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  #61  
Old Jan 16th, 2024, 10:23 AM
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Cole Schneider, the Veteran
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Cole was still trying to figure out what was going on with the man Andrea had shoved in the locker. The tailor vaguely remembered the man, well... vampire. Possibly some kind of professional disagreement between creatures of the night? This 'Missionary' might have turned himself around, but ultimately Cole didn't find himself overly concerned with the fate of one bloodsucker.

Looking up from his own ruminations, Cole realized that he'd missed quite a lot happening around him. The fight appeared to have gone badly, very badly for the Buzzard. Now... was that Farhad climbing into the ring to try and face down the angry wolf? Cole wasn't sure he would ever have had the inclination to go toe-to-toe with Andre in his current state, not even at the height of his own power. Trying it now it would be the deepest folly. But was the Dragon truly willing to go so far to protect the life of one man? Not without some deeper angle, Cole strongly suspected.

The excitement in the ring almost distracted him from other events. He caught sight of Cassandra pushing her way away from the ring, and Victor trying to stop her. What was that fool boy playing at?

But all of this was happening far from the stands where Cole sat. Frozen by indecision, that was the moment that Cole picked out noises from behind him. Something happening in the back passages? More chaos unfolding? Making a decision, the tailor rose to his feet and made his way towards the source of the disturbance. The events unfolding before him were probably more important, but he had no desire to be caught off-guard by new developments either.

 

 
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  #62  
Old Jan 20th, 2024, 12:29 PM
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The RingOnce Andre is again able to get his claws on the Buzzard, it's all over. He is slashed, shredded, and torn with merciless efficiency. It takes the crowd a few seconds to catch up with what just happened. Nature's violence is rarely cinematic. It is generally nasty, brutish, and short. So went the Buzzard's fate, and he is thrown down. Andre can see that the man is in tremendous pain. But he is enough of a seasoned veteran that he does not cry out. He grimaces and gasps, and struggles to rise but fails.

Farhad can see that the man will not rise again from this match. Even without Andre there, The Buzzard's survival is not entirely assured. But Andre is there. He advances to the broken man. The tenor of the crowd has shifted. Those that are not distracted by the Cassandra situation are mostly shouting a mix of jeers and boos. A few are encouraging cold-blooded murder. But many more shout "no!" in response. For most, this ending provided no entertainment. With the contest clearly over, any further blood would be wonton.

Farhad slides into the ring. He interposes himself between the Buzzard and Andre. Andre's only path to the Buzzard - his only chance of completing the Hunt - is now through his manager. Farhad claims the Buzzard for himself. Behind Farhad, the Buzzard gives a grim chuckle from the mat. "Heh heh, ughhh..." he groans as he leans over onto his side to face Andre. "Puppy doesn't get his toy, eh? Get back to your kennel, mutt." The Buzzard spits a bloody gob at Andre. He doesn't even have the fortitude to spit that far, but a red speckled mist drifts over and coats Andre's shins. See below; -1 to Keep your Cool.The smell of blood wafts through the ring.

The StandsAs that in-ring scene of brutality is going on, there is another source of crowd dissatisfaction: Kinklaw and Anne's confrontation. Cassandra does not take any convincing. What she saw has shaken her. The fact that her vision is so quickly translated to real action in the Coliseum is even more worrisome. At Anne's prompting, Cassandra flees towards the main exit. Then Anne sweeps incorporeally through the crowd. She does one of the things that specters do best: make a complete nuisance of themselves. He hinders Kinklaw and harasses nearby patrons alike.

A mass of shouting and objections soon erupts. People start resisting with pushes and the nub-end of a hot dog is flung. Kinklaw looks confused for a second. But he is the type where confusion quickly turns to anger. He tries to respond to every jibe and push back at every instance of resistance. He shouts, he shoves. But this is just a path to further crowd resistance, and he is quickly overwhelmed. Anne finds herself in the center of a mass of arms reaching towards Kinklaw.

Cole is feeling old. He's been out of the game long enough that the rapid change in events has left his head spinning. As he does his best to figure out the right move, the voices resolve into a mass of scrambling people. There are 8 to 10 attractive, young-looking, well-dressed men and women running towards the ring from the corridoors outside the arena. They have a mix of angry, excited, and concerned looks on their faces. If Cole stands in their way, there is no doubt that they have the mass and momentum to shove him aside, possibly giving him a light trampling as a parting gift.

