Snippet #2769423

located in Steampowered London - 1885, a part of Death Comes to London, one of the many universes on RPG.

Steampowered London - 1885

A metropolis of clockwork and steam.


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Character Portrait: Cassian Sinclair Character Portrait: Amelia Lancaster Character Portrait: Khalil Jaziri
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Outside London - The Former Parish of St. Lukas
July 4, 1885 - 22:15 p.m - Thunderstorm
Amelia Lancaster

Amelia paid no mind to the rain when she'd heard the scream, and followed behind a pair of footsteps. She knew Jaziri was behind her, and it wasn't until they were outside did she realize that she'd followed the newcomer. When they'd reached the utility house, and the young man opened the door, Amelia allowed her brows to furrow and her lips to purse into a fine line. Lady de Jaager was on the floor, and a man lay next to her. Amelia didn't have to be a doctor to know that Lady de Jaager was dead. She'd seen a enough dead bodies in her line of work, already, that she knew. Jaziri, however, sucked in a breath, and furrowed his brows.

“Shit," he stated, taking in a deep breath through his nose. “Just when I thought this was going to be the day," he continued, causing Amelia to turn in his direction.

“Jaziri, isn't your uncle a doctor?" she asked, watching as he glanced in her direction. Lady de Jaager wouldn't need the services, but the man who lay next to her might. And from her understanding, the man who'd accompanied Jaziri was that very same uncle.

“Yeah, I'll go get him," he stated, but Amelia shook her head.

“No, not yet. We need to make sure no one else comes inside, quite yet," she replied. They needed to preserve as much of the scene as possible. Her attention turned to the young man with crimson hair. Whether he was part of the church or not, there was no telling how he would react, or if he'd interfere in some way. She was distracted from her thoughts, though, when the unconscious man stirred.

The young Church fellow stiffened as the other man moved, looking quite wary but nevertheless crossing the floor carefully to his side. The maintenance box hung open; Amelia noticed though that the power was still turned on. It would have been foolishly-dangerous to attempt maintenance in that case, even if the power was out. It could have come back on at any time, after all.

A soft sound drew her attention back to the center of the room. The redhead had clicked his tongue against this teeth. "Electrocution," he said flatly, his voice surprisingly melodious for someone of his appearance. "He's coming around, though. You should get that doctor, now. And the local constable. He'll want to detain the guests. No one should leave."

Jaziri nodded, surprisingly enough, and went to find the doctor, she supposed. “And notify Lady Kent," she called after him. There was no doubt in her mind that Lady Kent would want to know of her friend's recent death. From the obvious object in her neck, it looked like a straightforward murder. But Amelia knew that no murder was as straightforward and easy. There were layers to go through, people to speak with to see if anyone saw anything, however; that wouldn't be easy. All things considered, her father did not know what she did. And that's to say nothing of the current guest list. For all intents and purposes, Amelia was nobility... and she had to act the part.

The young man was correct, though. No one should leave until everyone's whereabouts were accounted for. Interviewing them, however, was going to be a bit difficult, and Amelia narrowed her eyes and swallowed thickly. She did not like the current predicament she was in, however; she had a job to do. When Jaziri returned, his uncle was with him, and he was holding a bag of sorts. He'd come prepared, apparently, or perhaps it was an old habit. From what she knew of his nephew, Jaziri didn't really require medical attention unless he was injured quite badly.

“He was electrocuted, according to him," she informed the doctor, causing him to nod his head as he kneeled down next to the man's body.

“He might be a little weak depending on how strong the electrical current was when it entered his system. For now, it's best not to move him too much," Dr. Graham spoke, resting two fingers on the inside of the man's wrist. He glanced towards Lady de Jaager's body, and pursed his lips.

There was hardly any light to see by, so a more precise inspection than that would be nearly impossible. Amelia could just barely make out that the clock had stopped—just a minute or two after ten p.m. At least they had an exact time on the power outage, this way. She could see a glint of gold at Lady de Jaager's neck, but getting any closer to a corpse in the dark was definitely going to break her cover.

“We should leave," someone said from behind her. A fair few people had followed them out here at the sound of the scream. “It's not decent, to stay while she's all—"

"The only place any of you are going is back to the house. Now. No one leaves." There was a weightiness in the Church man's command that could hardly be ignored, even despite his youth. He hardly looked young right now anyway; they could all barely see each other.

Someone who knew what to do with that much authority got most of the people heading back towards the house. "You too, doctor. It might not be best to move the patient, but we can't leave him here."

