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MATURE RPG


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

Site Event

CLASH OF THE TITANS

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Opened now 2 months; Satyr is proud to present the Clash of the Titans event. Starting January 1st, Satyr will be hosting a Titan fight every week of January to kick off the year. The 4 fighters, all Level 3 class will compete for the title of Titan. Fight 1 and 2 will introduce the fighters, Fight 3 will be the battle for 3rd place while the fourth Fight will determine the Satyr Titan for 2022!

 

JAN 1, 2022 - 9pm

Fireworks over the stadium at midnight

Location: Satyr Stadium

 

Fighter #1 - Lucas Moren

Altered Division; Physical Enhancement; Level 3

Lucas Moren can hit like and take a hit from a freight train. This hulk doesn't go down without a fight.

 

Fighter #2 - Anthony Kirren

Altered Division; Energy Manipulation; Level 3

Tony Kirren or Tony the Bomb can create energy bombs that can toss a bus into the air.

 

Stadium seating remains at normal season rates, but boxes carry a 25% surcharge for these fights due to the high demand for the limited boxes we have.

 

 

((This is an open event for any and all players to join! Feel free to be spectator, in the upstairs club watching the fight on the big TVs, in a box if you are fortunate enough to be well off in the world! You are welcome to notice parts of the fight - make up their attacks etc but know that the outcome will be decided by site admin, ))

 

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A faint smirk lifted the right side of his lips as forearms leaned on the rail of the upper deck watching the bloodbath below. He had to admit, this had been a gold mine decision. The venue was sold out all four nights, the elevated box seat prices only making people clamor for them more. Behind him music thundered out of Bakkhos Minor, the club as packed as the stadium below with fans watching the match on the massive screens inside while the liquor flowed.

 

Brown eyes lit bright amber as the energy bomb went off on the opposite side of the cage, throwing Moren more than 70 yards across the field. The man could really take a hit, rolling several more yards before getting back on his feet. This fight was likely to last longer than most which was good for business.

 

Hands pushed up on the cold metal rail. The January cold was biting outside the stadium but the massive heaters that ran on every floor and pushed up through vents under the stadium seating managed to keep the amphitheater at a balmy 50 degrees. Not exactly warm but not so cold that the patrons wanted to pack it in and leave either.  This year they would look into the possibility of a covered dome, but for now… this did the trick.

 

Hand slid into the fitted jeans, gray blazer shifting upward over his wrist as he strode into the club and smiled at the flirty hostess, making his way to the bar for a fresh glass. This was going to be a good night.

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He hadn't moved in quite some time, standing stoic in the shadows with his hands in his pockets. 

 

Alone.  Dark gray meticulous slacks and a pale lavender button down made him look like he was supposed to be in the suite he'd purchased to watch this atrocity.  Fact was, he'd purchased the whole damn room.  Where other suites around him were packed to the gills, his was dark... and quiet, the pale green irises not missing a moment of anything that was taking place below as he watched over the railing.

 

He'd stepped out a few moments ago to squelch the echo of the stadium with the lesser noise of the rotunda behind for a couple minutes, less than pleased expression causing several women to back off.  They'd seen his suite was empty, tried to pry an opportunity, and were left with nothing but his glare and a slammed door in their faces when he returned to his room.  A drink of water from the small kitchenette, the glass clinked on the counter the same moment the crowd erupted.  He wanted to go, but he couldn't.  It was that important he stay.

 

Now, arms were crossed, thumbs tapping on his biceps as he watched.  This had to stop.  This whole damn operation had to stop, but he had to see it for himself first.  Every last shitty bit of it.

 

Nostrils flared slightly as he stepped to the upper deck railing and leaned on it with his forearms, it was a nauseating twist of scents that were assaulting him.  He had to remain focused.  Focus and memorize.  Every detail, every area, every employee.  Movement.  Flow.  A bar.  The noise of the damn bar near him was damaging his calm, taking a step back from the railing into the darker box suite when he recognized a face.

 

Sigh was long, eyes moving back to the crowd.  He couldn't deal with this shit much longer.

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Gun and badge were hidden at the back of her jeans. The worn black ball cap pulled down over the raven hair that was left to wildly cascade over her shoulders. She was invisible in this crowd. Tan weathered LL Bean jacket hardly smelled of cop as she leaned on the rail of the first tier rotunda to watch the crowd more than the fight. She wasn’t interested in the upper decks and the elite boxes. She wanted to watch the "working man".  Most thought this venue was a powder keg waiting to happen. She still was on the fence. Truth was, people were testing their powers against eachother all the time, usually to the detriment of the public. Satyr gave them a place to do it that was off the streets, monitored, less guarantee of a victor and a corpse at the end which was what was happening down the back alleys of New York nearly nightly. If this kept the machismo and blood out of the streets… it was hard to condemn it.

 

Still….

 

Pushing off the rail she wandered the rotunda, watching the highly charged audience erupt out of their seats with every aggressive strike. She suspected this level of bloodlust was not much different from the roman coliseum fights… or more recently the cage fighting that was becoming more popular than boxing in the years leading up to the Resonance. The scale here was more that of the coliseum which was what itched her senses. A rumor had made it to the precinct. A disturbing one involving a mass scale outworlder attack on the venue. Which was absolutely asinine considering that most outworlders didn’t seem to thrill in the competitive bloodlust that humans of earth did. This venue was packed to the rafters with altered… not outworlders. An attack here would be killing their own kind, not outworlders. Then again… terrorism rarely held much logic.

 

Satyr security was impressive. She had needed three levels of clearance to come in with her weapon. Then between the amount of cameras she spotted and assumed could not be seen, the non-descript muscle walking around, the clearly marked security walking around… this place was being monitored by a damn army. Bakkhos wasn’t taking any chances it seemed. There was something oddly reassuring in that. A less organized outfit might take the security needs lightly and then this place would be more rabid thunderdome than rowdy sporting event. Hazel caught the motion just in time to sidestep the beer that flew up out of the blue plastic cup as the excited cheer for the explosion below sent the idiot's drink into the air just moments after purchasing it. Place must be pulling in big dough. Between the tickets, food sales, drink sales and memorabilia, it was operating like a damn Beatles concert.

 

Ya…. she was still on the fence.

