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Shade Sentinel

Adventure! RPG: Adventures of the Mystical and Mundane - IC

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The tree gives way and Adam falls. Moving his arms wide in an attempt to catch a branch is unsuccessful, he slams hard into few branches on the way down. Fortunately, the crash slowed him enough, as Odo moves extremely fast betraying his size, and plucks Adams falling from the air with little effort. As a few bits of tree and who knows what else pepper the two of them below.

Odo holds Adam for just a moment, looks at him and curtly nods. Setting the man down, he looks around at the rest of the group, clearly ill at ease, and then quickly returns to examining the body.

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Marcus would continue silently looking over the body and surrounding area until he hears the snap and quickly looks up to see Adam falling. However he then also spots Odo sprinting over to Catch Adam, and Marcus would give a light sigh of relief when Adam is caught. "You both alright?" Marcus then makes sure to call over, but assuming they both confirm this, Marcus nods once again and starts to look around the scene again. "Well, from the looks of things, whatever or whoever did this was very large. Looks like we need to be careful tracking this one down."

Marcus would then look up into the tree Adam was climbing, examining it himself, though from the ground of course. He had no desire to take a fall like Adam did himself.

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Adam blinks at Odo save, he scratched his cheek on the way down but otherwise is fine. Getting to his feet and puts his hand on his shoulder and says,

"Thank you. That could have been seriously unplesant."

Adam immediately looks around for the "object" that he dropped. It should have landed roughly where he did. If he doesn't find it he'll continue to look around and up if need be.

You both alright?" Marcus then makes sure to call over, but assuming they both confirm this, Marcus nods once again and starts to look around the scene again. "Well, from the looks of things, whatever or whoever did this was very large. Looks like we need to be careful tracking this one down."
Adam answers,

"Yes, I'm all right, thanks again. And not 'track down', more like 'track up'. He got away in the trees. He also left some hairs that I have in my pocket and something bigger, I dropped it when I fell. And there was something else further up the tree. We may need to take it down, no, I'll go back up there in a few minutes with some rope."

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"Quiet fool" the Ophidian snaps. The simpering civil servant was obviously far over his head. "Don't you people have rules about tampering with a crime scene? I should ssspeak to the local commisioner about having your badge for my collection. Malcolm...make a note of it,." The Ophidian remarks to his assistant. That the well heeled man now diligently writing in his notebook was not only a man of color, but clearly of a status and education far beyond what Deacon could ever hope for added an extra special dimension to the torment.

Sheriff Deacon stares his mouth unable to close as he takes in the Ophidian. "You have to under-" he begins a meager defense but it fades into the humid air as he understand that it would make no difference. The mentino of "the local commisioner" makes his face twinge. The sensation is not that he even knows what that is...but it sounds awful.

The Ophidian's trail meets up with Markus, and from there they disappear.

"Well, from the looks of things, whatever or whoever did this was very large. Looks like we need to be careful tracking this one down."

Marcus would then look up into the tree Adam was climbing, examining it himself, though from the ground of course. He had no desire to take a fall like Adam did himself.

Marcus's keen vision allows him almost as perfect a few from his position on the ground. The branches are broken in several areas up the tree, as if something landed there, them moved to another spot. The bark near the middle of the tree is soaked with blood, the humid environment doing little to cause the coagulated mess to dry. Making note of the holes in the tree as well, combined with the nature of the examined footprints, Markus easily deducts that a jump was plausible. Judging by the indent of the large footprints they look like launching marks, not landing marks. The though both puzzled and unnerved the journeyman detective.

Adam blinks at Odo save, he scratched his cheek on the way down but otherwise is fine. Getting to his feet and puts his hand on his shoulder and says,

"Thank you. That could have been seriously unplesant."

Adam immediately looks around for the "object" that he dropped. It should have landed roughly where he did. If he doesn't find it he'll continue to look around and up if need be.

Adam answers,

"Yes, I'm all right, thanks again. And not 'track down', more like 'track up'. He got away in the trees. He also left some hairs that I have in my pocket and something bigger, I dropped it when I fell. And there was something else further up the tree. We may need to take it down, no, I'll go back up there in a few minutes with some rope."

Adam is moments out of his grip with the giant man, when the sudden adrenaline rush ends. He notes almost immediately that two of his ribs are in bad shape. Cracked or worse by the feel of them. The pain ends almost as fast as it begins though, as while staring at the sensitive area, he finds the blackish rubbery material on the ground under some wood splinters and leaves. One hand holding out the hairs he collected from the climb up, next to this monstrous strand lends Adam a strange perspective...

