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

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

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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Hammer’s Firearms

Early Afternoon

January 22, 2022



Brows rose, the easy way the Cajun was able to give expression without looking like he was always either too cool to care or amused with his own personal sarcasm quaint. The television. What was he watching??


“Goodness,” he mumbled to himself as long strokes polished the newly replaced curved glass on the antique gun case in the store proper.


The place was tiny, the storefront tiny. The firearms were not. Antiques, powerful to the core. New, so smooth a wasp’s wings would make the trigger move. Oiled, shiny as a new penny, accurate, and dependable to a fault. Shot ‘em all, adjusted them all himself. It was the only way he’d have it.


The roar from the crowd on the television brought a pause, eyebrows now furling at the sight of two idiots battling it out with powers blazing. What the holy hell was this? Bell dinged on the television at the same moment the ping on the door sounded. He nodded in greeting to the man, always making it a habit to greet but never hover, going back to watching whatever the crazy was on television that he’d subjected his intelligence to. Nothing smart he reckoned.


Altered, magus and creature alike beating each other to smithereens on public television.


The hell??


Well, some dicks needed more fluffin' than others.


He finished the case, folding the soft towel before placing it underneath the case, attention still caught on the television that was mounted on the wall in the far corner. The trip south hadn’t taken him that long, seems he missed a bit of new rowdy while he was dodging gators and zombies. The world turned faster and faster. Too fast.


“I have money on that guy” the customer commented quietly as he looked in the case through the newly cleaned glass.


“Mhm,” the toothpick switched sides smoothly, sleeves of the immaculate button down rolled up as he sat at his work table to keep picking away at the Turbiaux fished out of the mud in NOLA. “Hope it works out for ya. Iffin' not we got payment plans.”


The surly smile was particularly to himself, casting a warm glance to catch the guy's eyes glued to the television. Lost him. There goes that sale. Maybe.

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Continued from Fat Cat

Her plans to spend the entire late day and entire evening playing jazz at Fat Cat had been cut short by squeals that had ripped through her eardrums with enough abrasion to nearly lose her seat on the stool. How the hell could girls make that fucking noise? It was like steel nails on a chalkboard.


Their excited babbling, bouncing up and down far too close to her and high pitched voices had told the cringing guard dog that they couldn’t possibly have been old enough to know who she was, they would have been practically in diapers when she last played before the scar in the sky. Yet it seemed after opening night had exposed her, kids had been kids, curious to find out why part of the crowd had made such a fuss about the electric performer that had brought an entire stadium to their feet. Apparently she filled some wet dream of a celebrity in their eyes.


She was not amused.


Lawrence had sicced the bouncers on them but not before the entire crowd was murmuring trying to figure out what was going on.




Her head had shook as she heard the apologetic tone in his voice. This had been her hole in the wall haven from the outside world. Seemed the outside world had barged in. It wasn’t his fault. Guitar had been slid back in its case only three Absolut Black Russians into the night. Enough to bathe her warm breath in its aroma but barely enough to take the edge off for someone who could put away what she could.


Fuck. Not the night she had planned.


Coming out the back door into the alley, she flipped the mahogany tail through the elastic halfway one more time to tighten the mussed halo behind her shoulders as she pulled the guitar strap over her head just in time for senses to erupt in warning. Spin was predatory to face the pound of feet approaching a split second before her long forgotten name was blurted out in passionate fangirl fashion.


Ah shit….


Long legs outpaced the three but not by much. What did put distance between them was her ability to "see" far beyond the next corner and fighting prowess that let her pivot on a dime.  Seven blocks of locked up businesses later and they were still pursuing. Fuck they were persistent.


The next left took her somewhere familiar, scowl puckering her brow as senses pushed down the street to find that door was unlocked… two forms inside.


Of course he was back NOW…. wasn’t that just fucking peachy.


She could keep running past. It would be about four more blocks before anything would be open or she could snatch a ladder on a fire escape of a residential. If her case was not bruising her shoulder and lower back with a vengeance, instrument inside in danger of becoming damaged, she would keep going.


Growl of annoyance reverberated in her chest as she snatched the door and flung it open and closed so fast the soft ring to notify it had breached nearly missed. She hoped he recognized her before taking a shot at her. Two strides took her to the counter, left hand planting on its corner as long limbs cleared it easily, right hand in poetic in-flight motion pulling the strap of the guitar off her head a fraction of a moment before dropping behind to the floor in near silence.


Lying on her back she could hear a forgotten name being called down the street.




Expression behind the dark shades cringed at the chant as his door was pulled open again, the teens rushing in and looking around like hatchlings seeking their first sip of water.


