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THE SHADOWS: EP02 "HOLD MY BEER"

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

"The Originals." Darrik softly said, more than a little awe-struck at what had been revealed to them. "It was always said there were just four Magnussons, not six, but then, this does explain the discrepancy." So long disappeared into legend and myth, the loss of two might not have even been noticed or remembered. Said to have been un-killable, and yet the magic proved these bones could do otherwise.

He knew right away that Dominique would be later tearing through all that Mama Sue left her. If these were an inheritance that had been stolen, well, Darrik would be with her in dealing retribution to the culprits. If not... and they had their own portion of the bones...

And that werewolf woman whom had taken the bones in the first place - was she the source of that eerie howl that had doubled and redoubled his and Dominique's workloads? If so, what plans did she have for New Orleans?

"I assume Colby's claims have been verified then?"

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"Yes." Cara's voice was soft, her face expressionless. "And the marked wolf, his 'boss,' was behind that howl last night, I'm sure."

She could go. Marko was the bait for this, not her. The curse had been laid on him, knowing full well he'd go to New Orleans to fight it, and draw the twins there to extra their vengeance. It was a clever way to manipulate the normally unpredictable pair.

She could go. Her brother had invited this upon himself, she hadn't.

The Magnusson twins surely deserve destruction, but what about all those of their line? Do we?

Cara held her breath for a long moment; a trick to keep herself from panicking. Marko was almost certainly doomed if she left. She herself also doomed. The fate of the twins might or might not be in question, but she could act to save what was hers.

"I'll need to take them with me to return them. Trying to keep them would be a mistake."

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On 6/23/2019 at 5:15 PM, The Shadows ST said:

THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR
(out front)

The crowd of the bar, the music, the noise, Erica's voice... they all dimmed as Marko's hearing focused on something small, something just beyond his senses... his sister's voice.  His ears tilted back slightly to accept the sensory input from what lie beyond the office's wooden door when a sudden ear bleeding, high pitched squeal like nails on a chalk board blocked his hearing.  In a blink, and with a slight winch from the sound, his normal hearing returned and smiled at Erica as her hand ran gently down his arm, which was girl talk for 'you're most definitely having sex with me later'.

"Yeah," he said, looking at her with that hypnotic grin of his that capable of saturating panties for miles.  Frankly leaving the place now that magic had been started was first and foremost on his priority list, whether it was to stop Erica from getting curious and invite herself into the back to see if Darrik was returning or to be as far away from any juju as he possibly could was a definite reason as well.  "That's honestly not a bad idea.  It's been forever since I was back here, it'd be nice to re-aquiant myself with the area.  Plus I know all the history there is to know about this city, you're in luck."

He left out the part where it would provide him the perfect opportunity to scope out the local haunts, do some recon, and with her on his arm it'd look more legit as he strolled through Lilith's domain.  No one would suspect Marko was doing anything but trying to do anything more than bust up her guts and feed off her.  She'd make the perfect little meat puppet alibi he could throw at any trouble to negotiate himself safe passage (since he could kill first and ask questions later anymore).

"How do you know all this stuff?"  Erica asked innocently.

Marko nodded.  "A fair question.  Which would you be likely to believe: that I'm a centuries old immortal, or that I have a PhD in world history?"

"I'm inclined to believe you have a PhD," Erica laughed.

"Okay," he shrugged.  Humans were so stupid.  "Let's go with that then."  He motioned towards the door and offered her his arm.  "Shall we?  Hope your pen has lots of ink."

Spoiler

Marko and Erica have left the scene at the bar.

Also, 'bust up them guts' means to have sex.

 

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR
(out front)

Having lost too much time with their graveyard detour for her comfort no matter how... informative it had proved, Karen changed the plan. Meave could go check on Melody after dropping her off at the bar. Assuming there was an after, she'd call Dan for a pick up. Point being, she was late. And being late was no way to start a relationship.

The brunette opened the door to the bar to a wall of mixed music and noise. A quick scan of the crowd, reflexive really, revealed no obvious threats, and Karen forced a smile, diving into the ebb and flow of the crowd. She cut a path to the bar, deflecting around clumps of conversation and potentially interested bar patron, snagging a bar stool as it's previous occupant departed in the direction of the bathrooms. "Hey. Anything strong. I don't care what," she called once she caught the bartender's attention, pulling out a twenty and an amused smile, "Oh, and if you could tell Darrik I'm here, that'd be great. Name's Karen. I'm expected." 

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR
(in the office -> out front)

Darrik had to excuse himself shortly afterward. He had a lot to think about, and Erica to get back to. Only to first discover that she had left - as his employees informed him - apparently in the company of the ever aggravating Marko. Another one then informed him that Karen was waiting for him. The office was being used for Cara's business, but there were other comfortable spaces to handle this business, just in case.

The brunette werewolf picked up the mixed-color witch approaching with a smile and a nod. "Welcome back, Karen. How are you?"

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"I've been better to be honest," Karen replied, setting aside any ideas of complicated introductions as she swirled the remains of her drink, acutely tempted by the prospect of a second one. 

"Got a handle on my dead man problem, Darrik, but more importantly, we still need your help with an uninvited guest who came *this close* to wiping out the BP last night and might try the same tonight. You have somewhere more... private we can talk about the details? Bitch scares the hell out of me, and If you can help us, we'd make it worth your time somehow."

She knocked back the rest of her drink, smile turning rueful, "You've got a hell of a city here. I'd love to be able to see it tomorrow,."  

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR
(out front)

Darrik nodded "Yeah Dominique is using the office but we can use one of the dressing rooms. Follow me."

As he led Karen toward the back stage area Darrik gave one more look around and didn't see Erica or Marko. He wandered if he would ever see Erica again.

The club owner and witch led the werewolf back stage past several rooms full of performers, most of whom didn't even notice them. Fianally they arrived at a closed door, darrik gave a small knockbut didn't wait long just opened the door and went in. After making sure it was empty he waved karen inside and closed and locked the door.

Karen found herself in a crowded dressing room with several racks of costumes and three small tables with mirrors and makeup, empty cups and glasses. She made a wry smile and looked back at Darrik still by the door.

