Monday, January 24, 2011
As Leah is composing herself to head out, Clark asks her what she needs. She doesn’t fully explain, just indicating that she got some bad news about a friend and needs to go out and handle it. He asks if he can help, and she says no; he tells her to call if she needs anything, and he takes his leave. Leah gets in her car and heads to 811 Wilshire Boulevard. When she arrives, she finds Bex sitting on the curb. She has a black eye and looks a little shaken, but otherwise appears mostly intact. She does appear to be staggering as if drunk, however, and smells faintly of vomit. She doesn’t have any camera equipment with her, however. When Leah pulls over, Bex gets into the car, and as they move toward Good Samaritan Hospital, Bex launches into her tale. She was hired by one Dr. Nikodem Ząbek, DDS, to take new photographs for his website. Everything seemed normal enough, but as the evening drew to a close, she ended up on the elevator, which apparently went down to some basement, although it had windows showing another cityscape — New York, she thinks. Honestly, most of the details are fuzzy in her mind. She emerged into this basement to find some manner of party in progress. She doesn’t recall eating or drinking anything, but feels off, almost as if drunk. She was eventually ejected out the back door, and here she is.
Meanwhile, Jones heads over to Kevin’s place to pick him up, having informed him of Leah’s call. On the way, Jones receives a text from Detective Willett, indicating his task from earlier has been handled. Once Jones arrives, he and Kevin discuss matters, then begin heading over to 811 Wilshire. On the way, after some back-and-forth calls with Leah, learning that she is taking Bex to the hospital, Jones calls Willett to let her know the situation. She says she will meet them at 811 Wilshire, and she asks to talk to Leah. Jones gives her Leah’s number.
Leah receives a phone call from Detective Willett, and after introductions, she asks for a short accounting of Bex’s situation. Willett indicates that when they get to the hospital, tell the truth. The police will be called to take a statement. It will take a couple of hours to chug through the system, but once they input 811 Wilshire into the system, Willett’s name will show up and she will likely be called to investigate. Currently, she’s heading over to meet Jones and Kevin at 811 Wilshire.
As Leah helps Bex get situated at the hospital — successfully using the Fitzroy name to get Bex seen faster — Jones, Kevin, and Willett meet up at the high-rise at 811 Wilshire and begin investigating. Willett notes to Jones that her comrade Detective Daniels is much more fanatical about suppression of the supernatural than she, and so when he has a moment alone with Jones, he’ll likely ask about the partially melted state of the body they dumped. Jones probably wants to answer accordingly. They’ll also meet tomorrow to discuss the particulars of Daniels’ plane trip. In the alley around back, they find the scene they saw previously — a loading dock, a single door with a camera above it, and a roll-off dumpster. The group gets close enough to determine that the trash can smells atrocious, enough that they almost gag. Clearly, someone approached earlier and did gag, as a puddle of vomit is nearby. A cursory examination reveals nothing untoward, although it is noteworthy. Satisfied, they start moving around to the front of the building to go inside. On the way, Kevin muses that the building might be alive, and maybe that back alley is its anus?
Entering the building makes everyone distinctly uncomfortable, as Kevin’s “living building” theory colors everyone’s perceptions. The lobby has an open ceiling to the mezzanine on the second story. The walls and floor are composed of russet marble, with white columns regularly spaced throughout. The inside is warm and a trifle humid, and the air pressure changes when the elevators open and close, distressingly like someone breathing in and out. There are several businesses around — a coffee shop, a dentist’s office, a restaurant, an expensive boutique with a weird symbol on the sign that resembles a tooth. A few people approach but seem relatively normal as Jones, Kevin, and Willett wander around the shops a little but almost don’t purchase anything. Kevin purchases and consumes a coffee with no apparent ill effects.
The mezzanine is a cream color with a swirl pattern, and appears to have a bath product place, a pizzeria, a specialty candy shop, and a gourmet grocer. After poking about, the group heads up the stairs again, making sure to always avoid the elevator. The floor above that is closed, but holds a law firm, Sanders, Estrada, & Holcomb. They’ll likely be open during normal business hours. Above that, there is a cage on the stairs with a sign indicating that they are currently closed for maintenance.
The group decides to take that as a sign that explorations are finished. Willett takes her leave to work on paperwork until she gets a call, while Jones and Kevin both head home. Once home, Kevin receives a call from Mabel, asking if she can bring a friend to his cookout this weekend — it’s Jane, as they apparently spoke earlier in the evening. As he is about to sleep for the night, Jones receives a call from Jane, asking if he’s still awake and would care to meet. Despite being tired from the very long day, he invites her over and she spends the night, with the knowledge that he has an errand to run tomorrow afternoon. They talk a little about her discussion with Mabel, and Jane notes she didn’t know she had other options of paths to take. Although it’s pretty clear when speaking with someone literally able to fly.
At the hospital, things proceed largely as Willett suggested. An hour or so after Bex is shown to a room, a couple of officers arrive and take her statement. An hour or so after that, Willett arrives and similarly takes Bex’s statement as well as Leah’s testimony and conjecture. She says she’ll be in touch.
Kevin sleeps fitfully before finally heading outside to sleep on the deck. He sleeps much more comfortably.
Leah stays with Bex until she is discharged the next morning, apparently in good health — apart from the bruises, she didn’t appear to be drugged and doesn’t seem to have any other health issues. Leah takes Bex back to her house.
Jane and Jones awaken late and spend the morning together before he receives confirmation from Willett about their meeting time. He gets ready, and as they say their goodbyes, they get distracted and end up back in Jones’ bed.
Jones arrives on time to the meeting with Detectives Daniels and Willett, and Daniels explains his request. Daniels believes a Mexican immigrant was involved in several murders, but this could not be proven. All the victims died by what appeared to be accidents, but his quarry was recorded as being nearby, and word on the street is that he eats the souls of the dead. His quarry recently fled back across the border to Tijuana, possibly due to some recent ICE raids in L.A. Daniels wants to track him down and bring him to justice without the troublesome questions that might arise if he were known to legally leave the country around that time, so he wants a pilot to fly him across the border by seaplane. He has arrangements for local police officers to take him the rest of the way and help him catch this criminal. They should be there and back in one night. In theory, Jones shouldn’t really be involved, although if complications arise, he’s glad to have a former military man with him. He notes that Jones has to rent the plane as they usually only rent them out to licensed pilots, but Daniels is willing to reimburse him. They agree to this errand in two weeks, on the evening of Monday, February 7. The detectives part company with Jones, although at his request, Willett will let him know when the paperwork is cleared and she is going to investigate 811 Wilshire.
In the early evening, Jones gets a text letting him know that things are underway within the next couple of hours. He contacts Kevin and Leah, and they all agree to meet in the lobby at 811 Wilshire.