∂яαgσηѕ яιѕιηg (rebooted)


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Creus

12:52am Dec 11 2019 (last edited on 12:59am Dec 11 2019)

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Posts: 92
Once Creus successfully put an end to Blitz's noisy complaints by feeding him, he ate a quick breakfast of eggs and toast before busying himself with preparing that nights dinner. It was a crock-pot meal and he intended to let it cook slowly throughout the day. All he had to do was season the beef, give it a quick seer to seal in the flavors and through it in the pot with some beef broth and additional seasonings. He had considered bringing the entire crock pot over to the cabin and let it cook there but since he did not know his current tenants sleep schedule he didn't want to disturb them. So he set it up to cook in his little apartment and after that he washed up and made himself presentable before he decided to take Blitz out for a walk. Normally if he woke up in the morning he would just throw on a jacket and head out for a walk without caring about how he looked when he stayed at the cabin. After all he was in a rather isolated place and typically he didn't have to worry about running into anyone.

As soon as the door was open Blitz cheerfully bounded outside  and began to snuffle around before he found a rabbit to chase. The rabbit suddenly burst fourth from behind a bush and raced across the yard and Blitz chased after it. Despite his size the wolf was fast, like a white blur he barreled through the yard and vanished almost noiselessly into the forest.  Creus merely stood by, watched and waited for the wolf to return. Less than ten minutes later the wolf suddenly reemerged from the trees loosing a bit dejected as he had clearly lost track of the rabbit. Seeing the wolf return Creus called Blitz over intending to continue their walk however halfway there Blitz suddenly veered off and trotted straight over to the tent. It was only than that the thief noticed that one of his guests, the one who insisted on sleeping outside in the tent was just sort of standing there?

It was a little odd and he wasn't sure what to think however before he could even think to call Blitz back the wolf had already arrived and after casting a suspicious look at the tent, having smelled the kittens, Blitz approached the man and shoved a cold nose against his hand.

"Blitz come, don't bother him." He finally called the wolf as he walked somewhat hesitantly over. "Sorry about that, he has no sense of personal space. Anyway if you want there is cereal and a coffee maker inside..."

>>><<<

After a rather eventful night Reito was still completely passed out on the couch, snoring loudly with a leg hanging off the edge and an arm propped up against the side of the couch  sticking awkwardly up in the air. His shirt sleeve was pushed down and the number thirteen was tattooed on his shoulder in roman numerals. Underneath it the military slogan 'Semper Fi' was also  written in ink.

He had no blanket and all the doors, draws and cabinets hung ajar except for the basement which still remained tightly after locking him out the night before. A few other things where off as well, some items where placed rather randomly around the main floor. The toaster for example was in the middle of the floor while six glass cups where placed in a circle around it. Meanwhile there was also a few pillows on the counter, a coffee mug hanging off a door handle among other things. It was a rather odd sight that would be hard to miss for anyone who came across it.

>>><<<

To say Wren wasn’t a morning person was a bit of an understatement, even after enduring 190,165 mornings so far in this world he was still rather sluggish to get started. As a result he lazed around for quite awhile, the warmth of his blankets and Kai Ji snuggled up next to him made him reluctant to move and worse today was an earlier day than usual.  Although he had once been quite timely and active in the mornings that was hundreds of years ago when he got up at five am to start training for the day. 


When exactly had he started slacking? Surely sometime before he left the forbidden city he had lost interest in the people there long before he left, even coming dislike some of his beloved emperors descendants. For a long time he had been lost, unwilling to leave his home but at the same time feeling trapped. He hadn’t known what to do with his extended life and had fallen into a rut, repeating the same boring patterns day in and day out, watching people come and go while he stayed the same. It wasn’t until the emperor's descendants betrayed him that he had finally come to realize that the home he had been so desperately clinging to was long gone.


Even now, centuries after he realized this and left he still didn’t know what to do with his life thus he had decided to live simply. Enjoy the moment, live day by day and do not fret about the past or future. Thus, he was currently enjoying the moment, the pure bliss of snuggling in a warm bed with a purring cat. Suibien let him enjoy this for awhile  before gently reminding him that there was a reason why he set the alarm on his phone and it wasn’t to cuddle his cat.


“Right, right” Wren groaned as he struggled free from the sheets, carefully climbing around his sleeping feline friend as to not  disturb the cat. Even though Kai Ji could be quite the grumpy little jerk he was still Wrens beloved little jerk and he was the only one besides Suibien to accompany Wren for all these years. As soon as he got up and the rooms cold air touched his skin Wre glanced longingly back at the bed and muttered. “Do I really have to go to work and find this guy? He is a detective, seems like it might be hard work….and the bed is calling my name. ” 


“A little hard never killed anyone.”


“True, but why take the risk?”


Wren could tell that the dragon rolled his eyes at that one and chuckled as he finally started getting ready for the day. He wanted to appear professional while looking for this guy but he didn’t want to go overboard so he chose a nice, form fitting  grey shirt with matching black pants. After that he showered and dressed, taking the time to carefully brush out his long wild black hair before tying it back out of his face with a gold ribbon. 


“Not overboard right? I look handsome and professional but not like someone who is trying to hard either?”


“Looks good to me, are you intending to try and charm people into giving out information on this guy?”


“You bet, it’s worked before after all and why fix something that's not broken?”


“Well your narcissistic personality could use a bit of fixing and not everyone falls for your charms.”


“Oh, come on there is nothing wrong with taking pride in one’s appearance besides most of the time I wear one of those convenient shirts with the Kai Ji sized pockets on the front and those aren’t pretty, just toasty and useful.” Wren pouted in response to the dragons jeer, though he knew well that Suibien was just teasing.     


Joking aside, Wren finished getting ready and set down a plate that contained tinned sardines for Kai Ji who was currently glaring at him for disturbing his slumber and headed out.  His first goal was starbucks, once again he planned to ask whomever was working there about the detective, if they didn’t know he would buy something for breakfast and wait for a while to see if the man himself showed up. 


The starbucks cafe wasn’t too far from his hotel so he arrived after a short walk and stood back for a moment to study the menu. He wasn’t much of a coffee guy, having grown up with hot teas the stuff had never really appealed to him however he was pleasantly surprised to see a variety of tea’s on the menu. The first time he had stopped by, he hadn’t actually bothered to take a look at the menu.  What caught his attention was something called Emperors Cloud and Mist green tea. The name alone was rather appealing to him, even though he had no idea what it tasted like he got in line to order a cup of it and a croissant. The line was rather long and it was headed by a women with short blond hair who was currently holding everyone up as she shouted at someone behind the counter. Several other people muttered in annoyance and it was easy to tell that this woman was probably just stirring up trouble to try and get a free coffee. Rolling his eyes he thought about interrupting the woman when he caught sight of one of the people behind the counter. A dragon? 


“Hey is that?”


“Yes, it appears that we have run into another dragon. You should behave yourself.” 


“Ugh, fine.” 


Although the situation was probably not the best way to encounter another of his kind it was still kind of nice to run into another dragon. Soon after the staff managed to regain control of the situation and sent the angry women on her way. As soon as the women stepped through the door Wren let out a loud cheer, loud enough for the women to hear as he triumphantly shoved his fist into the air. “Woohoo, way to handle that angry land shark!” 


