Thomas Gallo

Bakkhos
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47 Showing Real Promise

About Thomas Gallo

  • Rank
    Feet Wet

CHARACTER PROFILE

  • GENDER
    Male
  • PLAY-BY
    Jean Dujardin
  • AGE
    40
  • SEXUAL ORIENTATION
    Heterosexual
  • RACE
    Lycanthrope-Werewolf
  • JOB
    Caporegime; Runs Thyrsus Liquor Store.
  • 'SHIP:
    None
  • LOCATION
    New York, NY
  • FACTION
    Bakkhos
  • APPEARANCE
    Tom is nearly six feet in height and solidly built. His short, well-kept black hair is starting to show some light signs of gray. His face is kept clean-shaven or sometimes has a close-trimmed salt and pepper beard. Deep brown eyes reveal a lot about the man. First is intelligence. His eyes appear to slice through whatever obfuscation is presented before him. Second is pain. Tom is not a miserable person; however, joy is never fully reflected in his eyes.

    Tom is usually dressed formally and professionally. If he is not wearing a suit, he is not conducting business. Since he is married to his work, this isn’t often. He wears the silver twin rings encircled by a grapevine that all Capos wear. The only other jewelry he wears is a necklace that has a large diamond-encrusted ring made from his and his late-wife’s wedding bands.
  • PERSONALITY
    Tom is typically calm, calculating and reserved. Before the world went to hell…he was like that all the time. Now he finds that demeanor to be harder to hold on to with certain phases of the moon. His subordinates and peers have learned to predict when his mood will shift and Tom often isolates himself during those times for that reason. When close to the full moon, he is very easily agitated and has been asked to excuse himself by Victor and Angelo more than once due to this.

    When not under the influence of the moon, he is quite pleasant. While he is never truly jovial, he appears to generally be content and unoffending. When conducting business, he is no-nonsense and wants to get to the point right away.

    Tom radiates a personal aura that tends to make those around him uneasy and at times fearful. Not unlike the effect lycanthropes can have on animals, but the austere presence seems to affect people and lycan alike. It isn’t so much a fear as it is a sort of ‘passive-alpha-steer clear’ vibe that can often make people think twice about crossing him.

    No matter when it is in the lunar cycle, Tom has very little tolerance for swearing. As a tribute to his late wife, he never swears and will correct those who do so around him when appropriate. He’d never correct Gaspari, nor would he correct another Capo within their respective domains. However, all but Gaspari have been corrected and told to watch themselves within Thyrsus. When close to the full moon, he has even physically struck those who spoke out of turn.
  • PERSONAL BELONGINGS
    Owner of Thyrsus Liquor Store

    Sig Sauer P220 handgun

    Tom wears the signature twin-vined ring of a Capo. A keen jeweler might notice that it is not silver. He also wears a necklace around his neck with the fused wedding bands of his late wife's and his own.

    Tom owns a property just outside of the city that has an underground bunker to lock himself within during the change.

    Tom owns a black BMW X5 SUV. Sometimes he drives himself, other times he conscripts a driver. Either way, it is recognizable within the family just whose vehicle it is.

STAFF APPROVED ABILITIES/SKILLS/HISTORY

  • APPROVED ABILITIES
    Human Form
    Lunar Patterns: All the factors that influence behavior/mood/power of a lycanthrope based on phase of moon are tied to proximity to the full moon. Rather than crescendo at the full moon and drop suddenly afterwards, Tom’s were-nature waxes and wanes with the lunar cycle itself. Some lycanthropes are at their weakest the day after the full moon. Tom is at his weakest during the New Moon.

    Enhanced physical attributes: Tom has the increased strength and fortitude typical of lycanthropes in human form.

    Enhanced Senses: Tom’s sense of smell and hearing, and to a lesser extent, vision, are enhanced. The enhanced smell has proven beneficial when checking the quality of the high-end liquor being sold at the Thyrsus.

    Werewolf Form
    Tom’s werewolf form is larger than most. He stands at closer to 8 feet in height and nearly 800 pounds. Simply bigger/stronger/faster than most of his peers, Tom’s were-form is something best avoided.

    Weaknesses:
    Silver: Tom has very low tolerance for silver at all. If he detects the metallic scent of the metal, it is enough to offend him not unlike a man with poor hygiene or a skunk spraying outside. Touching the metal is akin to grasping a rose bush. Silver weapons don’t simply work on Tom. They work exceptionally well.

    Rage: Tom appears to be exceptionally affected by the rage that most lycanthropes feel. While every lycanthrope has the fury inside…Tom’s ferocity is an unruly tenant that seeks to come out whenever possible. Tom believes that his inability to process his grief for his wife’s passing and the latent anger that remained within him because of it during the Resonance Event contributed to this. Whether he is right or not, Tom has a stronger well of rage within him than most other people. It is a constant battle to keep his temper in check and remain in charge of his behavior.
  • APPROVED SKILLS
    Business Acumen: Tom has an uncanny ability to conduct business and almost always seems to make the “right decision at the right time”. Equal parts spontaneous insight and relentless study, Tom ensures that whatever business he is focused on becomes the best at what it does.

    Social engineering: Tom had become a master at leveraging the right person to do the right thing at the right time to further his agenda. While not a sly and silver-tongued person, he has a gift at discerning people’s motivations and a tactical mind to leverage that when useful. Whether it is deciding between the carrot or the stick with his subordinates, or knowing what ‘sacrifices’ are required from him in order for the other party to act in good faith, Tom has a keen eye for detecting what will work best.

