2007-03-29: Stirfry And Information


Lee_icon.gif Nima_icon.gif Cass_icon.gif

Summary: Cass visits the Jones' for Stirfry and they talk about the Squaring the Circle case.

Date It Happened: March 29, 2007

Stirfry and Information

Jones Apartment

Lee is explaining to Nima as he opens the door for Cass: "So in conclusion, the guy who assaulted me for no reason, that 'Jack' guy, if that is his real name, is number one, packing a /gun/ and number two, hunts hobos for sport. It was disgusting, I mean, there were five of us and one of him, you'd think that there would be another way to handle it. Oh, hey, Cass. Come on in."

"I suppose that Jack could always be short for Jackass," is Nima's reply to her brother, before chirping out, "Heya, Cass! Want something to drink?" Currently, she's in the kitchenette, which is non-partitioned enough that she can be viewed putting her awesome wok-fu skills to use. Whatever it is, it smells delicious.

Curled-up on a chair is Panthro. Chewie is busy chewing his beloved Death Star chew toy.

Knocking on the Jones door, Cass has a surprised look on her face when Lee is finally revealed. "I. What?" Stepping into the apartment, she shucks her coat and hangs it up appropriately. "Um, sure. Whatever you've got that you don't mind sharing. Smells good! What's this about Jack?"

Lee says, chewing on a carrot stick. "Killed a hobo last night." He mimes a gun, mimes firing. "I was meeting Bekah and her friend from the hospital for drinks, they were cutting through the Park and this transient jumps up and grabs Bekah's friend, ah…Samantha's her name. Anyway, before anything else can happen, Jack walks up and, badda bing, badda boom, shoots him dead."

Lee is a bit more shaken by that than he appears, he's 'talking big', though.

Can I have a Mountain Dew? I'm gonna get a soda. Anyone want one? Am I there? Hey, Graham… I'm not in the room, right? Er… "If it's in the fridge, you can have it. We also have coffee and a couple different kinds of tea." That's hospitality in the Jones household. While Lee relays his story, Nima continues to work the stir-fry. "Y'know, it figures… the first decent woman you've dated in… uh, ever, and circumstance has to make it near-fatal. Repeatedly." Well, eff you, Fate! She /will/ be Auntie Neems, one day, dagnabbit.

Lee says, "Thing is, they're both emergency room doctors, I was freaking a lot more than they were."

"That's 'cos you're a wuss," Nima remarks.

"Jack did /what/?" Cass frowns, thinking this over. She'd say that couldn't have been him…but it does kind of sound like the hot-tempted Irishman. "Well, yeah, that's good luck on your part. This city's getting more and more dangerous." Forgetting the Jones form of hospitality until reminded, she goes straight for the fridge and does, indeed, pull out a Mountain Dew before popping the top. "You had a date?" she raises an eyebrow at Lee. "How'd it go other than the shooting and the blood? Wow. That…sounds a lot like a first date I had a little bit ago."

Lee snarks right back, "It wasn't like a comic book, the guy's head burst open. Real life is different, you know. Oh wait, no you wouldn't." He says, "I got a /second/ date, the first was even more disastrous. For me, I mean. Not for the homeless mentally ill guy who got blasted by Don O'Quixote and his nine."

"I swear, with all that's been happening, you'd think that Giuliani never was mayor." Using her free hand to sip some of her in-a-can DDP, Nima snarks back at the snark, "No… exploding heads is totally 'Big Trouble In Little China'." C'mon. Nick Angel has said that, no, there isn't a spot in a man's head that, if you shoot it, it will explode. And if you can't trust Nick Angel, who can you trust?

Settling down in a chair by Chewie, Cass sips her can of soda slowly as she listens to the twins. "Yeah. Really. I always thought he just shipped all the homeless out to Jersey in big vans." Leaning back, she reaches out a hand to lazily pet the dog. "I'm…just glad I didn't have to see anything explode. Heads or otherwise. Good for you on the second date. What about a third? That's really the key one."

