Meeting Annabell

<Jaito> Luckily, Will Lawrenson is a patient person. Otherwise, she'd probably have set the city-state of Singapore on fire by now. First, there was the lead…then, there was the paperwork, the planning, more paperwork, the move, MORE paperwork, and finally…having the time to actually start. But first…there was the lead.

<Jaito> A code glitch - one that got submitted for review and just so happened to fit a pattern. Of course, it was a common enough glitch, as rare ones go. There were cases of it every month or so…but 2 or 3 in the same geographical area? A dozen, within days of each other?

<Jaito> A code glitch, she'd have noticed by now, had been reported by each of the Divers.

<Will> Which just added to her own suspicions… and her ever-growing logs that she's taken to saving to a completely offline file server every time she finds one.

<Jaito> Of course, if her hunch was right? There was more than one Diver here. Hell, there could be as many as twenty. Lovely thought.

<Will> Lovely, indeed. Will sighs as she logs in, checking the glitch reports before entering the game world.

<Jaito> The AR overlaps her vision, adding a bit more style and color to the hole-in-the-wall she'd been able to arrange on short notice. Her demons (one lounging on her bed, another idly poking at the fridge) were waiting as always for instructions. As far as glitch re-…there's a new one. Recent.

<Jaito> Hell, it in the same apartment complex. Several floors down - the suites. The NICE ones.

<Will> Tap, drag, expand to open. Her eyes flicker over the log. With it being so recent… maybe she could *stop* this one from becoming another Diver if she could find it. "Oi. Bean Sidhe. Hati. We're goin'." She notes the location on her map and moves it to one corner before heading down, AR glasses firmly on her face.

<Jaito> The dog perks up from her bed, the fairy leaves her fridge alone, and both shimmer blue and fade into the COMP portable PC on her person.

<Jaito> The room, room 404 (it just figures) is to one of the larger suites favored by professionals. According to the glitch log, there was some sort of skewing of perception feedback - big things become small, etc. It can cause dizziness and nausea, so they're often flagged for review.

<Jaito> In fact, someone with admin access could see and review the crash file if they were in the physical space or logged into the database.

<Jaito> Unfortunately, Will works for the hardware guys, not the game mods…so legitimate access might be fuzzy…ahem.

<Will> Heh. Will knocks on the door. Maybe she can fake her way in and figure this out, get to the source of the crash. Admin access would be easy to hack if it came to it.

<Jaito> No one home. It just figures…

<Jaito> A text note from Hati displays: "Something smells strange here…a demon lives inside."

<Will> Lovely. Just what she needs right now. [Thanks, Hati.] Welp. Time to get hacking. Her fingers fly over the COMP attached to her arm as she works on trying to get into the system at least, leaning as inconspicuously as she can against the wall beside the door.

<Will> (4)

<Jaito> Let's see…just let the system 'forget' there's a physical barrier in place…establish line of sight…convert to "touch' to access…FILE LOCKED BY ADMIN_HERSHEYS_XIAO…not for long, ehehehe…and she's in.

<Will> Mua ha ha ha ha… The hacker looks around, scanning for any knots of code or anything that might be out of place. Or a body. Gods above, she hopes she doesn't find the body of another Diver…

<Jaito> What comes up in video is…well, pretty much nothing. A pleasant-if-plain looking woman mostly talking to herself…pantomiming for items that aren't THERE as ARchitecture…and finally, her perspective skewing to make her room appear massive…and then flashing back to normal as an admin cleared the error.

<Jaito> But the code errors were present WHILE she was talking to nothing, and NOT doing anything to the code itself as the perspective skew occured. Like the skew was supposed to happen.

<Will> Will replays the bit of video feed on loop, analysing it and comparing aspects of it to the room's actual layout. Nothing about the layout changed, but… She pinches her fingers in front of her face to zoom in on one part of the room, recording everything and making a copy to archive to her file server later on. Maybe if she could put this one together with the other cases, she could find something else.

<Jaito> (Give me an Investigation roll?)

<Will> (4)

<Jaito> …that's interesting. The system recognizes her a demon-WAIT WHAT THE HELL…this file's been accessed recently. By a very, very familiar user. FREYJA. As in, within the hour.

<Will> Good thing Will's leaning against a wall, because that's got her rattled. "Freyja…" [Bean Sidhe, Hati. D'ya sense any demons in the immediate vicinity right now?]

<Jaito> Hati growls into her earpiece, and there's a text response from Bean Sidhe. "One. Inside."

  • Will starts to step through the door which shows open on her AR vision, but she remembers at the last second it's not *physically* open. [B, get me a visual please?]

<Jaito> "…it's a -CENSORED - /PIXIE/." Bean Sidhe has never sworn before. It's not one of the preset messages.

<Jaito> As soon as Will touches the door, it slowly creaks open.

<Will> O_o [Get ready, guys. Somethin' ain't right here…] She pushes the door the rest of the way open and steps inside.