    Tom is not an expert fighter, but he has had a modicum of training in kickboxing and wrestling. If a physical altercation were to present itself, he finds that he prefers to go hand to hand, even if appropriate weapons are available.
  • APPROVED HISTORY
    Thomas Gallo grew up in New York with his father Frank. Tom’s mom died when he was a young kid. Frank did his best to raise him, and did a fine job, but a single father in New York was not an easy task to have. Despite this, Tom never grew up lacking. His father always seemed to have enough to provide for all needs and most wants. He would spend some summers in California with his great uncle Julio at the Gallo Wineries. This helped foster his curiosity for business. His summers at the vineyard studying with his extended family gave him insight into the business that would come to help him in the future.

    When Tom was 13, it was impossible for his father to hide his connections. Tom was a quick study and realized that their lifestyle didn’t equate to his father’s wages. It was then that tom learned that Frank was “connected.” Frank gave up trying to hide the connection from his son and educated him about the families. Frank was always careful to keep his son sheltered from the darker aspects of “family-dealings.” He knew he couldn’t keep Tom in the dark any longer, but he could keep him sheltered from the darker aspects. For a time, anyway.

    Tom attended NYU and studied Finance and Business Administration. Frank insisted that he pay for his college, but Tom was savvy enough to know that he was attending on a “family scholarship”. He was an ace student and after graduation, quickly found his way to trading on the commodities market. Tom seemed to have an uncanny insight into the markets and was quickly regarded as a “wizard” of the market. This led to him becoming “connected” of his own accord. His father was not exactly opposed to this, but he wasn’t overly proud either. Having lost his wife, he was afraid of losing his son as well.

    Frank’s anxiety would simultaneously abate and grow with Tom’s betrothal. Tom had asked Jacqueline Strollo to become his bride. By this time, Tom was deeply connected. He didn’t have an exclusive relationship with the Strollos, as his father had taught him to not put his eggs all in one basket. Jacqueline changed all this. She was everything to him. On the day of their wedding, not only was Tom the happiest man on earth, he had also become the newest member of the Strollo family.

    Jacqueline’s impact on Tom cannot be overstated. She was a force of nature. Having “grown up in the mob” Jacqueline was not some delicate flower. She had a strong personality and one would be hesitant to cross her…even without her family connections. Anyone who had a clue knew that her strength did not come from her family, but from within. That is why when she chose her husband, it was met with little resistance, as “Ol’ Jackie can take care of herself.” One thing she did not tolerate in her presence was cursing. This was an odd thing to pick to be sensitive to, especially in a crime family, but she brooks no foul language in her company. Even Carmine tried to respect this…even though he was not at all compelled to behave this way. Jacqueline was not so foolish as to try to insist on this behavior from those who were obviously higher than her in terms of station, however she was often given a great deal of respect over and above her “rank” in the family.

    She wound up correcting some of the unpleasant habits that Tom still had. His foul language was the first and quickest to change. “No man who speaks that way has anything intelligent to say and shouldn’t be taken seriously. If you wish to speak to me, then you shall do so properly, as a man. Not as a school boy thug!” As all wives do, she began coaching him in his appearance, mannerisms, and all the things that most men find unimportant but women find vital. He was already a competent professional, but now he was better. She made him better. She made him his best.

    When Jacqueline died, Tom was devastated. She had hidden her sickness from him as long as she could. Eventually, it was impossible to obfuscate any longer. She had developed pancreatic cancer and had known that her time was limited. As selfless as she was strong, she had learned of this diagnosis while Tom was in the midst of his best performance. She knew she was terminal and had resigned herself to this fate, however Tom was making more money than he ever had before. She didn’t want to derail this current success to worry about something that could not be fixed. Just as Jacqueline feared, when Tom learned the news, he immediately stopped trading. He could not accept that there was no hope for his wife. He liquidated everything he had to gather as much capital as possible to find a cure for his beloved. She died mere days later.

    Her last words to him were simply, “Remember me. In all that you do, remember me, my love. I love you.”

    He did just that. He had taken his wedding band and her ring and had one of the city’s finest jewelers forge them into a single ring that he wears hanging on a necklace. By this point, Tom had established himself as a loyal and valuable member of the family. His entire passion and drive now had a singular focus. He was a driven and relentless machine for the family. Two weeks later, the Resonance Event occurred. The world had changed.

    Rage. Tom had never dealt with his grief over Jacqueline’s death in a healthy way. He buried himself in his work and channeled his grief and anger into his work. It was a temporary fix…like a deer being chased by a wolf. Running buys some time…but it all ends eventually. It wasn’t immediately evident to Tom what was happening to him. He had gone home for the day when the event occurred. That day had been a particularly frustrating one, as nothing appeared to be going right. Shipments were missed, payments not collected…it was ‘one of those days.’ He had poured himself a drink as he sat on his couch, looking at his wife’s portrait hanging above the mantle.

    A sudden grief had overtaken him. As with a lot of men, grief and sadness quickly turned to anger. This anger was different. It was a torrent of rage the likes he had never felt before. He threw his glass across the room and roared with fury. He started tossing glasses, books, chairs, and even couches and tables. As the event occurred, he had succumbed to the most blinding rage anyone could imagine. His form grew large and hairy. Claws sprouted from his fingertips. Fur grew all over his body. Snout extended with finger-length fangs in his maw. He WAS rage. Howling in fury, Tom’s last memory of that night was pain. Pain and rage.

    Tom woke up somewhere in what was left of Manhattan. Naked, blood-soaked, and afraid…and angry. As quickly as he could, he made his way back to the Strollo house to make sense of what had occurred. Apparently, it wasn’t just him that experienced something new. The world had changed in an instant. The family would have to change along with it.

