Death... Becomes Her?

Manhattan - Theater District

The Theater District hosts over three dozen theaters and well over a hundred restaurants to cater to the theater-going crowd. One of the great centers of night life in New York, it attracts thousands of tourists and socialites.

While many of the theaters are quite sophisticated, the Theater District is also home to the sleaziest, most corrupt and dangerous streets in Manhattan. The main avenues are lined with cheap movie houses, souvenir shops, and burlesque joints; side streets offering beautiful Art Deco architecture from the days of Vaudeville.

It is a stark study in contrasts.


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Lilith Graves Kevin Curtis Mandy Lockhart

Darkness fell an hour ago, and the last of the theater goers in the area have gone in to watch whatever production it is they've paid for. Lilith doesn't really want to be out here, but as she doesn't seem to fit the MO of whomever is doing the killing, and the girl in the paper does, she's slipped her way past the yellow tape.
Black jeans, an ironic black 'Walking Dead' t-shirt, and a black hoodie that covers her head and hides most of her face are what she's wearing currently. It helps her blend in to the darkness of the alley a little so as not to draw too much attention to herself.
This is insane. I should be resting before the show tomorrow.
"It's been a few days," she says to herself under her breath, "Let's see if this girl is around at all." The items she needs to call and conjure a specific ghost are available in her purse, but she's not going to pull them out unless absolutely necessary.

This isn't his job. This hasn't been his job for years, but yet here he is. Dressed as non-descript as possible, walking toward the blocked off alley with intent and purpose. Like he belongs here. He does more than the morbid gawker who stops to peer and point out if they can see blood or send a snap shot to a friend. The uniforms are mostly keeping them away, but two uniforms can't be everywhere at once, and from his vantage point when he'd been sitting in his car, he's seen more than one duck under the tape, snap a picture and dart away.
Please tell me I was not that incompetent when I was on the force.
Kevin has been here long enough that he saw Serafine earlier - with a cute little redhead number and some kid (which is a question he'll put to the vampire later), but he doesn't think she saw him. Of course, just because she didn't acknowledge him didn't mean she didn't see him, or smell him or whatever it is she does with her vampire senses. Mostly though, apart from the gawkers, and those are dwindling as the hour gets later, he's seen little.
Until he sees the hooded figure duck in there, and then he's right behind whomever it is. There's something different about this one, the way they're dressed, the way they move.
I think we've got something.
Kevin hovers at the mouth of the alley, around the corner and out of sight, listening for a tell-tale sign of what the figure might be up to.

/W-What's that?/
A very tired and disoriented young woman nervously peeks up the moment that she hears anything come near her in the alleyway. She believes that she's heard things before, but by time she actually got around to looking no one was there. The first few times it wasn't a big deal yet she finds herself hoping that there is someone around.
Seated on what she can only determine is an old egg crate (although in these alleys it's difficult to determine such things) is none other than Mandy. The blonde is wearing an outfit with enough glitter and a short enough skirt that means she's either about to go clubbing or a street walker.
"H-hello?" She's not exactly sure why she's here, but for some reason company doesn't sound so bad right about now. "Is someone there?"

Hearing the voice, Lilith peers deeper into the alley, and frowns. Does the girl not realize she's dead?
Dealing with the newly dead is always a hassle, but at least Brandi Sugar KNEW what was going on.
Spying the figure seated on the crate, she gives herself a moment, attempting to focus on making the girl incorporeal. "Mandy?" Lilith's voice is just above a whisper, not wanting to alert the police to her presence. Holding the hood open a little, she makes her way toward the crate and sits down on it beside the girl.

…The fuck? is the first thought that pops into Kevin's head. He swore he just heard the hooded figure call out to the dead girl. That is so … not right. He's had the briefings, yeah, that ghosts exist and some people can see them and all that shit, but he's never really thought about that on a real level.
The cop part of him is saying that he can't assume anything; there's a good chance the person just thinks they can contact the dead. Which means that he's got your standard New York City freak and weirdo in the alley.
Not leaving his position, not yet, Kevin slides his phone out of his pocket. It takes some manuevering to put down low but at a good enough angle that he's actually able to see what's happening in the alley. He'll make his presence known soon, just not yet.