Further down the hallways, Cole hears another batch of shouts, this time a series of barked orders. He has a strong suspicion that some sort of security force is starting to get its act together.

Outside the ColiseumOn the opposite side of the Coliseum from Cole, Cassandra is moving quickly towards the exits on the main level while Victor dashes to an alternate exit above. Brassa follows behind, a little less willing to shove and sprint. A dozen steps into the nighttime parking lot, Victor manages to intercept the Oracle.

There doesn't appear to be any recognition on her face. Just a confused frustration. "What? Who are you? The **** do you..." and then Brassa comes down the stairs to catch up with Victor. A few things seem to click in Cassandra's head. She nods and sets her jaw. She unzips the duffel she has slung over her shoulder. "Right. I get it. I don't know what you two have promised that monster you work for, but she is NOT going to lay her hands on me." She braces her feet as she rummages through her bag. Victor gets a very strong suspicion that if he puts an effort to hinder Cassadndra, this confrontation is going to get violent quick.

Caught in a standoff, Brassa Here's the 'name to face' results that I forgot to add on first draft.considers the wrestler, almost as if in slow-motion. Cassandra has a wrestler's build. In a fair barehanded fight, she could have a decent chance of taking both Victor and Brassa. The blindness isn't just for show, it's real. But it has never seemed to hinder her; she seems to be able to sense her surroundings, both mundane and Shadow, with a high degree of clarity. She is certainly very powerfully-built, but her success in the ring has mostly been strategic. She is known for her cunning in the ring, and her uncanny knowledge outside the ring. That has made her valued by many, but has left her allied to few.

OODM@hafrogman: You can Name to Face the group (faction: Wild), if you want to try to get more info about them before you post. If they are chasing Cassandra, you know they are currently going in the wrong direction. If they are after Andre and/or Farhad, they are headed in the correct direction.

@jbear: I like your suggestion of a cost. The crowd is turning on Andre (though there are always fans who like a heel or snuff films). Farhad's successful roll means that you can't just do what you will with the Buzzard. Farhad is now an obstacle to finishing your Hunt. If you want to AVOID doing something regretful, roll to Keep your Cool at -1 due to the Buzzard's provocations. If you want to do something Andre will probably regret later, have at it, that's what this game is all about!

@Elanir: To be clear, I'm interpretting 'confuse' pretty straightforwardly; Kinklaw doesn't know how to solve his current problems. And 'avoiding further entaglement' means that Anne is pretty free to flit away with this 'distract' action complete. I think the 'create an opportunity' choice is the opportunity for Cassandra to flee. Tell me if you meant something else. As long as my interpretation is correct, I think Kinklaw is no longer an immediate threat to Cassandra. The mob near Cole is another matter, but they're only just about to enter the arena.

@Vis (and maybe Roe): I just wanted to drop a touch of clarity, in that Cassandra seems to have immediately recognized something Fae in Brassa. But in that she is talking about who Brassa works for, there is clearly some confusion happening here.
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Last edited by Wynamoinen; Jan 21st, 2024 at 11:46 AM.
  #63  
Old Jan 22nd, 2024, 05:38 PM
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The Spectre
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Anne Charlotte Beall, the Spectre
Victor Young.

Even thinking about that man was similar to black storm clouds gathering in an already gray sky. The blackguard had the gall to blackmail her, try to take advantage of her. And now he stood between the Oracle and safety, Brassavola at his side. The fae didn’t seem her usual, confident self, though. No doubt he had forced her to follow him. The scoundrel would stop at nothing to get what he wanted!

And what does he want?

Anne didn’t care. Money probably. And the thrills of the flesh and the blood. Weren’t all roughnecks like that, living each moment like men possessed by the devil, giving no thought to honor, propriety, and duty?

Anne looked at him, her sunken eyes like twin pits of hell smoldering with rage. Once more he proved himself an obstacle. He didn’t realize that she could ruin his life, if she wanted to. He didn’t realize that she could drive mad the people that were dear to him and teach him a lesson about regret, as valuable as it would be painful. She could do all that and more. But she lacked the time. She, a being whose very existence defied time, couldn’t take the time to deal with the scoundrel as he deserved.

The irony wasn’t lost on her.

The Spectre approached the young man, twisting her ethereal form around him like a cloak made from smoke and making the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. There was nothing gentle or amicable about the way that she placed her icy cold, spectral hands on his shoulders, and moved them ever so slowly towards his neck. A thin layer of skin, a few tender parts and the bones that made up the top of his spine. All very exposed, all very vulnerable.

