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Catherine Dumitrescu

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a character in “The Unseen World: MCU Archives”, as played by Absenthia

Description

So begins...

Catherine Dumitrescu's Story

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Character Portrait: Catherine Dumitrescu Character Portrait: Brandon Hammerstine Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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For the past month the local police had been stalling on this most recent investigation, and in the mean time the media had had a field day with all of it. With several bodies missing from a local funeral home, and some strange, sick individual suspected, the police had held off on requesting more help. However as bodies began to disappear with more frequency, and with little or no damage to the facilities, it seemed that the police would have to step up their game or call for additional support.

MCU had been called in, and the only info that they could provide was that there was only one individual in the area that could possibly match the profile. The problem? He had been on retainer with the MCU for years, and even passed all of their required background checks.

"Look Mr. Hammerstein, this is just as awkward for me as it is embarrassing for you. But.. you're the only person in this area who's skills match the metaphysical print." The agent doing the questioning was young, and green, but at the same time eager to please. He was convinced that if he made the break in this case, all manner of things would open up for him career wise. "So let's go over this again, where were you on August 31st, 2015?"

The man was tired, they had been there for hours now with little to show for it. All he wanted was to go home, because the next day he had planned to drive to the coast to go fishing with some of his buddies from work.

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Brandon groaned and tugged at the handcuffs. “And you have to keep the handcuffs on me?” Seriously, if he used his magic then these would be off in seconds. The man rolled his eyes and sat back as much as he could, looking the cop in the eyes. “And like I have told you, a hundred times, I was at work. I own an art supply store. I could probably check the records and tell you what was bought when on that day, and then after school hours, Laura, my sole employee, could back me up.”

This was ridiculous. Just because he had necromancy! Seriously, the man tugged at the cuffs again. “And that poor kid has no clue where I am, and is going to freak out when the shop isn’t open and her shift is supposed to start.” Laura often did. “No, I do not have any particular witness. I don’t remember if anyone bought anything. After work, I went to my studio attached to the shop and worked on a pot for an order I’ve got. After that, I went to sleep in the apartment above the shop.”

He didn’t exactly get out often. “Can I please go home now?” There’d be a panicking teen waiting for him at this point. He hadn’t exactly had his cell on him and he had no doubt that Laura had called relentlessly, or would start, the moment the shop opened. There was no clock in the room, and he had no clue how long he had been there. He frowned darkly to the rookie, clearly not pleased.

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"Yes. The cuffs stay on." The agent replied, thinking he should have made them a little bit tighter. Looking down at his notes, it was all the same. Every time he questioned Brandon, he got the same answers. "We do not profile Mr. Hammerstein. We have reason to believe that your magic matches what was found at the scene." The damn girl could wait, teenagers were not his problem. His problem right now was a grumpy necromancer who thought he was hot shit just because he had a supposed air tight alibi.

"I don't think Miss Laura will be having any trouble with the shop today." It wasn't going to be hard to bluff this guy into thinking one thing, when the reality was there really wasn't anyone there tearing apart the shop, looking for evidence. They needed a warrant for that, and that took time to get handed down from a Councilor's bench. In the mean time however, he would do everything he could to make this guy uncomfortable.

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"Oh? And why's that? It wouldn't be an illegal search would it, because warrants have to be shown to the owner or occupant, and I'm kind of tied up at the moment." He pointed out, then rolled his eyes. "And yes, yes. I'm the only necromancer in the goddamn state that's registered." He glanced to the cop, then to the cuffs, sighed, and pressed a finger to the cuffs. "These. These are too tight. So I'm going to take care of that now."

Well, he gave due warning. A can trip weakened the metal until he simply tugged his wrists and the cuffs snapped. The necromancer than proceeded to lean backwards, clearly pissed off. "Look. I've co-operated when, as demonstrated, I could get out at any point in time. You and I both know that there are unregistered necromancers in the state of Texas, and more than likely in the lovely and wonderful city of Dallas. You won't let me show you proof of where I was. You won't let me show you proof of anything, and as a reminder, anything above a goddamned cantrip requires my familiar, who is dutifully locked up on a reserve." Poor Babbit, who was in fact not at all locked up but they hadn't checked on said skeleton capybara in ages.

"Let. Me. Go."

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The rookie agent was largely silent as Brandon demonstrated how easily the cuffs could be disposed of. 'F... I put the wrong cuffs on him!' The situation was beginning to look bad. The agent reached for the gun resting on his left hip, and carefully considered his options. So far nothing had exploded, and nothing was trying to kill him, yet, but then again he wasn't entirely sure what this guy was capable of; aside from garden variety necromantic mischief.