"No one will bother us here or over hear what we say. What is it you need," asked the witch as he crossed his arms?

 

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR

"A way to slow down or take down a horse-sized werewolf, white with a streak of blue fur and the stink of madness, preferably by moonrise tonight. Or there may not be any other wolves come sunrise, and you get to deal with her," Karen chuckled darkly, sticking with blunt facts, "She wasn't a... picky eater by the smell of human blood on her, even out in the middle of the swamp. She may come your way instead."

"It was dumb luck the Bayou Pack survived her last night for all that we had to do to get her to leave. Luck I'd rather not push two nights in a row. Got anything that can help, and how much might it cost us?"

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR
(back office)

 

Dominique Stood there silent for several moments, gathering herself back together after such a power spell and vertigo inducing vision, letting her brain process what she had just been shown. The woman burned at the stake, a witch, who had brought forth such such a curse with her hatred and drying words as to kill an Original, the magic so powerful as to linger in the bones, able to repeat the feat if one knows how to properly harness it.

The vision revealed more about the Originals as well, namely that there were not just four Originals, as had been believed, but now at least six given that they witnessed the death of two and 'the twins' were not among them. Dominique had never bought into the whole "they are un-killable" mystique. Nature sought balance. With magic one could push the limits and bend the rules, but in the end Nature always wins and vampires were no exception. They were always at Death's door, more so than any living person could be, and sooner or later, be it years, decades, centuries or even millennia, Death would have his due.

For a moment she contemplated a world without vampires. Would it be a bad thing? Psychopathic vampires like Marko would certainly not be missed, that was for sure. He was broken, she figured, based on what she had seen of him and if Cara's statement about their age was to believed. The human mind was not meant to endure such, and who knew what he had seen and experienced in that time. A person could get seriously messed up over the course of just a few years, even a single experience in some cases, but centuries? That was plenty of time to messed up and grow ever more broken. 

She thought it was doubtful that many asked to become vampires, and instead it was a state thrust onto them which they had to cope with however they could. Cara, for example, seemed quite the opposite of Marko. She was calm, thoughtful, polite and seemed to have endured the centuries far better. That, or she was even more of a monster and simply hid it far, far better than he did. But if she were what she appeared to be, then didn't vampires like her still have a right to exist if they didn't asked to be what they are and tried to live more or less peacefully?

Sometimes those who did not deserve help still ended up getting it in order to help those were actually deserving. That was the nature of compassion, she supposed. And sometimes being shown compassion it what took to break through to a damaged loner like Marko.

Dominique took in a deep breath and slowly exhaled, centering herself and bringing her focus back to the here and now and the problem at hand.

"Okay, but a few things. I'm gonna use these to find the rest of them bones." Dominique said as she walked over to the old steamer trunk again and removed several items.

"Second," she said as she unfolded a map and set it on the ground, "lemme make somethin' safer for you to keep those bones in. They radiate powerful bad juju that you do not wanna be exposed to any more than you already have." 

"And third... What 'old grudges'? Who are 'the girls'? How do you two think you 'are being used'? What do you know about your brother's curse?" she asked as she collected the candled from the table and set them at the four cardinal directions on the map. 

Dominique picked up the bones with her left hand and knelt down in front of the map. With her right hand she held out over the map a small stone that taped to a point and hung from a leather thong. She dipped the leather in her shot glass and grasped it in her right hand, holding it out over the map, chanting and slowly swinging the stone around over the map as she squeezed the leather, causing droplets to slowly trickle down the the leather to the tip of the stone where it collected.

 

Spoiler

 

Dominique is casting a location spell, using the bones as a link to find the other bones.

In addition, she will make a bag to keep the bones in and help contain their dark magic.

 

 

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Cara looked at Dominique for a moment, her expression unreadable. The witch was in it now, as much as Cara or Marko were. There was no extricating her, not after what she'd seen. Given that, the only options were to make her an ally, or dispose of her...and the latter would have consequences that Cara simply didn't have the time or inclination to deal with. Besides, Dominique had proved intelligent and competent. If her loyalty could be won, she'd be just the sort of person Cara would want on her side.

"The 'old grudge' between that witch and the original vampires," Cara explains softly. "I do not know a great deal about witchcraft, but even a casual reading suggests sacrifice...especially self-sacrifice...is a magically powerful act. The curse living in her bones carries that hate forward even now. I'm sure I don't have to impress on you the need for absolute secrecy on this. Anyone possessing even one of these bones is marked for death should almost any vampire find out."

She glances at the door, listening for a moment to see if Marko is still chatting outside. She can't hear, but is that because of the spell, or because he's moved on? Ah well.

"The girls...are personal." Cara smiled apologetically. "They're not relevant to this at all. I'd rather not involve them any more than I already...very unwisely, and accidentally...have."

Cara then paced around behind the desk, hoping to get a better view of what Dom was doing.

"As for the rest, it's all rather tied together. I knew nothing of a curse on my brother before coming here. You know almost as much about it as I do now. However...I have come to believe that the curse was laid on Marko not just as an act of vengeance, but as a means of compelling him to come to New Orleans, in defiance of the Originals' will. In short...to provoke a confrontation."

"We're being conscripted, you see. These bones are weapons, but a weapon needs a wielder. We've been maneuvered into a situation where we'll have to fight the Twins for our lives...and someone wants us to win that fight. Someone who has access both to strong werewolves, and powerful witchcraft."

She regards Dominique, then asks, "I wonder. Is it possible to be both?"

Cara's voice fell off as Dominique seemed to not even register her presence anymore caught up in her working of her craft.

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR
(dressing room)

"Oh, it won't cost you a thing." Darrik promised magnanimously, before his smile faded. All the pieces were connected and fears being confirmed now, and the picture it formed was very unpleasant. "Because I have little to offer beyond information on her. She isn't a werewolf, can't be, as there's evidence she's at least four hundred years old. Also she has a distinct vendetta against the Originals."

