2007-02-27: Clues And Reveals


Ramon_icon.gif Cass_icon.gif


Cass calls Ramon to tell him of the lead she just got on the Squaring the Circle case. They have a discussion of revelations.

Date It Happened: February 27th, 2007

Clues and Reveals

Enlightenment Books

Cass' message to Ramon: "Ramon! I know we said we'd meet on Friday, but I've got something really important that I really need to talk to you about. Can we meet as soon as possible? Call me back. ASAP."

Then, another message is left immediately after that one: "Oh, um, the last message is from me. Cass. And this one is from me, too. Just so you know."

When Ramon got that message, he went tearing over to Cass's. The result is he shows up in a pair of drawstring pants that look like they once belonged to someone's hospital scrubs (such things are cheap and comfy) and a white shirt, and his leather jacket, and two shoes that don't match. His beard is all scruffed out. The top half of his face and hair looks weirder than Hell…he's got some sort of orangy-yellow look on the top, like he tried to get a tan, and the hair is a lighter color than normal, like he tried to bleach it blonde. He pushes at the door, and if he finds it locked, he'll simply pull it the other way in his half awake stupor.

It's a little while before the store opens, but Cass is inside tidying up and getting everything ready for the day. As soon as she hears Ramon trying to get inside, she quickly rushes over to the door and throws it open for him. Taking in the state of his clothing and the strange color tint job he has on both his face and hair, she realizes that maybe she should have qualified her message to state that she wasn't in trouble. "Ramon! Thanks so much for coming! Come in, come in. I think I've got something."

He is not a man who is having a better month, that's for sure. "Are you alright?" That's his first question as he comes inside, managing to look serious and radiate protective Rotweiler man in spite of his state. His eyes are narrow as he swings his gaze all over the store, irrationally, as if he expects something to fight.

Cass puts up her hands in a placating manner, as well as a way to try and calm Ramon down. "I'm fine! I'm fine! I'm sorry, I should have been more specific on the phone. I found something else out about that symbol you gave me. The one with the book - Squaring the Circle. A bit more. And I wanted to talk to you about it as soon as I could." Moving toward her employee room, she gets two mugs and starts pouring coffee. "Now it's my turn. Are /you/ alright? You look a little….off."

Ramon relaxes enough to get into the break room and sits down. He nods his head and says, "Yeah. There was this weird thing that happened on the ferry. Someone was smuggling some sort of chemical warfare crap, and not only did it act mostly like mustard gas but it had this…bleach effect." He shakes his head. "Six hours late to my next job, and a lot of time with the Hazmat team, and one gunshot on board. I hate the ferry. I know I look like a moron. The top half of my face was /white/ when I got off the ferry, just like my hair," (his beard, though, is still brown), "so I…made an appointment with a tanning agency and it did not end well. Loco. Loco. Loco New York." That explanation done with, his eyes fix on her, dark and intense. "What else did you find out, dama bonita?"

Cass listens to Ramon's story with raised eyebrows as she hands him a mug. "Wow. That sounds epic. And horrible. Don't worry, you don't look like a moron. You look kind of…punk. You just need a mohawk. Or a nose ring." She smiles and takes her own mug of tea to her desk. It's a bit cluttered and a mess, but what she's looking for is not on top of it. Grabbing the middle drawer, she pulls it out and pulls something wrapped in handkerchief. Unwrapping it reveals a necklace almost identical to the one that Ramon showed Cass the day they met. "This is what I found."

Ramon's eyes widen. He takes a swig of his coffee and holds up the necklace. He breathes some sort of Spanish exclamation and then looks up at her. "How did you get this? Where?" He sits forward in his seat, clutching the leather strap on the necklace.

Cass holds it out for him to study. She blushes a little at remembering how she actually got a hold of the necklace, but she doesn't explain all the details. "Uh, well, I met a guy at a bar who had it. He told me a story that's really weird. He got it from a woman who got this and a very sharp knife in a package labeled as a birthday present. She was talking on the cellphone and not paying any attenion. When he stopped her, though, she snapped out if it and had no idea where she was or how she got there. Or even how she got the package. Even though Lachlan /saw/ her pick it up. It was like hypnosis or something, I think. Anyway, I was /supposed/ to have the knife to show you, but he hasn't shown up again. I think, if I read the newspaper right, he was arrested. I'll have to try and find him to get a hold of it."

Ramon's hand trembles just a little bit, and he puts the necklace down. He pulls out his cell phone and holds up a single finger to Cass. "Mr. Marx," he rasps into the phone. "Its Ramon Gomez. I've got another lead for you on the case." Then he hangs up. "There was a knife this time. When he called my wife he just made her use a kitchen knife," he murmurs. "I kept it real sharp. Cut the turkey with it every Thanksgiving…is the woman alright? Do you know who she was?"

