Strange Sightings


bowie_icon.gif joe_icon.gif lance_icon.gif

Scene Title Strange Sightings
Synopsis Of all the things Joe and Lance have seen, a man doing his job might be the weirdest.
Date March 13, 2018

Lance's Apartment

After touching base with the other agents working this particular case (maybe via a wall of notes, don't judge), Bowie has made his way around to his next stop. The two private investigators he's been told about. Gerken and Winters.

The agent knocks on the door of the apartment on record, and he looks very much like an agent. He can't help it, it's just how he looks. The badge doesn't help.

It's not the best apartment building in the Safe Zone. It's not even the best apartment building in Phoenix Heights, but it's relatively clean and structurally sound at the very least. Someone's spraypainted a lighthouse on the door out into the hall, of all things.

"Are you expecting anyone," comes a muffled query from inside, and then the door's pulled open enough for Lance to peer past the chain, "Yeah? Who is it?"

Joe is well… Joe is asleep wehn the knock comes at the door. He's laying on the floor on a sleeping bag with a college entrance exam study book laying on his chest. He might have been studying, or maybe putting together a study guide for Brynn and Lance? There is a notebook on the floor as well. Then comes the knock and he jerks away with a snort and a blink, his eyes tracking around him. "Ugh… No, not expecting anyone." He mumbles as he sits up and rubs a hand over his face. "Who it is brosef?" He calls over to Lance pretty much as soon as the guy finishes asking the person outside who they are. Cuz Joe is impatient. Most of the time. Nearly all the time.

"Agent Lin, from the SESA office," Bowie says when Lance peeks out the door. "I'm looking for Lance Gerken and Joe Winters." Likely, he knows that Lance is Lance, but he's not calling him out. "No one's in any trouble," he adds, "I'm investigating the food thefts. I hear that they're doing the same." At least he doesn't look threatening. Or sound it. His expression is easy going. He pulls out his credentials, though, so Lance can have a look over them and make sure he is who he says he is.

At first, Lance's eyes widen a bit in instinctive panic… although as the man elaborates, he relaxes a little. The credentials are squinted at, and then the door's closed fully.

"Get up, it's the feds," he hisses out, and then he pulls the chain off the door and opens it, stepping out of the way to invite Bowie in, though he's still eying the man like someone might a dangerous animal, "I, uh, that's me. I'm Lance. That's Joe. And we weren't, I mean, doing anything wrong, officer…"

Joe well. Joe can hear Bowie at the door and what he says. He doesn't look at Lance, nope, no he does not. Lance didn't want to get involved, cuz he didn't want to end up in exactly this sort of situation. Getting noticed. So Joe pointedly does not look at Lance. "Oh dude… so not primal…" Joe groans. "You just got me in soooo much trouble." Joe mutters it, maybe within Bowie's hearing, maybe not. "Sorry Lance. And yes I know. I also know that. And that. And whatever else you're going to yell at me later. I know." Joe rubs a hand over his face again, then levers himself up off of the floor. "Pants?" He looks down, pants check go. He's wearing them. "Good." He turns and ambles towards the door, not that it's a very far walk. "Joe Winters." Joe turns and stares at Lance, then pointedly nudges him in the side with his elbow. Shut it bro.

When he's invited in, Bowie thanks Lance with a nod of his head. "It's good to meet you," he says when Lance introduces himself. "No, you weren't doing anything wrong." He folds his ID and slides it into a pocket while he looks over at Joe. That one gets an odd look, but he nods to his introduction as well. "I was hoping you might be able to help. If you two have seen anything or found anything that might help SESA unwind this mystery, I'd be grateful. Some of the people in the market said you were trying to look into it."

Oh, Lance might not need to say anything but it's clear that Joe can hear it, as he gives his friend a look. Then the door's pushed closed behind the agent, and he admits, "I mean, just a little… asking around and brainstorming, and all. I mean we're not detectives or anything, we've just been around a lot've Evolved in our time." He steps back over nearer to Joe - strength in numbers - and says wryly, "Obviously these weren't, you know, normal people stealing shit either."

Joe remains suspicious. Bowie is gubmint. And Lance invited him right in, and started talking right away. Joe is gonna have to have a talk with him about his conduct later. Brian would be ashamed. And then Lance talks more and Joe's eyes narrow. Bro. Bro! Can Lance hear him mentally? Maybe not, but he knows. Joe turns to look back at Bowie, his face scrunching up as he studies the man. "We are simply citizens concerned with the thefts going on and thought if we found any information worthwhile we could report it and let you guys handle it from there." Joe doesn't have a good poker face, but he's trying dangit. You don't talk to the cops LANCE.

