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Aradia McConnell

World of Darkness: Attrition - Desous le Sous

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Aradia glanced around the deserted street nervously. Kick-ass magic slinger or no (and in her opinion, she wasn't that kick-ass yet), walking around a run-down, deserted industrial in L.A. as a nineteen year old woman dressed for clubbing seemed like a bad idea. She was dressed in Oneca's smallest pair of leather pants, the ones Aradia couldn't quite figure out how her curvy cousin managed to squeeze into. They were almost capri-length on the goth girl (and who the hell had ever heard of leather capris before?!), which put them at just about the right length for Aradia, and loose enough for her to move in while still looking decent, and ready to party. Over that she'd thrown a tight tank top and a thin, too-large t-shirt advertising an obscure punk band. It had come pre-ripped from the thrift shop, but Aradia assumed that added to the effect. Her hair was down, she'd changed the streaks to various shades of bright pinks and reds through the brown, and altered the cut to look straighter and edgier. She'd styled it with the part off to the side and teased to high heaven, and slid at least a dozen multi-colored glow-stick bracelets on each wrist, a pair of boots with four-inch thick soles that were laced over the pants with cheap LED fiber-optic shoelaces she'd found locally. She'd topped it all off with a half a kilo of fairly dark glitter-punk makeup, and hoped she was dressed well enough to blend in without standing out.

Latigo was nearby, wandering along out of sight, ready to warn her if he saw anything dangerous. Finally though, she found the place. It was, at first glance, not even worth a look. Only the loud noise emanating from the old subway entrance gave any indication that there was more than rats scurrying around in the abandoned station. As she descended down the stairs, the darkness gave way to the glow of black lights and hundreds of glow sticks, glow-in-the-dark raver clothes, and LED accessories. At the bottom of the stairs were the bouncers, but they waved Aradia in without even glancing at the fake ID she'd been ready with. At one time (before some official rerouting cut this section of the city off from the subway lines), this had been a very utilitarian station. Once you decended the stairs, there was a very long stretch of flat concrete, with pillars on either side overlooking the opposing train directions. But in the time since, heavy-duty surfaces had been fabricated that stretched over the subway tracks, almost like a flat bridge to nothing except barren wall and the short ledge on the other side. These were referred to as the dance bridges, where hundreds of young men and women writhed and raved, their emotions high on the music and their bodies high on drugs and cheap booze. The bar was a half-circle set back near the blocked-off back wall, where the station stopped and the tracks kept going. It extended out from the DJ booth, which was built high up off the ground and required climbing a short ladder to reach it. That modification had been made after the third or fourth DJ had been ripped away from his audio controls by an irate mob unhappy with his song selections, and bouncers also guarded the ladder leading up to the sound booth. In the ceiling, the original fluorescents had been replaced by an elaborate track lighting system that flashed colored spots all around the dance floor. Flush with the back station wall, heavy black barricades had been constructed blocking off the remaining tracks, and no one was allowed through the doors that had been built into them. The barricades were guarded by even more bouncers - burly men in plain black t-shirts and pants that didn't bother blending into the throng of dancers. No one knew exactly who ran this place. It was officially called Le Sousterrian, though everyone called it the Sous. No one knew how it had become an actual place, either.. at least one that the cops didn't shut down. Either way, it was well known amongst the music scene as the place to go for a wild fucking time.

Aradia knew Latigo would follow somehow, staying out of sight in that mysterious way of his that sleepers never noticed. But she danced her way into the throng, doing her best to blend into the madness so she could get a good look at the place. Her latest tip regarding missing people had led her here, and at this point, it was the only lead she had. Of course, she had no fucking clue what she was looking for.. but at least it was something.

Livy, girl, I haven't given up on you...

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Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding’s I Need Your Love rose from the final notes of a Wakiki’s own sampling of Rihanna’s Stay and Wakiki stepped back from the table to check his next song. Gorillaz. Old but good.

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The guard on the ladder leaned back and passed a slip of paper up to Wakiki; the mage took it and peered at the message. “Brittany Spears? Really?”

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“Ain’t no accountin’ fer taste,” the bouncer agreed, his tone of voice somewhere between bored and patronizing.

