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About Mel Grimson

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  1. Mel regarded Kestrel, whom was quasi-panicking as she went on, and Maya, who very gingerly sipped her overheated chai, watching Kestrel while she talked. Given her initial reaction, Maya wasn't believing it still, and Kestrel desperately leaking her romantic history wasn't going to help, Mel figured. A moment passed, while he took a small sip of his black coffee, and thought. Mourne had gone down in his estimation, skipping off while giving the inexperienced - by her own description - Kestrel with naught by a nursery rhyme and a very difficult task. Sure, military intelligence was an oxymoron, but at these those things gave you something to start with, if only to be prepared for the complete opposite. And it did zilch to persuade Maya. So that begged the question, should he share his story? Obviously, Mel was not exactly comfortable doing so. Furthermore, Kestrel didn't know his story, beyond the carefully chosen (pun unintended, now that he considered it) words he'd given her. Mourne's 'Person' figured him to be closer to her end of the spectrum, rather than Maya's. Telling might well create an extra SNAFU. Fuck it, he'd rolled the dice enough times going into combat, he could do so once more. "Here's my story, Ms. Flynn. Not long ago, my wife died, and I haven't dealt well with it. Then one night, I had this dream or... vision of my wife." Mel grimaced, before deciding he didn't really want to go into the specifics. "Suffice to say, I didn't tell anyone about it. Then, I met D'Sombra at one of the security gigs. She wanted me to work for her. I was reluctant, until she described my 'dream' in detail. I changed my mind, if only to get answers." Which happened the same night as Maya meeting D'Sombra, but Kestrel didn't need to know that. "Now, after that event where we crossed paths, I was contacted in my dreams. By a hoodie-wearing rabbit-man with a Jersey accent named Jack, and a big guy with horns and teeth like tusks named Seth. They told me you were in danger and you needed my help. After that, I started investigating, I crossed paths with Kestrel, started talking with her and she pointed out one of those goblins - then it saw her and ran." "That's the sitrep, take it as you will." Mel raised his mug and sipped more coffee.
  2. "Works for me." Mel agreed simply. "Since I forgot to introduce myself, I'm Mel Grimson." He offered his hand out to shake... but Maya didn't go for it. Between her not-touchy-feely New Yorker spirit, plain distrust for the man, and simply being at the utmost strained limit for the week, she just didn't want to. End of story. Mel withdrew his arm back without comment. He'd take what he'd gotten. "For what it's worth, Ms. Flynn, I'm going through it too." He gave her a nod. "Two-thirds of this stuff she's going to tell you, I don't really understand any better." More like nearly all, but he wasn't going to disrupt the image Kestrel had of him in her mind. "But I've seen enough to convince me this isn't just crazy nonsense."
  3. Mel exhaled out briskly. Now he remembered that night, Mourne intimating to Maya that she didn't belong at the gallery, and Mel had been ready to escort her out, only for D'Sombra to intervene. Mel admitted to himself that in Maya's place, he'd be pissed too. No point in pussyfooting around, the Ranger had to handle this straight, honest and clean. "I recognize how it looks and sounds, Ms. Flynn, I'd be skeptical in your position too. But please, let me clarify something. I don't work for Mourne. He was just the client for the night, nothing more." "Now," the grizzled man met the eyes of the much younger woman levelly, "I was warned you were in danger, by another pair of mutual acquaintances. A rather rabbity fellow named Jack, and his trollish friend Seth. I apologize for following you, but they were short on details, so I had to investigate. In the process, I ran into Kestrel, and figured we should introduce ourselves to you. That is why I'm here."
  4. Mel breathed slowly through his nose, as he began to evaluate the woman in leather. Hostile, likely military training. Armed with KC9, Model 1911 variant with 9 round magazines. Objective... scare, assassinate, or kidnap Maya? Truthfully, Mel had no idea who or what had sent the lady, or why. That should teach him for rushing off into situations on the say-so of a talking rabbit and big ogre. Mel's own equipment: Glock 19 with concealed inside the waistband holster, and a combat knife in an ankle holster. Environment: in the middle of New York City and a whole ton of bystanders. Likely the hostile would wait until a more secluded location presented itself. The important question, did she was she aware of Mel's presence? It didn't look that way, but he couldn't be sure. The temptation existed to pick up speed, but that would likely twig her to his own tailing. Surprise might be his only edge. Still, as the USMC's famous rules for gunfighting pointed out: 'decide to be aggressive enough, quickly enough.' He rolled his shoulders as well, in his case to loosen up his body. Half a minute later... "Excuse me," the female stalker found a tall, stern carrot-haired man standing right behind her, "but can we talk?"
