Jump to content

Aberrant: Children of Quantum Fire - [Interlude] Forbidden Fruits [FIN]


Recommended Posts

July 24th, 2027

Forbidden Fruits, Ibiza

"Miss Sakura, what inspired you to open a club like..." The reporter floundered for a moment, trying to think of a polite way to end the question in the face of the serenely smiling, heavily pregnant nova's presence.

"A fetish club, Mr. Renaldo?" She asked, her smile never wavering.

"Uh, yeah...yes." He got a hold of his spine and straightened it out enough to hold the microphone out where she could answer over the click and flash of other reporter's cameras. The young nova had agreed to give the press free passes to the club for their opening day on the condition that they ask questions one at a time or she would end any interviews and have them collectively thrown out.

She smiled and looked down at her swollen womb. "Well," she said coyly as she looked up through perfect lashes, "it can't be that much of surprise that I like sex." The group chuckled on cue and she leaned forward, just enough for all of them to feel like they were about to learn intimate secrets from the Blossom Princess, as she was becoming known as in English-speaking circles. "And I like sexy things," she continued in a near whisper, drawing them in. "So....I figured, why not have a sexy place? A place for sexy dancers and sexy music and sexy rooms and just about everything sexy you can think of." She ran a finger over the hand of the reporter who'd asked the question, making the man swallow hard and blink several times, trying to keep his mind on his job so he didn't lose it chasing after nova tail. She winked at him, "Everything legal, of course."

The group laughed and most of them were already considering how to bilk their employers out of the cost of a VIP membership.

Down the bar from the knot of reporters and the enticing owner of the newest club in Ibiza, Snow was enjoying an apple martini and playing the unobtrusive bodyguard along with Darion. Well, maybe not unobtrusive but the reporters were treating them like interesting patrons, not deadly efficient protectors. The younger nova lounged against the bar and sipped at her drink and glanced at Darion. "She's good. I mean, I'd heard, but she's playing them like violins and I don't think a one of them has a clue. I'm not sure they'd care if they did. Just as long as she keeps talking about sex and letting them get a good look down what passes for her shirt."

Darion glanced over himself and then wished he hadn't. He knew she was enhancing her appeal with little quantum pushes here and there, but even knowing that - hell, even being unaffected by those little pushes - didn't help all that much with a nova of Sakura's beauty and a "maternity" outfit designed, he was sure, as a homage to Lucrezia: stiletto heels; a black latex body-suit with panels artfully cut for flashes of skin that just barely stayed within legal boundaries for Spain; her womb was supported and criss-crossed with black leather belts; her hair done up so only the cherry blossoms showed and fell with mock innocence down one side of her face to tumble just so over her shoulder and draw the eye to her very full breasts straining against their latex bonds. Artistic pink flowers continues the patter through the latex and were tooled delicately across the leather belts along with green vines connecting the blossoms. The green matched her lips and eyes. The collar around her neck that chained that connected the latex running in a thin strip up her back to the two similarly thin strips that eventually widened to hold her breasts in the front was a nice touch as well; the metal rings on the front and back of the collar had far too many thoughts running through his head that were decidedly not bodyguard-ish.

She'd managed to strike the perfect balance of innocent-fun and just-wait-until-we're-alone, even six months pregnant, that a good number of the reporters had already had to excuse themselves and ask where the bathrooms were. Only one had been caught snooping around - and three others had been women. He marvelled at the change in her as the group passed him and Snow, Sakura surreptitiously reaching out to squeeze his arm and given him a hopeful smile. And there she is again. Which face is the real one? he wondered as she strutted past the bar and turned down a hallway to give the reporters a tour of some of the private rooms. She'd been so nervous getting her outfit figured out and fretting over the opening.

He abandoned his drink - whatever it had been - on the bar and slipped into the group as they walked, making his way to her side without a word. Snow followed and took up her other side. Leaving her some space in the main room was one thing; mood-lit hallways and sound-proofed rooms with two dozen people that might be just reporters or might be any number of other kinds of people wasn't even a question. Some of the paparazzi made angry buzzing noises when he moved them aside; he ignored them like one would a fly in the room. "You doing okay?" he asked at a volume too low for even the recording devices in the room to pick it up.

Sakura gave a small nod and tucked his arm in hers; he could feel just the faintest tremble through her frame, the only indication that any of this was trying or even a tiny bit disingenuous of her. She glanced at the guests following her and flashed them all a dazzling smile, especially the more irritated ones. "What can I say? Give some men an inch and they just want every bit of you." She heaved a sigh, fixing him with a pouting smile; every pair of trousers in the room were suddenly painfully tight. "But you do have to admit, he's very pretty on the arm."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Morri’s expressions and reactions where often so subtle that few knew what she was thinking. Einherjar hadn’t had that problem in a long time. But no one would miss the look of dismay on her face at his question. In truth, he felt bad asking almost the second it was out of his mouth.

“Ein…” There was a touch of hurt and fear in her voice and he opened his mouth to rescind the question. “Why?”

“To stop me from making a jackass of myself,” Ein told her evenly.

The self-deprecating reply restored a bit of her equanimity. “Have I ever been able to do that before?” she asked, her lips curling up in a slight smile.

“Hope springs eternal,” the Nordic nova responded, feeling better as she smiled.

Morri’s smile faded after a moment though, as she stared at him. “Will you go anyway?” she asked. “If I don’t go?”

“Probably not.” Red eyes studied him for a long moment and Ein was sure she was going to say something he didn’t want to hear. But her only response was a soft, “Very well. I will chaperone you.” Then she slipped out of the room before he could even laugh at the irony there.


Tahir was nervous. He never left the Congo without Morri to guide him, and though he’d been with her for a while, he’d never been out without her. Still, he knew that she wouldn’t go and he wanted to see this ‘Forbidden Fruits’. Sakura had talked about it and explained what a fetish club was, and he was very curious about it. The Suns had nothing to compare, and it had blown his mind that humans had sex the wrong way. Oh, Sakura had explained it wasn’t immoral, but it wasn’t anything he’d call normal either. So it was wrong to him, just not bad. And he was as curious as his younger cousins – though he had no intention of meeting the fate of curious cats.

He tugged at his eufiber outfit; he’d been practicing with it and was pleased with the three piece suit. His gold and cream vest gleamed against the white shirt that hugged his chest. The charcoal gray fabric was soft and hung attractively on him. Well, he mentally amended, attractively for a human. He’d copied it out of a magazine and was sure it looked nice on him.

Getting in was easy; he offered his invitation when asked. His hand was on his wallet, which contained some money, the number of the Storm King’s warper who had delivered him here and a Congolese identification card which listed his name as Tahir Jones. Esperance seemed to find the name Jones amusing, though he wasn’t sure why. But the doorman didn’t ask to see the card and Tahir was admitted with no fuss.

Storm-blue eyes went wide as he saw the state of dress of the humans. Or perhaps it was more correct to say state of undress. Most of the women were barely wearing anything. Nudity didn’t bother him, but after understanding that humans were uncomfortable being nude in public, he was baffled by the overt nudity he saw here. But more than that, the music and sheer press of people was a little dizzying. The lion in men’s clothing eased around the room, sighing with relief when he found a quieter pocket from which to watch the room.

“Your first time?” The sultry voice, had it come from a lioness, would have peaked Tahir’s interest. But when he turned and saw a human female, his interest faded.

“At a club? Yes,” he told her honestly.

“Welcome. I’m Candy,” she said, smiling at him and shaking out her bright red hair.

“Thank you for the welcome,” he answered politely, bowing to her. “I am Tahir.”

“Ooo, you’re classy, I like you,” the woman purred at him. She heaved her swollen mammary glands a bit higher and said, “Where you from Tahir?”

He almost told her the Sun Plains and remembered at the last moment to say, “The Congo. I am the Morrigan’s companion.”

“Aw,” she said, looking a little sad. “And here I hoped you were single.”

“She did not come with me,” he replied earnestly. “She is afraid of clubs.”

“That’s too bad. They’re mostly fun. And don’t you worry,” she said, taking his arm with a laugh. It was too familiar and too close. He tensed and she quietly released him after pointing him at the bar. “We don’t bite.”

“I do,” he replied, his nostrils flaring at the sudden surge in desire coming from her. “When I mate, I bite the back of her neck.”

Her eyes, green like jade, widened. “Well… then maybe you and I should mate,” the woman purred and put her hand on his arm again.

“You are not attractive,” he told her, then added, “That is not your fault. You are not my type.” With a smile for her stunned face, he turned and slipped away from her. He only had to take a few steps before he saw his quarry. “Sakura!” he called, before darting forward to stop next to her. “Hello! I came!” He grinned with unmistakable pride.


This was a bad idea. Morri knew it was bad. Her last experience at a club had gone horribly. And yet…

The look in Einherjar’s eyes as he had asked her to go with him was impossible to forget. It had been something she’d never seen there before when he’d asked her for anything. And when he’d said he wouldn’t go without her… it was like he was afraid.

And that thought terrified her. Ein had been her rock for years. He been so steady, so stable that it had been a shock to her to learn that he’d once been a man named Peter. She’d looked it up and confirmed that it had been her king. Why she remembered that now wasn’t hard to guess; learning he’d been someone else before Einherjar had made him mortal. And that look in his eyes had made him vulnerable. Morri wasn’t sure she was comfortable in a world where her Storm King had that kind of weakness.

And yet… and yet… she loved him the more for it. The surge of protective need that had arisen in her at his request was deeply confusing. Ein protected her; she needed him. It didn’t work the other way. And yet… somehow, it did.

Glowing red eyes stared at her in the mirror as she shifted her eufiber into a string of pearls. The silken spheres all but glowed against her mocha skin. Her dress was a soft off-white outfit that bared one shoulder and followed the contours of her body to end mid-thigh. She wound another string of pearls around her neck, then another three; shaking her head, she pulled them tight against her throat.

Like a collar.

The shock collar had been a pale silver.

With a flash of color, the dress went red; the pearls now gleamed like drops of blood clinging to her throat. A strand of her eufiber wove up into her hair, creating a crimson comb that gathered up her braids on the left side of her skull. After a second of deliberation, she shaped the top of the comb into hemisphere to match the pearls.

She looked nice… and a little lethal. Much better than before. Much less innocent and helpless. The Morrigan debated whether she looked too nice before deciding that she also looked fierce enough to ward off most of the casual interest she’d garner from men. And if she didn’t go soon, Ein would come looking for her anyway; it was almost time.

Turning, she went to guard her king against himself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Others outside the club- reporters and nova-philes together- were gasping, snapping photos- and trying to thinking on a more than primal level as Darrik made his way into the club, dressed in eufiber shifted into a skin-tight yet thin and black-translucent bodysuit that implied nearly everything to be on show for all to see, as if Shadowheart was one of the entertainment too.

He'd wanted Agatha and Gwen to come along, but they'd said they had things to do. What that really meant? Well, Darrik did not intend to spoil whatever secrets they wanted to keep. A mark of his genuine love for theme, he thought, rather than trying to know everything they did or thought of.

