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THE SHADOWS: EP02 "HOLD MY BEER"

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR
(back office)

 

"Sure." Dominique replied as she moved some of the folders aside to clear a place on the desk. 

Dominique watched at Cara spread the bones on the desk and seemed to freeze in place, her gaze focused intently on the bones. They looked very familiar, the sight of which conjured up a very, very old memory in the witch, one of the scant handful of times she had truly made her grandmother angry, more angry that ever seen her before or since. They could not be the same bones from all those years ago... could they?

The beautiful, young black woman snapped back to the present and looked back to Cara, her previously playful demeanor pushed aside.

"Okay..." She said as she paced back and forth in front of the desk for a moment, clasping her hands together and holding them in front of her mouth.

"For me to help you," she said, lowering her hands and composing herself a bit, "I know to know what you know about them. And I mean the truth, not some vague, evasive or flowery explanation or response like, no offense, your kind seems so keen on givin'. I'm talkin' the straight truth. No BS. Because these seriously radiate Dark Magic and that's some bad serious bad juju that you don' wanna be messin' with blind." she stated  firmly.

"Let's start with how in the world did these come into your possession?" she asked as she reached into her pocket and pulled out a small baggie full of reddish powder which she carefully poured around the bones on the desk, encircling them in a ring of the powder.

"And were they in a small bag with symbols all over it when you got them?" she tacked on, seeming to relax ever so slightly once the ring of powder was complete.

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"They were given to me by a werewolf," Cara replied. "An old one...name of Colby. He was the alpha of the local pack until recently, yes? Now he serves a different master."

"He had them wrapped in that cloth. The bag, I provided."

She shook her head abruptly and held up a hand. "And before you lecture me about being forthcoming, I don't know who Colby's serving. Not yet. This all happened just last night."

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR
(back office)

 

"Do you know where he got 'em? From this new 'master' he serves?" Dominique asked, looking closely at each bone.

She thought back to that childhood memory, from long before she even knew what witchcraft really was, trying to tell if they were the same ones she remembered. She could not be entirely positive, but they sure looked and felt like the same bones she saw and handled all those years ago. 

"An' for that matter, why'd he give 'em to you? You can't even use 'em." she asked, peppering the vampire with more questions as she grew more and more confident that they were the same ones from years ago.

"An' did you get the impression that he knew what they were?" she added to her queue of questions.

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"He was speaking on behalf of his 'boss,' as he put it," said Cara as she gazed at the bones. "I'm sure these were provided to him by the same. As for why he gave them to me...because he wanted me to authenticate them in a way that I'd be inclined to trust."

She looked back at Dominique. "He claimed to know what they were, but I'd like to see if we can verify that. Can you tell me what you think they are? If I tell you in advance, it could influence your conclusion."

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Marko had just entered the club in time to see his sister going into an office located near the bar with an young attractive black woman, a glance to his left revealed the witch from yesterday the club owner Darrick with a striking blond woman. He tuned his sense to pick out the voice of Cara and the other woman ignoring all of the other noise. He didn’t like what he was hearing.

After asking Erica what she wanted to drink Darrick  waved over a waiter and told him to bring Ms. Linder a cranberry juice, at that moment something flashed through the club at a speed a normal human eye would find hard to comprehend unless actively looking for it, but Darrick’s eyes weren’t in a normal human. It was Marko the asshole Vampire from yesterday barging into the office with Dominique and Cara.

"Or, she just might not know," came the familiar voice of Marko, Cara's brother, as he invited himself into the office without so much as a knock or invitation.  "You've come for answers and all she's done is bombard you with questions.  She's giving you the Madame Cleo, sis.  You tell her everything there is to know about it, she puts on a show, then finds a fanciful way of regurgitating it back at you like she find out something new.  She's full of shit."

"Colby is a dick," he approached his sister, giving Dom a bit of the 'you're not even here because I'm a bad ass and cooler than you' side eye.  "We don't need these witches, they've done enough damage as it is.  If the werewolves want them, I say let them flay the whole lot.  I'll throat Colby myself. This is a waste of time."

And as for this cocoa little skank, is what was supposed to have passed his vulgar lips in one of his usual anger fueled tirades of mixed trust and paranoia.  Instead, as he turned his head to deal with Dom, his grimace 180'd into a warm, sincere smile.  "Wow, you are gorgeous, anyone tell you that recently?  You have the most exotic eyes..."

With a pang of embarrassment and a slice of willpower his face contorted into something resembling disgust as he turned to his sister while point at Dom.  "See?  You see?  They've done enough damage."

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR
(back office)

 

Dominique turned and looked at Marko, sizing him up for a moment as he spoke and complimented her, assuming this must be the vampire Darrik had mentioned earlier. As far as first impressions go, this certainly was far from the best one he could have made on the witch, which became immediately evident.

"I am Dominique de la Croix, one of the owners and proprietors here." she said, introducing herself to the vampire in a somewhat flat, displeased tone.

"Now, you can show us, and our establishment, proper respect, step outside the office and knock on the door politely to request entry," she said in a bit of a firm, matter-of-factly tone as she walked up to Marko and gestured to the door, adding, "...with some respect." in a much more polite tone and with a faint smile on her nude lips.

"Your sister has been very polite, and it has resulted in mine, and likely Darrik's, aid, free of charge. I am sure you would not want to spoil that and sour the beginning of our relationship with by being ill mannered." she explained with a genuine smile and nod toward Cara.

"And I asked questions to gain knowledge, like how she came into possession of my grandmother, Mama Sue's, bag of bones." she said, her voice gradually growing more firm, "So you can take your Madame Cleo bullshit, step outside this office, and leave it at the door while you knock with some respect."