Lee says, "Well, she didn't say 'never call me again'…I think. Jack fired the gun more or less right next to my ears, so I couldn't hear a thing the rest of the night. I had to do a written statement when the cops got there."

"Well, first, you were near-skewred and set on fire. Then your eardrum was blasted. I'm afraid of what will happen on the third date." Especially since, truly, she MUST be Auntie Neems, one day. Srsly.

The dog continues to devastate Grand Moff Tarkin and idly wag his tail with contentment, perhaps a bit more so since he is now being petted.

"Well, if you didn't hear it, it didn't happen," Cass encourages. She knows Nima's thoughts on the subject. "So it's totally game for you to call her and ask for that third date. Maybe third time's a charm!"

Lee says, "I'm going to, definitely. Anyone who can witness a shooting, treat their friend's injuries, and still be coherent when talking to the police - and again, I'm only assuming she's coherent - is someone pretty remarkable. Aaanyhow, so we went over to your place the other night to get your advice on the loonies that broke in /here/. That whole…situation." That's a prompt for Nima, Lee is still not quite sure how /she/ sees it.

Dinner is done. Woo! Turning off the stovetop, Nima fetches some bowls and starts scooping some veggie and chicken stir-fry into each of them. One is then served to Cass, then Lee, along with some chopsticks. "Hey," she asks, "How're things going with Lach Mess and his monster?" Getting her own grub, she joins her brother and her friend. "And if you need the place, let me know," is added about the third date. Ah, but then the subject is changed. "How's Ramon doing?" Yes, she's concerned, which probably isn't the angle Lee was aiming for.

Lee doesn't react one way or the other, everything's been so crazy, that why /not/ be concerned about their burglar?

Taking her bowl from Nima, Cass also makes sure that she doesn't drop the chopsticks. She's actually able toe eat with them, though it's a much slower process than if she'd just use a fork. "It…was a weird situation, wasn't it?" The book store owner looks down at her bowl, frowning at the mention of Lach. "Oh, it's not," she manages to reply as flippantly as possible. "Differences of opinions as to how open things where." Shrugging, she looks up and smiles again. "Whatever." As for Ramon, the frown is back. "He's okay. I think. Last time I could check in on him. They wouldn't let me stay that long to see how he was really doing. Visitor hours and all. I'm still confused about the whole him breaking into your store. That doesn't sound like /anything/ he would do."

Perhaps not, but Nima has the security tapes to prove it. "Perhaps not, but I have security tapes to prove it." For the nonce, she does not mention the gun. To the rest that Cass says, she merely nods. Now's not the time for the "I'm sorry the guy you were seeing turned out to be a total a-hole" conversation. There's really nothing to add about Ramon, save perhaps a small smile that it seems he'll be okay. Sharing a seat with Panthro, with her drink nearby, chopsticks are employed for the eating process.

Lee winces at Cass' flippant statement. "What an asshole." he declares, his sentiments firmly fixed, any credit he might have given Lachlan due to Cass' affection and judgment gone, and not having the timing of Nima. "Good riddance. Just check your store and apartment to make sure he didn't hide any evidence there. So you think this Ramon guy is semi-normal? Even though his daughter was one of the ski-masked home invaders I saw in your shop that night."

"Yeah," Cass shrugs. "But he wouldn't stash any evidence in my apartment or my store. There's nothing for him to stash. Unless it's some slutty Rockette dancer." Okay, that's dangerously sounding like it's 'not okay' Anyway, it's time to move on. "He /is/. I mean, he's really just…at the point of breaking, I think. When I talked to him he was so at the end of his rope at trying to find out who murdered his wife. He didn't know what to do. His daughter is /also/ semi-normal. Despite that one incident. It's all a weird story."

"Yeah. What's that about?" The shot dog rushed into the shop by conspiracy spouting weirdoes wearing ski-masks thing. A piece of broccoli is plopped into Nima's mouth. Mmm. Hoisin-Schezuan combination sauce. And it can't help but be quipped: "Well, with how high they kick their legs, maybe she forgot that we mere mortals spend most of the time with said limbs firmly not wide open."