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Tom was watching the fight from the floor level VIP seats for a moment. He was expected to appear and be seen at Satyr as one of the champions. He watched the back and forth with Moren and Kirren with some trepidation. Kirren was doing his best to blast the hulk around and avoid getting caught, but if Moren ever got his hands on the bomb-tosser, it would likely end very quickly. As long as he could keep moving, this fight would last a while. Tom found himself studying the movements of both men more than enjoying the show…brooding over what he felt was an inevitable future confrontation with one of them.

 

Roderick, sensing his bosses brooding mood, elbowed him in the shoulder. “Relax, boss. You get to be the audience for once.”

 

Tom smirked, surprisingly. Was Roderick tweaking his mood? He wouldn’t blame him if he had been. Tom had been even less jovial than normal these days. His new arrangement with Eris had put some extra stresses on his plate that, while seemingly small, he couldn’t help shake that there was a hidden catch that he had not yet detected. He stood up after a particularly loud blast from Kirren rang too loudly in his enhanced hears. “I’m going to walk around a bit, enjoy the show, Roderick.”

 

Tom stood to walk and shook hands with a few fans who hesitantly garnered his attention. He had to maintain friendly appearances, even if he was building a reputation as a brutal combatant. He made his way towards the Bakkhos Minor club to see how things were going up there. He wasn’t worried about security. It was a new moon, so any weres were as even-tempered as you could hope for. Not to mention, nearly all hands were on deck for this night. At any one time he could pick out 4 or more security, uniformed or otherwise in the crowd. Instead, he was worried about that rogue poisoner. There were still occasional, if less frequent, reports of poisoned booze making it into his shipments. All leads to track down this source had been fruitless. His increased security and control of shipments had reduced the number of incidents, but the occasional one slipped through. He was going to do a quick check of the supply at the bars upstairs.

 

As he worked his way through the crowd, his little invisible bubble of personal space remained, even if a little smaller due to the amount of people in the stadium. Tom had grown accustomed to that uneasy feeling people had around him that caused them to give him space. It certainly helped his mood in these large crowds where every noise and smell were amplified. Which is why, when he heard a loud, “HEY GALLO!” coming from ahead, he was quite shocked.

 

A large man, a good head taller than Gallo himself, approached him directly. He was built like a strongman. Barrel-chested, giant…just a very large man. He stopped right in the path Tom was taking to head upstairs. The man reeked of what must have been gallons of beer and alcohol. Any innate fear perception of the man had been drowned in spirits.

 

“You are the champ everyone’s been talking about? I’d like to fight you next!”

 

Tom spotted five security personnel making their way towards the man, but Tom subtly waved them off. A crowd had gathered now. If he were saved by security, then the attraction would wear off. Curse Matteo…he had Tom thinking about theatrics now instead of business. He’d talk to him about that later. He had a drunk buffoon to put back in place.

 

Tom up into the giant man’s eyes. Nothing about this man smelled exceptional. Just a naturally gifted human athlete. Tom then looked to gauge how many people were watching this impromptu spectacle. Dozens. What he did next was sure to make it to the rest of the city.

 

“I think you are mistaken, sir. You are not looking for a fight with me.” The tone in his voice was polite, professional, even friendly. Roderick must have done something to him.

 

The large man guffawed and poked his finger stiffly into Tom’s chest. “Yes. I. Am.” He looked poised to pounce on Tom right there.

 

Tom closed his eyes for a second, took a deep breath, and nodded at the man. “I think we can set something up.” He extended his hand to shake the other man’s hand. When they clasped hands, Tom squeezed tightly. “Although, I suspect you may wish to reconsider. Which I would totally understand.”

 

Tom continued to squeeze the man’s hand until bones began to pop and the large man was brought to his knees. Tom leaned in close to the man’s ear. “I hope you learned something today.”

 

He released the man’s hand and motioned to a pair of the guards nearby to take this man out of here, and without looking back, kept on his path towards Bakkhos Minor to inspect the wares behind the counter.

 

Upon reaching the club, he noticed Matteo at the bar and clapped him stiffly on the shoulder. “You are making my life more complicated by the day, you know that?”

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Out of the corner of his eye he watched the exchange just outside the club between Gallo and the idiot who thought he was "all that". He was impressed, Gallo handled it well.

 

Whiskey was slid his way just as the clap came on his shoulder, smirk lighting up his expression even as Thomas started to speak.

 

“You are making my life more complicated by the day, you know that?”

 

Me?

 

Chuckle bubbled up as he turned to lean against the bar and look at the older man.

 

Pretty sure you won all your matches on your own. Not my fault you have fans now.

 

Highball came to his lips as dark pupils flicked to the big screen, the club erupting in cheers. Fight was proving to be a good one as the young energy manipulator was thrown up into the first cage, dropping hard to the ground below but managing to get his wits back enough to erupt energy back at the freight train coming his way, sending the hulk flying halfway across the field himself. Good fight kept people in the stadium spending money. Also helped build the hype over the place - best type of advertising for this sort of venue was word of mouth.

 

Attention returned to Thomas with a smile and half shrug.

 

I mean… you could have just stayed in the Bakkhos box… hiding in the dark…. sniffling into your snifter…wallowing in self pity.

 

Smirk lit even brighter as he teased the man.

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The club was packed. It seemed like the entire city had turned out to watch the brutal spectacle on display tonight. To get that pulse pounding adrenaline rush as the rest of the crowd cheered over the two men trying to beat each other to a pulp. Maya wasn’t one of them. That was probably obvious to anyone who cared to notice. She sat alone at the bar, patrons on either side of her alternating between loud conversations and wild cheering whenever one of the fighters seemed to gain an edge. Her cane and sunglasses were absent tonight. The dim golden glow of of her pupils was  far less noticeable in the present setting then her props would have been. She was dressed rather more richly than normal in fitted black slacks, and a red silk button up that clung to her frame and exposed the dark swirls of ink that ran along the left side of her neck .A dark blazer hung from the back of her stool and black gloves hid the tattoos on her right hand and the metallic sheen of her left. Her hair that normally obscured her features had been pulled back and tied in a loose knot at the base of her skull.

