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May, 2010... Fantasy became reality. Worlds overlay for the briefest moment. Outworlders became stranded on earth as more than half the human populace vanished. Our World, our universe, was transformed.

Fiction is now reality. Humans and those now bound to this world will either learn to coexist, or battle for supremecy.

April 27, 2019 - Family emergency finally calming down. Hope to get going again shortly. Thanks for understanding. ~ZEPH

Rorye Shannon-Kearney

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About Rorye Shannon-Kearney

  • Rank
    Nicely Seasoned


    Gemma Arterton (Olga Kurylenko as Red with permission)
  • RACE
    Altered Human, Physical
  • JOB
    Owner of The Book of Kells; ARMA Informant
  • 'SHIP:
    Alistair Greene & complicated
    New York
    Rorye has unique features. Dark chocolate eyes are set in a porcelain complexion, strong jaw complimented by an exotic gentle nose. Long hair is mahogany smooth, sometimes in curls, usually worn up or braided in a single thick plait.

    She is above average height for a woman, standing close to six foot; the extra height able to carry her curves well. Shoulders are squared and powerful, muscles toned and visible. When standing still, the striking resemblance to a Greek statue with a Valkyrie temper is hard to miss.

    Dress is mostly relaxed and gauzy fabrics mixed with jeans and comfortable slip-on shoes while in the the shop. In public, the 'raised in Hell's Kitchen' edge is evident. She clings to a worn but well cared for hip length fitted leather jacket, sleeves to her knuckles and narrow when zipped. Leather, low heeled black boots under jeans add slightly to an already formidable height. On rare occasions she does dress up nicely, also having no qualms about donning utilitarian clothes to get work done in her greenhouse. She prefers comfy casual with a bit of romantic flair, not above a gauzy poet shirt over a cami and jeans to work a day in her shop.

    Most of the time she has little to no make-up on. If she does, it's usually lined eyes and a neutral lipstick- her features are so unique she rarely needs any.

    Her spine is painted in an incredible artistic display of woad colored Celtic knotwork done in the most fine of dotwork tattooing; a stunning homage to her British heritage and fondness of the Morrigan mythology.
    Rorye has been affected unusually in several regards by the Nevus event. Since an encounter with a vicious botched possession, an entity she’s dubbed “Red” has latched onto the energy field of her unique Enhanced psyche. Trapped from ancient magic, it was released instead of going up in flames with its prison. Its soul, has set up residence in her psyche. She feels its emotions and speech- most of the time in its native tongue and a mixture of Latin. She can allow it to channel her, able to tap the skills and fighting expertise of the ancient warrior for a short time before she burns out; unfortunately taking on Red’s personality, mannerisms and hot temper during the episode- which are a more aggressive form of her own. The longer she is able to channel her "shadow" and allow control, the longer the personality traits linger and physical manifestations of the entity's appearance can be seen; bruising where Red's scars are, some delightful feudal personality traits and even a slight color change of her eyes. She has never attempted to banish the presence, who feels much like a shadow, or the darkness inside a mind that is fractured with another personality.

    At night, especially when the rift is visible in the sky, she can feel the pull on her blood; as if the strange tear in the fabric of time and space is trying to yank Red back into her rightful place and world. Perhaps it is Rorye who is out of place, or maybe they were never two separate people at all. What is not understood about the Nevus, keeps her questioning her duality every time she stares into the night sky; finding unusual calm in gazing into the unknown.

    Rorye is a tremendous fighter. It doesn’t matter how she comes out on top, only that she survives and any that she calls friends are safe. Exceptionally loyal and protective, she is patient to a point; if friends are observed to be exhibiting behavior detrimental to their wellbeing or survival, she will intervene without question in whatever means necessary. She has no problem bringing violence, brutality and death to the table if she perceives a threat to herself or those she loves- even if putting herself in great danger to accomplish it.

    Most of the time, she is quiet and rational with sharp wit made memorable by a smoky, gentle voice. She can be abrasive if she’s annoyed or perceives ignorance; intolerant of stupidity and carelessness. Her business savvy is evident in her work, remarkably knowledgeable and resourceful to acquire necessary items for her shop. That business savvy is most put to use in the ‘trafficking’ of information. Since her business is at a crossroads for many faction needs, she sees a lot of counterbalanced customers purchasing things to strengthen themselves against one another. She is a trustworthy and sought after source, and if she likes you enough she just might give you a nugget of information you could use. Information is never bought and sold, she is a trusted "gun-runner" in the metaphysical "weapons" community; but, she doesn't see the need to hide there may have been a run on a particular fetish or spell ingredient in recent months.

    Personally, she struggles with the emptiness left by her husband’s death. There is no remorse for killing him; she did what she had to do to save her life. However, he was her soul mate and the betrayal of his attempt on her life still haunts her; reluctant to trust anyone too quickly. Always having been close to her family, she now fights the loneliness it has left behind. She does not wear her wedding ring, instead leaves both of them tucked in the eye-sockets of his skull kept behind the counter of the shop.

    Red is the Boudicca of Celtic legend. History often written by the “winners” of the conflict, the actual truth is somewhere between the legend of the goddess Morrigu, and the Roman history of Boudica. Thrust into the spotlight after her sister and nieces were raped and striped by the Romans, she stepped forward when her brother-in-law Prasutagus failed to uphold their honor and led a bloody rampage against the empire.

    The spirit’s image is identical to that in life; covered completely with vibrant cobalt blue woad tattoos in intricate whorls and knots. The only clear flesh is her hands and feet, face, neck and the center of her chest and her breasts. Her forearms are feather scarred from a captor’s attempt to burn the tattoos from her skin. She is also heavily marked from battle, especially her upper arms. A long red line extends from her left ear across her collarbone. Another large almond shaped scar is a through and through over and behind her heart. An enormous scar encompasses her right side from her navel to her kidney, and another large puncture to her left shoulder blade is also visible. Her hair is a scarlet torrent of hundreds upon hundreds of tiny thigh length braids tipped in copper beads The apparition is seen dressed in leather breeches, thigh high boots with dozens of strapped buckles, a sleeveless hardened vest burnished with Celtic knotwork over a battleworn tunic. Two hard leather bracers are laced tightly to her forearms with multitudes of leather belts crisscrossing her hips and twin sheaths.

    Red is also an incredible double handed swordsman, a conglomeration of tradition, training and desperation. In a fight, nothing is sacred and she will strike a deathblow in whatever way possible, preferring to incapacitate first to savor the death and prolong suffering. Her hand to hand combat is also substantial, as well as her bowmanship, horsemanship and grasp of military tactics.

    She is a towering, striking woman with a white hot temper, insatiable libido, sinister humor and the fortitude of an army.
    Business; "The Book of Kells; Tea, Reads and Occult Shoppe" and three inconsequential NPC's that help run the shop. The shop is in Manhattan, close to Central Park and the art museum. It is a bi-level, old Victorian structure that resembles a turn of the 20th century house with a complimentary utilitarian front addition. To the left of the entrance a small teahouse up five steps that specializes in personal blends as well as other apothecary needs, forward is the eclectic book collection on anything and everything history, mythological and metaphysical and to the right the general occult shop. It's a warm place to relax and meet with other altered peoples as well as shop for needed items to meet any magic and altered needs. Accepts currency of late, trades and bartering. Above it is her personal apartment, on the roof is her greenhouse and "Observatory Cafe", a small private place for special regulars to meet and watch the rift sky through multiple elaborate telescopes- the observatory accessed only through locked door from the teahouse.

    Her dead husband's skull mounted with an antique brass chamberstick; which unfortunately happens to be an 'artifact'. The face of the skull faces the wall, hiding the fact that it indeed does have vampire teeth. Only her employees know it's an actual vampire skull.

    Small Victorian apartment above the shop with eclectic, comfortable furnishings and decor.

    Greenhouse on the roof of the shop where she grows food and many of her herbs year round.

    A pair of custom made light knives the length of her forearms with custom forearm sheaths,

    A pair of antique short swords similar to Wakizashi, with matching hilts.

    Dragon-made karambits with a binding ring that unlocks Red's expertise when unsheathed.

    A Ducati 848 in primer black.


    Rorye’s ability for extreme speed and agility has begun to show signs of mutation attributed to a recent collision with the very people she trusted and does business with. Unclear whether it was repeated exposure to her chamberstick artifact or the result of a botched possession, the results have been significant. Formerly unable to engage her enhanced speed effectively due to deficiency of stamina and mortal level bone strength, she has discovered this is no longer the case. Skeletal strength has found equilibrium with her speed and agility, making her a deadly hand to hand fighter enhanced with boxing/kickboxing training. Adding a bladed weapon to the mix is stunningly lethal. Using brute force will burn her ability levels quickly to a limit of a half hour, with recharge periods of hours. The freedom of movement and lack of impact allowed by blades extends her usage to an hour, with the same recharge time needed. As she refines her skill with blades, her potential is staggering.

    Channeled Consciousness; Rorye has been affected unusually in several regards by the Nevus event. Since an encounter with a vicious botched possession, an entity she’s dubbed “Red” has latched onto the energy field of her unique Enhanced psyche. Trapped from ancient magic, it was released instead of going up in flames with its prison. Its soul, has set up residence in her psyche. She feels its emotions and speech- most of the time in its native tongue and a mixture of Latin. She can allow it to channel her, able to tap the skills and fighting expertise of the ancient warrior for a short time before she burns out; unfortunately taking on Red’s personality, mannerisms and hot temper during the episode- which are a more aggressive form of her own. The longer she is able to channel her "shadow" and allow control, the longer the personality traits linger and physical manifestations of the entity's appearance can be seen; bruising where Red's scars are, some delightful feudal personality traits and even a slight color change of her eyes. She has never attempted to banish the presence, who feels much like a shadow, or the darkness inside a mind that is fractured with another personality.

    At night, especially when the rift is visible in the sky, she can feel the pull on her blood; as if the strange tear in the fabric of time and space is trying to yank Red back into her rightful place and world. Perhaps it is Rorye who is out of place, or maybe they were never two separate people at all. What is not understood about the Nevus, keeps her questioning her duality every time she stares into the sky; finding unusual calm in gazing into the night sky.

    "Chamberstick" artifact. This Victorian, antique brass chamberstick was a gift from her husband in a set of two shortly before the Event. Oddly enough, only one exhibited any type of atypical power. When it sits near her husband's skull, the nub of a candle lights up at her presence in a strange quiver of iridescent light on the wick where the flame should be. It responds to her voice, changes color with her mood, and alerts her to danger by lighting up and flickering gently before siphoning out. Seeing the relationship between the two items, she had the thing mounted on the skull to keep others from playing with or separating it. It sits behind the register counter in her shop.

