Being Arrested

Sleep…is a blessed thing. Sleep interrupted? Less so. Will hadn't actually intended to sleep, after Night rushed out on some kind of…something or other. But Night also hadn't been physically and psychologically violated (at least non-consentually. Night is insane.)
3:10 PM Will
And the fact that Will's hand still aches is… not a good sign. In fact, it seems to be throbbing. :/
A BAM BAM BAM of indiscreet knocking on Will's door isn't helping matters. According to her desk clock, she's been out…17 minutes. According to her biological clock? She's been awake for 17 years.
3:13 PM Will
So… someone fixed her door? She vaguely remembered it being broken down by Night. Grumpy-pants calls out, "Who the hell is it?" and tries to get up.
FLOP. Apparently not.
3:14 PM
"This is the police! ON THE GROUND! ON THE GROUND!"
3:15 PM Will
…Good thing she's fully dressed! Or… Will looks down. Mmm…no. Mostly dressed != fully dressed. But at least the important bits are covered.
Well, on the upside? Having three assault rifles put in your face would definitely warrant a change of pants in most circumstances.
3:20 PM
Some sort of combat armor under long trenchcoats with the police coat of arms on the breast - not your average patrol officers…and not exactly your average police, either. These guys are well equipped. And have no sense of humor.
3:21 PM Will
Wait…what?? She puts her hands up, but can't stretch the burnt one fully. "Um…ken I help ya fellas?"
3:22 PM Greenling has joined the channel.
"Wilhemina Lawrenson, British citizen…I'm hereby taking you into custody. This can be protective custody, or a 24-hour holding while we settle the matter of your formal arrest with the consulate. That is, entirely, your choice." Smooth, calm, and utterly without compassion.
As she looks up, she sees a tall man with horn-rimmed sunglasses perched on his nose. An immaculate suit of charcoal gray, and a trenchcoat to match the rest.
3:25 PM Greenling is now known as Sasha
3:27 PM Will
"Um… I ent done nothin' wrong, boyos. But yeh, if'n it'll get whatever's goin' on cleared up faster. Jes' let me change so's I not be goin' out in me pants an' bra, hey?"
There is a faint, humorless smile. "I'll do my best to respect your modesty, then." He gestures with a hand and the three heavies move aside - two on either side of the door, one to start checking out Will's tech.
3:31 PM
"Look, but don't touch, Zhang. We must respect the crown, after all." The dryness of the sarcasm still lacks that essential 'humor' bit.
3:32 PM Will
"Oi, less ye 'ave a…" She struggles with the Chinese word for a second. "Warrant f'r 'at, ye don't get ta touch it, savvy?" She picks up a pair of jeans and a tee shirt from the floor and heads to the bathroom. "Or d'ye wanta check an' make sure I won't be goin' out 'is way?" She quirks an eyebrow at th Suit.
3:33 PM
He leans against the door. "I can assure you, this is simply professional courtesy. I DO have the authority to detain you more forcefully, under the circumstances. So try not to climb out of any bathroom windows?"
3:42 PM Will
"Ent gonta. Sides, ya really t'ink I'm small enough ta fit out 'at t'ing?" Yeah, she's slender, but she's also tall. The window in the loo is only about 2' wide by 1' tall. She closes the door a bit harder than necessary, and then turns on the water. Part of it *is* to wash her face and get woken up a little more — and get a drink — but part of it is to mask the sound of typing on her COMP. She uses it to connect to a remote ser
3:42 PM
ver and mask her IP, then creates a new throwaway email account to send an email out from. [Something's going down. I don't know what, but X is involved. The authorities are here to "question" me. Don't know what's going to happen, or where this will take us, but I wanted to let someone know. W] The recipient list includes only Night's email, and she hits SEND. A second, shorter message: [Watch my stuff, and you have my permission
3:42 PM
to attack anyone who comes near.] This is sent to Bean Sidhe. A few mintues later, fully dressed and looking at least a little more awake, she cmes back out, the COMP powered off. "Right, let's be gettin' 'is over wit', hey?"