 

If there is a God I'm pretty sure he hates me. “ Maya thought to herself sourly as she idly stirred the drink in front of her with a straw.  Not that she needed any more confirmation of that. She really shouldn’t be drinking but she needed something to take the edge off. Normally she didn’t mind crowds. Hell, normally she didn’t even mind the fights like this, though they weren’t something she really followed. The people in this crowd were so emotionally charged  though between, the fight, the booze, and everything else that she could taste it. Literally. It was sharp, like the bite of good tequila. It was almost as intoxicating as the drink in front of her. It made her heart race, and whole body seemed to resonate with the frenetic energy.. It was exhilarating...and terrifying. She knew how quickly that buzz could be washed away by flood of emotion that came with her flashbacks.

 

It was only one of the reasons she didn’t really want to be there.  Security for the event had bordered on the ridiculous and there was a likely enough police presence to further fray her nerves. She would much rather have stayed home honestly, or gone to Chloe’s.  Unfortunately she was here for work not play. Graft was meeting with a client so he’d called her here. She had no doubt that he was enjoying the fight in one of the VIP boxes while he talked business with whoever it was.  She knew the club was owned by the Bakkhos which might have said some interesting things. On the other hand it might not have. Events like these were a perfect excuse for him to meet pretty much anybody without attracting unwanted attention. She wondered if Graft knew how his choice of venue would set her on edge. Probably not, not that she doubted he’d really care he did.

 

Her thoughts were rudely interrupted as the everyone around her suddenly erupted in a volcanic combination of cheers and curses. Judging from the barely audible sounds from TV’s mounted over the bar something had just exploded.  She shook her head and took another healthy sip of her drink as the mingled tastes of disappointment, elation, and excitement ran across her tongue. The bartender clearly knew what he was doing. The bitter bite of alcohol barely registered as it burned pleasantly  down her throat. Her posture relaxed slightly as the warmth slowly found its way through the rest of her and she set her glass on the bar as she looked out at the crowd. The auras of the clubs other patrons seemed to blend together in such close proximity, painting them all in a mosaic of red and orange hues that seemed to dance like firelight , dominating the other colors that dotted it. She watched, momentarily transfixed by the sight before her...

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I mean… you could have just stayed in the Bakkhos box… hiding in the dark…. sniffling into your snifter…wallowing in self pity.

 

 

Tom chuckled softly. As infuriating as Matteo could be, his seeming endless ability to never take Tom seriously was refreshing at times. One of the few people who still saw him as simply a man…not some terrifying monster to be feared and tip-toed around. He ducked behind the bar and was systematically taking one bottle down and opening it to sniff it quickly before returning it to the counter. The bartender glanced at him a second and nodded. She had been used to this routine by now.

 

I’ve come to accept that hiding is outside of my abilities anymore. Sad as that may be.

 

He grinned slightly to convey that he wasn’t being mopey. After he spoke, he noticed a small woman at the bar. Something was…off. Like many, she wasn’t what she appeared. She appeared to be studying the crowd, eyes glowing faintly. Tom locked eyes with Matteo, and one of the security guards and motioned his eyes towards the woman. Not to initiate action, but to simply keep and eye on her. He resumed his analysis of some of the booze behind the counter.

 

He glanced at the screen and shook his head. The brute was taxing himself. If he didn’t slow down and just work the blaster into a corner, he’d probably exhaust himself before being able to finish the fight. A part of Tom was disappointed in this. Part of him wanted to go blow for blow with the brute. Maybe some other time…

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The chuckle from the Bakkhos champion kept the smirk on his own lips. Matteo didn’t avoid anyone, unlike others of the family, so he and the beast got along just fine. Brow quirked as he brought the highball to his lips, watching the man head behind the bar. Risk still existed. The thought evaporated the smirk for the briefest moment as Tom spot checked for a tainted batch.

 

Muscle through his cheek flickered before relaxing once more. It annoyed him. They should be above that sort of exposure and yet somehow…. they weren't.

 

I’ve come to accept that hiding is outside of my abilities anymore. Sad as that may be.

 

The dark moment passed as quickly as it came with Tom's grin. Not many got the grouchypuss to grin like that which gave him a healthy dose of self satisfaction. But it was short lived as the gaze sharply met his and then slid off to the Capo's right. Brow quirked as the dark gaze followed, observing the woman as she seemed to study the boisterous crowd. Tom didn’t faintly signal, it always meant something. Interesting. She didn’t seem like much to draw attention but he knew better than to dismiss the signal. 

 

Turning he leaned his back against the bar once more, drinking from his highball to watch the crowd, the woman in his periphery to scrutinize. It was her behavior. She wasn’t here for the fight. Nor did she seem to be here to enjoy the club. She was studying. They had received some veiled threats of a potential terror attack at the event, so it wasn’t abnormal that she caught Tom's attention. Someone not there for the festivities might be there to plan something wicked on the venue.

 

Faint nod to the bartender as he glanced to the woman resulted in  a second round of her current drink being slid across the bar to her. Disarming smile greeted her when the glass came to a stop near her elbow, his own glass raised slightly in greeting before he drank again.

 

Fucking with his place… was a dangerous game.  For her sake, she better not raise too many red flags.

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Focus and memorize.

 

Focus and memorize.

 

The mantra had taken over his thoughts, the entirety of everything he could see catalogued into permanent knowledge.  Kneejerk knowledge that could be called upon in any circumstance... whether dark, in panic, defense of oneself, seen or unseen purpose.  Another roar from the crowd tickled his skin with irritation.  The scents and smells were being kept at bay with his concentration, but his skin was hot and his patience was thin.

 

Stepping out into an even more quiet rotunda, it seemed the apex of the fight was drawing those inward and beer filled bladders kept at bay.

 

Perfect time for some air.

 

The small, dark suite was left for a second time as he made his way toward the restroom, spending a moment splashing water on his face and running fingers through his hair.  Stepping out, he took the moment to scan the rotunda, cameras, security... the bar. Passing by, the pause the was brief, familiar scent matching a face picked out almost immediately.

 

No matter how much he drenched himself in whatever he wore, the exhaust from his car clung to him like smoke.

 

The scent had stoked the cat. Normally he'd be concerned, but this one bastard's imprint the cat internally snarled at.  He wouldn't lose a night's sleep over it.  Timing though, he'd wanted to stay the entirety of the whole debacle... time to go.  This was one person he was going to avoid.  For now anyway.

 

He keyed in once more to his suite, closing the door behind him and began to retrieve his coat and things to return the key and leave before the end of the fight.  Immaculate coat over his arm, he exited quietly and made his way to the key-check.

