The Displaced Clairvoyant

May 01, 2017:

The rest of the Berlin team, sans John Constantine, pelt Reiner Steinschneider with questions regarding his great-grandfather in an attempt to discover just the motives behind both camps that are seemingly after him.

Red Robin's Penthouse - Berlin - Germany

Characters

NPCs: Reiner Steinschneider, Maria Krueger

Mentions: Giovanni Zatara, John Constantine

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

A day after the Union Jack attack, the afternoon finds Reiner Steinschneider awake from the sedative Red Robin administered to the clairvoyant, given that he was hysterical and uncooperative when the Berlin team had managed to retrieve him - and with good reason. His dossier implies that he has lived a relatively quiet life in spite of his inherited gifts, content to stay away from the intrigues of the city's occult scene until the last night when the Cult of the Cold Flame had tried to wrest him forcibly from Das Auge's protection. He sits on a chair, with a cup of coffee in front of him provided by Zatanna, morosely staring at the lip of it.

To those who have reviewed his dossier, they would be reminded of the following facts. Reiner is the son of Hermann Steinschneider's (aka Muller) youngest grandson, making him his great-grandson and Hermann's last surviving direct descendant, the rest have died in accidents or excess brought upon by luxury, and the team has yet to determine whether there is a family curse or something else attached to the inheritance of the Steinschneider estate. He went to a conservatory and studied performing arts, with music as a concentration, and occasionally hires out his services as a concert pianist. Otherwise, he works as a local gastropub in Berlin. Overall, a relatively ordinary existence compared to the august company that he now keeps against his will and perhaps his better judgment, though he seems accepting of the fact that they very well may have saved his life, or at least rescued him from whatever tortures and suffering the Cult may have had in store for him.

John Constantine is conspicuously absent; a hungover Zatanna had explained a few hours ago that he was off trying to hunt down other Cult agents for some answers regarding the false Zatara, leaving the rest to handle the Steinschneider interrogation and whatever discussions afterwards that may occur regarding his fate. She had also informed them in the same conversation, before she shut herself in her room again to work (decidedly not the same room she had been sharing with Constantine), that she and John had a working theory about her father's doppleganger, namely that he had been pulled from a parallel Earth, with all of his talents but a completely different set of leanings, which, she explained, would make sense because everything about the man is otherwise identical to her actual father, especially his magic. Given that the missing British magus had already discussed this with Maria Krueger before they left her apartment a good forty-eight hours ago, the older woman has arrived in the penthouse to function as a living lie-detector of sorts, quietly nursing a cup of tea and sitting properly on a chaise near the kitchen in which the rest have convened. That agreeable, too-comfortable air blankets the room. The clairvoyant eyes the woman with a hint of wariness, and with good reason - given his nature, it's a safe bet that he probably senses that something about the woman isn't quite right.

The raven-haired witch is sitting on a chair, her legs drawn up and nursing her own cup of coffee. Her earlier black mood has not abated, though there is more misery and exhaustion than anger in those expressive ice-blue eyes. She's unable, at present, to look at anyone in the face, though she seems determined to help with the interrogation whenever she can, hence her presence. She takes a pull of the strong black brew, dressed in her signature blacks, hair pulled in a loose, somewhat disheveled topknit with the rest of those lengthy tresses draped over one shoulder.

After a few moments of tense silence, surprisingly, it's the clairvoyant that speaks up.

"…so…." Reiner begins slowly, in German. "…who are you people again?"

—-

Zatanna isn't able to look at anyone in the room, but people in the room are sure able to look at her. Namely one Bucky Barnes, who has been watching her quietly for the past minute, his blue eyes studying and contemplative.

Occupying a chair a bit towards the back of the room— not close enough to be too intimidatingly a part of the 'conversation' about to happen, but not far enough that he isn't square within Reiner's eyeshot— the erstwhile Winter Soldier holds his silence, for now. He seems to have decided to apply his presence as a constant low-key source of pressure, which does not require him to actually say anything for the moment.

It just requires Reiner to have a good memory of what happened to the SUV he was nearly carried off in.

The young man finally is the one to break the tension. "The people who just stopped your ass from being kidnapped," he grumbles in German, but he leaves the actual questioning to others for the time being.