"The original vampires." Darrik clarified at Karen's puzzled expression. "She has killed one of them, albeit with special help." The bones were too sensitive a thing to even mention right now. "And there may be another confrontation to come, the city is in for dark times. As for your immediate plight, even if I was aware of anything powerful enough to work again someone who can easily defeat an entire werewolf pack, there's no way I could prepare anything within the timeframe you request."

"My advice," Darrik concluded solemnly, but with a firm edge to his voice, "is to find Colby Walker and shake him until the answers to your plight fall out. He knows about her, far more than anyone else in New Orleans."

The part about directly serving her, he left out. There was a basic policy of discretion after all, and while everything so far could be presented as mysterious witch knowledge, the bones and Colby's position edged over the line directly relating to what Cara had told them in confidence.

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR
(back office) 

Dominique chanted in a sing song manner the  leather thong slowly spinning, her voice picked up speed and she closed her eyes as her spell song picked up in volume. Her body began to sway her head bobbing in time with her voice.

Cara stood watching fascinated, it wasn’t the first witchcraft she had seen worked in her 500 years but it was the first she had ever seen like this, she could almost feel and hear the invisible beat of distant drum. She shivered.

The thong was spinning faster when suddenly it stopped and the liquid it had picked up from Dominique’s glass fell off onto the map right where the club was located. But it didn’t splatter when it hit instead it formed a small bubble of amber where it landed. Dominique continued singing her spell with her head thrown back now her voice loud and strong, the amber bubble quivered then it collapsed, and Cara watched as several drops of the liquid rolled across the map towards different spots.

Spent Dominique stopped her chant her head leaned forward chin pressed against her chest, eyes still closed, breathing heavy, after a moment her breathing relaxed to normal. She raised her head slightly and opened her eyes.

One dot of the liquid was sitting where her grandmother’s house was located, she said a silent thank you. Another was located at the mansion of Lilith, the vampire queen. Cara recognized that spot as the home of the Twins that she had shared with them and her brother almost a century before. A third drop was in one of the many cemeteries which dotted the cityscape. Both women leaned closer to read the small print, ST VINCENT DE PAUL CEMETERY NO 1,  their eyes raised to gaze at each other but they said nothing. A last drop was on the south side of town near the river but it was quivering and as they watched it slowly began to move…

 

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR
(dressing room)

"He is a distinct asshole. A good humbling could only improve his personality," Karen readily agreed with the faintest of quirks on her lips. She didn't know what to think about the rest of it though. If that terrifying thing wasn't a werewolf... Killing vampires, particularly elder vampires, struck her as a distinctly Good Thing, creepy bloodsuckers that they were. And if Darrik couldn't Killing Curse one of these two monsters..? Let Them Fight sounded like the best plan B she could come up with in a hurry. Not like she cared about this haunted shithole. There was one problem though.

Dan. Dan would care. He'd probably get all inspiring and noble and try to stop it all from happening. Damn it.

"Well. I'll have to see what the pack says about all this," the dark-eyed brunette finally answered, resolving to talk to someone who might have a clue how much bullshit the witch might be spinning in his entirely too neat story, "But if we aren't dead by dawn, I'll definitely be back to talk more. If you'll excuse me, I have a call to make and a ride to arrange so that I don't contribute to our people eater problem. Stay safe tonight, Darrik."

She didn't wait for an answer, turning on one heel with a wave and fishing her phone from her pocket as she made her way out of the changing room, fingers working out a text. 'Dan. I got good news and bad news. Come get me at the bar and pick the order you want it in.' 

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR
(back office) 

7 hours ago, The Shadows ST said:

One dot of the liquid was sitting where her grandmother’s house was located, she said a silent thank you. Another was located at the mansion of Lilith, the vampire queen. Cara recognized that spot as the home of the Twins that she had shared with them and her brother almost a century before. A third drop was in one of the many cemeteries which dotted the cityscape. Both women leaned closer to read the small print, ST VINCENT DE PAUL CEMETERY NO 1,  their eyes raised to gaze at each other but they said nothing. A last drop was on the south side of town near the river but it was quivering and as they watched it slowly began to move…

... the two women, vampire and witch, stared at the dot then at each other. "It's coming back here."

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Dan of course answered when Karen called, given that she'd had her own errands she was on.  Her words didn't fill him with hope,  but he had his own all new concerns now.  "Bad news first, always.  It makes the Good news better.  I'll be there soon enough, and we can swap news on the way out."

He'd hung up and wished silently Emily had a phone.  hell even if he had to pay for it, he was gonna get her something, just so they could contact her more easily from now on.  Still he made his way to the Bar, he fought to keep his attention on the road, driving carefully, mindful of the package he'd been given.  He knew so little about it, only that he'd been entrusted with it by the Crescents, and he didn't want to betray that trust.

He and Karen would pay a visit to Emily, and another quick call to Maeve confirmed that they'd meet at the normal place before heading to the gathering tonight.   She was a good young woman he thought, but honestly abit too young for him.   

His thoughts turned back to the bones, he hadn't decided what he would do with them, since he really didn't have anywhere safe to leave them, and taking them into the marsh just struck him as a terrible idea.  He continued to think on that, without much luck, all the way to the bar,  stopping outside, and waiting for Karen to come out.  They still had places to go before tonight.

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR
(back office)

 

"Okay..." Dominique said as she looked over the locations of the drops on the map, "These aren't the exact bones that were in my grandmother's possession, but they're clearly from the same set."

"How are you so sure now? Your spell?" Cara asked.

"Sort of." Dominique replied as she began to point at the drops on the map, one by one. " We both know that's Lillth's mansion." she said, pointing to one drop. "That's St Vincent de Paul Cemetery No. 1, where I would guess some of the bones are interred." she continued, pointing at a second drop. "An that one..." she said, pointing at another drop, "...is, or I suppose was, Mama Sue's house. Now it belongs to me. The bones she had, the ones I saw as a child, would seem to still be there, which makes sense. That house has been in me family for some time, an thus has generations of wards and protections placed on it. I mean, when I saw these bones, I couldn't fathom how somebody managed to get past them all and steal the bones. One would be a fool to even try. But now we know that these bones here are not them, but part of the same set, so even if you return these, we'll have access to others." she explained.