Anne pictured the faces of her children, swollen red from crying and hideous, like those of the demonic beasts carved on the capitals of the columns of the church near Claydon House. She remembered how easily her fingers had found purchase around their short necks, how little she had to push to see the red of their cheeks turn a deep purple. Yes, a few moments had been enough. Perhaps the same amount of time would be enough for Victor Young too…

Resisting the temptation, aware that the man’s unexpected demise at such a place would complicate things for everyone, especially for Cassandra, Anne placed her dry, cracked lips on Victor’s ear and whispered, the sound similar to dead leaves getting stirred by a bitterly cold winter wind.

"You owe me, wretch. Allow this woman to leave. Don’t follow her. Don’t look for her. Forget about her and I will forget about your misdeeds."



 


 
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Old Jan 26th, 2024, 03:03 AM
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By the time Brassa had caught up to Victor and Cassandra, she had made her mind up on what she wanted to do. Cassandra was no stranger to violence. She was not bought by the rules of the Fae, and was far from the naïve and easily manipulated mortal. Cassandra possessed an uncanny ability to know things she was not to know and the shrewd mind to use such knowledge to her advantage.

She was also a tank and Brassa was not sure she'd be much help to Victor or herself if Cassandra got the jump on them. She knew better than to let Brassa within touching range (though that wasn't all the Fae were capable of). Casandra would make a dangerous enemy, and those same qualities that made her so would make her a useful ally.

Brassa prepared herself to sway Victor, stepping forward and placing a hand on the man's shoulder. But he was strangely quiet and seemed to lack the same resolve to block the woman's way that he seemed to have a second ago. Strange, but Brassa didn't have the time to figure out why he had the change of heart. She had to speak and quickly.

"You know what I am, and you know we do not lie. I do not work for Kinklaw or any of the Sovereigns you fear. In fact I would like to offer you my assistance in escaping this place unobstructed," Brassa said, her low voice with a musical pluck to it. Her hands were open and held unthreatening low near her waistline. She made no move towards the Oracle. "Consider it advance payment for a future consultation."

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  #65  
Old Jan 26th, 2024, 10:50 PM
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Victor YoungVictor is winded but trying not to show it, so little speckles of light dance at the edges of his vision. The oxygen-starved brain does some strange things sometimes. Yet, if one is going to careen headlong into an unknown situation on a complete whim that a new acquaintance might look more favorably on one, then showing any form of vulnerability is inadvisable. So the little speckles of light persist.

It is easy for Victor to gloss over the initial reaction that Cassandra has, his attention focused on the oxygen problem, but her shifting tone catches his attention. Following her gaze over his shoulder, Victor catches sight of Brassa. Brassa? She must have followed him.

Wait. Monster? Victor's head swings back to Cassandra. Work for?

Then Cassandra's stance changes and she is suddenly rummaging through her bag. Victor's hand instinctively shoots to his waistband … only to grasp at air. Stunned for a moment, he tries to get the breathing and the thinking to both happen simultaneously. Of course! He had left the Beretta in the car unsure about the rules at this territory. I don't know that weapons actually wouldn't be allowed since the natural ability of most patrons probably outstrip a handgun, but Victor is taking things that wayIt had seemed to be the right move, too. Until now.

Just as Victor opens his mouth to protest the apparent path of escalation, a strange feeling sweeps over him. Clutching hands and icy breath. A feeling he has succumbed to before. The cursed spectre, hiding from sight, but present nonetheless. And then her words flood his ear, whispered and chilling. Victor can't even bring himself to flail about or spin around in search of the source. He knows whence it comes. Victor intends to honor the debtSo he simply nods, a short, curt gesture.

Stiff and on-edge, the soft touch of Brassa takes a moment to penetrate the shell. Yet, once it does, the warmth of the gesture is intoxicating after the coldness of the previous grasp. A clutching, cold grasp threatening to choke the life out of him; a warm, reassuring grasp exuding reassurance. Despite the – presumably – imminent danger, Victor can't help but feel that thrill which has cropped up intermittently all night. This is the shadows. This is everything he has been seeking. All encapsulated at this one moment.

And all he can do is stand, dumbfounded.