As soon as Ramon puts the necklace down, Cass scoops it up and places it back on the handkerchief. She doesn't want anything to happen to it. When Ramon pulls out his cellphone, she moves for her coffee, ready to give him any space he needs to make his call. "No…I don't know. I wasn't there. And Lachlan didn't get her name. She was fine, though, when he left her, I think. I think she just ran off. I /do/ have a name, though. It was on the cellphone, he said. JPSousa? Yeah, that was it. Does that mean anything to you?"

Ramon thinks for a moment. "Sure," he rumbles. "There's a middle school called John Phillip's Sousa. I wonder if that's what it goes to. RTS helped set up the network there several years ago, when they updated to one, though I wasn't on that job. It was a pretty big deal though, so the name circulated around the office."

Cass frowns, wrapping the necklace up and putting it on the desk. "Well, maybe the woman works there. It's a good place to start to make sure she's okay. Though I don't know what she looks like." The bookkeep frowns when she looks at the small bundle on her desk. Taking a long drink of her coffee, she sighs. "I don't know what it all means, but I just wanted to let you know. I hope it helps a little."

"It does," Ramon says. "The DA has reopened the case, and this should help them find it. And all of this information means he has more to follow. Also if this fellow is locked up, that's easy enough access to ask him some questions, I should think. I really appreciate this. You're looking out for me."

Cass smiles amiably at Ramon. "Well, you know, it goes two ways. Can't let you be the only one watching out." Then, she nods. "That's good. I'd let you keep the necklace to hand over, but I promised I'd return it. I've only got it on loan." Smirking slightly at the idea of visiting Lachlan in prison, she nods. "Yeah. It's a bit easier to ask someone questions when they're behind bars."

"I have my own copy," Ramon replies. "I don't want to carry more than one around. Come to think of it I ought to have given my copy to the DA, but he didn't ask if I had it and it didn't occur to me to do so." He shakes his head at his own stupidity.

Cass shakes her own head in response to Ramon's. "Well, if he didn't ask for it, then it's not being stupid. If anyone needs the evidence, I'd say it's the police. If they haven't caught whoever did this to your wife, it's an open case and they're the ones that will need the clues."

"I know. I think he's working with the police, but I don't know which cop or in which district, which is why I pass everything to him," Ramon says. "He says that the case has been open but that's all the details I have." His lips twitch into a grimace that is almost a smile. "Mostly, he just wants me to stay out of trouble."

Cass grins at Ramon. "Well, then I have an advantage over you. Nobody's told me to stay out of trouble. I'll head down to the police station and try and talk to Lachlan and see if I can get the names of whoever's working on the case. Then I can pass it all along to you. I can't believe they haven't contacted you yet! If they're really trying to catch these people, you're a prime interviewee. They should get the information from the source. I've watched Law and Order enough times to know that."

"I'm lucky they're working on it at all. When it first happened they ruled Catalina's murder as a suicide and closed the case. Most people at the PD think I'm loony," Ramon admits. "I wouldn't leave them alone for six months. Now I get a little hesitant to call the policia, simply because I know they'll see my name or address and write it off. Whoever he's got working on it must be a rare breed — or unwilling to piss off the DA."

Cass waves her hand in a dismissing manner. "You're not crazy. And if they're going to investigate, they might as well do it /right/. It's only natural for you to keep an eye on a case about your wife. Now that it's re-opened, though, I think you should talk to them. They might not know what you have to tell them. It could lead them to the killer." Finishing her coffee, she puts the mug down on her desk and picks up the handkerchief. "I'd say you were a loony if you gave up. Not the other way around."

"True. Maybe I'll call around," Ramon says. "Or just ask Mr. Marx if I can talk to the cop in case there's anything /I'm/ forgetting. Elena wanted to go back to our old house and look around, see if there's something we or the police missed, though I imagine most anything sensitive has been destroyed by now. Someone else is surely living there."

Pulling open the desk drawer again, Cass sticks the little bundle inside and then closes it. Now that it's done it's job, she doesn't want to really see it again until she returns it to the Scotsman. She nods her head in approval of Ramon going to see the police about the case. "Well, that's something that the police could help you with, too. How long has it been since…since…well, since the murder?" She can't think of a nicer way to put it.
"It was in 2003," Ramon says. "November 15th," he says, scrubbing a hand over his face and looking up at her. "It's taken all these years to get someone interested again. But God doesn't forget. God never forgets, and He's making things happen. Through you, and Mr. Marx, and even this Lachlan fellow."