"And thank you for the compliment. It was very kind of you." she added as she walked to the door and opened it for Marko.

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"Give me a little credit, Marko," Cara sighed. "I've been at this for a very long time."

She smiled at Dominique.

"Not the bones of your grandmother, surely. Unless you're older than you look. No...bones that were in your grandmother's care then? And that were lost."

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Read This

Spoiler

I put an edit at the end of my last post

Erica looked around again and couldn't see any special theme or mood just a bunch of people eating and drinking earlier than she was used too. “No sir I don't have any questions yet. I came more prepared to answer yours today.” She said hold out the resume she had been asked for. Darrick took the paper from Erica,“Dominique is with a customer at the moment why don’t I get you something to drink and I’ll let her know you’re here.” Darrick leads Erica to one of the nearby booths while Dom leads Cara into the office.  

I also added an edit to the start of Daves post. this should clear up everyone's location and stuff

speaking of location,  please place your characters locations as a header for your posts. 

 

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ST VINCENT DE PAUL CEMETERY NO 1

 “Honey I don’t know about no super-wolf, but something bad is coming and I gotta do what I can even from the other side to protect you and your little girl, to protect mine.

The packs here they used to be one pack, but that wasn’t always so either way back in the early days the wolves came here were from a several packs eventually the packs joined together and merged through marriage until there was just the one pack the Crescents. Then we had the war and I was killed but I had fallen in love with a young girl and she was a crescent. We was never married but after I was gone she took my name anyway and ran away from the pack and then she changed the name to Gaunt but she never told anyone she was a werewolf and no one ever knew. So you see, your granddaddy he was born after the split and his momma was a Crescent she didn’t go over to the Bayou, so that makes you a crescent honey.

Whats coming is gonna need both packs and you gonna have to make them one.”

 


 

 

LEROUX BUILDING CONTRACTORS

“I be honest with you Hawkins de last coupla days, don’ know what to think. First dat girl get herself kidnapped den, dat fucker Colby shows when he should be bones in a grave by now and then what ever the fuck that was last night. And now you come in here tellin me we need to work together. But some how I was cut out of getting little melody released from the bitch queen and ah find you had a hand in dat, now you telling me you da new Bayou alpha.

What you and Colby up too?  Dis some kinda power play?

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LEROUX BUILDING CONTRACTORS

 

"If it was, do you really think I'd walk right into your office, alone, surrounded by you and yours and try it?"   The idea was totally ludicrous, at least to him.   Dan shook his head.  "We both know I'm not that dumb, maybe a little naive in how I view the Packs, but I've never been given reason to think any different.  We tend to keep to our own, and so do y'all.     I don't know Colby, aside from the thin story I've been told, I don't know what game he's actually got goin, or how he's alive this long, only that he is working for someone else, I dunno who exactly, but I can say the big Wolf that caused the Ruckus last night, and out at Latoulle's is female."  

He remained seated.   "Understand that I had to give my word that I would do all I could to protect the Queen for that meeting to get Melody back.  I felt so damn dirty I took what felt like half a dozen showers when I got home because of that, but Melody got to come home safe and sound, so it was worth it."    He smiled a little.  The innocent had no place in their world  and he'd always strove to keep it so.   "Colby's little play with the Queen damn near got her killed, and there wasn't a damn thing I'd a been able to do about it.  I'm fast, even like this but to watch those two go at it, I need to be alot faster.  She charged Marko Cain, and he put his fist through her.  And this was all in the Simon Magus, no less, so you know how serious that little incident nearly became, in front of the sitting Regent no less  Luckily an agreement was hammered out, and neutrality and the status quo was preserved, for now.  .  We don't know what happened with Melody,  I'm still waiting for some phonecalls on that situation, but she was certified as being fine and back to normal before we brought her home to y'all."

He fixed Leroux with his own hard gaze.  "I came here exactly for the reasons I said I did.  I want the Packs on the same page, working together.  That way we are all ready when the shit hits the windmill, because whatever is goin on is gonna be that big.   I ain't challenging you and yours for nothing.  This is simply to be an alliance of equals,   You run your pack your way, and I run mine, my way.   We just share information, and keep each other apprised of things going on.  If you need help, you can call upon us, and we will answer, but just the same, should we need help, you answer our Call."   It was as fair a deal as he was going to offer.   No unification, just an alliance, and he had a feeling that was the best he could hope for.

 

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LEROUX BUILDING CONTRACTORS

Leroux sat up straighter while Dan was speaking "Did you say Marko Cain," he asked as he stood and walked to a filing cabinet. he pulled a key chain off his belt and knelt and unlocked the bottom drawr. "Yes Marko Cain he's a vampire him and the queen seem to have history." Leroux rifled through the files then pulled what looked like an old photograph out of a folder. he stood and walked to Dan handing him the photo.

Dan took the picture it was old, he could feel the brittleness of the paper see the yellowed edges. It was Black and white from the clothes and hairstyles of the people it looked to have been taken some time in the very early part of the last century. It showed a crowd of people gathered at a gala or something dressed in tuxedos and gowns. There were five people who were the obvious subjects of the photo Dan stared It was uncanny, he recognized three of them The Queen, and the brother and sister vampires Marko and Cara. the other two were even more striking and obviously the center of attention of the other three.

"Is that the vampire you seen?" Leroux points at Marko with a well manicured finger.

"Yeah that's him..." Dan stared but didn't get to finish.