—-

Hopefully, it's not Red Robin's coffee, which he brews strong enough to fight ninjas on its own, and which can in a pinch be used to clean engine parts.

When you sleep an average of four hours a night, a brutal cup of coffee becomes a necessity.

It would be foolish to assume that the young man isn't aware of the current mood of things, but compartmentalisation is an important skill in the life he lives. Questions about what might've happened to put Zatanna in the mood she is rest quite firmly on the backburner, while instead the vigilante's attention remains on the matter at hand: Lives are at stake, and there are dead who already need answering for. Very notably at stake is the life of the very musician now sitting bewildered at the kitchen table, surrounded by what you might call a curious assortment of individuals.

…who are you people again?

Krueger's presence is a bit of a complication, since she makes it impossible to lie by ommission. It's useful in its way, of course, but it affects both the questioned and the questioners with equal force: They cannot outright lie to the young man, and it's difficult to actively mislead him with the older woman's presence trying to put them at ease.

"Have you heard of the Batman?" Red Robin wonders, in his own impeccable German, not long after Bucky's own no-nonsense response. He sits at the table as well, his dyed blond hair brushed to one side, in a fitted dress shirt, designer jeans, a vest and tie. He's worn casual clothes around the penthouse, of course, but this is Work. And when you're Working, you dress for it. It was this or the full costume. Quasi-mythical or not, the Bat is part of the Justice League. The name carries a certain cachet almost anywhere you might go. "I'm someone he trained. A detective, if you like. You can call me Red Robin. Our friend here," he gestures at Maria, since it's obvious that Reiner is wary of her, can sense something about her, "is present to make sure your answers are truthful. The others are as he said, the ones who rescued you from the very bad people who were trying to kidnap you. We're interest in answers, Mr. Steinschneider. Why don't we start with the most recent, and work from there? What happened, the other night? The attack at the UNION JACK. We know that the Cold Flame were watching you, but what changed?"

—-

Jessica Jones does indeed go through the notes and the dossier one more time, getting everything fresh in her memory. Already feeling slightly guilty because she was basically chilling on a rooftop while everyone else got fireballs thrown at their heads, she's determined to make some sort of decent showing at this…interrogation? Q&A session?

Well. She's interviewed people for cases before, anyway. She pushes some hair out of her face and gives Reiner a flat look, even as she finally tosses a legal pad onto the table so she can take some notes. She tosses a pen down after that, then pulls her chair around, plopping into it. As Bucky and Red explain who they are, the only one who can lay no claim at all to saving his ass says, "So there's them, and me. Jessica Jones. Also a detective. You still at— " Here, the PI rattles off his address. She trusts someone else to translate.

Sure, there are more insightful questions that could be asked, but…she's got thoughts about the address thing, and it's a nice underhand pitch to the young musician and bartender. It's not exactly a build-rapport warm-up, but…'these people saved your ass from Das Angst' has got to count for that anyway, right? It's a nice quick thing to slip in too, before the kid gets started on his narrative.

As for Zatanna, she'd simply given the woman a quick, comforting squeeze on the shoulder before turning her attention to the fellow.

—-

Remembering the man with the metal arm and how he just tore an SUV in half while he was in it, Reiner tries his best not to look at him and focuses on those who are instead. Red Robin, who looks like a regular person, asks him whether he knows the Batman and the clairvoyant's brow furrows. "Ja," he replies. "I read the newspapers and watch the news."

What changed?

"A couple of weeks ago, I was coming home from work," he replies readily enough. "I found my great-grandfather waiting for me, Hermann Steinschneider. He looked exactly like he was in the pictures. I started running immediately - there were stories about him. About how he can't die and how he had it in for the rest of us. I didn't want anything to do with that, so I ran. Then these other magic guys showed up and started ganging up on him. One of them did…." He furrows his brows. "One of them attacked me while I was running and I fell unconscious and when I came back to, Herr Keller was looming over me. I asked him what happened and he said that one of his people rescued me and brought me to him and that he was part of an old outfit that had it in for my great-grandfather, so they were going to protect me while they figure out what they want."