Still... he had a feeling something was going on behind the scenes with the girls...



"So he said yes?" Gwen asked, sitting on the bed, clearly more rounded and pregnant than her longtime friend, but Agatha did not feel jealously as she once did, since Darrik's own boy was growing inside of her. "Yeah. He's bemused by the concept.. but Puck is in, girlfriend." Gwen smiled, as the two had the first of their checklist done. "Let's talk to Alex about making the wedding rings."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The swirling blue-green of the warp opened up just inside the lobby entrance, causing the photographers nearby to train their cameras in that direction in expectation of someone newsworthy. When the two figures stepping through resolved themselves, however, the paparazzi were momentarily stunned, only remembering themselves when the warp disappeared once more. A storm of flashes greeted the arrival of the Storm King and the Blood Queen.

The Morrigan was predatory and fascinating, the red of her garb matching the glowing crimson of her eyes as she stalked by her guardian's side, an arm through his. The looks she gave the paparazzi, though not overtly threatening, caused them to withdraw slightly, even the boldest reporters preferring respectful distance rather than to draw close to the world's reputedly most volatile and dangerous woman. Einherjar could feel her deceptively small hand gripping his arm tightly and smiled down at her reassuringly before moving forward to greet their hostess.

The king of the Congo was himself dressed to stand out. Around his waist was a heavy cloth sarong-style garment, the same blood red as the Morrigan's clothing and with a polished black leather belt fully a hand-span wide. This highlighted the cast-bronze musculature of his torso, which was bare save for a left arm vambrace of black leather sewn with rings. Showing none of the nervousness he had revealed in private to Morri earlier he radiated barbaric splendour and confidence, his mane of blond hair falling to his shoulders and his blue eyes glowing with their own inner light as he strode past the reporters and their cameras towards Sakura and those around her. Questions faded unspoken, and the crowd melted from his path as the two ex-Elites moved through the room like a lion through a herd of zebra.

"Konohanasakuyahime." he rumbled with a smile as he stopped by Sakura and bent down to kiss her cheek. "We thought we'd stop by and see the fruits of your labours. Tahir." he nodded respectfully to the young Prince, then fixed a polite blue gaze on the young man Sakura had on her arm, his smile friendly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Murat lands outside the crowd that is still abuzz from the entrance of the King of the Congo. His currently waist length hair pulled back into a banded ponytail. His outfit is simple and comfortable, casual shirt and jacket with jeans and boots. He moves to stroll past the paparazzi in the King’s wake but inevitably he is spotted. “Smile for the camera,” he thinks as they snap his picture.

“Murat,” one of them calls spotting the band on his hand and identifying him finally, “any plans on returning to DeVries?”

Murat pauses, “I am currently retired as an Elite. I am happy with my position with GNS,” he replies.

“So you deny the rumors you are on retainer as part of the border discussions Nigeria is hosting?”

“I have heard no such rumors but if you have I assure you they are false.” With that he heads toward the entrance. Before reaching the entrance he pauses to respectfully nod and say, “Miss Sakura, your majesty, I hope this evening finds you well.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sakura laughed and hugged Tahir. "Good for you, and thank you. I wasn't sure you'd be okay with a place like this." At Tahir's blank look, she just shook her head and grinned. "Nevermind."

She was about to ask where the Morrigan was when Ein made his entrance. The tall, perfectly sculpted King of the Congo was impossible to miss - especially in a loincloth. She murmured to Darion and Snow, "See, now I feel overdressed."

Darion restrained himself from saying the first thing that came to mind, but Snow had no such filter between her mind and her mouth. She let out a snort and shot back, "Then strip. You'll probably triple the press cover."

Tahir nodded at Snow. "Yes. You would look very pretty naked."

The two Terats stared at the other nova and Snow eventually descended into giggles. "Oh, where did you find him, Sakura? He's perfect."

Ein had made his way over, greeted her with her formal name and kissed her cheek. Tahir glared at the familiarity of the touch and almost growled in challenge, but the memory of Sakura's first morning flashed through his mind. He was growing, pushing himself, but he was still no match for the Blood Queen's father. Patience was not a virtue of the young, but Tahir was the Omore and getting himself killed would not pay his tribe's debt to the Blood Queen nor gain him his mate. So he glared and clenched his fists, but made no move against the Storm King. He nodded back at the king's greeting and replied with a cool, "Einherjar."

"Well, since we all seem to be on a first name basis," the silver-haired nova cut into the tension with molecular precision and held out his hand out first to Tahir (he'd shown up first, after all), "I'm Darion, and this is Snow." He was watching for any flicker of recognition by the golden-haired youth, but caught only the slight hesitation as Tahir remembered the human custom. The lion smiled brightly and shook Darion's hand with the enthusiasm of a child just learning manners, and did the same with Snow. Darion filed away that interesting tidbit while Snow giggled again and gave the youth another more thorough once-over. Darion moved on, offering his hand to the Storm King and his semi-feral escort for the evening. He hadn't missed the kiss either.

They had just finished making greeting noises at each other when Murat moved into Sakura's orbit. Introductions were made again and Sakura smiled at the new arrival; she didn't know him, but she was playing hostess for the evening, so that hardly mattered. Darion whispered his name and a few quick facts in her ear. "Murat, a pleasure to meet you. I hope you enjoy your evening; the first burlesque show will be starting a few minutes and tonight is an open bar. We are stocked with AmpWells and several other nova-strength drinks, please do take the time to try some of them. Charity, our bartender, is just thrilled at the chance to try out some of her newest creations. Please also let me or any of the staff know if there are other rooms in club that you would like to see; there are some formalities in accessing them, but for tonight they are open to non-members. A first taste of what we offer." Like her clothes, she somehow balanced her smile and tone between the proper hostess and the succubus of any young man's dreams.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Morri’s eyebrows rose when she saw Tahir here. Jealousy spiked into her gut like a living creature. Aside from her scowl deepening she said nothing. Sakura seemed to want to steal her friend; Tahir hadn’t told her he’d be here. He’d just gone. She was oddly hurt by this; Tahir wasn’t her possession but she felt like he was sneaking around, chasing after Sakura.

Is the Simba not behaving?

Morri blinked, her aggression fading as another primal emotion took its place. Her fingers tightened around Ein’s arm before she forced herself to release. Where had that come from? She glanced around the room, her eyes moving from target to target, seeing if someone was paying too much attention to her. No one seemed to be and she filed the moment away for later. If someone was going to mess with her, they would do it when they did it, and she’d stop them. Or Ein would. Either way, they’d be sorry they made the attempt.

She offered a nod to Sakura, then Darion, Snow and Murat. She was vaguely familiar with Murat, from her exposure to Elites through Einherjar. she had no idea who Darion and Snow were; of course she knew Sakura – too well. When Darion offered her a hand, Morri took it for a polite shake. His fingers didn’t linger on hers too much so she pulled away without shuddering. Snow received another polite shake, but still Morri remained silent. She spoke only to murmur to Murat, “Pleasure to finally meet you. I’ve heard much about you from Einherjar and Evo” as she took his hand. Her cultured voice was at odds with her feral demeanor and animalistic reputation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Infinity stepped out of the warp with a flourish, snapping the riding crop against her boot with a wicked smile for the cameras. The reporters didn’t seem to know who she was, a fact that Infinity actually liked, but they knew she ran with novas and had been seen partying with Puck. A couple even knew her name, calling it out as she headed for the door. For their effort, she stopped to pose, arching her back as she rested the crop tightly across her shoulders.

It was quite the sight, too. Infinity usually tailored her clothing to the occasion and added in touches to make it something she liked. That meant that her clothes trended toward dark and gothic but didn’t get too extreme – usually. Tonight, she was going to a fetish bar opened by a nova. Extreme was the word of the evening.

For this special occasion, Infinity was dressed in a black corset with white laces. Her high-heeled boots ran up to mid-thigh, while rather modest bottoms covered as much as a cheerleader’s outfit concealed. She topped it off with a ladies riding top hat, a black veil trailing off the back of the hat to create an artful fall of material. Her only accessories were a black choker and the aforementioned whip.

After a few pictures, the woman headed into the club, feeling a deep tingle of anticipation. She'd been working really hard and she needed a night off the clock. It was just as awesome as she imagined and she silently hoped that Puck would get over it and come. He’d love it here – it was like his Disneyland. Infinity strolled around the room, greeting those she knew and generally getting the feel of the place.

As she came near the bar, she slowed, her eyes latching onto a couple. Their backs were to her, but they were yummy from that angle. They were talking with Murat and some other people who Infinity couldn’t see. Slipping up to the bar, she ordered a drink and considered what to do. He was tall, blonde and incredibly well-muscled. He had dressed in a loincloth and Infinity approved. She was like his short, dark shadow dressed in red; they were clearly together given their relaxed stances and her hand tucked under his arm.

Infinity tossed back her first drink, preparing herself for her first attempt to get laid tonight. The couple was just too appealing; his Nordic build and her lean, African sprinter’s body would be so much fun to play between. With a quick glance at the mirror behind the bar, she checked her appearance, then made her move.

The young nova had learned that confidence carried you as far as looks; sometimes they got you farther. Pushing away from the bar, she sauntered over and put her hand on the woman’s bare shoulder. Her fingers slipped over smooth, feminine skin as Infinity stepped around the woman.

Suddenly she was on the floor, struggling to breathe as a hand clamped on her throat. Red eyes glared down at her, cruel and merciless. Infinity saw her death in those glowing orbs as she realized she’d just touched the Morrigan. “Sorry!” she squeaked, throwing her hands up in surrender. “Sorry, Ididntknowitwasyou! Pleasedontkillme!” The fingers eased up and some of the rage left that face and Infinity thanked every god there was that she’d had a bathroom break before nearly getting herself killed. Otherwise, she’d have just pissed her pants and that would only make things worse. “Can I get up… please?”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Star had made a late arrival, she had almost decided not too because things were getting crazy busy - even for a cloner used to effective time management. She had messaged Puck, but it had been a last minute thing. It was a busy time for him too. At least it was last minute for her, because she had to go to a stylist to get made up.

No one would realize her utter lack of skill though, as she looked radiant in a old school little black dress shot through with silver thread and eufibre. Added to that, her jewelry was her own ... energy servitors woven so radiate their blue and violet hues in an unearthly synergy with the exotic threads of the dress. Her shoes were constructs too ... mainly because she and her stylist couldn't find the right thing. So she'd had some guidance on what to weave, and it turned out like magic. She'd used this company before, mainly because getting pretty to surprise Puck just didn't work when Puck was the stylist.

Apparently, the paparazzi approved of the new look when Star walked out of her azure gate. She practically shimmered for a few moments after the gate vortex collapsed behind her and the crystalline eufibre in what she wore briefly resonated in harmony with the luminous quantum eddies.

