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Satyr Stadium - August 28th - 4pm

@Thomas (Tom) Gallo

 

Delay….after delay……after fucking delay.

 

Head hit the wall gently as he stood in the large office trying to stay awake. He had been up for three days trying to make the September first grand opening. It had been one nightmare delay after another.

 

First the sewer backed up into the public restrooms, then the southern stadium that had required the most repair after the Nevus event developed a major crack in the foundation that had to be reconstructed.  Then the first cage had blown up in a mild field test requiring it to be fully rebuilt. Then the damn city government refused to pass the cage until it was "properly" tested. Which wasn’t a "bad" thing in the end as it revealed the damn thing would fail in an all out altered battle and put the audience at danger. That had led to a week of re-engineering and hired magic users crawling all over his stadium to rebuild the cage. Then it still didn’t get clearance until he agreed to remove the lower seating rows and encased the first cage with a second safety cage.

 

Joey had snuck into the doorway so quietly he had almost missed him, brow quirked up at the sheepish expression the lycanthrope was wearing.

 

Wha'?

 

NPC:…um…. so Gray's dry run last night….

 

Yeeeah..?

 

Eyes narrowed slightly not liking the hesitation in the guys voice. The dry run he had not authorized… the one where she just showed up at the stadium at 2am and somehow sweet talked the head of security then lit the sound system up like a beacon to another fucking dimension. Derrick had come back from Egypt just… pissed.  He had almost crossed her about the attitude but a single look from Gaspari had told him to back the fuck off. Something was up with the head of Bakkhos' guard dog and the head would have no one looking at her wrong at the moment.  Wasn’t like he disliked the woman. Hell she had saved their asses on too many occasions to count. But something about her since that trip felt feral… on the edge of out of control.

 

NPC: …ya…well…..  the session sort of… blew out the in stadium speakers of the north section.

 

Head hit the wall again as the laugh came out with a bit more hysterical edge than intended.

 

Of course it did.

 

Hands rubbed over his features as his head hit the wall a bit harder, peek over at Joey warning that the man was wondering if he was losing his mind. This time the chuckle sounded more like the Capo's usual self.

 

Ok, Joey.  Let's get the engineerin' crew out here to fix 'em. Tell 'em we gotta amp up the intensity they can withstand. Rewire 'em… replace 'em… don’t give a shit but they need to handle….more.

 

 NPC: Boss?

 

Trust me on this one.  What she intends to play will…..just…. they need to handle more.

 

He had come to investigate the silent alarm she missed disarming and when he got there… it had been earth shattering to listen to. He always knew she could really play but this had been…. a whole new level. Old school metal, rock at an intensity and skill that put the original artists to shame. Unlike the sultry sound she elicited in Bakkhos, this had been the kind of music to whip a crowd at a cage fight into an absolute frenzy. He wasn’t entirely sure the damn place would be left standing after the fucking opening number let alone the actual match.

 

One more thing to fix before they opened in TWO days.

 

'ey Joey…. Tom was still on for delivery tonight right?

 

NPC: Far as I know he was. At 5.

 

'kay….thanks.

 

As Joey headed out to make the calls, he walked to the massive wall of windows that overlooked the stadium. It was the best view of the massive caged arena. The office was on the upper ring, above the private boxes, a luxury suite that had been converted with bullet proof glass and a steel door to ensure security.  He preferred to be in the fray with his people, the office was more for when Gaspari or the other Bosses were there, but it had come in handy the last few days for naps between overseeing stocking, construction and the never ending minutia of preparations.

 

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Tom was in his office going over reports and numbers. The Thyrsus repairs had been completed. It had taken a while to squeeze out the leeches, lazy workers, and outright crooks among the construction crews.  Once that was done, things moved quickly and efficiently. Thyrsus was every bit the miniature fortress it was before the Blood Moon…plus a bit.

 

That wasn’t all that was on his desk. Satyr Stadium was reopening…probably…real soon and he was getting together the liquor order for the stadium. After running the tallies, it was going to take a small moving truck to get the inventory there. Pressing the button on his desk he spoke;

 

“Roderick, Matteo is expecting the shipment by 5pm. Are you going to make that deadline?”

 

“Yeah, boss. It should be there right around then or perhaps a few minutes before.”