He wasn't wrong to suggest that everyone return to the house, and not leave. Amelia would need to ask the current guests questions, however; she would need to be discreet about it. With everyone back inside, it would be easier to do so under the guise of gossip. She could enlist Miss Vera's help with that, but she turned her attention towards Jaziri and his uncle.

“We can move him inside, but we'll have to be gentle about it. Khalil, it's best if you do it," Dr. Graham spoke, causing Jaziri to nod his head, and moved to stand next to the man.

“We should see about restoring power, as well," Amelia added, her brows furrowing slightly. Jaziri snorted softly, as if he found something amusing, however; he didn't say anything. Luckily for him, he could see in the dark, but Amelia wasn't that lucky. Instead, she took in a soft breath, and turned to leave the area. It was a good thing that everyone was being coralled inside of the house. It meant Lady de Jaager's body would be left undisturbed until the local constable could arrive.

Once everyone was inside, Amelia did her best to seek out Jaziri. Of all the people here, he was going to be the most useful in navigating the dark. At least for the moment, and she only sought one person. “I need you to locate Miss Vera for me," she spoke in a hushed voice, taking the opportunity when it arrived. Jaziri huffed lightly, but grabbed Amelia's wrist in a surprisingly gentle manner. She didn't expect him to do that, but she allowed him to lead her to where Miss Vera was.

“I need you to be my eyes and ears, Jaziri. Go do what I cannot. Ask the more direct questions with some of the people, and ask your uncle to inspect Lady de Jaager's body for anything out of the ordinary. I'd say use your nose for that, but considering the weather..." his nose would be useless.

“You've a point there, Lady Amelia."

“Miss Vera," she called out softly so as to not draw any interest in their direction.

"Ah, Amelia, Mr. Jaziri." In the scant light afforded by the night, her eyes still managed to seem as though they glimmered. Probably a trick of the angle, but it made her look sharper, almost severe. Her voice was anything but. "I've sent Teddy to fetch some candles; he should be back any—"

"Mum." Theodore's voice was surprisingly close. "I got some matches too... at least I think that's what they are." He shook a box, and it did sound right to Amelia.

Within a couple of moments, they had several candles lit between them.

"I do believe passing these out could make us quite popular for a while, no?" Miss Vera ventured, providing a good cover for Amelia's investigation. "Perhaps, Mr. Jaziri, you would not mind if my son accompanied you? He is quite the hand with mechanics, but I would like very much to have him escorted to the right place, so that he does not lose his way." She gave a subtle emphasis to the words, and in so speaking them, gave Mr. Jaziri a cover story of his own.

"Perhaps while you are out, you could make sure that whatever local arrives takes care to summon Mr. Ramsey? Teddy knows the address."

“I can do that, Lady Kent," he replied, flashing a grin in her direction before glancing towards Theodore. “Let's go see what we can find out, hm?" he stated, leading the way as they left. Amelia shook her head and glanced towards Miss Vera.

“Let's go see what we can find out, Miss Vera," she stated. They could pass out the candles and see what the other members knew. The first group they approached consisted of Lady Hayes and another woman Amelia didn't recognize, immediately. She cleared her throat softly so as to not startle either of them, and held out one of the candles.

“Do either of you need some light?" she asked, doing her best to smile while waiting for the opportunity to ask the question she really wanted to.

“I'd appreciate it." Mrs. Hayes was standing next to a woman in a nun's white habit, so stark it almost glowed in the darkness. The woman nodded slightly as well. Both of them looked a touch uneasy; Mrs. Hayes moreso. But then, her sister had just been killed—it was actually a bit unusual that she wasn't reacting more, but perhaps she just had one of those stoic demeanors.

Miss Vera lit a candle, handing it over to Mrs. Hayes, but before she could shake out the match, the nun halted her with a motion. “A moment, if you don't mind." From a pocket in her habit, she withdrew a box, then slid a thin cigarette out of it. “Mind if I smoke? It's been... that kind of night."

Obligingly, Miss Vera held up the match until the end of the woman's cigarette was cherry-red. The nun inhaled deeply, politely exhaling to the side and keeping the direct smoke well away from anyone's face. “I'm Sister Mary Hollis, by the way. I'd say it's a pleasure to meet you, but... I'm not really sure anything's a pleasure right now."

Amelia had to agree with the woman. It wasn't really anyone's pleasure to be meeting with anyone given that they were all potential suspects. That included Amelia as well, even if she knew otherwise. She did allow her lips to purse into a fine line, though. She might not have paid as much attention to the Church as her father did, but she wasn't aware that nuns were allowed to smoke. Wasn't that against some form of the religion? She'd have to look into that at a later time. Now wasn't the time to be curious about other things.