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Fingers pulled the weathered baseball cap a little further down over her forehead as she wandered the light traffic of the second rotunda. The fight was heating up to an inevitable crescendo so people were in the stadium and gathering close to the large displays in the bar and club... not in the rotundas.

 

It looked like the higher levels had even more security, likely because the club was up here and it was the first floor of private suites. She suspected the floor above with the really expensive boxes had even more guards and cameras. Bakkhos didn’t mess around. Again… something oddly reassuring in that. She was still on the fence if this was a "healthy" outlet in the city. She appreciated the fighting was off the streets and in a secure location, but at the same time this place was run by the modern day mob. The "business" dealings likely taking place here were going to be shady.

 

Boots stuck to the concrete with that faint sickening squinch of too much beer and sugary drinks spilled in people's excitement.  She had done the reconnaissance she had wanted to. To be honest, she didn’t revel in the thought of lingering to the end and fighting the crowd to get out. Hands slid into her jean pockets as she headed for the stairs, a hot shower and her bed were calling. Besides she had an early meeting with the chief to debrief the event.  

 

Hazel caught the door opening on one of the suites just in time to step aside. Brow quirked at the well dressed man as he came out, the coat over his arm a dead giveaway he was leaving. Not there for the bloodfest either it seemed, his slightly scowled expression said he wasn’t enjoying himself at all.

 

Excuse me….

 

She apologized for nearly being hit by his door.

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Entranced as she was Maya almost didn’t notice the drink that slid down the bar her way. With buzz she was getting from the first one it took another moment to realize it was for her. She looked back out into the crowd and saw a man lift his glass in salute before taking a sip.  Her head tilted in an expression of curiosity as her hand slipped around the base of the glass and pulled it closer. She’d never really been hit on at a bar and for a moment the novelty of the notion entertained her. She usually prefered to drink alone, so on the rare occasion she went to a bar her props and her empty sleeve went with her to keep the casual crowd at bay. An amused smirk flickered across her face as she looked at the man debating his intentions.

 

His aura was too bright for him to be vanilla mortal. He had some kind of gift at a minimum. Not that it inherently gave him some ulterior motive.  Unfortunately habits died hard and since her prison break she tended to carefully avoid becoming attached to gifted. Even more than she did people in general. That wasn’t even considering all the implications the venue offered.She traced her finger around  the lip of the glass as she continued watching the man for a few seconds, debating. Still watching she lifted the glass slightly in his direction and gave a rare grin as she lifted it to her lips and took a sip. A small sip. She was no stranger to drinking, but despite that it didn’t take much for her to end up fall down drunk. Unless she magically grew a foot or so that wasn’t likely to change.  She’d never really minded. She didn’t drink for the sake of drinking like some people, she drank to take the edge off.

 

She turned back to the bar to set her glass down and noticed the man who’d stepped behind it for the first time. His aura was brighter than average but still far too dull to be mage. Her expression became curious once more, but that curiosity faded as the muted smell of pine sap and fresh blood rolled over her. She knew that smell. That was the smell of a werecreature.  She managed to keep her expression pleasant, but there was little she could about the hammering of her heart. It shouldn’t have caught her off guard. After all the stadium was exactly the sort of place they’d be likely to turn up. Between the fighters and Bakkhos muscle she wouldn’t have been surprised if there’d been more than a few in that crowd.

 

Or she wouldn’t have if she’d been thinking clearly anyway.  With as much as she’d had already she was lucky she hadn’t done something foolish. Foolish would likely be fatal.  She was likely overreacting. It was far from a full moon, and while that didn’t mean the man in front of her wasn’t dangerous he wasn’t likely to eat her. Nor were the Bakkhos likely to let their customers be mauled. Still likely wasn’t the same as definite.  She gave the man behind the bar a polite nod and stood, throwing her jacket casually over her shoulder and grabbing her drink before casually making her way over to the other gifted.Her heart rate slowed slightly as she put some distance between her and the man behind the bar.  " To what do I owe the honor?” She asked with a trace of genuine amusement as she lifted her drink towards the man who’d bought it, her head tilting back slightly as her gaze rose to meet his.

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Tom continued inspecting the bottles. He didn't expect to find anything, however he took his time checking them as he was observing the interaction between Matteo and the small woman. He paused a moment to observe the bartender. She had been working nonstop since the venue opened and the signs of fatigue, while well-hidden, were noticeable. 

 

Go get something to eat and take a break. I'll hold things down here for a bit.

 

It was more an order than permission, however she appeared to be relieved. He then proceeded to tend to orders and, a bit slower, tended to the needs of the patrons. 

 

She'll be back soon, everyone, but for now you have to put up with me.

 

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Eyes flicked in her direction, features softening into a quiet smile as he closed the door gently.  

 

"No, my apologies.  Seems like this place has enough money to pay someone to build it properly.  Maybe with doors that open inward away from crowds."

 

He adjusted his jacket slightly, smoothing it to perfection.  Voice was quiet... penetrating... made one's spine straighten when heard for no visible reason.  For all intents and purposes, he looked normal.  Neat and impeccable, but normal.

 

"Apparently they were more concerned with making sure patrons had a three sixty HD view.  Sorry about the door, have a good night."

 

The final nod was cordial, the trash talk was not.  

 

He focused on his footsteps, perfectly placed and echoing off the floor with the grace of a cat.  Passing the bar, he found them stopping at the scent of coffee above all the blood, pheromones and booze.

 

This split second it took him to assess the situation was already over.  He knew who had the firearms.  He knew how long it would take him to get to his sudden target.  How many he would have to avoid in between.  Potential collateral.  Potential danger.  Exact target... even the ghost feel of the pull on the trigger brushed his finger.  

 

It was frightening how quickly it happened in his brain, and how calmly he was now actively thinking about it.

 

He could stop this madness with one bullet.  Just one.

 

Instead, toe crossed the threshold and he made his way to the bar, meticulous agility not touching anyone.  Skin had already started its hum, irritated, angry, lashing out invisibly at anything and everyone.  The man had more strength and control than anyone would ever know.  The cat's murder button was tripped the moment he stepped in, looking for something to latch onto.  The man, had one intent only, sitting at the bar now being tended by a wolf that had a proverbial bullseye on his forehead; the man that had bared their existence to the world when the cat had been shut down hard before.  One that was now flying in the face of everything he'd tried to accomplish.

