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 L'Ange Noir - The Chronicles of Keliah Angelis

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Keliah Angelis

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PostSubject: Re: L'Ange Noir - The Chronicles of Keliah Angelis   Tue Jan 31, 2012 12:13 pm

Enfante Perdu


I’m sort of at a loss because I have no great personal occurrence worthy of pen and parchment. This world is currently a quiet one, and you won’t hear any complaints from me on this regard.

Ravenhurst has turned its back on the goings-on of the fog as though nothing happened. Her normal citizenry seems happy to have forgotten the issue and moved on with their mortal lives of toiling. Can’t say I blame them and I can’t say that I am displeased with this. A quiet, peaceful existence is better than a tumultuous one. No phone calls, no 911 emergencies, and hell, theres not been any bar fights or drunks to walk home.

Because it’s so very still, I decided to head off to Seattle where I did countless pointless things. Most importantly, I dropped off Skip’s vest to the ‘dry cleaner’ to rid it of the grime I soiled it with. I bought a few new dresses that caused my mortal mother’s bones to turn over. I got my hair styled and cut in a modern sort of way befitting a young woman in her twenties just for the pleasure of doing so. (Something I rarely do. What’s the point? It just goes back to the length it was when I died.)

With my new dress (hello, legs!), I stalk the local night life. Literally. Feeding in the big city is much easier than picking from the menu at home. The people at home don’t fit with my MO. I prefer not to kill. I rarely kill. I like my meals to be a loving, pleasant experience. Prey who is open to the sensation my Kiss brings are more satisfying and feel more nourishing to me. Seattle offers the easiest means of picking prey by means of the goth clubs, who’s patrons want nothing more than to be pushed into some darkened corner, the electronic music blaring in the backdrop, and play vampire.

I just couldn’t live there and I anticipate my arrival back to Ravenhurst like a child running home to its mother. I crave the peace, the serenity of the forest, and the lulling beat of the island. It smells good here. My little house is there with all my creature comforts. The lighthouse stands mighty and beckoning against the black sky, calling home all her nightwalkers.

I go there first because, well, because I just do. I run into Verity, who’s chasing down a motorbike (probably Sho’s or Michael’s) with a mechanic’s lust just as I arrive. Also, there is a circus freak sitting on the bench who is both adorable and frightening all in the same turn. (Seattle goth clubs would love her.) And then comes Reen.

I haven’t laid my eyes on Reen since that laughable event that was supposed to be a trial, and so seeing his face was like seeing an infant lost and then found. I didn’t realize how much I had truly worried for him until he came meandering through the graveyard. I followed him into the lighthouse and watched his dismayed face look around the home that he had known and shared with Angelika. We spoke of the aftermath of their burial, of Linzee, and I examined the stake wounds that left ugly scars on his chest.

“Did you call your parents?”

Thank goodness that’s done. I no longer have to fear the media circus or federal agents on the hunt.

I can’t help but have a care for this wayward Childe who is so alone in this world. I didn’t outright ask why he was not with Angelika. Perhaps they haven’t found each other yet. I laid my hand on his shoulder, feeling so moved for him, and so very sad. A Childe as young as he should not be without their maker. At that moment I wanted to take him under my wing, but what could I teach Reen? He is a gangrel. They are a different breed than your average Joe.

For now, at least he is more of a mortal rather than a blood lusting nightmare that some of the younger ones become. He’s so mortal, in fact, that he wept for the disappearance of his little dog. Perhaps he wept for other reasons and the dog was the last bit of weight he could bear on his shoulders. I gathered him to me like the infant he is and whispered comforting words into his hair, though really I’m not sure how to comfort tears.

We parted ways shortly thereafter, and I’m wondering what he means to do. He says that he’s going to come back to work. I hope so. Having a mortal position in the world makes you more like one of them. I wonder where he is living and..is Angelika going to come back now that Reen is no longer at the mercy of hunters?

Those hunters.
Now that’s a conversation for another day.
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PostSubject: Re: L'Ange Noir - The Chronicles of Keliah Angelis   Tue Jan 31, 2012 12:14 pm

Deux Serpents



I hate council meetings. It’s not that I dislike my brethren, but when we all gather together to talk of important business the end result usually results in ire. For once I was hoping that it wasn’t going to go that route, and that we’d actually get business done as planned.

This was to be our first gathering since Angelika’s joke of a trial. Kind of late, I know, but meeting has been impossible. First, Linzee was in the ground. Secondly, remember the fog? Because this was our first meeting, I was actually looking forward to it, for I had much to present to the vampires of Ravenhurst.

We get underway. Linzee, Angelika’s Second, calls us to order and our first order of business is to decide what to do about Angelika. Most of us look at each other, than her, and the room goes indifferent.

There’s nothing to be done, I say. Let her be. That is my answer and it seemed that the room was in agreement with me on this.

Yes, the Princess abandoned us.
Yes, she passed her power on to the council.
No, that doesn’t mean we go out and "deal with" an elder.

No sooner do we start to discuss the real threat that is the wolf pack here in the town, I smell a familiar smell ascending the stairwell. I’m sure every one does. Angelika Grimm came to stand before the council, whose members surely gave in to mental facepalms and groans of displeasure. So much for leaving her be. I stood to my feet and gave her a small bow in greeting, surprised to both see her and dismayed all the same. This was not going to be pretty. There would be no accomplishments that evening.

Facing us, with a malicious smile and hard eyes, I decided I was done with her in that very instant. She stood there as any proud monster would and read off her resume of her life’s existence as if I could give a shit, and enacted her ‘third standard’ (okay, what?) of challenging the council in what I think was an attempt to take power back.

You know what’s laughable? If she had shown up minutes before we probably would have handed it over with no issues. Maybe had even thrown a ‘welcome back’ party. However, her ‘challenge’, as we all could tell, was directed towards Linzee DeMontico. It wasn’t really about resuming the throne she cast away, but rather it was about getting back at Linzee – which hadn’t she already?

I don’t know how Angelika and Linzee had settled things prior to the trial, or what the original plan of action was. I’m sure it didn’t involve an early unearthing of Reen by hunters. I’m not even sure the original plan of action involved burial. Does it even matter now? It’s done. What I’m sick of is Angelika lording over us in this angry indifference when it was her own sentient self that brought upon her misery.

The fight that ensues between Linzee and Angelika is not pretty. It’s not elegant. It’s not honorable. It’s two vipers with impatience and resentment trying to smite the other. Angelika and her claws, Linzee and her speed. Giles and I stand on the sidelines, disgusted, but ready to break it apart if need be because we really don’t care about the Third Decree or whatever it was that Angelika declared. Neither of us wants a death.

In the end, I don’t stay. I made my way to the table to step around the brawlers and paused upon seeing my council chair. I pause and consider it before giving it a little shove to tip it over.

I would never sit in that chair again.
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PostSubject: Re: L'Ange Noir - The Chronicles of Keliah Angelis   Tue Jan 31, 2012 12:16 pm

Avec la Liberté et la Justice pour Moi



After the ‘meeting’ I spent much of the night roaming through Ravenhurst’s forests. Sometimes at full speed, sometimes at a slow crawl, and I really didn’t give two shits about the lack safety that comes with being a vampire romping through werewolf territory. I didn’t much care for Sho’s warning either. In fact, I was practically praying to run into some creature that meant to do me physical harm.

I was angry, righteous, and disappointed.
I wanted to fucking beat the shit out of something.

However, upon my next waking, my feelings are quite different. I dance through my ‘morning’ routine of picking through my closet. For some reason, I feel like wearing pretty shoes. When I comb out my hair I do it with meticulous care and weave it to plait over my shoulder rather than pinning it up as I usually do. By the time I descend the stairs I am singing gleefully. In a sense, I am happy. Relieved. A great weight has been lifted from my shoulders and I feel as light as the air. The last time I had felt like this was some twenty years ago and I had been standing in a dark, windowless room of La Defense. Beside me had stood a member of the American intelligence agency and we were the audience of my ‘cousin’, Jean de Laurent, Mystro’s little minion, his goul, who held office within Direction Générale.

I can’t even remember then who I was supposed to kill. I vaguely recall thinking that the target was not all that much of a threat of the people of France nor was his existence detrimental to Angelis. That his murder would be, to me, a dishonor upon my person. I also remember keen feeling of disgust welling up in my breast, for I was angry with Mystro and his tyranny.

Angry with the manner in which I had been reared.
Angry for the use he had of me.
I was better than that.

“Dites Mystro de baiser lui-même, Puppet.”

I turned around and strode out of La Defense in the heat of night, out into the City of Lights, and kept walking. Even though the path that I chose lead to one of solitude and a mark upon my head by my own house, I keenly remember the joy I felt of shedding my unhappy existence in favor of another. Walking out my front door felt the same way.

My evening improves with the presence of Skip, whom I meet upon the street as I make my way over towards the Sheriff’s office. Rather, it’s his back I see and I take precautions to remain as stealthy as I can. No sounds escape my feet as I approach him, he who is otherwise engaged in puffing on his cigarette, and I plant the cool tip of my finger at the base of his neck.

“Bang,” I say.

Not only is it a lesson in remaining stalwart in this community of ours, it is also so very fun to sneak up on mortals and scare the living shit out of them. Even the ones I care for. Like any person startled, his fight or flight senses kick in, the beginnings of adrenaline causes his heart to increase, and he coughs and sputters from cigarette smoke and declares he really needs to quit smoking.

I don’t understand. I mean, he’s mortal regardless. No matter how he does things or what habits he assumes the outcome is the same.
He will die.

I edge in closer, standing mere inches from his person, and his bodily heat brushes against my skin. As erotic as that sounds (and trust me, it is) I am not focused on this, but rather I tune into the sounds of breath that fill his lungs, curious as to their vitality. Honestly, he sounds much like any mortal and so the only suggestion I would have upon improving his lung function would be to give him my eternal Kiss and take him as my childe. I don’t suggest this, though. Instead, I lay my hands on his shoulders and plant kisses to his delightfully warm cheeks, throwing back the urge to wrap my arms around him and hold him to me.

Mortality.
So precious, so divine.
So beautiful.

Moments of tenderness aren’t really my forte and I skitter out of Skip’s personal bubble and instead take his hand as we talk of the upcoming search, wanting to comfort him, but really, by touch alone, I am the one who is comforted as we part ways.

I am happy. So happy that I am singing to O over the walkie-talkie, and when Ace, O’s usurper, compliments me on my shoes I can not be mad. They are strappy little things with heels that go on forever and they make my legs look like one of the seven deadly sins. I’m not so interested in Ace, even though we take hands and perform an uncomfortable ritual of handshaking, rather I am interested in her friend who is with her.

I’ve seen him before and I vividly recollect him limping into my graveyard (I guess it’s not really mine, anymore) with a gored up leg and a streak of stubbornness at my command to leave. Seems…afterwards….something? Like a faded, forgotten dream I can remember little snatches of...something.

There is fog and it is thick.
His hair is black and long.
Sweet, nourishing blood.
A woman flies overhead.
Pain.
Laughter.

He is looking at me as though he means to kill me and I know something must be amiss. That or he really, really hates my shoes.

“O, can you…can you find out for me?” I ask my red-headed counterpart.
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PostSubject: Re: L'Ange Noir - The Chronicles of Keliah Angelis   Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:18 pm

I'm Gonna Start a Fight




I'd like to say that the past few days have been of me laying low. When your in law enforcement in a very small town such as this, well, laying low isn't always an option. Not that there has been much going on the vampire front. The Council meeting sent sort of a jar through the Brethren and I think many of them are confused or simply do not care, wanting to perhaps focus on their own self interest rather than the hive as a whole.

Including myself, I suppose.

Reen's back on the force. It's so good to have him 'home' with us, our little law enforcement family is complete once again. We even have a new addition. Some bloke named Warpath (who the hell names their child warpath?) whom I believe will be a good addition.

I can not complain over the recourse of the past days save that I have not hunted and I really need to in order to compensate for my slightly battered ribcage. Verity, who had been mauled by a bear trap, is on the mend. When last I spoke to her, she was fearing for the loss of her leg but Quinn assures me that Remi assures him that the leg will remain. Good news, indeed.

Let me explain further on the details of my ribs. Friday eve, I was lucky enough to spend in Skip's company. We stood upon the bridge, he and I, where we spoke of deep issues (like his inevitable death) and lighter issues (such as the two-step.) Our “interlude” was interrupted, however, by the wolf, Rafe. I haven't spoken to O in order to learn what Rafe's beef with me is. It doesn't matter anymore because the memories came flooding back.

Here, I had been feeling so guilty and concerned for this man's welfare and yet on our parting of that fateful encounter I keenly remember his knife plunging over and over again into my belly. Skip left, thank God, or I would have escorted him away myself. It was just me and Rafe. Insults here, threats there, and a challenged issued. I accepted. Even though I had no silver upon my person, I remember Riley's knowledge about the throat, and so I followed Rafe into the deepest thicket of woodland where the two of us “duked” it out. My fists, his face. His kick, my ribs. His neck, my teeth. His fist, my face. You get the picture.

I can't really claim victory, even though he ran off for he shoved my own boot (it had been removed) in my snapping jaws. Such a belittling blow. You see, I can't claim victory. The fight, I suppose, continues.
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PostSubject: Re: L'Ange Noir - The Chronicles of Keliah Angelis   Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:47 pm

Badinage



Shhhhhhhhk!
The sliding of the door.
Retreating footsteps.
The flick of a lighter.

This is what I awaken to.

For a moment I am disoriented, unsure as to where I am, because I am not surrounded by the confining walls of my coffin. My brow is pressed into a dusty floor so I move, rolling on to my back, and find myself staring at the coiling springs of a mattress. That’s right. I had hidden under Skip’s bed for the day. I wonder if he knows? Doesn’t matter, really. As long as the vampire Ariel saw me retire in this Inn, I don’t care if Skip knows or not. Rolling carefully to my belly, testing out my ribs (they are fine), I take extra care to be as stealthy and quiet as I can, making sure that I am out of his room before he comes back from his smoke break.

“Celeste?”
“Linzee?”

I call out as I step into my familiar abode. No answer. Here I think I’m going to be able to take a long, steaming bath but lo, this is not the case. Remi is at my door, Linzee appears from the mist, and my daughter rises from her coffin for the evening. All in that order.

It was there in my private chambers that the beginnings of Noblesse Obligee formed together. All of us banned together in one common cause, which is…nothing really, save for the preservation of the Veil and going about our lives as things should be, free of tyranny. I confess, I’m kind of relieved, for I had feared that I might be alone in this town in terms of the Brethren. Defectors are not really welcomed kin, you know. (Not that my defection is really all that known. I've just been staying away from the Haven.) Ask Mystro, the Ventrue head of the Angelian empire, who put a hit on my head the day I waltzed out of his spider’s web.

We talk of the immediate threat of Aria, who’s hell bent on destroying Remi and anything to do with him, for she opened fire on Quinn at the gas station of all places. I confess, I’m not pleased. Even though Quinn leaves much to be desired in my eyes, shooting at people in the open is not...well, it’s just fucking stupid. Not only do I have to deal with this from behind the veil, I have to deal with it from the legal end as well.

So, what are we to do? Remington wants to send a message. Honestly, I get it. Aria has made threats against his lover. Fine. How does he want to send this message? By blowing up the gas station. I confess, I love a good explosion. Hell, even when my helicopter went off in a blaze of glory I was still mesmerized. Miffed, but mesmerized all the same. However, I’m not convinced that this is the greatest of ideas. Too, it creates more work for me. I’m rather tired of covering paperwork for the sake of the veil. I’d rather us descend upon her as nightwalkers, as vampires, and drain her until the last bit of life is all that is there to keep her on this earth.