"Den this shit is real serious my friend real serious indeed, an not in a good way," said Leroux

 

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LEROUX BUILDING CONTRACTORS

 

"I recognize the Queen, and the brother and sister, but who are these other two?  More Vampires?"  They didn't look like anyone he knew and until recently he wouldn't have expected any wolf in such a picture to still be around. The man was very effeminate, and even he had to admit the woman was very attractive.    "The sister was there too, in the bar, though she seemed much calmer than Marko."


He nodded.  "I told you, something big is going on, and it's gonna affect all the supernaturals living here in the area before it's done.  All the more reason for us to work together, to weather storm that's coming."
 

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LEROUX BUILDING CONTRACTORS

Leroux takes the photo back from Dan and looks at it. Dan notices sweat on Leroux's forehead and smells fear.

"These two day the vampires who made the queen, called em the twins, they built New Orleans. Dem two the monsters all the boogy man tales are from. This was taken just before Dis Marko went on a rampage and caused the death of thousands here in the city back in the 1920s. Don't know the whole story maybe no one does cept the queen. Those two they exiled Marko Cain swore they would kill him if he ever set foot in New Orleans again." Leroux explained an expression on his face like he was seeing a ghost.

"I've never heard of them I thought the queen had always been the vampire boss here." said Dan

"No a few years later the twins told everyone that she was in charge and would look after their things and they left. No one here seen em since. It was right after that the packs split. You ask your old grandma Shaman she was around back then, that magic keep her going. She knows who they are and what this means. If those two come back for Marko we all in the deep end."

"Why they're only vampires.."

"No they are not. They The Originals. All the Vampires come from them. And the Originals they can't be killed."

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20 hours ago, Dominique de la Croix said:

THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR
(back office)

Marko didn't pay the mortal much mind, there was no need.  He didn't play with his food.  This was neutral territory, owner or not she couldn't do much to him but talk.  That's all humans were was talk.  He knew enough of this curse to know how manipulate it somewhat, like he couldn't hurt anyone or anything... unless they assaulted him first and goading people into fights was his specialty.  All he needed from her, or security, was a reason and he'd bathe the walls of this place with the entrails of low life, poor life decisions.  Shame too, Dominique was smoking hot, he kinda wanted to smash,  but liches before bitches, so he had an obligation to the undead community first and foremost... namely him and his sister.

"Why are you even showing this stuff to them, Cara?  Something is coming to this place, and it's between the witches and the werewolves, not us.  We're not getting involved in their mess.  It's not like their jumping through hoops to help me with our problem, don't get in involved with theirs.  Leave them to die, more of the city for us when they're gone."

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Cara gave Marko her 'exasperated sister' eyes, then waved a hand as if fanning smoke away from herself. As much as simply trying to eject him from the room made sense, all it would do would be to give him a lasting grudge. Besides, Marko was as old as she was, and not stupid when he took the time to think. Maybe he could help.

"Dominique, my brother has something of a lasting issue with witchcraft and those who practice it, which is not about you personally. I do apologize on his behalf."

She looked at her brother, trying to communicate nonverbally that he should play along.

"He was with me when these bones came into our possession though, and I think he may be able to help us if he can control himself and at least appear polite. As for why, Marko, you were there and heard Colby's story. Just thought I'd verify his claims, if possible."

"But if you're going to stay, you'll need to behave. Just pretend the girls are here."

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR
(BACK OFFICE)

A frown briefly flashed over Darrik's face before he apologized to Erica. "Sorry, there's something I need to take care of."

51 minutes ago, Cara Angelo said:

"Dominique, my brother has something of a lasting issue with witchcraft and those who practice it, which is not about you personally. I do apologize on his behalf."

She looked at her brother, trying to communicate nonverbally that he should play along.

"He was with me when these bones came into our possession though, and I think he may be able to help us if he can control himself and at least appear polite. As for why, Marko, you were there and heard Colby's story. Just thought I'd verify his claims, if possible."

"But if you're going to stay, you'll need to behave. Just pretend the girls are here."

"An excellent idea." Darrik was now standing behind Marko, arms crossed. "Otherwise, the next burlesque performance is going to start in a few minutes, and they are magnificent to see, as always. Which would you prefer?"

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Marko turned at the sound of the new voice and jumped slightly, like Darrik spooked him.  "Ugh, Effeminate Little Man, I remember you."  He recollected then looked at how Darrik was standing, arms crossed in a typical position of authority.  "Better uncross those arms, little man, last thing you want is to square up on me.  You think I care about neutral ground, kid?  I've razed churches, burned orphanages and flooded cities and did it all just hear the whimpers.  Do not step to me like you're noteworthy.  You're not."

With that he turned to his sister.  "Cara, no.  I'm not helping the witches unless it's adding wood to their pyres.  They refused to help me and you expect me to take the high road with them?  Hell no.  Colby is a problem, yes.  His 'boss' is a bigger problem, sure, I'll concede that, but let them handle the witch a werewolf infestation this city has first.  Then we can take it from there."

He took in a deep breath, doing all in his power to not lose his ever loving mind (or what was left of it).  "Why get involved with the affairs of our food?"

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"I'm not here to help them," Cara sighed. "I'm asking them to help us. Though the reality is that everyone is most likely going to need to work together before this is all through."

"There are some very old grudges at work here, and we're caught in the middle of them. All of us. Including the girls. Including you."

She taps the desk near the bones, making sure not to let a finger cross Dom's little circle of powder.

"These are related somehow. You know what witchcraft can do when you're not expecting it. Learning a little first will only work to our advantage."

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR
(back office)

 

"Somehow I doubt this'll be the first time you've heard this, but you really should listen to your sister." Dominique said as she made a gesture wit her hand, and then muttered a few, strange words as she tugged on her earlobe.

