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by: Arlo Beckett
23 April, 2012
6:10 p.m.

[occ: Megs npc'd Jones' part of the text convo]

It was supposed to have been a small no-nonsense delivery of some mid century silver coins. It had taken a bit of work to track down and acquire for a client but for Arlo it was all in a days work. The scratching from within the box as he slowly walked it to the back work room should have been an indication that something wasn't right. As it was, Arlo had just assumed a mouse or something had been caught inside. Coin boxes like this often sat in warehouses or basements for years on end, so the potential for all manners of things to get inside boxes and crates was high. Needless to say even with the foreknowledge that something might be inside, when he popped the top of the box open with a small crowbar and a creature with a long snout and a coat of black, fluffy fur sprung up in a shower of coins, the former MI6 agent almost had a heart attack. What in the hell was that!? It was bigger than a rat, smaller than a large cat but looked like some messed up platypus...

In hind sight Arlo should have just slammed the box lid back on and tossed the lot out into the back garbage bin and pretended nothing out of the ordinary had happened, however before he had a chance to get himself over the initial shock, the creature had managed to get itself out of the coin box and somewhere the shop. Over thirty minutes of cat and mouse play had the man at wits end. Whatever the creature was it definitely had a penchant for shiny things of great value... After 10 more minutes of chasing and herding and Arlo had finally managed to trap it in the back store room. But what did he do now? The thing couldn't just stay in there... and he doubted he could simply call animal control...wait, hadn't one of his buddies from the SIS mentioned something about a group being able to deal with something like this? The same group that was supposedly heading up the Human Enhancement program he'd signed onto?

Arlo quickly fished his phone out of his back pocked and sent off a quick text.
James, got a minute?

Sup Beaker? You coming for drinks?

Can't. Hey do you know who's in charge of that group running the program I signed onto?

Jones I think is the one you want. Everything ok?

Yeah, everything's fine. Just need to get a couple questions answered

Hold on, I should have her number. You owe me one.

Sure, drinks are on me next time

As soon as the number for the MI5 Director popped up, Arlo started a new conversation

Director Jones?

Who's this?

Arlo Beckett

How did you get this number, Arlo?

James Taylor SIS. Got a bit of a situation he said you could help with

And what makes you think I can help?

Paranormal right? Is the line secure?

Of course

As soon as he had the confirmation of a secure line Arlo wasted no time in flipping his phone into video mode and carefully cracked open the door to the store room and managed to catch a small 30 second clip of the creature as it happily rummaged through a box of miscellaneous objects. Once he had the clip, he sent it and waited anxiously for a reply.

Don't know what it is but it come in with a box of coins I just had delivered

I'll send a team down to investigate. Would you be willing to come in for an interview?

Sure. Just get it out of my shop. Thing is eating my livelihood

Interesting. I'll have them there in half an hour. I need an address

53-64 Chancery Ln, London. I'll be out front

He returned the phone to his back pocket and let out a deep breath. Hopefully the team would be here sooner than the 30 minutes promised, and hopefully the creature would stay contained within the store room. The last thing he needed was it running free range through the shop. Arlo offered one last glance at the locked door before limping slowly toward the front entrance.
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by: Cole Callaway
53-64 Chancery Ln, London.

Cole was out of the office on an errand when he got the call. He had his gear with him when he left, and good thing he'd been prepared for it, because he read on the message summons from Jones that he was going out into a field call with Lex and Orion, so naturally he'd be the knight or the shield of sorts in this operation, whatever it was. He shifted into gear and pulled up across the way from the address given, throwing his piece into its holster. He already had his badge with him as he was surely going to need to identify himself to the shop owner, and he approached slowly.