Nothing says ‘don’t fuck with us’ more than such violent mercy.

Unofficial meeting adjourned, we all part ways. Linzee stalks off to hunt. Celeste to. Me? I begin my patrol and head off into the night.

It’s not really much of a surprise that my feet would lead back to the Red Dragon. I’m pretty sure they understand my feelings and nuances more than I do. Though my mind is occupied with an anarchist’s thoughts, and I am fantasizing about Aria’s gas station experiencing a violent and message-sending explosion, apparently my feet are more concerned with matters of my cold, dead heart.

I glance up, catching the scent of cigarette smoke and the Professor. I veer a hard right upon the road and then up the incline so that I can scale the sidewall and hop onto his balcony. Going inside and up the stairs as the traditional way seems like too much trouble. Soundlessly, I step onto the table, and he turns and spots me, starting a bit.

“Come for tea, have you?” He asks.
“No. The company” I say, “Actually, I've come to ask if you've been buffing up on your two-step." For the Waning Moon event is on the morrow and I swear by all that is holy, I’m going to make him dance with me.

Skip raises his brows at me as he often does, then gives me a small nod.

“Well, I've been working on my foxtrot; maybe throw in a little east coast swing. We shall see.”
"Swing?" My own brow raises, "Oh, dear. I'll have to pick out a different dress, then."
“I suppose you will. A skirt with some material will work best with the spins, after all. You won't want something too tight; it'll hinder your movement,” He gave another nod, the model of seriousness.
“I think I can come up with something, and when I see you? You better tell me I look pretty in it.”

We josh around as we normally do, speaking of things like sweaters, hair styles, and the Eighties. Then our conversation takes a hard left into deeper waters as it often does. I had explained to him the workings of my body for we were speaking of hair. On how things revert back to how I was when I passed into this stage of waking death. He jokes with me, pointing out I am lucky that I did not die with a shaved head, and then (out of the blue!) he asks me if we ever turn children, stating that it would be unconscionable even for creatures with no conscience.

I can’t help but grow tense.

No conscience? How can he say this to me? On the defensive, I eyed him levelly and explained that no, we do not turn children.

“Are you saying ‘we’ don’t have a conscience, Skip?” I mean myself. I want to know if he thinks I’m some sort of thing that goes bump in the night.

“Actually, that's what you inferred to me last night.” I had? We had been talking of morals, “I don't personally think of a conscience as an actual entity, like a grasshopper telling you what's right and wrong. I consider your conscience to be what rules you were brought up with and how you apply them to your psyche,” He shrugged at me and took a drag from his cigarette, “I would think the unnatural extension of life and apparent immorality would throw all those rules into confusion, since man was never meant to live that long. In fact, I would think that would be the most serious problem of your kind. Remembering what it is to be human.”

“Who's to say how long a man shall live? If it was unnatural, then we would not exist." I said, letting go of my defensiveness, "It is. In some cases. Some of the old ones are no longer such. Besides, are we even human?" It’s a question I’ve asked myself so many times, and so I turn towards him, my heart on my sleeve. "Am I?"

“I have no idea; I always thought your kind only existed in horror stories and scary movies,” He smiled at me, “However, altering the physical makeup of a human may produce strange things in the mind, the central concept of being human exists right there,” Tapping the side of his head, “If you still believe you're human and have a conscience that you do your best to follow, who's to say that you aren't? It's what separates us from the animals...aside from utensils and clothing, of course.”

I tell him that I have thought long and hard on this subject. His answer doesn’t satisfy me. Maybe it’s because I do not eat with utensils. Still, I can not help but smile at his words and assure him that I never forget who I once was. I show him my tags. They are a modern replica of my original tags that the government handed out to those of us women that took up the art of nursing during the first world war. Yes, I have others from latter services performed, but my first tags are the only things I hold dear.

“Here, see? Callie de Freyne. I never forget. And you? Don't forget that I was human once to." I wanted him to remember that even though I am what I am, I am still a person. A woman. "So, when I see you tomorrow, tell me I look pretty in my dancing dress.”

He leans forward some to spy the metal, peering all professor-like through his glasses, his face is so dangerously close to mine and he grins at my comment, stating he will try to not ruin my shoes.

I can smell him.
I can see the jugular of his neck ticking away in time to his heart beat.

“You better not. They are Italian,” In regards to my shoes.

I keep my eyes focused on his mouth (because it has a cigarette in it) and I reach out to swipe the locks of graying hair from his brow. "Ciao." I say and break our intimate proximity by shying away. With a quick glance to the empty street, I leap over the rail and onto the pavement below.
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PostSubject: Re: L'Ange Noir - The Chronicles of Keliah Angelis   Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:02 pm

Found



Today’s the day.

I rise from my coffin like it’s any other day and perform the same rituals I do each ‘morning’.
Straighten my hair and pin it up.
Sweep on cosmetics to compensate for my ever-fading color.
Lay my clothes out in careful, meticulous array and then get dressed.
Brush and clean my teeth.
Screen my voicemails.

Why does my house smell like motor oil?

My phone rings. It’s Quinn.

“Angelis.” I answer it, then hang up after listening to more Aria tellings.
Aria, who says Quinn shot her first. Quinn, who says he might have shot her first, but conveniently doesn’t remember. Regardless, we need to deal with this and soon.

Celeste wanders in as I head downstairs for my morning ‘cup’, asking me if she can have a goul. A goul! I admit, I was surprised by this. It’s not every day your childe (adopted or not) asks for such a serious thing. Can I take having an addition to our family? Is Celeste even ready such a thing?
I think so.
Besides, if having this goul means she’ll spend less time sighing over Michael, well, I can’t object.

As soon as I flip on my radio, Warpath is wondering what the 10-20 is, and so I tell him to just come to my house for a cup of coffee. He doesn’t know this case, nor does he know the Professor, and so I want to bring him abreast of the situation before he descends into the mines.

He needs to know how important this case is to me.
How important it is that I find something to bring to the Professor.

He seats his hulking self down at my little kitchen table, looking silly while holding my delicate, china cup and spying the ancient French lace on the crude surface of wood, and I brief him. We also talk of other things. Curses, mainly. Guns to.

“Do you know what happened to the Native American population here?”

He doesn’t. Really, I don’t either. Only the gist of what I’ve learned from Sho.

It’s not long before my ‘brethren’ of RHPD are at my door. Once gathered, our foursome (Myself, Reen, Warpath, and O) headed off towards the mines. I had already driven the tuck up there (I don’t trust my driving with other people) and we unloaded the gear. Flashlights, mainly. I threw a barricade in front of Kione’s gate. Our fearsome foursome becomes a fivesome. Former deputy Jesse…something…in a big hat casually drops by to offer his assistance. Whereas I don’t think it’s a coincidence of his being here, I don’t care.

“The more the merrier,” I told him, thumbing towards Kione’s mine shaft.

My phone rings. It’s Caty.

“Fuck!” I answer, “..Angelis.”

Wanting to beat my head against the wall, I begrudgingly give her directions to the gate. Free press and all that jazz. Besides, I know if I appease her and give her exclusive rights and all that junk then no one else will be here with their cameras rolling. Also? I hope they get lots of shots of Reen on film. Take that, rumor mill!

Reen and I stay topside monitoring the radio and keeping the jackass of a camera man out of the mines, so bent is he to worm his way in order to ‘get that shot!’ that Caty pressures him to get. Ace is pissed, and understandingly so, but do I care? Nah. Not really.

It’s not long before Warpath’s voice comes streaming over the walkie-talkie, telling me he has spotted two civilians.

What the fuck are civilians doing down there in the mines?
Might be wolves.

Warpath on the walkie again, “Have a medical kit on stand bye.”

What? Reen and I share a look. I have a med kits, I don’t have paramedics. It’s the best I can do. I’m looking at him because I’m no stinkin’ Doctor. He’s looking at me because he might be nervous about the potential blood loss happening down below.

Warpath on the Walkie once more, “Kel? Its them. Confirming the identities of Cheryl Kowlawski and Kim Ling.”

Chaos ensues. Jericho appears , Caty’s microphone is shoved in my face, Ace’s friends show up, and I all but flee into the shaft, following the sounds of activity. Eerie, frantic screaming travels along the tunnels. Female.

The first thing I notice is the smell. Oh, my God. If I’ve ever imagined what the scent of Hell would be, this was it. Dirty, moldy filth. Human excrement. Piss. Unwashed bodies. Warpath is wrestling one girl, that would be Cheryl, who is screaming frantically. Jesse is with the other. O is on the sidelines and I don’t blame her.

I arrive just in time to see Jesse unhand the victim and vomit the contents of his stomach, so I take over. It’s not long before we have the girls restrained. Somehow, for some reason, they have grown silent. Thomas carries Cheryl and I carry Kim. I send Reen ahead to block the camera. Jesse Big Hat Fishing Champion flirts with me. (Really..)

In the end, it’s Reen that carries Kim to the truck. I grab the gear. The lot of us barrel through mass of curious wolves and nosy media, attempting to hide the victims as much as possible.

They are resting at the clinic now.
Tomorrow I will check on them.

Maybe with the two of them alive means that I can still find Skip’s daughter.

What I don't get is how. How had Jericho and myself missed these girls? He and I had searched out these mines before. There's no way in Hell would I have missed their scents in the deep, dank dark. In fact, I don't think I had. I know I smelled the lingering tendrils of death. Yet, here they were in the flesh and blood, terrified and...well, traumatized. How do I explain this? Had word been caught to their captors (if they indeed had such) and had been deposited there on purpose? Had they come up through the water? Had they returned to this place out of familiarity? I don't know...all I know is that I fucking need a bath.

For now? I'm heading into the sea.
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PostSubject: Re: L'Ange Noir - The Chronicles of Keliah Angelis   Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:03 pm

Toora, Loora, Loo



I came to from the bottom of my watery grave and propelled myself towards the surface, finding myself below the docks. So I climbed the embankment and stood on the empty street, sandwiched between the magic shop and the tea house, peering this way and that, looking like a drowned version of myself.

No make up, my white t-shirt clinging to me rather in a rather unseemly way, my trousers glued to my thighs, my calves. As my senses fanned outwards, I wrung out the lengths of my hair and turned towards the magic shop, guided by Lexie’s heart beat.

“Hey, can I have a towel?” I say from the door and she is kind enough to procure one. She’s drawing, or at least I’ve interrupted her drawing, because on the counter is a pencil sketch of Susan Zelin. She offers me tea and I accept even though I don’t drink it. Tea is more of a social ritual which is why I do. While she’s busy, I strip off my clothes right there in the shop and quickly don the towel.

Normally, I would have gone home before swooping down on the townsfolk, but I’m more than eager to know how much of the investigation is blaring over the airwaves and if Skip’s been by. So I ask her and she doesn’t know and no, she has not seen Skip.

“I’m surprised. I’d have figured he’d be all over my like white on rice,” One of the many expressions I’ve learned on the internet. Hats off to you, Google, “And not in the fun way.”

I was a little concerned, but in the same turn I know Skip can be somewhat private. Maybe he was waiting for me to come rapping on his chamber door, but as pleasurable it is to spend time in the company of my most favorite mortal, I just…can’t. He will be disappointed.

We speak briefly. Mostly it’s me dazzling her with tales of sleeping at the bottom of the ocean. Armed with tea and I take my leave. First stop, Sheriff’s office. So I can get my piece, my phone, and my radio. I check the caller ID. Tons of messages, but not from Skip. Three from the clinic nurse, though. Just giving me the same update in regards to the girls.

Second stop, home. Not before running into Nia and Celeste. The three of us head to my house and we sit around the living room with cups of AB negative, discussing matters of the Brethren. Nia defects and becomes a Noblesse, Celeste wants to prove herself and speak to the she-wolf Aria. At first I try to detour her, knowing that the task is dangerous and useless, but in the end I fork over my father’s silver dagger because I do understand the desire to prove oneself.

Once I’m dressed I head into town, pausing briefly to converse with Nicky, and Caty Sapphire passes me by with a “Good evening.” Uh, well, I can’t have that broad roaming around my town unsupervised and so I trail after her, winding up at the Thirsty Raven of all places. Not only is she here, but her clan of minions to.

La Bamba (because he looks like Richie Valens. Not sure if I remember his real name or not. Marco? Mario?) gives me a courteous greeting (After an uppity one) and her union goons make sexual advances at me. Well, one does by gyrating his pelvis towards me. The other calls me ‘thunder thighs’. What ever that means.

It’s here and now that I learn of a brunette toting guns outside the mines and aiming them at the news cast. I’m not sure who would be so fucking stupid to do such a thing, but the only brunette that was around that I’m aware of is Kione’s girlfriend, Ace. Uh, what?

“Look, until I get some positive ID’s on this person I can’t do a thing.” And I tell her that she needs to press charges. I’m not sure if that sunk into her blonde skull or not. More demands from Caty are made until I’m sure we’re sick of each other (the woman is a bitch, okay? Pure and simple) and she leaves…just as Sho comes stumbling into the bar (smashing doors along the way) with a song loud on his lips and a shower of cash for rounds of whiskey, raising his in toast to a list of names of which all I can remember is “dear Thomas.”

I can’t help but laugh at his antics, though things go sour when Caty and her assistant refuse to partake of his generosity.

“Drink!” He exclaimed and threw shots full of whiskey at them, the glass shattering against the wall.

Sigh.
I’m never going to get this woman out of my hair now.
Still, that was pretty funny.

Flanagan is dressed to the nines in his colors, his badges, and so drunk that I can barely understand what the fuck he’s saying. Shot glasses are plunked down in front of me, filled with Irish whiskey, and so I ask, “Why are we drinking to them?”

Fallen comrades.

Laying my hand on his shoulder, meeting him squarely in the eye, I down my shot knowing the discomfort it will give me.

To fallen comrades.
Cheers, Irish.

I didn’t even make it home before promptly throwing up in front of the library.
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PostSubject: Re: L'Ange Noir - The Chronicles of Keliah Angelis   Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:29 pm

Marcher sur du Verre Brisé



I get a phone call from Quinn and he’s wanting to report a break-in. For once I take the man seriously and head on over to the Clinic, fresh from the coffin. Last night’s clothes, hair un-kept, and void of cosmetics, I make it in time to find the perp in still there. There stands a tense blonde, Quinn (who looks like he’s hopped a time machine to the 70’s), and a broken window. There's glass everywhere.

The medicine locker is covered in scorch marks, is banged to shit, and seems to have been at the mercy of someone’s high heels. Incidentally enough, the blonde woman whom is known to me as Tabbie Blackthorne, happens to be holding a lighter and is wearing a gorgeous set of heels. Also, she wants a test. This she makes quite clear.

I can’t really question her. She’s far too abrasive and upset at the moment and then suddenly she’s puking her guts out all over the floor. I’m far beyond the biological demands of a mortal woman, but one never forgets what hostile puking translates in to. To assuage my curiosity I let me senses invade her, my ears drifting past the slightly accelerated pulse that is Tabbie’s, in order to seek the possibility of another’s beating heart. I find it. It’s like a hummingbirds wings, so faint and fluttering.

I allow her to go. Seeing that she’s not some junkie trying to get to Quinn’s morphine I feel that her detention would be pointless. I ask Quinn if he wants to press charges. He says no. I guess somewhere in that crazy little man lurks a compassionate caregiver. I take one of the tests from the banged-to-shit medicine locker, slide it into my pocket, and proceed to take the long way towards Tabbie’s house.

