Scene:Lilith In the Clink

Lilith knocks on the apartment door, folder in hand. "It's DeWinter." She calls into the intercomm.

Johny is lounging on the couch, watching C-SPAN. No, really, he's watching a debate on the senate floor about trade relations to Aztlan. The Aztlanian ambassador is exhorting for relaxed restrictions and is creating an eloquent case.
Marcus will show Lilith in…

Lilith enters quietly, giving Marcus a brief smile and nod of thanks. She then looks to Johny. "Hello, sir. I've got that report and an explanation."

Johny holds up one hand, as the Ambassador gets in to a heated passage in Azlanian Spanish.

Lilith bobs her head, moving silently towards the seating area. She folds herself neatly into an armchair, twitching her tail into place behind her, and places the report on the coffee table.

From the hallway, still toweling her hair, comes Jamileh, dressed relatively casually in a long-sleeve t-shirt and some pretty damned torn blue jeans. She aims for the kitchen rather directly; if she saw Lilith, no indication thereof. Heck, she might not have seen Johny. Girl wants food.

Lilith takes a soft breath. "All the details are in the report, but I figure I should just say things out as well…" Another breath. Somehow, oddly, there seems to be an inner strength to her that she didn't have before…but also, still, a lingering anger.

"Early yesterday morning, around 4.30 am, I was disturbed by an odd dream. It was some spirit woman, apparently trapped, asking for help. As I've been having odd dreams lately, granted ones which were fairly mundane in nature, this threw me quite badly. Despite the hour, I immediately called Slinger. He told me another man, a mage called Chameleon had also just called about the same dream. We agreed to meet at the Apple."

"When there, we all agreed to go investigate, as the dream had indicated a pawn shop in town where the woman might be trapped. Slinger provided magical protection and we went in."

Johny listens, nodding for her to continue.

Golden brown eyes peer in from the kitchen toward Lilith; there's a sound of a bottle of juice being popped open. That's about it from the peanut gallery.

Lilith remains calm as ever, but her eyes seem to flatten out and deaden as she continues, more like she's reading by rote. "Slinger made us aware the owner of the shop was a mage and well warded, so we approached carefully. Almost immediately upon entering the owner approached us. He indicated that not only did he know us, we had worked for him before. It also explained the vague sense of deja vu we were expiriencing. He told us he used his spirit woman slave to lure or entice us in, then cast a mind control spell, send us to do work for him, then an…alter memory spell, I believe, to make us forget any and everything that happened."

Her eyes glint a little. Jaw tenses. "This apparently happened 4 times before. He then proceeded to try and enchant us again. I…fell under. Chameleon did not. He tried to attack the mage, was injured. I leapt between them. Cham then pushed me towards the mage. The mage's spirit attacked Cham and nearly killed him. At that point my will re-asserted itself, and I broke free from the spell."

Lilith speaks with that same, flat tone as she describes what happened next. "My memory at this point is a little fuzzy. I know for at least an instance my thoughts were crystal clear…all I wanted to do is kill. I can't say I lost my temper because I don't believe that fully describes what happened. And it wasn't about Cham being injured, or the spirit being enslaved. It was about being used. About being controlled against my will. That's the only clear thing I remember."

"I know I attacked the mage. I drew my razors and cut him down, then went after him and took out his throat."

A heartbeat later. "The spirit was freed from her enslavement when the mage died. Cham was healed by her. The mage's death caused three elementals to begin destroying the shop, and we fled with what items we could. Slinger picked us up in his SUV. The shop exploded. At that point I asked the spirit to detail, precisely, what the mage had had us do in the past. Each run is recorded in the report there."

Johny nods then, letting her continue.

With a bowl of what looks like leftover udon noodles, her juice and some chopsticks, Jamileh comes in quietly, peering at each as if wondering whether she and her food should go elsewhere. Mostly to Johny.
Lilith seems to stare straight ahead, then details the runs. Repeating verbatim what was said

"The first time you were there, you arrived separately, and he took control of your minds, and send you on a quest to steal a focus from one of his competitors. Each of you killed a man that day, and brought back the item he requested.

"The second time, his request was that you burn down the home of a minister who was preaching against him. This time, no one was killed."