"Don' be worrin'. T'is jus' a spell to make sure our private conversation remains that way. We don' need more eavesdroppin' like him did." she explained, her normally very light, Haitian accent becoming much more noticeable for a bit, though began to gradually fade.

"Now, a few tings..."

"This is neutral ground for a reason. We enforce it. Don' ya think that other vampires, werewolves and even witches have tested that? Seriously, just because we haven't overtly displayed any power doesn't mean we lack it. So don' come in here an disrespect us in our own place, just like we wouldn't walk into ya home an disrespect you. It's basic respect. Ya get what ya give, someting your sis understands. She came in here, approached us, was polite, as were we, and asked for our help. Now she has it, free of charge, which is fortunate, as dem bones are not new to me." Dominique said, nodding the bones on the desk, encircled by a ring of ruddy colored powder.

"An don' worry about that ring. The red brick dust wards off, or in this case contains, evil." she added.

She then looked to Marko, addressing him specifically,

"As for help your curse, this is a two-parter...

One, have ya considered that ya own behaviour might be why people aren't inclined to help ya? I mean, insultin' people, talking down to dem and callin' dem "food" is not all that endearin', or encouragin' them to help. Ya can get more with honey than you can with vinegar... or threats.

And two, we..." she said, gesturing at herself and Darrik, "...haven't refused to help ya with shit. The Regent might've, but she doesn't speak for us. We.." she said gesturing at Darrik and herself again, "...are independent. We're all on our own and have what we have because we've fought tooth and nail for it, despite the rest of the witches. Many of them want nothing to do wit' me, and the feelin's mutual."

Dominique thought about it for a moment, rubbing her chin with a finger.

"Though if ya are cursed, there's probably good for reason for it, likely the result of ya own actions, judging by the display here and now. But," she said, holding up a finger, "there are some spiteful witches out there, so it's possible, though probably unlikely, ya might have been needlessly cursed. So if you ask us for help, we might be inclined to look into the matter. Hell, hexes, curses and wards against them are me specialty. But this shit..." she said, gesturing to the door and office in general, "..has to stop. Nobody is telling ya to bend knee, kiss the ring or anything like that. Just show some respect for us and our place. You get what you give." she explained as she looked him over from head to toe, focusing on him intently for a moment as she does.

"I'll give ya this for free though..." she finally said, relaxing a bit, "The longer you're cursed, the harder it is to remove, likely more so if the one that cursed ya has died since then." she offered.

"Witches are a good thing to have on ya side when shit goes down. You've seen what just one did to ya with a single spell. So, what'll it be, Marko? Ya want our help with these bones and what is apparently on the horizon, and ta maybe see what we can do for that curse? Ball's in your court."

 

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"Wards, businesses, property, spells?"  He smirked at Dominique.  She had fire, he had to give her that, but she was just someone he'd met before.  See, when you'd been around as long as Marko had you eventually met every type personality, heard every voice, every accent, and even seen ever sort of way genes could put a face together, he'd met her before, or someone like her once upon a time.  "You think simply because you have these things you can demand respect from people?  From me?  By the very virtue of my years, child you should be on one knee begging me to share what I've seen, what I know.  You want respect from me?  You will earn it.  By deed, by blood, by loyalty.  So stay in your bar if you cherish this respect you feel you so rightly deserve.  I will be in the shadows outside, where your respect doesn't reach, and my dear, I have an eternity.  And before you retort with some 'door swings both ways' bullshit, please understand that I don't want your respect.  I don't need it.  You're not worthy of my noticing you."

Cara rubbed the bridge of her nose in frustration.  Here he was, her brother... bringing people together, yet again.

His tone was cold, there was no pity or remorse to be heard in his chill voice.  He wasn't threatening anyone, just being real honest in saying that if the bar was where they had the power, then the bar would not be where he chose to strike at them, and blood was so much more sweeter when the adrenaline of the anticipation of death lingered in it.  Wrath hung about him like a mantle of sickly sweet red.  Pride followed suit next.  Marko was never one to ask for help outside of his sister.  He was too strong for it, he was too hardened into a machine of malice and misery in equal parts.  "I don't need your help, witch.  I can break this curse myself.  I'll find this Mother Walters, and her pain will be legendary and when this curse is lifted and I am restored to my full strength again the streets will run red with my vengeance against all of you enchanters, hexers, alchemists, fuck, I'll even kill the hippies that make the weird smelling soaps."  And in his boasting, he let slip the name of his tormentor.

She expected a man so fueled by rage to be red, or even have a vein popping from his forehead but... nothing.  Marko wasn't angry, in fact, the scary part was... he was being honest.  Pure one hundred percent honest and that was more terrifying than anything.  He would murder everyone and not bat an eyelash.  Dominique knew hexes, curses and by proxy, human behavior.  To pull a string, one must know where it led first, lest you end up with tragedy.  This was no curse that made him this hateful.  No.  Someone pulled the wrong string a long time ago and this was the result: a broken man filled with a soul so corrupt he only wanted to make his misery manifest in the world.  Marko was broken.

Thankfully, there was a currently a curse in place that kept him in check, and it held his next volley of curses and actions at bay, forcing him to relax and calm himself, to see the situation from all sides involved.  He'd not admit it, but the curse yanked his chain and pulled him back before he could make it off the porch to bite anyone.  He breathed in and exhaled.  "I'm leaving.  I need to go calm down or there's going to be a homicide."  He turned and walked out of the office, almost steam rolling Darrik in the process.  "I meant what I said," he stopped and faced everyone.  They were all prepared for another tirade.  "You really do have amazing eyes.  Very exotic."  Without another word, he left the office and made his way towards the exit.

