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"Midnight. At the park."

 
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Blood Sister
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2015 5:28 am    Post subject: "Midnight. At the park." Reply with quote

OOC: This takes place prior to the return in ‘Lightfall’.

All But Abandoned

~~~

“Boldness is a mask for fear, however great.” ― John Dryden

~~~

Rhydin. Dockside District. Curtea de Arges Public Park.

It was not like her to want to meet him. At most, she would give her orders over the phone. She knew as well as he did that it was too dangerous for them to be seen together. The Company they worked for had eyes everywhere. He hoped that the starless night sky would help shield them in its blanket of darkness. It was as if even the moon dared not show its face tonight, but the dark was not enough to dissuade him from entering the park where she instructed him to meet her.

The rusted swings and overgrown grass made it clear that the child’s playground had rarely seen a child in quite awhile, but it had been all but abandoned. Now it was a hotspot for drug deals, gun smuggling, and the gang fights over control of its territory. It would have been somewhat busy on an menacing night like tonight, but it seemed as though even the local crime wasn’t willing to risk an outing tonight.

He continued walking down the pathway to the center of the park. Lantern light posts dotting the trail had been burnt out long ago, but he could see her as he approached. Her pitch black clothing and equally jet black hair did nothing to help her stand out in the night, but her form was outlined in the darkness by the sun bleached pine bench on which she sat.

“I’m so glad you’ve outgrown that old trench coat. It aged you,” she said as if the words left a bad taste in her mouth. She studied him in his rough brown leather jacket and faded navy jeans.

“Yes, well, you weren’t the only one to say as much, Leta,” he said, calmly sitting next to her, staring out at a simple carousel, though the word was much more elegant than the object itself. It was just a large, flat metal disc that could be spun around in either direction with a safety railing for the children to hang onto. With how most of its brightly colored paint was flaked off and the metal was visibly corroded underneath, he doubted it would be safe enough to stand on, let alone spin.

With a smile, she asked, “So she puts you in your place, too?”

He turned his head to face her. Her pale face was about the only thing that could be seen clearly. Though he appeared to be in his early twenties, she only appeared to be a few years older than he, with dark blue eyes that now stared out over the empty park. He said blankly, “I would appreciate it if you told me what you brought me out here for.”
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Blood Sister
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 7:06 pm    Post subject: Unstable Reply with quote

Leta leaned forward, letting her elbows rest on her dark pants. Her cupped hands dangled between her knees. She looked down slightly before speaking. “I need to know how she’s doing, Stephen.”

“You know I’d tell you if she was unstable. I wouldn’t let it risk our assignments.”

“I know,” she said as the wind began to pick up, causing the nearby swings to sway softly back and forth. Looking up to scan the park once more, she continued, “I’m not here on Company business. I don’t care about the assignments. I want to know how she’s handling things.”

“Not good,” Stephen said tersely as he leaned back against the rotting bench back. “I hoped she would have gotten over his death by now.”

“Disappearance,” Leta interjected.

“Don’t tell me you have false hope, too. How can you of all people not know that that boy died as soon as he went on that mission?”

Leta paused before speaking, as if listening for something. “I don’t believe he is dead.”

“Are you sure?” He continued looking to her, studying her face to find any secret insights.

“I see too much potential in him. He would not be put down so easily.” She paused before adding, with a slight smile, “Besides, he has something to come home to.”

“I don’t... understand,” Stephen said gradually, as if hoping he would figure it out on his own if he spoke slowly enough. “I thought... you didn’t want them to be together. You instructed me to convince her how being with someone on the team would be irresponsible just so she wouldn’t pursue her feelings for him.”

“Well, you did a bang up job of that, didn’t you?” There was a slight harshness in her tone.

“Then why are you so hopeful that he lives? I would think you would be happy that he is gone.”

It was Leta’s turn to lean back, causing her black jacket to scuff against the rough, weathered wood. Her answer was almost as a defeated sigh, “Hopeful, no. You misunderstand, as did I. In his recent training with her, I could see he was much more powerful than I initially gave him credit. I think he would do well in protecting her. His feelings for her only enhance how strongly he would defend her.”

Stephen half smiled as he said with a subtle hint of sarcasm, “Oh, good then.” The sarcasm was all but biting coming from him. Leta turned her head to stare at him a moment, daring him with her eyes to explain. “For a second I thought maybe you were beginning to believe he might actually be good for her, outside of business,” he continued, “But I’m glad to hear you only tolerate his presence around her as long as he would be willing to die to protect her.”

Still glaring at him, she bit back, “He isn’t the only one I would expect to die for her.”

Stephen nodded. “As long as I’ve worked with you, and have been watching over her, don’t ever think I’ve forgotten my orders.”

“Good then,” she said, mimicking his words.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 12:34 am    Post subject: Hurt Reply with quote

A raven shook out its wings in a tree overhead. Its deafening caw broke the otherwise silence of the night. Leta glanced back at it a moment, then turned and stared out over the vacant park, asking blankly, “Has she mourned?”