By long way I mean backtrack towards the direction of my home, forge (leap) the river, and cut along through the woods. I stay on the river banks, mostly, until I crest the hill that leads to the rope bridge. My proverbial heart is gladdened by the sights and scents of the woods. It’s so much more quiet here. The earth feels so welcome and cool against my bare feet.

And then comes Rafe with his malicious chip still on his shoulder. I’m not expecting a face off, but at least I’m prepared for it. As we share barbs I open up my jacket to show him that I carry. He points out that I shouldn’t be in the woods. I reply that I’m here on police business (which isn’t entirely a lie, for I am on my way to Tabbie’s house.) He goes on about the depravity of Leeches and…I don’t know. Calls me a bitch or something. I actually try to apologize for that night and go on to explain about the Fog.

He doesn’t believe me.

Threats ensue and at this point I’m ready for him to just ‘bring it’ so that we can close this matter, but we are waylaid by a man whom of which I’ve never met. Rafe is on the verge of violence. He’s dying to rip me apart, it seems. I don’t know who our mediator is, but he calls me “M’Lady”, smells wonderful, and lectures Rafe for his brashness. The conflict begins to change even more with the appearance of Ace and my being there makes me feel as though I am on the outside looking in on the secret politics of wolves. My ‘rescuer’ escorts me to the rope bridge just as Tabs and Bratcher come boating down the river. I waste no time in getting away from this situation as fast as possible. Stepping up upon the rope, perfectly balanced, I jump down into the boat McGuyver style as it motors on past. The wolves fade into the distance as we veer along the bends and then we are out to sea. Wind rips through my hair and my skirt. Sea spray collects on my face. Troubles with the wolf is forgotten.

“This is AWESOME!”

Bratcher pulls the boat along towards the thunderous cove, whose waters churn and froth over from the torrents of waterfalls, and he parks. Pulling out his flashlight, he points it towards the heavily brushed opening that leads down into the mines. Apparently, he’s been thinking long about our girls and Susan Zelin. I ask him if he’s yet to meet her father and I can’t help but glance up towards the Red Dragon where he seems to be keeping a very quiet council these days. We both promise gruesome violence to whom has done them harm and I wept like the stupid girl I am. I want to find her so very badly.

“I know she’s pregnant,” He says to me after a space and we talk some about that. He asks me if I think he’s crazy for wanting to step up and rear the child as his own. I shrugged my shoulders at him. Who am I to say? I am also rearing another man’s child, though the circumstances are quite different and Celeste is no mortal infant. I suddenly can’t help but like Bratcher. It seems we are much alike. Both of us want to be ‘normal’.

“Are you going to marry her proper?” I asked him. He’s considering it, apparently. Vegas style. What ever that means.

I tell him more of Skip. Since Bratcher and I are sharing feelings and all that lame shit. Feelings, though, are not what drive me at the moment. Right now I just want to go home and be with the girls, so I jump ship and meander on home. I feel so compelled to remain in their company.
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PostSubject: Re: L'Ange Noir - The Chronicles of Keliah Angelis   Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:30 pm

La Mémoire ne Reste pas



I can’t keep avoiding the Inn. Armed with a purpose, I patrol along the streets that outline the place until I hear the telltale signs of Skip vacating his room and moseying on to the balcony. I crest over the stone wall to land upon the table. He turns and eyes me, seemingly a little perturbed, and then tips his hat and smiles, informing me of doors and the like. I avoid our little pleasantries. Not because I don’t want to. I want to very much hop off my table and close the gap between us so that I can be more bodily aware of him, but I don’t. Can’t. I know how much his mind must be reeling and how much he must be wondering about my girls and his daughter.

Before he can ask me, I tell him that they have been moved to a private facility. That they have their own private doctor watching over them. (That would be Ronee. She’s with us.) I ask him if he wants to see them. He agrees. Hopping down from the table, I step through the door that leads to his room, waiting for him to follow. He looks confused, starts talking about making appointments and all the like, and I just keep going, bidding him to follow.

He’s surprised to wind up on my doorstep, and so I tell him that moving them would have been too much. That they are supervised here. For now, it’s the best I can do. Besides, I can’t have someone else managing the care of my girls. I must be with them!

Except...

Now, I clearly recall heading up the stairs and gathering Kim to me. She’s haunting my window, staring outward in that typical, blank stare of hers. I remember her asking me if I had brought her more and the keen disappointment I had felt, for I had not. I remember hoping that seeing Skip would jar some sort of recollection inside of her and perhaps lead me closer to Susan. I remember her fearful screaming and apologizing. I remember Cheryl creeping close behind me and lastly, I remember reaching out towards the link that I seemed to have forged with Kim’s head.

As I sit here at my desk, all I can do is rap my pen against this notebook and desperately search for all else. Right now my girls are sleeping. I can’t recall hardly anything. Faint buzzing, a surge of power. Hunger. Hunger like I experienced when the Fog was here. Oh yes, I clearly remember that, but the bum in the woods will not.

I must find more.
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PostSubject: Re: L'Ange Noir - The Chronicles of Keliah Angelis   Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:33 pm

Promotion


I am Sheriff now, or at least until I find what I feel to be a suitable candidate to replace me. A vampire as a Sheriff. Be warned, I think the apocalypse is near. Look outside your windows. Are there flying piggies?

Shit.

Logic compels me to find a goul, I suppose. One who I can trust to take care of my business during the hours of sunlight. I'm a bit apprehensive to accept such a public station and keeping the hours that I keep. I am afraid to draw suspicion onto myself and my Brethren, which is the last thing I wish.

Anyways, does this mean I get a raise?
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PostSubject: Re: L'Ange Noir - The Chronicles of Keliah Angelis   Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:08 pm

Le Monstre dans le Miroir



I woke up the last evening feeling famished still. Normally, I can go the typical two weeks of turn-around for a meal, sometimes even longer as I dabble in the unwholesome arts of being a ‘blood bank’ vampire. I fed not so very long ago on a hapless, stinking bum camping out in the woods…because…well, because I was hungry. Fear not, reader. For his troubles I gave him the paper contents of my wallet as if he were a common whore and a mind voided of any memory of myself save the kind woman who gave him a bit of alms. Still, as I sit here, the feeling to slake gnaws and turns in my core and I am afraid. I should not be so hungry after so recent a meal. The prospect of digging into my fridge for a bag of O negative is about as appealing as taking this here pen and losing it in my eyeball.

I need live blood.

I confess, I’m a little fearful. I feel much the same as I did when the Fog came. Snagged, cloudy memories. Anxiety. Anger. Turmoil. Hunger. However, there is no Fog unless you count the every day variety. So, does this mean that the Fog is coming back? So soon? I don’t even know who to ask. My only fairy friend has packed and left, leaving me with his desk and his badge. I could ask Sho, but I must save face for now. As Sheriff I have a large role to fill and I don’t want him to be disappointed in me or suspect me as being unfit for this job.

Which, by the way, I am not.

My patrol for the evening started with the square. Blessedly quiet are the streets, which is all and well, for I am seeking out those who court Death. Vampires. I want to see if I’m the only one strung up like this. Zee is my first ‘victim’ for the evening. We chat of simple things. She asks me of the girls. I tell her that she should come by. She jests that she might send flowers and balloons. As we speak I can not rightly tell what is going on in that head of hers, but she seems calm enough and unaffected.

Moving on to Jordin’s house. It’s vacant and all his things are gone. Well, I don’t blame him in that endeavor what with his psychotic Sire walking amongst us and what I am assuming is his displeasure over Angelika’s back tracking. Whatever the reason, he is gone for the moment and thus can not answer my question. Well, I don’t peer overlong at Jordin’s window because I can smell Skip and Tabbie around the corner and they are talking wine. At least, that’s what I think they are speaking of.

“Good evening,” I said to them.
Tabbie is all smiles and waltzing away as she calls out her exchange to me, but I barely notice. Skip starts at me, as if I had appeared out of thin air, and then smiles at me as if though pained.

“Good evening, Deputy,” He says to me, shying away and practically running for the Thirsty Raven. I call out to him, but he doesn’t answer. Something awful and pressing wells at the pit of my sternum, but before I can explore that agony further, here is Bratcher coming towards me. He is the model of politeness and good cheer.

“Word on the street is you got the good chair in the department now, care to comment?”
“…yeah,” I say, tearing my gaze from the direction of Skip’s departing self, swallowing the lump of overwhelming sadness – yes, sadness – and I turned back to Bratcher and attempted to twist up a smile, "Yup. Banged up, scorched up desk is mine now."

“Well then....ain't never shot you....figured I'd check about getting reinstated, make investigating things easier, and hell....I still got my old badge" He stepped closer towards me, peering down at me, "And you wanna talk about what is bothering you?"

Was it that obvious? I drew my face back into the mask I always wore and then gave him my most neutral smile. I didn’t want to him to think I was all that bothered, but I would answer him, “Yeah. Skip..ran. From me?” My sternum felt as though it would crack under the weight of my dread. I wanted to come home and put on another layer of black eyeliner.

"Come on then, Deputy Sheriff. Lets go get that Alibi. Yeah?" Work has to be done. There is no time for black eyeliner. So, at that moment, Bratcher was officially adopted back on the force, swearing fealty to the law and taking it under wing to protect the people of this town. We were a team.

Skip was found easily enough. He was perched at the bar with a glass of something clear, staring at it rather intently. Walking in on him in this moment seemed like I was walking in on his personal sanctuary. Each step I took closer felt more and more like an invasion, and I felt unwelcome, but I bucked up and spoke to him anyways, explaining to him our reasons for being here, and then introduced him to Bratcher.

Bratcher gave him his personal pledge to finding Susan alive. I asked for his alibi, handing over my pen and notebook, feeling awful because I believed in him and knew he was not some thoughtless killer. I explained this to him after he had forked over the phone numbers of those who could verify his whereabouts and I laid my hand on his shoulder, giving it a small squeeze. Mostly for my own comfort because I wanted to touch him. He tensed beneath my touch and awkwardly pat-patted my hand.

Skip gulps down his beverage and grimaces. Jesse walks around the bar, peering at the interior things, and stopping at the jukebox as if considering the music. I slide in the stool beside the old man and watch him, “If it doesn’t taste good, then why drink it?”

I ask him this because Skip never drinks the toxic stuff. He sticks to tea. Coffee. His scent never carries with it the particular perfume that one who partakes overmuch. His blood always smells clean to me, minus the touch of tobacco and the scent of his clothes. The rest of his drink is downed and he smiles at me as he usually does, and then glances at me rather sharply, “It’s an acquired taste. I’m sure you’re familiar with acquired tastes.”

Zing!

He and Bratcher spoke regarding a dog. This dog, well, it was unknown by me. Apparently Cheryl Kalowski had a dog. Note to self: Ask Bratcher about the dog. How did he know this? Skip told him to go speak to the girl and then asked me if she was still staying at my place. I nodded, “Yes. I've kind of moved out for the time being so that they remain undisturbed. The Doctor and her staff stay.” By moving out I meant that I slept elsewhere.

Skip made nice with the bartender, flirting with her, giving her his charming smiles and exchanging funds for another round. “'You're not staying in your own place? Where are you staying, if not there? You're not camped out at the police station, I hope. It's pretty bright; I wouldn't think you could sleep there.”

I shrug my own shoulders and order a shot of whiskey so that I have something sitting in front of me rather than an empty space. I am sitting at the bar and all. I wish he would shut the fuck up about my sleeping circumstances and acquired tastes.

“Around,” Because I can’t tell him in front of the bartender that I sleep at the bottom of the ocean, "Besides, there are shutters in the Sheriff's office. Jericho had them installed. Think I'll keep them.” I feel it’s safe to say this out loud, seeing as most know me for my graveyard shift habits.

More making nice with the bartender on Skip’s part as he pays for drink number two, even so much as winking at her, and when he has his Sky on the rocks he takes a long, deep drink. “It's probably a good thing to keep those shutters. Never know who might be trying to take a peek inside.”

I think he meant the sun. I shook my head. It’s too much. I wanted to cry and throw my fist into his face all in the same turn. What’s the deal? “Are you purposefully trying to be a dick or is something the matter?" Because maybe he’s upset, maybe he’s thinking about Susan, or maybe he just loathes me. I needto know.

Skip rose from his stool after the drink was consumed, he sat the glass carefully on the bar, and then leaned in quite close to me. His breath smelled of vodka and heat. I couldn't even be mad with him so close to me. He smiled then and it was not kind. His voice was the merest of mortal whispers, “Unless you have selective memory, or are a character out of a sitcom suffering from amnesia, you should know exactly why I am not exactly pleased to see you.” And then he straightened up, that awful smile still on his face, “Good evening, Officer. Please let me know if I can assist you in further way.”

He left, favoring his bad leg some, and whistling merrily. I sat in the bar for a few minutes, staring at the empty space he had occupied before I slid from the barstool and turned for the door myself, half tempted to follow him and ask what the fuck he was talking about, but I know something is up with me.

Well then, back to the now..

I have been sitting her for the past few hours wracking my brain trying to recall my own memories. Each time I try to search through my own skull, I come to a barrier. It’s dark and uninviting and I am too afraid to move past it. Especially after the things Skip has said to me.

All I can think is…what if I hurt him? What if I attacked him?
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PostSubject: Re: L'Ange Noir - The Chronicles of Keliah Angelis   Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:11 pm

Marionnette




I am hungry still, but I refuse to hunt. Instead, I guzzle bags of my supply from Access Labs until I feel I might be sick, and even though the nourishment is there, the desire to perform untoward violence doesn’t go away. Still, I get ready for work in my normal fashion, almost as if by force. Standing in my room, fishing through the things in my closet, and the normal ritual of grooming doesn’t give me any comfort.

My girls are sleeping, huddled together like cold, helpless kittens and even that doesn’t bring me comfort.

Oddly, what does bring me comfort is taking leave of my residence. The further I get away from my house, the better I feel. There is no one around as so I walk faster than I normally would. I scale the rock wall of the hill, I leap to the high ledges, and finally come to land on Remi’s balcony. Yes, I am aware of where I stand, and I know that below me is Skip Zelin, but his is a face I do not want to see. Actually, that’s not true. I always want to see Skip. I know, though, that he does not want to see me.

Remi is not at home. Where is he? If ever I could use the company of my Malkavian brethren, it is now. His residence is vacant of life. Perhaps he to has moved on.

Reen’s signal comes blaring over my walkie, and so I answer it. Walkie chatter is probably not the best of places to have a casual conversation, but we do. He congratulates me on my ‘promotion’. I ask him if he’s seen Remi. His reply is, “Who is Remi?”

I sighed. Not because Reen did not know who Remi was, but because of the reasoning behind why he didn’t know Remi. I lifted the walkie to my lips again, taking a lean on railing, “He’s one of our Doctors. From New Orleans.” Reen replies with a subtle barb towards Quinn. I can’t help but chuckle.

And then...suddenly, I sense a presence and it slips into my mind like a warm glove.
NO!












...and then there is Skip’s door. The mental picture of it is as fresh and vivid in my memory as if I stood there at this very moment. So is the smell of fear.
STOP!
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PostSubject: Re: L'Ange Noir - The Chronicles of Keliah Angelis   Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:15 pm

L'Hypocrisie, la Politique, le Sang, alors l'Amour


I awaken first thing to my phone beeping messages at me. See, this is really why I need a goul. Someone to forestall and handle these things rather than this little piece of technology that gathers electronic voice mails. Most of them are from Mildred and Dugan, two of my day people.

"Uh Sheriff? Got a live case here. Two more missing. Advise, please," Is an example of one.

So I crawled out from under my couch (yes, my couch) and hurried about my business of getting dressed. No sooner is the last button on my shirt completed before Bratcher is on my radio telling me I need to get to Sho's house. Now.