She was ready for a few hours of observing the mating habits of the migratory Ibizan deeppockets. Star had come to enjoy soaking in culture - and sub culture - because it was still so new to her. Living this sort of experience was so much more informative than anything she'd watched or read. She paused for a moment to wave to a young warper who'd interviewed with her. Shinji had taken a corporate potion instead of GNS but left himself open for consulting work. The money had been a factor, as he and his new wife had just purchased a very large estate just outside of Yokohama. Mitsubishi had offered him an insane figure, and Star didn't fault him for taking it. She would say hello, but he was no doubt in a hurry to rejoin his wife ... it was probably her idea to come here. Apparently she liked the wild side.

Star looked around, and even before stepping in it was apparent that this was the wild side. There was no one else she knew arriving, almost time to step through the looking glass ... she'd give Puck a few more moments for a dramatic entry, or not if the timing didn't work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Coraline was there too, had been there as the press of novaphiles and amautuer paparazzi formed outside of Sakura's new fetish club. But not as one of the glistening quantum elite parading through the doors and into pleasures and perversions behind closed doors she was privately glad had been warded against causal sensing by even someone like her. No, tonight she skulked and fought for place among the baseline crowds cloaked as one of them by her gifts and clad in horribly inflexiable and inert baseline clothing to further compliment the illusion of normalancy. She made sure to drift to the forefront of the crowd everytime a new arrival appeared as outwardly focused on 'getting the shot' as any of them, even if it was her nose and quantumly-perceptive eyes that were doing most of the work and not the flashing device in her hands.

Those who smelled fertile had their quantum signature recorded by the clever mechanism in the toy Alex had made for her, filed away by a press of the button half an iota stronger than normal. Those who smelled sterile but seemed to possess the quantum knack of those who could control their own fertiltiy were marked the same way.

Coraline was there, too, but she was here to work, not play. After all, there were parents and children, present and future, to save. And the clock was ticking towards the date of a prophecy she had to prevent.

[envoy] 10:07 am: rolling bodyshift to see if cora can muster up two successes to get enhanced venbrosal organs. last five mega.

envoy *rolls* 13d10: 1+7+8+1+9+5+8+8+5+1+1+5+8: 67

[envoy] 10:07 am: yup.

[envoy] 10:09 am: rolling husk to hide from pesky eyes and ears, last eight mega.

envoy *rolls* 16d10: 3+1+5+6+9+9+10+1+2+4+6+1+7+3+5+7: 79

[envoy] 10:10 am: so eight successes plus three auto means 11 more soak to avoid being detected as a nova.

Okay, that plus her default 16 for mastery 1 Blank, means 27 successes needed to blow her cover as a baseline. That should do for starters. Oh, also Ms. nobody to default to Apperance 2 on the husk.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Darrik moved ahead, and saw and heard the clumping of novas, one he didn't recognize, make that two. But the rest, Ein, Morrigan, Sakura, Snow, Darion, and the approaching Infinity, her dress bringing a lascivious smile to his face as he too moved up to greet all- and then Infinity was on the floor, quivering before Morri's grasp . Darrik immediately moved in.

"It's all right." His rich voice interrupted to both Morri and Infinity, oblivious to the particular impact it had on the Morrigan, mixed between unwanted desire and the inverse feelings, but Shadowheart quickly extricated his Gothic girlfriend from the African woman's grasp and helped her up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Morrigan was trembling slightly as she released the woman and stepped back to Ein's side. The hand that took his arm again was holding him tightly, as if she needed that grip for control. In a way, she did; the desire to punish that woman for scaring her was strong, just as strong as the desire to beg Ein to leave. I can do this, she told herself, her face set in the stony scowl that was common to her.

"Look, I am sorry," the red eyed woman said as she leaned against Darrik. "I'd have never done that if I'd known it was you. Everyone knows you don't like to be touched." Red eyes dropped to the arm tangled with Ein's and amended, "Well, unless hot, sexy barbarian kings are doing the touching apparently."

Anger flared in her. "It is not always about sex," she snapped, which was definitely an amusing thing to say in the middle of a fetish club. But Morri was not joking. "Why do you feel that you have to push everything toward sex?" She knew Ein wasn't ready for sex with Morri and never would be, according to Jason. The feral didn't want him to be made uncomfortable by this oversexed bint.

"Because sex is fun," the strange nova told her. "Just ask King Einherjar." Before Morri could reply, she added, "I'm Infinity, by the way. Nice to meet you."

"Sex is not fun," Morri told her sharply. Ein made a very soft, soothing noise which Morri ignored. She was a little worked up.

"Then you're not doing it right," Infinity answered, her lips curling up in a smile. "I could show you... Or, wait... have you ever had sex? I mean, if you haven't, it'd be easy to misunderstand what the fuss is about." The woman's smile changed, becoming soft and helpful. Morri felt a little sick as she realized that this woman thought that she was being helpful by offering sex to her.

"I have had sex and I have no interest in more," Morri snarled. "Stop pestering me about it."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A dark-skinned man slipped through the crowd, quickly passing by the notice of the cameras and nova-philes. No matter who could reasonably expect to be watching, they never did follow his path, too fast to register. When he was through and inside the club, safe away from questioning minds, his skin rippled and then his form returned to that of Evo's. Two strings of protection to avoid notice, of course.

Evo allowed himself a grin. He needed a really fun night again, and the thrills here ought to be worth it. Ein and Morri were already present, more than likely, and the voices in the distance were easily made out to be Morri's and someone else's... a frown on his face came back. He knew her past, and the newcomer was likely to earn herself a chance of a cut throat if she pursued it further...

Well, even with that, Evo headed off to join the group, though he stopped and waited unobstrusively for the moment. Well, that was interesting. Morri, Sakura, two people he had no idea of, that Shadowheart kid and his friend riling up the Morrigan, Ein, Murat of all people... this might be an interesting night indeed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Darrik had lied, unintentionally. It wasn’t alright, not by a long shot. Infinity’s impression of the Morrigan had always been that of a barely-controlled brute, slavishly devoted to a nova who fostered a nova nation and ran it like a baseline one. He’d had so much going for him and he’d squandered it all to make his own little fiefdom. A very stable fiefdom unlike most of the African warlords, but in Infinity’s eyes, he was a nova-version of those petty tyrants. More benevolent, but little better. A nova aspiring to baseline goals.

Now she added ‘prude’ to the list of things she didn’t like about King Einherjar’s pet berserker, including ‘bully’ and ‘bitch’. Privately, she thought the last thing on that list could be cured with a little sex, but Infinity wasn’t going to offer herself again. Ignoring the angry feral, she said, “King Einherjar, nice to meet you.” She started to go around the circle, but her eyes jumped ahead a bit, and everyone else was forgotten when she saw her.

She was the epitome of Quantum expression. Infinity wasn’t sure why she thought that, but her first thought was, I need her to join the Cult. Infinity wasn’t big on deciding where people needed to go, but she knew that this green-eyed beauty needed to understand what Mal was teaching and help show that to the world. Infinity bore the introductions as people went around the circle, forgetting names almost as soon as she heard them – until hers.

“Sakura,” Infinity tasted the word and it was good. “Pleasure to meet you.” She didn’t shake the woman’s hand but instead turned it to place a soft kiss on the back of her wrist. Red eyes held green ones for a long moment. “And I have to say – your club is perfect.” The golden-toned man that had been in front of Sakura and was now beside her growled a little, storm-blue eyes smoldering with anger. “Calm down, Sunshine,” Infinity told him. “Your cock is way bigger than mine, promise. And what I can do for her is nothing that you can do for her.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Let's circulate." Ein suggested to Morri, nodding companionably to Evo as the younger nova joined the 'greet group', as the king thought of it. This was Sakura's night, after all, and there would be plenty of other people trying to orbit her. To his mild surprise, Einherjar didn't even begrudge them. Tahir's bristling aggression was entirely one-sided - Einherjar wasn't in a competition for Sakura's affections, mainly because her affections were freely given to those she deemed worthy. For himself, the Storm King was happy with the flirtatious friendship he shared with the Blossom Princess, and wasn't really interested in fighting anyone over a woman, not after that first embarrassing encounter.

Morri seemed grateful to be steered away from the others, and the two novas moved around the room, now and then exchanging pleasantries with other VIP guests, but mainly watching the crowd like a pair of lions at a watering hole. They paused to snag a couple of drinks from a waitress, then moved on.

"Sorry." Ein told her sotto voce, his low rumble pitched for her ears. "I should have thought that there'd be grab-happy people, at a fetish club of all places. I'll keep an eye out for anyone else that seems frisky." He paused, weighing his words, then spoke again.

"She doesn't know what you've been through - not many do. Even those that do know, don't understand unless they've been somewhere similar." He smiled gently down at his escort, his eyes a little sad. "Even I can't fully understand it. So don't let her upset you with her stupidity and lack of empathy, okay?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Morri was tense as they walked away from the group. Evo got a real smile, but the Justicar could tell something had upset her. Of course, he was one of the few who knew her story, courtesy of Miner. The two walked around the room, and that helped; the motion and normalcy of talking in politely distant words to near strangers was familiar after years of diplomatic parties. Even the glass of wine she’d secured was a familiar red, grown in France and popular in the Congo. She wished – and not for the first time – that she could shut off her node enough for the alcohol to loosen her nerves. She’d heard it could do that, and that some people drunk it for more than the taste.

The encounter with the red-eyed woman had shaken her; she’d been doing so well, but she really didn’t like being touched. And she really didn’t like being touched when she didn’t know it was coming. Had she seen the woman reaching for her, she could have schooled her reactions enough to merely push the woman away. Then she wouldn’t have embarrassed Ein like that.

Ein’s words soothed and startled her. “I didn’t embarrass you?” she asked, blinking up at her best friend.

“Of course not, Morri,” he said softly. He shifted his glass to his other hand and laid it on her hand. “I’m never embarrassed when you defend yourself.” He gave her his pirate’s grin. “I actually found it rather amusing.”

An image of the woman’s look when she’d been sprawled on the floor flashed through Morri’s mind again, and she laughed softly. “I guess it was at that,” she said, finally smiling. “Einherjar, thank you.”

“You’re welcome.” He said, faintly surprised. “For what?”

“For being you. For bringing me.” Morri grinned. “It’s been fun, mostly, so far.” On the stage, the show started, and Morri turned to watch, steeling herself for a sexual display. At least it was a performance; from what she’d read about them, there shouldn’t be anything that would upset her.


Forbidden Fruits had cleaned out many of the Ibiza clubs, but the Rainbow Room was still hopping. Those who didn’t go to the newest hotspot in Ibiza had come to the reigning King of Partying, enjoying the shorter lines at the bathroom and more room at the bar. Few doubted this would last for more than an evening or two so they indulged now.

“Put away that damned phone,” Alpha complained, throwing himself gracefully against the bar next to his brother. “You always get in trouble when you look at that thing.”

“My dear brother,” Wendigo purred, “that’s utter nonsense.”

