ALL SITE ACTIVITY

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  1. Today
  2. Blasphemy and Sacrilege

    Cold gray eyes watched the tank of a man turn around and every fiber of Gavin's body tensed up for just a second as he prepared himself to unleash every shadow in his range at the first hint of magic. Now that he was face to face with the man and was actually looking at him rather than at his movements for the first time, the soldier realized that the man's face looked familiar for some reason. Why it was familiar didn't exactly matter in this moment, because the man's alcohol ravaged memory couldn't conjure why exactly it would matter in the first place. He had a terrible habit these past few years of flat out ignoring things like training, the news, and other sources of information that most people used to stay aware of their surroundings. He had been far too busy imploding for any of that to really matter, and it was occasions like this that made that a disadvantage. The tank of a man didn't even flinch when he dropped the cloak, which was another thing that the American didn't like. If the guy was actually a priest, he would have been shitting himself knowing a potentially hostile magic user with visual and noise cloaking abilities was inside of the building. The man just calmly adjusted his collar… and he wasn't even holding anything. No firearm and this confident was a bad combination, but at the same time he wasn't openly hostile and certainly didn't immediately lash out like Gavin would have in a situation like this. The accent was weird, too. He had never heard anything like it before, which put him even more on edge. Not Vanguard with an accent like that, and exceedingly calm in the face of someone who he could only assume to be a magus. This guy was either Order or a very powerful non-human. Or insane to the point of being in delusion of their own abilities, if he was extremely lucky today… which he wasn’t, because he was locked in a church trying not to freeze to death. Wait a minute. If it talked like a vague European, dressed like a Catholic, and was super calm when faced with magic it had to be an Order magus. Gavin rolled his neck to crack it as the tank finished speaking, and waited a couple seconds before replying. "All else being equal, I'd prefer us both not stand here like morons until us and the old guy upstairs freezes to death. I also think it would be fucking pointless to fight and die like an animal underground when we could just agree as mages to hold off at least until we're off of holy ground." he conceded, voice measured and neutral. He was carefully watching for the reaction when he called the other man a mage, hoping to see confirmation. Gavin certainly wasn't a mage, but Empowered Human just didn't flow off the tongue nearly as well. "What I don't understand, though," he continued in the same neutral tone as he worked out what his attack strategy would be if the guy went fucking berserk on him, "Is I thought you fucks worked in threes." It was why ARMA had to beef up their usual patrols, because the Order liked to have trios running around that were admittedly a giant pain in the ass to deal with at times. Gavin spent most of his career in SHIELD, so he didn't exactly enter combat against the Order of Light very much but it was one of the few things that he did remember from training. The smart thing to do would be to just placate the guy and fuck off with cloak before a reassessment or just waiting the guy out and leaving in the morning. That was what a man who valued his life above all else would do, because it was smart and extremely sensible when you had an acute sense of self-preservation. But color him curious, and at this point in Gavin's life he was willing to sacrifice a bit of safety to sate spur of the moment curiosity. Worst case scenario was they both died in combat, which was a lot better than liver failure or a car accident in terms of ways to go out.
  3. Yesterday
  4. Let the Master Answer

    “These ones,” his smile was easy, calm. Choosing fresh bread and produce was always something he enjoyed. Weirdly simple. The older woman behind the counter returned the smile and nodded. He truly was a peaceful soul. If he’d had a choice, the small café in the south of Italy would have been his home for life. Nothing but familiar faces and happy tourists, a small place, a few employees. Cooking. Coffee. He shivered slightly as he stepped out onto the sidewalk to go grab a coffee across the street and wait for the small grocery store to pack up his things. And no winter. Matera got cold, but not like this. This was hell. Some feared fire and brimstone; then there was salt, the scent of brackish car exhaust against dirty slush and frigid air to hammer it against his skin. His hell. Torture to another level. Hood was pulled closer to his features as he trotted across the street to make the already blinking crossing light, ducking into the bustling coffee corner to sigh softly at the line. Seems everyone else had the same idea at the exact same time. Hands slid into his hoodie pockets and patience took him through the wait, not ignoring the prickle on the back of his neck that had begun the second he stepped out of the grocery and onto the street. He was being watched. It was always a concern. The odd stalemate between the two giants quiet for some time, his recent bloody extracurricular activities had made him certain they wouldn’t leave anything a stalemate for long. He was systematically killing Order members. Their rekindled aggression toward each other wasn't his intention, but they would probably start blaming each other soon… or looking for the bastardized scuttle that had been haunting them from some other corner of the world; the ones that had almost drained him within a drop of his life. They had been quiet as well. Order checking in on him perhaps, or maybe they already knew what he was doing and were trying to confirm. Order and Vanguard knew where he was, at least the top of the food chain did. They would come knocking on his door sooner or later, he wanted them to. This, wasn’t that. It was an observer, someone that was actively following. Quietly. At a distance. He smiled and thanked the guy at the counter, but eyes had already scanned the crowd- a familiar face catching his attention, not sure of from where. Nothing recent. Had he drawn them out of their high tower already? It was a memory from a different place, from mind bound in another time… enough familiarity to be uncomfortable. Being uncomfortable put him on alert. Cup clicked softly on the counter, the magus picking up few napkins and a coffee stirrer, popping the top off to stir in something that had never been put into his black coffee in the first place; a moment to pay attention to everything around him while doing a useless task. Heat rifled up his skin the second he placed the face, top clicked back on the cup as he tossed the stirrer, making eye contact over the cup as he took a first drink of the scalding liquid. Back hit the door to push it open on the way out, cup held up over a shorter woman as she entered and he ghosted out into the street. It could have been a foot chase, then a showdown, but he wasn’t a brawler. Everyone made that assumption because his job was to kill. Coffee tossed into a trashcan as he turned the corner, the zip of his hoodie tie snapped from the hood and was wound around his hand in oiled precision. Hood was pulled up. He didn’t like being pursued, and it never ended well. Street was crossed, making a quiet beeline for the subway drop. Someone was closing the distance. Trotting down the steps, he vaulted over the railing at the bottom and stepped aside almost underneath, watching the passengers board a train and it whoosh away. His pursuer slowed toward the bottom of the steps, the magus still to the side of the stairs. The guy might just leave, thinking he was on the departing train… “Rhome Del Santo.” Before the entire phrase had been uttered, the cord was around the man’s neck. The large magus was ruthlessly agile, torquing his pursuer over the railing and effectively slamming him face down onto the ground to the side of the stairs. He had moments before the next train, the garrote pulled so tight it had cut off air and was drawing blood. This wasn’t his terms. Choke the man to unconsciousness… or kill him…. ...he pulled harder, hearing the next train less than a minute out, the weight of his entire body focused pushing his knee into the middle of the man's spine. He was a fighter, the guy still trying to reach behind him to grab hold of something to make him let go. This wasn't on his terms...
  5. Feeling some hardcore Cass writing urges.  . .