A swirl of emotions strikes the newly deceased. It is nice to have someone to speak with, yet rather creepy that she knows her. /How exactly does she know me?/ Yet, at this particular moment, she's not going to up and run away. Not just yet.
"What? Oh, ah. Yeah, I'm Mandy. H-How, how did you know?"
The young woman plays with her fingers as she speaks, a nervous reaction to whatever it is that is happening.

Lilith is not an empath, and while she can't feel the emotions that the ghost is feeling, there is something that she can feel in the air with the change of them.
Dealing with newbies is not fun.
Barely being able to make the girl out, Lilith reaches a hand toward the girl. Her hand touches Mandy's for just a second before it passes through, and the necromancer curses at herself.
"You've been in the papers, recently, Mandy. Do you know where you are? What happened?" Reaching up she slides the hood down to her shoulders, and gives her head a shake. Calming ghosts is not something she's good at.
"I know things are confusing for you right now. I know you've only recently come back."

Kevin is both watching his phone and listening to the words in the alley. He now wishes that Sera had come over and talked to him. He could have convinced her to stay and then he'd have the advantage of vampire super hearing. He has to strain to hear the soft words, and he's distracted by the smudge on his screen.
Frowning, he draws the phone back and wipes the screen, and then the camera lens. Returns it to its place. The distortion is there again, and he pulls a frown.
It takes a bit of careful manuevering, but he takes a screenshot once the screen is in full focus. Then he pulls the camera back, and presses back against the wall. With an ear still to the conversation, he sends the picture to Kayla, with a note and a question. 'Ghosts on film? What do you have for me?'

The hand passing through her is the last bit that the poor girl can take. She stands and attempts to run away quickly, managing to only trip up upon herself. As she falls she doesn't actually strike anything. There are no noises, and she isn't hurt. Mandy is left to just lie there.
Thus comes the tears. At first she attempts to speak but it is incoherent. Eventually she calms down just enough to actually attempt to communicate. "Of course I've been in the papers! I've got my show, and it's really going to take me places."
Denial is a horrible thing. "What do you mean? Of course I know /where/ I am. Do /you/ know where /you/ are?"

Lilith stands and kneels down on the ground beside the girl, exhaling a loud sigh. The incoherence is a bit unnerving, because it sounds like a high pitched buzzing in her ears. Another reason not to like newbies that much.
"Mandy, calm down, please." The young ghost doesn't have control over herself enough to stay solid for the necromancer to help her up. "We need to have a chat, alright?" Lilith would've figured that this girl would have gone right to the other side, but apparently she's got unfinished business. "We are in the alleyway behind your theater," she murmurs, as calmingly as possible. "Do you remember leaving the theater on Thursday night?"

Kayla is good, but she's not that good. Kevin will be waiting a while for an answer. It gives him time to stay focused on and attuned to the conversation. The dark haired woman is either a nutjob who's talking to herself, or thinks she's talking to a ghost. Or she's the real deal. He's got two choices. One, he can barge in and ask her what she's doing. If she's a nutjob, there's no harm, no foul. However, if there really is the ghost of poor Mandy Lockhart present?
Kevin chooses to wait it out. Not outside the alley, however. He squats and steps into the alley, slipping up behind a trash dumpster. It stinks to high heaven and he doesn't even contemplate what squishes beneath his shoe. His thumb slides the sound to mute and a quick peek around allows him to get the phone in position again.
Really need to talk to Ash about getting a medium on the payroll. Would make this a walk in the park.

She's not going to just 'calm down'. The young woman continues to cry as she remains firmly on the ground. It isn't so uncomfortable, really, but it isn't something that she's currently thinking about. "What are you talking about? It /is/ Thursday night."
Slowly Mandy props herself up so she can look around the alleyway. "I'm just on my way to meet Toby. I-I just finished a show. And and now there's no one here. I think I got excited and passed out or something."
Eventually the ghost kneels as she looks to this stranger. "What are you trying to say?"

