A woman scorned...

((Reserved at this time for Piper (and nips), Jacob, Lilly (et al) and Gladstone. PM either myself or Jacob if you wanna slip in.))
—-

She wasn’t stupid by any stretch of the word. NegaPiper was actually quite intelligent, and she knew that once Jacob had sent her off, chances were, he’d not return for her.

Regardless, she had waited. Patiently at first, but then over time she grew angry, and bitter. How could he not see her worth? She was the ultimate partner... submissive to just the right degree, playful, sexy... desired. Her hair was full bodied and wild, her green eyes full of playfulness and sin, and her body... well... on it’s own it was soft and curved. She seemed to accentuate her shape with revealing as much of it as she could, without actually showing it all.

So what was this guy’s problem?!

Rather than sit around, NPiper started seeking. Asked the right questions, charmed the right people... eventually she was able to piece together where the mallard had wandered off to. It was no secret in the negaverse that there were portals that lead to other places, but finding one... that was near impossible. His Lordship has seen to it that they were kept secret and hidden. Probably to keep nutcases like her from hopping over, and running amok.

The problem was, nutcases like her tended to find ways to get what they wanted. And she wanted Jacob... if for no other reason than to make him pay for standing her up. It took time, though. Lots of time before she was even able to locate a portal. Then it took even more time to wait for the right moment to try sneaking through. She had very nearly given up when the guard who was assigned... fell asleep.

It couldn’t be that simple... could it?

Quietly... NPiper tip-toed for the portal... slooowly... almost.... yes!

Once in diving distance, she jumped through— just in time to learn a cough-snort from the guard as he awoke. But nothing seemed amiss, as the little duckette was gone by the time he opened his eyes.

NPiper landed on the other side in a less than graceful manner. “o...ooow...” Well, it was probably the softest concrete there was to hope for. Sitting up. She rubbed her sore shoulder and looked around. It was.... clear...? No fog of pollution... no crumbling buildings. Everything was in one piece— the lights even worked.

“What in the hell?” In her whole life, she had never known St. Canard to be whole... it was a cesspool of destruction and crime. This place... this place gave her the creeps.

Pulling her miniskirt down so it just barely covered her properly, she surveyed— it looked familiar, but it wasn’t familiar. “wait... isn’t that... querido Quetzal?” She muttered. It looked different... but the alleyway beside it— she was highly familiar with that area. She did a lot of business there.

It was a start. She made her way into the club.

    • Gladstone Gander
      Gladstone Gander

      Would it be lucky if Lilly and Gladstone found NPiper?  

      His luck didn't seem to think so.

      As they went looking for the fugitive, things kept tripping them up. Doors were jammed or locked which weren't usually kept locked.  Even walking passed an open window resulted in  a renegade bouquet of flowers inexplicably flying in and landed in his hands.  He stashed them before Lilly saw, what was going on today?  C'mon luck just... cooperate here?  There's a potentially dangerous woman in this house and...  we're trying to... find her... to... do... what?

      You know what.

      Right on luck.  Heads up thinking.

      "Maybe we should call the police? Just in case?  I mean you saw her face, whoever this guy is she's not just going to give him a stern talking to from that look."  He didn't wait for a reply, Lilly was a trusting soul and he might be gullible but it didn't do well to ignore his hunches. He picked up the receiver of  a phone in the room they were currently in. "I mean better safe-" He heard voices. "-uh hello?" 

      • Lilly Teal
        Lilly Teal

        "Wait! Uh." He tried to frantically think of some way to keep her on the line as he made a face at Piper. What do I do what do I do? "Who're you on the trail of this is wildly interesting-"

        Did she hang up? He wasn't sure. But he was definitely surprised to hear a male voice appear on the line.

        "... hell... o?" From somewhere in the background he heard a faint 'Gladstone, is someone already on the line?' and his face cleared up. "Oh Glad. How's, uh, how's everything going, I heard you guys separated. Piper's on the line with me. Or was. You still there, Pips?"

        • Piper/ Jade
          Piper/ Jade

          As it was, she was not there. Sorry Darryl, you missed your chance to play. But as luck would have it, the split second before the phone was hung up, Gladstone picked up. So the duckette was none the wiser. 