Lee says, "So the murdered wife story is legit, and he thinks a serial killer did it, the same one that left a message talking another woman into killing herself, and /somehow/ he thought we were connected?'

Cass takes a few moments to awkwardly shovel stir fry into her mouth with chopsticks. "Oh, a whole lot of weirdness." But she can actually talk about Ramon's case without it sounding /too/ weird. Or much like their conversation from before. "It is. You can check it at the precinct if you really want. They've got all the evidence there. It's weird. The DA actually brought it to his attention that it could be a serial killer thing. And then he just dropped off the face of the earth. He thinks it's…hypnotism, really. A kind of verbal hypnotism. Like snake charmers or something."

Perhaps it's because the food is so damn tasty or because she figures it might be best to let Cass further clarify before jumping in with questions. Or to let Lee take Round One. Either way, Nima just continues to quietly eat, flitting those blue eyes of hers between her brother and her friend.

Lee says, "Do District Attorneys actually do that? I would think it would be sort of…cruel, if they didn't have an actual answer. 'Hey, check out your dead wife's case which you thought was closed.'" For the first time he is putting himself in Ramon's shoes, and imagining how he would react if a police officer started talking to him about his parents' disappearance. It would be hard on him, very hard. He eats.

"I don't know." As Nima isn't asking the questions, Cass directs her answers to Lee. It feels like she has to prove something and that makes her a little uncomfortable. "Ramon went to him to ask him about the case. And the DA then brought up this other evidence, I think. I'm, like, fifth source here, though. So I could be getting some things wrong. Then the cops re-opened the case but they've done nothing with it. It's pretty cruel in my opinion."

Lee says, "Yeah." in a sympathetic tone for the first time, as if Cass has indeed proven to him whatever he was challenging her to prove.

"Honestly," Nima says, "Ramon strikes me as decent fellow. Maybe even a good guy. Just one who has suffered a terrible loss and the agonizing effects of grief. I think he means well, even if he's not doing well." It really must be hard. "I even told him as much. That it was possible that he was being played. That someone is taking advantage of his emotional state."

Cass sighs and pushes around her food to soak up more of the sauce. "He is. Really he is. But…yeah. The only time I've actually seen him look happy was when we danced at that jazz club opening. And when I gave him showed him a necklace that was linked to the case from another woman." Pause. "She was okay, though." As for him being played, she frowns. "I guess it's possible. This is one of those things he's blind about. But there's definitely something there."

Lee says, in response to Nima's consideration: "Misunderstandings and neglect create more confusion in this world than trickery and malice. At any rate, the last two are certainly much less frequent." in the original 18th century German, then translates, adding, in English: "Something there, but not /here/, I mean…he thought our /parents/ had something to do with it, based on a half-burned business card he found at my school."

The parents Jones disappeared perhaps 6 months before Cass started working at Enlightenment, and it's not a point of conversation that Nima ever really discussed, despite their being good friends over these past few years. Even now, it's not a subject that is welcome. Factor in that Ramon was talking about the store having been an intended target of arson, which would also mean this very apartment would have been at risk for going-up in flames… well, some baby corn, a peapod, and a sliver of carrot are pinched betwixt chopsticks and eaten. After a moment, she adds, "The Transmutation Circle." The necklace.

Throughout the German, Cass keeps the confused look on her face until he finally translates. "What? How do your parents enter into this?" This is /really/ now not making any sense to her. It's not like she knows that much about the older Jones' disappearance. It's not a subject either of them wanted to talk about and it's not really something to just bring up without prompting. Nima's addition is met with a blink. "I…yes. I think. You know about it?"

Lee says, "That's what we intend to ask him. He saw them in the picture behind the counter. Said that Dad was a suspect? Something like that…" He lets Nima take the conversation down the alchemy tangent. That's easier to talk about.

