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Seven Steps to Corruption [Closed] Read 8564 times

Krystal Itzume

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Seven Steps to Corruption [Closed]
« on: February 28, 2015, 01:35:43 am »
The problem with motorcycles was room. The brunette woman couldn’t help but feel that life would be simpler if she just caved and bought a car. ‘It could be a cool one.’ She reasoned as she removed herself from the bike, kickstand in place so it wouldn’t fall over. ‘A decent American muscle car. A Challenger.’ And her red lips curved into a smile at the thought.

Of course, once her green eyes moved down to the bike, that smile softened,
“I’d never give you up. Not for all the money in the world,” or, apparently, all the convenience. A sigh parted her lips and she trekked on up to the motel lobby doors, chains along her waist jangling. She liked the sound—they really served no purpose except to make her feel like a badass. Well, maybe the silver of them kept werewolves away.

No one was there immediately, so she crossed her arms over the counter and leaned forward, leather jacket riding up on her back. She drummed her nails over the counter, rather than ring the bell. Eventually, a balding man with glasses came out to see her, and she gave him a bright smile,
“I need a room.” A room she would need for maybe two nights, which would store yet another dress-suit that she’d end up abandoning because she couldn’t fit it in the motorcycle bags alongside all the other things that were in there.

Seriously, she needed to work this out.


“It’s $10 an hour, or $40 a night.”


Oh, great, it was one of those motels.


“Two nights right now, champ.”
And she pushed off the counter so she could remove her wallet from an inner pocket. She laid $100 on the counter, and received a little back—curse taxes. A key was then handed to her.

“Just you?”


“For now.”
She patted the counter, “Thanks,” she saw the number on the keyring and flicked it into a closed fist as she walked back out to her motorcycle. She didn’t go to the room first but did go to acquire ‘proper’ clothing. She was posing as a real estate agent today, after all, so that she could get a good luck at a house that was causing some troubles.

The last family who owned it were all dead. If it weren’t for the way in which they’d passed, she would have ignored it, but Kenny seemed to find it suspicious. Since she was near the area anyway, she decided to check it out, despite his protests that someone else was already on the case. Some ‘Hereford’—which, if it was one of those Herefords, she didn’t want them anywhere near the case.

To acquire the proper attire, black pencil skirt and white blouse, Morgan paid in stolen credit cards. These, too, would end up left behind. She’d get more later. She always did. She didn’t have enough in cash to buy the clothing and heels.

With those in hand, she drove back to the motel, changed (always keeping the leather jacket on), and called a cab.
‘Can’t show up in the motorcycle.’ Somehow that was just improper for the role. She got odd looks, anyway.

Soon enough, a cab showed up, and Morgan gave him the address to the house. He seemed to think nothing of it, and took her there.

No one was there, so she paid the man and dismissed him.
‘Darn.’ She had hoped to talk the interested party into paying for her cab fare. Oh well. This would give her a chance to scope the place out.

It didn’t look like anything spectacular. It was just a ranch-style house with a basement, two-door garage, on perhaps three acres of land. Plenty of space between them and the neighbors, but not enough to feel isolated in the least bit. Morgan walked up the path to the door, and tried to peer inside the window on the door, cupping her hands around it to try and get a good view of the interior.


‘Pretty basic. Lots of mirrors.’
She appeared to be looking into a dining room. Mirrors lined the wall. ‘Bit creepy.’ She wondered if this trend of mirrors continued throughout the whole house. ‘Better not break anything.’[/color] The last thing she needed was seven years of bad luck. ‘Oh god, is this bloody Mary? Are we dealing with bloody Mary?’ That’s what always came to mind with mirrors.

She rarely encountered legends, though. Well, at least not the namesakes of legends.


Q

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Re: Seven Steps to Corruption [Closed]
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2015, 02:14:50 am »
Rik had been driving for over an hour.

He had stopped for something to eat on the way.

The insides of the Volvo 850 were, at best... a blend of empty burger wrappers and half crushed cans of cola; the dregs of which had long since evaporated, or had sunk into the thinning layer of carpet with covered the car's floor.

At worst... well... the Volvo had seen better days than today.

An old suit hanger swung from a hook in the back of the car.

Rik had gotten changed into the suit a few miles back, and already had ketchup on a part of his shirt which could thankfully be covered by the jacket.

He rolled his eyes at the signs on the way to the place.
It was one of those towns that was more than happy to proclaim that it had fewer than 1000 residents.

He parked outside the house smoothly. For an old car, it ran sleekly and without complaint; ever.

Opening the door, he made sure he had plenty of his belongings firmly in their hiding places.

Small bag of salt in his jacket pocket, gun in the belt of his trousers and one spare strapped across his chest; loaded with silver bullets, and 'Ol Faithful', the dagger he kept on his person at all times, tucked into the holster attached to his left leg.

Rik never went anywhere without being prepared for anything, and since he didn't know why the hell Kenny had sent him to this run down rat hole of a once upon a home, he wasn't a fan of going in blind.

He wasn't even looking at the generic white-washed, looked like every other small time American home, run of the mill house when he headed up the drive-way to the front door.

He finally lifted his eyes when he got to the front door.

There was a girl there he didn't recognise. She wasn't a hunter he knew. 'Must be a civvy.' He thought. He had on his best, most charming smile.

"Morning. Are you the home owner?" Assumptions, assumptions. He readied himself to produce I.D... just in case. His other hand lingered close to the gun's grip close to his hip... just in case.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2015, 02:28:29 am by Q »

Krystal Itzume

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Re: Seven Steps to Corruption [Closed]
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2015, 02:35:43 am »
Morgan was considering going around back and to other windows when a car pulled up, some Swedish thing. ‘Volvo.’ Wasn’t that the car that stupid Twilight vampire drove? She recalled it had a burst of popularity recently—though this one was much older than that series.

He walked to the door with intent, and didn’t seem to notice her until he almost collided with her. She crossed her arms over her chest and gave the suited man a once over. Not familiar, and not the one she was looking for, either.