“The last time you stared at it here, it nearly got you stabbed.” Alpha wasn’t above exaggerating to get his brother to do what he wanted, but this time he felt it’d been an accurate assessment.

“She wasn’t going to stab me,” Wendigo assured his brother, proving to Alpha that his brother just hadn’t been paying attention, either to the Morrigan’s reputation or how close she’d been to losing it. “Come on, brother, we’re leaving.”

“What?” Alpha groaned, sagging against the bar. “We just got here.”

“An hour ago. Now we’re going to Forbidden Fruit,” the animalist nova said.

“What? Why on earth?” Alpha asked, following his brother through the crowd.

“Because one of my news alerts has alerted me that the Morrigan is there now.”

Alpha picked up his pace, moving fast enough that he was leading by the time the siblings hit the sidewalk. “We need to get there,” he told Wendigo.

“I know!” Wendigo said. “But why are you gunho?”

“Because some idiot brought a sexually traumatized time bomb to a fetish club, and I’d like to be there to stop the murderous rampage rather than across town when she starts killing.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Darion knew better than to try and insert himself into the quantum minefield created by Einherjar and The Morrigan. Sakura was friendly with Einherjar at least, which in turn protected her from The Morrigan. Darion had no such protection.

He felt the disaster coming when Infinity moved up behind Morri, but he did nothing. It was her error to make and probably survive. At the same time the four of them ended up forming a solid wedge between the entrance and the club which basically shut it down.

Oh yes, this won’t bring attention on the place at all, he thought sourly. As a front for The Crèche, Forbidden Fruits’ value lay in not attracting curious eyes. If Sakura was going to be bringing some of the most powerful Novas in the world here on even a semi-regular basis, that would change fast. He could talk to her about it later, but most likely the King of the Congo was only here for the opening.

He ended up more or less ignored, so he took the opportunity to slip away and head over to Snow. She was sitting on a stool sipping a cocktail, resplendent as ever with her multi-coloured hair and a fine black and red shirt. “Hey,” she smiled as he headed over. “You worried about being gutted by SSDD there?”

Darion glanced over his shoulder and then raised his eyebrow at her.

“Short, Sharp, Deadly and Demented.”

He nodded. “Not exactly, but Sakura’s about as safe as a safety deposit box in a very large, very Swedish bank right now. I thought you might do me a favour and get the club going again. Our guests are busy sucking up all the air from the room and killing the atmosphere completely. This isn’t the Rainbow Room and I don’t want people acting like it.”

Snow shrugged. “Sure, I can carouse a bit. You should have brought Pru. She’s the party queen. And a tentacle monster. Always good for fetish clubs. We were both learning from Lucrezia, too.”

‘Were’ being the operative word, Darion thought. Lucrezia had sunk into chrysalis close on a month ago, and had been transported to the Kiribati islands along with Chang and some of the other Anavasi infrastructure. Everyone was busy building the Palace of Mirror and Shadow, as it was being termed by the architects, with Chang’s ‘Court of Mirrors’ working on their section and Sin-Eater’s ‘Court of Shadows’ working on the underground. Chang was not taking her wife’s absence well and having her away from Ibiza was a surprisingly huge change to the Anavasi dynamic.

“That’s true,” Darion said, “but Pru’s busy elsewhere right now. You can have fun on the tables another night.”

Snow finished her drink and slid off her table to go get the club moving again.

Darion took his place at Snow’s seat, using careful telekinetic tugs to call over other club staff and direct them around the place. The quantum gods of twenty-twenty onwards were many things but subtle was a rarity. It was for the little guys like himself to make up for it.

He let the altercation go on a little longer, and then headed back to Sakura’s side when Einherjar took Morrigan away.

“Where were you?” She asked him immediately, flashing him a gorgeous smile.

Darion waved off the question though he felt flattered she noticed his absence. “Just getting the club to breathe again. This little quantum bomb you were arming up shut the place down. I imagine it’ll drive business up once word spreads, but it could have some consequences down the line when people realize there won’t be daily visits from Einherjar and The Morrigan.” He gave her a shrug. “First impressions and all. After tonight, people are going to think of this as a Nova-watching home ground, and a far more pleasant one than the Rainbow Room, where all you can do is camp outside.”

Sakura gave him a little slap on the arm. “Let your oh-so shiny hair down for a minute. This is the big opening of the club, and I want everyone to have fun.”

He smiled at her and gave his head a shake, so his hair went flying about for a moment. Then he jerked his thumb at his own chest. “You got me on-board for my professional acumen. You have fun and I’ll concentrate on the serious stuff, at least while we’re on the club floor. Speaking of which, I’ll leave you to the friendly predations of the giant cat man and Infinity to go talk to our newest arrival.”

Sakura nodded and waved him off.

Darion approached Murat and offered his hand. He recalled his files on the ex-elite. It didn’t seem like there was anything to worry about but he wanted to get a close up read on him anyway. There was always the chance that somebody would try something excessively stupid on the club’s opening night, and any unknown quantity could be the source of said excessive stupidity. He had hired a couple of Terats who worked with Synapse to do background checks on all the baselines in the room to work out potential problems. They hadn’t beeped him yet.

“Murat,” he said, “it’s nice to see another Nova at the establishment. You just here for the entertainment?”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Star had waited a few minutes, and she suspected that Puck was probably busy. Hopefully it was nothing serious, but she had to remember that he was pulled in so many different ways with Exalt!. Plus he had more club experience, and this wasn't as novel for him as it was her. She noticed a pack of people had somehow clogged the entrance, and there was something going on. There was, however, only so much fiddling with you mobile outside a club that didn't say 'social looser' so Star would make her entry.

Keeping her appearance normal, she reduced her density and walked straight through the walls, ending up right next to a rather startled server. On her data-band she was about to bring up her invitation in a projection when the attendant looked to Darion, who nodded. Star recognized the Terat and smiled his way, eliciting a small smile in reciprocation and a small "come on in" gesture. Walking through the walls had caught the interest of some, but still didn't take the focus off the altercation going on.

Walkiing on a new tangent, getting a little further away from the scene around Ein, Morri, and infinity she noticed Sakura and gave an excited wave. She got a smile and a demure wave back. Sakura, however, was clearly busy at this moment and Star also noticed Evo and headed straight for him.

At this point Ein and Morri had walked away from the confrontation, but Star decided that letting everyone involved cool down for a bit was a good idea. No need to insert herself where she might not fit ... and then she was in front of Evo.

"Hi Evo! Nice to see you ... " and with a clear non-verbal tied to a quick gaze toward the Novas fresh from a standoff her eyes asked something like: Is everything OK over there?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Murat takes Darion’s hand in a firm grip and while shaking his hand replies, “Here to be entertained, and so far,” he looks toward the retreating forms of Ein and Morri, “successfully. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit a nova sponsored club on opening night. Though if you will excuse me I think it is time I toured the inside of this fine establishment.”

With a final nod to his hostess Sakura Murat heads into the club. Moving slowly with the pulse of the music he heads toward the bar. “Whisky Sour please.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Puck shimmered in at the staging point set aside for such things. Pictures flashed and reporters called out to him, but he had someone waiting for him. He stepped into the main room, giving a glance to burlesque show just beginning but saving his smile for when he spotted Star. He could fill the tension that was in the process of dissipating from the room, so he made his way quickly to her side and slipped an arm over her hips. He was dressed in tight leather pants laced up the side, a black silk poet's shirt with the panel cut out for his tattoo and that left his chest attractively bare save for a black robin pendant that matched his robin earring. His hair was all black and up in spikes and carried a black, silver-handled cane carelessly in one hand. He kissed Star just below the ear, a thread of pleasure snaking its way through her body.

"Hey, beautiful." He gave the Congolese Justicar a nod. "Good evening, Evo."

He smiled at both of them. "So, how shall we get into trouble this evening?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

She grinned at Infinity and her insinuations, enjoying the attention and letting it distract her for the moment from the knot of fear that the split-second violence had spiked through her. My aren't you a minx? "Thank you, Infinity," she purred. "I hope you enjoy the show. Please let me know when it's over, mmm?"

Sakura took Darion's arm again as she spoke to Infinity, unobtrusively leaning on him to keep herself steady. She laid her head against his shoulder and whispered, "That woman....she's...," she took another steadying breath. When she spoke again her tone was a mixture of sympathy and annoyance. "Honestly, I wish she would find someone to help her with her problems. If I thought getting laid would do it, I'd try to arrange someone for her but, other than Ein, she freaks out if anyone touches her. That and I'm pretty sure she hates me. A lot."

She shook her head, "I'm honestly shocked she showed up tonight. I figured Ein might make a showing, but the Morrigan...." She shook her head again and then shrugged. "Perhaps that is a good sign for her."

Her grip was a little tighter than it should have been and her pulse was elevated. After a moment he realized: she was afraid, possibly even terrified, of the Morrigan. Not the "I read the OpSites" afraid, but the kind of fear that only came from experience with the object of said fear. It was personal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Darion watched Snow bouncing around the club. She was resisting her urge to change shape, and no doubt wondering if that somehow implied she was falling off the path of Teras. At the same time, her efforts were getting results. People were forgetting about the insane Nova who put any Terat to shame and who came within an inch of murder on the dance floor, and focusing more on the young-looking one with the beautiful hair and boundless energy.

We should definitely have dragged Prudence into this, he thought. She could all but click her fingers and calm people down. Of course, that might have caused The Morrigan to get even angrier and start killing people. Or ‘King’ Einherjar might have taken it as an act of war or something equally as absurd. Ah, well, things should be fine now.

It felt good when Sakura gripped his arm again, though he tried to hide it. She was a lovely woman, beautiful and kind, and well-meaning. That was a rare combination in the Nova world. He would only allow Chang the first and third of those. She was unkind as a result of an ironclad determination to be honest. Come to think of it, he would deny ‘kind’ to a lot of Terats, though they all had their moments. He imagined even The Morrigan could be kind to someone, somewhere.

“Could be she sleeps with Einherjar. He’s a warrior, it would make sense for him to like a,” he cleared his throat, “rough woman. She works as what she is: the psychopath in the basement that he can cut loose on his enemies. Even if he’s just her only friend – which is certainly believable – I can understand why she’d resent your presence. You do have a rather… polarizing effect on men around you.”

Sakura looked pained. “You noticed that, then?”

“Once or forty times. And counting.”

That made her smile. “I’m glad you’re here. I’ve never done something like this before. It looks great, though!”

“You’ve done a great job. Right place, right atmosphere, this place will be hopping. There’s too many Novas, though. All the buzz about this place is going to centre on the presence of Einherjar and The Morrigan, Murat, etcetera, etcetera. People are going to be coming here expecting Novas every day like in the old Amp Room. Andy Vance’s choice to make the Rainbow Room Nova-only left the public without their number one club. Ever since then they’ve been desperate to find a replacement. They’ll latch onto that. I just hope Fruits survives the disappointment when they realize it’s not.”

Sakura frowned at him. “You think that could be a problem?”