  6. Last week
  7. Blitz

    There was two days still until registration was open. Six days before the last construction was complete. Couple of weeks until the grand opening. ……and just a few days before he lost his fucking mind. He was practically living at the stadium these days. This endeavor was costing them a fortune. Between the security needs, reconstruction, mana wards, huge stock of antivirals in the event of audience or fighter exposure, staff hiring, bar stocking, re-reconstruction when the barriers failed early tests and all the ridiculous electronics installed, this place was bleeding money and yet Gaspari still thought it was more than worth it. So…… no pressure at all to deliver a successful opening night. No wonder the Senior Capo was stressed. It didn’t help that lately there were lurkers outside the stadium CONSTANTLY. Let them register early…. let them take a sneak peek….let them have a job…. let them be a distributor…. let them show him a good time so they could get tickets to opening night… which….. surprisingly or perhaps not…. was sold out. It could hold 30,000 but they only had 10 thousand for sale for the opening night. A precaution to see how the place held up under the first real altered fight. The limited tickets had made it an "exclusive" show that a population that had been without big entertainment for so long, scrambled for. Then there were the ENDLESS inspections. By the feds….by the medical board….by ARMA… by Bakkhos security….fuck…. there was nothing that existed anymore on the god-forsaken planet that had been checked over more than the stadium. Car parked to do the night inspection and work on the damn books and instantly the groan came seeing two figures lurking. Of course. He had started coming later to avoid the daytime public gawkers but seemed they had gotten savvy and were coming all times now. Black 'Cuda rumbled to a stop as he stepped out, hand stuffing in his black leather bomber pocket to pull out the ring of forty odd keys that all went to something in the stadium. He really needed to put a cord or something on the access door one so he wasn’t constantly fumbling to find it as he came each day. Keys jingled slightly as he walked past the two figures. Careful not to make eye contact. He used to be real friendly, play the pied piper role to a tee... but then he got grabbed, caught, stuck outside making explanations for over an hour every time. It was a huge waste of time. Instead he had gotten more abrupt and usually mistaken for a basic security guy. Tired words came as he walked by them, heading for the massive steel side doors more than 30 yards down the sidewalk that required the key and his hand print. No…. we are not taking registrations early….. Keys jingled as he flipped the ring around. No….. there are no early tours of the place…… No…… we don’t need to fill any jobs at the moment…. Yes….we are really opening next month….. No….. we currently don’t need any suppliers… Fingers found the nondescript key as he kept walking, hoping the rattled spiel would appease.
  8. Blasphemy and Sacrilege

    The cloak dropped. Bingo. Gray eyes finding the intruder’s without hesitation. All his senses were still serving him, maybe even better since he’d been looking over his shoulder lately. Paranoia wasn’t paranoia if people were really out to kill you in horrible ways. He supposed he should have feigned fear, or at least looked surprised, but it wasn’t in him to play along in that way. The magus was calm, always calm in the face of anything, except when he wasn’t. This man had done nothing to trip that switch. The switch was quick lately, cracks in his self-control; allowing a viciousness that ran so deep it would send ripples around the world. He was still fighting to keep it down. Blink was soft, his mind had been wandering while the man spoke, attention still keen on everything that was around him though. Training was training, engrained until you died… or were killed. In his mind there was a difference. Dead man’s switch? Wasn’t there the last time he’d come down, but that had been hours ago. Realistically the man could have been telling the truth, didn’t take long for someone who knew exactly what they were doing to create something like that. But why? Could he have been down there before? Doubtful, the guy would have seen a definitely "not mortal" priest lighting pilots with his abilities. He was giving no indication he’d seen him light up the boiler with magic. Or, he was down here before and got confirmation he was dangerous- this could be just one huge bluff to get him in the basement to kill his ass. Hm. Instincts. Mage. Waiting out the cold. Had sensed something about the fire magus that led him to believe he was dangerous. Pulled a bluff, or maybe not, but didn’t recognize the Order assassin from a hole in the wall. Couldn’t be ARMA, his face was plastered everywhere until a year ago when he broke his shackles. New ARMA? Rogue? Order? Definitely not Order, he’d have engaged him already. "I can't get out right now, but neither can you or you would have done it already. Can you fix the boiler, or would you like assistance so all three of us don't become popsicles by the end of the night?" Blink again was soft, hands coming up quietly to show that he too… had nothing in them. Fingers touched the paper collar and returned calmly to his sides. “Came out from a church down the street to check on the Rabbi and make sure his heat was on. I can fix the boiler.” Half of it was true. Down the street… he wouldn’t give up that he’d come from across town. He knew better. “Food also in the pantry upstairs, help yourself to it. You can huddle here until you need to leave, or you can get some food and join us by the fireplace upstairs. We don’t talk much.” Aka… he wanted the guy where he could see him- not wandering around the building. With a cloak like that however, it would be a hard sell. Voice was low, quiet with a dark hum and an accent that couldn’t be placed. French, Italian… Spanish. Something laced his words in such a subtle fashion it was hard to pick out. The collar, the suit, accent, the calm. He screamed Catholic to those that didn’t know otherwise. “Or we can stand here and freeze to death.” He waited quietly for the man’s next move. He could simply just fry the room. Dead man's switch was doubtful. He also knew ways to keep someone conscious and completely incapacitate them within seconds in case he'd made the wrong call. He was armed... but he didn't do firearms. He didn't need them; the knife on the underside of his forearm all he needed to do catastrophic damage without invoking any of his abilities. This man though might belong to somebody, and might be missed. So he played the priest, for now.
  9. Words and Wax

    Nina was brewing fresh, unusually strong. She always knew when to up the "dosage" when the shop owner was on a mission other than her typical day. Truth was, she really didn't want any. A distaste for most of her usual personal haunts had crept into her of late. Self destructive maybe, an attempt to find herself more likely. Which one was really the one that was supposed to be here. Perhaps Alec to help her with that too. A clean, stainless steel bowl was placed on the floor near the beastie if it decided to partake. She kept them on hand, and was pretty sure Alec would not be merely accessorizing himself; that the beast was indeed connected to him somehow and wasn't apt to eat people's faces. So, it was welcome. The other water handed to Alec, freshly chilled in an aluminum water bottle. Something just made it taste different that way, more refreshing. She also kept those on hand; she was a master of many things for many wants. Voice was low as she kept her hands nonchalantly busy, organizing and just cleaning up displays overall. "This one is a bit out of my wheelhouse. With the outworlder problem... the Order problem... everyone is on edge, or hiding. I wanted to at least give this person a chance at being reasonably safe or sent in the right direction. Not sure what yet, I don't think he does either. I think he has an artifact too." Arms crossed, her back to the book room as she spoke quietly. "If it is, between you and me, he's a target. A lot of movement on the artifact front lately, and not from Pharos." Not many knew the inner workings of Pharos. It was her business to know, and sometimes... deal with them. "On the magus front, he might be."
  10. Blasphemy and Sacrilege