          Pleased with herself, “Now... let us see who is attached to that delicious sounding rumble...” back on the prowl, she started to travel through the hallway again. “come out come out wherever you are...” She sang, chuckling softly at her own cuteness.

          ——

          Piper was on her feet, “we should go...” she was in semi-panic mode now, having assumed the woman on the other end of the line hung up. ‘Where does Lilly live?” I’ll run there if I have to.

          • Gladstone Gander
            Gladstone Gander

            Gladstone waited tensely but no answer came. He shook his head lightly.

            "You were talking to her?  Uh... she kind of wandered off after-" Well after what? It sounded kind of stupid to say 'well she looked really scary for a second there'. "-let's just say Lilly's concerned. ...and I'm concerned. We're both concerned. She just kinda 'poofed' when I had to finally give in and pry her off Lil'.  You know her right?  Is she normally about... uh... casually threatening violence against people... sort of stuff?" 

            He put his hand over the receiver and mouthed 'it's Darryl' to Lilly. Thumbs up. 

            • Lilly Teal
              Lilly Teal

              "Thaaaaat's... no, she's not normally about that at all." He raised his eyebrows at Piper. "In fact. I don't think she's normally... about being Piper. Sort of stuff."

              Yes, that was helpful. Well done.

              "What I mean to say is Piper came in five minutes ago. She's. Uh, standing right next to me. And acting and dressed completely like herself so it turns out we don't exactly know who-" You know. The woman in the house is. "Just. We're coming. Keep away from her."

              No need to tell them twice. Hanging up, he turned to Piper and grabbed his keys.

              "It's just faster if I drive, let's go." Not as fast as Gladstone, nobody could manage that, but a he could still muster a respectable level of law-breaking speed.

              ~~~

              The owner of said delicious sounding rumble was oblivious to being hunted down as she got closer and closer to the sound of the voice. But before long, a nearby door swung open, letting out a serious looking owl who turned in the doorway to send a few final words of parting to the occupant of the room.

              "No sir, I think it's been settled quite satisfactorily. Thank you for seeing me on such short notice."

              "Of course."

              • Piper/ Jade
                Piper/ Jade

                NPiper looked up, oh so that is where they're hiding... if she could stalk any more than she was, her species would turn into that of a predator.

                predator duck... that was funny. Well, maybe not to a fish. 

                She eyed the owl for a moment when he emerged, taking in his voice... no. That wasn't the voice she'd heard. soft pout... no fair, I came all this--

                Ah... there it was. The of course-- that was the voice. Taking a step closer to the room, but still a good distance from the door, she tilted her head and stretched a bit to peek at who had spoken second.

                ----

                Piper gave bo second thought to jumping in the car with Darryl. "I hope they're okay." 

                But she had to admit to curiosity as they drove. Who was this person? How has she managed to pull off convincing everyone it was her? Maybe not one hundred perfect, but enough... 

                And how was Matthew involved? And who was Gladstone?! Why wasn't anyone actually answering her-- 

                "okay fill me in please?" She asked Darryl. She gripped onto the door handle to keep herself from sliding around a thing his driving. "I don't be know half of the people involved in this... Gladstone?" 

                • Gladstone Gander
                  Gladstone Gander

                  Gladstone, whoever he was, stared a the receiver as the dial tone droned on. After a moment he hung it up.

                  "So. Good news.  Your friend Piper is okay.  Bad news.  She's with Darryl. They're on their way now."  He tapped his fingertips together nervously. "So that leads us to the next question... who did I drive to your house?"

                  And where did she get off to?  

                  "Where is your uncle? Maybe she found him?  Can you text him! Send him like... 'THE PIPER IS A LIE' or something?" Because... really if anyone  could hold off a murderer his money was on Matthew. 

                   

                  • Lilly Teal
                    Lilly Teal

                    "He'd be in his study, still having his meeting. Um. Text! Yes!" Now why didn't I think of that?

                    There was a brief scramble, a few seconds of oh God why where is it, and a quick AHA before she started to try and compose a message that was short, to the point, and not entirely confusing.

                    'Do not trust friendly lady in short skirt'

                    ... it wasn't very good, and she privately suspected her uncle wouldn't trust a random person wandering around the house anyway, even if they said they were her friend, but it would have to do.

                    And then, just to be complete, she added 'I'm fine' before hitting send.