Well, okay. I don't really know where Sho's house is, but I'm assuming it's up there in the woods. I scale the main road towards the bridge and keep climbing, climbing up until I see them up a hill.

It's here that I learn that Angelika was attacked, that she has run under the radar. At first I am alarmed. Who would attack Angelika and why? My investigative brain wants to know. And then I can't say I'm all that displeased as Sho informs me of the gift she left at Pelazzi's house. So much for a missing persons investigation.

For some reason our conversation turns to politics. Us versus Them. Woods versus Town. Sho feels that the tensions still stand. Me? I'm not so sure. I have had better dealings and more beneficial relationships with the werewolves here than I have had with my own Kind. Sho was probably my biggest example of such. Our conversation between the three of us carries with it the undercurrents of racism and the politics that always come to pass between our kind. It's times like these that I feel slightly sorry for the Brethren such as Bratcher. Reen. Angelika, to. The gangrels, to me, are stuck somewhere in the middle.

So.
I have bodies.
I have a veil breaking Elder who once again can not hold her own standards to herself.
And then my cell phone rings and it's Mildred patching Pelazzi through.
__________
Part Deux
(Ace)



Remember how I said I had better working relationships with the wolves than my own Kind? I wondered how much of that I was jeopardizing as I stood at Kione and Ace's gate with my arrest warrant. The job is the job. I know Kione would understand this demand of me, and as much as I'd like to look away from the ordeal and veer attention from a wolf's household, I must do what my office commands.

She's not pleased, but she goes along with it. I think she's more pissed at Caty than she is at me, which is fine. I'm not fond of the blonde nor am I particular about her staff. Perverts and..well, La Bamba might be the biggest snot I've ever met and I'm from Paris.

She was very accommodating to my orders. Even when I laid my hands upon her person so that I could guide her wrists into the handcuffs. Her skin was so warm beneath my touch, the heat ever increasing beneath my palms as she admirably reigned in her wolf’s temper. On the outside she was passive, but on the inside her blood sang a different tune. That inner most part of me, that part I try so often to bury, becomes excited with the prospect of having a wolf in my grasp. The beast within me knows how powerful and enriching her blood would be. These thoughts I quickly dismiss. To linger on them is a dangerous ordeal and a road that I loathe to travel upon.

We march down to the station, Ace and I, and I book her. Standard things. Her phone call to her lawyer is enough to curdle milk. What ever emotion she holds back from her arrest from me is unleashed as any a mighty force can be upon her attorney.

I posted her bail myself rather than her sitting around my office stewing in wolfish anger. I hope her court date turns out to be uneventful.

__________
Part Trois
(Bloody Cliff Jumpers!)


While Ace is upstairs, and while I assist a newer resident in registering her fire arm (some athletic thing) Bernie does the evening roll call. A response comes from Dugan right away. Probably because he isn’t doing anything other than schmoozing with Rawnie and trying to score free donuts. Reen is off for the night. Bratcher doesn’t check in.

“Try again, Bernie,” Thinking he was perhaps out of range, or calling the evening quits. Something I don’t really mind provided that it’s not busy.

“Officer Bratcher, please give your 10-4. Over.”

Nothing.

“Officer Dugan,” I hopped onto the walkie, “Bratcher’s not checked in for roll call. Take the East side of town and I’ll take the West. Just keep your eyes open for him.”

Arming myself, walkie clipped to the belt of my skirt, I head off towards the West side of town. I figured this way I won’t be sending Dugan into the viper’s nest. His house is there, just passed the covered bridge. It’s a quaint little cabin that he shares with Ms. Blackthorne. I don’t see Bratcher, but I do spy Ms. Blackthorne ambling around in the dark along the cliff ledge.

Before I can properly ask my question of Bratcher’s whereabouts, she starts with surprise, stumbles, and plunges into the sea below. I’m in after her, my body knifing into the cold, dark depths. The moment I plunge in I can sense the blood. No, I can not smell it. I can taste it on the saltwater. It’s not just Tabbie’s either, but also…something else. Something not human, but animal.

Tabbie’s body is battered and broken, the current and cresting waves having pushed her repeatedly against rock. I scream for assistance in my walkie talkie and go about the business of CPR. Chest compressions. Expelling oxygen into her lungs. Chest compressions. She comes back from the dead, coughing and spewing water from her lungs. Soon after, the medivac unit comes and a gaggle of uniforms swoop down upon us, leaving with Tabbie and a confused mess.

I know Bratcher is around somewhere. Indeed, I can smell him and another body, and so I turn and head for his house. He’s been hurt to. Poor kid. All banged up and beaten to hell. I don’t really know much of what happened to him save it was a confrontation with Angelika Grimm and her sheep. Before I can even get the majority of the tale, Lexie approaches the cabin along with Thomas Warpath. Drawn, I suppose, by the sounds of the emergency helicopter.

Bratcher was suddenly on his feet and at the door, his guns aimed at Warpath.

Warpath draws his own piece.
Lexie steps aside.
The wolf that is in Bratcher’s house (Why is she here?) begins to get angry.
I draw my own gun and stand in between Bratcher and Warpath.

Demands are made.
Accusations thrown.
Gauntlets dropped, maybe.

Bratcher isn’t very strong. His blood is low. The rise to stand and the drawing of his guns was his last attempt of showmanship for the night and he sank against the wall. The stand off is over as soon as I disarm him and shut his front door. I even lug the oaf upstairs and put him to his bed, lingering for a moment to make sure that his wounds are still appropriately knitting themselves.
__________
Part Four
(Skip's House)



After the show down, I slipped back towards town. I was tired. I wanted a bath for I was covered in Ms. Blackthorne’s blood. Because I couldn’t take the smell any more, my fingers curled into the sticky fabric that was my shirt and I pulled the blouse up and over my head, removing it from my person. I close my nose to cease drawing in breath.

As I move down the street, it’s Jordin’s house that causes me to pause. There is activity inside and all the lights are on. Is Jordin back? Thoughts of my attire (for my shirt is gone and Victoria’s secret is out in the open) and disarray are left to the wayside as I move for the door, hand on the knob, and the occupant inside is suddenly there to make his exit.

It’s not Jordin.
It’s Skip.

“You’re not Jordin,” Too shocked to say anything else.

He greets me with crass sarcasm, makes remarks about my promotion and it’s direct correlation to Victoria’s secret, and informs me he has made the move because security has been less than stellar over at the Inn. The memory of standing at his door and the scent of his fear come to mind. I know he means me.

What can I do but explain and apologize?
I hope he just knows how sincere I am.
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PostSubject: Re: L'Ange Noir - The Chronicles of Keliah Angelis   Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:19 pm

Lexie's Gift



I don’t go home.
I don’t stay at Bratcher’s either.

Instead I go to Skip’s house because if there is one thing that Angelika has taught me about the vampiric life span is that it can be over in an instant. I mean, I know this. I know we die - I have killed others of our kind before – but watching the way Angelika was dispatched was almost frightening. Part of, in thinking now, wishes I had allowed her to manhandle me to deeper waters or perhaps that I should have ran while we were still on land and lead her off into the light house or some such where no wolf goes.

Everyone knows that I had no love for Angelika Grimm, but I’d have much rather seen someone as ancient as her move on rather than die in a such a way. In this way I am still traditional in the fact that in my own way I mourn the loss of age.

Anyways, I’m running my mouth. Or my pen rather.

Like I said, I went to Skip’s house. As much as I’d like to tell myself that it’s because I’m sure Jordin’s bathtub remains, I know it’s for other reasons. I didn’t want my own lifespan to come to a halt in the merest of moments and not see Skip’s face.

I knock. No answer. So I turn the knob (and practically break it) and peep my head inside.

“Skip?”

Nothing.

Disappointment and relief all in the same turn. He’s not home, which means I won’t make an emotional basket case of myself. Score for me. And so I alight my troubled self up the stairs, my gait not as strong as it normally is, peeling off my bloody clothes one layer at a time until it’s just me, my flesh, and Skip’s bathtub. My gun and holster I leave on his armoire. My phone I take with me into the bathroom.

I love this room. It’s a dark, drafty nook in an otherwise comforting place. No light seeps in here. It feels like a mausoleum. Flipping the water to the hottest setting, I wait with practiced patience for the tub to fill with steaming, scalding water and listen to the pipes protest within the old walls of this house.

I sit in the tub and relax into the heat, letting the water dissolve off the blood that has been left to crust on my skin. I answer phone calls in the way of text messages (I’m really getting to be a pro at this) as well as emails. Work things and the like. News travels fast, to amongst our people apparently. I don’t know who’s been blabbing their tongue and why they are all turning to me for answers.

I don’t know how long I sat in that tub. It felt like hours because I was so tired. I had waited until the water had gone cold, at least, and I wrapped myself up in one of Skip’s towels, stole his comb off his armoire/dresser bit, and padded downstairs. Despite the pain of moving around, I lit the fireplace to a blazing warmth and then quickly moved away (scary thing, fire) to curl up on the couch, drawing the comb through my snarls and the like, staring off in to space, and waited for Skip to come home.

My thoughts drifted to Lexie, the my gentle witch friend, and so I texted her. She was a healer after all, and though I seriously doubted that she could help me, I wouldn’t have minded her company. She arrives in due time, with her bag of tricks and spells, and I croak out a greeting towards her.

I’ve expended all the excess blood I possess to seal my flesh so that I am not waltzing around losing even more blood (and to save face of looking like a horror character), but inside I am something quite different. Angelika’s claws have left my ribs in a mess. My vocal chords are barely together. My windpipe is a mess to, for I deemed my esophagus much more important. I’ve retained enough of my vitae to keep myself in check, to not go out on a merciless frenzy. Still, Lexie’s pulse sings to me. It’s beckoning. I won’t lie and say that I didn’t think about taking her then and there and draining her of her mage’s blood. I need blood.

Only a small side of me thinks this way, though. The rest of me is hopeful that her manipulation of energy will work. It’s no such luck though. I think she’s more disappointed in the failed effort than I am, and all I can do is shrug my shoulders and smile apologetically. My dead body needs live blood. Plain and simple. (For a moment, I consider ringing up Bratcher and asking him for the boon once again. He fed me once before as I lay bleeding upon the embankment, but Ms. Blackthorne is home from the hospital and I do not wish to disturb them.)

She slips off into the night, unsuccessful, but a determined look upon her countenance. I wait for about another hour for the Professor to come home so that I can tell him that he’s not alone in his residence - wouldn’t want him to found belting out Broadway hits in his underpants – but I can’t wait any longer. The body commands sleep as it continues it’s process of knitting; I pen him a quick note and retire beneath his bed.

The blessed thing about my race is that when we sleep we can enter a sort of death. The consciousness is still there if we care to indulge in it, but sleep provides a blanket from the reality of the world. We can feel nothing if we choose. I spent the day in that state of Death and even much into the evening, when I knew the sun to be gone. I waited for Skip to leave the house before I came crawling out from my ‘grave’, mindful of my fragile sternum, and settled up into the broad rafter in the ceiling. It was rather dark up there and I love to be way up high.

Skip eventually comes home and I watch, smiling, as he ascends the stairs. It is the first time I’ve seen his face in what feels like eons. Even deliberately performing this impromptu, unwelcome invasion upon his privacy and the niggle of guilt that accompanies it makes it all worth it just to see his face. Swinging my legs over the edge of the rafter, dangling there by my hands, I drop myself down to the floor below. Just in time for the door bell to ring.

I know it is Lexie there, but Skip doesn’t. He lays his finger to his lips, a silent command for me to be quiet (I think – and hey, buddy, joke’s on you) and he goes downstairs to answer the door. I follow some, standing at the crest, and then take a silent fall into the kitchen below (who needs stairs?) as he invites Lexie in.

She’s here to offer me not just another solution, but to offer me herself. I wonder how long she debated over this. Was she scared? Did she worry? Was she afraid I would kill her? Would there be pain? Her compassion for her calling won her over all these fears. I couldn’t help but be a little apprehensive and reluctant to partake of this offering. It’s one thing to ‘share a moment’ with some random body in the shadowy realm of a club, but with a friend?

I couldn’t turn her down, either. I felt that doing so would nullify all of her tossing and turning, her plotting, and perhaps hurt her feelings. She knelt in front of me as I perched on Skip’s sofa, and performed a little incantation to ward off the potential pain, and I was at least relieved to know that in this retrospect I would not hurt her. My Kiss is pleasurable to human senses.

She offered me her wrists and I took it in my cold hands and rose, bidding her to rise with me, and I turned her around so that my back was to Skip who was busy channeling magic to fuel Lexie’s blood, which then was then taken onto myself. I didn’t want him to see my fangs. I’d rather it look like I was necking the woman rather than partaking of a meal. Still, I couldn’t believe I was actually eating in front of him. It’s so intimate a thing, and to, he probably thinks me to be less human than ever before.

Lexie and I plop down on Skip’s couch together. She’s tired. My body is busy righting itself. So I flip on the TV and browse channels until we land on a re-run of CSI.
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PostSubject: Re: L'Ange Noir - The Chronicles of Keliah Angelis   Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:20 pm

The Impromptu Funeral



When I woke up to face the eve, the roaring sun could still be heard, distant and dimming as it made it’s sojourn into dusk. I didn’t stay under the bed, though. Skip is a kind enough person to keep the windows dressed and so I venture out of the room, feeling all the more better, haunt his living room, and wait for him to come home.

I don’t have to wait long, for there he is, books in hand (trip to the library apparently), making wise cracks about my means of using his coffee table. His face, voice…both are balms to my troubled soul. I can’t help but laugh and hop off the table.

I ask him about the books he holds and he hands them over. Documentation on breaking code and the like, things that I’ve been barely exposed to, though I recollect the times World War II and the sneaky means military personnel would communicate.

We speak of supernatural things.
Vampire things. Angelika’s death.
Mage things. Powers and the like.

Until his phone rings and Lexie is on the other line. Speaking of mage things.

Lexie is coming over with new blood to their coven or such, and even though Skip reassures me that I might stay (though he is unsure as to what my presence might bring in the distraction department), I consider first hiding out in his bedroom, but choose instead to venture forth into the outside world and see what is going on with the vampires. It’s a scary feat for me. I don’t know what’s going on beyond these walls and frankly, I don’t know if I now have an army of vampires set against me or if we’re all running around just as confused and unsure as myself.

As I make to leave, I am unsure if I will be back, horrible imagery of Angelika being torn in two haunts me. Reminds me that we are not as strong as we’d like to believe ourselves to be. So, I kissed him. Not just a kiss of friendly farewells. Something a little more than that.

I mean to go home and check on the girls and grab some clothes. I also mean to go to the Sheriff’s office and pick up my missed paper work that is surely mounting in my inbox. Need new batteries for my radio to. Instead, I remain in my pajamas and slippers, for I feel compelled to move towards the lighthouse.

Hello, Zee.

We gauge each other visually. I don’t know if she’s going to come after me with a wooden stake. Maybe she thinks I’m here to finish her off. Who knows? But all of that is left to the wayside and the two of us come to an understanding, and that is to put to rest Angelika Grimm.

We have no body. Indeed, Angelika in her noble age would not. Surely something would be left behind of her in the sea, and I mean to find it. Zee ventures out for flowers.
The water is so dark and cool against my skin. I dove off the ledge of the lighthouse into the depths below, torpedoing northward towards Bratcher and Tabbie’s house. I am surprised at how easy it is to find a trinket left behind by her corpse. There, idly wafting along the sunken stones, it’s chain caught with in a jagged surface, is a pendent of two hearts that I had often seen Angelika wear.