    In Game Update: Towenar bound Rorye's "shadow Red" to a ring she wears. Instead of manipulating her, it can be used in short bursts of expertise in two enchanted shortblades (longer version of karambits) that are "connected" to the entity in the ring, effectively unleashing what before would take over Rorye completely-now only present in the blades. Think a lock and a key idea. The ring is the lock, the karambits are the key- unleashing a sharper control over the wild child. She can still 'hear' the entity, she just has more finite control over fighting skill when she draws the blades and unlocks Red's expertise. The blades can withstand the force her speed can unleash when it hits. So now, she has the strong set on her forearms from Ali's guy, and a long karambit set on her spine from Johann. She can no longer draw on Red's expertise without unlocking it with the karambits. It does not transfer to other weapons. No one is really sure what happens when she takes the ring off, so she never does.
    Exceptional knowledge of all things occult, mystic affiliations, alternative and traditional religions, mythology, history, healing traditions, and natural magic. Pre-Resonance, her knowledge base centered specifically on what was understood to be “true” of the known metaphysical, religious, and magic practices. After the world changed, this has understandably been expanded to the new rules of existence, or lack thereof, as her business was sought out to provide items to those with newly discovered abilities. She now caters discretely to unusual needs, as well as continues to supply survivors still practicing pre-Resonance alternative religions and traditions; a trusted businesswoman with a finger on the pulse of the new and old metaphysical.

    Rorye is a prolific boxer and kickboxer, still refining her kickboxing skills several times a week at the local gym. Her boxing skills are rusty, but still useful.


    Green thumb.

    Business savvy and organizational skills.

    Knife/shortblade defensive and offensive fighting styles.
    Rorye was born and raised in New York City with heavy Scottish heritage. Parent’s lilt was thick; the New York influence seemed thicker. Having a slight accent as a child, the Scot in her verbally lessened over time to be replaced by the hint of a sultry New Yorker. She is a loyal, proud native of the city that never sleeps- with a significant weakness for men in kilts.

    She was married in 2009, shortly before the Resonance to her high school sweetheart Michael Kearney; opening a small teahouse and bookstore together in Manhattan near the art museum. It grew instantly successful in the short honeymoon whirlwind of their marriage, branching out into a more metaphysical market and meeting place. They began to carry fine quality and obscure occult items at the request of patrons. The place was always bustling with warm friends and laughter, their financial needs stable and wanting for nothing. Life seemed perfect.

    When the world changed, both were affected. Rorye appeared at first to be the focus of its ire, sickness and unconsciousness followed for days. Her husband disappeared; Michael oddly had locked himself in the old vault beneath the shop, emerging as something terrible and unable to be reasoned with. Terrified he’d become like the monsters now wreaking havoc in the city she took action, fumbling with new found powers against an incredibly hostile and disoriented lover. He showed no mercy, only a vicious need to kill her. She in turn struck first, stabbing him in the throat with hedge trimmers from her greenhouse and subsequently beheaded him during the struggle.

    Disoriented grieving followed, burying his body in the courtyard behind the shop, a single stone as his marker still can be found beneath the overgrown grass. His head was another matter, left for several days where it had fallen amongst a scattered bookshelf and chotsky during the struggle. The strange light that emanated next to it from a chamberstick he’d given her as a gift kept her from touching the seemingly enchanted thing. She was convinced for a time the skull itself was charmed, only dashing that theory when it became necessary for obvious reasons to remove it. After discovering the chamberstick responded to her and the skull’s presence, she had them permanently fused; a morbid, but necessary act. She keeps his skull behind the counter as a candle holder, and can often be seen telling it to turn itself off; calling it by her husband’s name. Many of her employees often wonder if she is more disturbed by his death than she lets on. Only she knows the thing works under its own power, everyone else is convinced she is doing the trick herself. She is one of the few that knows the secret of the existence of vampires, Michael's fanged skull seen as just another interesting "prop" in her shop.

    She continues to run the fruitful occult shop specializing in any and all things magic supplies, books and her personal favorite teas. The business crosses many barriers and has a lot of connections, supplier to a large amount of magic needs. Rorye can get virtually anything for anyone, which makes her a sought after ally and a crossroads for information from every faction.

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  1. Rorye Shannon-Kearney

    Chasing Ghosts

    “What’s in the box?” Honestly… the worst. Brow furled, watching him a moment. She knew exactly why Remy had been targeted. They’d traced meticulously through all of his dealings, everything he’d ever sought and purchased. It was just a matter of time before they tracked him down. The worry may have been apparent on her features. What did they know about her? “It’s bad,” there wasn't a lot of time to explain how bad. “Remy was a myth chaser. All the things that we see as ultimate stories and fakes he tracked down. In some cases they were real. I never knew exactly what he’d found, but I have an idea.” They never divulged what each other really sought in their endless hunt for the forbidden. There were rumors and bits that could be pieced together. Herself, she was a book chaser. Remy liked power, ancient things that weren’t supposed to exist. She opened up a bit to the agent; a glimpse into the inner circle, albeit brief. “The things he told me he’d gotten his hands on I thought were just bullshit. He told me once he had a piece of kibisis, -the- kibisis, the one that Perseus carried Medusa’s bloody head in. Supposedly found it in a stash in Europe. He also had a gold serpent vial, always bragged there were dried crystals of ichor inside of it, ambrosia, nectar, blood of the ‘Gods’.” She got out with him into the darkness, voice low as he added to his arsenal. Dark eyes watched him quietly. “These guys are looking for blood. If what Remy bragged about was true, they’re potentially getting their hands on the mother load. Who knows what else he stuffed in there. It seems outlandish, but with everything that’s happened in the last ten years…” She left it at that. “So is there anything special about this safe? Is it going to explode if I use a laser cutter on the lock?” “No, it's just a safe. The box is just a box... wooden, black, about shoe box size. There’s an ouroboros on the top, a small lock latch. Very innocuous, it’s meant to look that way. It’s not even locked last I knew.” The amount of weaponry he was pulling out was concerning. She knew it was necessary. “Take this, I know you don’t know how to shoot, but it will make me feel better.” A faint smile pressed to her lips, reaching beneath her coat under her left arm to click a snap open. She'd always had a spot for one. “...never got around to asking the dragon if he could do firearms to go with my blades,” she left that tidbit a mystery for now. Yes, a real dragon made her stuff. “There is already one in the chamber, so just point and pull.” Hand hesitated, glancing at him, and then took it, checking the safety and sliding it into the holster. Not as inexperienced as one would have thought, still not enough to be considered proficient or even knowledgeable enough to carry. “Have only fired a 1911,” the comment was more to herself than anything. Once upon a time. Jacket was smoothed and she was moving forward to the gate ahead of him, if she didn’t start getting this death wish on the road she would have... what exactly? Backed out? Here she was, getting into trouble again. Dangerous trouble. People getting hurt again. Killed. It was that memory that pulled out the confident sarcasm like nothing was bothering her. Danger flipped a switch that brought out the expertise she couldn’t seem to link into without it… long story, one she was going to have to come to terms with. Soon. It felt like a goodbye. She was always fucking saying goodbye. Resisting the urge to look over her shoulder as he went into the darkness, she pulled back to the car, finding a place that she could sit and monitor it while still keeping tabs on her surroundings. Calm pressed in on all sides, it was unnerving, even when quiet her city was always alive. Alone out here, she truly felt alone, jumping slightly at the sound of his voice in her ear. “You know, if this whole occults-dealer thing doesn’t work out, you should definitely become a motivational speaker.” She was silent for a moment. “Smartass,” the amusement was infused in her single word. Twice in one night. Damn. Long breath was drawn in and let out slowly, tapping into memory that she really wished she’d never have to use as she guided him through the old maze. Fallout plans were always in hopes that shit like this really would never come to fruition. The worst wasn't ever supposed to happen. The entrepreneur had nobody left to carry out hers if so needed. She knew he was at the final door, chewing on her lip as he went through. Shots that followed echoed through the drainage tunnel, seizing her chest and vaulting her to her feet toward the embankment, suddenly twirling silently out of the path to press against a tree in the darkness. Movement. Voices. Close, investigating the noise. Shit. Shit! Breath was held, unable to even say a word and confirm if he was okay. Muscles that had just fired into an incredible burst of speed were now buzzing under her skin from immobility. Burning to move. The gunfire echoing in the tunnel had drawn attention; making her wonder if they had been out in the darkness already around the building. They moved down the embankment to the gate. It was closed. Flashlights were shined in and they came back up, three. Armed. Of course they were armed. “All clear.” The flush of relief crashed against the violence itching in her limbs. They were moving toward her and it was not going to lead to anything else but confrontation. It had to, they couldn't be left alive to find the car or impede their escape route. She lowered to a taught crouch on one knee, hands behind her head to slowly pull the twin short blades from their perch. “Move up to me and secure whatever artifacts we need. Try to hurry, their reinforcements should be here any minute.” She couldn’t answer. Calm breath exhaled, form deathly still as she waited. These moments felt eternal, senses flushing out wide to feel the veil of time thin. Blood slowed, neurons fired with echoed memory. Blades flipped backwards in her hands along her forearms. Sensation nothing she could ever explain, maybe this is what magus felt when they drew mana... It was over in seconds. Backs of knees on the first were sliced, throat opened as he fell, twisting toward her. Hilts were released as the flesh split, strikes still in motion, hands reversing to tighten their grip again and instantly change the blades' direction. The second turned at the sound of his partner’s gasp, chest split open by a downward cross strike. He jerked backward, knocking the other to the ground as he fell. She stepped over the second and finished the third easily, nearly severing his head from his body. Chest heaved once, wiping her blades on the third’s coat and re-sheathing them. They were off the beaten path; casting a glance over each shoulder. She wouldn’t waste her time dragging them anywhere, but she did grab one of their earpieces. She was up and moving, sliding down the embankment and reaching in to release the gate and close it behind her. If someone tried to get in, they would hear it. “On my way. Exit is compromised but still passable. Car is still clear.” The world was bright to her senses, adrenaline thrumming so loud in her veins she could almost hear it. Footsteps light, she moved quickly, reaching the heavy door and into the ultimate supernatural man cave. Blood. The scent of blood fired a rush deep in her gut, thumbing her ring. Eyes took stock of everything. Dead. Eclectic trinkets. Remy was quite the hoarder. She blinked at Harker, quickly placing the earpiece next to him. "Might be useful." She made a beeline to a door at the far side of the room, moving downward. Stepping off the landing, her gasp was audible. Good god the books… the file cabinets were piled with tomes, papers. Scrolls. There was so much... There was no telling what else the man collected. The only choice was to burn it all. Footsteps quickened to the end of the row in the small basement room, kneeling and getting to work. Drawer face opened, she twirled the dial, going through every code she could think of. “We have to burn it all," she said as she kept spinning through codes, searching for the right one. "We can’t let them take anything more than what they already have. This place is a tinderbox with all this. Won't take much to set it off." Code finally clicked and she opened it. It was still there, thank god. Pulling it out, it was heavier than it should have been; spending a moment securing the latch. No time to look. Eyes scanned the room, so much would be lost. His personal ledger. She needed to get it, it could point them to where these assholes were going next. Taking the steps two at a time, the box under her arm, she shoved the body leaning against the desk to one side with her foot and and pulled all the drawers, rifling unceremoniously through each and sliding her hand underneath. It should have been there. Eyes slid over the room, head cocking at his bookshelf, rushing over to pull out several tomes that were at one time hers. Right next to them, his ledger. "This is everything," she grabbed his old messenger bag that still hung on his desk chair and stuffed everything inside, slinging it over her shoulder.
  2. Rorye Shannon-Kearney

