Digging For Answers


Fred_icon.gif Cordelia_icon.gif Oz_icon.gif


Oz stops by the Hyperion Hotel to get access to Wesley's book collection. Research is had!

Date It Happened: January 26th, 2002

Digging for Answers

Hyperion Hotel - Lobby

The Hyperion Lobby is all but empty. The only one around is Fred, sitting behind the long information desk. Her long hair is loosely tied into a ponytail and he has her glasses on, slowly slipping down the bridge of her nose. On the desk, there's a bunch of tools that are lined up within easy reach of the young woman. Intent on the project that she's working on - something that looks like a small metal box - she's quite happy to seem to have the place to herself.

That fact is changed by the arrival of one Cordelia Chase. She walks through the front door of the hotel, and smiles as she sees Fred out of her room. "Afternoon, Fred! I have pastries!" She hefts a small bag in one hand.

Oz has been particularly scarce these past few days, but then he's always been just nomadic enough to be hard to pin down. Today, though, he makes his way into the converted hotel through the back, hands tucked into that sheepskin jacket of his, expression, well, just about the same as always, but veering more towards 'troubled' than merely 'pensive'. He pauses not too far into the lobby, looking at the two women there, and then nods his head in greeting and offering a casual, "Hey."

Pastries? Well, that gets Fred's attention. Pushing her glasses back up to their proper place, she's quick to grab a sticky bun from the bag to munch on. When Oz comes through the door, she looks between Cordelia and the newcomer. Should she try and greet him? Nervously, she smiles and chirps as brightly as possible, "Hi! Welcome to Angel Investigations! We help the helpless. And Cordelia's got hot buns if you want."

Cordelia beams brightly. "Oz!" And then Fred makes her comment. "Pastries, Fred. Pastries." She moves to display the bag to Oz, too. "Come share with us. Save us from the evil calorie demon."

Oz opens his mouth to reply to Fred's unintentional double-entendre, but then just closes it again with a shake of his head. He does, however, take the ladies up on the invitation to venture over, sauntering at a casual pace. "Just … to be clear, that's not a real demon, right?" In this place, you can never be 100% sure, though he doesn't sound worried about it.

"Oh, you know each other?" Fred looks between Oz and Cordelia and then adjusts her glasses. All but inhaling the pastry, she licks her fingers and then looks down at her contraption. That means her whole spiel was said in vain. Picking up her screwdriver, she starts to screw the top-plate in place.

Cordelia smiles in warm and affectionate vein (two things she was rarely much of either, back in Sunnydale) back at Oz. "We do! Oz went to high school with me. He's another Sunnydale survivor." She turns her attention to the widget. "What's that?"

"What she said," Oz confirms with a nod towards Cordelia. "I take it you're Fred?" he hazards a guess - an easy guess, since Cordelia's been calling her that this whole time. As Cordy draws attention to the contraption Fred is working on, Oz gives it a thoughtful frown.

"That's me. Fred. Don't worry, I'm not as crazy as everyone says. At least I don't think so." Fred screws another small screw into the right place. "It's hard to tell, though, you know, because no one else can hear what you're thinking. It all makes sense up in here." She taps her temple with her screwdriver. "But you can't know that." Looking over her frames at Cordelia, she stops what she's doing. "Oh this? It's not done yet."

Cordelia replies "Some people can hear what you're thinking. But that's just better not to think about. Coffee?" She offers, in a sudden left-turn. "And what's it going to be, Fred?"

Oz looks at Fred as she goes into her rambling spiel, but he's pretty used to weirdness, so he just nods - it sort of makes sense to him. "Yeah, doesn't usually end well," he confirms, of Cordelia's point of some people being able to hear thoughts. "Sure, coffee would be good, and … I was kinda hoping I could maybe take a look at the library." So he came here with a reason today.

"It will hopefully be a kind of swiss army knife against vampires," Fred replies as she screws down the last part of the top plate. "I thought it would be handy to have in your purse. Something that you could have a cross, a stake and holy water in. Oh, and there's a spot for garlic, but that may just be hearsay." Picking the whole thing up, it looks like it's got a little weight to it. "Or, if it doesn't work, you can hit them in the head with it and go run for help."

