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    February 15th

    Late Evening

    Eris' Compound


    Being summoned to a meeting in Glamis was positively something she hated. It was dangerous to fly into the North at this time of year, networks had not been completely restructured yet. There were a few places she could land in the event of mechanical failure, but not many that were equipped to help her with what she needed to get the plane back into the air.


    The meeting was as expected. Demands. Irritating assholes. Arrogance. People that didn't know what the fuck they were talking about. Wants and needs that couldn't necessarily be delivered with the resources she had.


    Some sort of idiotic threat, crawling through New York. She'd gotten a whiff of it over the last year or so, but it had been quiet lately. Why was Sheut concerned? Because if bad guys gobbled up the magic slingers, they might annoy the Sheut Nation. Humans and their magic. Idiots. Just find a magus to screw and get  the fascination out of their system.


    She couldn't get out of Glamis fast enough. Flight had been quiet, weather somewhat amiable. As the lights of New York came back into view, she couldn't help but really want to be home. Away from those that had no understanding or relatively little fucking clue of what the rest of the world was going through. Their only want was to make sure that their position reigned supreme, and to be assholes; with the exception of her adopted brother. Even he had his moments when she wanted to smack him on the back in the head. If she could reach, that is. Damn moose. 


    The tiny vampire reached forward, clicking several small levers as she adjusted the headset and spoke to her ground crew.


    "Flash", said quietly the plane turning gracefully in the air.


    The runway near the coast lit up once, its chasing lights on the ground unseen unless from above. All she needed was the position to land, her eyesight could do the rest. Touchdown would be slightly dicey, winter flights were always a risk. Her crew kept the runway pristine. Always.


    The elegant Cessna touched down in almost complete darkness, immense power vibrating through the beast as she reversed engines to slow it to a crawl and taxi.


    "Gold window shields worked great Mouse," words were quiet over the radio.


    No response, there never was. The techie was always listening though.Turning over the plane to her crew, the petite form stepped down from the cockpit.


    She fucking hated winter, the black  Louboutin mad heel boots she had on effective against the elements, but didn't bring her any closer to Ahanu's height. Black slacks were pristine, black Mackage Kay coat fluttering its fur collar at the bitter wind as she peered out of the hood up at her right hand.


    The woman's face wasn't pleased. It was never pleased when she had to tell the Viceroy bad news. Toby wasn't with her, which meant something had gone to shit. Her adopted protege kept the dangerous kind at bay. Namely, other vampires. There wasn't a vampire in the city she wasn't aware of, if they crossed her city without making themselves known she stabbed them in the face. They had the choice to reveal themselves, or die. Mostly die. Being infected tended to make baby vampires arrogant and ballsy. They tended to make her stabby and murdery.


    Heat rolled from above the doors in the hangar, closing as the plane was pulled in. She'd stepped to the side in the first floor office, pouring herself a drink.


    *npc* Toby is babysitting two rogues.


    "Fucking kill them already," answer was disinterested. "I just spent way too long listening to bullshit, rogues can go in a ditch."


    Yes, she'd promised not to do that anymore. It was her discretion. There were more popping up lately than the Executioner had time to deal with. Scratch that. She didn't feel like constantly flying out to shitstorm L.A. to pick him up. They were rogue, they were toast.


    Ahanu shook her head, the formidable woman pulling her hood down on her coat. The tiny vampire did the same. This was not going to be a good night. Coat slid from her arms and Ahanu took it to hang up. Winter white wool turtleneck sweater was smoothed, hair immaculate, narrowed eyes watching the woman as she picked up her cognac and followed Ahanu to the mechanical room. Toby was babysitting two middle aged wannabe commandos. Malnourished, beat to hell. They'd put up a fight.


    *npc* They were sniffing around the south fence.


    The irritated Viceroy reached and pulled Ahanu's sidearm from her leg holster, firing three concussive shots in succession and handed it back to her. Knee, knee, not knee. The asshole hissed at her, a high pitched squeal twisted into the animalistic growl. She put her hand out and Ahanu placed it in her hand again. One in the forehead.