He was behind the counter….. close enough to smell, ghost of the fragrance that was so much more potent the night there had been heat and water and conversation about……


Nostrils huffed sharply to clear the memory. He had left….the theme of her life simply repeated. No one could be trusted….cared for. She had been alone forever… she could continue to be alone forever. In her "family" it was too dangerous to care anyway.


He was a business associate… nothing more.


Still….cold stone… snow brushing her cheek… liquor at the feet of angels…a voice that lit her "sight"…


Growl lit softly in her chest under the clutched case as the memory came back in chaotic strobe lights. She remained flat on her back despite the crawl over her skin that encouraged her to get the hell out of there. The out of breath fangirls were pleading with Josef if he had seen Mason, the man in the shop had turned around in time to see the girls but not her Dukes of Hazzards leap over the counter and could only shrug at the question. Her breath held as she awaited Josef's answer. She knew it was a 50/50 shot he would keep her hidden… which meant it was also even odds he would just point down and give her away.

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Eyes were watching one of the small screens from the security system in the paths leading to the shop. Toothpick moved again slightly as he realized who he was looking at and what was slung on her back. When he picked up on the shadows behind her, his first instinct was to arm up.


...but she never needed his help, and she wasn't being defensive. She was running... from?


A Grinch-like smile was already curt on his lips as the door opened and the flurry of motion took refuge behind his counter. He simply stood there, continuing to polish a pistol grip and barely glancing up at the customer who'd turned to see what he'd thought he'd heard.


Nothing to see folks.




He set the grip on the counter a moment and took the toothpick from his teeth, taking a drink of bourbon from an ever present glass. Smirk was still imprinted on his features as the toothpick returned to its perch and he continued polishing.


"Can I help you wiv somethin' ladies?"


His one and only customer had also cast attention on the girls, quickly going back to the display of basic handguns on his larger display case for the more mundane folk.


He couldn't understand what the hell they were saying. Northerners... he was half tempted to record it and play it back in slow motion.


"You mean the rock star?"


Brow had cocked and forehead furled as he worked on a particularly difficult smudge.


"Ya I seen her," he started.


They seemed to almost vibrate with excitement, hanging on what he said next.


"On television right?"


They let out a breath like they'd been punched in the stomach.


"I think she hangs out at that cafe about a block further down. Doesn't get there as much as she should though."


Their skitter of feet and the ding of his door ringer as they rushed out were a flurry and the room was silent again. Eyes went with his last customer's to the television toward the end of the match.


Damn. I'll be back on payday.


"Thanks for coming ya'll," it was warm, but passive.


Another ding and they were alone. He put down the pistol grip and turned, leaning back on the counter and crossing his ankles and arms. He really, really wanted to flick his toothpick at her.


"They dun gone rock star. You want a pillow, gonna have to charge you rent. Your monstrosity just cost me a sale. Get up ya git."

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At least he hadn't shot her as she entered. 


Case barely lifted on her chest as air didn’t strain to fill her lungs. She was constantly in combat training, a couple mile run wasn’t going to wind her.


"Can I help you wiv somethin' ladies?"


It rang in her ears… that damn accent that struck melodic chords that sent shivers down under her eardrum. He was playing coy. Fuck this could go either way.


"You mean the rock star? Ya I seen her."


And there it was…. dick like all the rest. Brow furled, abs tightening to sit up. She would end up decking the little shits if they dared to touch her. Gaspari'd give her a lecture about how to treat her public and she would go back into hiding indefinitely…. music only played for her ferret anymore. She had told Angelo that damn concert was a bad idea….. even if it had felt good to let go again at that extreme a level.


"On television right?"


Abs froze half pulling her shoulders off the ground. Nostrils huffed ever so softly. He was enjoying this too much.


"I think she hangs out at that cafe about a block further down. Doesn't get there as much as she should though."


Nose crinkled… what café? Ears twitched as the ding betrayed the fangirls fleeing down the street to see where they had lost her. Lips pursed as air pushed between them in relief. He was dismissing the other guy too it seemed. Didn’t need to do that. She was not staying.


Sitting up as the door announced they were alone, she glanced up at him as he leaned against the counter.


"They dun gone rock star. You want a pillow, gonna have to charge you rent. Your monstrosity just cost me a sale. Get up ya git."


Please…. a two bit handgun sale? bring ya more than ten times that on any given weekend.


Pushing off the ground the guitar found its nestling spot once more on her back as her own arms folded over her chest, "looking" at him through the dark shades.


Besides…wasn’t exactly my first choice to barge in…. you happened to be the only one open….


Silence lingered a moment as the breath exhaled the dark Russian liquor stain down her throat….


…… and don’t call me that.