    Fucking hell. Tank woke up to the cold and was suspicious, which left Gavin in a position of few good choices available to him. He could just strike from the shadows and assassinate the guy, but aside from being rude would also not fix the bigger issue of being in danger of freezing to death. He could simply go back into the warmer room with the elderly man, but that would mean an immediate confrontation when tank got back into the room since there was no way to appear nonthreatening in that situation. He could just remain hidden, but the need to stay completely conscious the entire time would make time go excruciatingly slow. He had very little outside assistance possible with that route, too. If he had anybody that would come out and try and get him, he would have called them already. Maybe Aingeal, but that idiot would be just as likely to get herself killed in the attempt as to actually be helpful. So to aid in the decision, he just slipped back and observed the tank of a man as he went along trying to find the intruder. Maybe it was the paranoia talking, but the guy moved eerily similar to someone who was combat trained. There was very little wasted movement, and his posture was all wrong for a civilian. Far too upright and measured, when most people would be spooked into terror at a bump in the dark in a situation like this. He was far too calm, which meant that it was likely Gavin drew the short straw here considering he couldn't exactly exit the building at this point without killing both himself and everyone else inside by letting the cold in. Wait a minute, that's genius. Mutually assured destruction, that was how he was going to do this. That was going to be how he avoided killing everyone before freezing to death in the House of God. As they walked down the service hall stairs, the soldier made a point to put his revolver out of sight by slipping it into the folds of clothing and waited until they were both at the bottom of the stairs before dropping the cloak and noise dampening all at once. "Dead man's switch on the door, I lose consciousness and we all freeze to death. I got no interest in fighting on holy ground or dying right at this second, so I'd appreciate it if you didn't either." he started in a conversational tone, his blended Irish and American Southern grating even to his ears because he knew how recognizable it was in case this jackass was a member of a faction who hated ARMA. Dude looked like he could easily be an outlaw or a Vanguard, that was for sure. "I can't get out right now, but neither can you or you would have done it already. Can you fix the boiler, or would you like assistance so all three of us don't become popsicles by the end of the night?" He came off almost bored, and that was largely because he had damn near perfected the apathetic facade over the years, much to the chagrin of his supervisors. He stretched his arms out slowly with his palms open and facing the man to show that he had nothing in his hands and let the tank act as he would in response. He was more than ready to cut the man down in an instant if this attempt at peace didn't work, but hopefully a bluff was all it took to prevent going that particular route. ...hopefully.
  11. Bedknobs and Broomsticks....

    Hands slid into her jeans, cold still biting through to her bones despite the casino bathing her in heated air as she waited patiently for someone to talk to. Hazel eyes slid around the floor. The swanky of New York seemed to have all congregated here to get out of the cold. The casino had rooms above so likely they were camping out here until the ice age passed, stuck as vehicles literally froze into their parking spots. If Lance was smart he stayed in the car and kept it running so the damn thing didn’t freeze. Eyes slid up to the woman as she was addressed by the security guard when she approached. “Ah, here she is. Miss Vasiliev, these two officers are looking for information on one Michael Kleski?” Brow lifted wondering who the second "officer" was. A man standing nearby grinning at her like she was part of the female entertainment. Hazel rolled as she turned back to the Bakkhos security. He is not with me… and you might want to check him because the jacket is pulling on the left side. Firearm under there. The security guards frowned and instantly moved to handle the leering "gentleman" behind her. A brief scuffle leading the guy away to a backroom. What idiot wandered into Bakkhos trying to sneak in a gun? Hers had been briefly flashed to the guard with her badge so there was complete awareness despite it being hidden under her jacket. Hazel slid instead to the woman they had brought down to talk to her. She wasn’t that surprised. What was left of the guy showed a high end suit and some custom jewelry. “I would be more than happy to help you with your inquiries, officers. One small request, though. Can we discuss this matter in one of the private rooms? While we are grateful for the service you provide this city, police presence is not exactly conducive for the type of business we are in. I hope you understand.” As a plain clothed detective she might have been offended by the assumption that she was "recognized" as law enforcement, however she was also making a name for herself in New York as one of the few that really did their job and did it equally for an earthborn or outworlder. A fact that wasn’t winning her a lot of friends and making her face more known. She also had a reputation for not being bribable which had her on several hit lists. Fortunately for the moment Bakkhos was not one of those. Indifferent shrug came with a nod as she followed the woman to a private lounge. It wasn’t the first time she had been to one. Several visits had resulted in a personal conversation with Angelo Gaspari in the past.
  12. Nighttime is Playtime

    She wasn’t sure if he seemed to think she was joking, or in a joking mood… or something else. Narrowed lashes sincerely hoped it was not this obsession of thinking her stature made her “cute”. She was not a cute elf-like creature. Stupid fucking small frame… made people under estimate her, but kept them thinking they could still treat her that way after they knew she could kick their asses. Her “payload” delivered with pure business, she wasn’t expecting much. Either he would tell her to go fuck herself and to take him home, or he would listen. If he was prudent, and smart, he would listen. Though she would have no qualms making a few calls to her moose brother to selectively take out her problems… she would much rather do it herself. Slapped on the wrist recently for lashing upstart heseks to the east fence of her compound in the mornings to let them burn in order to loosen their tongue, it didn’t deter her from still taking care of business if she had to. It just bothered her that she had to make that decision, his expression leading her to believe he was seriously pondering what she’d said. After a few moments of his silence, her eyes narrowed… the dangerous zone to those that knew her. She didn’t want to be forced into this corner, for reasons she couldn’t put her finger on yet. That was what pissed her off more. Why did she give two shits whether or not she may have to selectively gut Bakkhos. She didn’t. She shouldn’t, but for some reason she did. It was a healthy organization, which meant she didn’t have to build it. Approaching them one at a time was necessary, it gave her the ability to see what they knew, gauge their interest, and decide if they needed to live or die. "Go on." His grin pissed her off. Was it normal for Weres to be reckless? She wasn’t quite sure yet which to call it. Reckless or fearless. Head cocked slightly to one side, fingers tapping on the railing as she drew a long breath, demeanor as quiet as his. Maybe a bit of both with this one… “Bakkhos is useful to me. It’s powerful, it’s respected It keeps itself in check, and for the most part any upstarts that threaten its power are squashed. If you take care of our trespasser issue, I won’t have to, and you’ll re-cement your holdings and status in the city. I've no doubt you do this all the time.” Dark eyes closed a moment, as she scented the air that had rifled up the side of the building. The warmth of her dinner was starting to wear off. “Bakkhos keeps me from having to worry about New York. The threats that surround us are vast, and inevitable, and you allow me to keep my attention on them so they don’t bleed here. They are serious, and they could end the life we've been able to put back together.” Trolls in Ohio. Tech rumors in Detroit. A budding pirate threat up the east coast with the outworlder issue. Ferries full of outworlders boarded and sunk. Black market on the southern fronts. A pissed off, powerful elf fae whatever crossing through her territory and doing business in it that was rabid about the outworlder deaths. “My question is how far do you want your family’s reach to go? What would you be willing to do to keep it safe, and in power for as long as you wish it to be?” She needed constables. She knew she’d needed constables for a long time. Adrian was constantly bitching at her about it. The rest expected it, and the petite Sheut didn’t like being told she couldn’t do it all on her own. She didn’t trust people, and she didn’t want their help. Matteo was a brute, Lucky was a moron. Gaspari, was just living the dream. Carmine... Strollo.... made her head hurt. But Tom, Tom was a gentleman. All gentlemen had extremes; it was the power to control the extremes that gave them the right to call themselves gentlemen. He was powerful, and he was dedicated to a powerful organization. Constables within Bakkhos were a perfect choice, and a mutual benefit. Plus, he was growing on her. When she pushed, he pushed back. “To keep my hands from having to bring down a hammer, you have to pull the vampires from Satyr. Make it a scandal that people were pretending to be vampires, I don’t care. Any press is good press. Vampires, the gauche vernacular, do not exist. Cannot exist in public knowledge. You do that and I can keep you off the Nation radar for the immediate moment.” Again, the unreadable face. “You don’t, and I will have to do it myself.” She was serious, and she didn’t elaborate on how it was to be done, she didn’t need to. Her instinct was to get rid of the first round of fighters. Nobody would touch the place after that kind of tragedy, it would be a temporary set-back for Bakkhos, and a big pain in the ass for her because it would cause a ripple effect… but secrecy of Sheut Ka had to take precedent. “I don’t want to.” There it was. “I don't want you to be someone they tell me I have to damage, or kill.” She truly didn’t want to, he was part of the wild, like her. Refined and infinitely dangerous. In the end of the world she wanted the strong to survive. Some saw the powerful as a threat, she saw them as allies. The Sheut was infinitely loyal to Ausar, there were others though that had power over her that would never be in her good graces. Detested. Would kill if she could. Adrian, was one. Brow pursed down under the rich chestnut swipe of hair across her forehead, a barely there lift to the corner of her lip, it was almost… affection. “I'd rather have you as my first constable. They won’t be pleased you’re a Were but I don’t care what they think anyway…” The purse of her lips and glance cast out to the city betrayed she really didn’t give a rat's ass what they thought. “You’d still be whatever it is you do in Bakkhos, you would have knowledge of our moves and you can keep your people informed. You would also let me know what I need to keep an eye on. I understand if Gaspari needs to be in the loop. I would expect it.” There was more he needed to know about the organization and she needed his approval first, but that was the gist. “But I don't want to deal with Gaspari. I want to deal with you. Only you.” Yah, she’d said that out loud. If people asked, she hated everyone. There were a few she tolerated. A little. Fingers tapped again, eyes cast back to him. "Because you're interesting," she added, the small sentence with the hint of a smile catching a glint of fang for the first time. It was one of the reasons she didn't like to smile. Canines were like goosebumps, reacting to extremes- he was in an extreme at the moment, and she didn't want to admit it was something she couldn't control.
  13. Don't Eat the Dead Ones