‘That means a local or Hereford.’


When her eyes lifted back to his face, she put on her own smile. He was easy enough on the eyes. Shame he was probably going to be annoying competition for this house or ghost fodder,
“Nope. I guess the agent booked us at the same time to save herself time.” Morgan moved one arm away from her chest and offered her hand to shake, “I’m Morgan Chase,” she introduced, finding no reason to lie about her name right then. It wasn’t like there was a trail following that name, anyway. Morgan sort of evaporated from life after she graduated high school and started utilizing pseudonyms.

Well, there might be a few police looking for her. She was never sure.


“How’d you hear about this place?”
More information, more local lore, was always useful for investigating these sorts of places. 

Q

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Re: Seven Steps to Corruption [Closed]
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2015, 03:05:04 am »
He glanced her over. She was a looker alright. She could have been wearing something tighter… but she was easy enough on the eyes.

His mind trailed. It wasn’t likely she was another hunter. ‘Definitely a civvy’ he concluded.

She spoke, and he listened, listening for clues in the way she spoke. The laugh that came from his mouth seemed more than a huff than anything else. He shook her hand, surprised by her firm grip and confident shake. “John Deacon.” He responded. No one in the world ever thought twice about long gone members of bands when it came to names. Hell, the 80s were some of the best decades to create pseudonyms from.

“Well, never can rely on anyone now-a-days" He smiled humour in his tone as he rolled his eyes as if to dismiss the estate agent’s error and let himself in, moving past her effortlessly.

He looked around the hall. Staircase needed some serious work, as did the flaking paintwork and the odd angled doors; which looked as though some had come away from their hinges ‘slammed?’
 
“This place?” He ran his hands over the paintwork on one of the walls. “Saw the listing on some type of craigslist for homes. Can’t remember which one. Saw it and thought… well… you’ve always wanted a holiday home. Where better than middle of nowhere Missouri.”

He turned to her again. “Gonna have a quick look around til the grand tour turns up.” He smiled, not waiting for a response before heading up those stairs which didn’t even feel safe as he walked up them.

Once upstairs, he checked the rooms. The closets were falling apart, much like the rest of the house.

Everything in here would take work to repair.

But there was no evidence of ‘weirdness’. No residue, no sulphur smell, no chills or flickering of lights… Nothing.  The only thing he noticed about the place was the odd obsession with mirrors. Whoever had lived here had a serious vanity complex.

“Came all this way for a dead end” he tutted to himself.

He headed back downstairs. “Well, she’d best get here soon, pretty much think I’ve seen all I need to see. How about you, you thinking of buying? It looks like a hell of a lot of work.”

Krystal Itzume

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Re: Seven Steps to Corruption [Closed]
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2015, 03:26:42 am »
The name felt like one that Morgan ought to know, but she couldn’t pin it down. He had a good grip, and he was bold enough to go in. ‘Well, thank you sir.’ At least Morgan wouldn’t be getting in trouble for opening the door. She was surprised that it was left unlocked.

She took a step in and glanced around, clasping her hands behind her back as she leaned forward to get a better look at the mirrors on the wall. They reached from ceiling to floor.
‘Interesting.’ Though her examination could have easily looked like someone just interested in the design, scrutinizing it.

His story didn’t hold water. Morgan looked from the mirrors to where he was, by the staircase, and raised a single eyebrow.
“Uh huh.” And then she straightened her back and watched as he went up the stairs.

He’d look better in jeans, she concluded, and then laughed to herself and shook her head. Perhaps she needed to drop by Kenny’s part of the world after this. Typically a few hunters around there, and they all knew how difficult life on the road was.
“I’ll give you a shout if she shows up.” Morgan said and walked back out to stand outside and wait.

It didn’t take him too long to come back down the stairs and voice his complaints. Morgan looked back inside as the nice blue Buick was pulling into the drive.
“I’m planning to renovate the place and sell it. The neighborhood is good,” she noted, “Just this house doesn’t seem to be doing well. I think it’s the mirrors. Very 70s. A lot of the other houses around here go for over 100k, so if I put a little work in to modernize it, I think it should do well on the market.”

Ah, research, ever her friend.

The blonde woman who stepped out of the car overheard her and said,
“That’s right!” Because of course she knew that. “You must be Diana?”

‘Er.’


Right. False name. Well, this was going to get awkward.
“That’s right. Good to finally meet you, Patricia,” Morgan stepped forward to shake her hand, and it was returned, quick and fast. Patricia was evidently in a hurry.

“And you’re John? I’m sorry I didn’t mention this—oh, the door…?”


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Re: Seven Steps to Corruption [Closed]
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2015, 01:33:46 pm »
The way she spoke about the house sounded as though she was someone who was genuinely interested.
Rik almost wished he had spent more than five minutes attempting to do his research on this place. But he hadn’t. He’d gotten the text from Kenny. It had been brief, an area code, Longitude and latitude along with a couple of question marks at the end of the text.

As far as he was aware, that meant that no other hunters had been here to investigate, so no one was quite sure what was up with this place, just that there was weird stuff going on.

He kind of wanted to know more about the previous owners, and what sort of strange things had been happening.

He was pulled away from his thoughts by another woman’s voice. She called Morgan by another name and he was pretty sure his eyebrow raised. ‘Diana?’ So… she had given one of them a false name. He couldn’t quite figure out which of them she would be lying too, but it raised his suspicions monumentally. He had misjudged her. 'Chick names herself after Wonderwoman to an estate agent and you wonder if she's lied to you?' Still, anything was possible. She could have lied to him... could have named herself after rum.
Damn... now he wanted rum.

But yeah, either way, he knew now that she wasn’t a house hunting hottie looking to become a housewife, she was a hunter, and here for the same reason he was.