    Chasing Ghosts

    “You worry too much.” The side stare was long, dim light of the dashboard catching a shimmer in her eyes that looked almost amber. They lingered on him a moment and then shifted to the darkness outside the car to cool. She hated those words. He was explaining things to her as she swallowed down more worry than he could know at the moment, and she still felt herself listening and interacting. Walking through the motions. The poignant comment remained heavy in her thought process. Supernatural safe-cracker. A possibility perhaps. Her ‘colleagues’ of sorts were not just peddlers, they knew how to use the things that passed through their hands. There might be progress into Remy's place, there might not be. They all had their own ways of doing things; her heavy hitting items were in very specific places that varied. Some chose to cluster, others to divide and ward. Remy was one of those. Everything he had was fun and useful, but he organized in a weird pattern of high to low. His high risk items were always in one spot. She’d always thought it was incredibly stupid; now… not so much. It made his fall out plan one stop only. He'd done it to make sure his dangerous shit was easy to remove. “That’s why they pay me the big bucks. Because I can drive AND shoot.” She glanced at him again. "Smartass," light smile perked on one edge of her lip. Darkness on the off road felt oppressive. It always did when she went out “past” civilization. In reality it wasn’t that far from the city, it just wasn’t safe much farther past the city. The borders were getting wider as the world got back on its feet. This direction, nada. Up and down the coast were growing quickly, west toward the center of the country was taking a bit longer to bounce back. She took the earpiece from him, spending a moment to pull her hair from its braid and smooth it to a ponytail at the back of her neck. Winding it around one more, she secured it in a bun. She knew this game, and had taken down rival smugglers before, the tighter it was the less people had something to grab onto. Plus, she was fast. Faster than he knew. Movement was key. “I’m not staying here to watch the road until you're safely in,” comment was absolute as she put the earpiece in. “It’s very important you let me know if anyone is coming up behind me. Also, make sure to listen carefully. If the place is as well defended as you say, I will probably need you to talk me through some of the traps.” “I’m going in first to get you in. If I can’t see them, I don’t know if they’ve been tampered with or changed. I’m not going to listen to you fucking die through an earpiece. Remy’s stuff is no joke and it's stupid effective.” She reached behind her to click the release on her blades. “IF they haven’t been disturbed, I will fall back to here and talk you through the rest. For the record, I think I need to go with you. I don’t know if or where Remy has moved his stash.” “I am only concerned with items that pose great danger to the public, or are items of evidentiary value to my case. The rest is yours. You deal with the Arcane stuff; I do the shooting. That’s why you brought me, remember?” She was strong; stronger than most expected, faster than was humanly possible. Her fingers snapped onto his arm to keep him from exiting, expression not one of weakness or apprehension. “This is not my first rodeo either. I cleared Alexandria with Greene when my colleague went crazy and couldn't be trusted with what he collected.” …and not the Greene Harker answered to now. The heaviness of that weighed on her words. He trusted her, Harker needed to trust her. “You kill who you have to, however you need to. Destroy whatever is necessary. There is one box that needs to be retrieved. One. After that, burn it all down. I care about that one box, and I care about you. If push comes to shove, burn the box too and get the fuck out. Remy was an old school asshole. These guys push too deep and the whole bunker will implode.” The glare was not asking permission, and she didn’t explain her choice of implode instead of explode. Remy was a sadistic asshole. If people got that far in, he always figured they deserved to die in the worst way possible because of what they had done to him to get there. “It’s located in the lowest level, looks like a file room. The last file cabinet on the right is a safe. Green and scuffed, you can see the blue paint underneath. Bottom drawer. If it’s been opened, mission is over. Burn it down.” She let go and got out, standing a moment to listen. Water was still flowing, that meant the tunnel hadn’t been closed off. That was good news. There were other sounds, his place had definitely been breached and they were not being delicate about it. She was agile, silently sliding down an embankment to pause crouched on a concrete footer, eyes level with a lock that was preventing access into the gate of a five foot high storm drain. It was still locked, that was good… as was no evidence anyone had been this far away from the main building. Completely still, she was studying the lock, numbered buttons old school. Gaze wandered down the gate from it, then right to the hinges. Avoiding the lock completely, she reached through the bars about a foot from the ground. Face scrunched slightly as she glanced at him, not really wanting to know what the damp squishy stuff she was touching was around the edge out of sight. Something clicked, and the gate moved slightly. She got up and carefully pulled it open. It had never been locked in the first place, trying to unlock the lock would have blown someone’s face off. Nothing had been changed, she was certain. Remy liked to mindfuck. “Gentlemen first,” she smirked at him. “Now I’m going back to watch your six. I can walk you through the rest over the com.” She reached up and cupped the side of his cheek and left him with a soft pat. “Don’t die.” Light footsteps disappeared back up the embankment to leave him to it.
  3. Rorye Shannon-Kearney

    Chasing Ghosts

    The heat was welcome, heated seats. Damn. Maybe she had to reconsider this car thing. Public transportation in the winter was a bitch. It at least stopped the shivering as she nursed her lip. “You can call me John,” Had her sarcasm upset him? His tone was... quiet. Maybe she’d misjudged him. Cavalier had a heart other than his mission? “When we are in public I mean. Ryan is fine when we’re alone.” “Fair enough ARMA.” The impersonal tag was a term of endearment, really. Ryan wasn’t back in her vocabulary yet after her encounter with him in the club. It seemed too personal at the moment, like what she’d said to him was wrong... too familiar... cheating. She caught the eyes trying to find hers in the mirror, her dark ones looking back toward the bandana as she folded it again and stuck it to her lip. A flick of muscle at the edge of his jaw was telling, he was upset perhaps. Muscles like that moved when guys were clenching their teeth. Observant as always, she could tell he was also bothered she’d gotten hurt. Good. Now he knew how she felt. He could be pissed at her, which was fine too. He was quiet after she pulled herself into the front again. That troubled her, so did the fact he pulled over after she asked her question. Silence was loud, as odd as that was. The club, the pulse of adrenaline, the car engine, now nothing but the empty edge of the civilized world. Her breath sounded loud to her ears. “I’m not one of your clients.” She was listening, truly, watching him with calm undivided attention. He had her all wrong; it was okay. He didn’t know her yet. “I am trying to save lives, yours included. We can bargain on merchandise, artifacts, or any other material object. I will even let you rip me off from time to time…” Smile was easy. Smartass. Ow. She seethed in a quick breath and rolled her lip in again, touching her finger to it. It had stopped. “But never try to bargain with me for information, not when lives are at stake. Trust, remember?” Tempted to reach across and close his door again when he opened it to get out, she shoved the urge back down. It was warm in the damn car. Just… another minute of warmth would be awesome before letting in the outside. But… duty. “I have to stage my gear, but take a look at this and tell me what you think.” Taking the coin, features became curious. Coins and books. They were always fucking dangerous. It was the weird shit that rarely was. Turning it over in her palm, it was just a coin. Coins were never just coins. Odd. Setting it on the dash, she seethed in a brave breath and cracked her own door, stepping out and adjusting herself from head to toe. Dressed, yes. Situated, no. Sheaths were replaced along her waistband. Shirt pulled off, arms crawling in goosebumps as she made quick work of the harness over her cami and slid her blades back in. They were not at all comfortable to wear when driving. Shirt, jacket back on, she made sure jean cuffs were pulled down over her boots and she slid back in and closed the door, a quick shiver as she reached to pick up the coin again. The ping of it hitting her ring as it rolled into her palm was almost externally soundless, in her head it rang like a bell. Echoing; into her skull and vibrating her bones. Cassandra. Cassandra Greene, clear as day in her thoughts. Other shuffled faces she didn’t know flew by like flickering pages in a book, then nothing but silence after. Her head hurt, the budding headache most likely from her temple meeting a brick wall. Weird. She wasn’t sensitive, but there were parts of her that were. Charged even. They’d been silent for a long time until now. When he returned she was rolling it through her fingers, watching the darkness beyond the passenger window. She knew who would know, and she didn’t want to offer that conversation up yet. To allow Red to talk through her was to be vulnerable, and she didn’t like it. Red also tended to tattle on her personal thoughts, she didn’t like that either. “So, what do you make of the coin?” To answer, or not. “Not sure yet,” it was honest. “Not seen anything like it before, but I know someone who might. I'm not going to do it out here though. I do know the mundane is almost always the most dangerous because it’s seen as normal.” Eyes moved to him as he started to fill her in. The coin was disorienting as it rolled through her fingers. Hypnotic even. “Two of the guys from your shop were in the basement downstairs. The businessman and the kid. The muscle I assume, is at Remy’s as we speak. These guys are working for a crime lord, who has put out a high reward for the acquisition of magus blood and other select artifacts.” She’d figured as much. “Remy must have been foolish enough to do business with these guys. When they discovered his connections, they captured him and tortured him for information. Which led them to your shop.” Eyes narrowed slightly at his glance. If they came to her shop again, the not killing promise was off. “Remy did business only with a select few, not strangers. He had buffer dealers, a hierarchy. These guys are climbing the ladder to the major arcane dealers to get into the pipeline and make themselves the top of the food chain. Someone lower down in the business sold him out.” Her status was suddenly apparent. Remy had given her up after terrible circumstances. Remy was not her main supplier, they were both the heavy hitters. She hadn’t lied to the agent; she just hadn’t told him everything, which she was suspecting he’d just done to her. Many things in Remy’s hoard had come from her; she knew what was in his hold. They needed to get it first. “Evidently, Remy’s place is pretty well fortified. The muscle is leading a special breach team there now to force entry.” Coin was held up for him to take back, her thumb moving to wipe off the lipstick that was still on his neck and gently nudge the tight jaw out of its grump. “I know you’re not a client,” the statement was clear, this time it was her who gave his arm a prod out of his seeming funk. “If you were I wouldn’t be talking to you. This isn’t a bargain for information, it’s getting things I need to know in order to give you the information you need so you don’t walk into a clusterfuck and die. You’re walking into my world, any information you withhold could be your ass. My colleagues don’t defend ourselves, we defend our hold. We all have fallout plans.” Fingers went up to linger over one of the heater vents, rubbing her hands together. “They force entry, they are going to lose and keep losing until they get smart. There are, were, three of us major dealers. One hub in Alexandria, Remy, and I,” eyes were watching what was left of the mile markers. There was a turn off coming up. “If something happened to any of us, we had a deal to clear out the other’s hold. Except I don’t drive, so… that’s where you come in. Plus you can shoot a gun, which I can’t well, so that’s helpful too.” They were like an underground version of Pharos of sorts… except they made money. “My place is a minefield of security, so is Remy’s, so was Alexandria. I know the way into Remy’s,” another mile or so. “For the record, don’t ever try to sneak into my place. With Remy gone I don’t have a back-up now, so I guess if something happened to me it will have to be ARMA. If you ever pull me onto a dance floor again it will never be ARMA.” The words were serious, but the intent behind them was sarcastic humor. “The turn is right, after the next mile marker. It’s going to get bumpy, we’re going to have to park a ways out and use his emergency tunnel.”
  4. Rorye Shannon-Kearney

