The Tracker and the Scout

IC Time: Late night, Nov 30.
Location: Port Angeles dockside
Synopsis: Demetri arrives in Port Angeles and finds Stasia still licking her wounds.
Submitted by: Stasia

The harborside of Port Angeles is not only the site of the bombing attack that had killed Heidi and Felix, it is also a veritable maze of werehouses, empty shipping crates and equipment meant to load and unload ships. At night, the area is poorly lit and sparsely trafficked. In other words, prime hunting grounds.

And that is where the young vampire can be found, inside a small warehouse along the waterfront. The large crates have been moved to make room for a large, chain-linked enclosure. Along the walls are several smaller kennels, most holding various mixes of large dogs: pitbulls, rottweilers, dobermans, mastiffs. A few have a bit more pitiful contents, the smaller strays and stolen family pets used as fodder.

All of the animals are singularly silent, watching through the mesh of their kennels. Three massive pitbulls lounge in the larger enclosure, with relaxed postures and lolling tongues. The area is dimly lit, and there is an occasional soft, wet sound from above. A few beads of blood fall from the rafters of the ceiling to spatter on the open floor.

Demetri walks slowly, casually. His hands are shoved into his pockets and he has the look of someone out for a relaxing stroll. As he nears to the kennels he stops and watches the dogs for a moment, then moves out into the open oval of light on the pavement that's cast by a streetlight. The young man (at least by appearance) clasps his hands behind his neck and slowly lets his eyes (they look brown in the yellow light of the lamp) journey upward. "It has been too long." He states with a disarming smile.

There is an answering snarl from up in the rafters. The scent of blood is heavy in the air and the instinct to protect her kill is strong. But that is only momentary before the young vampire reins in her urges. "Demetri," Stasia replies, by way of greeting. "When did you get here?" She drops the drained corpse from the rafters where it lands with a wet 'thud' in the larger enclosure below. He was a big man, probably in his twenties, hispanic with gang and prison tattoos. An intant later, the vampire follows, landing lightly on the balls of her feet.

Since Demetri entered, the dogs have started to whine and pace anxiously, disturbed by his predator scent, even though they were quite relaxed in the presence of the other vampire. She cants her head to the side slightly and the largest of the three loose pitbull growls with authority, silencing the rest of the pack.

Demetri watches the body hit the ground, then focuses his blood gaze upon Stasia when she lands a moment later. "In the time since you left. How are you, Stasia? I have heard things." He speaks the awkward english language with a heavy European accent, the words having a roll to them. The vampire takes a few slow steps towards the chainlink fence, "I have heard a great many things. What happened?"

Stasia's brow creases. She doesn't /want/ to talk about what happened. That much is patently obvious. "It doesn't matter." she replies. "It's done." Deliberately, she tries to end that train of conversation by checking the dog kennels to make sure that they have enough water. Food, on the other hand, will not be a problem. She is greeted at each one by enthusisastically wagging tails.

"It's done." Demetri repeats, brows narrowing faintly in irritation. "Perhaps it matters to me. I have known Felix longer than you have existed. Or are you referring to your tryst with Aro?" He asks as he watches her work with the dogs.

Stasia pauses, looking over her shoulder. "I misspoke," she says quietly. "I apologize." The younger vampire takes an unnecessary breath, still falling into those habits occasionally. She finishes her work, falling silent for a moment or two. "I don't know -what- happened, exactly. Investigations are ongoing. It's become dangerous here. Wolves are attacking vampires and vice versa. It's chaos. Even the sainted Cullens got hit. Unfortunately, there were no casualties."

The irritation melts away again as she gives him the information that he seeks. Demetri pulls a hand from his pocket and hooks his fingers on the fence, turning to lean back against it so that he can watch the street while he talks. "Wolves and vampires are always fighting. The Cullens…" He says, distaste in his voice for the coven, "were attacked by the wolves?"

"That's what I heard," Stasia confirms. "As to the bombing, all of the physical evidence is being analyzed by… people who can do that. Volterra, I expect. It doesn't make sense that the Children of the Moon would have started this, at least not alone. They wouldn't want to risk extinction again. Not unless they had reason to believe they could finish, whatever they had started. As near as I can tell, the indigenous shapeshifters are staying clear. But I haven't gone onto the reservation and started asking questions, either."