“Wouldn’t have said it otherwise. Clubs rise and fall in Ibiza all the time, and the risingest and fallingest are the ones which proclaim themselves the Amp Room, stage two. Most can get that high-Nova styling going for a month at most and then their personal connections and finances dry up. Much to my benefit,” Darion said with a little cough.

“Are you saying…”

Darion nodded. “A lot of my personal fortune derives from observing the rise and fall of the entertainment industry around here. I ‘sell’ that info to interested Terats and cherry pick the best of the bunch, buy up the space once a club’s crashed out and then re-sell it for a profit. Doesn’t always work out of course, but I think I always make more money than the failures do in the end.”

Sakura took a deep, chest-heaving breath that he couldn’t help but think was for his benefit. That’s some cleavage. Neanderthal Darion stirred from his cave and started wanting to sniff Sakura’s hair.

“I’m glad you’re here,” she said. “Even if you sound a bit evil sometimes. I’ve seen The Morrigan angry, you know.”

Darion raised one eyebrow. “Did you regrow your limbs or duck really fast?”

“Not that angry.”

“Ah.” Darion leaned onto a nearby railing, while the low, multi-coloured lights played over his silver hair and glimmered in the depths of his eyes. “I’d say ‘don’t worry’ and other comforting noises, but it’s not like anyone here could even slow her down if she lost it,” he said coolly, watching as Snow finally indulged herself and warped her body so her skin shifted and cracked into a bondage suit of her own so she could mingle all the better. “However, I’m confident Einherjar will keep her calm. I may detest the Congo on principle, but he’s a King for a reason. Besides, he likes you. He’ll make sure you’re safe.”

“And you?”

“Will probably die in the attempt to keep you safe,” Darion said with a little shrug. “People like me are out of their depth in this new age. If a hobo comes after you, though,” he nodded his head, “I’ll kick his ass.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Puck shimmered in at the staging point set aside for such things. Pictures flashed and reporters called out to him, but he had someone waiting for him. He stepped into the main room, giving a glance to burlesque show just beginning but saving his smile for when he spotted Star. He could fill the tension that was in the process of dissipating from the room, so he made his way quickly to her side and slipped an arm over her hips. He was dressed in tight leather pants laced up the side, a black silk poet's shirt with the panel cut out for his tattoo and that left his chest attractively bare save for a black robin pendant that matched his robin earring. His hair was all black and up in spikes and carried a black, silver-handled cane carelessly in one hand. He kissed Star just below the ear, a thread of pleasure snaking its way through her body.

"Hey, beautiful." He gave the Congolese Justicar a nod. "Good evening, Evo."

He smiled at both of them. "So, how shall we get into trouble this evening?"

"Heeee hee ... Hello." Star said, giggling in delight, and turned half round in Puck's arm to give him a kiss. She whispered "You do that well, but you know that."

She held him back for a minute in the "I'm glad you came" kind of way, but said "I hadn't planned on coming here, but then I got an invite. I figured that this would be a different sort of club from the Rainbow Room. It seems a little different. Hmmm ... trouble, there are all sorts of things going on here I have never seen. Some I have never done."

She thought for a moment "I've had nice wine, and tasted beer ... beer which I didn't like much. I know I like the taste of rum and brandy, from those deserts. None of that has an appreciable physiologic effect. What do novas drink to experience... inebriation? I have read the term Ampwell ... but what do they taste like? Whats the LD50? Is the concentration of active ingredients constant, or does it vary with source?"

She looked at both Puck and Evo for any answers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Einherjar and Morri found seats for the show at a small table, accepting the chairs emptied for them from two women. The price for that kindness was some autographs and a few words, and then the women left them alone to enjoy the show. Well, for Ein to enjoy the show and for Morri to be fighting the urge to step into the Primal Lands. Even the knowledge that the Ursals wouldn’t welcome seeing her again wasn’t enough to stop her from considering it.

What stopped her was Ein. She had told him she’d come with him, that she’d protect him. The memory of that vulnerable look flashed through her memory and she felt her resolve stiffen. She wouldn’t run and leave him.

On the stage, the curtains drew back to reveal a balacony with a spiral staircase leading to the stage floor. A man holding a saxophone bowed his had before slipping his lips over the mouthpiece and starting to play. The music started as soft, almost gentle – until a dark-haired woman in a blue dress appeared on the balcony. The saxophone’s voice changed, brassily ringing out like a howling wolf. The rest of the band joined in, their song making the sax’s wails seem even more evocative. Morri smelled the surge in arousal in the crowd, just from the woman’s appearance and the change in music. She shivered at the rank scent of lust, feeling the need to flee.

Ein scooted a little closer and put his arm across the back of her chair. That proximity brought his smells closer and thankfully, he didn’t smell of much arousal – no more than usual. Morri settled back against the chair, letting his familiar scent surround her.

On the stage, the woman sauntered over to the stairs and started dancing down them, taking her time to dance with the center pole on the stairs like a stripper’s pole. Then she pressed her ass to the stair railing, her cheeks pressing suggestively around a thick rail. She was stalked down the dance floor, inching her long blue dress up in stages as she teased the crowd with glimpses of the black stockings underneath.

Finally, she flashed the dress high enough to show that she was wearing a wide lace garter belt in black, which allowed peek-a-boo glimpses of the blue g-string under the belt. Teasing, she dropped the dress and began to tug off the white gloves with her teeth, winking at the enraptured crowd as they hooted and whistled. They watched as she freed both of her hands, whipping the last glove downward into a bow. When she rose, she had the bottom of her dress in her hands again.

This time, the teasing was more sustained; the hem soon flashed up to her waist as she turned her back to the crowd and gave them a full glimpse of her pale, full ass. She gave it a slap, and the skin jiggling with just the right amount of firmness and softness. The stink of the crowd’s arousal spiked and now Ein’s joined them. And to Morri’s horror, she felt that feeling pushing up in her, too.

Morri had felt this before. One couldn’t be around Bombshell and not feel like this. And in the past she’d run from it, denied it or lashed out against it.

Tonight, she allowed it. It’s okay, she told herself as the music begged her to feel the passion of the crowd. You’re safe. No one’s going to hurt you. Jason said this wasn’t bad, that this is good. Ein enjoys it without fear or pain. It’s okay. At first, she still shivered, but the woman spanked the other cheek and something in her gut tightened in a strange, new way.

Her nostrils flared and her pupils dilated; her hand slipped under the table to grip Ein’s leg as an anchor. She felt like she needed that support as her body surged with sensations it had always been denied. She’d kept her body young, at a comfortable age for her, but that had kept her at a naturally high hormone level. Now those hormones added to the surge of long-bound sexual desire. Morri’s skin felt tight as the woman, her back to the audience, let the dress fall again. For a beat, the expectation built and Morri felt heat roar through her body when the woman slipped the straps of her dress down her arms. The dress slithered down her torso to catch on her full hips, the woman’s blue bra bright against her skin. Morri swallowed hard, her eyes locked on the woman’s ass as she pushed the dress over her hips to the flutter the floor.

As she bent fully over, Morri suddenly envied the woman her power. Somehow, she was getting naked in front of a large crowd, but they were not the ones in control. She was. She showed them what she wanted to show them; she gave them the right to view her body and they gave her their arousal. Morri wasn’t sure she could ever do that, even in private; to flagrantly disrobe and invite someone to gaze upon her body.

Maybe someday… she could try.

The woman danced with her dress for a moment, it’s spinning movements behind her body emphasizing her pale skin. Then she flung it away, moving toward the man with the sax. He dipped and bowed the horn toward her, his notes reaching a higher crescendo; she thrust her hips at him as if making love the sax without touching it. Then she spun away, putting her back to the crowd again and unhooked her bra. She turned back around, teasing and taunting Morri with it, flashing more and more skin until she revealed most of her breasts. They hung full, round and inviting, their perfection only marred by the pasties clinging her to nipples. She danced a bit more and then was done, the music hitting a crescendo as she dropped into the splits.

As she agilely rose to accept her ovation, Morri realized she was gripping Ein’s leg still. She glanced up at his face to see a mixture of amusement and concern in his glowing blue gaze. “Sorry,” she said, removing her hand. “I need a drink.”

“Me, too,” Einherjar said, looking at his empty glass on the table. They returned their seats to the women, who were holding hands and cuddling together as they waited for the next act. Away from the stage, it was easier to breathe, and she could feel her skin begin to cool. Leaning on the bar, she ordered another wine; Ein stepped next to her and asked for rum. As the waiter was getting their order, he put an arm around her back and asked, “Are you alright?”

Her answer was never delivered, because a familiar voice cut into their conversation. “Morrigan. I wasn’t expecting to see you here.”

Wendigo was standing behind her. He’d taken a moment to admire her ass before speaking to her, so his eyes were on hers when she turned. He saw the surprise mixed with dismay cross her face, but he wasn’t dissuaded. Instead, he took it as a challenge – just as he took it as a challenge that Einherjar was there. “Wendigo,” she murmured, nodding to him. “This is King Einherjar.”

“Yes, I recognize him,” the Utopian said, taking the rather large hand that was offered to him. “Your Majesty, it’s an honor to meet someone of your stature and age.” Behind his brother, Alpha rolled his eyes, wondering if Wendigo was really interested in the Morrigan or just interested in having any member of the Congolese royal family coming at him with murder in their eyes. Of course, Alpha reflected grimly, Wendigo had the bad habit of measuring himself to other men, trying to see if he was bigger. Given Einherjar’s reputation for sexual prowess, it was likely that Wendigo would still be making these comments. As Einherjar also had his arm around the woman that Wendigo was currently sniffing after, perhaps this had been inevitable.

“It’s always nice to see someone who recognizes experience,” Einherjar said with a smile as they shook and it was impossible to tell if he’d nettled the man or not.

“Yes, well, youth vs. experience has long been debated,” Wendigo said smoothly. “Is the better man the experienced one, or the energetic one?”

“That’s a matter of taste.” Einherjar was still very cool but Wendigo sensed he was getting to him, beneath that icy exterior.

“And for the young ladies to decide. Speaking of young ladies, Morri, I owe you an apology and I was wondering if I might pull you aside for a moment to deliver it,” Wendigo said, turning his head to smile at her.

She stiffened a little but nodded. “Yes,” she said. He gestured for her to go first; when she passed him, he caught the unmistakable smell of arousal coming from her. His eyes narrowed as he wondered what had done that to her; last time, she’d smelled more of fear than excitement. She moved far enough away that they could pretend their conversation was private. Morri put her back to one of the pillars, her arms crossed defensively over her stomach. “What apology?” she asked with a bluntness he loved.

“I’m sorry I chased you last time,” Wendigo said simply, dropping all the flowery words he’d planned in favor of simple honesty. “I shouldn’t have. I just… chase things that run.”

“Thank you,” she said softly, uneasily. “For the apology.”