I reached out and took it into my palm, sinking to the ocean floor as I studied the thing, feeling a bit of empathy for my enemy. Maybe Angelika wasn’t entirely all monster to possess such a thing. The jewelry is not old. It is no antique. The weight is not all the heavy. Surely, then, this is something she had recently acquired. Maybe Reen had given it to her? I muse sadly at this, idly wondering about a softer side of Angelika Grimm that she never, if ever, showed to us.

I brought the trinket back to the light house, finding more Brethren there than I when I had left. Celeste is there and some bitch is lobbing my slippers at her. Remi is there. Mel, our newest born, is also there. Eventually, Bratcher and Michael come up the way, perhaps curious about the gathering scent of Death there at the light house.

I dig into the earth, dirt caking to my wet skin, and I drop Angelika’s necklace into the small grave. Zee recites a rather poetic, dramatic eulogy, and then she and I offer her blood. Zee, for perhaps she loved her. Me? Because she was my enemy…and for Reen.

We seal the necklace into the Earth and Zee crowns the little mound with a wreath of flowers. I can’t help but muse at my own thoughts. It’s so human a thing we are doing. Even Zee, the Fiend, seems far more human than monster to me during this moment of finality.

Tense words are spoken. The gathered Brethren look at Zee and I with a mix of amusement and disinterest. I stand tall, tall as I can make myself, and speak with my newly formed vocal chords, addressing them all.

From now on, we obey the law of the land.
We govern ourselves within the laws of the veil.
No more fighting.
No more wars.
No more Brethren against Brethren.

I hope I pulled it off.
I once sat on Angelika’s council.
If she believed in me, then maybe they would to.

With my existence in tact, I head home with my childe and her goul. I pack clothes and other needful things into one of my police duffles and bring them back to Skip's house because, well, because being in his company makes me fucking happy and my house is too crowded.

Penning him a quick note, I hop on the last ferry towards Seattle.
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PostSubject: Re: L'Ange Noir - The Chronicles of Keliah Angelis   Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:21 pm

Uneventful Things



By Ravenhurst’s definitions, the weekend has been a subtle one and so I shall not write overmuch. I don’t really feel the need to do so, anyways. I can’t explain it. I don’t necessarily feel my normal, emotional passions that I am normally want to do.

Probably because I’ve just been so busy.

Even though crime has been on the decline, the past days have brought with them a visit to Pelazzi’s house, who informs me of rumors. Rumors of wolves teaming up with hunters and that yes, even though I do not wish to partake in vampire politics, I must do so. I don’t really know if I believe in these reports of hunters and wolves aligning themselves together. As for the politics, the more I think on this, the more I feel he might be right, though really I do not wish to ever sit on a council seat again. I just want to do my job. Which is the real reason as to why I am at Pelazzi’s house in the first place. I had to find out what happened to Angelika’s evidence.

I didn’t get to see Bratcher much. I didn’t rightly expect to as he prepares for his “vaaaaaaaykayshun!”. I did manage to snag a little bit of his time, so that I could gain his opinions on this potential threat of wolves grouping together with hunters and calling in the assistance of the FBI to help us out with the Zelin case. Like me, he thinks it’s bogus. When he returns, I think he and I will visit with Kione. Unlike me, he doesn’t want to bring in the FBI. I think I’ll leave the ultimate decision up to Skip, seeing as it is his daughter and the like.

“Does he know what you are?” Bratcher had asked me.
“Yes,” I said, mentally grimacing. He knew all to well, “But it doesn’t matter. We’re not like you and Ms. Blackthorne.”
“Yeah. No one is,” Sounded like pride and sadness all mixed in to one.

Zee is back out on the streets, this time with a little toy ball that she elegantly performed her dexterous tricks upon, amazing a young man with the most frightening pair of red pants I had ever seen. I watched her, happy to see the Fiend doing so normal a thing (for Zee), and pretended to be amazed over her tricks.

I spent time with Skip. It’s kind of hard not to, seeing as I’ve taken over his home. We visited Angelika’s grave (because I needed to see it once again) and walked arm and arm along the dark streets as easy together as sugar and crème. He conducted along to Vivaldi in his living room (Spring, the Third movement), drank vodka, and we draped ourselves on his couch in lazy togetherness. I sort of wish to not move back in to my place now. Intruding on Skip’s privacy is much more…well, it’s nice. I gathered his opinions in regards to the FBI, and it looks like Bratcher has been outnumbered. He’s not going to be pleased, but then again it’s not his daughter.

Met a new vampire, which isn’t saying much. I see tons of new faces in my streets. (Yeah, going to have to do something about that.) This one, though, is different. Cute as a button. Reminds me of one of Dickens’ street rats. She was panhandling across the square, and I couldn’t rightly take her in as she was “selling flowers” to passersby. I couldn’t tell if this was a genius hunting technique or if she really was begging for alms. I bought one of her flowers and shoved the hideous thing in my hair, and I turned away from her just in time to find the asshat who has been putting posters all over town.

Uh, what else…

Celeste is hopefully finally finished with Michael.

I had an impromptu interview with the editor of The Tribune to speak of the Zelin case. That went well. I can’t rightly say if it’s because of my legs or because he was genuinely interested in reporting on the progress of the story.

Anything else?

No?

Feels good to write about uneventful things.
Now I must write to Linzee.
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PostSubject: Re: L'Ange Noir - The Chronicles of Keliah Angelis   Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:22 pm

Letter to Linzee DeMontico



Hello Linzee,

Greetings to you, my wayward and absent friend. Allow me to humor myself and indulge in some pointless small talk before I begin. To do such makes this letter more seemingly normal to me and thus easier to pen. How are things in the big city? Much different than our small little rock, I am sure. Business is well, I hope. I'm not sure if you are with your little Celeste or not, but I hope you are, simply because I wish you great happiness.

As you are probably aware, I write not for the sake of pleasantry. I thought I would keep you abreast of the happenings on our mutual stomping grounds. Angelika Grimm has passed to dust. I won't detail the how or the why, and I won't go on to speak any more of her passing. I just thought you should know and with this knowledge I hope that it sparks your return home with greater speed than you had originally planned.

I'm catching distant rumors from one of our kind that hunters and wolves are forming alliances. Granted I do not know if these rumors are true and my source isn't who I would call 'reliable', never the less I plan on looking in to the matter with my deputy and will forward information as I uncover it.

There are plenty of new faces here and we have no Court.
Hurry back.

Keliah
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PostSubject: Re: L'Ange Noir - The Chronicles of Keliah Angelis   Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:25 pm

Rendez-vous Secrète



I write now in the bleakest hour, the hour in which I can hear the faintest sounds of the coming dawn. It’s a warning bell – a siren – warning all the nightwalkers off into their chosen nooks of darkness, away from the dangers of sunlight. For me, at this moment, that is Skip’s house.

I’ve spent the better part of the evening and the night (calls have been very slim) shifting through paperwork. Specifically faxes from various medical personnel in the city wanting to come and take a look at my girls. Psychologists wanting to make their careers by delving into the minds of my poor trauma victims and crack the case of the year. It would be a real career booster, I’m sure. I just want answers.

I’ve also have my folder on the Spiral Dancer, Sorrow. The one with Ace’s charges. She had filed them the day before last, after the man attacked her with a knife to her throat. Going to Ace’s house should have been a surreal and eye-opening experience. She is Kione’s mate, after all. The house in which she dwells is a haven of sorts for her people, much like our light house used to be. However, it wasn't. I was invited into her home as if I were a normal person and she were a normal person, the two of us on a common mission of getting business properly concluded. Her company – and witness – was somewhat tense at my presence. Ace, however, was not. It’s because of this that I have further apprehensions against Michael’s claim of werewolves and hunters teaming together. When I left her company, I called her ‘friend’, the title a formality. I think she got it, for she called me such to.

As for Ace’s attack, Kione had bore witness to it as well. As I took my reports and left Ace’s home, I wondered why I was filing them at all if this Sorrow person had made the physical attack against the alpha male’s woman. Sitting in my truck, hands on the wheel, and peering out into the mountainous terrain before me, I wondered if putting out the APB was even worth it. Kione, I’m sure, had other plans of meting out justice in his own way. Still, I did it anyways. Radio to my mouth, I called it in to Bernie. A minute later, his voice came crackling over my radio and filled the interior of my truck with the information I had just relayed. Shoving the keys in my ignition, I drove back towards the station, feeling quite proud as I did not hit any mailboxes nor shove my bumper into any railings.

I faxed the report over to the Ranger’s station and waited.

Just as expected, Flanagan’s on my cell phone asking for an impromptu and clandestine meeting between myself, himself, and Kione. So we do just that, the three of us hidden away beneath the road near a closed off entrance of the mine shaft.

Make the paperwork disappear, he says.
Witnesses will forget everything, he says.
Be prepared for damage control, he says.

Great.

Just get it over with, I tell them. And soon. I’m not going to have some monster running amok in my town.

When I return to my office, I head over to Bernie as he sits there, making small talk and general pleasantries. His mortal mind is so easy for me to penetrate and even as he responds to my general questions about his family and the like, his eyes fall under my spell and I pluck the memory of the APB out of his skull as though it were an egg from a basket.

…back to the now.

I stand before Skip’s fireplace, cautiously poking the thing to life. Sorrow’s file joins the wood and is soon gone from existence, put to ashes in a noble, immortal death. The record of his attack possibly already gone from the minds of those who saw it.

The sun is ever nearer, the dreadful song of it even louder. I spread my senses wide, passing through the ceiling, considering the man who currently sleeps there. His breathing is very deep, slow, and lulling. The beat of his heart goes along with his breath, the heat from him slightly less than normal from sleep, but just as warm and beautiful as typical with mortals, so I will close this book and set down the pen. I will go upstairs and ease my silent self beside him until the song of the sun overrides the beauty of his pulse and I will, as typical with monsters, hide myself under his bed and fall into dreamless, death-like sleep.
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PostSubject: Re: L'Ange Noir - The Chronicles of Keliah Angelis   Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:26 pm

Corbeaux en Colère



Like many evenings before this one, I was woken by the sound of my cell phone ringing impatiently. Blindly groping around the floorboards for it, I brought it to my ear.

“Angelis.”

“Um, hello? Miss Angelis?” The voice on my phone was soft and sweet, slightly peppered with an accent of the more exotic variety. Maybe India. Or Spanish. I can’t really tell. American flavored the rest, “Hi. My name is Doctor Green. The reason I am calling is because I heard from a colleague that you were looking for some assistance with the Zelin case that’s been all over the news. I thought I would offer my services to your efforts.”

I scrubbed my face with my hands, rolling on to my back, using the blood I have in my system to bring my body back to waking life, and stared at the underside of Skip’s box spring.

“Yeah….” I said, coming out of my mental fog, all too aware of the space in my skull that the rest of me shied from. It was still there and had been there now for what felt like eternity. A black mote on my consciousness that I dared not explore. “As you probably already know, I have two survivors from that case. Both women are socially despondent and are easily moved to fear. They are used to me, but when I try to bring in other people to interview them, their terror is almost reflexive,” Obviously I make no mention of what other information I’ve gleaned from the girls, or that I suspect that they’ve been purposefully set upon us as bait, and that I think their captor is (or was) a practitioner of darker magic. Maybe. That I seem to veer towards violence and fenzy in their company.

“I’m growing weary and impatient. I want an answer as to Susan’s whereabouts. How about you come to town tomorrow? We’re have a shindig this weekend. Will give you a chance to meet with the people here and perhaps help do…whatever it is you people do.”

“Wow! This weekend?” The voice of Doctor Green sounded suddenly flush with excitement. She sounded very young. “I can’t tell you how exci- I mean, thank you so much for this opportunity, Miss. Angelis. Being involved in a case like this has been a long-time dream of mine. So, I’ll take the morning ferry then and will see you soon? Can you fax me over anything you might have? You know, so I can get a better understanding of their condition.”

“Sure.” Wow. This woman sounded too bubbly for me, “I will take care of that as soon as I get back to the office. Text me your fax number.” And with that, I ended our call.

I went home to change out my duffel bag for another, gathering fresh clothes and the like from my wardrobe to take back to Skip's house, and I sat with my girls for a good while, watching over them as they fitfully slept. How much of this sleep is drug induced and how much of it is for other reasons? Cheryl’s mind is closed off to me for the most part. Kim’s is easier to probe around in, in terms of comfort levels and the like. There is no strain for me to travel along the link we had already established.

Her mind is a very frightening place. It’s all dark and fractured, like leaping over great chasms of suicide-compelling doom, and there’s nothing to learn. She has no memories for me to find, and I can’t really delve further in. I can’t leap the chasm. The longer I stray poking around, the wearier I get. It requires a lot of blood from me to do this act. Besides, my probing around summons her up from her slumber. Enough for her to crack her slanted eyes at me and whisper a single word before she slips back into her darkness. “More.”

I want to rail and scream at her. Hit her. Demand her to speak to me about Susan. But I just can’t do this. Staring at her face, watching the rise and fall of her sternum with her breathing, I feel nothing but tenderness for this creature who I know is not quite there. Who I know has somehow affected my logic.

Hungry. I’m so hungry, suddenly. It burns and lodges into my stomach like discomforting thorn, and so I vacate the house as quickly as possible, leaving my bag and the like at the foot of my stairs, for I must get away from there. I don’t even talk to the nurse, but blow by her in a fury lest I attack her, and one I get outside into the fresh, Washington air I draw in great heaps into my lungs as a means to changing my sensory palette.

Salty sea air.
Oil and gasoline.
Tom’s menu.
Skip Zelin.

Woah, Skip? I turn towards his scent, my being drawn, for his blood is the only blood that does not register as food to me. I am comforted in his nearness and join him where he stands, talking to one of the mages (I think she’s a mage) about this Caleb bloke that stabbed Aurora. Out on a stroll he is, apparently. I join him because Sho’s warning rings loud and clear in my ears of damage control. I can’t bear the idea of Skip being caught in the damage. Indeed, I am overly paranoid about it, ever suspecting that Michael’s ‘agent’ will come tearing down the way. All I can think is that I don’t have silver bullets in my gun.

We end up at the Ellwyn’s house.
I had no idea how close they lived to Pelazzi.
Is this their hangout? Because I wish they’d choose somewhere else.

In short order we are a quartet. Myself, Skip, Lexie, and then Nicky. Conversation shifts to talks of mysterious ravens and then to Kim. The mortals are easily comfortable and they begin to drink. I am not so comfortable. Talking about Kim makes me feel frightened, tense, and the knot in my gut becomes ever tighter.

Then suddenly Nicky’s wrist is in my face with the casual offering, “Drink?”

"Christ, Nicky!" I swore, shoving his wrist out of my face. Did he have a death wish?
Needless to say my mental state goes downhill from there. More talk of ravens and Kim. Fine. They want to know what Kim says? They want ravens? I bring on the ravens. Torrents of red-eyed, angry birds start to assault Lexie’s house and it’s Lexie who sees them.

They are at the windows, cawing angrily.
Feathers flapping, rushing.
Their lithe, elegant bodies pounding onto the windows until the glass shatters and they swarm inside the house.

I remember laughing at Lexie’s screaming, fueled by her fear.
I remember feeling somewhat lost, blinded, and in darkness.
I want Nicky like I’ve never wanted another’s blood in my undead life.
Then something wells up in me and bursts forth, amplified by my voice.

“STOP!”

The birds cease.
Everything is normal.

Lexie stands there, paralyzed in fear. Her heart rate is soaring and the house is permeated with the scent of her blood. I wallow in my own fear – a fear of the monster within. Frenzy is on the horizon and if I don’t get away, I’m going to rip apart these people I care for.

It’s the woods for me.
I rarely come here, for I respect Flanagan’s warnings.
Tonight, though, I must be free to run.