His humorless expression doesn't change in the slightest. "You are far more reasonable than we would have expected. I must have missed something." Leaving that to lie, he gestures towards the door. "The car's waiting."
3:47 PM Will
"What'd ye 'spect? Me ta fight ye tooth an' nail? I ent done nothin' wrong, an' fightin'll only make me seem guilty, 'specially t' a sodder like ye." She leads the way, although she has no idea where the car *is*. "An' bein' 'ere f'r personal reasons is important t' me. I ent gonna jeopardise 'at just 'cause ye t'ink I done somethin' wrong."
"Eminently rational, the use of 'sodder' aside. I find that mildly hurtful, considering how reasonable I'm being." He leads her to a large 4-door - black, naturally. The back is spacious, leather, and doesn't have interior door handles. There's a privacy screen - some sort of modified classy transport.
3:55 PM Will
"Ye break down me door, barge in wit'out so much as a whoopsy daisy 'r a how-do, an' t'ink 'at ye're bein' reasonable?" She hunkers down to slide in. These things were meant for *much* shorter people…
starts squirming a little. "Right, wot's takin' ye so long?" Hopefully they hadn't gone back up to check on her apartment… B should have woken up by now, and as much as Will wants her stuff protected, she definitely doesn't want the daemon to cause more trouble for her. :|
"Well, yes. I could have shot you." …was that supposed to be a joke? "In any case, the door was already broken. Have you had some sort of…incident, Miss?"
4:22 PM
The car starts to move…the tint makes it damn near impossible to know where she's going, and any devices? No signal, as soon as the door shuts
4:24 PM Will
"Me friend came by last night, an' I were havin'… issues gettin' ta th' door 'at resulted in 'is." She holds up the sloppily-rebandaged hand. "She were worried, an' din't 'ave 'er a key. So she did wot she 'ad ta."
"I would suggest takeout in the future. Cooking involves the use of several dangerous objects - best left to professionals, no?" …was that a joke, too? "Was one of these friends Hershey's Xiao?"
4:30 PM Will
shakes her head. "Ent seen Xiao in a coupla days, t'be frank. …Is 'is whole t'ing about wot I sawed on th' news about 'er?"
"Somewhat. We have reason to suspect that she is directly involved in some troubling techincal work. Which, by the way, you had a very impressive setup for….what was it? An analyst, according to your visa?"
4:35 PM Will
nods. "Tech supp't f'r Paradise. An'… I play, a bit."
"Naturally. And, if I recall, you had some interest initially in joining a 'tribe' or 'guild'. Whatever they are called…the Khakkam?"
4:44 PM Will
"They was suggested ta me as one o' th' more popular tribes in th' game. I'd been playin'… soloish, but needed some help wit' somethin' an' thought they'd be able ta help out." Will shrugs. "Fat lot o' good it done me. They din't want ta take me."
"Hmm. Fascinating. And you've had some previous developmental access to this game as well, haven't you?" The car pulls in somewhere.
5:10 PM Will
nods. If they already know that much, they probably already also know about Freyja. "Yeh. Me 'n' me girlfriend was in on the low levels o' the project design. She's a polyglot, an' I handled th' programmin' elements to a degree. We worked out a lot o' localisation buggies f'r Paradise."
"Indeed. Nothing surprising, so far. Thank you. Shall we continue this discussion in my borrowed offices?"
5:12 PM Will
"Shore. I'm 'ere on yer dime."
"Well said. I think I like you, Wilhemina. May I call you that?"
5:17 PM Will
"Prefer Will, but whatev." She shrugs.
"Yes, I'd say that it suits you better." He steps out of the car and lets her out. From the parking garage, it's just one easy elevator ride to the top floor offices. There's no name on his door, no placard on his bare desk. "Now…let's continue from where it gets interesting. When was the first time you saw a real demon?"