He hunches over on the table, fingers curling over his cup of coffee. "And then last night, Herr Keller said they were going to move me because he got some information that the Cultists knew where I was. So we were going to meet a contact of his at the UNION JACK to take me someplace else that's secure. But he never came and we were attacked. Look, what's this about? Why are these people after me?"

At the squeeze on her shoulder, Zatanna finally looks up from her coffee, flashing Jessica a wan little smile before she turns to look back at Steinschneider. "We're trying to figure that out also," she wonders. "We were hoping you could tell us."

"My best guess is that they're more interested in my great-grandfather than me," he replies. "Other than that I don't know what they could possibly want from me."

—-

Bucky doesn't have any questions to ask at first. What he does have is his stare, which rests pretty consistently on Reiner even as the unfortunate young man pointedly avoids looking at him.

He only seems interested once Reiner says something about 'the rest of us.' "The rest of your family?" he asks suddenly, still in German.

—-

The vigilante does, in fact, translate Jessica's question for her.

He's pretty sure he knows where she's going with it.

"Yes, we know that your great-grandfather has been following your family from the shadows," Red Robin says. "He has an interesting and rather complete geneology of his descendants, though it seems that you're the only one of his blood still alive." That the rest had met with what seemed to be untoward ends, Zatanna had suggested in the past was due to the costs of their magic - the possibility that Steinschneider had been actually doing something about his descendants hadn't really come up. It didn't seem to jive with the rest of the details, with the removed observation instead of just cutting them off at the root. He was, after all, an apparently unkillable, unaging man of considerable power.

"We know that your family line has magical abilities. Das Auge no doubt knew as well, as does the Cold Flame, who came after you at the UNION JACK. But I believe that in the main you're right. You're mostly of interest because of your great-grandfather, whether they want you as bait or as leverage." The viglante considers, those blue-grey eyes watching Reiner carefully. Watching his body language, watching what he can see of the bartender's expressions. 'Unable to lie' doesn't mean 'has to tell the truth'. Especially not the whole truth.

But everyone has tells. Everyone lets things slip.

"Did your great-grandfather say anything, before you ran?" he wonders. "And what about your grandfather, Armand? Can you tell us anything about him?"

—-

Which Jessica appreciates. As Red continues to speak German she pauses to pull up her translation app, following a sort of delayed response on the screen so she can understand what Red and Reiner and Bucky are saying without having to constantly be translated for. She realizes she doesn't have to take notes; she can just record this flow of info, so she puts the pen down and leans back, tossing an arm over the back of the chair. She can't find any fault in Red's questioning. She focuses on looking relaxed.

On being, essentially, the unknown quantity in the room. Just Jessica, just a Detective, to whatever effect that ends up having on the young man. She looks serious and professional, despite being dressed in jeans and a black t-shirt.

—-

"Yeah," Reiner replies. "I still live there."

Zatanna glances over to Jessica, seizing the opportunity to get out of the penthouse. She starts rising from the chair. "Do you want me to pop over and check it out?" she wonders.

The scary man with the metal arm suddenly pipes up and Reiner stiffens. "Yes…the rest of my family. There was some bad blood about the inheritance back in World War II and my great-grandmother. I was told the story a long time ago, that my great-grandmother tried to have my great-grandfather killed because she thought he was having an affair with his partner, Greta Muller."

The way the younger man is suddenly eyeballing him as the clairvoyant glancing down at his coffee again. "Great-Grandfather identified me by name," he said. "And then asked me where the Spear of Destiny was, this old relic from my family's past." The last comes out rather dry, the man spreading his hands. "None of us exactly had the entire gamut of…whatever the hell he is now. We're just seers. We can't magic rabbits out of hats or anything like that. As for my grandfather, he…"

He falls quiet. "I never talked to him at length. Dad always thought he was creepy, and kind of intense. Probably why he kept me away from him. But he was talented. Clairvoyants like me, we see bits and pieces. Just enough to get by, really. But grandfather was another story. He could see. Really see. Supposedly he wrote down the things he saw. There was also an old story where…"

He furrows his brows, and scratches the back of his neck. "It's some pretty dark shit, but Del told me once that grandfather killed his older brother for the Spear. Some kind of showdown at a church here in Berlin back in the….sixties, I think?"