Cass's smile turns a bit wry thinking of God working through Lachlan. If He is, that deity has one sick sense of humor. "Well, I don't know about God working through us, but I do know that if you don't give up, things start to fall into place for you." Sighing, she thinks over what else can be done to help this case. "Why were the police so sure it was a suicide? And what made them want to reopen the case?"

Ramon hesitates. But he owes her the explanation. "I'd gone to pick up the kids that day," he says quietly. "It was the beginning of their fall break, all of them. There was that real — fall smell. In the air. Crisp. Cold. The smell that comes when people with fireplaces use them. I came home and she was sitting on the couch. The phone was off the hook. The television was blaring. The necklace was around her neck. Her hands were wrapped around the knife, and it was in her heart. There were no signs of forced entry. No signs of struggle. The Medical Examiner says, there's one smooth thrust. That only happens in a suicide. Sorry, Mr. Gomez." He falls silent, draining his coffee. "I pulled jury duty and that meant I was able to get face to face with the DA. I asked him to just look at the case. Just look at it. That's all I asked him to do. He saw it, and he saw some similar cases, and said that as crazy as it sounded, he thought he saw a serial killer."

Cass's face melds itself into something akin to sympathy and sorrow when she listens to the story. There's silence after he finishes for a moment so that she can process the story and then think it over. It feels so cold to try and tear apart the events and try and find something in there that she can relate what she already knows, but she reminds herself that this is to help. "I'm sorry," she says softly, face looking down at the drawer where the same symbol that was around his wife neck now resides. "So, both cases have a knife and that symbol," she adds. "And an off the hook phone. Hm. What made the lawyer see a serial killer? Wait, serial killer? There's more deaths like your wife's?"

"There have been three more. And this lady that your Lachlan found — she seems to have been a near miss for a #4," he rumbles. "That's why the DA took it seriously. He found a pattern, but it had been overlooked across police districts, buried in different cold cased, closed cased, "suicide" files all over the city."

Cass frowns and puts a hand on her forehead. "Three more. And a near fourth. /How/ is this guy - I'm just saying guy because it's easier - getting to these people? No sign of break in." Her brow furrows while she tries to puzzle this out. "Why is he doing it? Hm. I assume it's someone who must have had contact with them before, right? He can't be just picking them out of a phonebook, right?" She sighs. "I'm sorry, I'm talking so unsensitively. I feel so horrible talking like this in front of you."

"You're not saying anything I haven't thought of before," Ramon says, holding up a hand to still her worries. "They're all the same profile. Religious. Devout. Mothers. I imagine he watches them for some time before he strikes, to make sure they're right. I've been reading all these books on serial killers, how it works."

Cass frowns. "Well, there's a profile. I've read a book or two about serial killers. Well, mostly fiction books, but it still doesn't explain how he could have killed them without making any sign of entry. Maybe the key is in this near miss. Her hypnotized state. Maybe he meets them on the street, hypnotizes them and then programs them somehow. Is that even possible?" She frowns and takes the mugs for refills. Pouring out the remains of her pot, she goes through the motions of making more. "What did the DA say?"

And its back full circle to the weirdness. Ramon looks at her for a long, long moment and says, "He's got some theories," is what he says instead. All of it ends up touching back on everything else. "But its probably too early to speculate."

Cass keeps Ramon's gaze for those long moments. She doesn't want to push him, still doesn't. It is his wife and his case…but if she wants to help, she has to know. "Too early? Tell me some of the theories, then. I don't want to spin my wheels if this DA's already thought of them." Her voice is friendly but firm.

Ramon heaves a sigh. He scrubs a hand over his face again. "The theory is going to give you another headache," he says gruffly. "You're not going to enjoy hearing it. It's crazy-talk, just like so much of the crazy-talk and crazy things you've seen." He gets up and grabs a copy of Activating Evolution. He thumbs to the index, locates where the man talks about hypnotic persuasion as an ability possibility, flips to the right page, and then turns it around to Cass.

Cass watches Ramon with a curious expression. Everything set with the coffee maker, she turns back so that she can talk with him properly. "I'll try not to get a headache. Promise." When he gets a copy of Activating Evolution, her eyebrows raise and she takes the copy from him to see what page he's given her to read. As soon as she's a few lines in, he looks up. She's read this book enough times that she all but knows it by heart. She keeps her promise. "That makes sense," she agrees softly. "That's why the woman was so out of it, she /was/ being hypnotized. It was the phone. Your wife's phone was off the hook, too. It's being done through the phones."

Something in Ramon's face shifts to relief when she accepts it so matter-of-factly. "Yes. That's what I believe as well." He knows more, but he's come to the end of what he can say. But now he'll trail back to their vague conversation enough to lightly tap the book. "This stuff is real," he says softly. "That's why I wanted you to be careful about selling this book."