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Yuh-huh, fuck ya too, assbite. The biggest problem with the Sous, in Imriel’s opinion, was that the bouncers looked down their noses at everyone. It wasn’t necessary; bouncers could respect the people paying the bills without being too friendly.

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In truth though, the Sous’s biggest problem wasn’t the bouncers. It was the fact that people kept disappearing from here. The police had followed leads here, and left satisfied that there was nothing untoward happening. Whisker disagreed. So did Wakiki, which had led to him weaseling his way into a job here, D-Jaying. So far, it’d done exactly one good thing, which was make him money doing something he enjoyed.

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What he was looking for was his half-sister. Olivia had been missing for months, and thus far he had learned exactly dick about her fate. It was starting to bug him. He could manage Fate, but he couldn’t find the threads of his sister’s destiny.

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Casually, he ‘lost’ the request for Spears by ‘accidently’ dropping the note. That done, he shifted his fedora forward on his head before flipping on the lights on his glasses so he could see what the fuck he was doing. Of course, he considered as he queued up the next song, he didn’t really know what the fuck he was doing as far as an investigation. He was learning, but the Arrows didn’t exactly have a detective school.

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Sighing, he lined up several songs and went to get a drink. He’d question the bartender again and see what he could learn, if anything.

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The tunes were kickin', but Aradia had only been dancing for maybe twenty minutes - about three or four songs - and she had already been groped several times. She also wasn't finding out much about the place by hanging out in the middle of the dance floor, surrounded by sweaty guys, most of whom were at least six inches taller than she was.

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One of the skeeziest of the bunch, a thin but ripped white boy with long dreads pulled back in a ponytail, pressed up against her from behind, his hands moving to her hips and up over her stomach as they danced. He was wearing a black wife beater t-shirt and a pair of cargo pants, and was actually pretty hot. But this was the third time he'd tried to slide his hands up under her shirt, and she could feel his erection as he pulled her hips back into his with the dance. This time he leaned down into her ear, yelling to make himself heard over the music. "You wanna step outside, sexy? Kinda hot in here!"

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She pulled back, and flashed him a smile. "Thanks, but I'm gonna grab a drink instead! My friend is over there - that's her, see her?! - she'll love your moves, and I'll find you in a minute!" He nodded and moved towards the poor girl she had picked randomly, some sucker in a glow-in-the-dark minidress that was about to receive a lot of unwanted attention. She made her way towards the bar (she hadn't been lying about that part!), and shouted her order at the bartender over the din. She leaned up against it as she waited, and after a moment her eyes settled on a familiar face.

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Holy shit, what's Imriel doing here?

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The bartender handed her the drink, and she handed him the cash. Then she stepped up behind Wakiki, who was leaning against the bar, being chatted up by some drunk-as-shit bimbo in a neon pink number as he waited for the bartender to make it this far down the bar. "Hey sexy, nice glasses!"

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Imriel nodded as Cali carefully explained why The World Was Going To Shit And So He Should Go Vegan. She’d lost her stream of thought somewhere between the first point and the last, but Imriel wasn’t going to tell her that. It was much easier to tune her out as she prattled on and thinking about her dress—or the body that was rocking it instead. Yes, that line of thought made him feel a bit skeevy, but when he was faced with a thinking woman instead of a walking advertisement, he was much less focused on her breasts or ass—

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“Hey sexy, nice glasses!”

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Cali stopped her monologue with an annoyed look at the newcomer, while Imriel turned and completely managed to forget his previous thoughts about the difference between a thinking woman and someone like Cali. Calypso was dressed to impress and Imriel was certainly impressed. “Calypso, this is Cali.”

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The girl glared at him. “Kelli. With an ‘I’.” Imriel blinked at her for a long moment, purposefully not doing anything that would invite her to stay. “I should go. And your glasses are dumb.” With that, she disappeared into the crowd.

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Imriel turned back to Calypso, realized that his dumb glasses were still on his face, and casually whipped them off his face. “Heh, yeah, they have shit-lighting up in the booth. If I don’t bring my own lights, I can’t see what I’m doing.”

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Calypso snerked at him. “I’m sure that’s what you say to all the girls.”

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“No, usually I wipe their minds and make them forget they saw me with them.” At her startled look, he clarified, “I’m joking. The Arrows wouldn’t let me live if I was memory-wiping for the purpose of getting laid.”

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