On his way, and after a few deep exhales, he passed by someone and his feet stopped dead in their tracks.  His irritation for the witches and, truth be told, his owl in ability to keep his shit together, subsided a little bit as he gazed on the lovely young woman waiting patiently near the bar, bobbing her head over the crowd to see what was going on in the back office and failing miserably.  With a smile he approached.

"There's nothing back there, hun."  He said with confidence.  "What's really worth seeing is out here, trust me.  Name's Cain.  Marko Cain.  You know, if you want the grand tour, I happen to know the owners and proprietors.  We're pretty tight."

And he was at it again... like he suffered from compulsive douchery...

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR
(out front)

Erica turned and regarded the handsome vampire, and after a moment she smiled, "I'm Erica, Erica Linder, Pleased to meet you Mr. Cain." Her English was clear and precise but her accent was not readily identifiable to Mark which was odd, it sounded vaguely northern European. She held out her hand to shake, "I am waiting on a job interview," she glanced back at the closed office door, "but i suppose they are going to be busy for a while."

She gave Marko another appreciative look up and down "I can always reschedule."

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4 hours ago, The Shadows ST said:

THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR
(out front)

"That a fact?"  He smiled coyly.  "He walked away from you, to handle something back there?"  He pointed to the back office.  "That's insane, because I just met you and I can't think of anywhere in the world I'd rather be but right here getting to know you."

"The guy who runs this place, Darrik, he and I are pretty tight, I'll put in a good word for ya.  The bartender?  Dom, she's got a fire to her but don't let her intimidate you.  Be firm, stand you're ground and... oh, knock.  She's big into people knocking, not sure why."  He waved up a hand dismissively like there was no possible reason as to why he should ever have to knock to begin with.

"Your accent, I have to know.  I've been all over Europe in one fashion or another and I admit, you've stumped me, I can't quite place it and it's killing me."  He turned on the mojo and just like that he was no longer irritated as he calmed down and let himself indulge in his baser hobbies.

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR
(out front)

Erica turned back to face the bar and she swirled her half empty glass making the deep red liquid spin like a miniature whirlpool, she seemed amused. "Oh it is a bit of everything I suppose, Im from the far north in Scandinavia, I grew up speaking Norwegian and Finnish, dutch. The I studied in Iceland so I speak that and  I learned English there, that's why my English sounds like it does."  She laughed and turned back around and leaned her back against the bar.

"What about you?"

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LEROUX BUILDING CONTRACTORS


"What if someone found a way?"  He sat back.  "It sounds out there, but think about this.  Whoever's pulling the strings finds a way to do it, then sets up a trap with irresistable bait, something the Originals cannot ignore.   Well now we've got the Cain siblings back, despite Marko being exiled, which has all the Vampires on edge.  Meanwhile they have all the werewolves focused on their own issues, and then the Mages playing both ends against the middle, trying to keep the status quo.    Toss in mistrust all around, and nobody helps anyone else, and they pull off whatever they're out to accomplish and everything goes straight to hell."

Dan looked at him.  "  I know it's outlandish, but we both know now that something far bigger than normal is going on here.  Realistically, if these Originals as bad as you say and  they do show up to clean house, that's all the more reason for the Packs to work together to ensure we survive whatever scheme's being run."

He was not happy learning about even more powerful vampires existing, but then it had been a very eventful few days.

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49 minutes ago, The Shadows ST said:

THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR
(out front)

"What about you?"

"I was born in Italy," he said to her in Norwegian.  In his centuries of life he'd picked up nearly every language on the planet, but had lost a lot of them through a lack of use.  Now he would hardly consider himself fluent in any of them, but from time to time he could cook up the odd phrase or two from memory.  It was hardly a perfect pronunciation, but his accent was correct, in fact, a little too correct and almost 'old' compared to today's speakers.

"I've traveled all over, used to be for business, now it's mostly on a whim."  His language went back to good old English, although the transition from one language to another did bring about a small hint of his old Italian accent for a few syllables before he got it under control.  He tapped the bar to get the tender's attention as they were busy with a other customers.  He waited patiently as he continued his conversation.  "So, Erica, born in Scandinavia, schooled in Iceland, and now trying to get a job in a bar in New Orleans?  What's the story there?"

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR
(out front)

Erica once again glanced back over her shoulder at the office door then back at Marko.

"I'm writing a book," she took a sip of her drink, " I need to pay bills and I thought that working in a night club would do that and help me with my research."

 

LEROUX BUILDING CONTRACTORS

Leroux pondered that for a moment. He was alpha of a werewolf pack but in truth he was more involved and capable when it came to their more human side of things.

"Is it true, wat dey say bout chu? That you can change whenever you want."

The question caught Dan by surprise to say the least.

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LEROUX BUILDING CONTRACTORS

Dan was surprised but he wasn't prepared to lie to the man in his own home, when he'd come seeing an alliance of equals.   "It is."   He held his gaze.  "Where exactly did you hear that bit of information?   We've been very careful to not let something like that get out.   The Vampires would probably go abit crazy if they discovered that it was even a possibility."   

Even as he spoke he could feel the Wolf within, hunkering down, tensing like a coiled spring, ready to strike and lash out, should the need arise.  Dan kept a tight reign on that side of himself, and sighed.  

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR
(back office)

Cara sighed and shook her head.

"Welcome to my past five hundred years," she said. "Sorry about that. So...can we resume where we left off?"

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"Here and there. a lot of your boys come into the city to party, beer always loosens the tongue. But don't worry It always sounds like bragging but your hear it enough you got to wonder."

