reason for it; either they are protecting something or afraid of something.” James leaned back in his chair waiting for Kaguri to give his insight onto James ideas.
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PostSubject: Re: [CB] Manhunt part II (Artemis,???)   Sat May 18, 2013 11:08 pm

The white haired man frowned. He too had thought that the disappearances were related to the attacks a first. His hand moved to the mouse beside his computer. After he minimized the window he was working on he opened another set of files. While he had listed the attacks for James to see he hadn't given him all the information. Kagari looked over the photo of one of the attack sites.

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The destruction he saw didn't look like some kind of distraction. The organization had done their best to quiet the incident, but it had been difficult. In the end it had been reported as traffic accident. An accident that had left eight people wounded and many more dead. He clicked over to the next picture.

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The second was of a street corner they had assaulted. Again deaths in the double digits and the wounded in critical condition. The sheer amount of brutality involved made it seem less a less like a distraction. Pure violence for the sake of violence. If they wanted to kidnap people by force they didn't really need the incidents to cover up the crime. Rather than tell James about it all he figured it best he focus on something else. There was no need to mobilize over some missing children when there were lives at risk in whatever attack the enemy might stage.
"Thank you Mr. Cadwallader." Kagari said "I'll be sure to pass that information on. If you'll excuse me I have other matters I need to take care of. Be sure to contact me of anything important in the future." He hung up his phone and shook his head. Hopefully it wouldn't be too soon. Closing the pictures he went back to his typing. His right hand reached for the coffee and brought it to his lips. He quickly put it back down, it was still hot.

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PostSubject: Re: [CB] Manhunt part II (Artemis,???)   Wed May 29, 2013 5:53 pm

James frowned and closed his phone, his eyes still scanned the map on his desk for any clue it might reveal; something crucial he must of missed. Kaguri brushed me off, his tone of voice sounded as if he didn't really think these two horrendous crimes weren't connected in some way or another. If I am wrong it just means a few people have too do a little extra work, but if he is wrong it could mean the loss of innocent life... A low growl emanated from James as his thoughts turned to the disgust with what humans had become in the last few decades. Back before the age of the computer men and women wouldn't worry about a little extra work, but now they only work when they need too.

A knock on the door brought James from his thoughts, instinct had already started extending the claws on his right hand as he stood up and braced himself for whatever followed. “Come on in, I'm in the back.” He yelled loud enough to be heard at the front door. James was mentally kicking himself for not having installed any type of camera at the front of the dojo like he had been debating doing for the past few weeks since Kaguri's visit.
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PostSubject: Re: [CB] Manhunt part II (Artemis,???)   Wed May 29, 2013 6:37 pm

GM: I skip my turn at this point. I will post once things progress.

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PostSubject: Re: [CB] Manhunt part II (Artemis,???)   Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:00 am

“You know,” said the German musician and part-time demon hunter Conrad Streiber, his trademark wry smile on his face, “you really need a doorbell.” It had been a good day for him, between the easy woods patrol and the new set the band was working on. Also, the bandage for his new tattoo had finally been removed, much to his relief. So now, emblazoned on his left forearm, were the words: NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSIT. No one harms me unpunished. It had hurt, too- turns out 'traditional style' in Japan means 'man who speaks no English or German stabs you in the flesh with a stick over and over again by hand'. It had turned out well, despite the pain.

He was worried about James, though. The few weeks Conrad had spent in Karakura had taught him many things, among them that James, no matter what he resembled, was most definitely a creature of habit. Always home at a certain time, always on a schedule. His being at the dojo so late in the day was unusual. Also unusual was the look on his face. If anything, James Cadwallader looked haggard.

“What's wrong, sensei?” Conrad asked, some concern evident. “I don't think I've ever seen you stressed before. Is it about the attacks?” James had already told him to keep out of that business, but whatever was going on was clearly taking its toll on the man. So, he changed the subject.

“You were right, by the way,” he said. “Amalie is definitely at least spiritually aware. I could feel it on her, and maybe- just maybe- from Josef too. Too weak to be sure about it, though. You should know about that, I think.” He hesitated a moment. “You know, if you need help with this thing, I can handle myself to some degree. You know that. So, what's going on here?”
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PostSubject: Re: [CB] Manhunt part II (Artemis,???)   Fri Aug 16, 2013 12:03 am

James let out an exhausted breath as he heard Conrad come in and make his way to the back of the dojo where James let his claw change back to its more human form. The young man had been living with him for going on about 6 weeks and had, on more than one occasion, pointed out that James was indeed a creature of habit. He was always home at the same time every evening and working out on the practice field in his garden before calling it an evening and starting his day the exact same way as the previous morning.

“What's wrong, sensei?” Conrad asked...this struck James as odd and caught a look at himself in the reflection off of his computer screen. He looked run down and tired dark rings circled his eyes and even his scales had started to dull from their normal healthy shine.