"I know," Cass sighs. "All too well." Closing the book, she returns it to it's proper place. "I didn't really get it until a couple of days ago. "So it's something supernatural - is that the word I want to use? That makes it…a lot harder." Not knowing that he may know more, she doesn't push him to try and find out more. Having found something secret she was digging for, she doesn't think to look for more.

"I'm not sure its supernatural when its locked into our genetics, but it's out of the ordinary," Ramon agrees. "I have no idea how they intend to prove this in court. Unless they manage to get a jury full of people with abilities, nobody's going to buy it for a second. But I can't worry about that. Right now I've just got to take all of this a day, a step at a time."

Cass sighs and nods. "Yeah. It's really mind blowing." The whole proving it to a court of law has it's problems, but like Ramon said, that's for later. "Yeah. First we have to catch the guy. And then if he survives that, then we can worry about the courtroom fiasco. Maybe we can get Dr. Suresh to testify."

That gives Ramon a moment of pause. "Maybe I should find him and go talk to him," he says slowly. "Maybe he'll have some insight that I hadn't considered already, or that the cops haven't." He flips to the jacket, seeking out contact information for the man.

Cass grins. "We think alike. I already was going to go find him to ask him about the book. My dad's met his son and hopefully he has some contact information for him. I was hoping I could get his number and work from there."

Ramon stares down in his coffee cup, thinking things through. "Perhaps we can just go together," he says slowly. "But there's one or two more things I might end up wanting to ask him about." He puts aside his cup reluctantly and looks up at her.

Cass looks over at Ramon. There are a couple things she wants to ask Dr. Suresh not related to this case, herself. "Well, I don't know where he is yet," she hedges. Then, she tilts her head and looks over at her friend in thought. "But, yeah, when I find him we can go together. I've got a couple of questions I need to ask him."

He watches that look and rubs the back of his neck. Its that look of thought that has him squirming like a kid in front of the principal's office. Finally he says, "I feel like I can trust you. Its just hard to come out and say stuff, you know?" He shakes his head. "But if we're going to this fellow together you're going to find out anyway, and I don't want to breach your trust."

Cass studies Ramon, listening to him. Putting two and two together from all his trying to prepare something. She's not sure if she's going to put him off for doing this, but she's trying to show that it's okay with her. Picking Activating Evolution up again, she holds it out to him. She's got a smile and an eyebrow raised, inviting him to do the same thing that he did before with the book. Pick a page.

Ramon sighs, flips through the index, finds the one he wants, and sets it back down in front of her. There. Telepathy. He is such a deadpan fellow that it probably looks very strange when he raises one hand to his forehead, lifts his eyebrows, and wriggles his fingers around at her.

Cass pulls the book closer so she can read what page he's picked. As soon as she's read the title page, her eyes widen and her head snaps up to stare at Ramon. Oh my God, he can read minds. Oh crap, did he just read that thought? Shaking her head from the whirling thoughts, she slowly schools her face back into a more normal expression. "Um, wow. Really? That's…well, that explains the Dummy book. Are you…can you read my thoughts now?"

"I try not to unless you shout them at me, as that would not be polite," Ramon says gruffly. "Sometimes people think a little too loud for me to drown it out, and I used to do it by accident, thinking I was simply hearing it out loud. I try to be a trustworthy person."

Cass nods, once decisively. "I trust you." It's just weird to know that someone can be inside your head. "Yeah. I…guess I can understand that. It's like eavesdropping. On a much more intense level."

"I want to make sure, when I talk to this Suresh man, that there's nothing in telepathy that could be a danger to anyone else," Ramon says. "If he knows. I don't want to wake up one morning finding out I let something slip I didn't know to hold back, and someone got hurt as a result." He stands up. "You are about to open your shop up and don't need a man in his pjs sitting here. And I have to be in to work. Thank you for calling me up here though."

Cass looks at the clock and all but jumps. It's getting really close, if not past the time she should be opening up. It's not like there's a huge crowd breaking down the door, but there are one or two people starting to wait outside in the cold. "Oh, right. Wow. Opening up the store time. Seems weird after the this." She smiles. "Well, I'm sure he'll know. He literally wrote the book on the subject. Thanks, though. For coming so quickly. I didn't mean to scare you."

"Concerned, chica, concerned," Ramon says, with a hint of a smirk playing over his features. Just a hint. "Big guys like me, we don't get /scared/." Now that's a crock of S***, but his smirk only indicates he knows it. He slips out the /back/ way, so the New Yorkers don't have to look at crazy PJ man. Then again they've probably seen stranger.

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