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Adam is moments out of his grip with the giant man, when the sudden adrenaline rush ends. He notes almost immediately that two of his ribs are in bad shape. Cracked or worse by the feel of them. The pain ends almost as fast as it begins though, as while staring at the sensitive area, he finds the blackish rubbery material on the ground under some wood splinters and leaves. One hand holding out the hairs he collected from the climb up, next to this monstrous strand lends Adam a strange perspective...
Adam pauses and says outloud but almost to himself,

"Now what just happened here, were my ribs broken or not?"

Adam feels his ribs carefully to see if he's hurt and if so how bad. Then he closely examines the rubbery thing, and then the hairs he collected. Regardless of what he finds he'll bring it to the attention of the others and go look for some rope.

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Adam pauses and says outloud but almost to himself,

"Now what just happened here, were my ribs broken or not?"

Adam feels his ribs carefully to see if he's hurt and if so how bad. Then he closely examines the rubbery thing, and then the hairs he collected. Regardless of what he finds he'll bring it to the attention of the others and go look for some rope.

Odo stands up from the body and looks at Adam.

"Let me take a look at your ribs, I can ascertain the extent of your injury. If they're broken we should take steps to make sure you heal as quickly as possible."

He then looks around and address the group as a whole,

"Also, unless anyone objects to disturbing the scene yet, I would like to get this woman loaded up and back into town before anymore decay sets in. I want to do an extensive autopsy, it appears that various parts of her person may have been stolen by whatever did this. I would like to catalogue exactly what is missing, as well as begin to develop a hypothesis about cause of death and exactly how these wounds were inflicted.

After that I think we should convene wherever our lodging may be and compare notes on what we've found here."

Odo steps across the body to examine Adam's ribs, if he wants him to.

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Adam pauses and says outloud but almost to himself,

"Now what just happened here, were my ribs broken or not?"

A quick feel shows a the loss of pain was a distraction. "Ow. Yep, that's a crack."

A close look at the black rubbery stuff brings only one image to mind.

"It's hair. Which means this grey stuff is skin... What on earth?"

Adam takes his find to some of the others and then goes looking for rope or an axe.

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A quick feel shows a the loss of pain was a distraction. "Ow. Yep, that's a crack."

A close look at the black rubbery stuff brings only one image to mind.

"It's hair. Which means this grey stuff is skin... What on earth?"

Adam takes his find to some of the others and then goes looking for rope or an axe.

Odo takes the chunk of hair and skin and examines it closely, even going so far as to smell it. He'll pull on his scientific and medical knowledge as well as comparing it to anything he's seen in his travels to try to make sense of it.

"Very strange...And while I certainly don't expect you to slow down, you should at least wrap up those ribs before you do much else."

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Odo takes the chunk of hair and skin and examines it closely, even going so far as to smell it. He'll pull on his scientific and medical knowledge as well as comparing it to anything he's seen in his travels to try to make sense of it.

Alex and Odo spend some time examining the possible hair to see what they can glean. The texture, extremely smooth, but Odo realizes that the smoothness could be due to the extensive moisture, and he notices small ridges that fit over one another seamlessly along the things entire length.

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"Also, unless anyone objects to disturbing the scene yet, I would like to get this woman loaded up and back into town before anymore decay sets in. I want to do an extensive autopsy, it appears that various parts of her person may have been stolen by whatever did this. I would like to catalogue exactly what is missing, as well as begin to develop a hypothesis about cause of death and exactly how these wounds were inflicted.

Marcus was a little distracted looking up into the tree, but eventually he would respond to this. "Oh, yeah. Everything has been documented and photographed right? If so, I dont think theres anything more we can learn from the body where it is."

In the mean time, Marcus did his best to judge the direction whatever made those prints he was seeing jumped in, and then he would start to walk in that direction, looking up into the trees along the way to see if he could spot the creature landed, essentually seeing if he couldnt find a 'trail' whatever this thing was made through the trees.

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Odo takes the chunk of hair and skin and examines it closely, even going so far as to smell it. He'll pull on his scientific and medical knowledge as well as comparing it to anything he's seen in his travels to try to make sense of it.

"Very strange...And while I certainly don't expect you to slow down, you should at least wrap up those ribs before you do much else."

Adam replies,

"Yes, that's a point."

Adam will get his ribs taped.

(OOC: Hopefully someone with medical skills will help on this issue).

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Adam replies,

"Yes, that's a point."

Adam will get his ribs taped.

(OOC: Hopefully someone with medical skills will help on this issue).

Odo digs into his bag, getting out some medical tape and some clamps. After taking a few moments to find which ribs are broken, he wraps Adam up tightly, trying to keep everything as securely in place as possible.

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Odo digs into his bag, getting out some medical tape and some clamps. After taking a few moments to find which ribs are broken, he wraps Adam up tightly, trying to keep everything as securely in place as possible.
Adam says,

"Thank you again."