“I still want to chase you,” he told her, leaning in and putting his hands on either side of her shoulders. She stiffened but he said softly, “You’re beautiful, ten times more attractive to me than a woman like Bombshell. But the kind of chasing I mean is different. Not physical. I… I don’t know what I’m trying to say. I had it all planned and now…” He studied her red eyes for a moment, the surge of fear coming from her as heady as the scent of her desire was. “I want to show you how it can be,” he whispered. He leaned closer, murmuring, “Let me kiss you. Just one kiss, to show you a taste of what I can do for you.”

Her hands had come up, still defensive as she tightly clenched her fists over her chest. She was shaking, but he’d had women tremble in his arms before. She didn’t teleport away and he smiled as his hands closed over her shoulders. “I take it that’s a yes,” he whispered and leaned in to claim his prize

*~ *~ *

“I’m Alpha.” Left alone with the King of the Congo, the nova chose to introduce himself.

“Einherjar.” Another manly handshake was accomplished and the two men turned to the bar. Alpha noticed the king turned so that he was keep an eye on his ward. “Enjoying the club?” the King asked with another sip of rum.

“Yes, so far,” Alpha admitted, not including the part that they’d just arrived. “You?”

“Of course,” Einherjar said casually. “Sakura put a lot of effort into it. You should speak with her before you go.”

Fat chance. All reports about her indicated that making direct contact with her was a bad idea. But she was friendly with Einherjar; perhaps part of his stable of lovers. Alpha didn’t like to lie, so he changed the subject. “I’m sorry for my brother,” he added. “He is too enthusiastic for his own good, but he is a good person at heart.”

“I’m sure,” Einherjar said with that same vaguely pleasant demeanor.

So what do you talk about with a King? Alpha wondered. Talk of sports seemed too base; ogling women together might work but Alpha didn’t like Einherjar enough to care what his opinion on the trampy redhead was. Politics was sure to be trouble and Alpha wasn’t looking for a fight. He did have one question for the king, but wasn’t sure he should ask. Fuck it. “So who brought the Morrigan here?”

That drew a flicker of interest into those blue eyes and Alpha realized that the King had been paying minimal attention to him until this moment. “I did.” The Storm King took another drink of his rum and added, “Why?”

“You did?” Alpha asked after the moment of shock had passed. “You? I thought you had more sense.” Blue eyes narrowed at him dangerously but Alpha didn’t care. “Why would you bring a nova as volatile as the Morrigan to a fetish bar after she’d been raped last year?!”

Link to comment
Share on other sites


That one word wasn't loud, at least, it wasn't nova-loud. But the sudden crack of thunder outside in the dry sky was a succinct indicator that Einherjar was as angry as he was surprised. The softly-glowing blue of the former Elite's eyes became brighter, electricity dancing around their edges. The room suddenly felt heavy as the air pressure jumped up several notches, and Alpha found himself suddenly wishing he was elsewhere. Gone was the amiably impressive figure in the faintly ridiculous costume, drink in hand and lounging against the bar with lazy confidence. Einherjar stood up, seeming to swell as his anger manifested, and now he was the Storm King.

And Alpha was the focus of his attention. Shit.

"You didn't know." he said, as much to himself as to Einherjar. "Oh fuck. You didn't know."

"Who?" The word was spoken with force, barely contained rage seething under the surface like a distant howling wind. Alpha raised his hands.

"I don't know. My brother told me, and she told him when they met at the Rainbow Room. All I know is she was raped a year ago." The words reached the angry king, the sense of overwhelming pressure in the room lifting as the fire in Ein's gaze dimmed slightly. He looked... bewildered.

"She didn't tell me." he said softly, wonderingly. "Why didn't she tell me?" He sought Morri out, and stiffened again as he saw Wendigo had her backed up against a pillar. Alpha followed his gaze and groaned quietly.

"Look, my brother comes on strong, but he's not a- Hey, wait!" Alpha hurried after the Storm King. He won't start anything, not here. Please fucking God don't let me have to fight Einherjar with only my hormonally obsessed brother for backup. Alpha was a warrior, and though he'd wondered who was better with a sword in idle moments, he knew enough about the ex-Elite to know he didn't want to fight an impromptu brawl with the man. He considered trying to physically stop Einherjar, but chided himself for an idiot - that would only fan the flames.

Ein was working overtime to control his anger as he stalked across the room, baseline and nova alike melting out of his path. Wendigo might not think he meant any harm, but Morri looked frightened. He'd promised her once that no-one would hurt her again, no-one would... He gritted his teeth with enough force that had he been biting, say, titanium steel, his teeth would have gone right through it. Raped. She was raped and she didn't tell me. Who? WHO? Who touched her?! I'll fucking kill them and everyone with them! The words raged through his mind like a tornado through a trailer park, throwing his organised thoughts around like toys. He closed the final distance between himself and his quarry just as Wendigo's hands closed over Morri's shoulders, his preternatural hearing catching what the Tomorrowite nova had said.

One moment Wendigo had been about to steal a kiss from a delightfully-trembling Morrigan, the next he found himself lifted up and away from her by a hand clamped on his shoulder, then spun roughly into his brother with enough force that both men staggered. Considering that he could have thrown the younger nova through the wall, Ein considered that to be enough restraint on his part. Then his arm was around the Morrigan's shoulders, drawing her protectively close.

"It's okay. I'm here, Morri." he murmured to her, knowing she could hear his words under the music and crowd. Turning to look at Wendigo, he narrowed his eyes intently. "The lady didn't say no, but she didn't say 'yes' either boy, so cool your jets. When and if she wants you to kiss her, she'll tell you." he said in a controlled, calm tone of voice. "Until then..." his gaze turned frosty. "You'll not touch her again." He watched as Wendigo straightened up, ignoring the words Alpha was trying to murmur in his ear.

"That sounds like a threat, old man." the T2M nova said with a tight smirk.

"No, it was a statement of how things are going to be." Ein responded evenly. "If you touch her again without her express consent, I'll consider it casus belli and grind every bone in your arms to powder before ripping them off and hanging them from the palace flagpole." His words fell into a well of silence as people stopped what they were doing at the sight of the confrontation. Ein smiled pleasantly, but his eyes were unwavering as they stared at the younger man. "That is a threat, puppy. Now go away."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I wouldn't know," Puck murmured and led them over to a table, motioning a waiter in leather chaps and only as much else as required by law to take their drink orders. "I've never had AmpWells, and much to Cyndi's dismay, I've never let her get me drunk either. Why don't you order a sample, if you're curious though?"

After the others put in their orders he added, "Hot chocolate with whipped cream and cinnamon, please."

He settled in to watch the dancers, one hand idly tracing patterns over Star with sensual playfulness.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Darrik ordered a light rum, and settled down, an arm around Puck in turn playing low in the back. A lick of the lips followed as he observed the new dancer, a woman with a spectacularly sized ass to rival Lucrezia's (hell, it could have been her in a new form), took booty clapping to a next level dexterously.


Evo noticed the teenage affection but said nothing, there wasn't really anything to comment about here. He watched the dancers, and the breasts and ass. And then his ears picked up the growing storm-- Morri raped again?!

Immediately, he pulled out of his seat, offered an apologetic excuse me, and immediately moved towards the crisis zone. This was not a situation he wanted to see happen- Ein starting a fight and ripping apart two of T2M's finest. He slipped to the wall, but remained quietly behind Wendigo and Alpha, his gaze noticeable by Ein and he didn't doubt at least one of the two boys would know he was there.

Granted, he would defend Morri as a friend too, but right now, his look was to remind Ein where they were, and to restrain himself from immediate battle.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

“Thank you. For the apology.” Morri wanted to run. She’d leaned against the pillar in an attempt to be casual and not having her back exposed. Now she felt trapped; the feeling only worsened as Wendigo placed his arms on either side of her.

“I still want to chase you.” The words sent a frisson of fear all the way down her spine. Morri could feel herself shaking; she was torn between conflicting desires. She wanted to lash out at him but that was unwise; he was Utopian. She wanted to run, but she’d promised Ein she’d stay. Just moving would be acceptable, but she was locked by indecision. He was too close and his words were blurring into a hum as her blood pounded in her view. “… different… planned… kiss you…

Let him kiss you.

The words were as insidious as they were frightening and Morri froze in terror. Was someone in her head?

Let him kiss you. You’ll like it.

They must be; they were talking to her. But it was in her own voice! She wanted to look around, but there was a man in front of her…

Trust me, you need this. Just relax - you'll like it.

His face was too close… he had her shoulders…

Then he was gone and there was another man pulling her close, only this wasn’t any man: it was her Einherjar. One of the fiercest women in the world sagged against him, looking as if she might faint. The metal of his costume pressed into her face, but she didn’t care. Her fingers dug into the edge of his thick belt, clinging to him. For a second, there was only HIM, his smell and the brush of his skin around their outfits; the sound of his voice, cold and terrible and the best thing she’d heard tonight.

A growl ripped through the air, sounding like a noise she’d make. But Morri was silent, still fighting with her relief. She looked over her shoulder to see Wendigo had his lips pulled back from his teeth, and that rumble was coming from him. “No one. Threatens. Me.” He was trying to move toward them, but Morri wasn’t sure if he was coming for her or Ein. He was staring at Ein with rage in his eyes – perhaps he’d forgotten about her.

“I’m not interested in fighting you, boy.” Ein put his hands on her shoulders, his hands protective and pushing away the memory of Wendigo’s hands. “I have nothing to gain by it. What I’m interested in doing is speaking. With. Morri. Alone.”

Wendigo snarled, “That’s what I want, too. So back off and wait your fucking turn with her.”

Wendigo might later realize exactly how that sounded. He might even remember that Alpha had been trying to warn him that Einherjar had just found out about the rape, courtesy of Alpha. But all that he was really aware of was a loud stereo boom and being knocked in the chin by what felt like five or six kilotons of nuclear blast. Even as a massive thunderclap tore through the heavens outside, the Storm King slammed his fist into the young nova, throwing him through the wall of Forbidden Fruits. The thunderclap destroyed the hearing of most of the people in the room, leaving a ringing echo. Glasses shattered and dishes crashed to the floor. The dancer on the stage fainted dead away from the shock, and several baselines found themselves under their tables, trying to pretend they didn’t need diapers at the moment. Einherjar ignored the destruction, striding for the hole he'd made with purpose. Alpha swung after him, his weapon appearing as he hurried to his brother’s aid.

Wendigo pulled himself out of the ditch he’d made in the road, fur already crawling over his body as he adopted his signature form. Seeing the nova advancing on him, he howled his own fury and went on the attack, leaping toward the blond nova.

Morri took it all in as her eufiber melted into a tank top and fatigues. She followed the fighters into the raging storm outside, blood running down her arms to form twin blood-blades. When Alpha ran for Einherjar’s back, she was there first, standing between her King and Utopian.

“Morrigan! Get out of my way!” he snapped.

The feral only lifted her swords higher and gripped the asphalt more tightly with her bare feet.

“I don’t want to hurt you,” Alpha warned, his blade coming up to the offensive guard.