 

The cat in his gut had already imprinted, and it's teeth were bared viciously under the calm and comfortable visage of a businessman in an impeccable suit.  He didn't drink, so...

 

"Coffee please," he asked quietly, reaching to his back pocket to pull a wallet, seemingly disinterested in anything but his coffee.  He didn't need to bluster or threaten "to fight the big champ" to get someone's attention.

 

He just had to order coffee.

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The faint look of disinterest softened as he apologized.

 

"No, my apologies.  Seems like this place has enough money to pay someone to build it properly.  Maybe with doors that open inward away from crowds."

 

Head tilted slightly to glance into the room just as the door was closing, much as she expected it to be except for the fact that it was vacant. Had he bought the box for just himself? Hazel returned to meet the softened gaze, a light shrug lifting the well worn Bean jacket.

 

Outward is safer for those inside the box.

 

Physics of kicking in a door 101…. it was much harder against the frame. If something went down it helped to prevent those in the hallway from entering. The weight of the door clearly betraying thick steel even though the hinges let its weight swing open and closed like butter. Bakkhos was ensuring security for those that paid for it. Made sense to be honest, but probably should have pushed the wall forward and recessed the door a couple feet, avoiding the potential for a Wiley Coyote door smack.

 

"Apparently they were more concerned with making sure patrons had a three sixty HD view.  Sorry about the door, have a good night."

 

There was something very focused with this one, the way he touched and smoothed his coat, the way his voice remained soft and yet penetratingly sharp, clearly not here to enjoy the match, going so far as to trash talk the place…  and leaving an empty box early. It was beginning to itch the back of her neck as senses went on alert.

 

She nodded back as he moved away, hazel eyes narrowed ever so slightly as she caught the pause. Something in the bar caught his attention and drew him in. Secure in the knowledge of his location she moved to the door, hand lightly on the handle to test. Locked. Vacant box let a person do what they wanted in there. Breathing slowed as focus began to shut out the world, nostrils flared, even through the steel she would be able to detect explosive chemicals.  She doubted she would find any, a bomb would only be an effective killer if it went off in the thick of the fight and the fight was likely to end soon. So either there was none, or the guy was looking to perish with his handiwork. He didn’t seem the type… but then types were corrupted in this new world.

 

Scents grasped on her senses before wafting away once more, sounds becoming more distant as olfactory receptors widened and drank in the microscopic particles, focusing beyond the door. Metal saturated the receptors before she pushed past it. It didn’t take long to confirm there were no explosives in the room. But hyperosmia was not disengaged because something else was saturating her senses. Deep, dark pheromones…. lycan?..... could be shifter….not magus…. outworlder wasn’t out of the question either….  but shit he was permeating her senses. Head shook as she disengaged, disoriented several heartbeats before the pupils shrunk once more and hazel sought the bar.

 

Strides were long considering her petite stature. The presence so much greater than it seemed it should be as she passed the threshold and instantly found him. Fingers touched the slightly frayed bill to push it higher, undulating lights catching her features as she planted her feet squarely beside the man, seemingly oblivious of his presence as his order was almost instantly followed by her own.

 

Double espresso……

 

She hadn't missed the fact that the man behind the bar was the Bakkhos champ, nor the fact that her stranger ordered his coffee with a direct eye contact that continued to electrify the hairs on the back of her neck. This could be nothing more than machismo, a hotshot wanting to challenge the Bakkhos champion. But to cop instincts….it felt like……. more.

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Seeing Matteo focus his attention on the small woman, Tom turned his attention back to the patrons and the unexamined bottles. He spared a glance for the television to see what was happening. The large brute had been growing increasingly sloppy in his pursuit of the smaller blaster. Tom shook his head. So long as the blaster could keep from being hit, he would win in time. The brute lacked discipline. Simultaneously he heard the order for a coffee and smelled another were.

 

Turning to the new patron, Tom assessed the man. This man radiated barely contained violence. Noting the scars on his hands, hints of others peeking over the collar and the straight murder in his eyes…Tom knew this wasn’t a simple fight viewer. He turned his back to get the man’s coffee and couldn’t help feeling that was a terrible idea. That man was itching for violence. He heard a female’s voice order an espresso, and he prepared it before turning around again. He brought over the drinks and quickly assessed the newcomer. He immediately recognized her as a known police officer. He had noted several among the crowd and was not surprised about any of them. Of course they would be here. He was confident that most of them were bored. Bakkhos took security more seriously than even the police it seemed at times. He couldn’t help but note the familiarity between the two newcomers.

 

Setting the drinks in front of the respective patrons, he was able to take in the man’s mood more keenly. He was a were on the brink of violence. Like Tom, he kept that under tight control, but Tom was too familiar with those struggles to not notice the tightness around the eyes…the tensed forearm from a clenched fist, and the seemingly tangible vibrations of rage radiating from the man. Clearly this particular lycanthrope cycled with the moon like most of the rest. He was two whole weeks from his most docile…whereas Tom was at his most. If there were a time for a shrewd enemy to take a shot at the capo, it would be now.

 

The beast always wanted out, it was just easier to contain it during the New Moon than it was during the others. The man staring death at him from the other side was enough to provoke the beast to press against the cages of Tom’s will. The combination of restraint and dominance Tom showed the drunk man earlier was not likely to occur if things got to that point with this man. This man at the bar was dangerous. Tom willed the beast back in its cage. For now.

 

He first addressed the lady who requested the espresso.

 

“Day off or subtly working today?”

 

Before she had a chance to answer, Tom leaned in close to the fellow lycanthrope. He spoke in a low, barely perceptible whisper that he knew he would hear, and only those others with enhanced hearing could possibly hear.

 

“Are we going to have a problem with you and your beast? Or will you be able to keep it together?”

 

Tom wasn’t sure if there was an opportunity at a relationship here, or if he was going to have to subtly deflect an enemy. He hoped that this didn’t escalate into an impromptu combat…but there was that part of him that wanted it to.

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The amused smirk that sought him once the drink was acknowledged didn’t feel disingenuous. Just an intense customer checking out what the big deal was then? Still could be up to no good but his gut said otherwise. The first sip of her new glass was met with one of his own, charming grin flashed over its rim before the dark liquor vanished back. Amber eyes studied her reaction to Tom. Interesting. The move to pick up her jacket and move further away was telling. Knew Tom?... knew what he was and didn’t like it? Tom smelled?