    She approached the second, gun still in her hand. Swallow of cognac preceded the narrowing of the viper's immaculately lined eyes.


    "I'm hungry and tired. Open your fucking mouth and talk or I'll chain your ass to the east fence at seven am and burn your skin off. Then we'll bring you in, and do it again the next morning. I don't have time for your bullshit."


    The story between stammers and obstinate blubbering was one she didn't want to hear. Glamis had given her insight, and now this clusterfuck was in her back yard.


    Handing the gun back to Ahanu, she finished her drink.


    "Put him in the hole, call ARMA. I want to meet with someone tomorrow. Whoever is in this shit neck deep, lie if you have to in order to get them here. I'm going to sleep."


    With that she made her way to the upstairs luxury loft of the hangar. This was snowballing into giant headache. Of course, very few in ARMA knew of her kind, and she was content to just let the magic chasing idiots beat the crap out of each other as long as it didn't rock the stability of her area. Now rogue vamps were jumping into the mix? They needed to be ripped to shreds. That shit didn't happen on her watch. She had to clue in the new guard that there were worse things out there that could rain down hell other than humans fucking around with magic.


    Namely, her. 


    Whatever "threat" was making factions piss their pants, hadn't locked horns with her yet.

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    The phone spun, then spun again.


    It took less than a nod to call Ahanu back from her mission. Instead the Viceroy sat in her lavish office in near darkness, green glass desk lamp on, the cell phone spinning on her leather desk pad.  Fingers were on her temple, elbow on the desk. Fingertip pushed it and spun it again. This. Damn. Phone.


    Play nice, Glamis had said. Of course, but sending her people to ARMA to arrange a meeting was not what she needed to do. She needed to get more information, and play roulette with the phone.


    Snapping it into her hand, she was already moving. Vintage lavender Prada heels clicked softly through the hangar with lethal intent, black flight clothing replaced by an impeccable gray suit. A quick stop on the way and she was back in the “hole”, the mechanical room where all her problems were housed until she decided what to do with them.


    One rogue had been beheaded and removed, room cleaned spotless. The other, was listless on the floor. She tossed the blood pack at him, nodding to Toby to step back.


    “If you talk I won’t kill you.”


    Hands slid gently into her pockets, watching the beaten Sheut Ka reach for the sustenance and attempt to feed. Noble features cast her gaze to the wall, she hated watching people feed; gauche and disgusting, like a fucking two year old with a Slurpee. He was starting to move a bit more, dragging himself to the wall to lean on it. Toby had really done a number on him, her forbidden protégé was picking up her vicious streak.


    He talked, she listened. What little he gave her, painted a more complete picture of the storm that was starting to shake the foundations of her charge. More rogues, helping idiots play king of the hill.


    Fucking hell.


    Phone was tapped quietly in her pocket.


    Footsteps neared him, “who’s in charge of this slumber party magic tricks shitshow.”


    It wasn’t a question, the calm demeanor of the petite vampire could demand the world with a whisper.


    The idiot laughed slightly, the lunge at her fierce and sudden. In that moment, she snagged him by the neck and slammed him to the ground hard enough to crack the concrete beneath him. The tiny Sheut was fierce, and as quick as a viper.


    “Who’s in charge.”


    He began clawing at her hand, giving her nothing.




    It was done, head torn from his body with a thick sounding twist, both dropped unceremoniously to the floor. Perfectly manicured brows furled slightly, stepping out of the growing pool of blood to save her favorite pumps.


    “Fucking dumbass,” she said particularly to herself, pulling the phone from her pocket and sliding off the now spattered suitcoat to hand to Toby.


    It flipped open, the call button caressed a moment with her bloody thumb before pressing it and lifting it to her ear. She hadn’t called the number in a year. The question was, who would pick up the other end…

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    The hour was late though the ARMA facility was far from quiet. Shifts were rotating in and out on their usual schedule, and the sounds of ringing phones or the percolating of a coffee machine. People could be heard sparring in the gym while others talked over food grabbed from the kitchen fridge. The sounds were nothing out-of-the-ordinary as far as noises went in the workplace. Of course, Cassandra thought it was all too much at this hour. Normally her workaholic attitude meant that she didn’t mind being in the office, but these days that wasn’t as true.