    Chasing Ghosts

    Hands in her pockets, she was pulling her jacket closer to her. Leather was warm, but when there was no heat underneath to keep in it was positively wicked cold. Neck was tense, more so from waiting if he was going to show up. Movement caught her eye, hands out of her pockets and back on her sheaths until she realized it was him. “Get in.” Sense of relief was unexpected. Didn’t have to be told twice. She slid in gracefully, pulling the door shut with a quiet, firm snap. It was the only time in history she was happy to be in a vehicle. Hands rubbed down the muscles of her legs to warm them up, glancing across the dashboard for a heater. Presumptuous to touch his car, she was going to change instead. Right now. Cars took a while to warm up anyway, that she knew. “For the record, mini-skirts are bullshit,” she said under her breath, rolling her lip again through her teeth. It was better, but still tasted like iron. Ankle slid over her knee and she started to work one boot off. Damn muscle cars were only good for one thing, driving, most definitely not trying to change in the front seat. Compact and secure. Her demeanor was unusually reserved; she’d truly expected him not to make it back. In the back of her mind she also didn’t expect to have to explain the things she’d said to him. She didn’t like people thinking she cared. Of course everyone in her neighborhood knew she’d walk through fire for them, but she didn’t go telling them that. She always carried her thoughts close to the vest. “Remy’s dead. Those guys from your shop are sending muscle to his place now to clear it out and then burn it down.” Damn it. She focused on pulling off her boots and what was probably coming next. The best thing to do was tell him to take her home and she would deal with it. Letting ARMA into her business highway was never going to be a good idea. She needed to do it alone. That’s not how this was going to go down though, she was sure of that. “Give me directions and I can start toward his place now,” There it was. “We’ll stop once were closer and rearm. Chances are we might be walking into a fight. And once the boss wakes up, I am sure he will be sending reinforcements. So, time is not on our side.” First boot was slid off and put on the floor. Boots were not easy to get on and off, contrary to pop culture portrayal. They were great to wear, especially over the calf, but positively sucked getting on and off. “Of course we’re walking into a fight. ARMA is always in a fight.” She was not pleased, but her tone wasn’t irritated or snarky; it was quiet. Melancholy almost. She wasn’t going to tell him that they did have time, if only a little. Remy wasn’t a moron, and he knew how to use the things he trafficked. His place wasn’t an open door and if you didn’t know it, the first few visitors would be turned to shredded beef. He was a freaking groundhog, always a back way in. Friends knew it. Others didn’t. Even if they found it, it was still protected. Damn old timer thought he was Indiana Jones. Hell, he could have been the inspiration for him. The other slid off as she let the silence get heavy. She had to tell him. Fuck it all. “Take the 78, we’re going toward Easton Pennsylvania.” It was off 78 somewhere, half way to Easton. Give or take a half hour or so if the roads were still clear of debris. That was all he needed to know for now. The 78 was one of the only roads that wasn’t a death trap nowadays. It was once they left the beaten path it got dangerous, hence why she didn’t want to be on her bike. She unbuttoned the bottom of her shirt and unhooked the sheaths at her waist, setting the small blades on the floor next to her boots. “Are you okay? What happened to your face?” “Probably the same thing that happened to your chest,” still quiet, but definitely held a bit of sting. She avoided his eyes as she unwound the sheath on her back under the shirt. She was incredibly observant. Owning a business on its own was a constant struggle to watch the palmers and shoplifters. Before the end of the world, stealing from an occult shop was just bad karma. Afterward, it was downright stupid. People still did it. The thrill. The necessity given the world was now charged with the unbelievable. Her dark eyes could see movement when they were focused somewhere else, hands specifically a point of attention. It never really turned off. He’d fiddled with something on the left side of his chest, something that bothered him. Hit by something? Had to be wearing Silver Thread or some shit like that, ARMA had all sorts of toys. Probably shot. Dumbass got himself shot. She couldn’t deal with this again. Get close, care about friends, only to watch them end up dead. “I’m changing, it’s freezing. I’m not wearing a seatbelt so don’t kill me ARMA,” she said quietly without answering him, deftly turning and pulling herself to slide between the two seats into the darkness of the backseat. Leather coat off, jeans went on first up and under the mini, buttoned and zipped. She slid the black cami up and over her shoulders, buttoning the shirt back up and leaving it untucked. Getting dressed without tearing everything off was a woman’s magic. All could do it, and it always looked like sorcery. Hair braided in a loose plait down her back, she sat barefoot in the darkness for a bit on the passenger side in the backseat, holding a handkerchief to her lip that she had in her jeans pocket to tie up her hair when she was working in her shop. Feet were tucked up under her thighs as she sat cross legged to warm up; the shivering was miniscule, more tense than anything. It would stop when she warmed up. “I got beat up trying not to kill anyone,” she thumbed her lip again. It seemed to be stopping, might need a stitch. Superglue would work just as well. Her cheek stung, it was definitely turning into a shiner, the bone hurt. Her wrists were stinging too. She pulled her cuffs up, welts from the zip ties. They’d heal. “Bouncer followed me out and tried to zip tie my hands and take me back inside. I ended up against a brick wall. I didn’t kill him, but he’s not getting up for a while.” Should have done more damage. She’d promised not to though. “Guys always go right for the cheek. Busted lip is a bonus,” she wiped her lip again and stuffed the bandana in her pocket, climbing smoothly back into the front seat. Pulling her boots back on, she watched out the window as the darkness whizzed by. Soon, very few lights. Coat in her lap, arm was relaxed on top of it, other elbow on the sill. Head leaned back on the headrest. She was contemplating taking him in a roundabout way as to not divulge any more of her suppliers, there were a lot out this way, networking outward as the Midwest became more accessible again. But, decided that was going to be counterproductive in the short term. “Exact directions for what you found out in the basement,” she said quietly, looking at him for the first time since they got into the car. “What did you find out? How screwed are we?”
  5. "I don't 'write' my characters, I just watch them do stupid shit and write up the incident reports." ~inebriatednovelist

    1. Cassandra Greene

      Cassandra Greene

      Pfft some days I feel that way as a non-inebriated novelist lol

    2. Zeph


      THIS....TOTALLY THIS!!!!

  6. Rorye Shannon-Kearney

    Chasing Ghosts

    It became quickly apparent how not prepared this place was for this sort of thing, there was no way this could be a base. Maybe a weigh station, a temporary stop to pass along information, a neutral meeting place, but definitely not a stronghold. The amount of people crammed into such a small environment was enough turn over to not draw attention to faces. It had to be a passing point; which meant there was another place out there. More than one probably. The size of this was quickly becoming apparent. An event disrupting the natural ebb and flow of the packed club was positively chaotic. People were trying to leave and people were trying to get closer to rubberneck, creating a jam that wasn’t moving. Bouncers and security couldn’t get close enough to quell the confrontations. Everything was at a charged standstill made worse by the music that wouldn’t shut up. Almost twenty minutes in, she was finally able to squeeze between two people and make a beeline for her coat. She had ten minutes to get back to the car. About three minutes to get outside and a two minute walk to the car and she would be good to go. Jacket slid on, she caught the door after several others leaving, a stream of people behind her still. Cutting left, long strides took her to the sidewalk and away from the club toward the car that was parked far enough away as to not draw attention. Her senses were wide, but she didn’t have the mojo to know everything. Street smarts… but not enough to avoid a face full of brick building. Flash was bright as her temple hit the wall and she was held face first against it, right hand pinned behind her back by hands much stronger than she. Her left had moved quick enough to try and catch herself and was now caught between herself and the wall. Cold plastic zipped around her right wrist controlled one hand, her left pinned in by his forearm and full weight on the back of her neck. “Knew you were trouble when you came through, we’re going to keep you here until the cops can deal with you,” he grunted slightly as he tried to fish her other hand from in front of her and still maintain his grip on the zip-tie secured on her right. The more she struggled the tighter it got. Fuck, she was not going to make it easy. “Get your fucking hands of me,” cliché, but what did one say in a situation like this? Brick ground into her left cheek, a jerk of her right arm freeing it up for a split second to send an elbow straight in to the asshole’s nose. This was seriously fucking up her escape time…sarcasm, it got her through the day. Now he was pissed, the scrambled struggle against the wall painful sounding. If she hadn’t been wearing leather, the fight would be over and her skin would be shredded. He snapped hold of the zip tie on her wrist again and slammed her against the wall, full weight leaning on her. She’d drawn blood, she could smell it. “Give me your other fucking hand,” he was trying to pry it from in front of her. “Stop resisting, or I’ll have to make you give it to me.” There was no way out of this. Yes, yes there was, but she’d promised. No killing. No emotional outbursts... “Fine,” he snapped. She saw stars. He had the strength to jerk her back and slam her against the wall again, grabbing her other hand and snapping a zip around it to put them together. “What did you paw off people…?” holding both of her wrists in one hand, he started to search her pockets. “Fucking pick pockets in the damn club starting shit to make it easy, you just don’t get the message do you.” He came up with nothing, then yanked her lapels open to search the small inside pockets. A little too close for comfort, handsy… nice, but as he bumbled around inside her jacket to find non-existent wallets she’d pulled a karambit free from the sheath at the back of her hip and cut herself loose. "Where's your boyfriend?" he reached and pressed a button on the earpiece whose cord ran down his neck into his suitcoat. "We'll find him." Ah hell, time to break promises. Heel of her hand upward into his nose made him stumble backward, grabbing the back of his neck she brought his face into her knee. Of course the risk was always… damn it! They never tell you it hurts like hell in self defense classes. He keeled over, out like a light. Knife back in its sheath, it took a few steps to shake off the impact pain from her knee as she made her way to the car. Her face was bleeding, awesome. Harker wasn’t at the car yet, glancing at her reflection in the window. Damn it. She backed between two buildings to wait for him, staying out of sight in case sleeping beauty came to. Untying her jean shirt, she pulled the front tail up to wipe her split lip. Thumb over it a few times, it wasn’t stopping. She might need stitches. Biting it between her teeth, she wiped her eye. Brow and cheek were scraped, but okay. Definitely would be a nice shiner on the cheekbone. Knee was brushed off. Bruise there too. Hard headed bastard. “C’mon Harker,” she mumbled to herself, zipping up her coat and rubbing her hands together as she kept her lip pressed in her teeth. She was freezing. Fuck this mission, he better have had more luck.
  7. Rorye Shannon-Kearney