Instead of saying anything to Morgan about it, he nodded in response to Patricia’s question, moving to follow Morgan’s lead by shaking the poor estate agent’s hand. “Yeah; nice to meet you ‘Trisha.” His greeting was followed by another of those falsified and practiced, charming smiles. “Oh yeah; the door. Sorry about that, when we got here the thing was wide open.” The lie was so suave that had Morgan not been here when he’d purposefully opened it, she might have believed him too.

“Couldn’t help myself but want to take a look around. Now, why don’t you give us the grand tour. I’d love to hear more about this place."

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Re: Seven Steps to Corruption [Closed]
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2015, 06:53:36 pm »
Morgan hadn’t been looking at John to know his reaction, but the way he played along with the name was a relief. Local or not, he at least didn’t out her on the spot or cause a scene.

And Patricia clearly liked the greeting, the shortening of her name and that brilliant smile.
“Nice to meet you as well, John.” Her eyes flickered back to the door as he explained, hand lingering in his a moment before she did pull back and managed to say, “That hasn’t happened before. This house hasn’t had any issues with security.” She still had a place to try and sell. “Oh, and Diana, I printed you off these, as you requested.”

Morgan stepped to retrieve the rather great list of papers. It was the history of the house, and all the owner’s it had. She intended to look up all of them, though a quick skim suggested all recent owners had decided to move out of the house within a few months,
“Thanks.”

Patricia wasn’t paying her much attention, as she said,
“I also went ahead and printed you out the files, as well, just in case. Didn’t want to look like I was playing favorites,” and she offered John a stack of papers as well.

Patricia then stepped by both of them and into the house. With a smile, they were both invited in for the grand tour, and Morgan followed after her.
“This first room here used to be used as the dining room, or that was its intent when it was built.”

“Were the mirrors there from the start?”
Morgan asked.

Patricia smiled,
“Yes, they add a nice retro touch, don’t they? Apparently the wife of the man who had this home built insisted on these touches.”

‘Interesting.’
In a case of hauntings, it was usually personal objects that locked a ghost to certain places. In a house that was empty, that left few options.

“Now, if you’ll come this way, we can have a look at the kitchen which has a nice island for cutting and preparing space,” Morgan followed after Patricia.

Patricia’s reflection didn’t. It seemed to stall in the mirror, before fading out.


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Re: Seven Steps to Corruption [Closed]
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2015, 08:58:39 pm »
The estate agent pulled back, but she definitely lingered. Rik had to smile at that. At least he had her business card. If he was staying in this town a couple of days, what was the harm in trying his luck with this one?

He pulled back himself, listened to her babble about the door before handing ‘Diana’ a shit ton of paperwork.

‘Chick’s thorough’ he had to admit. She was obviously the type of hunter who did her homework on the place first before she went in all guns blazing. Rik on the other hand was totally the kind of hunter who was planning on coming back to this place later on with a bag of tricks and possibly pie…

He was sure there was a Diner, a couple of miles down the road from here. They would have pie. And his thoughts were trailing again, to the point where he was sure he felt his stomach growl in protest about the fact that he currently did not have pie.

He wanted that folder… and the damned grand tour was already starting and he was trailing behind. He spun to follow the ladies, unabashedly comparing their rear ends in his mind and complimenting them in his thoughts accordingly, before making sure neither of them saw his appreciative glances and turned his attention to the house.

He hated this place already. Maybe on his return he should make sure to bring Kerosene.

The girls moved into the next room, and he was sure…

He’d caught something, seen something in the corner of his eye, but it had gone by the time he’d blinked.
 
He shook his head. He was starting to get a feeling from the place. It didn’t scream demon to him, no, this was another fucking haunting. He rolled his eyes.

“So, there any particularly cold areas of the house, you know; not drafts, but… maybe a room that might need better insulation? Any flickering light bulbs I need to think about dealing with? Wiring problems? Fuse box issues?”

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Re: Seven Steps to Corruption [Closed]
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2015, 09:17:26 pm »
John’s questions didn’t appear odd to Patricia, who started to answer them immediately, “Well, there’s a room upstairs that is just difficult to keep warm, but it might be a draft. I really don’t know,” she said.

As she continued to speak, Morgan glanced over him with a new appreciation. These were questions any decent realtor would ask, but more than that—they were questions a hunter would ask.
“It was used as the master bedroom,” Morgan took her phone out and idly walked into the living area, right besides the kitchen, and took a picture of one of the mirrors.

Patricia was too busy answering questions to care. Morgan snapped a few others for no reason, just for the look of her being ‘thorough’.
“I don’t know of any electrical issues, but the electricity has been off in this house since its previous owners moved out.” There was no point to keeping it on when it was unoccupied. “They didn’t complain of any electrical issues, though.”

Morgan snapped a picture with John in it, angled just so it might appear she was trying to get a good picture of the wallpaper.

In truth, she wanted to send it on to Kenny to get an ID, but of course, there was no reception in the house when she tried that. She scowled at her phone, even if it did lend credence to the idea the place was haunted.
“We can go check the circuit box, it’ll be in the basement,” Patricia offered.

“Yeah, you do that,”
Morgan said, “I’ll go take a look upstairs.” At Patricia’s questioning look, she said, “I don’t understand those things. If the place interests me physically, I plan to have an electrician check it out for me.”

“Oh…of course,”
Patricia wouldn’t argue and she gave a bright smile to John, “Do you want to see the circuit box?”

Meanwhile, Morgan exited the main room and walked to the stairs to investigate the cold room. A cold room sounded like the best place to explore…and she didn’t want to get electrocuted by an annoyed ghost.


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Re: Seven Steps to Corruption [Closed]
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2015, 09:37:14 pm »
So the bedroom was difficult to keep warm was it? Fair enough. No cold spells as such though. But that was hard to tell without going and exploring the room without Patricia around.

These mirrors were everywhere. He didn’t like it. It was like opening up your house as a hall of mirrors in a fun house, only without the ‘fun’.

It didn’t make the place look retro at all; it made the place look as though someone had serious Evil Queen Syndrome ‘Mirror, mirror and all that shit’.