Leroux goes back to the file cabinet comes back to Dan carrying a small metal box the kind a child would store is prize possessions in and hide in his tree fort. He holds the box in both hands and frowns. "Dis is the price of peace. when the pack split back in the 1930s it was over this. The Bayou wolves didn't want anything to do with deals with the devil, in this case the queen. From what I been told, instructed, when I became alpha, this was the key to the queens power her right to rule here in New Orleans. For our loyalty and her protection she divided theses between the witches the part she kept and us.. Supposedly they magic but I don't know nothin bout that."

He holds the box out for Dan to take. "If what  they say bout you is true, then you better at keeping this than me. I don't know what it all means but I don't like it. But I do agree we got to take care of our own, we all the same in the end."

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LEROUX BUILDING CONTRACTORS

Dan took the box carefully, a faint smile curling the corners of his mouth.  At least two two Alphas could agree on that much.  "Do you know what's actually in here?"  he asked Leroux quietly.  He didn't want to just open it here.   There was no telling if there was a trap or any sort of incantation needed.  Magic wasn't his forte either.   "I'll see if I have someone who can help us keep this safe, and tell us more about what it is we're keeping."   He'd keep the circle very small, so that it was more likely to be safe.  

"Can you tell me more about the deal you made?   If this is all about the queen, and the peace here in town, this thing is gonna be a big damn target, for any who know of it.  I need to know if there's anything more than what they've always said was the cause for the Packs splitting. "The more information we both have, the better, so we can safeguard the Packs, and our families."

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LEROUX BUILDING CONTRACTORS

"i wasn't around back then," Leroux laughed. "Your shaman would know as well as Colby. I just inherited the box, it come with the title. And Yeah I looked bunch a moldy old bones they don't smell right."

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Leroux Building Contractors

Dan nodded.  "I see.  I'll have to try and go pay her a visit before tonight then."   He looked to Leroux.  "I dunno what's gonna happen tonight, only that I'm taking my Pack further west, deeper into the marsh than i normally do.   If something bad happens, I want to be well away from anyone, and so that I know it ain't any of mine causing the problem.  I don't know exactly how you and yours handle the Change, but we'll be a ways out and won't be coming back till morning unless something goes real bad.  Still, You'd be amazed how far and fast the Howl can travel.  If you and yours need us, you know how to reach us."

If someone wanted the wolves involved this was the last chance for them to really get involved and raise a ruckus.   Dan was looking to prevent that from happening, and while he couldn't outright offer for the Crescents to come with them, he reaffirmed that they'd come to their aid if called.

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR
(BACK OFFICE)

"If you could give a quick start from the beginning, I'd appreciate it." Darrik requested. "Since I entered in the middle of this conversation."

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"Fair enough."

She waved a hand at the bones on the table.

"I was given these by an old werewolf named Colby who invited me to confirm that they had power. He got them in turn from someone he calls 'boss,' who seems to have plans for my brother and I." Cara looked back at Darrik. "I've asked your sister to give them a look and see if she can puzzle out what their power is, before I tell her what I was told about them."

"And now it seems she recognizes the things."

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On 6/19/2019 at 10:00 AM, The Shadows ST said:

ST VINCENT DE PAUL CEMETERY NO 1

“Honey, I don’t know about no super-wolf, but something bad is coming and I gotta do what I can even from the other side to protect you and your little girl, to protect mine.

The packs here they used to be one pack, but that wasn’t always so either way back in the early days the wolves came here were from a several packs eventually the packs joined together and merged through marriage until there was just the one pack the Crescents. Then we had the war and I was killed but I had fallen in love with a young girl, and she was a crescent. We was never married but after I was gone, she took my name anyway and ran away from the pack and then she changed the name to Gaunt but she never told anyone she was a werewolf and no one ever knew. So you see, your granddaddy he was born after the split and his momma was a Crescent she didn’t go over to the Bayou, so that makes you a crescent, honey.

Whats coming is gonna need both packs, and you gonna have to make them one.”

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Karen's expression danced between fascination at this bit of previously-unknown supernatural family history and irritation at the timing of it, drumming her fingers on her arms and belatedly noting her new pedicure. Huh.

"No pressure, huh? I'll get right on it as soon as I figure out a way to survive the night. But... Okay. More questions. Scratch that. Make it question. What was the girl, my Great Grandmother's, name?" she asked, gears starting to turn in her head.

"Mary Latouille," answered the ghost, "she never married and after escaping from the pack she took the modified last name of the father of the child,  Gaunt."

"Okay. That's a start. I'll have to see what Dan has to say about all this. It's his scene, not mine, not yet. What are... What rules do you have as a ghost? Do I need to come back here to talk to you? Why? Can I? Should I expect to see you out of the corner of my eye again?" she paused for breath, winding down, "Right, all that aside, are you going to let me leave to make my meeting with Darrik? If what's coming is bad enough to need the two packs as one after decades of divide, I want the witches with me instead of against me, in the loop at least. I mean, God, I didn't know spooky handwaving magic was an actual thing two days ago!"

"I never thought I'd miss the days where my biggest problem was someone catching onto me before I could make it out of town."

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On 6/20/2019 at 7:05 PM, The Shadows ST said:

THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR
(out front)

Erica once again glanced back over her shoulder at the office door then back at Marko.

"I'm writing a book," she took a sip of her drink, " I need to pay bills and I thought that working in a night club would do that and help me with my research."

Marko chuckled.  "Uh, yeah, it doesn't look like they're very interested in hiring anyone at the moment.  Besides, this bar?  This place is a bit on the weird side.  They're a little eccentric.  The dude, Darrik?  Complete sexual deviant, he's fighting four or five sexual harassment lawsuits.  Very handsy," he leaned in close to whisper something between them.  "Got that whole Weinstein vibe going for him, whipping his junk out, rubbing on the girls, forcing them to watch him do his business."  He leaned away, hands raised in defense of his comment.  "Don't quote me though, it's just what I heard.  So be careful around him."