"I'll let you go when you've answered all of my questions, now just stay where you are." He said nervously, hoping that this wasn't going to end badly.

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"Great." Brandon said and leaned back. "We've covered the where and the what of that day for me. What's the next question officer, because I'm getting sick and tired of being here and being asked the same question." Hand on the gun already. What an idiot. "Don't bother with the gun officer. I'm not going to do anything." Brandon put his feet on the table and balanced on the two legs, very clearly done with this interrogation. "Also, next time, consider anti-magic handcuffs. They're supposed to be standard issue in any case where magic is suspected."

This idiot was a rookie. That much was clear. He sighed and rocked the chair slightly, making his boredom clear. He didn't really want to escalate it, and would likely be hearing ALL about the cuffs and misuse of powers later, but damned if he wasn't hella tired of being treated like this, when he regularly worked with the fucking cops.

There were of course, subtle threats regardless. Fucker should have let him go hours ago, even if it was clear Brandon was their only lead. Of course, he had to be cleared no doubt before he was forced to try and track down any other local necromancers. Still, this sucked.

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Sighing the rookie agent tried to take a moment to clear his mind, but it was hard when your suspect had already broken your handcuffs. 'Get it together Johnson, you know how to do this.' He thought to himself before sitting back down.

"Put your feet on the floor Mr. Hammerstein." The agent warned. No way in hell was he going to take orders from some scumbag necromancer. Without his talismans and familiar, he was just as good as human; or so that's what the agent thought. "And I said we were done when I say we're done."

It was like poking a bear, the more you poked the angrier it got. Except with any magically inclined individual, it was a ticking time bomb waiting to go off in your face. "Now, how 'bout this? You tell me where you've got the bodies stashed, and Council might not stick you in an institute for you to rot."

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With a roll of his eyes, Brandon dropped the chair to the floor. "The only bodies I have stashed are the bodies of dolls that really weird little old ladies like to snap together and design outfits and appearances for." He leaned forward. "Officer...Johnson was it? If I may be a frank, you're a mother fucking idiot barking up the wrong damn tree and it's like dealing with a goddamn Chihuahua every time I hear you open your fucking mouth."

He didn't often curse. It wasn't normally worth it, but frankly he was getting annoyed, he had been here for what felt like hours already, he was hungry as hell, and frankly he was tempted to spell the damned door knob until it simply snapped off and he could pushed the damn thing open with a finger.

"Now. Open the damn door, Officer Chihuahua and let me go so I can grab a burger, and get back to my damn job." He stood suddenly and slammed his hand down on the table, rot spreading from them. The trouble with not getting to practice near enough was that high emotions tended to fray his thin control.

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The agent just glared at Brandon, unsure of what to do next, because all he knew was he was in over his head.
"Sit your ass down!" He said, trying to keep any sort of authority over the situation, but it was growing hopeless. "Now, or your spoiled little ass will be back in cuffs faster than you can think." The agent said grabbing the front of Brandon's shirt.

All he had wanted was to have a boring day, go home, and leave for a long awaited vacation. But he had just had to get stuck with this idiotic necromancer, who acted like he was god's gift to the earth. "Now listen you little prick, you may be on a retainer with us, but that and you can go away real easy."

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"Hands off the shirt Officer Chihuahua." He snarled, clearly pissed, and working hard on reigning in his magic. He knocked the rookies hand off his shirt with his forearm and sat down. "Future reference Rookie. Touching a pissed off necromancer who has all the training of a damned apprentice is asking to have your hand rotted off." He flexed his fingers. "Keep asking questions all you want, fucktard. I'm going to meditate so I don't accidentally raise all the damned rats in the walls of this station."

With that, he leaned back, put his feet back up, closed his eyes and began to try his breathing exercises. He had given warning. The signs were all there. If the fucking idiot didn't want a rat zombie apocalypse, he'd give the mage enough time to get it back under control.

Of course, given how intelligent Officer Johnson had been up until that point, he doubted that would happen. It really was like a damned Chihuahua.

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Johnson had had more than enough of the situation and an impossible detainee. "Have it your way dead boy." He growled picking up his notebook and leaving Brandon locked in the interrogation room. His vacation had never looked so good until today, and he would definitely not be answering his phone either.

"I got nothing, guy says he didn't do it, and destroyed my cuffs." Johnson said sighing once he was outside. "I think he knows something, but he just isn't talking." He grumbled dejectedly to the Sargent in charge. How on earth had he ended up here, besides a history of questionable actions on duty elsewhere. Dallas was where a lot of agents got sent to rot, awaiting a transfer that would never come.