One of Maria's snowy white brows lifts upward over one of her eyes, remembering what she had told John about rumors regarding the Spear around that time.

—-

Well, there's the scandalous affair talk. Bucky says nothing, leaning back in his chair with an audible articulation of his metal left arm.

He absorbs the rest of the information as it is provided, though his mind is still circulating on what was said earlier. It all sounds like some kind of threeway showdown, and all over this Spear of Destiny.

"The contact you were going to meet," he breaks his silence. "Who was he?"

—-

"Yes," Red Robin says to Zatanna. She can get there faster than any of the rest of them, and under the circumstances it seems like keeping magic on the downlow isn't the priority it was a few days ago. They've already been made, though… "Miss Jones, I'd rather you stayed here and helped question Reiner…. Miss Zatara, how easy would it be for them to trace you back to here?" he wonders, turning his attention directly to the gothic witch. "Could you jump to different places to confuse your trail?"

The Cold Flame, or Steinschneider himself, descending onto the penthouse would not exactly be an ideal situation. Which isn't to say that Red Robin hasn't prepared for the eventuality, as much as you really can prepare for wizards busting into your house and trying to kill you, but…

Better to avoid that sort of trouble, when possible.

Otherwise, he listens and observes Reiner. Lets the man talk, watching curiously. His body language seems to suggest he's exactly what he seems to be, but thoroughness, taking care, is too ground into Red Robin's nature for him to rest easily with that assumption.

"'Del'?" he repeats. "Would that be Adelaide Weir?"

Bucky, of course, asks an excellent question as well, one whose answer Red Robin is just as interested in.

—-

"Yes," Jessica tells Zatanna firmly, right as Red does. She'd go herself, but there might be all kinds of booby traps and magical mysteries going on in there, and Jessica would just as soon not wander blindly into them. Plus it will give Zee something to do. Work is great for quieting emotional shit storms; ask her how she knows. And Red is apparently telling her to stay and help question. She…does not feel like much help, but she shrugs since she'd intended to do just that.

She gives the faintest of smirks when she sees that Grandma Steinschneider came to the same conclusion Jess had come to about Greta, but she gives no other response to that.

"Can you recall anything about that church?" She adds. "Even if you don't know the name, think about areas of town, landmarks that might have made it into the family stories…"

But he might not know shit. She frowns, taps her pen a few times, stands, walks to the far edge of the room, and calls up the library, asking for an English speaker. When she gets one, she murmurs, "Yes ma'am. I'm doing a family history project. My name is Weir, Adelaide Weir?" She even sounds a little old. "I wonder if, before I take the long trip to the library, if you might do a microfiche search for me? I'm looking for an incident in the 1960s, at a church."

She mutes the phone and asks Reiner, "Narrow down the date for me if you can. 10 years is a long microfiche search."

Back on the phone. "Yes ma'am, I know 10 years is a long microfiche search, I'll try to remember and narrow it down."

—-

"Yeah, Red," Zatanna says, standing up from her seat and taking out her obelisk. "I can do that."

Picking up a backpack, she slings it over her shoulder and with a whispered word, she's gone.

The clairvoyant stares at the wake of the woman's disappearance, wonder and something more like envy in his stare. But when more questions are directed at him, he looks back over at the rest. "Some guy named Wilhelm," Reiner says, immediately answering Bucky's question, probably because he doesn't want to get ripped in half. "Wilhelm Kreuz. He's part of Das Auge. I'd tell you more, but like I said, he never showed. We were waiting for him in the pub when those guys came and started setting fire to everything."

When Robin asks about 'Del', Reiner nods. "Yeah," he says. "My aunt."

Regarding the church, he furrows his brows. "Well, I've been there a few times, but everyone's been there. It's the Berlin Cathedral."

Jessica gets a librarian on the line, who does complain that there is a lot of articles that would be called up on microfiche if all she's looking is an 'incident' in a church. But if she provides more details, such as the actual name of the church, and that it was a murder, she would be able to narrow it down and get back to her. She asks for Jessica's e-mail address so she can send copies of the articles over once she finds them.

A few minutes later, Zatanna's voice will filter in through the comms that Jane has helpfully provided the rest of the Berlin team. "Okay, I'm here. I'm no detective, though, so bear with me. I did bring the thing that Red built for me though, lemme put it on. How do I transmit with this thing?"