    Chasing Ghosts

    “Focus” She was. Sarcasm helped her focus dammit. It was all she had sometimes to keep from completely going insane. “I can handle myself” The worry flickered again on her brow. This was such a fucking bad idea. This morning she had been ready to cut ties, now she was back in bed with ARMA in the same internal fight for loyalty. They all told her they could handle themselves, and every single damn one that walked out got hurt. Jesse. Michael. Ali. Nina. Damn it! The guilt thing... that was a year in the making, milling around inside her thoughts with nobody to express them to until that moment. “I won’t” …yes he would. He’d blame her. She’d blame herself. “I will be fine, just focus on the task at hand. If you want to go back to the car, that’s fine. I will meet you outside in 30 minutes.” What? Wait? No! They were both supposed to go back to the car. Goddam it! Breath pulled in and out carefully, focusing on what he was saying. Eyes flicked to him at the compliment, a brief blushed smirk of bashful disbelief scrunched her nose. He was so full of shit. Still, she listened intently to his revisions, not bad. She wasn’t certain he could get past the camera, but then again he probably had some crazy magus mojo up his sleeve. They all did, lucky bastards. “Go to the bar without me. Bat your eyes at the pit boss, get his attention but don’t engage. Make sure your sitting somewhere the guard at the hallway can see you. Allow some poor sap to hit on you, then freak out and accuse him of doing something terrible. He grabbed your ass, tried to slip a roofie in your drink, something like that. When the bouncers rush to your defense, just keep playing it up to distract as long as you can.” She could do that, after all she was a master at manipulating surroundings to her advantage. “When its done, I will meet you back at the car.” Hands resisted the urged to grip onto his shirt when he put her hands on his chest. If she didn’t let go, he wouldn’t right? Her temple instinctively found his when he leaned in. “If I don’t meet you at the car within 30 minutes, take a cab. I will just meet you at your shop tomorrow.” That would not happen. If he wasn’t out there in 30 minutes all hell would break loose. She'd tear the place apart. "Don't die Ryan," she whispered quietly, catching the blue devils one last time before he let go. "Please." She could feel the heat leave with him, and it was everything she could do to not reach after him and grab his arm. Blow both their cover by following, or move forward? She really had no choice. He’d put a lot of faith in her, and the weight of it was suffocating for a split second. In that sliver of a moment, the long stride found its way to the bar with fresh vigor. Leaning on it to get the bartender’s attention, she placed herself right next to Mr. Boss, knowing how absolutely close cut her mini was getting to being a different kind of club as she stood on her tip toes and spoke with the bartender to order. Within moments, a familiar face from outside was at her left. Boss on her right. The bouncer from the line. Ahhhh great. What she’d said to get in wasn’t exactly the most lady-like thing in the world. It was evident very quickly that he’d been watching and waiting for Harker to step away… because she’d kinda made an offer he couldn’t refuse. This might go a lot better than anticipated, but... He leaned in and whispered something in her ear. Yup. This was going to be less than enjoyable. She picked up her drink She turned and half slid onto a stool, long legs crossing as she sipped the fru fru through the straw. Two glasses of whisky and absinthe before she got there, this watered down margarita would barely dent a thing. Small talk was boring. He had an absolutely filthy mouth, most of which was spoken directly for only her to hear. Christ. To be fair, she’d started it and honestly if Harker ever asked she’d never in a million years tell him what she’d said to the guy. Mr. Boss was trying to listen to the conversation, she could definitely pick that up. She didn’t even have to do a thing. The bouncer was handsy, and on one pass got too close to one of her sheaths. Her reaction was half reflex to keep him from feeling she had a weapon, half acting that he’d been too handsy. She spilled her drink on Mr. Boss. He freaked, jumped up, got angry at the bouncer and demanded him off the floor. She tried to calm him down. It was just an accident after all. The scene was getting bigger by the minute. This many people, this close. Glasses fell. People got bumped. Drunk, charged people made for the worst domino effect. Two more employees had appeared at the fringe, trying to break things up. Well this was getting righteously out of hand… she hoped Harker had enough to work with. Eyes flicked through the crowd that was surrounding the bar briefly. She couldn’t see him. She hoped that was a good thing…
  8. Rorye Shannon-Kearney

    Chasing Ghosts

    He was playing the part well. Of course, that was his job… or so he said. It brought into question everything he’d said and done thus far. Was he just faking concern? Not sure yet. With how upset he’d been back at the shop when she wouldn’t hand over her intel, maybe. The thought she was just being played to get to these guys hung pretty heavy in her thoughts. Hell, he might not even be who he said he was. She could play that game too when it came to it. Didn’t like her close to his guns it seemed either, she didn’t miss the goosebumps. “There’s more where that came from,” She chuckled quietly. “Hope so,” was said under her breath. The guns. She was talking about the guns. By the time they were in her ass was freezing. Damn weather, fucking skirts. The music, well the music was positively obnoxious. Good god. She had either forgotten how bad clubs truly were, or had been too young and drunk to care. Maybe a bit of everything. She internally cringed at the scent of cigars. Always hated them. She got rid of the coat, leather got positively suffocating in a place like this. Most people that had something that they proclaimed was leather were usually bullshitting for props. Nobody in their right mind would wear good leather in a place like this. It would stink for days and smell like sweat after that. She already was going to have to air the damn thing out. More than likely the leather seats she’d seen his eyes travel over weren’t leather either. A front. From one business owner to another, this place looked like a false face. Bright, shiny, faux luxe and disposable. She highly suspected it was also a fantastic money maker. Fucking brilliant. It was her turn to be caught with the unexpected. Dance floor. She was hoping for some drinks, maybe a little flirting with some other club goers. Mouth opened to protest but shut quickly, realizing she didn’t know what to call him and by that time he’d committed and she had to also in order to keep up the illusion. Mother. Fucker. Of course he knew what he was doing too. The narrowing of her eyes at the close proximity played off as a seductress, the quick whispered quip that she was going to kick his ass later if they didn’t kill him first was only half joking. Remember the steps. Remember the steps. Shit. The blue devils smiled at her and she forced a smile back. “I see only two exits. The way we came in, and the door straight back to the left.” “I hate you right now,” it was serious but held humor. What the fuck had she gotten herself into? If she wasn’t doing the dumbest damn stunt in the world, she would have been enjoying the push from the comfort zone she’d sequestered herself into for a year. A spin. She knew the steps to this one. It was her turn to slide her fingers on his to stop them at her stomach, casting her chin over her shoulder. “Blades,” she whispered quietly through her teeth after he brought her attention to the guards. Did he really know how much skill it took to hide sheaths in a mini? Breath was let out when she turned back to him, fingers intertwining lazily behind his neck. Okay. No more steps to remember. She was listening intently, mapping it out in her head. “The two near the back of the club are packing heat, and their ‘pit boss’ is relaxing by the bar. I am pretty sure there is a door by the restrooms that leads downstairs. If we can get the guard away from the back door, I can get us down there. Any ideas?” “Other than kicking your ass?” Yes, she knew this was a serious situation… she just had to get it out there. Eyes closed a moment when his forehead came to hers, he was warm. She was still fucking freezing, the shiver through her shoulders partially from it, partially just… dunno. Not being a damn recluse for a change. “There's a shit ton of cameras. The cameras on the front and back entrances are crap. Low resolution quality wireless to monitor probably in a back room somewhere being watched by a sandwich eating idiot. It’s lazy and useless for crowds, easy to avoid. There’s one going up to the VIP entrance that’s the same and another over the bar. The one in the hallway to the restrooms is different. Hardwired and infrared with a battery back-up. I have a similar one in my library room and the workshop because regular cameras tend to short out when magic items or magus are around.” She was starting to think there was really no way to get to anywhere in this place. “I know how to get you back there without being noticed, but you better have a way to deal with the camera. They’re gonna see you coming. I wouldn’t be able to go with you.” She pulled back away from his forehead first, the darkness of pupils deep as she caught his eyes. “I don’t want you going by yourself,” brow furled and she quickly tucked her expression away, replaced with such an easy smile it was almost as if the worry never existed. Chin came to rest on his shoulder, hiding the furl again as she spoke quietly next to his ear and watched the pit boss. “Just… for the record, tell me you’re not going to blame me if something happens to you.” A large sigh was pulled in and shuddered out quietly, more answers divulged to his unasked questions than she’d said all evening. “We don’t know what’s past that door,” she said quietly. “Also for the record I think we should go back at the car and rethink this. If you did want to move forward… " Pause was long. "...we’re going to go get a drink at the bar, I’m going to flirt with the pit boss... all he's been doing is watching women anyway. You’re going to get impatient waiting for me to stop talking and take my drink to the petite blonde third wheeled in the booth directly next to the bathroom hallway. Get her into the back hallway… make out with her or something, wait for me to get there and be ready to get through that door. I’ll take care of diverting attention.” She picked her head up and found his eyes again, a smirked grin. “That’s easy, but I'm gonna get escorted out and I can meet you back at the car.”
  9. Rorye Shannon-Kearney

    Chasing Ghosts

    Her smirk was amused as he chuckled at her comment. It was the absolute truth. Girls got in, guys didn’t. They just shook the guys down for serious tip cash if they wanted into a lady packed house. It was all such a game. You just had to be good at it. “Trust me, I can get in,” It was her turn to be amused. This venture though came with distinct risks and different desired outcomes. She wanted the idiots to above all keep their asses out of her shop and her neighborhood, gaining Remy’s stash was a bonus. It was entirely futile to think anything would come out of following them, or anyone. Harker had his own goals; she just needed to decide if they were compatible with hers without getting either of them fucked over. She didn’t like where it was going though, the way he seemed to take her safety on his shoulders. Protective, she could feel it. A sizzle of apprehension ghosted over a furled brow. “If we do this, we do it professionally. No fighting, no emotional outbursts, no killing.” If. She rolled her lower lip through her teeth thoughtfully. “When we get in there, just follow my lead. First, we will survey the area. Before we make any moves, we need to know how many men they have inside, and we need to know where all the exits are located. If we get a chance to get behind some locked doors, then we are just a couple trying to find a spot to be alone. If we need to get out quick, you pretend to be sick and we move to the nearest exit.” She nodded. “I can handle myself.” That brought her eyes to him, a melancholy seriousness still across her features. He was going in regardless because he’d decided to be the good Samaritan and walk into her shop to check on her. She truly should have told him she was fine and to go. Whatever happened here would be her fault. Again. “Questions?” She shook her head, his next words glossing over her as she looked at the things in her hand. Made sense. So what was she going to do? Be involved and potentially get answers? Or pull out and let ARMA ghost away into her memory and nurse her guilt. Fuck it all. After the door closed behind him she pulled her jacket off, setting it in the driver’s seat and pulling off her boots. Shimmying out of jeans in a damn car was nearly impossible. She’d done it before, just never in the front seat. Coveted Levi’s were folded quickly and put behind the driver’s seat, jean shirt was unbuttoned and she looped her arms out of the black racerback cami, the maneuver strictly girl magic. Some creative rearranging of her karambit sheaths were necessary, but achievable and still hidden. Racerback neckline was folded into a beltline and she pulled the cami down her hips to just above mid-thigh. Black cami to a black mini was also top secret girl magic. Fitted jean shirt was buttoned up, left too low to be anything less than intentional, black lace peeking out if the angle was right. Eyes were smoked out with liner in the dim light of his rearview, lipstick popping, everything put back in the pockets of her jacket and she pulled on her boots again. Even with the knee high boots, she had legs for days. She’d always been tall, just some days she felt taller than others. Hair was shaken from its braid, waves loose and effortless. “Ready?” She checked herself again the rearview, thumb wiping off the tiniest bit of lipstick on her top lip to make a better cupid’s bow. Another girl trick. “Oh, almost forgot.” Unconsciously, she found herself pressing back into the seat as he leaned over her, hand near her face slightly to keep from getting the lipstick on her thumb on him. Suddenly, the insecurity licked down her arms in a flare of goosebumps. What the fuck was she about to do? Answers. She was getting answers. “Got it.” Brow cocked. “You sure?” there was humor in the playful sarcasm. The gold chain was pure icing on the cake. “What do you think? Douchey necklace complete the look?” She smirked, suppressing the eye roll, “Perfect.” “Ready for this?” Hand placed into his, she got out of the car with her leather jacket only to slide it on. It completed the look. Edgy, but club worthy… plus it would hide the sheaths on her back easier. “I apologize in advance for what I have to do to get us in,” she said quietly as long legs made their way toward the entrance, quick flick of her thumb transferring the lipstick to a swipe just under his ear. "I'm a saleswoman." She was getting in as quick as possible, it was fucking cold outside. Still had the knack? They would find out. Already the catty eyes from other women in line burned at them, she knew she caught attention. Everyone else had dressed to be seen; she’d dressed to party and made people see her. That was the secret. Clubs wanted the alcohol to flow and no drama in the corners. They wanted people on the dance floor and preoccupied with having a good time, not in the bathroom checking their make-up. Before the first minute as they joined the end of the line, they were motioned up about half way. Score. Now, feign cold and bat eyes at the bouncer over the boyfriend’s shoulder. Fingers slid around Harker's waist from behind, clasping her fingers together over his belt buckle, chin coming to rest on his shoulder near his ear. The cascade of auburn waves slid off her shoulder. Surly curl of her lips and eyes were on the head doorman, but voice was only in Harker’s ear. “Nice gun,” temple pressed against his and she laughed slightly, tucking her chin into the nape of his neck in that spot that made guys shudder. All for show, but amused just the same. “Wondered where you were going to put your toys.” Beckoned up again. Next phase. A little more space between them. More interest in the doorman but definitely still attached. Fingers were lightly looped in Harker’s as she smiled at a bouncer, leaning over to say something inaudible into the employee's ear. The bouncer blushed. Honest to god blushed before he nodded to the doorman and the rope was pulled aside for them. Wink to Harker preceded a curt flick of her brows. Show time.
  10. Rorye Shannon-Kearney