    "Don't gimme that look." He could hear it in the way she breathed without even looking at her. The huff confirmed his suspicions as he chewed and met the eyes that had not one clue what he looked like. His push forward with the conversation completely ignored her broody mood. He didn't give two shits about her mood. "I mean it" There may have been an eye-roll as he got up and returned to the same spot in the floor. The entire foundation had been converted into storage space, the crisscross of antique throw rugs eclectic enough to give the place a vintage old fashioned feel and draw attention away from the perpendicular joints at the same time. The beams underneath the sub-floor doors and reinforced ceiling below were a perfect size for the antique WW2 ammo boxes he kept meticulously lined up and organized with items. The one that seemed his main personal storage was pulled up again, another bottle retrieved with a few clinks that betrayed there was more down there than he was sharing. Expression quirked as he dropped the trap door, dust and debris plinking everywhere. He was not looking forward to cleaning this mess up. Charms on his wrist twinkled, unconsciously adjusting the still damp cords with a soft shake when he returned. He put the bottle between them, and picked up one of the cartons before leaning back in the chair and putting one ankle over his knee as he ate. ....be a pain to walk home now anyway..... "...yah, your hair would freeze and that sucks." Fingertips went up to run across a jaw that felt a bit warm. First shave after a while always made skin tender. "Not being a mother hen. Just don't want to get my ass blown up because y'all don't know what you're doing. Ain't no joke, ain't no thing to ignore, and sure as hell makes you an idiot if you ignore it 'cause you don't want people to know." It was rather brutal, and maybe in her circle they tapdanced around her moods... but he wasn't obligated to do that. If anything, the Cajun was overtly practical, and didn't wax poetic to save face. "I ain't your people. You got nothin' to prove to me. Never had." He was wayyy too intoxicated to be deep and philosophic, and it became apparent the drunker he got the more the mysterious aloofness fell away and the "no bullshitting" sign was displayed. Some might have taken it for being dickish; it was anything but. "Sucks not knowing what's inside you until someone you hate forces it out without your permission." He spoke from experience. He upended the last trickle from his own bottle. Air seethed through his teeth as he leaned forward and plunked the empty bottle on the table, eyes on the new one. "Doesn't last long though... body burns through it faster than I can drink it. Most zipped I've been in a long time, must be losing my touch."
  14. Nobody Expects the ARMA Inquisition:

    Alec sighed. Gavin really didn't understand. Sure, leaving ARMA would put them at a disadvantage, with a free agent out there operating, potentially against them, but that really wasn't part of the protocol. Yes, they'd done some memory wipes, some identity changes in the past. Yes, they'd had to completely wipe some people from the historical record... ARMA was an agency dedicated to protecting one of the largest subsets of humanity anywhere in the world. Of course, they'd taken drastic measures. And yet, it seemed entirely possible that Sergeant DeLuc was unaware of ARMA's actual exit protocols. Agents were brought in, sat down in a chair, and given a sedative. One of the trained mentalists would come in and expunge any highly sensitive information from their memories, replacing it with benign versions of events. Past operations with no bearing on current day efforts were left alone. Their memories of people and places not deemed mission critical were left intact. For all intents and purposes, the skills, magic, and relationships they had built over the course of their careers with ARMA would remain. It was a time-consuming process, and incredibly taxing on the mentalist responsible, but ultimately harmless to the agent being dismissed. Maybe Aura and her band of dragons had a different way of doing things out on the frontier, but since effectively forming Cloak in that meeting with Lydia and Ali, Alec had made it very clear he would not stoop to the level of the Order. He'd been there when ARMA made its break, and he was gifted...perhaps cursed... with the ability to remember every last horror he had seen, reliving them at will. Perhaps the Order had changed their way somewhat, but their legacy was indelibly stained for anyone old enough to remember who they'd been when ARMA made the world aware. It would be increasingly obvious to Gavin, as he talked, that the panel before him had honestly no idea what he was worried about. Only after Gavin finished speaking would Alec speak up. "I think, Mr. DeLuc, that you have the wrong impression, here. You're free to tender your resignation at any time and walk away mostly unmolested." Alec paused for a moment, and Halliday stepped in. "It is understandable that you seem uninformed of standard protocols. We rarely have anyone who actually wants to leave, and we do our best to make sure our mages and agents are happy in their positions so we can keep it that way. Aside from information regarding the highest level clearance... which you do not have... and any specific operations with clandestine significance... nothing in your head would cause permanent damage to ARMA's reputation, even if it were revealed. Your life is yours to live. Alec nodded his assent. "Your skills would be a great asset to us on Cloak... but if you want to walk away today and seek employment elsewhere, you're welcome to do so. We'd ask you not to act against our interests, in that case, for a period of several years... and we'd request a way to reach you in case of a true emergency... calling up the reserves, so to speak... but you would have your life to live. We are not the Order." The mentalist sat back in his chair, and Halliday closed his notepad. Now all that remained was to watch for Gavin's reaction. It seemed ridiculous, the divide between expectation and reality here. Perhaps ARMA really did need some PR help.
  15. Words and Wax

    Alec's eyes narrowed in a combination of amusement and annoyance as Rorye teased him. Still, he smiled back. Water would be wonderful, Rorye. He was sure... pretty sure, at least, that he'd mentioned Loke in the year since he'd had the beast at his side. Or had he really been out of touch for that long? It wasn't as though Alec ever actually spent dedicated time with Alistair's friend... girlfriend? He shook his head. Immaterial. He was here to help out with a problem. Man and beast made their way into the other room-- assuming, correctly, that there would be someone buried in books there. There always was. In fact, there were many people busy among the stacks. Most seemed agitated, as though they were searching for the secret to life, liberty, and the continued pursuit of happiness to be found somewhere in a book. Loke settled down by the doorframe in the teashop, just out of the way, where he could still keep an eye on the goings on, curling inwards, tail wrapped around himself, paws tucked under. There were glances from the patrons, some talking to each other, wondering about the cat. Some kept to themselves. Alec looked about, trying to read the room without breaking out any magic. People came here from all walks, some for legitimate reasons, others for reasons not so... and it was important that Rorye be allowed to continue her business, that her patrons were not disturbed by ARMA business unless absolutely necessary. Spooking a random warded patron with a broad mental search was the kind of rookie move Alec might have made some ten years ago. Now, he was a little more thoughtful, less brash. He would observe, still unsure what exactly Rorye needed from him. Hopefully, her return would bring answers, not just water.
  16. Earlier
  17. the shadowlands