—-

Wilhelm Kreuz. Bucky notes the name down, because he's really suspicious about it. When people who are supposed to meet you don't, and the enemy shows up instead, well, there's only really two conclusions you can draw there. Anything else is too out of the ordinary to be anything but edge cases.

He doesn't have any questions to ask this time around. He just mutters something to himself about Berlin being shitty in the 1960s.

—-

Unsurprisingly, Red Robin's line of thought about the vanished contact run along similar lines to Bucky's; the two men might not have an awful lot in common about some things, but when it comes to those sorts of suspicions, it appears they're on the same page.

"Interesting," is all he says, rather than admitting his own thoughts on the matter. "It sounds like you're close with your aunt. Has she told you any other stories?" If there's any other useful tidbits they can sift out of the interactions between the two remaining not-cursed-immortal-Nazi-sorceror members of the Steinschneider family, so much the better. Especially while Jessica is doing some old fashioned gumshoe work, and Zatanna…

"Just a second," Red Robin says, fishing his phone out of his pocket.

Well, it LOOKS like a phone, anyway. Like a bulkier, angrier smartphone, its black casing designed to be rugged and stand up to all sorts of punishment that a civilian phone would never even run into. Naturally, it has all sorts of added features that other phones wouldn't.

Like how when he puts it down on the tabletop, and it projects a hologram into the air, a blue light tracing of whatever Zatanna sees after she's put the domino mask on.

"We can see what you're seeing now, Miss Zatara. Could you look around for any sign of things having been searched, in case Steinschneider decided to toss the place after Reiner left? Oh, yeah," the young man remembers. "Imagine being able to see through things. That should turn on the x-ray vision mode, you'll be able to see through walls and the floor, in case there's anything hidden."

He turns his attention back to Reiner, once that's done.

"Actually, while we wait to see what Miss Zatara finds in your residence, why don't you tell us about your aunt generally."

—-

"Berlin Cathedral, dear. A murder at Berlin Cathedral," Jessica clarifies in sweet old woman tones, even as she rapidly logs into gmail and starts creating a false e-mail addres. "Okay, that's moc.liamg|03riewleD#moc.liamg|03riewleD. D-e-l-w-e-i-r and the number 30. Thank you ever so kindly, it really is nice of you to go out of your way like this. I apologize for the inconvenience. What's your name? I'd be happy to e-mail your boss with some glowing praise."

She paces about the kitchen, muting between statements, not wanting the other bits of the conversation to float to the librarian on the other end of the phone. Pretexting librarians isn't precisely difficult work. Most will look up just about anything without needing to know much of anything about why. But it never hurts to have a backstory in one's mind. If you start getting cagey in conversation, librarians still shut down like anyone else does.

She gets off the phone then, and logs into the German version of the TOL database. Buying a membership had been a bitch; she'd had to call the company and explain she was an American PI with casework happening in Germany, a skip that was moving across international lines with a child. She sees Bucky jotting down the name. She types it in. If it's a common name, this won't help; she doesn't have a date of birth or anything to cross-reference it with. If it's an uncommon name? They might get lucky.

She's listening. She also watches, going to peer at the hologram. Maybe she can back-seat house search that way.

Working this way has energized her as nothing else could. She's in her element. She's focused. She's maybe even kind of having fun. Finding a thread to tug on that allows her to…well…gumshoe…that's what she needed. She needs to be making calls, running searches, finding leads, taking a look. She needs to be a detective. It's the one thing she knows she can do, the one thing about herself she has total confidence in.

—-

"We aren't, really," Reiner says, when Red postulates that he must be close with his aunt. "I see her occasionally, less frequently these days. I'm pretty busy, you know? And not much else…I honestly don't know how much she knows about the family legacy because she married in. Married the son of my great-grandfather's daughter. I think they lived in Italy, at some point."

A possible connection there - before Constantine left, he took care to inform everyone else that his own contacts have managed to track Armand Steinschneider's diary to Italy before it vanished.