"Like I said before, I am from a long line of powerful witches datin' back to long before you an your brother were even created, so now knowin' just what these bones are now, it doesn't surprise me that some of these bones were in me family's possession. Mama Sue certainly knew what they were, an even as a child, long before I knew what witchcraft was, I could feel their magic." Dominique reminded. 

The beautiful, young witch tossed her dreads over her shoulder and pointed at the moving amber drop.

"So... my spell might've garnered unwanted attention..." Dominique thought aloud as she looked at the amber dot moving closer to their location on map. "But for the white-haired, blue tattooed, seemingly immortal, wolf woman to have detected me spell, she'd have to be a witch too."

"An no, I've never heard of somebody actually bein' two of our kind, much less all three." she said with a shrug before rising from the floor.

"But, if they seek a confrontation, then there is no better place than here to have it." Dominique said with a bit of resolve as she walked over to the antique steamer truck and removed a few items before continuing, "Because even though Marko didn't see me an Darrik enforce our will by force, we absolutely can."

Dominique emptied a small, leather bag of marbles into the glass ashtray on the desk and then sat down on the floor again where she tried to quickly thread a rather large needle with the thick, old spool of thread. Cara could see though that Dominique's hands were shaking a bit, which only made her task more difficult, and thus frustrating. Despite her seemly calm and confident demeanor, excitement, anxiousness, fear... or a combination of all three still affected her. She was still human after all, and Cara thought it unlikely that she had faced a possible threat such as this before.

"May I?" Cara asked, holding out her hand.

Dominique paused, having realized that Cara was acutely aware of, and possibly slightly irritated by, her state. She sighed and placed the needles and thread in Cara's hand and then took a deep breath to calm herself while Cara threaded the needle with ease and handed it back.

"Regardless of what may come, these bones need to be stored more safely. This'll just take a few minutes an should be done before whoever that is," she said, pointing towards the moving, amber drop, "...gets here."

She un-spooled a length of thread and dragged it along her mouth, snapping it off when her teeth. She took in another breath and added, "I hope you're not hungry." before she began to chant and poked her thumb and forefinger with the needle, causing a small, crimson drop formed on each. She pressed the two fingers together around the thread just behind the needle and began chanting as she dragged the thread between them and through the blood. The candles flared for a moment as she crudely stitched some symbols on the small leather bag over the next few minutes.

When she finished, Dominique stood up and placed the bones within the small bag, cinching the drawstring tight.

"There. That should help keep you, and anybody else, safe, or at least safer, from their bad juju." she said as she held out the bag, offering it to Cara. 

She glanced at the map, watching the moving drop almost at the location of the club on the map.

"Now, let's find Darrik and wait to see who comes a callin'." she suggested with a nod to the office door. 

Dominique exited, leading Cara, or letting her wait in the office if she really wanted to, and went looking for Darrik, hiding her urgency from the staff until finally she came to the dressing room door. She sighed and knocked on the door.

"Damnit Darrik. You better not be bangin' one of the gir-" she said, teasing her 'brother' as she opened the door and poked her head in, pausing mid-sentence at the sight of a young woman she did not recognize.

"Oh. Hey there." she said to the woman and then looked to Darrik.

"Hey, you know those... antiques... that I was just examinin' and lookin' into the history of, back in the office? Well, somebody is about to walk in our door with some more of 'em... from the same matchin' set. Just thought you should know as you might like to be out here when they do." Dominique explained politely.

"Just a thought." she said with a shrug, closing the door before returning the bar, standing by the office door where she could glance back and forth between the map and doors.

 

Spoiler

Used magic to make a bag to store the bones in, as discussed with ST 

 

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On 7/2/2019 at 3:59 PM, Karen Gaunt said:

THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR

She didn't wait for an answer, turning on one heel with a wave and fishing her phone from her pocket as she made her way out of the changing room, fingers working out a text. 'Dan. I got good news and bad news. Come get me at the bar and pick the order you want it in.' 

 

5 hours ago, Dominique de la Croix said:

"Damnit Darrik. You better not be bangin' one of the gir-" she said, teasing her 'brother' as she opened the door and poked her head in, pausing mid-sentence at the sight of a young woman she did not recognize.

Karen almost ran into the door that swung open and found herself face to face with young black woman with Dreadlocks and behind her the female vampire form the day before, Cara, if she recalled.

 

5 hours ago, Dominique de la Croix said:

"Oh. Hey there." she said to the woman and then looked to Darrik.

"Hey, you know those... antiques... that I was just examinin' and lookin' into the history of, back in the office? Well, somebody is about to walk in our door with some more of 'em... from the same matchin' set. Just thought you should know as you might like to be out here when they do." Dominique explained politely.

"Just a thought." she said with a shrug, closing the door before returning the bar, standing by the office door where she could glance back and forth between the map and doors. 

Karen stood sort of dumbfounded by the weird exchange and stared at the now closed door. She looked back at Darrik, who shrugged. Karen scowled and opened the door and went out to wait for Dan. It ddin't take long for him to text her back and her fingers flew as she explained what was going on she noticed but didn't let on that she was being watched by the witch and the vampire who had taken up a position at the bar facing the clubs entrance, watching and waiting.

Darrik followed Karen out abut stopped when he came to the barroom taking it all in. He could feel the tension something was coming. Dominique felt it too it was subtle as if the air in the club had taken on a charge. She reached out and laid her hand on Cara's arm as a warning.

Outside Dan had pulled up to the curb as a small car pulled out of a prime spot. It was actually a no parking zone only for loading and offloading just as he killed the engine and was about to get out of the truck and go in to get Karen he stopped, hand on the door handle. He saw trouble going in.

Karen saw the truck as Dan deftly swept into tan open parking spot she smiled and thought that it had been smooth, she felt a little ping of pride at her alpha and quickly suppressed that thought and reached out for the door only to have it pulled open by a brad shouldered man from outside. She was momentarily startled her focus had been on Dan and those back at the bar she hadn't seen this guy or the other tough looking man who was beside him. Both had stopped waiting for her to move and they glared at her. But Karen wasn't focusing on them she was looking beyond them at the grinning face and piercing eyes of Colby Walker.

