Justice for the Dead

October 23, 2017:

Jessica Jones reaches out to Elinor Ravensdale to see if she can't get some answers from the dead Officer Briggs. Elinor brings Jess information on two murder victims who need justice.

Apartment 604

Clearly in better shape than apartment 623.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Zatanna Zatara, Jane Foster

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

October is a busy month for an Ectomancer. There is something about this month that gets ghosts all riled up and excited. It could be the approach of Halloween, or the shift in the seasons, but Elinor has been busy. It doesn't help that she's been casting her net as wide as it can go, trying to scour this city for a Voodoo Expert. Part of her is worried that she'll have to actually go to Louisiana, which is absoute nightmare fuel for her.

It's early evening, and with the sun setting earlier she awake by seven. She has a cooling cup of tea in her hand and is settled into her chair while she speaks to various members of her network. There is notebook on the arm of the chair that she's quickly scribbling names on, and starts dimissing people who have been tirelessly working while she slept.

There's a knock that comes at the door, and it comes with the smell of food. Really fantastic pizza from down the street, to be exact. Jessica doesn't know if Elinor has eaten yet, but she brings it over. She's bought it by the slice, so they don't end up with a shitload of pizza they can't eat, and had largely chosen Elinor's flavor by asking, sotto voice, to the wind, 'Any ghosts standing nearby, thump the pizza pan a little bit to tell me what kind Elinor likes.'

She's not sure if that worked or if someone just jostled the cart, but she's made a stab at it, here goes nothing.

Jessica's clearly had some excitement. Not by how she looks at the door in her jeans, royal blue tank top, leather jacket and panther tooth necklace. No, that would be due to the broken window in her door, and the broken window-window, and the way her couch was in pieces in the alley, and probably the noise and the shouting from last evening. But. The matter she's come to attend to with the pizza remarkably has nothing to do with any of that.

It's just the kind of shit a neighbor can't help but notice.

Elinor occasionally gets filled in by ghosts with what is going on in Jess' place. After all, the walls are super thin, and it's almost impossible not to hear what's going on the other side. It's not that her place has been quiet either, there are more ghosts here than normal and it gets noisy when some of them actually manifest.

At the knock at the door she looks up, but it's Bobby who opens it. He isn't visible at the moment, but his voice rings loud and clear. "PIZZA! SHE BROUGHT PIZZA!" Rapid footsteps rill the apartment as the child ghost starts running around and hopping on various bits of furniture.

Elinor gets to her feet and gestures Jess toward the kitchen. "Howdy neighbor." She says with a tired smile. She's in black pajama pants and a loose t-shirt with a faded logo on it. "I haven't seen you in a while, I hope your… trip? Vacation? Went well."

"I did— we did what we set out to do," Jessica says, on the matter of Wakanda, offering Elinor a grin. She takes the pizzas towards the kitchen, and says, "Hey kiddo," to Bobby, not at all concerned by the fact that he's not manifested. "Merry cowabunga to you." That's for Bobby; she has made several silly cowabunga jokes while popping over in the past. "Took a little longer than I expected. How've you been?"

Because sure, it's work that brings her to Elinor's door— she honestly can't help herself, though she would have gotten here eventually without it— but she does actually want to know how her friend is doing, and the work isn't exactly urgent, to her mind. Even if this delightfully banal case does potentially have a weird angle, so far it doesn't seem life or death.

"That's all you can ask some days, isn't it?" Elinor grabs plates and napkins to set on the table and grabs one of the silce boxes as her eyes watch over Bobby and his excitement over the food. "You were gone a while, I tried to keep the place clean while you were gone but, I noticed that it didn't last long after your arrival." She smirks before she looks at the pizza, and nods in approval at the toppings.