    Tom made his way back to his home and, miraculously, his security footage remained intact. He viewed the footage from the event and was mortified. He watched as he transformed into this massive wolf-like monstrosity and destroy anything nearby before he left the house. Was he a werewolf? It was the only thing that came to mind…but those were children’s stories. Right? To be safe he fled the city before nightfall. The idea of hurting more people made him terrified…which in this present state, made him angry. He headed as far upstate and got to a place as remote as he could before nightfall and waiting. He suspected that another night of chaos and bloodshed awaited. He was right. This time, however, it appeared to be limited to wildlife. Once the moon-cycle had passed, he felt it was likely safe to return to the city. There was work to do. It began now.

    The chaos that came post-Resonance created a lot of loss and opportunity for the families of New York. When Tom had cashed out of the markets to fund his wife’s recovery, it became an accidental boon for the post-Resonance world. When Gaspari had united the families, even he didn’t know the size of the cash-cow that was quietly coming in the form of Tom Gallo.

    When Gaspari reorganized the families into one, united family, Tom had been placed under Victor’s wing for a while. Tom’s past history in working with the Gallo vineyards in California had given him a reason to be paired with Victor. Gaspari had integrated the families together in the various “sectors of business”. That way any sort of “tribal loyalty” held by the original smaller families could never grow. This is why the wine and booze market was controlled by Nuzios and Strollos together. Also, Victor had been similarly affected by the Resonance…forming yet another bond with which he can relate with someone. Once Thyrsus had been established, Tom found himself being named Capo, supervising the ins and outs of everything within the walls of this establishment…legit or otherwise.

Profile Fields

  • Typist's Role Play History
    AD&D 2e until present. Played on another PbP forum-driven site off and on for the last 20 years.
  • Role Play Sample
    “I’ll be back on Tuesday,” Tom growled at Roderick, the manager of the upstairs portion of Thyrsus.

    “But Boss,” Roderick began to retort hesitantly, “4th of July weekend is gonna be huge ‘round here. You are gonna be missed. What am I supposed to say?”

    Tom resisted the urge to round on the man and grab his throat. He was, after all, just doing his job. It was 4th of July Weekend in New York. All the Bakkhos clubs and establishments were looking to do record business. This should be a time where Tom was all business and making sure everything ran smoothly. Unfortunately, it was also the three days in the month where he was a savage, blood-thirsty beast at night. It was best that he leaves.

    “They will know why I left, but they may be none too pleased about it.” Tom’s jaw clenched and he slowly released the balled fist he had made. “Tell them that I trust you to manage while I’m away.”

    Tom forced a smile. He knew the effect he had on people around this time. He didn’t like scaring those who worked for him. A small dose of fear is healthy, but Roderick and some of the others knew of Tom’s sometimes over-the-top temper near the full moon and were outright terrified if Tom didn’t keep himself in check.

    Keeping the smile on his face, he clapped Roderick on the shoulder. “While I’m gone, you speak for me. I trust you to handle business.” He walked toward the exit, and before he exited, he added, “And if you don’t, remember…I’ll be back on Tuesday.” This time the smile was a nearly feral grin. Roderick was somewhat accustomed to this…he’d been working for Tom for a while now. It was, however, impossible to become comfortable.

    Tom jumped into his car and drove north. He had 10 hours until the sun set and he wanted to be as far into the norther wilderness as he could manage before the turn. He knew that he should lock himself in the cellar that had been built for him. It would keep him around during the day to have some face time, but he couldn’t. He rationalized it that it would be too dangerous. Too many people would be around in case he got trapped in public before the sun set. I mean, who leaves on the 4th of July weekend BEFORE the fireworks? It was bad optics. It was too dangerous.

    These are all true, but it wasn’t the truth. Tom could not go in the box. Not this time. He had to run. He had to hunt. No. He could not go in the box. He knew it was dangerous and perhaps a bit reckless, but he had to run. He had to hunt. He had to sate the beast. He was not going in the box.
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  1. Nighttime is Playtime

    Tom was relieved to see Eris’s demeanor soften. In a lot of ways, it seemed that their moods mirrored off of each other’s. Seeing her chuckle and joke helped to soften the edge he had. That raging furnace of primal fury was still right there…but the door to that furnace was closed at the moment. The heat present, but the flames contained. As they drove in silence, he listened and sniffed for any sort of hidden cues. The silver, again, drowned out most anything he could hope to glean. It was too rude to ask her to lock that away somewhere in the bottom of the river. He’d have to deal. The furnace door began to vent a bit into his consciousness. “Straight into the hangar,” she said quietly. “You can park in there.” As he was guided to where to park, he had been correct…the strip was hard to miss. He was surprised at how well-kempt the place was. This was her castle. Her prize. “Welcome to my castle,” Tom’s lips quirked in a slight smile at her choosing the same words from his mind. He noted Toby as he descended. He remembered their initial encounter. Eris seemed to command the same sort of loyalty from her subordinates that Tom had from his. Despite her attitude toward them as free-spirits that happen to help her…there was certainly a pecking order here, and Eris, to this point, appeared to be at the head of it. Tom silently thanked Eris in his mind when she handed Toby the silver necklace. The constantly spraying skunk was now to leave…finally. The vent to the rage furnace began to slide closed again. Tom had no doubt about the safety of his vehicle in her hangar. In all fairness, he kept nothing of any true value within the vehicle. He’d certainly have the vehicle checked for any additional hardware after this visit by some of the mechanics in the family. Trust, but verify. He followed behind her as she ascended to the catwalk and eventually to the helipad. Her scents finally becoming noticeable. God he hated silver! It was evident she was in her element. She was more comfortable here than a badger in their den. He suspected that an unwanted encounter in either place would likely be similar. “Put the headset on and buckle up. Any last requests?” Tom smiled. A genuine warm smile. This felt nice. She could just as easily plunge this chopper into something and hope his durability was less than hers…but he doubted it. It was important to get to the bottom of this fake-Bakkhos thing and likely set up a friendly relationship with Eris and whatever organization she was a part of. Allies were usually better than enemies. Besides, if the alliance didn’t work, then enemies was an easy thing to transition into later. Besides all that, he had to admit…he just enjoyed the friendly company of someone who wasn’t afraid of him. “Never wear silver jewelry again. It stinks.” He winked at Eris as he smiled and put on the headset. Roderick would have had a heart attack if he had seen such an interaction.
  2. Nighttime is Playtime