After locating a rope Adam first tests it and then expertly ties it around his shoulder and then loops it around the trunk of the tree and starts climbing again. As he comes to branches off the trunk of the tree, he anchors himself and then moves the rope further up the tree and repeats the process. Ideally if he falls he won't fall far, but if he has to go up higher than what he views as the trunk's ability to hold him he'll go back down and get an axe.

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"Also, unless anyone objects to disturbing the scene yet, I would like to get this woman loaded up and back into town before anymore decay sets in. I want to do an extensive autopsy, it appears that various parts of her person may have been stolen by whatever did this. I would like to catalogue exactly what is missing, as well as begin to develop a hypothesis about cause of death and exactly how these wounds were inflicted.

After that I think we should convene wherever our lodging may be and compare notes on what we've found here."

Sheriff Deacon who has by this point retreated to the safety of his automobile, away from the prying eye of the Ophidian, coughs to clear his throat.

"Your arrangements have already been made Gentlemen. When you're all good n' ready, we can take ya'll to town and get you taken care of." The sheriff seems ill at east with this gropu.

"If ya'll are ready too, we can assist you with moving these bodies to get them where ye need em for a better look. We don't have much in the way of a big hospital. Closest hospital is about an hour north a here. We can take you there if ya'll want. If not, we can rig up a barn or somethin' to do work in."

Deacons need to please is pretty evident.

Alex is about half way up the tree and doesn't catch the entire speech but he gets the idea. Climbing with the rope is slower, but the security is much better. he makes it back to the bloody area again. As before, the bark is nearly saturated, leaving is sticky and easy to remove from the tree. Judging by what he has seen from big game kills and attacks, this wasn't any animal he'd ever heard of. Which was quite a few. The rope rig holds and the tree supports his weight to the top.

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Sheriff Deacon who has by this point retreated to the safety of his automobile, away from the prying eye of the Ophidian, coughs to clear his throat.

"Your arrangements have already been made Gentlemen. When you're all good n' ready, we can take ya'll to town and get you taken care of." The sheriff seems ill at east with this gropu.

"If ya'll are ready too, we can assist you with moving these bodies to get them where ye need em for a better look. We don't have much in the way of a big hospital. Closest hospital is about an hour north a here. We can take you there if ya'll want. If not, we can rig up a barn or somethin' to do work in."

Deacons need to please is pretty evident.

Alex is about half way up the tree and doesn't catch the entire speech but he gets the idea. Climbing with the rope is slower, but the security is much better. he makes it back to the bloody area again. As before, the bark is nearly saturated, leaving is sticky and easy to remove from the tree. Judging by what he has seen from big game kills and attacks, this wasn't any animal he'd ever heard of. Which was quite a few. The rope rig holds and the tree supports his weight to the top.

Odo will closely supervise the body being moved, making sure that it is minimally disturbed. Afterwards he goes back to the base of the tree to wait for Alex to come down.

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The Ophidian glares at the other's moving the stinking carcass.

"An autopsy is esssential. But we aren't finshed here yet. We must track the creature through the trees....unless you want to wait until it sstrikes again...?"

,,

Hadrian goes with Marcus, lending his supernatural perception to tracking the monster.

,,

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(( We're going to jump ahead a bit. If you have more to do please PM ))

November 12th 12:42 am

With the lanterns running low, the sheriff uses his cars headlights to allow for the required lighting as Odo carefully wraps the body and moves it into the wagon to be taken off for further examination. This had surely been one long day from start to finnish. The group of investigators moved with sore muscles, and heavy eyelids towards the wagons which lead them back into town. The road is no less bumpy, but the temperature had dropped enough to be pleasant.

Entering the town of Miledgeville was as unremarkable as could be assumed. A large Church made up the newest and most impressive building. Several shops lined the roads, all of which were long since closed for the night. There was an open saloon style bar and the hotel which is where the wagons stopped.

Upon entering the Hotel lobby, the place is empty except for a sole person who clearly did not belong. Alone and motionless in the corner stood arguable the most beautiful Asian woman ever to breath air. She stood leaning against the counter. Her expression was as stoic as her posture. Her face that of a porcelain doll, staring at the weary bunch as they enter.

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Adam walks in tired and a little hurting... and realizes that although he's not at his best, it will have to do. He suavely walks up to one of the most beautiful women he's ever run across (recently), gives a short bow which ill fits his current condition but speaks of a formal attire, and says,

"Hello lovely lady. I am Adam Trooper. May I have the pleasure of knowing your name?"

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Adam walks in tired and a little hurting... and realizes that although he's not at his best, it will have to do. He suavely walks up to one of the most beautiful women he's ever run across (recently), gives a short bow which ill fits his current condition but speaks of a formal attire, and says,

"Hello lovely lady. I am Adam Trooper. May I have the pleasure of knowing your name?"