“I am Amelia Lancaster, and I agree. Lady de Jaager's death was most unexpected," she stated, glancing towards Lady Hayes and Sister Hollis. “It was an aweful way to go," she continued, holding the candle closer to her. She was a bit chilly from the rain, but it wasn't anything she couldn't handle. “Lady Hayes, you've my condolences." As Lady de Jaager's only living relative, it would seem that everything that belonged to Lady de Jaager, would now go to Lady Hayes. It was motive and opportunity, but something didn't sit right with Amelia.

“What of you, Sister? Were you close with Lady de Jaager as well?" she asked. It was possible that Sister Hollis was an acquaintance of Lord de Jaager, but Amelia knew very little of her. Information was knowledge collected, and she planned on collecting as much information as she could. It would be helpful to Ramsey, when he arrived.

Sister Mary nodded a little. “She was—I suppose you'd say she was my best friend," she said, almost too quietly to hear over the other people crowded into the room. “I'd known she and his lordship since he was Father de Jaager. They're the reason I asked to be assigned to this parish when I took my assignment. I volunteer at the library still, even though I was reassigned, so we saw each other quite often." She swallowed, thickly enough for the motion to be visible.

“She must have confided in you," Amelia spoke, smiling just soft enough to appear sympathetic. She was, for the most part at least. She took a moment to decide her next question, unsure of how to ask it without seeming too indelicate about the current situation. A thought struck her. “Do you... do you think she was murdered because of her estate?" she asked. By this point, everyone knew Lady de Jaager was murdered.And it was widely known that she was having difficulty selling her estate.

Amelia would have to rely on how people reacted, and their body language if she wanted to learn anything else. She wouldn't be able to read their body language with so little light, though, but she'd at least be able to tell the different cadences in their voices when they spoke.

Mrs. Hayes frowned, stiffening slightly. Perhaps she was preparing to defend herself? It stood to reason that she'd need to, as the person who seemed to be in line to inherit that estate.

But Sister Mary only knitted her brows. “I can't—I hope not," she said after a moment. “There would be something even more senseless about that."

"How do you mean?" Miss Vera asked, the very picture of innocent concern. If Amelia didn't know she was fishing for information, it would have been hard to tell.

“Well, it's..." Sister Mary visibly hesitated, glancing between the three other women and lowering her voice even further. “The estate's nearly bankrupt as it is. It's why poor Anne was trying to sell it off so high. She needed to just to pay the debts she'd accrued. Whoever inherits..." she trailed off, but the conclusion was clear: the heir would inherit the debt as well.

That was interesting. Lady de Jaager had only mentioned that the estate hadn't been doing well, but she didn't mention it not doing that well. Perhaps she didn't want to thwart potential buyers by telling them that? It would make a fair amount of sense; buying an estate at a high price only to accrue its debts wasn't exactly a profitable investment. Even if the estate had, at one point, been highly successful. There had to be something more, something that they knew that they weren't going to say without the proper prodding. She sighed softly before something finally clicked for Amelia.

“Sister Hollis, you're Lord Hollis's sister," it was a more of a statement than a question, however; Amelia shook her head so as to seem like she meant nothing by it. “If you knew this about the estate, why wouldn't you tell your brother about it? I believe Lady de Jaager said he was an interested party," she continued. That didn't make sense to Amelia. If Sister Hollis knew about the state of the property, why wouldn't she warn her brother away from it?

The Sister's brow creased. “I did, actually." She seemed to bristle a bit at the criticism, her eyes narrowing on Amelia. “But Edward likes taking risks, and it's not as though he lacks the funds. I sort of hoped he would buy it, if only to relieve poor Anne of the burden. I was not, however, privy to their negotiations. I find the discussion of such matters to be..." she trailed off, letting the silence sit for a moment.

“A bit uncouth."

Miss Vera cleared her throat slightly, drawing the attention back to herself. "Forgive us," she said quietly. "I think perhaps it's just been a long day, and Lady Amelia is looking for sense wherever it may be found, difficult as that can be in such times."

Sister Mary seemed a touch mollified by this, and nodded faintly. “Then forgive me as well. It is... still sinking in, that Anne is gone. I think perhaps I am not taking it especially well."

Amelia doubted it, but she huffed softly. “Yes, please forgive my forwardness. I'm just trying to make sense of it all," she stated, though she was doing it for a different reason. Who would know, though? For any one else, it would just seem like ladies gossiping with each other.

This was going to be a long night.