"Mandy…" Lilith leans back on her heels, and rubs a hand down her face. Reaching into her purse, she pulls out her phone and shows the date and time to the girl. "It's Sunday evening."
Giving the ghost a few moments to deal with that, she glances around to ensure no one is really watching as she continues to talk.
"This is going to be difficult for you to grasp, and I really hate to be the one to tell you, but you were murdered on Thursday night." Lilith is not great with doing the breaking the news thing. She's a bit blunt and to the point, but at least the information is out there now.

One ghost. One ghost whisperer. She should have taken lessons from that skinny actress though,she was a lot nicer about it.
His phone vibrates in his hand, and Kevin looks down to read the text message. Instead, he's greeted with a pictre of Kayla. Shaking his head, Kevin sends the call to voice mail. Next time, he needs to bring back up. The lovely Sera for her vampire skills, and the new guy for his spell magic.
The phone vibrates again and Kevin curses softly, shifting his position just a bit. His shoes slides in whatever and squeaks loudly. Catching his breath, he holds perfectly still.

"You mean that I've been passed out here that long and no one came?" The nerve of some people. She could have been murdered, or worse! Mandy goes to reach for the phone but her hand passes through it. The action causes her to stare at the object. "No, you're joking. This is one of those prank shows or something. Well, this isn't funny."
She reaches for the phone again with the same result. At this point she begins crying again, although not to the point of being uncontrollable. It does seem to make sense, what this stranger says versus what is going on. Still, it isn't exactly something that one wants to believe.
"What? No. Why would someone want to murder me? What happ -" The sudden noise elsewhere cuts off Mandy's words as she turns in the direction. The tears continue to roll. "What now?"

"No, you've been… elsewhere." Lilith can't explain where the missing days have gone. She's not privy to what happens when the soul actually leaves the body at a death. She knows she can pull it back, but she's not at all sure where the soul goes in the interim.
"I'm not joking. I wouldn't be so mean with a prank." She does have a program on television, but she'd never do this on television either.
"I don't know why anyone would want to murder you. I just know what I've read in the newspapers."
The sound causes Lilith to snap her head around as quickly as she can without hurting herself.
"Fuck. That better not be a reporter.
"Who's there?"

Kevin is tempted to mewl like a cat. So much so that he has to bite his lip to stop himself from doing exactly that. He holds his breath, jerking the phone back out of sight. At the same time, Kayla's face fills the screen again and the damn thing vibrates. It startles him and his elbow hits the can, making him yelp and bite back a curse.
This is not my night.

/Oh God. Oh God. This isn't right. This just isn't right./
Mandy continues to look into the direction of the sound even as this woman calls out. "Who's that?" Deep down she can figure out that clearly this isn't an answer that she'll get as it is unknown. She's scared, though, and will ask the silly questions.
"Hey you. Yeah, you! Who are you? Did you - did you do this to me?!"

"Whoever it is… they can't hear you," Lilith replies gently. "Stay here." Digging in her purse, she pulls out the can of pepper spray.
"Alright. We can hear you." Realizing what she's said, she exhales deeply. "I can hear you. Show yourself, or I'll call nine-one-one." Because that'll really explain what she's doing at a still active crime scene.
Turning to look over her shoulder at Mandy, she frowns. Is this the person who did this to her?
"Mandy, are you alright? Still with me?"

He could make a run for it, but why? One woman who can see ghosts and what sounds to be a confused ghost aren't much of a threat. Rolling his eyes, and giving himself a figurative kick to the backside, Kevin stands. He steps out from behind the dumpster, pulling out his 'credentials' as he goes. It's a quick flash of an open badge billfold, a brief flash of the identification badge in there. "Kevin Curtis, Dunlop-Browning Securities."
The company is legitimate, so is all the paperwork. One of the front companies from which The Priory pulls their money. Private Securities and investigation firm, special contract with the Mayor's office and NYPD that allows them access to crime scenes and information. Sometimes. Sometimes, they get hell.
When he wore the badge, Kevin hated to hear that company name. Now he uses it all the time.
"You can call 9-1-1 if you want, but the boys in blue know that I'm poking around."