"Arlo Beckett?" He called out as he trotted across the clearing of the empty street toward the man standing outside. "Callaway, MI5. I was sent over by Director Jones?" It was the usual bit of introduction, the preliminary announcement and acknowledgement of the problem at hand. "What's the situation?"
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by: Alexandra Taylor
Lex had been preparing to leave work for the day when Jones had called her to the office to ask her to report to something she'd just heard about. Being a yes woman for all intents and purposes, Lex had acquiesced but that didn't make her any happier with the fact dinner would now need to be delayed. She was fond of having a light snack at six a.m. before she headed to the gym for precisely an hour. She ate a high-protein breakfast at seven thirty then showered and prepared for work. She typically had more than enough time to read or to think over something she was working on at work that may have proven difficult before she reported to work at nine for the nine to six shift. Dinner had been precisely at six thirty as she had taken on meal planning and preparation on the weekends to make sure she always had dinner and some leftovers for lunch the following day. She honestly was finding herself contemplating asking to work eight to five instead, but apparently today had not been the day to say so.

Lex had to admit she was curious. Perhaps the field agents had been fairly busy. She was typically left in weaponry developing concepts for their new weapons since she'd managed so far (so far as she could tell, of course) not to tip anyone off to the fact she knew a bit more about magic than she was letting on, and she rather enjoyed that. There was enough mix of interaction and peace and quiet for her to feel completely at home. And there was structure and certainty to it. Sometimes things didn't work out entirely well, but that was to be expected given the fact that there was some basis in science behind their projects but had to include magic in the equation, and magic was not entirely predictable. She loved it. She really loved it.

Lex glanced at the clock as she pulled over to park as the GPS device she had mounted on her dash announced she had arrived at her destination. She looked around, not entirely certain what she'd expected, but it wasn't the part of town she had in mind. She'd figured it would be something a bit closer to The Leaky Cauldron given the limited description she'd been given regarding what was going on. She got out of the car once she was parked and walked to the curb, spotting Callaway approaching a man she imagined was the contact. She approached from his left, the soft click of her low heel sounding on the concrete as she did so. "Agent Taylor," she said to the man as she offered her hand, glancing at Callaway and giving him a small smile in greeting, which amounted to a slight upward motion of the left side of her mouth.
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by: Arlo Beckett
As soon as he got outside Arlo leaned up casually against the glass store front and set in to wait out the 30 or so minutes Jones had said it would take her team to arrive. There had been no point waiting inside staring at a shut door. Besides, if he was outside that meant he had time for a quick smoke. Arlo reached into the front pockets of his jeans and pulled out a crushed packet of cigs and a zippo. A few seconds later had him taking a long drag on the cancer stick. It was a nasty habit he'd picked up while working for MI6 and one his wife had greatly disapproved of. She'd made him quit, and it had worked out not to bad but he'd picked up the habit again after her disappearance. There was something cathartic about the habit and it helped to keep him from dwelling on things.

At the sound of approaching vehicles Arlo took a quick glance at his watch. 6:40 p.m. Was this them? Must be. He watched as a couple vehicles pulled up and a man and woman stepped out. The man had parked closer and was making his way over. Well he certainly had the bearing of what Arlo had come to recognize as field agents, a fact that was proved only a few moments later when said man called out and then introduced himself. Alro waited a few moments for the woman, whom he also presumed to be an agent (though not a field one based on her current attire - who wore heels to a mission?) before returning offered handshakes.

"Callaway, Taylor. Yes I'm Alro," he stated simply before taking one last pull on his cig before tossing the butt down and crushing it out with his shoe. "Situation is as follows, Arlo reached into his back pocket and fished out his phone, making sure that the short videos he'd taken earlier was up before handing it to Callaway. "That has currently made my back store room its playground. Doesn't seem to be a threat to people based off of the limited interaction I had with it and it seems to be attracted to shiny things and things of great value. Both of which are proving to be hazardous for my collections. I was told you have the ability to remove it."
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by: Orion Burgess
Late! Orion wasn't used to running late, but the cellular phone Jones had made him carry was not making sounds correctly. As a result, the alert that he'd gotten was five minutes later than the time he'd been told to report. The lanky young man ran to get to where he could apparate, and then -CRACK- went from the office to an alleyway where he could compose himself and walk briskly to the appointment.

"Hullo, hullo. Agent Callaway, Agent Taylor, sir. I am Orion."