                    A small 'ding' come at about the same time as Matthew came to the doorway, filling up the entire space. He really should let Lilly know he was free so she could ask whatever she'd wanted to ask. But maybe a drink before that. It had been a stressful meeting.

                    His brow furrowed in puzzlement as he read the message. Yes, maybe a drink after all.

                    ~~~

                    "Friend of Lilly's." Well that wasn't helpful, that could apply to thousands of people in the city. "Hangs around the club these days to kill time and get free drinks and put up with Oz flirting at him." Again, not helpful, that could apply to thousands of people in the city.

                    He took a sharp turn, nearly colliding with the dumpster on the corner. At least there weren't any sirens yet.

                    Oh wait, those were sirens. Well I'm sorry sir but we really can't stop, I guess we'll just have to speed up.

                    "Any more questions?"

                    • Piper/ Jade
                      Piper/ Jade

                      "Ahem." Although her goal was to get Matthew's attention, it was clear her short skirt got the attention of the associate he had been doing business. 

                      She glared darkly at the owl. "Piss off or pay up. I'm not here to look pretty for you without a hefty price. And I seriously doubt you can afford me."

                      But her expression changed as she boldly stepped towards the doorway. "You, on the other hand..." she purred, finally getting a good look at Matthew. She liked them big...

                      ----

                      Piper squeaked and ducked her head. No. No more questions because now I am terrified for my life-- how did you even get your driver's license? 

                      She curled up in her seat and clung to the door handle. Please please please let us arrive soon.

                      • Gladstone Gander
                        Gladstone Gander

                        “Excellent work!” He thumped a fist into his palm. “Now what?”

                        It was a good question, one he thought about for a long moment.

                        ”so this Jacob guy, any ideas on how we can reach him or at least find him without drawing her attention?  Like what’s he do? Maybe we can find his office number or something.” By the look of Piper she was old enough to get into trouble but young enough that any potential date ditchers could be sleeping off a bender or halfway through class, or just working a crappy 9-5.  

                         

                        If only he set his sights a little older he might have figured out that he’d had the drake in question’s contact information this whole time. Funny how these things work.

                        • Lilly Teal
                          Lilly Teal

                          Well Matthew probably has his number in his study, so that's currently out of the question. What does he do?

                          "He told me," she said slowly, trying very hard to remember. "Oh dear, he told me what he does when we first met. He wanted to meet Uncle Matthew, so maybe he's a businessman?"

                          Something to do with machines? Inventor? No, it was something else.

                          Tinker?

                          Tailor?

                          Soldier?

                          Spy.

                          Her eyes went very wide. "Oh! SHUSH. He said that was where he works!" Unless he was joking at my expense. "... um, but we can't call SHUSH?" Isn't that... not allowed? Also we wouldn't know how to contact them? "And even if we did, Mallard is such a common last name..."

                          She was starting to talk to herself at this point, all the pieces of the puzzle falling out of her mouth as she rambled about how difficult it would be to find the Jacob who worked at SHUSH with the surname of Mallard.

                          Come on, guys. If your luck was a physical person, it would be slamming it's head against a wall by now.

                          Matthew sent the owl away with a look, and raised an eyebrow slightly at the... ah, this was the friendly lady in the short skirt. Noted.

                          "And who might you be, wandering around my house?"

                          ~~~

                          Almost there, Piper, don't fret. Just need to shake the cops.

                          He wasn't driving as fast as Gladstone, honestly, but because he didn't have the luck that sent things out of his way, he had to swerve a whole lot more. Maybe that's why it was a scarier experience.

                          Just oooooone more sharp nintey degree turn and-

                          "There!" He'd point, but that would require him taking his hands off of the wheel. "You see that aggressively bright car? That's Glad's."

                          And you see the house it's parked in front of? You get out and start running into it as soon as I drive into the street and brake.

                          • Piper/ Jade
                            Piper/ Jade

                            "Piper." She responded easily, as it was what everyone had been calling her. "Lilly brought me here, but the Gladstone dragged her off to be alone."

                            She pouted pitifully at him, not hesitating at all to get right into his personal space. "So I got lonely, and heard your voice... you know... look for my own company." She tilted her head back to look up at him.

                            "If this is your house... I take it you are Uncle Matthew." She stated huskily. "I expected an avian... " you know, since Lilly was a duck.