Still with her? Of course she's still with her. In fact, she's right beside her, glaring out at the area where the noise was. Mandy can hear what is being said but that doesn't mean that she's going to listen.
Once the new newcomer reveals himself, she steps right up to him. A finger is pointed at him as she's right up in his face. "They expect you, huh? Returning to the scene of the crime? So why'd you do it, huh? What kind of scum are you?"
Clearly she's not thinking rationally yet. "Or maybe you're being paid to make sure it actually happened? Well, are you happy now? Satisfied?"

Staring at the credentials, as long as he allows her to. Lilith will ask her agent to check them out in the morning, but there's no much that she can do at the MOMENT. If he's legit, he's legit. If he's not, it's not like she can look the company up unless she calls the police, which would just get her in trouble.
"Mandy, calm down please." She's getting a bit of a headache from the anger that the ghost is experiencing. "He's with the police." She hopes.
"Even though they've had three days to investigate. What are you poking around for?"

The ghost is ignored. Not because Kevin is rude, but because he can't see her. There is something of a chill in the air that makes the hairs on his arm stand on end when she gets close, but he discounts that at the coolness of the night air.
He studies the woman in the dark jacket. He's very much trying to place her, but the connection is elusive. "The d - " Kevin pauses, reconsiders his words. Just in case. "Mandy is here? Now?"
The detective isn't sure that he believes it, not one hundred percent, but in his line of work, he has to consider all options. "She doesn't know what happened to her." Not a question.
He gives her a lazy grin and leans against the dumpster. The clothes might not be salvageable later, but he'll worry about that later. "What are you?"

Being ignored is not something she's used to, and she certainly doesn't like it. "Don't know what happened to her? To me? I'm RIGHT HERE." Hands wave in front of his face as if to prove her point. "Don't act like you can't see me. I mean, SHE can see me." Mandy points back to Lilith. "And you better not be acting like this is some sort of joke or something. Do you see any humor in this situation?" Calm Mandy isn't going to come out to play immediately.

"I told you. He can't see you, Mandy. He can't hear you. Not everyone can." The ghostly screaming causes Lilith to cringe a little. This is why she prefers to fake it. She doesn't get the headaches from that.
"Unless you believe I'm talking to myself."
Lilith shrugs, not really caring to go into details. She shared with the supposed vampire, because his soul was just WRONG. She's not going to share with some securities guy who's going to think she's cracked.
"A woman. You?"

Kevin watches the one-sided interaction, and slowly withdraws his phone. Slowly, so not to alarm her, and then slides the camera access. Oddly, he doesn't focus the camera on Lilith but on the dark empty spaces in the alley, and he does take a step back when the blob-like interference wobbles on his screen directly in front of him. One beat, and he snaps off two quick shots.
"Let's say I'm not humoring you, and I'm not a reporter or a prankster. She right in front of me, isn't she?"
"She's pissed off that I can't see her or hear her, and she's not listening to you." He has been paying attention to Lilith's half of the conversation.
"Mandy?" Kevin looks directly at the spot where he thinks the ghost is, if she's really here. "I'm not being rude on purpose, but I really can't see you or hear you, okay?" He motions toward Lilith. "But I think this lady can, and you really should talk to her."
It takes him a moment to make sense of Lilith's response. "I meant, what are you poking around here for? But I'm assuming you wanted to find Mandy?"

"I will /not/ be treated like a child!" This is yelled in Kevin's face, not that he'll actually be able to hear it. Upset, Mandy stalks back away, behind Lilith, and crouches. She hugs herself and begins rocking; mumbling something about how these things can't happen to her.
The rest of their conversation is ignored. The deceased has to come to terms with the fact that she's actually deceased. It is sinking in, albeit slowly, and that just isn't okay. "Stupid being dead."

"Alright. You're not humoring me." Lilith rolls her eyes, and then stares at him.
You know, if he hadn't slid in the garbage, he DOES have that sort've rugged look to him…
The yelling causes her to jump and forget the thought entirely.
"I don't think he means to treat you like a child, Mandy. Some people… just want to look out for your well-being." A frown turns her lips downward slightly. "Even the dead have well-beings that need looking after. I want to help you. I want to talk to you some more, and try and find out who did this to you, okay?"
Offering her hand out to the securities man, she exhales another long sigh. "Lilith Graves. Before you ask, I'm not trying to capitalize on this. I've seen other women like her around the park, and someone's asked me to help." It's the truth, in a round about way.