"I've been doing fine. Halloween is always a busy time for me, and I've got some ass hat with a serious ghost problem." Elinor sighs before her first bite and chews it before continuing. "Do you know how hard it is to find an expert in Voodoo this far north?" She won't answer with how hard it is, instead she shakes her head. "So whatever you're bringing me will be a welcome distraction." While she enjoys the pizza and the gesture, she knows the distruction of Jess' apartment was for a reason.

Bobby excidedly responds and fades into view. While he might not be able to eat the pizza, he does sniff at it, delighting in the smell even if it isn't real for him. "Cowabunga! That's my favorite kind!" The boy with the messy brown hair continues to bounce all over the kitchen, while Elinor shakes her head.

"Actually what I'm bringing you is totally unrelated to that mess." Jess shoves a thumb back at her apartment. "That mess was some random weirdo telling his enemies he lived at my place. So they tie him up, shove him in my tub, leave him armed for reasons I still don't get, and tape a god damn bomb to his chest. So here I am, home from two of the craziest months of my life, thinking 'that's it, it gets no crazier than this', and the Universe goes: ah hahaha."

She sounds dry as the desert as she relays this.

She snags her own piece of pizza and frowns faintly, though, circling back around to the voodoo problem. "Voodoo? Only voodoo guy I know about is Papa Midnite, and he's super bad news. I know Zatanna's always talking about Oblivion, and some guy…Craft. Gerald Craft, out of Gotham, who might know where you can look for one who isn't giant evil douche."

Jess reaches out to 'ruffle' Bobby's hair. Really her hand passes right through him, but she does it anyway.

Elinor stares at Jess with her pizza half way to her face. It takes her a moment to process what she's just said and slowly raises her brows as the story continues. "You know, I hear it's bad to tempt the Universe like that." Either way she is glad that the whole floor didn't explode, and finally takes takes another bite of her pizza.

I've heard Papa Midnite's name passed around, but he seems like the sort to want a huge favor for any help he would give. I'm not sure I want to pay that price, though it would mean I could charge more. How much do you you think I should add to the fee for voodoo problems?" She's still not great a pricing out her services, but Remy's problems are expensive ones.

Bobby seems pleased by the interaction, even if Jess' hand passes right throug him. He disappars for a moment before he returns with an actual Ninja Turtle action figure and sets it on the table for her.

"Apparently, you heard right," Jessica says wryly, lifting her own slice and taking a bite out of it.

But they're discussing the matter of voodoo, and business. This question stumps Jessica for a few moments. As much contact as she's had with magic over the past yaer, she knows very well what she does not know, and what she does not know is practically everything when compared to the vast and unspeakable world that's out there just under the surface.

Given the price she has watched Jane Foster pay for a little bit more of it, she's not sure how much more she needs to know.

At last she says, "I wouldn't bargain anything but money, and then I'd charge the same amount to your client as 'expenses' with a 30% mark-up fee for the hazard of dealing with that kind of a practitioner, along with your normal hourly rate— $200 an hour, since its your own case— on whatever time you spend tracking down said practitioner."

She picks up the ninja turtle figure and puts down her pizza, effortlessly whispering, "Ha! Hi ya!" as she makes him do ninja moves for Bobby's benefit. Her eyes soften considerably, she likes kids, even dead kids, and she has no problems showering him with a little attention even as she 'talks shop.'

"Perhaps you shouldn't tempt fate so much in the future." Elinor says with a smirk before she sets her pizza down and wipes her hands on a napkin. She takes note of the figures that Jess presents her with, and starts to do a bit of mental math over how long she's spent on this problem, and the use of the blood ritual, the over night protection fee. She smirks and nods her head. "It looks like I might have rent paid for a few months if it all goes to plan. So long as I don't piss off any Voodoo people and end up in the grave myself. I of course would haunt his ass if that happened." There is a satisfied smirk on her lips before she turns her eyes to the small figurine.

"He likes you, more than the other living people I hang around with." Bobby has pulled out another figure to play with as well, and joins in with the ninja turtle fighting. "Granted his criteria for liking someone is a bit askew and limitid to their preferred ninja turtle, but we can't all be pefect right?"