    Tom's mood lightened a bit at Eris's apparent change of mood as well. He could certainly use a couple of hours beholden to no one. A quick flight seemed like the perfect way to clear his head. When she made the joke of having eaten, he allowed himself a smile at the joke. He was not as comfortable joking about death, however the openness was refreshing. "It makes little difference to me. Surprise me." Tom smirked as he strode toward the door leading back to the club. He knew that the last sentence was likely to elicit some sort of reaction. He stood in the doorway between the patio and the club and surveyed the room once more, scanning for anything that might require his immediate attention. The cop and other were seemed to be behaving. He pulled out his phone and sent off a quick text. Matteo. I'm heading out for the evening. Going to check out Eris's place. Will let you know what I discover. Turning back to Eris, he muttered a simple, "Follow me." He led Eris through the crowd as it parted around them. He had come to expect this phenomena, yet it still amazed him whenever it occurred. He couldn't tell rightly if it were supernatural or if the beast had given him some sort of instinctive presence. Either way, the path ahead was clear as a dance floor could get without a single bit of accidental contact. As they neared the back entrance, they walked past the bar that Ari was tending. The small, Asian woman looked first at Tom, then to Eris, and then back to Tom. With a simple hand to his chest and a nod, Ari returned her attention to the patrons. Were his hand to the chest have been a fist to the chest instead, Ari would have followed behind them for an uncomfortable discussion with Eris. The open hand indicated open passage. Bakkhos was always on guard. Once in the back, they descended to the garage where he parked the X5. He held the passenger door open for Eris to get in and, after closing the door behind her, climbed into the driver seat and started heading toward the air strip. "I know approximately where your airstrip is, but you'll have to navigate more specifically as we get closer." Tom then started the drive to the airstrip in what was likely to be another interesting venture.
  3. Nighttime is Playtime

    Tom exhaled sharply as soon as the words left his mouth. He had offended Eris. He wasn’t being rude…he had done something far worse. He had revealed to his counterpart that her defenses had failed, yet remained outside the wall. It wasn’t his intention, obviously, to provoke the silver-draped viper. His attempt at subtlety had been interpreted as arrogance. Fantastic. It was hard enough to have a civilized discussion with others who thought you were inches away from ripping their head from their shoulders…however true that may be. It was an entirely different matter to remain discreet while also appear nonthreatening…to someone who is least likely within a square mile to be threatened by him. This is why he loved his numbers. They were predictable, reliable, and decidedly less tricky. “Bravo.” Yep. He had miscalculated. Tom had upset Eris. To what degree, however, was still uncertain. Was she insulted that he had beat her to the punch? Was there a level of insecurity that her aura of superior-indifference was protecting that had now been revealed? Either way, Tom couldn’t shake the feeling that something significant had just occurred. He’d have to mull over that later, when he was calmer. The moon coming soon meant that he would not likely be able to think too deeply about it without Roderick around. A low growl escaped his controlled façade. Thinking of Roderick beckoned his anger toward the deceit from earlier in the day. "I'll call you when I catch my mice. Thank you for your hospitality." She just up and left! Despite her best efforts to keep her cards close to her chest, this was her most obvious tell. Retreat. Were she to cleverly deflect, he’d be left to speculate…however he knew he had touched a nerve. Was it his lack of awe at discovering vampires? Was it as simple as he had deduced the answer before she had the satisfaction of a reveal? Or did she suddenly feel vulnerable and tried to hide it? He was about to call out to her to wait and come back as she turned around. "You want to see your pride and joy party from another angle? You can ask anything, but not while in here. I'll have you home before curfew, promise... with all the answers you need, and a new business proposition. Come up with me in the Koala..." A relieved smile touched Tom’s face. She had regained her composure and was no longer retreating. He was used to being the wolf that sheep fled from. He didn’t want to be chasing away other wolves now too…unless he had to. Koala? He presumed she was referring to an airplane. Either way…it appeared that he had to extend some trust her way if this relationship were to continue. Besides…she’d have to kill him before sunrise if she wanted him dead. “I would like that. I think you and I have much to discuss.” He sniffed and his face soured. “Besides, the pheromones, sweat, vomit, and other party smells are gong to be noxious soon.” He stood up and strode toward her. When he got near, he was disappointed that the silver necklace overpowered the other scents of her. He’d have to find a way to subtly get that away from her. Maybe it brought her comfort around him? Or maybe it was just another subtle test thrown his way. Regardless, it was unpleasant. “Care to ride with me to our destination?”
  4. Nighttime is Playtime