He earned himself a few chuckles from his fellow line goers and an angry glare from the woman as she stomped out the door. Once he got to the counter he grinned at the person behind the counter. His original plan was to try and charm information out of the people here however he chose a slightly different approach on the account of the presence of another dragon. “A person like that could really ruin ones day huh? You guys handled that well though. Anyway, I am quite new to this whole starbucks thing and I am not quite sure I follow the cup sizes? I must say the names are rather unique…”


After the person at the register clarified the cup sizes for him he want on to order a grande emperors cloud and mist green tea and croissant while hoping he understood the menu properly. Thankfully he was the last person in line so after he placed the order he pulled out a picture of the detective and showed it to the staff. “Oh, have any of you seen this man? I am currently looking for him.” 




Storm
dmann

6:31pm Dec 16 2019

Normal User


Posts: 96

As night turns to morning, Anthony stirs awake, with Catherine snuggled into him again.


“Mnnnrrr… 5 more minutes.” Catherine mutters, as Anthony shifts to sit up.


“If you sleep in Kit-Kat, you won’t get breakfast, or coffee.” Anthony says back as he stretches finally, which causes Catherine to sit up.


“What time is it?!” she asks back, having perked up, as Anthony stands up, and walks to the bathroom, divesting his sleeping vest for a quick wash.


“About 40 minutes before the breakfast buffet stops.” Anthony answers with a chuckle, putting the faucet on and closing the bathroom door. “Grab me out a tshirt and a pair of pants, now you are up?”


“Meanie!” Catherine grumps, throwing a pillow at the door, then laying back down for a second, before sitting up again, the bed colder without Ant there. After a moment, Catherine gets up and collects the clothes Anthony asked for, then the thrown pillow, before finally pulling out a nice set of clothes for herself. “How much longer?!”


“I’m done now, relax.” Anthony says, turning the faucet off and toweling himself down, as he opens the door, to Catherine looking at him. “You can go in now… W-What are you looking at?!”


“Where did that bruise come from?” Catherine asks sternly, looking at Anthony.


“W-What bruise?” Anthony replies, which causes Catherine to walk up to him and poke him in the sternum, which, surprisingly to Anthony, hurts more than a normal poke.


“That. Bruise.” Kit-Kat says, with worry in her words, which causes Anthony to look down and notice where Catherine was touching.


“Oh, uh that. Funny story. During the night my old combat teacher in the Hunters, who is here and knew my Mom, came to visit us here, and kicked me in the chest.” Anthony says quietly.


“Oh oka-WHAT?!” Catherine gawks, moving her hand off his chest.


“Bathroom is available.” Anthony says calmly, walking past Catherine.


With a sputter, Catherine walks in the bathroom, and has a quick wash too, leaving the door open so Anthony can hear her. “You better have a good reason beyond food for making me get up.” she grumps, putting on the faucet and shucking her bedclothes.


“I do Kit-Kat. I need you to be a distraction.” he says quietly, slipping his clothes on.


“Oh, well if that’s all, I can try my best.” she adds, as she has her wash, confused as to what kind of distraction Anthony wants, until she sees him digging in her bag. “What are you looking for?”


“The yellow sweater dress.” Anthony replies, “I saw it yesterday.”


“Merce repacked it, I think, it should be in there. Why?” she retorts, grabbing a towel and drying off.


“It’s a bright, distracting dress.”


“Just get the high heeled boots out. I will find the dress.” Catherine huffs, as Anthony fishes the boots he was touching out, then moving for Catherine to pull the dress out in seconds, along with a set of leggings.


---------------------


“So the plan is for me to act ditzy, and gather as many people around me as possible, while you sneak around and listen in on the Hunters for anything they might say?” Catherine asks quietly, as they ride down in the elevator alone.


“Yup.” Anthony replies, giving Catherine a quick peck on the cheek. “You ready for this?” he asks, to which Catherine gives a quick nod, then putting her fingers through her hair to make it far wilder than expected, then putting a silly grin.


“Give me a few minutes head start!” Catherine grins, as the elevator doors open, and she starts bouncing forwards almost on tiptoes, bold as brass.


---------------------


As Anthony enters the hall where the Breakfast Bar is, he looks at Catherine for half a second, who, true to her word, was acting silly, and had a dozen people trying to help her, including an unsuspecting few Hunters, including Buford. He took his chance and quietly walked over to the buffet tables, and made two plates of Breakfast food up, while keeping an ear open for the milling Hunters. After a few minutes, Anthony hears two bored Hunters, possibly a Couple or a team talking in hushed tones.


“You hear about Simms?”

“Mmmhmmm. He got caught. Hear they are getting him out today.”


“That’s how we roll. Think Buford will give him a dressing down?”


“After we have found them maybe. I hear it was a pack of 5.”


“I heard 6.”


Anthony sighs and rolls his eyes, then moving away to sit at a table, near a few more Hunters, that seemed to be talking about a recent skirmish. One had a British accent and was slight, while the other sounded Russian, and was muscular.


“They keep getting away.”


“Hmmm?”


“Them.”


“Make sure they can’t run. Pin their wings, legs, arms. Then finish.”


“Easy for you to say, Vosahf. You didn’t let them get away twice in one night!”


With the Englishman’s remark, the Russian leans his head back and lets out a loud, braying laugh, causing the Englishman to sigh, and Buford to turn to look at the Russian for a second, which immediately makes him stop laughing. After that, the two Hunters start quietly talking to each other, which Anthony can’t hear. After a few minutes, where he eats some of his food, he hears a familiar old Female voice next to him, which causes him to drop his fork into his food and sit up, then noticing Catherine is now on her own on the other side of the meeting hall.


“Drinkwaters.” she says with tired gravitas, while holding a coffee cup filled with brown liquid.


“Ms. Buford… M-Morning.”


“Expecting someone else?”


“Y-Yeah.”


“We shall speak later. I have… People I must speak to about manners.” she remarks, looking at the Russian Hunter at the table nearby, who had a nervous look on his face.


---------------------


After Buford leaves, having finished her breakfast, Catherine makes her way over, and sits next to Anthony, starting on the plate of food he had gotten for her.


“Any luck?” she asks, getting only a point out of the door from Anthony, who had his mouth full of waffle, indicating they would talk up in the room, or out on the street, where it was relatively safer.


“Mokay. Lesh get gud cuffy after.” she says, with a piece of bacon in her mouth.


“Stahbukhs?” Anthony says quietly, which gets a nod from Catherine.



There is, I think, humor here which does not translate well from English into sanity.
Xichen

11:00pm Jan 12 2020 (last edited on 11:04pm Jan 12 2020)

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Posts: 2,089
About four hours after drifting back into a thankfully dreamless sleep, Vincent awoke, far more peacefully this time. Despite this, the distress from his nightmare still seemed to cling to him, and although he had managed to get a good few more hours of sleep, he was thoroughly exhausted and thankful he didn't have to work. 