"There are worse criteria to pick your buddies on," Jessica says, engaging in the fight one handed as she eats pizza on the other.

But she turns her attention to this new problem. "So okay, here's what I have for you. Actually I wanna circle in with you about a couple of things, including one I've left neglected, and see if you have any more murders for me to look into. I can probably take…mmm, one more right now. But. This bit is kind of a long pass on a case that I'm working, one that seems pretty straightforward from an investigative perspective right now. But I can't shake the feeling there's more to it than that, so. Have you had contact, perhaps, with any restless spirits by the name of Officer Rory Briggs? Murdered by his son, months ago, in a building known as the Checkerbrick building.

When they finally get down to business, Elinor nods her head and leans back in her chair. "As far as murders go, there are pletny. There is Lisa, who I recently untethered from her death location. She had been forced to cheat at cards for her still living former boyfriend. I am competely sure that he was the one that killed her, but all I have is her word and that won't hold up in court. Granted this also deals with an underground gambling ring and some shady people, but I'm sure that won't scare you off."

When she brings up her own problems Elinor thinks for a moment. Turning to her left she speaks with someone Jess can't see. "Have we had an Officer Briggs stop by" She waits for the soundless reply before she shakes her head. "I haven't met him, but you said he was killed in the Checkerbrick building? Perhaps he's trapped there, which is why he hasn't tracked me down. Did you want me to swing by and see what I can find?"

"Yeah, please do," Jessica says, taking out her notebook and writing down Lisa's name. "Meanwhile, you got a last name for Lisa?"

Then she says, "Also, did a ghost named Chad ever show up here? I got completely sidetracked by the trial, then by going to Wakanda, but he possessed the body of some guy and went after Sal at Sal's Used Cars, screaming the dude had murdered him. I sent him here to try to see if you couldn't get some details out of him so I could take care of that one too."

One thing about working cases for the dead, they don't tend to get more urgent. The dead are pretty much already dead, and the cases are already cold by the time they get to Jessica. Letting them get a little colder doesn't really have an impact on whether or not they can be solved… there's either a new lead to uncover or there isn't. So she doesn't feel too guilty about letting this one sit; she hasn't read of that particular sleazy salesperson's death, and she has murders and obituaries on alerts on her phone.

"Let me see." Elinor stands up and grabs a notebook from the counter and flips through a few pages. "Lisa Henderson, a common name, but her death was in the last five years so that may help. She also lived and died here, and at one point in time lived in Queens, so hopefully that'll point you in the right direction." She pulls out a photograph from the notebook and passes it over. The picture looks faded, as if it was shot in the 70s, but clear as day there is a small woman with big hair and overdone make up. There is a saddness in her eyes, and her posture is stooped as if she's carrying a weight on her shoulders. As old as the photo looks, the familiar site of Elinor's couch and TV are in the background.

When Chad is mentioned, she frowns. "Yes, he's visited me, I have his report as well if you want me to copy it over and give it to you. He's a troubling case, but honestly I have a feeling that his murderer will be on that would likely brag about what he's done, if given the right situation."

Elinor flips to a new page and starts up notes for Briggs, while also looking up the times that the building is accessable to her so she can start her studying."

Jessica accepts the photograph, eyes the posture and the stoop critically, and says, "Was this guy beating the shit out of her when she was alive?"

She makes her standard notes: pull the records, get his info, pull the newspaper articles, put in an FIA request for the police file. That's where all these things tend to start. And yes, she is utterly undeterred by the idea that she might be delving into the dangerous world of illicit gambling to find her murderer. And now she has a contact in the prosecutor's office too, someone who might be able to do something with these instead of her passing the info to the police and hoping for the best.

"And yeah, tell me about old Chad. Still need his last name too. I'll be happy to go get his murderer to brag and to capture his confession in a fine recording. The guy who did him is a dickbag sleaze, so. Doing the world a favor on that count."