“I thought you assumed he would be back.” Stephen questioned.

“He is still gone from her life right now, regardless of the outcome. She needs to mourn his loss before she can move on and do her job.”

Stephen paused before answering, as if considering exactly how much to say. “Occasionally she has her bad days. I can tell she wants to breakdown. I suspect she has once or twice so far, but you would be proud. She usually does well in covering up her feelings, though in those times, she treats the team even harsher.”

“She has never learned that her temper betrays her.”

“I’ve seen you mad once or twice,” he said with a sarcastic smile. “Once someone pushes your buttons, they know exactly what nerve they hit, and how easily they can hit it again.”

“Yes, but only the ones I deem fit are allowed to live passed that point,” she said, lingering on the ‘t’, making the simple word sound as an offhanded threat. She paused to collect herself, realizing that she only proved him right. She continued softer, “Do they know?”

“No,” he answered, “Not to the fullest extent, though they know something is wrong. Sometimes the team has music going on their trips to a mission. I can tell when a song comes on that must have been on that ipod of his. She’s distracted the rest of the mission. You can see the hurt weighing on her and the others see it too.” He paused before adding, almost with a sad tone of irony, “Of everything you have put that girl through, you have not hurt her as badly as he did when he left for that mission.”

“No,” she said solemnly, “I was still the one who hurt her, because I allowed the order to go through. It is my fault he was sent.”

He looked at her questioningly, “Why? Why did you let him go?”

“I can not control everything, Stephen,” she said more shortly than she intended.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 2:07 am    Post subject: Enough Reply with quote

Stephen glanced at her with concern.

“Just tell me how she handles the team,” she ordered.

“Whenever anyone questions where her head is at, or if they know she’s thinking about him, she plays it off as she’s only upset that he was weak and could not handle a hard mission.” He added with emphasis, “But it has become too much of a distraction. It has caused her to make a few bad calls recently.”

“We’ve been able to handle those, though,” Leta said offhandedly.

“Yes, but we can’t keep covering her mistakes for her. If she doesn’t figure things out soon...” He was interrupted by her glare. He paused, giving her a second to cool off before he continued, “I just mean that she will get herself in so deep that even you and all of your connections can not pull her out of the hole she has dug for herself.”

“That’s why you need to keep watch over her,” she replied tersely.

“Yes, but what will you be doing?”

“I have someone on the inside, where the boy was sent. I believe he will give me information when he can. The...” she paused, trying to figure out the best way to describe it, “...portal they used is breaking down, so I only have limited information at this time.”

It was worse than that. Each time people went back and forth, and the longer they stayed, caused wear to the gateway. She only knew of a few that had come and went, but knew full well that there would undoubtedly be many others. Time seemed to work differently there. What might only be a week in this world might be a month, sometimes a year, there. Though the boy had only been gone a relatively short time now, her informant had been there for quite awhile. She wasn’t even fully convinced any of them could make it back with all of the recent strain they had put on the... connection.

“And you still think the boy will be able to return?” Stephen asked.

Tilting her head to one side, she listened as the wind rustled through the trees. She only half answered, “I believe he will do everything in his power to return to her.”

“Will that be enough?” Stephen pushed.

“It will have to be,” she replied expressionlessly. He watched as she got up from the bench. Looking up to the raven nestled in the tree above them, she sighed, continuing softly, “Please watch out for her.”

Stephen nodded as she turned away from him and walked down the pathway towards the opposite end where he entered. Once she turned a corner on the street and was out of view, he got up and made his way back to the office.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2016 8:17 am    Post subject: "Midnight. At the park." Drained Reply with quote

Drained

~~~

“Absence from whom we love is worse than death, and frustrates hope severer than despair.” ― William Cowper

~~~

Rhydin. Southgate District. Ambras-Ortea Law.

With his hands in the pockets of his worn leather jacket, Stephen continued on his route towards the Ambras-Ortea Law office. At night, the little businesses that lined the street were dark and still. The only residents on the street were the husband and wife that lived above their deli, and even they had no idea that the law office a few doors down was an elaborate front for illegal activities.

During the day, the office had a secretary at the front lobby area. If anyone came in requesting a lawyer, she would explain that Mr. Ambras and Ms. Ortea were currently busy with other clients and would be able to get back with them soon if they wished to leave their name and number where they could be reached. By the next business day, someone from the office would call them, listen to their concern and reason for needing a lawyer, and would promptly give them terrible legal advice. Not only did it cause anyone seeking services from Ambras-Ortea Law to reject their ‘assistance’ from then on, but it would also allow the underground organization to begin to research the person’s legal issues for ways to exploit their situation. Of course, that was only a minor part of the office’s purpose.

Stephen often claimed that the purpose of the office was to complete any mission The Company gave them, by any means necessary. There was a truth to that claim, but he had been around long before the ‘business’ was established and knew the deeper truth. Leta Tolmay, one of The Company’s senior members, created the legal front and the whole small division. It would have been an uncharacteristic move for the loner, but it was in keeping with her often random desires. Considering how much she had done for The Company over the decades, they were typically ready to appease her requests.