"His third task for you was more complex, requiring you to travel to Free Cal to retrieve an item of power that had been lost to the troops who occupied San Diego. You might have noticed bits of that, when you returned a strange, sudden extended vacation on which you remember having a great deal of relaxing fun, though it is hard to remember the details. That was the memory he gave you."

"The fourth and final mission, which you completed successfully, involved a hazardous mission into the heart of a dead nuclear reactor. You managed to retrieve some of the spent fuel for him, at great personal risk. In all cases, you were successful, heroic, even. Except that your choices were not your own. You cannot be held responsible for any of these acts."
Johny nods, digesting that. He still says nothing, but Lilith has his full attention.

OK, good sign not to be told to bugger off. Jamileh sits quietly near the others, probably on the same sofa as Sam, and starts eating…but she is listening. For sure.

Lilith seems to sink a little. "The spirit woman made reference to me being a "daughter of dragon". I can only assume she meant the Watchers. Cham was not well enough to understand her." She looks blank again. "The spirit woman said…"Ah. You think I speak of what you /do/. No. I speak instead of what you /are/, Daughter of Dragon. You are not the daughter of /that/ dragon. But of another." I think she was playing with me, referring to my commitments…she certainly had the attitude."

"After all that…I was in no condition to think properly. I stumbled back to Popper's, showered, crawled into bed, and slept most of the day. I awoke, he asked what had happened…he was very worried, so I told him. The basics, at least. He did not question me further. I did not mention the comment the spirit woman made about the dragon."

Lilith mouth flattens into a grim line. "I think he was curious about the pile of bloody clothes I left at his door. The mage's death was not pretty."

Johny raises an eyebrow. "Mmmhmmm."

Johny is clearly unimpressed with the spirit fucking around with Lilith's sense of self, but he lets that go. "Conclusions?"

Lilith seems finished, the tension leaving her as she wearily sinks back into the arm chair. "I lost a part of myself that night. Or something changed." She says quietly. "I don't think I can look at myself and say "there's a madame." Not after doing what I did to that mage. Not that I regret it." And she sighs. "What, how it happened were just chance. Cham, Slinger, and I took care of dangerous mage that who knows could've done more damage to more people."

Jamileh is eating. Listening, eating. She doesn't seem to be doing a lot of blinking; her attention appears to be on Lilith pretty solidly.

Johny mmms quietly for a moment, then leans back. "Codify this in to a physical report and submit it. Consider it a learning experience. AS to this dragon nonsense, it's probably just that; a spirit fucking with you. Start sleeping behind stronger wards."

Lilith doesn't quite appear to notice Jami. She nods to Johny. "Slinger scanned my aura immediately after we got out of the pawn shop. Apparently he saw something odd…I'm not sure what he meant by that. But he wanted to talk to me, which is why I was with him and Aladriel just now. Nothing worriesome in me, according to him. And all of which led to me coming here, and Ally's suggestion about DNA."

Johny is still, unmoved. "Then have slinger report to me on what he saw that was odd." he says simply. "You've been in contact with horrors and lesser creatures. He has not. It's possible you became tainted in some respect."

Jamileh murmurs something about artifacts between bites of noodle, too.

Johny is a rationalist. People don't just turn in to fucking dragons, and they dont' interbreed with humans. And the chance that Lilith is a drake? Trillions to one. It's not a reasonable conclusion.

Lilith freezes. She shakes her head. "No…no. It can't be that. It can't be. I've heard about being tainted…I'm creative as anyone. Hell, I've actually gotten better at singing." For the first time, the spark of real emotion shows in her face. Fear.

Johny looks to Lilith now… "What, you think in 10,000 years, they can't learn tricks?"

Lilith clenches her fists. She breathes. Her will *is* getting stronger. "I…oh my gods…" She pales.
That even inspires the Aussie to stop eating. She puts aside her bowl, takes a drink of juice and watches Lilith more closely still.

Johny comments simply… "Jamileh, please escort Ms. Dewinter to the Vault. Bottom level." he says, standing up.

Lilith nods, still pale, still frightened. She certainly doesn't argue. "Thank you." She whispers, rising as well.

Jamileh blinks. "Bottom….right, boss." That's it, no questions asked. She gets up and says to Lilith, "If you'd come with me, then?"