The woman Adam approaches is a study in contrasts and contradictions. Though she is unmistakably from the Orient, she is wearing the decidedly Western (and rather unorthodox, for a woman) ensemble of black, Oxford style pants of apparently high quality, a white button-up silk blouse, and a smart woman’s suit jacket, tailored and form fitting, buttoned over the blouse. Though she is of slightly above average height for a woman (actually of much greater than average height for an Oriental woman, but not many Westerners would know this), she somehow manages to look small and delicate. And despite her petite frame, her body can only really be described as voluptuous. Her silky raven hair and deep, dark eyes offset her flawless porcelain skin, and the finely shaped bones of her face offset the pillowy softness of her lips. Her thick, lustrous hair falls in gentle curls over her shoulders and partway down her back. She is at once youthful and womanly, innocent and knowing. In short, she is stunning, and impossible to quantify. The very definition of the mysterious Oriental Beauty.

When the group comes in she looks them over, openly sizing them up. Pulling a slip of paper out of her pocket and examining it briefly, she seems to be satisfied and places it back in her pocket, then returns her gaze to the group of investigators. As Adam approaches, her look of cool indifference is replaced by a disarmingly warm little smile that makes her seem eminently approachable, even a little vulnerable. When he performs his bow her smile is replaced by a grin that is entirely open and free of care, as though she were holding nothing back. It is not the smile of a sultry seductress, all teeth and dark urges under the surface, it is the smile of an innocent child, all heart and overflowing warmth.

When Adam asks his question, her smile dims just the tiniest bit and she answers ‘Mr. Trooper, if you find someone who can give you the pleasure of knowing my name, please, let me know. But my friends call me Yuming, and so may you.’

And again, a contrast; when Yuming speaks in answer to Adam’s question her voice is not the feminine, delicate, high-pitched thing that might be expected. Her voice is rich and melodious and strong, and only a few notes away from being deep, for a woman. It also contains a strange, at least to American ears, mix of British and Oriental accents. Yuming’s voice is perhaps the most contradictory part of her. The moment she opens her mouth and speaks she is transformed from a seemingly delicate and beautiful Oriental flower into someone who is obviously strong-willed, determined, and possessed of the sort of toughness of character that can only be developed by those who have faced much adversity. The moment she closes it again, the illusion returns.

‘Mr. Algreto sent me’, she continues in that same, unexpected voice. ‘I’m here to help.’

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‘Mr. Algreto sent me’, she continues in that same, unexpected voice. ‘I’m here to help.’

Odo was momentarily stunned by the exotic beauty, but he composes himself in short order. He adjusts the bag on his shoulder and bows his head slightly to her.

"We graciously welcome your help, it appears we will need all the help we can get as this is a mystery most bizarre."

He then turns to address the rest of the party, but still including Yuming,

"Though the hour is late, my mind is turning over and over with what we've seen tonight. Rest is still a ways away for me and I trust some of you feel the same. Lets retire to our rooms and anyone who wants to turn in now may. For those of us that are not yet ready to sleep, lets wash up and reconvene here. Perhaps we can convince the innkeeper to bring us some food and we may discuss our findings. If you do wish to sleep, don't fear, you won't be left out of any discoveries; indeed, you will have the benefit of hearing them in a more organized fashion in the morning anyway."

Odo nods curtly and will head upstairs to his room unless anyone objects to his plan.

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As Adam approaches, her look of cool indifference is replaced by a disarmingly warm little smile that makes her seem eminently approachable, even a little vulnerable. When he performs his bow her smile is replaced by a grin that is entirely open and free of care, as though she were holding nothing back. It is not the smile of a sultry seductress, all teeth and dark urges under the surface, it is the smile of an innocent child, all heart and overflowing warmth.
*Good so far*
When Adam asks his question, her smile dims just the tiniest bit and she answers ‘Mr. Trooper, if you find someone who can give you the pleasure of knowing my name, please, let me know. But my friends call me Yuming, and so may you.’
*Whoops. And very odd voice.*
‘Mr. Algreto sent me’, she continues in that same, unexpected voice. ‘I’m here to help.’
Adam nods at Odo's plan, then he says to "Yuming",

"Yuming, after I wash would you join me, us I mean, for dinner?"

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The Ophidian stops and stares at the newcomer for a good while, motionless. No doubt she can sense his supernatural presence as well. Bundled up as always beneath scarf, hat and glasses it is dificult to make eye contact or discern his features, though Yuming is certainly aware that he is looking directly at her and that he somehow seems to "stand out" from the "background" of his surroundings.