Cordelia looks interested in that. "Oh, that's kinda cool…" And then she starts off to get the coffee cups. "I…well, the books are Wesley's, but as long as you're not taking anything out, I can't imagine he'd have a problem with it."

"Nice that it's got a built-in backup plan," Oz remarks, of the secondary use of the weapon as a brick. He gives it another considering look before shaking his head slightly and turning back to Cordelia. "I won't take anything without talking to him," he promises simply. "I don't know if I'll even find anything anyway."

"What're you looking for?" Fred is still fiddling with her contraption, but she knows a lot about Wesley's collection of books. It's been a good companion to her when she had nothing else to do but hide upstairs and read. She smiles at the semi-compliments about her invention, but she's not expecting anything really constructive until they see it in action.

Good question. Cordelia's actually quiet a moment, before she comes back with coffee for everyone. "Here you go."

"I'm not entirely sure yet," Oz replies, looking thoughtfully off into the middle distance for a moment, before returning to the present moment. "There's been some … weird stuff going on. I'm hoping I'll know it when I see it." He gives his shoulders a small shrug, and then takes his coffee with a nod of thanks.

"Weird stuff?" Fred is kind of of the opinion that everything that goes on is weird stuff. "You mean, more than normal?" Because portals to Pylea, strange man-eating worms…those all seem pretty weird. But she's not sure if that's normal here any more. Nothing is normal to Fred. Or maybe everything could be considered normal. "A lot of his books are in weird languages," she warns. "It kind of looks like someone took a weird demonic alphabet soup and swirled it all around the pages. They make me a little hungry."

Cordy replies "Yeah, except that getting hungry on those kinda books leads to mystic wonkiness, and before you know it, every woman in town is trying to kill you. Not so good."

"I … won't eat the books," Oz promises in that same level tone of his, though there's a slight grin as he looks back and forth between the two women. It's not to last though, and he grows more serious a moment later, nodding. "Yeah, more than normal. You guys … hear anything about Griffith Park?" he asks, a little cautiously, truth be told.

"I'm not talking about eating the books," Fred replies, a little defensively. "It just made me wants soup. Or waffles." She giggles a little. "Not that that's all that out of the ordinary. I always want waffles." The giggling stops and she pulls her hair back away from her forehead more. "Griffith Park? What happened?" That would be a no from her.

Cordelia says "I was speaking metaphorically. And I thought you always wanted tacos, not waffles. Cause there's IHOPs in this town. And no, not beyond it being a park. But I'm not Research Girl. What's up?"

"Angel Investigations doesn't have a newspaper subscription, I'm guessing," Oz replies in that same calm tone, as he looks back and forth between the two. "Brutal maulings. Full moon?" He points up towards the ceiling, though likely is referring to the sky above. "But it's more than that. Someone's up to something. I just … don't know what or who. Or why." Hence, the books.

"I always want everything," Fred sighs. She's always hungry. "Werewolves?" That's a new one to Fred. Or at least since she's started working at Angel Investigations. It's been worms and vampires and demons, but not werewolves. Something new! "Someone's up to what?" But, that would be the books. "What kind of someone up to what kind of something?"

Cordelia frowns. "You don't…I mean, it wasn't…" She looks back to Oz. And of course, that's when her phone rings. "Darnit! Sorry, you two…I gotta take this." She moves off to do just that.

"Wasn't me," Oz replies, just a little tersely, though not offended. It's just a sore spot is all. He watches as Cordelia rushes off to deal with her phone, before turning back to Fred. "The 'someone' seems to be a rogue werewolf. And the 'something', other than the expected killing and mauling, seems to be causing trouble for a local pack. He let one of theirs loose."

"Wasn't…" Fred looks at Oz again. There's a creased brow at the thought. It's not a full moon any more is it? Or were they talking about something else? The woman's really not all that sure. But that doesn't mean she's afraid. He's obviously a friend of Cordelia's and that means he should be okay. "I meant the other someone. Why d'ya think they're up to something? Other than dog fighting?"