“It's the kidnappings...earlier I was approached by the authorities asking if I knew anything; if I had to guess I would say he suspects that I know something more than I let on. But he knows something more than he said as well.” James frowned as he remembered Thorton and his near loss of control and dismemberment of said police officer. “Anyway if you want to help I would be a fool to turn it down at this point.” James motioned Conrad towards the map and explained to him what they were looking at as well as his theory of bait and switch. After fifteen minutes he finally spoke, “So you see anything I may have missed?”
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PostSubject: Re: [CB] Manhunt part II (Artemis,???)   Sun Aug 25, 2013 2:49 pm

“Hmm,” Conrad thought a moment. “Well, it seems that there's another pattern here, beyond the distraction technique. I can't believe they blew you off, when it's so obvious. What I don't understand is why the extra effort. Kidnapping someone normally doesn't raise enough ruckus to need an explosion somewhere else to hide it.”

He looked at the map again, piecing together the attacks and abductions, matching the likely pairs. “Well, here's an additional, not-quite-as-evident theory,” he said. He picked up a bundle of pens of different colors, and marked his findings on the map:

Map Markings:
 

“Notice that the concurrent events happen both far enough apart to not get caught up in one another, but close enough to stay in the attack shadow, about a block or two away each time, and no more. And, the attack/abduction pairs follow a pattern on either side of the east-west line they're using. We can use that to guess where the next attack might take place, and where the next disappearance will happen. Here,” he pointed to a pink circle filled with blue, “on the Bird Bridge, is where the next attack is likely. And the Cat's Bridge, in the park,” he pointed to another circle, “is where whoever is behind this will grab their next victim.”

“Do you see that, too? Or do you think that I'm seeing what isn't there? If it is, what do we do about it?”
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PostSubject: Re: [CB] Manhunt part II (Artemis,???)   Wed Aug 28, 2013 1:32 pm

James frowned as he watched Conrad look over the map for a while before finally getting a few pens from his desk and started linking each attack and kidnapping with lines and then towards the bottom of the map he drew two circles. The old dragon's eyes went wide at this realization, with the latest attacks the only possible places for the next abduction were the bridges. “Conrad, you are a genius.” James could have almost hugged the kid...almost. James grabbed his phone and flipped it open as he almost started to call Kaguri once again, but he realized the white haired man would probably just blow him off again after one false alarm.

“Come on, we got some work to do.” James set his phone on the desk right over the area that Conrad had marked as the next possible target. Grabbing his jacket James turned to the German, “You are coming right? After all you are the one that figured this out you get the honor of being the 'Big-Irate-Angry-Target.'” James grinned.

It took them about 45 minutes of walking through the streets for the pair to finally make it to the area which Conrad had marked on the map. “So...how are we going to lure out someone hunting the gifted yet unaware?” James turned to his student, "Conrad, why don't you stop holding in your power and let it flow naturally like you haven't learned to control your power. While you do that I will be out of site, but close enough to intervene once our target gets here."
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PostSubject: Re: [CB] Manhunt part II (Artemis,???)   Thu Aug 29, 2013 12:38 am

The city streets were sparsely populated as the two made their way to their destination. There were few people on the sidewalks, but the roads themselves were busy. At this time of day many were on their way home, or on route to some place before going home. School was out so there was the occasion yellow bus to break up the monopoly of reds, blue, and black vehicles. In turn there were gaggles of kids and teens as they made their way towards the park. There were some that paid attention to the two as they progressed forward, but it was mainly to get out their way. An old woman smiled as they passed and started to regal her friend of a story when she was younger. A normal day in the city. A normal day in any city. People going about their way without a thought of what could happen to them. A van with a poorly done paint job runs a red light not noticing the police cruiser behind the second car on the opposite end. It narrowly misses being hit by those vehicles with the right of way. The cruiser's lights start flashing and the chase begins.

The bridge too is a popular spot. While some travel it's length to the other side others stand at it's railing watching the water pass below. Some couples nuzzle close together as they take a moment to enjoy the atmosphere. A man on a bike sweeps past a man smoking a cigarette. The man turns to complain, but he rider is gone. Further way a shout of protest as the same incident replays itself as the bike brushes too close to another person.

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PostSubject: Re: [CB] Manhunt part II (Artemis,???)   Thu Aug 29, 2013 4:02 am

As the two walked, Conrad became more and more discomforted. Some piece of data was gnawing at him, but he couldn't figure it out. As they stopped at a crosswalk shortly after James relayed his plan, it hit him- a piece of paper titled CASUALTY FIGURES, and the information beneath it.

"James," began Conrad, slowly, "suppose that there's more to it?" He paused on the sidewalk. "The death toll at the attacks, it's too high, now that I think on it. If this was so carefully calculated, then we shouldn't even know about the kidnappings, and the only deaths would be those that mattered, but they were found ripped apart in the streets."

He gathered his thoughts, then continued. "There's something else going on. The smokescreen is a given, but the actual attacks themselves have a purpose besides. And we don't have a clue what it is."

"So, counterproposal: I go to the Cat's Bridge, draw the fire of whoever is doing this, as planned. You, however, need to go to the Bridge of Birds to hold off the attack for as long as possible, give your friend Kaguri enough time to concentrate his forces there. You're much stronger than me, you'd do it better. I'm not weak enough to be taken quietly, I can handle myself until you come back."

"Please, James, it's not just about some missing kids. People are dying, and we can protect them. We need to head off that attack, if at all possible. I'll play bait, and I'll rip that bastard apart before you even get the chance to help."
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