Demetri soaks in the information, gazing off down the ugly street of warehouses and steel-sided buildings. There is no charm in this young country, no culture or identity. All at once he grows tired of the English words and shifts to Italian. "The reservation seems a likely place to begin then. Will you go with me? Or do you intend to continue sulking and hiding like a weak fledgling? You know the rabble around here." He slips his fingers free of the fence and waves his hand about absently.

That comment brings her up short. She goes stark-still for an instant, in the manner of their kind. Then she walks toward the enclosure and shuts the gate, leaving the three pitbulls inside with the corpse. At some silent signal, the dogs tear into the body, covering all evidence of her feeding. In the morning, when an anonymous tip to the ASPCA is made, it will seem as if the victim was simply attacked by his own dogs.

"I do not know the reservation wolves well." Likewise, she switches to Italian, but she is less fluent with the language. Her speech is more deliberate. "If you want to go, I will come with you."

Demetri looks her over briefly, then smiles when she agrees. He reaches to rest a hand on her shoulder, "Good. Thank you." The cold hand slips away and he begins walking at that same casual pace that brought him here. "Who do you think we should speak with first?" Hands are tucked back into coat pockets. "And tell me, what do you think of the job that Afton has been doing here thus far?"

Stasia seems a bit surprised at the unexpected touch, but doesn't pull away. She falls into step beside him, leaving the pitbulls to dismember the corpse behind them. "I'm not sure, about the Quileute wolves," she says slowly. "They have a young leader, but they are /very/ close to the Cullens. It might be difficult to separate the two. We involve them, we will involve the Olympic vampires." There is a pause, "As to Afton," she shrugs, "I don't have an opinion yet. This is the first real crisis we've had here. I do not know what direction he has given." Probably because Stasia herself has been distanced.

"Hmmm." Demetri intones wordlessly as he takes in more details. He is silent for a time, then states, "It's disappointing that you would desert us in a time of need, Stasia." He places the slightest hint of emphasis on the word 'desert', a heavier meaning upon it than the casual conversation has endured thus far. "I always thought better of you."

"Do we care if the Cullens are involved? Are they a concern to the Volturi where the death of one of our own is at hand?"

Stasia's eyes, now a bright ruby, narrow with irritation. "If I was going to desert you, I wouldn't be on this continent. I said I would stay until this crisis was resolved and I will. I needed a bit of time and so I took it. Gregori knows where I've been. I'm sure he's reported it." She shoves her tiny fists in the pockets of her coat, back stiffening. She's pretty sure she could lose Gregori if she wanted to, but hasn't tried. That should count for something, dammit.

"I haven't completely ruled out their involvement." She says after a moment. "If the Children of the Moon wouldn't attack the Volturi unless they were certain they would win, it stands to reason that they may have made allies. The Olympic coven is powerful."

"Then you -are- planning to leave? This region, or the coven?" Demetri asks next, still walking in the general direction of Forks, as if he knows exactly where he's going despite never having been here. "Has Aro wounded you so greatly? You can talk to me, Stasia. I do not mean to hurt you. I find you facinating." Or her ability to elude him, at the very least.

Stasia's face closes like a slammed door. "I haven't decided yet," she says flatly. "I have a lot to think about." And perhaps, there is a bit of suspicion at being called 'fascinating'. Someone else used to call her that too.

Demetri picks up on the change of tone and looks over. He frowns, "He did hurt you. Do not blame the entire coven on the actions of one. You have friends, we are on the same side." His face hardens as he changes the subject, "I will find the one that killed our comrades and see that they suffer for it before they die. A lesson must be made."

"I don't blame the coven," Stasia replies, then says no more on the subject. "We will find them," she continues, after a moment. "Maybe there is something that can be isolated from the debris. Killing vampires must take more than a bomb made from ammonium and mothballs. If it is something unique or difficult to come by, perhaps it can be traced."

"Sound reasoning." Demetri agrees softly. In truth, it's rather unnerving that Felix was destroyed. He was ancient, and strong. The Volturi begins asking questions again, his Italian almost as accented with Greek inflection as his English was of European flavor. "What was happening right before the attack? What business was going on and who was involved? Are we certain it was the explosion that killed them and that was not a cover-up?"