    STORY | SITE RULES | WORLD RULES | CANONS | ADVERTS Welcome to THE SHADOWLANDS, a morbid, gore-filled Alice in Wonderland spin-off, born of its 2007 predecessor by its original staff! We are a no word count forum with a pre-made and free form app. A safe space for those wishing to write on more selectively dark topics. We are currently seeking original characters and no canons.
  18. Nighttime is Playtime

    Tom noted which building she had decided to place the chopper. Must be one of her holdings. It all seemed to make sense to him. She had substantial resources...but how much? He closed his eyes during the descent and took some long, slow, deep breaths. Now that her silver jewelry was no longer with them, he was able to detect the other scents. The scents of the soaps used, hair care products all wafted to him with a scent that was hers...and a little of something else. He surmised that it was someone else rather than something. He'd have to catch her after a few meals to solidify that hypothesis, but he was rather sure he was correct. He enjoyed the relative silence as they approached the helipad. He understood why she flew. It was calming and peaceful. He might see about regular flights when things get...frustrating. When they landed, Tom let a small chuckle slip when she gave him a curt "Out." He followed her to the edge of the rooftop. The sights, sounds, and scents of the city invading all of his senses. He glanced at Eris and he knew something serious was about to occur. Behind her unreadable expression was...something. She was stressed...nervous? He hadn't worked out how to identify the subtle shifts of scent that accompanied someone's moods. He wasn't even sure it was scent. Like smell + taste = flavor...the combination of sensory cues Tom was receiving from Eris painted an...uneasy demeanor with the diminutive woman. Even though she was well-schooled at masking her motives and disposition...for him to perceive this much was telling. “Thomas Gallo, I am the Viceroy of the East American Alliance of the Sheut Nation. I am responsible for any and all territorial actions under its purview, including determining whether or not you and Bakkhos, Bakkhos territorial skirmishes and the Satyr Stadium’s dealings are a threat the to the greater stability of our world interests.” There it was. Tom took a few moments to take in the new information. There was a lot of input being thrown at him currently. His stone-faced demeanor hardened further...somehow. It was often mistaken for the scowl of a demon. Those close to him, however, know that this is simply his 'thinking face.' When deep in thought, Roderick has said to him at least, that he has a 'resting death-face.' So the Sheut are as much of an organization as they are a virus-race like the lycanthropes. They are organized...globally. Eris is a high-ranking member of the East American subsection of this alliance. That means there is a Western one too at least. What are territorial actions? Just making sure that their holdings are not hindered by Bakkhos dealings? I guess this is why she was so interested in repairing Thyrsus after the Blood Moon. Territorial skirmishes? Those have all but died down. Bakkhos was slowly, and methodically squashing up smaller, less-safe criminal upstarts. It is one thing to do what is best for you and yours and ignoring laws to do so. It was an entirely different matter if that resorted in undue chaos and needless danger. Satyr Stadium? This was six months to a year out from being ready...what was their concern regarding that? What are their world interests? Who are they? These and dozens of other questions flooded his mind in the seconds he spent staring at Eris's now-softened expression. It appeared that those words were weighing heavily on her. Finally...being willing to deal plainly? This would be a welcome change from his usual day to day. Business was usually best when the dance was abandoned and a simple presentation of terms were laid out. He looked forward to dealings such as this. If the Sheut Nation was a large as he was beginning to believe they were...they could prove to be an invaluable ally in this new world. Then something changed. Eris perched herself up on the ledge of the building with the same deliberate grace any bird or cat would demonstrate. “Now that that’s out of the way I can tell you what I really want to say, if you want to hear it.” Tom quirked an eyebrow in question. Just when he thought Eris was going one way she went another. And when Tom thought he was on the same track, she changed directions again. He allowed himself a small grin as he took in her silhouette against the nighttime sky. Vampire...or Sheut...either way...no matter what he was supposed to call her, she was still a woman. "Go on."
  19. Bedknobs and Broomsticks....

    There were few places in Empire City Casino where Ada felt she could truly breathe. The gaming room was not one of them. It was a claustrophobic box of noise, sound, and light, with no clocks or windows to remind people what time it was. The design to deny physical reminders of day or night was intentional – clients stayed inside longer, where the House can slowly leech on their money while giving them the illusion that they are only one game of baccarat (or one hand of poker) away from winning big. It reminded Ada of a line in fable she once read: 'Will you walk into my parlor?' said the spider to the fly, ‘Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you did spy.' The Terrace had a different ambiance all together. The floor to ceiling windows allowed full view of the race track below, where the thunderous sound of hooves and applause could still be heard through the thick glass. It was where Ada likes to spend her days off, sitting by the bar and shooting the breeze with whoever’s tending. “C’mon, let me help you out there for a couple of hours. Besides, don’t you need a bathroom break?” Ada said, giving the bartender her most winning smile. It was an expression few people could resist, but he was having none of it. “That one time I let you ‘help’ almost gave me a heart attack.“ He grumbled, wiping down the bar with a clean rag. “Remember how you served apple juice and soda water, advertising that it’s the new apple flavoured tequila from Gallo’s limited stock?” Ada’s eyes brightened at the memory. Despite being non-alcoholic, a couple of nerdy yuppies pretended to be drunk after drinking the concoction, and found confidence to hit on some ladies. Placebo effect for the win. Also, for weeks, confused Terrace bartenders kept getting requests for that “special” apple flavoured tequila and can they pretty please check if there are still some left? “What are you grinning about over there? You’re a menace.” The bartender said, but smiled to soften his words. “And your pager’s blinking.” He was referring to the small device attached on her arm, the flashing red led lights an indication that she should report to the front desk. It functioned the same as restaurant pagers of old did, and was cheaper than buying those post-Resonance comms. When she got to the lobby, she was greeted by the sight of two law enforcement types waiting by the front desk. What was Julie thinking, paging me to meet these guys? Ada thought, shooting the hostess a confused look. Police visits should always be handled by management. “Ah, here she is. Miss Vasiliev, these two officers are looking for information on one Michael Kleski?” Julie put emphasis on the name, and suddenly, it dawned on Ada why Julie directly paged her. She owed that girl a nice steak dinner. Ada’s expression shifted into neutral mode. “I would be more than happy to help you with your inquiries, officers.” She said, “One small request, though. Can we discuss this matter in one of the private rooms? While we are grateful for the service you provide this city, police presence is not exactly conducive for the type of business we are in. I hope you understand.” Indeed, some of the guests were nervously looking at the cops, drawing unfounded conclusions on what their purpose is within the casino’s premises.
  20. Blitz