Spoiler

Collby is at the door with 4 toughs three men and a woman all of them are big bruiser type including the woman who is at least six foot eight and the biggest and meanest look of the 4. none of them are grinning but Colby is. As always the toughs look like normal humans and it will take an auspex check using scry the soul to determine if in fact they are or if not what they are.

So far none of the bars patrons have noticed anything, not that anything has occured for them to notice but all of the present players have noticed the scene at the door.

Other than Karen no one else has noticed dan. it will take another roll to see him in his truck.

you all may post if you wish. Karen especially

 

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR

"Colby," said Cara warmly where she stood beside Dominique. Though her smile and body language seemed welcoming, Dom was close enough to see the hard glint in the vampire's eyes.

"Did you bring lunch? You really shouldn't have."

She pushed off the wall and walked at an unhurried pace towards the door, though stopped far enough shy that she hoped it wouldn't seem overly aggressive.

"I expect you've come to pick your things up?"

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR

Every word the vampire said sent another pulse of irritation through Karen, nails on a chalkboard, not helping the mixture of anger and apprehension inspired by the elder werewolf who, if Darrik was to be trusted, had something to do with the primary threat to her life at the moment. The brunette fought it down, putting up a smile. 

"A pleasure to see you, Mr. Walker. Let me get out of your way so that you and your friends can have your talk and maybe a drink," she demurred, stepping to one side of the door so that the quintet could get in out of the weather. She wasn't going to start a fight on neutral ground if she could avoid it. That wasn't how the game was played even with a triple serving of supernatural bullshit on top. Besides, Miss Cornfed looked like she could dish out a beating.

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR

 

He hadn't been planning to get out of the truck. hence him actually pulling into the no parking zone.  Still seeing Colby go inside flanked by 4 toughs, he couldn't imagine he something good planned.   Something told him that bringing the box inside was a bad idea,  far worse than leaving it in his vehicle.  So he quickly reached behind the seat prying open the velcro pouch and sliding the cigar box sized container into it, ignorant of the full importance of the contents.

There was even a part of him that thought about simply leaving, but if Colby tore up the neutral zone bar, it would reflect badly on all Werewolves in the area.  "Goddammit old man, just what the hell kind of game are you playing."  He muttered to no one in particular.  He rolled up the windows and took his keys, expecting to have to pay whatever ticket he was probably gonna get, even as he opened the door to his truck, stepping out into the street, closing the door, and making a quick check that it was locked before heading inside.  As he opened the door and entered, he cast a glance at the toughs, trying to get a sense of just what he was up against.  He was unaccustomed to having to look up at anyone, but he would here, but he wasn't planning on backing down.

It was something to think about later...  He was Alpha of a pack now, he would need to think about what implications his actions would have, but at that moment, he remembered their first meeting with Colby, and knew it wasn't a good idea to leave Karen in there with him, let alone when he was flanked by a quartet of goons.





 

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR

So this was the notorious Colby Walker. And in too, Darrik recognized Dan Hawkins entered. The timing did not seem like a coincidence to say the least - did this mean Dan was in possession of some Original-killing bones? If so, did Colby know? The old werewolf coming in with a rather rough looking posse in turn definitely suggested something (and not in the fun way), but he knew the rules.

What Darrik wondered, raising a hand and briefly whispering a few words, were Walker's arm muscle just that? Under the circumstances he rather doubted that.

Spoiler

Scry the Soul
Rouse Check: 1d10 3
Increment Darrik's Temptation up 1.
Intelligence + Auspex: 5d10h6 4

Darrik blinked, his heart pounding in surprise and sudden concern. That couldn't be right. But his magic didn't lie. Carefully he withdrew his phone and tapped out a text to Dominique.

All 5 are vamps. Even Colby.

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR

Colby paused past the two men in front of him and smiled at Karen like a hungry predator. "Miss Gaunt, nice to see you again." He paused and glanced back as Dan entered, "And here is the other one. Fancy that you to always being where i end up. y'all might want to stick around."

He stepped past Karen and moved to stand before the witch and the vampire, he gave Cara a look with a tilt of his head. "Howdy Miss Angelo, I hope you are here doing what we discussed and have verified what I told you as truth. But, to answer your question, no that is not why I am here. But you ought to stick around too."

He looked at the black beauty standing there in front of him, "My, my you are the spitting image of your grandmother." He puts his hand over his heart, "God as my witness she was the most beautiful girl i had ever had the pleasure of seeing. Even though she was only fifteen I would have gone against every convention of polite society and married her. Circumstances, as they say, suck. You have my condolences on your loss, belated as they are,  Ms. de la Croix. My name is Colby Walker, mayhaps she mentioned me at some point."

Spoiler

while colby talked the thugs moved out around the room keeping Dan Karen  Colby Cara and Dom in view. None of them seem to be paying any attention to Darrik. btw there are about 2 dozen humans, patrons and employees, in the club at this time

 

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NEW ORLEANS
(Around the city)

New Orleans has always been the kind of place that offers everything and more. True to his word Marko led Erica on a tour, personalized by his half of a millennia of unlife, the likes of which she could not have purchased anywhere. He took her by all the usual places but sneaked her around the corners, into the nooks and crannies where tales and secrets only someone who really knew, could tell. Then he took her to places that were not on any tour routes, the places only the old folks knew about, the mysteries and folk lore that were kept close to the chest and guarded by the locals.

In these places Marko drew looks from old white haired men and women whose heyday had been long, long since past. If Erica noticed the looks, some of dread and fear, others still of hatred, or the subtle crossing or the warding from the evil eye of the superstitious, she gave no notice, but was appropriately flabbergasted and amazed at Marko and the display he gave her. They lunched at a small out of the way creole restaurant where they were the only two white people in the place and were treated like they were royalty and regaled with stories and culture like they were and would be part of the family. Time was forgotten as they combed the city and Marko was all but lost in his memories telling tales that had been dim afterthoughts in his mind of bygone eras and fallen empires, but today he seemed revisit them with renewed intensity like they were just yesterday. The sun began to set and they dined at what he considered the finest restaurant in New Orleans then they walked back to Erica’s hotel.