5:22 PM Will
"…" The question most assuredly takes Will off her guard. How to answer that… "Um… prolly back when I were still in Sweden, when I got th' idea t' program 'em from seein' ones given t' th' Summoner character types. I figgered if I were goin' ta play, 'at would be th' way I'd wanta go and best fit. I mean, 'twixt me and Frey… Fredericka, we c'ld cook up some right int'restin' ideas f'r em."
5:23 PM
As far as finding out they *weren't* actually constructs of code… well, that's a different story, but she keeps her mouth shut on that point.
He sighs, shaking his head. "Will…we were getting along so well." He reaches into his coat and sets a handgun on the table. "This is a civil meeting, or at least it can be. So…let's set aside the 'bullshit' as you might put it?"
5:27 PM Will
's eyes narrow at the emergence of the gun, and she slides her burnt hand over to her COMP, carefully keeping both below the level of the table. If that man picked up the gun, she would need to summon Hati for help. "Ye tryin' ta suggest they's real? That's bloody daft o' ye. Methinks ye been playin' th' game too long, mayhap."
"The first time /I/ saw a demon was over a decade ago. Few people remember the exact details, but I distinctly remember being trapped in a city in Japan…while some truly horrible things crept in the shadows. At least, that's what the rumors said - that demons were real."

5:36 PM Will
"I been hearin' bits an' pieces o' 'at meself, 'specially since th' Diver cases started bein' bandied about." The hacker looks down briefly, then back up, meeting her arrester's gaze. "But I also got tol' when I was little 'at Santa Claus an' th' bloody Easter Bunny was real. I don't see no bloody jolly fat man flyin' 'round on Christmas, nor a giant pink-an'-purple bunny bouncin' round in spring."
He lets out another long sigh. "You're either stupid or intentionally obtuse. Which is it?" It doesn't exactly have bite - he's stating facts in the same dry tone. "People are going to die based on your answer."
5:47 PM Will
ACTION types a quick command into her COMP based on the numb feeling in her fingers, hopefully getting the message entered correctly. [Hati. Stand by and wait for my cue, please, dear.] Once the message is sent, Will sits forward in her chair. "People die ever' day, sirrah. An' me answer one way 'r th' other ent gonta change 'at simple fact o' life. Are we gonta get ta some real questions some time soon, 'r you gonta ask me next wh
(Cut off as ask me next wh-)
6:02 PM Will
what my religion be? I ken tell ya now; I'm agnostical, although on paper I'm legally Catholic like th' rest o' Britain."
He shakes his head. "So…perhaps a third, unlikely option. Willfully ignorant - tell me, Will. Where is Fredericka Tamm?"
6:06 PM Will
"…" Will takes a deep breath before even starting to compose her response, and the pain of the question is probably evident in her eyes. "…Not dead. Not a suicide, I ken tell ye 'at much. An' I don't say 'at 'cuz she's me heart, but 'cuz it ent somethin' she'd do. Other'n 'at, I honestly don't know. If ye ken a bloody t'ing about 'er whereabouts, I'd appreciate the knowin'."
"I suspect that she was kidnapped. She's probably being used in some sort of horrible technomagical ritual that will take her life, if not her sanity." Completely calm, level, and matter-of-fact. "Do YOU 'ken' anything about it?"
6:25 PM Will
Right. At this point, Will's blood is up. "If ye're suggestin' even half o' what I t'ink ye are at this point, boyo, ye better be back-steppin'." Her good hand clenches into a fist, and she's *this close* to standing up and walking out… or lashing out.
"I'm not suggesting anything. Considering that the official story is that she's either dead or just staged her own death to get 'away from you'…I think I'm being downright respectful. Please. Calm down."
6:37 PM
He sighs. "I'm actually interested in helping her. Something's happening, and she lies at the heart of it. Interpol…the local police…none of them have the perspective to understand."