  5. Way, way back in basic training, Mel remembered, there was a fellow rainbow named Bradley Roberts. Lanky guy, had a guilty pleasure for romance novels, and seemed to always get into trouble or have the worst luck. Everyone called him 'Hex,' since he was black and came all the way from New Orleans, so obviously someone had laid the voodoo on him. Hex would occasionally complain about stereotyping, but in a good-nature fashion, since even he could not deny the odds of being put on punishment duty for stumbling onto the same pair of DIs fucking twice in the same week beggared reason. Maya, Mel had concluded, made Hex look like a symbol of auspicious fortune. Every bit of small but constant ill luck added up and up until it became a towering stack bearing down on her. But also simply it sounded like she was surrounded by people who seemed intent on using her. That former boyfriend whose academic-sounding blathering only showed he knew nothing of life. The sister who clearly sounded less of a sibling than his brothers-in-arms back in the Rangers. At least the kids didn't seem like brats. And he was pretty sure that one kid was crying because she was sick and not suddenly scared by seeing his face. He'd just been sitting there, reading. Nothing for the mother to give him the fish-eye over. So while nothing seemed to justify Jack and Seth's warnings yet, everything just gave Mel the instinct something was going to happen, right? Perhaps if the watcher in the biker jacket showed up again? Mel took a bite of the hot dog he'd picked up from a vendor along the way, wiping a spot of ketchup off his face with a paper napkin, frowning. After encountering that rude toad, Maya was ready to explode like a C4 bomb. The former Ranger held no pity for the fool who tripped the detonator.
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  7. I believe I've got it all set up for Mel as an imbued Hunter.
  8. Mel cracked the cap off his beer, having decided to go along with it and retreat into the old military mindset. "Fine. So you're here in my dreams and I'm not crazy. Gimme a sitrep then, Bugs." "See?" He looked up to Seth. "This is why I like the military types. Straight to the point. And it's Jack." "Jack? Your name is Jack Rabbit?" "So?" He said like he didn't get it. "Anyway, look... the librarian, the girl... you gotta find her. You have to help her. She's in danger." By process of elimination, Mel quickly worked that to mean Maya Flynn, the woman whom D'Sombra made a columnist. "What kind of hostiles are we dealing with?" Mel asked, something of the energy of old reentering his eyes. "Numbers, resources, motivations?" Worry gripped the pooka's face. "Unlimited. Unlimited. And the ruination of everything. I don't even know if you can stop it, but you drew the 3 of swords, so it's on you. She needs you, Mel." Mel stared at Jack before taking a quick swig. So the uselessness of military intelligence applied even to supernatural beings. "Can you actually at least tell me where to find her? Maybe, since we're asking for miracles, there's a way to convince her I'm not crazy?" "I-I don't know," Jack said. "She's a librarian. But we can't leave the place of someone's dream, so we don't know which one." "Yorkville Public Library, 222 E 79th St, New York, NY 10021," Seth blurted out slowly and in his own monotone way. "H-how did you know that?" Jack asked, mouth agape. "Books." Seth smiled a wide toothy smile. "Dreams on paper. For everyone. Finding dreams. It's what we do." "Oh, hohoho, Seth! You big lug! You're a genius!" Jack hopped about with excitement then stopped suddenly, looking worried. "We're almost out of time. It knows were here. You're not crazy, Mel! The drugs! You don't need em!" Mel snapped awake in his chair, holding an open, half full beer bottle. After a long moment, he snapped the cap back on and shoved it back into the fridge. With his efficient swiftness at packing, Mel pulled together what he needed. Flashlight, keys, holsters. Knife, pistol, rifle. Mel hadn't stopped having firearms around just because he'd been back in the states, and his gear had been among the grandfathered 'assault weapons' under the NY SAFE Act. NYC's own second set of gun laws was a pain, all the extra permits and licenses required. But fuck it. If he wasn't crazy, this might just be worth it. Saving someone's life and getting some answers to all of this crap might mean something. And when you had nothing left but dreams, something could be everything.