 

A silent chuckle rumbled deep in his chest at the last option, sly gaze flicked towards the lycan behind the bar as if to check if he had heard the silent joke. The two new ones at the bar draw a quirked brow for ordering coffee. Not completely unheard of but considering they didn’t seem to be together it was unusual to get two such customers at the same time. Woman looked familiar… that cop…. what was her name again?   But the man he absolutely recognized. Before they opened... was there challenging that Satyr security wouldn't be enough without even knowing what they had in the building. What was he doing in here now?.... surveying?

 

Blink was almost seductive as the woman approached him, the rest of his liquor sliding back before the glass was set back on the counter, finger tapping the rim for Tom to refill.  

 

" To what do I owe the honor?”

 

The devilishly disarming grin was flashed as he waited for his glass to be refilled.

 

You just didn’t look like you were having nearly enough fun.

 

As dark ambrosia filled his glass once more it was slid from the bar by deft fingers.

 

Here for the show… the booze…. the crowd….all of the above?

 

Brow lifted questioningly as he brought the refilled glass to his lips.

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She grinned at the mans answer and sipped her drink Oh, he definitely seemed to be flirting she thought to herself. That was novel.  She quirked an eyebrow as he questioningly listed off what might have drawn her out tonight. “And If I said none of the above?” She asked with amusement as she studied his face. The smell of blood and sap filled her nose again and she was careful not to react to it as the beast approached them both. Instead she took a deep sip from her drink, her golden eyes wandering  as she gave the man who’d bought it for her a once over. He was significantly taller than her, but that wasn’t exactly uncommon, and he seemed solidly built. He had a nice grin too. Her eyes wandered appreciatively for a few moments longer before she set her drink on the bar next to his. She grabbed the bar, lifting herself up into the open seat beside him with casual ease.

 

“Honestly I was invited by a friend, but he wandered off. So since I was already here I decided me and the bar should get better acquainted. “ She told him as her eyes met his again.

It was mostly true. As close as she was likely to be telling anyway. “So far it’s turning out to be a pretty good decision.”  She said flashing him another smile. She was definitely buzzed, not that it was particularly obvious. “How about you? ” She asked him as she idly traced a finger around the lip of her glass. She studied him once again and her head tilted slightly to the side as her curiosity grew.  His aura was bright, but it was also stable. It lacked the orange and red that seemed to dominate most of the crowd as their emotions ran high.

 

It didn’t seem like he was very vested in the fight. He didn’t seem to be drinking heavily enough for that too have called him out either. Besides, If you were out to drink there were far cheaper places to do it, and if he’d been here for the crowd she doubted he’d be here at the bar. “I’m guessing you’re not here for any of those either.” She added speculatively as she took another sip of her drink, blinking in surprise as she realized she’d emptied it. She set the glass on the bar and  stared at it for a moment before lightly shaking her head. She’d had more than she’d thought. More than she should have probably. As the thought rolled through her mind she found she didn’t much care. You only live once right? She buried the stray thoughts as she turned her attention back to the man beside her.

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"Outward is safer for those inside the box."

 

The side of his lip smirked upward slightly at her 'wise' words.

 

"Takes all the fun out of it," he remarked quietly.

 

There was humor in it, mostly to himself, and he was about his business.

 

Something no one except his office staff knew, was that the scent of coffee grounded him.  In a former life, moments of focus among days of solitary had been compressed into a singular scent.  His decision to enter the bar wasn't just seeking out the point of contention with the whole mess, it was seeking out a moment of focus to confront it.

 

He would also never have this chance again.

 

Everything about him was smooth, oiled, placed.  No clenched fists or ticking forearm muscles, and the ease at which he smiled was chilling if you knew what lay beneath.  The pleasantry even extended to his eyes, where most had a tightness that betrayed their mood, his held an easy calm.  Aloof.  Nothing betrayed him on his exterior countenance.  If anything, the man looked disinterested- interacting enough to get what he needed and leave.

 

Below the surface was another matter, no less irritated when cash was held up for an espresso.  She'd boxed him in of sorts.  That wasn't a good thing to do, follow or confront, but... don't corner a killer.

 

Not unexpected if someone picked up on his Were.  Everyone was always looking for monsters.

 

"Day off or subtly working today?"

 

Already much had been revealed.  Casual suitcoat was smoothed across his lap, elbows on the bar and fingers intertwining lightly as he glanced coyly over his shoulder at her without a word.

 

Security.  Or cop.  If she was security, she would most likely be working and not ordering espresso.

 

Cop.

 

Interesting.  So was the man's choice to address him.

 

“Are we going to have a problem with you and your beast? Or will you be able to keep it together?”

 

The quiet laugh was easy, watching the screen just over the 'champion's' shoulder as another eruption from the crowd made even the bar vibrate.

 

"Depends on how good your coffee is," he responded quietly, turning his attention to Raeden. 

 

Truth was, coming close to touching the quiet feline was the best way for someone to get sucker punched.  Or dead.

 

"Is there something I can do for you?" question was pleasant to the officer, tone amused as he turned his attention back to the tv and waited for coffee.  "I'm about to take care of something."

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“Day off or subtly working today?”

 

Brow barely lifted at the man. Exposing a cop that wasn’t dressed in their blues was something that could get people locked up these days. Fortunately for the Bakkhos Champion, the detective wasn’t a blue…. and she had made her presence known in the city so many times it wasn’t like her occupation was a secret anymore. She was good at what she did… and she had a reputation.

 

Just here for the caffeine….

 

Hint of a smirk played at her lips as she waited for her cup, acutely aware of the exchange between the two men. Bakkhos Champion seemed to peg the man as a potential issue as he leaned in close to whisper, ears focusing as vision blurred slightly, catching the end of the inquiry. Well that was interesting.

 

"Depends on how good your coffee is,"

 

….as was the response. The auditory focus was released and her cup came back into focus.

 

"Is there something I can do for you? I'm about to take care of something."

 

Hmm?

 

The hazel flicked towards the man as she cupped the ceramic.

 

That your best pick up line?

 

The chuckle came easily from her chest as the hot brew came to her lips. She had to admit…. coffee was pretty damn good. Far better than she could afford. Palms cupped the sides of the ceramic as she shook her head.

 

Just grabbing something hot before I head out into the cold front that came through while the festivities have been underway.