I spent much of the night doing just that, tearing through the woodlands at my fastest speed, and then faster still, weaving my way through tree and brush. It’s good, old-fashioned exertion that staves off the frenzy.

I’m fine now. Obviously. Here I sit at my desk in my room, exhausted. I’ve spent much blood.
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Keliah Angelis

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Join date : 2012-01-30

PostSubject: Re: L'Ange Noir - The Chronicles of Keliah Angelis   Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:29 pm

Le Bonheur dans la Nuit Noire



It's been a couple days, and really, I've had far too much time to write down the latest chronicles of my existence. I just haven't had the drive to put pen to paper. Not that I haven't already tried. See, I really am quite alone here in the haven and have the companion of silence to bide my time with. This sounds like a complaint, but really? Most who genuinely know me (which isn't that many) know I require it.

Skip calls it “soul searching”. I find this funny. Literally, I'm not sure I even have a soul, even though I have told Bratcher otherwise when he posed the same question to me – because I posed the same question in regards to bear he had summoned for me to kill. Before I delve into that tale, I should begin with the reason as to why I have sheltered myself away from the rest of humanity.

I'm losing control, you see. Of myself. The more I embrace the darkness that has been planted here in my skull, the harder it is to resist it. Sure, as I write this now, I am seemingly fine, but I tell you I am very restless. When I'm not at rest, I am pacing. When I am not pacing, I am thinking of blood, of screams, and ravens. As if I want them.

It was Skip's idea for me to do this. To hide. I protested at first, because to do thus would put me from my job. My sense of duty. Without my sense of duty and the having of such, who am I? It is, perhaps, the only thing that truly brings me purpose...and without purpose, I am afraid I will rise to be some cliché character out of Anne Rice's novels. Flanagan is right about me is this aspect of me, that I have the need to protect and serve.

Rewind to a couple nights past...

I was laying on his bed, having crawled out from under it a few hours prior, where I was endlessly entertaining myself by staring at the rafters of his ceiling, too tired to really do much else. Besides, I love laying on his bed. The softness of it. The smell of linen and Skip all too comforting to me. Eventually, he comes upstairs, finding me thus. I love that he's not surprised to find me there. That I've become an expected presence here in his home. That he goes about his business as if I am not present company, but rather part of this place. I rose to my feet, watching him perform his “magical magic”, a ritual of mouthed words, a drop of his blood, and a bit of fire to seal the deal.

I asked him what it was for.

Turns out he wards himself against me, so that I may not harm him.

I am sad over this. Not because he does it, but because there is a need to do this, and I know how dangerous I am even before he points out the fact that yes, I am dangerous. To reassure him, I told him that when it came down to it, I could never hurt him.

He doubts me, I think.
That is fine.
I doubt it to.

It was then it was decided that I should go in to hiding – even skip town for awhile. My first thoughts? No. How can I abandon my post? The idea is abhorring to me. We speak of the matter at hand, which is mainly my moments of lunacy and how it came to be. About how things have been different for me since Kim and Cheryl were found in the mines. We talk about the ravens and the trauma I had caused to Lexie – ah, Lexie. I'm sosorry. Were that I could tell you this now, my friend – and the things Nicky and he had witnessed.

From beneath Skips bed I withdrew three wooden stakes and I showed him the proper place in my sternum to shove the thing in should the need arise. I hope he realizes how much I trust and care for him by showing him this. Really, if it came down to the need to do this act, I am sure I would rise enough from the blackness of this presence to allow him to do thus.

After Vampire Staking 101, I came here, but not before running into Giles. Never had I been so happy to see Giles, of all people. I sort of consider him a brother at arms, a fellow soldier unified for the general welfare of the Undead Republic. We seem to stand on much of the same side of the scale.

And so I told him of Angelika’s end, though I left out the gore and my guilty feelings. I simply told him what I had witnessed, leaving out the identity of Flanagan and changing Bratcher’s name to ‘my Deputy’. For some reason I felt I needed to guard these secrets. Besides, our conversation switched over to politics, then he and I exchanged phone numbers. Watching Giles trying to operate his cellular device put me back into my good spirits.

"Remember horses...and post messages? Amazing, these changes in the world,” I then motioned over to the light house, “I'm going to be staying here now. For a little while. Stand guard against trouble makers, keep an eye out on things. Mostly, I can't go home. Too many people living there now. Found part of my missing persons case. Still missing one. We've turned my house into a makeshift place for them to stay while they are being observed.." Rattling on and on.

Giles planted his hand on my shoulder, promising things would ‘work out’, thinking me distressed over the impending changes in our little world, but of course it is much greater than that. Giving me a reassuring smile and then the top of my head a good polishing as though I were his younger sibling and we were great friends, he asked me what was up, picking up on my ill-at-ease.

“Ah, but you are a balm to my weary heart." I said theatrically, "It’s my house. The girls..I don't know..ever since I found them, it's been like the fog was here. For me, at least. I've frenzied. I've hurt people. Well, more like scared them. The anger, the hunger...just like the blasted fog. Think my girls were planted for me, for anyone, to find. I think their captor was or is a mage and has affected them somehow. Like magical bombs ticking off." Aware of how crazy my words sounded, I went on, "Have a psychologist from Seattle coming in to town to look at them, and then the mages are going to investigate. So, until then, I'm going to hide out here at the haven. Look sharp, Giles. If they can affect me, perhaps you to..”

“Human girls?" He raised his brows, "Are you sure it’s not fey? A psychologist won't be able to analyze your brain, Kel, or theirs if they aren't human.... Affect you? What are you even talking about?”

I don’t blame him for questioning me, or being confused. This can’t really happen all that much in our society.

“They are human. They are not fey,” I said, pinning my gaze on his, "I don't mean my brain. I mean theirs. They are trauma victims, afterall." I considered him then, watching him, just wishing I could transfer my thoughts into his. Were that I was more powerful… "You know how it is when we are born, we are granted certain gifts. Mine is one of the mind. I can..link with people. It's no way to describe it. I can reach into their consciousness, fiddle around with their perceptions and memories. I tried to do it to the Asian girl and ever since then, something got left behind. It's like a dark mote on my own consciousness. Things haven't...been right for me since then."

Giles tries to be reasoning, “Perhaps you just care for them and you aren't used to that? I can read minds, alter them, control them, its common, but my boy, my Jackson, I can't detatch. What do you think it is then, if not fey or witches, why not cast her out into the city so she doesn't effect you?

"I care for them, yes. In so much as I can and in my own way. They are helpless, young women. Tortured, I'm assuming. Traumatized. Shell shocked. It's not their fault if they are the culprits,” I can’t really go on about the endless need to protect them. More so towards them then others, “Besides, I'm Sheriff. I can't do things on the sly. There's a lot of public attention on this case. I can't cast her out." I reached for his hand, linking my fingers through his. His flesh is warm with his rubescence, “If you can, come on in and have a look around. See what I see." And I opened my mind to his.

My mind is full of the normal things one my age possesses. Images of me as a girl, running after one of my father’s hounds, shrieking in laughter. My father and my mother’s mortal faces, my mother's fashionably shocking red hair pinned into curls. Parties, balls, and Paris. Mystro’s beautiful, enchanting face. Waking up to the unlife. Hunts. Blood. Staring down the barrel of a gun. Noble, poetic Kristof sitting in his ancient library, reciting Ovid to me, his black hair gleaming. Bombs bursting. Shoe heels pounding on sterile, tile floors, my skirt tight against my thighs. Dirt and grit beneath my nails – another night spent in earth. Cold, crisp mountain air and the crunch of leaves beneath my sneakers. Angelika being cast to dust. Ravenhurst. Skip Zelin’s face.

But there is more. A presence so vast and commanding, almost beckoning, yet it is a bridge one does not want to cross. A great, endless chasm full of screaming ravens with red eyes, fire, the rising sun, and the general feeling of dread and doom. Darkness.

Giles tries, and continually jerks backwards, squeezing my hand all the while, “If you're interested... the one who made me, he can do things that neither of us can, he could make any human speak of things they wished to take to their grave." Meaning exposing my girls to his sire.

“At this point, I am willing to try anything." I told him and tapped the side of my skull, “This is beginning to rule me. I mean to give express orders that I am to be dispatched if I can't find an answer, so please...talk to your Sire for me?" For I do not wish to die.

Giles drew me in, wrapping his brotherly arms around me and so I returned the embrace, arms around his waist, promising he would talk to his sire and that he would get back to me. With his index, he tapped my brow, “You need to keep yourself out of that thing, and don't be afraid to ask for help."

______________
PART DEUX
(Conversation et un Baiser)



“Skip.” I chimed as I opened the door and waltzed on in, speaking out his name as a means of announcing myself for I do not bodily make much noise. I found him bent over his desk, nose in a book.

“Is that you, Sheriff?” He says in reply to my ascending footfalls upon his stairs, but of course he knows it’s me.

“Translations?” I ask, for that is his work as of late. I’m not really sure that I care at the moment, for I’m here to collect my things that I have integrated into his house. First things to go into my duffel are my toiletries. My hair iron. My cosmetics. Stuff like that.

“No...I was trying to find more answers about our present problems,” He had come to stand, watching me, looking somewhat sour, “Have you spoke to Sho yet?”

“Would there be anything in written word about our present problems?" I frowned, "Left him a message. He'll call eventually."

“Well...there are several things I'm looking into. I think I have a couple of ideas for when we see the girls...” He tugged at his ear, expression thoughtful. I love that expression, “Are you heading to the light house, then?”

I told him of my meeting with Giles, gauging his opinion on the matter, wondering what he felt. His first concern was perhaps that Giles and company might be infected to. I assured him that this was not so. That he had been off the island for a little while. I explained to him about Giles’ sire.

“Yes,” Frowning, defeated, mostly because I felt like I was shirking and running. "I am."

“I'll call you to let you know what we're able to find out...then we can move from there.” He smiled and nodded his head at me, clearly approving of my move, “Good. Remember, you're not running from your duty; you're upholding it by keeping danger...namely you, from the general population. We’ll figure something out.” And he smiled wryly at me, “We were able to get rid of the fog, weren't we? I'm sure we'll muddle through this somehow and you'll be back to normal.”

“Yes,” My tone must have been dry; My countenance telling of my feelings, “Big fan at Wal-Mart." Mimicking his earlier reference of ‘needing a big fan’ to blow away the fog.

He stepped over to me and laid his hands on my shoulders, sighing heavily, “Sometimes standing and fighting is the worst thing you can do. Is it brave? Perhaps. Foolhardy and dangerous? Almost certainly. Especially when you have no chance of winning because you don't know what you're fighting. We'll figure this out.” He gives me a smile. It doesn’t quite reach his eyes, “Besides...you promised you would find my daughter and I'm not going to let you off the hook that easily.”

“It's what I do, Skip. I stand up and fight. I don't know anything else, really." I paused and fished for humor, "Well, I can cut a mean tango….I promised. My word is my bond. Hey, technically my word is the law."

My little joke drew a faint chuckle from him, and he chafed my arms with his hands, “I'm sure your tango is quite impressive,” Then sobering once more, “And there will be plenty of opportunity to stand up and fight. Whoever, or whatever is doing this, isn't going to be stopped by asking nicely. I'm sure your particular skills will be needed.” He gave my biceps a reassuring squeeze, shrugging, “Hell...you're the most well liked police officer I've ever seen in any community. You do a good job. You just can't do everything.”

I cave. All his touching, feeling the warmth of his palms upon my skin, and his bodily nearness draw me in to him. My fingers curled into the fabric of his sweater, the heart beneath it sings to me and I want mine to answer back. My brow came to rest on his chest, head tucked under his chin, and I breathed him all in. My nearness didn’t seem to bother him. In fact, he held me all the more, his palms caressing along my spine.

Comes now the reference of soul searching, that perhaps secluding myself will help me focus more of my thoughts, that I will be able to remember how it is I can now make the ravens come, “I meant it more in the case of analyzing why it is you're able to do what you can do now and what your connection is to those girls you rescued in the mines. Focusing on the problem instead of being spread too thin with a thousand different things going on should give you insight into things you might have missed.”

I launched in to my memories, of what I did know, giving him that at least, "The first time I met them, I don't remember much. I just remember...running. I don't remember running from them, or being afraid. I can only go by what Bernie says. He told me I burst in the front door of the office like my hair was on fire. Or something..I don't know. I didn't focus, because I had to arrest Sho." Thinking back to that day, and coming up blank, "The next day, I remember how helpless Kim was. I tried to talk to her...and then.." Yeah, I’ve got nothing. So, I go on to explain how we pick up other gifts, “We can pick up 'talents' from others, if we enter into a blood bond. But I've not entered into such an agreement ever. And they, really, are my only other influence." I pressed my face and my body as close as I could into his, savoring this private, physical moment between us, "I know it's selfish of me, and that you have to ward yourself against me, but..I don't really want to leave you."

Because I didn’t. I wanted to stand like that forever and be close to this man who I am so fond of.

He lowered his chin to rest atop my head, “You've mentioned this Giles' fellow has a talent for diving into the mind...and I know you've offered to do the same to me before. Did you...do you remember trying to do the same for Kim or Cheryl? It seems like the logical thing to do. If I could, well, read others thoughts, I'd want to know how they were feeling.” And then he grew silent. Contemplative. As he said, I wanted to jump into his mind and glimpse at his thoughts. I don't, though. I respect him and his regard means much to me. If I manipulate his thoughts and dive into his innermost secrets, would he ever trust me?

“I dig in though Kim's while she sleeps, always trying to look for Susan. I can't get very far, though. I don't do it often, either. The gift is more or less a hunting technique rather than a psychic ability. Hypnotize, mesmerize, and then make you forget I ever existed kind of deal. Some of us have just evolved it somewhat. There is a link there, between her and I. Kim, that is.....Could it be magic, really? I'm not really all that familiar with witchcraft and normally it doesn't work on me. On us." Nightwalkers.

“A link, you say? I'm going to imagine that you didn't have the ability to make things appear out of the blue before this link you established. This must be where it's coming from. This link you have.” He shook his head, “Well...most likely, anyways. I should quit leaping to conclusions. Still...it would make sense that if these girls are a conduit to someone or something else...it only makes sense that your link into her mind is responsible for the changes you're experiencing. Is it just because of your ability, or is it more?”

“I'm not so sure if it is her or not. Obviously, all arrows point that way. I'm not so blind as to ignore the obvious evidence, but…she's so helpless. So small. So human. I don't know, this is why I am heeding your advice and not telling you to stuff it, because I do feel better when I'm not around them and I don't want to turn into the monster anymore." I slid my palms up his chest, entwined my arms around his neck, peering up to him, thoughtful, "That one ability of mine, this mind linking, would be the only ability I have that makes me sensitive to such things as these...if it's more, well, I don't know what it is. Maybe it's because I'm dead...sort of." Taking stabs at theories.

“Your friend, Giles...was he able to make anything of this mental link or the information within your mind when you...spoke with him? The first thing I would think would be to try and cut off that link you have...but that might be dangerous. She might have more inside of you than you realize.” Slight shrug from him, “See, we just don't know. That's the problem. If I tell you to try something going off hunches and random guesses, it could kill you dead-dead, or worse, destroy your mind completely.” He shook his head at me, “That's not going to help anyone.”

"Well, at first he didn't believe me. And rightly so, I don't think this happens to us much. Then I told him about...how it was still 'active'. Like her imprint is still there," I unwound an arm from him and tapped my temple, "And then he said that his goul had done the same onto him. Left an impression. Mind you, Giles looked into my mind and reeled. It's obviously not the same thing...what's in my head, and then what's in his." Pausing, thinking, searching, "I don't know how to cut it anyways. Normally when we separate from a consciousness, that's it. It's done and over. It's like she's in me instead of how it's normally supposed to go. I feel much like I did when the fog was here, but in short, concentrated…episodes."