<Jaito> Inside is a large, but even less adorned apartment than her own. There are a few books and papers strewn about, but there's the distinct impression someone occupies this place without truly living in it. A PIXIE sits on the bed, kicking her legs to and fro to a singsong.

<Will> Less adorned? That was possible? …Okay, so Will has a few pictures hanging on the wall beside her bed, and CAT-5 cabling strewn about the place connecting to her stationary rig and her desktop unit. "Well, then."

<Jaito> The pixie looks up at she enters. "Are…are you my partner?"

<Will> "Um… I don't… think I'd be yer partner, hey? I don't even live here, little lass." And after the strong reaction Bean Sidhe had to her presence, Will isn't about to invite the pixie along without good reason. "I'm just… a troubleshooter. Yeah, one o' them. Seen a ticket pop about somethin' weird happenin' in this vicinity. Know anything about it, lass?"

<Jaito> "Oh. That was Alice. She'd probably kill you, seeing as how you aren't real."

<Will> "I ent real? Hate to break it, lass, but I ent the one made from bits an' baubles o' code. Who 'r what is Alice?"

<Jaito> She snorts. "So you're fat. That doesn't make you real." She ignores the other question. "And rude, too! Geez, you must be Welsh…"

<Will> "Close enough." Will is starting to see why B cussed at her presence… She mutters something about the pixie under her breath, turning to check the rest of the flat for any residual weirdness.

<Jaito> "Hey, you don't live here, do you? Should I call the cops?"

<Jaito> Bean Sidhe hisses under her breath. A text message appears, "Want me to destroy the offensive lilliputian?"

<Will> [Destroy, no. She might be here to be someone's partner. But keep her from callin' the cops? Most definitely.]

<Jaito> The pixie hops off of the bed and flutters towards the phone. In a flash of blue, BEAN SIDHE appears in her way. "Hold, young maiden!"

<Jaito> The pixie peers at her. "Oi, badger-tits. I'm trying to alert the authorites."

<Jaito> …um. That's certainly…colorful languge.

<Will> "…" Will debates between taking a Mommy tone with the pixie and just ignoring her, settling for trying to reinforce her assumed role. "Already tol' ya, lass. I *am* th' authorities. Kinna. I'm a troubleshooter."

<Jaito> "Oh." BEAN SIDHE is quite literally fuming with mystical energy, but the pixie just flutters up to eyeball Will. "Good. You can fix the problem. My partner LEFT ME HERE."

<Jaito> …you know, there's a good question here. The only COMP in the room is Will's. And there's no instance or other event running.

<Jaito> So…um…what the hell is this Pixie connected to?

<Will> That *is* a good point. Time to think fast. And analyse this pixie. "Right then. So who's yer partner then, hey?" She runs a program to scan the pixie's code.

<Jaito> ERROR ERROR ERROR. The software crashes…and so does her COMP. But Bean Sidhe and - HATI materializes just as the COMP starts to reboot.

<Jaito> Then, of course, all three disappear.

<Jaito> She hears the pixie's voice. "I don't know her name."

<Jaito> …then everything's back up again and only the pixie is visible.

  • Will launches DAEMON.exe on her COMP to bring her demons back online. That was odd. She also pulls up her crash log. "Then how can you know she's your partner?"

<Jaito> …that's just it. There is no crash log. The COMP corrects to network time and it's as if nothing happened.

<Jaito> "How did you know when you met your first partner?"

<Will> "I took one look at her and knew it was meant to be?" She thinks the pixie is talking about her demons she's built, but to her the word partner applies to her Freyja. "How else?"

<Jaito> "Exactly." The pixie grins with a wink. "I have to wait for her to select me, though."

<Will> "So what 'r who's this Alice ya mentioned, then? And have ya seen anyone 'sides me comin' through here recently, lass?" Will needs to hurry. The longer she's hanging around, the more likely that whoever owns this place might come home…

<Jaito> (So…want a fate point?)

<Will> (Uh oh… Sure? XD)

<Jaito> (Alertness!)

<Will> (3)

<Jaito> …was that the elevator outside?

<Jaito> UNDER PRESSURE, indeed.

<Jaito> Slowly, the door starts to push open.

<Jaito> The pixie dives under the bed.

<Will> CrapcrapcrapcrapCRAAAAAAP! Okay, troubleshooter mindset go! Will clears her throat and opens her mouth to speak to the pixie again… but the pixie's gone! Wtf! Will makes a run for the bathroom and closes the door as quietly as she can…

<Will> Brilliant choice, that.

<Jaito> Stealth?

<Will> (Yosh. -1. -_-)

<Jaito> So, Annabell…why is your bathroom light on? …and…is your bed wafting in a breeze?

<Jaito> What breeze?

<Jaito> And why only the dust cover?

<Annabell> "Food is in cans in the cupboards, I don't keep money in here, and if someone is in my bed they're getting company of a comatose doctor in a few minutes." Annabell said, feeling frankly almost too tired to care. She could push herself further, make herself wake up as she would have if her shift had gone wrong, but she'd been anticipating using that bed!