 

Forecast had called for it to get down below freezing for the night. Winters seemed to get harsher and last longer every year.  This was the fucked up world they lived in now. It was half the truth. The man was the other reason she had wandered into the bar for the coffee. Her instincts still said he was up to something. But with the Bakkhos highbrows here she doubted he would get away with much. 

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The Satyr Stadium was unlike anything else in New York.  Harker had been in awe the first time he had visited the venue.  The sheer size of the of the arena, the intricate spells woven into its structure, the security measures emplaced; it took a lot of clout to establish something of this magnitude in one of the most prominent cities in the world.  Of course, the stadium was owned and operated as a “legitimate” business by the Bakkos criminal syndicate; which made its existence even more impressive.  The Satyr Stadium represented a Bakkos foothold in the city, ground that Law Enforcement agencies would likely never take back.

 

Harker strode calmly through the crowd on the pavilions second level.  He was draped by a long, black leather coat.  Its material swayed naturally with every casual step, but concealed beneath it was an arsenal of weapons designed to combat the supernatural.  The ARMA operative’s attire was aged, giving his black undervest, pants, and tactical boots a rugged, less uniform appearance.  Before the Resonance such an outfit might have drawn attention, but these days such an ensemble was not uncommon amongst magus, marauders, and the like. 

 

Ryan’s blue eyes surveyed the rotunda as he seated himself at a table near the bar.  He had no interest in the fight.  He was here for work, or that’s what he told himself at least.  It had been some time since he had received any specific orders from ARMA leadership.  Without a defined task, he was forced to find his own way to contribute to cause.  This was a recon mission.  The stadium was hosting a hi-profile event.  Several of Bakkos’ key players were in attendance.  ARMA intelligence also suggested the venue was a likely target for terrorist attack from multiple extremist groups.  Harker was at the stadium to see how all the players interacted, and to see which groups might show to reconnoiter the event for their own purposes.

 

          Harker leaned back in his seat.  A hand donned with a fingerless glove casually rubbed the brown scruff on his chin.  He watched as two Bakkos gangsters descended from their VIP lounge to walk amongst the commoners beneath them.  One was Matteo Carducci, Bakkos “baby boss” and owner of the Satyr Stadium.  He was joined by Thomas Gallo, Bakkos fight champion and owner of another one of the syndicates “legitimate” business fronts.  Both gangsters were dangerous men.  ARMA was aware of their criminal activity.  However, the organization the Bakkos established within the criminal underworld actually reduced crime in New York.  So long as they continued to serve that purpose, and didn’t stray too far from the path, they would be safe from ARMA. 

 

          Out of the corner of his eye Ryan saw a woman who appeared to be assessing the venues security.  A ball cap hid her face, but the jacket and jeans she wore did little to hide her slender figure.  She was an attractive woman.  She tried to look inconspicuous, but she loitered near doors and entrances, seemingly to check if they were secure.  She wasn’t Bakkos security.  Her casual dress was far too relaxed for their “professional” standards.  When Ryan finally caught a peek from under the brim of her hat, her face seemed familiar.  After a moment he recognized her as an NYPD officer, maybe from the 10th precinct but he wasn’t certain.  The Arma operative had seen her around more than once, back when he worked for the department.

 

          A man came through one of the pavilion doors quite suddenly, nearly knocking the poor girl down.  Harker ginned lightly.  Words were exchanged between the two and the man walked away.  At first Harker thought nothing of it.  There was nothing extraordinary about the man initially.  However, as he pressed through the crowd he moved with a purpose.  The man made a straight line for the bar, his eyes trained on the bartender standing behind it.  Again, this by itself was nothing extraordinary.  The man glided across a balcony full of cheering fans, without slowing down, and without so much as brushing into another person.  To a trained observer like Harker, that was extraordinary.

 

          This appeared to catch the attention of the cop as well.  Because after a moment she moved to join the man at the bar.  Purple shirt, gray slacks, the man looked like he belonged in the VIP lounge.  Ryan doubted the peace officer knew what the man was, or even the danger she might be in… but he did.  The operative couldn’t identify the exact kind of creature that sat beside her, but he had hunted enough to know supernatural when he saw it.

 

          Harker glanced back at Carducci.  The Bakkos baby was chatting up another girl at the bar.  Based on their body language, he quickly determined the engagement was not work related.  Sharp eyes did another sweep of the balcony.  Finding nothing of note, Harker rose slowly to his feet and made his way to the bar.  It seemed like the place to be.

 

          Ryan took the seat beside Raeden, opposite from Kai.  As he gripped the barstool he became acutely aware of the woman’s gaze.  She interested him, but he always got nervous when talking to beautiful women.  He had seen the horrors of war, fought countless battles, faced unspeakable evils, and even now he was surrounded by a thousand threats that could kill him.  Yet, in that moment, the little Asian woman sitting beside him, she was the scariest thing in the entire coliseum.

 

          “I’ll have what she’s having,” Ryan said as he sat down.  He looked down at Raeden’s coffee and gave a lighthearted frown.  “Working huh?”  His ocean blue eyes met hers and he smiled.  All the while he remained keenly aware of both were-creatures joining them at the bar. 

 

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“And if I said none of the above?”

 

Then I have to wonder if you are up to no good..

 

Smirk again had that devilish charm. For all the polish of the Bakkhos "uniform" of mob perfect suiting, the man's rough around the edges, thrill seeking persona bled out into his aura. Matteo had a natural magnetism that made him perfect for heading up such a huge venture as Satyr. Dark liquor came up again, light bouncing to catch its amber glint in his eyes as he sipped the rim watching the cheers ripple through the entire club. The energy manipulator got cocky, letting himself get too close and therefore hammered by the hulk. The cloaked form thrown halfway across the ring in a heap. Fight might be coming to a close if Kirren couldn’t get back on his feet and toss a bomb at the freight train roaring his way. The Capo couldn’t complain, this had been the longest clocked fight to date. It gave real hope that this Clash of the Titans series would really bring in the hauls.

 

“Honestly I was invited by a friend, but he wandered off. So since I was already here I decided me and the bar should get better acquainted. “

 

Gaze slid over to her as she hopped up onto the barstool, chuckle dark and rich in his chest.

 

Bar always makes the best acquaintance.

 

"So far it’s turning out to be a pretty good decision. How about you?"

 

He was used to flirtations…. lots of flirtations.