There was a huge part of Rik that just wanted the tour to be over already. He had questions for Morgan, and there was no way he was giving up on this job. She shouldn’t even be here. Why would Kenny send them both? This had never happened before. Every time he ever got to the scene of a job, he was the only one there for a reason. Kenny knew better than to send anyone else. They were both aware of the reputation a Hereford name alone had.

He smiled, a half smile at Patricia. “Sure thing Trish.” He pulled out a cell phone from his pocket and clicked a few buttons, enabling the torch function. That was about as tech savvy as he generally got.

“After you.” He offered, with a sweep of his hand. He glanced back at Morgan. He wanted to tell her that he’d sussed her out, he wanted to scream it.

But there was no point. He didn’t want poor Patricia to get caught up in hunter drama or politics.

He let her lead him away, down into the basement.
It was a generic basement. Ever since a case of the boogeyman a few years back, basements had always given Rik the creeps ever so slightly. 'WWBJD?' he thought to himself humorously. What would Beetlejuice do?

He chuckled to himself. Patricia didn't notice. He peered at the fuse box, running his hands over the various switches. Looked like one of them had blown a while ago, black markings around the grid. "Think it'll need looking at in the future." he nodded. "Let's go meet back up with Diana shall we?" He smiled. He wanted to get out of the basement before he felt like he was in the Shining.

Krystal Itzume

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Re: Seven Steps to Corruption [Closed]
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2015, 10:04:14 pm »
Morgan walked up the rickety staircase, finding its weakness to be strange. The house couldn’t be that old, could it? Regardless, she made the trek up safely and figured out easily which room was meant to be the master bedroom. She walked into it, and rolled her eyes at the central mirror on the ceiling. ‘Classy.’ Though she supposed there was a certain allure to having that vantage point.

A part of her wanted to call Patricia down to ask her why such a mirror would exist, but the innocent façade wouldn’t last. She knew that.

The room was very cold. Morgan saw no indication of the ghost, but she saw her own breath when she exhaled, and what at first looked like a picture.
‘Huh.’ Morgan approached it. The woman displayed was a blonde with her hair neatly stacked up in a bun. It could have been some sort of stock portrait to make the place look a little homier for visitors.

That was what Morgan thought until she touched it to turn it around, and the image flickered and then faded, revealing only her face.
‘Oh.’ Mirror.

She let go of it too fast and disturbed its hanging. It fell to the ground and shattered.
“Damn it,” she cursed aloud and was quite certain she felt the room go ten degrees cooler. ‘Nope.’ She didn’t know enough about what she was dealing with to handle this. She’d seen the house, she knew it was haunted, and she was 99% certain mirrors were bad. She’d go figure out who the ghost was from the files, and go find the nearest cemetery to salt and burn a body.

Morgan turned out of the room as electricity hummed in the house, and the lights started to flicker on, despite what Patricia had said. Morgan paid it little mind, except as more advice she needed to get out.

The stairs betrayed her. One of them fell through when she stepped on it. Fortunately, she had been gripping the railing so she didn’t fall through it herself, but it was not exactly something she approved of.


Downstairs, Trish showed John to the fuse box, and admitted,
“I don’t really understand these thing that well myself,” she brushed some hair back, “If you think there’s something wrong, I’m sure we could come to some sort of agreement—a lower price for this place,” She knew John was actually interested in living here. Diana just wanted to fix it up and sell it for higher. Trish would much prefer to sell it to John to keep him in this town.

As one of John’s hands ran over the switches, one of them seemed to move up. The house hummed with life,
“Oh, I guess the electricity wasn’t shut off,” Trish was surprised by this. As John suggested going back up to find Diana, there was the sound of something breaking. “Yes, we should do that, Trish feared the worst of damage to the property, caused by the other woman, and moved to the stairs quickly to see what she’d broken.

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Re: Seven Steps to Corruption [Closed]
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2015, 10:22:17 pm »
Ha. She thought he was actually interested in this place. He must be acting the part pretty damn well. Well, he’d had plenty of practice, he’d been on the road since... well… since he could remember; Learned the tricks of the trade from his grandparents.

He heard the break. It wasn’t good. Patricia was about to see some weird shit in this place if that smash was anything to go by. And that had not been part of the plan.

He felt himself reaching for the bag of rock salt in his pocket and grabbing a handful. He rushed back up the stairs, Patricia following behind him. The door to the basement slammed shut just before  she got out of there. “Shit.” He cursed. Damn he wished he had his iron crowbar. Damned thing was still in the boot of the car.

“Morgan?” he shouted, searching for her, or for anything else as he walked through the room slowly. His heart was already racing. He couldn’t deny that the adrenaline was always a thrill.

He found her gripping hold of the hand rail, half way up the stairs. “Hey, you alright?” He asked, daring to go up the remaining stairs and holding out his hand for her to take, offering to haul her up, out of her current predicament.

He shook his head once she was out of the hole she’d managed to dig herself and shoved a handful of salt into her hand. “I’m assuming you know what to do with this.”

He moved down the stairs, grabbing another handful of salt as he did so. He was on high alert. It was no time for questions as to what had happened, Patricia was trapped in the basement and there was a benevolent spirit on the loose.

He briefly wondered if there was a possibility of running to the car for the crowbar. He didn’t know if the ghost would let him out, or back in again, but it might be their only chance.

There was a shrill scream for the basement which raised the hairs on the back of his neck and spurred him into action and decision.

“Think you can hold the fort for five?”

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Re: Seven Steps to Corruption [Closed]
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2015, 10:48:54 pm »
Why was he calling her Morgan now? Why? This was not going to make things easy to explain to Trish. “Oh yeah,” she answered John when he asked about her, “I’m perfect, just hanging out, you know.” Literally hanging above a broken stair and trying to get her foot to touch the one in front of it. It wasn’t working.

He climbed up and offered his hand to help, which she did accept, and let herself be brought forward. She went down the rest of the steps rather quickly after that, and had a bunch of salt shoved into her hands.