    He couldn’t say it didn’t tempt him. To let loose completely with the intent to fight without abandon was always something that seemed attractive. Accepted for the brutes they were… not hiding, or running. He was different though. If he threw a punch, even once, there was no turning back. He’d come so far, and the thought of disappointing those that he’d counseled and supported all this time was the one thing that was holding him back. Did that mean that a shred of humanity still existed? That he was unwilling to go back? Or was he unwilling to let himself hurt others? All of the above? Weres were Weres. Problem was he had been trained before he was a Were... He would kill things. There were no bells in the world that could be rung to call him off. It was, just a bad idea. This whole thing was a terrible idea. An odd thing about his old habits, they never stopped ticking. Each rustle of movement in a radius around him was always a blip on his radar. Add to that mortal sense, Were ones on top of it made life sometimes unbearable. Especially scents and colors, they were enough to send him over the edge. Someone was coming close, someone the cat recognized "Mr. Morgan?" The vibrant green moved in her direction, never forgetting a face. Names were fleeting, especially after what had probably been several years. Hers though, had been unusual, and at a poignant point of his growing practice. "It's a bit late for a run. Everything alright? The last time we spoke you were running a self-defense class to teach people to fight against the supernatural. I really hope you aren't thinking about fighting in these barbaric games for small minded people." His eyes followed hers back up to the giant building. “Never too late for a run. Pandora, isn’t it, if I remember correctly. Please, call me Kai,” it was so easy for him to smile, to look cordial, to feel cordial. “I’m still helping people, moved closer to Manhattan, expanded my practice quite a bit.” Fingers went up to pull down the hood, adjusting his wool scarf and tucking it neatly before pulling the hood back up. Sigh was quiet. “Honestly, I hope the thing fails miserably. All the work I’ve done… somehow I know though it won’t. Probably will be wildly popular. Demystifying the dangerous. I’ve got my work cut out for me I think. What are you doing out on this incredibly fine evening?”
  21. [/IMG]
  22. Let the Master Answer

    Just after Dark February 11, 2021 Alley near the old Western Union building Blood was hot. So was his breath. As it quivered in and out of his chest, in came the frigid air… out came the anger of a devil. A thousand devils. Cerberus. Hell, Satan himself; in every tradition, in every faith, every level of purgatory and hell tangled tightly into a frayed knot that was breaking free. He was a ghost whose presence would reverberate across the globe, the building pressure finally bubbling to a volcanic tirade, one small droplet of blood from his finger splashing on the broken asphalt. Thera. Santarini. Vesuvius, the tales from his childhood, his home and corner of the world. A man that had played as a boy in what was left of dormant volcanic caves a harbinger of what would inevitably come when the world broke apart and skinned the callus from a man that had been made into something unthinkable. A man that needed to cleanse the world of the evil that created him. He finally blinked, lifting a palm to look at the red peppering his fingers that everyone always assumed was so bright. It wasn’t. Hot, sticky… leaving yellowish smears as it ran from skin and dried. The assassin was always so clean, meticulous, humane. This was just, just brutal. Hand was shaking. He’d never stayed, never longer than to whisper a gentle last rite over those that had been marked and he’d taken without question. That was a lifetime ago, a life that required of him total conformity and discretion. Now, one last cough from his target curdled stringy blood from the man’s lips, then crackled wheezing as he watched him die. It had been ragged, vicious, unrefined and effectively violent. Water magus unprepared for a magus that didn't need his power to kill. The same bloody fingers curled tightly into a fist, a signet ring so fragile against his burgeoning heat on cue threatening to cave entirely molten as he pressed it against the side of the man’s throat… leaving the brand of the Order in a scalded bubble of flesh. A conundrum for the law that would find the murdered Order magus; the third in as many weeks. Credentials were always left scattered over the magus' chest. The Order signet branded into skin above a throat so deeply cut it was almost severed to the spine. Starting with the "army", the foot soldiers, to flush the generals out of their offices and onto the streets. Out of the Long Lines and into his fire. For a moment, his soul felt at peace until the vitriolic rush of native tongue hissed forth... È la fonte della mia energia e il mio legame con tutti coloro che così toccato Noise woke his senses from the rush of justice, the ghost in the gray hoodie moving suddenly with the agility of a gymnast to kick off a dumpster and catch the bottom of a fire escape- the vertical leap almost impossible, but made with the ease of a trained killer. Up the fire escape, to disappear onto the rooftops and into the urban tangle that was New York. This was only the beginning... ((Translation/Italian- the third line of the Oath of the Order of Light; "It is the source of my power, and my bond to all those so touched."))
  23. Just Another Day at the Office....

    February 7, 2021 - 3pm @Darius Kayne She dropped to the floor for the third time, swearing in several languages under her breath as she watched one burly man in blue get knocked on his ass, thrown completely across the old Manhattan clothing warehouse. This was getting ridiculous. Pushing into a seated position she pulled out her phone, hazel carefully tracking the blunt force object jetting around their crime scene. The minute it was answered she didn’t wait for a hello. Detective Seiko… put me through to Atticus Gale. Eyes kept tracking, a sharp "LANCE" catching her partner's attention causing him to dodge just in time for it to go whizzing past his head. A grumbled thanks was her reward as she listened to the woman on the other end of the line. I understand he isn't there at the moment but I need to be patched through…… Scowl was instant as the high pitched answering dingdong on the other end kept talking. What do you mean you are not authorized?! This is Detective Seiko, we call in Gale when there are artifacts located at crime scenes that need to be secured. This is an arrangement we have had for nearly two years now! She was losing her patience with the woman. Something was going on at Pharos, or had happened to Gale personally. Either answer didn’t leave her thrilled but she still needed this damn thing under control. The woman was sharply cut off. Listen… I could care less about your protocols. Just send over an agent that can deal with a hostile artifact. We got a carved metal mallet with a head the size of a German shepherd flying around my crime scene like its Thor's hammer on steroids. I got a body that seems to have been killed by it and two cops down as it targets every living things in general. Breath paused as she suddenly dropped to her back and rolled quickly, the enormous head of the mallet striking where she had been sitting, shattering the concrete floor into dust and fragments of stone. The old Ferrara Manufacturing warehouse on 39th….. get someone over here now! The sharp tones never shouted and yet the woman on the other end barked a quick "yes M'aam" back at her. She had that effect on people. Phone snapped shut as she scrambled back to her feet as the two foot wide head of the hammer blasted through the side of a concrete pillar, sending shards in all directions like a wild spray of water. Fuck this was just getting better and better. Pharos on its way… just need to keep it from escaping now…. There were groans from the four men still on their feet. They all made a silent prayer that Pharos got their asses there quick.
  24. Bedknobs and Broomsticks....