The Checkerbrick building is probably pretty accessible at most times, since there's a coffee shop there, though probably not at all hours of the day. Or night. As the case may be.

"He didn't lay a hand on her. Not that he had to, from what I've learned from her, he had a kanck for making her feel tiny and insignificant. She was wholly dependant on him and he made sure that she knew it." Elinor has a hint of pity in her voice, but she shakes her head. "At least she's free, but I look forward to putting her to rest and that asshole behind bars."

Flipping back to Chad's page she nods. "Chadwick Montgomery. Honestly he the worst taste in friends and occupations. He and Sal were high school chums, but Chad had the better charisma and girlfriend. He told me that he had just had the breaks checked on the new car so it's impossible that they gave out like they did, so he suspects foul play, but doesn't have a way to confirm it, being dead an all."
Jessica's mouth makes its way into a thin, tight line. In a way that hits a little closer to home than beatings do. It doesn't hurt like it used to, but it still gives her a heart for women like Lisa Henderson.

The ex better watch his back. Getting him behind bars has just moved up on Jessica's priority list. What he did to one woman, he'll do to another.

Still, she focuses on the second set of details. "What kind of car was he driving? What happened to it? It had to go somewhere, and unless it got junked someone had to have those brakes repaired before they could drive it. That means someone knows what kind of shape they were in."

It takes several page flips before Elinor finds the right information. His memory was hazy, but that's not uncommon when someone is recalling a traumatic death. The car was red, convertable, I think it was a Pontiac Sunfire by his description. Being a used car lot, it's not surprising it wasn't recent, but it was well cared for, and he was excited to buy it. He isn't sure what happened to the car, but he does remember a fire. I'm worried that it's long gone, so very hard to prove with evidence, especially after so long. Still, if we're able to get Chad to focus, calm his rage and appear before Sal, we might beable to pull a Christmas Carol on him."

She see's that reaction Jessica has to the information, she she frowns. She knows it well, perhaps not to the degree that Jessica does, but it's there none the less. She also wants that bastard taken care of, she'd kill him if she could, but that wouldn't solve any problem. "It looks like I can at least get into the cafe after dark, from there I should be able to scout out the building and find Briggs."

"It's fine. Insurance records on Chad will link that car to a VIN, and that VIN is going to have been logged somewhere. I'll get that vehicle found no problem. And then we'll see if having some extra proof to work from allows that Christmas Present moment. In this, letting that guy stew for months might have been a good thing. He might be convinced I forgot all about him."

Same thing on Chad though, Jessica will be doing the full work-up, and she'll be doing FIA requests on any police files relating to the accident. That she might get a little faster, too, since it relates to a 'traffic accident' and not to a murder.

"Excellent," she tells Elinor. "Let me know if you find anything? He might have gone on to his eternal rest for all I know, but—" She spreads her hands. No stone left unturned.

And with that, she pops the last bite of pizza into her mouth.

"Than I think we're all caught up. At least on the pressing things that came up while you were gone." Two months is a long time after all, but Elinor had her hands full while Jessica was gone anyway. "I'll work with Chad to see if I can get him to focus then we'll do the big reveal, with recorders or anything you thik we should use to get the proof."

A wicked grin crosses over her lips as she leans forward. "At the very least, we can at least show his wife how horrid he is, and how he stole her from Chad. That in itself should take him down a few pegs. That might be enough for his peace."

"Just let me see to the car and get the records I need to get first," Jessica says. "Hard evidence will trump an audio confession."

She's clearly not satisfied with wrecking Sal's romantic life. She's a little horrified Sal even has one. There really is someone for everyone?

But she pushes off the counter and puts the little ninja turtle down with a wink for Bobby. "But. We'll touch base soon. See you, Elinor." She gives two friendly raps on the counter, and then sees herself out, leaving Elinor to her evening once more.

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