‘Hereford.’

Great. Morgan closed her hand around the salt and shoved it into a pocket,
“Yeah, I do, Hereford.” No more John Deacon. She didn’t think she was wrong about who this was, and when she got out of this house, she was going to have a long talk with Kenny about why he was working with a Hereford in the first place.

First things first, survival, and making sure it wasn’t the man’s goal to sacrifice her and Trish in the chaos.

There was a shriek, and a question,
“Yes.” And she turned immediately to head towards the sound of the shriek. The basement door was shut and locked. ‘Lovely.’ “Stand back, Patricia,” no cute shortening from her.

Morgan had kicked down enough doors in her life. This one flung open like any other when her foot met the wood near the lock. A hand to the doorsill kept her from falling forward into the basement.
“Patricia?!” The sound of sparks and crackles reached Morgan’s ears. To descend would be suicidal, but she couldn’t just have the innocent woman die, either.

So, she took the stairs two at a time, grateful they weren’t breaking underneath her.

Morgan saw that the water heater had burst, and water was starting to coat the floor. The sparks of electricity were threatening to turn it into a death trap. Patricia, like so many foolish civilians, had backed herself against a wall.
‘Gods I hate you.’ Morgan stepped down onto the floor and walked over to where Patricia was and grabbed her arm. “Come on.” And she pulled a bit more roughly than necessary to take Patricia back upstairs.

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Re: Seven Steps to Corruption [Closed]
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2015, 11:00:18 pm »
Great. He frowned when he heard her use his surname in THAT way. He would have rolled his eyes at her if there had been anything like enough time to defeat a very annoying ghost and rescue a civvy stuck in a haunted house before the day was made any more worse.

He took off at a run. Luckily for him, there was no problem leaving the house. He clicked the boot to unlock, grabbing a the crow bar and heading back. The door on the way back… now that was a problem.

He barged against it to no avail.

He looked at the windows, a shrug, a shake of his head and a crowbar smashing through glass later and he was soon rolling through the window along with the smattering of glass.

Quickly getting to his feet, he looked at the women. Seemed Morgan had gotten Trish out of the basement. Good. Now they just had to get her out of the house. The window was no longer an option. The whole room had just dropped temperature. 

He inched closer to the women. “We gotta get back out.”

“What…what’s going on?” Patricia stammered. “I… I don’t.”

“I’ll explain later, for now Trish, you gotta stay close to one of us till we get out of here. Understand?”

He was sure she nodded, but didn’t glance behind him to check.

“Any ideas Wonderwoman?” He asked Morgan

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Re: Seven Steps to Corruption [Closed]
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2015, 11:20:37 pm »
Morgan didn’t let go of Patricia once they got up stairs. Too many times, civilians had made matters worse by wandering around. Hereford returned and offered advice, which Patricia seemed to agree to, but Morgan still held her arm firmly in her grip.

What to do?
“Besides burn this place to the ground?”

“You can’t do that!”
Trish said immediately.

Morgan ignored the outburst. She wanted a way out.
“Hey, ghosty, I’m sorry about the mirror, but if you let us out, I’ll get you a new one.”

Her sense of humor was met by the glass shards from the window rising off the ground.
“Yeah, one idea. Make the ghost manifest.” Morgan’s free hand moved into her pocket and she threw the salt at the glass when it was flung at them. The contact with the salt caused the glass to fall back to the ground, the ghostly power keeping it up weakening in the face of the all-mighty salt.

If the ghost could be made to manifest, touching it with iron might give them enough time to get out of the house, and figure out what to do in a ‘safe’ area.
“Or break every mirror. One or the other.” The sink howled to life, water rushing out of it, and steaming. She'd found upsetting ghosts tended to force them to manifest, the emotion bringing them forward.

This ghost seemed to have a bit of control over that. Darn shame. 


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Re: Seven Steps to Corruption [Closed]
« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2015, 11:41:58 pm »
Ok, So pissing the ghost off did seem to be doing the trick so far.

Rik was more than happy to go with the flow of that, but he didn’t want Patricia to end up getting stapled to the wall by flying glass shards… or mirror shards for that matter.

Iron crowbar in his hands though, he had been ready to slam the weapon full force into the manifested ghost when Morgan decided to use her handful of salt.

He rolled his eyes at her. “Really?”

He looked around. This was not anything close to an ideal situation.

A smirk crossed his lips though and he stepped forwards a couple of steps. “So, I thought about it and I really like the house. I can just see it now… take all those mirrors out… well… all but that fancy piece on the bedroom ceiling, get some chrome in here. Get my PA system. Could have some killer parties in here. Bit of Queen or No Fx blasting out, red cups… all the red cups. Oh… Diana, what do you think about a nice Moose head over the door, or maybe a coffee table made of car parts.”

Throughout this rant, the room had been getting colder and colder. Doors were slamming, lights flickering. And the projection of a woman manifested inches in front of him. He smirked “You don’t like my decorating plans?” He asked the growling apparition. He slammed the crowbar sideways through her side and stomach.

“RUN!” He went for the door, ushering the women out and shutting the door behind him.

Stood at the bottom of the driveway, next to the two parked cars he shook his head. “Sorry Trish, but I don’t think you’re selling this house till there’s a lack of a ghost problem.”
« Last Edit: February 28, 2015, 11:43:02 pm by Q »

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Re: Seven Steps to Corruption [Closed]
« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2015, 11:53:33 pm »
He understood the rules of ghosts, at least. He started to talk, suggesting all manner of things to piss it off, “Not enough Bad Company in your plans,” Morgan pointed out when her opinion was called upon, “Otherwise, solid.” 10/10, would party there and leave someone’s boxer’s on the moose’s antlers.

The ghost’s displeasure was manifesting in the house coming to life in seemingly uncontrolled ways. Morgan kept glancing at the water, expecting the scalding liquid to douse her or Trisha, but it never happened. Instead, the blonde woman she had seen in a mirror earlier manifested.