    “Victim is male, Caucasian, around 250 pounds. Liver temperature is 23 degrees Celsius and estimated time of death around – shit … 8 hours? With this godforsaken weather I might have to adjust calculations, not sure if it’s still 1.5 per hour in this frozen hell.” The hazel eyes flicked towards the tech, long lashes bearing a white haze of frost on their tips. Incorrect. Killed two hours ago at most….. She quietly corrected him, causing him to pause the recorder which was starting to freeze in the unnatural ice age. The kid was called out by the fifth precinct and therefore not accustomed to working with the detective that was a walking forensic lab on her own. She worked with Lance. He had the good sense to stay out of her way until she finished her assessments. The kid was carelessly traipsing over her crime scene, disturbing the evidence in the snow of the alleyway, footsteps marred by his own as he conducted his spell to discover what she had already spotted with magnified pupils. Normally she would have crucified the kid but truth was she had already studied the scene and didn’t need to hang out in the arctic abomination any longer than necessary. “Boss, have something over here!” She frowned at the loud term of authority. One didn’t go throwing out who was in charge in potentially hostile territory, not unless you were a naïve idiot or trying to get your boss killed. She dropped the kid squarely into the first category. She had already turned away, glancing up into a dark window of the second story as she shifted the balaclava back over her lower features to protect against the wind. Hazel studying the iridescent eyes that studied her from above. Empire Casino chip….. high roller one to be precise. He glanced up at her back wondering how she knew that from across the alley. She had spotted it early in her investigation, the glitter of it harsh against the blood stained white snow. So her perp, who was now her victim, was a high roller at the Bakkhos property. That didn’t bode well for them. For the most part she left Bakkhos alone so long as they didn’t pull stupid shit with civilians. They wanted to kill off other mob and gangs she said let them at it. Less criminal activity she had to deal with. She was there to protect the innocent and those didn’t usually get caught up in Bakkhos affairs. But if the "family" was suddenly taking out Outworlders in some twisted form of bigotry…. that was her business. Turning she focused on the bag with the wallet, the license slid into the front window betraying her victims name. Get the body back to the station and start the paperwork. With that she headed back to the car and a shivering Lance trying to keep it running and heated. Door cracked as she opened it, the sheet of ice on the exterior shattering. Fuck they shouldn’t be out here. Slamming it shut she nodded to him as hands pushed towards the vents trying to melt the ice on her outter clothing. Empire casino….. NPC: huh? Hazel looked at him with a quirked brow. NPC:…. ya ok ok… the casino By the time they pulled up to the casino she was almost thawed out, the outter layer of several left in the car when she strode rapidly into the casino leaving Lance to park the car. Hand swiped her coat from her hip, detective badge flashing to the security at the door with a nod. They tended to be pretty respectful the security at Bakkhos properties. I am looking for information on Michael Kleski. As a diamond chip high roller am assuming someone would be available to answer some questions?
  25. Don't Eat the Dead Ones

    "Other gunrunners aren't all I have to worry about. Coulda been anybody." Head shook as she rubbed her finger tip over the table, feeling the surface before the quiet words protested. ….nah…. this was family personal…. they knew what they were hittin'…. The faint scowl betrayed her thoughts had darkened back to the traitor. They needed to end him and his upstart gang. Nostrils huffed softly as she let it go and their conversation moved to his tshirt and she pulled it to her features, getting a strong whiff of his scent. She still couldn’t place that floral accent. ...figured you would prefer swiping your tee rather than neglecting to address the matter at all… "...yep, not that kind'a storefront." Brow quirked, clearly pondering the thought. It wasn’t that she didn’t get the insinuation of a brothel, she just really didn’t equate the two the same way others did. Drink……. she needed more drink. There was a distinct impression that the cajun was way ahead of her in that area. Don’t suppose you got any other decent stuff lying around…. "Of course I do... but I'm a lightweight, so gonna eat some more food, Oh? You mean for you? You get me shot, steal my shirts, compare me to a little green man and called me a lightweight. Why do I need to fetch that for you again?" Smirk tickled her lips. She could hear the humor in his voice. Lips pursed with an exaggeratedly serious expression as finger tapped her lips in deep "contemplation". Well… I could go home and drink my own good stuff…. leave Joey to babysit ya….I mean… he aint as cheerfully entertaining as I am but ya know…. I hear he is cute in a wet tee. Smirk lit up the corners of hauntingly "dead" eyes before scowling at a faint rumble in her gut. The heavy scent of his foods was starting to permeate into her senses. It could be ignored before but as his breath heated with liquor and spice it was growing more invasive. Silence lingered and again it seemed…comfortable. Bare foot perched on the front of the seat, long limb folded in half, knee pressing to the side and under her arm as she leaned on the table. "I'll get it if you agree to let me help you with the Force." Expression instantly darkened. The "glare" uncannily accurate as lips pressed tight together. What was he?...family? They liked that "I do it for you if you do… or allow…. or don’t…..do something." Huff escaped her nostrils as more sigh than huff. Folded in half, her elbow rested on the table, chin rested in her hand as she "watched" him eat. The grump in her voice acquiesced. …..be a pain to walk home now anyway………… It was her way of agreeing, free hand reaching out adjusting slightly left the minute the heat of what she was smelling tickled her sensitive skin. Fingers accurately dipped inside the box and came out with a spiced shrimp that popped between her lips, oddly enough, the first thing she had ever eaten in front of him. They drank together often…. but she never went out of her way to eat in the first place, let alone when they met up randomly.
  26. Blitz

    A singular breeze froze Pandora to the core. Fingers gripped her long coat and tightened its collar around her face. She needed a break from the confines of the church. One would think someone damned by God himself wouldn't find comfort within the walls of one of his holy houses. Yet something about having Rome and the other bible thumpers around gave her some strange sense of security. Mostly because that damned fire magus or whatever he was could snuff out a life faster than one of those candles he lights. Yellow eyes scanned the street with each step. She hadn't heard much from the Order since taking refuge. Yet something inside her knew to stay ever vigilant and to keep that trusty sword in her hands. I don't know why you put yourself in danger like this Pandora. Being on the Order's hit list means "stay out of the street and don't be stupid." Not, "let's go out and get ourselves killed." If I wanted to know your opinion, I would ask for it. Fair enough. The biggest issue with that is you're an idiot and I'm trying to keep us alive. This is where I say fuck you and go to your corner. I can handle a walk. I just thought I should voice my concerns. Noted, now fuck you and go to your corner. A bent over figure caught Pandora's attention and those eyes squinted. Looked to be out for a late night run, but it was a wee bit cold for that. Gaze shifted to that of the mountainous stadium nearby. Satyr Stadium. Mindless violence in her eyes. It seemed the world was slipping back into the old ways. Gladiatorial combat minus the weapons. Head shifted beneath the hood atop her head as she approached the figure noticing a rather familiar looking face. A man she hadn't seen since her freakout and disappearance from the world for years. Granted she never forgot a face and this beauty of a were-man would be impossible to forget. Fingers unlaced from the collar that obscured her face as she drew closer. "Mr. Morgan?" Voice was soft as she came to a stop several feet away, hands deep in the pockets of her coat. "It's a bit late for a run. Everything alright?" Eyes again shifted to the stadium and a thought came to her mind, a disturbing one. "The last time we spoke you were running a self-defense class to teach people to fight against the supernatural. I really hope you aren't thinking about fighting in these barbaric games for small minded people." Gaze returned to Kai, frown slowly crossing her painted lips. She couldn't exactly tell him not to do it, hell not like they were friends or anything. A shiver later and her gloved hand returned to holding her collar around her mouth, nose running ever so slightly. Why do you care Pandora? You know a part of you wants to see these barbarians fight each other. I've seen enough violence in my life, I don't want to willingly watch it. Dealt enough blows myself. Ah, but I wish to see these monstrosities fight.
  27. Nighttime is Playtime