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Old Jan 28th, 2024, 02:23 PM
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Andre, the Wolf
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The Buzzard's stubborn disdain lands on the Wolf's cheek. Blood and spit. The foolish gesture of a man emboldened by the embrace of Death. Is there any greater sign of contempt?

The Wolf does not care if this wretched man disrespects him. He is broken. He is beaten. What does a wolf care when his prey bleats? It is a hunger not yet sated that yearns to tear the Buzzard's carcass open to feed on his soft, warm heart while it still pleasantly beats, not some meaningless sense of bruised pride.

Before his muscle fibres twitch and his claws open the Buzzard's guts, something moves between him and his prey, slithering through the ropes to claim his kill. Ancient. Timeless. Terrifying. It challenges the Wolf as apex predator and hatred is born in the Wolf as doubt is sewn within the violence of his mind.

Andre is young. Innocent. Foolish. But he recognises Farhad. He understands the man... the Dragon... seeks to protect him from himself. But the Wolf understands only the challenge. The Wolf understands the claim of the Old, a false superiority that must be torn down and devoured for the Young and the New to take its place. He licks the flecks of the Buzzard's sprayed blood from his chops and prepares to test the Old.

Andre senses the disaster. He senses the ire of the crowd and the cold judgement of his future rival. The Wolf is about to take his life from him and he cannot abide this. He pulls. He struggles. He muzzles. And for now, the Wolf obeys.

Andre's consciousness blends with the Wolf's as the predator and the soft hearted boy-man become one. The lights are blinding. The Buzzard struggles with Death. A Dragon stands before him. The Morgue's eyes burn through him from the hissing crowd. Andre, the Wolf stands at the centre of a bloody ring, his weight on one leg. He is the heel. The villain. Not the hero he always imagined he would be. But who doesn't love a good heel?

Andre bares his teeth in a mocking smile and raises a defiant fist to the air. Slowly, deliberately, his hand comes down, his clawed finger extending to point at the Morgue. Real blood now mixes with the manufactured violence of Cole's creation, giving an air of further authenticity to Andre's look. He strikes an imposing figure. "Silence sheep!" he roars at the crowd. "Bill Buzzard lives only by my manager's mercy. But there will be no mercy for your beloved Morgue! I will bury him next!" Andre twisted his hand and gave a thumbs down, an emperor sentencing a gladiator to 'no mercy'

The Morgue smiles, uncowed. He senses weakness in the Wolf. And he is not alone. Andre pretends this doesn't unsettle him, but it does.



 

 
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Last edited by jbear; Jan 28th, 2024 at 02:28 PM.
  #67  
Old Jan 31st, 2024, 09:25 PM
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Rumble Less than thirty seconds and I already regret saving your pathetic life.

Farhad chastised the Buzzard and considered digging a toe into the man’s badly broken ribs.

I would say that your body belongs to me now, but I don’t invest in failed assets and broken goods, keep your mouth shut and maybe you can still prove yourself useful.

Andre appeared to have wrestled his own match and come to his senses at least for a moment.

Good. It would have been unfortunate if I had had to write off an asset so quickly.

Now that this was dealt with there was the other commotion to deal with…

Except it appears to have disappeared already.

Anne.

Casandra.

Victor.

Farhad even thought he saw a glimpse of the Fae Brassa going after them all, though he couldn’t be certain.

Things were certainly becoming more complicated. Perhaps Agent Kensington left too soon.

I believe this match has reached its conclusion.

Farhad dusted his lapel before making the ropes. This was more than sufficient activity for one evening. It was time to retire for the evening. Hopefully nothing stood in the way of Farhad reaching his Duesenberg.

OoC Sorry for the delay but I thought it was necessary to wait for the Wolf before I thought about my post.

As Farhad just saved the Buzzard’s life. I think he owes me a Debt.

Other than that I don’t think Farhad has any other moves to make, since it appears I won't be fighting the Wolf after all.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2024, 12:53 PM
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The RingAndre, with great reservation, backs down from the Hunt. It's both a relief and a disappointment, to feel that urge slowly dissipate. He goes to taunt his most important watcher, the Morgue. As soon as it's clear that the violence is over, a bell is rung, and the crowd erupts with noise. There are cheers, there are boos. More than a little trash is thrown. His fate finally declared, the Buzzard rolls on his back and seems to go limp. He lives, though - he winces in pain as he lay there.

