Cursed or Blessed?

((OOC: A companion blog to Max Wicked's blog "A Terrible Night To Be Cursed," this is what is happening back at SHUSH while Max, Harmonizer, and Trevor are out dodging vampires. For now, this is a "getting to know you" rp between Carol and Trevor's partner, Agent Dmitri. I'll open it up for the other characters from "Terrible Night" and other SHUSH characters when appropriate. Send me or Trevor a message if you want to join in sooner, or if you have an idea you want to discuss. :) ))

 

Carol had come in early in the evening to start working on her cataloging system. Since SHUSH still heavily relied on printed forms and handwritten reports for their files, the large majority of their cold cases and older files were stashed in filing cabinets or tucked into folders on shelves and bookcases. Modern day cases were viewable on computers now but nothing prior to the turn of the century was in the computer data system. The collie agent had been given the monumental task of organizing the papers and scanning cases into the system. It was tedious work but she took to it with enthusiasm. Or at least until she got overheated from manually sorting the papers.

She stepped out into the main hall to cool off and head for the water cooler when she thought she heard growling. It sounded like it was coming from a room a few doors down. Checking to make sure her phone and weapon were accessible, Agent Torres inched quietly toward the room. What could it be? A stray dog or cat that had gotten through one of the windows? A large rat? A suspect being held for interrogation or escort to detention? An escaped lab rat or lizard from Dr. Bellum's lab?

Finding the door locked, the collie knocked on it.
"Hello...?"

    • Trevor Mallard
      Trevor Mallard

      There was a snarl after the knock. "Go away." 

      Dimitri didn't want anyone in here. He wasn't feeling right still as the blood moon was high in the sky. He had felt the urge to hunt which he hadn't in a long time. He didn't know what terrible things he could do if he was free.

      Trevor had protested handcuffing and locking him away. He felt bad for making his friend do it but the vampire felt it would be best.

      • Agent Carol Torres
        Agent Carol Torres

        The collie flattened her ears at the snarl. "That's one way to make an impression..."

        Making her voice more serious and authoritative, Carol spoke again. "This is Agent Torres. Who are you and why are you locked up in here?"

        • Trevor Mallard
          Trevor Mallard

          "I am Agent Dimitri Vondran. I'm in the Department of Supernatural Investigations." He replied. "Please don't come in. I'm not feeling right."

          It sounded like he was dragging something as he neared the door.

          "My partner locked me in here for safety."

          • Agent Carol Torres
            Agent Carol Torres

            "Um, okay. I'll stay out here. Be right back." 

            Even more confused by the man's answer, Carol went back to her desk to retrieve her tablet and research Agent Vondran's name in the SHUSH database.  Her clearance level wasn't high enough to get all of the details about the agent in question or his partner, but she did learn that the two were in a department of SHUSH she'd never heard of. Interesting... 

            The collie returned to the locked door and leaned up against the wall to continue the conversation. 

            "Hello, Agent Vondran. It's me again. I won't come in, but I can keep you company while you wait for your partner to return.  I work in the data input department, so I usually have my nose buried in papers." She chuckled softly. 

            • Trevor Mallard
              Trevor Mallard

              "You're the one we've been sending our files to?" He asked and moved so he could sit near the door.

              He honestly had no idea what was going on outside nor when Trevor was coming back. If he is okay or not.

              "My partner is Agent Trevor Mallard. He's a tall white drake with curly feathers. He's not too hard to miss. But I don't know where he's gone or when he's coming back."

              • Agent Carol Torres
                Agent Carol Torres

                "He went out alone?" Carol asked uneasily. She set her tablet on her lap and checked on some things.

                "Hmm. I can look up noise complaints filed in the police crime database, or tune to the police dispatch radio frequency so that we can listen to all that the officers are seeing and doing now. If there is a pattern, that might pinpoint a location, but...admittedly that's not the best way to search for an agent on an investigation. Agent Mallard may still be on a stakeout."

                How little she knew...

                "I can ask if there is anyone still in office who can use satellite positioning to search for your partner? I don't have the clearance or the knowledge for something of that capacity..."

                She lowered her ears and brushed some hair away from her eye, feeling a little useless at the moment.

                • Trevor Mallard
                  Trevor Mallard

                  "Yes, alone. I would be a risk to him and everyone else." Dimitri says. "I'm a vampire."

                  He wouldn't be surprised if she ran away now. Most people doing did. Such irony that his partner and friend is a vampire hunter.

                  "Something about the blood moon makes me not right and I might lose control of myself."

                  • Agent Carol Torres
                    Agent Carol Torres

                    Having access to the SHUSH database meant Carol could see some information about her fellow agents. Although the collie jerked her head up in surprise at Dmitri's revelation, a quick look at his personnel file verified what she had failed to notice in her previous scan of it. His id photo clearly showed fangs and disturbingly red eyes, and there was a note that he had "dietary restrictions."
                    Her fur ruffled instinctively in alarm but she quickly dismissed her fear. She trusted Director Hooter implicitly. If he trusted Agent Vondran enough to allow the vampire to work amongst other SHUSH personnel, then that was good enough for Carol.