    Chasing Ghosts

    “ARMA operatives are amongst the most highly trained in the world, On top of that, Alistar was a first-class mage. He didn’t need your protection… and you being there wouldn’t have changed anything.” The edges of her eyes tightened as she watched the darkness of her neighborhood slide by. First instinct at a response was a biting, quiet retort that was stopped before she said it. She was always getting a reminder that she wasn’t part of the Super Friends club. His tone was not one of condescension however, and that saved him from a bit of wrath. She said nothing for a while. “It would have changed everything,” the answer was quiet, definitely loaded with more history than she was going to elaborate with a relative stranger. It would have changed everything. He still may have died, but he wouldn’t have died alone. It would have taken away the wondering, the small skip in her chest that would happen every time someone knocked on her back door unannounced. Hope that fell to nothing but bitter cynicism had been stuffed down so deep she hadn’t even thought about it for some time. It was business as usual, and usual of late was particularly lonely… and even more indifferent to anything outside her immediate neighborhood. When was the last time she’d even been off her block? As she moved on from her own quiet regret and explained everything she knew, she felt a bit of that spark again for a moment. There was a part of her though that wanted to squash it back down and not involve anyone. When she involved people, they got hurt. Not because of her, because of the things she dealt with. Bringing people into that world no matter how trained was dangerous, especially when they didn’t know how to navigate in the dark world she knew her way through. Though she hadn’t completely formed an opinion on him yet, she didn’t feel he needed that danger brought down on him. She couldn’t deal with someone else disappearing because of her knowledge. The glint of blue in the dim glow of dashboard lights that focused on her for a short moment tripped her from her spiraling thoughts. Her devil always had been blue eyes, kinda like red head kryptonite for almost every man she ever knew. Something about the color had always been a calm trigger for her. A trap. They always ended up being a trap. A particularly enjoyable trap, but a trap nonetheless. “Is this Remy guy a friend of yours?” “No,” a subtle smirk finally ghosted over her lips, the dark eyes catching the blue again that gave her more than a glance before watching the street. “He’s a dick. But, he pays well and doesn’t screw me over.” She didn’t pull punches when it came to clients. They weren’t her friends. Business relationships could exist without friendships. It was cleaner that way, if not a bit survivalist. There was no playing nice in the sandbox when it came to moving artifacts. It was an underground job that had no mercy for the meek, and was addictive as hell. Poker, with more than just money at stake. If Remy was out of the picture, she’d fill in the hole he’d left. More chips on her table if she could get out to his hold and see if these assholes hadn’t ransacked the place. There was a treasure trove there for the taking. But, she didn’t dare take her bike out into that mess. Too loud, and not protective enough if something went wrong. She would need to drive. She hated driving, and didn’t do it well. It was her turn to cast a glance at a potential chauffeur, trying to figure out if he could be of use and not take all her toys away if the place was still stocked. “If we’re lucky though, we might be able to find your friend Remy alive.” “He’s a tough bastard, maybe.” “We’re here, See the black Cadillac, SUV up there? That’s their ride.” “You’re going to teach me that tracking trick.” It wasn’t a suggestion, the quirked brow intent on watching the place as her arms unfolded and she leaned her elbow on the sill, thumb running absently across her lower lip as she soaked in the obnoxiousness of the place. Other fingers tapped her knee rhythmically to the music spilling out of the doors every so often. She wasn’t the least bit surprised if something mojo had been pulled with him tracking them here. Damn magus. Then again he just might be good at tracking, but again… damn magus had all the good toys. “The Monday after the New Year weekend, and these guys are still going. See how their SUV is the only car parked out front? I am willing to bet they either own the place, or they are VIPs.” They didn’t feel like VIP’s when she’d talked to them. They felt like newbs. She kept that little tidbit to herself for a moment, the side-eye glance thoughtful. The damn guilt was creeping up on her again. She didn’t like this game, it was making her question everything leading up to the disappearances; the things she divulged, the information she should have passed along, and the things she should have seen coming. Sigh was almost imperceptible, mostly at herself. ARMA was a business relationship if it was to continue, but maybe that was the problem- she never thought of them as family until it was too late. Maybe her insistence on keeping things to herself had caused all the issues in the first place. Damn it all. “They felt like newbs to me. A businessman, a hired gun and a pup. Businessman was scripted, almost like he’d been coached exactly what to say. Hired gun. Pup was definitely green.…” she thought a moment. “Not from here, their clothes were infused with something... distinct. I’ve smelled it before, I just can’t place it yet. This place is only one stop.” “Chances are, the club is front, and their actual business takes place in the basement beneath it. Well, we can either stake out the car to the front, or… we can go inside and scope the place out.” Eyes flicked to him at the nudge, narrowing slightly at the corners with a sarcastic smirk as she glanced back to the line of people. She’d left the club scene a long time ago. Plus, they’d probably make her. “But if we’re going inside, your going to have to change up your outfit. I don’t think the ‘biker chick’ look is going to get us through the door.” He was right, but women could change up that sort of thing. “I can get in, question is will I get in with you,” she was patting the pockets of her jacket, clearly looking for something. “This is not my first club rodeo. Bouncers like girls, not guys covered with guns. They like the alpha wolves outside.” It was her turn for the sly grin as she pulled a few things from her pockets. She almost never used them unless she knew a client liked that sort of thing and it would help with a buy. Chameleon, she could be. She also could make do with a pretty simple rearranging of what she was wearing. Her pause after she’d located all of her things though was heavy. The lipstick tube clinked against the other bits of make-up as she closed her fingers a moment. Her attention turned to him, true seriousness in her expression. “This is a crap shoot. If they’re out front, they may leave while we’re trying to get in. Or, they could be here all night and we could learn more inside. Or, they could be snitching on me against intel they already know and be heading back to Kells to kick my ass.” The thought pissed her off to no end, and she almost wanted them to try it. She knew what she would do, fingers playing with the eyeliner tucked in her hand. People who were trying to lay low never really were prepared for someone to walk in the front door right in front of them. Whatever way they went, she wasn’t letting him do it without her. “This’ll take a minute if we go in, so what's the plan? One way or the other...” she was going to hate herself for this. Maybe she was turning a new leaf. "I have to find out if Remy is alive. He has an artifact hoard and contacts that cannot be swallowed up by these guys. But... I need someone to take me there. Bike is not safe into the wild, and I don't drive. I'll even let ARMA keep some. Maybe."
  11. Rorye Shannon-Kearney

    Chasing Ghosts

    Chin lifted slightly in defiance as he pointed at her, the room chilled from her callus words. She would not back down. This was the argument she should have had a year ago. She should have refused to buckle and let people walk out the door without her. For a moment, she thought all hell was going to break loose… she expected it… and then he was gone. Blink was soft, eyes hot. She couldn’t in good conscience give him the information he wanted and let him go off on his own terms. Huff soft, she went after him. She could have gone off on her own, she SHOULD have gone off on her own and left him to figure his own shit out. Things would have been taken care of by the time he got there once she got her hands on them. “Aww… what the fuck?” She adjusted her wrist zippers and yanked her hair from the braid to bundle into a bun at the back of her neck to fit under her helmet as he bitched, spilling it once and bundling it again. “No, you know where they might be going, but you don’t know where they are now. I do.” Touche’ “No one should be doing any killing tonight.” Her expression as she stared at him from her bike was all business, but the vibration of her blood against her skin was still angry. No, nobody should, but knowing the type of people that came to her requesting specific unspeakable things, there was a good chance he would be on the wrong side of the killing. Last time she’d sent someone off with this kind of information, they didn’t come home. She couldn’t deal with that on her conscience again. He was thinking about her offer though. That was a start “Fine, bullets-for-brains, Get in.” Leg swung over the side of her Ducati and she expertly pushed it back into her courtyard with more grace than a normal human would, throttle lock on within seconds, and she was sliding into the passenger seat and whisking her helmet nimbly on the floor behind her seat merely a few moments later. “Alright, I am trusting you, but we are doing this my way. I don’t give a fuck how much skill you have. Trust works both ways. I know what I am doing, and if you want to work with me, you need to trust me too. That’s the deal.” She said nothing, shifting slightly to get the pressure from one of the sheaths off her shoulder blade as she let the swanky seat envelop her... so much nicer than hers that she never drove. She’d never really been comfortable in cars, they gave a false sense of security and could be entirely too intimate. But, she’d won the argument and gotten herself exactly where she wanted to be so she’d deal. “I can already tell you’re going to be a pain in my ass” …only after she potentially just saved his ass. “I don’t do seatbelts so don’t get me killed ARMA.” She was unusually quiet for some time, watching the buildings of her neighborhood as they moved past. It felt strange being back in the loop. Her shop made it easy to keep everything at a distance. She didn’t have to walk into a headquarters every day and see empty desks and phones that rang and didn’t get picked up by people that should have been there. People in her world kept coming in the door, giving her every excuse to continue business as usual. She wasn’t exactly putting out a beacon to ARMA that she needed a grief counselor either. There were a lot of reasons she didn’t want them around, Harker just seemed to not have gotten that memo. She’d dropped off the face of the earth tangled in confidential information, and it had seemingly stayed buried with her. When she finally said something, her voice was almost too quiet. Jumping back into this saddle just felt, heavy, like time hadn’t made anything better. Nothing had healed. “I don’t have conversations with ARMA in Kells. It’s an echo chamber, a thousand conversations that linger to be picked up by any magical item that can scoop them up, absorb their emotions and energy. People that know how, can listen in,” she watched his hands on the wheel for a moment then glanced at him before her attention went back to the world beyond the car. “Last time someone from ARMA came to see me and we had a serious conversation, they never came back. I wasn’t enough of a pain in the ass to insist he take me with him.” She was quiet again. She didn’t need his disappearance on her conscience too. Regardless, he needed to be brought up to speed. She was pretty sure he was Cloak, but not sure how much he knew about what was happening before everyone had vanished. “Don’t ask me sensitive questions in the shop area, there’s another location on the premises we can go. For now, this car is fine. I don't know how much you know, so I'll go all the way back.” Sigh was soft. “Over a year ago, ARMA, Vanguard and the Order called a truce under the table to work together against a common enemy they couldn’t yet define. There was substantial evidence that humans had broken through the magic barrier and were successfully practicing blood magic. They needed magus blood to do it. I was tasked with keeping my finger on the pulse of moving magic items and keeping them informed. Almost immediately after the truce, everyone disappeared.” Thumb was turning the ring on her finger, her other hand resting on her thigh. She couldn’t find a good place to put it. Elbow on the center console seemed weirdly close to him. Crossing her arms would put her elbow almost on his arm. She fucking hated cars… “After that everything went quiet. Trade chatter, artifact chatter, it all slowed down. Over a year now, no weird requests or happenings until my contact Remy vanished a few weeks back. These guys tonight…” she shook her head, a furl through her brow as she looked at him. “…knew when to show up, when I’d be free because Remy hasn’t been here and that I can get magus blood in large quantities. His disappearance is not an accident. It’s no secret to people that want things that I can get them anything, but magus blood… that’s only something Remy would know and he wouldn’t give me up unless he was forced to.” Fingers rubbed the bridge of her nose, then swiped across dark lashes. Arms finally crossed as she leaned her head back on the headrest and looked at him. “They’re coming back in two days. I told them I’d check my sources, which was bullshit. They’re going to try and strong-arm me into getting them what they want for free, or force me to give up my contacts. Either way they were here to assess if Remy's intel was solid and figure out if they could threaten me. I wanted to follow them back to wherever they’re holed up because I had some idea in my head that any magus they have could still be alive.” Blink was slow and she turned her head to look back out the window. "It's ridiculous, I know."
  12. Rorye Shannon-Kearney