As the ringmaster slides into the ring to raise Andre's hand in official victory, Farhad notices a crowd of young people scramble down the aisle, towards the ring. Before he can discover whether they are a danger, the Dragon is distracted. Nelson Farley is in the ring, grinning, back slapping, shoulder-hugging, and offering his congratulations to wrestler and manager alike. Whenever he faces the crowd, Farley is the picture of disingenuous businesslike warmth. Whenever he turns to Farley, there are flashes of bitterness. "I wanted less blood," he says between clenched teeth. We waves in a first-aid crew, who quickly make their way to the mat. He turns to the crowd, waving and pleasantly beaming. Then he turns back to Farley. "I wanted a show. If you wanted to manage a heel, we could have planned this better. If you wanted to manage a monster, there are dirtier places than this. Dirtier jobs."

The Morgue gives an ironic grin to Andre as they meet eyes. He throws a single kernel of popcorn towards the ring and laughs, reveling in Andre's mixed reception and the Wolf's last-minute step back from demonstrating his brutal reputation. The Buzzard is soon hauled away, and the ring is cleared and perfunctorally cleaned to make room for the next match.

Outside the ColiseumVictor is utterly beset. Fae behind him, wrestler ahead, and then wrapped in Anne's ghostly tendrils. And then he remembers that he is unarmed. What can he do? He is not left with many options. The spectre tells him that he must let Cassandra leave. Brassa agrees; she tells The Oracle that they are not there to detain her.

Cassandra stops her rummaging. She does not have time to divine the nature of what is hapening, but there is a confluence of forces that she can not understand. That said, flight is exactly what's on her mind. She pauses for one more moment, trying to fix in her mind the contour of the encounter - who are these people, and what are they about. Then she nods in acceptance at Brassalova's implied exchange, and she turns and dashes off, past the feeble lights of the parking lot and into the shadows of the street.

The trio have only a few moments to take a breather and I believe Elanir's last declaration was that Anne was able to be heard and touched, so I think it's safe to say that Brassa saw and heard the interaction between Victor and Anne.consider each other. After that, a crowd of well-dressed young folks bursts out the door of the Coliseum. Brassa and Victor recognize most of them as the group that was gathered to gamble, plus a few hangers-on. Brassa and Victor are in turn recognized by the group (Kinklaw is still nowhere to be seen).

They trot to a halt. A breathless spokesman urgently asks, "She came this way. Why didn't you stop her? The Oracle. Blindfold. Where did she go?"

OODM@wodine: I agree about the Buzzard, take one debt from him.

@Vis: You're putting yourself at some risk to help Cassandra, so I think it makes sense for her to owe you a debt. It will definitely be a bit of a challenge to divert The Oracle's pursers while sticking to the truth. But there are always either ways around the truth, or corruption. (I debated giving Anne a debt to hold as well... but from Cassandra's perspective, her whole situation pretty much Anne's fault. So at best, helping her to flee is a wash, there.)
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Old Feb 3rd, 2024, 06:01 PM
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Rumble More dangerous, perhaps but dirtier? Unlikely.

Farhad said as he leaned in to make a show of shaking Farley’s clammy hand.

You hired him before I was ever in the picture. Imagine if I hadn’t been here, who would have stopped him, you?

Farhad whispered through pearly teeth, matching the crowd work of the slippery manager.

His part in the show finished, he made his way back into the locker rooms – he was going to have to have a chat with his pet.

Farhad was not squeamish about death, but death was something to dish out in private. It was an intimate act, one that was best done with the proper protection and, if possible, after dinner and drinks.

When Andre returns to the locker room Farhad is waiting, like a disappointed coach.

OoC Farhad is happy sipping tea, selling trinkets, and having dinner with Agent Kensington and Nasanin.

I’m sure everyone will find a way to disturb his pleasant evenings.

No moves at this moment.
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  #70  
Old Feb 5th, 2024, 04:50 PM
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The Spectre
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Anne Charlotte Beall, the Spectre
Anne’s words descended upon Victor like spring frost upon a recently plowed field, causing the fresh saplings to wither. Her touch was as cold as ice, draining all the excitement and passion from the young man. The Aware nodded, silently, in submission.

In her eyes, the natural order was restored.

Normally, the Spectre should have felt contentment, even happiness, that she had regained her old authority, if only for a moment. But a black hole resided where her heart had once been, her fondest memories of freedom, laughter, and companionship having grown faded and indistinct like photographs that had been left in the sun for far too long. The opposite was true of Anne. It was the darkness that had changed her, not the light.