,,

When the others disperse he silently heads to the "suite", which his valet had previously reserved for them. The accomodations were poor by his standards, but then again he was used to camping while on digs in Egypt or suffering the malarial heat of the Congo. Compared to such...adventurous living, this quaint hotel was a veritable palace.

,,

The valet, Malcom is a stocky and very well built middle age man. The trained eye can tell that in his prime he had been quite a champion fighter. His eyes are hawklike, intelligent and discerning. One might notice the slight bulges of weapons concealed in his tailored suitcoat.

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The Ophidian stops and stares at the newcomer for a good while, motionless. No doubt she can sense his supernatural presence as well. Bundled up as always beneath scarf, hat and glasses it is dificult to make eye contact or discern his features, though Yuming is certainly aware that he is looking directly at her and that he somehow seems to "stand out" from the "background" of his surroundings.
Yuming, to all outward appearances, seems largely indifferent to The Ophidian's stare - if that is indeed what he is doing - though she obviously notices his presence. Instead she focuses her attentions on the approaching Mr. Trooper, and then switches her attention to the massive Odo.
Odo was momentarily stunned by the exotic beauty, but he composes himself in short order. He adjusts the bag on his shoulder and bows his head slightly to her.

"We graciously welcome your help, it appears we will need all the help we can get as this is a mystery most bizarre."

Yuming dips her beautiful face in a slight bow and says, 'I'll do what I can,' and then listens to the rest of what Odo has to say. She's about to ask if she may attend the meeting when Mr. Trooper speaks again.
Adam nods at Odo's plan, then he says to "Yuming",

"Yuming, after I wash would you join me, us I mean, for dinner?"

She laughs good-naturedly at Adam's words and then says, 'Of course Mr. Trooper, it would be my pleasure.'

After she finishes speaking to Adam and Odo, Yuming again turns her gaze towards The Ophidian and returns his stare with a lazy cat-like intensity. And like a cat her dark eyes, partially hidden beneath her heavy lashes, hold his stare without blinking for an unusually long time, then she slowly blinks once, twice, and then again and when her eyes open the third time her gaze has already shifted to another part of the room.

Yuming acknowledges anyone else who chooses to speak to her with an open smile and polite words. Whether or not everyone goes up to their rooms, she will continue to wait at the counter she was leaning against when the adventurers first entered. She will still be waiting there when the party comes back downstairs for dinner and discussion.

((I forgot to mention it in my intro post, but I based Yuming, physically, off of a Japanese "Gravure" model that I discovered when I was looking for inspiration for this character (who I knew was going to be Asian right from the get-go). The model's name is Reon Kadena, for anyone who's interested in what Yuming looks like. And in regards to her voice; I don't think I described it properly, based off of the reaction I got. Basically, once you've seen what Ms. Kadena looks like, take that and add the voice that you always figured Anna DeVries has - you know, very confident and firm and all business, but still feminine. If you're like me then that's not the voice you hear in your head when you first see a pic of Reon Kadena, hence my descrip.))

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The seemingly quiet bed and breakfast hotel is busy life as the group moves about washing up and changing clothes. After assisting the Ophidian with his lodging, Malcom is busy with the locals getting food and supplies set up. He does his work quietly and without complaint.

By the time the group gets downstairs, the dining room of the old building is set up with plenty of food and drink. As well as lanterns and candles providing ample light. Sherrif Deacon retreats his hand from the tables food as soon as Odo, the first of the group enters the room.

Deacons face betrays his mischievous intent at munching on the food. It appears he too had gone home to wash and he is wearing what could be confused for a suit, obviously his nicer clothes. Upon seeing Odo, again up close he swallows a bit, then extends his hand.

"I just want to let you know there are no hard feelings. I didn't mean to give you and your friends a rude welcome. I hope we can put it past us." Deacons face is lined with moisture as beads of sweat have fallen down his round face.

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"I hope we can put it past us." Deacons face is lined with moisture as beads of sweat have fallen down his round face

"Tell me Deacon" The Ophidian broods, having suddenly appeared from right behind the sherriff. "How can one ssurpass oneself?"

He is carrying what looks to be a large musty tome bound in old cracked leather and gold leafing flaking from the edges. A silk place marker extends, ending in a fork like a serpent's tongue.

Getting his face very close to Deacon's (though with only a small patch of black scales visible around his dark glasses) he whispers, "I've got my Eye on you..."

((Academics role please, to indicate what information he might have dug up relevant to the case at hand in his venerable grimoire...))

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Yuming acknowledges anyone else who chooses to speak to her with an open smile and polite words. Whether or not everyone goes up to their rooms, she will continue to wait at the counter she was leaning against when the adventurers first entered. She will still be waiting there when the party comes back downstairs for dinner and discussion.
Coming back back downstairs, looking much cleaner if not entirely refreshed, Adam bypasses the Deacon's encounter with Odo and the Ophidian, and moves to the counter next to Yuming. He glances at the others, observing her observe them, and just gets comfortable, waiting for her to say something.

