Craddock The Friendly Ghost

August 08, 2018:

Dani on a stakeout has an interesting visitor with knowledge of Coulson


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Stakeouts are typically one of three things - boring, exciting, or oh MY GOD RUN.

This particular stakeout is more along the lines of the first. Boring. So boring.

SHIELD has Dani out watching a possible site where weapons of unknown origins might be. Literal 0-8-4's.

But so far there's been nothing. Absolutely nothing.

And /that/ is where Danielle Moonstar is. She's settled upon a rooftop of a rundown warehouse, a pair of binocs held to her eyes as she watches a neighboring warehouse across the way. "Oh yeah." Murmurs the Cheyenne woman to herself, "This one is going to be so exciting, I can just tell. I should have brought a book."

But she did bring coffee and that coffee is housed within a cardboard cup which sits steaming lightly from the rooftop.

Idly Dani swings the binocs from left to right, scanning the various entrances and exits of the adjacent building, but all is quiet.

It's something of an unusual chill that brushes past her, carried by an otherwise normal breeze. There's no sound to give away the abruptness of one no longer being alone, but the particularly sharp might call it a sixth sense, the odd tingle down one's spine, or that sense one gets when feeling they're being watched.

No one's appeared in Moonstar's binocs' sight, but she'll suddenly find she's got company.

"Like as there's better places for birdwatchin'," suggests a voice, not quite as polished but definitely an English accent. There's something a bit off about how it sounds in general, but then there's something definitely off about the figure that Dani will find suddenly standing behind her.

He's dressed in such finery that one might expect from a fancy, old-fashioned Victorian-themed dinner party, clothed and cloaked completely in white, complete with a tophat and a monocle. He's also slightly transparent, and most definitely lacking a visible face.

"Yer a surprisingly difficult woman to find, Miss Moonstar."

Quiet as a mouse. That's what tonight is going to be.

Up until it isn't.

The vague chill that swishes past her causes the woman to frown slightly. Then when the feeling of being watched is felt, Moonstar slowly begins to lower her binoculars.

It's enough to bring a vague furrow to her brow, which matches the frown upon her lips, as she considers the sense of warning her sixth sense is trying valiantly to send her. Then comes the voice behind her and the Cheyenne woman jumps. That startle, however, is possibly covered with a continuation of that move as she whirls about.

"Who -" Begins the black-haired woman, the obvious question on her lips, but upon seeing the man - or ghost - before her, Moonstar's expression turns tight.

The revelation of his knowing her name, however, brings an even darker expression upon her features. Her reaction is also enough to bring a faint shimmer, or echo of power, that brings the vague outline of a winged-helm upon head, silver breastplate upon chest and sword hung from her hip to her form, before that faint call of power fades.

"What can I say I like to keep a low profile most days." She states, her voice clipped, "Mr. -?"

There must be a shift of the invisible head as the hat and monocle lift just a touch upon that brief display. Perhaps he's heard things. The dead like to speak sometimes, some more informative than others. A gloved hand lifts from the cane both rest upon before him, a gesture of reassurance.

"Ah, where are m' manners. Gentleman Jim Craddock, at yer service," he says, sweeping his hat off as he dips low in a polite bow. "Not to worry, I mean ye no harm."

His monocle turns outwards as he appears to be glancing back out towards the area that she'd been monitoring, and he takes a moment before glancing back at her. "My apologies if I'm interruptin' something important. I'm not particularly used to operatin' on a certain schedule."

Dani can't quite say this is the oddest thing she's ever had happen to her. After all, she has spoken with Death and other ghosts, but to have one seek her out - that has her on edge.

It's what has her gaze focused on the man's - ghost's - face, or at the least, the approximate area of where she believes his face and eyes would be.

The rest of her attention is focused upon the being's movements, as she watches him with a sharp gaze. When he offers his name, so freely in her opinion, that only causes the focus of her gaze to intensify even as his name is memorized. You bet she'll be looking up all the Jim Craddock's she can.

The reassurance that he means her no harm brings a corner of her mouth upward, but whatever thoughts skitter through her head are kept to herself. It's only when he offers that apology that she speaks again, "It's fine." She states, "You're not. I'm fairly certain your arrival is going to be about the only thing of interest to happen tonight." And here is where her head tilts slightly, an obviously curious gesture on her part. "So - what can I do for you, Mr. Craddock?" She asks, before she adds, "Did you need help crossing over to the light? I can help you with that if so."

He can't blame her for being overly wary about his visitation. Not many tend to take a ghost encounter in stride. Her offer makes him chuckle, seemingly amused.

"What light would that be for me, I wonder," he muses, shaking his head. "Were it that simple, I'd not be here." His soul still yearns for what he believes rightfully his, his curse perhaps brought upon by his own determination for all he'd felt himself wronged that he wished to make right. The air chills before disippating to more normal temperatures expected on such summer evenings as he likewise dismisses such thoughts. That's not why he's here. Not quite, anyway.

"Ye were mentioned when I stopped by a certain Stark Tower. Acquaintances, all." He lets his fingers drum across the head of his cane as he turns a bit to better face Dani. "I've 'ad a chance meeting with another mutual acquaintance as well. Elusive. Unusual. 's made me curious, as I'm sure you can imagine." He pauses, possibly smiling. "One Agent Coulson, by name."

"The afterlife." She says evenly, even if his question of what light was more rhetorical in nature than true.

"Simple, or not, I can get you across." She allows, eyes warily staying upon the transparent man, and while she could push it home more, she doesn't. Not when the dip in the temperature is felt. Even she knows when to stop pushing and clearly, for Dani, that was a pretty big sign to be careful.