Hereford struck her with the iron, and out they ran, Morgan pulling Trish along until they got outside. Morgan let Trish go after she pushed Trish towards the woman’s Buick.
“A—A ghost? That’s…but they’re not…it must be some….” But her logic was failing her. This couldn’t be some annoying teenagers.

Morgan said,
“We’ll clear it out, don’t worry,” she patted the paperwork she’d managed to keep a hold of throughout this. “You can clean it up tomorrow and get it sold.”

Patricia gaped at both of them. 


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Re: Seven Steps to Corruption [Closed]
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2015, 12:10:09 am »
Rik slipped Trisha’s car keys from her pocket and opened the car door with them. “I suggest you go home, have a nice long bath and a glass of wine. We’ll call you in the morning.” He smiled that same old charming smile again, ushering her into the car.

She seemed to take the hint to get the hell out of there and fastened herself into the driver’s side. Rik watched as she drove away.

“Right…” He headed to the trunk of his car and opened it. “Since you’re now involved and neither of us can take this one on solo, I suggest we take your paperwork and go for a drive before coming back with a bigger bag of salt and maybe a second crowbar, just in case.”

He threw the crowbar into the trunk with all the other weapons and various other items; clothing, oil cans, bags, and so on.

“Get in the car, you can read while I drive. And then maybe we can have a conversation about why the hell you’re tagging onto my case.” It wasn’t in the least bit aggressive, in fact, it was almost humorous, as though he found it funny. “People don’t normally tag along when they realise there’s a Hereford involved.”

Which meant she was probably thinking of dumping him and calling for her own back up, but there was no way he was giving up on this job. He moved to get into the car, unapologetic for the mess inside. Least it didn’t smell.

“There was a cemetery a few miles back. I say we call there on a long shot. And I'll totally get it if you decide to bail on me once we get there. No one wants to work with someone with a fucked up family rep like mine.” He chuckled and keyed the ignition.

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Re: Seven Steps to Corruption [Closed]
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2015, 12:23:22 am »
Trisha didn’t even react to the fact the man opened what had been a locked door. She was too shaken to consider that odd, with everything else she’d just seen. She left them fast, and Morgan chuckled at the haste with which she left the house.

Now she and Hereford could talk plainly. When he suggested she couldn’t take it on solo, both of her eyes raised.
‘Wanna bet?’ She’d bet $50 on herself she could take it down without his help. He could go make her a pie and by the time it was done and cooled in a windowsill, she’d come back home to greet his apron-covered self. Of course in her mind it was just apron and jeans, because it seemed perfect that way, if he wasn't some demonic cultist.

The image sparked too much amusement in her head for the smile to fade from her lips when she saw the interior of his car.

She pulled open the passenger door and took a seat,
“Go to some diner first,” she said, “I have pie on the mind now,” she wasn’t explaining it. “It’d be bad to work on an empty stomach anyway, and we can have a pleasant chat in a public space about what a Hereford is doing here anyway. Maybe you want to give me a real first name?”

Then she’d stop calling him Hereford. She imagined he would appreciate that.
“Oh, wait,” a sigh, “Swing by the shady motel, Country Inn, first. I have a laptop.” It might come in handy to google some of the names in these files, with pie. 

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Re: Seven Steps to Corruption [Closed]
« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2015, 12:46:45 am »
He listened to her. Apparently she was just as intrigued as to his presence here as he was about hers. He quickly agreed in his mind about the diner and about pie.

The girl was on his wavelength there, that was for sure.

“Rik.” He replied to her question about his name. He pressed down on the acceleration and turned the car around in one single point turn, heading to the diner, apparently unaware that the stereo had started humming out Iggy Pop.

The diner wasn’t far and he didn’t speak again until pie and soda was ordered. “So, you wanna tell me why you picked up on a call meant for me?” He sipped at his cola. “Kenny only sends me shit he knows no one else will take.” He explained.

“So why you here, he must have told you I was on the case, but you came anyway, you not hear all the stories about us?” The tone in his voice when he said ‘us’ was bitter, as though he didn’t want to be associated with the name Hereford. He was a damned good hunter, and he knew it. The rep let him down, barely got him any credit in the current circles.

In honesty, he believed Kenny only offered him the scraps of the hunting world through loyalty to his dead grandparents. They’d been close once. Like many of the old hunters had been.

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Re: Seven Steps to Corruption [Closed]
« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2015, 12:57:07 am »
They hadn’t gone to get her laptop. So, her phone was going to have to do, although she hated to waste the data. She didn’t speak a word out of bitterness and concentration, more than anything. She sorted through the papers as he sipped his drink. She just had a water besides her, but it went untouched.

The name of the first owner was Robert Granger, and as she sorted through the other files, she had a feeling that was the one to search. Everyone after that family ended up moving out—fast.

Of course, Robert Granger wasn’t an uncommon name. A google search with the name and place helped narrow it down immensely. Apparently, he’d been murdered. He, Maria Granger, some other woman, and their two sons.


‘Maria Granger.’ 

The photos in the newspapers matched the image of the woman who had appeared before them.

That was when the pies were set before them. Funny how they’d both gotten pie. She looked up from her phone.
“I found out about the case on my own. Only learned you were on it when I called Kenny up for information.” Because everything went back to Kenny in the hunter world.

She grabbed her fork and cut off a piece of the blueberry pie for herself, ate it, and then continued,
“I wasn’t about to let one of you make matters worse.” Though he was speaking as if he wasn’t like the rest. His bitterness seemed sincere. “I don’t suppose you’d tell me the truth if you were like the rest of the Hereford’s, would you dear?” She smiled, just a bit, “I’m going to have to call Kenny, you know.”

Just to make sure this Rik was actually not terrible.


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Re: Seven Steps to Corruption [Closed]
« Reply #21 on: March 01, 2015, 01:09:45 am »
The pie was set down. The place hadn’t had any of his favourites, so he’d had to go with pear and rhubarb. He was tucking into it gladly when she spoke.