Sitting up in bed yawning, he couldn't fight the urge to stretch out his back and shoulders. A quick check of the time on his phone told him that he should get up, so with all the speed and grace of a tortoise, he shed his blankets and headed to the bathroom, Misty following him eagerly. 

The large cat situated herself on the carpet again, paws tucked beneath her chest. One look at himself in the mirror caused the sun dragon to cringe at the sight of the obvious exhaustion on his face. Hopefully washing up makes it less noticeable, he fretted, reaching for his toothbrush.

"ι ∂σ ησт тнιηк тнαт αηуσηє ωιℓℓ ¢αяє αвσυт нσω тιяє∂ уσυ мιgнт αρρєαя," Helios assured, "ιт ωαѕ συя ƒιяѕт ηιgнт ѕℓєєριηg ιη αη υηƒαмιℓιαя єηνιяσηмєηт. ѕσмєтнιηg тєℓℓѕ мє уσυ αяє ησт тнє σηℓу σηє ωнσ єχρєяιєη¢є∂ ∂郃ι¢υℓту ѕℓєєριηg."

You're probably right, Vincent sighed as he rinsed the cleanser off of his face. He brushed his hair next, securing it behind his head with a ribbon, and pulled off his shirt so he could look at his shoulder.

Slowly and carefully, he peeled off the gauze covering the stitches. The first wound was longer now, as incisions had been made on either side to make stitching easier and safer, but it looked like it was already healing well. He was supposed to go back in a week to have them removed, but they may not need to be in for that long. If I do go early, I hope no one starts questioning how I recovered so quickly. It looks like it'll be all healed up by tomorrow.

"уσυ ¢συℓ∂ яємσνє тнєм уσυяѕєℓƒ?" Helios suggested.

I could, but they're expecting me to return in a week. I don't want to raise any suspicion by not going.

"νιη¢єηт, ѕσмєтιмєѕ ι вєℓιєνє уσυ ¢αη вє α ℓιттℓє тσσ ¢αυтισυѕ," the dragon smirked, amused. "тнσυgн ιт ιѕ ѕυяєℓу υη∂єяѕтαη∂αвℓє."

After taping a fresh pad of gauze over his shoulder, the sun dragon returned to his room and finished getting himself ready. A few minutes later, he and Misty were descending the stairs, Vincent unable to stop himself yawning.

He blinked in surprise as he noticed Reito passed out on the couch. He was so excited to sleep in a bunk bed… I wonder what happened. More surprising, the floor was littered with random household objects. Coffee mugs, cutlery, pillows, the toaster… everything was scattered all over the main floor. Unwilling to let the place stay a disaster, the sun dragon took it upon himself to pick everything up and put it away before quietly making himself and Misty some breakfast.

I haven't seen Ennie. She probably had to go in before we got up. I really hope I didn't wake her… he frowned, fixing himself some hot honey-lemon water for his sore throat. I must have really screamed. For breakfast, he settled on some Shreddies and a banana, while he gave Misty some leftover chicken from the previous night. "I'm sure Creus won't mind if I give you this for now. I should ask him to show me how he makes food for Blitz since you enjoyed that so much."

Seated at the kitchen island, he scrolled through his phone as he tried to enjoy his breakfast. He would have cooked something for everyone, but he hadn't the energy. For some reason, his dream was really bothering him, even though he'd had it before. It was the shadows, I suppose. That was unexpected.

Misty had gobbled up her chicken and was busy washing her face by the time Vincent was finished and cleaning his dishes. He watched as she made her way over to the small scratching post he had brought for her. Not that I'm worried that she would damage the furniture, but I'm glad she has something to scratch. So many people don't have a single scratching post in their house and get angry when their cats pull on the carpet or shred their drapes.

Hmmm, it looks like Reito is still out cold. Perhaps we should go for a walk to avoid waking him.

“тнαт ωσυℓ∂ ησт вє α вα∂ ι∂єα. ιт ℓσσкѕ αѕ тнσυgн ιт ιѕ ωαямєя тнιѕ мσяηιηg.”

A walk in the woods where I don’t get shot will definitely be more pleasant, Vincent agreed. Let’s go out then.

A quick check on his phone told Vincent that it was currently five degrees outside. To someone coming from somewhere warmer, it would feel very cold. To someone who had lived through a rather bitter winter though, it was pleasant weather. A light jacket and gloves was really all that was needed to stay comfortable. He called Misty as quietly as he could, and she trotted over excitedly, seemingly eager to go outside. 

Sure enough, the foggy morning air was pleasantly mild in comparison to the rest of winter. It occurred to Vincent as he stepped outside that he could probably try to play Pokemon GO on his walk, though there was still lots he needed to learn about it. Maybe Ennie can show me more when she comes back, he thought to himself as he attempted to navigate the app. It looked like he would have to do more setting up, so he closed the game for the time being and set off from the cabin’s backyard.

The scents and sounds of the woods in early spring were soothing in a way he had almost forgotten. He made his way down to a small stream that must have just recently started to thaw, as the water was lazily babbling down its path. He decided to follow the stream away from the cabin, figuring that it would be an easy way to ensure he didn’t get lost.

This reminds me of Oregon… the cabin, the forest, the… 

“нι∂ιηg συт ιη тнє мι∂∂ℓє σƒ ησωнєяє?”

Well, that too. Only it wasn’t Hunters that drove us away from society that time, and we lived in the woods for years. Indeed, decades ago when the world was once again at war, Vincent had opted to live in seclusion. Having had enough of being a soldier to last several lifetimes, he packed what he needed and disappeared before he could be drafted, retreating to a run-down cabin he stumbled across in the Oregon wilderness. He had effectively become a forest cryptid, making occasional trips into the nearby small town for supplies but never staying long enough for anyone to really get to know him. Sometimes he missed that life; despite feeling safer living in a city among thousands of others to keep attention away from himself, the peace and quiet had been comforting, until a group of young Hunters had tracked him down.

***

The day had started off as any other-- following a nasty storm system that had ravaged the area, the sun dragon had spent the morning clearing the area around the cabin that he had come to call his home. He’d taken his horse into the town nearby so he could purchase some supplies, and unexpectedly been caught up in a conversation with a couple of young men who were passing through. They pressed him for questions under the guise of journalists doing an article on… bigfoot? Or some other sort of forest cryptid, and he answered as vaguely as he could without giving any indication of who he was or where he lived. Clearly he’d failed at preventing suspicion though, as he awoke late that night to find that he had been followed.

The unmistakable sound of a distressed horse had him practically leaping out of bed and crashing down the stairs, worried that there may be a cougar or wolves nearby. Typically the animals in the forest left he and Pegasos alone, provided he offered the same respect, but there was always the possibility that they could be desperate, or sick. Sword strapped to his waist, dressed in pajamas, he’d charged out the door to find Pegasos panicking in his stable. Slowing his stride, he approached the frightened stallion from an angle he could be seen at and soothed him, glancing around the clearing the cabin was situated in to try and find out what had given his horse such a fright. 

Something’s definitely not right… it feels like we’re being watched. Those men from before… what if they were Hunters?