So careful she will be.

Which means switching to the next topic, which now proves even more important (in Dani's eyes).

"You've seen Agent Coulson?" The Cheyenne says sharply, the question about Stark Towers quickly forgotten. "Where is he now?" And with that question of where Moonstar takes a step toward the Gentleman's Ghost.

"Ah, that's th' question, isn't it?" the Ghost asks, raising a hand even as he begins to shrug. "Ye'd think that this side'a things, figuring that out would be a simple matter."

That's not to say he hadn't tried. Asking around the other restless spirits hadn't turned up much for answers, but brought up more questions. Getting in touch with the living that had relations to the man, slightly more fruitful.

"Truthfully, 'm not all that sure what's going on with him. I met 'im out in the city, looking lost and confused. Helped him sort out a few points. Then suddenly he disappears." He laughs. "Not something I'm unfamiliar with, but it's somethin' else when it's done to ye," he says, shaking his head. "Heard there's been other such sightings. Now, why doesn't he just stay in one place?"

"You'd think." She echoes and then Dani quiets to allow Jim Craddock to continue to speak.

She listens intently to all of what he says and while several responses leap to her tongue, the Cheyenne stomps down on the majority of what she could say. There's a moment of silence as she considers (carefully) her next words.

"Can you tell me where you first saw him and where you last saw him? Perhaps I could triangulate something from the coordinates."

And while Moonstar knows just *what* is going on with Coulson those words are definitely not offered to the being across from her.

Then, "And who'd you speak with at Stark Tower? Did Agent Coulson tell you to go there?" Not that Moonstar doesn't already have a guess for that one, but confirmation is always a good thing.

"I'll admit, only saw 'im once," Craddock replies. "I believe the area was within New York's East Side." Particularly nearby the Triskelion. "But I was told ye've been marking such appearances."

He might know something of what's happening, at least on S.H.I.E.L.D.'s side of things, but he'll keep those cards close. He'd already been an easy read to Rin back at the Tower.

"At Stark Tower? Why, Mister Stark 'imself, for one. Went on about havin' to work on security against ghosts." Craddock sounds a little amused at that. "An' there was that girl who had something'uv a ghost problem herself. Not quite here or there. She's th' one who mentioned you were keepin' track of Agent Coulson's sightings."

The mention of the Triskelion brings a small wave of relief to her features, and then Moonstar shuffles her expression back to something less readable.

"I am." She agrees again, at the mention of marking down the missing Agent's appearances. "And I appreciate you telling me where you saw him." Since Moonstar understands quite nicely how often ghosts don't offer anything in the way of information; at least, not freely.

The mention of Tony, or more specifically his plans, causes Dani to just grimaces. There might even be a sigh and while mentally she thinks 'I swear that man', it doesn't quite escape her lips.

"I know of the Agent you're speaking of." Rin she means, "And hopefully we'll have some other ways of helping her return to her full solid state soon, but in the meantime again I appreciate you offering the information you do have to us."

And while she almost says 'is there anything else I can do for you', she stops herself from saying that. Instead, the black-haired woman ends with, "Is there anything else you'd like to pass on?"

The Gentleman Ghost tilts his head, his hat angling to one side by the slightest of degrees, but far be it for him to correct Moonstar's perhaps mistaken understanding of his idle mentioning of Tony Stark's equally idle babbling. Perhaps he'd be inadvertantly doing the man a favor anyway, seeing as how it seemed Stark felt out of the loop of things concerning Coulson. It's good that Moonstar can't see the Ghost grinning.

"Mister Stark was workin' on that with her, I believe. I'd ask, but that's probably not considered any of my business," he says before bowing his head, gloved hand touching the brim of his hat at the woman stating her appreciation for his information. So cautious, this one! But she's no stranger to dealing with the dead, and he'd come here knowing to be careful himself.

Again, a laugh. "Such a choice of words. But no, it seems 'tis all we have to share."

He takes a step back from the Valkyrie, once again offering another sweeping bow. "Although if ye would, were you to catch him, give Agent Coulson my regards. I do hope he gets this all sorted out. Our conversation wasn't at all unpleasant b'fore he was up an' spirited away, heh, as it were. Mentioned stars…"

The mention of Tony working with Rin garners another shallow nod from Dani and while he touches the brim of his hat in thanks, Moonstar barely relaxes.

She is cautious, especially with the dead.

His laugh at her choice of words earns a sharp twitch to h er mouth, as she says, "Can't be too careful." Because you can't, truly, but to soften her agreement she repeats, "But I do appreciate you coming here."

His sweeping bow pulls an answering nod from Moonstar, a deeper dip of her head than before, "I will certainly pass on your words to Agent Coulson. We will get it sorted out." His mention of stars has her automatically looking toward the sky for a moment, then it's back to the being, "If you ever change your mind and ready for the next turn of the wheel please look me up. I can help you cross over."

"I'll keep that in mind, Agent Moonstar," Craddock says. Not that he'll likely be looking her up for such assistance of that sort particularly soon. Another tip of the hat and he turns, twirling his cane, his white cloak billowing behind him with his movement. "Have a good evening."

Another dead end? Puns aside, he hardly thinks it to be the case. Whatever's going on with Coulson, especially these apparent plans to bring him back, well, the Gentleman Ghost will be eagerly anticipating whatever might happen next.

He vanishes from sight with the briefest of a violet flare, that lingering, subtle chill that tends to follow the dead disappearing with him.

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