The Sargent frowned, "We can get the Warden to come talk to him." To be honest not many people wanted to get the Warden assigned to their office involved in much. It meant dotting "i's" and crossing "t's", things that a lot of people were content just to not do. But, this case had been lingering a little too long, much like last week's left overs.

Johnson pulled a face at mention of the warden, but it was protocol. "It's minor, but we can slap him with an abuse of personnel and magic in MCU." That would get the Warden's attention.

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In Brandon's opinion he hadn't abused the idiot whatsoever. Issued a warning yes, but abused? Not so much. Well. Maybe verbally, but he was supposed to warn anyone he was working with he was about to do the dreaded necromantic magic. They may be sensitive and need to throw up after all.

The mage remained feet on the table, leaned back in the chair, with his arms crossed on his chest. This was ridiculous. All he wanted was to get out of here, get a meal, and to go back to his life.

As it was, he was likely in trouble, again, for losing control of his necromancy, again, not to mention using it on the cuffs first. There better not be a binding slapped on him because of Officer Chihuahua, or he was going to look up a few rituals he had heard of from Mother Sanina when he was a kid. Waking nightmares sounded perfect for some punk ass rookie who barked like a yappy ass dog.

It had been awhile since he had thought of Mother Sanina. The mage rubbed his forehead, staving off a migraine as best he could. It was best to ignore the woman's existence.

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While Brandon sat cooling his heels in the room, the rookie and his supervisor where busy putting in a call to their assigned Warden. The call was garbled, with the volume just loud enough to catch only sounds from the other end. "He broke the cuffs, and got a bit aggressive with Johnson." The sergeant claimed, doing anything he could to pass this off onto someone else. More sounds were heard on the other end of the phone, followed soon by the dial tone. "Ten minutes." The sergeant said looking over at Johnson. The situation had just left their hands for the time being, meaning that they could concentrate on more important matters; like who kept stealing lunches out of the break room.

"This had better be good Cale." The warden said standing in front of sergeant's desk, drumming their fingers on the scuffed wood surface, clearly unhappy. "Abuse of magic, I mean that's how you guys would classify it right?" He asked looking up at the woman who stood at his desk. A female warden, what would Council come up with next? "No. Breaking cuffs in holding isn't abuse of magic, unless they were magic restrictive."

Sergeant Cale thought for a moment before speaking, "Johnson put cuffs on the guy and he busted them, then they got into a brief scuffle." After this the woman just sighed and motioned for him to hand her the papers and lead the way.

Knocking on the door to the room, Cale stepped inside closing the door behind him. "Hey there, we're going to have someone else come in and talk to you, then we'll see about getting you out of here. Okay?"

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Brandon dropped all four chair legs to the ground and sat upright. "That sounds promising. Thank you, not Officer Chihuahua." He probably shouldn't call the other guy that in front of his co worker. "Seriously though, I hope you guys catch this fucker. I'm going to have someone breathing down my back until you do." There were drawbacks to having been taken in by his aunt. Like the abiding by the law thing. Gone were the days in which he gleefully broke any laws that didn't suit him.

"Sorry for spooking Officer Chihuahua by the way." He was sorry, now that he was calmer. Had he been calmer, maybe this would have been resolved hours ago. But he still wasn't going to stop called Johnson by the nick name. Kid was all bark and no bite and after awhile, the barking seriously got to you.

Vaguely, he wondered who they had chosen to speak to him this time. With luck, it wouldn't be his old caseworker. That'd have him feeling like a heel in seconds, and like a child in less than that.

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Cale nodded, glad only to shove this off on someone else. "Officer Johnson hasn't been with us very long.. he's still learning." Johnson would be learning to act like a sane person and do things their way if he valued his job. "Just sit tight okay? Someone will be in in just a sec." Cale added before stepping back out of the room.

Minutes later muffled voices could be heard outside, one quick and terse in tone, the other slow and deliberate. The door opened just a crack, enough to let sound through but not enough to see who was behind it. "All I'm saying is next time don't let Johnson do it, he doesn't have the experience. Director Summer's will agree with me too." The crack opened wider and a navy suit jacket could be seen, but still no face. "How the bloody hell did he get mundane cuff's anyway Cale? Did he even tell you?" The discussion outside the door continued like this for a few minutes before the warden stepped into the room.

"Alright, let's get this over with." Catherine said taking a seat in front of Brandon, very clearly unhappy.

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"Oh fuck." Brandon let his head his the table as soon as he heard the voice. "Hello Warden Dumitrescu, how are you?" He muttered, formal thank to the environment. "I somehow wasn't expecting you." He had been expecting, say, June. Not his aunt. He was never going to hear the end of this, again. Wasn't there some kind of conflict of interest here? Seriously. He sighed and closed her eyes briefly then sat up right.