    Chasing Ghosts

    Her shop, a modified Victorian building nestled in the old neighborhood, still had all the modern amenities she needed. The last decade of absolute stupid crazy had made security a necessity. When he left through the back door, she knew. The front counter wasn’t her favorite perch for nothing. Underneath the counter had the security pad, when sitting at the counter she could see every door code that opened. She could lock down the front of the shop on full moons, slam the storm doors, and even set the silent alarms. Out and back in again. What the hell was he doing? Too many things were racing through her mind as she tried to juggle business and keep an eye on what the hell Harker was up to. He had to go, for now anyway. Clients safely out of the building, she was going to finish up business with Harker and go after them. “And where do you think you’re going?” The taught half smile was a knowing one, lashes low as she changed quickly. She didn’t have to answer shit. This is why she never wanted to deal with ARMA. She answered to nobody. Ali had been pushy at first. He learned. It was definitely a sad unwelcome rush of nostalgia, and a fond one at the same time. Weird. “Tell me what they told you. Did they give you a time frame? Who are they working for?” She also didn’t have to tell him shit. “What are you going to do? Go after them, catch them, kill them? Then what? You take out a couple of small time Soldiers and the shot callers walk. We have to follow these guys to the top and take out the head of the snake.” “Relax,” pupils flared as he moved closer, the glisten of green spilling into her normally russet irises like ink. Hands were now at her sides calmly, the stillness a stark contrast to her movement before. She’d allowed the balance in her muscles to tip, now hair triggered and blindingly fast at a moment’s call. She was absolutely capable of taking care of herself, and he needed to realize when to be a hammer and when to follow her lead. She’d asked if he could tail someone as a courtesy, not as an invitation to take over. “Look, this is what I do, and I am the best at what I do. Let me handle this and I will let you know what I find out.” Bingo. He was a motherfucking Cloak. “This is what you do? I don’t give a shit if this is what you do. You walked into my house. This is what I do. I convince people to trust me, and I get information without tipping them off. Sometimes I even punch them in the face when they deserve it. Ali trusted my skill, if we’re going to have any kind of working relationship, you need to also.” “Besides, you’re not going to be able to tail anyone on that noisy crotch rocket.” “I don’t need to tail them, you do.” Words were definitively melancholy. She didn’t like talking about Ali, especially in past tense. She rolled out the Ducati silently as he marched to his car; the sleek black bike parked right in front of his bumper as she straddled it and pulled the helmet from its perch. “I know where they are. I’ll be there before they will. That’s what happens when you use your brains instead of bullets.” Truth. She’d watched the lackey-in-training. The things he played with in her shop, what he picked up and looked at. Reading people was her job. Plus, the fact they all hinted of a scent she knew since she was a kid helped pinpoint their hang out. There was only one place in New York that smelled like that, and it was in her stomping grounds. She knew exactly how to get there, ahead of everyone. Helmet rested on her thigh a moment. But, he was right. Sigh was impatient. “I promise I won’t kill anyone until you get there, and afterward I’ll buy your first beer.” Lips pursed and she thought a moment. “Or I could put my bike away and give you directions in that thing, because I don’t drive. If we do it your way, you don't leave me behind and you follow my lead.” So much for breaking up with ARMA.
  13. Rorye Shannon-Kearney

    Chasing Ghosts

    “Glad to see I’m not the only one with issues,” The small laugh was quiet. Ain’t that the truth. She was chattier than she probably should have been, it was all part of her charm. The shopkeeper knew everyone, talked to everyone, and kept everyone’s secrets. When people were comfortable, she could read them; what they wanted, things they would enjoy. It was her job as an entrepreneur to figure out what people wanted before they even wanted it, or tell them what they needed before they realized they needed something. She was amiable, always. Then he grabbed her wrist. Speedster, and not an issue with showing it. Lashes snapped down briefly, pretty sure he didn’t realize how close he was to actually getting his nose broken. Take care of family huh? Smile was curt at his question of possession, and after he let go her hand remained there a moment before moving to show him her fun toys. She’d always been irritated by people grabbing her. Past experiences were never positive. “I can take it off your hands, but first I need to know who contacted you looking for it.” Her gentle laugh was genuinely amused. “Of course you can,” quiet voice was rum rich as she began to put it away. “But that’s not how this works. I can’t pay the bills that way, and I don’t give up names. If you get the fun stuff, I have to get something in return. I don’t work for free.” Interrupted. After hours clients were rare. “What’s wrong?” “Nothing,” she readied herself to meet unannounced clients. “I just don’t like unannounced clients after hours. They tend to be entitled dicks. Double O Seven syndrome.” She reassured him the routine was normal, her place really did run like an oiled machine. It had been a while though since someone had just decided to drop by. Same time frame as an ARMA visitor? Interesting coincidence. “And here I thought I was special,” “All my customers are special,” the charm was again smooth, sarcastic smile flashed quickly at him while dusting off her cardigan and tucking any loose locks behind her ears. “Even the ones that almost get their noses broken and then get caught looking at my ass.” Brow quirked at him with a curt smirk as she opened the door and mouthed again not to touch anything. Of course she knew he was going to play with everything. That’s why the good stuff was never where people could see it. There were three. One was playing with the glittering stone necklaces that were hanging in a beautiful front display, spinning them and watching the tiny rainbows twinkle on the ceiling. Another was standing just behind the shoulder of a man waiting for her quietly at the counter, watching the twinkle of her chamberstick. *npc* Neat trick, he commented. “Thanks, just a party trick,” she smiled, setting to clearing the drink trays from the front counter. Lie. The thing was twinkling consistently, which meant only one thing. Harker didn’t need to know it was real either. Whiskey, absinthe. They had definitely seen what was there, but didn’t seem concerned with it. “I apologize, I’ve just finished with another client and didn’t have time to pick up. What can I do for you gentlemen?” After clearing the counter, she settled in on her favorite stool. No introductions. No names. This was normal. *npc* I’ve heard you can get anything. She studied him a moment, serious expression. Maybe a few years older than she, dressed relatively well. Dark eyes, blond, a bit of scruff, dressed in nice dark coat and clothes to match. The man behind him was a bit more formal, older, hands folded in front of him. The third was pacing the shop, hands folded in front of him, just looking at things; he was definitely younger than her. Great. Boss, lackey and cocky young lackey-in-training. “I can,” her voice was in absolute business mode. “Discretely.” *npc* What are the limitations of what you will get? It sounded awful, but this was actually a typical question. How far was she willing to go… this was not just a job interview for her, it was for them as well. “Legitimate deals only, I don’t steal and I don’t kill for items. I don’t traffic living things. Where they’ve been before they’re sold to me is not my concern. Where they go when they leave my hands is not my concern.” *npc* You do business with the Order, ARMA? “I do business with everyone.” He was quiet a moment, eyes wandering over the shop. *npc* You come highly recommended, it was almost said as an afterthought. Do you deal in the dead? “Yes.” Also sounded awful, but it was normal. Hands of Glory, animal blood; she’d moved a mummy once. He nodded. He seemed aloof and didn’t look her in the eye when he spoke. Now lackey one? He was staring her down. Lackey two had picked up a book. Lackey two also had a sunburn. His nose was peeling. There was no way to get a sunburn at the moment. Wind burned, or burn burned, yes. Not sunburned. What could they have been doing to get a sunburn? *npc* Can you get blood of magus? “It’s not something I’ve seen come through my network for obvious reasons, but I have several contacts that may be able to point me in a direction.” She hadn’t skipped a beat, but in her head she was ready to launch over the counter to punch him in the face. There was something about his question, some unseen connection her brain had not made yet. In her gut, she wanted to put her hands around his throat and squeeze the life out of him. “Living donor?” Magus missing. Powerful magus missing. They were on alert now, harder to get their blood now they were watching their backs. This man could have… dark eyes narrowed at him slightly. This man could be responsible for the disappearances, or knew who was. *npc* It doesn’t matter. The only reason people wanted magus blood was for one purpose. Mana was not transferable. A mage couldn’t simply give someone their juice. A normal human couldn’t become a magus with mana. They literally had to become the mage, use the magus’ very life force. Blood magic. It was impossible to gain a magus level, at least as far as she knew, but there had been rumors lately. This was not the first request she’d gotten for blood, so far it had been just been a few drops in a vial. Hoodoo type things. Approaching her would mean they wanted it on a regular basis. They were definitely up to something, or had already done something, or someone and found it to work. She nodded, “are we on a time frame? What amount are you looking for?” *npc* Let’s see how quickly you can obtain a lead, then we can talk about an amount. Nod came again, “this type of request is not an inexpensive one.” *npc* Of course. Is two days long enough to send out ‘feelers’ “Plenty, same time here in two days?” He nodded, then paused a moment as she pulled her keys to let them out a private side door. His eyes wandered over the trays of whisky and absinthe for the first time. *npc* I can’t stress how sensitive this issue is for our privacy. “Of course, that’s why I come highly recommended. I'm just a weigh station. What you do and who you are is your business. Follow me gentlemen.” He smiled at her, and she let them out a private side door. A quick scan of the dark street as she closed the door told her they had come in one car. Once the door closed, she was moving, pushing her workshop door open quickly and already pulling her sweater off. “You have to go,” she said quickly to Harker. “I’m leaving.” No, she was following. She would follow those bastards back to where they were operating from. There could be information there. Information on the missing. The missing themselves. What if they were capturing and killing, or keeping them alive and bleeding? It was unthinkable. Could the missing still be alive? Toes had pulled off her slip on ballet flats at the heel and she yanked up the cuffs of her jeans, sliding on a pair of Harley riding boots that were sitting behind the door, slamming her heels each once to the floor to seat them on her feet and snapping her jeans back down over them. Gauzy tunic was yanked off, racerback cami beneath revealing the actual karambits as she snapped the straps back in. Custom. She was shaking. Anger. The anger was hot in her blood. This was her own anger, and Red’s as well. Lifting a leather jacket from the hook on the wall revealed she wasn’t just a shopkeeper. Jacket was tossed on the workbench and she lifted the spine sheath for a pair of short blades off the hook and pulled it on. Harness quick-clipped in front, a blue button down shirt pulled over it and the black biker’s jacket over that. Braid flipped as she pulled it out from under the jacket and zipped the wrists down to her knuckles. “It’s been awesome. I hope you come again. Nina can show you out.” They would hear her coming, her bike wasn’t exactly silent. She wasn’t exactly going to just look either. She was going to kill them. They couldn’t be the top dogs. She would cut off their runners, then they would come to her for questions. She would kill them too. The flurry of movement came to a sudden stop, and she kneaded her brow with her fingertips. She should ask him to go with her. He couldn’t go with her. He would stop her from what she really wanted to do to these bastards. If she found his colleagues he should be there. She wasn’t the greatest with covert shit. Ali had saved her ass more than once. She needed back-up for this. But he would stop her from killing people. Goody fucking two shoes ARMA. Sigh was sharp as she fished her keys from her pocket, dark eyes with quite a sinister purpose falling on him. Time was of the essence. “How good are you at tailing someone?”
  14. Rorye Shannon-Kearney