She had still come after finding out he was here, despite what she said. Despite finding out about the case on her own. She’d still found out from Kenny that he was here too, and she had still come. Maybe she had hoped that he had let Kenny down and hadn’t actually come.

She seemed to know about his family; few hunters didn’t know. So her not realising that he was one of THOSE Herefords was out of the question.

He shrugged “I don’t blame you. If it was the other way around, I’d be calling him too.” He told her honestly. “And feel free to slag me off to him when we’re done here.”

He ignored her question about telling her if he was really like the rest of his family. She wouldn’t believe him if he did tell her the truth, it was one of the major flaws of having that damned name. There wasn’t a day that went by where he didn’t consider changing it. If it wasn’t for Kenny’s memories of his granddad, he probably would have done.

“Surnames ain’t all they’re cracked up to be.” He joked. “Kinda like when you find diners which don’t serve pie.” Another piece was pushed into his mouth and he savoured it. “This is good pie.” He commented. He looked over at her paperwork. "You find anything good in there?"

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Re: Seven Steps to Corruption [Closed]
« Reply #22 on: March 01, 2015, 01:19:38 am »
Morgan shivered at the thought of a diner that didn’t serve pie. She’d encountered a few of those, and always found them to such strange little places. “Maybe you should change your surname,” hunters went by many pseudonyms anyway.

He asked about the files and a grin took over her face. Had she found anything good in there? Ha!
“Robert Granger was the first owner, who had the house built. His wife, Maria Granger, was the woman obsessed with the mirrors and she looks just like our ghost.” She set her phone down and slid it across so that he could see the picture brought up.

“Apparently, Maria, Robert, some other woman, and their two sons were all murdered. Details aren’t clear on who was responsible, looks like it was thought to be either some relative of the other woman, or Maria herself,” she leaned back in the chair, looking quite smug as she said, “$50 says Maria did it, and then committed suicide, because of that ‘other woman’.” She hadn’t needed to delve too deep into the cases to learn that the other woman and Robert were apparently having an affair.

What woman wouldn’t want unholy vengeance? Though, killing the kids was taking it a bit far. The kids had been found in the bathroom, drowned. The other woman and Robert were found dead in the master bedroom. Maria herself was dead in the bathroom with her children.


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Re: Seven Steps to Corruption [Closed]
« Reply #23 on: March 01, 2015, 01:35:52 am »
He had shrugged again when she suggested he changed his name; it was like she had been reading his mind. “People would still know.” They’d always know.

He looked at the picture on the world’s smallest cell phone screen and nodded. “Yeah, definitely looks like our dead doll.” He agreed. “It’s weird that all that was just one ghost though, she must have been haunting that place for years to be that strong.” He mused, pausing as she started talking again.

He laughed out loud when she suggested a bet.

“No way am I taking you up on that. Women are way better at calling that soap opera drama shit that comes with these sorts of cases. I’d be a fool to bet against you.”

Pie finished, he pushed the plate with the fork atop to one side and finished his soda. “Don’t suppose it says where she was buried? Think we should salt and burn all the family, just in case?” He suggested; there was nothing wrong with ruling out all of the options instead of having to go back and do the job a second time around. Some would have called it lazy; he just saw it as forward thinking.

He put a couple of bills on the table and made sure to leave a tip, since the waitress had slipped him her number when Morgan wasn’t paying attention. “Good job I’ve got shovels in the car huh?”

When she was done with her pie, he got up to leave, reaching for the coat he normally wore before realising he was still in the damned suit. "Think we should change first." Neither of them were dressed for anything close to semi comfortable grave digging.

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Re: Seven Steps to Corruption [Closed]
« Reply #24 on: March 01, 2015, 01:47:46 am »
Rik wouldn’t take her up on the bet, and she grinned at that, “Uh huh, that’s it,” though it might be. She had done pretty well when she crossed paths with a woman on a case about a ‘woman in white’ case. They’d actually done pretty splendidly on figuring it all out. Shame that woman ended up getting killed by vampires.

Morgan took her phone and flicked through a few screens to see if she could discern where she was buried,
“Yep. Mount Hope cemetery. Obviously we’ll have to find the grave ourselves,” but they knew where to start, and he had shovels. So far as burning all the family, “Don’t think we should desecrate the others, though,” she didn’t want to cause undo harm to any that weren’t ghosts. She didn’t know what happened, but she knew the ghosts burned.

Whatever happened to malevolent ghosts didn’t need to happen to innocents.
“Interesting…her body’s been dug up before,” she didn’t think much of it. Grave robbers happened, but she supposed it might indicate more. She tucked the knowledge into the back of her head for later, in case things got interesting. She tucked the phone away in her pocket, then, and finished her pie.

Rik paid, and noted they needed to change,
“My clothes are at my hotel. You know, with my laptop. If you’d kindly take me there, I’d be happy to get out of these things,” she disliked the attire.

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Re: Seven Steps to Corruption [Closed]
« Reply #25 on: March 01, 2015, 02:38:50 am »
She was listing fact after fact. It wasn’t exactly tedious, but Rik didn’t really have much of a penchant for those sorts of things. Again, he reminded himself that he was definitely and ‘actions first, words later’ kind of guy. She obviously liked to know what she was getting into before she burned the world to the ground.
He guessed it just meant he relied on instinct a little too often.
 
He didn’t comment on the fact their dead chick had been exhumed before. He didn’t think it was particularly important, and he wasn’t too fussed that she’d said no to his idea of burning the family lot. “Where the hell are the Ghostbusters when you need them?” He joked.

She mentioned the motel. Shit. He’d forgotten all about taking her to the motel before the diner. Well, at least she’d had the pie she had been craving. So had he actually, when he thought about it.

He shook his head at his own trail of thoughts, hoping she wouldn’t notice the slight chuckle. He couldn’t believe his mind was back on pie.

“Alright. Sooner I’m out of this thing, the better.” He agreed.