6:43 PM Will
relaxes visibly. "Sorry. Aft' some 't'ings 'at 'appened last night, I'm a li'l on edge." She doesn't elaborate, shouldn't even say *that* much to the feds, but has to say *something*. " 'M startin' ta get th' idea we got started all arse-back'rds. Ken we start 'is whole t'ing again?" The fist relaxes too, and she holds out that hand to the man. Little red crescents canbe seen in her palm.
He nods. "You can call me Gray. I work for an organization technically aligned with the Japanese private police forces. However, our reach has certain international jurisdictions. Due to some of the technology involved, I've been invited to observe and question - but not to overstep my bounds. An…unpleasant position. So I need your cooperation. I could shoot you, but…let's just say I'd get a stern talking to." Ah. Undestatement.
7:01 PM Will
"Gettin' someone's cooperation gen'r'ly works better if'n ya don't come inta their flat guns blazin', Gray." She gives him a half-smile. Kinda rare, and it's gone pretty quickly.
He nods. "To be fair, I didn't know whether you were a mad terrorist or someone in danger. I decided it would be better to…overdress for the occasion?" He shrugged. "I haven't seen much in these ten years, but the aftermath…it's pretty horrific."
7:08 PM Will
"Ent no terrorist, an' f'r what it be worth I don't t'ink Xiao is, neither. 'At's neither here nor there, though. An' if'n ya really *do* see daemons, I'm sure ye ken understand why I'm a bit wary o' jes' simply tellin' others 'at. T'be fair, up till last night I really *did* t'ink they was jes' bits o' AI, what came from what me an' Freyja made."
He sighs, then nods. "So you're not the source. Do you know who is? I…advised them that Xiao's probably a victim, but someone high up believe she's it."
7:16 PM Will
thinks, sitting back. "Not 'zackly sure what 'source' ye be referring' ta. O' th' weirdness? Not a clue. O' th' code? Again, nada. Although I got me an idea o' where ye might look. Has ta do wit' a little pixie named Danu, who — if she's anyt'ing like me pair — 'angs around a lass outta a sense of obligation 'r somethin', or maybe from actual friendship."

"Contracted demons. I mean…I'd heard stories, but demons are…not like us. All of the reports say they'll eventually betray." He blows out a long whistle. "So…Danu the pixue. Where can I find it?"
She sure hopes she's picked the right person to trust. "Lass named Annabell Nolan's who she 'angs around. Danu, I mean. And regardin' th' contracts, all's I ken is I managed t' figger 'at out last night, wit' a friend's help. If they eventually be betrayin', they ent much diff'rent than us humans in gen'ral, are they?"
This time, he actually smiles. The expression looks wrong on his face. "Absol-" His phone goes off.
7:26 PM
He raises a finger as he answers. "Gray….what?!" He's up like a shot. "I need you to stay safe for a while. Sorry, but that means a cell. You'll have good company, though." He very conspicuously checks his pistol before holstering it. He intends to USE it, possibly.
7:26 PM
He calls out and a couple of policemen answer. "Put her in the same holding cell as Xiao." "But-" "Do it."
7:27 PM Will
"Ken ye fill me in on wot jes' 'appened a'tall afore I get put away?"
"Sure, that's fair. The Hospital just went radio silent. Every alarm went up, then shut off. And the officers inside aren't responding. Have a nice day, Will." And like that, he's off. LEaving her with two gloring cops.
7:29 PM Will
…Shit. "Ken I get me phone call now, mebbe?" she says sweetly to the two cops.
They glance at each other. Then at her. "Sure," one answers."
7:30 PM
She is taken to a landline phone. Sweet god, they still exist.
7:40 PM Will
Naturally. Landline phones will never die. >:3 She picks it up and thinks for a moment, then dials. When Annabell's voicemail picks up, Will speaks plainly, and in English. " 'S me, B. Listen. Somethin' serious is goin' down. Get yer friend and meet up wit' th' others… if ye get 'is. I hope ye're a'ight. Send me a text 'r somethin' when ya can t' let me know, luv." With a breath, she hangs up. Hopefully, Annabell wasn't actually
7:40 PM
*at* the hospital, but she spent so little time elsewhere as far as Will knew. The hacker turns to the guys. " 'Ere. Done. Take me away, boyos. An' no kinky stuff." She gives one a wink.