Her temporary victory had nothing to do with the restoration of the natural order. There was nothing natural about the living submitting to the dead. Even in her madness, Anne realized that.

Things might have been different had she been capable of self-reflection, capable of feeling the crushing weight of guilt. But she wasn’t. Not now and not when hot blood had been pumped through her veins by a living, beating heart. She was and would always remain a ghost.

She watched Cassandra leave the Coliseum, feeling nothing but emptiness. She didn’t really care for the Oracle. All she cared for was the information she might be able to provide her. Information that could be used to protect her bloodline, her legacy, her name. Most importantly, her idea of family, which was all that remained, like ashes after a fire that had completely destroyed one’s home.

The group of Fae strove to fill her emptiness with anger, however. They ran and yelled and demanded. Blood. The Oracle. Annie’s condemnation.

Anne would not stand idly by and watch strictly Anne’s perception and far removed from the truth!Victor bend like a reed before a strong wind or Brassavola give in to the desires of her kind. She would take matters in her own spectral hands. After all, who was better suited to misleading a group of impatient youngbloods than a ghost? Fae or mortals, it was passion that motivated them and it was this same passion that would lead them astray.

Imitating running footsteps, Anne opened a door that led to some corridor leading deeper inside the Coliseum, banging it behind her loudly enough for the sound to be heard by all despite the commotion.

"There she is. After her!", she cried out, her voice unfamiliar to Cassandra’s pursuers, but altered sufficiently so that it could have belonged to anyone.

How long had it been since she had last played a game with someone? It was such a pity that even now she couldn’t really enjoy it.



 


 
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  #71  
Old Feb 11th, 2024, 09:47 AM
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Victor YoungEverything happens around Victor. He is but an observer, unable to conjure the fortitude to stem the tide. The creatures of the shadows move so deftly as to leave his head spinning.

Promises. Threats. Deals. All done in an instant. Allies. Enemies. Threats. Boons. Flipped and twisted in a moment.

And the worst part. The worst part is Victor doesn't even understand everything that is happening. Hadn't he made in-roads with the Fae? A path that he could use for personal gain, sure, but also a path for Brassa? Except rather than helping pave that path with something more permanent, Brassa had thrown the opportunity away.

Why?

On the streets there is always a play being made for something, but even there things don't move as fast as they have this night. Of course, there the threats can actually be seen. There is a direction to point the gun if it comes to that. There is a gun within reach, too.

This place – this world – is not the streets. Not like Victor knows them at least. It is a whole new version of the streets. Hopped up on some crazy designer drug and unleashed.

The Choppa Boys Victor gets. He can deal with them – even their special brand of chaos. He can maneuver those deals. He was in control of the robbery and the outcome was perfect...

Yet, they are so boring compared to this ...

And all he can do is stand, dumbfounded.

OOCNothing really going on here. Just tying a bow around Victor's night, I think.

 
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  #72  
Old Feb 11th, 2024, 12:51 PM
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Andre, the WolfAndre stalks back to the locker room, refusing to limp despite the pain that shoots up his busted leg each time it takes his weight. Whatever vile disease had possessed his body that fateful day he was mauled has already begun its work mending the torn ligaments around the joint. The pain is bearable.

The humiliation is not. The bloody victory is sour milk in Andre's mouth. It dawns on him that this thing inside him is not a boon, a tool to wield and carve out a path to success in life. It is dangerous. Out of control. Murderous. A curse. Instead of the hero he had always wanted to emulate, his mother--and to some degree his father, although he is so full of resentment towards his father for abandoning them not once but twice that he is loath to admit it--he is becoming a monster.

Fuming, he sits down in front of the locker where he had shoved the Missionary. Its door torn off and still embedded in the wall, the locker stands empty. Hollow. Like the feeling that invades him. This is not what victory should taste like.

Farhad is there but Andre doesn't look at the well-dressed man. He can see the disappointed scowl. He can sense the unwanted scolding coming and decides to go on the offensive before he has to feign deafness. "When do I get my money? I need to get a room so I can take a shower and go to bed. If you can't get me a drink to calm my nerves or get me some privacy when I'm about to transform before a match or make sure I get my f'n money then I don't need your disappointed mug waiting in here for me afterwards either."