Nima nods a little. "He showed it to me." And she recognized it immediately. What else is to be expected of a gaming geek? "And the message with the Ingersoll quote and other strangeness." As for the German, it's all Greek to her. "I wasn't aware you knew about the necklace." It appears that there is a lot going on that isn't being discussed that should have been discussed. Has Mercury been Retrograde?
Nothing is added about the parents.

"A suspect?" Cass blinks and stares at the two. This needs to be explained, but she's not sure how she can dig without hurting her two friends. "Howso?" She frowns at Nima. "Ingersoll quote? That I didn't know about. But I met Ramon because he came into the store with Elena and he asked me to research the symbol. I didn't know much about it, so I started to. And then a book appeared in my store that I never put there all about it. So I gave it to him." It's never really that she was hiding the information, just that it never came up.

Lee says, "Wait, a book that was never there before?" He looks over at Nima. Her theory, which he derided in the original German, even, is looking more reasonable by the moment. "How did it get there, I mean…did you ever find out where it was from?"

Even if Cass can find the ideal way to ask, it's not as though the twins really have an answer for her, being that they are still trying to make sense of it all. "Yeah. Ingersoll." Which she then quotes, "Our hope of immortality does not come from any religion, but nearly all religions come from that hope." A pause. "If the killer isn't just screwing with our heads with selective symbolism, everything suggests that he is either an atheist or an agnostic — likely a spiritual agnostic — and his choice of targeting religiously 'pure' women has prompted a few hypotheses." As for everything else, Nima isn't being accusatory. She honestly had no idea Cass was involved with any of this. At most, she's a little bewildered that her help wasn't sought regarding such a matter. It's not a far leap from RPGs to the occult, in certain respects. "Can you get the book back from him, do you think? I'd like to take a look at it."

Lee prompts his sister, "/You/ can get the book back from him. It's not like he really has a choice, since you're the one…" Holding onto his gun. "…protecting him from the police."

Cass shakes her head. "Nope, never figured it out." She shrugs. "I couldn't really ask everyone coming in if they randomly shelved a book in my alchemy section. I mean, I could, but then I'd have to shut down for getting no customers." She grins. "I didn't know you knew so much about it." Though it's true the occult isn't that big a leap from RPGs and comics, it still kind of is in Cass' head. "Hm. I heard about that theory. Ramon told me about it. It's what the DA told him. I could if you wanted to. But I think you could too, yeah." She tilts her head at Nima. "You're protecting him from the police?"

"Yes," Nima tells her brother, "but he /trusts/ Cass." It can't be helped. The woman is strategic in her thinking without it even meaning to be sneaky. If there's a way to get what she wants without damaging the prospects of fostering goodwill, that's the route she'll go. A bit of a nod and a wan smile are flashed at Cass. "I didn't turn him in when the cops came by." Never mind the illegal firearm that she totally has on-camera…. and in her possession. "Whatever his problems and intentions, he /did/ break into my shop with a gun."

Lee says, "Ah, the carrot before the stick. Okay." He's grown to accept his sisters' plans, except, of course, where applied to him.

"He does. I guess." Cass responds and finishes off the last of her stir fry. Putting the bowl back down onto the table, she finally goes back to her Mountain Dew. "It's true. I know. And…he had a gun?" This is getting worse as they go along. "Thanks for not turning him in, though. That's just about the last thing he needs."

Another nod. "Yeah. He did. Unregistered, I bet. The slug and casing are in the possession of Ballistics. And, yeah. Getting him busted just didn't seem like the right thing to do." It figures that Nima would act appropriately comic bookish.

Cass is not one to berate another for acting comic bookish. She's been in the problem of acting the same way in situations. "Agreed. Well, I'll ask him if I could borrow the book back and I'll let you look through it."

"Cool," Nima quietly says. "To be honest, I'm not sure if there's anything in the book that I can't find from other sources. The Transmutation Circle is not all that obscure. Even less so is the Philosopher's Stone. This guy is killing people, so I wonder if that is his stab at fulfilling the Equivalent Exchange. No pun intended." Yeah. The use of 'stab' was maybe not the best choice.