 

“Sounds good. I’ll be heading that way soon myself.” He growled in spite of himself as he thought on his next inquiry. “I suspect that Angelo will desire to keep me from going upstate this month and I’ll be relegated to ...the box,” he spit out those last two words with as much venom as a man could, “...during the Satyr Stadium opening. Can you check it out tonight or tomorrow to ensure it is ready for my stay?”

 

Tom hated that damn box. But he didn’t see a way around it this time. Unless…no. From what he had heard, Matteo had been having problems keeping the containment of the arena appropriately. They wouldn’t let Tom’s beast out in front of people if the integrity of the structure was in question. Each time he had to force himself back into his small, steel-reinforced hell, it was more difficult. He didn’t know quite what that meant, but he knew that sometime, it was going to go poorly.

 

Tom, now too agitated to look at the numbers with anything resembling organized thinking, got up from his desk and hopped in his X5 and drove over to Satyr Stadium. The drive helped to calm him down a bit. We were less than a week out from the full moon…so these drives alone were more valuable to him now than at any other time during the month.

 

Once he arrived at the Stadium, he took in the improvements and nodded in approval. Looks like they were making progress after all. Catching a whiff of Joey milling about somewhere, he knew Matteo couldn’t be far. He made his way up to the sky box at the very top where he overheard Matteo speaking to Joey and walked into the room.

 

“Matteo, how are things coming along up here?” He had on as genuine of a smile as he could manage, but Matteo likely knew it was forced. “Or more like…what are today’s setbacks?”

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Fingers pinched the bridge of his nose as for a split second he considered picking up the phone and telling Gaspari he was pushing back opening a month.  Just a split second though. They missed their grand opening date last year when other priorities made it too much of a resource drain on Bakkhos to consider opening it. More importantly, this opening was more highly publicized which meant a lot more explaining when it didn’t happen.

 

Sighing to himself he moved away from the windows, fingers scratching at the curls tickling the back of his neck as he walked to the long buffet under the big screens. Pulling the top off the whiskey decanter, he pour himself a glass just as Tom came around the corner. Timely as ever. Fingers flipped over the second glass and poured the Caporegime one of his own.

 

“Matteo, how are things coming along up here? Or more like…what are today’s setbacks?”

 

Smirk lit his lips at the forced smile as he held out the second glass sipping from his own.

 

Amiable doesn’t suit ya Tom.

 

It was the Senior Capo's way of saying "no need to force it around me". Hip rested against the large leather chair facing the window. Tom wasn’t like Joey. Joey was sunshine and smiles right up to the full moon; it was after that the kid was sullen and moody. Tom…. he had the animal at the surface much sooner from what Matteo had surmised.

 

Today's?....well lessee…. Mason blew out an entire section of speakers last night…. think the beer order was underestimated based on cheap seat ticket sales... lights in the fighters locker rooms gone out and no one can figure out why there ain't power now there.... got two boxes whose ceilin's leaked in the rainstorm two days ago that likely cant get fixed before openin'…which means got two reservations gonna need to tell ain't gettin' private boxes....

 

Glass came to his lips but paused, lifted instead towards the man in a grand gesture that licked of sarcasm…

 

Oh… and one of the combatants got cold feet so I currently 'ave no actual fight for the openin' night fight.

 

Glass lifted higher before the entire contents was downed and he walked back to the decanter. Shrug was a bit accepting of the whole thing as a grin slid his lips.

 

Welcome to paradise right?

 

Fresh glass was cradled, hanging from his fingers as he glanced out the windows to the arena, watching the elongating shadows as the sun fell lower than the outer walls of the stadium.

 

I know this will be a huge money maker once it really gets goin'. But damn if she bein' a huge bitch to get there.

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Tom took the glass graciously. When Matteo acknowledged the insincerity of his smile, he dropped it and the default grimace this time in the month returned. He extended the glass in a silent cheers before a more sardonic smirk played on his face. 

 

"Sounds... fantastic. I could try to get the crew that fixed up Thyrsus to come down here. Once I weeded out the skimmers and lazy ones, they did quick work." 

 

He took another drink as he appeared to be mulling something over in his mind...shaking his head slightly as if having a silent debate with himself.

 

"Don't suppose Gaspari will let me go upstate for opening, no?"