Andre stands, a tower of barely contained lupine violence. He snatches his backpack, digs out his hoodie and jams it over his costume, pulling up the hood to cover his face. He slings his pack over his powerful shoulders. It will be hours before he will be human again.

A part of him yearns to run, to stalk his hood, play the yellow-eyed watchman guarding his territory. But tonight his humanity has the beast muzzled, and his humanity is exhausted. He wants to crawl up under a blanket and hide. But not on a mattress of cardboard tucked between a dumpster and the iron braces of the underbridge. He wants four walls to shelter him from the wind and a soft bed.

If Farhad shows no intention of securing his fight prize tonight, then it will confirm the Dragon is useless to him as a manager and he will track down Farley himself[. He will take the money from the toad's pocket if need be.


 
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Last edited by jbear; Feb 11th, 2024 at 12:52 PM.
  #73  
Old Feb 11th, 2024, 07:43 PM
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Rumble Money? Your concern is money?

Farhad growled, his disappointment growing.

The dragon’s claws dug deep into the in-breast pocket of his suite producing a wad of several hundred dollars held together by a gold money clip.

Take your money, like a sacred sister of Ishtar, and flee, then.

Farhad threw the money at Andre.

Congratulations on winning your fight this evening.

Fahrad said with complete flatness.

You beat an old man, who was primed to cheat – to do whatever it took to claw at victory against all odds. Perhaps he’s the warrior I thought you were.

Fahrad produced the stun wand from his pocket.

You lost the battle that mattered. You lost control, you lost against yourself. You are a monster, boy. Just like me. Just like the specter that clings to you, just like those with the gift of foresight, and just like many of the people who were here tonight to watch to people beat each other to a bloody pulp.

Fahrad’s tone changed to one of stern compassion. He never had a clutch of his own, when he was young there was never time, and now, he has nothing but time, but not the stomach to bring more into a world where they are doomed to be hunted.

But that doesn’t mean you have to be a beast. It doesn’t mean that you can just do whatever you please – I have seen thousands of men become drunk on their ability to kill. It doesn’t make you special. It doesn’t make you unique. I thought you stronger than this. If I wanted nothing but a fighter, I’d have found a Spartan…

Fahrad’s thought trailed off, a part of his mind remembering things that have long been consigned to history.

And what of your mother, does she not think you stronger than this? She is ill, is she not? She fights, you must as well – and I don’t mean in the ring. The fight that roils in yourself. Sort it. Take control.

The puzzled look of anger that flashed across Andre’s face spoke volumes.

They say two can keep a secret if one of them is dead, but even death doesn’t stop some mouths from leaking like a battered sieve.

Fahrad waves his hand dismissively for Andre to take the money and go.

Go, leave the Toad to me. He was rather… displeased with the way things turned out, but as a dear departed friend once said, ‘All the world’s a stage.’ Not every protagonist is a hero, boy – but the story still goes on.
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Old Feb 16th, 2024, 06:27 PM
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Brassavola watched Cassandra disappear into the night with her quick, athletic movements. The Oracle would be getting a visit from her soon enough, when she figured out how her gifts could be most useful to her. A debt was a debt, after all.

In the meanwhile Victor's frustration and confusion was palpable next to her. Brassa felt a small pang of feeling for the young man. She knew what it felt like, to feel like a leaf tossed about by the winds of a storm, at the mercy of forces around you. But if he wanted to deal with the Courts, it was a feeling he'd have to get very used to.

There came voices looking for Cassandra and before she could intervene, the Spectre's ghostly voice came to them, an effective misdirection. It was well that she wouldn't have to lie at least, but she waited to see if they were in the clear.
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  #75  
Old Feb 20th, 2024, 06:44 AM
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Andre the WolfAndre catches the money clip flung at him. His finger rubs the gold that binds the wad of notes marvelling at how so much could be so casually plucked from a pocket and tossed away as if it were nothing.

The expected scolding washes over him but does not reach him. His walls are up. The cuts of the edged words are no sharper than his own self-loathing. And he will not be shamed for his need of cash.

People who had money couldn't understand the world of those who didn't. Andre would pay for a clean room and a soft bed tonight. He would wash away the stench and blood from his body beneath a cleansing shower and fill his belly with a warm meal. Then in the morning when he was himself again, he would head over to the hospital and handover the rest to the clerk at the desk and chip away at his mother's never ending hospital bills.

"Keep my mother out of your mouth," Andre growls before he hobbles out the door.
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