Lilith isn't thinking to herself. "Oh gods oh gods oh gods blessed Virgin please no…"

Lilith moves to Jami. Not to close, though, moving slightly before the woman. SHe takes a deep breath and nods. "Let's go…"


Later, at the Vault

Johny has not put Lilith IN the vault so much as he's put her in one of the isolation chambers on the same level that we didn't bother to pay for yet. He's in the conference room, dialing up the dialog from earlier.

Jamileh, dressed for success in some guy's long-sleeve t-shirt and a pair of jeans that are, ah, fashionably distressed, takes a quiet seat nearby after removing her jacket. She's packing. That's…new, right?

Kassandra wanders into the conference room with Aladriel, her expression grim, almost irritated. The elven woman is dressed in heavier armor and dark colors and in general looks to be in a poor mood overall. She looks around as she enters with a faint frown.

Kassandra is more heavily armored, and Aladriel doesn't seem to be wearing any visible parts. Nor does she seem to be armed in any way. And she's actually not looking too concerned either. "Hey-hey," she greets Jamileh, "Hey-hey," she greets Johny.

Johny nods to the women. "Thank you for coming. I know it's a long drive from the comfort of your home, and I'm thankful." A pause. "Computer, playback file JWulfMed120869 timeframe X to X."

Kass watches the playback file quietly, an eyebrow going up here and there at some of the events that are discussed. Both eyebrows go up at the mention of sleeping at Popper's and at the mind control bits. She glances sideways to Aladriel and then back to Johny. "So now what?"

Making herself comfortable, Jamileh turns to watch, even if she caught the live show.

"I don't know." he admits. "Thats why I wanted you both here. We'll need to examine her, in depth, and keep her in isolation for a while, but beyond that? I don't know. Her personal relations are of no concern of mine. This thing with her aura, if its substantiated, is."

Ally watches the proceeding with interest and then sighs a little bit. But it's more of a patient thing than anything else. "Well, here's my thoughts. I'm familiar with her aura…and was before she was involved with our first encounter. So I can see if there's anything different. As for your theory…..there's a way to find out. If you recall," Ally puffs up a bit and it's clear that she's very proud of this next bit. "I was taught a spell that can detect just such a thing."

"That spell is a sham." Says Johny, bluntly.

Sighing, Kassandra remarks, "You know, I've seldom seen .. or even heard of .. someone who has the innate ability to stumble into so many …" She trails off there and closes her eyes a moment.

Sighing again, "So she was mind controlled several times and did things, then listens to a spirit who fills her with all sorts of wondrous stories about dragons. Oh and she has dreams that we are just now hearing about."

Kass trails off and looks between Aladriel and Johny.

Ally's shoulders slump a little bit at being told that by Johny. "Awww. But he…." she sighs and perks back up a moment later. "Fine then, fine. The spell doesn't work. But there's another way to tell. He was all about backup methods and contigencies after all. It's a ritual…Kassie and I can do it," she looks to the elf, "I can teach you how." Then back to Johny: "It'll take a couple of hours though."

Johny nods then. "You're my magical task force, which is why you're here and not snuggled in front of the fireplace." he says. "I think horror taint is far more likely than any 'draconic' blood. If she were draconically blooded, she'd already be a dragons bitch. Incidents of drakes expressing dropped off after the comet left and new drakes arn't expected for at least a hundred years."

Kass starts to say something but cuts herself off and simply nods to Aladriel.

"It's part of the reason I wanted to do a DNA test on her," Ally offers with a little shrug. "Her history is completely unknown. She could be the daughter of a shaman, or her mother could've gotten infected by something midterm or she coulda be the daughter of a gho…" the mage starts rattling off some pretty absurd (but possible!) theories, and then stops abruptly, her voice catching. Her cheeks darken and she shakes her head quickly.

"Could be any number of things. If its easy enough, could be worth peeking at," she mumbles.

Johny strokes a hand down his chin. "I expect, as a note?" A pause. "IF I ever show up mind controlled and with an oddness in MY aura?" A pause. "That it will be me down there in the hole and you people up here, talking about putting a bullet in -my- skull."
Jamileh says softly, "Likewise. Ah…is there any chance this is all just…you know, shit?"