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,,

"Tell me Deacon" The Ophidian broods, having suddenly appeared from right behind the sherriff. "How can one ssurpass oneself?"

He is carrying what looks to be a large musty tome bound in old cracked leather and gold leafing flaking from the edges. A silk place marker extends, ending in a fork like a serpent's tongue.

Getting his face very close to Deacon's (though with only a small patch of black scales visible around his dark glasses) he whispers, "I've got my Eye on you..."

((Academics role please, to indicate what information he might have dug up relevant to the case at hand in his venerable grimoire...))

Odo considered Deacon's apology for a moment, and just as he was about to say something the Ophidian quite suddenly appears. He feels his anger soften for this poor man, so obviously ignorant and out of his element and suddenly introduced to such unique individuals. That, and Odo hopes never to to be the subject of such...attention from the Ophidian.

He drops his leather satchel on the table and shakes the mans still outstretched hand.

"Think nothing of it Deacon, I've experienced worse racism before and I trust I'll come face to face with it again. Good of you to apologize. Now that we've put it past us, I think we can get to work, yes?"

Odo brings out his small notebook as well as a few other medical books of reference from his bag and opens them in front of him. He leans back in his chair, sharpening his pencil with a small knife as he looks at the assembled group.

"I'm going to perform an autopsy in the morning. Deliberating and hypothesizing are fine pursuits this late at night, but I want to have all my wits at my disposal when I begin to research that corpse in earnest. So. Let us share what we've all found and see if we can make some begin to fit some of the pieces together."

Setting the pencil and knife down, Odo stands and makes himself a plate. He piles the food high, his appetite obviously matching his stature, and sits back down at his seat with a glass of wine as well. He glances around the room at everyone and then turns to his notebook, re-visiting what he'd written earlier in the night.

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Coming back back downstairs, looking much cleaner if not entirely refreshed, Adam bypasses the Deacon's encounter with Odo and the Ophidian, and moves to the counter next to Yuming. He glances at the others, observing her observe them, and just gets comfortable, waiting for her to say something.

Yuming is still leaning against the counter when Adam returns, and she continues to watch the goings on with casual interest. She raises an eyebrow at the exchange between Deacon, Odo, and the Ophidian, but refrains from commenting on any of it.

Instead she finally turns towards Adam and says, 'So, Mr. Trooper, tell me a little about yourself. What peculiar background or unique attributes qualify you to work for the Pandora "Garbage Company"?' She says this last bit with a small smile and a slight emphasizing of the words "garbage company", obviously amused by the misnomer.

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(Yep. For all his power and experience, Adam is still a man)

Yuming is still leaning against the counter when Adam returns, and she continues to watch the goings on with casual interest. She raises an eyebrow at the exchange between Deacon, Odo, and the Ophidian, but refrains from commenting on any of it.

Instead she finally turns towards Adam and says, 'So, Mr. Trooper, tell me a little about yourself. What peculiar background or unique attributes qualify you to work for the Pandora "Garbage Company"?' She says this last bit with a small smile and a slight emphasizing of the words "garbage company", obviously amused by the misnomer.

Adam thought this might be coming... modesty was unlikely to be useful here, she already knew a fair bit and in this crowd he wouldn't even stand out. Adam shrugs and says,

"My experience I guess. I'm very... practiced. ::sly At all sorts of things." ::devil

"For one example among many, I'm probably the best swordsman on the planet. I've traveled the world several times over and I haven't met my equal in at least 200 years."

"And please, call me Adam."

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(Yep. For all his power and experience, Adam is still a man)

Adam thought this might be coming... modesty was unlikely to be useful here, she already knew a fair bit and in this crowd he wouldn't even stand out. Adam shrugs and says,

"My experience I guess. I'm very... practiced. ::sly At all sorts of things." ::devil

Yuming arches an eyebrow and a wide smile breaks out across her face. 'Oh really? Do go on', she says.
"For one example among many, I'm probably the best swordsman on the planet. I've traveled the world several times over and I haven't met my equal in at least 200 years."

"And please, call me Adam."

Yuming seems to blow right by Adam's reference to swordplay as if he hadn't even mentioned it. Instead she brightens visibly and says, 'You've traveled the world for 200 years? How is that even possible? Please, tell me about some of your travels.'

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Yuming seems to blow right by Adam's reference to swordplay as if he hadn't even mentioned it. Instead she brightens visibly and says, 'You've traveled the world for 200 years? How is that even possible? Please, tell me about some of your travels.'
Adam grins and says,

"200? No, I've been tooling around for a lot longer than that. Let's see... here's a good one. Learning to read."