By contrast, Stasia's Italian is slower, fluent enough, but obviously not a native speaker. Occasionally, she reverts to English or German for a term or to make a point a bit clearer. "Afton had us on damage control. There was a small coven of vampires who wanted to reveal themselves, just before I was sent here. They were stopped, but we were watching carefully to ensure that no human was getting ideas. And, a pair of vampires, from the Diemos coven, had come dangerously close to revealing themselves as well, at a Halloween party."

The Diemos coven is a group of undesirables who believe the purpose of vampires is to keep the human population in check. They haven't broken the law, but flirted with it occasionally. They openly question the Volturi's right to rule and are known to actively recruit vampires from other covens to their cause.

"I saw Felix and Heidi when they came to Port Angeles. I think they were going hunting that night. They had gone to the private docks owned by the hotel and the bomb went off." A pause, "No, I don't know if the bomb killed them or if it was a cover. Either scenario is possible."

Though not espeically close to Heidi, Stasia was genuinely fond of Felix. His rakish humor made her laugh, even though he had taught her to play poker (and promptly took all her money) and she endured a long and creative list of nicknames about her height… 'Squeak', 'Bite-sized', 'Mini-vampire' and so forth.

"Halloween is such a stupid holiday." Demetri comments, smirking, but refrains from further interrupting as she provides the details. His face grows grim again when she gets back to the murder specifically. "Is it well-known that we have been staying at the hotel?"

"It's not advertised, but I don't think it is a secret either." Stasia confirms, "Security's been tightened, of course, but obviously the bomber knew something." She's relaxed somewhat, now that the conversation is not about her still-open wound. "Gregori is looking to maintain a different residence."

"Have the Cullens said anything? Approached us about it?" Demetri asks next, slowly collecting bits and pieces to get a basic starting picture of what has been going on. He might already know some of this, or maybe these are holes that need filling from his initial conversations on arrival. Maybe Stasia is the first that he's encountered?

Stasia shakes her head. "Not that I'm aware. I heard one of them say to a wolf that they wanted to stay neutral." The young vampire isn't convinced, of course. "Even if they aren't supporting the Children, they would probably rest easier if we were weaker, or non-existant." So would the Diemos coven or any number of undesirables, of course.

"Did Felix and Heidi frequently visit the private dock? Was it a regular place to go hunting?… How did the bomber -know- they would be there? Are we certain they're dead?" Demetri stops walking, silencing the song in his head to begin searching for Felix instead. Can't hurt to confirm things.

Stasia shakes her head. These are questions she's asked before. "I think they were at the restaraunt at the hotel, then Heidi had left something at the boat and went back for it. I don't know -how- the bomber knew they would be there. And I figured that if they weren't dead, you'd know…" she glances sidelong at the older vampire. "Most everyone hunts at the nightclubs." Stasia, by contrast, does not. Nor would she tolerate the loud music and drunk humans. So, she tends to hunt alone.

"I have been eluded before, unexpectedly." Demetri responds with a hint of a smile and a glance at Stasia. "This sounds very suspicious. Where were they prior to being in the restaurant? How many outside of our coven know that they were killed?" Maybe he really -hasn't- spoken with Afton yet.

"Well…. that was luck. You'd have found me eventually." Even being able to speak of that time, those first few terrifying hours of being a vampire, is a step. That was quite a wall of fear she had built up and took a good deal of time (and effort, likely on Chelsea's behalf) to wear down. "I'd seen Felix earlier that day, but I didn't have a duty shift that night. So I'd gone out of the city. I didn't hear about it until I came back the next day and I searched the harbor floor for debris that night."

Demetri is still standing motionless, letting his mind move from one person to the next, in particular going through the Cullens and taking stock of where each is. "Maybe we should start with the Olympia Coven. Carlisle may be willing to give us aid. I should speak with Afton as well." He graces Stasia with another smile. "Thank you for the help. Be careful. Please do not hide yourself from me, it would be safer if I can be able to find you should there be further suspected trouble."

The young vampire scowls faintly, before she can cover the expression. She does /not/ like the Cullens, which is no big secret, and the idea of being inflicted by them is not a pleasant thought, especially if she is expected to be polite. Give her werewolves, please! "They were attacked in their home, by a wolf." she says slowly, with great effort. "I still do not think we will get any assistance from them. With all of their self-righteous drivel and platitudes, they are more than capable of betrayal. At best, they will not involve themselves."

"We will see." Demetri returns. Then he slips away, silent steps on dry pavement until the shadows of the nearest building embrace him with open arms and he is gone. Places to go, people to see.

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