He stiffened in my arms at the mention of the fog, obviously retreating somewhere into his own thoughts on the ordeal.

“The fog was able to manifest itself into pretty much whatever it wanted. it turned into...” He glanced down at me, retreating back into thoughtful silence before speaking again, “It seemed to be able to shift into whatever it wanted. Or, maybe manifest is probably a better word. These things were real, at least real enough to tear a person apart. What we've seen so far seems like a shadow of that...but you may be right. They may be related in some way.”

“Maybe the two are related. I went down into those mines and there was nothing there. Nothing. Then the fog came, we couldn't go down there, and then...there they are. Do you know what exactly brings the fog?"

He grunted, rolled his eyes, “Nobody knows what brings the fog or what the hell it actually is.” I thought of what Flanagan had told me about the massacre of the native Americans and how since then the fog comes, “It's sort of an anti-source, a yang to it's ying. Nobody even knows what the source is, so it's not particularly surprising nobody knows what the fog is. One thing we do know is that the fog is deadly; a corrupting influence that seeks chaos and leaves destruction in it's wake…that seems to fit, if on a much smaller, milder scale.” Referring to my person brand of chaos.

I nodded, then kept on nodding, “Fucking fog…I should go, you know, before dawn.” I smiled, trying to be wry, but I didn’t want to go. I wanted to stay and hold him, be held by him, “Or you’ll be stuck with me another day.”


“Yes...you better get moving.” He looked down at me, smiling, “We'll continue this conversation another time. Do you have everything you need?” His hands came to rest at the nape of my neck, thumb caressing at the back of my ear. I was enchanted. How could we be having this conversation when I was so drawn in? I nodded my head, and then shook it. No. I didn’t have everything I needed because he wasn’t coming with me. How I wanted to cry then. Instead I kissed him with my woman’s mouth, soft and seeking. Pliant and pleading. If my heart would beat, it would be hammering in my breast. None the less, I was terrified, for I had put myself out there in perhaps the brightest spotlight possible.

He returned my ardor, suddenly pressing his hands into the small of my back, his warm tongue sweet and seeking found its way into my mouth, mine entwining with his. Sensation – a heat almost – burned down to my toes, igniting places of my body that I often forget exist. My hands buried themselves in his hair, for I wanted to be closer. Closer still. Pressing against him, wanting so much of him. But I would pull away. The sound of Skip’s pulse is loud to my ears, perhaps racing some with lust, but the sound of the coming dawn is much louder.

“I’ve been wanting to do that for a very long time now.”
“I'm sure you're used to waiting, when you have eternity.” He glanced towards the window, “Well...we'll definitely have to continue this...conversation later. I'll call you as soon as we find out something.”

It wouldn’t be soon enough.
The minute I walked out the door wouldn’t be soon enough.

“The price of eternity is often waylaid at the sweetest of moments." I said, turning, and shouldering my bag. Before I left, my fingertips traced the noble bone of his cheek, "Call me anyways, because you like the sound of my voice?"

I made it to the lighthouse in record time, running from certain death. The sun’s heinous, beautiful roar was calling me to sleep. The place was empty, as it had been since Angelika’s death. I was rather glad for I wanted to be alone. I still am alone. No other figure comes here to hide from the sun – which in thinking to that now, this makes me feel quite lonely. I stole one of the pillows off of the floor and took it to the cave and I laid upon the thing while listening to the water slosh around the slick, wet stone. When I fell asleep, I fell asleep thinking of the Professor.

______________
PART TROIS
(Attaquer Férocement)



The next day Bratcher returns. He finds me standing guard upon the balcony of the haven, my M14 in my hands, ready to shoot down any trespassers of the supernatural variety. He holds up his hands, cracking jokes.

Would you believe that my day with Bratcher was one of the best days I’ve ever had? Recognizing my need for untoward violence and my hunger, he is kind enough to offer himself. However, I don’t want to just drink. I don’t want to take Bratcher into my arms and sup upon him, for to do so would almost feel like an act of love and thus far too gentle to meet my needs – even if his blood would be enriching. Nourishing.

So he takes me out into the woods and I witness for the first time a gangrel’s animalism. Sitting upon the earth, gathering this unique magic, he bellowed out a bear’s call while I stood perched in a tree. Nothing happens, both of us with our ears cocked, noses at the ready, and smelling nothing.

I think Bratcher is about to give up until the beast suddenly appears on our sensory radar, a giant grizzly pissed at this invasion of its territory. Growling, showing fangs, attempting to frighten us from this place. I'm given the cue.

I lept from the tree and hit the ground running, withdrawing my sire's blade from the sash tied around my hips, slipping into my inner beast to face this creature head on. Eyes black, muscles taut, I lept upon it’s back and plunged the blade between it’s shoulder blades so that I could have a hand hold.

It reared back onto it’s hind legs, jaws snarling and spitting, trying to get me off of him. It’s razor sharp claws tore at the air, but I could not be shaken. The blade was removed, for I had taken a fisthold into the scruff of it’s neck, and pressed on by the mighty sounds of it’s pounding heart I stabbed my knife into the side of it’s neck, wrenching up to tear the arterial connection.

Blood poured freely and I feasted upon it, drinking in every precious pint I had lost in the past few days, supping greedily. When I had taken my fill, I climbed off the bear, seized it’s giant head and my hands, and gave it a violent, gruesome twist to sever the spinal chord.

When it was dead, I crouched beside it, and stroked its muzzle. I wasn’t sure if Bratcher approved of my actions, but we decided to bury the beast. I felt it needed a more justifiable burial than just leaving it out or dragging it off to it’s cave.

I asked him if he thought it had a soul.
He said yes. He knew it did.
Did we?
I said yes.
Because we love, we feel things, we want things, and know things.
Something like that.

I might have lied to him. As previously mentioned, I am not sure if we have souls or not. But, I wanted to comfort him.

Something in his demeanor was grave. Sober. Very un-Bratcher like, for he is normally full of good cheer and grins. He looked at me sadly, and told me that…no one would ever be able to appreciate this side of my natural self.

He wanted to know why I did not eat from him.
And I told him that I do not see him as food, did he want me to see him thus?
He confessed then, a weakness of his, that he craved my Kiss. Or the Kiss. Not sure which.

I leapt over the carcass in between us, seizing his wrist in my hands, drawing it to my mouth. Did he really want this? I wanted to be sure.

No. Instead, he wanted more. He wanted me to take his head and yank it to the side, to feast upon his neck, and sup from him as a true vampire should. Ah, Bratch… I don’t think I ever could, I want to say. But I don’t for there is a noise from the river and suddenly two wolves come from the water.

One is pale and light. Beautiful. The other? Red with piercing, green eyes. Magnificent. I don’t know who they are, but I have seen the red one before. There is no animosity here, and I ask them if they would like to share the meal. I don’t, you know, speak wolf…but seems to be the intent here. The cartridge is expelled from my gun (for I had brought it with me) and I chuck it in to the water. Talk about an olive branch.

Bratcher and I leave, making the sojourn back to his home, where I fully intend to return to the light house just in case Tabbie was home – what if I hurt her? I’m sure Bratcher would rip off my head and I wouldn’t blame him.

I am wet after my brief dive in to the river. Earth and grass cling to my long skirts. So, instead of going to the haven, I veer to the left and down the slope, leaping in to the pond..floating there, dreaming.

Shortly after, Bratcher cannonballs onto me. Arms flailing, laughing, I come up sputtering and splashing. We played like little kids. I dove under and snatched him by the ankle. He countered by seizing my waist and pulling me under.

He snagged a floating donut and lazed around. I invaded what little space was left and kicked my feet in the water, determined to cause a raucous. Again he pulled me under, determined to keep me there I’m sure until I got annoyed and caved or punched him in the nose. Instead, I stared at the lengths of his hair floating around in the sway of water, mildly enchanted. Which is kind of normal for me…I watch my own hair float around. I watch sea flora float around. It’s quite pretty.

Blowing up my cheeks, crossing my eyes, and flapping my hands at the side of my head, I give him my best fish face.

He surfaces, coming to perch on a raft big enough for a few people, and I go after to follow suit, laying back against the pillow. People are starting to gather. Oh yeah, the party. I definitely should be leaving. But I feel easy and happy, laying on this raft with my deputy as casually as anyone can.

Bratcher shares barbs with his friends. Tai dances. Someone throws Bratcher a beer. Ace, giddy and smelling of alcohol, swims out to us and eventually perches on her own raft – we’re a fleet!

“I want you to know,” I said to Tai, “That Ravenhurst’s finest are in top form tonight.”

“When are we having a girl’s day?!” That would be Ace. I beamed at her, pleased at this invite. Girl’s days aren’t really something I participate in.

“This thing needs sirens.” I remarked to Bratcher in regards to our vessel. It would be just that more fucking awesome.

I spent much of the night watching the flower seller, for I hadn’t seen her since the time in the square, when I had purchased a flower from her. She held Tabbie’s cat in her arms as if she owned the creature, speaking to the boy who’s shameless self promotion posters were still in various spots in the town. Must be friends.

People are eating charred meat, drinking beverages of the fermented variety, and the only thing that would make me happier would be the appearance of Skip, though I’m not rightly sure he would come to an event such as this.

Then I sense her. Sense Kim. Can Bratcher sense her to? I roll off the raft and swim away, flying under the currents towards the sea.

Upon my return, Jesse is still there. Along with several others. Lexie and Warpath included. Also? A woman lies upon the ground, facedown into the dirt, the back of her skull blown to pieces. Her brain matter, pink and fleshy, is everywhere.

Dugan comes along in his patrol car, lights flashing. Shortly after comes the ambulance to load the carcass away for Zack’s table.

“Sheriff,” Dugan says to me, coming to stand at my side, spitting a wad of chewing tobacco to the earth. "Deputy."

“What’s going on?” I ask him, because Jesse and Warpath can’t answer me. They are too busy slinging testosterone around.

“Don’t rightly know,” He says. “But big man over there called it in to central.” Meaning Warpath, “Looks like a suicide.”

Yeah…

And then I caught a glimpse of the face as the body was bagged. It was Sophie Green, the psychologist I had brought in.

Jesse glares at Warpath and Warpath, with a blade in his hand, begins to hack and slash away at the air. I see them. The ravens. Dugan doesn't, but he's really not all that surprised...which I find charming about him. He's far to real in this fictional place. He leaves, chuckling to himself, something about gleefully building a mountain of paperwork on my desk. Lexie departs to, before I can speak with her.

Suddenly, it's just me and Warpath. I walk away, not quite there, and he sees the ravens that fly around me as I vanish into the darkness.

I hope Bratcher is ready to work.
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PostSubject: Re: L'Ange Noir - The Chronicles of Keliah Angelis   Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:37 pm

Le Feu Brûle, Guérit de Sang, et Honorables Amis



Evening has just descended and the last rays of the sun have vanished beneath the horizon.

Good morning, Nightwalkers.

I stand upon the balcony of the haven, peering out, a hawk on the perch. In my hands is this book that I so often write in. I’m “soul searching”, reading back on the pages of my life since coming to Ravenhurst. This is my only journal here that I’ve written in during my time in the United States – my others grave the shelves of my library back home.

I rarely talk about that place, so I suppose I will now. Angelis used to be a sprawling, country estate, but after the war, and being more involved with the protecting of our territory (that would be France, kids) a mighty, modern building was erected along with so many others post-war in the realm of La Defense. Angelian beauty was traded for sleek, sophisticated architecture. The building was made to accommodate both mortal business fronts and the residential requirements of my kind. The lower floors hold lease rights to Parisian business, military contracts, restaurants. The upper floors contain most of the Angelian family. Flats. Studios. Our own offices for day-time business. Conference rooms. The main hall where we held court and the like.

My own apartment was beside Kristof’s. Despite the clean and modern front of our building, the interior realm of Kristof’s chambers were ancient with his priceless collections of antiques and oddities, a museum of distant times past when France still held on to it’s monarchy. Gilded furnishings in the pastel palette, damask silk hangings on his walls. Even though in his mortal life he was just a poor minister, the vast amount of time he has had since his turning has changed this for him. It also helps when your family is one of the most powerful in France. Europe, even.

After the second world war, the house of De Freyne was mostly destroyed and left to rot, her descendents moved on if there are any. I stopped keeping track. What was salvageable came to me – a private buyer – and now I have a room in my apartment shoved to the brim with stuff from my mortal life, the rest of the rooms of my living space were kept bare and cold. Mostly because of my mentor demanded this of me, the Brujah soldier who trained and shaped me as one of Angelian’s soldiers. Kristof has since arranged the things to suit his artful eye, he says, telling me of a ready home for when I return to him.

He’s so delusional.
Then again, so am I.
Apparently, this soul searching quest has made me realize how homesick I am.

I can see people gathering in front of the Thirsty Raven. There is the petite form of Ace, the much taller man I had met once in the outskirts of Crimson territory, and even the slender, beautiful Tai. More faces and figures I do not know piling in to grab a beer and the like. I wonder if something is going on? Think I’ll go inside…










…I’m standing on the street, in front of a crowd. People are looking at me and I am staring back at them through a brilliant, wavering haze. Why are people looking at me?

“Stop it, just stop it!” A familiar voice beckons. Lexie’s hysterical command.
I can’t.

The boy I had met while watching Zee has Rie, the platinum haired she-wolf, bent over him.
What?

Nicky – my friend – is balled up into a ball upon the road.
What have I done?

It’s then the pain hits me. As if some beast had come and shoved it’s claws into my back. Fire! I’m burning! No time to think, just run. Flames have taken my hair, melted the flesh of my face and scalp. My hand charred and black, my arms. My belly. Burning, I fling myself into the river.

I vaguely remember Ace coming after me and her small self hauling me out, laying me out into the grass. It burns so much. The pain – I have never experienced such pain. I struggle to remain awake admist the chaos, catching fleeting faces. I recognize Jake – is my Celeste here? There is a pale face, and then there is Rie’s face. Their voices sound like distant echoes and foreign in tongue.

I scream again for I am plucked from the grass and hefted over a large shoulder. My charred skin cracks and bleeds. I can feel it – feel the vitae leaving. Where am I going?

“Ace!”

The lumbering graceful gait of my carriage is Kione, I know. His smell is familiar and the heat of his body feels scalding to me. He takes me off deep into the woods and sets me gently down into the grass. Above me, around me, I hear the voices of Ace and Rie, and they sound passionate with feeling.

Frenzy is near. I can feel it. I am much injured and the need is great. The bear’s blood sustains, but it is not nearly enough to mend.

Ace kneels beside me, the soft crook of her elbow red and wet. She has opened her veins to me and I partake of this gift that she has gives me, gulping down her were’s blood. Life comes back to me in a sudden, hot rush. The severity of my burns begin to heal with the speed afforded by her vitae. How odd I must have appeared to her as most of my flesh took on its more natural glow. How strange to watch my scalp seal and sprout off lengths of scarlet hair.

I had fed her, she had explained, and then I knew her to be the red wolf that had happened upon Bratcher and I. The one with the magnificent green eyes, those same green eyes that looked upon with mercy and kindness.

I thanked her, knowing in my heart she truly stands tall amongst my most honorable circle of friends, which was why I told her if she found me walking the streets once more to please kill me, and with that, I dove into the sea. I have fingernails to re-grow.