    Chasing Ghosts

    “Is that right?” A smirked smile took over. “Invariably.” And she let it go. If people didn’t believe her, they’d find out the hard way. She was just courteous enough to give it to them the easy way. She wasn’t surprised he finally went for the drink, but in those small gestures she found out so much about people. He was like a feral puppy. Needed something to eat, could be adorable and cautious in order to get it, trusting enough to take a bite, but still skittish enough to run. That’s where the feral came in, there was no skittish enough to run with him- that she was sure of. He was a biter. Interesting. That could be either from the ability to handle himself, or be just plain suicidal. "Fair enough." “Don’t care if it’s fair, that’s just the way it is,” thumb played with another ring on her pinkie a moment, just a run of the mill gold band. “People die, life goes on. People piss me off, life goes on. Alliances rise and fall. I don’t sway with the tide, I am on the side I’ve always been on. I do whatever I want, when I want, how I want. Life’s too short to wait for anyone else to make up their damn mind.” It was under her breath but not inaudible as she unlocked her back room, pretty sure ARMA was not a good nickname for him if she was going to be doing business. Mentioning factions in here made people uneasy whether or not they could trust her. And a name? A name could betray his trust in her. Right name, wrong time, caused problems if overheard. Ali, had been sensitive to it but in the end didn’t give two shits. She did, because it dented her business for a time. Harker was right though, they had come sniffing around, trying to run that fucking “territory” crap with her. Hell’s Kitchen was hers. They’d gotten the point really quickly after she’d stabbed one in the neck. Another light clicked on as she knelt and spun the lock on the small safe, waiting until the door had closed behind him to say anything. “So, are you going to tell me about the ring your wearing? My instincts tell me its for more than fashion.” Lips smirked slightly. So he was sensitive, bully for her. Magus maybe. She hoped not. Magus in ARMA tended to be dicks. “Which one? The wedding band resized on my pinkie because I killed my husband and made his skull into a candlestick on the front counter or the blue one that keeps me from killing you?” It was said with such ease it almost sounded like a joke, the clink of a wood and metal box on her workbench. It was ornate, the copper top tarnished long ago to a pale blue. About a foot tall, it looked like it was stacked together, smaller sections all attached making up the entire thing. She knelt back down to fish out the skeleton key that went with the box. It was a strange multi-step lock. Key, then roller combination. She set to opening it. “I’m not cool enough to play with the big kids, but some of us are still trying to figure out exactly what the Event did to us. My crazy is I’m just fast. No hocus pocus, just… fast. Nothing like you magus. There was something else, almost like Outworlder weird that got stuck to me, like something tried to come through and just decided to haunt my ass instead. This other ring just keeps it from saying hello and using me as a meat puppet. Binding ring. I really didn't want to end up in Alcatraz as a schizophrenic killer so I just bound it.” She held up her hand a moment to show him the blue ring again and set back to work. A slight click was heard and she slid the top section to the side. “Though on the rare occasions I’ve let her drive, it was quite interesting.” Pulling out the delicate necklace on the top container was obviously something she’d done already, pulling a soft towel over and laying it on the work table for him to look at. The chain was almost a whisper of metal, barely anything, but the charm was exquisite, blue so brilliant it looked like a drop of clear ocean. Faceted. It looked like just expensive jewelry. “To answer your business question, I caught a box a while back coming up from what was once New Orleans that had been delivered from the Caribbean somewhere. Sent them off to the client. Never heard anything again. They were just, tourist trap stuff. Tiny dead pretty bugs, seahorses, starfish, scorpions in resin on black cords. Then this came through the same route from the same source.” She found a glass in the sink and warmed it up with her hands. “I picked the lock, found this.” She blew into the glass like she was fogging it and then flipped it over the necklace, holding it down. After a few moments, the stone cleared translucent from the warmth, and a tiny scorpion could be seen moving inside the stone wriggling to life and stabbing at the towel beneath it. After a moment, the air inside the glass cooled and it went back to its blue color, immobilizing and obscuring the tiny death inside it again. If someone were to wear it, the body heat or someone's breath would activate the little shit and kill them after a bout of paralysis. “Haven’t gone any further into what's in the ones below yet, but that is fucked up hoodoo. Artifacts can just be curiosity and collectors, but this is specifically to kill somebody. Somebody contacted me yesterday about purchasing the whole container. I’d like to tell them the original client already purchased it and have ARMA lock it up instead.” She really did have a conscience, except she wasn’t gonna let it go to ARMA for free. She still had bills to pay. Funny thing though about weird shit like this, those that really wanted it seldom thought they needed to knock. She wanted it out of her shop. Yesterday. “The original client that bought the tourist trinkets is MIA. Rogue magus. I’ve known them for years, and that’s not normal to disappear.” Eyes moved to a small blue light over the door leading back into the shop. She had a customer. One of THOSE customers. Not now dammit. “Stay in here,” features were clearly annoyed, putting the evil shit back into the box and locking it. “Don’t you dare touch anything. I mean it.” She peered out the privacy curtain on the door slightly, thumbs running across the waistband at the back of her comfy Levi’s, snapping the strap on both karambit sheaths loose and pulling her sweater back over them. Jittery about the hot stock, maybe, stupid enough to trust someone that needed to see her unannounced… not a fucking chance. "The light above this door is the silent alarm. Just means someone is here to talk to me. I meet them in the tea house and bring them into the shop to chat. You know the drill, I just did it with you." Caution wasn't unwarranted as she pressed the button to shut it off and let the tea shop know she knew. She opened the door to the shop, the twinkling skull candle bright. It was a warning. That was not good. "Don't touch anything," she muttered again quietly as the annoyed expression flicked on a dime to a good hostess and she moved into the shop toward the tea house.
  15. Rorye Shannon-Kearney

    Chasing Ghosts

    Absinthe was a veritable myth. Too much lore, too many idiots in search of a rush, and too much misinformation... she watched his cautious curiosity a moment, then set to work on her own glass as he went for the whiskey again. Absinthe for one it was then. The pale green liquid was poured into a small glass, sugar spoon over it. Nina had made her way quietly from the tea house with a tiny silver pitcher of ice water, setting it on the tray and moving back to the tea shop. The proprietor set the glass under a small silver spigot, pouring ice water into the dainty tank above it, and turned a small lever. The ice water began to drip, ever so slowly, over the sugar cube and into the green liquid. It was like watching coffee brew. Hell, it was about the same thing. “I think you’re misinterpreting my intentions, I am sincerely checking on you.” “Because that’s what soldiers do,” her voice was quiet, the quirk of an eyebrow not poking fun but definitely letting him know she was on point. Seemingly comfortable in her company, he was taking his coat off, armed to the teeth. They always were. “I’m sure you made enemies when you threw in with ARMA. How long do you think it will be before they realize Alistar’s gone, and he’s not coming back?” “They can kiss my ass.” It hung in the air, the rum rich smoky timbre of her voice was genuinely not concerned as she checked on her absinthe again and the tiny flame on her little candle behind her twinkled and died out. It was either connected to her moods, read her aggression, or was her own personal exclamation point. Maybe all of the above. She sat on her stool at the counter, as comfortable as ever, watching the water dissolve the sugar so she could partake in one of the most potent drinks in the world. “They piss me off, they don’t get the special prizes.” The spoon stirred the now diluted mix of death, and she took a small drink, eyes closed for a moment as she swallowed. “That’s good.” Glass was set quietly in front of him to try if he wanted. Elbows leaned on the counter across from him, feeling very much like they were across a dinner table from each other. She intertwined her fingers, thumbs tapping on her chin a moment. Lashes lowered, the same grace and easy comfort that heralded an artistic flair still gave him an expression that she wasn’t fucking around. “I appreciate the checking up on, I do. But, everyone who is anyone has always known I do business with whomever I want. If they don’t like it they can fuck right off. That includes ARMA." She slid from her stool, the key ring finding its way into her fingers again, unlocking a door at the back of the shop proper. Pushing it open quietly, the light clicked on. Dark eyes cast a glance over her shoulder. “Well come on ARMA,” she said with feigned impatience, a playful lick at the edges of her words as she gestured with her chin to follow her into her back room. “Time to see the other reason you said you were here.” Toe held the door open for only a moment before it quietly slid closed again behind her; leaving him alone to either finish his boozy coffee in silence, or follow her down the rabbit hole. ((Rorye’s back room is a workshop, a large wood top workbench in the center. Pegboard on one wall is loaded with tools, scattered projects -particularly stained glass- everywhere. There are antique boxes on shelves, odd trinkets hanging from hooks on the walls, antique bladed weapons hung on another wall, stacks of old tomes. On the side opposite the door is the exterior exit that leads outside to her private courtyard. This is where she receives her shipments, innocent or otherwise, and determines what goes out on the floor, what gets locked up in the shop, and what stays in her massive safe to sell to the highest bidder.))


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