 

"I’m guessing you’re not here for any of those either."

 

Chuckle bubbled up again like rum in his chest as he noted her surprise at her empty glass. She had acquainted herself a bit too much with the bar it seemed. If she wasn’t careful, she would make an easy mark if someone was looking to warm their bed. Warm tones rolled from his tongue as head shook gently.

 

I am here for them all of course.

 

The glass drew up to his lips as the smirk danced across them again, feline focused gaze watching the monitor again as the elemental saved his own hide with only a breath to spare. The attack messy and disoriented but at least managing to throw the tank off his course to hit the cage instead of the man that was still struggling to get to his feet. The Capo suspected the elemental had only prolonged the inevitable, the guy's bell had been rung too hard that last time, he wasn’t getting his wits or legs about him quick enough.

 

Amber watched the newcomer as he came to the bar as if he owned it. Cloak caught his trained eye. Someone had come in with his weapons still in tact. The Capo was a bit annoyed that this hadnt been caught at security, unless the guy was NYPD… the blues were allowed in with weapons to show they were legit, but this guy didn’t feel like a blue. Flick of the pupils to the heavyweights at the door was all that was needed to ensure the man was now tagged by the entire Bakkhos security. Smile returned to the woman next to him.

 

You need another…

 

Glancing over his shoulder he nodded to the Champion behind the bar to refill her again.

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((I can jump in to get this rolling again if needed))

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“Funny, I was just thinking the same thing about you.” She told him with a smirk.Her eyes were bright as they roamed over his body. His features were nothing special, but he had a rugged charm to him  Oh, yes he was charming. The kind of effortless charm that came from practice. Lots of practice. Not that she was an expert. In fact she was pretty much the furthest thing from it, but the buzz was helping with that. It was a nice change, actually enjoying herself at a bar. She’d already had more to drink than she usually let herself in public.

 

“ You’re not so bad either.” she quipped with another grin as he mentioned the bar.  Her eyes started roaming again as she wondered if the flirting was going to lead to anything else. She wouldn’t have minded something more. She wasn’t sure about him though. As charged as the air was she was having trouble picking up anything from his aura. To him the flirting could have meant something, or nothing at all.  If she wanted a hint at how he was really feeling she’d need skin to skin contact. At that point she wouldn’t really need her powers to tell her if he was interested. One way or another.

 

She rolled her eyes, grin fading but the amusement remaining as he told her he was apparently he for everything the colosseum had to offer.  From most guys it would have sounded cheesy. Or cocky. It was such a stereotypical answer. It didn’t have that feel from him. It almost sounded like he was telling an inside joke. The kind only you understand when you tell it. Of course that could have been the liquor talking.  He nodded at the big man behind the bar, and she barely reacted to the werecreature, focusing instead on the man beside her.

 

“Careful. Now I know you’re up to no good.” She told him teasingly, her lips parting in another smirk and the gold in her eyes dancing at her amusement. She’d likely had too much to drink already, but at this point she didn't much care. She certainly wasn’t going to argue with the man who was buying them.  No, she was having fun and she wasn’t going to worry. That conviction lasted all of three seconds. As she reached for the glass she felt the fingers in her gloved hand go numb. No, that wasn’t quite right. She stopped feeling them because they were no longer there.

 

Her heart jumped and she closed her eyes for a moment, struggling to focus as she channeled mana back into the limb.  She drummed her fingers on the table as they were whole once more tightened them into a fist, flexing them several times. To anyone else it likely just looked she was trying to get some feeling back in a hand that had fallen asleep. She must have been more affected than she’d thought. A lot more affected. Keeping her arm together was almost effortless to her normally. If she was having trouble keeping it from breaking down she was probably pretty smashed.

 

Her good mood was unfortunately broken, and it only got worse as she noticed that while she and her new acquaintance had been talking the bar beside him had suddenly become quite crowded. That didn’t bother her. The place was packed, and honestly it had been a little surprising the bar had been as free as it was. No what bothered her were their aura’s. A taller woman burned with the kind of brightness that said she was gifted. Beside her sat another werecreature, his aura was much the same as that of the big man behind the bar.  

 

What really scared that shit out of her though was whatever else was sitting on the woman’s other side. Their outfit seemed to blaze with the enchantments on them, in fact it was  brighter than the aura of an ungifted. She couldn’t see whatever was wearing it. Since her sight had first shown up she’d never found anyone who could hide from it. Not like this. The world seemed to press in on her, and it was all she could do to keep her breathing even as terror gripped her. There was only one kind of person who’d have that kind of gear. Those kinds of skills. Whatever was at the bar with them scared her a hell of a lot more than either of the werecreatures. It was a mage hunter.

 

She nearly panicked. Ran away without a word. Somehow she didn’t. Somehow she even managed to keep the panic that was knotting around her insides off her face except the brief widening of her eyes. Somehow she even managed to push her panic down and bring some amusement back to her expression as it turned back to the man beside her. To ignore the part of her brain that was screaming at all these gifted beings coming together couldn’t end well. That last part was more difficult than the others so she grabbed her drink, taking a healthy sip as she tried to drown the screaming in her skull.  Tried to find that pleasant buzz her adrenaline had dulled once more. “You this nice to all the girls you meet?” She asked him, her smile turning wicked as fire ran through her veins and heat bloomed through her chest and her eyes meeting his....

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Tom had observed the newcomer with a welcoming grin, and a discerning eye. This man had skipped past some sort of security, or was given a pass. He noted Matteo's catch of the guy too. It worked out that he came to the bar...the eyes of security were on him...but why weren't they before?

 

When the order of "what she's having" came...he smirked and wordlessly threw the man a copy of the other's drink. He heard a loud crash come from the television and he turned to see what had happened.

 

The blaster was slowing down. That monstrous, tank of a beast hadn't slowed a beat. The blaster was fatiguing fast. This battle was all but over. A grin crept across Tom's face. He looked forward to his inevitable encounter with this beast. Despite himself, he was looking forward to it. 

 

He checked his watch, wondering what was taking the bartender so long. He wasn't upset...the menagerie of 'special people' was oddly concentrated around the bar. He did quirk an eyebrow at Maya's clear momentary discomfort. It appeared that the man in the trench coat bothered her as much as it did him. He silently motioned to the patrons, asking if they needed refills. He was on high alert...this had potential to go very badly. Where was that bartender?!

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