It was in an old building had been standing since before the civil war. It had been a brothel back in the 1800's and Marko killed three men out back and wondered if there was still one buried in the bricked up space deep in the cellar. He decided to leave that off the tour. Today, it was a small hotel with less than twenty rooms. A square building surrounding an inner court yard with a well-maintained garden. It was peaceful and quiet and Marko found himself a bit surprised when Erica took his hand and silently led him up the stairs to her rooms.

Neither said a word as she opened her door, he barely noticed that it hadn’t been locked, and she gently pulled him inside. The room was decorated in tasteful ways and while modern, did have a sort of old world feel about it. It was comfortable, consisting of a living room/bedroom with a large walk in closet/dressing room, and a large bathroom. There was no kitchenette which would be found in most modern hotels but there was a small, well stocked bar.

Erica turned and shut the door once they were inside and in the same move stepped into Marko’s arms pressing her body against his, her lips finding his in a deep passionate kiss. She encircled his neck with her arms as she kissed him, the two gently swaying to their internal rhythms. After a long moment of bliss she pushed away from him and strode to the bar.  “Do you want a drink?”

Please,” he answered watching her she seemed much sexier than she had before, Marko’s arousal was in full heat by the time she returned with the drinks.

To fate.” She raised her glass as Marko did the same.

To fate,” he replied. “We may not be where we thought we were heading, but somehow, we always end up where we're meant to be.” He didn't believe in fate, but hot blones ate up romanticized quotes like that.

She took a big drink and Marko gave chase. She took the glasses and set them on a coffee table then stepped up and kissed him again teasingly then stepped back and pulled the straps of her dress off her shoulders and let the dress fall to the ground giving Marko full view of her naked beauty. In an instant she was back in his arms her mouth against his, her hands undressing him. Her kiss was intoxicating the whiskey from their drinks mingled and flavored her tongue like a shot of erotica served up just how he liked it. She pulled his shirt off and the kiss upon the side of his neck was delivered while mantled in a hot, passionate breath and punctuated by a love bite which made him smile. Feverishly she began undoing his belt, the buckle clinking as she opened it and pulled it aside. He opened his eyes and caught their reflection in the full body mirror on the dressing room door. His eyes widened when he saw that she had a large tattoo on her back, a tattoo of a Blue Phoenix.

SAN FRANCISCO
1887

Marko watched Kristen make a fool of himself. Strange that it took seeing his maker without the influence of his sister to realize how crazy and unstable the Original could be. Crazier still that he didn’t see the same thing in himself.

The girls, Kristen’s sister Kirsten and Marko’s sister Cara were still in New Orleans. The boys had come to California on business which had been all but forgotten in round after round of debauchery that they were in the midst of perpetrating. Guilty pleassures had been on the menu every evening thus far and tonight they were in the premier brothel of the city and being attended by the best working girls the city had available. Marko was growing bored when his attention was caught by a flash midst all the red and gold. A woman of remarkable beauty with pale blond hair dressed elegantly in a cream-colored flowing dress had come into the establishment, the dress was cut to scandalously display her whole back to reveal a large Tattoo of an exquisitely and vividly inked blue Phoenix.

NEW ORLEANS
Present Day
(Crispin House Hotel)

Now he remembers,” said ‘Erica’ her Scandinavian accent much more prominent in words. “I was beginning to wonder how long it would take for it all to return.”

Marko drew away from her as a strange malaise washed over his mind, clouding his vision in a vertigo of memories and events that seemed long locked away. One by one with aching accuracy each one staked a claim in the valley of his present announcing their arrival with aching pains, like several needle pokes behind his eyes. Fear mingled with loathing as his primal mind began to allow the emotional weight of his new memories to wash over him. He may not remember completely who she was... but he was fearful of her. Marko barely remembered fear, let alone what this woman could have done to provoke such a response from him. He needed time. He needed to collect himself and he didn't come five centuries along this path to throw it all away on confusion and fear. Damn this humanity of his.

Blood engorged the veins on the corner of her eyes, spider webbing them in a demonic mask that gave her true being away even as her eyes blackened. Erica was a vampire.

He closed his eyes tight to shake away the pain and as the dizziness subsided he gazed at her in a mixture of weariness and confusion. “Any time you feel like making sense with any of this, feel free to jump in.”

Erica smirked and approached him. “I could, but let's both face the facts, Marko. Your head is a roiling ocean of neurosis, psychological problems and paranoias.” Her mask faded away. Her eyes returned to their brilliant blue and the veins faded away along with the tell-tale whisper of the fangs retracting back into their sheathes in the gum line. “You're a mess, we both know it. In time what's gone will, or should, rather, return to you. Bedsides, it's probably best your memory is a wreck, with your humanity restored I'd hate to have to deal with you weeping and moping about.”

Marko reeled only to settle with his hand on the writing desk to catch his bearings and try to process everything happening to him. Erica, smile still spread wide on her lips, put her hand on his shoulder, leaning in while her golden hair fell about her breasts teasingly inviting him to sneak a peek. “For now, my Angelo, just consider that while your memory may not return for some time,” she tilted his lips to face her own and gently brushed hers to his. “I'm sure we can find ways to make it pass until then.”

Marko was never a man to waste energy on things he couldn't understand. His memory, the hazy images, all of were painfully confusing things that when his humanity was off he never had to consider or deal with. Now, as a creature of baser instincts, one that felt fear and pain and misery only to have them amplified by his vampiric nature, he sought escape like he always did. If by any means he could shirk that pain or confusion or any real emotion that his vampirism amplified, Marko could, and always had, gone for it. Far better to drown in ignorance and forgetfulness than dealing with an eternity of life's little problems, right?

