Sergeant Titus Greycastle and his patrol discover a murdered galdor. Which is how he and Rhys Valentin of the Investigative first meet.
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A large forest in Central Anaxas, the once-thriving mostly human town of Dorhaven
is recovering from a bombing in 2719 at its edge.
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The Dives Uptown boundary | 20th Achtus 2713
Sargeant Titus Jerome Greycastle stood at the mouth of an alley. There where on the very edge of Uptown, just before it crossed into the Dives. The very edge of the Seventens area of influence, he spat on the thin layer of grey slush that had been snow and stuffed his hands further into the pockets of his green uniform greatcoat and scowled. There was little to distinguish this alley from any other in the city, nothing. Accept for the brutalized corpse of a galdor gentleman about halfway down it. Titus and his squad had discovered it on their routine petrol, a thin layer of dirty snow, more red than white, covered the body. However it did not hide the fact the man's head had been smashed in.
"Like a spoon to boiled egg sarge."
Constable Lester said as he stood beside Titus, who turned his scowl on him.
"Have some respect constable, that's someone's son."
Suitably chastised Lester stomped his feet trying to get some warmth into them. Titus didn't mean to be harsh, but it was cold, he was tired and cold. His squad should have been back at the station house and off duty an hour since. Titus relented and pulled two shill from his coat and handed them to Lester.
"Here take this and head over to the bakery on the corner. Get us a couple fresh loaves and some tea if you can."
A grin twitched the edge of Titus' heavy moustache in a half-smile as he nodded.
"Oh and take Damson with you, Damson off you go lad."
Constable Lester and Ensign Damson hurried off through the lamp-lit street.
It was just past dawn on a cold Achtus day and Titus Greycastle could think of several places he would much rather be.
He pulled his pocket watch from the pouch on his belt and scowled at it, it was a morning for scowls it seemed.
"Where the clocks and bloody chimes is Recruit Copesec?"
He had sent Copesec to get someone from Investigative about half an hour ago.
"If he's got himself bloody lost again I'll have up on a charge."
It was at that point that the young Recruit in question came hurrying into sight an equally young stranger in tow.
Sergeant Titus Jerome Greycastle's scowl had just found a new target.
"Copesec, you have returned to us at last. Please tell the gentleman with you is from the Investigative Division?"
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not quite Uptown
too early on the 20th of Achtus, 2713
Constable Rhys Valentin was, at this stage of his young life, what one might have ventured to call a morning person. Up before the sun, eager to jog his way from his Kingsway Market flat to the Seventen Headquarters before most of his fellow officers in the Achtus chill. He had just made his way to his desk to get a head start on yesterday's paperwork and arrest records, steaming cup of tea in one hand, when he heard his name on the lips of Captain Haines.
One of the Investigative Division's finest scryers, Constable Klemson, appeared next to the Captain, and it was only a quick matter of conveying a location and a mentioning that the body was, in fact, a galdor found just outside of Uptown, to send the tall blond back out into the early morning chill again—tea left to grow cold and papers left to continue to stack higher for some other long night before the end of the season to process.
Donning the dark grey overcoat of his division on top of the freshly pressed green of any other Seventen, Rhys grabbed one of the many rickshaw drivers waiting officers in need of transportation and made his way through the pre-dawn darkness and lamplit finery of the Royal Palace complex, passing all the various legal buildings and political offices still closed up for at least another full house of the day.
Stopping a good block or two from the address he was given to meet the Patrol officers waiting for him, the Constable took his time walking the street toward where the body had been found, glancing around the shift in architecture and peering into frosted windows, looking for clues. Instead, he found a lone Constable standing on one of the cross street corners, looking distraught and impatient and disturbed all at the same time. Catching the glint of flame off the other man's single snap, Rhys picked up his pace to approach Recruit,
"Officer." He greeted, following his gaze downward to the smears of blood on the sidewalk, to the handprints in faded brown near one of the many manhole covers that led under the city, "Ah. Well, good morning, then. Inspector Valentin at your service. I see you've found something."
"Indeed. Mister—er—Recruit Copesec, Inspector." There was a nod and another nod as the two men exchanged their names in greeting before the tall blond bent into a squat and fished both a pen and notebook from the inner pocket of his coat. The walk had left his cheeks red, nose bright, and fingers aching without gloves, but he squinted at the serial number on the square metal door, making sure to write it down, scribbling his observations while gathering his field.