Kassandra quietly adds, "I care less about what she is than she was mind controlled multiple times and is playing with magical things, again. I thought we said we'd just shoot her if we ran into more of this sort of thing?" Kass sounds tired, about at the end of her rope.

You say "On the upside." Says Johny, a nod to Kassandra. "She did tell me as soon as she was aware.""

Kass simply shrugs to Johny. "All right."

Hesitating, Jamileh points out as quietly and delicately as before, "On the downside, she's shown this great bloody vulnerability, again?"
"Course it could be," Ally tells Jamileh with a faint smile. "Magic isn't an absolute science, no matter what some of us would like to think. The thing Slinger saw? Could just be the way Lilith DeWinter's aura looks when she's absolutely furious."

Another shrug. "I suppose it's worth asking her what she was up to, too. But if she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, she'd really have no defense against a decent mage." A thoughtful look. "Though these bad, random things do seem to happen to her a lot. Maybe she got cursed and doesn't know it."

Johny nods to Jamileh, then to Ally. "Taking your points in turn." He says then… "Jamileh, this is a tragicly comical continuation of a pattern of actions and behavior, yes. Ally: I can't see her aura. I simply quarantined her as a precaution. Better safe than sorry. If you want to go down and see her? I'm okay with that."

"I got to say," Jamileh ventures carefully, "I agree with Kassandra. Pretty bloody wholly."

"Probably will. Will have to go get the blood sample at any rate," Ally murmurs, before she glances sidelong at Kass before her eyes settle on Jamileh. "You agree….that we should shoot her?" she wonders, eyebrows starting to creep upwards.

Johny shakes his head. "I'm damnably tired of this. Always the fucking drama. As Kassandra said… she falls in to more bullshit than we -try- to find. Ally, run this down, stamp it down, clear it up. Genetics, magic, I don't -FUCKING- care. Then we call this matter closed. If it's shown she's at fault, if she's responsible for this in some way? She's out. Gone."

Long distance to Lilith: Johny shakes his head. "I'm damnably tired of this. Always the fucking drama. As Kassandra said… she falls in to more bullshit than we -try- to find. Ally, run this down, stamp it down, clear it up. Genetics, magic, I don't -FUCKING- care. Then we call this matter closed. If it's shown she's at fault, if she's responsible for this in some way? She's out. Gone."

Quietly, Kassandra says, "I am tired of worrying that my child is going to get killed because she's gone off to do whatever. I seem to turn around and there is another problem and that makes me .. unhappy. I'm not saying we kill her, but I cannot go on like this. I'm about ready to pack up and just leave for a while."

Jamileh, who apparently was contemplating what she wanted to say, nods to Kassandra and tells Ally, "That's what I agree with, Ally. And what Sam said. I'm tired of worrying about it, about Sam, about you two and your ank…child. You lot are my family now. She's a bloody threat to that."

Ally offers the tiniest little shrug of her shoulders and nods her head. "Well, I'll see what I can turn up. Hopefully it's….nothing interesting, at all. Bad dreams or whatnot."

"And then we can redo the security on the off chance that she was telling tales while under the influence." Kass rubs her eyes and shrugs.

Johny shakes his head. "Kass, take a vacation. Go have a good time somewhere, turn your phones off." he says, exhaling. "You need it. We all need it. Ally, look in to Lilith, source this issue out. I want it done ASAP. I'm going to, should she live through this, sideline her for at least a month."

"Yeahwell. Can't really do that, Johny, I'm sort of connected to this one." Kass jerks a thumb at Ally, "And I shouldn't let her go down there alone just in case something IS in there that poses a threat. I am not the mage Ally is, but I can probably distract the thing long enough for her to put it down."

"Or," says Jamileh, "I can go. I don't have much magic to throw around that would help, but I have two pistols on me."
Johny nods slowly to Kassandra. "I understand, Kass, and I'm sorry. What can I do to help? Do you want Lilith to stay away from you? Do you want me to bury her in Silo three?"

"I don't know that there is a solution, Johny." Kass shrugs and nods to Jamileh, "We can all go. We can make it an outing."

Johny nods, standing up with an exhale. "Yeah."

"Just so we're on the same page…." Jamileh looks at each of the other three, sober. "Each of you coming out of there fine and safe is my priority. Anything beyond that's gravy."

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