Swept away by the desire to be rid of the burdens humanity brought with it his lips pressed firmly to her and she welcomed her kiss. Tightly he embraced her, the whispers of their heavy breath seeking solace in the forgetfulness of lust. In their fervent bliss she quickly undid his jeans, pushing them down with the anticipatory zeal only the lust starved could know. He lifted her to him effortlessly and she laughed, amused by a man, one of only a few in lifetime, who had never been fearful or intimidated by her.

Her back slammed against the wall, alerting the occupants in the room next door, a sweet old couple sight seeing for their fiftieth anniversary. They stared at the wall in horrid fascination as the picture frames on the wall rattled and Erica's passionate obscenities echoed throughout the floor while her body rhythmically spasmed and thundered against the foundations of the hotel's walls.

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR

"Do you have a point that can be discussed in mixed company, Mr. Walker? Or are you just talking to hear yourself talk while showing off your collection of UFC rejects? Some of us have places to be tonight."

The Californian didn't sound impressed, tone droll. She didn't look impressed, arms crossed, one eyebrow quirked upward, repositioned by Dan's side. If not for the air of concerned interest her alpha was giving off, her field of fucks regarding Colby's little display of sophistry would be truly and completely barren, and she'd have been out the door. Someone else's problem and all that. Especially tonight. 

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On 7/8/2019 at 6:27 PM, The Shadows ST said:

THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR

He looked at the black beauty standing there in front of him, "My, my you are the spitting image of your grandmother." He puts his hand over his heart, "God as my witness she was the most beautiful girl i had ever had the pleasure of seeing. Even though she was only fifteen I would have gone against every convention of polite society and married her. Circumstances, as they say, suck. You have my condolences on your loss, belated as they are,  Ms. de la Croix. My name is Colby Walker, mayhaps she mentioned me at some point."

 

14 minutes ago, Karen Gaunt said:

"Do you have a point that can be discussed in mixed company, Mr. Walker? Or are you just talking to hear yourself talk while showing off your collection of UFC rejects? Some of us have places to be tonight." 

Karen's interruption brought a side glance from Dan as Colby turned halfway back to lock eyes with Karen his grin disappearing from his face. A shiver went down Dan's spine, why didn't he look at me I'm the alpha, he should have ignored Karen, something is wrong here.

Suddenly Colby grinned again and shook his head emmiting a slight chuckle. "I keep forgetting your not from the south Miss Gaunt, this isn't California, we don't interrupt other peoples conversations and we respect our elders and do what we are told."

The warning was implicit.

 

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR

Dominique sighed and shook her head at Karne's outburst and watched Colby's response with keen interest. She did not know this 'Ms. Gaunt', but considering she seemed to have met privately with Darrik and clearly know who Colby was, certain base assumptions could safely be made, and she clearly held some animosity for Colby.

"This club is neutral ground, but a certain level of politeness and civility is still expected." she said in Karne's general direction, ensuring that Colby would hear too before addressing him specifically.

"And thank you Mr. Walker, for your condolences. This is not the first time I have heard mention of your name, so it is a pleasure to be makin' your acquaintance." Dominique replied with a polite nod as the smartphone in her back pocket chimed, which she recognized as the chime she had assigned to Darrik's number, though she let it go for the moment. 

"I understand that you're recently returned to the city?" she asked, changing the subject to lighter fare. "If so, then welcome to the Simon Magnus Burlesque and Absinthe Bar. And what, if anything, can I do for you?" she asked and then chuckled. Shaking her head.

"Where are my manners?" she chuckled

"Can I offer you and your... friends... a drink? I doubt you are one for mixed drinks. though..." she said, looking him over with an evaluating gaze.

"Hmm. No. I bet you like to drink with four old friends... Jim, Jack, Johnny and Jose?" she thought aloud, politely gesturing to the bar.

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Cara narrowed her eyes slightly as she regarded Colby. There was no reason for him to bring his 'friends' unless he expected trouble. From the sound of it, he wasn't meaning to start trouble. So why was he expecting it?

"Do we need to clear the bar, Colby?" she asked quietly, her eyes flicking back to the doors. "Are we to expect more guests soon?"

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While Dan was abit irked by Colby barely paying him any attention, the new Alpha shunt it aside.  Right now he didn't want to cause a scene.   Something told him things were off, but there were alot of patrons still here, far too many for this to devolve into violence, but it certainly seemed that it was going to.   

Dan frowned, shook his head nothing good was going to come from them staying here, and besides he had his own issues to deal with.   "We'll be leaving then."   Certain inevitabilities have to be faced, and he moved to let Karen exit before him.   Whatever this was, he wasn't looking to get stuck here before moonrise, that would cause its own host of issues.

Finally Colby turned to look at Dan, the younger werewolf scowling, and obviously on guard.   "I wasn't asking you to stay."   The fact that Colby knew why Dan was keen to leave made that comment even more sinister in Dan's mind, and had him reach out placing a hand on Karen's shoulder, halting her exit.  "Then let's be about whatever this is then."   Clearly he only wanted to be there as long as was necessary, and both younger werewolves were decidedly on edge now.

A small part of him didn't like obeying Colby out of principle, but he found himself staying, concerned with what he might do while he was gone, and what that might cost the Packs of the area in the long-run.   Goddammit,  this old fart's been nothing but a headache since he showed up.

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Colby gave Dan a heartwarming grin then Turned back to Dominique. "A tequila sounds wonderful, perhaps You and Miss Angelo and those two," he points his thumb back over his shoulder at the werewolves, "would car eto join me for a drink?

Perhaps some place a little more private?"

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR

Dominique sighed again as Cara's questions to Colby, though she caught herself doing so and tried to hide it. For some reason people seemed to want to antagonize Colby, like they were pushing for a fight. Why, Dominique had no idea. So far he had been nothing but polite, at least on the surface, and had only now just made a thinly veiled threat to Dan, which was just as likely simple dominance bullshit between werewolves. But one thing that seemed pretty certain was that the Bayou pack was not happy about Colby's return either.

"Of course. We can use one of the private lounges in the back, through those curtains there." Dominique said, gesturing to the curtained doorway with a small "PRIVATE" sign on a post in front of it.