Cass gives Nima a look at the stab word. Yes, she caught it. But, then, she keeps going. "Well, it's good to have it from the source. I'll still try to get it for you." As soon as Ramon's out of the hospital. "I knew about the Philospher's Stone. But that's because I read Harry Potter. The British Harry Potter." Silly changing of names in the American version. "I guess it could be. I've heard of people doing stranger things."

Nima grins at the Harry Potter reference. "It's interesting stuff. Pretty much a load of bunk but still interesting." By this point, Lee has retreated to his room to field a phone call. "And the Ingersoll angle makes it /really/ interesting." She thinks so, anyway. "We just really need to determine if that's on the level or if we're being played to think that's the way the killer is really thinking."

"I don't think he's being /played/," Cass responds resting her elbows on the table, even if it is considered rude. "Or, well, that's not true. He may be. I just hope that he's not. And if he /is/ getting played. The question comes down to why and what they want from him." That's just as interesting to her as the Ingersoll quote.

"Well, if Ramon is being played, that means we all are. Every single person connected to him." That's Nima's unshakable opinion. "The card for the shop was planted at Lee's school, in the desk of the one victim who managed to survive because someone intervened before she could go through with it." Okay, so maybe Lachlan is an a-hole, but he did save someone's life. Not that /that/ gives him license to be an a-hole.

"Wait. So she /did/ work at JPSousa?" Cass is still a little behind. There've been a lot of things going on. "Yeah. That was Lachlan," she says absently for the person who intervened. She's not sure if she knew who it was and she can't help but interject that into the conversation. "And if we are being played then we should try and figure out /why/. What's the whole point of this? Immortality? What?"

No… Nima had no idea that it was Lachlan. That's evident by the look on her face and the way she blinks. Nothing is said, though. Not about that. Stirring her stir-fry with her chopsticks, she shrugs a little. "I have a few ideas, based on the alchemy and Ingersoll, but immortality is tricky. Going down in history is a form of immortality, to an extent. There is a bit of a paradox in that Ingersoll maintained that terrestrial existence is a curse. So, if this guy is seeking true physical immortality…" That's just messed-up on so many levels. "He speaks of transformation, of immortality, of a quest for the Grail… He kinda sounds like a freak who's hoping to become pure, somehow. The victims he chooses, the way he speaks… he sounds as though he's doing them a service, as though it's a fair exchange." Beat. "What I'd really like to see are the knives used. He left one for Janica Morris. I can only assume he placed blades for his other victims, too."

To the first question, though, she nods. "Yeah. A secretary at Sousa. Lee says she had no reason to have that card. I had thought maybe it was in his file as an emergency contact but he says that's not it at all." Nima leaves out the part where Lee said he goes through great pains to remain as unlinked to The Secret Lair as possible.

Cass gives a kind of lop-sided smile at Nima's expression. "I know," she says in response to it. At least she thinks she knows. Lachlan doesn't seem like that kind of guy. But there was definitely something there that Cass saw in him and this has to deal with that to. "I've heard of Ingersoll." It comes up with the the subject matter she deals with a lot. "Hm. Weird. So we should definitely come up with time lines. Boards. Isn't that what the police do? See what connects. What doesn't fit. So many different threads coming together can't be just coincidental, right?" She stands up and grabs her bowl and will grab Nima's if she'll allow it to put into the sink.

Well, whatever the case may be, Nima still doesn't comment about the Scotsman. Now is still not the time for the "I'm sorry that your boyfriend turned out to be a major a-hole and his saving someone's life doesn't make him less of an a-hole, merely an a-hole who has a redeeming quality that holds no pertinence in a romantic relationship of any kind" talk. Regarding boards and the like, Nima nods. "Yeah. We should." As for the stir-fry, she's still polishing it off. She does firmly tell Chewie, "No," when he starts sniffing at Lee's unfinished food.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License