"The bartender, Dominique?  All kinds of mental issues."  He shook his head with concern.  "Poor girl, she really is doing the best she can but after the drugs and the abusive pimps... but a person can only take so much before something inside us just, snaps.  I'm glad that she's been able to find her direction and purpose in her Satanism.  Not the religion I would have chose, but we have seek our salvation where we can, right?  No judgements.  She's brave though, so brave.  A hero.  Just don't ever make eye contact, she'll see you as a threat."

His tone shifted to a more up beat one and he smiled.  "But, aside from that, this place is a lot of fun to work, or so everyone says.  So this book," he changed the subject.  A part of him seriously wanted to compel her to remember everything he just like it was fact, but no matter how hard he tried, that damn curse prevented him from solidifying her point of view to his personal brand of anarchy.  Still, he never ceased in his personal vendetta to ruin people's lives for no good reason at all.  "Tell me about it, but please don't tell me it's about vampires and werewolves and their teenage high school angst... my god I don't think I could sit through another one of those series."

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR
(out front)

It was hard for Erica to keep a straight face as Marko put all the sincerity he had in his 'story' about  Darrik and Dominique, but she managed. "It is true what they say, never judge a book by it's cover, with people you can never tell what they hide on the inside."

She paused and set her drink aside, "My book, it is what popular now and I want to sell it when I am done. Teen-aged angst, no, vampires and werewolves are not teenagers, no matter what the TV dramas portray. But really it is about ghosts, and what they leave behind. New Orleans is a very haunted city. It is very popular all over the world."

 

ST VINCENT DE PAUL CEMETERY NO 1

"The rules, its hard to tell they change and only the witches over here know when and how, and I do my best to avoid them. Don't let them fool you, they are monsters through and through.

As for us. I am always with you Karen. I have been since the moment you arrived in this godforsaken city. I think you can see me when ever you get worked up or there is something really supernatural going on around you. Our interacton here, me talking and being almost real is because of where we are. My bones are buried over there, so in effect this is where I am, where I exist."

He reaches out again but stops short of touching Karen he lets his hand drop. "Go meet with your witch, but be careful, he is a witch and you can not trust them. I'll see what I can find out over here about this new werewolf."

 For a second it looks like he wants to say more but then he is gone.

Spoiler

Karen can go to the club now

 

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR
(back office)

 

"An he wonders why he's cursed and why nobody want to help 'em break it?" Dominique said as she rolled her eyes and shook her head.

"I mean, ya would think for bein' five hundred years old that he would know common courtesy better than most. An how has he even made it this long without being taught a proper lesson?" she added with a shrug.

"Hmm.. I suppose that's where the curse came in." she considered.

Marko was not the first vampire who thought they were an unstoppable killing machine, and would likely not be the last, but she learned long ago that it was the weak and frightened that had to boast and threaten like he did. He had manufactured a facade of strength to hide his own fears behind. It was so one-dimensional though as to be painfully obvious to anybody who had the presence of mind to look objectively. Just a series of boasts and threats designed to inspire fear in others, or at least distract them from what he really was.

Dominique turned her gaze back to the bones, thinking hard as she leaned closer, examining them for a moment before straightening up once more. With a whip of her head and tosses her small dreadlocks over her right shoulder and let out a small sigh. She was confident, but not utterly certain about the bones.

"I did not say they were they were me grandmother's remains. But they do look and feel, just like the ones she had though. An I was not aware of 'em bein' stolen, and I doubt she'd give'em away." she said  as she walked over to an antique steamer trunk.

She unlocked and opened the trunk, pulling out a book to thumb through it, searching for something only to replace the book and pull out another, doing the same.

"Ya see, among witches, honorifics like 'Mama' and 'Mother', they mean something. They are a measure of respect, knowledge, wisdom and power. My grandmother, Suzanne de la Croix, was know as Mama Sue. She was a very powerful witch, the women of my family typically are, but also respected by the witches an the others here. She helped people who needed it, a... tradition... I suppose, that has been passed on to me, hence why we are here now.

So... your brother bein' cursed by a "Mother Walters" is not a good sign for him. Not to say that the curse cannot be broken, but if he think he gonna break that curse himself, then he's a fool. It sounds recent, considerin' he's still lookin' for her. But he'll need help, be it breakin' the curse or confronting Mother Walters.

Though, he's sure not encouringin' anybody to help." she explained as she thumbs through the books for a couple of minutes before finally stopping on a page having found what she sought. She looked over the page and pulled out a several items from the trunk; a few candles, a large piece of blue chalk and a small glass jaw containing some sorts of powder.

Dominque closed the trunk and took the items over to the desk where she drew a circle around the bones already encircled in the ruddy powder, adding several symbols around the circle, along with the candles which she lit. She looked up to Cara who was watching with a mixture of concern and possibly a hint a distrust.

"Don' be worryin'. Just a spell to give me more information about the bones and their magic. It will take just a few minutes. Have a seat and help yourself if you like." she said, motioning to the sofa and small liquor cabinet besides it which, along with the office, was much like the rest of the club, rather luxurious with a mixture of modern and antique vibes, drawing on the burlesque roots, but modernized a bit to keep the younger crowd at ease. 

"And then I should be able to make you something safer to keep them in." she added, looking over the page one more time.

Dominique exhaled to focus and opened the glass jar. She withdrew a pinch of the dust with two fingers with a finger of the other hand she broke the circle of ruddy powder around the bones, followed by her sprinkling the dust on the bones. She focused on the bones and began chanting something softly which seemed to made the flame of each candle flare slightly.