As Jessica waits for the librarian to get back to her, she'd be able to log into Berlin's TOL database. Entering Wilhelm Kreuz will generate several entries - five men in Berlin between the ages of thirty to forty-five, with several records with respect to their credit reports, employment histories and addresses apiece. It will take some cross-referencing to determine which of these is the person who is relevant to their present conundrum.

Somewhere across Berlin, Zatanna manages to use the device Red built for her to project an image of Reiner Steinschneider's flat. It is a simple one bedroom, clearly a bachelor's pad; minimalist, with posters of musicians on the walls and a large collection of records. There is a digital piano that occupies the main living area instead of a television, a couch set, a small dining set and a kitchenette - not unlike Maria's own flat, really. It seems to be in order.

"That's weird, you'd think they would have searched the place…" Zatanna's words filter through the comms. "Nothing seems to have been moved, magic was used here, though. Faint enough that it had been quite a while ago since it had been cast. I don't know how long, it's faded enough that I can't determine what it was used for. Probably too late to use a flashback spell in this place also. Let me see if there's anything in the bedroom…"

She starts moving towards the bedroom and bathroom. The bathroom is clean, and so is the bedroom.

"Most of the magic was in the living room, but I don't see anything out of the ordinary…I can try using a flashback spell anyway."

The rest would find the young woman's view returning back to Steinschneider's main living area and with a quiet whispered word, a faded ephemeral image starts coalescing into view. A familiar tall, lean form in magician's dress has his back turned to her, looking out the window with her hands behind her back. He seems to hear something, before he starts to turn around, but starts fading after that.

"…Daddy's copy was here a while ago," the young witch's voice says quietly before the wispy figure vanishes. "I can't pinpoint when. The magic I'm feeling in this place doesn't belong to him, though."

—-

Well, it was worth a shot. Not every gamble pays off.

Yet even within Reiner's negative response about his aunt, there's some threads of possibility. Things to check. That's the way of things with an investigation: Even when you're wrong, you learn something.

Hopefully.

"Remember the Excelsior," Red Robin says to Zatanna as she remarks on the strangeness of the lack of a physical search. "They didn't perform much in the way of a physical search there, either. They probably assumed anything worth hiding would be hidden magically." The arrogance of wizards, he'd seen it as, though maybe it was more a question of paradigm than humility: When you've got a cool enough hammer, everything has a way of looking like a nail. Still, he watches the feed from the mask, looking to see if he can spot anything out of order in an example of backseat detectiving. It also means he's treated to the somewhat eerie sight of the echo the flashback spell produces.

"Maybe it's Steinschneider's, then? He probably would've searched the place before Reiner got home… Then the Cold Flame was there after Steinschneider left." Probably, anyway; it seems like a reasonable enough timeline to be getting on with, and he doesn't really have the time or the opportunity to go over and sweep the apartment to make sure. It might not even be relevant, but he does try to be thorough.

"If there's anything else you can remember, anything you can tell us, it would be very useful," Red Robin says, turning his attention back to Reiner. "We want to stop these people, your great-grandfather included, to make sure nothing bad happens to you or your aunt, or anyone else." Like the whole world, he supposes, depending on the inclinations of whoever got their hands on the Spear of Destiny.

—-

Jessica loses interest in the apartment. There's a hunter's gleam in her eye now. She pulls up a holographic keyboard on her phone, moves it to the kitchen counter. Her fingers fly, sorting, searching, cross-referencing. It's an employment record that catches her eye.

She checks, double checks, brings up a website. And then? She walks over to Bucky.

"Check it out," she tells him quietly. "Found a Wilhelm Kreuz who works for an alcohol warehouse in Berlin. Delivers to pubs all over the area. The warehouse lists the Union Jack on their client page. Scored his last known address."

She turns the phone so he can see. Likely, he would have found the guy using his own methods in his own time, but it isn't in her nature to just leave work to others when she had an idea of how she could provide some help to any endevour. Well, they're part of a team, she has to pull her weight eventually right?

—-

"I was up close and personal with Muller's magic," the raven-haired witch reports. "Back in the gala. It doesn't feel like his."

After another search, peeking into vents and things this time, save for the miasma of faded magic in Reiner Steinschneider's flat, there doesn't appear to be anything - no hidden objects, nothing that could be of interest. An hour later, Zatanna reports that she will be heading back soon.