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"Sounds... fantastic. I could try to get the crew that fixed up Thyrsus to come down here. Once I weeded out the skimmers and lazy ones, they did quick work." 

 

Glass was just at his lips, it paused before a genuine robust laugh rumbled up from his chest.  He didn’t have an opening night fight and the older man fixated on the fact that he could help fix leaky roofs.

 

Yea…. Might take you up on that. Though that dun change the fact I ain't got a fight at the moment.

 

Lips curled over the edge of the glass. He might need to tap the family to find his second fighter. He had really wanted to leave that to outsiders in the event someone came out on the ultimate "losing" end of the first fight. Fighters basically signed waivers acknowledging that while Satyr would do everything possible in instances requiring medical attention, there was a chance they could die in the arena. Be a sour pill if it was a family member.

 

"Don't suppose Gaspari will let me go upstate for opening, no?"

 

Glass lowered as he glanced to the older man.

 

Why?... he say ya can't?

 

Whiskey swirled in the glass as thoughts churned behind the dark eyes.

 

Ya shift day before the full?

 

It was a very personal question but he asked it for practical reasons. Gaspari had set the new grand opening date and looking at full moon calendars wasn’t really his thing. Not all Lycan shifted the night before the full moon but most were rowdy. There was a good chance that the audience would be littered with Lycan that could tear apart the damn stadium before the night was out. A few Bakkhos Lycan around could be a good thing to control the crowd. Particularly if any numb nuts showed up who DID shift on the night before. Bunch of beasts running around loose outside the cage could shut him down for months.

 

Joey dun't so he be here on security.

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Matteo was fixated on the fight. The other stuff...long term stuff was secondary to the younger boss. It was understandable. 

 

"Yes, I change day before and after. Moon LOVES me." Tom said that last bit with all the acid he felt about it. Well... About the box. 

 

"Who is the fighter you have booked already?" 

 

Tom was curious. He wanted to feel out what the other combatant was like. He didn't like the idea that was creeping into his mind, but it was there.

 

"No, haven't asked. This is a big deal and I thought Gaspari would want a show of force."

 

Tom took the bottle and poured himself another glass. 

 

"What do you think?"

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"Yes, I change day before and after. Moon LOVES me."

 

Huff escaped his lips as he swirled the glass of dark liquid.

 

Well that is inconvenient.

 

Head shook as he lifted his glass slightly at the older man.

 

Sorry… don’t mean anythin' by that. Just dun like the idea of potential lycan in the audience on the edge of out of control on the first night.

 

Sip of the glass was thoughtful as he glanced out the windows at the stadium below. Despite the problems, damn thing was impressive.

 

Doubled up on security already.  

 

Hand scratched at the back of his neck, annoyed at the curls that were getting long.

 

"Who is the fighter you have booked already?"

 

Huh..?...oh….. some level two altered that seems to think he is a big deal and will make a great first fight.

 

Liquid slid past his lips as he watched a crew beginning to pull the destroyed speakers out of the northern  section.

 

"This is a big deal and I thought Gaspari would want a show of force. What do you think?"  

 

Blink was a bit surprised as he glanced back at the older man pouring himself another drink.

 

Doubt he wanna ragin' lycan on the loose in his new venue…

 

The chuckle was warm as he put the glass to his lips once more before letting it dangle from his fingertips, index tapping the rim thoughtfully as the frown ghosted on his brow.

 

Suppose could see 'bout Angel takin' him on. Though she more a three than two… poor slob get his ass kicked by her.

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Tom nodded in agreement with Matteo's analysis. 

 

"I agree. I think I might stay in town anyway though. I'll be ok as long as the sun is up...especially with Roderick around to keep me this side of sane. I'll do all that I can with Thyrsus to keep Satyr's opening going as smoothly as possible."

 

Matteo knew that Roderick was also affected by the Nevus event. He knew that Roderick was able to nudge people's emotions in the right direction...an ability that has become an asset at Thyrsus as the moon approaches while working with Tom. 

 

Suppose could see 'bout Angel takin' him on. Though she more a three than two… poor slob get his ass kicked by her.

 

Tom chuckled, "Yeah, but ending the night with a Bakkhos squash might inspire the right sort of feelings in others inspire them to send their best next time instead of holding out. As long as the action doesn't spill out into the audience...I believe that'd be the perfect way to end the night."

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