                            Reaching up, she shamelessly grabbed one of his horns. Surprisingly, she was quite gentle, she simply let her fingers slide along the bone. "Impressive extension... are they all this large?"

                            ----
                            "I saw that car earlier..." she said meekly. But it was a useless fact, it didn't really matter.

                            He needed to give her no instruction. Piper had no wish to speak with the police, and she also had every wish to get out of Darryl's car. Maybe one day you can take me for a ride, and show me how nice you can drive.

                            The second he braked, she was pulling the door open and jumping out. 'Okay... okay... I know this house'. But she kept in mind to some degree she had to act like she didn't. Quickly making her way to the door she tested it to see if it would open. "Lilly!" She called before pushing it open.

                            Glancing back, she hoped Darryl would follow up to explain her intrusion. Matthew was likely not going to fall for her charm this time.

                            Not he fell for it before.

                            • Gladstone Gander
                              Gladstone Gander

                              Gladstone nodded along with Lilly's rambling making agreeable noises where appropriate until a certain string of words rattled his brain like a gong.

                              GONG. SHUSH

                              GONG GONG. MALLARD

                              DAT GONG GA-GONG GONG GONG. JACOB MALLARD OF SHUSH.

                              "Oh for Pete's sake-" he muttered to himself as he started his own 'where-aah-oh God WHY-' of looking for his phone.  Once it was found he pulled up the Agent's information (saved in his phone as "Mac Daddy J"... appropriate) and pressed the call button.

                              As it rang he patted Lilly's shoulder and motioned for quiet.  He shook his head at the world in general and could not contain the burning question he needed answered. It was super important.

                              "Out of curiosity, how old is Piper?" You dirty old man you, could you get any cooler? I mean, granted this situation is not ideal- but still.

                              Bravo.

                              • Lilly Teal
                                Lilly Teal

                                "A couple of years younger than me, I thin-" Her eyes went wide for the third time. Maybe they should save themselves the effort and stay wide.

                                "I thought I just heard Piper. I mean. I think it's the real Piper. Our Piper." Was it? Do you think it was? I don't think we should separate while I go looking for her. Um. Should I call out or will the murderous one just find us again if we do that?

                                "Do you really think," said Darryl from behind Piper as he got out of the car, "yelling at the top of your voice is going to be helpful when they're probably hiding from a psychopath? We should just look for them."

                                Said 'psychopath' was being looked at in a very unimpressed manner. He was a gentleman for the most part, yes, but he also didn't appreciate being manhandled even slightly. A large hand wrapped around her wrist and drew it away from her horn, holding it not too tightly, but very firmly. A grip not easily broken.

                                "That's for me to know," he rumbled. "And for you to keep your hands to yourself." Unless you have permission.

                                • DarkwingPsycho
                                  DarkwingPsycho

                                  "Malla-"  The SHUSH agent was cut off when he heard the question at the other end.  He raised a brow.  "Excuse me?"  He pulled the phone away from his ear for a moment, then smirked.  "I don't know what you're on about, Lucky, but if you're at the Coatl and didn't invite me..."

                                  • Gladstone Gander
                                    Gladstone Gander

                                    Gladstone had heard the voice too… well he heard all three voices.  It was a bit overwhelming.

                                    “Huh? Oh-” which to address first. Well… better make sure that Jacob didn’t think he was butt dialed. “Hey, real talk. Can I be you when I grow up? Does that involve Bourbon on Wheaties for breakfast?  I kinda need to know.  Sorry uh-“ He motioned to Lilly. “-go, I’ll walk and talk. “ And so he did. “Listen Big J, I think I’ve got a friend of yours on the hook here. Well, maybe not friend.  She seems pretty upset with you actually, said you ditched her months ago, which  doesn’t sound like you.  Leaving a lady high AND dry without warning? Tsk. Tsk.  But uh-“ the carefree tone dipped suddenly. “Well she’s really, and I mean really, intent on finding you and honestly I don’t think it’s to shake your hand.  Seems to look an awful lot like this Piper girl-again, you dog,you- only writhes rather than walks,  starts her day with a smattering of light sexual assault, skirt the size of a belt?  Ringing any bells?”