“ρєянαρѕ ιт ωσυℓ∂ вє ωιѕє тσ gσ ιηтσ тσωη. уσυ мαу ησт вє ∂яєѕѕє∂ ƒσя ιт, вυт тнєу ωєяє уσυηg. ι ∂συвт тнєу ωσυℓ∂ нανє тнє ηєяνє тσ αттα¢к ωнєяє тнє αυтнσяιтιєѕ ¢συℓ∂ ѕєє ιт.”

I… yes, that is a good idea. Let’s do that. Looking over his shoulder a little frantically, Vincent darted back into the cabin to retrieve a bag he had pre-stocked with cash and supplies for any impromptu getaways, quickly making his way back to Pegasos. With no time to get him saddled before riding off, the sun dragon led the white stallion out of the stable and hopped on, pushing with his heels to break into a run down the long path from the cabin to the main road. A frenzied shout behind him confirmed his fear: he had been found. They had been watching him prepare to escape. So why not attack me before I had the chance to run?

“α кιℓℓ ιѕ σƒтєη мσяє ѕαтιѕƒуιηg ιƒ σηє мυѕт ωσяк ƒσя ιт,” said Helios, voice somber. Some Hunters were like that-- they preferred to chase their prey first. As though it were some sort of game. 

The world streaked past as Pegasos reached the road. Vincent’s heart pounded loud enough to hear it. They were about fifteen kilometres from the town he would visit for supplies. I’d hate to make Pegasos run the whole way there-- that’s a twenty minute sprint, at least. As soon as we’ve lost them I’ll slow him down.

Sadly, he’d never gotten the chance. As two young Hunters pursued him in a truck, four more stood in the middle of the road, waiting. Realizing they had trapped him, Vincent veered off of the road and back into the forest, earning himself a series of curses from his pursuers. I’ve evaded you people for centuries. I’m not going down that easily.

Pegasos seemed to pick up on the urgency, for he had sped up without being spurred. The stallion weaved between the trees mostly of his own accord, picking the best path to avoid crashing into trees and rocks. Vincent failed to battle the urge to look behind him and saw the team of Hunters-- six young men and women in total, rather far behind but still giving chase. He veered off again, looking to confuse his pursuers.

“ι кησω ιт ωιℓℓ вє яιѕку, вυт ι яє¢σммєη∂ ωє ∂συвℓє вα¢к. тнєу ωιℓℓ ησт єχρє¢т υѕ тσ яυη тσωαя∂ѕ тнєм, αη∂ ωє ηєє∂ тσ мαкє ιт вα¢к тσ тнє мαιη яσα∂.”

Double back? B-but they probably have guns! They could hurt us, or Pegasos! Probably both! Panic threatened to overcome Vincent as the situation grew more and more dire. 

“ωє нανє ѕυяνινє∂ тнιѕ вєƒσяє. ωє ωιℓℓ ∂σ ѕσ αgαιη. тυяη αяσυη∂, яυη ƒυℓℓ ѕρєє∂ тσωαя∂ѕ тнєм. ℓєανє тнєм ιη тнє ∂υѕт αη∂ мαкє ƒσя тнє тσωη. уσυ ¢αη ∂σ тнιѕ.”

R-right, okay. Double back. Following Helios’ instruction, Vincent pulled Pegasos into a sharp u-turn and charged back at the Hunters, smirking triumphantly at their startled shouts and clumsy attempts to jump out of the way. 

“вяιℓℓιαηт! тнσυgн ωє αяє ησт уєт ѕαƒє,” the dragon warned. A few bullets were fired in his direction, one of which just barely missed his head. The smile dropped off of his face. Another hit him right in the shoulder and he screamed, startling his horse. They kept running.

With the Hunters even closer and pain disorienting him, the panic skyrocketed. Despite Helios’ attempts to calmly reassure him, even the dragon’s reliably soothing presence began to crack. Six people, bound and bent on literally murdering them, were chasing after Vincent. We’re not gonna make it! There’s too many of them, they’ll catch up eventually!

Veering off one last time, Pegasos ran until they came to a cave. Vincent dismounted and left his horse hidden behind the entrance before sprinting blindly inside. With no light to guide him as he ran deeper, the darkness swallowed him whole. Hoping that there was a way out at the end, he pressed on, eyes straining to see in front of him. The tunnel grew colder and narrower the deeper he went, and the sun dragon began to fear that there was no way out. Just when he thought he had done himself in, he noticed light trickling in from a gap at the bottom of the rock wall in front of him. It looked just barely wide enough for someone to slip through, so he tried his luck.

The tunnel opened up into a chamber, complete with still turquoise-coloured water and shimmering deposits of quartz in the walls. He fell after sliding through the gap directly into the pool of water, gasping for breath as he breached the surface. Well. That was almost fun. It would have been more fun, he thought as he swam to the edge of the pool, if he hadn’t been running for his bloody life. 

Heaving himself up on toned arms, Vincent climbed out of the water and sat on the floor of the cavern, drenched and panting, heart still pounding. There was no guarantee that the Hunters wouldn’t notice or be able to fit through the gap, so as soon as his breath was caught he began searching for a way out. Aside from that small hole in the ceiling, I’m not so sure we can actually get out. The gap opens into a drop, so there’s no way to get back through it. 

“ρєянαρѕ тнαт ρσσℓ σρєηѕ ιηтσ α вσ∂у σƒ ωαтєя ση тнє ѕυяƒα¢є. уσυ ¢αη нσℓ∂ уσυя вяєαтн ℓσηg єησυgн тσ ƒιη∂ συт.”

“Where the hell did it go?!” the furious shout of one of the young men snapped Vincent back into defense.

“Maybe it left its horse at the cave as a decoy. This tunnel is huge; it could be long gone by now,” replied a young woman.

“Damnit! We tracked that thing for weeks!”

“It couldn’t have just vanished after running in here,” came another woman’s voice, pensive. “And I doubt it could have gotten far above ground with that wound in its arm.” 

“So then where is it? Is there a tunnel back there? It’s dark as hell, maybe we missed something.”

“We can’t let this thing get away-- we’ll fail our assessment!”

“Wait.” the second woman ordered, “there’s a gap. Here, in the bottom of the wall.”

Vincent’s heart dropped. If he tried to swim to safety now, they’d surely hear that someone was on the other side of the wall. If he waited, they might find a way through.

“There’s no way it could’ve fit through there,” came the first man’s argument. “The gap’s too small even for us to fit through. No, it must have left its horse behind to trick us. It’s gotta be outside.”

The woman sighed, clearly aware that she wasn’t going to win the debate, much to Vincent’s relief. She’s smart though… I’ll need to watch my back while I pack up to leave the cabin.

As their footsteps faded away, the sun dragon breathed a quiet sigh of relief. He’d wait a few minutes before moving around again, but it looked as though he was safe for the time being.

Later, he’d discovered the cave’s pool did open up into a wide river.

***

Misty brushed her tail against Vincent’s leg, drawing his attention away from the river he had been watching as his mind once again strayed to the past. Hopefully things don’t turn out like that this time. 

The blonde-haired man suddenly realized that he had wandered far enough to lose sight of the cabin. Time to head back, he decided, turning to follow the river back. Perhaps if we find Creus, we could go out and grab those ingredients. I almost forgot I told him I would help him bake something.