He headed out to the car and got in. Belts on, keys in, and the stereo playing Journey this time. It was a damned old tape, but he didn’t think it had ever left the confines of the car.

The drive to the motel was a little longer and when they pulled into the parking lot, he gave a whistle. “Jeeze… this place is like the Bates motel.”

He got out, grabbing a bag from the boot of the car and waiting for her to lead the way to her rented rat hole of a room.

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Re: Seven Steps to Corruption [Closed]
« Reply #26 on: March 01, 2015, 02:52:43 am »
Journey. Oh Journey. He was still listening to this soft-rock nonsense. Even so, it was better than most of the stuff on the radio, and admittedly, she really liked ‘Anyway You Want It’.

When they got to the motel, she directed him to a spot near her motorcycle and exited
, “I know, I know,” she said to his comment on the place, “you usually stay at better places?” She didn’t. This was pretty standard for her.

She walked to her motorcycle first and gave it a once over, making sure it hadn’t been tampered with in her absence. Seeing it was fine, she patted the handlebar and walked on to the room and unlocked it. She left the door open as she stepped in, and picked up her preferred clothing from inside the drawer.

Most of her things were on the bed, thrown there when she needed to get them off the motorcycle. Her laptop was resting up by the pillows, and her hunting items were scattered about the rest of it. She snatched up the flask of holy water.


“I’ll change in the restroom,”
she noted, didn’t give him an option otherwise as she walked to it and shut herself in it, locking the door. She shed the layers of ‘proper’ wear to slip back into her wonderfully comfortable leather pants and white camisole. Her jacket just fit over that so much better. She slipped on her boots, and added the chains once again. She combed her fingers through her hair and smiled in the mirror, much happier with her appearance.

She grabbed the silver flask and opened its lid.

She had the courtesy to knock, but didn’t wait to hear if Rik was dressed or not before stepping out of the restroom and back into the main room with the single queen bed. She did mean to catch him a little off guard. After all, she attempted to splash him holy water as soon as she was out of the room, to make sure he wasn't demon-possessed.


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Re: Seven Steps to Corruption [Closed]
« Reply #27 on: March 01, 2015, 03:17:31 am »
No, Rik hadn’t stayed at better places. In fact, he hadn’t stayed at a motel for months. He’d been sleeping in his car. He’d named the car Bess. Bess was much cheaper than paying out for motels. Even on stolen or fraudulent credit cards. He didn’t remark though, just huffed a non-comment.

Seems she had a bike. It was in pretty good condition. He had to admit that seeing her drive off in that would definitely be a perk once they parted. Especially if she was in what she considered more ‘comfortable’ clothing.
She took him into the room and dictated that she would be using the restroom to change.

“Alright.” He replied. He had no qualms getting changed where he was. Hell he’d gotten changed in public restrooms and in the confines of Bess most times. He had no qualms about anyone seeing him in the buff.

Stripping from the suit, he had soon pulled on a pair of faded black jeans and was re-fastening laces to his favourite Docs when she knocked. Sure, he hadn’t put on his shirt yet, but it didn’t matter. He grabbed a towel instead as she exited.

He stood, revealing that he was a little shorter than her once she had her high heels on. Old scars and a couple of old tattoos littered his torso. “Get it over with.” He invited, standing still enough that the water she splashed at him caught his skin.

He wasn’t surprised by the action and he wasn’t surprised when it didn’t burn. He dried the wet parts off with the towel before pulling on a dark blue shirt and a beaten up leather jacket. “Feel a bit better now?”

He looked her up and down. Yeah, tighter was much better than the suit.

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Re: Seven Steps to Corruption [Closed]
« Reply #28 on: March 01, 2015, 03:26:13 am »
Jeans and shirtless. Wonderful success. He also seemed to anticipate her actions. He wasn’t possessed by a demon, at least. “Yep!” She screwed the lid back on her flask and tossed it onto the bed with the rest of her things. She walked around him to let him get finished dressing.

She found a messenger bag and her gun in its holster. She put that at her hip and removed the knife she’d been keeping in her jacket, and attached it to the outside of her boot. In the messenger bag, she threw in rock-salt ammunition, the flask, and a few other items that were mostly grabbed at random—well, the matches weren’t random. If they needed a gas canister, they could buy one at a gas station. That’s what she usually did.

She slung the bag over one shoulder,
“I’m going to step outside and call Kenny, you can go get the gas we’ll need to burn the body at the convenience store across the road,” she motioned in the general direction she’d seen it in. “If everything checks out, we’ll head to the cemetery and go deal with the body.”

She had a feeling that everything would. Kenny didn’t work with bad hunters—usually, he warned people about them, and he hadn’t warned her. He just didn’t want her on the case.   


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Re: Seven Steps to Corruption [Closed]
« Reply #29 on: March 01, 2015, 03:44:12 am »
He’d expected the holy water, only because Kenny had greeted him with it nearly every time they met. He’d even started to carry a towel around with him at one point.

She went about, doing her thing, apparently content now that she knew he wasn’t a demon. He had to trust that she wasn’t a demon. He wouldn’t presume that she was.

If she was, he’d deal with it later. Needless to say, for a brief time, he was enjoying watching her bend over and put things in bags.

She gave him instructions he knew he knew were necessary, but also, she need not have told him that he needed to go and buy gas. He would have needed to fill Bess up at some point soon anyway. He was running low on fuel, and no one knew where the hell Kenny would send him next. Could be the other end of the country for all he knew.

“Sure.” He agreed, heading outside and heading across the street to the filling station. Fake credit card used, gas and snacks for the road later bought. The queue was long for a middle of nowhere store, but he dealt with it in silence by tuning into whatever song was being piped into the store through the tannoy speakers. He didn’t know or like the song, but it was better than being in a line bored of his mind.

Two full canisters of gas later and he were heading back to her motel room. He put the fuel in Bess’s boot and leaned on the bonnet, waiting for her to come over and say whether Kenny had given him the all clear or not. He was used to being judged, it didn’t phase him anymore.