Soft words vibrated with a hint of snarl. She wasn't referring to "git" either, the other was far worse to her. Hand brushed off her left shoulder as though there might have been debris on his floor while she made her way back around the counter. The pause was pregnant before the chin moved slightly towards her shoulder so the man behind could hear the words.


Welcome back…?

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He was honestly tempted to put his foot on her shoulder to hold her down when she thought she'd been ratted out. Faith much? Jeeeesshhh. He caught the crinkle of her features from the corner of his eye. He really wanted to torture her some more, but he didn't feel like dying today, at the very least getting maimed. They all left, and he was giving her the crinkled brow of feigned annoyance.


Please…. a two bit handgun sale? bring ya more than ten times that on any given weekend.


"Big B can't have all the bangs," he smirked and swept up the bourbon for another drink.


Besides…wasn’t exactly my first choice to barge in…. you happened to be the only one open….


He swallowed and polished off the glass.


"Well fuck you too then," he chuckled, glass clinking on the counter as he went back to the pistol grip.


…… and don’t call me that.


"You gonna run around in the rain and be pissed cus someone calls you wet? Don't be silly," he poured himself another drink, eyes on the television. "If you didn't like it, you wouldn't do it. If it bothers you, don't do it. I have a hard time believing you do things you don't want to."


The copper detail he was polishing was starting to become a warm orange-gold.


Welcome back…?


"Yah... got a couple friends here. Girl I'm sweet on, figured I couldn't be out in the wild hunting for stuff forever."


Toothpick was flicked into the trash. They were mint, he loved them, one of the treasures he'd brought back with him. Only a couple plastic containers, but they'd be nice while they lasted. He glanced up at the wrap up on the television.


"Big B been busy while I was gone... what the hell is this? This merde why ya haven't stopped by? Busy now?""


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"Big B can't have all the bangs," 


Nostrils huffed softly as left side of her lips quirked faintly upward, she could hear the smirk in his words. Bastard was enjoying himself.


Besides…wasn’t exactly my first choice to barge in…. you happened to be the only one open….


"Well fuck you too then," 


Snort was a bit louder now, hint of mirth in the sound. He was in a good mood. Where the hell had he been and what the hell had he been doing? His scold was met with a faint scowl behind the dark shades. She knew what he meant but still….


"….If you didn't like it, you wouldn't do it. If it bothers you, don't do it. I have a hard time believing you do things you don't want to."


I do what I do because I want to…. being some kids wet dream wasn’t part of that want.


It was a raw statement. It had always been that way. The orgasmic rush of pumping through cords faded like a puppy struck by a mac truck when she got off the stage and the audience she never "saw" came crushing in around her. Final snort seemed to flick the last taint of the fangirls from her aura as she listened to him polish.


 Welcome back…?


"Yah... got a couple friends here. Girl I'm sweet on, figured I couldn't be out in the wild hunting for stuff forever."


Brow drifted imperceptibly upward then down once more. Why should she be surprised he had a "girl"… probably more than one. It itched at something faintly aggressive that she couldn’t put her finger on.


"Big B been busy while I was gone... what the hell is this? This merde why ya haven't stopped by? Busy now?"


Chin tilted slightly at the television, listening a moment to the heated battle he was referring to. Words murmured over her lips still tainted with Black Russian.


You're the one that vanished without so much as a word. Came by twice tryin' to fill an order. Haven't come by cuz didn’t know you were back.


It sounded like she had come by only the twice… truth was.. she had checked far more often than she could count, her feet leading her down the street forcing her mind to frequently come up with some excuse why she was coming that way. She wasn’t likely to ever admit it, but for all their business banter…. she had missed that melodic lilt, missed the smell of earth…… missed…him. She "watched" the screen a moment, listening to the audio with an ear that dissected truths with an unnerving ease. They were both exerting themselves far too hard. It would be dumb luck who won as they were both burning out, every grunt and breath told her as much. 


Ya….. quite the crowd attractor it seems. Keeps the "my balls are bigger than your balls" off the streets I guess.  


The faint shrug betrayed it wasn’t her thing, even if a few joked she should be one of the fighters. She had a reputation in the family for being brutal, even when sparring she didn’t hold back. Dark shades glanced back at him.


Bringin' in a ton of revenue for the city….. lotta jobs…


To date it was the single biggest boost to the east coast economy since the scar tore everyone's world apart.  Didn’t necessarily make it a "wholesome" event, but it was hard to argue with the shot in the arm it had given the city. Bakkhos paid well. Left thumb hitched the strap of the case gently to adjust its angle off the bruise its bouncing had left behind on her back hip.


Stickin' for a while?

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