"It was 1448 and I was an apprentice blacksmith in Germany. My master was a deeply pious man, we apprentices, there were three of us, had to go to church every day, and several times on Sunday. He was in his 50's and pretty farsighted. At closer than arm's length he really struggled with the fine details. In his youth he'd been a true master, his blades were perfect, and an artisan as well, he'd loved the fine detail work... or so I gathered. He'd done a lot of it so maybe it just paid well. I think his devotion to God was a result of his eyes, he'd wanted God to fix them and figured if he just prayed hard enough or gave enough to the church it would happen. He was having hard times and we, well, everyone but me, never had enough to eat."

"In 1440 in a close by city an upstart goldsmith named Johann Gutenberg came out with a new fangled invention called the Printing Press. By 1448 it was taking the world by storm, or at least our part of it. The idea was you could actually read the word of God yourself. My Master purchased a Bible... and then he had a problem. Like most people who weren't upper class or priests in the 1400's, none of us could read."

"At the time I'd never been a priest or rich, I certainly couldn't. But my Master wanted, needed, someone to read God's word to him. He'd finally figured out the local Priest was taking advantage of him, and he wanted God's word directly, but with his eyes learning himself just wasn't an option. I was the youngest, well, ok, I was the least of his apprentices, and the only one interested in learning, so I was the one who could be spared. So my Master found someone and ordered me to learn how to read. And I did."

"It was hard work, and then after I was done I had to read the Bible out loud to him every day while we worked. It was fairly annoying at the time. It didn't work of course, his eyes didn't improve, and after a few years I had to move on as my lack of aging became notable. But that's how I learned how to read, at least in German."

"Reading the Bible was a world changing event, and not just for the learned. Growing up the local Priest would, and did, claim the Bible let him order girls into his bed. With lots more Bibles out there and lots more people reading, the local Priest's authority dropped way down. A good thing I think."

Adam voice has been warm and smooth, toned to draw people in. He's a good speaker and he tells his story like he's reliving the incident... which he is. Adam pauses to see how she's taking this.

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'Goodness!', says Yuming. 'It's like you're describing another world. I've never been to Germany, or at least... I don't think I have... ', she pauses for a minute and breaks eye contact with Adam, looking off into the distance before continuing, '... I can't remember how I learned how to read - not originally I mean - I suppose I do know how I learned to read English.'

She looks back at Adam with her dark, mysterious, almond-shaped eyes and says, 'I envy you Mr. Trooper. To know so much about yourself must be a wonderful thing. I hope you will tell me more of your stories in the future; I find them fascinating.'

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'Goodness!', says Yuming. 'It's like you're describing another world. I've never been to Germany, or at least... I don't think I have... ', she pauses for a minute and breaks eye contact with Adam, looking off into the distance before continuing, '... I can't remember how I learned how to read - not originally I mean - I suppose I do know how I learned to read English.'

She looks back at Adam with her dark, mysterious, almond-shaped eyes and says, 'I envy you Mr. Trooper. To know so much about yourself must be a wonderful thing. I hope you will tell me more of your stories in the future; I find them fascinating.'

Adam nods in sympathy when Yuming says she doesn't know herself and when she's finished he says,

"Being invited to talk about yourself by the most beautiful woman in the world? I'd love to. But if you want to talk about what you know or believe about how you came to be where you are, you'll find I'm a good listener."

"I'm good at all sorts of things, I've had a lot of practice." ::sly

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,,

"Tell me Deacon" The Ophidian broods, having suddenly appeared from right behind the sherriff. "How can one ssurpass oneself?"

He is carrying what looks to be a large musty tome bound in old cracked leather and gold leafing flaking from the edges. A silk place marker extends, ending in a fork like a serpent's tongue.

Getting his face very close to Deacon's (though with only a small patch of black scales visible around his dark glasses) he whispers, "I've got my Eye on you..."

If the rotund Sheriff were ever a confident man, you would never know it by the sight of him. He stood before the Ophidian, his eyes open wide in shock, his face white and wet as sweat began to pour unconditionally from his face.

"I wouldn't...I don-" He couldn't finish, his voice just trails off.

((Academics role please, to indicate what information he might have dug up relevant to the case at hand in his venerable grimoire...))

The Ophidians research leads him along the lines of various creatures that have been rumored throughout the tales of man. Judging by the randomness of the attack and the scene he would suspect a beast, but the savage attack and the grotesque nature of what was taken and perhaps eaten lends his mind to other, infinitely more horrible abominations. The walking dead have been rumored to do this...