---

Connor sat across from Dorian at a table by the window in the Starbucks they frequented for breakfast. With his career as a detective and Dorian being a triage surgeon, they often didn’t have time throughout the day to see or speak to each other, and late nights meant staying at home instead of going on dates. Coffee in the morning was one of the few times they would be able to just enjoy each other’s company.

Well, usually anyway. It was definitely a more enjoyable experience when there wasn’t a self-entitled white woman barking at a poor barista for several minutes straight.

“I’m glad we got here earlier,” Dorian remarked, glancing at the line of people waiting for the woman to stop.

“Agreed,” Connor replied, sighing as he sipped his coffee-- a nitro cold brew with sweet cream, his usual order. He was halfway through a bagel as well, while Dorian sipped a mocha frappuccino and munched on a chocolate croissant. 

The sudden shout of joy from one of the men in line caused both of them to chuckle, satisfied at the indignant look on the woman’s face as she was ushered out of the cafe. 

“Thank god,” the detective huffed, “I was beginning to think she’d never leave.”

“Too bad you couldn’t just arrest her,” the surgeon chuckled, “or at least threaten it. That would have shut her up.”

Connor laughed, “probably, but I’d also probably get pinned with ‘abuse of power’ or something.”

“Even though you’d be using your power to spare a whole cafe and its employees the rantings of a middle-aged white woman who didn’t get her venti no-whip dairy free with exactly one quarter squirt of hazelnut latte made perfectly?” 

The two continued to joke between themselves at the woman’s expense, enjoyment trickling back into their morning as they laughed.




Malik

11:42pm Jan 30 2020

Normal User


Posts: 620
Sleep refused to come easily to Ennie, if it came to her at all.

The bed was comfortable, the room was cool and cozy, and no strange shadows painted themselves across the ceiling, but despite this the nature dragon found herself laying awake and staring at nothing as she waited for morning. Ennie drifted around in that mental purgatory between sleep and wakefulness, where dreams and memories melded and time flowed as slowly as water in a frozen dream. No fatigue was lost to such a stress-fuelled rest, instead she was greeted to a kaleidoscope of memories, dancing digital numbers from her bedside clock, and constantly going over her agenda for the next day: breakfast, Kona, drive, work, drive, cabin... breakfast, Kona, drive, work, drive-

A shout from Vincent's room shook her from her uneasy reminiscing, the added stress making her stomach turn queasily. Ennie sat up in bed, instantly taking stock of where her phone was, where the exits to the cabin were, where she had parked her car. Intruders? Was Vincent in trouble? She sat, barely breathing as every well-honed sense was trained on the room down the hall.

'Nightmare, sounds like', Astley whispered, no doubt listening in on Helios. 'Looks like we aren't the only ones spooked and stressed out. Should we... Do you want to... go talk to him? Might calm us down, him to.'

It was tempting. Extremely tempting, honestly. But a rather large part of Ennie couldn't help but feel that they had caused the other dragon more than enough grief to last a few of their lifetimes. Sure, there was the off chance that Vincent could use her company, but he probably had it under control and in that case Ennie would once again just be bothering him with her own problems. His quiet footsteps down the hall towards the washroom seemed to prove her right, and she slid back under the covers, curled on her side and wishing the soft sound of running water would help her get a few hours of sleep, at least.

'You should really stop pushing people away, you know.'

Or not. Ennie heaved a frustrated sigh, rubbing her palms into her eyes. Nope, no sleep tonight. Not if Astley had anything to say about it.

'You were doing so well!' the dragon whined, oblivious to her fatigue. 'You had people in your car, you were buying them food, listening to music! Don't throw away decades of self growth just because-because of a few rough patches! You won't just be hurting yourself, you'd be-'

'Hurting my friends, too, yeah yeah'. She blew out a sigh as she watched the time change to 6:00 am. 'Just.. Shouldn't have got them involved in this mess. Wouldn't forgive myself if something happened to them.'

'They'd be even more worried about you if you just disappeared after the fire! Vincent would probably go looking, or they all would have stayed in town longer and then who knows what would have happened? Pushing your friends away doesn't keep them safe, Enn, it just means that when they need you there to protect them, you won't be around.'

'...Hasn't really panned out that way though, has it?'

'And that's no fault of yours. You can't keep shouldering the guilt for things caused by fate! You aren't responsible for every bit of misfortune that befalls your friends, Enn, stop punishing yourself.'

Ennie smiled wryly as a single tear slid onto the pillow. 'You been hanging around Helios, I can tell. You haven't been this philosophical since we got locked in a Target overnight. And you're right, about everything, I'll...I'll try. I promise.'

'Good! Now how's about we finally get some sleep!'

'Yeah,' she scoffed as her phone alarm began to quietly ring from the bedside table. 'That's not happening.'

'What the- where, how, what... Where did the night go?'

'Gone', was Ennie's simple response as she tiredly slid out of bed, bare feet quietly padding to her luggage on the floor. 'Even set the alarm late, to get as much sleep as possible. Now we're gonna have to grab breakfast on the road.' She pulled some clothes out of her case and headed to the bathroom to change and try to get as presentable as possible. 'We have a long day ahead of us.'

oOoOoOo

Their epic journey began with a harrowing, high speed drive down the unpaved road, going as fast as the headlights and dawning sun would allow. By the end of it, Ennie had a smidge of respect for the loaner car, and would almost say she enjoyed driving it.

Almost.

After hitting the highway, their next stop was at a gas station, to give the poor Lexus just enough fuel to make it back to the shop, and for Ennie to pick up a few Monster Java energy drinks, which she saved until they stopped at McDonalds for breakfast, where she also purchased a medium iced coffee in a large cup, and topped the drink off with the Monster energy.

'That's probably definitely going to kill us, you realize that?'

It did not.

It did, however, allow Ennie to make the drive back to the city on autopilot, as the next thing she remembered was driving into the shop where her newly wrapped, black Kona was waiting for her. "Oh, baby, how I missed you!' she gushed, embracing the front left quarter panel as one of the mechanics stared worriedly, key dangling in his hands. "Who was a good Kona while I was gone? Was it you? Was it yooooouuu?"

After pulling out of the lot with her Kona in hand and several hundred dollars poorer, Ennie noticed she had a couple hours to burn, no doubt a product of her speeding all the way there. She decided to pick up some more food at McD's and drive aimlessly for a bit, calm her nerves and relieve some stress before work. It took all she had to not do a couple passes by her old home, even though she was pretty sure it was nothing but a smoking pile of rubble by now. Wasn't a view worth the gas it'd take to get there, never mind the danger...

At last, she decided to just sit and wait in her store's parking lot... something apparently easier said than done. Ennie had to circle the block four times before she found an opening, only to realize that she wouldn't fit due to some jerk's wacky parking job. Back to circling for another half hour, before finally finding a suitable parking spot only minutes before she had to clock-in.