I came to surface on the more wild side of the island, far from the light house. Not on purpose, I had just drifted that way. Climbing the crags, scaling cliff-faces, and dashing through woods – just how I like it, I found myself nearly face to face with Dags Horngold, the reporter for the tribune.

I started him nearly off the ledge of the waterfall, but managed to coax him away. I was trying to figure out a way of luring the man down the mountain to the main road, but he kept asking me questions, professing a concern for my safety, and then he flashed his blasted ‘flashlight app’ upon me. My skin, from the worst of the burns, still bears markings. My clothes are gone, victims of fire.

Who had did this to me? He wanted to know. What had happened? I needed to taken to the hospital! Why hadn’t I returned his calls?

I concocted some lie, which he didn’t really believe, and then with an apology – because this is news, he said – he snapped my picture.

Sigh.

I advanced upon him, seizing the phone from his grasp, fingers curled into his shirt to jerk him close to me, and I plunged into his mind.

I hate this.
I hate doing this.

I fly though his memories, sifting to the recent, and erase the encounter from his mind.

“Sleep.” I command.

His body sags and I sink with him, laying him gently upon the grass, and I flee, leaping from the cliff into the pool below, Dag’s cellphone sent to a watery grave, and I swim with the river, out to sea once more, and then into the cave of the lighthouse.

I redress myself. I check my cell phone for missed calls – none of the numbers are Skip’s, so I don’t give a shit about the rest.. Not right now. I see Dags’ phone number. The office. France.

No Skip.

I feel crushed. Crushed? Yes, crushed. Apparently, no answers are to be had and he doesn’t “know anything”. Deep down, though, something else feels sad to me.

Then, in all my clothes, I return to the pool of the cave, laying down into the cool water, floating there in a half slumber. The water feels good against my knitting skin. Bratcher comes to check on me. We talk chop and business, which feels so normal and good to me. It sure beats laying here feeling…feelings. Plus, his good naturedness always makes me smile. A true brother, Bratcher is. I could not ask for a more loyal deputy.

With his promise to obtain testimony from the suicide vic’s final act, he departs and I sank down, down, down into the pool.

Soul searching sucks.
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Keliah Angelis

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PostSubject: Re: L'Ange Noir - The Chronicles of Keliah Angelis   Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:38 pm

Voicemail from Officer Dugan



“Uh, Sheriff? This is Dugan,” Spoken in his southern, dry voice, “You think you might want to be a peach and return my damn calls? What the hell you doin’ anyways, Big Red? Yeah I know you’re on some sick leave and what not, but Jeezus, Red…Fuckin’ call me. This Green lady’s damn father keeps callin’ here wantin’ ya. Gettin’ people callin’ here about it to…little news groups and whatnots from those hipster college kids she teaches. Some from that Mr. Horngold fella.. I think Bernardo might cry if ya don’t call soon. Oh, and git this, apparently some kiddo set some lady on fire by the Raven. I always thought that place caused a raucous…on fire! Can ya believe it? Speculation, though. Ain’t had any official statements come on in,” Pause for strained, productive coughing as expected from the Marlboro man’s twin, “Anyways, fuckin’ call me.”

Voicemail from Kristof Angelis



Unnaturally long pause after the beep, before the quiet, honeyed baritone speaks in his strange and eccentric way, "Uh...ahem. Où est l'oiseau chanson et pourquoi elle ne chante pas à ma fenêtre? Oh, rossignol, avez-vous passé de votre perchoir? J'entends nouvelles éloigné de votre arbre - des nouvelles de votre ancienne une tournant dans la poussière. S'il vous plaît appeler votre père et de la facilité dès son cœur inquiet! But! I know zat you are alife."
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PostSubject: Re: L'Ange Noir - The Chronicles of Keliah Angelis   Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:39 pm

Voicemail from Doctor Jean Johnston
(Pathologist from WASP crime lab)


"Hi, Sheriff Angelis? This is Doctor Johnston at CODIS. How are you? Just calling to let you know I'm faxing over the autopsy report. Not that it's not obvious.... Anyways, it's on its way. Have a nice day. If you need me, 555-6020."
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PostSubject: Re: L'Ange Noir - The Chronicles of Keliah Angelis   Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:39 pm

Voicemail from Officer Dugan



"Red," Dugan's voice, thin with impatience and perhaps a touch concern, "I'm getting little worried here. Okay, so, maybe a lot of worried. This ain't like you. Figured you'd be back by now. See all kinds of happenin' goin' on over at your house. I gotta say, I appreciate the trust ya put in my abilities to man your damn boat, but I'm gettin' tired of drivin' this thing. Me and the Mrs. are supposed to be headin' over to Arizona soon, you think you'll be feelin' better? I've got tons of shit to talk to you about. If I don't hear from ya soon, I'm goin' to have to talk to Tony Boy about this..."
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PostSubject: Re: L'Ange Noir - The Chronicles of Keliah Angelis   Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:41 pm

@#$&!!!


I don’t know what to write. I’ve recently found this tome of mine after days of discarding it. Much has happened, and yet half of it I can’t really remark on for there simply are no words to describe the lunacy. Besides, the mundane tasks of holding Court at the Lighthouse isn’t really worth writing about. Save for the act in itself. So, excuse me while I ramble.

I’m a queen, an Elder.
Well, no. That’s a lie.

That’s just the current rumor. I’m not sure who started it. I vaguely remember sitting in Damien’s house with Cheryl and her introducing me as the Prince of this realm, but I believe the rumor stemmed from another source. Mel, perhaps, who I have heard tell this lie to others.

When I speak to others, I am careful to use terminology such as ‘we’ or ‘us’ when addressing them, but when I say this I know I stand and act alone. It’s really tough work trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the undead and parade around as if I am older and thus wiser than they are. However, with my presence and my nosing about their business, perhaps the drive is there to remain peaceful. Not that I expect some huge vampiric uprising against the town, but I do not wish for some ancient figure to waltz though this town and think that they can lay claim to what I hold dear.

I have been content enough to involve myself more in the doings of vampires these past days and I plan to change up my patrols in the future to better include them and their doings, if I am going to stand as a mother to all these children. I don’t want to be a recluse in the light house any longer and truthfully, it’s quite hard to ignore the endless calls and pulls to wander…whether it be at the command of darkness or simply being driven by my own wants to find the professor during my moments of clarity.

It was during one of those moments of clarity that I went to Damien’s house and I addressed him once more as a person of power. I told him that I would be watching him. Carefully. I am scouting, you see. I have him and a certain ventrue in mind for chair positions upon the council. I left his house with my grave warning on a whim, suddenly lured out by the most intoxicating thing I’ve ever smelled.

It was like the sea sparkling with sunlight. Fresh warm breeze, sun-brightened sand gleaming… I describe visuals, but anyone who has been to the shore can agree with what I say. The blood of this creature pulled to me in a way that I can not describe. It was ten times stronger than Jericho’s to my senses.

I stalked her – foolish creature that she was, she was headed towards the light house, and I meant to corner her there and feast on her. I knew her for what she was, knew she was a fairy, but what I did not know was that her shining light would evoke the ardent fury of the darkness and then squelch it. That is exactly what happened.

I made to corner her, comfortably slipping into the glove of Frenzy, the darkness rising in me to frighten her, to show her how evil and frightening I was. Instead, she spoke to me in a sardonic, Irish lilt and reached for my wrists, dropping her guise and filling me, just filling me, with her light. I protested. I fought. I did not want to be parted from this existence that I had been so compelled to know, and then I realized that Skip Zelin was holding on to me, his arms wrapped around my shoulders, his pulse loud and fragrant to my ears. I sent the darkness his way, that part of me that commanded it wanting him gone – wanting my meal, but Taibah’s light would not allow it and suddenly I was fine. I mean truly. The dark mote was gone.

I think Skip was caught in a wtf moment. Taibah mentioned something about allergies. I ‘sneezed’ to put in my two cents. I held fast to Skip’s arms as they encircled me, but they fall away and he turns, headed for Tabbie’s cabin.

Then? I went home – home as in the light house, only to be immediately set upon by Giles and a woman I barely know, calling me to my actual home. Saying I must come. Saying… I go. It’s Kim who calls me home, who embraces me. I remember this, for once.

Many things have happened in the course of the past few days, like I’ve said, and I feel a bit chaotic and clustered. For now I will talk about Bratcher, as I mean to discuss him later. Bratcher who has always been my right hand in the short time we’ve known the other, who has been a friend and a brother to me since I decided to let him past the first barrier of myself…fought me. I can’t even remember why we scuffled in the light house, I just remember fighting, and then he declared his love for me.

I don’t mean the subjugate love of kine to the powerful, or even the love one might have that develops out of respect for one’s superior. With wounded, sad eyes he told me this and I, provoked into violence, merely held my ground with my fists at the ready, expecting him to come at me again with those claws and snapping fangs. He turned and left me then to mull over this – though I can’t say that I’ve done very much mulling.

The next day (or evening rather) began with me startling Fran upon my waking (awesome!), passing two children in conversation (one being Mel) at the entrance of the light house, and I stalked the cemetery. I crept along the church and stood at the outskirts of the square, and found Dickens sitting on a bench, her flowers gathered beside her, looking very young to me and innocent. Rustic. This angered me, because she is a vampire! Why is she living as though in squalor, selling flowers for money? She is a Goddess amongst mortal man! Where is her Sire? Does she have a sire?

I confess, I don’t really know why I was so put off by this existence she chooses – right now, I don’t much care how she governs her life provided she isn’t openly gnawing on people in public or rolling along as a cloud of mist – whatever her gifts might be. I crushed her flowers in my hands, livid. She promptly was moved to tears and a young woman came to her defense, one who was silly enough to pop me in the jaw.

I laughed. How funny! Silly, foolish girl! She pinned her eyes onto mine, as often as I do onto others, as if trying to sink into my consciousness. She’s a fairy, I know, with her mental prying. To she smells of rain and life. I don’t know what she’s speaking of, but she remarks on my sickness and means to lure me away from the square.

Of course, I go along.
I’m going to eat this fairy.

However, the potential meal is waylaid for I am dazzled by glamour. When we are alone, she begins to sing to me. A song about roses…or something. Again, the darkness is chased from me and I feel whole again. Her, myself, and Ace (for Ace had been circling the church) stand as a trio within the house of God. Ace is not Ace, but the red she-wolf, apparently amusing herself by walking around town this way, if jovial barks and tail wagging means anything when asking a beast why they are being foolish? After Thora had left, I pet her soft fur. Pulled on her ears. I was probably doing something completely inappropriate and disrespectful, but is this this not how one pets a domesticated dog?

Together, we left the church, and Kim is there on the other side of the door. She’s been in my closet, apparently. Short skirt, black jacket. The drawer I reserve for hunts. I’m full of glamour, and so she looks different to me. Less like a frightened girl and more like a woman. She has fine legs.

As soon as I drop her off, I venture away. I feel alive. Better than alive. I do cartwheels in the street and twirl in circles, delighted by the long skirts floating along with my steps. I’m full of fairy glamour and I want to go home – well, to Skip’s house. The knob turns easily, for it’s unlocked. Good, I was hoping for this. I have big plans of surprising him, except it is I who am surprised. Dickens is coming down the steps, her arms full of a laptop and an ashtray. Immediately she turns and flees, heading upstairs. The windows are closed. She is not under the bed, nor in the rafters, which means she is in the bathroom. I propped against the door and slide down to the floor, barring her in. I then apologized for crushing her flowers and promised to give her funds to cover the loss – even though they are worthless things. I know I’ve just waylaid her in a robbery of Skip’s things, but I can not arrest her at the moment. Vampires are tricky business and I can’t leave her unsupervised at the Sheriff’s office lest some stupid fool opens the windows.

I just want her gone out of the house before Skip comes home, in case he decides to press charges. He does come home, though. Needless to say, he’s not impressed with the visitor, but I have to defend her. Tell him she’s one of mine. I introduce her as Dickens and she jumps in with Mary, Mary Dickens.

Amusing.

And so I returned to work the next day, much to Dugan's relief. First thing I do is answer an emergency call about a burning barrel in what appears to be a hang out of sorts for the local youths or homeless. I’m the one who puts out the fire. Me. Of course, I yell at Tony for this – didn’t he have a fire department now? Once the flames were out, I went to the fire station and made a point to show my disapproval before continuing my patrol.

I see Mary near the Raven. I see Bratcher and a woman standing in the street just along the way as well. As soon as he sees me, he flees upstairs to his little batcave, the woman in tow. This woman? She’s a vampire whom I’ve never seen and I followed in their wake, curious, after paying Mary the funds I ‘owed her’.

He pulled a gun on me – the second time he has pulled a gun on me – in front of witnesses no less. I could have fucking killed him right then and there for his idiocy, and pointed out the situation at present. Gun, witnesses, and the like. I wanted to meet this lady. I wanted her properly presented to me, this creature roaming my islands without my knowledge. I think she’s Jesse’s childe, though. Simply because of how crazed he was over her.

Funny, this.

First, he tells me that he wants to marry Tabbie Blackthorne.
Then he is in love with me.
Then he has his woman holed up in his place.

Wow, really?

He turned in his badge.
More like flung it to the stairs.

I felt…disappointed that I had allowed myself to become friends with such a creature. Apparently fealty to protect and serve are lost when faced with too many pairs of tits. Typical.

Skip is there – why is Skip there! - watching the spectacle, Mary Dickens close in his wake. I have to get him out of here, for unlike me and Mary, he is not immune to gunfire. So we go home, he and I. He looks terrible. Older. Tired. Popping medicines and making tea, he promises that he will be well within the hour, but my chest aches because he feels thus. If I could Sire him, it would take it all away. The pain. Age. He could be with me for an eternity…

We speak of my experiences of late, about the fairies and their light. I don’t really know anything about them. Skip seems to know more than I and we hash plans.

Back to work with me. Another patrol. The party is alive and kicking at the Raven. I find Linzee coming up the street with a servant in tow…Linzee! I wave helplessly to Lexie as she pulls up on her scooter and steps into her shop, wanting – if not needing – to patch the gap between us.

Linzee and I discuss politics, of course. About me taking power. She gives me the greatest compliment she could have given me and said I had leadership potential. This meant she had faith in me. But I need her, I said to her. I need her to assume her role and take a seat upon the council.

I can’t even keep her abreast of the situations at hand, for there is a call on the radio. Some guy is holed up at Bratcher’s place, fitting his description, with guns at the ready. There are people at the bar!

His car looks beat to shit. Tabbie and Taibah are together, probably my callers. I get a briefing from them and head to the door, only to find my daughter’s goul in residence with both Bratcher and his new woman. Can I get a facepalm, people?

Especially when no one fucking listens to me when I tell them to get the fuck out?

Bratcher isn’t armed when the door opens. At least, he isn’t armed with guns. Still, I keep mine leveled on him, removing my knife from my belt as well, standing on the defensive until the others vacate the premises.

He tries to appeal to me, wanting me to drop my duty in the wake of his version of the reason. I’m sure there’s an interesting story behind all this, but at the moment, all I can think about doing is neutralizing this potential threat.

Look, mother fucker, I’m a fucking cop first before I'm a friend and so I give him three warnings to surrender. He argues with me, more like whines, and then begins to advance, warning me that I better be good with that knife.

“I don’t have to be good with this knife.”

I opened fire. Somehow he seemed to know I was about to shoot for he ducked, diving out of the nearest window. How he moved so fast in the wake of an inch on my part, I’ll never know. Perhaps he has enhanced cognition as I do. Or perhaps he’s just fucking lucky. At least he is out of the town, which really was my goal.

I spent all the night chasing after him, trying to track him down. Tracking a gangrel in the woods is like finding a needle in a haystack. A very bland, beige needle. Of course, I don’t find him.
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