"Got it under control these days," is all Oz can offer in assurance to Fred on that point. Because there's not really much he can do to convince her of that, other than not turning into a wolf and attacking her. "Seems like he might have knowingly set the werewolf free. Man's dead, woman and child attacked. Now it looks like someone dragged another dead body into the park. Whoever it is is getting the local hunters all stirred up. Not sure if that's a coincidence."

There's a brow creasing at that. "Certainly seems like something Angel Investigations should look into!" If only Angel were still here. As for getting things under control or not, he's not a werewolf now, nor is he attacking her, so she just puts it to the side to think about later. Sliding off the chair, she grins. "I should probably show you to Wesley's books, huh? So we can see if there's anything there. I wasn't lyin' about the languages, though. I can't make sense of a lot of them."

Oz is torn for half a moment, partly feeling that the werewolf side of him is something he still needs to handle on his own. But with innocent people getting killed and now any werewolf in danger as well, pride be damned. So he just gives a little nod. "I might need the help, yeah." He moves to round the desk so he can follow her to the books. "Should have taken demonic languages instead of Spanish in high school, I guess." It's a joke, but then, if ever there was a high school that might offer such a course, it would probably have been Sunnydale High.

Something like that probably would have been useful at Sunnydale, but Fred doesn't really know much about that. "I know Pylean, but anything else I'd need Wesley to read." And he's out taking care of other business at the moment. "I guess Sunnydale was a strange place to grow up."
"I'll talk to Wesley about it," Oz agrees with a nod. "Might be only more recent. But seems usually these things go further back." He takes a sip of his coffee, bringing it with him, after having passed up the pastries. "We blew up the high school at graduation," he offers levelly, by way of confirmation. "There was a thing with a giant snake demon," he adds, as if that should explain it all.

"Neat." Fred seems duly impressed by that. Pylea didn't even have giant snake demons. "I spent five years in a hell dimension," she tells Oz, as if they're sharing war stories. They are sort of, and it's kind of nice to be able to talk to him about it when she knows he has his own problems to work through. The books are in Wesley's office, and she brings him through the large opened sliding doors so that he can browse through them at will.

"So you know then," Oz comments simply, with a little nod of his head. Five years exactly, thanks to that repeated senior year. "A hell dimension though, that's … something." He's not sure what it is, but it's definitely something. "Demon?" She doesn't smell like a demon, hence the touch of confusion to the question. He follows along to the office, pausing then to take in the books. "Guess this could take awhile." Not that he was expecting anything less.

"Me? No no, I'm a plain old boring Fred. I accidentally read a passage in a book aloud and spent five years in Pylea." There's still a bit of…something in her tone when talking about it. It's still not something she's over. If she can ever be over that. "It wasn't till Angel came to rescue Cordelia from there that I was rescued. And now I'm back." Her knight in shining armor. "Yeah. Wesley likes his books."

"That, uh, must have been some book," Oz remarks, giving the woman a sidelong look and then nodding. "Sometimes it's just the smallest thing ends up changing your life forever." He starts over towards the nearest wall, figuring he might as well just dive in and get started. Though it would be easier if he really even knew what he was looking for. He already knows the basics on werewolves.

Fred would be able to help Oz if she could read all those other demon languages. But, she can't. If it's something that she's read, she may be able to do more, though. "I dunno if it was quite a little thing. It turned into this whole big thing. But sometimes I guess you can't help yourself." Fred's always been curious. A little too curious for her own good. "So you're looking for something with old werewolves?"

"Someone stirring up trouble for them, delighting in causing mischief, that sort of thing," Oz replies thoughtfully as he flips through one of the books, thinking as he goes. "Jack Spratt, maybe. The name's … come up," he adds with a darker frown. And then a glance back over at her, as he considers her earlier words. "Well, no. A hell dimension wouldn't be a little thing. Reading yourself into it…" He casts another glance at all the books here. "Guess you never know what will do it next."

