Nikki tried to look non-threatening. Being in the midst of a family of werewolves tended to make her very cautious.
"Thank you for allowing us into your home. No, none of you are in trouble. At least not from the police. We recently became aware of a group of werewolf hunters in the area. I was called to help investigate a car crash due to some unusual evidence and clues on the scene. I discovered the two deceased young men in the car had attempted to kidnap a female werewolf. She got away. It is possible she is unregistered. Our main concern is these hunters. From the evidence we received from eavesdropping on a pair of male onlookers, this group is well coordinated. It seems that their typical M.O. is to locate a werewolf and call for reinforcements. Fortunately, the two in the car didn't follow the plan. Have you heard any rumors about such a group? Have you noticed anyone following you? Any information no matter how unimportant you think it is, could help us find these hunters and put them out of business."
"Werewolf hunters?" Mona asked. "Someone still does that?"
"Yes they do," her father said with a frown. "There are humans who hunt werewolves - and werewolves who hunt humans. Ravagers, we call the latter. Hunting humans or wolves for sport is actually taboo among our kind. But that kind of thing rarely happens in the cities. Especially in big cities like Boston. Few of us like big city life. Too many restrictions, too few opportunities to run as a wolf. Most werewolves live in the countryside and small towns. That is where you might run into hunters of one kind or another. Ravagers prefer to hunt people in isolated locations and hide the corpses. Werewolf hunters go where their prey is. And both tend to be solitary or small groups. And short lived, once they are found out. If the authorities won't chase them down, the clans will."
"There have been some organised werewolf hunters," Mrs. Grunwald said. "Even in Massachusetts. Silver Bullet Club."
"Oh yes, them," her husband said. "But they weren't a big threat. Only hunted Ravagers. So the clans left them alone. But I am not sure if they are around any more. Last I heard, they were all getting rather old. And they never hunted in Boston. There was no need. I have no idea what would have brought hunters here now."
"Umm, maybe they followed someone," Giosetta commented. "Like, someone we do not know about. Someone bad. You see, I have an uncle who is a bit of a character. Been in prison and everything. When he heard that I was going to visit Boston, he said that there are two areas in Boston I should not visit at night. Boston Common, because predators like us are not welcome there. And the coast, because Sea Wolves do not like visitors in their territory."
"Sea Wolves?" Mr. Grunwald said and looked at his wife, who shook her head. "We have never heard of that name."
"Knowing uncle, they are probably criminals," Giosetta said. "Smugglers maybe."
"That would make sense," Mrs. Grunwald said. "For all that most of us do not like cities, they can offer tempting opportunities for some. Our nature makes us excel in certain tasks. Even in human form, we are stronger and faster. And we will regenerate from nearly any injury not caused by silver. Some of us seek employment where that is an asset. Just like the two of us. Graveyard caretakers. Ghouls would be a deadly threat to human caretakers, but even a pack of them is practically no threat at all to a werewolf. The pay is not that great, but there are perks. Like free education to our children in Lyceum."
"Some would prefer big pay though," Mr. Grunwald said. "And that can be found among criminal organisations. Those aware of the supernatural would pay a lot for the services of a werewolf. You can see what we could do in criminal circles, no doubt. Obviously, you cannot easily take up criminal life if you are registered and your movements tracked. So the werewolves who do that would be unregistered ones. So yes, if the werewolf you mentioned was unregistered, then perhaps she is a criminal. Maybe she belongs to these Sea Wolves, and they were the ones who brought the hunters here."
Angelo did his best to appear tough without being non-threatening. In truth he ended up awkwardly fidgeting his balance from one foot to another. "Do you have any knowledge of how to contact these groups? Perhaps inroads we might not be able to get to on our own?"
"Sea Wolves? There was a body found washed up recently that showed signs of some sort of animal attack. Some people on nearby boats swear they heard dogs the night before. Our unknown werewolf from the car accident disappeared on the beach after taking a uniform. Then there have been strange happenings on the docks lately as well. Someone or something was smuggled into the city late at night from one of the ships. Sounds like these incidents might be connected."
"Maybe the dead guy was killed on a ship?" Giosetta suggested. "If they really are smugglers, then they have ships, right?"
"Do you think the werewolves are actually in charge, or did they just pick the name because it is fancy, and it is humans who are running the show?" Manfred asked.
"Or mages," Mona suggested. "If they know about werewolves, the boss might be a mage. At the very least they probably have mages in employ as well."
"Who knows what else they might be employing if they don't give a damn about any hiring restrictions," Erik said. "Fey? The Court of the Sea, or what it was called."
"Kids," Mrs. Grunwald said. "Let's leave the deductions to the police."