    When Tom was near the height of his rage, most people stayed away from him...scattering away from him as if his anger were a wave that washed away debris. Eris was like a wall where the water crashed into it and was dispersed. A part of him was frustrated at this, as it was atypical and not conforming to usual patterns. Order mattered. However, there was a relief...like a hurricane hitting a coast, the tempest of fury slowly dissipated as it was no longer being fed. The fear others exhibited in his presence seemed to justify his rage...strengthen it. Eris's presence was the antithesis to this aspect. Calming...but not soothing. The unstoppable force meeting the immovable object. This time. "Yours waxes and wanes with the moon. Mine, is always a shackle on my ankle.” These words helped Tom regain a bit more focus. Engaging the rational, problem-solving side of his brain was a tactic he used during the early days of his transformation to help mitigate the beast inside. Reason was the antithesis of emotion. Eris also had a beast inside did she? She wasn't a were, of that he was certain. In today's new world, she could be any sort of beast in lady's clothing. But then she got uncomfortable. It was slight, and likely would have gone unnoticed...except more of rational Tom was seeping back into consciousness. Scent changed slightly...heart rate increased maybe? Was that adrenaline? It was impossible to tell for sure over the stench of silver draped around her neck. Tom knew from his first encounter with Ms. London that inches to her meant miles to anyone else. Whatever discomfort she was attempting to mask, she did a damn good job of it. But its presence was noted. Perhaps she wasn't as unphased by his presence as he had assumed? She was strong, but a vulnerability had presented itself. So there is a limit to her then...worth noting. “I know you understand the importance of need-to-know, and discretion.” The wall still held. Interesting. That wellspring of primal fury still burned hot within him...a constant companion, however the surge had just crested against that...almost...unbreakable wall. Her cryptic beginning to what was certain to be an interesting revelation of some sort caused him to sit back down and pour himself another drink. As he took his first sip, he saw the ring and raised an eyebrow as if seeing it for the first time. He had not been aware of the damage done to the ring until just now. He gazed into Eris's large pupils and listened intently. “There could be information revealed when they’re questioned that you have not been privy to yet. It’s important you understand it cannot be repeated. They are either trying to start trouble with your people by claiming territory, or they are pressing to interfere with mine. I’m hoping to keep yours from taking the fall if mine think it’s your fault.” What was she getting at? She knew much more than he did, of that he was certain. Who were her people? There was no doubt now that this was about more than just a woman and her airport. There were bigger players involved. Of course there were. Someone who wanted to start a war between Bakkhos and...whomever she represented? Maybe the Blood Moon was a blessing in disguise if it put these two organizations on the same page...about this at least. "They are aware. They know who I am, they know what I am. I know you know Mythos and Toby are the same as I am. That push back you feel now, that's me. That itch, the scent that keeps forever changing but somehow stays unique. I need to know if you want to be brought into this loop.” His face soured. He was aware that he didn't know everything, but it was never pleasant to have that thrown in your face, however innocently...or carefully in this instance...it was done. Mythos, Toby, and Eris. He had noticed that their scents were similar in some fashion. He never thought overly much about it, as it never entered into his consciousness as something important worth investigating. Now that it was brought to the forefront of his mind...it itched. She, Mythos, and Toby are all...something. The same thing. There were other weres and even other wolves since the Nevus event. What other monsters have come to be since then? Everyone knows about the zombies meandering aimlessly wherever they happen to be currently. Some were changed uniquely, like Gaspari and Matteo. There was some uniformity to the others. Tom's brows furrowed in thought. He closed his eyes for a moment...his anger was still there, just controlled...however a side-effect was that all senses were dialed up as well. Closing his eyes helped to eliminate some of the distraction...he would have found himself studying Eris's face more if his eyes were open currently. No distractions. Think. There is an answer here. Breathing slowed...and then it came to him. He recalled a conversation he had with Mythos and Matteo not long ago. Matteo kept making jokes about Mythos dialing up every Hollywood stereotype of vampires. Tom didn't think much of it, as it wasn't something to note then. But now it made sense. That shifting scent. In fact, he had never interacted with Eris, Matteo, or Toby during daylight hours. Well damn. He opened his eyes and met Eris's with a slight smile. A relieved smile...a satisfied one. Finally, some sort of victory. It made sense now. It wasn't entirely shocking to him, he had to admit. Werewolves...zombies...why not vampires? He expected to see ghosts soon enough now. He even let out a soft chuckle. "I take it your days of sunbathing on the beach are over?" The question was deliberate and obvious. This was not designed to provoke, but rather to communicate understanding without speaking with all the grace of a sledgehammer. She guarded whatever secret she had carefully...and unless he was mistaken, he had to be careful which words he used. "Is this your revelation? Or is there more to it?"
  5. Nighttime is Playtime