                    "Does feeding help you regain control?"

                    She was not volunteering herself as a snack but surely he had ways to satisfy his needs while stuck here in the office. A bag lunch perhaps?

                    • Trevor Mallard
                      Trevor Mallard

                      "I suppose it would. Since I would be tempted to hunt." Dimitri was surprised she seemed calm but then he couldn't see her expression of alarm when she had looked at his S.H.U.S.H. file. "But my lunch is in the fridge in the break room."

                      No good would it do there.

                      "We'll wait for Trevor to come back. He'll know what to do."

                      • Agent Carol Torres
                        Agent Carol Torres

                        "I can bring your lunch to you," Carol offered. She wasn't squeamish about blood itself. The only thing that made her jumpy about it was guessing where it came from, but she assumed that in Agent Vondran's case, it was something innocuous, like an animal used for meat. She could also pick locks or ask the janitor to open the door for her. 

                        • Trevor Mallard
                          Trevor Mallard

                          "It is in the break room fridge. It's a bottle in a bag." Dimitri said. "I'll open the door a little and you leave it on the floor."

                          He wasn't sure how he would react being near a Normal. The idea of fresh warm blood would be tempting.

                          "Could you warm it up?" 

                          • Agent Carol Torres
                            Agent Carol Torres

                            "You can open the door from your side?" Carol froze at that revelation, her nerves suddenly feeling weak. Thank heaven, Dmitri seemed to be in his right mind but did she dare come back and stand that close to him?

                             

                            • Trevor Mallard
                              Trevor Mallard

                              "I have a key to the office. Trevor forgot to take it." Dimitri said. "Thank you."

                              He was nervous himself. Not just from how he might react but what would she think of him if she saw him? He was considered a monster by Normals.

                              • Agent Carol Torres
                                Agent Carol Torres

                                The collie breathed in steadily. She could do this. Just slide the bag in quickly, shut the door, and wait. Maybe she should find something to help hold the door closed, just in case... Yeah right. What would hold a vampire back? He'd be stronger after feeding, wouldn't he?

                                He'd be calmer and more trustworthy after feeding; that was the important part and her whole reason for hanging around and asking. If Agent Mallard is in trouble, or worse, if he fails to contain the vampires already at large in the city– Wait, what?! Never mind. Don't think of that. If keeping Dmitri calm could help him and his partner, Carol was willing to help Dmitri now. Besides, Director Hooter had hired Agent Vondran. Carol kept reminding herself of that detail. The director had some faith in the vampire, so that spoke volumes for Dmitri's character. Carol had to trust her gut, even if her heart and her brain were at odds within her.

                                "Yes, I can warm it. I imagine it would not be much different from preparing a baby bottle." 

                                Oh yes, Carol: caring for a blood-drinking super powered monster is so similar to caring for a milk-drinking helpless monster. 

                                The agent was willing to risk her safety, but she was not willing to blindly put all of SHUSH at risk from a vampire attack. First she typed up everything and forwarded that message to Director Hooter. Steps one through three: assess and describe threat; provide sources for threat; describe possible solution to threat; and inform a superior; all done in one email. She hated going over the heads of the agents she was supposed to report to and she knew she could get a tongue lashing for this later, but in this case, she felt skipping the bureaucracy would be a better use of her time, the agency's time, and Trevor Mallard's time.

                                Step four: prepare for action by taking proper precautions. She would put on combat gear, prepare Dmitri's meal, get someone to stand guard with her, knock, slide the bag in, close the door, and hold her weapon at the ready with her phone set to speed dial. The other agent would be told to close the door, trip the fire emergency alarm if something happened, and no matter what, not let anything through that door. All done as quickly and calmly as possible, of course... Except when Carol looked around for an assistant, she found the offices and corridors disappointingly empty. Not even the janitor was in sight or sound or smell range. Figures... He always seemed ready to chat Carol up when she did not want him around. Now the one time when he could prove really helpful, he wasn't anywhere in sight.

                                Alright. Skip the "discuss plan of action with partner" step and go right into the action step. Yay. Fun.

                                The collie finished heating the squishy plastic bag and carried it back to the room in a paper bag. She knocked when she reached the door.

                                "Dinner's here." She said lightly, smiling at her word choice. Here's hoping all goes well.

                                • Trevor Mallard
                                  Trevor Mallard

                                  Dimitri made quite a bit of noise getting to the door. He unlocked it with his key and opened it just enough to where he could reach through.

                                  "Set it on the floor and I'll get it. "  He looked at her through the crack of the door. His red eyes were glowing brightly. He licked his bill in hunger.

                                  • Agent Carol Torres
                                    Agent Carol Torres

                                    The collie was ready. She had already set the bag on the floor. When it opened, she nudged it forward with her foot, keeping the rest of her body out of groping range. Hopefully.
                                    A red glow caught her eye and drew her gaze up to the vampire's hungry face. She blinked, transfixed for a moment. Remembering the situation, Carol looked at Dmitri's hand instead, waiting for him to finish grabbing his meal so that the door could be shut quickly. Whether the door would need to stay closed after he fed was a question she'd leave up in the air for now.