Morri prepared herself for a fight, for Einherjar never went to war alone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The wind came first, then the rain.

Dark clouds roiled overhead as Einherjar strode towards the ditch left by Wendigo's impromptu landing, a storm gathering over the entire island. As those nearby pointed at the two novas throwing down, others further away were pointing at the cataclysmic eruptions of lightning dancing in the belly of the thickening cloudbank, throwing strobe patterns across Ibiza. When the wind struck it was with gale force, hard enough to stagger baselines and rip clothing from washing lines. Then the rain came down, driven by the wind in a torrent that stole sight and breath, and muffled all sound... save for the constant roar of thunder. Nothing could muffle that.

The Storm King was ANGRY.

A nimbus of blue-white light played around his body, lightning dancing in his eyes and around his fists. He didn't see a threat ahead of him as Wendigo dug himself out of the ground and shifted form: he saw a target, an annoying, brash young moron who was two steps removed from the rapist who had touched his beloved Morrigan. The very thought redoubled Ein's rage, a particularly loud *CRACK* of thunder from overhead blowing out nearby windows and sending the gawkers screaming for shelter.

"Come ON!!" he bellowed at the fur-clad form of his enemy while keeping his pace to a steady walk, an executioner's tread. "I'll rip your fucking cock off and make you eat it!" Another crack of thunder punctuated his words and Wendigo roared in reply, leaping for Einherjar with his black claws outstretched...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He’s a King for a reason, I said, Darion thought, as Einherjar went storming over towards The Morrigan and Wendigo. I had to go and open my big mouth, didn’t I? Yes, he’s a King for a reason: he’s got no goddamn motherfucking sense is the reason.

Darion rubbed his mouth, mind whirling as the two alpha males squared off and began making quantum-laced grunts at each other.

He recalled everything he knew about Einherjar, The Morrigan, Alpha and Wendigo, half of it off the record stuff shared by his connections as Starling, the rest public knowledge. If this was going to end in any other way than a blood-drenched massacre he was going to have to cheat like a motherfucker.

In his head, Darion began to size things up. Both Ein and Wendigo’s tempers were legendarily bad. So was The Morrigan’s. Alpha, though, was a much calmer head. Ein might start the fight but he wouldn’t continue it for the sake of fighting. Even as Darion thought that he heard Ein say that very thing. The beginnings of a strategy formed in his mind. His heart raced. I have no business getting involved in this.

“Darion,” Sakura said, her voice laced with fear.

“You know,” he said, straightening up, “some people would say ‘I told you so’ in a situation like this.”

Sakura hugged herself.

Snow appeared out of nowhere. “Are they going to fight? That’s bad, isn’t it?”

“No, no they won’t. You stick to her like a multi-coloured limpet until I get back. Especially if I don’t come back.”

He didn’t wait for a reply. As far as last words go, those aren’t too bad, he thought.

Einherjar threw his punch just as Darion jumped onto the railing. The thunder clap which shook Forbidden Fruits and terrorized the baselines barely phased Darion. His senses adapted instantly, leaving nothing but a slight ringing in his skull.

He leapt to an abandoned dancing pole and spun round it before flipping towards the hole in the wall, and then slipped through into the threatening melee outside. Alpha and The Morrigan were squaring off, in the way that people dragged into someone else’s fight and not wanting to be in it tended to.

"Come ON!!" Einherjar bellowed at the fur-clad form of his enemy, his pace a steady walk, an executioner's tread. "I'll rip your fucking cock off and make you eat it!" Another crack of thunder punctuated his words and Wendigo roared in reply, leaping for Einherjar, black claws outstretched...

Only to go hurtling backwards as Darion thrust out his hand and slammed his quantum into the world around them, twisting the very forces of momentum until they shrieked for mommy. Take that, science, Darion thought.

“Excuse me, coming through,” Darion said as he slipped between The Morrigan and Alpha, a silver streak almost unnoticed in the brewing tension.

Wendigo landed awkwardly but rolled and came back to his feet, paused only out of confusion.

Darion skidded to a stop just ahead of Einherjar, with the rain and the thunder pouring down around them. Then he let the quantum flood out of him in a soothing haze that had about as much effect as pouring a sprinkler on an inferno. He could feel it just boiling off Einherjar, though Wendigo wavered. He had no idea if it worked on The Morrigan but with the way things were going he just assumed it wouldn’t.

“No you bloody well won’t!” He shouted at the towering storm king, his voice loud enough to at least get the King’s attention. Which of course is at the top of everybody’s ‘good ideas’ list right now. “Have you forgotten why you came here? Isn’t Sakura a friend of yours? You’re wrecking everything she was trying to do here, destroying the first thing she built with her own two hands! You have to know that Wendigo didn’t mean what you think he meant.” And if he did… well I’m a Terat. We’re supposed to be on the side of evil. Oh god. I’m trying to stop someone murdering a Utopian. I’ll never hear the last of this. “You’re a man of honour, Einherjar. I know that. So am I. You know how fights between Novas go. You could have killed people when you punched him out through that wall. If this keeps going, how likely is it some innocent is going to get caught in the crossfire? Think for a second, please!”

He could see a flicker of recognition on Einherjar’s face, but his fists remained clenched, his stance was still for combat. But the body language said it all. I didn’t start this, he was saying. He did.

It didn’t matter who threw what punch, in his head he was protecting Morrigan, Wendigo started it, and only Wendigo could stop it. Only that wasn’t going to happen.

Darion came up with a new plan right there. Wendigo, snarling, leapt at Einherjar again. Darion wheeled on one foot, thrust out his palm and again snapped the laws of momentum in half, sending Wendigo careening off at a diagonal, and backwards again. He landed on the other side of the street but was bouncing back in moments. Darion could feel pain in his head. He couldn’t keep doing this all night. I’ll damn well try, though.

“And you two,” he said, looking over mostly at Alpha, “don’t you fucking remember the Amp Room? Don’t you remember what happened? Team Tomorrow invaded a club, started a fight, and the whole of Ibiza bled for it!”

Alpha shook his head. “We didn’t-“

“Close enough! And I swear to fucking god my lawyers will fillet the pair of you if this goes one step further.”

That went right to the heart of Alpha. Bad PR was like kryptonite when dealing with Team Tomorrow. The Amp Room was a spectre hanging over the group and Project Utopia, a horrible nightmare they wished would go away and which formed the biggest public set back they’d suffered right up until people found out about Proteus.

Einherjar went to meet Wendigo. Darion kept up with him.

“You have no part in this,” Einherjar said, crackling with energy.

Darion stepped in front of him. “I do now.” He put his arms out wide and open, with his back to Wendigo, staring into the Storm King’s eyes and letting him know without any shadow of a doubt that he would not move unless somebody moved him.

That gave him pause, like Darion anticipated.

It didn’t slow Wendigo down, though. He was relying on someone else for that. Darion could feel Wendigo coming. He made himself go slack. If Einherjar could see he was ready to move out of the way then he wouldn’t see this for what it was: a direct representation of what their fight really meant, of what could happen if things got out of hand. Because it wasn’t a theory or a maybe, it was history, something which happened and which Ibiza town had never forgotten, and never wanted to witness again.

Julian, no!”

Alpha met his brother’s charge with – for all intents and purposes – a dragon punch. In fact, Darion looked up to see Wendigo sailing over his head, and he gave a little telekinetic tug to reverse his direction and have him land in Alpha’s arms.

Then he lowered his own arms, and wiped a little rain out of his eyes. Now I recall why I got out of the fight business and started buying and selling information. This just in: Don’t do what I just did.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"You IDIOT!" Cedric or Alpha as most knew him dumped his unconscious brother at feet even as he said those words, and it was clear he was very frustrated, and it wasn't entirely clear just who he was addressing, in fact, considering the situation, he could have been talking to just about everyone present, he looked down at his brother a moment, then turned his gaze to Darion, Morrigan and Einherjar. "You.. he.. you.. damn it to hell and back!"

He turned to face Einherjar first. "Look, I know he was being an idiot, but he's my brother, and I love him... even when he's making an ass of himself... but making an ass of yourself isn't supposed to be a death sentence, you had other options then throwing him though a wall. I'll see to it that my brother doesn't approach Morrigan for the time being and sticks to your instructions regarding the matter if and when he does again."

He then turned to Darion. "As for you, I'm impresssed, your actions may well have saved my brothers life, at the very least they saved him from a harsh beating, and may have saved this city.. Alpha stands in your dept, and that is something that few people can say. I know full well you are teras, but if it does not touch upon my honor or my allegiance, you may call upon me for whatever aid you may desire." With that, he lifted the unconscious Wendigo onto his shoulder. "Now, I know when my welcome is worn out.. or at least my brothers.. "

He turned to walk away, and then stopped, he then turned his gaze to Morrigan a moment, then back to Einherjar. "And get her some professional help, damn it!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Snow took Sakura's arm, fighting down the rising tide of fear that she knew was mostly due to Sakura's pheromones. "C'mon, honey, let's get you somewhere....else."

A growl to her right reminded the evervescent young nova that they weren't entirely alone; through all the introductions and whirlwinds of people coming and going, the golden-hued nova Sakura had called Tahir had kept nearly as close to Sakura as Darion had. He glared at the direction of devastation that the Storm King was carving through the place that Sakura owned - not her den or her territory, but humans claimed things differently and this place was hers, not the Storm King's. "I'm going with you." He said it to Sakrua, ignoring Snow's frown.

"It's okay," Sakura said shakily. "He's a friend." Her eyes were dialated and her breath was short and fast; Snow might not have seen a panic attack before, but she read about all the symptoms and remembered Scrambler's attack on the crèche with a flash of anger and then immediate concern.

She sighed and motioned for Tahir to follow them, "Alright, golden boy. Keep up and keep your hands to yourself, got it?"

Tahir frowned, but padded behind the two women as Snow pulled her charge deeper into the building. They passed through three key-card access points and finally swiped open the door to a small room made of soft surfaces and calming blue colors. Sofas ringed the room, barely leaving room for the three of them to scoot around the round teak wood coffee table in the center. There were an assortment of drinks on the table, along with glasses and a basket of grapes and cheeses. Snow situated Sakura on a length of sofa and poured a mug of something hot from one of the three thermoses.

"Here," she pressed the mug into Sakura's hand. "It's chai tea. There's milk, if you want a latte."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When Alpha had lunged toward the fight, he’d almost gotten attacked. But Morri had seen that he was going for his brother; her lunge turned into a sharp twist that put her next to Einherjar. The rain still smashed down like tiny hammers but the wind and lightning had faded to nothing. And like the clouds, Einherjar was drained of his fury. Morri could only smell sorrow and a bone-deep weariness. Concerned, she kept an eye on the ruckus until Alpha was done shouting at them. And then it was all over.

She was glad it was done. It was over before she’d had to spill blood – other than her quantum-created blood. With a sigh of relief, the feral dropped the blood blades. They lost their form the moment they left her hands, splashing to the ground. She waited for Ein to reply to the angry Utopian, but he was silent, staring at her. Morri swallowed, feeing like she’d done something wrong.