    "Everyone takes orders from someone, some exclusively, some at their own leisure. You weigh the consequences on not, and decide if you're willing to accept them." This was true enough. This indicated that she was part of some organization. This made sense. It would be unlikely that an airport would be functioning at such a level without some sort of organizational support. There was more to learn about this one, and he suspected Matteo might know more than he has shared. "Ahanu though, is different to me than I suspect Roderick is to you." This was also true, to an extent. Roderick was more than labor. It seemed that the people she named were family to her and not employees. She obviously would kill for them, as evidenced by the destruction at Thyrsus during the Blood Moon. The passion she felt was likely not matched by his own, but he had killed for the Family before, and Roderick specifically more than once. Funny thing about his powers, when they don't work...it really upsets whomever he tries to influence. "That is where you are wrong. I can, have, and likely will again...spill blood in defense of Roderick." His eyes darkened and a low growl could be perceived beneath his words. Whether he was still seething from earlier, or perhaps feelings were being dredged up with remembering having to defend Roderick from his would-be attackers...it was unclear. One thing that is incredibly clear to any perceptive enough...he is a man who walks the fine line between control and fury. "Roderick is a good kid. I bet Ahanu and he will have a great time. As I'm sure you have surmised, I don't particularly...enjoy...surprises." The stench of silver was more noticeable outside, away from the sweat, hormones, and booze...but he was able to mask his displeasure. Then she pulled the necklace from around her neck and set it on the table. Was there a hint of a smirk in her face? He wasn't entirely sure, but he couldn't shake the feeling that she desired to provoke the beast. He didn't recoil from the necklace, but his nose did scrunch up as the scent was amplified by being fully exposed. He reached for another glass under the bar to slam atop the offending jewelry and slide it away, just as she deftly looped it back around her neck. "You have a problem." He picked up the ring and examined it while Eris continued. "I took this off a man claiming to be Bakkhos, casing my fence again with a buddy of his. They're pressuring places up and down the river, old mob style money for protection." Now that was interesting. He didn't recognize this particular sigil, but was certain it wasn't Bakkhos. Who would have the audacity? Brows furrowed in frustration as his hands balled into fists. Who would dare? This would not go unpunished. This would be ended quickly. Violently. He closed his eyes and took long, slow deep breath in an attempt to calm himself. In doing so, he released the ring he had been holding and it was dented noticeably. A bouncer had attempted to enter the area Eris and he occupied, presumably to offer some sort of service or product, but he instinctively turned on his heel and fled back into the crowd. When Thom's eyes opened, they met Eris's. A tempest of fury and rage burned beneath a thin layer of icy-calm...the calm of a wolf just before he bares his fangs and lunges. He wanted to destroy everything in sight. He wanted howl in rage and let the fountain pour forth indiscriminately at whatever lie before him. He wanted to grab Eris by the waist and see where that path led. He was all feral instinct...tempered by the thinnest, yet unbroken layer of self-control and humanity. "I would like to join you when you find them again. Let us discuss with them the error of their ways together." He wanted to get eyes on this operation himself. He didn't want bodies delivered with stories. He had no real reason to believe that Eris would lie to him about something like this. However, the other Capos would trust his first-hand account of matters. "Then we can see what they have to present to the others in my family." The other Capos would want to ask their own questions, of course. It was only right that Eris have first crack at them. If he was being honest with himself, he desired a similar outlet.
  6. Nighttime is Playtime

    The cool air and quieter area was welcome. Eris appeared to have quite the disdain for crowded places…and Tom didn’t care for them either. The world had become more accustomed the post-Resonance world. Tom had grown accustomed to the external changes in the world, but internally…it was getting harder. His tolerance for annoyances…setbacks...was waning quickly. If he had spent another hour in amongst the sweat, noise, and hormones…he’d have likely gotten violent. Roderick’s stunt had accelerated the depletion of his patience. The removal of the offending stimuli aided in his regaining control over himself. He had enough awareness to detect that Eris was averse to that sort of environment. This spoke more about her relationship with the other girl that she’d be willing to come to such a place to appease her. Apparently, he was the only one not in the loop concerning this rendezvous. “Does everybody do what you tell them to?” The question snapped him out of his daze. This was an interesting question. He hadn’t given it much thought. He ran the business and had to make decisions. Subordinates that didn’t follow orders were of no use…except to serve as examples to those who might be like-minded. Tom knew that he was feared. Even those who were unaware of his lycanthropic condition sensed something about him that kept them from provoking him. He didn’t fancy himself an authoritarian-style leader. He took care of those under him and served those above him loyally. He had a near mechanical way of dealing with poor subordinates or threats to the family. Ruthless efficiency. Although now…his handling of things had become more savage. The unexpected question brought some levity into his demeanor. She did not fear him. Eris was the one of the few who appeared to stand still in a world where everything moved very fast. He hadn’t encountered many like that before. Himself, Gaspari and the other Capos, a few others who had gained new found strength since the Resonance. Eris was one of these powerful entities. In a way, it was refreshing. His mood seemed to lighten when speaking with those who weren’t speaking defensively. She knew what he was and likely knew better than to bluff. “Usually. Although I try not to make unnecessary demands.” He smirks slightly and takes a long pull from his drink. His mood was beginning to mellow…slightly. “What happens if they don’t?” This time Tom allowed himself a soft chuckle. He topped off his glass and held out the bottle toward Eris in case she wanted the same. No…she wasn’t posturing. He had been weight and measured…was he found wanting? Maybe he should let her come with him upstate sometime. No. That was stupid. Although the idea was tempting…for a reason he couldn’t put his finger on at the moment. “As with everything, that depends.” His voice wasn’t full of malice. It was as matter-of-fact as you could get…with a hint of something else. Eagerness? Satisfaction? Something. He took a sip as he studied her over the rim of the glass. “What about you? I suspect that you aren’t one that is told what to do or ‘no’ often. How do you handle such things?”
  7. Nighttime is Playtime