    Working from home was far more preferable when the work involved staying in the office instead of being outside the building. The upper levels where Alistair and Aura’s offices were had become a place where the temporary “council” met to discuss matters with Cassandra taking over Alistair’s office and Alec taking over Aura’s office given the significance of their divisions along with the fact that it was largely the two of them that were responsible for keeping things from falling to pieces after the disappearances. And though eventually decisions would have to be made regarding a permanent solution this was what they had to make work for the time being. Tonight Alec was at home, having been able to go home early for once, but she’d had to stay as there was more paperwork to do in regards to the cathedral attack.


    Barely two weeks had passed since the attack yet it had generated more media attention and paperwork than she preferred. Some quack journalists were calling it an Outworlder attack; attempting to use it to push the agenda for further Outworlder Registration. They ignored the fact that ARMA commentary spoke to the contrary and just ran onward with their false reports. Their PR department was doing its best to try to clean up the mess being made by these delusional fanatics, but it was hard when they couldn’t release too many details. For one, it was an ongoing investigation. For two, there wasn’t much information they had to go on themselves. Just the thought made Cassandra groan as her mind drifted to the still healing aches and pains of her body. Luckily they had good healers which meant what had been left to heal was superficial. There wasn’t any need to heal what wasn’t life-threatening. She rubbed absently at a couple scratches near her temple; ignoring the thought that it was part of an ugly yellowish-brown bruise. It was one of many though would thankfully be gone soon.


    A yawn made her hand shift position, covering her mouth as she blinked twice to clear her eyes as the letters became blurry on another document. Coffee. When did her mug run dry? She couldn’t remember at the moment, but more was definitely necessary. Putting down her pen, she was reaching for the empty mug when a phone ringing caught her attention. That wasn’t her office phone nor her personal cell. Brows pulled together as she realized that it was coming from the drawer where she’d placed Alistair’s things.


    Pulling the draw open hastily, she grabbed at a strange phone flashing ‘Bride of Corinth’ on the screen. This was clearly one of her brother’s references that she didn’t understand. Figuring that the person calling was in need of contacting Alistair — they’d been lucky enough to keep the disappearances quiet where the public was concerned though that woudn’t last  — she pressed the accept button and put the speaker to her ear.


    Cassandra Greene speaking.


    Honestly, she wasn’t sure what else to say until the person on the other end decided to speak.

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    "Cassandra Greene speaking."




    Cassandra Greene. Interesting.


    Toby's attention moved from the mess on the floor to his boss, he'd heard the introduction. Dark gaze watched her carefully.


    "So you're the sister," not much of a conversation starter, the soft words hanging in the air. Sheut ears could hear the heart still pumping blood from her kill, slowing with each beat as seconds ticked by and the silent connection over the phone hovered in stalemate.


    A gurgle wheezed the rogue's last breath through its gaping trachea. Information he'd shared burned her tongue to move forward with this conversation. If she had the mage's phone, she was either in charge, or sentimental and keeping his things. If in charge, she was the one to speak to. If sentimental, they would have another problem to shut up.


    "A gray Mercedes will be out front of the Reserve building in one hour. The driver's name is Toby, don't make him wait. He will not hurt you. If it's not you, he'll know. We meet, and then he takes you back."


    ...because he knew the scent of her brother. If this woman was not blood kin they would make that punt when it became an issue. She assumed the sister was in the Reserve building, if not she better get her ass there or miss the train.


    "Alone. Do not bring the fucking hunter that killed my rogue with you. I will deal with him later."


    She was silent again for a moment.


    "We need to talk about how your magic slingers' current problem is now unfortunately my problem."


    Phone snapped shut, ending the call, eyeing the mangled mess she'd made of the vampire.


    "Leave it," was the command, quiet and subversive. "She needs a crash course in the fucking shitstorm that's going to happen if they can't get their act together. Go get her. If the hunter is with her, shoot him in the face."


    She left to clean up to a new suit, and wait to either be stood up or graced with the sister's presence.

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    • RESONANCE - 18+ 3/3/3

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