'Shop's busy today,' she thought to herself as she hustled through the door and headed to the back, sparing hardly a glance at the packed tables and booths. A few partners greeted her and offered her condolences as she tied on her apron and clocked in, but mostly it was just business as usual, of which she was glad for. She slid onto bar, feeling fortunate that she wasn't a supervisor and could just become swept away by making drinks and connecting with customers. Only a few minutes into her shift, and her good mood was obliterated by a well-known Karen.

"Excuse me?" Ennie glanced up at the almost sneering voice, heart plummeting as she recognized the picky and usually rude woman. "This is cold." The woman hefted a paper, venti cup, its cardboard sleeve obscuring the name of the drink.

"Oh, I'm so sorry," Ennie exclaimed. "What drink was it? I'll remake-"

"Its. Cold." the woman repeated, tapping the base of the cup against the top of the $45,000 espresso bar with every word. "Didn't you hear what I said?"

'Not today, Lady, definitely not today,' Ennie seethed inwardly as she took a deep breath to calm herself before speaking again. "Yes," her words were measured and concise. "I heard you. I will of course remake it for you, I just need to know what it is."

"Venti chai latte," the woman spat. "And I'm running late."

'Of course you are,' Ennie thought maliciously as she pumped the required amount of chai concentrate into a cup before turning to the tap to add hot water.

"I didn't want water in it!" the lady all but screeched, now attracting the attention of almost everyone in the shop. "Venti no water chai tea latte! That's what I said!"

'You didn't but whatever,' Ennie shrugged inwardly as she dumped out the drink and started again, steaming more milk to make up for the lack of water. 'It's fine, it's fine, we're fine, we're great'.

'Really? We don't sound that great.'

"Was that sixteen pumps of chai?" The woman barked as Ennie was pouring the milk and finishing the drink. The dragon was so shocked at the question that she literally froze for a few moments. "Well? Was it?"

"Nnnnnno?" Ennie blinked. "It was five, venti chai tea lattes get five pumps of the concentrate."

"Well I wanted sixteen." The woman tapped at the sticker on her paper cup, completely obscured by the cup's sleeve. "It says right here, can't you read?"

'Hohohohooooo, can we needle her?'

'Okay, Ennie, calm down, time to put that conflict resolution training to work'. "I understand you're upset," she began calmly as she pumped the sixteen ounces of concentrate into the cup. "It's okay to be upset, it's not okay to talk to me or my other baristas like that."

"Just make my drink."

Now Ennie was beginning to see what the problem with the first drink was. Sixteen pumps of chai nearly filled the twenty ounce cup, even adding boiling milk to it wouldn't make the drink extra hot, and at 190 degrees Fahrenheit milk began to taste burned or sour. "If I had known you wanted sixteen pumps of chai in the beginning I would have told you this but I'm not sure we can get your drink to the temperature you'd like it?" Instantly the woman's glare intensified and it was like staring into the Eye of Sauron. "I can steam the milk to 185 degrees but past that and the flavour will be changed, though at 185 your drink should still be pretty warm."

"Just steam the chai," the woman huffed. "It's not that difficult."

'Ohhhhhh we're definitely gonna needle her.'

"I can't steam the chai concentrate, ma'am," Ennie tried to explain. "This bar is designed to steam milk, not syrup concentrates. It could damage the machine, and this is a $45,000 machine."

"The other Starbucks do," Karenzilla snapped. "Just make it they way I want it! The other Starbucks do! Every one I go to does! Don't make me call Corporate!"

"I'm sorry, ma'am, I can't speak for other Starbucks but here we work hard to maintain Starbucks' standards. If you'd like I could make your drink with half the amount of chai concentrate and add two chai tea bags, that should make your drink strong enough while keeping it extra hot?"

"I don't want tea bags!" the woman roared. "I just want you to make my drink the way I wanted it made! You couldn't even do that! And I'm late for work to top it off! Why are you all suddenly SO USELESS! As soon as I get home I'm calling corporate and telling them what a bunch of freaking idiots you all are! You should all be fired! Every single one of you!"

"I understand you're upset, ma'am," Ennie spoke through gritted teeth. "But you have absolutely no right to speak to us that way. Here's a card that will get you a free drink at any other Starbucks, perhaps they'll have better luck with your drink, and I have to ask you to please leave the premises. You are becoming a distraction to my baristas as well as my patrons, and neither need to hear that kind of language."

Only after the Karen left did she notice the throbbing behind her eyes, the beginning of a brutal headache. Ennie rubbed tiredly at her eyes, almost oblivious to the cheering coming from the cafe. 'First the apartment fire, now this? What a doozy of a week'.

"Hey, you alright?" Marco, one of the newer baristas who remained mostly on front till whispered, setting a hand on her shoulder. "You can go in the back if you need a second?"

"Thanks, Mark, I'm good," Ennie sighed, heading to the sink to wash her hands before cranking out drinks on bar again. "Just having one of those days, you know?"

'Only six more hours and this one's done!'

'...Oh joy.'



DreamWalker

6:38pm Feb 12 2020 (last edited on 6:43pm Feb 12 2020)

Normal User


Posts: 34

Tucker was snapped from his thoughts when a cold nose was shoved into his hand. His icy blue eyes turned to the large wolf as he bounded away at his masters call. Tucker took a deep breath and turned toward Creus with a small smile, "It's alright, he was just being curious," Tucker quickly noticed that he had tears welled in his eyes and he quickly wiped them away before continuing "I'll be sure to go make myself a cup of coffee in a few minutes." Tucker noticed Creus a look of concern, "oh, why I was crying? Didn't even notice" Tucker tried to laugh it off but Creus wasn't buying any of it. "Heh..old memories die hard I guess.." Tucker got lost in his thoughts for a short second before shaking his head and snapping out of it, "welp! It was a pleasure talking with you. I'm going to go and make some coffee now, b-bye!" the white haired man then hurried off, sweating profusely.

Tucker was now in the kitchen, trying to make himself a cup of coffee for the fifth time. To be honest, he had never made coffee before in his life, it had always been made for him. He ended up just looking it up on the internet instead of waking up Reito who seemed to be..preoccupied. Finally, he was done. Tucker found himself crying in joy as he took the first couple sips. It tasted awful but it was still coffee. As Tucker finished his coffee, he cleaned up the kitchen area and washed all of the dishes in the sink. Afterwards, he just stood there, processing what he should do next. Tucker never found himself with this much free time before. Maybe he should ask someone if there are any chores he could help do? Taking a look around the house, he couldn't find anyone except Reito who was still asleep on the couch. With a somewhat large sigh, Tucker sat down on one of the living room chairs, laying his head back on the comfy pillows. 

"Big brother!" Tucker's head turned to the sound of the soft voice. "What is it Kiera? Did you find something?" The small girl's eyes sparkled with excitement, "Yup! Mommy said it was a witches flower but I've never heard of something like that" She held up a small blue flower that looked like a miniature bell. Tucker let out a soft chuckle "Indeed, that is a witches flower, a beauty at that" he took a long strand of his white hair and tucked it behind his ear, "did you know, young girls with big blue eyes are rumored to inherit the powers of the flower, becoming a witch themselves?" Kiera let out an audible gasp, "Really?! Can I get powers too??" she launched herself onto her older brother's lap, looking up at him with her huge innocent gaze. Tucker let a playful smile spread across his face "Well, only good little girls who do their chores and get good grades in school get to receive the powers" Kiera smiled brightly, "Then I'll be the best behaved girl in the entire universes!" As Tucker was about to say something about how its 'universe' not 'universes', he was cut off buy the slam of the from door, he was home..