As Kevin takes her hand and gets her name, his eyes widen and he looses a low whistle. "The Lilith Graves?" Beat. "You know, we have a pool about whether or not you're legit or just yanking people's chains." Kayla says it's cold-reading, where Kevin's gut tells him that it's something else even if she's not seeing ghosts. Now he knows.
"I so am looking forward to coffee delivered fresh and hot, without snark, every morning."
He sobers, and looks around, though he can't see Mandy. "I don't mean to offend, Mandy. I'm not used to this … er, either."
With his attention back on Lilith, he adds, "Someone's asked us to help too. I came back to take another look at the scene, try and get into the head of the vic - Mandy - and maybe the assailant."
"You're a lot prettier in person. Natural and not all made up for the cameras."

The rocking continues for some time as she mumbles, having what seems like an entire conversation with herself. In fact she's trying to rationalize the recent events. Eventually she stops rocking and covers her head with her hands. "Think. Think."
Kevin and Lilith are ignored at this point. Mandy stares straight ahead, attempting to remember what exactly happened. "So I remember plans were changed. That my ride wasn't going to be here, and that I was going to cab it to join him. I changed and walked out the door there." They have been trying to figure out what happened after all, or at least she thinks so. For all she knows they've moved on with some sort of mating ritual.
"Then it all goes dark."

"Can you hold off telling them just yet?" Lilith isn't certain who he's going to tell, and the less people that know she's working on a case with actual dead people, the better. "I just don't want accidental publicity. Once a 'medium' is known to be on the case, people will start questioning the police, and there'll be less people looking for the murderer."
Hearing Mandy, the necromancer turns toward the door that she's pointing at. "The stage door. Attached to the cast rooms." Frowning, she looks between the door and the area where she first saw Mandy. She wasn't at the scene when they found the body, but she can guess where it was.
"Thank you, Mandy." Repeating what she's said to Kevin, she exhales a sigh. "It may be days before she recalls anything that might be useful. Weeks even."
A smile is flashed in Kevin's direction at the compliment. "Extra makeup is needed for the cameras."

Kevin follows Lilith's gaze curiously. He wishes that he could see the ghost simply so that he could feel a bit more in the loop. He feels a bit lost when he's not got all the info. "What's she saying?"
The detective ruffles a hand through his hair and shoves his hands in his pockets. He rocks on his heels. "No problema. The people I work for aren't in any rush to completely rely on the police. We're independent and don't have to tread carefully or work with our hands tied."
"Notice that I never doubted that you are what you are. We're an … unconventional group."
A group that not only believes in the things that go bump in the night, but works with them practically every day.

"Great. I don't know what's worse; the fact that I'm a ghost or the fact that people are talking to ghosts like it's nothing new." She's not normally so snippy about things but this is a rather life altering moment, so to speak.
Mandy shakes her head and looks back to the door. "No, I know that I walked out that door." She squints at she concentrates. /So many blonde jokes could work right about now./
"I know I did! Because there was a man. He-he grabbed me, but it wasn't like that. You know, violent or anything. He just wanted to talk. He had a nice voice, seemed great. I think he was a fan. After that, I've got nothing."
There's a bit of hope to her voice, as she chooses not to believe that she was murdered. "Maybe I just fell and hit my head or something?"

"It's too early for her to remember anything. She… only just realized that she's deceased. I can keep working with her if she'll allow me to."
Lilith really doesn't want to push things with the new ghost. It's hard enough seeing all these blonde ghosts around, but this one is different. This wasn't some streetwalker. Not some homeless girl no one would care about. This is a girl who had loved ones. A family.
Whoever is killing the blonde girls is getting a great deal bolder.
"I did notice that you didn't doubt that I could see ghosts. Maybe you're as crazy as I am."
She's about to offer Mandy a place to relax, when she spouts what she does.
"She says there was a man, and he grabbed her in a non-violent manner. He wanted to talk. Had a nice voice. She figures he was a fan."
Turning back to the ghost, Lilith lightly passes her hand through the girl's, and sadly says, "I really wish you HAD just hit your head. You are welcome to come with me. My apartment is safe against any other who might try to call you and pull you out to talk to. You can stay there as long as you'd like, Mandy, and you can leave at any time you want."