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36 minutes ago, The Shadows ST said:

THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR
(out front)

It was hard for Erica to keep a straight face as Marko put all the sincerity he had in his 'story' about  Darrik and Dominique, but she managed. "It is true what they say, never judge a book by it's cover, with people you can never tell what they hide on the inside."

She paused and set her drink aside, "My book, it is what popular now and I want to sell it when I am done. Teen-aged angst, no, vampires and werewolves are not teenagers, no matter what the TV dramas portray. But really it is about ghosts, and what they leave behind. New Orleans is a very haunted city. It is very popular all over the world."

"Oh, sister, you got that right.  Actually, it is the most haunted city in the U.S.," Marko chimed up with a slight whistle and a roll of his eyes.  He was speaking the truth, hell, a lot of the hauntings were his fault.  "But please, whatever you do, don't trust those stupid haunted tours.  Take the haunted mortuary tour, it's all B.S..  The facts are way off."

"Oh," she looked at him with a glare of doubt in his previous statement.  "And you're an expert?"

"I know it's not haunted," he said matter of factly.  "Mary Slatterly was way paranoid and superstitious, and a bit a nut job, if I'm being honest.  Well, she hallowed the ground around the entire estate, this was back in 72'.  When the property traded hands to Marie Lafontear and William Klein in 1905, they were never made aware of the hallowing of the estate, nor were any of the other owners.  Fact of the matter is, when it as converted into a funeral home in 1930 it became one of the safest places in New Orleans, at the time, to prepare the dead.  Their souls were guaranteed peaceful repose.  So, yeah... not haunted."

Erica looked a him with a wide eyed, but still skeptical expression.  "Wow, you uh, talk like you were there."

The ancient vampire stuttered as he realized he did let his guard down as the memories of how marbles and conkers Old Lady Slatterly really was as she grew late in her years.  She was so stupid crazy that she always brought a smile to his face and lightened his mood.  "Uh," he laughed, giving himself time to think.  "I have a background in American history.  Unlike the tour guides, I've actually done my homework.  Now, the Upstairs Lounge?  Oh yeah, haunted as hell."

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR
(out front)

Erica appeared to hang on every word and Marko could tell, from all the subtle signs he had learned from half a millennium of un-life from countless women, that she was falling under his influence without the resort of his mystical power. She reached up and touched his arm and let her fingers slide down the well-formed muscles in an almost erotic caress.

“Maybe I should have you give me the real tour?”

 

THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR
(in the office)

Dominique softly chanted in a language which sounded vaguely latinesque but was not Latin, She repeated the same phrase three, then four times. Cara and Darrik watched, the vampire fascinated and the male witch worried.

Darrik frowned this sort of spell shouldn’t be that hard. Dominique stopped her chant and gasped her eyes remained closed but her left hand shot out and took Darrik’s, she needed more power. Darrick had been ready and so the sudden pull of his own power was not a shock. Dominique began chanting then Darrik join their voices weaving in and out together, the candles flared, Dominque’s right hand shot out and grasped Cara’s hand who hand expected it and she gasped as her own power the force of her un-life was added. The sensation was almost orgasmic.

The pyre burned, flames shooting toward the sky lit orange, the woman at the stake, a witch, was on fire yet she didn’t scream in agony instead her scream was a chant, a curse. The soldiers gathered drunk with wine and debauchery, wore the symbols of the church one stood out tall blond with feature unmarred his eyes red and the veins around them black and extended lending a demonic cast to otherwise pleasant visage made all the more horrifying by the fangs bared in hatred.

The soldiers burst into flame as the witch burned and so to did the knightly vampire he drew his sword and as he burned climbed the pyre even after the others were dead and as he burned he hacked the witch to death dismembering her only to collapse upon her slaughtered corpse. And so died the first of those who could not be killed.

The vision shifted and the three suffered a sense of vertigo. Time had passed days months a year? But the village was the same one the burned stake still standing.

The moon was full the village fallen to disrepair the skeletons of those who died there littered the ground. The wolf large with a blue mark like a flame on its back stalked among the bones and the cold pile of ashes, it sniffed and pawed then with a nauseating twist the wolf became a woman seen from the back, her long flowing hair white in the moonlight where the blue mark had been on the wolf’s back a brilliant tattoo of a blue phoenix adorned her muscular back. The women unbent form her crouch and slowly stood holding her hands aloft in them was a skull blackened by fire…

Vertigo, the vision shifted again.

It was day a cloaked figure the face hidden by the cowl, stalked a cobbled street, following a man his dress was that of a nobleman from the 16th century. His features were familiar, he resembled the vampire that had burned with the witch. He crossed into and ally the cloaked figure followed. The man spun drawing a sword the cloaked figure raised a hand it holds a burned skull The hand was a woman’s and the voice chanted in a tongue unknown to all who listened. The man staggered his sword dropped to the ground his lips pulled back revealing the fangs of a vampire the cloaked woman was screaming the words now repeating them over and over her volume rising in pitch with each phrase until the vampire burst into flame and her voice became a howl…

The second of those who could not be killed perished.

Vertigo followed as the scene shifted and shifted showing four people at various times and places killing and stealing bones from poor villagers. They were vampires, Cara recognizes two of them, the twins. These are the remaining Originals. They gather the bones, all except the skull, and place them in an oak chest. The twins take the chest and board a ship.

The vision ends the candles go out The witches and the vampire are breathless and stunned by the power of the visions.

Cara remembers seeing this chest or one very like it when she and her brother lived with Kirsten and Kristen Magnuson here in New Orleans.

 

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