"Hm." Fred grabs a book in something she can read and starts flipping through pages. "Come up? How'd he do that?" She starts scanning for the name as well as anything else. "I think there are a lot of demons that do that," she frowns as she goes through the pages. "Guess we don't."
"From how I hear it, there was a note with the rhyme, with the second body," Oz replies, turning his own attention back to the next book. "Could just be someone has a sick sense of humour. But since we have pretty much nothing else to go on…" He trails off with a shrug. He'll go on that, then, until there's something better.

"A note?" That's barbaric. "What'd it say? D'ya know?" Fred is trying to think through this like a detective. To do Angel an the others proud. "Well. Maybe it's a rhyming demon? A killing rhyming demon? I guess poetry could make you pretty murderous mad."

"The nursery rhyme? 'Jack Spratt could eat no fat, his wife could eat no lean'…?" Oz trails off there, not oblivious to how distasteful that is, considering these are people being eaten. "Unless it means something about him needing a partner? But most … werewolves do okay on their own." This is not a very comfortable subject for him, considering.

"He's not…eating them is he?" Fred doesn't really read the papers or do anything like that, so she doesn't know the news. Maybe she should ask Wesley or Cordelia or someone to get one for her, since she still doesn't like to go outside. "Maybe he's lookin' for a wife or somethin'. Though I don't know why he'd wanna kill her and stuff."

"Mauling mostly, from what I've seen," Oz replies with a small frown. "Maybe it's, uh, poetic license." He returns that book to the shelf and draws out another. "Well, one bite would make her a werewolf. Tearing her to shreds, uh, not so much." He glances over at Fred with a shrug. "Or maybe he's just messing with us and the poem means nothing."

"If you go to the trouble of leaving a poem, it normally means something." Fred thinks that over and turns another page. "Then again, if I really wanted to get away with something, I'd leave a lot of false clues for everyone to follow while I planned out my next crime and by the time everyone else had figured it out, I'd already have done it and then I'd leave more clues so people wouldn't even know what was left behind for real and what was just what was left behind to throw you off." She says it flippantly, just what she would do. "But, I wouldn't tear anyone to shreds."

Oz gives Fred a longer look, his eyebrows lifting a bit. "Criminal mastermind, huh?" But he's not too worried. So little worries him, but this werewolf thing, it definitely is one of those things. "Could be a red herring. But I dunno, guy struck me as a show off, you know? More likely it means something and he's toying with us. Just my gut instinct." He shrugs, not sure what that gut instinct is even worth. "He wasn't subtle."

"No, not really. I never even cheated on a test." Fred's pretty strict on things like that. However, just because she wouldn't doesn't mean that she can't. She's a pretty smart girl when she puts her mind behind it. "We may have to wait for Wesley to get back. But, we can keep looking until then! The arrogant people are always the easiest to find. They think they can't be found."

"Me neither," Oz allows, though his is perhaps more because of that uncanny ability to test well making cheating rather, well, superfluous. He sets the most recent book back on the shelf and nods. "Yeah, maybe he'll have some ideas. Honestly, I don't even know if it's the sort of thing we'll find in a book, but - doesn't hurt to look. Unless it's the wrong book," he adds, considering her own luck with reading.

"Gunn may be able to help, too. They could look around and do their detective things." Because that's what Angel Investigations is all about, too. Fred closes her book, too, as she's not sure she's even going to find anything in it. "I figure with all of us working on it, we should be able to figure it out!" As for the mention of the wrong book, she shakes her had. "Just be careful about what you say outloud."

"Always," Oz replies, of being careful about what he says. Sometimes being succinct has its advantages then. "Sure, yeah. Might need all the help we can get. Someone like this, it's bad news." For everyone on both sides of the equation. If the werewolf hunters start rolling in, things will really start getting out of control, he fears. "I'll talk to the local pack," he adds, not sure how well the idea will go over of outsiders getting involved. But people dying trumps supernatural politics in his book.

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