"You haven't cast, have you?"
"N-no, sir." The recruit blinked as if the question suddenly dawned on him, "Oh gods, I could have—"
"It's fine. Were you just going to stand around and hope someone came looking for you?" Rhys grinned wryly, hardly that much older than the other galdor, the shorter Recruit with dark hair perhaps one of the first to graduate from Numbrey's now more accelerated program. It wasn't as though the Constable really wanted to judge such a decision—two years had felt like a long damn time when he'd been in the middle of them—and yet now that he was on active duty, it really didn't feel like training had been long enough.
The other man stared, stuttering some excuse while color rose to his fair face. Rhys laughed and shook his head, shrugging before his blue eyes traveled back over the blood smeared over cement and cobblestones before he began to speak a few quick, confident words of Monite, weaving a very procedural and well-practiced analysis of the evidence at his feet while his breath puffed in the air and his etheric field seemed to come into focus sharply against the street. Filtering into his thoughts came the monic stream of information: only a few hours old, it seemed.
"Fresh enough. May be related to our murder." He murmured, tucking his pen and notebook away and instead pulling a piece of colored cloth from a different pocket, setting it down on the curb to make sure he came back to it. Standing and breathing into his hands while his field coalesced back around him, laden more with Perceptive mona than the Quantitative he'd just addressed, Rhys cocked his well-carved chin up the street as if he already knew where he was going, "Alright, Copesec, let's get me to your Sergeant, shall we?"
The pair turned up an alley after just another few moments up the street. The Constable heard the voices and felt the brush of fields before he saw any of his uniformed colleagues, not even rushing to join them even though he was well aware that by the time he did arrive into their company, he was far later than he probably should have been. Despite being accompanied by the Patrol Recruit, the young Valentin was met with a scowl,
"Yes. I'm Constable Rhys Valentin, Sergeant. I apologize for my tardiness, sir. It seems your Recruit stumbled onto some evidence back there—" The tall blond hooked a thumb over his shoulder for emphasis, glancing not at two of the other officers standing around as if he had any authority to order them to go look. Well, technically he did, but in the presence of a superior rank, Rhys considered it poor form to be that much of an ersehole so early into the investigation, "—so what have we got here?"
Blue eyes flashed toward the mangled corpse in the alley,
"Ah, shit. That's a clocking galdor?" Any guise of professionalism slipped away from the Constable's appearance when he expressed his surprise, much to the amusement of the other Seventen present. It wasn't as if he'd ever cared, honestly, and it wasn't as though officers were known for their clean mouths so much as their tidy uniforms, right?
"Terribly close to Uptown, but, honestly." Rhys hissed, exhaling a cloud of breath before he waited to be allowed to inspect the body more thoroughly, "The damn snow's not doing us any favors—when did you find the body, officers?"
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The Dives Uptown boundary | 20th Achtus 2713
At the blond Constables words Titus' heavy black brows rose and he regarded Copesec.
"Good work Recruit, we shall go have a look once Constable Valentin has had a chance to look over the scene of the crime. In the meantime, I think there's some tea and bread left help yourself."
He nodded towards the cart they had comanderd for the time before turning back to Rhys.
"Indeed, a galdor. There wasn't much left on him, broken end of a watch chain hooked in his waistcoat. He's also missing two fingers on his left hand which makes me think he must have been wearing rings. He did however have these."
Titus held out a match book with 'The Paper Tiger' written on it, and the other was an address in the Painted Ladies scrawled on it.
"I believe the address is a brothel, though I could be wrong."
Turning his scowl in the direction of The Dives, Titus stuffed his hands deeper into his great coat pockets. Looking back to Rhys it eased someone, this Constable was here to help after all.
"I could hazard a guess, regarding what I believe happened. If you would indulge me Constable?"
He'd been a Seventen long enough to have read a situation like this. While he didn't have the training of an investigator. However you got a feel for a crime scene, over time and this looked like a robbery gone awry.
"I have not had anyone cast as yet. I thought we should leave that to you."
He motioned with a gloved hand toward the corpse in 'after you' gesture.
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