Tucker opened his eyes, best not to live in the past, not for long at least. We all need to wake up at one time or another. 


Creus

10:10pm Feb 12 2020 (last edited on 10:23pm Feb 12 2020)

Normal User


Posts: 92
"Okay..." Creus couldn't help but raise an eyebrow ever so slightly as Tucker hurried off. He couldn't help but be baffled by this visitor to his cabin, he wasn't sure what to make of or how to react to the other mans reaction. He had approached with good intent only to find him crying and watch him run away.

"I guess I caught him in a bad moment?" Really, another persons emotional difficulties was none of his concern, especially that of a near strangers, however he couldn't help but feel a bit of sympathy for whatever the other was going through. That sympathetic part of him wanted to try and find some way to offer help however the logical side warned him to stay away. He had reason to get involved with these people, furthermore he wasn't very skilled at consoling others. What if he tried to help and end up upsetting him further? Or worse, angered him for trying to get involved with things a stranger shouldn't? If he upset one of his visitors and they decided to make some nasty comment online about him and his rental property then his plan could be ruined. It was already difficult enough to find a renter. In all the years he had owned the place these people where the first ones. If they decided to leave negative comments, would he ever be able to rent this cabin again? Considering his current records, probably not which would mean he would eventually not have any other choice but to sell the cabin and give up his dream of leaving the life of crime behind.
People where cruel and insensitive, this was something he knew very well, his dream was already hanging on the edge. It was not worth risking it over a little bit of sympathy for a stranger. Besides he had encountered and overcome plenty of difficulties alone in his life and he very rarely ever encountered any sort of sympathy from others. So after standing there for a bit he let out a sigh before approaching the cabin and peaking quickly through the window to see if Vincent was around. He had forgotten to ask what time Vincent had wanted to go however he didn't want to disturb his guest either.

He saw Tucker by the coffee pot and Reito sleeping on the couch however saw no sign of the other two so he retreated back to his little apartment to grab a book before heading out be the bench by the stream to read for awhile. The book was an old, beat up history book, it was probably years out of date and it was falling apart. The cover was literally hanging on by a thread. It was a college level school book he rescued from a yard sale a little less than a month ago. He might not ever be able to actually go to a school and get a degree but that didn't mean he would let himself go without a decent education, even if he was self taught he figured it was better than nothing.

This was often what he did in his spare time, the little bench by the stream might be a bit quiet and lonely but he found it to be the perfect place to read. The sound of the stream was soothing and from where he sat he could keep an eye on Blitz as the wolf ran in and out of the forest, happily chasing random objects and sticks. After only a few minutes of reading Blitz disappeared into the forest however Creus knew he wouldn't go to far.

Meanwhile Blitz caught Vincent's scent and bounded happily in his direction having smelled someone familiar in the forest. Not long after he left his persons side he came crashing through the forest toward Vincent and the moment the wolf saw the dragon through the forests dense undergrowth he suddenly lept out in front of Vincent huffing from his run and wiggling his tail happily, quite proud that had found a friend. That was until the wolf spotted Misty and the wolf tucked his tail and ran back toward the cabin, disappearing as fast as he appeared.

****

"Get up you turtle."
"What turtle?"  Reito mumbled tiredly at Rizzio's annoyed voice.
The sound of the front door opening and closing has roused Reito from his sleep but he neither opened his eyes or moved. He was still rather tired from last nights ghostly events so he didn't want to get up yet however Rizzio wouldn't let him rest now that they where awake.

"You, your as slow as a turtle this morning."

"I am not a turtle." Reito moaned as he sat up, rubbing his bleary eyes. "Stop being mean."

"Mean? Oh you haven't seen mean yet."

"How could I see mean? By looking in a mirror?"

"...."

Rizzio really had no answer to that but those words certainly didn't improve the dragons attitude. The dragon grumbled and muttered to himself angerly as Reito stretched and yawned before spotting Tucker

"Hiyo, sleep well?" Reito asked cheerfully, his usual energy returning as he sprung up from the couch and trotted over though he still had shadows under his yes from lack of sleep.

"How was it camping outside? Was it nice? Where there ghost out there too? If not you should totally sleep inside next time. I was gonna sleep on the top bunkbed downstairs but then a ghost locked me out of my room? After it locked me in my room! Can you believe that? I went in my room and the door kept opening and closing, when I tried to investigate it the door suddenly closed and locked me in. I couldn't make it open so I was gonna force it but then as I was tackling the door it suddenly flew open and I fell out of the room. When I got up and tried to go back I couldn't, the door was locked and I couldn't get back in."

Reito happily attacked Tucker with a cheerful rendition of last nights events before something seemed to dawn on him. "Oh, yeah my gun is still in my room and I didn't lock it. Hmm, is that a bad thing? Do you think the ghost could take it and shoot people?"

"Huh, hey you look upset? Is everything alright? Did the ghost scare you?"

***

The barista didn’t even have to answer his question verbally, as soon as they saw the person in the picture they couldn’t help but cast a quick, subtle glance of into the store. It was probably just a subconscious reaction, perhaps they didn’t even notice what they did but to Wren’s trained eyes that reaction was as clear as spoken directions. Following their gaze he quickly found his target sitting at a table with another man. 


“Thank you” He stated cheerfully to the probably confused barista whom hadn’t even spoken and stepped out of the way to wait for his drink. He hadn’t seen them earlier due to the crowd but now that that a bunch of people dispersed off into the world with their ventes, grandes or whatever the heck they where he could get a better view of the place.


“What luck, they are already here.”


“Yeah, but he’s with another guy. Do you think trying to use your charming personality will still work?” 


“Who knows, but those two look kind of close so I will try plan b”


“Whats plan b? And who cares if there's another guy there just flirt with both of them.”


“Come on Suibien, I’m not that shameless.”


“Yes you are.”


“True, I won’t keep trying to deny that.” Wren acknowledged he was ruthlessly shameless when he wanted to be but he didn’t like messing around with other people's love lives and while he could not be certain of anything both he and Suibien agreed that these two appeared to be together. “ Besides, I like plan B anyway.” 


While waiting for his drink to be made he pulled out his phone and began texting a brief overview of his plans to Luca and Bran and asked if they were willing to lend a hand and play along. As per usual Luca acted in a begrudging manner as if Wren had asked him to do something incredibly difficult however he did not refuse and as for Bran, he was more than happy to help. 


“Heh, typical Luca all angsty but I bet he will have a blast with this.” 


Suibien commented offhandedly as Wren’s name was called and he was handed his drink and croissant. Given that Wren had never actually gone to a starbucks before he was a bit confused as to why some random name that was not his own was written on the cup but after briefly inquiring to make sure he got the right item he went to sit down. 