They don't wink back. In fact, the cell door might've slammed a little in her face.
7:43 PM
…in the back corner is a mess of hair covering the face of a woman in a white leather catsuit.
7:44 PM Will
goes to the figure. "Xiao, luv? 'At ye?" She kneels down to try and get level with the other woman.

"It's certainly a physical structure acknowledgeable as one Xiao. Xiao, however, is a common name possessed by millions of people. You could many any of millions of Xiaos and would still be correct. I could calculate the ODDS of it, if I just had all the-…oh. Wrong question. Yes, I think I'm the Xiao you want…" Her voice is utterly calm and friendly.
7:47 PM
Her face is still hidden.
Her face is still hidden.
7:51 PM Will
"Welp. Ye're definitely th' right Xiao. Prolly th' only one on th' face o' th' good earth ken disseminate like 'at." Gently, she reaches out to push Xiao's hair back from her face.
She catches Will's hand in a grip that could crack bone with just a little more force. '…a…are you really Will? Are you really? I've…seen a lot of things today. Things that don't make any sense. The whole world loves you, and that's just not FAIR, is it? Is it, Will?! You aren't even here, are you?"
7:53 PM
"…you're in the world."
7:55 PM Will
"I'm really Will. I'm really here, luv. An' th' whole world *don't* love me, as presented by th' fact I'm in here wit' you." The hacker pushes aside the pain of Xiao's grip. Clearly, Xiao needs to reassurance, although the pain does make Will grimace a touch. "Wot is it ye've seen?"
"…everything. The king shall rise…no, has risen. And there's two. And they will kill each other and all the world is gonna die and…and…and…I'm an /admin/. It's my job to stop it. Andandand I did it, didn't I? They jumped, so it's over, since I did it? Otherwise, they're just deaddeaddead…" She lets go, turning away. "But Will would know. You aren't Will…"
8:01 PM Will
"Who jumped?"
"The king. The doctors. Your heart."
8:02 PM
"You aren't Will. Will would know."
8:05 PM Will
"Keep t'inkin' I ent me 's much as ye want, it ent gonta change jack. I know more now 'n I did yesterday, an' not figuratively speakin'. I got th' hand ta prove it. An' th' hurt."
8:09 PM Greenling is now known as Shousei_Yamazaki
"…I'm sorry. I was really starting to like Will. It isn't very nice to pretend. I'm….I'm not okay, y'know…." She starts to shake.
8:17 PM Will
takes a solid grip on both of Xiao's shoulders and turns the other girl to face her fully, wincing as she presses her burned hand against Xiao. "None o' us are, in th' end, luv." She tries to bend down to catch Xiao's eyes. "Now, start fr'm th' beginnin' an' tell me wot 'appened so's I ken try ta piece t'ings t'gether. An' stop wit' this "ye're not Will" skit. Please." (Skit, in this case, being Swedish for shit.)
The veil of hair parts a little…and Xiao's eyes are a electric blue, run through with spidery, glowing cracks. "…I…Ithink I get it. I think I saw too much." She nuzzles Will's hands. "You tried to touch her. I tried to see. See? She doesn't need us anymore."
8:22 PM Will
"…Ye're talkin' about woteva dark goddess 'r whatnot tried ta use Freyja 'gainst me, entcha? What'd ya see? Please, tell me." Is Will begging? Will never begs!
"…I saw your face first. The way you were trying not be so alone, or not to show it. Then you smiled and I thought it might be okay to smile. I mean, I'm a sucker for white girls with attitude….I'm joking. I mean…wait…wrong question."
8:24 PM
She looks very calm. "I saw those people die. Because they wanted to get inside of your woman. Inside the place she made. Or the place that made her. The only way in is through glass."