JUNE 13, 2019 - Family emergency took a bad turn so had to stay away but now things are finally calming down. Hope to get going again shortly. Thanks for understanding. ~ZEPH
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Greenwich Village - Jan 1, 2022; 6pm Fat Cat Club: A hole in the wall bar before the end of the world, the Fat Cat hadn't exactly come "up" in the world after either. Once a hot spot of exploration where kids from Julliard came to practice their chops at 2am jams, the Fat Cat was still a hole in the wall bar but live music was more elusive these days. People came for the liquor, the jazzy jukebox and the tables. Pool, pong and shuffleboard still lived in the dark place on 7th street. Along the walls one could catch the roll of dice as backgammon and scrabble were still pastimes people found time to indulge in, and in the back left corner near the old stage was a chess game that had been going on for nearly a year now. She had no desire to be at the "extravaganza" at Satyr tonight. It was bad enough she would have to be there the fourth night to play for the big match so she chose to excuse herself from the other three nights. Instead she was here, perched on a rickety stool with a motley crew of musicians that happened to be in the club tonight, accompanying her on some articulate Wes Montgomery. They were decent enough to keep up and knew how to let jazz melt together. Electric chords beneath her calloused fingertips sang as thumb plucked from the side of the strings making the same distinctive soulful sound he was known for. Left long leg was hitched up on the rod across the front of her stool, the sleek instrument nestled on her thigh as she languished in the notes. Jeans were well worn, the dark brown leather jacket showing signs of having lived a long and healthy life as the dim moody spots highlighted in pockmarks across the old stage and its players. Behind her neck a hair tie had been used to sweep back the long mahogany into a tail that was then half pulled through a second time to leave a mussed halo behind her shoulders. Stool to her left had an untouched glass of water on it and a nearly empty glass of Absolut Black Russian. She had been a recluse the last few months. After the absolutely atomic show she had put on for opening night at Satyr, it seemed her former identity was not as dead and buried as she might have liked. "Fans" suddenly realized who she was and had come out of the woodwork to try and get into Bakkhos on the nights she played. Eager clawing hands always on her shoulder and elbow, flinching her very flesh over her bones. Gaspari seemed to sense his guard dog was about to go rabid and she had been released from her Bakkhos gigs for the time being. Here they seemed oblivious or else respected her privacy. Lawrence, the old jazz aficionado that had taken over Fat Cat, knew. But he had no intention of exposing her or trying to profit off the information. She often came in and didn’t play, just sat at the bar and shot the shit with him. Discussing and often arguing over the old greats. This was her place to just…. be.
Inspection took a long time. Every part, piece, scratch and scorch. The imposing figure crouched and tilted a scrap of metal backwards to peer under it. It was fractured. High altitude impact. Of course it was a lot to ask to find clean parts, even if the world was half dead. Technology had rotted in the misuse of what once turned the world. Metal was of the earth, and it would return to it given enough time. These guys seemed to just be selling parts, not any reason for him to decimate the damn place for doing stupid crap. Not in his domain. Shame, hadn’t seen her brute adopted L.A. brother in a while. No need or reason to call him now. Might as well try to get something useable, at least make the trip worth it. “You said they were flight worthy.” Voice was calm, grimy fingers running along it again. The voice was never something she had been able to master. On the outside, yes, it was a coating. Inside, was more difficult. She’d only managed not to sound feminine even after all these years. There was no response as dark eyes flicked up at them through annoyed brows and he stood. Hands moved to his hips, fingers tapping there a moment as he thought and scanned the derelict bunker. Everything seemed to NOT be what he was told. It was a weigh station of sorts for black market mechanical needs. Eyes squinted up at the flood light, then cooled on the dark sky. Helluva lot of parts. The smells in the hyped up senses weren’t just parts. There was something else. Chemical maybe? “Pass. I can’t use broken shit,” he gestured to the outline of a chopper he could see in the darkness. “What about that?” *npc* Koala. Recently flown, stripped to bones but it flies. Not for sale though. Hm. Hands slid off his hips to rest quietly at his sides. Koala’s were hard to find. Stripped ones were unique. The only place they were being used that he knew of at the moment was in the police fleet of New York. He’d seen them in the air, and the hangar where they were stored. Of course they could have gotten them from somewhere else… but he knew there weren’t many somewhere else’s with useable parts. Why would they have a working police chopper? To blend in? Blend into what? What were they ferrying back and forth? Just parts? Koala’s weren’t a cargo chopper. Eyes narrowed, then slid back to the man after regarding the other two. Tickle in his ear brought eyes to scan the darkness beyond the flood light. It was the hiss of static. Click of equipment. There were sights trained on them, him at the very least. Normal. They were protecting the merch. “Maybe next time, take care now.” Ahanu began to fire up the engine, the popping of glass bringing a violent snarl and face twisting toward his chopper. Flashes erupted from the darkness into the windshield. Whine had become powerful, the stumble of Toby from the co-pilot seat allowing him to lean out and cover the wheeling and dealing Aussie that was caught in the open. The windshield was shattered, he couldn’t see a clean shot otherwise. Blood. They’d hit him. They’d tried to snipe his pilots through the windshield??! Was Ahanu hit too??! “GO!” the camouflaged vampire snarled. There was no question of the order, the peppering of bullets plinking into places that weren’t plated… harmless for the most part. The specialized beast lifted off the ground, straight up as fast as it would carry itself. The air suddenly seethed. More gunfire. He was hit, he knew it, hands slapping a gun from his face to grab the closest body and break bones. Gun was pulled, every one of the bastards’ foreheads rupturing with a keen shot, stumbling forward slightly as a bullet ripped through his shoulder from behind. The fuckers in the bushes were no longer shooting at his chopper, the weight of the churning air still pulsing the trees. Growl wasn’t defeated, it was purely homicidal, walking into the darkness and shooting at the Koala’s tank repeatedly. Fuel spilled. Contrary to shitty movies, gas tanks didn’t blow when you shot them. Sparking the fuel did. The crap piece of Cessna they tried to peddle was spun through the air, snapping, scraping and sparking across everything as it went into the darkness of the garage. Small glow seethed into a fury, then… boom. Nobody. Hurt. Her. People. She would burn this thing to the fucking ground. Whatever it was. Whoever it was. They would be decimated simply for hurting her family.