"Well, that's very community-minded of you, Joe," Bowie says, for all the world as if he's taking the young man at his word. His poker face is a lot better, and seems to come with a sort of persistant pleasantness. But his attention turns back to Lance. "What makes you so certain it's not non-expressives? From your unique perspective." Since they do have one, at least when it comes to Evolved.

Lance slants Joe a look, as if sensing his worry. As if he has any room to talk about spilling things to everyone who walks by! He looks back to Bowie, then, hesitating, "Well, that's— I mean it's a stupid lot of food in there, right? Or it was supposed to be. If someone'd been taking it out in trucks, it would've taken forever. Someone would've noticed something, y'know? So we were thinking maybe a teleporter first, but most of them are pretty short range, or they've got weight limits…"

Joe sighs, long and loud so Lance knows. Not that Lance didn't already know, but then he joins into the conversation as well. "From everything we've heard there's no signs of forced entry. Of course that doesn't mean it's not an inside job of some kind. But it's tons of food. Literally tons. That would be suuuuper hard to move. THe only thing that stumps us is most teleporters have line of sight issues. Also they have weight issues. Most can only take so many people or so much stuff along. So unless they've got a legion of them they're getting it out another way. A phaser maybe? But they usually have limits too. Frankly I think it's much more likely that it's an inside job of some kind. People with access to the places where the food is being held making off with it."

Joe puffs out his cheeks some. "Trucks if you've got someone with super strength though would work. Also we were trying to find out if there's any tunnels, sewer or otherwise running under the places the food was being kept." Since Lance is going to spill Joe is at least going to make sure it's accurately done.

Bowie smiles a little more genuinely as they talk, but he nods along. "I am also leaning toward it being an inside job of some kind. Whether or not they were SLC-Expressive is yet to be determined, but I almost feel like it's beside the point." He looks between them for a moment before he decides on his next question. "Did anyone you talk to mention anything about the sewage leak? The smell, or anything like that?"

"That was my thought," Lance tilts his head over to Joe, "To check for the tunnels under the place. We were thinking about trying to find a way down there, see what we could…" Then he blinks, "No. A sewage smell?" He looks back to his friend, then Bowie, "That just supports my theory! If there was a sewage smell then maybe someone came up through the sewers— a terrakinetic or something maybe could've breached it and then hidden the opening afterwards…"

Them being Evolved is besides the point? That comment from Bowie clearly surprises Joe. Genuinely and honestly surprises him. "That's… I mean that's honestly surprising to hear you say that. Considering…" Well considering the past. The opression of the Evolved people and all that. He doesn't finish the sentence though, he doesn't need to. Or at least he doesn't think he needs to. He does nod along to what Lance says, his head tipping forwards and up a couple of times before he huffs out a breath. "We hadn't heard about any sewage leak, but that does go along with what Lance was thinking in regards to the tunnels. The tunnels was his idea. But it was a good one hence why we were looking into it and everything."

Joe lifts a hand up, scritching against his scalp lightly as he thinks. "But that would still require a lot of moving power. Maybe an evolved with super strength? Or super speed running it down there? Teleporters and phasers? But I guess it could be just a bunch of regular folks running stuff down there. I dunno. There's a lot of holes in pretty much any theory we've come up with. Hence why we were asking around about it. And we /were/ planning to come to you guys if we found anything. We were going to report it and let you guys handle it from there. Honest. Oh dude! A terrakinetic could work! Holy crap brosef. That's a good theory!"

"People are just people to me," Bowie says with a lift of his shoulder. "Met plenty of Non-Expressives that were far wrose than any Expressive I've ever known. There'bad apples in every barrel. Good ones, too, though." The agent even seems to mean that. "A terrakinetic, that's a thought. I had wondered if someone was using the sewer tunnels to move the food without being spotted. But I couldn't figure how they moved it down there. No one seems to have noticed any odd coming or going, and there isn't really another practical method of moving that much product without being noticed." Bowie lifts a hand to Joe's honesty. "It's alright. But please don't go looking down there. It's dangerous and you should let SESA handle that part. We don't know if they're still down there, but I don't want you boys caught in something like this. If you want to keep looking into it, keep your questions above ground, okay?" He stops there and gives the pair of them a crooked smile. "Besides, whoever's going down there is gonna smell awful for weeks. Better for us, huh? People already look at us funny."