"So, first question. I was at the shop all day, and after hours I was working on a commission. The only change in that for every single instance is what I was doing after hours. At least one of those days I had a case." His cheeks were red and he crossed his arms. This could not be more embarrassing and if he was allowed to move outside of Dallas he sure as hell would. "I have not stolen any bodies from any mortuaries."

And even when he was in the organ harvesting/ body parts business, stealing dead bodies had not been his style, not even once. If anyone understood that, surely she would. After all, his aunt was sensible, and no doubt remembered those days which still haunted him with the wonders of 'life-long probation, and it would have been worse had you not been a kid.'

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Catherine was largely silent as she read over the information and details in his file. "I work here, or did you temporarily forget?" She said dryly, as she turned the pages in the manila folder. Leaning back into her seat, she crossed her legs, one over the other; letting Brandon stew for a little while longer. "So, Brandon, you might want to start telling me what the fuck is going on and why." Catherine finally said, breaking the uncomfortable silence between the two.

"I never said you stole any bodies, your bitchiness, nor did I ask you where you were." She continued pointedly before leaning forward in her chair. "I just told you to tell me what's going on and why, easy way or hard way. The choice is yours."

Catherine would rather see someone else sitting in that seat than her nephew, but thanks to the luck of the draw she happened to be the one assigned to that office. Council rarely acknowledged conflict of interest, and even when they did, it wasn't for many things. "And for the record, I would appreciate you not call any of my officers a Chihuahua again."

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"Sorry." He sighed. "I got pulled in here this morning, a little before I take my usual lunch break. Officer Johnson began questioning me about the recent theft of bodies from morgues, that's been in the papers. I'm just tired and hungry and frustrated. He said they found a magical imprint like mine. But I didn't do it. I'm not the only necromancer in the city, just the only registered one."

He ran a hand through his hair. "I swear it wasn't me. I value my freedom, limited as it is. I'm not going to risk it by desecrating human remains. Even...even when living with my former adoptive family, I didn't do that with necromancy." That was the truth. Even when living with the Lessards, he hadn't practice human necromancy. His was limited to a few death and decay related powers and animals.

"And I won't call Johnson a chihuahua again. I'll even replace the table I've...damaged." Well, there were two rather distinct handprints on it from his magic now. That had been a mistake, but he had been able to stop the decay at least. "Gods, tell me it's not late enough that Laura would have tried to go in yet? You know how easily that kid freaks out."

Poor thing worked at the wrong shop for her temperament, but it let him answer her increasingly weird questions about the Unseen world.

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Raising an eyebrow, Catherine looked over the rim of her glasses at her nephew for a moment; something stunk about this whole thing with the bodies, but what was the question. "They found partial imprints." She said after a moment. When would Johnson learn to pay attention to more than just the big picture of catching people, and look at the details? "It's extremely difficult to match a partial, especially one that has probably decayed somewhat as well."

Freedom was something that could be enormous or limited in the Unseen world, and for the two of them it was extremely limited. While Catherine enjoyed some of the benefits of her job, it was also really the only place she could possess a career of any kind. "And yes, freedom is... convenient." Or rather it was one thing she couldn't always take for granted, who knew when the Council would decide to take theirs for her escape from the institution.

"Laura hasn't called me, Brandon. Tweedle-dum and tweedle-dee out there are the only ones who've called me all day." She said nothing about the table, or Brandon's behavior while in holding.

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Brandon nodded, relaxing. Partial imprints. Those were damned hard to match. "Look, the best I can do is give you a list of suspected necromancers in Dallas. None of them are officially confirmed." Not a damned one. All of them were of course, and given he was pulled in for this also, none of them would suspect him. "Just...put it out there that I wasn't the first one hauled in, or something, or they're going to all be gunning for me." He didn't want to be woken up in the middle of the night thanks to skeletons or zombies at his window.

Seriously though, he couldn't call Johnson Officer Chihuahua, and his aunt got away with calling Johnson and his supervisor Tweedle-dum and -dee? Urgh, aunts sucked. She'd probably see the tape of his cursing later and he'd get into even more trouble at home, despite the fact that they didn't live together.

Still, if Laura hadn't called his aunt yet, then at least it wasn't late enough to worry her. "I can probably provide transaction receipts for the shop the days each incident happened. Laura is my only employee, as you know, so if she's not there, then I was." Except when he was indisposed, and begged his aunt into taking over for a few hours, but she wasn't an employee of record. "May I please go now?"