Thankfully the tables were located in rather tight quarters so he intentionally chose the spot directly behind the detective, with his back facing Conner's back.   After blowing on his tea for a few minutes his phone suddenly rang, the ring tone was the theme song to one of his current favorite animes, the caller was Luca and he was right on time. A small grin appeared on Wren’s face. Let the game begin, he turned up the volume on his phone speaker, leaving it just loud enough for the man behind to hopefully hear at least some of what the speaker on the other end was saying.


“Hello”


“Its me,  have you got any leads?”


Luca’s voice had a deep and unmistakable english accent anyone who would overhear would know he was not a local. As for Wren his voice had its own unique accent as well however unlike Luca it was difficult to make out where he was from. Wren might have originally spoken the old chinese language but after hundreds of years of travel and staying in different countries around the world he had picked up bits and pieces of other accents as well. This had left his accent uniquely his own.


“Yes, not many but I am fairly certain the Mayors death has nothing to do with them.”


“Are you sure? That fire happened within a very similar time frame.”


“I’m certain of it, I broke into the mayors shortly after I arrived to observe the crime scene and the work was nowhere as neat and clean as theirs.”


“Do you think they could have changed up their tactics to make it look like someone else did it?” This question was entirely on Luca’s part, it was clear that he was now into the game, it made it difficult for Wren to not grin and maintain a serious look on his face.


“Possibly, but again it was quite messy and not like them. It also doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, think about it. This organization has been committing crimes across the world for who knows how long, they don’t want to be found and are very good at hiding themselves.  The fire was a classic example of their work, it seemed ordinary, clean and more like an every day accident. I have no doubt that sooner or later officials will declare it to be just that an accident or perhaps the random act of an unknown arsonist and move on, the media will forget about it and no further investigation will occur. The fire plays out just like every other incident they have been believed to be behind but there is one thing they cannot truly hide and that is that everytime they strike there is always one person who is unaccounted for.”


“If there are twenty seven people involved in the incident only twenty six will be found, the other will be MIA. Every single time, without fail this has been how they operate. We may not yet know why they do this but they are ruthless, they have hurt countless innocent people around the world and are involved in hundreds of disappearances. Their target may almost always be just one person but they don’t seem to care if other people get caught up in their hunt. They make sure those people are kept quiet and every time the story ends up getting covered up.”


“They likely have connections in high places to make this happen and they intentionally keep things quiet so they can continue whatever holy work it is that they believe they are doing without being found. So why would they then suddenly go against everything they work for? A simple city mayor no less? That doesn’t make sense now does it?”


“True, it doesn’t follow with their usual ways however are you absolutely certain they are not involved?”


“No, in fact it may still be related to them.”


“Why do you say that?”


“Well this did happen right around the same time, although I do not personally believe our group was behind this murder, we still cannot be certain if this murder was some sort of act of retaliation. I am going to need you to do a detailed background search on this mayor, maybe, just maybe we can find some hidden connection. In the meantime I am going to need to find a way to get a good look at the mayor's body. Unfortunately I am not yet legal here and don’t yet have any authorization so I can’t do things by the book.”


“Why don’t you just break into the morgue and have a look?” The peppy voice that spoke up suddenly was not Luca’s  and it had a strong irish accent. It took Wren a moment to realize the speaker was Bran. Unlike Luca Bran, who was a native born canadian but his parents had come from Ireland and he often visited family in the country, thus he was able to fake an Irish accent quite sufficiently. 


“Breaking into the morgue? Sounds fun but I will need to find out exactly which morgue the Mayors body is at, where it’s located in the morgue  and figure out what level of security it has.”


“Easy, just leave it to me. I will get into contact with you shortly with all the information you need.” 


“Good, I’ll be waiting.”


With that Wren hung up the phone, finding it difficult not to laugh. Those two really got into this and he could just imagine how much of a blast the two were having. In fact right about now he could just imagine the two where cracking up laughing and joking around about it. Only a few days had passed but he already missed those two kids, partings were always hard for a social creature like himself but he had no desire to involve innocent people in the dangerous lives of dragons. He made that mistake once, he didn’t want to make it again if he didn’t have too.





Storm
dmann

5:42pm Feb 21 2020

Normal User


Posts: 96

After Anthony and Catherine eat their food, they head out to the entrance to the hotel, and start walking, relaxing for a moment away from the Hunters within.


“So, you get anything?” Catherine says, slightly happier with a full stomach.


“Not really Kit-Kat, except for telling me a few things I already knew.” Anthony says quietly back.


“Mother things?” she says, trying to not alert anyone else as they start towards a crowd, to which Anthony simply nods.


-----------------------------------


As the pair come up on a nearby Starbucks, having negotiated the crowd and had gotten a decent walk in the process, Catherine smiles at the prospect of coffee as they step in, with Catherine almost running to the barrister from the entrance, while Anthony finds a table, and starts writing notes on something on a notepad.


“My name is Ennie, How may I help you?” says the perky, though painfully tired sounding voice of a young looking lady, to Catherine.


“I would like a mint mocha espresso, a vanilla iced latte for my boyfriend…” and, quietly lowering her voice, Catherine adds, in the voice of someone that also works retail, while placing her credit card on the counter “and whatever you want to get you through what seems to be a hellish day for you.”


At that, the employee, who was smiling like the sun poured from all the customers orifices, drops the retail smile and says sounding older than her years, a sure sign she needed a day off "So that is a Peach Green Tea Lemonade for me. Thank you uh..."


"Oh… Catherine. The quiet dolt writing in a notepad is Anthony."


"Oi!" comes Ants voice from a table, which suddenly goes quiet again, with the louder mutters of "Ground" and "Chasing" coming a few seconds before a sad loud groan of "Merce" punctuates everything, causing Catherine to stare at him, before facepalming.


"Looks like we both have long days ahead of us." Ennie says quietly from over Catherine's shoulder, which garners a small chuckle from both, before Ennie turns to make the order, while a young man replaces her for a moment.


-----------------------------------


“That’s the good stuff!” says Catherine happily as she takes a slug of her espresso and sits down next to Anthony, who quietly mutters something below anyones general perception, as she puts the latte in his eye line on the table, then sighing. “Want to clue me in as to what is on the notepad?”


“Hunt-Huh.” Anthony replies quietly to himself, which causes a weird half-shriek half-whimper from behind the counter, followed by several paper cups full of drinks landing on the ground, and the sound of running.


“Earth to Ant.” Catherine quietly says, pulling the notepad away gingerly, unaware of the predicament behind her, as one of the managers disappears into the back with a somewhat distraught looking Ennie.


“Sorry Kit-Kat. What did you say?”


“Was asking you what was on the no-huh.”


“What?”


“You spelled MO wrong.” Catherine teases, before pushing the latte into Anthony’s hand. “Drink your coffee though. We can call Merce again later if you are that concerned. As for Buford… If she finds any of them, you won’t help her first, right?”


Anthony reluctantly nods and drinks a mouthful of coffee, then giving a hand signal asking for the return of the notepad, before finally gulping the liquid down to clear his throat to speak. “You’re right. Besides, why would any of them on the run willingly come back here? It's almost like they want to get caught if they do.”



There is, I think, humor here which does not translate well from English into sanity.
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