"I can't think of any way that they could move it out ground-side without getting spotted, and everyone would've noticed an airlift, so…" Lance gestures to the ground with one hand, "…down was the only thing I could think of." Then there's that comment about it being dangerous underground, and despite everything he keeps saying to Joe about living a normal life and not getting involved in this sort of thing… his pride is pricked by that comment, and the lanky teenager folds both arms over his chest. "We can take care of ourselves," he says firmly, "We were Lighthouse kids. I guaran-fucking-tee that anything down there? We've seen scarier."

Joe listens to Bowie as he talks speaks, not interupting the SESA agent, though there's a faint smirk when he says that it's dangerous down there and what not. He opens his mouth to speak, but Lance beats him to it on the comment about being Lighthouse kids. "You know, for someone who lectures me about opening my big mouth you've had an awfully big mouth this conversation brosef." Joe peers at Lance, well glares at him for a few moments. Buuuuuut he does also reach his hand over for a fist bump. Solidarity. "I mean you have our files. I'm bulletproof. He's a ninja. So you don't really need to worry about us getting hurt. But we really just wanna be normal kids and go to college and hold down jobs and stuff. Okay, it's just Lance that wants to be normal, but Joe is lumping himself in this time. "Much scarier." Joe agrees with an off handed comment and a dip of his head to the side. "Much much scarier." He noddles his head a couple times forward and back, Joe bobble head.

"I know what it says in your files." Bowie did, in fact, read them. Obviously. "It isn't about what you can or can't handle. It's what you shouldn't need to. I wish I could say we would always be there to step in, but as it is, let us keep you from needing to see any more." Bowie looks between them, serious, concerned. "You can go out there and just be normal… kids."

"Because I kind of like to eat, Joe," Lance replies deadpan, though he does reach over to bump his knuckles back against the other teenager's. Solidarity. He brings a hand up, scratching at the back of his head as he admits, "I'd like to. Maybe one of these days I'll… well, anyway." Maybe by the time fall session starts he'll get an acceptance letter instead of the opposite. A glance to Joe, and then a sigh before he allows almost reluctantly, "And— look you said, I mean, you can't always be there to step in. So like, if you need anything from us let us know?"

"Then you know we've seem some stuff." Joe remarks with a raised brow at the SESA agent. "I'll be honest. You kind of surprise me. Like you really surprise me. Talking about not having a bias against evolved. And also not wanting us to put ourselves in danger cuz we shouldn't have to. Not because we're citizens and shouldn't be, but cuz we shouldn't have to. I mean… this whole government agent guy doing his job is weird." Cuz in Joe's experience government people try to hunt down him and his friends. Not protect them. "Well I like to eat too LANCE!" Joe shoots back, making weird faces at his buddy before he looks back to Bowie. "We're mature responsible adults I promise. I babysit for a living. Pays good money. If you need anyone to babysit for you give me a call. If you have kids I mean. And don't mind having an evo kid watching your kids."

Joe nods his head a little bit. "Leave your number. We'll give you a call if we uncover anything. And like he said if you ever need /our/ help you can give us a call. Me a call?" He glances to Lance as he confirms the needing help. "Yeah, us a call. And we're totally going to get you into school Lance. We just gotta study more. You and Brynn both. I'd be a lot easier if I could get you both in the same room more often to study." Joe leans in, bumping his shoulder against Lance's lightly. "Someone should form like a citizen's watch group. Help the police and SESA. I know you guys are short handed as all heck."

"I will, Lance. I promise." Bowie reaches into a pocket, pulling out a pair of business cards. "Here. If you see anything, find anything, if you need help, you can call me."

He looks over to Joe, his head tilting a bit. "Well. Hopefully soon you won't think of it as being weird." The matter of whether or not he has kids gets a chuckle, "You sound like you've been talking to my mother." Which means, of course, that he has no kids. But something in what Joe says causes a thoughtful look to cross his face. "I think the Council might be able to point you in the right direction, Joe. If you want to be part of a citizen's watch. We all have to help each other out these days." There's a glance toward the book that had bored Joe into unconciousness, but then he gives them a salute. "Until next time," he says, a smirk coming to his face before he turns to let himself out.

With these two, he's pretty sure there's gonna be a next time.

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