                                     

                                    ((OOC:Jumpin' my turn in an effort to get IN DA HOUSE BUDS together. If you want me to wait my turn like a respectable human being Terri just lmk and I will do my best impression of one))

                                    • Piper/ Jade
                                      Piper/ Jade

                                      “Pardon..” she grinned up at him. ‘I do appreciate fine, and powerful looking things. Can’t help but touch. Especially someone so... horny.” And that grip... it made her shiver.

                                      “So... you are the one who has a way of contacting Jacob.” He seemed like a business first kind of guy. “Lilly brought me here in hopes that you would give me his number.” She tilted her head slightly, smiling up at him in a coy way. “But... I am in no hurry if you’d like to get to know me better.”

                                      ——

                                      Piper shot a look at Darryl. “Don’t lecture me on how to worry.” She huffed and started looking around/ she recalled where Lilly’s room was... but hopefully the girl wasn’t silly enough to hide in her room on the second floor. That was the number one mistake all girls in horror films made. 

                                      Pausing.... she simply turned and started down a hall. ((OOC: it’s cool, it made more sense that way ))

                                       

                                      • Lilly Teal
                                        Lilly Teal

                                        (OOC: 'Piper huffed: The story of dealing with Darryl'. In stores now.)

                                        His raised his eyebrows slightly, taking a step back into the office and bringing her with him, with the hold on her wrist. "Is that so? You'll forgive me if I don't take your word for it. Jacob, you say? I know many Jacobs."

                                        And I won't be doing any prompting, so you'd have to fill in a lot more blanks for me before I even think of being helpful. Such as what you want with Jacob. Who you actually are. And why I should bother.

                                        "I would indeed like to get to know you." His solemn face suddenly showed teeth, a grin with absolutely no humour behind it, hard and cold. "But perhaps not in the way you'd like."

                                        She was certainly forward, but the way she shivered at his voice and his grip didn't escape his notice, which struck him as something just a little bit more than casual all-emcompassing flirtation.

                                        Whatever it was, it was irrelevant. He should keep her here until he had more information on what to do. If she was a danger to Jacob, he was hardly going to let her just walk out of his house to find him.

                                        Hm. Still holding her wrist, he maneuvered her into a chair, his voice pitched much lower and near her ear.

                                        "Not if you're on the look for someone already. I don't share."

                                        It may be an irrelevant fact, but it was also exploitable, if it made her more compliant about staying put and giving him information he could use, rather than having to use force. It wasn't his usual mode of operation, but then nothing seemed normal today.

                                        ~~~

                                        Footsteps, I hear footsteps!

                                        Glancing back to make sure Gladstone was following behind, Lilly made off in the direction of the sounds. Actually, is this a good idea? Should we maybe pause and look carefully around a corner in case we run into somebody ba-

                                        She turned a corner, and came face to the face with Piper. The real Piper. But she took a sudden step back, her worried eyes flicking over the other girl's hair, face and clothes. It wasn't usual for her not to greet Piper with a huge smile and an even bigger hug. But was this really her Piper? She... didn't know how to confirm.

                                        "Piper?"

                                        • DarkwingPsycho
                                          DarkwingPsycho

                                          Gladstone's ramblings sent a thread of different reactions pulling over Jacob's wizened face until it stopped on one of consternation.  Instead of acknowledging much of what the gander was telling him, Jacob simply replied in a dark tone.  "Where?"

                                          • Gladstone Gander
                                            Gladstone Gander

                                            Well, the tone of voice in his ear boded SO well?

                                            "-uh we're at Lilly's, uh Lilly Teal's  house, she says she's met you? You know her Uncle Matthew Halden? Big guy, can make you feel like a flea with a look?  I can give you th-YEE-" This last part was because he'd almost walked right into Lilly and had just seen Piper. He recoiled slightly until he took stock of her completely different... well almost everything. And oh, look Darryl. He waved. Hi Darryl! "-ahem- address if you need it?" He held the receiver away from his face, which didn't do much to stop Jacob from  hearing anything that happened, it just muffled his voice slightly.  He reached his hand out to Piper to shake. "Gladstone Gander, you must be Piper, the uh... not crazy one." Hopefully? Most likely? I mean she hadn't groped anyone yet.