  9. "Get me another beer." The lazy voice and the rabbit-man were taken aback by the flat nonchalance in Mel's voice. But really, Mel was considering the situation tactically and rationally. "Beg your pardon?" The rabbit-man finally ventured. "You heard me." Mel replied without a hint of expression. "I haven't drunk enough to hallucinate yet. Therefore you're a manifestation of the Section 8 crackup I've been afraid of, or real. Either way, I'm not going through this without another beer." "Ok." The two supernatural creatures were a bit nonplussed. "And you're not freaking out if we're real?" Now Mel looked irritated and dismissive at once. "Bugs Bunny, I've spent years surviving insurgent nutjobs with machine guns, mortars and RPGs, IEDs and suicide bombs. I've killed men with guns, knives and my bare hands. I've lost good men who fought beside me and faced my own mortality. In short, I've dealt with far scarier things than you, and you aren't a hostile. Now bring me the damn beer.'"
  10. Mel had been too composed to give a reaction when she said those words. But D'Sombra knew that the very lack of the reaction, the excess of effort holding off a reaction proved that she had hit home. He watched her go off silently. The Devil Wears Prada? Forget the movie title, the Devil wore brands Mel probably never heard or, or ever would. Impossible knowledge of something that wasn't real to begin with, wasn't it? Although she gave the sense it was something real, all of it, and not just a Section 8 mess. Damn it. He had to know now. When Brent came up, Mel responded through nearly gritted teeth. "She's a complete and utter bitch... and if she'd been running the DoD, perhaps we might have actually gotten 'Mission Accomplished' after all. Tell her I'll start in a few days. I'm going back to patrol." And he did, stiffly marching off.
  11. Mel let a finger tap his chin for dramatic effect before simply voicing. "Almost never." Mel caught her surprised look with his own level stare. It might not have packed the sheer power of Ravenna D'Sombra's dark presence, but decades of soldiering had turned it into a decent runner-up. "I'm used to following orders, but I'm not a pawn to be screwed with for your entertainment. You have two minutes to explain yourself before I turn around and walk away."
  12. D'Sombra wasn't making any particular effort to lower her voice, so Mel heard everything. And the hidden instinct that had been warning him about her was suddenly validated. Of course that left questions. What was going on between Mourne and D'Sombra? Why them, since the only thing in common between him, Casey Mason and Maya Flynn was the Coffee Pot? Which left out the dark-skinned arm candy whom Mel had never seen before in his life. Or what she meant about 'everything you think you know about the world being wrong'? Mel didn't say anything, just look significantly at Brent. Brent remembered that look. It was the look he'd seen once after the rescue of a MIA soldier, where Mel had personally killed several Taliban fighters in sudden rapid succession. Too composed, too focused. It was just daring him to say that Brent knew about this. Because it didn't matter how powerful D'Sombra was or what she could offer. Mel did not stand for being jerked around or used like a chess piece, and his decision was being rapidly reconsidered.
  13. "You left out the distinct lack of getting shot at." Mel added, almost despite himself. While part of him begged the implications of Ravenna D'Sombra getting a full listing of Rangers and then having the resources and pull to track them all down - it fit with everything Brent was saying about her - the rest thought it seemed like the too good to be true opportunity. So why wasn't he reaching out and taking it? Oh, right, that gut intuition and odd images he saw, which emphasized with everything else, that when a too good to be true offer was being given - ultimately from a dangerous person like D'Sombra even if Brent was the proxy here - it probably was too good to be true. Mel had little good fortune in his thirty-something years of life. One piece of it was Cecilia, and she was taken from him. The other was that deal... "This is about as good as you're going to get, Mel." Despite the pantsuit, it was the old-fashioned glasses and lines on her face that made Marsha Williams look more like some moralistic school teacher than the public defender that she was. "Oh, sure." The teen sitting across from her scoffed. "Get-out-of-jail-free card, just snitch on my dad, his associates and then automatic sign-up to get shot for my country." Did she seriously think he didn't know the unwritten rules of the community? Be a nice little boy, say I'm sorry and walk away? The vitriol passed off Marsha like water off a duck's back. "Mel. Is this what you really want? To throw away your life for a man who beats you and your mother at the drop of a hat?" Mel's mask cracked at the surprise and shock - she knew?! "Yes," the African-American matron continued, "I know about that, I take my work seriously. Mel. There are times when you feel you're trapped in a black pit, with nowhere else for your life to go. But you can climb out of it - and when someone offers you a hand, boy, you take it." Mel remembered that. And Brent was offering a hand - whatever his intuition said, his heart knew he couldn't go on like this. "All right. I'll give this a shot. D'Sombra's got herself one former Master Sergeant."
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