    When Eris’s lips quirked in a half-smile at his admittedly ingenuine greeting caused him to smirk a bit himself. It wasn’t that he was upset at her presence here. His current default mood with regards to the moon, coupled with his personal disdain for surprises gave away the half-hearted attempt at polite deception. Most knew to step lightly around Tom during these times. Even the party-goers here who didn’t know him from Adam seemed to instinctively know to stay out of his way. This effect seemed to have no sway over Eris. She appeared to be more uncomfortable with the crowd than himself. He had given it some thought since their last encounter…she was one of few people in the world who didn’t display any sort of fear when dealing with him. This was oddly refreshing. Whatever occurred during the Nevus Event…she had gained some confidence with her new-found strength. But he could almost smell the cringe-like feelings coming from her when this close to so many people. Interesting. Tom turned his focus on Roderick and Ahanu. So this is why she was here. Roderick had pulled a fast one. He felt his rage boiling…then he felt his rage dissipate, slightly. Roderick was clever. He knew how this would play out and he preemptively smothered Tom’s rage as it began to swell. Jaw and fist clenched, he turned a near-feral stare at Roderick. The look was brief, there and gone in a second. The message was clear though, Roderick had crossed a line. Roderick had put a hand to his head in pain. He had made the rare mistake of underestimating the torrent of rage that Tom was capable of. Roderick’s mood-altering powers had limits, and he had just been brought to the brink of those limits. Withdrawing his hand from Eris’s, he put a firm hand on Roderick’s shoulder and gruffly said, “Go and enjoy yourself. We have a long day tomorrow.” Roderick led Ahanu deep into the throng of people as Tom returned his attention to Eris. Just as Eris had turned her attention to the near-empty patio, Tom asked Eris, “Care to join me on the patio for a…quieter experience?” Tom strode forward with a deliberate stride that was as likely to change direction as a train on the rails. The cool, night air was welcome. As soon as thud of his Alessandro Démesure Oxfords could be heard echoing on the cobblestone patio he looked to the bouncer on duty here and simply nodded back toward the club. Without a word coming from Tom, the bouncer rounded up the half-dozen or so patrons from the patio and ushered them back inside, leaving just Eris and Tom outside in the quiet night. Tom walked behind the bar that was situated in the corner near where the bouncer had stood. He grabbed a pair of glasses from underneath. He reached for a bottle of Zyr and poured it into one glass. He held the bottle above the other glass and looked at Eris, silent question obvious.
  8. Nighttime is Playtime

    What is she doing here? Tom marched toward the door with a determined stride. The crowded floor seemed to part around him, as if they all instinctively knew to stay out of his way. If anger had an odor... As if intended, Roderick slipped just behind Tom as he got near Eris and Ahanu. Tom gave him a quick glance, and Roderick looked away briefly, guilt plain on his face. This was his fault. They'd have a discussion about this later. Rage boiled up inside him unconsciously...the moon was soon and it was evident. Brows furrowed and a low growl escaped. Suddenly, a gentle calm slid over him. His rage subsided a bit. A barely controlled inferno reduced to a contained blaze. The fury and passion was there, however, thanks to Roderick, it was contained. For now. Walking up to the tiny woman, Tom greeted her with a warm and welcoming smile. His smile was tempered a bit as he caught a whiff of Eris's silver necklace, but that was quickly dismissed, smile returning in full. Welcome to Bakkhos. I'm glad you decided to come. He said as he offered his hand to her. This wasn't untrue. There was a part of him that was glad to see Eris again. Tom was just not a large fan of surprises...especially those that involve someone like Eris. Stealing a quick glance at Roderick, he noted that he appeared to be nervous, slightly. Great. Someone was smitten. This is why this scenario exists? Yes. They would definitely be talking later.
  9. Heading Upstate

    As the sun began to recede behind the trees, the chill of night began to set in. Tom and Frank nodded to each other and began removing their clothes. The turn would come soon, and best they be ready for it. Father and son, strode naked, deeper into the woods towards a clearing that become their “spot.” They said not a word to each other as they stepped into the clearing. With one more nod, they turned their backs to each other and stepped to opposite sides of the clearing. Pain. Tom roared as liquid pain coursed through his veins. Bones elongated, and muscles swelled. Skin stretched to accommodate Tom’s new, larger mass. Every bit of his body was wracked with unimaginable pain and torment…and it was just beginning. His body continued to stretch, grow, and swell. Talons pierced through is fingertips, fangs grew long and sharp. All the while, a thick coat of greyish-black fur covered his body. Tom had long-since given up trying to fight the transformation. Enduring the pain was something he tried to fight through in the early years, but he had learned to just surrender to it. There was no reversing or stopping this. It was going to happen. It needed to happen. As his snout elongated to complete the transformation, the last bit of Tom’s mind blacked out. Now it was only the beast. Rage. Tom’s Beast howled in fury at the sky, sounding a warning to his quarry. He sniffed the air and saw the other beast. It was smaller, with more grey than black in its fur. It was familiar…family. With a snarl, the Beast leapt into the wilderness. Rampaging through the trees as fast as possible, it was seeking any scent larger than a rabbit. Pausing, it caught a scent. Several in fact. One was the desired prey. Deer. Snarling deeply, he tore off in the direction of the deer scent. Thundering through the forest, the Beast was making no attempt at stealth. Only death and fury were to come. He caught sight of the deer…a young buck running as fast as its legs could carry it. The chase lasted mere moments before Tom’s Beast pounced on the young stag. Blood and flesh sprayed from the animal in an explosion of carnage. In mere seconds, the healthy deer had become debris on the forest floor and surrounding trees. Bellowing out a howl of triumph, the Beast continued in search of more prey. Slowing down somewhat, Tom’s Beast had found a different prey. Something that he had not yet encountered…and seemed the most appealing of all. This wasn’t like the deer, cows, or occasional bear he had come across before. This was sweet smelling, enticing, enthralling. The Beast followed the scent to the exclusion of anything else. He stalked and ignored the scents of other creatures as he followed this trail. He caught the faint whiff of smoke as he continued after this trail. As he continued, the smell got stronger and stronger. Finally, he found his quarry. Two humans sat around a camp fire. A man and woman sat, holding one another and chatting softly to each other with a small tent behind them. The Beast leapt at the two in a snarling fury…not quite like what had happened to the stag, but in a controlled, trapping way. He circled the two terrified humans not unlike a shark would in the water. The two humans were paralyzed…unable to even raise a yell in panic…the Beast’s massive frame circling them. Finally, he pounced. He grabbed the woman by the arm with his snout, sinking his teeth into her arm and flung her into a nearby tree, knocking the woman unconscious. The Beast’s gaze turned to the man and he managed to summon enough wits to run. He stood no chance. The Beast gave chase and caught him within twenty feet of the fire. When he pounced, the enormous weight of his massive frame came down on the small of the man’s back, crushing his spine. He held the man with his massive claws, sniffing, sensing he was dead, and discarded him like a useless piece of trash. He sniffed the woman, knowing she was alive. The Beast bellowed out a loud howl, and tore off into the night, attempting to sate this hunger and rage that could not be quenched.
  10. Nighttime is Playtime