He was one of Leta’s first initiates.

Although he knew she might not always tell him, or anyone else, what her motivations were, he had learned that she always had a purpose for each crazy thing she did. Creating the law office was one that he clearly figured out once she told him of her plan to put an amateur girl in charge. His job was to do everything he could to keep the girl in power and help promote her through the ranks of The Company. He knew this girl had to be special, and special to her. Considering the girl had raven black hair and blue eyes just like the ‘Seer’, he believed his suspicions were validated.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:57 pm    Post subject: Drunk Reply with quote

After taking the elevator to the second floor, Stephen stepped out into the little lobby and headed towards Layla’s office. Before he had left to meet with Leta, she had been unusually quiet all evening. Even when they didn’t have an active assignment, she would scout around ‘bad’ areas of town looking for something, or someone, to exploit. This evening, she had instead been holed up in her office. She only called out to one of their crew as he was leaving.

Suzanna came out from their little lounge to greet him when she heard the elevator ding. “I wouldn’t go in there just yet if I were you,” she said as he took a few steps out.

“What? Why?” Stephen asked, practically pushing passed her to get to Layla’s office.

“She asked me to get something for her…” Suzanna said as he rounded the doorway.

As Stephen hit the door frame, he could see her. She sat on the floor of her office with her legs bent and off to one side. Hunched over the body, she still had her face in the man’s neck. The majority of both of them were covered in blood. The drying heme was already causing the red to fade into brown on her office rug beneath them.

Slowly, Layla looked up to him and smiled, face splattered with blood that had run down her chin. She awkwardly attempted to push back some of her hair by combing it back with her fingers, but a few strands began to stick to her bloodstained hands. She pulled her hand away slowly, letting the strands fall back onto her shoulder as she laughed. “Look… its so sweet… its sticky…like syrup…” She started to slap her hands together lightly, just to peel them apart and repeat the process a few times until she grew bored with it.

“You’re drunk,” Stephen said, half angrily and half surprised.

“Yes…” she said just as slowly as she moved, quickly falling back onto the corpse before her to tear into its neck further.

Stephen looked around at the decimation. The office she took so much care and effort in designing, the rug she took months in finding, everything around her was spattered with the dead mans’ blood.

Layla took a moment to look back up at him. Slowly smiling, she spoke in slow motion, slightly slurring her words, “Hey, look… I just wanted a break, ok. I slid everything according to proceture. I juss needed tonight to be about me…”

Stephen said in disbelief over the whole situation and half under his breath, “What?”

Her head moved forward slowly, as if she could no longer control her head. “I need solething to be not about him fur once...” Any semblance of sorrow in her voice was quickly dismissed as she began laughing to herself. “I can’t control anything…”

“What are you even talking about?”

A soft moan escaped her lips as a halfhearted attempt to laugh again. “It doesn’t matter. Unn of it… none of it matters. All of this I do… Why do I even… Why? Because someone tells me to? Half my memos come from nobodies, no name people who probably paid more than I’nh… I’m getting…”

Stephen just stared at her as her head dropped further.

Eventually she caught it and raised it up to look at him, though her eyes had closed from her drunken stupor, “He…” Eyes opening, she added hatefully, blood stained teeth glaring, “…died... I hate him…”
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 12:24 am    Post subject: Sins Reply with quote

Stephen turned around and found Suzanna starring at Layla. “Why?” Stephen began. “What did you do?”

“She said she wanted to get drunk. I found this drunk guy in one of the alleys down the street. So I brought him here for her. I didn’t really think it was going to go to this level…” Suzanna said without taking her eyes off of Layla.

Stephen turned back to the massacre on the floor. Recognizing the older man who would often drink a few beers in the alley behind his home a few doors down, Stephen looked down, closed his eyes, and shook his head.

After looking back up, he walked into the room and closed the office door behind him.

Alone with Layla, he asked softly, “I thought you had yourself together.”

“Well apparently I don’t!” she snapped at him without looking up at the corpse she had been staring down at.

Stephen found a small patch of the hardwood floor near her that was absent of blood and knelt down facing her. “Layla, you have to get over this kid. He was just some minion The Company sent to you to use for the missions. He was nothing.”

She looked up at him with tears welling in her eyes. She paused before she choked out the words, “But I love him.”

Stephen exhaled and clarified, “You loved him. It is over now. You have to do what you need to do.”

Layla looked down, ashamed at herself and her countless sins. She had been too proud to admit how she felt. Her own sloth made her ask Suzanna to get her someone to drink. Her wrath as she tore through the poor man’s body. Gluttony as she drank too much, more than she needed. And lust, which was what brought her to this mess in the beginning. Even lust can eventually lead to love, which she felt was her greatest sin of all.

“You’re right,” she said softly.

Stephen stood up and offered her his hand. Layla grabbed hold and allowed him to pull her up, bloodying his hand with her’s. It wasn’t the first time and it wouldn’t be the last.
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