"I have no idea how to contact these people," Mr. Grunwald said. "We try to avoid trouble. And any unregistered werewolves in the city would try to keep their distance from us. One does not intrude in another pack's territory. And we are known to live here. Other werewolves would avoid places where we live and work. That would mean Saugus, the cemeteries, and the environs of Lyceum."
"The Sea Wolves might not be the only bunch that has rogue werewolves in employ," Manfred pointed out. "After some gang killings were in the news some months ago we heard rumors in school about some gang who call themselves Red 13. They supposedly have a werewolf. And that some Irish gang they are scuffling with has a vampire. Maybe one or both of those gangs are customers of the Sea Wolves."
"I don't know more than the name either," Giosetta said. "Uncle might, but he doesn't live in Boston and wouldn't talk to the police even if he did. And I am not going to ask him."
"This new bunch of hunters seems to know of them though," Erik mused. "Maybe the Silver Bullets know of them as well."
"I thought they have quit hunting?" Mona said.
"Yeah, but they might still hear stuff."
"Well, do you know how to contact them?" Giosetta asked.
It takes a few hours for Ben and Jin to drive to Barre. Interestingly, the place is both a town and a city. Barre Town almost completely surrounds Barre City, which is still a separate municipality. Although Barre is Vermont’s fourth largest city, the city has only nine thousand inhabitants, with eight thousand more in the surrounding town. Compared to Boston, the area is practically rustic. It also does not have its own Occult Crimes Division. The Vermont detectives will be arriving from the state capital of Montpelier. While it is the least populous state capital in United States, it does have an Occult Crimes Division due to the capital status, and is part of the Barre-Montpelier micropolitan area.
The credit union office is in the side of Barre Town. The place does not have that many landmarks, so the Vermont detectives messaged that they would be waiting in front of the Barre Town Police Department. Upon arrival, they are not difficult to spot. There are two people waiting by a car, take away cups of coffee in hand. One is a young woman, a bit on the short side, slightly plump, with curly brown hair and dressed in a white suit. She is chatting with lively gestures to a man who looks almost like her exact opposite. Dark suit. In his fifties and gone almost completely bald. Tall like a basketball player, but thin. He has a weary, almost gloomy expression and does not appear to be saying much, merely nodding occasionally in response to his partner’s chatting.
The woman is the first to spot the other detectives. She turns, smiles, and waves excitedly. As Ben and Jin step out of the car, she approaches them and starts talking. “Hi! You are the ones from Boston, right? I really should visit Boston someday, I bet it would be really exciting. It is so big and old!” She looks over her shoulder at her partner with a giggle. “Just like Thad.” Turning back to Jin and Ben she says: “Oh! Introductions! I am Pinkie. Pinkie Hopwood. A Seer. And this is Thad. Say hi, Thad.”
“Hi,” the man says in a weary voice. “Thaddeus Dearth. Necromancer.” He pats his pocket. “I have your warrant right here.”
“You were interested in a local credit union,” Detective Hopwood says, gets out a notebook and checks her notes. “The banking services over here seem focused along South Barre Road. There we have United Community Credit Union, One Credit Union, and Barren Cooperative that you were looking for, south of those two, close to the Stevens Branch River. We haven’t contacted the manager yet, we figured we’d wait for you first, but we have his contact information.”
“This is a small place so it should not take long for the manager to arrive after the call,” she continues. “Do you want to go search the place right away, or grab something to eat first, after your drive here? Along South Barre Road is a gluten free restaurant, and fast food available by a supermarket close by. And more options in Barre City if you are not in a hurry. On our way through I spotted a couple of pizzerias, Asian restaurants, and a grill. And Subway, too.”
“She talks,” Detective Dearth comments. “A lot.”
OOC: While the office scene is now over, if Mort wanted to say or do something during it, it can still be posted retroactively.
Ben gets out of his car as Hapwood approaches.
Once the flood of words ( ) has subsided he speaks.
"Good evening Detective Hapwood, Detective Dearth. I'm Falken and this is Hayes, and yes, we're from Boston OCD. I think we'd best speak with the manager right away. Hayes?" He looks at Jin, inviting her to speak.
OOC: This is turning out to be a slow month as people continue to be busy. But hey, at least this game has not stalled in the middle of combat like two of my other games.
Anyway, the Barre scene continues to be on hold, but what about the scene at Grunwalds? Do Angelo and Nikki wish to continue questioning the werewolves? If not, do you wish to pursue another avenue of investigation, or return to the office to consult the captain or Ms. Mercado?
Or, with everything else in slow mode, would Angelo and Nikki like a surprise action scene?