<Jaito> The dust cover rustles. Was that a 'Meep?'

<Will> Shit, had she been seen after all? …Oh hell. Light. Welp.

  • Annabell rolled her neck slowly, allowing herself the luxury of the unhealthy sounding pops, then kicked the door closed behind her for now. The small kitchenette was her next destination as she went for the cupboard and, pulling out a mug, called through, "If you're not leaving, keep in mind that I'm crank and have had too much coffee. But hot chocolate is next."

<Will> Eh heh. She's probably going to be found eventually anyway. Making sure that her demons are nearby just in case, Will opens the door and steps out. "Sorry. Your door *was* unlocked when I got here, though, lass, and I ent a thief. I'm tryin' to investigate… weirdness in the AR code." *sweatdrop*

<Jaito> A pixie bolts out from under the bed, moving between Annabell and Will. "She's a troubleshooter! So don't let her shoot you - she's Welsh, can't be trusted!"

<Annabell> "She's not in York nor wielding a longbow and I'm not a Welsh -man-." A trip to the fridge and Annabell had the milk to fill the cups before they were slapped into the microwave even as she destroyed the pixie's argument. Glancing at the 'intruder' she added, "And I already talked to game support about one problem."

<Will> "Jien ta du guay! Warn a lady afore ya go doin' 'at next time, hey?" The hacker mutters something unkind about pixies under her breath.

<Will> "Anyrow, like the sprite said, I'm a troubleshooter. Came 'ere cuz of the report ya had, wanted to follow-up an' make sure you hadn't had any more strangeness 'r anythin'." Or a desire to climb to the top of a tall building and swan dive onto a mirror…

<Jaito> The pixie…pouts. Then glares at Wil. "See? She's already talked to game support about one problem!"

  • Will tries to put the pixie's audio stream on mute.

<Annabell> "Such as?" Annabell asked as she pulled a third, and smaller, cup from a cupboard. After all, there were two guests. "I've just worked about a shift and a half mending hearts, and I mean 'suturing aortas' in one case, so you're being a little too oblique."

<Jaito> (Scholarship, Will?)

<Will> (3)

<Jaito> "She's a snooper, is what she is!" …there haven't been any system-generated speech files USED in the last half an hour.

<Jaito> She buzzes over to the table, standing on it with crossed arms. "I smell trouble."

  • Annabell reflexively looked down, checking that she had scrubbed her hands, then commented, "…I'm pretty sure that is either disinfectant or the hot milk."

<Will> …Okay, something's definitely weird about that pixie. The hacker tries to tune out her speech anyway. "Such as… things resizin' theirselves in your AR rig, 'r things showin' up that shouldna be there. Unusual urges to do somethin'. Anything like that?"

<Annabell> Before she could answer the microwave pinged and Annabell fished out the two cups. A heaped spoon of something from a container into each then a quick stir provided a vague substitute for actual hot chocolate before part of one was poured into the smaller cup and slid over to the pixie.

<Annabell> "That did happen during setup." Annabell admitted quietly, holding her hands around her own mug while leaving the last in place for the visitor, "I would tell you more, but strange people in my bed who don't even tell me their name just get a drink then a free opportunity to leave."

<Jaito> "Sh….she was in the bathroom…" the pixie mutters, a bit red-faced and…forlorn?

<Will> "Understandable, lass. Name's Will, by th' by." She picks up the mug and takes a sip. Mmm… the taste made her briefly nostalgic for home, and… Will visibly shakes her head. "Like I said, din't mean ta startle ya." She gives a small smile to the other girl.

<Annabell> "Nice to meet you, Will. I'm Annabell." She glanced at the pixie then asked, "So, strange person who was in my bed despite any claims of dislike, are you going to proclaim your name? The other mug is yours, by the way."

<Jaito> The pixie blinks. "You mean…me?"

<Will> "Ye're th' only other'n in th' room don't connect to a COMP, which is weird enough."

  • Annabell gave him her best calmly impatient 'Are you going to stop babbling and -tell- the doctor where it hurts?' look, "Unless there is someone else…?"

<Jaito> The pixie actually looks behind herself…dips down to lap up a little hot chocolate…and then burst into tears. "I DON'T KNOWWWWWWWW!"

  • Annabell glanced over to Will, "Care to help? I assumed that you knew each other after all."

<Jaito> "She doesn't KNOOOOOOOOOOOW!"

<Jaito> Giant, blue AR teardrops fly like rain in two arcs.

<Will> "Ain't never seen 'er afore in me life, Annabell. Sorry. Though I've seen 'er *type* afore. She's a pixie, if memory serves."

<Annabell> "That's a good start then." Annabell admitted before yawning, "But having two different people wandering in, and you saying it was open before, probably isn't the best of things to consider just now."

<Jaito> "She opened the do-ho-ho-hOOOOOOOOOOOOR!"