                                    • Trevor Mallard
                                      Trevor Mallard

                                      The vampire grabbed the bag and pulled it in. Immediately, he bit into it to start sucking the blood out. He was certainly hungry judging from the hasty large gulps he was taking.

                                      It didn't take him long to finish his meal. He paused to look through the still open door to look at her.

                                      "Thanks." He said as he licked off some spots of blood from his lips. "I feel much better now."

                                      • Agent Carol Torres
                                        Agent Carol Torres

                                        Carol had her hand on the door, ready to shut it but Dmitri was too close to it. She did not want to be rude by shutting the door on him so she waited, tense yet curious. Her tension faded a little when she noticed how hungry he was. Poor dear. Even she could get a bit cranky when she was ravenous so she felt compassion for him. The beak licking did not bother her, as she was used to messy eaters. She'd helped feed her father a few times when he was too shaky to hold a utensil.

                                        "You're welcome, Agent Vondran. Was that enough to tide you over for several hours?" Carol asked with concern.

                                        • Trevor Mallard
                                          Trevor Mallard

                                          "Yes. It will do." Dimitri said. "I think I will be fine."

                                          He moved to toss the bag into the bio bin in the office that was for his empty food bags. Then he got back into his chair that he had been dragging with him.

                                          "What is it like outside?" He asked.

                                          • Agent Carol Torres
                                            Agent Carol Torres

                                            Carol smiled, glad to see that the agent was not acting hungry or threatening anymore.


                                            "I haven't been out yet." She admitted. "I've been busy scanning and restoring some old documents that are starting to transfer their ink to the backside of the opposite piece of paper. You would not believe how many years SHUSH's case files go back. Some of them are three times older than the agency itself! But that doesn't matter right now. What matters is your partner, Agent Mallard, and the citizens who may be in peril tonight."

                                            • Trevor Mallard
                                              Trevor Mallard

                                              "What kind of peril? What's been going on since he left?  What kind of trouble has he gotten into?" Dimitri frowned. "If he's trouble I'll need to help him."

                                              But he told me to stay here. And I don't know if I can control myself because of the blood moon. 

                                              The vampire felt lost on what to do. Trevor was also his friend but he didn't want to be a danger himself to others. He sighed in annoyance at the thought of suggesting it.

                                              "If there's a lot of danger going on, I think you should send a message to Darkwing Duck."

                                              The vampire didn't want him involved. His ego annoyed him to no end but what other choice did he have besides waiting and hoping for the best.

                                              • Agent Carol Torres
                                                Agent Carol Torres

                                                "Calm down Agent Vondran," Carol replied soothingly. "I merely assessed from your own words that your partner may need help. I am not sure how to contact Darkwing Duck, as his personnel file is locked but I can call my superior and ask for advice in this situation." 

                                                A call I definitely do not look forward to making.

                                                "You're not hungry at the moment so technically you could make a quick trip home to stock up on refreshments and see if you can find your partner. I can accompany you and bring you back to SHUSH in two hours." 

                                                • Trevor Mallard
                                                  Trevor Mallard

                                                  "Alright then." Dimitri said. He was still a bit upset. "I need to be uncuffed though."

                                                  As seeing he was tethered to his chair. That would be awkward having to take it with him.

                                                  "It will be just a quick run home."

                                                  • Agent Carol Torres
                                                    Agent Carol Torres

                                                    "That will not be a problem." Carol replied calmly. "Just give me two minutes." 

                                                    She typed up her plans, sent them to her office to print, and sent another e-mail to her overseeing officer, and to the director.

                                                    "I don't suppose your partner left the spare key laying around here somewhere?" 

                                                     

                                                    Once her email was sent, she fished a small tool set out of her pocket and knelt behind the vampire to work on the cuffs. 

                                                    Was she crazy? Was she seriously going to free a known vampire from his bonds and stay in close approximate biting range to him for an undetermined amount of time? Without backup Or the all important approval of a superior?! Surely there were dozens of forms to fill out before such a brash and haphazard decision could be made, let alone carried out! 

                                                    "I've spent a lot of spare time playing with my handcuffs, figuring out ways to slip out of them and pick them one-handed. I wasn't successful in getting them off when they were behind my back but I can get out of them when they're in front of me." She said conversationally, trying not to pay any attention to the drake's intriguing scent. She automatically apologized when the heel of her hand bumped his fingers.

                                                    "I think I'm getting a feel for these. Shouldn't take much longer."

                                                    Pretty soon Dimitri would be free and things would get interesting very quickly. 

                                                    • Trevor Mallard
                                                      Trevor Mallard

                                                      Dimitri watched her carefully as she worked on getting the cuffs off. Since he had fed he didn't feel the need to feed at the moment nor bite. It seemed to have done the trick at the moment as he felt more in control.

                                                      "Thank you. I appreciate it even if it might get us in trouble."

                                                      Because he wasn't sure how many rules they were breaking at the moment.

                                                      The moment the cuffs were off he rubbed a sore spot from the pulling he had done.

                                                      "We better get going."