"Make yourselves comfortable while I grab us a bottle and glasses." Dominque walked over to the bar, leaving the others to head in back.

She fetched a fresh bottle of Jose Cuervo from the shelf and set it down on the bar as she let out a frustrated sigh, rolling her eyes and reaching in her her back pocket to pull out her phone. She unlocked it with one hand and looked at text Darrik had sent as she stuck a finger into 5 shot glasses and pulled them together. She paused, staring at the text, reading the same six words again and again several times before typing back.

You haven't got their attn yet. Maybe play casual and keep it that way for now?

She slipped the phone back into her pocket, grabbed the bottle with her newly freed hand and headed back to the lounge.

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR

"Sounds wonderful, "said Colby, "after you ma'am." He followed up with a polite nod at Cara, then as he followed after her motioned for his entourage to remain outside.

Once everyone had arrived in the lounge and taken seats and the drinks were poured, Colby raised a glass in toast. "To what I hope is a long and lasting partnership and to new friends."

As he downed his drink everyone else just looked at him then realizing  the social aspect drank.

Glasses hit the table and Colby picked up the bottle and poured a new round.

"I understand why some of you may be a bit unsure of me and my actions but It's time I come clean and try to take advantage of this situation and salvage what I can." He looks at Cara. "I hope you have learned what you needed to learn abou them bones cause we may need them sooner than you or I imagined. Seems our boss has decided to forego me as the middle man and is dealing directly with your brother and that my dear does not bode well for any of us."

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR

"Right. And this has exactly what to do with the giant not-a-werewolf who almost wiped out the Bayou Pack last night, not to mention any number of people last night?" Karen interjected bluntly, "I'm told you're the expert on that little problem, Mr. Walker. And that is slightly more urgent in my eyes."

She didn't trust Colby. She didn't believe his sob story or the bullshit mysteries he was invoking for a heartbeat. And speaking of hearts, if he would stay still, she'd happily carve out his with a spoon. The brunette declined to drink again, sitting as close to Dan and far away from the twin hazards of Cara and Colby as possible.

"Oh. That was my bad news, Dan, much as I'm tempted to think Darrik held out a few significant details," she wrapped up darkly, very much unhappy at being three steps behind when Colby swept in to hold court over the bar.  

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Colby once again stares at the young female werewolf then bursts into a gut straining throw your head back laugh. After a moment he gains control and wiping a tear from his eye he shakes his head still chuckling, "Because my dear Miss Gaunt, who the hell do you think my boss is?"

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR

"Funny. You don't seem the type to bend the knee to anyone short of god himself. Or herself in this case, apparently."

She kept her tone dry, severe, "Anyway. Enlighten me. Just who the hell *is* your boss? Because the way my day is going you could say anything from the tooth fairy to bigfoot and it could still, possibly, make sense. And we're burning daylight."  

Karen was done with this shit.

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR

Dominique tossed back the second drink and raised a finger of the hand holding the shot glass as she swallowed and sat the glass down on the table. 

 "Ooo.. Ooo... Lemme try this one. Hmmm... Maybe some sort of several hundred year old, werewolf/vampire hybrid that using this one..." she said nodding to Cara, "..and/or her brother to lure out the last two Originals so she can finish her matching set of Original heads? And probably the same one that turned you too." she suggested and then sat back in the booth and looked over to Karen, gesturing to the shot glass in front of the werewolf.

"And you really should have that second drink, 'cause you're wound up tighter than a two dollar watch." Dominique chuckled to Karen, shaking her head with a grin as her dreadlocks danced around her shoulders. 

"So how did I do, Mr. Walker? Pretty close to the mark?" she asked.

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Colby poured another drink and raised it to Dominique, "'bout 98%. She didn't turn me she made one of her thugs do it that big aryan woman out there. But she gave me the choice. Either that or die."

He shoots the shot.

"I wasn't ready to die quite yet."

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR

Dan's eyes narrowed at Dominique's words, as he felt their full impact.  Colby wasn't a wolf, and yet he'd completely fooled even his nose, passing himself as one the entire time.  He felt foolish, and the frown on his face became a more severe scowl.   He hadn't spoken at the toast though he did raise a glass.  He wasn't planning on having more he couldn't afford to lose the tight grip he had on his mind, especially now.

He'd been abit mad at Karen for her outburst, but now he was in a similar mood.  "We're wound up with good reason.  Now, i'm not getting up to leave, because I want to know the truth about what's going on, I'm tired of being in the dark about things."   He didn't give a rat's ass about the vampires, or the witches honestly, but he didn't want it said the Werewolves were the ones who were changing the status quo.

He looked at Colby, and sighed, even as he put a reassuring hand on Karen's shoulder, keeping her in her seat.   "I'd say it's unbelievable, but clearly this is what's happening.   So if she's cut you out of things, why exactly are you here, talking to us, Colby?  Why the hell did she make her appearance, and then tear up Latouille's like she did?"  

 

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The old former werewolf now vampire leaned forward planting his elbows on the table and he stroked his mustache, "I think you got that reversed, but i don't know for sure I was trying to get her, " He points a Cara, "and her brother on track, as they were being difficult.

As for what she is doing now with Marko who the hell knows. But what i do know is if we all do what it is she wants I have a good feeling we are all expendable. And frankly I don't like being expendable.

We need them bones, as many of em as we can get." He reaches over and places his hand over Dominiques, "And we need you. With them bones and you we can get rid of the originals when they get here and we can get rid of Erica Lindstrom."

 

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR

"What bones?"  He got that feeling it could be related to what was in his Truck, because it was all just too much to be a coincidence.  "i'd appreciate being brought up to speed on everything."  

 

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR

Cara stood still, face in a disapproving mask. She wasn't okay at all with Dan and Karen being dragged into this, but done was done. The idea that the wolf was a werewolf/vampire hybrid was deeply unsettling to her though. A wolf/witch was bad enough, but at least still mortal.

"Well then," she said, "I think we need to get our cards on the table. Before we start going into the meat of things, Colby, you said you'd been turned. Can we trust you? You don't want to be expendable, but are you able to work against your sire and this...Erica...if you have to?"

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