He'd caught the last bit of the explanation and craned his neck to see the picture. He gave a knowing smile and nod. Nifflers were hazardous to any collection of shiny things. Thankfully, they were easy to capture if you were clever. Getting them to give up their purloined goods, however, could be a different story all together.
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by: Cole Callaway
Cole smiled at the appearance of Lex. He already knew she would be on the scene, since she was part of the grouping in the mass text from Jones--but he couldn't help but throw a wide grin her way as she approached. But once the shop owner and the newly arrived Orion spoke up as well, Cole put his business face on...they were summoned here for a reason, after all. He nodded at the man and took his phone as it was offered, watching the video playback of the creature that Arlo had trapped in his back room.

"Well...that sure is something..." Cole uttered, tilting the phone toward his colleagues to give them a better look. He watched the playback a few times before huffing a bit and shaking his head.

He had experience with magical creatures, sure, but they were the experts as far as he was concerned. Lex, as she was quite book smart and Orion because...well, it was Orion. This had to have come from the Wizarding world. "No, at least not a hostile threat, unless you carry a lot of your notes on you, I'm sure. Hey, kid you seen anything like this before? Or Lex, you?" He opened it up for discussion. He wanted to make sure they made the right approach trying to fetch the animal from the shop to save this poor man from apparent grief.
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by: Alexandra Taylor
Orion Burgess. Lex couldn't make up her mind about him. There was an element of pretentiousness to him that she could tell had likely been more pronounced before he had come to his current state of being, yet that hint of it was enough to drive her mad at times. Then, there was Cole Callaway. She liked him well enough, what interactions they'd had since she had started. He had been kind to her, and she had appreciated that. She wasn't put off by his presence. She even offered him a small smile of her own in return as she came to a stop beside him and leaned in as Arlo began to show them the clip. She recognized the creature. It was one of those which had a muggle, non-magical counterpart that could look similar yet was decidedly magical in its behaviors. No muggle creatures she knew were so inclined toward kleptomania other than certain muggles themselves.

Lex glanced at Cole as he asked if she had ever seen anything like this before and hesitated a moment. She wanted to say she had, but did she have to? Did she have to out herself like that over some trivial magical creature whose only crime was to steal some things? After all, having a proclivity toward something wasn't entirely within an unnatural range of animalistic behavior. While the lot of them had seemed to accept the "kid" as they had dubbed him, Lex had reservations about revealing her own past to people. She was waiting for a moment when it was necessary to help things along to tell them. There was some part of her who would be happier as a muggle right now, honestly.

"Looks like a member of the echidna family, frankly," she said, drawing from some random class she'd taken at university. It had fulfilled a science requirement and had sounded more interesting than some of the other classes, so she'd taken it. She pulled out her phone and drew up a picture, looking for the short-beaked version. "A bit darker, really, but the proportions...features? The behavior is off, admittedly. I've never known an animal to be that in love with shiny objects." She glanced at Orion.
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by: Orion Burgess
Orion too a close look at the photo and nodded. Niffler. They were theoretically related to moles the way that unicorns were related to horses.

"I've seen one before in school. I think we'll have little to no problems getting it out...now, getting it to give up it'sill gotten goods may be a bit more interesting but I'm sure we can figure it out."

Care of Magical Creatures had introduced him to the Niffler, as had running around the world with his parents. The little buggers were native to Britain, but wherever there were goblins, Orion found that there were usually nifflers, too. the goblins liked to use the creatures to find treasure without destroying large amounts of rock and soil. Wizards learned from them and used the rodent-like animal for the same reason.

"So, shall we go in and take care of it? And..." He gave Cole an aside, quietly. "How much of my special talent can I use? Otherwise it may be harder to catch the little guy."
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by: Arlo Beckett
Arlo watched the trio in silence as they took it in turn to view the short clip. The one that had introduced himself as Callaway clearly had no idea what the thing was. Agent Taylor had come to the same conclusions he had but seemingly differed to the youngest looking of the trio. Interesting. At least it seemed like he knew what they were dealing with though the mention of only seeing the thing once, and in a school no less, did little to instill any confidence in Arlo and the admission that getting whatever it had collected back was tricky left a sinking feeling in the former MI6 agents stomach. He really didn't need the hassle right now, especially with as tight a deadline as he was working with. Well at least they were here and willing to try to help out.