    She could almost feel the quirk in his eyebrow. Humans seemed to lack the attentiveness to notice subtleties without them being thrown in their faces, she’d learned even as a human to read even the smallest glance. Her life and the lives of those on her team had depended on it. Expressions changed the way a person breathed, held their body, it was why she was so unreadable most of the time. There were few left with the focus to notice. He was being cautious, and at the same time comfortable with her. He had good instincts. If she felt someone was worthy enough of her protection, she would viciously defend them. However, as much as she was loathe to admit it, she did really answer to a higher authority. Question was, would she turn the cheek to take the hit if it ever came to that. Did he “fit” into the criteria of her ”family”? They were all unique, a collection of irreplaceable souls if there ever were. Expression neutralized as he looked at her. “Only those closest to me and whom I trust.” She reached up and pulled her headset off, hanging it sharply on the hook. Eyes had already found the helipad she was looking for and had lowered slightly for approach. Even in the most secure of places, the coms off, and the ground a thousand feet below… she still didn’t trust anything but her own voice in the free air. If her removal of the headset hadn’t been an obvious signal to stop talking, the touchdown on the roof of a skyscraper probably was. It was hers. She owned the top ten floors- all of which were empty. It was a depot for high paying clients to be picked up or dropped off to save drive time- or others she didn’t want in her compound. Graceful fingertips hit a code on her control and the helipad changed to a low lit blue glow, completely locking off the deck unless she hit the code again. “Out,” she quipped without the headset. As the rotors ended their rhythmic hum and lulled to sleep for the moment, she hopped from the cockpit, sleek ponytail flipping like a whip in the updraft. Footsteps were completely silent, lack of heels revealing how petite she was while still managing to look formidable. Again the partial retreat as she moved away from her beast to the edge of the deck, hands on her hips, breathing in the updraft and darkness of the towering building over the city, waiting for him to get out. One could see everything from their vantage point, and it was the only true place to have a conversation that nobody could overhear. Hands went to the railing, tapping quietly before pushing up and turning to him with lowered lashes. Lips stayed closed for a moment, wanting so much to lash forth everything he was flirting with. Hands went back to her hips, profile soft as she looked out over the miles that faded into black darkness. The entire world was a muffled silence, only the decaying hum from the engine and the sound of air moving across ears. She didn’t even know where to start, hands slid from her hips to her sides, the expression on her features again in that place that was unreadable… “Thomas Gallo, I am the Viceroy of the East American Alliance of the Sheut Nation. I am responsible for any and all territorial actions under its purview, including determining whether or not you and Bakkhos, Bakkhos territorial skirmishes and the Satyr Stadium’s dealings are a threat the to the greater stability of our world interests.” It sounded so, fucking… god she sounded like the damn executioner. There was no more subtlety around it; the getting close to them via closed door meetings, tolerating Mythos being part of the family, making amends for damage done to their property. It wasn’t all just business, it was responsibility, but the carpet was definitely now rolled out to reveal she had an ulterior motive. Everyone did. The reasoning hovering above it rang out incredibly clear; she was buffering them for now from greater problems at potentially great cost to herself. Bakkhos was orderly, they were quiet, they took care of their own problems and others with great efficiency. They were useful. But. The skirmishes and ambushes on her compound were a problem. Satyr was a problem. Resurgence of old mob wars were a problem. They were a threat to the Nation, and she had to silence them. Face softened slightly, the dip in her brow betraying it had been gotten out of the way. Hands slid quietly into her pockets, and again the cast glance to her shoulder to cool her eyes on the darkness beyond. The Capo had definitely gotten under her skin. Kindred souls perhaps. The deep breath allowed the unique power of his presence to really penetrate her skin for the first time, smashing against her own psyche in an obstinate stalemate for a moment before her entire demeanor softened and she let it wash through her like the updrafts themselves. Where most may have found it threatening or terrifying, she found it oddly comforting; made to feel safe perhaps because something out there existed that could attempt successfully to protect her or her family. She had no more need to hold her cards close to her chest at this point, and she was done with the cryptic conversations. It was a strange place to be, a toe dipping into the waters beyond her compound and her tiny circle... but that's how empires were made, right? She just couldn't shoot someone in the face anymore when they were a threat like her job in the DEA. Plus, she liked him. Oddly enough the big brute was charming. Hands pulled from her pockets, reaching behind her to pull herself up to sit on the railing. Legs crossed demurely as she balanced precariously above the city like it was the most natural thing in the world. Nothing but free fall behind her, she managed to make the unthinkable look as graceful as sitting at the bar in his club. “Now that that’s out of the way I can tell you what I really want to say, if you want to hear it.”
  28. Words and Wax

    Branden caught the man come in through the corner of his eye and his attention to reading was broken. The feline was huge and that made him more than uncomfortable seeing he had never had any pets and the animals he had seen were often not that friendly to him. For a moment he fought the urge to slip into his dimensional hiding place but he remained where he was when he saw Rorye greeting the pair. The shop was unique enough to Branden that he had no idea what sort of clientele might be coming through the door. He brought his eyes back towards the books and his brow furrowed into a series of wrinkles. Again, his eyes darted back and he sat the book down picking up another and sliding the wooden box just a little closer. The book he picked up wasn’t as highly illustrated as those he had been looking at. Every word though seemed to scream its warning in a clear and concise way. “These knots are often considered runes and contain a hidden magic that when activated may prove more powerful than the individual activating it. Caution should be taken to ensure that no harm comes to the user or to others. It is recommended that one seek out expert advice before attempting to utilize such symbolic and magic containing artifacts.” He shook his head and glanced over again towards the man and his cat and then back towards the tome.
  29. Nighttime is Playtime

    Eris opening up about her turn was somewhat surprising, even though the intent of the conversation was to speak about the uncomfortable and guarded. It revealed a bit more about her that might seem obvious but provided confirmation. Her fighting spirit predates her altered self. She was a genuine warrior. She was not simply someone who had become emboldened by their newfound powers from the Resonance. Tom had suspected as much from their earlier dealings. It added a certain amount of genuineness to a person. The Event didn’t make the person…it simply augmented them, and their identity remained the same. Tom liked those people. He didn’t care for the others. Tom raised an eyebrow at Eris mentioning her mage powers. He had heard of other lycanthropes who had previously had powers that were lost to them forever. Perhaps the vampire virus worked the same way and she was a rare exception? The why was unimportant…to him anyway. It was just good to know that bit of information. When Eris spoke as if to begin to reveal some about the Sheut…Tom opened his mouth. Her demeanor changed completely. “I didn’t hear that.” Or…I wish I hadn’t. Damn. He knew that it was unique in some way…but this revelation meant more to Eris than a simple neat fact about himself. There was some gravity to that aspect of himself that made her visibly shaken. Was she scared of him…or for him? It seemed to be the latter when she asked who else knew about it. Tom took a moment to think before answering. He found himself trusting her for some reason. He couldn’t understand why. Well, he was pretty sure he knew why. Nothing about her guarded stance suggested deceit for the sake of it…but rather as protection. He understood that…she likely would as well. He had revealed a big secret about himself…perhaps bigger than he had known. What would she do if she knew about his father? He couldn’t shake the ‘zoo-exhibit’ feeling as she glanced at him. He was special…now the question was whether he was special like a unique individual or a novelty zoo creature? He looked over to Eris as she was commanding the chopper on its flight. His voice came across the comms even and sincere…maybe mistaken as grave and somber. “Only those closest to me and whom I trust.” Let her interpret that how she will. He was not in the mood for carefully crafting words. He knew that things were going to get very serious and that he had plunged head-first into a new situation in which he wasn’t sure what awaited in the future. Time to see what Eris had to say in this new adventure the two of them have embarked on. What had he gotten himself into?
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