As morbid as it is, Kevin perks up when Lilith repeats the ghost - Mandy. Need to get used to calling her Mandy. - words to him. There wasn't much doubt that the killer is a vampire, but that information is something to add to the theory. Those under glamour or compulsion, and he's still not sure what the difference is beyond what the vampire calls it, always seem to think the voice is nice. Mellow. Calming. Soothing.
He's fighting against his instincts, wanting to find a way to corner the ghost and interrogate her. Knows that really, he's got to leave that to the ghost whisperer or whatever she is. It chafes; so close and yet so far.
"If I give you a number to reach me, will you call me if she says anything else?"

Something doesn't sit well with Mandy. A lot doesn't sit well with Mandy, aside from the fact that she's dead. It doesn't add up to her, but now she's already thinking about other things. "I never met him." Of all things for her to focus on, after she's come so far, her mind has deflected to her boyfriend. "I never met him," she repeats as she stands.
Upset as she is, she doesn't particularly care for the current conversation. "If he can't hear me, that's too bad. I don't want to say anything to him anyway. He doesn't need to know." Of course, Lilith is just going to tell him anyway.
Mandy shakes her head and begins backing away. "No. I'm done. I'm just done." The steps continue. "If you want any more information, figure it out yourself!" She then turns and begins to run, hoping to get anywhere that is away from this place. It isn't as if walls are going to stop her, she figures.

"You wouldn't be the first," Lilith replies, with a nod to Kevin. That makes two people she needs to call in regards to Mandy, IF she gets anything else.
"She says she never met him."
Watching Mandy have her freakout, she exhales a sigh.
"Alright, thank you again Mandy." There's no point in trying to hold her here now. She can't recall anything, and even if she COULD, forcing her to remain when she's upset isn't going to help. She watches as the girl runs into, and then through the wall. She'll likely only find herself inside the next building somewhere, or she could just pop out of existence again. Lilith is never sure where they go when upset.
"She's gone. It's really too much for her to handle right now. I'll come back in a few days and see if she's more amenable to talking, but I wouldn't count on it."

"I suppose I'd be a little freaked out if I woke up dead." Kevin blinks at his words, and winces. Dipping his head, he sighs and gazes down at his feet a minute. "Just forget that I said that."
He fishes in the inside pocket of his coat, and comes up with a few wrinkled around the edges business cards. Since working with The Priory, he doesn't often give out his personal card anymore, but he's not carrying any Dunlop-Browning ones either.
"I do a little freelance on my own. Or used to. Number's still good, though," Kevin explains as he hands the card over to the woman. "I appreciate you helping me out and including me in that."

"I know I'd definitely be freaked out if I woke up dead," Lilith replies with a dry smile. She can't help it. It makes sense to her, and it's not as though he meant it in any other way but the obvious to her.
Waiting patiently as he fishes out the business card, she dips her hand into her hoodie and pulls out her phone. Entering the number from the card into her phone (and just happening to jot down the name as well) she slips the phone back into the pocket of the hoodie.
Flipping the card over, she pulls out a pen and writes her number on the back.
"If you keep quiet the fact that I AM real, and you think you run into another…" She wafts her hand around to indicate the area where Mandy disappeared to, "Feel free to give me a call. I can't promise to be of much help, but if I can help in any way to find the fucker that did this, let me know."

Kevin grins back at the woman. He has to admit that she's not at all what he expected. He's not sure what he expected, really, but Lilith seems to be down to earth and not full of herself, which is always a plus. "So glad you speak my language."
He takes the card with her number and a slightly boyishly charming grin, "I will keep your secret from the masses." Which isn't to say he won't tell the Colonel and Blackwell, because this is something that they need to know, but he is going to shout her secret from the mountain tops. "I'll be in touch, sure thing."

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