Arlo nodded in response to Orion's query about going in. No time like the present. He took his phone back and returned it to his back pocket before turning and walking into the shop, motioning for the trio to follow. Once they were all inside Arlo took a moment to make sure the front door was locked before once again turning to address the trio. "It's in the back," he stated simply as he made his way at a slightly slower than normal pace toward the back of the store. The limp that had become part of his life was a bit more pronounced than normal. After the over exertion of earlier and then the smoke while he waited on Jones' team to arrive had been enough for his hip to stiffen up.

Typical to most antique stores, the front of the place was packed full of miscellaneous odds and ends, things that may or may not have any significant value or things that had simply caught the Arlo's eye. Toys, books, signs, collectables. A chain link wall had been set up at the 1/4 point and Arlo opened the chain link door and motioned everyone through into what could have passed for a fine art museum. It was clear that this was where the high end valuable stuff was kept. Old armors adorned a side wall, various vases and statues sat in cases throughout the floor. Music boxes, toys, paintings, hand carved figurines. For any collector this would be considered a proverbial gold mine.

At the very back of the studio Arlo stopped and pointed to a closed door off to the left. "Workroom and storage is through that door. Same with...whatever that thing is. If possible keep it back there... lots of the stuff out here is irreplaceable."
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by: Cole Callaway
"Shiny objects..." he echoed Alex, with a lopsided grin. It was more that he was amused at her assessment and the fact that he liked listening to her talk. Even as "by the books" as she was, it was cute and impressive. Nevertheless, Cole hated feeling like the odd man out in this situation. Orion was familiar with this and Lex too apparently, but even though he might have understood their brief explanation about whatever that creature was, it didn't mean he was equipped to take the little fella down...alive.

They started to follow the older man toward his shop, and Cole noted he had a limp, but no crutch. Just a walk of an injured man, maybe an age old injury or event, but that didn't matter did it? Was he going to even see this guy after the incident was settled? Perhaps not. So he didn't consider asking. Instead, Cole listened to Orion as he asked what permissions he had on handling.

He sighed, slowing down some in his trot as he reached up and scratched his neck. "Uh..." Cole hadn't even thought that far. It was a better solution than shooting the creature, which would both be unethical and just not right at all. "I'll need you to keep it as low profile as possible, but this may be our only way of securing it, if we want to bring this in to Jones or rather lab and analysis." Cole spoke slowly, softly and with his eyebrows slightly raised to make sure the kid understood that he was in the green to use his magic, but with great caution.

"So you take point...I'll back you up. Perhaps Lex can stay with Arlo, keep him distracted while you...take care of that thing." It seemed like a good plan, in theory, but putting it into action would be another story.
Last edited by Cole Callaway on Sat Apr 01, 2017 12:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by: Alexandra Taylor
At Orion's question, Lex turned her attention to Cole. He was the field agent and, she believed, a senior to both herself and Orion. He could make a call as to how much magic was ok and call the shots. She nodded her agreement to Cole's plan as she began to follow Arlo in. She didn't quite like that she was being reduced to a distraction, but it was the tactical move given Cole only knew what Cole knew. She was useful but not a typical field agent. Perhaps this exercise was the perfect excuse in Jones' mind for cross-training the two of them. It wasn't too dangerous even from the perspective of not knowing what the tiny creature was. It was a correct assumption. Nifflers weren't a huge threat at all. They could get a bit agitated if you tried to take their riches from them, but they were no dragon or mama bear.