                                            • Piper/ Jade
                                              Piper/ Jade

                                              Piper also stepped back, bumping slightly into Darryl. She looked somewhat hurt at Lilly's reaction-- but it was followed up with understanding. Her hands came up in a surrender motion. " Sorry Darryl..." to the frustrating feather ball behind her. Then to Lilly..."It's okay... it's me, Lilly." One should note--- she was using names. 

                                              God that was weird to have to say? "Look, I don't--"

                                              Oh, a hand... Piper looked down at it, then the goose that was speaking. This was Gladstone....? Too polite not to, she reached out to take his hand and shake it. "Um... Piper Lee, pleasure.... Look, really now, you guys should go." Vague motion towards the door. "I don't know who this person is, but I don't want anyone getting hurt."

                                              ____

                                              NPiper quickly, and happily supplied, "Mallard. Jacob Mallard." See? I can be compliant. Eager, in fact... especially for someone so attractive.

                                              But then he ruined everything. Despite his voice in her ear, despite that wonderful dark grin... he'd shut her down. Because she wasn't going to stop looking for Jacob, and if his terms were no-fun-unless-I'm-the-only-one... well... let's say she could see her own forms of manipulation coming from him. The heat was quite suddenly turned off.

                                              Her look turned cold. "Then I suppose you're leaving me no choice but to be a bother." Yeah, it was all Matthew's fault. He should have played along with her... because telling her 'no', which was how she interpreted it, was never good. 

                                              "Contact him. I will wait." And order now. No flirtation, no cute smiles.... she fully expected him to do as she demanded. Deadly calm, she sat back and crossed her legs, waiting for him to comply. 

                                              • Lilly Teal
                                                Lilly Teal

                                                He looked amused for a moment. "It's easy to see a trick when you use it so much yourself, hm?" An interesting insight. However he was hardly intimidated. "Back to business. Good. But I don't take kindly to orders. Why are you so intent on finding this Jacob?"

                                                Not that I am admitting I know the one you mean.

                                                "You want a call? I want answers."

                                                ~~~

                                                That was definitely Piper. A look of relief passed over Lilly's face, and she gave her shoulder a squeeze.

                                                "Does anyone know who this person is? ... oh no, is Uncle Matthew in trouble?"

                                                Oh yes, poor, helpless, weak Uncle Matthew.

                                                • DarkwingPsycho
                                                  DarkwingPsycho

                                                  Jacob wasn't listening anymore to Gladstone's ramblings.  All he'd needed was "Lilly's" and he was hurrying out of his office and toward the parking lot, making a beeline for his Jaguar.  The only other thing to register was that Piper was there.  Not the crazy one.  He picked up the pace.

                                                  It took him a good fifteen minutes to get over to the Halden residence, as it happened to not be terribly far from SHUSH, and Jacob took full advantage of being able to speed through the streets as an agent.  His car screeched to a stop out front - parked behind Darryl's.

                                                  • Gladstone Gander
                                                    Gladstone Gander

                                                    After introductions were over Gladstone looked back to his phone to see the call had ended.

                                                    “Huh, he hung up.” He shrugged and plopped the phone back in his pocket. “Well we’ve done a sweep-right that’s what they call it on TV a sweep- of most of the house and couldn’t find a trace of her. She’s probably barking up Matthew’s tree and I can’t, in good conscience, walk away now. I drove her here after all. And you don’t have to worry about me getting hurt, I can take care of myself believe me.” He patted Lilly’s back. “What say you Lillypad? You going to hold down the fort or be sensible and make a tactical retreat?”

                                                    • Piper/ Jade
                                                      Piper/ Jade

                                                      NPiper looked at Mathew, propping her elbow on the arm rest and putting her cheek against her hand. "He took me from my gang. Asked me to wait for him. And I did." She shrugged.

                                                      "For several months in fact. And he never came." So while she played it like being stood up-- it had been a massive life change for her. And once she stepped away from negaduck's ring, she'd found it impossible to get back in.

                                                      "So. That is why I am looking for him. He needs to answer for wasting my time. Would you deny me that?"

                                                      ----

                                                      "Retreat would be better." Piper motioned, again, for the door, but was looking around.

                                                      "Where would she be?" She asked out loud, stepping unknowingly in the right direction. "I can clear this up right away, and then everyone can be on their way." To her this was all just a big mistake.

                                                      And once her identity cleared up, then all will be understood.