Odo considered Deacon's apology for a moment, and just as he was about to say something the Ophidian quite suddenly appears. He feels his anger soften for this poor man, so obviously ignorant and out of his element and suddenly introduced to such unique individuals. That, and Odo hopes never to to be the subject of such...attention from the Ophidian.

He drops his leather satchel on the table and shakes the mans still outstretched hand.

"Think nothing of it Deacon, I've experienced worse racism before and I trust I'll come face to face with it again. Good of you to apologize. Now that we've put it past us, I think we can get to work, yes?"

Deacon turns from the Ophidian and stares stupidly at Odo as he accepts the poor mans apology. Odo's handshake sort of stirs him from his confusion, though Deacon immediatly moves out of the room apparently to collect his wits. His shirt is soaking wet under the arms and around the neck line.

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Having disposed of Deacon's irritatingly gauche presence, The Ophidian sits at the table and places his musty tome down with a dusty thud.

"I believe I know what we may be up againsst." he began, looking at those gathered round the table and speaking in a hushed conspiratorial whisper.

"Chinese folklore tells of a certain kind of walking dead, known as the Jiang Shi. Similar in some ways to the Eastern European vampir, the Jiang Shi is an animated corpse that must consssume the chi of the living to perpetuate it's undead existence. I suspect, Mr. Odo, that your autopsy will reveal, among other things,the adrenal glands missing...known to be a powerful receptacle for living chi. Lending further support to my hypothesis, Jiang Shi were known to travel by hopping, ssometimes quite high into the air."

Opening his text to a placemarker, the Ophidian points to an illustration showing a rotting corpselike figure with white flowing hair and long black claws. It's arms are stiffened straight by rigor mortis and its skin seems to be covered in patches of green mold.

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Adam nods in sympathy when Yuming says she doesn't know herself and when she's finished he says,

"Being invited to talk about yourself by the most beautiful woman in the world? I'd love to. But if you want to talk about what you know or believe about how you came to be where you are, you'll find I'm a good listener."

"I'm good at all sorts of things, I've had a lot of practice." ::sly

Yumming smiles slightly as if she barely heard his last comment. Nodding slightly at the quickly filling room with Odo and the Ophidian, she replies.

"Perhaps we could head in there."

As she moves into the doorway of the dining room, she leans her Aphrodite-like physique against the door frame.

"What are we talking about? Did I hear you remark on the walking dead?"

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Moving (regretfully) away from Yuming, Adam looks at the pictures and comments,

"Interesting if true. Really odd for it to just show up like this. This seems somewhat... public for something old and skilled at staying in the shadows, so we'd presumably be dealing with a young one."

"How are such creatures created? And how do they die?"

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Moving (regretfully) away from Yuming, Adam looks at the pictures and comments,

"Interesting if true. Really odd for it to just show up like this. This seems somewhat... public for something old and skilled at staying in the shadows, so we'd presumably be dealing with a young one."

"How are such creatures created? And how do they die?"

"Mr. Green raises some good questions. I will admit my limitations in the knowledge of creatures such as this. I bow to you in these matters, Ophidian. Do you know anything of their preferred habitats or refuges? I suppose it would be too much to hope for that they have very predictable behavior..."

Odo stands and leans over the table, carefully observing the picture in the Ophidian's book. He speaks, half to himself as he studies the picture.

"I did notice the seeming absence of glands in the body of the victim. The autopsy will reveal a great deal in the morning I hope. For now we have precious few leads and this seems to be the best one."

He sits back down, taking a large bite of his meal and chews thoughtfully, flicking through the pages of his small notebook.

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Yumming still leaning in the doorway tosses her head to the side causing her hairs to cascade around her head and over one shoulder.

"You're not really considering this are you? Your best lead so far, is that monster from some book committed this crime?"

Her lack of belief quite evident in her remark.

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Yumming still leaning in the doorway tosses her head to the side causing her hairs to cascade around her head and over one shoulder.

"You're not really considering this are you? Your best lead so far, is that monster from some book committed this crime?"

Her lack of belief quite evident in her remark.

Odo looks up from his notebook, staring across the table at the wall with lidded eyes. He stands and turns towards the beautiful woman.

"Yumming. You have yet to see the crime scene, and what you know is based upon whatever briefing you might have received and the limited amount of information you've heard here. Ourselves, we've been in this town for less than a nights time and have precious little to work with. So, yes, this is our best lead at this late hour. For now. Of course, since you're an equal member of this organization just like the rest of us, any ideas or theories that you might have will be treated with the same merit and consideration. Please let us know if you have any thoughts. This is clearly a matter concerning events most bizarre, and I think it dangerous to ignore any lead no matter how incredible it may seem."

He turns away from the woman and takes the opportunity to refill his plate. Despite the generous portion he had served himself before, the food disappeared quickly.

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