The shop itself seemed average at first. A few books, some toys, and some other nicknacks that were a bit dated like Lex would expect from the average antique shop. Once they got past the gate, though, it seemed there were things of interest. Too bad they weren't here to browse, though she supposed that was a way to pass time with Arlo if needed. She glanced at the boys as Arlo explained the Niffler was back there behind the door that was only feet ahead of them. She'd follow Cole's lead here. Simply leaning against the wall casually and beginning conversation with Arlo wasn't on the table, after all. She'd surely find better use of her time trying to find out if he'd ever seen anything like this or any other suspicious little things, though she'd have to be careful in doing so. Even if he had somehow found a way to reach their department, that didn't mean he necessarily knew what it was exactly or what their purpose was. She imagined Paranormal was kept on the down low, given how much the public would freak if they found anything out via whistle blowers or wayward reporters.
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by: Orion Burgess
Orion cracked his knuckles and grinned. This was going to be interesting. And possibly fun, too. He went to the back room and waited for Lex to have the muggle sufficiently distracted, then slipped in.

As far as storage rooms went, it was certainly that. The niffler had made quite a mess, zipping here and there collecting its baubles and treasures. With the vast amount of stuff everywhere, Orion felt like he was playing a game of 'I Spy' where the stakes were a man's livelihood.

"Aaaaallrighty, niffler, come out, come out where ever you are..."

He withdrew his wand and flicked it to set the tip alight. He didn't want to summon the creature and cause it to panic. Panicked animals bit and he didn't want or need that kind of hassle right now. No, if he could lure it to himself and then gently catch it, they'd have a better chance of getting it to disgorge its treasures.
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by: Arlo Beckett
He watched with more than a little bit on interest as the trio seemed to form a plan on the fly though it seemed as if agent Taylor and himself would not be a part of it. Not that was all that surprising to the man. He had assumed, based off the short text conversation with Director Jones and by how hush hush his whole contact with a certain branch of MI5 was, that they would keep him at arms length. More than likely Agent Taylor would be the distraction and attempt to figure out if this sort of thing was common and what else he knew about them and whatever they dealt with.

Arlo took a moment to shuffle about the back of the area and pulled out two folding chairs that were stashed against the back wall. If this was going to take a while there was no point in just standing around. He set them up, offering one to Taylor if she wanted it before taking a seat himself and settled into wait. If there was one thing Arlo figured he excelled at it was patience though after a few minutes he had to admit his curiosity was getting the better of him. What kind of department dealt with magical creatures? "So you deal with this sort of thing often?" He'd left the question fairly vague and figured the agent could interpret it however she wanted. He could fish for specifics after some sort of conversation was established.
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by: Cole Callaway
Well, perhaps the fellow "muggle" in this situation was going to make this easier than he expected, as it looked like he was pulling up chairs for him and Agent Taylor before they decided to head in. Orion was first, and then he followed, after giving a look over to Lex to make sure she would be okay out here. Not that this man posed as a threat to them. He'd called Jones and Jones called them in, after all. But it was a look that told her if she needed him, he'd keep an ear out for anything. That is, if this strange creature didn't give him or the kid any trouble. They were all adults here, even Orion, but as Senior agent, he needed to make sure his team, his family, were safe.

When he walked into the room, Cole noted Orion's wand had a light on top of it. No matter how many times he'd seen stuff like this, it still wowed him. Even though it might have been enough light, Cole still pulled the flashlight from his belt and lit it, searching the room for any movement. "Please tell me you have a plan to deal with this thing..." He whispered to Orion as he took a few steps closer to him. "That doesn't have anything to do with blowing us up, or the building either. I'd like to keep as much as we can in tact."

He kept his eyes up, darting toward any little dance of shadows on the wall. There was nothing in sight.
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by: Orion Burgess

He couldn't help but grin at the negative. He clarified before Cole could go off on him.

"The niffler is an animal that has the basic animal urges...get food, make a nest, collect shiny things, find someone to love...I don't want it to be scared. Someone either abandoned it or lost it in their antiques. Happens. Likely, this was someone's pet. So, if i can convince it that it's safe with us, it should come along pretty soon looking for food. And once it does, we'll just pick it up and leave with a how'd'you do. I can't, unfortunately, remember exactly what it is that nifflers eat...It may be bugs. Pretty sure. Or fungus...we'll figure it out."

He sounded more confident than he felt. But that was okay. This wasn't going to be too difficult, right? After all, a niffler was a little bit like a mole, a pack rat, and a toddler all rolled into one adorable little fuzzy package. Maybe he'd be allowed to keep it as a pet...


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