When Red Robin asks Reiner if there is anything else he can remember, he squints, eyes narrowing a little bit. "I…don't really remember much else," he tells him. "I wish I did." After a pause, he speaks up. "What's going to happen to me? And what about my aunt? Am I just gonna…stay here until it all blows over?"

A valid question, really.

—-

Bucky takes the phone and has a look when Jessica brings over the last known address of a Wilhelm Kreuz with ties to the Union Jack. His blue eyes scan the information, memorizing it rapidly. He hands the phone back once he has what he needs.

Reiner wants to know what's going to happen to him and his aunt now. Bucky unfolds to a stand from his chair with a purposeful briskness at around that time, which might not be great timing as far as the young man's nerves. "That's up to these fine people," he says laconically.

Then he straight-up moves to leave the room, probably to prepare his surveillance gear to go act on this gleaned information.

—-

From where he's sitting, Red Robin still hears the quiet words Jessica speaks to the supersoldier; he could tell the exact moment the private investigator had found something, the way her attitude shifted, the way she went to the countertop to do some searching.

But, he's got his own things to deal with.

"Maybe some of the other Cold Flame guys, then?" he wonders of Zatanna, when she says the magic doesn't feel like Steinschneider's. "Though we can't dismiss the possibility that there's someone else involved here, too. You'd recognise this magic if you felt it again?" It's probably not even a question that needs asking, but it's always good to get confirmation of something that might be vitally important in the near future.

And the not-so-near future. It's a guarantee that everything he learns about other people's abilities gets filed away for later, just in case it becomes useful. One way or the other.

But Reiner asks his extremely relevant question, and Bucky answers with a possibly accidentally ominous pronouncement and a dramatic exit, which the vigilante is pretty sure isn't going to help much of anything. But if Reiner is going to be a nervous wreck, at least they can try to make sure he's a living nervous wreck.

"For the moment, yes. Your great-grandfather and the men who attacked you at the UNION JACK will probably still be looking for you, and I'd rather they didn't get their hands on you. We're going to do everything we can to make sure your aunt is safe, as well. Depending on how the rest of this plays out, I might have to set you up with a new identity… But hopefully there won't be any loose ends left once we're done."

—-

Bucky goes to act on her information; Jessica steps back. Meanwhile, Red…says this guy's going to be sleeping under their roof.

Her expression and attitude shift again. Keeping him alive is all fine and well. But this also means this guy's going to be nested in right where they sleep, privvy to almost everything they do. But what's the alternative?

She contemplates it as she gets the information from the library at last. "Okay, library death was Gerhardt Belgardt, aka Hanussen II. The head priest, Heinrich Weber, vanished right after that. We might wanna go check out that church, see who we can talk to about that incident."

This bit with Reiner? Still bugging her though. It's evident in the way she glances at Red, opens her mouth, glances at Reiner, glances back at Red, and ultimately closes her mouth with a faint scowl hovering about the edges of her features.

But…she also can't think of any alternative that doesn't involve spending more money. That would mean setting up a safehouse, warding it, bugging it, all sorts of things that would take an awful lot of time and energy away from the matter at hand. He has to be kept close.

She tucks her phone slowly into her pocket and straightens. The kid seems harmless, but she nevertheless resolves to stop treating this spot like a safe place. The Cold Flame fucks could come to call as a result of his presence here, too.

She slides her hands into her pockets, leans against the counter.

—-

The clairvoyant stares at the Winter Soldier as he leaves. What the hell does that even mean?? He turns wide eyes towards Red and Jessica both, being the only ones left in the penthouse.

"Maybe? There's a lot of them, so it's possible. As for recognizing this if I come across it again, I think so." Zatanna has a good memory for magical signatures, at least. "Anyway, I'm heading back. Update me when I get there."

When told that he'll have to stay with them, Reiner sighs. "…well, there goes my job," he mutters. "But better jobless than dead, right?"

Finishing his coffee, he sighs. "I'll try not to be in the way," he says. "Obviously you're all serious about going after my great-grandfather, and honestly, the faster you can grab him the better off everyone is. He's dangerous." And unless there's anything else, seemingly resigned to his present fate, the clairvoyant will slowly get up from his seat and move to his room.

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