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World of Darkness: Attrition - The Ones Responsible Part 2

Dave ST

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L.A. Subway, Santa Monica, 2:09am

The florescent lights flickered, enveloping the subway platform with a lazy gray haze that promised to suck the life and stamina out of anyone who stayed under them for too long. Graffiti adorned the walls and old news papers dating back to, quite possibly the creation of the printing press, were packed tightly against the corner where the floor met the wall and scattered loosely about everywhere else.

The trademark heavy footfalls of Doc Martens thumped their way down the steps onto the platform. At over seven feet in height the giant, broad shouldered man crumpled up a news paper as it stuck to chest, driven by the force of a loud passing train. His soot black hand balled the paper up slowly, his fingers flexing over and over until he finally pitched it with a lazy side arm off the platform where the train had been moments ago.

"Late for your own meeting." A sensual and devious feminine voice spoke up from the shadows. "I'd prefer to not be here any longer than I have to, this place reeks."

The onyx skinned man paid little attention. He looked in the direction of the voice, the shadow cloaked woman remained hidden enough, about all the dim light revealed was a black high heeled boot that stopped just below her knee and a bit further up the beginning of a tight, black velvet skirt. Higher up he couldn't help but notice the reflective green shimmer in the darkness that were her eyes. "You speak as if I care, Cold Winter." The deep baritone replied. "Despite the setbacks, I trust everything went as planned?"

"While the cats were away, the mice did play." From her large designer handbag slender fingers produced a small ancient book that look weathered and far beyond its own mundane ability to resist the passage of time. "Without Wren guarding her master like a good little lap dog, we were able to obtain the book from Theodore's vault." She presented the ancient manual to him with perfectly manicured crimson fingernails.

He snatched the book away opening it and flipping a few pages but not really bothering to take the time to read anything. "And the old man?" He asked.

She folded her arms and shifted her weight to rest on one leg. He huffed and rolled her mirror finished eyes. "He wasn't there, so we stuck to the plan. The book was the objective, but now we may have to worry about retaliation. Are you prepared to handle a pissed off Wren?"

The big man's shoulders heaved as he chucked inwardly. "Wren is of no consequence. She serves vampires on bended knee. They'll have her scouring the city looking for their little book, but they'll have no idea where it is. Let her search blindly. What of the girl?"

"The little skank is with the Topanga's now." The woman nearly spat venom as she spoke. "She's practically untouchable now. O'Neally delivered her, cured of the amulets hold. I'm not sure how they did it, but the bitch is way to fucked up to be any use to us now. The fault is mine, I apologize Rends-The-Soul."

He tucked the book away into his jacket pocket, taking a moment to pull his large gray hood down further concealing his face. "She's worthless to us now, anyway. None of us could have predicted the girls willpower would be so great. The fault lies with no one Cold Winter, you did your part nicely. The failure isn't yours, rest assured, if it were I'd have just taken the manuscript from your corpse."

The emerald eyed woman swallowed hard as a pang of fear gripped her. She knew Rends-The-Soul would kill her with out thinking twice and that her acceptance was directly proportional to her usefulness to him. "What's our next move?"

"We must scatter them, keep them occupied and away from the real threat." A low growl echoed in the hollow of the subway station. "Our allies will help us in this, but we need to show them their faith is not misplaced. Continue to feed the Hunters intel, hopefully they'll do our job for us, if not, no loss."

She nodded and took a few steps, her heels echoed in the tunnel but she'd been standing too long and had to move a bit. "And 'Declan's Rangers'?" She couldn't help but giggle at the mention of their name.

"O'Neally is easy, simply operate during day and she'll never be the wiser. Don't worry about Perault, he'll have a nightmare soon and run back to the mountains to get his shit straight again. I have a choke hold on Wren, she just doesn't know it yet. The cop and the Brit are the only two we don't know much about. Keep on them, we need leverage."

"And the Mages?" She asked. "Their power supplements the pack's abilities a bit too well, they could be more of a threat than we first realized."

"The Acanthus is in check," He grinned under his hood. "I leave Hunt to you."

"You're too kind." She giggled and pivoted on her heel to face the large, black skinned man. "You mentioned something about the Topanga's on the phone, how are we to handle them?"

"By sending them a message." Rends-The-Soul clenched his fist and the knuckles popped. "The bum."

"Dredge?" She asked.

"Kill him." Rends-The-Soul turned and walked towards the stairs leading to the surface. "He'll make a fine test for the cauldron once we've found it."

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