    Tom noticed Margie’s reaction. The natural sizing up of one predator to another. He accepted Abby’s hand with a gentle, yet firm grasp, conveying respect and welcome with a gentle smile. He grasped Margie’s hand firmly, with the familiarization of recognizing another of his own. He stared hard into her eyes for a moment, conveying a sense of dominance and territoriality. This club was under his protection and charge, as far as she was concerned. The harsh stare was only a moment, before replaced by a lightness in his gaze and a smile of welcome. It was enough…his scent, presence, and demeanor would have coalesced into a message communicating, “Play nice, cause no trouble, and we’ll be good.” "We're just getting started" Tom raised his glass in cheers to the sentiment from Margie, his ring catching the light as he did so. Abby would certainly recognize the ring signifying him as a Capo within the Bakkhos family if she wasn’t aware already. "How's your evening, Tom?" “So far, so good. It’s opening night, and things are going smoothly so far. Glad you could join us. Everything to your liking thus far?” When Margie let out a ‘whoah’, Tom turned his gaze toward the door where Margie was looking. He noticed Ahanu and Eris entering the club. His brow furrowed a bit. He did not expect her to show up the club…she likely thought it was beneath her. Had she come courting the beast again, or was she up to something else? “Enjoy your evening, I look forward to seeing you again.” He raised his glass in cheers, and started walking towards Eris and Ahanu.
  11. About time I put this up!

    Tom could have easily encountered either character in one form or another. I'd be up for some history building posts, certainly.
  12. Nighttime is Playtime

    Tom was lounging in one of the VIP areas chatting with some of the high-spending patrons, pretending to care about whatever it was they were saying. He raised his glass in cheers, laughed along with them, and then promptly took his leave under the guise of getting another drink. He didn’t care for this particular group…annoying nouveau-riche that tally the fun of the evening by the number of empty bottles at their feet at the end of the night. Tom could barely tolerate their company, but their money works as well as anyone else’s and Tom was glad to let them throw it at the feet of Bakkhos. He stepped out into the floor, smiling at the women who took notice of him, and glowering at the men who attempted to size him up. There were plenty of bouncers in the club, but there was no small part of Tom that silently hoped he’d get to bounce someone himself. It was, indeed, time for another drink, then maybe he’d enjoy this music some and have some bit of fun. As he wandered toward the bar, he caught a wiff of something. There was another lycanthrope close by. This wasn’t entirely surprising; however, he knew the moon was soon and that there might be some temperamental weres in the crowd. It was important that they be reminded that a bigger, badder wolf lurked among the crowd as well and that tempers should be kept in check. Tom had spotted Angelina sauntering off not too long ago. It’d be worth having the eyes and ears tip her off in case this one got feral. Once he reached the bar, he realized who it was. Two young women were conversing at the bar and appeared to be having a wonderful time. Tom walked up next to them at the bar and held up two fingers toward Ari. The Asian bartender knew to slide over a double shot of Ron Zacapa XO. He pulled out his phone quickly and sent a text off to Matteo. Cop and lycan at Ari’s bar. Drink in hand, he turned to the two women. One was a cop…the other was a lycanthrope of some sort. This was an interesting dynamic. Looking at Abby and Margie, he extended a hand toward Abby first, and then the other. “Welcome to Bakkhos. I am Tom Gallo. Are you enjoying your evening so far Ms...” Tom left it trailing for them to fill in the rest.
  13. Nighttime is Playtime

    Roderick had just sent the last truck with booze over to Bakkhos. He had decided himself that sending an extra padding of liquor supplies over to the club was wise. Tom had given him leave to close up shop and come to the opening himself...he was considering that. Roderick frowned slightly, though. Tom was always putting the well-being of those around him over his own. Not what you would expect a 'typical' Capo to do, but one could not argue with results. Thyrsus was profitable...extraordinarily so. It isn't as if the workers didn't fear Tom...they most certainly did...but the respect that came from the restraint that he didn't have to exercise that has carried long with his subordinates. It commanded a loyalty that was hard to break. Roderick felt compelled to do something for the Capo. An idea came to mind. He picked up his phone and sent a text to Ahanu: Hey. Mr. Gallo would like Ms. London to join him at Club Bakkhos tonight for the opening. If you are free, I'd like to take you there as well.
  14. Nighttime is Playtime

    Tom smiled slightly. Often Matteo would tease him about being uptight, but now it was evident that he was feeling the pressure of making things go right. Tom was a little on edge with the moon coming soon, but he couldn't pass up the opportunity to see Matteo stress a bit. Besides, even Tom knew that some R and R was due. This was likely to be a fun night. More importantly, unless booze ran out, his head wasn't on the block for anything. You betcha. I'll be here.
  15. Nighttime is Playtime

    Wonder if that’s all she recognizin'…. Tom chuckled. Matteo had specific motivations. Ladies were one of them. Eris was an intriguing woman...but he didn't have time to think about things like that. What time do things start tonight?