Well, of course she had. She was responsible for the fight. She should have done something different, something to stop it. She should have said something. “Please tell him I froze up,” the red-eyed woman told Alpha. “I just… I froze.”

“Get help, Morri. Seriously. For yourself, if no one else,” Alpha told her.

Morri didn’t say anything to the Utopian and he sighed in frustration before picking up his brother and walking away. She glanced at Darion, seeing condemnation in his eyes as well. Ignoring him, she moved to stand in front of Ein, the rain plastering her clothing to her body. “We should go home,” she said softly.

He leaned down and pulled her into a tight hug, almost painfully hard. She put her arms around his neck, feeling that the world was right, just for that moment. Even with her bare feet dangling a foot off the ground, she was content in a way that she rarely managed other times. The wind picked up around them and Morri glanced down to see that there was far more than a foot between her and the ground now. Ein was taking her home.

To be continued...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The spotter watched quietly, hanging out near the back rooms. Right now, she was an exotic Latina beauty, with sultry eyes. When one of her partners looked around the corner, she held up two fingers on her left hand. Her two partners came around the corner a moment later, one of them still stuffing his waiter’s uniform into the backpack he’d retrieved from its hiding place.

While the spotter leaned against the wall and kept an eye out, the darker-haired of the two men knelt by the door and swiped a key card attached to a phone. Thirty seconds later, he had the last code used on the door, and thirty seconds after that he had his code assigned to the card. He swiped the door open and held it for his blonde partner. The door closed, leaving the spotter leaning against the wall, watching and sipping champagne.

The dark-haired man and the blonde walked through corridors that they had seen only in blueprints, though they had studied them until they’d dreamt about their twisting lengths. It was easy enough to guess where she’d be – the fight was upsetting and all the records indicated that she was easily upset by violence. The two men found their way to the Blue Room, knowing that it was most likely to have the soothing effect on the woman.

Unlike most visitors, they didn’t knock. Instead, the dark-haired man swiped the improvised card again and pushed the door open a foot. As the three novas in the room looked up in surprise, the blonde threw in a gas canisters as his companion fired a rapid succession of darts at Sakura, Snow and Tahir. Then they pulled the door shut; the blonde watched the clock for a long moment. When he nodded, they pulled on gas masks and entered the room. The last of the gaseous sedative was dissipating and the men wasted no time grabbing the slumped Sakura. The unconscious Tahir, back in lion-form, got some stares, but these guys knew better than to linger. The dart was gently pulled out of her, then she was lifted by the two men under her arms and legs and carried out through the warp the blonde had created. Less than two minutes after they’d used mox-laced-ecipsodal on the three novas, they were gone.

The spotter smiled as her phone rang. She glanced at the text message then glanced around to be sure she was alone. Satisfied, her features shifted. In moments, she looked like Snow and she walked briskly out of the hallway and into the main room.

There, the staff and entertainers were valiantly trying to get the party back on track. “Snow” grabbed a waiter and pointed him toward the hallway. “Sakura’s resting in the Blue Room. See that no one disturbs her.” And then “Snow” started to mingle, buying more time for her team.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When the fight started, Puck tensed. At first he was just annoyed. Can't anyone just have a civilized night of debauchery? Listening in on the actual words causing the fracas gave him a bit of pause - until the King of the Congo punched a member of Team2Tomorrow through the wall of the building.

He sighed and leaned over to the other Exalt! members and murmured, "Perhaps we should leave? The last time this scenario played out, Ibiza became a very dangerous place to be." He held his hands out to both of them, offering a ride back to the US headquarters, if they wanted.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Meanwhile, outside the club, Coraline *had* been having a relatively productive evening adding to their database of fertile novas, confirming a few guesses, ruling out others, and getting a new potental contactee in the form of a Terat named Darion. All while acting the part of a baseline and not getting caught at it. A good evening's work and a good evening's practise. Even picking up a few snippets of conversation from within the club itself outside of the 'quiet rooms' that hissed of white noise.

That was over when Kin Einherjar decided to give a member of Team Tommorow an intruduction to *why* he had won a kingdom in the first place.

Coraline had fled the scene with the crowd, camera hugged protectively to her chest, senses drinking in the fight behind her in 'frightened' backwards glimpses and hyper enhanced hearing. Darion proving to have momentum manipulation powers was an interesting surprise, something to note for later if she needed help with her own gifts, but for now... The young metamorph fled on foot, looking for an alley she could go intangiable in and dive through the ground to escape from the city with her information.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Infinity had been not enjoying the Burlesque show. She hadn’t been not enjoying it either; normally she couldn’t get enough of pretty women debasing themselves on stage for her benefit but she wasn’t able to focus. Her mind was full of big green eyes and every fiber of her being was pushing toward the end of the show.

The final act of the show didn’t come from the stage. Infinity screamed with several other baselines as a thunderclap sundered the pleasure of the night, followed by another boom. The red-eyed nova didn’t have her brethren’s toughness or their ability to react instantly to anything under the sun. So she again found herself on the floor, this time under a table with a couple of baselines. When nothing else exploded, she pulled herself out from under her cover and went looking for someone.

It wasn’t a green-eyed beauty; as much as Infinity wanted her to join the Cult, she wasn’t going to risk staying at ground zero. Instead, she followed honed in on the most attractive man in the room. “Hey, Puck,” she said as she heard him offer rides. “Got room for one more?” She flashed him a big grin, knowing he wouldn’t say no to her.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Darrik felt the thunderclaps and the crashing through walls, and grimaced at the noise of violence. You brute, your majesty. All you had to do was not escalate this fight. You really willing to risk all these people over an idiot suitor? The frown deepened as he briefly caught side of Sakura palely leaving the room with Snow- Do you have no idea how this is going to hurt Sakura? It's the gardens on a super-scale, idiot.

Darrik turned back to Puck, but he caught sight of Darion moving to intervene in the fight. "I can get out myself. I'll meet up in a minute." It seemed absurd, but Darrik was more than a little morbidly fascinated as he was with the clash between Tahir and Einherjar-- and he was friendly and liked Darion enough that he didn't want to see the fellow Anavasi member splattered upon the pavement.

That it was likely Darion would was something he didn't want to consider. Fortunately, in the space of a minute or so, Darrik saw Darion manage to get Ein to pause, and when Alpha cold-cocked his brother, Darrik knew the risk was over. He sighed with relief- but he wasn't leaving yet. The pull of Sakura, in a tearful stare lured him back the way she had left, in order to sooth the green beauty, but the waiter who blocked the doorway told him Sakura was not to be disturbed.

Damn. Then Darrik noticed Snow in the crowd, and he walked over to check in with her on Sakura's feelings. Darion was reaching her first, but that was no big deal in Darrik's mind. He was close enough to easily hear things anyway...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In very quick, very pulsed almost non-verbal Bodhi Star said to Puck at a level where she knew only someone with approximately his senses would pick up, "Puck, maybe it is best that you get to safety, I wasn't around for that but I did read about it. I am fine though, and I am going to find Sakura ... make sure this is all OK. This is an alternate me, so its OK, OK sweetie?"

Puck nodded back his assent. From the overtones in the Bodhi he knew that Star was worried about her friend. From the undertone in the Bodhi he knew that Star was acting along a rational plan and the next communication was going to be a deception intended for those listening in.

She added in overt English "OK, good idea Puck. I am going to get back to work, and all this violence. Disappointing, really."

With that Star apparently vanished, cloaking herself and becoming insubstantial. She headed towards where she last saw Sakura - and began her search. She could ignore walls, do straight line searches ... and her senses were more than sharp enough to follow tiny trails caused by passage ... or look for Sakura's scents.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What’s the point of building anything, when it all just fades away? Darion’s thoughts were dark when he turned back to the club. He raised his hands and let them drop, wondering what he was supposed to say or do. It was still raining and the water ran in rivulets down his long hair and face.

Chang was all about creating, all about building. What did any of it matter when someone like Einherjar could crush it with a wave of his hand? What was the point of building when the world was heading inevitably towards a quantum wasteland?

He climbed back in through the wall with a heavy sigh. He knew what Chang would say. She had said it before, after all, back when he was just becoming a Terat, back when she was the only person who could say anything that penetrated the cowl of nihilism he had wrapped around himself. We build because that is what we do. Even if what we build is destroyed a thousand times, we are what we are because we build.

The club was a mess, the night ruined. There would be a lot of attention on Forbidden Fruits now, police investigations – though he could divert much of that attention – creditors and all the rest of it. The Crèche was in enormous danger of discovery. All hail King Einherjar, bearer of clusterfucks, long may he reign. He breathed deeply, calming himself. Preferably far, far away.

There were things to do, so he focused on those. He could go to the Rainbow Room later and get drunk. It was not something he did often, but tonight it was required.

“Get everybody out,” he said to one of the staff, “club’s closed.”

Many of the patrons were cowering under their tables. Those queuing outside had fled into the night. They could not do much of anything while there were people on the club floor. And the dancers… some of them were injured, a few badly from falls off their tables, or bearing deep glass cuts.

Then he saw Snow mingling.

Darion made his way over to her, not quite seeing red but filled with the distinctive urge to punch something hard.

She had her back to him when he grabbed her by the arm and spun her about. She looked up at him, stunned.

“What in the hell are you doing out here? Didn’t I tell you to stick to Sakura like a limpet?”

“Yeah,” she said.

Darion looked around. “I see a lack of limpet-sticking. In fact I see a lack of Sakura. What are you doing?”

“I’m helping get everyone out of the club.”

“They’ve got legs. They can handle that themselves. Can’t you?” He snapped at a nearby baseline. As if eager to prove the truth of his words, they hurried for the door. “See? Baselines. Walking. They’ve been doing this since ancient days with great skill and aplomb. Why are you still here?”

“Look,” Snow said, running a hand through her multi-coloured hair and giving it a flick, “Sakura just wanted to lie down for a while. She’s out back, she’s fine. I left the cat with her. She’s in the black room, just relaxing.”

Darion nodded, but he did not move immediately. There was something wrong in her tone. In fact there was something off in her manner, as well. She seemed nervous. Snow would be hyped after something like this, he thought. She’d be running at the mouth about Nova homosexual courting rituals and the intrinsically erotic nature of Nova on Nova violence or something equally as insane.

He licked his lips and nodded backstage. “Come on then. But later, I’m talking your ears off until they bleed.”

She did not move immediately. She didn’t answer. This is not Snow. He knew it now. Getting Snow to shut up was the hard part, not getting her talking.

For all that, when he turned to go she followed him. At least for four steps. He was keeping an eye on her, shielding the effort by looking back over the ruined club and shaking his head in genuine dismay.

‘Snow’ made to move away.

Darion lurched out and grabbed her arm, and glared down right into her eyes. “Gotcha. You’ve got one chance to answer this right before I start breaking parts of your anatomy. Where are Sakura and Snow?”

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...